The equinox has arrived, the Sun is in Aries, and the fiery spirit of the air will keep arriving for the next few months — maybe the next couple of years. Aries is the first fire sign, and the Aries Point is the cosmic key fob. When planets push that button, things get moving. And that is what’s happening now, and for quite a while to come.
Yet this season’s astrology is an exciting interplay between Pisces and Aries, the last sign and the first; the watery depths and the passionate burst forward. The Sun has begun its journey across the sign of the Ram, just like in the Canterbury Tales, and after the long Northern Hemisphere winter with all of our Northern Hemisphere snow, howling winds, rain and flooding, being restless to get out of your apartment or out of your clothes is a beautiful thing.
For the moment, Venus and Mercury are also moving through Aries, and Eris — the planet that changed the solar system — is still doing her 110-year spell in Aries, with lots of company.
Meanwhile, two of the most influential planets are still in Pisces — Jupiter and Uranus. Later in the season, both will move into Aries. Currently there is equal emphasis on Pisces, providing both emotional contact and a sense of difficulty grounding any stable sense of feeling: plenty of feeling, and a challenge getting the water to soak into the Earth. Aries activity is not going to help this, because it’s so impetuous and tends to lack any sense of contemplation. The Pisces angle of your chart wants to meditate, but it’s one of those restless days where you feel like you drank five cups of green tea and then try to sit quietly. Some days it works. Some days you just feel jittery.
Yet what, exactly, is that jittery feeling? What’s the energy source?
I have some thoughts about that. This week, Venus makes a conjunction to Eris, which feels like an explosion of self-aware feminine consciousness. Chaotic, yes, but strong and independent. Then later in the week Mercury makes a conjunction to Eris. Then the Sun arrives, and we really get to see what this vital new discovery is all about.
Eris is the goddess responsible for the reclassification of Pluto to dwarf planet. Discovered by Michael Brown and team in 2005 and then named in 2006, in my view, Eris is about the personality chaos we find ourselves in at this time in history. Yes, she is the goddess of discord and the world is a little frayed at the moment; who knows which way is up. But where is that vertigo coming from? I would say it’s coming from the lack of any cohesive self-concept, and this is what Eris speaks to. It’s that odd sense of having no clue who we are, mainly because there seem to be so many choices. Eris, in another manifestation, is also the truthteller, who can be a man or a woman. The idea of Eris is not to be disruptive for its own sake (though this happens), but rather to be focused and pointed about an issue that is actually important.
As a teacher at astrology conferences, I can confirm that the profession is moving at approximately glacial speed understanding these new influences that take us to unusual depths psychologically and spiritually. There are many objections to using the new planets, though I sense that the main issue is human nature’s resistance to anything different. People may have their private view, but there is not a sense of coalescence, excitement or discovery. We are alive in a time of discovery and it’s almost like nobody is noticing.
If this were just about planets, that would be one thing. As astrologers we agree that the planets are about us, and therefore discoveries are also about us. So if we are overlooking the discoveries, we are missing the point of astrology.
Assuming we want to, how exactly do we find out what these influences are about? There are many techniques, from studying the astronomy, the myths and the people whose charts have prominent placements of a new discovery. One of the ways is to observe what happens when the Sun makes a conjunction to the planet in question. On April 11, the Sun makes its annual conjunction to Eris in Aries. This week, and then again for a window of about four days, from April 9 through April 13, we have an opportunity to see Eris in action, in the big world and in our own lives. Note that since this is in Aries, one of the issues is how we define ourselves; how we envision ourselves; how resolutely we allow ourselves to be who we are. Everyone has Aries in their chart and it expresses itself somewhere.
As the spring progresses, this issue is going to take on a life the likes of which we have not seen since the late 1960s and early 1970s, when the issue of self-awareness was (briefly) all the rage. Late in the season, the cosmic fire starts pouring through Aries with extraordinary emphasis. This is a wake-up call of proportions we have simply not seen in nearly half a century and in truth far longer, as Uranus only gets to Aries for seven out of 84 years. The question is not whether we wake up, but rather what will we wake up to? I mean this personally. What is it about yourself that you are trying to awaken, and what about yourself are you content to have asleep? Because the part that is sleeping is the part that is going to get the emphasis.
