Low-Down Archives February 2008

February 2008

For the Solar Eclipse ~ New Moon Cycle in Aquarius:
February 6/7 to March 7/8, 2008

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Feb.06 – SOLAR ECLIPSE ~ NEW MOON in AQUARIUS (17:44 of Aquarius)

SOLAR ECLIPSE
NEW MOON in AQUARIUS

Ottawa, Canada and
Washington DC, USA:

Feb.06, 10:44 PM EST

London, UK:

Feb.07, 3:44 AM GMT

Sydney, AU:

Feb.07, 2:44 PM AEDT

"What's a New Moon?"

"What's a Solar Eclipse?"

Read more about the Sun-Moon cycles.

Read more about how you experience AQUARIUS energy in your life.

The Chinese Year of the Earth Rat comes in like a bright solar flare with the Solar Eclipse in Aquarius! The Chinese New Year always begins at the New Moon in the Western Zodiac sign of Aquarius. Each year is associated with a different sign of the Chinese Zodiac. The Rat is the first sign in that Zodiac, and is associated with wealth, aggression and ambition.

The New Moon in Aquarius is associated with visions of the future, humanitarian aspirations, and uniting the Collective toward goals of freedom and equality. With this being a Solar Eclipse as well, it challenges each of us to take a more daring look at our vision of the future, both personally and for the world around us.

There is a lot to take into account when peering into your future. At the Solar Eclipse there is a Stellium in Aquarius that forms a very tight Multiple Conjunction. ("What's a Stellium?"  "What's a Multiple Conjunction?") This includes Chiron, Mercury, Sun, Moon and Neptune, with the North Lunar Node thrown in for good measure. (The closeness of the Lunar Node to the Sun and Moon is what makes this an eclipse instead of an ordinary New Moon.) Chiron through Neptune occupy only about 5½ degrees, which isn't a whole lot of space!

Chiron reminds us that if we are going to try to save the world (or even our little corner of it), we must accept the likelihood that we will fall short of our goals in some way—and that this is okay. True healing must include the reality of our human fallibility in the equation, as well as our greatest potential.

Mercury, still being retrograde, draws us inward to think about things in unusual, surprising ways. We have a chance to rethink some old conclusions or decisions that have driven us to go against the grain—or have inhibited us from doing so. This rethinking will shift when Mercury goes direct on Feb.18, but we will still be processing the implications for the next 6 months.

Neptune urges us to frame our new visions, reconsiderations and self-acceptance in a context that extends beyond our conscious identities. In other words, whatever we do in our lives is only a part of the greater whole. We don't do this alone or in a vacuum—there are others in the world (and perhaps beyond it) who are playing other parts in this larger process. The gestalt effect is far greater than any one of us. We may not be able to know what the other parts are doing—only that the whole continues to change, grow and move. "Think globally, act locally" is good advice here, both literally and symbolically.

There is a tiny aspect configuration at the New Moon that has been called a Little Eye. Venus sextile Uranus, with both planets semi-sextile to the Sun, Moon, Mercury and Chiron in between them. It's a bit like an inverted Yod. This aspect figure heightens our sensitivity to what's around us, especially on an intuitive level. It's not hard to catch a glimpse of what's going on and conclude it must be the whole picture (especially with Neptune close by), but it would be unwise to jump to premature conclusions.

There are no planets in Fire signs at the time of the New Moon, and Uranus is the only planet in a Water sign. All other planets are in Air and Earth signs – a combination of intellect and practicality. This makes it is a good time to plan for the future and work out the steps to get you from Now to Then. Take your vision of what could be and find ways to "make it so."

Mercury turns Direct on the 18th, which will bring the chance to gradually check out your hunches, perceptions and brainwaves. In the meantime, take note of what you subtly pick up and the insights you catch at the edges of your mental peripheral vision. You will likely be testing, experimenting and playing with these to see how they fit into the big picture for the next 6 months or so.

