Embracing the Vision of Change
The Ancient peoples created rituals to mark the importance of this time of year. The Celts celebrated Feb 1-2 as one of their cross quarter fire festivals, known as Imbolc, honoring this midway passage between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox, as a recognition of fertility and the coming of spring. Rituals included the igniting of bonfires and lighting of lamps. Imbolc or Imbolg, is also called Saint Brigid’s Day. It is the feast day of Saint Brigid, Ireland’s patroness saint.
These ancient peoples lived by the rhythms of nature, by the attunement to the relation of Earth to Sun and Moon. It was their honoring of the round of the year which created the foundations for many of our celebrations. These carry a deeper wisdom and meaning which we have forgotten.
Our word February gets its name from the Romans, Latin februum, “purification”, from the purification ceremony, Februa, held under the February full moon. In the Roman calendar, February was the last month of the year and also the beginning of spring, therefore they honored the transition to a new year by entering a purification time, a cleansing and renewing.
We celebrate this time with Ground hog day, which came from the German tradition. In Germany, it was a badger who lumbered from its den, as the Germans watched, to see if it cast a shadow or not, predicting when spring would arrive.
The Christians celebrated this time with Candlemas.
The Chinese celebrate their New Year at the New Moon, between January 21st and February 20th. Each year has its particular quality symbolized by an animal or mystical beast and infused with a specific element, wood, fire, metal, water, earth. The final day of celebrations for the New Year culminates with The Lantern Festival during the following Full Moon.
2024, the year of the Wood Dragon in Chinese astrology
Begins February 9th (February 10th in China), at the 2nd New Moon after the Winter Solstice.
On February 9-10 we move into the dynamic year of the Dragon. This day begins the Dragon year, a fast moving and dynamic time. A year of transformation. You can imagine this Dragon as a symbol of the magical, the mystical, and the magnificent, with its undulating body flying through the air. Feel into its energy, for it can lift our spirits and bring passionate creativity. It is the power and intelligence of the cosmos imagined as the flying beast that brings us the life force! There is an energy of daring exuberance of mission. What might your mission be this year? How would you like to focus on one? What has heart for you? It is said to be an excellent year to start a business, to travel, get married, have a child, and new endeavors will carry the passions of this Dragon year. In a Dragon year, taking risks and pursuing goals are supported. If something doesn’t work the way you think it was going to, there is another door into a new possibility that carries more energy and zeal for you.
The element of Wood is the element of the Dragon in 2024. The wood element supports formulating and implementing ideas while working cooperatively with others. (Combine this with Pluto in Aquarius and Jupiter conjuncting Uranus and you have an excellent year for implementing your ideas, community efforts and projects). Wood is the element of Spring and implies quick growth, sudden breakthroughs.
I like to think of the Wood element as the strength and beauty of trees, these great beings that hold the Earth in place, rooted into ground with streams of woody limbs weaving the soil with nutrients and silent communications, nurturing growth beneath their waving boughs.
Pluto in Aquarius
Pluto now in Aquarius, stirs up how we see (or don’t see) ourselves as one interrelated community. This God of the Underworld erupts with what has been pushed below. With compelling force it reveals issues around power, dominance, and powerlessness. Its thrust is to expose the old patterns, trauma and conditioning, for transformation.
The myth of Aquarius teaches us about living in two worlds, the world of the Gods (inspired creative consciousness) and the world of humans (conditioned ways of being). How can we step into more inspiration and creative consciousness? What groups, or like minded individuals, can spark a new level of awakened consciousness? How can we take action to experience more connection with each other?
The Jupiter and Saturn
Jupiter and Saturn continue in their supportive sextile aspect through March, from 5-11 Taurus (Jupiter) to 5-11 Pisces, (Saturn). It marks a good time to expand a business, or start a new endeavor. The expansiveness of Jupiter is in harmony with the structuring, stabilizing, and enduring powers of Saturn. An excellent time for future planning, studying, learning, and teaching.
Celestial Events for February
Feb 2 – Imbolc – Brigid’s day, Cross Quarter Celebration, Celtic tradition, Candlemas in the Christian tradition
“In pre-Christian times, Imbolc observance began the night before February 1 (and through the evening of February 2nd). Celebrants prepared for a visit from Brigid into their homes by crafting an effigy of the goddess from bundles of oats and rushes. The effigy was placed in a dress and put in a basket overnight”. (from www.history.com)
Feb 4 – Mercury enters Aquarius, conjuncts Pluto – empowering our mental focus and/or revealing what has been hidden from our consciousness to effect transformation in the patterns of perception and thinking.
