The Planetary Illuminations report for February is up on my website and you can read the article in its entirety here.  My newsletter subscribers receive a translation of this report into easy to understand English, so if you’re not already on my list please sign up in the sidebar to the right of this article.

Meanwhile, here is the introduction which reports on the major planetary cycles this month (for the details of February planetary alignments please visit the article:

Mars turned retrograde on January 23rd, and when February begins it is still moving very slowly through the sky so its influence is felt on a more deeply personal level. The energy of Mars is important for our motivation and our ability to move forward in our lives, and Mars is in Virgo where it is bringing our attention to the details of life – the mundane everyday world in which most of our lives transpire.

Any planet in retrograde motion asks us to look within a little more carefully, and Mars retrograde periods urge us to carefully consider areas of life in which we react to stimuli without thinking. Where do we respond in anger? Where are we blocked from expressing ourselves when our boundaries are violated? What do we really want and how can we put our dreams into action? These are all Mars Retrograde questions and because Mars will be inching along very slowly for the first two weeks of February we will continue to feel its effects. This could include sleeplessness and agitation if Mars is hitting a sensitive area in our chart and we are allowing that energy to implode without giving it an outlet, through physical activity perhaps, or by expressing ourselves more clearly and assertively.

Saturn is preparing to turn retrograde too – that retrograde turn occurs on February 7th so Saturn’s motion is also slowing down to a standstill in preparation for that retrograde turn. Saturn is at the 29th degree of Libra, not quite ready to move into Scorpio but instead going back one more time to complete the work of helping us to re-establish our sense of values and aesthetics (Libra).

Saturn turns retrograde every year, so this is not such an unusual event. Saturn is the planet that teaches us to build and create strong structures that will sustain our lives and grant us success in the material world, but in order to accomplish this it often calls our attention to areas in which our performance has not been adequate. This can lead to feelings of self-doubt and anxiety. Saturn retrograde periods offer opportunities for us to use this awareness of where our efforts have fallen short so that we can improve them and ultimately achieve lasting success.

We also have Neptune re-entering Pisces after a brief sojourn back into Aquarius. You can read more about that here.

And finally, Pluto is moving into position to form a square aspect to Ceres. Ceres represents our ability to nurture ourselves and others, and Pluto presents a challenge to that ability. There are often issues of food disorders under this aspect, or at the very least a difficulty in balancing our emotional needs with the physical ones.

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