Yours & truly,
You’re getting a lot of bold messages to be yourself, but you also seem to have way too many choices for who that self is. Beyond all the seemingly tangible possibilities is a chaotic realm where you simply don’t have the answer. Every time you seem to get a clue, something changes. We’re accustomed to plastering those unknowns over with labels and other assumptions, rather than leaving the question open. While a mystery like this can be uncomfortable to live with, I suggest you stay in a state of uncertainty for as long as you possibly can. Consider it a kind of meditation. Embrace the chaos of who you are, who you are not and who you might be. This is designed to help you have greater access to your potential rather than pretending it doesn’t exist. At the moment far more is possible than you’re likely to be aware of. As the next two months progress, you’re going to get a taste of what this potential is; yet in order to have this potential be real you need to keep your mind open and make sure you’re ready to change, adapt and go on a new adventure at all times. Stay loose. Notice the game of pretend that we’re all taught to play the moment we’re confronted with an unknown. Unknowns are your best friend right now and I suggest you keep them near and dear to your heart.
The answer is not control; it may seem like control, but I propose that the answer — if there is one answer — is to observe. Mainly observe yourself. Your fantasy life is taking you some interesting places lately, and far from being content with imagination, you want experience. But this is pushing some of your buttons. These buttons include issues about supposed right and wrong, what’s too intense for you to handle and whether you have sufficient ground beneath your feet to handle the swirl of your own desires. The important thing to do is not revert to your mother, or her image of what you’re supposed to be: particularly, what kind of partner you’re supposed to be. Mixed in may be a number of false notions about the kind of partner you’re supposed to want. To be clear, what you seem to be working through is tension between various images of the ‘right’ husband and wife (on the one side of the psychic membrane) and a whole kaleidoscope of possibilities for who you are (on the other side). Consider how much image is bound up in our notions of relationship: in being acceptable to potential partners, in the image of a good relationship, in being seen with the right person. What if all of that was completely, totally and utterly meaningless? Not only meaningless, but a way of perpetuating everything about your childhood that you no longer want?
Your social environment is interesting now, and it’s going to get really exciting as the season progresses. I’m going to start with some conservative advice: rekindle connections to your best friends. You love new friends and you’re a friendly pup, but with the surge of energy that’s coming your way, you’re going to want people close by who know you well, and whose opinions and perspectives you trust because they are so familiar with you. One thing to research with old friends is what dreams you’ve been talking about fulfilling for at least 10 years. The energy of your charts is bursting with new ideas, ideals and craving a new vision for your life. My hunch is that while you want and indeed need something new in contrast to what you have now, there are important elements of past dreams that you are recovering. Some of this involves collecting power that you have given away in relationships. You may be feeling confronted by just how powerful certain people are, and how potent are bonds of sex, shared resources or contractual arrangements. That you are seeing the power of these relationships is an invitation to confront that truth rather than to back down. Your most dependable bellwether is this: to what extent do you feel that you can really make your own decisions, without running into the objections of others who seem to have power over you?
Your focus on professional activities may not seem to be paying off, though I suggest you persist and focus your intentions. You’re caught in the normal ebb and flow of success, at the same time significant changes, soon to manifest, are taking place in the background. It’s crucial that you not confuse the two, and this is going to call for some special attention. At this stage of your life it’s vitally important that your professional choices precisely fit your deepest values. For this to be true, you need to make your investigation into those values a conscious experience, and put what you discover to work starting with the next decision you make. Look back at events of the past four or five months and you’ll see examples of how your quest to act in accord with what is actually true for you has played out in real-life situations. You may not have thought of these circumstances as tests of whether your inner compass and your outer direction are aligned, but that is precisely the situation. And while that inner compass relates to values and intentions on one level, something more significant to explore is whether the direction you’re headed matches your vision for your life. I suggest you organize yourself in this sequence: values, vision, decisions. Here is the thing to remember: your vision will manifest, so you want to make sure it’s the one you really want.
