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A Spring of Compassion and Courage

The chart of the Spring Equinox — cast for the moment the Sun enters the sign of Aries — is arguably the most important of the four Cardinal ingress charts. Many astrologers believe it sets the tone for the entire year, not just the following quarter. It happens at the same moment (not the same clock time) everywhere, so the house positions of the planets are different, depending on the location. Casting the ingress chart for the capital of a country is considered predictive for the whole country for the following quarter regarding the politics, events, attitudes and general zeitgeist. You can analyze the chart for a particular location, and/or analyze it in reference to another chart. Here is the Aries ingress (Spring Equinox) chart cast for Washington, DC, and here is a bi-wheel of that chart around the chart of the USA (Sibley) if you want to follow along with my analysis.

If you follow this blog, you know that one of the major current transits is the ongoing square of Uranus to Pluto, and that aspect is, of course, a major player in this chart — not exact, but still within less than four degrees of orb. (*Note: in the original version of this post, I said the aspect was exact again in June. This is a good example of why we elderly types should not rely on our memories. :-) It's exact again May 20th.) As I mentioned in my discussion of the Winter Solstice chart, Uranus rules electricity, Pluto rules breakdowns and extremes of all kinds, and there were many, many problems with the electric grid over the last few months in different parts of the country, almost all of them due to a series of severe winter storms, as well as a great deal of public discussion around fracking, a very Plutonian process that provides fuel for the electric grid. In the Spring Equinox chart, Mars joins the fray, strong in its own sign, tightly conjunct Uranus (and more widely, the Sun) square the Moon, and, of course, square Pluto. The three planets in Aries cluster around the IC (4th house cusp) of the USA’s chart, and in the first house of the equinox chart.

The first house and its ruler signify the people of a country, as does the Moon, and the fourth house. Mars with Uranus is an explosive aspect, and the public discourse is likely to become even more heated in the upcoming months. Violent expressions of emotion around political beliefs is probable, and the fracking debate will, no doubt, be ongoing. The fourth house rules weather, and Uranus will be in the fourth house of the USA for quite a few more years. Uranus with Mars in this house suggests violent weather or environmental events, as well as highlighting issues of manufacturing and the military. With the square to Pluto, anything to do with mining, fracking, extraction of resources will be a focus, and industrial, mining, or environmental accidents cannot be ruled out. Munitions also come under the rulership of Mars, and I expect the gun control debate to continue to rage. We are also likely to see exhibitions of moral courage (thank you, Bradley Manning), and possibly some more remarkable scientific breakthroughs (hello, Higgs boson! BTW, that discovery was announced just after Mars had entered Aries).

Pluto is opposing the Moon in the equinox chart, Mars-Uranus squares it, and that configuration is energizing the Jupiter-Sun conjunction in the USA chart. Before the Uranus-Pluto square is over, which won’t be until 2015, it will form a Grand Cross with the Sun-Saturn square of the USA chart. That Grand Cross is already in orb, and I think that the configuration in the equinox chart suggests a highly emotional time for the country as we assess and adjust to our changing, pluralistic national identity and consider what our extreme expectations of reward and the availability of resources means in the context of exploding population and climate change.

Venus, exalted in Pisces, rising in the equinox chart, and in the third house of the USA chart along with Neptune and Mercury, trine the Moon and Saturn, gives me hope that the national discussions around women’s rights — reproductive and otherwise — and same-sex marriage will evolve into more respectful and open-minded approaches. Recognition of our national and global inter-connectedness is likely to be in the headlines, as well as discussions around water — water rights, droughts, flooding, pollution. I would not be surprised if there were some major flooding in parts of the country over the next few months.

On a personal level, the Spring Equinox chart can be interpreted by casting the chart for your location, and putting it in a bi-wheel with your birth chart (use the birth chart angles). Look at which houses are activated for you, and at the aspects between the charts for guidance on your personal path over the next few months.

There is a call to courageous and compassionate action in this chart, and also a suggestion of highly-charged emotions. Making the correct choice in unexpected, emotionally-charged situations is difficult, and possible only if you are very clear about your personal values, ideals and goals. You might want to spend some time during the next few months carefully considering your values and the ethical structures of your life and magic, and how well you integrate them into your life. Where is your life fully congruent with your principles, and where is there conflict between your life and your ethics? This would also be an excellent period of time to establish a regular practice of compassion meditation. Here’s some instruction from a Buddhist perspective.  I will leave you with a thought from the Dalai Lama to carry with you into the Spring:


“Every day, think as you wake up, today I am fortunate to be alive, I have a precious human life, I am not going to waste it. I am going to use all my energies to develop myself, to expand my heart out to others; to achieve enlightenment for the benefit of all beings. I am going to have kind thoughts towards others, I am not going to get angry or think badly about others. I am going to benefit others as much as I can.”

Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama

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Diotima Mantineia began studying astrology in 1968, taking classes from Zoltan Mason in New York City. For the next 22 years, she practiced astrology only for herself and her friends, continuing her studies while watching an increasingly humanistic, psychologically oriented, modern astrology blossom through the work of leading astrologers such as Noel Tyl, Liz Greene, Rob Hand, Marion March, Stephen Arroyo and Howard Sasportas.

In 1986, Diotima began her study of Wicca and started reading Tarot, discovering that she is a gifted intuitive. In 1991, she began practicing both astrology and Tarot professionally.

She majored in plant and soil science both in college and grad school, and grows much of her own food and "materia magica" on her land in the mountains of western North Carolina.

Diotima’s personal spiritual path is rooted in the Western mystery traditions, the principles of Yoga, and a profound connection with the natural world. Wicca gives structure to her spiritual journey, and she utilizes shamanic practices for healing and to live in harmony with Nature. Over 15 years of studying Chinese martial arts has given her a deep appreciation of Taoist thought which has strongly influenced her magical and personal philosophy. You can find her at www.uraniaswell.com

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