The hand which quivers above the quiver, not from fear, but from something in the air, more like a liquid medium the body walks through to proceed in steady motion on the trail of its moving target which is both everywhere and somewhere hidden away in a far off sector of the unsurveyed area. Our pursuits, both romantic and rashly real take us off map into uncharted territory where insights incinerate the paper wrapped powder charges we brought along at night when we wait in anticipation of a signal out of the sky to strike a match at last and summon the burning image in our eye. We step forward with our plans, following a hunch into the blank blotches spreading across the map. The streak of stardust that slashed over and into the horizon line lifts our spirits. Out of the cool waters rises a blurry image, the Lady in the Lake, Our Love, and Troubadour like we strum our harp, striking discordant chords that rev the engine of our hearts and rear up our hot rods for crash and burn. The Blend of colors and blotted out topography and swirling impressions evoke a Mood of do or die, and the softer and more intuitive the aesthetics become the harder our hearts beat and more beads of sweat raise from our palms in offering to Eros, to an Alien of both Time and Place, an outsider of the pattern, an interloper in the confluence of sequences which forms the below the rushing falls, frozen in parts in place, as if Triton intruded on the place and belched billows into the serene forest, and you wait, even invite the Tentacles to burst forth through the cascades of ice and pull you into another world. A world crueler but faster, a world of lunging sword in hand and lifting on flame ascending up through crowns and haloes to put your lips upon the rim of the Cup. You hear the shattering of glass in conflagration but see shells and crustacea melt before your eyes.
You are way off map. The old system has all but shutdown. Realizing you had been operating on autopilot for years since the power switched off, and now with batteries almost about to die, you awake. The Past and the Future separate as if they were Amoeba asexually reproducing, the membranes pulling apart as you are in between, in the liminal space between eras and between epochs. The System is being restarted for an important update, and meanwhile, while the world is under maintenance, and not distributing rations, you realize you have to source from your own oceanic depths of personal pleasure, surplus of self stimulated desire, riding currents of attraction and waves of exalted bliss and romantic reverie as the seas surge and swell beneath the distant skies reddened rage, and vain violence striking red bolts of lightening and live embers which rain down and sizzle on the skin of the sea. The World has ended, and somehow it is also being improved, the New Era is suspended in perpetual projection before you in the always oncoming. The butterflies in your stomach cause tidal chain reactions as you catch and attach a comet to your chariot.
But it is all bound to consequence. Meeting your fantasies and aspirations face to face comes at a heavy cost. They are far from impossible, they are instead actually real, standing before you in the flesh inviting you aboard their ship which is about to embark, but the fare to pay upon stepping up the gangplank is steeper than you’d expect: they ask for your entire life. “Yes we are headed to where you always wanted to go, it’ll be a long and hard journey but we will arrive. Yes we go to the Port City that holds the very Jewel of Destiny, the Port who’s name you’ve many times whispered into the sheer empty sarcophagus of night; But no, we do not come back. Once the ship embarks it makes no stops, there is no way to return. Yes you can stay, although, let it be known that the place you’ve come from is dead and will slowly decay, and you with it will be destroyed, subject to entropy. Your patience is amusing to the Crew and Captain, so stoic, well let it be known across the land that laying in wait for your chance to arrive delivers you by equal likelihood to both ripeness and rot. If you don’t think you can make the leap then dedicate yourself to reinvigorating the lands, you’re either in or out, all aboard we pass tonight through the Void, sail away with us or remain and be the Food Of Worms”.
We hear there will also come another way, but it’s the same. It’s by Air. We’ll have to wait until after the Flood, and after the system tries to reboot and can’t, and then the computer will automatically design a system from scratch that serves itself better than it’s masters, and the people will talk, and we will step out of the walled city and into the open country where there’s no protection from the wind, where no one has bothered to plot points on the maps, and reduced to only so much paper they are lifted by the breezes and crumpling and ripping slantwise they flutter and fly across the landscape into unknown territory, where if anyone is out there to find them and attempt to decipher their markings they will more than likely make very little sense.
