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Astrology for Personal Growth

Astrology is a powerful tool that needs to be handled wisely if it is to fulfil its sacred task of guiding us to actualize the full potential of what our birth chart indicates we are ‘meant to’ become.

All too often however, people hook into negative interpretations of their difficult chart aspects as though these are written in the sky and thus have the status of immutable truth. In so doing they fall into the trap of allowing astrology to limit and negatively define them. What they get out of astrology then is only more good reasons for why-they-are-the-way-they-are and their life is-the-way-it-is and reinforcement of the fatalistic attitude that there is nothing that can be done about that for it is ‘written in the stars’.

It cannot be denied that such a victim like attitude has its psychological attractions, for when all else fails you can always ‘blame it on the stars’. The ultimate cop-out!

The way out of that cul-de-sac is to realize that any interpretation you read is just that, an interpretation, the truth of which is necessarily limited by the level of knowledge and wisdom and inherent subjectivity of the author, and the fact that the writer cannot possibly take into account all the variables that come into play when that aspect is considered in the context of a whole chart.

In any given chart for instance, a challenging aspect like Mars conjunct Saturn say, which implies blockage of ego drives, may have outlets for that blockage via flowing aspects to either or both planets. Also, what if the conjunction is in the sign Capricorn, the sign that Saturn rules, and the sign of Mars so called exaltation? Then the conjunction is much more likely to manifest its positive potentials, as Capricorn is less likely to be bothered by the delayed gratification the aspect implies and might even welcome the discipline and restriction necessitated by the aspect as the price it is more than willing to pay for the achievement of a hard earned promotion to a position of executive leadership say. On the other hand, if the conjunction was in impatient Aries it might be experienced as far more frustrating, especially for a young person.

To conclude, here is an outline of some key dimensions and potentials of Mars / Saturn aspects to illustrate the general point that any challenging aspect has positive potentials. It is important to be creative and to always keep in mind that all problems are opportunities in disguise. Life is an alchemical process of turning lead into gold.

Images and Metaphors

  • driving a car with one foot on the accelerator and the other on the brake

  • banging your head against a brick wall

  • a teen-ager arguing with a parent

  • a military parade; a martial arts demonstration

  • turtle beating the hare

Negative Manifestations

  • hard labour; doing it the hard way; stress, frustration, wear and tear

  • self-defeating action; self sabotage; unconsciousness

  • fear of taking action, of getting it wrong, making a mistake, failure or rejection;

paralysis of will, hesitancy; stop/start

  • over or under assertion; explosion = anger, rage, violence ..

implosion = impotence, inadequacy, failure, resignation, breakdown ..

  • blocked energy; impeded movement; delayed gratification; frustrated desire;

lack of progress or achievement

Positive Manifestations

  • contained energy; bounded desire; voluntary restraint; appropriate caution

  • structured-disciplined-focused action or movement

  • considered-precise-intelligent-effective action

  • long term strategy

  • leadership, authority, responsibility, respect, wisdom, awareness

  • good timing based on experience; ‘there’s a time to push forward and a time to retreat’

  • ‘neither make haste nor postpone’; the ‘longest way around is the shortest way there’

  • working smarter rather than harder; economy of movement; effort without stress;

  • ergonomic design

  • energy conservation, sex without ejaculation, retention of semen

  • patience, endurance, acceptance .. of what is, of how things are, of limits

  • success in mature age; well earned success

  • lasting achievement

Are Men From Mars And Women From Venus?

 Great book title, but at best only a partial truth. From the standpoint of astrology, men and women are from both planets and the other eight planets too. Which is simply to say we’re all born under the same sky. Which further means we’ve all got the same ten planets in our birth charts. The relationships between them and their sign placement reveal our innate character, which, contra to the book title, often cuts across conventional gender stereotypes.

With that in mind, my favorite rejoinder to the ‘Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus’ line is, ‘I’m a man and I’m from Venus too.’ Chances are some of you men reading this are from the planet Venus too, meaning you are by nature relationship oriented, with strong needs for love, pleasure and harmony in your life. Creating quality time to grow a relationship may be more important to you than building a high profile career or turning yourself on with deeds of danger and passion – more typically Martian pursuits.

And of course many women these days are most definitely from the planet Mars, meaning they are assertive, career oriented and independent. They know what they want and they know how to get it. Typically they want sex and a career – just like men from Mars do.

