Aquarius Solar Eclipse, Chinese New Year, and the Magic of February

February doesn’t possess the shiny newness of January with its ambitious goals and big plans nor does it have the promise of March which advertises spring flowers and sunshine. But this private and deeply personal month has cherished gifts for those who are willing to get to know it. Today the world moves extremely fast and speed is valued over depth, information over knowledge. February teaches us patience, faith and the importance of waiting. One must slowdown in winter in order to appreciate the subtleties; the pale winter sun in a watery blue sky; the gentle sound of animals rustling through a snowy meadow; the scent of pine and cedar in the hearth; winter is a listening time, a learning time.

The beauty of nature insists on taking its time. Everything is prepared. Nothing is rushed. The rhythm of emergence is a gradual slow beat always inching its way forward; change remains faithful to itself until the new unfolds in the full confidence of true arrival. –John O’Donohue (To Bless the Space Between Us)

The theme for February is purification, renewal, and rebirth. The month itself is named for Februa, an ancient festival of purification. It is the time of the year when the glaciers begin to melt, rivers swell, and the rains wash away with the earth’s debris. We can begin our own cleansing process, clearing away both the physical and emotional clutter to prepare ourselves for the new life that is beginning to stir deep within us.

February is the season of Bridget

It is no wonder that the Celts dedicated this month to Brigid the ancient Celtic goddess of water and fire, the holy well and the scared flame. She presided over smithcraft, poetry, pets, and healing. Imbolc (February 2) is the ancient festival that celebrates the midpoint between winter solstice and spring equinox. The Christian Church turned the pagan goddess Bridget into St. Bridget and Imbolc became Candlemas, the Feast of the Purification of the Virgin in which candles are lit at midnight to honor the Virgin Mary. Light white candles to invoke the spirit of Brigid and invite her to bless and enhance your creative projects. Each year we create a holy well, a bowl of sacred waters gathered from many places and rituals. We place a cauldron of fire within, and make a pledge for the year. As the light grows stronger, may our commitment to life, to justice, to healing ourselves and our communities, and the earth, also grow.-We Moon 2008

“Brigid of the forge / forge for me / new creativity / light and growth aids us both.” –Llewellyn’s 2005 Almanac

We’re in Eclipse Season!

January 31 we had a Full Moon (lunar) eclipse in Leo. On February 15 we have New Moon (solar) eclipse in freedom-loving Aquarius. Eclipses are powerful catalysts that herald major endings and beginnings; birth, deaths, marriages, divorces, and major moves. They wake us up, shake us up and accelerate the process of deep change. We all feel the energy of the eclipse to some degree but if your birthday falls within a degree or two (day or two) of the eclipse or if you have a planet or angle at that degree (27 Aquarius) you’ll experience it more directly. For the rest of us: look at the house where the eclipse is taking place. Eclipses shine a bright light of truth on the part of our life that it is touched by it.

The Aquarius Solar Eclipse – February 15, 2018

The Sun and Moon are in futuristic Aquarius, the sign of the rebel, the outlaw, and the genius. More than any other sign, Aquarius represents the need to break free from the past. Mental Mercury in brilliant Aquarius is conjunct the Sun and Moon. Uranus (the modern ruler of Aquarius) makes a supportive sextile to it thus opening a window in our mind where there was a wall, bringing fresh ideas and inspiration. This placement can also help us cut through the fog and generate fresh insights into long standing problems and old patterns. The South Node of the Moon in the eclipse chart tells us we’re ready to let go of the outworn ideas, attitudes, and beliefs that we’re still defending but no longer serve us. Jupiter, in transformational Scorpio, squares the New Moon, encourages us to deepen our relationship with ourselves and others. The helpful sextile between caring Venus and tough-love Saturn lets us know that if we are willing to work hard for what we love the rewards will follow.    

This energizing and confident New Moon has the ability to break the trance we’re in and set us off on a new path, perhaps the one that has been calling us all along.    

The Year of the Earth Dog begins at the New Moon on February 15, 2015

Legend has it that in ancient times Buddha asked all the animals to join him on Chinese New Year. Twelve came and Buddha named a year for each animal.

Chinese New Year always commences on the second New Moon after the Winter Solstice. It is a time of psychic and emotional rebirth. During the five days prior to the New Year, the Chinese clean their homes thoroughly: nooks and crannies are cleared, and astral debris is swept away before the New Year Dragon awakens. Please, no cleaning and sweeping on the actual day! During the waxing moon, (the two weeks leading up to the Full Moon) families and friends reunite and celebrate; all debts are paid, old grudges are forgiven and ancestors are honored. “Lucky money” is given to children in crisp new red envelopes. Incense is burned and offerings are made to Heaven and Earth; doors are flung open to welcome the New Year; lions, dragons, and unicorns dance in the street. Chinese New Year ends on the Full Moon 15 days later. The 15th day is called the Festival of Lanterns; this year it falls on February 31. Lanterns painted with birds, flowers, and signs of the zodiac are hung in the temples and carried in a parade under the light of the Full Moon.

2018 is the year of the Earth Dog. Dog year is a time of honesty, loyalty and integrity. Equality is championed, and now is the time for whistle blowing when truth and justice is rewarded. –We’ Moon 2018. If you were born in the Year of the Dog you are a fighter, survivor, and truth teller; dog people work hard, are loyal, dedicated, grounded and unselfish. Dog years are: 1910, 1922, 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 2006, and 2018.

This New Moon eclipse in Aquarius and the Chinese New Year brings a wave of fresh energy and inspiration. We are posed at a threshold. John O’ Donohue writes in To Bless the Space Between Us: “At any time you can ask yourself: At which thresholds am I now standing? At this time in my life, what am I leaving? Where am I about to enter? What is preventing me from crossing my next threshold?”

It feels as if 2018 is getting a “reboot.” What were your goals, intentions, and dreams for 2018? Take some time this month to reconnect with them and with yourself. Ask Bridget to bless your creative projects. Seek guidance in meditation and journaling; explore tools such as Tarot Cards, Medicine Cards, or the Nordic Runes. There is always one question: “Show me what I need to know for my life now.” Something is ready to be released so that something precious within you can be born. Let the energy of this New Moon carry you forth. All is well, you are loved, Virginia

To read my annual 2018 horoscope (published in Die Welt, the German magazine but in English on their website) just google: Virginia Bell’s 2018 horoscope for Die Welt