Current Transits for October 2003

Here's some of the important astrological news this month ...


Full Moon at 16Ar34, 10-10
Jupiter Quincunx Neptune, 10-16
Juno Conjunct Vesta, 10-20
Neptune Direct Station at 10Aq24, 10-22
Saturn Opposite Chiron, 10-24
Vesta enters Sagittarius, 10-25
New Moon at 1Sc41, 10-25
Saturn Retrograde Station at 13Cn14, 10-25
Juno enters Sagittarius, 10-27

An online ephemeris for the month is available.

General Outlook for the Month

October is a month of contradictions. On the one hand, it's highly changeable and lacking in focus. It seems that as soon as any influence builds up steam, it gets replaced by something else. On the other hand, there are a number of slow moving influences in the background that add a kind of "bass note" to the entire month. In particular, the stations of Saturn and Neptune in the last few weeks produce an underlying "stuck" feeling (though by no means as stuck as it got ten years ago). It's as though we're on the verge of something big on the horizon, but we just can't get moving towards it yet. The energies can be stressful at times, but it's rarely overwhelming or anything we can't handle. Further, a number of the slow moving planets seem to show up frequently, hinting at the impact of unconscious, "under the surface" types of forces. Go slowly this month -- things aren't always as they appear. Changes are in the air.

There's not too much to report on this month. The big news items include the two stations, a pair of "big aspects" and two asteroids (Juno and Vesta) entering Sagittarius. Juno and Vesta also make a rare conjunction before changing signs.

The most powerful planet in this full moon chart is Pluto, followed closely by Mars and Uranus. Unlike the September full moon, when Pluto formed a menacing T-square with the Sun and Moon, this time it's connected by easy-going sextiles and trines. So while the coming weeks are still highly transformative, the ride is more constructive and less harsh. The Mars-Uranus influence certainly shakes things up as well, adding a highly dynamic and very chaotic energy to the mix. With the full moon emphasizing Aries and Libra, there is tension between working with other people and pushing for your own agendas. It's not so difficult to balance these contrary tendencies if you keep your ego out of the picture and concentrate on the practical issues of how to get things done. Avoid stirring up other people's hurt feelings, since they are likely to react by undermining your purposes. Also watch out for the Mars-Uranus wildcard. Any activity you pursue is likely to have its share of detours. Rather than curse and swear over these speedbumps in your path, look to see if they contain some hints of things you've overlooked, things that could make your chores easier. In its own quirky way, there's a lot of crazy, creative energy being released the next two weeks. Loosen up -- it takes a crazy person to appreciate it.

Jupiter is quincunx Neptune on the 16th, the first of 3 such contacts. This aspect is repeated on 2004-3-3 and 2004-7-9. Normally, I'd consider a Jupiter-Neptune combination as quite positive and inspirational. However, quincunxes often show areas where incompatibilities appear, even between energies that are in sympathy. Jupiter and Neptune are both upbeat, optimistic and looking for the best in a situation, even if that requires a bit of self-delusion to pull it off. Of the two, I'd say Jupiter is the more physical plane of the pair, while Neptune is definitely more of the dreamer and otherworldly influence. There's an urge to move out into the world and rearrange things to suit your dreams and ideals, to experience some pleasure in your work. But there are some adjustment problems between the ideal world and the material plane we find ourselves on. There needs to be some give and take between our desires and the hand we were actually dealt. I suspect the coming 9 months will be a big experience in balancing hopes and realities. It's important to keep in mind two other big aspects that interlock with this one. I mentioned last month a quincunx between Neptune and Saturn that is also going on during this same time period. The last piece of the puzzle is a sextile of Jupiter and Saturn that kicks in on Nov 1 for the following 10 months. In short, we have a big, honking Yod pattern from now to next summer of some very heavy duty planets! Yods (aka, "The Finger of God") are typical of times in your life when decisions have to be made, even if you don't have a clue what you're doing. It's like a fork in the road -- you have to choose one path or the other. Depending on the choices, the situation will take radically different paths. Besides the personal realm, I believe this Yod influences the nation quite powerfully (with Saturn standing still on the USA Sun, as well as Pres. Bush's Sun). We've got some collective karma to burn off -- or we get to pay the price later. Our choice...

There's a rare conjunction of Juno and Vesta on the 20th at 27Sc45, kicking off a long 22 year cycle (until 2025-8-21) between these two goddesses. Now, I don't normally pay too much attention to such asteroid cycles, more out of laziness than anything else. Which is not to say they are unimportant. This conjunction marks a need to reconcile two conflicting tendencies, the need to relate to others and the need to retreat into your own world. It's a balancing of our obligations to others in order to treat them fairly with the necessity of being true to yourself. This may be a difficult cycle to track in our lives, if only because the influences are rather subtle and non-obvious. That doesn't make the task any less critical.

