Mars, War, Anger, and Violence
As war escalates in many places around the world, I’m thinking about Mars. War, violence, and anger are some of the oldest significations of Mars in astrology, in sources such as Teucer of Babylon, Vettius Valens, and Ptolemy, forward to Abu Ma’Shar and William Lilly, and even into 20th and 21st century sources. How am I to make sense of this within a framework of feminist astrology?
If Mars speaks of war, anger, and violence, then it requires us to question our socialization toward war, anger, and violence, the ways we have been conditioned to think of war as a legitimate form of engaging with conflict capable of producing outcomes that are legitimate because they were accomplished through violence. The ways in which anger is so often discouraged or suppressed, especially for folks who are socialized as girls and women, or projected as a deficiency onto those who carry incendiary rage after centuries of injustice, like the stereotype of the “angry Black woman.” Or the ways that anger is often times the only emotional expression acceptable from people socialized as boys and men, to the detriment of their emotional wellbeing and their connection to themselves and others. Mars in someone’s chart can provide us with important information about how that person might deal with conflict, how they may internalize or externalize frustration, whether their temper might be fiery or subdued, intellectualized or practical. But a feminist astrology would never allow someone’s Mars placement—or Mars transit or Mars progression—to function as an excuse or endorsement for someone’s violence, for their mishandling of anger or conflict. Rather, it can provide us with a sense of where and how to concentrate their own efforts toward generative conflict and channeling their anger in alignment with their values.
If someone’s Mars placement or Mars’ influence in dynamic timing techniques coincides with experiences of violence, that is a tragedy, but I refuse to accept that it was necessary that the archetype of Mars find expression in those ways. Rather, we must understand that violence is never an isolated event. As Miriame Kaba once said on How to Survive the End of the World, citing Danielle Sered, “No one enters violence for the first time by committing it … If that’s true, then all this shit that we talk about—these binaries about victims and perpetrators—that explodes it all." She expounds on this idea in an interview with Ejeris Dixon and Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha in Beyond Survival: Strategies and Stories from the Transformative Justice Movement: “It is absolutely true that people who harm people were also harmed. I know people sometimes don’t want to hear that. I know that makes people mad, people feel like that’s an excuse, whatever. But I, with every fiber of my being, the both/and harm and survivorship really sits with me all the time. Cause there’s not one person I’ve worked with who harmed other people that was not also deeply and profoundly harmed themselves in some other context. So, it just makes me much more patient, it makes me much more empathetic, and it just gives me the real understanding that we have to live with the complexity of how harm plays itself out in ourselves, in our community, and in our world” (298). If no one enters violence for the first time by committing it, if every person who causes harm was also harmed, then we must understand every event of violence as an expression of a cascade of violence. This does not eliminate individual responsibility and the need for consequences, but it does suggest that the consequences for violence and harm must include healing for the person who inflicted violence or harm in order to end such cycles.
Bringing this back to astrology, Mars can indeed describe experiences of violence and eruptions of war, but only within social conditions that permit such expressions because we have not adequately done the work of personal and collective healing. And we are still living within such systemic conditions. What if rather than accepting Mars as descriptive of violence as an inevitable outcome, we instead choose to interpret Mars as descriptive of where and how harm must be addressed, where and how anger must be felt, where and how conflict can no longer be avoided? What if a feminist astrology insists on interpreting Mars as descriptive of where we must exercise our most fervent commitments to nonviolence, to refusing abuse and war? I believe this has potential for mundane astrology as well as natal astrology, and perhaps for astrological magic as well.
None of this is to naïvely suggest that simply by interpreting Mars different, we will avoid violence and war. Rather, it is to suggest that the archetypal powers of Mars are capable of more than the proliferation of endless war and senseless violence on this planet, and when we dare to articulate those other possibilities, we do indeed contribute to movements that carry us away from those narrow possibilities. Indeed, even under the conditions of wars that are already underway, how might the interpretation of Mars as a place where we must exercise our most fervent commitments to nonviolence generate more possibilities for how we might navigate war astrologically?
There is so much more to consider here. I feel drawn to return to Judith Butler’s Frames of War: When Is Life Grievable and The Force of Nonviolence: An Ethico-Political Bind as resources within which to think more deeply about feminist analyses of war in relation to Mars. I want to return to Audre Lorde's essay, "The Uses of Anger: Women Responding to Racism" for the ways that it so clear articulates how we might work well with anger. But these were my initial thoughts I wanted to share, part of a larger ongoing project for thinking critically about feminist astrology.
