Moonletter March 2023

By Ben Belinsky

Welcome to the Moonletter for the forthcoming mooncycle beginning on 20 February 2023 with the new moon in Pisces and spanning the full moon in Virgo on 7 March 2023.


New Moon in Pisces – 20 February


We’re on the edge of a shift of power and as the saying goes, “With great power comes great responsibility”. The shift of responsibility comes on 7 March when Saturn moves from Aquarius into Pisces just after the full moon (see below). The shift in power begins on 23 March when Pluto makes its first step from Capricorn into Aquarius. This will be a longer process as Pluto will pop back and forth over the cusp of these two signs for the whole of 2023, before settling into Aquarius in January 2024.

Masked figures in elaborate costumes
Mysterious masked figures at the Carnival in Venice

So, at the new moon in Pisces on 20 February, everything is about to shift. This is inevitably an uncertain time. The sun has just moved into Pisces and is met within a couple of days by the moon. To add to the uncertainly, Pisces is a sensitive water sign, symbolised by two fish, one that swims towards the source and the other that swims towards the ocean. Neptune, the ruler of Pisces is currently in its own sign, creating deception and illusion but also the ability to see through the mists of illusion to clarity.

I’m reminded of the story of polishing the mirror, an example that is used in many mystical traditions. Here it is from the Sufi tradition.

“Let me give you the mirror, but if you see some fault on its face, do not blame the mirror. Know that it is your own image; find the fault in yourself!”

From the Conversations of Shams of Tabriz.

Another image is that of the mask. Pisces bestows the skills of the actor, capable of taking on the attributes of any of the other zodiac signs as if it was playing different roles, wearing different masks. For while sometimes we use a mask to hide, other times we need to wear a mask to tell the truth.

At the new moon, Saturn is in the last degree of Aquarius, right up close to the sun and moon at the beginning of Pisces. This is a time for a reality check. Saturn keeps things solid and it is as if this were Saturn’s last great task in Aquarius before moving into Pisces – to ground us in our responsibilities while all about us is in flux, to keep us connected to our friends, our associates, the network of shared values that is our culture. And also to be responsible to ourselves and if this means a time of solitude and reflection, so be it.

Full Moon in Virgo – 7 March 

From a pretty much unfocussed new moon in Pisces to a very dynamic and demanding full moon in Virgo with Mars in Gemini squaring off the sun and moon in a tense pattern. This feels like a build-up of energy that propels some sort of action, like a bowstring being pulled back ready to release an arrow. The balance point of this pattern is in Sagittarius, the archer so Sagittarians are beholden to keep the target clear and the big picture open as Gemini can get lost in the minutiae and fascinating detail of who said what to whom. All this while the moon in Virgo is making sure that the business of everyday life goes on.

The dynamism of the full moon is strengthened by a triple meeting of Venus, Chiron and Jupiter in Aries. Jupiter with Venus wants to make sense of whatever relationship you’re in, while Chiron creates the opportunity for healing by exposing the actual wound to your sense of self identity. Through wounding to healing, ouch! But it’s a good time to work things out and deal with the way you’re blocking yourself.

Also, just to remind y’all, with all the planetary stuff in sensitive Pisces: Mercury, Sun and Neptune, it’s a time to check the sources of the information you’re getting and to find out if what you’re feeling is in fact yours or whether it’s something you’ve picked up from your social circle or from social media. It’s also a time to become aware of the movies that other people are living in and how it affects their behaviour.

But back to the Mars aspect for a moment. Mars is the planet that deals with (among other things) male identity, and this has been in the news in many countries with so-called influencers (I don’t want to name them) and rogue police. This is confirmed by the presence of the centaur Nessus, conjunct the sun and in a tense angle with Mars. Nessus is the bad boy of the centaurs (I’ve written about him here) and the pattern with Mars looks like a lot of discussion about so-called toxic masculinity and with the balance point in Sagittarius, a possible legal ruling.

At the full moon we’ve got Saturn right at the very last minute of Aquarius about to move into Pisces. And Pluto at the end of Capricorn about to move (in a couple of weeks) into Aquarius. But Pluto is relatively disconnected from the rest of the full moon chart. Power unalloyed and unmediated. Things could flip easily if it wasn’t for Saturn holding the reins. Just keep the everyday stuff going and stay connected with people who support you, take responsibility for what is yours but don’t feel obligated to carry other people’s stuff, you always have a choice.

Go well and stay well


Painting of a procession through an Eastern European village with musicians and fancy dress
Purim procession by Boris Shapiro

Key Dates this month:

18-FebSun enters Pisces22:35
20-FebNew moon in Pisces07:05
21-FebShrove Tuesday, Pancake day, Carnival
22-FebAsh Wednesday, beginning of Lent
07-MarFull moon in Virgo12:40
Jews celebrate festival of Purim
Saturn enters Pisces
12-MarDaylight savings time begins in Canada and USA
14-MarJupiter makes a conjunction with Chiron
20-MarSun enters Aries – Spring Equinox21:20
Persians, Baha’is and Kurds celebrate Nowruz, New Year
Wiccans and Pagans celebrate Ostara
21-MarNew moon in Aries17:24
23-MarPluto enters Aquarius

All Key Date times are GMT



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