Neptune and Mars now in the US Chart. Saturn narrows things down. Pluto continues to break down and reform. March of this year is going to be a very significant month.
By David A. Wheatley
Mars return by transit in the US Chart
Mars has been making a return to its natal place in the US natal chart, which is in a tense 90 degree relationship or aspect to where Neptune is in the nation’s natal chart. Because Mars began a prolonged retrograde late last year, this Mars return is magnified in importance because of the length of time it moves in a limited area compared to its relatively swifter movement when it isn’t retrograde. Transiting Mars first made the tense aspect to the US natal Neptune in October of last year. Now that it’s moving direct, and until early March 2023, it will repeat moving in and out of this transit aspect.
In the US natal chart, Neptune is in the 9th house, denoting perhaps ethical values/beliefs that are very high minded; perhaps a difficult reach at times to achieve and then maintain. The natal Mars position that transiting Mars is meeting up with three times is in the 7th house, denoting an energetic engagement of important relationships with other nations. This is a role that America historically claims to feel paramount about and has grown into. (There’s also a faction that wishes the US leadership to shed this value and it could happen for a period of time, but never last.) Altogether the importance of Neptune and Mars in the natal chart and in the transits to each other now suggests characteristics that other nations and individuals both within and without the USA identify with. This is probably more evident during wartimes - the provenance of Mars - supporting and nurturing alliances with other nations as well as being central in the conflict of values with others.
Neptune conforms to the higher values of the 9th house, which resonates something similar to Sagittarius. It is cultivating features of the Sagittarian duality: non-material ethics or a complete surrender to narcissism. Neptune being the planet of high-spirited ideals is also capable of great deception masquerading as high ideals.
When one creates the shell of noble causes one then has to fill it with content. The thing about Neptune is it doesn’t relate as something alive in our daily lives. It doesn’t usually get attention in the front of the stage; it works constantly and quietly behind the curtain. If it wasn’t working constantly we might notice it more. Neptune circulates where and when we resolve our intentions for action; it isn’t the action itself. Therefore it seems abstract, providing the platform and props for us to decide on how we will act to manifest our ideals. Mostly we don’t live in the abstract; we don’t have time for it. But Neptune with wile guides us into circumstances where we have to define and refine what we do believe in by our actions.
Mars is action.
Mars is content to take action in a vacuum of intentions, scattering energy. In this case, Neptune provides some soul and shapes intentions and goals. The Mars/Neptune relationship in the natal US chart suggests part of the character of the nation is to hold high values, or at times pretend to hold high values with the intention of deception. Neptune can go both ways. Because the influence is coming from amoral Mars, the inclinations of Neptune can easily create the facade of idealism on the public face, but the masquerade obscures self-serving. It plays on high-minded values in people. If those values are not fully formed or subject to negative psychological experiences and emotions, the results can be abusive and hurtful. Every one of us has at times lied to ourselves and others in big and small ways and sold our values short. It may be necessary to reveal that this capability is there.
Mars likes to be the hero and can be short on seeing consequences, in favor of gaining the immediate satisfaction of taking action.
This transit of Mars to its place in the US natal chart, while in aspect to the US natal Neptune, is augmented now (in early 2023) by transiting Mars being in aspect to transiting Neptune, while at the same time Neptune is in opposition to the US natal Neptune. (Transiting Neptune in opposition to the US natal Neptune’s position.) Neptune has been in this dynamic relationship for a couple years.
It’s confusing. As it always can do, Neptune muddies up what is real because everything is real to Neptune.
Looking at the Ukraine war in consideration of the Mars and Neptune transits to the US natal Mars and Neptune, clearly the US has circled the wagons with allies and drawn a few lines in the sand for others. The entire past year of war in Ukraine is linked to the relationships that the US has acted on pulling together. Another important feature of this time is that the US and the allies’ position has its own distinct version of reality from that of Russia. This is Neptune; both are real. Ultimately one will prevail over the other. As a guide to which one, I refer mention to the Jupiter transit last year in meeting up with Neptune in Pisces. Jupiter inflates everything and it resonates favorably with a 9th house Neptune as Jupiter is very strong in 9th house/Sagittarius. The two of them make whatever version of reality is subscribed to seem more real and more ethical. Jumping in with both feet without caution to upholds one’s sense of ethics.
