Think about it ~ there must be higher love,
Down in the heart or hidden in the stars above,
Without it, life is a wasted time,
Look inside your heart, I'll look inside mine...
~ Steve Winwood and Will Jennings (Higher Love)
Ottawa, Canada and
Washington DC, USA:
Mar.11, 2013, 3:51 PM EDT
Mar.11, 2013, 7:51 PM GMT
Mar.12, 2013, 6:51 AM AEDT
It's hard to write about Pisces.
Its essential nature is elusive, deceptive and vague. Its view of life is pristine and shining, and almost by definition guaranteed to fall short of whatever you hope it will be. Slippery as a fish, sometimes sacred, sometimes slimy.
With seven—count 'em—seven planets currently in Pisces, you'd think there would be no shortage of inspiration. But it's possible to have inspiration overload. SO much one could write about, yet so little focus to articulate it. And Mercury being retrograde definitely doesn't help!
So, I'm going to let the ideas flow and also call on the poetic words of others to help me with this. After all, we're all connected, right? :-)
Pisces eludes description when the Left Brain (analytical, logical, sequential) tries to grasp it. It's easier to "get it" through music, art, poetry, meditation or dreams.
What was any art but an effort to make a sheath, a mold in which to imprison for a moment the shining, elusive element which is life itself.
~ Willa Cather
Art is so much more than just painting a picture or drawing a likeness. The artistic process infuses the likeness with feeling and gives the viewer a glimpse of what it's like to see the world through the artist's eyes. Music conveys what feelings sound like. Dance does it through body movement and rhythm. Poetry sculpts new awareness out of words.
In the same way, to describe Pisces in mere buzzwords—idealistic, spiritual, creative, universal, solitude—is equally absurd, like defining music by the notes it uses or a painting by the chemical composition of its paint. Sacrilege.
Pisces promises. It shows you the ultimate potential, and it looks so real that you're sure it must be easy to attain. It reflects a vision that is exponentially bigger than whatever is projected onto it. We see in Pisces something greater than ourselves that we are—or want to be—immersed within. Some see God, some see ultimate Truth or Universal love. Some see surrender to bliss, others see dissolution into All That Is.
In the attitude of silence the soul finds the path in a clearer light, and what is elusive and deceptive resolves itself into crystal clearness. Our life is a long and arduous quest after Truth.
However, this fluid nature of Pisces can also distort what we are seeing. Like a mirage in the desert, it's easy to see wonder, beauty and relief in something that isn't real, or may even be depraved or destructive. This is where Piscean illusion becomes a problem. Out come the rose coloured glasses to convince us that something is much safer and more appealing than it actually is (or is intended to be).
Distinguishing reality from illusion is a familiar challenge in Pisces. Is it real, or do I just want to believe it's real? Maybe it's not important to know what's real, as long as I can keep one foot on the ground. But in the ambiguous world of Pisces, it not always possible to reliably know where the ground is and which way is up. Or maybe the ground is an illusion too??
"Is this all real, or is it just happening inside my head?"
Professor Albus Dumbledore:
"Of course it's happening inside your head, Harry.
Why should that mean that it's not real?"
~ From the movie Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2
Perhaps the worst way to tell whether it's an illusion, projection or distortion is to demand that it conform to the same rules as physical reality, where it can be measured, quantified, defined and articulated. By dragging it into the manifest realm Pisces always loses something significant in the translation, so it fails the test before it's even started.
However, we still have to live in the physical world to some degree. If we throw practicality to the wind and simply believe whatever we imagine or intuit, we risk splitting ourselves into two mutually exclusive realms – the world of reality and the world of illusion. Living in an either-or world of choosing one and dismissing the other can be just as destructive to our human nature as being lost in the liminal space between them.
Surely there is a way to embrace Pisces without drowning in it!
You've seen the sun flatten and take strange shapes just before it sinks in the ocean. Do you have to tell yourself every time that it's an illusion caused by atmospheric dust and light distorted by the sea, or do you simply enjoy the beauty of it?
~ John Steinbeck (Sweet Thursday)
Pisces is about simply being. It's about acceptance – going with the flow and trusting that the Universe (or life or your Greater Self or whatever) will carry you through any turbulence to emerge the other side. It's a lack of resistance, swirling with the spiral, dancing with the Moon.
When we stop fighting that which we probably can't control anyway, we become open to whatever lies beyond it or within it. Resistance may only serve to keep us trapped in the fight. What dawns in our awareness instead is a way of seeing things that had been obscured by insisting they should be a different way.
It's not that we should accept everything without question—every injustice, every abuse, every wrong and every loss. Of course there are things in life that can be improved and changed. It's that change and growth must begin with a simple acknowledgement and acceptance of where you already are; of what is. To do otherwise is to invite illusion.
The essential surrender happens within you, it has nothing to do with anybody outside you. The basic surrender is a relaxation, a trust — so don’t be misguided by the word. Linguistically, surrender means to surrender to somebody, but religiously, surrender simply means trust, relaxing. It is an attitude rather than an act: you live through trust.
When under the influence of Pisces, it's a good opportunity to look at your greatest visions of ultimate values and ideals. Truth. Life. Joy. Love. What place do these have in your life? Not so much where you think they should be, but how much you live by them and how you allow them to guide your decisions and attitudes.
Love takes on an especially idealistic glow when seen in Piscean light. Love itself is a very slippery concept. There's the love we need and the love we give as individuals. There's the personal attention and physical pleasure that we often believe is love, but tend not to be very satisfying beyond the feelings of the moment.
Then there's the more selfless kind of love that is about compassion, empathy and benevolence. Virtually every religious tradition wants to inspire its followers to embrace these qualities. However, these are spiritual values, which extend far beyond any doctrine or belief system.
