The Low-Down on the Far-Out

New Moon in Libra, Oct 2015

Chart for the New Moon in Libra
Chart for the New Moon in Libra

To put everything in balance is good.
To put everything in harmony is better.
~ Victor Hugo

Oct.12 – NEW MOON in LIBRA (19:20 of Libra)

If there's one thing Libra is known for, it's balance. When applied to mental perspective it can lead to indecision. Libra sees and appreciates both sides of the story. On one hand, there's this; on the other hand, there's that. Which to choose � this or that?

And what about that one over there? You never know what you might be missing! And now there's something else over here that's throwing the balance off again. Make up your mind! There's no time for stalemate. Decisions, decisions...

Choice is not something Libras cringe at. On the contrary, they love it so much they want to choose everything! Pick just one? For heaven's sake, why?? This should be an equal opportunity exercise! Balance means that all possibilities are given equal consideration. Right??

The problem is that it gets exhausting to juggle all those options. How to simplify?

In changing times�and make no mistake, we are living in dramatically changing times�there's no such thing as just coasting along on a smooth, soothing ride. There's always something to deal with � a bump in the road, a sharp turn, an unexpected lane change, traffic lights and rush hour traffic that cause delays.

Each encounter demands a response. You need to make choices that are consistent with your values, intentions and priorities. If you're not paying attention, you could become overwhelmed, derailed or wind up someplace you had no intention of going to.

In times like these, it's crucial to keep your hands on the wheel of your life. Steering, adjusting and keeping your eyes peeled for what's in front of you and whatever comes next so you can prevent or resolve a crisis. Otherwise it's like driving a car without a steering wheel. You might luck out and the ride will be smooth enough to carry you along uneventfully, but if you're not participating in your own journey then you are far less likely to wind up where you want to be.

And that means making choices and decisions. So again: how to choose? Do you turn left or right? Keep going straight or turn around and retrace your steps? Do you stay on the main highway or wander off on a trail that can barely be seen? The choices that someone else makes might inspire you, but they could wind up being the worst choices for you.

It is essential to stay balanced, which requires you to remain alert, aware and awake. And learning how to do that (or do it better) might be your first step in the journey.

This New Moon in Libra is an exercise in maintaining your balance on a very bumpy road that has lots of twists, turns and potholes. The journey is bound to be exciting, challenging and unpredictable. It has potential to pull you out of certain disaster or allow you to discover a whole new direction.

Shall we begin?

A true soul mate is a mirror, the person who shows you everything that is holding you back,
the person who brings you to your own attention
so you can change your life.
~ Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love

Let's start with the New Moon itself�the Sun and Moon conjunct in Libra. This begins a 4-week cycle of exploring the world through relationship and how you balance yourself against other people and external situations.

Libra has often been described as a mirror that shows you something about yourself as seen through the eyes of another. That being the case, this particular New Moon mirror could have some strange bumps, ripples and even a crack or two.

Libra holds a similar energy to the opposition (180�). This aspect sets two planets as far apart as they can go, on opposite sides of the universe. This arrangement reveals their differences and the things that distinguish one from the other. They are literally poles apart, and both energies often polarize to each other as a result of seeing the vast difference and distance between them. ("Eww, look at that. I'm not like that at all!")

This can feel rather contradictory or conflicting until you recognize the hidden benefit � from this distant perspective, they also have a very clear and objective view of each other. They can see things that are hidden from the other due to being in their blind spot.

Have you ever tried to look at the under-side of your chin? To do that you need a mirror to reflect it back to you. In the same way, we act as mirrors to each other, and this interactive function is the essence of Libra.

Through the "other's" eyes you can see things about yourself that may be hidden from your own awareness. That "other" could be a single individual or the external world in general, your life partner or your co-worker, your best friend or a chance encounter with a stranger.

Whoever or whatever takes the role of that mirror, it is possible to glean some insight about who you are, what kind of energy you are putting out and what kind of energy you are drawing to you.

However, it's often not quite what it seems and shouldn't always be taken on face value. The point is that when you look out through your own eyes, what you see is not just about what you are seeing � it's also an opportunity to learn something about who you are.

Your visions will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.
~ Carl Jung

The tricky part about mirrors is that what you see also gets mixed up with the qualities of the mirror itself. This can enhance or obscure, but either way it is a type of distortion. While this is a quality of Libra itself, this is also emphasized in the New Moon chart in a number of ways.

