Low-Down Archives for Feb-March 2010

New Moon & Full Moon Astrology, Planetary Transits

Feb-March 2010

For the New Moon in Aquarius:
February 13/14 to 28, 2010

And the Full Moon in Virgo:
February 28 to March 15, 2010

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Feb.13 – NEW MOON in AQUARIUS (25:17 of Aquarius)

NEW MOON in AQUARIUS

Ottawa, Canada and
Washington DC, USA:

Feb.13, 2010, 9:51 PM EST

London, UK:

Feb.14, 2010, 2:51 AM GMT

Sydney, AU:

Feb.14, 2010, 1:51 PM AEDT

"What's a New Moon?"

Read more about the Sun-Moon cycles.

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

Aquarius is an enigma.

It is a Fixed sign, implying that its nature is about consistency and endurance, and yet it has a reputation for unpredictability and disorder. It is ruled traditionally by Saturn, a planet that is typically about stability, responsibility and seriousness. And yet, Aquarius energy is more often erratic, rebellious and eccentric.

Aquarius archetypally evolves out of Capricorn, the sign of structure, proven knowledge and the development of predictable results. Aquarius takes that Capricorn conventionality and opens it up to new possibilities. It takes conventional wisdom and turns it into lunatic wisdom. Capricorn's objective of producing dependable results can become rigid and predestined. On the other hand, Aquarius' love of rebellion disrupts that stability, making success impossible.

Each seems to be the antithesis of the other. And yet, Saturn rules them both. How can the same planet govern two signs that are so radically different?

Chinese Year of the Tiger

Gung Hay Fat Choy!

Happy Chinese New Year!

It's the Year of the Tiger – the Metal Tiger, to be precise. The New Moon in Aquarius always marks the start of a new year in the Chinese lunar-solar calendar. Check out your Chinese horoscope!

In Capricorn, Saturn is about creating the structure that gives stability. In Aquarius, Saturn seeks to discover what can be done once that stability is established. Aquarius requires Capricorn's solid foundation or else rebellion just deteriorates into a mess with no purpose. Aquarius is full of purpose! It wants to take a system and make it better by opening it up to new growth and new life.

Change must endure. Without change, life withers and dies. Stability must be only a means to an end, not an end in itself. In order for any system to be sustainable, it must allow room for growth, change and evolution. If it remains a closed system that demands only uniformity and consistency, that system will eventually grind to a halt. In order for any system to endure, it must be dynamic.

Therefore, Aquarius archetypally thrives on chaos. Although this can be very annoying and disruptive to Capricorn's plans, that chaos is the very stuff that keeps life from becoming mechanical. Chaos is ultimately a creative force that ensures our freedom of free will. In Aquarius, Saturn seeks to create a dynamic system that can sustain and even embrace inevitable change and unpredictability. And that means allowing an element of chaos into that tightly crafted Capricornian system. Aquarius is about the bigger picture – even bigger than Capricorn's ambitious goals. Rather than simply trying to tear down what has been established, Aquarius is ultimately about creating a long-term, dynamically sustainable system.

Aquarius represents our ability to make choices that enable us to rise above our externally imposed circumstances. It is the lightning bolt that shatters the stability of the moment, yet delivers the potential for divine inspiration. It wakes you up in such a way that you can never look at life the same way again. When you've been struck by Aquarian lightning, something changes forever. Running on "autopilot" is no longer an option. You must gather your wits and figure out what to do from here.

At the extreme end of the spectrum, that Aquarius lightning may require you to completely reinvent yourself. As inconvenient as this might be, it is the very stuff that sentience, evolution and life itself thrive on. Without it, we remain unaware creatures who have yet to crawl out of the swamp of predetermination.

Sentience. It means taking risks. And sometimes it means running into a wall of reality and becoming wounded. Becoming self-aware doesn't guarantee we will get what we want, but if we never try to test the boundaries of our immediate world, we'll never know what, if anything, lies beyond it. And we'll never know what we're truly capable of. Finding out involves risk, and sometimes it means disappointment and getting hurt. Aquarius will tell you it's worth the effort.

This particular New Moon in Aquarius is very much about what we're willing to risk and how hard we're prepared to push in order to find out what's possible and what we're really made of. It starts with the Sun and Moon very tightly conjunct Chiron and Neptune – all within less than a degree! Neptune's longing to be free from the restrictions of physical reality is merged with Chiron's angst over the inevitability of having to accept and live within those restrictions. When combined with Aquarius' use of creative chaos to pursue sentience and free will, this is a challenge to embrace these energies in your own Aquarian quest.

You might be stuck in too much Chiron – feeling like you're dragging around a wounded leg that stubbornly refuses to heal, and then Neptune's tendency for martyrdom could become a balm that uses suffering as a virtue and an end in itself. Perhaps you need to lift yourself up in Neptune's helium balloon, to lighten your load and enjoy the beauty of what is, instead of merely trying to escape from it.

