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Spring begins, Sun enters Aries.

Catherine Al-Meten

From Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden: “Is the spring coming?’ he said. “What is it like?”...”It is the sun shining on the rain, and the rain falling on the sunshine.”

And as Spring begins, that is exactly how the day has been. On Thursday, March 20, the Spring Equinox in the Northern Hemisphere and the Autumn Equinox in the Southern Hemisphere occur. According to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, “at the equinoxes, the tilt of Earth relative to the Sun is zero, which means that Earth’s axis neither points toward nor away from the Sun. (However, the tilt of Earth relative to its plane of orbit, called the ecliptic plane, is always about 23.5 degrees.)

Mark Twain once said of spring, “In the Spring, I have counted one hundred and thirty six different kinds of weather inside of four and twenty hours.” And that certainly is the case for those of us who live in the Pacific Northwest. At the same time that we celebrate the new spring, The Sun enters Aries

Today the day begins with the in Sun 29/4 Pisces. Then the Sun enters Aries March 20 at 12:58 PM EDT/9:58 PDT, moving us over the threshold of the old year into the new. The astrological year begins with Aries, awakens our indomitable spirit in whatever area of our life/chart it transits. We feel capable, inspired, and motivated to achieve our highest goals, to reach our fondest dreams. Being the first sign of the zodiac, Aries also shines its light on areas where we are naive and a bit unrealistic of all that is required to reach those goals. Getting things started during the Sun’s transit of Aries, is no problem; following through and completing them is another story. Aries, a Cardinal sign, is more interested the the thrill of the chase and the competition than it is in doing what it takes to reach the end result or find fulfillment.

The motivating spirit of the Sun in Aries is great for meeting challenges, motivating yourself and others, and competing in games. It’s also a good time to consider what you need to develop in yourself to fulfill more of your dreams and to follow through on what you begin. The Aries-Libra axis is highlight for the next month, and this gives us time to find greater harmony, tame our exuberance with concrete action. Notice where you are filling your life with an overabundance of activities, pursuing paths that lead you from your goals, or piling on more to an already full plate.

The Sun in Aries is a great time for launching plans for the next year, and it’s also a good time to become more disciplined in your communication skills. For those of you whose birthdays are in the sign of Aries, this is an excellent year for you to focus on love and fill your life with art and beauty. Focusing on growth and making your home a center for your life and enjoyment, is the keynote of the year ahead. As the Sun makes a conjunction with Uranus in Aries later about 10-11 days from now, some major change may highlight the new year ahead for you. In any event, everyone can watch for major changes and sudden, unexpected news when the Sun in Aries conjuncts Uranus.

The week begins with the transiting Moon at 16/40 of Scorpio, deepening our passions, awakening our intuition and imagination, and intensifying emotions on a very personal level. Some of your deepest feelings and most intense desires are now stirred. We understand the hidden issues or old emotional wounds that still affect us, and we have a strong desire to reclaim our own power and discover what it is that is keeping us trapped in emotional patterns that upset and keep us stuck. It is a good time to work at understanding how issues related to intimacy, psychological and spiritual complexes and mysteries, and any other type of area that needs exploring and figuring out. When the Moon in Scorpio forms an exact conjunction with Saturn tomorrow when it hits 23 degrees, there may be a significant awakening or insight that emerges from the subconscious or from the time and effort we put into studying and exploring some area of our life or personality.

Mercury 3/15 Pisces has a tendency to create a type of fogginess in all forms of communication. Mercury in Pisces lends an air of vagueness to what we are thinking, feeling, or trying to express. Non-verbal communication is favored. Keep in mind, what you see is what you get. Stay away from trying to figure out what someone may mean through their spoken words. Instead, depend on what you actually experience for that speaks volumes more than what someone says, promises, or sugar coats. Rely more on your own intuitive senses, and less on what others may say the want. Creatively and artistically, this is an excellent time to act on inspiration and move on the currents of imagination and dreamy visions. With detailed work, be careful, making certain to double check anything that is important. Use caution too in how you express yourself to others making sure not to attempt to manipulate or use others. Do pay attention to your emotional and psychological responses for you know what you need, you understand how you feel, and you are in touch with what is really going on below the surface whether it is spoken and acted upon or not. This is an excellent time to listen to your intuition and notice how your actions and words affect others.

