I wish to express my deepest sadness and extend compassion for all those suffering in these brutal and frightening times. From the children and mothers escaping or stuck in Ukraine, the men and women fighting to defend their homes, the vulnerable, disabled, sick and frail people of Ukraine, the black and asian students held back from a safe exit, segregated and beaten, the Ukrainian doctors and nurses, the Russian soldiers and citizens who want no part in massacring their neighbours, the humanitarian workers, grassroots volunteers, the people all over the world with family and connections in Ukraine, the people affected by the occupations and other war torn countries understandably feeling their plight and bloodshed to be of less consequence, those in surrounding countries wondering if they’re next, and all of us across the world who have already been through testing times with a pandemic, feeling pain for all those suffering and now wondering if we are on the brink of a nuclear world war 3.
Today (at the time of writing) is the conjunction of Mars and Pluto, closely followed by Venus. The God of War Mars meets The Lord of the Underworld Pluto in the final degrees of Capricorn at 27°.
I would be lying if I said I wasn’t gravely concerned. I am somewhat frightened to look at the news at this time. As I will get to, Pluto represents nuclear power, and Mars represents attacks and weapons.
Mars takes two years to travel the zodiac, whilst Pluto, who takes 248 years to complete his cycle. So Pluto hasn't moved very far since their last meeting in March 2020, just a few degrees, during which time Mars has been on a ferocious spin around the sky.
Astrological events that take place between a faster planet like Mars, or what we refer to as a personal planet, a planet that manifests in our conscious awareness, and a slower outer planet like Pluto, a transpersonal planet, don't normally grab the attention of astrologers as a likely major world event such as World War 3. Though they certainly depict outbreaks of intense violence and military action, on it's own we might expect a short conflict.
However, when we look a little closer at the multiple other astrological factors we can begin to see the gravitas of the current astrology and why it is playing out this way.
Why this Mars Pluto conjunction is particularly dangerous.
This conjunction will be the last time Mars and Pluto meet in Capricorn before Pluto finally moves into Aquarius having been in authoritarian, governmental and institutional Capricorn since 2008, when the global financial crisis occurred
Capricorn is institutions, governments, banks, top down authority and it's systems and structures.
It's now the last hurrah and the final act for Mars and Pluto within this Capricornian backdrop before meeting in the different setting of Aquarius in 2024 with a new Aquarian agenda.
For Pluto he is ramping up his intensity and bringing to culmination his 14 year process in this sign. Before the new can be born, the old has to be demolished. Before rebirth we must have death. Pluto is transforming our structural world and systems on the deepest level, and when other planets have come to join him here we have seen major events triggered that bring about the transforming of Capricornian themes. With Pluto, transformation requires a journey through darkness.
Pluto represents our unconscious, the shadow that we all carry within us, that which is below the surface, whether it be that which is buried deep within humans, the criminal underworld, or the earth itself. Pluto also signifies events where something minuscule, tiny and small transforms into something gargantuous. Whether that be a virus, or an atom.
When Saturn met Pluto in Capricorn in January 2020 we saw the beginning of the COVID 19 pandemic. At the time we also had a pile up of other planets in Capricorn that made this event all the more powerful.
We had the South Node, Sun, Mercury, Jupiter, Saturn, Pluto and an asteroid called Wuhan in Capricorn. Mars was still in fiery Sagittarius at the time correlating with major fires in Australia. When he entered Capricorn and came to the degrees of the planetary pile up in March, we saw Covid become global and international lockdowns began.
Therefore, this range of final degrees in Capricorn is still a majorly sensitive area of the zodiac, a crime hotspot if you like, and now God of War Mars has returned after a 2 year cycle through the zodiac. On that 2 year journey Mars refuelled during his retrograde and prolonged 6 month stay in his home fire sign of Aries from June 2020 to January 2021. Again with Mars in a fire sign, we saw immense fires in various locations including California where newspapers captioned pictures of the deep red smokey sky with 'like a scene from Mars'.
Not only is Mars fired up and back to trigger these sensitive degrees in his meeting with Pluto, who has been grinding back and forth over the same 3 degrees, he is also joined by Venus, who recently went on her own retrograde through the sign, shifting from Evening Star Venus into Morning Star Venus, otherwise known as Warrior Venus, a feistier version of our Goddess of Peace and Love.
Venus is usually faster than Mars and would normally only conjoin him for a day or two before moving on, however due to her retrograde motion and current slow speed they have been in constant contact since the end of January, traveling side by side through Capricorn.
So why hasn’t Venus, been able to influence peace in the situation as she’s been side by side with God of War Mars?
Because Mars is the stronger planet of the two in Capricorn. What is making Mars so very strong right now is that in Capricorn Mars is considered 'exalted'. This means that he is given full agency here, welcomed and is supported in his aims. Capricorn is aligned with the goals of Mars and offers a conducive environment, with the added support of Capricornian stamina and strategy.
Venus on the other hand does not enjoy the level of dignity that Mars does here. A planets dignity in any particular sign speaks to its strength and its ability to fulfil its work. Therefore when analysing the strength of two planets we can see who is likely to prevail or get the upper hand.
