The Sun enters Aries on March 20th, marking the point of greatest equality between day and night. The war between darkness and light ceases for just a moment, and the inner world is filled with the same momentary equilibrium apparent on the outer. Yet that neutral moment gives way to dramatic repolarization. Huge, collective, imaginal Pisces concedes to fierce, individual and atomized Aries.
The Sun in Aries spends much of the first decan in harsh squares with Mars and Saturn in Capricorn, throwing light across harsh terrain. We will need our hatchets, for the path forward winds through dense forest. Heavy brush below and dense canopy above, the pathways are overgrown and obscure. Insects threaten and predators stalk. We will need to cut our way through.
This landscape requires a machete, yet it also demands patience. A berserker flurry of cuts will not get us past the dense growth, but it will serve to exhaust. What is called for is a vigorous but sustainable pace. The march of the obstacle butcher is slow but relentless.
Yet it is also an opportunity to remember your steel, and to work on your relentlessness. The keys are discipline, patience, and determination. Together, Mars and Saturn point toward difficult situations and harsh measures. Yet a goodly portion of human activity IS harsh. Severity is as much a part of the whole as mildness. Hard and soft, sharp and yielding, the all encompasses both.
When you find yourself in a severe time, consider what severe measures life calls for. You may need to exterminate the termites devouring your home’s foundation. Milder measures, such as an attempt to negotiate with them, will likely not work. Our very immune systems are comprised of cells which destroy the unacceptable life forms inside us, so that we may live another day.
The same is true of human world. We are capable of and required to act in both severe and mild ways. Most of us eat slaughtered animals for sustenance daily, yet are horrified watching the butcher’s work. People often have a difficult time seeing the violence life necessarily entails in order to sustain itself; And when they do, they often obsess on it, imagining the world as a caricature of a cheap horror movie. Though this charnel vision has a certain aesthetic power, it is only a portion of the real, and does not adequately represent the whole.
These spectacle of the “savagery of nature” distorts our perspective, and ruins our capacity for nuanced understanding. It also makes us more ineffective when we are in a position which requires severity. A gangrenous leg left unamputated is a torturous death sentence. A cow merely wounded is neither happy nor dinner. The tree half-felled dies without benefit to the carpenter. Our capacity for tenderness is a treasure, and so too, our hardness. In the end, the appropriate application of both is not only efficacious, it is compassionate.
While they certainly exist, few situations rarely call for the archetypal extremes of mildness and severity. What is necessary is a particular blend of the two, as is appropriate to the situation. What an artful life actually requires is the combining of hard and soft. Few systems show this better than the sophisticated I Ching, whose 64 patterns are the result of yin and yang combined in a binary six-levels deep. Yet one must be capable of each extreme to combine them. Without the capacity for both mercy and severity, there is no dynamism, no electric charge, no choice in the matter.
The Sun rolls into your sign on the 20th, where it joins Venus and Mercury. The three shine their collected light upon you, spotlighting the point on the journey to which you have come. While the Sun affirms, Mercury has questions. The tricky planet’s retrograde station on the 22nd asks you to examine the way you think about yourself. Listen to the words you use to describe yourself, to communicate yourself. It may be useful to remember that you, like everyone else, are bigger than words can contain. Your reality is not wholly transmissible, and that’s okay.
While Mercury points to communication and identity, the Sun’s aspects to Mars and Saturn shine on the professional challenges afoot. Questions about identity may have to take a temporary back seat to whatever needed to get done yesterday.
The Sun joins Venus and Mercury in Aries, all three of which point to questions of personal power. Mercury’s retrograde station there on the 22nd raises specters of powerlessness, as well as visions of power abused. They are a vicious pair, as they co-create each other. The powerful fear becoming the powerless, and so cling all the tighter. The powerless resent the powerful, and so reject what potency is theirs, for fear they might become the tyrant. Reserve a portion of your time to consider the right use of power, and what that might look like when enacted.
The Sun, Venus and Mercury in Aries all spotlight your social life, busying your calendar and communications. Mercury’s retrograde station here may snarl or delay transmissions, but it may also bring important, lost messages to your inbox. Mercury also sets the stage to cull a few unnecessary connections, perhaps to make room for you to reinstate those neglected back into a place of honor. Some of these alterations may be easy, but others will ask you to consider debts owed and expectations thwarted. Take the time to consider your connections before making lasting changes. This retrograde will last until the middle of April, and there’s no reason not to be similarly leisurely in your considerations.
