February 2017: Time Machine

February 2017: Time Machine

February’s skies promise a month both fast and strange. Mars and Venus’ presence in Aries pushes the pace of the month, accelerating it through a pair of eclipses which promise to take us across peculiar terrain. We’ll ride the eclipse dragon, like a roller-coaster, through tunnels ablaze with images. Visions of the future abound, which upon inspection look suspiciously like cheap re-enactments of the past. Cardboard Nazis, wax Founding Fathers, and stilted, animatronic recreations of old lovers stream by. They belong to neither the past nor the future, but are instead artifacts of the mysterious, mutating present. We’ll plow through these cheap projections in search of the actual past, a portion of which is still embedded in us, like shrapnel from a Vietnam-era landmine.

It will be a brightly lit and disorienting ride, but if you can stomach the twists and turns, there is much to be learned about both where we’ve been and where we’re headed.

Right, Left, Center

The month begins with Mercury making its way between squares to Jupiter and Uranus, exposing the mind to options temperate and extreme. As the messenger notes the answers offered by radical, disruptive Uranus and optimistic, moderate Jupiter, consider both perspectives. Some areas of your life might call for a little disruption, while others would do better with gentle nurturance. Mercury completes his square with Jupiter early on the 2nd.

Venus Enters Aries: The Red Queen

Venus changes signs on the 3rd, leaving behind the marine landscapes of Pisces for Aries’ red-hot arena. In the Ram’s sign, Venus signifies intense, kinetic passions. The planet makes for Incandescent moments of lust and glory, but also dull ash doldrums of regret and disappointment.

Venus is due to spend an unusually long period of time in Aries this year as a result of the bright planet’s upcoming retrograde. Though Venus does not station retrograde in February, it does spend the month in the same degrees it is destined to return to in subsequent months. Furthermore, every day throughout February, the evening star will rise lower and dimmer in the west before disappearing in March. Venus thus spends all of February in the “shadow” of the upcoming retrograde, tracing degrees and triggering layered material. Keep an eye on what the heart burps up in February, as some of it will need to be revisited before it is resolved.

Jupiter Stations Retrograde: Meditative Retreat

Jupiter rolls to a complete stop and reverses its motion on the 5th, beginning the planet’s 4-month retrograde phase. Unlike some of the other planet’s retrograde phases, Jupiter’s does not signal calamity, or even inconvenience. It does, however, suggest that we rein in our ambitions to expand and improve, and instead focus our efforts on holding the ground we’ve already taken. It is less lucky and potent than in the direct phase, but it is not actively malefic.

The most significant action Jupiter will undertake during its retrograde phase is the return to exact opposition with Uranus in Aries. This opposition brews tension between the careful step and the wild leap, and will begin to mount again from early February on, before coming to another peak, the second exact opposition of three, in early March.

Mercury Enters Aquarius: Back to the Future

Mercury enters Aquarius early on the 7th. This is traditionally considered to be a more functional sign for Mercury than Capricorn, as the great, abstract heights of Aquarius offer clarity superior to the stony, earth-bound vistas of Capricorn. Mercury will also be visible in the pre-dawn sky throughout this phase, though this short morning window of visibility will close as the month continues, disappearing late in the month.

Lunar Eclipse: Edged in Red

On February 10th, we are treated a penumbral lunar eclipse at 22 Leo, the first of many on the axis which connects the Lion and the Water-Bearer. This eclipse occurs with the Sun and Moon occupying degrees configured tightly to this year’s Jupiter-Uranus opposition, and moving the game of 2017 along, turning over another set of cards.

This eclipse sees the Moon loosely conjunct the Dragon’s Head, the North Node of the Moon. Eclipses on the North Node often exaggerate or magnify the characteristics of the signs involved. In this case, with the Moon in Leo, we may see excessively royal behavior, and conflicts resulting from overweening pride or a bloated sense of sovereignty. On the other hand, this surfeit of Leonine power may serve as a corrective for those who have a hard time expressing themselves or declaring ownership over their world.

As it is only the first of several eclipses in Leo, it initiates a process scheduled to take a full 18 months. So while it may set certain things in motion, it is primarily a point of beginnings, not outcomes.

The Sun Enters Pisces: Descent

The Sun enters Pisces early on the 18th, growing fins and buoyancy gauges that it might swim with the Fishes for the next month. For the rest of February, the Sun will paddle deep and deeper through the undersea sign. A conjunction with the Dragon’s Tail on the 21st sees the Sun’s light drift down, toward the ocean floor, in preparation for the last eclipse in Pisces on the 26th. The 21st is doubly challenged, as while the Sun is lashed by the Tail, Mars squares Pluto, which can stir up ugly and oppressive power dynamics.

