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white open door on green grass landscape in front of blue cloudy sky change wide panorama concept background

“Change is the essence of life; be willing to surrender what you are for what you could become.” ~ Reinhold Niebuhr

Humans are a sociable species, and we tend to gather into groups with others who share our interests, predilections, and/or concerns. Our ability to work together is one of our greatest strengths — it allows us to plan, inspire each other, and achieve mutual goals.

But groups also provide a stage for some of our most problematic inclinations — conflict, power struggles, manipulation for personal gain, revenge.

More than ever this month, we’ll be given opportunities to change how we interact with the groups we are involved/allied with, from our families and local conclaves all the way to national or global organizations we are part of.

Working with these opportunities means allowing change within ourselves. It means taking on responsibility when we know we can make a difference, and stepping into our personal power. Accessing that power requires inner work to connect with its source — our soul and spirit. Once we have sourced our power we can share it, and affect how the groups we belong to respond to the rapidly changing political, social, and environmental realities that are ahead of us.

I’ll look at how we can make the most of the planetary patterns over the upcoming month (until the next New Moon), but first I’ll take a few paragraphs for the astrologers among you. If you don’t speak the language or want to learn it, just skip over the italics.

(Astrologers: Cast the chart for February 9th at 5:59 pm EST.

The New Moon is at 20°44’ Aquarius, which is a popular sign this month. Pluto is there, of course, and so is Mercury. On the 13th, Mars conjuncts Pluto, then Venus goes through the Pluto carwash on 16th.

The New Moon itself is square Uranus. Jupiter is tightly square Mercury and sextile Saturn which may bring some ease or just eventual improvement after the month’s shakeups.

There’s a tight, approaching semi-square of Venus to Saturn. Venus is in a separating, but still close, trine to Uranus. Chiron is conjunct the North Node.)

Get Over Yourself

“I imagine one of the reasons people cling to their hate so stubbornly is because they sense, once hate is gone, they will be forced to deal with pain.” James Baldwin

Most of us are going to have some of our core assumptions about life shaken up this year, and this month starts the shaking. Some of the events that will do the shaking will be national or global, others will be more local or personal. How we respond to the tremors will determine our future.

We all have certain triggers, knee-jerk defenses, and strategies for manipulating others that we learned at our parents’ knees. Growing up, we also absorbed many of the negative viewpoints others had of us.

We’ve all done things in our life that we are ashamed of, we’ve had parents and other adults lay some of their own negativity on us in our vulnerable childhood, and voila!, our view of ourselves, our confidence, our ability to relate with others is crippled. When that happens, those triggers, defenses, and strategies are set in place as what we feel are the best, or easiest, or most effective ways of interacting with others. They become our defenses against the world, and we put our energy into guarding the perimeter instead of healing what is causing us pain.

Some (many, most?) of us have deep, emotionally volatile issues that need careful handling to be healed, which is hard to do when we are focused on defense. The surface volatility — ego trips, playing victim, getting offended, shutting down, lashing out, whatever your habitual defensive reactions are — serves to mask these deeper issues.

These are very personal matters that nonetheless are inextricably connected to the larger society we live in.

A cat sees a tiger in the mirror

When our core assumptions about life are being shaken up in the weeks ahead, we can use that energy to identify and shake loose some of those less-than-helpful reactions. We can go a little deeper, become more comfortable with our real self as we let go of learned, inauthentic responses.

As we let go of the armor of those responses, we will, as Mr. Baldwin notes, be forced to deal with the pain. Which is the only way we can heal it.

Something I’ve personally found useful when I find myself falling into one of my traps (anger is a big one for me) is to remind myself to get over myself. When I let go of the outer focus, the conflict with others, the distractions of drama and get my defensive ego out of the picture, I can figure out what’s behind the firestorm of anger.

Frequently, it’s disguising a panic attack, a feeling of powerlessness. So I spend some time at my altar, meditating and communing. I remind myself that I am no longer a frightened child, but a grown woman with agency, spiritual resources, friends and community. I call on those resources. And then I make a plan to move forward.

Once I’ve transmuted the anger into fuel for right action, a light on the path to increased awareness, it’s no longer poisoning my inner atmosphere like a slow-burning tire fire.

What are your traps? What will you find behind your defenses when you get over yourself? What could you become?

This is a good month to work on finding out. The process of investigating your habitual responses will eventually bring healing, strength, and a greater sense of your own intrinsic worth, but the process itself can be difficult and sometimes painful. Don’t try to go it alone.

