New Moon in Pisces
The dreamy vision reverberating in mind, the eyes catch the mirrored sunlight caressing the waves from the deep. Colors transfigure the sky, undulating with hues bringing passing magic to the senses. We call it a brainstorm, the inspiration of inhaling divine guidance. What comes next reveals the intersection between internal and external realms, the circumstances of our lives and our motivation to dedicate time and effort into manifesting a fragment of what our soul beheld in quiet, secretive contemplation. The New Moon in Pisces on March 17 is a gate through which we enter an intensified quality of time, one which demands focused follow through if we wish to bring the inner workings of psyche into reality.
The New Moon is united with Chiron in Pisces and forms a catalytic square with Mars at the very, very end of Sagittarius. Mars will enter Capricorn only a few hours after the lunation, and so the freshly waxing Moon will be in Aries when it forms an exact square with Mars later in the day. Mars will therefore receive the reinvigorated dark Moon into its exaltation of Capricorn, and as the Moon continues to build toward new light it will find itself contained within squares with both Mars and Saturn in Capricorn. Mars and Saturn glow these days as Morning Stars, full of essential dignity to bring about their significations in the empowered sign of the Sea Goat. These combined influences on the New Moon in Pisces bring the inner fortitude required to bear the challenges and wounds of temporal matter in order to work toward sturdy development of goals.
The waters of Pisces wash ashore a seed that needs tending care yet has the resiliency to put down roots and bloom in even the harshest conditions. In fact it may just be the difficulties of the surrounding environment that help to foster a beauty of form more unique than could happen anywhere else. Plans enacted now will necessitate the type of mutable flexibility the sign of Pisces has been long renowned for, a capacity for shifting with fertile readiness to the angelic guidance found in the moment.
Jupiter rules the New Moon having recently shifted into slow retrograde movement in Scorpio. Interestingly, at the very moment of the New Moon perfecting, Jupiter will be ruling the New Moon in Pisces as well as Mars at the very end of Sagittarius. Significantly, the New Moon is separating from a trine with Jupiter, signifying a cherished vision or illuminated wisdom we are carrying forward into the coming lunar cycle. Jupiter these days has a slow, churning, inwardly directed focus and is applying toward a sextile with Pluto in Capricorn that will perfect April 14. The month following the New Moon will be an intense brewing of Jupiter and Pluto supporting a purging of inauthentic influences and a deepening of feeling into innermost yearnings.
Jupiter in Scorpio is in the middle of its most intense engagement with Pluto in Capricorn, having first formed an exact sextile with Pluto on January 15. Jupiter has been harmoniously engaging with Pluto for the entirety of 2018, and after they begin to separate from one another toward the end of April, they will return to engage a final time again in August and September. As always with Pluto we may experience secrets being revealed, taboos tested, and an initiatory journey, yet the supportive sextile formed with Jupiter suggests the underworld treasure and richness also associated with Pluto can be discovered.
These influences on the Pisces New Moon signify the importance of persisting toward goals aligned with inner essence rather than external influences of acculturation that are out of alignment. This is of supreme importance for just as Jupiter is slowly peeling back toward Pluto, Mars and Saturn are blazing a trail forward to Pluto in Capricorn.
In the wake of the New Moon, Mars will both move out of bounds by declination and also enter into Capricorn. Mars out of bounds is wilder, fiercely more independent and willful than Mars would otherwise be in Capricorn, while also applying to a conjunction with Saturn. Capricorn is the exaltation of Mars, the nocturnal and earthy home of Saturn that tempers the inflammatory tendencies of the red planet. Mars out of bounds in its exaltation is the wandering heretic genius who not only operates outside the confines of status quo conditioning, but also embodies the savvy wherewithal to strategize and effectively organize timeframes for work. Mars wants the freedom to act out dynamic potential and has the motivation to seek outlets for expression. Finding channels for Mars expression will be essential.
Mars will remain out of bounds until the first week of April, and it is on April 1 that it will form its exact conjunction with Saturn. Mars will not unite with Pluto until the end of April, and so although that alignment is over a month away, as soon as Mars enters Capricorn we will begin to feel the intensity of its eventual perfection. In terms of collective events, there is no sugar coating the numerous tragedies that will be told in correspondence. However, within protected personal spheres there will be opportunities to initiate and develop vital work. Projects built under the intense eyes of Mars, Saturn, and Pluto may develop at a slower pace but will ultimately possess profound persistence to survive over the long haul.
