The Low-Down on the Far-Out

Full Moon in Virgo, Feb.19-Mar.06

Chart for the Full Moon in Virgo
Chart for the Full Moon in Virgo

Don't worry. You'll find your message in your mess.
~ Richie Norton

Feb.19 – FULL MOON in VIRGO (00:42 of Virgo)

How many planets does it take to change a lightbulb?

Well, it all depends on what kind of lightbulb you want to replace it with, I guess. Or, it may help to get a wide range of advice on how to go about it before you take action.

Either way, Virgo would tell you it's all in the details. And she would be right.

This Full Moon chart is precisely Ms Virgo's cup of chai. It has enough features, notables, OMGs and minutiae to keep us busy for a while.

Let's start with the fact that this is #4 in a rare 5-part series of Full Moons at zero degrees of their respective signs. This series began with the Full Moon in Gemini (Nov.23.2018), the Full Moon in Cancer (Dec.22.2018), then the Lunar Eclipse in Leo (a Lunar Eclipse is also a Full Moon), and now the Full Moon in Virgo.

The zero-degree Moons perform their finale in March with the Full Moon in Libra, and in April we have a second curtain call with a second Full Moon in Libra, but that one will be at 29° of Libra. So, we will go from the first to the last degree of Libra.

In general, this zero-degree drumbeat has been facilitating us through 6 months of conceiving, envisioning, planning, building and implementing a new direction on multiple levels.

Zero degrees, the first degree of any sign, initiates a fresh movement of energy, a new vision of what could be. As a planet travels through the sign, its potential grows, evolves, develops and unfolds, until it gets to the final degree. At that point, it sheds its skin and plants itself in new fertile soil where it does it all over again, but this time working with a different energy.

This series began with Gemini and ends with Libra – both Air signs, both involved with consciousness, mental awareness, deliberate thought, and relating to others through interaction and communication. It starts with an idea, a word, a spontaneous playful impulse (Gemini/Air).

Then feeling is added to the mix (Cancer/Water) showing how this idea has personal significance and implications; it matters to you on a personal level in some way.

Then it catches fire as it ignites a new self-image or a fresh way of expressing yourself (Leo/Fire), and this has deep, long-term implications (being an eclipse). All the world's a stage, Shakespeare once wrote, and you have the chance to reach deeper, higher and beyond your usual role on that stage, by tapping into those fresh ideas from a couple of months ago.

Now that you have a sense of what that idea could become, or what the possibilities could be, it's time to begin to make it happen (Virgo/Earth). Get specific. Figure out the details of how you can make this work. What resources do you need? What obstacles or limitations might you encounter? And how could you problem-solve to get past them? If you can't get around them, how can you creatively adapt your vision to the immovable realities? The possibilities are virtually endless, so you'll need to pick and choose carefully.

Then it will be time to "take it to the people" – get a reaction from the world (Libra/Air). Is the applause enthusiastic or polite? Is your creation music to their ears or does it strike a sour note? What do your friends and loved ones think about it? Will they be encouraging, or will they try to caution you about potential problems? After bringing your new idea to fruition, do you feel re-balanced or off-balance? Is this feeling mirrored back from the outside world or do you feel at odds with that world?

The second Full Moon in Libra then gives you a chance to recalibrate that balance, so that you're in synch with the world again. You may find a way to balance your own sense of your accomplishment against a different assessment of it by others. Or, if you're already getting the reaction you want, this can be a time to see how far you can take that synchronicity forward.

Organization isn't about perfection; it's about efficiency, reducing stress and clutter, saving time and money and improving your overall quality of life.
~ Christina Scalise, Organize Your Life and More

For now, our job is to find ways to DO something with that idea, that vision, that feeling, that inspiration, that potential. Where to start? You might have something in particular in your mind that jumps out at you, but there will probably be a bunch of smaller steps you need to take to get you from here to there.

For example, you might want to apply for a new job, so you need to start by updating your resume and calibrating it for the kind of job you want. Or, say you want to reorganize your home; you may need to start with decluttering and doing away with the stuff that's not necessary, useful or delightful.

Or, maybe you want to become more involved in helping to make the world a better place. So, start by making a list of the different ways you could do that: recycling, bring your own bags to the store, volunteer at the local food bank, or distribute pamphlets for a political cause you feel strongly about.

You get the idea.

Whatever you want to do, start with something practical and specific. What's one thing you can do today that will be a step toward your goal? Go find your old resume. Get 4 big boxes for decluttering – one for donations, one for garbage, one for things you want to keep, and one for things you're not sure about.

