The Low-Down on the Far-Out

New Moon in Pisces, February 23, 2020

Chart for the New Moon in Pisces
Chart for the New Moon in Pisces

New Moon in Pisces
Some Assembly Required

It's not about perfect. It's about effort. And when you bring that effort every single day, that's where transformation happens. That's how change occurs.
~ Jillian Michaels

Feb.23 – NEW MOON in PISCES (04:28 of Pisces)

What do you get when you mix Water and Earth? Mud! (Yuck!)

The Pisces New Moon chart has the vast majority of planets divided evenly between Pisces and CapricornWater and Earth.

Uranus in Taurus adds another notch in Earth's tally. Venus and Chiron help to counterbalance in Fiery Aries, and Air has no one.

So, what can be done with this muddy mess? Well, you can build something out of it – sculpt and mold it into something new. Build it up patiently, layer upon layer, until it becomes a recognizable shape. Then put it to use in some way.

There are about a hundred or so sextile aspects in this chart (give or take a dozen). Sextiles (60°) connect signs that have different but compatible elements, like Earth and Water, or Fire and Air. These compatible signs also share the same "gender" – feminine/masculine, receptive/active, yin/yang, externally oriented versus internally, etc.

Sextiles are like getting a do-it-yourself kit. It's like a puzzle – the pieces are designed to fit together, but right now they're just things in a box. It's up to you to put the pieces together, and that takes elbow grease, time, effort, motivation, and conscious focus. It takes work, but when you're done you have a really cool thingamajig that you didn't have before. Now you can use it to do something new or different.

So, with Earth and Water you have the structure, stability and substance of Earth, and Water provides fluid and flexible moisture. Put both together and you have a foundation on which to grow or build something. Earth provides a container or sponge that holds the Water and keeps it from evaporating away.

In the same way, logic, practicality, methodology and realism provide a container that gives our feelings, intuition, creativity and our inner self some security, stability and support. When these are in balance, it can be an anchor or lifeline that helps pull us back from emotional freefall.

Your Watery, feeling nature connects you on a personal level to the otherwise-impersonal things in your life – duty, responsibility, logic, goals. And your Earthy nature gives your ethereal, imaginative, non-rational side a way to focus – it's like a home base you can come back to when you stray too far into the boundless emotional Waters.

Sometimes Earth and Water come together and only seem to give you a mud puddle. It feels like a squishy, sloppy mess at first—too much emotion and not enough clarity of what to do about it—but there is still abundant potential to formulate something new out of it.

The trick is to bring them into a just-right balance—not too wet, not too stiff. So, if your life feels like mud, then you might need to add a bit more Earth—logical analysis, a structured approach, a step-by-step plan—to provide enough substance so you can work with it.

Or it might help to add some Air—a breeze that can evaporate some of that excess Water. In other words, bring your feelings, intuition and emotional flow into greater awareness. The more you come to consciously recognize and get to know your feelings, moods, triggers, and inner senses—the more you can "come up for air"—the less likely they are to drown you. The more you can get a solid handle on managing those feelings and using them to create something productive, constructive and healing. And by learning to laugh at life a bit, to let your funny bone be tickled by some mental helium, Air can be uplifting—maybe even entice you to take a break and just play in the mud puddles.

Scared and sacred are spelled with the same letters.
Awful proceeds from the same root word as awesome. Terrify and terrific. Every negative experience
holds the seed of transformation.
~ Alan Cohen

On the Earth side, there's Jupiter, Saturn and Pluto. Yup, they're still around, still determined to pull us into a transformative agenda, and still dominating the skies in the background. These three planets are more spread out now, from Jupiter at 18 Capricorn to Saturn at 27 Capricorn, and Pluto in the middle at 24 Cap.

Stellium in Capricorn

Mars recently joined them, which formed a 4-point Stellium in Capricorn. Mars will check in with each of them by conjunction over the next 6 weeks: Jupiter (Mar.20), Pluto (Mar.23) and Saturn (Mar.31). And Mars also passes them in parallel by declination throughout January (15, 21, 28) and again in March (23, 28) and April (7). In between these groups of dates, Mars is slightly Out of Bounds by declination (Feb.08 to Mar.03).

The overall effect, from mid-January to early-April, is to trigger the Jupiter-Saturn-Pluto energies into events, controversies, uprisings, issues and taking action. So: what is being triggered? And when?

