The Low-Down on the Far-Out

Full Moon in Aries, October 1, 2020

Chart for the Full Moon in Aries
Chart for the Full Moon in Aries

Full Moon in Aries
Mars, Mars and More Mars!

Keep Going. Your hardest times often lead to
the greatest moments of your life. Keep going.
Tough situations build strong people in the end.
~ Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart

Oct.01 – FULL MOON in ARIES (09:08 of Aries)

If you have your proverbial bags all packed, hoping for a nice, pleasantly energizing Aries Full Moon escape adventure, you should probably put them back in the closet. This Full Moon is a lively one, to be sure, but perhaps not exactly enjoyable and reviving.

It starts with the Full Moon being in Fiery Aries. At its best, Aries is associated with adventure, courage, daring, spontaneity, enthusiasm and straightforwardness. People with strong Aries (Sun, Ascendant, Moon, Mars) will tell it like it is, cut to the chase, and usually do it with fun and infectious vigor.

That said, all that Aries energy doesn't always detect or care about what is socially acceptable. Aries also has a temper and usually isn't shy about showing it—but as quickly as it flares up, that anger or frustration can pass just as quickly, like a summer cloudburst., and then it's blue skies again.

There are several indicators in the Full Moon chart that the next 2 weeks are likely to be a series of cloudbursts, which might be exciting, entertaining and clear the air, but this could also be unpredictable, stressful, disruptive or upsetting.

Chiron is closely conjunct the Moon and opposite the Sun, which could lay a wet blanket kind of feeling over that Fiery Aries energy. This might help to cool down an overly heated atmosphere, although it could merely short-circuit the healthier Aries qualities of courage, assertiveness and directness through feelings of futility, discontent, resentment or depression. It might also indicate emotional wounding, either happening in the present or coming up from the past.

In any case, it is an opportunity to observe, experience, vent and work through some old issues you might have with Aries themes.

Uranus is exactly (partile) quincunx the Sun and semisextile the Moon (150° and 30°). This suggests that if/when things seem to finally calm down a bit, or get into a more manageable rhythm, something inevitably pops up to stir the pot again. It might be difficult to figure out where the trigger is coming from or how to anticipate or avoid it. If you enjoy spontaneity and surprises, this could be an annoying yet stimulating time. But if instability isn't your idea of a good time, you may feel like you're continually being thrown off-balance.

By far, the majority of planets are in goal-oriented, determined Cardinal signs (Aries, Cancer, Libra, Capricorn), and only Neptune in adaptable, flowing Mutable signs. As a result, flexibility may not be your strong suit during this Full Moon, and this might make it harder to resist getting carried away by the prevailing currents of energy. It's good to monitor your stress level and force yourself to take a break if you're getting too overwhelmed.

Together, we form a necessary paradox;
not a senseless contradiction.
~ Criss Jami, Healology

And then we have Mars, the planetary ruler of Aries, who is the star of the show for several reasons. Mars happens to be in his own sign of Aries right now, making his energy especially vivid. Mars is also retrograde (Sep.09 to Nov.13), which can shift his energy in a different direction and/or amplify it.

And if that wasn't "interesting" enough for you, Mars is going through intense square aspects to Jupiter, Saturn and Pluto from August 2020 to January 2021. In fact, Mars stationed only 2½° from squaring Saturn, and when Mars made the second square to Saturn on Sep.29, Saturn was stationing direct.

To understand this Full Moon chart, we need to grasp the essential nature of Mars square Saturn, since this creates a dynamic pinnacle in the Full Moon chart. In truth, it is one of the more difficult transits in our solar system. In many ways, these planets are like opposite energies. The irresistible force meets the immovable object. Mars is go-go-go, Saturn is wait-wait-wait. Mars is impulsive, Saturn is cautious. Mars is passionate and animated, Saturn is cool and objective.

