14-Feb-21 Mars sextile Neptune. Mercury conjunct Jupiter
Action combined with intuition. A creative boost. Imagination stimulated. Acts of kindness Big ideas. A huge impetuous to learn something new. A positive outlook overcomes inertia
Venus enters Aquarius on February 1 when there is a shift in the way we view our relationships. Our connections become more cerebral during this time. Love is about giving each other space and freedom to learn and grow. We may find that a previously spicy relationship cools off. Loved ones may seem switched off or preoccupied. Still, Aquarius is a very loyal sign so provided we have an understanding with one another and we’re still communicating, good relationships can benefit from allowing each person to have time to themselves. Aquarius is also a sign associated with friendships so we may want to spend time with our social circle, virtually if real life connections are curbed. Networking for work is also favoured. Just as with relationships, our attitude towards money and what is ‘valuable’ to us also changes. Money is about freedom under this influence and we may also be more amenable to making a donation to a humanitarian cause. If we’ve been feeling overly precious about a situation in our lives, Venus in Aquarius can help us to detach, giving us a different perspective to consider. Perhaps one of the greatest gifts of this transit is the message to love our quirks.
With the ingress of Venus into Aquarius, we have a significant build-up of energy in this airy sign. From February 1 – 18, we will have 6 planets – The Sun, Mercury (retrograde), Venus, Jupiter, Saturn, Pallas – all travelling through this sign. They will also be joined by the Moon from February 9 – 12 so this is a massive gathering. Mercury retrograde here is asking us to reflect on our connection to the group, consider our future by reflecting on the past. We might ask ourselves, ‘if I could go back, what would I do differently?’ And we are doing this collectively too – what it is to make rational choices, to innovate and invent. It feels like a mass meditation on what it is to be human and what it takes for us to survive as a group.
The Last Quarter Moon occurs on February 4. The Moon will be in Scorpio squaring the Sun in Aquarius. It’s the last corner we turn before the next New Moon and it presses us to release what we no longer have use for. We sense it deep within our bones that to create the future we want (Aquarius), we must let go of emotional baggage and the desire to control every single step. But Scorpio energy is deeply emotional so part of us may feel reluctant to let go, hungering for change that does not involve facing our fears or exposing our vulnerabilities.
Saturn makes the first of three sextiles to Chiron on February 9. The following two aspects will be on June 24 and November 27. This is the aspect that we need to lean into to help us resolve the tension between the Saturn-Uranus square. In the skies, Chiron’s orbit lies between Saturn and Uranus, forming a bridge between old and new. Here we have an invitation to learn how to manage (Saturn) chronic conditions (Chiron). We need to be responsible for the collecting wounding we have received and caused. It’s about being resolute in the face of weakness, pain, suffering and most of all, the wisdom of experience. Chiron is a great teacher and mentor and Saturn too has climbed a mountain to get to where he is today. The older generation and history still have much to teach us. Whilst the Saturn-Uranus square and Saturn’s passage through Aquarius tells us that modernism and new practices are essential to accomplish stability for the future, it’s not about throwing out everything that as already been established. Chiron encourages us to look for the middle path, the natural connection between old and new. The question that Saturn and Chiron will continually invite us to explore this year is ‘what am I learning from this?’
The New Moon in Aquarius on February 11 is conjunct Pallas which suggests that this new start towards future ideals involves negotiation and problem-solving skills. Given the wisdom of Pallas and the brilliance of Aquarius, this feels like a high frequency event. The challenge is that this lunation squares Mars, already bogged down in Taurus territory. Whatever our new goal is, it’s going to take time to manifest and it’s better that we create a clear strategy (Pallas) before taking any action (Mars). The message is emphasised by the New Moon’s wide conjunction to retrograde Mercury which speaks of a need to rethink before moving ahead.
Mars forms a sextile to Neptune on February 14. This is a highly creative aspect that unites our imagination and passion. With Mars in practical Taurus there’s encouragement to give form to our vision along with the will and drive to make it happen. Acting on intuition is also favoured as images from our dreams and meditations prompt us towards to right path.
