The Low-Down on the Far-Out

Full Moon in Aries, October 13, 2019

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

We are all in the gutter,
but some of us are looking at the stars.
~ Oscar Wilde, Lady Windermere's Fan

Oct.13 – FULL MOON in ARIES (20:13 of Aries)

Aries likes to cut to the chase. Be direct! Get on with it! Just do it! And there's a lot going on right now – just the kind of stuff to get your Aries courage stirred up.

So, in honour of the Full Moon in Aries... Say hello to Pluto!

Huh? Pluto's not in Aries!

No, Pluto is in Capricorn. But the Sun, Moon and Pluto are engaged in a super-tight T-square aspect pattern, meaning they're all connected through stressful-yet-dynamic square and opposition aspects (90° and 180°) forming a triangle shape. Being in Cardinal signs, this energy is not content to get comfortable and coast, but is looking to go somewhere, do something and aim itself in a focused direction.

Full Moon T-square

The T-square is also partile which means they're all at the same degree of their respective signs – Aries (Moon, of course), Libra (Sun) and Capricorn (Pluto). Partile aspects are typically the peak of the aspect's energy, so a whole T-square pattern at the same degree is something to sit up and take notice of.

All three planets are at 20°, so if you have any natal planets or points at or near 20° of any sign, then you are likely to feel a surge of energy related to that natal planet and its influence in your chart. (Calculate your chart here for free.) Being partile, this level of precision puts quite a pointed edge on an already-potent T-square pattern. And that makes it a pretty powerful force to be reckoned with.

This kind of energy could support some serious psychological cleansing and detoxing, if you're digging down into your psyche to clear out your blind spots and heal old wounds. This is best done when you intentionally apply your best personal integrity, authenticity, honesty and stability.

Just remember that a little goes a long way and it's easy to misuse this powerful energy. It could result in disruption or damage if wielded by someone who is inexperienced, unconscious, reckless, overconfident, overbearing, or one-sidedly obsessed. So, it's a good idea to keep an eye on your true feelings and motives during this time, so you don't get tripped up by unconscious or compulsive impulses and urges.

Having nothing to struggle against,
They have nothing to struggle for.
~ Charles Bukowski, You Get So Alone at Times That it Just Makes Sense

Saturn is not far behind Pluto (just 6¼° apart) and is slowly but surely gaining on him, getting ready for their exact conjunction on 12-Jan-2020. Right now, Saturn is close enough to be part of the T-square configuration, and being the planetary ruler and CEO of their current sign (Capricorn) Saturn has special status, to be sure. But it's the precise alignment with the Full Moon that makes Pluto the more dominant of the two in this T-square.

T-squares tend to bring on a fair bit of drama, stress and discord, through conflicting interests, ideals and agendas. On the other hand, they also increase motivation, drive and determination to make change—if for no other reason than it's too uncomfortable to sit around in all that intensity without doing something about it!

Saturn and Pluto are both involved in this T-square – two formidable forces of nature not to be taken lightly. This combination could put on a show of fireworks that's hard to ignore—sparks generated by planetary friction, like metal grinding against metal. And as they inch closer together for their conjunction in January, we've been feeling their intense heat building all year. This Full Moon forms one of many configurations that bring its energy into sharp focus.

Essentially, Saturn says, "There's nowhere else to go, nowhere left to escape to. The buck stops here, so get a grip, figure it out and fix it. There is a reality to be dealt with, steps to be taken, responsibilities to meet. And avoidance will not make it go away."

And Pluto says, "It's time to become more deeply authentic. No more BS, no more pretending things are okay when they're not, no more trying to be someone you're not, no more yes-buts. You have the chance to shine a light into the unconscious shadow and transform it into a source of empowerment."

Saturn and Pluto form a nexus or crossroads where choices need to be made. You might not be able to see beyond the next step, so results are not guaranteed. All you can do is check in with the highest truth you know, be honest about your shortcomings and limitations, and decide which path is most consistent with your best potential. Even if it doesn't turn out quite as you hoped, you've been true to your deepest self—and maybe that's the greater point of the exercise as much as the intended result.

Of course, none of this happens overnight. Saturn and Pluto set into motion a long-term process that unfolds and evolves gradually over many years. The two of them together renovate the structures in your life and make it more effective, authentic and functional. With their help, you can build something that molds and reflects the best that you can be.

The journey is not an easy one, but the destination can be extremely rewarding in ways that leave you stronger than you thought you could be. This is the process by which a rough diamond is cut to release and reveal its potential brilliance and beauty.

I am not the same having seen the moon
shine on the other side of the world.
~ Mary Anne Radmacher

Where does the Aries Full Moon fit into all this?

