Posted by: Donna Cunningham | March 22, 2011

Risk Assessment: Observations on Mars Conjunct the Ascendant and Danger

©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:

free astrology booklet by Donna CunninghamIf you’re enjoying this blog, sign up for a subscription, and get a FREE EBOOKLET for Skywriter Subscribers Only: Mothers, Daughters, and the Moon, a 50-page excerpt from The Moon in your Life. Read more about it here: New: Free Booklet For Skywriter Subscribers!

If you’re already a subscriber and want a copy, forward the most recent email post to me at To sign up for a subscription, go to the top right hand corner of the blog and click on “Subscribe.” Then send me an email with your subscription confirmation or an email post with a request for the booklet in the subject line.


  1. I love how you are approaching this transit, Donna. I agree with everything you are saying. What you say about exploring the Mars to see over time how she handles it and what transpires when it is activated by transit, demonstrates the comprehensive approach of a seasoned astrologer.

    Just to add – in addition to the natal aspects to the Mars, which will show any support or objections to the way she expresses her Mars, depending on interceptions, that with Capricorn rising, Mars rules the 4th house (angular) or maybe the 3rd. If you use Mars as co-ruler of Scorpio, Mars also rules the 11th house (again depending on houses system interceptions).

    • Lovely to see you here, Amanda, and glad to know that a colleague who is well-seasoned herself is on the same page. Donna

      • Thank you 🙂

  2. Very useful article! Consultation wise and cause I have Mars in the 1st. Sometimes I think that all my problems come from the fact that I was born in the body of a woman.

    On a consultation I would like to know about the dangers. But I would also like to know about options how to channel the questionned energies toward a positive outcome.

    • Absolutely, Gabby. A consultation should have a balance between how to handle any negative expressions and how to bring out the positive potential.

      I’ve added some suggestions on how to use the combination to the bottom of the post, so go and have a look. Donna

  3. Wow. Thank you Donna for your insightful analysis! I am that reader and really appreciate this follow up. My intuitive sense of danger supported by the astrology and your feedback were right on. After exploring the fear and checking out the safety procedures with the new boss I decided to give it a chance while remaining vigilant and cautious.
    What happened was that the alpha dogs in this case, rather than street people or gang bangers, turned out to be women I considered friends and supporters. My privacy was inappropriately violated and My personhood assaulted in a character assassinating fashion. I felt blindsided and humiliated. Needless to say, the job did not work out. While I did no wrong, it was made to look and feel as though I had. It was pretty awful.

    I did assert myself however and the culprits, at this point, are squirming uncomfortably in the reality of their own wrongdoing. I am working hard on letting this go and reaching forgiveness for them through praying for them daily.
    I’m not taking their choices and behaviors on.

    I wonder though if this is a good time to stay away from people and groups in general?

    • Hi, Kelley, thanks for coming to fill us in. I did take some liberties in fleshing out your situation, but really was using it as a “what if” teaching example of how a consultation would proceed to assess the risks. Glad it clarified some things for you.

      As for groups, I’d have to study your whole chart (but I’m retired, so I won’t). Uranus does represent groups, as does the 11th; and Pluto transits CAN correlate with a betrayal and is usually present when office politics get intense like that.

      I wouldn’t generalize what happened as a caution to be wary of all people in all situations, but definitely a heads up in any career situation that resembles it. Donna

  4. Just wanted to say, I have a 2 degree Aries rising with Pluto transiting exactly conjunct my Mars in Capricorn now at 7 degrees, so I am under very similar type energy. My natal Mars is in my 10th. Of course, I also have Uranus getting ready to plow through my first house. As an astrologer, I have been thinking that I do probably need to be more careful regarding safety matters. I did not really have any previous issues when I have Uranus or Neptune pass by my Mars in the 10th. Although I also didn’t have Uranus sitting on my ASC at the same time!

  5. Hello Donna,

    I’m wondering how do we discover dangerous situations like in the case with Mars – do we look at the natal position and transiting squares and oppositions to it or the transiting Mars opposing a natal planet. The last time I had something like an injury I had Neptune and Jupiter square my natal Mars and the transiting Mars was opposing Pluto and then Saturn, so I don’t know which one to blame – probably not Neptune 🙂 Luckily I can’t remember any other injuries to check the transits back then. I’m curious about how to interpret such things in the future.

    Sometimes I see things like transiting Venus square natal Mercury and in the same time transiting Mercury in conj. or some nice aspect to Venus. I know this one won’t last long, but it could be with other, slower planets.

    I also wonder about the example you gave – what if Mars was in her second house and she asked you the same? Would it be dangerous for her or for her money then?

    I know I ask too many questions, but answer only if you find them good.


    • These are very good questions, Dobomira. Let me answer them one at a time. “what if Mars was in her second house and she asked you the same? Would it be dangerous for her or for her money then?”

      I don’t imagine physical danger with Mars in the 2nd. It would more likely play out as a situation arising with money. A person with Mars in the 2nd, especially in Capricorn, would have a great drive to make money–a go getter type, hard working, lots of hours a day–but they’d also spend a lot too, buying high status possessions like expensive cars.

