The Low-Down on the Far-Out

Full Moon in Taurus, November 2017

Chart for the Full Moon in Taurus
Chart for the Full Moon in Taurus

I am always torn. Between control and chaos; passion and tranquility. Between what's fated and what I want. Part of me longs to take the plunge, to dive off headfirst and let the feeling of control evaporate on the wind. And part of me wants to be in a place where I'd never have to worry about that choice—or any choice. Where peace and calm are the only things I'd feel.
~ Jocelyn Davies, A Fractured Light

Nov.04 – FULL MOON in TAURUS (11:58 of Taurus)

There's a story by science fiction writer Robert Heinlein that always reminds me of Taurus. In his book Time Enough For Love, a tale is told of "The Man Who Was Too Lazy To Fail." Not wanting to spend more time on work than was necessary, he created shortcuts to get his work done faster so he could spend the rest of his time relaxing and simply enjoying life.

Doesn't that sound wonderfully like Taurus??

Taurus are typically hard working, but they also value their relaxation time very much. Tranquility and ease are among their most treasured experiences, along with anything that will help to make those things happen. That includes money and possessions. It's hard to feel tranquil or relaxed when you're worried about finances, no matter how much you're used to having.

It's true that one person's financial struggle is another person's lottery win, but if you're worried about not having enough then you've got stress in your life, period. That said, some struggles are definitely more urgent than others. If your financial struggles put you in peril of becoming homeless, for example, then your problems are a lot bigger than if you simply need to forego eating out until your next paycheque.

So: how much is enough?

It largely depends on what you're counting, how you're measuring it, and what your intended goal looks like. Taurus challenges us to explore the questions of not just "how much is enough," but especially what that "enough" is made of.

When Taurus is activated, as it is around a New Moon or Full Moon, it's time to tally your money, measure your resources, take stock of your values and count your blessings.

Progress doesn't come from early risers — progress is made by lazy men looking for easier ways to do things.
~ Robert A. Heinlein, Time Enough for Love

There are a number of striking things about the Full Moon chart. The first, of course, is that the Full Moon is itself in Taurus, shining a warm spotlight on all things astrologically bovine.

You may be more open to or in need of creature comforts and pleasures of the flesh – sumptuous food, a calming environment, or even activity that gets the endorphins going.

On the other hand, you may be more prone to indulging these things a little too much – seeking tranquility to the point of laziness, for example. What's the difference between tranquility and laziness? Good question! Let me contemplate this for a while in my hot tub and I'll get back to you... For Taurus, there may be only a very fine line between being content and being lazy, and often one can look like the other to the outsider.

Taurus is where we relax and surrender to whatever makes us feel good just because. We could be doing yoga, swimming, cleaning out the garage, listening to music, eating chocolate, doing needlepoint, gardening, sunbathing on a beach or lazing in a hammock.

Whether you're taking your time or wasting it probably depends on how urgently you need to be doing something else instead – what your values and priorities are in that moment. Taurus prefers to pace itself, so that all the important things can fit comfortably into the agenda, including doing nothing but just being.

Everything in excess!
To enjoy the flavor of life, take big bites.
Moderation is for monks.
~ Robert A. Heinlein, Time Enough for Love

Jupiter just recently went into Scorpio (Oct.10) where he will marinate for a little over a year (until Nov.08.2018). Jupiter opposes the Full Moon and conjoins the Sun – although the Sun passed Jupiter a week and a half before the Full Moon (Oct.26; now at 6:37 orb), their merged energies still linger and add some extra flavour to the Full Moon.

Jupiter cnj Sun, opp Moon

So, during this Full Moon, you are likely to get a sense of what Jupiter in Scorpio will mean for you in the coming year. You might feel the urge to reach out to others in a more intimate way, in the sense of opening up your trust and showing others who you really are deep inside. We often think this means sexual expression, but you could also do this by openly sharing laughter, enjoyment, passionate convictions or inner feelings.

