February 2003 A Conscious Evolution Newsletter
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Metamorphosis
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Volume 2, Number 2

Opinions presented in Metamorphosis are those of their respective authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of others associated with the newsletter.

Calendar Page
Special Days and Aspects for February 2003

February 2003
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
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Welcome to February! Click on a date in the calendar to see the current aspects and events for that day.


February 1, 2003

Sun at 12 degrees Aquarius conjunct Neptune
There’s a dreamy quality to this day, and the feeling of being torn between the compulsion to reach out with intuitive understanding to a fellow human, and the equally strong desire to sleep late and heavy, surrounded by blankets and dreams.

Moon Phase
New moon in Aquarius.

Chinese New Year: By the Chinese lunar calendar, it’s New Year’s Day, in the Year of the Goat (or Ram). This most celebrated of Chinese holidays is also known as the Spring Festival. It is a time for reconciliation and forgiveness, casting aside old grudges and making new beginnings. People drape their doors in red cloth to ward off negative energy and gather with their families to feast. Children are given red envelopes of “lucky money.” Good deeds done at this time are said to be rewarded with blessings from the Jade Emperor. In Chinese astrology, this Year of the Goat is of the water element. People born in the Year of the Goat are said to be charming and elegant, although they’re also known for complaining. Water Goats are particularly sensitive and intuitive. In the last Year of the Water Goat, 60 years ago, these stars were born: Ben Kingsley, Catherine Deneuve, Jim Morrison, George Harrison, Joni Mitchell, Mick Jagger, Lynn Redgrave, John Major, Leslie Uggams, Robert DeNiro, Chevy Chase and Lech Walesa. Happy New Year! Kung Hei Fat Choy!

St. Brigid’s Day: Brigid, also called “the Mary of the Gael,” is patron saint of Ireland along with St. Patrick and St. Columba. Brigid’s parents, who are believed to have been an Irish chieftain and a slave at his court, were baptised by St. Patrick, and Patrick and Brigid became great friends. As a child she was known for feeding the hungry from her father’s dairy. In about 470 she founded a double monastery at Cill-Dara (Kildare), for monks and nuns, and was Abbess of the convent, the first in Ireland. She also founded an art school there, and the community developed into a center of learning and spirituality, famous for its illustrated manuscripts. Her feast day falls on the eve of Imbolc, a traditional Celtic celebration of the returning of the light, and one that honors a different Brigid - a traditional Celtic goddess whose festival long predates the saint’s day.

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February 2, 2003

Sun at 13 degrees Aquarius opposite retrograde Jupiter in Leo
The airy reverie that was yesterday comes to an abrupt end today, as the two biggest objects in our solar system combine their vitality and vigor to give us a day that is energetic, bombastic and thoroughly indulgent. The Aquarius/Leo polarity asks only one question - will you indulge yourself or your brother today?

Venus at 27 degrees Sagittarius sextile Uranus in Aquarius
The eagerly vigorous love that characterizes Venus in Sagittarius harmonizes today with the quirky and intuitive Uranus in Aquarius. A great day for a bed-in, as lovers hit new levels of inventiveness while simultaneously challenging each other to find the rebel inside.

Mars at 10 degrees Sagittarius sextile Neptune in Aquarius
Another combination of the Archer and the Water Bearer, this time focused through the lens of Mars and Neptune. Mars’ enthusiasm is softened somewhat by Neptune, and so the best action today may well be of the mental sort, while your physical energy temporarily ebbs out to sea.

Imbolc: Nature religions’ festival based on the traditional Celtic Season of Light. It celebrates the return of the sun, the lengthening of days and the beginning of the agricultural cycle. It invites contemplation of the divine power from which physical and spiritual harvest will come. The traditional Celtic celebration includes bonfires in honor of the goddess Brigid, a symbolic purification for rejoining the outside world after a cold winter of confinement indoors. The goddess’s name is said to mean “Fiery Arrow of Power.” She is seen as a poetic muse, a healer, a tool-maker and a warrior.

Groundhog Day: Maybe this is Imbolc “lite”? A holiday Linda Goodman had particular fondness for, Groundhog Day is the secular holiday in anticipation of the arrival of spring. The idea, dating from medieval times, is to catch sight of a groundhog emerging from his burrow after a winter’s hibernation. If it’s a sunny day and he sees his shadow, winter will last six more weeks. If there’s no shadow, spring is just around the corner. Groundhogs in the wild don’t actually have to put up with humans spying on their burrows, though. News reports speed the word from Punxsutawny Phil, a groundhog who gets lifted out of his home in Punxsutawny, Pennsylvania, to see if he casts a shadow.

