Astrology of October 2006
by Henry Seltzer (
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The Astrology of October features Venus and Mars, together with Saturn, Uranus and Pluto, symbolizing the enormous degree of cosmic epiphany and transformational pressure coming our way lately. Jupiter and Saturn are also making their last pass on a square alignment that has been off and on all year and especially since last summer, indicating a crisis in action regarding the personal or the social impulse that originated in the spring of 2000. Since that year coincided with the divisive election campaign of GW Bush, we might regard this summer and on into October as a testing period of time for how well this current administration has succeeded in evoking the will of the people who participated in the election and in carrying out its objectives.

There are two phases to this current monthly cycle, before and after the late Libra New Moon of October 21st, and in the second phase we look tend to more deeply into our underlying motivations. Venus and Mars are also prominent factors in the skies at this time, beginning with the Full Moon of October 6th when the Sun occupies their mid-point. Their conjunction perfects at the New Moon of October 21st, resulting in a rare quadruple conjunction of Sun, Moon, Venus and Mars. With this Sun and Moon ruled by Venus, relationship with all our kin is therefore emphasized, together with drawing closer to intimate others. The triple conjunction of these three personal planets, minus the Moon, continues into Scorpio up through and including the First Quarter of October 29th, when they are squared by Chiron and the Moon and when Mercury also retrogrades in close conjunction with Jupiter in Scorpio, still squared by Saturn.

With the powerful transformational effects of Pluto also involved in this configuration from the time of the New Moon onward, the last part of October represents an entirely important time of reflection and deep concern with the issues of right relationship in our lives – the way that we treat each other in the so-called battle of the sexes and the way that we treat each other across social and cultural lines as well. Looking back on this period of time from the perspective of the next twenty years, what may well stand out will be our relative failure or our success in treating all men and women as brothers and sisters, part of our human family, whether they are of the same or of different racial make-up and cultures than ourselves. No person is an island to paraphrase Donne, who famously wrote the line as early as the 17th century; therefore do not seek to ask for whom the bell tolls, or the flag waves at half-mast, "it tolls for thee."

Transits to the U.S. Chart

USA Chart

Last month we indicated that the fifth anniversary of 9-11 might well be key for U.S. public perception, especially regarding deceptions practiced in the run-up to war and with regard to the role of the media in keeping this country informed as well as the proper role of the military. This has certainly proven to be the case. It was quite interesting to see in large circulation on the Internet that the cover of a late September issue of Newsweek for Europe and Asia had an Afghan fighter with the title "Losing Afghanistan" while the cover for American consumption had a photographer's life story. As the Bush White House approval rating plummeted, what proved to be the most significant event in the first half of the month was the anniversary itself, creating a long-needed discussion of the way that event and the sentiment of the American people was co-opted in favor of an illegitimate war of conquest, perhaps for economic gain, although few are openly admitting that last possibility. But at least the covers are beginning to come off in terms of what has been done "in our name" to perceived enemies in the third world.

In the second half of the month we were treated to the spectacle of an American president going to congress to plead his case for allowing the torture of foreign prisoners, as was disallowed in a bill that had already been passed, and getting his wishes met, followed by the passage late last month of a draconian bill that denies those same foreign prisoners the right of habeas corpus, the ancient entitlement of an accused person to confront the charges against him in a court of law. These and other horrors are coming out in such a way as to actually seem to be counter-balancing the sway of right-wing support for the republican agenda for the first time in recent history. Since Jupiter and Saturn are currently in their first square, or "crisis in action" following their conjunction in May of 2000, this would seem to be symbolized in the astrology of our times as well as on the street.

In the current month, there is hope for an emerging compromise of some sort to the radical polarization of our time. The election is nearing, and the Venusian and Martial energies are reaching for a balance point, belying the actual possibility of a fresh war that might conceivably be introduced as a distraction, or at least this is our hope. Pluto is emphasized in the current month's configurations, joined by the trine to Saturn, while Pluto still aspects quite exactly the position of U.S. Mercury, as does Jupiter and at the very end of the month a retrograding Mercury. Mercury in the U.S. chart symbolizes the public communication process and especially the media, which is still likely to undergo a form of transformation. Over the next two months we will likely be drawn to taking a still closer look at the role of the media in forming public opinion. If the truth, and all the truth, is finally let out, that would certainly seem to be the best chance to resolve the mess that we in this country have gotten ourself into over the last five years.

Current Configurations

This month's cycle has its basis in the New Moon from last September 22nd (New Moon Chart), which was also a Solar Eclipse and therefore more powerful. This took place in the very last degree of Virgo, and so it is a purity of completion that we seek right now, and the perfection of all our strivings.

The Full Moon of Friday, October 6th (Full Moon Chart), represents the beginning of the Venus Mars conjunction, since the Sun resides at their midpoint, and since the nature of the Full Moon is to balance. It is interesting that this Full Moon takes place in the signs of Libra and Aries, ruled respectively by Venus and Mars, just as they come toward their triple conjunction with the Sun at the time of the next New Moon. Another balance point is being attempted in the opposition of Saturn and Neptune at this time, another pair of opposite energies, which is emphasized by their T-square to Jupiter as he comes between them and mediates their joint influence. This is a difficult but potentially fruitful combination of energies which again asks us to synthesize viewpoints, and come to a more integrated solution.

The Last Quarter Moon of Friday the 13th (Last Quarter Moon Chart) might seem to pre-configure the Halloween holiday with its black cat symbolism, but is really all about realizations of what does and does not work in attempting to make progress with our issues and with reaching out for an equilibrium between self and other that are the hallmark of this period of time. The Moon and Sun, at 20 plus degrees of their respective signs, and in square to one another, touch off the outer planet configurations mentioned already and bring up the tension implicit in these contrasting energies. Saturn is also nearing its trine with Pluto at this time, suggesting that something has to give and that structures of our lives must radically transform along the way to a more perfect union with respect to our inner work.

The New Moon in late Libra that takes place on Saturday, October 21st (New Moon Chart), has Venus and Mars in very close conjunction on either side, and is also accompanied by a Mercury Jupiter conjunction in Scorpio, just as Mercury begins to slow down and turn retrograde. Because of Mercury's much slower motion at this time, these two planets remain in conjunction for over a week, within a degree of zodiacal longitude. Since Mercury is slowing down and retrograding in the sign of Scorpio, it is a time when we will be forced to examine the underlying causes of our internal motivation, especially in regard to the so-called "battle of the sexes." We are moving in the direction of right relationship with ourselves and our partners and with other people in our life, at whatever pace we can creatively manage to maintain. We are thus poised on the verge of entering the Scorpio period, yet still in Libra, and with the rulers of both Libra and Scorpio in close conjunction with the lunation energy. It should be quite an interesting and potentially productive time for us all.

The First Quarter Moon that takes place in the last weekend of the month, on Sunday, October 29th (First Quarter Moon Chart), is interesting in that it represents the first actual lunation with the Sun in Scorpio, although the previous week's New Moon was strongly Scorpio-aligned, and is also accompanied by the retrograde of Mercury in Scorpio conjunct Jupiter. As the Moon squares the Sun from early Aquarius, it conjuncts Chiron as well, so we may be dealing with our early woundings at this time. This First Quarter Square signifies a time when "the rubber meets the road" and when we must "put up or shut up" in getting our point across, a time of tension when we are enjoined to make our total commitment and put our best foot forward, in spite of everything.