On the other hand, you might be stuck in too much Neptune – mesmerized by a vision of what life "could be" if only you could let go and rid yourself of the "ball and chain" that keeps you trapped in a disappointing reality that refuses to cooperate with your glowing vision. Perhaps Chiron could help by providing balance through its ability to make the best of a less-than-perfect reality, enabling you to turn those sour grapes into delicious wine.

There are two noteworthy aspect figures – well, three, if you count the 5-planet Stellium in Aquarius: Mercury, Sun, Moon, Chiron and Neptune. That's a LOT of visionary drive! This New Moon could easily create some very disruptive turbulence that ultimately can allow you to make some creative changes in your life.

Focused Yod Kite aspect figure

There is a Focused Yod Kite (sometimes called a Boomerang). Retrograde Mars at the apex of the Yod is in quincunx aspect to Pluto on one side and a Venus-Jupiter conjunction on the other. Mars is also opposing Mercury. This combination of energies brings in a giant "yes-but" kind of dilemma. "I have to make a decision about what to do about [fill in the blank]." "Yes, but if I try to be the nice guy, the other person might take advantage of me." "Yes, but if I try to dominate the situation, the other person might retaliate and try to back me into a corner." The idea is to find a calm centre within yourself where you can respond without needing to control the outcome. No matter what happens, you can be true to your own integrity. You don't have to be on the defensive, nor on the offensive, but can simply respond to what the situation presents.

Double Yod Key aspect pattern

The Yod part of that aspect figure is also part of a larger figure that is sometimes called a Double Yod Key, where two Yod aspect patterns overlap and are connected by a square aspect. In this case, the second Yod has the Venus-Jupiter conjunction at the apex, which is in quincunx aspect to both Mars and Saturn. The two benefic planets (Venus and Jupiter) are in a difficult aspect to the two malefic planets (Mars and Saturn). In this case, the dilemma of the Yod revolves around issues of how to maintain an attitude of optimism, joy and abundance in the face of circumstances or influences that are demanding, stressful or discouraging.

The square aspect that binds the two Yods together is the Saturn-Pluto square. Oh. Yes. That. The square—and indeed, this particular square—make this a much more complex figure. Just when you think you've established yourself in that calm centre that can resolve the dilemmas of the Yods, the square comes along and stirs the pot yet again.

The key is to master the challenge of the square. A square aspect is a problem to be solved; a challenge to be met; a conflict to be resolved. This particular square typically involves BIG energies, BIG challenges and BIG problems. Its energy began back last November at the first pass of this transit (Nov.15) and we recently saw the second pass (Jan.31). The final pass will come on Aug.21.

So in what situations have you been "fighting the good fight?" What long-term situation in your life has tested your mettle, requiring you to muster and use every part of your strength, skill, resolve and commitment? Perhaps you are embarking on a new career, or striving to stabilize your finances. Or you might be involved in a relationship that is testing your level of commitment, or you are dealing with a conflict that requires you to find your inner empowerment and courage.

This lunar cycle may present a deeper challenge where you must learn to focus your intentions in the midst of confusing or frustrating circumstances. Think of it like trying to hear what someone is saying in a room full of loud distracting noise. You aren't likely to be able to control the noise, and if you just plug your ears to block out the noise, you'll miss what your friend is saying. The answer is to concentrate intently and use whatever skills and means are available to you to focus on your friend and tune out the rest of the noise. Lean closer, cup your ear to catch only their sound, watch their mouth to read their lips, pay attention to their body language – any clues that can help you stay focused.

This is the equivalent of what you may be called upon to do over the next few weeks in order to stay on track with whatever you are trying to achieve in your long-term quest. On the other hand, remember the Aquarian message – chaos is a creative opportunity to introduce something new that you might not have considered before. So if you get distracted, don't dismiss the distraction as unimportant without at least checking it out to see if it might have a missing piece of the puzzle you're trying to solve. And if you completely lose your focus and need some help getting back in tune with what's important, talk to someone (your astrologer, for example) and get their feedback, ideas and support.

Feb.13 – Mercury opposite Mars Retrograde (04:22 of Aquarius/Leo)

Fiery speech, argument, hot debate and impatience characterise this transit. You may encounter conflicts of interest with others and want to solve them NOW, but in your haste to find a quick fix, you could create more problems than you solve. On the other hand, it can be a time of sudden or impulsive decisions, as well as taking action on ideas you've been mulling over for a while. There is a strong tendency to say what's on your mind ...perhaps more abruptly or harshly than is wise, which could result in argument, overreaction and hurt feelings. Although argument can clear the air and be healing, it can also wound those involved and create ill will that lasts far beyond the original problem. This energy is potentially powerful, yet volatile. It can be used to pump up your motivational fire ...or to explode in hurtful anger. It is like a race horse that can achieve great things when carefully paced, but can be dangerous if allowed to run out of control.

Feb.14 – Happy Valentine's Day!