The Strology Show: Earth Signs
I’m so excited to share this episode of The Strology Show hosted by Kirah Tabourn with guests Mo Olufemi, Jason Kei, and me discussing the earth signs—Capricorn, Taurus, and Virgo—in astrology!
This was such a rich and satisfying conversation, and it was an honor to be talking with such brilliant and thoughtful colleagues. Whether you have significant placements in one of these signs—like your Ascendant, ruler of your Ascendant, Sun, or Moon—or you are a student or practitioner of astrology interested in hearing some old and new perspectives of these signs, I hope you give it a listen.
[Image 1 reads: Season 3 Episode 2 The Strology Show Earth Signs with Michael J. Morris, Jason Kei & Mo Olufemi with images of Michael, Jason, and Mo in the middle of a light blue background. Image 2 reads: Season 3 Episode 2 On this episode – Kirah is joined by Michael J. Morris, Jason Kei, and Mo Olufemi to talk all about the Earth Signs. Listen as they deep dive into qualities of each earth sign, address stereotypes and explore the nature of the earth element in astrology and society.]
Astrology and climate change
I am very pleased to release the video and audio recordings of a presentation entitled “The Atomic Age, Urgency, Danger, and Kinship: Astrology and Climate Collapse” which I co-presented with Drew Levanti on December 12, 2021, at the Astrology and Climate Change Conference, hosted by the Mayo School of Astrology. The recordings are available for immediate download here.
The threat of total annihilation pervades the discourse on climate change, significantly entering public consciousness with the cataclysmic initiation of the Atomic Age. Following threads of prominent configurations between the Moon and Saturn in the inception charts of the atomic bomb, we examine features of not only the ecological realities of climate collapse but also relational complexities for mitigating the relentless acceleration of extraction, consumption, and extinction endemic within these global crises.
-90-min video recording (mp4)
-90-min audio recording (m4a)
Juno is the Roman goddess of the feminine, marriage and commitment, the counterpart to Jupiter and protector of the community and the state. Astrologer Demetra George describes Juno as “the principle of relatedness and commitment to the other,” “one’s capacity for meaningful relationship and commitment to another person.”
On January 7, Venus will make a conjunction with the asteroid Juno as part of Venus’ longer retrograde journey. Our capacities for commitment within our most significant partnerships are being woven into the larger process of reflection and review described by this Venus retrograde.
Feminist philosopher Judith Butler writes on the subject of love and commitment:
“Commitment would be the agreement to commit oneself anew, time and again, precisely when circumstances change. And this would mean changing the concrete meaning of commitment as circumstances change … if commitment is to be alive, that is, if it is to belong to the present, then the only commitment one can make is to commit oneself again and again. ‘I love you and I choose you again and again.’ I did not just choose you once, but I continued to choose you, and what there is of me in my speech is given to you again and again through this speech act, declaration, vow, and promise, one that binds me to you in the present, whatever present that happens to be.”
As Venus makes this conjunction with Juno, you may find yourself assessing your commitments, committing yourself anew, once again, making your commitment to those you love alive in this present moment, choosing those you love again and again. Doing so may require considerable reflection, asking the questions: why is it that I choose this love, this commitment, now again? How can my love be more than simply a habit or pattern and instead emerge as a clear choice under these current conditions?
Venus will make another conjunction with Juno this year, at 21º Aquarius on March 28. You may notice reverberations between these two connections on January 7 and March 28.
[Image reads: 7 January 2022 Venus Rx conjunct the asteroid Juno at 19º Capricorn in light lettering on a dark starfield]
As the Sun enters Capricorn on December 21, we observe Yule or the Winter Solstice in the northern hemisphere—the longest night of the year, as the Sun crosses the degree of its maximum southern declination, when the north pole is inclined furthest from the Sun. It’s a time for turning inward, for honoring the fallow period of winter, for drawing close to those we love and creating light and life with one another to see us through the darkness. It is also a moment of rebirth for the Sun, as from this point the days will gradually grow longer.
