Mars Square Pluto, Under a Scorpio Sky

Dear Friend and Reader:

As the Sun approaches the midpoint of Scorpio this week, that sign’s two ruling planets come into contact. Mars (traditional ruler of Scorpio) is in Libra, making a square to Pluto (the modern ruler), which is in Capricorn. These are two powerful planets making an action-oriented aspect — which should immediately put you on notice to pay attention.

Red dahlia, blue vase, salt lamp; photo by Amanda Painter.

Astrologer Isabel Hickey describes Mars in Libra as “Alternately as meek as a lamb and as angry as a hornet.” That gives you some insight into the extremes of expression it can take.

All planetary placements have their ‘shadow’ manifestations and their more constructive expressions. Yet there’s something about this depiction of Mars in Libra that succinctly illustrates the potential for vacillation that sign is famous for, and takes it up a notch.

As harmony-loving and people-pleasing as Libra is known to be, there’s a reason why Eric likes to call it “the human blowtorch.” But it’s not about anger; this is his way of describing how Libra’s airy creative energy can get lit, and then burn brightly enough through what it creates to light up everyone else around.

When you add Mars — the planet of sex drive, motivation, anger and aggression — to Libra, that sign’s dynamics get heightened. You might see intensified creativity or someone super-motivated to be kind and diplomatic; you might see the get-up-and-go of Mars hang back and chill instead; or you could witness a Molotov cocktail in human form.

Pluto, named after the god of the underworld and known as the compelling ‘change or die’ imperative (which often applies to metaphorical types of death, such as that of the ego) also has its creative side. That is, it represents one side of the equation needed to bring anything new into the world: the ability to uproot and clear out what’s not working to make space for what is to come.

Pluto’s been in Capricorn — the sign of business, governments and similar institutions — since 2008, and we’ve been observing Pluto’s slow, insistent, undeniable imitation of a bulldozer against the cultural landscape that entire time. Its aspects between then and the near future — with such other change-heralding planets as Uranus, Saturn and Eris — represent major processes and peaks in our collective evolutionary experience.

Chart section for Mars square Pluto. Juno and Mars in Libra are at the top; Pluto is at the far bottom-right.

What happens when Mars meets Pluto in a square aspect? Potentially quite a bit. Mars square Pluto is exact on Nov. 5 at 5:28 am EST / 10:27:56 UTC. Yet Mars aspects in particular have a way of making themselves known in advance. Possibly you’re already aware of whatever it describes in your life.

In one scenario, Mars square Pluto could describe simply having a lot of energy to get things done. You might be able to use it quite creatively to transform your immediate environment.

However, this aspect can just as easily represent power struggles, particularly with authority figures, or may signal getting tangled in loose ends you’ve been disregarding.

Even more, it carries a strong reminder that underhanded and ruthless actions can unravel and trip a person up down the line. We’re seeing echoes of this in the news currently, as the circumstances around Pres. Trump’s covert, bullying call to Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy continue to come to light.

On a more personal level, you’ll want to check your motives under this astrology. Are you trying to people-please and fly under the radar to the point of being deceptive? Are you attempting to be fair and balanced without an agenda, or do you have one eye on what doing so could get for you? Are you actively making choices you’d hate for anyone to know about?

Mars square Pluto is not a sinister aspect; it’s simply one that calls for extra self-awareness and honesty. Having the Sun (ego, consciousness, expression), retrograde Mercury (mind, communication) and Pallas (strategy, politics) all in secretive Scorpio underscores this need.

Speaking of Pallas: this important asteroid leaves Scorpio for Sagittarius on Friday. When it does so, its tone shifts from one of an ‘asexual’ approach to sexual politics to something more like big-picture planning, the long-game (spiritually as well as politically), and perhaps a strangely rational form of optimism. Pallas enters Sagittarius at 5:16 am EST Nov. 8.

