March 2019: Begin Again

The first two days of March belong to Venus as she departs Capricorn and the powerful forces she encountered there for the still space of Aquarian air. On March 1, Venus in Capricorn squares Uranus in the last dangerous degree of Aries. This dynamic tension may produce interesting results in your love life and creative world. Stay flexible and be spontaneous. The following day, on March 2, Venus enters the calm, cool, and collected fixed sign of Aquarius where she’ll stay until March 26. This transit lends relationships an analytical and detached vibe this month.

Venus also sextiles Chiron in the first degree of Aries on March 2. This passing note offers an indication of what the Chiron’s time in the cardinal fire sign will encompass. Chiron re-entered Aries on February 18, where he will stay for the next 8 years. Chiron reopens old wounds to allow in greater healing. The shadow of Aries is the ego: violent, selfish, and petty. We’re grappling with the results of this force unchecked in the collective. Chiron has arrived to bring a balm and shepard us towards greater expression of the healthy ego.  

On March 5 the world turns upside down as Mercury stations retrograde for three weeks. Just kidding. It won’t be that dramatic, but it will be almost that dramatic. Not all Mercury retrogrades are created equal and this is one for the classic playbooks. Mercury is in their detriment in Pisces so we’ve already been at a disadvantage around communication, technology, and travel since they entered on February 10. This experience is similar to trying to find a penny you dropped in the ocean. You’ll probably find a bunch of other stuff, some great, some not, but even if you really look, you won’t find that coin. Neptune, the outer planet of psychedelic trips, is adding some additional haze to Mercury’s mind. The retrograde will last until March 28, and Mercury will station direct conjoined with Neptune. The combined effect of these bewildering influences is that March may feel like you’re trying to find a penny in the ocean while tripping on acid wearing flippers put on backward. Chances are you’ll fall down even in small waves. This is a great opportunity not to take life too seriously. What’s a plan or a deadline really? Things are only as important as we decide they are. If time is rubber then allow yourself to be stretched.

The Sun in Pisces will amplify these far out vibes with a conjunction to Neptune on March 6, the Pisces New Moon. This is a fertile Moon ruled by Jupiter in his home sign of Sagittarius, and an excellent night to set intentions you’d like to see come to fruition over the next six months. March 6 is not a chill day though, as the earth shaker Uranus will ingress into Taurus for a seven year stay. Wherever Uranus goes he brings innovation and upheaval. Taurus is a Venus ruled earth sign associated with all things Gaia: food production, money, animals, sexuality, and environmental stewardship. We can expect big changes in these sectors on a global scale. Uranus has an affinity for technology so expect an increase in debates over crypto currency, lab grown meat, and the global labor force. Check your chart to see where this energy is going to land for your personally, and then notice if there’s any activity around the New Moon.

Water facilitates earth the weekend of March 9, as the Sun sextiles Saturn in Capricorn, and we gain better perspective on what was initiated in early January. Mars in Taurus gets slippery with Neptune on March 10, and we lose an hour of sleep but gain some joy as the clocks spring forward. This is prime retrograde time so don’t schedule anything crucial if you can avoid it.

The week ahead is not light and fluffy, but full of potential. The Sun will square Jupiter and sextile Pluto on March 13 and Mars will trine Saturn on March 14. This energy came to work and does not play. It’s important to cut through the Neptune fog and have a plan because you’ll want to make the most of these days of power. Illumination comes at the end as the Sun conjoins Mercury, and our beloved messenger is reborn in the waters of eternity.

The seasons magically and mercifully change, once again, as the Sun enters Aries on March 20, initiating Spring. Aries is first sign of the Zodiac. Symbolized by the ram who crashes through the gates of winter. There’s a struggle to emerge inherent in the sign of the warrior. Aries asks, Who am I? And, indeed, we may all be wondering that ourselves, as we shake off the doldrums from our long winter’s nap. The Sun begins moving into a conjunction with Chiron that will perfect on March 22, so this Wiccan sabbat is rooted in the fiery healing of our wounds around identity. With the ruler of this Sun, Mars, in earthy Taurus, we may explore the connection between our consumer consumption and personal values this Aries Season.

