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Mercury is heading toward a conjunction with Venus in Sagittarius, and today the darkening Moon is moving through a conjunction to Jupiter in Scorpio.
Here's what to watch for:
* Support or success when and where it's needed
* Finding allies or friends
* Taking help from people who are below you in one way or another
* Calling in favors
* Wise delegations
* Using your name, rank, status, or position to influence a situation
* Approaching a person of higher rank, status or position in order to request help or support
* Someone or something that needs support or bracing before the pressure or weight of a situation causes a collapse
* Finding, needing, looking for deep resources, inner resources
* Exciting news, special announcements
* Backpedaling, trying to make amends
* Redoing or revising a message
* Charm, wit, and pleasing dialogue or conversation
* Exaggeration, over-promising
* A new pr or advertising technique
* Passionate, charismatic speech, argumentation, and persuasion
* Flirtation and optimism
* Returning to an old love or hearing from an old friend
* Revising the appearance, style, or image of something
* An exciting proposal
Remember that the Moon is currently in her fall or depression, almost fully dark now, but moving through a conjunction with Jupiter. This is the kind of Moon that finds help in the darkness, which is why we say that you may find support today, but that we should also be careful of the kind of support we receive or how we go about getting whatever support we're looking for. Sometimes people who want to "help" really want to take, and sometimes people who need help are too eager or willing to compromise. Meanwhile, with Mercury moving into a conjunction with Venus over the next few days we should anticipate a wind of good, if not overly optimistic, spirits pushing things along in unexpected, and probably exciting, ways.
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Prayer: Show us to the well. As the Moon darkens, bring us to the place of inner healing and inner wealth.
Mercury is retrograde for the next week, and Uranus will be slowing down to station over the course of this month, turning direct again in the new year.
A few things to remember about retrogrades:
* When a planet is retrograde it starts moving along with the primary motion of the sky, rather than moving against the grain of the primary motion, as it usually does. The primary motion of the sky was symbolically related to the "one," by Plato, whereas the secondary motions of the planets were related to materiality or duality. So when a planet is retrograde we might say that it is swept up in the primary motion of the sky and therefore is swept up by the one. The planet becomes somewhat powerless to move against the grain of the one. It loses something of its own volition, power, autonomy, or "choice" in the matter and becomes somewhat helpless...in the same way we are swept along somewhat helplessly by fate when we find ourselves stuck overnight in an airport during a mercury retrograde!
* You can also think about retrograde planets like Pacman barfing out the little pellets after consuming them (haha). As each planet goes along through the zodiac it consumes zodiacal degrees, one after another, and so when it moves backward it is giving back what has been gained. Retrogrades are often talked about in association with revision, redoing something, or someone from the past coming back, but we can also say that they signify giving back, losing, or surrendering what has been gained.
* Finally, we can't forget the stations. When studying retrogrades in the birth chart one of the most important periods to watch for is the station to turn direct that comes just before a slower moving planet will finally move in direct motion to make an aspect to a planet in your birth chart. For example, let's say that you have a planet at the first degree of Taurus in your birth chart. This Uranus stationing period is a really big deal because as the tide of this period turns and Uranus starts moving forward again it will now move in direct motion straight through the last degrees of Aries and right into a conjunction with any planets in the first degrees of Taurus between now and the springtime. Although we rightly pay attention to the exact moment when Uranus would enter Taurus and conjoin some planet in those early degrees of Taurus, it's also hugely important to pay attention to the stationing period prior to the direct motion that takes Uranus to perfect its first conjunction to a planet in early Taurus. Why? Because we're talking about a turning of the tide that is setting in motion a series of events or changes that will lead to whatever Uranus conjoining a planet in those early degrees of Taurus might signify. For example, let's say you have the Moon in early Taurus and it's the ruler of your seventh house. This month as Uranus slows down, stops, and then finally turns direct, the tide may be turning in your relationship, leading to inevitable and powerful changes by springtime when Uranus enters Taurus. OR, your spouse might be going through personal changes RIGHT NOW that become a pivotal turning point for a career change this spring when Uranus enters Taurus.
* Simple point, pay attention to station periods, and especially when the planet stationing to turn direct or retrograde will move after the station swiftly to make an aspect of some kind in your natal chart.
* Right now, Mercury is heading for its next station in a week and will make its station in a square to Neptune. We'll talk about that in days to come. While Uranus is stationing and after it turns direct will be on a straight path to changing signs after seven or so years of being in Aries. We will also talk about this a whole lot in weeks to come!
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Prayer: Teach us to see your work moving in and through the rivers of time. Teach us to recognize each season and to live according to the intelligence of each season.
Jupiter is moving into a square with the nodes of the Moon.
Here are some things to think about:
* The history and use of the nodes of the Moon in traditional astrology is not well known and not well represented in modern forms of astrology. Generally speaking, most astrologers in the modern era of astrology use the nodes as part of a paradigm that suggests that the soul is "evolving" and that the north node teaches us what we're supposed to be moving toward, whereas the south node represents the gifts and karma of the past (things we may be leaving behind as we cultivate the gifts of the north node).
