Streaming Sunrise Light, Photo by Jane Sherry

Welcome to the February 2024 Cosmic Weather Forecast by Curtis Lang with Jane Sherry.

Here in Winston, it's sunny and cool and temperatures will reach around 70 degrees by early next week. It feels like early spring already. Each day the sun rises higher in the sky as it moves further north. The days grow longer as we look forward to taking some hikes with the warmth of early morning spring sunlight on our faces.

Pisces, illumination from a Book of Hours, Italian, c. 1475; in the Pierpont Morgan Library, New York City (MS. G.14)
Pisces, illumination from a Book of Hours, Italian, c. 1475;
in the Pierpont Morgan Library, New York City (MS. G.14)

As the Sun enters Pisces, esoteric astrologers celebrate a quickening of the energies of the Second Ray of Love-Wisdom, and of the Sixth Ray of Idealism and Devotion, which both govern the dualistic sign of Pisces, symbolized by the two fishes. 

Piscean personalities embody the struggles that arise from the dualistic nature of the human psyche.

The two fishes that oppose one another are the ego and the Higher Self. Both are integral components of the human psyche. The question for each conflicted individual on Earth is who will be in charge - the ego or the Higher Self?

Pisceans must reconcile the demands of the me-first, individuated ego-centric personality, on the one hand and the transpersonal realm of the intuitive Higher Mind, which is embedded in the collective unconscious.

The energy of the Second Ray of Love-Wisdom impels the individual to a sense of world-weary dissatisfaction with the egocentric view of reality, which is humanity's psychological default setting.

Eventually, that dissatisfaction can inspire the individual to sacrifice the drives and desires of the egoistic personality and to embrace a Union with a larger collective consciousness that transcends the individual self.

The Baptism of Christ by Andrea del Verrocchio and Leonardo da Vinci, c. 1475
Andrea del Verrocchio , Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

This can manifest in a variety of ways. One possibility is dogmatic adherence to the precepts of a highly structured, religious group mind.

Another possibility is the birth of an inclusive, compassionate transpersonal love that unites the individual with the entire web of life on Earth and with great beings of light residing in subtle energy realms.

This Second Birth represents the initiation that leads onto the long and winding ascension path we must tread if we are to experience Christ Consciousness.

Christ is the Ideal representation of the Second Ray energies of Love and Wisdom in action on Earth, and the Ascended Master governing the Second Ray.

The Sixth Ray of Idealism and Devotion energizes the Piscean individual with a fervor that is manifest in the life of the Devotee.

Devotees, Photo by Rahul Mishra on Unsplash
Devotees, Photo by Rahul Mishra on Unsplash

The Devotee submerges the egoistic personality in the group mind of a collective that focuses on a shared, idealized representation of the Divine, such as Jesus Christ, Krishna, or the Great Goddess.

In this way, the Devotee practices extreme self-sacrifice and opens up the psyche to a veritable energetic tsunami that can overwhelm and also uplift the individual, resulting in a truly transformative and transcendental experience.

Such individuals can be rigid and authoritarian in their approach to spirituality, but they can also be exemplars of love and mercy, driven by a nearly unquenchable desire to alleviate the suffering they see all around them.

Boy Jesus Teaching in the Temple, Stained Glass Window
Child Jesus Teaching in the Temple:
Jesus is the Ascended Master Associated with Ray 2 and with Pisces

Those Pisceans who choose to release the attachments to success, popularity, and self-righteousness formed by the egoistic personality can become very successful on the spiritual path and touch the lives of many with a loving energy and innate wisdom that can heal the wounds of suffering humanity and open the eyes of their students to the reality of enduring Truths.

Taking our cue from the great Seasonal Round, as the Sun prepares to enter Pisces at the time of the Full Moon this Saturday morning, Jane and I have been working to release our attachments to business as usual, embrace the new, and accept adventures visible on the horizon.

We are poised between the old orderly round of our lives and a new world that beckons us as we greet the dawn of a new astrological year.

We honor the time of the turning of the seasonal gyre, the spring awakening that warms the Earth, vivifies plant life and imbues humans and other animals with an increased flow of Universal Life Force Energy.

