Stars of October: You Go On

October / And Kingdoms rise 
And Kingdoms fall / But you go on…and on…
— Bono

Dear Friend and Reader:

This is a clip-and-save edition of Planet Waves, containing vital information that will influence your life between now and mid-December. This is a time when astrology matters. Please mark important dates in your calendar. Saturday is the Full Moon, which I’ve covered already (in Tuesday’s edition). This is a big Full Moon — the full expression of the 2012 aspect, and a planetary setup to handle with awareness and a measure of caution.

Star sculpture on playa floor at Burning Man 2012, with the just-past-full Moon in the background. Photo by Amanda Painter.

As you’ve no doubt read, we are in the middle of an historic aspect, Uranus square Pluto. When the more immediate astrology highlights something big (but which is usually in the background), energy, events and ideas previously lurking behind the scenes can emerge into the foreground. The Sun and Moon make the Uranus-Pluto square into a personal event.

Taken in the highest possible light, it’s about creative breakthroughs, awakenings and moving along (or even resolving) situations that have seemed stuck — even for years. Yet many people will be experiencing this event as destabilizing, unpredictable and even a bit frantic. All the usual Full Moon recommendations apply, but redouble the ‘think before you act’ part. Expect the unexpected and remember that awareness and flexibility are your best friends.

Developments of October

The world is watching these last weeks of the presidential election in the United States. Our globe is now global; events that happen in one country can and do influence developments in many other parts of the world. October will be an interesting, somewhat strange month in the ‘international’ department, though each and every development has personal implications. In the event you’re considering international travel in October or November, I suggest you plan carefully and check in with an experienced, qualified astrologer before making your plans.

This is one of those months that begins one way and ends another. You can make all of these changes work for you, as long as you’re aware of the energies involved, and you’re ready to adapt. We all have things in our lives that we want to change — know what that means for you. Look for your opportunities, and if you don’t see them, create them.

On Oct. 5, Saturn changes signs from Libra to Scorpio. The Saturn in Libra phase goes back an unusual three years, to October 2009 (Saturn took its time transitioning out of Virgo). Saturn is now leaving a sign where it’s well suited (Libra, where it is exalted), and entering a sign that it has little in common with — Scorpio. Yet there are many other planets in the water signs right now, and I think that while Saturn may be challenging, it will offer some stability, and it emphasizes the theme of emotional maturity that all of the water signs are resonating with.

Photo by Amanda Painter.

Mars also changes signs, from Scorpio to Sagittarius, just as Saturn changes signs. So this is a significant shift in the climate, involving two planets that people tend to have the most difficulty with — the one about expressing desire and energy (Mars) and the one about handling authority (Saturn). I also recommend being cautious and alert in all matters involving international travel and international business while Mars is in Sagittarius. It’s not strictly a red light but definitely a yellow light.

One thing about Mars is that in entering Sagittarius, it immediately squares Neptune in Pisces. Aspects from Mars to Neptune (especially the conjunction, square and opposition) require temperance, mindfulness, moderation and most of all, keeping self-destructive and also escapist tendencies under control. Monitor your consumption of alcohol and any drugs that change your mind. Keep them far away from important decisions, negotiations and discussions about emotional and sexual matters.

The problem is that most people tend to open up under the influence of alcohol. That would be fine, except for the ways in which it bends judgment and distorts emotions. Mars square Neptune is not naturally given to integrity and honesty — it’s one of those things that you have to work for, under that influence.

Mercury Retrograde: Real Span is Oct. 18-Dec. 14.

Finally, we are approaching a Mercury retrograde. This one starts in Sagittarius on Nov. 6 (which is Election Day in the United States, covered in this article).

However, its influence reaches into mid-October and extends out to mid-December, so I’m mentioning it now. That will be good for an adventure or two; I suggest you plan around this one, and know in advance that it’s a good idea to put off major purchases, signing contracts and new commitments of any kind under this astrology. Yes, this is astrology 101 but you would be surprised how much grief I have saved my clients by helping them steer clear of the standing wave, undertow and shifting wind known as Mercury retrograde.