The Sun is in Libra and in fall (the sign opposite its exaltation, and therefore operates at a disadvantage). This is not the happiest place for the Sun, since he must take others' needs, feelings, preferences and plans into account rather than just be a self-sufficient individual. However, this placement supports you in staying balanced as you aim your intentions and take steps toward your goal of choice.

Stellium in Libra

The Moon is in Aries and pulling in the opposite direction from the Sun. Aries all about individuality, self-sufficiency, and honing your ability to move forward, guided by your wants, instincts and impulses. If you're well-grounded, this energy can be aimed directly and effectively in the direction of your choice. Whether or not you're successful in the end, something will come of it. On the other hand, if you're ungrounded or distracted from your self-awareness, results could be erratic, ineffective or self-indulgent.

This is where Pluto and Saturn can actually be helpful, especially being in disciplined Capricorn. You might not like the box you'll need to squeeze yourself in to benefit from their "help" but even their stern methods could make it worth your while.

The Aries Moon might provoke you to want to rebel, refuse or resist, as your individuality may feel like its wings are being rudely clipped. The Libra Sun is in fall and could influence you to feel unappreciated or overly pushed into the background.

For me, love is sustainable, renewable, and it burns clean. That doesn’t mean I don’t get angry. Anger is a soul-sucking lifetime companion, but it’s also a great catalyst for two of the grittiest, truest forms of love – justice and equity.
~ Brene Brown, Doubling Down on Love

Mars, the ruler of Aries, is also in detriment in Libra (in the sign opposite its rulership, and therefore acting contrary to its primary nature), so its desire to act freely and spontaneously is stalled by the need to be sensitive to others' needs and feelings. And Venus, the ruler of Libra, is also in detriment in Scorpio, so her usual sensual, grounded, easy-going, Taurus nature is under intense pressure with hotly passionate feelings and needing to forgo gentle diplomacy in favour of direct confrontation.

Venus and Mars in Mutual Reception

The good news is that Venus and Mars are in Mutual Reception (each in a sign the other rules). Although both planets are not very comfortable in their zodiac cloak, they can commiserate and offer encouragement and tips on how to navigate the sign they're currently in. They are also in exact semi-sextile aspect (30°) which again may not be the most comfortable connection. Bottom line: they can call on each other as allies if they're willing to overlook the ways they are different. And with any luck, they can bring out the best in each other rather than the worst.

So, there's a lot of struggle going on in this chart. Pluto and Saturn are squaring the Full Moon axis. The Sun is in an awkward situation in fall. And the two dispositors (rulers) of the Sun and Moon are uneasy in detriment, offset somewhat by mutual reception and a tight minor aspect.

The thing about debilitated planets (e.g. in detriment or fall) and difficult charts is that they may be sluggish, resistant, ineffective or clumsy, but they can also be a source of great strength. Many famous and successful people are born with debilitated planets. As you struggle with difficult energy to make up for its shortcomings, you become more proficient and skilled in that planet's energy. The key is to keep working with it creatively, turning disadvantages into advantages.

So Mars, with one fist tied behind his back in gentle Libra, can be a good thing in that he's not as likely to be as erratic, hot-headed or over-reactive. Mars in Libra is more capable of fighting for a win-win outcome, not just for a one-sided victory.

Irritation Wedge pattern

Venus in passionate Scorpio can be a positive as she needs to find ways to be assertive, forthcoming and even a bit cagey when necessary, reducing her tendency to sometimes be overly compliant, amenable or "nice." Venus in Scorpio will make sure any negotiations take her own interests into account and not be as likely to put herself on the back shelf for others' sake.

And Uranus advises both of them not to get too comfy, complacent or inflexible. Uranus opposes Venus (180°), reminding us that even Venus' shrewdness and self-protection could become a liability if we lose touch with the organic nature of the moment. And Uranus is quincunx Mars (150°) which means Mars' attempt to strike a peaceful balance may need to be constantly adjusted and adapted to subtle changes in the situation. Together they make an aspect configuration that I call an Irritation Wedge, which generates increased awareness through frustration and instability. Stay flexible!

Some things in life are bad, They can really make you mad
Other things just make you swear and curse,
When you're chewing on life's gristle, Don't grumble, give a whistle
And this'll help things turn out for the best,
And always look on the bright side of life
Always look on the light side of life
~ Eric Idle, Monty Python

Meanwhile, Jupiter is laughing jovially, determined to lighten the mood. Strongly placed in his own sign of Sagittarius, Jupey knows there's a beautiful blue sky beyond the dark clouds on the horizon. You just have to keep moving toward it. His discouraging square to Neptune is now behind him (Sep.21) and soon to be a distant out-of-orb memory. Time to celebrate!

