By Eric Francis
WE’VE JUST COME through the Full Moon Door: the Leo Full Moon, which has kept life and consciousness moving at a brisk pace. For the next month that tempo is likely to increase. Starting with this past Sunday’s Aquarius ingress of the Sun, we are in a time of rapidly shifting cosmic gears, including Mars stationing direct next week. The biggest double-clutch of them all is Pluto making its first ingress into Capricorn, which occurs Jan. 25. Pluto has been in Sagittarius since 1995, so this is a significant change in the cosmic climate. If the planets are paints on canvas, Pluto is the layer of wash beneath the background that gives the entire painting its cast. Much of the February horoscope explores this one transit. This is a month with two eclipses. (The most recent eclipses were in August.) They tend to come in pairs, each pair about every six months. They arrive with a wave of change, progress, a bit of stirring the pot and useful discontinuity. Eclipses are the time to make and break patterns. The solar eclipse of Feb. 6/7, depending on your time zone (not visible in North America) is a dramatic rebellious grand conjunction of planets in Aquarius not seen since the early 1960s. Then the Sun shifts into relatively placid Pisces and we have an eclipse of the Moon in Virgo on Feb. 20. This pair of eclipses will give us the distinct feeling of the season changing, though the beginning of spring is still about six weeks from now. Please note that there is a Mercury retrograde in Aquarius between Jan. 28 and Feb. 18. Aquarius is the true sign of the mind. The retrograde will allow us to fly into a headwind and take off into some new ideas about our lives.
Aries (March 20-April 19)
You seem to be stretching yourself across the polarities of a contradiction of some kind, and I don’t think it’s particularly comfortable for you. You’re the kind of person who likes to go straight ahead, and for the past few months you’ve had to run through a kind of labyrinth, though running every direction but forward. Within a few days, you should at least be putting one foot in front of the other, but that won’t mean much if you come to the edge of a cliff. That particular paradox is going to resolve itself in what now seems like an unexpected or unpredictable way. If that’s true, you may ask yourself: why worry now? Well, it would help a lot if you use your imagination to stretch across that chasm. This is the awesome human faculty most often used negatively, that is, in a self-defeating way (as fear of that which is non-existent). And you seem to have plenty of that going on. The closer you come to washing away your delusions and getting to what is real, the more gently and easily this situation will let go of its grip on your life.
Taurus (April 19-May 20)
You continue to be in a highly unusual window of professional opportunity. This will mean nothing to you if you’re committed to keeping your life the way it was yesterday. As I am so fond of reminding the world, progress implies change. Change involves taking a risk. That is philosophy, or maybe just horse sense. As an astrologer, I can tell you that you’ll never pass this way again. This month’s stunning solar eclipse, lighting up the professional angle of your chart, portends opportunity, freedom from routine and some unusual chances to materialize your visions. For some, it hints at chaos, too many choices, too much freedom or some kind of disruption. How do you get on the right side of this event? Start by dropping any attachment to how you’ve done things in the past. It may be easier to say, be friendly to what you don’t know or don’t quite understand. Affirm daily that life is a series of choices: decisions are the engines that turn the wheels of life, and what you want — the direct knowledge of what you really want — is the fuel.
Gemini (May 20-June 21)
You’re more accustomed to thinking about the moment you occupy than bothering yourself with plans that seem little more than abstractions. But the future is approaching you faster than you are approaching it, and I suggest you get ready. How exactly? You need to reach through your contact network, your immediate group of close friends, and any organizations you work with. These are among the basic keys to the life that is developing so rapidly. You have unusual manifesting power in your hands, and to put that to work, you must hold a vision that extends beyond what you are usually capable of. If you tend to think a month ahead, think two years. If you think a year ahead, think five. If you are the five-year kind of planner, go for 20. I am not saying that you need to plot out every detail of your life, rather that your ‘eventual’ vision or idea for your existence is going to skip over a few obstacles. Even if just a little, your ability to conceive of your future will help focus your foresight accurately and, more to the point, recognize what you want when it’s offered to you. In metaphysical terms, the normal rules of space and time are about to be suspended. What you need to fill in the blanks with is your imagination.
Cancer (June 21-July 22)
You need to proceed with precision this month on any arrangement involving sex, a contract or any amount of money over $100. I am aware that most people are too embarrassed to discuss sex and too scared to talk about the details of money or contractual agreements, but I suggest you play a good, tough game of balls-to-the-wall. In other words, try repeating these phrases, “These are the terms under which you get to have sex with me”; “I will do this much work and/or give you this much time in exchange for this much money”; “Please clarify exactly what you mean by that statement, and I will tell you exactly what I expect from you.” It is true, as Fritz Perls points out so astutely, that we are not in this life to meet one another’s expectations. But in order to be free from that kind of entanglement, the first step is having clear, grounded and cognitively founded expectations. In other words, not wishes, dreams or emotionally grounded hopes, but clear statements of I will and I will not; I want and I do not want.
Leo (July 22-Aug. 23)
The forthcoming solar eclipse in your opposite sign may feel like flying a fighter plane down an alleyway, but you have the skill and the awareness to do it. Don’t think of what can go wrong — just fly your airplane. Don’t think of how you lack the skill or the time to accomplish certain goals, or relate in a direct way to certain people with whom you crave contact and connection. Rather, think of the energy and the motivation that you have, and your particular need to get the job done, and done well. This is more an exercise in what you don’t need to sacrifice rather than what you do. Yet if you must give up a goal, make it one that’s not such a big part of your plan. Typically, our greater objectives in life die the death of a thousand cuts from the many things that distract us from what is central, essential and the most satisfying. In this moment of clearing your life, make a point to move along from what does not work, and to nourish what does.
Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22)
You are either feeling pushed or determined to achieve your goals, and either way, working with some unusual level of energy. You have a lot going for you, and you’re headed for an authentic breakthrough — please do not push your health. You may need to be a bit of a tyrant with yourself about this; the habits you create now are the ones that will follow you for the next six months. Take this month and strive for balance. Build the concept into everything that you do, touch and feel. Whenever you’re feeling out of sorts, consider the matter of equilibrium. Eat when you’re hungry, drink when you’re thirsty and sleep when you’re tired. As the year progresses, you’re only going to become more determined to achieve certain long-cherished goals, build your vision and live your dreams. To do that you need to take the most exquisite care possible of your physical vehicle — and your mental one. Choose three or four things that nourish your mind, and do them regularly.
Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23)
What are the conditions on unconditional love? They exist. It is rare that a person is capable of loving without condition, though it happens. Usually, we live out our agreements, be they conscious or not, helpful or not. It seems like someone is leveling a condition that you need to meet, consider its origin and its purpose. There may be something going on regarding your being allowed admission to some kind of group or gathering. This may specifically (but not necessarily) involve a same-gender situation — all men or all women. I suggest you approach the situation from an arm’s length and not dive in too quickly. I suggest you back off all the more if anyone presses you with an unusual sense of urgency, attempts to make an excuse of some kind of lameness, or tries to convince you that you have something in common with them that you actually do not. The point is this: there is someplace you belong, and it’s a lot more exciting, daring, creative and productive than you may yet imagine. So if you don’t belong somewhere, don’t be there. Then try something new.
Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22)
The long journey through Mars retrograde wraps up in the last days of January, and it has been quite a ride — one that most people forgot they were on. It likely had a profound effect on your relationships, perhaps enabling you to rearrange or even free yourself from agreements that had been stuck for years. Not everything has gone right but not everything has gone so wrong. The truth is, you need fewer commitments. We all do, though at least this experience has allowed you to evaluate both the costs and the gains of the arrangements you are in, and to make some difficult choices. On the personal level, you’ve had ample opportunity to see both sides of someone else, and both sides of yourself as you relate to certain situations in your life. You now get to do some of these things over, but do yourself a favor and don’t make the same mistakes twice. To do that you need to have some understanding of what those mistakes were. You also need to recognize the importance of making only promises that you know you can keep.
Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22)
You are breaking free, but don’t break too free too fast. A process that has taken a very long time to work itself out is not quite over yet. Another process that has begun will not be rooted for at least one more year. I refer mainly to Pluto leaving your sign and entering another vitally important region of your solar chart, Capricorn. To sum up this transit, you are working for your financial, intellectual and sexual independence. Pluto in recent years has put an unusual emphasis on the external version of you. The move toward Capricorn brings the emphasis inside you, and will in many new ways compel you to ground into your own inner strength. Your integrity will be tested; you will have to make decisions about what matters, and these will not be academic or theoretical. But all of this will occur in good time. For many reasons right now, you are feeling the power of your assets. You sense your intelligence and now comes the time to gradually learn how to apply these things productively to your daily life. These four words are your mantra for the foreseeable future: I believe in myself.
Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20)
You may be shocked at how much you have going for you, if you look. I have finally decided that what most of the world suffers from is a depletion of self-esteem. Do you? Well, how would you know? It’s a little like the question, “Am I depressed?” Most people can’t describe a reality that they are sitting in the middle of. Anyway, the danger you face at the moment is that of allowing others to dictate your worth, or to tell you how you feel about yourself. There’s a vast amount of conformism on this issue of how we all feel about ourselves. Within certain groups, people are only allowed to be so happy, so successful, so sexually liberated, or so true to themselves. If they want to exceed that, they may face excommunication. As a result, there’s a strong tendency in our culture to aspire to mediocrity. This way, nobody is offended. And what has this got to do with you? Well, two forces are acting on you now. One, all of the nonsense I described above and two, the raging need to step out and be real. The two cannot coexist.
Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19)
The forthcoming eclipse of the Sun in your birth sign has the power to make what seems like a very complicated situation seem extremely simple. Before you get there, though, you may have to endure what seems like untenable or unfair pressure. I suggest you start working the numbers now. Don’t let this one get on top of you — stay on top of it. Eclipses are power tools. If you handle them properly, they drill through steel. If you don’t, they drill through you, just as happily. With a power tool, your mind does most of the work: you have to guide the thing, direct its force, and remember that it’s possible to go too far without realizing what you’re doing. Your first ruling planet Saturn is in excellent form in Virgo, allowing you to think and plan details carefully. You must balance this with the energy of your other ruling planet, Uranus, which is currently in Pisces — the sign of imagination. Too much of either counts for unhealthy excess. Most importantly, there is no substitute in this world for sturdy shoes and keeping your feet on the ground.
Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)
An eclipse in your sensitive 12th house, and another on your relationship angle, are calling your attention to your inner world and your most immediate relationships. You need to simplify your life, and these events will help you do that. Both represent opportunities. Both are thresholds to the life pattern you have been creating with so much focus, and to shift the direction of events if you will dare to try. By now, you’re beginning to see the rewards of your efforts, or rather; you are if you recognize them for what they are. There is no room in your life for defeatism right now, nor any use. Recognize it when you see it.If you meet every challenge with not only willingness, but also with faith that it’s smaller than you, you’ll take these developments in stride. Remember that while it’s possible to attain your dreams without knowing what they are, it’s not that much fun. You’re here to live your life consciously, making conscious choices. The opposite of a choice is an excuse. The opposite of an excuse is an authentic objective that you respect as part of who you are. For the next few weeks, I suggest you strive for no goal that exists outside yourself.