“Though my soul may set in darkness it will rise in perfect light / I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night.” – Sarah Williams, “The Old Astronomer”
“The paradox therefore reflects a higher level of intellect and, by not forcibly representing the unknowable as known, gives a more faithful picture of the real state of affairs.” – Carl Jung
Stars. They are born as dense clouds of gas in the quiet arms of spiral galaxies. As the cloud thickens, hydrogen atoms begin to fall toward its center. These atoms eventually create and sustain a chain reaction of nuclear explosions that cultivate an environment that can remain stable in its intensity for billions and billions of years. Eventually, the hydrogen within the star burns out, and the star collapses, or explodes, sending its hot particles out into the odd corners of the universe.
Such is the nature of the transition from Libra to Scorpio season, from the Scales of Justice to the Scorpion. We relinquish the exquisite balance Libra has taught us to execute so that we can revel in the entropic treasure-hunt of Scorpio’s waters. We begin to literally run out of light: long days make their exit and we welcome the arcane cloak of night as the grounds for self-exploration. Poise is foregone. The baser aspects of the human psyche will become our guides.
And yet, the New Moon in Libra that begins this lunation is the perfect preparation for the Sun’s ingress into Scorpio. The New Moon takes place in direct opposition to Uranus in Aries, so it supports us in establishing inner calm in the face chaos. If we make proper use of this New Moon, we will gain access to an unshakeable center of inner sanctity to prepare us for the Sun’s entry into Scorpio three days later, where we will walk among our shadows with no degree of separation. Our best option is to boldly press further into the intensity of the present moment while harboring peaceful acceptance of ambiguity.
Uranian themes figure largely into the lunar cycle, hurling bolts of lightning into the imaginal realm. Nothing is regular in the landscape. Exaggerated figures step silhouetted into a panoramic view. We sense much of what is present, but exactly the nature of the figures cannot be seen clearly. Are they phantoms, fiends, or friends here to show the way? We have to swallow our fear for much of the lunation and look these creatures in the face as the light crackles ephemerally through the dark sky.
Thursday, Oct. 19 | Trust In The Unexpected
New Moon in Libra | 26 degrees | 12.11pm
Moon opposite Uranus in Aries
Moon quincunx Chiron in Pisces
Stop. Breathe. As Emily Dickinson wrote, "Trust in the unexpected," the darkness of this vacated Moon. New Moon in Libra today comes in direct opposition to Uranus, the great Disruptor in the sky. While Libra likes to ground out and establish balance, Uranus is the harbinger of radical change and upheaval. This renegade planet rules electricity, and it promises metamorphosis in this lunation that may feel revelatory or disruptive, or both.
As the lunation opens, it delivers lightning bolts of clarification around themes of sovereignty and relationship. How do we relate authentically and compassionately? In this mix, it means breaking taboos both personal and collective, and going beyond our comfort zones. Be of service to your Self, and to the Selves of others.
So allow yourself to watch structures perish, and understand that underneath the surface, you carry something irrevocably peaceful. Meister Eckhart called this the “place in the soul that neither time nor space nor no created thing can touch.” By late Libra where the Sun and Moon embrace this month, we have learned to find this calm center in the eye of the storm. By now we know better than to make paltry requests of the world to pause itself or be polite for our sake. We are already masters of finding serenity as castles and mountains crumble and erect around us.
Luna also sends a quincunx to Chiron today, giving us just enough interest in the process of healing to look for those opportunities among the chaotic and the mundane. Drop in with whatever heals the soul in micro-doses. Listen to the music or watch the films that open your heart. Allow yourself to unfold naturally, without masks, as whoever needs to come forth.
Sunday, Oct. 22 | Strange Fruits of Esoteric Diplomacy
Mars ingress into Libra | 11:29am
Sun ingress into Scorpio | 10:27pm
Venus in Libra quincunx Neptune in Pisces | 11 degrees
The Sun enters Scorpio just after Mars, traditional ruler of Scorpio, ingresses into Libra, granting the intensity of Scorpio season at least one justice-oriented mouthpiece. Mars is, however, awkward in Libra, not necessarily ready to use the brute force he's known for in the midst of his attractive Libran company. From this airy, civilized arena, he would rather cast allegations and wheedle his enemies out in court than take them out with his natural talent, the swift kick in the pants.
