Anyone who consumes media these days is constantly bombarded with images and dog whistle words that incite intense reactivity: the “Film at 11!” teasers for the nightly the news and any manner of click-bait on the internet and social media feeds that suck us in with hyperbole and the promise of something outrageous or shocking that will make us feel like we’ve just had a three-espresso morning. The fast-paced media of today is driving our sensibilities right off the cliff when it comes to the U.S. election, for example, and we seem to willingly go along, and not just in the U.S. Many international eyes are watching in manipulated fear as the media we watch presents indelible pictures of the worst that can happen. But what is all this really “doing” to us personally? How is it materially affecting our lives? Can we take a step back and start to inquire what it is we are really seeing, feeling, experiencing? If anything, it would be great if the over-amplification of our fears created a movement for us to actually question them. Over the next two weeks, the planetary activity is supportive of this process, although it may feel like swimming against the strong media current. Mercury, Venus and Mars all changes signs to give us different ways to perceive, relate and act. The energetic vibration of Neptune is also quite powerful throughout this period, representing a quiet inner call to pay attention to a different paradigm of imagery that evokes love rather than fear.
Another outer planet encounter also supports a new way of being. On November 7th, the Sun in Scorpio moves into a sextile formation with Pluto in Capricorn. This may correlate to a renewed sense of power to take on the challenge of confronting anything that is false. The Sun plugging into Scorpio’s ruler can correlate into increased vitality and passion, as well as an extrasensory attunement with how others work, what motivates them, and what holds them back. The influence of this supportive sextile could open the door for an intense experience of other that, even if it lasts just a moment, could move us into a more authentic way of operating in the relationship.
The first planetary sign shift occurs late in the evening of November 8th when Mars leaves methodical Capricorn for inventive Aquarius. Veering off the straight and wide highway to find all the quirky alternative routes, the Mars in Aquarius influence may find our drive and initiative more motivated by a cause for the good of humanity than simply the orderly functioning of the system in which it operates. Mars in Aquarius represents a fierce desire to be independent of societal codes of conduct and the courage to be an outlier able to act in visionary ways that move society into the future. Mars traversing this paradoxical air sign through December 18th may correlate to a heightened call to participate in group activities or some manner of collective humanitarian endeavor.
Just a few days after Mars leaves Capricorn, Venus re-awakens the essence of this practical, constructive sign when she enters it on November 11th, this time with the focus on art and relationships rather than self-determination. Segueing from adventurous Sagittarius to conforming Capricorn, Venus here also represents an archetypal value shift from wanderlust to settling down for the purpose of constructing a presence with others that is as reliable as it is traditional. In Capricorn until December 7th, Venus’s vibrational influence here emphasizes relationships that have an invincible sense of integrity. “Tried and true” takes on a deep spiritual significance when the falseness of superficial relating is stripped away and the heart within feels it has a protective environment in which to express. As a caveat to all this stability, Venus is “out of bounds” until December 3rd. Astronomically that means the planet is at a declination beyond the limits of the Sun (between the tropics of Cancer and Capricorn). Astrologically, it means the energies of Venus are beyond the boundaries of a Sun-centric approach to operating and therefore correlate to behavior that exceeds the expectations of rule set of relating, in any direction.
Reigniting the freedom loving Sagittarian influence, Mercury enters this fiery, adventurous sign only 10 hours after Venus vacates it. On November 12th, the planet of communication leaves the intense emotional waters of Scorpio and esoterically launches us on a three-week journey that correlates to an emphasis on seeking meaning in life through knowledge gained as much through books as it is from expanding on an experiential level through encounters with all things new. The Mercury in Sagittarius influence may correlate to enthusiastically expressed big ideas that abstractly convey broad organizing principles for society, such as religious philosophies. What is needed for them to become viable rather than dogmatic is an effort to take into account the need of individuals to express without limitation.