But tension is in the air as Saturn and Uranus form the first of three squares this year on February 17. I wrote about this aspect in my previous post on Saturn and Jupiter in Aquarius which you can read here. To recap, this is a conflict between old and new, freedom and restriction, young and old. Different generations have different wants and needs. The system itself (Saturn) needs an upgrade (Uranus) but change is hard and naturally there is resistance. What has been established and accepted as ‘here forever’ is being overturned and consequently there is anxiety. Still, the promise of this aspect is a more stable society for the future and politics that serves the many instead of the few. Necessity (Saturn) is the mother of invention (Uranus) as they say. So although life may seem hard right now, we have the brilliance to shape a better future. The Saturn-Uranus square will stay in orb until the next time they meet in July and continue to reverberate in the background until August 8. But right here is where it starts. Pay attention to what occurs around this time so that you have a sense of what this aspect might mean for you and for the collective.
The Sun’s entry into Pisces on February 18 begins to soften the picture a little, breaking down some of the Aquarius energy. Pisces is the last of all the signs so often this is a quiet and reflective period. As this is a mutable water sign, we could find we are more emotionally changeable during this time, sometimes up, sometimes down. It helps to create time to retreat and relax, a duvet day, a few hours listening to music or watching movies, a walk in the woods with just you and your deity. Pisces is about connection to all that is, the cosmos and each other. Kindness and compassion are the best way to soothe the soul and bring us back into alignment with our deepest self.
February 19 is the date of the First Quarter Moon. We now have tension between the Moon in communicative, curious Gemini and the Sun in quiet, monastic Pisces. Do I go out or stay in? Do I read to educate myself or just watch TV? Do I push to make a connection or just see what happens? The struggle is between mind and heart as we look for ways to put into words the tidal shifts happening within. A blend of logical thinking combined with intuition is the way to bring inner peace.
Mars trines Pluto on February 25 which should give us back some energy if we’ve been feeling zapped by Pisces season. This is a potent aspect that unites our inner warriors drive and passion with Pluto’s regenerative power. Our goals become more focused during this time and we’re likely to feel greater confidence in our ability to overcome fears and blocks. This aspect supports endeavours of all kinds, from fitness goals to career challenges. Sexual energy too is increased under this influence making us less inhibited and more forthcoming about our needs.
Venus enters Pisces however on the same date which is much less about passion in relationships and much more about making a soul connection. This is a kind, loving, soft influence that yearns to merge with another. Combined with the Mars connection to Pluto, this could make for a very romantic interlude. However, we do need to keep an eye on our boundaries as we can end up trying to save all lost souls and strays. As Venus is also about our attitude to money, we may find ourselves spending more freely – or spending money like water! It’s easy to get caught up in the fantasy of what pleases us, lifts us or makes us smile. It might help to keep a note of where money is going as it’s easy to forget small purchases that add up to one big hole in the pocket.
Jupiter’s trine to the North Node on February 26brings a feeling of hope and abundance for the future. This could come in the form of a lucky break, a benefactor or opportunity that leads us to make a helpful new connection or eases a difficult choice. We may feel better about taking a calculated risk or making a leap of faith – especially if some curious synchronicity has come our way.
We end the month with the Full Moon in Virgo on February 27. Under this lunation we have a wonderful vision of how things could or should be (the Sun in Pisces) but we must do our best with what we have (Virgo). The skilful Virgo Moon is supported by innovative Uranus which encourages us to embrace new practices and techniques in our work and everyday life to create beneficial changes. Whilst we may feel hampered by ‘it’s not perfect’, small changes can make a big difference later down the line. The spotlight is on being of service and being our best without forgetting that we are human and fallible.
