February Forecast: Compassion and Connection Can Help Ease Our Collective Burdens
The astrology of January 2020 started the new year and new decade off on a rather heavy note. With the huge Capricorn stellium, the lunar eclipse in Cancer, and the great conjunction between Saturn and Pluto, we became aware of the themes of 2020’s upcoming challenges and the work we need to do on a personal and collective level. Certainly, the world events now, politically, economically, and environmentally, are troubling and are taking an energetic and emotional toll on us all.
Fortunately, February’s forecast may feel a little softer, with more planets moving into receptive and compassionate Pisces, and with the mid-month move of Mars into its sign of exaltation in steady Capricorn, we may start feeling less helpless, and clearer on how to mobilize our plans of action. In the midst of it all, February’s astrology asks us to not lose heart and find ways to connect so that we never feel we are going it alone.
February 1: Venus is sextile Pluto
February begins with Venus, exalted in Pisces, forming a supportive sextile with transformative Pluto in authoritative Capricorn tonight, bringing a sense of self-sacrificing love into harmony with forces of irreversible change. What has been brought to the surface in light of last month’s powerful Saturn/Pluto conjunction will take all of our awareness and resources to navigate, but it will be important to do so while centered in the sense that all life is interconnected. Unconditional love has the strongest transformative power of all, and the change that we would like to see in the world must begin within our hearts before it can radiate outward.
February 3: Mercury enters Pisces
Mercury leaves airy and intellectual Aquarius behind for the emotive, empathic waters of Pisces, where it will remain until March 4. Typically, Mercury swiftly passes through each zodiac sign in roughly 2 ½ weeks, however, its stay in receptive and imaginative Pisces will be doubled, prolonged due to its retrograde motion later in the month.
In classical astrology, Pisces is ruled by expansive and benevolent Jupiter, and Mercury in Jupiter’s signs is typically challenged to be as quick, detail-focused, and direct as it likes to be. Instead, thoughts and communications drift tangentially off-road into the non-linear realms of creativity, insight, and emotional expression. Mercury joins Venus and Neptune in Pisces’ soulful territory, compounding and intensifying a potently transcendent and empathic mood. The dryness of logic and rationality gives way to the watery currents of receptivity, and we find ourselves swimming through what may feel like a psychic tide of vision and intuition.
Pisces as a sign is supportively sextile to the heavy outer planets currently in Capricorn, indicating that the foundations and structures of our lives need to be fertilized by the emotive, feminine, and psychic forces of the water element. This dynamic is especially brought into focus by Venus’ exact sextile aspect with taskmaster Saturn today, bringing love and connection into harmony with work, endurance, and commitment. As we move forward with restructuring our relationships, and the systems we all function within, Venus in Pisces is asking that these be compassionate, heart-centered, and inclusive to be truly effective and representative of the needs of everyone.
The ingenuity and fresh perspective that this year’s heavy work will require are highlighted on February 5, when Mercury in the sign of empathy and universal love forms a fleeting but supportive sextile with Uranus, the planet of sudden change and innovation. This is an opportunity to follow new pathways of communication, where what is inferred is just as tangible as what is vocalized. This week there may be some surprising new facts that come to light as well as openings of the heart that will help us align our sense of duty and long-term vision with what feels right.
February 7: Venus enters Aries
After a time of Venus immersed in the cool, calm, nurturing waters of Pisces, the mode and tone of our connections and commitments heats up and becomes more direct and abrupt as the planetary goddess of love enters fearless Aries. Here, Venus is the warrior queen, a conqueror of hearts, and her typical modus operandi of peace and harmony is channeled into confrontations and impulsive individualistic urges. With Mercury in Pisces, co-present with transcendent Neptune, we can still tap into sweetness and empathy as a resource in our communications to help buffer some potentially charged interactions.
Some key dates to watch for while Venus is in Aries are February 23, when she comes into an amplifying square with expansive Jupiter in Capricorn, and February 28 when she is in a challenging square with Pluto in Capricorn. Personal desires and strong passionate impulses may push against our earthly duties and responsibilities during the last week of February, creating a charged passage of difficult conversations and compromises that we will have to navigate. The only way out will be through the fire.
February 8: Full moon in Leo
Just as Venus shifts into fiery, primal Aries, the moon comes into full potency in the passionate and courageous sign of Leo. Along with Mars still in restless Sagittarius, a grand fire trine is formed, with the magnetic moon as the pinnacle and release point of the intense emotional tides that are boiling over now. To help our blood and energy circulate, it’s a good time to enjoy some physical activity in order to channel any frustrations out in a cleansing, cathartic manner. Being an excellent combination of inspiration and creative bursts, this cosmic energy may have us all dancing under the full moon light.