Mercury Enters Pisces: The Curvature of Waves

On the 26th, Mercury forsakes the heights of Aquarius for the depths of Pisces. Mercury is considered to have a difficult time in Pisces, as the psychedelic seas of the Fishes’ sign tend to bend straight lines into spirals, making the simple more challenging than it ought to be. Mercury retrograde-esque phenomena, such as missed flights, drowned smartphones and forgotten emails are all common during the messenger’s passage through Pisces. The planet’s position is, however, favorable for works of poetry and imagination, which do not depend so heavily on the linear. Mercury will be in Pisces until March 13th.

Solar Eclipse in Pisces: Leviathan’s Lashing Tail

February’s finale waits for the last days of the month. The annular solar eclipse in Pisces is slated for the 26th. It is the last in the Pisces-Virgo series of eclipses which began back in September 2015, and thus plays a concluding role in the series of adjustments which this cycle has presided over. This final installment occurs at 8 Pisces, and will be visible over the southern portion of south America, as well as some parts of Western Africa.

Here Leviathan’s tail gives the sea-floor one final sweep, stirring up strange beasts and hammering the doors of sunken R’lyeh. Sea-monsters and sunken treasures emerge from the waters of the personal and collective psyche. Some will see a few odds and ends wash up on their beaches, while other, more sea-faring types may find themselves sucked directly into the mysteries of the maelstrom.

Mars, Uranus and Jupiter

While the solar eclipse churns the watery deeps, Mars intersects powerfully with the Jupiter-Uranus opposition, cranking up the temperature on the land and in the air. Mars conjoins Uranus in Aries on the 26th and then opposes Jupiter in Libra on the 27th. Here the swift and radical takes precedence over the moderate. Though Mars-Uranus conjunctions can catalyze quantum leaps of personal development, they can also spur shocking, unilateral and violent action.

This configuration, which marks one of 2017’s flashpoints, adds volatility to the atmosphere of the last days of the month. February ends on an intense and potentially chaotic note, with early March offering more of the same. Heated dynamics require a cool head, so stay frosty, and keep an eye out for the opportunities which disorder sometimes offers.

HOROSCOPES

Horoscopes are not a real chart reading by an experienced astrologer. However, they are fun and can be reasonably accurate. In addition to referring to your Sun sign, read your from Ascendant and Moon if you know them. If you don’t, find out. I’m a long time fan of the free chart generation software at astro.com.
Aries: The Ram

This month sees both Venus and Mars in your sign, a combination which offers an abundance of rocket fuel, but little advice as to what to do with it. Get your combustion on, but be careful not to let your passions lead you into fruitless conflicts.

The lunar eclipse in Leo on the 10th opens a window into what you’re doing with your creative energy. Give thought to what you’re making, what you’re shaping, and whether it might not deserve more of you.

The solar eclipse in Pisces on the 26th opens a doorway into the depths. Beneath the waves wait pieces of your past tied to futures yet unknown.

Taurus: The Bull

With Mars and Venus both in Aries for the entirety of the month, you’ll likely feel alternately frisky and itchy, reaching for concealed sources of inflammation. Turn a questioning eye on some the passions which possess you, as there may be more to them than it seems.

The lunar eclipse in Leo on the 10th casts its compromised light across your foundations, highlighting your home and family. This eclipse begins an 18-month series which asks you to revisit your familial relationships and to redefine what “home” means to you.

The solar eclipse in Pisces on the 26th is the last installment in a series which has been running since 2015. Look to your collection of friends and contacts, as well as your general sense of community, and consider what final transformations or refinements are due.

Gemini: The Twins

The presence of both Mars and Venus in Aries for the entirety of February suggests a socially active month. There is, however, a frictive, combative tone which may work its way into your interactions, so tread thoughtfully around contentious topics.

The lunar eclipse in Leo on the 10th points you toward your to-do list, and prods you to get going. Set aside your bigger dreams for just a moment, as there’s plenty worth doing here and now.

Finally, the solar eclipse in Pisces on the 26th asks you to take a look at your professional life
through the distant, wise eye of the eclipse. Take a look beneath the surface, to the deep, powerful currents which have brought you to this point.

Cancer: The Crab

The presence of both Venus and Mars in Aries for all of February suggests that there will be quite a bit to do, especially on the professional front. Burn bright, but don’t burn out.

The lunar eclipse in Leo on the 10th is the first in a series due to underscore your value. This is a good cycle for money and for your self-worth, though it may serve to complicate relationships.

The solar eclipse on the 26th casts a blacklight across your aspirations, asking you to consider your journey toward them from the perspective of a Taoist sage. On the river of life, one can sit motionless on their raft, yet arrive on time, courtesy of the current. In harmony with larger forces, the sage arrives at their destination without struggle.

Leo: The Lion

The presence of Venus and Mars in Aries this February will lift your eyes toward long-term goals and stoke your fire to achieve them. Make progress where you can, but be prepared for slow-downs toward the end of the month.

The lunar eclipse in Leo on the 10th is the first of several in your sign. It, as well as those that follow, offer a dose of confidence and ambition. However, beware over-extending or over-exerting yourself, as temptations to hubris abound.