Perhaps all the questions we ask of love, to measure, test, probe, and save it, have the additional effect of cutting it short. Perhaps the reason we are unable to love is that we yearn to be loved, that is, we demand something (love) from our partner instead of delivering ourselves up to him demand-free and asking for nothing but his company.
~ Milan Kundera (The Unbearable Lightness of Being)
In the Pisces view, all of us are One. Separateness is an illusion. There are no real boundaries or divisions, save those we impose through limited perception.
The implications are vast.
If we are One, then any cruelty, injustice or disrespect I do to you, I also do to myself. Our ego consciousness tells us that being treated in these ways leaves wounds and scars that can take a very long time to heal (if at all). That ego might also be tempted to lash out with the same treatment.
However, our higher consciousness is capable of seeing the bigger picture and the ultimate futility of retaliation. As Gandhi put it, an eye for an eye will leave the whole world blind. A different kind of response is necessary, one that includes compassion and tolerance.
We are here to awaken from our illusion of separateness.
~ Thich Nhat Hanh
In its longing to aspire to this higher consciousness, Pisces can entice us to leave behind all ego-based reaction, but it is just as detrimental to become too passive as it is to be too aggressive. It's one thing to be selfless or even self-sacrificing; it's another thing to be self-deprecating.
There's a wonderful old parable about a snake that wanted to follow the teachings of the Buddha, so he pledged to stop biting people. After a while, the snake became very beaten up from everyone stepping on him. Instead of biting people when they got too close, he passively took it all and suffered for it. When the Buddha saw him like this and heard the snake's explanation, he said, "I said you must stop biting people, but I never said you couldn't hiss!"
I am he as you are he as you are me and we are all together.
~ John Lennon (I am the Walrus)
In the absence of boundaries, Pisces tempts us into an extreme view of all-or-nothing, which often isn't realistic or healthy. We reach for perfection, which means everything must be included in the whole – no leftover parts.
So we try to imagine the outermost edges of All That Is, but this is futile; an illusion. By definition "everything" has no boundaries or edges. Instead of trying to encompass everything right out to the tips of what we can imagine, it may be more helpful to simply be receptive to all the shades of the rainbow contained within and throughout it.
Humankind has not woven the web of life; we are but one thread in it. What we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect.
~ Chief Seattle
After all this contemplation about Oneness, we now come full circle. There's a paradox in Pisces. On one hand, we are all connected. We are all One. We may each have our own body made of skin, muscle and bone, and there is physical distance between us, be it in millimetres or miles, but we are still merged together at a fundamental level.
The atoms in my fingers that type this were once part of a star a billion miles away, whose atoms also make up the eyes you are reading this with. Even through our distance, we are joined by weather systems, continents, starry skies and by the planet that we all share. In our human nature, we all have feelings, dreams, fears, hopes and curiosity.
And yet, we are also alone. We have our own relationship to the Universe. In our self-awareness, we experience ourselves in a way no one else can. Each of us has a direct line and a unique intimate connection to whatever Higher Power we believe connects us to All That Is (whether that is God or the laws of nature or anything in between). Ironically, it is through solitude and turning away from the world around us that we are best able to open ourselves to the Oneness that connects us.
Sometimes there's trouble on the ocean, sometimes there's trouble on the shore,
And there's always someone hoping there won't be trouble anymore,
It's an elevator, baby, get off on any floor,
There's only up or down, only up or down.
~ Patty Griffin (Up or Down)
So where does that leave us astrologically? Oh ya—the New Moon in Pisces!
Well, with 700-or-so planets in Pisces at the moment, it's pretty hard to distinguish where one planet ends and the others begin. Mercury, still retrograde, is blissed out in a group hug with Neptune on one side and Chiron on the other. Think you can exercise your analytical Left Brain yet? Think again!
Venus is lingering in a parting touch after her conjunction with Chiron (Mar.05). She is also approaching a conjunction with the Sun (Mar.28) but this is still a ways off and won't happen until they're both in Aries (but will be an electrifying reunion, with them being exactly conjunct Uranus!) So for now, Venus brings a desire for a higher love to the dawning lunar cycle in Pisces.
Mars is just packing his bags and about to leave Pisces in a few hours to move back home into his own sign of Aries. He is widely conjunct the Sun and Moon right now, and the Sun gradually closes the gap over the next several weeks, catching up as they both approach the end of Aries (Apr.17).
With Mars in a critical degree (29°) and applying to a conjunction with the Sun, our energy, motivation, drive and actions could be a bit stop-and-start. One day you're "on" and the next day you're...somewhere else. Go with the flow, but remember that you can still steer a boat that's moving with the current down the river. Aim for receptive rather than passive.
Reality leaves a lot to the imagination.
~ John Lennon
There are several aspect configurations coming up over the next couple of weeks, which are discussed in detail below. Suffice to say it's a busy and complex lunar cycle! Don't worry if you can't grab hold of it all. Pisces teaches us that it's not quantity but quality that counts. Whatever pieces you can grasp will contain the essence of the whole within them anyway.
What will be helpful is to do a careful reality check before making any major decisions. With Mercury retrograde and ¾ of the solar system in Pisces, projection of what you want to be real (rather than seeing what is real) is always a possibility. After you wake up from this Pisces dream, you'll have to live with the consequences of the decisions you make. So, take some time to check in with what's really driving your impulses and desires from within. And ask for honest feedback from others, who might be able to see things more clearly from their perspective.
Imagine the universe beautiful and just and perfect.
Then be sure of one thing:
The IS has imagined it quite a bit better than you have.
The original sin is to limit the IS. Don't.
