AstroCast: February 18 - March 5, 2016

Posted on February 17, 2016
Posted by Kimberly Maxwell

astrocast-header“Imagine, for a moment, that you are the universe.” 

 – Richard Tarnas (b. February 21)

On February 18th, the Sun reaches the final frontier of the zodiac, a place where all that has gone before, from the commencement of his journey through Aries, swirls in one deep boundless pool of experience.  Here he finds all that is, was and will be.  Here he sees the interconnectedness of every point of light, the cosmological imprint of beingness.  To the Sun in Pisces, imagination is much more than creative visualization.  It is the very way by which we have a direct experience with multiple realities.  To the Sun in Pisces, his oft-ridiculed state of confusion is much more than a reasoning mind unable to put two and two together.  It is the product of that reasoning mind’s struggle to understand the natures and rule sets of each of those realities, especially when their boundaries are permeated and rules belonging in one reality bleed into another.  This is where the mystery of Pisces is born – in the thin, membrane that separates our perception of this earth life with the vastness of the cosmos.  The Sun in Pisces is so highly attuned to these realms that even if he isn’t quite conscious of what they are exactly, he utilizes the tools at his disposal to express his impressions of their existence.  Music, poetry, and imagery (via photography, cinema, fine art) act as vibrational channels that allow a viewer to experience in their own way of receiving the mystical worlds beyond.  Oh yes, and drugs of course fall under the domain of Pisces, particularly of the plant-based soul journey variety such as psilocybin and ayahuasca, which seem to have gained popularity since the ruler of Pisces, Neptune, entered Pisces about five years ago.  And there opens the door to the ever-prevalent danger of Sun in Pisces – the desire to escape – and his greatest gift according to Dane Rudhyar – Courage.  “The nature of that courage,” says Jim Sher in writing about Rudhyar’s understanding of Pisces, “is seen in Its embracing of the constant death and rebirth process that is the fundamental aspect of life. It is also how we learn our lessons and grow cycle by cycle, leaving no stone unturned. We grow from all of our experiences, but we mustn’t let them define us. We are not the experience itself. This means that only ‘the essence of the past lesson must be retained,’ rather than any attachments to the experience itself. ‘All else must be cut away and surrendered.’ Our evolution requires that we retain the seed of experience and nothing more. Our true nature is what must be sought, for this is the true journey of Self. This evolutionary process includes ceasing to identify with memories, fears, and much more, but can be described as discovering that we must be willing to die to the past so that we can continue to grow with conscious awareness.”

The Full Moon in Virgo occurs a few days after the Sun’s ingress into the watery sign of Pisces, reminding us how important it is to find balance between being grounded in earth reality while tuning into the cosmos.  Highlighting the distinction between matter and spirit, the Moon in Virgo opposes the Sun in Pisces on February 22nd, offering a path to develop the courage required to consciously and actively participate in evolution.  The Moon in Virgo is a lot about the daily habits and routines of existence on the earth plane.   She breaks everything down into its element, dissecting and analyzing each part that makes up the whole.  To counteract the sense of overwhelm the Sun in Pisces may feel when faced with the necessity to experience a spiritual consciousness that exists beyond thought, the Virgo Moon presents an opportunity to see each step on the path.  If focusing on the goal while taking it a day at a time sounds a bit like AA, well there’s something to facing your fears in manageable chunks.  It’s like looking at the infinite sands of time, one grain at a time.  The Virgo Moon also offers a disciplined approach with an articulated rule set, such as adopting the practice of meditating every day.  This allows the individual to develop endurance.  “The ability to endure,” according to Sher, “is the ‘spiritual fire’ of our own essence and is created by remaining one’s own ‘Self’ under the impact of the constant cyclic dissolution of all things.  It leads to seeing that Life is actually the life/death principle from which all creation arises and that the real purpose of our evolution isn’t about us as much as it is about the evolution of Consciousness itself. We are the vehicle by which the universal Consciousness evolves.”  As the simple and pure Virgo Moon aids us to develop a strong mind/body core, she reaches across to the sensitive Sun in Pisces at this time of culmination to tune into his heart that is wide open to an all-embracing unconditional love.

