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Special Days and Aspects for February 2005

February 2005

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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, 2005

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, 2005


Happy Birthday to Chahldean!
Happy Birthday to juniperb!
 

Moon Phase
Last-quarter Moon in Scorpio, 07:27 Universal Time.

Jupiter goes retrograde at 18 degrees Libra
Have you been the most generous person you can be? Have you been happy and has your outlook of yourself and life in general been as positive as usual? This is your chance to make internal changes as Jupiter retrogrades until June 5. Finding the answers to these questions ensures the next cycle of Jupiter is a happy and positive time of growth.

Venus enters Aquarius
The quiet practicality of Venus in Capricorn is exchanged today for the novel and unconventional way that love is expressed through Venus in Aquarius. People in long-term relationships might find a new twist to liven up a romance stuck on autopilot. Creatively, expect a time of original ideas and an opportunity to express them in new and inventive ways.

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.

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. You can read more about Candlemas and the other festivals celebrated this day in this month’s article The Feasts and Festivals of February 1, 2, and 3.

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.

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February 3, 2005

Sun conjunct Neptune at 15 degrees Aquarius
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 sleep late and heavy, surrounded by blankets and dreams.

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

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 4, 2005

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 foturne in and devils out.

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February 5, 2005

Have a great day!

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February 6, 2005

Mars enters Capricorn
The sometimes over-enthusiastic and occasionally hotheaded Mars in Sagittarius is tempered and structured by a turn in Capricorn. Mars is exalted in Capricorn, where the tendency for Mars to behave rashly or too aggressively is moderated by the discipline and self-control of the Goat. While essentially a positive placement for Mars, there can be a propensity toward scheming and calculating behavior with a great capacity to lust for power and control.

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, 2005

Sun at 18 degrees Aquarius trine retrograde Jupiter in Libra
Buoyant, exuberant and optimistic are the keywords for today. The confident energy offers the perfect mood for work that requires liveliness and vigor — you’re brimming with exciting ideas and happy to share them with any captive audience. The only caveat is that Jupiter may make you feel so good today that you won’t want to roll your sleeves up and get to work. And that would be a shame, you’ll accomplish more today if you put your mind to it than you would otherwise do in a week.

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February 8, 2005

Moon Phase
New Moon in Aquarius, 22:28 Universal Time.

Mercury conjunct Neptune at 15 degrees Aquarius
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 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.

Mardi Gras / Shrove Tuesday: Religiously a day to be “shriven” or absolved of sin through confession, in preparation of 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.

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, 2005


Happy Birthday to
selkie!
 

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.

Chinese New Year: Timed to the second New Moon after the winter solstice, Chinese New Year is a major holiday for Chinese cultures worldwide. This year is the year of the Rooster. The New Year celebration, also known as the Spring Festival, 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 Rooster is of the Wood element. You can read more about the year of the Wood Rooster in this month’s article Happy Chinese New Year: Year of the Wood Rooster. Happy New Year! Kung Hei Fat Choy!

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February 10, 2005

Sun at 21 degrees Aquarius inconjunct retrograde Saturn in Cancer
An obstacle on the job now can turn into an opportunity later. At the very least you will be able to chalk it up as one of those character-building lessons in life. Younger folks (under 29) may experience difficulties or confrontations with authority figures. A disagreement with an older male family member or friend is apt to occur. While this aspect affects men more potently than women, women with planets clustered in masculine signs also can be strongly affected.

Mercury at 18 degrees Aquarius trine retrograde Jupiter in Libra
Our ability to understand abstract ideas and our desire to grow intellectually is especially strong at this time. We have good judgment and can readily see the forest without getting lost in the trees. Positive thinking combines with a strong interest in learning and teaching.

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.

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February 11, 2005

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, 2005

Mercury at 21 degrees Aquarius inconjunct retrograde Saturn in Cancer
Mercury’s placement in the sign of Aquarius considerably softens this aspect, making it a good time to take care of those home office tasks requiring your mental discipline and concentration. Read all labels and directions carefully. Make an effort to learn or try something new today!

Sun at 24 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 deal with any skeletons in your closet before next month and Pluto’s square from the Sun — when Pluto may trigger events that pull out those skeletons for you!

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, 2005

Mercury at 24 degrees Aquarius sextile Pluto in Sagittarius
This is a day made for in-depth study. Mental acuity will be sharp and probing. Mercury, the planet of thought and focus, is in its glory in visionary Aquarius. The opportune angle he makes with investigative Pluto can lead you to new thoughts and ideals. You may be struck by a compelling urge to do something of value for humanity today. If that seems like a daunting task, then try just writing a letter to the editor or phoning a radio talk show. Your ideas will be well received.

Vasant Panchami: This Hindu festival honors 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 the day of 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. It is celebrated on the fifth day of the bright moon phase of the month of Magh.

Buergsonndeg: The tiny European country of Luxembourg has celebrated the symbolic end of winter with this festival since before the Christian era. On the Sunday after Shrove Tuesday, people go up into the hills and light bonfires as a symbol of the Sun’s warmth and light.

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February 14, 2005

Sun conjunct Mercury at 25 degrees Aquarius
A chatty and busy sort of energy. Today you’ll feel talkative and alert, ready to begin new projects, especially ones that affect your personal environment. Aquarius adds a touch of surprise and maybe a clash with the powers that be. It’s a great day to write letters or take a short trip to visit family — especially siblings, whose relationships are governed by Mercury.

