It has been 21 years since that terrifying night. Yet, if I close my eyes I can still feel the compression of the gun pressed against my head. Not to mention the other gun pushed into my hand.
I still recall the brutal horror that led to the physically involuntary reaction of me urinating on myself.
I can still feel one of the perpetrators grab me and then force me to open the safe with my manager's key. Afterward, he pushed me and my co-worker inside a large walk-in refrigerator. He warned us that we'd better not move.
Ha! I was already frozen in fear. Couldn't move if I tried.
I stood there clutching my fellow ice cream store worker, Henry. I silently thanked heaven that the three men who just robbed the store didn't hurt us. At least not physically.
I have long since forgiven them. Never caught, they jumped on the A train right above us, disappearing into Queens with all of the store money. And their guns.
When the police arrived I was able to give a thorough description of the guns -- I could even draw them. But I didn't look at my perpetrators. I remembered some rule that you're never to look someone in the eye when you're the victim of a crime because it will only infuriate the criminal more. So I stared at the guns instead.
I was born with Mars square Pluto in my horoscope. These planets, especially when in hard aspect (conjunction, square or opposition) leave the native with an imprint that represents fighting for your life. It is sometimes an indicator of an individual with a fierce temper or someone who is the victim of violence at some point in his or her life. It is also an indicator of someone with the most incredible drive to win.
The strong spirit of personal Mars-Pluto aspects
Mars-Pluto aspects are notorious for being prominent in the charts of those who possess the most indomitable ambition to succeed and defend. It is a driver that can help those who have this imprint natally succeed -- not despite incredible obstacles, but BECAUSE of them.
Here is the person who will kill his competition in order to get ahead. Someone who will never give up. Someone capable of using pain, anger or violence as a catalyst for transformation.
Astrologers in old texts have written about this aspect as an indicator of extreme violence -- someone even capable of murder! I tend to make it a point to mention to all of my students when we discuss aspects in a horoscope that I have this Mars square Pluto signature. Last time I checked, I was an astrologer -- not a serial killer.
This is something we need to be careful of in Astrology. Searching for an aspect in someone's chart and automatically assuming that the person will express it in the darkest way. Yes, it is possible, but not a guarantee. Astrology is about awareness. When you are conscious of your planetary patterns, you can ignite your free will to channel any turbulent aspect into its highest possible expression.
Osama Bin Laden had Mars square Pluto. So did Natalee Holloway. Mohandas Gandhi had an opposition and Franklin Roosevelt had the conjunction. Countless sports figures have Mars in aspect to Pluto. One is late football legend George Best. Paul McCartney and Sarah Jessica Parker also have the conjunction. So does Hillary Clinton.
Mars-Pluto aspects can be benevolent, too
As you can see, the expression of Mars-Pluto runs from pure evil and violence to incredible drive, ambition and power used constructively. A warrior spirit and the energy to win is something that everyone with Mars-Pluto has in common.
Allow me to expand on the connection to war and fighting. Some of us were born in situations where we learned early how to be survivors. Others were exposed to violence and had to learn about proper ways to channel anger and control their temper.
As for me? I've got Mars in Cancer in the 3rd House of Communication square Pluto in the 6th House of Work and Health. I am a yeller. When my Italian temper flares up I can out curse a truck driver.
And I do enjoy physical outlets for my anger. I've been known to lift weights or go running just to let off some steam when I get riled up. Cooking also helps me because I get to touch sharp knives in an appropriate way. (Mars rules sharp objects, and in Cancer it's easy to see the cooking connection.)
Another constructive way I channel Mars-Pluto in my chart is through communication (Mars in my 3rd house), work (Pluto in my 6th house). I am a passionate writer, speaker, teacher and counselor. I courageously (Mars) go into the shadow (Pluto) during a session with a client in order to get to the heart of their issues and promote healing.
These days, transiting Pluto in Capricorn is making a sharp opposition to my natal Mars placement. This transit is waking up the energy of my natal Mars-Pluto square in a fascinating way. I am keenly aware that I never again want to be in a position where I feel helpless at the threat of a violent or evil act.
Taking back the control
So now, I have chosen to be on the other end of that gun. That's right; I've decided to use the energy of my Pluto opposition to Mars to learn the skill and sport of shooting. Safely and under the supervision of licensed instructors at an accredited shooting range on Long Island. Who knows if I'll ever need to use this ability? Gosh, I hope not.
Still, I must admit, holding a gun in my hand for the first time when I went for my first lesson a few years back was unforgettable. Being the one in control of the gun rather than the one being controlled by it was deeply empowering. I'm not sure if I thought I was Annie Oakley or one of Charlie's Angels, but I definitely felt my Mars-Pluto energy heat up.
What can I say? There's a little bit of badass in everyone with a Mars-Pluto aspect. But really, can you blame us? One way or another, we're always fighting for our life.