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Mars in Gemini: Make Art, Not War

Marisol Escobar,  Self-Portrait

Marisol Escobar, Self-Portrait

Air is a kind of fuel and when we add air to a fire (another kind of fuel), it gets stronger. And stronger. And stronger. Is there life on super-molten Mars? If there is, it’s below the surface — as the planet of war and action lacks an ozone layer and so gets direct hits from the sun, the very source of our solar system’s vital force. With this kind of star power, the martian life is never not hot and when I say hot, read: yang, masculine, action, focus, energetic, pulsing. What happens when the veritable action expert (Mars, ruler of our sun’s current placement, Aries) transits the airy, puzzle-loving, and ultra-intellectual sign of Gemini? Earthlings get bursts of direct energy to be used for mental action and acuity between March 31-May 15.

Marisol Escobar,  The Kiss , 1965.

Marisol Escobar, The Kiss, 1965.

Astrology teaches us that energy is neither good nor bad while simultaneously insisting that we must use the energy or it will definitely use us. Mars is passionate and fierce and when afflicted, starts wars. Real life example: When I’m not working on my art or other work, I start drama, pick fights, and look for reasons to get fired up. Mars in Gemini isn’t an easy energy to harness, as it can present as wild and scattered — but once harnessed, it has the potential to move energy — and Mars loves to move, get the job done (or at least begin it), solve problems (or create them) and create. Mars in Gemini likes to go deep into the mind-space, make art, communicate quickly and with haste, and multitask. The vigor of this transit is neither malefic nor beneficial — the heat is a more neutral heat and so too we have the responsibility to decide what to funnel this vitality towards. And it wants, nay needs, to be put to use.

Marisol Escobar,  Death of Head and Leg , 1969.

Marisol Escobar, Death of Head and Leg, 1969.

Gemini, ruled by Mercury, is the sign of mental pursuits. The twins love a challenge and bore easily, often creating problems for themselves in order to stay mentally active. Ruled by Mercury, Gemini loves quick wit, highbrow studiousness, and making discoveries and is so desperate to do so that it has to split in half and become twins so that the two sides of the self might talk to each other forever and ever. While Mars is in the this heady mercurial field, we get a boost towards short, focused, productive bursts of activity. It’s not slow and steady wins the race but rather, work smarter (and quicker), not longer. Reckless decisions, drama-starting, and mental distress are signs that the vibration is getting away from itself. Short trips, bursts of well-used energy towards art or whatever one’s practice is, deep dives into research while frequently coming up for air, and trying new things via pushing creative boundaries are all elevated for us.

Mars in Gemini summons the Venezuelan Gemini artist (and I do love a Gemini) Marisol Escobar, whose work defies categorization and combines unlikely aspects of dadaism, surrealism, and pop art. Her very air emanates action and smarts and glam. Escobar was known for various kinds of asceticism — self-harm, long periods of self-imposed silence, even during her own openings. The airy pulse of Gemini unchecked has tumult-potential to the point where it turns in on itself and manifests as self-inflicted pain. To minimize stress during this transit, keep in mind that it’s okay to not want to sit still. Just don’t run into the wall. Or if you do run into the wall, make sure it’s actually a door, and that the door leads to an open field where you can keep going. Point the body-mind towards whatever was left undone during Mercury retrograde. This transit hits the refresh button.

Marisol Escobar,  Cultural Head,  1973.

Marisol Escobar, Cultural Head, 1973.

Mars’ residency in Gemini adds an extra quickness to whatever action is engaged. Stimulation of the visual, physical, mental, and emotional sorts are the order of the day. But overstimulation is dangerously close to under-stimulation and so burnout is possible via not looking before one leaps (Mars) or thinking before one speaks (Gemini). Look to where Mars and Gemini fall in your chart, as you’ll be getting consistent hits of mentally activated sparks in these areas. I read this piece on Marisol Escobar, and this quote stayed with me: “Everything was so serious. I was very sad myself and the people I met were so depressing. I started doing something funny so that I would become happier — and it worked.” She used the negative energy to make art. Something clicked, the energy shifted, and it worked for her, not against her. The physical manifestation of an internalized gnawing feeling is one of the possibilities of this transit — the gift that Mars in Gemini makes it more possible for us to receive as long as we make the martian pact to keep the energy circulating and expelling — to keep hitting the refresh button.

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