Photo by Amanda Painter.

The retrograde process begins when Mercury enters shadow phase on Oct. 18. This is Mercury entering the degrees where it will be retrograde in just a short while.

Mercury stations retrograde in early Sagittarius on Nov. 6. Mercury stations direct in mid-Scorpio on Nov. 26. Mercury then crawls along through the end of Scorpio, ingresses Sagittarius again and then leaves shadow phase on Dec. 14. That is your ‘all clear’ signal. If you’re feeling rushed about anything during this process, the chances are it can wait.

Mercury will make three squares to Neptune in the midst of all of this (Oct. 29, Nov. 13 and Dec. 11) and this aspect can be challenging to get a handle on. It will require extra discernment, focusing your mind, and striving for honesty. Factor in the interests of everyone concerned, even if you plan to make a decision that only benefits yourself; Mercury square Neptune is a reminder to consider whether there even is such a thing as ‘separate interests’.

Many other aspects say essentially the same thing — so please take this one to heart.


Monthly horoscope for October 2012 standing in for Weekly Horoscope #919

Libra Birthdays This Week (Applies to All Libras!)

If you have a birthday in the neighborhood, this year is a doorway into a new life for you. The current astrology is about breaking free from any deadlocks and opening up blocked energy. It’s true that you’ve been under many influences that are encouraging you to turn the page, yet there are just as many that are leading you to obsess over the past (and perhaps even the distant past). Yet potent forces are provoking you to face the future with a sense of adventure. Which will win the day, and your year? Well, time marches on, wherever your mind may be — and you continue to make your presence known on the planet. You continue to live every day, as consciously as you want. The key to you thriving is about not taking the outside world, particularly your intimate relationships, too seriously. That is, they are not the ultimate goal, nor the bellwether, of your life. Every outer event or encounter has an inner correspondence that is far more important than the particular circumstances that are surrounding you. Let everything you experience point you deeper into yourself. If you can follow this philosophy for a while, you will get a sense of what it’s like to feel your presence in the world much more tangibly. Meanwhile, Saturn ingressing your solar 2nd house (Scorpio) says that your number one project for the coming few years is working out every possible dimension of your self-esteem questions. While in the past you might have told yourself that you can live with compromised self-respect, that is no longer true — Saturn won’t stand for it, and neither will you.

Aries (March 20-April 19) — The time has arrived to carefully consider the role of religion in your life, in society, and in the place where the two meet — which is where you make your most personal choices within the context of society. Your charts tell the story of someone who goes from making their decisions more or less autonomously, to then suddenly making them in the context of numerous outside influences that vie for which of them will run your life. One of those seemingly outside forces is religion, as if you have some kind of stunning awakening, conversion experience or revival of belief. This could be productive, and who knows, it might be, though your charts describe a scenario of both getting high on power and also of restricting your emotional and erotic freedom in the name of purity. I suggest you start with the notion that there is no such thing; even under laboratory conditions, actual purity is rarely attainable. Within the psyche, there is so much churning around and such a mix of elements that denial would be a more suitable word. I suggest you save yourself a lot of conflict and remember that you’re human. As such, you have both sexual impulses and also the impulse to a relationship with the mysteries. We’re basically forced to convert ‘the mysteries’ to some notion of God or higher power, who invariably wants you to be a better person. It’s time to question whether any of this is really true.