Today is the day of love! And behold: Neptune is conjunct the Sun today. What a perfect transit for this day! Romance is in the air and all can seem magical and beautiful. And happening in the wake of the New Moon, this can be a time of new beginnings. The Sun is also conjunct Chiron, so be aware that some old unfulfilled longing might be lurking under your emotional surface. This can be a time to heal some of those old hurts by letting go of old attachments that have outlived their usefulness. On the other hand, it could also be a time when you might simply relive some of those old feelings. Best to accept whatever you are experiencing, rather than beating yourself up for not feeling like you think you're supposed to. Float along with the energy, but stay aware of the possibility of having old wounds start to ache a bit. If that happens, resist the urge to fall into a blue funk. Instead, trust the process of healing and be gentle with yourself.

Feb.14 – Sun conjunct Chiron (26:04 of Aquarius) (Feb.15 in AU)

For a few days, you may become focused on physical, spiritual or psychological healing...or you might become aware of the need for it due to problems. Your physical vitality may be more susceptible to health problems, and your inner or spiritual strength and sense of purpose may feel a bit weak or vulnerable. However, you might also experience new motivation to build up your strength and endurance on all levels. Therefore, this could be a time when you embark on fresh health or fitness goals, or new directions that carve reformed purpose out of previous hardships. Psychologically, you could become aware of the ways that your self-esteem is undermined or sabotaged – either by outside situations or people or you doing it to yourself without realising it, or even ways that you do this to someone else. This is a good time to observe and learn about how these issues operate in your life, what role you play in this dynamic, and how you could make different choices. By increasing your level of acceptance of human imperfection, of both yourself and others, you can strengthen those areas where you now feel vulnerable. Since self-esteem (yours and others') can be a bit fragile now, boosting self-confidence through praise, support, encouragement and confidence can have a powerful and healing effect right now.

Feb.14 – Sun conjunct Neptune (26:09 of Aquarius) (Feb.15 in 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.15 – Venus sextile Pluto (04:45 of Pisces/Capricorn)

Close one-on-one relationships with people (close friends, lovers, partners of all kinds) could possibly benefit by being taken to a deeper level now, through creatively combining balanced harmony with deep connection. Just be careful that intimacy and bonding don't go over the top into obsession or domination. There is a brief opportunity now to become more authentic in how you relate to those close to you and how you establish a balance of power with them. The trick is to do this without trying to suppress, control or overpower the other person's interests. Financially, it is a time when you may have an opportunity to profit in your dealings with banks, insurance companies, taxes, and other institutions that deal with collective money.

Feb.15 – Mars Retrograde sextile Saturn (03:42 of Leo/Libra) (Feb.16 in AU)

There is an opportunity to harness the energy of willpower using practical discipline. Your physical and mental energy are likely to be stable and enduring, or else they can become this way more easily than usual by applying a sustained focus of effort. This is a great transit if you need to be productive or to make progress in a goal that you are working toward. The thing to watch out for is a tendency to be over-cautious to the point where you get stuck in the planning stage and don't get much done. Or, you might try to rush into the production phase before your plans are fully formed. This transit works best when these areas are brought into balance.

Feb.16 – Venus conjunct Jupiter (06:59 of Pisces) (Feb.17 in UK, AU)

Romance is in the air, harmony is reflected in everything around you, and love and beauty abound! This can be a time of sweet mercy, pleasure and peace, both personally and in relationships. It can also be a time when your ability to attract money, resources and rewards into your life are especially strong. You might consider indulging in a lottery ticket! Or maybe treating yourself to some creature comforts, like a massage or a double chocolate brownie or anything that gets the endorphins flowing! Unfortunately, this can also be a time when you are prone to over-indulge in pleasures or overestimate your resources. By all means enjoy this lovely feel-good energy, but it's also wise to keep your "addictions" in check. Don't entirely disregard your diet, your budget or your realism in relationships.

Feb.17 – Chiron conjunct Neptune (26:14 of Aquarius)

This combination of planets weaves together suffering, sacrifice and sacredness. Together, these planets highlight both how sublime—and how futile—these qualities can be, especially when we try to embrace them in our physical experience.

Chiron is the planet of the "wounded healer" – the ability to help others in their struggles because we've been there too. But these are wounds that run so deep that they cannot be completely healed – the struggle continues because it's part of what makes us who we are. Chiron is also the existential struggle we all endure as we find that precarious balance between being divine, sentient beings with unlimited potential who must also exist within the confines of physical existence. And we can take pleasure in our instinctual, impulsive physical creaturehood, but being sentient beings we must also rise above those impulses to make choices and take responsibility for the consequences of our decisions. As a result, Chiron is the seemingly impossible task of trying to marry our spiritual and physical natures together, which tends to result in certain level of struggle, suffering and angst.

Adding Neptune to the mix brings an unearthly vision of perfection and bliss. Neptune awes us with sublime inspiration and shows us how exquisite life can be, but its realm is impossible to manifest completely within the limitations of our physical existence. At its best, the Chiron-Neptune combination can lift us up out of our earthbound suffering by giving us a beacon of transcendent light to reach for. At its worst, they can increase our distress when our idealized dream of being free of our bonds vanishes, leaving us stuck in the confines of problems, limitation and hardship.

