As cosmically quiet as February was, March shifts us into high gear.  The calm before the storm has now passed (it was busy enough!) and it is time to buckle down and brace ourselves.   There is so much brewing this March that it is best to keep your eye focused firmly on your goals while relying on steadfast routines as the celestial forces push and pull us this month.  
While it is good to be stretched in mind, body and spirit, March may seem like we are careening around in the spinning teacup ride at an amusement park.  Hold on tight for dear life to that center wheel!  The build up toward the Full Moon on February 22 gave us a sense of what is to come over the next four weeks.  Everyone:  Inhale; then exhale!  Remember to breathe and often.  If you have go-to relaxation habits and tricks, be they exercise, reading, walking the dog or meditation, prepare to put these to full use this month.  It is not that there is anything “bad” that is going to occur.  It is just the pace at which life will move is very intense over the next four weeks.
By the end of the first week, change is a comin’.  Saturday, March 5th, Messenger Mercury leads off the Great Gear Shift as it moves from stable, intelligent Aquarius into dreamy (and often foggy) Pisces.  Mercury delivers messages and maneuvers our thoughts and speech.  In watery Pisces, the messenger planet doesn’t operate so easily as it did last month in mentally agile Aquarius.  So you may find your thinking more muddled and confused.  There are always upsides to every planetary passage though and Piscean Mercury encourages daydreaming and reflection about all those ingenious ideas stirring around your mind sparked in February. 
And, Messenger Mercury in Pisces is highly, acutely intuitive (psychic really) and imaginative. So take your ideas and fantasize:  let them really soar, ride along to see where they take you.  A magic carpet ride is much more preferable to going down on the Negativity ship…so a word of caution here:  your thoughts form your intentions which in turn form your actions and words.  Stick carefully to positive tracks and streams of thought while holding the wolves of worry and dark down sides at bay.  This is truly the best use of this energy combination.
Two days later, Motivating Mars moves into adventurous Sagittarius where he is very comfortable taking charge.  Challenges arise as the Red Planet butts heads with Mercury’s visions and dreams.  Mars wants you to get down to work but your mind may be off at the beach or dreaming about the book you’ve always wanted to write.  HELP!  Torn between Do-It-Now Mars energy and Mercury’s thoughts of…hmmm, wouldn’t a Mai Tai be so pleasant right now, take a breath.
Center yourself and count to ten.  Focus.  Try to strike a happy medium between these two by writing down a list of all those fabulous ideas Mercury is prompting (active motion combined with messaging).  Pick one or two items that can reasonably be accomplished.  Re-focus.  Bring that mind of yours back to the work at hand.  The otherwise conflicting energy between Mars and Mercury now can actually be highly productive when well applied:  imagination (Pisces Mercury) mixed with a drive for adventure (Mars in Sagittarius). WOW.   So think breakthrough rather than breakdown.  
Apply all of that terrific intuition to manifest life adventures and long-held dreams.  Because the gateway to the next phase of your life is right around the corner if you have the wherewithal to focus and apply energy positively.  On March 8-9 there is a total solar eclipse on the New Moon.  The planetary aspects of this eclipse are strong to say the least.  There is tremendous potential, power and healing available to us now.  So it is essential to open and align yourself with what is possible, your soul goals, your highest and fullest Self.  Here’s why:
There is a very strong pull between stretching ourselves to do the work it takes to reach our potential OR falling into a victimization role and blaming others for our woes.  Jupiter (abundance) and the Lunar North Node (our soul’s calling) in Virgo (work/health/service…or victimization) are opposing the Sun (our will and identity), the Moon (our emotions) and Chiron, the wounded healer, all in Pisces… our very soul, the highest and lowest of humanity, the saints and sinners.  Watery Pisces is the epitome of cleansing and purification OR the sheer delusion of the great escape artist:  drugs, alcohol, dishonesty.
Thus nothing illustrates the choice between Heaven or Hell quite like this total solar eclipse.  When the Universe wants to get our attention, it certainly knows how.  You may feel a range of emotions brushing the Dark Side:  worry, anxiety, doubt, OCD second guessing, all in an effort to review where we stand in the course of our lives.  Our internal tug of war is underscored by the aforementioned challenge between Mars-Mercury and the final throw down between Pluto and Uranus.  Where are you going?  Are you sure about why you want that particular destination?  How are you going to get there?  What are you going to spend your time when you get there?  Motives, motives, motives.  We may feel like we are being ripped apart at the seams while being run through the dishwasher.
Because before we can realize our fullest potential, our slate must be clean.  Virgo is all about health and work; the root of her quest is pure, clean, honest living.  She seeks to virtually houseclean our lives.  Hence, all the questions, self-examination. Virgo Jupiter and the North Node want to give our identity, emotions and old, buried wounds a thorough scrub down, take a complete inventory of who exactly we are and make sure we are on the right track.  Or get us on the right track if we have strayed too far from our soul goals. 
