"And still, no one can tell you what a girl is
"Maybe body? Maybe body with breath? And the body might, and the body might rise, in a plush green letter, and the breath before and the deaths before and after, in a lung in a leaf, and the leaf might rise, before the heart and kidney after, in an eye in a burl, and the eye, and the tongue, and the grizzle might rise on the forest floor and make, as only real blood and grizzle can, a mockery of empire" - Yedda Morrison, Girl Scout Nation
This lunation opens with a Stygian New Moon in Scorpio, yawning our Plutonian darkness before our very eyes. In these depths we encounter Desire and Fear, and let us understand the two as distinct. Desire is a primal, warm force that moves toward. Fear is a coldness; it moves away from. We have the choice of which to follow.
Scorpio Season has shown us the magnitude of inner shadows and indeed the cycle that begins tonight orients us from there. We start off in the "fixed" realm of deep Scorpionic entropy. With this New Moon we learn acceptance of things just the way they are.
However this lunation takes us into Sagittarius Season, where we will raise our eyes to horizons beyond the inner realm, and embrace philosophies that facilitate expression in the outer world. The lunar phases following the New, namely the First Quarter, Full, and Waning Quarter, all take place in "mutable" signs: Pisces, Gemini, and Virgo respectively. The lessons they teach us are how to steer ourselves from the stillness of acceptance, into the more adaptable modes required when we encounter successively exteriorized, literal realms. We go from parsing through the requirements of our inner landscapes, to the stories we tell ourselves as we extend into our social frameworks, to the care we can take of our own bodies and of others'.
Chaos and order coexist. If we hope to go forth with integrity, we have no choice but to contain the multitudes. The attempt to create meticulous empire from within the bountiful chaos of our inner realms is laughable. And yet to approach the outer world in a healthy and grounded manner, we must develop some tactics and approach the complex matrix of ourselves –and others– with circumspect attention.
Saturday, Nov. 18 | Desire, Crown of Thorns
New Moon in Scorpio | 26 degrees | 3.41am
Mars in Libra square Pluto in Capricorn | 17 degrees
Scorpio season has revealed much yet, and finally offers us its Dark Moon tonight. This late Scorpio Moon takes us beyond personal successes and turmoil, and into the impersonal, factual territory of desire itself.
The void of this New Moon refuses to reflect to you what you think you want. What it will do is turn your eye inward so you can see some truth from within yourself. The truth that arises, of course, is about precisely what you have defended yourself from desiring, knowingly or not. We have to renounce the fights we have put up to shield our eyes from our own souls.
This Scorpio Moon wants to strip us bear, to reveal all. It wants to access the truth of what we actually desire deeply, whether we “believe” we can have it or not. This is the strange sensation of being one with our desire, both the object and the actor of it.
Defenses die here in the face of desire. It is a primal reality, something that we break down in the face of, or that we make our way through, battered but born anew. It is our crown of thorns, betraying the cataclysmic humility of our souls. A simultaneously motivating and destructive force, like Kali herself, desire is redemptive. Do we accept its reality? For if it wants to take us anywhere, it is toward redemption.
Scorpio’s two rulers, Mars and Pluto, will be meeting in exact square later in the day, so sensations of helplessness in the face of desire may come across strong. We’ll want to be careful of impurities, and how we base decisions upon them. With two malefics in such a hard aspect, insecurities and fears are bound to rear their reptilian heads, so be aware of both the energy you project outward and the compulsive defenses you raise. You may catch yourself drawing daggers only to find that it is helpless children who have cast meaningless insults.
At the same time, this New Moon semi-sextiles Saturn. This aspect helps us taste the discipline it takes to hold tender space for ourselves in the midst of such humblingly strong forces that arise from within.
Tuesday, Nov. 21 | Beyond Monsters and Mages
Sun ingress into Sagittarius | 7:05pm
Any time a planet crosses from Scorpio into Sagittarius, there is a breath of cool fresh air and an “aha, light!” sensation courses through our consciousness. It is as though we rediscover fire after the floodgates of the dark season have let fly the storms. Sun in Sagittarius marks the atmospheric shift from Samhain, festival of darkness, to Yule, when the imagination begins to turn to the next cycle of fertility. We gain optimism here, and the Sun’s stay in the sign of the archer welcomes solar magic. Allow enthusiasm to lead the way into unexplored territory.
Train your vision on personal life philosophies as well. With all the excavation and the first-hand experience we’ve gained from encountering our inner monsters and mages during Scorpio season, we are ready to begin formulating some theories and laying ground rules for how we want to lean into the coming year.
Wednesday, Nov. 22 | Numbing or Knowing
Neptune in Pisces stations direct | 6:20am | 11 degrees
Neptune in Pisces has opened up a collective fascination with spiritual growth. Thanks much to the Aquarian Age phenomena of the Internet and social media, mindfulness practices are receiving unprecedented popular attention.
For this we can thank Neptune, planet of redemptive spiritual awareness, in Pisces, the sign of consciousness itself. But with Neptune Retrograde since June, we've also seen its Piscean shadows of numbing out or losing oneself to the fog that rolls in over the tides of emotion.
