March Planetary Stations: Endurance Challenge
The beginning of March brings us an unusual patch of astrological weather. Both of the so-called “malefic” planets, Mars and Saturn, make stations and turn retrograde pretty much simultaneously. Mars does so on the 1st of the month near the end of Libra. Saturn follows just about 24 hours later in late Scorpio. Mars will remain retrograde in Libra until May 19th. Saturn turns direct a few weeks after Mars, on July 20th, still in Scorpio.
When a planet is stationary, its energy is more pronounced. We feel it more strongly. A really easy way to see this effect is to think of Jupiter. When it is moving fast and breezes through what might seem like an important conjunction in your chart, you might ask your astrologer for your money back. Where’s that promised good luck? You didn’t hit the Powerball after all. But if Jupiter makes a station on the same sensitive point, start picking out the interior for your new Lamborghini. By the way, Jupiter will also make a station during the first week of March—turning direct on the 6th, about a third of the way into Cancer. If your birthday is near the end of June or early July, head for that car dealership.
So the first week of March packs a real astrological punch. It is unusual for three planets to make stations within a period of less than a week. (We might add that Mercury also turns direct and stations on the 28th of February, but we’ll not be concerned with that here.) All in all, we are looking at a period in which a great many things are coming to a head, both globally and personally, for us all. That’s the nature of these planetary stations: the rubber meets the road. Inner energy and outward circumstances connect and ignite.
Let’s start with Mars and Saturn and their problematic designation as “malefics.” There is really nothing inherently unlucky about either of them. Mars can represent courage and appropriate assertiveness, while Saturn is about self-discipline and integrity. With Mars, if you are brave, the planet is your ally. Is there a situation in your life in which you really need to speak up and make your needs and views felt? If so, you’d better do it because wimpier responses to a Mars station generally leave us victimized and injured. Just be careful not to get on your high horse. Mars can bring self-righteousness, excessive passion, and the use of too much force into a situation. In any case, the call to find that Martial middle path will be strong during the first part of the month. The Laws of Synchronicity declare that whatever situations you are facing are going critical then.
Saturn calls for strength too, but of a different kind. Sometimes it asks us to simply endure some suffering for the sake of a principle. An example might be when you have a friend who is seriously ill and needs your help. You may be tired and over-extended, but you are there visiting her in the hospital anyway. The alternative involves such a loss of self-respect and dignity that it is not worth the ease it might bring. But be wary with Saturn! Whose values are you living out? Your own? Or do they come from some bogus sense of right of wrong that originated in someone manipulating you with shame? Saturn can depress and exhaust us when we are reading our lines from someone else’s script.
It takes courage to endure. It takes courage to make a stand. Sometimes it takes great moral strength simply to keep your mouth shut when you are tempted to wreak havoc on the souls of others because you are so angry at them. This is what it feels like when both Saturn and Mars pulse together this way. At best, Saturn gives moral values and direction to that fiery Martial energy, while Mars charges up the Saturn and gives it the ability to go through a wall of previous limitations. Such a Mars-Saturn period is a time for the use of measured force. Reach for realistic targets and avoid interpersonal scorched-earth policies. But don’t be a door mat, unless you want to get used to that role.
Let’s add Jupiter to the mix since it will be pulsing at the same time. Classically, Jupiter is the Greater Benefic—but during a Jupiter time, be careful what you ask for, because you are likely to get it! If Jupiter is stationing near a sensitive spot in your chart, some doors are likely to open for you. Opportunity knocks. Your task is to recognize the right opportunities, and to avoid all that which glitters but which is not truly gold. How can you tell the difference? Having Mars and Saturn in play at the same time helps to clarify that question in a specific way that goes beyond simple Jupiter energy.
Mars and Saturn add a new element: they like challenges. They enjoy difficulty. Jupiter isn’t like that, but when it is in partnership with the other two, the total picture is a synthesis of all three. I always think of a pot of gold on top of a very steep mountain. How badly do you want it? The gold is there, but to get it, you have to do some climbing. Here’s an example: People who have children often report that it is ten times harder than they ever imagined, but a hundred times more satisfying. We might say the same for making an intimate partnership work, or starting your own business, or writing a book, or doing a meditation retreat. The combination of opportunity, challenge, and relentless, courageous persistence reflects the highest expression of this planetary mix.
The Laws of Synchronicity declare that such opportunities will be presenting themselves to you in early March, especially if you have sensitivities to the sign and degree positions these three planets currently occupy. The Law of Impermanence suggests that these opportunities will not remain available for long. The “stars are aligned” for ambitious moves requiring effort—moves that take courage, and moves that will give you a sense of pride and dignity as you look back upon them.
And looking back upon them is the spirit of the retrograde periods that begin in early March. As we saw earlier, Mars will remain retrograde until May 19th, while Saturn turns direct on July 20th. You will have that whole period to digest and integrate the fruits of your strong response to those energies—or to reflect upon the price of fear and hesitation.
Meanwhile, Jupiter makes its station and turns Direct on the 6th, suggesting expanding horizons—the fruit of the decisiveness, audacity and clarity you mustered at this critical crossroads.
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photo credit: Rock Climber by Andy Mann
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Planets Square the Moon's Nodes mp3
We've just released the audio only version of Steven's first webinar. In this live webinar recording, Steven focused on the meaning of planets that square the moon's nodes. If you have a planet squaring the nodes, or want to learn more about interpreting this challenging signature in others' charts, this webinar is for you.
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