Current Transits for November 2008

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


Juno enters Capricorn, 11-1
Neptune Direct Station at 21Aq28, 11-2
Ceres enters Virgo, 11-3
Saturn Opposite Uranus, 11-4
Jupiter Sextile Uranus, 11-12
Full Moon at 21Ta14, 11-13
Mars enters Sagittarius, 11-16
Jupiter Trine Saturn, 11-21
Pluto enters Capricorn, 11-26
Uranus Direct Station at 18Pi44, 11-27
New Moon at 5Sa49, 11-27
Jupiter Semisextile Neptune, 11-28

An online ephemeris for the month is available.

General Outlook for the Month

I guess I don't really have to tell anybody that November will be a pivotal month. Just a glance at the long list of astrological events of note in coming weeks confirms that the heavens agree with that assessment. But as you take the picture this month apart and ponder it more deeply, the details tend to fade away into a general mood of gravitas, a sense that a tectonic shift is happening. It goes much further than just the elections, a major course change for the entire world, no matter which way the vote goes. For starters, I haven't seen the outer planets this organized for such an extended period of time in many years. The energies emerging now will dominate our lives for several years to come, so start paying attention to any new issues coming to the surface now. One such pattern is a dramatic fan-shaped grouping consisting of Jupiter, Saturn, Chiron, Uranus and Neptune (whew!), plus any fast moving planets that momentarily want to join in. We started seeing this pattern forming last March already, though it faded some over the summer. In November, as the fan comes together again, we are treated to what is essentially a non-stop planetary storm. (And just wait until you see what they look like next spring!) The more understated story is when Pluto quietly moves into Capricorn for a 15 year stay just before Thanksgiving. We've been seeing the "previews of coming attractions" for this tale since last January, back when the primaries were just getting underway and the economy was just starting to creak. It's now time to face these issues head on. Take a deep breath, clear your mind -- this is important...

There is plenty of news to talk about in November -- I hope we can fit it all in. There are 4 sign changes this month, including the critical Pluto shift. In addition, there are 4 "big aspects", all a part of the outer planet fan pattern. Rounding out the picture are the direct stations of Neptune and Uranus. This should keep us busy!

Juno moves from Sagittarius into Capricorn on the 1st. She will be traveling through this sign until 2009-1-21, the day after the inauguration, when she shifts into Aquarius. Juno is the Queen of Partnerships, the urge within us to join up on the basis of equality and respect. A bit of romance wouldn't be bad either. If she receives the love and dignity she feels is her due, she's "in the relationship" 100%. On the other hand, when she feels she's getting the raw end of the deal, her tendency is to respond with something between covert manipulation and overt rage (I exaggerate...). The next 3 months find Juno in Capricorn, a very practical and down-to-earth sign. The issues that become sticking points between partners may revolve around very mundane matters: how is money managed, who is responsible for which chores, and who gets the recognition for it. It's important to get the little stuff under control now, since they tend to undermine the larger parts of the relationship that may otherwise be in good shape. As a couple, you're better off working together instead of at cross purposes, so get on the same page.

Neptune is standing still at its direct station of 21Aq28 early on the 2nd. It's been backing up since May 26, when it reached its retrograde station of 24Aq15. Neptune is perhaps the hardest planet to describe, since it rules over many of our vaguest, but most emotionally powerful experiences. However, this is where words are least able to capture all the nuances of the situation. You view life through "reality distorting lenses" of various strengths during major Neptune influences, sometimes almost clearly, other times heavily deluded or confused, and you never know which is which. Further, there is often a confusion between what is happening "out there" in the world around you and what is happening inside within your own psyche. This is more than the usual projection problems of everyday life (especially when you try to intuit what other people are feeling and why), because Neptune tends to attract outer experiences that match the turmoil in your inner world, as if deliberately trying to make the confusion more obvious. For about a week either side of this station, we are all under this Neptune haze. Look at the trouble areas in your life that you're seeing and ask how much is really of your own making. Coming 2 days before the voting, this station says a lot about how we are collectively being moved to act for reasons (or a mythology) that has little to do with reality (think 10 months of political attack ads on TV). We're about to create a world in the image of our myths, with both the expected idealistic outcomes and the "oops!" unintended consequences. Just feeling good about our problems won't solve them. One other detail I'd like to mention. Next spring, Neptune returns to the zodiacal position (25Aq52) where it was first discovered in 1846. The world is having a Neptune return, of sorts. I suspect we are going to learn a lot about this planet in coming years that we can't even imagine now. I'm looking forward to being surprised.

