The Astrology of November features Mercury retrograde, Venus and Mars along with the important outer planet energies of Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto that have been so prominent lately. Thus we have the strictly personal in powerful connection with the transpersonal as seems to be cropping up lately with great regularity. What is the message of all this impulse toward transcendence, amidst the enormous challenges of our times? As the poet Gerard Manley Hopkins puts it – "why, that my chaff might fly, my grain lie sheer and clear?" It is up to each of us to make whatever movement is possible upon our own arc of development, to enact the change inside ourselves that moves us closer to what we wish to see in the world around us. In this regard, information is key. It comes to us in many ways, not least the intuitional quantum from somewhere out in the ether beyond us, or perhaps as close to us as our own beating hearts. In astrological symbolism, the planet Uranus represents this divine spark of intuition, a glimpse of the architecture of the universe. When Uranus stations direct in the last half of the month in trine with the station of Mercury, we may get that glimpse.
The outer planets are strongly constellated at this time. The configuration of the outer planet energies is such that pretty much all signs and all degrees of the Sun and personal planets in charts are affected. This is because each degree is within orb of one aspect or another with Saturn, Uranus, Neptune or Pluto. Right now we have Uranus at 10 plus degrees, Neptune at 17, and Saturn and Pluto at 25 degrees. As the personal planets in the sky move through Scorpio, and trine Uranus and trigger by square the Saturn–Neptune opposition that is still active, everyone participates. The energy is powerful and of a transformative nature, especially with Saturn and Pluto making their trine with each other, and also with the trine this month to Uranus from Mercury as it stations direct.
Venus and Mars also have a strong connection to what is going on in the current month. As Mars and Venus move at different speeds away from their triple conjunction with the Sun early in November they make several outer planet aspects. Mars trines Uranus at the Full Moon on the 5th of the month, and squares Neptune at the time of the very powerful late-Scorpio New Moon taking place on Monday, November 20th, of Thanksgiving week, while Venus squares Neptune at the Full Moon and then sextiles Chiron at the New Moon on the 20th.
There is big news at this time in these outer planet transits, as Saturn moves into a close trine with Pluto, while Jupiter participates, and Pluto and Neptune remain in parallel and septile with each other. The septile, a powerful and subtle, even occult, aspect that is arrived at by dividing the circle by seven, has characterized the Pluto-Neptune interchange for some years now, but is much closer and therefore stronger in the Winter months. Pluto has been in Sagittarius for about 12 years, and ideological conflicts have been important (to say the least). When Pluto moves into Capricorn in 2008 Uranus will begin to form a close square with Pluto, the first such aspect since 1965, which perfects in 2012 with Uranus in Aries, and which portends revolutionary changes in consciousness parallel to and even surpassing the waves made in the wake of their alignment in the turbulent sixties. Over the next few years, Neptune will be within a degree of septile with Pluto for the months of November through February and the aspect will be exact in the first weeks of each December. In these years leading up to 2012 and the Pluto–Uranus square, as Pluto enters Capricorn in 2008, referring to the structure of society itself, and the American corporate structure in particular, the dark aspect to Neptune portends both an element of confusion and anarchy and as well a spiritual movement toward a different cultural paradigm as things get rough. These current configurations are therefore taking us just a little closer to the amazing times that are coming.
The month has its foundation in the New Moon from the end of October, which joined the energies of Venus and Mars in the relationship-orientated sign of Libra, emphasizing the integrity of connection with "all my relations." Now as the triple conjunction moves into the deep and subtle waters of Scorpio, and as Saturn trines Pluto, there are indications that some fundamental element of the existing structure must radically change. Meanwhile, the Mercury retrograde period of time that began just before the current month with Mercury Jupiter and touching these other outer planet configurations asks us to turn inward. Mercury stations direct on November 17th, and Uranus does so on the 19th, just in time for the November 20th New Moon that conjuncts Jupiter and squares Saturn, while Uranus remains in close trine with Mercury the entire time. Strange enlightenment comes to us as a culmination of this four-week cycle. It comes through paying attention to what is in the air, and looking under the covers for the underlying causes of events, and through closely looking inside ourselves as well, and it will likely be startling in its clarity and in its call to action. But the call can be ignored. It is up to each of us to make maximum use of the information that is coming to us at this time, whatever that means for each individual. For it is truly up to us, to each of us, in our own local environment, to choose the kind of life we want to lead and the kind of world that we want to leave for our children's children to grow up into.
