Does the Door Say ‘Push’ or ‘Pull’?

By Amanda Painter

How have you been doing with getting, or expressing, what you want since around June 9? Have you been able to take the lead in any effective ways to move toward your goals or desires?

Earth/Sky by Tom Patti at Chesterwood in Stockbridge, MA. Photo by Amanda Painter.

Earth/Sky by Tom Patti at Chesterwood in Stockbridge, MA. Photo by Amanda Painter.

I ask because June 9 was when Mercury in Taurus opposed retrograde Mars in Scorpio, highlighting the question, ‘what do I want?’ The realms of physical or sexual pleasure and health, material possessions or financial stability might have been a particular focus.

This week, Mercury in late Leo makes a square to Mars, which is making its way through the last of Scorpio in direct motion. The square is exact Friday at 4:49 pm EDT (20:48 UTC), and is in effect now.

One way to read this is that whatever desires and goals you came face-to-face with in early June are speaking to you again. However, the encounter may feel less like looking at your reflection in a glass door, and more like trying to push that door open.

If you’ve been clear with yourself, it might be obvious which side of the door to push on, for example. Or it could be like noticing whether the little sign says ‘push’ or ‘pull’, rather than throwing all your weight into the opposite action and getting frustrated.

Are you finding yourself in a situation that feels rather like tugging when it would work better to lean in, or shoving when the door will only open if you open your hand and place it on the handle to draw it towards you? If so, how are you reacting?

It’s possible to let pride and ego — or a sense that you’re entitled to things being easy, obvious and ‘your way’ — get in the way. That could lead to frustration, including physical retaliation that backfires. Who hasn’t slammed a door or hit an object when frustrated, only to have it bounce back at you, break or hurt your hand — or hurt the person next to you — at least once? When you’re frustrated or your pride is hurt, you’re more likely to take it out on others verbally and emotionally if you can’t find a more creative way to discharge it.

On the other hand, if you can see the absurdity of trying to push a door that should be pulled (or vice versa), it’s also possible to allow a more childlike and playful response. Everybody has gotten a door wrong at least once, and it can be really funny. They say laughter is the best medicine, and particularly with cases of pride and ego, it’s true.

A little compassion for yourself if you feel like you’ve ‘gotten it wrong’ or can’t seem to figure out how to articulate what you really want and how to get there may help, too. Especially if you feel like you’ve been ‘getting it wrong’ for a very long time when you try to express your desires. In fact, stepping away from the door metaphor more completely, having Mercury in Leo really can emphasize compassion and letting it take the lead if you’re questioning how to get closer to those desires you recently identified.

The tricky part, given the planets and signs involved and given the tension that comes with a square, might be noticing when pride, ego or a sense of entitlement are getting in your way. That’s the more shadowy side of this aspect. In fixed signs (Taurus, Leo, Scorpio and Aquarius), the potential for digging in with stubbornness or rigidity is very real, and can take some skill and perspective to recognize and navigate.


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Noted astrologer Robert Hand mentions that Mercury square Mars can show up as the need to defend one’s ideas or beliefs against someone as if it’s a ‘life or death’ situation, which it is not. Though your ego might feel like it is.

And if you’re feeling frustrated in your pursuit of your desires — especially if that frustration has some history and is closer to rage — and you’ve been trying to repress it, there’s a much greater chance that it could come out as irritability, aggressive hostility or even as a physical accident.

Finding some constructive way to express your frustration is key. Can you shift from pride to playfulness to make the vulnerability of your desires less scary? Can you be honest about the ways you perhaps have not been straightforward about what you want, offer yourself a little compassion for that, and take a more articulate lead in how you express your desires?

If that feels like a leap, maybe try a little exercise or productive physical exertion to blow off some steam, and see if your thinking clears.

Saturday at 2:18 pm EDT (18:18 UTC) Mercury will leave Leo and enter Virgo. That should bolster your common sense; and if you’ve gotten to the root of any frustration via productive or playful action, you’ll be in a great place to use it. When Mars re-enters Sagittarius on Aug. 2 at 1:49 pm EDT (17:49 UTC), bringing desire into the land of beliefs and religion, that common sense will prove especially handy.

8 thoughts on “Does the Door Say ‘Push’ or ‘Pull’?

  1. Michael Mayes

    That moment when you realize your president just taught you more about American values, and the importance of upholding them with one speech; than all the male figures in your family combined. I love my dad, my stepdad, my Grandpa Roy (RIP); but these men had their own personal struggles that kept them from teaching me the values of which I am now, at 34, aware.

    1. Amanda Painter Post author

      Michael, I would say that there are many, many people and places from whom/which we can learn values that align with our inner compass better than some of what we might have learned in our family of origin. Is that a failure of our families? Or simply an indication that we incarnated into this life to learn certain things for ourselves, or to learn them further along the path at a later stage of life?

      Sounds like the important thing is that you are currently able to recognize those values you’ve been missing or searching for. And of course, the hard part can often be *living* our values through consistent action in the face of needs and pressures that point to “easier” paths.

    2. Amy Elliott

      I experienced a similar moral vacuum growing up, and learned my values from Louisa May Alcott and Jane Austen, among a smattering of various children’s books. (I have had to unlearn some of their ideas recently, but the core is actually pretty sound.) Glad the President’s speech inspired you. He may be far from perfect, but as an orator he’s certainly impressive.

  2. Michael Mayes

    Amanda, I agree, there are many sources for values. However, I’ve never heard such a clear description of what American values are until I heard that speech. I want to stress the word American. Between the influences of an outlaw dad, and a Rush baby for a stepdad, I had little respect or pride for this country. I’d say it’s both my respective family members’ faults, and partly my purpose to learn from those faults, and live out a life truer to my values, not theirs. Maybe I’ve incarnated to learn how to deal with the ways in which I would become wounded; but my family members made the choices they made, and there’s no way for them or me to forget the mistakes they’ve made. I’m not harping on them, judging, or demonizing them for their mistakes, but they will be held accountable forever. I’ll take on the work of healing, and moving on from these wounds; part of life’s mission, but I did not do the wounding myself.

    1. Amanda Painter Post author

      Priya: I hope your view of the door is clear! As I mentioned in the piece, I’m not sure it matters so much which action one takes — so long as we’re clear that it’s up to *us*, not others, to take that action for ourselves.

  3. Priya

    Right now, I’m in a soup….nothing is clear! But hopefully the view of that door will get clearer sometime…..and yes, I loved that part where you spoke about the action we take being up to us, for ourselves, and not others.

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