The Vernal Equinox, known as the pagan holiday of Ostara or Eostre, celebrates life returning to the land. The Goddess has rested and is now renewed. The God has matured, and desire stirs between them. This is a young time of year, but one bursting with promise, excitement, and a passion for experience. The fields are greening and the Sun’s strength is gaining. Ostara is one of two sacred days of the year when there is perfect balance between day and night, dark and light. This is a time of beginnings, taking action, and planting seeds for future goals. Traditionally, pagans dyed or paint hard boiled eggs and then balance them on their ends to symbolize equilibrium. Part of this practice was incorporated into the Christian holiday with a similar name, Easter.

Appropriately, the Libra Full Moon takes place on Ostara on March 20. Libra is signified by the scales because it’s the sign of justice, harmony, and the collective good. This is an excellent night to work magic to rectify any imbalance in our lives. This Moon is ruled by Venus in Aquarius in a sextile with Jupiter in Sagittarius and a square with Mars in Taurus. This mixture of spiritual empowerment and healthy friction will point us towards what we need to harmonize in relationships and the resources we have to do it.

A RITUAL FOR OSTARA

Go to a green space and celebrate the life springing forth by noticing and appreciating each bud and leaf that you see. You can begin by grounding into Gaia using these video instructions. Walk in nature with no other intention than being present with her. Tune into each flower/tree/shrub you’re called to by approaching slowly and staying with it for several minutes. You can connect with its life field by intending to have your consciousness merge with its own. If you relax your eyes enough, you may be able to see the white outline of its energy field. Ask if the flower/tree has a message for you about Spring. Walk deliberately, aware of your steps and breath, collecting your missives from nature. Bring a journal to record any words or images you’d like to capture. Make this walk a ceremony in reverence of life: yours, Gaia’s, and every being that you encounter.

If you can’t get outside, you can work with the earth by planting an indoor magical garden in a box. Imagine you’re planting qualities you’d like to grow in your life with each bean or seed you press into the soft brown dirt. Or, make a sacred meal out of seeds, sprouts, nuts, leafy green veggies, and salad with flowers. Thank Gaia and the thousands of hands that brought the meal to your plate. See if you can sense through smell, taste, and vibration the unique life force of each food.

Mercury will conjunct Neptune on March 24, as they slow down and prepare to station direct on March 28. The worst is over by that point, but we have yet to reach the shore. Expect to feel the ripples of this retrograde for longer than usual.Venus enters Pisces, the sign of her exaltation on March 26. Normally this is an unequivocally lovely time, but adding Venus to this bubbling cauldron may improve things or cause you to feel it more deeply.Mercury will conjunct Neptune for the 3rd and final time on April 2, and will not move into Aries until April 17. Splish, splash, we’ll be in this befuddling bath for nearly another three weeks.  

The month closes out with Mars entering the mutable air sign of Gemini on March 31. Life takes on a quicker and more dynamic speed as he moves into an opposition with Jupiter. There’s still a lot of heavy earth in the mix, but we’re planning what we’re going to make with it.

Ostara Blessings to all of you!

Ostara Goddess by Helena Nelson-Reed

September 2018: the Cool Down


September is here, we’re winding down from the intensity of the Summer of Retrograde, but it won’t be Fall for another two weeks. August was something of a torrid scorcher, no? The final heatwave at the end was a fun reminder of how hot and uncomfortable the Sun can make us. Even my cats were complaining. Of course, Mars was helping. The hot and dry red planet has been at maximum brightness all Summer, and is the second closest to the Earth that he’s been in 60,000 years (the actual closest was in 2003, and he won’t be that close again until 2287). Mars stationed direct at his exalted degree of 28 Capricorn on August 27, which set us up to start September on better footing than we’ve been since he went retrograde on June 26, but he’s still moving slow in the sky right now, and the themes explored during the last two months of his backwards motion will be active through October.

Our beloved trickster, Mercury, was retrograde in Leo from July 26-August 19; the trouble caused during this period would have been a bigger deal if everyone hadn’t just been trying to survive the eclipses. Getting trapped in airports with flights delayed, cancelled, and rerouted, or losing luggage and having to buy all new gear, these were minor inconveniences compared to what other people were going through. It’s really all about perspective and hopefully this Summer grew your patience, stamina, and compassion.

Mercury has been in Leo for a long time, since June 29, and on their way out the door, they’ll blow Venus in Libra a parting kiss on September 3. On this day you’ll be able to share your thoughts and feelings with adroitness so use the moment well. It’s a great time to enjoy the company of friends by taking in the theater or having a spirited debate over dinner. Mercury zips into their exalted home sign of Virgo on September 5, and enters into a conjunction with Athena, empowering our speech and mental alacrity throughout that weekend.