* Traditionally, the nodes were not understood or used in this way. This is not to suggest that they can't or shouldn't be used this way, that's up to each student of astrology to discover for themselves, but it's important to understand how the nodes were traditionally understood and used compared to how they are used today.
* First, it's important to understand that the nodes of the Moon, like the Moon itself, are related to the wheel or cycle of fortune/circumstance/fate and/or the soul's perpetual reincarnation into new forms and bodies through time. The reflective and constantly changing Moon has a long history of being related to these karmic concepts within a variety of esoteric traditions and certainly within the history of astrology. So it's not off base to suggest that the nodes of the moon are related to the karmic path or journey of the soul in the material realm.
* However, it's very important to distinguish exactly how the nodes of the Moon were traditionally understood. In the western tradition, the north node was said to increase both the good and the bad, whereas the south node was said to decrease both the good and the bad. This is an esoteric and a rather cryptic set of ideas about the nodes that can't be taken at face value. One thing is immediately clear, for better and worse, the north node is associated with increase and the south node with decrease.
* For me, this teaching became very clear when comparing these classical teachings about the nodes to the Indian understanding of the nodes. In the Indian tradition, the north node of the Moon, the place in the zodiac the Moon crosses as it moves ambitiously above the ecliptic, was related to the unending hunger, appetite, and desires that perpetuate reincarnation and the complexification or deepening knots of karma. Though it is related to "gain," it is considered a deeply malefic shadow planet (Rahu) because material gains only deepen our enmeshment in the material illusion.The south node, on the other hand, called Ketu, is related to material pain, sorrow, and loss, but is considered more auspicious because it is through material loss, impermanence, and suffering that we draw closer to God. Whereas the south node brings us closer to liberation by teaching us about impermanence, the north node perpetuates the illusions of materiality, and hence future lives, by tempting us constantly with our desires.
* Is this what is meant by ancient western astrologers who said the north node increases both the good and the bad and the south node decreases both the good and the bad? It's a riddle I continue to sit with as I observe the nodal dynamics in my clients' charts. What's certain, for me and in my own practice, is that the north node will never be as simple as "your soul's lessons or where you are supposed to be moving toward." I'm absolutely not convinced that's how the nodes have been used or understood throughout the history of astrology. Worse, I suspect that our love of the "north node lesson," may actually be wrapped up into a kind of spiritual materialism.
* Side note: the mythology surrounding Rahu and Ketu in the Indian tradition is incredibly fascinating. I highly recommend checking it out. I will be doing a workshop on the nodes in the new year and we will be looking at the mythology, so stay tuned!
* But maybe I'm wrong. What I know for sure is that good people, good astrologers, use the symbols of astrology differently, and I trust that the divine can utilize all of us astrologers, for the good.
* Regardless, when Jupiter comes to square the nodes of the Moon it's a really important moment for all of us. Squares to the nodes represent important karmic crossroads. From the standpoint I've outlined above, we will be tempted by delusions of grandeur, growth, desire, and ambition, probably not of the variety that will help us to cultivate healthy detachment from the snare of our ego and its endless hunger.
* At the same time, we might be presented with opportunities to say no to something, to shed excess, to curb or stop our appetites in their tracks, or, with Jupiter, to experience a sense of comfort, ease, and peace within a season of loss, decline, or disintegration.
* It may sound counter intuitive, but Jupiter squaring the south node may present us with opportunities for spiritual growth that come specifically through material loss or material simplification or a healthy level of material detachment.
* On the other hand, it wouldn't be surprising to see Jupiter squaring the north node as an opportunity for rapid development, growth, increased power, success, etc., albeit a variety of success that may eventually complicate our lives far more than we can imagine.
* Still, the basic reality of the lunar nodes would suggest that much of our karmic circumstances are determined by material desires we've had in past lives and desires we continue to have in this life. This could pretty quickly translate into a pretty bleak and condemning view of material reality (in some ways it is just that, and it really can't be any other way). However, in my own practice, it's important to recognize that the sanctification of our material situation happens when we offer our desires and the fruits of our actions in the world back to the divine, constantly, in loving devotion. In this way, I think we avoid the trap of spiritually bi-passing our material existence while still recognizing the trap of our material attachments. This is the middle path of bhakti yoga, as I understand it, outlined by Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita (it is the main line of yoga philosophy that I personally follow).
* So, the way I'm interpreting this upcoming square of the nodes from Jupiter is in terms of a karmic crossroad. And I'm remembering, what feels good going down often doesn't feel good coming out, whereas what doesn't always feel good going down usually feels a lot better coming out. For example, eating your vegetables as opposed to drinking soda! :)
* Now, I realize that many of my readers may have a totally different take on the nodes. The intention of this post isn't to start "Nodes War 2." I support my colleagues and friends who utilize the nodes differently. The real intention of doing the explaining I've done today is to simply clarify how and why I am interpreting Jupiter square the nodes in the way that I am and what you might expect given this alternate understanding of the nodes.
