Authority Issues

Mars Opposition Saturn: Challenging Authority

Monday’s exact opposition of Mars in Gemini and Saturn in Sagittarius is activating our authority issues. How this transit can energize you to rewrite your life story…

Mars is the action planet. He heats up whatever he touches, inflaming passions, escalating aggression and anger, urging us to move. Saturn is the authority, the judge, the guardian of the status quo. He is cold, impassive, objective, heavy.

It’s probably worth noting that the word authority contains – and comes from the same Latin root as – the word author. The Latin auctor includes the meanings: “promoter, producer, father, progenitor; builder, founder; trustworthy writer, authority; historian; performer, doer; responsible person, teacher,” literally “one who causes to grow”. (Online Etymology Dictionary)

Mars opposition Saturn May 29 2016

Mars in Gemini opposition Saturn in Sagittarius. 2:54 am EDT, Monday, May 29 2017.

We don’t often think of authority in terms of authorship, but we might dramatically improve things if we did. Words are magical things and the link between the concepts of authority as “the person who holds the power” and author as “the person who writes the story” is no accident.

Who Is the Author of Your Life Story?

Look at the list of words I highlighted in the etymology of author: promoter, father, historian, teacher. Who are the main authority figures in our lives when we are little children learning about the world and our place in it? Our parents and teachers, right? Each of whom is an amateur historian, promoting a story about the meaning of life and the kind of person you must become in order to succeed (or survive).

And yet, every generation or so, we find out that our collective and family histories are not so trustworthy after all. The world isn’t flat, nor was it believed to be so during the Middle Ages. Columbus wasn’t the first person to discover America. The white Europeans who took over virtually the entire North American continent by genocide and graft weren’t the saintly heroes many of us learned about in elementary school.

Saturn teaches us that we must be develop our inner authority (the will and discipline required to write our own life story) or we will continually be at the mercy of outer authority figures. Saturn in Sagittarius from 2015-2017 is challenging us to define our personal truth and bring our actions and our will into alignment with this uniquely personal perspective or meaning.

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Even a cursory glance at the histories you were taught (about society, about family, about yourself) by your childhood authorities should be sufficient to reveal that most of these people were simply parroting the second-hand histories they had learned from their elders. These unquestioned ideas about the world were presented to you as truth and your adherence to them was enforced by threat of corporal punishment, ostracism, shaming, humiliation and other forms of emotional and physical violence.

In Making the Gods Work for You, astrologer Caroline Casey says that Saturn is about definition. If we don’t define our own lives – who we are, what we want, what we don’t want – she says, we give our power away to the “village idiot” of the collective consciousness. And yet most of us go on blithely living out the story passed down to us by our parents.

Whatever the details, that story inevitable centers around what Don Miguel Ruiz calls “the lie of our imperfection”: that no matter how hard I try, I’ll never be good enough, pretty enough, thin enough, smart enough, etc. to get what I really want out of life.

It’s an amazing testament to the human spirit that so many of us try so hard to live a good life in spite of this wicked voice embedded in our unconscious mind!

We Fight Against the Powers of the Air

If we don’t get serious about owning our own power to rewrite our life stories, how can we have genuine hope for anything different than the sad circus of senseless violence, war, disease, rampant child abuse, and oppression that we have now?

Gemini is the first of the air signs, symbolizing the individual expression of the mental realm. Mars visits Gemini approximately every two years and usually spends about six weeks there. Positively, Mars in Gemini drives us to think differently, to explore our options and to engage our curiosity in discovering previously unknown solutions.

Negatively, Mars in Gemini can express as angry thoughts and words. It can exacerbate Gemini’s natural tendency toward attention deficit type thinking, causing us to ruminate over the same old apparent problems and inadequate solutions until, exhausted, we sink into despair.¹

I’ve talked to a lot of other empaths in the last two weeks who have been feeling battered by the waves of despair roiling in the collective consciousness. Are we going to give in and drown? Or are we going to use Mars’ aggression to identify the false histories that are hiding in our minds, poisoning our hope, killing our confidence, and convincing us there is honor in denying our own desires in order to live out someone else’s narrative?


1 – A client recently pointed out that Mars is also in the unusual condition of being ‘out of bounds’  by declination, which may be adding to the generalized anxiety so many of us have been feeling lately.

5 thoughts on “Authority Issues

  1. Caroline Lemmond says:

    Thank you for the article. Your thoughts on the “authorship” of one’s life resonates strongly with me… I have been reviewing places, and situations in the past, where I passed over the “authorship” of what it meant to be a potter and an artist from the teacher in my life back in 2013 — interesting that my teacher at the time was a Japanese man ,(talk about rigid and Saturnian), and I thought the world of him — was literally blinded by the power I gave to him… Currently revisiting, and revising that to be authored by me…. am even considering a website/instagram to explore this question in an open forum– and I DEFINITELY need to rewrite my website — kind of makes me nauseous just to read that king of adoration– G A G !

    Also, I am very thankful to your client for noticing that Mars was out of bounds by declination ! If I remember rightly, when a planet is OOB, all bets are off — is that true ?? ….By my reckoning, Mars started going OOB on Sunday, May 14th (Mother’s day), and will continue until Thursday, June 29th — although the last 9 days will be OOB in Cancer. Would love to hear more from you on the ramifications of this 🙂

    PS: Mercury will be OOB in Gemini/Cancer from Saturday June 17th, til Saturday July 1st …

    • DK Brainard says:

      Hi Caroline! Welcome, and thank you. I feel you – I got involved with a sociopath who assumed a mentor role with me several years ago. It was rather sickening when I realized how easily I had given my power away to this guy. And the extent to which it really crippled me socially and with my business too. I feel like I’m just now (mostly) getting over it.

      It’s also obvious how much my default life story set me up for this encounter. This guy was a true believer (in his own agenda), charismatic, preacher-type. Exactly the kind of men who populated my life when I was a kid.

      I’d love to see your Instagram if/when you do that – I think one of the ways we heal the wounds of the false narrative is by sharing our experiences so others can then come out of the closet and heal as well. It’s great to work on one’s personal history, but it feels like the progress is amplified when we are able to be ‘seen’ by others we respect.

      Honestly, I’ve not paid much attention to out of bounds planets. Here’s an interesting take I read on natal Mars OOB:

      Mars OOB in Cancer sounds kind of scary, especially since it would be square the Aries point. But I don’t know if it’s a whole lot scarier than what we’ve been living in the USA, with this going on: (Donald Trump natal chart / Mars-Saturn opposition):

  2. Jan Evans says:

    Very helpful – thanks DK. Recently I talked about feeling stuck in a (familiar) dark-ish night of the soul – I guess it’s in my power and up to me to switch on the light

    • DK Brainard says:

      Thanks, Jan! I think a lot of us have been feeling the same way. Going to try to get my podcast out today – I have a feeling Chiron is involved in this picture too…Hope your dark night clears soon! xox DK

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