Mercury is the last of the planets to meet with Saturn in Aquarius, by Mar 2. This testing of our new plans will likely feel like a chore at this point. Yet without testing, we cannot know if it will work. Venus is conjunct Jupiter on the same day, so this is more enjoyable, at least. Venus is exalted in Pisces, with Jupiter welcoming it to its home. There are likely many positive expressions of this, a sense that we have might as well enjoy whatever is happening - and find more meaning in it. The downside is overindulgence, or escapism, especially as Neptune gets in on the act.
Mars finally makes it out of Taurus by Mar 12, having first entered the sign in Aug 2022. It then moves past the point it began to backtrack by Mar 17. Whatever plans or projects that were put on hold can now move forward. The planet of war moving forward may mean just that, of course. After many weeks of stalling, it could lead to an escalation and break down of talks. Mars in Gemini must talk, however, no matter how much is dislikes it. At least Mars is now in a helpful relationship with a powerful Saturn in Aquarius, both in air signs. This can lead to some advancements, as new ideas are thrashed out in a more constructive manner.
Venus moves into Mars’ sign Aries by Mar 12, joining Rahu and Uranus placed therein. After a period of Venus in exaltation in early March, Venus joining the distorted Rahu and surprising Uranus may further inflate situations for better or worse. The economy is likely to go through major ups and downs from this point.
Mercury takes a dip into Pisces by Mar 16, conjunct Neptune as soon as it does so. This may leave us feeling completely perplexed as to what is happening. Although Jupiter’s transit in Pisces is a mitigating factor, allowing us to tune into our inner knowing, the facts and figures may not tally with what we sense is right.
The Sun in Pisces from Mar 14 is another indication of a reset and ending before starting over. A big reset takes place on the New Moon in Pisces on Mar 21. This is the Lunar New Year in the Vedic calendar.
Venus meets with Uranus in Aries by Mar 30, as Mercury moves into Aries by Mar 31, and Jupiter reaches the end of Pisces in April, too. All the planets move into Aries by the end of April, reflecting many new beginnings. Yet Jupiter is hidden by the rays of the Sun in transition. This may show more obvious challenges with the economy, as well as opportunities for more meaningful pursuits. Righteousness may be challenged, but Jupiter’s inner strength guides us forward.
Venus in Pisces Feb 15 - Mar 12
The first week of March is when we see Venus move to its degree of exaltation, exact on Mar 10. This is certainly a sweet spot in the year. Venus in Pisces reflects our ability to be happy, whatever is happening in the world around us.
Venus conjoins Jupiter on Mar 2, potentially leading to too much of a good thing. The fact that this occurs with Venus and Jupiter hemmed in between Saturn in Aquarius and Rahu in Aries suggests we may overindulge because we feel stuck and stressed somewhere.
It may be a dietary indulgence (Aquarius rising or Moon), or hope for something better (Cancer rising or Moon), but whatever it is for you, make sure you are not overdoing it and copping out. By doing so, you actually prevent yourself from experiencing the best of what this configuration has to offer. And there is much on offer here.
Many times, we give in to our most primitive instincts (Rahu) through a fear of lack (Saturn), and then actually create more lack. We could call it ironic if it weren't so tragic.
Feelings of being stuck aside, Venus in Pisces is a time of year to feel the appreciation for whatever, and whomever, we have in our lives. Its conjunction with Jupiter adds to the potential for feeling grateful.
The more grateful we are, the more we get, simply because we are 'giving thanks'. When we complain, even if there is just cause, we are taking away from the situation or from someone. We don't get anything back from that.
Depending on the cycle you are currently experiencing, you will be more in tune with either of these impulses. Those in Venus and Jupiter cycles are likely to feel more appreciative, more grateful - even if they feel more stuck! Those in Saturn or Rahu cycles may not be able to see what's to be grateful for, with these planets keeping them busy looking at what's stuck.
It's time to 'stop and smell the roses', to see the good in any situation, no matter what it is. But it's also a good idea to accept if you cannot, and love yourself regardless. This is the strength of Venus in exaltation: seeing the good in everyone and everything, including yourself.
The downside of Venus in exaltation is setting the bar so high that no one and no thing could ever reach your expectations.
Love it all, anyway, and it will love you back.
Mercury in Aquarius Feb 27 - Mar 16
Just as Venus conjoins Jupiter on Mar 2, Mercury conjoins Saturn. This can temper the overindulgences mentioned above, as our thoughts firmly focus on the consequences.
