We are approaching a time of change and transformation. It starts with the dreamy New Moon in Pisces, and Saturn moving into Pisces, plus Venus and Pluto being in the last degree of their signs. We float on the ebb and flow of Jupiter and Neptune, as we seek healing through Chiron. Indeed, there's an ethereal undercurrent to this Pisces experience we're in!
NEW MOON in PISCES 01°22'
Ottawa, Canada and
Washington DC, USA:
Feb. 20, 2023, 2:05 AM EST
Feb. 19, 2023
11:05 PM PST
10:05 PM AKST
9:05 PM HAST
Feb. 20, 2023, 7:05 AM GMT
Feb. 20, 2023, 6:05 PM AEDT
Balances flow into one another, like the tides. Their boundaries are seldom clearly drawn.
~ J. Earp
Any New Moon in Pisces invites us to surrender to the non-rational, intuitive, universal and/or spiritual side of life. At its best, this may come through dreams, or exquisite imaginative beauty like music or art, or through a heartfelt connection to a sense of universal love and peace.
If it all sounds larger-than-life or a bit too euphoric to be real, then you've discovered the tricky potential downside of Pisces – illusion, delusion and pretense. It can be tempting to seek intoxicating submission and letting go of strife through alcohol or drugs or other addictive activities, but in Pisces' realm these are more of a side street or cul-de-sac than a dedicated path to true peace.
How can you tell the difference? How do you know if something is real or an illusion? Sometimes you just have to "go there" and check it out to see what you find, like trying another path in a maze. But Pisces will tell you that ultimately life is more like a labyrinth where all paths inevitably lead to the centre if you just keep going.
The key to Pisces is to listen to the small voice within, but again how can we know? Is it the intuitive voice from the spirit or essence of who we are? Or is it an echo of old conditioned expectations, or perhaps the longing hope for something we haven't yet earned?
In Pisces we encounter ambiguity, mystery and abstraction. Not only can it be tricky telling truth from fiction and reality from illusion, but in Pisces there may not be a clear line between them. It's subtle...
Doubt everything. Find your own light.
~ Gautama Buddha, Sayings of Buddha
Saturn is in the second-last degree of Aquarius where it's been since December 2020, and the New Moon is in the second degree at the start of Pisces. So, Saturn is conjunct the Sun and Moon, even though they're in different signs; their 3:11 orb is plenty close enough to merge their energies.
Saturn is all about logic and practicality, while Pisces is about intuition and creativity. Their energies usually mix in three possible ways. Saturn might create a place of confinement that limits Pisces, thereby straining its magic through a filter of realism and a demand for proof. Or Pisces may dissolve and blur Saturn's crisp edges, making it difficult for us to know how to navigate through Saturn's world of structured reality. Or they could balance each other out and combine the best of both worlds.
Saturn is about to move into Pisces on March 7th, the same day as the upcoming Full Moon in Virgo. It will stay in that sign until February 2026, with a brief preview of Aries in 2025. So, with Saturn conjunct the New Moon in Pisces, the latter opens the door to that sign, giving Saturn a whiff of that surreal energy.
Your sense of being anchored in the "real world" might seem to fluctuate or blur a bit during this lunar cycle, although you could also begin to perceive the beauty, mysticism and idealized vision of the world around you. On one hand, you might find it hard to let go of Saturn's carefully ordered way of understanding life, which might lead to pessimism or even cynicism.
On the other hand, Saturn could bring skepticism and questioning to what Pisces claims to offer, which can be helpful to avoid falling headfirst into Piscean waters. A healthy sense of doubt can be a good thing, alongside a willingness to give life and the Universe the benefit of that doubt.
As if you were on fire from within.
The moon lives in the lining of your skin.
~ Pablo Neruda
Other than the conjunction to Saturn, the New Moon makes no major aspects to other planets (i.e. Ptolemaic aspects). However, the Sun, Moon and Saturn all have semisextile aspects (30° apart) to Pluto and Venus. The trio and the duo also share a midpoint within just 10 minutes of arc, strengthening the interplay between all these energies.
Venus and Pluto form an exact sextile aspect (60° apart), which enables them to blend their resources and energies in innovative ways. This could bring passionate creativity, ardent love, or gathering together the hidden treasures or secret pleasures.
There's a caution here, too: the sextile makes it easier to combine any energies together, which could produce either beneficial or detrimental results. For example, mixing ammonia and bleach together creates a poisonous gas that can kill you. On the other hand, many ingredients found in your kitchen can be combined into eco-friendly and safe cleaning solutions. So when you go to bring energies together, it may be wise to question whether this will be favorable or... not.
