The Astrology of February features Mars, Saturn, Chiron, Uranus and Neptune. The red planet is now retrograde in Virgo, and similar to a Mercury retrograde period, in this present condition of Mars – usually representing aggressive and ego-oriented urges – there is instead a tendency for going internal and mulling over our normal actions and activities rather than just doing them. Saturn, also retrograde as of February 7th, loosely aspects Mars as it stations. Saturn also closely aspects Neptune, now in its own sign of Pisces after February 3rd, so that the contrast between life in the physical plane, represented by Saturn, and life in the multifarious inter-dimensional spaces beyond the purely physical, represented by Neptune, is very much upon us, thus adding to the meditative posture symbolized by a more internalized Mars.
Meanwhile the revolutionary energy of Uranus is also very much with us as this second month of 2012 gets underway. Uranus, quite as much as Neptune antithetical to Saturn, therefore takes us quite out of ourselves and our surface concerns. The recent New Moon from the last ten days of the previous month in Uranus' own sign of Aquarius closely aspected both Uranus and Jupiter, whose combination brings out the rebel in us all, and also brings forward the potential for surprising events to unfold that change our basic set of perceptions of the world around us.
February 14th, Valentine's Day, when everyone is out buying chocolates and flowers, coincides with the Last Quarter Moon and with Venus square to Pluto, and therefore this year will represent more of a mixed blessing. We will be searching under the covers of our motivation with regard to relationships as well as patterns of outward aggression, and along with the joyful and celebrity sides of sexuality and romance the various shadow sides – jealousy or factors of power and control – could easily emerge. This is especially true since Chiron is also prominent. We might be able to bring to consciousness certain aspects of our earlier wounding that, just when we least expect them, continue to crop up in our present day situations.
As the cycle begun in late January with the Aquarius New Moon concludes, the one beginning with the February 21st New Moon in early Pisces is powerful as well in that it trips off the same triumvirate of outer planet energies, namely Neptune/Chiron in Pisces, Uranus in Aries and Jupiter in Taurus. Brilliant ideas continue to be the norm rather than the exception, with the extra added benefit of Neptune's compassion thrown in. Venus is still flirting with both Pluto and Mars so the relationship dynamic remains a bit dicey, but there will at least be plenty to think about as we look more closely into events in the physical plane, seeking to discern the inner soul-level meaning.
All through this month, these cosmic forces are at work on us, helping us surmount the fences that have been holding us back for far too long from taking our rightful place at the forefront of our own spiritual evolution. This month represents a fitting introduction to the strongly transformational period of time that is shaping up for late spring, when Uranus and Pluto make their exact pass, the first of seven, on the square aspect that has been building between them these last several years. We will be older and definitely wiser on the other side of this powerful spring and summer.
February 7th Full Moon
The Full Moon in Leo, taking place on Tuesday, February 7th and coming two weeks after the very powerful Aquarius New Moon from the 22nd of January, represents a culmination of that energy and a launching forth of what is quite literally another phase. This is because two of the key players, namely Neptune and Saturn – symbolizing blue skies possibility on the one hand and on the other, for holding back –.have dramatically changed since the New Moon time. Neptune has changed signs, moving into Pisces, the sign of his rulership, while Saturn has stopped still in the sky, turning to retrograde motion just on the brink of Scorpio yet still in the last degree of Libra. This shifts the tone but not the fundamental contrast represented by these archetypal energies, which remain very much part of the national dialog and of our individual lives as well. At this Full Moon time we reach for a balance of these energies.
Neptune in Pisces rather than Aquarius represents an important characteristic of the remainder of this year, and indeed for the remainder of this decade and for years beyond. This energy is highlighted now. At the time of the Full Moon, Venus, in the final degree of Pisces, makes a close inconjunct aspect to Saturn while Jupiter and the Moon aspect Neptune. Since the initial degree of Pisces, the degree that Neptune now occupies, is also aspected by Jupiter, Uranus and Chiron, there are cosmic harbingers of this event that have been felt as an increase in synchronicity over these past few weeks, going as far back as the recent holiday season. The Neptunian archetype – also represented by Pisces, so now doubled – transplants us to the mystical spaces behind and beyond our conscious minds. This energy literally takes us out of this world, or at least the world of physicality that we normally operate in, or that we operate within as far as our conscious brains are concerned. In truth, there is a numinous reality underlying and underpinning that visible world that we can perceive with what William Blake referred to as our senses five. This world is available in dream and in vision but these visions are often not trusted by our smaller viewpoint. Blake also famously stated that “if the doors of perception were cleansed, everything would appear to man as it is, infinite.”
In contrast to the other-worldly energy of Neptune that is now so very prominent, Saturn, representing the physical world, has been stationing or standing still in the sky and strongly aspecting Neptune. In another reflection of this same polarity, Saturn has also been powerfully aspecting Jupiter, an out-of-sign opposition that is now beginning to fade. Saturn is the sense of limitation and restriction that presents the perfect counterpoint to the idealism represented by Neptune and Jupiter, but in fact we need both modalities to function in this world. There is a way of seeing this Saturnian influence, which has been difficult, as also a grounding of the Neptunian vision into the reality of mass consciousness and of concrete action. The Occupy movement, at least in the non-violent part of its activity, is one indication of this contrast. The ideals of millions of people, outraged by perceived injustice, is able to be concretely realized and even to affect social outcomes. The President, who knows what to say to engage the American public if anyone does, included in his State of the Union a veiled reference to the 99 percent, the rallying cry of this movement, and to higher tax rates for the wealthy, with the possibility that legislation might be forthcoming. So that is action.
