March 2003 A Conscious Evolution Newsletter
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Lest We Forget...
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nuclear horrors)
The Star Family Picnic
Masquerades of March
Survival of the Spirit:
Holocaust Survivors' Son
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Book Review:
The War on Freedom
March Star Watch
Conscious Community
March Interactive
Calendar
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Metamorphosis
Index of All Articles
Volume 2, Number 3

Opinions presented in Metamorphosis are those of their respective authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of others associated with the newsletter.

Calendar Page
Special Days and Aspects for March 2003

March 2003
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
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3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30
31            

Welcome to March! Click on a date in the calendar to see the current aspects and events for that day.


March 1, 2003

Mahashivaratri: A Hindu festival in honor of Lord Shiva, the great god of destruction (who is also the restorer), and his marriage to Goddess Parvati. Ceremonies involving prayers and hymns take place mostly at night.

Martenitza: In Bulgaria, Romania, Albania, Greece and Cyprus, people celebrate the arrival of March by wearing red or giving each other red and white cloths, tassels or strings, representing health and happiness.

Procession of the Swallow: Another ritual to welcome spring, this one is done by Greek children who carry a wooden swallow, bedecked with bells, from house to house, leaving behind ivy leaves for luck and good health.

St. David’s Day: Feast day of the patron saint of Wales.

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March 2, 2003

Venus Enters Aquarius
The quiet practicality of Venus in Capricorn is exchanged today for the novel and unconventional way that love is expressed through Venus in Aquarius. Creatively, expect a time of original ideas and an opportunity to express them in new and inventive ways.

Four Chaplains Sunday: Commemoration of the event in World War II when four Chaplains of Jewish and Christian traditions (Catholic and Protestant) gave their life jackets to others as a troop ship sank in the Atlantic Ocean.

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March 3, 2003

Moon Phase
New moon in Pisces.

Hina Matsuri: This Japanese Doll Festival has been celebrated since about 1600. Girls display their elaborately dressed dolls on a specially made stage in their homes, with the figures arranged like a royal court. Families visit one another’s homes to admire the displays, which usually include heirlooms from many generations.

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March 4, 2003

Mars at 29 degrees Sagittarius sextile Uranus and Mercury in Aquarius
The restlessness this transit can create is heightened by the fact that Mars is at the critical 29th degree of Sagittarius, a placement that can bring about one last crisis to ensure that the lessons of Mars in Sagittarius have been well learned. Patriotism, without zealousness; religious conviction, without dogmatic fervor; the enthusiastic expression of physical love, without indiscriminate lust - all are examples of the best qualities of Mars in Sagittarius. The sextiles from Mercury and Uranus hint at unexpected surprise, and add a heightened level of energy and excitement to the day.

Mercury at 29 degrees Aquarius conjunct Uranus in Aquarius
An aspect whose presence in a natal chart often indicates genius is strengthened today in two ways. As above, the position of both planets at the 29th degree of Aquarius can precipitate a crises of learning. That is coupled with the dynamic present in the relationship between Mercury and Uranus, which recognizes Uranus as a “higher octave” of Mercury, so the day holds the potential to offer intense flashes of knowledge with incredible bursts of intuition.

Mars enters Capricorn
The sometimes overly enthusiastic, occasionally hotheaded, expression of sexuality and personal ambition of Mars in Sagittarius is tempered and structured by a turn in Capricorn. Mars is exalted in Capricorn, where the tendency for Mars to behave rashly or too aggressively is moderated by the discipline and self-control of the Goat. While essentially a positive placement for Mars, there can be a propensity towards scheming and calculating behavior with a great capacity to lust for power and control.

Mardi Gras / Shrove Tuesday: Religiously a day to be “shriven” or absolved of sin through confession, in preparation for the fasting and sacrifice of the Christian Lenten season, “Fat Tuesday” has taken on a feast-before-the-famine connotation and is a time of great revelry in France, Brazil and the American city of New Orleans, Louisiana. See the article Masquerades of March in this issue for more.