Sunrise Streaming Light, Winston Salem, February 2024
Sunrise Streaming Light, Winston Salem, February 2024, photo by Jane Sherry

 As we celebrate the Virgo Full Moon prior to the Spring Equinox, we are trying to prepare ourselves to receive our share of the flood of life force energy spring and summer will distribute across the face of the Earth.

Purification is a theme in this Piscean interval of the seasonal cycle. The twelfth and last sign of the Zodiac, governed by the element of purifying water, Pisces is most supportive of spiritual practices involving devotion, prayer, purification and sacrifice.

All these elements are involved in the traditional Christian season of Lent, which occurs mainly during the Piscean month of the year, just prior to Easter, when devout Catholics engage in daily prayer, fasting, intervals of abstinence from meat, and sacrifice their favorite foods and drink, to purify themselves before the grand celebration of the Resurrection of Christ.

The Mystery School traditions teach that this is the time in the yearly wheel of life when we can all most benefit from these practices, just prior to the flowering of a new spring.

Now, and throughout the spring season, is the perfect time to perform my favorite Sunrise Meditation, a variation on practices taught by Paramahansa Yogananda's teacher, Shri Yukteswar and by the American master of sacred geometry, Drunvalo Melchizedek.

Click on the link above for simple step by step instructions to perform this powerful meditation, which incorporates visualization, invocations and breathwork to increase the flow of prana in body, mind and bio-field and connect us to our Guides and Teachers, to the Solar Deity and to the Christ Consciousness presiding over the Spiritual Sun found in the sacred Sephira known as Tiphareth on the Qabalistic Tree of Life.

Alchemical Figure of the Sacred Name of Yeheshua, the Sacred Heart of Jesus, by Jakob Bohme -- see the YHSVH in Hebrew Letters at Bottom of Heart, reading from right to left
Alchemical Figure of the Sacred Name of Yeheshua, the Sacred Heart of Jesus, by Jakob Bohme -- see the YHSVH in Hebrew Letters at Bottom of Heart, reading from right to left

In addition to the spiritual, subtle benefits of the Sunrise Meditation, viewing the sun in the early morning, soon after waking, increases the release of cortisol in the body, according to Dr. Andrew Huberman, a neuroscientist at Stanford Medical School.

"A morning spike in cortisol will also positively influence your immune system, metabolism and ability to focus during the day," Huberman explains. "On a sunny morning, get outside for 5-10 minutes." 

"You can do more if you have time, and feel free to use the time outside to exercise, walk, eat a light breakfast or journal in the sunlight," Huberman says. "Even on overcast days, there is still enough sunlight to trigger positive effects, but you’ll need to increase the time outside to at least 15-20 minutes."

For best results during the Sunrise Meditation, never look directly at the sun for prolonged periods. Remove sunglasses and perform the Sunrise Meditation with eyes closed, facing the sun. 

Virgo Full Moon, Pisces Solar Festival Cosmic Weather Forecast

Saturday, February 24th, 2024, at 7:30 AM Eastern time, we celebrate the Virgo Full Moon and the Pisces Solar Festival. 

Horoscope for Virgo Full Moon, Pisces Solar Festival 2024

Jupiter is a big presence this Full Moon weekend, and the expansive energy of the planetary Guru will encourage us to live large, think big, open our hearts wide, and strengthen our existing connections to our significant others.

The Full Moon in Virgo trines Jupiter in Taurus, which provides a short lived expansive, warm emotional glow to this weekend.

Take advantage of the moment to connect with family and friends, and know that you will feel generous and giving to all those around you, including strangers.

More than likely they will reciprocate your goodwill!

This a weekend for loving kindness meditations designed to pour forth healing energies to your entire social circle, indeed to all your brothers and sisters around the world. 

"Virgo", plate 21 in Urania's Mirror, a set of celestial cards accompanied by A familiar treatise on astronomy ... by Jehoshaphat Aspin. London : 1825.
"Virgo", plate 21 in Urania's Mirror, A familiar treatise on astronomy
by Jehoshaphat Aspin. London : 1825. 
Sidney Hall , Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

This benefic Moon/Jupiter trine will mitigate the effects of the Full Virgo Moon's opposition to Saturn in Pisces, which is a little bit of a wet blanket, also fortunately short lived.

If you feel isolated from the flow of life, from friends and family, or if you have a tendency to see things through a dark screen of depressive emotions, just do nothing for a day or two and allow yourself to process the energy.

