This March reinforces the sense of betwixt and between that all of us may have been feeling over recent months.   We might question whether we can move ahead without being hindered by our past or our daily obligations.  We could wonder whether we have moved too far too fast in trying to implement changes in our lives.  Have we established the structure and the methodology to get across the suspension bridge from our past into our future?  And the key question of these times will likely haunt us: have we built upon rock or built upon sand?  Certainly, we might be doing a great deal of soul-searching, looking at where we have been and curious as to where we are heading.

Not only does March provide a balance beam between two seasons, between Winter and Spring which in astrology is indicative of the end of one cycle, one year and the beginning of a new cycle, a new year.  March also continues with the balance beam between Saturn and Uranus, the opposition that began in November of 2008 and continues on into mid 2010.  This balance beam, this opposition, forces us to consider the past with its tradition versus the new with its unknown.  There can be push pulls between the two as we seek to leave the past behind but without a road map or an instruction manual for the future. 

These times demand that we keep our wits about us, that we place our ear to the railroad track to listen and hear what’s coming down the line.  An ability to draw upon our vision, a best practices approach, having faith and humility, being willing to adapt to shifting conditions are all qualities necessary for the successful navigating of the swirling waters of these times.

March begins with one planet in a Fire Sign, three planets in Earth Signs, four planets in an Air Sign and two planets in a Water Sign.  Two planets are in Cardinal Signs, five planets in Fixed Signs and three planets in Mutable Signs.  Five planets are in Positive Signs and five planets are in Negative Signs.

 With a lack of Fire (the only planet to begin the month in a Fire Sign being Venus in Aries where it is uncomfortable and turns retrograde on the 6th), we may not have a great deal of passion, of drive or determination.  We might be more concerned with protecting ourselves, even to the point of stasis or catatonia, rather than with striking out on our own, moving our projects and plans boldly ahead.  We may talk the talk, especially with the four planets in Aquarius.  We may have great ideas, devise fantastic plans, but our heart and soul might not be fully engaged.  The four planets in Aquarius do speak to the idea of interactions with other people, considering the possibilities for our future and an idealistic quality of a better world ahead.

The three planets in Earth Signs create a Grand Trine in the Earth Element, with all three Earth Signs occupied — the Moon in Taurus, Saturn in Virgo and Pluto in Capricorn.  While the force may be with us to manifest, and even give greater form to our hopes and wishes, we need to find the fire, the drive and passion to give us the stimulus and incentive to take our dreams and turn them into realities.

The Saturn Uranus opposition, which is truly triggered with the Virgo Full Moon on the 10th-11th, can be the true stumbling block to our moving our projects and intentions ahead.  We could be tripped up by our past experiences, feeling as though we are restricted by decisions already made and limited by the collateral damage of past actions.  We might assume that our vision is clear but that our resources are impaired.   We may even fall victim to a sense of paralysis, a catatonia out of fear and anxiety as a result of the crash and burn we might have seen around us and with an assumption that the only direction now is a downward spiral.

I would suggest we keep in mind the wise and true saying that we never get more than we can handle.  One of the first books by a ‘spiritual’ teacher that I read was Autobiography of a Yogi in which one phrase has always stood out in my mind: ‘Look fear in the face and it will cease to trouble you’.

Although the first half of this month has a strong Aquarius – Piscean quality associated with it, we do not have to escape into the fantasies of illusional possibilities nor fall victim to exaggerated fears of worst case scenarios.

It would be wise to bear in mind the fundamental issue of these times of paradigm shift, times when past solutions may no longer work, times when volatility offers a dynamic fluidity in which things can change without a moment’s notice.  That fundamental issue can be interpreted as getting real with ourselves, focusing on the essence of our being, realizing the true purpose of our living experience, and taking the right direction in our individual journey.

Building upon rock, no longer upon sand.

Venus in Aries is an uncomfortable position for the planet of love and relationship for it turns the focus on oneself.  A tendency towards narcissism can be apparent, a tendency to see the world and the world around us only from the perspective of how it impacts oneself.  With Venus turning retrograde on the 6th and continuing retrograde through mid-April, our relationships could be a little testy.  Whether we are consciously aware of our disposition or merely acting from subconscious proddings, many of our interactions can have the quality of ‘what have you done for me lately?’  Instead of the give-and-take, the sharing and caring, of relatedness, each of us may be concentrating more on what relationships do for us, what we receive from our interactions and whether we are being fully satisfied by our connections. 

Around the 8th, we could be a little out of sorts, even to the point of taking a quixotic approach and tilting at windmills.  On the 8th, Mercury exits Aquarius and enters Pisces.  We now have a Stellium of three or more planets in both Aquarius and Pisces.  Mars, Jupiter and Neptune are in the Fixed Air Sign of Aquarius and Mercury joins the Sun and Uranus in the Mutable Water Sign of Pisces.  Idealism and compassion can be strong now, but we would have to be careful that we don’t proceed in accord with the old saying that the pathway to hell is paved with good intentions.  Maintaining a realistic approach would be important for us not to get waylaid by maudlin sentimentality or a sense of divine intervention interpreted by egotistical preferences.

