Current Transits for November 2003

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


Jupiter sextile Saturn, 11-1
Chiron octile Uranus, 11-5
Jupiter trine Chiron, 11-6
Uranus Direct Station at 28Aq54, 11-8
Full Moon / Total Lunar Eclipse at 16Ta12, 11-8
New Moon / Total Solar Eclipse at 1Sa13, 11-23
Ceres Retrograde Station at 25Cn22, 11-23

An online ephemeris for the month is available.

General Outlook for the Month

I've been talking for several months about a remarkable change in the astrological influences affecting us. With the exception of 1 or 2 major aspects that have been in effect for quite some time, all the big aspects driving 2002 and early 2003 stopped by July of this year. Starting in August, a new batch of aspects has been appearing on the stage, slowly at first, and now with increasing potency. I'd say that November is the time when these new influences are fully in control and blossoming in their effects. Most of the month is an on-again, off-again storm of great complexity, augmented by a pair of total eclipses. Fortunately, the aspects in question are of the easy going variety (though the planets involved are not always so benign), making this an intriguing time of challenge and opportunity, which (as the ancient Chinese often noted) means a time of potential danger as well. Just recognize that this is all new territory -- the past does not apply anymore. We may be stumbling around in the dark for quite some time (think next summer) before finding our way, though we really don't have the luxury of waiting around to get our bearings. We're online now, ready or not. The repercussions of November may not be felt for many months, but we are sowing seeds for future critical developments. Keep your eyes wide open -- this is important!

There are 3 "big aspects" in the sky during November, 2 of them new, first time contacts. However, when added to the other new aspects this fall, we wind up with a huge storm pattern that includes 1 or even 2 interlocking Yods and a T-square; just before the full moon / lunar eclipse, it becomes a loose Grand Hexagram. Uranus and Ceres both reach stations this month, both on eclipse days (hmmm...). And then there's the eclipses themselves, always big change-makers for us. That should be enough to keep us busy!

The month starts out with a sextile of Jupiter and Saturn on the 1st. This is perhaps the most hopeful sign I've seen about the larger global picture in some time. This 20 year cycle started with the conjunction of these two giants back on 2000-5-28. Curiously, that was right on the Israeli Sun, so it hasn't been too surprising that the Israel-Palestine story has dominated the news the last 3 years. We've just come out of the difficult octile part of the cycle. Since octiles tend to exaggerate conflicts and disagreements, it's no surprise peace efforts the last year have failed miserably. People are just simply not in a position to understand each other, let alone act responsibly to bring about harmony. The sextile that starts now and repeats on May 1 and Aug 17 of 2004 is the first window of opportunity for a more constructive approach. I often describe Jupiter and Saturn as being opposite sides of a coin called "the social contract", the tacit agreements people make with each other in order to get along and prosper. It requires some discipline and respect, a commitment to behave responsibly when you cross paths with another person -- that's Saturn's demand. Jupiter's reward is then the ability to reap the benefits of being a member of society and expand your own boundaries. Too many problems are perpetuated by people that want all the benefits without paying the price. We want the other person to give in to us without offering anything in return. Maybe this is a time to "get it" finally. When you consider that this sextile is part of a persistent Yod with Neptune for many months, the choice is much starker. We either act more compassionately or we reap a lot of confusion and discord. Yah, we could screw up big time, but maybe we won't. It's definitely worth the effort.

Chiron is octile Uranus on the 5th for the last of 3 contacts this year. The previous contacts were on Jan 10 and May 21. I've looked at this aspect as being a midwife of sorts for Uranus as it moves into Pisces during 2003. You can usually think of octiles as being two planets that are stepping on each other's toes -- they just don't work smoothly together. Here we've got the rebel Uranus trying to enter the other worldly Pisces, although it has currently backed up into Aquarius again for some unfinished business. We're getting ready for a major spiritual leap, yet something is holding us back from taking off. Chiron is typically some part of the psyche that was never accepted by others and was therefore hidden away to remain in an immature state of development. Chiron is in Capricorn these days, the sign of stepping out and making your mark on the world. If you never received the necessary attaboys for your efforts, it's easy to feel ill at ease in the world. There's self-doubt about your capacity to deal with life's challenges and no expectation that you'll get the recognition you desire. It's funny how spiritual leaps are often juxtaposed with problems dealing with the physical plane. It's a hint to keep your feet on the ground and take care of the mundane issues if you really want to fly. Just one of those paradoxes in life...

Jupiter is trine Chiron on the 6th. This is the first of 3 contacts, to be followed by two more on Jan 5 and Aug 15 in 2004. Normally you think of trines with Jupiter and think great! Chiron gives this a funny wrinkle, however. Jupiter shows us how we reach out to the world and reap the benefits, while Chiron is indicating how this process can go haywire. For some reason, you may not feel worthy of receiving the rewards or don't expect things to go your way. On a less material level, it's easy to shut down the way you relate to other people, to hold back and hide your feelings, because you don't feel others will accept your behavior. We come into the world full of enthusiasm, but by adulthood we often spend our time putting up a false front. This aspect may be a time for you to drop the pretenses and meet the world in a more genuine manner, full of life and passion. It's not a quick or easy road, but I think it could work out well in the end. After all, Jupiter trines are great, aren't they?

