March 2019 Forecast

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March is going to be weird this year. It’s one heady, cosmic ocean of feelings and psychedelic spiritual experiences, with some retrograde time travel thrown into the mix. Alice in Wonderland and the Mad Hatter’s tea party. Mad March hares. It’s like we’ve all been pushing ourselves so hard with our Saturn-in-Capricorn work ethic for the past two months that now we’re going way past taking a mental health day and disappearing into another universe for a tight three weeks. There are opportunities for the kind of awakening healing that takes ages of pain and releases it all at once. So leave the desk early; get some sleep. Listen to your dreams, schedule some reiki, read your rhymes at a poetry slam with accompaniment from a theremin ensemble–whatever it is that you do to vibe with the deeply sensitive energies of Pisces season. Just don’t get lost in the ether.

Venus starts the party on March 1st when she moves into Aquarius. In Aqua, she’s a lot less traditional than she is in Capricorn, but equally as distant. Venus here needs space from others to think, because this is the sign of genius flowing fresh inspiration to the masses. Venus in Aqua is out there: unconventional in love and creativity. In a recent email to subscribers, I referred to Aqua Venus as “a brilliant non-binary cyborg in an intergalactic polyamorous triad, getting direct downloads of creative genius from some future alien muse.” So that starts us off on an unusual month.

Then on March 5th, Mercury stations retrograde at 29 Pisces. He’ll be retro until he stations direct at on the 28th. As I said in February, Mercury in this sign is a poet, floating dreamily in the oceans of the unconscious, letting one word come through at a time. When he’s retrograde, he’s even deeper underwater, and the words take longer to float up to the surface. Good material for dancers, perhaps; not so great for tax appointments and conference calls. But we know this about Mercury retrograde. Leave extra time for anything to do with technology, and embrace the aspects of Mercury that are more available to you during this Pisces Rx. These are: spiritual communication, magic (especially for releasing and clearing blocks), liminality, artistic expression, dreams, and synchronicity. It’s an excellent time to detox from addictive tech anyway.

The biggest news (and #1 reason for March’s high weirdness) is Uranus moving into Taurus on March 6th. Uranus was in Taurus for a kind of trial period from May through November of 2018. Look back on that time for a clue about what’s awakening in your life. Now he’s moving in for a good, long time: this transit lasts through April 25, 2026. Uranus in Taurus will awaken innovations around the environment, food, bodies, sex, and money. On a wide scale, there are positive ways for us to use Uranus in Taurus to revolutionize pleasure, “innovate” our way back to older and better ways of living with the land, and rebel against Capitalist values. In the short term, Uranus is likely to disrupt the area of your life that is awakening, and it might not feel that pleasurable at first. You can read more about this major transit in my post here. Expect unexpected events in the first week of March

On the same day of Uranus’ ingress into Taurus (March 6th), we have a new moon at 16 Pisces. This lunation is conjunct Neptune, making it especially imaginative and sensitive. The moon is low-key squaring Pisces’ other ruler Jupiter, giving this one the flavor of the Jupiter-Neptune square that challenges us to go forth and attempt to create our big dreams. Sextiles to Saturn in Capricorn and Mars in Taurus give this lunation a much-needed gravitational pull down to earth. Vesta, goddess of the sacred fires, is conjunct this moon too, giving it an added sense of the sacred. A ritual would be highly appropriate.

Mid-March is busy with transits from the Pisces sun, retrograde Mercury, and Mars in Taurus. The sun and Mercury Rx square Jupiter on the 13th - 16th, while also making a sextile to Pluto. These combined transits speak of accessing your inner sunlight to remove blocks, some of which are probably mental and/or emotional. Mars makes a trine to Saturn on the 14th, supporting the slow, grounded process of achieving these goals.

Spring Equinox this year is March 20th. As soon as the sun moves from Pisces to Aries, he meets Chiron at the first degree (exact on the 22nd). It’s another awakening transit, this time from the wounded healer, who wants to suck some of the toxic poison out of our associations with masculinity and this Mars-ruled sign. Mars trine Pluto on the 20th makes the vibe that much more intense, with its power and passion. The full moon at 0 Libra on the night of the Equinox will necessarily be opposing Chiron. This lunation is about war and peace, love and loneliness, fitting in and standing out. The pain of being misunderstood is sharply felt at this time. You need somewhere safe to express your vulnerable side, so you can be your whole self. You can read more about Chiron in Aries in my post here.

On the 21st, Venus square Mars and sextile Jupiter re-emphasizes the full moon’s message about independent self-expression. Mercury is still retrograde in Pisces a week into Aries season, so between that and all of the outer-planetary Uranus/Chiron activity, it won’t feel like the straightforward green light that Aries can sometimes be. Especially with Mercury conjunct Neptune exactly on the 24th making the whole retrograde vibe even more surreal.