Mercury-Saturn in Aquarius is more 'dry', more detached and objective, more theoretical and scientific. Yet there is another side to Aquarius that is not often talked about; that is, it's the water-bearer. Although an air sign, it's the recognition that air holds moisture, that thoughts have within them feelings; that feelings are actually the driver of our thoughts.
And yet, Mercury in air signs does so well because it can be more objective - not completely, but more so. Mercury and Saturn are seen to be the least emotional, as they are more connected to the air and earth signs. Yet Venus, the primary planet related to the water element, also rules an air and an earth sign. Air signs show desires, while earth signs are about manifestation. We can desire all we want, but unless and until we rationally apply our intelligence (Mercury) and work at it (Saturn), we are unlikely to make it happen.
So, use all of these conjunctions, Mercury-Saturn, Venus-Jupiter - all of you - to make something happen. Allow any kind of intense desire combined with feeling stuck be the 'creative tension' (thanks for that one, Sharon!), to actualize it. Then, take a step back from what you have created and ask yourself if it is truly what you want; if it is what your 'higher self' wants, including what everyone else wants.
When we are more attuned to the whole, we get what we want as the One who is giving gets everything.
Full Moon in Leo (Pūrvaphalgunī) Mar 7
There are some more enjoyable indications for a Full Moon in Leo and the creative Pūrvaphalgunī. But, just as with the exalted Venus conjunct Jupiter in Pisces, there are some things to be mindful of. Mars, Saturn, and Rahu all have a close eye on the Full Moon. As mentioned for the Venus-Jupiter thing previously, we need to be mindful of overdoing it if we feel stressed around this Full Moon.
Those in a period of Mars and/or Saturn and/or Rahu are likely to feel the stress more so, but how this gets labelled makes all the difference. Stress is not always a bad thing. It's a motivator.
We can all feel the pressure of the Saturn-Sun conjunction through the first couple of weeks of March. This means we must find a place for both our light and dark, our confidence, and lack thereof, as the Moon opposes the Sun.
We can work hard on something even if we doubt ourselves. Actually, we're more likely to work harder at it when we doubt. When don't work as hard when it comes easy. And while that kind of flow feels more natural to us, the hard work we put in before we get to flow is as important. In other words, Saturn is as important as Jupiter in making anything happen. Problems arise when we question and doubt too much. We cannot acheive anything in such a state.
The Sun in Aquarius is about finding confidence in uncertainty and change, that others are there for us when we are there for them; when we align with the greater good. And yet, if we don't have a unique contribution, we have nothing to offer others. Sun in Aquarius is asking for our unique contribution, but not to get carried away with notions of grandeur if we offer something great.
A Full Moon in Leo is about connecting to what lights us up inside. Our feelings need to be heard, but we must acknowledge everyone else in the room with the Sun in the opposite Aquarius, bouncing our idea off of them. The more we can do that, the more confidence we can tap into. The less we do that, the less energy we have to sustain our ego's need for recognition.
There may be only one Sun in our solar system, but we all have to share it!
Mars in Gemini Mar 12 - May 10
Okay. At. Last. Mars moves out of Taurus. Jeez. This has been a long haul, a massive trek through the mud. It's been a hike with so many twists and turns, so much to negotiate with others, that its a wonder we made it through without imploding.
Okay. I'm obviously reflecting on my own experience here. That aside, Mars is now moving on for us all, whatever frustrations you were dealing with because of its backtracking through a sign it does not function so easily in. Mars in Taurus must compromise with others, where the natural impulse for Mars is to just do it regardless of what anyone thinks.
Thinking -now there's another problem for Mars! Mars in Gemini shows we must think more than we may want to. We must also cooperate in yet another sign Mars doesn't express itself freely in. But at least it's another sign - another thing to work out. Things are moving on.
Mars in Gemini is asked to communicate effectively, without getting caught up in arguments or debates that go nowhere; at least, according to its needs.
Mars and Mercury have an 'interesting' relationship. Basically, they don't get along. Mars is about action. Mercury is about deliberating. Action requires, well, action. Talk is cheap for Mars. Yet these two can work together by thinking about what to do and then doing it with a cool, clear head.
By the end of March, Mercury and Mars move into an even more intimate relationship and have more potential of working together more productively. As Mercury enters Aries by Mar 31, it will exchange signs with Mars in Gemini, in a friendlier and cooperative way. It may not be easy for everyone, but those with Gemini, Leo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, and Pisces prominent should find it easier to cooperate. The rest may have a little more to work out.
