by Joan Kiley
February arrived with much of the Northern Hemisphere experiencing that iced-in feeling. The Sun, at nearly 12 degrees Aquarius, was square the Moon and Mars in Scorpio. The Pluto/Mercury conjunction in Capricorn was square Uranus in Aries. Retrograde Jupiter in Virgo was still conjunct the North Node of the Moon and opposing Chiron. Saturn was squaring both Neptune and Chiron in Pisces. Hard aspects all, and they felt frozen just typing them.
The fact is, most of us were experiencing a lot of issues that seemed rigidly stuck in old, or possibly new but unfamiliarly scary, patterns. Exhausted with wondering how to find some wiggle room, we told ourselves that perhaps the lesson was patience. After all, there were 3 planets in Capricorn, Saturn was in a square aspect, and the Sun, Moon and Mars were in fixed signs. Sure that’s it, patience. Hmmm, but there was more. Still in shock from hearing about the deaths of so many of our favorite artists in late January, we said, “okay, this is just life. I have to realize that part of life is death, and loss is hard.” Yet even this realization was not enough.
Mercury conjunct Pluto for a period of weeks is not normal. Rather, it’s a memo from the universe saying, “pay attention!” Life and death are real; death is part of life. We know that, but we need to see this particular aspect as the gift that it was, a rare time when we could truly touch in to the issue of death and letting go in a deeper way, while experiencing the truth of our own loss within. Something was/is dying in each of us. Something was/is dying in the culture, in the collective, and with so much Capricorn and Saturn involved, we can be confident there are structures involved as well. We need not only allow this to happen, we need to acknowledge the release, honor it with the respect that is due, and perhaps, if we are willing to move that close, experience admiration for this aspect of our Nature.
On February 3, the Moon was conjunct Saturn at 14 Sagittarius, sextile the Sun at 14 Aquarius, and trine Uranus at 17 Aries. We could have felt unexplainably weepy, and hopeful, all at the same time. On February 5 and 6, the Moon joined Venus, Pluto and Mercury in Capricorn. With Mercury trine Jupiter in Virgo, there was an opportunity to check in with our bodies, our own earth element. It would have been appropriate to ask ourselves if we are giving the body due attention, taking care of it with the respect it deserves for carrying us through our life on a daily basis. Or are we taking it for granted, as we do the earth herself, and exploiting the resources without giving back?
With a Venus/Pluto conjunction, we were able to find beauty even in that which is uncomfortable, or disturbing. An example is the Popocatepetl Volcano that erupted in Mexico on February 6, with a most beautiful (yes, Venus) explosion from beneath the earth (Pluto).
On February 8 at 6:39 AM PST we had a New Moon in Aquarius. The New Moon was strongly square Mars in Scorpio, and made exact, and very interesting, semi-sextiles to both Venus in Capricorn and Chiron in Pisces. Venus was conjunct Pluto, and the New Moon was sextile Uranus, so that put the powerful Uranus/Pluto square into the picture as well. The Mars/Chiron trine was also active. New Moons are new beginnings. When I see Mars squaring the New Moon, I see that this Moon cycle is time for acting the Warrior archetype. We have been contemplating death; it’s time to vision the rebirth, and take some action to manifest it! More change is upon us.
If we have been experiencing some resistance to letting go, for making change, the Chiron aspects, and the Venus/Pluto conjunction could be clues to what first needs to be healed. Do we fear being rejected, or looked at as cold and unfeeling? Perhaps we know something in our families of origin, or old relationships, must ultimately change because we have changed. Perhaps something in our workplace is no longer working for us, but working against the direction we need to move. It is difficult to move forward when reminders of old wounds emerge just when we are about to take a bold action. We must remember that we are not the same person who experienced the old wounds. We now know much more about who we are, and what our purpose here on the planet is about. It is important not to let others, or others’ projections of us, hold us back. Mars in Scorpio is a warrior, acting from a place of depth. Let that energy embolden you.
Another aspect of interest on the New Moon was the quincunx between the New Moon and Jupiter on the North Node of the Moon. It lends credence to the idea that people of good will can, and will, act to bring about positive consequences for the future. An example that comes to mind is the planned meeting of Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill, head of the Russian Orthodox Church, in Cuba on February 12. This meeting would be "the first in history" — the Vatican and the Moscow Patriarchate split in the Great Schism of 1054. Although the Moon will have moved on, the Sun and Jupiter will still be in a quincunx aspect on the 12th.