Jupiter delights in doing everything to excess, and Scorpio never does anything by half measure. This combination could make it all too easy to go way overboard in everything we do. And when Jupiter plays a central role in a lunation (New or Full Moon) or other significant celestial event, the temptation to overindulge can be especially fierce!

Taking part in the Full Moon in Taurus, Jupiter's excess could flow through Taurean channels with the best of everything. Food that virtually glows in the dark with calories. Wines and liqueurs to tantalize any connoisseur. A cavalcade of sensory delights, including intimate encounters embellished with perfumes, essential oils, silk scarves, whipped cream and sipping champagne from your loved one's navel.

Jupiter is often associated with money, and Taurus and Scorpio are money signs. So, Jupiter in Scorpio aligned with a Taurus Full Moon might bring opportunities to put a little more cash in your pocket...BUT be careful, since it might also see it leave your pocket just as quickly! Ideally, the bottom line will balance out in the end.

It's not what you have on the outside that glitters in light, it's what you have on the inside that shines in the dark.
~ Anthony Liccione

Neptune forms a Wedge aspect pattern to the Full Moon axis, with a sextile aspect to the Moon (60°) and a trine to the Sun and Jupiter (120°). These aspects are all partile – the planets are all at the same degree of their respective signs (Taurus/Scorpio for Moon/Sun, and Pisces for Neptune). Using the rule of thumb that the closer the orb, the more powerful the energy, a partile aspect sings loudly in the chorus of the chart.

Wedge aspect pattern: Neptune to Sun-Jupiter and Moon

This could simply amplify the temptation to yield to the path of lease resistance. In other words, your attempt to be disciplined about how much gratification you're prepared to submit to might become so blurred around the edges that you can't get a clear grasp on how much is too much.

On the plus side, Neptune could also lift you up and show you the higher possibilities and potential of a situation, particularly related to all things Taurus. For example, you may feel called to get involved in a non-profit fundraising project, or volunteer at your local food bank. Or perhaps you could buy some beautiful items for your home from a local arts and crafts show whose proceeds are shared with charity. Or you might treat yourself to a retreat weekend that helps you recharge your batteries, whether that's soaking in a hot tub or chanting in an ashram.

Neptune's message is that whatever you do with the Taurus/Scorpio and Jupiter energies, there is the potential now to let go of the ways you have become too entrenched in attitudes, expectations, habits and values that no longer feed what you're hungry for.

Remain in the world, act in the world, do whatsoever is needful, and yet remain transcendental, aloof, detached, a lotus flower in the pond.
~ Osho, The Secret of Secrets

The planetary ruler of Taurus, Venus, is in the other Venus-ruled sign of Libra. Being in an Air sign (Libra), Venus is very strong and extra receptive to pleasures of the mind and interactions – art, good conversation, parties, sharing time with those close to you, and reaching out for love and other forms of close connection to others. It also means Venus' focus on interaction with others will colour the Taurus Full Moon.

But just when you think you've got Venus and the Full Moon figured out, along comes Uranus! Venus and Uranus are exactly opposite – not merely partile but precise within just 20 clock-minutes and within 1/60th of a degree. You couldn't cut that much closer if you did it with a laser beam!

Venus opposite Uranus

Venus' warm desire for relationship and connection with others seems oddly out of place against Uranus' cool detachment. As a result, this may be a time when you feel pulled in two directions – drawing closer to others versus backing away. One part of you may want to reach out by interacting in the Now while another part of you wants to take a step back to leave room to come and go at any time, with no expectations on either side. The Venus side of you might feel the need for intimacy and love, while the Uranus side of you prefers a more cerebral meeting of the minds.

At the extreme, this conflict of interest could trigger a breakup with someone you have been close with, especially if there have been persistent problems between you for a while. Or it might indicate that it's time you two sat down and discussed what needs to change in your relationship so that the closeness remains while allowing more room to grow.

