Wednesday, March 25, 2009

New Moon, March 26, 2009: Flowing strands of energy

As I sit down to write about this lunar month I wonder, “What do I need to be mindful of for the next few weeks? How can I best adapt myself to this energy so that I may embrace life in the most authentic, joyful, and effective way possible?” These questions are my guides for using astrology. I find that I use my awareness of the earth and the seasons to inform me about energy as much as I use astrological symbols. How can I ignore the influence of spring thaw here in Minneapolis, the returning light after a dark winter, the swollen rivers spilling their banks? These are as important to me as Saturn transiting Virgo and Venus retrograding through Aries. As an astrologer I constantly ask myself, what must I pay attention to? What serves me, the clients who come to me, and what also serves the whole, my contribution to co-creating the world as I attempt to live mindfully each day? The answer to this question shifts and changes often. It keeps things interesting.

Now, at this New Moon in Aries, I find myself paying attention to several celestial strands of energy. I am aware that Pluto is preparing to station retrograde shortly after the New Moon; that Neptune, Chiron, and Jupiter are coming closer and closer together culminating in a near triple conjunction at the end of May; that Venus is continuing her retrograde journey in Aries; and that during the season of Aries I want to pay attention to its ruler, Mars. As I notice energy and events, I find that it is helpful to keep several stories in mind at one time. Never do these influences occur in a vacuum, sequentially, or neat and tidy with beginning, middle, and end. Rather, they seem to ebb and flow, sparked into action by subtle shifts like the Moon making an aspect. Sometimes the strands become so complex, I take a break from all the information, return to awareness of my body, the earth, my beloveds. Sometimes it seems to me that paying attention itself is the point, and it is not so important that I know or understand all these influences. As the rivers in my area of country crest and exceed their boundaries, I offer the idea that we can also accept the unknowable, let it move us beyond our own boundaries. We are all this and more.

The New Moon in Aries on March 26 finds all planets except Saturn within the space of a square between Pluto and Venus, implying a tight focus, a concentration of energy. Pluto is stationary at this time. A planet’s influence is stronger when it stations (seems to stand still right before changing apparent direction, either retrograde or direct). Pluto has been stationing retrograde every March since 1994. Next year, it will station retrograde in early April. For more than a decade, Pluto has been asserting itself into the transitions of spring. This seems appropriate considering Pluto’s (or Hades’) role in the springtime story of Persephone’s return. When Pluto retrogrades, the earth itself responds. We also respond. The name Pluto means “the giver of wealth which comes out of the earth beneath.” Pluto holds wealth in the shadows, in the things we refuse to or are unable to acknowledge, and then, when it is time, he releases the wealth and we claim the hidden, forbidden treasures. Pluto gives life back to us. Since September 2008 when Pluto last turned direct, this planet has been slowly forcing us to confront the shadows hidden away in Capricorn. Now, he stations and recedes, leaving behind compost for our fields. How will you use this wealth as you plant the seeds of your heart’s desire? Remember, Pluto’s energy feeds life itself. What needs rejuvenation in your life? If you have planets or important points in your chart ranging from 0° to 5 ° of a Cardinal sign (Aries, Cancer, Libra or Capricorn), you will feel this station strongly. Pluto is moving through your life.

Last month I wrote about the Venus retrograde journey. She is halfway through that process. The day after the New Moon, Venus in Aries is conjunct the Sun in the heart of the retrograde journey. In this place, joined by the Moon and Mercury, Venus meets a challenging aspect from Pluto. Aries is perceived as being courageous, but the truth of the matter is that Aries is more foolish than brave. An Aries individual “does it afraid.” In other words, they often do not feel courageous as they take a stand or move to the head of the line. They simply recognize the need to act. Have you felt the urge to act even if you haven’t felt courageous? Perhaps this challenge will intensify during the period of Venus square Pluto. Perhaps because you have answered the call of this challenge, you will reap Pluto’s rejuvenation. There are hard edges to Venus in Aries square Pluto. This aspect may not be easy on relationships.

With all this impulsive Aries energy around, it is a good idea to look at Mars this month. Mars rules Aries. He is the actor who best carries out the Aries need to emerge and to do. Mars starts off the lunar month, gentle and intuitive in the sign of Pisces. But he doesn’t stay that way. In the New Moon chart, Mars is unaspected, drifting alone in a fairly unmoored sign – Pisces. It may seem to us that spring is getting a slow start. The best way to use this lull in energy is to recharge the batteries, spend more time in reverie, tune into the heart’s messages. On April 4, when Mars opposes Saturn, we will receive the message that we now need to be serious and get down to business. Saturn will want to pull Mars back into a more realistic orbit. When Mars comes into conjunction with Uranus on April 15, the fireworks will likely start. These two planets provoke action and reaction. Even in the calm sign of Pisces, we will want to do something that feels more authentic, that brings change. Right before Mars enters Aries on April 22, he comes into conjunction with Venus at 29° Pisces. There is something poetic about this conjunction between the ruler of Libra (Venus) and the ruler of Aries (Mars) taking place right after Venus turns direct. Perhaps there is a final lesson for Venus – a way to honor the Aries struggle of individuation, which is often in conflict with the Libran need to be in relationship. When we honor both needs, what is created? What is possible? Mars enters its own sign on April 22 where the impulse pursue what we want is strong. Mars stays in that sign until June 1. If it hadn’t really happened before, after April 22, spring will be in full force.

Along with these strands, there is another story developing that will color our experiences for the next few months. At the Full Moon on April 9, Jupiter, Chiron and Neptune are forming a tight cluster called a stellium. I wrote about these three planets in last month’s New Moon forecast. I have noticed that most of my clients recently have planets or important points in their charts which will be impacted by this transit. Why are these people showing up now? This coincidence affirms that it is a good idea to pay attention to these energies. Jupiter, Chiron and Neptune will be important teachers over the next few months. I associate Obama’s presidency with the optimism of Jupiter in Aquarius. He stands for our communal dreams of a better future. His nodal axis (his karma and destiny) falls within the degrees of this transit (North node at 27°Leo). I think he will hold an important piece of what this transit means to us at this time. If you have any planets or important points in your chart between 24° to 27° of the fixed signs (Aquarius, Taurus, Leo, and Scorpio) this transit will strongly impact you.

Dates important to our stories
March 27 Mercury 3° Aries square Pluto 3° Capricorn
March 27 Sun conjunct Venus 7° Aries
April 3 Venus (retrograde) 3° Aries square Pluto 3° Capricorn
April 4 Pluto stations retrograde
April 4 Mars 16° Pisces opposite Saturn 16° Virgo
April 9 Full Moon
April 15 Mars conjunct Uranus 24° Pisces
April 17 Venus stations direct
April 21 Venus conjunct Mars 29° Pisces
April 22 Mars enters Aries