The Astrology of November features Uranus, Neptune, Pluto and Mercury. One reason that Mercury is highlighted this month is that the planet of communication is conjunct Venus and parallel to Pluto at the time of the Scorpio New Moon from the end of last month that characterizes this current monthly cycle. Mercury is conjunct Venus nearly all month long before turning retrograde on the 23rd, one day before another exciting New Moon that is also a Solar Eclipse. The Mercury retrograde period that is initiated then and lasts through the entire month of December – when you take the Mercury retrograde shadow period into account – will have the usual characteristics of missed communication and mechanical breakdown as we turn inward for this holiday season in order to better understand our own nature and the nature of the culture in which we find ourselves an active participant.
By the beginning of November and at the First Quarter Moon on November 2nd, the Sun and Mars form a bi-quintile yod to Uranus, while Uranus is in turn quintile to the Moon’s South Node, marking in the heavens four points of a five-pointed star. This brings a powerful dose of the intuitional and surprising energy of Uranus into the picture, since this month’s lunations aspect Uranus as well, while Pluto remains square.
Neptune is also highlighted in this month’s configurations. The Sun at the time of the Scorpio New Moon is parallel while by the time of First Quarter Moon at the beginning of the month, taking place on Wednesday, November 2nd, Mars has begun to form his opposition to Neptune, which lasts through the following week. Mars with Neptune means that we take on a chameLeon-like sympathetic coloration from our surroundings, while idealism flourishes along with a certain degree of sensitivity and spaciness that is more in harmony with other-dimensional realities than with life in the physical plane.
With Pluto also aspected by this month’s lunations as well as it remains in square with Uranus, and with Jupiter exactly trine Pluto at the time of the Scorpio New Moon that begins the month, we are feeling the energy of all three outer planets as we make our way toward this important end-of-year time. As the fall continues to unfold and the winter months loom, there is a natural drawing in of the extraverted energy of the summer so that these powerful harbingers of societal change, which eminent Astrologer Dane Rudhyar called “the ambassadors of the galaxy,” bring to us the great gift of becoming more closely in tune with spiritual values as we evolve. Their prominence now is letting us know that change is upon us, and that we have within our hands the power to reshape our lives as we see fit in order to make a better world. When we enlarge our mind’s gaze to take into account these numinous presences then in spite of everything we have the courage and the confidence to keep faith with ourselves at the deepest possible level, and to continue to allow the future unfold just as it needs to.
November 2nd First Quarter Moon
This First Quarter Moon, taking place at 9:38 am on Wednesday, November 2nd, is a dynamic one. There is a quintile yod formation to Uranus, for one thing, from Sun and Mars. Since the Moon’s South Node also is quintile Uranus, a five-pointed star inscribed into the heavens would have four out of the five points occupied by planets or other sensitive points. The quintile is a subtle aspect with spiritual overtones, so that we might expect an unusual quantity of the intuitional wisdom that is characterized by Uranus to be available to us.
This phase of the Moon is traditionally a time – called the ”crisis of action” – when you must reach a crossroads of decision; a time when you must choose between going forward with what you truly believe or start playing it safer by retreating from a position that is perhaps overly extreme. The limitations of practicality might become very evident now. The powerful intuition provided by the multiple quintiles involving Uranus and Mars will be a help in attempting to discern the real truth of the situation.
With Uranus emphasized, of course we also think of the Uranus-Pluto square that is going off-line to some extent over the coming winter months but which returns next spring with a surge and its first exact hit. Uranus-Pluto reminds us that we are in the midst of evolutionary change now both as individuals and as the broader collective we are all part of. Our individual actions have a ripple effect that goes far beyond our solitary journey, especially when taken with as much consciousness as we can find, and with as much courage as we are able to bring to bear. There is also a large dose of Neptune in the mix of today, symbolizing idealism, with the nebulous planet hovering in the last few degrees of Aquarius and preparing to station in a week’s time, eventually returning to its own sign of Pisces by February. Mars opposes Neptune through the end of the following week, while Saturn is widely trine Neptune, a powerful symbol for allowing our dreams the scope to become actively concrete in the so-called real world. We will succeed and even flourish in these difficult times, but only by living out our truest and deepest dreams, for ourselves and on the part of our beleaguered society.
November 10th Full Moon
The Full Moon of Thursday, November 10th – taking place at roughly noon on the West Coast – while intense, is almost deceptively quiet as well. So much is happening beneath the surface. It is in any case the nature of this phase to represent a flowering plateau of the driving vigor from the very beginning of the cycle, a balance point between the various forces surging around in support and in contrast to the originating impulse from the New Moon time. The push of that onrushing energy finds a comforting moment of calm.
This particular configuration also has Mars opposed to Neptune, reminding us of a more laid back and cosmic perspective on all our experiences. Mars is at the same time also contra-parallel to Neptune, so that their brief opposition – lasting about a week – is quite potent. Mars with Neptune brings idealism very much to the fore, and heightens our ability to align compassionately to others, with also the possibility in working that out of deception or self-deception.
The latent intensity comes from Uranus and Pluto, still square to each other and triggered by the Full Moon which makes minor aspects to each. Jupiter is also trine Pluto and in forming semi-sextile to Uranus. These powerful archetypal energies remind us that there are obviously still important changes that we need to make in our lives, and in the life of the surrounding society. The idealism that Neptune brings might enable a relatively peaceful transition in the direction that your Higher Self feels sure that it needs to go.