February opens with Saturn still very much separating from Pluto, and in the aftermath of the exact conjunction when historical narratives ran beyond their conceivable limits on both the world stage as well as in our personal lives we are only beginning to live in the new reality we find ourselves, a slow motion detonation of everything that held our lives together before. The very foundations have been lost, but we may look for the roots even beneath that, the bedrock, the ledge and crusts and mantle and core under layer after layer and ask with detectives narrowed eyes where we really must center ourselves in the ambiguity of the ominous darkness that envelop work. Saturn’s regular return to Capricorn in a sense is like a Saturn Return for the world. You have your personal 30 odd year tango with limits and obligation and mortality, and then you have Saturn returning to his roost to tighten the bolts on the larger framework and pressure test the macrocosm. Saturn and Pluto’s conjunction is like mandatory ‘Shadow Work’ for the world. Where we face what is beyond the walls and locks and gates and doors that we long ago decided we’d leave closed and in some cases welded shut and forgot they existed. All our fears exist beyond the threshold, but also all the power the Universe has available, as we’ve by circumstance been painted into a corner, and like it or not time is herding us through and the future waits on the other side. The Pluto-Saturn conjunction is historical, the last one in Capricorn occurring in 1518, and the upcoming Saturn-Jupiter conjunction in Aquarius is also a historical shift, moving us from 200 years of conjunctions in Earth signs to a 200 year period characterized by conjunctions in Air signs. The fact that Aquarius hosts the next sequence of activity is significant, as its focus on the hypothetical, the beyond, the frontier, the conceptual, the avant garde, the new, in the case of Saturn, means new systems and new structures.
We also enter a month still sizzling and steaming from Venus in exaltation in Pisces square to Mars in Sagittarius, both Jupiter ruled signs while Jupiter is in the Shadow Compound of Capricorn. There is the high seas of romantic drama, the free flow of ecstasy and boundless pleasure in a clash with kamikaze dedication to ultimate ideals and the agendas that drive them, in this case well aware of the limits and consequences that clamp this emotional roil into scalding and splattering tightness. The gasification point was reached in late January, and opening February we soak in the steam, locked within its humid environment. This is exceedingly hot and heavy but with Venus proceeding to her highest exaltation degree it doesn’t mean we don’t like it.
Mercury RX in Pisces
Another feature of the first days of the month is Mercury breezing into his retrograde shadow in late Aquarius. We can look to February second and after to pick out some possible topics that will get the correction pen marking them up next month, and 28 being his direct station degree what goes on around the first few days of February might be connected to what concludes his next editing and re-investigation sequence.
Shortly after his stroll into shadow Mercury ingresses Pisces on the 3rd, where he finds both his traditional Fall and Detriment and is normally exceedingly debilitated. Logic and reason and rational thinking are saturated in intuitive information, empathic sensation, romantic sentiment and emotional ambiguity. This highly impressionistic environment for the intellect is fantastic for imagination and its expression, poetry and artistic or even mystical thinking, but more than blurs the edges around most analytical activity. Having our mental microscopes in soft focus may be problematic to some degrees, as implied by the impending retrograde, but even though we’ll have to go back and clean up after ourselves intellectually after, the process is likely to be quite pleasurable and packed with creative power, as Venus is copresent in her exaltation and providing high saturation indulgence to keep our minds afloat. This is the mental state of someone who’s just fallen in love, the head over heels posture that naturally leads to realizing eventually your head has been held underwater in some way and you at some point will have to go up for air. Although, for those that never glimpse the sea floor and its kingdoms of crustacea and perloid oyster majesty or coral reef complexity will never fully drink of the fount of fantasy and be able to allow deluge of primordial poetry to disgorge forth from their tongue; as Mercury is not only copresent with free loving Venus bu also steps within the early degrees of Pisces upon the fixed star Fomalhaut, the cousin of the Sun who feeds mystical poesie to the planet placed in the flow of his star fire. It’s no mystery why this is a territory that leaves our heads spinning, as if caught in an eddy of beautiful confusion.
Mercury turns retrograde on the 16th square the Moon in Sagittarius, who replaces Mars in this sign as the Red Planet has recently ingresses Capricorn. Our intuitive mojo and need for movement and mythical purpose touch upon our swirling thoughts as our tactical games tighten and get serious and it becomes clear we need to rethink some things, especially the thoughts we might have been having that got drowned in fantasy. The Inferior Conjunction comes on the 25th, as the Sun clarifies and resets Mercury, the Messenger handing up to our motives, vision and realization centers his report of everything we missed, forgot or recently lost, this going down tightly sextile Mars, to support the idea that our restoration of the painting may have much to do with our improved game of chess and how we manage our moves on the board of life. The fact that Mars is upon the South Node here almost exactly stresses the idea that hidden or lost whispers from the past inform our tactics and stir our emotion soaked thinking to commune with our higher minds.
