Shifting Gears

Mars in Sagittarius: Shifting Gears

Mars is the planet of action. It represents initiative, aggression and the ways in which we push ahead. On October 7 it flung itself into adventurous Sagittarius , where the sky is the limit. This visionary Fire sign is aimed toward the future and faraway places, stretching our boundaries and our physical capacities along the way. Impulsive Mars' presence there tends to increase restlessness and the inclination to take risks. Dealing with the myriad details of daily life may become more difficult during its six-week transit of Sagittarius, and it encourages an optimistic way of behaving that might not always correspond with reality. Tempering behavior based on external limits isn't the Saggie way of doing business.

Mars is the planet of go and Saturn is the planet of stop. The ringed planet also changed signs this month, entering scrutinizing Scorpio on October 5. The influence of this transit is almost the polar opposite of Mars in Sagittarius. The contrasts between them could signal some challenges in the weeks ahead as they tend to pull us in different directions.

The high hopes of Mars in Sagittarius may lead to dramatic crashes if they are not grounded with proper preparation and awareness of potential limits that lie ahead. Conflicts within us and among us may be sparked by this fundamental face-off between our most optimistic aspirations and the our most pessimistic fears. In some ways it's like wanting to drive at 100 miles an hour when the speed limit is 25. On the other hand, if Saturn's doubts dominate, potentially good ideas can be stifled before they are given a chance to be tried out.

Contrasting patterns like these represent high risk situations because co-ordinating the different drives of each planet can be very difficult. Yet when we are able to connect them constructively we can change the world. The visionary instincts of Mars in Sagittarius can sell big ideas and leap over obstacles, as long as the existing realities aren't ignored. Saturn in Scorpio knows how to cut out distractions, eliminate unnecessary activities and extract essential resources. In a way, it can provide the stable guidance needed for Mars' rocket ship ride in Sagittarius to reach its mark.

The challenge of managing the diverse forces is learning how to shift gears between pursuing our highest hopes and getting down to deal with concrete details. In fact, most of life's vexing contradictions aren't overcome by having one side dominate the other; they can be disarmed by being flexible enough to alter perceptions and actions according to which one is needed at a given moment. Adaptability, rather than force, makes it possible to do this.