As violent and tragic world events shake us to our core, we are faced with real questions about who we are as human beings, what we stand for, and how we relate to each other. We’re deeply rattled and yet are being asked by the cosmos to wake up to a grander purpose for our life that serves humanity in some small, humble way. While Paris, Mali, Lebanon, Iraq and other sites of recent major attacks may be far away from our own backyard, they strike us nonetheless, causing collective psychic pain as we witness the bodily harm or death of others experienced in those arenas. Pain is a very useful tool. It tells us something is wrong. If we’re feeling pain about something going on in our life or in the world, that’s a clue that we need to make a change, and that creates a dynamic opening to consciously take responsibility for how we perceive things and activate shift generating choices. The indifferent evolutionary process requires us to be awakened during times like these in order to mobilize us to take leaps in growth. While we may disagree on what direction that growth will take, we must accept it. By the time we’re done with this particular paradigm shifting point in the cycle of life, we’ll look back and see just how much we’ve changed in a multitude of ways, all based on our individual and collective choices. This is a moment of truth for all of us. The opportunity to make positive choices is just as available as the temptation to make negative ones. Do we recoil in fear and remain imprisoned in our own ignorance or choose love and open our hearts to freedom from fear? During this time period, the waxing square between Saturn in Sagittarius and Neptune in Pisces will become exact. Intensifying over this past year, literally and figuratively representing a breakdown of boundaries, this aspect’s big day marks the culmination of a cycle that deals with our perception of reality and illusion, fear and compassion. Ultimately it may teach us how to transcend our fear-based limitations that accept pitiless violence as a means of problem solving and see the purpose in opening our consciousness to the vastness, power and enchantment of the omniscient Love that connects us all.
It is natural that our philosophical nature is activated as the calendar year reaches a close and we pause to look at the meaning of what we’ve accomplished over this past annual cycle. It is also quite fitting astrologically as this contemplation correlates to the Sun entering the sign of the Philosopher, Sagittarius, which occurs on November 22nd. The big questions are asked, the ones that are at least slightly over our head, but reach we must for answers, as far out into the Cosmos as possible. Wide panoramas are the Sun’s strong suit here and he actively pursues the adventure of discovery, joyfully exploring the unfamiliar in order to have a consciousness expanding experience. That is paramount to him and he will insist on unfettered freedom to take advantage of the unlimited opportunities life has to offer. Ultimately, however, he will need to decide what is most important to him and learn that he must linger long enough in one place to have a more fulfilling connection not only with that place, but with the people he encounters there. Jupiter, the planet of visionary expansion, rules this fire sign known for humor, positive outlook, being direct, and also opinionated. Ironically, the Sun in Sagittarius can too quickly dismiss the point of view of others even as he yearns to touch their uniqueness so that he may expand his toolkit of answers to “Who am I?” and “Why am I here?” According to Jim Sher, the danger here is that “the Sagittarian type can be jovial, optimistic and expansive, but that often masks a strong drive toward the achievement of social, religious or managerial results at the expense of personal and human values. We see this when laws institutionalizing prejudice are allowed to stand. And again it is seen when a religious leader trying to ‘save souls’ pushes destructive agendas that harm individuals. Inquisitions, purges, crusades, etc., are examples of this. The only thing that can prevent this from happening for a person or society is the return to where we started, the adoption of true comradeship. This must be the ground of the Sagittarian nature, asking us to connect with others as part of our spiritual Path and to experience that it is the Divine singing at the core of human relationships.”
In the midst of a transfiguring experience in relationships, Venus in Libra completes her translation of the oft discussed and integrally disruptive Uranus/Pluto square on November 23rd when she opposes progressive Uranus in fiery Aries. Having squared Pluto on November 20th (see last AstroCast), her integrity is now on the line and she may suddenly make a break from anything or anyone she sees impugning it. Uranus is the Awakener and when Venus encounters him she can no longer abide by a status quo that inhibits growth. Nor can she ignore her creative potential. Pluto touched her very soul; Uranus will now blast the box of her mind wide open to see new ways of expressing through art and relating with others in ways that celebrate the integral interplay between the individual and society. Go Bohemian and ride the edge of creativity.
The main energetic focus of this period unfolds November 23rd through 29th with a complex five-planet configuration prominently featuring the square between Saturn and Neptune. Joining this relatively subtle yet dynamic outer planet aspect is the Sun and Mercury conjunct Saturn in visionary Sagittarius. The whole bundle squares cosmic Neptune in Pisces and sextiles action-oriented Mars in Libra. The faster moving inner planets take turns traversing the positions occupied by Saturn and Neptune, thus giving a more personal channel through which we can access their cosmic message. Mercury becomes the vocalizer; Mars the mover. The Sun brings it home to our heart and what we will into being through intention. With the filter of Sagittarius dominant, meaning and purpose will be high priorities. Saturn teaches us the value of structure and continuity; Neptune guides us through mystical realms that can be reached by a consciousness that transcends material reality. As we tune into the Saturn/Neptune harmonic on all levels through our mind (Mercury), heart (Sun) and body (Mars) we may overcome our tendency to reject Neptunian dreams as foolish and negate Saturn’s imperative for discipline as oppressive. We may clearly see our dreams not only as valid but necessary, and then be sufficiently inspired to give form to them by making the step-by-step effort required – it may simply begin with adopting the discipline of meditation that will help us connect our reality to our dreams. Neptune is the Imagineer and Saturn the Builder. The friction generated by their tense angular relationship may provoke us to recognize our internal blocks against the archetypes highlighted here, and then begin to dissolve them so we can move forward to create our own magical and enduring Dream Factory.