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Chiron-Neptune can take the experience of suffering and struggle far beyond that of Chiron or Neptune alone, but the question remains the same: is your suffering leading you to a place where you finally move past the suffering? This could be where you are able to break free of self-destructive behaviour and make proactive changes in your life. Or, you might stop fighting some inevitable situation and come to a place of acceptance and peace. This is the sublime end of the Chiron-Neptune continuum, where you are able to find a way to use their combined energies to transcend suffering – not by disconnecting from your problems, but by allowing them to teach you.

The alternative to being able to move past the suffering is to become further entrenched in the suffering, where it becomes an end in itself. In Neptune-land this can be seen as martyrdom. In Chiron-land, it's about allowing yourself to be defined by your shortcomings. Neither is usually very productive or helpful, and both are ultimately futile since suffering as an end in itself will only bring more suffering – in other words, you stay stuck. That's the futile side of Chiron-Neptune. However, this may be a place we all need to hang out in for a while before we realize we don't have to live there. So no matter which fork in the road you take, there is a lesson that can improve your life.

This is the only technically exact pass of this transit, although they stationed retrograde within just a quarter-degree of each other at the end of May 2009, and will station direct within a mere 10 minutes of arc in early November 2010. However, their influence extends far longer, since they remain within about 8½ degrees of each other from 2007 to 2015. This is a rare transit that only happens every 65 years, so it will happen only once in your lifetime unless you were born during or before 1945, when the last conjunction took place.

Feb.18 – Sun enters Pisces (until Mar.20) (Feb.19 in AU)

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.23 – Sun sextile Pluto (04:57 of Pisces/Capricorn) (Feb.24 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.

Feb.27 – Mercury conjunct Neptune (26:38 of Aquarius) (Feb.28 in AU)

The imagination soars under this transit! Possibilities seem richer, insights appear more magical and creativity flows like liquid honey. Your intuition is likely to be more fluid, and you may even have psychic experiences. Dreams may be more vivid and active, including daydreams. You may feel a need for quiet meditation or just being alone with your own thoughts. Your mental focus may seem a bit blurred, although in the outer edges you may catch a glimpse of ideas and possibilities that you don't ordinarily notice. It can be an inspiring time if you are involved in creative activities, like artwork, music, writing and other creative forms of communication and self-expression. This is a time when your "Right Brain" (intuitive, creative, non-rational) may be very active. In fact, it might be a bit difficult to bring a sharp focus to your "Left Brain" (logical, rational, realistic). Your judgment and ability to be objective may be off, and you could be more prone to wishful thinking and flights of fantasy. If you're making an important decision now, it may be wise to do a reality check with a trusted friend before you commit yourself.

Feb.27 – Mercury conjunct Chiron (26:59 of Aquarius) (Feb.28 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.

Sabian Symbol Virgo 10: Two heads looking out and beyond the shadows.

Sabian Symbol for the
Full Moon in Virgo

Virgo 10

Two heads looking out and beyond the shadows.

This enigmatic Sabian Symbol ("What's a Sabian Symbol?") seems custom made for this Full Moon!

Dane Rudhyar points out that the two heads represent our experience of the world of duality (e.g. the Sun and Moon on opposite sides of the zodiac). "...When the opposites realize that they are complementary aspect of the one Reality... they are able then to look away from internal conflicts and beyond that shadows that conflicts generate." (An Astrological Mandala)

In other words, the key to solving the "oil and water" polarized nature of this Full Moon is to find the commonality that unites the two sides. In your own struggles, discover what the warring factions can agree on and use that as a beginning from which to expand beyond the conflict.

It is said that "two heads are better than one," but if they only argue and disagree then they've lost the blessing of perspective that their differences can bring. Two eyes, two ears or two views add a whole new dimension to what just one or the other can do on its own. This could be a 3-dimensional view, or stereo sound, or objectivity that encompasses both sides of an argument.

If you are struggling with conflicts or differences of opinion, take a step back and see beyond this to the bigger picture. It will give you a whole new way to understand the situation.

 

Find out more about the Sabian Symbols in these recommended books:

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

The Sabian Symbols in Astrology,
by Marc Edmund Jones

An Astrological Mandala,
by Dane Rudhyar

Feb.28 – FULL MOON in VIRGO (09:59 of Virgo) (Mar.01 in AU)

FULL MOON in VIRGO

Ottawa, Canada and
Washington DC, USA:

Feb.28.2010 11:38 AM EST

London, UK:

Feb.28.2010, 4:38 PM GMT

Sydney, AU:

Mar.01.2010, 3:38 AM AEDT

"What's a Full Moon?"

Read more about the Sun-Moon cycles.

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

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A Full Moon is like a suspension bridge that spans the abyss between two opposites. That bridge can seem like an endless road that only serves to push the opposite sides farther apart, or it can act like a scale that brings balance to both sides. The Full Moon is an opposition aspect between the Sun and Moon — between the female and male principles; between yin and yang, night and day, reflective and proactive. At the extreme edges, life is clear, distinct, pure and straightforward — it's black or it's white. In between lies a chasm of ambiguous shades of grey where opposites cannot exist as separate, but become mixed.