Venus is in 13/26 degrees of Aquarius, making our ideas and views of love and compassion a bit unconventional if not a lot detached. We may need to tame our altruistic fervor to save the world a bit as we tend to neglect those relationships that are right in front of us for the sake of the greater good. If that is what you mean to do, so be it. If you put principles ahead of compassion in your personal life, the result may not be as rewarding you would like. Venus in Aquarius is driven towards freedom, independence, and equity.

Recognizing that pursuing our own freedom, independence, equity, or any other desire, at the expense of others, is no real freedom. With freedom comes the responsibility to use that freedom wisely. With independence comes the obligation to honor both the independence of others and the interdependence between those we love and are responsible for. In an effort to be selfless, sometimes Venus’s transit in Aquarius can manifest as extreme selfishness, disregard for the welfare and rights of others, and a fairly one-sided relationship as we may feel we only want to play if we can play by our own rules. This is not true freedom nor is it true independence. Notice how this struggle might manifest where Aquarius rules your chart/life during Venus’ transit.

Mars at 25/15 Libra, in retrograde motion (traveling behind the Sun), has been in an extended stay in Libra. During this retrograde phase, actions are put on hold, plans are being rearranged, disrupted, or cancelled, and relationships can be a source of some depression or discomfort. Mars, the planet of action in Libra, the mediator and negotiator, creates disturbances in relationships. Mars deals with issues related to anger as well as action, and in Libra, anger is suppressed or blocked. This leads to issues around power, control, and freedom of expression, and the period can be very difficult if it is not understood that we have to face and deal with our frustrations, anger, disappointment, and fear. Pretending they don’t exist, exacerbates their harmful effects in ourselves and in our relationships. Notice where you or others may be struggling with how to express emotions, feelings, and other ambiguous thoughts and beliefs. The positive side of Libra is the ability to harmonize, negotiate, mediate, and find balance. The shadow side is not being able to take a stand or not being able to discern your own feelings as you are too caught up in trying to understand and please others. Notice where you are giving more than you are receiving, and notice how understanding of yourself you are. Examine what your expectations are, and pare back on any area that is not equitable, fulfilling, or mutual. Release the need to please everyone at the expense of your own health and happiness.

Jupiter at 10/46 Cancer reminds us that we still have a number of planets in water signs. Mercury, Neptune, Chiron in Pisces, Saturn in Scorpio, and Jupiter in Cancer, continue to form a waning grand trine in water. Jupiter, a Cardinal sign, awakens our needs and growth for compassion, empathy, and understanding. Women are especially helpful in helping us cultivate stronger family and friendship bonds. Whatever area of our life Jupiter is transiting will continue to be increasing in areas highlighted. Growth, greater involvement, deeper commitment, and travel and learning in this area of your life continues to be heightened. During the first 10 degrees you have come into touch with what matters most, what is drawing your interests and needs, and you have begun seeking the call of Jupiter in Cancer. Your need to explore this area, develop, and learn is grounded in your own desire for home, security, and safety. Whatever you are exploring through the Jupiter transit is helping nourish your desire to create a peaceful and nurturing life and home. Connections are vitally important to you, making the Mars transit in Libra even more apparent. Anything you find disruptive or disheartening, can be counterbalanced by Jupiter’s transit through Cancer. Build within you, the home you seek. Build within you the life and relationships that nurture you most. Envision now the perfect home, work, relationship, family, or life path, and keep the vision alive by knowing you attract all you need into your life now. Practice gratitude and forgiveness. Develop ongoing practices to ground, center, and feed yourself and your spirit. See that whatever your path is, is the one you have been led to, and the one that opens before you each day. Embrace what is within and around you, and pay attention to what gifts you have.