We all have all the signs from some perspective, of course, so it's always a mixed bag. You may feel challenged to cooperative about something, but find it easier with something else.
Mars moves out of its 'shadow phase' by Mar 17, past the point it began to backtrack at the end of October last year. This should feel good for those who like to move forward with plans, i.e., everyone of us! Yet it doesn't mean we are not challenged in doing so. Mars is always challenging. That's what builds strength.
But we must be aware of the need for rest when we feel to challenged, and how much we can take. Mars in Gemini is like a live wire, where the nervous energy creates a lot of excitement and tension. How you use it makes all the difference. But if you cannot put it aside, you may not be as effective when it comes to taking the necessary action. This is the downside of Mars in Gemini.
You may end up thinking of all the challenges you are facing that, by the time you get to do something about it, you're spent! It's as important to be able to switch off the nervous energy, so you can get back to it with more gusto after you have recharged.
You wouldn't expect your tech devices to continually work without charging them up every so often, so why expect it from yourself?!
Mars in Gemini is great for communicating directly about what needs to be said, without beating anyone up about it, including yourself. State your case and listen for the reaction from others, so you can adjust your tone. You get more of what you want from others when you communicate better. This includes listening as much as expressing yourself.
Venus in Aries Mar 12 - Apr 6
Venus is no longer willing to meander or take time to appreciate the finer things in life. In Aries, it's ready for action! Yet Venus meets with Rahu and Uranus in Aries, and into an aspect from Saturn, so actions are likely to bring surprises and rebuttals, maybe even shocking events that ask us to take a step back.
Venus in Aries is passionate. Venus conjoined Rahu, exact on Mar 21, is too much. It can show huge spikes and dips, in how we feel. The economy is likely to do something extreme at this point, as our relations, whether personal or global.
The Venus-Rahu conjunction just so happens to be the New Moon and New Lunar Year. This means, Venus-Rahu in Aries is a signature for the year ahead. This is likely to be expressed in economic ups and downs due to war, but it will play out differently in various parts of the world depending on where this is placed for each country (see some below).
Venus conjoins Uranus by Mar 30, before moving into its own sign Taurus in April. Before we get to another sweet spot in the year, we have a bumpy road ahead by the end of March, it seems.
Sun in Pisces Mar 14 - Apr 13
As the Sun enters Pisces, it leaves behind Saturn's sign, and Saturn, for the first time since the beginning of the year. This is always a welcomed transition in the year. January through mid-March is always a bit of a long trek. This year, as was the case since the beginning of 2020, felt even more arduous because of Saturn being co-present.
Now the Sun moves into Pisces, with Venus having been through here recently, and Jupiter continuing through until the end of April, we can certainly feel more optimistic at this point.
The issue now is that Jupiter is moving into combustion, hidden behind the rays of the Sun, exact into April. As it does this while itself in transition into Aries by the end of April, it may feel like the optimism we sense does not have any grounding in what is happening in the world around us. Yet a combust planet is asking us to look without, when all seems lost without.
The Sun conjoins Neptune as it enters Pisces, exact on Mar 15, with Mercury moving in and conjoining Neptune by Mar 16. Whatever you are optimistic about, the picture may seem unclear at this stage.
Saturn in Śatabhiṣaj Mar 14 - Oct 15, 2023 + Nov 23, 2023 - Apr 6, 2024
Saturn enters Śatabhiṣaj by the middle of March, and into the lunar mansion in the middle of Sidereal Aquarius. This marks an important shift within the sign, as it ingresses into Tropical Pisces.
I've noted over the years that astrologers who use Tropical calculations often refer to events occuring when planets transit the end of the Tropical sign. That's because as planets reach the last 6 degrees of a Tropical sign they enter the Sidereal sign of the same name. Of course, they're not the same signs.
I've also noted how the 3 lunar mansions that are evenly split between signs, the 'Mars lunar mansions', Mṛgaśīrṣā, Citrā, and Dhaniṣṭhā, connect both the Sidereal and Tropical signs: Taurus-Gemini, Virgo-Libra, and Capricorn-Aquarius. When planets move out of any of these lunar mansions they have reached the 6-degree mark of the Sidereal sign, which is the beginning of the next Tropical sign, e.g. when Saturn moves into Tropical Pisces in March, it will leave Dhaniṣṭhā in Aquarius and move into Śatabhiṣaj.