In this particular Full Moon, we have Virgo on one side of that chasm and Pisces on the other. At first glance these signs seem as different as chalk and cheese. Virgo is practical and down to earth; concerned with nailing down all the little details and organizing them into distinct, logical, interlocking boxes. Pisces on the other hand is fluid, feeling, and full of faith in the unfolding process of the Universe. Pisces sees life as being inherently blurred around the edges and progressing through a natural flow; all those fastidious details that Virgo obsesses about will take care of themselves.

Virgo and Pisces are like two sides of the same coin — they both concern themselves with how to interact with the world, but they both go about it in very different ways. And yet, that bridge between them creates a commonality. Both signs believe in serving a higher purpose. Virgo does it through healing and service; Pisces does it by surrendering to the Ultimate Flow and allowing itself to be a channel for the greater good — that is, if both are functioning well. If they are in a dysfunctional state, Virgo can become perfectionist to the point of pedantic obsession and unable to ever be satisfied with its own accomplishments or anyone else's. Pisces can miss that connection to the Universe and settle instead for marinating in an alcoholic stupor which at least simulates the sensation of surrendering to a force greater than oneself.

This applies to more than just people who are born with these signs prominent in their birth chart. We all have a Virgo side that gets so wrapped up in trying to get it "just right" that we lose sight of the bigger picture and the reason why we're doing it. And each of us can also become caught in the undertow of escapism and hand control over our destiny over to someone or something that feels like "a Higher Power" but turns out to be not in our best interests. This is Virgo and Pisces when they're not working so well!

On the other hand, each of us also has in our nature a part of us that cares enough about others to want to help when there's a problem. Whether it's feeling compassion and empathy for the suffering of people in Haiti, or a critical reaction of wanting to see the relief efforts there functioning effectively, these are among the better qualities of Pisces and Virgo. Again, both signs want a similar result, but approach the problem differently with different solutions in mind.

With four planets currently in Pisces (Sun, Venus, Jupiter and Uranus), the Moon is outnumbered all by itself over in Virgo. To add to this, Jupiter is "cazimi" which means it's conjunct the Sun within a mere 17 minutes of arc (or in Jupiter's case, only 11 minutes). A cazimi planet is said to be extremely powerful and will richly colour the Sun's energy with its own. Since Jupiter is already very strong, being in the sign of Pisces which it rules traditionally, that means this Full Moon is strongly dominated by Jupiter's energy, even though the Moon is in Virgo.

What does it mean? My, what a Jupiterian question to ask! ;-) Jupiter is all about finding greater meaning by expanding until it encompasses everything there is to understand about a thing. Jupiter rules both Sagittarius (the seeker of truth) and Pisces (the seeker of Universal Oneness).

The Pisces side of Jupiter in particular seeks to expand in a spiritual direction — the realm of the unseen, the unknown and ultimately the unknowable. "The Tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao," wrote Lau Tzu in the Tao Te Ching. In other words, if we can define it and describe it, then we've lost something essential that we were trying to capture. The Universe can never be fully reduced to words or definitions. In the end, it must simply be experienced. Pisces is ultimately about being, not doing.

This is likely to be a tall order for Virgo, who is all about doing, defining, describing and capturing life in concrete terms. Oh there are higher principles at work, which Virgo strives to live up to and emulate, but for Virgo it's not enough to simply BE in the aura of a higher principle — it's essential to walk the talk as well, or what's the point?

So here's our Virgo Moon bravely attempting to walk the talk. And on the other side of that bridge is a congregation of planets led by Jupiter the guru, who pontificates: "Not only is walking the talk beside the point, Virgo, even talking is ultimately pointless! It's all about flowing with the Universe, baby!" How our beleaguered Virgo Moon responds to this is what this Full Moon will be about.

Virgo's ruler, Mercury, is in objective Aquarius, which normally would help Virgo's challenge. But Mercury is closely conjunct Chiron and Neptune, which just brings in more of the Piscean energy again. Poor Virgo Moon is foiled on all sides. It can surrender and merge with the group, or hold out and feel like an outsider alone against the world.

So... Which side of the chasm are YOU on? Are you the Cosmic Collective in Pisces who believes in going with the flow, while being pestered by a buzzing Virgo fly who keeps saying, "You have work to do"? Or are you the Virgo Moon trying valiantly to keep everything organized, on time and operating efficiently, while the world around you seems haughtily indifferent, claiming they have more important things to do?

Seen from another perspective: are you on the Virgo side, feeling criticized, underappreciated and driven nuts by chronic incompetency, while seeking solace in the Piscean world of alcohol, shopping, video games or Farmville? Or, maybe you're feeling some Piscean depression because the world seems lacklustre compared to what it "should be," so you believe that if you can just be more Virgoan and do everything more perfectly, the world will follow suit?