If you have any planets or points in your Natal chart around 14-18 degrees of Leo, it will form a Yod Kite with this Little Eye. You will likely find yourself focusing on that Natal point as either the source or the target of that subtle intuition. There is more to that Natal point than meets the eye. The outer world may be reflecting a new perspective that magnifies possibilities you hadn't considered before. Your Natal planet indicates how you could use your natural abilities or personal struggles as part of the greater process that the Solar Eclipse initiates. If you want to know how to understand this in your own Natal chart, a personal reading is your best resource. 

Feb.07 – Mercury conjunct Chiron (16:00 of Aquarius) (Feb.08 in AU)

Words can wound, but they can also heal. This transit may bring new awareness of the ways that you need to heal...and perhaps also the ways that you wound yourself or others, especially through thoughts, words and attitudes. You might become aware of harming yourself through negative self-talk or harsh self-criticism. Or, you might expect rigid perfection of yourself and forget that you are a multi-dimensional being who is, by your human nature, inconsistent and fallible. Your mental focus or attitude might have a sharp edge to it that is harsh, or you may encounter harsh attitudes from someone else that are hurtful, perhaps without meaning to be. Words and thoughts can be powerful tools. By reframing the message or situation in a different way, it is possible to turn hurt into healing and ignorance into wisdom. For example, it may help to eliminate either-or thinking by accepting that paradoxes and contradictions exist and may not have to be fully resolved for you to find a workable balance within them. By adopting a bit of a philosophical attitude, you may find it takes some of the pressure off the need for everything to fit together perfectly, which can leave some breathing room for everyone involved to be human. 

Feb.10 – Sun conjunct Neptune (21:43 of Aquarius) (Feb.11 in UK, AU)

This can be a time of great creative ability by taking unfamiliar or little-used sources of inspiration and channelling them into self-expression. This may or may not be "creative" in the artistic sense of the word, but definitely can involve taking an inspired approach to problems and challenges. It is a great time to be romantic, creative, intuitive/psychic or spiritual. Just remember that inspiration still means you have to work for the results. Don’t confuse intuition with being able to take divine intervention for granted. You may experience profound faith in the bountiful blessings of the Universe under this transit, but don't just assume you'll be granted everything you wish for. What you pick up from others and your environment can also become mixed up with your own wishful thinking, making it hard to tell where you stop and the rest of the world begins. However, hope, optimism and imagination spring eternal. Your sense of self can become infused with a sense of vision and having a mission, feeling that you are truly a Child of the Universe. Enjoy it while it lasts, as this transit only lasts a few days, but do a careful reality check before you act on the magical possibilities before you. 

Feb.14 – Happy Valentine's Day!

With the Sun trine Mars today, you could find some strong attraction happening! Your urges are strong, so use them wisely. Mercury retrograde is sesqui-quadrate to Mars, warning you to choose your words carefully to avoid abrupt or impulsive communication that you might later regret. Venus in quincunx to Mars suggests that it might require some extra flexibility to make that special connection work well. Mars having just passed a trine to Neptune indicates that magic is in the air, although it's your own actions that will make it happen. 

Feb.14 – Sun Trine Mars (25:22 of Aquarius/Gemini) (Feb.15 in AU)

Your energy, purpose, vitality and health are likely to be strong and clear during this transit. Your sense of purpose is supported by your ability to assert yourself and take a stand for what you want and what you believe in. In general, this transit is a great time to take action, especially if you have prepared the way and have all your ducks in a row. If you've been waiting for a spurt of self-confidence or motivation, this transit could give you the push you need to move forward in your plans or goals. Strive to be spontaneous rather than impulsive, and confident rather than arrogant. 

Feb.16 – Sun conjunct Lunar North Node (27:44 of Aquarius) (Feb.17 in UK, AU)

For a few days before and after this date, your sense of self and purpose are in sharper focus. You might encounter people who understand you more than usual, or you could find the courage to shine a little brighter than you normally do. However, this also brings a challenge to find and fulfil your potential within a broader context of life, friends, associates, groups and the world. It is a good time to look at your vision of the future—on a personal level but especially the wider vision you have for the world around you. What is your greatest potential over the coming year? Ten years? If this conjunction aspects any planets or points in your Natal chart, those areas are especially involved in the future you can now envision. A personal reading will help you understand what direction you can best focus these energies. 