This unpleasantness will soon pass. 

More good news is that this weekend Jupiter in Taurus will be sextile to Saturn in Pisces, providing the opportunity for you to envision the practical, down to Earth Saturnian steps you need to take to reach your loftiest Jupiterian goals.

This weekend is a great time to review all the areas of your life where you would like to manifest ideal outcomes -- and meditate upon the path that is opening for you right now, which if followed methodically, will enable you to reach your most deeply cherished spiritual and material goals.

Thursday, February 22nd, Mars and Venus conjoined in Aquarius.

This celestial event occurs once every two or three years and the energy released by their union lasts for weeks, at least so we will feel this aspect's impact during the Full Moon weekend.

Venus and Mars, painting by Sandro Botticelli
Sandro Botticelli , Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
Venus and Mars by Sandro Botticelli (c. 1485). Tempera on panel. National Gallery, London

With both planets in an Air sign, we can expect a steamy, sexy, dynamic Full Moon that could signal the onset of new, surprise sexual relationships or just as easily signal an outpouring of creative activity, especially for those engaged in the performing arts.

This is a very physical and emotionally potent aspect, so it's not about abstraction, intellectual pursuits or ascetic practices.

Mars and Venus are in a strong square with Jupiter in Taurus and Mars is in a weak conjunction with Pluto in Aquarius.

Long story short, this is a very powerful Mars/Venus conjunction in Aquarius.

Decisive action may be required to deal with long simmering issues at work, at home, and among our friends. If you've been waffling and procrastinating in the face of necessity, this is the time to make a move.

Do a quick check to see that heart (Venus) and gut (Mars) are in agreement, and if they are, take decisive action.

The prominent, combustible Mars aspects currently in play unfortunately also indicate increased risk of escalation in the wars underway in both Europe and the Middle East.

Minefield, Photo by Dmitry Shamis on Unsplash

Minefield, Photo by Dmitry Shamis on Unsplash

Diplomats must traverse a veritable minefield of risks as they attempt to maintain the status quo and prevent World War III.

These dual conflicts have evolved into 21st Century high tech meatgrinders churning out mass casualty counts, and every day the risks of escalation increase.

One indication of the volatile, hot-headed, reckless Mars/Pluto energy being unleashed at this time made the news on February 22nd, just as the Mars/Venus conjunction in Aquarius appeared.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg announced that Ukraine has the right to strike targets deep within Russia, as reported in a Newsweek article entitled "NATO Gives Ukraine the Go-Ahead to Cross Putin's Red Line".

Jens Stolternberg, Secretary General, NATO; Peter Hultqvist, Minister, Ministry of Defence, Sweden, Wikimedia
Jens Stolternberg, Secretary General, NATO; Peter Hultqvist, Minister, Ministry of Defence, Sweden
U2017EE Estonian PresidencyCC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

We should all hope this provocative pronouncement by the head of NATO does not indicate imminent escalation of the Ukraine War.

Russia has consistently warned Western powers that attacks on targets within Russia, especially those using advanced weaponry, would result in major escalation of the conflict, and that Russia would then use more powerful weapons to strike back against its attackers, on their home soil, whether in Ukraine or in NATO countries.

Fortunately, the conjunction of Mars with Venus at this time indicates the potential for increased diplomatic efforts to draw all parties into a peaceful negotiation to avoid catastrophic mistakes in judgement leading to wider, uncontrollable wars that could engulf the world in flames.

Russian Experimental hypersonic aircraft layout during the "Armiya 2021" exhibition, Wikimedia
Russian Experimental hypersonic aircraft layout during the "Armiya 2021" exhibition.
Kirill BorisenkoCC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

That said, there is not much indication that any of the parties involved in the two major wars underway in Ukraine and Israel are willing to sit down at a negotiating table at this time.

At the best of times, peace negotiations require the clarity, dexterity and focus needed to traverse a minefield, and in this Full Moon's steamy energetic environment, decisive military actions may be prioritized over delicate, white glove diplomacy.

Adding fuel to the bellicose flames, wars, belligerent rhetoric and preparations for war have spread across the globe this year.

Current conflicts include wars and civil strife in Ukraine, Gaza, the Red Sea, Sudan, Ethiopia, the Sahel, Myanmar, Haiti, and Armenia-Azerbaijan. 

