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Astrology Highlights for Feb. 5-11, 2024: Push Back

Hard Truth

I suppose we’ve all had the experience of saying some things that we later wish we could take back. On the other hand, they may have been things that had needed saying for a very long time.

Mercury makes a conjunction to Pluto this week (Feb. 5, 2024, 4:57 am PST), just ahead of Venus’ conjunction with Pluto next week. That will be a time of reckoning for a close relationship or two, and they will fall or stay upright on the basis of what we say now – and that’s Mercury’s department.

Mercury is ordinarily the king of knowing how to say things in a clever way, to avoid being nailed down to a particular opinion or point of view. But when Mercury connects with Pluto, there’s no room for small talk, pretense, or equivocation. We say exactly what we mean and let the chips fall where they may.

We can tell ourselves that it’s better to know where we stand, and that telling the truth is always the best policy. And there are moments when we feel exhilarated as hard truth after hard truth hits the pavement and shatters. But if we’re honest – and after all, that’s what this is all about – the truth also hurts. And sometimes, it hurts as much to tell it as it does to hear it.

The Carrot

The Lunar Nodes represent the process of releasing old patterns and embracing new challenges. This is generally difficult; it’s safer to stagnate in a toxic but familiar situation rather than reach out to an unfamiliar one, however potentially positive. But when a planet squares the nodal axis, it provides an incentive – or a push – in the direction of growth.

As Venus in Capricorn squares the Nodes this week (Feb. 6, 2024, 8:15 am PST), pleasure provides the push, and in the form of a carrot rather than a stick. The Aries North Node, on the Sabian symbol 18 Aries: An empty hammock, says we’d better get off that comfortable swing and spring into action, into the loving embrace of our dreams.

Why would we hesitate to embrace this life-affirming, North Node world view? When you’ve been disappointed and mistreated, hope and optimism can feel like a sucker bet. But have faith. If we take steps, however tentative, toward the North Node, we’re rewarded with happiness. How to proceed? Venus is connected to sensual pleasures, so let your senses guide you toward new and different food, scenery, sights, sounds, and smells. Smile at strangers on your morning walk. Have lunch with a friend. Let your senses bend you toward the invigorating pleasures of everyday life.

Wake-Up Call

There are lots of ways to wake up. Some involve jarring, blaring alarm clocks or earthquakes. Others involve a lovable pet who wants breakfast, or a snuggly, amorous partner who wants you.

I point this out because Venus, the planet of money and partners, is trine Uranus, planet of awakening and unexpected events this week (Feb. 7, 2024, 1:25 pm PST), and that can sound a little scary. But the aspect between them is a harmonious trine, which sounds more like a kitten jumping on a bed than an earthquake. You may see pleasant developments in your personal relationships, as you and your partner rediscover the spark that brought you together. Or there may be a financial windfall (or, admittedly, an unexpected setback), since Venus also rules money. But if you responded to the creative wake-up call of Mars trine Uranus last month (Jan. 29), this should be the moment when those actions begin to bear fruit.


One day, a fish was swimming along happily in a brook when he spied the menacing shadow of a crow flying overhead. “Mr. Crow,” he called out. “Please don’t eat me!” And the crow hovered lower. The fish begins to panic: “Please, please, don’t eat me!” After they’d traveling together for some hours, the fish called up, “Okay, if you’re going to eat me, at least just get it over with!” But the crow chuckled, and finally replied, “Never fear, my friend. I’m here to make sure nothing eats you. And thanks to you, I’ve seen more of this beautiful river than I ever had before.”

As Mars in Capricorn sextiles Neptune (Feb. 7, 2024, 4:20 pm PST), gentle souls are galvanized into organized and productive action—or, failing that, are escorted by fearless Mars-in-Capricorn bodyguards along the banks of the river.

Even if Pisces isn’t particularly well-represented in your birth chart, everyone has a Neptune, with its gentle dreams and wild surmises. Opportunities abound this week to walk with those dreams, safeguard them, and help them find practical expression. It’s a good week for those who wish to make real life more magical, and magic a reality. Just keep your counsel, ask questions, and say yes to offers of help.

Push Back

The Aquarius New Moon (Feb. 9, 2024, 2:59 pm PST, 20º40’) is the best one each year for visualizing your future. It builds on the Sagittarius New Moon, when it occurred to us that we could be doing more in our lives, then collected ideas about what we might want to try; and then the Capricorn New Moon, which motivated us to create a practical plan for making one of those ideas a reality. And now, the Aquarius New Moon expands our vision and reach, off into tomorrow and beyond, and even to places where our influence will be felt even beyond our lifetime. Now that we’ve had a taste of imagination and ambition, what is it that we can do to create an exciting future – one that matters not for us, but in our small way, for the world?

Aquarius is normally blessed with belief in itself – or at least, doesn’t let itself be stopped by anyone else’s doubts. But now that Pluto is in this sign, the Aquarius part of your chart might find you feeling a bit of pessimism that there actually is an exciting future out there for you. The Sabian symbol for this New Moon is 21 Aquarius, A woman disappointed and disillusioned. Pluto in a sign often begins with a feeling like this; that things are hopeless. In the areas of life represented by the Aquarius house of your birth chart, you may have seen a little of this pessimism creeping in. Aquarius is usually able to move in a direction with relative cheer and optimism in its purpose. But Pluto is the “what’s the point” planet, and we have to make a concerted effort to focus on that sign’s highest potential and to push back when Pluto tries to push our hope down.

Change is inevitable, but often inconvenient, which is why we tend to put it off until something comes along and forces us to change. This New Moon point is in a very close square to the planet Uranus, the god of surprises and of radical redirection. It’s a separating aspect; the Sun’s square to Uranus was exact the previous day (Feb. 8, 2024, 2:46 am PST), the Moon’s just a couple of hours before New Moon. And this means there’s been a shock to the system that we’ll spend this New Moon cycle assimilating, and a profound shift that will take even longer to come to terms with.

A Flag into an Eagle

Mercury squares Jupiter this week (Feb. 10, 2024, 5:25 am PST, 8º 23’ Aquarius and Taurus). Mercury is on Sabian symbol 9 Aquarius, A flag turned into an eagle. And Jupiter is on 9 Taurus, A Christmas tree decorated.

In the U. S., the bald eagle is one of our treasured national symbols. It’s probably second only to the flag. And this image of a flag turned into an eagle makes me think about all of the convictions that we hold – not just as a country or society but individually – that are appealing hypothetically, but often fail when applied to a real people and our messy world.

Jupiter’s symbol, the Christmas tree decorated, sparkling and inspiring, is how we believe the world is – or at the very least, how we hope it can be. But when Mercury and Jupiter come together in a square, we have to struggle to let ourselves question what it is that we are certain that we know, in order to make room for what Jupiter believes is possible.

Writing and images © 2017-24 by April Elliott Kent

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