Feb.17 – Venus enters Aquarius (until Mar.12)

Relationships, material abundance and values take a step back to gain perspective, detachment and room to breathe in freedom. You may find that you want to use your finances and resources to benefit those who are disadvantaged or to support the Greater Good of society in some way. It can be a good time to experiment or try new things, to network with groups of people, and to take an objective view about intimacy and interaction. Relationships can take on an idealistic edge, seeking a state of equality and rebelling against imbalances that give one person advantage over the other. Having a strong element of friendship in your intimate relationships may become very important during this time, and friendships themselves could take a central place in your life. Detachment without disconnection is the ideal here. You may not be in a position to foresee future possibilities and translate desires into wishes and new hope. 

Feb.18 – Mercury stationary Direct (08:20 Aquarius; direct until May.26) (Feb.19 in UK, AU) ("What does Retrograde mean?"  "What does stationary mean?"  Read article about Mercury Retrograde.  Read article about Stations and the Shadow.)

For up to a week before and after today, you may experience mental intensity, confusion, and miscommunications or changes in your outlook. After being Retrograde since Jan.28, Mercury is now taking a slow turn to resume Direct motion. These past 3.5 weeks have challenged you to rethink and rehash things that required some fine-tuning or revision. The Direct station can be a time when clearer decisions start to emerge from the issues and struggles you've encountered during the retrograde period. Or, it might turn your perspective around so that you're seeing your situation fresh again. Over the next couple of weeks, while Mercury is still in the Shadow ("What's the Shadow?"), your brain may feel a bit like it's gradually waking up after a deep sleep. During this time, you can gradually put into practice the learning and knowledge you've gained from your retrograde "dreams" and moonlight visions. It will take time to get fully back into sync with the Mercury direct energy. So, take it slow, one step at a time, and untangle yourself one strand at a time. 

Feb.19 – Sun enters Pisces (until Mar.20)

Happy Solar Return to all Pisces! While the Sun travels through Pisces we all have a chance to attune ourselves to our intuitive, creative, spiritual and reflective nature. This can be a time when dreams may become more important, meaningful or frequent, as the unconscious swells into consciousness. It is a time to spend quality alone time with yourself away from the noisy world, so that you can tune in to the still, small voice within. This might be done through meditation, prayer or seclusion. Although not necessary to do in seclusion, you might also connect with that inner space through music, art, dance, yoga, Tai Chi or walking a labyrinth. This is a non-rational space (not necessarily the same as irrational) that emerges from the formlessness of the unconscious full of possibilities for manifestation. Pisces holds the gateway to our source of creativity and our spiritual Source. It points the way to the Great Unknown, where all life begins. Therefore, while the Sun is in Pisces, we have a chance to meditate on our relationship to this womb of creative energy. So try your hand at writing poetry. Or, try drawing or painting, especially with your non-dominant hand. Immerse yourself in a warm bath and listen to the most beautiful music you can find. Walk through a labyrinth, or walk through a forest. Take some time to just BE. 

Feb.19 – Sun sextile Pluto (00:40 of Pisces/Capricorn) (Feb.20 in AU)

Your sense of purpose is potentially strong now, being able to tap into a deeper level of energy and determination. Your personality may be more forceful now, which can be great if you need to make a strong impression but perhaps not so much in situations requiring delicacy or subtlety. You have greater ability to see below the surface of things now, although it may not be as easy to put it all together and understand what it all means. It can be possible to unearth secrets or get at the core of unconscious patterns (yours and others'). However, you'll have to work to harvest the fruit of these potentials, and some of the insights and benefits may not become apparent until later. 

Sabian Symbol for the
Full Moon in Virgo

Virgo 2

A large white cross
dominates the landscape.

