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©2015 by Richard Nolle
last revised JAN 31, 2015

If you were expecting some kind of sun sign nonsense, forget about it. This is real astrology for the real world, not some mystical mumbo-jumbo psycho-babble word salad. If it's real astrology for yourself that you want, you can get it by phone or in print. 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, aka GMT). Location for all mundante charts is set for the Great Pyramid at Giza; the choice being strictly arbitrary in any case. Also please be aware that, while I never change a forecast once it's published, I do post errata to acknowledge typographical errors and the like.

PLEASE NOTE: This month’s forecast incorporates elements of (and refers to) my complete 2015 World Forecast Highlights (38 8-1/2 x 11” illustrated pages); focused, amplified and elaborated with details for the month as appropriate. The full version of my 2015 World Forecast Highlights is available in hard copy by mail ($75) or as a PDF document by email ($50). Orders may be phoned in (toll-free from anywhere in North America to 800-527-8761), and charged to any major credit card. PayPal orders may be placed direct from your own PayPal account page to rnolle@astropro.com – or by using the AstroPro PayPal order page.

Isn't it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?
-- L.M. Montgomery

The Skinny

Another stealth (new) SuperMoon, the ongoing Mercury Max (until the 24th, including Mercury’s retrograde (until the 11th), and the tightening Uranus-Pluto (exact on March 17): those are the principal celestial signatures for February. What to expect? In brief, intensifying socio-political strife (including more outbreaks of mass protests, terrorist strikes and military conflict); several weeks of pronounced solar storminess, and a rash of SuperMoon storms, tidal surges and seismic extremes. That’s not to say that it’s all hell and high water this month. There is, after all, a fine Venus-Mars conjunction on the 22nd – all passion and craziness of the good sort, by and large. Details follow . . .

Uranus-Pluto Square: Breakouts and Breakdowns

This is the only celestial configuration that lasts throughout February, as these two planets spend the whole month within a half degree or less of an exact quadrature (90° arc). As the month opens, they’re just under a degree from the exact aspect. At month’s end, they’re just a half-degree off the mark.

DEC 15, 2014 Uranus-Pluto square As detailed in the full version of my 2015 World Forecast Highlights, and mentioned in my free online January forecast, this configuration speaks of social and political unrest aplenty, ranging all the way from the microcosm of individual acts of protest, violence and even insanity; all the way to the macrocosm of the collective: riots, revolution, civil and international war. A lot of this is already in progress, as predicted when I pointed out several years ago that this would be a major them from 2011 into 2016.

This is no flash in the pan. It stays within a degree of its December 15 exact alignment all the way from mid-November 2014 well into April this year. It’s not new, but it’s tightening up and becoming more prominent now. You’ve seen it in the Occupy and Black Lives Matter movements in the US, the Arab Spring; the uprisings in Ukraine, Thailand, Egypt, Greece and Spain, Mexico, Venezuela, China (including Hong Kong) and the like – and the wars that have been cropping up since 2011 the same way they did in the 1930s, when this alignment last appeared. We all look forward to a time of peace. We need to look beyond 2016, when the Uranus-Pluto square finally begins to separate, and the waning Jupiter-Saturn square prepares the way for the 2020 Great Chronocrator Mutation (change of element).

This whole month is a time of intensifying conflict with and resistance to the powers that be, on the part of the underclasses. It’s the 99% against the 1%, and the underdogs don’t go quietly. And as the turmoil boils over, it tends more and more to overrun all boundaries; such that revolt morphs into revolution, into civil war, and from there into war between nations. This is more or less continuous all month, but especially pronounced within a few days either side of the full moon on 3rd (as Venus aligns with Neptune, squaring Saturn, and markets swoon). And then there’s the Moon-Mars alignment on the 20th, during the stealth SuperMoon shock window. (More about that later.)

