A Week in the Stars
Monday February 20th Mercury in Aquarius will sextile Uranus in Aries, and then the next day Mercury in Aquarius will trine Jupiter in Libra. Two days of sweet gifts for the messenger god to blandish and blarney with. Remember the flavor of Mercury in Aquarius that we talked about a few weeks ago? It’s the Franklin Roosevelt of Mercurys that declares to us: “we must cultivate the science of human relationships.” Fast-Moving Mercury is about to change signs again so Monday and Tuesday are good days to try to get your proverbial money’s worth out of this innovative orator. Monday, Mercury will be set up to coax the courageous revolutionary. It’s a day rife with opportunity for radical thought and speaking the truth. Tuesday, Mercury will be in a mutually supportive position with Big Papa Jupiter, god of optimism and exuberance. If you have been feeling like the future is bleak (which is almost everyone I know right now), Tuesday can be a day to consider hopeful possibilities for things to come. A good day to organize. As always with easy aspects, the opportunity is present and the choice of whether or not to use it is really up to you.
Wednesday February 22nd, Mars in Aries will Square Pluto and the Moon in Capricorn. A kinda concerning aspect, if ever there was a day to stay inside and batten down the hatches, Wednesday might be that day. The moon will be in conjunction with Pluto that day, which is not particularly uncommon (it happens about once a month). A Pluto-Moon conjunction can bring domestic crisis and an opportunity for buried feelings to rise to the surface. The Mars-Pluto square, less common (it happens about once every two years), brings up buried rage, a compulsion to win at all costs and a fight-to-the-death mentality. Sexual violence is also a theme that comes up over and over again in the literature. Marina from Darkstar Astrology talks about the protector/predator signature of this aspect which you can read more about here. Pam Ciampi who writes the forecasts for Llewellyn’s 2017 Daily Planetary Guide, says that this aspect can bring “possible use of military force and/or the potential for powerful weather incidents.” I think the salient point to keep in mind for Wednesday is that the place where power and competition meet is a place where we can lose our humanity. Resist, fight back, protect each other at all costs.
And then, a sign change for Mercury! Saturday February 25th, Mercury enters the dreamy, poetic oceans of Pisces. There are pros and cons to a Mercury in Pisces, for sure. On the one hand, nobody’s got time right now for the murkiness in clarity of understanding that Mercury in Pisces can bring. On the other hand, the poetry of Mercury in Pisces might be exactly what is called for. As Audre Lorde says in the opening lines of her poem Power: “the difference between poetry and rhetoric / is being ready to kill / yourself / instead of your children.” I would highly recommend reading Power for more inspiration. Caroline Casey says of those with Mercury in Pisces: “Rather than complain, they channel their energy into empathic service: ‘I will be a voice for all those that do not have a voice.’” But be careful when you start talking for others. It’s rarely welcome and easily botched.
Sunday, February 26th, There will be a solar eclipse in Pisces followed later that day by a Mars/Uranus conjunction in Aries. With three planets in Aries and four planets in Pisces this is an intense day. Aries is the ever-adolescent and deeply concerned with the ‘I’. Who am I? What am I? How do I prove myself? Pisces has a hard time with the ‘I’. Pisces wants all barriers to dissolve so that ‘I’ can be transformed into ‘We’.Often it is said that eclipses can bring a flash of insight to whatever area of life it appears in for us. A solar eclipse is very similar to a new moon, but the energy is exacerbated. The Pisces Sun and Moon intensity will be even stronger. If you are a crier – expect to cry. Expect your mind and body to be aligned in their extreme sensitivity. Meanwhile, the Mars/Uranus conjunction means that this Pisces emotion-coaster will be followed promptly by a marriage between competitive, angry, aggressive god of war Mars, and explosive, chaotic, rebellious god-of-the-people Uranus. Pisces can sometimes slow things down to a crawl so it’s possible that hyper-active combo Mars/Uranus can act as the battery-pack needed to push this pisces eclipse past dreams and into action.
“We will use the difference between poetry and rhetoric to protect each other at all costs.”
The following horoscopes are written for your RISING sign, and not your sun sign. If you really, really, really don’t know and can’t figure out your rising sign than you can read for your sun. Because there is so much that could be said for each sign every week, I pull tarot cards to help me narrow down the scope of the reading. This week I am using the tarot deck Slow Holler. If the tarot card that accompanies your sign speaks to you, I recommend working with the energy of that card throughout the week. Enjoy!
