Low-Down Archives for October 2011

New Moon in Libra, Full Moon in Aries

Sep.27 – NEW MOON in LIBRA (04:00 of Libra)

NEW MOON in LIBRA

Ottawa, Canada and
Washington DC, USA:

Sep.27, 2011, 7:08 AM EDT

London, UK:

Sep.27, 2011, 12:08 PM BST

Sydney, AU:

Sep.27, 2011, 9:08 PM AEST

"What's a New Moon?"

Read more about the Sun-Moon cycles.

Read more about how you experience LIBRA energy in your life.

The New Moon in Libra is a harlequin juggling scorpions and knives.

Both of these can be deadly when mishandled. Both of these can also be healing and beneficial when used with skill.

Which will it be? Decisions, decisions...

Libra rules juggling and jugglers – the art of keeping multiple objects in motion. Although Mercury might come to mind more readily for juggling (the jester or trickster), it's also associated with Venus and Libra. It's all in the balance.

We tend to think of balance as being about finding the still point between two things, and that is certainly one type. But balance can be a state of perpetual motion too. Anything that is self-sustaining could be viewed as a kind of balance.

Walking is achieved by keeping the body in a state of perpetual imbalance, but through repetitive counteracting movement, that imbalance becomes balance in motion. A swinging pendulum beautifully illustrates the equilibrium that can be achieved by moving to one extreme, then the other, until finally gravity brings it to stillness in between those extremes.

So even imbalance can be used to achieve balance. Libra knows this well. When something is out of balance, only by applying disruptive actions (which challenge the state of imbalance) can it be moved into a state of balance.

Uranus knows this too. Whereas Libra applies these principles to interactions and relationships, Uranus applies them to groups. When society has become imbalanced and no longer serves the needs of its members – all of its members – it becomes necessary to challenge the Establishment that maintains and benefits from that imbalance.

As we come up to the New Moon, there has been a momentous grassroots example of this unfolding in the US. Called Occupy Wall Street, this movement seeks to challenge what is viewed as an imbalance of power between the financial Powers That Be and the masses. The marches and occupation, and the police's heavy handed reactions, have been virtually ignored by the mainstream media, who are assumed to be pressured into silence by the very people being protested against. (Watch live streaming video of this event.)

The New Moon chart reflects perfectly the dynamics of this protest. The Sun and Moon conjoined (0°) by Mercury, squared (90°) by domineering Pluto and opposed (180°) by revolutionary Uranus. Welcome back to the Cardinal Cross!

The Sun-Moon-Mercury conjunction is the harlequin juggler who is trying valiantly to achieve and/or maintain a state of balance. Like the Mercury trickster, this collective has a bag of impressive tricks to coax the energies into alignment.

The problem is that Uranus opposes them, bringing enormous instability to that alignment effort. "No more status quo!" shouts Uranus in Aries. "The way things have been is no longer tolerable and must be changed!" Any attempts to restore the previous balance are challenged by Uranus, whose energy wants to turn the spark of revolution into a roaring fire of change.

At best, Uranus seeks to disrupt the existing balance in order to achieve a new, better balance. At worst, it could deteriorate any situation into chaos which creates more damage than liberation. Wielding Uranus-in-Aries energy is like juggling with knives – as long as you're in control of what's happening, you are capable of sculpting change with powerful precision, but one bad move could turn an art form into a bloody mess.

Pluto in Capricorn wants to control what that balance will look like and how it is achieved. No media coverage, in our example, means those in authority (be they the police or the Wall Street pundits) can manipulate the situation from behind a shroud of secrecy. That's the sinister side of Pluto, where power is used to maintain control over hidden agendas.

Pluto ultimately seeks to transform whatever it touches for the purpose of healing and reconciling the outer circumstances with the inner reality (and vice versa). Playing with Pluto is like juggling scorpions – you'd better be extremely careful or you could easily get stung.

Scorpion venom is intriguing stuff. Did you know it can give you a euphoric high, and that some people actually PAY to be stung by scorpions for this purpose? You can't make this stuff up!

Contrary to its deadly reputation, death from a scorpion sting is surprisingly rare. In fact, only a small percentage of scorpion species have venom that is dangerous to humans, and more-so for children than adults. The more toxic variety can have some pretty intense symptoms. However, there are also potential medicinal uses for scorpion venom, including treatment for brain cancer, autoimmune diseases and pain.

