Mars in Pisces & Mercury/Venus Stations

 Point Lobos, Carmel, Ca; photo by Chad Woodward, November 2018.

Point Lobos, Carmel, Ca; photo by Chad Woodward, November 2018.

Mars is moving into Pisces this week (Nov. 15) after transiting Capricorn/Aquarius since May of this year. Combined with both Mercury and Venus stations, this week can feel extra packed with activity and new potential. The only caveat: retrograde stations like that of both inner planets Mercury and Venus can create a crossfire of uncertainty and restlessness.

Venus in its home sign Libra dominates this week, and with a Mars/Uranus sextile (before Mars changes signs), all things seductive and alluring are more likely to capture our focus. Mars sextile Uranus, while fleeting, is enough to set off a sudden/spontaneous influx of Eros. Venus' retrograde station seems to overshadow Mercury's retrograde effect, though not entirely.

Yes, the usual techno/mechanical/communicative breakdowns and glitches are likely, and the data influx is incoming. Prepare to alter a plan or perception as you uncover new bits of data or encounter enlightening conversations, but Venus' station in Libra is most auspicious. Venus can shift any pending financial, creative, or relational issue. If you've been stuck on a heart-related matter, some resolution is possible this week.

The standard Mercury retro advice holds, but the benefics Venus and Jupiter in their home signs, seem to mitigate the need to hold back on the action. The reality is that while you may lack clarity about what a result will be or the final destination, vital first steps are possible this week. Mercury's retrograde backtrack through Sagittarius includes a conjunction with expansive Jupiter.

There is a newfound surge of excitement, and the next three weeks can help to reassess or discover some new potential within a pending opportunity. The six weeks of Mars in Pisces involves the paradox of active surrender to the cosmic flow. And at least the next three weeks, rid yourself of urgency and let the next mission reveal itself. Step back, meditate, and bend with life, and the logistics will show up in time.

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Waxing Moon & Venus Trine Mars

 Photo by Chad Woodward, October 2018

Photo by Chad Woodward, October 2018

Venus retrograde is making a trine to Mars in Aquarius. Venus has been retrograde since early October. Venus retro is a fertile period for significant creative, financial, and relational shifts and changes. With Venus back in its home sign Libra, it carries a more harmonious, friendly, artistic, and auspicious flare.

Venus trine Mars is a notable sexual stimulus. Combined with Jupiter's recent ingress into Sagittarius, there's a powerful surge of adventurousness and excitement currently filling the air. The next few days can intensify desires. Yes, both creative and sexual powers gain leverage and leading into Venus' direct station next week (Nov. 16), there will be a gradual amplification of the heart center once again.

As we move beyond the deeply intense New Moon in Scorpio, the astrology this week opens us to new possibilities. It can feel like a switch has been flipped, a burden rapidly lifted, or a new potential is gaining more traction. Venusian, heart-centered vibes in trine aspect to Mars can provoke a longing to bond, connect, or indulge in carnal pursuits.

Consider that getting what you want may come more accessible, but as always, be mindful of its relevance. With both benefic planets in their home signs, the mood might suddenly feel lighter and hopeful the remainder of this month. And at least until Mars shifts into Pisces Nov. 15, our self-assertion and willpower flow with an unusual sense of ease. Social harmony and charismatic persuasiveness make for a valuable building of rapport and resolution of conflict.

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Lifting the World: Jupiter in Sagittarius 2018-2019

 A raven soars overhead at Coral Pink Sand Dunes, Utah, September 2018; photo by Chad Woodward.

A raven soars overhead at Coral Pink Sand Dunes, Utah, September 2018; photo by Chad Woodward.

"The positive Sagittarian has....the inner conviction that he has it in him to give much. If others are less fortunate than he, it is his privilege to give to them out of his abundance. He gives not so much material things as the gifts of the spirit--leadership, moral courage, self-respect, sparks for flagging faith and waning energies, a lift to the whole world that comes from contact however fleeting with the warmth, and the verve, and the dash, and the directness, of the Sagittarian."-- Grant Lewi, Your Greatest Strength

Jupiter will transit its home sign, Sagittarius, from Nov. 2018 through Dec. 2019. Jupiter changes signs every year but reaches Sagittarius once every twelve years. Classically, Jupiter is the greater benefic with optimal dignity in the mutable, fire sign Sagittarius. We know Jupiter as the God/Goddess of abundance, growth/expansion, luck, success, optimism, hope, and altruism. Jupiter opens doors, inspires confidence, and paves the way to opportunities.

In its negative face, Jupiter can tempt us with glitzy yet empty promises of fame, happiness, and fortune. It can provoke laziness while opportunities glide past due to a misguided sense of satiation. And trickster Jupiter can inflame arrogance, dogmatism, and ego-aggrandizement. While Jupiter transits Sagittarius the next year, there will be a magnification of both its positive and negative qualities because Jupiter's home sign bolsters its power.

Sagittarius stimulates Jupiter's extroverted side. This is the most adventurous, audacious, and enthusiastic of all Jupiter cycles. But it might also be the most fanatical. Consider that Sagittarius correlates with the zealous pursuit of faith in oneself, an ideology, or a mission. We can imagine empowerment of radicalized followers of various faiths in synch with the restoration of hope or optimism about one's purpose.

