by Steven Forrest
“In like a lion, out like a lamb” is a proverb generally associated with the month of March. Blame it on global warming, but I think we will see that happy transition occurring a little earlier this year, in February. And I am not exactly talking about weather reports. The warming trend I am expecting is in the human heart. The month begins with an unusual concentration of energies in feisty, often-contrarian Aquarius. By mid-month, we begin to see a mass migration into milder Pisces.
Let’s look at the astrological specifics for starters, then dive into their meaning and purpose.
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We all know that every year the Sun enters Pisces around the third week of February. (The exact date can vary a bit, which is why people born “on the cusp” need to have an actual chart set up for the exact date, place and time of their birth.) This year that shift happens on the 18th. Mercury beats the Sun into Pisces by about thirteen hours, leaving Aquarius late on the 17th, US west coast time. Venus wins the race by a week, having entered Pisces on the 10th.
Those sign ingresses are quick transitory changes – things we notice subjectively because of their suddenness, the same way we notice the temperature drop when we walk into an air conditioned theater, while maybe not being so cognizant of Autumn gradually cooling into Winter.
The broader “seasonal” backdrop for these three fast-moving bodies changing signs is that when the Sun, Venus, and Mercury cross into Pisces, two slower bodies – Neptune and Chiron – are already there waiting for them. So, from the 18th of the month onward, we will have a grand total of four planets in Pisces – plus Chiron to ice the rather fishy cake.
Meanwhile, back in Aquarius and mightily reinforcing everything Aquarian in the earlier part of the month, there is the all-important South Node of the Moon. It has been there for quite a while, having entered Aquarius, retrograde as always, on April 28, 2017. The South Node remains there until it crosses into Capricorn on November 15th this year.
So lots of Aquarius gives way to lots of Pisces this month. What does it all signify?
As ever, the most intimately personal answers to these kinds of questions can only arise in the context of where these planets fall in your natal chart. Still, we can see some patterns that are relevant to us all, not to mention to the unfolding history of the world.
As I enter this web of symbolism with you, the portal through which I want to pass is the lunar South Node. At the individual level, it always refers to unresolved personal karma. We are all born wounded somehow – or we wouldn’t have been born at all. Life is all about healing the wounds that hold us back, and the word “healing” only has meaning in the context of some kind of woundedness.
Fleshing this idea out, we recognize that some of us are born frightened. Others are born angry, or insecure, or inclined to escapism or to violence. You know the list. It is the more unfortunate side of what makes us human.
I try to understand all this myself through the metaphysical lens of past lives and reincarnation – and, to me, the South Node symbolizes your unresolved, ripening karma. But however one views it, the phenomena it represents are as plain as the nose on your face, directly observable.
Now, here is the key: as the South Node sweeps through a given sign, all of humanity is dealing with the ripening of a certain kind of karma – one linked to the current zodiacal sign of the Node. In this case, it is Aquarian karma. We will define that karma specifically in a moment. The broader point is that the South Node always tends to bring out the Shadow dimension of any Sign. We could therefore label it “negative,” and that’s not completely a mistake. But a deeper view is that we are ready, collectively or individually, to deal honestly with the wound.
And that of course is the only path to true healing.
Bottom line, from April 2017 through the middle of this coming November, all humanity is experiencing an outburst of the more limiting or distorting dimensions of the sign Aquarius. This outburst is particularly intense during the first half of February when there are three planets in Aquarius as well.
Remember of course that every zodiacal sign is ultimately a path to a higher state of consciousness – an “idea in the Mind of God,” so to speak.
But every front has a back.
Here, in no particular order, is a list of key words, terms, and concepts that embody the dark side of Aquarius: Coldness. Alienation. Contrariness. The Pariah. The Exile. Resentment. Mistaking One’s Self for An Idea. Intellectual Defensiveness. Criminality. Lies. Dehumanization. “Weirdness” operating as an Affectation or a Defense. The Stone-Cold Killer. The Designated Victim. The Rebel Without A Clue. The Pissy Teenager. Judgementalness. Cruelty. Lack of Mercy. Schism. Fragmentation. Inability to Compromise.
Now, before I am flooded with furious emails from peeved Aquarians who feel they have been defamed, please remember that this is a profile of the Aquarian Shadow, not of Aquarius as an idea in the Mind of God!
Here’s a quick reality check: our premise is that since last Spring, all humanity has been experiencing what we might hopefully call a “purge” of these particularly Aquarian psychic toxins – that we are all flooded with them is part of it – but the good news is that the flood can be understood as a kind of healing crisis. A “purge,” as I put it a moment ago.
A glance at all the miserable headlines quickly corroborates our hypothesis.
The next thought, probably in your mind and certainly in mine is that, “Yes indeed, the world is currently a fragmented, alienated mess . . . but this didn’t exactly start last April.”
Fair enough. The South Node’s passage through Aquarius is just one astrological factor. Many others, running over a longer period of time, are relevant to what we see going on in the world today. I am thinking primarily of the Uranus-Pluto square, which was at its peak 2012-2015, but was within orbs at least a couple years earlier and which can still be felt. (That epochal square is no longer the “buzz” in AstroWorld, but as I write these words, Uranus and Pluto are still only about five degrees away from a perfect square, so the aspect remains very much activated . . . just ask yourself: doesn’t it feel like “The Lord of Earthquakes and Lightning Bolts” is still duking it out with “The God of Hell?”)
