Current Transits for March 97

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


Saturn sextile Uranus, 3-1
Pluto Retrograde Station, 3-8
Mars enters Virgo, 3-8
New Moon / Total Solar Eclipse at 18Pi31, 3-8
Fiery Grand Trine, 3-19
Full Moon / Partial Solar Eclipse at 3Li35, 3-23

General Outlook for the Month

Compared to what we went through during February, March looks down right tame. The Grand Finale pattern we've been experiencing completely falls apart by the 8th, giving us a much needed break to catch our breath. While there will be a number of "aftershocks" from the Finale for many months (giving us a chance to figure out in hindsight what just happened to us), we are in new, uncharted waters now. At least the sailing will be much smoother as all this planetary intensity eases off. If anything, the sudden dissipation of the storm's energy may make this a rather disorienting or unsettling time. You can get used to anything over time (even weeks of Koz Quakes!), but rapid change seems to upset us every time. Take it easy the next few weeks, give yourself time to assess the shifts you've been through, catch up on the mundane chores of living. Don't get stuck in the past, nursing hurt feelings over all the difficulties of recent weeks, however (remember, Uranus-Pluto was about letting go!). Quite simply, we're done with that and need to move on. Look to the future.

The pattern of planets that was so highly focused at 5-6 degrees last month is breaking up, scattering the energies in all directions. By March 8th, the Grand Finale is history. However, it will take about 2 years for the sextile between Uranus and Pluto to dissipate, allowing us many opportunities to finally come to terms with the amazing evolutionary phase we've just passed through. As the faster moving planets trigger this lingering sextile over and over again in coming months, a series of "aftershocks" is set off, similar to the small earthquakes that release the leftover energy after "the Big One" hits. This series of contacts gives you the chance to bring the lessons home on a very personal level, so that the "awakening" you've experienced can permeate your entire life. After a time, the impossible will seem very normal to us.

Saturn sextile Uranus, 3-1

The final licks of the Finale include the sextile of Saturn and Uranus on the 1st, as well as the retrograde station of Pluto on the 8th. This sextile is the last "big aspect" of the series of 7 that made up the Finale. The final contact between Saturn and Uranus (out of 3), this is the culmination of a long growth process that began last May. Saturn rules structure and form, the role of matter in turning dreams into physical reality. Uranus is the blinding insight that blasts through existing structures, the power of Spirit to lift us to a higher plane of behavior. Structures in our lives that have become too small or confining for our own good have been under considerable pressure to change. It's only our own resistance to change and growth that prevents us from taking this step. We have the chance now to release old habits and embrace new styles of living. Often it requires little more than a shift in perspective or point of view. Just looking at a "stuck" situation a bit differently will open options that hadn't been noticed before. Feel free to experiment and improvise, trusting your intuition and instincts along the way. Take care of your health, however. Saturn is the physical body in general, while Uranus is the nervous system. As this new energy courses through us, it is picked up by the nervous system and redistributed to the world via the body's own energy fields or aura. With so much energy flowing through us lately, our circuits are fried and smoking. To avoid excess stress and burnout, you must tend to the needs of the body: sleep, diet, exercise, rest. You can't fully realize the union of body and spirit if you're shortchanging the body in the process. Growth must happen on all levels simultaneously.

Pluto Retrograde Station at 5Sa36, 3-8

Pluto's retrograde station on the 8th is a crucial time. Besides the other events on the same day (see below), these times when Pluto is standing still are critical "turning points" in our lives. Typically, the retrograde cycles (periods when a planet is moving backwards against the zodiac) of Pluto correspond with major growth spurts in our lives, as we realize (very slowly and densely, it seems) that we've outgrown certain parts of our lives and need to attend to others that are still undeveloped. (Check out which house in your birthchart is the site of Pluto's back-and-forth dance -- the affairs of that house are the ones Pluto is affecting.) The process is rarely gentle, especially if Pluto is making major contacts to your birthchart during this cycle. It starts out slowly enough, with the conflicts or problems barely registering on the radar screen. By the retrograde station (when Pluto is turning from forward motion to reverse gear), certain events or situations have been "locked in place" for us down the road. Even though we may still be unaware of these problem situations and what they mean for us, these lessons are meant for us to gain a deeper understanding of what is truly important for us and what is inessential. As Pluto backs up over the next 5 months, these situations intensify, frequently forming a "crisis point" that can't be ignored. Things that we've held onto long after they've been of any use to us are simply taken from us or crumble in our hands; things that we've ignored or put off demand our attention in no uncertain terms. By the direct station (which takes place at 2Sa49, on 8-13), a make or break point is reached. You must let go of the inessential, take up those things that are truly authentic for you, and get on with a new life. It's curious that this Pluto station is the crowning event of the entire Finale process. It seems it will require some time and effort to actually integrate the shifts of February into our lives in a vital way. It's not enough to glimpse the mountain gleaming in the distance -- you must actually put one foot in front of the other until you finally get there. Pay attention to the problems and issues surrounding your life at this time -- there's all the raw material you'll need to take your next spiritual step.