Have you taken the recycling out today? Put grocery bags together near the door so they're easy to take with you. Find the number or email for that food bank or organization you want to volunteer for; then call them and just find out if they need help and what kind of help and what's involved.

The Full Moon in Virgo is a time to gather your tools and resources together and prioritize. You want to bake cookies? Check if you have the ingredients: do you have eggs, flour, sugar? And don't forget the chocolate chips! What about a cookie baking sheet, or a rack to put them on to cool after they come out of the oven? Spoons, bowls. Counter space!

So, what do you need to do first? Dishes, to liberate some counter space perhaps? If you're disgustingly tidy already ;-) you could start by setting out everything you need on that beautiful, clean, clear countertop. Fetch your recipe card, and set the oven to preheat. Each step requires the results from the previous step. You can't put the ingredients in the bowl if it's still sitting in the sink waiting for the Guardian Angel Housekeeping Agency to come and wash it, right? (Not that I'd know anything about that, of course...)

Virgo's job is to determine what comes next in order to make it happen, whatever "it" is – productivity, project management, cleaning up, healing, fine-tuning, etc.

I saw in details while she saw in scope. Not seeing the scope is why I am here and she is not. I took each element spearately and never looked to see that they never did fit together properly
~ Erin Morgenstern, The Night Circus

The Full Moon chart shows that almost every planet in the solar system has something to say about whatever you're trying to achieve. Everybody wants to make a contribution, everybody has an opinion, and in some way, everyone's a critic with a better idea.

The Virgo Moon is off on the other side of the galaxy from everyone else, and is the designated handle of the chart distribution pattern. Beneath the din of voices from the other planets, our Virgo Moon—and hence the sensitive part of us that needs approval, acceptance and belonging—may feel a bit like you're struggling alone while the world puts demands on you. Alternatively, you might find you are ultra-sensitive to things around you that aren't working as they "should," and you feel the urge to criticize, correct or change those people and situations.

Every single planet in the Full Moon chart forms some kind of aspect to the Moon. The only major aspects, however, are the polarizing opposition to the Sun (which is a given when the Moon is Full) and trine aspects to Uranus and Mars. Aspect tones from all other planets range from minor harmonics to high-pitched squeaky vibrations.

Moon in Virgo opposite Sun in Pisces

So: the opposition between the Virgo Moon and Sun in Pisces (180°) is the classic tug of war in in how to deal with chaos and uncertainty, and how best to be part of something greater than ourselves. Virgo's answer is to create an inventory and organize it all, as well as doing pragmatic things to be of service to the greater good. Pisces' approach is to find your connection to that "something-greater-than-oneself," and to trust it, surrender to it and follow its lead.

The challenge of the opposition is to find a way to balance both sides, and ideally, find the common ground they share at that balance point. It's tempting to want to lean all one way or the other, but that typically only creates escalating swings of mood, motive and momentum. The mandate is to create calm, balance, harmony and complementary cooperation.

I have been impressed with the urgency of doing.
Knowing is not enough; we must apply.
Being willing is not enough; we must do.
~ Leonardo da Vinci

Mars and Uranus are past their exact conjunction (Feb.13) but remain in orb until the end of February. So, if you're still feeling a bit hot-tempered, impulsive, irritable or reactive, at least be gentle with yourself and preferably also others around you.

Better yet, employ the Virgo Moon's grounded methodology to problem-solve. Get specific: what or who are you really mad at, scared of, annoyed with, worried about, or hungering for? Is there something you can do about the situation that will actually make it better, beyond feeding your ego? If so, then do it; if not, then let it go until you can, or distract yourself with something more constructive and useful.

Mars and Uranus trine Moon

Mars and Uranus make a supportive trine to the Moon (120°). Their message to the Moon is: do what you need to do! Take that first step. Don't be afraid to step outside of the box if it will get the job done—as long as it doesn't create more problems than it solves. And don't get stuck in the details or waiting until the conditions are perfect or the results guaranteed. Life is messy, and perfection (as much as we can create it) comes with fine-tuning over time; it almost never happens with the first try.

Uranus is in the last degree of Aries, about to take the final leap into Taurus on Mar.06. There's an urgency about the last degree of a sign. The planet's energy—and therefore our energy—can be impatient to be done with the current sign and get on with the next one. Or, we might be dreading the change, preferring to stay where the energy has become familiar. Or, we may be feeling the transitory nature of time and wondering if there's something important we missed on our journey through the old sign.

