When I was first studying astrology, one of my teachers pointed me to a study of the 1960s, one of the most interesting astrological eras besides the one we're currently in. The legends, fables and turmoil of that era are described by the slow-moving Uranus-Pluto conjunction, which was in effect from about 1962 through about 1972. Outer planet events describe long phases of time, and once again we're in one involving Uranus and Pluto: the square.
This is an aspect that began to take effect in 2008 and that came into focus in 2011. There were signs of change: Obama getting elected, Arab Spring, the Wisconsin protests and the Occupy movement. Effects of this aspect have developed into the Bradley Manning trial, Edward Snowden blowing the whistle on the NSA and conservative activism designed to prevent women from having autonomy over their bodies. The Supreme Court affirming the right of same-sex couples to marry definitely counts. That will have many implications.
While all this stuff is happening in the news, the same aspects are influencing our lives on more intimate levels. And that's the micro-phase of astrology that we're in right now. Let's consider how that works.
When a faster-moving inner planet (such as Mars) moves into a position where it's making contact with a slow-moving generational aspect (the Uranus-Pluto square), we get a special effect. That is exactly what happens through the end of the month.
Mars in Cancer is now in the planetary spotlight. Mars ingressed Cancer July 14, putting it on course for three major aspects: a conjunction to Jupiter in Cancer (that happened July 22), an opposition to Pluto in Capricorn (that happens July 27) and a square to Uranus in Aries (that happens July 31).
Think of the Uranus-Pluto square as lurking in the background. It influences the tone of existence, sets big themes, wraps the world around its finger and then kind of disappears into the haze of day-to-day existence. When an inner planet comes along and makes contact with the square, that brings it out to the forefront. And that's what is about to happen.
Mars is a tangible, sensory and accessible energy. We all know what it means to be motivated, to be assertive, to be angry or to be combative. Mars-Jupiter, still in effect, runs the spectrum from self-righteous to protective and loving. No matter what, it's passionate, and it's possible to make contact with a spiritual line of energy.
Next up is Mars opposite Pluto on Saturday, July 27 and in effect now. That aspect runs the range from determination and persistence to being needlessly (or "unconsciously") engaged in power struggles. The moral of this aspect is: choose your battles. You might find it necessary to cut your losses and get out of the discussion. If you are going for the win, plan for a longterm approach.
It would be better if you chose no battles, but that's not always possible—sometimes you have to engage someone to prevent future hassles. Just try to avoid going blow for blow. In any setup the person who is less passionate is the one likely to win, since this is a moment when your own passion can be used against you.
Last in this sequence is Mars square Uranus in Aries (July 31). This is the keep your cool, drive like a professional, when you see an asshole coming walk the other way kind of astrology. It's also decidedly individualistic. I suggest you do that in music and art rather than trying to impress the world with how radical you are. Said another way, this is a rebellious aspect, and it's better if you have a good reason to rebel and do it in a smart way.
This aspect could pit individuals against groups. Therefore, mind your politics and your manners and think for the future. Remember what you're really doing in the long run; remember that the game has nine innings. Pace yourself consciously. Some opportunities are there for a moment; some are there for a while—note the differences.
Speaking of politics, the coming Leo New Moon chart (for August 6) is a beauty. I'll focus exclusively on that chart next week—but one of its themes is understanding how to work this territory of complex human interaction and power-sharing. Humans, most of whom lack basic respect for their fellows, for Spirit and for actual intelligence, have no choice but to engage in politics. On the best level, it's the art of getting things done.
On the worst level, it's the art of corruption. But the energy right now is demanding enlightenment, which is applied awareness. It's demanding integrity, which is flexible strength. Our moment is calling for an equal blend of evolution and revolution—attention to the inner world and its outer expression.