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March 5, 2003

Mercury enters Pisces
The highly mental energy of Mercury in Aquarius is softened and mystified as the planet of logic and reason is projected though the sign of selfless love, compassion, creativity and imagination. Mercury in Pisces is actually in its detriment, because of the ease with which the sharp logic of Mercury is lost in Pisces’ murky waters. Mental energy this month leads more to shapeless ideals than clearly defined projects.

Ash Wednesday: For Western churches, this day marks the beginning of the season of Lent, which is 40 days, not counting Sundays, leading up to Easter. The faithful make sacrifices by choosing to give up something, often a particular food or behavior, during this period of self-examination and spiritual preparation for Easter. The time period recalls the 40-day fast of Jesus, and similar fasts of Moses and Elijah. Catholics attend Mass on Ash Wednesday, where the priest marks each person’s forehead with a sign of the cross, using ashes made from burning palms blessed on Palm Sunday of the previous year.

Ramakrishna Jayanti: Hindu celebration of the birthday of Sri Ramakrishna, a saint and teacher seen as an incarnation of Lord Krishna.

Hijra: New Year’s Day on the Islamic lunar calendar, although some Islamic countries celebrate the New Year, Naw Ruz, on March 21, the day of the vernal equinox.

Eight Hour Day: Western Australia and the State of Tasmania in Australia celebrate labor unions’ efforts to improve working conditions, particularly the achievement of the eight-hour workday.

Feast of Excited Insects: In China and Korea, the day is celebrated as the arrival of spring and the day when the bugs awaken from hibernation. It is a day for planting and performing rituals to ensure abundant crops.

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March 6, 2003

Magellan Day: The population of Guam celebrates the day in 1521 when the island in the Pacific was discovered by Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan.

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March 7, 2003

Burbank Day: California communities use this day to promote ecological and environmental causes. It is the birthday of Luther Burbank, a plant breeder who developed the Shasta Daisy and hundreds of other varieties of plants while living in Santa Rosa, California. His work helped people farm more productively and drew attention to naturalist techniques. Burbank lived from 1849-1926.

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March 8, 2003

International Women’s Day: A protest held by garment workers in New York City in 1857 is commemorated by this holiday, which was adopted by the United States in 1910 in honor of working women. The holiday has since been adopted by some other countries. In the United States, the observance has grown into National Women’s History Month, proclaimed by Congress for the month of March in 1987 and every year since then. The month calls attention to the National Women’s History Project, a group that organizes events and creates curriculum to teach about historical contributions made by women, whose achievements have frequently been overlooked in traditional history textbooks.

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March 9, 2003

Commonwealth Day: The second Sunday in March is a holiday in Great Britain in honor of the Commonwealth. It is the modern version of a celebration previously known as Empire Day.

Feast of St. Frances of Rome: St. Frances of Rome, or Francesca Romana, is patron saint of motorists and widows. Many Italians have their cars blessed on this day.

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March 10, 2003

Venus at 9 degrees Aquarius opposite retrograde Jupiter in Leo
Not one of the “bad” oppositions for sure - the worst thing that might arise from this transit is a hangover and indigestion. When these two benefic planets combine, the sense of ease and satisfaction is tangible. And despite the discomforts of over-indulgence, the plus side is that getting there is much more than half the fun!

Uranus enters Pisces
Revolutionary, bohemian, intuitive Uranus begins a new seven-year cycle today in sensitive, spiritual, sympathetic Pisces. This combination of energy was last felt roughly 84 years ago, in the 1920s, when it heralded many innovations in terms of film, fashion and dance. For more on this important cycle, see March Star Watch in this issue.

Sun at 19 degrees Pisces square Pluto in Sagittarius
Powerful forces at work today as the Sun, the tangible symbol of the life force in our solar system, runs afoul of Pluto, god of the underworld. Look closely at difficulties that come into your life today, as they will be representative of deep-seated habits and personality traits desperately in need of change.

