Wednesday, March 26, 2008

New Moon April 5, 2008: Breaking Ice


At the Aries New Moon, it is time to wake up from winter’s rest, time to shed layers, time to get out and move. In honor of that energy, this new moon forecast comes a little early and will be a little shorter. I am traveling to Rome and Florence over the next two weeks. I will be looking for of Spring.

The New Moon, at 16 degrees Aries, squares an opposition of Mars in Cancer and Jupiter in Capricorn. Jupiter for now is wearing the conservative garments of Capricorn. Capricorn and Cancer have been the predominant energy of the winter. Along with “pay attention to me” Jupiter, Pluto has contributed his bass tone to Capricorn as well. The chickens come home to roost in Capricorn. We ask ourselves, “How are we responsible?” “How can we assure success?” To this serious tone, Mars in Cancer has been contributing the emotional response: “I must take care of my own.” Mars’ retrograde journey through Cancer has heightened our emotional awareness of the problems facing us. Two signs in opposition (which Capricorn and Cancer are) can feel like a stalemate. With the spring, cardinal fire sign Aries enters to stir things up.

Like an ice dam in the river, things felt to be stuck for a while are going to start moving. I welcome this. And at the same time, it is helpful to pay attention to where we’d like to direct this energy. Can we use it to solve problems or gain insight?

To the inpatient energy of Aries is added a substantial amount of earth this month. If you work with elemental energy, can you imagine how you would like to use this potent combination of fire and earth? The Full Moon chart for April 20 has a grand earth trine (planets in all the earth signs are in harmonious relationship to each other). The Sun, at 0 degrees Taurus trines Saturn at 1 degree Virgo, which trines Pluto at 1 degree Capricorn. Grand trines can be lost opportunities if we don’t consciously engage the energy. The Moon at 0 degrees Scorpio (opposite the Sun) provides a doorway into the earth trine. This Moon is the doorway to soul and an invitation to not turn our eyes from unpleasant feelings or situations. Scorpio and death are close friends. Death can be a teacher, an ally. Death teaches us what is really important, what is essential to each of us. If you knew your essence, how could you use the manifesting energy of earth to live that essence?

Beltane (May 1) is the cross quarter Sabbath that celebrates fertility, spring renewal and the joy of life. Another grand earth trine emerges on Beltane, this time involving Venus in Taurus at 0 degrees, Pluto in Capricorn at 0 degrees and Saturn in Virgo at 1 degree. And Saturn is very strong at this time as it will turn direct on May 2. Venus is the May Queen in Taurus. She celebrates the body and all life’s pleasure. Saturn in Virgo has been teaching us to bring healing order back to the world. Pluto has been showing us the shadow of authority in preparation for his challenge to us to take back the authority we have given away. Body, healing and revolution. One revolutionary act is to live in beauty and to not let any external authority tell us how to do that. Dance around the May pole with that kind of exuberance.

Clinton and Obama
The Democratic contest for the presidential nomination is one major event unfolding before us. The Pennsylvania primary (April 22) happens right after the potent Full Moon. Pay attention to how this Full Moon impacts Clinton and Obama. The Full Moon is conjunct Hillary’s Sun (2 degrees Scorpio) and squares Barrack’s Jupiter (0 degrees Aquarius) and Mercury (1 degree Leo). The energy of this time will reflect on who Clinton is, and will reflect on how Obama communicates his beliefs. The voters of Pennsylvania will decide based on these things. It should be fascinating and like all Full Moons, illuminating.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

New Moon March 7, 2008: Rumi’s Ravings


The New Moon in Pisces inspires me to turn to the poems of Rumi. I know no other poet who captures the mystic cravings of Pisces better than Rumi. Looking through The Essential Rumi this morning, I noticed some advice. In fact, Rumi is full of advice, flooding over with advice, he expounds constantly on how we should live our lives. If he didn’t so wonderfully exhort me to follow Beauty at all times, I might not be so inclined to listen to such a poet. But he does. And every time, I fall in love.

Here is the lunatic advice I heard this morning.
Fall into the Ocean.
Become the Lover.
Break the Wine Glass.
Grieve the lost Friend.
Take care of the Donkey.

Good advice. It occurs to me that this lunar month, we might do well to follow this advice.

First, Fall into the Ocean. The Ocean is the New Moon in Pisces that occurs on March 7, 2008. Uranus is conjunct this Sun and Moon. Jupiter sextiles the trio. How expansive! During the season of Pisces, the weather doesn’t know whether to freeze or thaw. We are trying to wake from out winter’s sleep, but aren’t quite there yet. We are groggy. We think we might have to try harder, but then perhaps what we really need to do is just fall into the ocean of being and dreaming—where dreaming is awakening and awakening is dreaming. Uranus itches for a change, but not a change we have experienced before, not the same old change. What if we simply fell back into the ocean? What beauty arises?

Later in the month, the Uranus in Pisces desire for oceanic change will deepen when Mercury, Venus and Jupiter come together with Uranus in a dance of connection, beauty, and possibility.

