The Astrology Blog 29 March 2021
All times in BST
“Divide each difficulty into as many parts as is feasible and necessary to resolve it.”
” I think, therefore I am”
Rene Descartes – Philosopher, mathematician, and scientist
31 March 1596 – 11 February 1650
I was thinking about the nature of living in this month of Aries, and how myself and plenty of other astrologers were ticking off the days as we waited for the Spring Equinox, the day when the Sun arrives at 0 degrees of this sign, the beginning of the astrological New Year. This was especially anticipated as, up until this moment of 2021, we’d had no personal planets (Sun to Saturn) in the element of fire since 8 January, or outer planets come to that (Uranus to Pluto). The only flicker has been slow moving Wounded Healer Chiron in Aries.
Why is fire so important? When we first start learning astrology we’re seduced by the idea of the element of water ruling the realms of the imagination and the link to creativity and the soul. Whilst there’s a lot of truth in that I have personally found that fire is more important for pure creativity in terms of getting things started – feeling fired up, getting passionate and motivated, moments that spark ideas, plans bursting into leaf, initiating contact with those who can help us and so on.
Water rules instincts, but Fire rules intuition. There’s a subtle difference which I think spins around the idea of making connections that in turn lead to understanding. Fire has vision and pure Aries types are not always brilliant at the emotional subtleties but they’re immediate, incisive, direct, innovative, inspirational and effective.
In this last week, in spite of watching all the problems linked to international travel and the implications for my Summer School, I’ve felt a definite shift and it’s only since the Sun arrived in Aries that I found myself putting other irons in the fire, irons that immediately started glowing. Watch this space.
This is an illustration of what I’m always telling clients and students, that you don’t have to make your chart work. It will happen anyway. In other words, with this example, I didn’t deliberately put irons in the fire because the Sun had moved into Aries. The fact that the Sun had moved into Aries reflected what was ready to happen and what did in fact happen. Astrology demonstrates again and again that key life events unfold when the time is right. Our part is to engage fully with whatever does unfold, knowing that it’s part of the plan.
RENE DESCARTES & “I AM”
Each sign has a key phrase and for Aries it’s “I am”. When thinking about a quote for this week I remembered that philosopher Descartes was an Aries, and he penned arguably one of the most famous philosophical lines ever with his Cogito ergo Sum = I think therefore I am.
If you don’t know anything about the history of philosophy but you’re British you’ll probably recognize the line as poached by Monty Python for the hilarious Philosophers Song – I drink therefore I am. That song probably taught me more about the big names in philosophy than a year of studying the Enlightenment at university, admittedly a long time ago but about which I remember virtually nothing!
Anyway, amongst many other things, Descartes is recognized as the founder of Western philosophy and he argued the theory of “innate knowledge”, that his thinking came from somewhere, and that therefore all humans are born with knowledge bestowed through the higher power of God, as opposed to empiricism, which argues that all knowledge is acquired only through experience.
This resonates with me as, again, astrology demonstrates over and over that there’s something bigger than us going on. And maybe we’re drawn to certain subjects because the soul remembers that we’ve been involved with them before. I emphatically know that when I was drawn to astrology and the tarot there was something there that I recognized. What is your own innate knowledge? What do you think you came here to do? This is a time to honour your individuality, to know that you count.
I haven’t looked at Descartes’ chart since my student days over 30 years ago so it was fascinating to revisit it. He’s actually an Aries extraordinaire with a Stellium (an Aspect Pattern that is formed when four or more planets all conjunct each other, all linking up with each other like a daisy chain) in this sign – the Sun, Uranus, Jupiter and Pluto – with Mercury the mind planet also tagging along, being in the last degree of Aries. All of these five planets are posited in the Third House of the mind and thought, and the four in the Stellium also make a trine (harmonious) to mystical Neptune in another fire sign of Leo.
WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING THIS WEEK?
There are two main threads weaving pictures at the moment, the Aries theme that dominates the middle of the week and the Mercury one running throughout the week. Starting with the midweek picture you may remember that the annual Sun – Venus conjunction fell at 6 degrees of Aries at the end of last week (exact at 7am on Friday morning) and that I commented on how this was the midpoint of their journey, ie these two are travelling side by side over a period of two months.