In this case, Uranus might be calling to the worry-prone Virgo Moon to "Do it now before it's too late!" If you're unsure whether you're ready to take the leap or wishing you could polish off one or two more rough edges first, this message from Uranus could just amplify your anxiety levels. Or, you might throw caution to the breezes, hold your nose and jump—and then wish you had taken the time to get yourself more focused and grounded first. Or, it might be just fine. Just remember that finding a workable balance point between extremes is important in whatever you're doing now.

They joined hands.
So the world ended.
And the next one began.
~ Sarah J. Maas, Queen of Shadows

The residue of January's Stellium in Capricorn (see Solar Eclipse in Capricorn, Jan.05) is still with us. Saturn, Venus and Pluto form a multiple conjunction in Capricorn, with the South Lunar Node adding extra emphasis.

Saturn and Pluto dominate the skies this year and next year. They don't get to the one exact pass they'll have until January 2020, but they linger within orb throughout 2019-2020. And other planets combine with them to bridge their energies, like Venus does now. Believe me, we're feeling it!

Saturn and Pluto are the two most controlling, determined and unwavering planetary energies in our solar system. And when these energies get together, they are a titanic force to be reckoned with—for better or worse.

Saturn conjunct Pluto

Saturn is the authoritative manager that oversees the systems in which we are expected to participate and contribute. Everyone must do their part, play their designated role, and take responsibility for holding up their end of the mandate. Saturn is an essential and necessary force in our lives, keeping everything from becoming chaotic mush by providing boundaries, rules and consequences. Saturn is also the parental figure that is protective, yet resented by the Inner Child in us that just wants to have fun and play.

Pluto is the Lord of the Underworld—the unseen force steering surface events from hidden places. Transformation of one thing into another is the nature of Pluto's game, and he does it by bringing the unconscious up to consciousness, to reveal what is hidden. By bringing it to the surface, these issues can then be dealt with more directly and intentionally, instead of through impulsive reactions to forces we don't understand.

The pressures, demands and stress that Pluto's transformation involves are often, shall we say, less than pleasant. After all, there's usually a reason why things have remain hidden, and bringing them out into the open air can be uncomfortable, to say the least. But there is buried treasure that is precious and valuable that comes up with the sludge. It takes time and persistence to clean off the muck and reclaim the beauty and natural power that is there, but it's worth the labour. The transformation process, therefore, takes tenacity, determination and even a bit of obsession to hang in there through the full process.

So, when these two get together, we can usually expect far-reaching changes to ensue.

The Saturn-Pluto conjunction typically happens every 31-32 years, although in the 20th and 21st centuries, Pluto's closeness to the Sun makes the time between conjunctions longer – up to 38 years. The most recent conjunction was in 1982 – 35 years after the one before it, in 1947. The upcoming one is in 2020 – 38 years later. The next conjunction will be in 2053, 33 years later. Then it's back to the usual 31-32-year cycle again until 2215. Before the 20th century, we have to way back to the 1700s to find these longer Saturn-Pluto cycles.

A longer cycle suggests that the effects of that cycle will last longer and require some deeper digging to weed out the roots of the old in order for something new to grow. This is particularly true when it comes to making widespread changes in the areas of power, authority and the economy, on both a collective and individual level. Both Saturn and Pluto want to strip away the fluff that isn't essential to the optimal growth, evolution and development of yourself, society and the world.

So, this year and next year, we are in a process of finishing up the last cycle (unfolding since 1982), while we consider where we can (and should) go from here. Transitions are rarely easy and some are more difficult than others. This one is bound to be particularly challenging, being in no-nonsense Capricorn and involving its planetary ruler, Saturn.

However, if you do your homework and due diligence, and apply yourself sincerely and authentically, it can also be a very productive time when you can accomplish a lot. Be prepared to look yourself and life and the world around you squarely in the eye, and see it all for what it honestly and truly is. That way, you have the chance to make changes within you and around you that can make a genuine difference.

Gritty determination can pay off—provided you are willing to look beyond your illusions and projections and wishful thinking. You might not see what you were hoping for, but it's still possible to create a better life and a better world with the bricks and mortar that are available to you.

Nothing is less real than realism. Details are confusing.
It is only by selection, by elimination, by emphasis, that we get at the real meaning of things.
~ Georgia O'Keeffe

Saturn, Venus and Pluto are conjunct in Capricorn. Saturn and Venus form a sesqui-quadrate aspect (135°) to the Moon. This is part of the conflict-oriented square-aspect family (being like a square-and-a-half). While a square conflict is typically in-yer-face and obvious, the 135° (a.k.a. tri-octile) can feel more prickly, pointed and thorny.

