This morning when I looked at my Pocket Astrologer, I noticed that Mars and Jupiter would form an exact square today at 12:28pm PDT. Typically, when I see planets squared I think conflict because squares are the most challenging of all aspects, and when fiery Mars is involved, I think more conflict. I really wanted to read up on this aspect this morning, but I chose not to so I would be more open to just letting things unfold and noticing the prevailing currents of energy. Pranayama practice was particularly deep this morning with a little help for my bandhas from Mars and Jupiter. In the chakra system Jupiter is linked with svadisthana chakra (down around the pubic bone) and Mars is associated with manipura chakra (at the navel). These are the water and fire centers, respectively. The yogic technique for connecting these two chakras is called uddhiyana bhanda (the flying up lock), a lift from the pubic bone towards the navel. When we perform this technique we are connecting water (Jupiter) to fire (Mars). As water heats up it transforms into a gaseous state and rises and uddhiyana bandha happens. Near the end of pranayama practice students start to arrive for the 7am class. They always try to be respectful and enter the studio quietly and unobtrusively, but in the heightened awareness of pranayama everything is noticeable. What I noticed this morning was that there were a lot of people coming in, and I’m thinking, “maybe this Mars Jupiter square is not a bad thing after all.” About 30 people showed up for the class that typically is more like 20. The room was warm, and by the end there was steam on the windows—water (Jupiter) and fire (Mars) combining in a purifying and enlightening way. Lots of voices joined in the Hanuman Chalisa afterwards.
This afternoon I researched the Mars/Jupiter square a little bit and discovered that there is much about it that is good. We tend to feel energetic, confident, and self-assertive. The potential down side is that our over exuberance could lead to overconfidence, obnoxious and domineering behavior, and recklessness. Fortunately for us, both Mars and Jupiter are currently well placed in the zodiac, Mars at 20 degrees Virgo in Hasta Nakshatra, and Jupiter at 20 degrees Gemini in Punarvasu Nakshatra. Jupiter just entered Punarvasu, a sign that it rules, and will remain in this nakshatra until the beginning of July. Punarvasu means “Good again”—its main quality is called “vastuva prapana shakti”—the power to gain or retrieve things. The ruling deity of Punarvasu is Aditi (the “unbounded”, or “undivided”) the mother of the twelve solar deities called the adityas. Aditi is sometimes called” the goddess of abundance,” and provides a nurturing influence. Mars is currently retrograde until May 19th and will remain in Hasta (the “Hand”) until the end of June. The prevailing energy of Hasta is called “hasta staphinya agama shakti”—the power to put the object of desire in one’s hands. The ruling deity of Hasta is Savitur—“the first rays of the rising sun” or the “impeller.” Hasta is the proverbial “wake up call”, both rousing us to action, and providing us with a facility to work skillfully with things on the material plane because we are feeling particularly “handy.” I noticed in yoga class this morning that my favorite pose was vrksasana (handstand). One of the most surprising events around the Mars/Jupiter square happened last night when I realized around 10pm that it was my 18th wedding anniversary. I looked at my wife guiltily and said, “It’s our anniversary.” She had totally forgotten as well and just shrugged and said, “You picked up Leela from school and did the dishes—that’s more important than a card or flowers.”