The Astrology of October focuses on Venus and Mars, Uranus and Neptune. A key feature is the upcoming Venus retrograde, for the early part of her journey in conjunction with Mars. In the first week of October, Venus – already facing difficulty in dark and sexually active Scorpio – slows down to a crawl, and is conjoined by Mars, who brings his own Scorpion sting, being very much at home in Scorpio. After Venus retrogrades on October 8th the conjunction begins to fade. The period while Venus is retrograde, from October 8th to November 18th, and even beyond, through mid-December, will be at least partly spent in trying to refine our understanding of the key relationships in our lives, those from the past as well as those of the present moment. We will also spend an inordinate amount of our energy in more closely examining the dance of relationship.
For almost all of October, therefore, Venus and Mars both reside in Scorpio, the sign of Mars' rulership, and a zodiacal place that Venus always has trouble relating to. The primary meaning of Venus in Scorpio is that there is a more fully visible sexual component to existing partnerships, and that we are more suspicious regarding motivations – both our own and those of others – in relationship situations. This can be difficult of course and dark. But it also has its long-range benefits in bringing important truth to light and in recognizing and honoring our deepest desires, and their profound rewards. We gain through better understanding of ourselves at these deep levels and develop the power to transform existing situations in the light of this self-knowledge.
The Libra New Moon of Thursday, October 7th, at 14 plus degrees of Libra, precedes the retrograde of Venus by one day. This is a dynamic New Moon with the Sun and Moon exactly one sign away from Venus/Mars in mid-Scorpio, a semi-sextile aspect. Additionally, Mercury is exactly conjunct Saturn a few degrees away, reminding us to take a sober-minded approach to seeking greater balance in our lives. Venus and Mars are also in powerful aspect to Uranus and Jupiter in Pisces, bringing to the mix their symbolism of brilliant ideas and rapidly changing and even startling recognition of new realities. In terms of relationships that we currently participate in, this implies graceful and liberating change for the better.
While Saturn, Jupiter and Uranus are peripherally involved in this month's configurations, now that Uranus and Jupiter have retrograded back into Pisces, these three are no longer in the same stand-off that they occupied all summer. What are we to make of this? First of all, let us note that next spring these powerhouse planets will once more be opposed in Libra and Aries – a mere six degrees away from exact – while Pluto remains square to both. So that the polarization that has reached a crescendo in recent months, pitching hawk against dove, Democrat against Republican in angry extremism, is far from over.
However, with Uranus and Jupiter conjunct not in Aries but in Pisces for these next few months, there is however a kinder and gentler cast of mind – and even of heart – that applies right now to these polarities of forward thinking versus cautious holding back. There are recent current events and news stories that signal hope: America at least talking about pulling out of Iraq, the rebuilding of New Orleans and the appointment of consumer finance watchdog and vocal banking industry critic Elizabeth Warren to head the team responsible for building new regulatory measures for financial consumer protection. As we deal with the tough and polarized either-or choices within our own lives as well we might somehow find the magical possibility of a third way, surprising ourselves by leaping right between the horns of the dilemma.
October 7th New Moon
This New Moon makes a sesquiquadrate to Neptune and Chiron, which are conjunct in Aquarius with less than a degree separating them. Neptune brings his starry-eyed idealism to the picture, only slightly complicated by the presence of Chiron, the Wounded Healer. We must watch ourselves that we do not over indulge in idealistic fantasy. Fortunately, at this time also, Mercury conjoins Saturn in Libra, near the Sun and Moon, which does help to put a damper on things. Venus and Mars are also conjunct in Scorpio, and Venus makes a sesquiquadrate aspect to Uranus, which is sure to bring surprises, perhaps in the area of our close interpersonal relationships. The next day Venus retrogrades and we will find ourselves more introspective than usual, particularly regarding the important relationships in our lives.
October 14th First Quarter Moon
This is traditionally a time when the rubber meets the road in making sure that the impulse of the previous New Moon sees its way through the difficulties that arise at this time of relative stress and trial. In this case, the Libra Sun is directly across the zodiac from the new planet Eris, also squared by the Moon. Eris represents feminine warrior energy, so that we might be greatly enjoined to take a stand for what truly believe in, and fight to the death if necessary to support our beliefs.
October 22nd Full Moon
This Full Moon is an interesting one, taking place in the last degree of Libra and Aries, rather than the beginning of the next sign. When the Sun enters Scorpio the following morning the next phase can be said to truly begin. Saturn's sesquiquadrate aspect with Neptune is quite close now, so that the cynicism arising from this combination, and the push-pull of idealism versus practicality, is strongly present.
October 30th Last Quarter Moon
This Last Quarter Moon is traditionally known as a "crisis of consciousness" when we must realize the difficulties inherent in what we have been trying to accomplish lately, and the limitations of our approach. This time the Sun is conjuncted by the retrograde of Venus, which has been active for the last couple of days, making for an even more reflective attitude. We will continue over the remaining weeks of Venus in retrograde, or even into late December, up to the Winter Solstice on December 21st, to mull over our possibilities and attempt to better integrate our energy for change with the conservative thrust to maintain the existing status quo. The real truth of our situation lies, as usual, somewhere in between.