Mars Square Chiron: Integrity and Flexibility

Dear Friend and Reader:

Today, Mars is square Chiron. This is part of the larger grand cross I’ve been writing about the past few weeks, including our prior Thursday edition.

Santorini — a possible metaphor for Black Diamond Bay.

In this short article I want to focus on the Mars-Chiron contact, which brings in Salacia (which is conjunct Chiron in Aries).

I’ve always found this aspect interesting, from a natal chart perspective. Because of the Mars contact, it counts for “extra Chiron” (the mix of inner planets and Chiron always does, by making Chiron more palpable).

My observation of people with Mars square Chiron as a natal aspect is that they have a rigid idea of integrity, which is associated with the desire-nature of Mars. That would be a good place to start.

What I consider my favorite Bob Dylan album is called Desire, released in 1976. Every song is about people doing what they can to live out their passions, though one masterpiece on the album, “Black Diamond Bay,” describes the relationship to desire that Mars square Chiron embodies. Here are the words.

The song is about people who wait till the last minute to do the one thing they want to do. And in the universe of the song, they finally choose to give themselves what they want right before an earthquake and volcanic eruption consumes the island where they are all situated.

A longtime loser finally wins at gambling. Someone tells a woman that he loves her. A man gives into his desire to have sex with another man. Someone finally gets the courage to commit suicide. But they are all either blown up when the hotel boiler explodes, killed in the volcanic eruption, or drowned when the island sinks.

The many scenarios Dylan describes are examples of the ways in which people spend their lives hesitating about what they want. The song contains a reference to “the yellow fog” that is earlier referenced by T. S. Eliot in The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, who is the ultimate procrastinator of desire (saying at one point, “I have measured out my life with coffee spoons”).

My impression of Mars square Chiron people is that they have a strong desire nature, and are then reluctant to go for what they want. They keep applying the brakes. This seems to emerge out of a concept of integrity that places a negative judgment on desire itself. They have so much integrity that they think wanting is something other than wholesome.

This is a too-rigid concept of integrity, with many potential sources, all of them related to fear or guilt. However, those emotions are covered over by the notion of being seen as a good and proper person; of doing the right thing; and moreover, of avoiding doing the wrong thing.

Planet Waves
Image from a graphic novel adaptation of “Prufrock” by Julian Peters.¬†

Such values resonate with the puritanical roots of American society. They are fed by various pseudo-Buddhist ideas that have filtered in via New Age philosophy. Usually in American society, whatever you want is OK as long as you paid money for it.

The other night, I had a beer with my old friend Buck Wolf, who is an editor of The Huffington Post (and one of the early columnists for the magazine I founded at SUNY Buffalo, Generation).

We were discussing the consent issue that seems to subsume the discussion of eroticism these days, and he said that, eventually, the only time consent will be considered legitimate is when someone pays for a sexual experience. Then, you will have a receipt and everyone will know that both parties agreed to the transaction.

This is the kind of reasoning we have to be cautious of under Mars square Chiron. Integrity requires flexibility. Experience requires the desire and willingness to experiment during this rather short adventure of life on Earth — a life where it’s possible to feel that thing that drives all of experience forward: desire.

The metaphor of the earthquake and volcanic eruption are the perfect description of Mars square Chiron, which always seems about to go off. Instead of resisting, it’s possible to just let it happen — whatever that thing is that you want; that is, before it’s too late to make much difference.

While she’s out on the balcony, where a stranger tells her

“My darling, je vous aime beaucoup”

She sheds a tear and then begins to pray

As the fire burns on and the smoke drifts away

From Black Diamond Bay.

Those lyrics were cowritten with American lyricist, theater director and psychologist¬†Jacques Levy. (He also co-wrote “Hurricane.”) I met Jacques once, when I was reading tarot cards at a reunion of the Rolling Thunder tour. I asked him if Black Diamond Bay existed. He said yes, though I forgot to ask where it was. Today it’s everywhere, as Mars is square Chiron.

I’ve done a new version of Planet Waves TV covering this aspect. I’ve been on a roll with videos lately.

Mars square Chiron factors prominently in Call the Astrologer!, the 2019 spring reading. You can see my description of the reading here, and see samples of several signs at this link.

I’ll catch you Sunday with a new edition of Planet Waves FM.