Disco ball with reflected lights

Uranus is tightly opposite the Sun-Moon conjunction (a.k.a. the New Moon). This can fragment the mirror's reflection and distort what you're seeing in unpredictable or unexpected ways. It could be like a disco mirror ball that shoots reflections all over and you don't know where the image is originating from or what it really means.

An example of this could be someone who reacts to you in a certain way that seems out of character for them. This might be from feelings or perceptions coming up in them that have been hidden or buried, which may or may not have much to do with you directly.

On the other hand, it might be that they are reacting in part to something else in their life and you just happened to push that same button. In the same way, your responses might arise from your own perspective, thoughts or feelings—or they could be combined with an unconscious reaction to other influences in your own life that lie outside of your awareness and might have nothing directly to do with whoever just pushed your buttons.

As an example, if you have a bad breakup with someone and later meet a new person who looks like your ex, it could bring up a lot of old feelings (for better or worse). But having those feelings ringing inside you doesn't prove that your new friend is like your ex in other ways. Like a tuning fork, you are vibrating to something else that has nothing to do with your new friend, even though they inadvertently set the resonance in motion.

Another example of how this might manifest is where your interactions with others shake you up and disrupt the otherwise calm surface of your life. Perhaps your intimate partner does something totally spontaneous and unexpected. Or you might have an experience that feels like a smack upside the head and it jolts you awake.

This experience of awakening to something new is where the point of power lies. Regardless of what seems to be happening on the surface of the situation, it's wise to pay attention to what your heightened awareness is showing you. You have a chance to see things from a very different perspective. And it probably calls for a very different response from you than you would normally give.

Before you react automatically, reflect on what the experience is showing you. How is it different from what you were expecting and how does it contrast to your usual worldview? You are being shown something beyond your usual horizon. Treat it like a rare celestial event � like an eclipse that briefly shows you a side of the Sun or Moon that is usually obscured.

This life's dim windows of the soul
Distorts the heavens from pole to pole
And leads you to believe a lie
When you see with, not through, the eye.
~ William Blake

Another form of distortion in the New Moon chart comes from Venus, the planetary ruler of Libra and therefore this lunar cycle. Venus is in opposition to Neptune (180�). Neptune is famous for distorting and disguising reality at the best of times, making something look like one thing when it's really something else. This can result in exquisite beauty that idealizes something by bringing out its best qualities and letting any conflicting qualities recede into the background.

Water reflection

Therefore the Venus-Neptune opposition can be great for projects that seek to beautify or idealize something. Art and music are classic examples of this, since they accentuate a particular effect that evokes an emotional response from the audience.

Although perhaps not considered art, commercial marketing also comes under this heading, since it plays up what appeals to the audience and conveniently hides or downplays the fine print.

The question is whether this is done for a higher, sublime purpose or for a mundane or profane purpose. One can easily be confused for the other. What is intended to be inspiring and uplifting might just be a shortcut made to look like that. And something that seems commonplace could harbour subtle qualities that lead to an experience far greater than what appears on the surface.

Saturn is also square Venus (90�) and square Neptune (exact on Nov.26). Saturn and Neptune are strange bedfellows indeed! Saturn mixes with Neptune like oil and water! In many ways, the two are about as different and exclusive as two planets can get. Saturn is reality, Neptune is imagination. Saturn is what is, Neptune is what could be. Saturn is the physical world, Neptune is transcendence beyond the physical.

When they combine well, they produce art forms � visual art, music and dance, as well as constructive use of imagination and a grounded, healthy, open-minded skepticism about the unknown. When they combine badly, getting a clear handle on either planet on its own can be complicated and exhausting � difficulty distinguishing fantasy from fact, cynicism that reduces the world down to its lowest common denominator, or idealism that sees the best in everything while rejecting any contradictory information.

T-square: Venus opp Neptune, sqr Saturn

With the conflicting square aspect, Saturn and Neptune challenge you to review the ways you may be falling short of an effective marriage between these two diverse energies. Too much Saturn can dull the magical lustre of life and give a pessimistic view of the future. Too much Neptune can obscure your view of the world around you, either making real problems look deceptively innocuous or making the struggle seem endless, hopeless and pointless.

These awkward energies combine with Venus in a T-square aspect pattern, which strongly affects the whole lunar cycle. This makes it especially important to remember that whatever Venus sees in that external mirror should be interpreted through the lens of a reality check to see how much distortion or deception might be there.

It suggests that you won't be able to blithely drift along Neptune's current without having to deal with Saturn's rocks in the stream. Ignore Saturn and you could find yourself slamming rather abruptly into the reality of the situation. Work with Saturn and you have a chance to steer around the obstacles or even find an imaginative use for them in your journey.