Astrologically, Pluto at its worst can rip away security and safety, plunging you into serious danger if you're not careful, but at its best it can facilitate a rebirth in which you reinvent yourself from the inside out. In the Occupy Wall Street scenario, Pluto could see the financial aristocracy exerting stranglehold control over its activities and authority, or it could bring a gritty transformation of the economic system that flushes out a lot of the corruption and reckless practices that have been commonplace in the corporate world.

The Sun and Mercury reach exact conjunction on Sep.28, and they are also in exact square aspect (90°) to Pluto on the same day. It could make for a rather intense day! On the other hand, it could also be an opportunity to carve out a deeper awareness and understanding of the problems that need to be dealt with and the solutions that need to be put into place.

In the New Moon chart, Venus is coming up to a conjunction with Saturn (exact on Sep.29/30). With Venus strongly placed in Libra as its planetary ruler, and Saturn exalted in Libra, the results of this conjunction could be remarkable. The results are likely to be very positive, including manifesting the rebalancing efforts currently taking place (both on Wall Street and in our personal lives). Decisions could be made that are lasting and realistic. Relationships could be blessed with a loving commitment.

However, with 5 planets currently in Libra, this Stellium could potentially reinforce the less attractive qualities of Libra, including indecisive inertia and confusing stalemate with stability. Inertia and stalemate are forms of balance too, but they are lifeless, superficial versions of the organic, responsive balance that comes from actually dealing with the conflicting forces. Relationships that have been struggling for a long time might come to a final conclusion, and although this is likely to be a positive closure in the long run, it might not feel like it at the time.

T-square and Wedge aspect figures

Mars in Leo forms a Wedge aspect figure to the opposition between Uranus and Sun-Moon-Mercury, in trine (120°) to the former and sextile (60°) to the latter. Positive action motivated by heartfelt passion and dedication can have positive effects on the need to implement change.

However, there are two possible risks, emphasized by Mars being in square (90°) aspect to Jupiter and quincunx (150°) to Pluto. One is taking any action, just for the sake of doing anything rather than nothing. The other is getting stuck in a rut of doing the same thing over and over – it's not working, but it makes you feel better doing it anyway, which is most likely a waste of energy. The Mars-Pluto connection could also put the greater consequences of your actions in your blind spot, so that you don't see them coming until they're right in your lap.

Some questions for you at the Libra New Moon: What needs to be rebalanced in your life? What part of your life is out of whack and needs to be disrupted to shock it out of its stalemate? A little chaos and upset could be a good thing. Also important: What is already working in a healthy balance in your life? This can be used to help you bring balance and functionality to the parts that are still a work in progress.

Libra works best with a partner. Find a buddy who's working on similar issues who can provide feedback, insight and a reality check. A personal reading can also do this for you, so contact me for more information about getting an astrological realignment.

Sep.28 – Sun square Pluto (04:55 of Libra/Capricorn)  (This is a Cardinal Cross aspect.)

This can be a challenging time, when your sense of purpose, identity and direction may feel blocked, overpowered or regulated by forces beyond your control. You may find yourself confronted by difficult situations or people, requiring that you rally an unusually strong show of power to keep from feeling powerless or overwhelmed. The trick is to center yourself in empowerment rather than simple power – that means your power comes from within yourself rather than from controlling people and situations outside of yourself. You might find yourself involved in power struggles or abandonment, either in the present or stirred up from the past. You might be forced to let go of your attachment to something or someone due to circumstances beyond your control. However, this can also be a time when you reach inside yourself and find you have more strength than you thought you did. Adversity may inspire new assertiveness and purpose in you – empowerment born of conflict and struggle.

Sep.28 – Mercury square Pluto (04:55 of Libra/Capricorn)  (Sep.29 in AU)  (This is a Cardinal Cross aspect.)

You are faced now with a challenge to empower your communication and perceptions, although this may not come easily. It could involve having to face some rather difficult truths that might be a bit disturbing or hard to accept. However in doing so, you gain a deeper understanding and acceptance of yourself, your situation and your role within it. Obsessive or persistent thoughts that are morbid or paranoid are possible, which could be helped by finding something more positive to focus on or a creative outlet. Communication (from others or yourself or both) could be intense, intimidating or even downright damaging, since it may be tempting to get caught up in power struggles and domination. But communication can also be used now to heal, by cutting through hypocrisy and insincerity in order to reach a deeper authenticity and truth – like lancing a boil so that healing can take place.

Sep.28 – Sun conjunct Mercury (05:21 of Libra)  (Sep.29 in AU)  (This is a Cardinal Cross aspect.)

