This is the first week of Lent (purification, preparation) and according to the lunisolar calendar, the Chinese spring festival/Lunar New Year of 2015—Year of the Wood Sheep/Goat—falls on Thursday, Feb. 19. It’s a turning point year. We make something from seemingly nothing. Goats are mild mannered, shy, friendly and kindhearted, with delicate thoughts, strong creativity, and perseverance. Although gentle on the surface, they are strong and tough on the inside, with an inner resilience, excellent defense mechanisms and great professional skills.
Though goats prefer to be in groups, they shy away from attention. They’re reserved and quiet, reflecting on their own thoughts and ideas. Goats are fashionable, stylish. Goats are private. It may take time to get to know them. Goats seldom share personal lives, having only a select few intimate friends. Their friendship is peaceful and fulfilling, supporting, caring and working hard for loved ones.
While celebrating Chinese New Year, red—the color symbolizes joy, virtue, truth, sincerity—is everywhere. You’ll see red lanterns, couplets of good fortune on doors, and paintings of goats and dolls. Celebrations include setting off firecrackers at doorways morning and evening to scare away evil spirits; giving money to children (and to the poor) in red envelopes; honoring elders and ancestors; offering prayers to the Kitchen God/Stove (fire); preparing and sharing “lucky foods”—fish (wishing everyone wealth and prosperity); dumplings (or spring rolls filled with long white daikon threads for long life); rice balls (reunion, being together); noodles (longevity); oranges and tangerines (success); while also preparing for the Full Moon Lantern Festival (March 5). On altars are plum and quince blossoms and narcissus (beauty). Sunday, Feb. 22 is Washington’s birthday, and mine, too. Tithing first that day and then to the museum (Crystal Bridges).
Esoteric Astrology as News for Week of Feb. 18
Aries-March 21–April 20
You shift between social groups and dreamtime, big plans for the future and things secret and reflective. Two realities at one time can be disorienting. The planets are influencing everyone to be in two worlds simultaneously. Each world affects the other. You’ll be called gradually, yet more and more, to contemplation, rest and relaxation and a dream world preparing you for things to come. Remember your nightly review. See that your day was good.
Taurus April 21–May 21
There are others who can assist you in the work you’re to accomplish next. Ask them questions and listen to their thoughts and ideas. They have information that fills gaps in the information you already have. Continue with planning. Be bold, philanthropic, public, enterprising, inventive and principled. Think big! Don’t stop there. Create an entire village! It will be needed.
Gemini May 22–June 20
You’re to become more involved and a presence in things local in your community. Gathering and dispensing information will be most important in times to come, as the old world falls away and the foundations of the new culture and civilization are being created. All around the world new concepts for living are being adopted. Learn about them. You’re a leader in speaking, writing and communicating.
Cancer June 21–July 20
Many realities call to you. One is resources, sharing yours with others, preparing for others in need. The second is philosophy, justice, expanding your mind, studying, reading and learning. Together these make for a very active and intelligent mind indeed, filled with new ideas and contemplations. Notice if there’s a spark of joy, like dry kindling waiting to be lit. From the soul comes joy and for this your personality longs.
Leo July 21–August 22
Mercury in Aquarius is traveling through your house of relationships. This makes your mind really active in terms of relationships. Mercury tries to build bridges from one to another. This can be disorienting if you’re a Leo whose energies are mainly internal. For externalized Leos this can be an exhilarating time of connecting with others. Your mind, energy, focus, need for action and travel are shining brightly these days. It’s time for new endeavors.
Virgo August 23–September 22
What ways of being, what daily agendas and disciplines, what boundaries and structures within your daily life do you want to eliminate, tear down, do away with and leave behind? This is an excellent time to initiate new schedules, plans, programs, arrangements and organization that will alter daily life and also create foundation for future endeavors. Are money matters organized?
Libra September 23–October 22
It’s the most highly creative time for you, Libra. Whatever you do indicates future possibilities. For some Librans it is good to study the science and art of astrology. For other Libras, consulting a financial advisor—astrologically knowledgeable—is good. Knowledge and application of astrology brings balance, harmony and a deep comfort in knowing all’s well and in rhythm in all things. Initiate all things new in your relationship, Libra.
Scorpio October 23–November 21
The future is streaming into your present/future and staying there a while. Mercury asks, “what future are you hoping for, what does it look and feel like, who do you hope lives in that future with you, how and where will you live and what will your home look like?” It might be straw bale, look like a spaceship, and be totally off the grid and in a community 12 miles out of town in the woods. With chickens and goats.
Sagittarius November 22–December 20
Changes in routine, plans and agendas may occur more often. Your mind may feel like it’s taken off in a starship to places far far away. I’ve mentioned a book list for these times before. “2150” by Thea Alexander? “Island” by Aldous Huxley? “Shikasta” by Doris Lessing? Find them. Read them. Also, anything about the Secret Space Program and anything by progressive journalist Sam Smith. They provide light in our particular semi-darkness.
Capricorn December 21–January 20
All Capricorns are becoming new these days. New ideas, thoughts, actions, interests, moods, feelings. Within this change comes compassion, especially toward those having less, toward children and elders. Sometimes our compassion gets lost along the way. Then something occurs, a loss and a revelation, and it emerges once again. Compassion—a found object within each of us. Like a sanctuary light in the temple of self. Compassion. What does it mean?
Aquarius January 21–February 18
So many realities are occurring for you this month. A new path may be considered and possibly taken, an expansion of friendships, thoughts about community, sharing resources, and trying to heal a wound that hurts. Communication is most important now. Be fair with everyone and ethical. Tend to money carefully with great consideration toward others. Share.
Pisces February 19–March 20
You’re focused on things private and confidential. It’s your birthday month. A new year for you. On birthdays it’s good to tithe first, helping those in need—children in hospitals (St. Jude’s Hospital), building resources in communities for families (Heifer Project), medicines for those in need (Doctors Without Borders). When an obstacle or question appears, radiate a light from the ajna center (3rd eye) upon it. A revelation (answer) then occurs. Are you sleeping? What are you dreaming about?
Risa is Founder & Director of the Esoteric & Astrological Studies & Research Institute, a contemporary Wisdom School in Santa Cruz, CA.