Venus, Saturn, Pluto

The message from Saturn and Venus is: if you want dessert, you'll have to first eat your [insert nutritious but yucky vegetable here]. Seeking after comfort, relaxation and ease are more likely to get in the way of what you're trying to accomplish than to support it. Instead, you'll get farther by sticking to the standard routine that you know works. Even though the rewards may be less than you'd hoped, they will also be more reliable, substantial and enduring.

Although conjunct Saturn and Venus, Pluto makes a different aspect to the Moon – a bi-quintile (144°). This can be a very creative energy, and in this case it is likely to work best with mental pursuits and/or deep psychological cleansing. For best results, Pluto can guide you down into your unconscious thoughts, feelings and passions that might be getting in the way of your healing process. It can be a time of penetrating insight about what underlies your behaviour, motives and emotions.

In addition, Saturn and Pluto are tightly parallel by declination, along with Jupiter. These 3 planets travel in parallel throughout 2019 and 2020, while other planets pay them a visit occasionally. Venus joins them during most of February, and is currently just over a degree away (by declination).

Jupiter, Saturn and Pluto are like a meeting of the Board of Directors – the leadership skills of Jupiter and Saturn, combined with the power-wielding force of Pluto. Venus provides some group facilitation to encourage a balance of these energies – cooperation rather than competition. Venus doesn't have an easy job trying to get them to lighten up, suggesting they indulge in some enjoyment and pleasure to soften up their sharp edges a bit. Venus knows that everything works better when all the factors and priorities are held in balance.

Why do you dwell on things that don’t matter when there are so many things that do?
~ Dennis Sharpe, Destroyer of Worlds

Jupiter is another planet making one of those minor aspects that's like the equivalent to a squeaky toy. In this case, Jupiter and the Moon share a tri-decile, sometimes called a sesqui-quintile (108°). (Don't worry if you're getting lost in the geometry – just go with it. There won't be a test at the end. ;-) Part of the quintile family, this aspect opens the door to creative opportunities.

Jupiter's advice to the Moon is to avoid the temptation to micro-manage everything. Instead, keep your eye on your destination, but view it as part of a broader horizon. For example, you're not just trying to stop being late for meetings and events; you're looking to manage your time better. By doing so, you won't have to be so stressed out or hard on yourself, and you can get more out of the experience. Get the idea?

If you spend your life over analysing every encounter you will always see the tree, but never the forest.
~ Shannon L. Alder

Chiron quincunx Moon

Chiron makes an exact/partile quincunx aspect (150°) to the Moon. This aspect tends to bring irritation, annoyance, frustration and paradoxical disquiet, simply because the signs involved have nothing in common – not their element, modality or polarity – yet they planets are expected to work together. In this case, we're talking about Chiron, just freshly hatched out of his cocoon into Aries, where he will remain for the next 7 years (2026). (Read my article about Chiron in Aries.)

Toronto astrologer Marilyn Mazzotta discussed the quincunx aspect in her recent lecture for Astrology Toronto. She said that if one of the signs involved in a quincunx is a Fixed sign (Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, Aquarius), then its energy is easier to manage, since the Fixed energy helps to stabilize and ground its vexing nature.

In this case, however, Chiron and the Moon are in Cardinal and Mutable signs, respectively. This suggests that it may be a bit of a struggle to invoke Virgo's natural healing focus, as it may be easy to get lost in the shifting details and options. Or, if you have a clear idea of what you need to do, the changeable nature of how to go about it could undermine your resolve.

Chiron's suggestion for the sensitive Moon is: You might not feel like you're capable of courage, daring and confidence, but that doesn't mean you don't have it in you. If you're shying away from something you need to do, you need to find a way to do it anyway. That doesn't mean trading apprehension for recklessness, but it does mean stop waiting for the perfect moment, the perfect feeling, the perfect opportunity or the perfect conditions. Figure out what your next step is—even a baby step—and take it.

She said, “Don’t I know you from the cinematographer’s party?”
I said, “Who am I to blow against the wind?”
I know what I know, I’ll sing what I have said,
We come and we go, That’s a thing that I keep in the back of my head...
~ Paul Simon, I Know What I Know

Last but not least is Mercury, who is the planetary ruler of Virgo and therefore rules the Full Moon. Mercury is currently absorbed in some synchronized swimming with Neptune in the Pisces ocean. They are tightly in synch by less than a degree, with Mercury quickly whizzing past him.

