Illustration by Taylor Dow

Illustration by Taylor Dow

Social Studies

A solar eclipse in Aquarius reveals what’s next.

“… the fires/fall to ash/the fog clears/and we can see/where we/really/stand.”

—Rita Dove, “Twelve Chairs”

Looking out my bathroom window last week, I spotted a large bird nest in a nearby tree. I never noticed the nest before because it was concealed by leaves. But now the tree’s branches are bare for winter. Cold winds stripped the tree’s leaves to reveal the secret nest, just as the lunar eclipse on Jan. 31 ripped away our excuses and masks to unveil hidden truths, problems, and emotions. No hiding! In the humbling weeks that followed, many of us felt uncomfortable having our bare branches exposed. Fated events made us feel powerless. Despite our daily duties, many of us wished we could just lie low, rest, and (figuratively) nest. Awareness can be exhausting! We released and let go. Now comes the next part of this eclipse season: Growth.

On Thursday afternoon, there’s a partial solar eclipse (and new Moon) in Aquarius. New Moons are generally good windows to begin anew. Because Thursday’s new Moon is also a solar eclipse, beginnings are bound to be even more significant. But the solar eclipse isn’t the only thing happening. The same day as the eclipse, Venus and Saturn create a helpful “sextile” aspect that brings stability to relationships and asks you to believe in your own potential. Then on Saturday, Mars and Neptune form a nasty square. This annual aspect could signify scandal, deception, or disappointment. A Mars-Neptune square might also manifests as confusion, exhaustion, or self-doubt. That same day, Mercury collides with the Sun to magnify our words. Speak carefully on Saturday, because voices carry. By Saturday evening, Mercury enters Pisces, the sign of its fall and detriment. Yikes! With Mercury in Pisces (until March 6) communication gets moody and relies on intuition, body language, and images—rather than words—to convey meaning. Finally, on Sunday, the Sun leaves Aquarius and enters Water sign Pisces. More about Pisces next week!


If the lunar eclipse brought you endings or presented a stark view of what’s wrong (especially with intimate relationships), don’t despair. This week’s solar eclipse offers small flower buds of hope, showing you potential ways forward. While one-on-one relationships and money matters took center stage at the Leo lunar eclipse, Thursday’s Aquarius solar eclipse asks: Who is your community, and what is your place in the whole? Mercury plays a key role in this eclipse, so mental activity and communication will be sparkly and brilliant. The Moon, Sun, and Mercury—all in Aquarius—want us to strengthen the platonic bonds that sustain us. It’s time to expand our circle of friends and collaborators. Who do we champion and cheer for? Who supports our wacky projects and amplifies our voice? We may be unique, but we’re not all alone. In Tarot, the Star card depicts a nude water bearer (Aquarius) who pours one jug of water onto grass while pouring another into a pond. The Star represents what I refer to as “the inspiration cycle”: We listen to others expressing their truth, art, and ideas. In turn, we are inspired to express our own and offer it back to the collective. We share a new poem onstage; it touches an audience member who goes home and writes their first poem. This giving-and-receiving never ends. The Star card—like Thursday’s Aquarius eclipse—represents the end of a hard time, and a blossoming faith in the future that we are actively creating.


Your communication is powerful and clear on Wednesday the 14th, a day that has you noticing areas where partnerships need improvement. You could feel pangs of jealousy or stings of old wounds. If you’re going to celebrate Valentine’s Day with your squeeze, I’d honestly wait until Friday night. On Thursday the 15th there’s a partial solar eclipse and new Moon in Aquarius around 1 p.m. Venus and Saturn are also teaming up to help you take your goals more seriously and to improve your love life and finances. Friday the 16th has a beautiful, compassionate Moon in Pisces that touches Venus and Neptune to enhance romance. Do your chocolate-and-candles “activities” tonight. Today also marks the Chinese New Year (2018 is a Year of the Dog). Saturday the 17th is dicey. Mars and Neptune create a square that lasts a few days, negatively affecting our concentration, energy level, and confidence. Try to channel your fears into creative projects or home improvements. You’ll want to watch what you say (or type) too, as the Sun and Mercury put your words in the spotlight. Mercury enters Pisces too. On Sunday the 18th the Sun moves into Pisces around 9 a.m. Issues of freedom and tension over “closeness versus space” may arise. An Aries Moon makes Sunday and Monday great days for beginning new things. Monday the 19th provides a boost of progress and ambition. You can get a lot done, but the evening may contain a power struggle. Though Tuesday the 20th gets off to a slow start, by the afternoon important conversations and networking opportunities can happen.

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