by Boots Hart, CAP

Saturday, February 27, 2016

March 2016: Gains in Perspective

Mixed Cloud Formations (photo credit: Nicholas A Tonelli, May 2008)
With twenty-two out of thirty-one days in March playing ‘host’ to astrological events big and small, March 2016 is bound to be a busy month – metaphysically, at least. Moreover, as we’re starting the month with Sun, Jupiter, Saturn and Neptune in mutable signs, Mercury, Venus and Mars in fixed signs and two planets – Uranus and Pluto - both in cardinal signs and in square to one other, each of us is coming to this time wondering about where we are ‘going’ in life and whether things are going to work out (or work out well) even as forces beyond understanding and control are in some way ‘pushing’ us to change and bring change to our perceptions of ‘how things work’ in life as a global and universal whole.

A section of the Taurus Molecular Cloud shows a filament of cosmic dust more than ten light years long
(photo credit: ESO, APEX-MPIR,OSO/A Hacar, February 2012)
Are we happy about it? Yes and no. We know things need to change, and at this point – with the 18 Pisces Solar Eclipse now just days away and set to occur early in the morning of March 9th (UT/+0 time) – most of us do recognize and are at least mentally grappling with how some part of whatever is ‘wrong’ (or not working well) keeps leading back to us and some perspective we do (or) haven’t yet accepted the truth (or lack of truth) about on a purely individual level.

Whatever it is we emotionally ‘don’t want to know, see or acknowledge’ may be a matter of vast or even global importance. (And that ‘global’ concept may refer to the whole of our ‘world’ or the actual totality of the world and planet we live on.) But then again … it may – in reality and the longest of long runs - be rather entirely trivial, though we may not be hinky-dinky with thinking about it in such a manner. Things of this moment can be good – or point to good which can be achieved if we ‘let go’ of seeing things from a given perspective.

Then again, things may be rough or tough, and getting tougher.

In some cases, we will have over-dedicated ourselves to being servile, humble, supportive or a ‘background player’ … while in others, we will have thought too much of (or about) our Self, our importance, abilities or potential – Pisces tends to bring out issues of ego and our egotistical positions in order that we can ‘eclipse’ them. Whatever … or wherever we fail to see, or where we resist understanding the emotional underpinnings of life, that’s where Pisces – and thus the incoming eclipse – will work its ‘magic’ by pulling away whatever veils have clouded our view, causing us to not see where the motivation are really coming from.

If you missed last month’s post, that’s where the astrological dissection of the March solar eclipse and its chart begins. So in case you missed out, here’s the link – look about half way through for the astro-analysis of the eclipse chart.
That said, there are aspects of the solar eclipse which we haven’t yet discussed – and that’s not just a fact, it’s a pun! (A bad pun.)

How so? That would be because during this month of March 2016, that very same Jupiter which is so intrinsically woven into the solar eclipse’s dynamics are also likely to play the part of Ye Olde Planetary Timer for discoveries and moments of import through the weeks ahead.

Allow me to explain…
The first astrological event in March is that involving transiting Jupiter inconjuncting transiting Uranus at 11:48 in the loveliness of the morning (UT/+0) on the 1st, which means, apart from anything else which may be happening, the forces of ‘enlarging’ (Jupiter) and ‘breaking through’ (Uranus) will be set against each other in such a way that either the situation itself ‘adjusts’ – or we end up having to adjust to whatever arises at this time. Some part of this is very Uranus-in-Aries and therefore personal, where the other has something to do with the dynamic of, or operating within some group or process which isn’t simply entirely about us. This may be something simple – like planning to do something early on in the day in order to avoid the crowds, only to get there and find out everyone else had the same plan.

So we adjust.

Then again, it’s also to bear in mind how this ‘mundane transit’ (which may or may not feel mundane) will – like all astrological energies – operate at many different levels. So perhaps this will be when we (Uranus) discover how something we had been (Jupiter) thinking (or even counting on) to work out, simply doesn’t – work, that is. This can merely be about having to change your method. Then again, this sort of Aries-Virgo inconjunct may well speak to situations requiring thoughtful analysis and/or a new or different approach – whether we want to tackle that or not.

Plus there is the astro-fact that both Uranus and Jupiter are involved-by-aspect in the March 9th solar eclipse. So, considering how this particular eclipse at 18 Pisces represents a higher-than-normal probability of encountering things which through the very essence of their uncomfortable nature promote an inner awareness with regards to vulnerabilities (past, present or future) we hadn’t wanted to face … does that mean that March is starting off with one of the solar eclipse’s ‘trigger points’?

It could well be – at least for (a.) those of us with charts which are being aspected by the eclipse itself or, (b.) those who are experiencing some entirely individual astrological event on the date (March 1st) of this event.

If so, expect higher highs, lower lows and a few unpredictable curlicues. Jupiter in Virgo can represent the very best of our ability to be organized and work with others at the same time that it ‘makes demands’ and sets, or defines standards which aren’t always workable for, or even acceptable to others. This sets up a dynamic which can feel or operate like a conflict, though in most cases there is – as they say – “enough blame to go around,” whether that’s actual blame (or the being at fault) in the case of something which has gone askew, wrong or simply off the rails …or whether things are running afoul of one or both sides in some situation wanting to ‘take a stand’ in order to avoid feeling vulnerable even as our conscience (or sub-conscious) begins niggling at us with concerns.

So no sooner does March being but things go a bit ‘sideways,’ as they say, whether that’s being generated by physical, emotional, financial, political or any other concern.

And given that, it may not be surprising that as of March 2nd, asteroid Juno will be go retrograde at 15 Scorpio at 1:39 in the morning UT/+0 time, which is obviously still March 1st for those in the Americas. Juno’s station on the 2nd says its ‘station allowance’ would have started on the last day of February and extend through March 4th.

But that’s not the point. Known for its qualities of ‘management,’ ‘managing,’ ‘managing to’ and acting in a ‘managerial’ capacity, Juno can (and often does) represent an overt and real-time act – Superman stopping a speeding locomotive leaps to mind here. (i.e., Superman ‘manages’ the train.)

So here the question: is it our efforts to control things which now throws them out of balance? Is that what we’re discovering – and yes, maybe making some move to change, correct or ‘manage’?

Then again, in thinking of someone whose natal chart includes a stationary Juno in Aries, for them Juno represents their highly developed ability to master and ‘manage’ their will, their impulses and reactions – all of which are on the Aries top 10 hit list. Through learning how that managing of that will and all the ways said will could manifest (actions, speech, feelings, etc.) this person achieves their chosen aim.

The Peacock Complaining to Juno by R F Jehanne (oil on panel, 1913)
That’s our Juno. Sometimes we end up stubbing our toe or walking nose-first into a wall in the process of learning our metaphysical Juno lessons (we all have our moments.), but eventually we learn to ‘manage’ our own time, abilities and other so as to achieve our goals. Wherever we see Juno in the chart, we are seeing what we will try to manage … or the mode of managing when it comes to Juno, with the question of how successful we are (or will be) being somewhat separate. So with a Juno in Pisces, we might expect to see a ‘managing of one’s feelings’ or managing to get to the place where we feel for something or someone in some way we’ve never known. With a Juno in Gemini, we could see someone who manages information – or how much they expose themselves to because they know their personal limits.

In Scorpio, Juno becomes a managing of expectations and desires, a managing of situations with (in all likelihood) a tendency to think things are about ‘them’ when whether or not it is about ‘them’ to whatever degree, OUR success comes through understanding OUR position and moving to ‘manage’ that while maintaining working (and hopefully workable) connections to others.

Will this be easy? Probably not … hardly anything Scorpio ever is. (Let’s be honest.) And when we think of what’s happening – namely how Juno is coming up to 15 Scorpio then stationing and turning around and retrograding back, this speaks to some effort to ‘ready’ or ‘push’ something ahead which either ‘takes off’ of its own accord (or) which ends up not going forward.

At least not now. And since what lies beyond 15 Scorpio as a cross-quarter point represents some sort of ‘diving into’ some interactive … and perhaps highly interactive … situation, there may be any number of reasons good AND bad which cause things to ‘turn around.’

Maybe it’s time to take a breather. Maybe it’s time to take a hike.

And maybe … just maybe … seeing as Juno is going station-retrograde in a fancy-dancy trine to the 18 Pisces solar eclipse, maybe this station – at least in part – is going to time a change or shift in how we see our Self so that we will stop trying to control others and our environment in favor of learning why we are/have been so uncomfortable to begin with.

Being human … so annoying!

As of the last day of Juno’s ‘station allowance,’ Maximov enters Taurus, which to Juno’s expression of ‘managing’ brings a quality of ‘maximum’ or ‘maximal’ influence. Applied to Taurus, this brings up ideas of satisfaction, feelings of security and the desire to have things work in a manner we’re more or less comfortable with.