Feb 7 – Venus at 19 Capricorn trines Uranus in Taurus – breakthrough in relationship. relate to others in new ways, valuing innovation and new perspectives. Stretch into new possibilities in relationship, art and values. Relatedness is balanced with freedom, in healthy ways. Said another way, togetherness and individuality finds natural expression.
Feb 9 – New Moon in Aquarius – Chinese New Year – Year of the Wood Dragon – see above
New Moon in Aquarius
Feb 9 – New Moon at 20 Aquarius, 3:00 PM PST
The Full Moon in Aquarius highlights our social connections, how we connect with others. Aquarius, like Indra’s bejeweled net of interrelated reflections, symbolized for us that we are an interrelated humanity, each holding the reflection of the other.
This Full Moon, also squares Uranus, the planet of change, break through, freedom and spaciousness, as well as disruption, and revolution. We can look at this time as a time we can breakthrough into new ways of being and perceiving ourselves and life situations. With the square it takes sustained awareness through the tension of old and new to birth new neural patterns in our brain and bodies. Uranus offers us larger dimensions of seeing, perceiving and engaging. It shifts the frequency of anxiety into the frequency of attunement to innovative consciousness. Isn’t amazing how the neural pathways look like the cosmic galaxies?
Affirmation for New Moon in Aquarius
“I affirm my connectedness with all life and with the guiding, deep intelligence that flows through all universe.
I cherish my connections with others and trust in humanity’s evolution to honor and know itself as a greater unity in which we live.”
Feb 11 – Chiron conjuncts the North Node at 16 Aries – the wounded healer is present as we labor to heal the wounded and distorted masculine and the values it esteems. That which is wounded in us reveals itself, and that which is the healer in us, now has momentum and courage to risk creating new ways of being.
Feb 12 – Mars enters Aquarius – Mars had extra force in its sign of exaltation, Capricorn, (January 4th-February 12th). Now moving into the sign Aquarius, its drive can fuel visionary participation, activating awareness of community, sharing of ideas. It stirs up the collective, stirs our friendships, to more clearly define our collective intentions and goals for the future.
Feb 13 – Mars conjuncts Pluto – 0 Aquarius – a day to be alert to power struggles, or actions to dominate. The warrior (Mars) is intensified (Pluto). Watch the collective situation in response. Personally, use this energy to clear, clean, recycle, and renew. Release the old. A powerful focus to get things accomplished.
Feb 16 – Venus enters Aquarius – in Aquarius through Mar 11 when it enters Pisces. An excellent time to gather with others and share insights, knowledge, and information to benefit the group. With Venus in Aquarius the way we relate to each other can lighten, and focus on what we have in common. Values shared can focus on humanitarian causes and bringing peace into the world community.
Feb 17 – Venus conjuncts Pluto at 0 Aquarius – A day to pay attention to what arises in our relationships, a signal of what needs transforming. Secrets can be revealed. Venus’s desire to relate in a way that is harmonious is empowered by Pluto’s impetus and drive. Yet Pluto takes Venus down into the underworld, like Inanna, to redeem those parts of ourselves that have been abandoned, forgotten, and betrayed.
Feb 18 – The Sun enters Pisces – The Sun enters the imaginative and watery realms of Pisces. Each year the Sun travels through Pisces before Spring returns. Some might say this is a time for Spring Cleaning. Certainly, traveling through the last sign of the zodiac, before the thrust of new growth in the Spring, calls for our reflection and the need to complete the old for new birth. This is an imaginative and deep feeling sign. We might take the deep dive into our dream life, creative life, scour our unconscious, raise up our tolerance and empathy, and remember our boundaries. Some need more empathy, some need more boundaries during the month. While in Pisces, the Sun conjuncts Saturn (boundaries, Feb 28) and Neptune (empathy, Mar 17).
