Mars & Pluto / Occultism & Magic/ Purposeful Change

imagesNatal combinations of Mars (personal will) and Pluto (raw power) make them a force with which to be reckoned. Individuals with this natal combination function (consciously or not) with such an intensity of purpose that they are able to (consciously or not) transisition their desire into reality.

Because Mars acts in conjunction with Pluto’s evolutionary drive for transformation, it’s little wonder these two are the co-rulers of Scorpio – and –  as anyone with first- hand experience of Scorpio knows, these waters run deep.

It’s also little wonder that - throughout the centuries - a large number of well-known ceremonial magicians, witches, and occultists have Mars/Pluto aspects in their charts – for example:

 Aleister Crowley  (Golden Dawn) – Pluto (23 Taurus) TRINE Mars (22 Capricorn)

Israel Regardie  (Golden Dawn) – Pluto (23 Gemini) TRINE Mars (21 Aquarius)

Carlos Castaneda (shaman) – Pluto (13 Cancer) TRINE Mars (28 Scorpio)

Starhawk (Wiccan) – Pluto (17 Leo) SEXTILE Mars (18 Gemini)

Zsuzsanna Budapest (Wiccan) – Pluto (22 Virgo) SQUARE Mars (16 Sagitarrius)

William Yeats (Golden Dawn/poet) – Pluto (13 Taurus) SQUARE Mars (12 Leo)

William Westoctt (Golden Dawn) -  Pluto (24 Gemini) TRINE Mars (21 Aquarius)

Robert Fludd (occultist) – Pluto (26 Pisces) TRINE Mars (28 Scorpio)

Emanuel Swedenborg (alchemist) – Pluto (22 Cancer) SQUARE Mars (21 Aries)

William Blake (occultist/poet) – Pluto ( 20 Sagittarius) TRINE Mars ( 20 Leo)

So does that mean that if you’ve got Mars/Pluto aspects in your natal chart you will be an occultist?

Of course not.

But what it does mean is that – for better or worse – you have a tremendous power for bringing about purposeful change.

 

Faces Within Faces – Revealing the Secrets of Your 5th House

Conflict exists between the face you believe that you present to the world and that which you actually do.  If you don’t wish to take yourself at ‘face value’, then dig deeper.

Astrology offers a way to do just that.   Like artists, astrologers seek to capture the essence of their subject – that unique signature style that sets one apart in the sea of humanity.

The best place to start is with the 5th house.  It’s here that you find your potentiality for self-expression.  Keep in mind however, that you could choose to use this energy to camouflage your real Self.

The 5th house is a place of enormous complexity.  It symbolises not only that in which you take pleasure (Venus ‘delights’ here), but also it’s home to your heart chakra.  The 5th house channels your life’s vital energy.   It also symbolises your ability to give and receive without strings.

If your 5th house energy is inhibited or blocked, you’re unable to fulfil your promise.  In this case, the ruler of your 5th house (and any planets residing there) provides clues.  Societal attitudes toward self-expression are also synthesized in the 5th house.

I have Scorpio on my 5th house cusp.  This makes Pluto (in my 2nd house in Leo) and Mars (in Virgo conjunct Venus in the 3rd) the co-rulers of the face I present to others.  As Scorpio is renouned for being guarded and suspicious, it’s little surprise that, for my own protection, I hide myself away.  Perhaps early on I learned that expression of the ‘real me’ was dangerous?  I realise that under my easy Libran smile, my teeth are always clenched.  Clearly something intense is going on under the surface.  Maybe it’s the ever-present survival concerns (Pluto in Leo in 2nd house) especially in regard to financial security?  Or maybe I’m mistrustful of life in general?

People have told me that I have a piercing gaze.  I hold eye contact with them longer than is comfortable.  What am I looking for?  My Mars in Virgo squares my Moon.  This suggests my playful Gemini Moon is seeking a way to relax and let ‘go’.

Can others see this in my face?  Can I?

