Dear Friend and Reader:
MERCURY STATIONS direct in late Capricorn on Feb. 1, the week of Midwinter holiday or Imbolc. I measure the cross-quarters not by the traditional day stated in the almanac but as when the Sun is at 15 degrees of the fixed signs. According to Io Sprite, my astrology software, the Sun arrives at the midpoint of Aquarius at 11:49:48 am EST Tuesday, Feb. 3.
Mercury’s current retrograde began in early Aquarius, in degree 8 of that sign. The Sabian symbol is “beautifully gowned wax figures on display.” The theme: “The inspiration one may derive from the appearance of Exemplars who present to us the archetypes of a new culture.” One interesting thing about this moment is that we have indeed chosen people to look up to. We have embraced the idea that someone can set a positive example for us.
Mercury (actually, at this very moment) is straddling two richly contrasting signs: Aquarius representing ideas and an expanding vision, Capricorn representing the solid, practical matters of the world. The two are in a constant relationship, bonded by being neighbors and represented by Saturn. Normally we associate progress with Aquarius, but note that many of the greatest revolutionaries and visionaries of the future have a strong Capricorn signature in their chart.
Imbolc marks the midpoint of the winter season (summer in the Southern Hemisphere). The Sun will be halfway between the Capricorn ingress (the solstice) and the Aries ingress (the vernal equinox). In the Catholic tradition this point of the year is called Candlemas, a time when we take stock of how many candles are left, and if there are enough, light one in every window. (If you take part in this tradition, please take care of the curtains.) In marketing culture this is called Groundhog Day, though thankfully nobody is printing up greeting cards yet. This is a natural moment: it’s the tipping point of winter, when the season loses its grip and begins to slip into the next phase.
We are in the midst of an impressive Aquarius alignment, currently involving the Sun, Jupiter, Neptune and minor planets Juno, Nessus and Chiron. The Feb. 9 Full Moon is a penumbral lunar eclipse in Leo with the Aquarius Sun precisely conjunct Chiron, the image of mental clarity, technological precision and resolving something deep within the general realm of ‘father’. This is a precise alignment (in longitude) of four points: Chiron, the Earth, the Sun and the Moon. This follows the Jan. 26 annular (not annual; rather a particular kind of solar eclipse called annular, where the Moon does not fully block out the Sun) eclipse of the Sun in Aquarius and arrives with a gust of change from a fresh direction.
There actually is a spirit of cultural cohesion and shared values in the air of this Air sign, and as we take these next turns in the river’s bend, there is unusual potency in setting the guiding patterns we want to live by — a fact suggested by so much movement at the time of two eclipses. I am figuring out that it’s safe, sane and beautiful to dedicate my existence to loving and art. When I look around I see many people making similar discoveries. This is an inauguration of its own.
Yours & truly,
Aries (March 20-April 19)
Aries is the first sign of the zodiac, which is why you are always the designated driver of motivation: one expected to put the key into the cosmic ignition and start the engine of the universe. I would propose, though, that you shift your orientation from speed to quality — and that you do this partly in response to the feeling that you’re being observed and scrutinized. You are indeed more visible than ever, which is saying a lot. You are choosing to take a leadership role, which is getting the attention of others in leadership roles, whether it’s helpful attention or not. And while it’s clear that you’re trying to make a name for yourself, this needs to be filed under “don’t worry about it.” I suggest that in support of all your goals and honoring the fact that every move you make counts for extra right how, you be your own most thorough critic and most subdued publicist. Do nothing for the sake of appearances and downplay what you do for other reasons. Rather, ensure that your actions are worth the effort and the expense that is going into them. Work out petty rivalries with a compromising attitude. Remember that your greatest resource is the people around you, which is a reminder to share both responsibility and credit for what you take on. If you’re looking honestly, those nearby will deserve both.
Taurus (April 19-May 20)
Now begins a rare kind of journey for you, an extraordinarily conscious journey inward. You possess a passport to realms of awareness that are usually out of your reach. You may also notice that you’re walking through the world in a slightly altered state, as if you’re not 100% here, a fact I suggest you take note of, and do your best to counterbalance by grounding yourself. This word, grounding, is overused and under-explained. I would start with space and time: remembering where you are and who you are with at any given moment. Remember that people cannot read your mind, and if you seek their understanding, it’s your responsibility to explain yourself in language they can understand. Then there is inner grounding. What you encounter over the next few months may seem like more than you can handle psychologically, but in reality you’re going to acquire something you’ve been missing for a long time. You’ve exerted prodigious effort toward your worldly goals, and those are going to progress at their own pace. It’s the inner goal of self-recognition and self-affirmation that are the central focus of your charts right now, and I presume, your life on Earth. In short, you are seeking something that most people will claim is impossible to find; but if you give this process about three months, you may decide you have a different opinion.
