This Virgo Full Moon is a karmic trigger

Virgo Full MoonThe Full Moon on March 5 contains plenty of planetary punch!

The Sun is in Pisces now, opposite the Virgo Moon.  The Pisces/Virgo polarity involves a rebalancing of our need to attend to the details of our ordinary life (Virgo) with the longing of the soul to transcend details and experience a divine flow (Pisces).   The Moon itself reflects the changing urges of the soul, and in Virgo there is strong pressure to pay attention to the details that give our lives order.

At the Full Moon both the Sun and Moon interact with Chiron (opening up old wounds and precipitating their release), Saturn (creating a sense of isolation in our personal development), Uranus (opening a window for us to see new possibilities) and Pluto (intensifying the entire experience and offering great rewards if we confront our demons head-on).

Mars aligns with the Lunar South Node at the Full Moon, potentially triggering something to be released from the past.  Try to remember to pay close attention to events that occur on this day, as they may be rooted in an old karmic experience that you brought in with you that can be released now.

Relationships could be problematic under a conjunction of Venus (relating) to Uranus (rebellion), activating the Uranus/Pluto square as it prepares to culminate for the very last time.  This is a time to go your own way and speak with your own voice – anything less will result in trouble.  Still – with the Virgo Moon calling for temperance, balance and moderation will still be necessary.

Full Moons typically carry a strong energetic power, but this one is particularly strong.  It’s a time to release the past (Mars/South Node), take stock of the details of the present (Virgo), communicate our true and authentic self (Venus/Uranus & Pluto) and through it all, remain aware and conscious of the divine Flow that guides us.

Planetary Illuminations for March 2015 now posted

February astrology
Image from Deviant Art

The March Planetary Illuminations report is now posted and you can read it in its entirety here.  If you are on my mailing list you will soon receive a simplified version of the report which is in plain English and easy to understand.  If you’re not on my mailing list, please sign up in the sidebar!

There is a great deal of planetary excitement this month and here is the introduction to get you started.

The biggest planetary factor influencing our world today continues to be the challenging square (90 degree) aspect between Uranus and Pluto.  (If this is unfamiliar to you please read the summary in the sidebar for more details.)  Challenging aspects between Uranus and Pluto occur every 35 years or so, with the last one, the conjunction, occurring between 1962-1968.  The current cycle has included seven exact alignments and one additional alignment that was within a few degrees, beginning back in 2010.  It is this major cycle that has been the witness of so much revolutionary change and radical breakdown of power structures across the globe.

During the first two weeks of March Venus and Mars, both in Aries, “translate” the bigger Uranus/Pluto event.  The faster moving planets often trigger larger cycles into action, so I would expect this time period to erupt into conflict and bring any power structures that simmer below the surface into consciousness, both in the global political arena and in our personal lives as well.

We also see the second phase this month of a harmonious trine between Jupiter and Uranus, the two freedom and liberation planets, that peaks on March 3rd.  Jupiter provides expansive confidence, and Uranus excites the imagination and creates innovation and change.  This is usually a very positive aspect for breakthroughs of all kinds, especially in science and technology.  In our personal lives this aspect will call our attention to areas of our lives that require change or where we may feel that we are being blocked from being our authentic self (Uranus) and the desire for change and liberation will be expanded by Jupiter’s confidence.

Saturn turns retrograde in the middle of the month.  When a planet changes direction its movement slows down to a crawl as it prepares to retrograde, and this intensifies its influence.  This is particularly true if the planet is affecting a sensitive point in your own chart, but with Saturn changing direction we will be much more cognizant of the need to apply discipline and focus to every area of your life so that you can master the material realm which is Saturn’s domain.

 

The question of cusps and the 29th degree

sign cuspsIn response to a few questions I had from readers after other astrologers wrote about the New Moon being in Pisces, I thought it would be useful to discuss the idea of the “cusp.”  This is one of those concepts about which you can read a myriad of different opinions from very reputable astrologers.

The cusp idea comes mainly from the popular world of “sun sign astrology.”  Since the Sun doesn’t move from one sign to another on the same day every year in order to give readers an idea of which sign their birthdate fell in there was a need to find a way to describe those few days in which there could be some leeway between one sign or another as you can see in this image which put the cusp between Aquarius and Pisces as being between the 18th and 22nd of February.  For example, the Sun moved into Pisces last night right after the New Moon at 29 degrees Aquarius, the 18th of February.  But in 2012, the Sun moved into Pisces on the 19th of February.  Still, in the past 80 years the Sun has not moved into Pisces later than the 19th, so the idea that the Pisces cusp extends to the 22nd is not really valid.

Popular astrology columns often say that if you were born “on the cusp,” meaning in the few days before or after the day the Sun changed signs, that you have a dual influence as shown by the illustration above.  Astrologers reading birthcharts often extend the cusp idea to the nature of other planets and points, including the Ascendant and Midheaven angles.