This tension and need for change might also play out in the Taurean areas of finances, possessions, resources and values. For example, you might need to fine-tune your values a bit so that your earning and spending are better aligned with your budget. Or you might suddenly realize that your material dream isn't working and is becoming stretched to the breaking point unless you make some changes. Similarly, your ability to find harmony, balance and a peaceful co-existence within a chaotic environment is in danger of falling apart, requiring you to let go of some factors in your life that are aggravating the tension you're feeling.

On the upside, you might discover an exciting opportunity that could open up new material assets for you or help you find unconventional ways to get your needs met through alternative resources. Example: instead of buying an expensive present for a loved one, you might creatively transform a more economical item into a special handmade gift that is personalized just for them. For instance, print off their chart and write on it in coloured pens how you personally have seen them expressing different parts of their chart. Then roll it up, tie it with a ribbon and present it to them like an ancient scroll.

Whatever way the Venus-Uranus manifests for you, thinking outside the box will definitely be an advantage. The same-old-same-old solutions to the same-old-same-old problems are unlikely to be very helpful. This could be a time to try something new, like a weird and wonderful idea that you've been toying with.

You can have peace. Or you can have freedom. Don't ever count on having both at once.
~ Robert A. Heinlein

Sometimes the solar system aligns itself so that we get a sneak preview of something bigger to come – a kind of cosmic trailer for a movie that is not yet released. Uranus in Taurus is "coming soon to a solar system near you," starting in May 2018 and lasting until 2025.

Right now, Venus as the ruler of the Taurus Full Moon is very strong in her "other" sign of Libra. She is also precisely opposite Uranus. These are similar ingredients that come together in different proportions when Uranus moves into Taurus next year. As a result, we are getting a wee glimpse of some of that energy now at the Taurus Full Moon.

Like the conflicting Venus-Uranus energies, this recipe suggests that Uranus in Taurus is likely to see disruptions and transformation in the Taurus landscape. Financial institutions and world economies could become unpredictable, the food industry might go through some radical modifications, and how ownership of goods is defined and managed might undergo considerable change (for example, copyright on digital products).

With Uranus being closely connected to the Internet, this could well bring much more emphasis on virtual/digital currencies and other unconventional forms of commerce. We might see the boundary between humans and machines blur, as programmable manipulation is increasingly bonded with organic material.

These examples and possibilities will ultimately happen on a global scale. We are unlikely to see developments in those proportions over the next few weeks, but it might be interesting to watch the news for hints of changes brewing in Taurus and Uranus related areas. Similarly, you might keep an eye out for situations in your own life that are normally paced, rhythmic, pleasurable, and support your physical existence, which show hints of changes to come. Those changes may or may not manifest in the way you hope or fear, but this may be a time to check in with yourself about how you would feel if they did and what you might do with them or about them.

Disorder is inherent in stability. Civilized man doesn't understand stability. He's confused it with rigidity. Our political and economic and social leaders drool about stability constantly. It's their favorite word, next to 'power.' [...] True stability results when presumed order and presumed disorder are balanced. A truly stable system expects the unexpected, is prepared to be disrupted, waits to be transformed.
~ Tom Robbins, Even Cowgirls Get the Blues

There's another Wedge aspect pattern from Saturn to the Venus-Uranus opposition. Although the aspects are not partile (sextile to Venus, trine to Uranus), all three planets are less than one degree apart, making this configuration another booming voice in the chart.

Wedge aspect pattern: Saturn, Venus, Uranus

Saturn's grounded stability is good news for the potentially chaotic Venus-Uranus opposition. Saturn is all about doing things in a conventional, predictable, unilateral way, which could have been underwhelming to the excitable Venus-Uranus.

Typically, there would be a tendency for Venus and Uranus to splinter off into fragments of disjointed choices and options, especially in the areas discussed above. However, Saturn is on good terms with both sides of the Venus-Uranus axis (sextile to Venus and trine to Uranus).

