Here's some of the important astrological news this month ...
New Moon at 13Li01, 10-6
Mercury Direct Station at 28Vi19, 10-6
Pallas Direct Station at 10Aq38, 10-8
Venus Retrograde Station at 15Sc37, 10-10
Saturn Retrograde Station at 29Gm05, 10-11
Jupiter octile Saturn, 10-13
Mars enters Libra, 10-15
Neptune Direct Station at 8Aq12, 10-20
Full Moon at 27Ar43, 10-21
Jupiter trine Pluto, 10-27
An online ephemeris for the month is available.
October looks like a very "stubborn" month. Once it sets a course, the situations just stay and stay and stay. Part of the problem is the large number of planetary bodies that are standing still this month -- 5 in all, plus several that were stationary last month or will be shortly. Traditionally, I refer to these kinds of times as a "logjam" pattern -- things are stuck and not moving. The other part of the problem is that they're standing still in harsh aspects to each other -- it's a nasty logjam. Once these patterns are set up, they seem to persist for an unusually long time. It's the difference between being hit by a Mack truck and having one park on top of you. So be patient -- constructive change takes much longer than normal. Pace yourself and stay focused on your goals, so distractions don't knock you off course. But remain flexible, as you may not see eye-to-eye with others. Much of the month consists of storm patterns -- get ready for a ride.
The big news in October is the logjam caused by 5 stations. In addition, Mars moves into Libra and there are two "big aspects" to look at.
It doesn't take much looking to see the new moon chart is quite a powerhouse. The waveform for this chart is a potent Koz Alert, right near the peak for the entire month. There are two main groups of planets in the chart, centered around 13 and 28 degrees of various zodiac signs, that are tightly knit together. The 13 degree planets include Ceres, Jupiter (the strongest planet), Juno, Sun and Moon, Venus (about to stand still), Pluto, Neptune and Pallas. There's a T-square and (if you throw in the North Node) a rare Grand Hexagram (a 6 point Star of David pattern) -- quite an impressive show! The 28 degree planets consist of Saturn (standing still), Vesta, Mars, Mercury (hours from its station), Chiron and Uranus. These two groups form a 45 degree fan, potent and difficult.
As I said earlier, this is a logjam with an attitude. Not only are so many planets in slow motion at once, but they halt in perfect formation. This new moon is probably the effective start of the logjam period, indicating the coming month may be marked by stagnation, misunderstanding and a frustrating lack of progress. Above all else, be extra patient. It's hard, when you have such a head of steam behind you like this, to settle for few results. Still, if you can handle the rougher parts of this chart, it displays a remarkable potential for constructive change. A Grand Hexagram is probably the poster child of positive patterns, telling us to roll up our sleeves and get busy. Just be on guard that you will need to work with others, which may not be all that easy. Jupiter seems to be the planet most in the limelight now, a very supportive indicator for the coming weeks. Stay optimistic, with a balanced self-confidence, and you're more likely to ride this wave successfully. Don't take the delayed gratification personally -- it may actually be a gift in disguise. Remember that stationary Mercury and Venus means you may not instinctly enjoy or value the fruits of your labor as much as you will down the road -- this may be postponed disappointment instead. Do your best...
Shortly after the new moon on the 6th, Mercury is standing still at 28Vi19, preparing to resume normal motion. Although this station is in Virgo, the bulk of the retrograde cycle has been in Libra, indicating communications between people has been especially strained the last 3 weeks. There's a tendency to be dull-witted whenever Mercury the thinking mind is standing still, so it might be a good time to check out from the world if you can. The good news is that Mercury will be zipping along again in about a week. Gradually, the brain cells start firing once more, communication is less prone to misunderstandings, and our capacity for good judgment returns. Slug through the first week or so of October -- it's downhill from there.
Pallas is at her direct station at 10Aq38 on the 8th. She has been in reverse gear since Jun 13, when she stopped at 29Aq08. These Pallas cycles are often a time when some creative project takes over, when you need to express some vision that requires all your attention. Frequently, this is also a period when the mental world overshadows the emotional. Or at least it seems to, since nothing completely disappears in the psychic realm, it only goes underground. However, there are some deeper currents here as well, since Pallas is linking together Uranus and Neptune, two major significators of the unconscious. Whatever it is you've been working on these last 4 months, it's tapping into bigger themes and issues than you probably can see. If you're heading off in different or unexpected directions now than when you started, that's a good sign. You're likely to be elaborating on these themes for roughly the next year. It's time to start letting others in on your work and get recognition for your efforts.
