Astrology of March 2012
by Henry Seltzer (
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The Astrology of March is powerful, and features two important retrogrades: Mars and Mercury, along with the archetypal energies of Chiron, Uranus Neptune and Pluto. The red planet, still retrograde in Virgo, gets back to almost the beginning of the sign by the end of the month, heading toward its direct motion on April 13th. Mercury also retrogrades this month, from March 12th to nearly the end of April when you take the period of the retrograde shadow into account. We can expect a more deeply meditative and internal time than the usual Mercury retrograde, because Mars is also retrograde in mutual reception with Mercury, and because the mist of numinousity represented by Neptune and the sign of Pisces is so greatly emphasized by the recent Pisces New Moon from February 21st.

Pluto is also highlighted this month, at the time of the mid-month First Quarter Moon, when there is a huge Grand trine in Earth signs that includes Pluto in Capricorn. The initial stages of the Mercury retrograde period that begins a few days prior also emphasize Pluto, with Mercury squaring Pluto and in close conjunction with Uranus. The forming square of Uranus and Pluto – that important world transit aspect that gets progressively more and more intense throughout the spring and early summer – is therefore brought to greater consciousness at precisely this mid-month time. This presages a greater awareness that we have seen thus far regarding the radical transformation and evolutionary or even revolutionary series of insights that are necessary to allow this culture to thrive as it emerges into the 2020’s.

The numinous quality of Neptune, together with the crucial accompanying reliance on Spirit as a significant guidepost, is also quite powerfully constellated now. This is because Neptune was closely conjuncted by the powerful New Moon from the 21st of February which also closely aspected Uranus. The present month will see a repeat of the spacey qualities associated with the ruler of the oceans, combined with the more frequent occurrences of synchronicity that are the specialty of Uranus. Just as throughout February, we will find surprising enlightenment at every turn if we can only open our eyes to see it.

Meanwhile Mercury, after the 11th, begins its retrograde; so that the last two thirds of the month exhibit the usual symptoms of deep introspection, missed connections and mechanical breakdown. Since Mars is also retrograde, this is exacerbated by the factor of the mutual reception between them. Also, during the early part of its retrograde period Mercury will aspect retrograde Mars, as well as Uranus, Chiron and Pluto. Insights will be paramount and supplant action as the most important mode in operation. At the March 14th Last Quarter Moon there is a powerful Grand trine in Earth signs between Venus conjunct Jupiter, retrograde Mars, and Pluto. This phase is normally introspective in any case, and it may well be that during this mid-month period we will be getting down into the deepest places within us, perhaps to a part of ourselves that has been wounded in the past, and attempt to work with these deeper parts of ourselves in a constructive and practical manner.

The March 22nd New Moon in Aries, coming just a few days after the Spring Equinox, also represents an exciting juncture, since very near the Aries point and in conjunction with unpredictable Uranus. The New Moon forms a yod formation with retrograde Mars and with Saturn, retrograde in late Libra, making a bridge for practicality and yet heralding even greater frustration with forward motion. Uranus also is semi-sextile to the Neptune / Chiron midpoint. Epiphanies prevail. This is all and all a very exciting month and one that will be redolent of new understanding regarding where we are in our personal lives and as a collective; thus providing insights that are sorely needed at this climactic stage of our turbulent decade.

March 8th
Full Moon
Full Moon Chart The Full Moon in Virgo that arrives on Thursday, March 8th, is an interesting one. A slowing Mercury conjuncts Uranus. The Moon is linked with retrograde Mars. Through the somewhat abstract aspect known as the parallel, the Sun and Moon, opposed in the sky, are also connected with Chiron, Uranus, and Mercury, just as Mercury begins to slow down, preparing for its retrograde on March 12th. When Mercury retrogrades in a few days in early Aries it will reverse into a second conjunction with Uranus – so that this is very much a time of Uranus empowerment. There is a trickster energy available to us now that transcends the logical categories of the conscious mind, and that puts us into direct intuitional understanding of what Uranus implies: the very architecture of the universe. This can be seen on a superficial level as the very frequent occurrences of synchronicity these days, defined as a meaningful relationship between events that is nevertheless not a causal relationship. This acausal principle of connection is in fact the very basis of astrology. The planets conspire, up there, and earthly events somehow correspond; as above, so below.

A more useful addendum is that the synchronicities flinging themselves at us these days can convey information to us from, as variously called – the Universe, or your Higher Self, or God or Goddess. And this is information that you can receive from no other source. So if you have a bright idea while you are out driving somewhere that might turn a relationship around or create an opening for societal revival around some particular issue, and simultaneously the Green Light signals “Go!” – pay attention. It is the Universe applauding.

