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Astro Notes for New Moon in Aquarius cycle (Feb 9-March 9)


Even though I’m now practicing astrology for a living, it never ceases to amaze me just how reliably it works. For the last few months of 2023, with Pluto (the planet of transformation) still passing through Capricorn (the “established order”) and several planets moving retrograde, it was a hard, heavy slog for most of us. Back then, any astrologer could see that we were in for a powerful shift early in the new year, with Pluto moving into Aquarius (the sign of the future) on January 20. Yet when you’re really wading through the muck, it can be hard to have faith that the heaviness will ever actually lift.


But now here we are on the other side of the divide, and the rush of forward momentum is palpable. Along with Pluto having moved into Aquarius on January 20, Uranus turned direct on January 27 -- meaning that, since then, all planets have been moving forward and will continue to do so until April. Suddenly we’ve entered a fast current hurtling downstream. We’re still in Aquarius season of course, that annual time of year when the Sun makes its visit to the sign of the visionary. And during this new moon cycle, Mercury (our thoughts), Mars (our actions), and Venus (our desires) also move through Aquarius. That’s a lot of support for innovative thinking and forward progress.


If you’re anything like me, it has been feeling like a window to Cosmic Mind has suddenly opened and the codes for the next cycle are rushing in. Finally. Thank you.


Yet it’s also a period when the pressure to change may at times become extremely intense.


During this new moon cycle, there are six conjunctions between planets, an unusually high number. Whenever two planets come together in the sky, it represents the end of one cycle of time and the beginning of another. (Each month, for instance, when the Sun and the Moon meet, forming a new moon, it signifies the beginning of a new monthly cycle.) This means we will encounter a remarkable number of opportunities during this month’s cycle to re-invent ourselves, to make fresh new starts. Many new creative sequences are being initiated; we would do well to give ourselves as much space as possible to pay attention to what is coming in.


Major transits

Feb 9: New Moon in Aquarius square Uranus in Taurus

The cycle began with a bang with a new moon in Aquarius, opening a portal for the new codes to start pouring in. The new moon was in a square to Uranus in Taurus, which may have brought a surprising turn of events that revealed what we needed to break free from in order to be able to follow the golden path to the future.

Feb 13: Mars enters Aquarius, Mars conjunct Pluto at 0 degrees Aquarius

First Mars, then a few days later Venus, conjoins Pluto at zero degrees of Aquarius. This is the same degree where the Great Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn took place in December 2020, which announced the beginning of the Aquarian era we are entering. Whenever a planet crosses the same degree of a significant earlier transit, it will tend to re-activate the same themes. So we are getting another jump start into the Aquarian Age. but this time it’s personal.


Mars in Aquarius will drive a lot of progressive change, not toward self-centered goals but in service of a higher ideal. Mars (the god of war) conjunct Pluto (the god of death), though, is a beast to be reckoned with. This is an intense, explosive energy that can easily bring out our worst instincts. We won’t want to back down from a conflict at this time, yet if we act out our impulses we could cause real damage. We can’t simply take cover and hide until the transit passes either. The only way through is to face into the intensity with the courage to change. If we can apply our courage to take responsibility for our own shadow, especially when we don’t want to, the immense force of this transit can work with us to empower our transformation.


Feb 16: Venus enters Aquarius, Venus conjunct Pluto at 0 degrees Aquarius

With Venus in Aquarius, what we want and how we relate to others is up for a change. We may like to connect with others around idealistic concepts and visions that serve the greater whole.


Yet with Venus conjoining Pluto, we first need to encounter our most vulnerable personal secrets and destructive relational tendencies. We will be asked to get honest and real in our existing relationships, likely at a deeper level than we ever have before. Nothing less than a revolution in how we relate to others is on the table here, and it’s not for the faint of heart. What may help is to remember that this struggle is not merely personal, but how we make our participation in the collective transformation real. The new codes need to take root not only in our service work for the world but also in our most intimate relationships.


Feb 18: Sun enters Pisces

When the Sun moves through Pisces, the boundaries of our ego self become more permeable to the greater reality and mystery of existence as a whole. We are less defined in our separate identity, more fluid and changeable. Our separate self, with all its efforts and anxieties, can feel like it is being subsumed into the vast ocean of being. It’s a time for letting go, surrender, completion. We are more sensitive to subtle influences so it can be helpful at this time to be especially mindful about what we feed our bodies and minds. Spiritual practice and art of all kinds are generally favored now. We can also use this period to reflect on what we have learned from the astrological cycle that is closing and what new seeds we want to plant for the one about to begin.


Feb 19: Chiron conjunct NN at 16 degrees Aries

If we were not already tenderized by the intensely transformative crucible of Mars-Pluto and Venus-Pluto over the previous week, Chiron conjunct the Moon’s North Node on Feb 19 is sure to do the job. The wound (Chiron) to our sense of self (Aries) is arguably the deepest wound there is. Here we get a profound opportunity to integrate our primal wound in a way that directly serves our soul’s evolutionary purpose. Our deepest wound and our greatest service are inextricably linked. Making this connection conscious is in many ways the great work of our soul.





