The Low-Down on the Far-Out

New Moon in Scorpio, November 2018

Chart for the New Moon in Scorpio
Chart for the New Moon in Scorpio

How can I be substantial if I do not cast a shadow?
I must have a dark side also if I am to be whole.
~ C.G. Jung, Modern Man in Search of a Soul

Nov.07 – NEW MOON in SCORPIO (15:11 of Scorpio)

When you enter Scorpio's realm, you enter a world of shadows. If you squint your mind's eye, you may see movements in the shadows.

Often our instinctive reaction to ambiguous or subtle experiences is to be afraid. Fear of the unknown is a strong survival mechanism, and Scorpio is certainly about life, death and survival.

I once heard someone speculate about why the Scorpio time of year (October/November) is associated with death. In the Northern Hemisphere (where modern astrology began), people of old would cull the herds of those animals that probably wouldn't survive the winter. Better to turn them into food that could sustain the community through that winter.

So, Scorpio is about death in the sense of letting go of that which has come to the end of its lifespan, literally or metaphorically.

But Scorpio is about so much more than that. It is about passion and intimacy. It is the intensity that comes from being open to all levels of experience. When life gets cranked up to full volume it can get pretty extreme, and both the "good" and "bad" stuff can be overwhelming.

So, Scorpio is where we cultivate the ability to stare wide-eyed into both heaven and hell without running away. And to do that requires that we find the courage to face a deeper truth than what we first see on the surface.

It's part of our better nature to want to see the best in people, situations and events. It's a gift that we carry inside our human nature that helps us move beyond fear, anger and sadness. This gentler, kinder perspective can bring a healthier balance to a painful, frustrating or dissatisfying experience. It's the Neptune and Venus side of our nature that helps us stay open to the warm glow that can still be found, even in cold, dark times.

The problem is that it's possible to get lost in a Pollyanna-like cheerfulness that sees only the "good" stuff while dismissing or denying the "bad" stuff. Make no mistake—this one-sided sweetness-and-light outlook is sometimes necessary and invaluable to help get us through difficult times. But it's not healthy to live there exclusively.

Life consists of "good," "bad" and everything in between. There is too much in the world that can only be dealt with by acknowledging and confronting the "bad" stuff. Because when we try to run away from the hard stuff for too long, eventually it catches up with us and then it's a lot harder to deal with it.

As forms of energy, the disowned parts of us exert considerable influence on us. Shame-based people tend to be exhausted a lot of the time. They spend a lot of energy holding on to their false self-masks and hiding their disowned parts. I have compared it to holding a beachball under water. Virginia Satir compares it to keeping guard over hungry dogs. The repressed parts exert lots of pressure by forcing us to keep their opposites going. While we tend to be repelled by our disowned selves, they also hold a certain fascination for us.
~ John Bradshaw, Healing the Shame that Binds You

The pioneering family therapist and author, Virginia Satir, used an analogy about denied feelings – it's like keeping hungry dogs locked up in the basement. The more you keep them down there, the hungrier they get and the more you don't dare let them out, so you have to spend more and more energy keeping them locked up.

Unacknowledged and unresolved feelings, attitudes, desires, reactions, shame and guilt can eventually take on a life of their own. They live in the psychological shadow—in Scorpio's world—where they may emerge in unexpected or distorted ways. This can happen to us as individuals, when we yell at the slow cashier instead of confronting our mate about something that bothers us, for instance.

We might try to distance ourselves from our shadow by presenting ourselves as the opposite of what we're ashamed or afraid of, while trying to exert control over those who express the repressed quality more openly. For example, we might dislike someone who seems weak or needy, in part because they remind us how we believe we mustn't show our own vulnerability but must only stay strong. Homophobia is a heavier example. Some people who feel ashamed of their own suppressed homosexual feelings may be hypercritical of LGBTQ people and attempt to ostracize or banish them.

This dynamic can also happen collectively where a group, community or society may attempt to subdue or purge those whose characteristics, appearance, beliefs, traditions or activities become a lightning rod to trigger suppressed dynamics within that society.

