Current Transits for October 2004

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


Ceres enters Libra, 10-3
Jupiter Quincunx Uranus, 10-10
New Moon / Partial Solar Eclipse at 21Li05, 10-13
Neptune Direct Station at 12Aq37, 10-24
Full Moon / Total Lunar Eclipse at 5Ta02
Vesta Direct Station at 13Pi53, 10-27
Grand Quintile, 10-28

An online ephemeris for the month is available.

General Outlook for the Month

October looks like it could be a real drag to get through. There's just no energy all month, nothing to back up our efforts. This can give a "running on empty" feeling as we try to get things done without any support, relying on our own reserves and most likely draining them. The last half of the month is also likely to be rather confusing and misdirected, due to Neptune standing still on the 24th. This is not to say October is unimportant. Due to a pair of eclipses (on the 13th and 27th), whatever happens this month will have long standing repercussions for the next 6 to 12 months. Be sure to slow down and pace yourself this month, avoiding the tendency to spread yourself too thin. It's going to be a long month.

There's not a lot of big action in October. The only "big aspect" is Jupiter quincunx Uranus on the 10th, the start of a 9 month cycle. Neptune and Vesta are both standing still, about to resume normal motion. Ceres moves into Libra for a 2 month stay. Of course, this is eclipse season again, with a partial solar eclipse on the 13th and a total lunar eclipse on the 27th, which sets the stage for the next 6 to 12 months. And there's a most curious configuration on the 28th, a Grand Quintile or 5 pointed star, that has really caught my eye.

Ceres enters Libra on the 3rd, where it will stay until Dec 10. Ceres is the Great Mother of the solar system, a symbol of caring, nurturing and feeling a deeper connection with all of life. In Libra, the focus is on lovers and partners and the role of relationships in our lives. This is literally a time to care more for friends and loved ones, to put in the extra effort to support the people you are close to. It's easy to fall into self-centered attitudes with others, expecting help from them without thinking about how you can return the favor. Relationships go so much smoother when there's a solid mutuality going on, a sense that your partners are truly loved as much as you care about yourself. One sided relationships are certain to go sour during this time. This is also a period to muse about the importance of such partnerships in your life, how just being with others enriches your life and feeds your soul. We're not meant to be alone. This feeling of rich connections is the deeper significance of Ceres energy. By bringing this soulful quality to all your encounters, all of life is nourished.

Jupiter is quincunx Uranus on the 10th for the first of 3 contacts. The other contacts in this 9 month cycle fall on 2005-5-7 and 2005-7-8. Despite the upbeat character of both of these planets, quincunxes have a tendency to bring together bodies in a manner where they just don't mesh well. That means it's worth our time to ask what the deeper meaning of these planets might be and why they are at odds. This is the first big aspect for Jupiter since moving into Libra on Sep 24. This placement obviously places an emphasis on relationships again, as well as kindling a more just and open connection with others. This is bumping up against Uranus in Pisces, which has a more inward and reclusive style. Pisces is known for a path of faith and devotion, of commiting yourself to something higher than yourself. Of course, Uranus throws a monkey wrench here, making it less likely such commitment will take a traditional path. There's a kind of searching going on here, of trying to create a meaningful way of living that truly speaks to your deeper nature instead of simply repeating timeworn formulas from centuries past. Just look at the world today if you want to see the results of the old ways! Obviously, there's much room for improvement. I think one of the moral and spiritual ideals that needs to be reexamined is the idea of justice -- what does it mean to treat others fairly in our changing world? With so many ideas, religions and philosophies vying for our attention and support, the conflict between them is eroding our sense of a "truth" we can all agree on. People kill over these ideas -- not exactly the intended outcome for any spiritual path. Devotees would rather degrade another human being than reexamine their own beliefs. Perhaps this aspect is warning us that we've lost our way, that our beliefs have taken a wrong turn somewhere. All I know is the message of the quincunx: something is seriously out of kilter. We each have to figure out for ourselves what that might be -- time to start looking...

The solar eclipse chart is a hard one to read because it's broken down into so many little subplots. There's a strong 48th harmonic going on in the waveform now, a sign that the planets are divided into lots of loosely connected groups that fail to speak with a single voice. Let's pick apart some of these themes that will be with us for the next 6 to 12 months.

