It’s an extreme week. The planets align in tight formations, and while there’s plenty of support for the necessary courage, stamina, and determination to handle the stress of these astral dynamics, many of us are still likely to experience real tests of strength—physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual—as we struggle to tolerate the intensity. Coping won’t be easy, especially if you’re being asked to release reliable routines or relationships that no longer have a place or serve a higher purpose.
Don’t be surprised if you experience a deep sense of loss. Not only is it seasonally appropriate to let go, at least here in the Northern Hemisphere, where the days grow increasingly dark, but this is also the time of year when we take stock, sort through the garden we’ve grown, and reflect on what needs to be left behind and tilled under in preparation for the stillness of winter and the renewal of spring.
On Friday, November 1, the fourth in a series of seven Uranus/Pluto squares is exact and separating, marking the midpoint of cycle that began in June 2012 and ends in March 2015. This square takes place at 9 degrees 26 minutes Aries and Capricorn. As many of you already know, Uranus/Pluto contacts signify upset and upheaval. Pluto is the planet of transformation, symbolizing the inevitable, uncontrollable, and often uncomfortable, process of change. Uranus also represents transformation, but only those sudden shifts in stagnant systems, personal or collective, that are seemingly unforeseen and therefore surprising. The Uranian mantra is “something’s gotta give,” hence its reputation for revolution. When these two celestial change agents combine forces, terrestrial rhythms turn chaotic.
One of the consequences of that chaos is a tendency to “flip out” (a highly technical term) and this is one way to explain why so many normally sane people seem to be going crazy. And why wouldn’t they? The world has been in the midst of a nervous breakdown for quite some time—the center is long lost, and the best do struggle for conviction, “while the worst are full of passionate intensity.” How are we to know truth from spin, or how to teach our children right from wrong, when we are constantly bombarded by special interests whose motive force is fundamentalist certainty or the acquisition of enough money to buy their own reality rather than co-create it with the rest of us? And it’s not that we don’t have the answers to create a better world. It’s just taking for too long for the 100th monkey to digest and metabolize the message so it can become part of our collective experience.
Significantly, Mars trines Pluto during this fourth exact square, a position that adds a physical component to the possible manifestations of this contact. Anticipate a need to move, as Mars also sextiles the Sun, loading the entire configuration with energy that needs to be spent. What’s more, Mars amplifies the power of will and intention, fueling unbridled ambition, yours or others’. Just be wary of using ruthless measures to achieve your goals. It’s possible that this bristling force could turn antagonist or argumentative, so try to take a deep breath before you come out slugging. From a more positive perspective, Mars has the power to energize a commitment to making a difference in the world—if you’ve always wanted to volunteer, now would be the time.
But that’s not all. Almost immediately, on November 3, a solar eclipse follows the fourth Uranus/Pluto square. When the Moon overshadows the Sun, unconscious concerns trump practical ones, and hidden information is revealed. This eclipse occurs in the deep waters of Scorpio, a Sign that tends toward secrets. Anticipate startling revelations about almost anything, but particularly sexual or political disclosures. Although we may have heard the worst of them already, given that the eclipse shadow can be felt at least six weeks prior or subsequent to the actual event. Angela Merkel’s mobile, perhaps? (On an interesting note, her Mercury is at 9 degrees Cancer; during the fourth exact Uranus/Pluto square, Uranus squares her Mercury as Pluto opposes it. And as we know, Mercury symbolizes communication.)
And there is more: When a planet transits the eclipse sensitive point—in this instance, 11 degrees Scorpio—that passage triggers another facet of the eclipse effect. Mercury, currently retrograde in Scorpio, crosses that point on October 31 as well as November 22. We will have to keep a watchful eye to see what else is revealed.
Saturn, in Scorpio, also plays a role as it conjuncts both Mercury and the Sun during the Uranus/Pluto Square, and the Sun and Moon during the eclipse. Saturn’s presence turns much of the week serious, and while it’s important to pay attention to some of its concerns, it would be equally important not to feel dragged down by the scope of Saturn’s discerning eye. Whether you’re facing personal shifts or you’re working toward a collective vision, try to embrace an optimistic perspective.
