The Low-Down on the Far-Out

Full Moon in Taurus, Oct-Nov 2015

Chart for the Full Moon in Taurus
Chart for the Full Moon in Taurus

All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.

From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king.
~ J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

Oct.27 – FULL MOON in TAURUS (03:44 of Taurus)

From the New Moon in Libra (Oct.12) to the Full Moon in Taurus (Oct.27), we go from one Venus-ruled sign to the other.

The Libra side of Venus is about balance, harmony, peace and love. She is people oriented, socially connected and may be drawn to someone purely for their beauty. Libra being an Air sign, this is about the mental side of relationships and harmony. Love and serenity are a choice rather than being swept off your feet with passion. It's about the agreements, negotiation, compromise and strategy that are required to keep relationships working.

The Taurus side of Venus is about pleasure of all kinds. For example, sensory delights – a mouth-watering flavour, a loving touch, a heavenly scent, exquisite music, or breathing in a magnificent sunset. This side of Venus is about celebrating and enjoying the abundance of the physical world. This includes the accumulation of wealth and the resources that make this indulgence possible. Often we resent or feel limited by the world of manifest reality. On the contrary, the Taurus side of Venus has a nose for discovering the beauty and gratification that can be found there.

Taurus is an Earth sign, so this side of Venus is slower – the better to savour all those earthly delights! She is also focused on the material world and what she has. Whether it's cold hard cash, a portfolio of investments, a gallery of art or a collection of treasures, this side of Venus wants solid evidence of the stuff that is hers.

Everything hinges on how you look at things.
~ Henry Miller

The Sun-Moon opposition has a number of aspects from other planets. Most of them combine with the Sun and Moon to form various Wedge configurations, which involve one or more planets that aspect both sides of the Sun-Moon axis and form an asymmetrical figure that looks like a wedge.

On the plus side, the apex planet(s) can provide a soothing, creative or growth-oriented outlet for the conflict and dynamic energy of the planets in opposition. On the down side, the apex could also become an escape or a way to avoid dealing with the struggle of the opposition.

Regardless whether the effect might be seen to be focused on resolution or evasion of challenges, the idea is to allow the energies to evolve collaboratively and not to get stuck in any particular mode of action.

The apex planet combines with the planet on its side of the opposition, and together they can strengthen and give added push to the planet at the long end of the wedge shape – in this case, the Taurus Moon.

You'll never find a rainbow if you're looking down.
~ Charles Chaplin

The closest of these figures involves Saturn as the apex planet, which is semi-sextile (30°) the Sun and quincunx (150°) the Moon. These aspects are all partile (same degree in their respective signs, making them more powerful) and all are within a scant 9 minutes of arc. These aspects are considered relatively minor, as aspects go, but in this case they take on extra importance because of the tight orb (...and because one ignores Saturn at their peril even when his influence seems minor).

Irritation Wedge aspect pattern with Saturn

Sun, Moon and Saturn form what I like to call an Irritation Wedge aspect pattern. The semi-sextile and quincunx aspects can be very irritating, frustrating and, at worst, a bit crazy making. They connect planets that are typically in signs that have nothing in common (not the element, modality or gender). It can feel a bit like "damned-if-you-do-damned-if-you-don't" and yet something must be done – make a choice or find a totally different solution. These aspects can also be extremely creative in problem-solving, and are best navigated through flexibility and the ability to embrace a paradoxical perspective.

Saturn is the hinge that the figure turns on. Whereas the Sun in Scorpio and Moon in Taurus speak of pleasure and passion, Saturn in Sagittarius speaks of brilliant logic, meaningful discipline and knowledge rooted in realism. Saturn wants to take the experiential nature of Taurus and Scorpio and transmute them into something greater. It is not enough to enjoy or express that pleasure and passion – it needs a direction, a purpose, a raison d'être and a clear method for how to do that.

The Saturn-Sun semisextile creates a subtle, ambiguous or annoying experience with self-discipline, dealing with authority or the need to draw on your own maturity. These point at the Moon and can result in an intense and/or determined thrust toward resolving issues involving money, resources, pleasure and/or your body. Small adjustments are likely to work better than hard changes.

