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©2012 by Richard Nolle
last revised FEB 29, 2012

If you were expecting some kind of sun sign nonsense, forget about it. This is real astrology for the real world, not some mystical mumbo-jumbo word salad. If it's real astrology for yourself that you want, you can get it by phone or in print. 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, aka GMT). Also please be aware that, while I never change a forecast once it's published, I do post errata to acknowledge typographical errors and the like.

PLEASE NOTE: This month’s forecast incorporates elements of (and refers to) my complete 2012 World Forecast Highlights (34 8-1/2 x 11” illustrated pages), focused, amplified and elaborated with details for the month as appropriate. If you’d like your own copy of the full 2012 World Forecast Highlights, it’s available in hard copy by mail ($75) or as a PDF document by email ($50). Orders may be phoned in (toll-free from anywhere in North America to 800-527-8761) and charged to any major credit card. PayPal orders may be placed direct from your own PayPal account page to rnolle@astropro.com – or by using the AstroPro PayPal order page.

Learn from yesterday, live for today, look to tomorrow, rest this afternoon.
-- Charles M. Schulz, Charlie Brown’s Little Book of Wisdom

March 3, 2012 Sun-Mars OppositionIf you’ve tried calling in for a consultation or to place an order in February, you know why the March forecast gets short shrift. Clients are first priority, and if the phone is always busy it means there’s little time left over for the monthly forecast.

The fact of the matter is that March shapes up as WAY more hectic than February. There’s a peak in the 2011-2012 Mars Max cycle on the 3rd, we start the first Mercury Max of the year on the 5th, and the 2012 Venus Max starts on the 27th. This means a lot of white knuckle high drama early in the month, followed by days of wine and roses starting late in the month. It’s never all this or all that of course, but that’s the gist of March.

The white knuckle stuff accords well with the Mars Max cycle that’s been in effect since late October 2011, and growing in intensity during the last month or so. As detailed in my 2012 World Forecast Highlights, the cycle began on October 28, 2011, when the Red Planet's daily apparent motion through Earth's sky dropped below its mean motion for the first time since May 25, 2010 at the end of the last Mars Max cycle. This relative slow-down presages the Red Planet retrograde that began on January 24 and ends on April 14. Mars Max also marks the beginning of the biennial Mars perigee phase, as Mars and our home planet come together for their close approach during the Sun-Mars opposition of March 3, 2012.Between that opposition and the full moon on the 7th conjunct Mars – rising together in the east at sunset – the first week of March carries over the harshness from late February, for sure.

MAR 3, 2012 Sun-Mars Opposition Astro-MapAs described in full detail in my 2012 World Forecast Highlights, his proximity means that Mars gets brighter and bigger in the night sky, culminating in the March perigee and then slowly dimming back to normal. Likewise, all things pertaining to Mars loom larger and larger in human experience during this period: haste, heat, fire, danger, belligerence and conflict - literally and figuratively - are more and more on the rise during the October 2011-July 2012 Mars Max cycle. This means a spike across the whole spectrum of violence, from the individual to the collective, from domestic, school and workplace violence to mass murder and spree killings all the way to suicide bombings and other terrorist atrocities. Criminality, terrorism and military conflict are never rare, but they'll loom larger and larger in the news from late October 2011 into July of 2012.

Full Moon Conjunct Mars at Sunset, March 7, 2012Not all of this happens with malice aforethought, mind you. Recklessness, haste and inattention are no less dangerous than evil intent, and can easily cause just as many fires, crashes (ships, trains, planes, cars etc.), clashes and explosions. You know what copy writers say: "If it bleeds, it leads." They'll have plenty of material to work with as Mars looms large in the night sky. So stay alert, and steer clear of danger and conflict as much as possible. Blessed are the peacemakers . . . always of course, but especially during a Mars Max like the one that’s so prominent in the sky this month, and most particularly around the 7th, when the Moon aligns with Mars.

