The Low-Down on the Far-Out

Full Moon in Aries, October 2016

Chart for the Full Moon in Aries
Chart for the Full Moon in Aries

I hold a beast, an angel, and a madman in me, and my enquiry is as to their working, and my problem is their subjugation and victory, down throw and upheaval, and my effort is their self-expression.
~ Dylan Thomas

Oct.16 – FULL MOON in ARIES (23:14 of Aries)

This Full Moon is bound to be a lively one! ...Which may or may not be your cup of Pumpkin Spice Latte.

The Full Moon is in Aries, which is always ready and rarin' to go at the drop of anyone's hat.

Uranus is tightly conjunct the Moon (less than one degree orb), which will liven up any party. Perhaps more than you'd expect.

The massive dwarf planet Eris has insinuated herself between them ...Or perhaps the Moon and Uranus have surrounded her and are either looking for some excitement, or else to create a wind tunnel through which she can blow off steam. It all depends how you look at it.

More about them in a moment.

Mars, the planetary ruler of Aries, is still Out of Bounds (OOB until Oct.30) and therefore still running on rocket fuel and aligned with the far reaches of our planet by declination. He is also approaching a conjunction to Pluto (Oct.19), so Mars issues are ramping up to become even more intense (anger, frustration, impulsiveness, decisiveness, assertiveness, reactivity, fear or depression). So there probably won't be much peace and tranquility at their party either.

It takes endure the sharp pains of self discovery rather than choose to take the dull pain of unconsciousness that would last the rest of our lives.
~ Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of "A Course in Miracles"

Mercury is in a close square to Mars and exactly square Pluto (90°) which means communication could come across more like an argument. Either that or it can be a good time to challenge yourself into cutting through the indecision by being very direct, confrontational or even blunt. The problem is that this is not likely to go over well right now, so be prepared to defend your position.

Jupiter is getting ready to square Pluto (Nov.24) and is still within orb to square Mars, even though they've been moving apart since Oct.05. This challenges our wisdom, opinions and beliefs to reflect the deepest reality we are in touch with inside of us. Easier said than done, though, since Pluto tends to live in the dark depths and Jupiter would rather rise to the lofty heights.

This is just the first of three chapters in the Jupiter-Pluto dialogue (Nov.24.2017, Mar.30.2017, Aug.04.2017), so this is part of a much more involved conversation than what we have coming over the next couple of months. Our beliefs, opinions and what we think we understand is just beginning to be challenged. How? By needing to dig deep into our assumptions, preconceptions, judgments and principles.

Pluto demands authenticity. He insists that what you put out on the outside must be consistent with what you believe to be true on the inside, and he challenges us to check if our internal perspective and assumptions actually reflect our external experiences and perceptions. But Pluto is full of shadows where unconscious, disowned parts of ourselves can hide.

So this Jupiter-Pluto square is likely to be about revising how we understand and view the world by flushing out our unconscious preconceptions and learning to understand them in a whole new way. The challenge is to really see how we may attribute blame to external people, situations and circumstances, but have missed our own role in the problems.

And because this is a stressful square aspect, this fresh awareness is likely to come through conflicts and difficulties that become so apparent they simply can't be ignored or rationalized away any longer. On both global and individual levels, the challenge is to clean house about how we interpret events and the meaning we take away from them. This will be an encounter with the deep psychological "shadow" that will last for about a year.

At the Full Moon in Aries, Mercury being exactly square to Pluto, and still lingering in the glow of Jupiter since they conjoined on Oct.11, brings some of these perceptions into our awareness. With Mercury in Libra, making decisions is likely to be a challenge, but the square to Pluto suggests that the implications and consequences of our decisions will be far-reaching.

We are like the little branch that quivers during a storm, doubting our strength and forgetting we are the tree—deeply rooted to withstand all life’s upheavals.
~ Dodinsky, In the Garden of Thoughts

So let's go back to Mars for a moment, with his approaching conjunction to Pluto. We are in a Mars part of the year, when a New Moon and Full Moon in Mars signs (Aries and Scorpio) usually follow one after the other. For example, the Full Moon in Aries (Oct.16) is followed 2 weeks later by the New Moon in Scorpio (Oct.30). This gives a drawn out experience of Mars is both his facets – active, direct, adventurous and impulsive (Aries), as well as stealthy, tenacious, penetrating and enigmatic (Scorpio).