Saturn and Pluto remain within orb of both conjunction and parallel for the rest of this year, even though they have finished all their exact passes for both of these aspects. In 2020, they reach their closest by conjunction (2:50) on Sep.26, and closest by parallel (1:15) on Sep.24. We will likely find that Saturn-Pluto issues heat up again in late September and early October, when both planets station direct at their closest orb. So, these heavyweights are not quite finished with us yet.

Jupiter and Pluto are conjunct 3 times this year: Apr.04, Jun.30 and Nov.12. In addition, Jupiter and Pluto are exactly parallel on Mar.01, Aug.13 and Oct.03. So, Jupiter's search for meaning, hope and wisdom will need to find these qualities in the dense shadows of Pluto's underground caverns. This could illuminate the exit sign to lead us out of those dark, murky corners. Unfortunately, it might also double back by deciding there is moral righteousness in attitudes that are more sinister than enlightened.

Jupiter and Saturn aren't officially conjunct until Dec.21, but prior to that date they come as close as 4:41 on May.18. They also reach their final exact parallel just 4 days after their exact conjunction, which will make their meeting even more powerful than it already is, being at 0° of Aquarius. They were also parallel throughout 2019.

These three planets together create a rich, tangy, crunchy granola of energies. Saturn and Pluto give an earthy flavour that is heavy, forceful and dominant. Saturn seeking systematic stability comes up against Pluto that wants deep transformation that roots out everything except what is authentically true to our passion.

It's a potentially volatile mixture, pitting societal rule of law and order against a transpersonal process that seeks a greater connection to Universal Truth. Together they agree on the need for a common agenda of change that serves a purpose of effective endurance. The question is: whose purpose?

Jupiter adds a zesty zing that brings out the other flavours in our cosmic granola. Jupiter joins Saturn and Pluto this year by conjunction, but has already been travelling in parallel with them since the beginning of 2019. While Jupiter was in Sagittarius, it blessing us with idealized vision of hope that our dreams and aspirations could be realized.

But now Jupiter is in Capricorn—a horse of quite a different colour—so, the ideals, principles and higher purpose that blazed on the horizon last year have now moved behind a massive mountain that must be climbed if we are going to keep reaching for that destination.

Where did our inspiration go? This year it must come from a much more practical place than last year's visionary motivation. So, this year we are struggling to take last year's moral inspiration, creativity and insight, and find ways to forge them into something real, concrete and binding. This is aimed at Jupiterian endeavours: the legal system (legal challenges, new laws), moral institutions (religion, ethics) and/or education (critical thinking, reality checks; scrutinizing our assumptions, biases and beliefs).

Create with the heart; build with the mind.
~ Criss Jami, Killosophy

Amid all this turmoil, the Pisces New Moon offers a do-it-yourself kit that, when assembled, can help you find your way through the shadowy Capricorn canyons. For starters, there's a second 4-point Stellium, this one in Pisces – Sun, Moon, Mercury and Neptune. The Sun-Moon conjunction is, of course, the brilliant star in the chart: a cosmic flashlight to guide you through the gloom.

Stellium in Pisces

Mercury is currently retrograde in Pisces (Feb.16 to Mar.09) which is wonderful for letting the imagination wander and exploring new ideas and creative inspiration. Your dreams—literally sleeping dreams, although possibly aspiration dreams too—might be especially strange and mysterious and therefore may be expressing deeply unconscious hopes, fears, desires or curiosity.

With Mercury being retrograde during this New Moon, it's a good time to gather impressions, notice observations, listen to intuition, and reflect on your assumptions and expectations about life around you. Mercury turns direct on Mar.09 – the same day as the Full Moon in Mercury's sign of Virgo. So the Full Moon is likely to bring a fruition time that can activate the creative and healing potential of the Pisces New Moon as well as the information and insights being gathered during Mercury retrograde.

The brightest message from Pisces is that there is more to what is happening right now that reaches beyond the stress to tap into a sense of higher calling. In other words, the conflict and controversy of our times can be pointed in a direction that expresses and invokes something greater than ourselves. And yet, during these same times everything and everyone is judged—often ruthlessly—for its/their moral, historical and political impact. And everyone has a different view of whether that impact is good, bad or indifferent.

How to cope? How to hope? How to find meaning in the chaos? How to take mud and turn it into something useful, resourceful, encouraging or creative? Hope is generated when we take something difficult and discouraging, and introduce a perspective that opens up new possibilities that can lead to betterment. In other words, hope is something that is greater than the sum of its parts. It contains the potential for something better. It's a creative dynamic.