This means for now that when one of them makes an aspect (a link) to a third planet then the other one isn’t far behind. This week it’s the sextile (harmonious, two signs apart) to Saturn –
Tuesday 30 March
- Venus 11 Aries sextile Saturn 11 Aquarius 16.48
Wednesday 31 March
- Sun 11 Aries sextile Saturn 11 Aquarius 22.06
The Sun is the life force and his symbolic job is therefore to activate, energise and illuminate. The Sun rules fiery Leo but is even stronger in this other fire sign of Aries, his sign of “exaltation”. Aries people, sign of “the self”, are often a force to be reckoned with and I’ve noticed, countless times, that they’re also often expert in the area of self preservation. A close Aries friend said to me just last week that she always knows when to “pull up the drawbridge” with anyone who starts to behave in alarm bell clanging ways, never leaving herself exposed or vulnerable.
This week’s aspects to Saturn are not as troublesome as we might think – famous last words? I say this because Saturn is dignified in one of his own signs and the aspect is positive, so the good side to Saturn in connection to Sun/Venus issues (huge range of life/love/money) is likely to show in terms of putting things in a much clearer time frame. Saturn rules time, and he also rules boundaries, so knowing where you stand or what is expected of you can be a very good starting point.
But any combination of Aries planets with Saturn carries a price tag as this is Saturn’s sign of “fall”. The desires of the individual are up against Saturn’s rulebook, and currently being in Aquarius sign of the collective this will inevitably show in restrictions still being imposed and extended because of the pandemic.
But a strong Saturn is still good news for putting your life in order, and the Aries themes are all about holding onto your sense of self and knowing where and how to channel your efforts. Here’s a reminder of some other Aries characteristics to look out for as we start experiencing and embodying all this spring energy, an excerpt from Be Your Own Astrologer –
The Aries nature
As the first sign of the zodiac Aries people are initiators and individualists. They thrive on action and immediacy and are energetic, impatient and direct. They are the first to volunteer to do something and they do it straight away. They have a knack of getting straight to the point, cutting through red tape and finding the positive answer. This is the sign of the ego so they’re also competitive and tend to regard second place as for losers. This can be coupled with irreverence, or even total disregard for the “rules”, as they know that giving too much weight to what others might think will hold them back. Here then is the archetype of the pioneer and the trailblazer.
Love & Relationships
It is not unusual to find that the Aries courage often wavers when venturing into emotional territory. The fear of rejection is the fear of failure and to feel ridiculous is the Aries nightmare. They are also speed freaks and it’s practically a knee jerk reaction to up the tempo and race to a conclusion. In this respect it’s difficult for them to endure the courtship stage and, once partnered, they then have to learn that the “let’s compromise and do it my way” approach doesn’t work.
Their opposite sign of Libra, the sign of balance, partnership and arbitration, embodies the natural skills and arts of relating that Aries has to acquire. Generally for an Aries to be happy in love there must never be any risk of playing second fiddle. Love triangles are a no-no, as are long distance relationships. The need to feel special and prized is an essential ingredient in the Aries life, and in their love life it’s indispensable.
Fiercely independent this Mars sign is not ideally suited for teamwork, unless they happen to be team leader of course. They’re generally self starters and are capable of phenomenal single mindedness. They are “project people” and therefore unlikely to stay in the same job for years on end. In the words of an Aries client, “We like to set it up, put in a plan, ensure it’s working, then we’re bored and ready to move on.”
They’re absolutely brilliant at self advertisement, they believe in hard work and striving for what they want, and have little time for the moaners and complainers of this world.
The flip side of the Aries coin is the “self”-ish streak and a capacity for diva behavior but when they’re fired up with a worthwhile cause it’s a completely different story. Suddenly the tables are turned and they are selfless in the role of inspirer or role model. As natural defenders they will move mountains in order to help someone in genuine need. Many Aries people are to be found in the caring professions that require fight as opposed to pity, such as social work or human rights. They are natural born crusaders and delight in making a difference.
Journalist and presenter Piers Morgan, whose career is peppered with controversy and clashes of ego, has been in the news again, after storming off Good Morning Britain during a debate about the Harry and Meghan interview –
This is also an example of how, if you have a natal configuration in your chart that is featuring in the current astrology, then it indicates key events. There’s no time of birth for Piers Morgan (and therefore no way of knowing his Ascendant) but he’s obviously a full on Aries, and his Sun is also conjunct Venus – Sun 9 Aries with Venus at 6 Aries – reflecting the big Sun – Venus conjunction of the moment. He also has Mars (Aries planet) exactly conjunct Uranus (rebellion, innovation) at 11 Virgo.
