February 2004

A Conscious Evolution Newsletter




Classic of Encryption: Decoding "American Pie"

Dark Moon Goddesses In Astrology

Financiers Go Green: An Environmental Victory

Bush's Energy Bill Would Doom Environment


Conscious Community

February nteractive Calendar

February Star Watch


Newsletter Committee, Writers & Contact Info.


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Past Issues:

Metamorphosis Newsletter Past Issues

Index of All Articles

Volume 3, No. 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 2004

February 2004





































Welcome to February! Click on a date in the calendar to see the current aspects and events for that day.

February 1, 2004

Venus at 21 degrees Pisces square Pluto in Sagittarius
Sensitive and emotional Venus in Pisces finds herself mired in Pluto’s murky underworld. Look for shifts in the power balance in your relationships and watch for situations that dissolve into struggles for control. ’ “ ”—

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 baptized 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, 2004

  Happy Birthday to Chahldean!
  Happy Birthday to juniperb!

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.

Eid ul-Adha: The four-day Islamic celebration lasts until the Full Moon on the 6th. These rites conclude the journey for those making a Hajj or pilgrimage to Mecca. The holiday honors 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 Muslims perform similar sacrifices on this day, and meat is distributed to all.

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’ name is said to mean “Fiery Arrow of Power.” She is seen as a poetic muse, a healer, a toolmaker 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 Punxsutawney Phil, a groundhog who gets lifted out of his home on Gobbler’s Knob near Punxsutawney, 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, 2004

Mars enters Taurus
What is it about these two signs that just doesn’t seem to work? On the surface the pairing of Mars, the sign that propels us towards achievement, and the slow-but-steady Taurus, should be a match made in heaven. Is the fast-paced impetuousness of Aries-ruled Mars too overwhelming for the more passive Bull? Or is the sensual, pleasure-loving nature of Venus-ruled Taurus just too laidback for impatient Aries? Whatever the case, Mars is in his detriment here. The direct expression of energy is thwarted, inertia reigns.

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

Setsubun: In Japan, the ritual driving out of demons, bad luck and evil spirits in preparation for the lunar New Year is achieved with boisterous mame-maki (bean-throwing ceremonies) at temples and shrines, accompanied by shouts urging good fortune in and devils out.

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February 4, 2004

Have a great day!

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February 5, 2004

Lantern Festival: The Chinese New Year holiday, which fell on January 22 this year, 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 on about the 15th day of the new year.

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February 6, 2004

Moon Phase
Full Moon in Leo, 8:47 Universal Time.

Mars at 1 degree Taurus sextile Uranus in Pisces
Restlessness and unexpected surprise add a heightened level of energy and excitement to the day as action-orientated Mars blends his rays with erratic Uranus. Meetings between these two planets are occasionally volatile, but the harmoniousness of the sextile aspect will curb the aggression. It can’t tame the weirdness however; so grin and bear it, and if all else fails go somewhere new and wear a silly hat.

Month of the Quickening Begins: A time to set plans in motion, in tune with nature-based Wicca, which sees this midwinter Full Moon as a time when the potential of all life begins to stir toward birth in the spring.

Bob Marley Day: “Lively Up Yourself” 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.

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, 2004

Mercury enters Aquarius
Today the planet of communication arrives for a turn in Aquarius and begins a time of open conversations with the ability to bridge barriers of social, economic and religious disparity. It’s not surprising, since tolerant Aquarius embraces differences of all kinds.

Tu B’shvat: This Jewish holiday celebrates the coming of spring and is known as “New Year for Trees.” It is customary to eat from the seven species for which the Land of Israel is praised in a verse from Deuteronomy: “a land of wheat and barley and (grape) vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive trees and (date) honey.”

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February 8, 2004

Venus enters Aries
A tough spot for Venus here in her detriment in Aries, opposite to Libra, her ruling sign. At its best, Venus in Aries offers an exuberant and animated approach to love and relationships. Aries’ childlike qualities may not produce the urbane sophistication of a true metro-sexual, but its naiveté brings with it a certain charm, provided the tendency towards selfishness is overcome.

