The Alchemy of Opposites
Saturn and Mars are not immediately compatible energies. Mars says ‘Go!’, Saturn says ‘Stop!’. Mars says ‘I want it now!’, Saturn replies ‘You’ll have to wait’. Mars says ‘Me! Me! Me!’, Saturn responds ‘Don’t forget your duty to everyone else…’. When these two engage we must face up to these conflicting impulses inside us and decide how to best manage them. It takes skill and plenty of practice. We come up against them repeatedly in life and how we respond often marks the difference between success and failure, satisfaction and frustration, progress and stagnation. Together Mars and Saturn remind us that we need to both accelerate and brake effectively if we want to drive the vehicle of our life in the right direction.
Mars is in Aquarius at the beginning of this square and then enters Pisces on 12th. This shift from air to water prior to the angle between Saturn and Mars reaching exactitude on 15th reminds us of the impact of our thoughts on our emotions. We must pay careful attention to where we allow our mind to rest. If we waste mental energy on frustrations and dead ends, unhelpful habits and things we can do nothing about, inevitably our orientation towards ourselves, the present moment and any future we hope to create is compromised. The lightening speed with which Mars can act in our lives needs to be tempered with awareness to ensure that it acts on the best data and not old programming which hasn’t yet gotten us where we want to be and probably isn’t going to any time soon!
Saturn in Sagittarius reminds us that we need more than simple inspiration to fulfil our potential. We must use that inspiration to fuel action and commitment, to embrace the responsibility of our goals alongside the excitement of them. When squaring Mars, Saturn reminds us that sometimes the best course of action is to wait and the best thing to do is nothing, even when a voice inside is telling us we need to move and fast. Saturn deals in patience and wisdom, developing backbone through the bearing of responsibility and the recognition of the role of boundaries and limitations in the process of personal and collective fulfilment. Life is not about simply doing whatever we want when we want, as Mars would have us believe, but instead doing what is required when necessary, what we want when the time is right and what we can whenever possible. The current relationship between Mars and Saturn helps us to understand how these different aspects of life come together to produce fertile ground for both progress and wisdom.
Without Mars little would get done. It is our essential energy, the life-force expressed through pure will, our survival instinct and desire for action. Mars animates us from the moment we awaken to the time we go to sleep. It has little awareness of others or even of self. It simply is: this primal force of desire, intent and action coursing through our veins. Then along comes Saturn, reigning Mars in, teaching it a thing or two about patience and the consideration of factors beyond raw desire: other people, timing, responsibility. The point of their meeting is characterised by frustration, dissatisfaction and sometimes depression. We feel squashed, diminished. Our hopes have come to nought, our plans have crumbled. Factors beyond our control may suddenly rise up to scupper even our best laid plans.
It is not, however, the end of possibility but the deepening of it. For only once we can embody both the driving power of Mars and the enduring power of Saturn can we respond effectively in the present and create the future in such a way that it will stand on firm foundations of wise reflection and insight. Energy without containment and focus becomes distracted and diffuse. We contain heat to cook something; we don’t leave the oven door open! Saturn becomes that door, shutting off unnecessary routes of escape and expression to ensure that the full potential of our energy can manifest in due course. It may take longer and entail greater sacrifice in the short term. We may have to delay gratification and settle for what seems to be less in order to eventually gain more than we could possibly have hoped when looking only through the eyes of Mars. Trusting Saturn to hone our Mars, to create boundaries and limitations which shape our action into something altogether more exact and focused, is a key step on the path to both personal sovereignty and collective unity.
Conscious evolution takes time, both personally and collectively. At times we see its potential and may feel frustrated that we still struggle with everyday human obstacles: frustration, despair and unavoidable responsibilities which demand our attention when we would rather be chasing bigger and more inspiring dreams. In the coming days Saturn reminds us this is exactly how it’s meant to be. This is how humanity is refined and distilled into its highest expression: not through finding out how to get whatever it wants whenever it wants, but by facing choices and limitations, responsibilities and desires, engaging with their paradoxical relationship so deeply that the alchemy of opposites occurs. In this is revealed the true resilience of the human spirit which can look hardship in the face and welcome it in like an honoured guest, asking it to share its stories and insights to inform the onward journey. Mars and Saturn are strange bed-fellows and we feel it when they challenge each other as they do right now, but the fruits of this challenge are powerful and positive if we can pick them when ripe and use them to sustain us on the road ahead.