Dear Friend and Reader:
Wednesday is the Scorpio New Moon — and as you might expect this is a deep chart. There are many points aligned in Scorpio, and both rulers of that sign (Mars, the traditional ruler and Pluto, the modern ruler) are taking aspects from other planets. I would describe this as a moment of reevaluation, in a time when the door is open to asking real questions.
Cutting to the chase, it’s fair to sum up the chart as saying basically: What is the role of jealousy and control in our relationships? And to what extent do these things get in the way of (or substitute for) a real exchange? Do we want that exchange, and how do we feel when it actually happens?
We take for granted that our emotional bonds with others are going to include control and jealousy (especially where sex is concerned). More than viewing this as something appropriate or useful, we tend to simply expect or even stoke these emotions, which so far as I can tell are responsible for more human misery than the next 10 factors combined. Of course, if we worked through this stuff, that would eliminate the themes of most movies, songs, artwork and poetry. Whatever would humanity do with its precious few drops of time on the planet? What would we do with our newfound freedom? That is the question that emotional drama prevents us from asking.
In some ways this is changing, but when it comes down to the level of an emotional reflex, jealousy for most people seems intractable. Once they are sexually bonded with someone, not only does jealousy often feel impossible to resolve, most would think there is no possible way to do so, and a good few would not want to — after all, it’s a sign of love, right? This could only be true in a society where relationship is seen (and often treated legally) as a property right.
We might ask where the opening would be. It’s not about relationships — it’s about self concept. The emotions I am describing are the result of near-total investment of ‘self’ into a relationship — or the idea of self into the idea of a relationship. When the relationship changes, or even when we have the notion that it might change, that can feel like a death threat to that ‘self’ that is so heavily invested. This sense of being on the inevitable, compelling, not-entirely-voluntary emotional brink is the essence of Scorpio from a psychological perspective.
This is the energy that we can either fight or work with. Working with begins with being aware and being with — rather than catapulting oneself into denial. The New Moon trine Chiron in Pisces is an opening to awareness. A little Chiron and Pisces will go a long way to helping us process Scorpio — help we can use. Alice A. Bailey describes Scorpio as “a sign which is of paramount importance in the life of evolving [humanity].” She also describes it as “the great constellation which influences the turning point both in the life of humanity and the life of the individual human being.” If you have strong Scorpio factors in your chart, you may be familiar with this. If you respond to Scorpios in a strong way, this may be what you’re responding to. Unfortunately, it’s not always expressed creatively, though it can be.
I would say that the crux of the matter of this turning point is understanding sex, death and where the two meet — or at least being open to the conversation. That intersection can involve the sensation of loss of control, or the fear that this might happen. Even admitting the least attraction to someone can come with a surge of phobia that we might lose control. The same can be said of any true creative process, to which we must give ourselves if we are to embark on it at all. This would include creating children, who are often the direct result of sex.
Imagine for a moment what life would be like were we really okay with our sexual natures, and those of the people around us. Venus square Mars in the New Moon chart is describing working out internal sexual tension. Gender identity may be all over the news (for example, marriage rights for same-sex couples, and the political debate about whether being homosexual can be cured) but rarely do we take the conversation inward. Some may be dimly aware of having inner male and female polarities, but imagine if we understood how deeply these influenced our sense of identity. Think of it this way. We project the whole matter outward, as the relationship game. But if it’s really about working through internal tension, and we filter this fact out, we can get ourselves into some real quandaries. For example, that could influence us to make enormous decisions we don’t understand.
Implied in Scorpio is the concept of ‘death and transformation’. This idea comes with a bit of twisted humor in that many people would rather die than change. And that point of resistance becomes a place where others can get a lot of leverage over us. The resulting war within makes us susceptible to manipulation, especially by the deeply taboo ideas of sex and death. There is a reason they work so well in advertising.
Here is a question, which has been asked before. What if death held no appeal, no allure as a power trip, as a news item, as a political game? This allure — so often glamorized — influences us more ways than we think. If we noticed, we might be able to do something about it. Consider all the subtle ways that death stalks sexual relationships: all the ‘what ifs’, the conditions we place on people, the unspoken influences. These range from AIDS-phobia to the notion of ‘lifelong’ commitments to any consideration that includes something like one’s partner’s potential inheritance. These things are more damaging to love and the expression of life than we might imagine; it’s why A Course in Miracles suggests that you “accept no compromise in which death plays a part.” Any time you identify such a compromise, study it carefully — it’s usually a raw deal of some kind, ruled by fear, and which you can dismiss outright.