Additionally with this Full Moon of March 8th, a significant Grand Trine is forming in Earth signs between retrograde Mars in Virgo, Jupiter in Taurus and Pluto in Capricorn. This Grand Trine perfects with the Last Quarter Moon of March 14th, when it is quite exact all around, within a few minutes of a degree of zodiacal longitude, so that the week between that event and this will be more and more eventful in terms of the action of Pluto, which is to remind us that everything that is alive is living in the shadow of constant change, and that to believe in any form or stasis is mere comforting illusion. You might really see and feel your life transform in some area, perhaps one that is consistent with where and how transiting Pluto hits your natal chart.

The exciting thing about this Grand Trine is that all three planets are moving toward the meeting place of March 14th, Pluto very slowly, Jupiter directly, and Mars in retrograde motion, so that they are suddenly next week in perfect alignment. Retrograde Mars in combination with Pluto means that forward motion toward our goals is suspended, at least somewhat, in favor of taking a good hard look under the covers of all our motivations.

With Uranus and Pluto both prominent now, and their forming square only about 5 degrees from exact, we might also get a preview of the coming intensity of their first exact connect in June. This indicates a place in our lives where an existing structure must change, with awareness, into a completely new form. Something within us must die in order that we are in the process reborn, and this is never easy. It is comforting to recognize that the necessity being forced upon us indicated by the symbolism of Pluto in combination with revolutionary Uranus is, while difficult, in our own best interest. The Universe is looking after us – as always – and this case with a form of tough love.

March 14th
Last Quarter Moon
Last Quarter Moon Chart The Last Quarter Moon taking place on the evening of Wednesday, March 14th, marks an exciting and interesting mid-month period. This phase is traditionally a time when we reevaluate, looking back over the previous three weeks of the lunar cycle, and preparing for the next. The contemplative nature of this time is reinforced by the Moon in high-minded Sagittarius, and greatly intensified as we head toward this particular Spring Equinox due to the current inner planet retrogrades. Not only Mars but Mercury is now retrograde, with Mercury moving backward through early Aries toward Uranus. This means that we will likely have even more of the usual unexpected breakdowns and missed connections, within a mental environment favoring inward contemplation over direct action. With Uranus highlighted we will also see an increase in synchronicities together with the surprising enlightenment they bring and participate in a more inclusive spiritual vision that includes other-dimensional realities as commonplace.

The trine relationship at this time of retrograde Mars to Pluto is even more dramatic. Mars has retrograded backward in Virgo to the 9 plus degree mark, the same degree in Capricorn where a slowing Pluto now resides, and is actually less than one minute of a degree off at the time of this Last Quarter Moon. This exact trine between Mars and Pluto is timed to coincide with Jupiter in the 10th degree of Taurus, conjoined by Venus, thus making a Grand Trine in Earth signs. Mars also currently opposes Chiron in Pisces, an aspect that gets closer over the week that follows. Mars with Pluto might normally symbolize hidden anger exploding, as we unfortunately witnessed over this past weekend in Afghanistan, when a lone soldier killed 16 civilians there. This tendency for explosions of rage is muted, however, by the fact that Mars is currently retrograde, and aspects Chiron, so that the action of this combination also manifests on a far deeper and more internal level. This therefore might well be a time when we transform outward aggression by means of deep reflection on the motivations for aggression, and for our own self-assertion or its lack.

The combination of Venus with Pluto is also important to consider. We will be, more than usual, subject to the storm of our desires and might be able to take the opportunity to reflect as well on these deep urges and their origins. Thus the motivations for both our assertive and our loving and relating activities are truly “up” for us now, and available to the contemplative view of our inner eye, with everything that happens appearing as grist for the mill of our enlightenment. Regarding these important areas of relationship and achievement, may inner contemplation result in genuinely new vision regarding our life and its challenges, in realms both collective and personal. Blessed be!

March 22nd
New Moon
New Moon Chart The Aries New Moon that graces us this Thursday morning, March 22nd, is an unusually intense one. This beginning of the Soli-Lunar sequence immediately follows the Spring Equinox, when the world begins its new yearly cycle. This obviously signals a profound time, equivalent in many ways to the traditional New Year of January 1st; you might make a resolution or perhaps take stock on how your recent resolutions are doing as we conclude this third month of 2012.

Mercury remains retrograde, still in Aries, and has moved backward through the sign to almost the exact Aries point of 0 degrees. With the New Moon at 2 plus degrees and Uranus at 4, this New Moon thus represents a powerful trigger for Uranus in Aries, the planet within sign of an awakening human consciousness. Uranus in Aries lasts about seven years, continuing throughout this decade of the turbulent teens right up to 2019. A marked increase in synchronicity has been observable lately and this tendency will likely increase over the next two weeks of the prime of this lunation cycle. With Mercury turned inward, it is our innermost thoughts that really count. Carefully weighing any and all meaningful coincidences that arise is only part of the story now, since the unexpected epiphanies that flow from these explorations will represent to your conscious self the opening for further transformation.