Clean Monday: For Eastern Orthodox churches, this day marks the beginning of the season of Lent, the time of preparation for Easter.

Forty Martyrs’ Day: Eastern Orthodox Christians in particular commemorate the sacrifice of 40 Christians serving in the Roman Army who were martyred in Armenia in 320 for refusing to make sacrifices to the Roman gods. Special foods, such as 40-layer cake, are prepared and shared.

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March 11, 2003

Moon Phase
First-quarter moon in Gemini.

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March 12, 2003

Venus at 12 degrees Aquarius conjunct Neptune in Aquarius
An agreeable aspect that propels us towards a greater understanding of the true nature of love. The attractive, creative and congenial forces of Venus combine beautifully with the compassionate and selfless power of Neptune. While not likely to be powerful enough to bring new love into your life, this transit can help each of us to learn the pleasure of giving selflessly of ourselves to our loved ones, and perhaps even inspire us to attempt to give in that same selfless spirit to people we don’t identify quite as well with.

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March 13, 2003

Sun at 22 degrees Pisces square Saturn in Gemini
Reminiscent of some of February’s more difficult energy, today’s aspect, although relatively short-lived, brings back into focus the waning effects of the recent Saturn / Pluto opposition, this time by putting the Sun into a loose T-square with the two planets.

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March 14, 2003

Ashura: An Islamic day of devotions and atonement including an optional single-day fast. There are many variations on this holiday in the Muslim world, with different names and themes, occuring today or tomorrow. For some groups, it is a celebration of creation and the story of Noah and the flood. For others, it is a day to mourn the death of the Prophet Mohammed’s grandson, Hussein, with observances including the enactment of a death procession.

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March 15, 2003

Mohram: The holiday in India that is one of the variations on the Islamic day of atonement described on yesterday’s entry as Ashura. Religious Muslims carry replicas of coffins in processions and whip themselves in pennance and to take on the pain of Hussein, the prophet’s grandson, at his death.

Anna Parenna Festival: Anna, whose first name is the female form of the Latin word for “year” and whose last name is akin to “perennial,” was an ancient Roman goddess who ruled the circle of the year. In mid-March, Romans rang out the old year with toasts to old lady Anna. The new year began with the month ruled by young, impetuous Mars. The date roughly coincides with the vernal equinox and the beginning of the astrological month of Aries, ruled by Mars.

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March 16, 2003

Mercury at 19 degrees Pisces square Pluto in Sagittarius
Guard against obsessive thinking today! Pluto might just pull an opinion or thought from the deepest recesses of your psyche, mix it with a shot of restless, probing Mercurial energy and set up a day where your brain can’t rest, churning over the same detail, the same repetitive, and possibly negative, thought-form. If you find yourself falling into this trap, write the thought down, but then save analysis of it until Mercury is in a more favorable position.

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March 17, 2003

Mercury at 22 degrees Pisces square Saturn in Gemini
Similar to yesterday’s heavy-thinking vibe, Saturn’s aspect to Mercury might lessen the obsessiveness, but it opens the door to depressing thoughts, loneliness and feelings of being alienated from others. Communicating with others may be a challenge under this influence, as you may feel very sensitive to criticism, even when none was intended. Or you may upset others with a critical and argumentative attitude, which you may not even be aware you are presenting.

St. Patrick’s Day: Tribute to the Bishop Patrick, who brought Christianity to Ireland in the early days of the faith and ended the slave trade that had long flourished in that land. “Beannacht na feile Phadraig oribh!” May the blessings of St. Patrick be with you! Wear the green of the Emerald Isle for luck.

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March 18, 2003

Moon Phase
Full moon in Virgo.

Holi: This Hindu festival, timed to the full moon in March, is part religious observance and part high-spirited celebration of the imminent spring equinox. Known as the Festival of Colour, Holi is celebrated in India with parades, folk songs, dances and a general sense of abandon. The wild fun includes chasing each other around, throwing brightly colored powder and water over one another. The festivities begin the night before with bonfires commemorating an enthusiastic and faithful devotee of Lord Vishnu who was brought, unscathed, through a raging fire and other attempts by his demon-father to destroy him. Huge piles of wood are gathered and lit. Offerings of coconut and other foods are made to the fire and later distributed amongst everyone.

