Low-Down Archives October 2008

October 2008

For the New Moon Cycle in Libra :
September 29 to October 28/29, 2008

Sep.29 � NEW MOON in LIBRA (06:33 of Libra)


Ottawa, Canada and
Washington DC, USA:

Sep.29, 4:12 AM EDT

London, UK:

Sep.29, 9:12 AM BST

Sydney, AU:

Sep.29, 6:12 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.

Libra is a negotiator at heart. Libra has a knack of knowing how to reach out to shake your hand, smile, say all the right things, put you at ease and persuade you to agree to their requests. Libra typically wants a win-win situation (if only because bitter victories tend to be messy). If agreement can't be obtained by peaceful means, manipulation is usually a suitable alternative. Libra can charm their opponent, persuade them, woo them or just make it very hard to find a logical reason to say no. Libra knows how to do a very "hard soft-sell."

The thing is: Libra's planetary ruler, Venus is currently in Scorpio. Now, Scorpio has a very different approach to these things. If Scorpio can't win you over easily, it prefers to back you into a corner until you say yes, rather than waste all that energy trying to be polite and diplomatic. Scorpio's version of Venus is more seductive than charming, more pressuring than persuasive, and more likely to strong-arm their opponent than gently coddle them.

Mercury is also retrograde at the moment, which is great for debates, negotiations, discussion and exchange of ideas, but not usually great for making final decisions. The events that result from irrevocable decisions made under Mercury retrograde tend to unfold differently than expected. Better to use this time to gather information, weight alternatives, try on different possibilities but not commit yourself to a particular plan of action. It seems a much better time for political debates between the candidates than it does for making final decisions about how to resuscitate a flagging US economy.

The New Moon in Libra therefore is likely to set in motion a time of weighing alternatives. If none of the alternatives seem ideal, it can lead to a time of indecision, non-commitment and (especially with ruler Venus in secretive Scorpio) playing one's cards very close to the chest so you don't give away more than you absolutely have to. The ideal of negotiation may be a win-win result, but the hidden agenda (Venus in Scorpio) is more likely to be trying to manipulate things so that your side winds up with the most gain for the least amount of sacrifice or compromise. If that means the other side must shoulder more compromise, well that's all part of the negotiation, right? Hmmm... maybe. Venus in Scorpio ruling a Libra New Moon must be careful not to exploit that persuasion simply because it can.

Another planetary alignment that is building during this lunar cycle is the Saturn-Uranus opposition. We get 5 passes of this transit, and the first exact pass lands on Nov.04. (!) Saturn represents the status quo, sticking with a structured approach, and making change cautiously and carefully only when absolutely necessary. Uranus represents change and the risk-taking that is necessary to get out of being stuck in the mud.

Certainly the US election, as well as the upcoming election here in Canada on Oct.14, reflect these conflicting ideals. Saturn speaks for those who believe a return to conventional ways is the only way to ensure safety and stability. Uranus, on the other hand, reflects the opposite belief: only by breaking free of the "same-old-same-old" can we save ourselves from certain collapse under the weight of mistakes and dysfunction that become entrenched over time.

These adversarial perspectives are in a battle that pulls us all in opposite directions, be that politically, personally, inter-personally, psychologically, emotionally, mentally or spiritually. It can be easy to become split, falling into extremes of all-good or all-bad. Finger-pointing, argument, refusal to listen and attempts to coerce a resolution through force are all symptoms of becoming split. The Libra New Moon may only amplify this, by delineating opposing views so clearly that it seems impossible to find a common ground between them.

The solution is to find the balance within. Considering both sides of an argument doesn't mean you should feel compelled to "take sides." Even if you sympathize with one "side" over another, it doesn't mean you can't objectively consider points from the other side. It's possible to learn from one's opponent�not for the purpose of finding his/her weak spot and attacking it, but because everyone has something to say and to offer.

If your "opponent" says something that you're afraid could tip the balance their way, then perhaps they are saying something that has validity that has a gift for you. If you fear others may "buy into" the other person's views, there is probably a human need that is hungering to be fed, which your opponent is "speaking to." Learn from this. The human hunger itself is not wrong, although there may be better or worse ways to feed it. Each "side" brings a piece of the puzzle that is missing or not as strong in the other "side." Allowing each to contribute their gifts to the other is what true balance is all about. And it's also the highest expression of Libra energy.

