February Stargazer with Stella Woods
Happy New Year to all LivingNow readers, and welcome 2020!
As we move into the new decade, the number two of partnership, cooperation and unity replaces the number one of self-focus, self-obsession and individuality. The theme for the next ten years is ‘stronger together’.
And as Australians fight devastating bushfires all over the country – fires which are destroying animals, national parks, homes, lives, dreams and businesses – the message could not be more apt.
Here is the chart of Australia for the opening of the decade on 1st January 2020 – an astrological chart symbolising the energy of the twenties.
You will notice there are lots of celestial bodies in earth sign Capricorn. Mercury, Jupiter, the South Node, Sun, Ceres, Saturn, and Pluto all lying at the bottom of the wheel – the foundation and bedrock of life. Capricorn is one of the most serious energies in the zodiac, embodying concepts such as duty, hard work and responsibility. This is a year, and indeed a decade, where we will reap what we sow. Hard work and determination will pay off in spades. The 2020 chart also has a moon-Neptune conjunction in water sign Pisces, plus relationship planet Venus, in community-minded Aquarius. Compassion, care and consideration for others will heal and unite.
“There is a sombre mood in the air, everyone is talking more quietly. We all know this is the worst fire in living memory. Australia is heartbroken. Though the generosity and compassion that has not been seen for a while has come to the surface. It is uniting the country.” –Ash Charles
Pluto-Saturn conjunction – destroying to rebuild
Many astrologers have made dire predictions about the New Year Pluto-Saturn conjunction in Capricorn, which reached its zenith on the 12th – 13th January, but whose effects have been gradually building for the past year. A phrase I used last year to describe this planetary energy was ‘destroying to rebuild’. Looked at in this light, we have the climate crisis and destruction from bushfires, not only in Australia, but in North America, Europe and the Amazon rainforest. We have floods in Indonesia. We have political tensions between the US and the Middle East. Britain has left the EU. And we have Prince Harry and Meghan stepping back from their roles as senior members of the British Royal Family.
A time of r–evolution
We are entering a decade of revolution and change and the Pluto-Saturn conjunction in Capricorn is just the beginning. We are being asked as a nation to pull together, work hard and protect our homes, families, communities and planet. Capricorn is a sign of government and corporations. In these challenging times, many are blaming authorities for what is and isn’t being done. But Capricorn asks us to step up as individuals and determine our own future, rather than waiting for someone else to take charge.
Anyone who has survived wars, sieges, famines and other crises will understand the spirit of comradeship, sacrifice, endurance and initiative that brings people together in times of trouble and helps them triumph against the odds. That’s the lesson of Capricorn. It’s not that governments and leaders aren’t important. It’s more that in our own small way, most of us are capable of so much more. Especially when we share our gifts and talents and work together. With six planets in Capricorn this month plus the asteroid Ceres, it’s time to get real about reshaping and rebuilding the world we live in.
Cancer full moon & lunar eclipse – setting emotional boundaries
The fortnight following the first full moon of the New Year (11th – 25th January) was a perfect time to release emotional attachments. Indeed, anything in our lives that needs cleansing or clearing out.
The January full moon was in Cancer, the zodiac sign connected to family, home, childhood and cultural and community traditions – all things that make us feel safe and secure. But under its influence, we tend to hold on too long to possessions, people, habits or situations that connect us to the past, even when we know they’re no longer nourishing or helpful.
As it reached fullness, the moon opposed no less than seven planetary bodies in serious and pragmatic Capricorn. It was then eclipsed by the earth’s shadow. Imagine waves of feelings coming to the surface then being pushed down and suppressed in favour of reality, logic and common sense. Or outbursts of emotion and anger that in the clear light of day seem foolish and self-indulgent.
Mars in Sagittarius – clear the air
Warrior planet Mars powered into fire sign Sagittarius in early January, pushing us all to define exactly what freedom, truth and integrity mean on an individual level. Jupiter, ruling planet of Sagittarius, is currently grounded and cooled in Capricorn, producing a steadying, tempering effect on this spicy Mars placement and helping us harness the fiery energy in a constructive manner.
Mars in Sagittarius can express on both a personal and collective level as indignation and brutal honesty. So whatever grievances have been simmering beneath the surface in recent months will erupt, sometimes seemingly out of nowhere. The six week period of Mars in Sagittarius (3rd January to 16th February) offers us the chance to clear the air, get real and embrace profound and far-reaching change.
