Friday, February 1, 2019

A Milder February

It’s snowing outside.  It’s been a hard winter for us here, so far.  My wife and I have taken on new roles as nurses, helping her grandmother navigate her suddenly uncooperative body.  She’s awake and aware, and she holds on to her dignity, but it’s not easy for any of us. 

I’ve been an astrologer for many years, and I knew that things were about to get intense.  But you never know exactly what form it’s going to take.  Looking at the new moon of February 4, though, I’m a little heartened.  It’s much gentler than the last one. 

The new moon shows some of the new beginnings we can expect this month.  This is a more dispassionate, cerebral new moon, with Mercury close to the sun/moon in Aquarius.  It’s a time when we can all be more objective, when we can get some distance from the problems that shocked and unbalanced us during the last lunar cycle. 

And this distance lends itself to problem-solving, to ingenuity and creativity.  One of the hallmarks of Aquarius is the willingness to try new things, to invent and construct alternative techniques and strategies.  I’m looking forward to this, if only to help us streamline our new routines a bit. 

Maybe we’ll turn out to be hotshot nurses.  Only yesterday we were congratulating each other because we’ve gotten pretty smooth with a drawcloth and a three-count, hoisting the granny up to a higher position on the bed.  Maybe there will be more stories to hear, before she falls back asleep again.  Maybe we’ll be amazed by the secrets that emerge, secrets buried for almost a hundred years. 

The granny holds court from a bed which obligingly changes shape at the press of a button.  Meanwhile, winter creeps by outside, soft flakes falling past her window.  She ignores them,  fixated on the pictures hanging on the wall, the photos of family and close friends.  When we take them down, she touches them and says the name of each person.

Mostly gentle, the February new moon has one hard aspect:  a separating square between Mars and Pluto.  This shows an ongoing struggle with power, with forces that are too strong for us.  In our home, we certainly see this, as we face the harsh realities of human frailty and transience.  There is so little we can do.  The snow covers everything, once again.   

In the political landscape, we see it as well.  One of the grueling things about January was the government shut-down, and the economic insecurity it engendered for so many people.  It became obvious that the president’s habit of ignoring consequences really doesn’t work for him – and definitely not for anyone else.  Now the new Democratic House has started working with the kind of energy we haven’t seen in Congress in a while, and it’s becoming clearer to the public where that energy is getting choked off.

During the first half of February, there are a lot of stimulating Mercury aspects, which keep mental energy flowing.  Information will move outward more freely, coming from discussions, meetings, and the sharing of ideas.  This will be a welcome contrast to the kind of gaslighting the president routinely does.  Of course, it’s only a beginning, a showcase of how government, civil society, and the press can work together.  But it will be heartening. 

The middle of February is the most turbulent time, and I realize this is when government funding comes due again, on February 15.  Mars will move out of combative Aries and into the more sedate sign Taurus.  However Taurus is a fixed sign.  Could there be another impasse?  I doubt it, because Mars in Taurus is also basically practical, and a government shut-down helps nobody.      

However, something rather violent and shocking could happen, when Mars and Uranus conjoin in late Aries.  This happens between February 9 and 16, and if you have anything in the last degree of Aries (or any other cardinal sign), it’s a good idea to be extra careful then.  It looks like something will be ending, but unfortunately, I don’t think it will be the Trump presidency.  I don’t have too much hope that that will happen till March at the earliest, when Jupiter opposes his sun for the first time.  At that point, some of his excesses could catch up with him.

One danger is military action, during this Mars/Uranus conjunction.  But I’m hoping the month’s emphasis on healthy civil discourse will have a discouraging effect when it comes to military adventures.  I don’t see any astrological indication of an invasion of Venezuela, since this Mars/Uranus conjunction is actually benign in the Venezuelan national chart.  It could mean a sudden but positive shift in the balance of power there. 

Other tricky aspects in mid-February are less turbulent, but could be problematic.  Venus conjuncts Saturn, and this is rather bleak.  Hard Venus aspects often indicate setbacks in the gay and queer community, but this is not an easy aspect for anybody’s love life.   At the same time, Mercury conjuncts Neptune.  This aspect lends itself to fantasy worlds which distract everyone from the disappointments of that Venus/Saturn aspect.  It could be all shimmer and glitter, and it could be beautiful, but it could also be one of those mass hypnosis times.  Afterwards everybody wonders why they fell in love with a donkey, or believed one of DT’s lies.

Aside from the sudden shocks of the Mars/Uranus conjunction, and the sorrows of the Venus/Saturn conjunction, I’m not seeing too many surprises in February.  The best thing about the coming month is that people will be thinking, and except for that spate of delusion in the middle of the month, they’ll be thinking more clearly than usual.  Dawn takes its time, following one band of daylight with another and another.  But sooner or later, the world will be a lighter place.