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of the planets as they affect us here on Earth   

The Vernal Equinox 2012:

the Birth of Another Maiden Spring

By Radko Vacek

Spring starts at 5:15 am, GMT, on March 20, as the Sun passes into Aries.

The horoscope at that moment and for around the first two days of this coming spring there is quite an inspiring message for many of us. Here is the configuration at the moment of the equinox:

Moon: 2°Pisces 41
Planets in Winter signs:
Neptune 1°Pisces 42
Pluto 9°Capricorn 33

Sun: 0°Aries 00
Other planets in Spring signs
Mercury 2°Aries 25 retrograde
Uranus 4°Aries 6
Jupiter 10°Taurus 50

Mars 7°Virgo 37 retrograde
Saturn 28° Libra 05 retrograge
North Node 7°Sagitarius 16

The ascendant lunar node pointing in the direction of Sagittarius, where it has been since March of 2011 until August of 2012, suggests a direction we probably would do well to follow as a means to weather the storm of current events. Sagittarius has to do with the values of religious philosophy. These are values toward which we probably should reach, in order to stabilize and give purpose to our lives.

What really jumps out at us is that three planets appear to move retrograde. The periods of apparent, retrograde motion of a planet commonly are interpreted as when a significant part of the vitality associated with that particular planet is redirected away from the outside world towards the depths of the mind, and often is thought to reflect a time when functioning represented by the planet must labour against more resistance.

My intuition, however, suggests a different interpretation for the retrogradation. Especially noteworthy is the fact that Mars is one of the retrograde planets. Mars rules the upsurge of vitality associated with the sign Aries, which initiates spring. Saturn being the second of the three in retrograde also is relevant, because that planet has to do with restricting the discharge of lively energy. I suggest that, on this Equinox, many of you are likely not to feel like moving full speed ahead into the future. Rather than anticipate the leaflets, quite a number of you may be thinking along these lines: "If only I could turn a bright, new leaf", but then you realize that morning does not nullify the grief unfolding from deeds done the day before. As rational as you manage to keep yourselves, I see a big number of you overwhelmed by remorseful nostalgia for things of the past.

The economic turmoil in which we continue to live through surely contributes to the loss of things which we have previously held in high value. Even if this is not currently the theme song of your life, I sense that it is important to you in the background of your mind, or that it may well come to the fore in the not-so-remote future.

Mars and Saturn being retrograde may symbolize this lack of thrust towards that affirmation of life, which naturally accompanies spring. The retrograding of Mercury may as well symbolize your mind engaged in that retrospective thought dulling your natural enthusiasm. Here is where Pluto plays a leading role in defining how many of us can encounter spring with a more welcoming attitude. It is in Capricorn, which is held in common by Mars and Saturn as the sign most compatible to them. Saturn, as the ruler of Capricorn, expresses its nature most readily there, and Mars, exalted in Capricorn, is most powerful there. Pluto symbolizes the regeneration and the healing which may accompany replacing the old with the new. Being in Capricorn links Pluto with Mars and Saturn. It suggests that making oneself receptive to the healing regeneration symbolized by Pluto is a way to overcome the melancholy retrospection reflected by the Mercury, Mars, and Saturn retrogrades. In our nostalgia for the good things lost, let us ask ourselves, what goodness cannot be restored with enough time? It is said that the world is benevolently enough designed that, with enough time, no wound proves to be so bad that it will not heal. Let us believe that, so that we can draw our feelings out into the open and work through the negativity, thus regenerating it into that positive affirmation of life which is fitting spring!

Please note in my defence, the centrality of Pluto in understanding our current challenges, is consistent with my article last month, characterizing this new year as a Year of the Blue Dragon, a Dragon which is watery in nature and whose upheavals are more likely to be ones of Plutonian renewal than Uranian chaos.

The balance of the horoscope, at the instant of the perfect Equinox, surely is tipped in favour of the emergence of this life-affirming attitude. Whereas in Aries, the ruminative Mercury is close to the cusp with Pisces and retrograding towards Pisces, a symbol of the past seasons, the planets are in overwhelmingly more spring signs. Five planets, including the Sun, are in spring signs, compared to just three in winter signs.
The culmination of regeneration is rebirth or being born again. With the dark of the moon being just two days after the perfect equinox, this year so much related to Plutonian regeneration, why not let our Equinox celebration culminate this time with our appreciation of the Dark Moon as a symbol of being born again?

The time of the equinoctial Dark Moon is on March 22, at 2:42 pm, GMT.

Here is the configuration at the moment of that Dark Moon:

Sun/Moon conjunction: 2°Aries 43

Planets in Spring signs:

Mercury 0°Pisces 51

Uranus 4°Aries 24

Jupiter 11°Taurus 16



Venus 18° Taurus 17




Planets in Winter signs:

Pluto 9°Capricorn 34

Neptune 1°Pisces47

Remaining planets:
Mars 6° Virgo 55 retrograde
Saturn 27°Libra 56 retrograde

With the coming together of the Moon and Sun in a conjunction, the configuration now has six planets in spring signs, far outweighing just two in winter signs, suggesting even more force to the natural flow of adopting a livelier, spring attitude. Also note that Mercury, reflecting the nature of our thinking, has now gone direct, suggesting forethought rather than hindsight. The tendency after March 22 is for us to stop ruminating over the mistakes and losses of the past, instead transforming our thinking in the direction of using the lessons we have learned to gain a brighter future.

The metaphor behind this interpretation is consistent with the one used in my article on this website, of January of 2012. Now, as then, I am using the Sun to symbolize a potential father and the Moon to symbolize a potential mother, with their coming together into the astrological relationship of a conjunction giving rise to a manifestation analogous to a birth. In this case, the metaphorical birth is that of another maiden Spring.

Aside from the fiery drive forward, spring also has the aspects of deep and flowing feeling, particularly love, and spiritedness. What a great spirit Spring has! A spirit as great as Spring's never dies, I do believe! Spring, in broader terms, stands for the vital principle underlying all things, including those no longer manifesting on the physical plane. Even those things which no longer are, constituting our happiness lost, may be thought of as living on spiritually in the lively things of this new spring, yet another maiden Spring now born!

The starting points of the four seasons may be set into mutual, one-on-one correspondence with times in the daily cycle. If we let midnight correspond to the winter solstice, in accord with their shared quality of maximal darkness, then sunrise corresponds to the Spring Equinox. The message of these two horoscopes, marking the bounds of the 2012 spring equinox, is that, in spite of all the beloved things we may have lost, we still can be moved, in witnessing the sunrise, and the continuation of what we love manifested in the miracle of Spring, yet another maiden born!

Best wishes for a happy Spring, from the "stars" to all of you!