The Sun-Moon-Saturn trio and the Venus-Pluto duo form a tiny and subtle, yet distinctive, aspect pattern which Huber Astrology named the Little Eye or Little Ear. The planet(s) at the apex of this tiny triangle figure – Sun, Moon and Saturn, in this case – act like an antenna or satellite dish or photosensitive paper, picking up delicate perceptions through the interaction of the sextile planets.
Overall, this configuration could make you more receptive to the world around you, hearing faint or indirect signals that aren't obvious. For example, the Sun at the apex can make it easier to see a reflection of yourself in the deep lust for life shared by Venus and Pluto. The apex Moon may colour your emotions and intuition, either picking up on the feelings and desires in others, or seeing a reflection of your own feelings and desires amplified by your interactions with others.
Saturn at the apex will want to make sense of what you think you're picking up. You might be wondering if what you're picking up is real or a projection of your own hopes and fears, or just an overactive imagination. If what you're picking up from others feels unpleasant or overwhelming, Saturn might want to—or need to—step in and draw some firm boundaries to maintain a more comfortable distance. On the other hand, if the experience is welcome and enjoyable, the Saturn part of you might try to define, clarify and solidify what's happening so that it doesn't just fade away.
It takes love to hold on when you want to let go. It takes love to let go when you want to hold on.
~ Kate McGahan
There's a lot of shifting energy out there in the ether these days! When slow-moving planets change signs, it creates a "disturbance in The Force." Life can feel like shifting sands beneath your feet, and the collective is often beset by instability, uncertainty, and mutating energy.
Endings often stir up anxiety in us. What will happen to us? Are we losing something we still want? Will the future bring the answer to current problems? Will it be too late to grab something we're not ready to lose yet? Is it too soon to know what will be?
Both Venus and Pluto are in the last degree of their signs: Pisces and Capricorn, respectively. Venus is practically in the final minute of Pisces, and skips into Aries less than an hour after the New Moon perfects (becomes exact). The final degree of any sign is a jumping-off point and a place of transition, where the planet isn't entirely focused in the sign it's leaving, but isn't yet in the sign where it's going.
It can bring a feeling of being a bit uprooted, unsettled, eager, impatient or reluctant, depending on how you feel about shifting into the new sign. Any unfinished business leftover from the current sign will have to wait until the next time around, or will have to be dealt with through the fresh perspective of the upcoming sign.
Slow-moving Pluto has been in Capricorn since 2008 – about the time when the world economy had a nervous breakdown. Since then we have collectively struggled to stabilize global finances, resources and commerce, which has led to many changes to government structures, laws and policies. Individually we have all had to adjust to these changing landscapes, while reviewing how to make the structures, practices and resources of our personal lives fit the world around us.
This year, Pluto begins to move into Aquarius. This involves a year-and-a-half-long transition period moving from Capricorn into Aquarius. Pluto shifts into Aquarius from March 23, 2023 to June 11; then from Jan. 20, 2024 to Sep. 1, 2024; and then the final move happens Nov. 19, 2024 until March 8, 2043.
Overall, Pluto's energy is shifting from Capricorn's focus on government control to Aquarius' emphasis on the collective, networking and group dynamics. Capricorn is more like strong-arming someone to comply with rules, whereas Aquarius is more about facilitating and steering the energy currents within the group.
We are likely to see more grassroots movements, attitudes embedded in one's surrounding culture, and peer pressure influence. These are a more Aquarian way to steer and manoeuvre through the group norms that form the glue that holds the collective together. As a result, our relationship to groups, clubs, organizations, friends and networks is likely to change over the next 20 years.
As mentioned above, Saturn is fast approaching the end of Aquarius. This is the first sign change since Saturn entered Aquarius in December 2020 and hooked up with Jupiter in the latest Great Conjunction, which took place in the first degree of that sign. For the next 2-3 years, Saturn will be wading through Piscean waters, trying to find a firm footing on its muddy bottom.
The point of modernity is to live a life without illusions while not becoming disillusioned.
~ Antonio Gramsci
Neptune in Pisces is another slow-mover, being in Pisces since 2011, and doesn't reach Aries for another 2-3 years. This has provided a backdrop to our lives filled with idealism, perfectionism and aspiration. Collectively and individually, we have searched for a way of transforming the world into something larger than life that can transcend our mundane experiences.
From religion to science to politics, we have seen a quest to manifest something greater than what we have previously been capable of. And since these areas all have very different agendas, priorities, ideals and purposes, all pulling in different directions, it's often been a rather confusing and perplexing 12 years!