This powerful symbolism has been flirting with us for nearly two years, since June of 2010 when Uranus first entered the sign of Aries before retreating into Pisces until last spring. This month and New Moon could be considered its true coming-out party. The Sabian Symbols of the New Moon and also of Uranus are revealing: “A cameo profile of a man in the outline of his country;” and “A triangle with wings.” Marc Edmond Jones has for the first: “[the] capacity for giving full play to every ramification of the reality [you] have created for yourself.” In other words, and especially with Uranus involved, trust your intuition. This might tell you more about what you are up to than a raft of job counselors. The second symbol, for the degree of Aries where Uranus currently resides – A triangle with wings – speaks to the intense creativity and high potency of this moment in time.

This powerful New Moon is accompanied by yet another symbolism that reveals an important part of our ongoing metamorphosis as we find our way into Aquarian Age humanity, namely the opposition of retrograde Mars to Chiron in Pisces. This opposition, exact to the minute at the time of the New Moon, presages a valuable inner exploration of all our motivation for aggression and anger, as well as for normal healthy assertiveness or its lack. It might be that over the course of this four-week cycle we come to realize where we are stopped in frustration or too easily started up in rage. These types of knee-jerk reactions stem from ancient trauma experienced in childhood and bottled up inside ever since, walled off from our waking reality by barriers of grief or shame. The symbolism of Chiron, the Wounded Healer, entirely relates to this concept of the hidden patterns that represent the real motivating factors of our most extreme actions. As a noted psychologist has stated, we are never angry for the reason that we think we are.

Our conscious minds are part discriminating perception and part illusion, in many instances covering up the actual well-springs of our behavior, and we have a true opening now to understand ourselves and our relationships much better. It is possible that we will be enabled over the ensuing days and weeks to make important necessary inroads for that process, preparing ourselves for the radical transformation still to come in this climactic year and decade.

March 30th
First Quarter Moon
First Quarter Moon Chart The First Quarter Moon that comes along Friday, March 30th, is a powerhouse for mainly one reason – that as the Sun and Moon come into their square aspect, they square and oppose, respectively, Pluto in Capricorn, thus bringing his energy for radical transformation into the picture once more just as Pluto's square with Uranus begins to draw closer. The First Quarter Moon in fact always represents a minor form of crisis when the rubber meets the road in terms of concepts that have arisen from the time of the New Moon and now must pass the test of real-world viability; this time even more so. Therefore this First Quarter Moon is an especially powerful juncture. The Uranus-Pluto square that astrologers have been writing about for months now will perfect on June 24th for the first of seven times throughout the decade. As of the end of this current month of March their difference from exact has narrowed to a mere 5 degrees, so that the revolutionary symbolism that they represent will kick up another notch. In fact, plans have recently been announced for further Occupy Wall Street protests in the spring in this county, not to mention developments in other hot spots around the world.

The New Moon that began this cycle last March 22nd highlighted Uranus, while the Full Moon that follows will closely aspect Neptune, so that all three outer planets are triggered in this early spring timeframe. Since Mercury and Mars are still retrograde it will be a good time to reevaluate our current arc of spiritual and evolutionary development. The outer planets were called by seminal astrologer Dane Rudhyar the "Ambassadors of the Galaxy" and in fact are just what the doctor ordered as we evolve as a culture beyond the constrictions of 20th century thinking. The sudden enlightenment represented by Uranus that can also be shocking is channeled by the other-worldly energy of Neptune into alignment with Spirit, something that has been culturally lacking. As our ideals are becoming realigned in this way along comes the energy of Pluto, the wrecking ball, utterly destroying the old to make way for the new – allowing a foundation point that that can be built upon by the emerging idea – rough as that might be to the dwellers within the old paradigm. Teamed with Uranus, and peripherally with Neptune in the early degrees of its own sign, Pluto is a force for change that is difficult to resist, or at least not for very long.

These cosmic energies apply to the surrounding collective but they apply in an even more poignant way to individuals. We all have places where we need to improve on the existing plan, and we all need that kick in the butt to get us started. These are indeed the times that try men's and women's souls, but for an ultimately good purpose. It helps to reflect upon this notion as we are contemplating the wreckage of a cherished piece of the past. We might or might not manage to rise to the occasion; no blame if we do not. We are all in some manner on the road to wisdom and our personal evolution, each on our own schedule. And if we ignore the problem, don't worry! It will get worse.