My apologies at posting this a couple of days into the month, but I’ve had a lot of outer-directed energies to focus on in my life during the past week. As of this posting, Venus has ended Her transit in Earthy Capricorn and entered the freedom-loving, unconventional Fixed Air of Aquarius on March 1, where She will remain until the 26th when She enters Pisces, a sign where She is exalted. In many ways, this is a dynamic, action-oriented month—we have major planets changing signs, like Uranus reentering the Fixed Earth of Taurus, where He will transit for the next 7 years—happening amidst a background of frenetic activity, especially around the Pisces New Moon (March 6) and the Spring Equinox Libra Full Moon (March 20), but we also have to wade our way through the sluggish, dreamy, lazy and indolent, and potentially confusing oceanic currents of Pisces, currents amplified by the first Mercury Retrograde of the year, which is happening this month (March 5-28) and solely in the Mutable Water sign of Pisces. Do we fight our way in the world, or do we sit in silent meditation? Write up a business plan, or write sonnets honoring Lunar Deities? Join in partnership with others, or go solo? Do, or dream? The balancing act will be a precarious one but all will go well if you honor the rhythmic currents without and within. Let’s dive right into this month’s planetary transits and aspects!
Note: All times mentioned reflect my own time zone of Central Standard/Daylight Time, so please adjust for your global time zones accordingly. Daylight Savings Time occurs on March 10, when those of us above the equator “spring forward” our measuring of time by an hour.
The first three weeks of this month continue to carry over July’s eclipse- and Mars Retrograde-laden unpleasant, unstable, and erratic energies. With five planets in Retrograde as the month opens (Mercury, Mars, Saturn, Neptune, Pluto), soon to be joined by Uranus stationing Retrograde at 2° of Taurus on August 7, we are called to align ourselves with the cosmic sense of energetic ebb instead of flow during this time. It’s best if we try not to push our agendas too hard and that instead we find ways to relax, meditate, ground and heal ourselves in Nature, and lay the groundwork for the plans that will be much more cosmically amenable to executing starting in the final week of the month and throughout September.
It’s fitting, I suppose, that such a monthly AstroCast post of mine falls on the holiday of the 4th of July here in the United States, a day whose theme of liberation from tyranny resounds strongly in the country’s current political climate. That theme is also echoed in the heavy Uranian cosmic footprint this month, which I’ll explore with you in a moment, adding combustion to the already-dramatic events of the ongoing Mars Retrograde in Aquarius and the two eclipses that will be happening this month. We’re talking major detonation events in the collective and in our personal lives, and clashes of belief systems and individual antagonistic wills shall serve as the ordinance. Are you ready? Take a deep breath from your diaphragm, hold it to a count of four, and exhale slowly before reading on. Here come July’s fireworks. (Photos below taken last night from my Chicago balcony of a neighborhood 4th of July fireworks display.)
As with the month of January, the month of March will be bookended by two full moons: the Virgo Full Moon on March 1 (the subject of a previous post), and the Libra Full Moon on March 31. Between the alpha and the omega of the month, we have the major themes of the transition from Pisces to Aries energy (Venus will be changing signs twice this month), the tandem transit journey of Venus and Mercury ending mid-month as Mercury begins to slow down in His shadow period before stationing Retrograde on March 22, Mars entering Capricorn mid-month, a series of challenging squares, the Pisces New Moon and the Libra Full Moon. Phew! Strap on your seat belts!
So we’re immersed in a bit of a cosmic paradox, eh? Here we are, just out of the starting gate of a brand new year, eager to implement all the grand plans we’ve resolved to weave into the tapestries of our life stories in 2016…and along comes a series of astrological events that are the equivalent of STOP signs: a Mercury Retrograde (first in Aquarius for all of two days, then backtracking into Capricorn–in fact, all four Mercury Retrograde periods this year will occur in Earth Signs), starting today; also starting today, the Capricorn Sun conjuncts powerful Pluto, and this aspect seeks to destroy and rebuild foundational structures in our lives, individually and at the collective level (a legacy of the messiness that we’ve inherited in the past four years of the potent and painful Uranus-Pluto square, which I’ve written about here); and this coming Thursday, the 7th of January, will have benevolent and bulbous Jupiter, our Daddy Warbucks of the Zodiac, going Retrograde until the 9th of May (but not leaving the Retrograde shadow period until early August), making us feel as though our personal development is being curtailed, ill luck is prevalent, and cosmic resources are that much more difficult to access. (The opposite, of course, holds true if you were born during a Jupiter Retrograde: this is one of your luckiest times of the year!)
During my lunch break today, I swear I spotted an avatar of the Orisha Eshu. A young man skateboarding downhill on Adams Street in the shadow of the Sears Tower (yes, you read that right: as a native Chicagoan, I refuse to call it by any other name), weaving in and out of hordes of slow-moving tourists on this gloriously sunny and summer-like Monday. He sported a t-shirt that looked like a modified version of the Chicago flag: instead of the iconic series of four red, six-pointed stars, however, the word “Character” was emblazoned in large cursive script.
Ashé, ashé! I mentally affirmed as I read the t-shirt’s message and silently blessed the youth that whizzed past me. I pulled down on the collar of my shirt to expose my newly acquired elekes, and I said a prayer of thanks to each of the Orisha whose energies find manifestation in the individual necklaces ringing my neck, the necklaces I received this past Saturday night (the timing was interesting: Dark of the Moon and right on the cusp of the onset of a Mercury Retrograde period) in an initiation ceremony that lasted nearly four hours. Continue reading