Taurus (April 19-May 20) — Saturn enters your opposite sign Scorpio this month, and that’s a dependable cue that you’re entering an extended phase of housekeeping in your relationships. As with many things Saturn, this is a study in boundaries, which is another way of saying agreements. Part of this experience will be practical: who in your life belongs there? With whom do you have wholesome and healthy connections, and with whom do you have unhealthy or destructive attachments? What are you going to do about them? You may notice that you’re attracting older, ‘more serious’ people who you may recognize have something to teach you about yourself and about life. They will hold up a mirror to the aging process, through which you will be invited to make some decisions about how you want to grow older. Another aspect is conceptual, and even philosophical. What does commitment mean to you? What is bonding? What is the nature of attachment? What does jealousy have to do with any of this? Perhaps most significantly, what role do you allow others to have in your life? One of the most beneficial things you’ll gain from the experience of Saturn in your opposite sign is that of learning how not to give away your power. You may feel like the universe is taking some extreme measures to keep you in alignment with yourself, though remember how challenging it is for you to change in response to any factor besides your own will — and even that can take a miracle.

Gemini (May 20-June 21) — One role that Jupiter plays within our solar system is to absorb stray asteroids and comets, and as a result there are fewer that might strike the Earth. Currently Jupiter is in your sign — and there’s boundless energy coming at you from your opposite sign, Sagittarius. You’re subject to these incoming influences, which will arrive in a diversity of forms, and what they have in common is high energy. Some will be obvious and bold; others will be subtle, and change you in ways that you would never have predicted. As for the obvious, this may come in a diversity of offers to play, to engage with different beliefs and to wage a social crusade or two. As for the less obvious: pay attention when others are inviting or enticing you to compromise your ethics or to rearrange your moral structure. Such may come in the form of “well, now that I’ve had you do this [against your ethics], you may as well do this [even more against your ethics].” Remember that you become like the people you have sex with (this is based on a direct transfer of energy), so if you’re wondering why you’re becoming the way you are, pay attention to who you’re waking up with. The thing to remember is that for the next two months, you’re going to be deeply susceptible to influences that come from outside yourself. The key to managing this is choosing which of these influences to accept, and which to reject — at the first possible opportunity.

Cancer (June 21-July 22) — Heed early warnings, especially where sexual boundaries are concerned. This isn’t about saying no; it’s more like saying maybe, until you understand your environment and everyone’s involvement in your life. Then, do what’s appropriate based on your understanding of your situation. At first this may seem like you’re having a limit placed on your fun. Actually two other things are happening. One is a limit being placed on the new karma you incur based on choices you make. Whatever you encounter is sufficient for a moment of reflection, and to put you on notice where you need to be more vigilant. Second is that you are about to discover ways to channel your vital force in a more structured way. In a sense, you have to get organized about what you want, and make sure you are also aware of what you don’t want — then make your choices using this as your guide. The thing to bear in mind all the time is that whatever theory of relationships we may subscribe to, sex leads to something deeper. That depth could be love, and it could be a diversity of other means of human bonding, connection or entanglement. Saturn is the lord of time, and it’s essential that you use time to your benefit, in order to save time. Taking a little while to test the true nature of your relationship to another person, before you dive in, would be well advised in this moment and for the next couple of years.

