During these few short weeks of February we could see what’s called a “ game changer”. The month starts off with both Venus and Mars changing sign on 2nd February and Jupiter has just started forward motion once more. This brings a shift in energy and we may already be feeling the benefits. It can finally feel like we are making a new start and things are suddenly moving ahead now after slow progress since the turn of the year. Whilst Mars was in Aquarius, a fixed air sign, we would have come up against opposition to our ideas with confrontations over principles and plans for group projects. Now in Pisces, a fluid water sign, there should be a lot more flexibility and more sensitivity towards others. Venus has moved into Aquarius and this will add a co-operative or even altruistic dimension to our involvement with others thus making it easier to work towards the “bigger picture”.
Quicksilver, messenger planet Mercury joins with feisty, assertive Mars on 8th which will give us a sense of urgency to get the ideas out there. Expect some fast and furious communications to be flying around as news travels like wildfire. There could also be cross words and heated exchanges if the Picean tendency towards vagueness or ambiguity makes it hard to be clear or concise.
As we approach the New Moon in Aquarius on the 10th the sense of being in a global community or at least an awareness that we are part of a larger social group will come into focus. Though, with that Pisces Mars making a difficult square angle to giant Jupiter in the sign of the twins, Gemini, we may get some distorted versions of the background story during the next few days.
A new Moon sets the trend for the next weeks with the energies culminating at the Full Moon which falls in discerning Virgo on the 25th this month. As the Moon grows in size, so too might an emerging theme. The planet of structure and limitation, Saturn is currently in covert Scorpio and starts to make its apparent retrograde motion on the 18th. This brings issues relating to our organisations and social or political establishments into focus. Where it may have been hoped that unpleasant truths had successfully been swept under the carpet late last year, we will likely see them emerge again during the following weeks.
The Sun, having moved into in watery Pisces, also on 18th, joins with Neptune on 21st. This dreamy and ethereal combination has an almost “other worldly” feel to it. The mundane and purely physical will be hard to grasp and this is a time of peak experiences of the spiritual kind.
The theme of expanded connectedness continues as messenger Mercury also turns retrograde on 23rd bringing information, news, communications and the “bigger picture” to our attention again. As we reach the Full Moon phase on 25th Jupiter makes a challenging square angle to both Sun and Moon. Be aware that what occurs now is prone to exaggeration or likely to be blown out of all proportion for effect. As the month ends what we now know may have altered our reality but we also could be left wondering if we know the difference between reality and imagination.
The year starts with Mars moving into a challenging square aspect to Saturn. So don’t expect to feel like throwing yourself into new projects until at least the second week of the month. Mars is commonly associated with all things “male” and is traditionally known as the god of war. We all have Mars featuring somewhere in our own birth chart and its placement will describe our personal relationship with the associated Martian characteristics. He is also the planet to look to for our physical drive, will power, courage and the ability to confront obstacles. The planet Saturn defines our boundaries as the furthest planet visible to the naked eye. He represents our restraint, limitations and keeps us bound to “reality”. In our birth charts Saturn describes how and where we feel inadequate and what we fear. When we see these two challenging each other it indicates that courage or fear, determination or doubt will take the lead. Will we be overwhelmed by a sense of inadequacy or find the will power to push on through? By the time of the New Moon on the 11th this difficult aspect will be waning but there is a lesson to be learned during the first few days of the month. Take note of where, or in what way, you may have felt the urge to strike out on a new course but perhaps drew back for various practical reasons or doubts about your ability to follow through. Over the coming year there will be plenty more opportunities to face your anxieties and vanquish them.
Many of us are looking into an uncertain future with further changes and disruption occurring throughout the social political and economic systems during the next few years. Events have been set in motion and we need to be flexible and resilient as our world shifts and individual lives are affected in greater or lesser ways. Being jostled out of your comfort zone is not unlikely this month as Venus, planet of pleasure and comfort makes a challenging aspect to unpredictable Uranus whilst joining with the small but mighty Pluto on the 17th Expect to be shown that something you considered necessary or desirable may need to be exchanged for an alternative option that will actually serve you better in the longer term. Messenger Mercury joins with our Sun on the 18th creating tension but also, potentially, illumination and clarity. Having choices between two options will come to the fore again as mighty Jupiter returns to a forward motion in Gemini on 30th
The background planetary patterns, involving freedom seeking Uranus and transformative Pluto, indicate that we are going through a momentous, inevitable and essential process which will take many years. The theme being played out, on a global and personal level, includes taking responsibility for our own wellbeing. It can be uncomfortable, or even shocking, to discover where we have failed to do this especially if we get let down by people or organizations we entrusted with the task. This is where those lessons learned about a false sense of inadequacy are put to use. We are all being forced to “grow up”. Knowing that beyond our doubts and fears we are in fact well able to rise to the next challenge is the reward.
Saturn in Scorpio and Pluto in Capricorn will make three exact sextile aspects between December 2012 and September 2013. This pair are in mutual reception, (Saturn rules Capricorn and Pluto co-rules Scorpio) creating a supportive basis for the hard work involved in making necessary changes. This brings out the best qualities of these heavy duty planets providing some stability and allowing the use of will power to get through the more disruptive times.
The major astrological influence of our current time continues to be the square aspect between Uranus and Pluto. It first became exact during late June 2011 and will continue its influence until early 2016. I wrote extensively on this pair in the 2012 forecast and we’ll see more of the same effects throughout this year as it makes an exact angle twice, first on 20th May and again 1st November. This challenging dynamic brings revolution and power struggles which cause us to undergo a major shift of focus. Some people will have begun the shift already for others it will come later. “If we want to have freedom from material restraints (Uranus) we have to be purged of self importance and become honourable (Pluto). The struggle will be acted out on many levels as we are forced to face ourselves. We have to question what is really true and appropriate and what have we blindly accepted as a convenient or comfortable assertion.” Slowly as we become more conscious of ourselves and our motivations we will begin to see that whatever occurs in our world is a direct result of our own inner state of being. There will continue to be conflict and struggle in the world only whilst we are in conflict within ourselves. The peace and comfort we seek in the world will develop naturally as we cultivate a peaceful relationship with ourselves.
Saturn – Neptune – Jupiter
During the summer months we will see a series of trine aspects that culminate in a Grand water trine. This type of aspect is considered the most harmonious or beneficial and allows the planets involved to work easily together. Saturn in Scorpio made the first trine aspect to Neptune in Pisces in October 2012, the second is on 11th June and again on 19th July. On the 17th July Jupiter in Cancer moves into range to complete a triangular pattern known as a Grand Trine, in water signs. With Saturn representing “reality” and Neptune as the dream or illusory world ,we can bring the two together with ease. Be careful what you wish for! With Jupiter in Cancer adding to the mix expect an increased ability to manifest your desires and reach for the stars. Emotional responses can be exaggerated during this time but if you have honed your senses to be spiritually orientated this could even be a mystical experience. It’s important though not to let your imagination run wild as you may find you can be convinced of something that actually has no substance. At worst this could bring a spate of over zealous idealism.
Comets – Signs & Portents
This year we are told to expect two comets to pass close by and even be visible during the day light. The first should arrive by late February and remain visible during March whilst the second should be visible in the Northern hemisphere from October through to December. In traditional astrology a comet was considered a herald of major disruption to government or the fall of empires and kings. Until the comet makes itself visible it’s hard to predict it’s significance on a mundane level. We already know that this is likely to be a game changing year and the chances of there being major political upheaval is certainly on the cards. Meanwhile, we will have to, literally, watch this space!