Through A Prism Darkly and Sparkly
The Pisces New Moon contains groups of planetary conjunctions and parallels, making it an intricate work of art or a tangled mess or both. Choose from the heavy Venus-Mars-Pluto conjunction, or the enlightened Jupiter-Neptune conjunction, or the determined Mercury-Saturn conjunction.
Dream delivers us to dream, and there is no end to illusion. Life is like a train of moods like a string of beads, and, as we pass through them, they prove to be many-colored lenses which paint the world their own hue.
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
NEW MOON in PISCES
Ottawa, Canada and
Washington DC, USA:
Mar. 2, 2022, 12:34 PM EST
Mar. 2, 2022, 5:34 PM GMT
Mar. 3, 2022, 4:34 AM AEDT
Considering the recent and ongoing events in Ukraine, it's not surprising that this New Moon has one of the more intense charts we've seen in a while. Brimming with righteous idealism, volatile passion, and serious determination, the Pisces New Moon is like a squeezed balloon that bulges out between your fingers. You know it's bound to burst, you're just not sure which bulge will go first.
The chart is 'clumpy.' By aspect, there are 3 groups of conjunct planets, and by declination there are 3 groups of parallel and contraparallel planets. But although many of the same planets are included in both aspects and parallels, they are grouped differently. It's a bit like looking through a prism or water glass – you look at the chart one way (aspects) and it shows certain energies aligned, but look at it another way (declination) and they rearrange themselves to tell a different story.
Pisces is famous for illusion, imagination, and non-rational thinking, so there's a lot of room for different interpretation which, like our balloon, could lead in a number of different directions. So, let's map out these various clumps of energy and see if we can nail down a clearer sense of what's going on.
By aspect, there are 3 groups of conjunct planets, in Capricorn (Venus, Mars, Pluto), in Aquarius (Mercury and Saturn), and in Pisces (Sun, Moon, Jupiter and Neptune). And there aren't many other aspects connecting these groups to each other.
With conjunction aspects dominating the field, there is a strong push for initiation, beginnings, sizzling impulse, and intentional amalgamation. But again, like that stressed-out balloon, something's got to give, and a dramatic shift in one group is likely to set off a chain reaction in the others, as they all adjust to the changing distribution of energy.
By declination, there are 3 groups of parallel planets: Mars-Pluto, Venus-Mercury-Saturn with Uranus contraparallel, and Sun-Jupiter. People often want to interpret parallel planets as if they were conjunct, and indeed, conjunct planets are often (not always) also parallel. But planets can also be tightly parallel and nowhere near each other in terms of sign and degree. This is the case with some of the parallel planets in this chart.
But that afternoon he asked himself, with his infinite capacity for illusion, if such pitiless indifference might not be a subterfuge for hiding the torments of love.
~ Gabriel García Márquez, Love in the Time of Cholera
Conjunction: Venus, Mars and Pluto
This triple conjunction has been building for weeks. As detailed in my article for the New Moon in Aquarius, Venus and Mars have been dancing a tango together since the end of January and arguing about who will lead and who will follow.
At first, Venus was caught off-balance as she stationed direct after her retrograde time (Dec. 19 to Jan. 29). This allowed Mars to creep up behind Venus and pass her by on Feb. 16 (exactly conjunct at 16:52 Capricorn).
Two weeks later (Feb. 24), Venus had regained enough of her normal speed that she slowly started gaining on Mars. But before that happens, Pluto intervenes and puts a very different spin on their dance. What ensues is a super-snug group grope, with all three planets within a miniscule quarter-degree of orb at their closest embrace (March 3). For 2 whole days (March 2-4) Venus, Mars and Pluto are all within a one-degree orb together.
And that's where we are right now at the New Moon – with Mars and Venus less than one degree from Pluto.
Three days later (March 6) Venus will finally pass Mars, marking their 2nd and final conjunction. And this happens less than an hour after they change signs, racing across the cusp together into Aquarius. Mars wins that race by a nose – a mere 7-minute lead – and Venus tags him just 43 minutes later.
And! Their exact conjunction is at 0° Aquarius – the same degree where Jupiter and Saturn made their momentous conjunction in December 2020. At that time Saturn, the planet of "Slow and steady wins the race," crossed the cusp into Aquarius 2 days ahead of Jupiter, the planet of "I mercifully let you win and saved the best for last."
Fast-forward to March 6, 2022. Venus, the planet of "Underestimate me at your peril, Mr. Macho" dashes shoulder-to-shoulder across the finish line with Mars, the planet of "Oh ya? Hold my beer..."
High planetary drama!
Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.
~ Winston S. Churchill
About the chart data used.
Humour aside, there is a very serious, intense side to the Venus-Mars-Pluto conjunction. Probably the most obvious and volatile example right now is Russia's invasion of Ukraine which began in earnest on the morning of Feb. 24, around 5:00 AM, local time.
This happened on the same day that Mars and Pluto were exactly parallel by declination, while their conjunction aspect was still forming from 5° away. Mars and Pluto are both associated with aggression, force, power and war, and unfortunately this invasion shows some of the worst manifestation of these two planets.