The Ace of Branches is a magical wand and a pointing finger. A Triangle on the nail of the finger is the symbol for fire and the sun silhouettes the burning fingertip. At the base of the wand, a Crystal is tethered amidst a clump of tiny cone buds. In the background, there is a mountain.
This week, the Solar eclipse in Pisces will align the Sun and the Moon in your 12th house, the house of your shadow, of inner and hidden enemies, while Mars and Uranus will be meeting in Aries: your first house of self. The brightest and darkest parts of your chart will be lit up this week. Twice, Mars will be dancing with powerful outer planets. First the God of Death and then the Trickster God of Change. You are holding a whole lotta spark in the days to come, Aries. As a friend of mine once told me, when you’ve got a bunch of gasoline you have to think about where you put it. If you spray it all over, all it will take is one spark to start an inferno. But put it in a car and you can go wherever you want. This week, make sure you are pointing your magical finger where you want to send your energy. Your homework for the week is to make a wand if you don’t have one already.
In The Chariot, a dyke and her dog lay in the bed of a red pickup truck, gazing up at a brilliant night sky full to bursting with golden stars. The pup is asleep and lays it’s head on the chariot-riders leg. A peaceful and pensive reprieve from whatever journey the two are currently on together.
This week it might seem like you are really getting on the same page as your community. Or it might just seem like different disparate parts of yourself are getting on the same page about the community. There will be an alignment of values. The barriers between you and your friends will feel extra permeable. It’s possible that while the defenses are down, you might get some nasty epiphanies about who you spend your time with. The Chariot is suggesting that you make sure that you have some time and space this week to look at the stars and be by yourself.
In Ten of Vessels, ten red vessels of a variety of kinds surround a golden pond. Three teacups. A dripping teapot. A flowerpot holding a small shrub. A toy sailboat. A balloon. A drum. A fishbowl with a gold fish. A mason jar holding clouds.
This week, Gemini, you are being invited by the Ten of Vessels to (according to the Slow Holler booklet) recognize the “abundance dripping around you” and that you “have a vital role to play.” If you have been having a hard time finding what you feel called to do in this life, Sunday’s Solar Eclipse might give you some abundant information about what that is. This is a week to get organized, resist and fight back with your friends and allies, and in doing so, you might find the specific special way that you can give back to the community you belong to.
In the Seven of Stones, seven stones lay artfully arranged on a pattern that resembles stained glass or a domed ceiling. The pattern recalls both mandalas and the ceilings of old monasteries. The middle stone is placed on top of the Star of David.
This week is all about the work for you, Cancer. But specifically it’s about the work that really, really matters to you. While there will be some pretty hard hitting aspects connected to your house of soul-work, it’s the 9th house that will be lit up by the eclipse which suggests that the underlying question is: what makes the work meaningful to you? How do you make meaning in your life? The Seven of Stones welcomes you to admire your on work and the work of others who share a path with you. This week, make a list of things you have created that you are proud of, and then go find other people who have done rad stuff in the same fields.
Pictured in Five of Stones is an armadillo lying on it’s armored back. Because of the angle it is unclear whether the armadillo is unconscious, dead or simply anguished. The armadillo languishes amongst geodes that have been cracked open to reveal their glittering insides.
Leo, the Five of Stones wants to know if you are getting what you need. Are you materially and emotionally taken care of right now? Something may be making you feel like you have to armor up which is a shame considering the amazing treasure you’ve got inside of you. If the problem has to do with those things, be them money, investments, or responsibilities, that you share with someone else, Sunday might give you some important information about how to set boundaries without hiding all of your gifts from the world. Use the Martian energy of this week to put those thoughts, feels, and realizations furiously onto a page and maybe out into the world.
In the Eight of Branches, eight tiny red hands attached to writhing arms all meet at a stump. The blind groping that the eight hands imply does not illustrate the classic interpretation of the card which is about speed: rushing toward a goal, but the Slow Holler booklet’s description is illuminating: “You’ve become a central node in a complex network.” “It might feel like you are going in a thousand directions at once, and your head is spinning with ideas and possibilities all clamoring for attention.”
This week, you may find yourself receiving powerful information about what you look for in your relationships. You might also find yourself receiving powerful information about how you behave in relationships. This is a good week to examine how much of yourself you put into your partnerships. Can you get lost in the Piscean sea of your lovers? Do you sometimes feel like you are constantly the caretaker? The Eight of Branches invites you to recognize that you have deep caregiving abilities and that many, many people are in need of that right now. Make sure that you are sending those important, life giving energies to those who really deserve it.
