The Low-Down on the Far-Out

New Moon in Libra, October 2016

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

What the world needs now is love sweet love,
It's the only thing that there's just too little of,
What the world needs now is love sweet love,
No not just for some but for everyone...
~ Hal David and Burt Bacharach, What the World Needs Now

Sep.30 – NEW MOON in LIBRA (08:15 of Libra)

When you think of Libra, what comes to mind? Love, relationships, beauty, diplomacy, lawsuits, balance and symmetry. Wanting things to be harmonious and nice.

Libra holds up a mirror where you can see some aspects of yourself that normally may be in your blind spot.

Sometimes you'll like what you see and it will feel like a ray of sunshine is shining out of the heavens just for you. Other times, you may not like what you see and you're convinced the heavens must have dialed a wrong number.

Libra is a Cardinal Air sign, and as such it is on a mission to form connections and interactions that will improve all things Libra.

With the Air signs, it's all about duality. It's about encountering something that we perceive as separate from ourselves. From there we explore and discover both what separates us and what connects us.

In Gemini, that's about cultivating awareness of what is outside of us, and to do that we need to separate ourselves from it. We need to learn about it objectively.

In Libra, it's about you and me. It's person-to-person and how we relate and how that relationship in turn affects and changes each of us.

In Aquarius, the focus is more abstract. Microcosm and macrocosm. The individual and the group. The personal and the transpersonal. The present and the future.

In Cardinal signs, it's all about the purpose and the goal. It's the spark that pushes the piston, the flame that entices the moth or the carrot at the end of the stick.

In Aries, impulse rules the present moment and propels us to courageously discover what lies beyond that moment.

In Cancer, the priority is connection and bonding on a feeling level, which feeds our inner self and allows us to feel connected to the world around us.

In Libra, that connection is brought into focus through one-to-one interactions. This may be with a special loved one, but ultimately the "other" can be anything or anyone�even yourself. From Cancer bonding we need to adjust and rebalance who we are in relation to the world around us, which is an ongoing process.

In Capricorn, the priority is to create order and structure around us where our impulses, personal needs and relationships can flourish within bounds that keep us safe from unexpected upsets. To do this, we adopt roles within the greater society, and in so doing not only do we grow as individuals, we also contribute to the shared structures that help others do the same.

I've made the most important discovery of my life. It's only in the mysterious equation of love that any logical reasons can be found. I'm only here tonight because of you. You're the only reason I am... You're all my reasons.
~ John Nash, Nobel Prize winning mathemetician, subject of the movie A Beautiful Mind

When Libra is in the spotlight, as it is now with the New Moon in that sign, it is a time when you may want to rebalance your priorities when it comes to your own needs versus others'.

Are you giving too much of yourself away and finding you are left drained and exhausted? Do you have a loved one in your life who is going through a difficult time, and you're trying to be there for them so much that there isn't enough energy, time and nurturing left for you?

Or perhaps there is tension in a close relationship, making you feel like you're walking on eggshells, and lately this tension has erupted into argument. Perhaps things were said in a way that seemed to create more problems than were solved.

Balanced stones

Libra is the sign of balance. Its symbol is the scales. Each side needs to be balanced by what is on the other. Like a mathematical equation, whatever is added or subtracted from one side will need to be done to the other side in order to maintain balance.

This rebalancing act tends to be healing and calming in the long run, but in the short run it may be upsetting, disturbing or disheartening. To complicate things further, just because a solution is found doesn't mean you will necessarily like it, but it will do the job.

For example, if your spouse needs some alone time when you need comfort and reassurance from them, you may need to make do without as much support from them as you would like. The problem has found an answer but not a happy one for you and you may have to mutually agree that it's a temporary solution. Nevertheless, it may calm the agitation between the two of you for a while. Balance.

When I say it's you I like, I'm talking about that part of you that knows that life is far more than anything you can ever see or hear or touch. That deep part of you that allows you to stand for those things without which humankind cannot survive. Love that conquers hate, peace that rises triumphant over war, and justice that proves more powerful than greed.
~ Fred Rogers

The New Moon in Libra is conjunct Jupiter who has just made his entrance into Libra (Sep.09) after a challenging but productive year in Virgo. Jupiter is all about the big picture. Higher principles rather than personal ego. The meaning rather than the information. The lightning bolt of inspiration rather than the clouds of limited vision.

