Sun in Aquarius II — Phobos

under normal circumstances, the horoscopes in this column would be private to members of my Patreon. However, thanks to the generosity of “Wren”, who paid me just $3.00 through — they’re available to the full public. Thank you, Wren!

The Sun enters Aquarius II, Heaven and Earth, as Austin Coppock called it, on January 29, 2023 at 11:28 pm EST. T. Susan Chang notes its association with the Six of Swords, a position promising change or refuge from the tragedies or difficulties of the past. A mix of idealism and gentle cynicism or practical wariness characterizes this decan, as the Sun makes its inexorable march toward his annual conjunction with the sign-ruler Saturn, waiting ominously in the distance just beyond the Sun’s beams.

Mercury is the administrator of this decan, the communicator and expert of processes and tactics and prior training taking effect in a crisis. This Mercury knows that there is a textbook answer to almost any situation that has been faced before… and there is also the half-assed response you’re able to pull together in a brand-new situation that you’re only facing for the first time. Both depend on prior training — and only whether it was good training or bad can determine whether you live through the crisis unscathed, or if you keep the scars of the day.

The Alexandrians of Roman-era Egypt long associated this decan with fear — that is, Phobos, the god of terror on the battlefield. Rarely depicted in classical art, he was the son of Ares and Aphrodite, and acted as his father’s aide-de-camp and squire in the field, as well as his charioteer. He was described as having a lion’s head, terrifyingly white teeth, and eyes that burned like flame. He caused rout on the battlefield as men abandoned shields, armor, equipment, and weapons in their hurry to leave combat — a strategy almost certain to lead to defeat of the army, and their own deaths. We can perhaps turn to Joseph Lemasolai Lekuton’s memoir of growing up in Maasai country in Kenya, though, to get a sense of what that must have been like.

Lekuton describes being in a kraal, or cattle enclosure, a new-made warrior with a number of teenaged fellow warriors, and an elder householder— the Maasai are an age-set society, so people of different ages belong to different social classes, and are strongly discouraged from engaging in the work of other classes. The householder wakes the warriors and warns them that they are under attack by lions, and the cattle are in distress. In fact, all the cattle are lowing and crying out, and moving away from the direction the wind is blowing —and there’s a nasty smell in the air, one that all the teens find frightening, and that the householder tells them (from his own time as a warrior some years earlier), is the scent of lion piss. He tells them to move downwind, and defend the cattle downwind.

But the warriors — teenage boys, really — do not understand his message. They move downwind, yes, but to protect the upwind side of the cattle from something in the center of the kraal —something that has come over the fence or hedge around the place. They are surprised, then, when the female lionesses land behind them, coming over the hedge on the downwind side, and landing on the backs of the cattle. The frightened cows nearly trample the warriors as they stumble northward toward the terrible smell on the wind. Ultimately, the warriors drive off the lions at great cost to themselves: physically wounded warriors, wounded and killed cattle, and an embarrassing performance of their first duty to their tribe.

What happened? The male lions had gathered on the windward side of the kraal, and released their urine. The strong smell had drifted toward the cattle inside, and in response to a scent they knew and feared, the cattle backed away from the male lions, crowding up against the leeward hedge. Once the cattle had no maneuvering room, the lionesses leaped the fence, injured the cattle, and drove them windward again— this time, hampering the humans’ ability to defend their cows from attack, and even injuring some of them in the stampede.

Phobos had come among the warriors, and prevented their organization in the face of danger. Confusion and inexperience overwhelmed their capacity to plan, to organize, and to coordinate. We have many recent examples of this, from reports of Russian troops in Ukraine, using ordinary cellphones and radios to communicate with one another — and consequently getting bombed or sniped from giving away their position —to both police and rebels in Washington DC and Brasilia losing control of their communications and being overwhelmed or rounded up on the basis of bad organizational tactics. It’s a problem that only experienced warriors can manage… but, as any good Maasai knows, sooner or later you have to settle into other roles than battlefield commander if you want to live to old age.

