The Magic and Mystery of February, Eclipse Season, Venus Retrograde
February is traditionally a quiet month and contemplative month. It has none of the glamour of January which makes a bold statement with champagne, fireworks and fresh starts. Nor does it have the reputation of March which, no matter how miserable the weather, holds the promise of spring. February’s gifts are subtle and secret, reserved for only the most discerning. This private and solitary month teaches us patience, the value of waiting, and most of all faith. Faith that indeed spring will come, that the crocuses and daffodils will bloom and that we will make it through these long, cold nights and grey days.
Every month we have a New Moon and a Full Moon but an eclipse is a super powerful lunation; a New Moon or Full Moon on steroids. Eclipses are wild cards; they turn life upside down and accelerate the process of deep change. They can feel fateful; as if a doorway or portal opens and we enter a new reality. Eclipses can exert a powerful influence when located in a prominent place in your chart; for instance, when it’s conjunct a planet or an angle. They often coincide with major endings and beginnings and generate important events such as births, marriages, divorces, promotions or big moves. If your birthday falls on an eclipse then it will be an exceptional year.
Solar (New Moon) Eclipse in Pisces – February 26, 2017
Two weeks ago (on February 10) we had a Lunar (Full Moon) Eclipse, in Leo, which was also the culmination of the Chinese New Year. On February 26 we have a New Moon Eclipse in 08 degrees of Pisces. Ruled by Neptune, the mythic god of the sea, Pisces is a water sign known for its compassion and kindness as well as its lack of boundaries. It is open, fluid and porous; it governs the invisible and the unseen. The fluctuating atmosphere of Pisces can be deceiving; we often underestimate its power. Its strength is that it dissolves, thaws, and brings what’s hidden to the surface.
“With seven points in the sign of the Fishes (Sun, Moon, Mercury, Neptune, Chiron, Pallas, and the South Node), this chart reads like a collective baptism.” –Leah Whitehorse (The Mountain Astrologer, February/March 2017)
Not only is the Sun and Moon in Pisces; Neptune (formidable in its own sign) is conjunct (fused with) them as well. Plus Mercury, the South Node, Chiron, and the asteroid Pallas Athene (the goddess of wisdom, justice and social activism) are also in Pisces. That’s a lot of power and magic in the mysterious realm of the imagination. What do you want to create; what is seeking to be born? The fixed star Skat (at 09 degrees Pisces) is conjunct the eclipse. This star is called The Wish. Perhaps the key to creating what we want is the South Node (the karmic past) which is also conjunct the eclipse. It is asking us to release old patterns and habits that no longer serve us. Remember the song from Frozen? “Let it go, let it go, let it go.”
Expect the Unexpected
At the same time there is a fierce cluster of planets in fiery Aries; Venus, Mars, Uranus and Eris, a minor planet named for the goddess of discord. On February 26, the day of the eclipse, Mars (the god of war) and Uranus (the great awakener) make an exact conjunction, an explosive combination. “Bigger is better” Jupiter (in Libra) is opposite – fanning the fire, exaggerating and expanding whatever is happening. Obsessive Pluto in Capricorn (which rules government and institutions) squares the Aries planets and Jupiter. The asteroid Vesta (goddess of the hearth and keeper of the sacred flame) in Cancer makes a grand square. This is a potent time – personally and politically. There’s a lot of tension and conflict as well as enormous potential.
Where you have the Pisces planets: something is trying to come to the surface. Something is ready to release, dissolve, or heal. You may feel more sensitive, open and receptive than usual. Listen to the whispers and not the screams. Follow your heart. Let go of old habits, behaviors, and patterns; connect with what is meaningful.
Where you have the Aries planets: the energy is red hot and wired. Channel it. Find something positive or creative to be obsessed about. Find a cause, be of service. Focus the energy; give it a place to go. Left unattended, this energy can be risky; when it’s channeled you can change the world – or yourself.
The combination can act like lightening through the fog. At its best it allows us to get in touch with what we really want (Pisces) and take action (Aries). At its worse it can have us not act but react, losing ourselves in the process. It’s important to combine the Pisces and the Aries energy. We need to become spiritual warriors, enlightened and conscious crusaders – fighting for something, not against. In a way, this eclipse mirrors what is going on in the world.
Venus Turns Retrograde
March 4 – April 15, 2017
Venus turns retrograde in Aries on March 4. It moves back into Pisces on April 2. It goes direct on April 15 and re-enters Aries on 28. Retrograde periods are not bad. When a planet is retrograde it works differently. It’s as if it’s on sabbatical and not available to us in the normal way. In a sense, we’re on our own and have to figure things out for ourselves. Lovely and gracious Venus, the goddess of love, rules close relationships, beauty, values, and money. While this interval is not an optimum time to get married, engaged, have cosmetic surgery, make major investments or buy luxury items, it is an opportunity to get in touch with our own values, needs, and become clear about what we want to attract and create. Old lovers and creative projects often come back into our lives so we can reassess, complete or heal them. One of the most positive and constructive things we can do during Venus retrograde is not search outside for love but create more self-worth and self-care. Venus is associated with pleasure. What brings you joy; what makes you feel alive? Venus is in assertive Aries. Do you have the courage to give yourself what you need?
A recent article in Cosmopolitan magazine (December 2016) was entitled, Why I Married Myself. This wonderful concept has become a growing trend. Remember Carrie Bradshaw did this back in Sex and the City. It doesn’t have to be a public affair; it can be a private vow, a sacred promise. It’s all about saying “Yes” to yourself and your life.
“Do you love this world?
Do you cherish your humble and silky life?
Do you adore the green grass, with its terror beneath?”
The theme for February is purification, renewal and rebirth. This is the time of 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 for the new life that is even now beginning to stir.
Dear Friends, Enjoy this quiet and contemplative month. Use the energy and power of the Solar Eclipse to get in touch with what you truly love and have the courage to take steps to manifest it. It’s doesn’t have to be big, flashy, and high end. It just has to be meaningful. Remember, you are worth it.
My new book, Midlife is Not a Crisis: Using Astrology to Thrive in the Second Half of Life (published by Red Wheel / Weiser) will be out in April. You can pre-order it on Amazon.
All is well. You are loved, Virginia
by Martha Postlewaite
Do not try to save
the whole world
or do anything grandiose.
in the dense forest
of your life
and wait there
until the song
that is your life
falls into your own cupped hands
and you recognize and greet it.
Only then you will know
how to give yourself
to this world
so worthy of rescue.