Here's the thing: when suppressed energy is released from the shadow, it needs to be dealt with. Going back to Satir's hungry dogs in the basement, our instinct might be to fearfully push them back into hiding again. The trouble is, that just makes the problem worse.

We need to find a safe way to give the shadow part of us what it needs, while restraining it from causing harm. Of utmost importance is the need to be receptive enough to the shadow's needs so that we can come up with a solution that "feeds the dogs" without being devoured by them in the process.

Boundaries are essential. It is crucial to have a safe space for the shadow elements to emerge, so we can work constructively with them. Firm boundaries can limit the damage and disruption that released pent-up energy could bring.

I sat with my anger long enough,
Until she told me her real name was grief.
~ The Mind's Journal

So, how do we overcome the automatic reactions that arise when we encounter something or someone who pushes our buttons? How do we reclaim and heal the parts of ourselves that hide inside our shadow, only to burst out in inconvenient, embarrassing, damaging or counterproductive ways?

Scorpio and its ruling planets Mars and Pluto tend to carry us into an encounter with the stuff that lives in our shadow. The purpose is ultimately to acknowledge it, resolve and heal our relationship to it, and finally integrate it into the whole of who we are in a much healthier way.

The New Moon in Scorpio brings an opportunity to explore the shadow by questioning and challenging our assumptions and what we think we know. Mars in Aquarius (which is a ruler of the New Moon) is looking to break away from old habits, expectations and limitations.

Mars square Jupiter

Mars is in square aspect to Jupiter (90°), which is liable to amplify the force and passion that may be released from the shadow. There is a strong push for freedom in this transit (which lingers through the entire month of November; exact Nov.19). It suggests that when triggered, the reaction could be startling in its intensity.

An amplified Mars could make anger more easily triggered, especially if that anger has an edge of righteousness or judgment to it. This could also show itself as hostility, resentment, hurt or frustration. Look for what lies in the shadow of those feelings. You might find that it is driven by something unsuspected, like fear, vulnerability, grief or depression. Conversely, anger can also be masked by depression, fear and lethargy, if the task of empowering yourself feels too big to conquer.

On the other hand, an amplified Mars can also set you in motion with inspired motivation that aims toward a higher objective. Since this is a square, which usually brings conflict or stress, this motivation might be triggered by a problem or hardship, which could give you an uprush of confidence and purpose.

Civilization is in a race between education and catastrophe. Let us learn the truth and spread it as far and wide as our circumstances allow. For the truth is the greatest weapon we have.
~ H. G. Wells

Jupiter is in the final degree of Scorpio, poised to move into its own sign of Sagittarius less than 24 hours after the New Moon is exact. Jupiter's critical degree suggests a rallying cry of "It's now or never!" Depending on how you have worked with Jupiter in its journey through the Scorpio underworld since October 2017, Jupiter's grand finale could be quite dramatic.

Jupiter is about beliefs, assumptions and how we embrace a sense of hope. Scorpio can feel a bit like a Dark Night of the Soul, so Jupiter's exit could be one of victorious relief, having conquered fear and pessimism. Or, it might feel more like escaping a dark enchanted forest, bruised and weary after tangling with lions and tigers and bears (oh my!).

Jupiter isn't the only thing at 29 degrees. Uranus retrogrades back into to Aries (Nov.06) where he can revel in the rebellious maverick playground again until Mar.06.2019. So Uranus is also at 29 degrees (29:57 to be precise). Being retrograde puts a bit of a different spin on the "It's now or never" final-degree intensity, since it begins a longer, more intricate process of making sure all the I's are crossed and the T's are dotted. ;-) Before Uranus can renovate the Taurus territory, it is necessary to ensure that the old structures are fully dismantled, and the rubble is cleared away.

The True Lunar Nodes are also at 29 degrees having just changed signs on Nov.06, moving from Leo/Aquarius into Cancer/Capricorn. (If you follow the Mean Lunar Nodes, they change signs on Nov.15.) Retrograde is the Nodes' natural direction, so the initial degree they encounter is always the last degree of the sign. A bit topsy-turvy, admittedly, but then the Nodes—which are based on a geometric concept rather than physical—have a different job description than the solid planets. Their mission is to point in the optimal direction of growth, starting at the South Node and moving toward the North Node, propelled by the eclipses which occur near the Nodes.