If you're struggling to find balance in your life, a personal astrology reading can help you bring opposing forces into harmony. How do you know when it's time to call your astrologer? When you find yourself stuck in indecision, running around in circles, trying to make someone agree with you, so afraid to hurt someone's feelings that you can't be yourself, feeling lonely in a world of people you can't find common ground with, or perhaps feeling discouraged because it seems like everyone else has a valid point of view except you. A personal astrology reading can help you find the missing pieces that will get you back on track. Find out more...


Oct.02 � Mars sextile Pluto (28:38 of Libra/Sagittarius)

This can be a time of intense and powerful energy. It can be especially so if you focus your intention to tap into and use this energy deliberately, although if you are triggered into a reaction you might find it is more forceful than you intended. This can be a good time to make changes that have far-reaching, transformative effects. Your powers of persuasion can be stronger now, so be careful you don't try to force things to the point of making something happen that perhaps should be left alone or treated with a gentler touch. Sex and other passionate urges may rise more easily now, although obsession and the need to control your surroundings might come up with them. This transit is perhaps best used to refresh your sense of passion and transform your sense of purpose and direction. 

Oct.04 � Mars enters Scorpio (until Nov.16)

Mars now swaggers through Scorpio -- its own sign, using traditional rulerships. Our impulses, willpower and forceful intent are more likely to be intense, passionate and controlled (or controlling) under this transit. Sexual energy may run high, although this may be a hunger for emotional intimacy and deep closeness, as much as it is a drive to satisfy a physical urge. Jealousy, anger and revenge may be more easily triggered, since passionate feelings and instincts are closer to the surface and may be harder to keep under discreet control. This can also be a time of potent creative and transformative energy, since the same emotions and drives that can be so destructive can also provide fuel for powerful self-expression and growth. This energy can also provide a formidable resource when used to fight for a cause -- just be sure that the cause (and your methods of fighting) are consistent with your ethics, principles and integrity. 

Oct.04 � Mercury Retrograde trine Chiron (16:16 of Libra/Aquarius) (Oct.05 in 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.

This is the second of 3 passes: Sep.12, Oct.04 and Oct.26. 

Oct.05 � Venus sextile Jupiter (13:41 of Scorpio/Capricorn)

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.05, 2:00 AM � Daylight Savings Time begins � Sydney, AU

Daylight Savings time starts earlier than usual this year in Sydney, Australia. If that's where you are, turn your clocks forward by one hour. Different areas of Australia observe DST (or not) at various times. Please check with your local authorities to see if this applies to you.

Oct.06 � Sun square Jupiter (13:48 of Libra/Capricorn) (Oct.07 in AU)

You may be inspired to expand far beyond your usual boundaries during this time, although this may or may not work in the way you hope it will. It can be a time of challenge, when you decide that now is the time to move beyond your current horizons and make the ultimate push for something you believe will bring you happiness, fulfilment and prosperity. How successful you are will probably depend on how prepared you are for what comes next. Your judgment and your ability to see things objectively and realistically can be a little "off" during this transit, since your hopes and ideals might distort what is actually possible. It can be easy to overestimate the envisioned results, or you might underestimate the amount of work necessary to sustain your dream and prevent it from being just a flash in the pan. Try to avoid being overconfident and making promises you can't keep (including to yourself). 

Oct.06 � Sun conjunct Mercury Retrograde (13:58 of Libra) (Oct.07 in AU)

When the Sun conjoins Mercury Retrograde, there is a new beginning in the areas of awareness, communication, use of information and exchange of ideas. This may or may not be heralded by a recognisable event or experience, although for a day or two your consciousness may shift. Your awareness and mental concentration may take a dip into the unconscious, becoming unusually murky and muddy, or it may rise into ultra-consciousness and become suddenly clear and lucid (afterwards returning to the usual Mercury retrograde fog). A new awareness or perspective on what has unfolded during the retrograde cycle thus far may surface now, or an unworkable attitude or perception of these events may fall apart under the weight of new information. This shift of awareness may be obvious or subtle, sudden or gradual, but this transit marks a turning point in the Mercury retrograde cycle. It also marks a time when mental awareness often goes further underground, for the rest of the retrograde period, making it a little harder to operate objectively and rationally in the outside world. Spend some time in your right-brain, intuitive, non-rational mind, which can coax your mental creativity and inventiveness to the surface. 