The Dodeks (to shorten from the much longer and complicated word, dodecatemoria, that describe the 2° 30′ arcs of the Zodiac) of the next ten days are Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo — a sequence closely associated with the process of planting, maturation, and harvest of the fruit of the seeds of spring, but also with the development of a green recruit into a capable soldier. The youth steps off the bus at Parris Island, home of the US Marines boot camp program. He (or she, or they) wants to be a Marine, but they’re half in the world and half-out; they’re only a recruit, not a Marine yet. They have military obligations and they’ve signed the paperwork, but they have no experience of that life yet — and that’s the figure of Gemini, partly one thing and partly another, and not yet fully either. Cancer is the emotional wringing-out that the young recruit must go through — learning to traverse obstacle courses, carry gear, fire weapons, fight hand-to-hand, and be loyal both to their fellow recruits and to the chain of command. This is about putting on the armor of the solider, while remaining human to other would-be soldiers, like a crab in its shell. Then comes the emergence of the actual warrior within, the lion-head appearing on the raw recruit one day as they take the form their drill sergeants and instructors expect them to have: fierce and loyal, ready for battle or anything else, and trained enough to move despite fear. Finally comes the Virgo state —the Marine well-formed enough to analyze a situation and know whether it requires the placid and apparently harmless exterior, or the full-fledged battle mode of combat, or something in between. The dual nature of the raw recruit, half-in/half-out of military identity, is replaced by a new dual nature: half-in/half-out of the capacity to deliver effective violence. The seed has unfolded, and the new plant has been shaped by the gardeners into the desired form.

Planetary Positions

With the Ascendant in Libra and the Sun in Aquarius, we’re looking at a Night Chart. This lends the Moon and Mars additional dignity, while also limiting Venus’s capacities for bringing beauty into our lives despite her presence in Pisces, the sign of her exaltation. Night charts are good for private-facing matters, like household and family drama, ‘bedroom time’ with a loved one, or quality time with your kids— but promise peremptory and one-sided actions by politicians, community leaders, and bosses in the public side of your life. Are you one of these sorts of people (boss, leader, politician)? You might want to take in more advice than normal, and be seen getting that advice. You may not follow it, or may not follow all of it, but you want evidence that counsel was taken.

The planets are in a Train position, with every sign between Capricorn and Gemini containing at least one planet, and none of the signs from Cancer to Sagittarius containing a planet. Like the freight and passenger cars in a railroad train, the planets are emerging from the tunnel of the winter signs into the bright light of the spring signs. Additionally, the royal Sun has seven planets ahead of him, while only two form his rear guard — while considered from the perspective of Zodiacal order. From the perspective of diurnal motion, Pluto and Mercury are running ahead of the Sun toward the sunrise position, while all the other planets are chasing them, and sure to catch up eventually. The arrangement posits a series of private, household decisions in the short term, which have long-range economic and political consequences and side-effects. Limits on vacation plans, dining out at restaurants and out-of-home entertainments are likely to be followed by budget cuts in household management funds, all of which has effects on local economic factors: how many restaurants and theaters stay open, how many airlines are grounded, how much food costs… and how many politicians wring their hands on talk shows about how people aren’t buying stuff.

The South Node, indicating the idea of less, or a lack, or not enough, is in the second house: scarce financial resources, or at least the perception of such an absence, is an important theme of the next ten days. Budget cuts at work, and budget cuts at home, both promise limitations on funding and a sense of distressing constraint. Part of that is messaging: the South Node is in the decan called The Jawbone, Scorpio I, suggesting that we’re more likely to talk about our budgeting problems and challenges than usual. The North Node, meanwhile, is in Taurus I The Plough, in the eighth house, where he promises a hunger eating the substance of our spouses’ and significant others’ paychecks and pocketbooks — and a corresponding eagerness to perform whatever duties bring in new revenue.

