Pisces New Moon: Astrology, the big picture and the personal experience

The Pisces New Moon

Today, February 22, the New Moon brings her lunar blessing to Neptune in Pisces (who entered this Sign on February 4, first time since 1848), thus bringing our personal emotions in touch with the collective awareness Neptune imparted on the Sun’s ingress into Pisces on February 19. This is a great deal of Neptunian energy to absorb and integrate in our lives in a short time, considering that Mercury is also transiting Pisces and will do so until March 4 (then again, due to Retrogradation, from March 24 to April 17). Plus Chiron and the Asteroids Pallas (Athena or Minerva) and Vesta (Hestia) are also in Pisces. Like with all planetary energies there are positive and negative sides to Neptune. Of course the more Pisces and Neptune’s energy are highlighted in your Natal or Progressed Chart the more these transits will be significant for you personally. Other Signs in direct line of contact with this New Moon are Cancer, Scorpio, Virgo, Gemini and Sagittarius.

The vibrations of this planet are subtle, especially now that is transiting watery Pisces, so that it is difficult even to describe them. They have the power to inspire a vague longing for something other than what we got, without showing clearly what that is. From these feelings often arise a sense of unidentified discontent that can drain our energies and cause us to become ineffectual in our job or daily tasks, and also dissatisfied with our relationships, without particularly knowing why it should be so. All of this could inspire us to look into the discontent and realize that it is telling us that we need to become more open to the spiritual aspect of life, that we need to stop or slow the daily race in order to be able to listen to the music of our inner world. The nostalgia we feel is for the soulful world of dream, imagination and love that we may have lost sight of in our pursuit of material security in this world or because we needed to fit in somehow. My advice to clients who come to see me during  a Neptune’ transit is to try to find time to get out of it all, to be spontaneous, try their hands at art, music, travel, fall in love and forget everything else, practice transcendental meditation or just enter that lull of awareness through which much that we have forgotten may come back to us, including the joy of just being or giving or loving without expectations or strings attached.

If you are already the type of person who values dreams and the symbolical life, if you are an artist or would-be artist, or are already conscious of psychic or mystical tendencies, these transits will suit you well, helping you to pursue these interests in a deeper way; but they could also make you even more dreamy and unpractical (no good if you are trying to get a job or to put your house in order!). On the other hand, if you are mainly a practical person, busy with your family and career, goal oriented and used to get your own way,  you could find Neptune and Pisces’ transits a somewhat bewildering experience, bringing you out of your comfort zone, in strange and foggy back alleys, where you feel you could become irreparably lost. Your efficiency level may drop and things which are usually simple for you will seem rather complicated and muddled; or things you always considered in a certain, set way will come under the uncanny scrutiny of a different type of questioning. If this is the case, the best thing to do will be to slow down, learning to relax and to purposely lose control of your situation, now and then, so to realize that things can run their own curse even without your constant intervention. A more spiritual, less straight and controlled life is beckoning, it would be sad if you miss that call. The dissatisfaction about your present circumstances,  the lack of direction and low energy are all telling you that there is more to life than chores, business or paying the bills.

Below is the Chart of the Pisces New Moon, calculated for the coordinates of Wollumbin, my place, 11 hours east of Greenwich. The relative positions of Sun, Moon and Planets remain the same all over the world, what changes from place to place is the orientation of the same to the local horizon, above, below, east or west. If you want to convert my standard of time to yours, please visit  the World Clock site HERE.

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The Sun and Moon are separating from a trine (120 degrees) to Saturn in Libra and applying to a sextile (60 degrees) to Jupiter in Taurus, both positive aspects, helping us to keep our feet on the ground (Saturn) but not so firmly as to lose sight of the lofty aspirations that the Pisces New Moon can bring (Jupiter). The Sun and Moon are also just separating from Neptune while applying to a conjunction to Chiron, aspect that shows the potential for healing emotional and physical ills, and also for perceiving the spiritual message of  those circumstances that can’t be healed or changed in our lives, to relinquish our control to powers greater than ourselves. The closest aspect of the Sun and Moon, nearly exact at the time of the phase, is their conjunction to Pallas, one of the four major bodies in the Asteroids belt, orbiting between Mars and Jupiter.  This aspect stresses the need for women to become more independent and to fight for what they feel is right, Pallas symbolizing strong and combative women (see the traditional representation of this Goddess dressed in full armor, ready for combat), without losing however that feminine wisdom that has guided women from the beginning of time, a psychic function that Pallas also represents (see the ancient owl resting on her shoulder and the head of powerful Medusa on her shield). The Sun and Moon are also forming a difficult contact with another Asteroid, Juno (Hera) in Sagittarius, showing that trouble in close partnerships and marriage will be brought up to the light during this phase, when deep emotions, love and compassion (Pisces) may antagonize our desire for freedom and independence (Sagittarius). Juno, the mythological wife of Jupiter, the king of all Gods,  is in fact the Goddess of marriage and, in particular, of the commitment, duties and responsibilities that such relationship entails. The aspects with the Asteroids just described are reinforced by the transits of Venus (archetype of everything feminine) in fiery and often feisty Aries, active until March 5. To read my recent post on Venus in Aries please click HERE.

