I admit, looking at the astrological coordinates for March, I felt intimidated.  There is SO much to cover in this month’s blog.  I grit my teeth and buckled down.  Where to begin?  Of course, came the reply.   Start where anyone with a mountain of a project in front them begins:  with the first step.  Break March down, by day then week to outline the on-coming energy.  Allow time, more time, to work through the task.  Maybe write the blog over two days instead of one.  Before I knew it, the month was covered, my blog written.  Breaking things apart into smaller, more manageable bits to completion is so practically helpful to work through any task or get through any given day.

We teach our children this strategy. But as adults, we often forget that we are still learning too, developing.  When swamped and on overload, it’s best to hit the brakes and come to a complete stop.  Then, bite off only what we can finish in an hour, or an afternoon.  Having a few minor tasks checked off the list, you can feel yourself breathe more easily.  Breathe through the work ahead, for there is a lot to be done, created, shared. 

A wise man once said:  Life is like a labor pain; we are giving birth to ourselves.  Please bear this in mind as we move through the next months ahead.  2014 promises to be a ride.  If January and February haven’t already delivered you through “the days of shock and awe” as Judaism refers to it, count yourself among the fortunate few.   Most of us will be bumped and jolted so try to remember the above quotation when shock and awe strike.  Pain is the handmaiden of evolution.  We are living in rare times.  Truly, a pivotal moment.  Think of yourself as a piece of clay worked on by a sculptor.  Each of us is molded into becoming our most evolved, completed self.  But the pushing and pinchng, chipping away with the sculptor’s tools do not feel easy, smooth, painless.  Best to visualize you as your finished self.  Keep that image alive:  how you look, where you go and with whom, how you act.

For as March kicks off, the sculptor is in full swing, carving, chipping, shaping us.  There is enough planetary activity this month to make our heads spin.  We will feel, if we do not already, like car gears shifting faster than we can control.  If you ever learned how to drive a stick-shift, manual car, this is how the beginning of March will feel.  No less than five planets shift between February 28 and March 6th, plus we have two new moons this month.  Facing the prospect of outlining all of the celestial motion, my head gets warbly and I must remember to stop, put one foot in front of the other.  Cue Julie Andrews from the “Sound of Music”:  Let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start…

February 28th, messenger Mercury turned direct motion.  When retrograde, we can often feel as though we are spinning our wheels as delay after miscommunication followed by disconnects occur.  Once direct, this energy will slowly diminish.  Normally with Mercury’s direct turn, we feel the gears switch us forward, where we can jump right into decisions, actions, signing documents…  Not so fast say the planets.  The first week of March it’s best to inch forward with plans.  Because bang, bang go Mars and Saturn, one right after the other.  No sooner has Mercury turned direct than activator Mars and taskmaster Saturn turn retrograde on March 1st and 2nd.  On top of it all, their reverse direction happens on a New Moon.  Feel the jolting, abrupt forward and back motion of shifting gears?  Kind of like a Cosmic spin cycle.  Try not to be motion sick.  Just put your head down and follow the regular New Moon prescription:  meditate, pray, wish, think quietly to yourself about your intentions for the coming weeks, month and year.  Plant those firmly in your consciousness and water regularly with positive thoughts.

Mars rules our get-up-and-go.  It has been cycling through the artistic and relationship sign of Libra since last December where it will remain until July 2014!  Once turned inward in Libra, we are asked to review our inner talents, our relationship to these, ourselves and those who populate our lives.  Mars is tightly conjoined with the lunar North Node, the directional point calling our name and urging us forward.  In yet another change up, the evolutionary lunar nodes moved from Scorpio/Taurus into Libra/Aries in the latter weeks of February.  The North Node in Libra focuses our attention toward art, beauty, diplomacy, grace, relationship, design, aesthetics.  Combined with retrograde Mars, we are invited to reveal our inner artist and afforded ample opportunity for relationship do-overs.  This includes with our selves as well as those we live and work with. 

With Saturn moving inward in Scorpio, we can plumb the depths of our psyches, our deepest inner reaches to do real soul work and leave no part of our lives unturned.  For those preferring to live unexamined lives, this is hard work indeed.  For those with more fortitude and grace, wisdom, it is an opportunity to review what works for us, be it how we earn a living and share resources to who we share our lives with.

Only days later, on March 5th, planet of relationship and money, Venus, switches into inventive, eclectic Aquarius, a radical sign that the comfort-loving, artistic planet is not terribly comfortable in.  The effect?  Game change.  If you are in the flow of life, then new and ingenious methods, out of the box thinking for dealing with relationships will occur.  Interesting and alternative people arise out of nowhere to add variety to your days.  For others, surprises, shocks and jolts, radical manuevers, unpredictable behavior can happen from those you thought you knew.  All the while, the Sun’s tight proximity to watery Neptune can make us feel confused, ungrounded, adrift.  It is a good time to float rather than fight.