Jupiter is about justice, legal matters and judgment, while Libra is associated with the lawsuits, lawyers and fairness. Having this common ground between them, Jupiter in Libra may see some issues emerge over the coming year around changing laws, the legal system and judgment decisions.

On a more personal level, you too may undergo a revision of how you judge yourself and others. Are you too hard on mistakes? Or maybe you don't hold yourself or others to account as much as you might? Have you been too harsh, too lenient or just fair enough? You might find you need to reconsider your assessments of situations, people and principles that you have aligned yourself with in the past.

With this Jupiter being conjunct the New Moon, this 4-week lunar cycle may be a time when you can see areas in your life and your outlook that will need a bit of tweaking and adjusting over the coming year.

This is very important � to take leisure time. Pace is the essence. Without stopping entirely and doing nothing at all for great periods, you're gonna lose everything...just to do nothing at all, very, very important. And how many people do this in modern society? Very few. That's why they're all totally mad, frustrated, angry and hateful.
~ Charles Bukowski

Mars is in square aspect (90�) to Jupiter and the Sun-Moon conjunction. This could manifest as difficulty in taking action. When, where, how, why and with whom is it best to take action? It may feel like circumstances are pushing you to make a decision NOW, but you aren't sure what your best move is yet.

You might feel it's important to consider both sides of the issue first, and may even feel a bit paralyzed about how and when to take the next step. Indecision is a big part of Libra's learning curve. With Mars poking at you from behind � saying "Hurry up and do something!!" � you might feel a bit rushed or pressured right now. This may not resolve for another several days, so it's a good idea to find a workable balance point � if only for the time being until you can establish a more long-term solution.

On the other hand, the Mars square to Jupiter, Sun and Moon could push you to the brink of actually making that decision. Mars could give you the courage to take that step and make the choice.

Mars is also newly in Capricorn, where � at its best � it can be very productive, effective and focused. If you need to find the energy to get moving on something that you are prepared for, have planned out and are clear about where you're going and why, then this can be an energizing and exciting time.

On the other hand, Capricorn tends to hold back until it is very sure about the outcome, so Mars in Capricorn can also lead to the opposite of productive and active. You might feel burdened by responsibility and weighed down with worry about whether you're doing the right thing and if you're up to the task. In that case, the Mars square might lead to second-guessing yourself about whether you are wise enough to know which decision to make and if you are good enough to make it happen.

If the latter, keep it simple and keep it real. One step at a time. Plan it out. Weigh the alternatives but be clear about your priorities and your integrity, and see which options are more consistent with them.

Darkness cannot drive out darkness:
only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate:
only love can do that.
~ Martin Luther King Jr., A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings and Speeches

Venus is the planetary ruler of Libra, so whatever is happening to her will colour the New Moon energy. Venus is now in Scorpio which is a sign of her detriment, meaning that her natural energy doesn't function well in that sign. Her inherent disposition is to bring about love, harmony, connection and beauty. However, Scorpio tends to be a bit wary about these matters, wanting first to feel secure by being in control of the situation before letting its guard down.

Venus in Scorpio therefore may appear a bit withdrawn or inscrutable, but when she is sure she can navigate safely through the situation, she is likely to put herself forward with intensity, passion and with deep emotional investment.

In love, she can be seductive. In social connection, she prefers to talk about deep meaningful subjects rather than fritter away the moment with small talk. In harmony, she feels more comfortable when she can decide what that will look like, lest she wind up being controlled by someone else. In beauty, she summons passion from the depths of her longing soul in order to fully experience the vivid magnificence of the object of her adoration.

Venus rules Libra and Taurus, so she prefers to be sensual, flowing and focused on beauty, rather than lusty, manipulative and seductive. Being in Scorpio she sizzles pretty hot and therefore needs to be more discriminating about how and with whom she reveals herself.

Venus is intimately en-trined with Neptune through a tight trine aspect (120�). At best, her focus is likely to be on conjuring love, connection and harmony through the magic of interaction. Furthermore, this is about deep universal love that connects us far deeper than any ego-to-ego delights. This is art that speaks to your soul, longing that carries you away, music that makes you weep, and seeing the exquisite beauty in another person so clearly and deeply that it hurts.

