The monthly Skywatch article is now posted on my website, and here is the planetary news for the beginning of March.

March begins with a continuation of the stellium of five planets in Aquarius. A stellium is a cluster of three or more planets that all interact tightly together, fusing their energies and becoming more powerful as a group than they would be individually.

Aquarius is ruled by both Saturn (the ancient ruler) and Uranus (the modern ruler), and those two planets are opposing each other in the sky right now, an aspect that will be in effect over the next year or so. From a spiritual perspective, Aquarius embodies both the power to create form of Saturn and the power to out of form of Uranus. There is therefore a constant pressure for evolution embodied in the Aquarian archetype.

Aquarius/Uranus is the revolutionary thinker – the brilliant mind that puts aside conventional wisdom in order to create something entirely new. The Uranian side of Aquarius is the inventor, the revolutionary and the futurist; the Saturnian side of Aquarius has a more fixed ideal of the way that life should unfold, and while exhibiting an impeccable fairness. This dichotomy is the underlying planetary influence over the next few weeks.

On March 1 Mercury (the mind) forms an exact conjunction to Mars (the aggressive instinct), with both planets in Aquarius. This is a short but lively period that will have passed by the 2nd, but which offers a heightened mental energy that can be very useful for projects that involve writing and communication. We may feel more argumentative than usual now, or we may find that others are the angry ones.

Over the next few days Mercury (communication and mental energy) will pass by both Chiron (the Wounded Healer) and Neptune (our experience of soul and spirit). The combination of Chiron and Neptune is bringing our attention to the need to heal the wounds of the past (Chiron) in order to truly be able to experience our inner world at the soul level (Neptune), and Mercury is activating this process until the 5th.

At the same time, Mars is moving closer to conjunct Chiron on the 5th which will tend to aggravate areas of our life where we feel sensitive and vulnerable. Mars energy can be somewhat ruthless when it touches the hypersensitive emotional wounds from the past, and the process of releasing these (Chironic) wounds can be intensified. Mars will pass by Neptune on the 8th, and until the 9th we may feel a bit unbalanced if we are still in the middle of the Chironic process which requires us to revisit the wounds of the past in order to release them. This isn’t an easy process but it’s an extremely valuable one that helps us to move forward with greater wisdom and freedom.

Venus turns retrograde on March 6. Unlike the outer planets and Mercury, Venus retrogrades only once every eighteen months or so. The effect of Venus is usually soft and rather fleeting so we normally barely take notice of Venus transits. When any planet turns retrograde, though, it tends to get our attention. Venus is in Aries now, adding the fire of that Mars-ruled sign to the way we relate to others and express our tastes and aesthetics.

Normally Venus is only in Aries for a month or so, but due to its retrograde travel this month Venus will remain in Aries until the middle of April when it will slip into the last degree of Pisces for a couple of weeks before re-entering Aries where it will remain until early May. Under the influence of Aries, all of our relationships and dealings with others have a heightened magnetism and exuberance, as well as an increased interest in self-preservation. While Venus is retrograde, though, it may become more difficult to express ourselves in our dealing with others, and we may find ourselves needing to go back and take care of unfinished business with an old friend, lover, or business associate.

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