Astrology Secrets Revealed by ERIC FRANCIS

Upon the Equinox


March 18, 2005 (with chart)


Dear Readers,


We are in the final few days of the astrological year, as the Sun makes its way through the last inches of Pisces. This is a time of closure and completion -- and preparation for a shift in energy and a new season. The time of the equinox is approaching, which is exact March 20. The Sun enters the sign Aries, which is the root of the power of will, initiative, creativity, the sex drive, passion and power. Without Aries and its ruler Mars, nothing on this planet would get anywhere.


For about a week, night and day are of equal length all around the world. The reason for equal-length night and day is that at this time, the Earth is positioned such that the rays of the Sun are at a 90-degree angle to the equator.


That these several different events coincide is not an accident. They are the reason the horoscope that Western astrologers use is called the 'tropical zodiac'. The signs of the zodiac are measured not by the apparent movement of the Sun through the constellations, but rather using the Sun's angle to the equator, and the two tropics to the north and south -- the Tropic of Capricorn to the south, and the Tropic of Cancer to the north.


There is a second zodiac, called the sidereal zodiac, which is made of the actual constellations. But Western astrologers generally don't use it. We use the tropical zodiac.


When the Earth is positioned such that the Sun's rays are at a 90-degree angle to the Tropic of Cancer, in the Northern Hemisphere, the Sun 'enters' the sign Cancer, and it is the peak of summer in the north and winter in the south. One hundred and eighty two days (or six months) later, when the Sun is at a 90-degree angle to the Tropic of Capricorn, the Sun 'enters' the sign Capricorn and it is the beginning of winter in the Northern Hemisphere and summer in the Southern Hemisphere. Halfway between, the Sun's rays aspect the Equator and we reach the Equinoxes: the Sun's entry into Aries and Libra.


This divides the year into four parts. Then the seasons -- or the main points on the Sun's path between the tropics -- are neatly divided by three. This gives us a total of 12 divisions, which are the signs of the zodic. Each season begins with a cardinal sign (Aries, Cancer, Libra or Capricorn), peaks with a fixed sign (Taurus, Leo, Scorpio or Aquarius), and ends or dissipates into the next with a mutable or common sign (Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius or Pisces).


The first degree of Aries, or the beginning of the whole story, is called the Aries Point. It's where we reckon the tropical horoscope and the sidereal horoscope -- that is, the backdrop of the stars. In other words, if you look at the Sun's position in space on the day of the Vernal Equinox, it falls in one of the actual constellations -- which happens to be Pisceus. So for the most part, the tropical zodiac and the sidereal zodiac are off by one sign (which factors into one of this week's questions below).


The Aries Point is a truly sensitive point -- often acting with greater potency than a planet or the lunar nodes. When the Sun or any other planet is in early Aries, or making a 90-degree or 180-degree aspect to early Aries, there can be distinct effects.


At such times, events can occur that involve a lot of people. An unfortunate example is the tsunami, which came at the same time as a Full Moon square the Aries Point. There are many, many examples in the history of astrology.


This quality of bringing in the masses seems to run counter to the highly individualized nature of Aries. But the Aries Point itself is almost always some kind of invitation to the mass of humanity to TRANSCEND INDIVIDUALITY and to think of itself as one. Here is the chart:


For a simpler version of the chart, please click here.


The most interesting thing I've noticed about the Vernal Equinox chart is that the Sun is in an exact conjunction to the asteroid Amor. Given that there are a couple of hundred thousand small planets orbiting our Sun, that may not seem like a big deal. However, the potency of Amor exactly conjunct the Sun and conjunct the Aries Point (all within one degree) is undeniably significant. Love and passion are most definitely in the air in an unusual way. The problem with that in our culture is that we have wrapped so many control dramas around what we call love and what we experience as sexuality that we usually need a therapist to get us through any experience of our energy rising one inch. So please don't panic. Just know a control drama when you see one -- and try to rise above it with the love in your heart and your desire to truly live. You can do it.


Astrologers not using the asteroids would get a similar message from Venus conjunct the Sun at the Equinox. Venus is in Pisces, her very best sign. And she is in late Pisces, full of mystery and wonder. This is definitely an archetype of the 'lost woman' or the 'true spirit of woman' who can stand with confidence in her femininity.


Mars in this chart corresponds with an interesting story: on the brink of transformation, about to go into Aquarius and make a conjunction to Chiron. The Mars-Chiron conjunction, which occurs once every two years, is one of those major events that most astrologers miss. It's a real turning point and this is the first time it's occurred in Aquarius since the early 1960s.


All in all, the cosmos offers us a rather dramatic equinox season, this year full of surprises, developments and changes that will, with the full power of Aries, really get us to question who we are and maybe even find an answer or two. Let's add some detail to the discussion.


On the day of the Vernal Equinox, Mercury stations retrograde in the middle of Aries. So for the first three weeks of spring, Mercury appears to be moving backwards, which it does three times a year. This time around, Mercury retrogrades nearly the way back to the Aries point, to within one degree. If the history of the Bush administration and the Iraq war are any indicators, we are in for some big developments as this station-direct occurs in the days following the solar eclipse. In a distinct way, this Mercury retrograde and the associated Aries eclipse amplify the message, 'We're all in this together'.


The message is further amplified by an eclipse of the Sun in Aries on April 8. Eclipses have a similar way of bringing in the masses and stirring up individual experiences, in a way similar to the Aries Point itself. So it fits right in with the pattern, particularly given that this eclipse is in Aries with so much other activity.


It is an annular (not annual, but rather annular) solar eclipse -- meaning that it would be a total eclipse, except that the Moon is a bit too far from the Sun to cover the disk of the Sun exactly. As the eons progress, we will have more and more annular eclipses. The Moon is slowly spiraling away from the Earth, making it appear astronomically smaller with each cycle. Eventually, there will be no more total eclipses; the entire phenomenon of a total eclipse is transient. And what they will be replaced by is annular eclipses -- so these are, in a sense, the eclipses of the future. And this one is a powerful image of the rebirth of the Sun, but a rebirth that lasts several weeks and will bring many changes, developments and revelations that teach us a lot about who we are.


This particular eclipse of the future happens in an exact conjunction with Venus in Aries. I am not sure how I feel about that; I need to give it some thought, but I will get back to you.


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