Friday, March 1, 2019

Dissolve into March

It’s been a long month since my last column, but still, little has changed.  I’m looking out on a snowy landscape once more, although the snow has fallen and melted, fallen and melted, since I wrote here last. 

And we’re still taking care of my wife’s grandmother, who sometimes gets stronger and sometimes weaker.  But she keeps soldiering on. 

I’m not sure anything much will happen in March either.  Mercury is going to be retrograde in Pisces for most of the month, so we may all be locked in a dreamlike state.  Forward motion will be checked in subtle ways.  Someone could start out from her house, follow a winding path, and end up at her own back door.

The month begins with a new moon in which the sun and moon in Pisces are closely conjunct Neptune, the planet of dreams and illusions.  The Pisces New Moon is always a Dreamer’s Moon, a Poet’s Moon, but the conjunction of Neptune makes the dreams that much deeper.  We are all wrapped in the softest mantle of snow.  How can we be bound by something so feathery and fluffy?

This is a gentle new moon, and so the dreams may be beautiful ones.  Even for the feistiest among us, it’s a time of surrender.  There are many things that won’t get done in March, and you can forget about them.  Instead, let your dreams take you wandering down pathways you can only imagine.  There are tunnels, where the sunlight is diffused to a faint glow, and they seem to go on forever.  The ends and the beginnings come together, reminding you that change is just a reconfiguration. 

So does this mean nothing at all will take shape in March?  Are the forces of dissolution so much stronger than the force of creation? 

Well, no.  What’s predominant in March are the energies of Pisces and Neptune – sensitive, subtle, gentle, melancholy or blissful.  The main image of March is that of a dancer who spins to a tune that only she can hear.  But there is an earthier influence, and so there are things that will take shape.  They are slow, but they are solid.  Just as the earth does her steady work under the crust of snow, creating roots and buds, so it will be for us.  There will also be some foundational work this month. 

Mars in Taurus is carrying a lot of this burden, staying sensible while the shape-shifters dance.  Taurus is the fixed earth sign, the one that’s most impervious to the distractions that all this Neptunian energy provides.  And Mars is about the way we use physical energy.  So while Mercury tells ghost stories around a fire, Mars is hewing the logs for the fire, or knitting blankets to keep you warm.  There is practical work to be done, and Mars in Taurus makes sure it happens.

Until the spring equinox of March 20, there are no really speedy influences in March.  When the spring equinox comes along, with the Aries sun, a certain restlessness takes hold, with an urge to pick up the pace.  But the dreams won’t let go.  During the last third of March, Mercury slows down to go direct while conjuncting mystical Neptune, so the mental plane continues to be fanciful and magical.  Mars in Taurus is still plugging away, building something strong and sustaining, but words themselves are even more evanescent and unreliable than before.    

So you could say this will be a month for poets, but you could also say this will be a month for liars.  There’s a pervasive sense of unreality all through March, so it will be hard to even settle on a definition of truth, much less isolate it.  Everyone could stay a bit ambivalent and confused, as well as very easily distracted by strange, twisting scenarios.  We are already seeing this in the highest circles of power in the US government, and we’ll see more in March.

During a Mercury retrograde, people look to the past for answers, generating a lot of  heartfelt nostalgia.  Sometimes this is just a way to check out, to escape into a dreamscape.  And yet there are things in the past that can help us through this time of shadow plays and master manipulation.  There are things we know, even though the knowing can be buried deep, deep inside us. 

Everyone has a single point of universal connection in this complex of nerve endings and stray thoughts we call the self.  From this point, energy springs forth and takes on lights and colors and shapes and textures, making for a life full of sensation and stimulation.  Meditating, you find that beginning point within yourself, and you recognize it as the source of everything you are.              

We all need to spend a lot of time there in March.  It’s a month of strangeness and beauty, confusion and deception, dissolution and transformation.  But we have our answers, in our center selves.  When you get tired of wandering, just be still for a while, and let knowing form within.  It’s always there, even though the weather outside is continually shifting.