Leading up to the Mars Pluto Conjunction at 15° Capricorn 03’ on October 19th I had a dream symbolic of Mars and Pluto. In the dream, I was part of a farm. As I was coming out of the dream I was seeing the fields getting plowed. However, this was not your typical plowing. The man plowing in the dream is an acquaintance in this world; he cleans at night - that is the only thing I really know about him. I see him some nights when everyone else is gone.
In the dream it was daytime; though the light was muted and hazy. The machine he was using to plow was extremely powerful and quite long - say 15 plus feet. It was somewhat like a big Mars glyph in shape. When he would make a pass, the whole machine, including him, would completely vanish, plummeting into the earth with mesmerizing speed and intensity. Dirt and organic matter, like old squash vines, were flying in little bits everywhere, generating a cloud encompassing the scene. Once he was underneath, there was a quite pause of anticipation which grew into a suspenseful delay, following by an explosive reemergence to the surface - chaos and particulates flying again. And that was the plowing of one row. Over and over, I was watching this activity. Then I awoke.
Presently, I heard the phrase ‘underworld energy’ was used to capture the power and depth of a Full Moon class on October 15th and the days following. As soon as I heard this, I realized how fitting it is for this time. As we know, Hades/Pluto is Lord of the Underworld in Greek and Roman mythology and Ares/Mars, God of War, correlates to energy, action, and desire in astrology.
I recently read Kristin Fontana’s write up on the Mars Pluto conjunction. Kristin reminds us that this conjunction marks the end the balsamic period of the last Mars Pluto cycle. Due to Mars’ retrograde period within the cycle, Mars & Pluto have, for the most part, been in the balsamic phase of their cycle since March 11th this year. From October 3rd until October 19th Mars and Pluto have been within 10 degrees of a conjunction within this balsamic phase. October 19th marked the start of the next Mars Pluto cycle, which will remain within 10 degrees of the New Phase conjunction until November 2nd, by which time we will be in the midst of our annual Scorpio time of year; having just past through the gates of Halloween/ All Souls Day/Samhain.
This new Mars Pluto cycle will end in April of 2018, when Mars once again rejoins Pluto in Capricorn. The Mars Pluto cycle that just ended had begun in November of 2014, about 2 years ago. Mars Pluto cycles are on the shorter side for significant planetary cycles, however the end and start of these cycles, marked by the conjunction of Mars and Pluto, is a potent time rich with deep soul felt subterranean movement. It’s an important time to pause and reflect on what is emerging and what is dying.
The balsamic period leading up to the conjunction is a deep, intense plowing of the psyche. In the dream the balsamic period we just ending on October 19th is symbolized by working back into the earth the old plants and topsoil; the plants symbolizing our karma from the previous cycle. The past cycle, now decomposed, will provide the nourishment and conditions which affect the next ‘growing season’ of the soul. At this conjunction, both the tilling of the psyche as well as the surfacing of other deeper aspects of self are occurring simultaneously. Our dreams are rich in these times showing us our deepest desires and fears expressed in stories and dramas; we find ourselves awaking from intense dreamscapes painted by our subconscious psychic content.
Another Mars Pluto theme punctuating this time is choice-making. I’m going to highlight choosing inclusiveness. We have this deep powerful content surfacing within consciousness and mixing with our ‘normal’ consciousness leading to moments where we may not want to see parts of ourself emerge; parts of ourselves we have not encountered in a long time. The intention here is to face these parts of ourselves head on. We can choose to include these shadow parts of us in our awareness of who we are in totality; to accept the deepest darkest sides of who we are.
This healing of inclusion is akin to intentionally inviting Eris back to our party. In Greek myth, the Goddess Eris is most known through the story of the wedding of Peleus and Thetis. Eris was not invited to this wedding, yet the rest of Olympus was there. Eris chooses to disrupts this wedding party by throwing in the ‘apple of discord’ - a golden apple inscribed with “for the most beautiful one.” This act results in the Goddesses Athena, Hera, and Aphrodite stripping naked in a beauty contest with Paris, Prince of Troy as the judge. The result of Paris deciding Aphrodite getting the apple leads to the start of the Trojan War and a period of great chaos and destruction.
