Take a look up at the sky. What do you see? If the night sky is clear, you’ll see the Moon and stars. In the morning sky, you may catch a glimpse of Jupiter and Venus. In the evening, you might spot Mars and Saturn.

Humans have watched the planets traverse the sky for millennia. It’s in our blood. Over time, people from many different cultures have noticed and catalogued a correlation between planetary phenomena and worldly events. Astrology is a body of knowledge that takes into account this ancient wisdom. It is the oldest science, the mother of astronomy, the second-oldest profession.

Our forebears taught us that certain aspects (angular alignments of planets in the sky) tend to show up at times of difficulty here on earth. Others signal harmony and ease, things falling into place—an interplanetary “kiss!” Like our ancestors, we can watch these signs of the times to anticipate events in our world. These events are like the weather—the same for everyone, regardless of your sign. Even more insight can be had by analyzing the relationship of this changing sky with your birth chart.

But the planets impel; they do not compel. Life is part fate, part free will. This is where astrology is so useful—knowing the “lay of the land” gives you a huge advantage when you’re making decisions and scheduling important events.

In March, we have some significant challenges, before a kiss appears at the end of the month that will take us all the way through April.

Mercury retrograde, March 2 – 25

As March begins, Mercury is about to change direction and begin a three-week retrograde period. This happens three times a year, and tends to bring strange weather patterns and other disturbances. Mercury is the mythological messenger, and in astrology he governs thinking, communication and transportation. So we typically see more traffic, phone and computer problems, misunderstandings, schedule changes, and details which trip up our plans while Mercury is moving backward.

This Mercury retrograde will be in the sign Pisces. Pisces is a winter sign, and a water sign. So this suggests wintry weather with high levels of precipitation. Pisces also governs fantasies and fiction, unrealistic ideas, and infectious diseases. This could be when a nasty cold or flu bug takes out a key person at work, for example. Technical issues and nitty-gritty details take longer to fix during Mercury retrograde. You have to be flexible and ready to improvise. And double-check important documents for errors before sending them out.

On the positive side, Mercury retrograde is a great time to pick up and review old projects begun in the past. You can work with the energy—as Mercury moves back over old territory, we can go there too. It’s a great time to review old books and notes, revise or proofread writing or artistic projects, or clean out the file cabinet. You might uncover a useful bit of information, or an overlooked gem from the past.

Jupiter square Neptune, March 1 – 15

Since January, Jupiter has been moving very slowly. And (from our perspective here on Earth) Jupiter happens to be nearly exactly 90º from another slow-moving planet, Neptune. In astrology, this right-angle relationship is called a “square,” and signals challenge between the principles symbolized by these two planets.

What are these principles? In a nutshell, Jupiter is “lots of.” Neptune is spirituality, intuition, your connection with something greater; but also confusion, obfuscation, intoxication, fraud, wannabees and hucksters. Neptune is the ruler of the oceans, so we may see trouble in the sea or coming from the sea.

Neptune does have goodies to offer us. If you are willing, you can open yourself to a richness of emotion and feeling, a great love of humanity. It’s time to look beyond our boundaries and borders, and recognize the commonalities that connect us with all beings. It’s a great time to read fiction, visit art galleries, or listen to a great music. Jupiter is the sugar daddy of the solar system, and his downside is overoptimism, overdoing it. Thus there is the possibility of becoming too open, overdoing generosity, giving to someone who can’t, or won’t, give back. It’s a good time to reach out and help others, but it’s not the month to loan money if you want it back someday!

This big square has been in force since January. On March 15, the square will come to full power, then begin to dissolve quickly over the next several days. I suspect that we’ll experience a “decompression,” like a deep-sea diver coming to the surface. We may see something dramatic around this square after it’s exact. What will it look like? We can only speculate: perhaps a weather-related event, a mishap at sea, a poisoning, an outbreak of flu, or yet another major political scandal.

Eclipses

If you have been reading my articles for a while, you already know how I love Eclipses. We get two of these, sometimes three, every six months. Eclipses are special New and Full Moons. Sensitive people can feel a difference in the energy—decisions feel more weighty and significant; energy levels in general seem to increase. Some people get bad colds or even food poisoning, the kind of illness that takes you down for the count, then leaves you feeling cleaned-out afterward. It’s as if our bodies need to undergo a purging to make space for the new energy.

Eclipses signal the beginning of a six month cycle. The houses in your birth chart that they contact (those containing the points 24 Virgo and 8 Aries) will be “lit up” with activity and new developments for the six month period starting now and ending in August.

March 14 – 18

A Lunar Eclipse on March 14 brings emotional energy to a peak. With this Eclipse squaring turbulent, transformational Pluto, alongside some other very powerful aspects in the sky over the next few days, you’ll do well to recognize that there’s a lot going on under the surface, which is bound to bubble over in some folks. What to do during this intense time? Stay centered. Don’t press your luck. Don’t try to “fix” anyone, if something isn’t crucial right now, let it go. Don’t insist that everyone be on the same page as you; it just isn’t in the stars!

Before you raise your mug of green beer to toast your Irish ancestors on St. Patty’s, do make sure you and yours have a safe ride home. With Jupiter square Neptune still clearing out, and retrograde Mercury in Pisces squaring angry Mars—yikes… watch out for drunken accidents and bar fights, and don’t take chances with your safety. I’ll be celebrating at home in my green underwear. Rrowr!

March 19 – 31

Give yourself a pat on the back! You have made it through a rough patch of time, and things are settling down once again. Even though Mercury is still retrograde, the coast is pretty clear for getting important tasks done. It’s the third quarter phase of the Moon, time to tie up loose ends, and check some tasks off of your to-do list.

It’s also time to prepare for a major new beginning next week. On some level, we are all clearing the decks to make room for a new beginning. Even our physical bodies follow the Lunar cycle (as most women know quite well). During the waning Moon, and especially two or three days before the New Moon (this month, March 27 and 28), the body detoxifies and clears itself. It’s the best time of the month to give up an old habit, such as smoking or junk food.

The Spring Equinox Treasure Map

On March 29, with the Solar Eclipse in Aries, a new astrological year begins. It’s time to think about those New Year’s resolutions! This event fills the skies with energy, and the two weeks following it are the best time of year to start something new—and work some magic. In her book New Moon Astrology, Jan Spiller teaches this delightful bit of Lunar magic that she learned from the late astrologer Buz Meyers.

To create your treasure map, you’ll need to gather paper, scissors, a posterboard, glue and some juicy magazines. Anytime after 5:15 a.m. Eastern time on March 29 (the first New Moon after the equinox), start leafing through the magazines and cut out any images or headlines that attract you. Don’t think about it, just cut and set the cuttings aside. When you are ready, paste your images and words on the posterboard.

Jan Spiller offers this advice:

“There are no ‘rules’ for how your Map should be laid out, only that it be filled with images and headlines that feel happy to you and are in alignment with what you would like to manifest in the year ahead. You might find it natural to put different areas of life on different parts of the board…. or you may prefer to paste the images in a less structured, more flowing way on your Map. Let your subconscious mind, your intuition, and your heart guide you.”

You have a couple of days to get your Treasure Map done. Let me know how it goes!

Mark your Calendar!

Best days for your highest priority plans are March 8, 21, 23, 25, 27, 29, 31.
Take it easy March 1-4, 10-18.

Molly Cliborne