The push forward continues when Saturn in Capricorn stations direct on September 6, adding emphasis to the grand earth trine with Mercury in Virgo and Uranus in Taurus that we’ve been feeling for several weeks. Saturn is known as the Lord of Karma or Lord of Time, and his entrance into his pragmatic home sign of Capricorn on December 19, 2017, was a much anticipated astrological moment. Wherever we find Saturn, we find the need for commitment, hard work, and perseverance. Saturn will be in Capricorn until December 2020, so we have another 2.5 years of slowly building in this area of our lives (look to the house Capricorn rules in your natal birth chart to see where this will affect you personally). On a large scale, expect this transit to cause both a hardening of rules and boundaries and a dismantling of unjust systems and processes. The humanitarian crisis happening on the US/Mexico Border with government officials separating children from their parents and holding them in for-profit detention centers, and the resulting demand for immediate immigration policy reform has been one prominent manifestation of Saturn in Capricorn.

If you have a brilliant idea that must be shared make sure you consider all the angles on September 7, when Mercury trines Uranus in Taurus and Saturn in Capricorn, and the Sun in Virgo is opposed to Neptune and Pisces. People are going to want to know how you intend to carry out your grand plan before they’ll believe you can make it work. There’s a hint of confusion in the air so it might be a good time to dream alone with your sketchpad before bringing anything to the table. The best strategy may be to root down into what you wish to manifest by keeping it a secret for the moment.

Venus has been in her airy high tower of Libra since August 6, which helped to cool down hot tempers, but a bit of passion flares at the end with a square to Mars on September 8. This is a great day to go for what you want. Show up in the world as your most beautiful and best self to attract in what you most desire. Reception is just as powerful as action, so call forth what you wish to conjure, but don’t get mad if it isn’t delivered right away. Things are going to get a bit more murky the following day, on September 9, when Venus descends into the deep, dark waters of Scorpio where she’ll remain for the rest of the year. It’s going to be a very Scorpio Fall, so don’t be surprised if your love life gets a big dose of ardor, obsession, intensity, and transformation in the coming months. Venus will enter her retrograde period on October 5; we’ll have both the active and reflective wisdom of the Scorpio teaching us about love, sex, death, healing, and everything in between for the remainder of 2018.

You may have been on a cleaning spree since the Sun entered Virgo on August 23. Virgo season is a time to get organized and clear; make sure the sacred spaces in your home get wiped, dusted, and blessed, if they haven’t already. This mutable earth sign, symbolized by the harvest maiden, is spiritual because she values and creates G.ood O.rderly D.irection. The Virgo New Moon on September 9, is opposed by Neptune in Pisces and in a trine with Pluto in Capricorn. The nature of Virgo is to appear as having it all together all the time, and it’s her preference to believe that’s really true, but this Moon may bring visions and desires knocking on the door that don’t fit in with her perfect plan. The power of vulnerability is that once we have acknowledged and grappled with what is challenging to reconcile, we don’t have to fear or ignore it anymore. The struggle to self-actualize is real, but Mercury in Virgo can help us integrate the emotional wisdom of this Moon into the mental realm, making us more effective agents for change.

We’ll get another taste of earth sign rebellion and restriction on September 12 when Venus moves into an opposition with Uranus and a sextile with Saturn, while Jupiter, co-present in Scorpio, sextiles Pluto in Capricorn. Thankfully, the discerning insight of the Goddess of Wisdom, Athena, in Virgo, is helping Venus make sense of these contradictory elements and impulses. You may receive guidance about the kinds of changes you need to make internally to have the kind of relationship you want to have with others. If there’s power plays going on at work, make sure you have the support you need at home to feel secure on the job.

Mercury enters Libra on September 21, and the following day, the Sun departs from Virgo, officially ending Summer. The Sun’s entrance into Libra, the sign of it’s fall, on September 22, initiates the start of a new season: Fall. The Sun is exalted in Aries at the Spring Equinox, the beginning of the time of the most light in the year. The Autumn Equinox marks the transition to the dark period when the Sun is in his decline and night is longer than day. But on the first day of both Aries and Libra, at the 00 degree point, there is a space of balance, a moment of harmony in the world with equality between dark and light, day and night. It is an excellent time to walk in nature and pray for peace.