The 8th also has Mars conjunct Neptune and the Sun opposed Saturn.  We could easily become enamored with our ‘mission’, our ‘manifest destiny’, our desire to be and do something other than what we are doing or who we are.  The energy could easily lead us on a wild goose chase, tripping out on possibilities, on potentialities, all with an intention of getting out of our own skin.  While the grain of oyster creates the pearl, the pearl is created by the constant irritation and aggravation provoked by the sand grain.  So too for ourselves.  If we are unwilling to accept the process of labor pains endemic to any growth spurts, then we can grasp at straws, try to disengage from the discomfort zone, and create castles in the air, OR build our plans and our actions upon the sand.  Persistence and perseverance, even with their irritation and aggravation, allow us to hone, temper, and adapt our plans, our projects and our involvements and in so doing assist in our own personal development, our own growth.

The 10th has the Virgo Full Moon with the Moon conjunct Saturn and the Sun conjunct Uranus.  If we are ever to see the battle of old and new fully engaged and fully evident, the time is now during this period of the Virgo Full Moon.  This is a time of protest, a time of discomfort, a time when we are asked to look clearly, objectively, and with great detachment at our past, our present and our future — the NOW. 

Part of the paradigm shift of these times is the breakdown of life on the fourth dimensional plane of space time coordinates — space with its three dimensional coordinates of length, width and height and time as a diurnal measurement.  This fourth dimension gives the sense of sequential reality, a linear progression from beginning, middle, end… initiation, execution, manifestation.

We are moving into the fifth dimension, a phase of life experience, of asequential reality, where past, present, future are all one in the NOW and space becomes an infinite with a breakdown in the barriers of dimensions.  No beginning, no end, no time restrictions…. All NOW, all process.

We are living during exciting times, and times for which each of us has contracted in our soul’s development.   But this paradigm shift can be scary if we are afraid to let go of the past and afraid to be innocent and even vulnerable during this transformative period.

An analogy to bear in mind, and one I often refer to, is the caterpillar coming through the chrysalis and emerging as a butterfly.  Although trace memories could have the butterfly wanting to reenact past patterns, it would be able to scrape its wings upon the ground for only so long until forced to fly, its natural inclination as a butterfly.

This process of transformation is an individual process — the soul’s development and transformation from an ego personality attached to familiarity and control, to reclaiming the higher self and connection with the universe, a cosmic consciousness — often indicated in Christian theology with the crucifixion of Jesus and the resurrection of the Christ, and in mythology with the bird the Phoenix on its funereal pyre rising from its ashes to soar ever higher.  The process of transformation is also now occurring on a societal level.

While we are being asked to let go of the past, that does not necessitate forgetting the lessons learned.  With the Saturn Uranus opposition at its best, we can bridge the old with the new.  The battle may be engaged, but the battle is no longer a win-lose, or more appropriately lose-lose proposition.  Rather the battle becomes the alchemical process of turning base mettle into gold, of drawing upon past experience, lessons learned, inherent truth and adapting them in new ways, with new perspectives and embracing the free spirit of individuality and individual creative expression.

During the process, old issues come to the surface.  Situations that have not been honest, areas in which integrity has not been engaged come up to be seen and addressed.  Errors need to be corrected, old baggage dealt with and eventually put aside so as not encumber the future.

We might also experience problems with computers, breakdowns in structures once solid now teetering on self-destruct, other structural issues and methodology approaches creating difficulties.

On the 11th, a Master Number in Numerology indicative of the Visionary, Venus sextiles Jupiter.  We could be reaching out to other people, expanding our scope of contacts and broadening our realm of interactions.  We are searching, looking for something other than what we have had or what we have been.  We may not be fully aware of what we want or the circumstances in which we are likely to operate, but we can take on a more adventurous sense as we explore possibilities and use new connections to provide possible clues for our future plans.  We do have to avoid excess or indulgence at this time.  If we have felt pressured, then we could use this energy as an escape valve and a justification to go on a buying spree or a splurge without considering the consequences or the implications.  We may need to blow off steam, find an outlet to vent our frustration by giving something nice to ourselves.  We can explain it easily away with the idea that any purchases or indulgences are merely the tools and the affirmations of change that we are looking to embrace in our lives.  And we can justify our actions as preparations for the coming Spring with its promise of renewal, rebirth and rejuvenation.

The Sun conjuncts Uranus on the 12th, reinforcing the Full Moon’s impact of the 10th, giving license to do things on a spontaneous basis, impulsively trying different things to trigger change, and to explore new facets of ourselves.  This is also a time when synchronicity can come into play — expecting the unexpected with the possible recognition of a wise truth that the universe has far greater plans for us than we could ever imagine for ourselves.  This time allows us to think outside the box, to let go the reins of control and to let the universe work.  Flexibility and adaptability are called for, being open to changing our plans and receptive to opportunities unanticipated.  Variables can never be fully accounted for, since process has a way of its own.