Uranus is standing still on the 8th at 28Aq54, just before the lunar eclipse, about to resume normal motion and head back into Pisces. The next two months (until Uranus hits Pisces on Dec 30) are like the last lap of a long race. There's a big difference between a mental sign like Aquarius and a feeling sign like Pisces. You can rearrange your beliefs and thought processes endlessly and still be unprepared for the shifts that hit you on all levels at once. Uranus rules the unexpected, those twists of fate that defy your sense of what is reasonable. I suspect that people who have done a lot of spiritual work the last few years and consider themselves rather enlightened are in for a shock when they find themselves in kindergarten again. With Pisces, it's not what you believe that's important, but the artistry of how you live your life. Few of us can claim to be a masterpiece yet. So clean up the untidy loose ends about you now, while there's still some mental clarity to work with. Throw your excess baggage overboard, if you must, because the spiritual journey ahead demands a light load. We're both leaving the past behind and bringing it to fruition, preparing for a future we can't imagine quite yet. There's a life of paradoxes ahead and mere reason is a flimsy tool for comprehending that life. Trust the journey and set sail...

The full moon chart is rather remarkable and has gotten a lot of people very excited with its spiritual potential. As the Moon becomes full and is fully eclipsed, it lies in Taurus (16Ta12, to be exact) and fills in the last hole in the big fan pattern. This means that the Sun and Moon, along with Saturn, Jupiter, Chiron and Mars, form a giant 6 point star in the sky, sometimes called a "Grand Hexagram" or a "Star of David" pattern. Granted, the orbs are pretty loose between some of these planets. This should be an off-the-dial waveform, but the energy is considerably dissipated and amounts to only a 411 unit graph. (It was much stronger earlier in the day, about 478 units at 10:10 in the morning.) Neptune forms a loose T-square with the Sun and Moon, spoiling all those pretty sextiles just a bit. Oh, and Uranus is standing still today. I guess that's enough to keep us busy!

It's one thing to describe the geometry of this chart and quite another to say what it means. This is a very complicated picture and I'd beware of falling for simplistic interpretations of the energies. Start with that Taurus Moon -- keep your feet planted solidly on the ground. It's easy to get carried away by things as they swirl around you. Before you can soar at great spiritual heights, you must have your mundane affairs working smoothly so they don't distract you. It's important to be perfectly above boards with the people you live and work with. In this way, you not only avoid many distracting soap operas with them, but you'll also find they will be more supportive of you when you need it. You have to be open and compassionate with others, not in a syrupy or sentimental fashion, but in a way that's clear headed and even a little tough at times. It's easy to be blinded by your favorite delusions and easy answers, so rely on a searing honesty with yourself to cut through the fog. Spirituality requires a rock solid base of integrity and honesty in order to avoid the common traps and detours along the way. That said, this is a wonderful time to put past problems behind you and boldly engage the world. The rewards for your efforts are potentially great. Temper your approach however, since a quiet, receptive manner is more constructive now than a brash frontal assault. Remember that eclipses take time to evolve, so give yourself 6 to 12 months to pull this off. Don't let this energy pass you by without getting involved. Good results are easier than you expect...

P.S. -- The eclipse should be visible in the northeast sky after sundown throughout most of the United States. Totality lasts about 25 minutes, from 19:07 to19:31, with several hours of partial eclipse before and after. Go see it -- it's quite a spectacle!

After a brief hiatus, the storm comes back for one last hurrah at the new moon. However, planets are moving on and the fan pattern is breaking up, bringing new planetary forces into view. The new moon eclipse point is mostly connected with Chiron and Uranus this time. The biggest grouping seems to be a Jupiter - Mercury - Pluto - Mars T-square . The Yods are losing their punch (for now). The eclipse path is through Antarctica, so don't bother looking.

The eclipse is at 1Sa13, square Uranus. This gives the eclipse even more potential for stirring things up than usual, since Uranus is a natural trouble maker. The coming months are a time to break loose from old habits from the past and try out something new. You'll probably find that issues of freedom to be yourself keep coming up, which may be pretty disruptive at times. I find the T-square more intriguing, however. Any time there's a square between Mars and Pluto, you have to stand back and take a careful look. Mars is putting your will power into high gear, while Pluto is in tune with more unconscious, but manipulative drives. It's easy for people to lash out now, to feel others are hemming them in. You have to be particularly sensitive about your reasons for doing things and be certain they reflect a sense of integrity. I guess that's where Mercury comes in. It's time for the thinking mind to peer into the depths and attempt to make sense of all these twisted motivations. Give people the benefit of the doubt and recheck your own stories 2 or 3 times over before making a decision. Don't make pointless conflict through lack of self awareness. You have to aim high if you expect this eclipse to work out well.

Ceres is standing still at 25Cn22 on the 23rd, shortly after the solar eclipse, starting 3 months of reverse motion. It goes direct again on Feb 25, 2004 at 11Cn37. Ceres is the Great Mother Goddess, the web of connections that bind us to all living things. Cancer is also a great maternal symbol, so it seems as though we're into a long period of intensely reexamining the roles of love and nurturing in our lives. Where do you put your energy and attention? What do you deem worth caring for and working towards? Who is held tightly within your circle of loved ones and who is left outside in the dark? Look closely at how you support others and how much you allow their love and help to influence your life. Many of us are better at giving than receiving or vice versa, not comfortable with a more balanced give and take. As an aside, this is also a good time to examine your issues about food and eating. Maybe it's time to stop substituting food for emotional support or other true pleasures -- excellent motivation for going on that diet. Or at the other extreme, there's the anorexic tendency to use food as a weapon against yourself. These may seem like trivial issues to ponder, but love and security are the emotional foundations our lives are based upon. Maybe you can live without them, but it's a pretty dreary life that way. Humans are not solitary animals by nature. We thrive best in community, family, loving relations. If you love yourself, it's worthwhile loving others deeply. That's the secret of the Great Mother.