“Halfway to Falling” Mars & Uranus Meet The Head of the dragon

When I use words like collapse or crumbling or falling, I’m thinking of the collapsing and falling of old ways of being, old worlds and old things.

Artist Kate O’Shea- Gravity Express

For this post I was totally inspired by the recent work of Irish Artist Kate O’Shea, a woman whose work is intimately in touch with the energy of the collective, and who, in my opinion, manages to effortlessly express the current astrological zeitgeist through her work. She is not an astrologer, but nevertheless is one of those people whose deep social awareness seems uncannily alert to the effect of astrological tides and is something I have noticed in her work over the years.


As we move through July and into the beginning of August, the planet Mars, associated with action, aggression, passion, war and even violence, meets Uranus, the planetary indicator of collective unrest, revolution and dramatic change, a meeting which takes place in the stable, stubborn and solid earth sign of Taurus. Although Mars, with it’s relatively rapid cycle meets Uranus every two years, and Uranus meets the North Node roughly every fifteen, Uranus hasn’t met the North Node in the sign of Taurus since 1855 and there hasn’t been a Uranus North Node conjunction in Taurus that has involved Mars within the last 1000 years at least. Uranus has been in Taurus since 2018 and will be there for roughly another three years and its is interesting to note that the last time that Uranus was conjunct the North Node in Taurus there was also war between Europe and Russia in the Crimean War. The last time Uranus was in Taurus we witnessed the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War, the invasion of Japan by China, the Winter War between Russia and Finland and of course WWII; as we might expect with all things Taurean, themes of land and the contests over them seem to be a feature. Earthquakes or other diverse and extreme weather effects could also be a feature of this aspect, reflecting the imagery of sudden shocks, uprising, fracture and rebellion of what has been reliable and secure in the past.


Uranus and Taurus are an interesting combination to attempt to fathom. Taurus — the sign that, out of the entire zodiac, is the most resistant to change — meets the planet that insists upon it. Uranus challenges the status quo and forces both the individual and society to change and, in particular, to break with the past. From the purely Uranian point of view, clinging to the past can only hinder progress. From the deliberate, enduring, and persistent Taurean viewpoint, change not only might topple the much-beloved quiet life, it also threatens the most important thing of all: security. Both the planet and the sign are coming from different places, but both share a refusal to budge from their entrenched positions.

Sue Tompkins


Taurus is a sign associated with resources, the land, food, it’s production and those who do the work of producing it; it also covers money, wealth and all things of tangible value that come from the earth so it is unsurprising that the land and it’s health have come to the fore in recent years. Biodiversity has become a mainstream word recently as slowly, the world wakes up to an understanding of the detrimental effect that modern farming practices have had on our planet’s ability to flourish. Land grabs, where wealthier organisations and even individuals buy up swathes of countryside with an eye to food production in the future, indicate that there is a strong possibility that food security will be the gold of the future when, as a society, many of us are now far removed from the business of dealing with food production, leading lives that have moved further and further away from the natural world.

Uranus upsets and unsettles whatever area it resides in, breaking rules and fragmenting our understanding so that we are forced to re-imagine a different way, to discover a new paradigm in which to exist; in this case all things to do with what supports our bodily physical existence on this earth. With this transit Uranus through Taurus will be forcing us to reconsider “food clothes and shelter” the basics of life and all over the planet at this very moment people are out on the streets protesting about these very things: the increases in the cost of living, the price of fuel, the instability of the economy; its back to basics. Here in Ireland, a new housing referendum is causing concern among many, whilst anger over the rulings on traditional turf cutting as a means of heating homes has caused the government to back track slightly on it’s legislation; there is only so much that people will accept at any one time.


As I write, farmers are gathering in countries across Europe, with more and more countries coming out in support of Dutch farmers, protesting against new legislation aimed mainly at reducing the scale of beef and dairy production; tractors and agricultural machinery are blockading roads, inhibiting supply chains and farmers say that they have had enough of ever restrictive government policies. All across the world, ordinary people are coming together to demonstrate against the rises in the cost of living, the price of fuel and the growing inaccessibility of essential items to the growing number of impoverished citizens. In the last ten days several prominent political leaders across the globe have stepped down from office whilst several others are teetering on the brink.