It is not uncommon for different authors to use a slightly different wording for some Sabian Symbols. ("What's a Sabian Symbol?")

Dane Rudhyar's is used above. (An Astrological Mandala)

Marc Edmund Jones' original Symbol was "A large white cross upraised." (The Sabian Symbols in Astrology)

And Lynda Hill's wording is, "A large white cross – dominating the landscape – stands alone on top of a high hill." (360 Degrees of Wisdom)

What they share is the idea of proclaiming or expressing what you believe in (whether that is Christianity, some other religion, a general sense of spirituality, or simply feeling part of the dynamic system of the physical universe). The symbol also conveys the possibility that you might have to detach yourself and risk going out on a limb alone in order to stay true to those beliefs.

This symbol's message for the Lunar Eclipse would seem to be that in order to continue the pursuit of your long term goals, you will need a certain amount of faith in the bigger picture of what you're trying to accomplish.

The fact that it is a cross in the symbol has a number of possible interpretations. One is that the Sabian Symbols were created by people who lived in a Christian-dominant culture and therefore the cross may be a kind of default representative of feeling connected to something greater than yourself. However, there may be deeper implications here.

Christianity—and specifically the cross—is strongly associated with the idea of suffering for a higher purpose. Does this mean you must suffer in order to achieve your goal over the coming months? Possibly, although that can be a scary prospect.

Suffering is essentially a process of enduring discomfort in order to attain something that lies beyond that discomfort. We often get stuck in the discomfort part, mistakenly believing that if we're suffering then it must mean we're making progress, which may or may not be the case. Suffering involves struggle in much the same way as childbirth involves struggle. There's a difference between getting stuck in the suffering versus staying in the struggle as you edge toward the end result.

 

Explore the Sabian Symbols for yourself with these recommended books:

The Sabian Symbols in Astrology,
by Marc Edmund Jones

An Astrological Mandala,
by Dane Rudhyar

The Sabian Symbols: The Original Symbols Fully Revealed,
by Blain Bovee

LUNAR ECLIPSE
FULL MOON in VIRGO

Ottawa, Canada and
Washington DC, USA:

Feb.20, 10:31 PM EST

London, UK:

Feb.21, 3:31 AM GMT

Sydney, AU:

Feb.21, 2:31 PM AEDT

"What's a Lunar Eclipse?"
This one is mostly visible in North America, Central America, South America, Western Europe, West Africa. Also visible at Moonset in Eastern Europe, East Africa, Middle East, India, Western Russia.

"What's a Full Moon?"

Read more about the Sun-Moon cycles.

Read more about how you experience VIRGO energy in your life.

Feb.20 – LUNAR ECLIPSE – FULL MOON in VIRGO (01:53 of Virgo)

What were you doing last September? What has happened in your life that began in September 2007? That's the time of the last set of eclipses. Sept.11 was the Solar Eclipse in Virgo, when you may have begun a process or project that involved dedicating yourself in service to a person, a cause, a purpose or a situation. Did you begin a new job at that time that proved more challenging than you expected? Perhaps you started new routines to strengthen your physical, mental or spiritual health? Or maybe you adopted a new commitment to do things to the very best of your ability? How have these themes evolved in your life since then?

Now we have the Full Moon in Virgo. This Full Moon is also a Lunar Eclipse, which marks the midpoint of the year-long process that began with the Solar Eclipse in September 2007. Perhaps you have reached a turning point that requires you to change your approach, adjust your direction or apply what you've accomplished in some new way. For example, that new job might have reached a point where you are proficient in the skills required, but maybe now you need to take a long-term view of what will be required over the coming 6 months so that you're not simply moving from task to task. Or, you might have reached a point in your health regimen that you want to think about long-term sustainability or fine-tune your efforts.

Even if the things you began last September didn't last, or were only meant to be short-term projects, this is a time to think about what you gained from the experience and how you can draw on that experience now. Maybe you started a new job and then found it wasn't what you were looking for and you decided to quit. This is still valuable learning! Knowing what doesn't work is just as important as knowing what does. Virgo understands the "trial and error" process of fine-tuning your goals and methods of achieving them.

