saturnFeeling cranky? Frustrated? Forced to slow down when you want to push forward? Mars, planet of action, desire and anger, is moving into a tense square with Saturn — restriction, responsibility and commitment.

In the midst of a hazy, potentially confusing, Neptune-infused Mercury Retrograde (August 2-26), the Mars-Saturn square further slows momentum and pulls awareness into the past.

Mars in Cancer’s third and final hard aspect to the Cardinal Grand Cross culminates a month of intensity. Mars squared Uranus and opposed Pluto on August 9-10 (see Mars Enters the Cardinal Cross), stirring up deep feelings, and ideally, bringing awareness to what needs to be healed, released or transformed.

Now, exact on August 25, the Mars-Saturn square asks: What do you really want, and what are you willing to do for it? Are you committed to your passions? What kind of support do you need to reach your goals? How do you nurture yourself and others, and is that working?

A common image for Mars-Saturn is “driving with the brakes on,” but, as with all planetary influences, there is a higher purpose. At the last Mars-Saturn square on December 29 (Pause Point), I wrote that this was a time to back off, rethink your goals and desires, and slow down…. Pushing harder, forcing your will, and/or acting aggressively will probably not be helpful.

libraMars in Cancer (until September 18) specifically stirs up needs and desires related to security, home, family and roots. Saturn in Libra — the sign of partnership — wants strong, committed bonds with an equal balance of give-and-take. The friction of the Mars-Saturn square reveals where attachments to the past and old, deep-seated, family-forged emotional patterns undermine current relationships.

The best way forward is to keep your heart open, reveal your feelings while being sensitive to other people’s feelings, and take action to nurture yourself and others. Saturn, the wise teacher, wants the Mars in Cancer part of us to grow up. At worst, Mars in Cancer can be manipulative, passive-aggressive, defended and hyper-sensitive. At best, Mars in Cancer asserts nurturing, protection and healing, and works with deep feelings to effect positive change.

– Emily Trinkaus

Note to current and future clients: I’ll be taking a one-month writing sabbatical starting September 15, so if you’ve been thinking about scheduling a session with me, now is the time! My openings for seeing clients between now and Sept. 15 are quickly filling up…