This is likely to be a rather intense and deep lunar cycle! Taking place in Scorpio, its energy immediately takes us into our depths to discover hidden jewels burned deep within the psyche. But first we must face the Dweller at the Threshold—the parts of ourselves that we hide inside our subconscious because we're afraid to own them or don't yet know how to. Remember Luke Skywalker going into the cave in Star Wars – Return of the Jedi? He only took in there whatever was already deep inside his psyche, and that's precisely what he saw in the cave. In the same way, the Dweller at the Threshold is constructed of parts of our own humanness.
The Dweller in this case may come in several forms, starting with encounters with aggression, anger and frustration which you may feel powerless to change. Issues with authority figures and responsibility may also appear, providing fertile ground for guilt or pressure. You may also feel an undercurrent of longing to be blessed with the gifts of the Universe in a passive way, but without having to do the work.
In each of these areas, the true test (and the hinge point of the lesson) is not whether you are able to conquer, subdue or control these issues, but whether you can use their energies to transform the way you empower yourself. By empowerment, I don't mean having "power over" what is outside of you, but power from within that comes from deep acceptance of human flaws (especially your own) and assertiveness that is centred in compassion (including for yourself). The strongest asset you have to help you with this is being willing to look at yourself and at life from a different perspective, turning everything inside out and upside down, to find a new way to approach your situation.
This cycle brings what is ultimately an inward journey, perhaps triggered by external events or circumstances. There is challenging work to be done, to be sure, but please don't think it will be fruitless drudgery. Your job is to tap into deep waters that have been frozen over by fear, disuse or defensive expectations of what lurks below. This will first require some hard work to break through the ice on the surface. This cycle begins a long-term process of breaking through that ice, clearing out the undergrowth, and then fishing the waters of the "shadow" for nourishing instincts that feed the spirit. This process will take us into mid-January, and then reach fruition in August-September 2006.
It is necessary for you to come to grips with limitations, boundaries or expectations. If you have been avoiding some task or obligation, this transit might bring consequences from that avoidance or a warning of consequences to come. You might also encounter a situation that requires you to accept unwanted responsibility or restricts your freedom in some way. You might be faced with some part of your life being pruned back, either to rein in something that is out of control or to make room for new growth. This is likely to be more or less stressful depending on how comfortable you are dealing with responsibility, authority, limits and hard work. If you have a hard time with authority issues, you might find yourself in conflict with someone in authority under this transit—perhaps in part because your buttons are getting pushed. On the other hand, this could also be a time when you are challenged to take action or make a decision that involves taking on more responsibility. It is also a time when you may have to find better ways to deal with personal boundaries—accepting others' or learning to assert your own. You're bumping up against reality, so try to work constructively with it, not hurl yourself against it.
Nov.05 – Venus enters Capricorn (until Dec.15)
Friendly, abundant Venus travels through serious, structured Capricorn, bringing out her grounded, material side. It may be time to make new plans and commitments for material or relationship goals. It can be a time to get serious and make some solid decisions about what works and what doesn't. It may help to organise and systemise the way you approach relationships, finances, resources and pleasure. An example of systemising pleasure is to schedule regular time to pamper yourself, or to make a point of doing the hard work that will pay off in pleasure later (like eating healthier food or working out more). Although this might seem a bit unromantic or uninspiring, you'll find that laying the groundwork for what you want to attract into your life will provide support for the rewards to come.
Nov.05 – Mercury square Uranus (in Sagittarius/Pisces)
Flashes of insight can show you new clarity but you might not like the answers you get, since they could disturb your logical perception of what's what. You might get some news or learn come information that shakes you up in some way. This isn't necessarily bad, since this may be necessary to open your mind to something you've been resisting. There's a Higher Truth here that wants to be told (by you or to you), but the way it's phrased can make a big difference in the reaction. There is a risk of "shooting off your mouth before your brains are loaded," as the saying goes, and impulsive or reckless communication and ideas could create more problems than they solve. It will probably help to listen inside yourself first to discover what you really need to say, and then figure out how to say it in a way that doesn't cause unnecessary damage. Strive to shine a light of truth without blinding anyone with it.
