The Next Step Newsletter - February 2016
Where are you expanding?
Here are some of the highlights of the events correlating to planetary pattern for January:
January 1st: BBC reported that their website had been hacked by a group claiming responsibility called ‘New World Hackers’. Cyber attacks are closely linked to the Uranus-Pluto square, which is still tightly operational.
January 2nd: There have been losses of property and assets in US states along the Mississippi River, caused by floods. Saturn=loss, square to Neptune=floods. The same is true in North and North West England, which has seen the worst flooding in over 50 years, with every river in Lancashire exceeding its previous flood record. Bridges, cars and animals have been washed away, with much devastation to property.
January 2nd: Saudi Arabia execute a prominent Shia Muslim cleric along with 46 others. This has caused massive protests in Iran, and the Sunni-Shia Muslim divide may become much wider as a result: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-35222061. This not only reflects religious issues and intolerance coming to the fore, as expected, with Saturn in Sagittarius, but also the continuing possibility of violent protest under the Uranus-Pluto square aspect, which is close to exact now.
January 3rd: Sweden brings in border controls for those trying to enter the country from Denmark, and in response Denmark does the same for those people entering from Germany. For both countries, this is an effort to stop the migrant flow which is becoming overwhelming: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-35222067.
January 5th: Just as Mercury squares Mars (talking about aggression) and the Sun is coming to conjunct Pluto exactly (planet of violence and death), President Obama makes new moves to use his Executive power (Pluto, power) to try to restrict gun (Mars) purchase further in the US.
January 6th: North Korea announces that it has successfully tested a nuclear hydrogen bomb. The Sun was exactly square to Pluto on this day, and rapidly moving to a square with Uranus. Therefore we were close to the New Moon at 19 Capricorn where both the Sun and Moon were in a T-square to Uranus and Pluto, planets associated with explosive, eruptive energy, and historically which have been linked with such activities. A 5.1 magnitude earthquake was also registered in the country, apparently just before the test, but again reflecting the same symbolism. What is also interesting is later that day doubts started to be cast as to whether this testing had actually taken place, or whether it was a false claim by the North Korean leader. This is exactly the kind of smoke-and-mirrors situation we expect with Saturn square Neptune; is it real or is it not? What can we believe?
January 7th: Twice this week the Chinese authorities made sure that their stock market did not fall by more than 7%. They have set up firewalls to stop this happening, so people are unable to sell their shares if a run on the market begins. This reflects Saturn (government controls) square Neptune (panic and confusion).
January 7th: A man wielding a butcher’s knife approached a police station in Paris, on the Charlie Hebdo anniversary, shouting ‘God is good!’ in Arabic. He appeared to have an explosive belt, and was therefore shot by the police and died soon after that. It was then discovered that it was a fake explosive belt. Again, with the Sun shining a light on the Uranus-Pluto square (unexpected, eruptive violence), and the Saturn-Neptune square of what is real and what is not?
January 8th: The Sun was in a T-square to Uranus and Pluto, highlighting the sudden, eruptive, explosive energy of that aspect, which can be potentially linked to violence and loss of life . A gunman pledging allegiance to IS shot a policeman at pointblank range in his police car in Philadelphia. The police officer was seriously wounded. Also, two attackers in an Egyptian resort stabbed three tourists, and one of the attackers was wearing an explosive belt.
January 9th: On New Year’s Eve there had been attacks and sexual assaults on women in Cologne at the railway station, allegedly by many foreign men of Arabic or North African appearance. This very much reflects the Uranus-Pluto square; unexpected, threatening behaviour, which can be of a sexual nature (Pluto, ruler of Scorpio, sexual crime), by foreigners (Uranus). On the 9th and 10th January, the Sun (and Moon on the 10th) were highlighting this Uranus-Pluto square. Water cannon (Neptune) were used to control (Saturn) the crowds who came to protest (Uranus-Pluto) against what happened. This is causing Angela Merkel (who has Neptune at the top of her birthchart=idealism and compassion, and has probably done more than any other European leader in welcoming migrants and refugees) to rethink their immigration policy, as many in Germany are feeling overwhelmed by the numbers. This is also a reflection of Saturn in Sagittarius (foreigners, migrants, religious issues) square to Neptune (refugees, homeless, and confusion around who they may truly be).
January 17th: Twenty three new marine conservation areas have been set up in the coastal areas around the UK. Neptune is the sea, and Saturn is regulation, boundaries, and ‘taking responsibility’ for an area.