This is a time to take stock of what did and didn't work in the things begun last September. This can give you valuable insight and information, which can rejuvenate your motivation, dedication and methodology to continue toward the long-term goal you had in mind last September. It may be necessary to adjust your direction or make some sacrifices to achieve that goal, which is part of Virgo's message of practicality and applied effort.

This is reflected in the fact that the Full Moon is conjunct Saturn in Virgo. This emphasizes the need to take a disciplined, structured, no-nonsense approach to your goal. In addition, the Full Moon is at the South Lunar Node. ("What's a Lunar Node?") Both of these factors encourage you to get rid of distractions or at least move them into the background for a while. That way you aren't squandering your energy and concentration on actions, feelings, thoughts and fantasies that take you away from your goal. Based on what you've learned in the last 6 months, decide what you want to achieve, devise a realistic plan to get you there, and then take the next step in your plan.

That doesn't mean there is no room for ideals, vision, dreams, fantasy or speculation—on the contrary! With the Sun in imaginative Pisces, it is important to steer your practical plans from the rudder of your original (or adjusted) vision of what you want to accomplish.

Mercury (the planetary ruler of the Virgo Lunar Eclipse) has just stationed Direct 2 days ago, which means it's still virtually stationary and therefore still very intense. For about a week or so after Mercury resumes direct motion, your mental focus can often be a bit fuzzy, dreamy, tired or open. The approaching conjunction from Venus (a bit unusual because Venus is the faster of the two right now) adds to this intuitive, creative, non-rational frame of mind. This could mean that making concrete, solid plans for the future is a bit of a challenge, but remember that the best plans involve a balance between the intuitive and the logical, the creative and the practical.

The Stellium in Aquarius persists with Mercury, Venus, Chiron, Neptune and the North Lunar Node. Group involvement, peer support (or peer pressure), associates and the greater community may be resources for you over the coming months.

Pluto is trine the Moon and sextile the Sun, which forms a Wedge aspect configuration with the Full Moon. Your vision, adjustments, plans and ambitions can benefit if you imagine them within a context far greater than the immediate rewards you hope to get. Think about the long-term transformative and healing implications that could result. Consider how your efforts might also support the Greater Good and how you might incorporate this into your plans. Be aware of the value of letting go of old expectations, habits and motives that might be getting in your way.

Mars, interestingly, is in almost the same position it was at the Solar Eclipse. It was at 21 degrees of Gemini back then, and now it's at 26 Gemini. Last September it was just about to enter the Retrograde Shadow ("What's the Shadow?") and now Mars is moving through the Shadow for the final time. How you use your energy and motivation is important now. You've learned something in the last 6 months about how to use your energy more effectively and how to focus your intentions. Bringing these into your conscious mind will help you know how to apply them to sustain your progress toward your goal.

Pluto, Mars, Sun and Moon together form a Mystic Rectangle aspect configuration (although Mars is "out of sign" and a bit wide in orb). This suggests you might feel more stressed, anxious or insecure about the continuing journey than you are admitting (perhaps even to yourself). This has the advantage of being able to bluff your way through a difficult situation, although it is also easy to just keep tension locked inside of you where it could sabotage your efforts. Find healthy, practical ways to channel your stress; for example, physical activity or becoming more persistent in your efforts or cutting yourself some slack once in a while.

Eclipses can be times of intense energy, which could take an already tense situation and boost it into a more serious problem that demands attention. The Full Moon in Virgo encourages you to take a practical, adaptable approach, but also warns about getting so bogged down in details that you lose sight of your long-term goal. If you get lost or stuck, seeking advice, support and assistance from others can be very helpful. For example, a personal astrology reading can give you valuable insight to help you get back on track and explore solutions to your problems.