Pisces not only opens up new possibilities, it aims to open up a whole new dimension of life! It points to The Source or The Essence of whoever and whatever we are. It reflects something greater than ourselves. It illuminates a view of life that is greater than the sum of its parts – greater than the sum of our parts, both individually and collectively.

Pisces points to a Universal Oneness that we can aspire to. Idealistic, right? But unless that idealism is manifested through concrete action, it may be reassuring to think about but it still remains just a dream of what-if.

One hand washes the other. (Manus Manum Lavat)
~ Lucius Annaeus Seneca

The sign of Capricorn is in a natural sextile aspect to Pisces (60°). And with so many planets in both of these signs right now, it's not surprising that several of them are sextile to each other: Mars-Sun/Moon, Mars-Mercury and Jupiter-Neptune.

The Capricorn leans toward seeing things in a pragmatic, methodical, structured mundane way, while Pisces leans toward transcending the conventional world, aspiring instead toward Universal Oneness and a higher calling. These perspectives are definitely different, but like dirt and water, can be brought together in compatible, creative, innovative ways.

So, Pisces idealism reminds you that there is more to this time of life than just hard work in an attempt to forge a particular kind of future. It's speaks to the human need for beauty, elation, and faith in the totality of life that can bring us out of a difficult here-and-now to see it in a context of something greater than itself.

Although Capricorn operates at the concrete, mundane level, it is guided by an ideal or vision of what the result is intended to be. And in order for Pisces to actualize its dreams, it needs the practical container of Earth—Capricorn—to give it shape in the world of physical reality. So the two, while being very different, work well together, but they need some encouragement and effort to make their cooperation become something real.

The big news of this New Moon is that there are ways we can work with today's tumultuous energy. Whether you're just looking to cope and get through the stress, or you're striving to manifest something inspired, this 4-week lunar cycle starting with 101 sextiles can grease the wheels of progress in whatever you're trying to achieve.

Nothing [...] will ever be attempted, if all possible objections must be first overcome.
~ Samuel Johnson, The History of Rasselas, Prince of Abissinia

Mini-Trine aspect pattern

The New Moon chart contains an aspect pattern that I call a Mini-Trine: the New Moon is sextile both Mars and Uranus which are trine to each other. This configuration raises a lot of cooperative, creative energy, based on the sextiles and trine. However, like all sextiles, it takes effort and intention to turn it into energy that fuels your progress.

Uranus brings a different kind of energy into the uber-sextile atmosphere. It encourages us to try new things and to take a leap of faith forward, but with so much Earth in this figure, that faith needs to be supported by evidence and/or guided by structured steps.

Mini-Square aspect pattern

There's another aspect pattern in the chart that I call a Mini-Square. Again, the New Moon is at the apex of a triangle figure, but this time the Sun and Moon are in semi-square aspects (45°) to Jupiter on one side and Venus on the other, with Jupiter and Venus in square aspect (90°). In fact, the Jupiter-Venus square is the closest aspect in the chart next to the exact Sun-Moon conjunction (0:03 applying).

Although this pattern is stressful, it is actually good news. When there is such an abundance of trines and sextiles, it is easy to just hang out in your comfy chair and go "Ya, awesome dude, I can do this, ya..." while you while you continue to browse through Twitter or Facebook posts. The Mini-Square introduces some prickly energy that makes your chair a little less comfy so that you're more inclined to get up and actually DO something.

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In this case, Venus in Aries (in her detriment) is more edgy and restless than Venus usually is, so you may be more open to the idea of having to be active in order to obtain a sense of comfort, ease and harmony. Also, Jupiter in Capricorn (in his fall) is more practical and structured than Jupiter is typically, so you may understand the need for reaching your goal in concrete steps.

The square aspect between them suggests you may not be able to simply take the easy-going sextile cooperation for granted. If you have to work at making the benefits happen, you're more likely to value the good stuff more because you've invested your energy in it.

So, if you feel like you're stuck in a situation that has sucked all the oxygen out of the room, so to speak, the New Moon in Pisces can open a window to new ideas and possibilities that let in some fresh air. Let your mind awaken to a fresh perspective. Let this rejuvenate your faith in yourself and in life, so that you find the courage to open the door and step outside of whatever has kept you stuck. And let your creative imagination reveal how you can conquer obstacles by moving through them and around them, rather than believing you must smash them to bits.

