Today, I came across an archived post where April talks about Mars; she says, “And along comes a poisonous blog post to show you just how ugly Mars can look if you don’t deal with it properly. When you refuse to get behind the wheel of your own Mars, you can’t very well complain about the way other people drive theirs.”
When I started writing today, I thought I’d talk about Mars a bit; but the above quote brings to mind a phenomenon I’ve been observing on Facebook: that of written aggression. An innocuous post can evoke unexpected responses from different people and then, the said people will sometimes get deeply engaged in verbal sparring. Sometimes it’s intellectually stimulating, but sometimes it just gets out of hand.
I think this happens partly because we’re dealing with written communication: the tone of voice, the facial expression are missing and we can give what we read either a negative or positive value depending on who we are, how we see things. There is room enough for misinterpretation or even, I suspect, projection. It’s easy to project on a stranger, see them as the enemy, and engage them in a verbal battle. Many times we do this without being aware of it. It does not always end badly, of course. Sometimes, you are made aware of a perspective you hadn’t considered before and come out of the experience richer.
But, sometimes, you end up in a no-win situation with both parties feeling mighty aggravated. I read once in an old, dusty volume that “Thoughts are things,” and verbal/written sparring has taught me this is indeed the case: not only are they things, they are our things. We identify with our thoughts, we are our thoughts. So a disagreement can feel like an attack. And, seeing an attack, Mars is going to fight back. That is his mandate and you can’t fault him for that.
But, being very Martial myself, I’ve discovered the value of peace and harmony. It’s a delicate balance, though: how to be true to yourself and yet diffuse friction. It isn’t always easy, but it can be done. Let me quote Art Grant, a fellow Facebooker on this issue, “I have learned, too, that when a writer is harsh — and not careful about how they express their opinion, or to whom they express it to, and what the recipient’s values might be — sometimes those who receive their words sometimes have no alternative but to perceive the incoming message as hostile. Even pleasant words expressed in a certain manner may appear to convey underlying hostility.”
I just checked, Venus is still conjunct Mars in Aries, and I wonder if she has been passing her message to us through Mr. Grant🙂
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