Daniel Sowelu looks at the stars for FEBRUARY 2008

This is going to be a strong, rather turbulent, monthwith some very potent challenges mingling with someabsolute gems, as far as lineups go. These are, in turn,significantly energised and reinforced by two totaleclipses on the 7th and the 21st. Hold onto your hats!

Consistent with every February for the last decade,Aquarius is a very busy place in this one's chart, withthe Sun, Lilith, Chiron, Vesta, Neptune, a retrogradeMercury and the North Node all clustered in the signof The Waterbearer. In classic fashion, Aquarius issuch a swirl of brilliant, creative, mystical, edgeof consciousness kind of energy with some schizoid tendencies,and that's just on its own. Throw in the psychic heavyweightslike Lilith, Chiron and Neptune and all of these tendenciesget exaggerated, increasing the voltage on an alreadyhighly charged system.

We can be forgiven for feeling a little crazy at timeslike this, but we are not totally powerless in thiseither. As usual, there are some brilliant possibilitiesfor healing, for synthesising dark and light in oursystems and for some quite spectacular psychic-spiritualopenings. That is, if we can look after ourselves andour nervous systems and avoid the temptation or thehabit of escaping the body.

For all its brilliance, Aquarius is not the most groundedof energies and is not that keen on the emotional sideof life, preferring detachment and a witnessing stancetowards the more organic realms of feeling life. Thoseof you born with Chiron in Aquarius, in particular,will know too well the automatic tendency to take flightin response to deep wounding and overwhelming psychicor emotional experiences. In the face of this month'senergy, so similar in quality, so potentially overwhelming,the challenge for all is to stay present, to keep feeling,and to learn to ride out the waves of initiation, confusionand purification, without freaking out.

As for self care during this phase, keeping thingssimple, regular meditation (but not too much), goodbodywork including craniosacral, Reiki or similar, allwill keep soothing the nervous system and gently supportingthe necessary inner movements that go with big psychicchanges. Also with Chiron a big player, supported bythe asteroid Hygeia in Aries, there are deep healingprocesses that will open ancient wounds in order torelease them. These demand that we honour our feelings,especially those we split off from as little ones, asit's these that get activated by the Chiron process.Whatever emerges in our individual systems, any healingand therapeutic technique can bear great fruit at timeslike this because our inner healers are so active.

But there are more than just childhood wounds thatget worked here, as Chiron reaches into even more ancientterritory - birth, in-utero, past life wounds are allpart of the deal. As Chiron is the closest planet (oid?)to the eclipse on the 7th, its work is likely to peakthen, not just on a healing level but also in its rolein any great shamanic, psycho spiritual leap forward.Just about anything could happen with this and it'sa very powerful time for deep ceremony and ritual.

The accent on feeling our feelings takes even deepersignificance, as the month begins with a Scorpio moonconjunct the Dark Moon. We have a situation, then, thattwo of the faces of Lilith are conjunct the Sun andthe Moon, one that speaks of great and ancient powersthat demand we face the emotional truth of things, bothin the present and from the past. Like the dark Indiangoddess Kali, to ignore or deny her brings out her destructiveside and, in the current situation, unacknowledged emotionalenergies will negatively energise the potential crazinessof the Aquarian concentration. Any combination of Lilith,particularly with Chiron, will bring up ancient emotionalenergies, including rage, grief and betrayal, for purificationand healing. Here, then, lies an opportunity to reunitethe deep forces of the feminine with the exalted qualitiesof Aquarius, but we have to be willing to face the darknesswithin with courage and a commitment to keep feeling,to regain parts of our own emotional selves that we'verejected and betrayed. Tough work but truly great work!

Alongside these dark gems (and it is truly amazingwhat gems of light lie at the heart of Lilith and theother dark goddesses) we also have more obvious ones.Jupiter is exactly conjunct Venus in Capricorn, notexactly a gushing one, but nevertheless a celebrationof love, of the creation of beauty and unity. Venusin Capricorn is traditionally an energy that is outwardlyreserved, but privately a sensitive and sensual expressionof the goddess of love. It has better boundaries thanmany other positions, but can suffer from a little toomuch defensiveness. Jupiter brings greater trust andencouragement to express and manifest one's heart ofhearts in one's love and creative lives. It's also avery gracious energy that can hold our hearts and thelittle ones within well as the tougher processes areactive.

Daniel Sowelu (BSc DipEd) is a therapeutic astrologer,primal therapist and group leader in his 21st year ofprivate practice.