January 19th: The town of Flint, in Michigan, USA, has a major pollution incident, as lead (Saturn is associated with this metal) has leaked into the water (Neptune) supply. My recent newsletters anticipated, tragically, pollution of this kind, as it is a completely accurate reflection of the symbolism of the Saturn-Neptune square.
January 20th: Neptune historically is associated with crude oil, and Saturn is the principle of contraction, so is linked to price reductions. Under the Saturn-Neptune square, the price of crude oil fell to $27 a barrel, the lowest in 13 years. Also 20th was a torrid day on financial markets, with a loss of approximately $15 billion since the market highs in 2014. Many financial markets have lost more than 20% since their highs, and thus are believed to be entering bear markets. Saturn represents fear, and is often linked to financial institutions and markets, and Neptune represents confusion and panic http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-35370554. Many financial commentators are talking about ‘a lot of uncertainty’ in 2016; we have many planets in mutable, fast-changing signs, and very few in fixed signs, which tend to give more stability, or at least slow down the changes.
January 21st: Today Mercury is exactly square to Uranus, and conjunct Pluto. We anticipated some surprising, even shocking news today. A UK inquiry that has been issued today on the murder of Alexander Litvinenko, former Russian agent, concludes that his murder was 'probably' approved by President Putin. See http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-35370819. Mercury square to Uranus represents the shocking, surprising element, and Uranus often has foreign connections. Pluto is related to crime, underhand activity, and commonly loss of life. Both Uranus and Pluto have links (think of Uranium and Plutonium) to radioactivity.
January 21st: Uranus-Pluto aspects commonly expand our universe and understanding of reality in some way (Columbus discovering the Earth wasn’t flat, putting a man on the Moon). Now a 9th planet has been discovered beyond Neptune: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/ct-9th-planet-20160120-story.html.
January 22nd: The BBC reports that over 1 million migrants arrived in Europe last year, and that the Schengen agreement on freedom of movement is in jeopardy - Hungary fenced off its borders with Croatia, Serbia and Slovenia; some other Schengen countries have re-imposed border controls: Germany, Austria, Denmark, Sweden, France and Belgium. Germany is also rethinking its ‘open-door’ policy, after many protests (Uranus-Pluto square, people rising up against government policy) after the outrage at the sex attacks in Cologne at New Year’s Eve. There have been protests in the Netherlands against the opening of a new refugee centre. Remember the migrant crisis is very much described by the symbolism of the Saturn-Neptune square; Saturn=boundaries, fences, rules and regulations, border controls, and as it is in Sagittarius=foreigners, migrants. Neptune=the homeless, destitute, refugee, also those who travel by sea (and may drown), and on another level represents the confusion and constant shifting of the EU policy towards migrants.
January 25th: The Zika virus (Neptune) which is spread by mosquitos from stagnant water (Saturn square Neptune in Pisces, Chiron in Pisces=problems with water, polluted water, things ‘going viral’) is likely to spread through the Americas, and can cause brain damage to new babies http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-35406933.
January 26th: The Danish Parliament voted to confiscate the assets and valuables of refugees to help pay for their upkeep, in an effort to make Denmark less attractive to migrants http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-35406436. This is another manifestation of the Saturn (rules and regulations, border controls) in Sagittarius (foreigners and migrants) square to Neptune (the homeless, destitute, refugees).
Throughout February, we continue to have the long-running Uranus-Pluto square in operation, as they are only around 1 degree away from exactitude. They won’t begin to really separate until around April, but we will still feel the effects of the revolutionary change they have had in the world and in our lives. Increasingly, the dominant aspect for 2016 up until September is Saturn square to Neptune. You can see in the review above how this aspect is beginning to play out, and please check out my previous two months’ newsletters (www.thenextstep.uk.com/newsletters) for more detail on how they are likely to manifest. The big issue here is trust; it is very important during 2016 to have integrity, to not have any hidden agendas or secrets that may emerge as scandals (as some leaders and organisations may have). Live authentically (Saturn in Sagittarius) and with an open heart, is the message for 2016. Many people may change their employment this year, recognising a strong pull towards ‘service’ (Jupiter in Virgo conjunct the North Node) which helps the common good in some way. This can manifest as a ‘divine discontent’, a feeling of yearning and spiritual desire to fulfil your dreams (Neptune) and have more meaning in your life (Saturn in Sagittarius). There will be an increasing sense of a global (Saturn in Sagittarius) spiritual community (Neptune) this year too.