The two planetary rulers of Scorpio come together about every 2 years, the last time being Nov.10.2014. These powerful energies combine to whisk us away to the Underworld, in order to confront our unconscious "shadow" and do battle with whatever monsters we believe lurk down there.

The thing about the (dreaded) Scorpio process, though, is that if we pay attention and keep an open mind, we will discover a different view of the monsters that had eluded us. The wailing of a banshee actually has at its centre the terrified or mournful anguish of the Inner Child. The menacing multi-headed Hydra that threatens to eat us alive is the splintered fragmentation of a core belief that began as something we were told about ourselves that was never true.

It's not that real muck won't ever be found in that Underworld, but that there is an underlying truth beneath it that can help us understand it in a more revealing light. And once we see it more clearly, we are in a much better position to dispose of the sewage so we can effectively begin the healing process.

And in order to go down into that Underworld, we need courage. That's where Mars comes in. Mars charges in where angels fear to tread, as the saying goes. Without Mars as our ally, Pluto can loom pretty large and be just a little intimidating. But in order for Mars to be your ally, not your adversary, you need to own your Mars energy. You need to not only acknowledge your courage but embrace it.

With Mars in Capricorn, it can help to be crystal clear about what helps you feel confident enough to step forward in the face of possible risk or failure. Often it's something where you just hold your nose and jump, but with Mars in Capricorn it helps to be prepared and have a Plan B in case the first one doesn't work. If there's no time to devise a plan, make sure you have a mental list (or a written one) that shows your successes, experience, skills and the resources that you can draw on.

You are like the fishers for eels; in still waters they catch nothing, but if they thoroughly stir up the slime, their fishing is good; in the same way it's only in troublous times that you line your pockets.
~ Aristophanes, The Knights

Back to the Full Moon in Aries. This is a time when you may be called upon to reach for that Plan B or that mental list of resources. The Moon is conjunct Uranus, so however it manifests for you, it's not likely to be business as usual. You may encounter something surprising, something upsetting, something startling. You might discover that you are able to rise to the occasion better than you thought you would.

There's always the risk that you discover to your horror that you are utterly unprepared for something that comes out of the blue, and become locked into a "fight, flight or freeze" reaction. That reaction is the realm of Mars (the planetary ruler of this Full Moon), which is our survival instinct. If it feels like your whole sense of who you are is being threatened by something that could shatter it, that's when we can become defensive, combative or paralyzed.

That survival instinct is part of being human, so don't beat yourself up if you get overwhelmed by it. But do remember that your mind can be called upon to make a conscious, deliberate choice about how to respond to it and how much to let the instinct impulse rule your actions.

Out of clutter, find simplicity.
From discord, find harmony.
In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.
~ Albert Einstein, The Quotable Einstein

The Moon and Uranus are also exactly conjunct the dwarf planet, Eris. Originally nicknamed Xena by her discoverers, she was first spotted in January 2005 and therefore is still a newcomer to our known solar system. When a new member of the solar system is discovered, it takes time for astrologers to observe it, research its effects and come to an understanding about how it can be interpreted in a chart. This process is still happening where Eris is concerned.

It can often be helpful to understand a bit about the mythology of the planets, although this may or may not be useful when it comes to new planets. In this case it might, though. Eris is the Greek goddess of strife and discord, so you just know she must have caused havoc when first discovered. In fact, Eris posed such a conundrum by her existence, orbit, size and mass that it led the scientific community into the complete rethinking and reorganization of the expanding solar system.

This included the designation of several new classifications, including dwarf planets which claimed Eris as a member. It also led to the controversial demotion of Pluto from full-fledged planet into dwarf planet, a change which has still not been entirely accepted within Western culture.

How that for discord and strife? If nothing else, Eris sure knows how to make an entrance!

In fact, in the mythology of Eris she makes a similar dramatic entrance that stirred up trouble. In short, she was not invited to a wedding, so she acquired a golden apple with the inscription "To the most beautiful one" and tossed it into the party. Three goddesses in attendance—Hera, Aphrodite and Athena—scrambled to impress, bribe and otherwise win the favour of the Zeus-appointed judge, Paris. The impossible choice finally went to Aphrodite, but one disaster led to another and the Trojan War ensued.

