Astrologer Laura Craig

Mars Enters Cancer

Art by Matt Cunningham aka Moon Patrol

April 23 - June 11, 2021

For much of 2020, our boy Mars had it pretty good. He started out the year with a trip through Capricorn, the sign that brings him strength, power and reputation. And then he spent the entire second half of the year in Aries, his home turf. There were great tests, of course—a retrograde initiation, battles with Saturn and Pluto—but Mars met them as a warrior would, in the way he knew best: as a call to adventure, and as a test of his mettle that he must not allow to keep him from his path. But now we have reached the point in the monomyth when the journey will test our hero in even deeper ways, and present him with his greatest challenge of all.

Since moving into Taurus in January, Mars has been wandering, as if blown off course, further into the unfamiliar, unpredictable territory of the Feminine, where the ways are foreign and frustrating. In Gemini, he learned valuable lessons about helpers, brotherhood, betrayal and soul contracts. And today, standing at the threshold of Cancer, he falls headlong into the uterine abyss. Here, he must go back in time and face the past, face the ghosts of the ancestors, and he must go it alone. In the Moon Mother’s sign, our hero is bewildered. His usual direct action is now subject to her whims and beholden to her tides. He is held under her sway, his feelings rerouted in her undercurrents. Tears can become tantrums, the breasts and stomach become armor, yang is grafted onto yin, and the drive to protect becomes intensely personal.

If he can make peace with memory, or find a channel for all of this swirling, swelling creative force, Mars will come out stronger and braver than before. If he can admit vulnerability while still retaining his pride, if he can use his hurt to help instead of harm, then he can experience transformation, even revelation, and be well on his way to kingship when he emerges into Leo this summer. 

Navigating the waters of Cancer requires a kind of bravery that Mars is not used to, that is drawn from the mystical well of emotion and intuition, guarded by dragons of all sorts, and paradoxically, requires him to feel safe in order to access. Cancer, like Libra, Capricorn and Aries, shows us where in our charts the cardinal cross of new beginnings can be found in our lives. Mars may be in his fall here for the next seven weeks, but Mars, like Cancer, does love to initiate. Let us try to harness this opportunity, to use this blend of the Masculine and the Feminine, to alchemize a new path to healing the past, and finding both peace and strength. Let us see it as a divine mirror that shows us the battles we are fighting with ourselves. And finally, let us remember that the imagination is one of our greatest gifts—what are your dreamworlds, your fantasies, your mythic landscapes trying to tell you, and what new life is asking to be born?

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