On the other hand, trines can sometimes make it easier to take planetary energy into a less than stellar direction. These two could also combine to create an aura of superficial glamour that seeks only the titillation value of beauty. They could aim not for universal ideals but toward gaining widespread esteem that is more about the bright spotlight of ego gratification than on shining a glow of appreciation. These qualities are not bad in and of themselves, but it may be easy to mistake one for the other.

We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be.
~ Kurt Vonnegut, Mother Night

Mercury is still retrograde, right? Oh wait�I think he went direct about a week ago. So why does it sometimes still feel like he's in backward mode?? In the last week I've had several people ask me, half-playful half-serious, if Mercury actually did go direct!

First of all, you may or may not have experienced this personally. If Mercury is active in your chart you might be more sensitive to Mercury's shenanigans � for example: Mercury in the 1st, 4th, 7th or 10th houses; positioned near the Ascendant, MC, Descendant or IC; having your Sun, Moon, Ascendant or Mercury in Gemini or Virgo, and so on.

There may be other possible reasons why Mercury's brat-mode energy lingers. He is still in the Shadow which can often be a time when Mercury isn't quite "up to speed" yet in his usual dignified behaviour (*cough*). We also just came through a couple of intense eclipses that involved Mercury's sign, Virgo, so the Mercury retrograde energy might have longer staying power than usual.

Also, Mercury is still in Virgo where it is tripping over the points where previous eclipses and multiple conjunctions took place.

Suffice to say that we will just have to be patient and hopefully Merc will mellow out by the time he reaches Libra on Oct.07. (My thanks to Michael Barwick and Donna Van Toen for sharing their thoughts about this phenomenon.)

You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one.
I hope someday you'll join us. And the world will live as one.
~ John Lennon

Remember that Libra is about reaching a better balance. When Astrologer Steven Forrest did a weekend workshop here in Toronto a few years ago, he insightfully mentioned that what Libra is ultimately looking for is: Peace. While we are out of balance, we can't fully be at peace with ourselves or the world around us. It takes some effort and commitment to find that point where things no longer need to be chaotic, unpredictable or in constant flux.

At the end of the day, peace may be little more than just reaching a calming, stabilizing, agreeable balance between conflicting or inconsistent concerns.

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May this lunar cycle beginning at the New Moon in Libra bring you peace, harmony and respite from your busy, stressful or chaotic life. Venus in a compatible trine with magical Neptune is capable of shining a light on the path that can take you there.

The trick is to allow the choppy waters to settle. It's easy to get so used to chaos that it starts to feel normal. And if you live in a frenzied environment, it's essential that you find ways to bring your internal turmoil down to a calmer level on a regular basis. This is what weekends and other days off are supposed to be for, but too often we use that time to trade one hectic situation for another.

Eventually, if we don't disconnect from the craziness around us, our minds and bodies start to buckle under the weight of all that stress. At worst, with Mars in square aspect to Jupiter, Sun and Moon, this New Moon could bring a breaking point that forces you to rethink how you spend your energy and how you can take a step back from it all to give yourself a rest. Break is better than breaking point.

Better to use Mars "let's do it!" energy to take steps that change your routine so that you can unhook yourself from your over-stressing habits.

Jupiter conjunct the New Moon will encourage you to look at the bigger picture. It's easy to get locked into an up-close view of your problems and think you have little choice�especially after Jupiter has just emerged from detailed Virgo! However, to think outside the box you have to actually take a step back so that you can see the box in a bigger context. That step back is one way to initiate the rebalancing process.

Peace, love and flowers, everyone! :-)

There's nothing you can do that can't be done,
Nothing you can sing that can't be sung,
Nothing you can say, but you can learn how to play the game,
It's easy.
Nothing you can make that can't be made,
No one you can save that can't be saved,
Nothing you can do, but you can learn how to be you in time,
It's easy.
~ John Lennon, Paul McCartney, All You Need Is Love

Ophiuchus and Black Moons

Oh—one more item to discuss: Is Ophiuchus the 13th Zodiac Sign? The rumour mill has been churning lately (yet again) about the constellation Ophiuchus supposedly being the 13th zodiac sign. This time NASA has jumped on the dance floor, along with some new people and publications, all of whom know nothing about astrology and have even less respect for it, and yet all apparently want to capitalize on this false idea.

