The Magic of February, The Aquarius New Moon, Chinese New Year 2016

China tea, the scent of hyacinths, wood fires and bowls of violets – this is my mental picture of an agreeable February afternoon. –Constance Spry

Chinese-New-YearFebruary is a subtle and secret month; it doesn’t possess the lushness of August or the magic of May or June. It is wedged between January, all shiny and new, and March which no matter how increment the weather holds the promise of spring. But February is unassuming; as solitary as the red fox as he makes his way across the frozen landscape; as fleeting as the hawk against the winter sky. This quiet month offers many gifts but requires patience, stillness, and faith; faith that spring will indeed return, that the crocuses will push through the hard ground, and that we will get through these long nights and pale days. The journey we take in February is an inward one.

The theme for February is purification, renewal and rebirth: February is the second month of the Gregorian calendar and the year’s shortest month. The month itself is named for Februa, the ancient festival of purification. This is the time of the year when the glaciers begin to melt, rivers swell, and the rains wash away 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 even now is beginning to stir.

February is the season of Brigid: It’s no wonder that the Celts dedicated this month to Brigid, the ancient goddess of water and fire, the holy well and the sacred flame. She presided over smithcraft, poetry, pets and healing. Imbolc, on February 2, is the ancient festival that celebrates the midpoint between winter solstice and spring Equinox. The Christian Church turned the pagan goddess Brigid into St. Brigid and Imbolc became Candlemas, the Feast of Purification of the Virgin in which candles are lit at midnight to honor the Virgin Mary. Light white candles during February to invoke the spirit of Brigid and invite her to bless and enhance your creative projects.

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

The Aquarius New Moon – February 8
Every New Moon signals the beginning of a new cycle, a fresh start; a time to plant a seed, initiate a plan, and move forward in some area of our life. The sign Aquarius and its modern ruler Uranus are associated with freedom, rebellion, and breakthroughs of all kinds; creative, technical, political, and personal. It’s not so much rebelling against something (that’s the shadow side of Aquarius); it’s fighting for something. At its core, the water bearer challenges us to be authentic; to be true to ourselves, our ideals, to step out of our comfort zone, and have the courage to take a risk for something we truly believe in.

Mars, the god of war, energy, and aggression is in intense Scorpio making a challenging square to the New Moon. Mars is our ability to take action but what kind of action? Is it our ego and will power that’s running the show and calling the shots or is it our essence, our core being? Impulsive action is not recommended. This aspect asks us to examine our motives and align with our truth. Mars also makes a positive trine to forgiving Chiron allowing us to heal inappropriate anger. Mars’ quincunx to Uranus compels us to find new and original ways to achieve our goals. Don’t be afraid to let go of old prejudices and rigid thinking; stay open, remain teachable. As Deepak Chopra said, “It is not the unknown we should be afraid of, but the known.”

Uranus in fiery Aries makes a square to Pluto, Venus and Mercury all in practical Capricorn. This potent aspect can bring up our deepest wounds and fears but can also help us transform them. Remember, we can’t change something unless we are aware of it. Uranus makes a helpful sextile to the New Moon and a solid trine to Saturn bringing opportunities to bridge the old with the new. Jupiter is conjunct the North Node and makes a trine to Pluto, Mercury and Venus. We are all being invited to reinvent ourselves in this brave new world. Find your tribe; there is power in community and collaboration.  To go into the world as one’s true self is an act of courage – Michael Meade

The Year of the Fire Monkey begins at the New Moon on February 8, 2016
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 22. 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.

What can we expect? This Monkey year is ideal for a quantum leap in your life! Now is the time to shake things up, create change, and invent a new path. Join the Monkey madness when risks are rewarded, chaos is the norm, and anything can happen. Even the craziest scheme can succeed. We’ Moon 2016

Those born in the year of the Monkey (1908, 1920, 1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004, and 2016) are clever, charming, mercurial, entertaining, and lively. Monkeys are both natural leaders and hard workers with lots of physical stamina and resourcefulness. They are good problem solvers and can do just about anything but they can cause problems as well. Luckily they are fun to be around and everyone loves them.

To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe. –Anatole France

The combination of the Aquarius New Moon and the Chinese New Year is like giving 2016 a reboot or as people have been saying, “February is the new January!” Something big is brewing. Use this power time to clarify and affirm your heart’s desire. Be sure to give yourself plenty of down time, dream time, soul time during the month of February. I am taking some time off to focus on a writing project so I will only be writing the occasional newsletter until May. But I will post updates on my website, blog and Facebook page. Sending you Love and Blessings, Virginia

Outside it is a milky world, snow driving past the windows incessantly in horizontal waves. Drifts pile up under the high wind. But I am truly in heaven. There are charming “February” daffodils out in a pale green pot on my desk, tulips on the mantel, a subtle apricot color veined in yellow with dark purple hearts. I have lighted a fire in here because the wind creeps in and I feel a chill. I have Beethoven sonatas (Pastoral and Les Adieux) on the record player. And now to work! -May Sarton (Journal of Solitude)