March 2003 A Conscious Evolution Newsletter
Lest We Forget...
(A graphic look at
nuclear horrors)
The Star Family Picnic
Masquerades of March
Survival of the Spirit:
Holocaust Survivors' Son
Book Review:
The War on Freedom
March Star Watch
Conscious Community
March Interactive
Newsletter committee, writers, & contact info
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.

March Star Watch

by Terri Smallwood

Welcome, star watchers, to March - a month of contrasts characterized by the juxtaposition of winter and spring. March holds the point of balance, where the Sun’s yearly journey through the signs culminates in Pisces and then begins anew. The month embraces the ending of one season, one phase in the cycle of man, and then continues onward, holding out the promise of renewal as the Sun enters Aries.

Pisces has long been regarded as a sign of mystery. Pisces natives can be as elusive as the Fishes they are symbolized by. Ruled by Neptune, Pisces is associated with the values of spirituality, compassion, selflessness and unconditional love. Pisces is also associated with artists, filmmakers and photographers, and with the deceptive aspects of drugs and alcohol, religious revival, smuggling and deception.

Being associated with such lofty ideals, as well as baser things like addiction and lies, may appear at first glance to be contrary. Yet as with all mutable signs, Pisces clearly has two sides, and it serves us well to be reminded of this. The mutable signs - Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius and Pisces - all are characterized by a pronounced duality of nature. Airy Gemini expresses his mutable nature in the ease with which he changes his mind. Earthy Virgo’s mutability is expressed by her constant search for different areas in which to be of service. Sagittarian mutability shows up in the desire to travel and roam while seeking examples of universal truth. In watery Pisces, we see this essential changeability in the way Pisces adapts herself, chameleon-like, to the different people and situations she encounters.

The duality of Pisces is also expressed in another way, which is hinted at in the mystery of her glyph - two fishes bound together, yet swimming in opposite directions. Pisces is often referred to as the “last” or “final” sign. Considered by some to be the culmination of all the lessons of the previous eleven signs, Pisces in this context is viewed as an ending, the place where the work begun with the infant in Aries is completed. Yet in nature nothing is ever truly a finished product. All things change and evolve. Matter is neither created nor destroyed, but will often undergo transformations that make it appear as though something new has been made.

So it goes with Pisces, one fish swimming back towards Aquarius, and one fish heading towards rebirth in Aries. Pisces is the bridge between the universal collective brotherhood and the tiny selfish infant. Pisces’ ability to be deeply compassionate, infinitely forgiving and unconditionally loving come from the intrinsic knowledge that the infant carries within herself all the potential of the collective, and that the collective is only as strong as the promise of each infant.

The vernal equinox, the first day of spring in the Northern Hemisphere, occurs this year on March 21 and, fittingly, is the day the Sun enters Aries. Symbolized by the Ram and ruled by action-oriented Mars, Aries is the sign that defines the beginning of a new astrological year. This theme of new beginnings and renewal is reflected in many of the religious observances that occur during the time of Aries, and especially so in the symbolism of the Jewish Passover and Christian Easter. Many earth-oriented traditions, like Wicca and paganism, also celebrate the beginnings of Spring with Arian-themed symbols: eggs symbolize fertility, and ritual seed-planting symbolizes the growth and potential that is the spirit of the season. Aries is cardinal, creative energy - the kind of energy that initiates action. Like potent Mars, Aries carries with it all the drive necessary to coax new life from the frozen ground and animals from their frozen burrows, and thus begin the process of growth and renewal that gives all of us the hope of an abundant year to come. Optimism shines forth in this time of rebirth, and everywhere people are renewed by the sense of purpose carried on ever-warmer breezes.

The theme of endings and beginnings is especially pronounced this March, as a number of planets besides the Sun are changing signs. The beginning of the month is still heavily influenced by the remnants of February’s Aquarian energy, as Neptune, the Moon, Mercury and Uranus are united in the sign of brotherhood. The Pisces energy, though, is slowly strengthened throughout the month, as first Mercury, then Uranus and finally Venus enter its watery realm.

The movement of Uranus into Pisces is arguably the most significant aspect this month, at least in terms of its longevity. Uranus spends on average eight years in each sign, taking 84 years to make a complete circuit of the zodiac. Uranus is a planet of eccentricities, from the unusual wobble in its orbit to the way its axis is tilted to roughly 98 degrees, giving it the appearance of rotating on its side. A gas giant like Saturn, Jupiter and Neptune, Uranus was discovered in 1781 by William Herschel, who at first thought the planet was a comet. Astronomers and astrologers alike were surprised by this discovery, as there had been no previous hint of any trans-Saturnine planets.