Aquarius Season, Pisces Season
In general, February maneuvers through some themes of what happened before and what will happen after, what happens on the inside and what transpires on the surface, how our emotions and desires collaborate with our circumstances and how we reach for pleasure in a trying time. Curiously the Sun makes no aspects while in Aquarius after his square to Uranus back in January as we have planets in nearby Capricorn to one side and Pisces to the other. We might experience a whole host of fresh thinking and new ideas and possible futures and hypothetical constructs and potential plans, although they kind of hang in the air, not making contact with the rest of our life, and don’t seem to have any opening to ground. There is a feeling that, yes, that’s where we are going but we have to wait to make it real. Likely the time will arrive in earnest when Saturn (and Mars) make their abrupt step into the Aquarian territory in March, but the thinking we do now will serve to recenter our sense of self and personhood as this fresh and airy light fills the full Moon in Leo on the 9th. The Sun asks for the process of disentangling the many, many threads of cutting edge ideas and new possibilities to be balanced with our need to defend our truth, express our authentic selves, and bravely bare our hearts against all opposition. No matter what is to come it is in a reclamation of who we are, which way our spirits move us and what hot blood makes our hearts really throb and keeps our pulses both quick and strong.
The Sun proceeds into Pisces on the 19th and plunges face first into water-world. We dive into the very emotional, empathic and expansive waters of feeling things out and feeling the flows around us. Pisces' endless and eternal oceans this year might feel more like a pre prepared but historically significant mystical pool, like the holy wells of Northern Europe or the swamps turned sacred sites of India, transformed by ancient emperors into Ghats and temples. We may be drawn more to specific pilgrimage sights to lose ourselves rather than having the waters of heaven flow through every liquid in distance. We may also learn something in Pisces with Jupiter in Saturn’s sign about what it means to use intuition in a concrete and rigorous way rather than allowing ourselves to merely be lost in illusion. We might, this round learn to follow our nose into deeper flows amongst more heavy currents and appreciate tides of greater gravitas.
The New Moon arrives on the 23rd, and again, the sky goes dark and the stars light up incendiary above this round with the Luminary pair together upon the fixed star Fomalhaut, the Watcher of the South and the Archangel Gabriel. In the silent, still, seed sowing of this night are ripples of silver water and the murmur of mystical poetry. There is a lot to listen for and see and set into pattern within the void of mind and time, especially from a mytho-poetically inspired divination perspective. I’d scry the night away if I were you. There could be very particular insights coming in from the enveloping vastness of dream and mystery here, as the lunation occurs sextile Mars in exaltation in Capricorn, where he is very skilled at masterful moves upon the game-board and the setting of ingenious traps to have opponents and challenges pinned exactly where we want them. Pausing and deeply listening with a mystical ear could bring you to the resolution of the puzzle you were working for.
Venus Exalted, Venus in Exile
Venus oozing with romantic drama and boundless desire and impressionistic aesthetics and an empathic creative approach, reaching late Pisces and infused with the essences of existence also hovers about an ancient pool to remain immersed in her exaltation. She can see from Pisces to Capricorn where the Ruler of Pisces, Jupiter, slowly passes through. There is an intuitive knowing in her that the copious effluence of essence in one territory is because it is free of another more restrictive locality. Jupiter helps pattern the precedents for unbridled romantic release, and reveals insights about how to manage and increase the flow on creative estuaries that have over the years become restricted. It is not that there is no juice, it is that there is a lot, but the channels to put it are few and can only handle so much at a time without overflowing. Or it could be that the channels for essence are restricted, but with some time and patience and pragmatic optimism or accepting of hard realities, the channels may be able to open wide enough to accommodate more potent elixirs, and prohibitions of more mystical ambrosia’s can be eventually lifted.
Venus not only communicates with her current sign ruler, but makes sextiles to both Pluto and Saturn, where the flow of mystical essence is not deterred by gateways or walls or dark recesses and chasms: water simply flows around any girth or distance or drops from any height, water always finds a way, rivers may even flow underground and aquifers run impossibly deep. The true essence of existence continues to move and be dynamic even after apocalypse, so the mystical freedom Venus is allowed in late Pisces exists beyond all conceivable limits, rendering our desires, attractions, love, creativity, aesthetics and pleasure senses able to work with even the most unprecedented and restrictive circumstances. She is still sextile by sign to Uranus and copresent with Neptune, so Venus here is in a unique position to operate in the very motions of time and history itself, to be present and strong, even lifted up amongst the movements of the Universe, and creatively and pleasurably go with the flow, submerged in the greater mystical significance of it all.