During this transit, your sense of self and purpose can become merged with what you think, perceive and say. On one hand, this can make for an easy flow of ideas and communication from inside your brain to the external world. It can also increase your perceptions and observations of the world, as you file it all away in your internal database. On the other hand, you may find yourself a bit tongue-tied, as it could be hard to separate your sense of self from your perceptions and ideas enough to find the words to adequately express them. In that case, just observe and go with the flow; the words will come later. It can also be a time when it's not easy to be objective, especially about yourself and how you bring yourself to the world around you. It's like your Being automatically expresses and sets into motion the things you think, perceive and want to say. This can help you to feel like your sense of self is shining effortlessly, but if your thoughts and perceptions are in conflict with other parts of you (e.g., emotions, needs, objectivity) then it might become a time when you act a little too quickly with blinders on. Strive for balance and self-honesty before you act.

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Sep.29 – Mercury sextile Mars (06:11 of Libra/Leo)

There is a potential now to find the courage to speak your mind and say what needs to be said, if you focus consciously on doing so. In fact, your ideas and words may come so quickly and easily that it's hard to stop them from tumbling out of your mouth before you've had a chance to evaluate the best way to say them. Communication is probably easiest and most effective when it's direct, concise and quick, although it might also be a bit blunt or pointed. If you need to confront someone about a difficult situation, this transit can provide courage and clear words to help you do that – although perhaps a bit too forceful when a more delicate, sensitive touch is called for. It is a time when you might find the nerve to take risks, or to defend yourself if the need arises (especially verbally). This is a good transit for creative problem solving and trying on decisions to see if they fit.

Even though Mercury is long gone out of the Shadow, this is actually the third of 3 passes that Mercury makes to sextile Mars: Jul.11, Aug.04 and Sep.29.

Sep.29 – Venus conjunct Saturn (18:29 of Libra)  (Sep.30 in UK, AU)

The serious structure and responsibility of Saturn combines with the desire for pleasure, beauty and material abundance in Venus. This can be a good time to make concrete plans about financial matters (e.g., investments, budgeting, purchases, etc.), although this will work best if you do some serious research first, rather than simply going for whatever seems to "feel good." This is a time to begin a process of commitment, whether that involves developing your resources to achieve a certain goal, or negotiating the terms of a relationship or partnership. However, in order to clear the way for new commitments to flourish down the road, sometimes old commitments must be brought to a close first. So this may also be a time when previous involvements or plans may come to an end, especially if they no longer fulfil your needs or lack enough potential to reach your desired goals. In a similar way, you might find yourself blocked from being able to move forward in the areas of relationships, finances or pleasures. These areas may require some reworking or reconsideration before you're ready to proceed.

This conjunction is taking place in Libra, which Venus rules and in which Saturn is exalted. That makes this a very powerful combination! This could be an especially auspicious time to make a commitment in a relationship or partnership—but it's important that you've already thought it through carefully, not deciding on the spur of the moment. On the other hand, there's a possibility that you might find it difficult to make a decision about something like this, since weighing the pros and cons could just get you stuck in indecision. It could be a great time to take your artistic, creative and rebalancing ideas and put them into action or manifest them into a concrete form.

Sep.30 – Sun sextile Mars (06:46 of Libra/Leo)

You have power, energy, motivation and enthusiasm to fuel your ambitions now! The catch is you will need to reach for it; it won't simply "come to you." Reach into your past experience and reach forward toward your vision of what you want. This will help to guide your actions and focus your assertive energy in the direction you want to go. This is a good time to make progress toward a goal. Or, you might want to take steps to leave behind inhibitions that have held you back. This transit can also make you more apt to take risks and find the courage to do things you might not otherwise do. Your tolerance for obstacles may be shortened, and making it easy to assume the only way through them is by using direct force. This may or may not be wise, depending on how extreme you want to take it, so use your good judgment and don't throw away your diplomacy.

Oct.02 – Daylight Savings Time begins (Sydney, AU)

If you are in the Southern Hemisphere and your area observes Daylight Savings Time, you might be turning the clocks one hour forward today. Check to see if this affects you.

Oct.03 – Mars square Jupiter (08:30 of Leo/Taurus)

Under this transit your energy is more accessible, but this could be more problematic than helpful. On one hand, you have more enthusiasm and motivation available to take bold steps toward your goals. However, you might be forced to do this out of a sense of moral coercion, rather than freely choosing it. Or, your actions could be triggered by exasperated impulse more than by a sense of what is right for that moment. Impulses are likely to become easily amplified, but also more difficult to control. This includes anger, sexuality, aggression and assertiveness. Confidence could come across as arrogance. Courage might become reckless or brazen. If you find it difficult to bring out these qualities in yourself, they may come spurting out in a way that might be frightening or intimidating. But once your energy has emerged, you are in a better position to learn how to harness it, use it, work with it and summon it at will.

