The Dance of Polarity
What’s really behind that old saying ‘opposites attract’? Is it driven by the elusive yet potentially challenging chemistry of difference? There is no doubt opposites do attract. In astrology we see it too; the signs opposite each other have a natural affinity to move towards balance. It’s like the Yin-Yang polarity in Chinese philosophy; each contains a seed of the other within itself.
The attraction of opposites can lead to curiosity or dismissal, to the urge to reconcile or towards conflict. When the opposing qualities are within our self (for example a need to achieve and to go with the flow) or in important relationships, their tension potentially leads to a stretch - going and growing beyond our known limits. Opposites may lead us to go from one extreme to the other in our desires or actions, to confusion about how to act, or to drama and confrontation with another.
Opposites in astrology Planets and signs across the zodiac from one another have a push-pull effect. Human relationships are no different. The tension of difference is a catalyst for evolution. In astrology, perhaps also in life, one polarity has and needs what the opposite lacks. They have different means of expressing, acting and manifesting but can learn from each other, with willingness.
The axis of Aries and Libra is arising strongly in our consciousness over the next few months, along with a third zodiac sign, Capricorn, making a square aspect to both. It’s like a large letter T that operates dynamically. Let’s explore the polarity first.
The axis of Aries/Libra represents independence and interdependence - the relationship between the self and other. Aries, first sign of the zodiac, represents the individual, the egoic self. Libra is the partner, the other, and takes on any role in relating including being the antagonist or rival. Aries is the fire sign of action, known for being headstrong, blunt at times, impulsive and intense. Aries acts, fires up, gets motivated or angry, then burns out quickly. They are starters, not necessarily finishers. Whilst Libra likes to take time to reflect, consider all aspects of a story or issue, seeking to find balance and create harmony. Libra wants to play it safe, with the best intentions. They make great lawyers, arguing a point for hours to reach a solution, and they can be so charming whilst doing it. Libra is the negotiator, peacemaker and diplomat of the zodiac.
Both Aries and Libra are cardinal signs therefore their mode of being is orientated towards action. Here their similarities end, yet both being cardinal signs they are motivated by the same thing; change. It’s how they go about creating change that differs. The cardinal signs signify leadership too, they want to make a difference through action. Libra wants to win to achieve peace, a win-win for both parties. Aries wants just to win. It is the warrior archetype after all. Aries is naturally primed to jump in, challenge and contest; Libra acts only after deliberating all possibilities, often with discretion. Aries will battle for change, whereas Libra will use the tools of strategy, discussion and compromise.
Aries is a fire sign. It needs air in order to burn. Libra is an air sign. Here we begin to see how polarity can move from difference towards growth. For both signs need elements of the other in order to act and bring about change effectively. Aries fire needs Libra’s airy cool rationale in order to burn effectively. Air sustains the Aries fire; it feeds it. Libra is an air sign. It needs Aries fire to motivate it to engage life directly and spontaneously. Libran kindness, gentleness and respect for individuality brings out the best in Aries. It cools the fire as well as enflames it. Aries strong individuality can encourage Libra into deeper self-confidence and assertion. The Aries capacity for taking a risk can encourage Libra into clearer decision making and inspire direct action on their own behalf.
The cardinal signs of Aries is gaining prominence now as its ruler Mars, the Warrior archetype of the zodiac, slows down to station retrograde on 9 September. The retrograde journey of a planet will usually seem to slow up our energies, but it’s actually that the retrograde planet has more focus in our consciousness. The retrograde energy is working inwardly at an intense level. Mars retrograde brings growing awareness to our capacity for determination, action and our use of will to assert, achieve, resist or fight. This retrograde journey is particularly potent, not only as Mars is strong in his home sign Aries, but due to ongoing aspects right through to January 2021. What has been a challenging year globally is about to reach its peak of change.
Fire energies rising
As Mars makes his retrograde station on 9 September, he’s activating a cardinal T-square involving the signs of Libra and Capricorn. This gives us clues to the life areas in which these qualities are primed for four months: Aries – self, direct action, anger; Libra – relationships, collaborative solution-finding, compromise; Capricorn – maturity, authority or control (our own and others, including the ‘system’). Each of these signs will occupy a particular area of your birth-chart and therefore a specific aspect of your life.
