Current Transits for March 2008

Here's some of the important astrological news this month ...


Pallas enters Aries, 3-3
Mars enters Cancer, 3-4
New Moon at 17Pi30, 3-7
Jupiter Trioctile Saturn, 3-18
Full Moon at 1Li31, 3-21
Jupiter Semisextile Chiron, 3-23
Jupiter Sextile Uranus, 3-28
Ceres enters Gemini, 3-29

An online ephemeris for the month is available.

General Outlook for the Month

The brief up turn at the end of February, including a minor Koz Alert on Feb 29th, was just a hint of what is coming in March. Pluto fades somewhat into the background most of the month (which many people would consider a blessing), but a number of other outer planets combine forces to take center stage. Jupiter, Chiron and Uranus make an energy that is vastly different from what we've been feeling since new years. (These planets form a series of "big aspects" in coming weeks.) The other key to understanding March is to notice that Mercury and Venus are flying through Pisces and Aries together, never more than a few degrees apart. As they connect up with the slower moving planets, we are treated to some planetary storms of amazing power. I can't quite recall the last time we've experienced a Koz Quake (when the waveforms go above the 600 unit mark), but such intense blasts are rather rare, to say the least, typically about once a year. There are a few periods of relative quiet between the storms, but most of March is fast moving and high energy, so get used to the quicker pace that life is dishing out. Pluto starts to return in importance towards the end of the month, as it approaches its upcoming retrograde station on Apr 2 -- it's essentially standing still and burning a hole at 1Cp08 the last week. I suspect the world will look like a very different place come April -- get ready for quite a ride!

There's a lot more to talk about in March than we had in February. I have 3 "big aspects" on my list, all of them new, first time contacts that indicate our entrance into some influences we haven't seen before. Mars, Ceres and Pallas all change signs this month as well.

Pallas moves from Pisces into Aries on the 3rd, the start of a 10 week passage through this sign. She'll be in this placement until May 20, when she moves into Taurus. Pallas represents a style of thinking known as strategic planning, the ability to scan a situation and figure out how to get from point A to point B. In Aries, she's in no mood to wait or compromise -- she wants results now! It's best to temper such impatience, however, since haste is rarely the best strategy for anything. Pallas also has a passion for looking out for the underdog, the little person who gets squeezed by the larger forces of our society. It's easy to inadvertently step on other's toes if you're in too much of a hurry to have your way. I don't think Pallas would like to see her actions contribute to another person's problems. Take your time, check out the consequences, but act decisively and skillfully when the time is right. It's easier to see your dreams become reality when you're feeling like this.

Mars moves from Gemini into Cancer again on the 4th. He was in Cancer previously before going retrograde last November, eventually backing into Gemini on Dec 31. He's done with Gemini finally and is back to finish up old business. Mars in Cancer has always struck me as one of the great mismatches in astrology. The image that immediately comes to mind for me is of a Roman centurion in full armor wearing a frilly kitchen apron. It just doesn't work for me. The reason is that Mars is all about ego, will-power and asserting yourself, going out and getting things done. He's not really concerned about what you think of his plans. Cancer, on the other hand, is deeply enmeshed in the lives and feelings of the other people around him. It's important that people bond together and take each other's needs into account. Frankly, this is a guarantee of frustration for Mars. Needless to say, it is the lesson of the month for us, so a little patience and humility is in order. Actually, your plans now will probably go a little better if you do take that human factor into account, since selfish action is apt to trigger an emotional backlash from people you trample on. It doesn't hurt to take a little air out of the ego from time to time -- it keeps us human. Besides, Mars can get back to his old ways when he moves into Leo on May 9. That's not too long to wait...

The big Quake storm is still active at the new moon several days later, but it's showing signs of losing steam shortly. I figure the new moon is this storm's last hurrah. The main reason is that Mercury and Venus have moved beyond the fan planets (Jupiter, Chiron, Uranus); in fact, they are currently bracketing Neptune instead. It's only because the Sun and Moon are about to go over Uranus that this storm is still holding together. Mars was opposite Pluto earlier in the day and Pallas makes it a T-square. This is a very shaky foundation for the coming lunar month.