The zingy Venus-Uranus mayhem can potentially be contained within relatively stable boundaries with Saturn's help. For example, it could help to become clearer about what your moral values, integrity and spiritual principles are. So, when the Uranian changes or upheaval are activated, aim your focus toward what you see as the greater good in the situation, both for yourself and for others.

It occurred to me then that it was in times of struggle that I found the best parts of myself – courage, loyalty, an unexpected peace - and I always discovered what I needed to break through and go on.
~ Patrick Carman, Stargazer

Saturn is also square to Chiron right now – exact on Nov.02 and still partile at just 9 arc-minutes apart (24° of Sagittarius and Pisces). This is (mercifully) the last of 3 passes of this transit (Dec.28.2016, Apr.30.2017 and Nov.02.2017). You may notice health problems coming up, especially episodes of chronic issues. You might also be battling a sense of discouragement or futility when faced with a dilemma of "you can't get there from here," requiring you to alter your destination, modify your goals or redefine what success means to you.

The Saturn-Chiron square also interacts with the Sun-Moon opposition to form an aspect configuration that seems like it should be called a Square Cradle. A "regular" Cradle pattern is formed from 2 planets in opposition, with 2 other planets joined by sextiles and trines to the opposed planets.

Hard Cradle aspect pattern

Similarly, this so-called "Square Cradle" starts with the Sun-Moon opposition and the Saturn-Chiron square. Saturn is semi-square to the Sun (45° or a half-square) and sesqui-quadrate to the Moon (135° or a square-and-a-half), while Chiron is semi-square to the Moon and sesqui-quadrate to the Sun. All aspects in this figure are part of the square family of aspects – based in conflict and stress, yet also motivating and energizing.

All aspects in this figure are less than ¾ of a degree apart – in other words, razor sharp! Although these are not typically considered "major" aspects, their effects can be unmistakable and, especially being so close in orb, are therefore best not ignored, underestimated or glossed over.

With the Taurus Full Moon axis acting as the spine of the pattern, it suggests that reaching Taurus' ideal state of harmony, tranquility, security and stability within the Taurus themes are likely to be disrupted or complicated to some extent, perhaps through discouragement or disappointment. You might need to accept that the best possible solution may not be possible, but that something of value can still be achieved, even if it's not what you'd hoped for. It is through that mature, disciplined acceptance that healing can start to happen.

I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways [to build a light bulb] that won't work...
Many of life's failures are people who did not realize
how close they were to success when they gave up.
~ Thomas A. Edison

Saturn is moving out of optimistic, visionary Sagittarius and into realistic, grounded Capricorn on Dec.18, so the coming weeks offer a last chance to solidify the dream you have been struggling to build since the beginning of 2015.

Here is Saturn's most meaningful message to carry with you in the coming weeks: even if it feels like you've missed the mark or fallen short of your aspirations, that doesn't mean you've failed. It's very possible that what you're building is a bigger project than you anticipated. It might require a more complex foundation and structure, which takes more time than Saturn's travel through Sagittarius.

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Or, like the inventor Thomas Edison, you have discovered a gazillion ways that your goal doesn't work. Even if you decide to throw in the towel, that is still valuable information – instead of finding an answer to your original question, these so-called failures can be viewed as solutions in search of a different kind of problem. Everything can be meaningful and useful if you find the right context for it.

Did you know that Viagra was discovered while searching for a cure for hypertension and angina? That Post-It notes were a failed attempt to invent a super-strong glue? That mauve dye was a botched effort to synthesize quinine (once used as a treatment for malaria)?

Well, there you go.

The unexpected, experimental qualities of the Venus-Uranus opposition, with Saturn working in cooperation, support a re-visioning or re-framing of what you have cultivated in the last 3 years, while Saturn as been in Sagittarius. Whether the goals you set for yourself during that time have been reached, or are still a work in progress, or the remnants are on their way to the garbage can—something of value can be salvaged by viewing it through Sagittarius' optimistic looking glass.