Venus is the next planet to stand still at 15Sc37 on the 10th, starting one of her rare retrograde cycles. This cycle, entirely in Scorpio, lasts 6 weeks until her direct station at 0Sc03 on Nov 21. Venus is the feeling, intuitive mind, the part that guides you in subtle, non-verbal, instinctive ways. Essentially, these are very simple feelings of attraction and repulsion at work -- either you like it or you don't. Now Mercury the thinking mind in reverse is bad enough, since it's hard to make "logical" decisions when your logic is off, but having your gut-level instincts out to lunch is much worse. Most of our decisions in life are actually based more on these vague feelings than on rational choice, as we instinctively move towards the options that appeal to us the most. It's time to mistrust this basic behavior for awhile, because you are likely to be attracted to things you normally wouldn't look twice at, while the "tried and true" may seem dull and uninspiring. Astrologers often warn people against making big purchases based on aesthetic attraction during this time, because you may find in a few weeks that your "beautiful" object doesn't look so good anymore. The same goes with people -- sudden attractions may be exciting, but the allure is short lived. I'd think twice about getting out of a "boring" relation for one more fascinating just now, since the boredom is also likely to be temporary. It's a good time to make decisions you'll later regret. On the positive side, our basic instincts are frequently off base anyway, appropriate for a younger stage of life, but something that should have been outgrown along the way. It's these unspoken assumptions about "how life really is", these likes and dislikes that cause more problems than happiness, that often mess up our lives. Usually we don't notice that we're doing it again. But with Venus backing up, there's a window of opportunity to say to ourselves "Wait a minute!" and reassess these bad habits. The question for the next 6 weeks is "What do I really want?" The answers may surprise you. Be flexible and willing to change, but don't commit yourself prematurely. Play around with many new answers until something really makes sense. It's your happiness, afterall...
Saturn is standing still on the 11th at 29Gm05, starting 4 months of reverse motion. This cycle ends on 2003-2-22, when Saturn goes direct at 22Gm08. These periods are often times of disciplined hard work, when you need to put your nose to the grindstone without expectation of immediate rewards. Since the entire cycle is in the sign of Gemini, this is a good time for mental work that requires deeper analysis and an attention to detail that flighty Gemini is not always good at. I really think this is a positive placement for Saturn overall. Saturn settles down Gemini, giving it the depth, discipline and patience for intense mental work that it would otherwise lack, while Gemini gets Saturn to lighten up and not take things so seriously. This is an excellent influence for doing some "mental housecleaning", sweeping away outmoded or ill conceived ideas and assumptions that are more "fun" than useful. This influence is likely to be concentrated in only one or two areas of your life, symbolized by the house in your birthchart that contains this retrograde zone in late Gemini. Check your birthchart to see which house is affected, then settle into the work on that area. I find it interesting how the stations this month are entangled with each other. Saturn is closely square Mercury now, trioctile Venus, and is coming up to an octile with Jupiter in a few days. This stressful 45 degree fan of planets is extremely long lasting, due to the planets standing still now, and forms the backbone of all the major storm action all month. Rather than looking at each stationary planet as an isolated phenomenon, it's more useful to think of the entire group working together. This housecleaning is operating on many levels simultaneously, having a bigger effect on us than we would normally expect.
Jupiter is octile Saturn on the 13th, the first of 3 such contacts. The next contacts are on 2003-3-27 and 2003-7-8. These two giant planets work most visibly in the outer social environment via the interactions between people as individuals and as groups. Jupiter is the rewards and benefits we bring in by opening our world up to others, while Saturn is more the responsibilities and duties required of us to be part of this world. It's important when talking about these two to think of them in the context of their full 20 year cycle, if you want to see the bigger picture. That cycle began on 2000-5-28, when they were conjunct at 22Ta43 (curiously, on the Israeli Sun). Two major events that happened at the time: the stock market bubble of the 90's broke and the economy started weakening; the current Palestinian intifadah began. We're still dealing with these issues. Octiles are well known as stress aspects, where conflicting points of view bump into each other and create friction. The tension and underlying issues of the conjunction are spilling out and need to be addressed. This is a critical time, because the situation is spinning out of control at the same time as people are first pulling their heads out of the sand. We only dimly perceive the real issues, blaming everything on the "bad behavior" of the other people. It may not be a popular thing to say, but we all tend to bring on ourselves the problems we experience. The "other" more likely exposes our dark side through their disagreement (just as we do for them) than because they are inherently "evil" in their own right. At the octile, this creates a breakdown of trust, an inability to believe in the good of others, which is running rampant in all cultures. It seems the dominant moods these days are fear, mistrust, a sense of self-righteousness, and a need to "punish" the other before they can hurt you. Even the people protesting these actions (e.g., the push for war with Iraq) are motivated more by conspiracy theories and mistrust than by a positive goal. It's really hard to escape from this mindset. For the next 9 months, we simply have to live with this cultural paranoia until we break through it. It would be nice to believe in a global enlightenment experience that would solve our problems, but only the few will likely make the shift. The world has a tendency to go limping along anyway, despite the crises, so don't get caught up in the bleak outlook. Easier times are ahead in about a year.
