Here's some of the important astrological news this month ...
Uranus Direct Station at 24Aq54, 11-4
New Moon at 12Sc14, 11-4
Election Day, 11-5
Full Moon / Appulse Lunar Eclipse at 27Ta32, 11-19
Venus Direct Station at 0Sc03, 11-21
Ceres Direct Station at 3Ar48, 11-23
Juno enters Scorpio, 11-27
An online ephemeris for the month is available.
As we near the end of the October logjam, situations around us slowly start to move, but often in uncertain directions. Except for the period from the 4th to the 14th, November is pretty low key and lacking in intensity. This one storm period, however, encompasses the date of our elections, which I expect to be rather controversial (though not as bad as Florida 2000). There's precious little going on this month in conventional astrological terms (a few stations mostly), so at least we get some time out. Notice, however, that the full moon on the 19th is both a lunar eclipse and a Koz Alert, so we are entering a new 6 month cycle of changes. (The new moon on Dec 4 is a total solar eclipse.) The events this month are highly influential, casting a shadow over the next 6 to 12 months easily -- just be aware that your actions and decisions now mean something.
There's not a lot of news in November. There are 3 bodies at direct stations this month and the asteroid Juno moves into Scorpio for an extended stay. It's also important to remember that this full moon and the new moon next month are both eclipses, giving the coming weeks an extra sense of urgency.
Uranus is standing still on the 4th at 24Aq54, just before the new moon. This ends a 5 month long retrograde cycle that started last Jun 2. Uranus in reverse gear is a recipe for creating changes in our lives where we've gotten too cozy and settled. At some point, even the best of patterns and habits become unsuited to present circumstances. Most people are not into making such changes voluntarily, so we need a helpful nudge every now and then. Uranus is great at nudging and then some. While not as catabolic as Pluto (which literally causes old matters to crumble in your hands), Uranus is well known for turning your life upside down. I visualize it frequently as a lit dynamite stick or a hand grenade that literally blows up stuck areas in a dramatic fashion. As we reach the direct station, the healing damage is done (or will be very shortly) and the dust is starting to settle. Ideally, the changes you've experienced will make your life a little bit of a lighter load, with more flexibility and a brighter outlook. Some of the old comfy stuff, while a cherished part of life, was also a boat anchor that slowed you down and took your energies. It can be emotionally difficult to let go, but in the long run, it's quite an improvement. One of the intriguing qualities of this station is its timing -- the day before the elections. I'll have more to say on the matter later, but this could certainly have some unexpected side effects on the returns. Uranus tends to favor liberal, even revolutionary, factions, and tends to favor the underdogs and longshots when the incumbant is the "same old same old" kind of person. I'm looking forward to some surprises, though hopefully not as drastic as the Mercury station in 2000 that screwed up the presidential elections for 6 weeks. The other noteworthy quality of this station is that this is the last retrograde cycle in Aquarius. The cycle for next year is a transitional time as Uranus drifts back and forth across the border between Aquarius and Pisces. This station is the culmination point of the last 7 years and it's time for Uranus to head off in a new direction. The times are a-changing...
The new moon is only 14 hours after the Uranus direct station, so this should be an unusual lunar month coming up. Especially with the elections tommorrow, there may be some unpredictable shifts in direction now. Thankfully, the planetary pattern isn't all that strong and organized, but I certainly wouldn't underestimate its effects.
There's a large fan-shaped pattern in the planets near 13 degrees, focused on the four Scorpio planets. The emotions are very intense now and very confusing. It's hard to figure out what's motivating you to feel what you're feeling, since so much is happening outside of your awareness. Plus, with Venus backing up still, old styles of using your emotions and intuition for guidance are failing on a daily basis. Above all, keep a level head through this all and don't get so wrapped up in the dramas and soap operas of life. These heated plot lines only feed off your emotions, so don't give them extra fuel. Uranus is saying it's time to chuck the status quo anyway, so remain open to some novel shifts in direction. This is a planet that likes to break through old patterns, so you go "aha!" and start looking at things differently. If you can disengage from the "normal" behaviors most people show (which is frequently little more than a series of knee-jerk reactions to random events), you may find a quiet, expansive, peaceful way of being that is much less stressful. Allow other people's perspectives to affect your decisions -- it short circuits many an angry circumstance. Be careful that you aren't ignoring your responsibilities to others or taking unfair advantage of them -- it's easy to let a little paranoia ruin the situation. This is a month for breakthroughs and stirring things up -- see what you can find...