Ceres moves from Leo into Virgo on the 3rd for an extended 9 month stay, due to an upcoming retrograde cycle in this sign. She doesn't get to Libra until 2009-8-3. This placement sounds like a health nut's dream. Ceres is associated with food and eating (among many other things), while Virgo deals with health concerns of all kinds. It's a good time to focus on taking care of yourself better, especially given the retrograde cycle here. Just cleaning up your diet or weaning yourself from "recreation" that you feel the next morning would be a good start. Just recognize that a good life consists of more than what you ingest. A good emotional environment, care and support from others, good friendships feed the soul, a part of you that can't be ignored. Take a smarter view of what's good for you -- you deserve the change!

Saturn is in opposition to Uranus early on the 4th, as voting is getting underway. This is the first of 5 such contacts for this aspect, with the next contact on 2009-2-5 and the final one on 2010-7-26. I had quite a laugh many months ago when I first became aware of this election day aspect. Obviously, this is an aspect with both power to shake things up and the potential to be with us for quite some time. It's hard to imagine a clearer cariacature of the race: the stodgy, conservative old Saturn in a tug-o-war with the radical upstart Uranus. Except I'm not sure who is who. It's easy to jump to conclusions and make the equations Saturn = McCain and Uranus = Obama based on unimportant details like age, appearance or policies. Temperment is another matter, with McCain playing out the wild and unpredictable role and Obama being calm and buttoned down. (The cosmic joke: astrological symbols are very multi-faceted, so don't jump the gun.) Regardless of the personalities, this aspect points to the importance of today's decisions as they play out in the next few years. The irony of this opposition is that both planets are important -- we need to build up and tear down simultaneously. The country needs deep structural changes and overhauls, but what is the overall vision that will guide these shifts? The collective mind changes very slowly and in an unsteady manner to even the greatest of higher influences, with uncertain consequences. I believe that's the situation we're in now. May we end up making the best world possible...

As you can tell by the waveform for today, we are just coming off a Koz Alert as we head to the polls. Besides the Neptune station and the Saturn-Uranus opposition, there are several other influences during the day that may affect the outcome. First of all, Mercury moves from Libra to Scorpio early in the day. People's thinking is changing at the last minute and it may affect how they mark their ballots. (Hopefully this won't be as big a disaster as in 2000, when Mercury parked at its direct station and changed signs briefly at the last minute, throwing the election into chaos.) The Moon, the indicator of the mood of the people, goes over the US Pluto (around 13:09 CST) in late Capricorn before shifting to Aquarius just before polls close on the east coast. I don't expect too much commotion in the presidential race, despite the gap in the polls closing slightly. Both candidates' charts look strong now, as you'd expect from anyone who made it to the top of their party. I suspect McCain will do better than expected. Further down the ballot, particularly in Senate and Congressional races, there might be more in the way of surprises. It might take awhile for all the dust to settle Tuesday night on these races.

Jupiter is sextile Uranus on the 12th, the last of 3 such contacts. The previous contacts were Mar 28 and May 21. I've tended to sound rather ominous so far, so here's a lighter aspect. Jupiter and Uranus are both very upbeat, optimistic planets with a strong mental-intuitive side. This has been an excellent time to stir up your old habitual thought patterns and climb out of your mental ruts. Conventional wisdom (Jupiter) is opened up to fresh ideas when Uranus shows up. This aspect will also dispell a more gloomy outlook by revealing options that weren't visible before. This is one of the more pleasant sides to the complex outer planet fan. Enjoy!