Pluto is trine the Moon and sextile the Sun-Jupiter conjunction. Pluto's solution to everything is to purge whatever has outlived its usefulness, accept and grieve the loss of what was, and transformation what's left by allowing it to be reborn as something new. This suggests the way to make the most of this Full Moon is to allow your challenges, frustrations and angst to reshape you into something new, refocus you in a new direction or open your eyes to a new perspective. That doesn't mean losing your resolve and resigning yourself in defeat, but it does mean it will help to look beyond the immediate challenges and know that a larger process is at work with a deeper agenda.

Mars is still retrograde in Leo, but is at the initial degree of Leo, where it will station direct in just a week and a half. Although not quite slow enough to be called stationary, Mars is at a crawl and definitely building in intensity. Mars is like a rocket on the launch pad waiting for the countdown to finish before it finally lifts off and flies into orbit, but for now it's still preparing itself for launch. Ideally, this is not passive so much as harnessed energy, but if you have been having trouble dealing with Mars retrograde (since Dec.20.2009), these next two weeks could be especially frustrating. It will help to find ways to blow off excess Mars steam through physical activity, dance, creative activity and any form of self-expression — well, non-violent forms anyway, or at least safely contained if you do need to vent (e.g. punching pillows or a martial arts class).

If Virgo is about healing, then this Full Moon in Virgo is about healing your soul or your Greater Self. If you're feeling more wounded than your healing energy can embrace, or if you need some help fine-tuning your navigation in your journey, a personal reading can help you find the balance you need between precise control and surrendering to the process.

Feb.28 — Sun conjunct Jupiter (09:44 of Pisces)

Confidence, optimism, leadership, vision and well being characterise this transit. Your self-esteem and self-awareness can be wide open now. Your sense of being part of something greater than yourself may be vivid and bright. And you may have increased ability to identify and act on opportunities around you, which can bring you "lucky" prospects. On the other hand, if you have difficulty embracing a positive sense of self, or if you shy away from believing you are a treasured Child of the Universe, then this transit might stir up those difficult feelings to the surface. You could wind up trying to compensate with over-confidence, arrogance, blind faith, or gambling on what are realistically poor prospects. The trick is to tap into the spirit of who you are. Let go of blame and instead apply some honest yet compassionate assessment. Let your spirit shine brightly out to the world, but not so brightly that you blind yourself or others by your own light. Consult a trusted friend for feedback or advice if in doubt. This is a great time to expand your horizons, whether that is through travel, by learning something new, by sharing your knowledge with others, or by exploring the Meaning of Life.

Mar.01 — Mercury enters Pisces (until Mar.17) (Mar.02 in AU)

Imagination, dreams, creativity and intuition are more easily accessible while Mercury floats through Pisces. You may be more impressionable, appreciative and open to ideas that previously had seemed improbable, unrealistic or silly. This is a good transit for any creative work — writing, music, artistic projects, or just putting ideas together in new ways. Problem solving could benefit now, because it may be easier to think beyond the limiting boundaries of the situation. On the other hand, it might also be easier to become caught in confusion, ambiguity or ambivalence, since the sharp edges of definition may be easily blurred or distorted. This is a time when the "Right Brain" — the intuitive, creative and non-rational side of the mind — can be more active. As a result, meditation, dreams and daydreams may be more accessible. Unfortunately, illusion and deception might also be more convincing and enticing, since critical and objective thinking could be a bit harder to maintain. You might also experience some mental lethargy and need to give your mind a rest. Try going to a movie, or read an entertaining novel, or spend some quality "alone time" with yourself. Or, take a long walk in a park or by a body of water, where you can enjoy the luxury of just appreciating nature and "being" instead of "doing." Some harmless or entertaining escapism can be a great way to give yourself a mental vacation — just don’t get stuck there. Explorations of spiritual experience and thought can also bring new insights and inspiration under this transit.

Mar.03 — Venus conjunct Uranus (25:49 of Pisces) (Mar.04 in UK, AU)

The warm receptivity of Venus can become somewhat cool, detached and unpredictable when combined with Uranus. This is a good combination for carrying out a dispassionate strategy, or for networking with acquaintances and associates. It can also be a time when you might liberate yourself from old connections — for example, choosing to end a relationship, stepping away from an outworn friendship, or being open to experimenting with new kinds of connections with people. It can also be a time of impulse spending, or wanting to use your resources and finances for a humanitarian purpose. Finances may become a bit unpredictable or unstable — either bringing income when you didn't expect it, or spending it when you may or may not have. Whether you want to liberate your own life or someone else's, this is a time when freedom and independence become the focus of pleasure. Experimentation is also tempting, and while this can be invigorating, it might also leave you with consequences you hadn't anticipated. Embrace your spontaneity, but don't divorce your judgment.

