In the thought-provoking new film Nomadland, someone refers to people like Fern, the character played by Frances McDormand, as homeless. “Not homeless,” she counters, “just houseless. It’s not the same thing.” Ousted from her long-time home after the company town she lived in went belly-up, the scrappy widow has taken to the road in her converted van, working seasonal jobs to support herself. And she takes fierce pride in this independent lifestyle, despite its inevitable hardships.
Thanks to Chloe Zhao’s masterful writing and directing and McDormand’s transcendent performance, we get a peek behind the curtain of the nomadic existence, with all its pain and glory. The folks Fern befriends are played by real-life nomads, many of them past retirement age. Through them, we get to contemplate life’s fragility. We feel the tension between the settled and unsettled life, between what they’ve found and what they’ve had to leave behind. As one reviewer put it, “Fern and her friends are united as much by the experience of loss as by the spirit of adventure. So many of the stories they share are tinged with grief. It’s hard to describe the mixture of sadness, wonder and gratitude that you feel in their company.”
These feelings are the hallmark of Pisces and its ruler, Neptune. Associated with the depths of the sea, Pisces is the last sign of the zodiac and the essence of mutability, flow and endings. It reminds us of the next realm, the Otherworld that parallels our earthy existence. This energy, which has been building like a wave all week, crests at the Pisces New Moon (March 13, 2:21 a.m. PST). It opens the floodgates of love and loss, as well as magic and the bittersweet nature of life in a body. Venus and Neptune are conjunct in Pisces at the New Moon, adding to the swell of oceanic energy that washes away the past and brings inspiration. Thanks to Venus, exalted in Pisces, wild, romantic vibes are in the air – magnifying the need to love and be loved. Falling for fantasies may be tempting. This much emotional Pisces energy can also feel overwhelming or exhausting. Especially if you’re an empath, you can expect to receive an influx of impulses, impressions, dreams and desires. Not all of them need to be acted upon, however.
With four Pisces planets squaring the Nodes in mutable Gemini and Sagittarius, you may feel an urge to throw caution to the wind and make a big lifestyle change. You might even be tempted (especially after seeing Nomadland, available on Hulu) to follow the risky lure of the open road. Just be sure to reflect and research to determine whether whatever you desire (especially the nomad’s life) is right for you. Things should be clearer after the March 20 Spring Equinox, when the Aries Sun burns off Pisces’ fog.
Meanwhile, if you’re mourning a loss or feeling down at this poignant New Moon, I send you a hug. It’s all part of the healing process. Toward the end of Nomadland, Fern visits the ocean (the ultimate Neptune/Pisces symbol), after releasing the burden of her past. And soon thereafter she’s reminded that there really is no final goodbye. Merely, “I’ll see you down the road.”