Sun in Pisces III – Elpis/Maia

Thank you to Calliope and “Little Red Socks” who paid through Ko-Fi to make the horoscopes of Pisces III open to the public.

The Sun enters Pisces III on March 10, 2023 at 3:35 pm EST. Austin Coppock called this decan The Cup of Blood in 36 Faces, and noted that it has a lot to do with zeal or enthusiasm uncoupled from both reality and fact. In Pamela Colman Smith’s pip card from the Rider-Waite Tarot, the ten of cups shows a rainbow of cups across the sky, with a happy couple and children playing at their own celebrations underneath it.

Pisces III, 2023

For most of the time I’ve been a public astrologer, and in fact all the way back to April 2011, Neptune has been in Pisces — it’s been tough to separate out what Neptune has meant, vs. what other planets in Pisces mean when Neptune isn’t there. However, it’s not been hard to notice that when Neptune has been in Pisces III, specifically, there’s been a substantial increase in both fake news, and our enthusiasm to believe it. When Neptune was in Pisces II, it seemed easier to separate fact from fiction; when Neptune has been in Pisces III — people’s intense zeal seems to grasp every opportunity, even if the facts are obviously pointing in the other direction. It remains a grave concern.

The Hellenized Egyptians of Alexandria in the second century CE looked to two deities at this time of year: Maia the mother of Athena and the goddess of memory on the one hand; and Elpis, the daemon of hope on the other. For them, Pisces III was the last ten days of the old year, rather than around 80 days into the new year. The spring equinox, once upon a time, was both the start of spring and the start of the year. You may recall that there was some history about people who were still using the old dating system in the fourth month of the year were “April Fools” — and that September, October, November, December, used to be the seventh through tenth months of the year. That’s only possible if January and February are the last two months of the year — making March the first month of the new year. Additionally, the days of the year were set up closer to the Zodiacal order under the Julian Calendar (which was replaced by the “modern” Gregorian calendar in the reforms of 1589 CE) There seems to have been a genuine concern with recollection of the good and bad of the previous year on the one hand, and the salutation of the new year on the other. Maybe this was akin to our modern idea of forgetting our past errors and making resolutions for the new year.

Either way, Maia of memory and Elpis of hope ruled these ten days for them. Elpis was conceived of as a creature something like a butterfly — and not entirely friendly. Elpis was one of the nasty spirits hidden in Pandora’s jar, and the only one not to escape. Some sources say that this helped preserve Elpis from being destroyed, and so humans continue to be able to have hope — others warn us that had Elpis escaped, we would hope too easily and be infested with hopes and desires too unrealistic for this world.

Mars rules the last decan of Pisces, as he rules the first of Aries — thus providing the impetus for the Wheel of the Year to keep moving over the death of the old year and the arrival of the new year. We’re on the threshold of the new year of the astrological calendar, and it’s time to take a tally of our memories of the old year and express our hopes for the new. This is reflected in the dodeks or twelfth-parts of Pisces III, which are reflections of Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn and Aquarius — the secrets of the past year finally unlocked, the wisdom of those experiences accepted, the through-the-night party of the old year becoming the hangover of the new year, and the stoic decision to bear the challenges of the year just beginning.

Planetary Positions

Pisces III begins with four planets in Pisces, including the Sun above the horizon — making this a day chart. The Ascendant in Leo gives the Sun substantial power despite being in a water sign — and for the first time in two and a half years, Saturn is less powerful than the Sun. The first decan of Pisces, the Labyrinth, is administered by Saturn… but it’s a Saturn who’s the old guy practicing malicious compliance under the pompous and sanctimonious boss… and joining the thread of his own activity back to the boss’s abstract orders. As I was writing this column, I noted the passage of the repeal of “right to work” laws in Michigan — Saturn in Pisces and Pluto (heading for but not til March 25) in Aquarius is likely to be quite good for working class folks over the next several years… and with the Sun here in Pisces we’re likely to see some of the first-fruits of that effort to shift the balance of power away from owners and management, and into the hands of the people at the counter or on the factory floor. The Sun, meanwhile, is now only ten days away from the equinox, when he’ll be in his exaltation — and his annual meeting with Neptune (this year on March 14) is likely to prompt altruistic concern for others that actually works itself into law, regulation, or policy. Mercury, the polyvalent herald, suffers communications headaches in Pisces, and has difficulty distorting the message — elements of the Dominion lawsuit are reaching Fox News’ viewers despite their best efforts; a certain billionaire’s antics on the Bird-app have made them some substantial difficulties with current and former employees. More than a few people and institutions, will be caught in similar traps of their own making.

