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General Astrological Influences, February 2002
by Maya del Mar

Early February is the time of Candlemas, that cross-quarter festival between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox. Candlemas evokes light, and in the northern hemisphere, we feel the light rising now. The days are lengthening, the trees show buds, and here in California the wildflowers begin to bloom.

I walk home at 5, and now it is daylight instead of dark. The late sun lingers on the hilltops across the bay, and those distant windows shine gold. Spring is not yet here, but its promise in the air gladdens my heart.

We have survived the cold, dark winter. We will live again. This is the season of hope, hope for a better year, a better life, and hope of our dreams coming true.

This is Aquarius time. With Aquarius, we can always make things better. And we never give up trying, for Aquarius is a fixed sign, and an inventive one as well. Now in February, we feel our spirits rising with the light, and our soul growth renews itself. Our ideals call us, and we’re willing to work to manifest them.

To do this, we often have to fight the status quo, and thus Aquarius is often a time of struggle. Our shining ideals now lead us on, and we cannot compromise our integrity.

Aquarius is the major influence for the entire month, along with its special planet, Uranus. We have a double whammy in regard to such Aquarian matters as independence, following one’s star, and marching to one’s own drummer. Inventiveness and social consciousness are strong. Sometimes this need to break through old paradigms is disruptive, but at the same time disruption can lead to increased creativity and a firmer grounding in self.

On February 16 Uranus, that shocking disrupter, enters a new degree, the 26th degree of Aquarius. It was last there during the summer of 1918, when the U.S. military stopped the German military in Europe. Thus the Great War was disrupted. At the same time Uranus, as it commonly does, enhanced U.S. power.

This degree is that of the U.S. Pallas Athena in Aquarius, that great freedom fighter, defender of liberty. I see her represented as the Statue of Liberty. Will we fight again for our freedoms, now gravely threatened by the Administration? How will we see defense of freedom played out now? Will it be left to the government, using its propaganda and military? Surely development of Star Wars, electronic surveillance, and remote-control of behavior will be part of the action. Aquarius can be fascinated by science and technology.

The planetary configuration of the month, and one that lasts all month, includes reformer Uranus. Its central backbone is an opposition between Uranus and Transpluto. Transpluto is more than a reformer. It is a remaker, at a very deep level. February, then, is wrapped around a core of deep change, denoted by the Uranus-Transpluto opposition which is, among other effects, reshaping the U.S. expression of Pallas Athena, the nation’s defender of independence, top military strategist, and supporter of the defense industry.

This is a good time to reread the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Bill of Rights. John Adams by David McCullough is a book for the times. This strong, reformist opposition is not a flash in the pan. It begins now and lasts into January 2003. Our entire defense establishment will be different by then.

For most of the month we have two of the asteroid goddesses entwined with this intense electromagnetic core of Uranus in Aquarius opposed Transpluto in Leo. Their involvement shows that people’s everyday lives are affected.

Ceres, the Great Mother, conjoins Uranus in Aquarius. In Aquarius, Ceres feeds us through encouraging independence and self-realization. At the same time, Ceres takes care of the food—the crops, the labor, and all that is necessary to get food on the table. Uranus with Ceres can show our food chain disrupted and/or re-invented. Fallout can include hunger, and the increased takeover of the food chain by biotech industries.

Juno, who wants harmonious partnership, opposes Ceres as she conjoins Transpluto in Leo. All Leo planets are geared to take charge, and Juno here needs to be recognized and respected as the partner in charge of the show.

Here we have the two greatest goddesses opposed to one another, and both backed with clout. It is the Goddess who represents the gift of life, the abundance of the earth, and our ability to live harmoniously with earth and with one another. What does this opposition mean? Aquarius is science and Leo is command. Aquarius is the multitude and Leo is the one. Intellect and emotion can struggle here, and so can self-centeredness and empathy. Friendships may be under pressure. Hurt pride can lead to disruptions. There is much creativity, but hubris and detachment from earth may permit its misuse.

The overall picture of these current years is that we humans are destroying our connection with earth, and even earth herself. The goddesses are not happy. How do they retaliate? (And they do retaliate.)

"Ceres" and "cereal" have the same root. "Eat your cereal," says Mother. Ceres is in charge of all nourishment and all of the means to get it to the table. Her work is being widely dishonored, particularly by the corporate culture, in a multitude of ways. Her revenge is simple: starvation.

Harmonious relationships are Juno’s goal. Balance, beauty, and grace in life are important. It is civil relationships which make up "civilization." Juno will give a lot to please the other—but when that giving is abused, she becomes very angry. Juno was the Queen of Heaven, and she has big weapons. She is the original great goddess, in charge of the weather, the seasons, and all of the complex balance of earth.

Juno can interfere anywhere, and where we see victims, we can guess that Juno is at work. Juno was prominent in the OJ Simpson case, Hillary Clinton has a prominent Juno, Juno was joined with explosive Pluto all during the months of the Kosovo bombing, Juno was rising in the east at the bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993, and Juno was overhead, in charge of the scene, at the 911 attack. Juno is also at the top of the U.S. chart. This nation was built on stolen lands, and largely on the backs of slave labor.

Hunger, victimization, and catastrophe are, then, negative possibilities for Ceres and Juno.

The Moon’s Nodes, in Gemini and Sagittarius, create a "magic rectangle" with the Uranus (with Ceres)-Transpluto (with Juno) opposition during February. This means extra creativity and ease of action, and it also means that the action affects the entire world. Sagittarius and Gemini constitute the climate of current events, the cradle within which all action is taking place this year.

This magic rectangle contains two air signs and two fire signs—lots of ideas and enthusiasm. But we are notably short of grounding, and thus reality can be difficult to grasp.

As a counterbalance to this high-spirited action, it is particularly important to pay attention to what is happening on the ground, and in our real lives, to find grounding supports, which means having and doing things connected with nature in our everyday lives, and to spend time in nature.

Notice who you really are, what you really do, and what really are your dominant drives and motives. What are your real ideals? What do you need to change to match your real ideals to your real life? And what is possible to change within the parameters of your emotional needs? Begin now this process of using February’s creative, transformative energy to develop your real self.

Honor Ceres’ proper nourishment and Juno’s need for harmony. Chinese philosophy/medicine is very adept at this. Perhaps those skills are instrumental in its endurance. This is a particularly good month to work with Chinese health principles.