New Moon February 23 | A month of healings; letting-go of egoic attachments
February 23 | New Moon (10:32 am EST)
March 9 | Full Moon (12:07 pm EST)
New Moon | Aquarius | Nakshatra Shatabhisha.
The New Moon starting today (February 23) will take place in the sign of Aquarius and in the nakshatra "Shatabhisha." A nakshatra ('lunar mansion') is a particular area within a given sign. By knowing which specific nakshatra a planet is placed, we can get a few more details on particular influences for the next 30 days.
The intrinsic power of Shatabhisha is the power of healing, and it's meaning is "possessing (or requiring) a hundred physicians"; or "hundreds of cures." So one theme for the month suggests a naturally supportive time to focus on our health, the support, and well-being of others.
Quite often, Shatabhisha is emphasized in the birth charts of health care workers and/or those who make repairs or have restoration responsibilities. Of course, before something requires healing, it means something is already out of balance or dysfunctional. The symbol for Shatabhisha is an empty circle, and it represents a covering, overshadowing, hiding, or in some cases, separation. Because of this, Shatabhisha is also known as the veiling star. The ruler of this nakshatra is associated with rivers and waterways, but especially underground water. The mythology around this star involves letting go of our egocentric attitudes to make more progress in the world.
Now, part of applying predictive techniques is paying close attention to any context revealed from our current environment. And, as I'm sure most of you are already aware, the coronavirus has been in the news and seems to continue to threaten our global family. The critical question has been: Is the spread of the virus slowing, or will it become even more widespread?
Given the health signatures found in this New Moon, it strongly suggests the likelihood that we are about to watch the crisis unfold further, perhaps in a more dramatic way.
Shatabhisha's symbol of an empty circle and it's relationships to hiding, veiling, or covering - may relate to some new unseen health problem yet to come, or in the manner in which a microscopic virus is already "unseen." The promise of quarantines (separations) also fits. However, it may point to the potential for misinformation, confusion or mistakes by officials or the media regarding the status of health issues. It's a relationship to underground waters may point to problems related to water or water supplies.
Adding fuel to the idea of communication confusion is the fact that the New Moon will take place within close proximity to a very challenged Mercury. Mercury is the planet ruling communications, networking, and mass media. It also manages our ability (or inability) to adequately discriminate between facts and misinformation. Mercury is not only retrograde (adding complications), but it is also combust (close to the Sun), and aspected by the malefic Rahu. Rahu adds even more potential for hidden or obfuscation qualities since Rahu is responsible for eclipses hiding and covering the Sun's light. Rahu fuels any situation with a sense of urgency and anxiety either way. If that wasn't enough, the New Moon takes place in the third house of the United States' birth chart….the house of mass media and communications!
Finally, Mars and Ketu, two very passionate and fiery malefics when they combine together, will be 11th from the New Moon. The 11th house represents the general public or large groups. The impact of Mars/Ketu in the public arena may or may not be related to health issues, but it definitely elevates the potential for sudden, violent fears expressed in the public during this month's cycle.
Irrespective of how health issues unfold this month, it seems that confusion, upheaval, and misinformation related to the media and communications will likely be evident on the U.S. stage.
A few general thoughts about astrological forecasts
Astrologically speaking, energy flows continuously through a myriad of expanding and contracting cycles. Ceaseless growth and dissolution of both large and small dynamic cycles in seamless motion within any given moment. When there is a significant confluence from several different cycles at the same time, they can sometimes fructify in predictable ways, which allows us to make general predictions about possible future events.
However, there are always limitations to focusing on only a few cycles while ignoring others. Even changing one parameter can tilt an outcome in a different direction. Meteorologists confront this issue every day despite having a wealth of available historical data and supercomputing power at their disposal. Every hurricane prediction on TV now looks like an unwieldy group of meandering lines affectionately known as…. "spaghetti models." The fundamental factors that drive those scientific models have been known for decades, but their dynamic interaction still remains a combination of art and science.
That said, astrologers (including myself) tend to isolate and describe individual cycles (like New Moons) for our clients regularly – if only to highlight particular periods to help others see, grasp, and relate to them. Rather than predict highly specific outcomes though, many of us will hedge our language a little by using words like "tendency" or "possibly"… in much the same way a weatherman says 60% chance of precipitation.
Unlike the longer-term Jupiter-Saturn progressions, the monthly Sun-Moon cycle remains one of the more fundamental, short-term sequences we relate to. By itself, the Sun-Moon monthly cycle is a relatively small part of the broader astrological picture, but still significant and vital. The Sun represents our personalized ego and the infinite unconditioned Self. The Moon is associated with the deepest recesses of our subjective minds and is related to our changing emotional condition. Therefore, the expansion and contraction from New Moon to Full Moon back to New Moon can provide some short-term themes that characterize the interim 30 day period.