With love,


Planet Waves (ISSN 1933-9135) is published each Sunday and Thursday evening in Kingston, New York, Planet Waves, Inc. Core Community membership: $197/year. Editor and Publisher: Eric F. Coppolino. Web Developer: Anatoly Ryzhenko. Astrology Editor: Amanda Painter. Associate Editor: Amy Elliott. Client Services: Jocelyn Allton and Victoria Emory. Illustrator: Lanvi Nguyen. Finance: Andrew Slater. Technical Assistant: Emily Thing. Copy Editor and Fact Checker: Jessica Keet. Media Consultant: Andrew McLuhan. Music Director: Daniel Sternstein. Bass and Drums: Daniel Grimsland. Additional Research, Writing and Opinions: Yuko Katori, Cindy Tice Ragusa, and Carol van Strum.
Planet Waves

New Videos from Planet Waves TV

After recording the spring reading, I stayed on my video roll. First, I have a new Planet Waves TV for you. This covers the Mars-Chiron square, including the Chiron-Salacia conjunction. If you’re curious about the Call the Astrologer! spring reading, here is a sampling from those videos, and here is another sample of sign readings.
You can also watch my brief video introduction to the project.


Mars, Chiron and You

By Amanda Painter

As Mars makes its way through Cancer — and thus through a series of potent aspects to many of the planets defining much of current life — it reaches a key marker today: its exact square to Chiron in Aries. This event would have a personal feel to it no matter what. But with Mars in emotional, protective Cancer, and with Chiron in a sign Mars rules (one related to the concepts of self and identity), there’s a picture of taking things very personally indeed — perhaps in ways that could feel challenging.

Planet Waves
Photo by Amanda Painter.

As has been mentioned elsewhere on Planet Waves recently, western society (particularly the U.S.) has Mars issues. There’s a tendency to default to aggression when fear is encountered, and most people seem to be afraid of a lot these days; for sure, there are a great deal of scary things in the world, and mainstream media often appears crafted specifically to emphasize that fact.

Yet, in addition to all the things ‘out there’ to be afraid of, many people harbor tremendous doubts about what’s inside of them: their desires and sexuality, emotions, needs, dreams, gifts; many doubt whether there’s really anything at all inside that’s deserving of love and acceptance.

In the last year or two I’ve witnessed a few situations in which someone received the affirmation that they are enough, just as they are. Their response to that affirmation has generally been emotional: an outflowing of relief at being seen fully, mixed with grief over the years of feeling disconnected from a sense of wholeness, mixed with disbelief that the affirmation could possibly be true, given how long it has not felt true.

Those emotions could also come out as aggression if someone is too far from a place of being able to hear, feel or even glimpse the message. Anyone who does not feel free to express deep emotion has the potential to lash out in defense of those vulnerable, terrifying parts of themselves.

I bring this up because I see these themes and dynamics in this Mars-Chiron square. Mars in Cancer offers the drive to care for others and defend them, and the need to defend oneself; the shadow side of this is often emotional reactivity and even physical violence when words fail. Chiron in Aries represents the crisis that brings to awareness the need for healing and wholeness, and for redefining identity as part of that process.

Continue reading…

Have You Tried the Astrology Readings Channel?

Planet Waves offers readings for all the signs and rising signs. These readings are must-haves among a core group of people who love them, though perhaps you have not heard what Eric is doing. You are invited to listen at no cost, any time, day or night.

We’ve taken many readings from 2018 and put them on a 24-hour audio stream, which anyone can tune into. Whatever your sign, you will find it interesting no matter when you tune in. If you’re up late and want something soothing and informative to listen to, or if you’re curious about astrology, tune in here. No login is required.

Last Chance for Best Price on Call the Astrologer! Spring Reading
A Mars Transit Covered Only in This Reading

Price increases at midnight! Get immediate access here.
Preview videos: Project introduction | Aries-Leo | Virgo-Sagittarius

Dear Friend and Reader:

When I woke up at the beginning of last week, I didn’t know I would be doing the Spring Reading. But I finally had my angle: Mars in Cancer, making aspects to many planets, especially Saturn, Chiron, Pluto, and Eris.

This is big astrology. And I make it clear and easy to follow, giving you the kinds of useful suggestions you would expect from a qualified astrologer.

Planet Waves
Still from Pisces “Call the Astrologer!”.