Mar.04 — Mercury sextile Pluto (05:07 of Pisces/Capricorn)

Penetrating insights and passionate communication are possible under this transit ...although, so is speaking more forcefully than you intend to about things that require a bit of delicacy or discretion. It is also a time when your mental concentration can come together so easily that you become obsessed. You may prefer in-depth discussion to small-talk, and it might feel awkward if you aren't able to explore the depths in your interaction or communication with others. However, you likely have an increased ability to pick up on undercurrents of what's happening around you. This is also a time when you can start to shed and leave behind old worn out perceptions and ways of communicating. You also have an increased ability to take thoughts, ideas and information and transform them into something healing ...or wounding. Choose your words carefully and mindfully. Writing down your thoughts and ideas to capture the energy of this transit can help you gather the deeper qualities.

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T-square aspect figure

Mar.05-29 — T-square aspect pattern

First Venus, then Mercury, then the Sun cross, all into Aries and form a T-square with the Saturn-Pluto square. This is the first of several phases of the Cardinal Cross that dances across our skies this year. This phase of it effectively lasts from just after the Full Moon in Virgo (Feb.28) until the Full Moon in Libra (Mar.29). This prolonged aspect figure acts like a match that sends a spark into the Saturn-Pluto kindling. And it could go either way — it might set the energy on fire so that it burns down the house in a chaotic way, OR it could be like lighting a fire in a furnace that harnesses the energy and puts it to good use. Much depends on how you have experienced the Saturn-Pluto square so far and how effectively you are able to work with it.

The Saturn-Pluto square has already made 2 out of 3 passes: Nov.15.2009, Jan.31.2010 and Aug.21.2010. So what began in November that hit a turning point in January? Saturn-Pluto is a dual Task Master that will hold you accountable for your actions, drive you to climb a proverbial mountain to accomplish something bigger than you've ever done, or give you some heavy responsibility perhaps because you're the best person for the job and you're ready for it.

As Venus, Mercury and the Sun each oppose Saturn and square Pluto over the next 3+ weeks, you could be affected in very personal ways and called upon to take further steps in your journey. The good news is that as each of these planets moves into Aries to oppose Saturn, it is also in trine aspect to Mars, which is likely to provide the energy and courage you need to take the steps. As with all things astrology, this could also have its down side. Mars can boost your energy, but if your energy feels squashed, frustrated or overly stoked, it could also come out a bit too hot or explosive.

Venus gets involved first (most exact Mar.09-11, although the Moon joins in at the Pluto end of things on Mar.08, which will make that day unusually intense). Your close relationships, finances or values could be affected by the challenges you are undertaking, requiring you to be more proactive and assertive in your interactions than you would prefer to be. Venus is also trine Mars as it stations direct, which makes Mars especially intense and "loud." This could provide an even more powerful boost of energy, which again could provide either productive energy, motivation and determination, or make things try to happen too hot, too fast and too impulsive.

Mercury joins the fun next (closest Mar.17-20). You might do well to watch your tongue since you might have to "eat your words" if someone calls your bluff or holds you to promises or claims made in haste.

Then the Sun catches up (closest Mar.21-25, plus the Moon makes a Grand Cross as it passes opposite Pluto on Mar.23). Your authority or leadership might be challenged in a way that requires you to either strengthen your position and stand your ground, or examine ways that you're not being true to your personal integrity and make some changes. The T-square is just starting to move out of orb when the Moon conjoins Saturn at the Full Moon in Libra on Mar.29.

In general, this is likely to be a time when all your preparation in the last 4 months or so reaches a significant turning point. There may be important decisions to be made based on what you've learned and prepared during that time. With these planets being in Cardinal signs, whatever direction you point yourself in during this time will matter because you'll be living with the outcome for a while. The next major turning point in your journey will come in June, so choose well your path now so that you can approach your next crossroads being ready, not still wondering if you should have taken the other road back in March.

Mar.07 — Venus enters Aries (until Mar.31)

Your style of handling relationships, finances, resources and values now take on an attitude of assertiveness, directness and the pursuit of freedom and independence. Impulse buying may be a stronger temptation than usual, so be sure you can afford whatever it is! Your way of interacting may be somewhat more direct, open or flirtatious during this transit. You may have opportunities to acquire money quickly and casually...and spend it too! You may also be more open to trying new things in the areas of finances, relationships, interactions and your values. Trying out new ideas can take you into uncharted territory...which may or may not be welcome depending on how comfortable you are with change. But this still may be just what you need to get you out of a rut in the affected areas. This can also be a good time to celebrate and appreciate yourself just as you are, as a unique individual.

Mar.07 — Venus trine Mars (00:20 of Aries/Leo) (Mar.08 in AU)

It will be a lot easier to balance assertiveness with receptivity under this transit. In fact, it is a great time to take firm action that requires a sensitive touch, and to negotiate agreements in a way that is diplomatic, fair and powerful. Your ability to attract what you desire (money, love, pleasure, flirting, etc.), and to act on those desires, is strong right now, so use it wisely. This may include romantic attraction and sexual interaction, or it might involve artistic creativity. It could also be a time when your actions attract money and possessions, but it could also go the other way — your spending may also increase! Again: use this energy wisely and don't overextend yourself, but do have fun with it!

