February 1st marks the midway point between winter solstice and spring equinox. In some climates, the very first seeds of the new year will be planted. Across the northern hemisphere, the return of sunlight is appreciable. The festivals of Imbolc and St. Brigid, held at this time, have long included the element of fire, to signify the return of warmth and light. In 2023, the full Moon, in the fire sign of Leo, will take place on February 5th. As it waxes, we’ll encounter several encouraging alignments and Venus will enter Pisces.
November 8th’s lunar eclipse is shaping up to be a doozy. The groundwork will be laid on Monday when the Moon moves into Taurus, the sign it will be in during the eclipse and Venus squares Saturn. As the eclipse takes place on Tuesday, Mercury will conjoin the Scorpio Sun before opposing disruptive Uranus. The lunar nodes will add more tension to the Scorpio Taurus axis, and from fixed Aquarius, Saturn will form a tight square to everything in Taurus and Scorpio. Like aftershocks following a large earthquake, reverberations from Tuesday’s action will continue for a few days. On the 9th the Sun will oppose Uranus before Mercury squares Saturn, and on the 11th, the Sun will square Saturn. In short, it’s crunch time.
Mercury’s second entrance into Libra on Monday sets an auspicious tone for the next two weeks, and those two weeks are important. They are the last cosmic breath of fresh air, for at least a month. That’s because an especially challenging Scorpio Sun cycle is on the way. Mercury’s full transit of diplomatic, relationship-oriented Libra will coincide with the Sun and Venus reaching peak Libra strength.
Mercury retrogrades are typically associated with review periods. Interestingly enough, the incoming one will be surrounded by several repeating aspects. Taken as a whole, the time to reconsider, revaluate and reinvent is at hand. Mercury’s backwards trek begins on September 9th, when the planet of technology and communication will be at 8 degrees of Libra. That places Mercury at odds with expansive Jupiter, also currently retrograde. The two form exact oppositions on September 2nd and 18th, so prior to and during Mercury’s retrograde. Enthusiastic, optimistic Jupiter has a tendency to over-promise. In impetuous Aries, its exuberance can hardly be contained.
On August 20th Mars began its seven-month journey through Gemini. With such a bold, assertive planet moving into the sign of communication and media, the astrology world was abuzz about the potentials of the transit. On the same day, Mercury stealthily entered the shadow zone of its upcoming retrograde at 24° Virgo 12′. On September 3rd, Mars will follow suit and cross the shadow point of its forthcoming retrograde at 8° Gemini 08′. Gemini is of course one of Mercury’s two domiciles, the other being Virgo where it is presently. So while Mars may be garnering a lot of attention, Mercury’s influence is apparent and important.