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Astrological highlights by Danielle Blackwood
Tucked away, hidden in the womb of the earth, a flurry of secret activity is beginning. Sleeping seeds tremble and awaken, called to the warming surface to greet the lengthening days. This is a good time of year to stop and reflect for a moment on the cycle of rebirth after the dark days of winter.
February 2nd marks the ancient Irish festival of Imbolc, and heralds the “return of the waxing light”. Imbolc is a day sacred to the goddess Brighid, the goddess associated with the smithcraft, poetry and inspiration. The early people of Ireland loved her so much, that when Christianity came to their shores, they held onto their beloved Brighid, and she transformed from Goddess into Saint. Her holy well in Kildare, Ireland is a place of pilgrimage to this day, and each year thousands of seekers come to offer prayers, gratitude and devotion. Imbolc is translated from old Gaelic meaning “ewe’s milk”, and signified lambing season. This was a most welcome sign that spring was finally just around the corner!
Also known as Candelmas, or the Feast of the Waxing Light, Imbolc is a time of renewed hope, and increasing optimism as the days grow visibly longer, and the sunlight begins to warm the earth once again. We must remember that growth and transformation occur first in the dark, in the unconscious. Much can be going on beneath the surface that we are not, as of yet, consciously aware of. Like a seed germinating beneath the still frozen earth, the psyche’s process of initiation begins almost imperceptibly. Watch for tiny shoots of inspiration, unfurling in the conscious mind. Those first stirrings are the promise of new things to come. This is a time to plant seeds of all kinds, and to have faith that although we cannot yet see what they will grow into, there is life brewing.
Venus moves into Aries on February 3rd, joining Mars (as of Jan 28th) in the sign of the Warrior. Things will palpably pick up, move forward, and make headway. This is a great time for self development, individuation and ascertaining our own needs in relationship and in other areas of our lives. We can now kick-start a project, break out of inertia, and get the ball rolling. Aries energy can also be rash, reckless and impulsive. Watch the world stage, and be alert to interpersonal dynamics that feature unbridled narcissism and too much “me first” attitude. Best advice: keep grounded, count to 10 before reacting. Although Aries energy is dynamic and ardent, it can also be headstrong when its coming from its shadow.
Jupiter goes retrograde on February 6th. There’s a need to pull back and examine our beliefs, and also the way we are growing and moving out into the world. How can we move towards our ideals in a balanced way? Where have we been ranting, instead of making real progress?
Mercury moves quickly through the sign of Aquarius from the 7th to the 25th. Politics, humanitarian issues are all in the spotlight. The Full Moon in Leo (4:33 pm PT, 7:33 pm ET) coincides with a lunar eclipse on the 10th. This looks like a nicely aspected Full Moon. The Leo Full Moon will highlight themes of love, pleasure, play, self expression and creativity. Remember that eclipses bring change, and the old adage of one door closing while another opens is underlined during eclipse season. If you have an inner planet or angle in your chart between 20 and 25 degrees in a either a fixed sign or a fire sign, this eclipse will likely coincide with a significant shift somehow in your life.
February 18th heralds the Sun’s yearly sojourn through the sign of Pisces, where it will activate the Pisces part in all of us for the next 30 days. For Sun sign Pisces, happy birthday! Pisces is a mutable water sign, meaning that it is a sign that bridges one season to the next and resonates with the compassionate, subtle undercurrents of the water element. Pisces is the last sign of the zodiac, and like the ocean which symbolizes Pisces, it is the most mysterious and unfathomable of all the signs. Pisces symbolizes the collective, and contains the memories of every other archetype, or sign. People with Pisces strong in their charts have an urge to merge, to erase boundaries and become one with source, which can produce the sensitive poet, the brilliant novelist, or the intuitive counsellor. However, the shadow side of Pisces, and the urge to merge can also produce the desire to escape, and fuzzy personal boundaries. Pisces season brings us from winter into spring, and is the perfect time to reflect on the passing zodiacal year, to prepare to begin anew on Spring Equinox - the time of rebirth that is the first sign, Aries.
February concludes with the only New Moon of the year in Pisces, which coincides with a solar eclipse, on the 26th. As always, New Moons are a time to plant new seeds; to nurture our seedling intentions until they can come to fruition. Mars conjuncts Uranus on the same day as this New Moon. Expect the unexpected, this can be a breakthrough, but it can also be a time of unpredictability, both personally and collectively. Something significant can come to pass today or the days following. Stay on your toes, and keep your wits about you.
Planetary Ingresses and Lunations February 2017 (all times PT)
Feb 3 7:52 am Venus enters Aries
Feb 5 10:52 pm Jupiter Retrograde 23° Libra 08 ’R
Feb 7 1:36 am Mercury enters Aquarius
Feb 10 4:33 pm Full Moon & Lunar Eclipse 22° Leo 28′
Feb 18 3:32 am Sun enters Pisces
Feb 25 3:08 pm Mercury enters Pisces
Feb 26 6:58 am New Moon Solar Eclipse 8° Pisces 12’
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