Oscar Wilde, Irish poet, playwright and bon vivant, was sentenced to two years’ hard labor in 1895 – for the crime of being homosexual. During the time he was incarcerated, Wilde became determined to turn his suffering into a spiritual journey. He documented his ordeal and rebirth in a 50,000-word letter to his long-time lover Sir Alfred Douglas. It was published in 1905 as De Profundis, five years after Wilde’s untimely death from cerebral meningitis – which was most likely triggered by an old prison injury.
The letter reads, in part, “There is not a single degradation of the body which I must not try and make into a spiritualizing of the soul. The thing that I have to do, if the brief remainder of my days is not to be maimed, marred and incomplete, is to absorb into my nature all that has been done to me, to make it part of me, to accept it without complaint, fear or reluctance.”
This may seem like self-abnegation, but it was in fact a surrender to something greater. Wilde had learned to trust the Invisible. This was something his angular Neptune demanded of him (Oct. 16, 1854, 3 am, Dublin Ireland). As he explained in his letter, “Society, as we have constituted it, will have no place for me; but Nature, whose sweet rains fall on unjust and just alike, will have clefts in the rocks where I may hide, and secret valleys in whose silence I may weep undisturbed. She will hang the night with stars so that I may walk abroad in the darkness without stumbling, and send the wind over my footprints so that none may track me to my hurt: she will cleanse me in great waters, and with bitter herbs make me whole.”
The March 17 Pisces New Moon (6:12 am PST) opens up this cleansing process, as it conjuncts tender Chiron and trines beneficent Jupiter in water signs. Because it falls just before the March 20 Spring Equinox, when the Sun charges into fiery Aries, this Neptune-ruled New Moon offers a unique opportunity to slow down, tune in and release old wounds, whether recent or ancient. Chiron has been swimming thru the sign of the Fishes since 2010-11, and will complete its ocean voyage on April 17, when it, too, enters Aries. So this will be the final Pisces New Moon with Chiron in Pisces. Over the last 7-8 years, the Wounded Healer has been triggering our deepest pain to help us heal it. Our collective Pisces wound relates to feeling separate from each other, disconnected from the Invisible and overwhelmed by suffering. Whether it’s shooting rampages, the desecration of our oceans or the rise in homelessness, our world has presented us with untold opportunities for despair – but also to prevail.
How can we best harness the otherworldly magic of this New Moon to wash ourselves clean and get into the flow of life prior to the Equinox rebirth? First of all, take the pressure off yourself. Stop trying to get it all done. Relax, and attend to whatever hurts. Feel your feelings. Be compassionate with yourself and others. Mercury is slowing down, preparing to turn retrograde in Aries on March 22. So even though the astrological new year is about to begin, there is also a call to go backward – to reclaim what worked in the past, to search your psyche for wisdom and to reconnect with Source. Mars enters hard-driving Capricorn mid-March, to join Saturn at month’s end. You may feel pressured to finish things, and encounter obstacles in the process. This low-key Pisces New Moon could be the calm before the storm. Just don’t drink too much at St. Patrick’s Day festivities! And if shame or sorrow should rear its head, follow Oscar Wilde’s advice and let Nature cleanse you and make you whole again.