Here's some of the important astrological news this month ...
New Moon at 12Pi05, 3-2
Mars enters Capricorn, 3-4
Juno Retrograde Station at 20Sc29, 3-8
Uranus enters Pisces, 3-10 -- this placement sets the tone for the next 7 years!
Ceres enters Taurus, 3-13
Full Moon at 27Vi24, 3-18
Pluto Retrograde Station at 19Sa57, 3-22 -- and now, a major plot change.
Jupiter octile Saturn, 3-27
An online ephemeris for the month is available.
At first glance, March doesn't look like much astrologically. The energies are generally sluggish and disorganized, indicative of times when you can strive all you want, but the universe doesn't seem to work with you. In particular, the waveforms all month are mostly low intensity, chaotic messes, with only a hint of life now and then -- the astrological equivalent of static. Of the handful of significant events, however, there are two that truly stand out, especially given the craziness on the world scene. Uranus moves from Aquarius into Pisces on the 10th for a 7 year stay, a major change in scenery. Further, Pluto is standing still and going into reverse gear on the 22nd (23rd for the east coast), always a major plot shift. Trends that seemed pretty inevitable and cast in concrete may not appear so certain anymore. Forces that oppose the directions we're headed in are gaining steam and finally being heard and seen. The true conflicts we are facing may not be the ones we thought we were fighting and realities may differ sharply from accepted (but misguided) "truths". There's a potential to move forward now and cause immense unforeseen problems down the road in coming months and years -- or we can pause a moment and question our false sense of certainty. It's a curious crossroads in history that we face.
There are 3 important sign changes in March, including the Uranus in Pisces event. Juno and Pluto both go retrograde. The only "big aspect" between outer planets is the Jupiter-Saturn octile on the 27th.
Without going into a great deal of detail, the new moon chart is a preview of the rest of the month. The Sun and Moon, together with several other planets around 10-12 degrees, form a Yod pattern, aka, the Finger of God. That by itself marks this new moon as important. But as the Sun continues to move in the next few days, it kicks off a demanding T-square (Sun with Saturn and Pluto, plus Jupiter in a supporting role). Evidentally, March is an intensification of the long, strange string of events stretching back to "9-11" -- what's the next twist? The other group of planets in this chart include Uranus and the many planets wishing it bon voyage into Pisces. It's important to remember where we are now and all the crazy ideas that got us into this situation, because we will need to do some final cleanup on these problems next fall. Take some time to relax and disengage from the high level of alert and stress our world has become. Question the whole messy situation. We created this mess and we can do better. March is a big wakeup call for us.
Mars moves from Sagittarius into Capricorn on the 4th, sextiling Uranus in the process. Capricorn is actually a very useful placement for Mars, as it gives our impetuous Warrior God some much needed structure and discipline to get things done. One might say, with "military precision" (as though we needed to be reminded of that). Mars is the urge to get things done, to change the world to suit your wishes. Capricorn's button down, no nonsense, get to work manner makes this an excellent time to assert yourself. Just make certain your goals are worthwhile and your actions are above board -- fine moral distinctions are not the strong suit of either Mars or Cap. The ends (no matter how honorable) do not justify questionable means, especially this month. Otherwise, get to it! Mars will move into Aquarius on Apr 21.
Juno is standing still at 20Sc29 on the 8th, about to start 3 months of retrograde motion. It resumes normal movement at 4Sc43 on Jun 29. Because of this period of reverse gear, Juno's stay in the tempestuous sign of Scorpio is incredibly long, 11 months instead of the usual 3. Obviously, we've got some important lessons here! Juno is about conducting honest, fair relationships where people truly support each other. Scorpio is the emotional "passion pit" of the zodiac, the area where feelings and unconscious motivations are at their strongest. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see how difficult this placement is for Juno. Her sense of fairness is subject to the kind of misinterpretation that only Scorpio can provide, where even the slightest of misunderstandings can be blown out of proportion. Perhaps one of the more subtle problems now is how Scorpio makes you perceive that you are the center of the universe (ego traps are common with this sign), so that partners can never be fair enough for your tastes. If you find yourself becoming spiteful, jealous or covertly manipulative, you need to take a timeout. Is the other person really taking you for a ride or are you only imagining it? There's no bottom to this emotional well, but you're still responsible for cleaning it out this spring. Everyone will breath easier...