As for the elections, I'm concerned about a number of astrological problem areas now. First of all, the Uranus station throws everything up in the air. Uranus the Trickster is known for defying the polls and expectations, as voters are pulling those levers for reasons they don't really understand. It tends to favor mavericks and underdogs, especially when people are fed up with the present scene. I'd expect some real surprises to show up Tuesday evening. It will be interesting to see how much of an anti-war sentiment (Uranus) shows up, even though the mainstream channels have tried to muffle it. Second, the new moon is a change in direction right at the last minute -- the trends of October may not carry through to November. If you set up the new moon chart for Washington DC, the 7th house (foreign affairs) is packed with 6 planets, including the new moon and most intriguing, Mars on the 7th cusp. Such a prominent Mars in this placement speaks of the powerful war sentiment that is overwhelming discussion of more critical issues; it could possibly be a trigger point later on for the Iraqi war itself. Mars is at 12 degrees Libra, close to the USA Saturn at 14 Libra, a degree that is all over the charts related to the 9-11 bombings and subsequent Afghan war. As the Warrior God passes over this degree (on the 7th), we should start seeing some new outbreaks of the war mentality around the globe. Also, Mercury (the thinking and reasoning mind, the part of us that reputedly does the voting) is closely tied up with Neptune and Pluto now. This hasn't been a campaign so much as overwhelming exposure to the political manipulation machine in our country. In modern times, "popular opinion" is manufactured through intense media blitzes that rely on training our gut level emotional responses, bypassing reason. If your rationale for pulling the lever is "I like the guy; I don't like the other guy," it's no wonder we get a government that is so ineffective. Especially with Venus (the "liking" part of us) not working right. Finally, the Moon is void of course most of the day -- in fact, this void period ends exactly as the polls are closing on the east coast! A void Moon means the people are out of touch and disconnected, that any decisions made now are likely to backfire. I'm not expecting great results from this vote. (As for Chiron on the midheaven of the DC chart, "a wounded leader", I'm still puzzling over that one...)
(Addendum: As for Mars at 14 Libra on the 7th, that was the day the Security Council unanimously passed the Iraqi inspections resolution, paving the way for future hostilities.)
The Sun and Moon join up with Uranus to form another T-square here. I suspect this will be felt as a pressure to change more than the changing itself, since these are in fixed signs. There's also a Grand Trine in the mix (Saturn in Gemini, Mars, Juno in Libra with Venus nearby in Scorpio, Uranus in Aquarius), which puts a lot of contradictory stresses on relationships. It's hard to say exactly how this eclipse will affect people, especially since these kinds of influences are long-term and highly individualized (hint: see which house of your birthchart contains the Moon at 27Ta32). Perhaps it's best to let life show you where the trouble areas are now, so you can start working on them. While many people are phobic about eclipses (they don't really deserve the reputation), my overall impression of this chart is that it's rather light and lively. Curiously, the Moon is near the Pleiades, a star cluster with many spiritual connotations (in fact, ancient Mayan observers would be using the full moon tonight to calibrate their sacred calendars). This could be an interesting 6 months...