Mar.07 — Mercury conjunct Jupiter (11:34 of Pisces) (Mar.08 in UK, AU)

This aspect can make you quite talkative and your mind flooded with ideas. Be careful you don't blurt out any secrets! Your stream of consciousness ideas can flow abundantly right now with optimism and visionary possibilities. Write down your best ideas for later development, since you may be having too much fun playing with ideas, to stop and make them manifest. Basic perceptions and simple communication can provide food for thought that feeds your greater understanding and philosophical insight. Your point of view expands to identify opportunities, possibilities and the broader implications of what is happening around you. You might get a flash of vision, insight and inspiration. You could be called upon to form an opinion, consider a different viewpoint, expand your knowledge, or make a judgement call. Your conscious awareness is open to spiritual experiences right now.

Mar.09 — Venus opposite Saturn (02:16 of Aries/Libra)

There are realities to face and deal with, probably related to the way you handle relationships and/or finances. This is a time when you start to see a return on your investments — literally or figuratively. This could be an investment of energy, cooperation and good faith in a close relationship, or it might be the long-term development of a goal requiring financing or resources. It can be a time when "the bill comes in" and you are required to "put your money where your mouth is" and make a deeper commitment to that investment. Or, you might have to admit that the results are not what you had hoped for and you must decide whether to continue or reinvest your energies elsewhere. In other words, this is a time when something might come to an end or your situation becomes more stressful because you have some hard choices to make. The key is to take a long hard look at the realities before you — is it worth it to continue in the direction you're going? What is required if you decide to take it to the next step? The situation may demand effort, but there's also a more solid footing waiting on the other side.

Mar.10 — Mars stationary Direct (00:17 of Leo) (Mar.11 in AU) ("What does stationary mean?"  Read article on stations.)

For about a week before and after this date, your energy could feel intense, erratic, volatile or liberated. After being retrograde since Dec.20, the energy that has been coiling during that time now begins to release. Low energy will likely return: suddenly, erratically, forcefully or gradually. It's possible you may reach a point of decision about issues you have been struggling with in the past 2-4 months. If you've been working on preparing or planning for a new project, the station could begin the launch process. If issues about anger, sexuality, assertiveness or courage have been a thorn in your side for the last few months, this begins the phase when you will start to apply what you've learned and cultivated. It could begin with a resolution to your frustrations, or possibly bringing the problem to the surface where you will need to deal with it directly. Depending on how constructively and therapeutically you have been working with these issues, this resolution could be a positive time of self-empowerment, or it could produce an explosion of the urge to control and force others to bend to your will (or someone else behaving that way around you). Over the coming two months, while Mars is still in the Shadow, you will apply and integrate the energy and learning that has been gathered and is now being released.

This is bound to be a very powerful and long-lasting Mars station! On Mar.20, when the Sun moves into Aries at the equinox, it forms a trine aspect to the still-slow-moving Mars. The Sun and Mars are both at zero degrees of Aries and Leo, respectively. If you have been waiting to initiate some project or put plans into action, Mar.20 could be an auspicious day to do it! At the very least, that day is likely to bring the energy of the Mars station to the fore again, making it available to put to constructive use.

Mar.11 — Venus square Pluto (05:14 of Aries/Capricorn) (Mar.12 in AU)

Relationships and interactions are likely to be deep, intense and transformative under this transit. The same goes for your sense of beauty, and your material and financial dealings, which may require you to delve far deeper than usual to discover the truth under the surface of things. You may encounter the dark shadow of your desires — the obscure, secret or unconscious hunger that hides underneath the "politically correct" face you show to the world (and to yourself. This is a challenge to be resolved in some way. It might bring out conflict rooted in envy or jealousy, if someone has something (or someone) that you feel you are entitled to. Or, it might prompt you to reach very deep into your soul to find your inner beauty and value. You may be challenged to develop empathy or empowerment about something that initially seemed undesirable, unforgivable or scary. This transit can show you the problem areas that need to be transformed and healed. And seeing these more clearly can be a catharsis that sets that transformative healing in motion.

Mar.14 — Sun conjunct Mercury (23:50 of Pisces) (Mar.15 in AU)

During this transit, your sense of self and purpose can become merged with what you think, perceive and say. On one hand, this can make for an easy flow of ideas and communication from inside your brain to the external world. It can also increase your perceptions and observations of the world, as you file it all away in your internal database. On the other hand, you may find yourself a bit tongue-tied, as it could be hard to separate your sense of self from your perceptions and ideas enough to find the words to adequately express them. In that case, just observe and go with the flow; the words will come later. It can also be a time when it's not easy to be objective, especially about yourself and how you bring yourself to the world around you. It's like your Being automatically expresses and sets into motion the things you think, perceive and want to say. This can help you to feel like your sense of self is shining effortlessly, but if your thoughts and perceptions are in conflict with other parts of you (e.g., emotions, needs, objectivity) then it might become a time when you act a little too quickly with blinders on. Strive for balance and self-honesty before you act.

Next Update:  NEW MOON in PISCES - March 15, 2010 (Mar.16 in AU). Available by Mar.15.

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