Does this mean our Juno ‘managing’ of something will produce something of ‘maximal’ (Maximov) satisfaction? It could, though with Maximov remaining in Taurus until May 3rd there’s no reason to think this overlapping of Juno-Maximov energetics could not as easily manifest as eight weeks during which encounters either support, test or undermine our personal feelings OF security or satisfaction … or our feelings ABOUT security and the drive or need for satisfaction (be that our satisfaction/security or someone else’s).

March 4th being the last day of Mercury in Aquarius, things ‘systemic,’ mechanical and societal – the ‘fabric’ (more or less) of what we are living with, working with and trying to affect is likely to be of immediate concern, and with Mars (in Scorpio) having recently entered the shadow of its upcoming April-May-June retrograde, outbursts – whether of happiness, frustration or anything else – may reveal things we need to know, but haven’t yet considered.

And then Mercury enters Pisces. As it enters Pisces at 9:43 in the morning (UT/+0) on March 5th, feelings will change, considerations will change, priorities will shift and much will begin shifting – perhaps in the world, but more to the point, within us as we begin (Mercury) thinking of things from different perspectives.

Mercury in Pisces (glyph chart)
March 5, 2016 - 10:23 a.m. (UT/+0) - Aries Wheel (Location Not Specific)
Mercury in Pisces (text chart)
March 5, 2016 - 10:23 a.m. (UT/+0) - Aries Wheel (Location Not Specific)
Being that Mars is at 29 degrees of Scorpio as Mercury makes its shift, there are bound to be things of importance (or at least which feel important) stirring things up – including our tendency to respond to people and situations now coming to a head, or to some point where some form of a ‘next step’ needs to be taken in order to see what will or won’t work or ‘which path’ we want to travel.

It’s just that all is not simple. 29 Scorpio being the current position of fixed star Toliman (which some may know by the name Bungula) it is to be expected that as March conjuncts Toliman we will all experience, witness or hear about situations which whether joyous, strenuous, disappointing or challenging call for some form of ‘immediate’ sensitivity so as not to upset some sort of apple cart. And though Mars in Scorpio equally represents the capacity for sledgehammer bluntness and balletic deftness, there is a bit (okay, more than a bit…) of additional challenge being pictured here simply because Mars at 29 Scorpio is Mars sitting in a very-not-mundane-feeling mundane transiting square to Mercury as it’s entering Pisces.

So not only does Mercury in Pisces bring with it the usual ‘softening of resolutions’ and possibilities for anything from inspiration, insightful wisdom and heart-warming compassion to the ‘sloppy thinking,’ ego defeats and utter confusion associated with this planet and sign combination, but with all of this being exacerbated by the square from Mars and the incoming eclipse, there’s likely to be a whole lot of indecision going on.

(Yes, even if you’re Elvis.)

Beyond that, Mars-Mercury squares also have a reputation for difficulties with regards to communication. So don’t be surprised if some disagreement, misunderstanding or missed or mixed message worms its way into the works about now. This being a combination also associated with accidents, injuries and issues of timing, especially with overhanging eclipse effects such things may take place … OR … perhaps we will be coming to recognize, confront or deal with the consequences of past events.

As of 2:30 in the morning (UT/+0 time) on March 6th Mars enters Sagittarius. After (and as) this happens, various issues, thoughts and dynamics which have been intense of late – along with feelings of ‘need’ many of us have been dabbling with and feeling in spite of all since early January fade away, leaving us feeling more willing to live, learn and experiment than we may well have been for a while.

Mars in Sagittarius (glyph chart)
March 6, 2016 - 2:30 a.m. (UT/+0) - Aries Wheel (Location Not Specific)
Mars in Sagittarius (glyph chart)
March 6, 2016 - 2:30 a.m. (UT/+0) - Aries Wheel (Location Not Specific)
Where Mars in Scorpio promotes focusing on one thing (or a small number of things) with concentration and often to the exclusion of much else, Mars in Sagittarius motivates us to range far and wide, spreading our wings instead of knuckling down. This can lead to overstepping our abilities – or some sort of boundary or limit. Being that we have all been so focused (even over-focused), particularly with Mercury in Pisces, paying attention to details – particularly as we take up new activities – is important, whether we’re trying to avoid missteps and mishaps or looking to maximize our effort or the use of resources, especially limited resources.

Then again, as between a Mars in Sagittarius which promotes taking on new goals, tasks and challenges and a Mercury in Pisces tendency to ‘blur lines’ and go with feelings of the moment (as opposed to hard judgment) this may be a time when we throw caution to the wind.

And who knows – doing just that may be exactly what’s necessary.

Much here depends on our native inclinations: are we normally the ‘throw caution to the wind’ type? Or are we the ‘I’d like a guarantee before I start’ sort of person? Solar eclipses (like the one coming up in three days) do tend to manifest as situations which ‘turn the tables’ and reverse our directions through eliminating our ability to ignore or deny things, particularly if they aspect our chart with any degree of exactness. So whatever this solar eclipse is going to mean to you personally – that’s going to be in play by now, whether it’s at the top of your list and whether you understand why (or how) a change of inclination, motivation, perspective or methodology could benefit you in the long run.

This eclipse occurring at 18 Pisces means it’s emotionally based – so it will be natural to be in some sort of emotional struggle with the ‘yea’s and ‘nay’s of life, particularly as that pertains to how we each feel about our Self and what we tend to do (or not do) because we feel as we do. And with this eclipse’s degree having a specific tendency to reveal where we are headed in a ‘wrong direction’ because of some internal conflict between our material and spiritual beliefs, to have that set off by Mercury entering Pisces as it’s also in square to Mars suggests the emerging of ‘truths,’ whether to our disappointment or delight.

Bali’s entering Aries on the 7th (one day after Mars gets into Sagittarius) will lend a stabilizing force for some – while for others it will represent the ‘returning’ to a feeling of being in sync or more comfortable with what needs doing in the moment or short term, however that occurs. With Vesta also moving from Aries into Taurus just a day later (at 00:52 in the morning, UT/+0 time on March 8th) this means Bali’s Aries ingress will take place with Vesta at 29 Aries, emphasizing personal experiences and the good which can come from knowing what it takes (or “costs”) to achieve one’s aims – or the good, the comfort, the reassurance (mental, physical or otherwise) which may come from interacting or dealing with people who understand that (Vesta) cost, whether there’s any ‘having to pay up’ involved at the moment or not.

The first photograph of a solar eclipse ever was taken on July 28, 1851 at the Royal
Observatory in Konigsburg, Prussia by Berkowski using a daguerrotype process
As the Solar Eclipse at 18 Pisces occurs at 1:56 in the morning (UT/+0 time), the eclipse Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia experiences on the 9th is going to be experienced on the 8th in the Americas. That aside, this eclipse – like all Pisces transits – is something which is often difficult to fully understand in the moment. We’ve all had moments of realization when we suddenly realize what something which has already happened means to us, whether it’s something which happened yesterday or fifty years ago –this is part of the Pisces process. Faith, regret, inspiration, disappointment – they are all to be expected as part of matters which are growing ever more obvious and evidently unavoidable, even if we may not think we know what to do about anything – or that anything needs to be done.

Moreover, apart from everything already discussed with regards to this eclipse (as part of last month’s post so we all had time to get prepared!) … there’s an interesting note being ‘donated’ to this case and cause by the fact that asteroid Icarus will also be joining the Pisces parade as of March 11th, a fact which means its ‘station allowance’ begins as the solar eclipse is moving through.

Solar Eclipse at 18 Pisces (glyph chart)
March 9, 2016 - 1:56 a.m. (UT/+0) - Aries Wheel (Location Not Specific)
Solar Eclipse at 18 Pisces (glyph chart)
March 9, 2016 - 1:56 a.m. (UT/+0) - Aries Wheel (Location Not Specific)
Why care about Icarus at the moment of an eclipse?

That answer comes from the original Icarus story. Son of famed builder Daedalus, Icarus grew up as a prisoner of fate. Having designed the labyrinth in which Minos (the King of Crete) kept the Minotaur (a monster with the body of a man and the head of a bull) imprisoned, Daedalus knew the labyrinth’s secret and was therefore not allowed to leave.

But of course, he wanted his freedom – and for his son to have a life. So what Daedalus came up with was the idea of wings, wax wings covered with feathers that he and his son could use to fly away to freedom.

Icarus and Daedalus by Lord Frederick Leighton (c.1869, oil on canvas)
And all might have gone well enough except for one thing – Icarus was a headstrong and hasty young man disinclined to listen to instructions and warnings. And given this all-too-common tendency, Icarus didn’t wait and didn’t heed those warnings once the wings went on. Taking off, he soared higher than he should, getting so close to the Sun that the wax wings began to melt, destroying them and Icarus too as the young man went plummeting to his death in the cold, cold ocean so far below.

