The Cosmological Letter
The itinerant 16th Century European physician and scholar remembered as Paracelsus Magnus has returned once again to our valley as he does four times a year, breaking the boundaries of time to inform us about the season that lies ahead.
Dear Reader: As I ride into your valley today I find myself deeply saddened by the current ways of your governments, from your local struggles to the tragic events unfolding in distant countries. As many of you know, the planet Pluto is now fast approaching Aquarius, just as it had when your country was young and struggling to plant the prospect of democracy against centuries of tyrannical autocracies.
Disease and war had long been known and suffered in my day, but Pluto, ruler of great transformations, was not yet known, and the idea of democracy was only vaguely remembered from the days of antiquity. The establishment of your young government risked many dangers and yet, despite doubt at every step, your government was built. My sadness understands the uncertainty that you feel, but remember this: The days will remain tumultuous between now and January 20th, 2024, when Pluto finally settles with the Sun in Aquarius. Be courageous and caring throughout the weeks and months that lie ahead, and as steadfast as those whose ideals had framed your government.
But let me now address the immediate calendar. The season called spring begins with the month of Aries, at the vernal equinox Sunday morning, March 20th. The entire month is filled with adventure and opportunity, but also peril to the inattentive mind. Mercury is immediately conjunct Jupiter in Pisces that very evening, allowing thoughts to either become lost in the indulgences of one inebriation or another, or inspired by ineffable possibilities.
Three days later Mercury continues on to join with Neptune, ruler of Pisces, leaving the shores of knowledge to embark upon the deeper seas of wisdom. It is only when the week is done, in the early hours of Sunday the 27th, that Mercury leaves Pisces for Aries and a refreshed mind can then resume considering the more immediate issues of the day. In the early afternoon of the 28th Venus reaches Saturn to dutifully remember a tender sense of responsibility.
As March gives way to April, the Sun, Moon, and Mercury gather at the threshold of the horoscope, ready to launch the new season. What has taken place is preparation for what will now begin to unfold. At first the Sun crosses the Ascendant in the afternoon of March 31st, followed by Mercury the next day, who then passes the Sun on the 2nd to become epimethian, deliberate, and attentive.
Finally, that night, the New Moon in Aries heralds a cascade of startling events and consequences. The Sabian Symbol is “A flock of white geese is seen in flight overhead”, which some believe implies self-discovery through flights of fancy, albeit with a certain amount of erratic behavior.
On April 4th impulsive Mars heeds Saturn’s concern for social responsibility, and when Mercury enters Taurus on the evening of the 10th decisions are reached with more deliberation. Two days later the long companionship of Jupiter with Neptune is most exact and, with Mars entering Pisces two more days later, the thoughtful consideration of what is best for most is encouraged.
The Full Moon is in Libra, late in the morning of April 16th. People have given this lunation many names, such as the Pink Moon, the Egg Moon, and the Sprouting Grass Moon. Always it tells of the renewal promised by the first Full Moon of spring. Mercury comes to Uranus the following day, inviting the surprise of discoveries to be either enjoyed or endured.
The second month of spring, Taurus, begins with the music of the spheres from April 19th until April 21st, as the Lyrid meteor shower begins falling from the lyre of Orpheus. The following week Venus joins with Neptune and then Jupiter, bringing her Piscean gentleness to their continued good-hearted companionship, for the three are well known as the planetary benefics.
The following week the growing season is fully underway with the New Moon in Taurus, on the afternoon of the 30th.
On May 5th the second shower of meteors known as Eta Aquaria, made up of detritus cast off by Haley’s Comet, will begin to fall from the constellation Aquarius. Early that morning the Sun comes to Uranus, stirring events in abrupt and unexpected ways. Then, a few days later, in the morning of May 10th, Mercury is retrograde. Often this is thought to be calamitous, but it is better to think of it as an inversion of the mind wherein a dreamy woolgathering has other priorities than mere efficiency and skill. At the same time Jupiter leaves Pisces for Aries, triggering certain bumptious events. Venus crosses the Ascendant two days later, and so we must become wary of blandishments while enjoying praise.
The Moon will be full May 15th, but it will also be totally eclipsed as a Blood Moon in Scorpio at 9:11 that evening, standing across from the deliberate steadfast Sun in Taurus just after it sets. Strong aspects to Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune and Pluto make this a momentous celestial event signifying, in that order: energy, appetite, discipline, confusion, and transformation. Two days later Mars conjoins Neptune, causing some distraction and inspiration. Soon afterward, on the evening of May 20th, the Sun enters Gemini to begin the third and final, resolving month of spring.
This resolving month of spring will provide what has been promised. As Mercury becomes promethean the mind becomes assertive on the 21st of May, and soon the Moon escorts Mars into Aries on the 24th before moving on to Jupiter. Events these days may prove alarmingly abrupt, and prematurely decisive. By the 29th, when Mars also comes to Jupiter, the situation worldwide should stabilize some, although grand and dramatic actions will periodically interrupt a relative repose. The New Moon in Gemini during the predawn hours of May 30th ushers in a more stable time, with Mercury no longer retrograde by June 3rd and so regaining his articulation, and Saturn now becoming retrograde to encourage introspection and self-discipline.
Spring then begins preparing for summer with startling arousals of the mind and heart, stirring thoughts and feelings, as Venus contacts Uranus on the 11th and Mercury enters Gemini on the 13th. The Full Moon early in the morning of June 14th is called the Strawberry or Rose Moon, and looms large in the heavens as a supermoon. Her stance in Sagittarius opposite the Gemini Sun makes this Moon restlessly want to wander, her curiosity distracting attention from what is needed, and on the 20th she is found with Neptune, increasing the vulnerability of a tentative, sensitive and emotional time.
It is early the following day that the Sun enters Cancer, and stands at the Summer Solstice to begin the next season. I’ll return then to learn how you have fared, and to tell you of the season that will follow.