There is no doubt in my mind that we are standing at the edge of dramatic global change… even the naysayers can barely deny it now…. even if one ignores the protests that are happening right now in so many countries, how many Prime Ministers can leave office in one week to show that matters are coming to a head…. as artist Kate O’Shea says in her video presentation below…..how much is enough?



My version of falling is located somewhere between the mental and the physical, the stuff of landscapes. I would have always started with the physical environment as a way of looking at the mental landscape. In terms of Halfway to Falling, I was probably thinking more about people under capitalism being smothered and falling….. It’s trying to sense what it feels like and looks like to live in conditions where people are being pushed all the time. It’s a stacking and stacking of pressure that succumbs to the necessity of collapse. Constant growth, erosion and extraction can only lead to a ‘falling apart’.

Artist Kate O’Shea-Gravity Express

The passages of the lunar nodes have been recorded since the beginning of known astrological observations because as the Sun approaches them, the associated New & Full Moons tend to be eclipses and very unfortunate events in ancient times. Traditionally referred to as the Dragon’s Head, (the North Node) and the Dragon’s Tail, (the South Node), they were believed to embody a celestial dragon which swallowed the Sun or Moon, causing it to be eclipsed at regular intervals. Spending roughly 18 months in each sign, the North Node follows an 18.5 year cycle backwards through the signs of the zodiac and will be the general location of the “eclipse season” in any given year; it has been in Taurus since the end of 2021 and will move into Aries in July of 2023.

At the beginning of August, both Mars & Uranus unite at the North Node in the 19th degree of Taurus, which the Astrologer Dane Rudhyar describes so:

A NEW CONTINENT RISING OUT OF THE OCEAN

The surge of new potentiality after the crisis.

Dane Rudhyar

To me this seems like a hopeful symbol, although the birth pangs of anything new are rarely without pain and anguish and it remains to be seen how this planetary meeting highlighting the nodal axis in Taurus Scorpio will manifest. These signs are both notorious for power struggles and battles over who takes control, their challenge being to learn to build security without exploiting others (or the land for that matter). On some level, I believe that humanity is being called to establish a more meaningful set of values, values that go deeper than the capitalist growth model that has been in place for the last two hundred and fifty years. We need to learn to live more harmoniously with the universal flow of energy to which we are all so closely connected, which is likely to mean letting go of our emotional attachment to the material security that we have come to rely on, security gained, however indirectly, from the exploitation of other beings.

This task will prove challenging, but one that we must face into, and although it may seem as if it is political issue that we can have no control over, in reality, we have control over ourselves, and without the people there are no “rulers”. It is at times like this that I remember something my father used to say to make us laugh when we were children:

…my strength is the strength of ten, because my heart is pure”

Alfred Lord Tennyson

He wasn’t a tall man by any stretch of the imagination, but I was always impressed by his ability to to “big strong things” which was a lesson that I have recalled often through life, of how huge a part that belief plays in life… if you can believe, then the battle is half won, a dynamic message that is carried within the polarity of the Taurus Scorpio nodal axis; the knowledge that it is our own inner strength and the capacity that we have to survive that will ultimately bring stability.


Big thanks to Kate for the inspiration!. You can follow her on Instagram here:

https://www.instagram.com/kateosheaartist

Joanna Grant. D.F.Astrol.S

Joanna Grant is an astrologer of some 30 years and was awarded the Diploma at the Faculty of Astrological Studies in 2012. Weaving her knowledge of the stars together with intuitive tarot techniques, she crafts highly personalised guidance for clients who are often navigating difficult life transitions. She has lately been very excited to breathe new life into her astrological practice through her study of Horary.

Joanna holds the STA’s Practitioners Level Certification in Horary and is currently completing the STA’s Advanced Level Horary Diploma. You can read more about her here.

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