February 1, is a special day known variously as Candlemas in the Church, Imbolc in ancient Celtic lore, or the very secular holiday known as Groundhog Day. Interestingly, the messages of all three are quite similar, very connected to the seasonal change, and it’s all about Light. This is the Crescent phase of the solar year, when the Sun that was born into new light after the longest night of the year, Winter Solstice, now arrives at the first semi-square to its “birth” position, a phase known as Crescent. At this phase, be it a monthly phase or the yearly phase, Light is increasing. But, at the same time, there’s still some sense of uncertainty about it, sort of like the fabled concern over whether that Groundhog will miss seeing his shadow and doom us to six more weeks of winter.
Crescent phase, in general, has a sense of one step forward, but then two steps back. The impetus is to move forward, but it is tentative and unsure. The challenge is to overcome one’s uncertainty, take two steps forward and keep going! Be assured! Whether or not that Groundhog sees his shadow on February 2, the days ARE lengthening, the Light returns! And this will become more visible every day as we head forward toward the spring. Enjoy watching the changes! Signs of spring are already seen—for example, I recently counted eight robins gingerly perching on the snow covered branches of my crab apple tree. Spring IS coming!
Mars conjuncts Neptune, the Pisces ruler, on Monday, February 4th, suggesting that we may be feeling anything but energetic about plunging into a new work week. But still, this combination may inspire creative thinking, intuition and imagination. On February 5th, Mercury of mind, thought and communication also moves into Pisces.
Pay attention to your muse—new ideas may emerge that can be put to good purpose as Moon moves into practical Capricorn midweek. Put your ideas to work with Mercury conjunct Mars on Friday, February 8th, and then enjoy the weekend!
The second week of February begins with New Moon on Sunday, February 10th, a time for new beginnings. Monday, February 11th, may start off with good energy and intent, but wane in the afternoon with Moon void-of-course. But on Tuesday, energy picks up with Moon in Aries, and a string of aspects then and throughout the week that suggest strong energy and accomplishment. Make the most of it!
Sunday, February 17 is First Quarter Moon, the phase of action, during which whatever we set into motion at New Moon should be noticeably moving forward, and if it isn’t, it’s time to give it a strong push. On Monday, February 18th, the Sun enters Pisces, and Saturn, at 12 degrees of Scorpio, turns retrograde. Moon in Gemini may reflect scattered thoughts. But if the week seems difficult in its first few days, the energy will likely settle down and become productive midweek through Friday.
Saturn will continue in retrograde motion until the end of the first week of July, then turns direct again at about 5 degrees Scorpio. This major outer planet transit will be most strongly felt for those who have Sun or other major factors in their charts in Scorpio, Taurus, Leo and Aquarius, in or near the degrees Saturn transits during this time. Saturn transits can seem difficult, but they can be highly productive. How we experience them is largely up to us. When we cut corners, or evade responsibility, Saturn transits are generally perceived as hard times. But when we do our work as best we can, and behave responsibly, Saturn is our friend, and actually can reflect times of our strong successes. Saturn transiting one’s Midheaven (cusp of House 10), for example, often coincides with a major career peak or other positive accomplishment.
In the wee hours of Saturday morning (February 23rd) while most of us are still sleeping, Mercury turns retrograde—in my opinion, the primary astrological superstition. But then I was born with it, and it hasn’t stopped me from spending much of my life with a fair degree of success in Mercury occupations. So double-check communications (a good practice anyway), if you’re concerned—but do not give Mercury more power than he deserves.
Full Moon arrives on Monday February 25th and Mercury will conjunct Mars on Tuesday in the Mercury ruled sign of Virgo. This can be a week of strong accomplishment, if you choose to make it so.
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