The Full Moon in Libra is of special importance each year being the first Full Moon following the Vernal (spring) equinox. Its significance is tied in with celebrations of spring and renewal whilst the date of Easter is always the first Sunday after this Full Moon. The annual position of the Sun in Mars ruled Aries and the Moon in Venus ruled Libra creates a relationship polarity and potential conflict of interests. If you know where 20° Libra falls in your chart you can examine the way this will affect you personally. Restless Full Moon energy can accentuate any social undercurrents or bring unconscious feelings to our attention. Any strong individual expression of the unique self as symbolised by the Sun is further strengthened by the independent assertiveness of Aries. At the same time our receptive, empathic and emotional qualities symbolised by the Moon are focused on harmonious relationships through Libra. This difficult paradox of self-interest versus social equilibrium is tempered this year by a very positive influence from Jupiter in Aquarius. The large planet urges us towards greater freedom but also to actions which are beneficial and brimming with good will to others. We can expect to see attempts to consider society’s collective needs whilst maintaining our valued freedom of self expression. We have another positive trend this month with Venus playing a leading role. She signifies our personal values and therefore what (or who) we are attracted to. Ruling Taurus she represents our relationship with the physical world. As ruler of Libra she brings social relationships into focus. Whilst she currently appears to travel backwards and then revisits the ethereal, sensitive and compassionate sign of Pisces on the 11th our hearts desires are being reviewed. A week later she turns to start her forward motion once more and moves into Aries on the 24th where she can now take on any opposition with fearless determination. For a few days around the 27th she can be seen rising just before the dawn at her brightest this year. After the Sun and Moon Venus is the next brightest celestial body. Potential flash points this month: in particular the 15th sees feisty Mars conjoined with rebellious Uranus in Pisces. This volatile energy could spark some sudden action with little thought for the consequences. Tempers flare whilst explosive outbursts, unexpected rifts or accidents are all possible. Later in the month power struggles abound around the New Moon as the Sun connects with Pluto and Pluto is challenged by Mars. This suggests that seeking a position of control is uppermost in setting the scene for the May Full Moon.
The next Full Moon is at 20° Libra on 9 April at 4:56 pm and the next New Moon is at 5° Taurus on 25 April at 5:24 am
Several interesting Astronomical events occur this month. Astrologers study the relationship between the cosmic occurrences and activities or trends taking place on planet earth. Because the movement of the planets can be calculated with great accuracy we can compare them to centuries of historical hindsight. What can’t be calculated is the appearance of comets which have been gone for so long that human beings weren’t even walking upright the last time it passed by! This is the case with Comet Lulin, discovered in 2007. Traditionally comets are considered portents or omens of great changes or important new eras. Lulin has been around the “back” of the Sun and will be passing at its closest to earth in February. Early in the month the comet rises around midnight. Lulin is expected to reach its peak of brightness on the night of 23rd as it passes south west of Saturn. Watch for it rising in the eastern sky ahead of the Sun, before the dawn. It may be visible to the naked eye where there’s no light pollution. On the 27th the comet will pass just south of Regulus, the brightest star in the constellation Leo, the Lion, considered by Astrologers to be the star of “Kings”. We also have a Lunar Eclipse on the 9th. It’s not total and won’t give much of a show. It’s most visible over Western Canada and Western USA, Alaska, Hawaii, Australia, and East Asia. Solar eclipses which can only occur at New Moon strongly influences socio-political arenas whereas a Lunar eclipse which happens at Full Moon is generally much more personalised and will be felt in our emotional responses. This can signify a change in the “mood” or attitude of the population as a whole. An eclipse is often precursor to some kind of crisis, which actually means ‘a critical decision or point of change’. The timing can be either before or after the actual Eclipse, triggered by another significant planet passing over the same degree. Mars the planet of assertiveness, drive, desire and conflict touches this point on the 2nd March which might just be the day when a contentious issue is brought to a head. As distraction from daily concerns, take advantage of the cold clear night skies to see Venus as she continues to shine stunningly throughout February. Look for the large, very bright “star” in the southwest after sunset. Jupiter, Mars and Mercury line up about 30 minutes before sunrise on 22nd with the waning crescent moon just to their right. Watch for the new crescent moon near Venus in the western sky after sunset from the 27th.
