The Astrology of February centers on the Saturn – Neptune opposition that becomes exact by month's end, and that reminds us of the contrast between losing hope and our dreams coming true and that the distance between them may be only a hairsbreadth. The opposition is triggered by the Full Moon at the very beginning of the month, and by the Last Quarter Moon of the following weekend. It draws to within a degree by the time of the mid-month New Moon, while the moment of exact opposition takes place on the last day of February. Neptune represents the numinous possibility, which can manifest as illusion, self-sacrifice for the greater good, and a meaning-full connection with all of creation, taking the spiritual truth literally that "we are all One." Saturn represents the limitations of life in the physical, the necessary reality-check, and the potential for grounding our dreams into concrete manifestation. In their opposition they signal contrasting choices for either despair or higher wisdom, depending on how we choose to move through this polarity. It really is up to us, to each of us, to decide not only our own fate but the fate of the surrounding collective. We are suspended between heaven and earth, and our daily lives partake of elements of each. This opposition reminds us of the delicate balance, and not to neglect either side of the equation.
Another Mercury retrograde takes place this month, as Mercury begins to move backwards through Neptune's own sign of Pisces, turning retrograde within a few degrees of Uranus on February 13th, and remaining out of sync for the next six weeks or so. This is another potent retrograde period, when we might expect communication breakdowns and when we do better to turn within to contemplate the mystical possibilities of our situation. Since Venus and Mars are in perfect sextile on this day, and aspecting Saturn, this is also a powerful time of reflection on the many ways that we do relationship with others, just in time for Valentine's Day.
On Saturday, February 17th, the Aquarius New Moon closely sextiles Pluto and reminds us that in the natural order of the universe everything, including our relationship dynamic, must either transform or die. If we choose to change in the ways that we are prompted by the rush of events and by our own evolutionary mandate, we choose life.
Transits to the U.S. Chart
Last month we pointed out that there might be expected to be a ferment in Washington DC over this past month, and that has been proven out by recent events. An entrenched White House, as we stated then, really is beginning to face the fact of "the covers beginning to come off the unfolding scandal of the lead-up to war on false pretenses." It looks like a battle royal with congress pressing one way and the president another, especially on the issue of pulling the troops out of Iraq as both the American public and the Iraqi people seem to desire. For further information on the times ahead, see the Astrological Year of 2007.
In the present month, the New Moon of the 17th, taking place while Mercury is retrograde, exactly conjuncts the U.S. Moon, indicating that American public opinion is becoming further energized during the latter half of this month. Transiting Saturn is quite prominent in relation to the U.S chart at this critical juncture, indicating that the executive branch is closely involved. Saturn aspects U.S. Mars (military) Jupiter (faith) and Uranus, while transiting Mercury squares it. There may be unexpected events at this time, and they will likely lead to developments regarding the information that the public has to work with as they attempt to discern the truth about what is happening both within the White House and overseas. Transiting Pluto in sync with this New Moon is aspecting U.S Moon, indicating an evolutionary development on the part of the public while transiting Jupiter provides a spiritual component to these aspects.
These are amazing times to be living through. In the course of our daily lives we get so busy that we sometimes miss out on the bigger picture of unfolding events. When we look closely at what is happening right now on the world stage and especially in the nation's capitol we may see that we are entering into some very exciting and stressful times. Perhaps it's not too much to say that we are on the verge of a revolution in political consciousness. For further information on the times ahead, see the Astrological Year of 2007.
The Full Moon that takes place at the very beginning of the month, on February 1st (), is a dynamic one full of spiritual import. For one thing, the Sun conjuncts Chiron, bringing our past patterns of wounding into greater conscious awareness for us at this time. And since the Moon itself, opposite the Sun, is in Leo and moving to its conjunction with Saturn, the past and its inherent limitations are even more emphasized. All this while Saturn in retrograde nears its opposition with the vast and mysterious secret worlds within worlds represented by Neptune. It's a deeply reflective time that begins an even more deeply reflective month, as signaled also by the Moon's Sabian Symbol, "An old sea captain in his rocker." This symbol represents the past in contrast with the contemplative present.
The Last Quarter Moon of late Friday evening, February 9th (), introducing the second weekend of the month, aspects both Saturn and Neptune quite closely. The Moon in Scorpio squares Saturn and Neptune, as the Sun, just past its conjunction with Neptune, opposes Saturn almost exactly. Venus is also exactly conjunct the North Node at this time, squared by Jupiter. This is a very spiritual configuration. In addition to the "crisis of consciousness" represented by the Last Quarter, when we must face the consequences of our choices over the preceding three-week period since the previous New Moon, and learn from them. The Saturn – Neptune opposition, nearing its perfection, brings a dose of the same energy into the picture. Do we dare to ride out our dreams to their fullest extent, or must we give in to the necessity of practical limitation? The answer is, as always, a little of both. And if we do give in, can we rise above disappointment to a philosophical detachment or must we succumb to despair? And here the answer is entirely up to us.
Mercury retrogrades on the evening of Tuesday the 13th (). There is a lovely Yod formation implicit in this chart, also emphasizing the closing Saturn – Neptune combination. Mars and Venus, in perfect sextile, both make an aspect to Saturn. This pattern calls out for balance, between the sexes, and between the warring portions of our psyche, as the Neptunization of Saturn continues to unfold. We may be faced with spiritual necessity but we are equally facing the spiritualization of the physical world.
The New Moon is Saturday, February 17th (). This is a dynamic New Moon, blunted by the Mercury retrograde period still in effect, which hints that we'd better go slowly and make no radical departure of judgment at this time. Coming in the last degrees of Aquarius, the Sun and Moon are widely conjunct Neptune and opposite Saturn in Leo, and so still supporting their powerful opposition. Saturn stands alone, apart from all the other planets, therefore emphasizing the necessity side of the equation. The New Moon exactly sextiles Pluto, harbinger of transformation and lasting change, and is quintile Jupiter as well. The Sabian Symbol is "A butterfly emerging out of its chrysalis." Marc Edmond Jones calls it a symbol of uncompromising faith in the promise of existence. May it be so for all of us.
The First Quarter Moon of Friday, February 23rd (), comes along a week later, to remind us that not all of our creations will have the room and stamina to grow. Mercury is in the midst of its retrograde, still in early Pisces, having just backwardly conjuncted the Sun that day, so in addition to the tension of the Moon's First Quarter, this day represents one peak of the entire retrograde period. We are enjoined to contemplate deeply all that we survey, to trust our own inner wisdom ahead of the voices of the crowd, and to look well before we leap into reactivity. We ourselves are the change that we must logically expect to see take place in the world around us.