      The Pluto transit might bring very wealthy and powerful people into their orbit, and so part of the task would be to learn how to get along with them. However, I would be cautious as to whether they were trustworthy or legally on the up and up.

      My advice to the person would be to be very cautious about getting into a questionable situation or going into debt heavily to invest. And with Uranus transiting as well, not to count on the partnership being long-lasting.

      As you see, it’s very different than with a first house Mars.

    • And here’s part 2, Dobromira: “I’m wondering how do we discover dangerous situations like in the case with Mars – do we look at the natal position and transiting squares and oppositions to it or the transiting Mars opposing a natal planet.”

      Hmm. I’ll be happy to try to think of what things signal danger to me. I suspect it’s usually a combination of things, not just a single placement.

      For one thing, the old teachers who taught the current generation of astrologers stressed that nothing would happen under a transit that was not promised in one or more ways in the natal chart.

      For instance, if I see Mars in hard aspect natally (especially a conjunction) with a difficult planet like Saturn, Uranus, or Pluto, that’s a concern. BUT probably only when it is focused in a house where the person is physically vulnerable, especially the 1st house, and especially near the Ascendant. Or, if it makes a hard aspect to the Ascendant. I might also be concerned if it aspected the Sun.

      If Mars and Uranus were conjunct in the 7th or maybe Mars with Pluto, I might be concerned that the person would be attracted to a mate who had a bad temper and might be abusive.

      If the conjunction were in the 10th, I would wonder whether a parent was seriously abusive, most likely the father, and if the experience had contaminated the person’s relationships with authority figures in adulthood. Here, again, I might not forsee physical danger with a transit, but instead a bad situation in the career that evokes the old wound.

      Mars and Uranus together in one of the health houses (1, 6. 12) might be accident prone.

      There are other possible meanings for each of these placements, and that is why it is important to ask about the history, including times in the past that the aspect in question was set off. (As Dr. Phil says, the best predictor of the future is the past.)

      I would only be truly concerned if some combination like this in the natal chart were being set off by transits, especially a transit that repeats (“echoes”) the natal aspect. (See ).

      Now, I didn’t have Kelly’s whole natal chart, but the Pluto and Uranus transiting Mars in the 1st set off intuitive bells for me.

      So, you see, it’s complicated, and you’d be bringing in several astrological indicators plus asking for history plus listening to inner guidance.

      And always stressing to the client that you might very well be wrong, but they would be wise to exercise prudent judgement and to pay attention to that inner voice if it’s telling them that danger is near. I hope that helps. Donna

      • Thank you very much for your detailed responses 🙂 I somehow missed the notifications in my e-mail, but since I was very interested I came to check for answer and here it was 🙂

        Thank you Donna!

  6. I loved this piece, Donna. Such a wonderful exposition of the reasoning behind a prediction built upon the characteristics of the natal placement. In depth and to the point. I hope you have more posts like this one coming up. Oh, and particularly, one about what’s iconic about Jupiter on the ascendant would be highly appreciated 😆
    Myself, I don’t care much for predictions, I’ve never really studied them either, basically cuz they rarely apply to my life, at least not in a factual way. I think that must have something to do with the fact that most of my planets are in the left-“in charge of your life” side of the chart, I think this creates a sort of density, or-to tone down the neptunian phrasing- a difficulty to let go and surrender to the transit. Would I like to hear about the downsides of a particular transit? Yes. Would I follow an advice that wouldn’t agree with my decisions? I’m afraid not.

    Take care! 😉

    • I would like to ditto VR’s summation of your post, Donna. I really like this style of walking us through your reasoning process for an interpretation and how you would handle communicating it. The latter part is still a bit difficult for me, and here’s why…

      “Would I like to hear about the downsides of a particular transit? Yes. Would I follow an advice that wouldn’t agree with my decisions? I’m afraid not.”

      I have a habit of picking up on what people want to hear and it’s difficult for me to tell them what I know I will get pushback on (when it differs from what they want to do/hear). Opening myself up to someone’s chart is opening myself up to…things I may not want to know. In a sense, cautioning someone who is “open” to listening to my opinion but won’t seriously consider my warning is a waste of my time and energy (because I do worry about the outcome once I feel I know what it is and it’s unpleasant or harsh).

      Please do more posts like this one.

      • The worst feeling is knowing about something unpleasant that will happen and not being able to prevent it. I hate being right in those times. I may be harsh to say “I told you so” to the person but I will do that if they don’t listen to me and then want to use me as a shoulder to cry on about the consequences of ignoring me the first time. I’d rather people not even ask me for my insight about things they are decided on.

      • So, I’M the reason you feel uncomfortable with chart reading? lol! 😛

        I happen to have the exact opposite problem. I feel very uncomfortable when people try to hang the responsibility of their life choices on my shoulders: Will I meet someone? Should I quit my job? Break up with my boyfriend? etc.. I’m like, Leave me alone, how the hell should I know!!? (btw that’s one of the main reasons why I wouldn’t wanna go pro with astrology!)

