Wake up and Smell The Coffee!
February may feel a lot more like the start of a new year than January did! With Mercury retrograde through much of last month we may have been busy tying up loose ends, sorting through matters that we thought were done and dusted and generally clearing the decks of unfinished business, be it practical, emotional or spiritual. Now that Mercury is once again moving forward we have a far better chance of getting into our stride. Which is handy, really, given that an eclipse season begins right after February’s full moon, heralding a pair of eclipses in March. But before we get to that, there are things to be done….
This month begins with Saturn, Uranus and Pluto taking up position for an alignment which lasts until the lunar eclipse on 23rd March. Carrying shades of the Uranus/Pluto square which dominated the heavens from 2012 to 2015, this alliance highlights where we may have become overly complacent and need to wake up and smell the coffee. It may be tempting to review those three years with a sense of satisfaction…even, dare I say, smug satisfaction (!), reflecting on the huge changes we made and patting ourselves on the back for being so ‘cutting edge’! And of course we may well have been. Countless individuals went through traumas and/or transformations the likes of which they couldn’t have imagined surviving beforehand. We all had our mettle tested and many were painted into a corner out of which the only way was through the flames and out the other side. In which case it’s tempting to think we’re now on the other side and, really, everything should just calm down and chillax!
But the key to understanding this time lies in recognising that things do not return to ‘normal’ after the likes of the Uranus/Pluto square. Instead their very nature is irrevocably changed. The very substance that knits together this universe and everything in it is rewoven when outer planets dance together in such a way. This is why we experience their impact so powerfully: it penetrates us at the deepest level and we cannot ignore its effects for they become us. To do so would be to fracture our very being and be divorced from our essence. Whilst we may look back upon a challenging time that tested us deeply, it was actually a time during which our very nature was being broken down and then reformed. We do not simply come through it the same but stronger. We come through it renewed, reborn, refashioned by sacred source. Nothing will ever be the same, least of all us.
Once we have opened the door to such forces we must learn to live well with them. Having made powerful changes we must be prepared to make more when necessary, and preferably before we are pushed to the limit like many were during the cosmic square dance of 2012 – 2015. We now know how it feels to be forced into deep change. Next time let’s make the change before we’re forced! Do it in our timing, as soon as we get that nudge from within that says ‘okay… something’s not quite right here….mobilise for change…’. Resistance is futile, but faithful acts of courage in response to inner wisdom are the very essence of the evolutionary process this year. We will need courage and focus, commitment and clarity. They may all take time to develop sufficiently, but the more we invest in their development now the better equipped we’ll be to respond when change comes knocking once more (which it will).
Saturn now in Sagittarius provides the practical optimism and enduring courage required to continue down the path of change, even when we rather like where we’re at! Evolution is not about arrival, and transformation is not about securing a state that lasts forever. Life is always in flux, otherwise it isn’t life. Our heart rests between each beat. Wakefulness is punctuated with sleep and energy with exhaustion. Our breath comes and goes, our cells renew and our emotions shift and change. Stasis is stagnant: death not life, suppression not expression. If we want to claim the life that is ours we must be prepared to live it fully, not edit out the bits we’d prefer to avoid and cling tenaciously to those parts that really need to be gone. The coming eclipse season, together with this alignment between Saturn, Uranus and Pluto, will help blow away any cobwebs of complacency and remind us that destinations are over rated: the journey is where it’s at!
A conjunction between Venus and Pluto from 3rd to 9th February reminds us that even in the midst of significant change comfort can be found when we surrender to the process rather than struggle to control it. There’s a certain abandon to this aspect: a willingness to allow forces of change to flood our being and break through our otherwise orderly defences. If we can allow this to happen, accepting the tsunami of new energy that disrupts our surface calm, we will encounter its rejuvenating and refreshing influence which can reach every corner of our life. If, however, we strive to force the flow and shape the process we may find our flood defences overwhelmed when we least expect, by forces beyond our control.
The beginning of February to the end of April sees Chiron conjunct the South Node, opposing Jupiter until 11th March. Both a great healer and teacher, Chiron seeks wholeness whilst knowing intimately those places within where we feel anything but! In Pisces, it asks us to know ourselves well enough at an ego level to be able to let go who we believe ourselves to be in pursuit of a greater and more enduring truth. However, Chiron in Pisces may cause us to seek transcendence before all else, perceiving the harsh material realm as crude and base, preferring spirit over substance, refinement over reality. But to make this leap before we know ourselves as physical beings in a material realm is premature: an escape from the humanity which is our inheritance and responsibility by virtue of birth. In its opposition to Jupiter in Virgo we are challenged to embrace the physical realm whilst acknowledging its limitations and liabilities. For spirit is as much housed within matter as it exists apart from it. If we cannot find it there but instead seek only to avoid confrontation with the mundane world, we deny ourselves access to sacred source in its fullness; to that which animates all things.
The healing available when Chiron conjuncts the South Node is life changing. Providing a conduit for closure on past pains that haunt us even now, it invites us to allow the past to complete itself rather than be forever replayed in our mind, emotions and behaviour. We cannot change the past or erase its troubles from our personal timeline, but we can allow them to become fertilizer for the future rather than calcified memories and emotions that sap our lifeblood in the present. This conjunction will reveal the extent to which we identify with pain. If our personal narrative is built around struggle it can be inordinately difficult to heal, for what is left once the pain’s gone? To release the past we must let go its role in our present, not in an act of denial but in an act of self-love which recognises that the past creates the present as much through how we heal it as how it has broken us. Rooting who we are today in the soil of yesterday’s suffering is an unwitting act of self-harm sure to prolong our pain. Chiron on the South Node invites healing into our darkest places and begins a process of rectification if we allow it. Alternatively we can use its presence to re-affirm how wounded we are and forfeit a rare and precious opportunity to heal.
