by Boots Hart, CAP

Saturday, March 19, 2011

A Full March a Jupiter-Mercury Look Ahead

A Full Moon over Amman, Jordan

What to do, how to make one’s efforts count, how to move beyond the basic problems we know exist in life and which have plagued us – and maybe all of humanity – throughout time?

With Ixion having just gone retrograde showing up the shadowy underbelly of our minds and the world around us, it’s not the most frivolous and lighthearted of moments. What’s wrong and what needs doing are so apparent. We need to take on all those ‘things’ and no one is cheering us on.

Can’t life just be easy for a change?

Full Moons always being the ‘highlighting’ moment of the month, the good part is that the Full Moon does actually point out the thematic center to current doings. It may not be a happy note, but it is the overall central concept.

And that may be the best place to start, especially if you have the proverbial “bunch of stuff” going on – which a lot of us do!

Try to find the commonalty. What is the dotted line which connects your various points of (dis)pleasure? It may be one word, one issue….like money or getting a job or an illness or a relationship which has really hit the ‘this no fly’ zone. Then again, it may be something more nebulous, like feeling very iffy. Or feeling depressed. Or recognizing that nothing you are doing is going anywhere.

Any Moon in Virgo is always about how we feel about functionality and ‘how things work’ or the ‘state’ of life or our home or the state of our state, if maybe you’re of the political ilk! And yet, with this Full Moon occurring at 28 Virgo, by definition this isn’t about the ‘news’ coming to you. You’re in the position of reacting, not controlling the reaction.

With 28 Virgo also being the current position of Typhon and Nemesis, there’s also a big ‘I told you so!’ (or possibly ‘I’m warning you’!) quality to this whole event.

Mind you, this could be when your wished for, hoped for, longed for ship actually does comes in. But if it does, don’t expect it to show up without ancillary issues. You might be welcoming your sweetie home, but then there’s all that dirty laundry which needs sorting out. Or the fact they’ve been away so long there’s a whole settling in process which needs to be waded (and waited) through.

All that is emotional. The Moon reflects the Sun and so at the Full Moon we tend to react or reflect on the moment. Or in the moment, depending. With the Moon side of the Full Moon usually describing all the emotionalism of this moment, we tend to look to the solar (more concept-oriented) side for definitions and ‘what’s on the table.’ But with this Full Moon having the Moon in an earthy earth sign and the Moon in a watery emotional sign (Pisces) that may not be the case.
Then again, the matter OF how you deal with your emotions…that may well be the crux of current goings on.

This combination suggests (among other things) that being practical and pragmatic about what you do and choices du jour is pretty darn apt. With Virgo Being a mutable sign, you may need to change your tactics or course of action, and providing you do so for reality-oriented reasons (as opposed to emotionally evasive ones) though you may get a bit of flack in the moment that shouldn’t be a ‘points off’ issue in the long run.

Mutable signs support learning as you go and making course corrections and refinements to master plans, no matter what anybody says.

 A dhoni on the waters of the Maldives (2006)
photo credit Lankan Fushi (

And yes, they tend to say it. Virgos get called nit-picky for trying to get things right, Pisceans get called wishy-washy for not being emotional stoics, Sagittarians get called dreamers for their enjoyment of developing the idea and Geminis have heard a thousand times how they’re scattering their efforts and aren’t ever going to get anything done.

Mind you, there’s a little bit of sensibility to each of these finger-pointer-slogans. When Virgos nit pick instead of getting anything done, that’s a negative.

When Pisceans get nothing done or make emotions their excuse, that’s a negative. When Sagittarians want to eternally discuss and never do ‘for real’ that’s not a positive. And since Gemini is about making a choice and following it through, never focusing, never choosing, never making that concerted, long term effort is not the finest Gemini moment.

And let’s remember: we all have all of these traits in our charts. Sure, the person with a Gemini Sun or a Sagittarius Ascendant or Virgo Moon will deal with them as a focal point, but sign qualities are activated by planets moving through signs, or when planetary pictures (such as a Full Moon) come into formation, combining sign/planet attributes.