Random thoughts on the astrological big picture and also on the personal experience of transits

The other day, writing the post on the Sun entering Pisces and his conjunction to Neptune, I waxed lyrical about all the wonderful possibilities of this otherworldly event. Having had time to reflect on it and further doses of dreadful news from all corners of the planet, I feel the need to put that particular reading in the context of the major planetary configurations also active at this time.

When in Astrology we concentrate on something specific we naturally run the risk of taking a one sided approach to a reality that is in fact multifaceted. This obvious fact doesn’t take away the potential I highlighted for experiencing life in a more holistic way in the next 13 years or so, during the slow transit of Neptune in Pisces. Said that, there is however so much more that can and will stress instead the more divisive and antagonistic approach to collective problem-solving on the planet. I am talking here in particular of the transits of Uranus in Aries and Pluto in Capricorn, aspects that are manifesting on a daily basis in more acts of war and mayhem all around the globe. The specter of nuclear proliferation and conflict is rearing its ugly head again in one of the worse ideological and political confrontations in recent years, between arch-enemies Israel, who already possesses a nuclear arsenal, and Iran who is working hard at getting one, despite international condemnation and sanctions. Knowing that the right angle (90 degrees or square) between Uranus and Pluto is still forming and will be with us for a few years puts those dangers in an even more glaring light. What I see here is a further ideological and spiritual division between idealistic people who will accept less and less the old sectarianism and prejudices, embracing a more inclusive view of life, but who also run the risk of aspiring too high and therefore achieving little in the end (Neptune in Pisces), and those instead who either want to uphold the past at any cost (Pluto in Capricorn) and those who are intent at rebelling against it using violence (Uranus in Aries), both, more or less consciously, working  against the possibility of peace and reconciliation. All of us though, in one way or another, are upholding some type of change even when we seem to be desperately intent at maintaining the status quo. The world itself is going through a phase of rapid changes (see global warming for instance) so that even the more passive or indifferent amongst us will have to adapt to new circumstances in order to survive, physically and/or psychologically.

Coming back to my own personal experience, and despite all the difficulties indicated by other transits, the soul enhancing effect of the Neptune’s transits has become palpable and very real during my sessions with clients in the last few weeks (one reason why I waxed so lyrical talking about them, I suppose). Magic connections have happened, with clients proving particularly sensitive and open to the inner life described by their Charts, while I have been perhaps more able than usual to convey the message of Astrology in terms that have captured their imagination, filling their and mine sense of longing for a more meaningful life. At first I felt this to be mainly a feminine connection, with women younger, older and the same age as me, but then the same happened with men too, showing that the Spirit is not sexist, bestowing the same gift of insight to anyone who is eager to receive it.

To view my recent post on the ingress of the Sun in Pisces and his conjunction to Neptune please click HERE.

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The Sun enters Pisces, February 19, 2012

'Priest in trance', courtesy of Helga Hornung ~ http://www.helga-hornung.de/ - click image to link to Helga's site

The Sun enters the watery realm of Pisces on February 19. This year the place is crowded, as you can easily observe by looking at the Horoscope below. The Sun meets Neptune first thing on February 19, and then, within a few days, the asteroid Pallas (Athena) and Chiron in Pisces. In the same Sign, at the time of the ingress, are also Mercury and the asteroid Vesta. These transits and others, active on the day of the ingress, add their particular hues to the colouring of the astrological Pisces month, from February 19 to March 21.

Here is the Horoscope for this event, calculated for the coordinates of Wollumbin, my place in Eastern Australia. The relative positions of Sun, Moon and Planets remain the same all over the world, what changes from place to place is the orientation of the same to the local horizon, above, below, east or west.  To convert my standard time (5.17.36 pm) to yours you can use the World Clock HERE.

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The meeting of the Sun with Neptune is a yearly event, but the last time this meeting happened in Pisces was in February 1848! When we look a this year conjunction in this way we may realize how significant a cosmic event this is.

The function of the Sun, astrologically speaking, is to bring things in the light of consciousness, to make us more aware of the particular energy of planets and Signs. The yearly conjunction Sun-Neptune is always an ideal time to become aware of the underlying unity of all people, nationalities, cultures, religions, genders, ages, blurring the differences and washing away the rigid boundaries that usually divide us from others. This time the opportunity will be even greater, because, from now on, the conjunction will repeat yearly in Pisces until 2025. Among the gifts of Neptune in Pisces are imagination, creativity, a renaissance of the feminine arts, from domestic crafts to nursing the growth of plants and creatures other than ourselves. During the next few years it will become more obvious that we don’t own the place, we don’t rule the world, and that other creatures have as much right to live here than we have. In fact Pisces suggests that much of the power we have accumulated on this Earth may be taken away from us, eroded in irreparable way; not simply to teach us a lesson but because it is in the nature of things to eventually go back to their source.