While the Virgo Moon is trying valiantly to be logical, organized, pragmatic and precise, her benefactor, Mercury, is awash with intuition, feeling, imagination and universal love. Mercury would rather soak in a bubble-bath, reading poetry and sipping peach schnapps, while the Moon tries to schedule her tasks for the day.

Mercury, Neptune quindecile Moon

Neptune and Mercury are tightly connected to the Moon through an aspect called a quindecile (165°) or Johndro (after Edward Johndro who worked extensively with this 24th harmonic family of aspects). The quindecile typically has an obsessive or driven quality, which can amplify the energies of the planets involved.

As a result, you might be trying diligently to stay pragmatically focused on the task at hand, yet your intuition, imagination or emotional longing keep trying to pull you in a different direction. You may feel plagued by continual distractions of would-be's, wanna-be's, what-if's and why-nots. In the ensuing tug of war, you might double-down on what you're trying to do, or you might give in and let yourself be pulled off-course by the undercurrent. Either way, the side that gets left behind is likely to plague you, so that you wind up feeling like you're in a no-win situation.

The best way to work with this dynamic is to take a practical approach, per the Virgo Moon. If you feel the urge to shut off the computer and go marinate in a bubble-bath instead, schedule the bath for later after you're finished what needs to be done first. The Mercury-Neptune longing can be a reward after the work is done. Broccoli first, then dessert. If that longing won't be abated, then maybe it's trying to tell you something—like you need a break to refresh yourself and relax. Flexibility is key, which will work best if it is contained within an Earthy structure.

I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something.
And because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the something that I can do.
~ Edward Everett Hale

The Virgo Full Moon has so many options, involving so many different planets, that it could be easy to get lost in all the possibilities and opportunities. There are two ways to look at this. One is that all these planets and connections are like a committee of advisors that you can consult and draw ideas from. The other is that these planets represent the many gifts and blessings that you have to offer others, which can make you very adaptable to different kinds of situations.

The chart does seem to recommend that you carry a well-stocked toolbelt with you, so that whatever the situation, you will have something you can contribute to it or some way you can deal with it. It suggests that, in particular, you be prepared to work with both left-brain (rational, practical) and right-brain (intuitive, creative) in balance with each other. There is quite an emphasis on both sides, with both Capricorn and Pisces each containing a Stellium (3+ planets in the same sign or house).

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So, Mars and Uranus urge you to avoid getting stuck; keep moving through the process. Saturn and Venus advise that consistently applying yourself will pay off in the end; don't get distracted by irrelevant desires. Pluto invites you to explore your internal caverns of deep psychological motivation, to make sure you don't fall into unconscious potholes in your path.

The Sun, Mercury and Neptune remind you to dream a little and to listen to your intuitive, creative voices. Logic alone can get pretty cold and unsatisfying. Chiron, the Wounded Warrior, knows that Virgo's best healing process will draw on your inner courage to confront obstacles. Aries usually says "Just do it," but Chiron is Aries says, "Do it anyway."

And Jupiter encourages you to keep your higher values within the Big Picture in mind, while you're addressing the everyday details and specifics. As above, so below. The microcosm reflects the same patterns as the macrocosm, so it helps to look at your situation from both sides.

Together, all these planets provide a healthy salad with a variety of flavours that are strong, subtle, sweet, savory, tart, spicy and aromatic. So, grab your fork and take a stab at it!

Adapt what is useful, reject what is useless,
and add what is specifically your own.
~ Bruce Lee

Feb.19 – Mercury sextile Saturn (16:55 of Pisces/Capricorn)  (Feb.20 in UK, AU)

It can be easier to take a logical, practical approach to problem-solving and decisions now. It's a good time to make plans and work out the logistics of how you're going to get from "here" to "there" in pursuing your ambitions. Or, you may find it's time to bring closure to finished goals, by distilling and systemizing what you've learned in the past several months. This will probably require a bit of effort on your part to make it happen, but the opportunity is there if you choose to take it. This transit can bring mental stability and the ability to apply your mental focus in a practical and grounded way. It may be easier to see things realistically and objectively. Creative energy can become productive and rewarding, if you use it methodically or logically.