Candlemas: Christian celebration of the presentation in the Temple of the infant Jesus to God, after Mary’s 40-day ritual purification time following the birth. An aged and devout Jew, Simeon, is said to have held Jesus and announced that he would be a light to the Gentiles. Candles are blessed on this day, and it is seen as a time of new beginnings. In the Orthodox Church the day is called the Feast of the Presentation of Christ in the Temple; the Catholic Church calls it the Feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

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February 3, 2003

St. Blaise’s Day: A church day for blessing of throats, in honor of a healer and martyr.

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February 4, 2003

Venus enters Capricorn
The expression of love that has been marked by conviviality and gregariousness in Sagittarius shifts today to a more solemn, grounded and focused footing. Venus in Capricorn is marked by a certain degree of seriousness in love, a creative sense that leans towards a classic elegance and a form of expression that is both rich and understated.

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February 5, 2003

Mars at 12 degrees Sagittarius trine retrograde Jupiter in Leo
Today’s keywords - exuberant, lucky, confident. What more needs to be said?

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February 6, 2003

Bob Marley Day: “Lively Up Yourselves” and “Get Up, Stand Up” for “One Love.”  It’s Bob Marley Day, a national holiday in Jamaica in honor of the reggae music master born this day in 1945, who died at age 36.

Vasant Panchami: The Hindu festival in honor of the coming spring, new beginnings, and nature. People wear yellow clothes to match the mustard flowers that usher in the Vasant, meaning spring. There are feasts, kite flying, and devotions in honor of Saraswati, the goddess of learning and all knowledge. It is a day for wishing one another prosperity and for bestowing the wealth of knowledge. It is customary to teach 5-year-old children the alphabet on this day, as an auspicious beginning to their formal learning.

Waitangi Day: A national holiday in New Zealand, Waitangi Day celebrates peace between the native Maori and European settlers, dating to the 1840 Treaty of Waitangi.

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February 7, 2003

Have a great day!  

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February 8, 2003

Sun at 19 degrees Aquarius sextile Pluto in Sagittarius
Today the Sun’s rays reach all the way into Pluto’s traditionally dark domain. An excellent day to proactively take care of any skeletons in your closet, before Pluto’s next hard aspect from the Sun - when Pluto just may pull out those skeletons for you!

Hari-Kuyo: During this Festival of Broken Needles, Japanese seamstresses, tailors and people who sew at home ceremonially offer up their bent and broken needles in a Tokyo shrine, thanking them for their service.

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February 9, 2003

Moon Phase
First-quarter moon in Taurus.

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February 10, 2003

Feast of St. Paul’s Shipwreck: A public holiday in Malta celebrating a shipwreck in 60 A.D. that brought St. Paul the apostle to shore, allowing him to escape from captors taking him by ship to stand trial in Rome. When the ship ran aground in stormy weather, Paul escaped and was given refuge by the people of Malta. He stayed there for three months and was credited with healings. He is patron saint of Malta.

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February 11, 2003

Sun at 22 degrees Aquarius trine retrograde Saturn in Gemini
Are you inspired by the mood of concern for humanity, brotherhood, love and service that seems so tangible while the Sun is in Aquarius? Today’s the day to make long-term plans and strategies for creating permanent outlets to honor your freshly renewed sense of service and commitment to the brotherhood of man.

Japanese National Day: This national holiday, filled with fireworks and speeches, traces Japan’s national history to the reign of Emperor Jimmu Tenno in 660 B.C.

Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes: Commemorates the appearances of the Virgin Mary to a teenage girl near Lourdes, France, in 1858. The girl was led to a grotto where a spring appeared. Millions of people have visited the spring each year since then, believing in its healing powers.

Thomas Edison’s Birthday: The inventor of the electric light bulb was born in 1847.

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February 12, 2003

Mercury enters Aquarius
Today the planet of communication arrives for a turn in Aquarius, the sign of its exaltation, beginning a time of open conversations and the ability to bridge barriers of social, economic and religious differences, which isn’t surprising, since tolerant Aquarius embraces differences of all kinds.

American Black History Month: Abraham Lincoln, “the Great Emancipator,” the president who freed America’s slaves, was born on this day in 1809. One hundred years later, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People was founded on Lincoln’s birthday. Those and other February events related to the cause of freedom and human rights for America’s black population led to February being designated Black History Month.