Oct.06 – Mercury conjunct Saturn (19:20 of Libra)  (Oct.07 in AU)

It's time to take a serious look at the circumstances and situations in your life. This transit may not exactly be "party time" but it's a great transit to have when you need to take a dispassionate, objective, clear view of life. You may be called upon to make a decision about something. For example, you might need to commit yourself to a particular plan of action, or start developing plans toward a particular goal. In either case, it may be necessary to limit or let go of other options. You might come to the conclusion that something has run its course and it's time to leave it behind – like an opinion or project or mindset. It's a time when your perception, thoughts and words may not be exciting, imaginative or entertaining, but you're probably more able to be clear, grounded decisive and hard working.

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Oct.07 – Venus trine Neptune (28:25 of Libra/Aquarius)  (Oct.08 in UK, AU)

This can be a time of romance, creativity, and a sense of oneness with the natural beauty of all that exists in the world. On a social or intimate level, things may run smoothly – even a bit magically! So be sure you are clear about what you really want. In terms of finances and material worth, this can be a time of blessings and abundance that could seem to appear out of nowhere. But be careful – it can also be a time of overspending and wondering where the money went! Your natural beauty and warmth shines through now, so it is a good time to peek out from behind any façade of glamour or illusion you might be cloaked in. You are likely to see the very best in others (and they in you), so that negotiation, interaction and attraction can seem to flow effortlessly. This magical attraction energy could also open you up to seeing wonderful qualities in others that may or may not actually be there, so do a reality check with a trusted friend before you make any important choices.

Oct.09 – Venus enters Scorpio (until Nov.02)

Venus is the planet of relationships, interaction, beauty, pleasure and material resources. She struts through Scorpio with attitude! As a result, we may experience sensuality, sexuality and intimacy in a more intense, in-your-face kind of way. You might feel the need to establish a better balance of power with others that is pleasant and even-handed on the surface but also deals with the more gritty or intense energy that tends to lurk under the surface. It may be easier to attract what (or who) you want now, by focusing your intent and interest on the object of your affection and desire. However, there can also be a danger of becoming manipulative, controlling or devious to get what you want. Strive to become centred in your deepest heart's desire through steadfast self-honesty. Aim to avoid becoming obsessed with power, wealth or lust so that you lose sight of your true light inside. This is a good transit to take joy in your instinctive nature.

Oct.09 – Venus trine Chiron (01:08 of Scorpio/Pisces)  (Oct.10 in UK, AU)

Healing and rebalancing are possible now, especially in the areas of relationships, finance, resources and values. Any problems that have persisted in these areas lately could benefit from an influx of helpful and healing resources now. Relationships and interactions of all kinds can benefit now, since it can be easier to see the beauty and value in others whom you might usually dislike or feel ill at ease with (or they with you). Negotiations and strategic efforts to resolve conflicts may go smoothly now, especially when you balance the results in everyone's interests. You may also be able to attract what you need to heal your wounds (physical, psychological, spiritual, etc.). Like it says in the "Serenity Prayer," you may now find it a bit easier to accept that which you cannot change, while finding you make progress with the things you can.

Oct.11 – FULL MOON in ARIES (18:24 of Aries)

FULL MOON in ARIES

Ottawa, Canada and
Washington DC, USA:

Oct.11, 2011, 10:05 PM EDT

London, UK:

Oct.12, 2011, 3:05 AM BST

Sydney, AU:

Oct.12, 2011, 1:05 PM AEST

"What's a Full Moon?"

Read more about the Sun-Moon cycles.

Read more about how you experience ARIES energy in your life.

In western culture, we struggle constantly between our glorification of spontaneity and our respect for control.

We yearn for the natural state of just being who we are, answerable to no one but our own spirit. True authenticity rings like a clear tone amongst the noise of expectations, demands and judgments from others.

And yet, we also marvel at the controlled collaboration that empowers a favoured team to win a championship, or a corporation that creates the latest technological marvel through cooperative teamwork.

This is the contrast between Mars and Saturn; between Aries and Capricorn.