How is it possible to widen your horizons in a world where everything seems to get narrower every day? The process starts with cultivating faith in yourself. Now, we could ask: how can you have faith in yourself when so many aspects of our upbringing and so many aspects of the world we live in are designed to take our power away from us, or to have us willingly hand it over? Your astrology is sending you several direct messages. One is to work with a vision; that is to say, with an inner image and a description of what you want to create in your life. I cannot repeat this often enough and I recognize the challenges inherent in creating and holding that vision. Everything seems to change so fast, and we are presented with new challenges every single day. Given these facts, it’s so much more meaningful to have the one consistent thing be your devotion to focusing your mind’s eye on the existence you want to have. Planets moving into the fire sign Aries, even as you read these words and extending well into the year, will make this easier. At the same time you may feel a sense of urgency or necessity mingled in with a subtle calling toward who you are becoming. You may fear you are being pushed too far, too fast, but really you are being brought up to just the right speed, right on time.
Your hidden nature is more assertive than you let on. But this doesn’t seem to fit the even-tempered, reflective and reasonable presentation you want to make to the world. You’re more outgoing than you seem, but it’s just that you don’t usually want to seem that way. This gets you certain benefits; you can be sure you alienate fewer people, you blend in better, and for a while, you know who you are, while others are left guessing. Yet one side result of holding your energy in is that it tends to convert to self-criticism and anxiety. Another is that you live with the sense of having a secret self who does not fully express his or her being in the world. This, in turn, has an odd way of verifying that there is no real place for you to be yourself; and it sets up negative expectations of what might happen if you actually would dare to be yourself, unrestrained. You’re going to be working this out in theory for a while, and then a moment will arrive — most likely suddenly, and soon — where you break through the whole issue like a sheet of thin paper. Don’t worry, for you being aggressive or assertive would not feel like either of those things to a human, a cat or a dog. You would seem, to them, more intelligent or focused. You would expose that your mind works quickly and intuitively. You would reveal that you have an opinion, and when others respond, you’ll get to talk about it.
You’re heading for a revolution in your relationships. This has been happening gradually and is about to happen more rapidly. This will feel like welcome news to some and like a source of anxiety to others. Reaching for the common ground beneath any potential evolution, leap forward or opportunity to move on, what you’re facing is the opportunity to adapt to the way the world really is. While it’s true that you often seem to float in a bubble of your own imagination, I would propose that the ‘world the way it really is’ and the ‘world the way you want it’ have more in common than you may imagine. In any event, some spectacular transits will be lighting up the relationship angle of your solar chart; then they will take a break; then the adventure will resume. Consider the most interesting events of this time in your life to be an experiment — which is to say, the exploration of an experience. Go in at full strength, and remember that you will have plenty of time to reflect and consider what you felt, witnessed and learned. One last big. I suggest you challenge your belief that people around you are changing faster than you can handle. Most of the pull toward the future is coming from you; lightning doesn’t just come from the sky. It’s drawn to a specific high-energy spot on the ground, and at the moment, that would be you.
This has not been an easy time for you professionally or personally, though you need to shake off your post-traumatic stress and start making clear decisions. Many of those decisions will involve revisiting choices you’ve made since last autumn. You may find that you’re now making decisions opposite to those you so recently seemed settled on. What you may notice is that you are actually reverting to what was your original position, before you reversed it. You may notice that your reversals were based on an emotional impulse rather than a rational one. Here, you walk a fine line. Yours is one of the most psychologically astute signs of the zodiac, at the same time one of the most emotional. If I could send one message to Scorpio forever, it would be: learn to tell the difference. It is not merely enough to be decisive. It is not merely enough to feel, or to think, or to analyze. It’s entirely necessary to know the basis of your decisions, and part of that basis is contrast. Seeing contrast is something we do mostly with our mind, and it’s based on experience. So, whether you’ve spent the last six months feeling like you’re winning the game, losing the game, or totally confused about what the game is, consider what you have learned. Consider who people have shown themselves to be. Consider what you could do if you could do it all over again — because you can.
