~ astrology for Feb 2023

Image: Lucas Newton | UnsplashAstrology for Feb 2023: Festival of Lammas – count your blessings | Full moon in Leo – let your hair down! | Moon calendars and planting by the moon | Top 10 tips for a joyful future, and more...
by Stella Woods
"This gentle [February] lunation promises hope, kindness, compassion, love, and positive new beginnings. Take time out to dream, reflect, and meditate. Play your favourite music, enjoy a stroll in nature, or a glass of wine. Elevate your spirit and open your heart. Practise empathy." Festival of Lammas – count your blessingsThe beginning of February marks the midpoint between the summer solstice on 22nd December and the autumn equinox on 21st March. Those who follow seasonal cycles and the wheel of the year celebrate the festival of Lammas at this time (1st August in the northern hemisphere).

Lammas is a harvest festival – a festival of thanksgiving, deriving from the Anglo-Saxon Half-Mass or Loaf-Mass, meaning ‘feast of bread’. The first loaves of bread from the grain harvest are baked, broken, and shared to honour the bounty of the earth. Traditional drinks are beer, cider, and anything brewed from grains or the ripe fruits of the orchard. Altars are decorated with fresh loaves, wreaths of flowers, and the fruits of the harvest. Seeds are gathered for the next season’s crops.

Lammas is a harvest not only of fresh produce, but of all that has been sown since spring, many months ago. Lammas is a time to harvest, to share, to count our blessings, and give thanks for the blessings to come.

Full moon in Leo – let your hair down!The February full moon falls on the 6th, in fire sign Leo, opposite the sun in Aquarius.

Full moons are times of powerful energy when emotions run high and projects often come to fruition. Quirky Uranus sits exactly halfway between sun and moon providing spark and surprises. Meanwhile Venus in romantic Pisces clashes with Mars in impatient Gemini, making this an intense time for lovers and partners.

Because the energy is so erratic and unpredictable, allow extra time to complete important projects and avoid clashing with others. The best way to use this full moon energy is to do something fun, exciting, and out of the ordinary. Be creative and make sweeping changes. And remember, Leo always loves a party!
2023 – a year to take stock
As the Year of the Water Rabbit gradually unfolds, many of us are pausing for breath and taking stock. The last three years have been challenging on so many levels. 2023 marks a turning point with several major planetary shifts. We cannot go back to where we were three years ago, but we can always look to the future.
Image: Jared Rice | UnsplashTop 10 tips for a joyful future
  1. Life is short – work out how many years you might have left and decide what you’re going to do with that time, so that when it’s your turn to leave the planet you can look back on your personal contribution with a sense of pride, achievement, and satisfaction.

  2. Avoid wasting time on friendships and relationships that have clearly outgrown their purpose. Have the courage to move on and spend time with people whose goals, values, and interests are aligned with yours.

  3. Stop gossiping about others and create your own story.

  4. Don’t be so serious – laugh and have more fun – every day, every week, every year.

  5. Tell everyone important in your life that you love them and then tell them why.

  6. Let go of the need to be right and agree to differ.

  7. Clean out your closets and garage and get rid of everything you don’t need or want.

  8. Do something you’ve always wanted to but never made the time, space, or money for.

  9. Stop complaining about the faults and shortcomings of others and take action to change difficult situations.

  10. Be kind to yourself and others and give thanks every day for the miracle of life – you never know when it will end!
Venus in Pisces – declare your loveLove goddess Venus travels through romantic and creative water sign Pisces from the end of January to 20th February, sprinkling us with a heady dose of her special magic. Venus in Pisces helps us open up to the natural beauty of life, offering increased sensitivity to art, music, beauty, dreams, love, and spiritual insight. As our walls and boundaries dissolve, we can make deeper connections with those close to us, be divinely inspired in our creativity, and tap into hidden inner worlds that erupt into beautiful bursts of artistic expression.

The 14th–15th February is a particularly powerful time as Venus meets up with Neptune, ruler of Pisces. And this of course is Valentine’s Day, making this the perfect time to take a romantic risk and declare your love for someone special. In a world where we’re encouraged to be sensible, logical, practical, and control our emotions, Venus in Pisces helps us smell the flowers and chase the rainbows.
Lunar festivalsAlthough we have many different cultures and religions in our world, it is surprising how many countries base their annual festivals and religious holidays on the cycles of the sun and moon.

For example, Christians celebrate Easter on the Sunday following the first full moon of the northern hemisphere spring equinox. And Christmas always falls three days after the northern hemisphere winter solstice on 22nd December, with Christ’s birth on 25th December symbolising the gradual return of the light following the darkest day of the year.