I wrote previously how the Venus and Mars tango through Capricorn carried a somewhat passionate quality when looking at the transit through the lens of the cosmic lover significations that Venus and Mars have. I felt that Mars would be stepping ahead of Venus to protect her from the sometimes less than angelic Pluto, a story of bravery and chivalry, of standing up to a bully.
In my unquenchable thirst for romantic heroic story lines I missed that it was going to be on such an unimaginable scale of conflict and danger. I imagined James Bond style scenarios of men, or warrior types (Mars), protecting women(Venus) from baddies (Pluto), but I missed that Pluto was Putin and the cocktails were Molotovs, not Martinis.
I attended an online conference of international astrologers in December to look at the Winter Solstice ingress charts for different countries, which gives a look ahead at world events for the last quarter of the astrological year. Astrologers from different countries presented their thoughts on their nations Solstice ingress charts and the Russia Ukraine situation was spoken about then. The astrologers noted that there would be conflict and were discussing the significations that showed that Ukrainians were looking like they were going to be leaving and going into other countries (I recall it was Ukraine’s significator moving into the 9 house of foreign places) One idea at the time was that it looked like it could represent Ukraine being the ones to cross into Russian territory first - which was met with a little confusion. It didn’t occur to us at the time that this might be indicating refugees fleeing Ukraine and requesting support from other nations. Hindsight and astrology are a fabulous thing.
Mars is God of War, Pluto the Lord of the Underworld. Looking at the two extremities of the Mars Pluto spectrum, people with this combination in their birth chart can often experience some of the darkest trauma at the hands of shadowy power hungry characters, severe manipulation, violence, rape and worse, yet what doesn’t kill them just makes them stronger.
At the other end people with this combination can also be the perpetrators of such events. This combination is often seen in those with refined skills of manipulation and the most insatiable and obsessive appetite for power.
Mars Pluto is deeply primal, a ruthless driving force. Mars Pluto is all about, power, how we use it and how we give it away.
Putin has Mars in Sagittarius, closely trine Pluto in Leo in his natal chart so this will be activating that aspect within him even more strongly. The trine aspect means that these energies flow easily within him, there is no tension or resistance in his acting out these archetypes.
We all have Pluto somewhere in our charts as we all have a shadow side. Carl Jung's comments on Hitler being a manifestation of the unconscious of millions is pointing to the idea that what we see manifest on the world stage, is a product of all of our collective shadow side, and thus why it is so vital to our future that we engage in self enquiry, or shadow work. Am I suggesting that we are all responsible for what is happening right now? Yes, on a deeper level, on a subconscious level, I think we are. And we need to bring that suppressed part of us into the light, to integrate it where it can be safely utilised for transformed personal and trans personal evolution.
Mars will shoot, blast, explode, cut, stab, sever, petrol bomb, burn, shatter. Mars is also the ego drive, the individual will and desire. Mars in our chart shows where we act on behalf of ourselves and how we get what we want, not always what we need.
Pluto on the other hand, obliterates. Destruction with one fell smoother swoop. He’s Darth Vader, Voldemort, or Sauron, the shadow, the unconscious, the Gates of Hades that contains our soul.
Importantly to note at this current time is that Pluto was discovered around the time when physicists were working with nuclear energy and succeeded in bringing us nuclear fission and thus rules over nuclear and atomic energy.
After the Mars Pluto conjunction March 4th, which I am almost certain will be a very nasty intense attack of huge threat, we then have Venus very quickly coming to Pluto, who will hopefully offer crucial easing or lessening of this event.
Women, or a particular woman will likely become prominent too. Perhaps a group, or movement of women for peace will begin to organise and emerge when she moves on into more supportive territory. After all, as women and mothers we do not want our children harmed or killed and we must move further into positions of peaceful influence. As Venus finds a more supportive condition, I hope to see this increase.
War from the Air
Once both Mars and Venus move past Pluto, they move into Aquarius on March 6th, where Mars will lose some of his strength as he will no longer be exalted, and Venus will gain a little temporary strength bringing them onto more of a level playing field.
With Mars being the significator of war, the way the war is played out will fundamentally change on some level at this stage as he changes signs.
It is very likely that the war will become an ariel attack as Aquarius is an air sign, whereas Capricorn an earth sign and so we can expect to move from a ground war into a war played out from the air. Mars and Venus will both move forwards first to square Uranus which is another frightening explosive aspect, and onwards to meet Saturn. These are difficult and worrying aspects.
Aquarius is the collective. Mars, God of War, going into Aquarius could be the increased involvement of other countries. Hopefully the fact that Venus will be on more of an even footing with him will mean that she can be more influential. Just a note that yesterday's Mercury/Saturn conjunction in Aquarius took place at the exact time of the UN General Assembly - Serious (Saturn) Talks (Mercury) among the collective (Aquarius).
Hopes for peace.
The Jupiter Neptune conjunction in April is our best hope of the end of, or some kind of improvement in the current conflict. Interestingly, the last time Neptune was conjunct Jupiter in Pisces was in 1865 and marked the end of the Crimean war. That offers some hope.