Uranus moves from Aquarius into Pisces on the 10th. Due to an upcoming retrograde cycle, it reenters Aquarius on Sep 14 for some cleanup work, then moves into Pisces for good on Dec 30. It remains in this sign until the year 2010, a 7 year stay. This is obviously a major change of energy, one of the most crucial all year! Unfortunately, it's also one of the hardest to describe in advance, since Uranus is such a Trickster planet. To say "expect the unexpected" hardly gives you fair warning as to how warped this planet's sense of humor is. Uranus is an energy of rapid, revolutionary change, a lightning like shift from one way of looking at the universe to something completely different. He operates on a very refined mental level of pure intuition that simply bypasses the Mercury intellect. Yet he can also act like a law unto himself, tending at times to be cruel and unfeeling -- so much for the great Aquarian Age humanitarian! Pisces represents the end of cycles, a time to gather all the experiences of the past (some 8 decades in Uranus' case) and make some kind of sense of them. There's some kind of "big lesson" in our collective experience since 1928 that is being served up to us -- but which ones? Pisces is a sign of compassion, transcendence, sacrifice and suffering, spanning the breadth of human experience from the most sublime and spiritual to the most deluded and degrading. We need to look at these spiritual issues in a new light, one that isn't even recognized to date. And it will probably take some extreme wake up calls (Uranus wouldn't have it any other way!) to shake humanity out of its collective trance. If you're looking for some "home planet security", this is not the placement for it. Wherever you are stuck, where your sense of self-importance is out of balance, nothing there is safe anymore.
The actual transition to this new outlook on life is not a straight line road, by any means. The shift is what I call a "triple transition", since Uranus is criss-crossing the Aquarius-Pisces border for the next 9 months. We still have some leftover Aquarius work to wrap up later on, but for now, we're sticking our big toes in the Piscean ocean and testing the waters. We may not find the ocean to our liking at first, making the retreat to Aquarius seem safe and familiar (how much we've changed in 7 years), but eventually we'll get used to it. This transition is helped along by such notables as Mars, Chiron, Neptune and Pluto, not to mention the human sideshow of Dubya and Saddam. It's a pretty tangled picture and I'll have much to say about it as we progress through 2003.
But on a more local note, even the movement from one sign to the next this month is pretty complicated. I've noticed over the years a phenomenon related to these sign changes that I call the "void planet effect", similar to a void of course Moon. As the planet leaves the old zodiac sign and makes its last few aspects, it seems to go underground, almost as though it's gone to sleep. More likely, especially with the outer planets, it simply retreats into the unconscious awhile. Once it crosses the border, it continues in stealth mode until it starts making aspects again on the other side, at which point it's open for business. The Moon is usually the last and first aspect, meaning Uranus is in "silent running" from the 9th to the 11th. More significantly, the last non-lunar aspects in Aquarius are from Mars (a sextile) and Mercury (conjunction) on the 4th. It's almost as though Uranus leaves the house in a shower of angry words and misunderstandings. But until the 21st, he's strangely quiet (which is hardly reassuring with a rascally planet like Uranus!) and in the background. Granted you may feel the difference right away, but the new energy doesn't really check in until the 21st, with the semisextiles from the Sun and Mercury just after the equinox. Venus is on top of Uranus on the 28th (both conjunct and parallel!), followed by the Moon on the 29th, while Mars is octile on the 30th, a pretty rough connection. The last 10 days of March should hit us on many levels of our daily lives all at once, shaking things up. Needless to say, we'll have a pretty good notion of what the ocean is like by April Fool's Day, the next new moon. Watch the show carefully -- it's quite an interesting process.