The most obvious feature of this chart is the heavy emphasis on the sign Libra, with 6 bodies (including the eclipse point) in that one sign. Libra is usually defined in terms of relationships, how you get along with friends and partners. Undoubtedly, there will be a focus on how we get along, but you may find the picture is much more complicated than it usually is. You can feel a tug-of-war going on inside you between giving people some slack and just blowing off some steam at them. Communication is vital, but also very tricky, since attempts at clarity may not always produce the desired results. It's interesting that the planets most closely in aspect with the eclipse are Pluto and Chiron. In fact, Pluto may easily be the strongest planet in the entire chart. With Pluto running the show, you have to dig deeper than usual and avoid falling into the trap of easy, shallow answers. There's an unspoken emotional layer in all of us that rarely gets shared with others, especially if we're acting polite and civilized with them. Often we feel we need to protect ourselves from the judgments of others, sometimes we simply want our privacy. It's hard to be present in our relationships with others and yet hide away at the same time. Between these conflicting urges lies a path that values being genuinely yourself while cherishing your partners and their needs. Communicating this level of intimacy is tough at times and requires a calm and disciplined approach. You may not get everything you want -- sometimes it downright aches. But if you're serious about relating to people from the heart, you do it because you feel in your bones that it's the right thing to do. To a more cynical mind, that's a pretty flimsy motivation, but as you grow spiritually, you realize it's the only path available to you. At another level, Libra is about creating harmony and beauty in your life. You may be called on in coming months to improve your surroundings and make them more pleasing. Any kind of disharmony that jangles your nerves and disrupts your ability to relax should be fixed or avoided. The heart center is averse to fear and discord -- you can't open up when your world is assaulting your senses. Achieving harmony within is probably more important that finding it outside of you. Check which house of your birthchart contains this eclipse degree (21Li05) if you want more detailed info about how this eclipse will affect you. Whatever the details, take these lessons seriously. Eclipses are not bogeymen, but they are a wakeup call. The sooner you clean up whatever is stuck in your life, the sooner you can continue on your path.

P.S. -- The eclipse is going on between 7:00 in the evening and midnight (CDT). Incredibly, the third Kerry-Bush debate will be happening during this eclipse! It should be fascinating to watch the fallout from this evening.

Neptune is standing still at 12Aq37 on the 24th, about to resume normal motion. It's been in reverse gear since May 17 when it stood still at 15Aq24. Neptune is a hard planet to get to know because it spans such a wide range of human experience. It not only represents our most idealistic and noble side, but also the most "down in the gutter" parts of our lives, full of confusion and self-deception. The time of the direct station is a time to reassess how viable your beliefs and ideals are in the real world. Start by looking at your life (honestly now, no rose colored glasses) and seeing where you've made a mess of things. Neptune has an odd kind of magic about it: whatever you believe, Neptune manifests in the world around you. If your outer world is a mess now, it's because your inner world was a mess first. Often our ideals for a glorious future are simply a reflection of what we've wished for in the past. It's not that your beliefs are wrong, they just belong to an earlier time and are irrelevant to today's demands. This is an instance where spirit is not eternal truth, but a fragile understanding that must be updated and recreated from time to time. Another issue is that not many people really follow their higher goals. What they really believe in is how to "get mine" -- guess what Neptune magnifies? Others are so confused or have conflicting goals that the world can only mirror back that inner conflict. Get to know your messes -- that's where you'll find the inspiration for your next round of growth. Just be careful of the "Neptune haze" this month -- clarity is not a trait that Neptune understands. It's all too easy to deceive yourself once again.

Weather permitting, the total lunar eclipse should be a spectacular sight in the eastern sky across most of the country. Go outdoors and see it if you can! There should be good viewing of the totality phase of the eclipse between 8:00 in the evening and midnight (CDT). The energies of this eclipse are markedly different from the solar eclipse. For starters, the dominant harmonic is H24, not H48, indicating a lot more organization and coherence to this pattern. Planets actually interact with each other this time! Besides the Sun and Moon, the most prominent planets are Pluto and Uranus, adding some profound undercurrents to the current energy. More importantly, we will be building up to the Grand Quintile over the next 24 hours, linking the eclipse with the most critical planetary pattern all month.