        I get what you’re saying about cautioning someone about potential dangers, but, ultimately, how specific can we be? e.g. I have Aries on the cusp of the 8th with Mars in Scorpio in the 2nd/3rd. Through the years I’ve noticed that whenever Uranus forms an aspect to my natal Mars, a cousin or neighbour ends up dead. Right now tr. Uranus is inconj. n. Mars. Who should I warn? My siblings? My relatives? The whole neighbourhood? And about what? Health issues? Car accidents? Work injuries? The truth is, I’m in no position to know exactly how this transit is gonna play out. And would it do them any good to inform them about the general possible outcomes of the transit? Hell, I can’t even bring myself to drive with a little more patience for this couple of weeks!

        Everytime I get paranoid with a dangerous transit, I try to keep Oedipus’ myth in mind. He left his hometown to escape a prediction that warned him he were to kill his father and marry his mother- not knowing that he was adopted-, which led to him running into his real father in a street and killing him. Had he stayed put, none of this would have happened!

        Finally, I think all the warning one needs lies there in the natal chart, which is why I loved this post so much. I believe that there’s an element of pleasure at the core of all our typical self-defeating behaviours, and that astrology helps with bringing that element into consciousness and demystifying it.
        e.g. Through the last decade or so, I’ve had some very difficult Neptune transits (starting with a Moon-Neptune square in my early 20s) during which I took some very bad decisions. But, while every textbook Neptune transit warning was present (indecisiveness, inability to focus, fearfulness, desire to serve), the underlying motives behing my ill decision-making had all to do with my natal chart, and mercifully, astrology helped me realise that.

        e.g.I have a 1H stellium and a moon-mars opposition, which means that something in me likes to fight. If enerything runs smooth and calm in my life I’ll go where the mess is, and if I can’t find a mess to get myself into, most likely I’ll create one. My stellium is in Virgo, so here’s another thing to watch out for, our infamous pride and narcissism. Virgos can go to great lenghts torturing themselves in order to sustain/validate their precious, perfect self-image: It’s the “I’m not a quitter/ I’m not a coward/ I rise above petiness/ I’m above money/ beyond self-interest etc, etc, etc.” mentality. I also have Pluto in aspect to practically all my angles and planets, so I’m always eager to self-destruct out of sheer vindictiveness: “Is that what you wanted? I can do a lot worse!”
        So, now that Neptune will move into my 7th and oppose my stellium, instead of obssesing about what weird boyfriends/partnerships this transit is gonna throw at me, I’m gonna make it my mission to not fall back into the same patterns again by asking myself if that’s a fight worth giving, reminding myself that decency is not to be confused with self-absorption/ self-righteousness, and that there’s nothing cheap with trying to provide things like safety and security for your life, and last but not least, by avoiding people who bring out the vindictive, self-destructive beast in me. I honestly think that’s all the cautiousness I’m gonna need, but then again, I do have a sun-jupiter cj.!! (ergo the rant?) 🙂

      • I agree with you, VR, about the limits of warnings, and you give a good example of that. The example originally used was one with Mars in her first house, so it was referring to herself. But with the other houses, there’s only a topic you can warn the native about – i.e., driving with the 3rd house – but you can’t protect everyone else whom it might refer to. Straight psychological astrology usually views the whole chart as referring to the native, but most of the houses actually refer to other people in one’s life as well. If it’s my chart and referring to a loved one, I’ll glance at their chart as well and see if there’s anything specific/helpful I can offer, but I only do that with a few people.

      • Can’t say I agree with you on psychological astrology–our relationships with others are the arenas where psychological complexes get played out, and the houses show which relationships are involved.

        Here’s a who’s who of the 12 houses: . Donna Cunningham (MSW)

    • Donna, my apologies for any possible confusion – I wasn’t trying to polarize psychological and predictive approaches, as I use both myself. And I have long appreciated your combination of down-to-earth and psychologically-aware approaches to astrology.

      There is a decent contingent of people who call themselves psychological astrologers who look at the entire chart as only a map of the individual’s psyche and then give that level power over one’s entire world, rather than acknowledging other real-world players – that was the only thing I was objecting to.

  7. I sure like this post!

  8. Hiya Donna,

    I loved this piece. I am an assertive, take-charge, do not pass but GO , kind of gal. And Mars isnt even near my ascendent. However transitting Uranus is square my Mars…..{I am always very cautious even in the day time – I do not take any chances}…..You would NOT be surprised at people’s reactions to me. First house Uranus, Mars in Capricorn conjunct Sun. It is either love or hate. I love me, though.
    I am even amused by me most times.
    Something interesting I have noticed over the years – Most American men are frightened of/threatened by me – Most European men think I am swell. (Gays too) sigh.


  9. Hi Donna,

    Great article and a very important consideration in astrological work.

    If I were me, I would want to know. At the very least, this would help me prepare for the possibilities. Also, especially with hard aspects where the energy is more likely to manifest whether I chose to participate and slow moving outer planet transits where I might have to deal with the negative energy for a long period of time, it is often helpful to know how long the transit will last so that I can see “the end of the tunnel”.

