March 9, 2029 at not quite 11pm, sees the start of the third Decan of Pisces, ruled by Mars and named “the cup of blood” by Austin Coppock. The very end of the zodiac cycle, the third decan of Pisces closes the astrological year, and completes the work of the thirty-six signs. Not for me of course. I started with Leo I, in July 2019 — so I have another five months to go before I finish out this column.
Austin Coppock described the Decan we’re leaving behind as “the Net” — the glittering Net of Indra, from Hindu mythology. The net is a fishing tool, of course, but for the gods, each knot that holds the net together is a jewel, reflecting and enhancing its nearby neighbors. The result is a glorious web where each part indicates, reflects and supports the whole. However, despite being beautiful, the net remains a potential place of capture and control. While the net is open, we are often barely aware that we are in a net at all. It’s only when the net closes, or when we struggle against its constraints, that we discover that the glittery illusion of freedom is replaced by a web of tight control. The Hellenistic era assigned the previous Decan, as well, to the deity Dolus, or trickery, the somewhat-slow and incapable workman in the studio of Prometheus. Prometheus shaped animals, plants, minor gods and mortal humans from clay, and fired them in the oven. One day, as Prometheus worked on the anthropomorphic deity of Truth, Dolus began imitating his master’s gestures, and gradually produced a parallel figure, an almost-twin, Falsehood. Whether by accident or deliberate design, both went into the kiln, and the only distinction between them is that one has badly-malformed feet. But which one has the bad feet?? It’s no surprise, then, that we’ve been in a season in which truth and falsehood have had nebulous and uncertain connections to one another, that the trickery is glittery, and the truth is a sturdy web that traps us — or is that the other way around?
But the new Decan, Decan III, “The Cup of Blood” ruled by Mars, is more of an absolutist model. Hellenistic sources assigned it to Elpis, the daemon of Hope, trapped in Pandora’s jar and not released from the tasks of crafting mortal illusions. Tarot gives this Decan to the powers represented by the ten of cups — the joy and happiness of emotional riches, and not simply the coin of the realm. As the ending of the cycle, Pisces III demands risk far beyond reward — the revelation of truth at any cost. As I write this, New York stock markets are in freefall, there’s signs of an oil price-war, and the “novel coronavirus” COVID-19 is loosed upon the world. Hope seems a tremendously fragile thing to put one’s trust in. Nonetheless, that’s where we put our trust, because all the other possible places to put our trust — in investments, our health, in energy, in political stability — are all being shown to have “bad feet.” Until we investigate, a true course of action will be difficult to determine.
Let’s take a look at the placements of the planets, and then explore the horoscopes by rising sign, to see if we can come to some conclusions without jumping to them.
The Sun enters the Decan in the Fifth House in Pisces, where it conjoins Neptune. Here’s where we see the dichotomy between the collapse of trust, represented by the boundary-dissolving Lord of Waters; and the establishment of hope in each other’s willingness to sacrifice, represented by the Sun shining upon the blood we pour out for one another. The cycle of the Zodiac is coming to its end, closing out the books on a great many things — so that new ventures can be launched soon.
With the Ascendant in Scorpio, we should expect these next ten days to play out in a ‘fixed’ or ‘stable’ way — we’re unlikely to see substantial change or revision of plans, and we’re unlikely to be able to alter present trajectories more than with minor adjustments.
Aries and the Sixth House are currently empty, but questions of health and illness should not be ruled off the table — Mars, exalted in the house of kith and kin presently signified by Capricorn — is likely to bring swift fevers to many people we know. Close by in the Third House, Jupiter, Pluto, and Saturn all jostle for power in the Decan that Austin called “The Throne” — the ceremonial seat of power from which policy is made: will the policy be that of mercy, duty, or widespread calamity? Currently, Saturn’s rulership is but timidly counterbalanced by Jupiter’s merciful abundance— the illness will expand, but not so far it cannot be reined in. All in all, though, we should prepare for matters to get worse before better. The South Node, in the Decan of “The Headless Body”, invites us to consider restraint and limitation on our enjoyments of the flesh — even as the North Node in Cancer invites us to hunger for the warm and nurturing embrace of faraway family in the Decan of “Mother and Child”.
Mercury wanders in the Decan of the Labyrinth at the end of Aquarius. Retrograde, they invite us to review and consider our plans and our household management — however, the looping and wandering path of the unicursal maze suggests circuitous communications, and a lack of clarity about what these decisions mean to our long-term health and well-being. We are choosing how without knowing the why, or the what.
