March 2013 Newsletter
by Tony Howard
(image by Judith Clay – The White Duck)
As I write this, we’ve already been fully initiated into the current Mercury retrograde cycle, which began on February 23, 2013. And something tells me you’ve noticed this one, even if you weren’t forewarned.
That’s because this Mercury retrograde cycle has an especially discombobulated quality since it’s taking place in the sign of dreamy, subjective Pisces. When adrift in the sea of Pisces, Mercury isn’t transmitting from its clearest channel. This isn’t to say that Mercury in Pisces is “bad.” Every planet/sign combination has a divine reason and place. But some combinations are certainly less complicated than others. In Pisces, Mercury is swimming through uncomfortably murky waters , and those cute little wings on his feet and hat get a bit soggy. Mercury likes the kind of knowing that results from a clear train of thought. Pisces represents the subjective knowing that we might get from dreams or or non-linear experience. So already, retrograde or not, in Pisces, Mercury ‘s usual speedy disposition and sharp cognitive process is altered. Add the retrograde piece and poor Mercury appears to have fallen down the rabbit hole.
And as usual, that’s not the end of the story, because the sky is always more complex… From the end of February throughout most of March, we’re all awash in a sea of Piscean energy, with the Sun also in Pisces (since February 18), Mars in Pisces (through March 11), and Neptune in Pisces. And Venus would never be left out of the party by choice. She dives into Pisces during the wee hours of February 25th, giving us 5 planets in Pisces at once!
So what’s the message here?
With all of these planets in Pisces we’re being asked to spend more time in Pisces territory – we could say “God’s country” (see the Erich Schiffman video below) – tuning in, zoning out, merging, meditating. And we’re asked to do so during a time when it might feel naturally against the grain. For we’re still riding the wave of the forward-moving New Year energy, and many of us have our sights set on taking action and making things happen. Astrologically, Jupiter has been egging us on in these kinds of endeavors ever since going direct at the end of January. Jupiter has been contributing that extra burst of optimistic expansiveness we’ve needed to get our new plans going. So why are we now being asked to put the brakes on?
If you’ve been feeling the whoosh of forward momentum, it’s important to know that the wind is being taken out of your sails for a reason. With all of these planets in Pisces, we’re being asked to make a shift. But it’s not necessarily a shift in action – it’s a shift in consciousness. And that shift will eventually have a profound effect on our actions. But we can’t move forward without it.
We have something to learn now not only from our inner world, our imagination, our dreams. But also from consciousness itself. We’re meant to have a few more “spaced out” moments than usual. And if we’re wise, we’ll make time for these moments. There’s no exact recipe for what your tuning out should look like. You could find yourself staring out the window, taking a walk by the ocean, listening to some nice music, getting lost in a fantasy book or film, or even enjoying an impromptu afternoon siesta. Don’t feel like you have to sit in formal meditation, although that counts too. Use the mantra, if it feels good it is good. And it’s done when it’s done. Try not to put too many structures or rules around your space-out time.
But here’s a caution: If you find yourself losing the keys a lot, that might be a message from your angels that you need to make more time to tap into the deep well of consciousness intentionally. Yoga wizard Erich Schiffman loves to say that it’s important to spend time every day “getting online with the divine.” There’s something you need to “get” right now that isn’t linear, and it may not even be logical. Inspiration, faith, feeling connected with all of life – these are all experiences that don’t “make sense” but that we need in order to feel meaningfully engaged with the world. And it’s time to get a little more of that.
– Tony Howard
Saturn Retrograde in Scorpio
As if the ocean of Pisces welling up weren’t enough for us to surf, there’s another planet throwing a wrench in the wheels of our forward momentum – Saturn. Seeming to taunt Jupiter’s enthusiastic direct motion at the end of January, shortly thereafter Saturn began its retrograde cycle on February 18th, in the sign of Scorpio, where it stationed retrograde at 11°. Continue reading Tony’s article on Saturn Retgrograde at Astroraven.com.
Tracking the Pisces Stellium
We’re All One
Check out this short video taken from a workshop with Virgoan yoga teacher Erich Schiffman, which aptly gives voice to the Piscean expression of "God." And in a wonderful demonstration of the sometimes jovial Pisces sense of humor, a passing onlooker gives voice to the enthusiasm of the universal consciousness aware of itself:
Oops Everything Got Deleted!
This headline about a recent Amazon snafu says it all about what it’s like to try surfing Mercury Retrograde in Pisces: Amazon Kindle iOS Update Erases Entire Library. Maybe Amazon should check with an astrologer next time before releasing an important update! Especially when there is a sea of Pisces on the other end of the transaction waiting to swallow the data.
Virgo Full Moon Opposite Pisces Dream Sea
Created during the 2013 Full moon in Virgo opposed several planets in Pisces, this wonderful work of art by Judith Clay totally catches the vibe of the chart for the full moon. The full moon presides luminous but understated (Virgo) in the background (also Virgo), and the earthy but ordered Virgo floor provides grounding, but also exists in a busy pattern of mutable motion.
Awash in a sea of Pisces blue, the image is dominated by the Piscean influence (the moon is no match for the Sun+Neptune+Venus stellium in the full moon chart). The woman’s hair is like an ocean – even literally here with a boat floating in it, and the magical imagery enticing us to keep one foot in the Piscean land of dreams… The white duck also reflects Pisces, the white illuminating the purity of consciousness and the duck recalling the feeling of floating and bobbing adrift upon the waters of Pisces awareness. See the full moon chart here for February 25, 2013.
Judith Clay makes her living as an artist. Please support her work by purchasing one of the wonderful and inexpensive items avaiable in her Society 6 store. The iPhone and iPod cases and covers are pretty cool. And the pillows are nice too.
Last but not least, enjoy this song and video aptly titled Happy Dreamer by the group Laidback. It doesn’t get much more Piscean than that!
Until later Happy Dreamers!
Skymates 2 was re-released in February in print and also in eBook format. This reprint of the 2005 version is an invaluable reference tool for the study of the composite chart in relationships. The iBook is forthcoming but you can get the eBook now for the Kindle, Nook and Kobo readers (the Kobo version can also be read on most other eReaders, like my favorite, the Sony Reader).
Support Kobo if you can, because you can set your Kobo account to give a percentage of each sale to your favorite local independent bookseller.
Follow Steven on a mystical journey with Neptune on its transits through the 12 Houses. Includes a description of Neptune in each of the 12 house placements as well as an introduction to Neptune transits.
Recorded in 2012. mp3 format. 1 hour 17 min.
Steven walks through some of the best approaches to this important threshold in everyone’s life, including a tour of Saturn returning to each of the 12 houses during the First Saturn Return. 2013, 42 min. Available in 3 formats.
If Saturn is completing another 30 year spin around your natal chart, it’s time to acknowledge your accomplishments, and take survey of your experience. This program created exclusively for Forrest Astrology includes a description of Saturn transiting back into each of the 12 houses, which will shed light on the particular flavor of your own Second Saturn Return process. 2013, 50 min. Available in 3 formats.