Our two friends this month will be diplomacy and discipline, as represented by Jupiter in Libra and Mars in Capricorn. Although rather ill-tempered, Mars in Capricorn is an excellent ally. Think of him as your cranky, retired ex-general grandpa who you can talk you through life’s harsher challenges. He’ll remind you to keep your dignity and be ruthless enough to keep yourself becoming a victim. He preaches the virtues of delayed gratification and the value of hard, consistent work towards a realistic goal. He’s not all that much fun, but his advice is exactly what you’ll need to keep climbing the mountains October may put in your path. Just remember to ignore him when he starts quoting Patton speeches.
Your other ally this month will be Jupiter in Libra, whose peaceable nature is a stark contrast to Grandpa Patton. Jupiter in Libra (See “Jupiter in Libra: Fulcrum” for more details) floats above the tough terrain. From this lofty position, Jupiter outlines the harmonious potentials which float far above the craggy battlefields in which Mars in Capricorn reigns supreme. A youthful artist and aspiring diplomat, Jupiter in Libra advocates for the transcendent power of beauty and the spirit’s potential to rise above petty conflicts in the name of the greater good.
These two points of view are both valid but incomplete. They are as inherently opposed as war and peace, yet they are as inseparable as heaven and earth. October asks that we observe both, and combine their perspectives, artfully, in our choices.
October begins with a new lunar cycle, with the new moon’s first crescent showing up on the evening of the 2nd. Meanwhile, Mars and Jupiter, war and peace, struggle toward their exact square on the 5th. Yet over the first few days of the month, the harder angles of the sky softened by Venus in Scorpio’s trine to Neptune in Pisces. This is an indulgent and anaesthetic influence, favorable for moments of escape and indulgence. This influence extends throughout much of the weekend and even into Monday, the 3rd.
Yet as the workweek begins, it will likely be Mars and Jupiter’s friction the business-like sextile between the Sun in Libra and Saturn in Sagittarius, complete on the 4th, which takes center stage. This mutually-received pairing highlights duties, timelines and schedules. It’s an excellent influence for getting organized and staying disciplined.
The completion of the Mars-Jupiter square on the 5th, however, may create some issues. This configuration is a clash between the peace-seeking forces of Jupiter in Libra and stubbornly belligerent Mars in Capricorn. Fresh agreements or truces will be tested here, as the two planets call upon us to reconcile the desire for harmony with seemingly mutually exclusive interests. This may present setbacks in a variety of peace processes, though in many cases it will serve merely to delay the more inevitable resolutions.
Mercury enters Libra early on October 7th, bringing the swift planet’s unusually long stay in Virgo to an end. Mercury in Libra pulls the mind in aesthetic and diplomatic directions, and helps smooth over gaps in dialogue. However, this position can make it easy to gloss over points of real contention and some may be afflicted by a certain intellectual laziness during the messenger’s time in Libra. Mercury will be in the sign of the scales until October 24th, when it enters tropical Scorpio.
On the 7th, shortly after Mercury’s ingress, the Sun in Libra completes a square with Pluto in Capricorn, which darkens the surrounding days a bit. Some may find their minds turning toward insoluable problems, such as the state of the world or the human condition. Though there may be a bit of ambient gloom, it is neither a permanent nor long lasting transit.
Mercury’s conjunction with Jupiter in Libra early on the 11th should serve to brighten what Pluto darkened days earlier. The conjunction of our solar system’s largest and smallest planets will seed a variety of hopeful ideas, lift spirits and open the way to opportunity. It is worth noting that this is the third conjunction of Mercury to Jupiter in the last two months, a relatively unusual situation made possible only by the coincidence of Jupiter’s position and Mercury’s retrograde cycle.
Shortly after Mercury completes the hopeful conjunction with Jupiter, Mars in Capricorn sextile Neptune in Pisces. This aspect adds fire to the imagination, and can be useful for creative labor. Yet day dreams are not always helpful, and those with more linear duties may find their minds wandering. Nonetheless, the Mars-Neptune sextile will soften demeanors and cool temperatures, at least for a few days.
Yet the tempers cooled by the Mars-Neptune sextile are heated again by Mercury in Libra’s square to Mars on the 13th. This configuration is, in a sense, a repetition of the Mars-Jupiter square which happened earlier in the month, on the 5th, in that it will trouble and test peaceable arrangements, and inspire debate. Watch your words on the 12th and 13th, as mere disagreement might accidentally engender more serious conflict.
Fortunately, Mercury moves from the inflammatory square with Mars to a more pleasing sextile with Saturn the next day. Although not particularly joyous, the Mercury-Saturn sextile on the 14th is cooler and more objective in its orientation that the hot square with Mars. It is useful for disciplined mental labor and organizational work of all varieties.
Yet while Mercury and Saturn attempt to make order, Uranus has other plans in mind. The Sun in Libra and Uranus in Aries make a tense opposition on the 14th. This pairing is disruptive- portending both surprises, breakthroughs and breakdowns. This particular Sun-Uranus opposition will be particularly intense, as the Full Moon in Aries on the 15th will put its full force behind it. The Full Moon occurs on Saturday night, at 23 Aries- less than a degree away from Uranus.