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, 2004

Happy Birthday to selkie!

Mercury at 4 degrees Aquarius square Mars in Taurus
While spring may still be a month or two away, this very action-oriented transit offers a temporary sojourn from the lassitude of the winter blues. Arguments and ego-centered clashes of opinion are possible, but a better use of this energy would be to harness Mercury’s quirky yet almost genius-like potential in Aquarius to the workhorse of Mars in Taurus and create something of lasting value.

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February 10, 2004

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, 2004

Sun at 21 degrees Aquarius sextile Pluto in Sagittarius
Today the Sun’s rays send fingers of illumination 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!

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, 2004

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, 2004

Moon Phase
Last-quarter Moon in Scorpio, 13:40 Universal Time.

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February 14, 2004

Mars at 6 degrees Taurus sextile retrograde Saturn in Cancer
Energetic and vital, Mars can hold his own in any pursuit. Today, however the hare tries walking in the tortoise’s shoes and discovers that slow and steady really can win the race. Saturn tames the raw flame of Mars and tempers it with a more enduring sort of energy. This isn’t the type of Mars transit that will have everyone bouncing off the walls; rather it’s a time to get that energy working for you in a controlled and lasting way.

Venus at 6 degrees Aries square retrograde Saturn in Cancer
Yikes! Any day but Valentine’s Day for this transit, please! Saturn’s stern discipline acts like a bucket of ice water on Venus’ not-too-pragmatic, but very pretty, head. Feelings of isolation are common under this influence. Behavior that is cool and aloof is the norm too, as Saturn presses Venus to look more deeply into the wheres and whys behind her feelings of love.

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, 2004

Mercury at 13 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.

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

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February 16, 2004

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 17, 2004

Have a great day!

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February 18, 2004

Maha Shivaratri: A Hindu festival in honor of Lord Shiva, the great god of destruction (who is also the restorer), and his marriage to Goddess Parvati. Many devotees fast on this day, and ceremonies involving prayers and hymns take place mostly at night.

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.

Carnival begins: The week before Lent is filled with wild partying in France and French-influenced locales in the Americas, including Brazil and New Orleans, Louisiana, in the United States. It’s a last hurrah before the Christian Lenten season of fasting and sacrifice.

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February 19, 2004

Happy Birthday to Stella!

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 Sun’s time in Aquarius and develops it further by seeking an even deeper understanding of the human condition, adding the element of compassionate service to the mix.

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February 20, 2004

Moon Phase
New Moon in Pisces, 9:18 Universal Time.

Venus at 13 degrees Aries sextile Neptune in Aquarius
Venus, the planet of beauty and love, is inspired by visionary Neptune to see the value and goodness of life, even through the challenges that many of us are experiencing now. Romantic ideals may be stirred today, but more likely as a “romantic sense of life” than as a passionate encounter with the opposite sex.

Mercury at 21 degrees Aquarius sextile Pluto in Sagittarius
This is a day made for in-depth studies of matters of the world. Mental acuity will be sharp and probing, as Mercury, the planet of thought and focus, makes an opportune angle with investigative Pluto in big-as-life Sagittarius, the sign of higher education.

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February 21, 2004

Have a great day!

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February 22, 2004

Happy Birthday to Pastlives!

Sun at 2 degrees Pisces conjunct Uranus
Let go of your expectations of the routine and predictable and instead plunge headfirst into an ocean that is both mystical and electric, and see what magical shores you wash up on.

Hijra: New Year’s Day on the Islamic lunar calendar, although some Islamic countries celebrate the New Year, Naw Ruz, on March 21, the day of the vernal equinox.

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.

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.

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February 23, 2004

Happy Birthday to NeptunianMe!

