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Still closely aligned with the planet Venus, the Sun enters Aries II on March 30, 2021 at 7:55 am EDT, with the ruling planet Mars sextile by sign and decan aspects to them both. The Sun begins his approach to his own degree of exaltation on April 17 (18° Aries or the 19th degree), and is understood to rule (or maybe govern) this decan; while Venus begins these next ten days “in her chariot,” the second term of Aries. To some degree protected from the more malicious influences of Mars, both planets give favor to the themes of the twelfth house — that is, more time on our own and in relative isolation, where creativity and the functions of the higher mind have a chance to do their work. Some may call it prison, others may call it quarantine, and still others may call it monastic retreat. One way or another, we may find some form of solitude useful in the next ten days.
Austin Coppock called this decan The Crown, and there are good reasons for this image. The Sun is the chief luminary, and indeed the chief planet of astrology; this is the ten degrees where the Sun is in his greatest splendor and power — able to ask anything of anyone, and having few responsibilities in turn. When in Leo, the sun rules, but in Aries (and particularly in this decan), he arrives arrayed in purple cloak and crown, surrounded by attendance in full livery, and riding in a golden coach. Everyone around him is prepared to cater to his every need, and no one can gainsay him any particular whim. Particularly now, at the start of spring, the Sun commands our attention in the Northern Hemisphere, for gardening, for suntanning, and for being out of doors. We are at his service and his whim.
The Hellenistic text 36 Airs of the Zodiac is a list of Greco-Roman-Egyptian deities, assigning a god or demigod or hero to each of the decans — and this decan belongs to Hades’ wife, Persephone. We may know her from the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, where she is the one who devises the task to bring the harper’s wife out of the underworld, and she alone resists his talents. Ancient stories of the goddess weep and bewail her kidnapping and her consumption of the food of the dead, while modern tales focus on a different story, in which she is a forceful and independently-minded woman who marries Hades as much because she loves him as to escape a domineering mother. One way or another, this is the season of her return from the world below, and the commencement of the upwelling of flowers from the ground and the early part of leaf-break when the trees prepare to open their solar panels to the Sun (at my latitude, we’ll have to wait several more weeks before our yard is shadowed in green, I think).
Of course, as T. Susan Chang has pointed out in her new work 36 Secrets on the decanic minors, we can also associate this card with the Three of Wands in the Tarot — the man standing with his back to us, looking out a gate at a barren landscape brimming with possibility. I see this card with us standing in the role of Eurydice: we are the ones standing at the door between life and death, and Orpheus the prince of poetry and music is guiding us forward. If he looks back, we ourselves are doomed; but if we go where music and verse lead us, there is a new day approaching. What is the Tolkien line? “If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.”
Saturn throws a cooling, drying blanket on these festivities, though, with a sextile from Aquarius in the tenth house. Here at my house, we’re looking at a number of days of rain coming up. Our road is a morass of mud (I live on a dirt road now), and internet-use involves a cellphone hotspot which tends to stop working at inconvenient times. Mars in Gemini in the second house flings back his rays to the Sun and Venus, too, and trines Saturn — thus, both malefics promise money issues and political turmoil (and Mars in Gemini — two pricks? Two sharp stabs from the divine helpers who have been the wingéd Sons of Zeus, providing medicine and healing, and conveying partial immortality and mortality? Must we be so obvious?) which is likely to hold us back. Saturn promises to cool and dry, and Mars promises to heat and dry — so a temperate season may emerge, more dry than wet, and perhaps not well-suited for happy reunions of the vaccinated.
The four duodecimas of Aries II are Leo, Virgo, Libra, and Scorpio — first promising the power of the sun, and then the rising plants (Rumi called this “the re-appearance of the green ones”), the rebalancing of moisture and heat in the soil, and the re-emergence of insect life. Another way of thinking about it is first the emergence of fierce heat (we shot from the mid-40s° F to the high 70°s F in two days!), the changes in the earth, the emergence of greenery (Venus’s management here matters), and finally the intensity of changes wrought by warm water in the ground and the warm sap in the roots.
As an aside— I’m reading Ben Dykes‘ translation of Abu Mashar’s Great Introduction to the Science of the Judgement of the Stars, and I’m struck, again, by the way in which he and other ancient authors talk about how planets rule or govern. It appears (at least from translation), that the verb “to rule” (whether Arabic, Latin, or Greek) gets used a lot, and covers everything from how a planet rules a sign to how a planet rules a specific degree. Yet in English, we have many different kinds of ‘rulership’, and it may be helpful to readers to know that I try to use different verbs for different types of subdivisions of signs: so planets rule signs (30° wide), but lead or govern terms/bounds (varying from 8° to 4° wide), administer or administrate decans (10° wide) , supervise half-decans (5°), and perhaps manage duodecimas (2.5° wide). A variety of types of rulership thus play into the types of zodiacal subdivision.