While there will certainly be some fireworks on display, for many people the pyrotechnics will be internal. This Full Moon ignites the desire for independence and personal sovereignty. Some will make swift and radical breaks in pursuit of an overwhelming desire for freedom. Indeed, what limits and controls may feel temporarily intolerable, but perfect liberty does not exist. Personal sovereignty is a fine ideal, but it is important to recognize that life is always part of an interdependent web. Let the eternal fire bloom within you while the Full Moon rises, but take care not to scorch your neighbors.
Meanwhile, the 15th also hosts Mercury’s exact square to Pluto, opening the way for secrets to come spilling out. Power dynamics weight heavy on what is said and not said, further pressurizing a volatile Full Moon.
Early on October 18th, Venus enters Sagittarius, forsaking the scorpion’s tunnels for the archer’s bright, hard sky. In Sagittarius, it is not beasts she is hunting, but excitement and glory. As Venus moves, so moves the sphere of ambient pleasures. Venus in Sagittarius revels in epic tones, the spectacle of suprahuman excellence and action-packed aesthetics. Her ride wakes sleeping spirits and kindles their fire.
This time around, Venus has a very specific set of advantages and disadvantages. On the positive side, Venus’ position in Sagittarius puts her in a delightful mutual reception with Jupiter in Libra. Here the desire for growth and the passions entangle nicely.
Nonetheless, while offering a brighter color scheme, faster pace and rising tone in Sagittarius, Venus’s ride through the centaur’s sign will also see her share the sign with Saturn. Saturn brings, obligations, duty, architecture and boundaries into the mix, and necessitates congress and confrontation between passion and duty.
The 18th and 19th hold a pair of intense configurations. On October 18th, Mars conjoins Pluto in Capricorn. This intense pairing exposes the structure of power dynamics, and opens the way for powerful desires. Ambitious and ruthless, this conjunction points to subterranean power, as potent and potentially destructive as pressurized magma. Although Mars’ conjunction occurs on the 18th, it will be felt, intermittently, for several days previous and afterward.
On the following day, October 19th, Mercury in Libra opposes volatile Uranus in Aries. Shocking statements, both innovative and ridiculous, are to be expected. This configuration may also preside over ruptures in communication and dialogue. Mercury and Uranus’ pairing produces a bright, powerful mental energy, which is nonetheless highly unstable. Combined with Mars’ conjunction with Pluto, the potential for contentious outbursts is high. Try channeling it into reading something mind-blowing.
The Sun lives equivocating Libra behind on October 22nd, forsaking the scale for sultry, bioluminescent tunnels of Scorpio. In Scorpio, the Sun’s light penetrates the surface, driving like x-rays to find both hidden gems and awful secrets. The truth of desire and instinct are both revealed and stimulated by the Sun’s time in Scorpio, which will last until November 21st.
A few days later, on the 24th, Mercury follows the Sun into Scorpio. Mercury, always curious, puts on the cloak and dagger of the detective here, becoming more obsessive and focused in the Scorpion’s sign. In Scorpio, Mercury aids investigations, but tends to feed paranoid thinking. At this point, Mercury is moving speedily through our sky, and will only be in Scorpio until November 12th.
The 25th and 26th see Venus make a pair of aspects in quick succession. The 25th hosts Venus in Sagittarius’ square with Neptune in Pisces. This aspect highlights the friction between desires and dreams. It may be that reality is just not quite good enough, or that a dream has been too long in arriving. Possible solves for this square include retreating into a pleasing fantasy realm, like a good book or movie. Try to avoid projecting unrealistic images or expectations on to others.
Though the 25th might disappoint, the 26th may deliver. Venus in Sagittarius completes a sextile with Jupiter in Libra. A harmonious sextile between the two benefics is always a good thing, but in this case the pairing is also mutually received, amplifying the potential for good fortune and high spirits.
Venus and Jupiter’s luxurious sextile is followed by Mercury’s superior conjunction with the Sun in Scorpio on the 27th. Here Mercury hides on the far side of the Sun, as far from Earth as it routinely ranges. In this configuration with the Sun and Earth, Mercury acts like the lens of telescope, helping us to see far beyond our current position. Look outward, and see the distant potentials you truly hunger for.
The 28th sees Mars in Capricorn perfect his square to Uranus in Aries. This is a potentially destabilizing aspect, and may preside over a number of disruptions and inflammations. Keep your cool, and don’t engage in conflicts unless you’re ready for scorched earth.
The next day, the 29th, sees Venus and Saturn conjoin in Sagittarius. Venus-Saturn conjunctions can be a bit joyless, as Saturn suppresses the light-hearted side of Venus’ nature. Here passion must reconcile itself with duty, and desire with reality. The importance of boundaries, both personal and professional, becomes evident under Venus and Saturn’s dual gaze.
The New Moon in Scorpio arrives on October 30th. This New Moon is in close conjunction to Mercury, and trine Neptune in Pisces. Dreams, desires and plans cook together in this cauldron. Simmer, stir and season thoughtfully, as the resulting witch’s brew will be your fuel for much of November.
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