The Sun, Venus and Mercury in Aries all cast their light onto your professional life. While the Sun’s rays serve to both illuminate and animate, Mercury’s light is more fickle. The tricky planet stations retrograde on the 22nd, signaling the potential for tangled wires at work and bringing up larger questions about your professional life. Consider, in particular, the way you think about your work, as the way you conceptualize it has a tremendous impact on your daily experience of it. Though Mars and Saturn may distract you with other people’s problems during this span of days, reserve a little head-space to contemplate both the idea and experience of work.
The Sun, Venus and Mercury in Aries all point toward long-term matters. Their combined light illuminates not just where you are, but where you’re heading. Mercury’s retrograde station brings up questions about the pathway you’re currently on. While you’re hacking your way through the jungle of daily labor, consider where your effort is taking you, and whether there might not be a simpler path to the same destination.
The Sun, Venus and Mercury in Aries all point toward exchanges of time, money and energy between yourself and other people. Mercury’s retrograde station, in particular, raises questions about those back-and-forths. Here the question of empowerment tangles with matters of dependence and exchange. Learning to accept power loaned or given by others is crucial, as life is not a one-player game. Likewise, we empower ourselves by giving of our strength to others. Nonetheless, these happy borrowings get easily tangled with inequity and resentment. Cast an eye toward your exchanges and expectations, for there may be something crucial there to sort out.
Saturn and Mars spend this decan stressing the challenges of home and family, while the Sun shines on your relationships. Venus and Mercury also concern themselves with your affiliations. There may be some disruption of business as usual in this area, throwing dynamics into question. Mercury’s retrograde asks you to reconsider your thinking about the people in your life, as well as the patterns of communication which link you to them. Some words you’ve been holding in may slip out, or you may find yourself witness to similar confessions from those close to you.
While Saturn and Mars weigh heavy on your schedule, the Sun, Venus and Mercury in Aries shine a spotlight onto your habits. Mercury, who stations retrograde on the 22nd, brings your usual patterns up for questioning. Consider what you routinely do, as well as what you regularly neglect. Each of these actions and inactions is a drop in the bucket, and that bucket is the one you’re stuck drinking from. Consider what patterns you have on autopilot, and beginning gathering data for a system overhaul.
While Mars and Saturn continue to stress the financial, the Sun’s entrance into Aries is likely to stir your creative energies, while Mercury’s retrograde station in the same sign raises questions about what you’re spending your mojo on.
Practical matters may distract from these higher-tier creative concerns, but the questions surrounding both the source and use of your creative power will remain for several weeks. Consider what replenishes your capacity for vision and imagination.
The Sun’s entrance into Aries turns the solar spotlight on to your living situation and family dynamics, and Mercury’s retrograde station in the Ram’s sign raises questions about the same. Questions and confusions about your living situation may well emerge, whether it is electrical problems or misunderstanding with a landlord. In addition to figuring out this detail or that of your housing, Mercury may also bring familial dynamics into question. It may be that your origin-story needs a rewrite.
The Sun’s entrance into Aries illuminates the activities which stock your calendar. Mercury’s retrograde station in Aries doubles this focus, asking you to take another look at how you handle your time. Disruptions, delays and forced marches are suggested by Mars and Saturn, but underneath whatever temporary inconveniences emerge, there are important questions about how you structure your days. Mercury’s retrograde station on the 22nd poses this question, but does not expect, or even want, a quick answer. As you walk these days, make a note of what you’re spending your time on. You needn’t rush to judgment — that will emerge naturally in the process of writing down what you’ve done. Do this practice until the Sun-Mercury conjunction on April 1st, and your mind will be bursting with improvements.
The Sun’s entrance into Aries brings an equinoctial spotlight to your finances. Mercury’s retrograde station in the Ram’s sign also concerns what you possess, but the light that it shines is a more critical one. The retrograde period, which begins on the 22nd and endures until April 15th, may contain some financial surprises. Yet a little accounting will likely go a long way toward minimizing costly mistakes. Furthermore, you may discover a happy surprise in what you’ve avoided.
While Mercury looks through your books, Mars and Saturn point toward the social networks and communities to which you belong in a rather negative light. Take note of people’s less flattering qualities, but remember to pause before you take the cleaver to a connection.