Astro-dynamics of My Knight in Shining Armour

In yet another characterisation exercise for my new memoir, I’m digging into the astro-personality of my husband, JWM.  He plays the knight in shining armour who rescues me from the Wicked Witch of A ‘dam.  

Although he won’t admit it, JWM’s father is a huge influence in his life.  This makes the nature of the bond between them even more important because it operates unconsciously.

The key astrological configurations in  father/son relationships are (1) Saturn (discipline and control), (2) the Sun (validation of Self) and (3) Mars (survival instinct).  The concepts here are clash, struggle, opposition, fear, defeat, and betrayal.

In myth, Saturn and Mars are mortal enemies.  Yet they absolutely need each other.  It’s interesting that Saturn functions not only as the father figure in a young man’s life but also as the unavoidable aging process that eventually brings the young buck to his knees.

But back to the Wicked Witch of A ‘dam.  JWM was a young man then.   He had not yet undergone his Saturn return during which he would gain his sense of perspective.

JWM’s Saturn (structure/perfection) in Aries (sense of omnipotence) sits on his father’s Sun/Uranus  (break w/ tradition) in Aries; JWM never stops judging his father.  His father doesn’t know how to react.  Their interactions take on a decidedly defensive tone.   The young ram must butt against something if he’s to make any progress at all.

A young man’s sense of direction must come from his notion  of the ‘father figure’.  Because his Sun is in Aquarius, JWM needs his father to be a visionary who accomplishes nothing less than transforming the free world.  Whether his father achieved this isn’t the point.  The point is that with JWM’s Sun square Mars/Neptune conjunction (dissociation from action), he needs to see his father that way.

So not surprisingly, when I first met JWM in A ‘dam he was an unfocused drifter.    His father had failed to unleash JWM’s Mars energy  (there’s no synastry there).   But I did.*

According to Liz Greene, the energy of Neptune/Mars often manifests through romantic heroism.   That’s just what it did.  Enter my knight in shining armour whose Neptune/Mars in Scorpio formed a perfect trine with the Mars (Cancer) of Alieke, the Wicked Witch of A ‘dam.

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* My Uranus (liberation) in Cancer (nurturing) trines JWM’s Neptune/Mars in Scorpio (passion).

If you Play with Fire – You’ll Almost Certainly Get Burned

bouncy TiggerBouncing is fiery and fire is what Tigger does best.  It makes him larger than life.  It makes him the most loveable character in the hundred-acre wood.

Yet being larger than life doesn’t always make one happy – despite his or her cheery smile.

“Fiona” is a young Irish woman with a Grand Fire Trine.  She has her Sun and Mercury in Sagittarius (gregarious, optimistic, and naïve).  Her Saturn (organisation) is in fall in Aries (reckless and impatient).  Her Moon (nurturing and belonging) in Leo (proud and confident yet easily duped).

With that fiery line up there’s little surprise her life is a continuing drama.

Her father was the local vicar.  He kept his mistress as a housekeeper and worked undercover for British intelligence.  According to Fiona, her mother was a mouse who roared only on her way out of the marriage.

Fiona’s friends know her as a ‘good time girl’ who had an enviable sex life  – that is before she got married.  Seems that now the party is over.  Fiona’s husband (who apparently was fine before the marriage) is now impotent.

She can’t understand his problem.

Seeing her Mars (assertion and survival) in detriment in Libra (compliant and evasive) across the MC/AC (4th house/10th house or ‘parental’ axis) we suspect it’s her problem.

One day Tigger loses his famous stripes.  He is inconsolable until he learns that it’s what’s ‘inside’ not ‘outside’ that counts.

Likewise Fiona must look within for answers.

But how do you get a fire-type to do that?

Write a book about herself, you suggest?!  

The astrology of soul-mates/why it inevitably all goes wrong

In Plato’s Symposium, we learn that humans originally consisted of four arms, four legs, and a single head with two faces.  But Zeus, most powerful of the Greek gods, feared the humans’ power and tore them asunder, condemning them to eternally search for the other half of themselves – their soul mate.