Neptune is a ruler of Pisces in modern astrology, so whatever is happening to Neptune will cast an aura over this 4-week lunar cycle. Neptune is still glowing after a visit from Venus on Feb. 15 (24:04 Pisces), and the two of them (still less than 6° apart) add a lovely warm atmosphere to the New Moon. Venus is exalted in Pisces and after her rendezvous with Neptune, she is rocking an extra beautiful radiance.
This transit is especially wonderful for anything creative, from art to music to dance to cooking, to anything that benefits from making something better by using your imagination. So dust off your inspiration bonnet and look for ways to bring more love and beauty into your life. Venus is also tightly semisquare to Uranus (45° apart), so for best results, dare to try something different, out of character, or just delightfully weird (although keep a reality check on possible consequences you would rather do without).
Neptune and Jupiter are contraparallel by declination, which creates a connection between the two rulers of Pisces and adding to the otherworldly aura throughout the lunar cycle. They remain within a 1° orb from mid-February to early-March reaching exact on Feb. 24th. During this time, Venus also joins them by declination. She passes Neptune by parallel on Feb. 15 and then with Jupiter on Feb. 28.
In between, Venus crosses the Celestial Equator going North on Feb. 21, which echoes Jupiter's zigzag along the equator from May 2022 through January 2023. Crossing the equator hits a kind of reset button on the planet, where it takes a fresh breath before moving on into a new focus. With Jupiter, this has been about moral ethics, broader understanding, international relations, and spiritual orientation.
As Venus passes by Neptune and Jupiter, all of them so close to the equator (up to 3° South and North), she may seek to bring peace to the above-mentioned Jupiter-Neptune conflict areas. On the other hand, Venus sometimes prefers to instigate conflict as a way of straightening out the imbalances and clearing the air, like drawing attention to the "elephant in the room" that everyone's trying to pretend isn't there.
The dates when Venus' influence might be noticeable are approximately Feb. 15/16 (parallel Neptune, contraparallel Jupiter), Feb. 21 (crosses the equator), and Feb. 28 (parallel Jupiter, contraparallel Neptune).
Conscience is that still, small voice that is sometimes too loud for comfort.
~ Bert Murray
Jupiter is the traditional ruler of Pisces, so his itinerary will also influence the New Moon in his sign. Currently in enthusiastic Aries, his energy seeks to inspire, motivate and uplift us to follow our dreams and dare to venture beyond the familiar. However, it could also lead to snap judgments before knowing all the facts, or being a bit too aggressive in one's opinions.
We're coming up to the Jupiter-Chiron conjunction which has one exact pass: March 12th at 14:26 of Aries. They linger within an 8° orb from Jan. 22nd to April 25th, doing a sacred firewalk in conjunction and passing over the hottest coals from March 6-17 (1° orb). Jupiter and Chiron are also parallel by declination throughout April and exact on the 16th.
Jupiter's optimism and pursuit of truth and meaning are combined with Chiron's quest to find healing for physical and existential struggles that will balance what we can and cannot control. The conjunction and parallel connections between them add extra sizzle ...or fizzle, depending on how well you work with the struggle or resist it.
The last conjunction was in 2009 in Aquarius, when we were being challenged to come together to heal the collective wounds from a collapsing economy. This time, Jupiter catches up to Chiron in Aries which asks us to find purpose, courage and persistence in what may sometimes feel like a losing battle.
Although there's still a month before this conjunction is exact, it's especially relevant now because Jupiter is a planetary ruler of the New Moon, and therefore sends his energy home to the Pisces Sun and Moon to carry it with them through this 4-week lunar cycle. At best, think of a vivid sunrise laced with grey clouds – brilliant Jupiter-in-Aries energy contrasted with Chiron-in-Aries shadows. On the other hand, those clouds might bring rain which, although refreshing, could make the energy a bit drab and depressing.
Jupiter's moral side may see a situation where you're called upon to listen to your conscience, in a situation where you're tempted to avoid doing the right thing because it's just easier that way. But ignoring your better judgment could bring consequences that make you wish you'd taken the high road instead. Or it may even be unclear what the right thing to do is, and you might need to go with "the least of evils." Chiron complicates things.
Venus also conjoins Jupiter and Chiron on March 2nd and 3rd respectively, remaining within an 8° orb from around Feb. 22 to March 10. This may challenge us to find enjoyment, pleasure and happiness in the moment amid some larger, ongoing, awkward situation. Venus combined with Jupiter, both upbeat energies, can add some extra optimism and increase our ability to rise above sadness or discouragement. In a Jupiter-Chiron situation where it's unclear what is best to do, Venus' message is: when in doubt, err on the side of love.