  10. Dear Donna,

    Except for my best friend’s Mars at 5 degrees Cap being in her 5th house instead of her 1rst-sounds like you are telling her story. She lives in a big city full of dangerous gangs and street people, rides the bus and works retail with several very disturbed people. One of them is very very jealous of her creative abilities in the job she does and the more kudos she gets from upper management and customers the more this woman-who is in the process of a sex change-and holds a supervisory position over my friend… gets aggressive with her.

    I told her about Pluto conjuncting her Mars and also that Neptune is opposing her Pluto in her first house within the orb you said will (and does) define her, telling her that Neptune in the 7th is BLINDING her to the dangers of those of the 7th house partnerships (like her boss at work)… that that woman is totally pathologicial and I consider her prior actions towards her to be threatening and that she is a danger to her.

    After the general manager left last week-who but this supervisor was made temp manager over my friend and she’s tried to set her up with her drawer… sabotages her work efforts.. and I believe has a stealing ring going on as there is a huge amount of big ticket items ‘lost’ in inventory.

    I’ve advised her to try and get a transfer out of that store and to one closer to where she lives. My friend does dangerous things in my opinion all the time in regards to her transportation and reactions towards those who are dangerous personalities-either not seeing them for what they are or else confronting-even talking to them.

    With Leo rising and a Taurus sun she is very talented, very hard working and has really had to downsize her job work in this horrible economy. Transiting Uranus is in her 8th. So the Mars/transiting Pluto conjunction in her 5th- transiting Neptune in her 7th opposing Natal Mars in her first and now Uranus in her 8th squaring that dangerous conjunction in her 5th. Also transiting Saturn in her 3rd opposed by Jupiter in Aries in her 8th… lots of fightin’ energies there. The gang thing is totally pertinent too. She’s a sovereign creator personality and the sociopaths do their work in gangs.

  11. Hi Donna,

    Last year I had Uranus opposing my natal Mars, while Pluto was finishing the square to it. I came to Iceland when the volcano was still erupting and 2 months later I hiked the place.

    Was I excited? Hell yes!
    Was I in danger? Possibly, but common tourists done that
    Did I tool precautions? Knowing of astrology, of course yes.

    The lesson was that I was following my own enthusiasm. By balancing safety with thrill, nothing bad happened to me, and I enjoyed the transit fully. Much better than being stuck in front of a boring job!

    And during those months I did much more thrilling adventures!

  12. Hi Donna
    Thanks for this topic. As a client I would want to know and as an astrologer I would want to advise the client of the physical danger in a way that is not alarming.

    @Amanda, I really liked your insight about the dual rulership of Mars and the 11th, tying in the Scorpio angle of treachery and control within the group or maybe someone she thought was her friend. Adding in the full picture of this cardinal cross in her chart, I would suggest Kelli was also facing some life lessons in her career that may involve war like situations with the resulting shock on an emotional level. Plus, with Neptune probably still in her 3rd, she had someone talking behind her back.
    @ Kelli, your words included an aire of “getting back at”, which also could be the Mars/Scorpio energy and good job attempting to let it go! Staying away from groups may be a bit drastic, and if I may be so bold, my suggestion is now that you have experienced this behavior, use it as a tool for the next time you encounter resistance and projection from those who are easily threatened.

    • Thanks. Fascinating insight including the Scorpio 11th And someone talking behind my back. All true! As for using the experience as a tool, It seems the best I can come up with for Now is to be aware that my 1st house mars is a trigger that may threaten others…the way it came down was so out of my control. I am understanding that I have to put my reliance on a greater power and not look to people to be trustworthy or as a source. I sense that I’m being asked to fly solo in order to learn to trust myself, not to doubt myself or the universe regardless of betrayals or traumatic events outside my control. It was a real emotional shock – like a bomb! It’s hard to grasp that others might wish me harm or why? I can’t keep going around saying, “don’t hate me cuz I’m beautiful” all the time but it kinda feels like that.

      How can I decrease this energy from others? I don’t want to make it my fault when I had no part in it (other than being human like everyone is) but I’d love to know if there’s a way I can be less threatening to others if that’s what invites this energy.

      • Hmm. This is where an in-person consultation has the edge. It would help to observe your body language, nonverbal communication.

        It’s a little hard to articulate, but you need to observe/examine your Mars and consider if there’s any “gotcha” to it…purify where it’s coming from. If it’s pure DOING, I don’t think it threatens people so much, though you may still outdistance them.

        Self-examination and being honest with yourself about your motives is helpful. If there’s any of that Capricorn edge of, well, snootiness, of I’m more perfect than you, then it’s off-putting and pisses people off. Sorry I can’t articulate what I’m getting at any better. Donna

  13. I’ve found that using sect is incredibly useful for these sorts of matters. Mars -natally and by transit – is going to be more problematic in most day charts, and Saturn likewise in night charts. And then you can also use profections to see if that house is highlighted in some way for that year. In the example discussed above, if it was a day chart with Mars in the first house and it was a first house profection year, I would totally advise cautions. If it didn’t have those things going on, I’d still make some of the same remarks but less urgently and with more emphasis on some of the constructive possibilities.