The solar eclipse on the 26th is the last we’ll see in Pisces for quite some time. This final installment asks you to take one more look at what you owe and are owed, and consider whether there isn’t a way to bring greater harmony to your balance sheet.

Virgo: The Virgin

Mars and Venus will be in Aries for the entirety of February. In the Ram’s sign the two planets highlight the exchanges of time, money and energy between yourself and others. Though they likely signify some exciting back-and-forth, be careful about locking yourself into partnerships.

The lunar eclipse in Leo on the 10th of the month casts a shadow on the issues of self-expression and confidence. Look to the golden mean between vanity and self-loathing for answers to questions of appearance and pride.

The solar eclipse in Pisces which occurs on the 26th is the last installment in the Virgo-Pisces
series, which has been running since September 2015. This last eclipse helps finalize the shifts in your relationships which this cycle has wrought.

Libra: The Scales

The presence of both Mars and Venus in Aries this February suggests ongoing changes to your relationships. Though Mars will move on next month, Venus is due to spend much longer in the Ram’s sign, suggesting that some of the interpersonal dynamics featured this February have layers which will take considerable time to unfold.

The lunar eclipse on the 10th is the first of a series in Leo. It points toward the role you play in groups, as well as to your reputation. This eclipse, as well as the subsequent ones in Leo, ask how you might inhabit your social roles with greater authenticity.

The solar eclipse on the 26th is the last of the Pisces-Virgo series, and is thus the final installment in a cycle of changes to your habits. If you’ve been waffling about making positive alterations to your lifestyle, this eclipse is your signal.

Scorpio: The Scorpion

Mars and Venus are both in Aries for February, suggesting that a number of small problems will need your attention. Fix what breaks, but in the meantime, do take some time to consider the state of your habits, as this configuration asks that you take a critical look at the way you maintain both your body and your space.

The lunar eclipse on the 10th casts a strange light across your career. Like the bat-signal, this beacon calls for your presence. This eclipse is the first of an 18-month series which will draw you toward deeper involvement in the professional area of your life.

On the other hand, the solar eclipse on the 26th is the last of a series, and asks you to look over your pleasures, and to consider bidding goodbye to one indulgence or another.

Sagittarius: The Centaur

The presence of both Mars and Venus in Aries this February suggests that your creative power will be unusually flared this month. Yet so will your lust for good times. Spend your energy wisely.

A lunar eclipse in Leo arrives on the 10th, and sticks in the sky as a red beacon, calling you toward big goals and ideas. This is the first in an 18-month series of eclipses which attempt to uproot you from the small so that you might consider the grand.

A solar eclipse in Pisces brings the month to an end, and in the process shines a blacklight on your living situation and familial relationships. This odd radiance may reveal something or someone you need to let go of. Let the waves rinse what needs cleaning, and wash away what no longer matters.

Capricorn: The Goat

Both Mars and Venus will be in Aries this February, suggesting that your living situation and familial relations may both be up for consideration. If you find yourself irritated with either your digs or your kin, consider what you can do, or say, to improve matters. Don’t rely on others to discover and then remediate your complaints.

The lunar eclipse on the 10th asks what help others might be able to lend you. If you’ve got a project or a problem, consider who might be willing to offer a hand.

The month ends with a solar eclipse on the 26th. It asks you to take a penetrating look at the way you spend your time, and consider whether your calendar could use a little refinement.

Aquarius: The Waterbearer

The presence of both Venus and Mars in Aries this February marks it as unusually busy for you. Don’t be surprised if your schedule ends up overcrowded with a surfeit of activities.

The lunar eclipse on the 10th is the first in a series whose installments will occur in your sign and its opposite, Leo. This first installment thus begins an 18-month cycle which will push you to refine your sense of self and asks you to consider the importance of relationships.

The solar eclipse on the 26th, however, is in Pisces, and ends a series which has been in effect since September 2015. Look to final lessons surrounding finances as February comes to a close.

Pisces: The Fish

Mars and Venus both in Aries this February suggest that there are some financial adjustments just over the horizon, so plan to keep a little cash in the bank for emergencies, or to deal with surprise expenses.

The lunar eclipse on February 10th is the first of several which will occur in Leo. This series will pull you to consider concrete matters, such as the way that you maintain your body and space.

The solar eclipse in your sign on the 26th is very much the month’s finale. It is the last eclipse in Pisces which will occur for almost a decade, and opens a doorway to a greater, yet humbler, sense of who you are and what your role is.

Austin Coppock is a writer, esotericist and astrologer based in Los Angeles. He published paperback Almanacs from 2011-15 but began posting his prognostications online last year, referring to his collection of weekly, monthly, yearly essays and daily delineations as "The Online Almanac". This work is made possible by his supporters on Patreon. Austin was President of the non-profit organization "Association for Young Astrologers" from 2012-2016. His most recent book is "36 Faces: The History, Astrology and Magic of the Decans", published by Three Hands Press.

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