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).
Knowledge is of the past, wisdom is of the future.
-- Vernon Cooper
Lacking a SuperMoon or eclipse, March is the first month this year to offer a little bit of a respite from the strong storms, floods and seismic shocks that have largely dominated the headlines in 2005. That's not to say that all's quiet on the weather and seismic front this month. But everything is relative after all; and relatively speaking, this tempest-tossed world should be a few natural disasters short in March. Goodness knows, we could stand a smattering of clear and calm days for cleanup purposes, after all. And apart from the normal background level of storms, quakes and such, it looks like we get that break during the first few days of the month.
Hedonists in search of an excuse for an orgy - or at least one helluva fine party - will be in their element early this month, as Venus aligns with Uranus in Pisces on the 4th. These two are within a few degrees of exact all the way through the 7th, so this is bound to be a moveable feast. Dude, this looks all Paris Hilton, if you'll pardon the expression. Although heaven knows, that ditz doesn't wait around for planets to align. More power to her, I say. And there's plenty more of that Paris Hilton kind of energy going around early in March, so get out your shower shoes and camera phones, put a condom in your pocket or purse, and don't be L84AD8.
While the party-hearty types are on a roll as Venus aligns with Uranus early in March, it's not all fun and games. You know what they say about March coming "in like a lion," after all. This time around, I think that refers to the Mars-Saturn opposition on the 7th, an alignment that's within a few degrees of exact from the 1st through the 14th. There's a lot of tension, posturing, threat displays, aggression and the like under this alignment. It's the kind of thing associated with greed and violence, from the individual level all the way up to the collective.
From criminality to terrorism to military confrontations, Mars' opposition to Saturn somehow manages to coincide with unease and disquiet. Take the Cuban Missile Crisis, for example: Mars in Cancer opposing Saturn in Capricorn. This time around it's the same sign polarity, with the planets reversed: Mars in Capricorn, Saturn in Cancer - the first such alignment since 1975. I don't expect anything on the level of the global brinksmanship associated with the 1962 alignment. Things were different then, with Mars-Saturn oppositions coming in same sign triplets and quadruplets all the way from 1959 to 1965, during the height of Cold War tensions. This time around the collective scenario is more posturing, preparation and maneuvering, with the real action being left to surrogates and covert operatives. At the individual level, on the other hand, there's bound to be a bumper crop of the "if it bleeds, it leads" type of headlines. From domestic and workplace violence to spectacular residential and industrial fires and accidents, to heinous hit-and-runs . . . all I can say is be careful out there, particularly if you came into this world under an emphasis on the 20th degree in the Cancer-Capricorn polarity. This includes many people born in 1930 and 1931 or around January 11 or July 13 in any year, to name just a couple sensitive time stretches. (Check your chart, and in any case play it safe as best you can during this period.)
After a few days of relative calm, the geophysical stress level is on the rise again from just before the Moon reaches maximum declination south of the equator on the 5th, through the lunar perigee on the 8th, the new moon at 19° Pisces 54' on the 10th, and the Moon's northward equatorial crossing on the 11th. All in all, it adds up to a period of increased storm and seismic activity (including Richter 5+ quakes as well as volcanic eruptions) that extends from late on the 3rd through the 13th. Weather-related accidents and travel delays look like some of the biggest risk factors during this period. Lunar factors like this are global in scope of course, but there are signs of special risk in the UK and west Africa, New Zealand, the Mississippi and Ohio River Valleys and Pacific Northwest as well as southern Mexico in North America; plus the eastern third of South America, east Africa and the Middle East, Pakistan and the west Indian coast, and along a south-southeasterly arc from eastern China through the Korean Peninsula and southern Japan into the South Pacific and through central Australia.
Apart from the storm and seismic component in the world at large, this new moon points to a stirring of creative and spiritual currents in the human psyche. If people seem more inward, less worldly, more directed by inner voices . . . well, that's par for the course. This is one of those times when the heart has reasons the mind cannot grasp.
Mercury's intersolar cycle and retrograde is a major feature of the month. The little planet reaches maximum eastern elongation on the 12th, marking the beginning of the intersolar ("evening star") period that lasts until Mercury attains its greatest apparent distance west of Sol on April 26. This cycle marks a time of prominence for all things Mercurial: commerce, communication, transport, and all manner of electrical and electronic infrastructure. The sharp focus on these areas of human endeavor and experience often uncovers (and sometimes causes) delays, interruptions and outright failures. Since this cycle includes the March 20-April 12 Mercury retrograde, much of the accompanying Murphy's Law outbreak will be laid at its doorstep. But it's really the whole Mercury "evening star" (intersolar) phase that delimits the mess. So go ahead and do your best to be prepared for everything that can go wrong doing so - and at just the very least opportune moment.
