Planetary Influence March 2019

Planetary Influence March 2019

March 2019

by Kerry Shamblin

Calculations are done using the Chitrapaksha ayanamsha and the mean node. Timings are based on Mountain Time Zone, US.

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Mercury Retrograde in Pisces March 5 – 28

The first week of March shows us a few notable shifts and events with the planets. First is the traditional celebration of Maha Shivaraatri on the night of March 4, which is the fourteenth lunar day of the dark half of the month when the Sun transits the sign of Aquarius.

The next day, Tuesday, March 5, just after noon, Mercury will begin a retrograde cycle at 6º Pisces. This will be the first of three Mercury retrograde cycles in 2019, all of which will initiate in water signs. The two remaining cycles will be Mercury retrograde in Cancer from July 7 -21 and Mercury retrograde in Scorpio October 31 – November 20.

Mercury is the planet that represents the earth element and has rulership of an air sign and an earth sign. As the representative of transactions, communications and commerce, Mercury helps us think quickly, analyze data and diagnose problems. The water signs, chiefly Pisces, are challenging environments for the guy with wings on his feet. However, when retrograde, Mercury in these challenging environments gets a bit of a boost, transforming debilitation into exaltation for a temporary spell.

We watch out for Mercury “mishaps” during retrograde cycles: miscommunications, technology burps and mistakes caused by too much speed. This will still apply, but in particular, the retrograde Mercury in Pisces can be very effective and energetic, so we can leverage this energy to apply to financial matters, educational pursuits and business transactions. That said, we may still want to avoid signing contracts or pursuing actions that require long-term stability during this time.

By March 14, retrograde Mercury will cross back into Aquarius, just as the Sun will be crossing from Aquarius to Pisces. With both Mercury and Sun being in the gap between signs at this juncture on March 14-15, this may be lead to a bit of instability, especially as the Moon joins Rahu on these two days. Rather than laying foundations at this juncture, better to be ready to pivot on a dime.

Mercury resumes direct motion at 22° Aquarius on March 28 in the first quarter of the nakshatra Purvabhadra, which is ruled by the planet Jupiter. This puts Jupiter and Mercury into a nakshatra exchange, as Jupiter is currently in the last quarter of the nakshatra Jyestha, which is ruled by Mercury. During most of Mercury’s retrograde cycle, he will occupy Purvabhadra, although the cycle starts out in the first part of the next nakshatra, Uttarabhadra. 

This exchange of nakshatras between Mercury and Jupiter will be in effect from March 11 – April 14, which is supportive to Mercury-Jupiter interactions, which can range anywhere from student-teacher to business-investor. Mercury resumes direct motion on Thursday, March 28 and will become more stable from there.

New Moon in Purvabhadra/Aquarius March 6

The focus on Purvabhadra nakshatra begins with the new Moon joining the Sun at 22° Aquarius on Wednesday, March 6. This new Moon comes just a day after Mercury begins a retrograde cycle and a day before the Rahu/Ketu axis begins its move into Gemini. As the Moon is waning and energy is low, we may want to take a pause and some deep breaths on March 5-6.

The deity associated with Purvabhadra is Aja Ekapada, an ancient form of Shiva that evokes the concept of formless consciousness. The disciplined pursuit of stillness and detachment from form puts the yogi in a position to merge with the absolute, an infinitely expansive state.

With the world churning around us, this new Moon is calling for us to create our own still point, a perfectly balanced position that can keep us aligned with our inner purpose, despite the chaos and movement of the outer world.

Rahu/Ketu Enter Gemini/Sagittarius March 7 – 23

The main event of the month is the shifting of the Rahu/Ketu axis. A date range is given here because this axis, with its natural retrograde motion, also moves with a wobble. The nodal axis position can be calculated in two ways: the true node calculation shows the exact position of the node and the mean node is an average that smooths out the natural jitter of the nodal axis movement. 

The mean node calculation shows Rahu and Ketu moving on March 7 and the true node calculation shows the movement into new signs on March 23. It is safe to say that we may feel the shift over the course of this two week period. Rahu will be moving from the Moon’s sign, Cancer, into Mercury’s sign, Gemini. Ketu will be moving from Saturn’s sign of Capricorn into Jupiter’s sign of Sagittarius, joining Saturn, who remains in Sagittarius through January 2020. 