Even at the level of sex, let alone that of love and relationship, the prominence of Mars in so many contemporary men and now women creates some thorny issues for relations between the sexes. Complementary polarity is essential for a fulfilling and long lasting sex life, but complementarity is exactly what is missing when a women from Mars mates with a man from Mars. Fine for a one night stand or brief affair maybe, for certainly sparks will fly initially in the cut and thrust of two dynamic individuals going all out for the ‘big O’, but in a relationship, who will accommodate or compromise and sacrifice their own needs when desires inevitably conflict? Power battles, mutual accusations of selfishness, and loss of desire are the almost inevitable result.

Mars/Mars coupling, although hot in the beginning, either quickly burns out or suffers from a lack of give and take. Mars is very me-focused, ambitious, and competitive, so whether it’s travel plans or career advancement, Mars won’t compromise on what he or she wants.

So, you’ll often hear Mars saying when about to go his or her way things like: “Sorry honey, I don’t like Paris, I want to go to New York. But it’s okay by me if you want to go to Paris, you can go by yourself. Maybe time apart will do us some good anyway. I’ve got things I want to do that I’d enjoy more by myself if the truth be told. You go your way and I’ll go mine, and maybe we can meet up in London in six months or so.”

 Or when about to take up an o/s job offer: “Yes I know it means I might not see you for a whole year, but I owe it to myself to go for this. The offer is just too good to turn down. And you know we both agreed right from the beginning that our careers must come first. I’m sorry, I do love you, but I’ve got to go for this. If I don’t, I just know I’ll regret it and resent you for holding me back.”

Men from Mars will in fact have the best relationship prospects and long term sex life with that endangered species, women from Venus, because in that combination, sexual needs and relating styles will complement each other. Here traditional roles work well, because innate temperament is supported by thousands of years of cultural conditioning.

On the other hand, men from Venus are likely to work better with women from Mars. Marsy woman like to be on top – on top of their job, their finances and their men. For Venusian men that’s no problem, for they enjoy being underneath as much as on top. For them, role swapping adds variety and interest and, ‘why not let the woman do all the work for a change’? These types will happily support their Martian women to pursue big bucks in a high powered career whilst conscientiously devoting themselves to fine tuning a life style of enlightened hedonism.

A typical day for the modern man from Venus might begin with the ‘morning page’ creative writing exercise from the book The Artists Way, followed by some productive work on their modestly successful art or craft business, whether that be writing a song or editing a photographic collage, etc, etc, followed by a little yoga or surfing to keep their bodies toned and their minds at ease. Then it’s time for a long lunch and some relaxed social intercourse with friends at the latest ‘in’ place, followed by free time to let the creative juices brew and the artistic muse visit, if that is their wont. That’s pretty much a full day gone by then. That will leave just enough time to cook or arrange dinner and to get ready for the imminent arrival of the stressed out lover from Mars who is sure to be famished and needing attention as soon as she walks in the door. A passionate kiss to greet her will be just the thing to complete another enjoyable Venusian day and to set the scene for the anticipated erotic delights of the night ahead.

Venusian men [especially those with the Moon strongly placed, or the signs Cancer, Libra or Pisces emphasized in their charts] will also willingly share the joys and tasks of child rearing if and when children appear on the scene, for Venus has a natural sense of fairness combined with aesthetic ideals of balance and harmony, and values love and relationship above all else. The perfect partner for a modern woman from Mars one would think.

Venus/Venus relationships will tend toward affectionate, loving unions based on mutual consideration and co-creation of beautiful surroundings in an atmosphere of peace and harmony. Much time, energy and attention will be devoted to cultivating and maintaining the body beautiful. Shopping, appreciation of art and nature, and more generally the mutual enjoyment of all the sensual pleasures of sight, sound, taste, touch and smell – think food, massage, spa baths, making love, etc, etc – and the simple pleasures of sharing and conversation and you’ll get the flavour of this pairing.

If all that sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Just as the right amount of chocolate is delicious and beneficent, but too much will make you sick, so too, this combination may prove excessively Venusian. Too much of a good thing is not a good thing. ‘When the going gets tough, the tough go shopping’ is a good line, but is not really a great strategy to deal with the problems that life and relationships inevitably bring. Indulgence, laziness, addiction, obsession, vanity, jealousy, envy are all classic Venusian faults that don’t exactly promote personal growth.

Mars is needed to give the drive and energy to tackle the hard stuff, to go beyond the comfort zone, to do better, and to spark the passion that keeps relationships alive and vibrant. And besides, there is more to life than comfort and pleasure, and yes, even love and relationship. There are problems to be solved, contributions to make, great things to achieve, and a personal destiny to be fulfilled. Love must look not only into the eyes of the beloved, but outward in the same direction too if it is not to close in on itself and lose its zest and zing. So says Mars, and so say I! Because I come from Venus and Mars too. And chances are, most of you reading this do so too.


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