When Saturn moves into Capricorn in mid-December, it will establish a need for concrete manifestation from previous possibilities. You may need survey the myriad choices that Sagittarius presented and select just one or two to focus on and develop. It may be necessary to take stock of what you've accomplished so far and figure out what needs to happen next.

You might need to figure out how you can learn from and/or repurpose what didn't work – to make lemonade out of the lemons, kind of thing. Or you might decide to double down on your ineffective results and become more disciplined, structured, logical or realistic about how to make your goal work.

Saturn in Capricorn is a time of elbow grease and hard work – not quite as glamourous or fun as Sagittarius, but the results will be far more useful and enduring. The Full Moon in Taurus is a time when you can lay the groundwork and formulate the plans of what your intentions can manifest.

In this lifetime we are like Superman who must remain disguised as the nerdy newspaper journalist Clark Kent, or Harry Potter and his friends who are not allowed to do magic while they are on holiday, away from Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry... but even Harry Potter and Clark Kent get to tap into their ‘special powers’ once in a while, especially when the going gets tough.
~ Anthon St. Maarten, Divine Living: The Essential Guide to Your True Destiny

Nov.04 – Venus opposite Uranus (25:54 of Libra/Aries)

Relationships, social interaction, material resources and emotional balance may be a bit unpredictable or unstable around this time, as Uranus the Awakener sounds a wake-up gong in these areas. You may be more inclined to act out of character, to experiment or be reckless in relationship, social or financial matters, which could be liberating or disturbing, exciting or upsetting. Circumstances or other people might create a situation in which you are forced to respond in an unusual or unfamiliar way. The idea behind this energy is to become more flexible and more open to a broader vision of what is possible in those areas. There may be weak spots in the affected areas which this transit illuminates by creating problems, so that they can be repaired and strengthened, or else broken and released so that new opportunities can come in. Trust the process and keep your eyes open to seeing new truth and insight.

Nov.05 – North America rolls back to Standard Time

If you live in Canada, United States, the Caribbean or some areas of Central and South America, and if your region observes Daylight Saving Time, it's time to move your clocks one hour BACK. If you're not sure if this applies to you, check the change dates for your location on

Nov.05 – Mercury enters Sagittarius (until Jan.11.2018)  (Nov.06 in AU)

Communication, ideas, thoughts and perceptual "spark" become expanded in Sagittarius. Your mental focus tends toward a philosophical and spiritual outlook that seeks the highest truth in the broadest context. However, it's not always easy for the conscious mind to assimilate and digest such a vast territory of knowledge, or to find the higher meaning in mountains of raw information. You might feel a bit overwhelmed by trying to take in such a panoramic view of your world, but the gifts from doing so are abundant and inspiring! To get the most out of this transit, try learning something new that expands your horizon. Or pick a situation in your life and imagine that you're looking at it from a mountaintop – what do you see from way up there that you can't see when you're closer to the ground? Just remember that whatever visions and insights you get from doing this, these are SOME of the truths to be found, but not necessarily the only truth. Leave room in your new understanding to remember that every mountaintop shows a slightly different view and that this doesn't make one mountain right and the others wrong.

Mercury stays in Sagittarius for a LONG time — 2 months and 6 days, to be precise! That's because Mercury will go retrograde in Sagittarius from Dec.03 to 22. So, during that time, expect the Mercury in Sagittarius energy to haunt your skies overhead, expanding both the positive and negative sides of its influence. But hey, this is Sagittarius—is there really such a thing as negative? ;-)

Nov.07 – Venus enters Scorpio (until Dec.01)  (Nov.06 in HAST)

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

Nov.09 – Sun sextile Pluto (17:16 of Scorpio/Capricorn)

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.

Nov.09 – Mercury goes Out of Bounds, South (5:54 to 27:31 of Sagittarius; OOB until Dec.07)  (Nov.10 in AU)   ("What does Out of Bounds mean?"   "What is Declination?")