Poor apples – they always seem to get a bad rap.

What we now want is closer contact and better understanding between individuals and communities all over the earth, and the elimination of egoism and pride which is always prone to plunge the world into primeval barbarism and strife... Peace can only come as a natural consequence of universal enlightenment...
~ Nikola Tesla

There are several themes that have been observed by astrologers around Eris themes, including feminism and discord/conflict/chaos. This planetoid does seem to reflect its name's mythology at least to some degree.

Pair Eris up with Uranus and one wild party is likely to result. Uranus being the planet of surprises, unexpected chaos and crises seems alarmingly well matched with Eris. These two have been within 6 degrees of a conjunction since April 2015 and remain there until May 2018, with 3 passes of the conjunction: Jun.09, Sep.25 and Mar.17.

Eris is far from finished with us yet!

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The fact that Uranus and Eris are precisely aligned with the Full Moon indicates some level of excitement or upset. Some astrologers have noticed issues with the media under this pairing, so some crisis or expose about the media could emerge. This potential is also present in all 3 passes of this transit, but the one in September in particular is aligned with the Sun and Moon in a way that could manifest this discordant energy more than with other passes.

You might have experienced some of these themes in the week leading up to the Full Moon (as the Sun moved in to oppose them) and you might also be aware of Eris/Uranus themes in the 2 weeks following the Full Moon (as the FM energy is played out until the next New Moon).

You might encounter a bit more excitement than you bargained for, which might energize you or overwhelm you, depending on how you handle unexpected upheaval of the status quo. You might become aware of a dramatic shift in your perception of women, especially those who are independent and don't follow the straight-and-narrow pathways. There is also the potential for revenge or retaliation for perceived slights, but it's wise to take a lesson from Eris' notebook and choose your reactions carefully—the result could mushroom beyond your control and lead to problems you would have preferred to avoid.

Watch for events, themes and situations in your environment and community, since these are likely to respond to this trans-personal Uranus-Eris energy. It might be best not to get swept up too much in the drama around you, but instead to take a step back and watch it all unfold from a more cautious position.

We're watching history unfold! It takes about 84 years for Uranus and Eris to come together. After these 3 passes, you won't see this energy again in your lifetime.

This is a time of adventure, courage and pioneering into something that you are not familiar with and might prefer to avoid. But if you own your Aries nature, your Mars nature, then you have a chance to do something extraordinary.

All Nature is but art, unknown to thee
All chance, direction, which thou canst not see;
All discord, harmony not understood;
All partial evil, universal good.
~ Alexander Pope, An Essay on Man

Oct.18 – Venus enters Sagittarius (until Nov.11)   (Oct.17 in HAST, AKDT)

Venus focuses her passion on truth-seeking, philosophical exploration, a lust for knowledge, spiritual intimacy, music in foreign languages and multicultural social discourse. It is a time to explore the meaning that your close relationships bring to your life, and the value that you bring to the Significant Others in your life. It is also a time when you might seek to increase your income (or your spending – careful!) and expand your potential for material wealth and self-worth. You will likely find that negotiations, interactions and transactions work best when you apply spiritual values to them and keep the big picture in mind. You may also find yourself involved with people and transactions that involve other countries, cultures, languages and travel. There could be a teaching-learning element in your dealings with people, so aim for the highest good of all concerned.

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Oct.19 – Mars conjunct Pluto (15:03 of Capricorn)

This transit is a volatile and powerful combination of energies, with enormous potential for both creative healing and destructive damage. At its best, this transit can spark a creative force for transformative change that rises from a deep, underlying truth and unconditional acceptance of ourselves, warts and all. At its worst, this energy can be cruel, violent or relentlessly obsessive, aiming to impose power and control over others. How you experience this will largely depend on how you deal with your wants and desires. Are you so attached to the outcome that you are focused only on the external effects and results? Or can you also focus on strengthening your empowerment from within, so that desired change begins with yourself? The urge to express sexual, passionate and intimate feelings may also run high now. Have fun with it, but remember to use good judgment too. Your powers of persuasion can be ardent and strong now...but since this transit applies to everyone, so can other people's. This could lead to zealous competition (think "Battle of the Titans") or to a powerful blend of passionate creativity (think "alchemical transformation"). Which will you choose?