Look to the house ruled by Sagittarius in your chart. You'll likely experience increased growth and newfound success in that area over the next year. However, as with anything in astrology, Jupiter needs your involvement to bring out its most auspicious blessings. Success almost always comes from consistent effort and hard work, and opportunities need to be acted upon. Discernment will be the key to optimally managing Jupiter's transit through Sagittarius.

Too much of a good thing can lead to ruin, and overextension can result in missing the target. Overconfidence in one's abilities or potential can inspire foolish leaps and downfalls. Jupiter in Sagittarius is a momentary cycle which can help us all increase faith, confidence, and expand into new areas of experience. But we'll need to be careful and remain realistic about how much we can handle and what we're capable of. When opportunities arrive, they won't last long. Staying where you are is sometimes a safe choice, but one you may later regret with Jupiter in Sagittarius.

Breaking With Routines

Routines can feel extra suffocating under Jupiter in Sagittarius. This is a cycle which inspires us to break free of predictability and expand our horizons more than ever. Reflect on the area in your chart affected by Jupiter's current transit. If you've been treading safely there, you'll begin to notice gradual dissatisfaction with the topics of the concerned house, and a growing sense that you need to take some risks and actively look for escape routes.

Jupiter in Sagittarius Archetypes

As archetypes, Jupiter in Sagittarius is the emigrant, vagabond, crusader, preacher, prophet, or philosopher taken to the extreme. We’ll likely see these archetypes as significant figures in major media events. And if we have strong placements in Sagittarius, or if Jupiter aspects planets in our chart from this sign, we can take on these archetypal qualities ourselves, or they may show up as significant people in our lives.

Whether we experience these archetypes within ourselves or as outside influencers, the Jupiter in Sagittarius energies motivates us to move beyond our usual boundaries, escape the trappings of safety and predictability, inspire us to take bold leaps of faith, boost our belief in a higher purpose, seek new adventures, and actively engage with opportunities to further success or understanding. With Jupiter in fire sign Sagittarius, it asks whether we have the courage to reach for greatness and if we're willing to take some chances to get there.

Jupiter Square Neptune

While Jupiter transits Sagittarius, it will make a square aspect to Neptune in Pisces. We can view this aspect as active throughout the entire cycle, though the peaks will be experienced Jan. 13, June 16, and Sept. 21, 2019. On the collective level, Jupiter's square relationship to Neptune can serve to puncture illusions, hope, faith, and beliefs. In other words, this is likely to be a cycle of severe disillusionment, especially for those who have fallen for false promises of greatness or abundance.

In considering this aspect, it's important to remain skeptical about anything hyped or overpromoted while Jupiter transits Sagittarius. Jumping into “get rich quick schemes” or alluring ideologies could lead to disappointment. Jupiter square Neptune certainly adds to the element of fanaticism and religious fervor, and during the peak squares, we're likely to witness the decline of a prescribed dogma or creed. Failed prophets, messiahs, and gurus are expected to make some headlines.

However, both personally and collectively, the square of Jupiter/Neptune is a severe test of our ideals and faith. If we can endure resistance to our convictions, and if our dreams can undergo significant reality testing, then we'll come out of this cycle with a greater sense of confidence in what we believe. Jupiter's square to Neptune suggests that the karma has ripened for a vision or dream, and whether or not it survives depends mostly on how much basis it has in reality. Many will fail, but some will learn to fly and lift the world.

The Great Mystery: New Moon in Scorpio 2018

 By Juliancolton [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], from Wikimedia Commons

By Juliancolton [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], from Wikimedia Commons

New Moon @ 15 Scorpio

November 7. 2018

8:02 AM Los Angeles

11:02 AM New York

4:02 PM London

November 8, 2018

12:02 AM Beijing

3:02 AM Sydney

We are sinking into the New Moon in tropical Scorpio, just before Jupiter enters Sagittarius Nov. 8. Occurring in a yin, water sign, this Scorpio New Moon draws us deep into the shadows to recharge, rest, and assimilate. With a trine aspect to Neptune and sextile to Pluto, this is a soulful and penetrating lunation, emphasizing inwardnes and reflection.

Jupiter has been transiting Scorpio since early October 2017. Since then, Jupiter has permeated barriers which have hidden and concealed vital truths, insights, and perspectives. Unveiling blind spots, secrets and repressions, Jupiter in Scorpio has helped to expand our awareness of dangers as well as hidden passions, desires, and potentials.

The Scorpio archetype represents the distant echoes of our primordial past and nature, those compulsions, reflexes, and desires which get conditioned out of us by the intrusion of modern culture. When we strip away the cultural accouterments, such as intense moments of terror or ecstasy, we're left with the experience of the authentic and uncensored inner animal.

Jupiter in Scorpio may have brought about such intense experiences, revealing the truth of what we are or what we want. For some, that may have been painful, or for others, a period of liberation from censorship or conformity. This New Moon is exceptionally fertile, and it invites us to step into our realness and plant the seeds for a fresh, authentic path.

Jupiter's transit through Sagittarius the next year will bolster confidence, optimism, hope, and faith. For those that need it, this transit will be helpful, but Jupiter in Sagittarius can inflame all believers, even the radicalized and deluded. The following year of Jupiter's next journey can help us transition into a more outwardly expansive and hopeful path.

