Scorpio New Moon: Protection

The moon is new at 26.19 Scorpio on November 18th at 6:42 AM (EST).

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The Scorpion is known for its deadly defenses. It wears a full coat of armor; it's claws can crush predators or prey to death, and its venomous sting can kill.

Those born under the sign of Scorpio protect themselves instinctively. Fear and the hunger for power are both exceptional motivators. Someone with Scorpio rising or the sun in this sign may seem mysterious because so few are allowed to see them without their armor on. They're known for self-reliance and the deadly sting of their self-defense. 

I'm thinking of this aspect of Scorpio as we come upon this week's new moon because the Sabian Symbols for this new moon's chart speak to me of watchfulness and protection. The symbol for the moon is 27 Scorpio, "A military band marches noisily on through the city streets." The symbol for Scorpio's modern ruler, Pluto, is 18 Capricorn, "The Union Jack flies from a new British warship." The symbol for Scorpio's traditional ruler, Mars, is 17 Libra, "A retired sea captain watches ships entering and leaving the harbor."

I know we live in uncertain times, so I just want to say that I'm not telling you to take these symbols literally. This is not some kind of dire prediction. But I'm interested in the symbolism of this chart, especially because Scorpio's two rulers, Mars and Pluto, are squaring each other. The square is a tense aspect, indicating conflict and the integration of difficult energies. The new moon begins a new lunar cycle. This one speaks of a powerful beginning.

Notice that the symbols here don't portray actual battles. They seem more like warnings to me. Opportunities to fortify the gates. There is a theme of spectatorship woven through all three of these. The military parade is meant to be seen and heard by civilians on the city streets; the Union Jack is raised for recognition; the sea captain is alert to who enters and who leaves. One (supposed) purpose of a military is to protect and defend a nation. A harbor is a safe place chosen for its protection from the elements. So here, at this new moon, we're watchful. We're being called to pay attention.

What are you protecting? Is it your personal boundaries that need some fortification? Do you have a tender secret, the beginning of something new, that is best kept to yourself? Not everything needs to be out in the open. The Sabian Symbols for Saturn and Uranus, respectively, are "The sculptor's vision is slowly but surely taking form," and "A man possessed of more gifts than he can hold." The Saturn-Uranus trine, exact for the past two weeks, has been supporting us as we give form to our gifts. Perhaps you need to protect your time so you can devote yourself to a personal endeavor. Maybe it's someone else in your life, a child or a spouse, who needs your careful attention. Maybe you need to put your imaginary armor on at work, so you can go after what you want without fear. Maybe it's a call to defend your values.

Whatever the idea of protection means to you at this new moon, the next three days are good for setting intentions. Fortify your boundaries. Pay attention. This is a cycle for guarding what matters most.

Taurus Full Moon: Last Harvest

This full moon is at 11.58 Taurus at 1:22 AM on Saturday, November 4th.

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It's Scorpio time and the season of Samhain, traditionally the last harvest before winter arrives. Astrologically, Samhain is the day the sun reaches 15 degrees Scorpio, when "the veils between the worlds are thin," i.e. magic and insight and the unseen are more accessible. So if you're hardcore, you can plan to be awake at 12:37 AM (EST) on November 7th when the sun hits 15 Scorpio this year to do some divination. However, because Samhain is traditionally recognized on October 31st, or October 31st through November 2nd, or the new or full moon around this time, or when the sun hits 15 Scorpio...it's a season, not a day, really. And we have our full moon for this season at 11 degrees of Taurus.

Taurus is a sign for food, nourishment, farmers, and the celebration of the real. A Taurus moon in the last harvest season is a wonderful time to "harvest" what you've accomplished since this time last year. Look back on old journal entries, photographs, calendars, and memories from last fall. What has changed since then? What material things have you grown for yourself? What immaterial insights, convictions, relationships, and goals have you reached since then?

This could bring back bittersweet memories, since we're coming up on the one-year anniversary of Drumpf's election. When I look back on that time, though, I see what I've been able to grow in my own life out of that giant pile of manure. November of last year was the last time I worked as a temp for extra money. Along with my exhaustion and political overwhelm came an increased resolve to make it as a newly self-employed person. I joined a local feminist group, reigniting my activist passions with real ties to other women, and I'm still actively involved. My husband and I gained a deeper level of commitment in our relationship and a bigger family through our marriage. I have, on a very material level, more work, more financial security, and more friends than I did last November. And (harvest it!) the world has not yet ended.