The Mars transit is a topic I have not covered in INTELLIGENCE, or in a birthday reading. So, I woke up and went for it. I sketched the first charts, and the project flowed naturally. By Tuesday night I was half done. I worked with the speed and accuracy I learned from journalism, bringing all of the sensitivity necessary to do personal astrological work.

The reading is finished and published. It is excellent — a set of 12 solid half-hour readings that sum up the current astrology, focus Mars and Chiron, and bring the most potent astrology into context for you. You will want to watch many of these — maybe all of them — and I’ve made sure it’s fun and interesting enough to do so. I had a great time making these videos. Here are some samples of the first few signs for you.

Call the Astrologer! is now available for instant access. We are increasing the price at midnight tonight (May 23) — so be sure to get your copy today for just $77.

Note, this project is a fundraiser to help pay for some much-needed UX (user experience) work on the Planet Waves website. We finally found a developer we love.

Thanks for being a Planet Waves customer, and for trusting me as your astrologer.

With love,


PS — If you want to bundle this reading with a new or renewal membership, offer it as a gift, or just talk to someone at Planet Waves because you want to, call us at (206) 567-4455.

PPS — This reading is included with the Backstage Pass, a premium-level membership.

Planet Waves
Allison Bernard Memorial High School student Emma Stevens (right) sings Paul McCartney’s “Blackbird” in the indigenous Mi’kmaq, with unidentified students (including the guitar accompanist) in the background. You can read the lyrics in Mi’kmaq (and some heartfelt comments) on the school’s YouTube page.

You Were Only Waiting for this Moment

By Amanda Painter

Although the most prominent astrology in the sky right now is focused on the cardinal signs, the Sun and Mercury — two particularly expressive astrological symbols — are still functionally conjunct in Gemini: a mutable sign known for its way with words and facility with languages. But being able to talk well (or a lot) is only part of the picture. The other is: what is your purpose in speaking?

Apparently 2019 has been designated The International Year of Indigenous Languages by the United Nations. According to Allison Bernard Memorial High School in Nova Scotia, Canada, this observance “aims to raise awareness of the consequences of the endangerment of Indigenous languages across the world, with an aim to establish a link between language, development, peace, and reconciliation.”

In commemoration of this purpose, the school published on its YouTube channel a video of student Emma Stevens singing The Beatles’ “Blackbird,” but sung in Mi’kmaq, accompanied by a fellow student. Yes, we all know the lyrics to this popular song by Paul McCartney; what I did not realize before watching the video, however, was that the song could potentially convey even more meaning in another language. Sometimes it really does come down to intent and context, even more than just the words themselves. Sometimes it’s about the timing. When all of that comes together, beautiful and powerful things can be born.


This week on Planet Waves FM
Interview with Johnson v. Monsanto Juror #4

Dear Friend and Listener:

This week we have an incredible edition of Planet Waves FM for you. The main event is an interview with Robert Howard, who served as a juror in the first case involving Roundup to go to trial. That was in August 2018; Lee Johnson was the former groundskeeper at a California school who had to use Roundup regularly, and got very sick from exposure.

The jury awarded him $289 million — and Bob Howard was in the room. He tells us what happened, and how he felt about it. Then, he was present at the two subsequent Roundup trials, both this year — Edwin Hardeman v. Monsanto, and Alberta and Alva Pilliod v. Monsanto.

Continue reading…

Planet Waves
Photo by Lanvi Nguyen.

Where Does Your Power Go, and How Do You Get it Back?

Dear Friend and Gemini:

I’ve just finished the Gemini Astrology Studio reading. It’s on the server and ready to go.

Here are some notes about what I’ve covered. The first topic is introspection. We live in a time when our lives have been turned inside out.

Planet Waves
Scene from the Gemini New Moon.

We see this in many forms in the social media milieu: the most private and subtle elements of people’s lives are often broadcast to the world.

Even if you don’t consciously do that, the conditions around us have a way of making it happen anyway. What is yours is yours, and to be in the environment of constant exposure dilutes who you are.

So I focus on how to regain your inner vision; how to look, why you might be afraid to look, and what to do with what you see. I encourage you to fire your inner publicist.

