by James Burgess
This post is written by James Burgess, a writer and teacher of astrology. You can read more on Sabian Symbols and his approach to astrology on his website Sabian Mysteries.
On April 20, 2019, Mars goes ‘out of bounds’ and stays out until June 12, 2019. There is a more technical description about the general subject of a planet being out of bounds on my blog, but in simple terms, occasionally certain planets go outside normal limits for short periods causing their manner of expression to be noticeably different.
In particular, their defining qualities are much more unbounded –so they become rather an exaggerated version of themselves. The typical characteristics of Mars are associated with words such as courage, assertiveness, aggression, heroism, forcefulness, direction, push, ambition, and fighting.
Let’s consider what we might expect to see during this 8-week period when Mars’s effect is strongly underlined, not only for each of us individually but for the world as a whole.
Mars begins in Gemini, yet reaches its strongest expression of being out of bounds just as it enters Cancer, emphatically bringing attention to the Sabian Symbol, for Cancer 1 – “A furled and unfurled flag displayed from a vessel”.
This Symbol points to the need for us to carefully consider whether the time has come for an important reorientation in our loyalties. This could even mean ‘changing flags.’
An extreme version of Mars in Gemini will show as argumentative, perhaps deceitful and roguishly enchanting, flattering and flirtatious, showing off and outrageously funny, yet sarcastic and unconcerned entirely about hurting someone’s feelings, and possibly with a general sense of total confusion and silliness. Beware the silver-tongued charmer!
On May 19, 2019, Mars crosses into Cancer and the mood change will be as remarkable as it is obvious. Now in Cancer, Mars is the imaginative, dreamy poet who cries to see a sunset, is perhaps overly gentle, nitpickingly careful, cloyingly caring, and rather too sensitive to cope with this harsh world.
He will be prone to upset and easily offended, sulky, passive-aggressive and petulant, completely unable or unwilling to put into words what he actually wants – if indeed he knows himself.
I say ‘he’ yet Mars shows not only in the types of men that we encounter but also in the masculine attitudes within ourselves and others. These are the attitudes that will be noticeably exaggerated for a couple of months.
During this time we will be very lucky – or impressively adroit – if we manage to avoid getting involved in a clash of motivations with our loved ones. Family arguments, relationship fights, and strained friendships cannot be ruled out!
Feelings wanting to come out must indeed come out, yet it is healthier and less risky not to direct them against someone else, especially if we want to continue having that person as a close part of our lives.
We need to remember that it all looks entirely different from another person’s point of view, so our take on things is very different from someone else’s. In short, we are not ‘right’ – yet neither are we ‘wrong’. And this is the subtle, gentle, patient wisdom, which is not generally the kind that Mars likes to hear!
Mars, especially out of bounds, wants to bully, dominate, be the leader and resolve matters conclusively; it does not do very well with listening and considering. Its capacity for forbearance is minimal; it likes fighting.
It does create a paradox when out of bounds Mars tries to be assertive when in Cancer! Yet we must not be fooled, the crabby version of Mars can be surprisingly effective in its secretive and meandering way.
Having said all that, there is of course, a positive aspect to this event, as there always must be for every astrological transit. On the plus side, sometimes we get stuck into toxic situations and relationships and simply lack the oomph to punch through and sort things out once and for all.
The Sabian Symbol suggests that we may have a tricky issue to deal with around the question of our loyalties. If we have made an emotional commitment to a person or an outcome, then it may be likely that we have some reluctance to withdraw and reconsider our position. But an out of bounds Mars at Cancer 1 will simply not let us ignore things like that.
Sometimes the right thing to do is to renegotiate, to strongly restate our position, and be willing if we are not feeling entirely safe or satisfied to cut loose and walk away. If the goal posts have moved, it may be time to move on.