One way we might look at their odd motion is like a cosmic game of Jeopardy where we have an idea of what the answer is and now we have to figure out what the question was. So, since May 2017 the answer has pointed to a transition from Aquarius (South Node) to Leo (North Node). We might interpret this as something like "Out of the many emerges the One," or "From chaos comes a singular shining light," or "Resistance is fertile!" ;-)

The Nodal arrow now points from Capricorn (South) to Cancer (North) until May 2020. So, our Jeopardy "answer" might be "Out of the eggshell hatches something that must be nurtured to maturity," or "The structured system that becomes a nurturing nest," or "The adult creates the world in which the child must grow." With the Nodes now in the initial degree of their retrograde journey, you may start to see examples of these themes in the world around you.

Uranus and the Nodes continue to be square to each other. In fact, they are within 1 degree or less from Oct.23 to Nov.22, and as described in the last update, they all changed signs within mere hours of each other. An extremely rare event! The momentum of change continues to unfold.

The secret and the sacred are sisters. When the secret is not respected, the sacred vanishes.
Consequently, reflection should not shine too severe or aggressive a light on the world of the soul.
~ John O'Donohue, Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom

Pluto is exactly conjunct the asteroid Vesta and they offer support to build a kind of containment field around the more difficult impulses and urges that could be released from the shadow realm. Vesta in Roman mythology (or Hestia in Greek mythology) was the goddess of the hearth. The most central place in the home, the hearth contained the sacred flame that provided warmth, a place to cook food and a gathering place for the family. Vesta was a virgin goddess; she was self-contained and pure.

Sun-Moon, Neptune, Pluto, Vesta

Astrologically, Pluto is linked to death—the process of allowing something to pass away so that something else can be reborn in its place. It is also connected to the unconscious and the Underworld, the psychological shadow, and the undercurrents of power dynamics.

These two combined suggest that Vesta's hearth could provide the containment field—the safe space—within which we can explore and understand the fires of Pluto's shadowy depths. What would this look like? This is about bringing yourself back to your centre when you become ungrounded and overextended emotionally. One of the best ways you can do this is by taking some alone time, or do something away from the triggers that can help remind you of your better nature.

Pluto and Vesta are also sextile the Sun and Moon. (60°) Together, Pluto and Vesta provide a powerful, supportive ally in the course of releasing shadow energy. You don't have to reach very far to create that safe space where you can vent, explore, process and become more aware of shadow issues.

The Sun and Moon are also trine Neptune (120°) which suggests that a little faith and trust in the process can be a good thing. Just don't get stuck in Pollyanna-ville by being seduced into thinking you only have to pretend the "bad" stuff doesn't exist. Neptune can help soothe the friction from the rough spots but can't eliminate them completely.

Mercury is in detriment in Sagittarius, meaning he struggles a bit with trying to do things in a Sagittarian style – consumed by the Big Picture rather than digesting bite-size pieces of information, ideas and awareness. Mercury's up to the task, but it's not his preferred way of doing things.

Mercury is also still Out of Bounds (OOB) which means he's really "out there" right now (Nov.02 to Nov.20). If you've been feeling a hunger lately to absorb or communicate new knowledge, concepts and perceptions beyond your usual awareness, this could be Mercury beckoning to you. If you've been feeling overwhelmed by the same kinds of things, this could also be Mercury beckoning to you, hoping you can open up your mind just a little more.

Mercury is square to Neptune (90°) so you may be stretching your imagination and comprehension a little farther than you're used to. Under this transit, it can be easy to be taken in by ideas that seem larger than life and very enticing but may not work in the Saturnian world of hard facts and consequences. This transit is probably best used to be inspired by your imagination, but don't sign on the dotted line until you have all the facts in.