From transport and communication tie-ups and strikes to teacher walk-outs and media mess-ups to power failures and attacks on networks and computer, they're all standard fare while Mercury is in its evening star phase. Have your backups, backup plans, workarounds and detour routes all planned out and ready. Go over all paperwork and calculations with the proverbial fine-tooth comb, and then do again for good measure: double- and triple-check everything, and then follow up on it right down the line. Assume nothing, except that nothing will go right without careful monitoring. (The retrograde and direct stations on March 20 and April 12 respectively, as well as the March 29 Mercury-Sun conjunction, mark especially prominent moments in this cycle.)
The Moon reaches maximum declination north of the celestial equator on the 18th, suggesting a brief upsurge in storms and seismic activity in effect from the 17th through the 19th. You know the drill: strong storms with high winds and heavy precipitation, raising the likelihood of floods, mudslides and avalanches; moderate to severe seismic activity, including Richter 5 and higher earthquakes as well as volcanic eruptions (and possible tsunami effects); and extreme high tides. Stay tuned to the news, and be prepared to take appropriate precautions. Don't wait 'til the last minute to have your plans and supplies ready. Plan for weather-related delays if you're traveling, or expecting someone who is. (A change of itinerary might be prudent.)
Late March brings a couple more notable planetary stations, when a planet as seen from Earth appears to come to a standstill in the heavens, and then begins moving in an opposite direction through the night sky. The first of these is Saturn's direct station on the 22nd, when the Ringed Planet pauses in place at 20° Cancer, ending the period of retrograde motion it began back on November 8 last year. Saturn has been within a degree of this station point ever since February 17, and will remain so until April 24. This whole period centered on the March 22 station is a time of consequences coming due: whatever is earned, for good or ill, tends to get collected under a Saturn station like this. On the macro level, the US dollar's decline resumes and will continue until Saturn leaves Cancer in July. On the personal level, taking responsibility and making commitments for the long haul are prominent themes. As with the Mars-Saturn opposition in the same degree, people born in 1930 and 1931 or around January 11 or July 13 in any year are among those who are in the zone of this station. (Check your chart for significant placements around 20 Cancer in particular; and also its opposite point, 20 Capricorn.) Whether at the micro or the macro level, a Saturn station is a time to get serious, to take account, to make the best appraisal you can and act on it.
Pluto's retrograde station at 24° 31' Sagittarius on the 26th is the other major celestial reversal of late March. Falling so close to sensitive points in the US Declaration of Independence (opposite Mars) and Federal Reserve (conjunct Venus) charts, as well as conjunct the Galactic Center, this particular Pluto station seems to point to significant developments focusing on the American economy and financial system. Falling so close to the Saturn station in Cancer, I suspect this is part and parcel of the dollar decline trend - but a new contribution to that momentum. And since both stations are within a degree of exact all month, the triggering event could happen anytime at all in March . . . perhaps in association with the March 7 Mars opposition to Saturn. Given that both stations portend uncertainty and a reversal of previous trends, it's hard to envision a scenario where the financial markets do much of anything other than take profits and retrench. And again, this may already be in progress as the month gets underway . . .
Planetary stations aside, late March is also a time of increased geophysical stress, from the 22nd through the 28th (in association with the Moon's southward equatorial crossing and full moon on the 25th); and again from the 31st on into early April, as the Moon reaches maximum declination south of the celestial equator. Look for an increase in news of strong storms with damaging winds and lightning, plus very heavy precipitation (and resulting flooding, avalanches and mudslides). This is also a marker for a higher than normal incidence of moderate to severe seismic activity, including Richter 5 quakes and volcanic eruptions. This late March geocosmic stress window appears to be the most threatening of the month. Be prepared for inclement weather at the very least, and be aware that it can strike virtually anywhere on Earth. That said, astro-locality analysis makes the Pacific Canadian, US and Mexican coasts look like target zones, along with the southern tip and easternmost quarter of South America. Of course the Middle East falls in crosshairs, along with the western and eastern sides of India, the eastern half of Australia and all of New Zealand, plus Japan and Papua New Guinea.
Remember, don't be lulled into a false sense of security if you won't be in one of these zones as March draws to a close: this phenomenon is planetary in scale and scope, so you can't get entirely out of its way no matter where you are. And remember that the full moon is felt not just in the tides of earth, sea and sky; but also down to the level of human experience. Particular from the 22nd through the 28th, we're all in some sense at odds with ourselves. There's a kind of tension in the air, and an urge to resolve it one way or another - overtly through conflict in many cases, but also in terms of compromise and understanding. Above all else, it's a time to interact with others rather than to withdraw.
SPECIAL FEATURE: This month's birthdays of the famous and infamous (with astrological birth charts)