On the Solstice, Mars square Neptune, then Chiron

Dear Friend and Reader:

I’ve been describing the solstice and the eclipses that surround it for weeks on end. Click back through the prior issues linked on the top left and you can review some of what I’ve said — there’s plenty of new stuff that will emerge when you do. If astrology is a picture, it’s a Polaroid picture that develops gradually, no matter what form you take it in. Today is indeed the solstice — the longest day in the Northern Hemisphere. The Sun ingresses Cancer at 1:16 pm EDT, which will be followed by the Sun’s southbound movement along the horizon. Strange as it seems, here in the north, the days get shorter from here. Note, as described last week, we are in Aries Point country — which is likely to stir the pot on the news.

Schiaparelli basin within the layered hills in Arabia Terra on Mars, photographed in 2003 by the now defunct Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft. Photo by NASA/JPL and Marlin Space Science Systems, which seems to have outfitted MGS with its cameras. Link to the original with a full caption about the geology of scene.

I’m not quite ready with the July long monthly, and today’s scheduled distribution coincided with the Sun in late Gemini; we only distribute the monthly with the Sun in the new sign. Of note, I am just at the end of the Planet Waves Midyear Report, which will be available by Friday. This is like a mini-annual, presented as audio, with all 12 signs going for one modest price. More on that later in the week.

Today I want to offer you a few ideas that relate to Mars aspects, which may prove to be useful. As of yesterday evening, Mars ingressed Gemini. Because Neptune is occupying the first degree of Pisces, the two planets make an aspect: Mars square Neptune. Mars is in talkative Gemini and Neptune is in watery, emotional Pisces. The square (or opposition) between these two aspects can be poetic, dramatic or excessive in a rock star way, and is often a caution not to overreact, not to drink any more than you can handle and not to let your paranoia run away with you. Personally I urge caution with any mind-altering substances under Mars-Neptune aspects such as this one, and to be cautious of the dosages of any drug, remedy or medication. If you’re going to sign any kind of contract or make a commitment, give it a few days if you can. If you cannot, get a couple of opinions and listen to your subtle instincts.

This first meeting of Mars with Neptune in Pisces is also a good opportunity to remind you to keep this moment creative rather than self-destructive. Mars-Neptune can have a weird effect on one’s thought process, and thus on one’s judgment — and none of us have ever experienced this aspect from Gemini to Pisces. This is indeed something new under the Sun, for us, anyway. The practical advice here would be to keep your dealings honest, knowing that deceptive tactics are sure to backfire. You might notice a tendency to say too much; walk away before you do. Mars in Gemini loves a good argument, even over nothing — the square to Neptune suggests this is a losing proposition. It’s better to seem wimpy or rude than to betray yourself or anyone else.

Layered hills in Arabia Terra on Mars, photographed in 2003 by the now defunct Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft. Link to the original.

Air to water can be a dangerous mix because you might think it feels good to say a lot, when in reality that’s like a kind of high that is followed by a crash. Said another way, persist in truth, but gently, and as silently as you can — not aggressively. Mars square Neptune is perfectly poorly suited for aggression. So with both subterfuge and rampage out of the question, the solution is to gently lean into integrity — and there’s no rush. This aspect involves two mutable signs, which are the slowest-moving of the lot. As Jerry used to sing, watch each card you play and play it slow.

The next aspect Mars makes is a square to Chiron, which will be developing over the next week. This is an interesting one, in my experience — in people who have this as a natal aspect (and plenty of people do) there is often a struggle against their own resistance. Resistance feels like integrity except for the little problem about how it blocks experience and learning.

Well, it may not actually be integrity but the resistance is presented to the world as such; as a kind of purity. The thing to remember under Mars square Chiron is that we humans have a lot of desires in common. We’re a lot saucier people than we let on. We are more curious, hungrier and kinkier. One thing we may have in common is to speak the truth to the people we care about, but with Mars to Chiron (again air to water) you may have the urge to burst and say everything. There also may be a little more truth than you can handle, so you could go the opposite way and say nothing or make something up. You will have to feel the situation out for yourself, but I can tell you this from some experience.

Chiron is about process. Focus on the healing aspect of that process and you will make excellent use of this aspect. Focus on inner integrity rather than trying to enforce outer integrity and you will get to explore being an inner seeker. Mars square Chiron says, you cannot prove how spiritually advanced you are any way other than by being that. There’s also a reminder not to pit the body’s natural instincts (such as desire) into competition with the impulse to heal and grow (Chiron). The two need to work together, and they can, if we allow them to.

As the Sun enters Cancer, it will make a trine to Neptune in Pisces; that aspect offers a way to ease the pressure created by the Mars squares. It’s a reminder to emphasize experiencing what you feel inwardly rather than pushing it on anyone. If you’re seeking compassion, feel for it first, and you will find it all around you.

Eric Francis

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