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Lynn's Skywatch:
Planetary Illuminations for March 2013

3/1 Sun sextile Pluto
       Sun trine Saturn
       Mars square Ceres
3/4 Sun conjunct Mercury
       Venus square Jupiter
3/5 Venus conjunct Chiron
3/6 Venus sextile Pluto
       Mercury conjunct Venus
3/7 Mercury trine Saturn
       Mercury sextile Pluto
3/8 Saturn sextile Pluto
       Mercury conjunct Chiron
       Mercury square Jupiter
3/10 Sun trine North Node
3/11 New Moon 21 Pisces, 3:51 pm
3/12 Mars enters Aries
3/13 Venus trine North Node
3/14 Sun square Ceres
3/17 Mercury turns direct
3/18 Venus square Ceres
3/20 Spring Equinox: Sun enters Aries 7:02 am
3/21 Saturn trine Chiron
       Venus enters Aries
3/22 Mars conjunct Uranus
3/26 Mars sextile Jupiter
       Mars square Pluto
3/27 Jupiter square Chiron
       Full Moon 7 Libra, 5:27 am
3/28 Mercury trine Saturn
       Sun conjunct Venus
       Venus conjunct Uranus
       Sun conjunct Uranus
3/29 Mercury conjunct Chiron
       Mercury square Jupiter
       Mercury sextile Pluto
3/31 Venus square Pluto
       Venus sextile Jupiter

All dates and times are for the Eastern time zone; please adjust for your own locality.  For daily planetary news, visit my Facebook and Twitter pages.

MAJOR INFLUENCES

March is packed with planetary activity which means that the energy around us will be powerful and provide an impetus for transition and transformation. Uranus and Pluto are moving closer towards the second phase of their dance which will culminate in a square (90 degree) formation in May of this year, creating drama and resistance as the old forms (Pluto in Capricorn) are breaking away for greater individual liberty (Uranus in Aries).

At the same time there is a big stellium in Pisces made up of six planets that will align with the Moon on March 11th, a powerful Pisces alignment that has the potential to create a flood of divine consciousness, but also to drown our intelligence in a sea of confusion. However, a harmonious sextile between Saturn and Chiron ensures that if we avoid laziness and apply discipline to our lives during this time (Saturn), healing can occur and we will become more wise in the ways of the world (Chiron).

This is helpful because Jupiter (ideology and belief) is moving towards a strong square to Chiron that will tend to draw us away from the process of healing if we're not careful. Jupiter doesn't always see the necessity of effort, and sometimes a lack of attention will cause the exposure of wounds by Chiron to be more painful than it would otherwise be. On the other hand, Jupiter does bring opportunities for healing if we can stay the course rather than flee to more comfortable territory.

Pluto is powerful now as it slows down in preparation to turn retrograde in early April. Throughout the month of March it will move less than a half degree, meaning that if you are being affected by a Pluto transit right now at 11 degrees it will remain pretty intense for the next few months. Pluto is retrograde for about six months of every year, as are the other outer planets, so the retrograde is not unusual. But Pluto acts with force and intensity, and this will not be a time when the superficial can have any importance.

MARCH DETAILS

Mercury, traveling retrograde, is very active during the period leading up to the New Moon. Mercury is in Pisces where its adaptability lends itself to the occasional need for reversal while Mercury is retrograde. If we fail to understand that these reversals are a natural phase of the ebb and flow of life and instead allow ourselves to become frustrated when the normal Mercury Retrograde glitches occur we lose a sense of the magic that is available now.

Venus is also in Pisces, and also active during the first ten days of the month. Venus tends to create harmony and enhance sociability which helps to smooth out the wrinkles of Mercury's retrograde travels and travails, but on the 4th and 5th of the month Venus gets caught in the conflict between Jupiter and Chiron. This can serve either to soften the expanding (Jupiter) awareness of the core wound (Chiron), or else to utilize our relationships (Venus) to open that wound so that healing can occur. Just be aware during this time that things are not always what they seem - emotional pain or hurt feelings are likely coming from within, not from others.

The mind is very active during this period (March 4th through the New Moon on the 11th) as Mercury moves through transits to the Sun, Venus, Saturn, Pluto, Chiron and Jupiter. That gives us greater access to reason and helps us to process the healing process through the mental realm. With Mercury retrograde we are more easily able to look back into the past to see where our feelings or difficulties may have originated, and plan ways to move through into a brighter future.

The harmonious sextile between Saturn and Pluto has been building since the beginning of the month. This is a relatively minor event but it helps to provide a soft cushion upon which the foundations of healing (Saturn) and transformation (Pluto) can be built. That sextile culminates on the 8th, and on that same day Mercury aligns with both Chiron and Jupiter to facilitate the healing process with intelligence and conscious awareness.

The New Moon on March 11th is a very significant event since it forms a nearly exact trine to the North Node of the Moon, the point that serves as a gateway to our future. As the beginning of a new lunar cycle, a New Moon (actually the darkest point of the lunar cycle) wipes the slate clean and offers an opportunity for a new start. With the Moon now in Pisces, there are now seven planets lined up in Pisces, a phenomenal event. (Mars, Sun, Moon, Venus, Chiron, Mercury and Neptune) As the last sign in the zodiac, Pisces is all about letting go, surrendering to a more transcendent experience - an experience of bliss and universal love. However, like all things astrological there is another side to Pisces which I like to call illusion, confusion and delusion. The same misty beauty that unlocks the doors of creativity and assists us in ascending to a higher realm can cloud our judgment and cause us to lose our way.