Archetypally, Aries pursues its purest form—the untainted essence before it becomes coloured by the surrounding world. When colours are mixed together, they can create new colours or they just become muddy. A good painter knows that you don't want to scrub colours together on a canvas too much—just enough to blend them, not obliterate them. Even the subtlest painting must allow colours to differentiate.

Aries asks: Who are you? What differentiates you? You might say you're a mother, or maybe you're a husband. You're someone's best friend. You're a secretary, or a photographer. Perhaps you're a Democrat or a Republican. You're Canadian or Iroquois or African American. You're Jewish or Wiccan or agnostic. Or maybe you define yourself by what you're not: you're "not a liberal" or you're "not rich." And so on.

But these are just categories that show where you coincide—or contrast—with others, not who you are as an individual. You might identify with some of these classifications, but you're also something more beyond the roles you play or the philosophies you align yourself with or the activities you invest your time in.

Who are you, really? When you strip away all the influence, the indoctrination, the conditioning and genetics, what is left? When you subtract the ways that you fit in and even the ways you feel isolated, who is the person left who is asking the question, "Who am I?"

This is the central quest of Aries—to reconnect with that original essence that makes each of us a unique entity. And that quest is not for the timid! It takes raw courage to walk out on the ledge and jump, leaving behind the familiar, comforting approval of others, and daring to just be who you are.

Mind you, this is not without its problems! We are social animals, and as such we don't survive well in isolation. This is why we instinctively use isolation as a punishment when we want to send a disapproving message: we shun someone or reject them, or lock them in a prison or hospital, or bully them and make them feel alone and vulnerable. It's not pretty and it can be pointlessly cruel, but it also shows how instinctively we know that we need connection to others in order to survive, both physically and psychologically.

And yet, we idealize the person who is "free" to be authentically who they are, undisturbed by the influences of the outside world that would smooth out their rough edges and shape them into something that "fits in" more conveniently. We admire the person who can protect their pure essence from the contamination of socialization, inhibition, fear, or anything that could distract them from maintaining a strong focus on their genuine nature.

Many of our cultural and mythological heroes reflect this. Think of the comic book character, Superman, who must assume a public disguise while being his authentic self in secret, lest the world find out his true nature and never give him any peace. (Superman, unsurprisingly, was "born" with an Aries Sun, having made his first appearance on April 18, 1938.) A female example might be Ellen Ripley in the Alien science fiction movie series, who must overcome her terror to fight off an unrelenting alien monster or face certain death.

In Aries, it's often necessary to go it alone and take "the road less travelled." Archetypally, this is where Pisces moves into Aries. Pisces knows that isolation and escape from the mundane world is often necessary to tune in to the "still small voice" inside which connects us to the Infinite Unknown that is the Source of our being. In Aries, separation and independence are also vital if we are to connect with the focused singularity that is the essence of who we are.

Full Moon in Aries chart
Chart of the Full Moon in Aries

As the Moon now becomes Full in Aries, the opposing Sun conjoins Saturn, pitting the sanctity of self-determination against the priorities of society and the Collective. Saturn is all about maintaining the complex social structures that bind us together as a community or civilization. Saturn knows that cohesion of the whole is crucial if the whole is to remain healthy. Like muscle and bone held together by connective tissue, all components must work together cooperatively or the whole system risks breakdown.

In large enough amounts, Aries' individuality and spontaneity can threaten Saturn's collective stability because of Aries' unpredictable nature. In the same way, the demands of collective cooperation can choke the Aries need to breathe free and be itself. The square pegs must be rounded off, to some extent, so that they fit appropriately into the round holes that house them, thereby preserving the consistency needed by the Collective.

However, without a healthy balance the relentless uniformity that results becomes unsustainable, as our human need to experience and express our individuality inevitably reasserts itself. If the Aries pegs finally refuse to compromise their true nature any further, the Saturnian structure gets bent out of shape—in more ways than one! The Aries pegs applaud this, even though it could put their survival at risk. The Saturn Collective typically dreads it, even though it can breathe fresh life into an unsustainable system.

We are currently witnessing this fascinating drama unfold in the Occupy Wall Street movement that is unfolding in New York and expanding rapidly throughout the US and the world. And I do mean "drama!" With Mars in Leo, ruling the Aries Full Moon, we are likely to see some rather creative self-expression taking place among those who seek change in the Saturnian system.

Occupy Wall Street:

Uranus square Pluto
In Action!

As astrologers, we have a unique perspective on world events. Watch for the similarities—and the differences—between the 1960s (Uranus-Pluto conjunction) and current events like Occupy Wall Street, the Arab Spring and the US Tea Party movements (during the Uranus-Pluto square).

