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We may be feeling a little unhinged as of late, and I think I’ll lay blame at the feet of giant Jupiter as it retrogrades (the 9th at 3:57 AM PDT) and our little internal warrior Mars as it escapes Watery, touchy-feely Cancer for the bravura Fire of Leo (the 9th at 1:21 PM PDT). We’re stirred up yet short-circuited in our bid to keep getting bigger, in some vital way. Jupiter’s turnaround point forces a pause, and a reconsideration of just what we’ve been up to; and it always comes just when we feel we’re on the verge of that BIG breakout.

Why would the Universe orchestrate such a frustrating pattern? We get a clue in the way the Sun trines Jupiter just after retrograde–this points up that we have reached a reasonable peak relative to our efforts, and now must in some way re-visit our path to this moment, if not for revision then at least for time to truly assimilate what’s occurred. But what happens when, as we’ll see now, the ego and assertive urge undergoes its own ‘crisis’ as it moves from one sign to the next?

Mars is liable to burst forth as it hits Leo. Simultaneous to entry into the sign of the Lion, Mars will quincunx Pluto and then semi-sextile Saturn, and this influence will be felt! The urge to run forward will plunge us into some dark material, some of it by accident, some by design as we hope to erradicate problems and ‘clean it up.’ Saturn’s involvement may bring energies into reality more easily than we would typically anticipate–and then our Mars/ Pluto quincunx will be staring us right in the face–so what should we do, now that we have a chance to make real change?

My thought is that we can look to the House(s) Mars rules in the natal chart, and to Pluto’s natal state in general, for appropriate and effective outlets for this exuberant (and if not controlled, destructive) energy. Elimination of the negative, the encumbrance, the hurtful thing that’s been holding us back, is possible, and timed with Jupiter’s withdrawal of permission to expand indefinitely, implies a graceful intelligence at work in the Universe that prevents us from overdoing the destruction or elimination; instead Jupiter helps us avoid leaping over the brink, and saves us from devastating sturctures, relationships, and creations that we would never be able to recover.