To be truly radical is to make hope possible rather than despair convincing.
~ Raymond Williams

Venus is still retrograde until Nov.16. The good news is that she's now strong in her own sign of Libra, having backtracked out of Scorpio where she was in detriment. This sign change happened on Oct.31, the same day that she did her second opposition to Uranus (Sep.12, Oct.31, Nov.30). The Venus-Uranus opposition actually remains within an 8° orb from Oct.15 to Dec.12, with Venus stationing about 4.5° from an exact opposition.

This Venus-Uranus transit is just the thing to shake up the shadow! With Venus involved, relationships and interactions in general could be the arena where changes could be needed or where a deeper truth may show itself. Shaking up the shadow allows the release of unstable or outmoded issues that are ready to rise to the surface where they can be re-evaluated with fresh eyes. Similarly, financial matters or values may need to be reconsidered or radically changed.

Wedge aspect pattern

The next couple of weeks might be a good time to do some decluttering, renovating, redecorating or rearranging. Try digging out some old storage boxes of "stuff" from the basement or attic, and go through them to decide what's still important to you to keep and what to send to the donation box.

Mars forms a Wedge aspect pattern by being trine to Venus (120°) and sextile to Uranus (60°). So, Mars provides a useful and potentially satisfying outlet to utilize or defuse the tension between Venus and Uranus. This configuration stays in effect until around Nov.19, just after Mars changes signs into Pisces.

To use this energy constructively, try taking a totally different approach in response to an old problem. Daring to try something new, even something out of character, can shake up the places where you're stuck and help you move forward in a new direction. But be careful you don't just overreact, since you'll risk doing more damage than is necessary. The idea is to shake up the same-old-same-old so it can flow better, not to annihilate everything in sight just to watch it crumble. Again, watch out for the Mars-Jupiter square and the inflammatory potential.

The brightest flame casts the darkest shadow.
~ George R.R. Martin, A Clash of Kings

And finally, we must take notice of the double station heading our way on Nov.16. Venus turns Direct at the same time that Mercury turns Retrograde! For a few days before and after, life could feel a bit like a whirlwind! Although they are in different signs and have no geometric aspect between them, the combined effect of the two stations could feel like you're in the middle of a dust storm.

And with Mercury still Out of Bounds for another 4 days, it could be a bit confusing and distracting. On the other hand, this could also be mentally stimulating and inspiring! Venus going direct might stir up some creative ideas, which Mercury going retrograde can chew on for a few weeks to see how far the potential of those ideas can be pushed.

It will probably take until the upcoming Full Moon in Gemini before Mercury and Venus find their respective rhythms again. So, stay tuned for more in the next update!

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As you trundle through this planetary jungle, remember that the context around it all is the Scorpio New Moon. This is about shining a light into the shadow to find out what's really there. And as you start to work through the deep, intense stuff that lives there, you'll find it releases enormous creative energy! You need to be patient and let the process unfold long enough, but soon you'll start to see the world in a different light. It might be heavy or exciting or scary or inspiring, but it will also be liberating and empowering.

One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light,
but by making the darkness conscious.
~ C.G. Jung

Nov.08 – Jupiter enters Sagittarius (until Dec.02.2019)

Jupiter is at its most bountiful and magnanimous when in Sagittarius because it is the planetary ruler of that sign. This transit signals a time to expand your horizons and envision wild possibilities. In fact, your imagination could be so engrossed by the prospects that it's hard to focus on the here-and-now. Dealing with "what is" in the now could leave you feeling bored to tears and so anxious to break free of it that you become annoying to others who might see you as a bit pompous, overbearing or preachy.

It will probably help to find a focus for the yearning for inspiration and vision in your life. For example, take a course or teach one, travel to a place that challenges your assumptions, read about something that expands your worldview, or write a journal, blog or book about something that makes you stretch your understanding beyond your usual comfort level. Go out and experience something from a different culture, religion or spiritual tradition, like a restaurant, shopping, community cultural celebration or visiting a place of worship you don't usually go to. Be adventurous about exploring something that fascinates or intrigues you.

You might become energized by a cause or project that involves a quest for truth, justice or enlightenment. Be careful that you don't fall into the trap of assuming that if a certain path, belief or understanding works for you, it therefore must work for everyone. We all have our own unique path to walk, so aim for open-mindedness and embracing diversity.