The Autumnal Equinox, Mabon, as the Gaelic pagan festival is known, is a time to thank Gaia, Goddess of the Earth, for the harvest’s gleanings and turn our attention to preparing for the transition to the cold period. In mythology, the solar God further recedes, reading to leave his body at Samhain, Halloween, on October 31. In this momentary evenness before the waning light we may consider what has grown in our lives since March 20? If you set intentions at the Vernal Equinox, what has come of them? Take a moment to appreciate the growth, however miniscule. Thank yourself and the universe for what you’ve created together in the past 6 months, and for the truths that’ve been revealed, even if you weren’t seeking them. Let your heart be full remembering all you have received. Set new intentions for the coming shadowy time of the year, and be sure to include a radical relationship with fiery healing and deep commitment to mental health and wellbeing. No one can survive winter on their own, so make sure community is well featured in your plan.

The Aries Full Moon on September 24, amplifies the Equinox energy into our bodies as the Sun in Libra is in a T-square with the Moon and Chiron in Aries, and Saturn and Vesta in Capricorn. This lunation is ruled by Mars who won’t clear his retrograde shadow until October 8, so we may not be feeling in our full glory at this time. But we don’t value the things we win easily as much as those we struggle to achieve. There is a philosophical mood to this Moon. Humans are drawn to astrology and other forms of divination not just because they help us understand when to hold ‘em and when to fold ‘em, but because they remind and reassure us of the Divine love present in all moments that can help us to face the world, good and bad, with equanimity and grace.

Let there be peace on Earth and let it begin with me.

Virgo Art: Ryland Smith

March 2018: A Tale of Water & Fire

ostaraWe glide into March on the seas of love and dreams with Juno, the Sun, Neptune, Mercury, Venus, and Chiron all in the water sign of Pisces. It’s an emotional full house. With Venus sitting close to Chiron that first week, don’t be surprised if old hurts resurface for no apparent reason.

The usual response from our rational mind is to push away such feelings, but logic is no buoy in this deluge. The tide is too high. We need to put on our goggles and go diving. These particular memories are surfacing from our subconscious because we are ready to release them on a deeper level. Ask what they came to share, thank them for the wisdom of their teachings, and then send them back into the abyss to be transformed into something new.

The Virgo full moon on Thursday, March 1 (Happy Purim!), offers an earthy, grounding respite to the flood. We may finally feel like we’re back on solid land, if only for a night. Virgo is a detail oriented analytical sign, so take full advantage of this energy by working on a task that’s been needing your attention. Writing projects may feel particularly inspired. Don’t worry if you don’t finish though, Virgo would keep you trapped at your desk, and Thursday night is too sweet to miss. Enjoy connection through communication, creative arts, and nourishing meals. The moon in earth sign Virgo wants you to take care of your body and treat it right, whatever that means to you.

The Pisces new moon on Saturday, March 17, is an excellent time to reflect on what we’ve learned over the past month from all the emotional upheaval. The goal of Pisces is to commit to a vision or ideal. What dream does your heart sing to you? Whisper this goal, no matter how lofty, to the new moon. You may be amazed at what seeds sprout because spring is just around the corner.

March 17 is also St. Patrick’s Day, which commemorates the arrival of Christianity in Ireland. For many modern witches, the legend of St. Patrick driving out the snakes from Ireland is a metaphor for the banishment of the ancient goddess worship of the divine feminine. Although many pagan practices were outlawed, much of the old traditions were incorporated into new rituals. The custom of wearing green on St. Patrick’s Day is connected to the celebration of the rites of spring.

Pisces closes out the winter, and in many places, the thaw has already begun. The sun moves into Aries on Tuesday, March 20, at the spring equinox, initiating the beginning of the zodiacal new year. The vernal equinox is one of the two days of the year when there is a complete balance between night and day, light and dark. It is a perfect time to take a walk in nature and meditate on the changes you feel in the air. This is also the Wiccan sabbat of Ostara, the fertility festival celebrating life returning to the land. Eat and plant seeds literally, metaphorically, and most of all joyfully, all day long.

By the end of the month, all the inner planets will have moved into fire and earth signs and we may feel quite a different tempo from the beginning. There is a blue moon on March 31 with the full moon in Libra that should provide some much needed fresh air. Blue moons don’t have astrological significance but simply connote the second full moon in a month. Libra is the sign of justice and equality, and this moon may illuminate the progress we have made in these areas, both individually and collectively, since Jupiter left the sign in October 2017.

March is a month with two distinct sides and personalities. Take these big lunar moments to reflect and pause, and if you ever feel lost, just look up.