Not only we envision now to protect the last wildernesses, but to actually re-create the ones that have disappeared. We will come to know more closely our oceans, rivers and lakes, and many will return to a sacred conception of the world and of nature as inextricably entwined with us, as us, not separated from the intelligence or the soul that we have believed, for a long time, to be our unique birth right. With tears of either joy or sorrow we may learn to be more receptive to our environment and each other.

Pisces, like Neptune, the planet that is said to ‘rule’ this Sign, is the least rigid, more fluid and unifying Sign of the whole Zodiac. We then could really celebrate today, and for the next 14 years, our common humanness, that shared soul that, in its diverse manifestations, is expression of the divine in ourselves and nature.

The transits occurring at the time of the ingress suggest also that strong spiritual connections can be made this month and that exploring our own depths will be also facilitated. The Moon is transiting one of the twelve magic cusps of the zodiac, between Capricorn and Aquarius, from the earthly, personal plane of experience to the mental plane of abstractions, ideas and communal feelings. The Moon is also Balsamic, the last phase in her cycle, getting closer every day to the New Moon that will occur in Pisces on February 22. The Balsamic phase is one during which we are given the opportunity to penetrate to the essence of the lunar month that is now finishing, to heal the wounds that have recently opened or the ones that life has re-opened for us in the last few weeks. Finding the meaning and richness of all these experiences is the gift of the Balsamic Moon.  

Other significant transits involve Pluto in Capricorn,  planet of emotional transformation and depth of knowing: Venus in Aries is separating from a square aspect to Pluto (90 degrees), Mercury in Pisces is in sextile aspect to Pluto (60 degrees); and Jupiter in Taurus is in trine aspect to Pluto, the last pass of a transit that has been active since July 2011 (120 degrees). This last aspect is already active but will become exact only on March 13.  We are encouraged here to look with greater honesty and insight into the secret dynamics of our relationships (Venus), our thought and communication patterns (Mercury) and the drive to improve our lives and expand our consciousness (Jupiter).

Ode of Intimations of Immortality by William Wordsworth, to welcome Neptune in Pisces

'Childhood' from the 'Voyage of Life' by Thomas Coles (1801-1848) ~ Click to view detail

The ‘Ode of  Intimations of Immortality’ was published by Wordsworth between 1802 and 1805, when transiting Neptune in Scorpio was crossing his Natal Ascendant (exact just around the poet’s 1802 thirty-second birthday). Neptune was also applying then to a sextile to Natal Moon in Virgo. Amazingly his Secondary Progressed Moon happened to be conjunct the transiting Neptune in Scorpio around the same date as well! The Progressed Mercury in Taurus and Progressed/Natal Saturn in Cancer were also in sextile with each other (Natal Mercury in Pisces was conjunct Natal Chiron and both were in trine to Natal Saturn in Cancer, good start). In his Solar Return for 1802 transiting Neptune happened to be on the Mid-Heaven and Mercury was returning to the place it occupied at birth).

Between 1804 and 1805 (year the complete poem was published) transiting Neptune in Scorpio was trine Natal Mercury and Chiron in Pisces and Natal Saturn in Cancer (Water Grand Trine), around the time of Wordsworth’s thirty-fourth birthday.

I came across some verses of this well known poem while reading a book on the Grail Quest by Trevor Ravenscroft. I felt that both the Holy Grail and the poem were great symbols for Neptune in Pisces. It is no coincidence that I am re-reading stuff about the Grail as Neptune trines my Sun in Cancer. It got even better however  when later I discovered the stunning astrological connection of poem and poet to Neptune, while I was posting the poem and decided to look at the poet’s Natal Chart and then his Progressions and Returns. So I have to share this.

Here is William Wordsworth’s Natal Chart.  And below it a 3wheels Chart with his Natal Chart in the inner wheel, his 1802 Progressed Horoscope in the middle wheel, and the Solar Return for the same year in the outer wheel.

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Willliam Wordsworth’s (1770-1850)
‘The Ode of Intimations of Immortality, from ‘Recollections of early childhood’

note: I have highlighted (bold) the passage of the poem I found in the Grail book.

There was a time when meadow, grove, and stream,
The earth, and every common sight,
To me did seem
Apparell’d in celestial light,
The glory and the freshness of a dream.
It is not now as it hath been of yore;—
Turn wheresoe’er I may,
By night or day,
The things which I have seen I now can see no more.

The rainbow comes and goes,
And lovely is the rose;
The moon doth with delight
Look round her when the heavens are bare;
Waters on a starry night
Are beautiful and fair;
The sunshine is a glorious birth;
But yet I know, where’er I go,
That there hath pass’d away a glory from the earth.

