**Times where noted are Pacific Daylight Time; degrees where noted are rounded to the nearest whole degree.
After traveling roto-rooter style through Scorpio this past month, plumbing the depths of our soul for buried treasure and, as in the case of the Petraeus affair, revealing a terrific scandal, the Sun puts away the snake on November 21st and picks up his knapsack to wander the heavens in search of understanding. Sagittarius’ adventurous contemplations are focused on transforming the unfamiliar to the familiar. He expands his awareness with every new experience, which can’t be had from an armchair or a joystick. He grooves on actually going out, the farther the better, into a completely new environment or situation where he tunes in using all his his human faculties – physical, mental, emotional, intuitive – for a holistic view, adding notes to his philosophical diary along the way. Sagittarius is great at bringing broad panoramas into our field of vision and recounting tales of faraway lands that uplift, enlighten and bring us joy. The freedom to explore is also vastly important to this fire sign and he will always venture off with great optimism and gusto. That innocent enthusiasm, however, can lead to colossal misadventures if left unbridled by good common sense about life, love and the pursuit of happiness that comes from an adequate assimilation of his experiences. As if to highlight the need for practical awareness, the Sun squares Neptune at 0 degrees Pisces shortly after he enters Sagittarius, challenging him to confront his vision of The Great Adventure and ensure an underlying spiritual purpose is the compass guiding him into uncharted territory.
Also on November 21st, Venus leaves behind her home sign of Libra where she lavished us with her social graces, beauty and artistic creations. She seductively takes off her white gloves, and perhaps a few other things, as she enters the lair of Scorpio. Relationships shift from accommodating to penetrating. Venus in Scorpio will want to know everything, no matter how intimate, and she will intensely and passionately pursue the opportunity to love and be loved because she knows deep down that experience will transform her. While the urge to merge is strong and sex the likely activity on everyone’s mind, true love is not experienced through desire alone. It requires a deep commitment to Other, which in the power of its intent overcomes the distrust and fear that inevitably arises as we face the exposure of our very soul.
Neptune, who has been keeping the 0 degree gate in Pisces, has influenced the planetary atmosphere with an undercurrent of integration over the past couple of months. Having conversed with Mercury, Saturn, Mars and the Sun as they changed signs, on November 22nd the great unconditional lover of our solar system gives Venus her turn at dialoging with her higher octave. One of Neptune’s primary archetypal functions is to dissolve boundaries by removing limited identifications. Venus entering into a harmonious trine with this energy should translate into a brief window of time where sensitivity in relationships is enhanced and diplomatic breakthroughs between nations are possible. Divine romance is definitely in the air but the preferred benefit of this heavenly pair may ultimately give way to unexpected results due to strong crosscurrents from other planetary aspects.
The period between November 23rd and November 28th could be particularly volatile as a number of strong planetary movements unfold. Mars at 5 degrees Capricorn kicks it off on November 23rd with a bang when he squares Uranus at 5 degrees Aries and thus begins an activation of the ongoing square between Uranus and Pluto that peaks when Mars conjuncts Pluto on November 27th at 8 degrees Capricorn. These planets in play represent the will to self assert, the need to individuate and a raw power greater than a ton of C-4, the sum of which equals the potential for a grand combustion. The last time we saw them get together was last summer and our nation collectively experienced a mass shooting at a movie theatre in Colorado. Mars was in Libra then and it was symbolically a war between individuals. Now Mars is in Capricorn and we’re already seeing a ramp up in hostilities at the institutional level, particularly between Israel and the Palestinians. While the probability of a major disruption, personal or global, is high during this time, there are other planetary factors that could mitigate the possibility that the war will escalate further.
