Saturday, March 13, 2010

New Moon March 15, 2010: Standing at the threshold

Liminal - Occupying a position at, or on both sides of a threshold.

The year is a wheel of seasons. The word “year” actually means season. Most pagans divide the year into eight turnings of the wheel—in essence, into eight seasons or holidays. These include the four solar holidays, occurring in the Cardinal signs. Aries - Spring Equinox, Cancer - Summer Solstice, Libra – Fall Equinox , and Capricorn – Winter Solstice. In between these stations of the Sun fall the other four cross-quarter holidays marked by the Fixed signs. Taurus – Beltane, Leo – Lughnasad, Scorpio- Samhain, and Aquarius – Imbolc. The Cardinal and Fixed signs are well established in this cyclic understanding of the year. The Mutable signs, not acknowledged by holy day, sneak in under the radar and do their job of holding the threshold. The Mutable seasons erase the past while opening to the future. “Sneaky”—only because they do not call attention to themselves—shapeshifting, and sometimes hard to pin down, the seasons of Mutable signs are slippery. They are not all one thing or another.

We are in such a season at this New Moon in Pisces. This water sign washes away the previous Fixed air season of Aquarius to make way for the Cardinal fire sign, Aries. Fixity can be about the things we are reluctant to let go of while cardinal energy urges us to take charge and act for the future. During this transition, it is appropriate to let water guide us in releasing stuck thought patterns to prepare ourselves for springtime energy. This season, water is the keeper of the threshold. It is hard to be patient at the end of Winter. I live in the upper Midwest. Winter here is long; we want Spring so badly that it is a challenge to remain present to the liminal state. We want to jump ahead. As the Aries energy takes over this lunar month, we will be tempted to leave behind the gifts that Pisces offers us. That might be a mistake.

Pisces has an affinity to the work of karma, giving us the opportunity to release past patterns. The astrological year begins with Aries; it ends with Pisces. Each month, each sign of the zodiac builds upon the previous month’s experiences. Each sign shows us another piece of the human puzzle to understand and integrate. In Pisces, all those experiences come undone so we can begin again in the Spring. The patterns of a year fall away, and it feels as though the patterns of lifetimes are also dissolving. We can become mutable ourselves, not just one thing or another. Of all the Mutable signs, Pisces is the most liminal; water is the universal solvent.

Pisces has an affinity for forgiveness and salvation. In this season there is a possibility of redemption if we want it.  Forgiveness for self and others helps us to move forward.

At this New Moon, we can meditate on these questions: How do I wish to begin the new year? What patterns are ready to be released? What is ready to flow back into the ocean?

New Moon and the Compassionate Trickster. Astrologer Caroline Casey writes often about the compassionate trickster. She even has a Mystery School dedicated to awakening the compassionate trickster in all of us. In her trickster manifesto, Casey exuberantly writes, “The race is on, that dynamic beauty and sane reverence may supplant the dominance of dunder-headed-despotic dementors of doom,
and that adorable and ingenious life may bloom in profusion once again on the other side of this bottle-neck towards which we are all racing.” The compassionate trickster is a potent archetype for these times. With both Uranus, a promethean trickster, and Mercury, a hermetic trickster, conjunct this New Moon in compassionate Pisces, we are poised to investigate this archetype as well as invoke it into our lives. Uranus is making its way out of Pisces where it has been since 2003. Now is the time to acknowledge the role that compassion plays in our cultural revolutions. Compassion no longer needs to mean passivity or self-sacrifice. We can claim our roles as instigators of compassion.

At the Full Moon, the Sun has entered Aries and the expansive energy of Spring is underway. The waves of Pisces are but a dream. This Full Moon triggers the ongoing energy of Pluto square Saturn. Those with planets or important points in the chart around the beginning degrees of the Cardinal signs, should pay attention at this Full Moon to what is being asked of you. Cardinal signs set down new patterns. People with this energy exhibit leadership, foolish courage, and creative force. They ask about the next steps. They respond to problems, asking: Where is the work? What is the vision? How do we get there?

Cardinal elements. This year, three Cardinal signs color the transformations happening in the world through important outer planet transits: Aries through the element of fire, Libra through the element of air, and Capricorn through the element of earth. The missing element is often the most important.  Water, through the sign of Cancer, begs to be considered too so we have access to all ways of taking action. Questions to consider this year. How does each element help me to respond to problems, set new patterns, meet the changes present in the world? How do I listen to, honor and ally myself with the elemental forces? What element in me comes naturally, what element in me needs to come forward?

When Mercury enters Aries on March 17, just two days after the Pisces New Moon, spring energy starts to build. Mercury describes our mental processes. Since Mercury will trine Mars, which is finally moving forward after being retrograde for three months, our minds will feel the urge to speed up. The next day, Mercury opposes Saturn and squares Pluto. We may say or think things that are born of frustration and deep emotion. When the Sun enters Aries on March 20 away we go into Aries territory. We will have crossed the threshold. New patterns are laid down through the will and action of fire. Not until after the Full Moon on March 29 will this energy slow down. On March 31 Venus enters Taurus. Languid and sensual, the earth element is reinforced. Taurus can act as a brake on Aries impulsivity. On April 6, Pluto stations retrograde. This is the yearly turning of Pluto back towards the underworld. The pull to depth and transformation is strong. The next day, Saturn moves back into Virgo where it will stay until July 21. With Pluto in Cardinal earth, Venus in Fixed earth and Saturn in Mutable earth, we have access to all expressions of earth wisdom as the lunar month winds down.

Spring weather is unpredictable, one moment can be warm and the next can feel like Winter again. Staying present, we are able to attune our senses to subtle shifts. This lunar month will offer shifting energies within and around us. One day may be receptive and dreamy, the next impulsive, while the next grounded and stable. How do you meet the possibilities inherent in each moment?

Dates important to the stories.*
March 15 Mercury 26° Pisces conjunct Uranus 26° Pisces
March 17 Sun 26° Pisces conjunct Uranus 26° Pisces
March 17 Mercury enters Aries
March 17 Mercury 0° Aries trines Mars 0° Leo
March 18 Mercury 1° Aries opposes Saturn 1° Libra
March 20 Mercury 5° Aries squares Pluto 5° Capricorn
March 20 Sun enters Aries
March 21 Sun 1° Aries trines Mars 1° Leo
March 21 Sun 1° Aries opposes Saturn 1° Libra
March 25 Sun 5° Aries squares Pluto 5° Capricorn
March 29 Full Moon – Sun 9° Aries opposes Moon 9°Libra
March 31 Venus enters Taurus
April 2 Mercury enters Taurus
April 3 Venus 3° Taurus squares Mars 3° Leo
April 4 Venus 5° Taurus trines Pluto 5° Capricorn
April 4 Mercury 3° Taurus square Mars 3° Leo
April 6 Mercury 5° Taurus trine Pluto 5° Capricorn
April 6 Pluto stations retrograde
April 7 Saturn re-enters Virgo
* These dates are not a complete list of transits for the month, but rather are times when the themes of these stories are stronger. Each aspect between planets carries its own energy of harmony or conflict.
These are:

Conjunction – merging
Sextile – encouraging
Square – challenging
Trine – harmonizing
Opposition – confronting
Quincunx – stretching