Ceres slips into Taurus on the 13th for a two and a half month stay (until May 27). Taurus is the most physical and earthy of all the zodiac signs, where creature comforts gain their rightful place in our lives. Ceres is the Mother, the symbol of connection, caring and support in our lives, the experience of the Web of Life and how we fit into that grand picture. As a culture, we tend to live in our heads and worship in the Temple of Rationality, spacing out that we are still physical creatures. Being so out of touch with the body and the wisdom of its pleasures, we wind up having an exaggerated and unconscious relation with the physical. Whether it's a messed up attitude towards food and physical health (how many news stories about obesity and other deadly illnesses can we hear before we get it?), or a totally crazed vision of sexual love, it's rare these days to have a sensible view of our bodies and its needs. This is mirrored in our insane relation to the environment, the body of Mother Earth, where we have no concern for what happens to us when we use up the earth. It's time to reexperience the fragile beauty of Mother Earth (as literal a translation of Ceres in Taurus as you can get) and our role as her children, not her master. It's time to trust our own bodies, nourish its needs, revel in the pleasure of the senses, feeling in our bones the connections with all Life on the planet. Get outdoors, plant a garden, feel the ground beneath your feet. Know that you are a part of that holy thing called Life.
As the full moon rolls around, the T-square is a bit ragged and worse for wear, but it's also gained some support and turned into a Grand Cross. (It was even stronger earlier in the day, when the lunar aspects were more exact.) The potent Jupiter-Neptune opposition, exact last month and intimately tied into the Iraq war scenario, joins the Cross via stressful octiles. A number of other planets join the show as well, making this one of the most dynamic patterns all month. All of the outer planets are part of the picture except Uranus, who is still napping. With this much potent and largely unconscious energy poured into a pattern that's essentially a fault line straining to snap, the next two weeks may be quite a nail-biter. I think when things move, they will probably move quickly. Let's hope all that Pisces activity (4 planets in that sign) reminds us to keep our humanity intact, no matter what happens. Curiously, if you look at the full moon chart for Washington DC, Pluto moves right to the midheaven and Saturn to the IC -- the White House is either a target or a source of all this Grand Cross energy. (The Baghdad chart is much less dramatic.) Hold on!
Pluto is standing still around midnight of the 22nd-23rd at 19Sa57, about to ooze into reverse motion. Actually, it's pretty much standing still the entire last half of March. It continues in retrograde motion until Aug 28, when it stations at 17Sa14. In my book, Pluto stations are always a critical time. Pluto is a force of deep, evolutionary change, where "something" at the core of your being dictates to you that it's time to morph into something new and more in harmony with your core. He simply informs you it's time to drop old habits, structures or beliefs, to experience Life nakedly again without false securities to dull your vision. Things pass away, you let go, and then you move on. It rarely goes this simply, however. Everyone is attached to these old patterns in our lives and nobody likes to give them up. Rather than following Pluto (= your soul) quietly, he has to drag us kicking and screaming down that exit ramp we weren't intending to take, and then things get ugly. You see, Pluto the Dark Lord is extremely insistent and does not take "no" for an answer. Resistance is futile. If you insist on hanging on to those outmoded behaviors, he keeps tightening the thumbscrews until things literally break. By the time of the direct station, as you survey the wreckage around you that you used to call your life, you understand the importance of following the calling of your soul in the first place. The direct station (August) is usually where the shit hits the fan and buries it. Things are usually quieter at the retrograde station (now), but getting messy -- at best, you might catch a warning whiff of the shit flying through the air. Watch the situations this month that entangle you, that drag you down or fail to satisfy you, things that were close to you for many years. It may be Pluto calling. Cooperate with your evolution. Don't make Darth Vader displeased...
Jupiter is octile Saturn on the 27th for the second of 3 such contacts. The first contact was on 2002-10-13 and the last contact is on July 8. In order to make sense of this aspect, you need to put it in the context of the 20 year Jupiter-Saturn cycle that began 2000-5-28 with their conjunction. Back when the stock market bubble of the 90's was bursting and Ariel Sharon thought it was a good idea to stroll through the grounds of the Temple Mount, one of Islam's holiest sites. Sound familiar? The conjunction may set the themes for a cycle, but it's the first octile when we get a notion whether the world agrees with our plan or not. This is often a bit of a crisis time, when we pull our heads out of the sand and wonder why things are going so poorly. Obviously, our collective approaches to the world at large are creating significant opposition. The tension between grabbing the goodies in life and behaving in a responsible manner are getting out of hand. There must be a significant change in the plans if things are going to work out. Start by looking at your own behavior, not the actions or words of your "opposition" -- these problems start at home. But they hurt us all. It's time to start acting like adults...