When you connect to the silence within you,
that is when you can make sense of
the disturbance going on around you.
~ Stephen Richards

Day to Day Transits for the Next 2 Weeks

Feb.23 – Venus square Jupiter (18:21 of Aries/Capricorn)  (Feb.24 in AU)

"Your eyes are bigger than your stomach" (as Mom used to say). That means you are more likely now to over-indulge, especially in the areas of relationships, spending, desires, pleasure and social contact. Your desire for fulfilment and satisfaction may exceed your resources, and you might not even realise it until the bill comes in later (probably under a Saturn transit ;-). You may also find you require more knowledge, understanding, faith, freedom or optimism than you have available, making it tempting to compensate by inflating what you really have. For example, you might want to resort to flattery, manipulation or over-optimism in an effort to make up for a lack of genuine confidence, rapport or preparation. However, this can also be a time when your creativity is running high and you are able to pull rabbits out of your hat on a moment's notice. The problem is that you could over-extend yourself by doing so.

Feb.24 – Sun sextile Mars (05:55 of Pisces/Capricorn)  (Feb.25 in UK, AU)

You have power, energy, motivation and enthusiasm to fuel your ambitions now! The catch is you will need to reach for it; it won't simply "come to you." Reach into your past experience and reach forward toward your vision of what you want. This will help to guide your actions and focus your assertive energy in the direction you want to go. This is a good time to make progress toward a goal. Or, you might want to take steps to leave behind inhibitions that have held you back. This transit can also make you more apt to take risks and find the courage to do things you might not otherwise do. Your tolerance for obstacles may be shortened, and making it easy to assume the only way through them is by using direct force. This may or may not be wise, depending on how extreme you want to take it, so use your good judgment and don't throw away your diplomacy.

Feb.25 – Sun trine North Lunar Node (06:27 of Pisces/Cancer)  (Feb.26 in AU)  ("What's a Lunar Node?")

You may feel confident, optimistic and empowered today and a couple of days before and after this date. It can feel like the pieces are falling into place and you can make progress in what you're striving to do in your life right now. And if only because of this added self-confidence, this could indeed happen. Just an added caution, though: even though the lights are green doesn't mean you shouldn't look both ways before moving forward. In other words, a reality check as to the wisdom of what you want to do is still a good idea.

Feb.25 – Mars conjunct South Lunar Node (06:25 of Capricorn)  (Feb.26 in AU)  ("What's a Lunar Node?")

This transit's range of influence is roughly 2 weeks before and after this date, although it reaches its peak now. The South Lunar Node is where we let go of, move away from, express or release something. Although the South Node can involve loss of some kind, it can also signify that what had previously been actively in the "foreground" of your life is now moving into the "background" and becoming assimilated as simply one part among many, rather than being a specific focus. Often whatever is being released is something we took in, embraced or began to move toward when Mars passed over the North Lunar Node. The North Node is sometimes known as the Dragon's Head, which eats or consumes. The South Node is known as the Dragon's Tail, which... well you get the idea. ;-) Since this involves Mars, what is being embraced or released likely has to do with anger, aggression, assertiveness or forcefulness. This might also be about sex or physical energy or something being set into motion. Depending on your natal chart, this could also involve the houses Mars rules and resides in, as well as where the current transit is taking place.

Feb.25 – Sun conjunct Mercury Retrograde (06:55 of Pisces)  (Feb.26 in UK, AU)

When the Sun conjoins Mercury Retrograde, a new Mercury cycle begins that unfolds until the next Mercury Rx conjunct the Sun (about 4 months from now). You may notice something new or different in the areas of awareness, conversation, information and ideas, and your understanding of this will develop throughout the coming Mercury cycle. This may or may not be heralded by a recognisable event or experience, although for a day or two your consciousness may shift. Your thoughts and mental concentration may take a dip into the unconscious, becoming unusually murky and muddy, or perhaps rise into ultra-consciousness and become suddenly clear and lucid (afterwards returning to the usual Mercury retrograde fog). New insight or perspective about what has unfolded during the retrograde cycle thus far may surface now, or an unworkable attitude or perception of these events may fall apart under the light of new information. This shift in awareness could be obvious or subtle, sudden or gradual, but this transit marks a turning point in the retrograde cycle. It also marks a time when your consciousness often goes further underground for the rest of the retrograde period, which could make it a little harder to operate objectively and rationally in the outside world. So, spend some time in your right-brain, intuitive, non-rational mind – write down your dreams, immerse yourself in music and art, listen to how you talk to yourself in your mind, and take a moment to just observe your surroundings. These things can invite your mental creativity and inventiveness to come out and play.