In Four of Branches three golden fox critters frolic amongst giant, splendid red flowers of different types. The vibrancy of the gold and red recall that of The Sun, and the two cards have a certain correspondence through their themes of joy and celebration.
This week Libra, you might find yourself pitted in deep conflict with partners. You might experience the tension between the wants and needs of a relationship and your wants and needs around home and roots and foundation. Meanwhile you are primed to get some important information this eclipse season about the ways in which you can and should be in service. There are a lot of ways to be miserable in this world, and some of those can bloom into important information that you can use to be a source of healing in those places that you yourself have been wounded. As Rumi says: “The wound is the place where the light enters you.” The Four of Branches invites you to take a moment to revel in the beauty of everything you have, everything you have created, everything you have worked for. There’s beauty in the wound too.
The Hermit is young and they have short dreads sticking out of a beanie, a septum ring, jean shorts, and a hooded vest. They look serene as they gaze at the candle light they hold protectively in their hands. The Hermit kneels inside a black egg. Outside the black egg, the mountains, valleys, rivers, and sky are red.
This week you may be getting some important information about what kinds of creative activities to pursue and how you receive pleasure. You also might be finding tension arising in those places where you are of service. Whether that’s your shitty part time job, or your volunteer work, or the space you hold for others, you might be feeling the need to buck off your responsibilities right now. People might be taking advantage of you. The Hermit is asking you to take some time to be still and alone. Get in touch with yourself, your body, your needs, your desires. Are you getting what you need? Are you being taken for granted?
In Five of Branches, five brittle looking, broken, silver-grey branches, with lots of sharp crystals embedded all over, criss cross each other on top of a colorful background.
This week Swagittarius, you might be receiving some important information about your home life. Sags are known for their wanderer ways, so home tends to be a contentious topic for these travelin’ cuties. One Sag I knew once told me that he couldn’t make up his mind as to whether he wanted to travel the world and see a little bit of everywhere, or if he wanted to stay in one place and just get to know one particular corner deeply. This week the Five of Branches is asking you to explore conflict and the joy of the fight. What pleasure is there in the tension? What tension are you ready to let go of so the adventure can continue? Your homework is to go listen to Audre Lorde’s Uses of the Erotic.
The Visionary of Branches is a naked goddess who blends in with the starry night sky. She clutches a golden tree and a red moon in the background matches the red cloth tied around her waist. Her expression is serene and her eyes are closed.
This week Cappie, you might receive some important messages about how you communicate while navigating what could be some spicy eruptions at home. Is it hard to be yourself around your family? Do you have a difficult relationship with your lineage? Are you scared or angry or unsure of what gifts your ancestors have bequeathed you? You aren’t alone. A friend of mine often says that “We are the answer to our ancestor’s prayers.” This week as you navigate the watery depths of the eclipse and the ruthless competition of Mars and Pluto, let the Visionary of Branches remind you that you are the answer to your ancestors prayers.
In the Four of Vessels a curly-haired cutie sinks underwater. The kicking legs of their friends suggest the river party continues on without them above the surface. In the sandy bed of the river bottom, four glass jars have been discarded. They lay half buried. Who knows how long they have been down there. Who knows how long the curly-haired-cutie can stay underwater.
This week Aquarius, you might be getting some important information about what is important to you. What things, people, assets, values do you spend time on? How do you delegate your resources? Meanwhile you may be experiencing some contention in the realm of communication. Have you been getting messages about how you are communicating? Have you been having a difficult time saying what you mean or being heard? The Four of Vessels is calling on you to get in touch with the part of yourself that feels like it’s underwater. Do you feel disconnected or overwhelmed right now? Reach out to the folks in your community, come back into the fold. If you are holding a lot of anger, find someone you can authentically process some of that with.
In Death, a large red poppy (a flower used to symbolize sleep, peace and death) grows through the eye socket of a human skull. On the forehead of the skull there is a red print of a cicada (often used to symbolize rebirth and immortality).
This week the solar eclipse is happening in your first house of self, Pisces. This means that this is a moment when you may be receiving some important messages about yourself. Meanwhile, you may be experiencing some tension or conflict around your personal values. Are the values that you hold at odds with the values you find in your community? Do your friends understand and respect what is important to you? Death is asking you to allow yourself to lean into transformation. Old parts of you have to die in order for new parts to grow. This week, write down something within yourself that you would like to let die, and then bury it in the ground somewhere.