Sheelah’s Day: On the day after St. Patrick’s Day, some of the Irish “drown the shamrock” worn the day before in a glass of whiskey, as a toast to Sheelah. Although her identity has been lost in time, Sheelah is said to have been a relative of St. Patrick.

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March 19, 2003

Venus at 19 degrees Aquarius sextile retrograde Pluto in Sagittarius
A day of powerful, deep and intense emotions, especially where love and personal relationships are concerned. If this aspect touches your natal chart in a significant way, you may find an important new person entering your life today. Contacts made under this influence can be soul stirring and magical with a profound sense of déjà vu, and the capacity to heal old wounds in both parties.

Purim: Enthusiastic revelry and charity for the poor go hand-in-hand during this Jewish celebration of the deliverance of the Jewish minority from genocide in Persia in the days of Queen Esther. See the article Masquerades of March in this issue for more.

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March 20, 2003

Vernal Equinox in the Americas: The 2003 vernal equinox occurs at 8 p.m. EST March 20, when spring begins in the Northern Hemisphere. By Universal Time, though, the equinox occurs early March 21, and most of the holidays connected with the equinox fall on the 21st.

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March 21, 2003

Vernal Equinox, 1 a.m. Universal Time -- A jumbo day, brimming with astrological aspects and holiday observances!

Sun enters Aries
Today the Sun begins a new circuit of the heavens as it enters Aries, the symbolic newborn of the zodiac. In this action-filled time of new beginnings, spring breathes new life into the frozen north and people increase their activity levels with the lengthening days. The fiery, enthusiastic, seemingly tireless energy of the Ram propels us forward on a new cycle of adventure and learning.

Mercury enters Aries
Mercury, channeling the impetuous and vigorous energy of Aries, expresses itself much more clearly and directly than it was able to do in Pisces, so thought and communication lighten up now after the heavy-thinking effects of Mercury in Pisces earlier in the month. Today heralds the beginning of a much more active phase of communication, marked by quick decisions and competitive energy. Remember that healthy competition grants learning and expansion opportunities to both parties. Don’t let it degenerate into a win-at-all-costs mentality, which would be Aries energy expressed at its worst.

Venus at 22 degrees Aquarius trine Saturn in Gemini
Although the natures of Saturn and Venus are often inimical to each other, this aspect has the potential to bring about the deepest possible connection between the two planets. Occasionally frivolous and flighty, here Venus is able to willingly submit to Saturn’s more stern approach to love and relationships. Love under this influence is devoted, enduring and deeply karmic.

First Day of Spring: The 2003 vernal equinox occurs at 1 a.m. Universal Time on March 21, and spring officially begins in the Northern Hemisphere.

Ostara: Nature religions welcome spring and the Goddess as a young maiden.

Naw Ruz: “New Day” is the Zoroastrian, Baha’i and Iranian New Year, which occurs on the date of the vernal equinox. Since ancient times it has been the great national holiday of Iran, the only holiday there that is celebrated by more than one religious group.

Higan: A week of Japanese Buddhist services, centered on the day of the equinox, honoring the spirits who have crossed from the world of suffering to the world of enlightenment. Higan is repeated at the autumnal equinox.

International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination: The United Nations General Assembly first proclaimed this annual observance in 1966. The assembly asked all countries to remember the victims of racial prejudice worldwide and work to eliminate bias wherever it was found. The day is the anniversary of a 1960 massacre in Sharpeville, South Africa, where 69 black people involved in a nonviolent protest against the country’s racial apartheid policies were killed by police gunfire.

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March 22, 2003

Have a great day!

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March 23, 2003

Pakistan Republic Day: A national holiday commemorating the 1956 establishment of Pakistan as an Islamic republic within the British Commonwealth.