February 16: Mars enters Capricorn, and Mercury Goes Retrograde
Mars cools down and roots its sword into the earth today as it shifts into authoritative Capricorn. This is an exalted, especially useful and productive position for Mars to be in, being its ideal archetype of a wise, time-tested warrior king. Mars in Capricorn is a grounded strategist, unflinching and unfazed with all of the collected wisdom and tempering of many battles—making this mid-month martial shift an opportunity to take decisive action that has the potential to produce enduring results. On February 21, Mars in grounded Capricorn forms an earth trine with radical Uranus in abundant Taurus, opening an opportunity to bring steady, focused drive into harmony with innovation to help us meet the material challenges of our times.
While Mars enters its exalted position today, Mercury goes retrograde in Pisces, a sign that the messenger planet needs to be the most creative and adaptable in. This puts Mercury at a bit of a double disadvantage in the typical sense, causing us to go into a time of needing to compensate for lack of clarity in our communications by switching to our feeling sense to pick up on vibrations, nuances of tone, and body language to reach a deeper understanding. Mercury will be retrograde until March 9, so until then we can use this time to dream, imagine, and meditate on what we would like to create and spare ourselves the frustration of beginning anything solid if it can be helped until at least March 10.
February 18: The sun enters Pisces/Pisces Season
The icy and inquisitive Aquarian mid-winter season softens into the fluid realm of the mystical Fish when the sun passes into tropical Pisces today. This is the mutable phase of winter when traces of snow and cold still cling while the undercurrent of spring’s oncoming renewal begins to thaw the foundations. The sun joins Mercury and Neptune in this empathic sign, tuning our perceptions to pick up psychic frequencies more clearly. Pisces season calls us into awakening from our hibernation as we start moving, imagining, and reactivating deeply dormant regenerative and creative forces.
The luminous sun in compassionate Pisces forms a sextile with Uranus in Taurus on February 22, harmonizing and illuminating emotional intelligence with innovation, producing an opportunity for spiritual awakenings within ourselves, our relationships, and communities. These may lead to transformative and revolutionary action when the sun is sextile Mars in Capricorn on February 24.
February 20: Jupiter is sextile Neptune
The sextile between Jupiter in Capricorn and Neptune in Pisces today is the first of three that will occur this year. Since both of these planetary giants move relatively slow, they will dance together between these two elementally compatible signs for the whole year, blending the solidity of earth with the fluidity of water. This first pass between the planet of growth and expansion and the planet of illusion and transcendence highlights an undercurrent of belief and optimism that carries us along while other more confrontational and challenging aspects hold our attention.
There is a message available for those who would like to tune in, beyond what seems to be dividing us, setting us against each other; all is interconnected and part of the same universal whole. Jupiter in Capricorn sextile Neptune in Pisces is teaching us to slowly grow into accepting this concept this year, not as an ideal, but as an enduring, embodied way of being to usher in a new era of unity and peace.
February 23: New Moon in Pisces
Amid the somewhat magical waters of Pisces Season, we have a new moon in the psychic two-fishes’ sign, marking both the beginning and end of the lunar cycle. Now conjunct the sun, and co-present with Mercury in retrograde and illusory Neptune, the darkened moon takes us deep into the realm of our soul and dream symbolism to find meaning, inner truth, and ultimate healing. New moon times are like a low tide for our collective energies, a still point where we can pause and reflect on our current condition in the incubator of a dark night, tapping into a sense of trust that light will follow the darkness, and rebirth of awareness will blossom out of a time of receptivity and inaction. Once the moon begins to gain light, we can re-emerge, refreshed, and more ready to begin to set our intentions and move forward with the themes of the new lunar cycle.
The house that Pisces is on the cusp of in your birth chart is the area that will be renewed in the upcoming month, so bookmark this passage now to see how it will unfold for you this year.
February 25: Mercury is conjunct the sun (cazimi), and sextile Mars
As Mercury passes backward in its course through the sky, it retraces its steps to again join the heart of the sun, the cazimi, the fiery crucible symbolizing the purity of thought and intention. Last month’s cazimi was in Capricorn, calling on us to shed any illusion or unconscious motives to meet the material challenges of our times with clarity and integrity. This month’s cazimi is in emotive and empathic Pisces, asking us now to go deeper into our hearts to root out any resentment, envy, or unhealthy projections that are clouding our ability to be truly giving and compassionate.
The Mercury/sun conjunction also forms a co-operative sextile with powerful Mars in Capricorn today, reminding us that while we need pragmatism, endurance, and dependability to usher in great changes and reform, we need to do so with hearts and souls that are unburdened and light as a feather for these initiatives to be lasting, inclusive, and effective. It is an important time to revisit any unresolved conversations, to seek healing and closure, so that we can be at peace and focused on the important world topics at hand. All hands and hearts are needed on deck to steer the collective on a new course. In light of any new awareness and resolutions this week, Mercury’s sextile with Uranus in Taurus on February 28 may hold some surprising new proposals to forge unique alliances, forming complementary strategies for collective growth.
Art by Natasha Chomko