In our individual lives, with this Full Moon event and the Saturn retrograde, we might reflect on how well our actions match our ideals and where we are forced to surrender to the restrictions of physical reality. This does not mean that our dreams are dead or dying; far from it. But it does imply that we have to take a balanced approach to life and to give over as necessary to what actually works.
February 14th Last Quarter Moon
The coming Last Quarter Moon, taking place on Tuesday, February 14th, Valentine’s Day, brings an interesting slant to this romantic holiday. This is because Venus, planet of relationship, is square to Pluto on this day, bringing up the dark side of relationships and of our human motivation in general. This lunar phase is traditionally in any case is a time for deep reflection, a time when we will search our souls for a better take on the meaning of recent events and for what is truly going on with our lives. This of course applies to the more obvious and surface meaning of events, with plenty to look at even in this regard. But then there is the underlying meaning – and several different aspects of that meaning – and it is this deeper level that might in the early days of this week become more readily available to consciousness and reflection.
We are accustomed to the importance of dream life and inner imagination, and what clues these complex messages from the subconscious can provide us for better understanding ourselves. And it is helpful to note that so-called real life can also be interpreted in much the same way, at a symbolic level; providing thereby necessary clues to understanding. Our deepest desires are seldom really known to us without extensive examination, and this time period therefore provides us with some necessary fuel for that journey of exploration. This needn’t be so dire but it might be that issues do arise for us to look at more closely within the area of relationship: issues such as possessiveness, jealousy, or the fierce currents of desire represented by compulsion and obsession.
If untoward events associated with the important relationships of our lives do transpire it will be for the useful purpose of bringing to greater consciousness some of the deeper areas of our psyche. This is especially true with the coming week’s events since Mercury crosses into nebulous Pisces on Monday, the day before the Quarter Moon, there to conjunct Neptune and to begin to conjunct Chiron, reaching it by Thursday. Therefore from Tuesday onward a process is initiated revealing to our conscious minds the places within us where we might exhibit behavior patterns resulting from earlier wounding, perhaps going as far back the parenting we received in early childhood. And these patterns can color our relationship experiences in the present moment.
The prescription for this time period then is to watch and wait; to let our unconscious process reveal itself to us without judgment and with as little drama as we can manage. Taking the largest possible picture into account we can begin to see where the value is, in providing the necessary raw material for advancing our progress. We go notch by notch and step by step, spiraling upwards around the mountain of our inner soul-assignment in movement toward the spiritual destiny that we secretly crave.
February 21st New Moon
The New Moon that is upcoming in Pisces, taking place in the early degrees of the sign on Tuesday, February 21st, is an exciting one. The inter-galactic newsreels have lately been featuring the story of Neptune into Pisces, for the first time in over 160 years, and the symbolism that this event brings. This New Moon accentuates this phenomenon and gives it plenty of juicy energy. Neptune represents mystical dimensions beyond what is immediately available to our five senses of this physical world, and so this New Moon that is so connected with Neptune brings this perspective to bear as we attempt to deal with what we lovingly and laughably call the “real” world. Neptune is a trifle ungrounded, and perhaps even spacey in its application, being connected with a higher vibration than we can actually see, and could also manifest as overly enthusiastic idealism or even deception. And yet it has its advantages also. It might help to recognize that what we can concretely see and touch is only a portion of the story, and perhaps the smaller one at that.
The other powerful planetary factor in Pisces at this time is Chiron, the Wounded Healer, now at 4-plus degrees of the sign. The reason that this New Moon in Pisces brings these combined factors of Neptune and of Chiron into greater focus is that the New Moon, at 2-plus degrees of Pisces, takes place almost exactly at their midpoint, in conjunction to both planetary archetypes. Interestingly, the date when Chiron first entered Pisces was April 20, 2010 – the day of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill – reflecting a sense of painful process for the ocean, ruled by Neptune and Pisces. Now, with Neptune moving into Pisces in conjunction with Chiron, we might see further developments concerned with that disaster, which was a tragedy of mis-management as well as of failed technology. On the positive side, we might as a culture develop a concerted attempt to make the oceans a higher priority and this determination could even extend to global warming, a factor that threatens to raise ocean levels worldwide.
Chiron with Neptune can also be thought of as the wound of separation from the divine; in other words a spiritual connection that is perceived but is also perceived as lacking. This surely defines our present era. The ingress of Neptune into Pisces contributes greatly to the tenor of these times that we are living though, and asks of us, as the Uranus-Pluto square gets ever closer and moves toward its first exact contact in June, that we seek the soul solution. This is the paradoxically fruitful vertical connection with Spirit that sees every trial as a chance for increased growth in awareness of what is really going on. The New Moon also strongly aspects Uranus in active Aries, reminding us that we need all our powers of intuition to see through to the core of the important matters that we face. It might be a case of the water glass half-full. With the right perspective we can rise above circumstances and make of our current situation what the Chinese phrase calls to mind regarding the ideograph for crisis – a combination of danger and opportunity.
February 29th First Quarter Moon
This First Quarter Moon, taking place on Wednesday, February 29th, is another in the series of powerful lunations recently. The Moon, in Gemini, and in conjunction with the North Node, forms an inconjunct aspect to Pluto while the Sun is sextile. Jupiter in forming trine further emphasizes the dark and readically transformative energy of the Lord of the Underworld. Saturn also aspects Mercury and Uranus, while the Sun opposes retrograde Mars. We might find that upset and sharp words come all too readily to the surface, and this leaves us wondering what came over us and searching for the hidden well-springs of our anger.
This day represents a hint of what might be more fully experienced on March 14th, when Jupiter and Mars forma Grand Trine to Pluto, and in June when Uranus and Pluto square perfects for the first of seven times. It is a dicey time period now as we slide into March, and one when we win by paying attention.