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Lynn's Skywatch:
Planetary Illuminations for February 2013

2/1 Mars enters Pisces
       Venus enters Aquarius
2/4 Mars conjunct Neptune
2/5 Mercury enters Pisces
2/6 Venus sextile Uranus
2/7 Venus trine Jupiter
2/8 Mercury conjunct Mars
2/9 Mercury square Jupiter
       Sun square North Node
2/10 New Moon Aquarius, 2:20 am
       Mars square Jupiter
       Mercury conjunct Chiron
2/11 Venus square Saturn
2/12 Mercury sextile Pluto
       Mars conjunct Chiron
       Mercury trine Saturn
2/15 Mars sextile Pluto
2/16 Mars trine Saturn
2/18 Sun enters Pisces
       Saturn turns retrograde
       Venus squares North Node
2/21 Sun conjunct Neptune
2/23 Mercury turns retrograde
2/25 Full Moon in Virgo, 3:26 pm
       Sun square Jupiter
       Venus enters Pisces
2/27 Sun conjunct Chiron
       Mars trine North Node
2/28 Venus conjunct Neptune

All dates and times are for the Eastern time zone; please adjust for your own locality.  For daily planetary news, visit my Facebook and Twitter pages.

MAJOR INFLUENCES – REBUILDING HEALTHY STRUCTURES

The planetary configuration with the most impact right now continues to be the applying square formation between Uranus (radical behavior and change) and Pluto (destruction and regeneration). Although it won’t reach its exact alignment until May of this year, the two are within five degrees of exactitude which is tight enough to set off fireworks around the world. Revolution has spread from Egypt to Libya to Syria to Mali, and resistance (Uranus) to power structures (Pluto) is reaching a feverish pitch. In our personal lives we may have experienced the erosion of the foundational structures upon which we built our day-to-day existence and are having to learn to trust that on the other side of destruction (Pluto) and radical change (Uranus) is a fresh new beginning that allows us to be more authentically true to who we are at our core.

Softening this alignment and providing stability and encouragement is a harmonious sextile between Saturn and Pluto. Saturn is in Scorpio, which is ruled by Pluto under the modern system, so the link to Pluto is a “double whammy” which connects the transformative power of that planet to the discipline of Saturn. Saturn is a builder – he works tirelessly to create structures that have a solid foundation – and in Scorpio he must dig deep below the surface in order to anchor the footings of the structures upon which we rely. The harmonious sextile to Pluto facilitates this process, helping us to understand that which is real and must be retained as opposed to the fluff with which we decorate our day to day existence.

Chiron is tied into the relationship between Saturn and Pluto as it approaches its second harmonious trine to Saturn and third sextile to Pluto. Chiron facilitates any psycho-emotional healing that needs to take place in order for effective transformation to occur.

Mercury will turn retrograde on February 23rd. Read more about Mercury retrograde below.

FEBRUARY DETAILS

On February 1st Venus enters Aquarius, joining the Sun in that sign of innovation and awakening. In Aquarius Venus can be more detached and have a broader perspective of the workings of our interpersonal relationships which makes for interesting conversation, but can negatively affect intimacy.

On the same day Mars leaves Aquarius for Pisces, beginning a strongly Piscean phase of emotion and sacrifice. When a planet changes signs there is a shift in the way that planet is expressed, and Mars is not particularly happy in Pisces. Pisces is mutable and seeks the path of least resistance where Mars is an aggressive planet that urges us to achieve one’s desires. Under the influence of Pisces for a month or so we tend to see more passive-aggressive behavior and greater challenge in interpersonal relationships as we give into conflicts rather than entering into resolution.

Mars conjoins Pisces ruler Neptune on the 4th and on the 5th Mercury (mind and communication) enters Pisces, at which time there will be four planets in Pisces (Mercury, Neptune, Mars and Chiron). The higher expression of Pisces is artistry and spiritual experience since Pisces urges us to let go of the trappings of the mundane and inspires us towards an experience of transcendence and beauty. If we utilize this higher road to connect with the divine within us we are less likely to seek more negative outlets during this period.

Venus aligns in a sextile to Uranus (another double whammy since Uranus is the modern ruler of Aquarius, the sign in which Venus resides at this time) on the 6th. This aspect can bring a sudden and beneficial change (Uranus) of fortune (Venus), especially since Venus will trine Jupiter (good luck) on the 7th. These few days also offer an opportunity to breathe new life into areas of our relationships that may have become stagnant or depressed.

A challenging square from Mars to Jupiter begins to form on the 8th as Mercury (mind and communication) aligns with Mars and squares Jupiter, activating both planets to greater expression. This is a time of high energy, in which our ideas (Mercury) are given free rein (Jupiter) and we are energized by the imaginative force of Mars in Pisces. There is some danger that we can become overextended for a few days here, especially since the Mars/Jupiter square culminates at the New Moon.