The Hebrew calendar is also based on lunar cycles. Passover, marking the emancipation of the Jewish people from slavery in Egypt, begins on the night of the first full moon after the spring equinox. Buddhists and Hindus follow lunar calendars, while the Chinese celebrate their new year on the second new moon after the northern hemisphere winter solstice.

We in Australia have adopted these dates for our own celebrations, even though our seasons are reversed. And of course, indigenous Australians have their own lunar-based celebrations. Ceremonies involving large groups of people storytelling, singing, and dancing are usually held at the time of the full moon, when the skies are at their brightest.

An Adnyamathanha Dreaming story from the Northern Flinders ranges describes how the moon was created by a greedy nephew who kept stealing his uncle’s food. The uncle would hunt a kangaroo, bring it back to camp, and cook it in a ground oven with hot coals. As his uncle slept, the nephew would steal the kangaroo and eat it. His uncle punished him by making him climb a tall tree and then cutting it down, leaving the fat, round nephew in the sky in the form of the moon!
Moon calendars and planting by the moonIf you are interested in learning how to make your life run more smoothly based on astrology and the cycles of sun and moon, consider getting a 2023 moon calendar or diary. The best of these calendars will feature astrological information such as moon sign and phase, equinox, solstice, and eclipse dates and times, and perhaps an astrological commentary on the year ahead. Some also include information on planting by the moon, showing the right time to plant, irrigate, fertilise, and harvest.

Queenslander Thomas Zimmer has been producing an excellent Astrological Calendar & Moon Planting Guide for decades. Thomas writes: “Planting by the moon is a simple method of planning your activities in the garden to take place at certain preferred times of the lunar month. This is based on an age-old observation that the moon is somehow a regulator of growth processes on earth. By adapting your gardening timetable to coincide with this natural monthly rhythm, you not only find it an ideal system for organising the various tasks that have to be done on a recurring basis, but you also discover an added success factor in the outcome of your growing efforts – better germination rate, more vital plants, and better quality of produce.”
Image: Zoltan Tasi | UnsplashNew moon in Pisces – practise empathyThe February new moon falls on the 20th in water sign Pisces, with idealistic Neptune and romantic Venus also in Pisces, highlighting our hopes and dreams.

This gentle lunation promises hope, kindness, compassion, love, and positive new beginnings. Take time out to dream, reflect, and meditate. Play your favourite music, enjoy a stroll in nature, or a glass of wine. Elevate your spirit and open your heart. Practise empathy.

Venus is exalted in Pisces, giving us the ability to see the best in others. And Neptune rules Pisces, opening us up to higher spiritual and creative dimensions.
Sacred sites of MaltaI am very excited about my upcoming trip to the sacred sites of Malta, a small island in the Mediterranean, located between Sicily in Southern Italy and the north coast of Africa. The first humans reached Malta about 24,000 years ago, at the height of the last Ice Age, when there was a land bridge between Malta and Sicily.

My plan is to arrive in Malta in time to visit the Mnajdra Temple complex at sunrise on the spring equinox (21st March). These megalithic temples can be found on the south coast of Malta. Built over 5000 years ago, during the Neolithic period, they are some of most ancient religious sites on earth and form part of a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Equinox alignmentOn the morning of the spring and autumn equinoxes, the rising sun casts a beam of light through the main entrance of the Southern Temple at Mnajdra, along its central axis. The beam passes through the internal doorway to the large central altar at the rear of the temple. When I first read about this alignment, it reminded me of the temples at Newgrange in Ireland, where I saw a similar illumination at the winter solstice.

It seems as though the Southern Temple was used as an astronomical observatory, with its walls featuring carved spirals and small drilled holes. On one of the stones (dubbed the Calendar Stone) these holes are arranged in rows of different lengths. The first row has 19 holes, probably corresponding with the 19 years of the moon’s Metonic cycle. There are many theories about these holes and their meaning, so I am keen to find out more.

Some researchers believe that many of the Maltese temples are much, much older than the conventional dating, and could even have been built in the era of Göbekli Tepe, 11,000 years ago. Incredibly, there are over 66 temples on this tiny island. I will be travelling through Malta in a group with Dutch author Lenie Reedijk, whose book Sirius, The Star of the Maltese Temples promises to reveal the astronomical purpose of these magnificent buildings and how they were aligned to Sirius over a period of 5000 years. Stay tuned!
About the author:
Stella Woods is an astrology teacher, writer, and consultant. Contact Stella at or or

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