This year as the Sun enters Capricorn, it joins Mercury, Pluto, and Venus, just a few days into its retrograde and still closely conjunct Pluto. This Venus retrograde invites us to reflect on our commitments, examine the ways that power operates in our most enduring relationships, unearth the ways in which we re-enact our experiences of trauma or harm in our patterns of relating, and build foundations that can support our ability to love well. At the time of the Sun’s ingress into Capricorn, Mercury is also conjunct the asteroid Juno, the queen of heaven and goddess of loving commitments. How do you express you love to those with who you are committed? How do you commit yourself in words to being in practices of love, even when they require work or facing what might be difficult? This is the context into which the Sun is moving as we mark the start of winter.
The brilliant bell hooks, who is now a Black feminist ancestor, writes in All About Love: New Visions, “Love is an action, a participatory emotion. Whether we are engaged in a process of self-love or of loving others we must move beyond the realm of feeling to actualize love. This is why it is useful to see love as a practice. When we act, we need not feel inadequate or powerless; we can trust that there are concrete steps to take on love’s path. We learn to communicate, to be still and listen to the needs of our hearts, and we learn to listen to others. We learn compassion by being willing to hear the pain, as well as the joy, of those we love.”
May we all recognize love as an action, moving beyond the realm of feeling to engage in the practice of loving, learning to communicate, to be still and listen, to hear the pain as well as the joy of our own hearts and the hearts of those we love.
[Image 1 reads: Astrology of the Wheel of the Year Yule Winter Solstice 21 December 2021 in gold letters on a dark green background of flowers and stars. Image 2 shows the chart for the Sun’s ingress into Capricorn on 21 December 2021 in Columbus, OH.]
Mars opposing Saturn
On July 1, Mars in Leo will oppose Saturn in Aquarius, both at 12º—in a T-square with Uranus at 13º Taurus, activating and potentially agitating the ongoing Saturn/Uranus square story that is unfolding throughout the year. Saturn is retrograde. Mars has no particular dignity in Leo, other than ruling the third decan at the end of the sign, and it is just at the start of Saturn’s bounds. Fiery Leo fuels Mars’ drive and intensity, but Saturn is setting the limits here. Mars will only be able to accomplish what Saturn allows—especially as Mars does not have reception from its domicile ruler, the Sun. Anticipate potential frustration, the kind of frustration that comes from having the energy and willpower to accomplish something with little or no latitude in which to make significant moves. With Mars applying to the exact square with Uranus—which will perfect on July 3—any opportunity for making things happen may come from abandoning the familiar and attempting a radically different approach. As Audre Lorde wrote in Sister Outsider, “For the master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house. They may allow us to temporarily beat him at his own game, but they will never enable us to bring about genuine change.” In your frustration, it might be time for developing new tools and strategies, innovative new ways of encountering and confronting our conflicts.
[Image reads MARS OPPOSING SATURN 1 July 2021 in lavender letters on a dark red background.]
Venus square Jupiter
Today Venus in Taurus perfects a square with Jupiter in Aquarius, just before Venus leaves its domicile for Gemini, and just days before Jupiter ingresses into its domicile of Pisces. While the square is the aspect associated with the qualities of Mars—contention, conflict, crisis, and the demand for adjustment—in Hellenistic astrology, the square can also be a very dynamic form of bonification from the benefics. Today the two benefics bonify one another—Jupiter overcoming Venus in a superior square, Venus hurling rays back to Jupiter from the inferior position. Both are offering support and affirmation, particularly in the area of favorable relationships. This could be a potent time for forming powerful alliances, as well as for building deeply meaningful connections in our intimate partnerships. Jupiter describes the principles of expansion and inclusion, whereas Venus describes the principles of union and pleasure. How can we form relationships—personal, political, and professional—that encompass more of our capacities for pleasure and joy? Asking for what feels good and supporting others in experiencing satisfaction can create important solidarities between us. As Audre Lorde writes in “Uses of the Erotic: The Erotic as Power,” “The erotic functions for me in several ways, and the first is in providing the power which comes from sharing deeply any pursuit with another person. The sharing of joy, whether physical, emotional, psychic, or intellectual, forms a bridge between the sharers which can be the basis for understanding much of what is not shared between them, and lessens the threat of their difference.” How might you center the sharing of joy in your relationships today?
