Astrology 3/12-3/18: Tectonic Drift

Astrology 3/12-3/18: Tectonic Drift

This week begins an interesting, complicated and somewhat chaotic period that will last for the rest of March.  Disparate combinations stain the skies over the coming weeks- good, evil and other mixing freely.  The main players in the drama this week and next are a recently retrograde Mercury and a Grand Earth Trine.  The Grand Earth Trine facilitates big changes to the health and wealth of individuals and collectives while Mercury’s concurrent retrograde adds uncertainty to these tectonic moves.  Let’s break it down.

March’s Grand Earth Trine: Making Change

One of March’s chief features is the powerful Grand Earth Trine.  A Grand Earth Trine is what happens when at least 3 planets in Earth Signs form an equilateral triangle in the Earth’s sky.  These configurations have a powerful impact on material affairs – both fiscal and physical.

The core of March’s Grand Earth Trine is Jupiter in Taurus, Pluto in Capricorn and Mars (retrograde) in Virgo.   Pluto in Capricorn pushes the world to transform outmoded institutions and models, Jupiter in Taurus promises payouts for working in harmony with the required changes, and finally there’s Mars in Virgo retrograde, demanding we fine tune our solutions to the problems arising. These 3 bodies cooperate in order to facilitate changes on a material level.

Add to these three bodies lovely Venus, who is moving toward a conjunction with Jupiter in Taurus.  The auspicious union of Venus and Jupiter on Tuesday night helps to counterbalance some the harsher changes the Grand Earth Trine pushes along, smoothing transitions.  Nonetheless, the ambient difficulties suggested by Pluto and Mars interfere with the good fortune the Venus-Jupiter conjunction would otherwise indicate.

By itself, March’s Grand Earth Trine brings with it the challenge of serious material transformation.  This one is, however, inextricably tied into Mercury’s retrograde, making the challenges harder to define and more difficult to chart a clear course through.

Mercury Retrograde: Volatile Vapors

Mercury stationed retrograde on Sunday the 11th and will be retrograde until April 3rd. This particular Mercury retrograde brings up all the standard issues:  broken cell phones, malfunctioning computers, miscommunications, changing plans, travel issues and the like.  However, the “violently poor decision making” quotient is unusually high this time around.

#Occupy Mercury

Mercury stationed retrograde in inflammatory Aries, only a few degrees away from electric Uranus.  This ups the level of chaos Mercury’s first week retro is likely to spin out. This also ties Mercury into the ongoing Uranus-Pluto squares, bringing the revolutionary people vs. power, freedom vs. order conflicts back into the limelight.  Mercury spends the week closing in on a Sunday conjunction with Uranus.

Words And Deeds

In addition to stationing retrograde atop Uranus, retrograde Mercury is also strongly linked to Mars via a mutual reception relationship.  This rare configuration connects potentially destructive retrograde Mars with Mercury retrograde confusion.  Put simply, it’s the kind of combo that can lead to a lot of unkind words and angry, scared, potentially insane decision-making.  There are a number of fragile situations at hand right now, and thoughtless hostility can easily lead to larger consequences than imagined.

On a more conscious level, this special connection between retrograde Mercury and Mars can be alchemically refined into a series of fundamental changes to the way we understand, generate and express personal power.  It is a chance to break down our thinking and actions to a subatomic level, allowing for deep and lasting insights.  Don’t let yourself be satisfied with just the first layer of analysis, keep digging until all of the data is in.

All Told

This powerful but iffy combination lords over the rest of March, raising and then complicating a number of important issues.

On a macro-level, the rest of March’s configurations will coincide with shifting economic forces and Occupy/Arab Spring-esque social events.  A number of things in the larger world are at a fragile point-  Syria is approaching crisis, Israel and Iran are ever more tense, the Euro’s recent stability is being challenged and people are actually voting for Rick Santorum.  These and other situations are likely to sway one way and then another over the coming weeks, stressing out markets and nations alike.

On a personal level,  just try to work with what’s in play and be careful when addressing interpersonal conflicts. The conditions at hand  generate a deep  pull to seriously reconsider what you’re doing, but its important not to jump the gun initiating big changes.  You can delay transformation, but you can’t rush it.



Horoscopes are not a real chart reading by an experienced astrologer. However, they are fun and can be reasonably accurate. In addition to referring to your Sun sign, read your from Ascendant and Moon if you know them. If you don’t, find out. I’m a long time fan of the free chart generation software at

Oh, and if you’re still concerned that your sign has changed, get a little clarity here.

Aries: The Ram

Mercury’s retrograde turn in Aries marks what may be a very confusing period.   Questions about who you really are and what you really want to be doing abound. The key is to find harmony between attending to practical matters and working through the personal mutations being triggered.  Remember: just because you feel insane it doesn’t mean you have to act insane.

The Grand Earth Trine between Mars, Pluto, Jupiter and Venus emphasizes the importance of your changing financial, physical and professional situations. The Venus-Jupiter conjunction this week highlights the financial opportunities possible during this period.  Keep an eyeball on the prize and try to protect the positive potentials of this period from the ambient chaos.


Taurus: The Bull

Mercury’s turn retrograde in Aries begins a confusing period.  Unconscious thoughts and feelings surge to the surface with surprising force, mingled insight and idiocy.  Take the time to sort things out before acting.

The Grand Earth Trine between Mars, Pluto, Jupiter and Venus emphasizes a series of revisions, changes and upgrades to your understanding of who you are and what you believe.  See the situations which represent the different people you could become.  In the midst of this comes the auspicious conjunction of Venus and Jupiter, reinforcing both the potential for and the fruits of personal growth.