~ Richard Bach (Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah)
This powerful collective energy is closest from Mar.22-27 (all aspects within 1° orb), although its influence extends from Mar.12 to Apr.04. Jupiter in Gemini is quincunx (150°) to both Saturn in Scorpio and Pluto in Capricorn. Saturn is sextile (60°) to Pluto and they are in mutual reception, meaning Saturn is in the sign that Pluto rules and vice versa (using modern planetary rulerships). Planets in mutual reception reinforce each other's energy – both the benefits and the difficulties.
When Saturn/Capricorn combines with Pluto/Scorpio, you may experience passion that is grounded in realism, authority with strength and endurance, and transformative change that manifests in concrete ways. On the difficult side, these energies could provoke tyranny in the name of order, being overly controlling and rigid, and habitual obsession. Since we're dealing with the sextile (60°), these energies and qualities are being brought together creatively and cooperatively, which is more likely to lean toward the beneficial side. Which way you experience it can depend on what you feed the planetary mixture with – love or fear; personal integrity or dependence on arbitrary standards, and so on.
The trick with a Yod aspect pattern is that the apex planet—Jupiter in this case—makes the cooperative sextile energy very complicated, confused and obscure. On the plus side, Jupiter is wisdom, understanding, faith, morals and vision. On the minus side, Jupiter can be overindulgent, dogmatic and holier-than-thou. Jupiter can also be so mesmerized with abstract principles that simply relating to the world on an ordinary level feels too mundane to bear. Jupiter in Gemini is also in its Detriment, meaning it must swim against the current to get anywhere. With all the Gemini bits of information, it's like Jupiter is trying to haul in a huge net full of tiny fish, which can be a heavy and exhausting experience. Jupiter prefers to deal with the bigger expanse of the ocean, not the minutia of its tiny fish.
Under this Yod aspect pattern, you might feel like you keep trying to take leap of faith across a broad perspective, but keep getting bogged down in issues about power balance and practical manifestation. Conversely, when you try to focus on pragmatism and productivity, you could become easily distracted by the greater implications and potential to the point where it's hard to get anything done. Other areas that may be affected include religion, teaching, higher education and experience of cultures and countries other than your own could. Problems could involve issues over who controls the situation, which rules are best to follow, and how to establish, maintain and respect boundaries in a way that's not overreactive. Watch that your expectations and hopes don't mushroom beyond the realistic potential of the situation.
Does this energy feel a bit déjà vu? This is a repeat of the same aspect pattern we had in December 2012 and early January 2013. You have a chance to try dealing with the situation differently this time. The key is to be adaptable and flexible. It might help to remember what worked well and what didn't when you experienced it last December. However, there's no prefabricated formula that will allow you to go through this transit on "autopilot" – you'll have to take it one conscious step at a time.
Mars is in his own sign while in Aries, which stokes the fires of passion, enthusiasm, drive, and a pioneering spirit. Assertive, decisive action can come more easily now...but then, so can anger and conflict. This is a good time to initiate new projects and activities, and move old projects forward, taking advantage of the courage and daring that is in the air now. However, the results will be better if you are able to channel this energy through a focused goal, rather than going on impulse alone. The tendency to take risks is also high right now, which can be a mixed blessing. It's best to avoid complications and problems that can arise from being reckless or irresponsible, but do use this energy to muster the courage to take pre-planned action.
Mercury finally turns Direct! Yippeeee!!!! ;-) But we're not out of the woods just yet. For up to a week before and after today, you may experience mental intensity, confusion, and miscommunications or simply changes in your outlook. After being Retrograde for the last 3 to 3½ weeks, Mercury is now taking a slow turn to resume Direct motion. This period has 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, 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.
Ottawa, Canada and
Washington DC, USA:
Mar.20, 2013, 7:01 AM EDT
Mar.20, 2013, 11:01 AM GMT
Mar.20, 2013, 10:01 PM AEDT
Happy Solar Return to everyone born in the sign of Aries! This is the Vernal Equinox – the time when day and night are of equal length. In the northern hemisphere, this marks the beginning of Spring, as the light increases. In the southern hemisphere, it is the start of Fall, as the light decreases. While the Sun is in Aries, it is a time when all of us (not just those born under the sign of Aries) have the opportunity to experience our Aries nature. The archetype of that nature is like the pure life force that is contained in a single seed. A seed is the residue of a previous cycle of growth – both its resulting harvest and its unfinished business. The Aries energy is about our use of that raw life force within our personal expression of that energy. It manifests in assertiveness, courage, risk-taking, directness, initiative, our sex drive, and the pioneering spirit. It can also emerge as aggression, pushiness, violence, anger, recklessness and self-absorption. The same forceful energy that can fuel damage and single-minded egotism is the same energy that, applied in a different way, is also essential for self-validation, confidence and the drive to make things happen. While the Sun is in Aries, we all have the opportunity to explore how we use this energy in our lives and whether we want to change this. Here are some suggestions about how to explore your Aries nature: Is there something new you want to start in your life? What activities do you want to begin that you’ve never done before? What will give you the courage and confidence to bring these into your life? If it is not possible to do this, or if you encounter delays, how do you deal with your frustration? Do anger and frustration motivate you to take action, or do these emotions tend to overwhelm and inhibit you? How do you express your anger, and does this clear the air or just create more problems? Use this time to explore these and related areas.
With all things Saturn, slow and steady wins the race. Therefore, healing and recovery efforts are likely to benefit from a stable, paced, structured approach. For example, if you have the flu you might find you get better faster if you take a day or so to rest and focus on getting your health back. If that's simply not an option, then do other health promoting things regularly and steadily (e.g. taking whatever remedies, vitamins, etc, work for you). In other words, a sporadic or half-hearted approach are likely to be a waste of energy, since they won't be enough to combat what you're fighting. This can be applied metaphorically as well: if you're feeling out of balance or "unhealthy" or conflicted in your psyche or your life circumstances, a regimen of actions designed to bring yourself back to your stable centre again will likely be your more effective approach.