So it is very fortunate when the next day on March 6th, like a mother’s tender embrace, Jupiter turns direct motion in maternal Cancer.  The great benefic opens her arms to cradle and comfort, tell us every little thing is gonna be all right.  As the Sun and Neptune move apart, we beging to see with
greater clarity, believe the direction we should follow.  At its greatest potential, the Sun in Pisces along with Neptune offers the unity of all souls.  Reminds us of the illusion of separateness, that no soul [human being or animal] is superior to another.  For the true essence of Pisces, think:  George Harrison, Albert Einstein, George Washington.  How utterly different people they were:  musician, scientist, warrior/statesman, yet unifiers ALL.  A key piece to take away from the Sun-Neptune pairing is intuition.  To harness that little voice inside.  They remind us to really listen and follow our natural-born wisdom, inherent inner guidance system.  In our overly mechanized, hyper intellectualized “show me” world, imagination and intuition are treated like the ugly step children of the psyche, relegated to the back halls of our minds.

Helping us to effectively utilize our intuition to repair and clarify relationships is healer Chiron, which paired with Neptune make a beautiful angle to the North Node and Mars in Libra.  Like soap under hot water, the Great Dissolver Neptune will break apart and wash away those parts of ourselves and those people who no longer serve our best interests.  Clinging fiercely to old patterns and people will only strengthen the cleansing process:  forcing Neptunian waves to become wider, taller, hit harder.  Let go.   Surrender.  If you allow yourself to, you will be amazed how deeply healing this month can be; indeed this planetary combination is healing on all fronts:  much needed rain is finally falling for the first time in months in California.  With Mars in the mix, the state may be deluged, so let’s hope homes and businesses will not be washed away.

As Neptune rules dreams, this same configuration brings avid night (and day) dreams.  Most of us are so boxed in by concrete, evidential lives that, like our intuition and imagination, the importance of dreams is often forgotten.  We all dream.  When you do, in the morning try remembering your dreams and consider keeping a dream journal to reflect back on, to see if there are correlations to your waking life or patterns in your dreams themselves.  Allow yourself to daydream.   It is OK to put your phone away, take a walk in the woods, insert your ear buds and listen to music, sit quietly at lunch rather than following the usual routine of eating with co-workers.  Reverie.  What comes of it?  Disconnected murmurings?  Or, heart-centered soul connections, flags trying to get our attention, perhaps asking…is this how you want to spend your days on earth?  Is this who you want to pass your precious time with?

Fantasize about anything that offers pure joy.  An article in the on-line Slate magazine recently highlighted the Dalai Lama’s encounter with a waitress.  As she served him, she asked what no one else on his American tour had dared:  What is the meaning of life?  “Easy answer,” the Dalai Lama said.  “Happiness.  But harder question to answer is, what makes happiness?”   March affords ample opportunity to cogitate about what makes you happy, to clean up our act, get it together before the onslaught of April and springtime.  The first week of March wraps up what the first two months of 2014 ignited with days of shock and awe, forcing most of us (and especially those not aligned with their highest good) to dig really deep and ask the hard questions.  What does make you happy?  As the Dalai Lama posed to the waitress:  is it a lot of money, a big house, a generous and giving heart, compassion?

By March 7-8th, the Neptunian haze lifts as the first quarter moon of that weekend calls for action.  By the end of the first week, when our head stops spinning from the jumping and jolting, we’ll be ready to get going.  Where have you been holding back, ruminating, it is time to push forward.  After the 8th, the planets begin to settle and in turn calm us down to slowly take steps toward our goals.

Since January, titanic benefic Jupiter has challenged transformer Pluto and radical Uranus causing shifts in our traditions, responsibilities, diet, established systems and patterns, home life, property, family relationships especially to our mothers or our roles as mother.  This energy heightens from March 10 through the 18th during the Full Moon (ruler of house, home, mom, food and family) on March 16th.   The next day, March 17th, messenger Mercury enters Pisces, joining the Sun (our will), healer Chiron and dreamy Neptune, encouraging us to dream, allow music to heal us, meander and linger a little while longer.  The magic and joy of children stems from the uninhibited world they inhabit.  Allow yourself to feel that again.