MERCURY CAZIMI TIMES (0:17 orb)
PlaceZoneBeginsEnds
AmericasHSTFeb.25, 11:28 AMFeb.25, 06:0 PM
AKSTFeb.25, 01:28 PMFeb.25, 08: PM
PSTFeb.25, 02:28 PMFeb.25, 09: PM
MSTFeb.25, 03:28 PMFeb.25, 10: PM
CSTFeb.25, 04:28 PMFeb.25, 11: PM
ESTFeb.25, 05:28 PMFeb.26, 12: AM
ASTFeb.25, 06:28 PMFeb.26, 01: AM
NSTFeb.25, 06:58 PMFeb.26, 01:30 AM
UKGMTFeb.25, 10:28 PMFeb.26, 05: AM
AUAEDTFeb.26, 09:28 AMFeb.26, 04: PM

The peak period of Mercury conjunct the Sun is when they are within 17 minutes of arc (or some say within 1 degree), which lasts roughly 14-20 hours when Mercury is direct, or 5-8 hours when retrograde. This is called being Cazimi, meaning "in the heart of the Sun." When any planet is Cazimi, it is said to be unusually strong – being in the eye of the storm, so to speak – and can potentially be used to great advantage (for better or worse).

In the case of Mercury, your perceptions, awareness, ideas, and ability to put your thoughts into words may have a strong impact, being unusually clear, focused or direct. It is recommended that you use wisdom and good judgment, since an extra sharp wit during this time could possibly have negative consequences, intended or not. Since Mercury is Retrograde, these increased Mercury qualities are likely to be especially intuitive or creative in nature than analytical or logical. Pay attention to your dreams, as they will probably reveal messages from your deep unconscious.

Feb.26 – Mercury Retrograde sextile Mars (06:43 of Pisces/Capricorn)  (Feb.25 in HAST, AKST, PST, MST, CST)

This is the second of three passes of this transit, which generally supports forthright communication and finding your assertive voice, if you wish to cultivate that. By now you have a chance to examine your usual mode of communication and may be seeing how it could benefit from improvement. Or, you might have been trying out some new forms of communication or being more outspoken, and might be experiencing the feedback and reactions to this. Perhaps it's a good idea to soften words that are a bit too blunt? Or you might find making a sharper, more specific point will get to the heart of the matter and avoid misunderstandings. This is a good time to try different creative ideas on for size and see which ones bring the results you are aiming for.

Feb.26 – Mercury Retrograde trine North Lunar Node (06:14 of Pisces/Cancer)  (Feb.27 in AU)  ("What's a Lunar Node?")

Today, and up to a couple of days before and after, things can feel like they're starting to make sense. What you read, hear and observe may seem more obvious and your ability to put this into words could flow more easily. You might identify and figure out how to utilize the tools, skills, assets and ideas that could bring you further down the road toward whatever destination you're pointed toward. However, a reality check about how wise it might be to act on these ideas and benefits is still a good idea. Write down good ideas to follow up with later.

Feb.28 – Venus square Pluto (24:13 of Aries/Capricorn)  (Feb.29 in AU)

Relationships and interactions are likely to be deep, intense and transformative under this transit. The same goes for your sense of beauty, and your material and financial dealings, which may require you to delve far deeper than usual to discover the truth under the surface of things. You may encounter the dark shadow of your desires – the obscure, secret or unconscious hunger that hides underneath the "politically correct" face you show to the world (and to yourself. This is a challenge to be resolved in some way. It might bring out conflict rooted in envy or jealousy, if someone has something (or someone) that you feel you are entitled to. Or, it might prompt you to reach very deep into your soul to find your inner beauty and value. You may be challenged to develop empathy or empowerment about something that initially seemed undesirable, unforgivable or scary. This transit can show you the problem areas that need to be transformed and healed. And seeing these more clearly can be a catharsis that sets that transformative healing in motion.

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Feb.28 – Mercury Retrograde sextile Uranus (03:39 of Pisces/Taurus)  (Feb.29 in UK, AU)

There is potential for brilliance and excitement under this transit. You may be more spontaneous, upbeat and eccentric than usual. If you are used to a fairly predictable lifestyle, it is a time when you may be inspired to experiment with something out of character. If you are used to being whacky, zany and impulsive, this transit can provide opportunities to express this. You may have an increased ability to "think outside the box" if you stretch your mind a little, and there is the possibility of having an "ah-ha!" experience, when answers and realisations fall into place. There is also the possibility of being mentally restless, so that it's hard to slow down your thoughts or apply yourself seriously to your responsibilities. Your attention span may be a bit short for a couple of days. This energy can be used to consider new ideas that seemed outlandish or impossible before, and see new potential in them.