By the same token, when you're feeling grounded and centred, you are more likely to view life through a healing and healthy perspective. It could be easier now to take responsibility for your own healing, rather than just seeing someone else as the cause of the problems in your life. This transit can also help fortify you when taking a serious look at your suffering and dis-ease, making it easier to face your woundedness (or that of others) in a realistic way, instead of hoping it will go away on its own if you ignore it.
This is the second of 5 passes of this transit: Nov.16.2012, Mar.21.2013, Oct.02, Jun.13.2014, Aug.05.
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.
From Mar.21 to Apr.04 a second Yod aspect figure appears in the sky (see Mar.12 for first Yod). This time Saturn is the apex planet, disrupting the sextile between Jupiter and Uranus. These two planets in sextile work very well together – they both have a natural affinity for seeing the Big Picture, as well as valuing liberation, growth and higher principles. Practical Saturn at the apex interrupts this freedom-fest by reminding them that all this highfalutin idealism is only so much hot air without practical application. That means some of those pristine edges will need to be blunted down a bit to make them fit reality.
However, Uranus has called in reinforcements: Mars, the Sun and then Venus each conjoin Uranus from Mar.21-28. (In fact, on Mar.28/29 there is a multiple conjunction of the Sun, Venus and Uranus, all within 4 minutes of arc!) These reinforcements also initiate a month-long Stellium in Aries. All this adds some very potent fuel to the Uranus/Aries fire. It also virtually guarantees that the Jupiter-Uranus sextile will win in their battle with Saturn, whose job of grounding them in practical reality just got a LOT harder. This energy can be heady stuff if you're involved in anything requiring inspiration, creativity, courage or assertiveness, but be careful it doesn't go spinning off the rails.
This second Yod interlocks with the first Yod (Saturn, Pluto and Jupiter), forming what is often called a Double Yod Key aspect figure. If you think your regular, garden variety Yod is complicated, when two of them pair up they get downright snarly. As soon as you think you've got a handle on one of them, the other brings in a giant "Yes, but..." This is especially so with the quincunx aspect (150°) that both Yods share – in this case, Jupiter quincunx Saturn. These two planets get tangled up between the visionary aspirations of Jupiter and the disciplined pragmatism of Saturn. They can work together very effectively, but when they're in quincunx aspect they have a very hard time speaking each other's language enough to find a cooperative common ground.
The struggle in a Double Yod Key can be focused most clearly in the square aspect that joins the other two points of the figure. Piece of cake, right? Well, in this case that is Uranus square Pluto – not an easy energy even at the best of times. The Uranus-Pluto square is a slowly evolving, transformative energy, so its clarity is most likely to come in the form of a difficult obstacle in your path or locking horns with a problem that doesn't have a quick resolution. However, the complex struggle of the Yods can provide a way to take another step in your Uranus-Pluto journey.
Part of the Uranus-Pluto difficulty lies in the fact that you're working with larger-than-life energies, which gets complicated very quickly. They're not exactly simple or straightforward about how to integrate them into your life – the chaotic initiation and liberation of Uranus, and the gritty authenticity and power of Pluto. The challenge of the Yods is to become more flexible and adaptable, and these involve energies that are a bit easier to work with – focus your motives and energy (Mars), remember who you are (Sun) and be cooperative and receptive to new ideas (Venus). By expanding and enhancing your repertoire of responses to the difficult challenges in your life, you will strengthen your skills, resources and ability to meet the larger challenges.
From the sublime to the stimulating! The bulk of planets shifts gradually from Pisces (Feb.01 to Apr.13) into Aries (Mar.20 to Apr.20). This could feel like you're waking up from a very lucid dream, especially between Mar.20 and Apr.13 when the planets are distributed throughout both signs. At best this can take vague urges (creativity, spirituality, yearning, compassion) and focus them into a clear impulse of motive, direction and action. However, watch that you don't allow a tendency for escapism, deception or lethargy to propel you into actions that are destructive or reckless.
The Aries Stellium has a changing population of planets, from 3 to 6 planets:
This can be a potent, exciting and/or explosive time! Your energy level may be a bit wonky with a lot of ups and downs. However, there is also likely to be a lot of energy to harness for whatever purpose you want to apply it to – just don't expect to always be able to draw on it predictably or consistently. If you have wanted to take action to break free of old habits or patterns, this is a great time to do that. Or, you might want to begin a new project that is unusual or experimental. This spurt of energy probably won't last, so you'll need to follow it up with some structure, discipline and realism if you want to continue whatever you've started. In the meantime, make the most of this upsurge of energy, motivation and drive, but remember that if you become reckless or destructive, you'll have to live with the consequences.
There is potential for optimism, cheerfulness and increased energy during this transit. You will probably have to go after it (rather than it just falling into your lap), but you can probably increase your mood and energy level by applying a bit of effort. Your self-confidence and general attitude can improve, although be careful you don't become so caught up in feeling good that you ignore common sense, caution or realism. This is a good time to consider the moral, philosophical or greater implications of your actions, and then make adjustments to bring your behaviour into alignment with your beliefs, aspirations and ideals.
This can be a volatile combination of energies, which can generate enormous stress and conflict, but can also motivate you go beyond your perceived limitations. The biggest dangers with this transit include obsessive control, violence in response to frustration, and natural reactions of anger being blown out of proportion into rage. However, if you are able to harness this energy and put it to productive use, it can fuel your ambitions and drive you to push past the barriers that are in your way (including your own discouragement or lethargy). There can be a fine line, though, between empowering yourself with determination and courage versus forcing the issue in a way that creates more problems than it solves. And there is a difference between being obsessively attached to the outcome versus discovering that you have more courage, strength and tenacity than you thought you did, when your back is against the wall. Sexual tension can be strong under this transit, so it is wise to use some good judgment about whether or how to act on that. Power struggles with others can become very intense, so strive to be clear in yourself about what you really want and how you can assert your interests without inflicting the emotional equivalent of nuclear war.
