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Astrology for March 13-19, 2023: Winter Frost

Winter Frost

Dates and times are given for U.S. Pacific Time zone.

Weary Travelers

This week, Mars in Gemini makes the last in a series of three squares to Neptune (March 14 at 4:39 pm PDT). The previous two were on Oct. 11 and Nov. 19, 2022, and in my entries for those aspects, I explored the art of persuasion and Mars-Neptune’s potential for good and for ill. Now, nearly four months down the line, we should presumably have learned something from these squares about how to use our powers of communication to create good in the world.

Even high-minded Neptune has a hard time gentling Mars. But at this final square, Mars is on the Sabian symbol 26 Gemini: Winter frost in the woods. Mars in a Mercury-ruled sign can deliver sharp words when angry, but this is finally a Mars that’s learned to control its temper – or at least its tongue. Maybe Neptune has taught us about the pain our words can cause and the consequences of speaking our minds unkindly.

Then again, Mars is the “burnout” planet, and after its nearly seven months in Gemini, fighting the great war of words, maybe we’re just plain worn out.

Mars likes to be in motion and Gemini likes to stay busy, and the ferocious pace of life under this combination has taken its toll. As Mars tramps through the wintery woods toward Cancer, we’re weary travelers now. We’re about ready to come in from the cold and sit by the fire – peering into Mars’ kindred flames, and reviving our spirits.


The Last Quarter Moon is a phase of redemption. It’s the pivotal third act in our personal narrative, when we undergo a crisis of confidence, come to terms with our circumstances, and take action toward a resolution. This Last Quarter Moon is in Sagittarius (March 14, 2023, 7:08 pm PDT), which, with its optimism and humor, is one of the more uplifting Last Quarter Moon signs. We are a tad more likely to believe that we can pull off a redemptive third act.

This Last Quarter Moon, opposed Mars and square Neptune, concludes a lunar phase family that began with a New Moon at 15º07’ Sagittarius on Dec. 14, 2020. That New Moon was also in aspect to Mars and Neptune, and it featured the extraordinary conjunction of Jupiter, Saturn, and Pluto in Capricorn. It’s now-or-never time for some formidable quest we envisioned then, acted upon at the Sep. 13, 2021 First Quarter Moon (21º16’ Sagittarius), and saw at a peak of fruition at the June 14, 2022 Full Moon (23.25 Sag). Now, we decide how to conclude this chapter with perspective and grace, so we can move on to the next one.

The Green Flash

This week, the Sun makes its annual conjunction with Neptune (March 15, 2023, 4:39 pm PDT). What are you trying to materialize in your life?

If any part of our inner sky can manifest what we want, it’s the powerful, willful Sun. But when the Sun joins together with Neptune, it has to work overtime to burn through the fog and mist and make itself seen.

But this is a magical planetary combination as well – as magical as a green flash at sunset.

A couple of times each year, we make a pilgrimage to the central coast of California and stay at our favorite ocean front hotel. Most evenings, just before sunset, we take a bottle of wine outside and look out over the ocean, trying to catch a glimpse of the fabled green flash. Now, I have never seen this phenomenon, but apparently you can see it shortly after sunset or just before sunrise, when the Sun is almost entirely below the horizon. Just for a second or two, there’s a flash of green around what’s left of the Sun before it slips underwater.

How like the Sun sinking into Neptune, is the Sun setting over the ocean in a brilliant flash.

This week, look for those bursts of inspiration and moments of clarity that are as much a part of Neptune as its fogginess. As the Sun comes together with Neptune, we realize that to see the truth, to find the part of us that’s eternal, we have to let go of the idea that we’re separate from everything and everyone else.

There’s a saying I ran across when I was younger: “Who would you be, if you didn’t know who you were?” As the Sun, and then Mercury (March 16, 2023, 10:13 am PDT) come together with Neptune, give that a little thought. Maybe it’s time to spend a little time fantasizing about the “you” that isn’t even connected to a personality.

These are fast little transits, just a couple of days. But it’s the moment each year when our ego and our will need to take a little bit of a vacation – maybe sit and look out over the ocean, watching for the green flash.


Soon after we wake from their Neptune daydreams, the Sun (March 16, 2023, 11:09 am PDT) and Mercury (March 16, 9:48 pm PDT) in Pisces square Mars in Gemini – an aspect that conjures images of water coming to a boil, generating steam that can either get an engine moving or blow it up altogether.

The stylistic differences between Pisces and Gemini are vast. Gemini is verbally facile, and when Mars is involved, those words can be hurtful. Especially to a sign as sensitive as Pisces.

The Sabian symbol for the Sun is, A new moon that divides its influences. Sometime, the best way for planets that are in square aspect to accomplish something is to go to their separate corners, do their work, then come together to hash out a compromise.

The Sun and Mercury are in a closing square to Mars, and finishing up the long Mars in Gemini cycle with a chance to let go, and find peace and healing. Whatever you’ve struggled with since August has a chance to be resolved at last, if that’s what you want.


Let’s visualize a woman who loves a challenge (Venus, currently in Aries), a fearless woman. When an opportunity came her way to take a big chance on a unique adventure (perhaps when Venus conjoined Jupiter around March 1), the choice to seize on it may have seemed like a no-brainer.

But she’s about to find out how fearless she really is, as Venus squares Pluto (March 16, 2023, 12:58 pm PDT). Can she stand up to the memory of every authority figure who’s ever dismissed her as too brash, too immature, or too impatient, and tried to control her wildish nature? Can she stand up to her secret self-doubts? And can she buckle down and do everything that’s needed to take full advantage of this opportunity?

The answer is: Absolutely. But that doesn’t mean it will be easy.

Such Riches as These

Venus, the planet of pleasure, enters Taurus and the garden of earthly delights this week (March 16, 2023, 3:34 pm PDT, through April 10). After an exhilarating but exhausting transit through Aries, ending in a harrowing square to Pluto, Venus – and we – can be forgiven for wanting to flop down on the couch with a good book and a snack.

There is a time and place for self-improvement and for striving. But Venus in Taurus celebrates the pleasures that are simply ours for the taking. The beauty of a shaft of morning sunlight on a dozing cat; the sound of a loved one’s voice; the smell of bread baking. What need have we of money, when we have such riches as these?

So, rest up – but don’t get too comfortable. Venus’ annual conjunction with Uranus is coming soon enough, and it could bring something exciting that’s well worth rolling up your sleeves for.

Something That Lasts

When Venus is in Taurus, you’ve earned the right to relax – puttering around the house and garden, eating nice food, and spending time with loved ones. But as Venus meets up with Saturn this week in an opportunity-oriented sextile aspect (March 17, 2023, 3:25 pm PDT), an invitation or idea may come across the transom that leads you to wonder: Is it time to put forth a little effort into building something lasting connected to what you love? Maybe an ambitious garden project beckons, needing only Saturn’s motivation to make it happen. Or perhaps it’s time to add a granny flat to your property, so friends and family have a comfortable place to stay when they visit. Maybe you’ve even got a killer muffin recipe that could become a cottage industry.

Is it worth it to sacrifice a little bit of leisure for the chance to build something that will last? Loving Venus is easy. But there can be such reward in embracing Saturn as well.

Writing and images © 2017-23 by April Elliott Kent

For more on this week’s planetary news, listen to my podcast!

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