At first blush, the story of Icarus sounds a good deal like that of Phaethon, the headstrong teen who, whether the son of Helios (the sun god) or god Apollo (god of light, truth, enlightenment, medicine and music) was a demi-god who, when he won a favor from Apollo, chose as that favor a chance to drive the Chariot of the Sun, an act which was pretty much tantamount to Phaethon claiming he, as a young demi-god, understood how to run the universe.

This being a claim pretty much guaranteed not to go down well in mythic circles, predictably Phaethon soon paid for his headstrong arrogance - and like Icarus, he paid with his life. But the stakes described in these two stories are very different. Phaethon was a demi-god challenging the powers of immortality (and Mount Olympus) where Icarus was a standard mortal male who simply didn’t listen. So with Icarus is at the end of Aquarius as the eclipse occurs, moving into Pisces two days later this is a suggestion that something social/societal which is directly about our everyday mortal life (as opposed to “acts of God”) is going to ‘take a fall’ or fall prey to unheeded warnings in fairly short order.

Mind you, this doesn’t necessarily mean anyone is going to die. On an astrological basis, asteroids generally represent matters we ‘meet up with’ on a regular basis throughout life. They’re part of our learning new things as we go along. What this does mean is that some idea which may not have been properly thought through will soon fail or fall by the wayside, with this solar eclipse period representing something of a ‘turning point’ which creates the situational dynamics leading to that eventuality.

As for the eclipse itself and who it is going to affect, below is a list of aspected degrees. Metaphysically, every solar eclipse affects everyone and everything, but if in your natal chart any planet, dwarf planet, lunar node or axis point falls within the scope of these degrees (below), this eclipse has your name all over it:

13 Pisces–23 Pisces
13 Virgo–23 Virgo
13 Gemini–23 Gemini (and/or)13 Sagittarius–23 Sagittarius
13 Cancer–23 Cancer (and/or) 13 Scorpio-23 Scorpio
15 Taurus-21 Taurus (and/or) 15 Capricorn-21 Capricorn
16 Leo-20 Leo (and/or) 16 Libra-20 Libra
16 Aquarius-20 Aquarius (and/or) 16 Aries-20 Aries
As for more specifics on degrees and planetary pictures which are part of this eclipse, for that I will refer you to last month’s post, which to make things easy can be linked to HERE.

(And again, the eclipse information begins about half way through the post.)
Beyond that already said in last month's post, the eclipse occurring at 18 Pisces with Chiron and the South Node just ahead (at 20 and 21 Pisces, respectively) suggests that as we move ahead, the dynamic associated with whatever has been ‘facing us down’ or somehow resistant to our efforts changes. Why does it change? That is going to vary depending on where the eclipse and its modifiers (aspecting objects) fall in your personal chart. But if Chiron represents that we do not yet know which we can only learn through experiences which test our tolerance of the unknown and the South Node refers to ‘a relationship’ (whether our relationship with someone, some project or the world), then to have the eclipse hit just shy of these two points implies some form of substantial change in our forward progress.

For some, this eclipse will thus indicate a change of direction or aim. For others, barriers will be eliminated by forces beyond our personal control, whether that’s through human means or not. As this occurs, either directly (as part of an experience) or through some sort of realization on our part (internally and privately) the eclipse will bring about circumstances which make the difference between materialism and spiritualism obvious … at the same time that we come to understand why they exist on the same mortal plane, making each equally important to us as individual beings.

And this doubling up (or doubling down, depending on your orientation) on adding to the Pisces trend and quotient isn’t yet done. Just as Icarus did, Venus will be exiting Aquarius and entering Pisces pretty much as soon as the eclipse passes us by – specifically on Saturday, March 12th at 10:25 in the morning.

Venus in Pisces (glyph chart)
March 12, 2015 - 10:25 a.m. (UT/+0) - Aries Wheel (Location Not Specific) 
Venus in Pisces (text chart)
March 12, 2015 - 10:25 a.m. (UT/+0) - Aries Wheel (Location Not Specific) 
Generally a fortuitous (or at least reasonably gracious) sign/planet combination, Venus in Pisces is Venus in a position of ‘exultation’ – meaning its tendencies operate fairly naturally and generally without inhibition. So for some, this means romance … while for others, Venus in Pisces brings out their creativity. Or some desire to take a step back from things in order to re-center and recharge. Venus in Pisces can also represent a time of self-indulgence or utter selflessness, depending on how much we believe in helping others or how well we handle ideas like deferred gratification. Above all, Pisces teaches us where, when and how ego – though necessary in survival terms – can be an utter and complete detriment, preventing us from achieving whatever it is which would grant us peace and a universal acceptance of others at the same time that we are accepted in kind.

What else do we know about this? Well, with the eclipse having just occurred in a.) an even degree which is, b.) between 10 and 19 degrees (of Pisces, obviously) this eclipse will have hit us all in some area of life which for us is emotional or emotion-provoking. We also know that at some level, this eclipse is ‘exploding’ or doing whatever is necessary to show us more about life and about our Self as part of that life, specifically in terms of how we respond to something (or maybe even things in general).

And why would we care about that when discussing Venus?

Simple: because Venus is all about responses – it represents the metaphysical energetic behind the ‘effect’ in “cause-and-effect.” So when we do something, we anticipate a (Venus) response – and at the moment, that response may simply not happen … come with an additional ‘cost’ or requirement (i.e., another “hurdle” which must be jumped) … or maybe that response will be different from what was expected, or far more (or far less) desirable than we thought it would be.

Part of this is about the overarching (and overhanging) eclipse and all the push-pull which is all around us – that we have to live with, cope with, make something out of and learn from. Then again, as Venus is entering Pisces in square to Mars in Sagittarius, part of this particular moment’s coloration has to do with desire versus capacity or ability – and quite possibly some issues with timing, motivation or priorities.

This date is one I am mentioning in passing, only because the object which is going direct in this moment (and thus which would have a ‘station allowance’ which begins on March 11th and which extends through March 15th) is an asteroid named Paris, one of a list of objects I’ve been watching (studying) as part of my Adventures in Political Astrology - which if you like politics, is really very interesting. (And yes, telling.)

But to our point… I picked Paris out of the lists because of its association with the city of the same name. Yet despite this, in watching Paris over the months its astrological meaning seems to go straight back to the story of Paris of Trojan war fame, a story which on the mortal side is very much about Paris’ desires for the beautiful Helen (even though she was already married) and which on the immortal and mythic is about Prince Paris’ choice between wisdom (Pallas Athena), nurturance and support (Juno) and pure beauty and allure (Aphrodite/Venus) … and how the really ‘shocking’ news is not that trials come upon us for no good reason, but how they happen because of our tendency as humans to choose the prioritization of not just pleasure and “reward”, but that which rewards us individually as opposed to that which is good for everyone including us.

As with most things Greek mythic, there’s more to this story than just the above – Paris’ little confrontation with three goddesses (and his realistic ability to prioritize) is part of the story of Eris (discord).
Asteroid Paris appears to carry much of this theme – that of the ‘pretty’ and pleasure (as a general concept), plus a tendency to think in terms of individual or personal pleasure rather than that which may be beneficial all around. Where aims and instincts are ego-driven (involving something we want for ourselves) that would seem to be a problem, especially as, having been in retrograde for the past several months, Paris is now going direct at 12 Cancer, a degree associated with being overly dedicated to one thing (perhaps our Self) solely in the hope of avoiding or escaping something about our Self or life’s realities which whether we like it or not, we need to acknowledge and deal with responsibly. Where we have ‘run afoul’ of some tendency to be short-sighted or too personally (even perhaps selfishly) situations will point to … and maybe require that we come to grips with something about where in life where we (or others) either feel no appreciation for a process – or where we are so focused as to be unable to appreciate the richness of some particular life experience.

Paris by Anthonis van Dyck (c 1628)
To the extent that the ‘me’ side of things are (or have been) emphasized, Paris’ turn to direct so soon after the eclipse and in at a moment when reward=mechanism Venus is entering Pisces may well speak to a realization – a ‘dawning of some light’ which causes us to see what we have been missing, and to change accordingly.

The idea of ‘learning better’ applies here – and where it does, there is likely to be a conscious recognition of how things could be improved … and why they haven’t worked (at least not as well as we would like them to) prior to now.

As of March 16th, we can expect some change. For many, whatever is going on around them (or in the world) will change of its accord and we will change of our accord and those factors may or may not be connected.

