The astral cycles continue to reach potent junctures during this period, bringing to the surface that which has been fomenting over the course of the last five years. For one, the Sun will cross the crucial zero degree mark of Aries on March 19th, marking the vernal equinox and the commencement of spring in the northern hemisphere. Looking back at a significant astral event related to this all important “Aries point,” Uranus last reached this sensitive point, which also marks the commencement of the astrological new year, on March 11, 2011, a time when his era-defining first quarter “crisis of action” square to Pluto in Capricorn began to be felt in earnest. What has been germinating as a result of this transformational relationship is now being provoked to the surface. To see it, all one has to do is observe the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign, which is being described at its polar extremes by those outside the Republican party (and some inside) between life-or-death “terrifying” to the utterly dismissive “entertaining” (the latter which may be employed by those who find it simply incomprehensible from the standpoint of reality as they know it). And there’s not much in between. As if this smoldering inward burn needed fueling to break to the surface in a bonfire of public awareness and finally define the zeitgeist of our time, several other pivotal astral events are being actuated now that will archetypally correlate to a surge in the velocity of change here on earth. Looking at this cycle historically for clues to how this could energetically play out, the revolutionary socio-political events that shaped the 1960s occurred after the last exact conjunction between Uranus and Pluto at 16° Virgo on June 30, 1966. Who can forget Kent State, for example? Similarly, we are just now beginning to experience the events that will shape this era’s dance between the transcendental outer planets that had their last exact square on March 15, 2015. It is interesting to note that the planet of expansion and exaggeration, Jupiter, which figures prominently in this AstroCast, is now activating that sensitive 16° Virgo point which has been giving us a bit of a déjà vu of those turbulent times with the violence erupting at Trump campaign rallies, for example. As one article summed it up: “At the beginning of the 1960s, many Americans believed they were standing at the dawn of a golden age… On the contrary, by the end of the 1960s it seemed that the nation was falling apart.” Our job as consciousness seekers is to begin inquiring into the overarching issues that created this chaos in the first place, and to bring the answers we find back down into our own personal lives where we can then consciously make choices daily that lead to stillness within. As more of us understand how to achieve inner peace, what we collectively radiate will have an effect on those around us.
The chart for the vernal equinox, which contains the various configurations described in this article, sets the tone for the next few months and leads the charge away from the dominance of planets in the compassionate, sensitive water sign Pisces. Aries is an initiating and inspiring fire sign and the Sun here acts in brilliant, bold, brash strokes. The underlying motivation behind his muscular movement is the need to grow the “seed within” and express it outwardly in the world. Images of the rites of spring correlate to the Aries archetype of new beginnings, but it is important to remember that these beginnings have a seed of the past, the essence of all that came before distilled down into an efficiently delivered package of symbolic DNA that must be preserved in order to maintain the integrity of the new growth. According to Dane Rudhyar, the gift of Aries is “adaptability.” The challenge, therefore, for the Sun in Aries is to rein in self-involved, impetuous behavior because it puts everything he truly wants at great risk. According to Rudhyar, “…the genius and the leader must strangely adapt themselves to the requirements of their ‘destiny’ and of their public.” Rather than living for the act itself, says Rudhyar, which is symbolically the releasing of spiritual seed idea, the pioneering Sun in Aries should remember he is part of a greater “organic whole” and live for the fruits of his act.
Nipping on the Sun’s heels, Mercury jumps into Aries on March 21st, bringing to five the total of planets in fire signs, including Mars and Saturn in Sagittarius, and Uranus in Aries. That’s a lot of high-spirited, radiant fire! Making it difficult to access the more detached intellectual processes since Venus left Aquarius for Pisces on March 12th, there will be no planets in air signs until the Sun enters Gemini on May 20th. Mercury in Aries can be reckless and impatient in his manner of communication, but taking the high road by instilling a discipline of reflection as well as taking into consideration other points of view, his manner of speech can be quite thought provoking. Mercury in Aries will courageously take us where we wouldn’t dare to go on our own. Aries being an initiating cardinal sign, starting things is his forte; finishing them, however will require focus and an effort to embrace the entire process – getting back to living for the fruits of his action rather than just randomly casting out his mental seed everywhere.
