The Zodiac Dispatch: Romance in retrograde on Valentine’s Day

A cupid/ aquarius figure in a rainbow coloured sky

In this month’s column, astrologer and member Clarisse Monahan explains how a supercharged stellium of planets will impact 14 February

Illustration by Daiana Ruiz

Mercury, Saturn, Venus, Jupiter and Mercury are all in Aquarius at the moment. A multi-planet soiree like this, known as a ‘stellium’, is both super powerful and rare – we haven’t had this configuration in Aquarius since 1962. All of which begs the question foremost in our minds: what does this mean for Valentine’s Day?

This current transit will be magnifying Water Bearer energy (collective life over coupledom, humanity over individuality, rationality over passion) until 18 February. So, the stars seem to be about ‘Anti-Valentine’s Day’ vibes this year – if by Valentine’s we mean Hallmark card romance, chocolates, and satin-laced seductions.

But maybe ‘Anti-’ isn’t the right prefix. Since the Grand Conjunction this winter solstice (which marked a shift into the Age of Aquarius), old-guard social, economic and political ideologies are starting to be cosmically reworked, redefined, and repurposed. We are leaving behind the heavy energy of earth, which was dominated by commercialism, fusty tradition, and the narcissism of small differences. Aquarius will be about new ideas, innovation, community, and cooperation. In other words: fresh air.

Five figures in the formation of Maties's 'Dance' painting with the planets of Aquarius on their clothes, on a rainbow coloured sky

So, our Valentine’s Day stellium might be suggesting on a micro level that we rethink traditional tropes of romance and instead celebrate a more abstract kind of love – for our neighbours, our fellow men, our friends and family; for the many, rather than our special one.

This might seem ironic since we are living in a moment (with social distancing) that feels less collective and more tailor-made for cuddling up with our paramour, but the stars are saying otherwise. Focus on your family, look out for others who might be feeling down, and send loving group texts to friends.

To this end, we should be aware that Mercury will be retrograde on Valentine’s Day. Mercury deals with speech, communication, and messages. But when it goes into retrograde, all these things can become more challenging in terms of saying what we mean. At the same time, it can also be about reflecting on the past, revisiting old words, and recognising previous mistakes.

As Mercury is conjunct, the two benefics, Jupiter and Venus, use this time to smooth out any differences you’ve been having with your loved ones, family, and friends. Send that apology. It will be a great day to extend an olive branch this year rather than red roses.

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