As discussed in the last AstroCast, Mercury and Venus have been travelling in tandem for several weeks, aspecting outer planet configurations in quick succession, which has given us an extended experience of the subtler, yet profound outer planet archetypes at play.  February 25th through March 2nd Mercury and Venus will consecutively sextile Saturn in Sagittarius and Uranus in Aries, which have been quietly developing a harmonious trine formation since the beginning of the year, remaining within a tight three degree orb of exactitude through March 21st.  Through the personal lens of the faster moving planets of communication and relationships, we may get a sense of what stable, rule-bound Saturn and brilliant but erratic Uranus have in store for us.  Unlike the other aspects Mercury and Venus made over the past few weeks from their positions in Capricorn, they form this new mini grand trine configuration from Aquarius, creating a natural affinity with both Saturn, the traditional ruler of that scientifically oriented sign, and Uranus, its modern ruler.  There could be a kinder, gentler revolution of our mindset, where bringing order to our thoughts helps us to see beyond them, since they aren’t making such a racket.  There is also the possibility for a refreshing shake up in our enduring relationships that coaxes the inertia out of them.  There may be a cooperative effort to bring innovation to systems or business procedures in need of a reboot.  Sound logic acts as a base for forward thinking.  Steady relationships that have withstood the test of time may now afford some experimentation or exploration into areas that perhaps were too fragile to delve into before.  From the detached filter of Aquarius, Mercury and Venus can observe what is working and what isn’t, without getting into any drama about it, and collaboratively set about the task of reforming.

“I believe our task is to develop a moral and aesthetic imagination deep enough and wide enough to encompass the contradictions of our time and history, the tremendous loss and tragedy as well as greatness and nobility, an imagination capable of recognizing that where there is light there is shadow, that out of hubris and fall can come moral regeneration, out of suffering and death, resurrection and rebirth.”  –  Richard Tarnas

The vibration of another long-term aspect, the square between Saturn and Neptune, will be triggered during this period when the Sun in Pisces conjuncts Neptune and squares Saturn February 28th through March 5th.  The Sun’s energetic affinity with Neptune began the day he entered Pisces and their proximity to each other at the Full Moon was close enough to influence the proceedings with a vivid imagination and profound compassion.  Now with the Sun and Neptune fully merged as one, their psychic ability to tune into one another and everything around them is acute.  Segueing into the square to Saturn, the Sun becomes aware of boundaries, yet the oceanic tides of Neptune are too strong for any barriers that hint at being corrupt in any way.  The Saturn/Neptune square, in effect for about a year through next Fall, has already seen all kinds of boundary testing on the world stage: mass human migrations too powerful in numbers to be held back by passport checking immigration agents, the Zika virus just recently named a global threat by the World Health Organization; China’s territorial claims in waters traditionally controlled by its neighbors; the US presidential election with all kinds of rules of social decorum and boundaries of political correctness obliterated; the collapse (Saturn) of (Neptune-ruled) oil prices; and the Flint, Michigan crisis of lead (Saturn) in the municipal water (Neptune) supply.  As the Sun translates the Saturn/Neptune square, these issues or others may compel us to inquire into the loss of enchantment (Neptune) in this age of reason and technology (Saturn).  The Sun representing the core of our being, our heart, will very probably take the high road with compassionate Neptune to resolving the fractious square energy with resistant Saturn by pouring out unconditional love on whatever problem is at hand.  Enchantment can be regained and grace infused back into our systems for living to make them thrive again even by the quietest of gestures.  Investigative author Graham Hancock reports that Shamans in the Amazon are alarmed by the state of consciousness of our society today.  They have told him: “You guys have severed your connection with spirit.  Unless you reconnect with spirit and do so soon you’re going to bring the whole house of cards down around your heads and ours.”  Hancock says they are mounting a kind of reverse missionary activity traveling under the radar throughout the west offering ayahuasca, often at great personal risk.  They see it, he reports, as the remedy to the soul sickness of modern man that will bring about consciousness change.  (Even the Hollywood Reporter recently wrote about its impact on the creative community.) “The universal message of ayahuasca,” says Hancock, “is about the sacred, magical, enchanted, infinitely precious nature of life on earth and the interdependence of material and spiritual realms.”  Having the masses ingest ayahuasca in order to achieve greater consciousness may seem like a drastic, counter-culture Uranus-square-Pluto insurgence to some (remember, the current cycle commenced in the psychedelic 1960s), or a Neptune in Pisces escapist fantasy, but it does point to how badly disconnected humanity has become from spirit by an unquestioned devotion to the God of Reason.  With effort, perhaps this year of the Saturn/Neptune third quarter “crisis of consciousness” square, on the fiery tails of the Uranus/Pluto first quarter “crisis of action” square, could set the stage for a revolution in consciousness, with or without a booster shot from the Amazonian Shamans.