    • Welcome, Leisa. I haven’t studied the classical astrology teachings like that, but I’ve heard there are some powerful techniques involved.
      By sect, I believe they mean whether you were born during the day or at night. Donna

      • I was born at 9:09 p.m.

      • Yes, a day chart means born with the Sun above the Asc/Desc and night chart is the opposite. I figured this might be a night chart – Uranus and Pluto transiting in aspect to Mars in the 1st is likely to not be fun regardless, but more likely to be physical in a day chart.

  14. Lara Logan, the reporter who was assaulted in Egypt last month has the following according to astrotheme; Sun 8* Aries, Mars 10* Cap, Uranus 11* Libra. I’d figure someone with this combo to be a risk-taker, adventurous and ambitious. She’s been traveling around for years in dangerous situations, but this year she was arrested in Egypt, showed her determination by staying in the country and continuing her job and a week later came the serious assault. Her Mars being conjuncted by Pluto and it’s square to her Sun and Uranus. That Alpha Dog dynamic does seem to come to mind here… She is a strong, independent, intelligent woman and in some of these countries women are not to be any of these.

    Thank you for the article Donna, I have a loved one who is getting hammered by these hard Uranus, Pluto, and Saturn aspects. It’s good to be aware of the energies and not blindsided.

  15. I found this astro case study quite compelling, personally as well as theoretically.

    I wish the very best for you, Kelly, in healing from the betrayal you experienced.

    As I was rebounding from my divorce in my mid 20s, I got involved with a man who had Mars in exact conjunction with his Aries Ascendant (with a Leo Sun and Cap Moon). He grew up in a house with crime and violence. He ran away from home at fifteen and lived on the street in various cities around the US, where he was once again surrounded by crime and violence. He seemed to get his life together only to let it spiral into chaos repeatedly by the time I knew him at 22. During our stormy (!) relationship, his behavior managed to span the entire range from gentle nurturer to needy child to possessive “protector” to suicidal lover to, finally, raging attacker.

    It was when Saturn was crossing both of our 12th houses and transiting my Chiron in Aries that our relationship ended in violence. (My ASC is also Aries with a conjoining Saturn.) I still look back at the year I spent with him as if it were another life, which it was in so many ways.

    • Thanks for sharing that example, Mari. A compelling relationship, and one it is timely to review and learn/heal from, with all the planetary energy in Aries now. Donna

  16. Very helpful post. And yes! I’d like to know the whole picture. The possibility of awareness could make a difference, like getting in one of those martial art classes you mention, and shake off some steam out of our system!

    I’ve being looking at the next mars/uranus conj in early april and, well those two hanging out in aries is something to keep an eye on (plus neptune entering pisces at exact semisextile). The last time they were conj was in pisces near my Desc, and I saw it coming but didn’t want to pay attention. well, just a minor accident happened to my husband, but created a lot of complications for the following months.
    Now it will happen again in my 7th so this time I asked him to avoid traveling around those days (it will fall on his 3rd H) just in case…

  17. Hi Donna – great advice to aspiring astrologers – give them the best and worst scenario’s, check the history and advise an alert ear kept out for that inner warning voice. I guess one of the difficulties when Uranus is involved is that any trouble is unpredictable – Uranus being the lightning bolt (positive or negative) that we didn’t see coming.

    I’m wondering what warning bells might ring if Mars is in Capricorn in the 12th house? Also what difference it would make if Mars is within 10 degrees of the Ascendent or if it is much further away?

    • Hi, Jay, well as I’ve written about in my series of articles about the 12th house, a planet that is in the 12th but conjunct the Ascendant is easily seen and reacted to by other people, but is either unconscious on the part of the person OR the person think’s it’s a secret, when it’s not at all. It’s perfectly obvious to people observing you. So people think you’re being sneaky or “up to something.”

      With Mars in that position, the person may be largely unconscious of their own anger issues or competitiveness, while it’s very obvious to others but very uncomfortable to be around, because the person denies that they’re angry.

      (It could show up as passive aggressive behavior, perhaps, or hurting themselves as an outlet for the anger. Covert, self-defeating expressions of anger. Kind of like a Mars-Neptune aspect.)

      Further into the 12th, some of the same dynamics may be present, but it’s less of a trip wire that’s easily set off. There could be more of a possibility that the person is putting the Mars energy to work in service.

      If you’d like to read some of the miniseries about about the 12th house, here’s a good place to start: Donna

      • “..further into the 12th” etc….Yikes! Story of my life, in a nutshell.
        Guess that makes me a bona fide nut–hoping to sprout!

  18. I have mars conjoining the ascendant from the 12th, but they’re both in pisces :\ I’ve always struggled to understand how this placement represents it’s self.