Wedge aspect pattern

So, while Saturn and Pluto huff and puff in the next room in Capricorn, arguing with the Sun and Moon, Jupiter is throwing a party in Sagittarius. He's sure this will bring out the upbeat, visionary, inspiring side of the Full Moon in Aries. When the Aries Moon squared by Saturn and Pluto feels over-burdened, Jupiter is there to keep us moving.

So, get ready to party! The theme of the festivities is taken from a Wedge aspect pattern between the Sun and Moon and His Majestic Awesomeness. Just like the T-square, this Wedge is partile and therefore prominent. Jupiter in Sagittarius is exactly trine the Moon in Aries and sextile the Sun in Libra. So, amid all that serious T-square stress, Jupiter is singing Don't Worry, Be Happy and handing out travel brochures for Heaven Sent Getaway Vacations.

T-square and Wedge aspect patterns

Jupiter's role in the Wedge configuration is to remind you that despite the Saturn-Pluto obstacle course and the Sun-Mars-Venus stumbling blocks, there really is a silver lining on those dark clouds. In fact, with the T-square and Wedge configurations both being partile, both combined energies are equally dominant and can potentially balance each other out. Both consist of planets at 20°, which creates a powerful harmony between challenging and reassuring, between hard work and fulfilment, between discouragement and incentive, between expecting the worst and believing in the best.

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Life doesn't have to be all hard work and struggle. The magical ingredient is made of hope and optimism, faith in your ability to navigate through these tough times, wisdom that comes from listening to your highest truth, and inspiration through understanding rather than mere judgment.

And fun! Don't forget the fun! High spirits, joviality and love of life. From a higher perspective you can see beyond your current horizon. It will all start to make more sense. Can't see it yet? Keep climbing. Yes, it will take discipline, struggle, courage and hard work to get there, but the view is spectacular!

It is clear that we must trust what is difficult;
everything alive trusts in it, everything in Nature grows
and defends itself any way it can and is spontaneously itself,
tries to be itself at all costs and against all opposition.
~ Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet

Oct.14 – Mercury sextile Saturn (14:27 of Scorpio/Capricorn)  (Oct.13 in HST, AKDT, PDT)

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

Oct.14 – Sun square Pluto (20:39 of Libra/Capricorn)  (Oct.13 in HST, AKDT)

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.

Oct.15 – Mercury trine Neptune (16:24 of Scorpio/Pisces)  (Oct.16 in AU)

Your mind is very open to imagination, dreams and compassion under this transit. This can be a very creative time, when ideas flow like a magical river. It can also be easy to get caught up in yearning and fantasizing about your hidden wishes, although it is possible to channel this into creative expression. (e.g., writing poetry, dancing, wistful music, singing in the shower, whatever!) Listening sympathetically to others' problems may come easily now, and you are more likely to get a compassionate response from others about your own problems. However, it may also be difficult to draw clear and firm boundaries with others, since you are more susceptible to the emotional gravity of others. It is ultimately a time for optimism, hope, creativity and intuition, although it's wise to keep at least one foot on the ground.

Oct.17 – Venus trine North Lunar Node (11:28 of Scorpio/Cancer)  (Oct.18 in AU) ("What's a Lunar Node?")

Today, as well as up to a couple of days before and after, you may feel a bit more comfortable in your own skin and in the social world around you. In fact, interactions you have with others may prove fruitful to help you move further along your path toward whatever destination you're pointed in. You might be in a position to do this for someone else, as well. It may be a good time to spend or save money and other resources. However, it's still wise to do a reality check to make sure both side of the exchange are satisfied that you got as much as you gave.

Oct.19 – Mercury sextile Pluto (20:42 of Scorpio/Capricorn)  (Oct.20 in AU)

Penetrating insights and passionate communication are possible under this transit ...although, so is speaking more forcefully than you intend to about things that require a bit of delicacy or discretion. It is also a time when your mental concentration can come together so easily that you become obsessed. You may prefer in-depth discussion to small-talk, and it might feel awkward if you aren't able to explore the depths in your interaction or communication with others. However, you likely have an increased ability to pick up on undercurrents of what's happening around you. This is also a time when you can start to shed and leave behind old worn out perceptions and ways of communicating. You also have an increased ability to take thoughts, ideas and information and transform them into something healing ...or wounding. Choose your words carefully and mindfully. Writing down your thoughts and ideas to capture the energy of this transit can help you gather the deeper qualities.

Oct.19 – Mercury-Sun Greatest Elongation as Evening Star (20:46 of Scorpio)   (Oct.20 in UK, AU)   ("What's the Shadow?"  Read my articles about Retrograde Cycles.  Read my article about Mercury Retrograde.)

