Today, warrior planet Mars swims out of the waters of nurturing Cancer and bursts into the heat of fixed fire sign Leo.
Almost immediately, it forms an opposition with Pluto in Aquarius and a square to Jupiter in Taurus, in a configuration known as a T-Square.
Think of it like the 3 of them are sitting at a square table: Mars opposite Pluto, and Jupiter on one side.
The Energy of Oppositions and Square Aspects
In astrology, squares and oppositions are considered “hard aspects.” Oppositions reveal polarity and tension, while squares are aspects that create friction, or resistance.
They are like the tough teachers you had in school: they teach us important lessons but often in ways that can feel uncomfortable.
This is especially so when the energy of the planets involved is harsh, as it often is with Mars and Pluto.
Mars Opposing Pluto: Beyond the War
Mars speaks to our drive: how we act, how we pursue our desires, go after what we want, how we navigate obstacles, and how we defend ourselves.
Pluto represents our subconscious: our deepest wounds, our unexplored pain, and the unconscious drivers of our actions. It also represents our capacity to regenerate and transform. And it speaks to issues of power.
Many astrologers use war metaphors to describe a Mars-Pluto opposition, and there’s no denying that this can be a rough transit.
In the most general interpretation, a Mars/Pluto opposition speaks to how we navigate the resistance we face in going after what we want. It’s an aspect that can reveal raw power dynamics.
What happens when you face push-back in the face of your desire to act? How do you react when something gets in your way?
The specific energy of Mars-Pluto, and the lessons for us to learn, also depends on where this is happening.
The last time these two planets formed an opposition, Mars was in Cancer and Pluto was in Capricorn.
Mars in Cancer is indirect; it’s fire moving through water. Pluto in Capricorn was shaking up the structures of our lives. The Cancer/Capricorn axis speaks to how our home life and foundation supports our ability to put ourselves out in the world.
Both Cancer and Capricorn are cardinal signs, meaning they initiate action.
We’re in new territory this time.
Mars/Pluto in the Fixed Landscape
This time around, the action is happening in fixed signs.
One fundamental principle of astrology is that planets operate in the nature of the sign they are in.
Mars will oppose Pluto after it ingresses to Leo, the fixed fire sign. It’s a sign of bold actions.
Pluto is in Aquarius, the fixed air sign, which speaks to our ideas.
And Jupiter, whose benefic nature might help mediate this potential combustion, is in fixed-earth Taurus, which represents our physicality and ability to find grounding.
On Chris Brennan’s The Astrology Podcast, Austin Coppack explained that fixed signs indicate a fixed trajectory. Fixed signs tend to like linear progressions — straight lines. There’s a certainty to movements initiated under fixed sign configurations.
What happens when that linear progression gets pushed off-course?
Mars in Leo
Leo, ruled by the Sun, is a bold sign.
This is the sign that speaks to our individuality and creative expression. Leo rules the heart. It’s a sign of leadership, courageous and self-assured.
As the anchor of the summer season, Leo is already a hot sign.
What happens when Mars, a hot planet, enters fire sign Leo?
Mars in Leo can bring energy to this part of your life. It can give us the confidence to be bold in pursuit of our goals, the dose of courage we need to shed our imposter phenomenon, fully express ourselves, and claim our place in the spotlight.
Untempered, however, Mars in Leo can be explosive. It can reflect in ruthless ambition and drive toward goals; a will to do whatever it takes, no matter who or what gets burned in the process.
At the other extreme, an untempered Mars in Leo can be a bright, hot flame that burns out quickly.
Mars in Leo Opposing Pluto in Aquarius
Oppositions are moments of revelation; like at a full moon, we get a chance to see what’s beneath the surface.
Mars speaks to our conscious drives, while Pluto speaks to our unconscious drivers — which dictate 90 percent of our actions.
Generally, when Mars and Pluto come into opposition we can expect power struggles and arguments.
Pluto puts forth a potential challenge or threat to your growth or expansion.
How do we react when we encounter push-back to our expression and action?
Mars opposing Pluto can resort to manipulation to get what it wants.
Sometimes the power struggle and manipulation is within.
In the Leo/Aquarius axis, this opposition might show us the ways in which our fixed ideas (Aquarius) of how we believe our path “should” unfold stop us from fully expressing ourselves and taking bold action (Leo).
Perhaps what’s getting in your way is that you overthink your actions or get stuck in rigid thoughts about the “best” way, instead of simply taking action.
Or perhaps you’re afraid of the consequences of bold action.
Aquarius is the sign of groups and the collective. Leo is the sign of bold individuality. These two concepts appear to be in polarity.
One risk of fully expressing ourselves is that other people won’t like what we have to say. When we boldly take action in pursuit of our dreams, we might ruffle feathers in the collective. We might feel selfish for taking action to pursue our dreams.
Leo is about being in the spotlight, but sometimes the spotlight can feel like a target.
Are you willing to risk what may feel like annihilation to attain the glory at the end, or does that cause you to back off?
The Temper: Jupiter in Taurus
The square to Jupiter in earthy Taurus can temper this a little bit. Already slow compared to Mars, Jupiter in methodical Taurus is especially slow. It seeks expansion in a way that is sustainable.
Jupiter can temper the fire of Mars to make it a little less combustible as it navigates through this opposition to Pluto.
Slowing down can help us see what’s really in our way. When we slow down we can look under the surface at our wounds that might be driving our action. Healing helps us drive forward from a more conscious place.
Rather than trying to seize power through action, we can take action from a place of empowerment, and fully embody our leadership.