I am also thinking of the sadly-often-ignored conjunction of Uranus and the newfound planet Eris. I wrote a long piece about that for our newsletter in September 2016. That conjunction continues until Uranus is safely over the line into Taurus, starting later this year and not really solid until March 2019. (Last time Eris and Uranus formed a conjunction, there was a global rise of Fascism. That alignment was centered on 1928, but both planets move slowly, especially Eris. It unfolded from the late 1920s into the early 1930s.)
The picture is complicated, in other words. Everything in astrology is that way. It had better be – astrology is the mirror of life.
So: chaos reigns “on Earth as it is in the heavens.”
Interestingly, all of these configurations involve the planet Uranus, the modern ruler of Aquarius, and so they are underscored by the current nodal transit through that sign.
Let’s be careful not to lose the precision available to us as astrologers. The passage of the South Node through Aquarius has a very specific evolutionary meaning. It is not just one more log on the fires that are burning our world to cinders lately. The key to a helpful, and more encouraging, understanding is that always with the South Node, karma ripens. It manifests, in other words. In this case, that suggests two things. First, at the obvious outward level, that there is a universal plague of “Aquariosis” currently afflicting the planet – see those poisonous key words I listed earlier for a definition of the collective disorder.
Secondly, there is an unconscious collective intention to heal the disease. We are all sick of this bout of “Aquariosis.” We are ready to heal it – or at least enough of us are ready to heal it to make a real difference in the tenor of human civilization.
From the higher – let us say “Angelic” – point of view, this looping, highly-Aquarian, “Us versus Them” litany of alienation, judgement, and coldness needs to end.
What would such an ending look like? If I had to pick a single word, it would be forgiveness – and that is one word deeply woven into the fabric of the best side of Pisces. There are others: Release. Letting Go. Radical Acceptance. Compassion. Surrender.
Nice goals, of course! But astrology’s strength is the way it casts light on the real-world, optimal path for achieving them. It illuminates the actual processes. It helps us generate mindfulness about how to really accomplish it, describing skillful means – and, beyond all that, it also places these healing processes accurately on the calendar.
Not just “what to do,” but also “when to do it.”
In your personal life – and, I hope, in the broader world – the first part of February probably involves your getting heartily sick and tired of some of the compulsive mental fugues in your head, fugues that embody some or all of those bad Aquarian words we listed a few moments ago. I want to underscore here that simply admitting that you are sick of those attitudes and thought-patterns is a huge spiritual victory. The ego is always attached to them, practically making a religion out of the dramas they generate. It does not want to release them. Letting go is the ultimate goal – but the process of release begins with the acknowledgment that you are tired of them, that you are getting bored with yourself. The juice is going out of your resentments.
This cessation of engagement with your own whining narrative is the feeling-state that arises as a South Node attachment of any sort begins to be extinguished. It is spiritual gold. As we enter February under the rays of the Aquarian Sun, Mercury, Venus, and the South Node, those unpleasant energies crest. Notice that! Be mindful of it. On the 10th, as Venus enters Pisces, they begin to ease – and a tender moment with someone about whom you care might be the outward trigger. Then on the 17th and 18th, Mercury and Sun cross the line and the process of release attains full power.
At that point, rather than forcing anything, I would only encourage Piscean mindfulness. Entertain the idea that you are possibly not in fact actually as angry, resentful, beset by scorpions, misunderstood, and ill-used as your recent “position papers” might suggest. Maybe you just don’t feel that way anymore. The juice has simply gone out of a lot of that drama. You may be repeating it out of habit, but your heart is not really in it any longer.
This Piscean “mindfulness” is almost the opposite of effort. It is more like surrendering to “what actually is.” You have probably already done most of the work. The trick here is to notice it, and to let go of the Aquarian habits.
What is your personal relationship to Aquarius? Do you have any planets there? What house or houses of your chart does Aquarius touch? What aspects are involved? The answers to those technical questions are of course quite individual. They tell us what part of your life needs this precious gift of just letting go and moving on. In the Sixth house – is it about your responsibilities or your health? Natal Venus in Aquarius – something about a primary relationship?
I feel that, as you accomplish all this personal work, you are setting up healing resonances that go far beyond simply finding some serenity in your own life. The big collective world “out there” – the world of the daily headlines – is really just the aggregate expression of the consciousness of all seven billion of us.
Never forget that you are one of them, and that your vote counts.
New Release: Progressions in the USA Chart
In December I presented a workshop for my apprentice program on using progressions, a bedrock timing technique. For the Friday night special lecture, I presented "Progressions in the USA Chart". This was a rare kind of lecture for me, as I took a tour through the history of the USA to demonstrate the profound effectiveness of using progressions.
If you've been on the fence about progressions, take this lecture for a spin. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised at the strength of the correlations.
The lecture is 2 hours long, and you have the option of getting an audio download, a video, a written transcript, or all three.