Jupiter is in Sagittarius during these times:

Nov.09 – Venus Retrograde trine Mars (26:11 of Libra/Aquarius)  (Nov.10 in AU)

It will be a lot easier to balance assertiveness with receptivity under this transit. In fact, it is a great time to take firm action that requires a sensitive touch, and to negotiate agreements in a way that is diplomatic, fair and powerful. Your ability to attract what you desire (money, love, pleasure, flirting, etc.), and to act on those desires, is strong right now, so use it wisely. This may include romantic attraction and sexual interaction, or it might involve artistic creativity. It could also be a time when your actions attract money and possessions, but it could also go the other way – your spending may also increase! Again: use this energy wisely and don't overextend yourself, but do have fun with it!

Nov.11 – Sun sextile Pluto (19:10 of Scorpio/Capricorn)  (Nov.12 in AU)

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

Nov.15 – Mars sextile Uranus (29:40 of Aquarius/Aries)  (Nov.14 in HAST)

You have an opportunity to move forward through inspired action. This can bring creative problem solving to any conflicts or challenges that are currently in your life. Now is the time to think outside the box and experiment with trying out new responses, actions and directions. It may be easier to be spontaneous and even to act "out of character." If this is something you easily go overboard with, you might want to find ways to channel this constructively. The idea is to be refreshingly spontaneous, not recklessly impulsive. On the other hand, if you have trouble kicking up your heels and being free and unfettered, this transit can be used to get you moving a bit better. If you don't use this energy constructively or consciously, you might wind up feeling somewhat erratic or restless. Find something exciting, inspiring or unusual to spend your energy on.

Nov.15 – Mars enters Pisces (until Dec.31)  (Nov.16 in AU)

Mars in Pisces can feel like you're boxing with a cloud. Your motives and actions may seem to be led in some direction, rather than you consciously choosing what to do. Expressing anger or taking an assertive stand may easily lose its impact. Emotions and motives that are normally focused can become blurred in a fog of indecision and ambiguity. However, you may also be able to connect more easily to spiritual, intuitive, artistic and creative energy. Listen to your body and observe your spontaneous actions – what would they mean if you were having a dream? These things can give you clues about unconscious motives, feelings and perceptions (about yourself or others). In a way, you are more connected to the twilight spaces between worlds, which can make it hard to feel powerful or effective in the "real" world. It can therefore be tempting to slip into a kind of "victim mentality." Or, you might feel despondent, apathetic or kind of "spacey." It can help to do things that feed your spirit without needing to pump yourself up artificially.

Nov.16 – Venus and Mercury stations  (Nov.17 in UK, AU)

No sooner does Venus finally go Direct but Mercury turns Retrograde! This happens just 14.5 hours apart. With two personal planets changing direction at the same time, the energy on this day (and a few days before and after) is likely to be extra intense. Especially since they are turning in opposite directions (one direct, the other retrograde), it might feel like you're caught in a whirlpool of energy, spinning around and not quite sure which way you were going.

The benefit of this is that you could use the energy to make a fresh start, leaving behind old attitudes, agendas or expectations about what life is supposed to be. A less rosy perspective is that you might also get a bit disoriented and lose touch with intentions and initiatives you had planned to move forward with. It might help to leave yourself some breadcrumbs ahead of time by writing down what you want to make happen over the next few weeks, and especially why that's important to you, which could help you find your way back. On the other hand, if you just get lost and can't find your way back, it might be because there's something you need to take a closer look at before proceeding. Or, perhaps you need to connect your vision into a deeper part of your feelings and your sense of purpose. Either way, don't give up! Keep moving ahead, even if it wasn't the direction you thought you were supposed to go in.

Nov.16 – Venus Stationary Direct (25:14 of Libra; Direct until May.13.2020)  ("What's a Station?"  "What does Retrograde mean?"  Read more about Venus Retrograde.  Read even more about Venus Retrograde.  Read more about Retrograde planets.)