[Image reads: VENUS SQUARE JUPITER 8 May 2021 in pink letters on a dark purple background]
Venus Conjunct Uranus
Tomorrow, April 22, Venus in Taurus makes a conjunction with Uranus. Venus’ conjunction with Uranus offers grounding connections to sustain impulses toward authenticity and freedom throughout the ongoing Saturn/Uranus squares. Notice how Venus entices us to cultivate radical new patterns of relating throughout the year, particularly on July 8 when Venus in Leo makes a square to Uranus, on August 3 when Venus in Virgo makes a trine to Uranus, on September 23 when Venus in Scorpio makes an opposition to Uranus, and finally on November 19 when Venus in Capricorn makes an overcoming trine to Uranus. The trine on November 19 occurs the same day as the lunar eclipse in Taurus, just two days after the Mars/Uranus opposition, suggesting that whatever is culminating and breaking through in mid-November has the potential to bring us into greater loving connections with others, with beauty, and with justice. Tomorrow’s conjunction is the start of this Venus/Uranus cycle, so attend to what is being seeded now in order to witness how this story unfolds in the year ahead. Commit yourself to revolutionary care, and then devote yourself to the process of daring to love in ways that break from established patterns—your own and those you have received from society—knowing that doing so is necessary for our freedom. As adrienne maree brown write, “We need to learn how to practice love such that care—for ourselves and others—is understood as political resistance and cultivating resilience.”
[Image reads: VENUS CONJUNCT URANUS IN TAURUS 22 April 2021 in bright pink lettering on a chartreuse background]
Venus Ingresses into Taurus
On 14 April, Venus ingresses into its domicile of Taurus where it will remain until May 9. In Taurus, Venus draws us back to sensual pleasures, to the grounding resources of touch, feeling our feet on the ground and our fingers in the earth, our skin pressed against the skin of another, the taste of the world unfolding through flavors on our tongues, the scent of satisfiability lingering in the air around us. Venus in Taurus insists on taking all the time that we need in order to feel more and feel good. Once we have known our capacities for these depths of feeling, they can become a standard for the quality of life we can demand from ourselves and our world. As Audre Lorde writes in “Uses of the Erotic: The Erotic as Power,” “The erotic is a measure between the beginnings of our sense of self and the chaos of our strongest feelings. It is an internal sense of satisfaction to which, once we have experienced it, we know we can aspire. For having experienced the fullness of this depth of feeling and recognizing its power, in honor and self-respect we can require no less of ourselves.” Venus in Taurus in an invitation to ground ourselves in our own physical, sensual experiences of satisfaction, and to hold ourselves and our lives to the standard of that fullness of feeling. Co-present with Uranus, Venus is ruling revolutionary terrain, reminding us that our bodies already hold all that we need to know about our own personal and collective liberation. As we not only root deeply into our pleasures but also, as adrienne maree brown writes in Pleasure Activism, “prioritize the pleasure of those who are most impacted by oppression,” we tend the gardens of justice, in which everyone has access to what they need—including feeling good. Throughout the next several weeks, how can you not only prioritize your own pleasure and satisfaction, but also use whatever privilege is available to you to support more pleasure and satisfaction for those who are most marginalized and denied pleasure in our culture?
[Image reads VENUS INGRESSES INTO TAURUS 14 April 2021 in light green lettering on a rose colored background]
Saturn Square Uranus February 2021
Today is the first exact square between Saturn in Aquarius and Uranus in Taurus, one of the biggest stories unfolding in the astrology of 2021. The Moon will be conjunct Uranus in Taurus as the square perfects, suggesting seismic collisions that reverberate throughout our embodied emotional lives. Remember that your body—this body that you are—holds the truth of your most authentic impulses and the keys to your own liberation. If you find yourself crashing into rigid narratives about the ways in which you are insufficient or not enough, your fears of your own body or your own pleasures, shame for what you are feeling or for what you want to feel, remember that the land of your body is sacred. Even if you feel that ground shifting beneath you, ride the currents that carry you toward yourself, your own desires and pleasures—even if that requires moving away from the external restrictions that you have internalized as identities. María Rodríguez writes in Sexual Futures, Queer Gestures, and Other Latina Longings: “Against the soul-numbing pressures of everyday life, we come back to our bodies again and again, and look for pleasure there—in dance, in sex, in touch, in the warm sweetness of a ripe fig against our lips. We reach for the touch of joy. And as it brushes past, we are reminded of the gap between our psychic lives as sexual subjects and our lived experience as desiring carnal bodies living in the belly of a hostile world. Because we fuck against the walls of violence, the memory and threat of other forms of touch must forever serve as the constitutive outside to our utopian desires. In a world where so many of us are defined as abject, perverse, old, colored, crippled, illegal, ugly, and outside love, embodied forms of social connection and carnal pleasure become sites of possibility where our survival becomes imaginable.” Come back to your body and look for pleasure there in the midst of whatever internal or external systems might refuse your survival.