Tensions are increasing on the Korean border, after approximately 70 years of uneasy peace.

Mural of North Korean People's Army, courtesy Wikimedia
Mural Depicting the North Korean People's Army
Mark Fahey from Sydney, Australia, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Nuclear armed North Korea revised its decades long policy seeking peaceful reunification with South Korea this year. At a January 15 meeting of North Korea’s Supreme People’s Assembly (SPA), North Korea decided to name South Korea as its “principal adversary.” 

Immediately thereafter monitors noticed an increase in North Korean missile tests. Diplomats see this development as a game changer in Asia's great game of geopolitical chess, and warn that with the United States and its allies preoccupied with Ukraine and Gaza, North Korea could see an opportunity for military action for the first time in nearly a century.

Paradoxically, this development could also pave the way for fruitful negotiations. There has not been a realistic pathway to the reunification of the two Koreas, and diplomacy has been in a longstanding stalemate.

Now that the North Korea has clarified its position, abandoning reunification “'theoretically opens the way to diplomatic relations, mutual recognition, and even the establishment of embassies' between the two Koreas," explains John Ruehl, a contributing editor to Asia Times. "Pyongyang, Seoul, and outside powers could transform the decision to abandon reunification from a crisis into an opportunity—provided collaboration, a commitment to diplomatic resolution, and an avoidance of escalation are recognized as a collective responsibility."

Mars Disarmed by the Graces, painting by École de Jacques-Louis David
Musée d'art et d'archéologie du Périgord - École de Jacques-Louis David 
Mars désarmé par les Grâces
MOSSOTCC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

With Mars and Venus embracing in Aquarius, we can only hope that multiplying global military crises will present opportunities for de-escalation and that aggressive Mars energies can be tempered by Venusian goodwill and wise, heart-centered counsel. 

As this Full Moon's energy activates our own impulsive tendencies, let us all ask for the grace and guidance we need to transform this month's conflicted energies into constructive, focused, action designed to resolve the conflicts in our personal lives.

Once the Full Moon is over, the next month presents us with some remarkable aspects that indicate dramatic developments that will rapidly increase the tempo of the rhythms of our lives.

Pisces as seen by the naked eye, courtesy Wikimedia
Pisces Seen by the Naked Eye
Till CrednerCC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

On February 28th, we’ll have a rare triple conjunction of the Sun, Mercury, and Saturn in Pisces. This rare celestial aspect indicates a time of extremely focused mental energy dedicated to the resolution of mission critical issues in every aspect of our lives.

If any of the military actors involved in the two major wars in Europe and the Middle East are going to escalate the conflict or make major new moves, it may be that the end of this month and the first of next month would be the time to strike.

Keep an eye on the Lebanese border with Israel, and the Rafah gateway between Gaza and Egypt.

On a personal level, with all these planets in Pisces, we may find it difficult to maintain our focus, or to achieve clarity when we are immersed in the astral glamours created by social media influencers, political propagandists and corporate mouthpieces. 

The Spring Equinox, occurs on Tuesday, March 19th, at 11:06 PM Eastern Daylight Time, as the Sun enters Aries, and a new astrological year begins. 

Archangel Gabriel retires from active involvement in the life processes on planet Earth, and Archangel Raphael presides over the spring season.
The Archangel Raphael and Tobias (Titian), Gallerie dell'Accademia in Venice, Wikimedia
The Archangel Raphael and Tobias (Titian), Gallerie dell'Accademia in Venice
Attributed to Titian , Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

We celebrate the triumph of love, life and light over darkness and death at the start of the Astrological New Year, on the Vernal Equinox.

The Spring Equinox is a time of equal day and equal night, and in the Aquarian Age the Spring Equinox is a celebration of the dawning New Age of the Divine Lovers.

Read all about the origins of Eastern and Western Mystery School traditions celebrating this global festival of light in our blogpost entitled Spring Equinox Mysteries and History.

Also, see our blogpost Spring Equinox: The Archangel Raphael Meditation for a beautiful short visualization to connect Raphael at this sacred moment in the yearly cycle of life. 

Archangel Raphael reigns over spring.

Raphael oversees a myriad of elementals and spirits who work on the regeneration and growth of vegetation.

