Current Transits for February 2004

Here's some of the important astrological news this month ...


Chiron Semisextile Pluto, 2-2
Mars enters Taurus, 2-3
Full Moon at 16Le53, 2-6
Vesta enters Aquarius, 2-14
New Moon at 1Pi04, 2-20
Sun Conjunct Uranus, 2-21
Pallas enters Taurus, 2-25
Ceres Direct Station at 11Cn37, 2-25

An online ephemeris for the month is available.

General Outlook for the Month

People I've talked with generally agree that there was a major shift of some kind around the 18th of January, though there were no obvious astrological events to mark such a change. As we head into February, we can expect this shift to solidify and gain intensity. Part of this is simply the election process moving into high gear with the early caucuses and primaries, but there's something more subtle and intangible going on as well, a kind of awakening process perhaps. There are two big storm patterns brewing in February. If I had to point to two planets most responsible for these energies, I'd pick on Saturn and Pluto (although they receive a lot of help during the month from other planets). Now that doesn't sound very good on the surface, since both bodies are very demanding and unforgiving, but because they aren't in aspect (technically speaking), the situation is more complicated. They need other planets to team up with in order to be active, so the question is always: what are the other influences triggering these two? Of course, Uranus is still settling into Pisces, changing the old rules as we speak. Astrologically, the elections are only a surface manifestation of these deeper currents -- and things are taking off in unexpected directions. Life is getting very interesting...

In traditional terms, February is pretty much a "slow news" month. There are 2 aspects that caught my attention. Mars, Pallas and Vesta all change signs, while Ceres reaches her direct station on the 25th.

Chiron is semisextile to Pluto on the 2nd. This is a quick, single pass aspect, so its effects may be rather short-lived. This is, of course, the first significant aspect in the cycle that began with the conjunction between these planets on Dec 30, 1999 (at 11Sa23). Chiron and Pluto are both highly transformative planets, ones that break us free of mundane concerns that are of little interest to the soul and move us on to more "important" matters. Pluto's forte is stripping us down to the core, getting rid of inessential parts of our lives so we concentrate more on what we came into this world to do. Chiron is a sneaky shaman that shows us the shadows weighing us down and prods us to release them through compassionate wisdom and understanding. The conjunction was a time for all humanity to start consciously looking at our problem areas and moving on; this semisextile is the first major milestone in this 70 year cycle. It may not seem like a fun thing to do, but this is an excellent influence for doing some housecleaning in the psyche, sweeping out the dust bunnies in your mind that clutter your life. Everyone has shadows and secrets in their closet that they don't want others to see. In many cases, there's actually no reason to be ashamed of these gifts. The world doesn't always appreciate behavior related to our soul work, so we wind up hiding these things away. It's time to dig these things up again, dust them off, give them some loving attention and bring them up to date with life. It's also time to release the idea that the world of the spirit is different or separate from the mundane world -- there is only one existence. Spirit has to be involved in your everyday activities, motivating all your behavior, and not something that we do only in times set apart from "real life". That's a rather daunting challenge for us, stuck as we are in a "system" (of our own devising, mind you!) that doesn't comprehend what a holy life is anymore. It's time to push back carefully and stand up for your real, deeper self. (Don't be reckless, however -- that can create some powerful backlashes in the years to come.) The world will clear you a stage, if your intentions are clear. Don't let rejection get you down anymore -- you've got better things to do! (Incidentally, I've made a vibrational remedy out of the conjunction, called "Shadow Master", if you're interesting in exploring this energy more deeply.)

Mars moves from Aries into Taurus on the 3rd for the next 7 weeks. He moves into Gemini on Mar 21. Despite the technicalities that Mars rules Aries and is badly placed in Taurus, I've generally found that Mars in Taurus is actually quite a useful placement. Aries makes him too hot-headed and impetuous, too egocentric to work with easily. Taurus seems to settle him down -- to everyone's relief. There's a slow and steady quality to Taurus that gives Mars some patience and perseverence for the long haul. If you've got some work that requires steady patience and lots of elbow grease, here goes! You don't need to be fancy, skillful or even smart, just persistent. This influence is also helpful for relationships of all kinds, especially romantic ones. Taurus softens and tones down all that "male energy", making emotional harmony and sensual pleasure more of an option that Mars can't turn down. Above all, this is a time to just enjoy life in its most plain and simple forms. We forget about that lesson too often in all our busy-ness.