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March 24, 2003

Have a great day!

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March 25, 2003

Mercury at 8 degrees Aries trine retrograde Jupiter in Leo
Opportunities in business and finance open up today, as Mercury comes into aspect with bountiful Jupiter. Writers and public speakers take note - your words today will carry extra charisma and influence, as Jupiter gives a boost to all types of communication.

Moon Phase
Last-quarter moon in Capricorn.

Feast of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary: Christian celebration of the angel Gabriel announcing to the Virgin Mary the upcoming birth of Jesus.

Greece Independence Day: After 400 years of Turkish occupation, Greece declared its independence on this day in 1821, sparking a war that lasted until 1829, when the Turkish sultan recognized Greek freedom. The country celebrates with church services and parades.

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March 26, 2003

Bangladesh Independence Day: The country declared independence from Pakistan on this day in 1971 and won the war by the end of the year with the help of India.

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March 27, 2003

Mercury at 12 degrees Aries sextile Neptune in Aquarius
Stimulating the imagination, encouraging long flights of fancy, and creating day dreams with the potential to make their way into the physical realm, this aspect opens up a conduit to your inner world and fantasy life. Today, follow your heart, not your head.

Venus enters Pisces
Today sees Venus entering Pisces, the sign of her exaltation. In Pisces, the appreciation of beauty, the creativity, and the personal attraction of Venus are combined with a mysterious Piscean sense of spirituality, deep wells of compassion, and sensitivity to people from all walks of life. Creative and artistic expression are heightened and refined during this time - people with Venus in Pisces are gifted with incredible talent, especially in painting, sculpture, film and photography.

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March 28, 2003

Venus at 0 degrees Pisces conjunct Uranus in Pisces
Capping off a week of inspired and creative transits, Uranus conjunct Venus in Pisces offers an unparalleled opportunity to combine the inventive originality of Uranus with Venus’ refined aesthetic sensibilities, and both are blessed by the mystic power of Pisces. Artists working during this period may feel something akin to divine inspiration.

Khordad Sal: The Parsis of India, descended from Persian Zoroastrians, celebrate the 628 B.C. birth of the Prophet Zarathustra, founder of the Zoroastrian faith, on this day.

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March 29, 2003

Mercury at 15 degrees Aries square Mars in Capricorn
The ethereal spell cast by the aspects of the previous few days comes back down to Earth with this very action-oriented transit. While a possible outcome of this day may be arguments and ego-centered clashes of opinion, a better use of this energy would be to take all the deep thoughts channeled through the recent Pisces aspect, and use Mercury’s energy and the strength of Mars in Capricorn to create something of lasting value.

Sun at 8 degrees Aries trine retrograde Jupiter in Leo
Buoyant, exuberant, fiery, passionate and fiercely optimistic are the keywords for today. Combined with Mercury’s square to Mars, today’s strong energy offers the perfect mood for work that requires energy and vigor. The only caveat is that Jupiter may make you feel so good today that you won’t want to roll your sleeves up and get to work. Use the Arian Sun to initiate action - you’ll be surprised how much you can actually accomplish today!

Borrowed Days: According to Scottish legend and an old poem, March borrowed its last three days from April, filling the first of those borrowed days with wind and rain, the second with snow and sleet, and the third with a hard freeze. The days are observed as a last hurrah for wintry weather, in hopes of a fair April.

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March 30, 2003

Borrowed Days: The borrowed days continue, from March 29-31. According to legend, today should be filled with snow and sleet.

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March 31, 2003

Mercury at 19 degrees Aries trine retrograde Pluto in Sagittarius
A month that has been marked by very mental energy finishes on that same note. Mercury trine Pluto brings out the detective within and offers an excellent day for research and uncovering the facts. You will not be easily fooled today, nor will you be put off by dead ends or obstacles.

Borrowed Days: This is the last of the borrowed days, which began March 29. According to Scottish legend, there should be a hard freeze today.

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Astrology by Terri Smallwood; holidays compiled by Maria Barron