Venus is standing still at her direct station of 0Sc03 on the 21st, bringing 6 weeks of reverse motion to a close. Venus is the feeling, intuitive part of the psyche, the drives within us that affect our behavior through a felt sense of likes and dislikes. Mostly this goes on at a preverbal, barely conscious level -- this is the realm of gut level instincts afterall. When Venus is backing up, your instinctive ways of managing life seem ill suited to the task. Our basic ability to rely on feelings to get us through backfires a lot. As with all retrograde cycles, this is a red flag to look at some part of ourselves that isn't working right anymore. Things may appear beautiful, charming or interesting at first glance, but much less so when it's sitting in your living room. People who look fascinating and attractive quickly loose their appeal. Partners may seem boring or "old hat" for a time for no apparent reason. What has changed through all this is your sense of what's attractive. Venus retrograde is best used as an experimental time, a time to try out new options for enjoying life; it's a lousy time to commit to big changes. We all get stuck occasionally about what looks good to us and what doesn't. We continue to make decisions based on these gut instincts, even when life has moved on to new vistas. Consequently, following your instincts can have the exact opposite of its intended effect, namely they lead you to being dissatisfied. The malaise that sometimes accompanies Venus in reverse is this vague sense of "Why am I so unhappy now?" when you've got everything you "want". Maybe you're wanting the wrong things. It's a good time to rethink what makes you happy, freeing up your instincts to really guide you in the desired direction. You'll be able to start acting on these new feelings after the 21st, as Venus slowly starts to move. And of course, if you don't make any changes, life will gradually get back to "normal" after the station. I just hope you still like that "normal" now...
Ceres is the third direct station this month, standing still at 3Ar48 on the 23rd. Ceres is the principle of support, nurturance and caring, our connection to the larger "Web of Life" that we are all a part of. The last several months have been an important time for reevaluating our approach to these issues. For starters, Ceres has been in Aries since last May 14, the most self-oriented of all the signs, whose motto is "me first!" In addition, she has been in reverse motion since Aug 13, a cosmic hint to look more closely at her influence on us. This has been a time to "mother yourself" and take care of your own needs first. A frequent problem with people that give too much of themselves to others is that they never get their own needs met properly. Eventually, the well runs dry and you have no more to give. At times like this, you need to focus on yourself and take care of those needs and desires that others can't or won't fulfill. If there's something leftover for others, that's another matter -- just make sure you take the main course and share the leftovers. This period of going it alone, though extended, is not a permanent affair (Ceres enters Taurus on 2003-3-13). Look at it as an opportunity to learn self-sufficiency, not a license to be greedy and selfish. It may require drawing away from others, even people you are normally close to. There's another side to this cycle as well. Ceres in Aries can be a tireless champion for those under her care. If you do have people, projects or situations under your care, you may have needed to stand up for them occasionally. Gather up these lessons now, as Ceres is standing still, and make certain you are in a stronger position than before. It's getting time to move on.
Juno moves from Libra into Scorpio on the 27th. Due to an upcoming retrograde cycle, this is an extended 11 month stay -- she enters Sagittarius on 2003-10-27. This can be a very problematic placement. Juno rules partnerships between equals. Without a sense of fairness to the relationship, she becomes quite hostile and manipulative in an underhanded way. Scorpio is the realm of intense emotions tinged with unconscious tendencies, anyway, so the feeling realm between partners can become highly charged during the coming year. One of the problem areas is the ease with which you can see the shortcomings of the other person (since Scorpio magnifies our power to see below the surface of others), versus the difficulty of seeing your own foibles. It becomes very easy to blame the other person for the problems in the relationship, without taking any credit for your own part of the situation. Scorpio can be secretive and manipulative to begin with, which only aggravates Juno's more negative traits. The best place to start is by taking a timeout whenever you feel an emotional storm brewing. Rather than simply reacting to it by taking it out on your loved ones, look at what is really bothering you. Sometimes there will be issues of fairness and mutual concern that need to be addressed calmly, but not in a rage. More often, the issue is one of your own internal soap operas based on unrealistic ideas of how special you are and how others should treat you. The lack of fairness is only imaginary, but still very real to you. It takes honesty, insight and patience to see this, let alone let go of it. Mutual antagonism can poison a relationship and it takes a lot of effort to reestablish trust once it's broken -- it's best to not even go there. This can be an intense time of growth, individually and as a couple, if you put in the effort. Since this placement lasts so long, I'd say this lesson is long overdue. Don't sidestep these issues.