Feb 21 – Venus conjuncts Mars at 6 Aquarius – a good day to attend to our intentions around our relationships, creativity, and values. At the conjunction their relationship is renewed and under this sign can be balanced. Mars adds energy to our relationships and Venus seeks to bring harmony to the drives of Mars. They seed our creative potential. As you see in the chart below they are in a potent alignment with Pluto, Jupiter and the Leo Moon. What is ready for transformation in the balance of masculine and feminine values and actions? Especially in regards to each other and the community. Jupiter can create both enjoyment and opportunity, but also go to extremes of indulgence, over doing. Where do we need courage and where do we need kindness? A day for ritual and realignment, honoring the creative God and Goddess, the celestial lovers, of life’s interplay of yin and yang.
Feb 22 – Mercury enters Pisces – when Mercury enters Pisces, we have the mind of the poet, the song writer, the voice for the collective, (the young poet, Amanda Gorman, has Mercury in Pisces, along with Jupiter and her Sun). Find time for positive altered states, where you can enter right brain activity. Be alert to overwhelm as a sign to walk quietly along the seashore. Imagine the mind emptying of preoccupying thoughts as a child might release a bundle of balloons to the sky.
Feb 24 – Full Moon in Virgo, 5 Virgo – After the drama of the beginning of the year, the full moon in Virgo seeks correction, refinement, and devotion to service. Here is practical analytical Virgo, the last stage of individual development in the zodiacal circle before we enter into Libra, and meet the test of balance and relatedness with others. “Discernment, Refinement” are the keywords as the Moon reflects the Sun’s light, traveling through Pisces. Now we balance between depths of feeling and inclusiveness, with attentiveness to particular details. We learn to ground the bigness of feelings we collectively have during this time on Earth. We are involved with deep and profound lessons at this time as the Sun situations itself between Mercury and Saturn. Saturn creates obstacles or challenges so we may learn wisdom and truth. The full Moon trines Jupiter in Taurus, leaning support to the process of growth and refinement.
Full Moon in Virgo
Feb 24 – Full Moon, 5 Virgo, 4:31 AM PST
Affirmation for Full Moon in Virgo
“I open myself to the attentiveness and discernment of this Virgo Moon as we move through the emotional waters of Pisces.
I take time to sift and sort through illusion and the collective unconscious that abounds during this time. I listen to my dreams, honor my creative envisioning and inspiration in order to ground and manifest.”
Feb 28 – The Sun conjuncts Mercury and Saturn, triple conjunction, at 9 Pisces – Bringing light to a discerning focused mind. The beginning of new study, the structuring of ideas. Bringing light to judgement and self criticism in order to banish these using Saturn’s sickle. Recognizing what needs to be limited.
Feb 29 – Mar 1 – the Sun conjunct Mercury 9 Pisces sextiles Jupiter in Taurus – after focusing, an excellent time to write, teach and communicate ideas.
The Twelve signs for February: Sun and Rising Signs
Aries (Mar 20-Apr 19): Dear Aries, February begins with Chiron, the wounded healer, in Aries, joining with the north node, highlighting healing, renewing, and integrating oneself at new levels. Your planet, Mars, in Capricorn, has drive and focus to accomplish its goals. It’s helpful to define exactly what those intentions are. On the 9th, the New Moon takes place in airy Aquarius, a sign complimentary to fiery Aries. This is a time to reassess your relationship with groups and friends, for looking forward in what you want to manifest/create over the next 12 months. The New Moon squares Uranus and pushes you to break through, to change your orientation. Mars enters Aquarius on the 12th, meeting Pluto. Take your time this day, rather than forcing anything. There is strength and rejuvenation here, but it can also play out by revealing something hidden, perhaps an old issue that carries intensity, a set up for transformation. The Sun enters Pisces on 18th, and the full Moon in Virgo is on the 24th. These yin signs, (Pisces & Virgo) call you back into yourself, to regroup and center. Earthy and practical Virgo challenges Aries to slow down and discern. How’s your energy? What is it you most need now to take care of yourself? Keywords for February, “Healing and integrating.”
