Leo Full Moon on Saturday (and a conjunction)

Dear Friend and Reader:

The Sun, Mercury and Mars are in Aquarius, and the Moon is heading for Leo. That means we will have the Leo Full Moon on Saturday at 11:38 pm EST. The Full Moon is a peak of emotional energy, though with Leo and Aquarius involved, it might be the clear, bold emotional quality of courage, awareness, or the desire to do your thing.

Photo by Eric Francis, Brussels, Belgium.

Mars has been keeping Aquarius hot for a while (Mars arrived on Dec. 25). This transit might manifest as the desire to stand out from groups, or the conscious use of collective opinion to influence an outcome. (Mars in Aquarius was prominent in the chart for Sunday’s official though private inauguration of Pres. Obama.)

A small, meaningful planet named Nessus is also in Aquarius — that’s a longterm visitor (10-year trip or so) and Mars is about to form a conjunction with Nessus on Jan. 26, a few hours before the Leo Full Moon. Nessus is a centaur planet (discovered in 1993, and similar to Chiron) that includes the theme of consequences. It also includes the theme of potentially inappropriate sexual contact.

I think of it as the cycle of karma having its influence — that is to say, it’s an indicator to look at the theme of cause and effect. Aquarius is the sign of groups and collective mentality. This is about cooperation, and it’s also about how several nice people can, collectively, become a jerk.

We may see the emergence of the dark heart of groupthink; you may notice the effects that pressure from peers and social groups has had on your life (a lot more than you think, probably).

Mars conjunct Nessus has an angry, rebellious feeling, yet it might also represent the drive to break away from any group mentality that is not working for you, or that has hurt you in the past. If material comes up, on any level (some might be deeply personal) this is a fine opportunity to seek resolution or healing — but don’t expect others to go along with you.

This may be the individuality piece of the equation; that you seek the support and assistance you need without the need for others to approve of you. This would be especially true if the whole issue is centered on alienation.

Aquarius is also the sign of ideas. As a fixed air sign, it can be the sign of fixed (as in stuck) ideas and the insistence that one is right. Mars conjunct Nessus in Aquarius is a caution to be on the lookout for ways in which ‘being right’ is toxic. It often is; not always, and sometimes it’s a matter of approach. But this aspect is about noticing any way you may insist you’re ‘right’ when you’re really no such thing; you’re merely stuck.

Photo by Eric Francis, Utrecht, Netherlands.

If you’re noticing that, this is your chance to get unstuck. It’s your chance to rethink, or to actually start thinking. Much of that stuckness may involve what you think other people want you to think, which may be significantly different from your real opinion.

Get clear. Step out. Act in ways that conform to your conscience, not the one that others try to impose on you.

One approach or perhaps antidote to, or opportunity available from, the current astrology is to talk about your taboos. This is the ‘missing thing’ in society — not talking about the taboos of others but rather, your own. When we focus on the alleged petty social transgressions of others, it’s called scandal. This is a way of avoiding being real about our own feelings, desires, conflicts and the ways we don’t personally fit in. It’s a way of participating in all of the suppression that we complain about. Scandal is a way of avoiding truths about ourselves and our collective experience.

At its most creative, grounded and authentic, Mars conjunct Nessus is an image of a bold assertion of one’s own reality, including the ways that we’re influenced by the dramas of scandal and also what is left out of the conversation entirely.

There’s other support for this in the current and developing astrology. One is that Jupiter and Chiron are holding a long square, from Gemini to Pisces. This is about the focused and pointed use of knowledge. Jupiter to Chiron aspects can have a crusading spirit, including an impassioned need to get some form of information out.

Just make sure you check your facts and really account for the validity of your point of view before you go too far with that; Jupiter in Gemini might not care much for accuracy, but Chiron surely does. To my thinking this aspect has two immediate peaks of action — the first is Jan. 30, when Jupiter stations direct, and the second is March 27, when there’s an exact square between Jupiter and Chiron; this is the last of three.

Peace protest outside the European Commission headquarters, Brussels, Belgium. Photo by Eric Francis.

Mars changing signs from Aquarius to Pisces is reason for care and awareness, though it’s a richly creative aspect. That happens Feb. 1. Soon after, on Feb. 4, Mars makes a conjunction to Neptune. This can be pleasure-seeking to the point of being self-destructive (this is not a good time to drink all the liquor in the house so you can get rid of it and quit drinking, though for sure a few people will try).

It can also be a lavish time for the imagination, though there’s a need for self-control, particularly where the mind enters the fear/paranoia spectrum. Things that are not real can seem real; things that are safe can seem dangerous and vice versa. It would be helpful to know what you’re actually dealing with if your fear suddenly acts up.