So at the beginning of spring establish a bond with the Archangel Raphael.

Ask him to make you receptive to the virtues hidden in trees, grasses and flowers, so that this new life penetrates you as well.

Constellation of Taurus, Star Map by John Flamsteed , Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
Constellation of Taurus, Star Map by John Flamsteed, 1776
John Flamsteed , Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

As we celebrate the onset of spring this year, we will benefit from what many astrologers believe to be the most important, beneficent outer planet aspect of 2024, heralding a time of dawning hope, electrifying positive change and great good fortune.

The Jupiter/Uranus conjunction will occur at 21º Taurus on April 21st, 2024, however this is a major outer planet aspect, and the effects will be felt starting in mid-March, around the time of the Equinox. 

This is an auspicious planetary alignment that speaks of unexpected good fortune and of self-directed magical workings designed to manifest our deepest desires in a way that is beneficial to all concerned. 

Astrologers say that this epochal conjunction symbolizes a new expression of humanity's collective consciousness, a new way of thinking and relating to one another and to the world around us, which will develop and flower over the next twenty years.

Bibliomancy, Photo by Bethany Laird on Unsplash
Bibliomancy, Photo by Bethany Laird on Unsplash

The Sabian Symbol for 21º Taurus is A Finger Pointing to a Line in an Open Book, an obvious reference to bibliomancy, the art of obtaining intuitive guidance by opening the Bible to a page at random, and randomly selecting a line of text.

Those of us who are open to guidance from the Universe should be on high alert this spring for signs and messages regarding our material and spiritual goals and our significant relationships. 

This aspect symbolizes an overwhelming desire to break free from constraints in our lives that are preventing us from achieving our spiritual and material goals.

Joy at the Beach, Photo by Phạm Chung on Unsplash
Leaping for Joy, Photo by Phạm Chung on Unsplash

In all probability we will act to obtain our freedom under the influence of this powerful Jupiter/Uranus conjunction. It is important for us to honor our responsibilities during this highly charged time, or we may fail those around us. 

This aspect favors all consciousness expanding practices, travel for work or pleasure, and the implementation of new relationships, new work habits, and new political groupings.

On a societal level, this is an aspect that speaks of collective efforts to liberate ourselves from oppressive conditions.

In any event, during this period of time, we can expect to encounter unexpected golden opportunities to fulfill our highest ideals in the pursuit of our material and spiritual goals.

Jane and Curtis in Reynolda Gardens, Gourd Tunnel, Selfie
Jane and Curtis in Reynolda Gardens, Gourd Tunnel, Selfie

Jane and I affirm that we all receive the grace and guidance we require to make the most of the golden opportunities awaiting us this highly charged spring season! Happy Snow Moon! It's almost time to prepare the garden! 

Meditation Moment: Ithaka by C.P. Cavafy

As you set out for Ithaka
hope your road is a long one,
full of adventure, full of discovery.

Laistrygonians, Cyclops,
angry Poseidon—don’t be afraid of them:
you’ll never find things like that on your way
as long as you keep your thoughts raised high,
as long as a rare excitement
stirs your spirit and your body.

Laistrygonians, Cyclops,
wild Poseidon—you won’t encounter them
unless you bring them along inside your soul,
unless your soul sets them up in front of you.

Hope your road is a long one.
May there be many summer mornings when,
with what pleasure, what joy,
you enter harbors you’re seeing for the first time;
may you stop at Phoenician trading stations
to buy fine things,
mother of pearl and coral, amber and ebony,
sensual perfume of every kind—
as many sensual perfumes as you can;
and may you visit many Egyptian cities
to learn and go on learning from their scholars.

Keep Ithaka always in your mind.
Arriving there is what you’re destined for.
But don’t hurry the journey at all.
Better if it lasts for years,
so you’re old by the time you reach the island,
wealthy with all you’ve gained on the way,
not expecting Ithaka to make you rich.

Ithaka gave you the marvelous journey.
Without her you wouldn't have set out.
She has nothing left to give you now.

And if you find her poor, Ithaka won’t have fooled you.
Wise as you will have become, so full of experience,
you’ll have understood by then what these Ithakas mean.

C.P. Cavafy
C.P. Cavafi, 1929 in Alexandria

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