But the ‘change’ part? Given that March 16th is the date of another of Jupiter’s global (mundane) transits with this particular transit being Jupiter in Virgo trining transformative Pluto in Capricorn, change is certainly in the works, whether we are now seeing something which needs changing, coming up with an answer as to how something is going to be changed, or coming to feel differently about things – which will lead to a ‘change of tune,’ priority or  investment of time, energy, support, interest or anything else.

As asteroid Apollo is entering Capricorn also on this date, whatever we are ‘moving forward’ with needs to have some structural integrity and nothing airy-fairy is likely to do. Maybe we were content to work on spec or with a theory up until now, but the (Apollo) truth of the matter is going to be told now in ‘concrete’ (Capricorn) terms whether we’re dealing with a contract, a commitment, some form of ‘getting down to business’ … or the real life, real time consequences of days past which now have to be reckoned with.

Named for one of the three graces or ‘charities’ of old, in combination with other points, asteroid Euphrosyne lends a positive, generally “happy” quality which flexes somewhat with the application. For instance, in conjunction with Mars, Euphrosyne may speak of doing something which you enjoy doing – or that you’re good at, where if found with Uranus may speak to liking surprises, quirky stories (or people) and situations which perhaps much to our delight aren’t nearly as awful as we might have anticipated… and with Venus may bring the best of times, or bring out the best in us whether for purposes altruistic or otherwise, depending on the situation

By the time Euphrosyne enters Pisces (which it will do on March 19th) Venus will already be at 8 Pisces and about to conjunct transiting Neptune (which it will do on March 20th). That aside, for the balance of March our Euphrosyne ‘happy factor’ is going to be playing do-si-do with a few less-than-pleasant qualities (symbolized by Nessus, which is also in early Pisces) with both points coming into conjunction specifically at 4 Pisces – the current astrological address of Royal Star Fomalhaut – on March 30th.

Why jump ahead (date-wise) to point this out? Well, considering how solar eclipses do tend to bring the ‘ick’ and everything else we don’t like (most often about ourselves) out of the woodwork, the fact that Euphrosyne, Nessus (which is already in Pisces as Euphrosyne shows up) and Fomalhaut are all going to be ‘closing some gap’ for the last half of March suggests a time when there well may be a lot of mincing and dicing about, particularly where we are involved (or have ‘bet’ on) something or someone or some situation or relationship which we have some sneaking suspicion isn’t as ‘on the up-and-up’ as we would like to think it is. With Fomalhaut in the mix, anything which corrupts or is corrupted by its very nature is not likely to pan out – and indeed, particularly given the eclipse – is likely to trip us up.

A statue of Euphrosyne, one of the 'three graces,' at Achilleion Palace in Corfu, Greece
(photo credit: Mr Pany Goff, May 2014)
And given the nature of Pisces, though we may wonder if something is going to go wrong, if there is going to be a problem, like as not the inevitability of the situation will not register until it’s too late to avoid some harsh or hard reality. It doesn’t have to be anything enormous – those who run afoul of Fomalhaut’s royal star ‘rules’ may just end up having to deal with something they don’t like or don’t want to have to go through (even if things eventually turn out for the best).

Most of us will sail through this time with nary a hitch to our strike or a pause in our whistle. And of course there will be those for whom this entire Euphrosyne-Fomalhaut affair will be the proverbial ‘walk in the park’ or a lighthearted time.

Wherever we are with our Self and others, Euphrosyne moving into Pisces will also like as not mark an upturn in emotionalism – or at least the pace at which emotional (or emotion-provoking) things come onto our radar, as there’s a Libra lunar eclipse on March 23rd, and the days just prior to a lunar eclipse tend to ‘stir’ things up, even though Lunar Eclipses have a long-standing reputation for relatively confined effects which occur close to the time of the actual event.

Does this mean we are ‘opting’ to treat things as though we are happy? Does it mean we are coming to some understanding as to what makes us happy – and how something about how that works is (or isn’t) helping us achieve overall aims like we might hope it would?

Are we torn between (Solar Eclipse) preference and however we see (Jupiter) functionality, responsibility or morality?

Before that all happens, the Sun enters Aries on March 20th at 4:31 in the morning (UT/+0 time).

The Sun’s Aries annual ingress is a shift many of us feel – or at least instinctively understand. After all, the sign it is leaving – Pisces – is the culmination of a entirety of the zodiac’s ‘process’ which has taken us from initiation, motivation and not just being relatively naïve, but a state where we are able to see things from a fresh, uncluttered, relatively “naïve” perspective which focuses on who we are and what we have the capacity to be (Aries) to that Piscean place where we understand others because we have come to appreciate all we have in common with others, and indeed with every form of life in that we all face the same fears, longings and questions of faith, be that the simple ability to have faith in your own ability or worth to that faith which allows us to lay all notions of intrinsic Self aside in trusting life, other people and the universe which we not just part of, but contiguous with.

Think of it as a rubber band … every time the Sun completes another cycle, the process and required efforts which have ‘stretched’ us (theoretically as far as we are able to go at whatever point we are at in our life) … that process ‘snaps’ back to the Aries place where everything started. As it does, we are each jolted out of Pisces communal mode and back into self-awareness – which is a change we tend to notice.

Are we the same as we were when we started out a year ago? No. Just like the brand new rubber band returns to shape after being stretched, we too are a tiny bit more stretched than we were to begin with – and that represents our year’s worth of growth.

Sun in Aries (glyph chart)
March 20, 2016 - 4:31 a.m. (UT/+0) - Aries Wheel (Location Not Specific)
Sun in Aries (text chart)
March 20, 2016 - 4:31 a.m. (UT/+0) - Aries Wheel (Location Not Specific)
So with that growth and all it has led us to be and become involved with, we ‘start’ off yet again, pursuing life with a renewed (Aries) sense of willingness to experience something new about life – which is to say, our life, who we may yet become and what we may discover about our Self along the way.

Known as the sign of “I Am,” Sun in Aries is a time well known for initiations, our ability to be or become motivated and the sort of short term, ‘explosive’ energy we associate with sprinters. Focus runs high, but unless something specific about what we are doing holds our attention, that may wander. As the first of the zodiac’s fire signs, Aries brings out situations which challenge us to grow much as a baby is challenged to learn by everything about its environment. And as in the life of that baby, Sun in Aries often brings about whatever we have no past experience to draw or fall back on specifically so we will either be inspired or find it necessary to do a little growing, a little exerting, a little testing of our own ‘stuff’ against what the world may yet hold.

How we deal with these promptings is (obviously) up to us – and with this particular ingress occurring with the Sun conjunct a Mercury still in Pisces while also trine Mars in Sagittarius, while on one side there may be less thinking going on than may be useful, this would be a supportive combination where ongoing projects and that which doesn’t need ‘heavy mental lifting’ are concerned providing sufficient thought was undertaken prior to now.

As the Sun enters Aries, those of us who have felt a bit ‘undone,’ confused, inept or simply bogged down will be ‘looking for the light at the end of the tunnel’ … and more than a few of us are going to find it now – or in the days and weeks ahead. As the Sun’s shift always does, this switch from Pisces to Aries is a basic ‘trendsetting’ moment of the month, and once the Sun reaches Aries, whether life truly changes or not, WE will experience things as being different.

And that’s the key to everything – that experience: it’s not that life is changing, it’s that our changing perspective allows us to approach things from a different angle or fill in the ‘missing pieces’ we hadn’t noticed up until now … life shifts and thus we shift, just as our lives change with the seasons. It may be subtle, but it’s there. Aries is a first-person-personal sign: it’s all about “me” and who I am (and am not), what I am capable of (and not capable of), what I’m going to do and not do and what my goal or goals are. Sun in Aries brings out our convictions, both good and bad, positive and negative, optimistic and gloomy so that through how we express those convictions we come to experience more of life … and in that calls on us to mediate and moderate what we are doing so as to achieve not just that which pleases us in a direct and linear ‘I-want-it’ manner, but that which rewards us with much we find pleasant because we have done something which functions well for (or with) others.

That’s the rub. With Sun and Aries – and all through the next solar month of Sun in Aries, we are better off for fulfilling our capacity and promise, but when, if and as we do so we are surely going to meet up with whatever will convey to us how well (or to what degree) that capacity and promise fulfills some ‘need’ (physical, emotional or otherwise) of those in position to support our dreams in return.

That second part represents the other half of the Aries polarity – that so incandescently illuminated by Libra. Sun in Aries always promotes (and even provokes) a lot of Libran responses, as all our Aries doing and being is likely to create the need and drive to respond.

Besides, there is a Libra Lunar Eclipse coming up in a couple of days – so relationships are of the moment. So whether we ‘relate’ and whether we are related to are going to be at the top of a lot of personal lists pretty much as soon as the Sun trots into Aries. This can lead to outbursts and disagreements. Then again, this can lead to acts and actions which overcome all and prove that dragons can still get slain.