Opposite energies seem like they should be simple and straightforward – what each is, the other is not. End of discussion. However, they're actually rather complex. Like the Chinese symbol for Yin and Yang, each seemingly opposite side holds a bit of the other. In Jungian psychological terms, this is like the shadow where we bury feelings, perceptions, expectations and sometimes memories that we don't want to or know how to deal with. Therefore, they become subconscious and come out in surprising, unexpected ways (usually at the most inconvenient times!)

Yin-Yang symbol

In the same way Mars and Saturn are like Yin and Yang, in that their energies seem utterly contradictory but in fact are made more complete and functional when brought together. It's not usually a happy marriage, but it is one that can result in powerful productivity, strength and advancement.

In the case of Mars and Saturn, their zodiacal story is one of repeating conflicts. Mars rules Aries, and Saturn rules Capricorn – both signs are in a conflicting square relationship to each other (90°). Mars also rules Scorpio and Saturn rules Aquarius (traditional rulerships), and those signs are also square to each other. These poor planets just can't cut a break.

And yet, to bring out the best in them, they need each other. Mars' fiery nature needs fuel to keep itself fed. Otherwise it will only amount to a flash in the pan – lots of excitement but of little lasting value. And Saturn's earthy nature can provide the staying power to nurture Mars' energy into an enduring bonfire.

At the same time, Saturn can be so determined to avoid change, unless absolutely necessary, that it can get frozen into rigidity. So, Mars can light a fire under Saturn to get him moving, and trigger Saturn to utilize strength as a moving, changing, developing process.

And yet, they rule signs that are in a conflicted square aspect to each other (90°) – in other words, in the same Modality. Aries and Capricorn are Cardinal signs, which are about moving forward toward a goal and accomplishing something real. Scorpio and Aquarius are Fixed signs, which are about maintaining momentum and stability.

Heat, energy, conflict and controversy are generated from their friction which keeps their modality's agenda alive. In this case Mars and Saturn are both in Cardinal signs, so there is a strong undertow of ambition, purpose and tenacious determination. On top of that, Mars and Saturn are in their own signs (Aries and Capricorn), which makes them that much stronger.

Add the fact that Mars is also applying to square aspects with both dominant Pluto and righteous Jupiter, and you can start to see the dark storm clouds hovering overhead through the fall (in the northern hemisphere; spring in the southern).

Black Moon researcher Marc Beriault recalls Neitzsche's phrase, the necessity "to become what one is," as its essential soul motivation. ...Our task is to unwrap the dark veils that mask the light of the soul. This is Lilith's strategy, to uncover – to reveal the bare, naked Truth.
~ M. Kelley Hunter, Living Lilith: Four Dimensions of the Cosmic Feminine

But wait—there's more! ;-) Mars is also exactly (partile) conjunct Eris (dwarf planet discovered in 2005), as well as closely conjunct Black Moon Lilith (the counterbalanced focal point of the Moon's elliptical orbit). These two points symbolize powerful and dark feminine energy, and are notorious for stirring the pot to reveal inconvenient truths and disrupt the habitual "normal."

With Mars conjunct Eris and Black Moon Lilith, while in a battle with Saturn, Pluto and Jupiter, it's probably wise not to assume things will go smoothly, politely or as expected (unless you expect some chaos). It's interesting to note that in 2016-2017 (in orb from 2015 through 2018), Uranus was conjunct Eris. This timespan was notable for being increasingly tumultuous, especially on a collective level.

Jupiter, Pluto and Saturn are square Eris, so the deep transformational process being invoked in us is often triggered by upsetting, awkward or disturbing events and experiences. And now, Mars is conjunct Eris, igniting her disruptive tendencies. Eris moves extremely slow, remaining in Aries from 1927 to 2044 and dipping in and out for up to 5 years before and after that time range. So Mars interacts with her quite frequently, but not usually when other outer planets are involved. So, this conjunction is especially significant. In Mars' current retrograde cycle, he makes 3 passes over Eris – Aug.17, Oct.04 and Dec.22.