What I have come to see in reading many charts over the years is that the last few degrees of a sign will start to bleed into the next sign.  I believe that this occurs because each sign reacts to and corrects the previous sign, so there is a sense of forward movement through the zodiac.  However, once the Sun or any other planet or point has moved into the next sign it resides fully in that sign and expresses fully the energies of that sign.  For example, Mars at the 27-29th degree of Aquarius will express the Aquarian attributes of detachment and fairness, but it will also begin to learn to surrender the Aquarian need to control and experience more of the Piscean trust and faith in divine wisdom.  In my experience this movement from the last degree of a sign into the next occurs with age and experience.

I see that many recent posts were calling this the New Moon in Aquarius/Pisces because of this cusp issue, and certainly the movement from Aquarius to Pisces was present as I wrote in my post.  However, the symbology of the 29th degree of Aquarius should not be lost as we blur the boundaries between the signs.  The 29th degree, sometimes called the “critical” or “anaretic” degree, is associated with the endings of cycles and new beginnings.  The word “anaretic” derives from “anareta,” which in medieval astrology signified the planet of death in the natal horoscope.  This is likely what has given the 29th degree such a bad rap in traditional astrology, although endings are actually the harbinger of new beginnings and not to be feared.

I love this symbology of the endings of the 29th degree combined with the New Moon.  There is a sense of sweeping away of the old and a fresh new beginning.  In any case there are now six planets and luminaries in the sign of Pisces, which makes this a time for creativity and spirituality and learning to find the flow, so in the end the Pisces influence is an important one after all.

Brilliant Aquarius New Moon February 18th

Aquarius new moonIf you know the artist who created this work please let me know!!  The Aquarius New Moon on the 18th takes place at the 29th degree of Aquarius just a few minutes before the Sun enters Pisces.

Aquarius is symbolized by the “water bearer,” but Aquarius has nothing to do with the watery realm of emotion.  Rather, it symbolizes the cleansing effect of water which purify and cleanse every aspect of human existence so that it can be illuminated and refreshed.

This is the second of two New Moons in Aquarius: the first one was at the first degree of Aquarius and this one is at the last degree. The New Moon is typically representative of a brand new beginning, but in this case we have a brand new beginning at the end of a sign which is also a completion of sorts. Aquarius lifts us above the day to day mundane reality of life on earth and gives us the perspective that comes from detachment and reason, free from emotion.

This lunation makes an inconjunct aspect to Mars in Pisces – a somewhat awkward and challenging aspect that provides tension with no possibility of resolution. Aquarius asks that we transcend the personal in order to serve humanity, but the inconjunct aspect to Mars makes that more difficult and could create inner tension for a few days.  Mars represents the aggressive force and is not happy in Pisces anyway, so the next few days could be somewhat difficult as we attempt to assert our will (Mars) but emotions (New Moon and the Pisces influence) get in the way.

The Sun enters Pisces immediately after the New Moon, and there is an energetic shift that will melt resistance and encourage flow and a more harmonious approach to life.  In the meantime, prepare to enter the bathing power of the Aquarius New Moon and be reborn into a new beginning!

The rise of militant atheism under Saturn in Sagittarius

militant atheismFrom an astrological perspective, religion is a shared belief system and symbolized by Jupiter and Sagittarius.  A belief system is a collection of ideas that help us to find meaning in our lives.  When we find a group that shares our belief system, this becomes a religion.  From an astrological viewpoint, religion is a collection of small “t” truths – a truth that we create for ourselves.

From this perspective, atheism is just as much a shared belief system as any of the other religions that give meaning to the lives of humans – and the attempt to impose an atheistic world view on other humans is just as dangerous as the attempt to impose any other world view.  The idea that militant atheists never killed anyone has just been shattered.

The town of Chapel Hill where I live was the scene of the execution-style murder of three Islamic students by a white neighbor who called himself an “anti-theist.”  His Facebook page is full of pro-gun statements and rantings against all religions, including Christianity.  It is still unclear whether the victims were targeted because they were Muslim.

Sagittarius is associated with religion and theology along with long distance travel, foreign languages and culture, media – the expansion of the human experience through ideas and experiences.  The passage of Pluto through Sagittarius between 1995 and 2008 oversaw the spread of globalization and the transformation (Pluto) of all kinds of media with the rise of the Internet.  This was also the period that marked the rise of religious (Sagittarius) extremism (Pluto) and militancy – violence BY religion.

Now that Saturn is in Sagittarius the Celestial Taskmaster is challenging our ideas of religion and foreign cultures, and with it the rise of militant atheism – violence directed AGAINST religion.  This idea of militant atheism first appeared in the early Soviet Communist Party which, following a Marxist doctrine that opposes religion as the “opiate of the people” oversaw the development of the League of Militant Atheists and Society of the Godless.   These groups were formalized in 1929 as Saturn was finishing its trip through Sagittarius, calling for the extermination of religion “at the tip of the bayonet.”

A resurgence of militant atheism in the Soviet Union under Nikita Kruschev occurred in the late 1950s when Saturn next traveled through Sagittarius.

Saturn will be in Sagittarius through 2017, and as tensions between belief systems continue to increase I expect this idea of militant atheism to become a louder voice.