The full moon falls squarely within the storm created by the outer planet fan, so I won't belabor the obvious by repeating that discussion. There are plenty of common names for the patterns we see here (2 Kites, 2 T-squares, 5 points of a 6 pointed star or Grand Hexagram, etc.), so we could spend all day trying to tease all the patterns apart. Given that Neptune forms a very tight, fixed sign T-square with the Sun and Moon, I'm tempted to start looking at the chart there.

The Sun and Moon form the conduit for bringing the outer planets into our lives during the full moon period. They are literally the heart and soul of a person, so any person that is deeply attuned to the higher influences coming in this month will be responding at a very personal level to these energies. You may not be able to do anything with these new insights yet, since the other fast moving planets are currently shifted out of the main picture. Working out the details in your life comes later. With Neptune squaring both ends of the full moon axis, a dreamy confusion/inspiration (pick one) dangles in front of you. Be careful not to become too rigid or dogmatic about this "vision" you sense, a danger with fixed zodiac signs. This is new energy forming that we haven't experienced before. Give yourself time to explore and play with it. The better you get to know this new level of awareness, the easier it will be to work seriously with it next year. Particularly with Neptune, we are moving out of the "101 class" and heading for a totally new understanding of how this mystical planet really works within our psyches as it returns to its discovery position next spring. Great! Another plateau of spiritual growth to master! Take a deep breath, then take the first step. Being on the path is like that sometimes...

Mars leaves Scorpio and enters Sagittarius on the 16th for a 6 week stay. He will move into Capricorn Dec 27 (and quickly conjunct Pluto!). As placements go for our Warrior God, Sagittarius isn't the best of signs, but it's right up there. There's a joy and enthusiasm about the way Mars throws his will power and influence around in this sign. The down side is a lack of attention to detail and follow through. He leaves a lot of interesting projects half done while in Sag, as something new catches his eye before the last one is complete. But he's enjoying himself and that counts for a lot. Give yourself some time to play and have fun. You can buckle down later when Mars hits Capricorn.

Jupiter is trine Saturn on the 21st, the last of 5 contacts stretching all the way back to 2007-3-16. Here's another aspect for the outer planet fan. Trines are traditionally very positive and helpful aspects, but the modern interpretation recognizes some down sides to them as well. The trouble when everything is going well is that people tend to coast, so when the situation turns less favorable, there's no cushion to fall back on. This connection between the broader social planets Jupiter and Saturn has been going on for 20 months now and apparently we have little to show for it. Perhaps the trine has shielded us from the worst effects of our own behavior, in which case, we're in a real pickle. There are no new "good aspects" in this cycle for about 5 more years, so it's time to face up to our responsibilities. Maybe the other planets in the fan will help us wake up before more damage is done.

Pluto lumbers from Sagittarius into Capricorn for good on the 26th -- well, at least for the next 15 years. Yeah, the previews are over now and it's time for the real show. We've been tracking this transition of Pluto into Capricorn since Jan 25, when he first stepped over the border. The effects of this transition on business and the economy has been astounding, with the world economy grinding to a standstill and whole sectors of the financial industry disappearing and going out of business. His influence on our politics is less obvious, but it's amazing how often his fingerprints are found in election-related charts. Now, as we enter a 15 year cycle, it's time to face the music. Pluto in Cap produces the need to, above all else, take control of our society and make it work effectively. Most people agree these days that the country has been on the wrong track for many years. So quit hiding from your problems, Pluto says, and do something about it! Pluto is very uncompromising with us when he decides it's time for a change. One way or another, things will be different in the near future. The question is, how difficult will we make the journey for ourselves. That part is up to us and how much we're willing to cooperate with Pluto. I doubt the citizenry will tolerate more of the nonsense we've seen from our leaders in recent decades. The stakes for the world, the country, the individual are too high now in this volatile environment. The first order of business, of course, is to get the economy back on track. Only then can other plans be entertained.

