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  • Writer's pictureYolanda McAdam

Trial by fire - A Mars-inspired post

By now you’ve seen the terrifying images or are being directly impacted by the fires raging in the West Coast of the US. People and animals are losing their homes and lives. Even if you live a million miles away you can be sure that your spirit grieves at the destruction and loss because Hermetic law teaches us that what happens to one, happens to the many.

What we are all witnessing, from an astrological point of view, is Mars’ energy. This is Mars squaring off against Saturn and Pluto. The results of which are utter devastation. There’s nothing subtle about Mars when he wants our attention and let’s face it, nothing gets our attention faster than fire. I don’t know if you’ve ever been near a runaway fire but if you have you’ll know it’s probably as terrifying as being in an out-of-control plane spiralling down to earth. Years ago, I was staying at a lodge in the bush in Africa when a fire, sparked by dry lightning, threatened to consume us. What struck me as marvellous at the time was how everyone got involved. Guests, staff and neighbours all rushed to do what they could to stop the fire. There was no time for discussion or for bickering, We all knew we had to fight the fire or risk losing everything. Fire does that. It brings people together.

So if you are a student of astrology, take note, there is a binding quality to fire.

It tests us as individuals and it tests the bonds of community. So what is happening here is a continuation of one of the major themes for 2020: community over individualism. COVID (dreamed up by Saturn and Pluto, birthed by Neptune and spread by Jupiter and Mars) has manifested for the same reason. Our survival depends on relearning what it means to “belong” to one another, the Earth and the Cosmos and how to be part of a community.

Right now Mars is getting a lot of bad press, because he is after all, the lesser malefic and he is powerful in his home turf; Aries. But it’s a mistake to associate Mars with blood-splattered shields and plundered villages. Mars doesn’t do endings. That’s Saturn. And Pluto. Mars initiates and instigates and as such is a god of beginnings:

The Homeric hymn to Ares (Mars) gifts us with a better understanding of Mars:

“Hear me, helper of men, giver of dauntless youth! Shed down a kindly ray from above upon my life, and strength of war, that I may be able to drive away bitter cowardice from my head and crush down the deceitful impulses of my soul. Restrain also the keen fury of my heart which provokes me to tread [15] the ways of blood-curdling strife. Rather, O blessed one, give me boldness to abide within the harmless laws of peace, avoiding strife and hatred and the violent fiends of death.” Source

For more on Mars read this and this.

In closing, I’d like us to reflect on the element of fire. What does fire ask for?

Simply put, fire asks for transformation both on a collective level and personal level.


  • What belief systems and attitudes need to be burned away clean for real change to manifest on a global and personal scale?

  • What is your own “trial by fire”. For example do you find your values or commitments being continually tested this year?

I'd love to know how this Mars' transit through Aries has been for you so far. (Mars moved into Aries in late June and will leave in january 2021). Leave a comment.




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