You will find out one way or the other when Mars makes a conjunction to Chiron on Feb. 12 — the second conjunction to a centaur in a short time; much of what you experience during Mars-Nessus may start to make additional sense during Mars-Chiron.

The Sun ingresses Pisces on Feb. 18.

Mercury is retrograde from Feb. 23 through March 17. This is the first of three Mercury retrogrades this year that take place exclusively in the water signs; this one takes place in Pisces, the next (during early summer) in Cancer and the last (in the autumn) in Scorpio.

Naturally, this is a comment on learning what we’re feeling — to actually notice and be aware of what we’re feeling. Mercury in these situations is less about thought and more about awareness of emotions. Though Mercury and Venus are currently in airy Aquarius, it’s always a good time to monitor and be aware of your emotional realm.

Much of what motivates you comes from there, so if you want some answers to the elusive question of why (as in, why am I acting this way?) this is where to tune in.


Aquarius Birthdays: Mars-Nessus, Desire, Light, Shadow 

If you have a birthday anywhere in the neighborhood, you have the Mars-Nessus conjunction in your solar return chart. This is an invitation to embrace your whole self, including the darker shades of your emotions. You must go below the public relations image you have of yourself and recognize that you have many deeper layers and that you’re being invited to focus on what you’re learning there. One question is, how do you deal with desire? Do you feel good about it, or do you go into conflict? There’s likely a mix; I suggest you get to know the diversity of your inner responses. These may relate to circumstances or events from your early environment that were imprinted on you, got lost beneath the surface, and are now coming up for resolution. Meanwhile as the year develops, you’re likely to feel increasingly passionate about who you are and what you believe. This is a real breakthrough for you, though remember that you’ll probably run into moments of “the brighter the light, the darker the shadow.” Move through the shadow consciously and you will keep returning to the light, which is the faith in who you are.

Planet Waves Monthly Horoscope for February 2013 | By Eric Francis

Aries (March 20-April 19) — You may find yourself drawn into social environments, though I suggest you take a strategic approach — spend only as much time there as it takes to meet your objective. That might include meeting the one person you know you were ‘supposed’ to meet, having one conversation, making a cameo and moving on, or hanging out in the back room during your own party. I say this for two reasons, besides the fact that the social realm can be a waste of time, energy and aspiration. One current reason is you need to be careful of group dynamics, and conscious when you’re in their midst. I would encourage you not to surrender your power to a group. Another is that small shifts in trajectory will take you in significantly different directions from the one you’re currently moving in, and it’s necessary to be aware of when you feel that change. Last is that you have deeper pleasures waiting for you than those you can have in public, hence, the social realm is merely a means to something better, and that something better is the thing you want. Part of creating it will involve setting up the environment for it to manifest; the idea that comes to mind is containment, a kind of world apart. Make sure that your home is prepared, with various libations and the implements of pleasure (soft lighting, clean sheets, phones disconnected, suitable music) and then go with the flow.

Taurus (April 19-May 20) — Your charts indicate some unusual progress in your career, though if you’re part of an organization, remember that you’re not in this alone. I suggest that your real success is about being a positive, professional influence on the people around you as well as on the creative flow. There’s something about understanding the nature of how choices and actions turn to consequences, and the ways that process can be intervened in early on to create better outcomes. That’s another way of saying be proactive and what, to you, may feel like vigilant. If you’re working with others in their leadership capacity, remember that you have extra influence because of that contact; use it judiciously. The theme of this moment is that it’s not all about you, and in connecting with that, you may discover a realm of personal satisfaction that you’ve never felt before. Many people fear that they will have to ‘give themselves up’ to be part of something larger than they are, though if that’s true, then there is some other problem. Your current astrology is about discovering, encountering and fully engaging who you are, within a context. If you use your sense of perspective and maturity to see that context, you may notice that you have the sensation of being a visitor, not just to this particular situation but to the world itself. The nice thing about being a visitor is that you can exchange a sense of ownership for a sense of stewardship. I think you will like it.

Gemini (May 20-June 21) — Take care handling your professional affairs this month. Your chart indicates the possibility of some authentic success or breakthrough, particularly in matters where your creative life intersects with your work life. You could discover a bold, vivid sense of purpose. However, if you are not 100% impeccable on matters of communication, that will come back to you. Therefore, begin now making sure that your intentions are precisely aligned with your words. Keep people up to date about what in your life influences them. I suggest you be careful about any tendency you may have to yield to your doubts and change your mind. I know that change is in the nature of the universe and you in particular have a mental state that’s constantly on the move. Often you decide that there’s something that just looks like it might be better. However, you and the people around you will benefit from your consistency through any relatively brief phase of doubt, challenge or adversity. Being a pro means sticking with things through moments of uncertainty, and being true to your vision. Therefore, trust your original intentions, and I strongly suggest, honor your original commitment, at least through the Mercury retrograde from Feb. 23 through March 17. You may have the sensation of swimming upstream during this phase, or meeting some inner resistance, though the real rewards are on the other side of this event, if you give yourself the gift of consistency.

