Astrological Musings

From Roxana Muise comes this report:

March was named for Mars, the great Roman warrior god, son of Juno and Jupiter. This was an appropriate association, for in the ancient world of the Mediterranean, the third month was known for its intense and tempestuous weather. The inner theme of March deals with developing wisdom and compassion, and finding one’s life path. The search for self is associated with Venus in a series sequence with Mars. It is a solitary process that initially precludes association with others. Venus is esteemed in Pisces, and is connected with our inner values. This searching process is a lonely path, and requires a building of stamina and the development of inner strength.

Mars rules the next sign, Aries which begins in mid-month, and is associated with courage and stamina, thus filling those needs in the process.

March’s gemstones. The Pisces gem of March is Aquamarine (a type of beryl). The word, aquamarine comes from the Latin “aqua” which means water and “mare” which means sea, because it looks like sea water. Aquamarines were once thought to originate in the jewel caskets of the sirens of the sea. They were sacred to the Roman sea god, Neptune. Greek sailors of the 3rd century BC adopted these gems, and used them as amulets dedicated to their equivalent god, Poseidon that would bring them prosperity and safety against all ills associated with sea voyages.

The Aries gem of March is the bloodstone, also known as the heliotrope, which means the “turning of the Sun.” This refers to the equinoctial movement of the Sun into the northern hemisphere. In the Christian tradition, concomitant with the season of the Crucifixion and Resurrection, the bloodstone, a deep green jasper with crimson spots, reminds the faithful of the blood of the Christ spilled at Golgotha by a Roman soldier’s spear. The stone is said to hold a divine power to stop hemorrhaging, and was widely used in folk medicine to stop nosebleeds and cure wasting diseases. The bloodstone was employed in rituals at the time of eclipses to invoke invisibility, and a polished bloodstone was used by Pliny, the Elder as a mirror with which to safely view Solar eclipses. It is said to also have been a part of the Breastplate of St. Patrick, as a part of the ritual that he used to shape-shift himself and his monks into deer when they were pursued and persecuted by King Loegaire’s troops. The stone was used as an amulet by the Gnostics to prolong life, and in thumb rings (the Mars digit) by the Egyptians, to sustain courage. March first is St. David’s Day, patron of Glastonbury and Wales, an ascetic monk and bishop of the 6th century, also known as “Aquaticus”, because he drank only water, and used water as a body purifier. The early March Sun is in Pisces, a water sign associated with spiritual interests.

The Vernal Equinox is on March 20 this year. Equinox means “equal night”, and is the moment when the Sun crosses the equator in the juncture between the dark and light halves of the year, when the days and nights are equal. It is the midpoint between the Solstices (the turning points of the Sun’s yearly motion). The Sun leaves the dark water sign (Pisces), and enters the bright fire sign (Aries). It is a day of honor for Iduna, or Idunn (A Scandinavian goddess), the equivalent of the Greek Hebe. This goddess is the spring symbol of the triple goddess, and was charged with supplying youth and strength to the rest of the gods and goddesses by providing them with the ambrosia and nectar of immortality. She is the maiden form of Hera, whose name means “Our Lady”, who was the primary goddess before the advent of patriarchal gods. This is also the day that Sri Ushas, (Hindu goddess of the Dawn) is honored. Aries, associated with Mars is linked with the metal, iron. “He who knows what iron is, knows the attributes of Mars. He who knows Mars, knows the qualities of iron.” .Paracelsus. Nick Kollerstrom in his book, “The Metal-Planet Relationship” reminds us that iron is what gives Mars its red color, and also supplies that color to the blood cells that transport oxygen to our organs. It gives us courage and strength and the tools of civilization: combustion and weapons and the tools that made possible the industrial revolution, and contributed to the extension of the human life span.

Palm Sunday is April 9 this year. Palm Sunday commemorates the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem. Current ceremonies include the blessing of the palms, the ashes of which are used on next year’s Good Friday to symbolize the passion and sacrifice of the Crucifixion. This also brings to mind the story of the Phoenix rising and being recreated from its own ashes. The palm tree stands for hope in the future (The date palm was the tree of life in the Babylonian Garden of Eden story). The Hebrew word for the palm tree is Tamar, their name for the goddess, Ashtaroth.

Lent has its parallel in the 40 days of abstinence, thanksgiving, and petition for healing and mercy that precedes the pagan festival of Astarte (aka Ashtoreth, Ishtar, Innana, Venus), a dual goddess. Astarte/Innana was a healer, famous for saving and regenerating a palm tree torn from the Garden of Eden by a great flood. Statues of Venus are often shown holding dates. Venus Hesperus (Venus of the vespers), the goddess of the evening star of love, desire, and fecundity was different from the fire-goddess of the morning star of war and battle (Herald of the sunrise) The Venus position attending Easter 2006 rising before the Sun is Venus Lucifer, engaged in the process of building new values and instilling them where they can be most visible and most effective. Venus’ stations form 5-pointed stars in the heavens in her 8-year cycle (5+3=8). The quintile family (the zodiac divided by 5) is associated with genius and facility.

The number 5 is special also to March 23 (2+3=5), Buddhist Magha Puja Day, when Buddhists gather together to affirm their 5 Precepts: Respect for Life; Respect for personal property; Respect for personal relationships; Respect for truth; and Respect for mental and physical well-being – cornerstone of Buddhism.

In the Christian religion, The Annunciation, March 25th celebrates the unconcealing of the mission of Our Lady, the Blessed Virgin Mary, when the angel Gabriel announced that she would give birth to the Savior. In the British Church, it is called Lady Day, and commemorates the philanthropic works of twelfth century Lady Mabella Tichborne, who overcame great physical odds just before her death, to make sure that the poor were annually provided for. Known as the “Tichborne Dole,” her wishes are carried out to this day.

In some of the nature religions, Invocations are made on March 25th to many of the major goddesses: e.g., Isis, Venus, Tara, and Persephone, to bring enlightenment to women in support of their paths and purpose’ in life. March 28 is the date of the Buddhist celebrations of Quan Yin, goddess of mercy, wisdom, healing and compassion. She was a holy woman, an ascended master who gave up her earned Buddhic state to help bring enlightenment to all of humanity.

March 29 this year marks a total Solar eclipse at 8:35 Aries, at 2:16 AM PST and 5:16 AM EST. Eclipses unite/align the longitudinal cycles with the declinational cycles. The Sun and Moon at Solar eclipses match the same degrees longitudinally, and are parallel in declination. Lunar eclipses align opposing degrees of longitude and are contra-parallel in declination. This unity in the sign of new beginnings gives us a vision of hope.

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