It’s thus fair to say that this decan of Aries II, with its connections to Persephone, the Three of Wands, and the springing forth of life from the earth, all point to some lovely days ahead. However, there’s a strong caution here to spend these days on your own with limited contact between yourself and others.
The Ascendant, the intersection point of the ecliptic and the eastern horizon, is in Taurus — where Uranus has just come up over the horizon. Revolutionary and bringer of sudden transformations, Uranus promises upheavals in our selves and in our personal lives over the course of the next ten days, as the finally-comfortable norms of the last year give way to the new expectations of political, economic and social renewal. An approaching opposition with the Moon in Scorpio brings discomfiting and awkward encounters with Others — friends, loved ones, and even rivals, that no longer feel normal or easy. It’s not likely to be as bad as you think it is; all the same, you may find your reactions to renewed acquaintance uneasy or even outright-difficult on a case-by-case basis. Pay attention to gut feelings here, but also be aware that many in the infectious disease professions are still not convinced that it’s safe to go back into shared airspace with others.
Mars and the North Node occupy Gemini and the second house; a sextile to the Sun and Venus and a trine to Saturn promise a financial reward with strings attached, and a new set of expenses, as well as a ramp-up in contentions around the state of the economy. There are winners and losers in the financial game here, and there’s likely to be conflict about who should have and which shouldn’t. No easy resolutions are in sight, but be aware of the tension — and acknowledge it in how you treat people of different economic strata than yourself over the next ten days.
The Imum Coeli is shifted into the third house in this chart, here in the third decan of Cancer The Overflowing Cup. Representing the midnight position on the ecliptic, it speaks to the overall context of our successes and joy in the next ten days — and in general, readers, it points to the idea of us sticking close to home, dancing attendance on our extended family, and absorbing the messages of our teachers. There is a gracious abundance in these three cups — we might want the fourth cup of richness that brings connections to friends and our extended professional relationships, represented by the trine to Neptune and Mercury in Pisces’ third decan the Cup of Blood — but we have to recognize that those kinds of close connections may carry a medical nightmare rather than the cheer of good wine and fellowship. Opposition to the IC comes from Pluto in the ninth house and Capricorn’s last decan The Throne, where hidden things accumulate from long distance travel or wide-ranging journeys, and those hidden things put us at the mercy of hidden bureaucracies and unwanted authorities.
The Moon is found in Scorpio, the place of her fall, where she acts “like a woman under house arrest in the house of a sick woman.” The early degrees of Scorpio belong to the Seventeenth Mansion of the Moon, “The Crown,” which promises protection of resources and defense against predatory entities, a guardianship of sorts. Our closest loved ones are likely to be secure against financial trouble or medical ruin, but everyone you know is likely to have a story about someone that they know. Additionally, the Moon’s presence here seems to indicate a disjointed mismatch between your psychic self or intuition, and your higher self and your desire to connect to others. The longing is real, and honest. But know that you’re not going to be able to square away your intuition’s take on things, and your higher mind’s analysis of the situation — the two opinions will be at odds with one another.
The Lot of Fortune and The South Node both hold ground in Sagittarius in the eighth house; Saturn is sextile to the Node and Venus and the Sun activate a trine. Many regard the eighth house as a place of death, and in the US at least, there are now fewer deaths from COVID than just a few months ago. If we think of the South Node as saying ‘less’, it stands in a place where less harness and fewer restrictions are coming over the next ten days. At the same time, though, the Lot occupies the decan called The Poisoned Arrow —a series of targeted volleys to achieve what we want and accomplish certain limited goals, are likely to bring more short-term success than a general charge into battle. Select objectives carefully in the next ten days, and direct your attention toward limited achievements.
With the exception of Mars and the Moon, all of the planets are crammed into the first, twelfth, eleventh, tenth and ninth houses in this chart — a super-masculine, ultra-active, high-energy set of placements: “GO! GO! GO!” is possibly a mission statement for the chart overall. Yet Pluto, the planet of hidden forces and the cumulative effects of many humans acting in concert, stands with the Midheaven in Capricorn, sextile Mercury and Neptune in the eleventh house of Pisces. By and large, the lockdowns and isolations of the last year have been government-directed, and at least partially driven by expert advice. However, large numbers of people in the US are starting to ignore that advice, and politicized gatherings are starting to spread COVID variants. The hidden vectors of large numbers of people interacting with one another may have much to say in the next few weeks.