The Black Moon Lilith has an odd pattern of movement. She oscillates back and forth in a peculiar dance where even the back-and-forth motions are part of a greater undulating rhythm. Black Moon also moves much faster than Mars, so she crisscrosses over Mars in her strange dance 11 times (!) from July 2020 to February 2021. At the Full Moon in Aries she is right in the middle, making her 6th pass. The implication is that she will add an additional mischievous and rebellious streak through Mars' already agitated energy through most of this year and into next year.

I hadn't been able to trust since the age of four.
I was torn between wanting to be cradled and
telling the world to go fuck itself, and
those were opposite sides of the same coin.
~ Betsy Lerner, Food and Loathing: A Life Measured Out in Calories

Sometimes I go to write about what's coming up, but the energy is already here. I almost feel foolish describing what is obvious to anyone who's paying attention to world events. This is one of those times!

With the political mayhem happening in US politics right now, it's hard to miss the disruptive, unstable, explosive Mars-Saturn-Pluto-Jupiter energy! And Mars, with his love of doing things impulsively, quickly and openly, the effects often arrive a bit ahead of schedule. Since I'm writing this later than I intended to, I feel like I'm just reporting the wild events that have already happened over the last several days. (It's a good thing this astrology stuff doesn't work...)

It's like we're watching the War of the Titans. The last time we had this much outer planet momentum was the Cardinal Cross of 2008-2015 (and many of the societal issues we are facing now rose up then too). Between the triple conjunction of Jupiter, Saturn and Pluto, detonated by Mars squaring them, and in his own sign, and while retrograde, and conjunct Eris and Black Moon Lilith—well, let's just say there's A LOT of heavy energy flying around the remainder of this year. In addition, Saturn and Pluto began their long parallel by declination in 2015 just after the Cardinal Cross had finally dissipating.

Fall of the Titans, by Jacob Jordaens

Collectively and individually, we are undergoing a gradual and powerful transformation that unfolds over a couple/few decades. We are at a very important pivot point this year, with 3—count 'em, three—outer planet cycles ending and beginning: Saturn-Pluto, Jupiter-Pluto and Jupiter-Saturn. Saturn and Pluto have also been hovering in a near-conjunction in September and October. (Read my new article: Saturn conjunct Pluto 2.0 ~ Second Chances.)

Mars lit the fuse in January when he went through Capricorn and conjoined them all. Now he's squaring them (90°) and again we have mounting crisis, controversy and commotion. Right now Mars and Saturn are in the main spotlight, and the astrological weather suggests that with these two energy masses grinding together, we're in for a long heat wave.

So, this is not the time to give up on yourself or humanity or the Universe. This is the time to marshal your resources and strengths and patience, which can help you get through it all. Just like in a real heat wave, don't expect yourself to run a marathon every day.

In fact, it's usually better to not expect business-as-usual from yourself if you feel like you're dragging. That's not the same as giving up, it's about backing off the gas pedal a bit so you don't burn your emotional, mental, spiritual and physical engines out. In a heat wave, small, easy actions and reactions can help you avoid getting heatstroke. Go for quality instead of quantity. Go for what you can realistically do rather than driving yourself into the ground. Prioritize what is important for now and what can wait. And especially important – put yourself very high up on your own priority list.

The good news is that Mars and Saturn, despite snarling, growling and gnashing at each other, can be a formidable force when you tame them enough to work together. It's kind of exhausting and not usually easy, but with some tenacity, discipline, patience and strategizing, you can turn an otherwise draining struggle into an experience that fortifies your strength and adds some new skills to your toolbox.

Think of it like lifting weights – at first it seriously sucks and you suffer through aches and pains, but as you keep at it and increase it gradually (so you don't injure yourself) it starts to pay off.

We are only just beginning to understand the power of love
because we are just beginning to understand the weakness of force and aggression.
~ B.F. Skinner, Walden Two

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The upshot is that Mars is exceptionally dynamic at this Full Moon! There's an enormous amount of upset, anger, motivation, drive, directness and struggle in the air. On a personal level, if you get along well with this kind of energy, you'll find this time exciting, enlivening and perhaps entertaining. So, make the most of it! Channel that energy into something positive you want to achieve, or use it to get you focused in a particular direction, or use it to learn new ways to become centered and grounded in the midst of chaotic events.

