The practice of stargazing predates civilization and has provided a thread of wisdom connecting us to our ancestors. Take Mars, for example. To ask an astrologer, Mars is in the sign of Gemini; however, when we look to the sky, Mars appears aligned with the constellation Taurus (note its close proximity to red star Aldebaran, aka the Bull’s Eye). The reason for this is a phenomenon called precession. As the Earth spins around its own axis, it wobbles slightly, tracing a small circle as it does so. (To see a smaller scale of this, try spinning a toy top.) The constellations of the zodiac as we know them were originally laid out some 2,000 years ago, at a time when astrology and astronomy were one in the same. The earth’s precessional cycle takes roughly 26,000 years. With 12 signs of the zodiac, this means our orientation to the stars shifts by one sign every 2,200 years or so. Thus, today, Mars is astrologically in the sign of Gemini, but astronomically in the constellation of Taurus. The next time the stars catch your eye, take a moment of gratitude for the lineage of men and women who charted their positions, named their patterns, and created our calendars. Their work laid the foundation for civilization as we know it.
Astrologically, March is one of the defining months of 2023, with two of the larger, slower planets — Saturn and Pluto — changing signs. It takes approximately three years for Saturn to transit through a sign, while Pluto, known as a generational planet, takes anywhere from 12 to 31 years. Saturn moves into Pisces on March 7, ending a seven-year reign across signs of its rulership. Archetypally, Saturn and Pisces are quite different. Saturn teaches us about rules and restrictions, the practical and the material, time and mortality. Pisces is the sign of dreams, imagination, and mysticism. While Saturn may not feel at home in this sign, as the planet of manifestation, here it has the potential to help us actualize our dreams. Pluto in Aquarius on March 23 shapes our understanding of power. In the sign of the humanitarian, its attributes emerge on a social scale. With technology falling under the sign of Aquarius, the immense power of technological advancements is already being felt and will continue to transform our lives in ways as yet unseen. Finally, Mars also changes signs — after eight long months in Gemini — entering Cancer on March 25. Mars here arouses our emotional being, warms our hearts, and stimulates the protective and nurturing aspects of our personality.