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):

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Oct.20 – Venus sextile Saturn (14:45 of Scorpio/Capricorn)  (Oct.21 in AU)

It is possible to find some stability in your relationships and finances under this transit, especially if you are willing to negotiate fairly and realistically. You have increased ability to be disciplined about spending and budgeting, and to invest in hard work to maximise your earnings. Your ability to grasp the solid, realistic facts will help you choose wisely in your investments of both money and your interaction with others. Commitment and structure may be easier to approach and achieve than if you take risks now. Your self-worth can benefit from this transit because you may be less inclined to give in to mood swings. On the other hand, if you are prone to depression, you might want to be careful you don't become so grounded and stable that you lose touch with your sense of hope and potential. It is a good time to make concrete progress in matters involving beauty, love, harmony and balance. Keep your pleasures simple and humble for maximum benefit.

Oct.21 – Venus trine Neptune (16:17 of Scorpio/Pisces)  (Oct.22 in AU)

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

Oct.21 – Mars square North Lunar Node (11:24 of Libra/Cancer)  (Oct.22 in AU) ("What's a Lunar Node?")

For a week or so, it might feel like the actions you must take to deal with current circumstances are at cross purposes to what you see as your higher purpose or optimal direction in life. You might feel at odds with others, or in the wrong place at the wrong time. On the other hand, this can be a time when being forced to take a temporary "detour" off your chosen path can bring an opportunity to gather new resources, information or insight that can actually help you more, in the long run, than if you had stayed on the main path. However, there's never any one way to experience a given transit. The question becomes: is veering off the main path something that enables you to avoid something you should be facing? Or is does this detour bring you to a new perspective or resources that you are resisting because it's off the main path? Either way, it's a good idea to balance your impulses and passions with mindful awareness.

Oct.23 – Sun enters Scorpio (until Nov.22)  (Oct.24 in AU)

Happy Solar Return to all Scorpios! While the Sun is in Scorpio, we all get to explore our passions and probe the secrets within our depths. There is an intensity to the Scorpio experience that goes right to the core, and Scorpio challenges you to take a closer look at how that intensity manifests in your psyche. What are you passionate about and what fires up that passion? What events and experiences have brought you to "rock bottom" and then turned the tide to rejuvenate you back to a new lease on life? What people, causes, beliefs or physical things are so important to you that you would even risk death for? What secrets do you harbour inside, even from yourself? Posing these hypothetical questions doesn't mean you'll bring it on! But doing so can help you tap into the Scorpio experience to understand better how you experience transformation and touch the deepest heart of life itself. The danger is in becoming so obsessed with your passion that you neglect the practical realities. Or, you could become stuck in the "dark side" of transformation and letting go of the old, that you forget that figurative death and transformation are meant to lead into rebirth in order to complete the cycle. During this time, celebrate the endings in your life. Honour the hard times when you have had to face painful losses. And take passionate pleasure in the things that pull you out of your routines and make you feel alive. In some way, they have all allowed you to survive, thrive and grow.

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Oct.25 – Venus sextile Pluto (20:45 of Scorpio/Capricorn)  (Oct.24 in HST)

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

Oct.27 – Mars square Saturn (15:08 of Libra/Capricorn)  (Oct.28 in AU)

The impulsive forward action of Mars meets the serious structure of Saturn. The resulting friction can often generate considerable heat in the form of frustration, argument, conflict and stress – but also productivity and results for hard work. Your efforts may seem thwarted and your actions blocked at every turn. Your sensitivity to problems with authority figures can be especially high, as well as your sensitivity to others not cooperating with your own role as an authority figure. The youthful, free spirit in you is somehow required to deal with the serious, responsible, cautious side of you, and a power struggle between the two energies can easily result. If one side wins out over the other, either depression and guilt or rebellion and obsession may result.

However, you are not without power or ability! This friction can also be put to use in very productive ways. Your energy, desire and goals can be made manifest and concrete – even if possibly forced by circumstance. Obstacles can strengthen us, if we work with them instead of just fighting against them. To minimise interpersonal problems, remember that assertiveness is important, but aggression or rigidity will usually only get the other person's back up. You may find yourself in a situation where you must defend or assert your personal boundaries. Or, you might find it difficult to comply with someone else's boundaries. If the heat from this transit starts to overwhelm you, take some time out, find a safe (perhaps creative?) outlet to vent your feelings, and then find a new way to approach the problem.

Next Update:  NEW MOON in SCORPIO. Available by October 27, 2019.

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© 2019 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 GoodReads.com. Illustration of Aries, plate 16 in Urania's Mirror, a set of celestial cards accompanied by A familiar treatise on astronomy; artist: Sydney Hall, 1825. Photo of a Boxer via CanStockPhoto.com.


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