This is a week for sudden endings – some foreseen – leading right into unexpected new beginnings, as the overall pace picks up considerably.
Wednesday’s rare New Moon occurs in the last degree of Aquarius – so close to the end that the Moon enters Pisces seven seconds later, with the Sun another three minutes behind. It’s so close that I couldn’t get my astrology software to show the New Moon in Aquarius. It rounds up to the nearest fraction of a degree, which puts it at 0 degrees Pisces. I’ll discuss more about this unusual New Moon below.
Mercury is now moving steadily forward (from our perspective here on Earth), in brainy air sign Aquarius. Projects that were delayed for one reason or another can move forward again. As I was walking to my car on Friday, my neighbor ran outside to ask me about Mercury, saying that in all her life, she had never had so much trouble with a sewing project. This is someone who makes her own patterns, decorates her creations with jewelry that she welds in her garage, does intricate Italian hand-smocking, and has been doing embroidery for more than 50 years. Her work has been featured in galleries. When she says this is the most trouble she’s ever had with a project, it’s significant. And she’s not the only one who has told me this was the worst Mercury retrograde ever.
For me, it literally has been one headache after another. In the past month, I’ve lost three to four days a week due to headaches. Otherwise, there were a lot of small annoyances, none major in itself, but a pain all together. The worst, though, was this past Wednesday, just as Mercury was shifting out of retrograde. That was the day Jinn (a.k.a. “Astrology Cat”) was scheduled for his big visit to the vet. I knew when I made the appointment that Mercury was going to be stationed, but they had only limited times available. When the technician came in to weigh Jinn and talk to me about the procedure, she was carrying a tablet. She couldn’t get it to work properly and not only couldn’t answer my questions, but was focused so intently on the electronic device that she was oblivious to Jinn, who by now was in a total panic, clawing at the walls trying to find a place to hide and howling in fear. I waited until the assistants came to get him and went to the reception desk to ask the questions. They told me it was all on a sheet of paper that the tech gave me. Only she didn’t. They didn’t believe me and wouldn’t print out another sheet until they verified with her that I didn’t already have it.
Malfunctioning electronics and miscommunications would have been amusingly classic Mercury retrograde if not for my sweet boy’s distress. When I came back to pick him up, there were more communications issues, as well as more-serious problems that I wouldn’t associate with Mercury retrograde. I ended up sitting up with him all night and most of the following night, too. Fortunately, he’s feeling much better, and I finally got some sleep.
As Mercury moves forward, he retraces territory he has covered since right after the Full Moon in early January. If you’ve experienced delays and setbacks in projects involving communications, writing, social media, data processing, and electronics in general, you should notice that they’re back on track. My neighbor’s project involved precise measurements and detailed needle work by hand, which also fall within Mercury’s sphere of influence. And, right on cue, the complications have subsided.
Not only is Mercury increasing speed, but Mars enters his own sign of action-oriented Aries on Thursday. Venus enters Aries on Friday (Venus day), and they conjoin on Sunday. The conventional astrological interpretation is that sexual relationships heat up when the “cosmic lovers” conjoin every couple of years. The last time they aligned also was in Aries, in April 2013. Mars is about going after what you want, which can take on a sense of urgency when he’s in his own sign of impulsive, “just do it” Aries. Venus, meanwhile, is more about desire. In Pisces, where she remains for most of this week, Venus represents sweet romance, tenderness, and the desire to merge heart and soul. In Aries, she’s on a mission to please herself, whether it’s with sex, food, or Jimmy Choos. She’s just as likely as Mars to go after what she wants, and she’s not going to play hard-to-get.
Even though we tend to think of Venus and Mars as the love planets, their conjunction can represent far more than a hot tumble in the sack. Rick Levine expresses it nicely in his forecast for February – which, incidentally, is worth watching all the way through. The first half is devoted mostly to Jeff Jawer, his business partner and “astro-brother” for many years, who transitioned out of this incarnation on Tuesday. Rick’s tribute had me choked up and nodding in recognition of the big truths he expressed. Anyway, Rick, who Jeff used to say has an “illegal number of planets in Aries,” knows the Aries nature better than anyone, and he says that the conjunction of Venus and Mars in Aries can be about creating something entirely new or taking your creativity in an new direction.
The Moon enters Aries on Friday shortly after Venus, and they form an exact conjunction 17 minutes later. By this time, Mars and Venus will be close to each other in the sky, and they will be near the Moon when the first slender crescent appears. There’s a nice illustration on EarthSky.org that shows what we can expect to see, weather permitting (always a big “if” where I live). This alignment is exceptionally rare and beautiful. That it occurs during a time of maximum stress for humanity is significant. Some researchers believe that mutations occur in species under stress, and there is speculation that some advanced cultures appeared on the scene following a sudden increase in consciousness, which can happen in response to crushing pressure. This possibility is all the more likely given that the particular pressure we’re under now is manifesting from the Uranus-Pluto square, with Uranus in Aries. As I’ve written previously, we are fast approaching the final phase in this three-year epic aspect. It isn’t precise until March 16, but it’s within one degree of exact now – as they say, “close enough for government work.”
