marsWe’re in the midst of one of the more challenging weeks of 2012 — in case you didn’t notice (or in case you thought it was just you). Action planet Mars is moving into a conjunction with restrictive Saturn, an aspect often described as “driving with the brakes on.” At the same time, Venus is entering the fray of the Uranus-Pluto square, and emotional intensity is on the rise. Both aspects will be exact (strongest) on Wednesday.

The combination of Mars — desire, passion, action — and Saturn — discipline, caution, limits — can be a recipe for frustration. Mars wants to go go go, while Saturn wants to be careful, do it right, and consider the long-term consequences. Their conjunction is in Libra, putting the focus on relationships.

At a deeper level, Libra is the sign of projection, and consciously navigated, this aspect asks you to take responsibility for your projections when it comes to pursuing your desires. Do you blame your partner (parent, boss, best friend…) for not “letting you” do what you want? Feeling limited or restricted by someone in your life is a sign of having given away your authority, and now is the time to take responsibility, pull back your projections, and look inside for the true source of the restriction.

saturnSaturn rules FEAR, which is what I typically find when I start digging around for the root of, well, pretty much any issue. When it comes to Mars-Saturn, we’re talking about the fear of going after what you want, the fear of not getting what you want, as well as the fear of getting what you want (we’re so complicated). We might also consider the fear of feeling and expressing anger (the emotion ruled by Mars), and the fear of inciting others’ anger if we say and do what we really want.

In addition to uncovering, feeling and healing any fears that may be lurking beneath the surface, other productive ways to work with this energy would be: write a list of your desires and get specific; clarify your long-term goals and strategize about how to achieve them; practice patience and prioritize the long-term results over instant gratification; take a close look at how you go about pursuing your passions and how that’s working for you (or not); make a plan of action to increase your vitality.

You can get more insight into what the Mars-Saturn conjunction is about for you by finding the house in your birth chart that contains 24 degrees of Libra. The areas of life signified by that house are where you’re being called to recognize ways that you may have sabotaged yourself from getting what you want and to take responsibility for creating different results.

venusAs the planet that rules Libra, Venus holds special significance in relation to the Mars-Saturn conjunction. After an extra-long stint in Gemini (due to her Retrograde), Venus moved into Cancer on August 7 (until September 6). Venus in Cancer highlights themes of comfort, security, safety and nurturing in the realms of love and money, and Venus’s interaction with the Uranus-Pluto square disrupts the status quo and triggers deep feelings.

During Venus’s previous tour through Cancer and activation of the Uranus-Pluto square, in July of last year, I wrote:

Ideally, the Venus-Uranus shake-up helps you break free from old patterns of relating, and wake up to what you really love and value — and the ways that you are (or are not) valuing yourself. The challenge is to be true to who you are and what you want, while staying open, vulnerable and connected with the people you love….

The higher potential of Venus-Pluto is to uncover and heal the wounds that block self-love, regenerate relationships, and deepen intimacy. New vitality and passion are available when you dare to shed a layer of old conditioning, belief systems, and emotional attachments. What is the secret that needs to be shared, the vulnerability that needs to be revealed, the defense that needs to be dropped? (Venus at the Crossroads)

The entire post is worth reading (or re-reading, if you’re a long-time blog follower), as the insights I shared then are relevant now, including Venus’s trine to Chiron.

Once we make it through Wednesday’s intensity, the planetary chaos calms down a bit, just in time for Friday’s New Moon in Leo (8:55am Pacific Time). All the inner planets — Mercury, Venus and Mars — are moving forward now, meaning that we’re entering a period when you’ve got cosmic support for making strong progress toward your goals. The Leo New Moon will be a potent time to set your intentions and plant seeds for pursuing your heart’s desires, expressing your creativity, and allowing more of your light to shine.

– Emily Trinkaus