If you were expecting some kind of sun sign nonsense, forget it. This is real astrology. See the section above. And if you need help deciphering the astrological glyphs in the graphics accompanying this article, see Astroglyphs: Astrological Symbols Guide. Please note: this forecast is expressed in terms of Universal Time (UT).
Time does not change us. It just unfolds us.
-- Max Frisch
February follows in the wake of a turbulent January, what with the January 28 Mars-Pluto conjunction in Sagittarius remaining within a few degrees of exact from January 23 to February 3. As noted last month, this is an alignment associated with violence, accidents, fires, explosions and worse; which is exactly what the news was full of in late January. That's not a good sign for early February, and most especially not for Iraq, what with the elections there happening under this sort of celestial omen. Astrology aside, we already knew that Islamists, Baathists, Sadaam Fedayeen and others of their ilk would be working overtime trying to kill as many decent Iraqi citizens as possible. (The Mars-Pluto conjunction nadir line runs right through the Middle East, very near the longitude of Dhahran. The horizon for this alignment touches Australia, New Zealand, the northern part of North America and the eastern tip of Brazil.)
Iraq won't be the end-all and be-all of the carnage, and it won't be the only place it happens. Anywhere people are evil or careless, mayhem tends to break out under a Mars-Pluto conjunction. So wherever you are, don't lose sight of safety and security. Pay attention to what you're doing, while you're doing it: stay focused, particularly if you're driving or using tools or weapons. Hunters, athletes and soldiers are at special risk, trains and planes and far-flung roads are dangerous places. Chemical (including particularly petrochemical) and nuclear accidents are possible during this early February period.
Bear in mind that this isn't just something that's happening out in space, or in some dangerous place on the other side of the world or the other side of town. It's happening in each of us as well as in the cosmos. So calm down, slow down, cool down. Use strength and power with care and focus.
Jupiter's February 2 retrograde station at 18° 52' Libra - the first one at this degree since 1922 - has likewise been in effect since last month, when the Giant Planet first came within a degree of its station point. Jupiter's apparent standstill in the heavens on the 2nd, and subsequent period of backwards motion through our sky, points to the rebalancing of trade and currencies becoming more and more a critical issue for discussion and planning - but not for action, except on the part of investors and speculators who take advantage of inaction on these issues. This also suggests important (possibly epochal) developments in the US legal system. Political, religious and legal controversies and compromises remain in the spotlight all month, as Jupiter seems to hang within a degree of its station point until the 26th: lots of debate and pontificating, but a paucity of decision. These things will keep on simmering in the background until the direct station on June 5 times resolution of a few of the bigger ones.
From the Jovian pause in the heavens to the evils and accidents of humankind as Mars and Pluto align, the focus turns much more elemental starting on the 4th, as the Moon's south declination maximum on the 5th starts to make itself felt. This is the start of the month's biggest tide, flood, storm and seismic risk window, extending through the Moon's perigee (closest approach to Earth) on the 7th, the SuperMoon alignment on the 8th (a new moon at 20 Aquarius), and the Moon's northward crossing of the celestial equator on the 11th. Any new or full moon will be associated with an increased likelihood of strong storms, moderate to severe earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, and higher than normal tides. This particular new moon is the biggest such factor this month, being a SuperMoon; i.e. a new or full moon (syzygy) which occurs when the Moon is at or near (within 90% of) its closest approach to Earth (perigee). The first SuperMoon of the year (January 10) timed the killer storm system that spread eastward from California; not to mention a number of strong earthquakes and volcanic eruptions - per my January forecast, of course. Expect more of the same between the 4th and the 13th this month, as the February 8 SuperMoon combines with the aforementioned lunar factors to stir up stronger than usual tides in the Earth's crust, oceans and atmosphere. (This will be the last SuperMoon until this summer, incidentally.)
Regulars know what to expect: strong storms with high winds and heavy precipitation, raising the likelihood of floods, mudslides and avalanches; moderate to severe seismic activity, including Richter 5 and higher earthquakes as well as volcanic eruptions (and possible tsunami effects); and extreme high tides. Stay tuned to the news, and be prepared to take appropriate precautions. Don't wait 'til the last minute to have your plans and supplies ready. Plan for weather-related delays if you're traveling, or expecting someone who is. (A change of itinerary might be prudent.)