Feb.29 – Happy Leap Day!

2020 is a Leap Year, which means February has an extra day – the 29th. We do this because the Earth's orbit around the Sun takes just slightly more than 365 days—our normal year. So, in order to get those few hours back, we let them accumulate and add a day to the year every 4 years. For more information, check out TimeAndDate.com. And if you were born on Leap Day, then I wish you a very special Happy Solar Return! :-)

Mar.03 – Mars returns from Out of Bounds (OOB since Feb.08; 24:55 Sagittarius to 10:53 Capricorn; next OOB is Mar.21.2021 )  (Mar.02 in HAST, AKST, PST, MST)   ("What does Out of Bounds mean?"   "What is Declination?")

Mars has been Out of Bounds (OOB) and now returns within the bounds of the Sun, by declination. While OOB Mars qualities can be somewhat erratic and exaggerated: angry, hostile, hyper-reactive or hyper-sensitive, aggressive, quick to protest or take offence, feeling out of control, or (the flip side of these qualities) depression, lethargy or cynicism. Now that Mars is coming back within bounds, these qualities will likely become more manageable and "back to normal" (whatever that usually is for you).

Coming back in bounds can be a bit of a bumpy landing as that unrestricted energy becomes squeezed back into its usual potency. This is a good time to observe your passions and energy levels, as well as changes in Mars themes in society around you. For several days before and after this date, pay attention to the things that amplify or cool down your Mars energy. Realize that this is an adjustment period, and having some patience with yourself and others can help to smooth and soothe this time.

Alternatively, the re-entry can also be an eventful time when changes in Mars-related areas can occur. For example, you might feel this is the right time to start—or end—a project or make changes to a situation in your life. A shift in how you experience or handle anger, assertiveness, depression or high/low energy levels could inspire you to make positive changes in those areas. This might be due to a change in perspective as a result of your experiences while Mars was OOB.

Mar.03 – Venus square Saturn (28:25 of Aries/Capricorn)  (Mar.04 in AU)

Finances, relationships, social contacts and/or pleasures may seem blocked or require extra effort right now. Manifesting your desires may require added hard work, but this struggle could also bring you closer to your goals. It may feel like there is a huge rock blocking your path that keeps you from fulfilling your heart's desire. It may be necessary to face some difficult aspect of your situation before it is possible to know how to proceed. This is ultimately a problem to be solved by confronting that which is unrealistic, unworkable, or just not in your best interest. This can also be a time when you arrive at a crossroads and must make some firm choices, or when circumstances might force you to change your direction. This transit can make your choice clear, although it might not be the one you hoped for.

Mar.04 – Mercury Retrograde enters Aquarius (until Mar.16)

Mercury is retrograde in Aquarius, which can bring up thoughts and ideas that are way off the beaten track! With Mercury's usual conscious thought patterns turned inside out under the retrograde, you might get anything from very weird dreams to brilliant new ideas to thoughts that are scattered and fragmented. Your attention span might be a little short and you could easily feel bored with anything that seems ordinary, monotonous or too limiting. You might also feel frustrated and overwhelmed because you feel a need to stretch your thoughts and perceptions beyond your usual horizons, yet feel trapped by the demands of day-to-day life. On the other hand, you might find you are able to spontaneously reach beyond your usual limits and view life from a totally different angle. Ideas may explode suddenly in your mind and words could burst out of your mouth. You might be tempted to say things for shock value or to break down a wall of resistance that you perceive is in your way. Write down your best ideas to process and develop later.

Mar.04 – Mercury Retrograde sextile Venus (29:44 of Aries/Aquarius)  (Mar.05 in AU)

There is a potential to benefit from social connections, diplomatic communication and receptive awareness during this transit, although a certain amount of effort is needed to make this happen. It can be a good time for negotiating contracts and other agreements, especially if you consciously focus your intent on achieving balance with your counterpart, partner or opponent that results in a win-win situation for all concerned. There is also potential to appreciate and express beauty, pleasure and sensuality. If there's someone in your life that you want to get closer to, try speaking gently and listening receptively, which can be the key that opens the door to harmonious interaction. Creative ideas can also find expression now if you apply your conscious awareness to bring them into focus. The thing to watch for is a tendency to use manipulation to achieve an advantage, which might be done by you or to you. Keep communication straightforward and clear, and find diplomatic ways to deal with manipulation if you sense it happening.

