by Boots Hart, CAP

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Mars in Cancer

A Spider Crab shows its very not camera shy self at the Atlanta Aquarium
(photo credit: Lecates, November 2006)

Roughly every two years or so (a bit less, but who’s counting?) the hot dry world of Mars moves into and through the sign of Cancer. This tends not to be our most graceful or gracious time as Cancer asks for planning and caution in the executing of all we do and Mars energy tends to be unbounded.

Or at least pushy.

The result is a time when we are either pitting against trying tasks which trigger frustration more easily than we think they should (which leads to more frustration) or a time when all we do – even that which clearly leads to a reward – seems less than calming in that sense we think of a relief, contentment or satisfaction.

If you have Mars in Cancer natally, you know some of its tendency to indicate a ‘bottling’ up followed by a bursting forth…although you’re also probably more ‘immune’ than the rest of the world is to Mars in Cancer as a transit as natal placements indicate qualities that we’re so ‘used to’ (or habituated to, perhaps) that we don’t rail against them when periodically they sweep through life like some particularly virulent flu.

Or, perhaps more specifically in the case of Mars in Cancer, anything wet and whirling. A tornado? A whirlpool? A typhoon (which in some other hemisphere would be known as a hurricane)? Even an emotional uproar, that swirling of feelings and positions on some matter would fit the bill.

Taking from a boat which takes people in close enough to see, a photo of a Naruto Whirlpool
(photo credit: Hellbuny, April 2008)

Does this mean our world is in for just over six weeks of mob activity and bad weather? Maybe. But let’s remember: Cancer is also the sign of family and real estate, agriculture and basic finances. So even if your life isn’t hit directly by some whirlwind, chances are good that you’ll get hit by some sort of spin-off coming from somewhere.

When Mars enters Cancer on July 13th at 1:23 p.m. UT/+0 time, it does so with Chaldaea at 1 Cancer, Black Moon Lilith at 3 Cancer and Pallas at 25 Gemini – a conglomeration which speaks to being faced with that we knew would happen.

Maybe we just didn’t want to believe it. Maybe we have done all we could to prepare ourselves for what we knew was coming. Maybe we’ve cleared our mental decks in preparation for taking on something which requires determination and that inner sort of courage which tests our tolerance.

Sill…even with whatever preparation we’ve done, who likes feeling contained by circumstances? Who likes that moment when we pass a threshold where choice gives way to an inability to opt out?

By sign, that passage is symbolized by Mars leaving Gemini (the idea of the thing) and moving into Cancer, the reality of the thing complete with emotions weak and strong. But there’s something even more elemental about this shift, something which comes from a very important factor which happens with only two particular sign transitions: that from Sagittarius into Capricorn and that of Gemini into Cancer.

Because celestial objects move in a counter-clockwise direction around the zodiac wheel, in moving from Gemini into Cancer the leave the proactive left hemisphere and enter the responding right hemisphere – just as objects moving from Sagittarius into Capricorn move from the world of the reacting into the world of the initiating. So when Mars moves from Gemini into Cancer, it not only enters the sign of all we feel about (and in) life but does so while entering the first of six signs all about responding to what happens in our world. Mars being all about assertiveness and going for the gusto, this is sort of like a headstrong teen being stripped of car keys, cell phone and every right, choice and privilege they’ve ever conceived of.

Ergo, begin the complaining. Not in reality…(okay, maybe in reality)…but certainly in the sense that between July 13th and August 28th (that being this year’s dose of Mars in Cancer) we’re all likely to be itching to be doing something.

You know…something other than what we’re doing. It’s like every morning we’re getting up and someone’s putting a spoonful of impatience into our coffee. (And you thought you had caffeine problems?) Mars in Cancer can be goofy in its irritation, too. That thing you said sounded like a grand idea just last week (under Mars in Gemini) now sounds ridiculous. That great plan you mapped out in your head down to the itty bitty nitty gritty under Mars in Gemini now seems too much trouble and WAY too complicated.

Who could be bothered?

You. Me. All of us. We’re ALL bothered. Not by the same thing of course…or rather, all by the same thing – Mars passing through Cancer. But it will take a different shape in each of our lives – and yes, we’ll all be annoyed with that, too!

Person #1: Why can you just understand me?

Person #2: You just don’t understand why I don’t understand you! If you understood me, you'd understand that and we wouldn't have this problem!

Oh, how futile things sometimes are, right?