This massive configuration is in effect from Nov.01-09, but closest on Nov.07, when several of the aspects in this group become exact on the same day (see below in the Low-Down). This Grand Cross is a prelude to a Grand Cross that will dominate the skies from early December until mid-January, only with Jupiter in the place where the Sun is now.
Overall, this configuration represents some very headstrong energy that can bring out enormous frustration, but also great ambition and productivity. This collective energy generates movement and progress through necessity, pressure, force, and the creative solutions that allow you to squeeze between "the rock and the hard place."
Problems, frustration and obstacles may arise, yet they are problems to be solved—as much internally (emotionally and psychologically) as externally (circumstances and events). It may feel like people or circumstances are pushing your buttons, resulting in great anger and frustration. However, the more you are able to take a step back and unhook yourself from the vicious circle of action and reaction, the more you will be able to channel that frustration into constructive productivity.
On the other hand, it's not enough to just go through the motions or "play it safe" in how you creatively surmount the obstacles in your path. A higher purpose and vision need to be included in what you do and how you respond.
Your ideals and wishful thinking may loom a little too large during this time, making you prone to disappointment, disillusionment and pretence. However, this makes it an ideal time to take a hard look at your unconscious beliefs and longings, since they may be distorting your worldview right now. Spiritually you might discover that your yearning for enlightenment is not the straightforward path you had hoped for, but in that case think of this as an important exercise in learning what your path is NOT. This can clear the smoke so that your intuition can show you what the right path for you really is. Emotionally you may feel a bit overwhelmed, depressed or lost, but be aware that you have an opportunity now to tap into a deeper part of you that is usually camouflaged against the foreground of day-to-day life. There is tremendous creative, spiritual and healing potential to be found by listening to the inner voice from those depths.
This marks the half-way point in the Mars Retrograde cycle. This is a stimulating energy that could bring positive action or frustrating struggle, and maybe both. If you've been waiting to take action on something, you might feel inspired to do it now, although it might be based more on impulse than careful consideration. You could also experience a battle wills under this transit, between yourself and another person, or between different parts of yourself that are at odds with each other. This transit is about asserting yourself and your will, which could be done constructively...or possibly destructively. There is much potential right now to project your own anger or defensiveness out and then think it's just "the other guy." On the other hand, if you find yourself embroiled in conflict, this is a great opportunity to test out a new way of reacting to see if that works better than your usual style. Although anger and conflict are the most common ways for this transit to manifest, this could also be a time when you become extremely active or busy. Or you might find your libido running unusually high. Accidents are a possibility, since the impulse is often to act first and think later, so try to slow down long enough to see the obstacles coming and sidestep them.
Nov.07 – Mars Retrograde square Neptune (in Taurus/Aquarius)
For up to a week before and after today, you have a chance to discover and work with your blind spots and the hidden motives that trip you up. It may feel like you are spinning your wheels or "shadow-boxing" and not even sure why. You may be fighting a hidden agenda or unconscious motives (yours or someone else's). You might also be trying to apply a concrete solution to an ambiguous situation, and then wondering why it isn't working very well. Responding to conflicts in a passive-aggressive or manipulative way can be tempting under this transit, since you may not know how to take direct and effective action. Resentment might become a defiant way to express toothless anger. Part of the problem may be that you are fighting against your own idealism, and resisting the acceptance that the other person or situation can't be the way you want them to be. Feelings of disappointment or helplessness may trigger much deeper feelings from your unconscious, making it difficult for you to know how to respond effectively in the here-and-now. It will probably help to work on owning your feelings, needs, longings and (hidden) agendas. Being honest with yourself about what's really going on inside you will go a long way toward increasing your empowerment. This is the second of three passes of this transit (also Aug.28.2005 and Jan.18.2006), so this is a long-term process that probably won't be solved quickly in final form.