First of all, this new moon is highly charged with electric Uranus energy. There's a lot of wild, nervous energy in the air, weird coincidences are the norm, reality seems to have taken that wrong turn at Albuquerque. If you're comfortable with Uranus' vibes, this should be a fun and exhilarating time. However, I suspect most people find this influence irriatating and annoying, a kind of involuntary overdrive. It's probably helpful to take some time away each day to ground this high voltage stuff out of your body, as it can be very stressful and overtaxing to the nervous system. With Mercury and Venus on either side of Neptune, our thoughts and feelings are taking on a dreamy, soft-focus quality. If you can be open to these spiritual domains, there's much to chew on here. Most of us have a more mundane reaction to Neptune, typically mental fogginess and a bit of laziness. The Mars-Pluto opposition is more difficult to ignore. There's a tug-of-war here between our normal ego selves and the deeper, more impersonal sides of our nature, a battle that has been going on since 2007-9-21. This is their third and final contact, so hopefully we've absorbed some of the lessons about balancing ego with Self by now. Mars winds up being somewhat humbled by this contact (Pluto always has the last word), which is helpful for him now and then. It takes the feistiness and selfishness out of him, which frees him up to carry out his plans in a more balanced manner. As you can tell, there's much outer planet activity in this chart -- the unconscious mind is ultimately in control. That is unsettling for many people, but generally we grow spiritually the most when the ego is not in the driver's seat. It should be an "interesting" month...

Jupiter is trioctile Saturn on the 18th, the first of 3 such contacts. The upcoming hits are on 2008-6-26 and 2009-1-30 (at the start of the next administration). The odd thing about this trioctile is that it overlaps with a trine of these same planets that lasts from 2007-3-16 to 2008-11-21. In a nutshell, both of these aspects, one positive, the other stressful, are ongoing simultaneously, which really screws up our response to these aspects. Of course, the trine is "old news" by now, while the trioctile is just getting started, so maybe this year is a transitional year for these planets. Jupiter is the urge within us to reach out to the world around us and join in the game. We become much bigger and more influential people when we come out of our personal shell and start connecting up with people around us. We all have unique traits and abilities to share, enriching the lives of us all. The flip side is Saturn, the planet that insists that if we want to join the game, we need to play by the rules. He represents the limits and responsibilities that restrict our personal freedom so that we can be "responsible members of society" -- not exactly what most of us want to hear. Together, these polar opposities in life govern our connections with society and with the world at large. It may not be a perfect system, but by and large it allows people to be more together than they could be alone. Needless to say, the 20 year cycle of Jupiter and Saturn also seems to govern the affairs of society in general, often affecting the fates of nations and leaders. Trioctiles, as a rule, are a rather stressful period within this greater cycle. It's as though the unspoken agreement between people that binds us together is strained and in danger of breaking. People question the status quo when it seems responsibilities outweigh the benefits they receive, or that someone else is getting an unfair advantage. Society itself is stretched to the breaking point (subtly, not overtly). It's curious that this aspect is in effect during the election season up to the inauguration. A sense that the country is broken and needs to be rebuilt on new principles seems to be the winning message in this campaign, although that means different things to different people. I've also mentioned on countless occasions how this cycle of Jupiter and Saturn is connected with the Middle East, due to their conjunction on 2000-5-28 on the Israeli Sun. A period of relative calm (which is saying a lot for this part of the world) is breaking down once more, especially in Gaza. A window of opportunity in this region is probably passing without significant results. Anyway, this questioning of our culture, this struggle to salvage what is worthwhile and reinventing the rest, is going to be a major theme over the coming year. Finding your place in the world is not an easy task. Shift your perspective to look at the big picture -- the greater world invariably is challenging your personal life. Don't let your vision become too small...

The full moon appears during the second transition period, so the energies are more moderate and somewhat scattered. There's only one big striking feature of this chart: Pluto forms a tight T-square with the Sun and Moon. Jupiter and Saturn join this core group and Mars is on the fringes. The rest of the planets are hardly worth mentioning. Even Mercury and Venus, normally the main "storm-makers" this month, are on the sidelines. I guess that's why this is a transition period.