Or more on the scientific side of it, when planets in positions give us notice of time/space ‘disturbances’ plus attributes particular to any given celestial body are going to be generated so that like ripples, they can then roll towards Earth.

So having said, we get back to the Sun’s side of this particular picture by pointing out that Sun - (fixed star) Scheat – Black Moon Lilith all clumped together in Pisces is a sure sign of what society doesn’t see. Or what you don’t want to know about the Big World. Or what you may not have taken into account (because you didn’t want to) about said Big World. Or about what that world doesn’t want to see about what it does in any given arena because that would force said world to realize it was wrong. Or out of its mind for doing/not doing various things.

And just a thought here...Scheat - the star - is part of the constellation Pegasus. The mythic Pegasus is a descendant you remember who? Medusa!

Medusa - in case you haven't read much about She of the Thoroughly Frightening Countenance - Medusa is our fear of what we learn...or our fear of having to learn something we might not want to know. Medusa is all about our emotional desire not to have to face things.

Obviously that doesn't work so well for us human types - at least not on the mythic/metaphysical level!

(And yes, there's an ARTICLE on MEDUSA should you care to read more fascinating and hairy facts about her!) 

Meanwhile, Scheat is a star in the shoulder of flying horse Pegasus - a symbol of the power (ability) to escape by flying away, or the emotional 'taking flight' (as in 'fight or flight') depending on who you are and what the issue is.

Or maybe not! The famous example of Scheat-in-action being the Catholic Church's reaction to Galileo (of all people!) announcing that he had figured out the Earth revolved around the Sun, not vice-versa...for whatever reason the Church felt so threatened by Galileo's discovery that they had him put under house arrest and let it be known he was a bad, bad man.

So...what difference would it have made to the Church or Catholicism that Earth revolves around the Sun? The simple answer (of course!) is power. No Power-in-power likes being upstaged by some yahoo. (Can you imagine? Galileo...a yahoo!) But if you dig around for information of the time (which is pretty consistent through history) there is the point that when you're running some large group (a religion, a country...) the thing you want least of all is to have your thousands or millions of minions to panic over/about something.   

Putting that aside like a half-munched cookie, of course when we put this all together, our March Full Moon may be a mutual or group (or mass) rejection of effort. Or position. Maybe because the world is so hostile (or seems so hostile) we may not feel like it’s ‘worth’ trying something. Or we may be encountering rejection in action. Or be actively rejecting something because it just doesn’t fit our agenda.

With this Full Moon in square to the Lunar Nodes, it’s likely there’s a whole yes/no ping-pong quality to this day. North Node in Sagittarius says we should be trying anew or trying the new. But South Node in Gemini will tend to like the already known – or at least to not have to commit.

Of the four points central to this chit-chat (Sun, Moon, Nodes North and South) two are in signs ruled by Mercury (Moon and South Node) and two are in signs either ruled outright or ‘going in’ by Jupiter (Pisces and Sagittarius).

Didn’t we just talk about Jupiter and Mercury in conjunction? Ah yes – we did…on March 16th, as Ixion went into its station.

(Which yes, is still in effect.)

At this point, Jupiter is now at 12 Aries – a degree known for focus on one’s home or ‘home court’ point of view, sometimes to the point of rebelliousness.

Mercury is now at 16 Aries, a degree about the greater ‘nature of things’ and evolution of thought so as to become more in sync (harmony) with life around us.

Granting that Mercury moves along its orbit around the Sun far, far faster than Jupiter does (one Mercury obit takes a 87 days (some sources say 88); one Jupiter orbit takes over 11 years!)…what this amounts to is the fact that the distance between Mercury (thought) and Jupiter (knowledge) is increasing. 

Should we figure there is a parting of mental ways in the process? With Ixion having just gone retrograde, probably – and not because we’re all so lovely, cooperative and pliable!

But this is more curious than one might think… because Mercury is going to go retrograde at the end of the month, there’s going to be a second Jupiter-Mercury conjunction come April. On April 11th, to be exact. That one will take place at 17 Aries with Eurydike in conjunction and shape shifter Haumea in Libra opposition.