IF we allow ourselves to be completely cleansed and face ourselves honestly and with pure truth, then we can harness the untold potential and power afforded by this eclipse that remains with us all month long:   Saturn in Sagittarius demands our utmost honesty in order to start brand new ventures sparked by the gorgeous angle to Uranus in Aries; while powerful transformer Pluto aligns perfectly with Jupiter, the Sun, Moon and Chiron to bring home the material support we need to get the job done.  This latter planetary combination is terrific for building what we seek to create while simultaneously clearing out and healing wounds by the old baggage we’ve dragged around for years.
The key to working with this hugely potent eclipse energy is to ask yourself if you want to be a victim or visionary.  We must remove the rose-colored glasses of false expectation (often promoted by advertisers) that delude us into believing we should be living an unattainable fantasy life.  Instead, by facing the reality of our circumstances it is now truly possible to build the life we need.  Do this by picking up the most valuable and useful pieces of your Self and put them to work.  Most likely, they have been patiently waiting for you to notice their qualities.  Allow them to support you now in every way.  What may seem like the impossible path in front of you is actually the immeasurably more fulfilling and enriching one.  There are no short cuts in life so shake hands with the work ahead. At no time like any other the Piscean energies with us in March afford wonderful opportunities to pray, meditate, vision forward, dream, and connect with the Divine outwardly and in ourselves.  You need not sit still to pray or meditate:   hike through the woods or along the water’s edge to count your blessings and those assets you do have; with these, create a plan.  Virgo Jupiter and Lunar North Node pull us toward the future.  Then fire it with the heady steam engine that Sagittarian Saturn and Aries Uranus have to offer.  Go for it!

On Saturday, March 12th Venus enters Pisces greatly helping our quest since she is especially happy in this dreamy sign.  Over the next week she gradually joins Neptune to heighten our intuition and willingness to share with others — on every level – time, money and energy.  Venus-Neptune are quintessentially selfless, the essence of giving the shirt off our back to help our fellow man, utterly devoted.  In a world where it is often “every man for himself”, this duo invites us to think of others, how we can best, fully, serve humanity with dignity and grace.   Applied positively, their combined energy is truly the highest we are offered in our lives and that we in turn may offer to others.  The caution here is:  be careful of giving yourself away, by either over-committing or draining your being to exhaustion OR colluding with the escape artist that Venus-Neptune in Pisces entice.  Choose forgiveness and love rather than avoidance and delusion.
By March 20th the Sun moves into Aries marking its annual passage of the Spring Equinox.  Can you feel the shift in energy as the Sun, your will and identity, move into the primal fire sign?  You can practically hear the announcer call, “ladies and gentlemen, start your engines!”  Life really takes off now.  No more wandering around in that Piscean haze and fog.  Oh no.  Feel the surge.  Because the very next day, Messenger Mercury joins the Sun in Aries and the following day, March 23rd, there a lunar eclipse on the Full Moon.  You really couldn’t script a better entrance into Spring 2016 than this burning cosmic wave.  Smack on the Equinox, Lunar eclipses are about endings.  We are now invited to say goodbye to the winter and walk straight into brand new energy firing on all cylinders.
With Mercury tied to this eclipse at 3 degrees Aries:  pay attention to all messages you receive now – both those you see and hear.   As always, if you receive the same message twice or more, the Universe is trying to catch your eye or ear.  Ask:  what is this message trying to tell me?  How can I best use this information or follow where it leads?  Be open minded.  A willingness for adventure enhances our growth and development.
Conversely, the opposite end of this eclipse falls with the Moon at 3 degrees Libra.  So:  strike a balance.  Aries is famously impulsive energy so look before you leap!  Read the fine print of any document before you sign.  Find a happy medium between rushing into a commitment and resistance to considering your options.  With Libra in this eclipse equation, there may be relationships that are ending now or phasing out.  While it is wonderful to have friends, employers, work, networks and even relatives from all times of your life, if there are those who aren’t serving you right now (or haven’t been for a long time), it is OK to set them free…and yourself too!  That way you can both proceed on your life’s journey.  Think of this as another form of life-housecleaning.  Are there friends who completely drain you and make it all about them when you spend time together?  Do you have employees who always fall short of delivering on the job?  Or are you in a dead-end job?  Time to find friends, workers and a career path that fulfill you and with the latter, that also pays the bills!
Hammering this message home is good ol’ task master Saturn when he turns Retrograde motion on March 25th.  Time to take a long, long Sagittarian journey to your inner landscape and find out how to truly best spend your time (ruled by Saturn).  He’ll give us the next few months and the summer to reflect on that which truly feeds our core being, soul, with depth and meaning.  You may find yourself reading, traveling (virtually or in your mind), or studying to learn how to bring out the best in yourself. 
The final week of March finds Venus pairing with Caring Ceres and Healer Chiron in Pisces, affording optimal energy for the deepest of nurturing and healing, both for ourselves and others.  Make the most of this time to repair old wounds spotlighted by both eclipses.   Pisces’ greatest healing tools are water and music.  Walk by a lake while listening to bird songs or your favorite Ipod tunes.  Then, march out of March carried by a song in your heart.