The dates for this:

March 27 - Mercury (19 Pisces) is sextile to Jupiter (19 Capricorn) and Mercury also is conjunct Uranus (19 Pisces).

March 28 - Venus (19 Pisces) is sextile to Jupiter (19 Capricorn) and Venus is conjunct Uranus (19 Pisces). Jupiter and Uranus are sextile to each other.

Become the Lover. Mars is the Lover. And he has been on a journey. Read my description of the Mars retrograde journey here and here. For Rumi, the Lover is the mystic, the poet so in love with God, that he will do anything to reunite with the divine. Rumi advises us to be so in love with our dreams that we will never stop pursuing them, though this in not always so easy to do. During the Mars retrograde journey we may have lost our way, the beloved may have been hidden from us, or we may have lost faith in that dream. Rumi would say, this is all a way for the Beloved to become even more lovely to us.

The bulk of Mars’ retrograde journey has been in the water sign, Cancer. During the last few months, have you encountered sea monsters which have kept you from your beloved? Has the ocean of feeling threatened to overwhelm? Now is the time for resolution and healing. The Lover is returning through the final degrees of his Cancer journey this lunar month. And he is meeting a strong challenger, Pluto.

In fact, the story of the Lover merges with the other piece of advice that Rumi has for us: Break the Wine Glass. Pluto’s mission is transformation – the destruction of old form – so that life renews. The Wine Glass holds our ecstatic connection to Mystery and it also holds all the illusions that we hold onto that substitute for Mystery. What old forms need to die? Do we dare to break the glass in order to be refilled with the true wine? Pluto challenges us to transform anything that we hold onto because of our fears.

Pluto is big right now. The planet entered Capricorn in January and at this New Moon, Mars, the Lover, opposes the glass breaker, Pluto. Perhaps the heart breaks. Perhaps the glass becomes bigger, able to hold more.

Important dates for the Mars/Pluto stories are:

March 7 - Mars (0 Cancer) opposes Pluto (0 Capricorn)

The day after the Spring Equinox on March 20, Sun (1 Aries) is square to Pluto (1 Capricorn). In the chart for the equinox, a chart that will influence the entire spring season, Mars, Pluto and the Sun form a T-square aspect configuration. The spring begins with a breaking of glasses and a promise of rebirth.

Full Moon of March 21 - There is a Grand Cardinal Cross at the Full Moon. The Sun (1 Aries) opposes the Moon (1 Libra), which is squared to Mars (6 Cancer) opposing Pluto (1 Capricorn). A Cardinal Cross is like a crossroads for the cardinal signs – Aries, Libra, Cancer, and Capricorn – all initiators, all problem solvers. The problems are many. Now is a time for choosing. Ripe with life lesson, perhaps Mars is the guide to follow. Where does Mars in Cancer, the compassionate warrior, tell you to go?

March 30 - The Sun (9 Aries) is square to Mars (9 Cancer), illuminating the hero/lover’s journey that is almost complete.

April 2 - Pluto stations retrograde. This is a potent time for Pluto energy. Feel the transformative energy coming through the springtime earth.

April 4 - Mars returns to the stationary degree (12 Cancer) where it turned retrograde in November. The journey is over.

Grieve the lost Friend. The Friend is the guide or spiritual teacher who initiates us and then abandons us. The feeling of abandonment and grief belong to the planet Neptune, the ruler of Pisces. Much of Rumi’s poetry is the language of exquisite longing. His poems teach that grief for abandoned dreams, loves lost, failed endeavors is the way we get back to those dreams, loves, and goals. At this New Moon, Neptune stands with Venus, Mercury and Chiron. Is there a lost friend to grieve in your life? Venus as muse, Mercury as communicator and Chiron as shaman may be your guides to expressing and understanding that grief this month.

Take care of the Donkey. You’ve got to love a mystic who tells us to take care of our donkeys —the animal bodies which carry our divine spirits. Too much watery Pisces and we forget that we even have bodies. The opposite sign, Virgo, reminds us that we do. Saturn in Virgo balances Pisces this month. Rumi would say that if we neglect our bodies, we do not deserve the ecstasy of our spiritual trances. If we can not tend the physical gift of our animal natures, we will not be able to sustain the oceanic feeling of transcendence. To honor Saturn, I invoke the patience needed to tend my physical needs.

Saturn’s energy is enhanced at these times:

March 14 Mars (3 Cancer) is sextile to Saturn (3 Virgo)

March 15 Venus (3 Pisces) opposes Saturn (3 Virgo)

March 17 Mercury (3 Pisces) opposes Saturn (3 Virgo)


I honor Pisces this month. I honor the transition from winter to spring.

Rumi has written (translated by Coleman Barks):

So the sea-journey goes on, and who knows where!
Just to be held by the ocean is the best luck
we could have. It’s a total waking up!

Why should we grieve that we’ve been sleeping?
It doesn’t matter how long we’ve been unconscious.

We’re groggy, but let the guilt go.
Feel the motions of tenderness
around you, the buoyancy.

New Moon March 7, 2008: Rumi’s Ravings written by Teri Parsley Starnes