Feb.24 – Sun Opposite Saturn (05:10 of Pisces/Virgo)

You may be obligated to fulfil the expectations of others or of society under this transit. A situation or project (which may have begun around 6 months ago) might require that you start to implement the plans and preparation you've been building. Or you might find that problems you've been putting off must now be dealt with. Although you could experience this as stressful or heavy, it can also be a time when you are finally able to move ahead with a project or goal. All commitment requires some degree of limitation and pruning back, since we must choose one path and leave other options behind. This may therefore feel like a time when you are pressured by obligation, necessity or restraint...or it could feel like the rehearsals are finally over and it's time to launch the rocket. If it seems like you're only seeing blocks or obstacles in your way, this might be a reflection of not having done enough preparation (in which case you will need to draw on your experience to solve the problems or deal with the reality in front of you). This can be a time when you reap whatever you have sown in the past (especially the last 6 months), so if your current situation seems negative or punitive, it might be a time when you need to look back over your actions that lead to this and be accountable for past actions and decisions. Whether you are taking the final step to implement your plans or are facing the results of poor past judgment, this can be a time when you are called upon to move forward in your personal growth and maturation. Use it to strengthen your responsibility (response-ability), and don't let fears of inadequacy erode your self-esteem.

Feb.26 – Mercury conjunct Venus (11:12 of Aquarius) (Feb.27 in AU)

Social connections, diplomatic communication and receptive awareness mark this transit. It can be a great time to negotiate contracts or agreements because the communication can usually flow easily. Focus your awareness on achieving a mutual balance between you and the other person. A win-win solution is especially easy to achieve now -- so much so, in fact, that it might be tempting to only say what you think the other person wants to hear (which may or may not be wise). This can also be a time of appreciating and expressing beauty, pleasure and sensuality. If there's someone you want to get closer to (in terms of romance, friendship, business, partnership, or even an adversary!), talking gently and listening receptively can be the key that unlocks the door. You may also get new creative ideas from your interactions with people or from observing them.

This is a somewhat unusual conjunction, since Venus (normally the slower of the two) is moving faster than Mercury and overtakes it. Mercury is going very slowly right now because it has just recently gone Direct (Feb.18). Mercury catches up to Venus on Mar.24. Since Venus is the faster of the two right now, it suggests your heart rather than your head may be the stronger source of information and insight at the moment. Your thoughts and reasoning are likely to be more intuitive than usual and attuned to your desires and feelings. This can be a very creative time, but be careful about making decisions that require a clear head. Look to those close to you for a reality check.

Feb.29 – Happy Leap Day!

Happy Solar Return to all Leap Day babies! Anyone born on Feb.29 has a birthday only every 4 years. Enjoy it while you can!

Mar.01-Jun.30 – Little Eye aspect configuration (Jupiter, Uranus, Chiron)

Under this subtle but persistent aspect figure, you may find you are very sensitive to expansive ideas and possibilities. However, you are also likely to pick up on the implications, consequences, challenges and drawbacks of those ideas. This could bring you to a nagging dilemma: Do you reach out toward the greater potential despite the costs and drawbacks? Or do you settle for something that has more practical or entertainment value in order to gain the most success for the least risk? There is at least as much value in going through the struggle as there is in the final conclusions or results that you arrive at. You are learning to prioritize and compromise. You are discovering what it takes to get you to reach beyond your reluctance or pain, and how to tell when you've reached too far and need to conserve your energy and well-being.

This is a long-term struggle lasting about 4 months. It stays within a very close orb throughout most of that time (less than 1½ degrees), and reaches its closest point around March 28 (when all three aspects are less than 0:20 orb) and then again around May 21 (less than 1 degree).

Mar.02 – Venus conjunct Chiron (17:48 of Aquarius) (Mar.03 in UK, AU)

Unresolved problems and old wounds in relationships and finances may be in the foreground now, with potential for a new beginning and healing. However, in order to heal something, it is first necessary to become more aware of what is out of balance, which can make a situation seem to get worse before it gets better. You have the ability to wound those close to you, as well as to bring healing, as you explore what is and isn't working in your relationships. It is also a time when your approach to finances and resources may require that you face some hard realities that may not be easily or quickly resolved, but dealing with any problems will give you the chance to achieve a new balance. This is especially true when it comes to the ways that you see your physical resources as a reflection of your self-worth, and the relationships in your life as a reflection of your lovability. These issues may become aggravated under this transit, but ultimately this is meant to increase your awareness of these issues so that you can start to heal them in new ways.

