March 2015 will bring us many interesting moments, both from the point of view of Chinese Astrology and also regarding astronomical ephemeris, furthermore, these moments are concentrated in a few days:
- From March 5th to 8th:
- Rabbit's month beginning, which uses to bring some surprises...
- Lanterns Festival, little known outside China but very colorful.
- The full Moon, on March the 5th, not for happening every month is less beautiful!
- The alignment of Uranus, Mars and Venus, which around the 8th will be in opposition to the Moon and the Earth.
- Then, on March 20th and 21st, within little more than 24 hours we will have:
- A solar eclipse visible from Europe
- The new Moon, which coincides with the perigee, its shorter distance to Earth.
- The spring equinox, when day lasts as much as the night all over the Earth.
- And the festival of the dragon who raises its head, to ask for harmony in our lives!.
Rabbit's month beginning
Thus, as March begins we will begin to notice rabbit's influence... it will be a time with a trend towards finding original and imaginative solutions to problems or day to day situations, the rabbit has an innate ability to perform little magic tricks to get things done its own way.
Anyway, the rabbit is one of the signs that best combines with the goat, so being the year of the goat this harmonious combination between the month and the year should result in a fruitful period where it should be possible to get valuable things at all levels, both in the personal and professional parts of our lives.
However, the trend for each person depends on his/her natal chart, so the monthly prediction and the daily predictions may point one way or other, but don't forget that even those with unlucky predictions may have things to gain during this time, it's just that it may be more difficult, but still it makes sense to keep on trying.
Other years the spring equinox may fall a little later and so the rabbit's month would begin on march the 6th, but in practice one day forward or backward is not important, because the change from tiger's month to the rabbit one, as most things in astrology, it's a gradual process, such as dusk or dawn, then someone born these days would belong to a combination of both signs.
The lanterns festival
Since ancient times, long before Christ, this was an important chinese festival which was, and is, celebrated on the first full moon of the Chinese lunar year, which this year 2015 falls on March 5th, and is also considered to be the end of Chinese New Year celebrations (which began on February 19th), although obviously most people will not celebrate it during the two weeks!
There are various theories about the origin and meaning of this festival, but the fact is that whatever they were, seem to have been lost in the mist of times, and in the early Han Dynasty (200 BC) it was already an important event held every year, so it was probably originated much earlier; perhaps the explanation which makes more sense is that it is related to the increase in length of the days (in the northern hemisphere) since it is at this time when you start to feel the effects of increasing solar radiation and it's easy to guess that soon the days will be longer than the nights.
What is clear is that China's streets are filled that day with red lanterns, making a real street performance that certainly is worth seeing, a bit like the Christmas illuminations of big European cities:
Now that China is a prosperous country where there is plenty of money, the celebration has evolved, and many cities go beyond the simple red lantern and make true art works on paper, as large and impressive as this dragon:
On the other hand, what is usually done is to hang the lanterns on the front door, just as it's done in Western countries with pumpkins on Halloween, there are many legends that tell that by doing this the households protected the population of a fire or an attack, because the attackers imagined that so much red light meant the whole town was already burning and so didn't bother to attack.
And of course, an important part of the celebration is the typical family dinner, which in this case consists of some rice balls representing family unity, in the sense of wanting that family members are so close together as the rice grains which form the rice balls.
The alignment of Uranus, Mars and Venus
Also in the beginning of March, around day 7th to 8th, there will be a curious astronomical situation, in which Venus, Mars and Uranus will be aligned in relation to the Earth and the Moon, it is best understood by looking at this graph:
Actually, the Moon and the Earth will be better aligned with the 3 planets than the graph suggests, it's just that I have yet to improve the program which generates these images (that's why it's not yet published).
With regard to Chinese Astrology, as far as I know there isn't a 'clear meaning' for this event as was the case with Jupiter's opposition last month, traditionally Venus and Mars were the planets of the metal and fire elements, while Uranus was not discovered until 1781 by William Herschel, so it doesn't appear in any traditional Chinese Astrology book.
And here it can be seen how those planets will look in the sky:
The truth is that I wanted to have investigated this issue further to see if in the past similar astronomical situations where related to special events over the Earth, but I had no time for it, and so, when it's March 8th we can just keep an eye on it and see if something happens or not ;-)
The solar eclipse of March 20
Coinciding with the new moon (as all solar eclipses), it's undoubtedly the most spectacular astronomical event of the month, and it will be visible on March 20th throughout the morning in the area shown in this map:
Basically, in the Americas will not be visible, and in mainland Europe there will be a significant reduction in sunlight between 30% and 98%, the closer you are to the zone of total eclipse (between Britain and Iceland) the bigger it will be, so it will be worth to be aware of the weather forecast the day before just in case you can get a glimpse of the eclipse, assuming you're in Europe, of course!
The Sky should look something like this during the eclipse:
On the other hand, it's interesting to see the astrological meaning eclipses had in Imperial China, for that, it's best to have a look at the classic texts on the subject, such as The Astrological Treaty of Ssu-Ma Chi'en , written around 100 BC:
So, if you want to imagine something, this eclipse could be interpreted as one more sign about the actual situation in Europe, North Africa and the Middle East... the problem is that for the rest of the world the trends are not much better, but who knows, maybe this eclipse is a sign that the places where more things can go wrong in the coming months is in these areas...
The spring equinox
Coinciding with the solar eclipse and the new moon, these days the length of day equals that of night all over the planet, in this graph it can be better appreciated:
This happens only twice a year, when the spring or autumn begins.
So now days will be longer than nights, until we get to the summer solstice! in the Northern Hemisphere of course, in the Southern it happens the other way around.
Dragon raising its head festival
It is a celebration related to the beginning of the agricultural year, where basically the blue dragon (blue = water) is asked to bring rain in the optimal quantity and time so that crops can grow favorably.
It is in this, and many other Chinese festivals, where you can clearly see the philosophical concept of dragons in Chinese culture, basically they represent the harmony between Heaven and Earth, and by extension in all things and life beings dwelling between them, then the invocation to the Water Dragon in this festival is simply a way of trying to find harmony in our environment so that things can evolve favorably.
This festival is celebrated the second day of the second lunar month of the Chinese lunar calendar, which this year 2015 is on March 21st, and nowadays in China is typical to enjoy a family meal based on a kind of chinese pancakes, while also making or buying little bags with milled aromatic herbs inside with the intention of giving them as presents to bring good luck, this comes from the times when in this celebration it was customary to fumigate the house and its surroundings with herbal preparations with the intention to keep harmful insects and other pests away.
And at the end the month, just remember that the time will change on March 29th, at least in Europe, and I think also in North America, at 2 am will be 3 am, so if you have something pending that don't want really to do, you can leave it for Sunday 29th at 2:30 am ;-)