There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
There is society, where none intrudes,
By the deep sea, and music in its roar:
I love not man the less, but Nature more.
~ George Gordon Byron

The Full Moon chart has a multiple conjunction of Venus, Mars and Jupiter, all in Virgo and all within just over 4°. This group has been with us since around Oct.09, putting on quite a show for us in the early morning sky before sunrise. They will be within orb of conjunction until early November, and will continue to be seen in the early morning sky, although with greater distance between them, through the coming months.

At their best, these planets make an impressive and passionate collage that combines desire, pursuit and aspiration within a framework that cultivates creativity and healing. On the down side, they could also coalesce into a narrow vision of (self-)righteous indignation that seeks to manipulate others into conforming to one's own ideal of perfection.

Jupiter has recently greeted both Venus (Oct.25) and Mars (Oct.17) and is now bidding them adieu and wishing them a safe and fulfilling journey forward. This has given October an aura of reaching out for a fresh perspective on one's personal ethics and morals, both in how we interact with others and how we go after what we want in our lives.

Venus is still following behind Mars and will catch up to him on Nov.02 at 24 Virgo, before they both move into Venus' sign of Libra later in November. This is the last of 3 passes of the current Venus-Mars conjunction: Feb.22, Sep.01 and Nov.02. These two planets bring together opposite energies: receptive versus proactive behaviour, interaction versus action, desire versus wanting, and yin versus yang.

We will wait until 2017 for the next Venus-Mars conjunction, although there won't be another 3-pass conjunction until 2021. These conjunctions are part of a much broader and more complex 300-year Venus-Mars cycle, which was discussed in fascinating detail by Gary P. Caton at the SOTA Astrology Conference this past weekend. For more, visit Gary's website for an article about this cycle.

I know there is no straight road
No straight road in this world
Only a giant labyrinth
Of intersecting crossroads.
~ Federico García Lorca

The Venus-Mars-Jupiter conjunction combines with the Full Moon to form an aspect pattern I call a Hard Wedge. The conjunct trio form the apex of the Wedge formation through stressful yet dynamic aspects: semisquare (45°) to the Sun and sesquiquadrate (135°) to the Moon. These aspects are part of the family of square aspects, so the need to resolve problems or embrace challenges is likely to feel thorny and possibly urgent.

Hard Wedge configuration with Venus, Mars and Jupiter

Mars in Virgo leads the apex group and has the closest orb to the Sun and Moon, so you might feel a pressured demand for action and finely calibrated change. With the Sun in a waxing semisquare to the apex planets, having already conjoined these planets in the recent months: Mars Jun.14, Venus Aug.15 and Jupiter Aug.26.

The waxing semisquare (from the Sun) represents the first turning point (Crescent phase) in an unfolding process toward self-realization and awareness. Its mirror image is the sesquiquadrate (from the Moon) which indicates another turning point (Disseminating phase) that encourages the expression, understanding and/or integration of the experiences of the unfolding cycle thus far.

With so many apex planets, there is clearly a lot to process! Think back to June and August of this year. How was your understanding of yourself changing or shifting during those times? What has happened to that momentum since then? What actions are you putting in place now that enable you to deepen or broaden your perspective about those changes and what they mean for your future?

I've always thought people would find
a lot more pleasure in their routines
if they burst into song at significant moments.
~ John Barrowman

Wedge aspect pattern with Neptune

Last but not least, there is yet another Wedge pattern that links into the Sun-Moon opposition. This involves Neptune as the apex which sextiles (60°) the Moon and trines (120°) the Sun. This creates your plain old, garden variety Wedge aspect pattern. In a natal chart, a standard Wedge figure indicates natural talent and ability, often inspired or brought out by struggle or a need to resolve differences in one's life.

In general (like in a Full Moon chart) it indicates that the apex planet can be easily accessed in service to the stress, conflict and need to rebalance the opposition planets (in this case, the Scorpio Sun and Taurus Moon).

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As with all Wedge formations, this natural ability or accessible energy can be a blessing for creative projects or a rich resource for advancing the cause of the Sun-Moon struggle. It could also provide a convenient distraction that can either help you blow off stressful steam so you don't get overloaded, or it might side track you in a way that lets you avoid the opposition struggle altogether.

Since we're talking about Neptune, the quintessential planet of escapism, the risk of zoning out can be especially strong. Substances and activities that carry you away in blissful denial of the problems you face could be especially alluring. Remember that trines and sextiles, while having a reputation for being "good" energies, can also make it much easier to do the "wrong" thing.