Feb.22 – Mercury square Jupiter (21:06 of Pisces/Sagittarius)  (Feb.23 in AU)

You may be seeing the weak links in your knowledge, understanding or beliefs right now. Your ideas and words might seem to fall short of what your mind envisions, or you might be unable to convince others of your point of view. As a result, it can be tempting to over-compensate with more self-confidence, faith or optimism than you actually have. Or, you might give out "too much information" by over-explaining or through nervous rambling. Alternatively, you might encounter someone else who does this and perhaps have a blaming or judgmental reaction to them. This is an opportunity to learn something about how you might jump to conclusions or blame, possibly triggered by a situation that challenges your beliefs, opinions or perspective. To learn more about this part of yourself, try taking some time to think about what is really bothering you or what you really need to say in that situation. There may be a higher truth to be found if you open your mind to something you're reluctant to acknowledge, rather than looking for a "final truth" around which to close it.

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Feb.22 – Venus conjunct Pluto (22:17 of Capricorn)  (Feb.23 in NST, UK, AU)

Intensity in love and close relationships can occur under this transit, as well as a compelling need to get more control over your finances and assets. This could manifest as power dynamics emerging in your interactions with others, in which you engage in a negotiation for a better balance of power that is more in your favour. Or, you might become somewhat obsessed with the pursuit of pleasure and beauty, possibly trying to compensate for a low sense of self-worth. Or, there can be a valuable opportunity to develop a deeper connection with those close to you. You might find it necessary to negotiate with others for financial support. You may have to dig deeper than usual to extract needed resources from hidden places (or to deposit them there, out of reach from others who want a piece of your hoard). Keep your integrity high and dry by being honest with yourself about the ethics of your actions.

Feb.23 – Mercury sextile Pluto (22:18 of Pisces/Capricorn)  (Feb.24 in AU)

Penetrating insights and passionate communication are possible under this transit ...although, so is speaking more forcefully than you intend to about things that require a bit of delicacy or discretion. It is also a time when your mental concentration can come together so easily that you become obsessed. You may prefer in-depth discussion to small-talk, and it might feel awkward if you aren't able to explore the depths in your interaction or communication with others. However, you likely have an increased ability to pick up on undercurrents of what's happening around you. This is also a time when you can start to shed and leave behind old worn out perceptions and ways of communicating. You also have an increased ability to take thoughts, ideas and information and transform them into something healing ...or wounding. Choose your words carefully and mindfully. Writing down your thoughts and ideas to capture the energy of this transit can help you gather the deeper qualities.

Feb.26 – Venus conjunct South Lunar Node (25:58 of Capricorn)  (Feb.25 in HAST, AKST, PST, MST)  ("What's a Lunar Node?")

This is a good time to let go of the "things" you don't need anymore. It's a time to release your creativity and transform them into new resources and assets. This could mean cleaning out your closets and selling the discards in a yard sale, for example. You might decide to change your hair style or something else about your appearance. Perhaps you discover that you're making a different impression on people than you intended, and this leads to a revision of your social skills. Or you could get feedback from someone close to you that challenges you to change your self-image. Something (or someone) that has been prominent in your life – in relationships, pleasure, partnerships, finances, possessions, beauty or appearance – is ready to be let go. You might need to say good-bye to someone you've been close to because the relationship isn't working anymore – or you might find you're able to let go of feelings that have been blocked and give yourself to a connection with someone. You might simply assimilate it into the background where it is no longer "front and centre," or you might need to cut ties altogether. Or, you could be ready to express something that has been brewing for a while, like creative self-expression or giving someone feedback. "Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater" (as your grandmother used to say), but be on the lookout for something that is ready to subside from your priority list.

Feb.26 – Mercury trine North Lunar Node (25:58 of Pisces/Cancer)  (Feb.27 in AU)  ("What's a Lunar Node?")

Today, and up to a couple of days before and after, things can feel like they're starting to make sense. What you read, hear and observe may seem more obvious and your ability to put this into words could flow more easily. You might identify and figure out how to utilize the tools, skills, assets and ideas that could bring you further down the road toward whatever destination you're pointed toward. However, a reality check about how wise it might be to act on these ideas and benefits is still a good idea. Write down good ideas to follow up with later.

Feb.26 – Mercury-Sun Greatest Elongation as Evening Star (25:52 of Pisces)   ("What's the Shadow?"  Read my articles about Retrograde Cycles.  Read my article about Mercury Retrograde.)

Mercury reaches his greatest elongation from the Sun approximately today. He is as far away from the Sun (from Earth's perspective) and as high in the western sky after sunset, as he's going to get during this period when he is known as the Evening Star. But it not easy to spot Mercury! He's extremely faint, and seen only in a clear sunset sky when it's dark enough, just above the horizon.