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February 13, 2003

Id-ul-Zuha or Bakr-Id (also called Eid-al-Adha): Islamic feast day and the concluding rite of those making a Hajj or pilgrimage to Mecca. The holiday commemorates the willingness of Ibrahim (Abraham) to follow Allah’s will, even when he perceived that God was asking him to sacrifice his son. In the Islamic version of the story, it was Ishmael who was to be sacrificed; In the Jewish version, it was Ishmael’s brother, Isaac. In both stories, God stops the father from making the sacrifice and the boy lives. A goat or ram is sacrificed instead. Modern Moslems perform similar sacrifices on this day, and meat is distributed to all.

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February 14, 2003

Valentine’s Day: Send some love to a sweetheart. It’s a day for hearts and flowers, chocolates and wine and romance ... because, well, as the old Cole Porter song says, “Birds do it, Bees do it ... Let’s fall in love.” There are a lot of stories related to St. Valentine, apparently a loving soul imprisoned and martyred for his beliefs, but no one knows for sure which, if any, of them are real, so churches don’t do much in Valentine’s honor these days. The holiday’s timing is probably due to the conventional wisdom of Europe in the Middle Ages that birds choose their partners in mid-February. Coo away, lovebirds.

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February 15, 2003

Lantern Festival: The Chinese New Year holiday (See February 1) traditionally kicks off a period of celebration that continues until the Lantern Festival, when the party moves out from family homes into the streets of the community for a big parade. This is the weekend of the big Chinese New Year/Spring Festival parade and celebration in Chinatown in San Francisco, California.

Nirvana Day: This date is observed in the Mahayana Buddhist tradition in commemoration of the death of Shakyamuni Buddha and his passing into Mahaparinirvana, the extinction of the ego-self and reunification with the universe.

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February 16, 2003

Retrograde Jupiter at 11 degrees Leo opposite Neptune in Aquarius
A delusional influence made all the more treacherous by how great it feels to be so deluded. A time to stay focused on the tangible, as your inclination will be towards the abstract, the high ideals. Only time will tell if these lofty aims were ever based in truth, or instead, grounded in the sinking morass of far-flung dreams based on deception.

Mars at 19 degrees Sagittarius conjunct Pluto
A collision of egos on a Titanic level! The “I am” energy of Mars is made all the more forceful and assertive by the addition of the strength and will of Pluto. A hint of violence is in the air, and those who are driven strongly by their egos will find today to be an argumentative and perhaps even dangerous day. Unfortunately, the fighting is not for what’s “right,” but instead the fight is to “be right,” and that can leave one looking very foolish indeed a couple of days from now.

Moon Phase
Full moon in Leo.

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February 17, 2003

Sun at 28 degrees Aquarius conjunct Uranus
We won’t see this same transit again for over eighty years, so today’s the day to make the most of it. Let go of your expectations of the routine and predictable and instead plunge headfirst into the electric eye of this airy hurricane, and see what magical land you’re transported to.

Presidents Day: The only American presidents deemed worthy of holidays in their honor were both born in February. The nation’s first president, George Washington, and the one who fought to hold the country together through the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln, are both honored on this national holiday, celebrated on the third Monday in February. Lincoln was born February 12, 1809, and Washington is believed to have been born February 22, 1732. See the Washington’s Birthday listing below to learn why there’s some doubt.

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February 18, 2003

Nepal National Day: The Himalayan country between India and Tibet celebrates the anniversary of the day it became a democracy in 1951. Prior to the Nepalese revolution, the Rana family ruled the country from its capital of Katmandu.

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February 19, 2003

The Sun enters Pisces
Today the Sun begins its transverse of the changeable, mysterious and intuitively spiritual waters of the Fish. Pisces continues the theme of brotherhood that was prevalent during the time of Aquarius, and develops it further by seeking even deeper understanding and adding the element of compassionate service to the mix.

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February 20, 2003

Mars at 22 degrees Sagittarius opposite Saturn in Gemini
Tug of war. The egotistical nature of Mars fights back at Saturn’s restraint, but not in the explosive fashion one might expect. Instead, this combination of energies can provoke a strong feeling of internal tension, and the strain of holding back only increases the feelings of anger and tension.

