Happy Groundhog’s Day! The days are getting noticeably longer in the Northern Hemisphere, and spring is right around the corner.
The groundhog ritual dates back to pagan cultures, which rejoiced at the increasing light. The ancient Celts marked this day as Imbolc, one of the cross-quarter days halfway between the solstices and equinoxes. According to some scholars, the feast day was so named because the longer days triggered lactation in ewes, an important milestone in the year of an agrarian people. The Christian Church adopted the occasion as Candlemas. In modern-day France, a Catholic country with wonderfully pagan Celtic roots, they eat crèpes. Trust the French to find an excuse to eat. Works for me!
Many of you know that this is also my birthday. I’ve been hibernating due to a back injury, but today I’m going to go out and look for my shadow.
Speaking of shadow, Mercury returned direct on Sunday but will remain in the post-retrograde shadow period until February 21. Still, I anticipate a big week, as activities that have been stalled since mid-January begin moving again. Events may move in fits and starts, and there may be a lot of confusion. But there will be movement.
The Messenger was in Aquarius when he went into reverse on January 11 but moved back into Capricorn. This will temporarily favor maintaining the status quo or bowing to authorities, but not for long. Once he re-enters Aquarius on February 14 and even more so when he leaves the shadow phase, it’s going to be a brand new day. Those of you who have asked for news of a better job, take heart. Aquarius is the sign of individual freedom and creative bursts. Liberation is at hand.
Of course the biggest news this week is Thursday’s opposition between Saturn in Virgo and Uranus in Pisces. This is the second peak in an unusually long, two-year transit that we’ve been feeling for several months already and that we’ll continue to grapple with until the middle of next year. It’s not likely that you will get slammed by an event out of the blue, since the energy of long-term transits such as this typically don’t release all at once. That’s the good news. The bad news is that many of us are in the middle of serious situations, and there could be developments this week that require our immediate attention and tough decisions.
Venus and Mars change signs this week, and both have special significance. On Monday, Venus enters Aries, where she’ll stay for nearly four months, as she’ll be retrograde from March 6 to April 17. I have to tell you that I’m not very optimistic about this passage. Venus is in her detriment in me-first Aries, and she can behave very badly when she’s retrograde. The Mayans were wary of retrograde Venus, which a Mayan enthusiast friend of mine calls “Venus with fangs.” It’s OK to be assertive in relationships, but do make an effort to be considerate of others.
On Wednesday, Mars enters Aquarius, where he’ll join the Sun, Jupiter, Chiron, and Neptune, all just in time for the lunar eclipse on February 9. There’s going to be a lot of rebelliousness in the air, and we can expect global hotspots of rebellion to get even more active. Mars is going to give a big boost to going against the grain, and Mars in Aquarius is ready to put up a fight for the exploited and oppressed.
Venus squares Pluto on Thursday, increasing the risk of sexual power struggles. Venus in Aries will not hesitate to use her sexuality as a weapon or as bait to get what she wants, while Pluto in Capricorn will overpower by any means, some of which can be ruthless. You don’t need to be an astrologer to predict the outcome of that scenario. Conscious awareness and knowing yourself are the best antidotes. Know what you want and need, and make no apologies. But leave it up to the other person to give in a way that feels right to him or her.
The Moon enters Leo late Saturday (Sunday in the Eastern Hemisphere), and we’ll be within the gravitational pull of Monday’s lunar eclipse. Eclipses are wildcards, and on top of that we’ve got a comet zinging around backwards that is about to conjoin Saturn just as it reaches its closest point to Earth. I’ll have more on Comet Lulin in a few days. Meanwhile, there is simply no way to predict what’s going to happen as a result of these erratic energies (which is why I chose this abstract painting by Ellen Hill to illustrate this week’s forecast. So much of what we’re experiencing these days defies rational analysis).
Much love and courage to all!
Image: Mountain Sounds, by Ellen Hill, whom many of you know as Tseka. To see more of Ellen’s phenomenal work, including her new line of talisman jewelry, visit her site, Tseka – One Dance.
Happy day of your incarnation, Pat! :-)
I hope your back is strong and limber again soon!
“Know what you want and need, and make no apologies. But leave it up to the other person to give in a way that feels right to him or her.”
I’ve got this happening in a MAJOR way on two critical fronts at the moment.
I have spoken. Now I need to sit on my hands and wire my jaw shut.
Happy Birthday (as usual these days a belated one!)
Happy Solar Return Pat. I hope it was a good one for you.
Don’t know if you ever read any of Eric Francis’s posts on Planet Waves. He mentions Nessus in Aquarius at this time of Midwinter, as follows:-
“Nessus in Aquarius illusrates what is, in my view, one of the major crises of the lives of most people — how and whether to fit into the groups of people around us; how and when we need to get out; and the distinctly negative influence that conformity can have if we don’t work with it consciously.
What is consciously? We need to see and address the influence that needing to be like other people has on us. I assure you: most of the time it’s not a friendly influence. Most of the time it’s about covering for the insecurities of others, or more to the point, our own. It takes guts to stand up in your truth, to speak your mind and to believe what you know to be true and not hide it.
Nessus on this Midwinter holiday is suggesting we take a moment of real reflection about the impact of our need to conform, and to remember that sooner or later, the karma of self-deception always comes back to us. There is another way — but we need to find it. Consider that we’re not going to find it alone. We need each other, not to hide the truth of who we are, but to bring it to the light of day.”
I thought this chimed with your comments about retrograde venus and making an effort to be considerate of others.
PS We have Pancake Day in the UK on 24 Feb this year, Shrove Tuesday. So it’s not only the French that get to eat crepes. These Celtic traditions get around everywhere!
Belated Happy Birthday, Pat. Hopefully there will be something within this strange astrological brew that will help you onto the right track with your back.
I remember hearing an old bromide back in my student days: During the first 6 months following your birthday, your time and energy is more your own, and it’s easier to sway matters in your direction. Then, during the next 6 months (leading up to your birthday), you are more at the affect of others, you have less personal liberty, and you’re under more pressure to choose in the favor of others rather than choosing what is best for you.
Of course, this was said to be a very minor “cycle” that has to be read within context of the transits, and it’s something that (is thought to be) at least a little true every year … but will be more true in some years than in others.
I hope it’s very true for you this year, Pat. May the world be your oyster for the next 6 months at least.