Oct.06 � Mercury Retrograde square Jupiter (13:50 of Libra/Capricorn) (Oct.07 in UK, AU)

You may be seeing the weak links in your knowledge, understanding or beliefs right now. Your ideas and words might seem to fall short of what your mind envisions, or you might be unable to convince others of your point of view. As a result, it can be tempting to over-compensate with more self-confidence, faith or optimism than you actually have. Or, you might give out "too much information" by over-explaining or through nervous rambling. Alternatively, you might encounter someone else who does this and perhaps have a blaming or judgmental reaction to them. This is an opportunity to learn something about how you might jump to conclusions or blame, possibly triggered by a situation that challenges your beliefs, opinions or perspective. To learn more about this part of yourself, try taking some time to think about what is really bothering you or what you really need to say in that situation. There may be a higher truth to be found if you open your mind to something you're reluctant to acknowledge, rather than looking for a "final truth" around which to close it. 

Oct.07 � Venus sextile Saturn (15:59 of Scorpio/Virgo)

It is possible to find some stability in your relationships and finances under this transit, especially if you are willing to negotiate fairly and realistically. You have increased ability to be disciplined about spending and budgeting, and to invest in hard work to maximise your earnings. Your ability to grasp the solid, realistic facts will help you choose wisely in your investments of both money and your interaction with others. Commitment and structure may be easier to approach and achieve than if you take risks now. Your self-worth can benefit from this transit because you may be less inclined to give in to mood swings. On the other hand, if you are prone to depression, you might want to be careful you don't become so grounded and stable that you lose touch with your sense of hope and potential. It is a good time to make concrete progress in matters involving beauty, love, harmony and balance. Keep your pleasures simple and humble for maximum benefit. 


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Oct.07 � Venus square Chiron (16:13 of Scorpio/Aquarius)

You may be forced to make adjustments to relationships and/or finances now, as you face situations in these areas that just don't want to balance out the way you want them to. You may feel a bit like you're in a catch-22 (no-win situation), where the more you try to find balance and harmony, the more you feel like you're chasing your own tail around in circles. This is a time when healing in relationships and financial problems may be difficult to obtain. Harmony in these areas can seem impossible or blocked, yet it is still necessary to keep trying. By trying anyway, it may be possible to find a solution that meets your needs, even if it may not be what you wanted, hoped for or expected. Strive to find a creative solution that draws on your best side. 

Oct.08 � Sun trine Chiron (16:11 of Libra/Aquarius) (Oct.09 in UK, 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.10 � Venus trine Uranus (19:39 of Scorpio/Pisces))

Spontaneity and liberation burst into your relationships, finances, resources and pleasures. You might feel compelled to try something completely different that shakes up the "same-old-same-old" routines you're used to. The upside is that you have the opportunity to break free of some old habits and breathe some fresh air into your life. But the downside could come in the form of impulse spending beyond your budget, or recklessness in your interactions and relationships. Strive to break free of what holds you back from being your true self, without destroying the structure of order in your life. 

Oct.11 � Venus square Neptune (21:36 of Scorpio/Aquarius) (Oct.12 in 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. 

Sabian Symbol for Aries 22: The gate to the garden of all fulfilled desires.

Sabian Symbol for the
Full Moon in Aries

Aries 22

The gate to the garden of all fulfilled desires.

For this Sabian Symbol ("What's a Sabian Symbol?") Dane Rudhyar adds a sub-title: "Abundance made possible by human togetherness and cooperation." (An Astrological Mandala)

Mutual cooperation for the purpose of collective survival and prosperity is certainly reflected in the whole Full Moon chart! The collaborative energy of the Libra Sun and the ambition of the Aries Moon, combined with the idealistic vision of collective togetherness in the Wedge figure to Neptune in Aquarius.

This symbol seems to promise that all our desires will be fulfilled. But satisfying desire involves a process of steps. Lynda Hill says "You have brought yourself to the point of what you want, but there is still one more obstacle. You must make the deliberate action of opening the gate, admitting that this is what you want. ...It has come time for the gate to open." (360 Degrees of Wisdom)

Mars, the planetary ruler of Aries, is the action energy. It's Captain Picard saying "Make it so!" without which the spaceship Enterprise is ready but going nowhere. It is the "Go!" at the end of the racer's mantra: Ready. Set. Go!

You can arrive at opportunity and readiness, but unless you open and walk through the gate, you're still standing at the entrance wondering why the rewards are always just beyond your grasp. You need to take action in some form, whether that is actual or symbolic. For example, take the first step in plans you've made while Mercury has been retrograde.

Or, go for a long walk to your favorite store. When you arrive at the door, pause and focus your mind and your intention. You are stepping across the threshold and entering a new realm where precious treasures can be found. Think of this as you browse around the store, enjoying and marveling at all the goodies that can be yours. If it feels right, seal the deal by purchasing something that represents your intention.

Or, stand at a crossroads and envision about what lies (or might lie) down each road. Notice how you feel about each possible journey. Does one road lead to places unknown? Will you choose this way or that way, and why? Or will you decide to turn around and go home, feeling unready to make the choice?