Which brings us to the tenth house, where Saturn and Jupiter occupy the second and third decans of Aquarius — from Heaven and Earth, Saturn promises limitation and decline, and potentially harsh financial and health issues by trine from Mars; and Jupiter in The Knot offers rewards, mercy, and expansive grace to those who find ways to make a quiet and unfussy exit from present entanglements. Saturn is the strongest planet in the chart at this moment, as he will be for a good chunk of this year (and next year besides) — and Saturn promises limited advancement, limited progress toward career goals, limited ability to advance one’s reputation (except for knowledge or expertise), and limitations generally. Boundary-setting is the name of the game: what are the lines of demarcation between you and your neighbors? Between you and colleagues? between you and fellow professionals? Between you and rivals? Jupiter advises you to make do with what you currently have, and not devote too much to expanding your portfolio; in any professional matter, the question of the next ten days is, “where is the off ramp from this project? How can we divest ourselves of this particular endeavor, reclaiming resources for other needs?”
Neptune and Mercury occupy the Cup of Blood, Pisces’ third decan, in a way that I find potentially disturbing or upsetting. Mercury is in fall in Pisces — they’re a detail-oriented expert in a realm where big-picture thinking is required; their specialization puts them at a disadvantage. Pisces III is associated with the Ten of Cups in Tarot — two adults and two children under a rainbow, where everything is marvelous and filled with joy, and all our problems are over. Neptune is the planet of daydreams and delusions, and considerably more dignified in Pisces than Mercury. So the overall message here is that “the experts are wrong” and “things are not as they appear to be, especially if the situation looks rosy.” The two planets are in a sextile aspect to Pluto, the capacity of large numbers of people in large groups to rule through their day-to-day choices, and of hidden things — this looks far too much like a COVID-variant breakout for my comfort. But is that because I’ve rather enjoyed quarantine this past year, and I’m wrong? Or is it because I’m eager to reconnect with my friends, that I’m wrong? Oh, look — my higher mind and my intuition are at odds with one another, exactly as the relationship between Sun and Moon in this chart predicted.
We come finally to Venus and The Sun in Aries in the twelfth house — the one in detriment, and the other exalted, both in The Crown. What does it mean that the Sun puts on the Crown, and comes into his power, while the young queen puts on the Crown and yet is rendered so powerless? We have only to look at the recent stories about Megan and Harry who have chosen to leave the British monarchy, and Will and Kate still within it — the system of rulerships at the heart of astrology expect that all the planets are team players, taking their moment to bask in the Sun, yet still deferring in all the ways that matter to astrology’s key overlord and despot. So it may prove in the next ten days: defer to your higher mind and your rational self in creativity, and seek solo time so that this higher mind may discern its true intentions during such retreats from the world.
Horoscopes by Rising Sign
I’m experimenting with adding these “tags” for the horoscopes, which use the Physis regular glyphs designed by Hugh Tran. What do you think? Do you like them? Should I make the rest of the series?
Taurus: Your life is going through a series of slow and inexorable upheavals, but don’t worry —you are planting seeds on behalf of future you; the medium-term results are going to be sexy, and the long-term results sacred. For now, watch and restrict your spending habits, particularly around products or services that feed your self image as a complete person (but don’t improve your overall life or career). A partner needs to listen to their intuition more, and together you need to find a way to limit your shared indebtedness. Career options both broaden and narrow at the same time; be wary of taking on more responsibility over others. An unusual friend has valuable insights on how to sustain your current plan and program. Use your “me time” on a creative or garden project rather than lounging.
Gemini: An upcoming union may lead to arguments about money and resources for various projects. Remember that you can have almost anything you want, whether experience or object, but not all at the same time and not all to the same degree of quality. Where you focus your efforts, scheduling, and attention is likely to lead to the highest quality results both for yourself and for your bank account. Ongoing disruptions may make you feel lonely and unappreciated; recognize that a transformation is underway that will yield grand results down the line; some creative pruning of your friends’ list may also bring some disciplined benefits. Your partner, if you have one, is learning to better listen to their intuition, but their opinions may be mismatched with your own careful judgments. Focusing your efforts on a course of study or travel plan may bring both happiness and ease.
Cancer: Family matters come to the fore as your dreamed-of situation manifests strongly, although maybe with a little more aggressiveness than you hoped, and with some significant strings and quid pro quos attached. If you want time off from the crew, chances are you’ll have to expend time and energy to find space to retreat to; even then, an unusual ally is likely to push their way in. You’ll have a chance to put your creative gifts to work, at work, but make sure you get the only by-line if you’re proud of the effort: it may lead to a leadership post. Demonstrate expertise with a long-term, big picture strategy, rather than a detail-oriented short-term daily plan.
Leo: It’s all right to place your self-care as a priority for yourself, and to dream of a nurturing time on your own or with a few members of your most intimate circle. You don’t have to go on a grand quest or glorious adventure yet. There may be a couple of acquaintances that you have to cut off, though, or at least have the intellectual argument with them to stabilize and clarify your thoughts. Have you thought about launching your own business yet? There’s an opportunity to have a revolutionary impact in your field; just do the planning now, and don’t launch right away. Identify some of the key obstacles, and the opportunities for growth, and plan-plan-plan accordingly — if you require a business partner or two, choose an expert whose skills lie outside your own, and a dreamer who easily knocks down self-made limitations, to assist you.