I then move on to the Saturn-Pluto conjunction in your solar 8th house, Capricorn. This is the power dynamic study. This is where we ask the question, where does your power go? The response to that question comes from Mars in Cancer — your quest for independence — financial, emotional, and from the tyranny of others defining who you are — or you even meekly allowing them to.

The reading is one hour and five minutes, in three sections, with music by Vision Quest. It comes with the Mercury Retrograde Reading, which will soon be sold separately for $44.

You may still purchase for the pre-order price of $44.

Thank you for your business, and for trusting me as your astrologer.

With love,


PS — Please call us on (206) 567-4455 to bundle your reading with an early renewal or other excellent astrology services — or to enquire about discount pricing if you are in difficult financial straits. Thank you for being a Planet Waves customer.

Planet Waves
Hanging orchids, Saigon. Photo by Lanvi Nguyen.

Monthly Horoscopes and Publishing Schedule Notes

Your extended monthly horoscope for May was published on Thursday, April 25. We published your extended monthly horoscope for April on Thursday, March 28. Please note: we normally publish the extended monthly horoscope after the Sun has entered a new sign.

Have You Tried the Astrology Readings Channel?

Planet Waves offers readings for all the signs and rising signs. These readings are must-haves among a core group of people who love them, though perhaps you have not heard what Eric is doing. You are invited to listen at no cost, any time, day or night.

We’ve taken many readings from 2018 and put them on a 24-hour audio stream, which anyone can tune into. Whatever your sign, you will find it interesting no matter when you tune in. If you’re up late and want something soothing and informative to listen to, or if you’re curious about astrology, tune in here. No login is required.


Planet Waves
Thursday Night Weekly Horoscope for May 23, 2019 (#1247) | By Victoria Emory

Aries (March 20-April 19) — You’re on the hero’s journey, a path of initiation: a hands-on, guided tour through all that keeps you from embodying your most authentic self and greatest potential. Every step along the way involves a lesson learned through summoning the courage to honestly encounter and conquer fears and self-doubt. Although your mind and calendar will be quite busy for a while, make the deliberate choice to focus conscious awareness on the intense emotional activity bubbling up from within. Examine the relationship between defense and anger, between desire and what lies buried in the past. Ultimately, the hero emerges with the power to bring wisdom and healing to others. Remember that wholeness is not perfection. It’s infinitely more compelling.


Taurus (April 19-May 20) — You may have considerable demands on your time, and can certainly get a lot done in coming days, but let yourself regroup and bask in some simple pleasures as much as possible now. Personal resources and security are likely on your mind, though if you’re experiencing disproportionate anxiety, feel into what old imprints related to self-worth may be ready for healing. Take advantage of opportunities opening up for fulfilling get-togethers with friends and colleagues; you’ll replenish your spirit and could further some long-term goals. Allow for some tactical confusion later this week, but the warmth radiating from Venus in your sign can attract positive encounters and strengthen existing alliances. Express your ideas with sensitivity but conviction.


Gemini (May 20-June 21) — Plug in to the life-giving force of our star, now directly focused upon you, to recharge your batteries. This is your time to take stock of what you want, what you need and what you truly value. Think in terms of where you want to go and who you want to go with, but home in on the essence of those desires, rather than trying to nail down specifics right now. Consider ideals, and direct your thoughts along developmental lines — how do you want to grow; what do you seek to learn? Just a tap on your mental steering wheel can shift any recent discouragement around resources and hopes for the future into the lane of possibility.


Cancer (June 21-July 22) — You’re channeling the necessary power and courage to initiate projects or changes that serve your interests; though if launching an important venture, work on fine-tuning strategies for the next ten days or so, until the New Moon. In fact, ‘fine-tuning strategies’ is a primary theme in coming days. Negotiating matters close to home related to fairness, commitment and partnerships this week calls for emotional intelligence and diplomacy. As outwardly focused as you may be, it’s your intuitive wisdom that will guide you best in navigating those waters, so slow down enough to tap in. Observe yourself in both defense and offense modes, and strive for objectivity. Listen for prompts from your inner guidance as you regenerate your outer reality.