Neptune has his upcoming performance review with the inner planets, but he won’t have his once-a-generation (roughly every 36 years) review with Saturn until both are at Aries 0° in February 2026. I think, sometime soon, we’ll see that the Neptune-Saturn conjunction is as important to understanding long-range history as the Jupiter-Saturn conjunction every 20 years — but it strikes me as relevant and significant that their next meeting occurs at the 0° degree of the whole astrological cycle!

Right now, Jupiter is the boss but he’s not in the room; he’s next door in Aries, schmoozing with his secretary Venus and cracking jokes about how good it is to be the king. There’s a fair bit of wining and dining and networking going on at the highest levels, but Mars in Gemini ends soon —March 25 sees Mars shift from a favorable sextile to a more contentious square. The result is a two month period in which leaders will be expected to shift from jet-setting to actually planning solutions to the problems they face. the Lot of Fortune, though, indicates that we have considerable freedom of action in learning new skills and setting out on journeys with favorable results — some of the first positive signs we’ve seen in the tourism sector for a substantial period of time.

Uranus in Taurus in the tenth house has been described as “tremors in the foundations of the business world,” and these characterizations are not wrong. The Lingam Yoni, the middle decan of Taurus where Uranus now squats, is strongly associated with ideas of autonomy, agency, and consent. During plague-times, leadership is often in control to a high degree; it’s after the plague wanes that power shifts from leaders to followers, and from management to employees — there’s never a point where business returns to usual; and the labor force usually has considerably more power to negotiate when a plague ends than when it began. The causes for such negotiations have their roots in grim realities, like death tolls and disabilities — but the results are unavoidable.

The Nodal Axis currently has the North Node in Taurus and South Node in Scorpio, delivering troubles to households and families in the form of inflation rising faster than incomes, and corporate tactics pulling more income to the business in the form of higher prices for goods and services (I’ll be raising my rates soon, I’m as much tied into this as anyone else). We’re about five months away from decisive action on this front, as the Nodes shift to a new sign in mid-July — and the action may not deliver a knockout punch to inflation for another 26 months after that.

Mars prepares to leave Gemini during the season of the next decan, but first he’s going to strain and challenge our relationships with our friends and colleagues a little more. At 22°—24° Gemini, where he’s currently located, Mars sits on the shoulders of the constellation Orion like a fancy hat — or a war helmet. That’s probably how we should see him — spring is coming to the northern hemisphere. It’s the mud of spring that soldiers have been fighting and dying in since Julius Caesar was in Cub Scouts or Sargon played in sandboxes. This year is likely to be an unusually bloody one.

Only two planets are below the Ascendant-Descendant Axis, suggesting that public and political events will be more prominent than the private decisions of household and family. The Moon in Libra III, The Gyroscope, suggests that extended family and intimate friendships and neighbors are likely to be a source of strength and support in coming days. The Moon Mansion, called The Crown of Scorpio, is a scummy little dive popular with soldiers, hunters, fishermen, farmers, and thieves; its sign is that of a monkey with upraised hands and a curiously lifted tail. The place is famous for pick-pockets, grifters, and con-artists — keep a firm hold on your wallet, your phone, and your bank accounts!

Mars and Saturn aren’t the only planets preparing to make a beeline for the exits of their current signs: Pluto in the sixth house has been hanging on the last degree of Capricorn III The Throne for two decans now; he’ll leave during the Sun’s time in the first decan of Aries, The Double-bladed Axe. I’ve come to associate Pluto with where economic power hangs out; in Capricorn, it’s been firmly on the side of multi-millionaires and billionaires. However, the sixth house here points out that the tide is shifting against them — and the first decan of Aquarius, the Mark of Exile, is pretty firmly on the side of those who work and do, rather than on the side of those who manage or thought-lead. I think we’re beginning to see the first historic slides of power shifting away from the upper levels of investors and management, and toward the workers. Will it take twenty years for this shift to fully manifest, as Pluto passes through Aquarius? Yes, very likely… Does it begin within about two weeks? Yes, also pretty likely.

