Week of October 8th

This new moon gives full reign to the dark recesses of the imagination. Go inward at the beginning of this week. Allow yourself to experience your secret feelings, your deepest fears, and your most powerful emotions. Give these some expression: write, paint, draw, sing, speak, or dance out your fear, anger, sadness, shame, guilt, or regret. Astrologer and visionary activist Caroline Casey teaches us that once you have expressed an emotion fully, it can pass through you, and you are left with a lesson reflected back at you through the artwork/story/dance you created. Your darker feelings have something important to teach you. When Mercury moves into your sign on Wednesday, you may feel even more capable of communicating what you really think. You are radically rearranging your thoughts, and therefore your world. Choose a dynamic partner for this adventure in deep thinking.


Week of September 30th

You have a mysterious quality that draws people to you whether you’re deliberately attracting them or not. The Venus retrograde, starting on Friday, gives you an opportunity to revise your image. You change so often that perhaps your current incarnation of self doesn’t match your wardrobe anymore. Maybe you’d like to try out a new hairstyle, or emphasize a new facet of your personality. When it comes to shopping and styling, make plans now, and commit after November 16th. The retrograde period is for looking back at past versions of yourself and making sketches of the future. You may be playing with several different possibilities until you make up your mind in 2019.


October Overview

Venus Retrograde & Mars out of Shadow

This Libra season, with Venus in Scorpio, is imbued with the dark, rich undertones of that mysterious sign. October is no exception. Venus stations retrograde October 5th, leading us down the shadow-path of our secret stories about relationships, intimacy, and/or money. We can all use this time to review lessons from past relationships, investigate deep questions in current relationships, and reaffirm our core values. Mars leaves the shadow zone of his retrograde on October 8th, allowing us to integrate what we learned about our desires this past summer into this Venus cycle.

The cosmic dance of Mars and Venus symbolizes the dance between the yang and yin principles within all of us. Mars is active desire (yang/masculine), impulsively chasing what is wanted and taking action to create results. Without the aid of Venus, Mars can be thoughtless, brash, selfish, and unrefined. Venus is passive desire (yin/feminine), attracting and receiving what is wanted. Without the aid of Mars, Venus can be lazy, shallow, envious, and sacrifice true desires to keep up appearances. These archetypes need each other to be whole. The cosmic dance is the balance between the two extremes. When Venus squares Mars again on the 10th, it’s another step in this ongoing tango of desire. Mars’ retrograde through Aquarius this summer was frustrating, and that frustration taught us something about what we want. Now, Venus retrograde challenges us to take a deeper look at why we might not have what we desire. It is necessary to act, and equally necessary that we stay open to receiving. How are you achieving your desires? What is really stopping you, below the surface?

New Moon in Libra

The applying Venus-Mars square features in the new moon on October 8th. The new moon, at 16 Libra, squares Pluto in Capricorn, signifying buried emotions, compulsions, power struggles, and deep transformation. Moon in Libra is typically peace-loving, striving to create harmonious conditions between people in order to feel safe and happy. This lunar cycle, though, challenges us to break through surface harmony to get at the root of an emotion or a relationship issue. Only then can we transform and evolve. This lunation is framed by Mercury square Pluto on the 2nd (a preview) and sun square Pluto on the 12th (a review).

Uranian Fixed Cross Aspects

Mercury enters Scorpio, sign of depth, power, sex, mystery, history, taboo, and the occult, on the 10th. Mercury in Scorpio loves to play detective, asking the questions without easy answers and staying on the scene until he finally uncovers the truth. Immediately, Mercury makes an opposition to Uranus in Taurus (Oct. 10th) and squares the moon’s nodes (Oct. 11th), creating a fixed cross just as Venus did in mid-September. This pattern is still challenging us to make changes in areas where we would rather stay consistent. Themes of radical reinvention, money, power, individuality, and the environment all apply. The investigative quality of Mercury in Scorpio gives this set of aspects more of a mental focus: radically reinventing our thoughts. This opposition to Uranus and square to the nodes repeats when the sun enters Scorpio (Oct. 23-24): themes of radically reinventing the self. It repeats again when Venus retrogrades back over the earliest degrees of Scorpio Oct. 30-31: themes of radically reinventing values and relationships.