Pluto is rapidly approaching its retrograde station on Apr 2, so the next couple of weeks will have this constant bass note of deep, dark energy. Not that there's anything wrong with dark, since that implies hidden, not bad. However, Pluto's retrograde cycle is typically a time when life changes and transforms, whether you want it to or not. Early in the cycle, where we are now, you can hardly discern the karmic threads that are being woven for you, although the outcome will be abundantly obvious by September or so. This full moon is primarily a statement that this process is officially under way. This T-square is in cardinal signs, the zodiac signs that represent action, focus and decisiveness. Keep an eye out for where you are being challenged, those parts of your life that seemed to go smoothly for so long and are acting up now. Change your plans so that they don't rely on these areas -- it makes it easier to carry on if Pluto happens to "remove" these things from your life. The full moon after the equinox, when the Moon is in Libra and the Sun in Aries, is often a time when relationships with the people around you are under some strain. The balance between ego and friendship, between acting strictly for your own interests and taking others into account, gets to be a problem under this influence. Pluto takes this typical scenario and moves it to an entirely new level. Power issues may come up and you don't even know why. It's all confusing still, since we haven't really gotten a good feel for Pluto in Capricorn yet. I guess we'll get to figure this out on the fly...

Jupiter is semisextile Chiron on the 23rd for the first of 3 contacts. The follow-up contacts are on Jun 7 and Oct 26. This semisextile is the final chapter in the cycle between Jupiter and Chiron that began back on 1990-6-16, with their conjunction at 16Cn12. (The cycle begins again with their next conjunction on 2009-5-23 at 26Aq12.) So this 19 year long cycle is essentially winding down now. We've discussed Jupiter already. Chiron is a different matter. There's something painful about Chiron, the part of ourselves that we most want to keep hidden in the closet so nobody else can see it. The trouble is, the only person you can successfully hide it from is yourself -- everyone else with a lick of sense can see it easily. These "faults" in ourselves, whether real or imagined, are the things that keep us separate from other people. We try to present only our good side, stuffing the rest aside in the hope that we can escape the judgment of others. This works in some situations, but it's a lousy approach for building deep and lasting relationships with other people. In a sense, Jupiter and Chiron are operating at cross purposes with each other. While the semisextile is mildly positive in nature, I can't see that it helps this combination all that much. As I said, this is a kind of winding down period for the entire cycle. It's worthwhile to look back at the last two decades of life, examining how this lack of confidence in self has gotten in the way of connecting with others. Similarly, it's a time to reflect on how the whole-hearted acceptance of a friend is the best antidote for these feelings of guilt. Obviously, if you have issues like this, they aren't going to simply go away in a flash. It takes time. However, there's no need to drag this old emotional baggage into the next cycle. Best to work through it now and be ready to start the next cycle in a better state. It's one of the hardest lessons to learn in life: despite our flawed humanity, friends love us anyway. It's reassuring...

Jupiter is sextile Uranus on the 28th, another first of 3 contacts. The upcoming contacts are on May 21 and Nov 12. If you need help climbing out of your mental ruts, this aspect may be the ticket. First of all, Jupiter and Uranus are both mental planets, activating the intellectual and intuitive areas of our personalities. They also share a sense of optimism, a feeling that things can change for the better. While Jupiter tends to be the more conventional of the two, Uranus is the one willing to go out on a limb and try something new just because. Also, sextiles have a way of working out for the best if you put some effort into it. This is a good time to be looking at your problem areas from a different perspective, throwing out approaches that don't work, putting a new plan in place. The only drawback is that you need to "see" a new approach in your imagination before it is real for you. This is why it's important to be open to crazy ideas that deviate from the norm instead of staying bound to the same old path. Remember that Jupiter is about expanding your boundaries, looking at the big picture, getting beyond your limitations. With Uranus, the only limitation is a lack of imagination. Otherwise, change is his middle name. Think bold, look beyond conventional thinking. There's little to hold yourself back now.

Ceres moves from Taurus after an extended stay into Gemini on the 29th. She'll be in this sign until she moves into Cancer on Jun 11. This is probably not one of the most natural placements for the Great Mother Ceres, but it has some important expressions worth noting. Gemini is a mental sign as well as a symbol of younger children. An important outlet for Ceres in Gemini is the role of Teacher, a person that guides and shapes young minds, helping them sort out what is important from what is inessential. The other principal theme is the idea of tending your "brain children", your ideas and dreams that need some quiet attention before they are ready to be shown to the world. What's missing from this placement is the emotional element. Ceres is a Mother, not a disinterested stranger. The feeling connection is important to her, the sense of caring and nurture that binds us together. Without that loving feeling, there's something seriously missing for Ceres. Yes, you can tend the mental world all you want the next few months, just as long as you don't divorce it from feeling. Rationality is a rather sterile master -- the heart has its own agenda. Remember to keep these two paths in balance.