The dominant stellium of Pluto, Saturn and Jupiter in Capricorn and now Mars (February 16 to March 30) continues to pressure-test all structures and systems that make life work. I know of many, including myself, experiencing increased responsibilities of various kinds that are requiring the majority of our focus. The tests correlate to our perceived and real limitations as well as our sense readiness to take decisive action or wait for a clear path to organically open up. This is a vigorous, consolidating, productive and potentially transformational alignment that is even more focused by being part of a “bundle” chart pattern with all planets contained within a 120∞ angle between the practical earth signs of Capricorn and Taurus (until the Moon moves out of range at the beginning of March). This should help stabilize and ground the effects of the Sun, Mercury, Neptune, and for a few critical days the Moon being in the ethereal sign of Pisces. It provides a cosmic single-mindedness that is archetypally motivated to take spontaneous, intuitive action while we work to build a practical, malleable foundation that can accommodate our ever-changing times.
On February 20, Jupiter in Capricorn forms a sextile to Neptune in Pisces, one of three exact passes this year. The first is in effect for about seven weeks and the last two, on July 27 and October 12, remain in effect from late June to early November (due to retrograde motions). This exciting and perhaps mystifying sextile between these visionary planets is the closing aspect of their cycle that began with the conjunction in 2009 in Aquarius and ends in 2022 with the next conjunction. On a societal level, the cycle has corresponded to the increased influence of imagery in social media that taps deeply into our collective consciousness, evoking strong, highly reactive feelings in many. This extremely sensitive planetary pair could correlate to grand illusions of self-importance or escapism. But if we have been consciously working on ego-transcending self-awareness, it may correspond to mystical experiences or opportunities to compassionately and selflessly serve the greater good. With this cycle commencing in Aquarius, expanding our service to humanity is one of the highest purposes it could represent. Neptune, which rules Pisces, works to dissolve the ego by amplifying the need to courageously show up to the life we are living and understand our connectedness with the boundless cosmos. Jupiter commencing this last phase in Capricorn and further empowered by the other weighty planets in the sign of structure and realism provides opportunities to build on our dreams, encouraging us to test our mettle at each step before we continue to expand the path.
February 21 to 24, Mars trines Uranus in Taurus and both sextile the Sun in Pisces to form a harmonious ‘mini-grand trine’ configuration that archetypally provides courage, momentum and out-of-the-box solutions to issues we may be dealing with. This alignment peaks when the Moon joins the Sun to form the New Moon on February 23 at 4°29’ Pisces at 7:32 a.m. This four-planet alignment amps up the new lunar cycle with imagination, daring and openness to express our unique talents in new ways. Yet the sextile alignments suggest it will take some effort to reign in these archetypal gifts in order to actualize them. New Moons plant seed ideas that play out over the course of the month. The annual meeting of the luminaries in the sign of the Mystic can feel formless, otherworldly, or perhaps foggy if we are in a state of confusion about something. But the New Moon flanked by action-oriented Mars and the Great Awakener Uranus in grounding earth signs suggests the support is there to help us find ways to give form to the inspirations streaming in. The Pisces New Moon represents the end of the Zodiac year, the last stage in the process of individual development as symbolized by the progression of the signs beginning with Aries. This is a time to take into our awareness all that has happened during the cycle in a sort of cosmic embrace and really feel the total love and compassion of the unseen forces that aided us on our journey. It may be overwhelming to experience in a flash all the challenges and difficulties we went through, but if we can withstand it all, it could bring us to the realization that each experience was necessary for our growth. This is what it means to be a root participant in the evolution of consciousness.
As the Moon moves on, this theme peaks again when retrograde Mercury in Pisces backs into the Sun/Mars/Uranus configuration February 25 to 28 as it forms the ‘Inferior Conjunction’ with the Sun at 6°55’ Pisces on February 25. This ‘new moon’ phase of the four-month Sun/Mercury cycle unfolding as part of the same configuration as the New Moon suggests that at this midpoint of the retrograde, we may experience a surprising burst of clarity that something exciting and new is on the horizon, even if we can’t quite make out what it is. The seed idea that is planted at this time and develop over the course of the cycle could result in a genuine awakening that opens us to experience greater compassion and acceptance for ourselves as well as others. The Inferior Conjunction in Pisces tethered to Mars and Uranus may also correlate to a sense of the grace enhancing our skills to navigate through any unexpected situation we may encounter where the path before us may be shrouded in the mist.
While the alignments described above correlate to a spirited coaxing energy that facilitates movement, a series of squares between Venus in Aries and Jupiter, Pluto and Saturn in Capricorn February 23 to March 3 provide significant tension that will require action to resolve any corresponding issues which may arise. Potentially conflicting themes of freedom in relationship and assuming greater responsibility in them challenge us to have authentic dialogue with our partners or colleagues to clear up any confusion about where our responsibilities begin and end and come to agreement on any rebalancing that may be required. Venus is generally focused on the wellbeing of “other” in relationship but in Aries is more willing to put the integrity of self first and go it alone if necessary. On a societal level, the tension may manifest through the amplification of issues related to equality in the business sector, which is ruled by Capricorn. Women competing in the March 3 Super Tuesday elections in the U.S. could use the dynamic force of these aspects to boost their candidacies by advocating for inclusiveness and economic equity as good for business as well as good for those of us desiring the ‘do-no-harm’ class of freedom to live the life of our choosing.