November 2016: Sorting Stories

November 2016: Sorting Stories

This November’s principle dynamics concern the confusion between fantasy and facts which has characterized much of 2016.  This month’s most dramatic configurations call for both a return to, and a clarification of, the dynamics which have colored much of the year.  Stories swirl chaotically, begging to be sorted into fact, fiction and other.

Mars in Aquarius: Thinking and Doing

The month’s first significant shift is on November 8th, Mars enters tropical Aquarius.  The red planet is considerably less intense in abstract Aquarius than in concrete Capricorn, where it’s been since September.  If anything, the heat, ferocity and drive which Mars provides tends to go missing during the planet’s time in Aquarius.  One of the few places it does tend to show up is in debates about principles and ideas.  The diminishment of martial intensity that comes with this shift may be a relief to those worn out by this year’s constant drum-beat of war, but with that percussion’s disappearance also goes the positive side of a strong Mars-  goal orientation, determination, and hunger. In Aquarius, Mars tends to do more thinking about doing, and talking about doing, than actually doing.  Remember, the longer you analyze a course of action, the more likely it is that you’ll talk yourself out of doing anything.  The red planet will reside within the cup-bearer’s premises until December 18th, when it enters tropical Pisces.

Venus Enters Capricorn:  The Goat With A 1000 Responsibilities

A few days later, on November 11th, Venus enters Capricorn.  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: The True and the Loud

Mercury leaves mute Scorpio for loud Sagittarius early on November 12th.  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.

Full Moon in Taurus:  Slow Your Role

The annual Full Moon in Taurus arrives on the night of November 14th and provides a stabilizing counterpoint to the season’s energies.

[social_quote duplicate=”yes” align=”default”]As you gaze up at this month’s most generous display of silver, wish upon the Moon’s bright orb to smooth the jagged edges of this year’s transitions, and to slow the pace of change to the point that you can adapt to it, work with it.  Change, slowed to the pace of the human heartbeat, is a delight.[/social_quote]

In addition to providing the opportunity to stabilize things, this Full Moon also has an interesting relationship with some of this year’s previous planetary action.   This lunation sees the Sun at 23 Scorpio- the exact degree in which Mars stationed direct during June.  Furthermore, the Moon will occupy 23 Taurus- the very same degree which Mercury stationed retrograde in at the end of April.

This Full Moon should thus serve to complete several of the storylines which began during the second quarter of the year.  This Full Moon is thus of particular importance to anyone with planets in the vicinity of 23 Fixed, and certainly for those with birthdays Nov, May, Aug or Feb 10th-15th.

Neptune:  Shedding Stories

Distant blue Neptune is the center of a few rather important events during the middle of November. First, and most obviously, Neptune stations direct on November 19th.  Retrograde since June, this reversal sees Neptune click into its seven month long direct phase.  It also happens that during Neptune’s direct station that the planet and the South Node of the Moon conjoin.  Although they have shared the sign of Pisces for over a year, it is on November 17th that they overlap precisely.

The South Node has a purifying influence on the other planetary bodies it intersects.  This process of purification necessarily involves the separation of the pure from the impure, the medicine from the poison, the food from the feces.  Applied to Neptune, this process necessarily targets the stories which both surround and inhabit us.

[social_quote duplicate=”yes” align=”left”]Stories are not merely passive reflections, they are causal viruses. They shape and re-arrange the conscious systems they infect.  The conjunction of the Neptune and the South Node is a call to clean up our dreams, to purge toxic narratives, to let go of the stories which no longer serve.  Though human beings do not physically shed their skin, we do so on a psychic level.  Sometimes, we must slough off an old story in order to grow a newer and more authentic one.[/social_quote]

The Sun Enters Sagittarius: Srs Centaur Bsns

On November 21st, the Sun enters Sagittarius, with plans to take up the bow and arrow for the coming month.  Unlike the Sun’s time in mysterious Scorpio, the star’s passage through Sagittarius favors the bright and linear.  It stimulates goal-directed behavior and underscores questions of direction.