I mention this because you are likely to hear a lot from astrologers, mostly from the Western traditions, about Saturn's ingress into Tropical Pisces in March. This correlates with Śatabhiṣaj in sidereal Aquarius. And indeed, the themes are similar.
Śatabhiṣaj and Pisces are both confusing. They blend things together in a way that is hard to fathom. And they include everything, as everything is included from a deeper perspective. The themes of inclusion are going to be prominent for the following year, but so is the theme of exclusion, as Saturn brings up the problems to be solved.
The last time Saturn was here saw a lot of humanitarian issues and social rights movements, e.g. civil rights movements. We're likely to see more of the same in the coming year.
One of the important significations of Śatabhiṣaj is health and healing, for which Saturn is likely to put in place regulations and systems to keep things orderly. Healthcare was a big theme of Saturn's last transit here in the 90s. Yet the order imposed may also be because of a sense of a lack of order, which can then become rigid. Aquarius is as fixed sign, after all. Saturn's inclusion can stress the issues. It's also an air sign. Fixed air can express itself as rigid thinking, or thinking that progress can only be made in such and such a way.
The other key aspect of Saturn in Śatabhiṣaj is related to the deity that rules over it; that is, Varuna, the god of the oceans. This refers to the spiritual realms and awakening, but also points to the depths of the unconscious, as reflected in the deep. This is yet another connection with Tropical Pisces. Another, more obvious, expression of Saturn's transit here is water-related problems, contamination etc., like we've seen in Ohio.
Varuna may be the god of the deep oceans, but Aquarius is also an air sign. So, airborne containments are another expression as we have already seen.
The symbol for Śatabhiṣaj is an empty circle, representing the 'dark Sun', which relates to both Saturn and Rahu, both of which have more of a connection to this lunar mansion and sign, opposite the Sun's sign, Leo.
We're likely to see more conflicts between order and disorder (Saturn and Rahu), as well as between these planets and the Sun. This is likely to be expressed in those challenging leaders and governments which attempt to maintain some sort of order in times of great progress and change.
By the way, you'll also be hearing from Tropical astrologers of Pluto's ingress into Tropical Aquarius in March, because Pluto has now reached the 6-degree mark of Sidereal Capricorn. Just as and when Pluto first entered Sidereal Capricorn, Pluto's transit in 'both zodiacs' in Capricorn since 2020 has shown the collapse of the current system. It won't be until Pluto has reached the end of Sidereal Capricorn, when it enters Sidereal Aquarius in 2040, that we're likely to see more tangible events for which Pluto in Tropical Aquarius has set the stage for. This is how both systems work, but only if you are open to both. If not, you're only going to see what doesn't work and put down the other. This is a modern-day tragedy in astrology circles.
And if there isn't an argument about which zodiac to use, there's an argument about house systems! If you haven't been following it, there's been yet another series of debates/arguments about the use of 'Whole-Sign Houses' amongst prominent Western astrologers.
Back to the here and now. Saturn creates stability, but while it associates with Rahu, instability is often expressed. It's still a need for stability, however. It's just it gets there by shaking things up first. We must move beyond what used to be appropriate to maintain stability.
One more obvious example of Saturn's instability is likely to be worse storms and winds than there have been in recent years. The recent toxic explosions in Ohio is just one example of these kinds of configurations.
We're likely to see more seismic activity as well. Things that collapse now are rebuilt differently later. The things we built on instable foundations, whether literally or figuratively, show their inability to withstand the shake up. The last time Saturn was here 30 years ago saw the longest hurricane on record. If nothing else, Saturn in Aquarius is consistent!
Things are going to change in a big way as Saturn continues to transit through Aquarius. Many things will evolve. The change is absolutely necessary. The sooner we get on board, the sooner we can make the changes work for us.
Look at the house position of Aquarius from your rising sign to see where changes are occuring - and from your Moon sign to see how you feel about it; what you would like to change on some level.
Read an article I wrote about Saturn's transit through Aquarius here
Mercury in Pisces Mar 16 - 31
Mercury moves into its sign of debilitation for the end of the month. Thankfully, this is a brief transit and Jupiter is in Pisces, mitigating Mercury's weakness to a large degree. However, we must still be aware of the mind being frazzled and unable to cope.
Mercury conjoins Neptune as soon as it enters the sign, on Mar 16, so this can be even more confusing. Confusion is not a feeling, it's a state of mind. Remind yourself of this if you 'feel confused'. Yet feelings can be confused, can't they? This is why Mercury has such a hard time with Pisces. The mind cannot fathom why we can feel this way and that at the same time.
