Mercury opposite Mars: A Caution and an Opportunity

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Mercury opposes Mars today — a potentially volatile, challenging aspect feeding us directly into the cardinal grand cross (which is exact in one week, but we’re ‘in it’ now). At its most basic, Mercury opposite Mars says: talk it out, don’t argue it out.

Right in the thick of things: the Aries and Libra clusters as Mercury (green glyph with horns) in Aries opposes retrograde Mars (red arrow pointing up) in Libra. View glyph key here; read Eric's overview of the whole configuration from Monday here.

Right in the thick of things: the Aries and Libra clusters as Mercury (green glyph with horns) in Aries opposes retrograde Mars (red arrow pointing up) in Libra. View glyph key here; read Eric’s overview of the whole configuration from Monday here.

Exact at 7:15 am EDT, this is a continuation of Mercury on the cardinal grand cross (it aspected Uranus, Pluto and Jupiter Monday). Mercury is in Aries, across the zodiac from retrograde Mars in Libra.

The ‘horns’ on Mercury’s glyph signify fleetness of mind, yet in Aries, they also echo the ram’s horns. We can translate that into being headstrong, especially regarding ideas about oneself.

Mars in Libra can feel spread thin or diffused; imagine that person you know who is always trying to do everything but never seems to make efficient progress with any one thing. Retrograde in Libra, Mars is even more confounded. Mars wants more than simply to discover and understand the roots of our relationship tendencies; it wants to do something about what we find.

At its worst, Mercury opposite Mars is the perfect setup for frustrated desires and goals to get projected onto relationships with others; for subconscious hostility to come shooting out in a blaze of self-righteous combativeness; for actual physical accidents when behaving rashly or impulsively. It’s all accusation and reaction, but no reflective ‘I statements’.

There is a strong caution here to be aware of your frustrations with yourself, especially if you’re inclined to blame someone else. Feel like acting out? Look within. What are you really angry about?

At its best, you can use Mercury-Mars to achieve your goals if you direct your energy well. Note that “directing your energy well” does not mean breathing fire at your well-meaning lover, slamming the door on your way out of the boss’s office, or using a minor irritation as an excuse to spew 10 years’ worth of suppressed grievances at your neighbor.

“Directing your energy well” means using the self-awareness granted by Mercury (and which is being magnified by yesterday’s eclipse) to understand what is really going on. It means leaning on the diplomacy and humanity of Venus-ruled Libra to guide Mars toward some empathy — especially toward yourself, as well as toward any ‘adversaries’. It’s easy to forget that we behave most harshly toward others when we’re judging ourselves harshly.

Rob Hand suggests you can use this aspect constructively when asking others about your effectiveness in a particular activity — but you have to be truly open to receiving what they might say, and willing to grow from what you learn. The bigger astrological picture is demanding nothing less — in a conversational tone.

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12 Responses to Mercury opposite Mars: A Caution and an Opportunity

  1. Amanda Painter Amanda Painter says:

    yeti — absolutely.
    p.sophia — “the general felling I received was there is going to be some real confusing feelings swirling concerning love energy, yet on the other side Venus is moving towards healing, so we have something very positive to work with here.”

    yes — this makes perfect sense to me.

  2. bodymindalchemy says:

    “Lives in the Balance” from the Going Home: Jackson Browne (1994) DVD
    Jackson Browne performing with David Lindley, Graham Nash and David Crosby during the “I’m Alive” tour

  3. bodymindalchemy says:

    Is U.S. Media Coverage of Ukraine and Syria Even Worse than Its Coverage of Iraq? Unprecedented Propaganda Blitz

    The political is personal…

    I’ve been waiting for something to happen
    For a week or a month or a year
    With the blood in the ink of the headlines
    And the sound of the crowd in my ear

    You might ask what it takes to remember
    When you know that you’ve seen it before
    Where a government lies to a people
    And a country is drifting to war