In ancient mythology, Uranus was a prominent force, although not represented in human form the way most of the other gods of the pantheon were portrayed. Uranus (called “Ouranos,” or heaven, by the ancient Greeks) was the oldest of the gods. Wed to Ge, the original Earth Mother, Ouranos sired many of the other gods. Notorious for burying his children alive in the dark recesses of the Earth, he was eventually overthrown by his son Kronos (Time or Saturn), and was left as the God of the Sky, a bodiless spirit. The question that remains is why would Uranus bury his offspring? Was he a cruel tyrant or was there a method to this madness? It has been suggested that Uranus was symbolically preparing his children for an evolution of consciousness, protecting them in the Earth (the body of their mother) until such time as they were ready to face the light, and until they had evolved sufficiently to be able to handle the powerfully electric surge that such flashes of consciousness can create.

Uranus, in a natal chart, is often credited with bestowing genius. Certainly, in a close aspect to the Sun, Moon or Ascendant, Uranus can grant formidable mental prowess, and knowledge that comes in blinding flashes of insight. Some research also indicates that people with Uranus in close aspects to these points are at an increased risk of madness, senility, or nervous breakdowns. Perhaps the blinding insights granted by Uranus are both a blessing and a curse to natives learning to evolve with them. Most people do not experience Uranus in this personal sense. For most of the population, the energy of Uranus is expressed as something of a generational aspect, a period of time which is long enough to observe measurable changes in societal trends, values and beliefs.

For the last eight years, Uranus has been in Aquarius, and during this time we have seen many changes, inventions and innovations, especially relating to the Internet and wireless communications, areas that would be strongly affected by this energy. Many astrologers considered Uranus’ transit of Aquarius to be one of the most obvious signposts along the transition from the Age of Pisces to the Age of Aquarius. Now that transit is drawing to a close, and a new period of Uranus in Pisces is set to begin. When we last saw Uranus in Pisces, it was between the years of 1920 and 1927. That time gave rise to many innovations in film, fashion, dance and art - a clear expression of how the inventiveness of Uranus combines with the artistry of Pisces. Historically, the period was known as the “Roaring Twenties.” On the surface, it was the calm before the storm that was the stock market crash of 1928. However, underneath the frivolity, thought-forms were being developed that took advantage of the lowest possible outlets for the Uranus-in-Pisces energy and paved the way to World War II.

While North America indulged itself, Neptune-like, in “speakeasies” and “hooch,” Europe was in the midst of rebuilding from the damage of World War I. Along with the physical rebuilding, there was a great revolution in political thought occurring in some of those ravaged countries.

The term fascism, first used by Italian dictator Benito Mussolini in 1919, is derived from an Italian word meaning “union” or “league.” Idealistically, fascism rejected individual rights in an effort to create unity though nationalistic pride and ethnic or cultural identity. While intellectually there may be some merit to the fascist model, in practice the system resulted in world war and the deaths of millions in vicious and unspeakable attempts at ethnic cleansing. It seems almost unthinkable that selfless, compassionate Pisces can combine with the Uranian influence of brotherly love, and create such evil. It is worth remembering that mankind still exists in a state of duality, and while much good can come of this transit, the popularization of fascism is an example of the worst possible use of this energy.

The idea of giving up individual rights for the sake of your brothers was the type of sacrifice that would have appealed to the Uranian influence of the time, especially as expressed by a nationalistic fervor that took on an almost religious fanaticism, which is a danger inherent in Pisces. Further, the delusional power of Neptune, abused by charismatic leaders, was able to push the masses into believing that they were participating in a great and revolutionary movement, one designed to create a new and glorious society. Again, Uranus is susceptible to this line of reasoning, as it looks forward to any promise of utopia.

With the world once again poised on the brink of war, and many countries questioning their roles on the international stage, it is important for all of us to be sure we are familiar with the lessons of the past. It seems beyond coincidence to see so many historical and astrological parallels between that time and now. It will be important during this eight-year period to stay focused on the positive influence of this aspect, the curiosity (Uranus) about the workings of the spirit and the subconscious (Pisces), or innovations (Uranus) in medicine and treatments involving new drugs and medicinal herbs (Pisces). Using the energy in ways to benefit humanity instead of playing into past cycles of destructive thought is the best way to free ourselves from the horrors of our collective pasts.