In 2015, when Donald Trump was running for presidency, he was attacked by a bald eagle called ‘Uncle Sam’. The bald eagle is a symbol of America and a bird associated with the sign Scorpio and the planet Pluto. Progressed Pluto in the US chart was (and still is) anaretic – issues of power, control, abuse, truth, governments and toxic behaviour are critical in the country. When I saw the eagle attack Trump, I remember thinking, ‘the bird knows’. A few months later, in 2016, a little bird landed on the podium of Bernie Saunders as he was speaking on the campaign trail before the election. Bernie himself said ‘I think there may be some symbolism here. I know it doesn’t look like it, but that bird is really a dove asking us for world peace.”
I’m English and I didn’t (then) know a lot about the political parties of America or in fact much about either candidate. But having ‘read’ the birds since childhood, I knew immediately that these contrasting signs were loud and clear. America was about to make a very important choice – war or peace?
The Storming of the Capitol Chart
I’ve chosen Midday as the chart for the Storming of the Capitol as this was the time when Donald Trump gave a final speech which encouraged his supporters to ‘stop the steal’. The speech was filled with warlike language with his followers chanting ‘Fight for Trump!” The midday chart puts fiery, impetuous Aries on the Ascendant with ruler Mars in the 1st house on the anaretic degree. Anaretic degrees feel URGENT and none more so than the final degree of Aries. It demands action!
Mars had been in Aries for six months due to a retrograde through this sign and by this point the heat had built to a critical level, fuelled by a continuous rhetoric of lies. Neptune, the planet of confusion, distraction and distortion is square the Nodes in the 11th house of politics, an ongoing aspect that speaks of mass delusion. Over 60 failed court cases brought by Trump to prove election fraud had been rejected but still the lie lives on. Neptune was on the Sabian symbol ‘A Master Instructing His Disciple’. Trump himself is seen by many of his followers as being an almost divine figure. The Nodes themselves were stationing direct. I use the True Node which very occasionally stations direct for a few days. When the Nodes station direct, there is a sense of creating new karma. In that moment, we are not held captive by or indebted to the past – instead, as the universe holds its breath, we either stand or fall on our own.
Eris, the troublemaker and she who points out the elephant in the room, sits close to the Ascendant. Eris is going through a series of five squares to Pluto. This ongoing aspect speaks of toppling dictators and those who abuse their powers. The mob however, drew on Eris’s anger at being ‘badly treated’. She fuelled vengeance. But whilst Eris fed the mob a bitter pill, on a wider scale, Eris exposed the Truth – that the leader, the power broker, the manipulator was Trump. Pluto is in the 10th house of authority squaring the Ascendant-Descendant intent on wrestling back control. America is moving towards its Pluto return in 2022 so along with progressed Pluto anaretic – all the themes of the Lord of the Underworld are front and centre.
Mars is still widely square to Pluto, symbolically, the soldier answering to or fighting with his General – fired up and ready to burn. Eris whispers from the 12th about how unfair it all was, how unjust. The First Quarter Moon in judicial Libra opposes her and squares the Sun and Pluto, effectively triggering the Eris-Pluto square. The Sun itself was conjunct the MC and on the Sabian symbol ‘A Repressed Woman Finds A Psychological Release In Nudism’. It makes me think of the story of the Emperor’s New Clothes. We also have the story of repression and release, in this case a furious uprising of those who had been told over and over by their ‘king’, their shining leader, that a great wrong had been committed. “Do you like my new robes?” Asks the Emperor. Everyone say yeah.
The Insurrection and the US Chart
If we put the chart of the Storming of the Capitol around the chart of the US we can see Mercury, the communicator, conjunct natal Pluto, tapping into the upcoming potent Pluto return story. The US progressed Moon has just moved into Aquarius, suggesting that the people now want something new and different but it’s also a sign that can be associated with rebellion. The progressed Moon met with progressed Pluto in October of 2020, intensifying the public mood to a critical degree. Pluto can also stand for crime so for those who believe the election was ‘stolen’ from Trump, we can see how this still echoes in the insurrection chart.