Sometimes an unrestrained "don't worry be happy" energy isn't the best response, depending on the situation (e.g. in a crisis or when solid action is required). And if you only focus on the challenges ahead, Neptune could get stuck in an unhelpful victim mindset.

When harnessed constructively, Neptune can also give a sense of hope and faith that your efforts in resolving the problems will be successful. Creative imagination brings a playful element to solutions and ideas, and helps you see beyond the obstacles and hardships. Envisioning yourself and your woes within a broader context can also help you see that you co-create your path with all the other facets of life that surround you.

And since the nature of the struggle involves the Taurus-Scorpio axis that can become obsessive, stubborn and controlling, Neptune can provide a different perspective that urges you to let go and trust that your ego doesn't have to do it all.

The real things haven't changed. It is still best to be honest and truthful; to make the most of what we have; to be happy with simple pleasures; and have courage when things go wrong.
~ Laura Ingalls Wilder

Overall, the Taurus Full Moon offers a way to take the challenges in front of you and find practical solutions, not that inevitably restrict your options but that expand and enrich them. Connected to Wedge figures that involve Neptune, Sagittarius and Jupiter, this Full Moon encourages you to move beyond the same-old routines and expectations. However, it also warns against letting the accumulation of resources, pleasures and modes of security become an end in itself, but rather to see these as doorways to something greater that lie beyond.

In other words, enjoy and even revel in your benefits, blessings and abundance, but let them also become the means toward a greater end. You have the chance to take your experiences, resources, skills and successes and turn them into fuel that moves you forward in a longer term process of growth.

This is my wish for you: Comfort on difficult days, smiles when sadness intrudes, rainbows to follow the clouds, laughter to kiss your lips, sunsets to warm your heart, hugs when spirits sag, beauty for your eyes to see, friendships to brighten your being, faith so that you can believe, confidence for when you doubt, courage to know yourself, patience to accept the truth, Love to complete your life.
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Oct.27 – Venus opposite Chiron (17:23 of Virgo/Pisces)   (Oct.28 in AU)

You may be extra sensitive to other people's suffering, struggles or dilemmas under this transit. Your own ongoing issues in relationships or finances may undergo a kind of "healing crisis" in which you endure increased problems and must use extra tolerance, compromise or negotiation to keep things from collapsing into a worse state. At the same time, you may be able to reach a new level of acceptance and peace – not necessarily by solving the problems, but by letting go of the struggles that are not as important as you thought and by making the best of the ones that are left. Other people or outside circumstances may give you a push in this direction, which might feel at first like old wounds are being opened up. But this is an opportunity to find new ways to bring healing and balance to old problems, especially using tolerance, compromise and acceptance.

Oct.30 – Sun trine Neptune (07:07 of Scorpio/Pisces)   (Oct.31 in AU)

Faith in the bountiful blessings of the Universe is within reach under this transit...but then, so is the fantasy that you will be magically granted anything you wish for. Hope, optimism and imagination spring eternal right now, which can bring some relief from any depression or discouragement you might be feeling. Your creativity can become very inspired under this transit. Your sense of self could also get an infusion of uplifting vision. And you experience a sense of mission, feeling that you are truly a Child of the Universe. There is potential to lift you out of the ordinary and into the sublime – spiritually, creatively, romantically or compassionately. Enjoy it while it lasts, but before you make changes based on what might feel like a permanent condition, remember that this is mostly a temporary influence and you will still have to live within the bounds of the physical world after it passes. Don't make overly optimistic promises now, that you will have to fulfil later when the euphoria wears off.

Nov.01 – North America changes to Standard Time

If your region observes Daylight Saving Time and you live in Canada, United States, the Caribbean or some areas of Central and South America, it may be time to change the clocks one hour BACK. If you're not sure, you can check for the change dates and locations on DateAndTime.com.

Nov.02 – Mercury enters Scorpio (until Nov.20)   (Nov.01 in HAST, AKST, PST)

Cunning communication and insight are at their peak, as Mercury skulks through Scorpio. It’s a time for unearthing secrets and delving deeply into the psychological Shadow (Carl Jung’s term for the unconscious parts of ourselves that we don't want to or know how to face). There is opportunity for healing and grounding now, but you may have to resist the temptation to manipulate others to control that process. Your awareness of the undercurrents around you could be increased...or you might stir up those undercurrents in others without intending to, by blurting things out in a blunt or harsh way. This transit presents an opportunity to learn new ways to wield words with the skill of a surgeon – to heal and remove what is toxic, not to wound or retaliate. Use it wisely. If you are not crystal clear with yourself about your motives and feelings when communicating with others, your unconscious or hidden agendas could seep through and cause hurt when that was not your intention.

