by Joan Kiley
March is always a transitional month. The weather “usually” shifts out of snowstorms to spring thaw. Spring officially arrives. Time changes to daylight savings. Will this year be the same? With so much in our current news cycle screaming “super craziness has taken over” can we trust anything at all to be “business as usual?” Not really. The universe now has us in a crash course of “don’t take anything for granted” training.
The month begins with the Sun conjunct Neptune in Pisces. Chiron and the South Node are also in Pisces, and we’ve only just begun the Piscean gathering. That’s a lot of Neptunian energy! Despite Jupiter in Virgo opposing the Sun, and Saturn in Sagittarius squaring it, the Uranus/Pluto square still in effect, Mercury and Venus in Aquarius, Mars in Scorpio, etc, we will be unable to ignore the Pisces/Neptune effect on the month of March! The dreaminess, the spaciiness, the drifting of our consciousness into unfocused territory will be present, and even more so, if we attempt to ignore or deny it.
On March 5, we have two personal planets changing signs. Mercury enters Pisces (more Pisces, friends) at 2:30 AM PST and Mars enters Sagittarius at 6:30 PM PST. Mars has been slowing, in preparation for a retrograde period beginning next month. The movement of Mars into Sagittarius may bring more active energy into our lives, in that fiery Sag is less interested in the deep emotional content of our activities as was the prior sign of Scorpio, and will be drawn more into engagement with ideas and people. Mercury in Pisces, with its softer energy, can increase our capacity for daydreaming, but also, in square to Mars, join in the fun, if the action is not too rude or belligerent.
The more serious side of Mars in Sagittarius and Mercury in Pisces is an opportunity to draw upon our visionary capacity, and to try to make our vision a reality. This is a very critical time, not just in our own lives, but also in the making of history. We have not been living in these Uranus/Pluto square years simply to experience change in the outer world, old systems collapsing, and new innovations being created. Our inner lives must mirror that phenomenon in order to fulfill our purpose.
A very powerful New Moon at close to 19 degrees Pisces occurs March 8 at 5:55 PM PST, conjunct Chiron and the South Node, directly opposed retrograde Jupiter in Virgo, and in a strong square with Saturn in Sagittarius. This New Moon is coincidental with the only total solar eclipse of 2016. A solar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes in between the Earth and the Sun, temporarily darkening the sky, and at least partially blocking the flow of the Sun’s electromagnetic energy to Earth. The eclipse is not visible from most of North America, though Hawaii and part of Alaska may get a partial view. However, anyone can watch it via a live video feed on their computer, which is actually safer on the eyes! A webcast from Micronesia will begin at 5 PM PST at bothexploratorium.edu or on NASA TV.
This Pisces New Moon has not only the Sun and the Moon in Neptune’s sign, but also Mercury, Neptune itself, Chiron, and the South Node. It’s as though the Universe put a megaphone on the Piscean energy for this brief period of time, and not by accident. It is essential that we utilize the unique sensitivity available to us for this Moon cycle, access our compassion, emotions, and intuition to do our part in healing our selves and our world. It does not mean that we sacrifice ourselves; rather, it means that we stay in the moment, put our best foot forward, let go of our need to control the outcome, and have faith in the process. There is information available to you, messages you will receive, if you put yourself in a receptive mode. How do we do that? Take time to relax, be quiet, pay attention to your dreams of both the day and night variety, listen to soothing music, be in nature, whatever allows you to experience a deep connection to your inner self. And do take the action of asking for what it is you need to know right now. Just ask.
Having Chiron and the South Node conjunct the New Moon tells us that we must be willing to let go/heal something from the past in order to move forward. Do you need to be more compassionate with yourself, forgive yourself or someone else, so that you can be more appreciative of who you are and who you are becoming?
It is also important to remember that the New Moon opposes Jupiter and squares Saturn. This T-square brings tension, but also support to the task at hand. It helps us to focus and complete what it is we set out to do, and not get waylaid by some of the “fog” of the Piscean shadow. The Sabian symbols of the planets in the T-square illustrate the need beautifully. For the New Moon, we have the symbol of the 19th degree of Pisces: “A Master Instructing His Disciple.” The master is “giving instruction on how to handle life, in the spiritual, intellectual and emotional arenas. This is a time for the transfer of higher knowledge and wisdom.” (quote from Lynda Hill’s book “The Sabian Symbols As An Oracle”) Jupiter and Saturn are assisting the master during this New Moon! The Sabian symbol for Jupiter at the Full Moon is “A Swimming Race,” telling us that focus is needed, a focus on your own goal, not worrying about anyone else or what they think of you in this moment. The Sabian symbol for Saturn is “An Easter Sunrise Service Draws a Large Crowd.” Sunrise, rebirth, the dawn of a new era, the lifting of spirits. To quote Lynda Hill once again, “The present needs to be seen in the light of a new era, with the difficulties of the past being laid to rest for good.” We must allow the transmission of new spiritual knowledge, let go of the past, and focus on how we need to move forward.