Sabian Symbol for Pisces 2: A squirrel hiding from hunters.
We usually think of squirrels for their practice of hiding nuts that can be retrieved later for food. This involves protection from lack and ensures its ability to survive. Yet, this Sabian Symbol focuses on the idea of having survival threatened due to an external imminent risk. The Symbol seems to warn of the possibility of a more immediate problem that must be addressed, which is more urgent than nurturing one's long-term survival.
This Symbol also hints at the need to stay alert amid a situation that is problematic yet uncertain. It's wise to be wary in Pisces. Life is not all sweetness and light. In Saturn's physical world there are risks, dangers, troubles and tricks. And although it's possible, even necessary, to learn how to relax and enjoy the beauty in that world, it doesn't eliminate the potential problems.
Because Time is not something to be measured with the eyes, but by the Heart, it's never too late to go and change.
~ Ana Claudia Antunes
The chart of the New Moon in Pisces is full of gentle, subtle and liminal energies. The Little Eye aspect pattern that involves two 29° planets (Venus and Pluto) is a prime example. The Sun-Moon conjunction at the apex adds to the ethereal nature of this figure, emphasizing the need to include our intuition, non-rational, right-brain thinking when assessing what's happening in the world around us. With Saturn conjunct the Pisces Sun and Moon, we are warned not to leave our left-brain, rational, pragmatic thoughts behind.
There's actually second Little Eye pattern in the chart: Mars sextile Chiron, with Uranus semisextile to both. In this case, Mars and Chiron indicate an enhanced ability to use activity, action and assertive energy when faced with a need to problem-solve. Uranus at the apex suggests that the best solutions might be surprising, unexpected or unconventional.
Mars is now direct and approaching the end of the retrograde shadow on March 15th, crossing the point where he went retrograde back on October 30th last year. Mars finally moves into Cancer in a few weeks after spending 7 months in Gemini, from August 20,2022 to March 25, 2023. That is an extraordinarily long time, considering Mars usually changes signs about every couple of months or so. We really should add Mars to the above list of significant sign changes over the next month or so.
The reason for the ultralong stay in Gemini is that the Mars retrograde cycle has taken place entirely in that sign. If you feel like you've noticed an unusual amount of conflict, argument, debate, violence, and fast-moving ideas during this retrograde cycle, you're not alone. Active Mars in communicative Gemini has raised some periods of highly charged discussion since last August.
Mars remains Out-of-Bounds by declination for another 2½ months, coming In-Bounds on May 5th. As a result, some of that retrograde-like Mars tension and controversy are likely to stay with us for a little while longer. This can also be a good time to channel your passionate energy into a cause of some kind that you want to fight for. The point is: energy in general remains high, so put it to good use.
Mercury is trine Mars, reaching exact on Feb. 22nd, which can increase the flow of ideas and self-expression. With Mercury in Aquarius, aim to speak to a higher vision of possibilities when your urge for words rises up. Jupiter, and Chiron even more-so, are sextile to Mercury and Mars, which forms a Mini-Trine aspect pattern. This configuration can increase opportunities and ideas to be used as resources for a project, a goal, or a new perspective about something that has been troubling you. This figure remains in orb only for about a week, from Feb. 17-24, so make the most of it.
Overall, the chart of the New Moon in Pisces tells us:
- Trust the transition, but it's still up to you how you move through the process. (Sun-Moon-Saturn)
- Seek beauty in the moments where you can find it, but remember that love and beauty are fleeting and continue to change. (Venus-Neptune)
- You are approaching multiple rites of passage over the next few months, so be open to the transition. (Pluto, Saturn, Mars changing signs)
- Dare to have faith in your ability to survive and grow through struggle. (Jupiter-Chiron)
- Speak your truth with integrity and self-honesty. (Mercury-Mars-Jupiter-Chiron)
- Be aware of the small voice within you, but remember that this voice often speaks in metaphor. It's good to question how literally to take it. (Little Ear/Eye patterns)
The next update will be for the Full Moon in Virgo on March 7, 2023. Meanwhile, stay safe. Stay sane. Stay awesome. The world has need of you. ❤️
Perhaps it requires of you precisely this existential anxiety in order to begin. Precisely these days of transition are perhaps the period when everything in you is working...
~ Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet
© 2023-02-18 Wendy Guy, all rights reserved. Astrological diagrams by Wendy Guy. Divider of mermaid by Sergei Tokmakov via Pixabay.com. Photo of sunset by Jian Chen via Unsplash.com. Sabian symbol image of squirrel by Joe Breuer via Pixabay.com.