Creative Sextiles to Capricorn

A series of sextiles from planets in Scorpio to Saturn and Pluto in Capricorn symbolize building creative solutions to our problems, and thorough methods of investigating the questions that come up. This pattern includes Mercury sextile Saturn on Oct. 12th (building a laboratory for further investigation) and Mercury sextile Pluto on Oct. 22nd (powerful discoveries and transformative talks). Venus Rx then sextiles Saturn on the 24th (desiring stability in relationships), and the sun follows suit on the 27th (taking up the mantle of authority with ease).

Mercury in Scorpio, continued

Mercury meets our retrograde Venus in Scorpio on Oct. 15th, helping us to ask the right questions and speak the truth about Venus-retrograde themes: relationships and values. On the 19th, Mercury makes his own square to Mars, echoing the previous Venus-Mars squares and helping us to further investigate our active responses to our desires. Mercury also makes a trine to Neptune in Pisces on the same day, aiding us to create the ultimate vision that will prompt that action.

Full Moon in Taurus

After the sun enters Scorpio on the 23rd, we have a full moon at 1 degree of Taurus on the 24th. This full moon is conjunct Uranus in Taurus and opposite its’ ruler Venus (retrograde), giving the lunation the flavor of the fixed-cross set of aspects this month: radical reinvention. This is the part of Venus retrograde where something comes to fruition or needs to be let go. We are radically reinventing relationships, values, money, power, and our use of resources. Expect the unexpected where Uranus is involved. This is a moon for swift, extreme change.

Still in Scorpio

Venus Rx meets the sun in Scorpio on the 26th, illuminating some of the desires or lessons we’re left with after that full moon. On the 29th, Mercury meets with Jupiter in Scorpio, giving us some wisdom from this one-year period. Jupiter will move into Sagittarius on November 8th. What secrets have you uncovered since Jupiter moved into Scorpio in October 2017? What mysteries have you followed down the rabbit hole? What have you discovered about your own power? Jupiter will be trine Chiron in Pisces all month (exact November 1st): a set of teachers for our collective healing through the discovery of the truth.

Halloween

Finally, on October 31st, Venus moves into Libra to continue her retrograde journey. Venus rules Libra, so she is at home here in the sign of relationships, harmony, and symmetry. Still retrograde, Venus here asks us to reflect on the source of harmony in our partnerships: is it rooted in understanding, or are we just “keeping the peace” to avoid conflict? Mercury moves into Sagittarius on the 31st as well. Sagittarius is the sign of adventures, travel, philosophy, honesty, and enthusiasm. Mercury here is brashly honest and sometimes comedic: he will say what he thinks, and tact is not a strong point. With Venus retrograde and Mercury in the sign of his detriment, it can be a fun, raucous party as long as the Librans can tolerate tacky costumes and tactless remarks with some good humor. Halloween this year actually has less Scorpio energy than most of October so far. Jupiter in Scorpio is still along for the ride, though, inviting us to explore the darkness of this spooky holiday. Happy Halloween!


Week of September 23rd

Secret knowledge is your favorite kind, but some secrets can be toxic. Know what is necessary to hide and what is poisonous this week, as the full moon pushes you to heal. So much of illness is psychosomatic. Which is not to say that you’re imagining illness, but that there is more to healing than the material effects of medicine on the body. Sharing secrets with family members may feel revolutionary now. Thoughts that have been weighing on you become less heavy when you share them. In return, those family members may have something to share with you. Offering a listening ear without judgment is powerful medicine for both of you. Rest and spiritual activities do more to heal your body than you may think. You are discovering a new kind of medicine for yourself. Perhaps once you know this treatment well, you can share it with others. First, attend to your own healing.


Week of September 16th

Home and family relationships have been the theme all summer. A kind of revelation or resolution may arrive this week. Pay attention to your feelings of restriction, your needs for freedom, and what makes you angry. It’s not the appropriate time to let loose with your anger, as you may quickly lose control of the rage. But navigating changes in relationships, especially those with a household member or life partner, will be necessary now. Yours is the sign of overcoming fear. Dare to go deeper; dare to be more honest. Dare to transform what has outlived its time. Towards the end of the week, an opportunity for true healing becomes available. Walk towards the pain so that you can move through it.