Seeing this will be Mercury in retrograde, that suggests things are being thought over. Contemplated. Discussed. Looked into. You may be doing something, yes - Jupiter is always about the expanding of our world, our understanding, our boundaries, our horizons.

But for those who are in the 'doing' mode here, it's not the 'final' step. It may be a step in a process...but it's not the goal, not the seal on the deal which ends this 'run' of effort.

You're just not done yet.

Oh…! And we should mention that Saturn will have been lurking in opposition all this time. So the whole issue is what we are willing to give in order to get…. 

….get what?

That’s probably the problem. Or maybe what we’ve got (or are getting from others) is not okay with us. That’s an inverse of the same sort of dynamic.

In the 1904 St. Louis Summer Olympics, the tug-of-war was
fought valiantly. Remind you of anything?
photo source: US Library of Congress Archives

With Eurydike being ‘the cost we pay’ in the moment and 17 Aries being about imagination and or wealth which is gained then lost through extravagance, one thing this entire cycle may be about on the world stage (never mind entirely different issues in your personal life) may be oil. More precisely, the cost of oil, the supply of oil and the viability of alternative energy. Health (health care, decent food/water) is another possible world venue for this Pisces-Aries-Virgo-Libra sort of combination.

To be understood here is that because we’re talking about signs which in a ‘natural zodiac’ surround the horizontal axis, we’re taking less about who we are as individuals (the vertical axis) than who we interact with and what we get from others (the horizontal axis).

It’s a somewhat different slant – but because it’s not intrinsically ‘us-oriented’ it does fit with the social, societal vibe symbolized by the Lunar Nodes. And with Ixion just having gone retrograde, it’s likely that part of what’s going on is the intrinsic tug between our desire to have things the way we want them to be personally (Ixion) and how life works on the bigger, grander scale.

So maybe another question is this: is my way really the best way? This doesn’t question what you might want…but does that work? Is it really a ‘workable’ (Virgo) position to take?  

If you’re really into this whole solar systemic orbital thing, knowing Mercury’s zippiness and that it conjuncted Jupiter once when direct and once when retrograde will pretty much automatically imply that there’s yet another Mercury/Jupiter conjunction to come even after the April 11th event. And you would be right – said third conjunction (third time’s a charm?) happens on May 11th with a planetary party being held at 24 Aries…

...and one other Object of Note at 22 Aries deserving of (dis)honorable mention.

The three planets which will be at 24 Aries will be  Mercury, Jupiter and Venus. The party at 22 Aries is (ahem!) Eris...which by Greek definition is a party crasher of the finest (or worst, depending) caliber.

24 Aries is a degree known as highly creative and maybe even ‘pro-creative’ in the sense that it promotes sexual interaction and has been associated with the rights of women (who obviously are very key in the procreation process!). So for individuals, this appears to be an opportunity to express an opinion, be heard or discover more about how you can become more effective.

The ‘Eris touch’ here (which let’s face it, sometimes feels like a club!) speaks to an ‘excitable energy’ which can be fractious, even destructive…or innovative and socially liberating, whether on a small or large scale.

That this cycle happens as events which so mirror its dynamics unfold in the Middle East, Africa and elsewhere is the proverbial ‘sign of the times’ and why we look to astrological patterns to decipher when things might be just right for us to ‘catch that wave’ and ride to success in whatever it is we’re doing.

Right now…as this post goes up, this is a touchy moment. In fact, it’s a touchy moment with a side of soured desires. But it’s also part of a process. We’re all up to our proverbial ‘high water mark’ with angst, discouragement, lack of control in our life and a general feeling that no matter what we do, something always gets in our way.

That would be part of what’s going on. And there is no one thing which is going to make things fine and ducky by tomorrow.

I got an email from a dear friend of mine out in Texas. She was feeling very discouraged and depressed. She was feeling like a really old person in not that old a body and all the struggling was getting her nowhere (or at least it felt like nowhere) and it all was getting pretty old.

Mind you, she’s about half my age. But I resisted going there, seeing as I was going through the same thing.

And that’s one of the good parts of being an astrologer – everybody writes you and calls you to bitch, moan and ask why. So even if you have a blanket answer they really don’t like (“sorry, that’s just what this moment is…”) it is pretty evident we’re all going through it.