Now, while the birds thus sing a joyous song,
And while the young lambs bound
As to the tabor’s sound,
To me alone there came a thought of grief:
A timely utterance gave that thought relief,
And I again am strong:
The cataracts blow their trumpets from the steep;
No more shall grief of mine the season wrong;
I hear the echoes through the mountains throng,
The winds come to me from the fields of sleep,
And all the earth is gay;
Land and sea
Give themselves up to jollity,
And with the heart of May
Doth every beast keep holiday;—
Thou Child of Joy,
Shout round me, let me hear thy shouts, thou happy
Shepherd-boy!

Ye blessèd creatures, I have heard the call
Ye to each other make; I see
The heavens laugh with you in your jubilee;
My heart is at your festival,
My head hath its coronal,
The fulness of your bliss, I feel—I feel it all.
O evil day! if I were sullen
While Earth herself is adorning,
This sweet May-morning,
And the children are culling
On every side,
In a thousand valleys far and wide,
Fresh flowers; while the sun shines warm,
And the babe leaps up on his mother’s arm:
I hear, I hear, with joy I hear!
—But there’s a tree, of many, one,
A single field which I have look’d upon,
Both of them speak of something that is gone:
The pansy at my feet
Doth the same tale repeat:
Whither is fled the visionary gleam?
Where is it now, the glory and the dream?

Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting:
The Soul that rises with us, our life’s Star,
Hath had elsewhere its setting,
And cometh from afar:
Not in entire forgetfulness,
And not in utter nakedness,
But trailing clouds of glory do we come
From God, who is our home:
Heaven lies about us in our infancy!
Shades of the prison-house begin to close
Upon the growing Boy,
But he beholds the light, and whence it flows,
He sees it in his joy;
The Youth, who daily farther from the east
Must travel, still is Nature’s priest,
And by the vision splendid
Is on his way attended;
At length the Man perceives it die away,
And fade into the light of common day.

Earth fills her lap with pleasures of her own;
Yearnings she hath in her own natural kind,
And, even with something of a mother’s mind,
And no unworthy aim,
The homely nurse doth all she can
To make her foster-child, her Inmate Man,
Forget the glories he hath known,
And that imperial palace whence he came.

Behold the Child among his new-born blisses,
A six years’ darling of a pigmy size!
See, where ‘mid work of his own hand he lies,
Fretted by sallies of his mother’s kisses,
With light upon him from his father’s eyes!
See, at his feet, some little plan or chart,
Some fragment from his dream of human life,
Shaped by himself with newly-learnèd art;
A wedding or a festival,
A mourning or a funeral;
And this hath now his heart,
And unto this he frames his song:
Then will he fit his tongue
To dialogues of business, love, or strife;
But it will not be long
Ere this be thrown aside,
And with new joy and pride
The little actor cons another part;
Filling from time to time his ‘humorous stage’
With all the Persons, down to palsied Age,
That Life brings with her in her equipage;
As if his whole vocation
Were endless imitation.

Thou, whose exterior semblance doth belie
Thy soul’s immensity;
Thou best philosopher, who yet dost keep
Thy heritage, thou eye among the blind,
That, deaf and silent, read’st the eternal deep,
Haunted for ever by the eternal mind,—
Mighty prophet! Seer blest!
On whom those truths do rest,
Which we are toiling all our lives to find,
In darkness lost, the darkness of the grave;
Thou, over whom thy Immortality
Broods like the Day, a master o’er a slave,
A presence which is not to be put by;
To whom the grave
Is but a lonely bed without the sense or sight
Of day or the warm light,
A place of thought where we in waiting lie;
Thou little Child, yet glorious in the might
Of heaven-born freedom on thy being’s height,
Why with such earnest pains dost thou provoke
The years to bring the inevitable yoke,
Thus blindly with thy blessedness at strife?
Full soon thy soul shall have her earthly freight,
And custom lie upon thee with a weight,
Heavy as frost, and deep almost as life!

O joy! that in our embers
Is something that doth live,
That nature yet remembers
What was so fugitive!
The thought of our past years in me doth breed
Perpetual benediction: not indeed
For that which is most worthy to be blest—
Delight and liberty, the simple creed
Of childhood, whether busy or at rest,
With new-fledged hope still fluttering in his breast:—
Not for these I raise
The song of thanks and praise;
But for those obstinate questionings
Of sense and outward things,
Fallings from us, vanishings;
Blank misgivings of a Creature
Moving about in worlds not realized,
High instincts before which our mortal Nature
Did tremble like a guilty thing surprised:
But for those first affections,
Those shadowy recollections,
Which, be they what they may,
Are yet the fountain-light of all our day,
Are yet a master-light of all our seeing;
Uphold us, cherish, and have power to make
Our noisy years seem moments in the being
Of the eternal Silence: truths that wake,
To perish never:
Which neither listlessness, nor mad endeavour,
Nor Man nor Boy,
Nor all that is at enmity with joy,
Can utterly abolish or destroy!
Hence in a season of calm weather
Though inland far we be,
Our souls have sight of that immortal sea
Which brought us hither,
Can in a moment travel thither,
And see the children sport upon the shore,
And hear the mighty waters rolling evermore.

