spring equinox
collage/painting by Emily
Spring Equinox on March 20 (Fall in the Southern Hemisphere) signals the start of a new astrological cycle, rebirth and renewal. The Sun enters Aries, the first sign of the zodiac, and we're called to realign with our passion and vitality and take a courageous leap into the unknown.
This year's Equinox occurs just hours after a Super-New-Moon Solar Eclipse  at the very last degree of the Zodiac (29 Pisces). The Eclipse amps up the power of Equinox intentions and initiations, but this rebirth requires a major shedding of the past, a mega-transition from old to new realities. Adding to this theme of significant endings and beginnings, and the disorientation of straddling past and future, yesterday was the seventh and final exact Uranus-Pluto square.
We've got a week of high-pressure cosmic events (deep breath, everyone), which culminates at Friday's Equinox and started with Saturn turning Retrograde on Saturnday:
saturnSaturn Stations Retrograde
Saturnday, March 14, 8:02am Pacific, at 4 degrees Sagittarius
When a planet stations, we get a big dose of its energy, for about a week before and after, and with Saturn, we can feel heavy, slow, and depressive/melancholy (saturnine). Saturn is the wise elder, the inner teacher, the hermit – asking us to slow down and turn inward so we can take stock – what’s working, what’s not? How are we honoring our priorities, commitments, responsibilities, boundaries, long-term goals?
This is Saturn’s first station since moving into Sagittarius on December 23. Saturn in Sag wants us to examine how our belief systems, the stories we tell about ourselves and the world, structure our reality. Are these beliefs and stories useful, aligned with our deepest truth, supporting us in creating a positive future?
Marianne Williamson, in last week's Monday talk, channeled Saturn Retro in Sag with this blessing to an audience member (I’m paraphrasing): “May you grow as bored with your stories as everyone around you already is.” May we ALL grow bored with our victimy old stories! Saturn Retrograde, until August 1, is a time for releasing the old stories, restructuring belief systems, and reclaiming our authority from the stories (our own or other people's) that limit our potential.
While Pluto is in Saturn-ruled Capricorn (2008-2024), the sign that Saturn occupies indicates issues and arenas of experience ready to burn in Pluto's cauldron of transformation. Pluto in Capricorn says: all unsustainable social structures and models of power must die. Saturn in Sagittarius, the sign of religion, directs this death-and-rebirth process to the underlying story structures that serve and support the dying dominator paradigm.
We're transitioning out of the old story of separation - the foundational belief system of everything that's f-ed-up in our culture. (Charles Eisenstein describes this perfectly in The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know Is Possible.) At the core of the story of separation is the severing of spirit and matter, as exemplified in the "sky god" religions: god has left the planet, our bodies and sexuality are evil, and the Earth and all her creatures are soul-less matter for our use and abuse. (Lynn Picknett quips that archeologists of the future might call the Judeo-Christian religions "sterility cults.")
uranusThe 7th and Final Uranus-Pluto Square
Monday, March 16, 7:54pm Pacific at 15 degrees Aries/Capricorn
Uranus the Great Awakener - planet of revolution, liberation and radical breaks - catalyzes and accelerates the Plutonian process of death and rebirth. The exact squares, seven altogether starting in June 2012, represent peaks in the ongoing wave of transformation. Although the exact alignments are over, we can expect these world-changing energies to continue reverberating for several years.
For clues about how to navigate the current square, we can look at the larger, 150-year Uranus-Pluto cycle. Quoting from my 2015 Forecast article in The Mountain Astrologer (if you’re a subscriber, you can read the full article online):
The current Uranus-Pluto cycle started in the mid-1960s with their conjunction, the “New Moon” phase, a seed-planting surge of revolutionary energies. We’re now at the “First Quarter” phase (the opening square), a challenge to take committed action on what was set into motion. Astrologer Moll Frothingham [in her 2013 talk at NORWAC] stresses the importance of going back to the sign of the conjunction – Virgo – for clues about how to navigate the current square.
Earthy, practical Virgo rules the “little things” – the daily details that, moment by moment, make up the fabric of our lives. In the face of overwhelming planetary crisis, Virgo says start now, start small, start where you are, just start….
virgo earth goddessAs Frothingham describes it, the “Virgo revolution” isn’t a dramatic fight but rather “people turning away from what doesn’t work and fixing what we can… turning away from ways of life that aren’t healthy and embracing the recognition of what we actually need to survive and live.”
One of the big lies of our time is that our individual actions don’t matter, that one person can’t make a difference, that we are insignificant beings. But the Virgo archetype reminds us that all the little pieces make up the whole, and each of us is here to play a key part in the healing.
Tad "Marketing for Hippies" Hargrave was tapping into this Virgo vibe in his recent blog post, "Why 'Stop Playing Small' Is Bullshit." He writes: "Small can be beautiful.... Small can be making a difference in your own community instead of trying to 'change the world' (as if 'the world' were one monolithic thing we could effect...)."
The radically transformative Uranus-Pluto conjunction in Virgo is also about questioning how we define the "little things." To the ancients, the constellation Virgo was the Earth Goddess, and She was honored through daily practices and rituals devoted to the sacred in all life - the "little things" like the water we need to survive, the land base we live on, the food we eat, the fire that keeps us warm, the lovemaking that generates new life. All of which are devalued and degraded by the sky-god religions that project the divine into some distant sphere we reach only in death.
The Uranus-Pluto conjunction in the 60s was the seed-planting for the return of Goddess consciousness, the reemerging Divine Feminine. Now, the opening square signifies a crisis of action. We are the agents of the Goddess on Earth, and we participate in Her reemergence by recognizing and honoring the sacred in the ordinary details of life, by serving our planet and each other with humility, gratitude and awe. We give birth to the new story of connection and wholeness through these small, infinitely powerful acts of reverence.
- Emily Trinkaus