For up to a week before and after this date, you may experience or witness a shifting of energy affecting finances, relationships, love, resources, values pleasure, beauty, harmony and/or balance. Situations or issues related to these areas that have been occupying your attention during the past 6-7 weeks (while Venus has been retrograde) may reach a turning point now. It is a time when decisions and choices could be made—perhaps out of necessity.

If you have felt unusually introverted or extroverted during the retrograde period, this could shift back the other way again. If you have experienced difficulties or challenges in close relationships, this may be a time when decisions can (and perhaps must) to be made about them. Adjustments, compromises or renegotiations may be necessary; and if this is not possible or tolerable, it might be necessary to consider ending the relationship. During the retrograde phase, you may have encountered people or social situations from your past, and now it's time to decide if you want to continue with the contact or to bring closure and move on.

You might have experienced a change in your finances—for the better or worse. This change could simply revert to its previous state, according to a natural cycle of ebb and flow. Or, you might be faced with a choice of what to do from here—to change something in your life so that your situation improves (or so that an improvement continues), or to let go and move beyond this period of temporary change.

Whatever you have learned, embraced, questioned or invested your time in during the last 6-7 weeks, you will begin to apply and integrate in a new way over the next 4-5 weeks (while Venus is in the Shadow). This has been a detour allowing you to explore hidden territory, complete unfinished business or reconsider possibilities in the affected areas listed above. It's time to come back to the main path again, bringing with you new learning and values that will gradually be integrated into your life. The Direct Station is another shift in your life's balance point that enables you to keep moving, changing, growing and evolving.

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

Nov.16 – Mercury Stationary Retrograde (13:29 of Sagittarius; until Dec.06)  (Nov.17 in UK, AU)  ("What's a Station?"  "What does Retrograde mean?"  Read more about Mercury Retrograde.  Read more about Retrograde planets.)

Yes, it's that time again! Mercury goes retrograde for the next 3+ weeks. For up to a week before and after today, Mercury is moving very slowly or stopped (hence "stationary" or "making a station"). During this time, you may experience intensity, frustration, confusion, miscommunications, or feel like you're getting bogging down in your progress.

Mercury retrograde is usually a time when it is a good time to rethink, rehash, reflect, and tie up old loose ends, rather than begin new ventures. It is typical for new insights and information to emerge later in the retrograde cycle that you didn't anticipate, which can change the whole picture. Because of this, it is usually advised to avoid making final or permanent decisions (e.g., signing contracts or putting new projects into action), during the retrograde and even up to 2 weeks after Mercury goes direct. However, it is an excellent time to do fact-finding, research and investigation to prepare for major decisions, which are usually best put off until well after Mercury goes direct.

In the meantime, while Mercury is retrograde, expect the unexpected, and leave lots of extra time when planning your schedule (to minimize any disruptions from delays and complications). Stay flexible and learn to roll with the weirdness. It's common to have to reschedule appointments or redo things because the instructions or information got messed up the first time. Do some things that use your intuitive, creative, non-rational mind for a while until Mercury goes direct again.

If you absolutely must do something important during this time that can't be postponed, don't be surprised if you wind up having to redo things. It can help to be especially vigilant about triple-checking what you do, but some of these mishaps can't always be predicted or prevented, so don't be hard on yourself (nor on others).

Remember: Mercury loves to play practical jokes. This is his playtime. ;-) It helps to learn to laugh with him.

Mercury is retrograde in Sagittarius, which can challenge the mind more than it can comfortably handle. The conscious mind usually likes to sift through ideas at its own pace and piece these ideas together as they come up. Sagittarius tends to present the whole picture all at once, which can be overwhelming. You might find you are challenged to reach beyond your grasp intellectually, which could leave you feeling like you're juggling too many balls at once. Or, you might be so hungry for more and more information that you don't know how to stop and put it all together. Unconscious or hidden judgments and biases that you carry around might lurk just below the surface now, making them more visible than you would like them to be. On the other hand, this can be a good time to explore the ways that you tend to blame others (or yourself) for problems or imperfections. It is also a time when you can peek through the veil and see beyond your usual range of vision. As such, this transit can give you access to a more spiritual frame of mind that helps you deepen your understanding, expand your compassion and stretch your usual horizons.