Leo (July 22-Aug. 23) — “When fishermen can’t go to sea, they repair their nets,” is a good bit of runic lore to stick on your fridge right now. If you’re feeling frustrated, uneasy or vaguely insecure, tune in to any repressed anger or desires that may lie underneath. A trusted ally should be available over the weekend for some affirming communion or wise counsel, if you need it. Opportunities to strengthen professional relationships, perhaps tied to specific projects, open up next week, but allow for fluidity as you negotiate creative concepts and contractual issues. ‘Go with the flow’ may not be your favorite mantra, but trust the process and loosen the reins a little; whatever you’re working on requires time to come together.


Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22) — Creative tension building between how you want to show up in the world, where you live, and important relationships — either personal or professional — may feel overwhelming, but not because you don’t know what you want. If at a loss as to how to resolve what seems like a dilemma, use your ideas: your creative work will ground you and strengthen belief in yourself, which is actually greater than you may realize. Visualize, write, tap the wires between your higher mind and expressive voice. You’re working through fundamental issues on what may feel like shaky ground, but give it time. Soulful, heartfelt exchanges as the month winds down can help replenish essential spiritual nutrients you’ve been missing.


Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23) — Confidence can be hard won, but essential to that victory is identifying with your ambitions and putting yourself out there. If you’ve felt diminished by insecurities, relationship wounds or old baggage you’ve been sitting on related to your roots and family imprinting, recognize these as necessary tests along your path of power. Your inner warrior is preparing to take a stand, and bring to bear all the mental clarity and skill required to support you from within; independent of others’ approval or belief. Focus on your relationship to the community, what you wish to bring to the world. A deep well of psychic insight is available to you now to illuminate clearly whatever has held you back.


Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22) — The world is bigger than you think it is. More mysterious, vast and unlimited in what may be learned, on this extraordinary journey that is your life. This is also true of your inner world, and your psychic depths are particularly activated now. You don’t need much time or money to explore subjects that attract your spirit, but if your personal liberty feels shackled by drudgery or work-related uncertainties, look within for any issues around self-worth fueling that. Empowerment lies in freeing your mind. Deliberately breaking up habitual routines will help clear the path. Opening those channels is more important now than you know — mental burdens have weighed you down, and you were born to soar.


Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22) — Consider the pearl: a precious jewel to the ancients, symbolizing wisdom of immeasurable value. It’s a gem grown through friction, irritation from a single grain of sand. Generative friction between your quest for freedom and concerns close to home, between confidence and material security, have been recurring themes along your path of knowledge this year. Relationships, personal or professional, will factor into this complex yet profoundly creative dynamic in days ahead. Allow others the liberty you prize so highly, and dance with whatever may feel confusing or frustrating as the situation develops. Your inner mystic will help pierce the fog and distinguish essential truths. Trust yourself and stay open. You’re seeking the pearl of great price.


Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20) — Where there’s anger, there’s desire. And desire is the creative power of the universe, therefore sacred. If your relational environment has been contentious, look within for any frustration at thwarted desires you may be projecting outwardly. Recent conflicts might have triggered old wounds you’ve carried from the past; if so, let that awareness alone become a steppingstone to liberation. Your own creative powers are especially strong now, and growing. Take advantage of the string of green lights ahead for juicy, playful engagement to line up with circumstances that enhance self-worth and security. Allow for whimsy: switch your control dials to spontaneity for a while. Self-expression and a bit of joyful abandon are precisely what you need.


Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) — “Art is the key to sanity,” said the late Louise Bourgeois; whether or not you consider yourself an artist, per se, play around with this idea. Play is the operative word: giving expressive voice to your inner experience, in the childlike spirit of imaginative freedom. Revolutionary changes on the deepest levels of your psyche may not register on your conscious radar, but creative exploration can prove self-revelatory now, and help relieve psychic pressures you’ve felt without knowing why. Projects you’ve envisioned involving your community need your inventive genius, but remain flexible as all the working parts will take time to come together. Think big, but don’t let idealism blind you to reality. Balance trust with discernment.


Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) — You have big ambitions; you know what you need to bring out into the world to fulfill your soul; your expressive fires are stoked. A period of strategic withdrawal is necessary, however, in order to reconnect with yourself on the deepest level and prepare the ground. Give yourself permission to turn inward; attend to your actual living space and what you’ve stashed in your psychic basement. Unprocessed emotional history and physical clutter go hand in hand. Clear out as much as you can right now, to strengthen your base: the platform from which you’ll spring. The more you commit to this essential work, the more empowered you’ll be to navigate the next stages of manifesting your goal.

Leave a Reply