Greatest elongation occurs a few days after Mercury enters the Retrograde Shadow. It tends to bring clarity, when thoughts, awareness and decisions may come into sharper focus. It can be a good time to consider your path ahead, as well as to reconsider what you want to carry with you from past. A word of caution, though – thoughts that are clear aren't necessarily the best ones to act on. If you're in an emotional or volatile frame of mind, there's a risk of letting those feelings overwhelm or dilute your mental clarity. It's better to keep mind and feelings in a balanced awareness, with a little more emphasis on objectivity and thinking twice before you act.

Here are the key dates of this Mercury cycle (for North American Eastern Time):

Feb.27 – Sun sextile Mars (09:12 of Pisces/Taurus)  (Mar.01 in UK, AU)

You have power, energy, motivation and enthusiasm to fuel your ambitions now! The catch is you will need to reach for it; it won't simply "come to you." Reach into your past experience and reach forward toward your vision of what you want. This will help to guide your actions and focus your assertive energy in the direction you want to go. This is a good time to make progress toward a goal. Or, you might want to take steps to leave behind inhibitions that have held you back. This transit can also make you more apt to take risks and find the courage to do things you might not otherwise do. Your tolerance for obstacles may be shortened, and making it easy to assume the only way through them is by using direct force. This may or may not be wise, depending on how extreme you want to take it, so use your good judgment and don't throw away your diplomacy.

Mar.01 – Venus square Uranus (29:47 of Capricorn/Aries)

Under this transit, you may be tempted by impulse spending, or you might be somewhat erratic in your use of resources. This can result in unpredictable or unstable finances, so double check your bank accounts and credit cards before you draw on them. It is also a time when the way you relate to others (or they to you) could be somewhat inconsistent, fickle or impulsive. If your relationships or financial situation have been struggling with difficulties for a while, this transit could bring a lingering problem to the surface and require attention. On one hand, this could be a welcome breath of fresh air that cuts through the complexity of your problems and puts the cards on the table (despite the stress and conflict that likely triggered it). Or, you might feel resistance to making these changes and instead experience this as a time of unwelcome instability, upset and adjustment. However, this may be a good way to break free of excessive restraint, control or structure, which allows new possibilities to emerge that couldn't do so otherwise.

Mar.01 – Venus enters Aquarius (until Mar.26)  (Mar.02 in AU)

Relationships, material abundance and values take a step back to gain perspective, detachment and room to breathe in freedom. You may find that you want to use your finances and resources to benefit those who are disadvantaged or to support the greater good of society in some way. It can be a good time to experiment or try new things, to network with groups of people, and to take an objective view about intimacy and interaction. Relationships can take on an idealistic edge, seeking a state of equality and rebelling against imbalances that give one person advantage over the other. Having a strong element of friendship in your intimate relationships may become very important during this time, and friendships themselves could take a central place in your life. Detachment without disconnection is the ideal here. You may not be in a position to foresee future possibilities and translate desires into wishes and new hope.

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Mar.02 – Venus sextile Chiron (00:38 of Aquarius/Aries)  (Mar.01 in HAST, AKST, PST, MST, CST)

Although this transit lasts for only a few days, it is possible to make some progress in your healing and rebalancing efforts, although it will take some effort to make it happen. This may show itself in relationships, social interaction, finances, values, health or your spiritual connection to the Universe. You have an increased ability to negotiate with others and with your circumstances to achieve a fair compromise that results in equal sacrifice and benefit for all concerned. However, there is a risk of wanting to avoid conflict and discord so much that you negotiate beyond what you are truly comfortable with – peace at any price. By accepting and embracing the effort or struggle that is required, you can get out of your own way and achieve a more healing balance in those struggles. You now have increased ability to facilitate changes in situations that are within your control. It can also be easier to accept and adapt to that which lies beyond your control. Your effect on others can be potentially healing right now, especially by helping them find a new balance and point of acceptance in the conflicts and struggles of their lives.

Mar.05 – Mercury Stationary Retrograde (29:38 of Pisces; until Mar.28)  (Mar.06 in AU) ("What's a Station?"  "What does Retrograde mean?"  Read more about Mercury Retrograde.  Read more about Retrograde planets.)

Yes, it's that time again! Mercury goes retrograde for the next 3+ weeks. For up to a week before and after today, Mercury is moving very slowly or stopped (hence "stationary" or "making a station"). During this time, you may experience intensity, frustration, confusion, miscommunications, or feel like you're getting bogging down in your progress.