Along with the Pluto vibes, there is also the fact that the US chart is currently in the midst of Saturn chasing the Moon by conjunction. This phenomenon happens when transiting Saturn and the progressed Moon become locked into an aspect with one another. Saturn chasing the Moon symbolises a ‘growing up’ period which is often marked by feelings of despondency, a sense that life is ‘too hard’ and heavy responsibilities. Whilst there are always positive payoffs available for the work we do under this influence, it seems that in the case of the US, some of the more literal translations apply. The Moon is ‘the people’, Saturn is ‘the authority’. So, we have issues of people for and against the authorities or for and against the system. The public mood is depressed. Saturn chasing the Moon began August 29, 2019 and will finish on July 12, 2022 – right in the middle of the Pluto return. The latest conjunction between America’s progressed Moon and transiting Saturn was January 10, 2021 – just four days after the insurrection.
Note too that Jupiter, Saturn and Pallas are all gathered around the South Node of the US chart. The South Node is a weak point, old karma. Jupiter is also the ruler of the US chart and it currently rules the transiting South Node in Sagittarius. The transiting South Node is moving through the US first house which can be another symbol of feeling like you are on ‘the losing side’ or simply facing old karma and old lessons.
Trump’s Chart and Transits
Note that Trump has anaretic Leo rising. Given that this is the sign of Kings and Actors, we get a sense of someone larger than life. Asteroid Apollo conjunct his Ascendant is also magnified on this degree. Apollo is a Sun God, good at everything – does it remind of you of no one is better at *** than me? a refrain that we have heard many times from Trump. Interestingly, Apollo was also associated with fighting evil and some believe that Trump is fighting a secret cabal who are killing children. It’s a fabrication of course but still, the astrological symbolism is perfectly fitting. The Ascendant shows how others see us, the image that we wear in the world. With Leo and Apollo on the Ascendant, more than anything Trump needs attention – the kind that makes him shine like a valiant hero. It’s echoed in his Sun, the ruler of his chart, in the very public 10th house of status conjunct the North Node of destiny. Destined for Fame – or perhaps, we should now say, infamy.
Note too that Trump has natal Mercury square to Neptune, as aspect he has used all the way through his presidency. Whilst this aspect can promise imaginative thinking, Trump has shown us the shadow of this aspect with bumbled speeches, unrealistic ideas, a salesman’s patter and at its worst, outright lies. Mental health issues can also be a manifestation of this aspect.
“The Art of the Deal,” 1987: The final key to the way I promote is bravado. I play to people’s fantasies. People may not always think big themselves, but they can still get very excited by those who do. That’s why a little hyperbole never hurts. People want to believe that something is the biggest and the greatest and the most spectacular. I call it truthful hyperbole.
Neptune is now in Trump’s 7th house, the house of other people, relationships and open enemies. Neptune’s transit here tells us there’s a danger of not seeing others clearly. There’s also an element of believing what he wants to believe when it comes to his relationships with others. The transiting Nodes are on top of Trump’s natal Nodes – his Nodal return then bringing up old karma, a turning point in his soul’s evolution. Since Biden’s election, all the way along the cry has been for Trump to concede. “Surrender for your soul’s growth” said Neptune but he would not because anaretic Leo rising is far too proud (in this case). Instead he fell deeper down the rabbit hole of his natal Mercury-Neptune aspect, sending a steady stream of tweets which were continuously erased or fact checked. Neptune though will have the last word as Trump is approaching a series of three squares to his natal Moon and five squares to his natal Sun. Combined with Saturn’s entry into his 6th house, health issues as well as problems that stem from an inability to accept reality may haunt him over the next two years. Painful losses are indicated, especially when it comes to legal disputes.
Transiting Pluto now opposes Trump’s natal Saturn which can feel like forces beyond one’s control destroying the structures of one’s life – and in this case, tearing down his authority. Mars has spent 6 months in his 8th house where he has wrestled for power and battled against the inevitable change that the 8th house of transformation and death implies. Mars on the last degree of Aries in the insurrection chart was a last chance, one last stand. I notice that the rising degree of the Insurrection chart was conjunct Trump’s natal Sedna, tapping into a feeling of deep betrayal. Soon after the Capitol building was breached, Mars entered his 9th house of law and international communication.
