Moonletter February 2023

By Ben Belinsky

Welcome to the Moonletter for the forthcoming mooncycle beginning on 21 January 2023 with the new moon in Aquarius and spanning the full moon in Leo on 5 February 2023.


New Moon in Aquarius – 21 January – Lunar New Year


With Mars and Mercury now running direct, and with Jupiter in the impulsive sign of Aries, things should progress out of the torpor of the last few months. The new moon is making easy angles to the Mars in Gemini and the Jupiter so a good flow of energy is coming.

Gold coin celebrating Year of the RabbitAlso, it’s the beginning of the year of the Rabbit. This is a marked contrast to the year of the Tiger that we’ve been living through for the past 12 months. Tiger is a yang energy, direct and confrontational, and as a water tiger, it’s been a rapid flow of events. The rabbit is more intelligent, subtle and careful. Its energy is more yin and receptive, getting its way through suggestion and persuasion. There’s a good view of the year of the Rabbit here.

But for anything new to come first it’s a matter of clearing out the old. The Chinese tradition is to have a good clear-out and clean-up before the new year. Because if you do it after you’ll be sweeping all the benefits of the new energy out of the house. This is emphasised with the new moon at the very beginning of Aquarius with Pluto at the very end of Capricorn. Pluto’s job is to transform. Because the new energy can’t come in while the old is still clogging and cluttering things up.

statue of seated woman holding pot pouring water
Statue of Aztec woman by Donal Hord, San Diego, California

Paradoxically, Aquarius, the water carrier is an air sign and to do with ideas and thinking. It’s a sign that does not rely so much on received wisdom, rather it works things out from first principles. And when Saturn moves out of Aquarius into the compassionate sign of Pisces at the beginning of March, the brakes should be off Uranus’ drive to ‘make it new’. Plus, when Uranus moves direct the day after the new moon, all the planets will be in direct motion providing a window of opportunity until the end of April.

Just to mention that at the new moon Venus and Saturn are conjunct in the sign of Aquarius. This could be a test of loyalty in friendships. Venus’ in Aquarius is very open and accepting when it comes to values, very much live and let live, not too bothered by tradition. But Saturn sets a reality test. Is what you have in social relationships real? And if they’re real, do they support you?

Full Moon in Leo – 5 February

The full moon coincides with the pagan festival of Imbolc on February 2nd and the Christian festival of Candlemas. This festival falls on a cross-quarter day, halfway between the winter solstice and the spring equinox. In the Christian tradition Candlemas celebrates 40 days after the birth of Christ when Mary presented her son at the temple in Jerusalem and where she was purified. The candles of course represent Christ as the light of the world. This festival is celebrated in the Spanish speaking world as La Fiesta de la Candelaria with music and processions and of course the blessing of candles.

Then on the 12th of January, Mars turns direct again in Gemini. It’s been running retrograde since the end of October, suggesting that it’s only possible to make small steps forward. When it turns direct, it should allow things to pick up speed and that combined with Jupiter moving into Aries, it looks like a busy time coming. But as far as Mars is concerned, things won’t be completely freed up till March when Mars moves out of shadow of its retrograde period. See this site for more detail.

procession with statue of the virgin
Celebrating La Fiesta de la Candelaria in Peru

For the pagan community, Imbolc marked the beginning of spring. This was a time when folk would ask the goddess for blessings of protection for their homes and their livestock. It was also a time to visit sacred wells and streams with the intention of cleansing and purification, and a time for divination, a time to find out the fortune for the coming year. Later, with the Christianization of the Celtic lands, the goddess came to be identified with St Brigid.

News Flash! From 2023, Imbolc/St Brigid’s Day will be an annual public holiday in the Republic of Ireland.

But back to the full moon in Leo… Uranus in Taurus makes a hard angle to the sun and moon with the balance point of this configuration in the sign of Scorpio. Scorpio nature is not about balancing anything, and to balance the highly individualistic, unpredictable energy of Uranus is no simple matter.  So, not a time for not taking risks, particularly financial risks, nor for thoughts of blame and exacting revenge. Rather it is a time to stay focused on the light and to remember the positives in your life.

This is emphasised with Mercury the planet of mind and consciousness up close to Pluto the lord of the underworld. This suggests a time of inner exploration, a time to become conscious of and accept our dark side, what Jung would call the shadow. For if we can see and own this in ourselves, we do not project it onto others. Yes, Pluto working with Mercury gives an opportunity to go for the deep stuff.

The upside at this full moon is that Venus has moved into the compassionate sign of Pisces to join mystical Neptune. The message here is that compassion and forgiveness begin with being compassionate with yourself.

Go well and stay well


Key Dates this month:

18-JanMercury turns direct in Capricorn
20-JanSun enters Aquarius08:31
21-JanNew Moon in Aquarius – Year of Water Rabbit begins20:54
22-JanUranus turns direct in Taurus
Chinese celebrate New Year
02-FebChristians celebrate Candlemas
Wiccans and Pagans celebrate Imbolc
05-FebFull moon in Leo18:28
14-FebLovers celebrate St Valentine’s Day
18-FebSun enters Pisces22:35
20-FebNew moon in Pisces07:05

All Key Date times are GMT



Share it, mail it….

Skype or Zoom with Ben Belinsky

Recent Moonletters

Read more articles:

Your form submission was successful.

Thank you for your message to

If we can help we’ll reply as soon as we can