Two other planets that change sign this March are Venus and Mars. In fact, Venus changes signs twice - moving into Aquarius on March 2 and Pisces on the March 27, while Mars enters Capricorn on the 4th. Although they don’t form any major aspect to each other, Venus in Pisces and Mars in Capricorn share the strength of being in the signs of their respective exaltations. These two planets embody very different essences and are often seen as being opposite polarities: female and male, yin and yang, negative and positive. Still, in spite of their differences, or perhaps because of their differences, these two diverse principles require each other to make full use of all their potential. As described by Robert Hand in Planets in Transit, the creative power behind Venus seeks to combine different aspects and forms into a whole that surpasses the original. She can only do this effectively using the power of Mars, the ego-drive, the drive of an entity to be its Self. Hand writes, “The balance between Mars and Venus is rather delicate and easily upset. Egotism and the desire to control may become confused with love, and love may be used to manipulate.” This is a description of the lowest expression of the energy potential that exists between these two planets.

March offers us a chance to observe both of these planets working though the signs of their exaltation, a placement known for stimulating the creative abilities of the affected planets. The sometimes brash and overly aggressive ego-drives of Mars are tempered and refined in Capricorn. The tremendous raw energy potential is structured and focused, and the results can be astonishing. Many successful business-people and politicians have this placement, or the similarly interpreted Mars in the 10th House. Venus in Pisces is equally potent, combining the attractive, inspiring qualities of Venus with the sensitivity and compassion of Pisces. With this aspect we see natives who are capable of making great sacrifices for love, and who have deeply sympathetic natures and highly developed artistic sensibilities. We’ll have a chance to observe Mars working through Capricorn for most of the month, but will need to wait until the last week of March and Venus’ entry into Pisces to feel the power of both of these planets coming into their own - opposites in every respect but united in their need for each other.

Finally, in a month characterized more by the movements of the planets through the signs than by the angles they are making to one another, there is one unique aspect worth contemplating. The Pisces Sun squares Pluto in Sagittarius on March 11 and then goes on to square Saturn in Gemini on the 13th. Reminiscent of some of February’s more difficult energy, this aspect, although relatively short-lived, brings back into focus the waning effects of the recent Saturn/Pluto opposition, this time by putting the Sun for those three days into a loose T-square with the two outer planets. The Gemini Moon also emphasizes this energy on the 11th, when she conjuncts Saturn.

A T-square is a series of aspects formed when two planets oppose each other and both are squared by a third planet, in this case the Sun. Considered a challenging aspect, the third planet is under pressure to absorb most of the energy in the pattern. This constant pressure on one planet can easily disrupt the balance of the whole chart. The key to resolution is found at the sign and degree opposite the third planet. Called the “Karmic Degree,” it becomes a sensitive point in any chart with a T-square and holds the answer to balancing the energy of the T-square. In the Pluto-Saturn-Sun T-square formed this month, the Karmic Degree holds a unique key to resolution and balance.

While typically ignored in traditional astrology, esoteric astrology recognizes the Earth as a sign in its own right, and the Earth Sign in any chart is always located 180 degrees opposite the Sun. In Esoteric Astrology, Alice Bailey says, “There is one aspect of energy for which the modern astrologer makes very little allowance, and yet it is of paramount importance. This is the energy which emanates from or radiates from the Earth itself. … Astrologers have always emphasized the incoming influences and energies as they beat upon and play through our little planet, but they have omitted to take into adequate consideration the emanating qualities and forces which are the contribution of our Earth … to the larger whole.”

Research into actual delineations of the Earth in various signs is still in its infancy; however, the thought that we as a planet are responsible for the energy we spread into the universe-at-large is no small one. By placing the Earth at 20 degrees Virgo, we see that rather than an unfocused T-square, a three-legged table ready to collapse, we have a substantial Grand Square, one where the Earth’s energy becomes an equal partner in the resolution of these stress aspects. It is the Earth in Virgo, after all, that is positioned at the Karmic Degree of March’s T-square. It is the energy of the Earth, combined with Virgo’s emphasis on service, balanced by the Pisces Sun and her intrinsic knowledge of compassion and unconditional love, that are uniquely positioned to absorb the stresses of Saturn and Pluto’s tug-of-war. Is it possible that the ability to resolve the difficulties of the Saturn/Pluto opposition can actually lie with us, the Earth? It’s a Wizard of Oz moment of the highest order, realizing that perhaps the answer we have been looking for has been at our feet this whole time.

For a detailed listing of this month’s transits, see
the March Interactive Calendar