Nov.02 – Venus conjunct Mars (24:02 of Virgo)   (Nov.03 in UK, AU)

Diplomacy and harmony combine with forcefulness and enthusiasm under this transit. How you experience the results will depend in part on which you value more – winning (Mars dominant) or resolution (Venus dominant). One possibility is being able to negotiate agreements with others in assertive ways; another possibility is being able to confront others with gentleness and diplomacy. The courage to act could become either blunted or enhanced by an increased sensitivity to how your actions could affect others. Your ability to negotiate a diplomatic solution to a problem might be sabotaged by impatience, frustration or too much directness – or that same forcefulness might help by keeping things from getting bogging down or by injecting an infectious enthusiasm to the discussion. Although the effects could look very different in various situations, the best results will likely be found by using the best of both of these opposite energies.

Nov.03 – Jupiter opposite Chiron (17:12 of Virgo/Pisces)   (Nov.04 in AU)

Jupiter, the planet of justice, hope, confidence and broad perspective is tipping the balance with Chiron, the planet of wounding, healing, chronic uphill climbing, and paradox. This could bring optimism to persistent struggles, or it might weigh your confidence down with old woundedness.

On the difficult side, you might feel like you're fighting fly up to reach a positive outlook on life, while feeling like there's a ball and chain of struggle and persistent problems wrapped around your feet. This could possibly manifest as health issues, or general melancholy and discouragement. It might also show itself through giving or receiving criticism and judgment. Negative or harsh opinions may amplify problems. You might also find that discouragement over lack of progress with problems could lead to feeling that your efforts are pointless or not worth it.

On the other hand, on the positive side this transit can inspire you to reach out for a more uplifting and understanding of the struggles and difficulties that are plaguing you. It can be a beneficial time to learn more about what the problem is really made of, especially on a detailed level. Expanding your awareness of the true nature of these issues can broaden your perspective of them and help you reframe the problem in a way that leads to a better solution. In particular, viewing struggles (especially chronic or long-term ones) through a spiritual lens may allow you to see them in a more meaningful way and give you a clearer sense of purpose.

What is called for is a better balance between optimism and discouragement, overconfidence and shame. It can be easy to focus on one while losing sight of the other, which tends to create a reactive effect that just amplifies both extremes and makes you feel worse. It may help to make small adjustments rather than big ones – the balance might seem to take a bit longer but it is likely to bring peace more effectively.

Jupiter is opposite Chiron: 1908, 1921-22, 1936, 1954-55, 1968-69, 1982-83, 2001-02, 2015-16, 2029, 2046-47.

Dates for the current Jupiter-Chiron cycle:

Nov.05 – Sun sextile Pluto (13:24 of Scorpio/Capricorn)   (Nov.06 in AST, NST, UK, AU)

Your sense of purpose is potentially strong now, being able to tap into a deeper level of energy and determination. Your personality may be more forceful now, which can be great if you need to make a strong impression but perhaps not so much in situations requiring delicacy or subtlety. You have greater ability to see below the surface of things now, although it may not be as easy to put it all together and understand what it all means. It can be possible to unearth secrets or get at the core of unconscious patterns (yours and others'). However, you'll have to work to harvest the fruit of these potentials, and some of the insights and benefits may not become apparent until later.

Nov.06 – Mercury trine Neptune (07:03 of Scorpio/Pisces)   (Nov.07 in AU)

Your mind is very open to imagination, dreams and compassion under this transit. This can be a very creative time, when ideas flow like a magical river. It can also be easy to get caught up in yearning and fantasizing about your hidden wishes, although it is possible to channel this into creative expression. (e.g., writing poetry, dancing, wistful music, singing in the shower, whatever!) Listening sympathetically to others' problems may come easily now, and you are more likely to get a compassionate response from others about your own problems. However, it may also be difficult to draw clear and firm boundaries with others, since you are more susceptible to the emotional gravity of others. It is ultimately a time for optimism, hope, creativity and intuition, although it's wise to keep at least one foot on the ground.

