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!