Oh My Stars

beliefnet astrology mars neptune“Amid the turmoil and tumult of battle, there may be seeming disorder and yet no real disorder at all; amid confusion and chaos, your array may be without head or tail, yet it will be proof against defeat.”
-Sun Tzu

Mars is now approaching the conjunction to Neptune, an aspect which peaks on New Year’s day and carries on for about a week into January. Any conjunction represents a smearing together of two different planetary energies, each planet altering the performance of the other. A Mars-Neptune conjunction can be really dreamy and romantic, but can make it harder to get things done — Mars likes direct action and clear-cut responses, and those are things Neptune doesn’t handle well. Neptune gets ambition from Mars and assembles that bookshelf without reading the instructions — sometimes making an end table of it, sometimes just a scrap heap.

However, if imaginative action is the tool you need right now, this is an excellent combination. Drive and imagination can create great things together, with results that reach far beyond what either one originally anticipated… just like that time exploding rat corpses helped the Allies win World War Two.


Wars aren’t just won by grand gestures and noble sacrifices. More than most people are aware, a great deal of cunning has to go into successfully winning a war. Deception is a major part of that, and in 1941 Britain’s Special Operations Executive knew that full well. They were the branch of the British Military responsible for developing things like poison pills and disguise kits and secret message rings and so on. One of their more unintentionally successful ideas was the Exploding Dead Rat.

Most industry, German or otherwise at the time, ran on burning coal. The idea was that a dead rat could be hollowed out and filled with a detonator and plastic explosives. Stick that rat in a pile of coal that’s being shoveled into a boiler and whoever is shoveling will almost certainly throw it into the fire out of disgust, resulting in an explosion that could potentially shut down an entire factory or other facility for days. With this in mind, the SOE made up their first shipment of one hundred rigged rat corpses and sent them off to be distributed by resistance agents in occupied Europe.

In true Mars-Neptune fashion, the first (and only) shipment of rodent bombs never reached their target… and yet the operation was an overwhelming success. The rats were intercepted by the Germans before they could ever be deployed, but they caused such as stir in the minds of Germany’s military leadership that there were numerous searches throughout the occupied areas for treacherous dead rats, creating far more fear and confusion (and wasting much more valuable time and manpower) than if the rats had actually worked out as intended.

…and all that was needed was a little imaginative action.

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