Taurus (Apr 20-May 20): Dear Taurus, as the Sun moves through Aquarius it highlights your career, public standing, and what you aspire toward. With Pluto crossing into Aquarius, the next period of time can bring many changes in what you do, and how you show up in the world. The new Moon takes place on the 9th, signaling a time to focus on what seeds you are planting in area of your career. With the Moon squaring Uranus, you are stretched into new possibilities that may feel uncomfortable. Uranus in Taurus has been shaking your comfortable established ways! Change is coming. How do you want to embrace it? Your planet, Venus, moves from Capricorn to Aquarius on the 16th, moving from nose to the grindstone to an opening into more social interaction. As it enters Aquarius, it conjuncts Pluto and reminds you to attend to what has been unconscious in your interactions, with the prospect of transformation. Venus joins Mars in Aquarius on the 21st, bringing passion to your relationships and creations. The Full Moon in Virgo, with the Sun now in Pisces, takes place on the 24th, with the Sun traveling between Mercury and Saturn. Not only does the Virgo Moon call for discernment and the ability to carefully go over the details of things, but the Sun Mercury Saturn, also implies taking time for slowing, focusing, and attentiveness in what you do. Keywords for February, “Embracing new possibilities.”
Gemini (May 21-Jun 20): Dear Gemini, Mercury, your ruling Planet, enters Aquarius on the 4th and gives you a boost of uplifting mental energy. Having worked its way through Capricorn, both during and after its last retrograde, you may have felt serious matters were a foot and needed attention. With Mercury now in Aquarius your mind finds its joy again, especially after conjuncting Pluto on the 4th. Pluto is now the guardian of Aquarius, requiring passage into the innovative sign by confronting what has been in the deep, the forgotten, the repressed. The New Moon takes place on the 9th and marks a time of excellence for beginning study, teaching, writing, and making travel plans. With its square to Uranus, you want to stay grounded and centered as you might be pulled off course. With the Sun entering Pisces on the 18th, and the full Moon in Virgo on the 24th, the dynamic energy is shifting, creating changeability and flexibility. Under this pairing, you find a balance between home and work, family and being out in the world. It’s an excellent time to reflect inwardly and connect to a strong inner foundation. Keywords for February, “Balancing inner and outer.”
Cancer (Jun 21–Jul 21): Dear Cancer, are you moving through a very transforming time? What are you letting go of? How are you experiencing yourself in this month of transition? The Sun is also traveling through your house of intimacy, lighting up what’s working and what’s not working in the undercurrents of your relationships. The new Moon in Aquarius takes place on the 9th. You, dear Cancer, connect with others through emotional streams of connection. Aquarius shares mental streams of information and ideas. This new Moon carries the opportunity for witnessing, stepping back from taking things personally, and begins a new cycle of observing the dynamics in your intimate encounters. The Sun enters watery Pisces on the 18th, resonating with the deep currents you naturally hang out in. This is an imaginative time for you, but with Saturn nearby in Pisces, you are encouraged to take your time, feel grounded, and organized. Some of you may experience the imaginative powers of Pisces as supporting your creative voice, especially with Saturn next to Mercury in Pisces. The full Moon in Virgo on the 24th, highlights your creative expression, your ability to share inspired and practical information with others, and your power of investigating into matters that catch your attention. Keywords for February, “Witnessing interactions.”
Leo (Jul 22 – Aug 22): Dear Leo, the sign Aquarius lights up your house of relationships. Pluto crosses into Aquarius and starts a profound process of letting go, transforming, and looking deeply into your motivations. With the Sun, your planet, moving through the house of partnerships, you are attracted to those who shine and radiate. And indeed this is your very nature, you being the child of the Sun, the center of the circling solar system, child of the heart. Let your expressions come forth, creatively, playfully, and from your essence. Others do appreciate your voice. The new Moon takes place on the 9th. What would you like to affirm in your relationship? This month with the new Moon in square aspect to Uranus, something new is coming into your relationship. With Uranus, we are surfing the unknown, being open to synchronicities that give us guidance and break-throughs. The Sun enters Pisces on the 18th and the full Moon in Virgo takes place on the 24th. This pair of signs bring us inward, and for you, dear Leo, they illuminate what you value, your talents and sense of self worth. Take time to honor yourself. Keyword for February, “Find what shines and radiates back to you.”