Mercury goes Out of Bounds (OOB), giving us a chance to peek into ideas and observations beyond our usual thoughts, awareness and comfort zone. The "air up there" can be a bit rarefied. If you're not used to it (and even if you are), your thoughts might seem almost a bit drunk, confused, inspired or flowing so freely that it's hard to capture them clearly. If you do catch one of these thoughts clearly, remember that it's an idea, not necessarily reality, even though you could use it to create a new reality for yourself. Your mental peripheral vision can become expanded, taking in more information than usual. You may have a chance to manifest it more clearly when Mercury returns from "outer space."

Like all things in astrology and life, this has its upside and its downside. Much depends on which thoughts you feed and what you feed them with. If you consume fear, suspicion, anger or hostility, you could find yourself feeling a bit paranoid, easily angered, or looking for ways to cheat in order to avoid anticipated negativity. On the upside, you may discover a fresh understanding about things, putting new pieces of the puzzle into place and tapping into a higher level of truth and insight. Try writing down your ideas, perceptions, thoughts and moods. After Mercury comes back down to earth, you can see how you can put those observations and ideas to good use.

Nov.11 – Saturn trine Uranus (25:37 of Sagittarius/Aries)  (Nov.10 in HAST)

Saturn is the planet of taking responsibility seriously and making things stable and manifest. Uranus is about breaking things apart, giving them more wiggle room, and bringing creative chaos designed to wake us up. Since they are now a friendly, cooperative trine aspect (120°) these two dramatically different planets are about as close to being on the same page as they'll ever be! At best, Uranus can help Saturn loosen up and not be so stuffy, strict or stagnant, giving more room to grow, evolve and adjust. In turn, Saturn can help Uranus stop short of destroying the place, giving him an anchor of purpose, practicality and realistic clarity.

This can be an excellent time to make a big change in your life, but it will probably work best if you do it Saturn's way. Start by figuring out what your goal is, what you really want to end up with. Then plot a realistic plan for how you could get from here to there. Write it down so you have something to refer to later, including a list of resources you can draw on, people who would support you, and a Plan B if things go completely haywire. It can also help to have a map of priorities and limits—not to put a damper on things but to have an sense of how far you are and are not willing to go if you need to change your plans.

This transit can give you the best of both worlds – the spontaneity, awakening and vision of Uranus combined with the practical groundedness of Saturn that helps you integrate the changes into the fabric of your life.

Dates for the current Saturn-Uranus trine: Dec.24.2016, May.19, 2017, Nov.11.2017.

Dates for the current Saturn-Uranus cycle:

Nov.11 – Sun square North Lunar Node (19:48 of Scorpio/Leo)  (Nov.12 in UK, AU)  ("What's a Lunar Node?")

When the Sun squares the Lunar Nodes, your sense of purpose and identity appear to be in conflict with the lessons you need to learn in life. It may feel like you're forced to take a detour around your direct route to your destination (whatever that might be). This may only be true on the surface – if you look deeper at the situation (or possibly in retrospect), you'll probably find that your sense of self is actually helped by the benefits that you are able to get on that detour, which would have missed if you hadn't been diverted from your original path.

Alternatively, you might be confronted by a conflict or stressful dilemma that you usually resist or flail against. This may be an opportunity to explore a deeper level of your experience and feelings. Perhaps there is fear or resentment or defiance behind your reaction. This is a chance to try on a different perspective and respond in a different way that can help you move through the situation instead of just being blocked by it.

When the Sun squares the Nodes it is sometimes called "Moon Wobbles," which is a bit of a misnomer. The Moon itself doesn't wobble or even necessarily interact directly with either the Nodes or the Sun. Rather, the Moon part of us (the inner, feeling, intuitive, sensitive part of us) may feel a bit "wobbly" or unsteady when the Sun squares the Nodes. The "Moon Wobble" effects are said to build and dissipate for up to 10 days before and after the Sun-Node square is exact.


