by Robert Wilkinson
New experiences of course, since it's the beginning of Spring in the Northern Hemisphere, and the days will be longer than the nights for 6 months to come. The Sun is now entering Aries, promising renewal of energy and activity, even as we find opportunity and protection in bringing other things to their natural end.
Here we celebrate that it’s also the Autumnal Equinox down under!! The Northern Hemisphere Vernal Equinox and Southern Hemisphere Autumnal Equinox occur March 20, 2017, at 3:29 am PDT, 10:29 am GMT. It is said that a chart done for this point in time offers a snapshot of the cosmic and literal weather for the next 3 months.
There is an old tradition that offers us two times when "the year begins," one at the Vernal Equinox, the other at the Autumnal. Perhaps that tradition came from explorers who saw the seasons flip between the Northern and Southern, going from the beginning of warm to the beginning of cold as they moved up and down the latitudes.
So today is the last day of Winter in the Northern Hemisphere, the last day of Summer in the Southern. If you’re wondering how I reconcile the seemingly opposing energies between the hemispheres, when you’re done here please take a look at The Mirroring of the Northern and Southern Hemisphere Year Cycles in Astrology. It may help readers “down under” see how the important points of seasonal change, though opposite in physical manifestation, actually have similar challenges at each point of shift.
This is an excellent time for looking at what has ended, what is emerging, and step out of the ocean on to dry land. Just keep following through on the future you have dreamed of while the Sun has been in Pisces, since every day is good for making a better future real. We up North have done our Winter preparation, and are beginning to plant the seeds that will grow over the next 180 days. In the Southern latitudes, they’re beginning to reap the harvest of what they've done and not done.
Whether North or South, keep following through on the new roles, new initiatives, new feelings, new flow, and new ways of relating to others on more refined levels you’ve already begun to experience in the recent past, since the season to come is the time to transfigure our future into more perfect forms. Regardless of where we live, what follows explores elements we all can expect to experience over the next 13 weeks.
The nights will now begin to be longer than the days for 6 months to come in the Southern Hemisphere, with lengthening days in the Northern. The Sun is now in Aries, promising new ways of acting on our own initiative, as well as new ways of relating to others. Both Aries and Libra represent new ways of acting on ideals, new ways of overcoming inertia to find new rhythms of action and new perspectives.
The charts for the Solstices and Equinoxes provide guideposts for what we can expect the following 90 days in the way of weather, both actual and symbolic. The Vernal Equinox chart shows a good balance of planets in the decans of the signs, with 3 in the first, 3 in the second, and 4 in the third decan in their respective signs.
This indicates a three month period of activity involving a slight preponderance of individual-mental and spiritual focus, and a balance of emotional, social, and cultural focus and actional, physical, and material focus. If we add Chiron in the third decan of Pisces leading the Sun, then we have an even greater preponderance of that energy.
Uranus and Pluto Are No Longer Frictional To The Sun
After many years of being an important factor in the Solstice and Equinox charts, both Uranus and Pluto have receded in importance since they no longer make dynamic hard aspects to the Sun in these charts. When Pluto transited very early Capricorn 2008-2011, it was squared by the Sun at the Spring and Autumn Equinoctial points, opposed by the Sun at the Summer Solstice point, and conjunct the Sun at the Galactic Center, which I wrote extensively about at the time. These were very dynamic aspects that released a lot of energy, either blocking or propelling events.
Pluto is the ultimate transformer. It figured prominently in Equinox and Solstice charts in 2007, 2008, and 2009 due to it going back and forth over 29-30 Sag and 1-3 Capricorn when Pluto was conjunct the Galactic Center. You can find more by going to the articles in the archives written at that time concerning Pluto conjunct the Galactic Center, including those that explored past Galactic Center conjunctions.
2011 continued the pattern, though that Vernal Equinox chart saw the widest orb between the Sun, Uranus, and Pluto except for the 2011 Winter Solstice chart impacting December 2011 through March 2012. The 2012 Vernal Equinox chart began many years of Equinox and Solstice charts where Uranus was in close square to Pluto (except for the 2012 Winter Solstice), even if they were not directly afflicting the Sun in those seasonal charts.
