March ends and April begins with a New Moon in the zodiac’s first sign, Aries. This will be on March 31 at 11:24 p.m. on the West Coast, and the early morning hours of April 1 in the east.
Each New Moon marks a time of initiation. More so with Aries, as the Sun enters Aries at the vernal equinox, the beginning of spring in the northern hemisphere.
Aries is fast fire, like a runner charging out of the gate. It’s like when you’ve planted beans in the garden and a seed bursts forth as a sprout. There’s an instinct to just survive. Aries is something being born. It is pure Self, not terribly concerned with others. It’s about Me.
What makes this New Moon in Aries especially intense is that the Sun and the Moon will be flanked on either side by Mercury and Chiron, both in Aries.
Mercury, always traveling close to the Sun, is the Latin name for the Greek god Hermes, the Winged Messenger, the one who plays tricks with the other gods. Mercury, the traditional ruler of astrology (that role was later assigned to Uranus), has to do with all our thoughts and perceptions, how we process information, how we communicate. It’s about networking and commerce, short distance travels, and what we remember. Mercury in Aries is tricky because one can be so self-absorbed as to neglect some of the niceties of inter-personal communications at this time.
Yet at this initiatory moment, Mercury in Aries may also mean that now is the time to say something that simply must be said. Aries, the sign of the Warrior, signals courage. Is there a way in which you need to finally speak up for yourself, to not take “no” for an answer?
The conjunction of this New Moon with the small sky body called Chiron points the way. Chiron was discovered only in 1977, meaning it’s not part of the traditional astrological pantheon, though many astrologers use it. Chiron is named for the mythological figure of the centaur (half man/half horse) who was a teacher of healing and mysticism to other gods. In astrology he’s known as the Wounded Healer. Chiron’s glyph, or drawn symbol, looks like a key.
The first Noble Truth that the Buddha expressed upon his enlightenment was this: There is suffering. All sentient beings carry wounds. In astrology, Chiron is likened to the wounds that can make us wise. That is, if we take our wounds as teachings.
Chironic wounds include the accidents that changed the course of our lives, the chronic illnesses we endure, the emotional and psychological wounds that have pierced our hearts and left us battle-scarred.
The conjunction of Chiron and Mercury at this New Moon may call forth painful memories of the ways we’ve been wounded by speech: the words we wish we’d never spoken, the outrageous things people have said to us, that we can’t seem to forget. How in the world can we ever heal and forgive those words? And yet, to move forward (Aries) we must.
In his newly published book Experiential Astrology: From the Map to the Territory, astrologer Antero Alli points to Chiron as the ways in which we self-sabotage, wounding ourselves. The Aries imperative to survive and grow like a newborn calls us to find ways around—to subvert, Antero Alli writes—our own self-sabotaging tendencies. Forget trying to change others. Aries is about Me. It is enlightened self-interest.
In astrology, each of the signs embodies one of the four elements: earth, water, fire or air. These elements are physical features of our atmosphere on earth. They are also keys within mystical paths, cross-culturally, with each element representing many qualities of the Divine.
At this New Moon in Aries, fire is the element on display. Fire wounds and destroys by overwhelming heat, and fire also holds some particular keys for healing. In processes of purification, fire removes what is not necessary. It turns food that would otherwise be indigestible into medicine. Fire illuminates, enabling us to see in the dark. It is the light of inspiration, the sunrise that gives everyone another chance, each day.
This New Moon is also the forerunner to the major transit of 2022: the conjunction of Jupiter and Neptune in the sign they co-rule, Pisces, which will be exact on April 12. Jupiter and Neptune meet about every 13 years, but they have not done so in their home sign of Pisces in 166 years. That makes this month of April a time to zero in on whatever brings us an expansive feeling of inspiration, whether that be art, social service or meditation and prayer. All in the spark of the healing fires.
Blessings for the Aries New Moon and the Jupiter/Neptune conjunction!