Utilize this New Moon to gather strength and emotional stamina. Moodiness or a neurotic avoidance of the truth exemplify the negative face of this lunation. Neptune's trine to the New Moon can heighten sensitivity, creating ease of emotional osmosis. Be mindful of your boundaries in the days surrounding this New Moon, as it may be easy to confuse your internal state with those around you. However, Neptune’s trine can inspire and connect us with the numinous.

Overall, this New Moon in Scorpio can generate increased reverence for the great mystery. The Scorpio, Neptune, and Pluto archetypes impulse us to probe deeply into hidden and occult dimensions, as there is far less interest in cursory matters. Consider what you need to get to the heart of with this lunation, and where you need to dive deep and surrender to your passions. Take your time, sit in peace, and open yourself to the new possibilities currently unfolding.

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Samhain & Venus/Uranus Opposition

 By Jonathan Thorne [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], from Wikimedia Commons

By Jonathan Thorne [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], from Wikimedia Commons

As always, October ends with Samhain (aka Halloween), but unlike usual, Venus is retrograde, in Scorpio, and in opposition to Uranus. This is an aspect that suggests breaking with normalcy, routine, or tradition and embracing newness. With Uranus opposing Venus, this is more likely to show up in the context of relationships. But also, it can represent a sudden, unexpected shift of values, attraction, or creative vision.

Venus retrograde brings up the topic of the past, such as perhaps a sudden re-emergence of a "past life" connection, memory, or passion. Considering that the barriers between realities become malleable on Samhain, we can more easily gain access to esoteric perceptions. Under this Venus/Uranus opposition, anticipate something unusual to show up and change the current narrative.

In romantic, platonic, or marriage type arrangements, Venus/Uranus can shake us out of a predictable mode of relating or engaging with life. Whatever shows up for you, however notable or subtle, embrace the wildcard possibilities and try something different. This is the second of three Venus/Uranus oppositions this year, the last occurring on Nov. 30. This opposition during Venus retrograde can represent the most radical, emotional shift.

Venus is currently closer to the Earth, the heart is louder than usual, and connecting with Uranus can emancipate repressed desires or creativity. For the next few days, reach beyond your comfort zone, seek an adventure, or meet up with new (or some familiar) souls. Relationships of all kinds will likely be the conduit of change. And just past Venus' inferior conjunction, something fresh is emerging from the heart, so take some time to listen.

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Mercury/Jupiter Conjunctions

Ammarhaider.jpg

Mercury and Jupiter are conjoining in the sky, the first of three conjunctions from late Oct. through Dec. due to Mercury's retrograde cycle beginning next month. This week's conjunction of Mercury and Jupiter occurs in Scorpio, emphasizing investigative prowess and perceptual attunement to the shadows.

The combination of Mercury and Jupiter correlates with an improvement in outlook, especially in regards to hard to digest truths. Honesty, realism, and bluntness have a more significant impact, emphasis, and efficaciousness right now. But considering that Mercury is now entering the shadow of its retrograde cycle, look to your overall future vision and how that might change over the coming weeks.

Mercury/Jupiter can stimulate excitement about a dream, mission, or ideal, which is likely to undergo some refinement, adjustment, and reconsideration from Nov. 16 through Dec. 6. Jupiter enters Sagittarius early next month, bolstering Jupiter's auspicious and expansive nature beyond the usual. Yes, this is a fortunate and enthusiastic Jupiter, promising new horizons, doorways, and hope.

But also, we can overdo it when Jupiter is in its ultimate power. And also, the next weeks cautions about overlooking critical details or getting caught up in too-good-to-be-true promises of limitless health, wealth, and glory. However, some new possibility is emerging and within reach, and we'll be given a chance to reimagine for ourselves just what that might look like. Think big, but stay grounded.

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Burning Love: New Venus in Scorpio 2018

 Autumn in the elfin forest; photo by Chad Woodward, 2018.

Autumn in the elfin forest; photo by Chad Woodward, 2018.

Both the Sun and Venus are conjoining in tropical Scorpio, also known as Venus' inferior conjunction (aka New Venus). It is a pivotal or momentous opening, magnified by the Sun and Venus square the lunar nodes. In Scorpio, there's an edginess, intensity, and precariousness charging the atmosphere, as well as the sense of a relational, creative, or financial narrative reaching a crossroads.

Venus has hit the bottom, so to speak, the depths of the underworld. And Venus' retrograde conjunction with the Sun brings her closer to the Earth than usual, magnifying the heart's longing and desire for connection, purpose, and inclusion. At the moment, following the heart might require stepping outside of your comfort zone, or having to adjust to a dramatically changed environment.

Venus in Scorpio in opposition to Uranus can bring on sudden breaks with stuck or stagnant routines, or any structures which limit creative freedom or the heart's ability to speak. Relational or contractual upheavals are possible, and as always with Uranus, unforeseen variables permeate the landscape, offering wild yet innovative possibilities.

But from here on out, Venus will gradually return to its visibility in the sky, re-entering Libra at the end of the month. New values, attractions, perspectives, and purpose can emerge from the conjoining of Venus and Sun. Pay close attention to the shift deep inside of you and within the context of key relationships. There may be an incredible sense of uncertainty, hesitation, or fear. But this New Venus invites us on a pathway toward greater freedom, even if that hasn't fully materialized yet, or we can't yet envision it.