Cancer (June 21-July 22) — Some of the most appealing people you meet this month will resemble you the least. As one born under the sign Cancer, familiarity is something you treasure, understandably enough. I suggest that this month you place an enhanced value on what is different, interesting and which challenges your emotional perspective. For example, if you have a tactile approach to contact, or if you like affection demonstrated openly, you may experience some unusual pleasures from someone who takes a more detached approach. Overall, actually, a bit of detachment would be a good approach; I suggest that you sidestep any urge to make a ‘permanent’ bond with someone at this point. The wheel of your life is spinning pretty quickly, and there’s still no telling where it’s going to stop. Therefore, this is a good time to place a high value on your freedom of movement and your freedom to choose. Leave your options open — particularly if you feel pressured to make a decision by your friends (or by some other social pressure) to make a commitment you don’t feel right about making. It’s not always obvious when these kinds of influences are applied, or when we’re falling for them; I suggest you pay careful attention. The idea here, as I’ve suggested, is to leave some options open for the near future, when many other options are likely to manifest. Chances are you’ll discover that you can have worthwhile experiences in the moment, without clinging to them.

Leo (July 22-Aug. 23) — Don’t be too hard on yourself, and make sure that you depend on the presence of others in your life to take care of you as much as you take care of them. They are there and they are willing to help. However, don’t expect anyone to read your mind. Be as clear as you can be about what you want and need. This may bring up some interesting emotional dynamics for you. These in turn may include various shades of wondering whether your environment really is friendly, whether you can trust people to support you, and so on — most of which have no reality in the present, but are more like relics from ancient history. It can be challenging to see these relics for what they are, as they tend to show up in consciousness as something real and immediate. It’s just not always obvious that they are some kind of memory fragment bubbling to the surface, pretending to be real now. The thing to watch out for is projection: for example, ascribing your own fears to someone else. You may need to be vigilant about claiming what you own, so that you can be clear about who others really are and what they are offering you. If anything gets in the way of an authentic exchange, check for projection. If you can keep this boundary clear, an unusual alignment that happens around the 10th of the month may represent a meaningful turning point not just in one relationship but in how you experience all relationships.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22) — The planets seem aligned to reveal just how much someone in your life means to you, despite any challenges that may exist in the relationship. The situation looks like the perfect setup for healing, though if you miss that particular point (for example, by getting caught in any drama, or by misinterpreting someone’s desire for you as a form of aggression), you may find yourself in an unnecessarily complex situation. It will be helpful if you use your intuition and anticipate someone’s needs in advance — or use your experience with them and remember where they are coming from. It’s not up to you to fix anyone, but it will serve both your purposes and theirs if you hold open the space for their emotional process. This may feel like you’re going against the grain of your personality, though that’s exactly what you need to do for the benefit of making space for your own emotional process. By offering your empathy to someone you care about, you’re learning to offer your empathy to yourself. This really is a case of ‘you cannot give what you do not have’. In this situation, trust will be one of the most meaningful forms of empathy, including allowing the space for someone to change their mind a few times without deciding that they are trying to deceive you in some way. I don’t think that’s true; there are deep, potentially ambiguous feelings involved, though this does not dampen your love in any way.

Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23) — Your creativity may, at the moment, be in service of something else, something besides your personal creative aspirations. From the look of your solar chart, that could work well for you, as a way of deepening your talent, establishing yourself professionally and as a satisfying way to express yourself. Creativity is often confused with something personal. At times, that is true, though this attribute is over-emphasized in our romanticized, glory-oriented notions of what it means to express oneself. You are playing a pivotal role within some organization or group structure. Your devotion is providing stability to guide others around you through various everyday challenges and the occasional unusual challenge. This is a situation where the more you put in, the more you will get back, though you don’t have to think of it that way; rather, the more you put in, the better things will go, for you and for everyone. If you maintain awareness of how there are certain challenges inherent in human nature, you will see the way those challenges can be subverted, minimized or even resolved through creative thinking. You seem to have ideas that are ahead of the crowd or the curve, and I suggest you not hold back. Say what you’re thinking. Be clear when you notice a problem, even if you don’t have a solution for it; your mere acknowledgment of the issue will set the creative process and the group mind into motion. But that’s not enough; make sure you follow through.