There is an abundance of creative inspiration, material enjoyment, feel-good pleasure in the air! Your luck and opportunity to attract money, love, resources and self-esteem are high right now. It may be relatively easy to attract the people, possessions and opportunities you want or need, but you'll still have to work to get them. On the other hand, your eyes may be bigger than your stomach (as mother would say) and you might be tempted to charm, flirt or bluff your way through a situation more than usual. There may also be a tendency to self-indulgence. These are not necessarily bad things, but it's probably wise to remember to use this energy to enhance your best judgement, not override it.
Relationships, finances, resources and pleasures can benefit from spontaneously trying a completely different approach. If these areas of your life have been getting a little stale or too routine, this transit could shake things up a little...just enough to make things interesting and breathe some fresh air into your familiar routine. The upside of this is that it's possible to break free of old habits, but the downside could come in the form of impulse buying or being a bit reckless. This energy is best used to break free of what restricts you, without shattering the foundation you're standing on.
Nov.14 – Mercury stations Retrograde (until Dec.03; in Sagittarius and Scorpio)
Mercury now goes retrograde for the next 3-3½ weeks. For up to a week before and after today (when the retrograde station happens), you may experience intensity, frustration, confusion, or feel like you're bogging down in your progress. Mercury retrograde is typically a time when it is necessary to rethink, rehash, reflect, and tie up loose ends, rather than begin new ventures. It is typical for new insight to emerge later in the retrograde cycle that you didn't anticipate, which can change the whole picture. Because of this, it is usually advised to avoid making final, permanent decisions during this time (e.g., signing contracts or putting new projects into action). However, it is an excellent time to do your homework, fact-finding and research in preparation for major decisions that may best be put off until after Mercury goes direct. In the meantime, expect the unexpected, leave extra time to do whatever you're doing, and hang out in your intuitive, creative, non-rational mind for a while until Mercury goes direct again.
With Mercury going retrograde initially in Sagittarius, you will be most affected in the way you find greater meaning in the small or day-to-day events that happen to you. Your understanding of "what it all means" could change quite a bit over the next few weeks, as your view of the "big picture" shifts with new information being added. You might find yourself focusing on issues of ethics and morality. It might be necessary to examine how your idealism helps or hinders your ability to translate ultimate values into here-and-now decisions. If you are involved in long distance travel, multi-cultural dealings or higher education, you might find that your experience doesn't match what you expected and your perspective must change to accommodate a better understanding. Spiritual connection might be best explored by going inward (e.g., meditation or just spending some quiet time).
With Mercury also going retrograde in Scorpio, you may find you are extra sensitive to the undercurrents around you, especially the energy in other people that pushes your buttons and might make you feel "on guard." Attempts to voice your concerns or perceptions to them might not be well received, since you may be picking up on something they are not aware of (and would rather you weren't either). But it is ultimately possible to control only ourselves. You are therefore challenged to look into your own "shadow"—the part of yourself that lives in your internal blind spot. Take a long look at yourself, your motives and assumptions, which may reveal issues in need of some intense self-honesty. Initially you might feel wary of people or situations outside of yourself, but regardless of how real the objective circumstances might be, there is likely something in the dynamic that lies within yourself. It will help to shine a light into your unconscious to reveal how you are playing a role in the situation. This can transform mental defensiveness into true empowerment by shifting your perception of events, allowing you to choose a different response and therefore a different outcome.
This is often a turning point in situations involving the issues of spontaneity, freedom, breaking free of old patterns, rebellion and expressing your personal uniqueness. It could feel a bit chaotic or erratic—or perhaps just spontaneous and exciting—for up to a week before and after this date. However, Uranus' ultimate agenda is to clear the way for your true spirit to manifest in your life. You may experience unexpected changes, flashes of insight, or disruption of established situations that aren't working well (which might include computers, Internet, mass media, groups, friends or future plans). This can be the awakening of a new perspective, to be brought into a clearer focus through open-mindedness and being willing to try new things.
The energy that was born at the New Moon (Nov. 1) now reaches full emergence. Your connection to the physical world now becomes the proving ground on which to work out a complex range of factors affecting you. The areas most likely to be affected include finances, resources, values, income and spending. On a more personal level, it is also likely to bring issues to the surface about your physical body (especially about stress or health), self-worth, the need for security (material or emotional), and doing the preparation work for new growth.
