Astrology of February 2008
by Henry Seltzer (
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The Astrology of February features two eclipses, a Mercury retrograde, and an Aquarius line-up accompanying the eclipse New Moon.

The Solar Eclipse and New Moon of February 6th continues the series of powerful lunations that we have been experiencing over these past few months. As the Sun and Moon conjunct and parallel Neptune, they span only a little more than 5 degrees in Aquarius together with Mercury and Chiron. Aquarius is a sign that represents, at its highest, a true brotherhood of man- and womankind. This ideal is right now beginning to emerge, at times slowly and painfully, at times by leaps and bounds, even here in this country of empire-orientation.

The Lunar Eclipse and Full Moon taking place on February 20th also packs a powerful punch in that it sextiles and trines Pluto while emphasizing the limitation represented by Saturn as it triggers an opposition between Saturn and the Uranus/Neptune midpoint. All three outer planets, harbingers of enlightenment and transformation, are therefore activated in these lunations. And indeed the time of transition is upon us. Earth changes that have been building up and largely ignored by the corporate elite representing the old guard have contributed, along with the exhaustion from the war, to the growing sense that the politics of our nation must radically change. It is high time for the lazy denial of self-serving and elitist attitudes to leave and for integrity to step up to the plate. And change must happen within each individual, since each one of us forms the basis as in a hologram of the exciting collective shift that is currently taking place.

As Mercury continues its retrograde path from the previous month, we might expect mechanical and communication break-downs. Mercury stations to direct motion on February 18th and regains its original position by the time of the New Moon in early March. During this period we can use our mental energy most wisely for reflection on our situation, both globally and locally. There is a mysterious and mystical quality to our musings at this time, since Mercury conjoined the misty energy of Neptune as it retrograded. The numinous and defuse energy of Neptune is also brought to the fore by the Solar Eclipse of February 6th. With Chiron also involved at this time, we are invited to look beneath the covers of any form of self-limiting behavior and to examine how that behavior might originate in our prior conditioning, and whether or not we might be ready to transcend it.

The Sabian Symbols for each degree of the Zodiac were originally transcribed and interpreted by astrologer Marc Edmond Jones with the help of famed psychic Elsie Wheeler in 1921. This set of symbols, 360 in all, is highly interesting for the additional meaning that they convey to transiting events or natal charts. The symbol for the degree of Aquarius occupied by the February 6th Solar Eclipse is "A man unmasked" and as Jones writes can refer to the mental penetration of psychological process. His keyword is ANALYSIS. This first week of February will be an important time of self-discovery and of embracing the biggest possible picture, where in every human grain of sand we can see the larger galactic whole perfectly reflected, as we each exemplify the center as well as the periphery of our surrounding cosmos.

The Sabian Symbols for the second degree of Virgo and Pisces, representing the Full Moon and Sun degrees at the time of the February 20th eclipse, are "A large white cross" and "A squirrel hiding from hunters," and together they suggest the frequently overlooked power of the mystical to transform our lives. Jones' keyword for the Sun degree is CAUTION. We must allow the practical situation to dictate our behavior at the same time that we move beyond it, and above all pay close attention as we go through the mystery and the magic of this powerful time.

Meanwhile Pluto occupies the important Winter Solstice degree of 0 Capricorn and sounds a theme that will resonate for the entire year, in fact for many years to come. The Sabian Symbol for this degree, "An Indian Chief demanding recognition" speaks to the neglected master of events that is inherent in all of us, and that we can make the choice at this time to consciously recognize. Pluto's transit implies that personal organization and personal limitation are taking an unusual turn in this fledgling year of the new millennial age. Saturn is also trine the Jupiter-Pluto midpoint this month and we may well expect deep-seated and far-reaching changes in the very structure of our lives at this important time in the turning of the ages.

Transits to the U.S. Chart USA

Last month we noted that the last ten days of January would be climactic and perhaps chaotic ones for the campaign trail and indeed they have been. The recent endorsement of Barack Obama by Ted Kennedy amidst confusion over who was ahead and who was left behind among the Democratic contenders may be a watershed moment in American politics as the torch is passed from the generation that was in power during the sixties.

