Saturday, March 1, 2008

Willow's March 2008 Astro Perspective

March looks to be an action-packed month, full of unexpected karmic events simultaneously completing and discharging the past while catapulting us into the future and a new way of doing things. It’ll likely seem a little more subtle than all that, but you know…the theme is there. There are a lot of indicators of new beginnings, which is a huge relief after dealing with the often arduous Mars Retrograde cycle, opposing Pluto, over the past six months. Not to mention, a Mercury Retrograde cycle ruling Mars for the past month-and-a-half. What we’ve been dealing with since the Fall Equinox finally wraps up this month, and we start to make outward progress toward our goals.

Mercury breaks into new territory March 9, moving out of its direct shadow. Mars is going direct, full speed ahead, and moves into Cancer just after midnight on March 4. Mars is still going over territory from its retrograde (and won’t enter new degrees of Cancer until April 4), but it’s increasingly motivated and starting to sense new ground just up ahead. The ball is rolling, and our bodies and minds should be functioning together better than ever. Firing on all cylinders!

March 6 marks the final opposition of Mars and Pluto. We’ve been through a sometimes trying six-month process realigning our personal will and goals with evolutionary will and goals. While Mars and Pluto were in Gemini and Sagittarius, the oppositions had to do with aligning our everyday communication, interactions, identities and goals with our deepest personal beliefs and truth. Now that Mars is in Cancer and Pluto is in Capricorn, the alignment shifts to home versus career structures and soul and emotions versus material progress and public role.

Mars in Cancer means our personal desire is focussed on a new place to call home. We want to feel at ease and at home in our lives, as if we’ve really found our place. We desire comfort and security in both our home and career situations. We want to be able to honour our soul’s direction as it guides us to the right people and situations - ones that feel good to us, as we are now. We want to be ourselves, emotions and all, and to feel accepted for who we are by the people and within the structures in our lives. With Mars in Cancer, our souls are leading the way, and our emotions are guiding the actions we take and the new directions we choose. Mars is not so, so happy with this Cancerian way of doing things. It likes to take direct action (like, right NOW), whereas, Cancer is more indirect, sensing and feeling it out before taking action and making decisions. Caution takes precedence over the “do now, think later” style Mars is at home with. But because Mars has been tied up in a looooong opposition cycle with Pluto, it should have a spring in its step just sensing the new territory up ahead and breaking away from Pluto’s heavy influence. As long as we can accept the slightly more indirect way of getting things done with Mars in Cancer, we should be making more outward progress than we have in a while.

With the last sweep of this Mars-Pluto opposition cycle taking place at 0 degrees of Cancer and Capricorn, this is the very, very beginning of a complete 16-year transformation of our workplace structures, our public roles and our concepts of material progress and success. (See the February Astro Perspective for more Pluto in Capricorn analysis.) We’re out to make things feel better, so that those Capricornian things are better aligned with our soul’s development. We don’t want to have such a huge divide between what we do to make money and what makes us feel good on a deep-down, soul level. We don’t want to feel trapped by the structures we create and deadened by our role within those structures. Creating real, meaningful change here (instead of just changing a few things around the edges of the current structures) is going to be a long process, to be sure, and it will have it’s difficult points, but here we are at 0 degrees of two cardinal (leadership and initiative) signs! We’re right at the very beginning! One of the many new beginnings happening this March.

The Sun is in Pisces for the first 19 days of March, leading up to the Spring Equinox when it heads into Aries, the sign ruling new beginnings. For the first two-thirds of the month, we can sense that spring is just up ahead, but we also know that we’re not quite out of the woods yet.

Pisces is the sign of spiritual connection, the subconscious, dreams, dissolution and self-sabotage. It’s also the sign of faith and surrender, so while the Sun is in this sign, we have to consciously lose resistance and give in to the universe’s flow. It’s the same way that we have to just allow spring to come in its own time. If we struggle and resist the last days of winter, or even worse, jump the gun and think spring is there before it really is, it just makes things miserable. Pisces is the sign where all signs that came before it dissolve into one connected energy, so our challenge here is to dissolve our concerns about being in charge of the direction of our lives (we’ve done all we can at this point) and allow the divine intelligence that guides every moment. This is not always easy because we live in a time when people desire complete control. “Take charge of your life!” is the prevailing mantra. Of course, properly exercising free will is a big part of living a successful life, but Pisces, and especially Pisces connecting with Uranus as it does this month, is there to show us in no uncertain terms that we’re not in charge of it all. Even the best laid plans can be turned upside down in an instant by unexpected events thrown our way - an accident, a surprise pregnancy, meeting the person of your dreams, being laid off from your job, having a spiritual revelation, whatever. Anything that seems to come out of nowhere to suddenly change your direction and outlook. The universe’s intelligence has a plan of its own, and Sun in Pisces is a time period when we have to let go and allow the waters to carry us where they will. Like going down a water slide, there’s no way to change your direction once you’ve been set in motion. You have to just hold on and see where it takes you. This month feels a lot like that to me.