It all depends.

Messier 17 in Sagittarius is here photographed by ESO's Very Large Telescope
(the 'VLT') at Paranal Observatory in Chile
(photo credit: ESO, R Chini, November 2010)
Depends on what? Well, once the Sun moves into Aries, one factor-of-the-moment would concern a main belt asteroid which goes by the Fateful name of Lachesis.

Named for one of the Greek Fates (Klotho, Lachesis and Atropos) who in their mythic manner spin, measure out and cut the length of anything (from a life to an effort to some situation we must endure), when spoken of in personal terms Lachesis speaks to the general idea of ‘duration,’ including everything we should do, achieve or learn, along with all we have the opportunity to enjoy, experience and understand during any given day, the totality of our lifetime or simply at the moment. n some specific  of not the beginning of a process (that’s Klotho) and not an ending or ‘cut off’ (which is Atropos’ job) entering Capricorn a day after the Sun’s Aries ingress adds a note of determination … endurance … and sometimes, resistance – all of which may be positive if directed towards the interests of stability (current or future) and lasting (steady, durable) functionality, with proper consideration(s) being taken into account – but without preserving any status quo or something which is ‘known,’ traditional or accepted simply because it’s familiar or currently representative of some well-respected standard.

In anticipation of its own shift into Aries at a scant twenty minutes after midnight on March 22nd (UT/+0 time), Mercury will be passing through 29 Pisces in conjunction with Lachesis’ move into Capricorn on March 21st, escalating emotionality, reasons to be emotional and the general sense of ‘conscience’ on everyone’s part. Sometimes such moments speak to the creating of unity – and that may well be one outcome of this rather creative astrological planetary-asteroid dance step. However, as 29 Pisces is also the current position of fixed star Scheat (which will be at 29 Pisces until July 12, 2044 when it too will move into Aries), that lends a Mercury conjunct Scheat quality to Lachesis’ Aries ingress at the same time that it gives Mercury’s conjuncting OF Scheat a more lasting or (Lachesis) ‘enduring’ effect.

Having something of an emotional and mental ‘fight or flight’ quality, Scheat often represents that we don’t want to deal with, whether in our community, personal life or conscience. Correctness, truth and honesty often fall by the wayside where Scheat is concerned, with some of the ‘rejections’ associated with this star being about unproductive, incorrect or simply downright bad choices being made because we don’t want to know the truth … and some of the rejections coming from others when we present them with some truth they simply don’t want to deal with. Being positioned in the final (and cumulative) degree of Pisces, Scheat inherits from 29 Pisces the complete willingness to become deluded by some emotional dream as well as that Piscean sense of complete dedication to a ‘spiritual’ (even if not necessarily religious) goal.

So to have Mercury conjuncting Scheat’s position as Lachesis enters Capricorn – does this speak to some (Lachesis) ‘lasting’ (Mercury) thought, impression or statement? Might this be about (Scheat) rejecting something ‘for the (Lachesis) duration’? Are we (Mercury) standing for some thing or idea despite critique or criticism, determined to (Lachesis) ‘see it through’?

Once Mercury enters Aries (at 00:20 a.m., UT/+0 time on the 22nd), thinking becomes more focused and personal. Where throughout Mercury’s transit of Pisces we were willing to connect with others and with ideas put forth by others, Mercury in Aries is self-directed with a definite and spicy edge of personal conviction. Mercury will only be in Aries for around two-and-a-half weeks (it moves on into Taurus as of April 5th), but during its transit of Aries we can expect opinions galore from most everyone – and at times, a total willingness to argue. With Aries being the sign of ‘I Am,’ it’s natural for us to want to know what we’re doing and to be seen as being convinced, which can lead to anything from an excess of bragging to diving into a study of something new to talking about things we know nothing about.

In entering Aries just a day behind the Sun, Mercury is – and will be in a transiting conjunction with our local star through March 29th, which is a LOT of concentrated Aries energy. Any time the Sun and Mercury are in conjunction (in whatever sign) we tend to lose perspective on things and get off track. The image here is of being ‘totally in your head’ which, as many of us have learned the hard way, can lead to missteps – particularly where success depends on the cooperation, support or an understanding of others.

Mercury in Aries (glyph chart)
March 22, 2016 - 00:20 a.m. (UT/+0) - Aries Wheel (Location Not Specific)
 Mercury in Aries (text chart)
March 22, 2016 - 00:20 a.m. (UT/+0) - Aries Wheel (Location Not Specific)
Beyond that, with Mercury entering Aries in a trine to Mars at 5 Sagittarius, we should expect some part of the overall ‘tone’ of many (and even our own thinking) to take a bit of turn towards a curious combination of assertiveness and resignation. Anywhere people are objecting to things without feeling capable of creating changing or fixing the problem (or at least that which they see as a problem) is likely to prompt anything from indignation to complaints to resignation – and even defiance.

Against this, Mercury in Aries is always a good time to get things done – and because of this, life tends to fill our personal ‘in’ box (mental or physical) with prompts and notices about things which need doing. This being the day before the Lunar Eclipse at 3 Libra, relationships and our ability (or willingness) to relate to someone else or some event may work very much to our benefit or throw a wrench in our works depending on a.) how vested (and invested) we are in things, and b.) how open we are to the opinions of others (regardless of what they have to say) with all of this tending to call our attention to our Self and ideas or issues we need to consider before moving on.

This is not to say we are wrong – merely that there is something positive to be gained through thinking through whatever has occurred with an eye to learning both who others are, who they take us to be, and where their opinions come from.

2016 - March - Lunar Eclipse (photo credit NASA-JPL, 2000)
This trend of polarities and polarizations – both the good ones and the unpleasantly-in-your-face ones – will come to a head as the 3 Libra Lunar Eclipse occurs at 12:02 in the afternoon (UT/+0 time), and unlike solar eclipses, lunar eclipse tend to show up and hit their crest not only pretty much on timetable schedule, and far more ‘obviously’ than solar eclipses do. Metaphysically, this follows the astrological nature of the Moon as the seat of emotions and emotionalism. Plus, let’s face it, nothing impresses us humans like a solid dose of emotionalism, whether positive or negative! Beyond this, the astrological Moon is more akin to ‘the mood of the moment’ and refers far more often to personal delights (and irritations) than to that which has to do with how we’re going to spend the next decade of our life dedicated to the building of a better mousetrap, starting with taking a graduate course on mousetraps and mousetrap builders of old.

Put in more simplistic astrological terms, where the Solar Eclipse refers to a form of Sun transit which takes a full 36 months (3 years) to ‘unfold’ and reveal its fullest purpose in our life, Lunar Eclipses speak to emotionally-charged situations which we will have personally ‘metabolized’ within a space of three months. Even when a lunar eclipse manifests as a happily ‘highlighted’ moment such as the moment when a marriage proposal might be issued and accepted, by the end of three months that moment – though now eternally highlighted in memory – will have given way to planning the wedding or some other part of thinking through building a married life yet to come.

As for this particular Lunar Eclipse, in occurring at 3 Libra this eclipse highlights both an aversion to attitudes displaying prejudice, and an equally deeply felt tendency to experience blind adherence to our own mental positions and priorities, none of which improves things much. For those with natal positions which support the degree 3 Libra, use of attributes associated with those planets can turn this trend around, but will they exert themselves to improve things at this time?

Lunar Eclipse at 3 Libra (glyph chart)
March 23, 2016 - 12:02 p.m.(UT/+0) - Aries Wheel (Location Not Specific)
 Lunar Eclipse at 3 Libra (text chart)
March 23, 2016 - 12:02 p.m.(UT/+0) - Aries Wheel (Location Not Specific)
Maybe yes, but we should not put too many eggs in that basket, as for one thing this eclipse is fairly weak in its internal aspects. There are only two: a sextile to the Moon by Mars (which means it’s also trining the Sun) … and Mercury being one degree away from the Sun, which of course in the figure of any lunar eclipse (all of which are Full Moons) sits in opposition to the Moon, representing that part of life which now rises up and confronts – even overwhelms us.

The Sabian Symbol for this degree being ‘Around a campfire, a group of young people sit in spiritual communion’ speaks to groups … and groups of young people at that. This may refer to a specific age group, of course. But when thought of metaphysically, this idea of ‘young people’ may also speak to those who are simply immature or inexperienced, or to any group or collective (human, animal, insect or otherwise) which when en masse or embodied as a ‘collective’ experiences a sense of vitality reborn.

Swarms do it, mobs do it, social movements and flocks of fish, birds and butterflies also do it. There is always a capacity for ‘spiritual communion’ in groups, whether whatever comes from that collective or union is constructive or detrimental, and this lunar eclipse is likely to ‘draw out’ and ‘highlight’ those tendencies in all of us, and some very much more than others.