This month, the most important transits take place at the time of the February 6th New Moon. This eclipse New Moon forms a dynamic aspect to the U.S. Midheaven, while Pluto, newly in Capricorn, squares it, indicating that the process of government is up for transformation. The eclipse also triggers Neptune as it makes a trine with U.S. Mars and aspects U.S. Neptune, meaning that deceptions practiced in concert with the operation of this nation's military may be up for closer examination and review, or else for another round of illusion, depending on how you look at it. The war is certainly on everybody's mind these days as the candidates from both parties compete for the biggest collective set of available votes just one day prior to the Solar Eclipse. The economy has also recently come to dominate the position statements, which would correspond to the Second House of the U.S. chart, where – surprise – U.S. Pluto sits. No aspects are currently pointed its way, but the transiting position in square to the Midheaven does reflect back to the natal planetary position. Although the economy is prominent in the news at this time, there is also a rather benign feeling to this issue with the transiting position of the Jupiter/Venus midpoint, very positive, in opposition to U.S. Sun.

As far as the Lunar Eclipse two weeks later, since the Sun at that time is quincunx U.S. Midheaven while the Moon and Saturn aspect U.S. Venus, the configuration presages limitation and adjustment for the usual business of the country.

February 6th New Moon Solar Eclipse New Moon Chart
In this very interesting New Moon the eclipse degree lies in the 18th degree of Aquarius, in close conjunction with both Mercury and Chiron, thus bringing some hidden or wounded part of ourselves into greater conscious awareness. Mercury, now in retrograde motion, actually occupies the Sun-Moon/Chiron midpoint. Neptune is also nearby, lending a mystical air to the proceedings. Additionally, there are close semi-sextile aspects to both Venus in Capricorn and Uranus in Pisces, indicating that partnering with significant others in our lives will play important part in our own evolution, and that relationship issues could rapidly shift. There may even be a pleasant surprise as an old pattern suddenly gives way. The Sabian Symbol has been given above but is worth repeating: "A man unmasked" referring to the mental penetration of psychological process. The keyword is ANALYSIS. Taken in combination with an inward-directed Mercury there is a self-reflective and analytical tone to this entire lunation cycle.

February 13th First Quarter Moon First Quarter Moon Chart
Taking place the day before V day – is very interesting. With the Sun and Moon square each other, this phase traditionally indicates a time when tensions highlight the places where the impulse from the New Moon encounters difficulty in the real world of practical concerns, a crisis of action as Rudhyar termed it. In this configuration, Venus is exactly quincunx Mars and trine the Moon while Mars trines the Sun and Neptune, indicating a time when relationship material is bound to come up, and again, when old patterns have the chance to be transcended.

February 18th Mercury stations direct Mercury SD
As Mercury slows down in the sky relative to the earth-bound observer, the few days before and after its direct station on Monday evening represent a special period of time. This is one of the peaks of the retrograde, when we might expect the usual symptoms of communication and mechanical break-down even more intensely. It may help to remember to tune inside. The inward turning promoted by this transition is a great time to journal, and to rethink where we are headed, both individually and collectively.

February 20th Full Moon Lunar Eclipse Full Moon Chart
Follows Mercury's change of station on February 18th by a mere two days, and also aspects Saturn, as Venus begins to conjunct Mercury. These two planets will draw closer and closer to Chiron in Aquarius as the month unwinds, completing in the early days of March. This important Full Moon also brings renewed awareness to the transit of Pluto into the first degree of Capricorn. The Lunar Eclipse occupies the second degree of Virgo, and of Pisces, therefore highlighting the energy of these two signs and their spiritually vibrant polarity within the larger picture of this month's cycle. The Sabian Symbols are: "A large white cross" and "A squirrel hiding from hunters," and together they suggest the frequently overlooked power of the mystical to transform our lives. Jones' keyword for the Sun degree is CAUTION, and we must temper our currently very high ideals and expectations with a large dose of practicality.

February 28th Last Quarter Moon Last Quarter Moon Chart
Another time of the tension of conflicting signs, is traditionally a crisis of awareness, when we begin to see more clearly and from new perspectives the arc of our development over the preceding three weeks. At this point in the cycle we begin to restructure our original impulse from back then into new alignments and further layers of meaning. This configuration squares and opposes Saturn in Virgo and sets the stage for the upcoming March 7th New Moon conjunction with Uranus in Pisces. This final square of February emphasizes once again the VirgoPisces axis and the spiritual commitment implicit in the most ordinary forms of daily life.