Here's some of the important astrological news this month ...
The Aquarius Pileup
Saturn Direct Station at 8Gm02, 2-7
Mercury Direct Station at 28Cp38, 2-8
Pallas enters Aquarius, 2-9
Vesta enters Gemini, 2-9
Jupiter opposite Chiron, 2-10
New Moon at 23Aq25, 2-12
Ceres enters Pisces, 2-22
Full Moon at 8Vi36, 2-27
An online ephemeris for the month is available.
After all the strenuous ups and downs of January, February is downright boring. The huge storms we saw last month have completely dissipated, leaving behind an energy landscape that is nearly featureless. Granted, we can probably use a vacation now, but the next 6 weeks have virtually nothing of interest happening. It's a time to stay focused on your tasks and projects, despite the disruptions, and just try to stay on top of life. The month has a few times where the energy is moderately strong and constructive, but nothing like we've just gone through. There doesn't appear to be much going on until late March or early April, when the outer planetary pattern becomes active once more. Enjoy the break in the action.
Perhaps the most interesting feature of February is the large pileup of planets and asteroids in Aquarius, as many as 7 (out of 15) at a time! Other than that, there's one "big aspect", a pair of stations, and 3 asteroids changing signs. Overall, there's not a lot of blaring headlines this month.
Starting with the January Quake storm and continuing through much of February, Aquarius is a very busy zodiac sign. Sometimes, nearly half the planets in the sky are crammed into this one small region, so there's a powerful emphasis on Aquarian energies at the expense of all the other signs. First of all, this is very mental energy, but with a lightning-like intuitive streak to it. It's a good time to break free of old thinking that is holding you back and looking at circumstances from a fresh perspective. In fact, you may have trouble holding onto old positions at all, since Aquarius seems to subtly "speed things up" and make things more chaotic. Given that the waveforms are so chaotic already, this is a "cosmic ADHD mixture" that makes it difficult to focus on any matter for very long. Perhaps the Saturn and Mercury stations will help you maintain the discipline needed to stay on track, but don't be surprised if you find yourself bouncing around like a pinball within your life. In the long term point of view, this Aquarius streak needs to be looked at as part of the passage of Uranus and Neptune through the sign. These two planets are the stepping stones away from normal, ego awareness into the greater psyche, hence powerful symbols of spiritual growth. Perhaps this month is an intensification of this longer process, a time when the mental "Aha!'s" come faster than usual. Needless to say, the more work you do on the inside, the less craziness you'll have to experience in the outer world. This is a great combination of energies -- exciting and upbeat, without being overwhelming. Enjoy this wave!
The first event worth mentioning this month is Saturn's direct station on the 7th, at 8Gm02, after which it will slowly resume normal motion. It's been in reverse motion since the retrograde station of 2001-9-26 at 14Gm58. The retrograde cycle of the Ol' Taskmaster is rarely an influence that people look forward to. It can involve a great deal of work and discipline in some area of your life (check which house in your birthchart Saturn is in!), but without visible reward or recognition (at least until much later). The job isn't glamorous, but it needs to be done and you're the one to do it. This entire cycle has been in the sign of Gemini, pointing to mental work. This has been a good time for "mental housecleaning" in general, letting go of notions that have been holding you back and developing a new way of looking at things. It's also a supportive influence for when you need to juggle a large amount of data and information and put it into some organized form, with Saturn supplying the disciplined approach that Gemini generally lacks. In fact, Saturn in Gemini has always struck me as a positive placement. Saturn is excellent at giving focus and structure to Gemini's wilder mental habits, while Gemini is light and nimble enough to keep from getting stuck in one of Saturn's ruts. This is the energy of "disciplined lightness" which leads to handling life's challenges in a competent, but playful manner. As we reach the direct station, this learning process is coming to a climax. The demands may be piling up, so just get down to them cheerfully and get it over with. Notice where you feel weighted down and let go of those limitations. Things will get easier as Saturn starts moving, again.
Mercury reaches its direct station on the 8th, at 28Cp38. This period of reverse motion started on 1-18, when Mercury went retrograde at 14Aq29. This current cycle has been especially brutal, particularly on electronic devices. I've experienced endless computer snafus during this time, including a breakdown (on 1-18!) of the credit card machine at the store where I work, crippling our operations for 24 hours. In typical Mercury retrograde style, the credit card company sent us a new machine, and then the next week sent us a second one. Screwups happen when Mercury is backing up! I've also heard numerous stories of mixups and miscommunications from people, mostly humorous, some pretty heated. It really seems that Aquarius brings out the worst in Mercury retrograde, so it will probably be a relief when it slips back into Capricorn between the 3rd and the 13th. Capricorn at least provides a little grounding and calmness, making it easier for the thinking mind to function. So hope is in sight! After the 8th, you can almost feel your mental lightbulbs being screwed back into their sockets. Hang in there!
The asteroid Pallas moves from Capricorn into Aquarius on the 8th for an extended 11 month stay (due to an upcoming retrograde cycle in Aquarius later this year). Pallas is a mental body, excellent at foresight and planning. As part of the Aquarius pileup this month, she plays a big part in overhauling outmoded ideas and assumptions that are holding you back. As she surveys the view before her, intuiting how to put her plans into action, she can't help but notice that many of the obstacles are self-imposed problems due to limited perspectives. If you don't understand the big picture now, there's no way you'll be able to handle the details. And if you're stuck in the habits that worked in the past, you're going to find the future quite baffling. Her extended stay in Aquarius (11 months vs. a normal 3 months) and the way she ties Uranus and Neptune together this coming year are clues that we have many important lessons in this area. In effect, we've been in the spiritually stimulating energies of the 1993 conjunction of Uranus and Neptune for 9 years already, but probably still haven't mastered it. Pallas is coming along and bringing this old influence down to a very practical level. Give this mental housecleaning time a chance to rework problem areas in your life. Pallas enters Pisces on 2003-1-17.