Mars moves from Virgo into Libra on the 15th for a 6 week stay (until Dec 1). This is not a very fun place for our Warrior God to hang out. Basically, he likes to have things his own way -- after all, he is the principle of ego expression. So while he's going about, doing things as he sees fit, he keeps bumping into the needs and desires of other people around him. Libra is about relationships, cooperation, adjusting to others -- all the things that Mars rarely thinks about. This may be a frustrating time, but the clashes of will are there to develop patience and awareness. Yes, life is easier when you take other people's interests into consideration. And it's almost always harder if you insist on being self-centered. Your call, but it's also your consequences. Leave some space in your life for the people who share your world...
Neptune is stationary on the 20th at 8Aq12, ending a 5 month retrograde cycle that began May 13. Neptune's cycles are often marked by confusion and lack of clarity. It's easy to assume everything is OK, overlooking problem areas that would normally be quite visible. It's a good time to question your ideals and your motivations, since the seeds of your difficulties can be found now in your own "good behavior" and idealistic activities. It's one of those paradoxes of life, that the noble truths of one stage of life are the outmoded vices and misunderstandings of another age. Nobleness of intention is no guarantee that your actions are serving a good purpose. You need to let go of your own personal viewpoint in order to perceive the larger patterns going on. By the direct station, the results of old beliefs should be quite evident (or maybe not...). Look to see where your life isn't working out and what is the underlying misunderstanding that's causing it. Experiment with some new points of view, especially ones that don't involve you being the "hero" of the story. As you let go of center stage, life should start making much more sense.
While not as tightly organized as the new moon chart, the full moon is still quite an amazing chart. Many of the basics are similar, including two powerful groups of planets at 13 and 28 degrees (use generous orbs here). The 13 degree planets are Ceres, Jupiter, Vesta, Mercury, Juno, Venus, Pluto, Neptune and Pallas. Again, if you throw in the nodes, this is another Hexagram and then some. The 28 degree (through about 3 degrees of the next sign) group contains the Moon, Saturn, Mars, the Sun, Chiron and Uranus. Curiously, we almost have another loose Hexagram here as well; locally (in Minneapolis), the "missing point of the star" is near the Ascendent. There are numerous connections between these two stars, though the 45 degree aspects create a lot of friction.
The two Hexagrams are a recipe for energies that run very quickly and can get away from you. While potentially extremely creative and helpful, it's just as easy to be totally blown over by the influence. Those octiles may be a saving grace, as they put some "grit" into the picture and slow down the action. Curiously, the fast moving planets in the octile fan are Venus and Mars mirroring the Sun in Libra (Venus) and Moon in Aries (Mars). Romantic relationships may be unusually tempestuous in coming weeks. For solid relationships, this can be exciting and stimulating, but for shaky partnerships, this could be a very trying time. Deep conversations may clear the air, but only if you can stand the honesty. Work for your highest ideals with an open heart and you'll probably get through this time in fine shape.
Jupiter is trine Pluto on the 27th, the first of 3 contacts. The next contacts are 2002-12-18 and 2003-7-1. Despite being an easy going trine, this aspect could be a bit tricky. Jupiter is the way we expand into the outer world, while Pluto takes us deep into the inner world. There's the possibility of a temporary truce between these two orientations, a time when the demands of the world and the drives of the psyche are more or less in harmony. This produces a sense of well being and ease with the world, unlike the more stressful aspects between these two. You are more likely to be filled with enthusiasm and drive, especially if you pour this into some meaningful work. What concerns me is the tendency both planets have to exaggerate and distort other energies. Jupiter's brand of expansion is to fill your mind with optimism and a belief in your own goodness, ignoring the details and contrary data. By assuming too much self-importance, he can run roughshod over others. Pluto, on the other hand, tends towards obsession and the covert use of power and knowledge. When used in an ego-centered manner, this can lead to a powerful manipulative streak that eventually turns others against you. A trine may simply be too lazy to counter these tendencies. If you can avoid these troublesome extremes, this is a time when your personal power flows easily. Make the most of this trend...