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Nov.13 – Venus conjunct Jupiter (07:20 of Scorpio)  (Nov.12 in HAST, AKST)

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.

Venus and Jupiter conjoin about once a year, on average, but this is one of the special ones! They are not only conjunct but also parallel by declination. Venus, Jupiter and the Earth are aligned 3-dimensionally, like the Moon and Sun during an eclipse. So, if you get up an hour or so before sunrise on this date, depending on where you're located, you might get to see them appear as one light as they rise together just before the Sun. Astrologically, this adds extra warm fuzzies to their combined energies ...and extra luring temptations to indulge more than you perhaps should.

Nov.13 – Mercury square Neptune (11:29 of Sagittarius/Pisces)  (Nov.14 in AU)

Your mental focus may be a bit clouded, confused or lethargic right now, as your conscious mind struggles to grasp the formless, limitless expanse of the Universe and the unconscious. You may experience some disillusionment or disappointment, in your observations or communication with others. However, what is flowing under the surface of events right now is the need to dissolve away the crust of old expectations that blocks your view from seeing a greater Truth. If you're feeling off-balance, try to listen more than you talk, so that you can be receptive to your inner sensitivity. Left-brain analysis might be difficult to work with right now unless you balance it with a lot of right-brain intuition. You may have to let go of a rigid mindset, or give up what you think you understand about a situation in your life, in order to open yourself to a new perspective that is difficult to define but is ultimately in the best interest of your spiritual growth.

Nov.14 – Mercury enters the Shadow (13:00 of Sagittarius; in Shadow until Jan.10.2018)  (Nov.15 in UK, AU)   ("What's the Shadow?"  Read my articles about Retrograde Cycles.  Read my article about Mercury Retrograde.)

Mercury is now "in the Shadow" – the area of Zodiac where it will later go retrograde in about 2½ weeks time. During its retrograde cycle, Mercury travels through the same span of the Zodiac three times (called the Shadow). The first time through, it is going in direct motion (moving forward), then retrograde (looks like it's going backwards), and then direct again. This means there is a more extensive process of development and change involved with things that Mercury influences—ideas, thoughts, frame of mind and mental focus. It also concerns the collection, exchange, analysis and organisation of information. All forms of communication are also affected. This includes not just talking, but also email and snail mail, the Internet, the media in general, books and magazines, as well as public transit (buses, trains, etc.) and neighbourhoods.

The situations developing over the next couple of weeks (leading up to when Mercury actually goes retrograde) will likely require further research, deeper consideration and adjustments to unexpected discoveries over the next couple of months. Expect changes in your plans, increasingly disrupted communication, and new information coming to light that may not fit conveniently into your plans. It's wise to leave lots of extra time to do things, to plan future projects and get to wherever you're going. Patience is a valuable quality during this time. If you must make important decisions during this time, try to build some flexibility into your plans to allow for later changes—or if possible, you may want to delay final or irrevocable decisions until well after Mercury goes direct.

Here are the key dates of this Mercury cycle (for North American Eastern Time):

Mercury makes several other aspects during this retrograde cycle:

Nov.16 – Venus trine Neptune (11:28 of Scorpio/Pisces)  (Nov.17 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.

Nov.16 – Sun trine Chiron (24:28 of Scorpio/Pisces)  (Nov.17 in AU)

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

Nov.17 – Mercury sextile Mars (16:17 of Sagittarius/Libra)  (Nov.18 in AU)

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

Next Update:  NEW MOON in SCORPIO. Available by November 18, 2017.

© 2017 Wendy Guy. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied or used without the author's written permission. Astrology diagrams © Wendy Guy unless otherwise noted. Most or all of the quotes on this page were found at Other Credits:  Zodiac sign Aries, by George Di Carlo, mural close-up, located in the Globe Building, Montreal, Canada (photo source). Photo of woman window shopping by nuiiko via CanStockPhoto.

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