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22) — You’re headed for a passionate month, though you’ve likely already noticed this developing. The sign Pisces, one of the most dependable sources of pleasure in your life, is gradually filling up with planets, which will reach a peak in the coming weeks. You may find yourself taking emotional and erotic risks you’ve only dreamed of, though never imagined you could make real. This is a healthy, creative place for you to hang out. I would caution you about one thing, though, which is a potentially slippery aspect of emotional communication that might appear late in the month. No two humans ever agree on everything. It’s up to us to find and honor the common ground that we might share. You will be able to help matters considerably with your willingness to listen, and to really understand where someone else is coming from. This will help you identify the mutual space you can share with someone, based on actual intimate knowledge. Remember that you have more flexibility than you credit yourself for, and more than you generally like to offer. I suggest you go the whole distance being generous with yourself. The pleasure you may share in this time of your life is a luxury and a privilege, though some would say it’s a basic human need. These things all may be true, and you can still offer your life to the improvement of the human condition, starting with the people you care about the most.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22) — What you think and how you feel are related, though they are two different things. Listen to both your thoughts and your feelings and you’ll get a dialog going, and get closer to a deeper level of personal truth. If you can reach that level of awareness of what’s actually real for you, you will discover that it’s a lot easier to get along with others. Said another way, honoring your inner reality opens up a capacity for intimacy that would decidedly not be there otherwise. Once you’re clear with yourself, any ambiguity that someone else may feel is a lot easier to work with. Once you have that inner dialog going, it becomes easier to set priorities that apply both in the world that exists within your personal space, and the bigger world outside your home. Speaking of, you are currently in contact with what is, in truth, a significant professional goal. You may doubt your ability to fulfill this one, and as the astrology has been developing, it tends to appear and then disappear from your radar. I suggest that you put this into manual mode. This particular goal may seem to fade away, though that’s an illusion; it will be back soon enough, and I would urge you to focus on it even when it’s not a priority knocking on your head all the time. Part of the sense of relief of not having it annoy you is the feeling of not being up to the task, though I assure you that is not true.

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20) — You have a rare opportunity to both tidy up your finances and take a significant step toward increased revenue from your profession. As for the tidying up, this is a matter of intention, discipline and structure. In the current version of the world I recommend that anyone serious about earning money from professional activities get a professional accountant on their team. Money flows toward structure. But it also flows toward purpose, and this is a time to focus your purpose. It’s not a time to drift and see what the future may hold; it is, to say it simply, time to get real. There is a purpose you are here to fulfill, and though you may live a while, you’re not going to live forever. That’s part of honoring the fact that things take time to develop and generally do not develop ‘on their own’. What you are doing seems to require actual planning, as well as cooperation and the cultivation of a niche market of some kind. It also seems to depend on the involvement of friends or associates with more experience than you have. To benefit from that knowledge base, you will need to open the side of your mind that is not inquisitive for its own sake, but rather focused on learning toward a specific goal. This is a new method of gaining understanding, one that may make you feel submissive to your subject matter for a while. I would rate that as a positive development.

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) — Remember what is the most meaningful to you. You might forget, or take it for granted. Who you value, what you value and what ideas you hold dear are worth not only contemplating, but acting on. Love in any form is an active process, though as frantic as the world is (and as your world gets at times), what you crave is love in action. I would add that this is not a magical process, but a human experience of making your way through an uncertain world; it’s the very opposite of taking anything for granted. In this spirit, I would propose that for you, failure is a means to success. Willingness to make mistakes is a key element of what is called ‘correct action’ that can lead to a good, whole and wholesome destination. You are a person who loves ideas, though fully engaging in the beauty of being a creature of blood and flesh and feelings is essential to your participation in the human family right now. Spirit is our home, though you are an incarnation, and that has a purpose — to embrace the complexities and challenges of existence rather than to avoid them in any way, and that includes embracing what you care deeply about but which in some way challenges you. You’ve probably thought of all of this before, though in my reading of the planets, now is a poignant moment for getting it from the realm of theory to that of tangible reality.

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) — An unusual alignment is gathering in your sign, which indicates an atypical, as in truly special, time in your life. Find a balance between moving with the flow and guiding yourself toward the destinations that you choose — and note that choosing is key. You may be tempted with moments when pushing the river seems like the thing to do, and others when drifting seems like the thing to do; consider this consciously so you do the right thing at the right time. Mars, Mercury and Chiron (among other influences) in your sign are saying focus on what you want, who you want and what you want to create. For a while you may feel like you are merely fantasizing, or asserting yourself into an energy field that is not exactly responsive, but I would urge you not to fall for that. You’re in one of the most workable environments you’ve ever been in, with lavish resources available to you. Rather than getting caught in the opinions or intentions of others, take what they say under advisement and allow it to inform you without any obligation to act. The complications of others are not yours, and you provide plenty of help, guidance and support merely by being yourself. By the time the Sun ingresses your sign on the 19th, you will feel the strength of your presence on the planet, and recognize that you’re an attractive, creative force, as well as one to be reckoned with.

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