By the way, those of you who are sensitive to these planetary energies may notice Pluto going quiet or offline this week. I've noticed this effect in the past. Following the last aspect to Pluto (from Mercury on the 23rd and then the Moon on the 25th), Pluto's energies go dormant and he passes from Sag into Capricorn quietly on the 26th. The rest isn't long, with contacts from the Moon before the new moon on the 27th and then Moon conjunct Pluto on the 29th. However, Pluto doesn't fully emerge from the shadows until Dec 8, when Venus makes the first non-lunar aspect to the Dark Lord. At that point, his shop is open for business and the new influences should become apparent as December progresses. Get used to the new reality. It's the only game in town...

Uranus hits its direct station of 18Pi44 on the 27th, less than an hour before the new moon, ending a 5 month retrograde cycle. It's been backing up since the retrograde station of 22Pi39 back on Jun 26. Uranus stations are a curious influence that is hard to summarize without sounding a wee bit crazy. It's as though your ability to intuitively size up the world and make sense of it goes a little whacky. This is an excellent time for making intellectual breakthroughs, particularly when what's limiting your understanding is simply a lack of useful images or paradigms for sizing up matters. At it's best, the mental-intuitive realm can go into overdrive for you (I've had a bout of this for several months); at its worst, it can simply lead to erratic and dysfunctional behavior that helps nothing. These times are easier to navigate if you develop a taste for ambiguity and can postpone making premature conclusions. Life is crazier than you expect, if you're doing it right. There's something refreshing about these energies -- it's impossible to be stuck in a rut. Be amused...

Welcome to the first day of the next 15 years! There's been much activity leading up to this new moon. Pluto is now firmly in Capricorn, though it's barely awake yet. Uranus is standing still, adding a strong mental twinge to the energies. The fan is still engaged, even if Uranus is temporarily falling behind. But most curious is the tight little knot of planets in early Sag (Sun, Moon, Mercury, Mars).

The feel of this storm is rather different from the previous ones. For starters, most of the faster planets are in that knot and have only a tenuous connection with those outer planets. The conduit of higher power is rather weak or constrained now. Nonetheless, the overall effect of this chart is strong and rather harsh. The easy going aspects in the fan are no protection from the difficulties all around us now. It's harder to make good use of those lovely spiritual qualities coming at us when they don't directly connect with our everyday lives. Maybe it's still too soon -- we barely know this pattern yet. The Sagittarius planets help make this time exciting and enticing, although your attention is wandering all over the map. Still, something feels like it's missing, like the inner and outer worlds don't match up.

Jupiter is semisextile Neptune on the 28th, a rather quick single pass aspect. I don't expect this fleeting aspect to have a major long-term effect, as it's pretty much over and gone in only a few months. However, it ties Neptune more closely into the rest of the fan pattern. The mood of this aspect is dreamy and optimistic, though more than a little out of focus. On a good day, it can produce some pleasant and illuminating spiritual experiences. On the other hand, some lazy indulgence over Thanksgiving weekend may be in order as well. Both planets have a lazy streak. We'll be seeing more of Jupiter and Neptune next spring, when they are conjunct.

During October, the world changed radically. The US banking problems turned into a global meltdown, while governments around the world are struggling to keep our system of money afloat. Major institutions disappear on a weekly basis and investors are watching their assets disappear like ghosts in the sunlight. The stock market resembles a giant roller coaster on steroids, with huge daily swings that indicate a breakdown of basic economic laws. Even the experts don't understand what's going on.

At least we got through the debates without major gaffes or other news. There wasn't much of value that came out of these shows. Perhaps that's all that can be expected from Mercury retrograde.