Later in the month, we experience the Taurus Full Moon. This is square Nessus in Aquarius, and to me that’s a question: To what extent do we allow our relationships to be defined by popular opinion, group dynamics or some form of bullying? Any time a relationship value becomes politicized, whether it’s in a circle of friends or the national political scene, this is what’s going on. And there is all kinds of underlying subject matter — described above — when this happens.
Right after the Full Moon, Mars moves into Virgo, where it will be for the next nine months. This is due to Mars retrograde in that sign (Jan. 23 to April 13). While the actual retrograde lasts just over three months, Mars spends a lot of time slowing down and speeding back up, all of it in Virgo. This begs the question of self-acceptance. Virgo is famous for its relentless self-critique; add Mars, and Mars seeming to reverse directions, and we have a real inquiry — with the reminder to take it easy. You can’t fix everything about yourself at once. Healing is a process, and it’s best explored gently, with determination.
I would give Mars retrograde in Virgo a two-word key phrase: healing desire. I’ll have more to say about this as that particular transit unfolds.
See you Friday with our Halloween edition.
Planet Waves Monthly Horoscope — November 2011
Aries (March 20-April 19) — This month, your ruling planet Mars enters Virgo, where it will be for about nine months. This involves Mars retrograde, which is a long process — but this is especially long for Mars to stay in one sign. This is an extended opportunity to rethink three things: one is your idea of work. Next is your idea of your health. Last is your idea of wellbeing. You may be filled with the inspiration to start fixing your life, and embarking on every conceivable self-improvement plan. I suggest you start with evaluating how you evaluate things. Your mind tends to be impetuous and you have a way of snapping to judgments, then sorting out whether you were right or wrong the next day or the next week. Even then, you’re trying to apply some logic, and the time has arrived to figure out just what that logic is. By that I mean, what is your concept of ‘better’? What is your idea of ‘fair’? How do you discern whether you’re coming from your mind or your emotions when you make a decision? Mars retrograde is going to put you in a position to review many, many facts of your life, and many past decisions you’ve made — and how they impact you. I suggest you begin this process well in advance. But while you’re doing that, notice how you size up those decisions. This is a process of becoming conscious even as you observe how conscious you were when you decided certain things.
Taurus (April 19-May 20) — You have a right to be picky about who and what you want, but if that is true, you may as well be specific. You have a tendency to tell yourself what you don’t want rather than to affirm what you actually want. The two sides of this equation — negating things and affirming things — are not equivalent values. Yes and no are both important, but yes implies making a choice, which is a commitment, and then following through on it. This, in turn, calls for a deeper level of self-awareness, and also knowing that you will live with your decision. One more point: if you say no to something, that implies that you’re keeping your other options open. If you say yes, you are in theory passing by those other options (which is not usually true but many people believe it is). Much of your hesitancy comes from this one notion. In any event, I suggest you consider all of your options, and choose consciously from among them, affirming what you want. Know good fortune when you have it, and know good times when you’re in them. It may be little comfort to say things can always be worse, but it takes an open heart to know that you’re taking care of yourself, and that others have your best interests at heart. Sooner or later we all must learn that life is not about survival, even contrary to what plenty of people with a wine cellar would tell you.
Gemini (May 20-June 21) — What do you have in common with your father? Said another way, the question your astrology is asking now and for the foreseeable future is, do you feel safe? Do you have any sense of the protection that your father and the space he provided was somewhere you could be yourself? Or is that space tainted by some sense of narrowness, threat or judgment? I suggest you consider this for a while, because the answer to your question will tell you about your relationship to all men, and give you a clue as to your ideas of relationships between women and men. I believe that trust is the fundamental value in any relationship, and this relates directly to whether there is the sense of a safe container. What you may discover is that any threat to your safety lurks within your own consciousness. But these thought forms don’t just end up in our minds and emotions by accident; they are put there by others, sometimes intentionally, and sometimes just because that’s how things are done around the parts where you grew up. Now is the time to review your tendency to be self-critical, and to count the cost of any such habit. You may notice a little surge in narrow or judgmental thought patterns, and I suggest you stalk them till you understand from whence they come. It’s actually not your material; it’s ancestral residue, and once you’re aware of that fact, you’re free to cast it off.