Transits to the U.S. Chart
This is indeed a climactic time for America, as indicated in the current transits to the U.S. chart. We are using the chart for July 4th, 1776, at 5:10 PM, as rectified by Dane Rudhyar in The Astrology of America's Destiny. Last month we noted the pressure both on U.S. Moon, representing the public, and as well on U.S. Mercury, representing the media and the process of communication in this country. Discussion of the public use of airwaves and electronic media has indeed been very active lately, including the Bill Moyers series of special reports "On America" (See website ») that aired on PBS in October. The last one, on the subject of Internet neutrality, was entitled "Net at Risk." The large amount of campaign dollars spent on negative ads has also recently been noted, and this 2006 election has been called the most expensive and also the most negative in recent times, in part because sitting incumbents this year have had very little to say for themselves in the way of accomplishments.
This month the transits are most intense around the time of the election on November 7th. To list the technical details, retrograde Mercury conjoins transiting Venus in semi-square to the U.S. Midheaven, and in sesquiquadrate to U.S. Venus, which also rules the Midheaven (executive branch) while transiting Neptune also strongly aspects these two sensitive points. Jupiter, Saturn and Pluto continue to heavily aspect U.S. Mercury and the Moon. Transiting Uranus squares U.S. Uranus, indicating that there may be surprises. Transiting Mars (and Sun) are in trine with U.S. Sun, in fact forming a Grand Trine with transiting Uranus. This last configuration could symbolize a potential for accidental violence, although the trine aspect does indicate the more positive of the possible variations. In the chart of a country there could be violent surges of public emotion, as well as unexpected outcomes. With Venus so involved there are consequence for national values, economics and legal challenges, and also since it rules the Midheaven, the executive branch. With the divisive election taking place that day, we already know that all this is all too likely to be true.
The energy seems darkly transformative. We may emerge from this experience sadder and wiser. Something is not right in the body politic and these factors are coming increasingly to the fore. One huge issue is the question of the integrity of the election itself, with the proliferation of the new touch-screen voting machines and their proper functioning and security from hacking severely in question at this time. A paper trail is essential, but nothing is currently being done about this urgent and potentially quite politically divisive situation. There will likely be challenges to the outcomes of various elections with long-lasting ramifications.
On a more positive note, there is certainly much information that is coming out at this time, and that will continue to come out. All this new knowledge increases our angst, but at least we are beginning to know the truth. And the truth, as they say, will eventually set us free from blind adherence to our cultural conditioning, and to the effects of media propagandizing.
The Full Moon of Sunday, November 5th (), is the first major configuration of the month, and pulls together Venus and Mars in a last fling of their triple conjunction with the Sun that originated in the preceding New Moon from the last ten days of October, and also forms a T-square to Neptune, while Venus squares Neptune almost exactly. This Full Moon also trines and sextiles Uranus as Saturn nears an exact trine with Pluto. The energy for transformation and radical restructuring is quite strong at this time as indicated in the first few paragraphs of this overview.
The Last Quarter Moon of Sunday, November 12th (), traditionally represents a "crisis in consciousness" as we learn more about our situation, and discover the inherent limitations of our approach. Since the Moon conjuncts Saturn at this time, the feeling of limitation is intensified. We are tuning into our responsibilities and feeling our way forward into our own unique method of taking them on. As Mercury, moving backwards through Scorpio conjuncts Mars and trines Uranus, the potential for accidents and miscommunication increases. There may also be surprises, both at this time and at the very end of the week when Mercury changes direction.
Mercury stations direct on Friday, November 17th (), in the afternoon. At this time Mercury trines a stationing Uranus, so again the unexpected could become the norm, both for this day and the weekend following.
The New Moon of Monday, November 20th (), precedes the Thanksgiving holiday in a big conjunction with Jupiter, ruler of feasts. This is a potentially quite lucky and fortunate time, since Jupiter is known as the major benefic among the planetary energies. Jupiter rules Sagittarius, where it is heading on Thanksgiving Day, still conjuncted by the Sun. Venus has already entered into Sagittarius at the time of this New Moon, and four more planets including Jupiter will follow over the next few weeks. Thus, December will be a very Sagittarian month. This New Moon during the last few days of Scorpio, at 28 plus degrees of the sign, a powerful degree, reminds us of our own transformational qualities, and asks us to finally get our act together regarding the process of spiritual evolution in our lives and our intimate connection with others around us.
The First Quarter Moon of the following Monday, November 27th (), at nearly the end of the month, emphasizes once more the trickster energy of Uranus in Pisces. Strange intimations of intelligence from beyond the physical plane are still very much with us at this time, as they have been all month long. It's what we do with this powerful information that really counts.