“Suddenly, I reached a moment of total gut clarity: f**k it, I wasn’t going to apologise for disbelieving Meghan Markle, because the truth is that I don’t believe Meghan Markle,” he wrote. “And in a free, democratic society, I should be allowed not to believe someone, and to say that I don’t believe them. That, surely, is the very essence of freedom of speech?”
Love him or hate him he stands up for his own beliefs and principles, to the extent of what looks like self sabotage. He loses powerful jobs but only to reappear again. Like another full on Aries, Jeremy Clarkson. You can’t keep an Aries down for long!
MESSAGES FROM MERCURY
Mercury is on the home stretch through Pisces, with two more aspects to come before following the Sun and Venus into Aries at the weekend –
Tuesday 30 March
- Mercury conjunct Neptune 21 Pisces 04.25
Friday 2 April
- Mercury 26 Pisces sextile Pluto 26 Capricorn 07.03
Sunday 4 April
- Mercury ingress Aries 04.42
The first aspect is the more important as it’s a conjunction and also because Neptune rules Pisces. Water themes are often the first thing to show, literally and symbolically. In terms of the former the story dominating the news all week has been the huge Ever Given blocking the Suez Canal which has wreaked havoc and costs that run into billions. The vessel has now at least been dislodged and has to be moved to a waiting point in the wider point of the canal, and only then will the waiting 367 vessels be able to pass through. What a nightmare. But this should all happen as Mercury (news/transport) meets Neptune (god of the seas and all things marine) in the early hours of tomorrow morning.
In symbolic terms, back to the subject of elements, water rules everything to do with our feelings and emotional needs and this conjunction can run the whole gamut from misty eyed happiness to the overwhelming waves of grief. This Mercury can denote matters that are teeming with undercurrents. Tread carefully with anything confusing or disorientating. If in doubt think in terms of treading water and conserving your strength, rather than wasting your energy or words.
We tend to think about Mercury in terms of means of communication so it’s easy to forget that his most important role is actually language, the words we say, the words we choose – what we want or need to say and how we say it. As Mercury sloshes along through this last length of Pisces, one of his signs of detriment, it’s hard to put things into words and the easy option can be keeping things to ourselves.
But with Mercury’s final aspect being to Pluto, planet of depth psychology as well as endings/rebirth moments, what may be a touchy or confusing subject at the beginning of the week may well shift into a much clearer focus by the end of it.
Too much aloneness during these lockdown months has inevitably taken its toll on “normal” conversation. I think it’s important this week not to fall into the negative side of Mercury in Pisces trap, the victim role, feelings of hopelessness, nobody understands and so on.
In terms of self help make a point of talking to someone whose judgment you trust, someone who knows you well and who has your best interests at heart but who doesn’t necessarily fall into the “tea and sympathy” category. As much as we all want to be validated what’s really needed this week is clarity.
Mercury arriving in Aries at the weekend is another opportunity to start afresh, with a clean slate and an open mind. Whatever is important for you, there’ll be no time to waste as Mercury is going to fly through this sign in just two weeks. Some matters will just naturally unfold at breakneck speed anyway so another pointer for this week is to clear the decks and get ahead.
Here’s a reminder of Mercury’s onwards journey between now and the next retrograde phase, which for Mercury is three times a year for three weeks at a time –
- 4 April – Mercury ingress Aries
- 19 April – Mercury ingress Taurus
- 4 May – Mercury ingress Gemini and then starts slowing down
- 29 May – Mercury turns retrograde at 24 Gemini
To finish, absolutely my favourite example of Mercury (voice/language) in Aries (direct/fast) as a natal placing is comedian Anita Renfroe. No birth time but born 4 April 1962, which gives her Sun, Moon and Mercury in Aries. She shot to fame on You Tube with her song “Momisms”, set to the tune of the William Tell Overture, and she introduces it as everything a mum would say to her kids in the course of a day, reduced to 2 minutes and 55 seconds. It’s hilarious in content but the breakneck delivery of the song, word perfect, is breathtaking to watch –
Until next week, with love from Greece