Mercury shifts into Aquarius at 2:43 PM PST on February 13, and soon after moves out of the shadow of its retrograde period. On February 16, at 8:17 PM PST, Venus joins Mercury in Aquarius. The weeks of intense Capricorn energy is over for this year. For the remainder of February, Venus and Mercury will stay within a few degrees of one another in Aquarius. These personal planets in the air element will give us a lift, a lightening up of our energy. There will also be a sense of “I need to be ME.” Give me space, let me speak my mind, think my own thoughts. Late in the day, on February 19, the Moon in Leo opposes the Venus/Mercury conjunction, and confirms deep within us, our specialness. Take a moment that evening to appreciate yourself, give yourself a pat on the back for taking the actions needed to move forward during this difficult time of deep change.
The Sun moves into Pisces at 9:34 PM PST on February 18. At the time, there will be a Grand Trine in Water, with the Moon in Cancer, Mars in Scorpio, and Chiron in Pisces. Given Neptune is already in watery Pisces, and then is joined by the Sun, we are in for an emotional evening.
Two days later, on February 20, when the Moon is in Leo, it will form a Grand Trine in Fire, with Saturn in Sagittarius, and Uranus in Aries. Like other aspects with the Moon, it is short-lived, but allows us to experience some of the urgency of the Uranus push for change. The Saturn energy doesn’t dampen the Uranian charge. Rather, it helps you make a plan, so that even if your action “rocks the boat” it won’t overturn it, and no one will drown. The Saturn/Uranus trine will be in orb until late March when Saturn goes retrograde. Allow it to discipline your impulsiveness, so that what you accomplish is responsible, and has traction.
Meanwhile Jupiter, in its retrograde motion, moves closer to a square with Saturn and a trine with Pluto. Jupiter can assist in keeping our mind focused on a higher purpose, as we move ourselves and our plans for the future forward, knowing that what is absolutely the best action for you as an individual is the best action for all.
We will have a Full Moon at 3 degrees 34 minutes Virgo at 10:20 AM PST on February 22. The only aspect made by this Full Moon is a wide opposition to Neptune at 9 Pisces. It’s as if it stands alone, giving us a hint as to how best to navigate the event. Jupiter and the North Node are in the same sign, but many degrees away. My suggestion is to take some time alone, contemplate letting your best and deepest self emerge. With Mercury and Venus in Aquarius, Uranus and Pluto squared, and Uranus and Saturn still trine, we are walking on a path of reinvention, and resolution. While we create the new, we must also come to terms with what is passing/dying away. We have feelings about what is no longer of use, and we need to own them. At the same time we need to allow what is. From one of my favorite Beatles songs: “In times of darkness, Mother Mary comes to me, speaking words of wisdom—Let It Be.”
The very next day, February 23, the Moon conjuncts Jupiter and the North Node, forms a T-square with Chiron and Saturn, and trines Pluto. A new day, a new dynamic, to remind us that there is work to be done, noble work, for the betterment of our world. We must take nothing for granted. We must own, and then work through, feelings of rejection and/or resentment, while acknowledging that whatever actions of others appear personal to you, they are not. Encourage camaraderie and cooperation.
From February 24 through the end of the month, the Sun is conjunct Neptune in Pisces. Not only do we have the ruler of Pisces in Pisces, we have the Sun in Pisces conjunct the ruler. This means that for over a week (the Sun/Neptune conjunction will extend a few days into March) the power and light of the Sun will highlight Neptunian qualities. It’s possible that some folks will have no particular experience of these qualities whatsoever! It’s also possible that there are those who will find themselves having experiences of extreme sensitivity, particularly vivid dreams, multiple synchronicities, special feelings of connection with strangers or even plants or animals, or having moments when a piece of music, art or poetry takes you to a level of consciousness never before experienced.
If you’d be in favor of some of these experiences, be open to them. Be open to what is outside the dominant paradigm of “what you see is what you get,” or “if it’s not rational, it’s not real.” There is so much more to a vivid life experience than the daily drudge, and Neptune helps us get there. And yes, there is a shadow side of Neptune as well. We can sometimes see what really isn’t there, but rather what we project, because we want it to be there. That is called self-deception. If it isn’t necessary to make extremely important decisions during this time, don’t. Just enjoy this special Neptune treat!
It’s a leap year, meaning February has 29 days in 2016. The Moon spends the final day of the month conjunct Mars in Scorpio. A serious day, perhaps, but never the less spirited, with Mercury and Venus still sextile Uranus, and urging us to express our uniqueness.
See you next month!