That said, Mars and Pluto at their highest vibrations can also evoke a healing crisis that leads to transformation of long-festering toxicity. The last Mars-Pluto conjunction happened just as the COVID-19 crisis was beginning in March 2020. This initiated a process that flushed to the surface a flood of underlying hate, rage and outrage.
Pluto's transformational mantra is "You gotta feel it to heal it." And if you can't see it – if you keep "it" in your blind spot, out of your field of awareness – then healing won't be possible until it's out in the open. So Mars with surgical precision has a way of opening up old wounds to allow new healing to begin. Unfortunately, it's usually a difficult, arduous and painful process, but it can enable healing to happen.
With luck and grace, may the crisis in Ukraine initiate a passage that leads to a more enduring, just and stable peace. People in both Ukraine and Russia need this right now.
One more observation. Venus too is part of this conjunction. You may remember that when Venus was conjunct Pluto when she stationed going retrograde (Dec. 19, 2021). At that time, the Russia-Ukraine situation heated up with Russia's demand that NATO permanently bar Ukraine from its membership.
Now Venus returns to Pluto, this time bringing Mars with her. Unfortunately, this probably won't be the end of this situation since Venus and Mars go on to make other challenging aspects in the coming weeks. they square Uranus (Venus on March 19, Mars on March 22), and then conjoin Saturn (Venus on March 28, Mars on April 4). They also square the Lunar Nodes (Venus on March 30, Mars on April 5).
So, tangling with Pluto may just bring the conflict and controversy out in the open, which must then be shaken up to increase the chance that things won't just go back to the same-old-same-old. Nothing is guaranteed about this situation, nor about its more far-reaching implications. All we can do is stay in the struggle and move through the process, wherever it can lead.
This is also playing out on a personal level with each of us individually, of course – particularly so if you have natal planets in the later degrees of the Cardinal signs (Capricorn, Cancer, Aries, Libra). Has there been a highly charged situation unfolding in your life that hit a turning point last December, and has returned recently in a new way that requires you to take a different, more dedicated approach to deal with it?
Too many of my friends have turned to apathy. While events change our lives, intention changes the trajectory.
~ Richie Norton
Conjunction: Mercury, Saturn
Mercury conjunct Saturn is the closest aspect after the Sun-Moon conjunction (a.k.a. New Moon). However, they are somewhat isolated, having little in the way of aspects to the rest of the chart. They are widely square Uranus, although the aspect is separating and therefore dissipating in influence. This suggests a distant rumble of the Saturn-Uranus square that continues to echo through our skies this year.
Interestingly, Mercury was exactly square Uranus when Russia first launched its attack, which may also have been a time of difficult realization for you personally in your current challenges. At that time, making big sweeping change might have seemed like a great idea. Wipe the slate clean and do something completely different. What could go wrong?
But now Mercury is conjunct practical Saturn and realizing that making big change will take dedication, discipline and a serious plan of action, which can seem to squelch the excitement and liberation promised by Uranus. The question becomes: are you serious enough about wanting that change to pay the price?
There is no greater way to destroy the negative rhetoric in our culture than to consistently live out a greater good.
~ Craig D. Lounsbrough
Conjunction: Sun, Moon, Jupiter, Neptune
There's currently a Stellium of 4 planets in Pisces – Moon, Sun, Jupiter, Neptune. Jupiter and Neptune are the planetary rulers of Pisces, and the Sun and Moon are conjunct Jupiter, and also with Neptune through its approaching conjunction to Jupiter. It's understandable if you're feeling awash in longing, drowning in feelings, or overwhelmed by empathy and compassion. On the plus side, you might feel pulled by a strong undertow of creativity, inspiration and hopeful promise.
These experiences aren't a bad thing, although they may be a bit mystifying alongside the Mercury-Saturn conjunction that calls on you to be grounded, logical and realistic. Best case scenario is where you can find ways to allow both to coexist in balance, bringing the best of both worlds together in a way that complements each other.
The Sun, Moon and Jupiter are closely sextile Uranus, which may make things unsteady and a bit wonky, but can also allow greater flexibility in helping these contrary frames of mind work cooperatively together.
So, until you get to that state of grace, you might experience a perplexing flipping back and forth between the two worlds. It's probably just your psyche trying to make sense of it all, so give it some room to breathe and try not to overcompensate.
Everything happening inside and outside you is part of the spiritual process that will ultimately transform you.
What's especially important about this Stellium is the Jupiter-Neptune conjunction which perfects on April 12. Although it's still 6 weeks before they become exact, the New Moon in Pisces being conjunct them means we are in this now, in case there was any doubt.
With these two rulers of Pisces coming together in their own sign, it could feel like you've been dropped into a lake of glitter and pixie dust where all things are possible if you just believe it emphatically enough. The principles of positive thinking will say you're not wrong. An optimistic outlook goes a long way to brighten your ability to see a clear path from "here" to "there." Indeed, a pessimistic outlook greatly disables that same ability, making it much harder to feel confident about moving forward.
It's essential to believe in what you're doing if you want to stand half a chance of succeeding. You need to believe in the integrity of your cause, believe in your ability to make it happen, and believe in the possibility that it can and should happen.