This moon is opposite Jupiter, indicating blessings, and sextile Neptune, the planet of dreams. It's a very nice time to gather with friends and family. It's quite literally a moon for counting your blessings. Since Neptune represents dreams and Taurus represents manifestation into reality, it's a time for both recognizing what you have manifested, and dreaming of future harvests. You can harvest on a smaller scale, too. What came up for you at the new moon in Libra on October 19th? This moon carries echoes of that one, with Venus, the ruler of Taurus and Libra, directly opposite Uranus. You can harvest the insights of the last two weeks. If something is not working, let it die and go back to seed, fertilizing the ground for more growth.

The harvest is important, as my coach reminded me this week. Shoutout to Liz Wieking: if anyone is looking for a coach to consult for a life transition, she's the lady to call! I'm coming up on three months working with her, and the changes I've made in such a short time feel miraculous. Recognizing what has changed is an important part of growth. You make the shift consciously. By taking the time to celebrate what you have grown, you recognize that growth is a process. You can harvest what is ripe and bite into the juicy goodness and know that you grew it in your very own garden.

Jupiter in Scorpio and Women's Horror

The Girl in the Green Ribbon, Jennifer Brown, 2011

The Girl in the Green Ribbon, Jennifer Brown, 2011

Jupiter is an interesting planet to watch. The transits aren't as slow as Pluto's, which can last over 12 years (16 in Capricorn). One lifetime isn't long enough to see Pluto transit through all of the signs. But Jupiter has one year transits, so every 12 years we have a chance to view each sign through a magnifying glass, albeit tempered by the rest of the space weather out there. Themes are played out in public. Problems are made visible, too big to ignore.

Jupiter in Libra, from September 9, 2016 - October 9, 2017, spent the year opposing Uranus in Aries and squaring Pluto in Capricorn, at times creating a T-square that was like a taut bow, firing off flaming arrows. Libra, sign of harmony, beauty, justice, and loving relationships, is in many ways a sign of women. The newspapers and polls predicted we would have a woman president, women wore pantsuits to the polls in solidarity, and instead the US elected a man far, far less qualified. He's a sexual predator and white supremacist too, but then so was Jefferson. Jupiter in Libra reminded many of our nation's unjust history. It brought us the Women's March. It gave us a better understanding of just how disharmonious America is right now, and for many, a renewed commitment to social justice. And just before moving into Scorpio, at 28 Libra, separating from his last exact opposition to Uranus, Jupiter thrust Harvey Weinstein into the spotlight.

The story broke in the New York Times on October 5th. It caught fire. Women started sharing stories of men harassing and assaulting them with the hashtag MeToo. On October 10th, Jupiter moved into Scorpio. And what I see being magnified is women's horror. True horror isn't a fictional monster hiding in the woods. True horror is a real, flesh and blood monster who terrorizes you behind closed doors, but doesn't really have to hide it, because everybody knows about the terror, and you are told in so many ways that it doesn't matter. They know he is a monster; sometimes they even abet his crimes. And at the same time they don't believe you. They silence you and say you caused your own victimhood. They tell you in so many ways that the ugliness must be inside of you. True horror is living with the monster in your office, in your home, in your school, day after day.

What I mean by women's horror is what Mikaella Clements wrote of the insidious darkness hiding in Jane Austen's novels on October 13th. "There’s no need to step outside the gate," she writes. "The call is coming from inside the house." She points to the character of Mr. Woodhouse in Emma, the father who monitors Emma and her guests so closely that he won't even let them eat their fill. Emma will never leave her horribly needy, vampiric, surveillant father, so much so that at the end of the book Emma and Mr. Knightly continue living with him after their marriage. Emma has always lived with a monster in the house.

Authors today are still writing of the insidious horror of just being a woman on Earth. In The New Scream Queens, Nathan Scott McNamara reviews Argentinian Mariana Enriquez's 2017 collection Things We Lost in the Fire. The title story of that collection is based on the true story of Maira Maidana, whose boyfriend lit her on fire and then turned off the taps, following her around the house with a blanket and a bottle of alcohol while she tried first the shower, then both of the sinks. She survived, and feared him so much that at first she told people she lit herself on fire. Enriquez posits within the story that this might be the origin of the Burning Woman movement in Argentina, a society in which women help each other burn themselves. It’s sad that it’s not hard to believe. On October 17th, I learned about Nxivm, a cult where women are told they’re joining a kind of empowerment sorority, and end up branded with the cult leader’s initials.