This can be powerful medicine for a collective exhausted by the violence of its so-called leaders who “reject diplomacy” and by the onslaught of environmental ferocity as the earth shakes and rages. But we must be careful when reverting to systems of justice not to rely on outdated or corrupted regimens. We must take full responsibility for our methods of seeking peace. We cannot afford to sweep the reality of our motivations under the rug. So stay awake, and do not avert your eyes from the shadows. Therein lie the skeleton keys.
By the days’ end, Venus in Libra will be sending the ever-fascinating quincunx angle to Neptune in Pisces. Those who enjoy leaning into mystery are in luck, for this aspect brings a peculiar quest to understand the nature of the intoxication brought on by healing. We hunger for healing’s strange fruits, and crave some understanding. Venus’s cunning signals to Neptune will breathe strange riddles of esoteric Truths into Mars’ justice-seeking ears, and will remind us to think of this mysterious quest as we traverse the shadows cast by Scorpio Sun in the coming month.
Monday, Oct. 23: Quantum Woo
Mercury in Scorpio trine Neptune in Pisces | 11 degrees
Mercury has been in Scorpio since Tuesday morning. Mercury covers the functions of the mind, thus his jobs are many. As a Roman god, one of his tasks was to mark the boundaries between the upper and the under worlds. This is true of the evolutionary function of the mind: it helps us out with the odd chore of creating boundaries between what is “real” and what is “unreal.”
Why an odd chore? Because those lines we create are easily disproven: when it comes down to it, what humans perceive as “reality” is pretty much what is most palpably useful or threatening to us in this 3rd dimension. The trickiest thing about our minds is that they can get behind the irrational concept of mystery just as much as they can get behind the rational concept of reality. These two concepts are more like flipsides of the same coin than anything else, and this truth is extremely upsetting to the idea of a totally comprehensible, enlightenment-style order of the universe. Hence, paradox.
Mercury in Scorpio is not unlike Mercury retrograde, wherein the underworld or mystery dimension is the main context for mental function. However there is more navigational poise when Mercury travels direct in Scorpio. Here the fleet-footed god plunges our minds into the underbelly of reality, often called the “unreal,” and he comes back to shore offering information that will be rationally applicable to existence on the ground and in the day-to-day.
When Mercury trines Neptune from Scorpio, batten down the hatches. This is the stuff of quantum physics. Our minds are in full form to receive information that blows up the boundaries of what we consider real. As such, we want to be careful on this day of following shreds of information too far out in the deep end when we don’t have the full context or understand the details behind those the information. Recall the useful if snide words of RationalWiki: “Quantum woo is the justification of irrational beliefs by an obfuscatory reference to quantum physics.”
Tuesday, Oct. 24 | The Protracted Path of Healing
Saturn in Sagittarius square Rx Chiron in Pisces | 24 degrees
It takes discipline to heal. Nothing like Saturn square Chiron reminds us of this. This is a tough aspect that, due to retrogrades, colors the whole of 2017. We have been getting to know its message since the end of 2016, and it becomes exact again today, broadcasting sternly across the cosmos: if you think you can heal your karmic wounds simply by floating melancholy and wistful through the cosmic ocean, think again.
Healing takes not only pragmatism and endurance, but also the transcendental capacity to move beyond the worldly fluctuations to which our psyches fall prey. We must remember that while we may work steadfastly at our healing, the relief we feel when we have made a breakthrough in healing both appears and disappears.