You may be grappling with issues about authority or expectations (yours or someone else's), especially in terms of the compromises that may be required. Or, you might be trying to achieve a certain goal but feel a bit like you're driving with the brakes on. Or, your anger, irritation and frustration levels (or others around you) might be difficult to handle without either blowing up (and risking disapproval or guilt) or else shutting down (and amplifying your physical stress).
It's like there are two sides to your situation, motives, priorities and feelings. There's a side that says "just do it" or "I must have what I want." There's another side that says "do it right" or "discipline requires sacrifice." The struggle to find a common direction between them can have you going in circles and going nowhere fast. The "just do it" side knows that if you try hard enough, you can attract and manifest the results you want, but your energy, resources or optimism may be limited. The "do it right" side knows that pre-planning and understanding the big picture will go a long way to ensure the results you want, but impatience may keep pulling you out of that structured focus. If this is allowed to spin into a vicious cycle or get deadlocked into a stalemate, it can manifest as physical stress.
The best solution is probably to share time and attention between both of these sides (as much as humanly possible within the allotted 24 hours of the day), and to stay in balance with other priorities and luxuries in your life (like sleep, food, rest). This might mean you can't go in either direction as fully as you'd like to, but your progress is more likely to become smoother and more effective by trimming your agenda a bit. Strive to keep moving but in a structured, grounded way.
Be careful not to get locked into the tunnel vision of thinking today's challenges will never change. New possibilities are gathering on the horizon, so your current goals will be much more elastic than they might seem at the moment. A year from now your direction will probably be quite different, as new visions and opportunities greatly expand your potential. Current issues and struggles need to be dealt with now, but don't forget that the landscape constantly changes in any journey, and there are still many exciting and unexpected turns of the road left in yours.
It will be a lot easier to balance assertiveness with receptivity under this transit. In fact, it is a great time to take firm action that requires a sensitive touch, and to negotiate agreements in a way that is diplomatic, fair and powerful. Your ability to attract what you desire (money, love, pleasure, flirting, etc.), and to act on those desires, is strong right now, so use it wisely. This may include romantic attraction and sexual interaction, or it might involve artistic creativity. It could also be a time when your actions attract money and possessions, but it could also go the other way—your spending may also increase! Again: use this energy wisely and don't overextend yourself, but do have fun with it!
The impulsive forward action of Mars meets the serious structure of Saturn. The resulting friction can often generate considerable heat in the form of frustration, argument, conflict and stress, but also productivity and results for hard work. Your efforts may seem thwarted and your actions blocked at every turn. Your sensitivity to problems with authority figures can be especially high, as well as your sensitivity to others not cooperating with your own role as an authority figure. The youthful, free spirit in you is somehow required to deal with the serious, responsible, cautious side of you, and a power struggle between the two energies can easily result. If one side wins out over the other, either depression and guilt or rebellion and obsession may result.
However, you are not without power or ability! This friction can also be put to use in very productive ways. Your energy, desire and goals can be made manifest and concrete—even if possibly forced by circumstance. Obstacles can strengthen us, if we work with them instead of just fighting against them. To minimise interpersonal problems, remember that assertiveness is important, but aggression or rigidity will usually only get the other person's back up. You may find yourself in a situation where you must defend or assert your personal boundaries. Or, you might find it difficult to comply with someone else's boundaries. If the heat from this transit starts to overwhelm you, take some time out, find a safe (perhaps creative?) outlet to vent your feelings, and then find a new way to approach the problem.
Flashes of insight can show you new clarity but you might not like the answers you get, since they could disturb your logical perception of what's what. You might get some news or learn come information that shakes you up in some way. This isn't necessarily bad, since this may be necessary to open your mind to something you've been resisting. There's a Higher Truth here that wants to be told (by you or to you), but the way it's phrased can make a big difference in the reaction. There is a risk of "shooting off your mouth before your brains are loaded," as the saying goes, and impulsive or reckless communication and ideas could create more problems than they solve. It will probably help to listen inside yourself first to discover what you really need to say, and then figure out how to say it in a way that doesn't cause unnecessary damage. Strive to shine a light of truth without blinding anyone with it. This is the second of three passes of this transit (also Nov.05 and Dec.18).