The line-up of planets through Mars retrograde journey involves archetypes of Dark & Light Feminine, the Warrior, the Elder, the Strategist or Negotiator and Patriarchy plus others. It’s a volatile and very potent mix for the change that cardinal signs seek to manifest. Where that change is directed is the question though. Personally, when we seek to change ‘other’ we fight a losing battle; if we’re wise, we understand this. The uplift calling now is to transform our own reactions - reaction to difference that creates conflict. It's to assert and respect the difference of individuality yet to find common ground from which to connect. Collectively, the issue is just as fundamental but more pressing. Given the falling apart of our collective structures, it’s a question of direction. The old patriarchal system is failing us in every way. There are big questions to be addressed. Is fighting a system that is already falling apart a good use of energy? I would say. not. Mars retrograde calls for conscious choice and purpose in a new direction, rather than simply reacting to the old one. It's about recognising and acknowledging we may be deeply challenged but is the longing to return to normality a worthy quest? Or is what we previously considered to be normal actually the root of the problem?
The astrology over the next four months, but especially around 9 September, 22 September to 22 October particularly around 13-15th, then mid-November, draws us to consciously engage and grow through our actions and reactions. The conflicting drivers include the following:
Aries placements: Warrior Mars: The pressure to accomplish needs an outlet; frustration or anger is a sign that change through is needed Dark Feminine Black Moon Lilith: Growing awareness of where you abdicate power; where you dip out and vacate your full presence in life Goddess of Discord Eris: Reaction as a catalyst for growth; greater honesty
Libra placements: Relationship Asteroid Juno: Engaging commitment through the challenges of relating, creating conscious space for reflection when tensions rise Birthing Goddess Haumea: Making choices that activate and grow new frequencies of relationship The Sun, Mercury & Venus will also pass through Libra through September – November bringing these challenges home to roost more directly in our personal lives
Capricorn placements: Wisdom Goddess Pallas Athena: Taking the holistic process-orientated perspective; patient space-holding for process Blessing-giver Jupiter: Faith; engaging opportunities for renewal Wise Elder Saturn: Wise boundaries with self, and/or others; taking mature responsibility for your creation i.e. your life Lord of the Underworld Pluto: Facing the challenges with grit; knowing and acknowledging your own strength and resourcefulness Centaur Chariklo: Flowing through and around challenges; choosing the path of love
When we consider the above, it’s clear we will all have our preferred and habitual ways of expressing and acting. The key with the tension or potential conflict of these aspects is to reflect on the qualities you know you most need. For example if you have strong Aries placements the keys will lie in Libra and Capricorn qualities and so on. Even if you have no knowledge of, or conversely know you have no Aries, Libra or Capricorn placements, these energies are playing in your birth-chart somewhere, highlighting potentials for growth through challenge and conflict in specific aspects of your life.
Key questions for us all: Is difference a threat or does it lead to conflict?
Where it is, what might I discover and potentially learn from it? What new quality (especially one that triggers me) might I need in some way?
How might I respond differently?
More pertinently, as these aspects are action orientated: Where is frustration or anger due to not acting on what I know to be true now? What might be holding me back? Where am I being clearly called to act differently?
After Mars stations direct (begins to move forward) at 15 Aries on 14 November he will pass over the same degrees he’s been traversing since 25 July for the third and final time. We may then fully engage the growth and renewal that takes us through to January 2021. The next four months will not be easy but with radical commitment to face the challenges, they may well be very rewarding. It’s about making our choices and how we use our energies conscious. Fight, struggle, conflict and projection of shadow are calling for an uplift. It’s time to choose consciously and wisely what we engage with. It's time to engage life in new ways.
Exploration of your birth-chart to uncover insight on the play of these upcoming alignments in your inner world and life is a truly enlightening step to take at this time. To book an in-depth astrology consultation enquire here.