That said, it's also essential to question it, to be a bit skeptical, and to scrutinize exactly how it can be done. Not all dreams are virtuous, not all yearnings are healthy, and glowing promise doesn't always bring what you hoped for. If that longing is pulling you back into addiction, for example, then it's a false promise. If your dream could bring you benefit at the expense of exploiting or abusing someone else, then it is not as virtuous as you want to believe. And it is only by questioning, confronting, challenging and even doubting it, that you will find out what it is truly made of.
At the New Moon, the Sun, Moon and Jupiter are tightly semisquare (a.k.a. octile: 45°) to Venus, Mars and Pluto. In addition, Mercury and Saturn are at the midpoints between these groups and in a semi-octile aspect to both groups (22.5°). This cluster of clumps might be called a Mini-Octile aspect pattern. This will likely make it easier—perhaps even unavoidable—to critically examine the worthiness, practicality and implications of your aspirations. It may not be comfortable and might even be a bit disillusioning, but it can ensure you've done your due diligence.
Art does not reproduce what we see. It makes us see.
~ Paul Klee
So, those are the clumps of conjunct planets. There are also clumps of parallel planets. The closest one is the Sun parallel Jupiter at just 4 minutes of declination apart. This adds extra strength to their tight conjunction. It also highlights Jupiter's conjunction to the Sun, even though it is also conjunct the Moon.
The Sun-Jupiter combination expands confidence, optimism, and faith in your belief that you are a Child of the Universe ...or maybe a King/Queen of the Universe. As with all things in life, watch that your confidence is made of integrity and honesty, and not just a compulsive quest of wishful thinking.
Mars and Pluto are also parallel, although separating and growing a bit wide. They are still within 1° of orb (0:50), although in the extreme declinations this orb is not seen as strong as it is in the more temperate degrees closer to the equator. Interestingly, Mars and Pluto were exactly parallel on Feb. 23, the day when Russia launched its attack on Ukraine. They won't be parallel again until the end of 2023.
There's also a more complex clump, consisting of Mercury parallel Venus (0:13 orb) which are also parallel Saturn (0:50 at their widest orb). Since Mercury is tightly conjunct Saturn, it's not surprising that they're also parallel, which often (though not always) happens. Venus joining them from 22° away (by longitude) is an example of how parallel planets are not necessarily conjunct, yet will resonate together strongly. Together, these 3 planets show the potential for creativity, imagination and negotiation that works best when combined with a structured, disciplined or cautious approach.
In addition, Saturn is also contraparallel Uranus (meaning equidistant from the equator by on opposite sides). And in fact, throughout March, Mercury and Venus become exact in their parallel with Saturn and contraparallel with Uranus. And Saturn and Uranus perfect their contraparallel on March 25, while remaining in-orb from the beginning of March to mid-April. So this particular clump of parallels stays with us for the next several weeks.
Adding Uranus to the mix suggests that although Saturn's methods will help stabilize and solidify the Mercury-Venus creativity, communication and negotiation, Uranus' urge to rattle the status quo is an important part of the process as well. At worst, this could result in destructive forces tearing down that which is being built up. But at best, it could imply a need to take things apart so that they can be put back together in a different, more effective way.
I am not bound to win, but I am bound to be true. I am not bound to succeed, but I am bound to live up to what light I have.
~ Abraham Lincoln
The Sabian Symbol for the New Moon in Pisces is Pisces 13: A sword in a museum.
The first thing that comes to my mind with this Symbol is "The Sword in the Stone" from the ancient legend of King Arthur. The story said that the sword could only be pulled from the stone by "the true King." A more abstract interpretation of this Symbol comes from Dane Rudhyar (An Astrological Mandala) who saw the sword as a symbol of will power as "the ultimate spiritual weapon." Either way, the sword represents empowerment and strength that are granted to those who can wield it with honour, integrity and courage.
The fact that it is in a museum offers two possible interpretations. First: it implies that the sword represents praiseworthy accomplishments from the past, which are now preserved to remind us of the best that has been done, and to inspire us to live by the same code of honour now.
Two: it might suggest that we have taken our courage, integrity and nobility, and relegated them to a merely symbolic status. This may imply that we no longer actively embrace qualities, but merely showcase them as what we used to be. In that case, this symbol might encourage us to dust them off and put them into action in the present.
Whatever way you encounter and experience all of these energies, the New Moon in Pisces encourages you to use your imaginative vision to discover new ways to embrace hope, to find faith in life again, to reject knee-jerk cynicism, to be open to positive change (even if it wanders a difficult path to get there), and to keep believing in yourself.
Stay safe. Stay sane. Stay awesome. The world needs you.
The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.
~ Quoted by Martin Luther King Jr, but originally by Theodore Parker (1853)
© 2022-03-11 Wendy Guy, all rights reserved. Astrological diagrams and charts by Wendy Guy. Divider by Gordon Johnson via Pixabay. Photo of water glass distortion effect by Skitterphoto via Pixabay. Photo of Sabian Symbol, handle of an old saber, part of museum exhibit, by Tanya Rozhnovskaya, via CanStockPhoto.