You don't have to go the whole distance, but if you feel ready to make a choice, take a short walk down the path of your choice and feel what it's like to move forward. Take something home with you that symbolizes your choice, like a twig or rock.


The Sabian Symbols in Astrology,
by Marc Edmund Jones

An Astrological Mandala,
by Dane Rudhyar

The Sabian Symbols: The Original Symbols Fully Revealed,
by Blain Bovee

Oct.14 � FULL MOON in ARIES (21:51)


Ottawa, Canada and
Washington DC, USA:

Oct.14, 4:02 PM EDT

London, UK:

Oct.14, 9:02 PM BST

Sydney, AU:

Oct.15, 7:02 AM AEDT

"What's a Full Moon?"

Read more about the Sun-Moon cycles.

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

Aries is the sign of beginnings. Aries is new, fresh, out front and in yer face. It is the sign of the individual, the pioneer and the lone wolf (er�ram). Aries is considered the first sign of the Zodiac, and it therefore has to do with initiation, instigation and the courage to leave the old behind and move into the new. To understand this Full Moon, it helps to understand the deeper nature of Aries. (Although Aries likes to do things quickly, there is a lot to talk about at this Full Moon!)

The Sabian Symbol ("What's a Sabian Symbol?") for the very first degree of the Zodiac shows the essential nature of Aries: "A woman just risen from the sea. A seal is embracing her." This image seems reminiscent of the story of Venus' birth. She rises fully formed from the sea foam where Uranus' genitals have been thrown after Saturn castrates him. Venus, the goddess of gentle beauty was born from an act of violence. Among other things, it is a symbol in which good can come from bad and new beginnings can offer fresh hope.

As Dane Rudhyar discusses in (An Astrological Mandala), this is a symbol of rising consciousness. Emerging awareness must separate from the waters of the unconscious. The seal embracing the woman is a mammal that evolved from being a sea creature into an air-breathing land creature, yet who later returned to the sea. By embracing the woman, the seal represents the urge to stay with what is familiar and to "return to the womb" rather than venture consciously into the unknown.

This symbol illustrates the struggle we all go through when emerging into new awareness. By moving into something new, we must leave behind the cushion of ignorance and face a new�possibly awful�truth. The temptation to turn around and dive back into our previous unconscious state can be great, and our animal nature is only to glad to help us remain in a world of instincts, impulses and simply being in our creaturehood.

Consciousness requires the courage to encounter that which lies beyond that instinctual realm, into the world of choice and consequences. We become initiated into a state where we can no longer entirely blame something or someone outside of ourselves for what happens to us. We become conscious co-creators in life. This evolves in stages, of course, but Aries represents the initiation into another layer of that emerging consciousness.

So what are we becoming conscious of? Ourselves, for starters. Being in Aries, the time is ripe to become more self-aware and to allow an impulsive expression of the Self to arise like Venus from the waves of the deep. We are also becoming aware of each other. The Full Moon is an opposition between the Sun and Moon. The opposition aspect is where two planets have moved as far apart from each other as they can get, and then turn and observe each other from a point of separateness. This is a condition of maximum (potential) awareness. The Aries Moon turns and sees the Libra Sun. Libra being "other people," we are seeing each other in a new way. Others around you act like a mirror to reflect something about you. Not that this is an invitation to narcissism�not everything is about you. Nevertheless, you can learn something about both the other person and about yourself through your interactions.

Astrological Factors

There are a number of influential factors in this emerging awareness. One is Neptune which forms an exact Wedge aspect configuration with the Sun and Moon. It is not enough to simply say, "Gee, look at you looking at me." There is far more at stake here than mere self awareness or social interaction. There is a potential to fulfil a higher purpose, to exercise your compassion and to become aware of participating in something greater than yourself.

Wedge aspect configuration: Sun-Moon-Neptune

Not all that is happening now can be known clearly. There is a lot going on that is beyond simple consciousness or will power�yet we are required to be conscious participants in this great flow of life. On the other hand, there may also be confusion about what is happening or which direction to go with it. Neptune may offer a greater context within which to measure your alternatives and understand the possibilities before you. However, this could also be based more on fantasy and wishful thinking that might burst like a bubble with it comes up against the hard wall of reality. An open yet objective mind is the key.

