As the last sign in the Zodiac, the New Moon in Pisces heralds the close of the astrological year. The culmination of a year-long cycle, we turn and look behind us at the road we have travelled thus far. Yet like a herald blowing a trumpet, this New Moon signals an astrological event of magnitude: the entry of Uranus into Pisces on March 10th. The significance of this is further heightened by the fact that over the next seven years Uranus will be in mutual reception with Neptune in Aquarius.* Some astrologers predict that the effects of this will cause the waters of universal love to rise high, flooding the world with the much-needed healing energies of mercy, peace, and forgiveness.
Indeed, the Neptunian, watery Pisces is the sign of "no boundaries." It is the sign that represents the Christian era, is associated with Jesus, and that rules the feet. Thus symbolically, Pisces draws our attention downward, to the suffering that marks the human condition. While Uranus transited the sign of Aquarius, it lit up the globe in a vibrant and sparkling telecommunications network. But in its visionary zeal to make the world one, it soared too high above the natural limits of human nature, dangerously depersonalizing our connections with each other. Uranus in Pisces, however, joins the heart with the mind, suffusing abstract thinking with empathy and emotion. Like the network of riverbeds carved into the Earth's surface by the rain that falls from the heavens, Pisces' emphasis on service and surrender will deepen the links opened by Uranus in Aquarius - creating wide channels of flowing, intuitive energy.
Thus this New Moon offers us an opportunity to help Uranus begin its sojourn in Pisces. As the old hymn goes, "swing low" and let the chariot of your sweet soul descend into your depths. Climb down from the mountain peaks of your highest aspirations and noblest goals. Trek down, down, down, into the low-lying valleys of shadow and longing. Enter into the hidden recesses within Earth herself. Sink to the bottom of the ocean, where, like silt, the heavier emotions of despair, fear, and grief have settled on the floor of your psyche. Because you cannot heal others until you have fully felt the pain of your own wounds, accept your grief as a necessary antidote to the world's suffering.
All the religious traditions of the world have incorporated ritual movements that lower the body, bringing us closer to the earth. These devotional gestures serve an important purpose: To empty the cup of the soul, in order to be filled again; to humble ourselves before the Divine; to join ourselves in gentle solidarity with our fellow creatures; and to give thanks for the profound gift of life itself. Thus in keeping with the Pisces theme of humility, it is an ideal time to practise any form of ritual prostration or bowing. You may wish to repeat a certain number of these ritual motions, along with a concentration on an image of a prophet or saint, such as Kuan Yin, Jesus, or any other spiritual figure of inspiration. You may also wish to place a sacred phrase on your breath - whether a Buddhist or Hindu mantra, Christian or Jewish prayer, or a simple phrase of your own creation, such as "I bow before the infinite beauty of the Universe."
You may also wish to stretch out face down on the Earth, melting your human nature into the greater nature-body of the Mother Goddess. As you do this, let yourself merge with all the human beings, animals, plants, forests, mountains, and oceans of creation. Become a climbing tendril, a delicate flower petal, a tree root, a heavy stone, a swimming dolphin, a lonely child, a happy mother, an invalid adult, or an imprisoned activist. Let your consciousness spread, until you become like a rivulet of love that joins you to the swelling rush of all life. Dissolve into the great bliss ocean of oneness. Go beyond all boundaries, and feel the limits of your heart explode with love - one tiny bubble bursting in the cosmic sea of compassion in which all souls swim.
Then rising, bow to the Moon, giving thanks for her role as spiritual timekeeper: She who reminds us of the rhythms and cycles that mark the hours and days of our lives.
*When two planets are in "mutual reception" it means that they are each in the sign that is ruled by the other planet. In this case, Uranus, the ruler of Aquarius, is in Pisces, which is ruled by Neptune. And Neptune is in Aquarius, which is ruled by Uranus. Thus the two planets are in mutual reception, working together in harmony and strengthening each other's position.
(Look for the Virgo Full Moon March 18th, 2003.)