Astrology with Daniel Sowelu
Once again it's Aquarian time; school and university starts, work builds up steam and there's a lot of forward looking into the rest of the year, all of which suits the fresh and enlivening energies of the Waterbearer. The oxygenating qualities of the sign normally lift the quality of general energy after the earthier tones of Capricorn, but like everything else, this is a very new chapter in its expression.
Firstly, he's the one most sensitised to whatever his ruler Uranus is up to and so his brilliant individualism is even more energised and radicalised as the sky god moves forward in Aries. Secondly, Neptune, who's been travelling through Aquarius since 1998, is just leaving and moving fully into Pisces, a subtle but extremely significant transition, spiritually and psychically. It's like the sign is re-emerging from a long dreaming that should leave it clearer and more capable of inspired action.
This month, though, is not one of smooth sailing, as Mercury and the Sun are a part of two overlapping grand crosses, with Persephone in Leo at the top point of both. One involves an opposition between the father/son duo of Saturn and Jupiter. These two have been duelling behind the scenes for months, partly obscured by the intensity of the Pluto/Uranus square, but never quite going exact. Saturn will, in fact, go retrograde on the 8th, signalling a slow withdrawal from this terse conflict between expansion and contraction. But for this month, the Sun and Mercury are in the middle of a kind of push/pull between these two symbols of the masculine father archetypes, that will play itself out as a series of stops and starts, especially in world affairs, finance systems and politics. (So what else is new, he cries!)
The other grand cross, operating on a deeper level, involves three of the dark goddesses, Persephone at the top, Medusa in Scorpio opposing the Black Moon in Taurus in the corners. Phew! The Aquarian part of ourselves will be forced to face these deep voices of the unconscious from the underworld, who demand attention to the deeper emotional realms and powers, something that Aquarius prefers to keep at arm's length. Here, simply understanding things with the rational mind, even having great insight and awareness, will not serve alone as these goddesses will tend to call us down to feel the things we haven't allowed ourselves to feel.
If done well, then the profound intelligence of the goddess can shine through the intellectual and spiritual brilliance of Aquarius, empowering its actions. But where excessive detachment, rationalisation, denial and arrogance holds sway then look out, especially when the four points of this grand cross are in fixed signs, a perfect set up for some severe psychic logjams!
Among the many oppositions in this month's chart is one between Mars in Virgo and Venus in Pisces, that other archetypal couple influencing our love lives and the balances between masculine and feminine. There's always a degree of attraction between the two, one that is actually heightened through the attraction of opposites but which comes with some kind of conflict. That both are in gentler and subtler signs just makes it less obvious.
Superficially, it's a conflict between the urge to connect (Venus) and the desire for independence (Mars), but there are interesting twists in this psychodrama. Mars is bonded with Venus' higher octave Psyche, so he can't quite get away from his romantic urges either. On the other hand, Venus is conjunct Vesta, wanting to express her love energy, especially in Pisces, but tied to a 'virginal' priestess who wants greater autonomy and boundaries for her. Confusing? You bet! Fortunately, things improve mid-month when Eros joins his father and his beloved in the form of Mars and Psyche, while at the same time Venus goes into Aries and joins with Uranus. Now that should spark thing up a bit on the relationship front!
Speaking of Pisces, Neptune goes into the sign proper on February 4, having visited from April to August last year. As we said last month, this is a planet coming home to the sign most resonant with its essence. The planet of mysticism, mystery, vision and psychic openness, of maya or illusion, of madness and delusion, the most open, sensitised part of the zodiac.
This can be a gift to the spiritually available and aware - the artist, the visionary, those who act as the canaries in the collective coalmines and all who act as mediums for their cultures. And it can be like opening Pandora's Box, a liberation of what is hidden from most of us, some of it not too pleasant. It can go either way - and will- often at the same time.
Against this rather sobering observation, though, I am enormously excited by the quality of its entrance into the sign, as Neptune is accompanied by the Shiva and Pallas Athena asteroids, all of which are trined by Saturn and sextiled by Jupiter. Here are the two great spiritual warriors of great potency and piercing focus travelling with this equally great sensitising and opening psychic power. There is an aura of fierce, expressive intent here that is spine tingling, an intent to manifest the very best of Neptunian energies into the world reinforced by both Jupiter and Saturn, who rule so much of the movement in our outer worlds. There are extraordinary possibilities here!
Daniel Sowelu (BSc Dip Ed) is a therapeutic astrologer, primal therapist and groupleader in his 30th year of private practice.
For an extended version of this article and Daniel's 2012 yearly assessment from January, go to www.sacredlawfirm.com.au