**Times where noted are for the Pacific Time Zone; degrees where noted are rounded to the nearest whole degree.
Sensitivity builds during this period as the planets begin to gather in Pisces and inescapably meet up with Neptune, the planet that is the pure embodiment of the sign of the Poet, the Dreamer and the Mystic. The very slow moving Neptune entered his home sign to stay exactly a year ago and will dwell here for another 13. While the infinitely subtle effects of his influence may take some time to notice, they will quietly infuse us with the truth of our otherworldly origins and give rise to new art forms – healing as well as music, dance and poetry – that will express what we have only experienced in our dreams. It remains to be seen if the revelations that come from these expressions will promote psychic transcendence or fearful regression. It is up to each of us individually to choose whether we stay open to these new ways of being or shut the doors of our mind in order to contain the illusion of existence to only what we understand today. With such chaos presently reigning in the world, the pressure is building for us to collectively tip the balance towards the manifestation of consciousness. How many of us would it take to get this paradigm shift train out of the station? With all the planets now in direct motion, this might be a good time to focus on that.
When Mars conjuncts Neptune at 2 degrees Pisces on February 4th, we may prefer being victim than aggressor, or feel powerless and ineffective when trying to push for something we really have no business pushing for. But if we were to tune into the higher vibration of this planetary pair we may find the spiritual warrior within us to banish demons from within and without and thus allow healing powers to bring light to dark corners.
Mercury entering Pisces on February 5th shifts our mental process from a cognizant intake of information to absorption through total immersion. Concepts are likely to be experienced in pictures rather than words and what is real or imagined may be difficult to distinguish. The strength of this placement is the ability to tune into the thoughts of others. Mind melding may be a frequent occurrence if we allow rational logic to take a back seat. The state of mental diffusion may be difficult for those who prefer a precise and tidy mind, but like it or not we’ll get a lot of practice swimming in an ocean of thoughts. Due to his retrograde period that begins later this month, Mercury will be in Pisces through mid-April to encourage the dreamer in all of us.
The opportunity for intuition and inspiration, or confusion and doubt, will peak when Mercury conjuncts Neptune at 2 degrees Pisces on February 6th. Being aware of our blind spots is extremely important at this time so whatever it is we channel from the nether realms – stories, sensitive insights, spirits – can be understood for what it is and put to use for the greater good. Adding buoyancy and a little luck to the day is a Venus/Jupiter trine at 6 degrees Aquarius/Gemini. This is the first of several Jupiter aspects happening this week that promise to bring plenty of opportunity. As long as we don’t indulge in too much of a good thing, this Venus pairing with the planet of expansion should heighten our sense of joi de vivre, which will in turn attract positive relationships that have a ripple effect on anything we put our sights on. Saturn may add certain limitations to any chance encounters when Venus squares him at 11 degrees Aquarius/Scorpio on February 10th. If we’ve done the necessary preparation, however, anything that happens could have lasting effects under this transit that favors commitment and diligent effort in relations with others.
On February 8th, Mercury conjuncts Mars at 5 degrees Pisces. Normally, this alliance would bring a direct, forceful, even urgent tone to communications but in the gentle sign of Pisces its energy morphs into an understated approach that actually could be more powerful by the mere fact that it goes undetected when in play. Mars and Mercury dive into the ocean of consciousness when they come together in Pisces, and being still in orb of their conjunction to Neptune, they bring their unique talents of self-assertion and communication to the service of that which knows we are all connected.
February 9th-10th, Mercury then Mars square Jupiter at 6-7 degrees Pisces/Gemini. Fact and fantasy will surely have a tussle, or perhaps will find a way to successfully cohabitate (reality shows, anyone?). Putting aside the tendency for exaggeration, lack of practicality or just plain talking too much, this combination could bring forth the Dream Crusader who could teach us a thing or two about how to weave the vast expanse of information we have at our fingertips into a panoramic vision for the future.
Then February 12th-16th sees Mercury and Mars turn to Saturn for guidance when they respectively trine the authoritative planet at 11-12 degrees Pisces/Scorpio. Still infused with Jupiter’s growth potential, Mercury first, then Mars will find practical ways to organize, plan and execute the ideas generated at this time. Fantastical as they may be, Saturn will help to identify those with real potential for manifestation. Rather than allowing Saturn’s appearance of restriction to limit imagination, it would be best to see the master’s insistence on well laid plans as good advice to counterbalance the tendency to go so far out as to lose touch with reality as well as with any audience willing to listen.
At the midpoint of these planetary confluences is the New Moon on February 9th at 22 degrees Aquarius. Imprinted with the archetype of the psychic mind, this annual conjunction of the luminaries brings a whole new meaning to the pursuit of networking, a favorite Aquarian pastime that is generally cause-oriented in nature. With Venus also in Aquarius, and Jupiter in an air sign as well, a progressive, intellectual approach would be primarily favored if it weren’t for the strong influence of the planets in the water signs of Pisces and Scorpio, as well as the innate feeling nature of the Moon herself. Beyond the purpose of progressing in life or collaborating for humanitarian purposes, the networking this New Moon will be doing taps into the potential for increased compassion and intuitive ability to make deeper and more profound connections with others. These new links will have longevity if they are unconditional, an essential quality to suit the Aquarian need for freedom. Closely squaring the lunar nodes, which represent our past and future alliances, this New Moon in the sign of the Outpost may bring a break from a relationship that no longer serves us in order to allow us to pioneer our destiny.