As Ivy Compton-Burnett wrote, “Time is not a great healer. It is an indifferent and perfunctory one.” Time often feels circular, taking us back to places that feel all too familiar. We cannot let the transient nature of immediate relief crush our confidence in the process of healing. We must have faith in the slow, palliative accumulation of our efforts’ results. The square between Saturn and Chiron is the ultimate test of that. This is the calling to make directed use of the knowledge and experience you’ve gained from your pain and discomfort.
We must move forward steadfastly as with Father Time, maundering down the protracted path of healing at the rate of our own human experience. We encounter many baffling circumstances, and must integrate them, acknowledging our smallness with humility.
Thursday, Oct. 26 | Know Your Desire
Sun conjunct Jupiter in Scorpio | 3 degrees
This day marks the beginning of a Sun-Jupiter cycle that will last until they meet again in Sagittarius in about 13 months. From these early degrees of Scorpio, the Sun and Jupiter work their magic on opening up the secret strata of our desire natures. This is the crux of esoteric wisdom. Jupiter and the Sun meeting in Scorpio facilitates the space to dive courageously into one’s own particular patterning and one’s own desires, and from that first-hand experience, to unlock knowledge and powers that could never be unlocked through instruction alone.
While the Sun is the source of direct and obvious illumination, Jupiter is the planet that opens our consciousness up to extra-dimensional reality. When the two planets meet in Scorpio, the nature of our desires becomes extra visible, but it also shores up bits of wisdom that unlock sensations of greater, schematic connectivity. Throughout Jupiter’s 13-month term in the sign of the scorpion, the energy of this Sun-Jupiter conjunction will continue to radiate warmth, clarity, and devotional integrity to our year of expeditions through these Scorpionic enigmas.
Friday, Oct. 27 | Radical Frontiers
First Quarter Moon in Aquarius | 4 degrees | 3:22pm
Mercury in Scorpio sextile Pluto in Capricorn | 17 degrees
Venus in Libra square Pluto in Capricorn | 17 degrees
First Quarter Moon is a time to make commitments. In Aquarius, we’re talking lofty commitments. Commitments to the frontier. This is good stuff for the Uranian energies at play during this lunation, for as outdated structures are demolished, the Aquarian Moon feels into the new.
Do not forget to take your emotional well-being along for the ride as you plunge into novel philosophies. We must be tender with our hearts at this time. Venus in Libra squares Pluto, which makes us aware of the darker, karmic patterns that play out through relationships, especially ones that have been collectively inherited. We may see some seriously gnarly aspects of the self rear their heads as we relate to our kith and kin.
The Moon is also a little ungrounded in Aquarius, so be wary of insensitivity and condescension (from yourself and others). Luckily Mercury will be sending a gentle and exciting sextile to Pluto: this helps us get behind the galvanizing aspects of our shadows, and do the detective work it takes to shift and heal personal patterning.
Tuesday, Oct. 31 | Samhain
Venus in Libra sextile North Node in Leo and trine South Node in Aquarius | 21 degrees
Moon conjunct Chiron in Pisces | 24 degrees
The veils are at their thinnest. Not necessarily an astrological event, this day marks the “summer’s end.” This is the height of Scorpio season, the height of our access to the otherworlds and to messages from the dead. Ancestry, astral travel, past life investigations, you name it. This is the time.
The Moon is conjunct Chiron on this day, so it’s best to ask of these other realms for messages around healing. Remember that our ancestors’ wounds carry on in our body. When we do healing work for our ancestors, we do healing work for ourselves.
Venus is also in a gentle conversation with the lunar nodes, whispering poetry about the pleasures of karmic growth. Allow yourself some distanced but poignant awareness of the strange stories you’ve come to work out in this life.
Thursday, Nov. 2 | Improvisational Modes of Being
Sun in Scorpio trine Neptune in Pisces | 11 degrees | 11:30pm
Venus in Libra sextile Saturn in Sagittarius | 24 degrees
We’ve seen this fluid conversation between Neptune and a Scorpionic spelunker once before this month when Mercury spoke with Jupiter. Mercury, brilliant thinker, had a deep engaging chat with the expansive redeemer, hungrily seeking out the facts that would expose the limitlessness of the mind and soothe the pain of falsely fragmented conceptualizations of reality.
