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“And it shall come to pass in the end of days that…they shall beat their swords into ploughshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.”

Isaiah II

Mars & Venus in the Crosshairs

Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus, a popular self help book by relationship guru John Gray, ignited a controversy when it was first published in 1992. Gray’s intention was to assist couples in diffusing the eons old battle of the sexes through understanding, communication and a search for common ground. In the ensuing years, Gray has built a retail empire—a whole series of books about Mars and Venus’ trials from the bedroom to the boardroom, a diet and exercise guide, nine day relationship makeover, videos, compact discs and DVDs.  Gray’s success is a testament to the magnitude of the challenge, “Why can’t we all just get along?” If personal relationships are this daunting, imagine the exponential effect when dealing on a community, national or global level.
A Cosmic Conflict

On a cosmic level, the planets Mars, God of War, and Venus, Goddess of Love, have recently become engaged in an escalating conflict. They are projecting a litany of grievances for us to ponder, and hopefully to resolve. “On Earth as it is in heaven.” Fast moving inner planets normally govern only our personal experience because they dwell in a given sign only one or two months. Planetary retrogrades, however, can extend that window to six or seven months. As a case in point, Mars entered Taurus, July 28, 2005 and, owing to its retrograde from October 1–December 10, it won’t exit until February 17, 2006. This extended time period gives us the opportunity to see the effects of planetary energy in the collective experience. Mars and Venus retrograde on a cycle of alternate years. Atypically in 2005, their retrograde periods nearly collide, with Venus turning tail on Christmas Eve Day, just two weeks after Mars goes direct. Mars transit in the Venus-ruled sign of Taurus further intensifies the oppositional relationship between these two energies. An apt image for Mars in Taurus is an athlete running a handicap race in slo-mo wearing concrete boots. As a further echo, the transiting nodes (karmic destiny points) this year are South in Libra (Venus ruled) and North in Aries (Mars ruled).

Grinding to a Halt

Are Venus and Mars hopelessly incompatible? Fiery Mars, the archetypal male principle, is naturally action oriented and aggressive, tendencies that run counter to peacemaker Venus, the archetypal feminine. Within days of Mars' ingress into Taurus a power struggle between their competing agendas became evident. By mid-November (the time of this writing), a clear pattern has emerged. The players are engaged in a cosmic game of chess; Venus obstructionist strategy has confounded Mars at every turn and forced him into defensive moves. In this battle, the stakes are high. The future course of war and peace hang in the balance.

The Peace Dividend

Since the beginning of recorded history, and probably much before, the call to arms has been the weapon of choice for conflict resolution on planet Earth. If we give credence to the Biblical prophecy from Isaiah that opens this dissertation, mankind now stands on the brink of a massive paradigm shift. We are in the “end of days,” AKA the transition into the New Age. The possibility of an end to all war is anchoring in the collective consciousness. Have we been seeing the first tentative steps toward making world peace a reality? It has been a stop-and-go process—one step forward two steps back. However, Martian slings and arrows—or was it swords and spears—have begun transforming into Taurean ploughshares. Viewing recent events through this lens, an optimistic and hopeful picture comes into focus. A chronicle of the last three months is perhaps the best vehicle for tracking the unfolding of this plan. Hint: Watch the money and the women, both Venus ruled.

Mars Chronicles

July 28: Mars enters Taurus. Aug 1: TIME Magazine’s cover story, a retrospective of the atomic bomb dropped on Japan in WWII, instills renewed public awareness about the horrors of war. Aug 7: Cindy Sheehan begins her lone vigil outside Bush’s Crawford ranch. The “Peace Mom” will eventually be joined by hundreds of protestors and launch an anti-war movement. Aug 13: President Bush announces that he would consider using force to press Iran to give up its nuclear program. The sabers rattle for the rest of the month. Aug 29: Hurricane Katrina strikes. Government inaction is problematic. (Taurus moves slowly.) The over extended military (many guardsmen are overseas) assumes a new role as rescuers. Congress proposes paying for the multi-billion dollar cleanup by cutting social programs while retaining tax cuts for the wealthy. Squeezing the public pocketbook causes Americans to question expenditures on the war in Iraq. The anti-Iranian rhetoric stops. A threat of war is averted.

September 2005

Sept 2-12: Cleanup in New Orleans. Americans question administrative competence at home and abroad—by extension, the lack of a “plan to win the peace” in Iraq enters the debate. Bush tours New Orleans on the anniversary of 9/11. Sept 20: Rita makes landfall. More extensive, and expensive, destruction of property taxes available resources. Sept 24: Massive Anti-war march on Washington. Sept 27: Cindy Sheehan and 370 protestors arrested in front of the White House for demonstrating without a permit. Supporters hold a vigil.

October 2005

Oct 1: Mars turns retrograde. Significantly, at the time of Mars’ station (23 degrees Taurus) Venus is dead opposite at 23 degrees Scorpio. The tug of war escalates. Adding fuel to the fire, Pluto, at 22 degrees of Sagittarius is quincunx Mars and semi-sex

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