The nodal axis transits each sign for about 1.5 years, so this movement to new signs may signal some kind of significant shift for many people. Because Rahu and Ketu have the reputation for instability due to their bodiless and shadowy natures, we all may feel some deep rumblings in some department of life as we settle into this new transit.

Rahu and Ketu are considered by some astrological lineages to be exalted in the signs of Gemini and Sagittarius. This exaltation status will be strongly felt by all as Rahu, the significator of desire for worldly experience, moves through the dynamic and energetic sign of Gemini and Ketu, the significator of spiritual craving for liberation, moves through Sagittarius, where we seek for knowledge and spiritual growth. 

The last transit of Rahu/Ketu through Gemini/Sagittarius was from July 2000 – February 2002. Reviewing the events and situations that arose during that time could be informative about what to expect this time around, with the understanding that individuals will be experiencing different planetary periods, which will alter the results. Also the relationship of the other outer planets to the Rahu/Ketu axis will be different than the last transit. During that time, Saturn was in Taurus and Jupiter was in Taurus and then Gemini, joining Rahu.

We should understand which domains of life in our personal horoscopes will be touched by this transit in order to predict how the period will proceed. Rahu tends to create amplification of energy, sudden or unexpected events and strong, deep desire. The news of the world arrives on our doorstep, delivered by Rahu. Ketu tends to cause us to be uninterested in worldly affairs with an increase in spirituality, sometimes leading us toward a retreat from activity. When we are conscious of these energies, we can be more successful in curtailing unhealthy desires (Rahu) and avoiding mistakes or apathy (Ketu.)

As Ketu and Rahu move in their natural retrograde motion, Ketu will be joining with Saturn, who is moving forward through the late degrees of Sagittarius. On April 29, Saturn enters into a retrograde phase just as he meets up with Ketu. The two will travel in tandem, both retrograde and within a degree of one another, through the summer. Saturn will resume direct motion on September 18, 2019, after which time the conjunction with Ketu will loosen as Saturn moves forward and out of Sagittarius in January 2020. This is a remarkable conjunction that will be felt by all during this 4.5 month period. We will keep our eyes on this as we move through the spring and summer.

Sun Transits Pisces March 14 – April 14

The Sun moves from Aquarius to Pisces on March 14, fully causing combustion to retrograde Mercury at 0° Pisces as he slips backward into Aquarius for the remainder of his retrograde phase. With the retrograde motion of Mercury in effect and the nodal axis shift, this could be a day to avoid doing anything that requires clear communication, as the Moon will also be joining Rahu on this day.

As the Sun settles in to the expansive sign of Pisces, the final sign of the zodiac, we may be assisted in the sense of having clarity about how to integrate the lessons of the past year so that we can move forward into new territory. Pisces is a water sign, ruled by Jupiter and currently aspected by Jupiter, the planet of positivity, growth and the transmission of knowledge. 

After a couple of months going through Saturn-ruled signs, the Sun is comfortable in Pisces, which also takes him out of the gaze of Saturn, currently transiting Sagittarius and placing his gaze on the signs of Aquarius, Gemini and Virgo. The Sun especially enjoys sovereignty and freedom from being reminded of the facts of life from Saturn.

Pisces is a dual sign, along with Gemini, Virgo and Sagittarius, which are places where we move on, finish and transition. The Sun in Pisces gives us energy to realign with our soul purpose and leave behind that which is complete in favor of new horizons. With Rahu, Ketu and Saturn also in dual signs, we will be feeling this sense of transition through the remainder of 2019.

Full Moon in Uttaraphalguni/Virgo March 20

The Sun in Pisces during the current era coincides with the vernal equinox, which occurs on March 20, the same day that the Moon moves into opposition with the Sun at 7° Virgo. The Moon is at its strongest when full and will be adding even more energy to the dual signs.

Virgo is Mercury’s earth sign and is the natural sign of the duality that exists in the realm of health/disease or friendliness/enmity. With the new position of the nodal axis, Mercury in retrograde and the promise of an extended Ketu+Saturn transit through Sagittarius, this new Moon could be helpful as we analyze how we are feeling in our bodies, which certainly informs the state of our mind.