And death is always entwined within every birth. The remnants of decay fertilize for new life. Venus in Scorpio beckons us into the depths to find the beauty within the discarded, ignored, or subjugated. Increased lucidity can verge on paranoia, but also offers a more authentic glimpse of the world in which we live. No matter how frightening any emerging perspective might be, open your heart to it. It can change you. Love is seething, burning, and forever transforming.

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Revolutionary Rumbles: Sun Opposition Uranus

 Photo by Chad Woodward

Photo by Chad Woodward

As we get closer to the Full Moon culmination (Oct. 24), the rumblings of revolution get louder, starting with the Sun's opposition to Uranus. Entering Scorpio, the Sun faces off with the God/Goddess of mutation, innovation, and genius. This week is likely to be filled with rapid, or unanticipated shifts in both internal and external environments.

Uranus triggers the desire to seek freedom from the past as well as the freedom to make a unique stamp on the world. As the Full Moon blossoms this week, it sends out powerful Uranian surges which can make conformity a challenge and stability hard to maintain. The approaching Full Moon can synchronize with much-needed change-waves, so surrender to something fresh and flow with your heart's desire to add something new to the daily narrative.

The Sun's transit through Scorpio also deepens the Venus retrograde cycle currently underway. On Oct. 26, Venus reaches its inferior conjunction with the Sun. Breakthroughs and new beginnings both infuse this week. And with Uranus, Sun, and Venus square the nodes, the current climate feels karmically "charged," that is, supported by events/actions which can be meaningful turning points in the soul's overall plan.

Yes, it can feel like a poignant crossroads is upon us in some way, so pay close attention to the current direction of flow. Venus retrograde beckons the conscious mind to get more rooted into the heart to reflect on what the soul wants. While things can feel incredibly accelerated this week, there are subtle dimensions which need tending. Many of the changes on the table are likely to manifest in the realm of interpersonal relationships, finances, and values.

The heart is getting louder, and with it, a magnetic pull to what you want and need. The Uranian emphasis adds a unique and individuating spin to all of this, so it's not the season to hold yourself back or sell yourself out to gain approval. Reflect on what it is that excites you and feeds both heart and soul, and let the mind figure out the logistics.

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Free the Heart: Full Moon in Taurus 2018

 By Juskteez Vu  [CC0] , via Wikimedia Commons

By Juskteez Vu [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons

Full Moon @ 1 Taurus 13’

October 24, 2018

9:45 AM Los Angeles

12:45 PM New York

5:45 PM London

Oct. 25, 2018

12:45 AM Beijing

3:45 AM Sydney

October's Full Moon occurs in the deep of Venus' retrograde cycle, just two days before Venus' inferior conjunction with the Sun, the midpoint or symbolic halfway marker of the retrograde. Therefore, we can view this lunation as a dynamic culmination, breakthrough, or resolution in this collective and personal descent into the shadows.

With Venus gaining closeness to the Sun, it opposes the Full Moon and Uranus. So, yes, in addition to Venus' opposition to this Full Moon, Uranus makes a conjunction. In tropical Taurus, this Full Moon would otherwise stand as a solid grounding point in the collective field, a concretizing and stabilizing ending or conclusion of various matters.

However, Uranus is not a stable archetype. As the God/Goddess of chaos, disruption, and revolution, Uranus brings forth the wildcard--the sudden, unexpected, novel, and radical. There will be no clean nor predictable outcomes with this Full Moon, no sense of certainty or reliability from comforting routines. And while the Full Moon axis squares the North and South Node (aka the bendings), we are hanging in stasis between both the past and future.

Uranus' conjunction also works to quicken and accelerate the completion or culmination of pending matters, so this Full Moon is likely to rush in and out if we don't give it much thought. Looking deeper, two primary areas brought up by the Full Moon are relationships and finances, dominant Venusian themes. With Venus as ruler of the Full Moon (and retrograde), we are dealing more heavily with the past--unresolved issues which entangle the heart's desires, attractions, and values.

Sudden changes of heart are likely under this Full Moon, unexpected twists in relational narratives, impromptu financial breakthroughs or windfalls, or perhaps a liberation of creative/aesthetic powers. Uranus through Taurus over the next seven years seeks to redeem us from the static and stagnant and to liberate the libidinous and primal. In synthesizing the elements of this Full Moon, it carries a highly pagan and even sensuous vibe.

In the days surrounding this lunation, you may witness abrupt shatterings of conformity, the urge to take a risk and follow the heart, a break with stale and stifling commitments, ingenious/revolutionary creative sparks, or a rapid unleashing of animalistic desires and compulsions. Yes, this Full Moon will be hard to tame, because it dares us to descend deeper into those ignored chasms within the psyche to emancipate the heart from unnecessary limitations.

Saturn's trine to the Full Moon, however, is constructive, accentuating of the earth energy inherent to it. Saturn helps to constrain massive emotional or erratic energies adding realism, productivity, and focus. Under Saturn's auspicious trine, anticipate that consistent efforts provoke quantum leaps, and that hard work has paved the way for an innovative augmentation. But under these Full Moon vibes, be careful of hasty investments, or falling too profoundly into fleeting infatuations.