Gemini: The Twins

Mercury’s turn retrograde begins a chaotic period.  The first 2 weeks of Mercury’s retrograde entails radically rethinking your social world, as well as your place in it.

This Grand Earth Trine presses you to make a number of spiritually and emotionally potent changes, targeting the exchanges between yourself and others, family situations and the deeps of your own subconscious.   In the midst of this comes the auspicious conjunction of Venus and Jupiter, highlighting the liquid gold  trying to bubble its way up from your subconscious.


Cancer: The Crab

Mercury’s turn retrograde begins a complicated period, involving a radical rethinking of your professional direction. There may be some exciting changes a bubbling here, though they may take a couple weeks to get sorted out.

The Grand Earth Trine emphasizes action in multiple aspects of your social life – the circles you run in, your close relationships and who you communicate with.  In the midst of this comes the auspicious conjunction of Venus and Jupiter, highlighting the value of being part of the right groups, knowing the right people and having some fine friends.

Leo: The Lion

Mercury’s turns retrograde in Aries  starts off with a reconsideration of your long term goals, but the answer will come later, through a clarified understanding of what resources you have to draw on.

Meanwhile, the Grand Earth Trine emphasizes the action in your financial, physical and professional spheres.  This week’s Venus-Jupiter conjunction points towards golden professional potentials- pay attention, and do your best to shield them from the ambient confusion.


Virgo: The Virgin

Mercury’s turn retrograde in Aries highlights the exchanges of time, money and energy between you and other people.  It’s time to reconsider the give and take in your life.

The Grand Earth Trine involves a series of changes to how you think you are, what you’re doing with your creative energy, and where you see yourself in a few years.  This week’s auspicious conjunction of Venus and Jupiter highlights expanding and increasingly golden horizons, pushing you to see where you could be a little further down the road.


Libra: The Scales

Mercury’s time retrograde will likely call for  some re-engineering in your relationships. You may end up being the calming force in the middle of a blow-up or two. Prepare to play peace-maker.

Meanwhile. the Grand Earth Trine presses you to make a number of spiritual and emotional changes.  This week’s auspicious conjunction of Venus and Jupiter highlights positive exchanges between yourself and others, as well pointing toward potentially golden partnerships.

Scorpio: The Scorpion

Mercury’s turn retrograde prompts you to rethink your fiscal and physical habits.  Though the superficial focus may be on exercising more and spending less, the issue raised is really about how your habits either build up your strength or eat away at it.

Meanwhile, March’s Grand Earth Trine emphasizes changes to your multiple areas of your social life – including acquaintances, the circles you run in, and your close relationships.  Venus’ conjunction with Jupiter this week highlights some pleasant moments between you and the people close to you, highlighting the power of relationships to light up even dark times.


Sagittarius: The Archer

Mercury’s retrograde in Aries asks you to rethink how you’ve allocated your creative energies.  Explore the various alternatives before committing to any particular strategy.

Meanwhile, March’s Grand Earth Trine emphasizes your changing financial, physical and professional situation. This week holds an auspicious moment in this cycle, the conjunction of Venus and Jupiter in Taurus.  This conjunction provides helps lubricate financial frictions and provides some relief from ongoing pressures.

Capricorn: The Goat

Mercury’s retrograde starts with considerations about your living situation as well as familial relationships.  Consider what needs to change about your foundations to put you in a powerful position.

March’s Grand Earth Trine involves a series of changes to how you see yourself,  what you’re doing with creative energy, as well as where you’re headed. This week’s auspicious moment is the conjunction of Venus and Jupiter, highlighting your creative potential and perhaps throwing a bit of luck your way.


Aquarius: The Water Bearer

Mercury’s turn retrograde in Aries  is likely to let loose a few random problems in your day to day schedule.  Beneath the disruptions, there is push to improve your patterns of communication and refine the routes you run on the regular.

Meanwhile, March’s Grand Earth Trine presses you to make important spiritual and emotional changes.  These changes may have their meaning anchored in the abstract, but they’ll likely call for you alter actual behaviors and change situations.  Fortunately, this week’s auspicious conjunction of Venus and Jupiter points towards stabilizing forces surrounding the home and family during an otherwise irksome period.


Pisces: The Fish

Mercury’s turn retrograde in Aries highlights your finances.  There are changes occurring here and other brewing.  Keep your mind open for new ways to make a buck.

Meanwhile, March’s Grand Earth Trine emphasizes and pushes the action in several aspects of your social life – the circles you run in, your close relationships and those you communicate with.  This week’s  conjunction of Venus and Jupiter helps you keep a positive frame of mind amidst the various stresses, and emphasizes the value of a good conversation.


Private Consultations

If you find yourself a little confused by the strange waters of the season, or interested in a personalized map of those yet to come, consider a consultation. For details, click here. Send inquiries to


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Austin Coppock is a writer, esotericist and astrologer based in Ashland, OR. He published paperback Almanacs from 2011-15 but began posting his prognostications online last year, referring to his collection of weekly, monthly, yearly essays and daily delineations as “The Online Almanac”. This work is made possible by his supporters on Patreon. Austin was President of the non-profit organization “Association for Young Astrologers” from 2012-2016. His most recent book is “36 Faces: The History, Astrology and Magic of the Decans”, published by Three Hands Press.


  1. MysD 11 years ago

    great read this week. I am looking for a bit of love from Venus and Jupiter during this March blow-out…sex & money can do wonders

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Astrology 3/12-3/18: Tectonic Drift

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