So ... who will be most affected by this Lunar Eclipse? Here are the degrees this eclipse will aspect – and be aspected by.

28 Virgo–8 Libra
28 Pisces–8 Aries
28 Gemini–8 Cancer (and/or) 28 Sagittarius–8 Capricorn
28 Taurus–8 Gemini (and/or) 28 Capricorn-8 Aquarius
0 Leo-6 Leo (and/or) 0 Sagittarius-6 Sagittarius
1 Taurus-5 Taurus (and/or) 1 Pisces-5 Pisces
1 Virgo-5 Virgo (and/or) 1 Scorpio-5 Scorpio
Given the sextile from Mars to the Moon (even as Mars trines the Sun’s position) it will be far easier to fall back on established ideas without thinking things through, and this may work well enough – sextiles offer opportunities but seldom speak of anything we are ‘compelled’ or required to get into by circumstances in the ‘sextile moment.’

But can we benefit from considering new ideas, new input or a different course of action? Particularly for those whose charts are directly aspected by this lunar eclipse, that may well be. Given the lunar eclipse three-month influence, some ‘window’ of opportunity may exist only during this time – or that which we come to learn may only have a short term application.

Then again, it could just be that if we apply ourselves to something now, we’ll have it all tied up with a nice, neat bow within the next three months, making further need for that which pops up now entirely (and perhaps pleasantly) unnecessary.

Yet nothing is likely to occur now without a bit of effort and compromise – most of all, with some ‘quarrel’ we’re having with our Self. Represented by another of Jupiter’s global transiting aspects, the lunar eclipse comes to us with a ‘backdrop’ or amidst much else which exemplifies Jupiter in Virgo square Saturn in Sagittarius – a mundane (meaning global, not ho-hum) event which will come to exactness on March 23rd at 10:16 in the morning, UT/+0 time.

When astrologers talk about a ‘synodic cycle,’ they are referring to repeating events – in this case, events between transiting Jupiter and transiting Saturn. And as for why should we care about synodic cycles, that’s because (as many have observed) because we as people – and our world - seem to confront situations which ‘test’ the same sorts of principles time after time, with synodic cycles being one of the ways astrologers ‘clock’ those repeating cycles of activity, challenge and (hopefully!) personal growth.

As for Saturn and Jupiter, these are the two symbols which together speak to the planning, learning, testing and building which goes into constructing a stable and successful life, a stable and successful world or a stable and successful society – and that their synodic cycle, in being 19.86 years long, echoes the 19-year Metonic (eclipse) cycle strongly enough that we shouldn’t be surprised when periods of personal as well a societal and economic instability coincide. In fact, at some level, we could even say we (and our planet and everything which resides on that planet) are metaphysically ‘scheduled’ to experience challenges at this 19-19.86 year-long cycle.

Does this mean we should be thinking back to things which occurred around the years 1996-1997? Without getting obsessive about it, perhaps yes. Things which arise now – or which surface through emotionalism – are certainly worth consideration. The idea that Jupiter would square Saturn at the time of an eclipse which tests our physical will, our physical ability and our physical capacities is an expression of ‘Self against Other’ which questions priorities either on our part or theirs. So providing you’re over twenty years old, this dual confluence of eclipse and Jupiter-Saturn square has already occurred.

In theory, all cycles (synodic, Metonic, return and otherwise) on both the personal and global level function somewhat like a helix. Whether we did or didn’t learn whatever we needed to learn the last time any given cycle (or confluence of cycles, as we have here) occurred, lore teaches we will be presented with something which sets up the same conflict(s), set of dynamics or choice in our life. There’s even a famous quote on this subject: "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." (George Santayana).

The reason why the quote is true is purely simple: we’re all human. No matter how far you go back in history, myth, civilization and the human story, even if one great river of human life, we each live an individual arc of time in the days we are born. So give or take social formats and the technology of the day, it’s not so remarkable to think that if we simply ignore facts and histories, we will – except in sprinkled moments of genius or luck – do the common thing (again) and thus make all the common mistakes. (Again.) And just in this way, astrological cycles bring us back around to some idea or something we need to understand, master, learn about or otherwise connect with in order to fulfill our own special and unique personal purpose.

So thus the question at this point is:  did you learn the (full) lesson the last time around? Or are you going around in circles?’

Where we learned what we needed to learn ‘last time,’ we will quite naturally apply what we have learned and move on to the next higher ‘round’ where we are asked to learn something based on what we already know.

As to Saturn and Jupiter being the pair involved here, there’s an old teaching in astrology known as Sect which divides the original seven planets (Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn) into two groups – diurnal and nocturnal – depending on the time of day when we were born. (In case you’re wondering about the ‘odd planet out,’ its name is Mercury, and Mercury swings back and forth between Sects depending on individual chart factors.) What this amounts to (and the point of telling you this) is that Saturn and Jupiter are both on the Sun’s diurnal “team,” which brings a very conscious (as opposed to instinctive or intuitive) and probably thought-driven (as opposed to feeling) ‘flavor’ to this Jupiter-Saturn square – which is in itself an interesting idea when offset against the highly emotional image of a lunar eclipse.

Then again, wasn’t the degree of the solar eclipse (18 Pisces) back on March 9th a reference speaking exactly to the difference between that we value on an intellectual basis (material reality) and all the (spiritual reality) feelings we need to be able to experience lest life itself be devoid of color and value?

What occurs may or may not be entirely pleasant. In fact, there is a definite chance we may be required to face something unpleasant about our Self as we pass through these next few days. Even worse, we may commit some sort of grand faux pas which will yet trouble us, if simply because the lunar eclipse and the transiting Jupiter/Saturn square are occurring a day shy of Plutino Ixion going on station and into retrograde.

In fact, this means Ixion’s ‘station allowance’ began on March 22nd (as Mercury entered Aries) and is going to extend through the 26th.

So just as an observation, this suggests that unethical and selfish acts during this period may yet come back to haunt us.

Beginning with a bit of thought on how Ixion really is a Plutino may be the best place to start, considering the lunar eclipse. After all, to be a Plutino is to be a Kuiper Belt object – in other words, a celestial object which orbits beyond planet Neptune in a realm which metaphysically denotes everything we not only haven’t dreamed of, but which we cannot fully know or understand until it ‘happens’ to us – the orbit of which is literally controlled (to some great extent) by the magnetic resonance of said planet Neptune.

And since Neptune represents that which we tend to idealize and believe in until (and unless) the reality of same slaps us in the face like some particularly slimy (not to mention days old) fish, Plutinos – like their namesake, Pluto – all tend to describe things, attitudes, beliefs, rights and goals we believe we are able to have and/or exercise until there comes that day when life proves how entirely wrong we are (or have been) … that being the moment when we are forced to accept the Neptunian lesson about the difference between ideals or inspiration and mortal reality.
They all have a place – they’re just not interchangeable, and the boundaries between ideals and realities are far firmer than we as humans would like them to be.

In the case of the Plutino named Ixion, Ixion speaks to a real plus and minus in all of our lives – the need to have conviction and confidence against the belief that we are ‘entitled’ to do or have this or that. The long form of the astrological Ixion story I’ve told in a different post …

… and there are certainly a hundred different ways (if not more!) to see the Ixion story. However they all start (and in time end) with a few basic thoughts, the most obvious of which is how no one is above karma or spiritual  ‘law,’ whether the human laws of any given society apply to them or not. Referred to by many scholars as a variation on the Cain and Able story, the tale of Ixion starts with a violation of the regard one should have for family and family bonds, moves on to a disregard for one’s fellow humans and finishes with Ixion committing the ‘final’ violation – that of thinking himself equal to the gods.

The tale of Ixion is in other words, about what goes wrong when we think we don’t have to care about standards or morals, be they human, natural or immortal. By showing himself to be so utterly ‘consumed’ by some internalized vision of his own greatness, Ixion wastes his life, losing out on all he could have actually done in a display of arrogance and self-entitlement which ends with his being ‘removed from circulation’ and consigned to an eternity of fiery turmoil.

Suffice it to say … it is just not our finest attribute, this Ixion thing.    

In going retrograde at 24 Sagittarius, Ixion tempts us to over-invest … or to be and remain overly invested in both dreams and defeats, depending on our native perspective and what state (i.e., mental state) we are in as life brings us to this moment. Which is the fallacy – the devotion to ‘positivity’ or the habit of singing songs of doom and gloom – that is surely individual, sometimes to the person (i.e., as a life-long habit) and sometimes to specific situations someone is or has been in for some time which either predisposes them to see, feel and be focused on the negative, or which at the moment causes them to feel themselves totally able (and willing) to proceed as they see fit, never mind anyone else’s opinions or existing social/societal standards. Noted also for some ability to bring out both the power of projection and that gift we might think of as foreshadowing, 24 Sagittarius is a curious Sagittarius degree in that it emphasizes this effect – the ability to embody (or become known as having embodied) that which may yet occur – 24 Sagittarius brings out dreams and longings while also tending to cause the evidencing of inner motivations, some of which under every circumstance may not be desirable.

