Scorpio New Moon: Protection

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


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.

Capricorn Full Moon: Raw Ambition

The moon is full at 17.09 degrees of Capricorn on Sunday, July 9 at 12:07 AM EST.


Nothing stops a Capricorn. Not the freezing rain and howling winds of January, or the pain of hard work, or an apparent obstacle to a goal. The sign of Capricorn is represented by the constellation the sea-goat, an impossible creature with a dubious mythological background, that couldn't feasibly survive in water or on land. Not that "impossible" is a word any Capricorn actually knows. Outside of the mythological, Capricorn is typically represented by the mountain goat, which is not actually a true goat, but a hybrid goat-antelope. Mountain goats live in harsh alpine climates. Capricorns are known for surviving the harshest of realities and turning survival into a triumph. They scale mountains of ambition, sacrificing everything that isn't strictly necessary on a single-minded quest toward their goals. And when they reach the top of that mountain, there is always a higher peak to climb. Raw ambition is the Capricorn's strength. This sometimes gets them stereotyped by their shadow side: the Scrooge, amassing great wealth but remaining impoverished in love. Of course, it's possible to achieve great worldly success and strong relationships at the same time. If anyone could win at that impossible game of "having it all", it's a Capricorn.

At the new moon in Cancer two weeks ago, I wrote about Capricorn's complementary sign, traditionally associated with the fourth house of home, family, and roots, and with the tarot card The Chariot. Cancer's primary concern is home, and a chariot is a kind of home away from home, providing safety and protection should the Crab ever have to venture too far. Capricorn is traditionally associated with the tenth house of career (or vocation) and public image. Growing from the roots, growing up, is Capricorn's primary concern. She may be invested in building a chariot, probably a very impressive, well-made chariot for the people she loves, but she is unlikely to stay there. She will leave home to go to work, unsheltered from the harsh conditions, focused only on whatever mountain she is climbing next.

This full moon is the time to venture out in the Chariot you built at the New Moon. It's not an easy moon. It's a moon that meets Pluto, Lord of the Underworld. Pluto in Capricorn is transforming things from the very bones. It's demolishing any flimsy structures and calling you to take a good look at what's under those foundations. It's unearthing skeletons you thought were long buried. You're left with the good bones of that particular "home" in your life. You'll need to rebuild. This has been happening for years, and will continue to happen slowly for years, but at this full moon you could notice something you missed before.

Now you need to re-assess the sturdiness of your chariot, the pitfalls in the terrain ahead. You may need to backtrack to find a better path toward your goal. You might just abandon the chariot when it's no longer useful and go on foot. Pluto transits to your chart, and lunations on Pluto, can feel like The End. It can feel like all is lost and the Chariot is no good, and the path is full of hellish dangers. That's when it's time to access the raw ambition that Capricorns are known for. Nothing is impossible. The only tools one needs for success are endurance and the unshakeable belief that eventually, one way or another, you will reach your goal.

Saturn and Pluto Retrograde: An Asshole-Free Life

I gave a reading to someone recently who had all but completed her second Saturn Return. That's every 28-30 years, when Saturn returns to the exact degree of your chart that it occupied when you were born, and checks up on how responsible you've been. Pluto in Capricorn had also been making some key contacts with her natal chart. She explained that the work she had done during this time was to set clear boundaries in her relationships after years of being a people pleaser. "I have a No Asshole policy, and an asshole-free life," she said proudly.

I love this idea. The policy, the boundary setting, the reality that she's now living her life surrounded only by people who treat her well. I think instituting a No Asshole Policy is a perfect plan for any transit involving Saturn and/or Pluto: both of which will be retrograde for a few months this year. Saturn is retrograde until August 25th. Pluto stations retrograde tomorrow, moving direct on September 28th.

Why? Saturn transits are about growing up, developing discipline, and setting boundaries. Pluto transits are about living your truth, leaving behind what no longer serves you in order to be more authentic. People don't just breeze through these transits. First, usually, your problems rise to the surface. The shit hits the fan, to use a Plutonic metaphor. The longer you ignore them, the worse they get. But as you accept the transformation (Pluto transit) or develop the discipline (Saturn transit), you begin to clean it up. You begin to change your patterns. You're growing. It's inevitable that some of the people and behaviors you tolerated in your old life will no longer be tolerable after this process begins.

Who are these assholes? People who repeatedly don't respect your boundaries when you've made them clear, who have a pattern of acting selfishly in your relationship, and especially those who repeatedly try to make you feel bad about yourself or undermine you. Please note that I'm not referring to abuse. If someone is abusing you, it is never your fault. This post is about run-of-the-mill asshole behavior, e.g. clients who call you at all hours of the day and night, or friends who only serve their compliments backhanded.

 Here are the steps to an asshole-free life:

1. Define who you are now. Define your values. Decide what living with integrity means to you.

2. Set your No Asshole policy. How do you expect people to behave towards you? What are your boundaries? What will you no longer put up with? Conversely, what would healthy, positive relationships look like to you?

3. Communicate lovingly with the people in your life who you feel are overstepping your boundaries. I don't buy into this idea that suffering relationships are always the fault of one Toxic Person who must be cut out of your life. You are one half of the relationship, and you may never have stated your boundaries clearly before. Give people a chance to relate to the new you. Sometimes the asshole is a member of your family, which makes your work much harder, and you might choose to enlist the help of a qualified therapist.

4. See if your behavior towards others might change the way they behave towards you. Are you listening to other people? Are you treating others with kindness? Are you respecting their boundaries? A Saturn or Pluto transit is about taking responsibility for yourself and your behavior, not blaming others for your problems.

5. Maintain your No Asshole policy. Some people will not be able to meet you where you are. It could just be that you've grown apart from an old friend, or it could be as dramatic a change as leaving a toxic workplace because you need an asshole-free job. Do what you need to do to create the life you want.

6. Enjoy your asshole-free life. :)

When Pluto moves retrograde tomorrow, it may stir up some shit. You're likely to encounter some of the truths that you'd rather not face or find yourself in a power struggle. Pluto transformations help you come into your own power, but it's a slow and often painful process. Setting some Saturnine boundaries can be a helpful exercise for a Pluto transit.

Where are Pluto and Saturn transiting your chart?

Saturn: 27 - 21 Sagittarius. Transiting natal planets and points from 11-30 degrees of mutable signs (Sagittarius, Gemini, Pisces, Virgo) and fellow fire signs (Aries, Leo).

Pluto: 19 - 16 Capricorn. Transiting natal planets and points from 6-29 degrees of cardinal signs (Capricorn, Cancer, Aries, Libra) and fellow earth signs (Taurus, Virgo).

If you don't have your chart, contact me and I'll send it to you for free.

Are you currently undergoing a Saturn or Pluto transit? Let us know how it's going in the comments.