On the 26th, Venus enters Pisces, sign of her exaltation. Venus in Pisces is especially charming, tender, romantic, and unconditionally devoted. We all feel the love with her in this sign. Mercury stations direct at 16 Pisces on the 28th, releasing us from the extended sleep of surreal healing. It might be a rather rude awakening: with Pluto conjunct the south node on the same day, hungry power structures aim to maintain the status quo (which doesn’t mean that they’ll succeed). Bring your futuristic Uranus-in-Taurus brainstorms and all of your Piscean collective love to the earth, because it needs them.

We close the month with a breath of fresh air. Mars leaves Taurus for Gemini on the 31st, where he seeks constant stimulation. Mars here is passionate about learning, writing, words, wit, conversation, and information in any form. Awakened from our prolonged stay in dreamland, we return to the small solaces of the mundane world and its logic.

Image Credit: Vintage late 60s to early 70s Psychedelic Blacklight Poster marked as GALAXY 1600.

February 2019 Forecast

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In February, in the northern hemisphere, the snow is piled on the ground, the skies are often gray, and the air is cold. The cold, rational quality of Aquarius is similar to Capricorn’s stony practicality. Winter is about survival in a time of scarcity, and hibernating until the earth is reborn in spring. But by the end of February a few hardy crocuses may bravely push through the frozen ground.

While the sun moves from air sign Aquarius to water sign Pisces, the astrological calendar for this month primarily features the elements of earth and fire. We are concerned overall with the material aspects of life. With Saturn, Pluto, and the south node together in Capricorn (as they will be for all of 2019), and Venus joining them in Capricorn on the 3rd, we have some bone-chilling winter cold in the emotional-mental-spiritual weather for February.

Once Venus leaves Sagittarius, she ditches her loud prints for a well-tailored suit and gets down to business. Venus in Capricorn is all about that good bone structure, aging well, beauty in maturity, and the attractive power of success. In this sign, she values achievements and the accumulation of material wealth. She commands respect with her combination of old-fashioned character and dignity. With Venus meeting Saturn on the 18th, Pluto on the 22nd, and the south node on the 24th, there is an increasingly serious theme of cold, hard truths: about relationships, about what we value, and about how far we’re willing to go to get it. Listen to the wise council of the north node in Cancer, who says “Protect what you care about; guard it with love.” Not all achievements are worth the price.

The beginning of this month still has the sun and Mercury in Aquarius, our coldest air sign, ruled by no-nonsense Saturn. So the new moon is at 15.45 degrees of Aquarius on February 4th. This lunation, conjunct Mercury in Aquarius, moves us away from the moon’s typically emotional realm and into analysis. Why do we feel the way we do, and how can we approach the problem in a practical way? Aquarius can be hyper-rational, but it is also a sign that has a different relationship to intuition, attracting unusual ideas in the absence of emotional blocks. A clear mind is an open mind. We may encounter unexpected perspectives at the beginning of this new lunar month.

It’s not all chilly, though. There are some fire transits to keep us warm, including 2019’s lucky star Jupiter in Sagittarius, who has some nice sextiles to the sun and Mercury in Aquarius on the 3rd and 7th, promoting fresh ideas and optimistic conversations. Mars in Aries is especially active, squaring Pluto in Capricorn on the 1st. This aspect challenges us to take action to transform an institution that no longer works—whether it’s a social institution or a personal pattern you want to kick. Power struggles are likely here, so pick your battles well. Mars then squares the nodes on the 7th, calling us to fight for what we care about most. The hottest aspect of the month is on the 13th, when Mars meets Uranus in Aries. This is a bombastic aspect, sure to light a few firecrackers. Take cover, unless you’re the one lighting them.

In keeping with the earthy theme of the month, as well as the emphasis on cardinal and fixed modes, Mars moves into Taurus on the 14th. Mars in Taurus is sensual, devoted, and determined. We can all use this kind of drive to stick with our commitments. In fact, the whole month has us initiating and sustaining important projects. With Venus in Capricorn and Mars in Taurus, this Valentine’s Day will probably be understated, favoring conservative gestures and long-term partnerships. Aquarius season in general is not a wise choice for a day of romance. Since Aquarius is a sign of community and friendship, not romantic love, February is always a much better time to honor friends with a Galentine’s Day celebration.

The most important transit in February is on the 18th: Chiron’s move into Aries. The asteroid of the wounded healer will be transiting this sign for the next seven years straight. If Uranus in Aries has been a series of fireworks and explosions, Chiron in Aries is the steady hearth fire that warms you. It’s still a fire, and it can still burn. But Chiron’s crackling fireplace can represent a space of rest and healing after the intensity of a Uranus transit.