Mercury and Pluto share the fourth house in Capricorn, the place of our households and direct family lineage. The sea-goat sign is a place of hard, even cruel, practicality and dispassionate decision-making — and every household is making hard and practical decisions. Mercury indicates a range of intellectual and communicative tools for understanding our family’s situation, and putting into practice what is likely to work best for us right now. Pluto is a lens, though — either focusing diffuse rays into a laser, or widening a white-hot ray into a harmless rainbow of diversity. Efforts to fix what’s wrong permanently are likely to diffuse into a diverse arrangement of too many things not done well enough — while a range of small, quick-fix short-cuts are more inclined to create big arguments.

The Sun is just on the borders of Aquarius II, while Saturn is on the outside edge of the range of the beams of the Sun at 25°. The Sun is assumed to have a “halo” or radiance of 15° in which planets nearby are especially debilitated; when closer in to the Sun, it’s as though the Sun hears their counsel and advice, and they think and act with one heart and mind. Here, however, the Sun proposes a brilliant if overly utopian solution to a problem…. and Saturn shoots it down with real-world critique. Fun, entertainment, hobbies, personal pastimes, time with your kids, and even food and drink, are all high on the Sun’s list of temporary enthusiasms… and all high on the list of Saturn’s Eeyore-like negations. Low expectations and high flexibilities are recommended.

Venus and Neptune hold down opposite ends of the sign of Pisces in the sixth house of daily routines, employees — and the risk of illness. Venus promises connection and networking, professional quality, and attention to beautiful detail, while Neptune offers big vision but poor follow-through. Plan to dream big these next ten days… but make sure you provide the persistence and sweat equity, because the planets won’t do it for you.

Jupiter in Aries in the seventh house offers, in the short-term, expansive and royal treatment for both you and your partner(s), whether business or romance or pleasure, take your pick — in the first decan, though, The Double Bladed Axe, there’s a sense of needing to pick and choose: a fancy dinner out, or couples’ massages at a day spa? One pleasure is likely to preclude another. However, later in the week Jupiter will leave his own term behind, and there may be somewhat less noble choices to be made: who cooks and who cleans? who takes out the garbage and who shovels the snow?” Be aware of fair divisions of labor in your partnerships after the first weekend in February.

The North Node, Uranus and The Moon are in each decan of Taurus in the eighth house — indicating new and growing responsibilities and the luxury of apparently long lead-times for important work that requires physical results — but a surprising number of immediate challenges as the new year matures into its second month. Let’s translate that: your new year’s resolutions to go to the gym every week are going to be tested by your boss’s expectations about when you’re to be at your desk; your deadlines for deliverables will be moved up; it will be crunch time even if things are historically slow around this time of year in your industry. Remember the Eisenhower Matrix: the US supreme commander in World War II and post-war President once noted that important things are often not urgent, but urgent things are not always important — allocate your resources accordingly.

Mars in the ninth house in Gemini is direct and in a place of no particular dignity in this chart… But he’s about to cross into his decan the Hermaphrodite during the last day of January. The transition is likely to provoke challenges to any dualist dichotomies in your life, and in the news, about hotels, travel, tourism, and most especially air transit. We should expect new delays at airports, and there will be a heightened risk of accidents during long-distance transportation: not so much crashes, as sudden shutdowns and technical failures of communications gear (such as the FAA grounding of all US flights on January 11, 2023). The US has long said that it will answer ABC attacks (Atomic-Biological-Chemical) with A-for-Atomic responses… we might look for a public warning that D-for-digital attacks on the US might be similarly answered.

The Lot of Fortune, the place where we have the greatest freedom and opportunity, is in the the tenth house in Cancer I The Mother and Child. It’s a good time for you to look after your professional babies — the pet projects that matter to you personally, and that you feel the need to shepherd through whatever office politics you face. Whether you love your work or not, it’s a good time to be seen loving your work, and demonstrating that you care about your professional reputation.

Horoscopes by Rising Sign

Thanks to “Wren”, who gave $3.00 through my account on, the horoscopes for Aquarius II 2023 are free and open to the public.

Libra: Professional matters are where you have the most freedom of action right now. You’re likely to face restrictions on going out to dinner or the movies, and find that even at-home hobbies require some re-ordering of your lines and untangling. Household matters require some resources — time or money or laborious conversations — but relationships will grow and improve as a result of these cyclical dialogues, so keep at it. Follow-up and persistence will be important, even if you don’t see immediate results: expect your “must do by close of business today” duties to be challenging these ten days, but keep your long-range objectives in mind even so.