Week of September 9th

Sunday’s new moon asks you to discern the appropriate recipients of your gifts. Who has seen your creations and responded with true gratitude and reciprocity? We all give birth to something in the course of our lives: a gift. It might be a child or a song, but there is always another involved. Singer is to song as audience is to song as dancer is to song. You are in a process of radical change to the giving-and-receiving dance of relationship. As you reinvent yourself, as a partner reinvents themselves, you reinvent “us”. In the larger Us, your community, you want people who dance with you, too. Find the other dancers this week. Allow these unexpected new rhythms of change to excite you and move you rather than to scare you.


Week of September 2nd

The Mars retrograde period had you focused on crisis management to some extent. You probably needed to spend extra time at home, or put in some extra effort in your career just to manage. This week brings more social time for you, as aspects in your sectors of friends and partners invite you to enjoy other peoples’ company. Mercury moves into Virgo on Wednesday, helping you to communicate more effectively and build your social circle. He’ll work in league with Saturn and Uranus towards the end of this week to change a close friendship or partnership. It’s likely that you’ll meet new people now. The ideas and creative projects that you may have been working on are coming along now. It may be a good time for you to show them to others. Audiences for creative work and/or spiritual groups are available, should you choose to seek them. You’re inventing all kinds of things in your imagination. The only real “problem” might be the sheer number of inventions you’re coming up with. Choose a few to communicate, now that Mars is direct. Jupiter trine Neptune is still in effect for a month, bringing you luck and expanding your spiritual playground.


September Overview

The last half of 2018 has been full of inner planet retrogrades, but September is our one month that features all inner planets in direct motion. Mercury exits his shadow period on September 2nd. Technically, Venus begins her shadow period on the 2nd, and Mars will still be in shadow until October 8th. But as I wrote in this post, it’s not an exact extension of the retrograde. Just a time to integrate the lessons of this summer’s Mars retrograde and preview the themes that may come up when Venus stations retrograde on October 5th.

Meanwhile, September brings some aspects that help us steady ourselves and start moving forward a bit. Mercury enters Virgo on the 5th. Mercury is the planetary ruler of Virgo, sign of thinking, writing, organization, health, and service. With Mercury direct in this sign, communication requires less effort and technology runs more smoothly than it did in July and August. Saturn stations direct on the 6th, so once again he will be moving back over the degrees (to 9 Capricorn) that he has been transiting since December of last year. Where Capricorn is in your natal chart, and where you have natal planets being aspected by Saturn, you are still in Saturn’s classroom. Values of discipline, sweat equity, and moderation are your best tools for this transit.

Just as the sun in Virgo made a grand earth trine with Saturn in Capricorn and Uranus in Taurus last month, Mercury will repeat this aspect on September 7th. This is supportive earth energy. We can use it to stabilize some of the Uranus in Taurus surprises with Saturn’s longevity, and start bringing some of our Uranian innovations into reality.

Venus and Mars square each other this month, continuing to reflect tension in relationships. This is an invitation to take action and resolve disagreements. First, Venus in Libra squares Mars in Capricorn on September 8th. The next exact square will be October 10th, with Venus in Scorpio and Mars in Aquarius, but the aspect will be in effect all September long. Venus will enter Scorpio, the sign of depth, power, sex, mystery, history, taboo, and the occult, on September 9th. Venus here loves the beauty of the darkness. Where Venus transits this sign in your chart, you can go deeper into your true values and the more intimate side of your relationships.

The next lunar cycle begins with a new moon at 17 Virgo on the same day (September 9th). This new moon is opposite Neptune in Pisces and trine Pluto in Capricorn. This speaks of spiritual experiences and artistic endeavors, as well as glimpses into power (your own or someone else’s). Deception and manipulation are the negative sides of this lunation. On the positive side, personal empowerment and spiritual understanding are also possible. Use your powers of discernment. Get in touch with nature, as Virgo is an earth sign. Animals (the nature spirits) are especially dear to Virgo.