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. This month’s article The Myths and Legends Behind St. Valentine’s Day, takes a peek into the origins of this holiday. 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, 2005

Venus conjunct Neptune at 15 degrees Aquarius
An agreeable aspect that propels us towards a greater understanding of the true nature of love. The attractive, creative and congenial forces of Venus combine beautifully with the compassionate and selfless power of Neptune. While not likely to be powerful enough to being new love into your life, this transit can help each of us to learn the pleasure of giving selflessly of ourselves to our loved ones, and perhaps even inspire us to attempt to give in that same selfless spirit to people we don’t identify quite as well with.

Mars at 6 degrees Capricorn sextile Uranus in Pisces
You feel restless today, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Change is good under this influence, as it often brings unexpected opportunities and fun surprises. It won’t be an all-consuming drive, but if you ignore the cues today you may end up making drastic and rash changes when these two planets meet up again.

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February 16, 2005

Moon Phase
First-quarter Moon in Taurus, 00:16 Universal Time.

Mercury enters Pisces
The highly mental energy of Mercury in Aquarius is softened and mystified as the planet of logic and reason is projected through 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.

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February 17, 2005

Venus at 18 degrees Aquarius trine retrograde Jupiter in Libra
Highlight this day folks, it’s very likely to be one to remember! When party-girl Venus hooks up with Jupiter, great things can happen. There’s a buoyancy and a general feeling of optimism and good will in the air. No matter what other challenges you are facing at the moment, today will be a respite, and a chance to renew your energy and faith. Good luck comes in business and with money today too.

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February 18, 2005

Sun enters Pisces
Today the Sun begins its traverse 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.

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 Kathmandu.

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February 19, 2005


Happy Birthday to
Stella!
 

Venus at 21 degrees Aquarius inconjunct retrograde Saturn in Cancer
Even though it is Saturday, don’t dress like it’s a casual day. Look your best and dress for success. Some may even be asked to put in extra hours at the office. Don’t say no. Your efforts will be noticed. Mothers balancing career and family responsibilities may want to keep their sitter on call.

Ashura (Mohurram): Islamic observance related to the miracles of creation and Noah’s safe landing of the ark, but also commemorating for some the death of a grandson of the Prophet Muhammad, Husain ibn Ali, who was martyred in a battle in Karbala in present-day Iraq on this day in the Islamic calendar. In India, Mohurrum is marked with solemn processions where people dress in black, emulate the sufferings of Husain’s beleaguered army, and cry loud lamentations, remembering the matyrdom of Husain (and his brother Hasan, who had died earlier of poisoning).

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February 20, 2005

Mercury conjunct Uranus at 6 degrees Pisces
An aspect that when present in a natal chart often indicates genius, enhanced today by the watery intuition of Pisces. There is a dynamic synergy present in the relationship between these two, which recognizes Uranus as a “higher octave” of Mercury, and offers intense flashes of knowledge with incredible bursts of intuition.

Brotherhood Sunday: The Sunday nearest George 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 21, 2005

Venus at 24 degrees Aquarius sextile Pluto in Sagittarius
The expression of love in all its forms takes on a deeper meaning today. Tinted by the passionate intensity of Pluto, this transit brings a new importance to all your relationships. Friends are looked at in a different light, co-workers and professional associates demonstrate a deeper relevance. Sex is bigger than just a physical act today and becomes a profound demonstration of love on all its levels.

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February 22, 2005


Happy Birthday to
Pastlives!
 

Mercury at 11 degrees Pisces sextile Mars in Capricorn
Today will likely be a day filled with hard work, especially for people who work in communications, advertising and marketing. You have excellent ideas and the words come naturally; however, beware the authority figure who tries to steal your thunder.

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.

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 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.

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February 23, 2005


Happy Birthday to
NeptunianMe!
 

Lantern Festival: The Chinese New Year holiday, which fell on February 9 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.

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, 2005

Moon Phase
Full Moon in Virgo, 04:54 Universal Time.

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February 25, 2005


Happy Birthday to
Gladeyes!
 

Sun conjunct Uranus at 6 degrees Pisces
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 which magical shores the current propels you towards.

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, 2005

Mercury at 17 degrees Pisces inconjunct retrograde Jupiter in Libra
Curl up with that book you’ve been meaning to read. Creative writing or journaling may also be gratifying. Charge up your cell phone and boot-up your computer — you may be obliged to catch up on your correspondence and phone calls. If you’re feeling restless, get out and mingle with interesting and intelligent people tonight.

Venus enters Pisces
Today sees Venus entering Pisces, the sign of her exaltation. In Pisces, the appreciation of beauty, along with the creativity and personal attraction of Venus, are combined with a mysterious sense of spirituality, deep wells of compassion and sensitivity to people from all walks of life. Creative and artistic expression are heightened and refined during this time. People born with Venus in Pisces are gifted with incredible talent, especially in painting, sculpture, film and photography.

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February 27, 2005


Happy Birthday to
GreyEyesNC!
 

Mercury at 20 degrees Pisces trine retrograde Saturn in Cancer
This influence is serious, practical and rather private. Organize things at home and create conditions for emotional comfort today. An older family member has something important to say.

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February 28, 2005

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 and S.J. Lindquist-Hellman
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.