Mar.04 – Mars enters Cancer (until May.09)

The fiery energy of Mars is poured through the sensitive, emotional waters of Cancer. This is not the easiest placement for Mars, since its sharp edge becomes somewhat softened and diluted. However, this is also a time when it is possible to use your assertive and proactive energy for the protection of yourself or others. This is like the mother bear that can become extremely fierce when protecting her young, and in the same way you have an abundance of energy to defend your "children" -- literally or figuratively, in the sense of creative projects, loved ones, your Inner Child, or your home "nest." This is also a time when deep emotional issues may erupt to the surface, like buried anger, repressed frustration or unconscious fear. The focus of your feelings may be a little unstable and moody, but it also gives you an opportunity to nurture, vent and express those feelings. Observe how you respond to any deep feelings that emerge, either in yourself or in others. Does your Inner Parent try to repress or scold that Inner Child, or are you able to respond lovingly, caringly and sensitively? This is a learning experience that can teach you how to nurture yourself ...and others.

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Mars now re-enters the sign where it went retrograde back in Nov.2007. We've all become aware of issues since that time including aggression, force, crisis, fear, courage, motivation, independence and taking action. Now, as Mars returns to Cancer, we look for ways to channel that awareness in ways that involve compassion, protection, sensitivity and creativity. This is a challenge because Mars would rather be direct, blunt and take risks, not all warm and fuzzy.

Think back to the times when Mars issues have come into your experience over the last 4-6 months. You may remember times when you felt shocked, frightened, defensive, angry, hurt, stirred up, assertive, brave, enthused, dynamic or motivated. Looking back, do you see a difference in how you now view those situations? For example, perhaps you felt intimidated by someone and had to stand up to them. Yet now that you've gained some distance from that original situation, you might feel some understanding of what was motivating them at the time, or you might have a better idea of how to protect yourself if faced with the same situation again.

The key is to take the time to draw some learning from your experiences of the last several months, and especially to avoid being overly harsh with yourself or with others.

Mar.05 – Mercury conjunct Chiron (17:57 of Aquarius)

Words can wound, but they can also heal. This transit may bring new awareness of the ways that you need to heal ...and perhaps also the ways that you wound yourself or others, especially through thoughts, words and attitudes. You might become aware of harming yourself through negative self-talk or harsh self-criticism. Or, you might expect rigid perfection of yourself and forget that you are a multi-dimensional being who is, by your human nature, inconsistent and fallible. Your mental focus or attitude might have a sharp edge to it that is harsh, or you may encounter harsh attitudes from someone else that are hurtful, perhaps without meaning to be. Words and thoughts can be powerful tools. By reframing the message or situation in a different way, it is possible to turn hurt into healing and ignorance into wisdom. For example, it may help to eliminate either-or thinking by accepting that paradoxes and contradictions exist and may not have to be fully resolved for you to find a workable balance within them. By adopting a bit of a philosophical attitude, you may find it takes some of the pressure off the need for everything to fit together perfectly, which can leave some breathing room for everyone involved to be human.

Mar.06 – Sun sextile Jupiter (16:35 of Pisces/Capricorn) (Mar.07 in AU)

This is a time when your understanding of the Big Picture and your place within it has the potential to click into place. As a result, your confidence and self-esteem can be quite high right now. Your ability to see opportunities and possibilities more clearly can produce an experience of being "lucky." Your insight into life and the world around you may be especially bright, optimistic and inspired. This is a "feel-good" transit, when your sense of self can seem to expand and become free. You may feel especially connected to spiritual energy during this time. Just be careful that all this self-assurance and "knowing" doesn't backfire, by overestimating the extent of your knowledge or underestimating the reaction of your audience. It is possible to become a bit self-indulgent under this transit, so be careful not to overdo it. Beyond a reasonable caution, this is a transit to enjoy!