In a stellium such as this in which so many planets are in conjunction, there can be a loss of perspective. The force of one sign is so powerful that we can lose our sense of balance. This is exacerbated in the New Moon chart because the two rulers of Pisces - Jupiter the traditional ruler and Neptune the modern ruler - are in a challenging square formation along with Mercury (the mind) and Chiron (releasing old wounds). If ever there was a time to let go and unwind old hurts and grudges, this is it.

The trine from the lunation (Sun and Moon) and Venus to the North Node of the Moon will help to facilitate that process. So will the presence of Venus in a conjunction to the Sun and Moon which will soften the effect and assist in the letting go. This process will be most difficult for those of us (like me!) with a preponderance of fixed signs (Leo, Scorpio, Aquarius and Taurus) that tend to hold on tightly and resist adaptation. But just because something is difficult doesn't mean it's not important, and this is a very important New Moon for the awakening of consciousness.

Because the creative process depends upon the opening of the heart to the divine, this will be a fantastic New Moon for artists, musicians, writers - anything involving creative expression and flow. It's also, of course, an important time for meditation and spiritual practice.

On March 17th Mercury will turn direct, concluding the retrograde period. As it changes direction its movement will still be slow for a week or so and it may take that long for communication glitches to end and the sense of moving forward to take hold again.

Between the 14th and the 18th the Sun and Venus square Ceres, the planet of nurture and care for the earth and our bodies. Be especially careful during this period to eat well and pay attention to the food that you are using to nourish your bodies.

The Spring Equinox occurs on March 20th at 7:02 am when the Sun enters Aries. The chart for the solstices and equinoxes are often used to forecast events for the season, and this looks like it will be a fiery spring. The Sun, newly in Aries, conjoins Mars (ruler of Aries) in Aries. WIth Aries as the most fiery of the fire signs, you can see how intense the fire energy will be. To intensify things even more, Mars in the equinox chart conjoins Uranus in Aries which almost ensures an acceleration of the revolutionary (Uranus) intensity that we are already seeing from the upcoming alignment between Uranus and Pluto. And to top things off, the Moon in the equinox chart is in highly sensitive Cancer, opposing Pluto and locked in a square to the Aries planets.

The image here is of the tribe (Moon in Cancer) being completely transformed by outside forces (Pluto) through battles and potential warfare (Sun/Mars/Uranus) in order to throw away the shackles of oppression and emerge in liberation (Uranus/Pluto) from institutions of alienation and separation. It's a powerful time, to be sure. Fortunately a harmonious trine from Saturn to Chiron helps to provide a solid foundation (Saturn) through which the necessary healing (Chiron) can occur.

Between the Equinox and the 27th the road could get a little rocky. Mars, representing the aggressive force, will move into an exact conjunction to Uranus which culminates on the 22nd, followed by a challenging square to Pluto on the 26th. During this time watch for incidents of road rage and aggression of all kinds. Physical exercise is important during times like this when Mars creates an intense need for action. A harmonious sextile from Mars to Jupiter will instill confidence and a sense of expansion which can be helpful but also has the potential to expand and intensify the aggressive energy already in play. Exercise and activity are the key here - release as much of this energy through positive means and you will be less likely to find yourself in difficult situations.

This leads up to the Full Moon on March 27th by which time Venus has joined the Aries stellium, increasing the force of the Aries fire. The Mars alignments are peaking now, and with the added energy of the Full Moon there is a tremendous amount of power available here. Mars and Aries work with the personal Will, and at this Full Moon we have even greater potential to create magic through focusing the Will and desires. This means that it is incredibly important to use conscious awareness of what you desire at this time, because it is likely to be fulfilled.

All of this Aries energy opposes the Libra Moon, which is much more polite and tends to withdraw from conflict. Libra is the sign of balance in any case – striving for balance in a polarized world. In this lunation, where the force of Libra’s opposite polarity, Aries, is so powerful, that balance will be much harder to achieve. But achieve balance we must – that is the lesson of the Libra Full Moon.

Mars is exactly square Pluto at the Full Moon, challenging the personal Will against the Will of the higher self and beginning to tighten the Uranus/Pluto square with its powerful revolutionary force. There is an awkward quincunx between Saturn and Mars that suggests some frustration during this time but the harmonious sextile from Saturn to Pluto helps to provide some grounding into the realm of the practical.

On the 28th the Sun aligns with Venus and Uranus to bring in something new. Leave room for surprises on that day, and perhaps a chance meeting that could change your life. A harmonious trine between Mercury and Saturn makes this an excellent day for business ventures.

The 29th, however, could bring up some challenging memories as Mercury aligns with the square between Chiron and Jupiter. That will not be a great day for concentration, but with Mercury in a harmonious sextile to Pluto a deeper understanding is not only possible, but likely.

On the 31st, the last day of the month, relationships will intensify and old hurts may arise as Venus squares Pluto, but a harmonious sextile to Jupiter will ensure that any difficulties are moved through quickly and with compassion and grace.