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


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Nov.19 – Mars square Jupiter (02:33 of Pisces/Sagittarius)  (Nov.20 in UK, 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.

Nov.20 – Sun trine Chiron (28:03 of Scorpio/Pisces)

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.20 – Mercury Rx returns from Out of Bounds (12:17 Sagittarius; OOB since Nov.02; next OOB is Jan.02.2019)  (Nov.21 in AU)   ("What does Out of Bounds mean?"   "What is Declination?")

Mercury has been Out of Bounds (OOB) and now returns within the bounds of the Sun's declination. An in-bounds Mercury is generally easier to work with, where your thoughts, ideas and awareness works more constructively with the world around you. You might find you have new ideas picked up while Mercury was OOB that you now are able to put into practice. If you've felt somewhat liberated by the OOB period, it might be a bit uncomfortable to feel simply "normal" again. On the other hand, if you were feeling a bit ungrounded or out of focus during Mercury's OOB period, coming back in-bounds could feel somewhat reassuring as your brain may find it easier to grapple with ideas and process experiences. Words and thoughts might fit more comfortably into what society regards as "normal" and as such, life may start to feel a bit easier to navigate.

Coming back in bounds can also be a bit of a bumpy landing as that unrestricted energy becomes squeezed back into its usual potency. This is a good time to observe your thoughts, ideas, communication and how you process information, as well as changes in Mercury themes in society around you. For several days before and after this date, pay attention to the things that amplify or cool down your awareness, perceptions and your need to express what you're thinking. Realize that this is an adjustment period, and having some patience with yourself and others can help to smooth and soothe this time.

Alternatively, the re-entry can also be an eventful time when changes in Mercury-related areas can occur. For example, you might feel this is the right time to start—or end—a conversation about things that inspire or aggravate you, or make changes to how and why you express yourself. A shift in how you experience or handle the exchange of ideas and information with others could inspire you to make positive changes in those areas. This might be due to a change in perspective as a result of your experiences while Mercury was OOB.

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Nov.20 – Sun trine North Lunar True Node (28:41 of Scorpio/Leo)  (Nov.21 in UK, AU)  ("What's a Lunar Node?")

You may feel confident, optimistic and empowered today and a couple of days before and after this date. It can feel like the pieces are falling into place and you can make progress in what you're striving to do in your life right now. And if only because of this added self-confidence, this could indeed happen. Just an added caution, though: even though the lights are green doesn't mean you shouldn't look both ways before moving forward. In other words, a reality check as to the wisdom of what you want to do is still a good idea.

Nov.22 – Sun enters Sagittarius (until Dec.21)  (Nov.21 in HAST)

Happy Solar Return to all Sagittarians! While the Sun is in Sagittarius, we all get to explore our horizons, seek our highest truth, discover our spirituality and gain fresh wisdom. Sagittarius energy encourages us to reach beyond our grasp, to exceed our limitations, and to rise above our primal impulses. Whether we are encountering other cultures, countries and languages, or expanding our horizons through new knowledge or spiritual awareness, this is a time to be uplifted and inspired. We are challenged to explore meaning in our lives and to connect with whatever we regard as sacred and sublime. In Sagittarius we also gather new knowledge and understanding, making sense of the patterns and themes within the raw information around us. It is not enough to simply have facts and data. Sagittarius presents us with the opportunity to reach for the highest truth we know, and then to exercise that truth in moral and ethical ways. The trap we must be careful to avoid is that it's easy to assume that our truth is truth for everyone else too, which is not necessarily the case. Our well-meaning wish for others to experience the inspiration and passion that we feel can seem to turn us into self-righteousness know-it-alls. It's tempting to believe that we are privy to knowledge that others are denied. There can be a fine line between sharing passionate knowledge versus shoving opinions down someone's throat. Everyone has their unique perspective on life, and therefore their own sense of meaning and truth that works for them. And yet, debating and challenging each other's knowledge, beliefs and values are also an important part of the Sagittarius passion for exploration. As the Sun journeys through Sagittarius, expand your awareness of how these issues play out in your life.

Next Update:  FULL MOON in GEMINI. Available by November 23, 2018.

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