Jupiter/Neptune in April 2022 is compromised somewhat by the simultaneous conjunction of Saturn and Mars in Aquarius, however Venus, will have regained her normal speed and moved ahead of Mars into her sign of exaltation in Pisces. Here she will finally strong enough to work her magic of peace in Pisces - one hopes. I will be taking a much closer look at the different aspects of April's sky and offering my thoughts when I can.
With Jupiter, the rain bringer in Pisces joining the God of the Sea Neptune, as mentioned in my 2022 glance, floods are a real threat this year too and I have seen that sadly they are happening already.
April is potentially a time of great compassion, optimism and hope for the future. No doubt we will see a renewed presence of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament.
Spirituality and will surge, but many will fall prey to the seductive and deceptive (Neptune) conspiracies, cults, dodgy religious ideologies, fake gurus, charlatans, con artists and of course spiritual egoism so be warned. My tip is that the best spiritual commentators out there have a mischievous dark chuckle - they've integrated their shadow.
Whilst I do think we are on the brink currently, and there will be much talk and fear of nuclear weapons today and into the future, I don’t think we have all out nuclear, humanity destroying war just yet. Though sadly, the upcoming aspects of Mars point to more dangerous attacks in March.
I think the astrology still shows we may have a chance to pull back from the brink, but there is undoubtedly more difficulty ahead in the short - medium term.
We need to do all we can now to see the best possible outcomes for these humanity defining times. Of course this includes the practical actions we can take, supporting humanitarian causes etc, but on its own it is not enough. Any practical actions we take are merely papering then cracks until they come from a foundation of a more integrated psyche. We are acting from a place of identity, which unevolved, denies crucial aspects of ourselves, instead causing us to project unwanted parts ourselves outwards, leaving us incapable of seeing a situation as it is and of seeing a solution. With Pluto so active we must go deeper and of course Pluto represents depth psychology.
Individual inner work
It is becoming impossible to ignore that the problems of humanity, are primarily psychological and spiritual. This current level of consciousness is simply not sustainable. Intellectual comprehension followed by action is futile without self understanding.
The materialist world view that has removed interconnectedness and labelled consciousness as some accidental produce of the brain in a mechanical universe is a death cult.
Conversely, we are not permanently chained to the demonic shadow sides of the archetypes of Pluto, Saturn and Mars and how they are currently manifesting. They are a synchronistic reflection of our current state of conscious and unconscious dynamics.
To do the individual work that informs the collective, we don't need to take on new ideologies as they only lead to new layers of identity. We don't need to know more. We would have more success if we were to question what we think we already know, and strip it away to see what lies beneath. Do we actually know, unequivocally that our narratives are true? Or do they simply feed our sense of a separate self. Who are we without our dearly held narratives?
We are so much vaster, and have so much potential once we can leave behind this suicidal state of dysfunction.
We don't need to become zen masters today. We only need to begin to get to know ourselves more deeply. To observe and question those thoughts that arise to keep us a separate entity by projecting the worlds wrongdoings onto anything but us.
Whilst there is certainly some merit in it, we don't have to adopt spirituality as a lifestyle statement, we don't need to start yoga, buy crystals, study astrology or become a Jungian Analyst, we just need to take the time and have the courage to look inside and make a space for what is there.
Delving deep into the murky sludgy corners of ones self isn't about undertaking some sadistic form of acquiring an unhealthy responsibility for all of the evils of the world. It is in fact a process that empowers us through becoming whole, with no parts of ourselves denied. All the wisdom of the universe is within each of us, hidden treasure buried deep, waiting to be excavated. Until then, we project the problem fully outside of us, deny our true whole nature, and contribute unconsciously to outer events. The ignored, shamed and disowned, aspects of ourselves converge on the collective level to create monsters and super villains in front of our very eyes.
That place within that we don't want to go poking around in, that's exactly where we need to go, that's where we need to take the lantern of consciousness to and hold it there. That's all. To observe what is there without fear or judgement, to recognise it, acknowledge it, and accept it. When truth becomes more important than being right, we can find the courage to open the cobwebbed cellar door.
What this does for us is give us far greater perspective, understanding, tolerance, compassion and control. As we have greater self acceptance and understanding for ourselves, we therefore extend this to everyone else. We are not denying our own shadow, and therefore we are not chomping at the bit to identify it in others to denounce it on the outside. We are no longer caught up in the fallacy of an unchecked identity, so dysfunctional that we are cheering on insanity, ignoring the sane, recklessly emboldened in our righteous indignation. Our broader perspective enables us to envisage solutions previously unseen, and to accept facts without filtering and distorting them through a comforting cherry picker. We no longer form opinions and stances based on how much they bolster our sense of individual, group or national identity but based on an acceptance of what it. We are able, willing and enthusiastically able to deal with the truth of a situation - vital in bringing about a solution.
This is the only way we have a chance for real sustainable peace and change.
It's an inside job, we need to enquire within.
An ever optimistic Mars conjunct Pluto native.