Mars in Cancer square Saturn in Libra – final aspect of the Summer 2011 Cardinal Grand Cross August 24/25
This is a tough aspect to deal with at the best of times: two planets considered malefics interacting in a tense, clashing, frictional square. Add the facts that 1) Mars is debilitated in Cancer and prone to over-the-top emotional reactions and 2) we’re at the tail-end of the final wave of a highly challenging Cardinal Grand Cross configuration we’ve been dealing with all summer – we all have Cardinal Grand Cross fatigue - and this aspect coming at the end of it can feel like more than we can bear.
This aspect is especially rough on men. Mothering, nurturing, in-touch-with-the-inner-self Cancer is not traditionally their scene. Mars in Cancer includes themes of men grappling with and trying to express these feminine/yin aspects while maintaining their masculinity. Square to Saturn in Libra, the acute challenge is in finding the right balance in a world that benefits (especially financially) from men who set their emotions, consciences and soul urges aside to keep getting the job done. They are encouraged, subtly pressured to do so, and anyone unwilling or unable to keep up the extreme split and the extreme pace becomes less valuable, a disappointment, weak, unable to cut the mustard. In order to keep bringing home the paycheques, they subvert emotional cues and soulful guidance to the point of detriment.
News hit a few days ago of the suicide of National Hockey League hockey player Rick Rypien. Rypien had just been traded from the Vancouver Canucks to the city where I’m currently stationed, a city where he had played as a junior. Instead of showing up for work, he was found dead at his home in Alberta August 15. Rick was at the fateful age of 27, soon to be entering his Saturn return. He had endured years of depression, speaking publicly about it and taking time off twice from his hockey career to have it treated. The death of his girlfriend in a car accident when he was a junior player and captain of the Regina Pats was more than likely a contributing factor to his ongoing depression, and the stress of a move and a brand new hockey club under the Cardinal Grand Cross – facing down that Mars-Saturn square - were more than likely contributing factors in his decision to end his life.
It’s interesting to note that Rypien was what was considered an enforcer – his basic role was to fight opponent players on the ice. Night after night, he fought and bashed other guys, amped up on adrenaline, and that would definitely take its toll on the chemical balance of an individual. Rypien’s death follows the accidental death in May of another NHL enforcer, 28-year-old New York Rangers player Derek Boogaard – also on the cusp of his Saturn return. Boogaard died of an accidental overdose of the painkiller oxycodone and alcohol.
This is the difficulty of big, tough, hockey playing men (Mars) dealing with the emotional, physical and psychic aftermath of being professional fighting machines - a theme that can be applied almost across the board these days. The hyper masculine culture (professional sport being one leg) has not traditionally done well dealing in the feminine realms of emotion and soul. Human beings are not machines. The extreme imbalance between masculine and feminine is bound to create destruction and dysfunction, and Ryan and Dennis are just the tips of the iceberg.
Mars square Saturn is an indicator that we’re challenged to do things we don’t really want to do right now, things we don’t feel we have the strength to do at this point, and it’s kicking up anxiety and dread.
For me, part of this involves returning to unsettled circumstances in the city, just as this aspect is exact, when my heart is and probably always will be in the country. I know the trail forward in my life has always gone squarely through urban areas and that it’s required that I re-enter the concrete jungle, but it doesn’t make it any easier to actually do it as I’m enjoying a clear view of a sunset that I know I will not see again for months with the wind in the cottonwoods the only sound.
My astrologer and psychic friend freeforall is also moving on with mixed feelings out of the Cardinal Grand Cross summer. She and I both ended up in this city at around the same time, moving from Alberta last year. Her work contract here ended unexpectedly, and she now finds herself with an exciting new contract in the city from which she came – a city that also involves a lot of heartbreak and bad memories for her.
At the same time, we in Canada are feeling this aspect as the end of the much-too-short summer season. Long, cold, dark winter (Saturn) is not too far off, and it’s always difficult to look forward to months on end of ice, snow, flaky skin, Vitamin D deprivation and freezing appendages.
I don’t know anyone who is not looking to this fall and winter without a bit of trepidation or at least resignation. This observation is not to be a downer – it’s to point out that no one is alone in feeling this way. These feelings are completely normal considering circumstances on this planet.
The new directions spurred by the Cardinal Grand Cross are interesting and at times exciting, but they are being initiated under circumstances both globally and personally that are not exactly best case scenario.
In light of the difficulty of this particular aspect, here are some emotional survival tips for Mars in Cancer square Saturn in Libra, in effect until the end of this month:
- Comfort yourself in healthy ways however you can. Baby yourself through the challenging parts, and don’t feel weird or guilty about it at all. Emotional comfort is what Cancer does best.
- Understand that this is an aspect, a span of time, and that the arduousness of it will let up. Saturn makes things feel as if they’ll be this way forever: ie. bad. They won’t. Applying aspects almost always feel worse than succeeding, so the roughest time emotionally is this upcoming week.
- Work through the feelings coming up. Expect some possible anxiety, fear, dread, anger – but try not to dwell on it. Move through difficult feelings and onto something else as quickly as possible. Distract yourself. Focus on what’s coming into your life that interests or excites you and close the tap as far as the inexhaustible supply of anxious Cancerian what-ifs. Tell your over-protective, overly stressed inner mother to go pamper herself at the spa for a while.
- Be around people regularly. There is a tendency to isolate under the emotional weight of difficult aspects like this one, but maintaining contact, even when it’s challenging, is a necessary touchstone.
- Make sure everyone in your posse is doing OK. Check in with the people in your life and also extend yourself to people you wouldn’t usually converse with. We all need to take responsibility for maintaining (Saturn) the social spheres (Libra) now. We’re going to need them.
Another tip I would add for the entire Uranus in Aries square series to Pluto in Capricorn through March 2015 is: Don’t be too surprised or shocked as things/people start to come unglued. (I’m sure most people who read this blog won’t be.) At this point, the weight, complexity and demands of the structures of many people’s lives, especially within the mainstream, are becoming too much to bear. The structures and pacing all around us have reached a point of no return as far as insanity, inhumanity, toxicity and corruption, and keeping up the game from here on becomes increasingly taxing to the point of impossible. There is only so long that people can keep up with the demands of an increasingly unnatural pace and lifestyle for the sake of dead and done concepts of prestige, success, progress and power. We’re reaching the point where many just won’t be able to do it anymore. (I think I was born at that point.)
For the next seven years, as Uranus transits Aries, there is a focus on radical, ingenius (Uranus) survival (Aries). Radical breaks from the toxic structures as they exist (Uranus in Aries square Pluto in Capricorn) are to be expected, even from people considered highly successful by mainstream (and most often less soulful) standards. People will be at the point where they shed their entire old lives - because they have to. It really is a matter of life and death – at least, soul life. And what’s the point of hauling these carcasses around if there’s no soul left to guide us by?