[Image reads SATURN SQUARE URANUS 17 February 2021 in green letters on a brown background]
Today the Moon makes a conjunction with Venus in Cancer. Both the Moon and Venus draw us toward one another, into connection and union, and together they prioritize safety, comfort, equality, and justice. bell hooks teaches us in All About Love, “There can be no love without justice … Without justice there can be no love.” And adrienne maree brown teaches us in Pleasure Activism, “Liberated relationships are one of the ways we actually create abundant justice, the understanding that there is enough attention, care, resource, and connection for all of us to access belonging, to be in our dignity, and to be safe in community.” What if we understand justice as there being more than enough attention, care, resources and connection for all of us to access safety, dignity, and belonging? And what if our intimate and familiar relationships are a primary site at which we practice and create this kind of justice? Uranus stations retrograde in Taurus, marking a turn inward for reflection and introspection in the longer process of radical change that Uranus is describing in whatever area of our charts is occupied by Taurus. Uranus began its transit through Taurus in 2018 and will be retrograde until January 2021. What movements toward radical change have you been experiencing over the last two years, and how might this retrograde period offer a time for review and reorientation? Finally, the Moon makes a sextile to Uranus, perhaps describing a felt physical, emotional recognition of this outer planet shift, hopefully in the form of subduing some sense of urgency.
Today the Moon in Gemini moves through supportive sextiles with the Sun in Leo and Mars in Aries before ingressing into its home sign of Cancer. The Sun and Mars are both powerful in their respective domiciles, with access to abundant resources that they can share through these sextile aspects. Both offer courage, with the Sun emphasizing bold visibility and enduring prominence, while Mars extends ambition, drive, and assertiveness. Today may be a day for putting yourself out in the world and demanding that others take notice, getting clear about what it is you want to accomplish, and taking steps to make those ambitions a reality. With the Moon in Gemini, this may require thinking in new ways, making connections that excite and animate us, and discovering how these ways of thinking propel us into action. Audre Lorde writes in “Poetry is Not a Luxury,” “But there are no new ideas still waiting in the wings to save us as women, as human. There are only old and forgotten ones, new combinations, extrapolations and recognitions from within ourselves—along with the renewed courage to try them out. And we must constantly encourage ourselves and each other to attempt the heretical actions that our dreams imply, and so many of our old ideas disparage.” As the Moon then settles into Cancer, we move back inward, toward comfort, care, and sensitive connections. After the energy and effort of the day, how can you move intentionally toward the things you already know allow you turn down the intensity and move toward rest?
Today Mars in Aries perfects a square with Pluto retrograde in Capricorn. The rulers of rage and the underworld clash in this tense aspect, dragging conflict up from what has been buried, confronting abuses that have been repressed or forgotten, demanding transformation in the places where rage propels us toward destruction. As Judith Butler has said, “How often is sorrow effectively shouted down by rage? How does it happen that sorrow can bring about the collapse of rage? Is there something to be learned about the sources of nonviolence from this particular power of grief to deflate rage of its destructiveness? … Mourning has to do with yielding to an unwanted transformation where neither the full shape and nor the full import of that alteration can be known in advance. This transformative effect of losing always risks becoming a deformative effect. Whatever it is, it cannot be willed. It is a kind of undoing.” What is the grief or mourning that is covered over by rage? Beneath the intensity of whatever anger or righteous indignation that you may feel, what is the mourning that you carry that—if given the opportunity—has the potential to transform you in ways that can be neither willed nor known in advance? The Moon in Gemini makes a sextile with its ruler Mercury in Leo. In the wake of breaking open whatever part of us resists the immensity of the grief we are holding, the light of new understanding finds its way through. Perhaps we find that we can share parts of our hearts that have been bound up in the crypts of rage and grief to which we denied ourselves passage.
