For nearly a month, the Sun has been making its annual journey through Pisces, the last sign of the zodiac. This time of year always invites us to go inward and contemplate our spiritual lives, especially our connection to the Divine and to all creation. It also gives us the opportunity to review the past 12 months and reflect on our personal spiritual progress, all in preparation for the powerful new beginnings that come with the Sun’s move into Aries at the time of the equinox in the latter half of March.
This call to to contemplation takes on more urgency this year. Joining the Sun in Pisces are Mercury (our minds, thoughts, and capacity for reasoning and communication), Mars (our energy, pioneering spirit, and traditionally male urge—regardless of our gender—to sexual or other active expression), and Uranus (our experience of sudden change, spiritual awakening, and genius). When the Sun moves into Aries at 6:44 a.m. Chicago time this Friday, these three planets will continue on in Pisces—Mercury for a few days, Mars for a few weeks, and Uranus for more than a year—to further focus our attention and amplify our inward efforts.
Right behind these planets, in the sign of Aquarius, lie Jupiter (expansion), Neptune (spirituality), the North Node (a point in space linked to destiny and the future), and Chiron (the gifts that grow out of our greatest wounding). Their sheer number commands our attention; the fact that Aquarius is ruled by Uranus, which is highlighted now because of its placement in Pisces along with the Sun, adds pressure along with electric intensity.
This combination of Aquarius and Pisces can raise us to the heights of humanitarianism, idealism, spiritual breakthroughs, and mystical ecstasy. Yet it also can feel overwhelming, mysterious, and exhausting. Aquarius’s sudden bursts of electrical force can tax our nervous systems, while Pisces’s sensitivity and yearning for union with all that is can overload our emotions and trigger escapist behavior. In addition, Aquarius’s preoccupation with humanity as a whole tempts us to sacrifice our individual well-being for the collective good, while Pisces’s empathy for suffering tempts us to lose ourselves in martyrdom or to numb our pain in addiction.
The way through this astral minefield can be found by tuning in to Mercury and Mars. Expressing the best of Mercury means focusing our minds, thoughts, and reasoning power on our ideals. Expressing the best of Mars means directing our willpower to live up to those ideals. With both these planets in Pisces, our thoughts and actions naturally turn toward altruistic urges and our deep desire for unity. To succeed, we must balance our wish to help others with the need to nurture ourselves. Mercury’s inherent love of logic can help by reminding us that we cannot serve effectively unless we attend to our own needs for rest, nourishment, play, and contemplation; Mars’s preoccupation with the self can help by ensuring we put our needs first so we can contribute to others from strength rather than guilt.
Beyond these practical considerations, Mercury and Mars in Pisces demand that we see our minds and our actions in spiritual terms, as gifts we receive to support our soul progress. Pisces’s deep wisdom reminds us that we are not material creatures but rather spiritual beings residing temporarily in physical bodies within creation, which exists simply to assist our souls in evolving toward perfection.
From that perspective, we come to understand the pressing need to make constructive choices in all that we think, say, and do. If we misuse Mercury’s energy, for example by thinking negative thoughts, lying, or gossiping, we delay our spiritual progress. We also lose precious opportunities to help make our ideals a reality—to create Heaven on Earth—because we waste our thoughts on what degrades us instead of what uplifts and inspires us. If we misuse Mars’s power, for instance by resorting to violence, anger, or recklessness, we destroy relationships and property instead of helping to build a new and joyful world.
The need for spiritually based thought and action grows ever more important as our planet hurtles through an unprecedented era of relentless change. Rather than giving in to fear and going into mourning for a world and a way of life that are fast falling apart, we have an opportunity to surrender our hold on a past that has outlived its usefulness…simply by changing our minds. As we turn our attention away from what is dying, we make room in our minds for new thoughts of a new and better world…and where our minds go, our actions will follow in order to build that better world.
Today we stand not only on the brink of a new season but on the cusp of a new, spiritual era for humanity. In these final days of the Sun’s stay in Pisces, may our thoughts, words, and actions turn toward the Divine as we embrace our highest ideals and begin the work of making our Heaven on Earth.