No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it's not the same river and he's not the same man.
~ based on Heraclitus

There are many different ripples, bubbles and cracks in the Libra mirror during this lunar cycle. The Saturn-Neptune T-square dilemma is but one. The Uranus wake-up call is another. Say hello to the Uranus-Pluto square again! Uranus and Pluto combine with the Sun-Moon conjunction to form yet another T-square configuration. Uranus and Pluto have finished their exact passes, but they continue to travel for a few years within orb of that square aspect, so don't think you can count them out just yet!

Stones reflected on a mirror

This New Moon brings the Uranus-Pluto square back into focus, but these are all separating aspects. In other words, all of these aspects finished their last exact pass in the past, and are now gradually moving apart and dissipating in their effect. This suggests that what you're dealing with is not so much an energy that is forming and building, but the after-effects of something that has already taken place.

For example, this could play out in a relationship issue that had hit a crisis point and now you need to decide what to do with it or about it. Is it central enough to the relationship that you can't put it back together again? Then it might be time to consider ending it. If the disruption has a chance to be healed, then substantial changes will likely be necessary. This lunar cycle may provide a time to consider which direction you want or need to go with it.

On a more personal level, this might also be a time when you need to make adjustments to how you interact with the outside world. New developments or disruptions in the past eventually make it necessary to update your life going forward to match the new You inside. This lunar cycle can provide a time to adjust your direction, review what your priorities are now, and how your values may have changed as a result of past experiences that uprooted your life.

This could include things like who you allow into your life and how close you want to be with them. It might affect how you find balance and harmony that brings you back to centre again when life gets rocky. And you might discover that you have become tilted away from your grounded centre and you need to renew your sense of context � what you're doing it all for, what you want to achieve and which mountaintop you are aspiring to climb.

Most people fail at whatever they attempt because of an undecided heart. Should I? Should I not? Go forward? Go back? Success requires the emotional balance of a committed heart. When confronted with a challenge, the committed heart will search for a solution. The undecided heart searches for an escape.
~ Andy Andrews, The Traveler's Gift

Venus and Mercury are in mutual reception, meaning they're each in a sign that the other rules. Venus is in Virgo, ruled by Mercury, and Mercury is in Venus' sign of Libra. Again, we have a theme of mirroring! They each show a different combined version of similar energies; kind of how a lake reflects the trees but not exactly the same.

Mercury turned Direct just 3.5 days before the New Moon, on Oct.09, after being retrograde since Sep.17. Still half asleep and moving slowly, Mercury's influence remains rather strong. Although you're emerging out of Mercury's retrograde and stationary trance, your ability to think clearly and quickly may still be a bit more sluggish and fuzzy than you would like.

Trees reflected in a pond

This will improve, of course, but in the meantime it could affect your ability to make Libran choices and decisions. The indecisive side of Libra might be a bit more pronounced, although your ability to speak to many sides of the situation could also be enhanced if you can slow down your thinking enough to find the right words. Mercury is in a tight sextile to Saturn, which adds extra weight to the need to take things at a slow, steady pace, especially when thinking out loud and choosing words that won't evoke unpleasant reactions.

Mercury is also tightly conjunct the North Lunar Node, and in fact stationed Direct (Oct.09) right on the Node. I use the True Node which oscillates back and forth somewhat, rather than the Mean Node which uses an average amount of distance travelled.

Whether you use the True or Mean Node, Mercury's close proximity to it at his direct station means much of what you may be focused on (and still are) is where you're heading. What is the cutting edge of your learning curve right now? Where do you need to be a month from now or a year from now? Who is available to help you get there, and what can they contribute to your journey? If you're not sure, what can you do to find good resource people who can offer structure, guidance or information? (Hint: Google is your friend.)

You can't be neutral on a moving train.
~ Howard Zinn

Last but not necessarily least, there is an intriguing aspect pattern that doesn't have a name, as far as I know. It involves Mercury and Venus in semi-sextile aspect to each other (30�), and Chiron forms a minor aspect to both called a quindecile: 165�. I first heard of this aspect through Noel Tyl. Think of it as two planets that are 5� signs apart, or half a sign short of an opposition, or 11 x 15�. The quindecile is often associated with being obsessive, disruptive or persevering.

Quindecile aspect pattern

So we have Mercury and Venus combined with a very determined Chiron in a context of a Libra New Moon. This is a Yod-like figure, so whatever is at the pointy end is likely to be the cutting edge that is best wielded from the two planets on the other side of the figure. In this case, interaction and communication (Venus and Mercury) could have subtle yet powerful implications for whether the outcome is healing or wounding (Chiron). Choosing your words wisely and taking care how you deliver them can go a long way to affect the outcome.