    I’ve never started a fight in my life, but people always pick fights with me. I’ve been told that I’m quite intimidating, but from my point of view, that’s a defence mechanism. Being a pisces ascendant, I’m obviously a pretty peaceful character, but I’m 6’2, which HUGE bisceps (I’ve never worked out in my life, they’ve been big since I was very young).

    I have mars opposite moon in virgo and I noticed that when I was younger, I’d judge someone’s character by how they reacted to provocation (in an intellectual sense.) I assumed this is mars at work, sizing people up. I’m also a naturally good dancer, so I’m told. But still, the placement puzzles me, such a contradiction…

    Just read your comment above Donna and that sounds about right to me. I don’t feel competitive, but people always tell me I am, or think that I am.

    • I don’t mean to annoy or offend, but do you think you might be passive-aggressive and provocative without knowing it?

  19. Thank you Donna. This has provided me with a great deal of awareness of where I can begin some in-depth self-examination regarding my natal mars placement and how it has, and continues to, effect my relationships with others – my family (4h Aries)’ friends and groups (11H Scorpio) and intimate relationships and others (7h stellium). It may be the key to life long problems! Amazing that, though I have had many readings and read about astrology since age 11, this key to my chart has never before clicked in like this! At least now, I have an idea about where to begin.
    One thing I may finally pursue is the study of astrology thru a mentor/teacher rather than as a self-directed interest and passion.
    Thanks to everyone!

    • Kelly,
      It is so great you are working on this dynamic. During this transit, Uranus is not only squaring your Mars, it is also moving thru the house that has to do with your emotions and emotional security. This may present situations that are shocking so that you can break free of emotional patterns and habits that are left over from childhood and maybe even past lives. Maybe becoming conscious of those feelings that no longer serve your best interest would be one part of your strategy when dealing with others projecting their issues onto you. Plus, in general I think its always wise to not take things personally because so many times we jam our “story” into situations without even knowing it. Having a series of internal red flags can also help setting a boundary that will keep the situation in control. Good luck!

    • Donna, very interesting column with great comments, All. Thanks for sharing, Kelly. Your thoughtful feedback is the best learning tool.

      I would approach ASC-Mars in Capricorn as naturally proactive, success-oriented, and confident. With Pluto here – and taskmaster Saturn in Libra, your 10th? – I would concentrate on questions rather than predictions. How are your ASC qualities being projected, magnified, questioned by others at this time? How are they working for you and your goals? Time for a new goal?

      Kelly, your phrase in-depth self-examination seems the perfect positive response to these energies. Because both the ASC and Mars reference our body, I would suggest now is also a good time to get any health and medical exams on your To Do list. Wishing you the best ahead.

  20. I broke my leg last fall and just had a look at the charts. My natal Uranus had 11 major aspects to it. Transiting Mars close applying trine looks like the culprit.

    Would love to be able to pick out those days that accidents are possible, so I could be careful. I would never have guessed a trine would give me a broken leg. First broken bone, needed two rods and eight pins. Still hurts! Motivation to study astrology?

    Thanks Donna for the great information you give so freely.

    • You know, that’s the odd (and confounding) thing with outer planet transits–a trine can be just as much trouble as a square or opposition. And on the other hand, a square that you use productively can bring about as much growth as a trine, sometimes more because it stretches you to grow.

      To me, what counts more is:
      1) how the planet being transited and the transiting planet are situated in the natal chart
      2) whether the two planets are already connected in the birth chart in some way, in which case it’s a lifetime learning curve that the transit is only repeating.
      3) how well you’ve evolved in using both planets in the course of a lifetime.

      You know, I’m answering quite a lot of good questions today. It kinda looks like I’m gearing up for a Q&A session. I do enjoy them a lot, so maybe I ought to get serious about scheduling one. Like the one I was planning on Uranus transits before the Japan earthquake hit. Donna

    • Transiting Mars would not be the culprit, but the trigger, Judy. The Uranus aspects were the real signature for the accident, but a faster moving planet, especially Mars, would be the final boost. Kind of like lighting a match to a dynamite fuse. The dynamite was already in place. Donna

      • For sure Donna.

        My natal Uranus is 2 degrees Cancer so . . . almost every planet, (not mercury or Venus) making some kind of major aspect to Natal Uranus. (Which is conjunct my ascendant, so it fits in this discussion!) Jupiter and Mars were trine. Big accident looking for a place to happen.

        But it’s going to keep on happening and happening; how do I allow that energy to do something constructive?

        Things that I have learned from this:

        Ask for help (Oh, that’s a big one.)
        Definite change in career coming – studying writing, intend to make writing a career from now on. Before I was just dabbling

        Can hardly wait for the discussion this afternoon
        Thanks Donna

      • Thanks, Judy. The session isn’t today, it’s next Saturday, April 2nd. Donna

  21. My Natal Uranus is conjunct my Ascendant. I think it makes me a little head strong?

    Thanks again.

