Tuesday, March 8, the New Moon in Pisces arrives with a total solar eclipse. We won’t see the eclipse in North America. The full show will only be visible over the open Pacific and Indonesia, with areas of Australia, and South and East Asia catching a partial view. How fitting that the largest of Earth’s oceans will have the best view of this eclipse happening when both Sun and Moon are in Pisces, sign of the oceans.
We’re in a very Piscean month. Take a peek at the New Moon chart and notice the huge focus. From Mercury at 6 degrees through the South Node at 22 degrees, with Neptune, Ceres, Sun, Moon, and Chiron between. That’s a lot! (In astrology-speak, that is one big stellium.) Change has been a keyword for years now. Piscean change has a particular style: lunar, moody, and sneakily transformative. Dreams and visions are strong and pressing. Intuition also. Any insight, second sight, mysticism you have at your fingertips and in your bones is likely to increase, possibly dramatically.
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Things now might seem murky, foggy, confusing, creative, lyrical, spiritual, attractive in a vague but compelling way, addictive, dissolving, disappearing, enticing, and magically delicious. This could happen simultaneously, or alternating almost randomly. Changeability is enhanced because other keys planets are also in the mutable, transitional signs. Jupiter and the North Node are in Virgo; Saturn and Mars are in Sagittarius.
Jupiter tightly opposes the New Moon. Virgo and Pisces are paired signs. Each sign has its opposite. Each shares some characteristics and challenges others. Pisces and Virgo, important in the last Full Moon, are the forest and the trees. They share a commitment to service, compassion, and spiritual connection. Their modes of action are different. Pisces is far-reaching, emotional, wanting to offer care through deep connection. Virgo is detailed, focused on the here and now, wanting to offer care through tending to needs.
Jupiter is the traditional ruler of Pisces, and therefore is not completely happy in Virgo. He can become impatient with detail, preferring the broad scope of big ideas and the expansiveness of inclusive generosity. In his time in Virgo, though, he’s been bringing his optimism to the practical, helping us see we got this, there are solutions, we can find a way forward if we don’t lose heart.
Saturn creates a challenging square to the New Moon. Lord of boundaries and hard work, he reminds us we can’t float forever in the blissful waters if we want to get anywhere. He, like Jupiter, also says, hey, if those waters you’re floating in feel overwhelming, disorienting, and about to drag you down, DO something. There are actions to take, small ones, big ones, that will help. Grab that spar. Take that breath. There is a way.
Chiron, the wounded healer, sits right with the New Moon. Pisces is such an emotional energy, we might feel old wounds reopening. This is where the Jupiter opposition and Saturn square can be helpful. Instead of feeling the wound expanding (Jupiter shadow) and becoming a source of self criticism and self-imposed limitations (Saturn shadow), we can pull on the optimism of Jupiter and the work ethic of Saturn to find the healing within the wound.
The New Moon is a time for planting seeds. We look to a rebirth, or, a more modern metaphor, we hit the reset button. What wishes will we plant? As with the last Full Moon, our choices rest in the attitude of our response: openness or fear.
Let’s talk about fear. Some kinds of fear are healthy, essential even. We all know there are real dangers out there in the mists, in the world around us and within our own psyches. It is good practice to maintain awareness. Safety within the Piscean oceans rests in knowing our orientation, sensing currents, aligning to what feels right. Aimless floating is not recommended.
And yet, in these fogs, we are prey to groundless fears … or authentic fear can become overwhelming and paralyzing. Our attitude at this New Moon can be open, focused not on giving in to fear but asking whether it is based in reality. Is the fear serving us? If not, how can we release it? If we’re feeling a lot of fear in our lives, this can become the basis of New Moon wishes: I wish to maintain a healthy awareness of my environment. I wish to release all fears that hold me back without protecting me.
Openness, too, has its light and shadow. With this much Pisces around, we are tempted to open to everything, letting ourselves dissolve into addictive behaviors that keep us from functioning. On the other hand, we do want to––in the world today we need to––remain open to new experiences, new thinking, new perspectives. Notice how, once again, we must steer a course: I wish to release any tendency to zone out, bliss out, opt for spiritual bypass, and miss my life. I wish to maintain an open mind and heart.
A digression to explore the nature of Neptune, Pisces modern ruler: We have in our sky a giant gaseous, blue planet given the name Neptune, who is a hard-edged, driven god with a talent for revenge. Yes, Neptune is astrologically oceanic. No, it’s nothing like the Roman god Neptune.
The name comes from the Latin nebula, which is cloud or fog. Perfect! In astrology, Neptune is nebulous. Also changeable, engulfing, nurturing, dissolving. Hard to grasp, impossible to hold. Liz Greene, in her book The Astrological Neptune and the Quest for Redemption, argues this archetype is essentially feminine, a force of yin. Greene explores ocean and water goddesses and their resonance with Neptunian themes.
In Hindu tradition, she says, “the cosmic sea is the Divine Mother out of whom all life emerges.” We might add: and to which all life returns. “She is named Maha-Kali (Mighty Time) and Nitya-Kali (Endless Time) …” Celtic traditions abound with goddesses of rivers and lakes, and magical women who guarded wells and springs. All far more aligned with the astrological Neptune than an angry bearded guy with a trident.
For me, Neptune the planet is not Neptune the god. She is the Mother of Waters who is Yemaya in Santeria, Maha-Kali, the Celtic Boann, sometimes the fierce Babylonian goddess Tiamat. Let’s loop back into this month’s Pisces New Moon.
The influence of this New Moon is heightened by the presence of a total solar eclipse. Astrologically, it doesn’t matter that we can’t see it. It’s still happening.
Eclipses come in pairs and show up about every six months. The next Full Moon will bring a partial lunar eclipse. Eclipses are said to influence us for at least six months––until the next pair shows up. They are also part of much larger cycles, called saros cycles, in which eclipses repeat every 18 years in the same part of the sky. You may find this New Moon + eclipse echoes themes from the last eclipse in this cycle, which occurred February 26, 1998.
Look back to early 1998. What was happening in your life then? Do you see any connections between feelings, events, or issues now? Consider those in choosing New Moon wishes. That time 18 years ago could also relate to the Chiron presence. Did we experience wounding then? Are we feeling it now? We want to steer a course through these waters that keeps us open to what we need to learn, without getting bogged down in the past, in fear, or in hopelessness. There’s support out there!
The mothers of Earth and the mothers of the waters want to bring each of us into harmony with ourselves and the world around us. The form that harmony can take will vary. Some of us will be offered the opportunity to embrace something new. Some will be encouraged to let something go. We may wish to do both: letting go to make space for the new. The edges will be fuzzy and indistinct. We may need to feel our way, following the guidance we know in our hearts is true without quite being able to see it clearly.
We’re invited to step into deeper waters. Open-hearted, guided by inner wisdom, we can do this.