Lately, I've been joking with friends that I'm on the verge. (Maybe half-joking?) Surfing the recent ups and downs of starting my own astrology business, struggling with the need for ongoing self-motivation and self-discipline, I sometimes feel myself bouncing around between old outdated behaviors and new long-awaited forward-directed actions. When I say I'm "on the verge," I mean that I feel close to either a total breakdown, full of circular self-sabotaging prophecies, or a clean break from standing in my own way and a giant step toward achieving my goals. And since I'm unwilling to really consider the first option (because, for one thing, all you loyal readers depend on me to keep it together), I'm channeling all my optimism into aiming for the second.

I'm sharing this intimate glimpse into my life because I don't think I'm the only person or situation that's teetering on the brink. For (big) instance, the U.S. continues to wobble dangerously close to war, while al-Qaeda and other terrorists plot their next move. And what about North Korea? When I check the news every morning, I anticipate headlines that blare "Iraq Reaches Agreement with World Community" (wishful thinking) or "U.S. Troops Bomb Baghdad" (alas, the more likely scenario). Nothing yet, but we all know something's coming. And whether you personally are thisclose to getting a new job, leaving your old one, moving away or meeting your dream lover, there is a certain "about to…" energy permeating the cosmic environment. What we're picking up with our subtle pre-cognitive antennae is the upcoming pair of eclipses, beginning to percolate a month in advance.

As I've written before, I view eclipses like chapter-markers, bracketing our lives into phases that are colored with a particular astrological character. Around eclipse time, we sense that a certain moment in our life is drawing to completion while another is in the wings, ready to take effect. The last set of eclipses occurred in May and June, and they represented the end of a dark Saturn-Pluto period and ushered in a new chapter of healing and rebuilding. The next pair begin with a lunar eclipse—an amplified full moon—on November 19, marked by a sharp T-square with Uranus. A T-square occurs when two planets are opposite each other (in this case, the Sun in Scorpio and the Moon in Taurus) and a third planet is perpendicular to their axis, forming squares (a 90-degree angle) to both. (If you picture it visually, it makes a T shape. Thus the name "T-square". See how much sense astrology makes.) I will write more about this eclipse in coming weeks, but let's just say that this configuration predisposes us to quick, unexpected or dramatic change. After all, Uranus is the eccentric revolutionary of our solar system, ruling sudden shocks (like earthquakes) and drastic challenges to the status quo (like political subversives). For now, I'll leave it there.

I've always found it an interesting astrological effect that we are able to detect the energy released by eclipses before they actually occur. Perhaps this goes against the common wisdom of traditional physics, and yet it is a long-observed truth amongst astrologers. To add further emphasis to this effect, I focus on the full moon that began our week early Monday morning. Viewing this full moon as the beginning of a month-long cycle that concludes with the November lunar eclipse, we give ourselves a full month to prepare for any shocking results and to deploy the change-flavored pre-eclipse energy on our own terms. A primary purpose of astrology is to identify moments such as these in advance, so that we can exercise our free will and be masters of our destiny. When strong indicators of change come around (like eclipses and sharp Uranus aspects), we can either work with the astrological environment and initiate necessary changes, or we can fight it, buckle down and hold on tight to our false notions of security and stability—but then change happens anyway, in ways we might not choose and which could be decidedly less pleasant. It's preferable to use planetary energies rather than let them use you.

This full moon in Aries, with the Sun still in Libra, is a pre-eclipse gift to us. Though the Sun and Moon will be squaring Uranus during the November eclipse, during Monday morning's full moon, the Sun and Moon make the more-flowing trine (120 degree) and sextile (60 degree) aspects to Uranus. In fact, as Uranus is still within orb of its long-ranging trine to Saturn, we are experiencing a grand trine between Uranus, Saturn, and the Sun in air signs. Astrological jargon aside, this is a very favorable time to bring our mental plans to fruition, combining existing ways of being with an injection of unorthodoxy, pushing our envelopes to new capacity. If you've been quietly toiling with how to turn your radical ideas into sustainable action, now is a great opportunity to start actually doing it. To that end, the flowing air-sign energy also favors communications and relationships, so maybe it's time to include your friends and loved ones in your mental musings. Speaking or writing your new truths helps make them more real. And let those individuals who comprise your support system listen to your inner struggles and secret fantasies, problem-solve with you, and motivate you on to greater greatness.

So, being on the verge and all—and refusing to tumble over to the wrong side—let me tell you what my plan for the month is. Maybe it will help you find inspiration to use your pre-eclipse month in a similarly progressive fashion. From now until the eclipse, I am focusing on battling any demons that prevent me from embracing change. The only way to battle demons, of course, is to get to know them really well. And with Venus continuing its retrograde motion through Scorpio, it's a good time to reconsider the value of our own psychological quirks. Why do we keep them around? How they serve us? In the process of processing, I will welcome conversations with my trusted confidantes that challenge me to evaluate my behaviors more closely. Synchronicity being what it is, I am confident that these situations will present themselves. And meanwhile, one day at a time, taking baby steps, I'm going to do things a little bit differently. If all goes well, a month from now I can look back and realize that, yes, I have created change in my life. I know myself differently and better, and I act differently and better. I won't have to fear any consequences of the "dreaded" eclipse because, well, I've already invited it in my life, welcomed its dimensions with open arms, and offered it a cup of tea and a muffin.