- Amanda Painter
We’re on the cusp of a new season: Sunday, March 20 at 12:30 am EDT, the Sun enters Aries for the spring equinox. This heralds the beginning of a new astrological year, and is the moment when day and night are of equal length. This year, the equinox is closely followed by the second in a pair of eclipses.
What this means is that the normal growth impulse of the Aries equinox is getting a signal boost from the Full Moon and lunar eclipse on March 23. In return, the pattern-setting potential of the eclipse (and of these days between now and then) essentially gets its fuse lit by the equinox.
The upshot of this is that any decisive actions you initiate (Aries) toward your intentions/desires/vision (Pisces) have a much greater chance of getting traction. But understand that it truly is action that counts this week.
Despite the sky’s tremendous emphasis on dreaming, feeling and receiving, doing some of what you want more of is what matters. And it could be that what you want comes into focus as a result of seeing others around you decide and take action toward what you don’t want. (See the U.S. presidential primary season for glaring examples of how that contrast can help you bring your desires into focus, though it can also happen on a much more personal scale).
While technically visible in North America, the March 23 eclipse will be faint, since it is only a penumbral eclipse. Broadly speaking, this lunar eclipse Full Moon -- exact at 8:01 am EDT -- will emphasize the places in your life where your conscious sense of individual self (Sun in Aries) and your emotional experience of your relationships (Moon in Libra) meet. Although this might feel confrontational, it’s possible -- with awareness -- to approach it as a dance, and find some integration and balance rather than swinging between extremes.
This lunar eclipse and Full Moon is also an Aries Point event, since the Sun and Moon will be in the very early degrees of Aries and Libra, respectively. Your awareness of where collective or political issues intersect with your personal life may be heightened in the coming week.
On our way there, we cross the threshold of the equinox. Encouragingly, when the Sun enters Aries on Sunday, its first aspect will be a trine to Mars in Sagittarius. Whether you need a fire lit under you -- to get some physical exercise, or to assess and move forward particular projects -- Sun trine Mars has your back. What is motivating you?
“Projects” can be interpreted to include anything from a systematic de-cluttering of your house, to an ongoing spiritual or therapeutic process, to the business you’re trying to start, and anything else you’ve been gradually working on. Just don’t rest in the phase of assessment; take some tangible step forward in the process to fully invoke and utilize this phase between eclipses.
Additionally, other aspects in effect now might play out in your life this week; perhaps you’ve already encountered them. Do you feel like your ego is getting nudged to transform, perhaps indicating you've strayed from some kind of cosmic harmony, and it’s time to see yourself differently? Are past incidents of boundary-breeching being brought to your attention? If so, how can you accept whatever responsibility is yours, forgive yourself for what was not your responsibility, and find the deeper understanding that will promote your healing?
I also see the potential for some truly inspired creativity, and loving-kindness toward those you’re closest to. There’s a caution about confusing the ‘ideal’ with the ‘real’ when it comes to a loved one, but you can use that same dynamic in your art-making to great effect.
Finally, compassion looks to be highly accessible, both toward self and other. Whatever form that takes, one could do worse when it comes to taking action to set new patterns.