    • LOL! A little headstrong? Look the word up in the dictionary, and I think you’ll find your picture there! Donna

  22. I loved this article. Even though I would want some kind of warning if transits indicated danger I think it would depend on what stage of life I am in as to whether I would heed it. I have a close t-square with saturn opp. mars in cancer sq. mercury in aries and the nodes (yuck). When transiting jupiter and chiron conj. mars and transiting Uranus opposed it I had a horse riding accident and broke my back and was off work in a back brace for 6 mths. If I’d been warned I think I would have still gone riding that evening as I loved it so much. Now that I understand Astrology so much better and don’t feel invincible anymore I would certainly pay attention!!! Am not too excited about the Pluto-Uranus square triggering my natal t-square though would love to find something positive in it. The houses are in question due to my birth time not being exact – mars is either in the 3rd, 4th or 5th. Given what happened with the Uranus transit should I be getting a reading to see what is going on? Thanks!

    • If your houses are that much in question, the time must be within a few hours range, but the reading wouldn’t be precise because the Ascendant and Midheaven are very important to timing and move very fast. The first thing you might want to look into is getting a more accurate time–sending for the birth certificate (be sure to make it clear that you’re looking for the time of birth). See an article about that here: Donna

  23. Thanks Donna – being from the UK the birth certificate doesn’t have the time so I’ve had the chart rectified a few times but still not feeling sure. Am currently having a Vedic astrologer work on the rectification. I’m so envious of people who know their exact time!! 🙂

  24. Hurray!!! 🙂

  25. This sounds really interesting. Do we just get online at this time or do we submit questions beforehand? Am new to the site so not sure how it works. Thanks!!

  26. I have Mars in Leo at 5degrees and my ascendent is at 7 degrees Leo. In my relocated chart to DC I have 24 Degrees Leo on my ascendent – with Uranus at 21 degrees Leo.

    I do think I need to learn about leadership and figure out how to honor Mars better. I have Venus in Aries in the 9th house. Any marsy suggestions would be welcome. I work with all men as an engineering project manager (we get along just fine) .

  27. Great! I’ll “be there or be square”…(Uranus square Sun/Chiron, square Uranus, conjunct Jupiter leg of Cardinal Cross…I will try to stifle any spontaneous outbursts of enthusiasm…)
    This whole thread has been most informative. The cavalry is back!

  28. *happy dance*

  29. Unfortunately I will be at a funeral for your Q & A period, but after reading these questions and answers, I feel like I am at a precipice and am about to jump off.
    Uranus (in my 12th) will be first trining my 7th house moon, then conjuncting my 12th house jupiter, and then trining my 8th house sun. ALL this year.
    I look back at my life, and I have been very fortunate but I am approaching 60 years of age, so all this Uranian stuff is rather discomfiting. I’d like to think that a Uranus trine to my moon is all nice stuff (like my Robert Hand astrology says) but then reading about bone breaks and heavy planets maybe aren’t so good on trines, the confusion and uncertainty makes me wish I didn’t have that heavy planet bearing down on me.

    • Sorry you’ll miss it, Mimi. If it were just one trine by Uranus, I wouldn’t rave, but two trines and a conjunction to Jupiterthat’s gotta do some nice things. You do know, though, that there will be changes. Check out my article about Jupiter in the 12th here: Donna

      • yeah, and throw in a Uranus Opposition to Mars in there too.. I will go read that Jupiter post again.
        Just for your information, I have re-read it at least 3 times already, it has been very helpful to me. If you could see how often people go back and read some of your stuff, you might be amazed.

  30. Ok, I have come up with a generalized question for Uranus transits. (pause for effect)
    When a person has a big Uranus transit, are the big changes induced by the person (like moving to another country) or are they induced by others (getting fired, hit by a car, winning the lottery). is there a general rule? Like, for example; trines mean stuff happen, Squares mean you have to DO stuff?
    thank you.

    • Good question, Mimi. I’d say it depends on where the person is in their own development. What I believe is this: the impetus for change–the yearning to turn over a new page in the life story–comes from deep within the person, but it is not always fully conscious, there is just this powerful restlessness.

      If the person is too stuck to accept the need for a change (too much fixed energy in the chart, perhaps), then they won’t make a move. But the yearning goes on and pulls in external manifestations, so that it looks like the change came about because people or events outside made them happen.

      To give an example, suppose Uranus is transiting your 6th. You have come to hate your job and desperately want to quit, but feel you simply cannot do so because of financial responsibilities or fear that you’d fail at the work you really want.

      So, hating your job, you start calling in sick when you’re not, coming in late, taking long lunch hours, spend most of your work hours on the internet, and in general become a problerm employee. Eventually, your boss fires you, and now you have to look for a different job.

      So did the job change come about because your boss fired you? Or did you really engineer the whole thing? That’s Uranus for you.

      The rest of you guys have to wait for the Q&A. Mimi has somewhere to be. Donna

  31. This is such an interesting discussion! I believe a healthy relationship with natal Mars is essential, really, to interact in a good way with outer planet transits to that Mars. I have a natal Moon Mars square (Aries/Cancer) and my relationship with it is a work in progress, for sure :-). Whenever this duo is activated by any transiting planet, I try to be extra aware of my behavior and reactions.