Bottom line: No, the zodiac used by astrologers does not suddenly have 13 signs.

Yes, we astrologers are very well aware of the backward shift in the constellations. It's called precession and we've known about it for about 2000 years.

No, it doesn't mean your zodiac sign has changed, although precession is used by some astrologers in their zodiac calculations, which is called Sidereal astrology. But No, it doesn't include Ophiuchus.

Yes, please do read more about this in my article! Is Ophiuchus the 13th Zodiac Sign? OR Why Astronomers Shouldn't Try to do Astrology.

Okay, I lied – there are two more things to mention. ;-) Is the New Moon in Libra a so-called Black Moon?? Or perhaps a Blue Moon? Or some other special kind of Moon?

You might be seeing references to this being a "Black Moon." There are several ways that this is confusing and inaccurate. In this case, the term Black Moon is defined as the second New Moon in a calendar month. Sound familiar? It should! This is the same kind of thing as the popular definition of a Blue Moon � the second Full Moon in a calendar month.

This definition of Blue Moon is actually a distorted version of the original definition and so it has lost any meaning it originally had—which had nothing whatsoever to do with astrology anyway. (Well, it's complicated. Read my article for more about this: Blue Moon Lunacy) As far as I can tell, the so-called Black Moon falls into the same category as a Blue Moon � it is a calendar oddity that is not used in standard astrology.

Could it have meaning astrologically anyway? Well, I think some astrologers have experimented with it intuitively. However, we can do some excellent serious astrology without going to such lengths to find meaning in even more phenomena.

Here's another thing about Black Moons and Blue Moons. Since it is defined by a calendar month, it is subject to a change of date depending on where you are located in the world. In North America it falls on September 30th, and since there was a New Moon on September 1st, that makes today's New Moon a Black Moon�but only in the Americas! (North America, Central America and South America, and most of Greenland)

If you're looking at a calendar in Iceland, the UK, Europe, Africa, Asia and Astralasia, the New Moon in Libra lands on October 1st, due to the change in time zones. And since there is another New Moon on October 30th (or 31st in the region of Australia), that means those places get a Black Moon in those locations, but not in the Americas.

Feeling a bit dizzy? Ya, me too. And since it is not related to astrology, as such, this is a bit of a tempest in a teapot IMO.

One more piece of information to confuse you further. ;-) "Black Moon" IS used as an astrological term, but it means something totally different from New or Full Moons. The Black Moon (sometimes called Black Moon Lilith) is a term associated with the lunar apogee point (the Moon's farthest distance from the Earth). You can read more about this on

Have I confused you totally? Then my work here is done. ;-)

Bottom line: the calendar-based Black Moon is not a concept used in standard astrology that I'm aware of. But have fun colouring in your New Moon icons in your calendar! :-)

Happy Astrologizing!

�O Deep Thought computer," he said, "the task we have designed you to perform is this.
We want you to tell us...." he paused, "The Answer."
"The Answer?" said Deep Thought. "The Answer to what?"
"Life!" urged Fook.
"The Universe!" said Lunkwill.
"Everything!" they said in chorus.
"All right," said Deep Thought. "The Answer to the Great Question..."
"Of Life, the Universe and Everything..." said Deep Thought.
"Is..." said Deep Thought, and paused.
"Forty-two," said Deep Thought, with infinite majesty and calm.�
~ Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Oct.02 – Australia changes to Daylight Saving Time

If your region observes Daylight Saving Time and you live in Australia or other nearby regions, it's time to move your clocks one hour FORWARD. If you're not sure, check the change dates for your location on

Oct.01 – Venus trine Neptune (09:52 of Scorpio/Pisces)   (Oct.02 in AU)

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

Oct.01 – Mercury opposite Chiron (22:10 of Virgo/Pisces)   (Oct.02 in ADT, NDT, UK, AU)

You could experience extra sensitivity, compassion or sympathy toward the problems and suffering of others under this transit. One possibility is that you encounter more people than usual who are struggling with problems that are brought to your attention. Another possibility is that you might be on the receiving end of the results of their suffering – for example, if someone takes out their frustration or discouragement on you. Yet another option is that you may encounter others who are sensitive to and able to offer help for your own ongoing problems and struggles. You may be in a special position to have insight into the problems of others, or they into yours. Exchange of information, experiences, ideas and theories could be useful. You might also experience a difficult interaction with someone that raises an old issue about style of communication (for example, words might be spoken with good intentions that instead cause hurt). This is a good time to listen and observe, and you might catch a glimpse of some ironic or paradoxical truth.

