As the barest inkling of renewed life begins to emerge for humankind after months of prolonged uncertainty and life-shaping sequestration, a deadly percussion of explosions rocks Ukraine, ricochets across the world.
We’re still becoming acquainted with the rites of grief. And now an uninvited shadow of war casts its darkness over us all. Images of tanks and shattered buildings, wide-eyed children, and desperate mothers maroon us in the suffering and the numbing horror of state-sanctioned death and destruction.
The astrology of the moment reflects the temporal turmoil of this time. Millions of lives, human and animal, will be scattered across the wastelands of war as the tethered fish of Pisces draw us into the territory of grief, opening our hearts to a far deeper cry than our own. Planets that wear iridescent Piscean clothing offer strange tinctures of genius and madness.
Pisces is the last sign of the zodiac and there’s a world-weariness as we collectively empty out, let go, at the portal of a new era.
This month a porous Pisces Sun joins Jupiter and Neptune in the water-logged realm of the Tethered Fish. This archetype is a marshy boundaryless space where a miasma of uncertainty leaches moisture from our imagination. We may feel suspended in a sea of hype or unspeakable horror. Netflix’s Inventing Anna, Tinder Swindler and Fyre, depict Pisces propensity for glitz and glamour, charisma, and deceit. Neptune-ruled Pisces swirls in fantasy, drowns in deception. Film, oil, gas, and deadly viruses also fall under Neptune’s briny deeps. So do charismatic leaders and self-appointed messiahs.
On March 2nd the luminaries meet in the darkness, a monthly tryst that carries a deeper significance as grandiose gas giant, Jupiter joins this lunation. This alignment may amplify Jupiter’s excess, immorality, and a potentially dark and destructive influence comes from the alignment of Mars and Venus with Pluto. Venus (diplomacy) and Mars (war) are still paired as they move through the skies. Mars and Venus edge closer to Pluto, god of ruthless destruction, and meet on this New Moon, as Jupiter and Neptune move to a tight conjunction on April 12th (greater demand for oil and gas, propaganda, financial bubbles). Jupiter then moves into hot-headed Aries from May 10th, amplifying blood-thirst and a demand for weapons of war.
Planets, like history, move in circles and cycles. The last time Neptune and Jupiter met in Pisces was on March 17th 1856 (18° Pisces) when the Treaty of Paris deprived Russia of access to the River Danube, humiliating and stripping Russia of power at the end of the barbarous Crimean War.
Michel Eltchaninoff, editor-in-chief of Philosophie magazine and a specialist in the history of Russian thought, writes, “the Russian president’s dangerous sense of victimhood draws on 20th-century ideas of his country’s frustrated potential. It is necessary, then, to understand that what is actually happening in Ukraine is the result of a vision of Russia that is deeply embedded in the mind of Putin.”
Neptune/Jupiter conjunctions accompany hype, great expectations, territorial expansion, and the kind of faith and hope that carries us through struggle. In a hopeful piece, historian and philosopher, Yuval Noah Harari writes, “at the heart of the Ukraine crisis lies a fundamental question about the nature of history and the nature of humanity: is change possible? Can humans change the way they behave, or does history repeat itself endlessly, with humans forever condemned to re-enact past tragedies without changing anything except the décor?”
The suffering in Ukraine affects us all. Lynne McTaggart proposes, “if a quantum field holds us all together in its invisible web, we will have to rethink our definitions of ourselves and what exactly it is to be human…if we’re not separate, we can no longer think in terms of “winning” and “losing.” We need to redefine what we designate as “me” and “not-me,” and reform the way that we interact with other human beings, practice business, and view time and space. We have to reconsider how we choose and carry out our work, structure our communities, and bring up our children. We have to imagine another way to live.”
George Monbiot points out in his book, Out of the Wreckage, that humans are unique, spectacularly unusual, when it comes our sensitivity to the needs of others. We have an innate altruism, an inborn sense of community. Neuroscience, evolutionary biology and psychology all conclude that we have evolved to care, to cooperate with one another. “By the age of fourteen months, children begin to help each other, attempting to hand over objects another child cannot reach. By the time they are two, they start sharing some of the things they value. By the age of three, they start to protest against other people’s violation of moral norms—we are also, among mammals, with the possible exception of the naked mole rat, the supreme co-operators,” Monbiot writes.
We may feel bone weary after months of adrenaline-charged coping, of being our best and bravest, kindest selves, yet the sky-story this month depicts a sequence of events that will marshal our good manners, our co-operation, our wisdom and our compassion.
“I am marooned on a crag of superiority in an ocean of soldiers,” wrote Wilfred Owen, (Sun and Venus in Pisces) who was killed in the mud and blood of World War I, one week before armistice was declared.
We are collectively moving through a time of initiation that may transform us at our core or maroon us on a crag of authoritarianism.
What will we choose?
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