    And there’s a shadow on the faces
    Of the men who send the guns
    To the wars that are fought in places
    Where their business interest runs

    On the radio talk shows and the t.v.
    You hear one thing again and again
    How the u.s.a. stands for freedom
    And we come to the aid of a friend

    But who are the ones that we call our friends–
    These governments killing their own?
    Or the people who finally can’t take any more
    And they pick up a gun or a brick or a stone

    There are lives in the balance
    There are people under fire
    There are children at the cannons
    And there is blood on the wire

    There’s a shadow on the faces
    Of the men who fan the flames
    Of the wars that are fought in places
    Where we can’t even say the names

    They sell us the president the same way
    They sell us our clothes and our cars
    They sell us every thing from youth to religion
    The same time they sell us our wars

    I want to know who the men in the shadows are
    I want to hear somebody asking them why
    They can be counted on to tell us who our enemies are
    But they’re never the ones to fight or to die

    And there are lives in the balance
    There are people under fire
    There are children at the cannons
    And there is blood on the wire

    – Jackson Browne, “Lives in the Balance” (1986)

  4. P. Sophia P. Sophia says:

    Thank you Amanda great article, and Be, both for your interpretations are precisely in-line with my observations of the re-actions building durning this Cardinal Cross theme of last and this week. I have witnessed, (note, working hard to keep with awareness and not get pulled in) the push off and projection of this negative aggressive (or, passive aggressive) male energy (not gender specific-both men and women) trying to find a reflection, or release valve to funnel on to others. Lot’s of blame, not taking responsibility. I believe from a place of simple not knowing what is personally going with the selfs, or for that matter the potential of how to convert this energy in a healthy growing way.

    Last night I found I had 7 calls from friends and a couple clients calling out for help in ext team stress mode. My first reaction was I don’t want to deal with this drama. I could have very easily ignored and let them stew, but then I looked at it from a place of healing and that they were clearly reaching out to me for a reason, for help. One by one called to help rechannel their fears in a ‘no worries’ way.

    Interesting you mention Venus because just Tuesday, after reading Len’s article something told me to check in with Venus and when I looked on the wheel and at the degree I found She was exactly dead in the middle sandwiched between Neptune on one side and Chiron on the other side at 15+ degrees. Did not have much time to fully research (as putting out fires), but the general felling I received was there is going to be some real confusing feelings swirling concerning love energy, yet on the other side Venus is moving towards healing, so we have something very positive to work with here.

  5. wandering_yeti says:

    I recently sparred with a traveler. He related stories of how his martial arts are mainly for qi movement and health. It illuminated a healthy aspect of Mars in Libra to me: he told of how he tends to meet aggression with firm calm that often confuses an attacker. Internal martial arts in general resonate with Mars in Libra, the power coming from the Mars but the arts direct the power, not destroy it. A Tai Ji form with a sword, a peaceful traveler holding peace so firmly that aggression breaks like a wave; how can we create a more peaceful humanity when we collapse in the face of aggression?

  6. Amanda Painter Amanda Painter says:

    oh, and a note: given that aspects to mars are often felt most strongly in their build-up, this description in this post definitely is applicable to any aggression/conflict/frustration in the last couple days. so if that’s the case for you, now’s the time when awareness can be channeled into rectification and lesson-learning, if not outright “mea culpas”…

  7. Amanda Painter Amanda Painter says:

    salamander — i don’t know that Mars in Libra *necessarily* indicates having a lot to do but struggling to make any progress on one thing, but if that interpretation opens the energy up for you in a way that you can work with, awesome! i was mainly trying to give an example of what “diffused energy” or “drive without a singular, clear goal” might look like from the outside — that is, to illustrate it in human terms as one possibility. i am grateful to know that it hit the mark.

