Managing Contrasts

Mellow Mars meets stubborn Saturn

opposite chairs facing each other

A powerful way to gain more understanding through astrology is to take note of contrasting patterns. Where these exist in a birth mark the fault lines of the personality that are likely to indicate some of the person's core life issues. For example, someone with the emotional Moon and amorous Venus in sensitive water signs has strong needs for tenderness in relationships. But if this individual has significant placements of independent Mars and Uranus, she or he may be pulled between the contrasting calls of both closeness and freedom. Learning how to skillfully navigate between and connect these different desires is a key to personal fulfillment.

Learn more about where your planets lie with your Essential Birth Chart!

Collectively, we are facing another set of contrasts during the next week or two. The atmosphere could be thick, as if the walls are closing in, with Wednesday's intense Scorpio Full Moon. This lunation challenges our values and comfort level as the deeply feeling Moon hungers for passion in opposition to the passivity of the placid Taurus Sun. Serious Saturn's conjunction with the Moon ratchets up pressure to make choices, whether for simple survival or to fulfill a deep yearning for something more in life. We may be tempted to go to extremes by discarding a person, a plan, a project or to abandon hope for greater fulfillment by shutting down pursuit of an unfulfilled desire.

The emotional and material issues associated with this demanding Full Moon can be exhilarating or terrifying, and sometimes both. This is not a light and easygoing lunation but one that can mark the subsequent two weeks with a powerful need to make some important decisions. However, another planetary pattern suggests that accommodation is still possible in the face of these challenges. Normally assertive Mars, the warrior planet, has been retrograde in Libra since March 1. Its reversal in this peacemaking sign indicates the importance of learning to listen and create harmony by making compromises to smooth out relationship rough spots. Mars ends its retrograde period of May 19 as the capacity to initiate action will grow in the following days and weeks.

Mars in Libra

Mars, the traditional ruling planet of persistent Scorpio, works with a lighter hand in Libra. There's less pushing, shoving or ultimatums during this transit. So while the pressure from Saturn in Scorpio is to draw a line in the sand and refuse to budge, the call of Mars in mellow Libra is to meet others halfway. Does that mean that we have to abandon the hard earned emotional truths of the Full Moon in Scorpio and settle for a life less satisfying? Is this contrast about the necessity to set aside niceness in order to stick to our guns and get our way? 

Know what you want 

The answer is to find a way to combine the persistence of Scorpio with the graciousness of Libra. In other words, start by being as clear as possible about your desires. Knowing what you want provides a strong foundation upon which to build. Yet we live in a world with other people, which often requires us to adjust our expectations. Mars in Libra is the master negotiator whose ability to recognize others' needs and to skillfully build a bridge between their wants and ours. When we are certain of our needs (Saturn in Scorpio) we know how to compromise without surrendering the essence of our aspirations. Giving ground without giving up the core of ourselves is an excellent way to take the best of these two powerful and seemingly contrasting trends and apply them to find deeper levels of satisfaction.

Find out more about how the planets affect you personally with your Essential Birth Chart!»