First of all, the heavy Libra emphasis is dissipating -- time to move on to new lessons. With the Moon in Taurus, there's an feeling of slow-moving calmness in this chart. This can come out as a need to slow down, be more deliberate and take matters at your own speed. Creature comforts and practical concerns may become more important. However, behind all the mundane concerns are the Grand Quintile energies -- Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Pluto. The greater world around us is calling out for our attention, asking us to express our concern through thoughtful and informed action. However, caring for society in general is not the whole story. Uranus and Pluto, which have been working on us for several years already, add an extra dimension of more "spiritual" motivations. We can't return the world to an old state of balance. Instead, we must create a new vision for the world that allows us to move our world to a whole new level of harmony. Quintiles are excellent for jumping out of old ruts, of seeing things from a new perspective. With Uranus and Pluto kicking our butts to overthrow outdated ideas and goals, to engage the world in a much more enlightened fashion, we're actually called on to start creating a more perfected world, not just talk about it. Again, check which house in your birthchart contains the eclipse (5Ta02) if you want more specific clues about your role in all this. This eclipse is a dominant influence for the elections, less than a week away. It's a simple act, but your vote is one small way of expressing your desires for a better tommorrow (don't stop there, however!). Express yourself wisely and thoughtfully, free from the media hype and the political lies and spin. Don't get sucked in by the environment of fear. Remember, the heart can't operate openly in a place of fear. Courage to build something new is the only way to move forward.

Vesta is also standing still at 13Pi53 on the 27th. She's been retrograding since July 27, when she stood still at 28Pi23. Vesta is the introvert's planet, the drive within some of us to pull back from the outer world and commune with your inner source of power. A strong Vesta personality is often uncomfortable among other people. Constant interaction seems to drain her and deplete her energies. When she runs out of gas, she reacts by withdrawing from the world and getting in touch with herself alone. Her inner world is rich and vital, a source of inspiration and delight. Now when Vesta is retrograde like she's been the last 3 months, these isolationist tendencies become exaggerated and she's likely to simply fall off the face of the earth, for all practical purposes. Sitting in Pisces, the most reclusive of zodiac signs, hasn't helped her at all. If you've been holing up at home a lot lately (one of Vesta's favorite pasttimes), you might want to consider coming up for air finally. Friends may be wondering what's happened to you for so long. Granted, you're likely to consider the last few months a very productive and creative time, a time when you've pursued your projects and interests without "interruptions" from others. Consider showing the world what you've been working on so diligently, if it's not too personal. Your times alone are a gift that should ultimately be shared with others. Also, Vesta is such a loner that she sometimes forgets the value of friendship. Not everybody is out to drain your energies from you. True friends are a treasure, if you only let them into your life.

There's a very unusual configuration of planets on the 28th called a Grand Quintile, though it could just as easily be nicknamed a Pentagram or a 5 point star. It consists of 5 planets connected by quintile aspects of 72 degrees: Moon in Taurus, Saturn in Cancer, Jupiter in Libra, Pluto in Sagittarius and Uranus in Pisces. I've been talking about the quintile between Uranus and Pluto for some time now since it started a series of 7 contacts back on May 19, 2002. We've had 5 contacts already and there's two more to come, on Nov 11 and next year on Feb 12. In short, this highly transformative aspect is coming to a climax quite rapidly. Jupiter and Saturn are coming off of their sextile and forming a quintile of their own that lasts through next August. Another quintile from Jupiter to Pluto (which repeats through next July) links all four planets into a chain of aspects, all of which become exact in early November (real soon now!). The "missing point" of the star pattern lies at 14 degrees of Taurus. Which is where the Moon is on the 28th, around 16:00 CDT. Now quintiles are an odd aspect, completely outside of the usual good and bad aspect categories we normally think in. They are quirky and unexpected, very mental and creative, a lot like Uranus in many ways. Linking together the two main planets of our social existence (Jupiter and Saturn) with two of the most transformative planets (Uranus and Pluto) is a recipe for great changes and overhauls all by itself. Doing it in via a Grand Quintile is almost a revolution, especially since it comes on the heels of the lunar eclipse the night before. If you blink now, the star makes a repeat performance on Nov 25. I suspect the influences of the Uranus-Pluto contacts will become much more real and tangible in our lives during this time, if only because of the elections. Change is crackling in the air like static electricity before a thunderstorm. It requires a fresh perspective and bold new initiatives. It demands insight, compassion and courage of us. The opportunity to make a leap forward is offered to us now, though no success is guaranteed. That's up to all of us. Keep an eye on this incredible pattern the coming month -- there's something really big going on here.