Mars in Libra: beyond a reasonable doubt

I’ve got jury duty this week.  Today was the first day of jury selection.  The judge in the courtroom I’ve been selected for read this great description of “reasonable doubt.”  It’s a criminal case so a clear working definition of reasonable doubt is crucial, since 12 people are going to have to agree on a verdict for the trial to be a success.  I wish I’d had a recorder, the exact phrasing of the sentence he read was so illuminating to me.

Being human I am, of course, filled with reasonable doubts about all sorts of things.  But according to the judge what the courts are looking for is actually something less to do with the absence of any doubt whatsoever and more to do with being filled with “abiding conviction” that the prosecutor has made her case.  We don’t have to decide on the moral character of the defendant, just on whether we are convinced the defendant actually committed the actions the prosecutor alleges.  He said we needed to imagine ourselves twenty years in the future feeling confident we’d done the right thing.  It’s as if he wants us to be less concerned with the morals of the defendant and more concerned with our own.

There was something so… so… so Mars in Libra about the proceedings.  Of course, I have Libra in the 9th house, which is a “good” house and has to do with law anyway, so perhaps I’m a bit vulnerable to a positive interpretation, but I found the whole afternoon very enlightening.

Everyone is so filled with negative interpretations of Mars retrograding in Libra, and no, I’m not too happy about hitting the column in my parking garage with my car the other night (Mars in my 2nd house of money and possessions ruling my 3rd house of short distance journeys is seriously going to be coming out of my pocketbook on that one) but what if Mars retrograding in Libra is also an opportunity to right some wrongs?  What if righteous Mars does get slowed down by Venusian need for agreement?  Would that really be so bad?

After all, as Rob Hand points out, the biggest problems with Mars always arise when we treat it like a personal planet, as if our fight for things was personal.  Me driving too fast in my parking garage and grazing a column is symptomatic of how selfishly I’ve been driving, not paying enough attention to the world around me.  In that instance I was not using my Mars wisely.  Thank heavens I hit concrete, not flesh and blood.  We need to use our Mars for others, to fight for something outside ourselves that we believe in, not just blindly pursuing our own selfish ends.

I’ve always had a tiny niggling anxiety that I would land on a jury where I was the only one in the room who believed something the other jurors didn’t.  I’ve argued lonely battles before, you see.  And I would hate to do so when someone’s life hung in the balance.  But this judge made me feel differently.  He made me feel confident that there was genuine worth to fighting for your opinion, to sticking to it, but to being open to the opinions of others.  He made it interesting.  And he made it meaningful.

I still can’t but hope I don’t get selected for the jury and I get to go home once selection is over, but I no longer dread it if I don’t.  In fact, it occurs to me that this is as good a way to kick off this retrograde as any and possibly better than most.

Wish me luck!  …and conviction!  I have a feeling we’re going to need it…

4 replies
  1. Sabina
    Sabina says:

    Strange Freudian choice that we wish you ‘conviction’.

    Is there no court reporter present? You could ask to read the transcript of the judge’s definition of reasonable doubt.

    Interesting, your ideas about Mars in Libra. But would he hang a jury out of egocentrism? Isn’t your Venus in the 12th? She’d probably be fine in Aqua right now, but when she gets to Pisces – yikes! Then there’s the injunction against going to war when Mars is Rx, and our judicial process is adversarial, after all. Yes, very interesting.

    I don’t think I would like to be empanelled as a juror in a criminal trial. When I was a court reporter as a young woman, the old fellows used to say the criminal courts were soul destroying and that many of the judges became alcoholics and suicides. Not being able to look away from the abyss, I guess. I had a talent for the law, in principle, but no stomach for it in practice.

    • Wonder Bright
      Wonder Bright says:

      Hi Sabina!! Using the word “conviction” at the end wasn’t a Freudian slip, it was a pun meant to highlight my parallel between Mars and the “absolute conviction” the judge admonished us to use in order to distinguish between reasonable and unreasonable doubts. I’ve since italicized it in the hopes of making it a bit more obvious. :)

      I’m afraid I don’t understand what you mean when you ask if he would “hang a jury out of egocentrism”?

      I’m not longing to be empanelled as a jury member myself, I was relieved to not be chosen, but I was incredibly inspired by this judge, it would not have been a hardship to watch him at work setting the tone for a thoughtful jury. This man was made of sterner stuff than the alcoholics and suicides you describe. His optimism and passion were unmistakable, which is precisely why I came away from the experience full of hope and faith that one person really can make a difference and that this person might as well be me.

      I’m also not clear why you say Venus in Pisces would be a “bad” circumstance for me, she’s exalted there and will be sextiling her natal position. Is it because you’re equating Pisces with the 12th house? (I don’t use the sign = house method myself) Regardless of why you said it, I guess I’m inclined to find more value in the experience of surrendering to what’s so rather than feeling fear and anxiety around things I cannot prevent.

      A stellium in the 12th is many things, but one of the very best things it provides is the experience of letting go. We resist that experience, but the actual reality is that it is as much a part of life as living. Everything goes away in the end, the real truth is that all we have is now, so every fear or anxiety we encounter about loss is just a reminder to be here now, be present now, live now. Love now.

  2. Sabina
    Sabina says:

    I was just thinking that Mars in Libra is portrayed as stifled somehow, and Rx more so, and that he might choose to be a contrarian in order to exercise his power.

    I am heartened to hear the judge had passion and optimism: these sometimes seem rare qualities these days.

    I was really thinking of Venus ruling Mars in Libra, and what that might mean from her position in Pisces. I did not mean to imply that would be ‘bad’, only perhaps confusing or nebulous, something quite un-Martian or un-martial, perhaps.

    I have a 12th house Sun (and several planets there now by secondary progression) but I think Life eventually teaches all of us all about letting go.

    Do you know this song? I love this video too: childhood car trips looking out the window at now, now, now.

  3. Wonder Bright
    Wonder Bright says:

    Oh I love Ray LaMontagne! Thanks for this, Sabina, I haven’t seen the video before. Well, I don’t think the defendant was having such a great Mars experience, obviously :) but the judge was on FIRE!! I loved him.

    I definitely have the impression that this Mars retrograde is requiring people to take a stand for things for better or worse. What I wanted to point to is that it’s all in your intentionality. Planets in detriment or retrograde require more conscious attention to bring about positive results, but a more conscious attitude never hurt anybody, after all.

    This conversation made me realize that when Venus goes into Pisces, not only will she be exalted, but she will also be in antiscia to Libra – in fact, it may be that she’s in a better position to help out poor old Mars running blind in her sign. Venus typically does well in Pisces, she’s all about us all connecting and recognizing the Oneness of it all, after all :)

    Here’s hoping, anyway!! <3

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