    • Exactly! That’s the Right Use of self-awareness tools like astrology. Donna

  32. I’ve expressed before my utter inability to get what the asc is and what it does for a living. And it takes some serious effort on my part to recall which sign was on the asc one minute after looking at a chart.
    One of the (many) things that bug me is this: If the asc is the facade we choose to project to the world, then how come lots of people don’t like their rising signs? You know, the ones with asc @ 5′ or 25′ who go to their moms saying ‘10.30 a.m.? Really? You sure it wasn’t, say, 11.07 maybe?’

    • “how come lots of people don’t like their rising signs?”

      ‘Coz lots of us don’t really like ourselves. What other people are picking up on and reacting to may be parts of ourselves we aren’t comfortable with. Donna

      • Okay, now that I’ve finally stopped laughing, I must say, I’m floored!!!
        I was expecting sth milder, like ‘aspects to the asc alter the picture’ or ‘some signs get really bad publicity’ etc., but this, I didn’t see it coming!I guess this puts to rest my 2nd biggest astrological question: “How come some people don’t like their sun signs?”
        I Could argue that then the asc is not just a facade- a carefully styled image we hide behind- but a great part of who we are, but I won’t attempt it, cause you know what,I’m afraid to!- Who knows what you’ll shoot then!! 🙂

      • Gun still smoking from the last one. Donna

  33. Very sensible, Donna, and I would have done the same.

    Mars, Pluto and Uranus together are very combustible and event-based.

    They are more than just psychological and would more than likely translate into outward events.

    We still haven’t solved the problem of violence in society, and until we do, we have to be very careful with these combinations.

    Thank you for a really important post.



  34. Mimitabby poses an interesting question “When a person has a big Uranus transit, are the big changes induced by the person…or are they induced by others…is there a general rule?
    Here’s my experience with the Virgo-Pisces Saturn-Uranus and Pluto Sag transits since 2005. My MH-IC axis is 9’09” Virgo-Pisces, NN-SN is 26’31 Virgo-Pisces, Saturn is 27’05” Virgo, Moon is 21’32” Pisces both wide square Mars 19’06 Sag + Chiron 18’38 Sag in the 1st house, rising sign is Scorpio 25’39, several inner/outer midpoints in Virgo. Uranus is my least aspected planet but has the most midpoint contacts. Mother died in Jan 2005 (Tr. Uranus conjunct Sun/Uranus MP, Tr. Pluto conjunct Mars + Chiron and square 4th H moon, 10th H Saturn and natal nodes.). Husband became chronically ill in late 2006; he still has health problems today (Tr. Saturn conjunct Pluto, Tr. Uranus and Nodes opposition/conjunct MH-IC cusps, Moon, several 4th + 10th MP, square Mars and Chiron, Tr. Pluto square Natal Saturn, Moon and Nodes). His health worsened throughout 2007, lost his job in 2008, our 401Ks crashed, our marriage, home life and finances were in crisis all while Tr. Saturn, Uranus and Pluto made numerous hard aspects to my T-square. Through this period I was promoted, my income increased, my employment continues to be secure. How I see it is that in outer planet transits are collective and social but affect us in personal ways. In a relationship what happens to one happens to the other – it just happens in different ways. Truthfully, I think the terrible economy kept us together and forced us to work things out and change.

    • very interesting, Nett, thanks for posting this.

  35. The only time (that I know of) that my life was in danger, was a bad car crash two years ago. Naturally I’ve looked at the astrology chart for the crash against my own. Transiting Mars in Capricorn was in my 1st house almost exactly trine my natal Uranus in Scorpio. Uranus has been transiting my 3rd house for a while. Car was totaled, but I walked away miraculously with only a couple of cuts and bruises.

  36. anyone got PLUTO TRANSIT TWELFTH HOUSE w/ natal ASCENDANT IN CAPRICORN CONJUNCT MARS w/ mars square all conjunct natal jupiter sun moon mercury uranus (9th house) pluto venus (8th house virgo)?

  37. the only thing i’ve leaned is my 3rd h tauranian saturn bitch doesn’t like pisceans mucking in my 2nd house at my true node. whatever that means.

  38. shit just my sun and jup r in th 9th the rest in the 8th libra or virgo. pluto isn’t leaving my 12th until about 2018

  39. Wondering if security’s not the field for me its funny really didnt know what joh I should do ended up doing security, however I drive a taxi now. But my mars conjunct my ascendant and very quick temper I have in work its shows and it gives me headed headache. What recommendation do you have on if security should be a career I should stay in mars is also in my 12th and I wonder will I end upworking in a prison.

    • Hi, it’s hard to say without seeing your whole chart and transits, and I’m retired from doing charts a long time now because I’m old. But from what you say about your Mars in the 12th and quick temper, working in a prison–with a bunch of quick tempered inmates–would be a seriously high risk job for you. Driving not nearly as risky, but you’d need to watch out for dangerous driving situations. I think security would be the last risky.

      The main thing is to work on that temper of yours consciously, using some anger management techniques and always being conscious of the need to handle your anger well. Donna

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: