Low-Down Archives for February 2011

New Moon & Full Moon Astrology, Planetary Transits

 February-March 2011

For the New Moon in Aquarius:
February 2 to 18, 2011

And the Full Moon in Leo:
February 18 to March 4, 2011.

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Feb.02 – NEW MOON in AQUARIUS (13:53 of Aquarius)

NEW MOON in AQUARIUS

Ottawa, Canada and
Washington DC, USA:

Feb.02, 2011, 9:30 PM EST

London, UK:

Feb.03, 2011, 2:30 AM GMT

Sydney, AU:

Feb.03, 2011, 1:30 PM AEDT

"What's a New Moon?"

Read more about the Sun-Moon cycles.

Read more about how you experience AQUARIUS energy in your life.

"Be careful what you wish for.
You might get it."
– Anonymous

One need only tune in to the news these days to see an example of how Aquarian energy under pressure can manifest! As I write this, Egypt is in an uprising, echoing Tunisia's revolution just weeks before.

Not surprisingly, Egypt's Sun is currently being squared by transiting Uranus, often considered the modern planetary ruler of Aquarius. (The Arab Republic of Egypt was declared on June 18, 1953; time unknown.) And also not surprisingly, Egypt is coming up to its second Saturn return this year—Saturn being the traditional ruler of Aquarius.

Aquarius is not always so volatile. It is also visionary, looking to the future, focused on the Collective and technologically friendly. People born with strong Aquarius in their charts are typically individualistic (if that's not a total contradiction in terms). They are free spirits who hear the beat of a different drummer and take joy in inspiring others to do the same.

On the other hand, Aquarius is also associated with revolution, rebellion and nonconformity. Aquarius being a Fixed sign, this can bring out obstinacy and defiance. Its Fixed quality of tenacity can be a dedication and commitment to a higher vision, or it can become adamantly defiant regardless of reason or consequence.

This New Moon in Aquarius is in extremely close conjunction to Mars. That alone is enough to bring out the more volatile side of Aquarius! This New Moon isn't merely interested in ensuring the right to be free—it is determined to make it happen NOW.

Singer-songwriter Tracy Chapman once astutely wrote, "Talking about a revolution sounds like a whisper." Mars is not a patient energy, and when it hears the hum of Aquarius' freedom song it wants to crank up the volume. Uranus and Jupiter are still conjoined, with Jupiter now in Mars' own sign of Aries—and this "let's-liberate-the-collective" duet is only too happy to help turn the crank.

What freedom song are you hearing lately? Freedom is often seen as an ideal, but living it can be tricky. When you've been living inside a cramped box for too long, liberation can sound like the answer to all your problems. But once you're out of the box, then what?

Releasing what as been pent up can often destabilize other parts of your life, which now much adjust and adapt to this change. The ripple effects can be unexpected and perhaps even unwelcome. That instability could also allow unhealthy or detrimental impulses to come out of hiding. For example, a recovering addict might be tempted to relapse if their life changes dramatically. Even if it's a positive change, the unfamiliarity could be disorienting to the point of losing the focus on one's healing path. So this liberation could be a mixed blessing.

New Moon in Aquarius February 2011 with Saturn handle

Enter Saturn in Libra, the agent for stability through equilibrium. Saturn is the handle of the New Moon chart, and is trine (120°) to the Sun-Moon-Mars conjunction. It suggests that this New Moon can bring deliverance from bondage, but it also needs to be balanced and grounded by a more serious, cautious, responsible and structured energy. A kite can leave the limitation of the ground and fly high, but if it isn't anchored with a strong string that's held tightly by the flyer, it will be carried off by the wind and lost.

The trine aspect to Saturn means this stabilizing energy is available if you reach out for it. The fact that Saturn is the handle of the chart also means that if you don't reach out and utilize that Saturn energy, the liberating energy of Aquarius could easily spin out of control and out of reach.

The rest of the chart is in a tight Bundle distribution encased by a square (90°) between Venus and Jupiter. Venus is in Jupiter's sign of Sagittarius, giving a love of exploration and a fresh perspective; yet the square to Jupiter can also bring out a love of excess. This also suggests difficulty establishing balance because what is being balanced just keeps expanding and shifting around.

Magic Cap aspect pattern

And yet, with all this dynamic energy, this bundle of planets contains a subtle, complex and sensitive structure that can give it a very creative and positive focus. There is a fascinating aspect pattern that Huber astrology calls a Magic Cap. (Aspect Pattern Astrology) It consists of 3 consecutive semi-sextiles (30°), interlocked by sextiles (60°) and a square (90°). It gives imagination, receptivity and a congenial manner; for example, it appears in the natal chart of pioneer animator Walt Disney.

In this particular context, it could bring a surprising yet understated network of structure amid the chaos. Think of it like fractals which are organized patterns created from randomness. Whatever chaotic, confused, disordered or unruly situation you find yourself in is actually embedded with creative patterns that have more structure than you may realize.

To access that subtle level, it may be necessary to straddle the fine line between love and lust, daring and debauchery, inspiration and impulse. This requires a precarious point of balance that perhaps can only be maintained if you're willing to take a risk and keep moving, even without knowing what to expect next—but the challenge is find the midpoint between being creatively spontaneous versus carelessly reckless.

It's like walking a tightrope—you'll need a sturdy pole to balance yourself with. That's where Saturn in balancing Libra comes in. So what or who is your Saturn? Not the Capricorn Saturn that tries to keep you on the straight and narrow by limiting your options, but the Aquarius Saturn that enables you to keep one stabilizing foot on the ground while dancing to that different drumming beat.

What is your anchor when things get chaotic? What or who helps you find your equilibrium again when disruptive or unexpected events make you lose your balance? A personal astrology reading is one way to help you gain both grounding and perspective when life starts to spin a bit too fast. I'm available for private readings, so please contact me and I'll be happy to send you information about prices and readings.

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Feb.03 – Mercury enters Aquarius (until Feb.21)  (Feb.04 in AU)

Mercury in Aquarius brings objectivity, detached mental focus, and communication that strives for unprecedented breadth and height – even to the point of adopting an "ivory tower" mentality. This is a good transit for anything requiring a scientific or analytical approach, as well as anything that calls for you to "think outside of the box." This can be a time when you start to see old familiar situations in new ways, giving you a fresh perspective on things. This planetary energy is not likely to be supportive if you need to take a gentle or sensitive approach to personal interaction, however, since you may be more tempted to just say what needs to be said and let the chips fall where they may. Your mental outlook may be focused on upcoming possibilities, and it can be a good time to map out future plans and try on new ideas, since you are likely to be more open-minded to things you had previously dismissed as unrealistic or too "out there." This can be a time when you suffer from "cabin fever" and need to get out of the house more, especially if you've been cooped up for a long time due to bad weather, hard work or just lack of motivation to do something different. Breaking free of old routines can be a good thing – just remember you have to live with whatever mess you make in the process.

Feb.03 – Venus sextile Chiron (29:40 of Sagittarius/Aquarius)  (Feb.04 in AU)

Although this transit lasts for only a few days, it is possible to make some progress in your healing and rebalancing efforts, although it will take some effort to make it happen. This may show itself in relationships, social interaction, finances, values, health or your spiritual connection to the Universe. You have an increased ability to negotiate with others and with your circumstances to achieve a fair compromise that results in equal sacrifice and benefit for all concerned. However, there is a risk of wanting to avoid conflict and discord so much that you negotiate beyond what you are truly comfortable with – peace at any price. By accepting and embracing the effort or struggle that is required, you can get out of your own way and achieve a more healing balance in those struggles. You now have increased ability to facilitate changes in situations that are within your control. It can also be easier to accept and adapt to that which lies beyond your control. Your effect on others can be potentially healing right now, especially by helping them find a new balance and point of acceptance in the conflicts and struggles of their lives.

Feb.04 – Venus enters Capricorn (until Mar.01)

Friendly, abundant Venus travels through serious, structured Capricorn, bringing out her grounded, material side. It may be time to make new plans and commitments for material or relationship goals. It can be a time to get serious and make some solid decisions about what works and what doesn't. It may help to organise and systemise the way you approach relationships, finances, resources and pleasure. An example of systemising pleasure is to schedule regular time to pamper yourself, or to make a point of doing the hard work that will pay off in pleasure later (like eating healthier food or working out more). Although this might seem a bit unromantic or uninspiring, you'll find that laying the groundwork for what you want to attract into your life will provide support for the rewards to come.

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Feb.04 – Sun conjunct Mars (15:30 of Aquarius)  (Feb.05 in AU)

This transit gives you energy to burn! However, that energy could be productive or volatile, or even both. You are likely to be a lot more motivated and enthusiastic about whatever you do. But you could also be more impulsive, distracted and erratic too. Anger can flare quickly, and if you don't try to control it or hang onto it, it can pass just as quickly. Sexual energy or desire may be high now, which can be fun to take advantage of, but could also get you into trouble if you don't use some good judgment about who, when or where to act on that desire. This transit represents a new beginning in how you use and work with your energy – physical, emotional, spiritual and motivational energy. It can be a great time to initiate new goals, or to set plans into motion. It may be easier to stand up for what you believe – to assert yourself, to confront someone or to express yourself in ways that you had previously been inhibited. It takes practice and awareness to learn to tell your genuine impulses (that reflect and express who you are) from unconscious motives (that may be passive-aggressive, manipulative or hostile). This transit could give you an opportunity to observe both sides of this potent energy.

Feb.05 – Mercury sextile Jupiter (02:40 of Aquarius/Aries)  (Feb.06 in AU)

You may have an abundance of ideas and words to express them under this transit. There is the potential (if you reach for it) to put ideas, facts and thoughts together into a cohesive whole. You may find you can understand the overall patterns in a situation, or you are able to see the Big Picture, better than usual. New insights and a change of perspective may abound, as your stream of consciousness flows abundantly with optimism and visionary possibilities. You may find yourself more talkative than usual, as you try to share and convey the new ideas, inspiration and knowledge coming into your mind. Write down your best ideas for later development, since you may be having too much fun now playing with ideas to want to stop and make them manifest just yet. There is a chance that you may be so elated and confident that you might come across as a bit overbearing or even as a "know-it-all," so be sure to listen too.

Feb.05 – Venus conjunct North Node (01:47 of Capricorn)  (Feb.06 in AU)

Your love, beauty and joy are especially visible to others right now. You are likely to be at your most attractive – both in body and personality. You could become a magnet for what you desire today – just be careful what you ask for, since you might get it! What you attract to you might be material abundance, admiration and appreciation from others, or perhaps a sense of well-being that brings you into a more beautiful balance with those around you. This can also be a time when you begin a new relationship or social contact, or perhaps you begin a journey to make yourself or your world more beautiful, loving and kind. At worst, or if other stressful transits are also in effect, you might also have a tendency to fall into over-indulgence, empty glamour or compulsive craving.

Feb.06 – Sun trine Saturn (17:07 of Aquarius/Libra)

This is a great time to apply yourself to serious work. You may feel especially self-sufficient and independent, with a strong and clear sense of self and purpose. There is support for your ambitions as long as you stay grounded and practical in how you approach them, which should come easily right now. Your ability to cooperate and feel comfortable with authority figures is likely to be high, along with your capacity to embrace your own authority and make solid decisions. This is a time when you are more likely to feel grounded and deal with problems in a practical, decisive way. Your energy may be more serious than "party animal," but even if you are in "party mode" it will be easier to realistically know your limits and not overdo it. If you've been waiting for the right time to move forward with or manifest a project or plan that you've been putting together (or wanting to), this could be the time when that happens. The final launch or manifestation may or may not happen now, but you will probably be able to at least move forward in some important steps.

Feb.06 – Mars trine Saturn (17:06 of Aquarius/Libra)  (Feb.07 in AU)

This is a great time for disciplined action that can produce grounded, specific and stable results. If you have a project that needs to push ahead to the next step, you may find this is a good time to do that. If you want to make progress with your ambitions, goals and plans, this can be a good time to make plans or to take action. You are likely to feel "together," capable and strong, giving you a serious, calm and realistic confidence. It's usually easier to control or restrain your more volatile emotions, and present yourself as someone who is stable and on top of things. This transit can bring sustained physical energy that doesn't burn itself out quickly and can pace itself for lasting endurance. Remember that the effects of this transit typically last only about a week or two, so make the most of it!

Feb.06 – Venus square Jupiter (02:55 of Capricorn/Aries)  (Feb.07 in AU)

"Your eyes are bigger than your stomach" (as Mom used to say). That means you are more likely now to over-indulge, especially in the areas of relationships, spending, desires, pleasure and social contact. Your desire for fulfilment and satisfaction may exceed your resources, and you might not even realise it until the bill comes in later (probably under a Saturn transit ;-). You may also find you require more knowledge, understanding, faith, freedom or optimism than you have available, making it tempting to compensate by inflating what you really have. For example, you might want to resort to flattery, manipulation or over-optimism in an effort to make up for a lack of genuine confidence, rapport or preparation. However, this can also be a time when your creativity is running high and you are able to pull rabbits out of your hat on a moment's notice. The problem is that you could over-extend yourself by doing so.

Feb.08 – Chiron enters Pisces (until 2018)  (Feb.09 in AU)  (Read my article about Chiron in Pisces)

The Wounded Healer now cloaks himself in the slippery, soothing, spiritual energy of Pisces. This combination is full of potential for spiritual transcendence, but there is also the danger of getting stuck in suffering for the sake of suffering.

In mythology, Chiron is finally relieved of his suffering by exchanging his life for Prometheus' freedom. Prometheus himself had endured suffering from torture, which was a punishment from Zeus (King of the Gods) for having given fire to Humanity. Archetypally, there seems to be a lesson in Chiron that by giving oneself to a higher cause, it has the power to not only alleviate one's own suffering but that of others too.

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With Chiron in self-sacrificing Pisces, this quality if even more amplified. Our suffering, woundedness and struggle can become a vehicle for helping, healing and transforming the problems both within us and around us. There seems to be a promise of potential redemption that can make all that suffering worth the agony and waiting for relief.

And yet we mustn't forget we are in Pisces – the sign of illusion, deception and misguided good intentions. That quest for redemption and healing could also lead us into deeper problems if we become too dazzled by the promise and blinded by illusion.

In the myth, Chiron didn't simply offer himself up on impulse. He obtained Zeus' permission and it was Heracles who approached Zeus on his behalf. In other words, there was lots of opportunity for reality-checking and ensuring that the sacrifice would indeed result in the release of Prometheus. In the same way, any sacrifices we make for a greater cause need to be vetted through the Powers That Be and supported by others around us.

It is also interesting to note that in the myth, it was the poisoned spear of Heracles that had wounded Chiron and left him chronically wounded and suffering. And it was Heracles who represented Chiron and pleaded his case to Zeus. There are two messages in this part of the mythology that could be applied to Chiron, and especially so with Chiron in Pisces.

For one thing, it is the very thing that wounds us that can act as the means that will free us from that wound. This is a similar concept to homeopathy in which the essence of the thing that causes the illness becomes the healing agent. However, in order for the cause of the wound to assist in our liberation, we must first get to the point where we are not stuck in blame, suffering, victimization, cynicism or self-pity. These qualities are a potential danger with Pisces, as it is so easy to become engulfed within and swept away by our experience.

When Chiron first dipped into Pisces from Apr.20-Jul.20.2010, the world witnessed the poisoning of the waters with the Gulf oil crisis. In fact, the explosion that began the "oil spill" occurred on the same day that Chiron entered Pisces, and the leak was finally stopped just 5 days before Chiron moved back into Aquarius. It's very possible that the consequences and implications from this disaster will emerge again as Chiron returns to Pisces, and that it could well take until 2018, when Chiron finally leaves Pisces, before the damage, results and causes of this crisis have been fully explored and dealt with.

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On a more personal and psychological level, you may find that all is not well with much that you have taken for granted in your life. It may be a time when you discover subtle or pervasive problems or dis-ease that lie at the root of chronic or persistent problems in your life. While Chiron is in Pisces, it may be necessary to explore, understand and address these underlying causes and influences, in order to detoxify, clarify and heal the way they affect your life.

You might not be able to fully change, resolve or reconcile the source of these problems, but you can change how you respond to them and the role that they play in your life. In the same way that Heracles, the wounder of Chiron, became the agent of his salvation, it is by using your suffering, woundedness, struggle and difficulties for some higher purpose that you can begin to lift yourself out of despair and helplessness.

Chiron was in Pisces from 1910-1918 and 1960-1969, and is there from 2010-2018, and then won't be there again until 2061-2068.

Feb.09 – Venus conjunct Pluto (06:39 of Capricorn)  (Feb.10 in UK, AU)

Intensity in love and close relationships can occur under this transit, as well as a compelling need to get more control over your finances and assets. This could manifest as power dynamics emerging in your interactions with others, in which you engage in a negotiation for a better balance of power that is more in your favour. Or, you might become somewhat obsessed with the pursuit of pleasure and beauty, possibly trying to compensate for a low sense of self-worth. Or, there can be a valuable opportunity to develop a deeper connection with those close to you. You might find it necessary to negotiate with others for financial support. You may have to dig deeper than usual to extract needed resources from hidden places (or to deposit them there, out of reach from others who want a piece of your hoard). Keep your integrity high and dry by being honest with yourself about the ethics of your actions.

Feb.14 – Mercury trine Saturn (16:54 of Aquarius/Libra)

It can be easier to take a logical, practical approach to problem-solving and pursuit of your goals now. Your mental outlook is likely to be calm and grounded. This is a good time to make plans and work out the logistics of how you're going to get from "here" to "there" in pursuing your goals. You may find it's time to bring closure to finished goals by distilling and systemizing what you've learned in the process of pursuing those past goals. Or, you might find you are able to draw on past achievements to assist and support your current goals and plans. It is a good transit to bring structure to your thoughts and communication. You may find it's a little easier to accept authority – yours or someone else's – and that you are able to speak authoritatively about things about which you have knowledge or experience.

Feb.17 – Sun conjunct Neptune (28:22 of Aquarius)

This can be a time of great creative ability by taking unfamiliar or little-used sources of inspiration and channelling them into self-expression. This may or may not be "creative" in the artistic sense of the word, but definitely can involve taking an inspired approach to problems and challenges. It is a great time to be romantic, creative, intuitive/psychic or spiritual. Just remember that inspiration still means you have to work for the results. Don’t confuse intuition with being able to take divine intervention for granted. You may experience profound faith in the bountiful blessings of the Universe under this transit, but don't just assume you'll be granted everything you wish for. What you pick up from others and your environment can also become mixed up with your own wishful thinking, making it hard to tell where you stop and the rest of the world begins. However, hope, optimism and imagination spring eternal. Your sense of self can become infused with a sense of vision and having a mission, feeling that you are truly a Child of the Universe. Enjoy it while it lasts, as this transit only lasts a few days, but do a careful reality check before you act on the magical possibilities before you.

Feb.18 – FULL MOON in LEO (29:20 of Leo)

What is creativity?
[It is] the act of turning new and imaginative ideas into reality. ... Creativity is characterised by the ability to perceive the world in new ways, to find hidden patterns, to make connections between seemingly unrelated phenomena, and to generate solutions.
– Linda Naiman, author of
Orchestrating Collaboration at Work

FULL MOON in LEO

Ottawa, Canada and
Washington DC, USA:

Feb.18, 2011, 3:35 AM EST

London, UK:

Feb.18, 2011, 8:35 AM GMT

Sydney, AU:

Feb.18, 2011, 7:35 PM AEDT

"What's a Full Moon?"

Read more about the Sun-Moon cycles.

Read more about how you experience LEO energy in your life.

Are you a creative person? So many people think they're not. And yet, every one of us is creative in some way or we wouldn't be alive. You are continually creating and recreating yourself, reinventing yourself out of the rubble of the old and the vision of new possibilities.

This is happening at both simple and sophisticated levels. The cells in your body are constantly being regenerated and recreated. Your brain is always figuring out how to breathe, how to move, how to form the words of your next sentence.

Every time you imagine something you want to do today and then you do it, you are being creative in making your day happen. When you set a goal for yourself and pursue it, you are being creative in the building of your life.

When you solve a problem, you are being creative about how to deal with an obstacle. When you allow yourself to be open to something new, and then try it on to see how it can fit into your life, you are being creative. And when you kick up your heels and let yourself be playful, you are releasing your creative energy.

When there is creativeness, when we have that creative feeling, there is no struggle, there is absence of struggle, which means that the self, the 'me', with all its prejudices, its conditioning, is not there. In that state when the self is not, there is creativeness; and that creative feeling, that creative state, we try to express in action - through music, painting, or what you will. Then the struggle begins - the desire for recognition, and so on.
– Jiddu Krishnamurti

Creativity is the essence of Leo. And creativity is ultimately about self-expression. But self-expression isn't merely about giving a voice to one's ego identity. In fact, some maintain that some of this identity may only get in the way (as in Krishnamurti's quote above). There's a fine line between a strong ego identity and egotism, and learning where that line lies is part of the lesson of Leo.

In this particular Full Moon in Leo, we are dealing with far more than just discovering, developing and bringing out our individual self-expression. Currently Neptune is conjunct the Sun and opposite the Moon, which means we're dealing with an energy far greater than our conscious awareness. Neptune is not very compatible with our conscious ego identity. In fact, Neptune urges us to let go of our individuality and merge with the Oneness of the Universe instead. In Neptune, there are no boundaries, whereas individuality distinguishes between "you" and "me" through personal boundaries.

The creative process is a process of surrender, not control.
– Julia Cameron, author of The Artist's Way

And yet, that Leo Full Moon implores us to connect with our individuality; to radiate it out like sunbeams. Neptune's involvement suggests that we are actually in contact with creative energy from far beyond our individual imagination. Whatever inspiration, enthusiasm, idea or revelation seizes you now is, at least in part, coming through you but not of you. You are the channel but not the source. You are the medium, but the message is not merely your own. You are the instrument, but the music you sing is being played by the hand of the Universe.

The best way to hear that song is to get out of your own way. Our attachments tend to clutter up the airwaves. For instance, a desire that doesn't have the freedom to dissipate or change direction is more like obsession. Or, if we insist that our song must sound a certain way or must convey a particular message, we are putting conditions and limits on All That Is, which could block something even more wonderful that we weren't expecting.

The original sin is to limit the Is. Don't.
– Richard Bach, author of The Messiah's Handbook: Reminders for the Advanced Soul

Once you're able to open up to the flow of that creative source, it can flow surprisingly easily. Guilt and fear can also shut down the flow of that creative energy—and yet, channelling those feelings into a creative outlet can help to shift them out of the way. In this way, healing can take place.

Besides Neptune, the Sun is also conjunct Chiron which is now in Pisces— itself, a very Neptunian energy. (Read my article on Chiron in Pisces.) Chiron brings a healing energy to the creative process, but this often takes the form of a "healing crisis." That means you may encounter struggle or angst before you're able to get to the flowing surrender of Pisces.

Krishnamurti's view notwithstanding, struggle is sometimes helpful—perhaps even necessary—in order to clear away whatever is in the way of our true creativity. Surrender means you let go of attachment. To let go of attachment, it means you first need to acknowledge that you are holding onto something. In order to let go of something you're holding onto, you must first pick it up.

We trip over ourselves all the time without even realizing there's anything there to trip over. We surround ourselves with feelings, fears, desires, beliefs, anxieties, expectations, distractions and obsessions, and yet many of them exist in our "blind spot" – just out of sight from our conscious awareness and understanding.

Once we start to notice what's there, it's hard to ignore. The healing process consists of gradually becoming increasingly aware of what's there, learning about it, wrestling with it, figuring out how to grasp it, and finally being able to shift it and let it go. It can often feel during this process like the problem has become worse, but this may be simply because we're finally seeing it more clearly. We're more in touch with it and its place in our lives, so it looks bigger than it did before.

Creativity is not simply originality and unlimited freedom. There is much more to it than that. Creativity also imposes restrictions. While it uses methods other than those of ordinary thinking, it must not be in disagreement with ordinary thinking--or rather, it must be something that, sooner or later, ordinary thinking will understand, accept, and appreciate. Otherwise the result would be bizarre, not creative.
– Silvano Arieti, author of Creativity: the Magic Synthesis

This Full Moon chart is a tough one in many ways. There are no trines or sextiles (120° and 60°), which means there is far more about this Full Moon that is about challenge and struggle than about things that come easily or harmoniously.

Instead, we have oppositions (180°) – Moon opposite Mercury, Mars, Neptune, Sun and Chiron. And squares (90°) – Venus square Saturn; Jupiter square Pluto. There are also semi-squares (45°) – Venus to Chiron and Sun; Moon to Saturn. And sesqui-quadrates (135°) – Saturn to Chiron, Sun and Neptune; Moon to Venus. All of these aspects indicate struggle, conflict and problems that need to be solved.

And just for good measure, there are some semi-sextiles (30°) – Uranus to Chiron, Sun, Neptune and Mars – as well as quincunxes (150°) – Moon to Uranus – all of which tend to bring irritation and the need to keep adjusting one's perspective.

You think that because you understand ONE you understand TWO,
because one and one makes two.
But you must understand AND.
– Sufi proverb

On top of that, this is the last of five Full Moons in a row at 29° of their respective zodiac signs. As we've explored over the last 4 months, the final degree of a sign is not an easy energy. It is on the verge of becoming something new (the next zodiac sign), but it's not yet there. It's pretty much finished its journey through the current sign, yet it must wait before it is fully committed to the next sign. It can be a place of anticipation, eagerness, restlessness, frustration or anxiety. It is not often a place of ease, flow or surrender.

These challenging aspects and conditions suggest that this Full Moon may not be the easiest energy to contend with. However, there is great potential for the reward and fruition that comes out of struggle, especially a healing struggle that shifts obstacles that get in the way of you connecting to that free-flowing energy that is "in you but not of you."

If you get stuck in the process of recognizing and moving those obstacles, it can help to find ways to see the situation from a new perspective. This is also where a creative approach can help. A personal astrology reading gives you fresh insight that can also be of enormous help throughout this process. I'm available for personal readings to help you find your way through whatever problems, challenges, setbacks or obstacles are in your way. Please contact me for more information.

The human mind once stretched by a new idea never goes back to its original dimensions.
– Oliver Wendell Holmes

Once that shift happens, even a little bit, you can start to feel the flow of the creative life force energy streaming through you. This may not be the dramatic "ta-da!" grand finale that Leo might be hoping for. It could just as easily (and perhaps more effectively) quietly sneak up in some quiet moment when you're not looking for it. Suddenly you realize something is different, or you are aware of something in a new way. Or finally "the penny drops" after struggling to understand some problem or mystery and you suddenly just "get it." Or you might catch a glimpse of some revelation of insight, only to have it slip away when your mind tries to catch it.

That's okay.

A new dawn takes time. It doesn't come all at once. A tiny glimmer here, a little ray of hope there, a flash of brilliance and then it disappears. But once you start to find that openness and taste the creative spirit that's inside of you, it's easier to find again because now you know how to recognize it.

And that's the essence of inspiration. That's the spark that gives you the proof that something new can happen. And once the light starts to go on, even just a little at a time, it's easier to believe in the future...and in yourself.

As one grows older, one sees the impossibility of imposing your will on the chaos with brute force. But if you are patient, there may come that moment when, while eating an apple, the solution presents itself politely and says, 'Here I am!'
– Albert Einstein

For a further exploration into the creative process that is fun, playful, insightful and entertaining, I highly recommend you watch the award winning 1968 animated short documentary film, Why Man Creates, by Saul Bass (25 min). It can be watched in two parts on YouTube: Part One and Part Two. Also, check out a great website on creative brainstorming, where I found many of these great quotes.

Feb.18 – Venus square Saturn (16:44 of Capricorn/Libra)  (Feb.19 in AU)

Finances, relationships, social contacts and/or pleasures may seem blocked or require extra effort right now. Manifesting your desires may require added hard work, but this struggle could also bring you closer to your goals. It may feel like there is a huge rock blocking your path that keeps you from fulfilling your heart's desire. It may be necessary to face some difficult aspect of your situation before it is possible to know how to proceed. This is ultimately a problem to be solved by confronting that which is unrealistic, unworkable, or just not in your best interest. This can also be a time when you arrive at a crossroads and must make some firm choices, or when circumstances might force you to change your direction. This transit can make your choice clear, although it might not be the one you hoped for.

Feb.18 – Sun enters Pisces (until Mar.20)  (Feb.19 in UK, AU)

Happy Solar Return to all Pisces! While the Sun travels through Pisces we all have a chance to attune ourselves to our intuitive, creative, spiritual and reflective nature. This can be a time when dreams may become more important, meaningful or frequent, as the unconscious swells into consciousness. It is a time to spend quality alone time with yourself away from the noisy world, so that you can tune in to the still, small voice within. This might be done through meditation, prayer or seclusion. Although not necessary to do in seclusion, you might also connect with that inner space through music, art, dance, yoga, Tai Chi or walking a labyrinth. This is a non-rational space (not necessarily the same as irrational) that emerges from the formlessness of the unconscious full of possibilities for manifestation. Pisces holds the gateway to our source of creativity and our spiritual Source. It points the way to the Great Unknown, where all life begins. Therefore, while the Sun is in Pisces, we have a chance to meditate on our relationship to this womb of creative energy. So try your hand at writing poetry. Or, try drawing or painting, especially with your non-dominant hand. Immerse yourself in a warm bath and listen to the most beautiful music you can find. Walk through a labyrinth, or walk through a forest. Take some time to just BE.

Feb.19 – Sun conjunct Chiron (00:44 of Pisces)  (Feb.20 in AU)

For a few days, you may become focused on physical, spiritual or psychological healing...or you might become aware of the need for it due to problems. Your physical vitality may be more susceptible to health problems, and your inner or spiritual strength and sense of purpose may feel a bit weak or vulnerable. However, you might also experience new motivation to build up your strength and endurance on all levels. Therefore, this could be a time when you embark on fresh health or fitness goals, or new directions that carve reformed purpose out of previous hardships. Psychologically, you could become aware of the ways that your self-esteem is undermined or sabotaged – either by outside situations or people or you doing it to yourself without realising it, or even ways that you do this to someone else. This is a good time to observe and learn about how these issues operate in your life, what role you play in this dynamic, and how you could make different choices. By increasing your level of acceptance of human imperfection, of both yourself and others, you can strengthen those areas where you now feel vulnerable. Since self-esteem (yours and others') can be a bit fragile now, boosting self-confidence through praise, support, encouragement and confidence can have a powerful and healing effect right now.

Feb.20 – Multiple Conjunction: Mercury, Mars, Neptune (28° Aquarius)  (Feb.21 in UK, AU)

Multiple Conjunction: Mercury, Mars, Neptune, Sun, Chiron

Mercury, Mars and Neptune are all exactly conjoined at 28° of Aquarius on this day. However, the Sun and Chiron are also part of a wider Rolling Conjunction ("What's a Rolling Conjunction?"), which is in effect from Feb.12 until the following New Moon on Mar.04. The planets of this larger multiple conjunction move into Pisces (except for Neptune, which drifts into Pisces on Apr.04). At their closest, this group of 5 spans barely over 3½ degrees, which is a pretty crowded party!

This is a strange and wonderful mixture of energies! Mercury and Mars together can put an edge on forceful communication that is direct and to the point, which can cut through the "bull" or could even become cruel. Adding Neptune to the mix could soften this with gentleness, compassion or creative expression. However, Neptune can also bring an element of deception or poor judgment, so that the effect might be to deceive in a forceful way (thus discouraging any questions about its validity). Or, one's message might be overly harsh in a way that seems well-intentioned but may be misguided or self-deluded, as in, "there's no easy way to say this, so it won't matter how I say it." It's still best to be compassionate and sensitive in your communication, even if you think the other person deserves worse.

With Chiron involved in the wider mix, it introduces even more potential for the "poison pen" to express the venom of Mars. However, it also brings in a potentially healing energy, perhaps from Mercury-Mars "lancing the boil" and letting the poison escape. The Mercury-Mars directness could also heal by cutting through confusion or indifference, creating a path for important ideas to be heard. However, it's important for this kind of approach to have the deft skill of a surgeon who knows how to just enough damage to allow healing and then do swift damage control.

If you're a creative person, this group of energies could bring some striking inspiration and motivation. If you've been in a depressed funk for a while, this conjunction might lead to some significant revelation and insight that could show you a path through the places where you're stuck. In that context, this is an excellent time to get a personal astrology reading, to tap into the momentum of this energy and use it to get you moving forward again.

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Feb.20 – Mercury conjunct Mars (28:20 of Aquarius)  (Feb.21 in AU)

Spontaneous or impulsive words may come flying out of your mouth under this transit! If you've been struggling to keep opinions or observations to yourself, you might find it hard to keep them quiet, especially if you feel strongly about the situation. You might see things as more "cut and dried" than usual. Although you might feel frustrated if things don't happen in a direct, quick, straightforward way, it can also be a good time to make decisions and move forward with plans. On one hand, this can have a positive effect because it can give you courage to speak your mind and assert yourself candidly and honestly. On the other hand, you might also come across as abrupt, cranky, argumentative or even downright hostile, especially if you've been stuffing down anger or resentment for a while. This transit represents a new beginning in how you can handle self-assertiveness, communication and decision-making. By "listening to" your impulses, passions and urge to speak your truth, you can get an idea how your "inner voice" wants to emerge – and how to do that without annihilating the other person. ;-)

Feb.20 – Mercury conjunct Neptune (28:31 of Aquarius)  (Feb.21 in UK, AU)

The imagination soars under this transit! Possibilities seem richer, insights appear more magical and creativity flows like liquid honey. Your intuition is likely to be more fluid, and you may even have psychic experiences. Dreams may be more vivid and active, including daydreams. You may feel a need for quiet meditation or just being alone with your own thoughts. Your mental focus may seem a bit blurred, although in the outer edges you may catch a glimpse of ideas and possibilities that you don't ordinarily notice. It can be an inspiring time if you are involved in creative activities, like artwork, music, writing and other creative forms of communication and self-expression. This is a time when your "Right Brain" (intuitive, creative, non-rational) may be very active. In fact, it might be a bit difficult to bring a sharp focus to your "Left Brain" (logical, rational, realistic). Your judgment and ability to be objective may be off, and you could be more prone to wishful thinking and flights of fantasy. If you're making an important decision now, it may be wise to do a reality check with a trusted friend before you commit yourself.

Feb.20 – Mars conjunct Neptune (28:31 of Aquarius)  (Feb.21 in UK, AU)

This can be a strange time of lethargic confusion or uplifting inspiration or both! On one hand, you might feel very motivated by creative and spiritual inspiration, as new possibilities seem to appear magically in your imagination. On the other hand, you may feel a bit like you've lost your "edge," where your focused energy feels blunted or blurred. Direct action may not be possible, easy or effective, and as a result it could be easy to lapse into feeling a bit powerless, lethargic or discouraged. You may have to act on faith instead of fact; and whether this is a "good" or "bad" experience will largely depend on how comfortable you are with ambiguity. This transit initiates a new cycle of working with these themes that lasts about 2 years. The events and issues that come up now likely have more to them than you see on the surface, and the deeper levels will unfold and develop throughout the coming cycle.

Feb.21 – Mercury enters Pisces (until Mar.09)  (Feb.22 in AU)

Imagination, dreams, creativity and intuition are more easily accessible while Mercury floats through Pisces. You may be more impressionable, appreciative and open to ideas that previously had seemed improbable, unrealistic or silly. This is a good transit for any creative work – writing, music, artistic projects, or just putting ideas together in new ways. Problem solving could benefit now, because it may be easier to think beyond the limiting boundaries of the situation. On the other hand, it might also be easier to become caught in confusion, ambiguity or ambivalence, since the sharp edges of definition may be easily blurred or distorted. This is a time when the "Right Brain" – the intuitive, creative and non-rational side of the mind – can be more active. As a result, meditation, dreams and daydreams may be more accessible. Unfortunately, illusion and deception might also be more convincing and enticing, since critical and objective thinking could be a bit harder to maintain. You might also experience some mental lethargy and need to give your mind a rest. Try going to a movie, or read an entertaining novel, or spend some quality "alone time" with yourself. Or, take a long walk in a park or by a body of water, where you can enjoy the luxury of just appreciating nature and "being" instead of "doing." Some harmless or entertaining escapism can be a great way to give yourself a mental vacation – just don’t get stuck there. Explorations of spiritual experience and thought can also bring new insights and inspiration under this transit.

Feb.22 – Mercury conjunct Chiron (00:55 of Pisces)

Words can wound, but they can also heal. This transit may bring new awareness of the ways that you need to heal...and perhaps also the ways that you wound yourself or others, especially through thoughts, words and attitudes. You might become aware of harming yourself through negative self-talk or harsh self-criticism. Or, you might expect rigid perfection of yourself and forget that you are a multi-dimensional being who is, by your human nature, inconsistent and fallible. Your mental focus or attitude might have a sharp edge to it that is harsh, or you may encounter harsh attitudes from someone else that are hurtful, perhaps without meaning to be. Words and thoughts can be powerful tools. By reframing the message or situation in a different way, it is possible to turn hurt into healing and ignorance into wisdom. For example, it may help to eliminate either-or thinking by accepting that paradoxes and contradictions exist and may not have to be fully resolved for you to find a workable balance within them. By adopting a bit of a philosophical attitude, you may find it takes some of the pressure off the need for everything to fit together perfectly, which can leave some breathing room for everyone involved to be human.

Feb.22 – Mars enters Pisces (until Apr.02)  (Feb.23 in UK, AU)

Mars in Pisces can feel like you're boxing with a cloud. Your motives and actions may seem to be led in some direction, rather than you consciously choosing what to do. Expressing anger or taking an assertive stand may easily lose its impact. Emotions and motives that are normally focused can become blurred in a fog of indecision and ambiguity. However, you may also be able to connect more easily to spiritual, intuitive, artistic and creative energy. Listen to your body and observe your spontaneous actions – what would they mean if you were having a dream? These things can give you clues about unconscious motives, feelings and perceptions (about yourself or others). In a way, you are more connected to the twilight spaces between worlds, which can make it hard to feel powerful or effective in the "real" world. It can therefore be tempting to slip into a kind of "victim mentality." Or, you might feel despondent, apathetic or kind of "spacey." It can help to do things that feed your spirit without needing to pump yourself up artificially.

Feb.24 – Mars conjunct Chiron (01:03 of Pisces)

There is a lot of potential for both healing and harm under this transit. The forcefulness of Mars is like a surgeon's scalpel that can heal by cutting through resistance, lethargy, pain or denial – but could also be a knife that causes damage when not used with precision and care. The healing aspect of this energy can bring some relief to chronic or persistent problems, but if inflicted with anger, hostility or insensitivity it could just aggravate those problems. Physical energy could be affected by this transit, either beginning a new approach that can bring improved strength, or by depleting your energy through physical, emotional or spiritual malaise. You might feel a bit discouraged or powerless...or you might start to see a light at the end of the tunnel that you can start to move toward. This is the beginning of a new cycle of working with these combined energies, which lasts about 2 years. To participate with positive intention in this initiation, it can help to observe what conflicts, problems or struggles come up around this time, since there is something about these issues that will unfold and develop over the next two years.

Feb.25 – Sun conjunct Mercury (06:23 of Pisces)

During this transit, your sense of self and purpose can become merged with what you think, perceive and say. On one hand, this can make for an easy flow of ideas and communication from inside your brain to the external world. It can also increase your perceptions and observations of the world, as you file it all away in your internal database. On the other hand, you may find yourself a bit tongue-tied, as it could be hard to separate your sense of self from your perceptions and ideas enough to find the words to adequately express them. In that case, just observe and go with the flow; the words will come later. It can also be a time when it's not easy to be objective, especially about yourself and how you bring yourself to the world around you. It's like your Being automatically expresses and sets into motion the things you think, perceive and want to say. This can help you to feel like your sense of self is shining effortlessly, but if your thoughts and perceptions are in conflict with other parts of you (e.g., emotions, needs, objectivity) then it might become a time when you act a little too quickly with blinders on. Strive for balance and self-honesty before you act.

Feb.25 – Mercury sextile Pluto (07:02 of Pisces/Capricorn)  (Feb.26 in AU)

Penetrating insights and passionate communication are possible under this transit ...although, so is speaking more forcefully than you intend to about things that require a bit of delicacy or discretion. It is also a time when your mental concentration can come together so easily that you become obsessed. You may prefer in-depth discussion to small-talk, and it might feel awkward if you aren't able to explore the depths in your interaction or communication with others. However, you likely have an increased ability to pick up on undercurrents of what's happening around you. This is also a time when you can start to shed and leave behind old worn out perceptions and ways of communicating. You also have an increased ability to take thoughts, ideas and information and transform them into something healing ...or wounding. Choose your words carefully and mindfully. Writing down your thoughts and ideas to capture the energy of this transit can help you gather the deeper qualities.