Cancer (June 21-July 22) — Though your sign has a reputation for being emotionally driven, you have a knack for deep and original thought. However, I suggest you not push that too far at the moment, or get too carried away. Beware of mental obsessions and thoughts that think themselves. Rather, when working out problems or developing ideas, check in with your intuition and emotional process regularly. An unusual development in your solar chart suggests that you might have a tendency to overthink, when the solution or central concept to any circumstance you might face is likely to be intuitive or even obvious. There are two likely sources of distraction. One is conformity. It’s harder than most people think to do what you actually want rather than what everyone else thinks you should do. If someone is giving you heavy-handed ‘advice’, check their motives. Second, watch your tendency to be defensive, including knowing more about what you don’t want than what you do want. You often cast this as pragmatism, when in fact the more pragmatic approach is to keep your fields of desire wide open. Now is the time to stretch into what you want, and to give yourself the freedom to dream. Doing this, you might have the feeling of remembering old dreams, which will have more life in them than you might imagine. A broad-minded approach to life is your path to making those dreams real, which is why staying open is the way to get where you are going. And you’re definitely going somewhere.
Leo (July 22-Aug. 23) — You are laying the groundwork for some major advances in your professional life, and your financial life. At the moment, developments may not seem to be going as fast or according to the plan you thought you were working with. No need to worry about that; you are in ‘the build tracks’ phase of making the railroad, rather than the ‘make the trains run on time’ phase. That translates to cultivating your vision of what you want to do. What is your idea of the pinnacle of success? It might not be the one you saw in a movie or a TV commercial. It’s likely to be original, and you’re at a peak of that originality right now. I would phase the question like this: what would you do if you had no fear at all of being seen as different? What would you do if you had full authority over your life? These are two different issues, but they’re related. If we had any concept of how many good ideas go nowhere because the person with the idea is afraid of being seen as weird. Even if they have faith in their concept, it’s still possible to get caught in this trap. As for money. Monetizing anything — a talent, a project, a company — is usually best accomplished using a business plan. I suggest that your business plan has three characteristics: that it be fairly meticulous, subject to adjustment and designed for the long-run.
Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22) — This month brings the beginning of a significant transitional phase in your life. This is something akin to when one of the slow-moving planets arrives in your sign, indicating a major transition in your experience of yourself. I would place the time-frame at approximately nine months. I would describe the point of orientation as assertiveness. This is the ability to be clear and project your intentions and desires into the world, which begins with being able to recognize them and exist with them being actual factors you honor in your life. I recognize that you’ve been in a process of doing this for a while; you may trace it back years, with a big change over the past year or so. But most of these developments have been spurred by others: partners, healers, people setting an example for you, and the occasional pain in the ass who would try to make your life difficult but who actually ends up making you stronger. One thing you will learn during this time in your life is to be specific. Goals and ideas you explicitly state have several properties, one of which is that you can evaluate them directly. Another is you can begin to focus your energy on making them happen. I recognize there is something to be said for ‘going with the flow’, and at the moment this is what the flow is suggesting. Don’t worry about being perfect or getting it right. Focus your mind and get started.
Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23) — I would love to see statistics on what people fear in the privacy of their minds versus how rarely those things actually happen. We live in an age when many people are stalked by anxiety, and most of it is useless. You may be one of them, at least at times, and you may know many such people. The answer does not involve meds — it must involve cultivating awareness and deep healing. Letting go of fear is about reaching an understanding with oneself about existence, especially in this volatile time of history. This is a dependable theme as Saturn moves through its last year in your birth sign. This is the final stretch of your journey of ‘coming to terms with yourself’ that Saturn’s presence indicates, what may feel like a last major step into adult maturity. There will be others — but what you’re going through now is like a platform that you will build on for the rest of your life. I suggest you be blatantly honest with yourself about fear and its effects. I mean fear in any form, from the subtlest anxiety to seemingly grand concerns about not being worthy enough for something or someone. I am talking about gaining an understanding of fear on an existential level, and working it through fully — so that you emerge as a more confident, self-directed person. It is possible to live in a way that is affirmative rather than defensive. It’s possible to feel safe, even on this planet, but that requires a commitment.
Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22) — There comes a time in everyone’s life when they must reconsider the notion of ‘friend’. This is a word used casually, lately reduced to a button and a statistic. I was going to say that a person is fortunate to have just a few friends in life; it’s worth remembering that there are many people who feel they have no friends, nobody they truly trust or can confide in. This is not an excuse for considering those who are in any way unsupportive, lacking in trust or who do not treat you with equanimity as friends. You will be in a pruning process over the next few seasons, when it will be natural and necessary to cull the people in your life and determine who is who. This will have a tendency to set you free to be who you are, since often, it is the expectations and past perceptions that others have of us that prevent us from expressing our true identity. If you ever find yourself in a position where being authentic means you’re unpopular, be grateful of that. Consider it a moment of clarity. The more truly you resonate with your inner being, the more likely you are to see and feel the presence of people you truly resonate with. There is a difference between antagonizing and not being afraid to be unpopular. It’s a fine line — but it’s definitely one you can see and feel. You have nothing to prove, only the right to exist as you are.
Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22) — Can you make a decision based on doubt? Doubt is excellent for raising questions, reducing the number of possibilities and negating weak concepts. But ultimately one must use some other conceptual tool to make an affirmative choice. You seem to run into a self-judgment issue when you assert your authority. It’s as if you judge yourself for doing the one thing you need to do in order to move forward. While events of the next three weeks do more to raise questions than provide ready answers, you have some time to work out the puzzle of what it means to be in charge of your life. Part of what you’re working out is your tendency to want to control certain details at the same time you’re such a big-picture thinker. In truth, a skilled artist must learn to paint with a wide brush as well as a fine one. A skilled thinker must learn to think in principle and concept, as well as to attend to the smaller points that any real discussion will bring up. The key to making progress is keeping the two orders of reality in the context of one another. Seeing accurately is a matter of perspective, and this is what you are learning right now. In solving any problem or making any plan, I suggest you proceed from the general to the specific. Start with a broad goal, then refine it into something workable. Look at the general trend of your life, then focus on the specific areas you want to develop.
Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20) — Now is the time to create your long-term financial strategy. Remember that any strategy is an approach, and it will change over time. I’m talking about developing a game plan, and then revising it continuously. This month and indeed the rest of the year present you with opportunities and the frame of mind to initiate this in a new way. I’m aware the world around you may be populated with negative or even dreadful people, wondering all about ‘what if’. There’s ongoing talk of recession, economic collapse and all the usual paranoia. Your job is to either ignore this or see the opportunity in the midst of it. The world’s most precious resource — people — needs to be something you focus on consciously and select with the mastery of a gem cutter who can see what’s inside a stone before cutting it open. Steer clear of people who are scared or obsessive about negative outcomes. Make friends with people who think in clear terms and see your potential, and their potential, for what it is. Most of all, know what you’re envisioning. Be clear what you want to create, and how you would improve the world if you had the opportunity to do so. You may face an ongoing temptation to create something in response to the prevailing negativity of the culture. Sure, plenty can go wrong. That’s always been true. Your most significant challenge is to design your vision from a wholly positive stream of thought and feeling.
Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) — It’s difficult for most people to connect their most precious personal talents to the money they earn. In truth this represents one of the deepest splits in our psyches — and if we follow it down, I believe that ultimately it points directly to the question: Do you have a right to exist? True, it would help many smalltime enterprises if people were more willing to spend their money on things they believe in. It would help if we believed that what ‘does good’ must come to them as a charity. But more to the point, those who dare to do what they believe in must get over their insecurities and see the connection between any potential lack of self-esteem and their financial struggle. This elusive thing known as ‘doing what you want to do’ in life involves actual self-mastery. That’s another way of saying being in harmony with yourself, and utilizing your psychic and intellectual resources toward your own ends — and, notably, not against them. You have a number of seemingly different goals at the moment. I suggest you determine what they have in common and work closely with that especially precious piece of information. Try to notice what motivates each of your seemingly different objectives and draw strength from that deeper ground. Look inside of everything, for its content on every level. You are in the last stage of preparation before embarking on what I would describe as a period of achievement. So prepare yourself well.
Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) — Have you ever had that experience of thinking, Everything is going well, except for this one thing. It might be something you’re worried about, it might be a potential problem, it might be an actual problem. But for many people, there is always something. I believe that the art of life involves being able to coexist with those fears or with negative situations and not have that mess up the rest of what you’re doing, or affect what you want to do. You are in a moment of incredible potential right now, and yet there seems to be something on your mind, something that is potentially troubling your faith. I assure you that your faith is stronger than whatever this thing is — than any anxiety or concern. ‘This thing’ by the way is more likely to involve a collective matter than an individual one. You may be picking up on the fears or paralysis of others. You may be noticing the ways that others work against their own cause or live by the sword of controversy and contention. In a sense you are breaking consensus by believing in yourself. Distinguish yourself by openly coexisting peacefully with others, and by being willing to see the potential of your own talent. I suggest, therefore, that you cast aside any distraction, leave people to their petty dramas, and boldly proceed with your ideas. Don’t wait for any external ‘opportunity’ to do so. Life itself is that opportunity, and today it is all yours.