Aries is a cardinal sign. It initiates change and spins the wheel of the world. Aries is a young fire and Aries is springtime, buds bursting through branches and wet soil. Our March 2020 new moon, too, is initiatory, but it seems impossible to tell you, dear reader, that you will be fueled by initiatory energy under a new moon in Aries. Not when so many of us feel frozen in our tracks. Spring might be out in full force in the Western world, but most of us are carefully assessing how much time we should spend outside of our homes—if any—and, once outside, if it is safe to touch a tree someone else has touched or press our faces to a magnolia bloom. Perhaps it is just right or apt, then, that Mars, god of Aries, is stationed in between Pluto and Saturn just when our new moon rises in the sky.
Pluto, it is known, is a planet that deals with negotiations of power. It is a planet whose transits can mark whole generations of people and illuminate their spiritual weaknesses and points of transformation. Pluto is also a planet that rules destruction, death, and viruses. Pluto in Capricorn overturns our faulty systems of government, it points out the failures in our healthcare systems, it shows us what an "essential job" really is. Saturn, on the other hand, is the planet of discipline, limitations, and responsibility. When Saturn moved into Aquarius this month, it moved into a sign that prioritizes the common good—collective responsibility—over personal gain. And, so, we found ourselves in quarantine, relying on the internet (Aquarius) for intimacy, and contracting our social range for the sake of our community's needs. In the middle of all that is where we find our Mars in Capricorn, desperate to make something WORK amid Pluto's chaos and Saturn's tight reins. It can bring up a lot of anxiety for the doers amongst us, the feeling that we could offer a lot more if the situation was just slightly different, if the cards could be played some other way.
This tension is mirrored in the Aries new moon's square to our north node in Cancer, a square our Sun in Aries is making as well. Our greatest wishes and our biggest fears as individuals, our drives and our desires for ourselves, stand at an angle to what we know we must be in relationship to others and in the context of our families. The wider your definition of family, the clearer this becomes. Your blood family, your queer family, your work family, your creative partners, your chosen family, your block, and your affinity group. When you think about what you owe them, what we owe each other, then prioritizing the safety of those around you even if you yourself feel unaffected is the undeniable goal. Working with the limits placed before us is no idle matter, it is courageous to act from a place of compassion and self-sacrifice for the sake of what you cannot see. To step back this month, to self-isolate and social distance, is to initiate a global sea-change in who and what we prioritize. It means standing with those of us who refuse to perform as if what doesn't directly affect us doesn't concern us. It means moving forward with the firm belief that what harms one harms all.
This isn't a call to arms, and it shouldn't be. Arms, despite being America's most protected right, do us no good in the face of disease. Additionally, this is not a call toward blind faith in the government and its bills. Those of who have lived through country-wide crisis know that whatever rights our citizens lose now might be near impossible to regain. This is a call to action that Aries knows better than anyone how to lead, a call that questions all previous value systems, a call that recognizes the many ways our country will fail us. As our government negotiates billion-dollar bailouts to our over-priced airlines and exploitative transit systems, people are online organizing. People are teaching themselves to sew medical-quality face masks for healthcare workers because our hospitals have run out of supplies. People are collecting emergency funds for community members who are overlooked, the ones who work paycheck to paycheck, who are having housing insecurity, who have relied on schools to have hot meals. Tupac once wrote (forgive me, I'm a child of the '90s), "Let's change the way we treat each other/ You see the old way wasn't working/ So it's on us to do what we gotta do to survive." The new moon in Aries is right on time to teach us how to do just that, from each according to their ability, to each according to their needs.