Horoscopes by Rising Sign

Leo: You may find yourself in “react to crisis” mode over the course of the next ten days, responding to new responsibilities — or old ones you’ve somehow forgotten. Now would be a good time to start getting your paperwork related to taxes together; you may face more challenges than usual in this realm. Some new travel opportunities may open up, or a chance to take a class — you may find that you have to divide and conquer these options by splitting your attention or creating a schedule. Sudden changes in your work schedule are likely, but you may be able to negotiate other perks, like a pay raise, to account for the changes. Check in with family members, and be prepared to fend off a friend from helping themselves to your stuff.

Virgo: Begin the next ten day with an examination of property and bank account: what’s in your wallet? You may want to encourage your spouse or significant other to do a similar review prior to tax-season. The goal here shouldn’t be to achieve a minimalism by getting rid of stuff, but rather to protect what you have. A work colleague is strategizing to take some of your routine tasks, which may change your base pay; fight back by adopting the company mission as your own and live it well and publicly for a while. Surprise your employer with new information relevant to current business operations; work to understand your part of the company budget and how it affects your responsibilities.

Libra: You have a day or so to check in with extended family and friends, and plan to share what you can against current challenges; but don’t give the store away. You’ll be expected to react to ongoing crises with resources and time and energy —but it’s important to understand that similar help is unlikely to come back your way when you need it, at least, not right away… Be generous, but keep some for yourself. You may be criticized for not being open handed, but don’t throw “oh, yeah, well? Last time this happened to me…” excuses toward this beggars — simply point out that this is what you can do right now. Leave it at that. Expect a few hard days in a row, but know that your significant other is likely learning important lessons about your generosity and kindness… and their limits. Learning to say no will be as important as saying let me help.

Scorpio: Household and family are where you find contentment, but remember the INXS lyric, “words are weapons, sharper than knives,” and be aware that unkind words to friends may resonate and land harshly on even your closest relations. Sudden upsets in your romances have been a theme for a while; this week that may take the form of a work-colleague suddenly recognizing your office crush. The time may be favorable for an office romance, but expect conflicting signals and lack of clarity about how far the other person wants this to go. Likewise, be aware that someone at home may blow up if your actions are less than above-board, and cut you off from resources you currently rely on. Know where your bread is buttered.

Sagittarius: You’re likely focused on what’s going on with your kids — or, if they’re out of the house, on how you can get up to some hanky and/or panky in the coming days. Your significant other may be much more attuned to what their siblings and spouses are up to right now (or too worked up about social matters) to be concerned with your urges, though; additionally household circumstances may be operating under new constraints. Your own family obligations are about to go through a period of heightened daily concern, as well. Reaching out to friends and protecting your network will be important; keep your attention on long-term goals.

Capricorn: Maintain control over your daily schedule in the days ahead; lost time is impossible to get back again. Additionally, be aware that if your significant other regularly needs your bank account to be solvent, that there’s some disentanglement that needs to occur relatively soon: some issues with your siblings may require you to have resources available to assist. (That doesn’t mean you should cut off your family from your generosity completely: if you’re sharing groceries, keep doing that!) At the same time, you need to insist on a level of autonomy around your own pastimes and hobbies — and that may require you to show greater ambition in the workplace, as well as protection of your fiefdom and team there.

Aquarius: You may find yourself looking at a business partner or significant other with the kind of suspicion that says, “do I want to cut these ties? Am I really in the right relationship here?” It may be a disagreement about child-rearing, or about your kids’ friends’ parents, or about how you have fun together — but the question may still arise. It’s worth looking at this from a financial perspective before you go too deep down that rabbit hole, though: both of you are likely operating on restricted budgets within this long-term financial crisis; you’re up against high-stress pressures at work; you’re having to learn how to be supporters of others beyond your immediate circle, and your own home seems to be in upheaval. None of these things are part of your old perspective of “what’s normal” — and you can’t solve a crisis by adding another one to it. Calm yourself down, and remember that you and your family are in a stormy ocean right now: don’t go poking holes in the hull.