  8. bkoehler says:

    You make an important point Amanda regarding the influence that Venus is having on Mars in Libra. In fact Mars is inundated with the feminine these days isn’t he? Something to bear in mind (literally a Libra thing) during this period of cardinal cross-bearing. As we struggle to find equilibrium between the polar opposites (yin-yang) in our evolving, it is worth noting that the 4 planets which compose the cardinal cross are all symbolic of the masculine. However, it is Mars who, as you note, symbolizes the aggressive qualities that usually give “manhood” a bad reputation. I had previously looked toward Jupiter, in his trine with Chiron and Saturn (both representing masculine energy) as the release valve for all the cardinal/yang confrontation, but hadn’t speculated (so masculine!) at all about the intricate patterns being setup by the feminine astrological symbols as being directly connected with the CC. Seems I should have been thinking with my heart!

    Well before the present ongoing sextile between the Ceres-Vesta conjunction and Pallas (with Juno making appearances in strategic places and Venus too with her long sojourn through Capricorn), the very first Uranus-square-Pluto chart of the present series of 7 revealed very interesting positions for the goddesses. Pallas the Strategist was exactly conjunct the Aries Uranus half of the square. Think about that for a moment. Ceres (as was Venus), conjunct Jupiter in Gemini, who would (2 years later) be a 3rd part of the cardinal cross we are experiencing now. Vesta in Taurus (values) was opposite Juno in Scorpio (shared resources); Vesta in a trine to Mars in Virgo and Juno sextiling him. What do you make of that!!?? Seems to me there has been a low-key, unobtrusive strategy working alongside the highly anticipated clash of energy we have all been breathlessly awaiting.

    Add to this the goddesses Juno and Vesta were making subtle but challenging aspects to Pluto too. Vesta the Workaholic in a sesqui-quadrate (135 degrees) and Juno the Equalizer in a semi-square (45 degrees) to Pluto (transform) in Capricorn (establishments) were pressing home their own agendas of equality and balance for both genders. Venus in Gemini was also making a quincunx (adjust) to Pluto in this 1st square of Uranus-Pluto chart of June 2012.

    I do believe we might see some spewing of 10 (or more) years of grievances today like you say Amanda. Perhaps the Venus influenced Mars will take into consideration Mercury’s position in his sign in any negotiations (oppositions) and try to find some harmony as well as understanding of the plight of the individual (Aries). Thanks for your thought-provoking article today.

  9. joya joya says:

    oh planets in the sky… how you parallel my life! LOL

    Got in a blow up fight with my friend of 33 years this morning… around 7:15 am. Perfect.

    And so it goes. Thanks Amanda for the info! :)

  10. Salamander says:

    I knew the Mars in Libra transit involved working on my relationships, but I didn’t know that it also involved struggling to juggle many things at once. I’m grateful for your interpretation of this transit, Amanda.

  11. Salamander says:

    Thank you so much for this article, Amanda. I have been keeping an eye out for Mercury in Aries being part of the cardinal grand cross because of the need to drive long distances on a regular basis. Mercury in Aries surprised me in other ways though in the communications realm, and I am definitely seeing the effects of the transits of Uranus in the 2nd house and Pluto in the 11th house right now.

    Indeed, I have to talk a few things out over the next few days, and I have every reason to be nice. I’m dealing with a few additional challenges, but fortunately, I’m surrounded by kind and understanding people. So I believe I can overcome these difficulties.

    I have a lot to do, but I’m making sure to take good care of myself at the same time.
    I didn’t realize that Mars in Libra indicated having a lot to do but struggling to make any progress on one thing. This is exactly what I am going through right now, and I thought this was due to having natal Jupiter in Gemini and 3 planets in Sagittarius. I didn’t know Mars in Libra was involved too!

    I wrote a very powerful poem in French regarding the cardinal grand cross, and my personal challenges. Now that I finally understand the meaning of my existence, I feel a lot better.

  12. Len Wallick Len Wallick says:

    Amanda: Thank you for both refreshing our contact with the long-term Mars retrograde and grounding us in the ephemeral (yet important) moment of the Mercury-Mars opposition. A masterpiece, and deeply appreciated!

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