Mars, the planetary ruler of Aries, is extremely strong right now in its other sign, Scorpio. There is a depth of experience that is around us, and it's not easy to invoke it at will. Mars has no major aspects to other planets, indicating that few roads lead to those depths, and those few are probably hidden, subtle or lurking in the shadows. There is a semi-sextile aspect to Mercury, suggesting that it is through our thoughts, words, perceptions and ideas that Mars will show itself�but probably not very directly or easily. This might come out as an "edge" of annoyance, anger or aggression that lives underneath the words you speak. Or, you might be more reactive or "prickly" than usual. Mars is also in a sesqui-square aspect to Uranus, adding to the irritability, defensiveness or over-reaction. This doesn't have to be all bad, though�this could also stimulate your adrenaline-based behaviour, like courage, assertiveness, physical activity, sexuality and taking action on decisions.

Another major influence in this Full Moon is that fact that Mercury is stationing Direct a mere 24 hours later. The Full Moon will act as a lightning rod for the intense, concentrated Mercury energy. The Mercury station is a turning point in its retrograde cycle. During its retrograde period in Libra (Sep.24-Oct.15) we have seen some pretty dramatic chaos, disagreement, negotiation and communication in many situations, from political campaigning to local transit strikes to disruptions in commerce to intense debate. The financial chaos has led to a mammoth effort of global cooperation and negotiation in the process of trying to find a point of balance and calm, all of which are Libra's specialties.

On a more personally level, you may be struggling with your own "damned-if-you-do-damned-if-you-don't" dilemma that has required you to compromise, negotiate, weight alternatives or appreciate the other person's viewpoint. As Mercury turns direct, it may be possible to arrive at a win-win solution, or at least to approximate this (on a personal as well as collective level). There will likely be a better understanding of what action is needed to make things as fair as possible for all concerned. However, with Mercury semi-sextile to Mars, disagreement may continue to haunt whatever decisions are made.

The US and Canada Elections

In some recent discussions fellow Toronto astrologer, Priscilla Costello, mentioned that the Full Moon is exactly conjunct Eris, which is a newly discovered member of our solar system that has been granted "dwarf planet" status. We're just starting to scratch the surface of what Eris is about astrologically. Mythologically, Eris is the Greek goddess of strife and discord. It was she who initiated the events that led to the Trojan War, by tossing into a crowd of beautiful goddesses a golden apple inscribed "To the fairest." You can imagine the cat fight that ensued!

Another Toronto astrologer, Julie Simmons, pointed out that "gold" is a form of money. Anyone noticed any strife or discord in the area of finances and economy lately? Nah, me neither. How about a competition for a prized status being fought by "the best of the best" to determine who will reign as the winner? Nope, not me either. ;-)

Seriously, the recent financial meltdown that continues to have world-wide effects seems to echo this mythological story in eerie ways. And the current campaign for the US Presidency will undoubtedly turn out to be one of the most important, pivotal and influential elections in US history. Barack Obama and John McCain are competing over who will claim that "golden apple" of the US presidency. And no matter who wins the election, they will govern through an extremely demanding and challenging time of restructuring and transformation. The mounting discord in this already strongly divided country could become worse before there is clear evidence of healing (echoes of the Trojan War). This struggle would be a necessary phase of the healing process, like a blister that must first be lanced and drained before the deeper healing can begin.

Here in Canada (where I am), we are also gearing up for a Federal election, which takes place precisely on the day of that Full Moon conjunct Eris! The choice Canadians face in this election is provoking, inviting and confronting the underlying issues of discord and disagreement in Canadian politics, revealing a lot of fragmentation and division in ideologies. Like our neighbours to the south, Canada also faces some difficult choices of how to address today's unique problems, from the economy to the environment to military involvement to the use of resources, to name a few. Do we embrace change by meeting it head-on and risking undue difficulty during the transition? Or do we stick with a more traditionalist approach and risk waking up one day to discover we have done too little too late and our efforts to stave off inevitable problems were in vain?

The way things look as I write this, there likely will not be a clear winner here in Canada. In our party-based political system, we have three major national political parties (Conservatives, Liberals and New Democrats) and now a fourth new contender (the Green party), plus a fifth party that focuses only on the province of Quebec (the Bloc Quebecois). And all are jockeying for a dominant or influential position. From the way it has looked leading up to the election, this political recipe is very likely to produce Canada's third minority government in 4 years! That means the governing political party could be brought down by the other parties at virtually any time, plunging us into yet another election. On the brighter side, although certainly born of discord, disagreement and discontent, a minority government also necessitates a great deal of compromise and cooperation.