The New Moon on March 7 brings the Sun and Moon together in Pisces, conjuncting Uranus, planet of sudden change, revolution, lightning-bolt revelations, higher intelligence and genius. This is an indicator that this month is going to take all the faith and surrender we can muster. The combination of Pisces and Uranus makes for a bit of a wild and woolly time, full of unexpected events designed to complete certain karmic situations related to the past (and even to past incarnations - if you believe in that sort of thing) and launch us into a new framework. Pisces is already notorious for these themes. “Beware the Ides of March” is a statement of caution about March 15 and the karmic craziness that was known to come to head at that time. So with Uranus involved so closely this March, things could feel a little chaotic and overwhelming. If we struggle against what is happening or try to control it, we could go under! The theme is completions, readying us for the new - clearing away things that are no longer necessary and allowing and accepting the changes to our situation. Keeping an eye on this process while making our way through this month could really help. Situations will come up, asking us to prove that we’ve learned from the past and are ready to move on. We’ll be forced to face any subconscious fears that are in danger of sabotaging us in the future. The key, I think, is in choosing a new way to deal with old situations. When dynamics come up that seem all-too-familiar, don’t be pulled into old patterns of relating. Go consciously through whatever comes up. Choose to face things head on and relate in a way that feels right to who you are now. Move out of habitual responses. Facing the same old karmic traps and choosing to react to them in a more personally responsible way is the path out. If we’re able to successfully navigate these situations, we can demand our independence from the idea of “karmic debt” and free ourselves up for new scenarios. Pisces is one of the most karmic signs, and clearing and completing karma (as in, learning the lessons and changing ourselves and our behaviour so that we don’t attract more of the same) is now imperative as we step fully out of the Piscean Age and into the Aquarian.

Pisces relates to warm and fuzzy stuff like unconditional love, spiritual connection and guidance, and divinely-inspired artistic expression. But it also relates to not-so-happy topics such as having the wool pulled over our eyes, the ways we habitually screw ourselves over, illusion and delusion, seeing things with rose-coloured glasses, escapism, drug and alcohol abuse, weak will, refusal to face reality. With Mercury and Venus involved this month (and opposing Saturn in Virgo mid-month), we’re going to be faced with relationships not being what we had hoped, ideas that were really just pipe dreams, and ways that we forgive people for crappy behaviour and then let them back into our lives to shit on us all over again (standard “family member of a junkie“ stuff). Any “junkie” of any type that we keep letting back into our lives reflects some dynamic we’re sort of addicted to, too. So we’ll be clearing out those dynamics, facing the reality of situations instead of banking strictly on potential, and choosing a stronger point from which to interact, moving out of the habitual, karmic way.

Pisces rules dreams and they will probably be a big part of the past-clearing process this month. (Dreams involving water, especially.) Our dreams will be deep, pulling up things that we haven’t consciously thought about in a while. This allows for things stuck in our subconscious (that have the possibility of derailing us) to come to conscious awareness to be faced and dealt with. This can create a spacey, dream-like nature to our waking life where the themes of our dreams come up in everyday living. Pisces helps us to see the connection between subconscious and conscious, dream life and waking life, so that we can understand what the universe (and we, ourselves) is trying to communicate to us and work with that connection. Again, the theme will be clearing the subconscious and completing karmic cycles.