Mercury at 10 degrees Aquarius opposite retrograde Jupiter in Leo
This aspect can either soften the difficulties described above, or contribute to an incredibly frustrating day - the choice is yours. On its own, this transit is typically a pleasant one, leaning towards big ideas, grand schemes and a kaleidoscope of intellectual reveries. If, however, you are caught up in the power struggle of the Mars/Saturn opposition, then the optimistic daydreams run the risk of being forfeited to a spate of unchecked ego energy, and a mouth that won’t stop. Breathe deeply. Count to ten…

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February 21, 2003

Mercury in at 11 degrees Aquarius conjunct Neptune
Ethereal space-age energy inspires artistry, mystery and imagination. A beautifully dreamy day for some, confusing to those who won’t let go of their “just the facts, ma’am” mentality.

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February 22, 2003

Abu Simbel Festival: “Sun Day” comes but twice a year in the innermost rooms of the Egyptian temple known as Abu Simbel. The temple, built about 1300 B.C. for Ramses II and Queen Nefertari, was configured so that the light of the rising sun could illuminate its 180-foot deep chambers only two days a year, in February and October. The temple was moved to make way for the Aswan Dam in 1964, so its special days now are February 22 and October 22, a day earlier than they once were. Meditation is the usual ritual for the contemporary crowds that gather at sunrise on the festival days while the sun briefly illuminates images of four Egyptian gods within the walls: Ptah, Amen-Re, Ramses and Re-Horakhty.

George Washington’s Birthday: Although born in England on February 11, 1732, Washington lived during an era when the calendar itself was subject to change. The English adopted the Gregorian calendar during his lifetime, after which the anniversary of his birth was calculated to fall on February 22.

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February 23, 2003

Moon Phase
Last-quarter moon in Sagittarius.

Brotherhood Sunday: The Sunday nearest Washington’s Birthday has been, since 1934, the first day of Brotherhood Week in the United States, by proclamation of the president, under sponsorship of the National Conference of Christians and Jews. It commemorates the promise of the first president that the new country would provide “to bigotry no sanction; to persecution no assistance.” The day and week are meant for interfaith sharing and discussion.

Terminalia: Congratulations! You’ve made it through another year. Or you would have, if this were ancient Rome. February 23 was celebrated as the end of the year and the time to give Terminus, god of boundaries, his due. Landowners would head out to their property’s borders, or to the terminus stone marking the outer limit of Rome, and leave sacrifices and garlands of flowers on the landmarks, then head back home to party with their families.

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February 24, 2003

Have a great day!

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February 25, 2003

Buergsonndeg: The tiny European country of Luxembourg has celebrated the symbolic end of winter with this festival since before the Christian era. People go up into the hills and light bonfires as a symbol of the sun’s warmth and light.

Philippines People Power Anniversary: On this day in 1986, Philippines President Ferdinand Marcos was forced out of office when millions of Filipinos demonstrated in support of Corazon Aquino’s election victory. Both Marcos and Aquino had claimed victory in the election. Then, two leaders in Marcos’s government denounced him and took refuge in military camps on the Epifanio de los Santos Highway. When those camps were threatened by pro-Marcos military forces, 2 million unarmed people stood up to the military, forming a human shield along the highway and making offerings of flowers, food and prayers. The revolution lasted three days, from February 22-25. The unarmed civilians won and Aquino became president. The holiday is also known as the Fiesta sa EDSA, referring to the abbreviation of the highway’s name.

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February 26, 2003

Have a great day!

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February 27, 2003

Have a great day!

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February 28, 2003

Mercury at 22 degrees Aquarius trine Saturn
After a weeklong respite from any major planetary influences, the month ends on a serious note with a transit that will give you the energy and concentration to accomplish great feats of organization and practical tasks.

Kalevala Day: A celebration of Finnish legends and literature. Kalevala, meaning Land of Heroes, is a 20,000-verse epic that is Finland’s national poem. In the 1800s, there was not much in the way of written Finnish literature, but the culture’s creation legends and other tales were kept alive in stories passed down for centuries. Dr. Elias Lönnrot and some assistants traveled the country collecting the folklore, and on February 28, 1835, completed the first edition of the poem. The Finnish people celebrate with parades, concerts and readings on this holiday.

Marzas: Young men in Spain traditionally herald the coming of spring by serenading their sweethearts while walking through the streets on the last night of February and the first of March. The songs refer to March and spring, and the serenaders are rewarded by the townspeople with gifts of food and candy.

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Astrology by Terri Smallwood; holidays compiled by Maria Barron