The New Moon is the second in a row in Aquarius. The first one was on January 20 (the day before Mercury went retrograde). This one occurs on Wednesday at 6:47 p.m. EST at 29°59’54” Aquarius. The Sabian symbol* for this degree is The field of Ardath in bloom.
“This is a symbol of the spiritual integrity of nature herself, dramatized by Marie Corelli’s mystic meadow of ancient Babylon as an ageless and special challenge to modern life. Everyone may count on the inherent friendliness of the universe, and in consequence on the capacity of man’s destiny to endow him with fruits of his good rather than his bad works. The individual ultimate must rely on the world in which he finds himself, and so should live in such fashion that a reliance on him in turn is both possible and inviting.”
Could there be a more inspiring message for our time, a message of hope for a world that often seems hopeless and decidedly unfriendly? “Bad works” are so atrocious that many fear they are irreversible and threaten all life on earth. This Sabian symbol reminds us that our lives are inextricably linked with the health of the planet, and we must act responsibly to protect her. It also presents the concept of time as an illusion and the ability of the mind to go backward and forward in time.
The full title of Marie Corelli’s novel is Ardath: The Story of a Dead Self. The story is about a man in love with an angel, but to be worthy of her, he must travel 7,000 years back in time and experience a series of transformations. Born in 1855, Corelli was a popular writer in her time, although she is largely forgotten now. Her books are considered an important part of the New Age movement, which began around the time Neptune was discovered in 1846. Eventually, astrologers began using Neptune as the modern ruler of Pisces, the sign of mysticism and spirituality. A recurring theme in Corelli’s work was an attempt to reconcile her Christian faith with reincarnation, astral travel, and other mystical themes. With Neptune currently in his own sign of Pisces, faith and spirituality are prominent themes.
This New Moon also is a “Supermoon,” according to an astrologer who coined the phrase in 1979. I discussed the concept in my January 19 forecast. I’m not entirely convinced that it’s valid – at least not to the extent that all the hype makes it out to be. A Supermoon can be seen only at the Full Moon, which appears slightly larger than usual due to the Moon’s closer proximity to Earth. Since you can’t see the New Moon, the only thing “super” about it is that it is alleged to exert a greater gravitational pull on Earth and thus correspond to earthquakes and severe storms. I did mention in the earlier forecast that some Supermoons are more “super” than others. This one actually is the second-closest of 2015, so we’ll get to see how the theory bears out.
Lastly, the Chinese New Year always falls at the New Moon in February. By the time the New Moon peaks, it will be February 19 in the Far East. This year corresponds to the Chinese zodiac sign of the Sheep (some say Goat), with the element of wood. Master Raymond Lo of Hong Kong predicts a year of conflict, although he says reaching agreements will be easier. Even so, he foresees another Gulf War. He also predicts that natural disasters such as earthquakes and severe weather will be higher than average. You can read the whole report on his Web site.
The only other aspect worth mentioning this week is the final Mercury-Saturn sextile in a series of three that began on January 5. I wrote back then that this three-part aspect might be useful for determining how Saturn in Sagittarius is going to play out in your life. I don’t know that I got a definitive answer, but I did receive recurring messages that I needed to stop and think about – stopping to think being a good thing to do while Mercury is retrograde.
Back on the topic of Mercury retrograde, last week I recounted an incident that I described as the funniest Mercury retrograde story ever. This past week I found another that, while not funny in the comedic sense due to the misery that such stupidity is causing, was nonetheless gratifying. It didn’t make the mainstream news, so you might not have seen it. The pro-U.S. Ukrainian government got busted for giving Congress laughably false evidence of Russian tank brigades in Ukraine. Sen. Jim Inhofe, a co-author of a bill to send lethal aid to Ukraine, made a statement to the Senate Armed Services Committee last Wednesday in which he cited photographic evidence given to him by Ukrainian officials. The Washington Free Beacon obtained the photos and ran a story. Shortly afterward, Twitter lit up with posts showing that the photos were taken in Georgia in 2008. An embarrassed and angry Inhofe gave Buzzfeed a list of people on the Ukraine delegation that gave him the photos. Among them were several members of the Ukrainian parliament and a Georgetown professor who was an advisor to the Pentagon during the Reagan administration. Upon getting caught, they called it a “misunderstanding.”
The best part about this story is that they got called out by alert readers using the social media. Not only is this a perfect expression of Mercury in Aquarius, but it speaks to the power of information in the hands of ordinary people. It’s one thing we can all do to fight an increasingly authoritarian government by and for the privileged few.
As for Ukraine, despite a recently negotiated ceasefire, warring factions are likely to increase hostilities once Mars enters Aries. Meanwhile, there are rumblings that the U.S. and certain factions within Ukraine are seeking to oust the president – yes, the one the United States approved in last year’s coup – because he favors peace with rebels in the eastern part of the country. These are the same people criticizing President Obama as weak because he won’t bomb first and ask questions later.
Maybe it’s no coincidence that Pisces also rules insane asylums.
Wishing you all much love and courage,
* From The Sabian Symbols in Astrology, by Dr. Marc Edmond Jones. The author, an astrologer, channeled this work in the early 1920s. There’s one symbol one for each degree of the zodiac, and we can use them to gain insight into charts.
© Pat Paquette, RealAstrologers.com, 2014.