But now, as the Sun engages Neptune from Scorpio, we are not really searching for our minds to be blown. Rather we are opening up to modes of being that effectively integrate deepened and expanded knowing. Artists may be pirouetting with creative inspiration in the days surrounding these aspects. Allow yourself to find expression that illuminates greater, more holistic realities. Scorpio Sun pushes us to embrace the horizontal and the vertical, the chthonic and the ethereal.
As Venus in Libra sextiles Saturn in Sagittarius, we are also creatively friendly to experimenting with pre-existing forms. Take the metaphorical (or literal) sheet music off the shelf, and dip into it with improvisational momentum.
Friday, Nov. 3 | Celebration in the Caverns
Full Moon in Taurus | 11 degrees | 10:21pm
Moon sextiles Neptune in Pisces
Venus in Libra opposite Uranus in Aries | 25 degrees
Our yearly Taurus Full Moon always brings up the tension between the practice of living out a simple, righteous life here on Earth, and the Scorpio Sun’s demand that we dive into the abyssal caverns of human psychology. The paradox is that these two practices feed each other, but we must engage them both in a circumspect manner, not letting one take precedence over the other.
At the same time, this Full Moon is a time of celebrating what we have harvested from the seeds we planted in Taurus season and understanding that the growth cycle is now officially at rest until the next spring season. Along with Samhain, this Full Moon reminds us of the beauty of letting-go. The simplicity of the warm summer weather and its green pastures has left the northern side of the globe and we prepare for the work of maintaining our warmth and lifeblood throughout the dark season. This is a time to celebrate all that has been accomplished, and lay to rest further development. The waning half of the cycle has arrived, and this Full Moon allows us to feel it.
Venus in Libra opposes Uranus on this same day. Electricity straight to the heart. Surprises both amiable and abhorrent may knock on the door of your patterns in interrelating. Stay resilient, and be ready for revelations that mean serious restructuring.
Saturday, Nov. 4 | Stoking the Fires of Human Evolution
Saturn in Sagittarius trine Uranus in Aries | 25 degrees
Like the square between Saturn and Chiron, this aspect is a drawn-out conversation between two slow-moving bodies, and it has influenced all of 2017.
Saturn, Father Kronos, is a keeper of boundaries. Lover of institutions, intellectual structuring, and inherited forms, he marks out what is knowable in this 3D realm. He is separated from our revolutionary friend Uranus who takes us beyond what is known, by the asteroid belt that contains Chiron. Much has been written about the relationship among Saturn and Uranus, and the asteroid Chiron who bridges the gap between those two planets (see the work of Barbara Hand-Clow).
When Saturn and Uranus engage in this seamless trine from their respective fire signs, the conversation between them flows like hot magma, slowly, gradually opening us up to new, creative systems that stoke the fires of evolution. Because of the simultaneous square Saturn sends to Chiron, there is an emphasis on scheming for corrective, therapeutic institutions.
While many individuals may have been doing good personal work on growth and implementing structures that cultivate individuation and authenticity, this year has looked like anything but an positive restructuring for the collective. It has looked more like the exposure of outrageously inept structures. Such is the medicine. We must become aware of and dismantle what no longer works before we can rebuild. This aspect will continue to reveal its character as time moves on.
Sunday, Nov. 5 | The Philosopher's Stone
Mercury ingress into Sagittarius | 12:19pm
Fresh air. Mercury clambers out from the thorn-thick footpaths of Scorpio, and raises his eyes to the suddenly broad, clear horizon before him. Mercury enjoys exuberant Sagittarius. He is curious to learn new ways of thinking, and he is welcomed to speed through information and formulate lofty philosophies.
Sagittarius and Mercury share a love of information, but Sagittarius pushes Mercury past fact-finding and into the realm of ideology and schools of thought. We will want to take bigger-picture perspectives during Mercury’s peregrinations through Sagittarius. As we absorb fascinating new information, it is crucial that we ask ourselves “what does this illuminate?” Knowledge here is to be applied more than it is to be gratuitously consumed. Remember that in Sagittarius, Mercury seeks nothing less than the Philosopher's Stone.
