When the Sun is still in the watery mutable sign of Pisces, the Moon at full phase is in Virgo. The polarity of these two signs is one of sympathy and service. Whereas Pisces is like the unfathomable great oceans, its opposite number, earthy Virgo, is like a narrowly focused lens. The Pisces imperative is to love all unconditionally. Virgo brings balance, with discriminating wisdom, the honing of skills, careful attention to detail, and the ability to stand alone.
Yet Pisces and Virgo need each other. Without discrimination, the unbounded compassion of Pisces can yield a type of overwhelm and even victimhood and/or addiction. Without Piscean acceptance, Virgo can fall prey to the paralysis of self-criticism. Put the two of them together and they are a powerhouse: Pisces wants to save the world and will not stop. Virgo will make a shopping list and a schedule and clears away the weeds on a path forward. Each Full Moon is an opportunity to bask in awe of how opposites don’t just attract—they create and sustain.
At this Full Moon, Saturn and Pluto are both at the final 29th degree of Saturn’s two signs, Aquarius and Capricorn, respectively. When the slow-moving, outer planets change signs, it’s a big deal because these ingresses usher in new social and world dynamics that affect us all.
Pluto is a slow-moving dwarf planet, and its 248-year orbit around the Sun has recently brought it to the “return” of its position at the time of the United States’ birth. This country has been undergoing the kinds of disruptive changes that Pluto is known to bring. On March 23, Pluto will make its first of three forays into the sign of Aquarius before it settles there from November 2024 until 2044. This is a long transit marking a generation of seismic changes likely to unfold, neither all good nor all bad but daunting, to say the least.
The March 7 Full Moon will make two quick aspects: a trine to quirky Uranus still in Taurus, meaning that something pleasantly way-out might happen; and a square to Mars in Gemini, meaning that you might have a communications snafu or an argument or just want to not think about something for a bit.
The most striking feature of this Full Moon is that about an hour later, Saturn will “ingress” Pisces. This is the start of a major transit that will go on for the next three years.
Until modern technology enabled the discovery of planets not visible to the human eye, for millennia, Saturn was the outermost planetary body studied by astrologers. Saturn has an orbit of about 29.5 years, changing signs about every three years. In our individual horoscopes, the “return” of Saturn to the degree and sign it occupied at birth is a major turning point in life, coinciding with the end of youth in one’s late 20s, the onset of elderhood in one’s late 50s, and for those who live until their late 80s, the ending of a particular life.
Saturn has many astrological meanings. It can be about hardship, loss, aging, and death. It is also about structures, hard work, maturity, facing reality, and taking responsibility. To respond appropriately to what life throws at us is a wisdom skill learned through practice over time.
Saturn has to do with endurance. It is the opposite of soft and squishy. And yet now, Saturn enters Pisces, which is soft, not firm; moving, ambivalent, not stuck. It will be a curious time with Saturn leaving its home signs of Aquarius, and before that Capricorn, since 2017, and wading into the uncharted waters of Pisces.
My astrological thinking is influenced, in large part, by the many books, articles and webinars I take in. On the subject of Saturn’s 2023 ingress into Pisces, I’ve been enjoying a recent webinar and article by astrologer Lynn Bell, who teaches that this transit is about dissolving boundaries. Is that a good or bad thing? It depends. Lynn Bell points to the fact that the last time Saturn was in Pisces, the world witnessed destabilization and shocking massacres in Rwanda and later in Sebrenica (in former Yugoslavia). A period of Saturn in Pisces can spell a dissolution of social control and norms of human behavior on a mass and chaotic scale. This is a possibility.
Also, though, the early 1990s saw the construction of a new constitution in post-apartheid South Africa and the democratic election of Nelson Mandela as president. Between 1993 and 1996, email became widely available. It has dissolved communication boundaries between people around the world, and we’re now also flooded with it.
“As Saturn goes into Pisces,” Lyn Bell writes in the Evolving Astrologer magazine, “we will meet the opportunity to determine whether we need fewer boundaries (more openness) or more boundaries to protect ourselves from chaotic forces.”
We just don’t know how Saturn in Pisces will play out on world stages. But what each of us can do is take a look at the house(s) where Pisces lies in our own charts, and consider where in our own lives we’d like to strengthen or loosen boundaries.
On a personal level, I’ve got a sweet tooth, and I could benefit from applying some Saturnian discipline to rein in my chocolate vice. I’ve tamed it before and can do it again!
More broadly, since Pisces is the sign held by my Seventh House of partnerships of all kinds, I’m thinking about Saturn’s transit through my Seventh House as a time of both making a commitment to a new relationship—that’s about building a walled container—and also loosening my heart’s boundaries in ways that have previously kept someone out.
The transit of Saturn in Pisces is an ideal time for everyone to set some new boundaries to protect personal time and space. It’s time to take a vow, to bring something up from the depths of one’s own psyche, out into the world of form. Something built to last.
Blessings for the Virgo Full Moon and Saturn’s ingress into Pisces!
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