Virgo (Aug 23-Sep 22): Dear Virgo, at this time of year, with the Sun moving through Aquarius, your day to day habits and routines are illuminated. This is the area of health and personal refinement, and can launch you into a change in what you do, and how you take care of yourself. When the new Moon takes place on the 9th, it is an excellent time to devote yourself to self care. It is also the area of work and service, your working environment. With the new Moon squaring Uranus, you might feel the tension between the old and the new. Uranus urges break-through. It can give you a boost to make those changes. Since late December your planet, Mercury, has been traveling next to Mars, giving you directness and a sharp mind, though sometimes spilling out as frustration and impatience. On the 4th, Mercury leaves serious, determined Capricorn, and enters brilliant Aquarius, urging more social contact and communication. That day, Mercury conjuncts Pluto, taking a deep dive into the underworld of hidden motivations, before it comes into the light of Aquarius fully. Watch for what comes into your awareness for transformation. The full Moon on the 24th, is illuminated in your sign Virgo, and focuses its nurturing and feeling qualities on you. With the Sun, Mercury, and Saturn in Pisces, you balance between attending to yourself and empathizing with others. Saturn requires you to discern and create healthy boundaries. Keywords for February, “Self care.”
Libra (Sep 23-Oct 22): Dear Libra, your natural expression of connection and thoughtfulness harmonizes with the Sun and gathering of planets in Aquarius. It eases tension for you, centering you in your own individuality and expression. The new Moon in Aquarius on the 9th, takes place in your house of creative expression, and relation with children. It emphasizes coming from the heart, lightening your expression into playfulness. Under this new Moon, you can affirm an intention to increase these traits, especially through mindful attentiveness and support from friends or group. Your ruling planet, Venus, is in Capricorn until the 16th when it enters Aquarius, a significant shift from serious, responsible, and follow-through Capricorn. Venus has been traveling next to Mars, since the beginning of February, bringing passion and decisiveness to relationships, promoting creative interactions, and seeking ways to bring peace and harmony to differing or conflictual points of view. As the two planets enter Aquarius they conjunct Pluto, Mars on the 12, Venus on the 17th. This is potent time in relationship, with powers to birth something new, but also to see the necessity of letting go of that which is no longer sustainable. The full Moon in Virgo lights up the sky on the 24th, receiving the radiance of the Sun in Pisces. This is an excellent time for you to retreat and reflect, looking over the last 6 months. How do you find yourself now? In what ways would you like to create and care for yourself as the Spring unfolds? Keywords for February “Experiencing supportive connection”
Scorpio (Oct 23-Nov 21): Dear Scorpio, with the Sun in Aquarius, your focus turns to family, home, and your interior world. Now Pluto enters Aquarius and sets you up for change and transformation. What is ready for change in this area of your life? The new Moon on the 9th, is the perfect time to make that declaration, to state your intention. With the new Moon squaring Uranus, it asks all of us to stay with the tension between old and new, then to stretch into a new place. Your ruling planet, Mars, is exalted in the sign Capricorn, until it moves into Aquarius on the 13th. While in Capricorn, Mars loves to accomplish its goals! It’s the time to mark those things off your to do list, and engage with Mars decisive energy. As Mars enters Aquarius, it will conjunct Pluto. Be mindful of your interactions, your feelings of frustration or the power of your motivations. This is a very potent combination for erupting what you might have been holding back from expressing. It has dynamism and drive to clear, release, and perform work hard, in order to transform situations. The Virgo Full Moon opposes the Sun in Pisces on the 24th, lighting up your creative houses, calling for a balance between how much you give to others and how much you invest in yourself. Keywords for February, “Step into the New.”
Sagittarius (Nov 22-Dec 20): Dear Sagittarius, as the planets gather in Aquarius they activate your house of learning and study, communication, writing and connecting with others. What a great time to share your thoughts with others, to connect with siblings, and to focus yourself into writing. The new Moon takes place on the 9th, a time to state intention. Is there a writing or speaking project you would like to begin? Is there a course of study or teaching you want to initiate? The new Moon squares Uranus, and encourages you to stretch into new possibilities. What wants to change in your life? Your ruling planet, Jupiter, now in Taurus, is moving closer to join with Uranus. This takes place every 14 years. Its conjunction initiates stimulation, excitement, and break-through. It promotes stepping into new situations and broadening your perspectives. The Sun enters Pisces on the 18th, calling your attention to the home front. The full Moon in Virgo graces your house of career and public standing. Now you balance between your inner and outer life, between family commitments and career. The Virgo Moon harmonizes with Jupiter, bringing you opportunities for growth you may choose from. Keywords for February, “Bright Mind.”