Today the Moon in Taurus makes a trine with Saturn retrograde in Capricorn before ingressing into Gemini. Saturn invites us to slow down, to feel into the moment, and to set whatever boundaries are necessary in order for us to feel safe and grounded. In thinking through the work of transformative justice, adrienne maree brown writes in Emergent Strategy, “Real time is slower than social-media time, where everything feels urgent. Real time often includes periods of silence, reflection, growth, space, self-forgiveness, processing with loved ones, rest, and responsibility. Real-time transformation requires stating your needs and setting functional boundaries.” I think that astrology as a whole calls us into more slowness, into more real-time, but Saturn may be the great teacher of slowing down, giving space, resting in silence, and accepting responsibility. How can we listen to these lessons today as we work to create more support for our own well-being and the well-being of others? As the Moon ingresses into Gemini, we may find our curiosities awaken, our desires to learn and discuss and share ideas coming alive. Gemini may not always be the most suitable for sustained, deliberate focus, so what if over the next few days you let your attention move in different directions and considered the relationships between different thoughts and perspectives rather than trying to concentrate on only one thing? What becomes possible if we allow for this kind of mobility in our thinking?
Today the Moon in Taurus makes a trine with Jupiter in Capricorn, a square to the Sun in Leo—entering the waning quarter lunation phase—and a sextile with Neptune retrograde in Pisces, all within a matter of degrees. The Moon is exalted in Taurus, and Jupiter—fallen and retrograde in Capricorn—reminds us that we can become more whole when we learn to listen to the parts of ourselves that we continue to deny and integrate the parts of ourselves that we continue to ignore. As the Moon moves into the waning quarter phase and sextiles Neptune, we are moving away from what we have known and abiding in dignity as we push forward into what we do not yet know or what is not yet clear. What if we can trust that everything we need to know or understand is already available to us within the grounding wisdom of our bodies? As Aurora Levins Morales writes in Kindling, “My body and your bodies make a map we can follow … Our bodies are in the mix of everything we call political. What our bodies, my mother’s and yours and mine, require in order to thrive, is what the world requires. If there is a map to get there, it can be found in the atlas of our skin and bone and blood, in the tracks of neurotransmitters and antibodies. We need nourishment, equilibrium, water, connection, justice.” As the Moon forms a trine with Pluto in Capricorn, we can ask: what if coming into right-relationship with our bodies is how we begin to access the map toward living in a world in which we can be in right-relationship with power? What if there is no way to be in right-relationship with power if we still have not learned to trust that the body knows what is needed in order to be well—as a body, as a society, as a planet and a world?
Today the Moon in Taurus makes a sextile with its ruler Venus in Cancer, suggesting making time today for seeking comfort and pleasure in meaningful connections with others, relationships that support you in feeling safe and secure in your own body. Mercury in Leo makes a sextile with Uranus in Taurus, then the Moon in Taurus makes a conjunction with Uranus and a square with Mercury. Uranus in aspect with Mercury and the Moon demands revolutionary change that we can articulate, name, and embody—even in the most rigidly established areas of our personal and collective lives. Audre Lorde writes in “Learning from the 60s,” “Revolution is not a one-time event. It is becoming always vigilant for the smallest opportunity to make a genuine change in established, outgrown responses … Change is the immediate responsibility of each of us, wherever and however we are standing, in whatever arena we choose.” If you long for a world the refuses to be structured by domination, exploitation, and violence, how can you accept responsibility for creating change, for becoming always vigilant for the smallest opportunities to challenge and disrupt deeply entrenched oppressive systems—in how we think, how we speak, and how we embody new possibilities.
Today the Moon makes a conjunction with Mars in Aries before squaring Pluto and Saturn, both retrograde in Capricorn. Mars is dignified in its domicile of Aries, bringing forward its more functional qualities: courage, assertiveness, the will to pursue that which we desire, fight for what we believe in, and defend those in need of defending. But as the Moon moves into the squares with Pluto and Saturn, we may find ourselves in struggle as we encounter resistance to that actions we feel driven to take. Rather than surrendering to discouragement when we find ourselves in struggle for that which matters most to us, can we instead see that it is ourselves who are being forged through such processes? We are becoming more of ourselves as we are shaped by the forces that resist our intentions. As Audre Lorde writes in “Age, Race, Class, and Sex,” “Change means growth, and growth can be painful. But we sharpen self-definition by exposing the self in the work and struggle together with those whom we define as different from ourselves, although sharing the same goals.” In the midst of struggle, both with and alongside those who are different from ourselves, can we push forward into greater clarity in our own self-definition, sharpening our sense of who we are and what it is we are struggling for? The Moon then ingresses into Taurus, the sign of its exaltation, beckoning us back into the grounding comfort of sensual pleasures, our encounters with ourselves, others, and the world around us that not only bring us back to the immediacy of body but also invite us to feel good there, here, wherever we are.
