Maya del Mar's Daykeeper Journal: Astrology, Consciousness and Transformation


Mercury retro
March 19

Ceres retro
March 21

Saturn direct
March 21

Pluto retro
March 26

M A R C H   2 0 0 5   R E T R O G R A D E   W A T C H

Retrograde Watch
by Maya del Mar

Three planets and one asteroid change direction this month. This is a lot of shifting energy, and it keeps us on our toes. In addition we experience the rising of life at Spring Equinox, when the light force begins to dominate the dark force. All of these shifts occur during the second half of the month. Expect many changes in institutions and in our lives during these two weeks. This is a more concentrated shift of energy than at any other time during 2005, or during most years, for that matter.

Four of those changes occur during the period from March 19-March 21, including Equinox. The fifth is laggard Pluto, who turns retrograde on March 26. This change time will have an irrational character. Two of the turning planets are in the fire element, who operates from instinct, and two are in water signs, who operate from feeling.

March 1 is particularly relevant because it features all four of the month’s changing planets. Perhaps events on the 1st will arouse feelings in all of us that we need a change of direction. Reread the entry in the Daily Success Guide for March 1 with that in mind, as a preview of changes to come. And pay attention to your consciousness that day.

The featured configuration of March 1 is a grand cardinal cross, whose planets denote conflicts in action in regard to the workings of society, security, and business. Fights about the non-problem of social security look likely. The precarious financial position of the United States could be emerging out front as a real problem. With Mars and Aries involved, warlike actions are also possible.

Also on March 1, Mercury squares Pluto. This is Mercury’s only stressful planetary connection before it turns retrograde on March 19. This means that it will carry this energy on its retrograde trip. Mercury with Pluto means thinking deep thoughts, transformation of thoughts, obsession, and manipulation. Revelation of secrets is also likely. Viral epidemics also often accompany a Mercury-Pluto combination. Mercury, of the winged boots and helmet, spreads the message. Pluto replicates in a way which deeply affects the masses.

This is no ordinary Mercury square Pluto. Mercury and Pluto were joined at the hip with the unique Mercury retrograde of last December. This March 1 square is a turning point in that story—which focused on documents showing that Bush himself authorized torture.

By March 19, when Mercury stations, it has reached 15 Aries. This is the power degree of the first sign of the zodiac, a pioneering sign, a fire sign. Mercury in Aries is super-intelligent, but it is also super-impulsive. A retrograde period can be especially useful now, but also especially difficult. During a retrograde time, we take time to process, review, and ponder, and we hold off on acting. This is contrary to Aries’ style, and we are apt to feel frustrated during the Mercury retrograde period, from March 19-April 12. The subject under review now is, "How do we take the initiative in order to be most effective? And how do we include others in our forays?"

Again, the U.S. and GW Bush are featured in the chart set for Mercury’s turning. There is much tension at this time, including Sun finishing traveling in the final minutes of Pisces, and ready to receive Spring’s influx of fresh growth. U.S. power, and ego, are on the line at this time. We can all think about how it can be used more effectively to enhance life.

Ceres turns retrograde early in the morning of March 21, at 26 Scorpio.

Ceres is the Great Mother. She has everything to do with nurturing, care taking, and the whole chain of getting food to the table. In the myth, when Pluto stole her daughter, Persephone, Ceres (Demeter) stopped the earth from producing, and there was drought and starvation throughout the land. Eventually Persephone returned, and Ceres renewed the flowering of the earth. Themes of birth and death, of loss and return, of grief and suffering, are part of Ceres’ story.

Ceres is traveling through Scorpio during much of 2005. She was the signal planet in the Bush Inauguration chart, and thus we see the Scorpio Ceres in action now throughout the world. Mr. Bush, with Pluto on his Ascendant, is Pluto, and he has stolen the daughter, who represents loving nurturing. Ceres in Scorpio is no weak mama. She takes her revenge. Ceres cutting off of the food supply, i.e., nourishment, is endemic now. I could list 1000 examples, but dominant now in the U.S. is the social security fiasco, the systematic transfer of resources to the most wealthy, regardless of who suffers, denial of medical care, denial of help to veterans, the killing fields of Iraq, the torture of prisoners, the cruel onslaught on the earth herself, etc. etc.

Ceres in Scorpio is featured this month. She is featured because she is stationary, barely moving in the sky (from earth’s vantage point), which is a powerful position. And she is featured because for the entire month she closely aspects Pluto, her "ruler." Pluto is associated with Scorpio, and thus always has a lot to say about planets in Scorpio. Pluto is traveling in Sagittarius now, reforming Sagittarian adventurism. It is in Sagittarian arenas that we see both Ceres and Pluto acting out their dramas of birth and death, grief and loss. Sec. Rice may be a dominant figure this month. She is a Scorpio Sun sign, with Ceres in Scorpio. And her job has a Sagittarian nature.

Ceres travels retrograde until June 26. Perhaps during that time we can see, and think about how to repair, some of the real problems in regard to the many kinds of malnourishment in the world.

Also on March 21, but at night, Saturn stations and turns direct at 21 Cancer. New approaches to responsibility, to government, and to business can move ahead now.

So far, all three of the stationing planets have made their turn in the ninth house of their charts, set for Washington. This is the arena of foreign affairs, which is, in fact, a Sagittarian concern. (Sagittarius is the U.S. rising sign.) Turnarounds there are appropriate, for the U.S., according to many commentators, has indeed reached a dead end in foreign affairs.

Saturn’s last challenging aspects were with Mars and with Vesta, as part of a T-square in action-oriented cardinal signs earlier this month. Doing battle for security is the short key here. Now Saturn carries that energy out into the world, using its sense of inner authority to manifest its will.

21 Cancer, where Saturn has been sitting for a few weeks, also carries Plutonian renovative energy. We see dynamic Pluto operating everywhere this month, bringing power up from the depths to transform life.

Perhaps Pluto itself may have gone too far, for Pluto turns retrograde on March 26, at 25 Sagittarius. This is a new degree for Pluto, which it entered about mid-February. Several new power moves emerged during that week: Lynn Stewart was found guilty of terrorism, a decision which negates the right of client-attorney confidentiality, and is a huge blow to civil liberties. N. Korea announced they had WMD’s, thanks to U.S. provocation. The Democrats are emerging with fighting words. There are elections in Iraq. The Kyoto Treaty goes into effect. Condoleezza Rice travels to Europe in her debut as Sec. of State. Many more issues were brought into the public arena that week. For me, my children began a campaign to help me reorganize my space. All of these things will be assimilated privately now, at the same time as they continue to be built up with Saturn’s strong help. Saturn is a manifester.

Pluto turns direct on September 2. It is always an important time in the affairs of humans when Pluto emerges out of hiding, and moves again out into the world.

Here is a brief summary of planetary energy-change possibilities this month. We review our attitudes towards our use of aggressive energy, particularly in regard to security. We try to get a grip on the big issue of life nourishment, and how we can shift from Scorpio’s death-drive to Scorpio’s resurrection-drive. We move out into the world with a new authority to fulfill our responsibilities, especially those for nurturing (Cancer). And we begin some months of assimilating and working on inner levels with the emerging new power moves in our lives and in the world.

March is a very significant and challenging month.

Want to know the planetary retrogrades for the year, in advance? NOW AVAILABLE, Maya's handy, printable 2005 Retrograde Guide shows you at a glance the upcoming retrogrades for the year ahead, and how to best apply your energies during each period.

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