So if this is Ixion we’re talking about, chances are we will learn something about our Self which we thought ‘just fine’ which gets decried, criticized or rejected about now – and that too may serve to tease apart where we have confused or cross-wired our ideas about what is real and what is merely a personal (if much beloved) pipe dream.

Beyond the point and the point of the Ixion story (which like many a Greek myth, doesn’t exactly end in a puddle of happiness) there is also the fact that in going retrograde at 24 Sagittarius, Ixion is metaphysically ‘turning around’ and “facing” Ras Alhague, one of the so-called “fixed stars” (which do move, if very slowly) and an astrological object which has several very different associated meanings.

The first is a reputation for Ras Alhague to be active or activated (natally or through transit, eclipse, returns, etc.) when healing through enlightenment and insight takes place. The second is a propensity for Ras Alhague to indicate direct and directed harm against a specific person, place or thing – a ‘knowing’ quality bent on disruption or damage. The third involves a reputation this star has acquired for being associated with being “assaulted” by something containing some sort of toxin, be that the irritating if relatively benign toxin of a bug bite, some fatally poisonous chemical (man-made or natural) or even the toxic effects which create, or are created from mental deprivations of various kinds, be then intrinsic (such as a mental handicap) or experiential (such as a lack of education or other opportunity to develop/utilize one’s capacities and/or talents).

As Ixion turns to retrograde at 24 Sagittarius, the implied re-association or ‘drawing back together’ of Ixion and the star it has just recently passed by and is still within orb of conjunction of (Ras Alhague is currently positioned at 22 Sagittarius) is likely to expose, or at least remind us of our advantages and certain acts already committed, whether they ‘sit’ well with our consciences or not.

And making this all even more interesting (if interesting is indeed the right word) is how, come March 25 – two scant days after the eclipse and on after Ixion’s station – Saturn is going to take its own station at 16 Sagittarius and go retrograde at 10:02 in the morning of the 25th (UT/+0 time).


Saturn Retrograde (glyph chart)
March 25, 2016 - 10:02 a.m. (UT/+0) - Aries Wheel (Location Not Specific)
 Saturn Retrograde (text chart)
March 25, 2016 - 10:02 a.m. (UT/+0) - Aries Wheel (Location Not Specific)
Saturn’s turn to retrograde in the wake of a lunar eclipse and Ixion station which both speak to some difference between what we may think of – or have thought of – ourselves or some standard, situation, conviction or priority suggests some attribute, habit or approach which has reached some sort of ‘turning point’ in its effect or effectiveness.

Beyond this, for Saturn to be going retrograde in a degree known to concern positive relationships (particularly those which can be said to be ‘enduring’ relationships) and the ability to maintain overall momentum suggests a change of heart – or a need to reexamine things and to learn from where such relationships or assessment of what is positive (at least for you at this point) may well change. Having also an association with the idea of ‘breath’ and everything which can affect our breath – be that the physical breath or the mental ‘taking a breather’ sort of ‘breath’), 16 Sagittarius has been noted for associations with smoke, smoking, air pollution and atmospheric effects, it should not be surprising if something which calls one’s attention to problems in this area (which would obviously tamp down positivity) occurs at this time.

With Saturn having just squared Jupiter (and being still in square to Jupiter by aspect) things we are working with, working towards, struggling with or trying to understand, adapt to and integrate into ongoing efforts are probably in flux – and to that end, Saturn’s turn to retrograde will mark the onset of a period during which we think things through, make new plans and come to new conclusions as to the ‘best’ way to create those gains and achievements which will be durable, functional and supportive of much else in life. Given the mundane square from Jupiter, everyone everywhere is going to be going through some form of ‘taking stock’ and dialing back on excesses or that which is no longer helpful or useful … a ‘shifting of resources,’ one might say. Re-balancing of various sorts is being called for, with our basic choice being whether we want to actively work on that re-balancing or have its effects thrust upon us. Most of us will instinctively do some ‘pruning of dead wood’ even while realizing the need to ‘fill in’ some area of effort, life or understanding which we recognize we’re a little short on, consciously utilizing some of the energy of the square, leaving less to wander around as something which could come back to haunt, bite or trip us up.

That none of this is likely to be instantaneous is also suggested here by asteroid Klotho (another of the Greek Fates) going direct at 14 Leo on the same date as Saturn’s station. Representing the ‘spinning of a thread’ (or a yarn) the influence associated with asteroid Klotho tends to be fairly straight-forward, manifesting as the ‘beginning’ of something – its inception, a debut, the beginning of some effort.

In combination with Saturn, symbol of achievement and all it takes to achieve, lead, (re)structure, stabilize, endure and build that which will be of lasting benefit, Klotho turning to direct motion in a degree (14 Leo) which tends towards observance and the act of being observant even while dealing with (or controlling) powerful impulses (or the power of impulsiveness) may turn in to ‘fault finding’ for some, while for others there will be a choice to initiate or reinitiate activities based on factors learned over the past few months.

Across the zodiac from Saturn (at 17 Gemini, to be precise) fixed star Rigel rather beckons. In its role as the energy of the teacher as eternal student it represents something we know we have yet to do – and which we know we will learn a lot from, once we get there.

We’re just not there yet. Nor are we likely to ‘face off against’ the reality of that ‘something’ (or possibly someone) until Saturn goes direct again in August, 2016 …

… and thereafter returns not 16 Sagittarius – where Saturn exits its 2015-2016 cycle – and as its first step into its 2016-2017 cycle moves on into 17 Sagittarius where the opposition to Rigel will ‘concrete’ this – and probably other subjects for us.

When will that happen? Mark your calendars for November, 2016 – which for the moment leaves us with just Saturn. And (yes,) Ixion. And let’s not forget Klotho … or the Lunar Eclipse, (not to mention its side order of transiting Saturn-Jupiter square).

And as if all THAT wasn’t enough, March 25th is also the date when an asteroid named Tisiphone enters Aries.

Who (or what) is Tisiphone, you ask – and are we going to like the idea of Tisiphone being added to the list?

Maybe, maybe not. Tisiphone is one of the Furies – a delightfully unpleasant group of entities bent on haunting, taunting and tormenting us for any of a number of reasons, making us ‘furious’ in the process. Mythically embodied as females, the Furies metaphysically refer to something which is by nature a ("female") ‘response’ to something else, a quality which reminds us that when we get furious ‘with someone,’ the reality remains that the fury is ours, meaning we shouldn’t blame others for our willingness to experience (or not experience) our emotions.

Orestes Pursued by the Furies by John Singer Sargent (1856-1925)
(Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, oil on canvas)
As for are the Furies (and therefore Tisiphone) bad?,’ that answer would be no. After all, there are times when getting furious is not just apt, it’s needed, whether for our safety or that of others. Also, it’s to remember - the reference to ‘female’ here is about an energy or feeling which is responsive or responding to something done by somebody else - and it's just as likely as anything else that they may be the one embodying or experiencing the 'fury,' with others (perhaps including you) learning through the witnessing of same 

So none of this is strictly 'gender-driven.'

Thus, with Saturn going retrograde, is this moment the (Klotho) beginning of some long term (Saturn) lesson which is seeking to get us to focus on when, where or why ‘fury’ is useful? Maybe. Then again, with Tisiphone moving from the universally emotional (and emotion-driven) Pisces realm where the worst of our instincts is that we most need to acknowledge in spite of our resistance into Aries, where we are carried along on the strength of our conviction(s) (whether accurate or not) … perhaps this is all going to add up to presenting us with a period of days during which we are likely to confront certain realities whether we  want to or not, whether any given situation directly involves us (or not) … or merely because, by paying attention, we will learn something valuable to us in days, weeks or months to come.

Asteroid Achilles taking its own station and going into retrograde motion may well point to matters of (Achilles) skill which with Saturn having just gone retrograde may well suggest something we need to learn more about – something upon which real, substantial or lasting forward progress depends, making Achilles’ station the ‘moment of recognition’ or starting point at which we delve into whatever needs to be grappled with. There is some chance this combination of stations may also mark a point at which some ‘skill’ (or marked ability) has served its purpose, allowing us to take a step back or turn to other things. With the degree here being of a 12 Sagittarius nature, marked increases in sensitivity – whether emotional, intuitive, physical or otherwise – may be part of the reason one turns aside as some ‘maximal tolerance’ point is reached, or simply because dogged pursuit after something is finally paying off.