The Sun and Mercury in Aries meet in their Superior Conjunction on March 23rd, which is a big bang kind of day astrologically speaking with the addition of the Full Moon Lunar Eclipse and the last quarter “crisis of consciousness” square of the 20-year Jupiter/Saturn cycle. The Superior Conjunction is the “Full Moon” of the Sun/Mercury cycle, acting as a culmination of the new seed ideas that were planted at the January 14th Inferior Conjunction in the middle of the last Mercury retrograde period. Think about what ideas were formulating back then as now they may be revealing themselves. Generally, when the Sun and Mercury do the mind meld thing, thinking is crystal clear and with that mental acuity comes a seemingly endless source of stimulating information. The will of the heart and the mind unify in purpose and deed. With the duo in Aries, sheer physicality is brought into it, as well as intuition, because here they fly by the seat of their pants, preferring quickly accessible instinct rather than waiting for relatively slower signals to route through the rational mind. In order for that methodology to be reliable, their instinct must be connected to spirit and the Mercurial mind quiet enough to allow the subtle impulses from the Galactic Consciousness to be sensed.
The Full Moon Lunar Eclipse peaks just hours before the Superior Conjunction on March 23rd so that the two events basically become one, merging their intentions into a complex configuration that also is harmoniously aligned with Aries’ ruler Mars, boosting the potential for spontaneous active expression. Whereas the powerful Pisces New Moon Solar Eclipse two weeks ago that pulled Jupiter and Pluto into its vortex (see last AstroCast), the equally powerful eclipsed Full Moon in Libra opposing the Sun in Aries may be more emotionally compelling. As the keeper of our feelings, the Moon also rules our memories and collective history. All that rests below the surface of consciousness may be strongly motivated to find a way to the light of day by the seed-bearing Aries energy pulling at it from across the zodiacal spectrum. The considerations of the Moon in Libra will naturally be related to relationships and her part in them. Is she standing her ground and being true to herself as she willingly plays a creative part in the collaborative whole? This is the deepest question of the Aries/Libra polarity and perhaps one of the most profound areas of inquiry for civilization. The Sun and Mercury in Aries demand her to be truthful, even if it hurts, knowing that concession and compromise for the sake of an uneasy harmony in the short term weakens and ultimately stifles the healthy purpose for any relationship. The Superior Conjunction trine and the Lunar Eclipse sextile to Mars in Sagittarius amplifies the importance of individuality and exploration. Mars’ robust qualities hitching a ride on the vibration of such key astral alignments has the potential to make us feel fully recharged and able to conquer anything that comes up. The Martian energy sustains the effects of these events for several days as his trine to Mercury and the Sun continue building, becoming exact on March 24th and March 26th respectively.
