The Sun completes another annual cycle around the Zodiac and begins a new one on March 20 when it reaches the significant “Aries Point” at zero degrees of that groundbreaking sign. In the northern hemisphere, this marks the beginning of spring, which is evocative of the archetypal force of Aries, which represents the creative life force at its transformational moment of birthing. The basic need of the powerful Aries archetype is to breathe life into something that was previously non-existent in our physical reality. Springing forth with dynamic self-determinism, its rallying call is “I exist!” When it sees what it can do, it realizes “I create!”
The closest aspect the Sun makes at the Aries ingress is an opposition to the Moon in Libra – their Full Moon alignment becomes exact less than four hours at 0°9’ Aries/Libra. This significant dual astral event – the Vernal Equinox and the culminating point of the soli-lunar cycle – emphasizes the two polar energies of life, masculine/solar and feminine/ lunar. The pioneer of modern transpersonal astrology Dane Rudhyar stressed the importance of looking at the cyclically evolving interplay between the forces of the two luminaries – referred to as the “King” and “Queen” in alchemical symbolism – in order to truly understand and experience life. We perpetually move between the poles of creativity and receptivity, emphasizing one over the other as needed in a particular situation. If one is stressed too much, the rhythm of all natural life processes is disturbed. This dis-ease is then reflected in our body, our personality and in the outer world.
At the Full Moon we are able to see the full intensity of the Moon reflecting the Sun’s light. Thus their polarities are perfectly balanced as their magnetic force is tensely pinned at the zero point between them. The alchemical moment to shift emphasis from the creative to the receptive has come and in that moment of sheer stillness we can savor the profound fruitfulness emanating from the equalized strengths of the King and Queen. The Full Moon at the Aries Ingress invokes the divine feminine in a call to honor the natural rhythms of life in the coming year and recalibrate the anima/animus within. We are in crisis mode in our society now due to centuries of stressing the solar principle over the lunar one. But the feminine force is finding its voice and is on the rise. The women in our collective earth experience are realizing that not only do we experience the creative life-bringing force of Aries but also that the feminine force is the Hidden Creator of whole universe.
Another aspect in divine synchronicity with this pivotal moment heightens the urgency of the cosmic message to rebalance the masculine and feminine forces within. The archetypal lovers of the sky, Venus in Aquarius and Mars in Taurus, form a challenging square that becomes exact on March 21. Mars representing masculine energy is the natural ruler of Aries and so emboldens the willful solar principle with the fortified strength to go forth and create. Yet with Venus as ruler of both Taurus and Libra becomes the Dispositor of (has strong influence over) Mars as well as that of the Sun and Moon. Venus representing feminine energy is a change agent in Aquarius agitating for increased balance and harmony as the path to a better future for all. Venus is in mutual reception to Aquarius ruler Uranus, which just entered Taurus for a seven-year stay. In terms of weighting, Uranus tips the point scale in Venus’s favor in the chart that provides signposts for the coming year. Its awakening force could arouse the dormant feminine energies within so we may realize the whole individual we are meant to be.
With Uranus sharing the Sun and Moon’s positions at the zero degree point it has a perfect line of sight to blast us out of the deep conditioning that has kept us in blind servitude to the model of the oppressed feminine. Yes, humanity is in a state of crisis today, as witnessed by the degradation of mother earth and the resulting increase in unprecedented natural disasters; the rejection of collective agreements best symbolized by the chaotic Brexit process; the chronic violence of wars and mass shootings; and the women speaking out against institutionalized sexual misconduct and cruel undermining of their power. Yes, we are in crisis, but that is what is needed for change to happen. We only need to wake up to how severe the crisis is. As the teenage climate change activist Nobel Prize nominee Greta Thunberg says, “I want you to act as you would in a crisis. I want you to act as if our house is on fire. Because it is.” Crises are crucial moments of decision where the spark of divinity ignites our latent and inoperative potential. Crises kick our proverbial ass so we can break free from the conditioning of a dead past and realize our potential in a new vision that is determined by the feminine force of unconditional love.
As the Sun commences the astrological “New Year,” the chart for the moment includes a Mercury/Neptune conjunction in Pisces. Mercury is in retrograde motion and slowing down. It will turn direct on March 28, with exact conjunctions to Neptune before and after the shift on March 24 and April 2. Ordinarily this aspect would last a few days, but due to Mercury’s station being so close to the ruler of Pisces, its alignment with Neptune is in effect mid-March to mid-April (using 8° orb) with the most potent period around the station. The archetypal curious, detailed oriented and analytical qualities of Mercury do not function at their highest capacity in Pisces, which is diffuse, formless and otherworldly. Neptune’s presence amplifies the latter qualities but also can correlate to a mystical sense of connectedness with that which cannot be seen.
Mercury conjunct Neptune in Pisces will still relate to how we perceive and communicate, gather information and make connections, but it will do so in a more right-brain way of operating than left-brain. Our focus may drift or linger on spiritual matters. We may feel drawn to experience the arts, interpret symbolic dreams or seek inspirational experiences. When we are beckoned to experience other dimensions of reality, we may have difficulty accessing our logical, rational side to work out concrete solutions to a problem or create a new structure for doing business. As always, it is important to do what must be done. At this turning point there could be an overwhelming amount of information flowing in or urgent matters to address so it will be crucial to find moments of quiet time and unplug from the cacophony of daily life to reconnect with spirit. Especially since the change from retrograde to direct motion can correlate to a sudden change of mind or direction of movement, ensuring we have time to connect with our soul center can mitigate the potential for reactive choices made in the heat of the moment. By the time Mercury leaves Pisces for Aries on April 16, our thinking will be more clear and ready for action.