Since June, North America has experienced many strange events, the significance of which can be overwhelming to consider. Astronomical phenomena like the Solar Eclipse crossed the continent, but so did radical social crises, senseless massacres, and the revelation of pervasive sexual abuse. Ecological disasters like statewide fires, earthquakes, and super storms have also ravaged the collective sense of stability, not to mention the impact of political catastrophes such as the reawakening fear of nuclear war. This Neptune Retrograde has been disconcertingly taxing on the spirit, and many individuals have found themselves ungrounded and awash in empathic overload, not to mention mind-numbing fear. Dissociation is a natural response.
So as Neptune the redeemer stations direct, there is a real opportunity for some of this fog to clear from the collective awareness and embrace our deeper knowing. If we harness it, we will have a much more directed capacity to craft powerful and constructive responses to these crises.
Jupiter in Scorpio is also making its way into a harmonious with Neptune at this time, and this could go a few ways. We may be more clearly able to see our shadows and have compassionate, redemptive relationship with them, or we could become ever-more delusional about our shadows and wield them the easy way, like weapons. Of course, only individuals can make this decision. Here there is no hoping, only the shouldering of personal responsibility on the part of every unit of the collective.
Sunday, Nov. 26 | Pacifist Battles
First Quarter Moon in Pisces | 4 degrees | 9:01am
Venus in Scorpio trine Chiron in Pisces | 24 degrees
Mars in Libra opposite Eris in Aries | 22 degrees
Now for a space to plant the seeds of dreams. Luna takes her exalted course through Pisces, asking us to render our relationship with consciousness as purely as we can. Humans have a particularly special role here: we epitomize the process of integrating emotion with the universal neutrality of consciousness. Being itself cares not for the swing of the pendulum. Chaos reigns and takes us in its fearsome grip, but we must reconcile this with the cool reality of awareness. First Quarter Moon in Pisces reminds us not to be distracted by the squabble of “meaning.” She presents us instead with the predicament of reaching the peace of Being. Do you take her dare or no?
We find a watery trine between Venus in Scorpio and Chiron in Pisces today as well, which creates an atmosphere of acceptance for the strange and the morbid. This day is also witness to the opposition of Mars in Libra to his warrior sister, the asteroid Eris. We are going to have to look at our conniving resistance to open battle with our own demons.
Just as the Bhagavad Gita begins with the god Krishna persuading the warrior Arjuna to go into an apocalyptic battle against his friends and family but can be read as a spiritual primer to pacifism, we must understand that if we don’t do battle with our own fearful demons, we will never achieve true compassion. What are you willing to battle in order to reach higher spiritual grounds? Take this day to open up spiritual and emotional projects that attune the nervous system to greater peace. Plant those seeds, and defend them from the shadows with all your might. Whatever lifeblood of yours it takes, make sure they get their rays of light.
Friday, Dec. 1 | Love of Wisdom, Love of the Unknown
Venus ingress into Sagittarius | 1:14am
Uranus in Aries semi-sextile Chiron in Pisces | 24 degrees
Venus makes her entry into the sign of the archer in the wee hours of this first day of December. Venus is smart here, wiser for her Scorpionic experiences, and ready to generate spaciousness in how she relates to desire. The final degrees of Scorpio prepped her to release expectation and frame her desire as something greater than a means to an end. It is an end in itself, a sacred motivator to be wielded as she pleases.
So now, having fearlessly faced the reality of her own interior, this queen of connection is ready to utilize her connective prowess for the classic Sagittarian “higher good.” This is philosophical love, the philo (“love”) of sophia (“wisdom”). When Venus embarks into these wisdom-loving plains, we begin to open up to truly embracing the less expected forms of healing through relationship. It is easier here to shed old patterns and truly re-pattern through the new. Wherever you once thought love should show itself, look elsewhere, into the unknown.
Sunday, Dec. 3 | Structural Review: Making Way for Tales of Compassion
Full Moon in Gemini | 11 degrees | 8:47am
Mercury stations retrograde in Sagittarius | 29 degrees | 12:34am
Stories. Gemini loves them. No zone of the zodiac is so hungry for information. This Full Moon will have our minds humming with impressive and fantastical facts, striving to string them together into some coherent form.
Form will play a large part, as it usually does in the crafting of stories. About 8 hours before the Full Moon, Mercury stations direct just one degree away from Saturn. This retrograde is therefore a time for structural review. How do we tell ourselves stories? Are our stories told as mechanisms for defending ourselves from looking into our own truths, or are they told in such a way that opens our hearts to healing and seeking inner harmony and vulnerability with others?
When Mercury stations retrograde, the mind must become friendly to unusual modes of operation. These conditions are suitable for revising mental patterns to make way for greater freedom of expression. We are lucky that this Mercury’s retrograde takes place around the Full Moon: the themes of this retrograde (which lasts until December 22) therefore include telling healthy stories that allow us to embody the full range of emotional expression.
Moreover, this Full Moon squares Neptune in Pisces, so spiritual evolution is knocking at the door. No stories but those that render us more open to transformation will be allowed past these gates, and the hard aspect between Moon and Neptune suggests that differentiating between regressive and progressive stories will demand losses. Some old stories must dissolve in order for new ones to rise to the surface.
