Between July 28, 2005 and Feb 17, 2006, Mars spends the longest time in Taurus since 1973-74. At that time there was a dire oil shortage, long lines at the gas pumps, and a presidency unraveling. Since astrologers look to history to understand an upcoming transit--especially one that seems to nearly identically repeat a previous pattern--we must revisit that fateful year.

But before we do, here's a brief explanation of Mars in Taurus. (Click here for a more comprehensive essay on the subject.) What exactly does Mars in Taurus mean? Planets behave differently in each of the twelve signs. Mars, the masculine planet of drive, action, and aggression, is said to be in detriment, or `weakened,' when in Taurus, the feminine sign of physical pleasure, comfort, earthly riches, and satiation. However, further study of historical events that have taken place during Mars in Taurus transits prove that nothing is further from the truth. Mars in Taurus has been at the helm of countless achievements in the world of sound, communication, transportation, and in place when goals, previously believed to be unattainable, were reached-- especially goals that directly impact the economy and economic policy.

Much of the history of slavery in the modern world and Civil Rights involving African Americans in the United States has played out while Mars traveled through Taurus. (Click here for more.) The spiritual implications of Mars in Taurus are worthy of discussion as well. After all, our spiritual identity is founded on our deepest values. Mars in Taurus says emphatically: "This will happen." And with determination, he hangs in for however long it takes to get what he desires rather than give up because it didn't come easy. Several noteworthy Mars in Taurus breakthroughs include: Edison's invention of the electric light, successful testing of the polio vaccine, discovery of DNA's double helix structure, Time Magazine's first issue, NBC's founding, Elvis Presley's first TV appearance, the USSR's launching of Sputnik 3, Castro's takeover of Cuba, and People Magazine's first issue. The telephone, radio, NASA, and the Internet all came into being when Mars was in Taurus.

Mix the energy of Mars with the insatiable appetite, extravagance, sense of ownership, and endurance of Taurus- and voila! More often than not, you've got the makings of the sumptuous banquet that lasts a lifetime, plus the drive and means to pay for it.

What is it about an earth sign, Mars, in general, and Mars in Taurus in particular, that makes for grounding, discipline, and even reasonable conduct from an otherwise unruly planet? The male planet, delighted to be in Venus' chambers, takes his shoes off and dons his finest slippers and a silk smoking jacket: He's capable of his very best behavior. Perhaps part of a Taurus-Mars' secret to success is alchemical: it's the union of spirit and flesh. Here, Mars' ambition is well-calculated; he's as contemplative and patient as he is determined; he's in less of a rush and more in tune with the sultry rhythm of the earth. And no matter what the goal is, he's in it for the long haul. Once Mars in Taurus casts his or her eyes on any sight, he (or she) digs his heels in deep and inwardly says, "This is mine."

Mars in Taurus is literally and figuratively ground-breaking. Its `unearthing' and `cutting-through' quality, along with its staying power, showed itself in the April 18, 1906 San Francisco Earthquake, the great dustbowl storm of May 13, 1934, the discovery of the Ruins of Pompeii (April 1, 1748), the beginning of the building of the Panama Canal (Jan 1, 1880), the disappearance of Union Boss Jimmy Hoffa (July 30 1975), and now Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

Major economic breakthroughs are also common: All four major U.S. gold rushes and the Oklahoma Land Rush all occurred with a Taurus Mars. The very first life insurance policy was issued with Mars in Taurus on May 22, 1761. And the new bankruptcy law will go into effect on Oct 17, 2005.

At his best, he's elegant and enduring--but at his worst, Mars in Taurus is the ultimate connoisseur of cruelty. He's presided over some of the most famous crimes (The Great Train Robbery: May 22, 1868 and The Great `Grain' Robbery: Feb 27, 1972), and the darkest and most violent moments in history. Three young children famous for their murders had Mars in Taurus: the Lindbergh baby (June 22, 1930) whose body was discovered 22 months later when Mars was in Taurus; Lisa Steinberg (May 14, 1981), whose killer, Joel Steinberg, was convicted of manslaughter on Jan 30, 1989 with Mars in Taurus; and JonBenet Ramsy (Aug 6, 1990).

The holocaust unfolded under the insistent hand of Mars in Taurus, beginning with the births of Adolf Hitler (April 20, 1889) and Adolf Eichman (March 19, 1906) and continuing with: Herman Goering's warning to all Jews to leave Austria (March 26, 1938); the Germans' beginning construction of Auschwitz (Feb. 21, 1940); the formulation of the "Final Solution" outside Berlin (Jan. 20, 1942); the first arrival of Jews at Auschwitz and the adjoining Birkenau camp (Feb. 27, 1942); and the uprising at the Nazi Treblinka concentration camp, where some 600 prisoners staged a revolt (Aug 2, 1943).

The Manhattan Project was initiated (Feb 29, 1940); FDR signed the executive order giving the military authority to intern Japanese-Americans (Feb. 19, 1942), and the first U.S. atomic weapons were tested at Los Alamos (July 16, 1945).