Mars enters Aquarius on September 11th, continuing his path through the shadow of this summer’s retrograde. Aquarius is the sign of freedom, community, invention, individuality, and revolution. Mars here is a revolutionary, a classic rebel, so many will feel their energy moving in the direction of resistance. The square to Venus in Scorpio will be applying all month; therefore, one of the challenges is for people to navigate themes of intimacy and freedom in their relationships.

Both Mercury and the sun are traveling through Virgo this month, so they make the same aspects within days of each other: an opposition to Neptune on September 7th and 13th, and a trine to Pluto on the 11th and 15th. These are previews and echoes of the Virgo new moon on the 9th, which highlights all those themes of spirituality, artistry, and power. The sun and Mercury, always close to each other, travel together for most of the month and meet exactly on the 20th.

Once Venus gets into Scorpio and Mars into Aquarius, they start making some intense aspects to other planets. Venus immediately opposes Uranus in Taurus (exact September 12th), and squares the nodes exactly on September 14th, creating a fixed cross pattern that challenges us to change in areas where we’d rather stay consistent. Themes of radical reinvention, money, power, individuality, and relationships with our communities are all brought to the forefront in mid-September. Mars squares Uranus again on September 18th. This aspect was exact on May 16th and August 1st. It will, by this time, feel familiar to you: disruption, revolution, frustration, fast innovation in categories that were once fixed. The good news is that Mars is direct this time, so taking action will be easier. This is a hot aspect, though, so it’s wise to be careful. Themes that have been playing out since mid-May are still very much in play.

Libra season begins with the fall equinox on September 22nd. Libra is the sign of balance, justice, beauty, and peace. With Chiron in Aries and Saturn in Capricorn, though, aspects from this sign are bringing the other cardinal signs into play, so the challenge is to create that peace and equilibrium. Mercury moves into Libra the day before the sun, on September 21st, and both immediately begin an opposition to Chiron. Chiron in Aries is calling on us to heal the wounds of toxic masculinity, including the wounds of war and environmental destruction, to acknowledge womens’ anger, and on a personal level, to practice authenticity. Those themes of women’s fury and sucking the patriarchal poison out of masculinity will be very present at the end of September.

On September 22nd, Mars will also make an exact conjunction with the south node. This aspect occurred on June 13th and July 18th. Since the south node sucks us back into old patterns, the shadow side of revolution will show itself: anger, destruction, and uncompromising ideology. Mercury and the sun in Libra will square Saturn in Capricorn around this time (September 23rd and 25th), bringing up themes of creating equilibrium in hardship, through hard work. They will also trine Mars in Aquarius (September 23rd and 27th), perhaps tempering some of that rigid ideology to move a rebellion in the direction of peace.

On September 24th, we have a full moon in Aries conjunct Chiron, sextile Mars in Aquarius, square Saturn in Capricorn, and trine the north node in Leo. This is a thorny lunation. It will push us to face the wounds of anger, to heal, and to make lemonade out of some Saturnine lemons. Saturn in Capricorn is essentially winter: a shortage of resources rather than an abundance, and the hard work of survival. So when a full moon on Chiron squares Saturn, we can expect to have a challenge that will test us. You are called to be authentic and to make the most of your instincts with this one. Mars in Aquarius, the ruler of this full moon, is still conjunct the south node and square Uranus. Arm yourself as the divine warrior: strategic, courageous, and honorable; never volatile or unpredictably violent. These are wounds that we are being asked to heal, after all. On the 25th, Chiron moves back into Pisces for the next six months. The themes of Chiron in Pisces from 2010 - 2017 are up for review: healing collective suffering and spiritual wounds. Chiron will move back into Aries for a longer-term transit on February 18, 2019.

The last major aspect of September is Pluto stationing direct in Capricorn on the 30th. Outer planet retrogrades are less personal than inner planet retrogrades, so this is not something we will feel on an individual level. If Pluto is transiting a natal planet between 18-21 degrees of a cardinal sign or earth sign right now, that long-term cycle of transformation and empowerment continues.