First, we have another major goddess asteroid changing sign later tonight: Juno (unmet relationship needs, scorekeeping) leaves Virgo and enters Libra at 9:28 pm EST. Once there, it squares the centaur planet Pholus (small cause, big effect) in Capricorn.

Amidst the usual political campaign signs, a series of hand-lettered signs by “aneirons” have sprung up in my town, pointing out various conflicts of interest. Photo by Amanda Painter.

If you need to bring a relationship of any kind into better balance, small moves are going to count for a lot — meaning, you don’t need to push.

This may be especially true if you’re feeling frustrated about things not feeling ‘equal’ with a partner (which could be a creative or professional partnership, not just the romantically/sexually intimate kind). You may find that modest words and actions get better results than you might have guessed, especially compared to past similar situations.

If you’re in the U.S., good luck adjusting to the change from Daylight Savings Time to Standard Time; it always takes me a while. Also: please vote. I know everyone has their eyes on the 2020 elections, but the municipal and state-level candidates and policies on your local ballot this Tuesday are where you can really have a measurable impact in your community.

No matter where you live: Mercury’s retrograde in Scorpio has only just begun. Measure twice (heck, measure thrice) and make sure your thumb’s out of the way before you cut. Take that as literally or metaphorically as you need to.

Yours & truly,

Daily Birthday Readings from Planet Waves

Sunday, Nov. 3, 2019 (The Day of the Long Breath)

Even when you love your job, there are times when it feels like work. But there’s nothing like the satisfaction of employment that allows you to express your talents in a meaningful way. Keep your eyes open this year for such opportunities. Your birthday chart indicates harmonious ties between self-esteem, values and material security, and work that furthers your own personal growth. Even if this involves service outside of traditional employment, follow through on leads in that department. Make yourself available. Decisions made now have long-range implications.

Monday, Nov. 4, 2019 (The Day of the Provocateur)

Most of creation is invisible — outer manifestation only occurs after immense activity behind the scenes. By the time a seed breaks ground, for example, its hardest work is done. Some of your most profound achievements over the coming year may likewise be internal. You’ve much to gain from honestly examining how emotional imprints from the past, perhaps involving your family or relationships, impact your freedom to be yourself. You’re both courageous enough to open those doors and ready to take more creative agency over your own life.

Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019 (The Day of Actuality)

A birthday square between your ancient and modern planetary rulers signals creative friction around desires. This might register as anxiety or anger that bubbles up without apparent cause, but you’re a natural detective and the instinctual realm is your specialty. You can harness tremendous energy this year by following intuitive trails and tracking your dreams. Buried emotions might trigger either confusion or profound insight, depending on your ability to integrate unconscious and conscious input. Psychic exploration can lead to enhanced self-expression and artistry.

Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2019 (The Day of Rousing Vigor)

Opportunities to strengthen your fundamental self-confidence may arise in connection with some influence on the home front. You’re well positioned this year to penetrate through layers of the past and emerge with renewed faith in yourself. Issues around romantic history, or judgments related to self-expression or creative talents, are all up for resolution. You’ve got what it takes to dive in deep and retrieve parts of your soul held captive for long enough. Joy and inspiration are calling you.

Thursday, Nov. 7, 2019 (The Day of Discovery)

Provocative openings to explore the sacred space where sexuality, wisdom, devotion and transformation all intermingle are ripe with creative potential this year. Encounters with others may spark inspiration in this department, though the real journey is your own. Your conceptual framework has been undergoing profound transformation, and that process will continue. This year expands what amounts to an ongoing master class, to introduce a more spiritual and artistic component.

Friday, Nov. 8, 2019 (The Day of the Borderline)

You’re in a position of greater stability than you might realize, with support systems available to help you make considerable headway this year. Tap your wealth of emotional and intellectual resources to maximum advantage, to plow through work and get your world in order. Demands on your time may accelerate, but don’t sacrifice self-care; healthy routines are important. Emotional healing also emerges as a theme, possibly involving old abuse patterns and karma related to responsibility. Healing is ultimately and always an inside job, but guidance from trusted counselors can play a pivotal role.