If you get the urge to dive for cover when faced with this kind of volatile energy, this could be a difficult time for you. It's important to keep taking good care of yourself – not just staying safe from COVID-19 but also from becoming overloaded. We live in what often feels like a 5 minute news cycle where we struggle to drink information through a fire hose. The emotional pitch within the collective right now is very high, and often it's hard to avoid resonating with it like a tuning fork. All this and then there's the usual challenges and complications that are always going on in your personal life.

So, whether you're watching it all with a giant bucket of popcorn on your lap, or you're fighting the urge to stay in bed under the covers until 2021 comes, it's wise not to dismiss or ignore the energy drain that happens just to get through the day in current times. We live in complicated times, and the exhaustive toll it takes on us—physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually—can easily get lost amid the chaos that's around us.

Find lots of ways—and plenty of time—to de-stress, rest, vent, express and process it all. Make a list as you think of things. Call a friend who will listen. Call a friend who needs support (helping others can often boost our own frame of mind). Shut off the computer and phone for an hour or a day. Read articles and books about how to bring a healing perspective into your life. Do things that have nothing to do with the stuff that's stressing you out (e.g. make a new recipe, take a walk, rearrange your sock drawer, etc).

Mars is ultimately about taking action, the Life Force, and the being of your very existence. Whatever you do to get through these Mars months, be proactive about it. Make a decision and take a step in acting on it. Problem-solve your way through or around times of depression, discouragement or exhaustion.

Keep moving forward from where you are now toward where you want to go, even if it's just a baby step. And let your fears inform you about what is wise and what is unwise to do in the moment, not to paralyze you with what might be. Choose to be guided by your best heart and by the highest Truth that you know. And use your courage to keep your eyes open, your mind present, your heart open, and your awareness receptive to new perceptions and insights—even (especially!) the ones that challenge and lead you to question your hopes, dreams, fears and knowledge.

Above all: Stay safe. Stay sane. Stay awesome. The world needs you.

Trust that whatever you are dealing with, whatever doorway to crisis you experience,
it is leading you to a greater lesson in living where ideally the power of love is what you learn.
Forgive, and broadcast your excitement to be alive.
~ Barbara Marciniak, Family of Light: Pleiadian Tales and Lessons in Living

Day to Day Transits for the Next 2 Weeks

Oct.01 – Mercury-Sun elongation (04:26 and 08:45 of Scorpio/Libra)

Mercury reaches his greatest elongation from the Sun approximately today. He is as far away from the Sun (from Earth's perspective) and as high in the western sky after sunset, as he's going to get during this period when he is known as the Evening Star. But it not easy to spot Mercury! He's extremely faint, and seen only in a clear sunset sky when it's dark enough, just above the horizon.

Greatest elongation occurs a few days after Mercury enters the Retrograde Shadow. It tends to bring clarity, when thoughts, awareness and decisions may come into sharper focus. It can be a good time to consider your path ahead, as well as to reconsider what you want to carry with you from past. A word of caution, though – thoughts that are clear aren't necessarily the best ones to act on. If you're in an emotional or volatile frame of mind, there's a risk of letting those feelings overwhelm or dilute your mental clarity. It's better to keep mind and feelings in a balanced awareness, with a little more emphasis on objectivity and thinking twice before you act.

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

Oct.02 – Venus enters Virgo (until Oct.27)  (Oct.03 in AU)

Under this transit, it is possible to fall in love with purity, precision and analysis. It is a time to invest in health, efficiency, and your contribution to the world around you. The beauty is in the details, as you embrace a labour of love in your life. Just don't get so enamoured with pristine splendour that you get lost in perfectionism and unable to accept the natural imperfection that exists in all life and humanity. Each of us is the Universe's perfect child, but we are also in a state of becoming and growing and are therefore likely to make human mistakes. Remember that we're here for the journey, as much as the destination. This part of the journey takes us into service and devotion, whether that is focused on another person or on ourselves.