Mars enters Virgo, 3-8

The warrior god Mars is also in reverse gear at this time. It hit its station on 2-5 (at 5Li55), the same day as the last Uranus-Pluto sextile, so there seems to be a connection here. (This is in addition to Mars being the "lower octave" of Pluto: both refer to will-power and dynamic change, though Mars is more personal about it.) Shortly after Pluto's station on the 8th, Mars backs up from Libra into Virgo for a 3 month stay. Neither zodiac sign is very hospitable to Mars and his Rambo approach to life. Libra is about cooperation and living harmoniously with partners; Virgo is the path of service and disciplined action for a greater cause. Add to this the fact that Mars is backing up (which seems to make it even harder for him to get anything done or flex his "manly" virtues), and you've got one frustrated planet here. This is not a time to grandstand or try to pull rank on others. Cooperation and diplomacy are paramount; submitting to the greater good and delaying your own rewards comes with the territory. Part of the Finale energy is learning to operate at a "transpersonal" level, replacing the drives of the ego with the guidance of the soul, looking at the big picture instead of looking out for Number 1. Operating in this more balanced fashion, with your aggressive drives disciplined and under control of the higher self, is apparently the first lesson we need to master this spring.

New Moon / Total Solar Eclipse at 18Pi31, 3-8

If this weren't a solar eclipse, I'd be ready to call this chart a dud. As is, let's call it a sleeper that may awaken later. This is almost like waking up from a long dream and getting ready to start your day. There's this lingering feeling of "something important happened here", even if you can't put your finger on it. The doors to the unconscious are closing again, we're withdrawing into our usual everyday way of being once more. But that stationary Pluto stands out like a sore thumb. The unconscious, the soul, spirit, higher self -- whatever you call it, it may operate underground, but it never goes to sleep. There's always a next lesson to learn on the spiritual path. However, it looks like the coming challenges are still a ways off. We're sowing the seeds of these situations right now, even though we won't realize the consequences of our actions for several months. A particularly critical point in this process occurs next August, when Pluto is standing still, again. Check where Pluto and the eclipse point fall in your own birthchart -- these areas (houses) are the next ones to be affected. Meanwhile, it's time to check into planet Earth and get on with our lives. Except that "normal reality" will never be quite the same again. Viva la difference...

Fiery Grand Trine, 3-19

The sky lights up with fiery energies as a pattern known as a Grand Trine checks in. There's a showy Leo Moon, Mercury and Saturn in Aries, and Pluto (still creaking in slow-mo) over in Sagittarius. Frankly, this upbeat and optimistic fire takes the edge off of the rather difficult influences we've been feeling lately. Throw in Uranus (in Aquarius), forming a Kite pattern, and you've added enough quirkiness to keep any situation from getting boring. There's a second pattern at work here, as well: Sun and Venus in Pisces, Neptune in Capricorn, Mars in Virgo. This combination has romance written all over it, so this is probably a lovely time for partners. Even the lover's arguments will end up harmoniously. We are heading out of the collapse period and into the next planetary storm. It's a good time to get busy, again.

Full Moon / Partial Lunar Eclipse at 3Li35, 3-23

There's a heavy emphasis on fire energy in this chart. It's a good time to think about flexing your muscles and getting on with work. As long as you remember to include others in your plans, the universe is rather indulgent about allowing you to express your will-power. The desires of the conscious ego are more or less aligned with the unconscious, meaning we can act without undermining our own actions. There's a lot of creative spark here! Perhaps it's time to take some of the insights you gained last month and put them into action. In general, if some activity brings you pleasure and a sense of delight with the world, it's probably a project that gets your soul's stamp of approval. Let's get moving!

As seen from Washington, DC, the eclipse chart hints at some rough times ahead for the nation. The eclipse ascendent (8Sa54) is very near the ascendent (7Sa31) of a popular version of the US birthchart. Another version puts the US ascendent at 7 Gemini. Either way, that standing still Pluto (now at 5Sa32) is nearly on the horizon of the US birthchart and the eclipse chart. The lunar nodes line up across the Midheaven line, with Mars on the MH. The full moon is in the 10th house (of leaders, the president in particular) and all those feisty Aries planets are in the 4th house of the people. Clinton's ascendent is supposed to be at 5 degrees of Libra, very near the eclipse point. Who knows how this will all play out, but I expect the fortunes of Clinton and the administration in general to take a nosedive in coming months. It will be very interesting to watch the news as Pluto crisscrosses the US ascendent in 1998. This may be the opportunity to overhaul a style of governing that seems to be rotting from within. The political infighting will not be pretty, however, since Pluto seems to be his nastiest in the public arena. Whatever the nation will be undergoing, I hope more good than harm comes out of it.

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Martin Bulgerin
BioPsciences Institute
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