March 2013: Pisces & Biophilia
This month’s astrology seems uniquely designed to teach us something about bringing our thoughts into harmony with our feelings. As Eric Francis says, most people need to learn how to both harmonize and differentiate between thoughts and emotions. Over the next few weeks, as we delve even deeper into the Water Sign Theater, we get a chance to sort that out. For this month's horoscopes, see Planet Waves Horoscopes: March 2013.
You could say this is a moment of recognizing when the ordinary has a touch of the cosmic to it, the multidimensional, the unusual. There is so much happening in Pisces that you may feel a little overwhelmed by the emotional bath, the psychic input, and how absorbent you are. When in doubt, take a hot epsom salt (or sea salt) bath.
Saturday, Mercury turns to retrograde motion in Pisces. Mercury retrogrades happen three times a year, and they occupy a span of about three weeks or about eight weeks, depending on how you measure (I tend to take the long measure for most purposes). This is the first of three Mercury retrogrades in the water signs this year.
I covered these in an earlier article called Water Sign Theater. The fact that all three retrogrades of Mercury happen in water signs is just one aspect of the emphasis on water in the charts for 2013, the Year of the Water Snake. This seems designed to teach us something about bringing our thoughts into harmony with our feelings, and to learn how to distinguish them.
Most people need to learn how to both harmonize and differentiate. It's rare that intellect and instinct align; emotions often cloud over the process of reason. In these seasons, and particularly over the next few weeks, we get to sort that out.
Mercury turns direct on March 17, a few days before the equinox, though the retrograde process will still be working itself out until April 6, when Mercury leaves the degrees where it was previously retrograde and enters new territory.
Chart section for the Virgo Full Moon, showing planets in Capricorn, Aquarius, Pisces, and Aries. The Moon is exactly opposite the Sun. Notice Mercury about to retrograde into a conjunction with Mars, and Venus about to change signs.
In this month's chart, Venus is conjunct the centaur Nessus, which has taken many conjunctions in recent weeks. This is the last of them for a while, and it may be the most potent. To me this looks like Venus encountering the fixed ideas of our society that have shaped the lives of women—including the fixed ideas that women may hold about themselves. These might be the internalized fixed ideas of participating in a society that seems to be biased against them, which suddenly manifest in some tangible, physical, or emotional form.
To me this chart overall represents a situation (or many situations) that have to be dealt with; a decision that must be made. It's a highly aware kind of squeeze point. The thing to remember is that you're likely to have an option that you're not noticing. If you feel cornered or like all the pressure is on you, look for the opportunity for a win-win that is lurking just off to the side of your thoughts. It's a clever solution that utilizes existing resources, and it IS available.
In this sense, the presence of Jupiter can act as a magnifying influence. That can be a distortion; the planets seem to be saying: Keep your perspective. Remember to see the bigger scenario and to maintain a sense of scale and proportion.
Looking Ahead at March
Venus ingressed Pisces on February 25. It made a conjunction to Neptune on February 28 and makes a conjunction to conjunct Chiron on March 5. Venus-Chiron, especially in Pisces, to me is about biophilia. This concept suggests that there is an instinctive bond between human beings and other living systems, which one might think is obvious—except for how most humans act, as if they are separate from nature.
Sociologist and living systems philosopher Edward O. Wilson introduced and popularized the hypothesis in his 1984 book, Biophilia. He defines the idea as "the urge to affiliate with other forms of life." He also describes it as "the innate tendency to focus on life and lifelike process"—the affinity for life. Venus-Chiron can also point out the ways we have denied this simple fact of existence. In other words, you might find yourself noticing the pain of separation from nature and the longing to make contact.
In Pisces, this might be a deep and full-spectrum feeling. You may experience it on the cosmic level, for example as the yearning for a feminine experience of existence, or of divinity. I'll come back to the idea of biophilia when this aspect is closer.
The Pisces New Moon is March 11. This is another very exciting chart with plenty of tension coming from Pisces planets making squares to Jupiter, the ruler of Pisces. The New Moon shifts the tension within, instead of encouraging outward projection (as the Full Moon seems to do).
In this chart, all the traditional seven "lights in the sky"—the planets of antiquity—are gathered in Pisces, with the exception of Jupiter and Saturn; and these latter two are included in the aspect structure. Many planets in the Pisces group square Jupiter and trine Saturn.
My impression is that this is a deeply introspective chart. Many factors call us inward: Mercury retrograde in Pisces being one of them; Mercury square Jupiter for another, as well as retrograde Mercury in a long conjunction to Neptune. Yet there is also the feeling of going in deep and expressing something that you feel profoundly.
Mars ingresses Aries on March 12, crossing the "personal is political" Aries Point—the dependable conjunction of the individual and the collective. Mercury stations direct on March 17, and the Sun ingresses Aries at the vernal equinox on March 20. The movement of Mars through Aries will be noticeable, particularly because this highly energetic planet will be making a conjunction to Uranus on March 22, followed by a square to Pluto four days later.