February: Lighting Our Own Candle in the Darkness

The Aquarius Sun stood alone at midnight, as we slipped quietly into winter's second full month. What will February bring us, after months of seeming chaos? The ongoing T-square in cardinal signs holds steady this month, as does the trine between Saturn and the Uranus/Eris conjunction. The Moon and Mars were conjunct in fiery Aries, briefly, at the outset, and Mercury was in direct mode, conjunct Pluto in Capricorn. Definitely not a peaceful looking month, yet the potential for exciting new ideas being generated was strong!

The first week had several shifts. Venus moved into Aries at 7:52 AM PST on February 3, making the case for strong feminine energy coming forth in the "resistance" to status quo misogyny in the culture, particularly with her conjunction to Mars, also in Aries. Eris, an archetype of feisty feminine energy, has been prominent in the horoscope, conjunct Uranus in Aries, for several months, and continues that partnership during February. I have seen her prominence in the horoscope as a perfect mirror of all the "nasty woman" signs and t-shirts during the recent election campaign and women's marches, as more and more women decided they would no longer be submissive or "nice" while experiencing their rights and power being given short-shrift.

It thus came as no surprise that on February 7, Senator Elizabeth Warren was "red-carded" by Senate leader Mitch McConnell (how is the "red" card for expressing a little Aries energy?) in the Senate for speaking powerful truth about the racism implicit in the nomination of Jeff Sessions for Attorney General. This was an attempt at silencing the feminine, for Warren was reading the letter of Coretta Scott King, a great civil rights leader, that had been presented to the Senate decades earlier to protest Sessions from becoming a Federal judge. So, in effect, McConnell was trying to silence two strong female voices. When at least five of Warren's male colleagues read the exact same letter the following day, they were not told to stop—a rather clear message. Venus in Aries conjunct Mars, with Eris in Aries conjunct Uranus. We'll have to wait and see how much of a backlash results from this attempt at "silencing" the feminine, but I suspect it will ultimately be powerful.

The second shift in the first week was the slowing and stationing of Jupiter. Jupiter stationed retrograde on February 5, at 10:53 PM PST, with a position of 23 degrees 08 minutes of Libra. It will remain retrograde for about 4 months. As with retrogrades in general, this gives us time to re-evaluate issues in our life that are associated with Jupiter in Libra. Ordinarily, we think of Jupiter as the planet of all good things—faith, expansion, growth, positive fortune, that which is of benefit to oneself and others. Libra, of course, speaks to relationship and balance. But as with all archetypes, there is a shadow side as well. During a retrograde period, the Jupiter energy turns inward, and we are left with looking at the more difficult perspective, that which we may have been ignoring. Have we been demanding, and attempting to get, more than, or asking for less than, our share? Have we been counting on the benefits we enjoy, without paying back, or paying it forward? Have we expanded our reach without doing the basic groundwork that will support it, and instead tried using manipulative or ruthless tactics to get what we desire? Look at your own chart and see where Jupiter's position aspects other planets, see what house it is transiting, and you'll get a better picture of what this retrograde period will look like for you. Experiencing that is part of the T-square of transformation that the entire world is experiencing at the moment, opposing the Eris/Uranus conjunction and square Pluto. Every thing, every body is being changed. When we welcome the change, face it squarely, and take the actions required, we will evolve and grow.

The final shift of the first week was that of Mercury moving into Aquarius at 1:36 AM PST on February 7 where it stays until February 25. That put a bit more air and innovative ideas into the energy field, and allowed us to engage with others in exploring ways of moving into the future, ways that actually work and are sustainable.

On February 7 and 8, as the Moon moved through Cancer, in her waxing gibbous phase, she joined the cardinal T-square and formed a Cardinal Cross, opposing Pluto. We've been watching Capricorn-ruled structures collapse for five years now during this Uranus/Pluto square era. But suddenly, as the watery Moon joined into the mix, we here in California were watching in amazement as the spillway of the highest dam in the U.S. developed a huge sinkhole and fell to pieces. Water exploded into the air and gushed in muddy torrents down the hills toward the Feather River. Officials quickly began preparing an emergency spillway so that the Oroville Reservoir, filled to 100% capacity, behind the Oroville Dam, could continue to release water so that damage would be limited to the concrete spillway. If the reservoir gets over its capacity, the dam itself could be damaged. However, within a week, even the emergency spillway was heavily eroded, and several thousand residents downriver were evacuated, leaving people confused and wondering what the future holds.

Others of us, not so concerned about California's water issues, may have felt that their plans, and/or those of the mundane world, were at cross-purposes. Let those hours be a reminder of the lessons of this Jupiter retrograde period. We can't take things for granted. We need to ask ourselves the hard questions, be willing to do the hard work, and be sure that our plans and actions are in the best interests of not only our good, but the greater good. Let such moments be a slowdown, not a fall-down.

And—as we continue to watch structures fall, let us be reminded that Saturn, the planet of structure, remains solidly active these days, in the sign of Sagittarius. Currently trine to the Uranus/Eris end of the cardinal T-square, and sextile to Jupiter, we saw Saturn's strength in the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling on the controversial travel ban for people from seven predominantly Muslim countries to the U.S. To the judges, and many people here in the U.S., the administrations's executive order had gone way too far, way too quickly. A rash, poorly thought-out action was thus deterred from further implementation, at least temporarily, on February 9.