Then sing, ye birds, sing, sing a joyous song!
And let the young lambs bound
As to the tabor’s sound!
We in thought will join your throng,
Ye that pipe and ye that play,
Ye that through your hearts to-day
Feel the gladness of the May!
What though the radiance which was once so bright
Be now for ever taken from my sight,
Though nothing can bring back the hour
Of splendour in the grass, of glory in the flower;
We will grieve not, rather find
Strength in what remains behind;
In the primal sympathy
Which having been must ever be;
In the soothing thoughts that spring
Out of human suffering;
In the faith that looks through death,
In years that bring the philosophic mind.

And O ye Fountains, Meadows, Hills, and Groves,
Forebode not any severing of our loves!
Yet in my heart of hearts I feel your might;
I only have relinquish’d one delight
To live beneath your more habitual sway.
I love the brooks which down their channels fret,
Even more than when I tripp’d lightly as they;
The innocent brightness of a new-born Day
Is lovely yet;
The clouds that gather round the setting sun
Do take a sober colouring from an eye
That hath kept watch o’er man’s mortality;
Another race hath been, and other palms are won.
Thanks to the human heart by which we live,
Thanks to its tenderness, its joys, and fears,
To me the meanest flower that blows can give
Thoughts that do often lie too deep for tears.

HERE is the Wikipedia article on this poem.

February 4, 2012, Neptune in Pisces: time for forgiving, forgetting, dreaming, loving

The aftermath of the Aquarius New Moon 2012

Prosperity and luck are the gifts the Dragon brings to the New Year. Let's hope it is so, this world needing all the luck it can get. The Water Dragon is a less fiery fellow than his siblings. Cautious and diplomatic this Dragon achieves success via patience and perseverance, without compromising his ambition and natural leading abilities.

Rain, serious rain has come to our and surrounding regions, in New South Wales and Queensland. The system is now developing into a possibly major flood event. This is a pattern I have seen here many years ago, when the tail of the tropical monsoon announces the end of summer proper for us in the sub-tropics.

Rivers and creeks are overflowing their banks. All vegetation is intensely green, shiny with water, drooping toward the soggy ground. The slopy path where the doggies and I walk has been transformed overnight into a liquid staircase; rocks, pebbles and dirt rearranged in dramatic ways.

No wonder. All started with the Water Bearer New Moon, on the 23rd, gate to the lunar year of the Water Dragon, while Venus and Chiron are swimming in the ocean of Pisces, and Neptune is on the threshold of the same watery realm, his contact with Saturn (trine) making the oceanic effect more palpable.

The Sun and Moon are together at the New Moon and so also share the same planetary aspects. The most important amongst these is the Tsquare with Jupiter and Saturn, themselves in an out of Signs opposition. I discussed the T-square Sun-Jupiter-Saturn at length in an earlier post HERE. So the New Moon gives her blessing to the Sun ingress into Aquarius, providing a vessel for the manifestation of the T-square also. With the next New Moon in early Pisces the Aquarius period will correspond precisely to a lunar month, the opposition Jupiter-Saturn and the ingress of Neptune in Pisces (on February 4) the most important events. The sea saw effect of the Jupiter-Saturn’s opposition unfolding while Mars begins to move retrograde shows the need for reconsidering all sorts of issues this month and get back to real basic. For us it could mean cooking on an outdoor fire and working hard to keep things for becoming moldy. It is that sort of rain, frog weather.

I reproduce here something I wrote for the February/March edition of the Uki News, concerning the Retrogradation of Mars that started his Retro Station on the 24th degree of Virgo just around the Aquarius New Moon, so connected with it.

Of immediate interest to everyone is the Retrogradation of Mars in Virgo (January23-April15), a ‘get back to basic’ transit, lasting until early July. Virgo is a thrifty, crafty and responsible character, helping to ground the fiery Martial energy by directing it into practical tasks and routines.

Mars retracing his step in Virgo could be busy taking care of the little things, all the crummy and cluttered corners of one’s life; or doing some adding and subtracting, accounting, budgeting, so important for the smooth running of every household or business. Few key words: de-cluttering; spring/autumn cleaning; various chores, the more humble the better; detoxifying; dieting; exercising; having  health check; learning the language of your body in order to heal; trying vegetarian, vegan, it’s your pick. Spiritually Virgo is the Sign of purity and selfless service, also of ritual Earth Magic.”

This Moon phase will be particularly significant for Aquarius, born January 22 to 24 (by conjunction); Leo, born July 23 to 25 (by opposition); Taurus, born April 21 to 23 and Scorpio, October 24 to 26 (by square); Gemini, May 22 to 24 and Libra, born September 24 to 26 (by trine).

Other Transits I notice at this time are Uranus conjunct Ceres in Aries (comments welcome on this one. I am looking up major mundane events under the same conjunction). The Sun and Moon in sextile to Uranus and Ceres. Then Mercury in Capricorn trine Stationary Mars in Virgo.