At the western horizon, Venus and Uranus sink below the generous pastures of Taurus, announcing disruptions to the comfortable relationships of our lives. The times being as they are, we should expect that ongoing revolutions will take place in our romantic and business connections to our primary partners.
The Moon, at 25° Virgo, stands at the turning point of the Decan of “The Sarcophagus” — the point at which the decay of death starts to become the compost that births something new. Even with all the terrible news of the next ten days, we should expect that a new world is starting to emerge from the decay. Tropically, the Moon is in the Fourteenth Mansion, “the Unarmed,” represented by a dog chasing its own tail — the notion of futile pursuit, and the breaking apart of overly-restrictive normalcy. Sidereally, the Moon is in the Twelfth Mansion, “the Changer”, who represents strife, constriction of movement, and hinderance to travel. Thus, between these two mansions, we have the story of the broad range of responses to the viral story of the hour — the breaking apart of restriction, and efforts to limit travel. We’re right where we’re supposed to be, in other words. (P.S., Don’t understand Mansions of the Moon? Here’s Chris LaFond to explain them.)
Rising Sign Horoscopes
Scorpio: Decisions for kin demand attention;
home is where you craft words to match your dreams;
a partner’s luck brings risk of dissension,
while desire’s ocean sparkles and gleams.
Sagittarius: “Mind on your money” keeps your butt in seat,
managing the wilds for kin and house —
your fun’s constricted to home, on repeat;
your partner’s work wakes secret cause to grouse.
Capricorn: you’re currently in charge, and that implies
labyrinthine dialogues in the den;
in the search for joy, a quarantine dies —
and lover brings new upheaval again.
Aquarius: Express your dreams with circuitous routes;
drag sieves through your ocean of expenses;
home bucks like broncos, full of lover’s doubts —
it’s time to corral some lax pretenses.
Pisces: Sunlight on ocean brings needful review
of what happens when the swamp finally drains;
sibling-spouse brings in her whole pleasure-crew,
when your own close friends know little but pains.
Aries: cutbacks at work bring a shortened commute;
perhaps to the home desk, just down the hall —
your spouse brings fortune, wealth and repute;
but plans for journeys unravel and stall.
Taurus: Your partner’s upheavals are now your own,
as travel plans are cut down like dry grass —
letters go out, your hand in them unknown;
not all that you expect shall come to pass.
Gemini: Your secret dreams indicate a longing
to visit some relations needing care:
home seems a career in want of tending;
this might be labor that you ought to share.
Cancer: your spouse’s relations become your charge,
as your scheming cuts through their red tape;
your mind wants the beach, to heal and recharge —
spouse-friends want country for rest and escape.
Leo: Your fame is on the line in current plans,
and you’re paying gold coin to buy bronze bits;
work trips are subject to new travel bans,
A spouse’s career needs courage and wits.
Virgo: Chasing in uncertain circles a goal,
you find yourself home in a state of grace;
“in charge” is now your self-appointed role —
determined to keep your lover in place.
Libra: There’s lonely comfort in holding your own
when all your allies are chasing strange hopes;
travel bans feel like oppression at home;
but bathing brings relief with scrubbing soaps.
I use iPhemeris for my charting software, and screenshot it to make charts. I use Christopher Warnock‘s The Mansions of the Moon as the basis of my Moon placement delineations, and Austin Coppock‘s 36 Faces as the basis of some of my planetary delineations. Neither gentleman endorses me.
Any errors in these columns are my own.
If you’d like to schedule a consultation with me, you can find additional information on the Services and Classes page.
If you want to read some of my other astrologically-oriented poetry, To the Mansions of the Moon is a collection of hymns to the angels of the Mansions mentioned in these columns. For the Behenian Stars is a collection of hymns to the first/brightest sixteen stars. The Sun’s Paces are hymns to the thirty-six Hellenistic-era deities and ascended souls of the Greco-Egyptian Decans-calendar. While not astrological, Festae contains hymns to some of the older Roman gods and spirits from the calendar created by Numa Pompilius, the second ancient King of Rome.
[…] Ascendant is more or less conjunct Neptune in the First House, in the third decan The Cup of Blood. Neptune is the dissolving force, the action of mass movements and crowds that disperses and dilutes […]