We reached the Full Moon in Leo at 4:32 PM PST on February 10, accompanied by a lunar eclipse. At that time, there was a Fire Grand Trine, and the Sun opposing the Moon created a kite formation, while Jupiter opposing the Eris/Uranus conjunction in Aries formed a second kite. What is a kite formation? A kite is the result of all three planets in a grand trine being connected to a fourth planet, one by an opposition, and the other two by sextiles. It's a structure that, theoretically, allows the tension of the opposition to be harmonized by the sextiles and trines. However, as we know, all "soft" aspects are not necessarily harmonious, and all "hard" aspects are not necessarily that tense. In other words, there are many variables, and in this case, with so much fire, and the strength of the planets involved, we needed to look for surprises.

Of great interest to me was reading a piece by astrologer Lynn Koiner, who said that in her research of kites, particularly ones with fire grand trines, involving Uranus, there was a history of actual disasters on dates whose charts included kites. And sure enough, just a few wee hours after the Full Moon, I heard that Sarah Pallin was being considered for the position of ambassador to Canada! Surprise? Definitely. Disaaster? Highly likely.

The days following the Full Moon, February 11 through 14, the cardinal T-square remained strong, but there were a series of 3 strong sextiles in place between the Jupiter opposition to Eris/Uranus. Jupiter was sextile Saturn, Saturn was sextile the Sun and the Sun was sextile the Eris/Uranus conjunction. In addition, Mercury in Aquarius was sextile the Venus/Mars conjunction in Aries. This tells me there were multiple actions for the greater good begun or accomplished during that time. The Mercury with Venus/Mars could create thoughts of cooperative action, while the Jupiter/Saturn/Sun/Uranus (Eris) aspects wanted creative, practical, collaborative and innovative ideas made manifest! STAT! There was not a lot of "taking no for an answer" energy. With four Aries planets in the spotlight, actions spoke loud and clear, impatience was rampant, and self-expression was enlivened! February 14, Valentine's Day, the Moon in Libra, was opposite Mars and Venus. Such an aspect was likely to spark romantic feelings, so hope you were prepared, if you were so inclined!

The last two weeks of the month, tensions of the Aries variety only grow, as Mars waxes toward conjunction of the Eris/Uranus duo, in its own sign of the warrior. For some, this will increase anxiety and impatience, and the need to release tension through bodily activity. Expect bold, even rash impulses. Be sure you check with your heart as to whether these ideas are best for you. It will be important to calm the ego, and listen to your heart. This is a time of individuation, discovering new parts of oneself, and of course mistakes will be made. But better that you act consciously, with heart, than empower shadow parts with out-of-control ego.

The Sun moves into Pisces at 3:32 AM PST on February 18, conjunct the South Node of the Moon, and spends the rest of the month in a waxing conjunction with Neptune. This relationship with Neptune can be an agent of cooling and calming, or a way of justifying illusions. Check your own chart to see where the Sun and Neptune are, what house they are transiting, what aspects they make. Saturn is on the job, but may have his hands full with the likelihood of impulsive activities from the triple conjunction in Aries of Mars, Uranus, and Eris.

The Moon is waning. In its Third Quarter phase, from February 20-23, we need to recognize what we have gained, and what we can release. There may be some tension, some regret that all did not go as planned, but as the saying goes, "the harvest is over." Let all the debris from our activity be left in the field to decompose. We must not hang onto what could have been, and accept what is. Clear the decks.

In the Moon's Balsamic phase, darkening toward the New Moon, from February 23-25, take time to rest, even if you think you haven't the time. It will be an excellent period to sleep more, and pay attention to dreams, for the unconscious is more available to us during the dark of the Moon. To get the most from the new cycle, it's important to be rested, prepared, and receptive.

Mercury joins the Sun in Pisces at 3:08 PM PST February 25. And the very next morning, we have the New Moon in Pisces at 6:58 AM PST on February 26, accompanied by a solar eclipse. The chart itself is a picture of a large Pisces stellium: Neptune at 11 degrees, the Sun and Moon at 8, the South Node at 3, and Mercury at 1. Some distance away is Chiron at 23. Mars, Uranus and Eris are all conjunct in Aries, opposed Jupiter, and all square Pluto, keeping the months-long T-square intact, while Saturn trines the planetary grouping in Aries. When you actually view this chart, it's as if the stellium in Pisces is quietly observing the action of the rest of the chart, for that stellium has no other aspects with the exception of the conjunctions.

A New Moon is a moment of darkness, of stepping into the unknown. The solar eclipse gives this darkness a boost, and that is exactly what we need during this period of upheaval and transformation. A new beginning, bathed in Neptunian connectivity, giving us the opportunity to reach beyond the mundane into higher levels of consciousness and a realization of the oneness of all, as we each strive to take another step of individuation.

February ends with striking contrast between the stellium in Aries and the stellium in Pisces. Fire and water. Excitement, action, impulsivity, and outer-directedness contrasted with calm, quiet, sensitivity, and looking inward. The Aries stellium has the edge, because there are more planets placed there. Given that we are being asked to find a new level of our individuality at this time, we need to rely as well on Jupiter and Saturn. Neither of them is involved in either stellium, but the faith of Jupiter and the strength of Saturn will help us referee the dueling fire and water energies as we end the month.


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