December 2, 2014
Mars in Aquarius: Marching to the Beat of a Different Drum
I’d been practicing astrology for almost 20 years before I really began to understand Aquarius. My confusion had several sources. First, Aquarius is a Fixed Air sign, a combination not found in nature. The notion of Air that holds its position is not one that I could readily grok. And even the idea of Aquarius as an Air sign conflicted with its name, the Waterbearer. Oh, and Aquarius was supposed to be about community as in the hippified “This is the dawning of the Age of…,” yet is also considered to be highly individualistic. Of course, it could be that the problem was that this eleventh sign of the zodiac was too complex for my simpler second sign Sun in Taurus to grasp. Whatever. But after two decades of mouthing descriptive words about Aquarius that didn’t fully connect inside of me, the lightbulb went off and it all began making sense.
The reason for this early foray into the Aquarius zone is that energetic Mars enters this sign on Thursday, December 4. The planet of muscles, methods and anger turns cool, intellectual and inventive while discovering unconventional ways to take care of business. We’ll be freer from the current Mars in Capricorn commandments of order, discipline and duty to explore unfamiliar routes in pursuit of our goals. Aquarius is, after all, about freedom, and worker bee Mars is less willing to act like a predictable drone during its 39-day stay in this sign. This transit can lead to leaps of originality and breakthroughs into new types of activities or express itself as rebellious resistance to predictable plans and procedures. It’s likely that we will encounter both forms of this behavior during this transit.
Mars in diverse Aquarius provides more angles from which to attack problems and to initiate projects. Instead of heading off in a radically different direction, sometimes we only have to shift our attention or behavior a little bit to open up new avenues of possibility. Visualize Aquarius as a diamond with many facets, each one with a unique perspective, yet all of them are integral parts of a single stone. This is a useful model for synthesizing the seeming contradiction between Aquarius’ strong sense of individuality while remaining committed to supporting the goals of a group. Google is currently running a commercial for its Android operating system that sums up this complex idea in five words: Be together. Not the same.
The apparent mismatch of the Waterbearer as a brainy Air sign represents the idea that human intellect enables us to bear the heavy emotions symbolized by water. Passionate Mars in Aquarius is about the ability to act with relative objectivity, even in high stress situations. There is also an idealistic side of this sign, which makes this Mars transit an excellent time to act for the benefit of others. Working for a group or a cause in which you believe should be especially satisfying now.
Aquarius has high expectations for humanity, which is the source of its greatest hopes and, alas, its greatest disappointments. It’s sometimes referred to as a sign that loves humanity but hates people. Well, hate isn’t the perfect word since it is really disappointment in oneself, others and our species as a whole that can turn sweet Aquarian dreams into bitter disillusionment. There’s a delicate balancing act between imagining the best of humanity’s capacities for love, cooperation and innovation and recognizing the little flaws that keep us from reaching those heights. Tolerance is a key for keeping minds open to the best of us without closing hearts to compassion for the completely human imperfections of ourselves and others.
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