We’re now done with the era when the Sun was in conjunction, square, or opposition to Pluto during these changes of season. In June 2010 Uranus entered Aries and became a major player in these seasonal charts, beginning with the 2010 Summer Solstice. Even though it went back to late Pisces for the 2010 Autumnal Equinox and Winter Solstice, it was still close enough to be a factor in those charts.
It was back in Aries for the Vernal Equinox of 2011, and very important through the 2012 Winter Solstice, since it was conjunct, square, or opposed to the Sun to a greater or lesser degree. I mark the beginning of this period of intense transformation at the 2010 Summer Solstice, since Uranus square Pluto was really strong then and making close squares and opposition to the Sun at that time. I believe that the events that followed in July, August, and September 2010 cut loose the seeds of transformation and revolution, and are directly related to the constant tensions set into motion during 2011 and 2012.
Neither the 2015 nor 2016 Equinox chart had a planet making a Cardinal T-square involving Uranus square Pluto. Because that square is now no longer partile, it is only activated when another planet makes conjunctions, squares, or oppositions to one of them.
In this chart, that would be Mercury. Though wide, it makes a square with Pluto and an opposition to Jupiter, bringing that T-square of energy back into play for the next season. As it throws a void into Cancer, you can bet you’ll see dramatic developments this Summer when Mars moves through Cancer!
As I’ve told you before, squares tend to put the brakes on some things, while indicating a "turning of a corner" in other things. Squares to Pluto often show things going out of control or something extreme happening that results in either a favorable purification or a grinding toxicity. Given that Pluto is one of the anchors of The Grand Irrationality, when squared it releases a lot of energy precipitating situations that move people to make choices that propel them into their destiny.
We are now in a period of shifting Jones patterns, depending on where the Moon is. This chart has again shifted the Jones pattern back to a “Bucket,” with Jupiter as the handle and focal significator.
At this time, all the other planets except Jupiter are lined up between the Moon conjunct Saturn in late Sagittarius and Mars in early Taurus. This is a classic “Bucket,” since the occupied span is about 130 degrees with a clearly defined large space between Jupiter and the planets nearest to its position. I’ll explain more about the “Bucket” pattern in the coming article on the Aries New Moon, since that Lunation will also be a “Bucket.”
What Rules the Sun, and What Are the Main Aspects in Play?
On this Equinox, worldly ruler of the Sun in Aries is Mars, which is in its sign of “exile” in Taurus, while its spiritual ruler, Pluto, is in Capricorn, the sign of Mars’ exaltation. With both in Earth signs, it should make for a very grounded and practical Spring. There are interactive gifts to be had, and serendipity is in the air in some simple, enjoyable circumstances.
Though there is an out of sign square of the Lights bringing the separating Sun square Saturn back into play, the Sun is also in a forming inferior conjunction with Venus, bringing that “review, rewind, reflect, revalue” energy to the Light of the season. And the Sun is quadranovile Jupiter and quintile Pluto, bringing high specialization and spiritual clarity to all our interactions, including the ability to refresh ourselves and enjoy our communion with Nature.
Pluto plays a major role in the season to come! Besides the Solar quintile building gifts of deep experience and understanding of life, the square from Mercury offers us pioneering looks forward and the ability to stay focused on our conception of the potentials in situations apart from the limiting conditions or pessimism of others.
Because Jupiter is square Pluto, during this season we are again warned to be careful in all agreements, and bite at “opportunities” that are not in our best interests, or those which could be dangerous or not real. Be open and above board in knowing and asserting what is in your best interests, and make no secret agreements since they will blow up or take destructive turns.
We have many powerful aspects in this Equinox chart. Besides those already discussed, we have the VERY powerful Moon conjunct Saturn! This makes Saturn a primary player over the next 13 weeks, with sobering realizations and preparatory liberations!
The Moon is also biseptile Mercury and quintile Neptune, and that biseptile brings the just separating Mercury biseptile Saturn back into focus. Very powerful turning point in how emergent mind relates to ongoing limitations and structure. It will show in houses where we have Aries, Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, Capricorn, and Aquarius. This most affects those with planets or angles near 26-30 Sagittarius, 18-22 Aquarius, 10-14 Aries, 1-5 Gemini, 22-26 Cancer, 13-17 Virgo, and 5-9 Scorpio.