All in all, it’s a very active month, with many of the themes we’ve seen since May 2018 continuing to play out. The good news is that we have no inner planet retrogrades, and we also get Saturn and Pluto stationing direct, which means that we have more opportunities to do stuff in the midst of an otherwise retrograde-y fall. If you have a project that you must launch in 2018, this is the month to do it. Otherwise, wait until 2019 to start something big. The squares and oppositions of September challenge us to act. Without that tension, we get comfortable where we are and things get stale. Some ideas that have been brewing since this spring could be catapulted forward this month. Surf the challenges to your advantage. Onward.


Week of August 26th

This full moon is a chance to have some fun at the end of a difficult summer! Let loose, play around, and get romantic on Sunday. It’s a fabulous lunation for any creative project or time spent with children. Being around people is especially supportive and inspiring this week. Your ruler Mars stations direct on Monday, freeing you up for important conversations regarding home and family. There is something you’ve been wanting to say, and this week you may be able to figure out how you’ll word that. Maybe you’ve changed your mind about something? A chat with someone else may help you figure this out.


Week of August 19th

Any communication issues related to your career can be smoothed out now that Mercury has stationed direct in Leo. This is the last week of Mars retrograde, and things are looking up for you, so long as you can keep yourself from starting an argument. Use the insights gained so far this summer to move obstacles that were previously blocking your vocational path. Jupiter trine Neptune blesses you in the realms of romance, fun, creativity, and children. Follow inspiration where it leads. When the sun enters Virgo on Thursday, you begin a more social season, one where you’re connecting with others and feeling a sense of belonging. The grand earth trine towards the end of the week can help you create some radical stability in relationships. Friendships, partnerships, groups, and arrangements that look unusual to others may suit you perfectly in the coming era. Find your people and plan something fun for this weekend!


Week of August 12th

You’re still in the midst of changes around your career/life direction/vocation/family -- you know, the really big stuff. Mars retrograde moving into Capricorn shifts the focus from your frustrations in home/career to what you want to say about it. How will you communicate the changes you’re going through? What is the message you want to give to the world? It’s still Mars retrograde, so this is an internal process. Keep it a secret until you’re ready to communicate. In two weeks you can start taking action on some of the changes you’ve felt recently. Next Sunday, Jupiter in your sign will trine Neptune to support your creativity and self-expression. Think.


Week of August 5th

You may feel a rumble in a significant partnership or friendship on Tuesday, when Uranus stations retrograde. If you’re partnered, you’ll both be revolutionizing yourselves and your lives in some way over the next seven years. If you’re single, you’re revolutionizing yourself and the way you behave in relationships. Either way you can expect some unexpected encounters. Venus in Libra brings inner insights about what you might want that revolution to look like. The Leo solar eclipse on Saturday marks an important realization about your vocation/direction/image.


Week of July 29th

Whatever happened this past weekend with the total lunar eclipse bears thinking about for the rest of this week. Continue tracing your steps backwards from your goals to create the path you need. Something big is shifting, along the lines of identity/home/relationships/career aka the four cardinal directions of your life. Bide your time with others, and remember that they are trying to weather the same astrological storm right now. How would Sun Tzu, author of The Art of War, prep for this battle?


August

“You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better.”

— Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life

This is a time to think about taking ownership of the things that have happened for you. Consider how you want to tell your story. With twin retrogrades prompting a review of your career and home life, and Uranus throwing surprises into your relationship sector, you certainly have a lot to talk about. Mars retrograde decrescendos after the major eclipse moment of July 27th. The next phase of this cycle is about biding your time and defending your territory from people who underestimate you just because you’re being quiet. The eclipse on the 11th is a time to reset and potentially let go of something that’s no longer fun -- an outdated image, an old piece of art that doesn’t represent your style anymore, a career task ripe for delegation. Mars retrogrades into Capricorn on the 12th, taking some pressure off the home front, but making you feel perhaps that your speech is restricted. You may need to wait to say what you want to say, even though you’ve figured out what needs to change. Luckily, Jupiter in your sign trines Neptune on the 19th, the day that Mercury stations direct, and all of it bodes well for your self-expression. The last ten days of the month are a good time for you to have some fun and express your joy. Mars finally stations direct on the 27th, at which point you can start implementing strategy/ talking more openly about your super-secret plans.