The month of December has an energetic start comparable to a whirlwind. Coinciding with the New Moon of November Uranus started to move forward again, allowing a sudden release of energy. This is quickly followed in December with both the fiery planets Mars and the Sun conjunct in the fire sign of Sagittarius on the 5th. Use this assertive energy to initiate plans or start a vigorous physical exercise routine. Be aware that this is a powerful and possibly volatile combination too and can cause heightened tempers, impatience, arrogance and impulsive behaviour. The trend continues when the Full Moon in Gemini opposite the Sun in Sagittarius forms a cross pattern with Saturn in Virgo opposite Uranus in Pisces on the 12th. This is a tense dynamic that brings issues highlighted over the last few weeks to a head. People who were born in early March, June, August and December, as well as people with personal planets around 21° of Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius and Pisces will be most strongly affected. On an individual level we can expect to sense the need for making adjustments in areas of our lives that are not flowing or no longer express our true selves. Personally and globally we are gearing up for the many changes that we need to make over the next few years. Mars takes two years to complete a full cycle and is a critical trigger for timing events as it makes its aspects to other planets. Mars moves into an exact square angle to Saturn mid month, keeping up the pressure. The danger for those who are pushing too hard to get what they want without consideration for others is that they are likely to come up against unmovable obstacles. This is compounded just after we turn the year at Solstice on 21st December as the Sun moves into Capricorn to start its journey back towards midsummer. Following the darkest day the Sun conjuncts Pluto on December 22nd. This is probably the first obvious expression of Pluto in Capricorn. This brings a strong constructive push towards cooperation and organisation, discipline and authority, responsibility and all the things that take you where you know you must go. But take care. If your vision is only for yourself, what you create can’t last as Pluto insists it must be for some greater good. Ambition, practicality, and achievement are admirable, but they are means to an end, not ends in themselves. With all this forceful energy flying around watch out for ruthless power plays and bullying actions as the destructive side of Pluto is activated by a conjunction with Mars on the 28th.
The Moon waxes to Full on the 13th November and then wanes away to bring the darkest night on 27th November before re-emerging as the slimmest crescent of the New Moon which in turn waxes again to Full. For thousands of years Astrologers have observed the rhythm of the Moon and cyclic patterns of Planets as they wander through the heavens. Over the centuries stargazers have observed cosmic events and noted how they parallel mundane events of human affairs. The Astrologer’s art is the interpretation of these “as above, so below” parallels. This month’s cosmic events can leave no Astrologer in any doubt that we are truly embarking on a new era. Early November saw the first of five oppositions that Saturn will make to Uranus between now and July 2010. The last similar aspect of this kind was in the mid 1960’s when there was very real social disruption brought about by civil liberties groups, radical social reformers and anti Vietnam War protesters who challenged the status quo. Another current major shift is signified by Pluto finally moving into the sign of Capricorn where it will stay until 2023. We can expect Pluto to relentlessly undermine anything which is not ultimately beneficial to the greater good when it comes to the established authorities represented by Capricorn. Within financial institutions, political hierarchies and organisations who claim to be upholders of social ethics we will see an exposure of the corrupt and deceitful elements. The necessary breaking down of these outworn structures clears the way for a more enlightened inclusive and sustainable social order. The “get rich quick” theme and economic inequalities are replaced by longer term values built on real community needs. The effect of these planetary events takes many years to play out. Resistance to such thorough change is felt both personally and in the larger social arena but these reforms are essential for our long term well being. Remember that although these next few years may be uncomfortable they are but a mere blink of an eye in the greater cosmic scheme of things and the history of civilisation.