Saturday, Nov. 9, 2019 (The Day of Earthly Temptation)

Your psychic radar should be especially well tuned this year, and able to pick up important information from the subtlest channels. Pay attention to emotional prompts, including dream material, with themes involving partnerships, jealousy, competition and self-esteem. Conditions are right to bring old buried wounds into the conscious light of day, and reclaim a great deal of energy you might not even realize had been held frozen. Revelatory insights are possible that free you from repeating patterns based in the past. I suspect you’re more than ready.

Sunday, Nov. 10, 2019 (The Day of Metamorphosis)

Significant encounters this year could prove revelatory, and offer opportunities to explore aspects of your own psyche that prepare you to engage relationships on a more profound level. Material likely to arise includes attitudes around sexuality, devotion, spiritual wisdom and commitment. Keep your antennae tuned in this direction; there’s information you’re ready to receive that will open your eyes and expand your world. Initiation into some kind of higher understanding is possible.

— By Victoria Emory

Monday Morning Horoscope #201 for Nov. 4, 2019 | By Amy Elliott

Aries (March 20-April 19) — Your ruler Mars is approaching a square with Pluto, exact Tuesday: a precursor of the forthcoming Saturn-Pluto conjunction. This is your cue to awaken and pay attention, and to begin focusing your efforts toward a particular goal. You don’t need to rush for the finish line right away here; this is likely to be more of a cross-country run, taking in plenty of interesting scenery along the route. However, you would probably do well to keep your aim at the forefront of your mind, and quietly accommodate it as a factor in each significant decision you make. This will enable you to draw the threads of your path together until they coalesce into a coherent and obvious pattern you can easily trace.

Taurus (April 19-May 20) — Just now it would appear you’re troubled by certain profound questions, especially in terms of your overall trajectory. You may benefit from treating the problem as a philosophical one, and seeking out the wisdom of various teachers, whether ancient or modern, in person or in written form. This might be viewed as an information-gathering project, though really it’s something deeper than that. What you need most of all is to look for those fundamental kernels of truth that speak to your very soul, and set it vibrating in tune with the universe. In part, this is a sacred journey of sorts that might figuratively send you around the world, until eventually you discover yourself.

Gemini (May 20-June 21) — If things are not happening quite as you’d anticipated or planned, now is not the time to leap to conclusions. Even if it seems evident that a particular prize is out of your reach, remember that while Mercury is retrograde, appearances can be more deceptive than usual. In particular, some of your not-quite-conscious emotional responses might be tricking you into unfounded feelings of doubt. It’ll help to stay grounded in the factual world. Another strategy might be to note down any uncertainties you have, and do some digging for clues. Your research could well turn up some invaluable side information, also. Whether or not you arrive at any definitive answers, you’ll surely be wiser for the experiment.

Cancer (June 21-July 22) — You may discover that you’re unusually sensitive this week to emotional fluctuations in those you love best. A word of caution, however: avoid assumptions when it comes to interpreting these feelings. Be especially skeptical of any sense that someone is reacting to you as a person; however strong your conviction, stay alert to the possibility of projecting onto them. Keep in mind how your own feelings might enter into the situation. All this said, the chances are you’ll be more in tune than usual with close friends, and able to experience some delightfully intimate moments. This will be easier if you open your mind to the understanding that you are loved, not least because it’s true.