The New Moon in Aquarius at 2:40 p.m. UT on 8th February affirms our right to this healing. Whether or not we embrace it is always our choice and we may have to struggle against self-sabotaging inertia to do so, but once we commit to renewal all manner of forces rise up to match our resolve. There is mystery about this Moon which speaks of things hidden and initiations into new states of being. It may look calm on the surface, but at its heart pulsates a powerful energy we can harness if we choose. Don’t be fooled by a veneer of ‘not much happening’ at this time, for beneath, something awakens. This Moon speaks of great potential hidden within the mundane and enormous energy available for everyday affairs. We may have to look beyond the immediately apparent to find it, and be prepared to look in new ways and different places. But it is there, and once we discover just how much life-force is seeking expression through us we may well find exactly the impetus we need to make the changes necessary.
Mercury’s arrival in Aquarius on 13th, followed by Venus on 17th, replaces the pragmatic energy that has dominated these past few weeks with a more cerebral one that values communication and relationship over and above the need to produce tangible results. Mercury’s retrograde journey in January, together with the Sun and then Venus in Capricorn, made a busy start to the year with much to sort out, issues to clarify, chores to be done and loose ends to tie up. Real progress, however, may have been lacking! This shift of planets into Aquarius signals the opportunity to reframe outcomes in terms of the quality of relationship with others rather than concrete results at the end of a hard day’s work. It matters less, now, what we can tick off our ‘to do’ list, and more who we have connected with and how; the depth of understanding we share, the openness of our mind to new perspectives, differing views and alternative possibilities. With less than a month in Aquarius, Mercury and Venus encourage us to make the most of their journey through this innovative air sign and allow our minds time and space to see familiar things from new perspectives. And of course, familiar is a relative term! What may be everyday to you could be the height of innovation to me. One person’s mundane is another’s revelation! So whatever we’re used to is what we must be prepared to question, no matter how ‘sussed’ we think it (and we!) are. There is always more to discover, fresh perspectives to explore and new information to be gleaned. Mercury and Venus in Aquarius remind us to never assume full knowledge or certainty but instead maintain an open heart and enquiring mind into which the universe can plant its many seeds of wisdom as and when necessary.
19th February sees the Sun enter Pisces, joining Neptune, Chiron and asteroid Ceres in the final sign of the zodiac. This gathering in Pisces carries gentle healing energy, but the gentleness of Pisces is not necessarily easy! Under its influence we may sense a loss of identity and purpose which is difficult to bear, as much as an awakening to the sacred unity that connects us all as one. Handling Piscean energy is no mean feat and requires focus and motivation as much as faithful surrender. As the Sun journeys through Pisces in the coming month we are encouraged to invest energy and effort into our own awakening, even as we let go into a process of becoming shaped by a greater creative force. Never let it be said that Piscean spirituality is flaky or unreliable. It is we who make it so. Or not, depending upon whether we embody the spirit of life, claiming it as our own, or cast ourselves at its feet, a victim of circumstance and helpless to intervene in our own fate.
The Full Moon in Virgo at 6:21 pm UT on 22nd February brings support from Mother Earth herself, inviting us to ground and reconnect with her bounty. Walking barefoot upon the grass, standing atop a cliff with the wind in our hair, preparing fresh vegetables to make our favourite soup or a crisp and colourful salad, all invite into our lives the energy of this Moon. She reminds us of the boundless support available if we will but draw upon it, not blindly stumble through life assuming it’s either all down to us or to everyone else how this drama plays out! She sees the universal web that supports, shapes and potentises our contribution to life and yearns for us to see it too: the love, the power, the creativity, the potential; the birth hidden within death and gain disguised by loss.
Jupiter is conjunct the degree of last September’s solar eclipse at the time of this Full Moon. Matters significant then can reach something of a resolution at this point, assisted by a more expansive view and a deeper understanding on our part, of what was really going on. Hindsight is an exact science, of course, so if we find ourselves looking back with regret it’s important to remember that no experience is wasted if we learn from it, no disappointment useless if it reveals something more about ourselves. On 23rd February a new eclipse season begins, so a willingness to pat ourselves on the back for previous efforts made and let go any regrets in the light of this Full Moon, will clear the slate ready for the next six month cycle of progressive potential.
25th February sees Jupiter, Uranus and Pluto join forces until 14th March, to strengthen our resolve. If we know what needs to done but can’t seem to find the way to make it happen, they introduce powerful momentum on the back of insight which reveals the best path ahead. Listen to inner wisdom now, pay attention to intuitions, feelings and hunches. They’re not random responses generated by the brain and nervous system to keep themselves occupied, but data from the unified field in which we move and have our being. Everything we ever need to know is in this field, to be revealed at exactly the right time. The more deeply we pay attention the quicker the messages are received and the more effectively we can act upon them. As the month comes to a close there will be a lot of information available to those willing to listen, watch and learn.
By the end of February (in which we get an extra day on account of it being a Leap Year) we may well look back on a month in which things have gathered pace and progress, slow in January, has finally been made. 2016 is now in its stride and March’s solar eclipse in Pisces and lunar eclipse in Libra will soon conspire to help it further on its way!
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