Neptune is standing still at 10Aq24 on the 22nd, finishing off a 5 month retrograde period and resuming normal motion. It's been in reverse gear since May 15, when it stood still at 13Aq11. Neptune is not only the Dreamer, but also the Confuser. It shows us where our hopes and wishes get the better of us. Essentially, whatever we truly believe inside, Neptune is willing to bring into existence in the outer world. Unfortunately, some of what we believe is not what we consciously admit to (especially our negative belief patterns), and much of what's left is often out of touch with reality. With a muddled wish list like that, Neptune can only make a confused and conflicted world to reflect it. Look at the kind of messes you've created in recent months. Anything that doesn't work well is worth reexamining. Are you working towards goals that don't make sense or are better suited to a time long past? Sometimes, even our ideals need to be overhauled to match changing circumstances. Neptune is our mirror now. A smoky, wavy, distorted mirror perhaps, but it's showing us what's deep in our hearts. Look deeply. A "path with heart" is worth following only if your heart is on a good path to begin with. Adjustments must be made...

Saturn is opposite Chiron again on the 24th. I talked about this one last month also, when we had the first opposition after an 8 year hiatus. That contact on Sep 25 was just after Chiron's station; this one is a day before Saturn's station. In fact, these planets are moving so slowly that all of September, October and much of November can be considered under the influence of this aspect. It seems like there are quite a few exclamation points after this opposition -- it's very important for us all. I suspect one of the primary messages here is learning a new attitude towards authority and our place in the greater world. It doesn't take too much integrity to see that as individuals and as a collective, we're not very responsible at times in how we relate to the world at large. Much of the time, we have no faith in our own ability to create positive change, so we give away our authority to "leaders" of various sorts to manage the world for us. That works well if the leaders are responsible, but it makes a horrendous mess of things if they aren't. It's time for us to step up and reclaim our right to choose our own paths, before things get too fouled up. Conscious decisions have the best chance of working out well in the long run.

Vesta moves from Scorpio into Sagittarius on the 25th, just before the new moon. Sag is often associated with beliefs, points of view and a faith in the unseen. These inner structures can be a source of strength and power when used properly. In fact, these motivations from the inside of a person are often more important in the long run than what happens on the outside. However, you must be willing to devote yourself honestly and fully to this vision. You need to come from a sense of integrity and let your actions reveal faithfully the soul within. Vesta cannot be false to herself. Her power comes from fidelity to the fire in her heart. There's no way you can fake this calling and come out clean. Check out the ideals you live by. Reform them if need be, but be faithful to them. Vesta moves into Capricorn on Dec 20.

There's a lot of mental energy around, but it often seems to be focused on understanding emotional issues, curiously enough. It's a time to bring your insight and intuition to bear to see what is truly motivating people (including yourself!). Remember that Uranus is moving into Pisces this year, so emotional issues are doubly important. I suspect that the next few months (Uranus enters Pisces for good on Dec 30) are a critical time to sort out these problems areas, at least in theory, before we all become immersed in them with no life boat in sight. Most people think they are "in control" of everything that goes on in their minds and hearts, but the psyche is infinitely deep and is almost always different from our expectations. As Uranus moves from air to water (i.e., Aquarius back into Pisces), we're shifting from understanding into merging. Pisces is a difficult ocean to cross over, as it has few landmarks to help you navigate. Do the mental work now -- it'll pay off handsomely later. Saturn and friends are bringing up all those unresolved authority issues, those areas of self-doubt that are preventing you from moving upward. Lighten up on yourself, give yourself a chance to shine without being critical and judgmental. Focus on your goals, not your failings. We've got a lot of work to do quickly -- don't delay!

P.S. -- The full moon and new moon in November are both potent eclipses , a total lunar and total solar eclipse, respectively. Start gearing up for these big shifts! I'll discuss them next month.

Saturn is standing still at 13Cn14 on the 25 (after the new moon), starting 4 months of reverse motion. It resumes normal motion at 6Cn17 on 2004-3-7. I've discussed this station on several occasions already, since I feel the coming months will powerfully affect the entire country. For starters, Saturn entered Cancer on Jun 3 for a 2 year stint. Cancer is a crucial sign for the USA, since we have 4 planets there, including our Sun around 13 degrees. As a kicker, Bush's natal Sun is also 13 Cancer. So when Saturn the Taskmaster stands still at this same degree, you can reasonably expect the nation to be in for a trip to the woodshed. Granted, Saturn doesn't have to be all bad news. If you've been disciplined and responsible, carefully building towards your goals, Saturn on your Sun can be a time when all your plans come to fruition. But if you cut corners or overlook the details, Saturn is more likely to bite you in the butt. The next few months (which incidentally bring us to the thick of the presidential primary season) may see a slow unraveling of deals and plans gone awry. Recall the last time Saturn hit the USA Sun, back in 1973-74 during the Watergate crisis that toppled Nixon. We'll have to see how this works out...

Juno enters Sagittarius on the 27th. She's been in Scorpio for a long time now, roughly 11 months, so she's feeling ready for a change. Juno is a relationship planet and she likes them to be honest, open and above boards whenever possible. The emotional storms typical of Scorpio make that approach nearly impossible, since this sign is known for rough emotional seas at every turn. Sagittarius is much calmer water in comparison. This placement is good for opening up new horizons with your partners, of seeing the issues from a much broader perspective. Relationships are one of the best ways these days for pursuing your spiritual work, since partners provide a mirror for us to see ourselves more clearly. However, this requires that you open your heart to them and relate in the highest manner possible. It's time to get past all the emotional garbage of the past and move to a higher level. Juno will be in Sag until 2004-1-23, when it moves into Capricorn for an extended stay.