Oct.20 – Mercury opposite Uranus (22:18 of Libra/Aries)   (Oct.19 in HAST, AKDT)

This is a wakeup call! You are asked to open your mind so that you can see something about your life, yourself or your situation that has eluded you until now. It might be a shocking revelation that changes your whole perspective...or it might also be a delightful surprise that adds a new dimension you hadn't thought of. However it manifests, you are in a position to see your situation more clearly and objectively – although this can also make it seem like this energy is outside of you and happening TO you. However, if you look closely inside yourself, you may see thoughts, perceptions and impressions that correspond to the external events and participate in the interchange. Emails, Internet chats, and interaction with technology may be part of this transit as well. Communication may be a bit erratic or unpredictable, so be careful not to speak thoughtlessly or carelessly. However, you may find that words and perceptions come to you intuitively and spontaneously.

Oct.22 – Sun enters Scorpio (until Nov.21)   (Oct.23 in UK, 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 – Mercury enters Scorpio (until Nov.12)   (Oct.25 in AU)

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.

Oct.25 – Venus square Neptune (09:24 of Sagittarius/Pisces)   (Oct.26 in UK, AU)

Money, material resources, relationships and pleasure could be subject to confusion, deception, or unrealistic wishful thinking under this transit. It may seem that what you thought you had (love, friendship, pleasure, money, resources) has suddenly disappeared or isn't as dependable as you thought it was. You might feel disappointed, disillusioned, sad or alone, but this is more likely to be a passing phase than a serious crisis. The question is: what are your secret longings and subtle desires that may be operating unconsciously? These could be clouding your ability to relate to people and situations in your life. Old addictions, depression or idealism may surface as way of dealing with feelings. A better outlet would be to channel your feelings and experiences into creativity, beauty, inspiration and compassion; for example, art, music or helping others.

Oct.26 – Venus sextile Jupiter (10:05 of Sagittarius/Libra)   (Oct.27 in AU)

There is an abundance of creative inspiration, material enjoyment, feel-good pleasure in the air! Your luck and opportunity to attract money, love, resources and self-esteem are high right now. It may be relatively easy to attract the people, possessions and opportunities you want or need, but you'll still have to work to get them. On the other hand, your eyes may be bigger than your stomach (as mother would say) and you might be tempted to charm, flirt or bluff your way through a situation more than usual. There may also be a tendency to self-indulgence. These are not necessarily bad things, but it's probably wise to remember to use this energy to enhance your best judgement, not override it.

Oct.26 – Venus goes Out of Bounds (South declination; 10:06 Sagittarius to 25:20 Capricorn; returns from OOB on Dec.03)  (Oct.27 in AU)   ("What does Out of Bounds mean?"   "What is Declination?")

Venus goes Out of Bounds (OOB), which could affect your relationships, love life, finances, possessions and your sense of harmony, both within yourself and with the world around you. When it works well, you could gain unique or unusual insights and ideas about these areas, although getting these to work in the everyday world is something else again. When it's not working so well, those areas could become a problem due to unrealistic, outlandish or counterproductive attempts to push beyond familiar territory.

For example, you might become more adventurous, unconventional or undisciplined when it comes to friendships, amorous relationships or finances. If you have unspoken, unacknowledged or unconscious yearnings for "something different," this can be the time when those desires break free and make a run for it! This could be a positive thing, in that it gives your relationship or your wallet some breathing space and expands your range of experience. On the other hand, those yearnings could lead to upheavals and disruptions, like hastening the end of a relationship, or spending beyond your budget on something that turns out to be more whimsy than workable. This can be especially true if these areas are already struggling or hanging by a thread. It might help to get a reality check from someone you trust, or at least have your eyes wide open as you embark on your flight of fancy.

Oct.27 – Sun conjunct Mercury (04:40 of Scorpio)   (Oct.28 in AU)

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.

Oct.27 – Venus square North Lunar Node (11:36 of Sagittarius/Virgo)   (Oct.28 in AU)  ("What's a Lunar Node?")