Your sense of wisdom, understanding and spiritual truth may have to face a difficult test under this transit. That test is to look at and acknowledge the ways in which your wisdom is limited or inadequate—not because there's something wrong with it, but because there is only so much in life that can be conquered by optimism, faith and hope. There are some things in life that must be experienced and cannot simply be eradicated. When we're in the thick of this, it can feel like our knowledge and understanding are defective or worthless, even though this is not the case. By embracing those experiences (rather than beating ourselves up for not being omnipotent, or overcompensating with arrogance), it is eventually possible to transcend them. Your wisdom can be expanded and transformed now by a situation that brings you into contact with this truth. It may be an uncomfortable, even painful experience, but this brings the potential to grow spiritually in ways that are not otherwise possible. To get the most out of this transit, strive to find a way to accept that we are all in a state of becoming, and that our imperfections do not subtract from our sacred nature, but merely make it more divinely complex.
The sun is simple. A sword is simple. A storm is simple. Behind everything simple is a huge tail of complicated.
~ Terry Pratchett, I Shall Wear Midnight
Ottawa, Canada and
Washington DC, USA:
Mar.27 2013, 5:27 AM EDT
Mar.27, 2013, 9:27 AM GMT
Mar.05, 2013, 8:27 PM AEDT
In our modern age of options and diversity, we have several relationship statuses to choose from: single, married, divorced, separated, attached, unattached and "it's complicated."
This Full Moon in Libra chart definitely falls under "it's complicated."
Libra is about balance and finding the line of least resistance between here and there, you and me, us and them, internal and external. It is the quintessential energy of duality, and it is about finding the balance point between the dual sides, to bridge the gap and bring harmony to conflicting energies.
Archetypally, Libra does this through relationship, by balancing "me" versus "we." The "me" part is Aries territory, the sign opposite Libra. Aries is associated with the self and sadly, often with narcissistic self-absorption (which is a very derogatory way to look at Aries energy).
Yes, some Aries people are insufferably self-centred and concerned with their own interests. So are some Libra people and Taurus people, and Gemini people, and..... You get the picture. Egotism is hardly the foible of just one sign.
The "we" side of the relationship equation is Libra, which is on one side of a metaphorical see-saw and who or whatever they are in relationship with becomes the other side. Libra has a bit of a reputation for being co-dependent, giving too much of themselves away and a bit too focused on making sure everything has the appearance of being harmonious, diplomatic and "nice." Just the appearance will do, since the ugly, messy stuff can be conveniently swept under the rug of beauty and charm.
And yes, some Libra people are indeed irritatingly dripping in sweetness and light, valuing surface veneer over substance and therefore coming across as a bit superficial. But every sign has its shallow side, which has more to do with how the person is ready and able to work with that sign's energy, than with the sign itself.
Balance. It was all about balance. That had been one of the first things that she had learned: the centre of the seesaw has neither up nor down, but upness and downness flow through it while it remains unmoved. You had to be the centre of the seesaw so the pain flowed through you, not into you. It was very hard. But she could do it!
~ Terry Pratchett, I Shall Wear Midnight
So just what is it that's being brought into balance at the Libra Full Moon?
And, as the saying goes, this is likely to feel like you're herding cats, with all kinds of conflicting and confusing agendas and priorities flying off in all directions.
Let's start with the Stellium in Aries, discussed in my last update. Collectively, it brings energy that's impulsive, forceful, direct, impatient and invigorating. With Mars and Uranus among the Aries pack, let's add spontaneous, devil-may-care, sporadic and erratic to that list.
Feeling lately like you want to jump out of your skin and break out of whatever rut you're in? Perhaps your anger spurts easily and quickly to the surface, as you listen in horror at the words that come out of your mouth before your brain has had a chance to approve and filter them? Or feeling like if you don't start moving ahead soon you'll explode? Now you know why.
The Sun and Venus are fused together, a mere 20 minutes of arc away from an exact conjunction. The Sun, in the sign of its exaltation, flourishes under the Aries beams and strives to illuminate the best of your identity and personality. The sense of self shines brilliantly in Aries, confident (or learning to be confident) in one's right to exist, survive and thrive.
Venus, not so much. Venus is in its detriment in Aries. Being the ruler of Libra, she is concerned about connection, interaction and relating with others, and also being the ruler of steady, evenly paced Taurus, all this focus on oneself and taking snappy action is rather frustrating and exhausting. Being combust (within 8½° of the Sun) she has to follow the Sun's lead, which is okay, but where the Sun leads is not the most comfortable territory for Venus.
Venus, in turn, disposits the Moon (rules the sign the Moon is in: Libra). So her uncharacteristic in-yer-face style is what she passes on to the Moon when she phones home to Venus for instructions on how to navigate Libra energy. The Moon (our need for safety, nurturing and bonding) may feel a bit pressured to stand on her own two feet instead of seeking out the company of others to get what she needs.
For example, you might find your interactions work best with people who promote and follow a very self-sufficient approach to life, although that may or may not entirely satisfy the part of you that just wants to bask in the warmth and caring from others.
This is underscored by the Moon's opposition to all those highly individualistic planets in Aries. When the Moon part of you looks out across the vast expanse between you and other people, what will you see? It might look like you're confronted by a drove of wild animals, all daring you to demonstrate courage and audacity to leap outside the lines of etiquette, diplomacy and people-pleasing in order to be your own person. Libra would rather be caught farting in an haute couture fashion house. And the Moon wishes she could just go home and pull the covers over her head until it all passes over.
