Into the Soup
Dates and times are given for U.S. Pacific Time zone.
Picking Up Old Threads
A week full of big shifts begins with what might seem like an insignificant sextile between the Sun and Pluto (March 20, 2023, 1:12 pm PDT). But no connection between the Sun and Pluto is unimportant.
The two began a new cycle with their conjunction on January 18, 2023. When these two important symbols are in a conjunction, there’s enormous pressure to change our current form. Often, this pressure comes from those with power over us, like a boss, a parent, or a bank manager.
But at the opening sextile, we’ve gotten a little distance from that power struggle. We can begin to see the choices that are available to us – although whether we’re willing to take them, or whether they will take us where we want to go, is another question.
The rest of this week’s astrology emphasizes new beginnings. But since the Sun and Pluto are at the very end of their signs, at 29º57’ Pisces and Capricorn, some of the best opportunities will be found in picking up old threads and weaving them into something new.
Something Newly Born
Look at a newborn baby – so fragile, defenseless. But consider what it’s just been through. The process of being born is bloody, sometimes violent, often dangerous, and honestly, must be terrifying to a small newcomer to the planet. Now look at that baby again, and marvel at its toughness. Listen to its full-throated cry, and admire its ability to get its needs met when it can barely see and can’t even turn over by itself.
This week, the Sun enters Aries (March 20, 2023, 2:24 pm PDT), the sign of new beginnings. In which house does Aries, especially its first degree, fall in your birth chart? This is where you’re as delicate and as tough as something newly born. Here, you’re courageous, a pioneer who blazes your own trail. You’re the plow, readying the soil, and you’re the seed that’s planted there. You’re a newborn baby, the most vulnerable and formidable of all creatures.
Thriving in the Vertex
If you’ve ever seen a flock of geese flying in a v-formation, you may have assumed the bird at the vertex was particularly dominant. But actually, there is no “lead” goose. Flying in a v-formation allows the rest of the flock to fly farther, by protecting each other from wind resistance. But the bird in the lead position hasn’t any such protection. And because this position is such a taxing one, the flock shares the load by rotating, each taking its turn in the lead position.
Being the lead goose is not about prestige. It’s about survival.
When we think of Aries, we often think it’s a sign of leadership, simply because it moves so quickly and with such certainty that the rest of us instinctively fall into formation behind it. But Aries, in my experience, doesn’t really love to lead; it just doesn’t want to follow. It wants to break new ground and is perfectly happy to do it alone. At this week’s New Moon (March 21, 2023, 10:23 am PDT), the first of two in Aries, look for the house of your birth chart where 0º Aries 49’. This is a house where you often finding yourself blazing new trails.
But being out in front by yourself is a taxing position. And at this New Moon, with the Sun and Moon square Mars, we should be mindful that our individual energy has limits – and that letting someone else in the flock take the lead for a while can help us travel farther in the long run.
Into the Soup
Perhaps you have some experience with making stock or soup from scratch. You have to simmer it over a low flame for hours to reduce the liquid and intensify the flavors. Sometimes, things go wrong. Maybe you keep the flame too high or simmer it for too long and the soup ends up salty, or even dries up and scorches the pan. Or you might rush the process and end up with a broth that’s thin and weak.
But when you get this alchemical process of transformation just right, the result is delicious.
Pluto enters a new sign, Aquarius, this week (March 23, 2023, 5:23 am PDT). And whenever Pluto enters a brand-new sign – which it doesn’t very often; it debuted in Capricorn in 2008 and won’t enter Pisces until 2043 – it’s time for us to enter a new alchemical process. We’re about to be thrown into a new pot. There’s a little bit of oil in there, and the initial sear will hurt like hell. But it releases our juices and caramelizes our sugars, and by the time water is added to the pot, the process of change is well underway.
At the end of it all, we’ll have been turned into something new. We’ll have been broken down and cooked until all that’s left of us is our essence – the most delicious part.
Pluto’s first steps into Aquarius (it retrogrades back into Capricorn between June 11, 2023-Jan. 20, 2024) are only the beginning of the process. This is the pot being pulled from the cupboard; the oil is put in the pan and begins heating up. Unless you have planets in your birth chart very close to 0º Aquarius, Leo, Taurus, or Scorpio, you may not be going in the pot right away. But for each of us, here’s a chance to think about what we’re going to bring to the soup.
Making Your Way Home
Mars enters Cancer (March 25, 2023, 4:45 am PDT, through May 20) on the heels of seven long, exhausting months in Gemini. It’s such a relief to move on to a new battleground that it’s easy to forget that Mars isn’t all that comfortable in Cancer, the sign of its fall. Mars prefers to tackle things head-on, but Cancer’s style is oblique and protective.
Nevertheless, Mars in any sign symbolizes the way we react to threats and the things we feel are worth fighting for. As Mars enters Cancer (March 25, 2023, 4:45 am PDT, through May 20, 2023), we’re determined to make our way home, either literally or figuratively. Maybe we feel estranged from our spiritual center. Perhaps someone we love is in danger, or we’re desperately longing to reunite with those we love and from whom we’ve long been separated.
But there may be conflicts with these loved ones, too. Not everyone sees eye to eye about everything, perceives the same threats, shares the same vision. However, Mars’ mostly positive aspects to other planets during this transit make reconciliation likely. By the time Mars makes its last aspect in the sign, a trine aspect to Neptune in mid-May, we’ll realize we’ve had the power to get home all along.
Writing and images © 2017-23 by April Elliott Kent
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