Occupy Together

Many of these events began in 2008, as the Cardinal Cross began to form. "What's the Cardinal Cross?"

It's no coincidence that the Occupy protests bear a striking resemblance to the grassroots protests of the 1960s. We are seeing a manifestation of the Uranus-Pluto square, which is the first major turning point in the long-term cycle that began with the conjunction in the mid-1960s.

These current protests began in New York on September 17th, as Venus formed her closest T-square aspects to the Uranus-Pluto square. Venus, followed by Mercury and the Sun, moved through a newly regenerated Cardinal Cross T-square in orb from Sep.13 to Oct.04.

This has galvanized the latest wave of discontent in the status quo, which goes back to around 2008 when Saturn and Uranus went through a long opposition, culminating in the Cardinal Cross aspect patterns in 2010 along with Jupiter, Uranus and Pluto.

Although Saturn and Jupiter have moved on, the Uranus and Pluto are just getting started! We will see the first of 7 (!) exact passes of this square next year, stretching from June 2012 through March 2015, and then playing out its energy for a few years after that.

So grab some popcorn and watch as this unique drama continues to unfold! Or grab a sleeping bag and pick up a few boxes of pizza on your way down to the Occupy Together demonstrations in a city near you. No matter which side of the picket sign you feel you belong, we all have something to learn through these and similar recent events (e.g. the "Arab Spring," a wave of protests throughout the Arab world beginning in December 2010). And as astrologers, we are incredibly fortunate to be able to witness such an exciting and momentous time in our world's evolution, which will be discussed in the history books and astrology books for many years to come.

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In the meantime, look into your own life. Is there a part of your life that is currently unsustainable and in need of change? Is there a part of you that is rebelling against the status quo and searching for new solutions to old problems? How could you apply some creative self-expression to assist this process in your life? Where are you resisting change and trying to hold onto benefits from the past that are now past their shelf date?

I'm available for private readings, both by phone and by email, to help you find solutions and fresh possibilities that can strike a better balance between conflicting priorities. Contact me for more information and to set up an appointment.

Oct.12 – Mercury trine Neptune (28:21 of Libra/Aquarius)

Your mind is very open to imagination, dreams and compassion under this transit. This can be a very creative time, when ideas flow like a magical river. It can also be easy to get caught up in yearning and fantasizing about your hidden wishes, although it is possible to channel this into creative expression. (e.g., writing poetry, dancing, wistful music, singing in the shower, whatever!) Listening sympathetically to others' problems may come easily now, and you are more likely to get a compassionate response from others about your own problems. However, it may also be difficult to draw clear and firm boundaries with others, since you are more susceptible to the emotional gravity of others. It is ultimately a time for optimism, hope, creativity and intuition, although it's wise to keep at least one foot on the ground.

Oct.13 – Venus sextile Pluto (05:04 of Scorpio/Capricorn)

Close one-on-one relationships with people (close friends, lovers, partners of all kinds) could possibly benefit by being taken to a deeper level now, through creatively combining balanced harmony with deep connection. Just be careful that intimacy and bonding don't go over the top into obsession or domination. There is a brief opportunity now to become more authentic in how you relate to those close to you and how you establish a balance of power with them. The trick is to do this without trying to suppress, control or overpower the other person's interests. Financially, it is a time when you may have an opportunity to profit in your dealings with banks, insurance companies, taxes, and other institutions that deal with collective money.

Oct.13 – Mercury enters Scorpio (until Nov.02)

Cunning communication and insight are at their peak, as Mercury skulks through Scorpio. It’s a time for unearthing secrets and delving deeply into the psychological Shadow (Carl Jung’s term for the unconscious parts of ourselves that we don't want to or know how to face). There is opportunity for healing and grounding now, but you may have to resist the temptation to manipulate others to control that process. Your awareness of the undercurrents around you could be increased...or you might stir up those undercurrents in others without intending to, by blurting things out in a blunt or harsh way. This transit presents an opportunity to learn new ways to wield words with the skill of a surgeon – to heal and remove what is toxic, not to wound or retaliate. Use it wisely. If you are not crystal clear with yourself about your motives and feelings when communicating with others, your unconscious or hidden agendas could seep through and cause hurt when that was not your intention.