Oct.04 – Pluto Stationary Direct (22:29 of Capricorn; Direct until Apr.27.2021)  (Oct.05 in AU)  ("What's a Station?"  "What does Retrograde mean?"  Read more about Retrograde planets.)

For about a week before and after, you may experience energy that is intense, compelling and transformative, as Pluto changes direction to its normal forward motion. If you've been going through deep, cathartic changes in your life over the last 6 months to a year, you may find that this station brings a shift in how you are able to approach and act on those changes. This might be a time when you feel the weight of power struggles or loss in your life, but it can also galvanize empowering strength in yourself that you didn't know you had. Above all, it is a time when your deepest, most authentic Self can start to emerge and be reborn anew.

This station is made even more powerful because it is right on the Saturn-Pluto conjunction point from January 2020. Read my article about this: Saturn conjunct Pluto 2.0 ~ Second Chances.

Oct.04 – Australia moves ahead to Daylight Saving Time

If you live in the Australia region of the South Pacific, and if your region observes Daylight Saving Time, it's time to move your clocks one hour FORWARD. If you're not sure if this applies to you, check the change dates for your location on

Oct.07-10 – Moon goes Out of Bounds (23:50 Gemini to 28:17 Cancer. Peaks on Oct.09 at 24S36 at 11:03 Cancer)   ("What does Out of Bounds mean?"   "What is Declination?")

The Moon goes Out of Bounds (OOB) by Declination, during which time your feelings and emotions may move in a different kind of rhythm. One possible effect is that you might feel more disconnected from the world around you; perhaps a bit alone, lonely or isolated. Or, this could be a welcome change where you can let the stresses of the world roll off your back more easily. Or, your emotions could be a bit erratic, extreme or harder to contain. The common thread through these diverse experiences is that your feeling state may reach beyond your usual range of feelings. If you're an artist, musician, writer or other creative person, this can be a very inspiring time as your creativity and imagination could more easily flow into unusual ideas, whims and impulses.

A planet goes OOB when its declination is greater than 23:26 (23 degrees and 26 minutes), which is the maximum declination of the Sun, and the Sun defines the "Bounds." The Moon goes OOB twice a month for about 8-9 years at a time (and remains In-Bounds for about 8-9 years in between). Currently the Moon's declination is able to go beyond 23:26 from March 2020 to January 2030, peaking at a maximum declination of 28:42 in September 2025 (called the Maximum Lunar Standstill).

So for now, as the maximum declination of the Moon increases from month to month, so will the strength of the OOB effects. Watch to see how you respond to these times. You can work on finding ways to channel this energy into positive, productive, creative experiences, or use it as an opportunity to take another step in your emotional healing.

Oct.07 – Mercury Direct opposite Uranus (09:37 of Scorpio/Taurus)  (Oct.08 in AU)

This is a wakeup call! You are asked to open your mind so that you can see something about your life, yourself or your situation that has eluded you until now. It might be a shocking revelation that changes your whole perspective...or it might also be a delightful surprise that adds a new dimension you hadn't thought of. However it manifests, you are in a position to see your situation more clearly and objectively – although this can also make it seem like this energy is outside of you and happening TO you. However, if you look closely inside yourself, you may see thoughts, perceptions and impressions that correspond to the external events and participate in the interchange. Emails, Internet chats, and interaction with technology may be part of this transit as well. Communication may be a bit erratic or unpredictable, so be careful not to speak thoughtlessly or carelessly. However, you may find that words and perceptions come to you intuitively and spontaneously.

This is the first of 3 passes of this transit: Oct.07, Oct.19, Nov.17.