Oct.04 – Sun sextile Saturn (11:53 of Libra/Sagittarius)   (Oct.05 in AU)

You have an opportunity now to make some progress in obtaining results in your projects, career, ambitions and creative expression. It is possible to tap into a disciplined mindset, which can be used to take some steps toward goals that you're trying to manifest. You are surrounded by potential to achieve this, although it will not simply be handed to you – you will still have to work for it. Your mind and purpose are likely to be clear and strong now, enabling you to be decisive and productive. Leadership, management and organizing abilities are potentially high right now. Asserting your authority in a situation that calls for it can be done successfully, as long as you don't let yourself become rigid or bossy. It can be a good time to learn or practice new skills, or to apply yourself to any kind of serious study. It is also a time when you could formulate some solid plans for future projects or make some progress with current undertakings. Make the most of it!


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Oct.05 – Venus sextile Pluto (14:56 of Scorpio/Capricorn)   (Oct.06 in AU)

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

Oct.05 – Mars square Jupiter (05:41 of Capricorn/Libra)   (Oct.06 in AU)

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

Oct.06 – Mercury leaves the Shadow (29:04 of Virgo; until Dec.01)  ("What's the Shadow?"  Read my articles about Retrograde Cycles.  Read my article about Mercury Retrograde.)  (Oct.07 in AU)

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.07 – Mercury enters Libra (until Oct.24)   (Oct.06 in HAST, AKDT)

Mercury glides into Libra, bringing awareness and new ideas about your style of interaction and how you communicate with others. It may be easier to speak (and listen) with gentleness, fairness and diplomacy during this time. Thoughts, ideas, communication and negotiation could reach a state of increased balance and harmony, and you may be especially sensitive to other people and your environment. You could be more motivated to balance criticism or anger with gentleness and diplomacy. On the other hand, interaction could also become a carefully crafted game in which truth, honesty and facts are replaced by manipulative strategy and "white lies" designed to avoid hurt feelings. Indecision and "fence sitting" are possible under this transit, since you are able than usual to see many different sides of a situation. It might help to bounce your ideas and thoughts off someone who can be a good sounding board and give you feedback. It may be easier now to reach a win-win solution to conflicts, which is fair to all concerned – but be careful you don't make incorrect or self-serving assumptions about what the other side wants.

Oct.07 – Sun square Pluto (14:57 of Libra/Capricorn)   (Oct.08 in AU)

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


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Oct.08 – Saturn square North Lunar Node (12:10 of Sagittarius/Virgo)  ("What's a Lunar Node?")  (Oct.07 in HAST, AKDT, PDT, MDT)

You might have some difficult decisions to make under this transit, as you could be at a crossroads in your life. There may be a clash of priorities that create a roadblock in your path. You might also find that you've gone as far as you can go and need to choose a new direction, but to do that you must first bring closure to the current direction (or something about it). It's possible you are confronted with a huge mountain ahead of you that looks impossible to climb or go around. It might require more discipline and commitment than you feel you can give right now. Or, it might be a roadblock that simply says you can't get where you're going from here. The question you might be asking yourself is: does that mean you have to abandon your current path and double back to take another road? Will conquering that mountain bring you to your intended destination, or will it be a waste of time and energy—and do you even have the energy and will to try conquering it? This is often a time when you need to re-prioritize your life, or perhaps deal with some central part of your life that is crumbling and needs to be rebuilt or repaired. It may come in the form of circumstances that obstruct your plans. Whether or not you feel that someone else is to blame for this, it's important to take responsibility for making the choices and decisions that are right for you.