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Oct.13 – Sun conjunct Saturn (20:11 of Libra)  (Oct.14 in AU)

For a few days before and after this date, you may feel serious, studious, stuck, blocked, committed and/or hard working. It could be a good time to manifest well prepared plans, or you might have to get real and deal with difficult realities in new ways. You may have business with authority figures, or you might be called upon to act in a leadership role. It can also be a time to own your own authority – that is, to BE the authority figure, either to someone else or just to yourself. It might be a time of decision, when you have to choose one path or option over another. This can feel like an ending, as much as it is a new beginning, because selecting one possibility means you must let go of the other possibilities (at least for now). This is a necessary part of the process of manifestation and maturity. Doing closure on the people and situations that are passing out of your life will help to complete the process of growth and learning they have brought into your life, and can help clear the space for something new to begin growing in their place.

Oct.13 – Mercury trine Chiron (01:01 of Scorpio/Pisces)  (Oct.14 in UK, AU)

Your mental focus and communication now get an injection of healing energy. Cynicism and depression may soften now, as you become more receptive to a more optimistic viewpoint. If you have been caught up in escapism or "stinkin' thinkin'" (thinking you're more in control of your impulses than you really are), you may now find some relief and healing. Mental argument and critical "self-talk" can now find some reconciliation and acceptance that brings some peace of mind. You have increased ability to find the right words and understanding to help others with their problems. Compassion and empathy may be more accessible because you can identify your own experiences with what you see in others. You might also find someone who can give you good advice or support about your own problems – possibly a teacher or mentor – or you could become this to someone else.

Oct.14 – Venus opposite Jupiter (07:09 of Scorpio/Taurus)  (Oct.15 in UK, AU)

This is a time when your desire for pleasure is wide open. Sexual desire could reach out using seduction. Desire for delightful tastes could become overindulgence in foods that may not be in the best interest of your health (e.g., sweets, alcohol, etc.). Spending can be impulsive and easily grow beyond your budget. Money-making opportunities could spill over into workaholic obsession. It might feel like nothing is "enough" and you feel compelled to continually reach out for more and more – a bottomless well of desire. On the other hand, this energy can also bring out your natural beauty and charm in social situations if you are shy or inhibited. If you've done your research and your comparative shopping, this could be the time you make a big purchase. Or you might find the feeling is right to make your move with a love interest and expand your intimate connection with that person. Or perhaps you feel generous and decide to donate your money or talents to a cause that reaches for a higher purpose. Enjoy, but don't blow your budget.

Oct.16 – Mercury sextile Pluto (05:07 of Scorpio/Capricorn)  (Oct.17 in AU)

Penetrating insights and passionate communication are possible under this transit ...although, so is speaking more forcefully than you intend to about things that require a bit of delicacy or discretion. It is also a time when your mental concentration can come together so easily that you become obsessed. You may prefer in-depth discussion to small-talk, and it might feel awkward if you aren't able to explore the depths in your interaction or communication with others. However, you likely have an increased ability to pick up on undercurrents of what's happening around you. This is also a time when you can start to shed and leave behind old worn out perceptions and ways of communicating. You also have an increased ability to take thoughts, ideas and information and transform them into something healing ...or wounding. Choose your words carefully and mindfully. Writing down your thoughts and ideas to capture the energy of this transit can help you gather the deeper qualities.

Oct17-23 – Quadriform aspect pattern (Mars, Uranus and Pluto)

Quadriform aspect pattern: Mars sesquiquadrate the Uranus-Pluto conjunction

For about a week, Mars forms a Quadriform aspect pattern (also known as Thor's Hammer) to Uranus and Pluto. Mars makes a sesquiquadrate (135°) aspect first to Uranus on Oct.17, and buzzes through several days in orb to both planets until Oct.23 when it sesquiquadrates Pluto and leaves the orb to Uranus. During that time, we are likely to see challenges heat up in areas related to the increasingly intense energy of the Uranus-Pluto square. In particular, watch for escalating tensions around the Occupy Wall Street protests that have been sprouting up all over the US and around the world like mushrooms after a storm! With Mars involved, we could see increased reaction from the police and others who would prefer to see this grassroots movement suppressed.

On a personal level, you could experience quite a bit of stress, both physically and emotionally. Be especially careful about accidents as well as unplanned actions that produce unintended results. This could range from seriously negative consequences to amazingly spontaneous fortune, and anything in between. In other words, it won't necessarily be a bad experience but it easily could be. I could say it's best to let go of residual anger and self-centeredness, and focus your intentions on behaving with integrity and a sense of higher purpose. On the other hand, expressing pent up anger might be precisely what you need right now, if you've been holding back your true feelings and not standing up for your best interests. Aim for integrity—in other words, consistency and balance between your inner motives and your outer actions. That doesn't mean suppressing one in favour of the other, but to find a healthy balance point between them where you can be honest with yourself on the inside and true to yourself on the outside.