This Eris story is fitting for this Mars Pluto conjunction because this conjunction is in Capricorn. Capricorn in Evolutionary Astrology correlates to so many things - three of which are shame, guilt, and repression. Eris represents parts of ourselves we have not invited to our party, individually and collectively, because we have judged these parts as ‘ugly’ and disruptive to life. With this conjunction we may encounter deeper desires which are ‘lurking’ in the shadows of our psyche - we may have been afraid to bring them into the light of awareness due to shame and guilt we have been taught, in this life, in past lifetimes, and inherited from our ancestors and the collective unconscious. But now they arrive, enriching us by the stories they reveal.
This Eris story is also fitting because Eris also represents Feminine anger and rage, something patriarchal cultures have judged and not allowed expression of. The emergence of this Greek myth and all patriarchal mythologies emerging as a departure from previously empowered Goddess myths represents the devolution within humanity at that time on the planet as patriarchy took deeper roots and stripped away more and more power from the feminine. Eris’ rage and chaos is in part a reaction to this raping of the feminine, judgement and control of the feminine through violence and fear, the mass destruction of communities living in harmony with natural laws, and the furthering of men deciding what emotions the feminine can and can not express, what choices women can and can not make. With Uranus and Eris also in conjunction in Aries right now, this furthers the theme of liberating this repressed rage. It’s always more intense when it first comes out, having been held down for so long.
With this Mars Pluto conjunction in close proximity to the South Node of Saturn in Capricorn, we are in a time where we are linked to the roots of patriarchy, racism, oppression, and power over others. All the prevailing power structures, Pluto - power and Capricorn - structure, which stem from exclusion and imbalances of power, are being called to the light. This is time for these old deep-rooted ways and behaviors to be exposed for what they are and to consciously choose a path of listening to the voices and aspects of the whole which have been rejected, outcast and demonized. These characters show up in our inner psyche as well as in the outer world. What are we ignoring? What are we avoiding? What are we seeing as separate from ourself? We are all one. Include and bring into the light the rejected. May we turn our awareness and energy to the lurking elephants in the room.
With Pluto we encounter the deepest compulsive behaviors that maintain personal power. Relative to this whole period of Pluto in Capricorn, the old paradigm, patriarchy, rears its ugly head even more as those who have power and privilege compulsively attempt to control and maintain it. Since 2008 when Pluto went into Capricorn it has felt like we have witnessed things going backwards even more than they had prior. There is a battle of forces - some working to uproot and destroy patriarchy, oppression, racism, sexism and all the thinking, beliefs and resulting structures of reality which create separation, imbalances of power, control over, and shunning. This force desires to return and heal the rejected parts of the whole. The other force’s agenda is to maintain this new norm as status quo. It’s the battle of good and evil forces, within the world, within society, and within our own psyches. We are not separate from all parts of the whole, nor from the forces and laws of nature. Secretly at this time more energy and resources are going into the prison industry. This is one symbolic example of the unconscious compulsion to maintain power, to keep locked up, exclude and silence the voice of the rejected aspect of the whole.
Another choice we all have is to ‘refuse service’ to aspects of ourselves. What I mean is that there are aspects of ourselves which we have made the effort to be aware of, we have allowed them time and space in our psyche, allowing these parts of ourselves to express their story. By doing this we have not excluded, feared or projected these aspects of self. Instead, we beared witness and gained wisdom from them. While we can chose such inclusiveness, we don’t have to serve these parts of ourselves. We don’t have to keep these parts of ourselves at the table and continue to feed them. Refusing service is being discriminate about what we put our energy and power into, what parts of ourselves we feed. We always have this choice; a choice especially highlighted this October and November.
Artwork: Abduction of Proserpine on a Unicorn, Albrecht Dürer, 1516 engraving, image used from Rijksmuseum Amsterdam.jpg