Another manifestation of Saturn-Neptune, as well as the many I have discussed in earlier newsletters, is that things or circumstances that you thought were very solid and enduring in your life start to shift, or dissolve, or become less important. In one sense this is part of the feeling of unrest or being unsettled that Saturn-Neptune can bring about, but very positively it can release old attachments so we can be much more flexible and adaptable. As there are so many planets in mutable signs in 2016, the ability to be flexible and move quickly to benefit from opportunities will be very important. This may allow you to rise above old habits, stuck patterns, and situations, as they may change in ways that you could not have anticipated. Neptune in Pisces may inspire us creatively, and with the many energy shifts happening at the moment, may bring in a finer, more spiritual perception of how we see our world.
Jupiter remains in Virgo until September, when it enters Libra. This can bring in personal growth opportunities for anyone with an emphasis in Virgo (Sun, Moon, Ascendant). Remember while it is conjunct the North Node, as it will be all of February, it can give us a strong sense of confidence and ‘going for it’; Mars in Scorpio with its laser-beam focus will only reinforce this. Virgo is concerned with the Earth, and our guardianship and husbandry of the Earth, and there will be increasing concern while Jupiter is in Virgo not only for how we care for the Earth, but also how we connect to it (see groundology.co.uk for more information). A sense of a direct connection to nature and the Earth (literally, earthing via bare feet on grass) will become increasingly important for our wellbeing (there is much scientific evidence for this, and how it changes the viscosity of the blood, etc, see groundology website). A move back to ancient understandings of the nature of Earth energy, plant and herb medicine, will all become more prominent.
Another aspect of Virgo is to do with day-to-day routine, and while Jupiter is there we may want to make improvements in our daily routine whether it be by diet, exercise, nutrition, or developing a more spiritual practice each day. Disciplines such as yoga, tai-chi, qigong, may have more a draw this year, so the self-improvement (Jupiter) could be physical, nutritional, and spiritual. See where Jupiter is falling in your chart now, which is where Virgo is. Jupiter is at 22 degrees Virgo but will be continuing to move retrograde until May 9th at 13 degrees Virgo. This area of your chart should be an area of life that will see some expansion this year. If you don’t know how to find this, just get a copy of your birthchart which you can get free on-line (for instance www.chaosastrology.com offer this service), then check-out my tutorial videos (https-//gumroad.com/l/FHjOZ) which you can use long-term to constantly refer back to for all of these updates to see what it means for you.
Jupiter is also opposing Chiron (at 17 Pisces) for the whole of February, and this can bring a strong healing energy for many, and awareness of what needs to be healed. Chiron is close to the South Node, our collective past, and what needs to be released in order for us to move forwards, so there could even be a feeling of collective healing of old wounds too. The energy shifts will continue to be significant this year, building as we move toward the March Eclipses, which will be very powerful. More about those in the next newsletter!
In more detail for February, we have a slightly irritable beginning to the month with a difficult aspect between Mars in Scorpio and Uranus in Aries which is exact on the 5th, so be aware of being frustrated, impetuous or impatient. Try and step back from situations and watch is if someone else were in that situation, and take a breath.
Then we have a New Moon at 19 degrees 15 Aquarius on February 8th, at 6.38am PST and 2.38pm UK time. Where does this new beginning fall for you in your birthchart? What is now being birthed for you? It’s a great time to set a new intention for the month, whatever you would like to achieve or manifest, and when you know where this falls in your birthchart you can set it in line with what is naturally unfolding for you, so you are going with the flow of your life map. The sign Aquarius is very much concerned with the collective, again this idea of a global community, and how much more powerful we can be when we act together. We have seen this often in social media and on-line petitions, how effective they can be to change things in the world. Many of them I have noticed have been around the subject of animal welfare, very much the concern of Jupiter in Virgo.
Aquarius can also be the sign of genius, the inventor, the innovator, seeing things from an oblique angle. This potential is emphasised at this New Moon as the Sun and Moon are in positive aspect (sextile) to Uranus, the ruler of Aquarius, and very much the genius and the maverick, which can bring in connections to the super-conscious to give great creativity. The Sun and Moon are squared by Mars in Scorpio, bringing energy and determination into the picture, and Jupiter and the North Node, our collective destiny, are also in aspect too. This brings in a sense of vision and expansion into whatever we are setting forth as our new beginnings; a sense of confidence and exploring new horizons.