Oct.17 – Mercury opposite Jupiter (06:47 of Scorpio/Taurus)  (Oct.18 in AU)

Your thoughts and words can become amplified under this transit, which could bring a sense of adventure, a surge of ideas, and/or imbalance due to exaggeration. You may find it's hard to stop talking (or writing), your head is filled with so many possibilities. However, your judgment about the validity of your ideas may be a bit off, or you might feel the urge to overstate your position to keep from being misunderstood. Blame and judgment could creep into your perceptions of others or the other way around. This might spring from a need to find a greater meaning or truth in the facts, having difficulty bridging the gap between the raw information and the big picture. The trick is to keep a balance between simplicity and elaborate complexity. The challenge is to find ways to express, think about and understand the vast range of possibilities and meaning within the perceptions of everyday life. Not all of it will survive the translation, but enormous spiritual creativity can be generated in the trying.

Oct.21 – Sun trine Neptune (28:14 of Libra/Aquarius)  (Oct.22 in UK, AU)

Faith in the bountiful blessings of the Universe is within reach under this transit...but then, so is the fantasy that you will be magically granted anything you wish for. Hope, optimism and imagination spring eternal right now, which can bring some relief from any depression or discouragement you might be feeling. Your creativity can become very inspired under this transit. Your sense of self could also get an infusion of uplifting vision. And you experience a sense of mission, feeling that you are truly a Child of the Universe. There is potential to lift you out of the ordinary and into the sublime – spiritually, creatively, romantically or compassionately. Enjoy it while it lasts, but before you make changes based on what might feel like a permanent condition, remember that this is mostly a temporary influence and you will still have to live within the bounds of the physical world after it passes. Don't make overly optimistic promises now, that you will have to fulfil later when the euphoria wears off.

Oct.23 – Sun enters Scorpio (until Nov.22)  (Oct.24 in AU)

Happy Solar Return to all Scorpios! While the Sun is in Scorpio, we all get to explore our passions and probe the secrets within our depths. There is an intensity to the Scorpio experience that goes right to the core, and Scorpio challenges you to take a closer look at how that intensity manifests in your psyche. What are you passionate about and what fires up that passion? What events and experiences have brought you to "rock bottom" and then turned the tide to rejuvenate you back to a new lease on life? What people, causes, beliefs or physical things are so important to you that you would even risk death for? What secrets do you harbour inside, even from yourself? Posing these hypothetical questions doesn't mean you'll bring it on! But doing so can help you tap into the Scorpio experience to understand better how you experience transformation and touch the deepest heart of life itself. The danger is in becoming so obsessed with your passion that you neglect the practical realities. Or, you could become stuck in the "dark side" of transformation and letting go of the old, that you forget that figurative death and transformation are meant to lead into rebirth in order to complete the cycle. During this time, celebrate the endings in your life. Honour the hard times when you have had to face painful losses. And take passionate pleasure in the things that pull you out of your routines and make you feel alive. In some way, they have all allowed you to survive, thrive and grow.

Oct.24 – Sun trine Chiron (00:47 of Scorpio/Pisces)  (Oct.25 in AU)

This is a time when you may find that your recent efforts to mend and heal the chronic struggles in your life start to come together. You likely have the confidence now to try new solutions, or at least to approach problems from a different angle that sheds new light on the situation. Some of this progress may come from daring to walk your own path, or from finding the courage to face the hidden shadow of your worries and weaknesses (the hidden benefit that those worries give you). There may be a variety of different struggles and wounds in your life that could benefit from this kind of healing, although it can be tempting to let this transit pass by without taking advantage of it. Strive to reach a midpoint between merely dipping your toe in troubled waters and thinking that is enough, versus jumping in the deep end and marinating in it.

Oct.26 – Mars sextile Saturn (21:42 of Leo/Libra)

There is an opportunity to harness the energy of willpower using practical discipline. Your physical and mental energy are likely to be stable and enduring, or else they can become this way more easily than usual by applying a sustained focus of effort. This is a great transit if you need to be productive or to make progress in a goal that you are working toward. The thing to watch out for is a tendency to be over-cautious to the point where you get stuck in the planning stage and don't get much done. Or, you might try to rush into the production phase before your plans are fully formed. This transit works best when these areas are brought into balance.

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Next Update:  NEW MOON in SCORPIO, available by October 26, 2011.

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