March 1 @ 2:59 a.m.
Pisces/Virgo Full Moon
March 16 @ 1:08 p.m.
March 20 @ 12:57 p.m.
Aries New Moon
March 30 @ 2:45 p.m.
In the final stretch of winter, signs of spring are all around. March is always a dynamic and transitional month. Roaring like a lion, fierce and unrelenting winds blow away the last vestiges of darkness.
By month’s end, the days are noticeably longer, while glorious green sprouts arise from slumber to show their face. The winds, while still unpredictable, begin to carry a sweet fragrance of gentle days to come, encouraging the proverbial lamb to come out and play, romp and frolic in newfound freedom.
Back & Forth, Highs & Lows
March begins with a variety of mixed messages. On one hand, Mercury, the planet of communication, has just stationed direct within the previous 24 hours. (February 28 @ 9:00 a.m.) This is always a sign of forward momentum.
Weather related events have been an obvious source of slowing conditions throughout February. Less obvious, but no less stressful, conditions over recent weeks have come with their own set of challenges and delays.
Closely aligned, Mercury and Neptune have made many situations foggy and confusing at best, fraught with dead ends at worst. Typically, when these planets work together, they confuse the landscape with mirages, muddy the terrain with emotional highs and lows, while making conditions hard to diagnosis and get a handle on.
Mercury joins Neptune for the final time on March 22, dynamically combining with Spring Equinox to force momentum and decisions based on weeks of introspective guessing, guidance and surrender.
Additionally, during this recent retrograde phase, Mercury joined Saturn, a planetary combination that exacerbates differences in perspective, misunderstandings, cynicism, pessimism and delays. This phase has been exact on January 25, February 19, with final completion on March 11.
Needless to say, winter months have tested our patience and fortitude to hang in there and lean into faith and resilience.
Retrogrades, Reviews & Spring Cleaning
A brief word about retrogrades. Retro, of course, means to turn back and review. Now, this is just from our vantage point on Earth, due to varying speeds of planetary rotation. In actuality, we know it is not possible for a planet to go backwards, it is simply an optical illusion, but to anyone that has followed retrograde periods, the effect is quite noticeable.
Upon looking up retrograde in the dictionary, I see several definitions such as, "to turn back; tending toward or resulting in a worse state; treading backward." I have noticed that even the mention of a planetary retrograde period can stimulate dread in many people.
But, the definition I am choosing to focus my attention on is this, "to go back over or recapitulate something." Recapitulation is a process of "repeating principal points or stages of development, to summarize."
March begins with a compelling and enormous pause to take stock, review, go back over things, to release what no longer serves and to strengthen what deserves our attention as a foundational component of momentum in the long term.
As Mercury goes direct and lends clarity to winter’s introspective phase, Mars and Saturn are stationing retrograde on March 1 and 2, respectively.
Now while this may feel like two steps forward, and one step back, several other images come to mind.
A runner preparing for a marathon, crouched low, in position, completely focused and intent on successful completion. Or a wild cat pointedly stalking its prey.
And, as this is the Chinese New Year of the Horse, I am reminded of a race horse in the starting gate, steady, still, alert, ready for the run of its life. Yes, there are hurdles to overcome. Yes, there is an air of anticipation and uncertainty. Yes, there are no guarantees, but the universe, life itself, is giving us mortals a chance to relinquish our hold on things, pause, summarize and take care of things that otherwise would go unnoticed.
More on the 3 Retrogrades
That said, this is highly unusual to have three planets in slow motion within days of each other. Let’s take Mars for instance, Mars will be retrograde in Libra until mid-May. It’s time to review the relationships of those you stand with, or perhaps stand against. Forgiveness, anyone?
Saturn is retrograde in Scorpio until mid-July, intensifying and accentuating a process of release and relinquishment of control that can be unnerving, but perhaps that is the whole gist of it anyway. The process we are individually and collectively undergoing is happening on very deep, I repeat, VERY DEEP levels.
I am reminded of my mountain driveway that was already in bad shape, but slowly deteriorated over the winter to become a muddy, almost impassable mess. But, the planetary energies in March are not all muddy detours, sinkholes and obstacles.
On March 6, the planet Jupiter completes its retrograde phase, pauses and turns direct. Jupiter is the bright spot in the sky. Jupiter offers luck, fortunate circumstances, self-confidence, faith and inspiration.
As Jupiter transits through the zodiac sign of Cancer, we will see fortunate developments in the areas of home, family, parenting, location and real estate. This is a “pick up and move” planetary trend. However, if you are happy in your current location, improvements are forthcoming.
In my life, plans are already underway to reconstruct my driveway to a better than ever state, and I expect it to be complete right on time as Jupiter goes direct. The planets never cease to amaze me in their perfect timing!
New & Renewed Commitments
Highly unusual, there are two New Moons during the month of March. On March 1, a New Moon in Pisces emphasizes the final themes and throes of introspection, circumnavigation and preparation. In the final weeks of winter’s cold, it is very important to stay warm and nourished. Daylight Saving Time begins on the 9th, and a week later a Full Moon in Pisces/Virgo wraps up any loose ends of adjustment, setting the pace for a new season.
Spring Equinox is March 20. As the Sun enters Aries, it is directly overhead at 12:57 p.m. The equinox is always a potent and energizing event. From an astrologer’s point of view, long after New Year celebrations are over, the equinox marks the beginning of a new yearly cycle represented by spring.
Once again, we have a chance to set intentions and renew commitments. As always, spring comes with a burst of vitality, verve, drive, passion and desire to get outdoors and ground inspiration. Get ready, get set, GO!
The equinox leads up to a second New Moon on March 30. This is one to watch as it activates the Grand Cross/Cardinal Climax planetary configuration that I have been writing about for several years.
Providing a sneak preview of April’s dramatic presentation, it’s time to be on the lookout for events that may lead to surprising conclusions as a new season unfolds. But, more on that in next month’s installment of "What’s UP."
Belinda C. Dunn offers personal consultation, workshops and classes. Her training started in 1972 at the Temple of Kriya Yoga/Chicago where she studied astrology, metaphysics and yoga. Over the years, her approach has evolved to a psychological, spiritual and personal growth orientation. For decades her insightful and down-to-earth consultations have been shared with clients around the world. Seen in a variety of publications, Belinda’s monthly astrological update has been in circulation since 1992. See her website: www.astrodelight.com for articles and a full listing of her consultation services - Phone: 828-215-2101