There are four planets in Pisces now and each one – the Sun, Mercury, Venus, and Pisces’ ruler Neptune – participates in the aspects this week creating a strong emphasis on the Piscean archetype. It therefore bears repeating that the “gift” of Pisces according to the pioneering modern astrologer Dane Rudhyar is “Courage.” It also needs to be said that this attribute doesn’t just happen; it must be developed with effort. Courage in fact is the greatest challenge for Pisces, which is as widely characterized for its readiness to escape the harsh realities of life as it is for its ability to express a high level of sensitivity and compassion. Where this force of Pisces courage will be needed most this week will be reflected in the archetypes of the planets in play. Venus and Mercury form conjunctions with Neptune (exact on February 21 and 25 respectively), creating a subtly powerful three-planet alignment that calls us to stay present in all moments of joy and pain. Venus in Pisces extends its focus from the love expressed in personal relationships, to the love that merges with the all-inclusive Divine. The battle erupts when delusion and disappointment sets in because others don’t live up to this expectation. Mercury in Pisces often expresses in poetic, musical and otherworldly ways, but if there is not a clear sense of intent in what is being expressed, it can result in a battle between the narrow and selfish words of the ‘ego’ and the Divine logos. Neptune in Pisces is the symbol of consciousness itself, aware it is observing the world through the perception of the mind. It recognizes this earth “reality” as a dream, an illusion of our own creation that manifests simply by how we choose to think and act. It knows that showing up to the life we create is the ultimate archetypal battle between the forces of self-realization and delusion.
The Neptune/Venus/Mercury conjunction tells us that courage is needed to take off the rose-colored glasses we wear in order to see only beauty, grace and goodness in others, and accept the reality of hurtful egotism expressing in the world. Courage is needed to be honest in expressing our true motivations. For example, if we are being selfish and fail to be in a state of love, then we must own that rather than lie to ourselves about it. And the most courage is required in showing up in every situation no matter how painful because checking out through any form of escapism triggers a state of devolution that deadens the soul. While it can be incredibly hard, ironically when we do this in the harshest of times it becomes evident that the horrors are exactly what we need to experience in order to be catapulted into a higher state of consciousness. Making the effort to withstand the intensity of these moments can lead to an experience of love that is so exquisite it will transform us forever. Bravo to the students of Parkland, Florida who have been awakened by the tragedy of yet another mass shooting at their high school and are courageously choosing to leap into a collective purpose that recognizes on a deep level the Piscean concept of the ‘nettedness’ of all of society.
Supporting the movement to embrace realism as an essential component of the Pisces tool kit, both the Mercury and Sun in Pisces form a sextile to Saturn in Capricorn (exact on February 21 and 25 respectively). With its quiet yet commanding authority serving the greater good, Saturn is the planet of responsibility and learning something to the point of mastery. Capricorn, which is ruled by Saturn, governs the structures of society such as governments, schools, and businesses, each of which require integrity and experience to function properly. Mercury and the Sun in mystical Pisces connecting with Saturn reminds us that the structures function best when they are gently animated with the breath of spirit and that embracing a vision of a world that is loving and inclusive is just as essential as practical realism. Taking to heart (Sun) this message (Mercury) in the wake of the Parkland shooting can inspire and guide realistic choices (Saturn) long after these aspects have separated.
Venus moves into a square with Mars in Sagittarius on February 25, the first quarter “crisis in action” alignment in their current cycle that began with the conjunction last October. In the case of Venus/Mars this can manifest as a strong need to take action in a relationship. How we assert ourselves or pursue our desires may be challenged. Being open to feedback can reveal an underlying fear that must be addressed for the relationship issue to be successfully resolved. Venus in Pisces acts as a sensitizing force of inclusion over the independent and adventurous Mars in Sagittarius. This aspect forms a nearly exact T-square to the October conjunction in service-oriented Virgo that amplifies the paradox of serving each person’s need for freedom to express as an individual while being at one with each other in a state of love.
Here’s the data (Pacific Time and rounded to the nearest whole degree unless otherwise noted):
February 21 – Venus conjunct Neptune at 14° Pisces at 10:42 a.m.
February 21 – Mercury sextile Saturn at 7° Pisces/Capricorn at 12:32 p.m.
February 25 – Venus square Mars at 18° Pisces/Sagittarius at 4:01 a.m.
February 25 – Mercury conjunct Neptune at 14° Pisces at 4:26 a.m.
February 25 – Sun sextile Saturn at 7° Pisces/Capricorn at 9:46 a.m.