Mars sextiles Chiron at 5 degrees Pisces and Saturn at 6 degrees Scorpio between November 23rd and 24th, with Saturn and Chiron being within 1 degree of an exact trine to each other so very much in effect. This is a smart, supportive configuration that will offer a bridge to a higher level of consciousness where hot button issues of freedom and identity can be dealt with from a new perspective. Mars and Saturn are in mutual reception, meaning they are each in signs ruled by each other, which strengthens their affinity. They march as one in pursuit of getting at the root of the problem (Scorpio) and creating a framework from which it can be solved (Capricorn). Mars provides the will, Saturn the discipline to make this happen. What Chiron brings to the table is the bridge that takes us from the perpetual seesaw of dualism (good-bad, right-wrong, us vs. them) to a deeper knowledge of self in relation to everything else. From this new vantage point beyond the “normal” machinations of the human life on Earth we can see the inter-connectedness of all things and leave behind the programming that insists we’re separate and apart from each other.
Conceivably we’ll get a flash of that new reality when the Sun at 5 degrees Sagittarius trines Uranus at 5 degrees Aries. When this planetary pair aligns in a harmonious way we can see the brilliance of our uniqueness while also celebrating it in others, and do so with a sense of detachment unthreatened by a way of being that may be very different from our own. Maybe clarity will come when Mercury stations direct at 18 degrees Scorpio bringing to sharp focus his persuasive reasoning powers. And finally on November 26th there is a feasible chance we’ll see the benefit of a making the extra effort required to maintain an enduring relationship when Venus conjuncts Saturn at 6 degrees Scorpio, no matter how hard it is or how tough the choices. And that is what it all is really about. The aspects themselves are neutral. They provide the energy for something to happen in a particular way within a certain field of activity as represented by the archetypes of the planets, signs and angular relationships involved, without any interest in how it actually manifests. It is how we individually and collectively choose to use that energy – consciously or not – that makes us regress, progress or stagnate, and accordingly create our next set of lessons.
Stagnate may not be on the menu as we encounter an inertia busting Lunar Eclipse at dawn on November 28th. Adding significant weight to this extra powerful Full Moon, every planet except Mercury is within 0 to 12 degrees of their respective signs and is thus activated by the eclipse, but particularly Neptune and Chiron at 0 and 5 degrees Pisces respectively, creating a 4 planet T-square to the Sun at 7 degrees Sagittarius and the Moon at 7 degrees Gemini. This eclipse thus has the effect of bringing into one vortex all the aspects described in this article. What a set up! Those of us with planets between 5 and 9 degrees of the mutable signs (Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, Pisces) should feel it the most. Connectedness is the theme and at the core it is about how we achieve it. Sagittarius is interested in broad systems where close relationships are not as important as the distant ones that force us to reach out to them. Gemini is interested in bits of data. The more a subject is broken down into individual parts the more opportunities there are to see the many sinews that connect them. One sees the forest and one sees each tree. We need both perspectives and as with all Full Moons it is our mission to embrace each opposite in order to allow mutual understanding and respect for the differing methodologies in the gathering and assimilation of knowledge. For keys to what this lunar eclipse may mean for us personally, we would do well to pay attention to any old memories that may arise or deep emotions that may be revealed which are linked to how we approached the learning and codifying of our environment.
The theme of expansion information gathering is accentuated on December 2nd when the Sun at 11 degrees Sagittarius opposes Jupiter at 11 degrees Gemini. Being in close proximity to the Moon, Jupiter’s effect was amped up by the eclipse. Being the ruler of Sagittarius gives his sway over the Sun even greater emphasis. Faith, optimism and confidence are Jupiter’s best tools for continually forging ahead in the pursuit of awareness. The potential for excess and exaggeration is great when the quest is not guided by a practical hand. In their face-off, Jupiter and the Sun each have a mirror to see in the other that which they are unable to see in themselves, which can lead to grand expectations and restlessness – both Sagittarius and Gemini tend to keep moving once they’ve exhausted the potential of an experience. If we have the courage to embrace a little reality along the path, and take time to linger, we may have a deeper experience of the joy of living.