This is a time when you have an opportunity to mend and heal the chronic struggles in your life. You may find new inspiration, motivation or confidence that can help rejuvenate waning enthusiasm or reconcile persistent problems, although you'll still have to apply effort to bring it all together. You might get the chance to demonstrate your ability to walk your own path in a new way. Or, you might get a peek inside the hidden shadow of your worries and discouragement, giving you new insight into how you might be unconsciously sabotaging your conscious efforts. You may have to face a bit of your own fear of failure or low self-esteem before you can get beyond these feelings and tap into the benefits of this transit—not because you are failing but because these concerns may arise in response to the new potential now available to you. By tapping into this potential for creative problem solving, you can bring some healing to whatever your situation is.
Happy Solar Return to all Sagittarians! While the Sun is in Sagittarius, we all get to explore our horizons, seek our highest truth, discover our spirituality and gain fresh wisdom. Sagittarius energy encourages us to reach beyond our grasp, to exceed our limitations, and to rise above our primal impulses. Whether we are encountering other cultures, countries and languages, or expanding our horizons through new knowledge or spiritual awareness, this is a time to be uplifted and inspired. We are challenged to explore meaning in our lives and to connect with whatever we regard as sacred and sublime. In Sagittarius we also gather new knowledge and understanding, making sense of the patterns and themes within the raw information around us. It is not enough to simply have facts and data. Sagittarius presents us with the opportunity to reach for the highest truth we know, and then to exercise that truth in moral and ethical ways. The trap we must be careful to avoid is that it's easy to assume that our truth is truth for everyone else too, which is not necessarily the case. Our well-meaning wish for others to experience the inspiration and passion that we feel can seem to turn us into self-righteousness know-it-alls. It's tempting to believe that we are privy to knowledge that others are denied. There can be a fine line between sharing passionate knowledge versus shoving opinions down someone's throat. Everyone has their unique perspective on life, and therefore their own sense of meaning and truth that works for them. And yet, debating and challenging each other's knowledge, beliefs and values are also an important part of the Sagittarius passion for exploration. As the Sun journeys through Sagittarius, expand your awareness of how these issues play out in your life.
For up to a week before and after this time, your physical and emotional energy may feel a bit heavy, stuck, serious or sad. Situations and thoughts involving structure, rules, authority figures, expectations and responsibilities may figure prominently. Saturn now enters approximately four months when developing ambitions and aims will benefit from planning and development at a deeper level. It is a time to rework and refine your goals to figure out how you are going to achieve them. It may also be a time when you examine your motives for wanting to achieve these goals and their feasibility, and may therefore question whether the goals themselves need to be changed. As well as goals and ambitions, this may also be a time of working with issues about authority, expectations, obligations or discipline. If these are areas you are uncomfortable with or are having problems with, especially during the last 3 months, this retrograde period can be a time of gradually building a new way of dealing with them or problem solving the difficulties. After Saturn turns Direct in 4 months, you will be in a position to apply what you've learned and developed more fully.
As of today, Venus is in the area of the zodiac where it will later go retrograde. Although not retrograde yet, this pre-retrograde period sets the stage for situations and issues that will require a deeper focus during the retrograde period. For the next month (until the retrograde station), pay close attention to experiences, concerns, problems, breakthroughs or opportunities, especially in the areas of relationships, finances, values, social interaction and beauty. Many of the patterns and situations that arise over the coming four weeks or so will require increased attention and awareness, which will unfold over the next three and a half months.
When the Sun conjoins Mercury Retrograde, there is a new beginning in the areas of awareness, communication, use of information and exchange of ideas. This may or may not be heralded by a recognisable event or experience, although for a day or two your consciousness may shift. Your awareness and mental concentration may take a dip into the unconscious, becoming unusually murky and muddy, or it may rise into ultra-consciousness and become suddenly clear and lucid (afterwards returning to the usual Mercury retrograde fog). A new awareness or perspective on what has unfolded during the retrograde cycle thus far may surface now, or an unworkable attitude or perception of these events may fall apart under the weight of new information. This shift of awareness may be obvious or subtle, sudden or gradual, but this transit marks a turning point in the Mercury retrograde cycle. It also marks a time when mental awareness often goes further underground, for the rest of the retrograde period, making it a little harder to operate objectively and rationally in the outside world. Spend some time in your right-brain, intuitive, non-rational mind, which can coax your mental creativity and inventiveness to the surface.