Thus the 2018 narrative takes a dramatic turn at the Pisces New Moon, as the forces of Mars, Saturn, and Pluto promise a meeting with our nemesis and a forging of inner fire in response. While being one of the most challenging periods of the year, it will also be a timeframe that can lead to immense growth in strength and aptitude.
Fire will be found in the twilight of sunset in the forms of radiant Venus and glittering Mercury glowing bright. Mercury is beginning to descend from maximum elongation as an Evening Star at the Pisces New Moon, falling lower toward the horizon each day as it approaches its upcoming retrograde period. Mercury will station retrograde following the Aries Equinox on March 22, meaning that the Pisces New Moon contains both the rebirth of the equinox as well as the regeneration of Mercury retrograde within its lunar cycle. As a result we must be ready for the numerous twists, turns, and unexpected events that will accompany a Mercury retrograde period that looks to be more volatile than normal.
Take pleasure in the sunsets surrounding the New Moon, for the lack of moonlight will darken the backdrop of Mercury and Venus shining bright together in twilight. As delightful as Mercury and Venus appear together in the sky, within the aspects of the astrological atmosphere they are in a challenging position of forming a whole sign square to the intense Capricorn conglomerate of Pluto, Saturn, and Mars. After the Sun enters Aries on the equinox, we can add our solar light to the side of Venus and Mercury facing off with the Capricorn heavyweights. While the Sun, Venus and Mercury together in Aries incite desires for freely boundless expression, the tension coming from Capricorn planets demands channeling expression through contained forms.
We have been presented with an extended period to integrate the heartfelt values of Venus with the mental reasoning and expression of Mercury: Mercury and Venus recently united on March 4 and will again on March 19. The present union of Venus and Mercury is forming a trine to the North Node of the Moon in Leo and a sextile to the South Node of the Moon in Aquarius. The fiery determination and willfulness of Venus and Mercury in Aries presents new choices to be made that are in greater alignment with our authentic path. As Venus and Mars are in the home of Mars, and Mars will be applying to a conjunction with Saturn in the home of Saturn, it will be imperative to embody self-discipline and integrity of purpose in the process. Challenges may feel overwhelming, yet sustaining focused determination will reap rewards in the end.
Pisces 3 Decan
The New Moon arises in the third face of Pisces associated with the Ten of Cups card illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith. An image and card linked with emotional fulfillment of creative dreams, it also carries warnings of becoming lost in romantic fantasy. The image of rainbows, happy lovers, and playful children captures the essence of an ideal goal for many, and serves as a striving symbol for those with different goals in mind. Austin Coppock in his book 36 Faces ascribed the image of “A Cup of Blood” to this decan, as he wrote “the third face unfolds as the quest for true and perfect love” that ultimately requires sacrifice. Coppock rightly described this decan as a place in which we can experience the “heights of agony and ecstasy,” both the disillusionment of betrayal as well as the bliss of rich reception.
Mars rules the third face of Pisces, and it is significant that the New Moon is also occurring within the Egyptian bounds of Mars. This binds the lunation to Mars even more tightly than would otherwise be suggested by the looming influence of the red planet previously described above. The Sabian symbol for the New Moon is “The Harvest Moon Illumines a Clear Autumnal Sky,” to which Dane Rudhyar gave the keynote of “the light of fulfillment that blesses work well done.” Rudhyar described this symbol as signifying reaping the harvest of what we have sown and cultivated, emphasizing that “the seed of the new cyclic manifestation is already latent.”
With Mars, Saturn, and Pluto present in Capricorn in the coming cycle we have the power of the scythe on our side. Be mindful of what you cultivate, and generous in the harvest you share with others. The sharing of love and resources in partnership and within collaborative community will bolster resiliency in the face of coming challenges.
Coppock, Austin. (2014). 36 Faces: the history, astrology, and magic of the decans. Three Hands Press.
Rudhyar, Dane. (1973). An Astrological Mandala. Random House.