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Empathy, Honesty and Power Struggles


  • Photo by Amanda Painter

As you head into the pre-holiday weekend, you'll want to know that the astrology has some things to say about power struggles and confrontations. Mercury and Mars, both in Cancer, are opposing Pluto in Capricorn.

At their best, this pair of oppositions can be leveraged to get beneath the surface of things. Mercury opposite Pluto, exact at 8:36pm EDT tonight, is especially good for deep research into a topic or uncovering a secret. With the sign Cancer involved, this could easily mean getting to the underlying emotions that are driving an interpersonal situation or reaction.

In its most productive expression, Mars opposite Pluto (exact on July 2 at 8:02am EDT) can be used to make positive, creative changes in your life. Again, with Cancer involved, that might mean giving yourself an “attitude adjustment” if your emotional reactivity has been swinging to extremes. What's really bothering you?

Or it could relate to overdue updates to your actual home environment, just as one example. The main idea is to use the energy constructively and consciously in some way, so that it does not end up using you.

What would that look like? Think power struggles, manipulation, obsession, and trying to control the emotions and actions of others. Remember, you can only ever truly control your own actions and reactions, not anybody else's.

More generally speaking, a Mars-Pluto opposition is a caution to avoid situations that are known to be dangerous—”bad” neighborhoods, unnecessary risk, and confrontation for its own sake. With a long holiday weekend for many, you'd think that most people would be more relaxed than usual. But when you factor in things like long drives, alcohol, extended families and in-laws, and fireworks, it can be easy for tension to rise and disagreements to escalate.

So the astrology this weekend is a reminder to practice your deep breathing along with your honesty. Even more importantly, it's a reminder to stay in touch with your empathy.

If you feel yourself being drawn into a power struggle of any kind—whether with your neighbor about their loud party (or yours), or with another motorist on a clogged highway exit, or with a family member about plans—your ethics and your empathy will be your most valuable tools. Do you really need to “win” at all costs or prove you're right?

What exactly is at stake? If your answer is "my ego," that's a big red flag to take a step back for some perspective. Same if your answer is "the perfect (whatever)"—there's no such thing as perfection, after all.

If someone's health and physical safety hangs in the balance, that would be the time to appeal to the empathy of those around you. You don't need to stoop to manipulation, just state the facts—and be prepared to leave the situation if necessary.

Astrologer Robert Hand also suggests enlisting the help of others in a Mars-Pluto style confrontation, rather than going it alone. Current events these days would seem to corroborate the idea of safety in numbers, or in having witnesses, especially in the face of a potentially abusive authority figure. This comes with one caveat: “crowd mentality” is a different beast, with its own dangers. It's important to keep tabs on any environment where that could be an issue—that is, where people stop thinking as individuals—and to stay sensitive to shifting energy.

All in all, having the Moon in Libra from Friday morning through Sunday afternoon may assist in keeping things fair, balanced, and pleasant. By the time the Moon changes signs, both Mercury and Mars will be slipping away from their contact with Pluto, which should aid in resolving anything that's come up.

Yours & truly,
Amanda Painter

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