Capricorn (Dec 21- Jan 19): Dear hard working and devoted Capricorn, Venus has been gracing your sign since January 23rd, bringing love and positive connections with others into your life. Mars has been in Capricorn since January 4th, supporting your goals and strengthening your convictions. Mercury, too, has been in Capricorn. Soon these three planets will shift into Aquarius and bring in a lighter, more social energy. Mercury on the 4th, Mars on the 12th, and Venus on the 16th, while the New Moon in Aquarius takes place on the 9th. This gathering of planets in Aquarius, focuses you into your values, your sense of self worth, your talents, and your relation to money, making it a potent time to set an intention in one, or all of those areas. As the new Moon squares change-agent Uranus, you are encouraged to adjust to changes with positive inventiveness. Perhaps even bringing forth new confidence in yourself. Your planet, Saturn, is in imaginative and deep feeling Pisces, supporting exploration and participation in the mysteries of the deep self, encouraging you to give expression to your inner wisdom. At the full Moon in Virgo, on the 24th, the Pisces Sun joins Mercury and Saturn in Pisces, bringing illumination and focused mind to whatever you are engaged with. This is a special and potentially joyful and rewarding day for you as Jupiter, the full Moon, and your Sun form a harmonious grand trine in the Earth signs. Enjoy yourself, create, play, share your love. Keywords for February, “Feel the shift.”
Aquarius (Jan 20-Feb 17): Happy Birthday dear Aquarius! Mercury enters Aquarius on the 4th and lights up your mind with inventive thoughts, while the cosmic lovers, Mars and Venus, gather in Aquarius on the 12th and 16th, respectively! Mars and Venus begin a new cycle of creativity and interaction on the 21st after conjuncting Pluto. This is a potent cycle for Venus and Mars, describing the potential for death and rebirth of the masculine and feminine balance in our lives and relationships. In what way do you feel this rebirth, this new creative cycle? The Aquarius new Moon takes place on the 9th. This is a ‘once a year’ new Moon for you, Aquarius, really highlighting your uniqueness, and giving you the best opportunity to affirm your intention for the year ahead. As the new Moon squares one of your ruling planets, Uranus, it presents the crossroads between old and new. Are you willing to stretch into more expression and embodiment of your gifts? The full Virgo Moon captures the light of the Pisces Sun on the 24th, carrying its illumination through the night. The Virgo Pisces pairing highlights opposing themes, your values and self reliance versus shared values and intimacy/collaborations with others. This is an interesting theme for Aquarius, for your sign carries duality within itself of both freedom and togetherness. Keyword for February, “Enlivening.”
Pisces (Feb 18-Mar 19): Dear Pisces, when the Aquarius new Moon on the 9th lands in your house of retreat and spiritual connection, you are called to find a quiet sanctuary. It’s a time of gathering before your birthday, a time of review, even if for an hour on that day. Listen to your dreams, for this area of your chart brings forth the mysterious inner psyche to your attention. A message may be delivered to you, especially as Mercury enters Aquarius on the 4th – 22nd, with Pluto at the doorway. What wants to be transformed? What new inner direction are you receiving? Venus and Mars soon follow into Aquarius as well, on the 12th and 16th, and this makes retreating into the art or music studio, the creative writing or dance studio, a place we fuel up and feel creative potency. Jupiter, your ruling planet, is traveling more quickly now and soon will conjunct Uranus, which takes place once in 14 years. This combination brings excitement, inspiration, inventiveness, and the potential to feel as if you located yourself into a totally new dimension of perception! The Sun enters Pisces on the 18th. The two mystical fish that swim in Pisces’ sea capture both the fullness of the past and the motivations that spring us into the future. The Virgo full Moon on the 24th reflects the beauty of the Sun in Pisces. For you, dear Pisces, this full Moon blesses the polarity we all carry, that of balancing and nurturing yourself, with your empathy and kindness to others. Keywords for February, “Creative and heart felt expression.”
Susan Heinz is a professional astrologer in Santa Cruz for 42 years, bringing together traditional & esoteric astrology, Tarot and Qabalah. For info on her Friday monthly astrology groups, her Qabalah, astrology and/or painting classes, and for personal readings, call (831) 479-3751, or go to www.susanheinz.com