The heart's greater amplitude via Venus retrograde can side step pragmatism despite Saturn's helpful hand. As we near Venus' inferior conjunction (Oct. 26), this Full Moon brings about a critical and revolutionary release and dissipation of expired dependencies. Landscapes are changing and with that, a feeling of uncertainty. But Uranus reminds us that freedom can only exist when we transcend our attachment to the past. Changes are forthcoming, so better to go with the flow than impede the surge and swelling of life.

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Rapid Fluctuations: Mercury, Mars, & Neptune

 By  LCGS Russ  via from Wikimedia Commons

By LCGS Russ via from Wikimedia Commons

Mercury in Scorpio is reaching two aspects at the end of this week (Oct. 19). First, a trine to Neptune in Pisces followed by a square to Mars in Aquarius. Unless in the process of a retrograde station, flighty Mercury is quick, zooming through a zodiacal sign in 20 days or less. Mercury relates to our shifting and ever-changing reality, as much as it refers to the mind and its logical/rational aptness.

Mercury's exacting trine with Neptune is daydreamy, magnifying the mystical qualities of Mercury (as the messenger of the Gods and Goddesses). Yes, you might feel that sense that new things are possible, and given Mercury's presence in Scorpio, that your perceptual abilities are hyperfocused and nearly transcendental. It might be hard to fully articulate what you perceive under a Mercury/Neptune moment, and sometimes it’s best to convey insights and information through less literal communication.

Mercury/Neptune's auspicious trine aspect creates a free flow of exchange between the tangible and numinous, but Mercury's square to Mars is a source of conflict and tension. Currently transiting Mars' home sign, Mercury in Scorpio more easily succumbs to the primal, raw edges of instinct, desire, and reactive emotions. There can be a challenge in the moment of managing a compromise between the impulsive/visceral and prudent/sensible.

But overall, Mercury is a messenger, and as we near the end of the week, we are likely to receive profound insight, information, news, or advice related to our deepest desires, lusts, dreams, and visions. We can't forget Venus too, moving retrograde and so lighting up the sensitivity of the heart and its need to feel loved, wanted, heard, and understood. This is a dynamic receptivity moment, so yes, open your mind, but don't forget to listen to the heart and trust its wisdom.

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Mercury, Venus, & Scorpio

 Photo by Chad Woodward, 2018

Photo by Chad Woodward, 2018

Mercury in Scorpio makes a conjunction with Venus retrograde at the start of the week. Mercury/Venus makes for unusually smooth verbal and financial transactions. Venus' retrograde cycle is increasingly amplifying desires, attractions, and all heart-related themes clear up to its inferior conjunction Oct. 26.

So yes, the heart is getting louder, and Mercury can help us speak up about what we're profoundly feeling, especially anything that's been hard to say. Mercury is fleeting, and so this heart/mind connection won't last long. The first few days of this week can be extra synchronistic/serendipitous, potentially magical in various ways.

Conversations/dialogues can feel especially infused with intensity and brute honesty. For clearing the air of pent-up and repressed emotional content, Mercury/Venus can work beautifully to smooth things out and accentuate receptivity. And those potentially challenging, distressing, or otherwise objectionable topics can fit more easily into discourse and examinations.

Also, elements of the past can come powerfully forward this week. Unresolved discussions, past-life muses, unfinished creative works, and insightful facts/information can be dominating points of focus. Pay close attention to any brief yet poignant interactions and still, look beyond what's said. The mind isn't always this lucid or intuitive, so note the deeper complexity beneath the words.

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Tipping the Scales: Venus Square Mars & Mercury Opposition Uranus

 Arches National Park; photo by John Sullivan

Arches National Park; photo by John Sullivan

Mercury's ingress into Scorpio this week triggers its opposition to erratic and electrifying Uranus. While a brief and fleeting event, it just might send waves until the remainder of the week. Of course, far more is going on. Mercury is now in Scorpio, discussed here. Venus is retrograde and is now reaching its square to Mars and the Sun squares Pluto.

Mercury's opposition to Uranus can correlate with a breakthrough in dialogue or perception. Occurring in fixed signs, Mercury/Uranus seeks to radically alter a static view of reality or impulse an innovative train of thought. On the material level, techno/mechanical aberrations are likely (but can resolve as quickly as they manifest).

Sudden flashes of insight accompany a potentially agitated or restless atmosphere, so yes, expect the unexpected and seek to liberate your mind and voice. Venus' square to Mars adds some poignant intensity to various relational interactions. Consider that healthy conflict and tension can deepen trust and understanding. With Venus retrograde, we are adding new layers of complexity to our perception of those we interact with most.

Latent relational tensions may give rise and find a voice. But also, Venus square Mars is a highly sexual stimulus, and quick flings will likely provide more than initially expected. For unleashing raw and uncensored urges, the remainder of the week can feel unusually visceral. Venus/Mars has optimal creative applications, too. Take note of emerging passion which can reinvigorate pending projects.

The Sun's square to Pluto exacts Oct. 11 and carries some energies of the New Moon in Libra. Combined with Venus/Mars, Sun/Pluto can correlate with power struggles in our relationships this week. The need to assert a unique view of things could meet resistance. But all of this tension can strengthen values and integrity, despite a potential lack of a clean resolution.