Given the event which resulted in the death of five people, after one final warning, Twitter decided to suspend and then ban Trump’s account for good, erasing all his previous tweets at the same time – yet again a manifestation of natal Neptune square Mercury! Mars entering his 9th house made it plain that he had incited violence through the internet and brought an outcry against him. It was a domino effect as one by one, the main social media platforms silenced him (Neptune is a planet associated with silence).
Trump’s Second Impeachment
Hot on the heels of being (almost) erased from public view came Nancy Pelosi who was gunning for the 25th Amendment. As there were some too afraid, too embroiled, or too loyal to Trump to take this action, Impeachment was the next port of call. Trump certainly made the history books, but perhaps not in the way he had hoped. No other president in history has ever been impeached twice. Although the time of birth for Nancy Pelosi is debatable, what we know for sure is that Nancy has Eris conjunct her Sun. Nancy’s Sun sits on Trump’s Eris, illuminating the bringer of strife and once again, the elephant in the room. Now we see you, says Nancy.
Looking at the impeachment chart itself (thanks to Facebook friends who captured the time for me!), the most notable feature is the full 7th house – a house traditionally associated with justice. The fast-moving Moon is only minutes away from a direct conjunction to the progressed Moon of the US chart! A Sun-Pluto conjunction is conjunct the Descendant. Truth, dictators, and crime illuminated. We could also simply say the government in the spotlight. The Sun and Pluto are also conjunct asteroid Scylla, the monster. The Sun is also just minutes past a square with Eris, so we are still with the same story – deposing dictators and abusers of power. Are we in danger of demonising one person for the actions of many? Maybe – but then, Trump’s actions have been monstrous.
In my post on the Full Moon which occurred before the presidential election that saw Trump’s victory in 2016, I spoke of how clown symbolism manifests when the collective psyche is fearful. The degree of that Full Moon was 23° Aries, the same degree as the Ascendant of the Insurrection Chart. In fact, the story of that lunation four years ago seems powerfully prescient.
The birds made their call. The eagle told us that Trump would be bad for the US. Uncle Sam sensed the threat. But still he came to power because Trump is a reflection our collective fear, itself a creation of a deeply corrupt system. Pluto tells us that we cannot eradicate what we don’t see or acknowledge. Trump’s devilish game in the most powerful position in the world has brought it home to us in no uncertain terms. Change is essential. Change is imminent. Change is here.
For someone with so much light on his Ascendant, it seems strange that Trump has manifested its absence. Yet Pluto, the planet furthest from the Sun, is unaspected in Trump’s chart aside from an opposition to Ceres. With Pluto having no connection to the main planets in our solar system it makes it difficult for Trump to see his own shadow. It’s the aspect behind his infamous ‘grab ‘em by the pussy’ comment echoing Pluto grabbing Persephone and dragging her to his lair. It’s Trump signing off on inviting bids for oil drilling in the sacred landscape of Alaska. It’s terror of anyone who does not look like him – male and white-skinned.
In the 12th house, Trump’s Pluto is like an imploding black hole consuming all light. His terror of life/women/his mother unconsciously driving every action – a nod here too to his Moon conjunct the South Node. His Sun is conjunct Atropos, the oldest of the three Fates whose name mean ‘inflexible One’. It is she who chooses the mechanism of death and she who cuts the thread of life. Combined with the Pluto opposition to life-giving Ceres, Trump has an unconscious tendency to destroy what he touches. Yet, a little part of me wonders – what could he have achieved, had he chosen to acknowledge the darkness within to release his light.
Painting – Bird of Washington by John James Audubon
The New Moon occurs at 05:00 (UT) on January 13, at 23°Cp13′.