The changeability factor is underscored March 20th through 26th as a multitude of aspects unfold centrally themed around wealth, power and the structures we create that provide opportunity to achieve both. What we value, how abundant or accessible it is, and how willing we are, or better yet how secure enough we feel to share it, are the important questions arising now. It could be said that income inequality is the defining issue of our time. Having increased exponentially over the last few decades, the now burgeoning backlash against it by those suffering from it the most is severely is testing the very foundation of the American philosophy of equal opportunity for all. Known around the world as a symbolic beacon for upward mobility, the U.S. could be seen as ground zero for revolt of the economically exhausted middle class that has simply run out of coping mechanisms. The focal point of the planetary alignments during this window is the “crisis of consciousness” square between Jupiter in Virgo and Saturn in Sagittarius, exact on March 23rd, representing in a fractious kind of way the very essence of the definition (Saturn) of wealth (Jupiter), followed by Saturn stationing retrograde on March 25th, intensifying the principles of structure, authority, hard work, obstacles, as well as fear of failure or encroachment. As Mercury did 10 days before, Venus now activates the emerging Jupiter/Saturn/Neptune mutable T-square, and the now diminishing but still potent Jupiter/Pluto trine (both discussed in the last AstroCast): she conjuncts Neptune on March 20th, opposes Jupiter and squares Saturn on March 25th, and sextiles Pluto on March 26th. Venus contacts generally produce a graciously calming and embracing quality to whatever she touches, but you can’t take the scales out of the girl who rules Libra, so when there is any hint of inequality in the equation you can watch her bust out of her social niceties shackles. It could be said that all roads lead to income inequality: the Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump anti-establishment campaigns fuel the fear and anger of those experiencing a lack of the opportunities they feel are their birthright as Americans; the flood of migrants and refugees from war torn, economically deprived and/or corrupt nations in search of a decent living and a safe haven from those who resort to state – or caliphate – sanctioned violence to preserve – or take back – their wealth and power; and last but not least, the western nations that are now doubling down on their border controls to resist the blurred influx of terrorists and refugees alike. The very rule of law is at stake as we strive to regain the balance of opportunities in the face of the very “progressive” movements of globalization and technology that have played an integral role in creating the current economic conditions. Perhaps collectively we will discover the power of commitment and cooperation to level those economic mountains.
With the slower moving planets from Jupiter through Pluto in the mid-degree range of their respective signs, the faster moving planets have been aspecting them all in quick succession as they reach that degree range. These “personal” planets consequently are hard at work channeling the transcendent energy of the outer planets, which generally are not as vibrationally accessible to us. It takes effort to tune into the higher spiritual realms represented by the archetypes of the remote planets of our solar system, but this is where we must go to discover our personal purpose line for this life. Fortunately the stars again are correlating to modern life’s quickening pace and presenting yet another opportunity to listen to the coded messages coming in from deep space. Whereas a couple of weeks ago Mercury, and just recently Venus (as described above), tapped into several outer planets within a short time frame through their positions in Pisces, Mercury does so again March 29th through 31st via his base in Aries. His stabilizing trine to Saturn should help ground communications and focus on practical solutions leading into his activation of the Uranus/Pluto square that may unleash sudden revelations on issues of freedom and control. Mercury conspires with these titans to give us potentially life changing insights on who we really are.
Here’s the data (using Pacific Time and planetary positions rounded to the nearest whole degree, unless otherwise noted):
March 19th – Sun at 0° Aries at 9:31 p.m.
March 20th – Venus conjunct Neptune at 10° Pisces at 10:46 a.m.
March 21st – Mercury at 0° Aries at 5:19 p.m.
March 23rd – Jupiter square Saturn at 16° Virgo/Sagittarius at 3:15 a.m.
March 23rd – Moon opposite Sun (Full Moon Lunar Eclipse) at 3° Libra/Aries at 5:01 a.m.
March 23rd – Sun conjunct Mercury at 4° Aries (Superior Conjunction) at 1:11 p.m.
March 24th – Mercury trine Mars at 6° Aries/Sagittarius at 3:45 p.m.
March 25th – Saturn station retrograde at 16° Sagittarius at 3:01 a.m.
March 25th – Venus opposite Jupiter at 16° Pisces/Virgo at 4:58 a.m.
March 25th – Venus square Saturn at 16° Pisces/Sagittarius at 9:48 a.m.
March 26th – Sun trine Mars at 6° Aries/Sagittarius at 3:33 a.m.
March 26th – Venus sextile Pluto at 17° Pisces/Capricorn at 4:10 a.m.
March 29th – Mercury trine Saturn at 16° Aries/Sagittarius at 8:02 p.m.
March 30th – Mercury square Pluto at 17° Aries/Capricorn at 7:52 a.m.
March 31st – Mercury conjunct Uranus at 20° Aries at 1:49 p.m.