Notes on an Updating October


October is a month for updating ourselves to the revamped reality which recently downloaded into our matrix.

Being the dense humans that we are, we don't always advance our awarenesses as quickly or dramatically as the circumstances in which we find ourselves probably warrant. We may lag behind, clinging to memories or fantasies, resisting the new responsibilities or challenges, dreading our graceless inexperience, uncertain about embracing what now unequivocally is.

'Time to get present!' the big clock in the sky reads. This is a chapter-turning month, as we welcome a pair of eclipses—super-charged full and new moons which often bring climactic developments that flip our personal narratives to their next thematic installment—as well as (1) further close-encounters with the Uranus-Pluto square, (2) a Mercury retrograde, and (3) the continuing fire-trine energetic stimulation.

Mercury turns retrograde tomorrow (Oct 4) in a very-early sector of Scorpio, slipping back into Libra less than a week later (Oct 10) and remaining there for a full month longer, returning our mental and communicative attentions to a sign that dominated 2014's first-half. Mercury's retrogrades are always a time for revision and review—as well as the stereotypical moment for taking extra care with transmissions, travels, and technological equipment, lest sloppiness or impatience lead to oft-avoidable headaches—but this one so poignantly retraces zodiacal steps which were quite critical to how the transition from one half of this peculiarly bifurcated year to the next (most notably during July), it's a strong call for us to reflectively consider multiple angles, Libra-style, to what's recently gone on.

The stalemate-busting climaxes which arose from late July onward and peaked in August, as Mars moved through Scorpio and conjoined Saturn, were driven by powerful emotion rather than reason. Though Mercury spent much of September in Libra, its mutual reception with Venus in Virgo (i.e., each planet in a sign the other rules) promoted an environment in which complex, comprehensive truths could be kept at bay by highlighting certain details at the expense of others, making it easier to have diplomatic conversations (whether with other people or one's self) which 'tidied things up' without actually clearing the air. After just a couple weeks exposed to the Scorpio mulch and its confrontations with the less-polite, Mercury now slips back to Libra for another shot at really working through, in dialogues both outward and internal, the conceptual and relational ramifications of these recent emotional power-surges.

Put another way, this Mercury retrograde is a chance for more discussing and processing of the past couple months' developments… with both a modest bit of distance from the most intense in-the-moment feelings and a thoughtful reconsideration of how these developments can be best integrated into whatever personal aims we tinkered and toiled to achieve earlier in '14. With a dignified Venus in her home sign of Libra through Oct 23, we might finally get some peace, whether in an unsettled relationship or within our conflicted selves, as a result of this retrograde reprise.

Of course, none of the typical Libran calm-and-coolness comes as easily as we'd like during this Uranus-square-Pluto age: As first the Sun and then Venus travel through Libra, they must contend with the familiar Uranus oppositions and Pluto squares they face each time they make this journey during these past few years. To break down this effect for the umpteenth time, it means that every attempt made to attain a peaceful understanding or functional agreement (Sun/Venus in Libra) is met by both the erratic, impulsive, and/or unpredictable behavioral potential of the individual(s) involved (Uranus in Aries) and the firm pushback of entrenched patterns and power-positions seeking to reinforce their authority (Pluto in Capricorn).

That's just a trademark of our times: this constant friction between these destabilizing Uranian bursts of liberating individualism and the desperate Plutonian throes of structures-in-decay struggling to survive, playing out on the macro-geographic level and in our own day-to-day lives.

This is also the energy carried by Wednesday (Oct 8) morning's total lunar eclipse—a Full Moon in Aries conjunct Uranus, opposing the Sun and Venus in Libra, both poles squaring Pluto. Lunar eclipses are already notorious for raising concealed, dormant or disowned feelings to the surface (like the traditional symbolism of any normal Full Moon, only with a more fated quality). In this case, the Moon's conjunction to Uranus and the South Node exacerbates the potential of emotionally jarring curveballs being thrown, seemingly rash or sudden responses spurred by an impulse to assert one's independent desires, collateral upset be damned. The North Node's complementary placement in Libra, all the while, points our evolutionary way toward compromise-minded attempts to regain relational equilibrium, even in the face of radical self-assertiveness, and to seek higher balance through a cool synthesis of extremes. Mercury's retrograde retreat back into Libra a couple days later mirrors that suggestion.

Yet, though cool considerate Libra stands as an archetypal goal to strive for, the overall astrological vibe remains strongly fire-emphasized. At the time of its eclipse, the Uranus-conjunct Moon in Aries will tap right into the current grand-fire-trine synergy, triangulating with both Mars and Jupiter. Despite the growth-oriented finger pointing to Libran conciliation and compromise, the self-motivated hyperactivity stirred up by all that impulsive fire may be too hot-and-fast to hold off. (Attitudes and actions I described in my last article about this fire energy should be on overt display during the lunar eclipse.) Perhaps the only process to reaching true peace must first include a full fiery release of pent-up anger and/or unexpressed initiative, venting the pressure in order to ward off a future blow.

This month's updating quality draws to a close and opens our new chapter at the corresponding solar eclipse New Moon on Oct 23, as the Sun and Moon conjoin Venus exactly in the first degree of Scorpio… bringing us to a full-circle recurrence of that cathartic moment when Mars finally shifted signs back in late July, his zodiacal dignity restored after many long months in detriment. Two days later, on Oct 25, Mercury returns to direct motion (making it out of Libra and back into Scorpio on Nov 8). And a day after that, on Oct 26, Mars arrives to his exalted place in Capricorn. Before that palpable change occurs, though, there are still some crucial system-upgrades which must be completed.