But there is a good side of all this. No passage is without its benefits, and Mars in Cancer is no exception. Yes, it tends to mark a time when our external life seems unreasonably uncooperative and ‘all those people’ aren’t acting even remotely like we think they should.

So what do we do? We do our own thing.

And that’s what Mars in Cancer is for. By showing us what we don’t like, it asks us what we do like – and why we like it. At some level we do a bunch of comparing and sorting under Mars in Cancer – and sometimes we even change our mind. Or our priorities. Or goals.

Whatever happens, Mars in Cancer is a period of life which notoriously deluges us in details and noise and encounters and input which, while it gets to us also drives us inward. And there we recognize that which is truly important to us.

Meanwhile, back at the hemisphere switcheroonie…

You remember Pluto entering Capricorn, right? Pluto committed to its transit of Capricorn (and everything which comes after Capricorn) back at the very end of 2008. And in changing hemisphere from the responding side to the proactive side, Pluto did a couple of things. For one, it moved the ‘unexpected results’ of the world, the ‘unpredicted and transformational moments’ into the proactive side of the zodiac wheel. This marks a whole change of dynamic. 

Not quite a hundred years ago, Pluto did what Mars is doing now – it moved from Gemini into Cancer. When that happened, Pluto’s ‘transformational’ energy moved into a period marked by six successive signs and six successive astrological generations which would produce things of great power…and also stir up many an unanticipated result.

As soon as Pluto moved again moved into the proactive side of the zodiac, people began yelling we have to do something about this…(fill in the blank). The focus, the obsession moved from what we can do and what we can make into what we can do for ourselves or get for ourselves.

And though this is something I find interesting to think about on its own, there are two other really good reasons to mention this while talking about Mars moving into Cancer.

First reason: Capricorn is the opposition sign to Cancer. That means that during the weeks of Mars transiting Cancer, things are going to be intense. Unusually intense – especially while Mars opposes Pluto by degree, an event which is exact occurs on July 27th, but which you will probably feel ‘coming on’ as of a week prior, on the 20th.

Mars-Pluto contacts can be very volatile. Even violent. Given the signs here, and the fact that Mercury will be going direct (in Cancer) ON July 20th just as the Mars-Pluto opposition energy begins building, this sounds like a doozie of a time.

Let’s just say it’s not a moment to be careless. And maybe you don’t want to start any arguments. Those people who tend to carry grudges are would feel more actively grudge-ful during the this Mars/Cancer transit…but then add an opposition to Pluto?

Don’t be surprised. I’m just saying…don’t be surprised.

But since astrological doors always swing both ways, there is a flip side to Mars-Pluto which is available. It’s signaled by Hebe – servant to the Olympians, going direct on July 15th at 24 Scorpio.

That brings me to that second reason for bringing up the Pluto shift of hemispheres that Mars is now setting up an opposition to. After all, Mars and Pluto are co-rulers of Scorpio.

Many of the paintings and statues you see of Hebe have her pictured in the presence of an eagle.

 The Celestial Hebe (c 1886) by Jean Coulon
(photo credict David Monniaux, 2006)

I’ve never read anything which specifically discusses why Hebe keeps company with an eagle. But I do know that the eagle is one of Scorpio’s three totem animals (the scorpion, the gray lizard and the eagle). The scorpion is Scorpio at it’s most instinctual level. It’s about survival and all it takes to survive and preserve life in this world. The eagle is Scorpio at it’s most noble level, that being a place where Scorpio is just and disinterested in taking any more than it needs.

Or anyone taking any more than they need.

Being that Hebe is the bearer of ‘the drink of the gods’ (ambrosia) to the Olympians, the idea of taking more than one needs may be connected to the eagle as Hebe’s companion. And there is also the fact that Hebe is going direct in Scorpio, a degree which is speaks of being more aware than usual, more sensitive than usual (particularly in the psychic sense) and more prone to recognizing a need for thrift.

Connecting these points, apparently there needs to be a reason for what we do in this world, one which is measured and not ‘taking too much.’ But what that means, and how you get there?

That’s probably the rub. And where there is good reason…as well as where there isn’t…it doesn’t seem to far an astrological stretch to say we’ll be hearing about it in the days…and week or so ahead.

Some of that will be what causes us to turn into ourselves, where we come into the presence of that one person we are most responsible to serve so that they can focus on how to transform their life – lest it be transformed by forces beyond their knowing.

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