If this full moon chart were a piece of music, it would sound surprisingly loud and brash, even a bit discordant. Granted, with the Sun next to Neptune in Aquarius, it can't be too harsh sounding, but all that Aquarius energy sure gets your attention. Add in a bright Leo Moon and the Jupiter-Pluto square, and this first group of planets is quite intense. The other group shows how we are tuning into Uranus on many levels at once (Mercury, Venus, Mars). In short, our daily lives are hotwired to the outer planets, exposing us to many "below the surface" kind of influences. First piece of advice: stow your ego in the closet and just open up to what's happening. It's surprising and unexpected and probably doesn't make much sense, but in the long run, it's an improvement. If you're experiencing delays and roadblocks the next two weeks, you're simply trying too hard. Keep a very light and airy attitude towards things, staying somewhat detached from problems. (You can have a problem without reacting emotionally to it and it's much easier to handle it!) Just do what you need to do, leaving the melodramas behind you. Easier said than done, obviously, but well worth the effort. If nothing else, it's good training for enlightenment...

Vesta moves from Capricorn into Aquarius on the 14th for a 2 month stay. At a lower level, Vesta is about security issues (among other things). The last two months, her concern was with the material plane, matters of money and power and achieving the good life. Witness the themes being "debated" in the political campaign: jobs, the economy, national security, ethics in the public arena. The shift into Aquarius is an interesting monkeywrench. Aquarius is a very idealistic sign, frequently too much "in the head", but more concerned with remaking the world than making your place in the existing world. It's curious that Vesta is in Aquarius during the guts of the primary season. Perhaps our focus will change. Perhaps issues of what vision we want shaping our future will get a hearing (or at least a good shouting at). Many people seem genuinely upset at the direction this country is heading, especially how we've let materialism run amok. Granted there are about 10000 alternative visions out there for how to proceed, but at least people are asking questions and demanding some real answers. Further, Capricorn likes everything nailed down and certain; Aquarius tends to produce a more chaotic, "seat of the pants" atmosphere. There should be some marked changes in our discussion shortly. Vesta will enter Pisces on Apr 16.

If the full moon was wired into Neptune, the new moon is loaded with Uranus energy. The Sun-Uranus conjunction is tommorrow, so we are kicking off a big cycle of our favorite anarchist energy. There may be a lot of emotional turmoil for some people, as realities upset our expectations. This is really a time to tell the ego to quiet down and not protest too much. On the other hand, if you already have your ego chilling out in the penalty box, this allows Uranus to reveal some very deep, profound truths to you. You may want to take them with a grain of salt, but open up your mind to at least consider them. The Venus-Neptune-Jupiter Yod is quite interesting. Venus and Neptune are both loving heart energies, but Jupiter in Virgo is dragging his feet. He's all concerned with practical issues and behaving properly. If you keep your heart open, Jupiter will relax and come around eventually. It may just be a matter of having some expectations of how things "should" be that need to be let loose. The coming month is excellent for gently moving to the next level of your growth, assuming you're ready to move on. Just tread your path lightly...

The Sun enters Pisces on the 19th and is conjunct Uranus on the 21st. This starts the first Sun-Uranus cycle to take place entirely in Pisces since the 1920's. Maybe now this Uranus in Pisces stuff will start sinking in! First of all, this makes for a few days of craziness, as whacky Uranus has his say with us. Look for surprises during this time and make the most of them. It's a good influence for looking at situations with a fresh perspective and breaking down restrictive patterns from the past (especially emotional issues). Don't say "no!" to the universe. On a longer scale, this is an energy that plays out slowly over the next 6 or 7 years, a long series of psychic "explosions" that gradually reshape the landscape. The connection with the Sun insures we'll consciously feel these influences finally, letting them percolate through our everyday lives. The tides have shifted, we need to flow in new directions. Pay attention...

Pallas slips into Taurus on the 25th for two months (until Apr 24). This placement may be a bit of a mismatch, because Pallas is more of a thinker and planner, while Taurus is so down to earth and tied to the life of the senses. This is a period for deciding how to affect your immediate surroundings and making them more pleasing. Keep your aims simple and your pleasures basic. There's also an arts and crafts side to Pallas that frequently gets overlooked, so it may be good to let your creative juices flow. Despite all this, I get this nagging feeling she'd rather be in Gemini.

Ceres reaches her direct station at 11Cn37 on the 25th, about to resume normal motion. She's been backing up since Nov 23, 2003, when she went retrograde at 25Cn22. Ceres is the Great Mother. I symbolize her as the "Great Web of Life", the network of connections we have with each other that supports and nurtures each of us through life. Since this entire retrograde cycle is in Cancer, another Mother symbol, the last few months have been a time to reexamine our bonds with each other. Who do you extend your love and support to? Who do you exclude? How do you accept the love of others and how do you express it back? Do you allow your needs to be met by those around you? (Many of us perversely withhold our love from ourselves.) This is also an energy causing you to reassess your relationship to food and eating, which is often more about emotions than nutrition. Anyway, it's time to bring these lessons to fruition and move on to the next step. Open up to others a bit more each day. It won't hurt...