The two fish swimming in different directions shows the many things we think and feel at this point, as well as the things that are happening around us and the things going on in our minds. There is great potential here, especially when we acknowledge the undercurrents. We can use them to get to where we need to be. And we can, just like a shoal of fish, move with the energy of the whole, our whole being, including ourselves in the whole of our potential, which is forever combined with everyone else's.
Mercury conjoins Jupiter by exact degree on Mar 28, at which time Jupiter is moving into combustion, hidden from our view. It's at this point of transition, from one stage to the next, and from the inner world to the outer, that we must hold on to the more important indication of all of these indications: faith.
The more we can look within when all around us is confused and lost, the more we can centre ourselves in what always has an eye on what must always be.
On a practical note: Mercury in Pisces is likely to create all kinds of arbitrary situations. We may feel tossed about on the seas of change and unsure as to how to plan our lives effectively. Let go, and all is well. Hold on and you're likely to feel beaten up by the currents.
New Moon in Pisces (Uttara Bhādrapada) Mar 21
This New Moon is a special one in the Vedic calendar. It is used to see the themes of the year ahead, a New Lunar Year. Though all the alignments line up differently depending on your location, there are some general themes we can observe.
The major theme of the year is that progress has started but we are new to it and don't know how to use it. We may feel stuck in something, no matter how enjoyable it is, not knowing how to progress. Yet we cannot go back to the way things were.
This is reflected in the 'scissors yoga' or Papa Katari, as the Sun, Moon, Mercury, Jupiter, and Neptune transit between Saturn and Rahu.
Another striking alignment is the Venus-Rahu exact conjunction (mean node), which likely means a highly volatile year for the economy and global relations. This may even mean war on a bigger scale, as well as the economic propping up and eventual downfall.
Personally, we are asked to think differently about our finances, maybe even change them completely, as well as how we interact with others, in our personal and professional lives.
Yet despite these challenges, or perhaps because of them, there is hope. And while Kishori tells us that hope is an "unword", and actually points to a lack of allowing, we can use it to open the floodgates and let what is dying to come through to flow. I'm using this analogy very purposefully, when we consider this alignment and the need to contain it within Pisces. Weather and floods, as well as containment of leaks, are likely to play a big part of the year ahead.
Where this all lines up makes a difference, of course. A chart is calculated for each country based on the capital city and the timing of the New Moon. The charts I have included are for London (above), which is the same rising sign for Dublin (Leo), with Washington DC, Beijing, and Moscow below.
What may feel stuck is different for each country and region, with the U.S. tackling leaderships issues, China, homeland security, and Russia, not surprisingly, direct confrontation. This is the same for Ukraine and central European countries, as the New Moon is hemmed in in the 7th house of these charts.
Saturn and Rahu's interactions with these planets and New Moon may show things are stuck, which may express itself an entrenched situations in the war.
Leadership in countries more directly involved in the war are likely to be challenged as Mars sits in the 10th house of Gemini as the 3rd and 8th lord. This could be an outright challenge and attack or more blustering rhetoric, depending.
In each and everyone of these charts, the Venus-Rahu conjunction impacts financial concerns. Again, no surprise there, I guess. But it means that each region experiences and handles the ups and downs differently.
I'll do more on these charts but if you have a country not listed you would like me to look at, let me know.
Śobhakṛta Year Mar 2023 - Apr 2024
The samvatsara refers to the 60 'Jovian years'. These are due to the transits of Jupiter and Saturn. Every 60 years, Jupiter and Saturn return to same relationship they were in 60 years previous. Each year has a particular theme. When someone is born during a particular year, it begins the 60-year cycle once again around the age of 60.
The upcoming Jovian year is called Śobhakṛta or Śobhana. It begins on Mar 21, 2023 and ends on the next New Moon in Pisces on Apr 8, 2024.
According to Jataka Parijata, the person born in the year Śobhakṛta will be "wise, possessed of royal virtues and fond of learned pursuits." Śobhana means 'lustre', 'light', 'graceful' and 'good'.
The Jovian year cannot be the only thing to see the themes based on the transits for the year, but it does look like more 'hopeful' than more recent years, at least. Again, I am reminded that where there is hope, there is fear; that there is much of both for the New Year.
Happy New Lunar Year, everyone!
Om Tat Sat
All calculations are based on the sidereal zodiac and UTC.