None of this happens in isolation. It occurs in the context of paroxysms in the economic system and the financial infrastructure, which impoverishes the lower and middle classes to the point of desperation. I still say there’s a long term upward bias for quality equities; but it’s not steady and continuous – in fact it’s especially erratic around the 3rd and 20th, as mentioned above.

The Uranus-Pluto square also bodes breakthroughs in science and technology, the announcement of profound discoveries in quantum physics, astrophysics, medicine and biotechnology. This too is ongoing throughout February and well beyond. We’re talking paradigm shifts here . . . The discovery of the Higgs Boson came under the aegis of this quadrature, and there’s more in the wings. (Late February looks most promising this month, but this is an ongoing trend.)

January 14 – February 24: Mercury Max Wrap-Up

Mercury's Synodic Cycle

The Mercury Max cycle begins when the little Sun-grazer reaches its maximum elongation east of the Sun - its evening star phase. This happens when Mercury has come 'round to the same side of the Sun as Planet earth, and is relatively near us. The little planet is then pulling up to pass Earth on the inside track, as it were; catching up to us from behind and then passing between us and the Sun. Just as it catches up with us, Mercury passes directly between Earth and the Sun. This is Mercury's inferior conjunction with the Sun. After the inferior conjunction, Mercury continues pulling ahead of us until it reaches its greatest elongation west of the Sun (its morning star phase), at which point the little planet is headed toward the far side of our parent star. Between these two extremes, the greatest east and west elongations, comes the fabled Mercury retrograde period of astrological lore.

It’s worth noting that, with the inferior planets (those inside Earth’s orbit; namely Mercury and Venus), the closest approach to Earth coincides with the inferior (retrograde) conjunction with the Sun. With the superior planets (those outside Earth’s orbit), the closest approach to Earth coincides with the planet’s (retrograde) solar opposition. Clearly astrological doctrine regarding planetary retrogrades is completely unthinking. Rather than being weakened or debilitated in some way, a retrograde planet is in fact bigger and brighter in our sky, and closer to our home planet. Not unlike a SuperMoon, in that respect . . .

Among the sort of things to be ready for during the above mentioned Mercury Max cycles: strikes and other disruptions affecting transportation and communication (e.g. postal, phone, mass transit, trucking, airline, shipping, dock and warehouse workers, teachers and all manner of media). Weather both terrestrial and solar (including geomagnetic storms) can play a part in the kind of breakdowns described here, but human effort (and sometimes malicious action) is a part of the mix as well. Power failures due to infrastructure breakdown and computer network disruptions caused by hacker attacks, software vulnerabilities and the like are also just a crossed wire or a keystroke away from a major mess at these times.

FEB 24, 2015 Mercury Max Off Granted, Mercury Max as a whole tends to be a period of greater than normal solar activity – solar flares (M and X class), Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs) and geomagnetic activity (KP5 and higher). These tend to peak around (within plus or minus three days of) the dates of the five critical points in the Mercury Max cycle: the maximum eastern (January 14) and western elongations February 24) at the beginning and end of the cycle, as well as the two stations (January 21 retrograde and February 11 direct) and the January 30 inferior conjunction with the Sun. Because of the geomagnetic activity component of these solar storms, circuits and networks here on Earth can get erratic. Think Carrington Event (1859) or the Quebec Blackout (1989). Even today, a Carrington-level event would be catastrophic. But work continues on hardening the technological infrastructure that sustains humanity, to make it more resistant to solar storms. Already, satellite systems and power grids are better equipped to handle these surges, precisely because scientists and engineers have studied the problem, tested solutions, and applied the ones that work best. In other words, they have done their Mercurial best. That’s exactly what we need to do during the Mercury Max: think sharp, stay focused, and carry through.

All things considered, I expect February to continue the rash of solar storms that began last month – most especially around the dates mentioned above. You’ll know it’s happening when you see strong solar storms (M and X class flares and Coronal Mass Ejections), auroral activity spikes, and geomagnetic storms (KP 5 and up). Remember that network hardware (power grids, computer networks, satellite systems etc.) are not the only vulnerable systems at times like this. The human neural network sometimes gets erratic during solar storms. Not everyone is obviously affected, but those who feel it know who they are. If you’re one, get ready.

