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Every two years or so, Mars and Jupiter find themselves in opposition, glaring at each other from opposite ends of the zodiac. This opposition will be exact on Thursday morning, although its influence has already been felt for a couple weeks and will linger on through the first week of May.

Mars is our personal warrior and bodyguard; it is his energy that allows us to stick up for ourselves and pursue our goals with energy and vitality. Jupiter is a more easy-going energy, dropping nice opportunities in our laps and reminding us to share the wealth and fun. When they oppose each other, it may seem we have to choose between these two approaches to getting things in life: competition and serendipity.

For this opposition, Mars is in Cancer and Jupiter is in Capricorn. These are both cardinal signs, so both planets are trying to start something and get the ball rolling. They are working in very different ways, however.

Mars’s aggression is colored by Cancerian sensitivity and gentleness; he’s feeling a little pouty and defensive, striking out at anyone or anything that hurts our feelings. He’s not very good at this watery game. He has no sensitivity himself, so demanding it of others falls kind of flat. He’s hoping to carve out some kind of gentle environment in which we can feel safe and peaceful.

Jupiter is trying to give us some help with practical accomplishment. His own energy is not naturally pragmatic, so he’s feeling a little uneasy as well. Nevertheless, his efforts to bestow some leadership opportunities for us can be helpful. (See my post on Jupiter in Capricorn.) Jupiter would like to see us with the tools and resources we need to accomplish something in the wider world and win the admiration of others and the material rewards that go along with that.

The issue is that to receive Jupiter’s blessings, we need to let go of Mars’s defensiveness, and to achieve the homey safety Mars would like for us, we need to let Jupiter’s opportunities pass us by. At least that’s how the choice seems to present itself.

Enter Venus, the third player in this little drama. On Wednesday, she finds herself in Aries squaring with both of these fellows, first Mars and then Jupiter. Together, the three of them make an aspect pattern called a T-square. (Imagine them sitting on three of the four corners of a square, with Jupiter and Mars across from each other, and Venus at one of the remaining points.)

Frankly, Venus is no happy camper right now herself. She’s trying to do the Aries get-up-and-go thing, but her nature is two sentimental and gentle to be very good at it. She does help us resolve the dilemma set up by Jupiter and Mars, however. Venus can draw our attention away from the weightiness of the needs of the other two planets, and show us something fun and appealing to start on instead.

By spotting something we can enjoy on our own, we can bypass the whole “what do they think of me?” issue that Jupiter and Mars are dealing with (optimistically and pessimistically, respectively). That appealing personal project doesn’t have to be long-lived (Venus moves out of Aries at the end of the month), but it provides the pattern-breaking “third option” that helps us get around the conundrum presented by this opposition. If all goes well, playing along with Venus can actually put is a better position to receive that worldly success that Jupiter is offering and the emotional security Mars is fighting for.



April 2008
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