Make New Friends

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” ~ Margaret Mead.

Red border collie dog and horse together at sunset in summer

If you’re feeling the pain, you’re not alone. There’s a lot of emotional volatility in the zeitgeist right now. Getting caught up in it to some degree may be inevitable, but if you’ve been working on crawling out of your own traps, it’s easier to see what traps others have fallen into. Then we can recognize that they too are in pain, and with some empathy, basic goodwill, and clear communication, maybe we can help each other.

This Aquarian New Moon encourages us to develop the Observer within, and detach from our emotions enough to step back and see the big picture, then strategize the best path through any confusion and turmoil that may be swirling around us. This can help us set appropriate boundaries. (Remember that the traditional ruler of Aquarius is Saturn. A civilization in which everyone is free to express themselves still requires certain boundaries, structures, and laws.)

Working in groups or making new friendships means finding people with whom we are compatible, and not wasting time manipulating and/or placating people who may not belong in our lives. If you constantly need to manipulate or placate someone in your life, if the groups you are in are rife with conflict and power struggles, that’s a pretty big clue right there.

It’s time to get a grip on the drama and unnecessary conflict and redirect our collective energy towards helping to solve the very large problems humanity is and will be facing in the coming years. This is a good month to assess the groups you are in and the people you spend time with. It will also be easier than usual to meet new people and new groups.

“Who knows what you might learn from taking a chance on conversation with a stranger? Everyone carries a piece of the puzzle. Nobody comes into your life by mere coincidence. Trust your instincts. Do the unexpected. Find the others…” Timothy Leary

As always, if you’d like to take a deeper look at your birth chart, or learn how the current sky is reflecting in your life, contact me, and we’ll set up a consultation.

On the National Stage

(Astrologers: I cast the NM chart for Washington, DC, [25°44’ Leo rising] which makes it predictive for the USA. Remember, planets and aspects are global, angles and houses are local. The energetic properties of WDC draws in all the states. I use the Sibly chart with Equal houses for the USA natal, and put it in a bi-wheel with the NM chart. Of particular note is Uranus tightly conjunct the MC and squared by the New Moon. In the bi-wheel, tr. Mars is exactly conjunct Pluto in the natal 2nd, Mercury conjunct and Jupiter square the South Node, and the New Moon itself in a wide but approaching conjunction to natal Moon. Also, Saturn cj. Ceres.)

There’s a good possibility that we will be taking increasing and probably unexpected military action overseas, as well as see employer vs. employee conflicts cropping up this month. (NM square the MC/Uranus. See the 6th house in both the NM chart and the bi-wheel. 6th in NM chart ruled by Saturn in the 7th, and the ongoing tr. Eris square natal Mercury [rules the 7th] within 2 minutes of partile. ) Employees/unions have an advantage under this sky if they negotiate skillfully.

I expect some surprises coming from and probably happening to the Executive Branch. (Uranus conjunct MC.) May well have to do with financing foreign countries — maybe finding a workaround for funding for Ukraine. (NM in an approaching conjunction w/ natal Moon ruling the 8th. ).

Looks like some action happening in the financial realms. (NM Mars exactly and Venus more widely conjunct natal Pluto in the 2nd, also Venus and Mars rule the nodes, and the SNode is in the 2nd of the NM chart. Also, Chiron tightly conjunct the Node). It may have to do with digital currencies, or technical problems in financial institutions.

NOTE TO SELF: Bring all your online security up to speed.

While we could see some technical breakthroughs or solutions this month, breakdowns or hacks are likely. If you don’t know much about secure passwords, two-factor authentication, phishing emails and other security concerns, then get some help.

As Pluto moves through Aquarius over the next 20 years, our lives will become even more entwined with technology, so when failures happen, the consequences will be more severe. A certain level of technical knowledge is a basic life skill now.

Scandals are in the air, and may break wide open this month. Particularly sexual scandals and/or incidents of sexual abuse and trafficking. (If you see something, say something. Or dial 911. There is no excuse for walking away.)

On a brighter note, I expect to see some interesting new directions taken in the cultural/art realms (Venus rules Uranus, Jupiter, the SNode and the MC, and she’s dancing with Pluto. Jupiter sextiles Saturn and squares Mercury).

I hope you had a lovely Imbolc/Candlemas/Groundhog’s Day. Spring is on its way!

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