Mercury retrograde is usually a time when it is a good time to rethink, rehash, reflect, and tie up old loose ends, rather than begin new ventures. It is typical for new insights and information to emerge later in the retrograde cycle that you didn't anticipate, which can change the whole picture. Because of this, it is usually advised to avoid making final or permanent decisions (e.g., signing contracts or putting new projects into action), during the retrograde and even up to 2 weeks after Mercury goes direct. However, it is an excellent time to do fact-finding, research and investigation to prepare for major decisions, which are usually best put off until well after Mercury goes direct.

In the meantime, while Mercury is retrograde, expect the unexpected, and leave lots of extra time when planning your schedule (to minimize any disruptions from delays and complications). Stay flexible and learn to roll with the weirdness. It's common to have to reschedule appointments or redo things because the instructions or information got messed up the first time. Do some things that use your intuitive, creative, non-rational mind for a while until Mercury goes direct again.

If you absolutely must do something important during this time that can't be postponed, don't be surprised if you wind up having to redo things. It can help to be especially vigilant about triple-checking what you do, but some of these mishaps can't always be predicted or prevented, so don't be hard on yourself (nor on others).

Remember: Mercury loves to play practical jokes. This is his playtime. ;-) It helps to learn to laugh with him.

Mercury is retrograde in Pisces, which can put you in a very dream-like, meditative space. Logical or analytical thought may not be easy to achieve during this transit – or you might find that logic and analysis seem to ride in the slipstream of intuition. Creativity and imagination could rise spontaneously or unexpectedly...or they might seem to go underground where you can't access them at all for a while. In fact, much of your usual mental awareness could seem less than solid, reliable or accessible during this transit. On the other hand, you may find you have access to a different kind of perception and awareness during this time. Your psychic and intuitive abilities are likely to be much more sensitive now. Dreams could be more vivid, and you may float in and out of daydreams that could actually provide valuable information and insight. It's not always possible to put your life on hold for 3 weeks (while Mercury is retrograde), but it will help to take some time out to just drift and "be" during this time.

Here are the key dates of this Mercury cycle (for North American Eastern Time):

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Mar.06 – Uranus enters Taurus (until 2025)  (Mar.05 in HAST, AKST)

It's BAAAACK!! Uranus finally returns to Taurus after a quick backtrack into Aries since Nov.06.2018.

After 8 years of Uranus in Aries breaking apart the places where we're stuck, it would be nice to believe that Uranus in Taurus will bring some stability, evenness and calm. More likely, Uranus in Taurus will bring the development of a "new normal" where the unconventional, unexpected and weird are the constants, albeit in a way that we adapt our rhythm to accommodate these changes.

On a collective level, we may well see upheavals in the economy, and the basis of global economy may change significantly over the next 7-8 years. Expect technology to take a front seat in upcoming advancements in agriculture, food, medicine and other resources that form the foundation on which societies must function.

Climate change is also likely to be front and centre as the planet of change and upheaval moves through the sign of organic systems. New technology may be developed or discovered that help us deal with the changes our planet is going through. No matter what you believe is the root cause of this phenomenon, the degree to which these issues are dismissed or ignored is likely to be fertile ground for Uranus to shake up and break up our resistance to them.

Uranus can complicate whatever it touches by breaking us out of our usual familiar routine, and yet Taurus seeks to simplify and systemize that which is complicated and erratic. The next several years could bring a struggle between those who pursue dramatic change and whose who seek stability and order. At best, these forces will learn to combine their priorities; at worst, it could be a very rocky road ahead.

This is a long-term process that will unravel the knots that have become so tight that they are strangling positive change. Sometimes the fastest way to get rid of a knot is simply to tear the rope apart, but if it tears the fabric that is necessary to support the foundation on which our lives—or our planet—rest, that's not good. Aim to find a balance between impulsively ripping apart that which requires change and procrastinating with those changes in the hope that they'll go away on their own.

Next Update:  NEW MOON in PISCES. Available by March 6, 2019.

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© 2019 Wendy Guy. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied or used without the author's written permission. Astrology diagrams © Wendy Guy unless otherwise noted. OTHER CREDITS: Most or all of the quotes on this page were found at GoodReads.com.  Etching of Ceres, 16th Century, from Metropolitan Museum of Art [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons. Image of portrait for Sabian Symbol, by Natalia Sinelnik via 123rf.com.


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