This is a dynamic chart and these are dynamic times. The New Moon sits on the degree beside last year’s Saturn-Pluto conjunction, stirring up memories of the past. We may find ourselves thinking of now and then, the passage of time, the irrevocable changes that we have endured and catalysed. The Moon is out of bounds, bringing a wild energy and Uranus is now stationary, bringing further instability – and Capricorn doesn’t like instability.
When the New Moon is in Capricorn, we resolve to make a new start around issues connected to career, professionalism, responsibilities, reputation, rules, commitments. Whatever we do, we feel the need to see something concrete that brings with it a sense of longevity. But this Moon is tightly conjunct Pluto and tightly square Eris, effectively triggering the ongoing Eris-Pluto square. When Eris was discovered, she demoted Pluto, rendering him no longer a planet in the eyes of astronomers. This is why we speak of Eris as she who deposes those who have abused their powers. It is Eris who points out the elephant in the room. It is Eris who insists we must acknowledge the problem. There’s trouble in the background, worldly woes – a climate emergency, political fights, deep division, disharmony, sickness and strife. It all filters in, bringing with it a trail of anxiety and a deep knowing that something needs to change.
Saturn, the ruler of this lunation, is still conjunct Jupiter so we know that growth right now is somewhat stunted. Both planets are now in Aquarius, a sign firmly focused on the future, but we can’t get clear about the future until we are clear about the present! This is the gift of this combination. This New Moon conjunct perceptive Pluto could be the reality check we need to ground and centre us, even if the truth is ugly or otherwise unpalatable.
Saturn is now in orb of the first square to Uranus and given that both planets are rulers of Aquarius, we have a symbolic battle between the old ruler and the new ruler. I’ve noticed that Saturn transits can sometimes be quite literal in their manifestations – perhaps because Saturn prefers to speak plainly without frills! And so, the eyes of the world have been on the US as the old President leaves and the new one enters.
We also have a growing unrest around issues connected to freedom (Uranus) and restriction (Saturn). Whilst Saturn’s passage through Aquarius tells us that society must endure some collective restrictions, Uranus is rebellious and doesn’t like being told what to do. Yet working at their best, this aspect shows us that when we pull together it gives us a better chance of progress – not to mention a better future (Uranus). Together these two astrological rulers instruct us that age old wisdom plus innovation will create a foundation for the next generation.
Mars is also now in orb of a conjunction to Uranus increasing volatility. Note that this aspect perfects on January 20 so yes, there is fiery tension around the US inauguration. The atmosphere is argumentative (Mercury square Mars) and inflammatory (Mars square Jupiter). People are frustrated with the slow down in pace, angry at the rules, authority figures and other obstacles (Mars square Saturn). Nothing is easy about this chart and yet as Saturn would tell us, no one said it would be easy. Pluto conjunct the New Moon tells us that this is an opportune time for getting rid of what we don’t need and to restructure. We need to take control where we can and stop obsessing over what we can’t control. The weight of the world may feel acute but maturity and a stalwart, responsible attitude will get us through.
So no, it’s not an easy chart.
But Capricorn energy is all about working with what you have and making the best of it. Take a moment to look at your life. Reach into your heart. See the Truth of your reality. Dig deep to get to the root of fear. Acknowledge what needs to change but resist any urge to beat yourself about the head about it! There’s a big difference between a quiet, powerful resolve to take responsibility and berating yourself. Consider what small step you take today to lay the foundation for a better future or to create greater stability in your life. Don’t be afraid to start again from scratch if that’s what it takes. Stop telling yourself scary stories. The world out there is scary enough right now without adding to the mix. As Venus is in Capricorn too at the moment, focus on simple pleasures to soften some of life’s hard edges. Give yourself a task to complete that isn’t too overwhelming so that you feel a sense of accomplishment. Pat yourself on the back for all that you have achieved. Know your power. Create healthy boundaries. Hold fast to your authentic self. Trust that you have the strength to climb that mountain one more time.