February opens in the wake of the January 30 Mercury inferior conjunction with the Sun – and again, these are effective 2-3 days either side of the exact phenomenon. Two more such storm windows come this month, between the 8th and 14th, and the 21st and 27th. You don’t have to look back far for evidence of this. There were M-Class flares on the 28th and 29th of January, as predicted. More and bigger lie ahead, most especially around the above-indicated dates. (Just remember: the whole of Mercury Max is an above average solar storm cycle.)

February 3 Full Moon Shock Window

That does it for the longer term cycles at work this month. As for the shorter ones, first up is the full moon on the 3rd. This is no SuperMoon, and it doesn’t even rise to the level of an eclipse class event. Still, it raises higher than normal tides in Earth’s atmosphere, crust and seas. So you can expect a flurry of moderate to severe earthquakes (Magnitude 5 and up) during this particular full moon window; which I figure runs from January 30 into February 8 (extended fore and aft due to the Moon’s north declination peak on January 31 and southward crossing of the celestial equator on February 7. Unusually strong storms and notable volcano eruptions figure into the picture, as well.

February 18 Stealth SuperMoon

FEB 24, 2015 Mercury Max OffSuperMoon is a term I created and defined in a 1979 article for Dell Publishing Company's HOROSCOPE magazine, describing a new or full moon (syzygy) which occurs with the Moon at or near (within 90% of) its closest approach to Earth (perigee) in a given orbit. In short, Earth, Moon and Sun are all in a line, with Moon in its nearest approach to Earth. (My most recent print article on this subject appeared in the October-November 2007 issue of The Mountain Astrologer.) Over the last several years, astronomers and science writers have adopted my terminology. I’m told this is the first instance since Johannes Kepler in the 17th Century of astronomers adopting a concept that originated with an astrologer.

At the very most basic geophysical level, a SuperMoon is a type of extreme lunar alignment that is associated with extreme tides in the atmosphere, seas and crust of our home planet. These extremes manifest as increases in the frequency and magnitude of strong storms with high winds and heavy precipitation – and all that entails, including flooding, property and infrastructure damage and worse. Also in the SuperMoon arcanum comes an uptick in notable seismic activity, including moderate to severe (Magnitude 5 and up) earthquakes and significant volcanic eruptions. Extreme tidal surges are the third leg of the SuperMoon geophysical tripod – sometimes these are tsunami, but more often they’re just normal tides that happen to be much higher than usual.

These geophysical manifestations of SuperMoon are only the larger, grosser expression of this alignment; the macrocosmic end of the spectrum, so to speak. The other, microcosmic end is much subtler, in the grand scheme of things. It’s an intensification of human psychological and emotional extremes. Although these sometimes make headlines in their own right, as when someone becomes unhinged and commits atrocities of one kind or another, usually we see the personal side of SuperMoon on a much more private level. We feel it in ourselves – some of us more than others – and we see it in the people around us. There’s an intensification of emotionality, for better or worse. Typically, this is most apparent in people who were born under planetary placements at or near the degree of a particular SuperMoon – or in hard aspect to it. (Hard aspects are angles of 0°, 90°, 180° or 270°: the conjunction, waxing square, opposition and waning square, respectively.) People born under a new or full moon (including those born under an eclipse or SuperMoon) are also especially likely to go to emotional extremes during a SuperMoon.

February 18 brings the second in a winter trio of what I have come to call stealth SuperMoons; that is, a new moon SuperMoon. Full moon SuperMoons get all the press, for obvious reasons. They’re gloriously huge in the sky, so big and bright that people can’t help noticing them – especially at sundown, when that great, big full moon rises in the east as the Sun sets in the west.