In The Husband Stitch, published in Her Body and Other Parties this month, Carmen Maria Machado writes the macabre tale of the girl with the green ribbon as a feminist horror story. The woman’s husband wants to know about her ribbon, wants to touch it, but she won’t let him. He accuses her of keeping secrets. “It’s not a secret,” she tells him, “It’s just mine...am I not allowed this one thing?” He will not leave it alone. Throughout the story she offers her body up for his pleasure, receiving little, if any, pleasure from him in return. When she gives birth, she hears her husband joking with the doctor about “the extra stitch.” The husband stitch refers to a stitch given to a woman where childbirth has torn the skin between her anus and vagina, to make her vagina tight again.

In Jane Dykema’s article, “What I Don’t Tell My Students About the Husband Stitch,” published the day Jupiter moved into Scorpio, she writes that she could not find “reliable” information about the husband stitch, meaning information presented objectively, with authority. The words pop up over and over again on pregnancy message boards, women telling other women. Another kind of whisper network. Dykema writes of being a woman and not being believed, even sometimes by her husband, who was reluctant to call the gas company when she smelled gas because he didn’t smell it. There were in fact gas leaks. Women’s horror is a life where even your senses are suspect. Women’s horror is that we are not allowed to confirm our own reality. Reality, like everything else, is the domain of men.

I think stories that the patriarchy has silenced, and stories about being silenced by the patriarchy, will grow louder through the fall of 2018. What other Scorpionic themes do you see rising from the depths already with Jupiter in Scorpio? Feel free to share in the comments.

Libra New Moon: Your Personal Paradox

The moon is new at 26.35 degrees of Libra at 3:12 PM today (Thursday, Oct. 19)

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Ah, Libra, the sign of balance and relationships. The sign of beauty, harmony, and love. The sign of justice and peace. The sign of decisions, either-or, both-and. Perhaps the biggest criticism of Libras is that they contradict themselves. A Libra can make her way around a cocktail party, speaking first to a person who thinks every state should make its own laws, next to a person who thinks the federal government should have a more robust welfare program, and third to a person who thinks the free market will take care of everything, and agree with every single one of them. It's just that they all make such good points. Libra is on the side of fairness, but that requires seeing all sides of the situation. Creating actual justice isn't easy. It almost never happens peacefully. As the only sign of the zodiac that's represented by an inanimate object, I think Libra is at a bit of a disadvantage. After all, a Libra person is not a set of objective scales. She's a human being, and that makes her complex, unpredictable at times, even downright paradoxical. Maybe that's one reason why Libra, ruled by Venus, is associated with the arts. Part of an artist's job is to reveal the complexity of life.

Artists aren't the only people with inherent contradictions, of course. We all have them. Do you crave emotional intimacy but hold people at an arm's length? You consider yourself a private person, but you'll write a revealing personal blog post and publish it for strangers to read? Your friends see you as an ebullient, extroverted people person, but you're also an introvert who requires solitude to recharge? Welcome to life on Earth! Where nothing is ever what it seems. Every person you know is a walking paradox.

This new moon may bring your own little contradictions to life. It's directly opposing Uranus, the planet of total unpredictability. I can't tell you exactly what this new moon will bring for you, but I can say it will be a surprise. Maybe a fresh start. Maybe someone in your life drops a metaphorical bomb. Maybe it's a confusing turn of events with a meaning that won't become clear until later. Maybe a fantastic new idea. Whatever it is, you may find that you have conflicting emotions about it, or perhaps someone else in your life is driving you a little nuts with their personal contradictions. With Jupiter newly in Scorpio and conjunct Mercury, the truth may come into play. What's the truth about your personal paradox? Whatever your personal contradictions are, they're probably the truest, most authentic parts of you. And that's a paradox in itself.

The first three days after a new moon are a good time for setting intentions and initiating projects, with or without a ritual involved. As this is a Libra moon, it's especially good for intentions around relationships, art, justice, and decision making. It's a good moon for recognizing the complexity of all people and all situations. It's a good moon for accepting that the truth is rarely simple, and choosing to live with integrity even though it's difficult.

As with all new and full moons, how closely this moon aspects your chart will determine how important it is for you. If you want to know which moons matter the most for you personally, get my 13 Moons Report. It tells you how the lunar cycles will affect you for the next year.

What is this Libra moon cycle bringing up for you? Feel free to share in the comments below!