Mental and emotional intensity may be high at this New Moon, as both Mercury and Venus are conjunct Pluto and square to Uranus. We may be feeling very deeply about issues of security, financial resources, and also power - who has it - versus also wanting independence and freedom. We may experience great mental clarity, ‘ahaa' moments of awakening , and also a strong feeling of needing to express those strong emotions. It could be linked to an issue that arose at the end of December and again in mid-January when Mercury made this same aspect. Mars in Scorpio will emphasise the intensity. Just try to be objective and dispassionate and again, step back and try not to rush in too quickly, be sure you have weighed the situation more coolly. Our intuition should be operating well with Mars trine to Chiron at 19 Pisces, which also helps us to see the bigger picture, the higher spiritual perspective. The Sun, Moon, and Mars all aspecting Uranus at this New Moon can help us to be inventive, original, creative, and find new and unusual ways to view things, and to help relieve the emotional intensity of Venus conjunct Pluto square Uranus. The Venus-Pluto-Uranus square is between 16-19 degrees of the cardinal signs (Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn) so if you have any planets or angles around those degrees you will be likely to feel the intensity.
On February 12th, the Moon in Aries is conjunct Uranus and square to Pluto. Therefore you may feel emotionally intense, even explosive, and unusually impatient and short-fused, particularly if you have any personal planets (Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars) around 15-17 degrees of the Cardinal signs. Try to take a breath, and step back before engaging, as your feelings may be running high, and there will be a greater instinct to jump in and react to situations before you have fully thought them through. Practice mindfulness today.
A replay, or a similar situation, may present itself on February 18th, when the Moon is conjunct Pluto and square to Uranus. The issue may be power; who has it? Or are you feeling powerless in a situation, when you are more likely to react unpredictably. Again, stepping back and taking a breath is a good plan with these impulsive aspects; they are triggering the same degrees as above.
Then on February 22nd we have a Full Moon at 3 degrees 33 Virgo, at 10.19am PST, and 6.19pm UK time. Full Moons are always cycles of completion, culmination or closure, and very often will reveal something that was unknown, or hidden from you before. Where does 3 degrees Virgo fall in your chart? Is it in your 4th house, so something is revealed about your family or heritage? Is it in your 9th house, which if you are involved in a legal case may bring something else to light which may be helpful for you? Knowing where it falls gives you additional specific meaning in your life.
Jupiter will be conjunct the North Node at 21 Virgo at this Full Moon, encouraging us to not only expand our visions of how we can help others (Virgo principle, being of spiritual service), particularly as the Moon in also in Virgo, but has a strong sense of wanting to protect and care for the Earth (see above). Jupiter is exactly opposing Chiron on February 23rd at 20 degrees of Virgo-Pisces, and this can bring in a sense of surrendering to something greater than ourselves, being aware of past hurts and wounds, and allowing acceptance of self and forgiveness of self and others to melt the past, and draw in the future more positively. It is an aspect which can help us shift our spiritual level if we can shift from our logical, analytical mind, to just step aside so we can allow love to heal the past.
This theme of surrender and bliss is emphasised by the Sun in Pisces at this Full Moon being conjunct Neptune, planet of miracles, consciousness, spirituality and the intangible. The energy is very different in 2016 from the hard-to-miss dynamic, sudden, radical and revolutionary Uranus square to Pluto of the last 4 years. It is much more about transcendence, bliss and surrender. The understanding that if we can shift our energy on the inside, everything, without us having to apply huge efforts on the outside, will change on the outside too, as our outer reality always reflects our inner landscape. Therefore quantum leaps can be made in life through this simple understanding of how energy and the laws of reality work. If you can shift your perspective and frequency even just a little, then watch what happens in your world.
This is lining us up to an incredibly powerful month of Eclipses in March, including a Total Solar Eclipse in Pisces. More of that in the next newsletter, and in the meantime have a wonderful February 2016!
“The stars are like letters which inscribe themselves at every moment in the sky; everything in the world is full of signs. All events are co-ordinated, and all things depend on each other.”
I have several products for sale now, all of which are receiving excellent feedback. I have recently produced almost an hour’s material on the astrological signs, which is a great start for those who want to learn about astrology..
My book: http://www.thenextstep.uk.com/you-dont-really-believe-in-astrology-do-you
My audiobook: https://gumroad.com/l/QNjf
The two part video tutorials on how you find aspects in your chart: https://youtu.be/6D2mBJ78dV4
The recent video on the elements, modalities, rulerships and astrological signs: https://youtu.be/QbQfkg1_PKQ
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