**Degrees where noted are rounded to the nearest whole degree.
Venus is so over serious Scorpio. Without so much as a wayward glance back, she leaps onto the Sagittarius Express the morning of October 7th, leaving behind her baggage of intensity for a more lighthearted, boundless exploration of love and relationships. She relishes her new found freedom to experience all things foreign – in people, places and the realm of ideas. In Sagittarius’ world, Venus will encounter abundant opportunities as she journeys into the unfamiliar, adding to her wealth of knowledge and awareness. As long as she remains unrestricted in her quest, and therefore not feel bogged down in the tired ruts of relating, she will express her joy and enthusiasm to all she meets. Venus sets an optimistic tone in our dealings with others while she travels through Sagittarius until November 5th. We would do well to hop on her gain train and acknowledge the boons rather than the busts of experience as we traverse the rugged astral terrain of our times.
Since Mercury entered Scorpio on September 29th he came under the influence of Saturn, who entered this secretive sign almost exactly a year ago on October 5, 2012. Due to Mercury’s imminent retrograde (more on this below), his perception and communication will be intensely infused over the next couple of months with Saturn’s ordered logic and demand for accountability. Mercury meets up with Saturn at 11 degrees Scorpio on October 8th, then again while retrograde on October 29th at 13 degrees and finally on November 25th at 17 degrees. Basically, there is no getting around the imperative to apply our minds in right and correct ways during Mercury’s extended submersion in the transforming energy of this sign. Secrecy has its place, but if employed to avoid taking responsibility for our actions, watch out. Mercury entered Scorpio on the same day as Saturn last year, poignantly foreshadowing the importance of understanding just how much our perception matters during Saturn’s two and a half year sojourn here. The lessons we will learn about power and control in life and death matters have everything to do with our attitudes about them. Fast forward to the present, the planet of communication enters into a deeply committed working relationship with the planet of responsibility to become his voice of authority. Adding even greater weight to this configuration is Scorpio’s ruling planet, Pluto, which is in Capricorn, the sign Saturn rules. Saturn and Pluto’s “mutual reception” in a long-term cooperative sextile relationshp makes them very strong partners emphasizing power and structure, but also a low tolerance for dysfuntion. Together they will inevitably, and perhaps very publically, rout the rot and/or generally assess a severe liability tax on secrets revealed to be not in the good of all concerned. They also bring the power to make fundamental changes in our lives and in the lives of others. The question is, what do we bring to the boardroom, the bedroom or the family kitchen table? Are we being authentic or fearful in our dealings with others, our use of resources and especially with ourselves? Superficial answers will be utterly insufficient as we are being asked foremost to get real.
Wandering Venus encounters idealistic Neptune on October 10th in a challenging square aspect at 3 degrees Sagittarius/Pisces that may show us a mirror of our reality. Archetypally in this relationship, Venus is the hopeless romantic, perennially seeking the experience of true love, but finding only disappointment as lover after lover fails to meet her unrealistically high standards. Venus’ vision of the sublime heart may be wisely channeled through the arts and social graces, but what magical Neptune, so strong in the sign he rules, is really asking her to do is to tune into omniscient compassion. As the commander of the non-physical realms, Neptune reminds Venus that quintessential unconditional love must first be found within to see it in the face of the beloved. Once she realizes the divine romance is at the very core of her being, where fantasy gives way to the simple reality of just being present, Venus will have discovered the key to dissolving dissillusionment.
On October 12th, the Sun in Libra, the only astral body in an intellectual air sign, squares Jupiter in emotional Cancer at the 20 degree mark. These two heavyweights of our solar system joining forces could play out on Earth as an irresistible force of nature. When will and faith are joined together in pursuit of a goal the outcome may seem preordained. The friction of the square promotes action and all will follow. The hazard in this, and it is a big one, is to have a firm grasp on reality. Over confidence in self or others without the foundation of skills, plans and alliances to back it up could lead to the perception of unreliability when it counts the most. Our Big Plan could lead everyone involved right off the cliff. While the Sun in Libra/Jupiter in Cancer alliance endows us with a natural sense of generosity coming from an urge to expand, it also challenges us to remain aware of where to safely to give to others with abandon.
Mars dethrones himself from Leo on October 15th for a more humble, service-oriented way of asserting himself in Virgo. Mars’ actions here take on a high sense of precision born of a militaristic methodology. With energetic attention to detail, Mars in Virgo is driven to achieve perfection and may go so far as to bluntly demand it in others, making him prone to dissatisfaction and hyper criticism. This may have its practical applications should he be preparing troops for war but it is not exactly helpful in the lovemaking department. In order to attune his strong desire for purity and come to accept where he and those in his life are, kinks and all, he needs a sense of purpose. A true soldier subjugates his ego-driven perfectionism in the service of something greater than himself and finds comfort in knowing he truly is doing the best he can (which is usually top drawer anyway). Then he can relax and let his sexy uniform do all the work.
