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Cranky Mars and the Difficult August

Mars takes about two years to make a lap around the entire zodiac, spending roughly two months in each sign. It’s a nice, human-scale planetary cycle – less breathtakingly speedy than the Moon’s 28 day sprint, but not as tediously protracted as Saturn’s 29 year journey through the signs. In human terms, it’s  the happy difference between traveling to a new city for a weekend versus moving there for the rest of your life.  Two months gives you enough time to poke around and get a taste of the place’s high points, and to unpack and spend a little time living there, rubbing shoulders with the locals.

On August 3, visiting Mars moved into Cancer, a  tourist destination in which the warrior planet is inclined to feel especially cranky – a bit jet-lagged, a tad homesick, with a jangly stomach and an unnerving tendency to burst into tears.  Mars is built for arid, inhospitable landscapes; when he ventures to the sandy shores of Cancer’s natural habitat, the result looks less like a quiet, reflective seaside vacation than a recreation of the Normandy invasion.

Mars in Cancer was not about to spend August lounging in a beach chair reading romance novels, and if you’ve attempted to enjoy some vacation time this month, the results have likely been mixed. Mars in Cancer may have arrived at your vacation beach cottage, ignored the hammock and iced tea you’d prepared, and set to work patching the leaking roof, collecting driftwood for bonfires, and perching near the water’s edge, ready to spring into action as an impromptu lifeguard.

Impatient with the idea of leisure, Mars has also found his fellow beachcombers extremely vexing, making square aspects to Uranus (August 9) and Saturn (August 25) and an opposition to Pluto (August 10).  You may have noticed that many people have seemed particularly out of sorts this month, defending their territory with vigorous displays of temper and emotion. Between Mars’ problems and a particularly exasperating Mercury retrograde period (Aug. 2 – 26), it’s been hard to get anything done; the resulting frustration has made it nearly impossible to contain hurts and aggravations we’ve carefully curated since Mars last visited Cancer.

However, I come not to bury Mars in Cancer (up to his head in sand), but to praise him: it is a matchless cycle for bravely confronting the past, for making a difficult change in your home (such as moving or renovation), or for changing your diet – both physically and in terms of the media and other messages that you “feed” yourself.

Mars should stay out of mischief for the rest of his Cancerian visit (through September 18), even receiving a beautiful sextile aspect from Venus (September 10). Like any renovation project, the worst part comes at the beginning, just after the demolition, when pieces of your life are shattered and strewn around, cutting your bare feet if you’re not careful. But in time, there are signs of progress and rebuilding. Eventually, the messes get cleaned up. And before you know it, your home will be in order… and your vacation beach house will have a new roof.

10 comments to " Cranky Mars and the Difficult August "

  • k.

    thanks for this. i have mars in cancer natally (square aries venus!) and i’m an aries sun, so it’s particularly difficult for me, but the tears they do come.

    • Mars returning to its sign at your birth (the “Mars return”) can be surprisingly tough, k. That is a difficult combo, Sun in Aries ruled by Mars in Cancer!

      • k.

        oh no, i didn’t even think about mars return! i will read up on it. i’ve been too worried about pluto on my moon, moving to a square with my sun and saturn on my pluto.

  • Although I’ve not had too hard of time with it, I still want to piss down the neck of Mars in Cancer. No less than TWO friends were diagnosed with and underwent surgery for cancer since Mars’ ingress into the sign — one brain cancer, the other breast cancer. Both were detected early, thankfully, and operated upon immediately. But still.

    • I hear you, Maria, and I’m sorry about your friends. A good friend of ours was diagnosed with breast cancer a couple of weeks ago, too, and we’re still waiting to hear just how grave the situation is. So as far as I’m concerned… piss away!

      • Kent,

        I hope things are not so grave for your friend. My friend with brain cancer is doing fine. Her tumor was benign and they seem to have gotten it all. The one with breast cancer, however, is not faring as well. They went in and discovered after surgery that they didn’t get all of it. They’re now talking about digging into her lymph nodes. I’m as worried as fuck about her. Fuck Mars in Cancer. Seriously.

  • pdw

    I got the image of Mars wearing a Life is a Beach T-shirt and running along the shore in his Just Do It Nikes. But, speaking of out of sorts, I have felt like I’ve been walking on (Cancerian) eggshells around a certain ‘touchy’ Aries lately.

    I too have learned of two folks in critical health situations this month… April, what’s your take on T Mars triggering the July 1 Solar Eclipse degree at 9 Cancer?

    • Someone was telling me just the other day about a mutual friend, an Aries, who grew uncharacteristically sentimental at a recent gathering. Must be disorienting for our Aries pals, getting immersed in that Cancer wading pool!

      Mars triggering the eclipse point certainly has opened the Pandora’s box of that eclipse chart, with its difficult cardinal cross (Sun/Moon, Saturn, Uranus, Pluto). That eclipse degree was very close to the Sun in the commonly used chart for the United States, and of course we’ve seen the debt ceiling showdown, the deadliest single day in the Afghanistan conflict, and some natural disasters in unexpected places. Quite a couple of weeks!

  • MonsterBoxx

    I just had a son born on the 19th of this month. I found mars in his fourth house with all these aspects
    Mars in cancer
    sextile jupiter
    square saturn
    square uranus
    opposite pluto
    Does this mean he will be a grouchy child?

    • First of all, congratulations on the birth of your son! The beautiful part of astrology is that it allows for the reality of choice, genetics, and cultural/environmental influences. One person (me, for example) might respond to Mars in Cancer opposed Pluto by being grouchy and unpleasant to be around, while another person (your son, maybe) might choose a very different, proactive, and positive response.

      I’m no expert on crankiness, but for myself it’s usually a response to feeling frustrated or physically unwell. As a parent, any persistent crankiness in your little Leo could be a signal to check for sources of physical unease; if there are no problems there, then it’s time for a “teaching moment” about patience and delayed gratification. Expect a number of these teaching moments (which will probably teach you a lot, as well!); this is a child who will almost certainly have a strong drive to master the physical world and to make things happen in a particular way. Since the world is rarely 100% obliging in giving us what we want when we want it, a certain amount of frustration (and possibly crankiness) is to be expected! But these aspects also point to the potential for enormous strength and determination, which, with proper guidance, can help him achieve surprising things. Enjoy your little fellow, and best of luck to you both!

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