Vesta reenters Gemini on the 9th, after a brief tour of late Taurus around last month's direct station. She first stepped into Gemini last summer (2001-7-31), so this is another extended lesson. Vesta has a strong tendency to withdraw from external circumstances, the better to attend to what's going on inside, thank you. She knows that the flame inside is always more important than the shifting conditions in the world outside her. The outer world of Gemini is the Land of Chit-Chat, the ceaseless flow of information and images that bombard us day by day. For the sensitive soul, this incessant external stimulation can be a drain, sapping her energy by drawing her away from what is truly important. Granted, it's probably not possible to turn off this flow completely (nor would you want to), but a balance between inner and outer, between the soul and the world, must be reached. If the world is too demanding, we have no time for the inner life that gives existence its meaning. Reserve some time for the activities that truly interest you; save some space for the openness of silence. Vesta slips into Cancer on 5-14.
Jupiter is opposite Chiron on the 10th. This is the second of 3 such oppositions, with the other two on 2001-6-22 and 2002-4-18. Chiron typically represents a part of the psyche that has been repressed or neglected, lying dormant for many years out of guilt or shame. Jupiter, of course, is the way we reach out into the world and expand our boundaries. This cycle is a good time to examine the ways we sabotage ourselves from reaching out and enriching our lives. Whether through a sense of low self-worth that keeps you in your shell, or through an exaggerated sense of importance and entitlement that turns other people off, we all have ways that prevent us from teaming up with others successfully. Look for the areas where you find it impossible to maintain a feeling of optimism or enthusiasm -- something is draining your energy here. Most of the time, it's your own attitudes that are to blame. LIfe shouldn't be an endless round of "not enough" -- there's plenty to go around. Do something new to break out of your mold. Don't let life simply pass you by -- there's more support out there than you realize.
The impressive thing about the new moon chart is not its strength, but its lop-sidedness. Half the planets are in one tiny part of the sky, with Aquarius claiming 6 bodies. In fact , Uranus (which rules Aquarius) is closely conjunct the new moon point itself, which paints the whole chart with electric Uranus energy. Other than that, there are no large groups of planets teaming up -- energies are pretty scattered.
The focus here is obviously the huge Aquarius gang, especially the new moon and Uranus. Like much of the month, this is a highly mental influence, but in a crazy, intuitive sort of way. The coming lunar month is a bit of a wild card, as Uranian Trickster energy is never fully predictable. Neptune is also in this sign, giving a second body that somehow defies normal understanding. Frankly, I'd be disappointed if something out of the ordinary didn't happen in coming weeks, since both these planets take us out of normal reality and bring in an element of the bizarre and unusual. Keep an eye out for those weird coincidences and funny circumstances that indicate you are connecting with something deeper. These are the clues you'll need to guide your actions into more productive avenues. There's a potent trine between Mars and Pluto in this chart. This gives a great deal of drive and ambition to your activities, as long as you stay focused on the task at hand. It can also stimulate conflicts with other people that you work with if you get selfish about it, though not as badly as a square or opposition can. In short, work hard, but for all the right reasons. Things will work out. We're just past the Jupiter-Chiron opposition as well, so you may be seeing some of your personal "skeletons in the closet" that are holding you down. In general, these are fresh, new influences coming into our lives, but without the overwhelming power that makes then challenging to work with. Get to know them now, while it's still low key. When these planets get organized again (April to June), it will be much more difficult. At least we get a dress rehearsal.
Ceres moves into Pisces on the 22nd for a 3 month stay. This placement is the epitome of nurturing compassion, of feeling a connection and a responsibility to the world that borders on the mystical. Ceres is the Great Mother, the nurturing source, the bonds that connect us with all living things. Pisces is also known for this kind of universal bond, a sense that we are one with the whole world. This is a time to look over the way we treat people near and dear to us. Often, there are underlying motives to our caring, which usually comes with strings attached. In effect, we care for others by caring for ourself first. Ceres in Pisces is asking us to give love that is truly selfless and unconcerned for personal reward (wait until she hits Aries if you feel you're missing out). Life is best when we all look after each other. Ceres will shift into Aries on 5-14.
The full moon chart appears to be one of the best connected patterns all month. The Sun and Moon form a potent T-square with Saturn, joined by Jupiter, Chiron and Pallas-Neptune. The Aquarius crowd is starting to thin out (only 4 bodies now) as planets move over to Pisces .
The T-square is focused on Saturn in Gemini. For starters, that points to some detailed mental work that needs to be done, despite the Neptune haze over everything. It may also refer to some prior mixed up communications that need to be straightened out now. Visionary efforts are emphasized these days (with Pallas going over Neptune), but not at the expense of more mundane projects. Keep your feet on the ground in the coming weeks! Jupiter is about to reach its direct station on 3-1 and Mars goes into Taurus the same day. If you've been experiencing a drying up of outside support the last 4 months, your fortunes may start to change shortly. It's time to switch to a slow and steady approach to work, learning how to see projects through to the end instead of petering out halfway. Keep communications with partners open and free so feelings as well as ideas can be expressed. It will save misunderstandings later. See you in March!