Leo (July 22-Aug. 23) — Saturn’s ingress this month into Scorpio, your solar 4th house (security, home base, family) is about the use of space, and its relationship to your emotional grounding. Scorpio is a somewhat strange energy to have on your house of security, since it’s all about plunging into the deep dark waters of the psyche, and coming out a different person (something you do fairly regularly, and you’re safe knowing that you can). Seen another way, it’s the image of living with a swamp in the basement of your house, wondering if you’re going to get swallowed, or if the whole house is going to sink — and calling that shelter. Saturn making its way through this region of your chart for the next 10 seasons is about getting onto dry ground. It’s about shoring up your foundations and clearing out inner space. As part of this journey, you’re going to stabilize emotionally, which will be good for you and the people you care about. As part of this emotional stability, you will be doing an inventory of family influences from your early childhood, and making sure that you have them contained and confined to your own inner space — this way, you won’t pass them on to anyone younger than you are. One of the over-arching themes of this transit is learning how to feel safe. The combination of Saturn and Scorpio may conspire to do this in strange ways — but if you work with these influences, you will get the job done.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22) — From time to time, you’re subject to bouts of what feels like emotional chaos, insecurity and deep questioning. This can compromise your happiness, and at worst, limit your ability to function in the world. In truth, these episodes are about your inner spiritual life, which means it’s deeper than you may think. If the issues were just emotional, it would be a lot easier to address them. Yet you can count yourself lucky when you have any real insight into your situation, or meet anyone who has an actual grasp on what you’re going through (rather than speculating or guessing). Your sign is said to be earthy, intellectual and focused on rationality, though the truth is that you have your vital roots in the world of spirit, a dimension that most of the world denies the existence of. My sense is that you’ve been processing the issues using your intellectual capacity as best you can. However, to effectively learn from, grow from and actually cope with what emerges over the next few weeks, you will need to go directly into the deepest available level of your psyche: your core spiritual identity, or what you might think of as soul level. There’s a lot of competition for what that really means, though I can say at least this: soul level embraces everything and does not deny anything. Therefore, any feeling or memory that comes up for you is normal. Soul level is oriented on the greatest good for all concerned. And there are no problems that don’t come with solutions — as long as you state the problem in a way that makes sense.

Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23) — There’s always a difference between theory and reality, and you’re about to find out what it is — in reality and not in theory. Through most of the month, your ruling planet Venus is trekking across Virgo, where you do lots of contemplating, ruminating and a very precise kind of fantasizing. Toward the end of the month, Venus emerges into your sign, where it starts making aspects to planets that have already been stirring a revolution in your life. You’re likely to see how little a real-time experiment has in common with all of your (admittedly) fascinating concepts and plans. You can expect the pace of events to pick up rapidly. You can expect to go deeper into questions that have been nagging you, though about which you have only skimmed the surface. And there is something about allowing your relationships to change you. I suspect this may be a sticking point for you, as one of your goals is stability and change happening only in a controlled environment, and only with your consent. That’s more for the laboratory, and you’ll be there for a little while longer; then comes an extended field experience. As you’re going through all of this, a new theme emerges in your life, which is: understanding the reasons you do and do not respect yourself. Most people know there is something called self-esteem, but what exactly is it made of? How does it express itself, in its positive and negative manifestations? In the long run, everything hinges on this — and I do mean everything.

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22) — You are approaching one of the boldest ‘get serious’ moments of your life, a process spanning nearly three years. When you get to the other side, you’ll have acquired additional self-knowledge, privileges and responsibilities of adulthood. This is about Saturn in your sign, which arrives on Oct. 5 and departs in early 2015. I’ve described Saturn in your Sun sign (or in your rising sign) as an extended phase of coming to terms with yourself. Said another way, this transit is about becoming your own inner authority, something that few people ever do — and which is much likelier with Saturn in your neighborhood. One sad story of our society is people refusing to grow up; other people continue to have authority over their choices and even their opinions. Saturn in your sign can feel like authority figures or seemingly more powerful people imposing themselves on you. This is a reminder to take authority over all of those aspects of your life, and many more where you anticipate this kind of involvement by others. There are structured and organized ways to do this. Many people have described therapy as a kind of ‘re-parenting’ process, at the end of which you’ve taken over the role previously delegated to them. This is what I’m talking about, in whatever form works for you. You have to answer to some authority — whether you provide it, or whether someone or something outside yourself shows up and imposes it on you. The choice is yours.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22) — Know when you’re coming from belief, and when you’re coming from knowledge. Somewhere in the high 90th percentile of people live like they have no idea what I am talking about, though you cannot afford the luxury of ignorance. I say this because you run the risk of being driven by belief, at the expense of what is true and verifiable. It’s not any excuse that many believe “there is no such thing as the truth.” That’s a good assignment for students to discuss in postmodernist philosophy class. I mean verifying in the most practical ways what you believe against facts that you can identify. I mean reading the fine print, reading between the lines, and remembering what people say to you. I also mean belief in the biggest sense — for example, your relationship to your cosmology. I’ve only heard about five hundred people tell me they weren’t influenced by religion, while they spend their lives acting out the irrationality, guilt and obsessive conduct that can have few other sources. Therefore, reconcile your ideas about life with the actual facts about how you treat people and how you want to be treated. One thing about beliefs is that they tend to be fixed like epoxy, or change every 10 minutes. I suggest you be suspicious in either case, and engage yourself in a reasoning process of evolving your ideas consciously as new information becomes available. Don’t just move on and forget; remember where you’ve been, because before long, it will become significant.

