Today I have my Venus return conjoined to Mars in Libra. A Venus return literally means, like other more famous returns of planets like the Sun, Saturn or Jupiter, that the planet comes “home” to its original position when you were born. Its deeper meaning is that the affairs of the planet, as it has been set up in your natal/birth chart, will work well, badly or indifferently during the course of the year based on the time of that actual return. This return looks pretty good for me, so I’m expecting some friskiness this weekend and in general, off and on, for the year. But I really started thinking deeper about the Mars in Libra part of the equation more than the Venus in Libra part. (As I’ve lived with Venus in Libra all my life already.)
Now, Mars in Libra is a whole different issue as Mars “rules” the opposite sign, Aries. “Rules” could be better translated as spokesperson and chief of staff for the zodiac sign. The problem with modern astrology is that most people seem to have more respect for the sign (the offices) rather than the planets who manage the affairs of the office. It would be comparable to always talking about the office of the President without taking notice of who’s holding the office. Big difference between President Bush (take your pick) and President Obama, for example. If you let that sink in, then you’ll see why when you ask a real astrologer about signs, like an Aries with a Capricorn, they hedge or qualify their answers. It all depends on who we’re talking about here (and when they were born.) Planets do better when they have a “natural” connection to the office.
As Mars feels better managing the affairs of Aries, the sign of the pioneer, of fierce independence, valor and “Me, Me, Me!”, he feels at a loss when he’s in Libra, the sign of charm, mediated interdependence, and “We, We, We!” It would be like Rahm Emanuel, President Obama’s fiesty Chief of Staff, becoming the Executive Director of a Charm School–you’re going to have a serious mismatch! (In fact, Emanuel is a very good example as he has a Mars that’s very strong in Scorpio, another place where Mars is a natural “ruler” for that sign.) And Mars in Libra is not comfortable with the natural charms of Libra, whereas Venus has these charms effortlessly as she’s the “ruler” for Libra. So this conjunction between Venus and Mars could be re-dubbed as “Lady meets the Former Champ,” but it’s a former champ of the Mike Tyson variety rather than Muhammad Ali, more beast than beauty. So what do we make of this?
Well, on top of having a Venus in Libra, I was blessed with having two parents who had moons in Libra. My mom also had a Sun in Libra. I often call them my civilizers, because they used to say, and even now I would say, that I came into the world as if I had been first born on an thinly populated and largely uncivilized island. So I had to learn to play nice…a lot. This was not natural for me because I had a naturally imperious, devil-may-care kind of temperament. My often brattish response to my Mom was “Why can’t I have it?” or “Why can’t I say that?!” with a dash of self-righteous indignation. My mom and I had lots of fights for a long time. And she would always say ish that would drive me literally bananas, like quoting Thumper of “Bambi” fame. “If you can’t say something nice, then don’t say nothing at all,” would instantly start an argument.
Here’s a good idea of how those kind of conversations with my mom would go:
Me (at 10): Then how about the truth, Mom? Why can’t I just say the truth?
Mom: Cuz the truth might hurt somebody, son. You gotta consider people’s feelings.
Me (to my newly married older brother): Your wife is completely insane! And here’s why…
*WHAP!* (from Mom)
Me (whimpering): But it’s true.
Mom: Sometimes feelings are more important than the truth and peace is more valuable than gold, son.
And that was usually the end of the convos like that. Then I would sulk off to my room to read a book and daydream about being free of a mother who listened to Thumper, of all the silly and stupid creatures in the universe! Now, 32 years later, after my mom has been laid to rest and many years after my brother discovered that his first wife was, indeed, batshit crazy at the time (and they both way too young), I can say that my mom was so right. (I actually didn’t watch “Bambi” until I was nearly 30 years old just because my mother quoted from it. When I did, I liked it. Sigh.) The nature of Mars is to be authentic and passionate, and though the nature of Venus is also to be passionate, in Libra, they both have to learn to be rational and proportionate. Libra reminds us, more than any other sign, that everything has its place and all things change. This conjunction of Venus and Mars in Libra asks us, “How do we maintain authenticity and passion in the face of change or our ever-changing passions?” Well, what I love about mixed-blessing transits like this one is that they prompt our creativity and deliver a cosmic challenge to tame our passions in a way that is balanced and beautiful. I really didn’t listen to what my mother or Thumper was saying about “saying something nice or nothing at all.” Perhaps my problem could have been solved with an adverb, like nicely, rather than thinking that my mom was attempting to censure me by forcing me to be inauthentically “nice.” You don’t have to sacrifice authenticity or “the truth” (whatever that is) to deliver news, insight or feelings…nicely. You also can sometimes speak louder through silence than talking just to talk or be heard (as was often the case when I was a child.) But through discipline, you can be so much more authentic.
This happens in love too. Celebrated author Paulo Coehlo tweeted this today on Twitter: “The art of sex is the art of controlled abandon.” No one wants to do more with abandon than Mars and Venus (and usually together.) But, in Libra, we have to find the right collaboration between control, authentic expression and abandon. This is the time to remember that. But this does depend on your own make-up. You may figure correctly from this post that I’m more Mars-like. So, for me, I’m always learning the fine art of finessing my desires. But for you, it might be time to uncork your finesse and let your hair down in some way. Or maybe asking for something nicely will prompt the right kind of action this weekend or soon enough. If that happens for me, in a Venusian way, I can only say “Thank you, Mom…and Thumper. We’ll see.