As you seek out your philosophical elixirs, be sure to process your accomplishments wisely, for the Sagittarian field demands nuanced ethics. This landscape can tempt us to dive into blind optimism or inflated doctrines. Beware of lustrous objects whose sheen is but the result of shallow gilding.
Mercury will be in Sagittarius until January 10 due to a retrograde that begins December 3 This Retrograde phase will carry us through Winter Solstice.
Tuesday, Nov. 7 | Subterranean Lady of Love
Venus ingress into Scorpio | 4:39am
Soon after Mercury has left Scorpio, our Lady of Love steps into the grounds the god of reason has just vacated. Her transition from the decorated halls of Libra to the strange subterranean tunnels of Scorpio can be a hard one. In early Scorpio she suddenly realizes she is left with little but her desire, and if she is not careful, her desire can become a gnawing, fixating fuel to escape the dark.
As such we must be extremely mindful with our hearts as Aphrodite departs from her mythical keel and plunges beneath the surface of turbulent waters, still vulnerable to currents she knows not yet how to navigate.
And yet, curiosity is her strong point here. She wants to know, no matter how menacing the figures she will find. She can learn much about the depth and gnarled contours of her own inner reality, whether she already knows how to process that information or not. Go boldly. Seek truth, and embrace the intensity of the present moment, for the present is, in the end, all that we truly possess.
Thursday, Nov. 9 : Crucial Messages from the Indignant Suitor
Mars in Libra quincunx Neptune in Pisces | 11 degrees
Sun in Scorpio sextile Pluto in Capricorn | 17 degrees
Mars in Libra: awkward soldier in a suit. Today he, indignant warrior of self-differentiation, strikes up a self-conscious but flirtatious chinwag with Neptune in Pisces, the god of the sea who laughs at the idea of solids or the definition of a “self.” This chat is awkward for obvious reasons. To name a couple: the two planets can’t really see each other clearly from their quincunx, and the game is completely skewed. Neptune is majestic in its rulership in Pisces, and Mars is at his detriment in Libra. Neptune stands in glamorous robes, hardly ready to give this unwieldy suitor the time of day. Yet Neptune cannot deny value of the brusque comments this suitor utters.
Moreover, if redemptive Neptune refuses to see the integrity of Mars despite his cumbersome Libran suit, Mars may lose his temper and engage in some malignant subterfuge behind the curtains of polite society. Not a good situation.
So around this day, as this aspect builds, listen to your anger, to your indignation. What message does the fiery Martial planet have for the ridiculously graceful god of salvation, that side of yourself that scoffs at petty battles, yet knows that some battles must be undertaken to preserve peace?
On the same day, the Sun sextiles Pluto. The karmic enemies are visible, and we are ready to look at them with curiosity, morbid or righteous. The idea here is to gather information despite readiness to strike. Keep yourself at the pitch of preparation. These are not culmination aspects. If we are lucky they may gift us fervor for the spirit of inquiry.
Friday, Nov. 10 | Selfless Self-Expression
Last Quarter Moon in Leo | 18 degrees | 1:36pm
Moon conjunct North Node in Leo
Sun in Scorpio square the Lunar Nodes
This Last Quarter Moon takes place on Luna’s own North Node. The Dragon’s Head is a bit obsessive about evolution, and at the same time, the Sun squares the Lunar Nodes, creating an atmosphere of karmic inertia.
As Mars and Neptune’s quincunx has been teaching us, not all battles are worth our time. Here we need to look at the battles we pursue to preserve the ego. Moon in Leo will be reminding us how fun and flattering the construct of ‘identity’ is, but we cannot let ourselves be the puppets our own egos. For this is the Last Quarter Moon. Something must die in this battle, and if this is the case, we have to let it be the ego.
