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November: Mercury Retrograde and Scorpio Eclipse

Dear Friend and Reader:

Two events dominate the astrology of November -- Mercury retrograde and a total eclipse of the Sun. There is also a corresponding lunar eclipse, though it's a penumbral eclipse, which some would say is not particularly strong; but to me this gentle eclipse looks like a special opportunity. Let's take these events one at a time (and I suggest you review the October stars piece from last month).

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The Mercury retrograde that begins Nov. 6 is a particularly interesting one. Apart from the fact that it begins on the day of a U.S. presidential election, Mercury makes a number of challenging aspects. Fortunately we have astrology so we can see them in advance. These include a series of three squares to Neptune -- one during the forward shadow phase (the weeks leading up to the station retrograde), one during the retrograde and the last during the second shadow phase, with Mercury again direct.

Mercury square Neptune can be slippery. It is difficult to discern the truth under the influence of this aspect. It is therefore essential that you not act on what you know or suspect to be incomplete information. Also, I suggest you raise your standard to pausing and seeking additional information if you should know something; you are responsible for both what you know, and acting on that information.

When in doubt, the thing to do is pause. Lost opportunities during these aspects are unlikely to have been opportunities at all -- and if they were, they will still be there in late December or early January when things settle down. One potential issue is that decisions made under these influences can have substantial staying power, mainly due to the involvement of a total eclipse of the Sun, which will have a pattern-setting property (eclipses almost always do). Therefore, get in the habit now of making sure that you've got your facts right, and pausing if you fear that you do not. This might not be the time to act on a suspicion, but it's definitely time to pause for more information.

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The first Mercury-Neptune square happens Monday, Oct. 29, just two hours ahead of the Taurus Full Moon. (The Full Moon is exact Monday at 3:49 pm EDT.) We are under the influence of the square and the Full Moon now, and there is considerable momentum (in part because the Sun is in Scorpio and in part because we are close to one of the cross-quarters of the year, in particular, an old holiday which we how commemorate as Halloween).

The second Mercury-Neptune square happens two weeks later, very close to the total solar eclipse of Nov. 13. So the first two Mercury-Neptune squares are combined with lunations, meaning that emotional pressure is likely to influence your already slippery intellectual process. Emotion is not subject to reason and, while it may be good at guiding you in certain circumstances, you cannot expect a rational result, especially under this astrology. Therefore, do a kind of 'therapy check' when making decisions -- question one is, how do I feel? Question two is, what are the facts? Beware of wishful thinking and selective inattention.

The last Mercury-Neptune square is Dec. 11, when Mercury is direct but before it's entered new territory after the retrograde. This is the moment that may come with the feeling of, "I should have known." Therefore, starting now, I suggest you take it slow and recognize that you are responsible for what you do not know.

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As for the usual "don't buy, don't sign" influence happening during part of the holiday shopping season, I recommend buying modest gifts, and if possible, doing your holiday shopping once Mercury has stationed direct on Nov. 26 (give it a few days). Yes, there will be residual influences hanging around, though they will be easier to handle after the station direct and after the stormy phase close to the end of the retrograde settles down. You don't need to fall for the compulsive behavior associated with holiday shopping. It really is the thought that counts.

Last, here are a few thoughts about the eclipses. The total solar eclipse in Scorpio is the first eclipse in Scorpio for nearly a decade (eclipses run on a nine-year cycle). Eclipses stir up the psychic territory, wherever they are -- and Scorpio is challenging for many people because it brings up taboo subject matter: sex, desire, death, money and all the various shades of secrets associated with these things.

Saturn is also in Scorpio, in a sense compelling that discussion. I suggest you have it sooner rather than later, though due to Mercury retrograde, please do not expect "the truth" to arrive in a neat bundle. If ever the truth be known, it's usually something we put together from many points of view, with the occasional revelation.

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Last, there is a penumbral eclipse of the Moon in Gemini on Nov. 28. (This is also the Gemini Full Moon.) For this eclipse, Venus, Saturn and Mercury are all in Scorpio, so there will be plenty to talk about -- under the influence of a talkative Full Moon. By this time, you may notice that it's become a lot easier to handle taboo topics.

Here is the message of this eclipse: You are what you talk about. Therefore, choose your subject matter, your point of view and your language carefully and consciously. Changing how you feel can begin with changing your mind, and that often starts with how you choose to describe your experience. Listen to yourself.


All photos by Anthony Ayiomamitis.

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