This week, Mars in Aries makes an exact conjunction with Black Moon Lilith, and an exact square to Pluto in Capricorn. Mercury in Leo squares Uranus in Taurus. And on Tuesday, the waning quarter Moon, square to the Sun, passes through Taurus, home to Algol—the star in the head of snake-haired Medusa, with her own connections to Lilith. Rebellious, unapologetic sexuality. The sacred High Priestess AND the bare-breasted Amazon. A remembering. A reclamation. A celebration of individuality. Power and pleasure, stirring and awakening. And equally—trauma responses, triggers, discomfort, shame, hypocrisy and rage.
How can women separate their sexuality from millenia of male domination and objectification? We can’t. Instead, we can try to tap into something much older, and begin to connect to the source of our own instincts. And then, we can look at our own shadows, withdraw judgment, and slowly begin to dismantle and redefine (the birth chart helps with this!). The exiled feminine archetype exists in all of us (men and women both); how we relate to it is highly complex and individualized, and takes courage, patience, and support to unpack.
Canonical mythology would tell us that Lilith, Medusa, serpents and sex are monstrous, dangerous bringers of evil. Certainly they can be, if misused and misunderstood. But their deepest power, I believe, is in warding it off. The Greeks called it “apotropaia”: deflecting harm or misfortune with magic. Folklore and historical accounts all over the world make reference to women exposing their naked bodies—not to arouse the male gaze—but to ward off attack or to avert evil. And if it wasn’t the breasts or the vulva, it could be the lolling tongue, the eye, or the hand. Medusa, the gorgon with the petrifying gaze, had healing and protective power so great Athena herself coveted it for her shield. The female body as magic itself: how hard the forces of history have worked to pervert this concept and to separate us all from it.
A mantra for these times, then: You contain immanent, inalienable power. Your body is an amulet, forged in the skies and in the womb, and realized at birth. It is yours to have sovereignty over, and to channel your life force. It contains ancient wisdom that wants to be remembered, as well as new ideas that want to be expressed. Mars and the Black Moon in Aries ask: What does assertiveness look like in your life? Confidence? Sexual expression? What stories do you carry about putting yourself first? They also say: being true to yourself is not selfish. And standing in your own unique power is a form of magic.