That’s as good as any explanation for the magical, mystical, and most importantly – fated – union you can feel in the presence of another.   For many, it’s the most beautiful, moving, and transformative experience for which one could ever hope.   I’ve had it.  Have you?

So why is it that – more likely than not – it all ends in tears?

Astrologically, the ‘soul mate’ phenomenon is inevitably bound up with Neptune – which moves in mysterious, illusive ways.  Neptune is counter logical and doesn’t play by the rules.  Neptune is of another world, luring us into pursuit of a glamorous dream that takes us to places we’d never otherwise willingly have gone.

We all need some glamour in our lives.  But when the dream is over you need to move on.

Does this mean you can never have a long-term relationship with your Neptunian ‘soul mate’?  Of course not.

What it does mean is that unless your soul mate relationship has more holding it together than Neptune contacts, when reality shatters your rose-coloured glasses, either you or your beloved will be sneaking out the backdoor with a grin.

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The following is a brief outline of the various ‘soul-mate’ synastry aspects between your chart and another’s  (the closer the aspect – the stronger the effect):

Neptune/Moon – the Moon person has an earthy stability that makes the Neptune person feel safe.  The Neptune person sees the Moon person as the only one able to provide much-needed non-judgemental love.  Neptune believes the Moon will always be there for her.  Initially the Moon responds positively to Neptune’s needs and does all she can to provide sympathetic care.  But as the bonds grow stronger, the Moon often becomes progressively more possessive; Neptune then feels overwhelmed and quietly slips away.

Neptune/Mercury – Neptune views Mercury as a clever companion and guide who can provide insightful answers to Neptune’s pressing questions.   Often the dialogue between these two is poetic and inspired.  Yet both planets (given the circumstances) can be shameless liars.   Neptune uses her mirroring powers to please at all costs.  For Mercury (governed by the god of tricksters and thieves) truth is always a relative business.   In the end quarrels and misunderstandings are inevitable – and it’s what each of you do then that matters.

Neptune/Venus – this contact has provided inspiration for poetry and fiction from the beginning of time – for it inevitably involves the pain of illicit (and often unfilled) desire.   While Neptune fantasizes about the physical consummation of a mystical love, Venus waits impatiently (and perhaps indefinitely) for Neptune to take action.  The problem is that Venus wants to be loved through (and for) her body – while what Neptune really loves is Venus’ soul.  This aspect reflects the intoxicating feeling of ‘being in love’.  Yet often it only produces a broken heart.

Neptune/Mars – the sheer strength of the sexual pull between these two ensures trouble.  Neptune sees Mars as her invincible champion– tough, potent, decisive, and ready for battle.   In turn, Mars feels fulfilled with a worthy cause for which to fight.  Yet if Neptune can’t acknowledge her dependency on Mars, she’ll undermine him so as to ensure he doesn’t go off crusading for someone else.  Often this results in the classic ‘not tonight but maybe tomorrow’ script where Mars is kept eternally waiting.  On-going frustration may draw cruelty and violence from Mars.  The less Neptune understands her own capacity for aggression, the darker their relationship becomes.

Neptune/Jupiter – involves a profound sense of shared religious or spiritual commitment.  Jupiter’s quest for meaning and optimistic vision of the world provides Neptune a solid hook for her own – often inarticulate – yearnings.    Yet because both Jupiter and Neptune share a taste for the boundless, this aspect can end up with the blind leading the blind.   Jupiter cajoles Neptune into some folly into which Neptune happily follows.  When it all goes wrong (as it usually does), disillusionment inevitably follows.

Neptune/Saturn – involves a meeting of archetypal opposites.  Saturn (the strong, worldly, paternal figure) overtly builds while Neptune (elusive, vulnerable, and distinctly of another world) subtly undermines.  When Saturn-Neptune aspects go wrong, they go very wrong.    They can generate an intensity of anger and need to inflict emotional pain that becomes unbearable for both parties.  However if handled with care (and maturity), this aspect has the greatest potential for healing.  Neptune can offer Saturn a tangible sense of hope and faith while Saturn can offer Neptune the stability through which she can become her most creative self.

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