Mar.06 – Venus conjunct Neptune (22:39 of Aquarius)  (Mar.07 in UK, AU)

This can be a time of romance and dreamy desire on one hand, or deceptive manipulation and self-serving negotiation on the other hand. At its best, this transit can inspire enormous creativity and healing faith in love and abundance. We can be extremely open to the loftiest possibilities of our close relationships and our ability to attract what and who we desire. However, it may not be as easy to assess these areas in light of the realities that must be dealt with in order to realise that potential. We may find it easier to have faith in the power of negotiation -- that the Universe will ensure our desired outcome -- but it is also easy to slide into wishful thinking that loses touch with the reality of the situation. If you are considering a major change involving income, investment, spending or resources, it is probably a good idea to do a reality check with a trusted friend or advisor. If you are starting a new relationship or negotiating changes to an existing one, it might be wise to take a long-term view to wait and see if your dreams really will come true or if your hopes are colouring your thinking a bit too much. A reality check with a trusted friend might also help with this. This transit begins a new cycle that brings these issues into our lives to explore and gradually unfolds over the next 12 months (approximately).

Mar.07 – Mars opposite Pluto (00:58 of Cancer/Capricorn)

Mars and Pluto doing battle in the skies can create a very intense showdown! This is a time when tempers can flare, power struggles can emerge, and aggressive action could seem like the only way to handle a conflict. If you feel yourself becoming entangled in a mounting tension with someone, you might do well to back off a bit to let the adrenaline subside on both sides. On the other hand, it is a time when we are often challenged to assert ourselves and strengthen our spirit, which can often be brought on by confrontation. This is the kind of atmosphere where our interactions with others can bring out deeply hidden and intense feelings inside us, which long to be expressed but are usually suppressed instead. This is an opportunity to observe what gets triggered inside of us and what kind of interaction triggers those feelings. It can be valuable to use the experience as a way to vent old frustration, work through unresolved anger, and ultimately heal our deeper wounds by letting go of whatever holds us back. Sexual energy can run very high under this transit, so handle it wisely.

This is the last of 3 passes of this intense transit. (Hooray!!) The other two passes took place Sep.21.2007 and Jan.2.2008. Mars opposite Pluto would be a rather intense and noteworthy transit on its own. This one is unusually so because Mars has been retrograde, which it only does about every 2 years (and is therefore very rare, as retrogrades go). The two planetary rulers of Scorpio have squared off during this time, creating incidents and movements of violence, aggression, ambition, initiative and power—certainly globally and probably grappling with these issues personally too.

This final pass is unique in the series because Pluto is in Capricorn, whereas it was in Sagittarius for the previous 2 passes. Since Pluto changes signs very rarely (the last time was 1995!), it is very significant for Mars to usher Pluto into its next sign. (Interestingly, when Pluto makes its final entry to Capricorn on Nov.27, it is virtually unaspected.) Mars and Pluto both signify aggression and our ability to own and wield power without destroying the people, territory or situation around us in the process.

So, as the saying goes, "How's that workin' for ya?" If the last 7 years are any indication, we've got a LONG way to go. Pluto going into Capricorn provides the next step in the journey. Mars brings that journey down to a personal level and challenges you to find ways to gather your power, your anger, your passion, your ambition, your fear, your courage and your individuality. You are challenged to project this from your core. (You'll notice I said "project" not "projectile.")

Mar.08 – Reminder: North America changes to Daylight Savings Time (DST)

If you're in Canada or the US, and your area observes Daylight Savings Time, turn your clocks FORWARD today by one hour. (Note that UK, Europe and Australia don't change to DST until Mar.30.)

Next Update:  NEW MOON in PISCES - March 07, 2008 (Mar.08 in AU). Available by Mar.07.

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