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A Heavenly Deluge: Notes on the Planetary Line-Up in Pisces

One of the more interesting celestial events taking place right now is a celestial line-up in the tropical sign of Pisces that involves Neptune, the Sun, Mercury, Venus, Chiron, and Mars — with that group now being joined by the Moon as well (throughout most of Sunday, March 10th and Monday, March 11th). With Uranus hovering nearby in adjoining Aries, this makes for a truly interesting meeting of the planetary minds!

Pisces line-up

Line-ups like this (also called “stelliums”) not only indicate a heightened emphasis on the zodiacal sign involved, but more broadly serve as celestial “engines of change,” marking important periods of transition in society, as well as in our personal lives. Think of the term “revolution,” which is essentially astronomical in origin. When a planet makes a full circuit around the solar system to a given starting point, we say it’s come full circle, it’s made a full revolution. So when we see an entire group of planets coming together, it conveys the sense of one chapter closing off and a new one opening up.

This is something poets and filmmakers have long intuited. In Stanley Kubrick’s movie 2001: A Space Odyssey, for example, each of the major evolutionary leaps the film depicts are shown accompanied by skyward shots of planetary line-ups. Likewise, in the movie Dark Crystal, a similar planetary line-up is shown accompanying the shift in consciousness that occurs in the film’s climax.

However the full effects of any line-up aren’t always obvious right away, and can take months or even years to fully materialize. This makes perfect sense when you think of the symbolism of a conjunction, which has a “New Moon” quality — in contrast to the opposition, which symbolizes fulfillment. Like the old saying goes, “What the New Moon promises, the Full Moon delivers.” In that spirit, you might well describe a stellium as an industrial strength, super-duper New Moon! Unlike a typical New Moon, which reveals most of its effects in just a few weeks, the seeds planted by a stellium are far more dramatic and last vastly longer.

For example, prior to the year 1524, some European astrologers were predicting that the world would be destroyed in a great flood because of a large planetary line-up about to occur in the sign of Pisces. As it turned out, those fears were unfounded — in any literal way, that is. In the years which followed, a great flood did sweep over the world, but a more symbolic one, and it involved a revolution in the Christian world, with the rise of Luther and the Protestant reformation. Just as Copernicus decentralized humanity’s view of the universe by displacing the Earth as the hub of the world, so Luther “decentralized” European culture by challenging the supreme authority of the Catholic Church.

As it turns out, we find ourselves once again in the midst of another major line-up in the sign Pisces — and lo and behold, what do we see taking place in the religious world? A historic shake-up in the Catholic Church, not only with the shocking resignation of Pope Benedict XVI, but as a result of growing publicity about scandals involving the church itself.

On a more personal level, look to see where these planets are falling in your own horoscope for a sense of what areas in your own life are being affected. Is it in the 6th house? If so, then perhaps it involves health or work. Or the 2nd house? Probably money or resources. The 4th house? Home or family — and so on.

A few more thoughts. It was Manly Palmer Hall who first pointed out the correlation between planetary line-ups and major wars or conflicts on the global stage. For example, both World Wars, the Civil War, the Spanish American War, and many others, began in tandem with major stelliums. Does this mean we might see a major conflict take shape in the coming days, weeks or months, in the wake of this current line-up? It’s worth noting that North Korea’s current leader has been engaged in some major saber-rattling lately, to the point of threatening the United States with his nuclear weapons. The Middle East has been heating up notably in recent days as well. One can only hope this connection fails to materialize this time around; after all, the mega-line-up of early 1962 didn’t give rise to an actual war so much as the serious threat of one, in the form of the Cuban Missile Crisis. (1)

On a more positive note, Pisces has long been associated with fantasy and imagination, so it’s probably only fitting that the big-budget reboot of the The Wizard of Oz, Sam Raimi’s film Oz the Great and Powerful is hitting theaters precisely in conjunction with this line-up in Pisces. In a subtle way, this may be telling us this is a time when we have easier access to the contents of our imagination and to the collective unconscious, as the veil separating the conscious and unconscious grows more diaphanous now. Or for those who are more spiritually inclined, it’s likely that meditation or contemplation could yield important insights and benefits during this period. And if nothing else, this is sure a time to watch your dreams!

(1) Editor’s note: There were six planets in Aquarius in early February 1962.

Ray Grasse is associate editor of The Mountain Astrologer, and his website is


  1. The chart above almost exactly overlays my birth chart. I am 12 cancer rising with 21 pisces midheaven! (birthday 1/13/60 4:10pm) I would love to know how this new moon could effect me. Thanks!

    • Hi Luna, thanks for your question. Unfortunately, in this format I can’t really deal in depth with how this configuration is affecting specific charts, since that depends on a great many factors (I could probably write several pages on what it means for any one person!)–in the broadest possible sense, though, I’d say it probably indicates an important activation of spiritual or artistic energies or ambitions in your life (because of their high position in your chart).

  2. No Comments? By anyone? Are you kidding? come on…I am sure a few of you have had some incredibly potent I have and I am sure a few of you are natally I am to FEEL the vibe of this profound New Moon. (Pisces/virgo) (Virgo Pisces) 12th house natives

    I am heartened by the changes to the Catholic
    church..I hope there is a revolution here. The Pope knows his own truth and has stepped down. Fitting! There are all kinds of indicators alive and well. Please pipe in!