Today the Moon in Aries perfects a brilliantly supportive trine with the Sun in Leo, its own domicile. Aries gives the Moon initiative and the Sun offers whole-hearted courage to not only advance but also sustain that which we are striving to bring into being. The Moon then makes a square to Jupiter in Capricorn. Although Jupiter is both retrograde and fallen in Capricorn, this is still a condition of bonification, Jupiter overcoming the Moon and offering whatever support and affirmation it can provide. Jupiter in Capricorn reminds us to find abundance in what might seem like scarcity, to make the most of what we have available, to pursue sustainable growth even when it seems as if we are doing so in obscurity. Whereas the Sun offers its support today from the radiant dignity of its own throne, Jupiter offers support from the margins, from what might otherwise escape our notice. This reminds me of adrienne maree brown writing about “visionary fiction” in Emergent Strategy: “Fiction that centers those who are currently marginalized—not to be nice, but because those who survive on the margins tend to be the most experientially innovative—practicing survival-based efficiency, doing the most with the least, an important skill area on a planet whose resources are under assault by less marginalized people.” What can you learn from the brilliant innovation of those who are most marginalized? When will we realize that the solutions for so many of the crises we are facing will actually come from those who have been surviving ongoing crises within exploitative systems all along—the wisdom of Indigenous people, Black and Brown people, women and femmes, queer and trans people, disabled communities, undocumented and displaced people, our elders, and so on?
Today the Moon in Pisces makes a sextile to Jupiter retrograde in Capricorn, a conjunction with Neptune in Pisces, and a sextile with Pluto retrograde in Capricorn. This feels like a day for seeking support that comes from the beliefs that sustain us, the faith and hope that give us reasons for continuing in the midst of difficulty or struggle. Whether or not you practice any particular religious or spiritual tradition, what are the beliefs that connect you to something bigger than our immediate circumstances? Octavia Butler writes in Parable of the Sower, “Belief initiates and guides action—Or it does nothing.” And adrienne maree brown asks in Emergent Strategy, “What are the practices you need to line your life up with your values and beliefs?” Begin to articulate what you believe and the kinds of actions such beliefs initiate and guide, then ask yourself what practices you need to develop in order to move in alignment with those beliefs. Feeling into experiences of faith and hope may require us to shift out of ordinary reality, to drop into ways of sensing and perceiving the world that move with intuition and inspiration rather than what we are given as concrete reality. As we do so, we may find that we have access to the power to create meaningful change in ways that are unavailable to us when we rely only on our rational or reasonable faculties. What if we could not only imagine but sense and feel our ways into other possible worlds—and what if we could do so together?
Today the Sun in Leo perfects a square with Uranus in Taurus. The Sun in Leo calls for us to shine more fully in our own authentic brilliance, and Uranus demands refusal of established orders that limit freedom. What would it feel like if you had nothing to hide? What kind of revolution would be possible if we each committed to more fully embodying the gifts and purposes that are particular to each of us rather than attempting to persist through conformity or sameness. As adrienne maree brown writes in Emergent Strategy, “Together we must move like waves. Have you observed the ocean? The waves are not the same over and over—each one is unique and responsive. The goal is not to repeat each other’s motion, but to respond in whatever way feels right in your body. The waves we create are both continuous and a one-time occurrence.” When you listen to what feels right in your body, how are you inspired to show up? Also today, the Moon makes a conjunction to Pluto retrograde in Capricorn, opposes Mercury in Cancer, makes a conjunction to Saturn retrograde in Capricorn, then ingresses into Aquarius. We are feeling our ways through our own complicity with systems of harm and control, the demands for our silent compliance, and accepting responsibility for the ways we have acquiesced to accepting so little of ourselves and one another. But we are also feeling our ways into the realms of new possibility, the promise that other worlds are possible and new ways of thinking are emerging. If we are moving toward a new era, what do you want it to be and who will you be in this forthcoming world?
Michael J. Morris is a witch, an astrologer, a tarot reader, an artist, a writer, and a teacher.