by Joan Kiley
The stillness of winter lay over the land, but beyond, and ‘neath, the surface of earth, there was much afoot, as we entered the month of February! Jupiter, newly stationed direct in Gemini, was slowly building up speed for its direct run. Meanwhile the Sun in Aquarius and Saturn in Scorpio were square. Venus and Mars were about to change signs.
The first days of February were an important gateway of energy, one of the “cross-quarter days” halfway between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox, called Imbolc or Candlemas. Time to light the candles, find what illuminates us, from the inside out, and celebrate new birth/new earth!
“This is the time after the Great Dark but before the Bursting Forth. This is the time for dreaming and for knowing our dreams. This is the time for illumination. The light grows. Shadows take form as the darkness recedes. Resting still in the cauldron of birth, we close two eyes and open our third.” (Thanks to Marian Spadone of Mother Tongue Ink for that amazing quote)
Before the first day of February was complete, Mars moved into Pisces and conjunct Neptune. Venus moved out of Capricorn and into Aquarius. We shifted from focusing on the outer and ego-oriented world to an inner, more spiritual one for motivation, and for pondering next steps. Then the Moon moved through Scorpio, bringing a moody period, increasing our sensitivity and our desire to shift to a more compassionate view of the world.
During February’s first week, the Moon had interaction with all the planets. Mercury moved into Pisces. Our need for breaking out of the mold increased; our desire to take action for the good of the whole grew, was complex and remains somewhat confusing. It may even contradict an earlier commitment. Yet, it is important to stay true to oneself, aware of our current vision, as we move toward the New Moon in Aquarius.
We reach the exact New Moon at 21 degrees 21 minutes Aquarius, February 9, 11:20 PM PST. At that moment, the Sun and Moon are exactly square the nodes. That synchronicity could complicate our New Moon visioning process. There will be tension, a feeling of crisis between our past beliefs/action and our vision of the future. How do we feel safe, without being stuck? How do we move forward energetically, without inciting terrors of the unknown? Take this opportunity to tap into the Aquarian capacity for objectivity and detachment. Literally de-tach from old self-defeating patterns that hold you back from achieving your goals for the future.
How do we do this? Let’s take a lesson from the 12 Step Process, which encourages us to surrender to a power greater than ourselves, a power of Source, of consciousness. It is not a giving in to our stuckness, but a turning over that stuckness to Source, and allowing a more powerful energy to come through us. With so many planets in Pisces right now, and the Moon joining them on February 10, it’s the perfect time! Jupiter may be squaring those planets in Pisces, but rather than creating challenges for that energy, it could merely be providing the encouraging “nudge.”
Though the Moon moves on, Mercury, Mars, Neptune and Chiron remain in Pisces through the entire month, and on February 18, the Sun enters Pisces to join them. The influence of the Neptune-ruled sign, with its emphasis on kindness and compassion, but also its shadow side of illusion and deception, is extremely strong in February.
There is another important event on February 18. Saturn stations retrograde on that date at 9:03 AM PST and will remain so through the first week of July. At the time of the station, Saturn sextiles Pluto, and trines Mars. The Moon and Jupiter are conjunct in Gemini. That tells me that the Saturn retrograde period will be one in which we are asked to consider new ideas, and to act in a positive manner to bring about change for the public benefit. We must strive to be conscious and clear in our decision-making.
Mercury stations retrograde on Saturday, February 23 at 1:42 AM PST, at 19 degrees and 52 minutes Pisces, (and will station direct on March 17). At the time of the station, Mercury is conjunct Mars, but not in close aspect to any other planets. It is sextile the south node and trine the north node. As it begins its backward motion, it will slowly come into conjunction with Chiron, the Sun, Venus and eventually back to within two degrees of Neptune. It will also strongly aspect every other planet during its retrograde period.
This action on the part of Mercury re-emphasizes the impact of the Piscean and Neptunian archetypes for the whole month, and into March. We have all the energetic qualities necessary to look within, to connect with Source for inspiration. We are encouraged to continue to challenge ourselves, release the patterns of our karmic past, and evolve toward our enlightened future. This action is our contribution to the collective.
We carry the retrograde Mercury experience into the Full Moon of Virgo, occurring on February 25, at 12:26 PM PST. This is an exciting Full Moon, as the Sun and Moon form an exact T-square with Jupiter. Neptune and Chiron are close enough to also be party to the configuration. Virgo is a Mercury-ruled sign, and Mercury is retrograde. This Full Moon we need to contemplate, and shine our inner light, on the positive connection between the head and the heart, which allows us to give our very best to the world. It is important not to be too self-critical, but instead, to provide good self-care. Give yourself a hot bath, some time for meditation, and/or journaling.
The very next day, Venus moves into Pisces, bringing the planetary count to four, plus the Sun and Chiron, in this watery mutable sign. This incredibly strong Pisces vibe may put us into a day-dreamy state, and make it difficult to feel like accomplishing a lot. Don’t be too hard on yourself, but also don’t lose your job over it. Just make sure you give yourself some time each day to muse, to dream, to envision the person you are becoming. What you imagine is the guide to the direction toward which you must move.
See you in March!