©3-22-2010 by Donna Cunningham, MSW
A couple of weeks ago, a reader wrote and said she’d just taken a job in a bad neighborhood. Transiting Pluto was conjunct her natal Mars in Capricorn in the 1st and transiting Uranus was about to square it. She asked if I thought she was in danger.
I wanted to tell her to get the hell out of there, but instead I gave her a measured response that amounted to about the same thing.
I can pretty much imagine what you’re going to say. Something on the order of, “Why, that’s a fabulous transit! After all, Mars is EXALTED in Capricorn. She’s going to have amazing opportunities to transform her leadership abilities and create innovative ways of expressing herself! Why on earth would you see it in such a negative light?”
Yes, of course, there are positive potentials in those transits, and an astrologer would want to discuss those with her as well in a session. But given those same aspects, surely she could find opportunities to develop leadership and her administrative talents in a far safer environment than a high-crime area where gang activities dominate.
I’ll explain what I told her later, but first let’s look at why I thought she could be in danger.
Provocative, Evocative Mars on the Ascendant
Let’s start by saying that ANY planet within about 8-10° of the Ascendant (on either the 1st or 12th house side) strongly colors other people’s perceptions of you. If it’s Venus, you become the official SpokesVenus, and if it’s Neptune, you’re the Neptune Poster Child.
Now, you’re obviously more than your Venus or Neptune; that’s just what you’re most comfortable showing the world. It’s a pattern of behavior and a role you adopted in order to survive in your family and early environment. But the drawback to that survival strategy is that the world first sees you as that planet and projects the planet’s qualities onto you—the good, the bad, and the ugly.
It’s pleasant enough being an icon with Venus or Jupiter there, but in this case, we’re talking about MARS. The God of War. The planet whose symbol represents men, not women. And in the 1st, it’s the Alpha Dog incarnate.
Political correctness aside, it’s still not perceived as a terribly appealing quality for a woman to be assertive and take-charge…the beeyotch label comes out awfully fast. As does the question, “What are you—a lesbian?”
A woman with Mars on the Ascendant like this reader can often be seen as provocative, even aggressive and challenging to the Alpha Dogs around her, who aren’t going to like it one bit.
How a Transit Would Alter the Picture
She’s likely to get more and more impatient with inequities during these transits and more and more assertive about her right to be acknowledged for her leadership abilities.
Therefore, transits to Mars from Pluto and Uranus are likely to amp up the potential for confrontation, setting off intermittent skirmishes, even in a seemingly safe, nominally civil workplace. It takes lots of courage to challenge the status quo even in a place like that, but transits like these can give you plenty of courage.
However, in a high crime area, the Alpha Dogs don’t play. They hunt in packs, they carry weapons, and they strike out at people they perceive as challenging their position in the hood in any way. Can you begin to see why I was concerned for her?
Would I be as concerned if this were a man having the same transits? To a certain extent, yes, I would. But given the general rage directed at assertive women and the sort of free-floating rage at large in the world just now, I’d be more concerned that a woman with Mars in the first might become a target. Martial arts training, anyone?
How I Answered her Question
I strongly suggested a consultation with a sound, balanced, seasoned astrologer, not the terminally positive sort that wears rose-colored glasses and warbles about what wonderfully exciting and transformative opportunities these transits would present, but refuses to even consider that bad things DO happen to good people under transits like these.
I told her that in a consultation, it would be important to go back over her history and find out what had happened at other times when a transiting outer planet in the early degrees of the cardinal signs aspected her 1st house Mars. (A helpful tool for that is here: Transit Tracking Table for 1990-2012.)
For instance, in the late 1980s to early 1990s, Uranus, Neptune, and Saturn all went over those early degrees of Capricorn. I suggested she recall and ponder the situations she faced in her life at that time, because similar issues might well arise now.
I’m retired now, but in a consultation, I would have spent much of our time together assessing how she’s handled her Mars in the past and how she’s likely to handle it now. In other words, is she high risk for the kinds of trouble we’ve been discussing?
In my brief reply to her comment, I said that by working in a high-crime neighborhood, especially one with gang-related activities, she was indeed putting herself more at risk under transits like these. I stressed that she needed to be very, very careful if she did take the job. I highly recommended that she never work alone in the building and that when she left work, she always walk with someone.
This transit is no joke, and an astrologer who only talked about the positive side of the transit would leave the client open to being blindsided. That would be like a surgeon who didn’t warn a patient that a proposed high-risk major surgery could have some dangerous side effects but instead focused on the positive outcome.
Okay, I know I just wrote an article that explained Why I Don’t Listen to those Scary Predictions. I’m not suggesting we terrify our clients, just that we do a risk assessment about that client’s history with a particular aspect.
And that we then present a balanced picture—the best and the worst that could happen with a difficult transit. AND some suggestions as to ways to change any pattern that puts the client at risk, as well as recommendations on how to bring out the higher potential.
Oh, you say you want suggestions on how to bring out the positive?
- Martial arts/self-defense classes can be empowering
- Read everything you can get your hands on about your Mars sign and aspects
- Analyze what your triggers for anger are and work on them
- Take self-assertiveness training or read books about it
- Take some leadership training classes or workshops
- Look into flower essences like Vervain, Holly, Centaury, and Cherry Plum
- Anything else you can think of, readers?
What about you? Would you want to know if you were in danger and it showed up in the chart? And if you’re an astrologer, how would you handle a dangerous-looking transit in a client’s chart?
More articles dealing with astrological predictions:
- Facing the Difficult Potentials of a Transit
- Talking to Clients about Difficult Transits–Readers Have Their Say
- “The Sky Is Falling!”–Looking ahead at Tough Transits
- Tough Transits: Best Case/Worst Case Scenarios
- Why I Don’t Listen to those Scary Predictions
- Awful Things Astrologers Say to Clients
- What to Tell Astrology Clients about Pluto in Capricorn
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