As Mars draws nearer to Chiron it is a good time to consider this symbolism of the conjunction more deeply.
Fear, anger, instinctual response, instinct to protect from danger, hostility, sex, courage
skilled trade, deep learning, teaching and being taught, the instinctual and the refined, where the wound is medicine in equal and varying measure
We might consider these themes as Mars conjunct Chiron in Pisces:
* ”Resistance to reincarnation” (Melanie Reinhart p. 191 Chiron and the Healing Journey)— Favoring intellect and what we think of as transcendent refinement at the expense of the body’s instinct.
*Tools or training or teachings that can be used to orient and express the stress, anger, and hostility. Using and directing the Mars principle deftly, wisely, with great training and great reverence for the primitive in you.
As Humans who are capable of reason, love, and compassion, as well as hostility, anger, and responses from fear and instinct to survive, acknowledging and acting from this understanding serves us and the societies and situations in which we find ourselves.
Any attempt to privilege exclusively what we consider to be a refined expression of instinctual drives, which means participating in a value judgment that favors mental processes of reasoning over more instinctual processes, is to deny a natural drive by speedily suppressing it. When that happens, the drive does not go anywhere. It becomes re-channeled from its outward initial urge to express outwardly. In the process of re-channeling, instinctual drives can become internalized and distorted and misdirected.
The internalized drive might express itself as unconscious aggression or hostility. It might seek out that unconscious hostility in others in the form of overt aggression from others. It might desire (another aspect of Mars) to see that aggression expressed, and seek it out or instigate responses that incites an expression of hostility from others. We might participate in activities that are a vague corollary to what a conscious expression of the aggression looks like, just to get that thrill, that bloodlust satisfied. Or, Mars in Pisces, we might drown it out, fritter and imagine it away.
Another important facet of this is to consider that when we deny the expression of the spectrum of primitive expression or aggression in ourselves, we establish a precedent whereby we are systematically unwilling to consciously recognize and accept the existence and expression of the primitive drives of others. This is like putting a gauzy veil over the eyes — things seen through the veil are softened, yes, but that doesn’t make the world beyond the veil any less real, hard, or edgy, nor does it prevent a person from bumping into those hard edges when they step forward.
We become sufficiently equipped to address so many major issues in our world and time today, as we are all charged to do in our individual ways, when we recognize the instinctual part of ourselves as existing and requiring an opening of the pressure valve, and not as inherently bad or evil, imperfect and flawed aspects of ourselves to be shamed, fixed, or hidden.
Accepting these parts of ourselves first, equips us to see it in others, and vice verse. Accepting this quality in others first, equips us to see it in ourselves.
I think once we get really honest with ourselves about the fact that we are carnal, lascivious, primal, instinctual, animal, we have drives that sometimes emerge and seek to govern us, yet we at the same time have the ability to not be rash and hurt people in our expression of them, but we are also not perfect and do not demand of ourselves unreachable standards — then we can move toward a more tolerant way of being in the world.
The On Being podcast with Krista Tippet recently released an interview with Cheri Maples, who served in the criminal justice system for 25 years, in which they spent time exploring the poignant contemporary topic of compassion and instinct in police officers. An apt Mars-Chiron in Pisces theme. I have chosen some gems the interview as tidbits to consider and sit with. Unless otherwise noted, what follows are quotations of Cheri Maples speaking. I have added some astrological interpretation, and those are signified by a change in the color of the text.
*Why it’s possible to be a Bodhisattva and carry a gun
*When your energy changes, other people’s energy changes
*Anger is misplaced because people are incredible pain
*Know when to summon the Compassionate bodhisattva and fierce bodhisattva
*The emotional and biological rollercoaster of being a police officer— dealing with people at their maddest and baddest. If you can’t find a way to take care of yourself, you’re going to keep responding to the energy that’s coming at you and escalate it.
On making the decision to use your gun as a cop —
*Of the great majority who have it out several times, very very few will ever have to fire their weapon at another human being, even in large cities. Although all of us take an oath to be able to do that (Chiron, Pisces, the transcendent nature of being bound to a code, the responsibility that comes with that) very few people are able to recover from doing it. In some departments it is an automatic disability (Chiron’s unhealable wound) because they don’t trust you to make that decision again once you’ve made it.
*When one of us does, it feels to me like I do it too, that they do it for all of us…. and now I have to be part of their healing process (the pervasiveness and unity of Piscean connection)
*Compassion as weakness
*Mindfully carrying a gun
*Gun and badge as a symbol of skillful means, instead of authority and power
*Mindfulness in extreme and extremely dangerous moments (in which police officers often find themselves)*
*Impulses of fear, reaction, resistance, and aggression, if either of them could have stepped out of it, Michael Brown would be alive
*Police officers trained to anticipate trouble everywhere (and not to focus on emotional effects on the job on themselves), and energy follows thought
KT: *hypervigilant state you get into if you don’t find and are trained with other ways to get out of that state, it’s so powerful in us
*Hypervigilance is about adrenaline increasing, police officers function above normal level of adrenaline
images: Jean-Baptiste Renault, L’Éducation d’Achille par le centaure Chiron