Other aspects show Mercury quindecile Mars, Sun decile Mars and vigintile Neptune, Mars sextile Neptune, and a soon to be forming via refranation Saturn trine Uranus. Taken together, these are mainly specializing and productive, and should help us all be able to anticipate what’s coming, and achieve a courageous and determined focus that will help us see the future that’s in motion.
The Vigintile (18d), Quindecile (24d), Decile (36d), and Quintile (72d) are part of the 5th, 10th, 15th, and 20th harmonic aspect series, and are different elements of the spiritual aspect series, showing phases and stages of specialization. You can learn more about these aspects by going to The Specializing Aspects Pt 1 – Quintile, Tredecile, Decile, and Biquintile. (Part 2 covers the Vigintile and Quindecile aspects).
The Moon, The Elements, and more
At the Equinox the Moon is at 28 Sagittarius, and in a Disseminating phase, showing this season will help us give and receive information in a broad way, and so open to interactions that can give you information you may need. The Sabian Symbol for the Moon and Saturn is one of combining beauty and functionality, engineering and aesthetics. I’ll discuss more about that symbol when Saturn goes stationary retrograde in a few weeks.
The next three months will bring spiritual clarity to many of our ideals and relationships, and give many a well needed break for rest, relaxation, and regeneration. Beauty or value will come through unexpected sources and directions, with concentrated doses of spiritual energy streaming in, assisting those who have cultivated “receptive mind” to find a new identity and ways to preserve potency by avoiding extremes.
This Spring chart shows 6 planets in Fire signs, 2 in Earth, 1 in Air, and 1 in Water. All in all, it should be a season of high and very bright inspiration, warmth, and light, both personally and interpersonally, grounded by the excellent Earth energy, with these supported by a balance of interactivity and feeling.
Fire and Water are “hot” elements, while Earth and Air are “cool” elements. This spread shows feelings will be at the forefront, with much that will leap forward and outward these next 13 weeks. Find the right “expansive relatedness” and you could find yourself “enjoying the beach” with friends!
Because of the preponderance of Sagittarius and Aries energy, it’s going to be a season that is entirely future oriented. It’s very definitely going to cut loose new individual initiatives that can be executed slowly, steadily, and enjoyably! As almost all the planets are in Cardinal (initiating) or Mutable (distributive) signs, there’s a LOT of activity. That’s why it’s great to have Mars, worldly ruler of all the Aries planets, in the rock steady sign of Taurus, keeping everything on track.
While we currently stand on a threshold of Saturn, Mercury, and Pluto about to go retrograde, Venus and then Jupiter will go direct in a few weeks, allowing us a favorable forward motion in all things valuable and expansive. So consider the front end of this season to use the retrograde energy to “look back to look forward,” letting go of all that is dead, and using imagination to exercise your power to shape circumstances.
These energies will be in play through the Northern Hemisphere Summer Solstice on 9:24 pm PDT June 20, 12:24 am EDT, 5:24 am BST June 21. That Solstice chart will be VERY favorable, occurring just before Mercury’s Superior Conjunction with the Sun. Mercury will show us all a new standard of excellence after then, and we’ll see how the old answers and questions cannot help us get clear about the new lives we’ll already be living. Be practical, take care of details, and allow your pace to be quickened.
The next 13 weeks will show us how to begin specialized new initiatives and projects, and find new ways of understanding old relationship dances that can help us to a concentrated overview of our relational journey this life. Join with others to enjoy an organic regeneration and renewal, and see the stable factors in your life that help you remember what is true, good, beautiful, and useful.
Look at the life structures you’ve built that are absolutely dependable, and come to a greater appreciation about how they fit into your life story. See how you share needs and patterns with others in a universal dance of spirit and matter. And if memories of old relationships come up, bless and release the hurt or misunderstanding of the past to find more power in understanding you are not that now.
So we now enter a time of turning toward new directions, and will find stability as we learn to enjoy ourselves and the pace of the process. Everything is opening, broad visions of the future are available, and by going your own way and blessing others to do the same, or seeing how you did this in the past and opened new life chapters, you will find healing.
By the time of the Summer Solstice, we’ll be moving into a whole new way of life and a whole new way of securing our needs. So as you look back, don’t cling or clutch, since those memories show you how you took the initiative to liberate yourself. Flame on!
Aum and blessings as we stand on the threshold of a new season of life!
© Copyright 2017 Robert Wilkinson