Clean Monday: For Eastern Orthodox churches, this day marks the beginning of the season of Lent, the time of preparation for Easter.

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, 2004

Mars at 13 degrees Taurus square Neptune in Aquarius
An agitating time, where your physical energies will feel low and mentally you may feel confused, disheartened and unsure. An unpleasant side to this transit is the deceit that often occurs with it. Guard yourself against lying, or being lied to by others.

Mardi Gras / Shrove Tuesday: Religiously a day to be “shriven” or absolved of sin through confession, in preparation for the fasting and sacrifice of the Christian Lenten season, “Fat Tuesday” has taken on a feast-before-the-famine connotation and is a time of great revelry in France, Brazil and the American city of New Orleans, Louisiana.

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February 25, 2004

Happy Birthday to Gladeyes!

Mercury enters Pisces
The highly mental energy of Mercury in Aquarius is softened and mystified as the planet of logic and reason is projected though the sign of selfless love, compassion, creativity and imagination. Mercury in Pisces is actually in its detriment, because of the ease with which the sharp logic of Mercury is lost in Pisces’ murky waters. Mental energy this month leads more to shapeless ideals than clearly defined projects.

Sun at 6 degrees Pisces trine retrograde Saturn in Cancer
A day for spring-cleaning if ever there was one. The Sun here represents you and your surroundings, and Saturn is reaching in and challenging you to evaluate what is being used and what is being wasted. This can take the form of clearing away unwanted clutter on the domestic level, or else as a chance to take a hard look at fruitless habits and unproductive emotional blinkers. The trine aspect means this work is voluntary — but the rewards are there for you to reap. Refusal now to see what needs fixing only delays the inevitable, and that means that next month’s square between these two astrological juggernauts will be that much more difficult.

Ash Wednesday (Lent begins): For Western churches, this day marks the beginning of the season of Lent, which is 40 days, not counting Sundays, leading up to Easter. The faithful make sacrifices by choosing to give up something, often a particular food or behavior, during this period of self-examination and spiritual preparation for Easter. The time period recalls the 40-day fast of Jesus and similar fasts of Moses and Elijah. Catholics attend Mass on Ash Wednesday, where the priest marks each person’s forehead with a sign of the cross, using ashes made from burning palms blessed on Palm Sunday of the previous year. Other denominations have similar ceremonies.

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’ government denounced him and took refuge in military camps on the Epifanio de los Santos Highway. When pro-Marcos military forces threatened those camps, 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, 2004

Mars at 14 degrees Taurus trine retrograde Jupiter in Virgo
If you took the bait and began some work yesterday, but didn’t have the energy to get the job done, then today’s strong combination of Martian energy and Jupiter largesse packs the one-two punch needed to accomplish any size task. Egos may be slightly inflated today, but remember that it’s all in good fun. There is a chance for a big argument today, and an even better chance for a memorable and highly physical apology.

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February 27, 2004

Happy Birthday to GreyEyesNC!

Mercury at 3 degrees Pisces conjunct Uranus
Excitement or disruptions in relationships, creativity or finance are likely.

Venus at 22 degrees Aries trine Pluto in Sagittarius
Interactions with others may be intense today, and expectations are high in romantic relationships. If there are relationship problems this is a good day to undertake constructive changes, which are likely to be successful.

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February 28, 2004

Moon Phase
First-quarter Moon in Gemini, 3:24 Universal Time.

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.

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February 29, 2004

Mercury at 6 degrees Pisces trine retrograde Saturn in Cancer
This influence is serious, practical and rather private, so organizing things at home to create conditions for emotional comfort is appropriate today.

Leap Year Day: This intercalary day is added to the end of February once every four years to keep the Gregorian calendar current.

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, Gregory Ellison and Maria Barron.
Holidays compiled by Maria Barron, Anindita Basu and Sucheta Shetty.
Birthday graphics by Maria Barron for Metamorphosis.

For an astrological look at the month as a whole,
please see February Star Watch in this issue.

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