    Grace be to God 🙂

  3. So happy that you wrote on this Ray! For a person who goes to sleep and always gets 8 hours (easily), last nite was HELL. With NO natal planets in Pisces, even none in my progressed chart, I kept tossing and turning like I had 4 cups of coffee in me before bedtime. The words you wrote “the veil separating the conscious and unconscious grows more diaphanous” is what last night felt like to me.
    On the world stage,and especially the Catholic Church, I believe this is a marker for the Age of Pisces ending, and the true dawning of the Age of Aquarius…(sing it with me)

  4. Excellent article. Since Pisces rules transcendence, it will be curious to see the shift in both cosmic consciousness and in personal responsibility, whether more people start meditating or start imbibing more remains to be seen.

  5. I have a stelliium in Cancer in my birth chart also. I have 11 cancer rising and 5 planets, sun,moon, venus,uranus, and mercury all within 16 degrees in my 12th/1st house cusp. (June 22, 1952)
    I have studied Astrology for many years and for the last 6 or so, haven’t done much with it. Now, I seem to be very interested again!! Thanks for putting these articles on the net!

  6. Thanks Ray for great article… the planets are all transiting my Pisces 12th house at moment and I am experiencing dreams and my head is full! I am working on clearing and releasing long held fears, pain and the other ugly stuff that is weighing me down physically, emotionally and mentally. I am using all my “tools” and have also been seeing a kinesiologist with great results. I do feel a flood ( of tears perhaps ) on the way however there is still a blockages to clear,it is big stuff for me and it is over whelming and so I work at a little piece each day. I was born in October 1962 at the height of the Cuban missile crisis. Interesting times indeed as we witness the collapse of the church
    and the I hope to a new religion of love at the very least a cleansing wash! That is something I find myself saying a lot theses days ” It will all come out in the wash! ” with cover ups and long held secrets finally coming out. For myself I am clinging to my very own life raft I am building to keep me safe and hope that I have the resilience I need.

  7. Thanks for yet again a great article with lots of useful information all the way. Keep posting the good work.Pisces rule all the way this time.

  8. Premature to think a change in popes is the only possible manifestation of this Pisces stellium. Perhaps one could hope for more enlightened dialogue among the major religions that might lead to more tolerance and less violence of extremists of any faith or political creed.
    These thoughts are from a Pisces (four planets) with Scorpio moon and ascendency. Interesting times we are presented with and the map is ours to draw…for the future we want.

    • Didn’t meant to suggest the change of popes is the only manifestation of the Pisces stellium, Elizabeth! I think with any major configuration there are many expressions, in many fields–both positive and negative. I think you touch on an important possibility, but I think we’ll also see major effects in the arts, politics, and the sciences (not so much because of the Pisces influence but simply because of how momentous stelliums can be in their impact)—though it’s possible these won’t all be obvious right away. (If we look back to previous stelliums, the “seeds” are planted early but often don’t blossom for months or years. For instance, Dylan’s first album came out during the same month as the huge line-up in Aquarius in February 1962, yet he didn’t really hit his stride for quite a while after that (in fact, the Beatles, Stones, and Beach Boys all saw their recording careers unfold in earnest during 1962.) I’d watch the news these next few weeks and months very closely for major breakthroughs or developments in a number of areas.

      Something else I forgot to mention in my blog was the impressive roster of geniuses that were thriving around the time of the 1524 line-up in Pisces, which included Nostradamus, Michaelangelo, Cornelius Agrippa, Giordano Bruno, Paracelsus, and Jacob Boehme. Does that mean this period now might also be as spiritually/creatively fruitful as that one? It’s possible–though again, that may become more obvious in retrospect than in real time (just as with those figures back then, some of whom were relatively unknown during their lives).

  9. Another more recent stellium:
    On May 1, 2000 a lineup in Taurus, with Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Mercury, and Sun. At 02:49 UT May 1st Venus entered Taurus making stellium of 5 planets plus Sun.
    On May 3rd 2000 from 04:54 UT when the Moon entered Taurus until 19:18 UT when Mars moved into Gemini, there were all seven of the ancient rulers in Taurus.
    The last Chronocrater occurred on May 23, 2000.

  10. I wrote an article about the Taurus line-up for Mountain Astrologer (issue #88, titled “The Great Taurus Line-Up of 2000”). Another major stellium, btw, was the Aquarius line-up in February of 1997 (the same week that Dolly the sheep was cloned); before that, there was a major one in Capricorn in 1994.

    • Thanks for the reminders. I’ll review those alignments.

      The next Neptune/Pisces alignment that I’m looking at for June-July is the Saturn trine Neptune and a series of grand trines with Moon, Mercury, Venus, Sun, Jupiter, and Mars.

  11. I was thinking the same thing with the new OZ movie! This line-up is defiantly subtle but completely important…

    Love the Mountain Astrologer Mag by the way- I found it 6-7 months back and thought it too good to be true!

  12. The Saturn trine Chiron today 3/21, brings to mind the start of their current cycle at a conjunction in Pisces in 1966. On March 2-4, 1965 in Pisces were Moon, Sun, Mercury, Venus, Saturn and Chiron. Then in Pisces on February 20-22, 1966 were Moon, Sun, Mercury, Mars, Saturn and Chiron. For those of us old enough to remember, the Saturn Chiron conjunction brought a new widespread interest in spiritualism and mysticism of american indian and oriental religion and meditation, also the widespread use of consciousness altering drugs. We are still in that cycle.

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