Nov.08 – Venus enters Libra (until Dec.04)   (Nov.09 in AU)

Venus glides like a graceful model through her own sign of Libra, giving you the opportunity to expand your interactive style, cultivate diplomacy, beautify your surroundings, schmooze with social connections, and discover a new fashion statement. Find something beautiful, balanced or harmonious to appreciate or do during this time. You might consider visiting an art gallery, or watch a romantic movie, or listen to music that moves you into a peaceful place inside. You might feel drawn to going shopping for beautiful clothes or items to decorate your home. It can also be a good time to negotiate agreements with people, in a way that is fair and is focused on a win-win solution. Do something to celebrate, express and discover your inner and/or outer beauty. Find new ways to balance your own interests with those of others, which generates good will and harmony.

Nov.08 – Venus conjunct True North Lunar Node (00:18 of Libra)   (Nov.09 in AU)  ("What's a Lunar Node?")

Your love, beauty and joy are especially visible to others right now. You are likely to be at your most attractive – both in body and personality. You could become a magnet for what you desire today – just be careful what you ask for, since you might get it! What you attract to you might be material abundance, admiration and appreciation from others, or perhaps a sense of well-being that brings you into a more beautiful balance with those around you. This can also be a time when you begin a new relationship or social contact, or perhaps you begin a journey to make yourself or your world more beautiful, loving and kind. At worst, or if other stressful transits are also in effect, you might also have a tendency to fall into over-indulgence, empty glamour or compulsive craving.

Nov.09 – Sun trine Chiron (17:05 of Scorpio/Pisces)   (Nov.10 in AU)

This is a time when you may find that your recent efforts to mend and heal the chronic struggles in your life start to come together. You likely have the confidence now to try new solutions, or at least to approach problems from a different angle that sheds new light on the situation. Some of this progress may come from daring to walk your own path, or from finding the courage to face the hidden shadow of your worries and weaknesses (the hidden benefit that those worries give you). There may be a variety of different struggles and wounds in your life that could benefit from this kind of healing, although it can be tempting to let this transit pass by without taking advantage of it. Strive to reach a midpoint between merely dipping your toe in troubled waters and thinking that is enough, versus jumping in the deep end and marinating in it.

Nov.10 – Mercury sextile Pluto (13:30 of Scorpio/Capricorn)

Penetrating insights and passionate communication are possible under this transit ...although, so is speaking more forcefully than you intend to about things that require a bit of delicacy or discretion. It is also a time when your mental concentration can come together so easily that you become obsessed. You may prefer in-depth discussion to small-talk, and it might feel awkward if you aren't able to explore the depths in your interaction or communication with others. However, you likely have an increased ability to pick up on undercurrents of what's happening around you. This is also a time when you can start to shed and leave behind old worn out perceptions and ways of communicating. You also have an increased ability to take thoughts, ideas and information and transform them into something healing ...or wounding. Choose your words carefully and mindfully. Writing down your thoughts and ideas to capture the energy of this transit can help you gather the deeper qualities.

Nov.10 – Sun sextile Jupiter (18:21 of Scorpio/Virgo)   (Nov.11 in UK, AU)

This is a time when your understanding of the Big Picture and your place within it has the potential to click into place. As a result, your confidence and self-esteem can be quite high right now. Your ability to see opportunities and possibilities more clearly can produce an experience of being "lucky." Your insight into life and the world around you may be especially bright, optimistic and inspired. This is a "feel-good" transit, when your sense of self can seem to expand and become free. You may feel especially connected to spiritual energy during this time. Just be careful that all this self-assurance and "knowing" doesn't backfire, by overestimating the extent of your knowledge or underestimating the reaction of your audience. It is possible to become a bit self-indulgent under this transit, so be careful not to overdo it. Beyond a reasonable caution, this is a transit to enjoy!

Next Update:  NEW MOON in SCORPIO - available by November 11, 2015.

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© 2015 Wendy Guy. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied without the author's written permission. Most or all of the quotes on this page were found at GoodReads.com. Artwork: Taurus ~ Bringing Heaven to Earth © Carol McCloud, Galactic Alchemy; used with permission. Photo of rainbow in Jasper National Park, Canada, by Wing-Chi Poon [CC BY-SA 2.5], via Wikimedia Commons.


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