Reflect on how idealism is currently being challenged. Pluto in Capricorn and Venus in Scorpio especially offer a more honest view of reality. The Sun in Libra still leans on the side of diplomacy, yet the strong Scorpionic undercurrent and Pluto's dynamic square present the challenge of balancing niceness with realness.

The Dark Moon & Mercury in Scorpio

 Early October sunset; photo by Chad Woodward

Early October sunset; photo by Chad Woodward

We are in the darkness of the Libra New Moon. Yes, this is a natural rest and reset moment which can relate to a ubiquitous zap of energy (that some people feel more strongly). But the New Moon is also a fresh beginning point. The next two weeks of the upward turning lunar cycle are conducive to the initiation of new paths.

This New Moon is particularly dark with the New Moon ruler, Venus, retrograde in Scorpio. There is more going on right now than you can presently see, especially in the context of relationships. Scorpio works on subterranean levels as does its modern ruler Pluto. The next few days are pivotal starting points for several Venus retrograde themes.

One side effect of this New Moon could be a gradual unveiling of concealed desires or hidden aspects of another. The Scorpio realms add more dimension and insight to what we consciously know about our reality. Mercury enters Scorpio Oct. 9 which gives the mind investigative prowess evident until the end of the month.

For mentally and perceptually dissecting just about anything, Mercury in Scorpio is optimal energy. Authenticity wins out over all things superficial. The subtext is more clearly discernable and false fronts rapidly dissolve, revealing the underlying vulnerability. Do what you will with such insight, but in this karmically charged landscape, you might do best to stick to what eases your conscience.

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Peace, Love & Darkness: New Moon in Libra 2018

 Photo by Chad Woodward, October 2018

Photo by Chad Woodward, October 2018

New Moon @ 15 Libra 48’

October 8, 2018

8:47 PM Los Angeles

11:47 PM New York

October 9, 2018

4:47 AM London

11:47 AM Beijing

1:47 PM Sydney

Every New Moon is a dark Moon, the moment within the lunar cycle when the Moon cannot be seen. This New Moon is especially dark, given its square aspect to Pluto and with Venus now moving retrograde in Scorpio. Occurring in tropical Libra, this New Moon highlights relationships, desires, and attractions and their ability to reflect concealed and unconscious aspects within ourselves.

This lunation is about plunging deep to uncover what lies hidden beneath our social veneers which prevent authentic interaction. Libra's negative face exemplifies the abuse of charm, charisma, and glamor when used as vehicles for manipulation and self-gratification. A successful descent into this New Moon requires a commitment to honesty as well as integrity.

Over the next three weeks especially, with Venus now retrograde through Scorpio, we are undergoing a powerful personal and relational renewal which occurs every year and a half. Venus, as ruler of this New Moon, initiates us on our quest into the darkness, to confront the obscure and discarded to find peace, love, and acceptance for what is.

Pluto's square to the New Moon and Mars' applying square to Venus are two points of tension which can challenge us with the limitations of power or serve as catalysts to step up and create real and lasting change. As we pass through this lunation, consider the time, patience, and commitment required to develop love and passion for anyone and anything.

This New Moon can stand as the gateway to the deepening of both love and passion for those commitments and relationships we've established close bonds to. Venus' retrograde station can amplify our desire to love and be loved, sensitizing any woundedness or heartbreak.

A most significant step in life, as it is with this New Moon, is learning to trust our wounds, pain, fears, and anxieties as teachers. There is great wisdom in the darkness, despite the western world's obsessive subjugation of it. There is freedom and liberation in encountering the taboo and those things despised. We are not separate from the things we fear or do not understand. We have merely lost our connection to the totality of our truth.

With this lunation, step back, sink in, and listen. Move beyond the comfortable prison of your personal and subjective perspective. Over the next lunar cycle, there is a challenge in trusting the call to seek a potentially ambiguous viewpoint. As Venus' archetype gets louder, we will descend deeper into the irrational, wild, and untamable. We may have to move into some uncomfortable places to grow, but we will learn to value and appreciate a new reality (both within and without) that we never really noticed before.

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The Heart's Descent: Venus Stationary Retrograde

pexels-photo-921703.jpeg

Venus stations retrograde this week (Oct. 5) as we head into the darkness of the New Moon. Of all Venus retrograde cycles, Venus in Scorpio most exemplifies the archetypal descent into the underworld. In the sign of its detriment, the Venus archetype delves deeply in this cycle to explore hidden dimensions, concealed chasms, unsettling truths, and salacious realities.

As Venus stations and begins its descent toward the Sun, this is not likely to be a comfortable process for many. Especially over the next three weeks before the inferior conjunction of Venus and Sun, there is a notable dissolving, shedding, and releasing of the past. Yes, the heart is getting louder, but so are its wounds.

Anticipate a dramatic revaluation of self-worth and of the things and people you love. Venus invites us to reflect on what we want, desire deeply, and are attracting into our lives. A change of heart or passion is likely. While Venus retrograde is an illusion, it is a definite shift of perception as Venus transitions from evening to morning star. The Venus retrograde transition relates to a mirroring or synchronicity in our personal lives, a symbolic transformation in how we relate to ourselves and thereby connect to others.