Jupiter, the symbol of optimism, doesn’t play a featured role in any of the major events this week. But that doesn’t mean we won’t feel its weight. Jupiter turns retrograde on November 7, a phase that lasts until March 6. Although there may be too many other influences to feel Jupiter’s “turnaround”, when you combine its retrograde with the ongoing Mercury Retrograde, as well as the wobbles of the eclipse, managing time won’t be easy. Minutes will seem like hours and hours could go by in a flash. Do your best to stay present, even if that takes tremendous effort.
The overall effect of this week’s planetary patterns is greater than the sum of its parts. And because so many of us are already overloaded by so much intensity, individual and collective, staying steady will require extraordinary concentration. Do your best to maintain a calm approach, and when possible make an extra effort to help your fellow travelers. We are all in this together, even those who can’t help but rock the boat and make trouble. And the more those of us who are working on wholeness and unity make an effort to include those we deem obstructive, the closer we get to finding solutions that might work for all sentient beings.
If you know your Ascendant and/or your Moon Sign, read that, too.
Aries March 21-April 19
This week’s message is the same as last week: Grow. Use recent revelations to catalyze a deeper commitment to making a difference in your world, a commitment that has the potential to produce a positive effect in your community. All you have to do is face yourself, honestly, and make a commitment to honor your principles.
Taurus April 20-May 20
The eclipse has the potential to spotlight several persistent relationship issues. Pay attention: Even if you are not in an intimate partnership with a significant other, there is always room to grow. Contemplate how you can move into greater intimacy in all your relations, including your relationship with yourself.
Gemini May 21-June 21
Important information is likely to arrive from a wide variety of sources, and while some of the data is expected, some of it has the potential to be quite surprising. Even if you are startled, do your best to maintain a cool, calm, and collected persona. Overreacting might make others self-conscious and stem the flow of information.
Cancer June 22-July 22
While the emphasis is on personal self-expression, you’re in a profoundly creative phase that organically invites others to participate in the process. Open to the possibility of collaboration, and you will find a wealth of resources to deepen and widen your vision.
Leo July 23-August 22
The eclipse surfaces deep-rooted needs for emotional safety and security, and even if you think you’ve already faced these issues, be willing to look at them again. You may discover old threads of insecurity, previously obscured by pride or self-sufficiency that are in need of a fresh healing perspective.
Virgo August 23-September 22
You may think that it’s the same old song and that you are stuck in an endless repetitive loop, but you aren’t actually caught in your own version of Groundhog Day. If you’re willing to step back, look at your participation, and accept responsibility, you’ll discover you’re neither victim nor victimizer.
Libra September 23-October 22
Even though you think the situation is strictly a financial problem, what you’re facing is fundamentally a matter of value—your values versus the values of others. Take a stand for what you know to be true and trust that your intentions will provide a positive solution.
Scorpio October 23-November 21
Just in case no one has mentioned it, you’ve been dealing with a lot—almost too much. Saturn is cutting out unnecessary habits. Mercury is assisting that process with a fine-toothed comb. And as if that all isn’t enough, an eclipse is exposing your deepest secrets. The best you can do is take a deep breath, and chant, “Change is good. I love change.”
Sagittarius November 22-December 21
Pay close attention to your dreams; they have the potential to deliver important information. Be willing to consider that even the silly ones, the ones that surely must be the result of too many hot chilies at dinner, are messengers. You’ll discover a wealth of previously hidden information.
Capricorn December 22-January 19
It’s still a question of making a contribution to your community. The problem is figuring out how to transition from one persona to another without upsetting the applecart of assumptions and expectations. Take your time with this process and you’ll find the appropriate solution.
Aquarius January 20-February 18
It’s a career issue, and it doesn’t matter whether your ambitions have been dashed by a lack of self-confidence or driven by forces beyond your control. What’s important is figuring out what you want to be known for and then, creating a strategy that allows that recognition to occur.
Pisces February 19-March 20
It is a crisis of faith, and even if it is uncomfortable, it’s vital to your spiritual health to consider all the different facets of this process. Simply allow yourself to examine the information at your own pace, and once you’ve had a chance to digest it, you’ll arrive at the clarity you long for.