Due to the flood I am unable to get to my office, my main power supply. Our solar batteries power is very low and so I can’t waffle on as usual. Here though is a Chart of the recent Aquarius New Moon calculated for our local coordinates. See any flood in it? Keep me posted if you have any idea you want to share about the weather or other topics. Always happy to hear from you.

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Libra Last Quarter Moon, January 16 to 20, 2012

After sharing or broadcasting our Cancer Full Moon experiences during the Virgo Disseminating phase (January 13 to 16), we should be now engaging earnestly in some serious inner dialogue during this yearly Libra Last Quarter. The way this dialogue will develop will depend on how much at peace or at war we are with ourselves at present. It could turn out to be an inner, painful struggle with some very personal demons, and/or an opportunity to gain precious insights on what has made this Moon cycle thick (since the Capricorn New Moon on December 25).

What we have ultimately learnt from it? And how can we integrate this ‘lesson’ with our overall life?

A Libra self-reflective phase got to be about relationships, focusing on the ideals we may cherish about them versus their flesh and blood reality.

The Quarter Moon (First or Last) is always a symbol of contrast, the light and the dark faces of the Moon showing us some dual aspects of reality. When this phase occurs in Libra two sides of our relationships becomes more apparent. The aim of Libra is to bring harmony between our life and the lives of other people, to find a common ground that will allow for a peaceful and well balanced existence, when both our individual needs and those of the ‘others’ in our life are met. Too often the ideals and dreams we cultivate about relationships are a far cry from their reality. How to bring harmony in this disharmony? How to reconcile ideal and real?

During the Last Quarter we tend to look within for causes and remedies. So it is within your heart that you will find the answer to this quandary. How much do we abide ourselves to the standards of relating we have set up for other people? Are we always aware of how much of our own psychic baggage we put on others?

Let’s give a look at the transits active a the start of this Libra Last Quarter, to observe what other planetary energies are contributing to this particular phase. The Moon is active in transit,  but so are the Sun, Venus, Saturn and Chiron.

Here is the Horoscope for the exact phase, calculated for the coordinates of Wollumbin, Northern Rivers, New South Wales, Australia. The relative positions of the Sun, Moon and Planets to each other and in the Signs will be the same all over the world; while their orientation to the local horizon changes for each locality (Ascendant, Mid-Heaven etc.).

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The Moon is involved in a complex configuration of transits, approaching first a conjunction to Saturn in Libra, then a trine to Neptune in Aquarius, an opposition to Jupiter in Taurus, and finally a trine to Venus and Chiron in Pisces.

The Moon-Saturn conjunction, the first aspect to become exact, gives a serious tone to the whole phase, making us feel more personally responsible for the discordance we may be experiencing in our close relationships, also more able to look realistically at what is going on. Both Saturn and Neptune are on the last degree of the Air Sign of Libra and Aquarius forming a mutual trine that will very close for a while but fail to become exact because of Neptune’s ingress into Pisces on February 4, and Saturn’s retrogradation through Libra, beginning on February 7. The Moon here is forming a link between these two planets, bringing their energies together in occasion of her Last Quarter. Neptune here can help us to get in touch with the more subtle, spiritual aspect of our experiences. So, while we can be practical and focused under the auspices of Saturn, we can also be aware of the mystery and the sense of fate underlying this period, with particular regard to relationships. Neptune highlights the need for compassion and forgiveness, as also do the Moon-Venus trine and the Venus-Chiron conjunction in the Neptunian Sign of Pisces.

As the Moon enters Scorpio, early on January 17, she opposes Jupiter in Taurus. Jupiter resumed his Direct motion in this Earth Sign on December 27. The contact with the Giant Planet gives a boost to the lunar emotions and moods, magnifying them but also giving them meaning, weaving them in the big tapestry of our life, connecting them like new threads to the whole design. Venus is, at the same time, also in sextile (harmonious aspect) to Jupiter, making the whole configuration more auspicious, promising wisdom in matter of love surging from the inner struggle of the Last Quarter Moon. Again compassion, surrendering to what is, rather than struggling toward the unattainable, healing of those wounds of inadequacy that stop us from giving and receiving the human affection and warmth we really need; all these are suggested by the connection of Moon,Venus, Chiron in the Water Signs of Scorpio and Pisces.

The recent ingress of Venus in Pisces (January 14 to February 8) is more than just a monthly Sign change for Venus. Neptune is very close to entering this Sign too (February 4), to remain there until 2025/26. Venus and Neptune are sympathetic planetary energies, embodying the powers of personal and universal love respectively. I can see then how our Evening Star in Pisces is heralding the soon to take place ingress of Neptune in the same Sign, reminding us of the spiritual unity of all human beings and the need to be more inclusive and open to address the ills of the world. Venus has began to show us the way in the context of our own personal relationships before Neptune direct our attention to more collective issues.

For more on Neptune in Pisces please navigate to this post on the major transits between January and March 2012 or Here and Here for two earlier articles.

Apart from those transits that directly involve the Moon others are also happening at the time of the Last Quarter, the most significant being the trine between the Sun in Capricorn and Mars in Virgo and the separating conjunction of Mercury and Pluto in Capricorn.