In this first phase of the Venus retrograde cycle (Oct. 5 through Oct. 26), allow time and space for an intimate encounter with yourself. The magic of Venus retrograde happens most profoundly on the interior dimensions as a moment of rediscovering the power of self-love, which is the prerequisite before loving anyone or anything else. Honor the need for space and time to reflect and listen intently to what the heart is saying.

New Venus (the inferior conjunction of Venus/Sun) on Oct. 26 is a resetting of relational/financial narratives, creative unfoldment, and self-discovery. It clears out the old to make space for more love and higher capacity to express appreciation. Gently allow your unfolding over the roughly 40 days and nights of Venus retrograde. Allow yourself to descend more deeply than you have before, and trust that you will eventually find your way through the darkness and closer to what matters most.

For more insight/perspective about this upcoming Venus retrograde cycle, check out my video on YouTube. Comments, likes, and channel subscribes are greatly appreciated!

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Pluto, Venus, & Mercury

 By H. Zell [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], from Wikimedia Commons

By H. Zell [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], from Wikimedia Commons

We begin the week with Pluto’s direct station, and Pluto receiving a square from Mercury (exact Oct. 2). With Pluto in Capricorn, this week starts off with a profound influx of pragmatism, intent, and focus, feeling the weight of karmic responsibilities or needing to get serious about the pursuit of your mission. 

Increased anxiety/paranoia can be other Pluto direct side effects, though finding a grounding point, such as consumption in some meaningful work/project can help dissipate the intensity. Mercury's square to Pluto can sometimes impulse obsession with the shadow dimensions, or can unexpectedly reveal blunt truths through conversations and dialogues. 

Do be wary of forcing convictions and beliefs onto disinterested parties. Keeping it light this week is a little problematic, but a consciousness of these Plutonian vibes can prevent situations from becoming overly abysmal. Mercury/Pluto can also gift access to concealed insight or potentials, but an arduous effort will be required to reveal more depth. 

And yes, Venus is stationing retrograde this week. In fact, Venus' retrograde station will begin to dominate the week's remainder and into the New Moon (Oct. 8). Serendipitous encounters are most likely with Venus stations, as are sometimes mysterious or vague karmic untangling via our relationships. 

Venusian themes will get increasingly louder, but they will have a Scorpionic tint. Powerfully seductive temptations, the unveiling of inconvenient truths, or a fascination/attraction to things typically too macabre may be relevant. Also, with more prominent self-worth anxieties, a subsequent personal revaluing is underway the next several weeks. 

Release the many layers of self-doubt and self-loathing from here on out. It's time to see your potential from a new lens. Personal transformation happens in synch with the relational dimensions of Venus retrograde, too. It's not just about the other, though there will likely be a plethora of mirrors to reveal those places you've been denying. No matter what, make space for more love. Start with yourself, and extend from there. 

Do you have any questions about Venus retrograde? Comment below….

And for more information about the upcoming Venus retrograde cycle, watch my detailed video on YouTube. Make sure to like and comment to help me reach more viewers.

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Pluto Direct+Venus' Station

 Spectacular views on the way to Lee’s Ferry in Glen Canyon, AZ'; photo by Chad Woodward.

Spectacular views on the way to Lee’s Ferry in Glen Canyon, AZ'; photo by Chad Woodward.

Pluto is stationing direct this weekend. The God/Goddess of the underworld comes to a standstill this Sunday, the last day of Sept. October will be upon us soon, which is the month of Venus Retrograde. Next week is heavy and profound, and we're likely already feeling the weight of it.

Pluto has been in Capricorn since 2008, and since then has brought the underbelly of corporate, political, patriarchal, and authoritarian structures into view. Pluto's station in Capricorn is dominating earth energy, which can stand as a reminder of some significant challenge, ambition, or responsibility that you need to tend.

Pluto stations don't typically feel good, but they're revealing and sometimes insightful. While you may need to fend off increased paranoia or a doom and gloom outlook, Pluto's station can inspire seriousness about a more significant purpose or personal mission. Combined with Venus' retrograde station in Scorpio, we are beginning a symbolic descent into the archetypal underworld.

Venus retrograde is amplifying the heart--attractions, desires, and the need to love and be loved. Venus wants to experience connection, joy, and the stability that comes from a relationship or resource stream. We are beginning a phase of revaluing partnerships, preferences, and resources next month. This is a moment to connect deeper with yourself and the things you love.

With both Pluto and Venus' stations next week, take some time to pause and listen to primordial and heart-centered wisdom. Pay close attention to the needs of your body, and the concerns of other people. Practice patience, empathy, and compassion. Soon, we can more easily clarify what matters.

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Waning into the Void: Moon in Aries

 By ESO/WFI (Optical); MPIfR/ESO/APEX/A.Weiss et al. (Submillimetre); NASA/CXC/CfA/R.Kraft et al. (X-ray)Derivative work including grading and crop: Julian Herzog

By ESO/WFI (Optical); MPIfR/ESO/APEX/A.Weiss et al. (Submillimetre); NASA/CXC/CfA/R.Kraft et al. (X-ray)Derivative work including grading and crop: Julian Herzog

While the lunar cycle is now on the wane, the Full Moon still radiates via its transit through Aries. With the Sun square Saturn, limitations, responsibilities, and perceived shortcomings may taunt us. And the Full Moon's conjunction with Chiron could have pierced open areas of intense sensitivity, rendering the Aries warrior especially vulnerable. These Full Moon vibes are not a smooth integration, but they open spaces conducive to deep healing and transmutation. 

