We will have a New Moon in Aquarius on February 11 at 11:05 a.m. PT on the West Coast. What makes this New Moon unusual is that it’s part of a stellium. That’s when there’s a minimum of four planets in the same sign, which makes that sign’s themes extra potent. Here it’s not just that the Sun and Moon are accompanied by Mercury and Venus, which always travel closely to the Sun. It’s that Jupiter and Saturn are currently also in Aquarius. What’s more, the co-ruling planets of the Aquarian sign are Saturn and Uranus, two outer planets which are in a square with each other all this year. The first of three exact squares this year will occur on February 17.
With all of this focus in the fixed air sign of Aquarius, I can just about hear some of you breaking out into lyrics from the 1967 musical called Hair: “This is the dawning of the Age of Aquaaa-r-i—uuus!” Not so fast, please.
We may, or may not be, in the Age of Aquarius. This is one of many things in astrology on which astrologers have no firm consensus. It is true that we are in an Aquarian season.
The Moon passes through Aquarius for a couple of days every month. The Sun is in Aquarius for a month every year. Jupiter, every 12 years; Saturn, about every 29 years. Jupiter and Saturn are in the same sign about every 20 years. Their Great Conjunction of December 21, 2020 occurred in Aquarius. Yes, it’s unusual to have a sky stellium in Aquarius. That’s not the same phenomenon as the very long transition between Ages. I’ll try to explain.
The Age of Aquarius occurs, or will occur, or is in the process of occurring, because of a motion called precession. A full cycle of precession lasts 25,800 years. There are 12 constellations of fixed stars, with the same names as the signs of the zodiac. About every 2,150 years (let’s say two millenia) the Sun’s location in front of the background stars, at the time of the March equinox, moves in front of a new zodiacal constellation, moving backward through the signs. The Age of Aquarius begins when the Sun is no longer in front of the constellation of Pisces at the March equinox. It will then be the Age of Aquarius. But because there’s no consensus as to when exactly the Age of Pisces began, we don’t know exactly when the Age of Aquarius began or will begin. Some astrologers believe we’re already in it. Some believe it’s on its way in the next few centuries. It is not a discrete event. The precession to a “new age” is more like a wave that moves, peaks and washes onto shore while another wave is coming. There are punctuation points in this process.
One of these was the December 21, 2020 conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn at the very first degree, called 0 degrees of Aquarius. These two “social planets” will be together in Aquarius all this year. Because Mercury and Venus are often in a conjunction with the Sun, and a New Moon means the Moon has caught up with the Sun – bang, we’ve got a pack of Aquarian planets on February 11.
What does it mean?
Aquarius is a fixed air sign associated with egalitarianism, love of humanity, objectivity, innovation. Its symbol, or glyph, is a set of parallel waves with sharp points. Some people associate Aquarius with rebelliousness and even revolutionaries, but that, I think, is a generalization too far. Ronald Reagan and Bob Marley were both born on February 6, and they were worlds apart. From my teacher Tony Howard, I’ve learned to think of the Aquarian sensibility as less about “radical” or “conservative” than about contrariness. Whereas the opposite sign, Leo, is about “me,” the individual, Aquarius is more about “us.” What’s good for everyone? How do we move, like waves, to make things more (lower-case) democratic?
Even if you have no planets in Aquarius, you still have it as the sign of one of the 12 houses in your chart. If you know your natal chart, look to the house governed by Aquarius for the areas of life inviting focus. In my own chart, for example, Aquarius is the sign of the Sixth House of daily routines, health, and the job we do to make a living. With so much Aquarian focus this year, it is on my agenda to review and modify the details of my daily routines.
Review and refocus is especially called for right now. Until February 20, Mercury is in one of its thrice yearly periods of apparent retrograde (Rx) motion, in air signs this year, currently in Aquarius. Whenever, from Earth’s perspective, Mercury appears to be moving backward, we are called upon to do things that start with the prefix “re.” Reconsider, revise, recreate, replenish. And, by the way, re-joice.
Air signs are about sociability, communication. Think networking, groups, new ideas.
Mercury, called the Winged Messenger after the Greek god Hermes, is a planetary force of perception, language, storytelling.
During a “Mercury retrograde” period in air signs, we might (re)consider what kinds of stories we love to hear and to tell. In a sense, every story we tell is a story about ourselves. And we relate to the stories we hear from others because of the universality of their themes. Leo: my story; Aquarius: our stories.
Whether our stories have us complaining or appreciating, there’s a selectiveness to what we tell ourselves and others, reflecting a temporary mood or a longer pattern to our thinking. This is not to say: don’t be negative. That would be a denial of reality, and not helpful. We need all parts, all stories, not just some.
With Mercury Rx in Aquarius, and especially at the New Moon, we can zoom in with awareness—the power of the mind to reflect upon itself—on the stories we’re accustomed to. And how it might be time to change some of the tales we tell.
Blessings for the New Moon in Aquarius!
P.S. I’m always available for consultations about your natal chart and current and upcoming transits.