The degree of the March 1 Pisces New Moon makes a precise trine aspect to Jupiter. Big dreams and grand adventure would seem to be the order of the day. But Jupiter, whom we like to think of as an astrological Santa Claus, is mixing it up with Uranus and Pluto, gods of transformation. Embracing limitless vistas of imagination is all well and good; but when you open up your life, your mind, your heart, truly open them wide, things change—and not always in the way you had imagined.
The Sabian Symbol for this New Moon degree is, “Men traveling a narrow path, seeking illumination.” Note the “narrow” part. For all that the New Moon in otherworldly Pisces is trine Jupiter, god of the wide and limitless horizons, most of us will spend this month doing what we normally do, going through the daily routines that keep our lives safe and manageable, with Jupiter adventures relegated to the occasional vacation.
It’s sensible to avoid risk, and change is undeniably risky. From time to time, though, the careful path grows unreasonably narrow and desperately unhappy. Have you ever had a conversation with someone who is doing his very best to convince you that not only is his life rotten, but that there is absolutely no way to make it better? The more suggestions or perspective you offer, the angrier he becomes. Astrologers encounter this all the time, and it’s frustrating to see a lot of great aspects going to waste in a client’s chart. It’s sad but true that you can lead a horse to Jupiter’s boundless lake of optimism and possibility, but you can’t make him drink.
Not all unhappiness is self-imposed. Sometimes, life sends us a steaming bowl of misery and dares us to turn it into something delicious. At those moments, most of us rise to the occasion; adversity is, in some measure, energizing. It’s the ordinary, day-to-day choices, the ones we make and the ones we refuse to make, that systematically narrow the range of possibilities and ideas available and leave us in darkness. It happens so gradually that we hardly notice.
Novice astrologers are surprised to learned that Jupiter was the traditional ruler of Pisces. What does the planet of adventure have to do with the spiritual seeking of Pisces? Well, opening the path to illumination requires a spirit of adventure, and sometimes leads to literal pilgrimages; these are the province of Jupiter. Spiritual seeking calls for mental discipline as well. Mercury symbolizes the function of collecting, processing, and disseminating data; he is the quick and agile monkey mind, perceptive and present. But he’s restless and indiscriminate, and unless we find a way to focus him he’ll run us in circles until we’re exhausted. When we’re able to organize our thoughts, our spirits have room to breathe.
At this New Moon, Mercury is not as much help as we might like. It has just turned direct, barely awake after a three-week retrograde sleep, and is approaching a square to Saturn. Saturn is preparing to turn retrograde the day after the New Moon, entering his half-year in the nocturnal world, presiding as the Lord of Dreams. Good luck retrieving the pass code to your logical mind, because Saturn is carrying it away with him in a locked strongbox; his gift to us, perhaps, a way of shutting down the monkey mind so that we can better enter the soulful dreamworld of the Pisces season.
Saturn’s withholding can look like a prison or a playpen, depending on your perspective. If you took away my computer or internet service, I’d complain bitterly. Yet I began a voluntary news fast about a year ago, and it feels great. I figure if there’s something I really need to know about, I’ll find it when I step out the front door. And in a way, ignoring the media lens that reduces vast issues to sound bites has actually made the world begin to open up and feel bigger to me.
Mind you, I’m not able to avoid everything. There is, after all, Facebook—though I’m trying to spend a lot less time on the internet in general and Facebook in particular. It all makes my Mercury monkey brain too noisy, like a toddler who’s eaten too much sugar. When I spend too many hours online, I feel that everything is moving too fast, that crisis lurks around every corner, and that there is no point trying to enjoy life because, as helpful people are eager to point out, everything I like or think is just awful. Instead of expanding my world, the internet sometimes makes me want to pull up the welcome mat put an extra lock on the door.
Perhaps my desire to ignore everything terrible is simply denial—one of the keywords assigned to dreamy Pisces, and usually described as one of its negative characteristics. I’ll tell you what, though: I’m becoming a bit of a fan of denial. God knows, all the worrying and obsessing and hairsplitting I’ve done in the past half-century hasn’t made me or the world one jot better or happier. During this Pisces season I find myself wondering: Will the world really come to a screeching halt if I pay the power bill a day late, ignore current events, or neglect my Facebook page for a week?
The Aries New Moon of Rebirth awaits us at months end, and my Pisces New Moon wish is simply to make myself ready for new adventures. I don’t think I’ll be taking the kind of giant Jupiterian leaps that are thrilling to onlookers. But adventures of the mind and spirit connect us to Jupiter as well, and retreat is sometimes best during Pisces’ season. I want to float down the river of denial and sing my crazy monkey mind to sleep. Perhaps my quiet wanderings will widen my path ever so slightly – just enough to make a little room for the light.
© 2014 by April Elliott Kent