Scorpio: Financial issues may arise as a result of trash-talk: let silence be your shield in the next ten days, and recognize that income and responsibilities are closely tied to one another. Where you’re likely to have challenge is in separating what you enjoy, from what you must do for work (even if you enjoy it). Instead of focusing on defending yourself, figure out what you need to learn, and talk up your interest in your field. Get certified in something new, or start that process —figure out how to hybridize your current duties, with what you want to do next. Expect that there’s a complicated conversation with a family member that may get blown out of proportion, either at home or under your parents’ roof — and that unless you put in some daily effort, your personal projects are unlikely to make much headway.

Sagittarius: Extended family matters, or time with close friends of your spouse or significant other (or business partner), consume a significant block of time in the next ten days. It’s likely to be leisure-time rather than glad-handing and networking prior to closing a contract — without active communication and an effort to strike a win-win deal, no grand plans for economic alignment will come to fruition. Financial concerns are serious, but you can thread this needle; put your butt in your chair and make the commands that bring wealth. Some economic troubles may distress your partner as they move about in the world and make grand plans; you have some local efforts that may get upset, but keep your eye on the grand prizes that come in six months.

Capricorn: You may find yourself repeatedly stuck at home, dealing with the oppressive challenges of dealing with workmen and building-trades pros on the one hand, and bean-counting accountants and insurance agents on the other. A harsh light may shine on problems you must unravel as you set up your dream space (possibly off-grid), showcasing both what needs to be done, and how little money there is to do it. If the work is being done by a cousin or family member, take care — they may have good ideas but lack the technical skill to complete the tasks — and either you or your significant other may find sufficient reason to keep expanding the scope of the project. An expanded range isn’t necessarily bad … but once expanded, it’s likely to grow twice more before it’s done: be sure you can handle a 2.5x expansion of what your original plan was. Otherwise, maybe back off?

Aquarius: no matter what you do or how careful your plan, your ideal celebrations are likely to go off the rails, skip a left turn in Albuquerque, or miss the turning of the tide — the thing has a good chance of unraveling at the last minute. When it does, you’ll find yourself at home muttering to yourself about what awful friends you have — or worse, suffering at your own self-denigrating pity-party. Take a moment to reflect on the joys you do have, though, and turn your attention to artistic endeavor for your own pleasure, or for that of a spouse or loved one. Everyone has a strong desire to connect with you, but a flood of unexpected issues is likely to sweep away even long-standing plans in favor of current excitement. Console yourself with the company of a single person if you can, share a drink together, and celebrate your mutual commitments.

Pisces: It will be hard to tell, slogging away at your daily routine, how much of this effort is likely to come to naught: “we’ve decided to go in a different direction,” or “thank you, but this is way more than we need,” or “you’ve outdone yourself but we can’t pay you for this extra work.” It’s a good week for you to consider to “work to rule” instead. Do you know the concept of “working to rule”? Your job is probably governed by a set of rules and regulations in your contract, or your employee handbook — and this is a week to stick to them rigorously, or at least not to put in effort above and beyond.

Aries: Some may see your sign as bossy and rude, butting in and forcing changes to occur even when they’re not needed. These next ten days, you may find that you need to boss around some others in your life… not because they’re withholding judgment but because they’re genuinely putting themselves at risk. Make sure you demonstrate, as you put on your big boss apron and get to work, that you’re doing this from a place of love and kindness and deep concern. It’s less important that your help be effective, in fact, than that it be driven by love, and obviously so. Your intervention may still not be received well — indeed, you may be forced out of the relationship before you finish the work! — but you’ll be remembered and honored for the grace and quality of the start of the intervention.