Leo (July 22-Aug. 23) — Take it easy. This might require effort: we so often tell ourselves that we should be doing this or that, or we’re not doing enough, yada yada. Shame is almost never productive in any case, so if you find yourself doing this, stop. Consider patience your watchword for the week, and remember that the journey toward a specific aim can be every bit as delightful as reaching it — in many cases more so. Either way, no reason to make a martyr of yourself. Do what you can reasonably manage, at a pace that also allows you room to breathe — and while you’re at it, remember that perfection is for robots; human error was, after all, responsible for the invention of both Post-it Notes and penicillin.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22) — It’s likely that the path you’re currently on will lead to some kind of inspirational breakthrough. In the meantime, however, you will have to put in the hours. You have a lot of ground to cover, and your best stratagem is simply to knuckle down and get as much done as possible. Don’t forget to afford yourself due praise for whatever you accomplish. Savoring your victories is a necessary and solid support for your confidence, provided it doesn’t lead to a drop in pace. Keep your notes up to date, so that you’re aware of the current status and aren’t losing sight of any threads. Oh, and since Mercury is retrograde, this is your friendly reminder to back up, save and triple-check all the things.

Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23) — The moment approaches for you to bid an undoubtedly less-than-fond farewell to a large chunk of inner critic. This nagging voice of doubt has probably not been as frequent a visitor in recent years as it was in former times. Still, occasionally it’s shown up on your doorstep, arms folded, waiting for an opening to drop one of its tired old lines into the conversation. Enough already. It’s time you sent it packing, and took back the space and energy for something else entirely. An ambition, perhaps, that you weren’t quite sure you could take a chance on. An interest or skill you’ve long wanted to try, or possibly some exciting new friendships. The choice is yours entirely.

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22) — Tuesday, your two planetary rulers Mars and Pluto will meet in a square. You’re likely to experience this as a moment of clarity or cohesion, somewhat as if a fog has lifted from your mind. Certain experiences from recent months may suddenly make much more sense, accompanied by a feeling that you can at last move forward. One factor that will assist you in this process is an encounter with some new and exciting ideas, possibly ones that, to a degree, will challenge particular precepts you hold. You might feel this as the mental version of taking a long stretch and relieving stiff muscles. After all, you weren’t designed for perpetually sitting around in comfort.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22) — There’s a self-evident relationship between the concept of resources, or the materials you have to draw on, and that of resourcefulness, which is about making the most of those materials. In the coming weeks, you’d do well to maximize both, and not merely in the physical realm. In fact, this is much more likely to refer to your emotional resources: your strength, your courage, your friendships, and everything that you consider supportive to you and your dreams. For the time being, at least, focus on more optimal ways to use what you already have. Reducing unhelpful thought patterns, and time lost in social media rabbit holes, could also prove useful to you.

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20) — As we continue on the approach to one of the major astrological events of our era, you have a front-row seat, and are already getting the first whiff of what’s building. The picture may not be entirely clear just now; it might feel more like a tiny ripple on the edge of your senses, or a shadow of a thought. For now, gently clear a space for information to come to you in its own way, and then keep placing one foot in front of another, which is sometimes a more difficult task than it sounds. It pays to remember that there’s a good deal of quiet satisfaction in following the plans you’ve made and checking off items on a task list. It may not be romantic, but it bolsters your confidence.

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) — A useful discipline for you this week might be to avoid assumptions regarding what other people are thinking — in particular, what they think of you. At this point in time, the potential exists for a lot of miscommunication and misinterpretation. It would serve you well to take nothing for granted. You perhaps also need to remember that your opinion of yourself is what really matters. You can’t control how anyone else perceives you, and it isn’t necessary to try. The most important thing you can do is be your spectacular self, shamelessly and honestly. This will attract the love, friendship and admiration of all those who strive to practice honesty likewise. As for the rest, they are no loss to you.

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) — You have a mission, and just now you need to gather all your energy and focus on bringing it to a satisfactory conclusion. It’s not necessary to barrel along at breakneck speed — Mercury is retrograde, after all. That said, it would be decidedly helpful if you steer clear of distractions, however shiny or apparently looming. Get organized and keep records, so that you can recollect what was agreed or discussed in the past without great difficulty. Muster everyone who is working with or supporting you, and make sure they know their specific brief. Checking in occasionally will help you confirm all involved are on the same page, and track progress. Be prepared to take a lead on efficiency.

Leave a Comment