If you were expecting some kind of sun sign nonsense, forget it. This is real astrology. See the section above. And if you need help deciphering the astrological glyphs in the graphics accompanying this article, see Astroglyphs: Astrological Symbols Guide. Please note: this forecast is expressed in terms of Universal Time (UT).
It is difficult to say what is impossible,
for the dream of yesterday is the hope of today
and the reality of tomorrow.
-- Bob Goddard
This month's two outer planet stations - Saturn turning direct on the 7th and Pluto going retrograde on the 24th - reinforce the importance of an economic theme that's been growing since February. It was on the 3rd of last month that Saturn moved to within a single degree of its March 7 station point at 6 Cancer, and the Ringed Planet remains within a degree of there until April 10. As I mentioned in last month's forecast, the Saturn station points to a period of profit-taking in the financial markets, as some kind of confidence-shaking news sends a lot of investors running for cover. And while this risk peaks around the market days surrounding the March 7 station (i.e. on March 5 and 8), it remains in force all the way to April 10. As I've said - and as events have borne me out - "this appears to be a cyclic turning of the tide where the US dollar decline is concerned." A fairly steady two-year fall for the greenback was broken for a time last month: this month, there will be ups and downs of course, but I expect the dollar to rise (weakly) over-all before resuming its decline around the time of Pluto's March 24 station at 22 Sagittarius.
Bear in mind, Pluto remains within a degree of that station point for quite a few weeks either side of the 24th. So the dollar could start dropping again almost at any time; possibly around March 7, or maybe as late as April 30 (when Venus opposes Pluto). As long as Saturn remains in Cancer - well into 2005 - the dollar looks relatively weak over-all. One thing that makes the March 24 Pluto station look suspiciously like some kind of financial turning point is that it comes just a day after Mars crosses the degree of the previous (December 23, 2003) solar eclipse. This is a sensitive point for Mars, and suggests the threat of precipitous military or paramilitary action within a few days of March 23. And that's just the sort of thing to spark a short-term financial panic of sorts. (This would be a good time to stay a respectful distance from targets of opportunity, as much as possible. Most of us - the poor people of Haiti being an unfortunate exception - got through last month's Mars-eclipse contact with little more than a new round of Al Qaeda threats. Here's hoping we get lucky again in March, and that peace and sanity someday find the way to Port au Prince.)
I'm expecting some weakness in the US real estate market associated with the March 7 Saturn station in Cancer, as well. Again, this may manifest within a few days either side of the Ringed Planet's station, but it could take place almost anytime during the February 3-April 10 interval. This is a time for keeping an eye on the housing sector, as well as the dollar, what with a Saturn station falling right on the Venus-Jupiter conjunction in the horoscope for America's Declaration of Independence. (Not to mention the Pluto station later in the month directly opposing the Declaration of Independence Mars.)
On the geocosmic front, March offers an almost constant barrage of sharp storm and seismic risk windows, with only a few days of relative calm. However none of these disturbances appears to be more than locally calamitous. (The heavy-hitters in the natural catastrophe department don't start warming up again until April's solar eclipse.)
The month starts on a turbulent note, thanks to the north lunar declination maximum on the 1st (in effect February 29 through late on March 2). There's a higher than normal potential for strong storms and moderate to severe seismic activity (Richter 5+ quakes and volcanic eruptions) that lasts all the way into the 16th, thanks to the March 6 full moon picking up where the north lunar declination extreme leaves off. While the full moon disturbance starts easing on the 9th, the Moon's perigee starts stirring things up again late on the 10th. This carries over into early on the 16th, judging from the south lunar declination extreme on the 14th. From there it looks worse starting late on the 17th, as the 1 Aries new moon of the 20th takes hold, not letting go until the 23rd. It all adds up to a fitful seismic and meteorological picture for just about the entire first three weeks of the month: short, sharp storm and quake outbursts punctuating a period of restlessness, particularly around the 1st, 4th, 6th, 8th, 12th 14th and 20th, give or take a day or two. The tides in Earth's air, land and sea settle down a bit after that, until the March 28 lunar north declination extreme kicks in from the 27th through early on the 30th.
Regulars know the drill by now, and everyone else should get with the program: have your foul weather backup plans ready on the above-indicated dates, your emergency gear tested and ready. Those who end up not needing it won't be hurt by preparation, and those who do need it will be glad and maybe even lucky to have been forewarned. In addition to all the normal cautions about high tides, strong storms with high winds and heavy precipitation (and the attendant threats of flooding, mudslides, etc.), and elevated moderate to severe earthquake potential (including Richter 5+ quakes and volcanic eruptions) during the periods mentioned above, I see a couple of extra possibilities this month. They include solar and geomagnetic disturbances around the 4th and 29th (give or take a day or two either side of those dates).
Speaking of the 29th, that's the day both Mercury and Venus reach their maximum elongation east of the Sun, a sign that silliness, stupidity and a singular lack of grace and civility are starting their rise. Mercury's retrograde doesn't start until April 6, but the little planet begins its intersolar phase antics starting on the 29th, so be ready: Murphy's Law is about to break out all over. Double-check everything, have a fallback position prepared, and don't rely on people fulfilling commitments as March draws to its close. Everything costs more and takes longer than promised, count on it.
Delays, nuisances and financial gyrations aside, and even allowing for a tragedy or two late in the month - terrible crimes and accidents sometime between the Mars-eclipse contact on the 23rd and the Mars-Uranus square on the 28th - March looks doable . . . certainly not the worst 2004 has to offer, and a whole lot better than most of 2003 all things considered.
SPECIAL FEATURE: This month's birthdays of the famous and infamous (with astrological birth charts)