Mars is opposed to Chiron during this week also, and we may find that old patterns are rising up to haunt us, impeding our own confidence, self-worth and self-assertion, until and unless we can accept these wounded places within us at deep levels. We might need to integrate the driving force behind them, namely ancient trauma from the long-dead past; dead but not forgotten, or in many cases not forgiven either.
At some point it pays to recognize that we have a powerful ally in that wounded and split-off disobedient child, however disenfranchised it might seem to feel much of the time. When we can accept all our parts, and by implication some of the more difficult parts of others as well, we are enabling greater forward motion in our own best interest, and greater joy along our way.
November 18th Last Quarter Moon
This Last Quarter Moon, taking place early on Friday, November 18th, brings to its closing phase the powerful lunation represented by the Scorpio New Moon from the end of October. Uranus and Pluto were an important part of that configuration and have therefore been a large factor in these three weeks that have already passed since that time, as evidenced by the transformational and even revolutionary nature of the events that have been seen to unfold. Also in our personal lives we are moving – although perhaps slowly and often painfully – toward the place where we are truly headed, despite attempts at denial on the part of the strictly rational mind. As the period closes we are invited by surrounding cosmic forces to make better sense of what has thus far transpired in this cycle of becoming. Since Mercury is also slowing down, preparing to turn retrograde next week, this is an almost meditative time, this week leading up to the New Moon and Solar Eclipse in early Sagittarius taking place right on the American Thanksgiving Holiday.
That New Moon was trine Chiron, called the Wounded Healer, and this Last Quarter Moon as well as the coming Solar Eclipse aspects Chiron as well. It is fitting that the painful nature of our societal situation has never been more poignant than it is right now, with legitimate protestors erecting tents in the downtown areas of our major cities, joined by fringe elements and by people with really difficult stories of being left behind by the system, even as that same system rises up to crush the protestors and remove their tents. Mercury and Venus in conjunction are almost exactly quintile Chiron in the Friday morning skies, while the Moon is moving to oppose it. There are also aspects from the Sun and Moon to volatile Uranus so that further surprises are likely to be in store, even as Mercury nears the time of its retrograde motion, when affairs may take a very different turn than was originally planned. We do well to take a spiritual rather than a practical approach to the happenings of these final days of November, trying our best to ”let go and let God” since there is really no other alternative. We know in our hearts, and can see in these stars, that this fall and winter ratchets up the pressure for change that the spring will in even greater measure unfold.
The Sabian Symbol for the Sun’s degree of this Quarter Moon in late Scorpio is illuminating: ”Indians making Camp.” Marc Edmond Jones calls this degree ”a symbol of man’s inexhaustible capacity for self-establishment and for finding everything he needs at hand [also] resourcefulness and finding real opportunity in the least promising of situations.” The Moon’s degree that accompanies it in this Quarter Moon configuration is ”A rainbow,” the biblical symbol of God’s grace toward man– and woman–kind, even in adversity. We will need these sorts of guideposts to get us through the difficult and yet richly rewarding days ahead.
November 24th New Moon
The Sagittarius New Moon of Thursday evening, November 24th is in addition a partial Solar Eclipse, although one that will not be seen anywhere in the northern hemisphere. Taking place in the third degree of Sagittarius, it strongly aspects Jupiter, Uranus and Chiron. This is an important New Moon, and it comes at an important time, emphasizing the Uranus – Pluto square that is the exciting and yet scary harbinger of even more difficult times ahead than we have already seen. Mercury is just now turned retrograde, also in Sagittarius, and we are in a thoughtful and reflective period when we might make the attempt to think our way through the difficulties and try to understand in a deeper way the state of grace that, when we can turn our eyes inward, we can see that we equally partake of.
Therefore although Uranus and Pluto are in dynamic alignment and things are rapidly changing, there is also the possibility of relaxation and even enjoyment of the roller coaster ride, especially if we can maintain a somewhat detached attitude and trust our angel guides and other numinous cosmic presences to see us through. The New Moon and eclipse does highlight the strong square between these heavies, so there will be a lot to manage as we head into the end of a powerfully transformative year that is but the prelude to another. The strength of this aspect is currently fading slightly but it will return with a rush in the springtime, coming to its first moment of exact alignment in June of 2012.
In addition to the thoughtful and reflective time of the Mercury Retrograde, when we do well to simply acknowledge the situation and refuse to push the river, choosing instead contemplation over frantic activity, this New Moon brings us further riches in the form of outer planet energies. We have the graceful presence of positive and peaceful Jupiter, stationing next month in early Taurus, together with the unexpected enlightenment represented by Uranus, also aspected by this New Moon, and finally the energy of Chiron, the Wounded Healer, occupying the first degree of inner–oriented Pisces and square to the New Moon. This is an unusually spiritual combination, emphasizing the deeper meaning of the events of our lives. We win when we find the positive inner vision to open to these energies, which of course actually reside inside us rather than somewhere ”out there.” Then we might be able to see in our troubles, rather than a deficit, an opportunity. Then we might be able to see in our essentially wounded nature, rather than our personal shortcoming, a fundamental part of the human condition, although of course it is both. Then we might be able to see in our radical transformation, rather than the crunched–up caterpillar, the emerging butterfly of our unique spiritual evolution.