Still I Rise—New Moon in Aries—April 1st.
Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise—Maya Angelou.
There are many ways to be brave in this world, to rise again with hopes springing high. As we wear our bravest smile and take the hand of a loved one whose light is dimming, courage is concealed in those seemingly inconsequential choices that flutter like monarch butterflies into a world where nothing is certain.
As most of the world now waits for a glimmer of hope in Ukraine, the New Moon in Aries invites us to begin again, to take that leap forward, to find ourselves anew. Aries marks a point of Beginning, which may be a lonely journey into the unknown. In Aries we encounter the mythic motif of conquest, which always implies an act of bravery and daring. Here we meet the mythic “Warrior” who sets off on a quest, the “Hero” who personifies courage and assertiveness. The leader who makes tough choices. Aries is where we encounter our own autonomy, our ability to return to life.
We may encounter many opportunities to be courageous this new astrological month. Petty tyrants may mirror our own discomfort about taking a stand while dangerous rhetoric morphs into bullets and the dark tide of anger rises, setting fire to old grudges and unexamined narratives.
Aries is a Mars-ruled sign. The dark face of the Ram is testosterone-fuelled anger, self-absorption, competitiveness, and conflict.
The raw energy of Mars is ignited by a goal; something to conquer or defend—the Romans pragmatically dedicated the month of March to the war-god as they set off on their campaigns, certain of fresh supplies. We may notice Mars energy all around us this month. Survival and procreation are embodied in the natural world as the urgent thrust of spring spills over the land in a cascade of colour and the sweetest song.
Writes Lissa Rankin in her book, The Fear Cure, “courage is not about being fearless; it’s about letting fear transform you, so you come into right relationship with uncertainty, make peace with impermanence, and wake up to who you really are.”
A New Moon at 11° Aries initiates a fiery blast of energy carried by the winged messenger, Mercury (travel, trade, deal making and the tricky art of communication) who has slipped into hot-headed Aries. Aries is our self-directed quest for individuation, yet the trite injunction to “find our voice” may deafen the voices of others; our need to be “me” may mean breaking the heart of someone who loves us. The Sun and Moon join Chiron, the archetype of the wounded healer, as we learn, in the words of Ram Dass that “suffering is part of our training program for becoming wise.”
As Neptune and Jupiter edge ever closer to their 13-year rendezvous on April 12th, the collective is infused with idealism, compassion and a sense of unity that undulates through (some) nations as over 4 million refugees flee from the unspeakable horror of a war that will reshape all our lives.
Every 13 years, expansive Jupiter meets ambiguous Neptune and collectively, we arrive at a moment that may inspire our faith, our creative imagination, or inflate delusion, propaganda, extend suffering, swell our emotions. Although Neptune and Jupiter meet every 13 years in successive signs in the zodiac, this cycle is a once-in-a-lifetime moment because the last time they merged in Pisces was in 1856, which was 166 years ago when the Treaty of Paris deprived Russia of access to the river Danube, humiliating and stripping Russia of power at the end of the brutal Crimean War. These planetary archetypes manifest in manifold ways. When they united in the sign of Virgo in September 1932 millions starved to death under forced collectivization in Russia, Hitler gained power, and dust storms swirled over Kansas, Oklahoma, Colorado, Texas and New Mexico.
The promises of peace seeded in this New Moon energy may dissipate in all too familiar falsehoods and a shared commitment to outrageous lies as Neptune and Jupiter will amplify Piscean associations with suffering and martyrdom. Nested like an assemblage of Russian dolls, flawed political decisions have resulted in our dependence on gas and oil (Neptune) which, along with the banks that finance them, are the most important source of Russia’s foreign income. As (some countries) decry the war in Ukraine, governments fund the war in payment for Russia’s fossil fuels. George Monbiot writes, “we have a truth crisis… it is much deeper and wider than we care to admit… it is systemic and universal.”
The celestial aqua-ballet dance of Jupiter and Neptune will infuse the collective throughout 2022. These amorphous planets linger within 6º of one another from the end of October to December 20th when Jupiter enters Aries, the day before the Solstice. This leitmotif will wash over us all in waves all through this year, bringing back to shore what we are feeling and experiencing now. In the final weeks of November Jupiter hangs like a tear drop in the skies, at the culminating 29º point of resolution.
As Jupiter, Neptune and Chiron united in the humanitarian sign of Aquarius in 2009, James Cameron’s Avatar mirrored the zeitgeist of the time. Our personal and collective experience may be very different as Avatar 2 is released. Jupiter and Neptune in Pisces mirror a world-weariness, a collective post-pandemic grief that has been by-passed by governments eager for progress and profit. For those who have lost loved ones, for those whose lives have been dragged down into the undertow by loss of work or direction, everything may seem blurred, life’s pulse beat feeble. Yet in our grief may make fluid our rigid routines, dissolve our hardened habits, cleanse the debris of emotional blockages, we draw moisture into our parched lives. At this New Moon time of fresh starts and hopeful new beginnings, this beautiful quote from the first Avatar movie reminds us, “you are stronger and wiser and freer than you have ever been. And now you have come to the crossroads of destiny. It’s time for you to choose.”
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