The slippery flip side of this dreamy, fantasy combination is to understand the messy, morphing line between healthy dreams and fantasizing versus escapism and disillusionment.  Mercury rules how we think and speak so while in Pisces it is great for enhancing our vision; but be wary of mirages.  Or getting caught up in appearances; image, in fact is a mirage.  The key to this moment in our lives is the realization that it does not matter what others think about us.  Do the right thing.  Honor your truth.  Live honestly. 

Enter Pluto in Capricorn.  Nothing like the Transformer of our Desires in down to earth, practical Capricorn to bring focus to our visions and dreams, a hard core reality check.  Pluto takes our Piscean dreams and breaks them into small, bite-sized chunks enabling us to put them into effect, a la the beginning of this blog… Pluto bears down asking, are your actions honorable?  Are you acting with the utmost integrity and responsibility?  With such a heavy dose of the Piscean planetary combo it is so easy to tell ourselves something is true.  Live the lie.  We so want to believe.  A pragmatic antidote for all the purply, glowing fantasy is to make sure you’ve looked at every side of the situation, relationship, job, etc.  Ask, is there something you are choosing to ignore, willfully deny?  Pluto’s helpful angle to planets in watery Pisces soaks up all of that run off, channels and drains our dreamy puddle paintings with earthy Capricorn solutions.  If things get really out of hand, the Dark One (Pluto) isn’t afraid of pulling out his big guns, Draconian measures.  Think of the Ukranian President.  After months of willful resistance to protestors in Kiev, he literally ran away.  His lavish home and lifestyle exposed (Pluto’s favorite trick) to the struggling Ukranians.  Charades, facades and falsehoods will not stand now, virtually break down.  It is our individual right to choose surreality or the real deal.  Choose wisely, the path that might be harder in the short term will serve you best in the long run.

All this strife is enough to make you want to bury your head in the sand.   But when we step back and look at the bigger picture, we know this is the work of our human existance and every day life:  to pull ourselves up and do what must be done, the task ahead, like it or not.  Lighting a fire under us, the Sun (our will) enters Aries.  Harness the Fearless Warrior, Great Initiator, Brazen Pioneer to forge ahead.  We can feel our will strengthen and come alive.  After the endless winter in the Northern Hemisphere, we need all the optimism and courage we can muster.

Where Pisces is dreamy and reflective, Aries is apt to rush headlong into life, leaping first and asking questions later.  Mercury conjoins Neptune in Pisces at the same time, March 20-24, to have us consider how best to apply our dreams.  With Mars and the lunar North Node in artistic Libra, the first part of spring is a time of explosive ingenuity and heightened creativity.  Musicians, artists, your inner artist:  BE FREE!  Let loose those dreams and see where they carry you.

This applies to creativity around the home, food/cooking, maternal roles.  With Jupiter now direct in motherly Cancer, house and home, food, real estate projects can really take off.  Our attention will focus on the sale of homes, interior design (projects or businesses), large or small scale home improvements (especially involving the soul center of the home…the kitchen), our diet and cooking.  Paint one wall of a room with a vibrant, eye-catching color, visit galleries and invest in a work of art that you treasure, something priceless and precious to hand down as an heirloom.  Whether you decide to become a gourmet chef or simply take an adult education class about desserts, start an addition on your house or just freshen up your bed/bathroom with new linens, energy directed on this front will be well targeted.  You may not think of it as healing, but spring cleaning is a time-honored rite for a reason.  Clearing away those winter cobwebs, purging the excess everything, clothes, household items, toys, stuff, is a wholistic way to prepare for the warmer months.

Jupiter in Cancer involves Mom and nations too.  First mom.  How is your mom and/or what is your role as a mother?  Either are probably changing and in flux.  Next, the Motherland.  The Piscean energy of March encourages countries experiencing strife, Venezuela, Syria, Ukraine, Egypt, to work toward unification and peaceful solutions.  However, as the Sun moves into Aries (god of war), April promises to be unsettled at best.  We already see shades of this with Russian troops moving into the Crimea, southern Ukraine.  April has the possibility to be monunmental in one or way or another.  So think of March as a training period.  With the Olympics still fresh in our minds, make like an athlete preparing for a great race.  Prepare yourself for the new and oncoming challenges yet to be, prospects lined up but outcome unknown.  On March 30th we are offered a second New Moon, another chance to make wishes, set intentions, and say prayers.  Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me….Let’s live as honestly as possible so to rise up for what will surely greet us next month. 

Raves and Recommendations

If you live in the Boston area, please check out the practice of Susan Jenness!  She is an exceptional Reiki healer and yoga instructor located in Watertown.  I cannot recommend her highly enough.  Please visit her website:  www.sanctuaryforyogaandreiki.com to learn more about Susan, her work and class schedules.  I recently treated myself to one of her Reiki healing sessions and emerged feeling like a whole new human being.