To help loosen things us, Venus engages Uranus in a trine at 10 degrees Sagittarius/Aries on October 16th. Sparks are sure to fly with the two fire signs involved, and not just between lovers. What may be ignited is a sudden urge to be free to express who we really are and to love everyone for the unique qualities they embody. Judgement has no place under the influence of this bohemian, freedom-loving signature. It could lead to a whole new way of looking at others, or innovative artistic endeavors. Hitch a ride on this energetic impulse to see the beauty in everything.
New Moon and Full Moon events have a way of galvanizing all the planetary aspects into one multifaceted spark that generates some kind of movement here on Earth. It could ignite psycho/spiritual metamorphoses, or socio/political/ecological/economic restructuring. New Moon and Full Moon Eclipses occur in sets twice a year when the Sun and Moon are aligned with the Earth. They are super charged events encrypted with the power to uninstall old mental software and make room for new operating systems updated to push evolutionary forces forward. The Full Moon Eclipse that occurs on October 18th at 4:38 p.m. is not your ordinary self-sufficient, action-oriented Moon in Aries vs. cooperative, socially-oriented Sun in Libra situation. At 26 degrees of their respective cardinal signs, the feminine and masculine luminaries face off to highlight the polarization between the need to be free and independent and the will to consider all individuals wired into the network of society, but the eclipse effect may temporarily demagnetize the poles long enough so we can respond to the pressure to integrate the two sides. Figuring significantly in this eclipse’s program is the ongoing Uranus/Pluto square, which is quickly tightening into its next exact aspect on November 1st. Just reading the headlines presents a clear picture that planet Earth and all its inhabitants are feeling the squeeze of this vice grip. What is being forged is the power to change, but with that comes an obligation to learn how to control power from its source and the mind-boggling amount of resources it holds under its sway. This is a lunar eclipse, which focuses attention on the unconscious and all that is bottled up inside. Pluto and Uranus have the potential to contribute surprise revelations of secret power broking – deals we’ve made with our own inner demons as well as behind-closed-door covenants cast between the rich and mighty. This is no time to avoid dealing with real issues by creating diversions via fabricated stress situations or just pretending we don’t realize what we’re doing. Resistance is futile. Those of us – individuals and organizations alike – unwilling to change into higher functioning participants of this earth life will feel the most pain as the pressure for evolution slowly flows over us like hot lava. Not only do we need to take the heat, we need to embrace the calling with the Phoenix as our avatar.
Encoded in the Eclipse download is a Mars/Neptune opposition at 3 degrees Virgo/Pisces, which becomes exact less than a day later on October 19th. This is the mark of the Dream Warrior who has the ability to slay dragons in non-physical realms. When those dragons symbolically manifest in our reality by the way of the fights we choose to fight at home, in the office or on the public stage, we must be very clear on what exactly we are fighting for. Otherwise, just as happens in the dream state, we may fiercely struggle to move, but are paralyzed by an unseen force. That force will sit on us until we are solid in our purpose, which can then translate into physical action. If we acknowledge rather than dismiss the behind-the-curtain influence, we’ll be given access to inspired ways of asserting ourselves. The otherworldly energy of Neptune strategically softens earthy Mars in Virgo’s blunt directness with compassionate release. While our movements under the authority of Mars in Virgo are highly refined for maximum efficiency, Neptune in Pisces adds the magical element of finesse.
With Mercury having slowed to a crawl by the time of the Eclipse, his string of downloaded code, instilled with Saturn’s clout, reverberates throughout his retrograde period, which begins at 3:29 a.m. on October 21st at 18 degrees Scorpio (only 0°22’ from his eclipse point). Appearing to move backward from the point of view of the earth, this third Mercury retrograde of the year in a water sign sets us up to conduct deep level reconnaissance into just how our emotional intelligence works. Hidden sabotaging thoughts may be revealed and put up for scrutiny. With all this deep diving into our psychological depths, we could easily become morose. The key is to maintain compassionate neutrality as we discover some awful truths about ourselves. But just because it is in our head doesn’t mean it is who we are. The awful part is when we think it is. Identifying with our thoughts – those “entities” that swirl all around us relentlessly looking for an unwitting partner to latch onto and operate through – can make us crazy at worst, or unaware at best. This retrograde period, which lasts until November 10th, is sure to generate a few breakdowns. The beauty to behold in that is from breakdowns, comes breakthroughs.