Beliefnet
Celestial headlines in the last week or so have riveted practical scientists and stargazers alike. On March 9th astronomers announced the possible discovery of life-sustaining water on Saturn’s cold Enceladus moon. With Saturn transiting Leo, the timing and ensuing fanfare of this incredible find make perfect astrological sense. Leo loves—no, Leo demands—attention; I wonder if usually conservative Saturn hired a publicist to ensure proper recognition of this development. Second, and even more exciting, is the discovery of a nebula at the center of the Milky Way shaped like our DNA double helix. The symbolism is significant, especially for astrologers whose "as above so below" premise is now validated by thrilling photographs of our distant star relatives.

As winter ends with these auspicious revelations (even Big Bang theory received additional scientific validation recently), let’s see what spring will bring.

In the Northern Hemisphere, the season officially begins on March 20, 2006 at 1:26 PM EST. At that moment in Washington D.C. there’s an exuberant, fiery 'grand trine,' a configuration known for its positive, inspiring and exhilarating flow of creative energy. And while it’s tempting to sugar-coat my read on next few months, with somber Saturn rising smack on the ascendant (insisting on seriousness, hard work and some Pilates of the soul), Mercury retrograde and an approaching clash between planetary hot-heads Mars and Pluto, I must interpret what’s ahead with a bit of cautious 'spin.'

But first, some good news: The above-mentioned grand trine (a literal divine triangle in the sky) brings an effervescent romantic buzz. In addition, there’s an approaching trine between love planets Venus and Mars, which "perfects" (momentarily clicks into place) on March 26th and 27th, just as Mercury moves out of retrograde and turns direct. How I wish Valentine’s Day could have been celebrated that weekend! It’s a delightful time for relating, dating and all kinds of social events.  However, the conjunction of Moon/Venus/Neptune in airy Aquarius trine Mars in airy Gemini could make it easy for airborne germs to travel and spread, so boosting immunity this week would be a good idea for all of us.

 And we must bear in mind that Saturn rising puts a damper on things, as it demands caution and responsible behavior. And in a mundane chart (the kinds that are done for events and nations), the first house describes the United States, its people and how we appear to the world. And I wonder, with a leaden retrograde Saturn (slowly approaching a station (stand-still) and turning direct on April 5), do Americans look like wet blankets or people taking responsibility for themselves?

With the sun in the ninth house of religion, justice and foreign affairs, it’s no surprise that military activity has escalated recently. But of special concern is the opposition between Mars and Pluto, which becomes precise on April 8th; Mars, the planet of war and aggression, will fiercely challenge Pluto, the planet of molten power. An air of defiance is palpable—to avoid unnecessary blow-ups, cooler heads must prevail. This all follows a March 29th solar eclipse in Aries, which has Pluto on the midheaven, a placement that suggests transformation, hidden dealings and a death and rebirth within our government. Will there be new players and/or new policies started in the coming months? The skies say a resounding "Yes."

The Sabian symbol (a visual image assigned to each degree of the zodiac) for the degree of the March 29 eclipse is "a seer gazing into a crystal ball." One interpretation is that we need long-sighted decisions now more than ever.

Astrologer and math professor Robert Cohen Ph.D. echoes the theme of honorable accomplishments through diligent effort in the weeks ahead. He also feels that the hidden opportunity encoded in the spring equinox chart could enable us all to blast through a long-standing obstacle. In celebration of the astrological new year and the sun entering Aries, he jokingly sent me this faux want ad: "Looking for Karmic Resolution this Spring and Summer? Well, 'Alchemists only' need apply. Saturn, the planet of lead, is in the golden sign of Leo, ruled by the Sun. While you are putting in that vegetable garden or splashing in the ocean, you will be called upon to turn lead into gold and resolve some karmic pattern in your life as well. Good luck! Leave the fried chicken home; March, April and May will be work!"

But in May there will be much-needed relief—the fiery grand trine that begins the season on March 20th yields to a graceful and compassionate water grand trine. The beauty and sweetness of May will be more lush and delightful than we have seen in years.

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