Perhaps you're finding that the people in your life are not being as supportive, encouraging or cooperative as you thought they would be, in terms of helping you fulfil your life purpose. Someone might suddenly withdraw their support, or maybe they contradict or interfere with what you're trying to do with your life. Perhaps an argument or disagreement happens and the upset, stress or hard feelings that result seem to cast a shadow on how you feel about your life. If this happens, it's possible that what you disagree about is something you should look at more closely. Are you responding to this situation in a way that truly reflects your values? Or perhaps your values need to be reconsidered. The agreement or balance of priorities between you might need to be renegotiated. This transit might also manifest as problems around finances or possessions, which requires some adjustment on your part. Since this transit usually lasts only a few days, in most cases its effects will not be major. If it does bring up some significant issues, it is probably hinting at a deeper issue, and you would be wise to look at the problem beyond the current circumstances. Other transits (especially to your natal chart) can give you more information about the nature of the situation.

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Oct.27 – Mars sextile Chiron (21:11 of Capricorn/Pisces)   (Oct.28 in NDT, UK, AU)

This transit gives you the opportunity to take action that can bring some healing resolution to some ongoing problems you've been having. For example, if you've been suffering from weakened energy or chronic health problems, this transit could bring a bit of relief, especially if you're willing to invest some effort to move yourself forward. Or you might find that you have extra self-confidence to deal with a dilemma that has not wanted to go away. You might also find yourself in a position where you can help others find some relief or empowerment related to their suffering and chronic struggles. Problem solving of all kinds can benefit by taking an attitude of proactively doing what you can do, and then let go of what you can't.

Oct.29 – Mars square Uranus (21:57 of Capricorn/Aries)   (Oct.28 in HAST, AKDT, PDT, MDT, CDT)

Erratic action and unpredictable impulses can surface under this transit. Active energy is more available now, but it can be very hard to control its direction, speed, intensity or predictability. Under this volatile atmosphere, unconscious or suppressed emotions (like anger, frustration, fear or desire) can jump out when you least expect them. Being accident prone is not uncommon. This can be great if you're trying to release inhibitions, find courage to sprint forward or break out of an old habit. Unfortunately, there's no guarantee that your actions won't turn out to be destructive, counter-productive or too much of a good thing. You might be tempted to take greater risks than is wise, but this risk-taking impulse can also break you out of a rut too. It's important to use your best judgment when faced with this kind of potent yet volatile energy.

Oct.29 – Venus conjunct Saturn (14:10 of Sagittarius)   (Oct.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.

Oct.30 – UK and Europe change to Standard Time

If your region observes Daylight Saving Time and you live in the UK, Europe or in the Middle East, it's time to move your clocks one hour BACK. If you're not sure, check the change dates for your location on

Oct.30 – Mars returns from Out of Bounds (South declination; 22:49 of Capricorn; next OOB begins May.14.2017)   ("What does Out of Bounds mean?"   "What is Declination?")

Mars has been Out of Bounds (OOB) since Aug.08 and now returns within the bounds of the Sun, by declination. While OOB Mars qualities can be somewhat erratic and exaggerated: angry, hostile, hyper-reactive or hyper-sensitive, aggressive, quick to protest or take offence, feeling out of control, or (the flip side of these qualities) depression, lethargy or cynicism. Now that Mars is coming back within bounds, these qualities will likely become more manageable and "back to normal" (whatever that usually is for you).

Coming back in bounds can be a bit of a bumpy landing as that unrestricted energy becomes squeezed back into its usual potency. This is a good time to observe your passions and energy levels, as well as changes in Mars themes in society around you. For several days before and after this date, pay attention to the things that amplify or cool down your Mars energy. Realize that this is an adjustment period, and having some patience with yourself and others can help to smooth and soothe this time.

Alternatively, the re-entry can also be an eventful time when changes in Mars-related areas can occur. For example, you might feel this is the right time to start—or end—a project or make changes to a situation in your life. A shift in how you experience or handle anger, assertiveness, depression or high/low energy levels could inspire you to make positive changes in those areas. This might be due to a change in perspective as a result of your experiences while Mars was OOB.

Oct.30 – Mercury trine Neptune (09:21 of Scorpio/Pisces)

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.

Next Update:  NEW MOON in SCORPIO. Available by October 30, 2016.

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