Canada's election takes place within a day of the Mercury station. The last time Canada had an election on a Mercury station (although somewhat different transits) was Oct.25.1993, which had rather bizarre results. It produced a clear majority government but with the official opposition party being the Bloc Quebecois, a party whose primary agenda is to protect the unique interests and promote the sovereign separation of only one province: Quebec. The right-wing Progressive Conservative party, after 10 years as the governing party, was also reduced to a mere 2 seats out of 295, reflecting the fury Canadians felt about how many issues had been handled. At the same time, this election also saw the dramatic rise of an ultra-right-wing party (then called the Reform party), which later evolved into the Conservative party that currently governs Canada. There are some intriguing parallels here!

It will be very interesting to see how this current election plays out, with the next government being "conceived" on a Full Moon conjunct chaotic Eris and Mercury being stationary direct in Libra. I suspect the outcome could be quite intense, probably as a minority government with a division of political parties that is more evenly fragmented than before. Mercury stationary in Libra could create an atmosphere of indecision due to not being able to agree how to be fair to all concerned, and of course, each party having a different vision of what that fairness would look like. On the other hand, this would also necessitate even more extensive cooperation, negotiation and strategic alliance. I imagine the resulting effect could range from a manipulative political cold war, at worst, to a gradual but diplomatically balanced progress, at best.

Battle of the Titans!

Finally, the Saturn-Uranus opposition continues to pull into closer alignment, now being only about 2� degrees from exact (which happens on Nov.04�the day of the US election!). Saturn is the "establishment," the status quo, the tradition-oriented approach that resists fast change and trusts that the structure and policies of the system will meet the needs of its members (read: trickle-down effect). Uranus is the "new order," the revolutionary, the future-oriented approach that seeks to break free of the restrictions that keep us trapped in the past rather than moving fearlessly toward greater potential.

With these two in opposition, they are at maximum separation and prone to objectification and polarization. In other words, it's easy for us to swing to one extreme or the other�the progressive versus the conservative. This dynamic is certainly being played out in the US election campaigns, as well as in Canada, where the population seems increasingly divided between those who believe the best future lies in breaking new ground and trying new solutions to old problems, versus those who believe the best solutions lie in getting back to basic values and supporting the traditional structures and institutions in society.

The Saturn-Uranus opposition is also interacting with some very significant transits that were happening in the mid-1960s, including another Saturn-Uranus opposition (but they were in opposite signs to where they are now) and the Uranus-Pluto conjunction. It was these transits especially that galvanized the sweeping, radical changes of the 1960s. The approaching Uranus-Pluto square (reaching its first exact pass in 2012) is also bringing us to a turning point in the changes that began with the conjunction in the 1960s. Whatever is in store for us through the coming years will undoubtedly be cathartic, transformative and anything but dull! (More about this in future updates.)

At the Crossroads

To bring this back to our Aries theme: Aries is about beginnings, yet a Full Moon is about fruition and results that emerges from prior development. In short, we are at a crossroads, both personally and collectively. We have a choice: we can take a risk and move forward into the unknown, or we can attempt to retreat back into the security of what we have now. There isn't one simple answer here�if you're not yet able to breathe the air, it's probably best to stay in the waters of gestation until you're ready to be reborn. On the other hand, to stay in the womb too long is to die, or it can merely prolong the inevitable while increasing the pain and struggle.

With Pluto in Capricorn dawning on the horizon (a major shift in collective consciousness, to be sure), it may come down to whether you cooperate with or resist the inevitable. By embracing the approaching birth, we have a better chance of having a say in how it unfolds. By resisting it, we may only amplify our sense of powerlessness. With Mercury stationary in Libra, indecision could be an obstacle�that "deer in the headlights" kind of paralysis, when you feel overwhelmed and incapable of knowing which is the better choice. That's when you need to take some time out to talk to someone about what you're struggling with (your astrologer, for instance).

Yet, with Saturn balancing out Uranus in their opposition, reckless or impulsive choices could easily lead to crashing headlong into reality. Although we're moving toward a new future, we must still start with where we are in the present. We also need to preserve the learning and strength accumulated from the past. We can't just "throw the baby out with the bathwater."

If you have planets or points in your Natal chart that coincide with these major transits, you too are starting to go through changes, growth and turning points in your own life. It is strongly recommended that you learn more about these energies and how they affect your personal chart. Awareness is the key to being able to work constructively with these energies, rather than just feeling like they are working you. Find out how you can get a personal reading with me. Luckily, the current economic meltdown has a silver lining�you can take advantage of the low Canadian dollar! Since my prices are in Canadian dollars, US clients, for example, will save about 15% because of the exchange rate! And if you're already a client of mine, you will get an extra 15% discount for the rest of October! Contact me for prices.   