This transit is especially noteworthy for a couple of reasons. Mercury and Venus are sextile at the final degree of their signs – Aquarius and Aries, respectively. The last degree of a sign is powerful because the planet has gathered 29 degrees of experience after going through that sign, and it is now in transition to step into the next sign. At its most intense, we may feel excited or apprehensive; pregnant and saturated with potential or empty and open to a new experience. We might feel like we're floating in a dream-state or we could be ready to rock-and-roll in a new direction.

What makes this critical-degree transit stand out even more is that Mercury is retrograde and has just moved backwards into Aquarius from Pisces. So, Mercury is not waiting to transition into the next sign, as Venus is; rather, Mercury is already at his destination and is feeling the change already. So, Mercury has shifted from dreamy, sensitive Pisces into intellectual, objective Aquarius. At the same time, Venus is in the process of transferring her focus from fiery, edgy Aries into stable, grounded Taurus.

The end result is bound to bring a powerful sense of creative or inspired purpose, which you've probably been feeling for a couple of days before they become exact. However, the "feeling tone" or sense about what you are inclined to do with this energy may seem to change into a different direction than you were expecting. This is likely to make it even more interesting and creative—or it could also make Mercury's retrograde change of sign a bit more disorienting or confusing. Either way, go with the flow and trust the process. In any case, you might not really know where this is going until after Mercury goes direct (Mar.09) and moves out of Aquarius again and back into Pisces (Mar.16).

Mar.04 – Moon goes Out of Bounds (10:27 to 12:54 Cancer; OOB for about 4½ hours)  (Mar.05 in UK, AU)   ("What does Out of Bounds mean?"   "What is Declination?")

The Moon goes Out of Bounds (OOB) by Declination, during which time your feelings may a bit stronger than usual. You might feel a bit separated from the world around you. As a result, you might feel a bit lonely and in need of some reassuring human contact. On the other hand, this detachment might be a welcome change if you're feeling a bit stressed or overwhelmed by the energy around you and need some time out. Or, you may find it's time to go your own way a bit more, to seek your own company or search for a more supportive environment. Your creativity and imagination might be more willing to follow unusual ideas, whims and impulses.

This is a very special event! This is the first time the Moon has gone Out of Bounds in 9 years! The last time was in April 2011. Between then and now, the Moon's maximum declination (how far north or south of the equator) was less than the maximum declination of the Sun (23:26* north or south), meaning that the Moon never went Out of Bounds. But starting today, the Moon's declination is able to extend beyond the boundary of the Sun. The Moon spends about 9 years always being In-Bounds, and another 9 years being able to go OOB at her maximum declination. From now until 2030, the Moon will go OOB twice a month, swinging North and South, each time going a wee bit farther beyond the Bounds. In 2025, she will reach her maximum declination of about 28¾° north and south (about 5¼° beyond the Sun's bounds). After that she'll max out at a lower and lower declination each time, until she is no longer able to go OOB again (starting in 2030).

(*Astro-Geek Technical Note: I'm using 23:26 as the OOB line. Some astrologers prefer to use 23:27 or 23:28. I use 23:26 because that is the current maximum declination of the Sun, which is what defines the Bounds.)

For us in 2020, over the next few months the Moon will barely touch the beyond-bounds sky for only a few hours, up to just a day or two at a time. The increase is so gradual that by the end of 2020, the Moon is still OOB for only 3 days and about 1½° beyond the Sun's bounds. Nevertheless, during these brief times, you are likely to feel an increasing shift on a feeling, emotional, creative or intuitive level.

In the diagram below, the red shows the varying range of declination of the Moon from 2011 to 2038. Near the top and bottom, you'll see a line going across, with the Cancer or Capricorn symbol at the left (showing where the Sun is at the Cancer/June Solstice and the Capricorn/December Solstice. These lines show the Bounds, so when the red lines area extends above the upper line (Cancer) or below the lower line (Capricorn), it is going OOB.

Out of Bounds Moon cycle

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Mar.04 – Venus enters Taurus (until Apr.03)  (Mar.05 in UK, AU)

Venus rules the sign of Taurus, so she is very comfortable here! Your experiences of pleasure and sensuality are likely to be heightened...perhaps even a bit too much! You might be tempted to overindulge in sensory delights. On the other hand, you may feel the urge to be more grounded, practical and methodical in the way you handle relationships, money, possessions, material values, and attracting what you desire. It is also a time when your desires could manifest tangibly or at least become more apparent. It may be possible to see more clearly the ways that your self-worth is tied to material things, like income, savings, possessions and spending. Your finances and possessions could act like a "touch stone" to reassure you in times of stress. The trick is not to let this become a substitute for genuine self-respect. To make the most of this transit, take some time to relax and enjoy life! Take your time, smell the flowers, drink in the sunsets, listen to beautiful music, get an aromatherapy massage or explore new uses for chocolate. ;-)

Mar.08 – North America moves ahead to Daylight Saving Time

If you live in Canada, United States, the Caribbean or some areas of Central and South America, and if your region observes Daylight Saving Time, it's time to move your clocks one hour FORWARD. If you're not sure if this applies to you, check the change dates for your location on DateAndTime.com.