Feb 21: Venus conjunct Mars at 5 degrees Aquarius

Venus conjunct Mars is the quintessential energy of sexual creativity. In Aquarius the expression will tend to be more cerebral and unusual. With Pluto just a few degrees away, explorations of power or other taboo aspects of sexuality may be emphasized. We are still in range of the Chiron-North Node transit, however, so any risk-taking here should be weighed against the impact on our still tender intimate relationships.


Feb 22: Mercury enters Pisces

When our thinking function (Mercury) opens into the vast ocean of being (Pisces), it’s time to listen to the messages of the gods. Creative people and empaths tend to love this time of year; tax accountants and bookkeepers, not so much.


Feb 24: Virgo Full Moon

The Virgo full moon is opposite Saturn and Mercury in Pisces. We may feel that our efforts are being opposed by a heavy, restrictive force. Even after all the transformative work we’ve done this month, we are still not breaking through. Patience is called for here. Deep change is happening but it needs to be stabilized. The ruler of the Moon, Mercury, is conjunct the Sun, suggesting that something needs to be understood first before the new energies can land in a real form.


Feb 28: Sun-Mercury-Saturn conjunction at 9 degrees Pisces

If we have managed to pass through the gate of the heavy Virgo full moon, this day augurs well to deliver substantial change. Sun conjunct Mercury offers a powerful reset of our mental plane, involving a death of tired mental patterns and the birth of fresh ideas. A brilliant new idea or project may come into conceptual form. With the conjunction with Saturn, the structures, work ethic, and time-frame required to make this vision a reality are likely to come through too.


March 8: Mercury-Neptune conjunction at 27 degrees Pisces

The channel is wide open now for communion with sublime subtle forces. This is a wonderful day to spend close to nature and in reverence for the mysteries of this existence.

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Astro Notes for New Moon in Capricorn cycle (Jan 11-Feb 10 2024)


The What of it All

After many months of relentless pressure on the old, outdated structures of the past — in both ourselves and society — this new moon in Capricorn monthly cycle opens a gate for a quantum leap forward. We are entering the rapids of change, massively accelerating toward the new era dawning on Earth. This month’s cycle brings huge opportunities for creative breakthroughs and forward momentum on every front.


At the same time, the power of the new energies arriving is bound to create waves. We can expect high drama, deep disruption of business as usual, and even a major new crisis. Alongside a powerful activation for those carrying codes for the new planetary operating system emerging on Earth, this new moon cycle will flush to the surface the core wounds that are holding us back from delivering on our purpose. This time, though, our healing process will occur in the context of unstoppable forward momentum. We can see the light at the end of a long, long tunnel now — if we keep our focus there, the energies of the future will carry us through.


The Why

The breakthrough energies are linked to the preponderance of transits featuring Uranus, the planet of creativity, surprise, and freedom, and the future-oriented sign of Aquarius (whose modern ruler is Uranus). The big one is the ingress of Pluto into Aquarius on January 20, occurring on the same day the Sun enters Aquarius, giving us a massive infusion of Aquarian energy. The action begins earlier though with the new moon on January 11, which is in a harmonious trine to Uranus. On January 27, Uranus turns direct, bringing even more focus on Uranian themes. With Uranus moving forward after January 27, it forms an applying conjunction with Jupiter, further amplifying the Uranian breakthrough energies. When Uranus turns direct on January 27, all planets will then be moving forward, creating enormous positive momentum toward our goals. Finally, Mercury enters Aquarius on February 5, bringing our mental body — our thoughts, beliefs, concepts — into synch with the visionary outlook of Aquarius.


The potential for drama and crisis is also indicated by Pluto’s ingress into Aquarius. Pluto is the principle of power and total transformation; wherever he goes he forces a confrontation with the shadow. Before entering Aquarius on January 20, Pluto meets the Sun in a conjunction at exactly 29, 59’ Capricorn — the final degree and minute of the sign — suggesting that Pluto might well announce his entrance into Aquarius with considerable dramatic flair. On January 25, the Full Moon in Leo is opposite Pluto and square to Jupiter (i.e., a t-square with Jupiter in Taurus at the apex), a tense configuration with very big energies that could be challenging to contain.


Throughout this new moon cycle (Jan 11-Feb 10), Chiron, the archetype of the wounded healer, moves closer and closer to a conjunction with the North Node, the archetype of evolutionary purpose. This transit will surface our core wounds to consciousness so that we can heal whatever is in the way of fulfilling our destiny.


Momentum Barometer: High!

All planets except Uranus are moving forward at the start of this new moon cycle, indicating a period of tremendous positive momentum. On January 27, Uranus joins the party, and from then until Mercury next moves retrograde on April 1, all planets will be in direct motion. Thus, the first three months of 2024 offer powerful support for forward movement in our creative projects and life goals. Hopefully you will have replenished your energy levels over the holiday period; it’s time now to resurface and put your foot on the gas.