Oct.11 – Mercury conjunct Jupiter (06:52 of Libra)   (Oct.10 in HAST)

This aspect can make you quite talkative and your mind flooded with ideas. Be careful you don't blurt out any secrets! Your stream of consciousness ideas can flow abundantly right now with optimism and visionary possibilities. Write down your best ideas for later development, since you may be having too much fun playing with ideas, to stop and make them manifest. Basic perceptions and simple communication can provide food for thought that feeds your greater understanding and philosophical insight. Your point of view expands to identify opportunities, possibilities and the broader implications of what is happening around you. You might get a flash of vision, insight and inspiration. You could be called upon to form an opinion, consider a different viewpoint, expand your knowledge, or make a judgement call. Your conscious awareness is open to spiritual experiences right now.

Oct.11 – Venus trine Chiron (21:46 of Scorpio/Pisces)

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

Oct.11 – Mars sextile Neptune (09:39 of Capricorn/Pisces)   (Oct.12 in AU)

There is potential for inspired action now. You could achieve a softening or soothing of the blunt force of anger, frustration, confrontation and conflict, without this resulting in powerlessness or passivity. It may be easier to move forward with your plans and intentions based on the power of faith or ideals. It's important to not get lost in those ideals to the point where you lose sight of what's realistic, but this is a time when you may be more inclined to take a leap of faith and say "Oh what the heck!" Your emotional impact on others (or their impact on you) could be greater than is intended or expected, so use this expanded energy wisely.

Oct.13 – Mercury square Mars (11:09 of Libra/Capricorn)   (Oct.14 in AU)

Fiery speech, argument and hot debate characterise this transit. This could come in the form of conflict, or it might be stimulating and challenging – or both! One thing to watch out for is that you may have a short fuse for a temper, and the same may be true for others around you. It can be a time when you blurt out things you later regret, or you might finally find the courage to do something that's long overdue. The problem is that one can easily look like the other, and what feels like courage in the moment might look more like reckless haste in retrospect. Harsh words can't always be taken back, so keep a grip on your objectivity and better judgment while you're verbally fighting the dragons. Use this energy to stoke your motivational fires, and use your ideas to generate positive action. It can help to pace your mental energy like racing a horse, which can harness abundant energy to fuel your decisions, courage and resolve.

Oct.14 – Mercury sextile Saturn (12:43 of Libra/Sagittarius)   (Oct.15 in AU)

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 North Lunar Node (12:10 of Capricorn/Virgo)  ("What's a Lunar Node?")  (Oct.14 in HAST)

Today, and up to a few days before and after, you may find that all the lights seem to be green for you to move ahead and take action. This might be a spontaneous impulse to seize the moment, or it could be about taking the next step in a project or process that you've been planning and carefully considering. It could also be a time when your emotions are more easily expressed. There may be someone who is urging, inspiring or rousing you to take this action. It's up to you to decide if this is wise and in your best interest, and if so, the best way to make this happen.

Oct.15 – Sun opposite Uranus (22:30 of Libra/Aries)

This transit brings an encounter with the Awakener! This could come in the form of another person or outside situation that shakes you out of your habitual routine and pushes you to try a new approach to your situation. Life may be very unpredictable right now, requiring you to be spontaneous, innovative or independent in the way you respond to it. This could be stressful or exciting! It is actually showing you a new path in the darkness, like a lightening flash in the night. If you feel startled or caught off guard, or confused about what to do next, find your internal centre and try to be open to what the situation is illuminating for you. You now have a chance to shed some old habits and ways that you are stuck, if you can stay centered in the middle of the whirlwind. You may experience revelations – that "ah-ha!!" feeling – which could open up new possibilities and opportunities for you. However, it might feel like you have little choice but to try these new things (rather than freely choosing them). You could find yourself reacting to others with a powerful impulse to throw off the shackles of anything that feels restrictive, to reclaim your independence – although this could also be motivated by a fear of commitment or responsibility too. It is wise to check your own inner motives, feelings and assumptions before automatically dismissing, rejecting or rebelling against other people.

Oct.15 – Mercury square Pluto (15:01 of Libra/Capricorn)   (Oct.16 in UK, 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.

Next Update:  FULL MOON in ARIES. Available by October 16, 2016.

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