Oct.14 � Sun Trine Neptune (21:34 of Libra/Aquarius)

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.15 � Mercury Stationary Direct (07:35 of Libra; direct until Jan.11.2009) (Oct.16 in AU) ("What does Retrograde mean?"  "What does stationary mean?"  Read article about Mercury Retrograde.  Read article about stations.)

For up to a week before and after today, you may experience mental intensity, confusion, and miscommunications or changes in your outlook. After being Retrograde since Sep.24, Mercury is now taking a slow turn to resume Direct motion. These past 3.5 weeks have challenged you to rethink and rehash things that required some fine-tuning or revision. The Direct station can be a time when clearer decisions start to emerge from the issues and struggles you've encountered during the retrograde period. Or, it might turn your perspective around so that you're seeing your situation fresh again. Over the next couple of weeks, while Mercury is still in the Shadow ("What's the Shadow?"), your brain may feel a bit like it's gradually waking up after a deep sleep. During this time, you can gradually put into practice the learning and knowledge you've gained from your retrograde "dreams" and moonlight visions. It will take time to get fully back into sync with the Mercury direct energy. So, take it slow, one step at a time, and untangle yourself one strand at a time. 

Oct.16 � Chiron conjunct North Lunar Node (16:05 of Aquarius)

What does healing mean for you right now? What wounds do you carry that are ready to be healed? These might be physical, emotional, psychological, spiritual or social. Or perhaps there is a situation in your life that probably can't be completely resolved, but could probably be managed with the right strategies? Or, maybe you are in a situation where you feel you have to be something you're not, or where you don't seem to entirely fit in with the surrounding environment. This is a time when these issues are likely to be more prominent than usual. You might find people who can help you work through these areas. Or, perhaps you will encounter people who bring out that woundedness in you by aggravating those wounds somehow, giving you the dubious but authentic opportunity to learn more about what you need to heal and get past those problems. Remember that Chiron heals by giving you a nudge in the direction of the problem, rather than away from it, so if it seems like things are getting worse, you may be closer to finding a remedy than you realise. Try looking at the situation from a different perspective.

This is the final pass of three�Jun.02, Aug.10 and Oct.16�although it is within orb from March to December of this year. Interestingly, this seems to coincide with the onset and development of the current economic crisis in the US which has affected economies word wide. Perhaps this means things will start to level off and stabilize a bit by the end of the year. On the other hand, this combinations of energies could bring a sense of shared suffering with others. At its best, this could encourage greater empathy and compassion for those who have been hit hard by financial troubles. At its worst, it could create a feeling of being alone with your suffering, making you feel like you just want to retreat into a dark cave somewhere until it's all over. This final pass can bring a resolution to whatever your experience has been these past several months, especially in terms of suffering, struggle and having to juggle different experiences in a balanced way. 

Oct.18 � Venus enters Sagittarius (until Nov.12) (Oct.19 in AU)

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. 

Oct.21 � Sun sextile Pluto (28:58 of Libra/Sagittarius) (Oct.22 in UK, AU)

Your sense of purpose is potentially strong now, being able to tap into a deeper level of energy and determination. Your personality may be more forceful now, which can be great if you need to make a strong impression but perhaps not so much in situations requiring delicacy or subtlety. You have greater ability to see below the surface of things now, although it may not be as easy to put it all together and understand what it all means. It can be possible to unearth secrets or get at the core of unconscious patterns (yours and others'). However, you'll have to work to harvest the fruit of these potentials, and some of the insights and benefits may not become apparent until later. 

Oct.22 � Sun enters Scorpio (until Nov.21) (Oct.23 in UK, AU)


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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.22-Nov.19 � Cradle aspect configuration and T-Square aspect configuration

It starts with Saturn in Virgo opposite Uranus in Pisces, which pits the traditional and realistic against the unconventional and visionary. The idea is to see each clearly with their particular gifts and shortcomings, while allowing each to balance out and complement the other.

Then we have Jupiter in Capricorn, which is in trine aspect to Saturn and sextile to Uranus. Jupiter is like a friendly mediator, being able to see the positive qualities of both sides of the opposition. Taking a practical approach with principles and truth can help to keep the extremes from becoming rigid adversaries. It can also help to acknowledge the benefits and advantages of taking a disciplined, grounded and mature approach to struggles between opposites.