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Updated: Dec 14, 2023



Astro Notes for New Moon in Scorpio Cycle (November 13-December 12)


(Note: My apologies for this cycle’s Astro Notes coming out later than usual — I was working last week on an essay about the astrological outlook for the remainder of the decade and it took longer than I expected to complete. If you're interested in that longer-term outlook, you can find that essay here: Navigating the Storm of Global Change: An astrological update.)


Mars is the dominant actor for at least the first half of this extremely intense and volatile monthly cycle. Mars is very strong in its home sign of Scorpio until November 24, bringing an energy of intense focus and determination to get what it wants. The new moon in Scorpio on November 13 was conjunct Mars. The full moon on November 27 is opposite Mars. Sun and Mars move together in a conjunction until the end of the month, meeting in an exact conjunction on November 17-18, initiating a new 2 year Mars cycle (when a planet transits between 0-1 degrees of the Sun, it is known as 'cazimi'). All this Mars energy makes this period extremely enlivening and energizing, but also highly intense, volatile, explosive, and fast-paced.


Mars in its home sign of Scorpio gets to express itself in its pure, unadulterated form. Mars is about our drive, energy, focus, will, and courage. These qualities thus become more easily accessible to us while Mars is in Scorpio. Mars in Scorpio is also strategic and calculating, liking to plan ahead with a sense of great determination to achieve its goals.


The new moon in Scorpio on November 13 was not only conjunct Mars but also opposite Uranus. Uranus is the great awakener, bringing sudden, unexpected developments that disrupt the status quo. Uranus opposite Mars and the new moon created an electrifying but highly unstable energy that could have brought sudden shocking developments. Personally I felt as though I were zapped by a kind of cosmic Zen stick, telling me firmly (but not unlovingly) to ‘wake the bleep up’!




The intensity continued all through the next week, culminating in the Sun-Mars cazimi on November 17 and 18. Mars in the fixed sign of Scorpio tends to stubbornly resist change. But when a planet is exactly conjunct the Sun, it gets a chance to be recharged and renewed. Thus with the Mars cazimi, we have the chance to make a true and powerful change of heart in a way that is conducive to our long-term personal improvement and transformation.


The cazimi also represents the beginning of a new 2 year Sun-Mars cycle, a new hero’s journey in a certain area of our lives (which will be indicated by which house 24 degrees of Scorpio lies in your chart). It can be a good time to set intentions for that journey, with bravery to face into our shadows in that particular area of life and determination to persevere to success (Mars in Scorpio will help with this). The Mars cazimi being in Scorpio does indicate that the 2 year cycle ahead for the world is likely to be extremely intense. (See my essay above though for the surprisingly optimistic turn we can expect in the second half of this decade.)


On a personal level, this transit can be used in very powerful ways to set a positive new direction in our lives. On a collective level, where the expression is often reduced to the lowest common denominator, it indicates the likelihood of extremely challenging events.


By November 23 and 24, when first Sun then Mars move into Sagittarius, the atmosphere of searing intensity and focused directionality will noticeably shift. Sagittarius is the rebirth — the resurrection — that takes place after our intense encounter with death during Scorpio season. Something in us died over the last four weeks, and now we get a chance to be reborn, with renewed energy and optimism. A spirit of hope can be rekindled, along with the possibility of a new adventure and an expansion in our horizons.


There is a constraint, however, to our sense of freedom because when Sun and Mars enter Sagittarius, both will be in a tight square to Saturn in Pisces. We may experience a sense of emotional heaviness that dampens our enthusiasm, a frustrating limit placed on our desire to expand. Not so fast, the universe seems to be saying, yet more maturity and reality-testing is needed before we can come fully up for air.


This dynamic comes to a head at the full moon in Gemini on November 27. With the full moon in Gemini, there is an emphasis on gathering facts, data, information. The media may be in the spotlight, with new facts emerging that illuminate the truth of a situation. But the full moon is opposite Mars in Sagittarius, a sign not shy of bloviating opinions based less on facts than religious or ideological dogma. So this period could see a clash between those voices calling attention to facts and those aggressively opining dogmatic belief. While we might easily observe this dynamic playing out in the wider world, it may be more challenging to acknowledge how it takes place between different parts of our own psyche.


The full moon in Gemini is also square to Saturn, which could manifest in the world as further attempts to censor or control the flow of information in the media and social media, as well as potential limitations on the freedom to travel or freedom of speech. On an individual level, we are being asked to show discipline and to reality-test our ideas before spouting off (for American readers — if only this had come before Thanksgiving).




On December 5, Neptune turns direct. Since June (when Neptune went retrograde), we’ve faced some harsh realities and ideally dealt with them head-on. Now with Neptune moving forward again in Pisces, we get to allow our consciousness to expand once again into the realm of day-dreams, visions, fantasies, and intuitions about our future. Our faith and spirituality can deepen, and we can more easily access the healing balm of universal compassion—a blessed and necessary comfort as we continue to navigate intensely choppy waters.

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