The Sun always aspects the Moon at the full Moon and this month, Saturn joins in by aspecting the Moon from his position in Sagittarius. This is a call for balancing purpose with practicality and making sure our bodies and minds are sound and healthy enough to carry our soul forward in its purpose. We could decide to make changes in diet and activity during this time as we prepare for this next chapter.

Venus Transits Aquarius March 21 – April 15

Venus joined Ketu in Capricorn on February 24, which could have brought about some serious considerations about specific relationships and how they may have been blocked or obstructed. Ketu exits Capricorn this month, and by March 21, so does Venus, moving on to Aquarius. 

Venus is the representative of connection, love, relationships and the creative process. While it may seem counterintuitive, Saturn also plays a big role in relationships and creation by giving us detachment, boundaries and practical perspective. Venus moving through Saturn’s signs encourages us to examine our relationships and connections. We may determine that its time to move on, create new foundations or enforce stated boundaries. 

With Rahu in Gemini and Saturn in Sagittarius, Aquarius will be receiving the aspect of both of its rulers through the remainder of 2019. Aquarius is a unique sign, challenging at times, due to the rulership of these two planets, Rahu and Saturn. The juxtaposition of desire and detachment is both challenging and edifying, as we learn in Aquarius how to enjoy the fruits of the world while understanding that enjoyment is temporary, as is life.

Venus moves through Aquarius from March 21 – April 15. There may be a focus on applying these Aquarian principles to our desire for connection, relationship, love and beauty. The intense desire of Rahu is further inflamed by the direct aspect of Rahu onto Venus and similarly the pressure of Saturn touches Venus, stressing the importance of personal responsibility and healthy boundaries.

Mars Transits Taurus March 22 – May 6

Mars, transiting through his own sign of Aries since February 6, moves out of Aries and into Taurus on March 22. While in Aries, Mars is potent and fiery, aspecting his own sign of Scorpio and Jupiter who occupies it. This gives more leverage to Mars; when Mars moves to Taurus, Jupiter gets a chance to influence Mars in return, which could be felt as righteous, protective energy guiding Mars toward his best expression of power.

While Venus moves through Aquarius, Mars will be moving through Venus’ sign, which can bring some power, strength and even aggression into the peaceful realm of Taurus. Be careful while reviewing and restructuring relationships; Mars can pull us into self-centered thinking. Be aware that when we are defining our desires and drawing our boundaries, we have to keep in mind that there are others in the equation that may need to have a say. Remember the efficacy of diplomacy and negotiation.

From his position, Mars affects the signs and planets who are four, seven and eight houses away. When Mars moves to Taurus, he aspects Leo, Scorpio and Sagittarius, which brings his influence to Jupiter (mutual aspect), Saturn and Ketu. Mars is power, planning, building and protection when expressed in a positive way and can benefit the signs and planets he affects. When agitated, Mars can get angry, fiery, destructive and aggressive, which also can affect the planets and signs he occupies or aspects.

It is up to us to be responsible in handling our power. When we treat power with respect and care, we can achieve great things. When we crave and steal power or resources, we are on the path toward war. Mars will have the ability to influence many of the outer planets in the coming months, so its recommended to get ourselves organized and make plans for how we want to direct our energy and resources in order to avoid confusion, frustration or apathy.

Jupiter Enters Sagittarius March 29

Jupiter crosses the line between Scorpio and Sagittarius for the first of three times in 2019 on March 29. Both of these signs are hospitable for Jupiter, but Sagittarius especially so as it is his own sign. Jupiter enters Sagittarius, moves forward for a short while and then begins a retrograde period which ranges from April 10 – August 11. Since Jupiter only just dips into Sagittarius, he retreats to Scorpio on April 22, soon after this retrograde phase begins, crossing that line between the two signs for the second time. 

This dip into Sagittarius is rather quick and we’ll look into it again for the April forecast. But it is an interesting sequence as we watch first Ketu and then Jupiter join Saturn this month, when it seems that so much is shifting and changing with the nodal axis establishing its new position.

The juncture between Scorpio and Sagittarius is a difficult transition, taking us from a water sign to a fire sign and from the realm of mental integration into spiritual integration. Jupiter, the great teacher, will be walking with us forward and back over this crossing as 2019 progresses. The difficult choices and the deep transformations will become prominent with the movement of Jupiter this year. Realize that life is for learning and that even the challenges are blessings.

Author Info

Fletcher Johnson

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