This month we experience an astrological event that won’t happen again until 2244. Jupiter orbits the Sun every 12-13 years, whilst Pluto’s journey through the Zodiac takes 246 years to complete. Consequently Jupiter catches up with Pluto approximately every 13th year and this conjunction will occur in the sign Sagittarius on 11th December. Jupiter’s cycle shows the ebb and flow of ideological and financial power. Mass changes of consciousness occur at the start of each new cycle bringing new collective beliefs. There will often be enormous ideological power battles in society. When Jupiter, the beneficial planet of expansion, belief, faith and optimism combines with Pluto, planet of transformation, power, and regeneration we can expect global changes in our faith and understanding regarding religious and financial authorities. This is the beginning of the next 13 year Jupiter cycle and it combines with Pluto changing Zodiac signs, occurring only every 12 to 30 years. Pluto has been travelling through Sagittarius since 1995 and has brought profound spiritual and religious transformations as humanity has been confronted with an uncertain future. The journey to find personal value and meaning in life leads eventually to a reform in beliefs and social values. This 13 year process is completing now as Pluto moves through the last degrees of Sagittarius into Capricorn, late January 2008, thus beginning the next process which continues until 2024. We can already begin to see the initial stages of this new phase as Pluto in the sign of Capricorn ushers in earth-shaking transformations of political structures, and the death of old political parties which have outlived their usefulness. We will likely see the collapse of outdated and decadent regimes as new systems of government rise from the ashes. In the business world many upheavals will take place as new business strategies replace the old economic views and business practices. There seems to be plenty of auspicious signs for a joyous midwinter celebration even with widespread turmoil and devastation occurring around the globe. The Solstice moment, when the Sun moves into Capricorn and begins its return journey bringing the longer days once more, falls on December 22nd. The next day the Sun Conjuncts Jupiter bringing bounty and plenty and bright prospects are available to those who choose to tune in to it. Overstated enthusiasm may be the main problem when the Sun opposes Mars at the Full Moon on the 24th, as intentions and the ability to fulfil them are a bit at odds and it can be two steps forward, one step back for everyone. The resulting frustration can fuel disputes or engender discouragement. Rash moves, overblown feelings, emotional conflict, and anger can be lurking around the corner, so today’s the right day to take it easy and not push, or be pushed, too far. If you can take all this in your stride then there’s no reason for anything other than peace and goodwill this Christmas.
The next New Moon is at 17° Sagittarius on the 9th December at 5:42 pm with the next Full Moon at 2° Cancer on the 24th at 1:16 am
The Full Moon of February sees the culmination of events that grew out of the New Moon of January 19th and with fiery Mars continuing to move away from the conjunction with Pluto we should see some of the intensity of the last couple of weeks lessen in areas of conflict. As both the Sun and Moon make a contact with Mars and Uranus now, we can expect to feel the need to make sudden or abrupt changes, move on quickly or cover a lot of ground just to get out of the current situation. The question to ask though is “what changes are you making and will they really improve your life or is this just change for the sake of change?” With expansive Jupiter in contact with the Sun as well, it’s important to remember that it is often the modest plans that will succeed and that you can get just as far with many small coordinated steps as you can with great leaps forward. So be aware if you’re feeling agitated, uncertain and uncommitted for a few days. Wait until it passes to make major decisions rather than have to backtrack later, unless you are happy to take the gamble! There might be quite a few changes or surprises in store this month with relationships taking unexpected turns and thoughts about what we really value uppermost. Mercury begins its retrograde motion once more on February 14 so expect thing to move slowly especially regarding communications, transport and establishing agreements. That delayed Valentine’s gift could cause a few upsets! Frustrating as it might be over the next few weeks, remember that events are, in fact, restructuring themselves behind the scenes and we may be in for some surprises when all is resolved. The best response is to make as few assumptions as possible and don’t bet on the same old horses coming home. Be especially open to your own intuitive hunches and be ready to jump aboard a different bandwagon when it suddenly materializes. What you are looking for may come from closer by than you think and from those you might have taken for granted. Keep all this in mind over the New Moon Phase around February 17. Usually the New Moon is the right time to start afresh and begin anew but this month the New Moon is “void of course” until it moves into Pisces two and a quarter hours later. “Void of course” Moons occur every few days as the Moon changes sign and can last from a few minutes to several hours after the Moon finishes its last strong contact (aspect) to other Planets in its current sign and before it moves to the next sign. It is highlighted on this occasion only because the last major aspect is conjunct the Sun: the moment of the New Moon. In traditional Astrology the void prevents events from coming to a close as energy dissipates and intended outcomes are unsuccessful. The Moon’s movement and rhythmic contact with other Planets provides an important continuity, so if there is a break i.e. “void of course” things cannot carry through to their natural conclusion. In a way it provides the “wild card” or a chance for alternative possibilities to occur. But on the whole it is a time to pause and reconsider. Wait rather than push on. Reflect, meditate and consider before getting back to full speed when the New Moon enters the next sign. This happening whilst Mercury is retrograde is surely telling us to slow down and turn inwards to sense what your intuition says rather than take what is happening around you as the reliable source of information. This is a valuable time when it’s possible to have perceptive insights and gain a spark of inspiration that will give you the energy boost needed to get things moving again and perhaps in a new direction, very soon.
The Full Moon is at 13° Leo on 2 February at 5:45 am and the next New Moon is at 29° Aquarius on 17 February at 4:15 pm.