Mars’ square to the ongoing Saturn/Pluto conjunction is the big news this week. Unfortunately, as this malevolent interaction grows in strength, it turns up the heat on the already aggressive atmosphere, and as the next several weeks unfold, the air is only going to get hotter. It won’t be possible to completely avoid confrontations, big or small, significant or not, so choose your conflicts carefully; make sure they are worth the strife because no one is going to just back down. Mars is the planet of war and when it butts heads with Saturn, the planet of boundaries and discipline, or with Pluto, the planet of power, tempers take over and tantrums prevail.
The Mars square to Saturn is exact and separating on October 27; the square to Pluto is exacting and separating on November 5. The days leading up to these exact contact are days of mounting aggression and the separation phase is the release of that tension, which means we can expect the next several weeks to be bellicose and belligerent. While you may feel helpless to do anything to prevent the genocide of the Kurds in Syria or on any of the other battlegrounds on the planet, you can take steps to avoid inflaming situations in your personal or professional life. Of course, that won’t be easy—the temptation inherent in this pernicious interaction is to assert selfish interests above all others. The remedy inherent in this aggressive combination is to find the middle ground. Mars is in Libra and that placement allows for the consideration of the other, but only when personal interests take a backseat to shared concerns coupled with strong mutual intention to find the peaceful ground of compromise.
Mercury Retrograde is also in the astral news this week—it begins on October 31 and ends on November 20. Given the three-day rule that applies on either end (three days before and after the actual retrograde Mercury because Mercury beings to “slow down” in preparation for its “course correction”), the final retrograde phase of 2019 is soon upon us—and it will be a doozy. Which is why it would be wise to back up your data now; there’s only five days to insure you don’t lose anything precious. While most of us know the Mercury Retrograde drill by now, for those who don’t and are new to the entire idea, Mercury Retrograde denotes a period of communication and travel snafus that could make even the most mild-mannered among us start to cuss like a sailor. But more about retrograde particulars and the consequent frustration next week, when we have to pay attention because we’re in it.
A Sun/Uranus opposition is in effect this week and next; the Sun just entered Scorpio today and Uranus is retrograde in Taurus. Their opposition is exact and separating on October 28, one day after the Mars/Saturn square is exact, but its influence lasts until November 4, the day before the Mars/Pluto square is exact. But October 27 is the most challenging day of all—a New Moon in Scorpio opposite Uranus is going to incite emotional bodies even more. Uranus interactions symbolize the rebel, with or without a cause, and they are always about freedom from whatever enslaves. Given the general martial atmosphere, it won’t be easy to resist the temptation to take a stand for freedom wherever a stand is needed—and there are plenty of options.
I’ve been back in the United States for three weeks and I am absolutely in culture shock. I’ve lived in France and Scotland for nearly three years—I moved before the 2016 election—and while my life hasn’t been Trump-free (as these pages demonstrated), it’s been free enough. Now I’m back and experiencing the barrage of information about the latest egregious acts of a president who considers himself a king. As I have written before, he is emblematic of the worst of us, and the only truly redeemable aspect of this presidency is how it brings out the best in a great many people who had previously been complacent in the face of so many injustices, not just in the United States but all around the world.
Over the last few years, I have largely devoted these pages to contextualizing the political/collective situation through astrology. Many readers have written regarding my point of view, some supportive and some not so much. The majority of readers have sent letters of appreciation. Trump supporters stopped reading me—mostly. Others, overwhelmed and exhausted from the constant undermining of our democracy and feeling an inability to do anything concrete about it, have either stopped reading these pages or have written to ask me to stop writing about him, but I can’t and I won’t.
The policies that Mr. Trump and his Gang of Hungry Ghosts have put in motion are harming sentient beings everywhere—that knowledge is painful and it should be. We are not separate from one another; those children in cages as well as those children not in cages, (but who are nonetheless cowering in schools doing readiness drills for a potential crazed shooter) are all of us. Each and every one of us. I don’t know why we aren’t marching by the millions to take over those detention centers and give those children and their families shelter from the storm. I also don’t know why we haven’t marched in the millions to all the gun manufacturers and melted those weapons before they can harm one more being.
Some of us have wondered how the people of Germany could have tolerated the rise of Hitler and the hatred he cultivated into the Holocaust—what were they doing when he was building those camps and making genocide a patriotic act? Now we know: they must have felt impotent, overwhelmed, astonished, afraid; or worse, complacent or righteous. It says something about the depth of the challenge to our democracy that the FBI took a public lead in resistance—they knew from the get-go just how corrosive and detrimental his policies could be to our democracy.