At its worst, this combination could result in trying to fix a relationship problem so vehemently that it damages the very connection it's trying to heal. This is the "I will destroy this village in order to heal it" logic, and it doesn't usually result in the outcome you were originally aiming for.

On the other hand, if done with unwavering patience rather than just stubborn obsession, this could also give the perseverance and dedication necessary to carry a tense negotiation through to a peaceful and balanced resolution.

Myself is thus and so, and will continue thus and so. And why fight it? My balance comes from instability.
~ Saul Bellow

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There is no Fixed energy in the New Moon chart. There are no planets in Fixed signs. This means that finding a workable rhythm in all this could be tricky and require constant adjustments. It might be a bit like trying to balance the scales on a ship being tossed around on the waves � as soon as you think you've found it, the centre of gravity shifts again and you have to find it all over again.

This cycle could involve constantly changing choices and decisions, either because you are unsure of what your best choice is or because the circumstances keep changing. At the very least, it suggests that autopilot won't work right now � you probably can't simply coast along and enjoy the ride. It is crucial that you are an active participant in your life and in the world you encounter.

Each step, each encounter, each interaction, each exchange of energy needs to be done as if it is the first time you've done it � consciously, carefully, awake, aware and open to what comes next. Balance is probably best found in small increments. Step, wobble, adjust, listen, repeat. Baby steps.

Stability will come later. For now, stay open and fully present, receptive to the feedback you get from your actions. And keep an eye on the mirrors in your life, be they people, events or situations. One. Step. At. A. Time.

If you are irritated by every rub, how will your mirror be polished?
~ Rumi

Oct.13 – Mercury Direct sextile Saturn (02:08 of Libra/Sagittarius)   (Oct.12 in HAST)

It can be easier to take a logical, practical approach to problem-solving and decisions now. It's a good time to make plans and work out the logistics of how you're going to get from "here" to "there" in pursuing your ambitions. Or, you may find it's time to bring closure to finished goals, by distilling and systemizing what you've learned in the past several months. This will probably require a bit of effort on your part to make it happen, but the opportunity is there if you choose to take it. This transit can bring mental stability and the ability to apply your mental focus in a practical and grounded way. It may be easier to see things realistically and objectively. Creative energy can become productive and rewarding, if you use it methodically or logically.

Oct.15 – Mars trine Pluto (13:05 of Virgo/Capricorn)   (Oct.16 in ADT, NDT, UK, AU)

You may feel a strong urge to embrace and engage power, assert your desires and act on deep impulses. Your sexual energy could also be very high now (use it wisely). You might feel like nothing can stop you or hold you back. In fact, the ability to create change and take action is especially strong right now. If you have been preparing to put plans into action, this can be a powerful time to do so. But also be aware that too much of a good thing can sometimes backfire – it is possible to overstep your bounds or come on a bit too strong, with this energy. Suppressed anger, frustration or an urge to "vanquish the enemy" may be expressed more forcefully than you intend. It will help to center yourself and focus on acknowledging your emotions, impulses and power – then use your good judgment when deciding whether or how to act on them.

Oct.16 – Venus opposite Neptune (07:18 of Virgo/Pisces)   (Oct.17 in NDT, UK, AU)

Romance, idealism, fantasy and imagination are blossoming into a bright aura right now, which is likely to influence your relationships, interactions, finances and values – for better or for worse! Compassion, caring and selfless giving can be good ideals to aim for, as long as you remember that ideals tend to lose some of their shiny glow when they're translated into hard reality. If you forget this, the end result may be disappointing or disillusioning. Disappointment may also indicate that there have been hidden hopes or high expectations that no one can really live up to. Aim to balance your innocence and longing with the judgement of your older, wiser, mature self; and do a reality check with a trusted friend or adviser if in doubt. That said, this can also be a very creative and inspiring time – just remember to keep one foot on the ground.