The Moon, of course, moves on quickly, but the Piscean emphasis, not so fast. And at 2:24 AM PST on March 12, Venus joins the lineup in Pisces. She will immediately form a square to Mars in early Sagittarius. They will remain square until March 20, when it begins to fade. By then, Venus is closely conjunct Neptune. This puts a critical focus on relationships. With Venus in gentle and compassionate Pisces, the caution will be to not overgive of oneself, tempted by a reckless Mars in Sagittarius, but instead, find compassion for yourself and the other on equal par, while enjoying fun and adventure.
The Sun enters Aries to start the season of Spring at 9:31 PM PDT March 19, the Vernal Equinox. This movement will definitely begin a shift of the energy away from the intense Pisces mode of the first half of the month. Spring will be in the air! Two days later, at 5:20 PM PDT on March 21, Mercury leaves Pisces and enters Aries. Less than two days after that, we have a Full Moon in Libra March 23, at 5:00 AM PDT, opposed the Sun/Mercury conjunction in Aries, and sextile Mars in Sagittarius. Talk about a lightening up of the energy! From the damp mire of Pisces to the fiery spark of Aries, with a bit of airy Libra as well! For two weeks, we had no planets in air, with the exception of two and a half days when the Moon passed through Gemini! When the Moon leaves Libra, there will be no other air energy via planetary placement through the end of the month.
The Full Moon will also be a penumbral lunar eclipse, a type of eclipse that takes place when the Moon moves through the faint, outer part of the Earth’s shadow. This eclipse will be visible on the Pacific Coast, beginning at 2:39 AM PDT, with maximum view at 4:47 AM PDT, and ending at 6:54 AM. A penumbral lunar eclipse is not easy to view, as the shadow part is only a little bit fainter than the rest of the Moon. If it is cloudy or foggy, it is almost impossible to discern it from the Full Moon.
At the time of the Full Moon, Jupiter in Virgo is exactly square Saturn in Sagittarius. Jupiter, as we know, is retrograde, and Saturn is slowing down. Both planets are in strong aspect to Uranus, as well as to a Venus/Neptune conjunction. This is an important configuration and a struggle worth exploring. There is a push/pull, expansion/contraction tension. Which way to go? Expand my faith and trust, but keep my boundaries. Indulge the urge to “Just Do It,” but don’t overdo and tax my physical, emotional and spiritual capacity. Be kind, but do what I need to do for me, and be true to my self. Confusing? Yes, indeed. But you are up to the challenge. Dare to take a chance, yet be responsible and true to your values. Do not think you need to know the outcome ahead of time. Be willing to make a mistake and own it.
Saturn stations retrograde on March 25 at 3:01 AM PDT. This is not a huge turn of events, as Saturn is retrograde almost half of each” year. This retrograde period extends until August 13. Saturn’s retrograde period definitely does slow down Saturn’s activity, providing plenty of time to reassess projects, structures, commitments and responsibilities, allowing us to make changes where necessary. However, it will not reduce our need for maintaining strong boundaries, following the rules, and patiently struggling with our fears and frustrations.
At the time Saturn turns retrograde, it is still exactly square Jupiter, and also closely square Venus. This T-square emphasizes finances and relationships, and remains in effect through March 29. Meanwhile Mercury, Sun and Uranus in Aries may encourage you to speak and/or act impulsively. Given the subjects we’re dealing with, it will be helpful for you to think twice before speaking or acting in difficult relationship or financial situations, if you want fair negotiations and/or positive outcomes. During this time, Venus is conjunct Chiron, and old feelings of being hurt, victimized, or just not “enough” could arise. If you start feeling sad or depressed, then take some time alone, and put a little more effort in caring for yourself. If money is scarce, tighten the belt, say no when you need to, and know that it’s not a good time to make a risky investment. These are not long-term aspects, and the dynamics will change shortly. But it is important to not ignore your responsibilities at this time, no matter how tempting.