Men are not free when they’re doing just what they like.
Men are only free when they’re doing what the deepest self likes.
And there is getting down to the deepest self! It takes some diving.
— D. H. Lawrence

It’s been an odd summer. On the one hand there’s been nothing but doing, with two writing projects underway (more news on one of them shortly), teaching and moving house, I’ve been busy like the bees. And it seems like everyone I know has multiple projects going, big life events unfolding. On the other hand, there has also been the reflective questioning about what lies behind things – the wherefore and why of all the activity.

A client shared how burned out she’s been by her huge list of commitments and projects. The issue was not necessarily all she had to do so much as that her guiding vision has become diffuse, unclear.

The incongruity between action and deeper motivation didn’t make a lot of sense to me until I realized that Mars was at the very end of his cycle. Symbolic of the raw energy of being, Mars is about how we assert ourselves and affirm our identity through action.  In his waning phase It’s like our desire-drive slows down, despite everything we’ve got going on. But we know that when a cycle ends that means a new one is about to begin, imminent renewal.

A New Mars

Mars’ renewal occurred a few days ago on July 26th, which happens to have been Jung’s birthday. Meeting up with the Sun in Leo, this marked the start of Mars’ synodic cycle, which will unfold over the next 22 or so months. While Mars will move through the entire zodiac (retrograding in Aquarius next June), Leo is the seed-tone[1] for this cycle.

Mars in Leo is a brilliant ruby. Images of Amazon warriors and solar heroes on divine missions -Mars in Leo strives toward the treasure knowing it is their destiny to find it. Entwined with the Sun, this Mars is about action in service of essence. It’s honoring the call of the heart. Imagine Mars as the fighting principle of the Sun – our Mars should be in service to our individual purpose, our light.

 The female warrior samurai Hangaku Gozen dances in martial delight on her horse. Red ribbons flying, unfurling courage. Mars is often personified by warrior heroes, whose essence is defined and crystallized upon the field of action.  Yoshitoshi (1839-1892). [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.

The female warrior samurai Hangaku Gozen dances in martial delight on her horse. Red ribbons flying, unfurling courage. Mars is often personified by warrior heroes, whose essence is defined and crystallized upon the field of action.

Yoshitoshi (1839-1892). [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.

Diving

Every celestial event is an invitation for reflection upon the nature of those principles in our lives. So with Mars one goes deep: what is the nature of your desire? How is your potency and power being affirmed? How would you personify the solar warrior?

Each archetypal principle is a way of seeing the world, the gods form our subjective vision. With Mars as our guide we feel invigorated, energized, turned on by life. As John Elderidge says, “We are desire. It is the essence of the human soul, the secret of our existence. Absolutely nothing of human greatness is ever accomplished without it. Not a symphony has been written, a mountain climbed, an injustice fought, or a love sustained apart from desire. Desire fuels our search for the life we prize.”

We each have a distinct relationship to Mars’ cycle. For some of us our Mars return is linked with this time and with it a rising energy and clarity. For others, you may be in the ‘full moon’ phase with Mars, a crisis period --- crisis meaning opportunity. For those in the waning phase, it is a time to take stock and prepare the way for the new.

Where are you in the map of your desire?

 

 

[1] See Dane Rudhyar’s The Lunation Cycle for more on the nature and developmental arc of cycles.