It won’t be easy. The center of our solar system, source of heat and growth, will be caught square between two sides of a high-tension paradox. How does one cultivate one’s own identity and simultaneously expand beyond it? How do we arrive at self-expression, but in such a way that we act in selflessness?
Moon on the North Node answers us: it is absolutely possible to celebrate your own authentic identity egolessly, and that is by honoring every other unique identity just as ardently. We may be called into spaces where we must celebrate Otherness that triggers us or boggles our minds. We must remember that when it feels impossible to tolerate or identify with an Otherness whose nature is unfathomable to one’s own, that is precisely when one must open the heart and love that Other. Allow yourself to adore something you’ve never understood. Allow yourself to have compassion for broken identities, and to celebrate the spirit beneath.
Monday, Nov. 13 | Emancipatory Desire
Venus conjunct Jupiter in Scorpio | 7 degrees
Mercury in Sagittarius square Neptune in Pisces | 11 degrees
Desire is big. Incomprehensibly big. If we let our feet leave the ground and our minds hungrily burrow into its temptingly warm tunnels, desire will render the mundane world around us truly desolate. But if we stay alert and grounded into the present moment in a concrete way, we can find measureless gratification in what offers itself before our very eyes and all around us. When we do this, we find that suddenly, the ongoing desire narratives which had driven entire, redemptive life philosophies, simply lose their power over us.
Venus meeting Jupiter in Scorpio and Mercury squaring Neptune presents us with this altercation between the mind and desire, but it also grants us the potency to come out of the altercation with emancipatory release. At best, we will begin to desire nothing but true emancipation.
With these aspects coloring this week and the weekend preceding it, we must keep proportion in check. Jupiter can blow Venus’s Scorpionic desires way out of proportion, or it can free her from her hunger to fulfill them. Jupiter may also hand this queen of love everything she’s ever wanted, but she must be wary, for the mind (Mercury) is at odds with spiritual integrity (Neptune) and may encourage her to numb herself with pleasures of the flesh. Stay on your toes this week, and be careful of the intoxication of fortunate windfalls.
Thursday, Nov. 16 | Gentle Dreams of Union
Venus in Scorpio trine Neptune in Pisces | 11 degrees
Mercury in Sagittarius sextile Mars in Libra | 15 degrees
In the words of Liz Greene, “The contacts of Neptune and Venus are the most romantic of aspects.” These two planets retrieve their bliss from union. There is untold potential for beauty in the fluid connection they establish today, and it goes beyond the verbal. This is the willingness to step into and altogether experience the Other.
There exists a strong mythology of alienation. We know the story: we seek union with the Other, but we are irrevocably trapped in our own experience. Not so when Venus and Neptune approach one another with the grace of extended empathy. We can understand that the same stuff that flows through “me” flows through “you.” Because Venus is in Scorpio, she is willing to see the more dubious aspects of the Other, and Neptune in Pisces takes her beyond perverse fascination. She is compassionate in her acceptance, agile in her sympathy. She is inclined to bear witness and soothe with her presence, and to bear her own truth in response.
Of course every act is a balancing one. If taken to its detriment, this aspect may beget serpentine wreathes of obliging gratification. Neptune and Venus in a watery, Scorpionic trine can create the atmosphere of floating away with your fantasies, lovers, or inner demons. The beast Projection roams the grounds. This is an inscrutably dreamy signature that requires some sober cognition.
Mercury in Sagittarius sextiling Mars in Libra is unlikely to grant us this sobriety. Such an aspect may add to the mix overblown suppositions dictating that we must fight for the sanctity of interrelation. Be careful of making commitments with less trustworthy associates on this day, for we are liable to dive too deep without having established a foundation with whatever object we have fixated our soul-yearning upon.
In the end, this energy can absolutely be managed well. If you have established trust with someone or something, allow yourself to explore freely. Just remember that while we desire soul-union, such a union is already in place merely through the phenomenon of our existence. Redundant efforts must be discarded as we walk our paths toward fulfillment.