If you’ve been paying attention at all, you’ve seen ample evidence of Mars Max in the headlines lately. Expect plenty more of that amplified fires, crashes, clashes and explosions stuff as this Mars Max cycle continues. In particular, keep a wary eye on the more emphatic Mars alignments in the sky this month, such as the Sun-Mars opposition on the 3rd and the Moon-Mars alignment on the 7th. (Remember the Macondo oil rig disaster in the Gulf of Mexico? That was a Moon-Mars conjunction in a Mars Max cycle too, per my 2010 forecast.) These are the dates and periods when the Red Planet looms especially large in the sky: note them, watch them, watch "the other guy" and watch yourself. You’ll see this manifesting in your own adrenaline surges, in the surfeit of headlines about extreme violence, from the individual level of experience (e.g. murder, mass murder, school and workplace shootings etc.) to the e.g. collective (military and paramilitary conflict, terrorist atrocities) to a rash of spectacular accidents in the fires, crashes and explosions category.

Sunset Venus Conjunct Jupiter, March 14, 2012Don’t forget that every one of us, no matter how careful we are to keep out of the line of fire during a Mars Max, can nevertheless pay a price – literally. As I’ve written for many years now, this heightened potential for conflict on the geopolitical level almost always affects the oil markets. Disruptions in supply are not good for prices – unless you’re long crude, that is.

The Mercury Max starting on the 5th and lasting through April 18 is another crazy-making period for lots of people. Expect nothing to go right without constant follow-up and follow-through. Communication, transportation and power infrastructure are particularly vulnerable this month, and especially around the 5th, 12th and 21st. Some of this will be intentional (hacker attacks, terrorism and vandalism), some of it due to natural forces (storms and solar flares), and some of it just plain sloppiness. Take nothing for granted.

On the bright side, there’s a growing Venus factor building from mid-March (the Venus-Jupiter conjunction on the 14th) and coming on strong on the 27th (the start of the Venus Max cycle). These are good signs for economic growth, provided some kind of Mars Max geopolitical mess doesn’t derail good prospects. It’s unfortunate that all this is happening at the same time: talk about a mixed message.

While there are once again no major geophysical warning signs in the sky this month – i.e. no SuperMoons, eclipses or the like – it’s only a matter of weeks before the heavyweights start to check in. It starts with the first of three consecutive SuperMoon full moons, the one at 17° Libra on April 6, followed by another on May 6 and yet another on June 4 (also a partial lunar eclipse). In between comes the annular solar eclipse at 0° Gemini on May 20. Until then, the biggest geocosmic stressors stirring up the atmosphere, oceans and crust of our home planet are the full moon at 18° Virgo on March 8 and the new moon at 2° Aries on the 22nd.

MAR 8, 2012 Full Moon Astro-MapThat said, March is far from a total slouch in the geocosmic risk category. The elevated storm and seismic stress window associated with the full moon at 18° Virgo on the 8th, while not SuperMoon- or eclipse-class, is nonetheless considerable. Occurring within less than a half-hour before the Moon’s southward crossing of the celestial equator, and within a couple days of lunar perigee (the Moon’s closest approach to Earth), this is no ordinary full moon. It raises the risk for strong storms with damaging winds and heavy precipitation, as well as moderate-to-severe seismic activity (from magnitude 5+ earthquakes to volcanic eruptions). The period of vulnerability for this alignment begins on March 5 - the very same day that the first Mercury Max of the year begins, as the little Sun-grazer in its evening star phase reaches maximum elongation east of Old Sol. The alignment peaks with the full moon itself on the 8th – on the very same day that the Moon makes its southward crossing of the celestial equator, and aligns with Mars in the east as the Sun sets in the west. (This is just a few days after the Sun-Mars opposition, one of the peak points in the Mars Max cycle.) From there, this full moon stress window carries through into the 11th. Give or take a day or two either way, the 8th and 10th (the full moon itself and the lunar perigee respectively) look like the times of greatest storm and seismic risk during the full moon stress window – and for the month as a whole, as far as that goes. (See the full moon astro-locality map for some of the more vulnerable zones associated with this alignment.)

Lesser storm and seismic warning signals are in effect from the end of February into March 3 (anchored by the lunar north declination peak late on the 1st), the 13th into the 15th (surrounding the south lunar declination peak on the 4th), the 19th through the 25th (surrounding the new moon on the 22nd), and the 27th into the 29th (anchored by the lunar north declination peak on the 28th).


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