Chiron was in Aries last year from April 17th – September 25th , so we’ve had a taste of this already. This transit can help us to heal individually and collectively from the wounds of toxic masculinity. Chiron can be the key that allows us to access the purifying fire of our own anger, confront it and use its energy in healthy ways. On a personal level, Chiron in Aries is also about authenticity and identity. In the next seven years, in some area of your life, you are asked to be yourself even when it makes you feel especially vulnerable. You can read more about this long-term transit in my post here.

Fire melts cold snow into water with some Piscean transits, too: pure, refreshing liquid that offers some healing in preparation for the spring to come. Mercury moves into Pisces early on in the month, on the 10th. Mercury in Pisces is not as quick and light on his feet as he is in Aquarius, spouting off radical intellectual ideas. Mercury in this sign is a poet, floating dreamily in the oceans of the unconscious, letting one word come through at a time. The sun enters Pisces on the 18th, beginning our solar Pisces season on the same day that Chiron moves into Aries. A full moon at 0.42 Virgo follows right on the heels of the sun’s ingress, on February 19th.

Mercury, the ruler of this full moon, makes an exact conjunction with Neptune on the 19th. This colors our discerning full moon with a dreamy Piscean flavor that tempers some of Virgo’s sharp perfectionism. The moon makes a trine to Mars in Taurus and Uranus in Aries. This is a moon that can help us see our way past through the cold winter transits and into the coming spring. As I mentioned at the beginning of this forecast, Venus will be meeting up with Saturn, Pluto, and the south node in Capricorn right around the time of this full moon. In the midst of such cold realities, the Virgo moon allows us to discern what is most important. This is the crocus pushing up through the snow: determined against the odds, hardy and yet delicate, the first to herald the arrival of a new season. You may find an unusual way to get through the winter storm at the end of February.

Image Credit: illustration from p. 251 of The Victoria history of the county of Bedford, edited by H. Arthur Doubleday and William Page, 1904.

The Void-of-Course Moon

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If you have been reading my weekly horoscopes, you may have noticed that the “weekly moon” portion of the aspects usually says something like this:

VOC Moon in Leo: Jan. 22 from 8:19 – 10:21 pm

What does “VOC” stand for? It’s shorthand for void-of-course.

Explanation for astrology nerds

When I say the moon is “Void-of-course” (or VOC), I’m referring to the period after the moon has made its last major Ptolemaic aspect* in one sign and before it moves into the next sign. During this period, the moon is not making any major aspects to the sun or planets. Minor aspects or aspects to asteroids like Chiron aren’t taken into consideration.

* The Ptolemaic aspects are the conjunction, opposition, square, trine, and sextile.

This is the traditional definition of void-of-course as I understand it, recorded by Roman astrologer Firmicus Maternus and studied for 45 years by astrologer Al H. Morrison in the 20th century. Some astrologers throw in some other aspects or take asteroids into consideration, but I like to keep it simple.

The void-of-course moon is most traditionally used in horary astrology, the set of astrological techniques for divining answers to specific questions. It’s only more recently that astrologers and laypeople in the west have put it into everyday use.

Explanation for everybody

The moon is void-of-course once every two days or so, and may be VOC for only a few minutes, a few hours, or a full day.

When the moon is void-of-course, she is “resting,” but the influence is subtle. The astrological interpretation of this period is that we feel more like relaxing than being productive, thoughts are ‘fuzzier’, activities take a vague direction or need to be redone. With some similarity to a planet’s retrograde period, the VOC is a time for more inward reflection than outward action.

The most important reason for noting a VOC Moon is to plan the launch of a new project, deal, or decision around the VOC period. This is a time to avoid starting anything big and new, because it may not go anywhere, or it may need to be redone at a later date.

How to use the VOC Moon

Pay sparing attention to the VOC Moon. Schedule important beginnings for another time, and otherwise go on with business as usual. It’s too easy to spiral into a state of information overload when you start merging all kinds of astrological techniques to plan your life. Something that happens every two days or so is not a big enough influence to freak out about.

I know an entrepreneur who uses VOC moons to schedule important meetings. He won’t schedule a business meeting, especially one that will lead to an important contract, during the VOC Moon. Notice that this refers to client meetings—he might still have lunch with a friend, catch up with his assistant, or get a report from his team during a VOC period if he needs to proceed with work. Life does not have to stop altogether. However, he has noticed that client meetings during VOC moons tend not to deliver tangible results. This is one way to use astrology to plan your life without going overboard.

So if you have a big meeting with an important client to schedule, a magical working to perform, or a fresh start to make, plan a time when the moon is not marked “VOC.” Otherwise, live your life.

Image Credit: “Lunar Day" from Recreations in Astronomy by H. D. Warren D. D., 1879