The 14th has Mars exiting Aquarius and entering Pisces.  In so doing, we end the Stellium in Aquarius of three or more planets in the Fixed Air Sign but emphasize the Pisces Stellium as Mars joins the Sun, Mercury and Uranus in the Mutable Water Sign.  Emotions can run strong and a liability to misunderstandings and miscommunications can trigger emotional outbursts and temper tantrums.  We may feel ever more reactive to situations and it would be wise to avoid knee jerk reactions.  Let us breathe deeply, count to ten, before impulsively and possibly rashly reacting to events.

A sense of ‘do as I say, not as I do’ could be evident around the 19th, just before we end Winter and enter Spring.  Mercury opposes Saturn and Mars sextiles Pluto.  We could feel forceful wanting to move mountains and with the assumption that our intended actions are right actions.  We have to be careful not to gloss over details, skip over particulars or lose sight of a best practices approach to a desire for action, any action, as long as it propels us.  It would be wise to do an inventory taking, seeing what we can bring closure to before we enter the Spring  season, and the New Year in astrology and in nature.

The Vernal Equinox is on the 20th as the Sun exits Pisces and enters Aries, beginning a new zodiacal cycle and the beginning of Spring.  We are picking up the Fire Element with the Sun joining Venus in the Cardinal Fire Sign.  The sense of rebirth, of having died to the old to be born to the new, can be strong within us.  We may want to initiate, start up, move forward and leave the past behind.  Whether we have learned our lessons from past experience or merely see a long, interminable phase getting behind us, we are likely to feel impetuous and ready to once again put our individual mark upon the world.

This fiery temperament will be reinforced with Mercury entering Aries on the 25th, creating a Stellium of three or more planets in the Cardinal Fire Sign, as Mercury joins the Sun and Venus in Aries.  Before we get there, Mercury conjuncts Uranus in Pisces on the 22nd, a Master Number in Numerology indicative of the Master Builder.  This is a time when we can get remarkable insights, when information can come forward virtually out of nowhere, a time when it would be to our advantage to keep our antennae up, work with peripheral vision and be open to unexpected situations arising.  While insight can be strong to the point of revelatory, we also need to be aware that harnessing this energy can be difficult and challenging.  It would be important for us not to take anything at face value, make assumptions on first impressions, or lose our analytical and evaluative abilities.  This is also a time when we have to be careful regarding traveling, air flights or driving.  Computers can hit glitches and we might also experience Internet problems.  Communications can be sharp and focused or else they can be mindless meanderings going from one thought to the next with no connective link.

This fourth week of March, the beginning of Spring, presents us with various Pluto aspects, first with the Sun squaring Pluto on the 23rd.  Some of our intentions, some of our projects may hit the wall and find the impenetrable forces of lack of resources, limitations by authority figures and a sense of restriction whether those restrictions are imposed upon us or self-created.  Spring cleaning, clearing away the debris, restructuring and always asking the question as to whether we are building upon rock or building upon sand can be a large part of these Pluto squares during this latter part of March.

If we can see the opportunity of testing the validity of our projects, challenging the obstacles all the while that we are honing, tempering and finetuning, then we don’t have to be totally thwarted in advancing our projects, possibly only delayed.

The 25th has Mercury entering Aries just prior to the Aries New Moon on the 26th, a New Moon with a Stellium of four planets in Aries and a New Moon that squares Pluto.  Sifting, restructuring, tearing down the outmoded or the ineffectual can be part of the fortnight process unfolding.  While we might feel that the best laid plans of mice and men, as Scottish poet Robert Burns wrote, might come to naught; we do not have to be thwarted as much as challenged and challenged in the alchemical manner of transformation.  While we may want to do things the way we want to do them, we could also recognize that transformations occur during the life of process, that things unfold according to their natural way, no matter if we think better of that particular manner. 

This is a time to keep in mind the Taoist concept of water flow with its various phases during its meanderings from the mountains to the sea.  During its journey, the water can be rapid, other times virtually stagnant, but even when the water seems blocked by rocks or other impediments, the water flows.  So too with ourselves.  We do not have to feel blocked or hampered, but rather to see the ways by which we can get beyond our obstacles.  If hurdles present themselves, then there are alternatives to getting beyond them.  We do not have to jump over them but can go around them, under them or even through them.  No need to stop and call a halt to our projects or intentions but rather to adopt an attitude of flexibility and adaptability to the circumstances as they present themselves.

Mercury squares Pluto on the 27th.  While our mind can be incisive, even laser-like, our communications could also be sharp and even argumentative.  Maintaining composure and decorum would be important during this latter part of March.  Fortunately, Venus conjuncts the Sun on the 27th.  If we don’t get overly absorbed or self-focused, then we can find the proper format and style by which to best present our arguments and to focus on the truly meaningful.

At the same time, this latter part of March could see increasing demonstrations of individuals expressing themselves, venting their feelings and quite possibly protesting against the actions and decisions of amorphous institutions trying to control, manipulate and effect the future and its impacts on individuals.

This March is indeed a tale of two seasons, a time of closure and a time of new beginnings, a time of looking back at the past and moving ahead into the future, a time of appreciating process and the unfolding into the NOW, a time for each of us to question whether we have built, and are building, upon rock or have built, and continue to build, upon sand.

March… out with the old, in with the new…