This changes quite drastically when she enters her Exile in Aries on February 7th. Now unable to express herself without feeling like she is being challenged, needing to fight for pleasures, make bold creative moves, impulsive desire dashes, rash romantic gestures, and finding satisfaction in a more weaponized aesthetic. Venus here is hot, all fired up and ready to rip. This is pretty sexy stuff, but it also takes some stress away from smooth sensuality or soothing affection and places it in the red. Burning desires, enraged passions. This intemperate Venus clashes with Saturn’s authority, slashes its way through the dark tunnels of Pluto attempting to slice down shadow opponents, rebells against time honored wisdoms and is unable to see how Uranus has been radicalizing things in her own kingdom of Taurus, so the experiments taking place in her house go on unmonitored. As she is debilitated and Saturn is strong, our hearts (and loins) on fire might get thrown in the dungeon for their behavior and forced into a chastity belt, punished for their impulsive behavior. It’s aways important to mention that Venus’ spiky and instigatory expressions of desire in Aries kindle fires that find fuel in Taurus, where irritations and agitations find grooves for our attractions and creative energy to lock into. So there is cyclical sensual motion at the other end of the hot seat, but while we sit smoking in our chairs or pacing with hot feet in our cell palpitating from pumped up passions, we are not necessarily feeling very patient.
We are likely going to learn quite a bit about what we want, really want, and what is preventing us from getting it, which continues to be a chapter in the major rethinking of our values and social structures which characterizes 2020.
Jupiter sextile Neptune
Very relevant to Mercury, Venus and the Sun’s experience afloat or awash in the waters of Pisces is Jupiter’s sextile to Neptune. Jupiter is aware that only so much growth and opportunity and expansion is possible at a time in Capricorn, because the natural world, as well as society has limits, but also that there are only so many resources available to feed into managing such expansion efforts, and we have to move at a patient pace to not uproot that which protects us from harm and keeps us safe in a storm. He’s still saying yes to getting bigger, but one step at a time. This attitude gets reflected in how we and the planets experience their time in his signs, Pisces and Sagittarius.
Although, for all of February Jupiter is either applying to or separating from a sextile with Neptune that goes complete on February 20th. We might find this structural pragmatism over arching our optimistic endeavors surprisingly willing to work hand in hand with Dionysian influences. It might actually seem like the smartest thing to do to get a firmer prospective and coherence on the plan moving ahead is to utterly lose oneself into initiatory mystery or the intelligence of an ally like Ayahuasca. We may need absolute unadulterated imagination and even deep hallucination to flood the rational structure and raise understandings and opportunities over the high water mark so we can get a look and incorporate them into the big picture. Late 2019 and early 2020 put us between a rock and a hard place, and it's in this desperate kind of situation that we turn to the mystical beings beyond the veil for vision quest. If there is no rational solution than an irrational solution is required, and for that we must accept madness as a wise condition to counsel.
Mars in Capricorn
The chess master, Mars in Capricorn, who ingresses on February 16th, plays a game of outmaneuver rather than brute force in the Goat’s sign, knowing how to position himself up the rocky crag until his opponent simply falls off from vertical incline. Mars also proceeds toward this sextile with Neptune, after a trine with Uranus a little after mid month. This is not regular old chess, but perhaps an unrecognizable game of strategy and tactic in a territory that has over the past year been cleared of clutter. Little nostalgia remains, this is just ground level aggressive positioning and tactical maneuvering for power and advantage with radical new materials and methods of preparedness in an open field of confrontation. Where we put ourselves and the moves we make over the land matter here. Desire floods us, our creativity is not lacking. Intelligence abounds, even though certain maps and data banks are restricted. It’s confusing to work in the dark and at times we are not sure what we are looking at, but we proceed by feel, intuitively understanding the terrain. We’ve been here before, there’s been radical updates but this isn’t our first rodeo. All the crash and burn enthusiasm of the first half of the month with Mars in Sagittarius has landed us on the ground, and now it's time to make critical motions in our environment. Move our pieces, incorporate new tech, place our players, set our snares, find our nesting holds that are so difficult to attack that the opponent losses momentum simply by pursuing us, but gives us openings to them from alternate routes they are unaware are available. Saturn and Mars together can be a brutal combination, and when they are both dignified things could get quite nasty. That we will be working with a dignified then debilitated Venus, a compromising Jupiter, a confused Mercury, a ruling Saturn and a present Pluto makes it all very interesting, but also quite the scenario. As everyone around you will likely be acting out their own versions of these planets in their life, you want to make sure you get on working the tactical advantage Mars gains here proactively into your end of the story rather than accidentally ending up in someone else's snare.