I’ve noticed a lot of my dreams lately have to do with facing my high school bullies. But this time (with adult consciousness), when they start harassing me and putting me down, I tell them off straight away! I don’t internalize the brutal things they have to say about me. I face them down instead of trying to “ignore it.” (Man, telling someone to just ignore intolerable situations is the worst advice ever!) Not only do “telling off the bullies” dreams feel good, but they also tell me that I’ve learned what I needed to learn from those bullying experiences - how to stand up for myself, how not to put myself at someone’s mercy in the first place, how to demand proper respect and treatment from the people and situations around me, and how to get rid of the people and situations who would treat me badly.

We're also beginning Pluto in Capricorn’s work. Transforming the structures of our society beyond the mean-spiritedness and soul-crushing homogeneity that currently exist. Creating a system that works for everyone, where diversity and variety are built into the system so that everyone can have a meaningful place within it. Being successful because of our individuality/who we are, not in spite of it. Let’s face it - not everyone fits into the corporate 8 to 5 lifestyle. Not everyone can do physical labour jobs. The answer to homelessness and poverty isn’t to just “go out and get a job.” Getting a minimum wage job doing work one hates is a short-term solution, at best. Right now, people being unable to fit into the work world as it exists means everyone suffers. So why not push beyond the current structural limitations? Why not inject some soul into our stifling structures? This helps the people who don’t fit into the current structures, but it also helps those who do fit in, but only begrudgingly, only because they “have to.” One of the biggest hurdles in creating compassion is the idea of, “I have to do it, so why don’t they?” And honestly, that’s a fair question to ask. Well, what if no one had to live as things are? And we could create structures that actually took people’s individuality and soul purpose into account? That’s the kind of work world people would enjoy being a part of. One that works for everyone, rather than creating a mean-spirited divide between those on the inside and those not. Compassion isn’t meant to flow only one way - from haves to have nots, for example. The people struggling within the system deserve just as much compassion as the people who have dropped out of it out of frustration. I think working people who are struggling day-by-day, pushed to their absolute limits and beyond, are actually more invisible than homeless people in this system.

Anyway, enough of the soap box for one month…

The main point is, we must be ready to move on from the past, willingly, and to let our souls guide us to our new homes, new relationships, new communities and new public roles within those communities. With all the Aquarius and Pisces energy involved, March is very much a “hand off” kind of month where start to make some big moves into a new way of doing things.

Throughout this entire month, Mercury and Venus are moving together in conjunction - first in Aquarius, and then, mid-month, in Pisces. This is an indicator that our conscious mind is very much aware of what’s going on. We’re focussed on the past completions and fresh starts available throughout this month. They’re on our minds. And our relationships and the interactions we have within them are acting as the vehicles through which this process does its work. Heart and mind are working together in tandem all month long, and a lot of work there is! Venus and then Mercury will conjunct Chiron, Neptune and the North Node in Aquarius, sextile Pluto in Capricorn and oppose Saturn in Virgo. They then conjunct each other March 25 as Mercury pulls ahead of Venus. With Mercury and Venus coming together in Pisces, our logical, analytical mind is infused with our heart’s wisdom. Our communication becomes more loving, gentle and compassionate. We understand a broader picture of things. Finally, both Mercury and Venus conjunct Uranus in Pisces near the end of the month.

Wow! That’s so much going on that I can’t even really sum it up here, but suffice it to say - action-packed! The outer planets are involved, so there is a big part of the events that is out of our conscious control. The outer planets have processes of their own that are sort of done TO us…and we then have the challenge of working with what trickles down in our personal lives (related to the inner planets - including Venus and Mercury). We’ll be working with all that outer planet direction this month through our personal hearts (Venus) and minds (Mercury) within our relationships and daily interactions within them.

The Sun enters Aries March 19, marking the Spring Equinox. After this equinox point (when daylight and dark hours are of completely equal duration), the days start to get longer than the nights. Spring is officially here, and we can focus on the fresh new vibe, leaving the dark days of winter behind us! Woo-hoo!

Adding to the energy of fresh starts and new directions is a very powerful Full Moon on March 20, just one day after the Spring Equinox. The Sun will be at 1 degree Aries, and the Moon at 1 degree Libra. Combined with Pluto at 1 degree Capricorn and Mars at 5 degrees Cancer, we have a Cardinal Grand Cross! I don’t think there could be much more powerful an alignment to move us into the new than a Cardinal Grand Cross involving the Sun, Moon, Pluto and Mars right at the beginning degrees of the cardinal signs. New leadership, new directions, initiating energy in spades. We’re right at the very beginning of so many things.