Cradle aspect configuration: Saturn-Uranus, Jupiter, Mars-Sun-Mercury

Then we have 3 different planets moving across the Scorpio midpoint between Saturn and Jupiter, bringing more friendly mediating energy. Mars goes over that point first (Oct.22-Nov.06), with a message that Jupiter's pragmatic principles are all fine and nice, but there is also room for passion, enthusiasm and listening to your instincts. Then the Sun moves into that zone (Nov.04-17), encouraging you to draw on confidence in your personal power to ride out any stress or confusion you might feel. Then Mercury (Nov.13-19) brings depth of perception to detect the hidden messages between the words people speak.

The Cradle configuration can show a creative and optimistic way of dealing with stress and conflict. Jupiter contributes hope, optimism and perspective. Mars instils courage, energy and the ability to endure intensity. The Sun radiates self-esteem, confidence and a sense of self that can outlast whatever problems are in your path. And Mercury brings awareness, ideas and the ability to give a voice to your deeper feelings and intuition.

However, there's also a fine line between creative coping and inability to face what's really going on. The Cradle can also show potential for denial or difficulty dealing with problems, by using the "positive" energies of the trine/sextile planets (Jupiter, Mars, Sun, Mercury) to avoid the stress of the Saturn-Uranus. For example, it might be easier to believe you are 100% right, rather than both you and the other person having something of value to say. As a result, you might impulsively lash out to intimidate, blame or even attack anyone who says otherwise. Another example: you might feel you need to question everything you believed to be true. It could be tempting to assume that the inconsistencies or faults lie only within you, rather than considering that contradictions lie in all people, including the ones you respect or admire. This could be an opportunity to learn how to accept that maybe life isn't as stable or predictable as you thought it was�which isn't necessarily a bad thing. 

Oct.25 � Chiron Stationary Direct (16:02 of Aquarius) ("What's a station?"  Article about stations.)

For up to a week before and after this date, you may feel a bit like you're caught between worlds�the spiritual versus the physical, the mental versus the emotional, or the outer objective world versus your inner subjective experience. Chiron has been retrograde since May.25, giving us time to assess the places in our lives that need healing and to discover the ways that we might be wounding ourselves or others. This includes physical health issues, emotional vulnerability and mental perspectives that create more problems than they solve. As Chiron turns direct, everything we have learned over the last five months becomes ready to be applied over the coming three months (while Chiron is still in the Shadow). Right now, you might find you reach a decision or turning point about issues you have wrestled with since May concerning goals, career, expectations or authority. If these issues have been stressful, this might come out now in the form of health problems, so it's a good idea to be gentle yet disciplined with yourself in this area. It could be a time of ambiguity, feeling like you're caught in a whirlpool that mixes up possibilities with limitations. Or, you might experience some clarity, as the paradoxical coexistence of realities and potentials on the path before you come into clearer focus. Either way, it is a time that can be magical because of its ability to bridge the gap between what is and what might be. 

Oct.26 � Mercury Direct trine Chiron (16:02 of Libra/Aquarius)

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.

This is the last of 3 passes: Sep.12, Oct.04 and Oct.26. 

Oct.26, 1:00 AM � Standard Time resumes in the United Kingdom

The United Kingdom goes back to Standard Time today. If that's where you are, turn your clocks backwards one hour. 

Oct.27 � Mars square Chiron (16:02 of Scorpio/Aquarius) (Oct.28 in AU)

It may be time to confront issues in your life that involve how/why you get hurt by others, how you yourself hurt others, and how healing can take place in either of these situations. Your awareness of this may due to a conflict in your life, but this can be a valuable learning experience for you, more-so than usual. Part of the problem may be that you need to tread your own path but are avoiding this for whatever reasons -- perhaps circumstances compel you to satisfy others' expectations, or perhaps you are still struggling to muster the courage to find and walk your own path. Whatever the reasons, this transit may give you a push that will help to steer you in a healing direction, possibly by showing you how and why the path you have been on does not lead to where you want to go. If you start to feel overwhelmed, take some time out from the stress to get re-centered and grounded. 

Oct.27 � Mars sextile Jupiter (16:14 of Scorpio/Capricorn) (Oct.28 in AU)

There is potential for optimism, cheerfulness and increased energy during this transit. You will probably have to go after it (rather than it just falling into your lap), but you can probably increase your mood and energy level by applying a bit of effort. Your self-confidence and general attitude can improve, although be careful you don't become so caught up in feeling good that you ignore common sense, caution or realism. This is a good time to consider the moral, philosophical or greater implications of your actions, and then make adjustments to bring your behaviour into alignment with your beliefs, aspirations and ideals. 

Photo for the New Moon Sabian Symbol from MorgueFile.com.

Next Update:  NEW MOON in SCORPIO - October 28/29, 2008. Available by Oct.28.

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