The Profound Opposition of Mars, Venus, the Sun, and the Moon

By Adam Gainsburg

This article is presented for those interested in Soulsign Astrology methodology. It originally ran for Mountain Astrologer online > 

The final week of this month (January 2010) will serve as the proving ground for a level of change not often discussed in astrological delineation.

Mars will oppose the Sun and Venus, the latter still within her Transmutational Underworld Phase, while a Leo Full Moon forms precisely on top of the opposition. This creates a double opposition of all the tantric planets: Mars-Venus and Sun-Moon. “Tantric” because a unification-of-opposites is triply active here: masculine Mars conjunct feminine Moon, feminine Venus conjunct masculine Sun, and both tantric pairs in opposition. Note that “masculine” and “feminine” here do not refer to gender but to the cosmological principles at play within all manifest existence.

The Mars Journey

The Mars-Sun synodic cycle is an inconsistent 25 months in duration from conjunction to conjunction; it is the most erratic of planetary periods. From extensive research with several thousand clients and celebrity charts, I’ve come to name Mars’ phases (in order):

1. Inception – conjunction
2. Preparation – post-conjunction invisibility
3. Emergence – heliacal rise
4. Explorations – morning-sky ascending
5. Identity Challenge – morning quadrature
6. Maturity – post quadrature, retrograde station
7. Transcendence – retrograde opposition, “midnight Mars”
8. ReOrientation – post-opposition retrograde
9. ReSurgence – direct station
10. Destiny Challenge – night-sky quadrature
11. Service – post quadrature descending
12. Elder – pre heliacal setting
13. Completion – heliacal setting, evening invisibility

The Mars Journey Transcendence Phase

The retrograding Mars-Sun opposition on January 29th signifies a complete release from limitation and context. Mars will be:

  1. At his further geocentric distance from the Sun (individualization);
  2. At perigee (strongest field-effect);
  3. Highest, brightest and longest visibility in our sky (commanding the collective “story”).

As shown in the graphic above, the Transcendence Phase marks Mars’ completion of the first half of his 25½ month journey (begun at 14 Sagittarius and birthed into visibility at 15 Capricorn). Its aim is the full exploration of the universe from his eyes. He finds that he has attained the mundane goal (opposition) but not without the sense that something is missing. It is at that point that the final trait of Transcendence kicks in:

Mars is at maximum retrograde velocity (maximum internalization).

…which effectively alchemizes all three into a burgeoning, new archetype of transcendence each cycle.

In classes, I often joke that Mars is the planet who always wins the vote on who hates retrograde the most; his nature is to exert outwardly. With him now re-tracing through the most space in the shortest amount of time, all that he has achieved (individualization) through his year-long development of subjective self becomes questioned. Mars has nowhere else to exert himself, as he sees the goal slipping away and underneath. What began as an unsettling feeling five weeks earlier at the retrograde station, quickly intensifies into a release from the structure of self-identity in a kind of backwards-death-march into exact opposition to the Sun.

Am I saying that every 2 years, all of humanity transcends into a beatific state of consciousness? Of course not. Is everyone who is not born into the Transcendence Phase doomed to never evolve? Certainly not. But there is an extremely powerful (rather than forceful) event at each Transcendence Phase, which is: sentient life on Earth can find its bigger purpose, its life’s Desire, its dharma through the combination of celestial factors listed above. Together, they create a portal into higher vision and purpose.

Mars’ Transcendence is a uniquely masculine model of transformation. Any upheaval, outbreak and challenge which arises out of masculine origins result in detaching, removing, dissociating or separating the self from its context for itself. Compare this to the feminine mode, where transformative experiences bring us into the underworld, into the dark night of the ego, into separation from others. Masculine transformation is liberation, moksha, and freedom from. It is renunciatory and explosive. It is naturally the feminine’s polar process. Through the masculine, what actually dies is the very organization of what adheres us as a singular self, resulting in a thorough release into everywhere. This includes  e v e r y t h i n g  about who we think and believe we are, consciously and otherwise.

Sun-Earth-Mars helio-archetype at opposition

This type of synodic transit event catalyzes a deeper effect on us than a traditionally-conceived Mars-Sun opposition. This graphic demonstrates how Earth is well within both bodies’ field effect, producing a forced choice between what we can see and know (Sun) and what we can do and accomplish (Mars). Our doing is extracted from the doer. This operates trans-cognitively, beyond the limits of normal awareness. Any meditation form or other practice of inward, spacious focus have consistently proven helpful to actualize the transcendent potential. It has also been my observation that its influence is as strong and lasting on an individual as any hard outer planet transit and may bode equally so on the collective level as well.

January’s Transcendence

Mars will reach opposition to the Sun at 9 Leo 48 over Washington DC on January 29, 2:36p. My assessment is:

  1. We will gain a bigger view of how we can live more creatively and responsibly for our creations;
  2. We can take center stage in our life, giving up those stages and causes that were never ours to star in.
  3. We can perceive life and live it with more honor and inner authority.

That Leo is the sign through which this Capricorn Mars Journey will transcend may be asking us to:

  1. Bring all our service-oriented efforts and perform them in self-valid manners;
  2. Lose the heaviness of stress and control and take up the reins of the bigger adventure;
  3. Retain the crucial importance of our life’s work as we discover how to center in our deeper selves and not in the compulsions to organize life in prescribed ways.

Mars & Venus

Overlaying the Mars and Venus visual synodes together in the graphic above, we instantly see their symmetry…and their polarity. The net pattern reveals a primordial and complex relationship governing the very basis of our material life as an expression of dualistically wedded forces.

Final Factors

The full moon at 10 Leo 15 on January 29/30, tightly aligned to the Mars – Venus/Sun opposition, will materialize the New Moon eclipse of the 15th, insightfully covered by Gary Caton. The expansion-dissolution dynamic Gary describes is strongly affirmed by the Mars/Moon-Venus/Sun opposition (January 26-31), as is his read of the emergence of a “new power.” Mars and Venus combinations are, in actual fact, combinations of self-power – feeling + force; action + sensitivity; self + other. And the current Journeys of Mars (Capricorn) and Venus (Aries) have announced themselves as an  expanding/dissolving dynamic for wielding personal instinct in the service of wise action.

About Adam Gainsburg >