At the midpoint of this multi-planetary alignment, the Full Moon in Gemini on November 25th incorporates its message into the culmination of her monthly cycle that began with the New Moon in Scorpio a couple of weeks ago. At that time she asked us to look at our fear of letting go of the past. With the Moon now in Gemini opposing the Sun in Sagittarius she has moved out of the watery emotional depths of Scorpio and can process the psychic information she gleaned there through the intellectual and inspirational filters of the air and fire signs. The Moon in Gemini seeks to collect data from a multitude of sources. Not content to keep it all to herself, she acts like a bee pollinating her flowering connections with an informative bounty. It is not her job to connect the dots as much as it is to fill each dot up with enough information to create a critical mass for enlightening synthesis to occur. It is the job of the Sun in Sagittarius to pull away far enough from each dot to see the patterns they create and find meaning in them. The Moon in Gemini provides the words; the Sun in Sagittarius tells the story. Their annual face off highlights the limitation inherent in looking at limitless amounts of data alone without any unifying perspective to reveal its significance. It also exposes the danger in having only far reaching theories without sufficient information to back them up. The Full Moon forming a stressful T-square with Neptune in Pisces and the Sun, Mercury and Saturn in Sagittarius asks us to have a reality check of our belief systems to see if they are aligned with cosmic truth. Are we united with or separated from the evolutionary goals of the larger consciousness system? The Moon in Gemini gives us the tools we need to figure this out – plenty of feedback from our environment and the people in it. The Full Moon also trines Mars in Virgo, giving us the drive we need to look at all the details and use them to paint the big picture.
December 1st through the 4th, Mercury in Sagittarius’ penchant for speaking his own brand of truth may become radicalized with a bigger-is-better confidence as he wings his way from a trine with firebrand Uranus in Aries to a square with expectant Jupiter in Virgo. The Mercury/Uranus planetary pair meets in the outposts of the thought where inventive ideas push the boundaries of manifest reality. The flowing trine between them makes brilliance accessible to anyone looking for it, if they can manage to quiet the surface mental chatter long enough to catch the lightening strike. Mercury/Jupiter in a tense square may be prone to exaggeration and excessive talking but nonetheless is able to grasp abstract concepts and translate them into inspirational messages. Mercury tapping into Uranus and Jupiter in the wake of the Saturn/Neptune square should generate original and uplifting conversations that may spark a shift in how we perceive our multi-dimensional, multi-player reality game of life.
Connections with the other players in our life could become more intense when Venus enters Scorpio on December 4th. In the raw and instinctual underground world of Pluto’s home domain, Venus may feel uncomfortable expressing in her traditionally refined way. Instead, she may have to take her lily-white gloves off to the sounds of a sultry saxophone and explore where her true passion lies. Venus’ naturally gentile nature must withstand the probing she will experience here to see what is beneath her superficial beauty and grace. The power of her love does not need to be dressed up, made up, or otherwise layered with polish in order to shine with authenticity. In Scorpio through December 29th, Venus will take no prisoners as she seeks profound intimacy in her interactions with others. Those who flee her embrace lack the commitment to participate in the transformative experience of love.
Here’s the data (using Pacific Time and planetary positions rounded to the nearest whole degree, unless otherwise noted):
November 22nd – Sun at 0° Sagittarius at 7:26 a.m.
November 23rd – Venus opposite Uranus at 17° Libra/Aries at 2:13 p.m.
November 23rd – Mars sextile Saturn at 7° Libra/Sagittarius at 9:19 p.m.
November 24th – Mercury conjunct Saturn 7° Sagittarius at 8:57 p.m.
November 24th – Mercury square Neptune at 7° Sagittarius/Pisces at 11:15 p.m.
November 25th – Mercury sextile Mars at 8° Libra/Sagittarius at 8:32 a.m.
November 25th – Moon opposite Sun (Full Moon) at 3° Gemini/Sagittarius at 2:44 p.m.
November 26th – Saturn square Neptune at 7° Sagittarius/Pisces at 4:18 a.m.
November 29th – Sun square Neptune at 7° Sagittarius/Pisces at 6:50 a.m.
November 29th – Sun conjunct Saturn at 8° Sagittarius at 4:16 p.m.
December 1st – Mercury trine Uranus at 17° Sagittarius/Aries at 6:00 a.m.
December 4th – Mercury square Jupiter at 21° Sagittarius/Virgo at 4:52 a.m.
December 4th – Venus at 0° Scorpio at 8:15 p.m.