Sun-Mars’ contact is an energetic, constructive aspect that could help us to achieve much in action, especially by reforming negative habits and creating healthier and more efficient routines in our daily living. The Mercury-Pluto’s contact provides depth of understanding and the courage to look at the truth within and without. We can now cut through the crap of  idle conversation and and get into ‘real’ talking.

The Quarter phase traditionally covers the whole week to the next New Moon (in Aquarius, on January 23), but there is another minor phase, known as the Balsamic Moon phase, beginning on January 20 when the Moon will be in Sagittarius, half way between Last Quarter and New Moon. For more information about the astrological significance of all the Moon phases please navigate to my Moon Page.

A look into the future: 2012 Astrology, January to March

Apollo's Chariot III, by Odilon Redon

Welcome to my thoughts for the Capricorn Solstice season, January to March 2012.

Uranus Direct in Aries

Since December 2011 Uranus and Jupiter have resumed their direct motion, while Saturn is slowing down and will soon become Retrograde. The irrevocable dance of the planets continues.

When planets turn direct, after their retro period, the function they represent has the greater chance to be expressed outwardly in a positive and direct manner.

Uranus turned Stationary-Direct on December 10, 2011, around the time of the Gemini Total Lunar Eclipse, promising an accelerated pace of change for the next six months or so. This transit will strengthen the willingness to try new directions, moving on from the habitual and humdrum.

Uranus is said to be more dangerous and unpredictable in his effect when moving retrograde. The need for change is then more likely to implode, not finding suitable outlets for the release of his erratic energy, or to be squandered in anxious and nerve-wracking attempts to cut with the past. During the Direct motion instead Uranus’ intense drive can be more readily focused on external projects and active changes, often of a radical nature. This is the phase Uranus is entering now, until mid-July 2012.

To some of us Uranus in early Aries will offer the opportunity to implement changes we have been obsessing about for a while but lacked the ability or opportunity to make real. We are slowly being released from a period of high anxiety and erratic nervous energy, toward a period when we should feel more in charge, doing  things our own way.

Uranus’ transits over the Sun always entail an experience of individual uniqueness, bringing about some very independent choices.

This phase will be more keenly felt by the early Fire Signs: Aries (March 20/29), Leo (July 23/31), Sagittarius (November 22/30). With greater difficulty, by some early Cancer (June 21/July 1), Libra (September 22/30), and Capricorn (December 22/30) also.

Jupiter Direct in Taurus

Jupiter, has returned, in retro motion, to the start of Taurus, and has now began his journey in this Earth Sign all over again, hopefully this time enriched by greater practical wisdom and inspired by more realistic goals.

Amongst all the present planetary influences, until June 2012, Jupiter in Taurus will be a stabilizing factor. At the end of this season the third and last pass of the harmonious aspect between Jupiter and Pluto (March 13, 2012) could suggest some radical solutions, legislations and bills to find creative ways out of the general mess, practical and austere means to harmonize our natural needs for expansion and growth, our human arrogance and ambition (Jupiter) with the real ecological needs of the Planet, her dwindling resources, her desperate plight for regeneration and rebirth.

Since mid 2011 the Jupiter-Pluto’s contact has shown how it can be a very constructive and transformative influence. If integrated it could help the world to regenerate before it begins to degenerates beyond hope. They suggest finding wiser and more sustainable ways to interact with Earth’s resources, revealing riches and solving mysteries that have puzzled earthlings for thousands of years.

The long awaited first pass of the Uranus-Pluto’s  square, on June 24 2012, will give these grass roots aspirations enough fuel to make a big bang for the rest of 2012 and the whole (at least) of 2013 .

While Jupiter transits placid Taurus though growth is slowed down, everyone is looking for more security. Much energy can be stored in the root system of our psyche and the planet, for a few more months, because Jupiter in Gemini, from the second half of 2012, will have a much more buzzing and risk taking type of energy.

The aspirations of Jupiter, his flights of intuition all the way to divinity are now checked by the pragmatic solidity of Taurus. To feel contented with our lot could be the outcome of such a transit when used wisely. This will be especially true for the Earth Signs of Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn; and also, perhaps in a more challenging way, for the Fixed Signs Scorpio, Leo, and Aquarius.

Saturn Stationary/Retrograde in Libra

As ever the forward dance of some of the giants is punctuated by the beginning of the backward dance of another.

Ringed Saturn turns Stationary/Retrograde on February 8, on the very last degree of the Sign Libra. Scorpios will have to wait until October to welcome Saturn in their mist.

From January to October 2012 Saturn will contact, in turn, the Sun degree of some Libra (October 17/24), Aries (April 13/20), Cancer (July 16/23), Capricorn (January 13/20); and, more gently, also Gemini (June 14/21), and Aquarius (February 12/19). A retrogradation of Saturn over someone’s Sun manifests often as a sort of test, things appear harder than usual, and, in some cases, life seems to have lost its meaning, depression easily settling in, when hope is lost.

