February has several planetary aspects that make the beginning of the month feel a bit sedate. The New Moon on February 1 will be conjunct Saturn, so the month starts off feeling a little somber or constrained. Then on February 4th Mercury returns to direct motion while forming a conjunction with Pluto. This will also lend a serious feeling to the first week.

Although the month starts off a little slow, after Friday the 4th, it will be full speed ahead for the rest of February. For almost three months all the planets will be traveling in direct motion and this presents us with a stretch of time during which we can be very productive. With five planets in Earth signs in the first two weeks of this month, we may feel a real push to get things done. Venus and Mars in Capricorn can help us accomplish our goals. This will be especially true if you are an Earth sign (Virgo, Capricorn or Taurus).

Venus and Mars will be conjunct in Capricorn and in an easy 120-degree trine aspect to Uranus on Valentine’s Day. Feel free to go all out with any romantic plans you may make that day with your significant other. However, because Venus and Mars are also in a conjunction to Neptune, I would not suggest using Valentine’s Day as an opportunity to meet someone new. Forget that blind date and spend quality time engaging in self-care instead.

The second half of February will be critical for the USA because two outer planet transits are setting off major aspects in the country’s natal chart. February 22, 2022 (2/22/22) is a significant date. Twenty-two is a mastery number and both the country’s Pluto return and Neptune opposition will fall close to or on this date. This is an exceptionally important day for us to reflect on our country, see where healing is needed, and apply positive energy towards the best possible outcomes.

Neptune at 22 degrees of Pisces will begin opposing the USA’s natal Neptune at 22 degrees of Virgo exactly on Friday, February 18. And remember that in the chart of the United States, natal Neptune squares natal Mars. So, by transit, in 2022 Neptune will also square the USA’s natal Mars. Neptune square Mars is an aspect that typically describes poor boundaries, addictive behavior, abuse or abusive behavior, victimhood or victim mentality, aggression, and oppression.

On a personal level, the way to transform this energy is to work to mindfully reprogram self-defeating or destructive behaviors through focusing on the spiritual dimension of life. Counseling, meditation, volunteering, and self-improvement of all kinds help mitigate a challenging Neptune-Mars aspect. Being part of the solution to a problem is key. In a country’s case, the government and voters need to make a conscientious effort to develop a consensus and work for the good and betterment of all citizens. This would be the most positive avenue to healing a challenging Neptune-Mars aspect.

The United States’ much anticipated Pluto return has arrived. This is an aspect no living human ever experiences because it takes Pluto about 250 years to complete its orbit around the Sun.  To understand a country’s Pluto return, we look to historic events in other countries and draw parallels.

If we look for examples from England, our “parent” country, we can really examine the very Plutonium themes of use and abuse of power. During England’s first Pluto return, Edward II signed additional ordinances that limited his power (This is nearly 100 years after the Magna Carta.) and Robert the Bruce led Scottish uprisings in a play for independence from England.

During the second Pluto return, Elizabeth I became both the first solo female queen and consolidated her power around the Church of England. This was also when the English slave trade was established.

During the third Pluto, England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland united and became known as the United Kingdom. King George III was declared insane and his monarchy effectively ended when his son became Prince Regent. This is also when the British slave trade was abolished.

Right now, our country is at a fragile tipping point and just hanging on to a political and socioeconomic balance. We must practice the “middle way”, seeking a broader vision of compromise and balancing our lesser violent and power-driven impulses. And, in order to thrive, we must embrace the highest ideals of the Declaration of Independence.