Some readers have written in to say that they wish I would just stick to astrology—as if astrology is somehow disconnected from the reality of life on Earth. But astrology was created to contextualize and understand life on Earth as part of some greater patterns of mysterious heavenly cycles. I received the same sort of criticism during the Bush years, when I wrote about the mendacious policies of W’s administration. Let me be as clear now as I was then: astrology has always been political. Think ancient Rome and all those senators consulting astrologers to find out when would be the best day to knock off a rival. I’m not saying that’s the best use of astrology; I’m simply saying that the mantic arts have always played an important role in the shifting tides of power here on Earth.
Among all the differences that seemingly divide us the only one that really matters is the difference between right and wrong. There is no justification for genocide—it’s just wrong, and even the darkest of hearts knows that truth to be self-evident. As the coming weeks unfold, do your best to deal with the mounting tension by setting your compass to the true north of your concern and compassion for your fellow travelers—we’re all weary and we all need a little tenderness.
Sun Bursts: If you know your Ascendant and/or your Moon Sign, read that too.
Aries March 21-April 19
Rather than be cranky with significant others, personal and professional, make it a point to be congenial—maybe even a little too nice—because this week and next Mars pins your meter in the red, challenging your ability to suffer any kind of fool any old way. So keep breathing and keep turning over all your frustration and fear to a Higher Power and you’ll make it through these waves.
Taurus April 20-May 20.
It is a relationship issue—actually, it’s more like a confrontation—and it’s as problematic as you make it because there are serious differences of opinion about how to handle certain situations. Rather than shy away from these differences, find a way to face and work through them. Here’s some help: study nonviolent communication and apply those principles to your discussions.
Gemini May 21-June 21
It might be a good idea to channel the intensities of this week and next into creative projects that require concentration and stamina. That way you can avoid clashes with people over their inability to see the big picture. Yes, the details are important, but what you know to be true is that the long game is the one that needs the most attention because it will endure for quite some time.
Cancer June 22-July 22
The strife of the next couple of weeks is likely to manifest at home—your actual physical dwelling, your internal center, or both. Wherever these disturbances occur, it won’t be easy dealing with the emotional turmoil they may set in motion. Make a commitment to keep an even keel no matter what; there will be plenty of time later to process through these feelings.
Leo July 23-August 22
Several conversations with friends, family, and associates stir your ire, some deserved and some misplaced, and the difficulty is figuring out what’s worth taking on. It’s important to stay open to the possibility that some of these discussions are just a way to let go of attitudes that no longer serve—it’s in no one’s best interest to chew on old stories that are no longer relevant.
Virgo August 23-September 22
It’s not like me to promote denial as a way of dealing with difficulty, but your hot spot this week continues to be financial and unless you can manage your anger, it’s going to be difficult for you to choose your words carefully. Often things said in the heat of the moment can’t be erased or forgotten. Figure out how you can stay calm and wait for the air to clear.
Libra September 23-October 22
You’re still wrestling with how to handle all that power and although you’re making progress, this week ups the ante, making it almost impossible to manage the load. Here’s some help: Even if you want to scream because your orders aren’t being followed, don’t. Instead, take a deep breath and encourage your minions with kind words that are meant to inspire.
Scorpio October 23-November 21
Yes, it is a standoff with significant others, personal or professional, and you’re determined to get your own way. I’m not suggesting that you won’t, but I am advising you to be careful about how you go about presenting your arguments. Take a big, deep breath and strategize how to present your ideas. If you don’t, you’ll find yourself brooding about what you coulda, shoulda, or woulda done.
Sagittarius November 22-December 21
The source of strife isn’t obvious, which means it’s likely to be a nagging irritation rather than a direct confrontation. But I wouldn’t worry about it—at some point things will clarify. In the meantime, I would do my best to negotiate all relationships with kindness and care. I know that sounds simple, but it won’t be. Not this week, when everyone is up in arms about something.
Capricorn December 22-January 19
The strife is at work, mostly because you are extraordinarily clear about what would be the perfect way to do things and others seem completely out of touch with the situation. They may be, but you still need them to cooperate, so figure out how to make details understandable. I’m not suggesting you treat them like children; I’m advising you to break down the complicated bits.
Aquarius January 20-February 18
It’s a challenge between what you know to be true in your heart and how others envision your role. Some of what they expect is realistic, so rather than resent that, get into it and be willing to provide the extra effort. Yet some of what they want is over the top and you have to find a way to modify their expectations. Be clear about your vision as well as your personal boundaries.
Pisces February 19-March 20
It would be wise to channel your frustration into transformational processes that allow you to see your current situation through a multidimensional perspective. If you can manage that holographic view, you’ll find the means to shift and even neutralize your impatience. I know that sounds easier said than done, but a strong meditation practice could provide the necessary pathway.