The Sun’s entrance into the Centaur’s sign this year is colored by Saturn’s presence in Sagittarius. Although the effects will be most evident during the Sun and Saturn’s conjunction on December 9th, weighty matters, serious reflections and matters of responsibility will characterize the Sun’s entire time in the Archer’s sign, a period that will take us all the way to the solstice, on December 21st.

The day after the Sun’s entrance into Sagittarius, Mercury conjoins Saturn in the same sign, making the shift toward the serious and Saturnian which characterizes the last third of the month all-the-more apparent.

Jupiter Squares Pluto:  Ideals and Inertia

On November 24th, Jupiter in Libra squares Pluto in Capricorn for the first time.  This is not a singular event, but instead the first installment in a trio of aspects between Jupiter and Pluto.  The second will arrive on March 30th, and the third on August 4th.

The contacts between these planets emphasize the friction between high hopes and the relentless inertia of the-way-things-are.  Ideals must find a way to manifest through the power structure of the present, which resists all that is contrary to it.  This configuration thus calls for those who hope for a better world to become patient, strategic and cunning.  Rome was not built in a day, nor will the Empire be dismantled overnight.

On a personal level, one might find growth inhibited by unconscious complexes, or blocked by choices not easily unmade.  Seemingly simple improvements may require changes of surprising depth.  Though inherently frustrating, this configuration opens the way for changes both fundamental and enduring.

As written above, this configuration is an introduction to dynamic which will characterize the next nine months.  Look to understand it before rushing toward what you imagine to be the solution.

New Moon in Sagittarius: Round 3, FIGHT!

The month closes out with the New Moon in Sagittarius early on the morning of November 29th.  Like all New Moons, this brings us a dark period of lower activity and vitality, where the world slumbers for a bit, gathering together the dream of the next lunar month.

This particular New Moon occurs close to the fixed star Antares, the stellar site of both Mars’ retrograde station in April, as well as the difficult conjunction of Mars and Saturn in August.  Like the Full Moon earlier in the month, this lunation is a call back to the big dynamics of 2016.   As is appropriate for the last full lunar cycle of the year, this New Moon asks us to go one final round with the challenges which have characterized an incendiary year.

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Horoscopes are not a real chart reading by an experienced astrologer. They are fun and can be reasonably accurate, however. In addition to referring to your Sun sign, read from your Ascendant and Moon if you know them. If you don’t, find out! I’m a long time fan of the free chart generation software at
Aries: The Ram
Taurus: The Bull
Gemini: The Twins
Cancer: The Crab
Leo: The Lion
Virgo: The Virgin
Libra: The Scales
Scorpio: The Scorpion
Sagittarius: The Centaur
Capricorn: The Goat
Aquarius: The Waterbearer
Pisces: The Fish
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Austin Coppock is a writer, esotericist and astrologer based in Ashland, OR. He published paperback Almanacs from 2011-15 but began posting his prognostications online last year, referring to his collection of weekly, monthly, yearly essays and daily delineations as “The Online Almanac”. This work is made possible by his supporters on Patreon. Austin was President of the non-profit organization “Association for Young Astrologers” from 2012-2016. His most recent book is “36 Faces: The History, Astrology and Magic of the Decans”, published by Three Hands Press.


  1. Jen 6 years ago

    Oh, and just when I thought we were done with this year’s story lines – here they go again. So done with this. Thanks for the heads up, it’s been a B of a year for sure.

  2. Spike Neuberger 6 years ago

    Austin, you are in a class of your own! Brilliant analysis and interpretation, and a stunning old-world vocabulary!
    Keep the wisdom flowing!
    Austin fans, please check out my contribution to the New Earth on YouTube. Type in: spike neuberger.
    Read the song description, too. (tiny arrow under video on smart phone).
    I hope you LOVE it, and pass it on to your friends! Thanks so much, Spike Neuberger

  3. Sheila Reynolds 6 years ago

    The best monthly horoscope I have ever read! Thank you so much ☺ I will have to be a regular reader now ?

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November 2016: Sorting Stories

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