Taurus: “Responsibility” is is such a heavily freighted term, but you may find yourself singing along with Handel’s Messiah, about the easy yokes and the light burdens… mounting a production of the composer’s famous work requires soloists, instrumentalists, and a chorus of voices: it’s not uncommon to have 300 people on stage, and dozens more behind the scenes or managing the house. And yet, Taurus — there’s a good chance that your rather private life may become very public for a while, where your leadership is essential to success. So that may be what’s on offer this week. Stop standing out in your field, and take the bull by the horns. You’ll be outstanding in your field.

Gemini: Plan for delays in travel, complicated transfers, confusion about hotel reservations, and a “fog of war” overlying all the fields of endeavor where you attempt to cultivate both wisdom and expertise. These next ten days present peculiar and unexpected fights and harsh conflicts over language, tactics and your credentials — and you may even fight yourself with self-doubt and personal criticism. Some of these slings and arrows are real: honest feedback can be useful in preparing to rectify errors and shore up your defenses, and scaffold your insights and observations. But the genuine attack should be fended off— and your own personal, internal rebellion should be ruthlessly suppressed.

Cancer: Work from home this week, if it’s an option. You’ll find that you’re able to hold more balance, and weigh options, as normally kind and empowering supervisors consider the value of the chopping block and the axe. Friends provide unexpected grounding in the moment, but call your mother — or an important older woman in your life — for long-range guidance and timeless wisdom. Your partner or spouse, if you have one, faces difficult communications at work — and your offscreen coaching may be very helpful indeed during a Zoom call or after-hours debriefing; some new worldly weights may be loaded on your shoulders; you’ll have to draw attention to the expanded portfolio and corresponding lack of income-increase. Remember Ronald Reagan’s advice on negotiation: “trust, but verify.”

Leo: yes, that spotlight is really on you in these ten days; and what you say now might be something you’re remembered for, for years afterward. It may be hard to be serious in the face of this kind of pressure, but get the sillies out of your system at home, shake off the goofiness, and come to the fore looking and sounding like the serious elder expert you are (or could be) in this situation. That said, your partner if any is going to be surprised by the seriousness of the occasion, and I suggest that you play it as a chance for them to clown around in … ahem … serious drag: sometimes the fool has to put on their best clothes to clown around. In all that you do or say, honor the fact that you’re learning new skills, and that you have to preserve your autonomy even as you’re celebrating your routine connections to the cosmos. Just don’t expect all your friends to be happy with your performance: someone is sure to have a discouraging word or two.

Virgo: you risk loneliness in the next ten days, and while you may say it’s because you haven’t got any money — there’s also a sense of personal abandonment and lack of connection to others. Sometimes others will be the source of your entertainment, and sometimes you will have to be the instigator. You might think, “I can’t get the party started… everyone leaves when I walk in!” But this isn’t true, and you know it. Ask your friends about the hijinks and shenanigans you’ve started, and rejoice in fond memories. Then figure out how to play this game with a partner or peer or ally: what’s the most fun we can have with friends, without spending the resources we have? It will take less time to create an entertaining brouhaha , once you know your boundaries in this party… and a party of thirteen once started quite an adventure: just ask Bilbo Baggins.


I have a Patreon account for those who want to support this column as it continues its third year. Those funds support artists, artisans and thinkers that I regard as contributing to the well-being of the world. You can also buy me a Ko-fi in $3 increments; any column I write after receiving a Ko-Fi donation will be open to the public).  You can also schedule an appointment with me using Accuity Scheduling, for a natal or solar return consultation.

If you want to read some of my astrologically-oriented poetry, the largest collection is called A Full Volume of Splendor and Starlight, available through my Etsy shop, and containing poems and hymns to the planets, constellations, decan deities, and Moon Mansion angels. While not astrological, Festae contains hymns to some of the older Roman gods and spirits from the calendar created by Numa Pompilius, the second ancient King of Rome.

I use iPhemeris for my charting software, and screenshot it to make charts. I want to thank the team that develops iPhemeris for the addition of Terms and Decans to their charts. I also use Hugh Tran‘s Physis typeface to craft logos for this blog, as well.

I use Christopher Warnock‘s The Mansions of the Moon as the basis of my Moon placement delineations, and Austin Coppock‘s 36 Faces for much of my planetary delineations. Neither gentleman endorses me.

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