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Highlights for Feb. 21-27, 2022: Redemption, Healing, and Giving Birth

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Redemption, Healing, and Giving Birth

Dates and times are given for U.S. Pacific Time zone.

Pluto comes home to roost

This week, the chart of the United States experiences its first exact Pluto return (Feb. 20, 2022, 2:29 pm PST*) – the moment when transiting Pluto reaches the same degree, minutes, and sign that it occupied at the founding of the United States.

Pluto, the planet of control, power, and profound transformation, has the longest cycle of all the planets, taking just under 248 years to journey through the entire Zodiac. A planet that moves so slowly takes a long time to do its work, and its transformations are profound and lasting.

The U.S. is a young country, so this is our very first Pluto Return. We don’t know exactly what it will bring, but recent years have certainly seen an acceleration of shifts in control, power, and wealth. I refer you to Ray Grasse’s excellent article, US Pluto Return, Turning Point: The US Pluto Return, for a solid review of what’s happened when other empires have experienced this cyclical milestone. The short answer is, it doesn’t have to mean the end of the country or of the empire, but it does mean a fundamental shift in its structure or character.

The exact dates of this conjunction are February 20, July 11, then on December 28, 2022. (*Note: Using precession correction, which allows for the slight wobble of the earth on its axis, the returns happen in 2024). But because Pluto moves so slowly, we give his transits an exceptionally wide orb, or period of influence. This shift has been coming for years. In fact, I would go back to 2008 when Pluto first entered Capricorn to mark the economic and political shift (including, of course, the worst economic crash since the Great Depression) that will find its peak at this conjunction.

Pluto in the U.S. chart is in the second house, the house of money, natural resources, and national values – so this is where the big shifts are taking place. Previous critical moments in this Pluto cycle have seen tremendous economic and political transitions: the Gold Rush, the Great Depression, Dust Bowl, and New Deal, and Reaganomics and the end of the Cold War.

I think we’re unlikely to go to sleep on February 21 and wake up on the 22nd in an entirely new country. We know what’s coming. We have seen and experienced the labor pains, and the next couple of years are really about giving birth to a new nation. The only unknown, really, is whether we as a nation will rise to the occasion of becoming the best version of ourselves.

Healing and absolution

This week, Venus and Mars form sextile aspects to Neptune, as they head for a conjunction with Pluto on March 3. As I mentioned last week, Venus has been through the wringer since her first two conjunctions with Pluto (Dec. 11 and 25) and a difficult retrograde season (Dec. 19-Jan. 29). The queen of relationships, self-worth, and valuable resources needs some rest and healing, and a sextile to Neptune (Feb. 24, 2022, 8:04 am PST) offers a soothing retreat. Mars, strong in the sign of Capricorn, is in better shape and his sextile Neptune (Feb. 23, 2022, 11:12 am PST) lends inspiration and a sense of higher meaning for the battles ahead.

Hand-in-hand, Venus and Mars kneel together in Neptune’s quiet, sacred chapel. Next week holds their conjunctions with Pluto, ingresses into Aquarius, and final celebratory conjunction, all within a few days. But now is their quiet, healing moment of contemplation. And I love that Venus has Mars there with her for a little moral support.

For all of us, this week offers opportunities for understanding and forgiveness, healing and absolution. Have important conversations, if they’re offered to you; and if they’re not, make the opportunities yourself. Even if your overtures are rebuffed, it’s worth extending your hand.

The Redemptive Third Act

How did you arrive at this moment? Are you on track to reach your desired destination? And if not, is there time to shift course?

The Last Quarter Moon is a phase of redemption. It’s the pivotal third act in our personal narrative, when we undergo a crisis of confidence, come to terms with our circumstances, and take action toward resolution. This Last Quarter Moon is in Sagittarius (Feb. 23, 2022, 2:32 pm PST), which, with its optimism and humor, is one of the more uplifting Last Quarter Moon signs. We are a tad more likely to believe that we can pull off a redemptive third act.

This Last Quarter Moon is the review point for what was conceived at the Feb. 1 Aquarius New Moon. That was a tough chart, with the Sun and Moon conjoined Saturn and square Uranus. Have you experienced growing pains in the things you started then? The Last Quarter phase is for reviewing what’s come of those New Moon plans so far and deciding how to fine-tune them moving forward.

This Last Quarter also concludes a lunar phase family that began with a Sagittarius New Moon at on Nov. 26, 2019. It’s now-or-never time for something conceived then, acted upon at the Aug. 25, 2020 First Quarter Moon, and brought to fruition at the May 26, 2021 Full Moon. Now, we decide how to conclude this chapter with perspective, grace, and a Sagittarian view of the big picture.

Change the Story

Many of the biographical details of our lives are beyond our control; some of them bring happiness in remembering them, others evoke misery. But all of them are fodder for the story we tell about ourselves, beginning with our earliest experiences and encompassing all the milestones up to the present day. The experiences we choose to highlight in that story – and most importantly, the way we frame ourselves as hero, victim, victor, or loser – are up to us.

As Mercury, the storyteller, clashes with Uranus (Feb. 24, 2022, 6:21 pm PST), it’s time to change that story.  Mercury in Aquarius is a cool, factual narrator, and here’s an opportunity to step back from the deep, emotional subtext of your biography. Here is the turning point in the story when someone who’s lived a sequential, practical life suddenly turns on their heel and walks off in a surprising direction.

Who could you be, if you didn’t know who you are? Open up your mind and unleash your imagination. Next week, Mercury will come together with Saturn, and you can begin to remake your story  – but first, you have to shake things up.

Writing and collages © 2019-2024 April Elliott Kent

Hear more about this week’s planetary happenings on my podcast!

Helpful things…

1 comment to " Highlights for Feb. 21-27, 2022: Redemption, Healing, and Giving Birth "

  • Anna

    This was an especially lovely post, April. Lots of good information on U.S. Pluto return and the the small windows of time to re-examine the opportunities gained or lost during the last New Moon phase. Of course, the art work is always the icing on the cake!

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