A new moon, even if it’s a SuperMoon, is on the other hand invisible to the naked eye. The Moon and Sun are in the same spot in the sky when the moon is new, which means that the Moon gets lost in the Sun’s glare when it’s above the horizon; and it goes down below the horizon at sunset. It isn’t visible, but it’s still there – and, because it’s a SuperMoon, this invisible Moon is much closer to Earth than usual. It has the same pronounced tidal pull on the crust, seas and sky of our home planet as all SuperMoons. We just can’t see it. Hence, a stealth SuperMoon. (As the fox told the Little Prince, "what is essential is invisible to the eye.")

The February 18 new moon is at 0°Pisces. I figure the shock window for this alignment runs from the 13th through the 21st; kicking in a couple days early due to the Moon reaching maximum declination south of the celestial equator on the 14th. Mercury Max remains in effect for this SuperMoon (lasting through the 24th), so I’m expecting the customary spanner in the works when it comes to transportation, communication and power networks; probably not as extreme as the January SuperMoon, but still something to be reckoned with.

FEB 18, 2015 New Moon (Stealth) SuperMoon Astro-Locality MapAs for the storm and seismic activity uptick and extreme tidal surges so typical of SuperMoons, this one is sure to make its mark. So, during the February 13-21 shock window, don’t be surprised by headlines and breaking news of powerful storms with high winds and heavy precipitation and floods associated with those storms; as well as extreme high tides, and a surge in moderate to severe earthquakes (Magnitude 5 and up); plus an uptick in volcanic eruptions. And, especially if you live in or plan to be in geographically vulnerable areas – e.g. along the coast in the case of tidal surges, or in an area prone to seismic activity (including volcanic eruptions) – then it’s a good idea to have your emergency preparations ready. Remember too that storms can strike anywhere, so keep your go bag, candles, canned food etc. handy just in case. If traveling, plan on weather delays.

As always, it’s a point worth emphasizing, that SuperMoons are astronomical in scale, involving particularly potent alignments of Sun, Earth and Moon. This makes them planetary in scope. Even if you’re far from risk zones for earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and/or tidal flooding, the fact remains that you’re under the sky. Earth’s atmosphere is every bit as responsive to SuperMoon’s geophysical tides as the seas and crust. In short, there’s no place on earth beyond the reach of a SuperMoon.

That said, astro-locality mapping often shows areas of special vulnerability during a SuperMoon shock window. In the case of the February 18 alignment, meridian lines for the Sun and Moon (plus Neptune, which is conjunct this SuperMoon) draw a longitudinal (north-south) line over Scandinavia, central Europe and west central Africa, and from the very easternmost tip of Siberia, down through the Pacific to just east of New Zealand. The Sun-Moon-Neptune horizon arc swings down through central Canada into the east central US, crossing the Gulf of Mexico (and Florida) into the Caribbean Sea and Central America (on both the Atlantic and Pacific sides), crossing from there across the Pacific side of South America except at the very southern tip, where it emerges on the Atlantic side. The same arc emerges across the Indian Ocean and Indonesia, the Indo-China peninsula, China, Mongolia and Siberia.

A Venus-Mars Valentine

The most enchanting time of the month comes with the February 14-22 Venus-Mars conjunction. When Venus and Mars are all right – which they are at times like this – love and lust course strong through the animal kingdom. Lots of babies will be made, lots of parties will be happening – from the shy and genteel to the absolutely orgiastic. The heart wants what the heart wants, and what it wants most of all is to be in an ecstatic, full-body embrace as Venus and Mars are conjoined in the western sky after sundown this month. That’s conjoined, as in conjugal . . .


All mundane astrological charts as well as eclipse and astro-locality maps are set for the Universal Time (UT) of the event, and calculated and produced using Esoteric Technologies’ Solar Fire Gold Version 7.0.8. Unless sotherwise noted, sky map images are screen captures from the Pocket Universe app for iPhone, or produced by Starry Night for Windows; storm tracks are screen captures from The Weather Channel app for iPhone; and earthquake maps are screen captures from the QuakeWatch app for iPhone.

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