The theme of the recent Mercury retrograde period is re-evoked when Mercury in Aquarius squares Mars in Scorpio on March 4th for the third time in less than two months, the first two just prior to the start of Mercury’s retrograde station (see January 5th AstroCast).  If we made an inquiry then into what we are really fighting for, i.e. looking beneath the surface of our triggers to uncover true motivations, perhaps the urgency to delve into the deeper questions will resurge anew.  Mercury wants to communicate; Mars wants action.  This is definitely a “cut the crap” signature that has no patience for evasive maneuvers.  If we’re fighting against the truth within ourselves, chances are it will manifest in external relationships as well.  In the respective signs of Aquarius and Scorpio, both of which can be quite unvarnished, the Mercury/Mars pairing could come off as sharp albeit clear and concise.  The tone will shift considerably rather quickly, however, as both planets change signs shortly after their exact square occurs.

Mercury plunges into Pisces on March 5th, where a multiverse of images awaits to be employed in perceiving and communicating.  From the higher mind realms of Aquarius to the soul-stirring ocean of consciousness, Mercury in Pisces seems to glean and radiate data from his environment through his aura, which acts as a highly refined, complex sensory network of antennae capable of sending and receiving information.  In a sense, this could be the basis for intuition, something that is generally highly developed under strong Piscean influences.  Mercury’s stay here lasts only until March 21st, so the opportunity to tap into the universal poet may be brief, but if a picture is worth a thousand words, then Mercury in Pisces for 16 days has the potential to connect us to the hologram of beingness.

Also on March 5th, Mars shakes off the raw, focused intensity of Scorpio for the inspirational and exploratory nature of Sagittarius where adventure and freedom to roam become paramount.  Mars here is most successful at asserting himself when he is able to associate his motivation with something he strongly believes in.   To avoid the natural consequence of formalizing his actions into a crusade, Mars in Sagittarius must learn to be open to the point of view of others he meets on his quest to gain greater awareness of his world.  If he can come to understand other beings on their own terms, rather than imposing his own opinions throughout his travels, his forays into material and symbolic foreign territories will become a genuine process of expanding collective knowledge through giving and receiving – a two way street to higher learning.

Here’s the data (using Pacific Time and planetary positions rounded to the nearest whole degree, unless otherwise noted):

February 18th – Sun at 0° Pisces at 9:34 p.m.

February 22nd – Moon opposite Sun (Full Moon) at 4° Virgo/Pisces at 10:20 a.m.

February 25th – Mercury sextile Saturn at 16° Aquarius/Sagittarius at 12:06 a.m.

February 26th – Mercury sextile Uranus at 18° Aquarius/Aries at 3:02 p.m.

February 28th – Sun conjunct Neptune at 9° Pisces at 7:48 a.m.

February 29th – Venus sextile Saturn at 16° Aquarius/Sagittarius at 5:07 p.m.

March 2nd – Venus sextile Uranus at 18° Aquarius/Aries at 5:13 p.m.

March 4th – Mercury square Mars at 29°40” Scorpio/Aquarius at 9:43 p.m.

March 5th – Mercury at 0° Pisces at 2:24 a.m.

March 5th – Mars at 0° Sagittarius at 6:30 p.m.

March 5th – Sun square Saturn at 16° Pisces/Sagittarius at 10:04 p.m.

Kimberly Maxwell

A student of the Sher Institute since 2008, Kimberly has been writing AstroCast since 2012. A long-time Los Angeles resident, Kimberly gives astrological consultations, has various artistic pursuits including the development of a burgeoning creative hub in her community, and works in international television distribution at a major studio.

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