Other notable violent Mars in Taurus moments in criminal history include: Billy the Kid murdered (July 14, 1881); Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow shot 48 times and killed (May 23, 1934); Bugsy Seigel murdered (June 20, 1947); and Patty Hearst kidnapped by the Symbionese Liberation Army (Feb 4, 1974). The kidnapping resulted in Randolph Hearst meeting the demands of the SLA by announcing the establishment of a $2 million food program, `People in Need' (Feb 19, 1974).

All of which brings us to 2005--will it be déjà vu all over again?

There were four transits of Mars in Taurus during President Nixon's tenure: March 6-April 18, 1970; Feb 10-March 26, 1972; and Aug 12-Oct 29, 1973; and finally, Dec 24, 1973-Feb. 27, 1974. As a Capricorn with Virgo rising, Nixon was greatly helped by the first two of them. Here is some of what took place on his watch during those transits: He signed a bill banning cigarette ads on radio and television (April 1, 1970) and re-established diplomatic relations with China (Feb 17, 1972); the Equal Rights Amendment was passed (March 22, 1972); and the endangered Species Act was signed (Dec 28, 1973).

But the last Mars in Taurus transit did him in. The Watergate fiasco was unraveling Nixon's presidency at a breakneck speed (two of the key players, H.R. Halderman and John Ehrlichman both have Mars in Taurus, and as is often the case, the most dramatic sequence of their lives played out on the Mars transit of 1973-74); Henry Kissinger was sworn in as the first Jewish Secretary of State (Sept. 22, 1973); Vice President Agnew was forced to resign (Oct 10, 1973); the Arab Oil Embargo began, and we saw long lines for gas (Oct 17, 1973); the Yom Kippur War took place (Oct 6, 1973); the "Saturday Night Massacre" happened, in which Attorney General Elliot L. Richardson and Deputy Attorney General William B. Ruckelshaus resigned rather than fire special Prosecutor Archibald Cox (Oct 20, 1973); and after being ordered to do so, Nixon released the first White House tapes on the Watergate scandal (Oct 26, 1973).

There are signs that point to a likely repeat of 1973-74: As of this writing, Mars is conjunct (traveling alongside) Admetos, a transneptunian point used by Uranian astrologers signifying strong focus, separation, and sometimes even death. The tight Mars/Admetos conjunction lasts from Sept. 17 to Oct. 18. It plays out this fall (and repeats in early winter 2006) as an expression of extreme frustration, pent-up energy, and even (gulp) terrorism.

Liane Thomas Wade, president of the Uranian Society, points out (that) "the last time Mars and Admetos met on a retrograde in Taurus, was Oct. 16-20, 1973, and it contacted Richard Nixon's Uranus (which, in turn, contacted a personal point of his). It manifested as the aforementioned "Saturday Night Massacre." This time, the Mars/Admetos conjunction contacts President Bush's Venus, the planet that rules his 4th house of home, family and security. The lunar eclipse of Oct. 17 directly impacts his chart as well. Besides his decline in popularity, his very personal foundation could begin to unravel as well.

Because the contact between Mars and Admetos is a station (Mars appears to standstill and then goes retrograde) again in the sign of Taurus, and lasts for at least three weeks, the potential for rage and frustration will be even greater. They will meet once more for a few days around Feb. 2, 2006, so I would urge caution in one's personal affairs. The full force of the Mars/Admetos conjunction will play out on the national or world stage in the form of a natural of governmental disaster. In February, Jupiter in Scorpio will loosely oppose it. This polarity has often signified earthquakes."

Can it be that this fall we will experience a round of intense drama that surpasses anything we've seen in recent years? It's already begun. What more can we expect? Well, with Mars at the apex of a Yod opposite Venus in Scorpio in mutual reception, the sky's the limit, as are the depths of the ocean. (A Yod occurs when two planets 60° apart both form a 150° angle with a third planet. The third planet represents the action point of the Yod; the midpoint between the other two planets is the reaction point. The action point is sometimes called the "finger of God." The Yod is believed by many astrologers to be a karmic configuration. Mutual reception is when two planets are in one another's sign, which adds strength to both.)

As stated in my 2005 new year essay, I think there will likely be a growing energy crisis, with an oil shortage (if not massive burning of oil fields), a drop in the real estate market, and an overall economic drama. My feeling is that one way or another this administration will be compromised and may even be brought down in a manner similar to the way Nixon's was 32 years ago. Once the economy takes a big hit, it will then need to reinvent itself ,just as it did after the shaky mid-late 1970s.

Through studying Mars in Taurus, particularly the retrograde cycles, we learn about the very nature of survival, lust, greed, gluttony, and will. And what it takes to go the distance. There's hardly a deadly sin that Mars in Taurus hasn't specialized in. But he's so very talented, too. Perhaps the lesson for us during this next transit, is to hone our talents and align with our highest selves so that we can better use the energy to create rather than destroy.

By the way, I became a professional astrologer on July 4, 1992. Mars was in Taurus. Who knew?

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