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20) — This is the time to be responsible not to your own ambitions, but to your community. I know that this idea is pissing into the wind of the privatization, privation and exclusion that is all the political rage now. Greed worshippers can keep their lies; not only don’t they influence you, you must stand up to this false philosophy, both in yourself and in society. Establish a commons in your life: hold the space for an authentic, equitable exchange of resources. This is leadership in action; there are goals and results involved. There are competing interests involved. There are those who will immediately take advantage of any fair system, and you will have to address that factor as well. Note that there are aspects of this that will happen in your ‘official’ capacity (such as your professional role) and outside of any official capacity, and perhaps even out of sight of others. Another way to describe the aspects that are developing in your chart is that you are shifting your concept of self-interest into a full embrace of the conditions of the world around you. Your role is to use your power, your knowledge and your experience to uphold the personal values you have stated many times are precious to you. Acting on those values requires taking a chance, not the least of which is wondering what all those greedy people will think of you when you insist on fairness and integrity. What they think of you is their issue; what you do is yours.

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) — Saturn finally changes signs this month, ingressing Scorpio, where it will be into 2015. This is your 10th solar house, the one associated with your highest ambitions, your reputation and your true professional calling. Saturn through the 10th is sometimes associated with having the golden touch of King Midas; however for you there may be some extra challenges involved. As you hear and heed your calling, expect some adversity. Expect a tempering process, where you refine your goals. Imagine that your life is a theater production, where you do the performance, listen to the director’s notes, rewrite, rehearse and do the show again the next night — over and over again, with no intention of just ‘settling in’ to a routine. Bear in mind that the world does not owe you success: not because you’re a good person, not because you’re talented and not because you choose to develop any useful skill. Success is the product of all of these factors, and something else: your determination, and a commitment to be true to your values. This is the kind of success that doesn’t happen overnight, and to which you must dedicate yourself for much longer than you might think. Most of the early progress will be invisible, and you may be convinced you’re in the midst of a setback. It’s nothing of the kind — though you may see it that way unless one of your top priorities is to use anything and everything that you experience as a resource.

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) — Sexuality has always been your portal into your spiritual side — or rather, sex and the cosmic questions that it evokes, and the inner mysteries to which they grant you access. Yet this organic approach to existence is denied and resisted by many forces in society, including those that would control sex to promote religion, those that use sex for commercial gain, and anyone whose approach to natural human feelings is moralistic (controlling rather than exploratory). Even as adults, we can be constantly entangled in the control dramas and moralizing of others, which include scandal and jealousy. It’s fair to say that unless we intervene, for all our lives, someone else seems to be in charge of our sexuality, and this extends into our creative power, our perspective on life, death and relationships. The time has arrived to live your way of life with full commitment. That means taking charge, and deciding what is right or wrong for you. If you don’t step in and take over yourself, it’s likely that someone else will. This is the Saturn principle in operation: where you lack discipline, boundaries and structure, these things will be imposed on you. If you have discipline, and take a realistic, honest, longterm (and, notably, not a hedonistic) approach to your sexuality, you will have done something that few humans ever accomplish. What would that be? To be the master of your vital force, your creativity and your emotional drives, rather than their slave.

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