Mar.08 – Sun conjunct Neptune (18:23 of Pisces)

This can be a time of great creative ability by taking unfamiliar or little-used sources of inspiration and channelling them into self-expression. This may or may not be "creative" in the artistic sense of the word, but definitely can involve taking an inspired approach to problems and challenges. It is a great time to be romantic, creative, intuitive/psychic or spiritual. Just remember that inspiration still means you have to work for the results. Don't confuse intuition with being able to take divine intervention for granted. You may experience profound faith in the bountiful blessings of the Universe under this transit, but don't just assume you'll be granted everything you wish for. What you pick up from others and your environment can also become mixed up with your own wishful thinking, making it hard to tell where you stop and the rest of the world begins. However, hope, optimism and imagination spring eternal. Your sense of self can become infused with a sense of vision and having a mission, feeling that you are truly a Child of the Universe. Enjoy it while it lasts, as this transit only lasts a few days, but do a careful reality check before you act on the magical possibilities before you.

NEPTUNE CAZIMI TIMES (0:17 orb)
PlaceZoneBeginsEnds
Americas HSTMar.07, 06:18 PMMar.08, 08:27 AM
AKST/AKDTMar.07, 08:18 PMMar.08, 11:27 AM
PST/PDTMar.07, 09:18 PMMar.08, 12:27 AM
MST/MDTMar.07, 10:18 PMMar.08, 01:27 PM
CST/CDTMar.07, 11:18 PMMar.08, 02:27 PM
EST/EDTMar.08, 12:18 AMMar.08, 03:27 PM
AST/ADTMar.08, 01:18 AMMar.08, 04:27 PM
NST/NDTMar.08, 01:48 AMMar.08, 04:57 PM
UKGMTMar.08, 05:18 AMMar.08, 07:27 PM
AUAEDTMar.08, 04:18 PMMar.09, 06:27 AM

* Interesting tidbit:  Throughout Canada and the USA, the Cazimi times begin in Standard Time but finish in Daylight Time!

The peak period of Neptune conjunct the Sun is when they are within 17 minutes of arc (or some say within 1 degree), which lasts roughly 14-15 hours. This is called being Cazimi, meaning "in the heart of the Sun." When any planet is Cazimi, it is said to be unusually strong – being in the eye of the storm, so to speak – and can potentially be used to great advantage (for better or worse).

In the case of Neptune, this may be a time when dreams, intuition or even psychic impressions are unusually strong. You are likely to be more sensitive all round and therefore also more open to persuasion that may or may not be in your best interest. Do a reality check before you make any final decisions.

Mar.08 – Venus conjunct Uranus (04:01 of Taurus)  (Mar.09 in AU)

The warm receptivity of Venus can become somewhat cool, detached and unpredictable when combined with Uranus. This is a good combination for carrying out a dispassionate strategy, or for networking with acquaintances and associates. It can also be a time when you might liberate yourself from old connections – for example, choosing to end a relationship, stepping away from an outworn friendship, or being open to experimenting with new kinds of connections with people. It can also be a time of impulse spending, or wanting to use your resources and finances for a humanitarian purpose. Finances may become a bit unpredictable or unstable – either bringing income when you didn't expect it, or spending it when you may or may not have. Whether you want to liberate your own life or someone else's, this is a time when freedom and independence become the focus of pleasure. Experimentation is also tempting, and while this can be invigorating, it might also leave you with consequences you hadn't anticipated. Embrace your spontaneity, but don't divorce your judgment.

NEXT UPDATE:
NEW MOON IN LEO
Available by August 18, 2020.

© 2020 Wendy Guy. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied or used without the author's written permission. Astrology diagrams © Wendy Guy unless otherwise noted. OTHER CREDITS: Most or all of the quotes on this page were found at GoodReads.com. Illustration of Zodiac Sign by Natalia Hubbert, via 123rf.com. Sabian Symbol photo of book sale, by Donatella D'Anniballe via Unsplash.com.


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