Oct.09 – Mars Retrograde square Pluto (22:29 of Aries/Capricorn)  (Oct.10 in AU)

This can be a volatile combination of energies, which can generate enormous stress and conflict, but can also motivate you go beyond your perceived limitations. The biggest dangers with this transit include obsessive control, violence in response to frustration, and natural reactions of anger being blown out of proportion into rage. However, if you are able to harness this energy and put it to productive use, it can fuel your ambitions and drive you to push past the barriers that are in your way (including your own discouragement or lethargy). There can be a fine line, though, between empowering yourself with determination and courage versus forcing the issue in a way that creates more problems than it solves. And there is a difference between being obsessively attached to the outcome versus discovering that you have more courage, strength and tenacity than you thought you did, when your back is against the wall. Sexual tension can be strong under this transit, so it is wise to use some good judgment about whether or how to act on that. Power struggles with others can become very intense, so strive to be clear in yourself about what you really want and how you can assert your interests without inflicting the emotional equivalent of nuclear war.

This is the second of 3 passes: Aug.13, Oct.09, Dec.23.

Oct.10 – Mars Retrograde sextile North Lunar Node (22:13 of Aries/Gemini)  (Oct.09 in HAST)  ("What's a Lunar Node?")

Including a day or two before and after today, this may be a time when opportunities come your way. Taking action could have results or implications that reach farther than you expect. You might feel more energetic, motivated or passionate than usual, and therefore find it easier to get moving on projects and plans. By the same token, if you move your body and take steps toward what you want, the incentive and energy could come to you to keep going with it; in other words, getting your physical energy moving could "prime the pump" mentally and emotionally. Remember that this could be any kind of energy—not just positive strides, but also anger, hostility, vindictiveness and rejection. Use this opportunity wisely.

This is the second of 3 passes: Aug.26, Oct.10, Dec.12.


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Oct.10 – Venus trine Uranus (09:30 of Virgo/Taurus)  (Oct.11 in UK, AU)

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

Oct.11 – Sun square Jupiter (18:41 of Libra/Capricorn)  (Oct.12 in AU)

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

Oct.12 – Jupiter sextile Neptune (18:45 of Capricorn/Pisces)  (Oct.11 in HAST, AKDT)

There is great potential for a heightened sense of purpose, vision and optimism now. The wisdom and confidence of Jupiter is mixed with the surrender to the Cosmic Lifestream of Neptune. What can result is an exciting and inspiring vision of "what could be," provided you are willing to follow it up with concrete action. This transit shows you what is possible and gives you the pieces that can make it happen, but you still have to work at putting them together—kind of like having a cake mix on your pantry shelf. The challenge here is that you are combining focused beliefs and knowledge (Jupiter) with an intuitive, imaginative and spiritual experience (Neptune).

While these energies can combine well and relatively easily, there may still be a resistance to doing so because something of Neptune is always lost when we try to manifest it in some way. For instance, if you're going to pursue a dream that you have, it means taking a very personal, internalized feeling and translating it into something much more pointed and definite—an opinion, belief or judgment, which means others might challenge you, disagree with you or even judge you.

On the other hand, this can also be a time of great optimism, when things feel like they can fall into place easily if you just give them a wee push. In fact, you could feel so euphorically optimistic that it seems like you could walk through walls and any other form of resistance. Be careful not to overplay your hand, but do enjoy the renewed confidence and faith in life that you might feel. This is a great opportunity to invest some faith in your vision of "what could be" and move it a little closer to actuality. Let your imagination and wonderment guide you.

Oct.12 – Mercury sextile Venus (11:33 of Scorpio/Virgo)  (Oct.13 in AU)

There is a potential to benefit from social connections, diplomatic communication and receptive awareness during this transit, although a certain amount of effort is needed to make this happen. It can be a good time for negotiating contracts and other agreements, especially if you consciously focus your intent on achieving balance with your counterpart, partner or opponent that results in a win-win situation for all concerned. There is also potential to appreciate and express beauty, pleasure and sensuality. If there's someone in your life that you want to get closer to, try speaking gently and listening receptively, which can be the key that opens the door to harmonious interaction. Creative ideas can also find expression now if you apply your conscious awareness to bring them into focus. The thing to watch for is a tendency to use manipulation to achieve an advantage, which might be done by you or to you. Keep communication straightforward and clear, and find diplomatic ways to deal with manipulation if you sense it happening.