The ruling faction in Russia feels threatened by the advancing Western culture into Ukraine. For the ruling class of Russia, the destruction of Ukraine is not so unethical as it seems in the West; they can kill there without feeling guilty because they own Ukraine as far as they are concerned. It’s similar to a bad vision with bad values displayed by white power racists in America who feel no shame in abusing nonwhite people because they are a sub class of human being. Russia feels Ukrainians are a sub class of Russia. They value Ukraine to serve Russia as a satellite colony insulating them from Europe. Here we see plainly the god of war, Mars, brutally destroying and at the same time saving life under the influence of Neptune. Both sides of this clash of values believes it is behaving in a necessary and acceptable way.
Neptune is at work, blurring the lines, screwing up what is reality and challenging human beings to define and refine. Neptune as an agent of the overall psyche uses both roles as an education for those where fertile ground is present. They feel this so deeply that they are willing to make painful costly sacrifices in a way that Mars naturally knows too well, in a war. It’s a kind of psychosis, a schism of reality where simply crossing a border results in the world - and the war taking place - looking completely different on the other side.
Now that Mars is moving forward and out of this dynamic, we can expect this Mars/Neptune clash to fade and give way to other Astrological factors. Transiting Neptune is moving much slower but eventually on to other things. It will remain interacting with the US natal Neptune without Mars well into 2024. It will be a continuing factor in the national motivation to define and refine its values into the next presidential election.
March of this year is going to be a very significant month.
Anyone interested in Astrology will be aware that in March, Pluto leaves Capricorn where it’s been for nearly 20 years. It won’t stay long in Aquarius, the next sign. By June it’s moving retrograde back into Capricorn before finally leaving that sign (for another 265 years or so) to spend some time in Aquarius until 2044. We get some flavor of what the next two decades will be like during the next few months so far as Pluto is concerned. In March, Saturn also changes signs, leaving Aquarius and entering Pisces. March is a huge month in an astrological perspective.
My expectation is there will be much shifting or changing in our psyche in a short period of time.
Our collective human psychology has a few dynamic years of big changes ahead. As these two powerful planets change signs, by April we could be stunned at how much change has rolled out. We will also see a less conflict-style picture of reality, because the Mars/Neptune transits will be pulling apart (with some drama). This will be true on all sides. People and nations will make definitive decisions.
Saturn moving into Pisces is a contrast from how it was in Aquarius. Saturn was on its better behavior in Aquarius, contributing knowledge, learning, even if what we learned was very sobering. It was at least constructive in that air sign, helping find some points of clarity and making it clear how people who may not be the best friends but share some practical needs, can work together. Neptune and Jupiter both transited Pisces inflating hopes perhaps unrealistically.
Saturn’s advice is always the same: keep it simple, get organized and do your work. Moving into Pisces from Aquarius, Saturn is going to reduce the expansiveness of Neptune. Saturn is going to narrow things down, more of a bottom-line approach. Pisces is a water sign - feelings, state of mind, psychological factors we can use or trip over.
Many issues that Pluto stirred up while in Capricorn are not resolved. Yes, Pluto will return there by June and spend its time through the end of 2024 wrapping up a lot of loose ends. Remember, Capricorn is structure in every way - government, military, corporate, school, neighborhood, your body’s structure, the structure of our society, the structure of ideas. It really wants things to work well, it just happens often enough that people become conflicted and confused following competing voices within themselves.
Pluto continues to break down and reform established structure using buried tensions within the individual and collective psyche. This will change as it enters Aquarius in a way that reminds people how we need each other not so much in close relationships but as good neighbors. It’s the 11th house of “Others”, Community. Pluto in Aquarius will point out how we exist in our community and how we could do it better. Unfortunately, Pluto tends to enter a place and break things down to their atomic level, completely. It rebuilds them much later after we dwell in our stew a while.
I suspect Pluto will begin a lesson on how much we will need to rely on others. To me this implies that the way we do it now - through automation - is going to be hampered. Aquarius is the new age of technology and Pluto coming in could cut a few connections.