Virgo: If you have a partner, some old limitations are being washed away by some gradually-developed expertises; if you don’t, you may be discovering that your own boundaries around encounters with others are starting to dissolve. You may require professional help with a financial obligation, and a boss may be less than professional toward you in eager pursuit of a deadline. Some of your daily routines will have to be overhauled in light of current obstacles, but there’s also opportunity to loosen some restrictions.
Libra: You are not your worlk, though your partner may upbraid you and mock you for saying so. Your intuition is likely telling you that you’re not earning enough, and that you have to protect what you have, even as your rational self leans on others for support. Fun is a rare commodity at the moment, but there are some occasions that are worth letting your hair down for. Some of your unusual insights into how systems are organized come in useful; your expertise is able to drill down into a complex problem to find the needle in the tidal marsh.
Scorpio: The still, small voice that guides you in relationship with others may not be speaking with its usual clarity. You’ll have to supplement this by checking in with your closest and most-intuitive ally, and supplement with both creative and logical analysis on a day-to-day basis. This may put a damper on some of your entertainments, notably anything involving ‘altered states’. Your standard set of forms of happiness are unlikely to bring you much pleasure in the next ten days; be prepared to reach out to friends and ask them to set the agenda, rather than trying to dominate the direction of play. Working from home? Expect greater limits than usual, but also the sort of freedom that only comes when the apron strings are longer than usual — or cut altogether.
Sagittarius: If you’re feeling a crunch or crush on the shared resources of your team, and the sense of having less to share with partners and super-close allies, well — you’re more than halfway through the famine, here, but that just means that you have to share more often. Your gut hunches about your spouse or business partner are probably correct, but it would be a good idea to check in with a friend or two during a playdate, and speak your thoughts out loud and test their rationality. Ongoing disruptions in your daily schedule are likely to cause you and your spouse difficulty, but these are seeds for future successes, too.
Capricorn: All those times in the last year that I said “you’re in charge, and this carries costs with it”? Those decisions are taking on final form, or maybe your hand in them is becoming clear. Some of the decisions you make this week are likely to affect your long-term reputation and widen your influence among friends and extended network of colleagues than maybe you were planning. Will this crunch your personal budget? Or will it swell your bank account? There’s some losers, some winners in this round of challenges. The important thing is to keep working and to stay upright no matter what solid assumptions dissolve and slip away. Allow yourself some creative time at home when things get rough; it’s ok to disconnect from work at times.
Aquarius: Some of the ways that you say “no” in your professional life this week may come to define you for a long while, but the same holds true of the word “yes” — both carry enormous power in the coming weeks (and beyond). A well-managed spending plan may dissolve this week in the face of allegedly-friendly assistance, but be prepared to dance in place until you come up with a new plan. Both your nurturing kindness and your rational mind will be engaged on a family matter, finding a hybridized solution to a communications failure. Expect some level of upset at home, but plant seeds for a better future rather than salting the field. Injury while pursuing a hobby is a possibility; a little more caution than usual is warranted.
Pisces: Lift your head up from your desk, and from your relatively small circle of colleagues, and think big-picture for a bit here. At the moment, you’re going to have to work alone, and work with what you have and with the limitations that come with that. But sooner or later, this pandemic will be over — are you going back to the way things were before? Or do you want to have a wider influence, and a longer-term effect on the shape of things to come? This may require getting creative with your usual financial habits, and it may require enlisting a really close friend or a former teacher in a bit of “intellectual subversion” as they help to remold your reality.
Aries: You’re probably in the middle of a good spell of creative work. It may seem like visiting others is going to break the bubble, though. And maybe, if you have popped the bubble recently, that you’ve discovered that hanging around other people is even weirder than it used to be. The thing is, limitation and expansion go hand in hand, and you’re going to have to figure out who your associates are (and who isn’t) in order to expand your professional capacities. You’ll also have to “put butt in seat” in front of that monitor to learn the skills that you think you’ll be famous for someday. If your dream job involves teaching something in a powerful new way, it may be time to seek out the teacher who will help you learn how to do that — your fear will have to die before you can leave to seek your fortune.
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I use iPhemeris for my charting software, and screenshot it to make charts. I want to thank the team that develops iPhemeris for the addition of Terms and Decans to their charts, appearing here for the first time! I use Hugh Tran‘s Physis typeface to craft logos for this blog, as well.
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 much of my planetary delineations. Neither gentleman endorses me. My own book, A Full Volume of Splendour and Starlight, is now available as PDF download from my Etsy website, as is my Almanac for 2021. 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.