“Misty water-colored memories” is an incredible lyric from the film The Way We Were.   The lyric and film title may very well be the theme for March 2019.  It accurately describes the emotions sifting through us now as we head into some key cosmic gear shifts.
Watery Neptune rules Pisces.  Both the Sun, our will, and Messenger Mercury (communication) cycle through this illusory sign as March opens.  In other words, we act, think and speak like a Pisces.  So let’s take a good look at both planet and sign.  Neptune and Pisces govern distinct polarities:  the saintly/angelic realm and conversely, the imprisoned, derelict and downtrodden.  Think Mother Theresa or the homeless beggar.   So too are the distinctly contrasting qualities of Pisces:  pristine clarity, divine intuition, dreams, OR, delusion, deception, disillusionment.  Crystal blue water vs. thick fog.  Neptune and Pisces rule anything ephemeral, what you can’t quite touch or put your arms around:   film, memories, glamor, fame, poetry, lyrics, music, the entire subconscious realm, escapism, faith and fear.
This most mystical sign represents our soul and our shadow.  Brilliant light or utter darkness.  Because we cannot grasp hold of anything Neptunian, the elusive and seductive lessons it teaches are often the most difficult for humans to learn.  Everyone knows someone always chasing a shiny object just out of reach, a fantasy that keeps slipping away.  We also know people who walk in the limelight, much sought after and emulated no matter what they do or don’t do.  This is Neptune and Pisces.  Otherworldly.  Tantalizing.
Chiaroscuro, chimera and Film Noir come to mind.  So do drugs, alcohol, con artists and spin doctors. 

And as we wind on down the road
Our Shadows Taller than our Souls
There walks a lady we all know
Who Shines white light and wants to show  — Led Zepplin
As earthly beings living in a material world, how do we navigate Neptune and Pisces?  One word:  Faith.  Faith in ourselves, our gut feelings, primal instincts and intuition.  That strong knowing that burbles up from our center when a dilemma is posed. 

As March 2019 opens, we face such a dilemma:  do we keep the fantasy going, keep believing in the spin charade we tell ourselves OR do we trust and act upon our inner guidance of what we know and feel is actually true?
The good news is we have key cosmic help to discern illusion vs. reality this month.  On March 1st, Venus shifts into inventive Aquarius.  Removed and detached in this air sign, we can assess relationships with nearly scientific eyes.  The planet of love and money remains in Aquarius for the balance of March, helping us to sift through events, situations, problems and conflicts with an observational, hands-off approach.  Aquarian Venus is about ideas, innovation and solutions; keeps our emotional fingers from getting dirty.  Use this to your advantage if you feel the clouds of fear start to descend inside your mind.
And the clouds will make a run at you for sure when a few days later, Messenger Mercury turns retrograde at the final degree of Pisces, sending a strong message:  It is time, high past time for reflection.  Due to its retrograde passage, Mercury will be in Pisces for an exceptionally long time this year…from mid- February through mid-April, three times as long as its normal cycle in a sign.  This emphasizes the need for reflection that much more.   “I’m not going anywhere til you review this thoroughly…” says Mercury in Pisces.
Working backwards into watery, emotional Pisces for the rest of March, passing over Neptune as it goes, our mind, thoughts and words seek clarity.  Or escapism.  Oh yes, there’s that pesky choice between our soul and shadow.  The caution here is a FLOOD of fear-based thoughts and emotions or wild urge to escape reality.  Without much effort you can slide down a slippery slope into the shadow’s dark hollows. If you feel yourself sliding, channel fear away from the abyss toward positive directions by practicing grounding routines:  walking in nature, exercising, or being with animals. 

Again, we are helped by the New Moon the very next day March 6th.  All New Moons help us clarify our goals and wishes for the coming month.  However, tightly conjoined to Neptune, this New Moon on the 6th especially affords pristine insight.  Dial into your inner vision.  Focus.  Tune in to your intuition.  Handwrite 3-5 goals you want to work on and manifest over the next few weeks.
If you need guidance discerning your needs, ask, what do you want your life to look like?  Financial freedom?  New Job? Healthier lifestyle?  New partner?  Yes we are each facing pressures and the urge to escape ALL of it, to run away.  But the old adage rings truer than ever before:  “wherever you go, there you are.” Sure sitting on a beach in Mexico sipping a cocktail or getting high sounds appealing; but sooner or later reality comes a calling.
All the possible Mercury retrograde snafus will keep it real enough:   watch for technical ticks, avoid signing major contracts, booking travel, buying big ticket items (appliances, cars, homes, ANY technology), or launching new businesses.  Do practice the RE words:  research, rest, restore, renew, revisit, rekindle, recharge, refresh, and so on.  Given the time frame of this passage, March 5-27th, it is excellent for spring cleaning.  Go completely Marie Kondo and clean out all storage spaces, files, closets, attics, garages.  You will be amazed what treasures you will find and how good you’ll feel afterward.
Urging our efforts onward, change agent Uranus shifts into earthy Taurus, finding value in everything you uncover during Mercury retrograde.  Together, they are a one-two punch wake-up call.  The Great Awakener, Uranus rules earthquakes, shocks, surprises and sudden events.  Its shift into Taurus occurs on the New Moon.  Awake yet?  Pay attention and focus.  Otherwise you are in for a proverbial rude awakening.  For the next 7, yes, seven, years, Uranus cycles through Taurus questioning our values, worth, relationship to money, evaluating and yes awakening our skills and talents.
With Motivating Mars already in Taurus, the money sign, our desire to get real and be real keeps our feet on the ground.  From March 11-23, Mars aligns helpfully with heavyweights Saturn and Pluto in ambitious Capricorn and Mercury-Neptune in Pisces. This combination is amazing for taking action on plans, to build and manifest your dreams.
By the Spring Equinox on March 20th, the Sun pivots into warrior Aries joining Chiron the wounded healer.  Feel the Spring Fever to get going already.  Accentuated by the Full Moon on the exact same day, you may want to bust down doors to push forward.  Not so fast.  Plot and plan, do your research this third week March 21-27.  You will find this week is a proverbial, “he who takes his time” pays off in spades. 

March 27th, Venus enters Pisces where she loves most to be, giving selflessly to all, unifying us, believing all is possible, the same day Messenger Mercury turns direct motion conjoined to Neptune.  Proceed with contracts, major purchases and signing documents.  This planetary trio says when you build it they will come, and they (insert customers, clients, guests, partner, lover) are really thirsty for whatever you have to offer.  We have waited for so long for this moment.  Make the deposit, invest in your future, break free from the past, launch your business, take a chance.  Now, now, now.
Of Special Note:
Please join me at the annual “Celebration of Reiki” conference on Sunday, April 28th.  The conference will be held at the Marriott, in Newton, MA. I am thrilled to present my talk, “Trials and Triumphs of Reiki Volunteering:  Why We Do It,” from 3-4 pm.  To register for this amazing event covering all facets of Reiki, please go to www.celebrationofreiki.org.  SEE YOU THERE!