Gemini (May 20-June 21)
Mercury has just finished spinning backwards, and it’s taken you on a trip from entertaining some high ideals to dealing with the practical matters of a business or partnership situation. Get ready to renegotiate anything you seem to have agreed to during the past few weeks. If you keep an attitude of looking for the opportunity contained within any sticking point, you’ll be able to accomplish just that. There were moments during the past few weeks when you seemed to arrive at the perfect, mutually beneficial arrangement and you may be wondering where that sense of cooperation went. With Mercury retrograde everything is a work in progress, particularly where human agreements are concerned. This is always true, but things are never quite what they seem under this astrology. I suggest that while you take in the abundant new information that is emerging from recent discoveries and disclosures, that you not drift too far from your original intent, or the spirit of what you agreed to before. Some of the particulars will change. Some of the circumstances are rearranging themselves, and at the moment we are in the middle of eclipses; these, for you, are a reminder to keep a wide perspective. Narrow is not going to work right now, but at the moment, the devil is indeed in the details.
Cancer (June 21-July 22)
While an eclipse of the Moon later this month is urging you to be careful with your finances, it’s also guiding you directly toward a discovery of some valuable resources that you have likely overlooked. The most important of those resources is something about yourself that you’re forgetting. Here’s the biggest clue that the astrology is offering. You’re dealing with something in yourself that you view as a flaw: a lack of confidence, an overactive generous spirit, forgetting to take care of yourself before you take care of others; this kind of thing. Inside that flaw is a tremendous strength, concealed by a belief. You keep remembering this, then you keep forgetting. This is the time to remember; and you may remember under some odd or unusual circumstance. It may be how you perceive another person’s struggle that clues you into what you’re really trying to figure out in yourself. Indeed, if you take a bold step and imagine that people are acting out your drama for you in an exaggerated form, and if you give yourself any advice that you feel you might want to give to them, you’re going to arrive at the heart of the matter faster than if you had the help of three therapists. But if you’re going to get the assistance of an expert or advisor, I suggest you choose one, who is either older than 50 or far more advanced than their years.
Leo (July 22-Aug. 23)
If you’re having an easy time in your relationships right now, don’t thank the planets; thank your own wisdom and maturity. Honor your ability to bear witness to what someone else is going through without having to get directly involved. Pay a moment of heed to the old idea that it’s a wise person who can learn from someone else’s mistakes. The circumstances of your life have their roots so far in the past that you might not remember them. Indeed, we barely remember what happened last week, but I suggest strongly that you pay attention and seek to understand the history of the situation. Most of us drag our old stuff around unconsciously, rarely coming to any authentic awareness of what it adds up to, offers as a gift or cautions about human nature. What you’re witnessing is likely to take some strange twists and turns within a concentrated period of time early in the month; I suggest that you leave your mind open and make no decisions until after a lunar eclipse in your sign then a conjunction to Neptune, all of which are clear after the 11th. Until then, so many distortions are possible that you won’t want to be held to anything you might say, and for that matter, whatever someone else might say. Drive slowly, and look and listen carefully till the mists clear.
Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22)
Any confrontation can be turned to your advantage: for partnership, for learning and for resolving old conflicts. Those may be outer conflicts but the charts seem to point to resolving an inner struggle of some kind, involving joining your whole being together as one holistic idea. It’s true that someone is approaching or meeting you face-on and seems to be pushing you further than you seem to want to, to change faster than is comfortable or express your full power. You’ve encountered this kind of situation before, perhaps many times before in recent years, and it would be interesting to hear about the sequence of inner responses you’ve had as time has progressed. It would be interesting to hear your process of taking on board the inspiration, agitation or pressure to move forward with long-delayed aspects of your life. You might ask yourself if you invite people to help you along the way; whether you resent their influence; whether you love and crave it; or all of the above. In any event, you appear to be in a situation that is designed to move you forward, and whether sparks are flying, feathers are flying or brilliant ideas are flying is really up to you. The future has not only arrived; it keeps arriving. And there is a power source of some kind offering itself to you.
Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23)
Creative doorways are opening for you, and they are about to open wider still. From the look of your solar chart, it seems like you have a point of entry into your deeper ideas, artistic impulses and sexuality. What you may feel you lack is the impulse to do something about it; to keep control over the direction of events and developments. There may be a love interest on the horizon who is distracting your attention from the creative side of this expression, emphasizing the amorous. This person may be serving as a muse, or as a reflection of who you are. Notably, the situation seems to be changing rapidly: if there is someone in your life who has all or most of your attention, their journey seems poised to go inward, which will guide you to do the same thing. If this is a long-term situation, you will need to keep your faith in the process as you and someone else do some very necessary inner work. If this represents something that has manifested recently, one thing is certain: the events of the next few weeks will set both your life and your creative process in different directions than they might have otherwise, it’s up to you to keep that direction productive, and to allow your mind to be set free in the process; which is another way of saying, trust yourself.
Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22)
This must be an emotionally sensitive time for you, though you may not be noticing it that way. I see many different themes, as if there are numerous guests in your emotional house, and you may just be feeling the subtle pressure of their presence, and of all the activity. Yet I have a hunch that as the next couple of weeks progress, you’re likely to be filled with the determination to do some early spring-cleaning, and get to the roots of all these different situations. I suggest you be extraordinarily cautious if one of them involves a spouse or long-term, live-in partner. I don’t think this person is the problem; to the contrary, I think they are a big part of the solution, or hold certain keys to your own awareness. I am certain (at least looking at your charts) that you are not sure what the real issue is, and as the Sun makes a series of conjunctions, you may decide you have a different theory every day. Make no accusations. Keep them all on the “maybe so” shelf. Most of how you view this situation will depend on two things: whether and how you face your own insecurities; and how you handle a close personal relationship. Communicate, communicate, communicate. Rather than a dialog, have a metalog: let that which is being discussed arise as you discuss it.
Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22)
You are about to start doing the heavy lifting on a mental puzzle that has confounded you for weeks or months. Believe it or not, the factor you’ve been missing is motivation. Few astrologers would call Sagittarians inherently lazy, though I think that you rely on your dragon-styled luck and your easy access to helpful people and situations a lot more than you admit. When that motivation seizes hold of you, you’ll see what I mean. You have all the other factors in place: a large view of the situation; an introspective sense of what you’re going through psychologically and spiritually, and unusual knowledge of the subject area. Now you need to take full responsibility for being the engine. Cultivate careful, precise mental habits. Know when you are wrestling with a closed mind. Be open to the viewpoints of others, but don’t stop with what’s handed to you: research and develop the idea yourself, and take it to the next level. What you are doing at the moment may only seem to have small returns in the bigger world of which you so dearly want to be part. That is surely poised to happen, though in ways you’re not exactly expecting. But if you want your airplane to fly, then make sure you fasten every rivet yourself. Attend to every detail. Don’t expect things to “happen right.” Do the job right the first time.
Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20)
What a difference one month makes. Three or four weeks ago, you were utterly overwhelmed, and wondering how you were going to keep it all together. Today you seem to be collecting the benefits of so much that you went through. Here’s the latest news: tackle the money thing head on. Money is not about luck. It’s not about deserving the stuff. It’s about drive. You have all the right ideas, resources, opportunities and experience. You have something that few others possess in such abundance, which is embracing the willingness to change, immediately and as necessary — something that as a Capricorn I don’t suggest you take for granted. Now you need to apply ambition. Not the ambition of the Hollywood kind, but rather that of a truck going up a mountain in low gear. You need to harness the full power of your psychic engine. The astrology says you want to do this fast; I suggest you be slow, methodical and make sure you’re not missing anything obvious. Be particularly critical of what you believe about the world, and prepare to let go of any notion or idea about existence that does not support you and the people around you. When you start to see the results, this will be easier than you think.
Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19)
The Sun’s eclipse in your birth sign on Monday will leave you more determined than ever to be a new person, and perhaps more filled with doubts that this is possible. As the Sun is currently in your sign making a series of conjunctions to planets, you may seem like a different person every day, with different motives, goals and a sense of your personality. This is the trap to avoid: you are one person, with one life. That different ‘parts’ of your psyche may come to the forefront at different times does not mean that you are actually different every day; the ego can identify with or model itself after anything it wants to, from Barack Obama to the Victoria’s Secret catalog to Southpark’s Eric Cartman to a lover to your mother to whatever you can see with your eyes. In my view, true growth is reaching the stable level beneath all of that, and aligning your ‘sense of self’ with the steady layer beneath the many changes you’re experiencing. All the fluctuation may be there to grant you a license to be inconsistent; and I do see the spiritual value in that, in terms of letting go of toxic self-control. This is all well and good, as long as you’re a person of your word. Speak truly to everyone, keep your promises and live with your decisions.
Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)
You’ve figured out by now that any loss has corresponding gain; and moreover that we must make space in our lives for what is due to arrive. Meanwhile, I think you’re finally getting that you can trust your motives. I know you may have reason to doubt the ultimate aims or intentions of your own highly complicated psychology. You feel the incredible diversity of what a human being is capable of, and in your darkest moments you may recognize that “being a good person” in the way the world rigidly defines it is either meaningless or something that you’re not actually interested in: being real counts for more. Keep your spiritual eyes on this condition of universal potential that you feel; this sense that you’re drawing on a database of the whole human race, all its madness, all its brilliance and all of its doubts. When it comes time to act, to make a decision or to invest your resources (emotional or otherwise); that is, when it comes time to be 100% in accord with what is important to you, move with the full confidence of your soul. You do know what is right for you and you know much of what’s required to create the life you want. Certain things may seem way out of reach today; they may seem impossible to manifest, but you know that something else is true.