To light a candle is to cast a shadow...
~ Ursula K. Le Guin, A Wizard of Earthsea
Pluto forms an intense T-square with the Aries gang on one side and the Full Moon in Libra on the other. So whatever challenge the Libra Moon is facing, there may be implications that are far reaching, compelling and important, with some significant consequences at stake. At the very least, this energy is not to be taken lightly, which can be difficult for Libra Moon.
There is an exact Mars-Pluto square in the chart (a mere 10 minutes of arc from exact), which ignites the Uranus-Pluto square that is ongoing over several years. Mars adds fuel to the urgency, intensity and passion in Pluto squaring the Aries Stellium. At worst, anger can turn into rage, frustration into fury and impatience into demand. Venus can contribute the potential to take this volatile energy and express it creatively, so that it's not destructive but can be motivating, mobilizing and even inspiring in a healthy way.
The Moon's best ally is Jupiter in Gemini through a trine aspect. Optimism, faith in yourself and wisdom from information and ideas can help you maintain poise and dignity under pressure.
The best response may be to maintain your balance from within. You might not be able to get the comforting support you hoped to get from others, but you can still give that to yourself. Instead of looking to something or someone outside of yourself to balance you out, think about what you hoped others would do for you, and then give that gift of support and encouragement to yourself.
How? By reminding yourself that you have the right to believe in yourself. You have the right to be supported and connected and to belong—not just to someone outside yourself but especially to yourself. What others do or say and how they react to you doesn't define who you are or what you are capable of becoming.
Does that mean you should simply dismiss feedback, advice or even criticism? No, of course not. Others may have some genuinely valid and valuable wisdom to offer – no point throwing away the gold nuggets with the mud and sand, any more than you should keep the mud and sand from where you found the gold. What it does mean is that you get to filter out what fits from what doesn't; how much is true and what is false or projection on you from the other person. It means you don't have to let someone else's perception of you dictate your own perception of yourself—inform, sure, if it feels like there's some truth in it, but dictate, no.
Fall. Stand. Learn. Adapt.
~ Mike Norton, Fighting For Redemption: Hangambiiki
The Full Moon chart has some other gems to consider. For one thing that Double Yod Key aspect pattern I talked about in the last update (Mar.21 to Apr.04) is in full thorny bloom. The corners of this 4-sided figure are marked by Jupiter, Saturn, Pluto and Uranus. And right now, the fast moving planets currently in Aries (Sun, Venus, Mars) are lighting up the Uranus corner like a fistful of sparklers.
This Double Yod Key pattern has a strong theme of liberation and freedom versus practicality and necessity. This emphasis on Uranus and Aries tilts the precarious balance over to the freedom and liberation side. If you've been persistently nailing down the practicality side of things so that nothing is allowed to move, this Uranus-Aries dynamic could yank it out of the floorboards and send it shooting into the air like an erupting volcano.
The result could be direct, obvious and unmistakable, but with so many quincunx aspects (150°) involved, it's more likely to be a subtle, indirect, irritating catch-22. Therefore, it will help to be flexible and allow yourself to adjust to the circumstances. Where the situation calls for commitment, hard work, responsibility and authoritative decisions, leaning in that direction can avoid getting stuck in a rebellious vicious circle rut.
And when the situation calls for you to move beyond your comfort zone and do something that requires a bit of audacity, courage, self-confidence, risk and "if you got it flaunt it" sassiness, it will likely help to lean into that too. You'll notice I said "lean" and not "jump off the deep end." Confidence is good; recklessness is usually a bad idea.
Your hand opens and closes, opens and closes. If it were always a fist or always stretched open, you would be paralysed. Your deepest presence is in every small contracting and expanding, the two as beautifully balanced and coordinated as birds' wings.
~ Rumi, Essential Rumi
Here's a last thought. The Libra Moon part of you is not a timid wimp in this scenario who must kowtow to what everyone else wants. Nor do you need to feel you are an alien trying to blend in with crazy people who want what they want when they want it. On the contrary: Libra contributes a valuable perspective of connection, which can help both sides gain what they need.
Libra and Aries are really just flip sides of the same coin. From the Aries perspective, the buck ultimately stops with each of us when it comes to making choices about actions, attitudes, what we belief, the words we speak and what we choose to focus on in our experience of the world. No matter who we have in our lives, we are still individuals alone within ourselves.
However, Aries isn't 100% individual – no one exists in a vacuum. We are shaped by and grow through interaction with the outside world. And Libra isn't entirely isolated when there's no one on the other end of that see-saw – through our self-awareness we are always in relationship with ourselves.
Sadly, we often dismiss or disbelieve the importance, validity and value of our ability to use our self-relating to mirror back to ourselves what we need, be it reassurance, belief in ourselves and feeling welcome and loved. Ironically, our relationship with ourselves is probably the most important one we have, since we are guaranteed to be with ourselves for our entire lives. That can't be said about anyone else. Only ourselves.
In addition, we all have a relationship with the world around us – to whatever Higher Power you acknowledge, but even if your beliefs don't lean that way, you are still in relationship to the physical world around you. Even a hermit has a relationship with their domicile, the trees and creatures they come across, the sky, planets, stars and the rest of the universe.
Yes, "it's complicated." And that's what gives life its depth, flavour, colour and texture.