Avoid stuckness in guilt or shame. Feel what is arising, and choose to move on. Saturn's square is about being proactive and accountable. With the Sun and Mercury now in Libra post-equinox, relationship issues are likely to dominate. Venus' approaching retrograde station heightens serendipitous meetups and relationship review. We are about to descend deeper into the shadows, so prepare for a far more intimate confrontation with themes which are arising. 

If you've felt blocked or stagnant from the Full Moon, the Sun's applying trine with Mars will help to liberate motivation. However, Mars is nearing its final conjunction with the lunar South Node, so the courage, stamina, and strength desired may not be readily available. In this waning Moon in Aries, focus on a releasing of fears, frustrations, and anxieties. Make space for the warrior to return to his or her full glory, so gather your strength and push on. 

The Moon is void in Aries until Sept. 27, which is long enough to taint new starts or block consummations. However, this is a viably creative/spontaneous space, where unexpected turns can lead to exciting new shapes. In the newly waning Moon phase, you can sever connections, attachments, and habits. Be careful, as disconnections made over the next day may be more permanent than you initially might think.

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Libra Season+The Equinox 2018

 Venus reflected on the Pacific Ocean and setting with the Sun in 2008; by OceanBrocken Inaglory at the English Wikipedia [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Venus reflected on the Pacific Ocean and setting with the Sun in 2008; by OceanBrocken Inaglory at the English Wikipedia [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Mercury and the Sun are now in tropical Libra. The Sun's annual entrance into Libra each year initiates the equinox (autumn for the northern and spring for the southern hemispheres). For the north dwelling ancients (where western astrology gave rise), the Sun into Libra symbolized the start of the Sun's descent. Traditionally, the Sun is in its "fall" in Libra, where it loses some of its autonomy and power.

Today, we know that the solar system is heliocentric, that all planets orbit the Sun. The ancients, at least those who developed western astrology, did not. However, it's an interesting synchronicity (synchronicities are ubiquitous with astrology) that the Sun (as a symbol of the self, ego, or I) would lose its dignity in a sign which emphasizes relationship. Relationships do not revolve around an individual. For any relationship to work (romantic, marriage, friendship, or professional), some part of the self must be sacrificed or changed.

In Libra, the Sun is not symbolically at the center; it must accommodate the needs of others. With Mercury and the Sun entering Libra side by side, this equinox doubly emphasizes empathy, diplomacy, and sensitivity to alien points of view. At the moment, both Mercury and Sun in Libra suggest moving beyond a purely egocentric lens and seeking understanding of another.

Additionally, Venus is at its greatest brightness and visibility as it gets closer to the Earth. As ruler of Libra, the Venusian energies are dominating this Libra season. At sunset, we can still glimpse Venus in its last moments as the evening star. Soon, it will descend into the heart of the Sun, vanishing in Oct. but emerging again before sunrise as the morning star in early Nov.

The desire to love and be loved is getting louder. You might note a deeper appreciation for those you love and the things you want. With Venus bright and both Mercury and Sun in Libra, we perceive through the heart, noticing beauty and feeling more strongly pulled by our attractions. Next month, anticipate a critical revaluing of relationships, resources, and self-worth.

For now, delve deeply into your heart. Attune your focus to another viewpoint or perspective. Calm the mind and surrender to the heart energy so that you can hear what it has to say. Decisiveness can be a problem, especially the next several days, but it is the season to embrace ambiguity, paradox, and consider the pros and cons.

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A Sharper Focus: Mercury's Superior Conjunction

 By Thennicke [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], from Wikimedia Commons

By Thennicke [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], from Wikimedia Commons

Mercury is reaching its superior conjunction with the Sun (Sept. 20) just before entering tropical Libra. Sun and Mercury enter Libra side by side, jointly announcing the equinox Sept. 22. Mercury's superior conjunction occurs every 116 days as it transitions from morning to evening visibility (aka apparition). Currently, you will not see Mercury in the sky.

Mercury is behind the Sun and at apogee, the furthest it could be from us on Earth. Mercury's superior conjunction is the antithesis of its retrograde/inferior conjunction. Mercury is moving at its top speed, and so the mind is "out there" enthusiastically dissecting, editing, and dividing. At this point in the Mercurial synodic cycle, the mind is attuned to the future and getting ahead.

In Virgo, Mercury's more pragmatic focus infuses the solar consciousness. Communication is empowered and most useful right now. Look for the spontaneous emergence of insights and progressive perspectives. Mercury's exalted position in Virgo gives the mind profuse precision, detail orientation, and technical competence. This Mercury/Sun conjunction is favorable for learning, teaching, writing, speaking, traveling, or for honing critical skills.

Mercury enters Libra just before the Sun on Sept. 21. Mercury's superior conjunction alongside the equinox is a most potent transitional period, quickly moving our focus from the micro to the macro. Mercury through Libra can assist in reaching a more balanced perspective, incorporating different viewpoints, and learning to speak or perceive through the heart. For articulating feelings, moods, and impressions, Mercury in Libra will be a vital asset through Oct. 9.

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