I know I am made from this earth, as my mother’s hands were made from this earth, as her dreams came from this earth and all that I know, I know in this earth, the body of the bird, this pen, this paper, these hands, this tongue speaking, all that I know speaks to me through this earth and I long to tell you, you who are earth too, and listen as we speak to each other of what we know: the light is in us.  ~ from Woman and Nature, Susan Griffin

Whenever Mercury is retrograde, we are invited to rethink, review, and reconsider. While Mercury in Aquarius turns direct on February 11, the effects of this retrograde cycle will be in play until March 3. So there’s still plenty of time to practice acceptance, forgiveness, and going with the flow. What do you know for sure? Is there anything we can know with certainty? I tend to agree with Susan Griffin that “all that I know, I know in this earth” – which is always changing, going from dark to light to dark, and back again.

Around this time of year, I am often reviewing and reconsidering my life as Brigid’s Day or Candlemas approaches. This day, often observed on February 2nd, is one of the sacred cross-quarter holidays in the Wheel of the Year, a time to honor our spiritual path and rededicate our lives to what or who we are here to serve. For the past few weeks, I’ve been enthusiastically and painfully reminded of one thing I am here to serve: civil rights for women around the world.

This year, the Super Bowl will be played on February 1st. One of the most watched television events every year, this year the NFL has decided to run a PSA for the first time ever addressing the issue of domestic violence. This may be a matter of cleaning up after the NFL’s horrific handling of domestic violence by league players, but that does not detract from the importance of the message.

Also on game day, activists are launching billboards on trucks throughout Arizona (the state hosting the game) with the words "55 Cases of Domestic Violence Unanswered,” referring to commissioner Roger Goodell’s mishandling of multiple domestic violence reports involving NFL players. Native American activists will be publicly protesting as well, calling for an end to racial slurs used as sports mascots (Redskins), and citing a link between these stereotypes and the disproportionate rate of domestic violence against Native American women.

By now you’re probably thinking, “Why is Rhea writing about this in an astrology report?”

The answer? Because I need to.

It’s time all of us address violence against women as a civil rights and human rights issue – and do what we can to spread the message that women deserve to be treated with respect. On February 14, the third annual One Billion Rising march will occur in cities throughout the world – performance, art shows, lectures, and more – with the intention to end violence against women and “show we are determined to create a new kind of consciousness – one where violence will be resisted until it is unthinkable.”

Perhaps the Full Moon in Leo will inspire your creativity to plan an event in your area. Invite some friends over to talk about what justice looks like for you, what healing looks like for your communities. Talk to your friends and family about the issue of violence against women. As we acknowledge our pain and past trauma, let us remember to invoke the vision that we hope for as well.

We are being challenged to move out of our trauma and into a place where we can take action for a more beautiful, connected future. Heading up to the final square between Uranus and Pluto on March 16, get clear about your priorities and the kind of world you want to participate in creating. The energy is strong in Pisces this month, and the tension between Neptune in Pisces and Saturn in Sagittarius is pulling on us to make our dreams into reality, to materialize the spiritual plane.

The medicine of a Leo Full Moon (February 3) is heart-centered. I know I’ve woven heavy information into this forecast. It’s heartbreaking stuff. But the human heart was made to break – and to open. Move the information into your heart and breathe. Breathe it out. Let it go. Let your heart remind you of the incredible gifts you have to share with others. How can you use these gifts to support a cause that matters to you? What ways do you imagine serving others playfully, joyfully, with child-like enthusiasm? We must bring fun and creativity into our world-making revolutions. We must dream up a world with more heart. So listen to yours. It is a radical act.