Oct.17 – Mars conjunct Jupiter (14:11 of Virgo)   (Oct.18 in AU)

"When the Moon is in the 7th House and Jupiter aligns with Mars, then peace with guide the planets and love will steer the stars!" This quote from the song "Age of Aquarius" from the musical Hair describes this transit. When the aggression, drive, courage and desire of Mars are combined with Jupiter's love of justice, mercy and higher purpose, we can get the best of both worlds. On the other hand, we can also get the worst of both worlds; for example, self-righteousness or over-zealousness. This transit sparks a new beginning in our use of these energies, which unfolds over the next 2 years or so. The questions to ask yourself at its initiation, now, are: Will you use your energy to seek greater understanding, or to jump to conclusions? Will your courage be used to fight for justice or to blame? Will your passion and drive be used to advance a higher purpose or to inflict angry destruction in the name of judgment? The reality will probably lie somewhere in between, but awareness of which extreme you are drifting toward will allow you to make choices about whether you want to correct your course or go with the flow.

Mars is also parallel Jupiter, exact on Oct.19, which means this conjunction will be even more powerful and impressive than usual!

Oct.22 – Mercury Direct square Pluto (13:10 of Libra/Capricorn)   (Oct.23 in AU)

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.

Oct.23 – Venus trine Pluto (13:10 of Virgo/Capricorn)   (Oct.22 in HAST, PDT)

Close one-on-one connections with people (close friends, lovers, partners of all kinds) will tend to gravitate to a deeper, more intense level now. Instead of automatically doing the diplomatic, "nice" thing, you may find it is more fulfilling to share more of your authentic feelings. It may be possible now to connect with people on a deeper level, while still ensuring that your interests are equally balanced with theirs. The trick is to do this without trying to control or overpower the other person, and it may be easier to avoid those traps now. You could make some deeply intimate connections with people under this transit. Financial dealings with other people may also go smoothly, although it might be wise to get clear confirmation that you're both on the same page about the fine print.

Oct.23 – Mars opposite Chiron (17:31 of Virgo/Pisces)   (Oct.22 in HAST)

Your efforts and physical/emotional/mental energy may struggle with fundamental limitations and latent imperfections under this transit. Weakness or chronic problems in health may flare up now, especially if you are under a lot of stress. It will help to do whatever is necessary to support and take care of yourself. You may find it works better to minimize or prevent deterioration, rather than to attempt a complete cure of whatever ails you. Emotional health may also be affected, bringing out latent issues related to anger, sexuality, assertiveness or courage. This is a time when you can probably see all these problem areas more clearly, and as a result it can seem like they are getting worse. While this may or may not actually be true, you are in a position to respond to these issues in a different way now – precisely because you are able to see the nature of the problems more objectively and clearly. So don't allow yourself to just be intimidated by difficult experiences you might have now; use them to take steps toward a new well-being.

Oct.25 – 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 – Mercury leaves the Shadow (15:55 of Libra; next Shadow begins Dec.19)   (Oct.25 in AU)   ("What's the Shadow?"  Read my articles about Retrograde Cycles.  Read my article about Mercury Retrograde.)

Mercury finally leaves the shadow�the part of the zodiac where it was retrograde. This means the confusion, delays and miscommunications of the last 2 months have mostly dissipated and things should be more or less back to normal (whatever that is). The difference is that you now have the benefit of seeing things from a different perspective after having reconsidered, rethought and rehashed information and perceptions over the past 2 months. This gives you more choices than you had before. In fact, you may find that although you thought something was a good idea a month or two ago, you now realize that a different approach, decision or way of understanding it is better. If you've been waiting until Mercury finished with the retrograde cycle before you made a final decision about something or taking action on something, this is the time to take another look at whatever that is. Just don't forget your common sense, and remember that Mercury is only one factor to take into consideration regarding the timing of a decision. Use your best judgment and wisdom.

Oct.25 – UK changes to Standard Time

If your region observes Daylight Saving Time and you live in the UK, Europe or around the Middle East, it may be time to change the clocks one hour back. If you're not sure, you can check for the change dates and locations on

Oct.25 – Venus conjunct Jupiter (15:38 of Virgo)   (Oct.26 in AU)

Romance is in the air, harmony is reflected in everything around you, and love and beauty abound! This can be a time of sweet mercy, pleasure and peace, both personally and in relationships. It can also be a time when your ability to attract money, resources and rewards into your life are especially strong. You might consider indulging in a lottery ticket! Or maybe treating yourself to some creature comforts, like a massage or a double chocolate brownie or anything that gets the endorphins flowing! Unfortunately, this can also be a time when you are prone to over-indulge in pleasures or overestimate your resources. By all means enjoy this lovely feel-good energy, but it's also wise to keep your "addictions" in check. Don't entirely disregard your diet, your budget or your realism in relationships.

Oct.25 – Mercury Direct opposite Uranus (17:57 of Libra/Aries)   (Oct.26 in AU)

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.

Next Update:  FULL MOON in TAURUS  - available by October 27, 2015.

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