The Astrology Blog 27 Jan to 23 Feb 2020
All times in GMT
“A dream written down with a date becomes a goal.
A goal broken down into steps becomes a plan.
A plan backed by action makes your dreams come true.”
Anon – from quotemaster.org
I’m off to the UK in a few days time and am going to be away for three weeks, so this is the astrology for the next four weeks, not in the same detail as usual but I hope you’ll find it useful as a speedy guide. Here we go!
Monday 27 January
- Venus conjunct Neptune 17 Pisces 20.02
Tuesday 28 January
- Mars 17 Sagittarius square Neptune 17 Pisces 10.36
All the fast moving “personal” planets catch up with the slower moving planets once a year and this week starts with Venus catching up with Neptune. The last time we had this conjunction which was also at 17 degrees Pisces was 10 April 2019 and the next one will be 19 March 2021 at 21 Pisces.
This one feels extra important as we’re building up to the sextile (harmonious, when planets are exactly 2 signs apart) between Jupiter and Neptune, the two planets who rule the sign of Pisces. It takes years for a slow moving planet (Jupiter) to catch up with a much slower planet (Neptune) so to put this in perspective the last sextile between these two was 8 June 2011 and the next one will be 23 May 2024. The one now forming will be exact three times this year, starting on 20 February, so this aspect is part of the backdrop for the year and there’s more about this at the end of the blog.
The important thing to remember with the outer planets is that they have very definite flipsides. It’s too easy to go just for the positive side and to glamourise them. For example, Neptune is the planet of mysticism, fusion, compassion and fairytale type romance, but he also rules the 12th House of the horoscope, the “Vale of Tears” where we locate suffering, sacrifice, isolation or those lost to us. So this union with Venus and the square to Mars (pain as well as action) between them can run the whole gamut from falling in love to the floods and loneliness of grief.
From a learning point of view it’s educational to look at how these aspects show up in natal charts. Venus – Neptune combinations often reflect extreme sensitivity and artistic talent. For example, Leonard Cohen was born on an exact Venus – Neptune conjunction in Virgo. He wasn’t just a singer and songwriter, he was also a poet and novelist. His work embodied Venus and Neptune in their most difficult signs (Virgo, opposite to Pisces) and explored isolation, depression, sexuality, loss, death and romantic relationships. Leonard Bernstein, remembered as one of the most prodigiously talented and successful musicians in American history, including the glorious West Side Story, was born on a Venus – Neptune conjunction in flamboyant Leo and was buried with a copy of Mahler’s 5th Symphony lying across his heart.
At a more general level though there is loveliness in this conjunction as Venus, planet of love, pleasure and money, is in her sign of exaltation and Neptune is at home, dignified in his own sign. Dreams can come true and healing can happen, especially when you identify and work with your true feelings, and/or someone else’s. Kindness and empathy will count for a lot too so make these your watchwords in all your relationships these next few weeks, not just with a partner but with anyone close to you and especially those who rely on you for understanding. Unconditional love can be very beautiful, to give as well as to receive. So put yourself out, go the extra mile, you’ll feel good and score yourself some spiritual brownie points.
So it’s rather an intense start to the week, and possibly tiring too as Neptune often links to sleep issues. From having too much to do and being in overwhelm, to underestimating how exhausting emotional stuff can be too, whatever your personal scenario right now the best advice is to pace yourself. One thing at a time.
This is underlined by Mercury still in systematic Aquarius this week and playing into the Saturn – Pluto conjunction, which was exact two weeks ago on 12 January but they’re still side by side. These are minor aspects but nevertheless helpful in terms of getting organized, enlisting help or tying up loose ends, possibly related to events that started mid month and especially in the second half of the week –
Thursday 30 January
- Mercury 23 Aquarius semi-sextile Pluto 23 Capricorn 10.25
Friday 31 January
- Mercury 25 Aquarius semi-sextile Saturn 25 Capricorn 09.27
Look out for themes of closure and decisions as this is Mercury’s last activity before changing sign, also moving on into Pisces next week, and also because Saturn and Pluto are themselves both about endings and then inevitable change. Venus is doing the same thing, repeating the pattern of aligning with Saturn and Pluto, and then changing sign. Here’s the sequence –
Sunday 2 February
- Venus 23 Pisces sextile Pluto 23 Capricorn 07.06
Monday 3 February
- Mercury ingress Pisces 11.39
- Venus 25 Pisces sextile Saturn 25 Capricorn 22.03
Friday 7 February
- Venus ingress Aries 20.04
Mercury’s first aspect on his new journey is the sextile to Uranus, which I would normally just have listed as part of the above sequence but it’s worth noting this event separately because Mercury is going to get as far as 13 Pisces and then turn retrograde on Feb 17th. This means that the aspect to Uranus isn’t a one off, but the first of three. Think of Uranus as so slow moving as to be at a virtual standstill, with Mercury dancing around him –
Wednesday 5 February
- Mercury 3 Pisces sextile Uranus 3 Taurus 09.44
Saturday 29 February
- Retrograde Mercury 3 Pisces sextile Uranus 3 Taurus
Sunday 22 March
- Direct Mercury 4 Pisces sextile Uranus 4 Taurus
In Mercury’s loops and swirls the aspect to Uranus is the only one that’s repeated three times and this sequence will be especially significant for you if you have planets or angles at or close to 3 to 4 degrees of Taurus/Pisces are the opposite signs of Scorpio/Virgo. It will certainly keep you on your toes! And even if you haven’t got anything in your own horoscope at these degrees you can still expect to see or experience the nature of this very lively combination at a universal level – unexpected or shock news, things happening suddenly and creating all kinds of changes, an on-off relationship or situation, last minute travel and so on. As I’m always saying, Uranus is the astrologer’s nightmare. Like the Tower in the tarot, he’s the loose cannon and is unpredictable.