Feb.25 – Jupiter square Pluto (07:02 of Aries/Capricorn)  (Feb.26 in AU)  (This is a Cardinal Cross aspect.)

Jupiter, the planet of justice and morality, and Pluto, the planet of intensity and power, are glaring suspiciously at each other, circling around and deciding if they should launch into full battle. At best, these two energies will come together to "fight the good fight" against a common enemy, whether that be an honourable principle or the behaviour of a more human adversary. At worst these planets could enter into warfare over the (perceived) tyranny of religious beliefs, the truth about controversial or ambiguous events, or the blame and judgment of enemies who you "just know" are in the wrong. Either way, this conflict might take place inside you, where different beliefs or attitudes are giving you mixed feelings about something, or you might find yourself at loggerheads with someone over differences of opinion. The key is to pick your battles and to do only what's necessary to achieve the result you want. The danger is that what starts out as a conviction to stand up on principle against something you believe is wrong could mushroom into a "scorched earth" crusade against the entire realm of villainy. Some objectivity, compassion and mercy will go a long way to ensure that everyone benefits from the peacetime that will hopefully come out of this.

This is the last of 3 passes of this transit: Jul.25.2010, Aug.03.2010 and Feb.25.2011. During the first two passes, this was part of the Cardinal Cross aspect figure. Uranus was part of that figure in 2010 but is too far out of orb for the opposition to Saturn at this time. However, Jupiter and Saturn are widely opposite now, so from roughly Mar.21-31, we are revisiting some of the Cardinal Cross energy with this Jupiter-Pluto square.

Whereas last year's Cardinal Cross was a time for deep transformation, restructuring and re-visioning, now is more a time to go back and put the finishing touches on some of the work and changes you did last year. This may require you to push your vision a little further beyond the shadowy edges of your comfort zone. If you are really going to shine a light in the darkness, you have the opportunity to broaden your light of understanding, ethics, principles, belief and knowledge a bit further, so it's important to keep your mind's eye focused on the goal. That goal needs to be connected to something greater than yourself (spiritually or otherwise) and allow you to expand into new possibilities. Allow your faith in something better to guide you!

Feb.25 – Sun sextile Pluto (07:02 of Aries/Capricorn)  (Feb.26 in UK, AU)

Your sense of purpose is potentially strong now, being able to tap into a deeper level of energy and determination. Your personality may be more forceful now, which can be great if you need to make a strong impression but perhaps not so much in situations requiring delicacy or subtlety. You have greater ability to see below the surface of things now, although it may not be as easy to put it all together and understand what it all means. It can be possible to unearth secrets or get at the core of unconscious patterns (yours and others'). However, you'll have to work to harvest the fruit of these potentials, and some of the insights and benefits may not become apparent until later.

Mar.01 – Venus sextile Uranus (29:25 of Capricorn/Pisces)  (Mar.02 in AU)

Relationships, finances, resources and pleasures could benefit from spontaneously trying a completely different approach. If these areas of your life have been getting a little stale or too routine, this transit could shake things up a little...just enough to make things interesting and breathe some fresh air into your familiar routine. Unexpected income could come your way, or you might discover something you just can't resist buying, or you might have an opportunity to make new social connections. The upside of this transit is that it's possible to break free of old habits and enjoy spontaneous interaction. The downside could come in the form of impulse purchases that are beyond your budget, or behaving a bit recklessly or making snap decisions that you can't live with later. This energy is best used to break free of what restricts you, without shattering the foundation you're standing on.

Mar.01 – Venus enters Aquarius (until Mar.27)  (Mar.02 in UK, AU)

Relationships, material abundance and values take a step back to gain perspective, detachment and room to breathe in freedom. You may find that you want to use your finances and resources to benefit those who are disadvantaged or to support the greater good of society in some way. It can be a good time to experiment or try new things, to network with groups of people, and to take an objective view about intimacy and interaction. Relationships can take on an idealistic edge, seeking a state of equality and rebelling against imbalances that give one person advantage over the other. Having a strong element of friendship in your intimate relationships may become very important during this time, and friendships themselves could take a central place in your life. Detachment without disconnection is the ideal here. You may not be in a position to foresee future possibilities and translate desires into wishes and new hope.

Mar.03 – North Lunar Node enters Sagittarius (until Aug.29.2012)

The North Lunar Node moves into Sagittarius, while the South Lunar Node moves into Gemini. It's time to point yourself in the direction of embracing your higher nature. This could be done by developing your sense of spirituality, embracing a deeper sense of faith, sharing and/or expanding your knowledge, discovering greater meaning in your life, or perhaps exploring foreign lands, cultures and languages. You might find it easier sometimes to stick with what's already familiar and known; for example, you might find yourself falling back into old negative beliefs, staying close to home, clinging to the same old ways of understanding life instead of being open to new ideas and perspectives. However, it's important to stretch yourself into the areas mentioned first, at least some of the time, so that you don't stagnate and can continue to grow. It doesn't have to mean throwing away what is tried and true, but it may help to move these into the background while you explore new experiences. The North Node is in Sagittarius (and the South Node in Gemini) from Aug.1992 to Feb.1994, Mar.2011 to Aug.2012, and Sep.2029 to Mar2031.

Mar.03 – Mars sextile Pluto (07:09 of Pisces/Capricorn)  (Mar.04 in UK, AU)

This can be a time of intense and powerful energy. It can be especially so if you focus your intention to tap into and use this energy deliberately, although if you are triggered into a reaction you might find it is more forceful than you intended. This can be a good time to make changes that have far-reaching, transformative effects. Your powers of persuasion can be stronger now, so be careful you don't try to force things to the point of making something happen that perhaps should be left alone or treated with a gentler touch. Sex and other passionate urges may rise more easily now, although obsession and the need to control your surroundings might come up with them. This transit is perhaps best used to refresh your sense of passion and transform your sense of purpose and direction.

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