Venus in Pisces – the magic and beauty of life
Love goddess Venus will be travelling through romantic and creative water sign Pisces from the 14th January to the 8th February sprinkling us with a heady dose of her special sweet magic. Venus in Pisces helps us open up to the natural beauty of life. It offers increased sensitivity to art, music, beauty, dreams, love and spiritual insight. As our walls and boundaries dissolve, we can make deeper connections with those close to us; be divinely inspired in our creativity or love life and tap into hidden inner worlds that erupt into beautiful bursts of artistic expression.
Venus in Pisces reminds us to be patient, caring and kind with ourselves and others. Focus on cooperation, compassion, understanding and love.
In a world where we’re encouraged to be sensible, logical, practical and control our emotions, Venus in Pisces helps us smell the flowers and chase the rainbows!
Chinese New Year – the metal rat
The Aquarius new moon on 25th January marks the beginning of the Chinese New Year. It’s the Year of the Metal Rat. The Rat is the first Chinese zodiac sign, meaning 2020 is considered a year of new beginnings and renewal. The Rat is Similar to Aries, the first sign of the Western zodiac, in terms of its qualities of leadership and independence. The qualities of metal add focus and determination to the usual Rat impulsiveness.
The Year of the Rat promises to be a strong, prosperous and creative year for most, with rewards going to those who plan ahead, work hard and commit to their goals and aspirations. This ties in nicely with the Capricorn energy that dominates the heavens in 2020. No quick fixes or lucky breaks, but confidence, self-reliance and determination will pay off. Attention to detail is crucial as is careful money management and sensible use of energy and assets.
Those born in the Year of the Rat (1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008) can look forward to a prosperous and productive year ahead. And if you’re wondering how the Year of the Rat might pan out for you, look back to the events of these years and see if any particular themes emerge.
Happy birthday Aquarius!
From the 21st January to the 19th February this year, the sun travels through fixed air sign Aquarius, noted for its egalitarian nature, progressive ideas and humanitarian bent. Aquarius is the eleventh sign of the zodiac with keywords “I am different” and “I am detached”. Aquarians are both radical and immovable at the same time. They will often espouse a social or religious movement such as feminism, Buddhism or environmentalism and then remain committed to it for the rest of their lives.
Those born under the sign of the water bearer often look to the future and have fine minds and a higher vision for society. Many Aquarians excel in the areas of science, technology and politics. At best they use their cool headed idealism to serve humanity.
In medical astrology, Aquarius rules the calves, ankles and general circulation. When Aquarians are out of balance they can suffer from varicose veins, sprained ankles, irregularities of the heart action and fluid build-up. The Aquarian colours are turquoise, aqua and silver.
Aquarius’s greatest lesson is to learn to care for and relate to individuals rather than groups.
Mercury retrograde in Pisces
Communication planet Mercury will travel backwards from 17th February to 10th March through water sign Pisces, dipping briefly back into air sign Aquarius. This cosmic phenomenon occurs every three to four months and is known as a time when things can go haywire. Delays, computer problems, broken promises and relationship meltdowns are typical manifestations.
Problems with transportation and crucial bits of information that prevent us from achieving understanding or ‘moving forward’ are also common. Hidden information can suddenly come to light and carefully laid plans grind to a halt. On the other hand, with Mercury in psychic and sensitive Pisces, you could channel a novel, solve that tricky problem or suddenly understand the meaning of life and the universe!
The best way to deal with Mercury retrograde is to avoid starting new projects and focus on completing existing ones. It’s also a good time to do anything starting with ‘re’. Revising, renewing, revisiting, reflecting, recalibrating – you get the idea!
Jan-Feb 2020 moon calendar
Launch projects a couple of days after the new moon. Bring them to completion in the period from just before and during the week following the full moon. Then wind down activities and reflect on developments in the week before the next new moon.
January full moon
11th January in Cancer
January new moon
25th January in Aquarius
Chinese year of the rat
February full moon
9th February in Leo
February new moon
24th February in Pisces
Leo full moon
The February full moon lights up the skies on the 9th in fire sign Leo, opposing the sun in earth sign Aquarius and making a flowing angle to Mars in Sagittarius. A good weekend to take some time off and do something fun or energetic with friends and family. And with Venus conjunct Chiron, a time for healing in relationships.
Pisces new moon
The February new moon falls on the 24th in water sign Pisces conjunct retrograde Mercury. Intuition is running high, so trust your instincts and listen to your gut. But avoid making far reaching or irreversible decisions. Meditation, dreamwork, retreat, love, solitude, art and music will all soothe the soul. You won’t feel much like working today, so slow down and give yourself a break!
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