The Full Moon on November 14th brings to a head the deep visionary theme of this lunar cycle that commenced with the Scorpio New Moon on October 30th. The New Moon’s tight trine to Neptune correlated to a vibrational infusion of heightened sensitivity to unseen forces. As the lunar cycle progressed we may have had glimpses of what needs to be purged in our lives in order to clear a path for our soul’s purpose to emerge. As the Moon, now in Taurus, opposes the Sun in Scorpio, the seemingly polarizing archetypes of peace and power, passion and placidity are heightened. The pull is even greater than usual for this particular Taurus Full Moon because it is a Super Moon appearing 14% larger and 30% brighter due to its unusual proximity to earth. The annual face off between the Sun and Moon in determined fixed signs presents a highly emotionally charged opportunity for us to find the balanced still point between material comfort and psychological obsession. In that still point we may experience truly powerful peace within.
On November 15th, Mercury in Sagittarius forms a sextile to Mars in Aquarius, stimulating a pro-active approach to communications and mindful approach to self-assertion. In fire and air signs, this planetary pair may correlate to inspirational thinking that comes and goes quickly so it may be helpful to take notes before any brilliant ideas disappear from the mind’s eye. Archetypally, the force attributed to the Mars archetype aligning with the synaptic capabilities under the rule of Mercury can energize any interaction with a competitive need to act using sharp-witted decisiveness as the strategy of choice. As this influence has a tendency to come on strong, it is advisable to put attention to recognizing how others are receiving the message. If our intent is to connect then effort is must be made to convey the message that we are all on the same team.
The cosmos offers up a potent, mystical quality to the tone of communications and relating November 18th and 19th when both Mercury and Venus form aspects to Neptune as it turns direct at 9° Pisces, the sign it rules. Retrograde since June 13th, Neptune esoterically provides an essential yet subtle undercurrent of compassion that is easily ignored if a strong ego blocks it. Access to the gift of Neptune requires a willingness to allow the ego to dissolve so we can experience a connection with cosmic or divine love. Mercury’s square to Neptune creates an opening to access areas of perception that are beyond reason. If followed rather than fought – the choice always with a square – our consciousness can slip outside rigid ego structures and bend the reality of the mind into a new way of perceiving. The sextile between Venus and Neptune inspires us to experience love and beauty in diverse forms. This planetary pair represents a highly creative force that can also be romantically idealistic so attention must be paid to be discerning about the space other is in. The challenge – and the opportunity – that occurs when the personal planets meet the transpersonal ones, is to be open to a transcendent way of being. “I regard Neptune as the call to an inner process,” writes Jim Sher’s in his recent article on Neptune. It urges us, he writes, “to view what is happening to us as part of an underlying ‘Unity’ that is always connected to others and with the multi-verse itself.” Neptune’s domain is that of dissolving boundaries, and the most important one is the boundary between mind and spirit. In order to focus on that we must answer Neptune’s call “to observe from a more impartial place that honors all of our experience while seeking some kind of ‘higher’ understanding.” This is Neptune’s call to Love, “to deeply feel and to receive the new, ever creative Life energy that can now arise from the deepest part of our Soul,” says Jim. “Gurdjieff would have called this ‘creating our Soul.’ Whatever one may call it, Neptune asks us to hear the call to being full participants in the entire reality in which we live.”
Here’s the data (using Pacific Time and planetary positions rounded to the nearest whole degree, unless otherwise noted):
November 7 – Sun sextile Pluto at 15° Scorpio/Sagittarius at 12:22 a.m.
November 8 – Mars at 0° Aquarius at 9:52 p.m.
November 11 – Venus at 0° Capricorn at 8:55 p.m.
November 12 – Mercury at 0° Sagittarius at 6:40 a.m.
November 14 – Moon opposite Sun at 23° Taurus/Scorpio at 5:52 a.m.
November 15 – Mercury sextile Mars at 5° Sagittarius/Aquarius at 9:23 a.m.
November 18 – Mercury square Neptune at 9° Sagittarius/Pisces at 8:04 a.m.
November 19 – Venus sextile Neptune at 9° Capricorn/Pisces at 3:04 p.m.
November 19 – Neptune station direct at 9° Pisces at 8:39 p.m.