Here's what to watch for:
* Another astrologer friend of mine recently said that Mars and Saturn together are like "driving with the brakes on." This is a good description overall right now because with so many planets in Aries squared up to Mars and Saturn in Capricorn (not to mention Pluto!), there is a stop and go quality indicated by the planets right now.
* You may experience this in terms of a process being pulled back, drawn inward, stopped, halted, doubted, blocked, reconsidered, or temporarily suspended.
* Be careful of joy-kills. There is a way to say or discuss difficult subjects without discouraging others. There is a way to explore doubts without losing faith, and there is a way to work hard without exhausting ourselves or others.
* When we are young or when something is fresh and new it's also especially important not to expose it to too many challenging elements too quickly. Fostering and nurturing something from the ground up requires patience and discipline, not to mention enthusiasm and determination. These qualities are also indicated by the youthful spring energy combining by square with the wintry Mars and Saturn in Capricorn energies.
* Be careful of idleness. When we get stuck in a temporary jam, a space of doubt or uncertainty, or a time of setbacks or blocks, it's easy to quit or give up. But instead, the I Ching tells us to recognize the moment as a time for recharging power or regaining inner strength before going out again.
* The 26th hexagram of the I Ching is in fact sometimes called "Recharging power."
* The third line of the 26th hexagram also says that the wise person will remain focused on their goals and will continue to find ways of moving forward during times of hindrance (rather than becoming idle or stagnant) as well remaining on defense after breakthroughs (not getting cocky and making the same mistakes twice).
* The implicit message of this changing line is that we often get stuck because of our own actions, in which case we have to recognize that the blockage is really a pregnant pause...an invitation and opportunity to examine our motivations, our actions, and their consequences. Once we've taken this cue from the Tao, and not gotten lazy in the meantime but kept moving forward in whatever small ways we can, a breakthrough will occur. The next instruction is to learn the lesson and stay on guard moving forward.
* Pride comes before falls, and often after falls as well, and often after recovery from falls.
* We children of the post-modern era are generally averse to the word "discipline." With good reason. We don't want to see anyone treated unfairly or without dignity. This is actually a deeply spiritual motivation because on the level of the soul, we are all equals, we are each part and parcels of the divine. However, in this material reality, we are equal to one another in a huge and diverse variety of ways. Spiritual discipline is necessary specifically so that we do not get lost in the material realm and begin thinking of ourselves and others through the lens of all the material categories that tend to strip us or each other of our inherent equality as souls. We need spiritual discipline because there is a big difference between the intellectual idea of spiritual equality (our inherent, shared, dignity as souls) and the living realization of that equality. The word "discipline" has connotations related to self-mortification and austerities, but its root etymological meaning is related both to "learning" and to "discipleship." To become devoted to a path of spiritual learning requires a high level of commitment and sticktoitiveness. This transit may ask us to grade ourselves with regard to our spiritual practices or spiritual lifestyle, overall. How are we doing? Where is their room for improvement? We might have the right "ideas" and we might say the right things, but are we walking our talk?
* Similarly, to pursue any of our goals, success requires commitments, and commitments are not always easy. Commitments require some sacrifices. The following example is sometimes used: if a masterful musician doesn't practice for one day she notices it; if she doesn't practice for two days then her instructor notices it, and if she doesn't practice for three days then everyone notices it.
* On the other hand, if we are driving forward with something and our core motivation is selfish. If we desire something and we're putting all of our energy into it so that we can have a platform from which to lord our results over others, then this transit is a good reminder that this kind of ambition will end up hurting us or others. It's just not worth it.
We'll continue to explore this transit over the weekend. Meanwhile, my next year-long online apprenticeship/certification course, "Ancient Astrology for Modern Times," begins on June 10th! I hope to see some of you there. If you have questions or want more details, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Prayer: Give us the courage to see every roadblock, doubt, labor, or hardship as an opportunity for the deepening of our love, commitment, and devotion. Soften our hearts, and give us your spirit of generosity.