Romance and Passion
New chapters in your love life are part of the picture with Venus arriving in Aries, first sign of the zodiac and therefore linked to fresh starts of all kinds. There’s definitely a message here around stirring up some passion as this ingress is followed less than two days later by the Full Moon in another fire sign –
Sunday 9 February
- Full Moon 20 Leo 07.34
New relationships or new jobs will get things sizzling, and don’t forget that Aries is the sign of the self so some self love and looking after number one is also a factor. It’s certainly not the time to stay in situations that are wrong for you just to keep other people happy. Apart from anything else that never works anyway. Do an emotional health check and stop doing whatever is making you feel resentful or used.
The Moon is also an extremely important symbol for everything to do with home, property and family. So if you’re house hunting, thinking of moving or if you’re already caught up in the buying and selling process then the weekend of the 8th/9th Feb is a hotspot for these concerns too. Interestingly this Full Moon falls conjunct my own and will fall at the very end of my holiday, visiting friends in Lanzarote. I’ve never been before but this year I decided to make it happen and I expect it will be home from home as Carole and I go back a long way, we used to share a flat in London and I also stayed with her for months, several winters in a row, when she was working in Cairo, twenty years ago. We have fabulous synastry with a foreign theme, my Sagittarius Sun conjunct her Ascendant, the kind of contact you would expect to see in a friendship that also stands the test of time.
There’s then a long gap between astrological events as there are no major aspects being formed during the week after the Full Moon. This doesn’t of course mean that life will grind to a halt! On the contrary it’s a great week for getting on with things, and I’m looking forward to my week in London then of seeing friends, clients and running the workshops. And, as always with Mercury getting ready to turn retrograde, it’s an ideal week for getting ahead, especially as the following week is action packed with other big events too.
Sunday 16 to Sunday 23 February
We start with Mars following in Mercury’s footsteps, changing sign and making his first aspect to Uranus, but in this case it’s just a one off –
Sunday 16 February
- Mars ingress Capricorn 11.34
Monday 17 February
- Mercury turns retrograde 13 Pisces 00.55
Friday 21 February
- Mars 3 Capricorn trine Uranus 3 Taurus 09.11
This is good news as Capricorn is Mars’s sign of exaltation. Mars takes two years to make the full orbit of signs and can therefore spend up to two months travelling through one sign, but will be whizzing through Capricorn from 16 Feb to 30 March. It’s a fantastic combination for setting goals and getting down to hard work. And the best way to utilize the Uranus energy is to be different, to find a way of standing out in the crowd and to take calculated risks. Whatever Mars – Uranus may be about, it’s not about playing it safe.
Also as mentioned earlier watch out for the Uranian hallmarks of surprises and suddenness. On the work front this can be getting or losing a job with no warning. On the love front this could be a romance springing back to life, even one that you’d written off, or it can be a chance meeting. At best Uranus is excitement. Also bear in mind that Uranus is the divorce planet so if you’re going through a breakup this is a key date for sorting things out. But this is the kind of aspect that marks the transition from single to being an item, from married to separated, from bored to wide awake, from unemployed to starting a business. It’s rocky and whacky but it’s also the jump leads for anything that’s been stuck or frustrating. Roll with the changes, especially as Mercury switches direction in the middle of this picture.
And if you haven’t already noticed Mars’ change of sign adds to the build up of activity in Capricorn as we already have Jupiter, Saturn and Pluto travelling through this sign. To come full circle this brings us back to the Jupiter – Neptune alliance that I flagged up at the start of this blog, which is exact the day before the Mars – Uranus –
Thursday 20 February
- Jupiter 18 Capricorn sextile Neptune 18 Pisces 16.00
Along with all the other symbolism already mentioned Neptune also rules idealism, illusion, confusion or uncertainty. As god of the seas there can be a boundlessness, a struggle with boundaries, feeling all at sea, adrift or aimless, full of hopes and dreams but not knowing how to make these happen. Enter Jupiter, planet of opportunity and the bigger picture, in “get real” hardy Capricorn, sign of the surefooted Mountain Goat who knows how to pick its way to the top of the roughest rock face.
And that is why I chose the quote for this blog because this Jupiter – Neptune alliance is all about giving up on hopeless fantasies that are just wasting your time. Instead think about pouring your energy into the things that you can really work at and be good at. Remember that this aspect is the first of three, it’s going to repeat on 27 July and 12 October, so this is the beginning of plans, goals and projects that could bring you a great deal of success and satisfaction.
The New Moon in Pisces
New Moons light fuses or, in this case, set sails as we here are again with the sign of Pisces, followed by Venus’ first aspect since changing sign, squaring up to Jupiter, one of Pisces ruling planets –
Sunday 23 February
New Moon 4 Pisces 15.33
Venus 18 Aries square Jupiter 18 Capricorn 17.00
This is arguably the most sensitive New Moon of the year and as it coincides with the Venus – Jupiter square it also carries an “over the top” quality, but not necessarily in a bad way! Certainly if you want to let your hair down, if you need to de-stress, then this is the time to do it. Venus and Jupiter, even by square, are still the Benefics of the heavens and, as my sister used to say, “everything in moderation – including moderation”. In other words it’s not good for us to be sensible all of the time and this New Moon is in the category of any excuse for a party. Just be aware that Pisces rules the booze so don’t drink drive.
I fly back 18 February – can’t believe that I am travelling just as Mercury has turned retrograde but trust me there was no way around it! No doubt there will be a tale to tell of some kind … next blog will be for the week beginning 24 Feb,
With love from Greece