As I put it to my friend, we’re all in the trenches – it’s a trenchish sort of time.

But if you accept that life…evolution…experiences all have some merit, maybe the question becomes what do we learn by being in the trenches? 

My suggestion to her was that maybe we’re all in the trenches so that in feeling so terribly and inordinately bogged down we’ll simply shed some stuff out of desperation.

When things are good, people are loath to cut anything out or let go of something they think they ‘might’ need. But when things get down and out, people pare back. They let go of non-necessities in favor of what they really need and value.

Back in 2008, Pluto moved into Capricorn. Yours truly began writing about paring back and cutting down and in general, getting over our Pluto in Sagittarius addiction to ‘having it all.’ That’s a great idea and while Pluto was in Sagittarius, the idea was the thing. But now that Pluto is in Capricorn, reality is the thing. And the reality is that we’ve all dug ourselves some pretty big holes, whether by putting things on credit, letting social and national leaders get away with bad behavior or maybe just taking it easy on ourselves, expecting life to be ‘good’ if we just willed it to be.

Don’t get me started on that one, okay? When was it we forgot that reality is just fine as long as you are okay with reality? Optimism is a motivation, not a goal.

And I’M the Pisces? Sheesh! (Okay…so I have a Scorpio Saturn/Moon. But really…!)

Anyway…maybe the difficulties of things are meant to get us to be more realistic. Pluto’s movement through signs marks the generations and defines the emotional subsets of our ages. We pay attention to this Dwarf Planet…why? Because it registers emotional outcomes – and humans are nothing if not emotional creatures!

If we look at history, those who keep trying, who keep at it, who keep building through the hard times are generally in the right place when again the good times roll around.

And they will. But will you be ready? Will your life be sufficiently functional (Moon in Virgo) to be able to take advantage of whatever opportunity comes along?

For some of us, this is likely to be a day or two (or three) of realizations. For others, it’s just going to be something to get through and hopefully forget about.

This Full Moon is a moment of its own…and also a stumbling start to a long(ish) cycle which will take us on into and through May. And once we’re there, we’re all set for two 2011 mid-year Solar Eclipses.

Or maybe not so ready – that depends!

One other thing this Full Moon also images: the final moment of a highly emotional quarter dating back to last December. Tomorrow – March 20 – brings the Sun’s Aries ingress.

We finish…we start…we stub our toe and hopefully through that, learn a wee bit better. It’s a process – the human process. Annoying? Yes. The child in us wants everything to be magical and easy.

But if it was, we’d be bored. Face it…we’re all doomed to grow and strive and in time, be and become better people.

Oh yes! There is one more hint as to how to handle this moment. Just before the Full Moon comes into all its reflective fullness, Amor enters Taurus.

Amor is an 'inner circle' asteroid. At its farthest, Amor orbits at 2.754 AU - a bit past it on the near side of the asteroid belt. But from there, Amor cycles inward, crossing the orbit of Mars into the 'personal' zone as we consider our solar system metaphysically.

There are two asteroids named for Cupid - Amor is one of them, and Eros is the other. Of the two, Eros seems to be the 'passion part' of Eros (i.e., eroticism) where Amor functions in the chart on more of a platonic basis, making it more about the love of friends and family (or possibly chocolate - though some would argue that's a passion!).

Amor and his bow - a Roman copy of a Greek statue by Lysippos
photo credit: Ricardo Andre Frantz (2006) 

Thinking of this another way, Eros is more about desire where Amor is more about loyalty and fealty.

So as Amor enters Taurus, we may well find advantages by turning to our friends or family. Or by approaching matters more openly, calmly...with the Taurus 'taste' for long term benefits which provide comfort. This may be physical and this may be monetary - but it's more likely to be personal.

Amor will be in Taurus for yet a while, and it's a nice combination. As it moves out of Aries we well may see people being so insistent that others must, must, MUST agree with them and more willingness to discuss, negotiate and see if some common ground can be found and thereafter built on.

What we build is, of course, up to us. But maybe this will help us build something which works for all, not merely for those who think as we do. Whether we like it or not, that's really the way forward into the years ahead.

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