There was only one poll this week, involving what we commonly read when we read our horoscope in a Sun sign column. I wondered if readers were taking a straightforward approach (18% do, reading their Sun sign), a tailored approach (18% use their Moon sign, and 36% concentrate attention in an area where they have a stellium), or if people were getting mavericky with unique takes on the matter (such as reading the sign of the chart ruler–00%!). A full 55% read the sign of their Ascendant, and, considering the way Sun sign columns are typically delineated, this makes sense, as they’re most accurate when we use the sign on our Ascendant as our representative.

Mars late in Sagittarius seems to be getting under everyone’s skin, with attacks on linebackers and a man who decided to jump into Knut the polar bear’s cage leading the charge of too-aggressive behaviors. Why should this be? A late sign degree adds stress, and this, coupled with Sag’s natural inclination to reach out, to expand, could be triggering our least controlled manifestations of the ‘I am’ urge. It doesn’t help that it’s already in proximity to Pluto, and drawing on the potential for violent, destructive, change-insisting action. Look to the area (House) where Mars is now transiting in your natal chart for clues as to the areas in which you’re vulnerable to spontaneous assertion that may go too far.

And finally, an installment of ‘What You’re Asking.’

Does natal Mars in the 12th correlate to a tendency toward child abuse?

I should begin this answer with a caveat that applies to any placement in general: there is no specific position for any planet that gives such a definitive behavioral indictment (or, in a more positive light, a gift) as such. We must look at the whole chart, and in the case of Mars in the 12th, the aspects and the House ruled by Mars become instrumental in delineating meaning. Even then, we have multiple interpretations to choose from. In this case, a 12th House Mars in the most general terms tends to make the individual unaware of their capacity for anger and Self-assertion; and yet, they are typically highly assertive people, as the Martian energy drives the subconscious and underlies everything. So, with Mars here, what we’re really talking about are people who, in one way or another, do not fully comprehend how they may be expressing Martian energies, and this can lead to some very unconscious behavior until the energies are fully integrated into the consciousness. This also means that it’s tough to engage in any conversation with these people about their aggressive tendencies when they are still operating below consciousness; what seems like blatant denial is often more a simple inability to see their own Mars–but be prepared, they will often see it in everyone else!

This can be a classic placement for one who sees others as being aggressive with them, and they may attribute others’ behavior as the ‘reason’ they lash out–‘she egged me on’ or ‘he was asking for it.’ And yes, if the individual is largely unconscious, and Mars rules the 1st, 2nd, 5th, 7th, or 8th, it could suggest child abuse–but if applicable, this combination could also suggest a leader or someone with a warrior sensibility who can defend others vigorously, an adept businessman or woman, someone unusually brave, or a successful athlete. The many possibilities of any placement are why we must take extra care not to buy into a too neat, too abbreviated definition of any energy, whether the interpretation is positive or negative.

What are the effects of a Void of Course Moon in a natal chart?

A Void of Course Moon is, as we know, a descriptor of the Moon after it has made its final major aspect in the sign through which it travels, and before it enters the following sign. In general, a VOC Moon period is a time when there is little impetus behind new starts or beginnings, and this idea follows from the fact that the Moon is the most changeable of all the main energies of the chart, and so is symbolic of growth, maturing, of the progression of events. It also suggests a period of unpredictability; things will likely not go as planned when undertaken at this time, and results may be unexpected and surprising, all because we don’t have the impetus of the Moon quickly contacting other bodies on which to count in moving circumstances forward.

When a natal Moon is VOC, it is the most ‘mature’ energy, degree-wise, in the chart, and it may or may not make aspects to other energies. If it fails to aspect anything, then the emotional picture becomes a huge focus for the individual; she or he may spend a lifetime trying to make emotional connections, both with the Self and with others. No matter the aspect picture, there may be a feeling that everything is felt extra intensely, that the world is in some way ‘too close’ to the sensibilities, and yet it seems to the individual it’s a thousand miles away in terms of relating successfully. This individual may have a sense that they are the ‘oldest Soul’ in the room (and here let me say, that is a lot of poppycock! some are more mature, some more experienced, some have absorbed their lessons better, but there is no order of creation for Souls!), but a better definition may be that they have a very serious, wise way of looking at the World–and this person may have a very difficult time fitting in with others–no matter their surface amiability, they may continually feel they are a stranger in a strange land.

And, stay snug, and have a great Monday!

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