There’s a necessary element of chaos in authentic creative and sexual experiences. This is part of the lure: we want something different, and most of us secretly crave that feeling of going out of control. Yet this is a source of the phobia connected with moving creative energy: you don’t know what’s going to happen. Now, as a Sagittarian you might think, what fun! As a human, you might think, not so fast. I want to know the outcome in advance. I want to be able to Photoshop that little piece of reality, and I want the ‘delete’ button right nearby. That’s fine if you’re not going for the real thing: an actual experience of life and a true adventure rather than a trip to Epcot Center. I suggest you embrace your favorite flavor of chaos. Using art as a metaphor, it’s time to make a big mess out of your studio, work on five projects at once and paint naked till 5 am. If you’re into sports, it’s time to make that the focus of your life and ‘work’ the thing you do to support it. If you’re a musician, well, you get the idea. Remember, this is not really art you’re playing with: it’s an experiment in feeling and experiencing who you are. Every drop of astrology, now and for the foreseeable future, is about drawing you into the unfamiliar territory of your own existence. You are safe; go boldly.
Consider the past six months a test run for your new experience of life. Notice the trajectory; size up your perceived successes, failures and experiments pending outcome. One of the primary themes of this year is leadership, and you’ve certainly come a long way in redesigning your role within your community or profession. Yet this is just the beginning. Events of April are a kind of review phase, likely to take you back to a position of carefully sizing up key details of what you do. While you’re there, I suggest that you embark on a thorough reassessment of your goals. You have the luxury of relative calm, particularly compared to what was going on over the winter. In ways that only an astrologer might perceive, my sense is you’re driven more by service than by ambition. Yet the world seems to require that you exist in a competitive environment. Most competition is for the sake of sport. You are being driven by a set of mandates not only alien to most citizens of the Western world, but also terrifying to many. I am speaking of an impulse to make contact with your soul-level motives; with your willingness and indeed urgent need to take yourself apart over and over again until you see where the elements of your existence come from, and where they belong; and your drive to make peace with change to a depth that nearly everyone you know would run from. Nearly everyone — but not quite.
Tuning into the wisdom of your feminine side feels more like walking and less like driving a car; more like breathing and less like blowing up a balloon. Your movements are intuitive rather than deliberated. The feminine side of the brain and indeed the body is the aspect that understands intuitively rather than finds out. And this aspect is coming to life in a new way, that may feel unfamiliar and at the same time deeply welcome. Another process is underway, which is letting go of a dimension of rationality that has finally served its use and is no longer helping you. I don’t mean all rationality, or all reasoning process; I mean the kind that takes you out of your body rather than helps you find your way in. The kind of reasoning you want combines what we think of as intuitive and intellectual. The logic does not need to proceed in a line; circumspect is better, recognizing that any situation, idea or person will appear different when perceived from a different point of view. I suggest you experiment with this, literally walking around things to see them from another angle; switching places with people (sides of the bed, places at the kitchen table, household roles); and listen to what your intuition is whispering to you constantly. Your entire field of perception is evolving, and this is evidence that your perception of yourself is evolving.
How exactly do you take advantage of the protective umbrella that’s suspended over your world, and your heart? How do you tap into the potential of so much activity focused on your sign? Well, you need to be alert, but a kind of alertness that is based on receptivity and not fear. This is a subtle, critical point to be clear on, as you learn to focus your mind and your intentions. The world is in a freaky state right now, and it’s getting freakier — but if you get in the habit of trusting, you will see that your faith is productive. One compelling reason to trust is so that you don’t waste your energy on fear, suspicion, negative expectations or on perceiving complexities that don’t exist. Jupiter is in your sign, and this is offering you a source of energy, resources and an invitation to experience pleasure — something more vital to the wellbeing of a Pisces than for any other sign. Yet Jupiter tends to magnify everything to another proportion; personal issues are likely to seem exaggerated, while the potential you feel may seem less than accessible. You may feel large fears, where you used to feel small ones. You need to compensate for these distortions. First this is a matter of self-observation, and second a matter of evaluation. Chiron is still extremely potent in your solar chart, and this is calling for precision, clarity and most of all, compassion.