However, given that centaur Pholus is also going retrograde on March 26, if that payoff is simply about pulling back or ‘disengaging’ from some situation, thinking things through is probably wise. Pholus’ orbit having a range from just beyond the orbit of Neptune (i.e., in the nearest reaches of the Kuiper Belt) to just inside that of Saturn speaks both to our strengths and weaknesses, which in its own way points to whatever tendencies we may have to be “addicted” to some ‘image’ our Self as a challenging issue which from time to time causes us to pull away from people, from things or from efforts where what we have to give is valuable to others, or even society at large.

There are many curious points to the Pholus story, not the least of which is the idea that after Pholus chooses to not participate in a heroic if lethal act of fighting alongside his fellow centaurs and the gold plated Greek example of strength (Heracles – or Hercules, if you prefer) he retreats to his cave and there manages to kill himself by playing with one of the very weapons he would have otherwise have taken into the fight (a poisoned arrow).

As a myth, this myth speaks to many things. But with Pholus specifically going station-retrograde here at 27 Sagittarius (the current position of the Galactic Center) this is a fairly direct astrological comment on the ‘cost’ of (Pholus) pulling away from that of value which we have to give in, and to our friends, our community, our society and this world. Like all astrological centaurs, Pholus represents that which we cannot truly understand except by experiencing … and how in order to experience the strength of a centaur, we have to get past our feelings or some emotional conviction, blockade or pre-conceptualization about the subject, the process, or even who we are to be offering our abilities.

One other thing to note about Pholus, that being something those of you who keep up on the doings of celestial centaurs may have noticed: the stations of Pholus and Ixion have been in sync for some time now. First one then the other goes direct, and a few months later, first one then the other goes retrograde.

What could this long term association mean? Are we defeating our (Pholus) worldly capacities by being so convinced of our own (Ixion) greatness and all we feel we should be ‘entitled’ to or allowed to do that we purposefully choose to withhold our talents when things don’t “suit” us to the proverbial ‘t’? Or perhaps we have such a need to distinguish ourselves (from others or in this world as a whole) that we tend to (Pholus) kill our chances through utilizing solely for our (Ixion) own purposes that which could lead to success if put into the hands of others?

One final comment here, that being how the degree Pholus is taking station at here - 27 Sagittarius - is the degree Saturn will be going retrograde at come April 2017. Considering Pholus' orbit (from just outside of Neptune to just inside Saturn's metaphysically mortal reach), does this mean our current Pholus choices may either reap benefits or return to block progress at some time next year?

Either way ... to the good or bad ... given Saturn as an emblem of 'receiving that we have earned,' that truly could be - and make this moment worth thinking through.

March 27
With Saturn’s, Achilles’ and Pholus’ station energetics astrologically ‘coloring’ events from March 24th through the 28th, to have asteroid Arachne going direct at 11 Leo points in several different ways. Some people experience Arachne as a moment of being ‘stuck,’ whether by the side of the road because our car has broken down, on some task we’re trying to complete or with regards to knowing what we need to do next in the pursuit of some goal.

Arachne by Gustave Dore from Dante's 'Purgatorio' (Canto 12)
With Saturn’s station being involved, things aren’t likely to be frivolous – though there are likely to be some people who just at this moment finish some long-term (Saturn) effort and who thus ‘break the bonds’ (Arachne) which have held them to their task up until now. For those folks, Arachne’s position (11 Leo) plays in their favor as 11 Leo is said to be a degree which is not very assertive on its own, being rather known for a ‘Neptunian’ quality which in Leo tends to focus more on ‘societally admired’ qualities rather than utility and feasibility. That may be a problem where matters of ‘earning’ or where things need to work are concerned, and some projects or efforts may dissolve into nothingness because of some lack of (Saturn) standards, capacity or ability to ‘endure.’

Might further effort correct the ‘weakness’ – or whatever may be holding us back? That would be a nice positive of having this turn by Arachne occurring under Saturn’s station influence. After all, isn’t ‘improving the product’ (whatever the ‘product’ may be – including us and our talents) exactly what our yearly allotment of Saturn retrograde months are for?

By gum, it is. Furthermore, we’re hardly alone in our ponderings and searching. The combination of Saturn, Ixion and Pholus going through their stations within the space of a week is quite enough (astrologically) to suggest situations arising in many a life which cause us to have to deal with something in the immediate sense (the need or emergency of the moment) which leads to much else down the line. So given that, would it be so unlikely that we would be … or at least feel a bit ‘tied up’ (or tied down)?

March 29
That these are at some level truly universal issues about now (meaning, we’re all going to be dealing with a bit of something ‘Saturnian’ in nature) is being underscored by asteroid Sappho also going station-direct at 11 Leo the very day after Arachne does. Known under some circumstances for evoking a ‘poetic’ nature, Sappho most often refers to themes, situations and dynamics which are, or which become universal because so many of us are ‘touched’ by them. This could be emotional … then again, there’s really no reason why Sappho couldn’t be associated with something like a flu or epidemic of some kind which in its spread ‘touches’ lives on some “universal” basis or which we might all be “universally” vulnerable to.

Then again, a Sappho station could also refer to finding universal solutions, cures or that which would ‘vaccinate’ us against ill effects, be they from a virus or bacteria, an economic slowdown or the universally unpleasant bad temper so often displayed by our Uncle Floyd.

In going direct at 11 Leo Sappho does, however, raise questions. Could the 11 Leo tendency to have us prefer the pleasant as opposed to the challenging – given Sappho’s universal quality indicate mass ennui? Protest? Expectation? And given how Sappho’s station is happening just in the wake of the Ixion-Lunar Eclipse -Saturn-Pholus (et al) confluence … does that perhaps indicate some large proportion (or segment) rejecting some call for effort or some dynamic having to do with having (Saturn) responsibility for something? Or will this station – and the days, weeks and months which lead out of it – mark a time when many among us, whether separately or in unison, are sufficiently ‘touched’ by things going on in the world around us that we join together in some cause or effort which gets us out of our Ixion/Pholus ‘me, myself and I’ mode and to a place where we can be effective among, or by joining some group, movement or ongoing process?  

One can hope for the best…

… and as Pandora takes its station and goes direct at 12 Leo, who knows but that hope may take root. After all, though associated with ‘the ills of the world,’ the story of Pandora is not as much about everything which escaped from the bottle (according to old texts, Pandora opened a bottle or an urn, not a box) … as it is about what she held onto when in desperation Pandora stuck the cork back into the bottle and clutched the bottle close.

The ills escaped, yes. And thus in mythic terms they remain ‘at large,’ fully capable of coming around to bite us. But because Pandora resealed the bottle, she kept hope from escaping. And thus we all – metaphysically – still get to hold onto hope when days get dark and everything around us seems so threatening.

No one can take our hope away, Pandora teaches. We must cope with all the terrible things which are loose in this world, but we still have hope.

Pandora by Harry Bates (1891)
(photo taken by Lee M while the statue was on temporary display at
London's Tate Museum, August 2010)
In going direct at 12 Leo, Pandora speaks to a hope we hold that we may live an easy and fortunate life even during those times when trials loom large. We shouldn’t try to avoid problems or things we consider ‘unpleasant,’ even though 12 Leo tends to express with situations we would prefer to handle while excluding anything we think of as ‘negative,’ whether anyone else minds discussing it or not. The Sabian symbol for this degree – ‘An old sea captain rocking himself on the porch of his cottage’ - contributes an interesting note by referring to someone ‘old’ and experienced with (male=pro-active) being assertiveness or taking some initiative. Given how this person is a sea captain we are given to know that at least part of the ‘experience’ valuable to this moment is emotional (as referenced by water, in this case the sea) with the scene – his sitting on the porch of a cottage in a rocking chair – speaking to someone or something which is both no longer considered part of the ‘current’ scene and possessed of that wisdom which comes from having traveled far and wide through life, seeing both good and bad.

Like any other asteroid, this moment of confronting and experiencing our ‘Pandora quotient’ is just that – something we come across at regular intervals (4.59 years, in the case of Pandora’s orbit) and which we weather, learning something more about what life takes and what does or doesn’t work as we go along.

It’s all grist for the mill, as the Leo sea captain might say.

And that’s all for March.

In the wake of eclipses, we tend to get very much occupied with things we want to get on with and make happen. Sometimes they have nothing to do with the current solar eclipse and everything to do with the eclipse event which occurred 2.5 years ago (at 11 Scorpio in November of 2013). Whichever way we turn, we stand to gain by understanding that what is shown to be unworkable or unfeasible may need to be let go of – but how that alone does not define the good or bad of who we are or whether we can be accepted, loved or respected.

And that’s worth remembering, no matter what else happens.

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