Quincunx Jupiter also sends the message to the Moon that though we may not see the path forward to new more wholesome stories, we must have faith and fascination with the process of spiritual growth.
Tuesday, Dec. 5 | The Body Electric
Chiron station direct | 24 degrees | 1:47am
Mercury Rx conjunct Saturn in Sagittarius | 28 degrees
Chiron stations direct at 24 degrees of Pisces today while in exact semi-sextile with Uranus. Healing fully is a matter of allowing. As living organisms, we interact with a greater system of Being over which we have no control. Our best bet for moving beyond the sensation of fragmentation is allowing this greater system of existence to flow through us. The relationship Chiron is working out with Uranus through this semi-sextile is about tapping into the electric flow of energy through our bodies.
Mercury is conjunct Saturn today. Saturn is the planet that rules our bodies as they relate to time and all that it imposes upon us, including the poignant process of demise and decay. We can choose to fear the effects of this process or we can welcome its epiphanies to transform us. Specifically, we can access this process mentally today. Allow your mind to wrap around biological realities and to love them as lessons.
The hereditary conditions of life and death are a source of great fear for many. And yet, if we allow our minds to expand beyond the compulsive fear of death, there is much beauty in this operation. Death is transmutation. It is our connection to the transpersonal. This is the poetic irony of a life where consciousness exits its vessel to enter the unknown. It takes enormous mastery to face the entire process unflinchingly. Today, we have access to the taste of this poise.
Saturday, Dec. 9 | The Warrior Feral Again
Mars ingress into Scorpio | 12:59am
Sun in Sagittarius semi-sextile Pluto | 18 degrees
Mars enter Scorpio. He comes home. Libra had him aggressively petitioning for justice, but in Scorpio, he sheds the suit and goes feral into the woods. With so many planetary bodies now in elegant Sagittarius, Mars becomes our comely warrior, doing the thing he does best: hunting for resources and refining his tactics of war.
Sun in Sagittarius semi-sextiles Pluto today as well, so the role of the hero who boldly plunges into the shadows is back up. We have already seen our tender underbelly Venus through this dark terrain, and as she travelled Scorpio grounds, our tender yin energies were exposed to our myriad atrocious demons. We learned the lessons of vulnerability and caring for ourselves in our lowest states.
With this practice under our belts, Mars and Sun can go forth in activating these underworld energies with heat and compassion. This begins a period of proactive engagement, boldly pursuing whatever endeavors our tenderness has called for.
Sunday, Dec. 10 | Ritual Liberation
Last Quarter Moon in Virgo | 18 degrees | 12:51am
Mercury Rx in Sagittarius square Chiron in Pisces | 24 degrees
Venus in Sagittarius square Neptune in Pisces | 11 degrees
The Last Quarter Moon is a square aspect between Sun and Moon, so it is a matter of efforting toward release. Moon in Virgo reminds us that organization can benefit the process of letting-go. Ritual liberation is the secret. No need to throw oneself carelessly into the chaos. Rather, let us welcome chaos in a methodical manner, in reasonable doses.
Waning squares populate this Moon’s sky: Venus and Retrograde Mercury in Sagittarius square Neptune and Chiron in Pisces, respectively. Effort indeed. If we truly want to complete growth cycles that have been taking place throughout 2017, we need to begin planning the final stages now. What practical steps can you take to efficiently release outdated modes of thinking and of inter-relating? Does this mean distancing yourself from relationships that hold you back from fully trusting yourself? Does this mean cutting habits that compromise your health?
For Virgo rules health. Self-care is always an important aspect of healing, but so is diminishing self-sabotage. Where do you jeopardize the harmonious functioning of body and mind? Take some time to really look at your behavior and take responsibility for it. What have you been bandaging so as to avoid your own truth? Analyze what you find, and orient yourself toward making amends, with tender gratitude even for the crutches that have brought you this far.
Let's also remember that Virgo likes to be as down to earth and useful as possible. Keep yourself oriented in the wisdom that maintaining your own health allows you to get clear on what you offer to the collective.
Tuesday, Dec. 12 | The Mind in the Heart of the Sun
Mercury Cazimi in Sagittarius | 21 degrees | 5:49pm
Mercury Cazimi is a moment of clarity in the midst of retrograde murk. The message of Mercury Retrograde usually feels conspicuous at this time, so refer back to themes that were up as Mercury stationed retrograde. Remember he did so during the Full Moon in Gemini that squared Neptune. Check in with how fully you embody emotional expression, and how willing you are to release stories that inhibit spiritual expansion.
Around this day, Venus will be making aspects to Jupiter and to the lunar Nodes, so relationship themes are up. Look honestly into what motivates you in relationship. Check in with your intentions in love, and workshop ideas for getting into better alignment. This is, after all, Mercury in Sagittarius, where he is the avid savant. Wisdom is the endpoint here, so even if you don’t find yourself in perfect alignment with your intentions, gather your awareness and allow it to bear its fruits over time.
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