Being cosmic in scale, the SuperMoon is planetary in scope. Seismic risk zones are well defined for the most part, and tidal flooding is a coastal phenomenon; but no place on Earth is beyond the reach of savage weather, for example. So be ready, just in case. And maybe especially if you live in or will be in one of the astro-locality zones of possible special risk during the February 4-13 extended SuperMoon window. Among these is a north-south longitudinal zone that runs through Hawaii and western Alaska, and another that goes through eastern Europe and the heart of Africa. Another north-south zone crosses eastern Greenland and western Iceland, while yet another skirts the east coast of Australia and runs northward through the East Siberian Sea. East Asia from Yakutsk through the Korean Peninsula and down through the Philippines across Indonesia lies under the east end of an arc of vulnerability, which emerges on the other side of the world to run northwesterly through the center of South America, crossing the Caribbean to pass right through Washington DC and out through northwestern Canada. (Don't forget those Mars and Saturn horizon and meridian astro-locality lines, which run through parts of India, China, Mongolia and Siberia and the western end of Africa and Europe plus western Iceland and eastern Greenland and the west coasts of Australia and New Zealand.)
While the geophysical accompaniment to a SuperMoon alignment is easy to read in the news of the day, its psychological and spiritual dimensions reach down to the level of human experience as well. I expect this one will bring a pronounced quiet on the personal plane, as if people are lost in their deepest thoughts and feelings. People do things as if by instinct, without rationalizing or justifying. Forgetfulness, a kind of blasé acceptance . . . ask the same question twice, and you'll probably get a different answer each time (if you get a reply at all). This will likely be most pronounced among those with significant Aquarius emphasis in their natal chart - and to a lesser extent, Leo.
Mercury's superior conjunction with the Sun at 25° 51'Aquarius on the 14th is the very personification of political correctness: smart but not wise, leading edge but wrong. People say what they mean only when they let something slip at times like this. Venus being conjunct Neptune the following day, sweet lies and crazy notions abound. Watch for these entertaining trends to be an undercurrent from about the 12th through the 18th.
The 18th marks the onset of a brief upsurge in storm, tide and seismic action, in advance of the Moon reaching maximum declination north of the equator on the 19th and extending through the full moon at 5°41' Virgo on the 24th. Figure on things staying a bit dicey through the 27th, thanks to the Moon's southward crossing of the celestial equator on the 26th. While I expect a greater than normal risk for strong storms, high tides and moderate to severe seismic activity (including Richter 5+ quakes and volcanic eruptions) during the period from the 18th through the 27th, I suspect that the storm and flood component will be strongest this time around. Electrical storms, damaging winds, hail and flash floods or mudslides look like newsmakers. Ships and boats and their crews in peril at sea, storm-tossed airplanes, power outages due to downed lines . . .
As with all such geocosmic alignments, there's no place on Earth that can't be a target for geophysical upheaval at times like this. That said, astro-locality analysis may offer a few pointers as to the most vulnerable locations. Southern California, the Baja Peninsula and eastern Nevada up into Idaho and western Montana make up one such zone, while the Pacific Northwest coast from northernmost California into British Columbia comprises another. A longitudinal line running north and south through Boston, across Hispaniola and through Venezuela southward along the Peru-Bolivia border delineates another apparent hot zone. Another risk arc runs from easternmost Brazil across the Atlantic, through the English Channel and Scandinavia; while another arc goes from Kiev down through Istanbul; Iran and Saudi Arabia fall under a longitudinal Mars line, paralleled by a Saturn longitudinal through western Pakistan and Afghanistan. Eastern Mongolia and China plus the Korean and Indochina peninsulas fall under a couple other lines that stretch down to New Guinea in the east and Jakarta in the west. And finally, a Saturn horizon arc joins Vladivostok, Tokyo and New Zealand.
The usual precautions are advisable during this final geophysical stress window of the month, even though it appears to be a fairly pale shadow of the SuperMoon factor early in February. Have your foul weather gear and fallback plans ready just in case; your batteries fresh and your bottled water stock replenished just in case. Allow for weather-related travel delays. If you'll be in a seismically active area at month's end, don't be surprised if the earth moves - and I mean that in a non-Hemingwegian sense, even if you do get lucky.
Speaking of getting lucky, the personal side of a full moon like this will be something along the lines of restless ideation, people coming up with all kinds of ideas about reconciling contradiction and conflict, focusing on a kind of dialectic reconciliation of opposites. It's all very intellectual, more than a little lacking on the substance side. But it's terribly interesting, apparently brilliant or so beyond the pale as to be shockingly original. Take notes, but let the buzz die down before trying to put any of this stuff into practice.
SPECIAL FEATURE: This month's birthdays of the famous and infamous (with astrological birth charts)