November 2016: Sorting Stories
October 31, 2016Astrology 11/14-11/20: Threads
November 13, 2016Mars, Venus and Mercury all change signs this week, significantly altering the ambiance for the remainder of the month. The first of these shifts is Mars, who enters Aquarius on the 8th. The second is Venus, who moves into Capricorn on Friday, November 11th, and the final shift is Mercury, who enters Sagittarius on Saturday the 12th.
Mars in Aquarius: The Dispossessed
Mars shift into Aquarius at the end of election day is interesting, as the red planet’s movement from Capricorn to Aquarius is a major change. In Capricorn, Mars is considered to be in a place of power- ensconced in a mountain fortress, behind a big desk. This is reflected, technically, in Mars being exalted in Capricorn. In Aquarius, though, Mars has no throne, no fortification. The red planet is nearly homeless in Aquarius, as it can lay claim to only a single, five degree section of Aquarius.
One of the ways we experience planets lacking in essential dignity is that the planet’s power, in this case Mars, seems to disappear or fade away. The bravery and knavery which Mars rules lose power. Rancor fades into the background, struggles seem pointless, goals seem to lose meaning. It is if a candle is blown out. Those who depend on the ferocity of the red planet to guide them may struggle while it is in Aquarius.
Yet all extremes, even those of lassitude, generate their opposite. Thus a planet with little or no essential dignity will occasionally act out in frustration. As Mars has no position in Aquarius, it’s time there speaks of and to those without position or authority- the discontents and outsiders of systems. It is easy to see how these significations will inevitably apply to the constituents of the candidate who loses this week’s election.
Thus Mars’ time in Aquarius is a bit of a bardo for the red planet, a wandering and wondering what can be done. It is thus a trigger for existential issues, questions of what does, and does not, have meaning. Contemplation and frustration are paired here. Mars’ time in Aquarius may also serve to exaggerate anxiety for those who are prone to it. If you find yourself caught up in the teeth of existential angst or blown about by the cold wind of anxiety, remember to ground yourself in the limited facts of the knowable present. Not all futures or possibilities are worth contemplating. The red planet will be in Aquarius until December 19th, when it enters Pisces.
Venus Enters Capricorn: Restrained
On Friday, November 11th, Venus enters Capricorn. I described the evening stars’ entrance into the goat’s sign in “November 2016: Sorting Stories,” like so:
No doubt exhausted after her wild ride through Sagittarius, Venus comes to Capricorn seeking earthier delights and assurances. Venus’ time in Capricorn enflames lust for security and order, yet it also stokes desires of a more bodily and unrestrained sort.
The tension between responsibility and lust can be imagined in the figure of a were-goat. Respectable, property-owning corporate citizen by day, decadent, Bacchic satyr by night. Were-goat likes bondage, but with legal agreements and responsibilities as the primary restraints. Venus will be in Capricorn until December 6th, when she enters Aquarius.
Mercury Enters Sagittarius: Objects In the Mirror
The week’s final wardrobe change is Mercury’s exodus from Scorpio on Saturday. The messenger enters Sagittarius, switching from intense and secretive to bombastic and excitable. As I wrote in “November 2016: Sorting Stories:”
In the Archer’s sign, Mercury stimulates the ecstatic philosopher’s vision and the propagandists’ bull-horn, as it tends to give voice to both the non- as well as the trans- rational. In both cases, excitement threatens to overwhelm clarity. This tendency is, however, counter balanced during Mercury’s visible conjunction with Saturn on the 22nd, when Mercury will pick up on Saturn’s sobering tendencies. The swift planet will be in Sagittarius until December 2nd, when it enters Capricorn.
Mercury is considered to be in its detriment in Sagittarius, as the centaur’s enthusiasms tend to distort the reasoned analysis and logical intricacy the swift planet prefers. In Sagittarius, Hermes gets stuck looking through a telescope, able to see what is shining and distant with great clarity, but blind to what is close at hand. Telescopes are useful, but threaten to distort our sense of scale if we cannot remember that objects in the mirror are more distant than they appear.