Here's what to watch for...
* As Mars approaches Pluto, Mars is also combust and in its fall.
* When does it make sense to quit? One answer is that it makes sense to quit when we recognize that we are being dominated by the spirit of our efforts. Whenever we notice that our will is driving us, then we may also notice that our will isn't actually "free."
* In other words, freedom isn't only about doing whatever we will, it's also about recognizing exactly what we are doing. We are more often than not bound to what we are doing, only thinking we are free.
* "Free will actions" in this world are frequently deceptive because we become identified with our "free actions" and with the thinking about actions that surrounds our actions, and before we know it, we are lost in both the actions and reactions, trying to define happiness and freedom from within them, rather than recognizing freedom as that which recognizes the acting and thinking and doing.
* Mars opposite Pluto offers us an opportunity to find real freedom right now by recognizing the bondage of our actions. By recognizing where our efforts are failing, frustrated, helplessly grasping, demanding, or forcing, we might start to recognize that we don't actually feel free.
* When something large and stressful is coming to meet us, sometimes we can recognize it before it happens. We can recognize the way in which we are actually invoking some kind of confrontation, or we are subtly or even psychically escalating a situation. When we recognize this, it is the first indication that stepping back, or pulling something back, might be the appropriate response.
* Often when something is escalating it means we haven't taken the time to really sit with, examine, contemplate, and probe to the heart of the matter. Mars opposite Pluto is so frequently the lessons we learn by not understanding the depths of some particular conflict, set of desires, or compulsion.
* Mars opposite Pluto may also symbolize the cutting and re-cutting of a patch of weeds, as well as the opportunity to finally turn over the soil and pull something toxic out by its roots.
* When we recognize that we are going to lose, or that something isn't going to work, what is it within us that can't give it up, step back, or see the profit in counting the losses of our will as the gain of our soul?
* Mars/Pluto may also signify a time where the fruit of our efforts is arriving in powerful and volcanic ways. Sometimes right when we're done with something, or right when we're finishing a period of hard work, there is a somewhat unexpected flourishing of tensions and conflicts, like an end-level boss on a video game, challenging us to finish in the right spirit, running not falling through the finish line.
* On the other hand, Mars/Pluto may reflect a time where we are finally being provoked on a soul level to work through, purge, or confront something. The image of a soldier's last stand comes to mind.
* Mars/Pluto may also represent the wisdom of winning through subtler, more covert, or clandestine strategies. Sometimes not having an agenda, without losing sight of our mission, the mission finds a way of accomplishing itself. We don't really have to "Do" anything other than watch, observe, hold to the integrity of our position, and fight off the temptation to force something.
Prayer: Show us where we are being forced by our own forcefulness, and show us the freedom of deeper contemplation.