It can be easier to take a logical, practical approach to problem-solving and pursuit of your goals now. Your mental outlook is likely to be calm and grounded. This is a good time to make plans and work out the logistics of how you're going to get from "here" to "there" in pursuing your goals. You may find it's time to bring closure to finished goals by distilling and systemizing what you've learned in the process of pursuing those past goals. Or, you might find you are able to draw on past achievements to assist and support your current goals and plans. It is a good transit to bring structure to your thoughts and communication. You may find it's a little easier to accept authority – yours or someone else's – and that you are able to speak authoritatively about things about which you have knowledge or experience.
This is the last of three passes of this transit: Feb.12, Mar.07 and Mar.28.
Your ability to radiate an aura of love, pleasure and beauty is very strong right now. You have the ability to soothe the rough edges – both your own and others' – and to spread joy and love around you. You are more able to come across in a diplomatic, gentle and easy-going way. This can also enable you to glide through tricky interactions with others with strategic finesse, as well as to negotiate through difficult conflicts with ease (at least, relatively speaking). Your ability to attract your heart's desire to you is especially strong right now...so be careful what you ask for! This is a good time to take a look at your choices, to see how much you are living according to your values and how much your values bring joy and satisfaction into your life. Relationships may also be on your mind, either looking for someone new in your life or rekindling an existing one. This could apply to committed intimate relationships, business partnerships or close friendships. Your focus could be pointed at acquiring material abundance, gathering resources or cultivating self-worth. You are as beautiful and as prosperous as you feel!
The Sun-Venus cycles have a very predictable pattern. Although Venus isn't retrograde right now (next one starts in December 2013), her conjunction to the Sun happens within just a degree or so of the Venus-Sun conjunction 4 years previous, when Venus was retrograde. Today's Venus-direct conjunction to the Sun is less than a degree away from the Venus-Retrograde conjunction to the Sun in March 2009.
Other Venus-Sun conjunctions in 4-year intervals prior to 2009 were also very near to the degree of today's conjunction. For example: March of 2005, 2001, 1997, 1993, etc. Later conjunctions in this series will be in 2017, 2021, 2025, etc. Therefore, whatever aspect today's conjunction makes to your natal chart is part of a much longer process of development and growth in your life.
What does it all mean? The events from the years mentioned above will have a common theme running through them. The theme may be subtle or obvious, but at each conjunction that energy comes around again, giving you a chance to work with it and make a bit more progress. This particular conjunction is also exactly conjunct Uranus! (see multiple conjunction below) There may be some surprises this time around, or perhaps if you're a bit stuck in your progress you'll get yanked out of your rut by an unexpected event or a flash of insight.
An example involving relationships: if you're in a relationship that's been under stress and teetering on the edge, this conjunction could possibly push it over the edge, making it necessary either to commit to real change or to decide to let it go. Or, if your relationship has been stuck or plateau'ing for a while, this conjunction might get you moving and growing again. Or, if your relationship is motoring along nicely, you might be challenged to expand your experience and understanding of each other in a way that breaks out of the usual routine. Do something different or out of character with each other. Finally, if you are not in a relationship, you might either meet a potential someone, or you might discover new insight about your relationship with yourself.
The Sun, Venus and Uranus have a surprise party in Aries! They are all at 8° of Aries and come to within an eyelash width of each other at their closest: a mere 4 minutes of arc! Although this mega-conjunction is exact on Mar.28, the energy will start building about a week before this date and play out for up to another week after that.
This group of planets is bound to affect the Venus areas (relationships and social connections, finances and resources, beauty and creativity, pleasure and satisfaction), as well as Sun areas (your identity, sense of self and self-expression, as well as your health and vitality), and the Uranus areas (friends and associates, groups and greater community, freedom, liberation and breaking out of your usual routine).
Overall, this could lead you to take a long look at yourself and your self image. Do you tend to be hard on yourself and expect yourself to live up to certain standards that go above and beyond whatever simply gets the job done? Perhaps it's time to give yourself a break and throw off some of the shackles that keep you from being a more authentic You.
On the other hand, do you find it hard to be responsible or disciplined? Do you find it easier to give in to your impulses, especially when they allow you to disregard your commitments and agreements? This may be a good time to look more closely at these experiences that perhaps trigger reactions so strong that you (seem to) lose your ability to choose how to respond.
If you have anything at 8 degrees in your natal chart (give or take about 5 degrees or so), especially Cardinal signs (Aries, Libra, Cancer, Capricorn) or Fire signs (Aries, Leo, Sagittarius), then you are likely to be especially affected by this transit. It means you are having a Uranus transit (always an exciting, liberating and sometimes shocking ride). For the Sun and Venus to come along and join up with Uranus, this can activate the Uranus transit energy in your life. Relationships, finances, purchases and sales, self-image and leadership style are likely areas to be affected, although much depends on how it interacts with your natal chart too.
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.
Spontaneity, surprises and "flying by the seat of your pants" characterize this transit. You are more open than usual to new experiences and open-minded to new perspectives. Your sense of humour and fun are finely tuned and may spring up unexpectedly and irreverently. It is more possible to break free of old habits and getting out of a rut you have been in. In fact, you may find it is fun to try doing something completely out of character...so much so that it's wise to be careful not to be too reckless under this transit. Have fun pushing the envelope, but try not to rip or shred that envelope. On the other hand, that might be the only way you can get out of a restrictive situation that's holding you back, and this transit could give you the impulsive courage to do just that. Your creativity may come in bursts and in unexpected ways, so try to take advantage of them when they present themselves or else write down your inspiration for future consideration.
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.
This is the last of three passes of this transit: Feb.09, Mar.09 and Mar.29.