Oct.13 – Sun opposite Mars (21:04 of Libra/Aries)  (Oct.14 in UK, AU)

When opposite the Sun, Mars is always retrograde. This also marks the half-way point in the Mars retrograde cycle. In the upcoming 6 weeks you will be involved in the deeper work of Mars retrograde. So: what have you been investing your energy in over the past 6 weeks (the first half of Mars' retrograde cycle)? Maybe you've been busy developing a new project? Or perhaps you've been wrestling with a situation that involves anger, confrontation, assertiveness, aggression or hostility? Or possibly you've been focusing on the need to strengthen and build up your physical energy, health or fitness, or changing your physical appearance?

The next 6 weeks call for a deeper, more steadfast commitment to your goal, ambition, challenge or issue. For example, if you've been consumed with frustration, impatience, anger or passions that seem to have a life of their own, this can be a good time to find some constructive or safe outlets for your emotions. This can make it possible for you to have your feelings, rather than them having you.

As another example: if you're involved in developing a project or improving your physical energy, be careful not to drive yourself to the point of burnout. Instead, pay attention to the times when you hesitate or shy away from taking action – this may be showing you important clues to what holds you back and how you can break out of being stuck. Or, watch for times when you go into overdrive and push to the breaking point – you will be able to see what is driving you behind your conscious purpose; for example, maybe you're trying to prove yourself for reasons that have nothing to do with the task at hand, or you might be trying to win someone's approval so that you'll feel worthy, acceptable or visible. These clues may wind up being the most valuable and meaningful lesson of this Mars retrograde cycle for you.

Remember to take a break sometimes and allow yourself to appreciate and celebrate your victories, big and small, and to acknowledge what you've accomplished so far. If you're planning a launch or a significant decision, it might be better to wait until Mars goes direct before you assume that you're at the point of clear sailing. Use the final week or so before Mars goes Direct to ensure your t's are crossed and your i's dotted.

Oct.13 – Mercury Stationary Retrograde (11:40 of Scorpio; Rx until Nov.03)  (Oct.14 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 Scorpio, so you may find you are extra sensitive to the undercurrents around you, especially the energy in other people that pushes your buttons and might make you feel "on guard." Your attempts to voice your concerns and perceptions to others may or may not be well received. You might be picking up on something they're not aware of (and might prefer you weren't either). It may help to remember that it is ultimately possible to control only ourselves. You are therefore challenged to look into your own "shadow" – the part of yourself that lives in your internal blind spot. Take a long look at yourself, your motives and assumptions, which may reveal issues in need of some intense self-honesty. You might feel a bit wary or suspicious of people and situations outside of yourself. However, even though the objective situation may be real and valid, there is probably also something about your experience of it that originates within yourself. It will help to shine a light into your unconscious to learn how you are playing a role in the situation. This can transform mental defensiveness into true empowerment by shifting your perception of events, allowing you to choose a different response and therefore a different outcome, especially after Mercury goes direct.

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Mercury makes 3 passes of the following transits during this retrograde cycle:

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

Oct.14 – Sun trine North Lunar Node (21:52 of Libra/Gemini)  (Oct.15 in 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.

Oct.15 – Sun square Pluto (22:30 of Libra/Capricorn)

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.

Available by January 28, 2021.

© 2020 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. OTHER CREDITS: Most or all of the quotes on this page were found at Illustration of Zodiac Sign by Natalia Hubbert, via Sabian Symbol image: The Astrologer Emptied the Whole of the Bowl Into the Bottle, by N.C. Wyeth (1916) via Fall of the Giants by Jacob Jordaens (c. 1636-38) via

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