Pisces: Saturn, the old slow man, has entered the chat. This requires everything to take twice as long, with enough twists and turns to satisfy a movie director who favors chase scenes and sudden betrayals. Stiffness and inflexibility usually follow where he shows up — and you may find that your schedule develops greater rigidity and fewer chances for negotiation in the days and months ahead. Adding a yoga routine, or a morning and evening stretch, may even out these tendencies — but you’re still up against some physical limitations based on new duties. You may experience a new financial freedom, though it may be exactly this set of bonuses that bring on the stiffness. Some siblings or intimate friends may revel in your new fortune, though they may do so looking for a handout; and the new obligations may also trigger a bit of a strategic argument with a spouse. Be clear with folks: you shouldn’t change anything, or plan to give away your resources, until you see what’s actually changed in three or six months or even a year: building a rainy day fund might be the first priority, because the storms ahead are plentiful.

Aries: It’s very nearly your most favorable time of the year, when the Sun cruises through your sign and spring returns to your heart and to the land. Right now, though, there’s some travel plans that need to be made, and some attention paid either to school coursework or some writing projects you intended to carry out a while ago. There’s a narrow window of time for getting things done that require both luck and the right network connections; whatever you’ve been planning or daydreaming about, get to it! You’ve got less than two weeks before the going will be a lot tougher. if you’re caught out by an unpleasant financial surprise in the next couple of weeks, go public about it; you may get some pushback from “angry Boomer uncle” who thinks you should just grin and bear it, but the reality is that you’re going to need help to find a new long-term vision. Get your spouse or significant other on board with helping you not waste your resources.

Taurus: Upheaval is probably a common theme in your life right now: you’re taking on new leadership roles in your workplace, and claiming new titles and authority. At the same time, you’re in a powerful position to establish a new long-range plan for yourself — and to really transform your relationships with a number of your friends. Try not to be a stick in the mud or an old fuddy-duddy. Your financial situation requires you to make some genuine decisions, but you’re likely aware of all the ways your friends need handouts and support. Your spouse, too, may be keeping financial secrets at the moment, but they’re potentially detrimental to the family: work to get them to open up about it, and actually understand what they’re telling you. A new surge in your spouse’s professional life is coming late this month, and you could be a significant help with that.

Gemini: Are you in a variety of arguments and tete-a-tetes or conflicts with your friends? Maybe if all your friendships seem to be in conflict, you should stop and consider if the source of the conflict is you? Don’t draw the wrong conclusions here. Just because you’re the source of the conflict, doesn’t mean that the conflict is unjust or that you’re not fighting the good fight — but it’s worth understanding if you’re genuinely on the right side of history in this contentions. A good long look at your own choices and your own willingness to fight is essential here — and remember that humility, apology, and truce are also tactical decisions. You could learn a lot from being the peace-maker right now — especially since there may be some deck-chair shuffling in your workplace: are you destined for a seat in a boat headed for shore or a “down with the ship” officers’ role?

Cancer: I feel for you, because it’s a season in which your family, or the lack of one, may bring up grief or loneliness. No one seems to need you, and you always seem to be the ambitious one when it comes to scheduling plans with friends, and the one whose plans are always canceled for some other priorities. You’re likely to have a good work review in the coming two weeks, but it may feel like a hollow crown — succeeding at a job where others want you to fail, or chasing a professional goal that no one else thinks is important enough to warrant this attention. If there are learning opportunities you’re being offered though — treat these as duties. Show up, take notes, participate, become the expert in the room: show enthusiasm even where the training isn’t completely supported by fact. Some daily professional restrictions on a significant other are likely to ease up shortly, and you may find your shared resources are amplified by month’s end.


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If you want to read some of my astrologically-oriented poetry, the largest collection is called A Full Volume of Splendor and Starlight, available through my Etsy shop, and containing poems and hymns to the planets, constellations, decan deities, and Moon Mansion angels. 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.

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. I also 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 for much of my planetary delineations. Neither gentleman endorses me.

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