It is a reality test. Can you take it without crumbling into many pieces? After this honest look at your life what have you learnt from Saturn? Which areas of your life need the most urgent work, restructuring, making more efficient? Often it comes down to a realization that you pay for everything and there aren’t many easy rides in this world.

Three different generations are also experiencing their respective Saturn’s Return in late Libra, over the next seven months. These are coming of age transits, to more fully embrace who we have become and begin to appreciate the cycle ahead of us, no matter our age. Growing up has its moments of sadness, to be sure, but also many rewards, the sort we appreciate only at the right age, and not a moment before. That’s why Saturn was known as the Lord of Time, dispensing the wisdom that comes from experience, and hard ego-building work.

The Saturn-Return’s generations comprise:  the very old, now in their nineties, born October / December 1923, and April/September 1924. The Baby Boomers, in their sixties, born November 1952/ April 1953, and August 1953/October 1953. And the Saturnine Youngsters, turning just thirty, lucky them, born October/December 1982, and May/August 1983.

The Retrogradation of Mars in Virgo

Amongst the most important astrological events of the start of 2012 will be the lengthy retrogradation of Mars in Virgo, from January 24 to April 14. Mars will enter the next Sign of Libra only in early July 2012, after having transited Virgo for a whooping eight months, since November 2011!

The fact that Virgo is highlighted here shows a need to adjust our daily routine, clean our acts, tackling those jobs we always find a good excuse not to do. Making our space at work and home clear of clutter, organizing everything in a more rational way will contribute to efficiency and better practical outcomes.

The tendency of people influenced by Virgo to become engrossed in details of no consequence will be tested during the Mars’ retrograde period when opportunities will arise to look into our habits (from diet to work), and experience, in a more acute way, the anxieties brought about by the inability to stick to priorities.

The birthdays directly aligned to Mars retro in Virgo are: Virgo (August 26/September 16), Pisces (February 21/March 14), Gemini (May 24/June 14), and Sagittarius (November 25/December 15).

It could be difficult for many of us to freely express our passions and highly charged emotions or to go after what we want in an effective way. This could be true for the birthdays given and also for those whose Mars was in a prominent or difficult position at birth. In particular individuals who had Mars transiting Virgo the day they were born and will experience the all important two yearly Mars’ Return during the retro period (end of January to mid-April).

When Mars moves retrograde his energy, usually spontaneous and outgoing, is somewhat internalized, to serve psychic rather than physical purposes. There arise the need for re-thinking the way we go about asserting ourselves, our modalities of action, in our personal lives as well as communities of people and nations.

If our habitual behavior has often created strife and attracted opposition in the past perhaps now is the right time to look into these issues and the way we normally handle conflicts in our lives.  Because Mars, during retrogradation, becomes somewhat frustrated in his desire for action, we got to find another way to deal with anger, and with all the unspent energy that boils beneath the surface.  Virgo suggests taking up a discipline or healthy routine that could help dealing with the unspent energy and the unending frustrations and irritations of daily life (Virgo’s stuff).

Neptune returning to Pisces

After six months spell in Aquarius, Neptune finally returns to Pisces on February 4, to stay in this Water Sign until 2025. This transit will define an epoch in human history, reflecting on our spiritual and aesthetic values for years to come.

As our daily lives become more and more impacted by the momentous adjustments and disruptions all around us, Neptune in Pisces can show us transcendental ways to navigate the troubled waters of the present, enhancing creativity, imagination and compassion. There will be a sense of underlying unity between us and the planet, a striving toward greater integration amongst races, religions and ideologies, in the face of the still polarized situation on the surface of things. Outlasting many other transits that preoccupy astrologers at the present time, this influence gives us real hope that we will be guided toward greater spiritual unity in the next decade and beyond. The fate of the planet, I feel, depends very much on the way we will be able to embrace Neptune in Pisces, avoiding its downside of extreme passivity and escapism.

This season the birthday people touched by Neptune will be the early Water and Mutable Signs: Pisces (February 19/22), Cancer (June 21/24), Scorpio (October 23/26), Virgo (August 23/26), Gemini (May 21/24), and Sagittarius (November 22/25). You will feel, in a quiet space within, growing like a pool slowly filled by spring rains, a new dimension of being. This could open your perception to intangible realities, making you long for more love and creative joy in your life, refusing to be caged in by routines and duties.

It is a poignant fact that, while Neptune shifts into Pisces, Mars is making his difficult transit through the opposite-complementary Sign of Virgo. These transits should help us see two apparently opposite ways of experiencing the world: one free of per-conceived ideas, easy flowing, imaginative and creative (Pisces), the other limited by necessities and struggling to manifest the dream into practical reality (Virgo). This polarity is vital though, because, if Pisces and Neptune are the soul’s life of the planet, imbued with the vision of earthly and unearthly paradises, ultimately no real good work could be accomplished without Mars’ drive and Virgo’s dutifulness.

Happy transits, everyone.