You may be seeing the weak links in your knowledge, understanding or beliefs right now. Your ideas and words might seem to fall short of what your mind envisions, or you might be unable to convince others of your point of view. As a result, it can be tempting to over-compensate with more self-confidence, faith or optimism than you actually have. Or, you might give out "too much information" by over-explaining or through nervous rambling. Alternatively, you might encounter someone else who does this and perhaps have a blaming or judgmental reaction to them. This is an opportunity to learn something about how you might jump to conclusions or blame, possibly triggered by a situation that challenges your beliefs, opinions or perspective. To learn more about this part of yourself, try taking some time to think about what is really bothering you or what you really need to say in that situation. There may be a higher truth to be found if you open your mind to something you're reluctant to acknowledge, rather than looking for a "final truth" around which to close it.
This is the second of three passes of this transit: Feb.09, Mar.09 and Mar.29.
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.
This is the last of three passes of this transit: Feb.12, Mar.07, Mar.29.
The UK (and other countries in Europe and Africa) will turn their clocks forward one hour today (actually at 1:00 AM) to begin Daylight Saving Time. Check here to see if your location changes to Daylight time.
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.
There is an abundance of creative inspiration, material enjoyment, feel-good pleasure in the air! Your luck and opportunity to attract money, love, resources and self-esteem are high right now. It may be relatively easy to attract the people, possessions and opportunities you want or need, but you'll still have to work to get them. On the other hand, your eyes may be bigger than your stomach (as mother would say) and you might be tempted to charm, flirt or bluff your way through a situation more than usual. There may also be a tendency to self-indulgence. These are not necessarily bad things, but it's probably wise to remember to use this energy to enhance your best judgement, not override it.
This can be a challenging time, when your sense of purpose, identity and direction may feel blocked, overpowered or regulated by forces beyond your control. You may find yourself confronted by difficult situations or people, requiring that you rally an unusually strong show of power to keep from feeling powerless or overwhelmed. The trick is to center yourself in empowerment rather than simple power – that means your power comes from within yourself rather than from controlling people and situations outside of yourself. You might find yourself involved in power struggles or abandonment, either in the present or stirred up from the past. You might be forced to let go of your attachment to something or someone due to circumstances beyond your control. However, this can also be a time when you reach inside yourself and find you have more strength than you thought you did. Adversity may inspire new assertiveness and purpose in you – empowerment born of conflict and struggle.
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!
Chiron is (among other things) about acceptance of obstacles that don't have a clear solution, and mysteries and paradoxes that don't have a clear-cut explanation. Pluto is the process of transformation that requires something to "die" (move out of the way) in order that new growth and evolution can take place. These two energies work together very well. Both involve a certain level of acceptance of something that seems intolerable or undesirable.
These planets come together over the next 2 years in a sextile (60°) aspect, which combines these energies in a creative, capable and clever way. They actually have been hovering within a 6° orb since about 2010 and will remain there until around 2018. Over a very long period, these energies are forging a gradual process whose purpose is to generate healing and transformation. This could involve physical healing (most notably where chronic health problems are concerned), although more likely it relates to psychological and spiritual healing. In addition, this transit can provide an undercurrent of healing that supports the collective woundedness we are currently struggling with.
The thing about both of these planets is that things often get worse before they get better. Chiron's message is that by accepting and acknowledging our woundedness, we will find opportunities for healing—and that some wounds can't be healed completely. Chiron is about healing what can be, and finding ways to accept what can't—and to discover that there are hidden gifts that the struggle can bring you. The trick is not to get stuck in perpetual suffering, despair or helplessness.
Pluto's process is to dig below the surface to find the authentic essence that is neither apparent nor fully accessible until you shed that top layer that covers what's underneath it. By letting go of one thing, you gain access to something behind it, and the experience can be transforming—if you trust the process.
Chiron and Pluto together stimulate healing through struggle that can be strenuous and demanding. However, the nature of the sextile aspect is progressive change. Your experience of that struggle might be more resilient or gentler than with a hard aspect. It's up to you to do the work, but Chiron and Pluto can provide some profound tools and resources for the task. Pluto is the planet of hidden riches, and Chiron reveals the gift of wisdom that comes from experience. Look for those tools in unexpected, unusual or secret places.
Mercury finally leaves the shadow—the part of the zodiac where it was retrograde. This means the confusion, delays and miscommunications of the last 2 months have mostly dissipated and things should be more or less back to normal (whatever that is). The difference is that you now have the benefit of seeing things from a different perspective after having reconsidered, rethought and rehashed information and perceptions over the past 2 months. This gives you more choices than you had before. In fact, you may find that although you thought something was a good idea a month or two ago, you now realize that a different approach, decision or way of understanding it is better. If you've been waiting until Mercury finished with the retrograde cycle before you made a final decision about something or taking action on something, this is the time to take another look at whatever that is. Just don't forget your common sense, and remember that Mercury is only one factor to take into consideration regarding the timing of a decision. Use your best judgment and wisdom.
Australia (and other countries in the southeastern corner of the world) will turn their clocks backward one hour today (actually at 3:00 AM) to go back to Standard Time. Check here to see if your location will change to Standard time.
Diplomacy and harmony combine with forcefulness and enthusiasm under this transit. How you experience the results will depend in part on which you value more – winning (Mars dominant) or resolution (Venus dominant). One possibility is being able to negotiate agreements with others in assertive ways; another possibility is being able to confront others with gentleness and diplomacy. The courage to act could become either blunted or enhanced by an increased sensitivity to how your actions could affect others. Your ability to negotiate a diplomatic solution to a problem might be sabotaged by impatience, frustration or too much directness – or that same forcefulness might help by keeping things from getting bogging down or by injecting an infectious enthusiasm to the discussion. Although the effects could look very different in various situations, the best results will likely be found by using the best of both of these opposite energies.
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© 2013 Wendy Guy. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied without the author's written permission. Many excellent quotes for this page are found at GoodReads.com. Images of Pisces, Libra and Moses from MorgueFile.com. Photos of see-saw and chicken from CanStockPhoto.com