Saturn 23/3 Scorpio, also in retrograde, continues to churn up and transform us deep within. Saturn, the Great Teacher, in retrograde takes us back over old territory, reminding us of anything that is still hanging on to block, challenge, or impede our growth and progress. The more we can sit in peace with this transformative process, the greater the opportunity for us to absorb the movement and change that has taken place. Even when we think we do not understand, we are learning to listen to how our life teaches us from within and from each encounter, each day’s progress, each night’s dreams and rest, and each other’s connection, commitment, and shared joy. In April, Saturn’s transformation partner, Pluto, The Great Transformer, begins its retrograde phase, assuring that we will have some issues to revisit, lessons to resolve, and areas of our lives to go deeper into to learn how ways to deepen our life experiences, discover the roots of our art, or delve more deeply into the mysteries of life that puzzle us and call us to become more understanding of who we are and what our our greater purpose is .

Earlier in the week Venus formed a quincunx to Jupiter, calling attention to where we are overdoing, overworking, and overloading in some way. We may feel exhausted, and wonder why. It is time to take a rest, to unload and release ourselves from too much of anything. As I plow away at one task after another, I forget sometimes that I need to give myself breaks, rest times, and vacations. This week I have noticed the need for more sleep, for cutting back on activities, and for giving myself time away from all my duties, tasks, and obligations...When we work for ourselves, we sometimes get to thinking we cannot take a break. Especially those of us who love what we do, often forget we still need to take time off. Now is that time for many. Avoid causing yourself accidents, illness, burn out, and disconnection from what really matters. Plan a break. If you can’t fly to Hawai’i, take a break on your couch. Get a pile of books (from the library or used book store), and catch up on your reading. Take long walks, go for a hike, and take some afternoon naps. In spring, I often forget that when it stays light for so long, I have to plan breaks even more conscientiously. It stays light longer and longer, and we have to stop working, take breaks, and balance our lives more fully. Devote some time for meditation and prayer each day. Spend time exercising, walking, swimming, or dancing.
Invite company for dinner, or pack a picnic and head to the river, the beach, or the mountains for the day. Go away for the weekend, or invite guests to come and spend the weekend showing them the town and catching up. Enjoy life.

Venus Sextile Uranus Thursday is a transit that favors doing something out of the ordinary. A good time to attend events, get together with friends, it’s also a good time to treat each other with respect and understanding. Take risks if you would like, and embrace the new, unusual. It may be time to try something new, consider how you might like to live differently, and think about how you might want to change the way you deal with finances. Technology, electronics, and metaphysics---all forms of energy that we use and that shape our lives, have an impact on us now. You may seek a new way to use technology, or may want to explore an area of metaphysics that can enhance your life now. Pay attention to those quirky feelings or odd-ball ideas that just might be fun to consider. Not necessarily a time to take big risks or actions, but definitely a time when we allow ourselves to think outside the box. What begins as an idea to move us to a new place, out of an old situation or pattern, can lead us into a more open, healthy path or action. Dream up some interesting ways to spring into action while this transit is active today. This transit coincides with the passage of the Sun into Aries, and the first day of Spring.

On Friday, Mercury will be conjunct Neptune making us more sensitive and aware of all forms of communication. We pick up sensations where we are, and we are very intuitive and imaginative. We may also be prone to misunderstandings if we misread or misinterpret communications. Again, this is a time when we benefit greatly from taking some time off, spending time relaxing more, and getting refreshed and nourished. Our minds need rest as much, if not more, than our bodies, and using our minds to enjoy life (read poetry, listen or play music) rather than keeping our nose on the grindstone. Allow yourself to drift, dream, and play with your imagination and with the children in your life. Be aware of your own sensitivity to what others say or what you think they mean by the different ways they communicate with you. Avoid confrontations or forcing the issue in areas where you feel disregarded, dismissed, or misunderstood. Focus instead on what makes you happy, and what nourishes your soul.

Time to take some time off, relax and refresh, and begin envisioning what you would like to let go of and what you would like to welcome into your life.

On Friday, Saturday, and much of Sunday, the Sagittarius Moon will energize us. We may find that we are more engaged in activities and connections with those who value and enjoy our efforts, work, and style. Shared ideas, and community connections are highlighted.

Enjoy the first days of Spring, and take some time to get out and enjoy the beauty all around us. Take time to rest. Take time to dream. And make time to be more understanding of yourself and others.

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