With Mercury also going retrograde in Scorpio, you may find you are extra sensitive to the undercurrents around you, especially the energy in other people that pushes your buttons and might make you feel "on guard." Your attempts to voice your concerns and perceptions to others may or may not be well received. You might be picking up on something they're not aware of (and might prefer you weren't either). It may help to remember that it is ultimately possible to control only ourselves. You are therefore challenged to look into your own "shadow"—the part of yourself that lives in your internal blind spot. Take a long look at yourself, your motives and assumptions, which may reveal issues in need of some intense self-honesty. You might feel a bit wary or suspicious of people and situations outside of yourself. However, even though the objective situation may be real and valid, there is probably also something about your experience of it that originates within yourself. It will help to shine a light into your unconscious to learn how you are playing a role in the situation. This can transform mental defensiveness into true empowerment by shifting your perception of events, allowing you to choose a different response and therefore a different outcome, especially after Mercury goes direct.
Your mental focus and communication could get an injection of healing energy under this transit, as long as you are prepared to put some effort into getting it. Your spirits can become uplifted now, from seeing a light at the end of the tunnel or from finding a light that guides you along the path in front of you. It will not, however, make the tunnel or the path go away; you'll still have to walk the walk. But your mental perspective can become more accepting of inconsistencies and frustrations under this transit, which can alleviate a lot of stress and make the journey a bit smoother. Mental struggles and critical "self-talk" may find some reconciliation and acceptance that brings peace of mind. You have an increased ability to find the right words and understanding to help others with their problems, by providing insightful feedback. To get the most out of this transit, aim to find a mental outlook and communication style that can tolerate contradiction without having to eradicate one in order to justify the other. This is the second of three passes of this transit (also Oct.28 and Dec.13).
Insight, ideas and inspiration characterise this transit. It is an excellent time to break free of old outmoded beliefs and judgments, which can make room for new perspectives, opinions and wisdom. Innovative ideas come together within an expanded context that gives them new meaning. You can breathe fresh air into your spiritual beliefs and opinions by taking an open-minded approach and trying on new ideas. Unexpected, unusual or "lucky" opportunities may arise that allow you to get out of old ruts and advance toward future possibilities. If you have been feeling stuck in your quest to gain truth, understanding, spirituality or meaning, this transit could bring a release that allows you to get past your resistance. However, even "good" aspects have their drawbacks and this is no exception. It can be tempting to sit back and allow the opportunities to come to you, but not follow through on them—being all ideas and no sustained action. Your behaviour could be somewhat erratic and unpredictable, as your direction may shift and change with every new possibility that presents itself. This transit's greater agenda is to open the door for you to stretch beyond your known horizons and touch the edge of the Universal Mind.
Your world may experience a bit of a shake-up right now, as the Universe decides it's time to make things "interesting." This is a wake-up call, designed to loosen you up from the ways you have become habitual, stuck or inhibited. The radical in you may be itching to come out and stir up trouble, which might be necessary but also disruptive. Be alert to new insights and opportunities disguised as accidents or crises. Your usual sense of self and purpose may become somewhat disrupted now, but a space is being cleared to make room for new growth and possibilities. If you're looking to break old habits or break free of old restrictions, this may be the time—but this could still create a mess that you'll have to clean up later. Resist the urge to rebel just for the sake of doing something different, and aim to break free of old forms of self-expression and ideals that don’t work for you anymore. Expect the unexpected and try to surf the shock-wave.
© 2005 Wendy Guy. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied without the author's written permission. Image of the Sun is public domain, courtesy of SOHO/Extreme Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope (EIT) consortium. SOHO is a project of international cooperation between ESA and NASA.