The New Moon on February 10th is in Aquarius and it is particularly powerful because of an exact square between the Sun and Moon to the North Node which makes this a bit like an eclipse. The lunar nodes are like signposts to destiny – they suggest events that are fated and point the direction in which our soul needs to travel. When a lunation is in a tight alignment to the nodes it signifies a pivotal point in our life so attention should be paid to any signals that are received at this time.

The Aquarius New Moon is all about awakening to new realities – letting go of outmoded ideas and philosophies that no longer serve us so that we can gain new understanding and move into a different reality that is more true than our previous one. A conjunction of Mercury to Chiron during the New Moon suggests that we may be more prone to mental exhaustion at this time unless we take care to find rest and rejuvenation as a part of this major restructuring of our energetic pathways.

A square from Venus to Saturn during the New Moon peaks on the 11th and will likely make it somewhat difficult to connect with others during this experience.  There is a desire to connect, but the actual work of finding common ground is more difficult. This is a good time for solitude and inner exploration, or else working on a group level rather than in a one-on-one situation where intimacy is required.

We also have Mars approaching a conjunction to Chiron that culminates on the 12th which may reveal an uncomfortable truth about something which we have long desired. This may be a part of the New Moon experience and will not pass away until the 13th.

The 15th and 16th are positive Mars days, with Mars translating the sextile between Saturn and Pluto to facilitate the rebuilding process. Any leftover disharmony created by the energetic shifts of the New Moon will begin to fall away so that we can focus on a solid plan (Saturn) for reconstruction (Pluto).

Meanwhile the motion of Saturn has slowed down in preparation for its retrograde turn on February 18th. When a planet turns retrograde is slows down to a standstill before it changes direction and during that time its influence is particularly strong and clear. Saturn turns retrograde on the 18th and this is an excellent time for planning and looking closely at the reality of your day to day experience. Saturn rewards our efforts when we focus on the practical – something which is more difficult with a heavy Pisces influence. And when the Sun enters Pisces on the 18th we will have five planets in Pisces and the Sun will be nearing a conjunction to Neptune – a very heavy Pisces influence indeed! Pisces enhances our imagination and inspires us with longing for an experience that takes us beyond the practical, yet Saturn here demands that we keep our eyes open and our feet on the ground.

A square from Venus to the lunar nodes on the 18th suggests an event of significance involving either someone from our past or someone who comes into our life and will have a powerful effect on the future.

Around this time Mercury will be slowing down in preparation for its retrograde turn on the 23 rd. You may find it more difficult to communicate and entering into contracts or agreements can be challenging because the terms aren’t clear. This includes booking vacations, making major purchases, deciding on a new job and if it’s possible to wait until after Mercury turns direct on March 17 th try to do so. But it’s not always possible to plan your life around Mercury retrograde periods, and if you have to take an important step during this period try to be sure that you are careful to dot all of your “I”s and cross every “t.”

The Full Moon on February 25th is in Virgo, the sign of practical reality and the body/mind/spirit system. I personally believe that Chiron is the modern ruler of Virgo because both share an attention to the balance between mental and spiritual health to the physical body. This emphasis on balance and healing is embedded in the chart of the Full Moon since the Sun and Moon are tightly linked to Chiron (the Sun conjoins Chiron and the Moon opposes it).

The Sun/Chiron combination is squared by Jupiter, planet of expansion and ideology which suggests that the concepts that underpin our reality are likely to be stretched at this time in order to accommodate the necessary healing process. With five planets in Pisces and Mercury retrograde, much of this will be operating through the subconscious and imaginal realms.

Venus enters Pisces just after the Full Moon, at which time there will be SIX PLANETS in Pisces. This is a very big lineup of planets in one sign, and several of them are trined by Saturn which helps to anchor the dreamy hopes and fantasies of Pisces. And of course the Virgo Moon desires order and grounding through ritual and established patterns of action. Mars is approaching a harmonious trine to the North Node now which helps to motivate us towards our highest good, despite the pull of the past.

In the Full Moon the lunar influence opposes the solar, and in this lunation Virgo opposes Pisces: the practical Virgo opposite the transcendence of Pisces. But Pisces is very heavily weighted here which could create some anxiety if an attempt is not made to ground the entire experience into something practical. Bring a pen and paper, or go for a walk in the woods and try if you can to stay away from technology during this Full Moon. This time is about going within and finding the rich experience of the inner landscape.

The power of imagination and spiritual yearning remains strong throughout the end of February as Venus aligns with Neptune for a final burst of creative inspiration. This is a fantastic time to unleash your inner creativity and allow it to find an outlet. Under the Virgo/Pisces polarity, the flow (Pisces) requires a container (Virgo) in which to flourish.