* I hope you enjoyed today's post. It took me several hours to go back into my research notes and condense and translate this, along with this Jupiter forecast. This is something that I do every single day, as a part of my own devotional practice. And then for the last 40 days of every year, I ask my readers, those that are able, to donate and support my work in the year ahead! You can pick a gift reading when you do so!
Prayer: Teach us to be on guard against the "biggest" and "brightest" of our desires. Teach us to be content with less. Mindful. Humble. Ready to see the big, even in the small.
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Mars has just entered Scorpio where it will stay until late January.
Here's what to watch for:
* Whenever Mars enters Aries or Scorpio it is officially back in its home sign, which you can think of like the owner of a home or property returning after a time abroad.
* Mars in its home sign is empowered in the same way that it's easier to manage the affairs of your own house from within it as opposed to being abroad!
* When Mars is transiting through another sign of the zodiac it has to act and behave in the manner befitting the ruler of that house. For example, Mars was just in Libra, which is Venus' sign, so Mars had to deal with a Venusian atmosphere. Mars is dealing with diplomacy, harmony, friendship, beauty, etc., and these are qualities that simply aren't natural for Mars. Mars is easily frustrated by these qualities.
* For example, Mars ruled things were made weaker or less effective. For example, while Mars was in Libra and made a square to the position of my natal Sun Sign, and as it was opposing Uranus in the sky, I nearly sliced off the tip of my finger while trying to delicately cut a loaf of banana bread. I am awful at cutting cakes or pies (I know, silly!) and was self-aware of others watching me cut the bread and so I tried to be as quick and "natural" looking as I could....sliiiice...ouch. Mars not at its best trying to do things in Venus' sign. :) I now have a permanent scar.
* The MeToo movement also began while Mars was in Libra, reflecting the importance of the proper relationship between Mars and Venus. In some ways, Mars is being used on behalf of Venusian things, and in other ways, Mars is being weakened, attacked, or put into its place.
* Regardless, wherever Mars is currently transiting you have to read Mars through the lens of the planetary ruler of the sign it is traveling through.
* When Mars comes into its own sign it is easier for Mars to be Mars. Mars becomes more effective and more Mars-like.
* Look at the whole sign house of Scorpio in your birth chart, or the house cusp that Scorpio rules. Mars coming home in that house means the topics of that house are activated, strong, dynamic, and empowered until late January.
* When Mars first enters a house/sign, within the first few degrees, there are often powerful/destined events taking place relative to the topics of that house.
* Aside from this, Mars entering Scorpio places Mars in its feminine rulership where it is empowered to create deep, personal changes in our lives.
* Mars in Scorpio shows us what is real or true, beyond superficial appearances.
* Mars in Scorpio puts us in touch with our real desires, as well as the need to be deeply and authentically "real" with ourselves about who we are and about what is or isn't important to us.
* Mars in Scorpio compels us to change, forces change, an encounter with shadows accompanied by a deep knowing and trust.
* Mars in Scorpio is like the war-time nurse or battlefield medic, bringing healing medicine in the midst of life's bloody mess.
* Mars in Scorpio is also the cunning spy, the listener in shadows, the watcher in the dark, and the guardian of truth.
* Mars in Scorpio is the manipulation of emotion and tragedy for a secret and selfish desire. Mars in Scorpio is also the drive toward destruction, depth, and revelation.
* On the other hand, Mars in Scorpio is content to wait, lurk, and allow for change and transformation to happen of its own accord. Mars in Scorpio knows when to seize an opportunity and when to wait and watch.
* Mars in Scorpio wants to wake us up by putting us in touch with what is primal...the kind of stuff we try so hard to stay asleep to...
Prayer: Fill us with courage and authenticity. Give us the faith to face the darkness and to transform.
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If you enjoyed today's video-blog, please consider pitching into my annual fundraiser. Click here!
If you enjoyed today's video horoscope, please consider pitching into my annual fundraiser, which helps support my work as an astrologer in the year ahead. Click here to donate and choose a gift reading when you do!
More today on Saturn's upcoming entrance into Capricorn:
* Today we'll look at the elemental status of Capricorn.
* Capricorn is a feminine/yin earth sign. The history of elemental theory in astrology is complicated by the fact that the four elements were used differently by different ancient philosophical schools of thought over time.
* As a result, we have inherited and sometimes unconsciously assimilated a variety of contradictory ideas about the elements. For example, sometimes we think of the four elements as literal energetic influences, creating and causing changes on a subtle level, behind or within the physical appearances of this world, like the physical elements of chemistry. Other times we think of the elements as archetypal and psychological, or symbolic, rather than literal. We use the elemental image of water as a signifier for a variety of subtler psychological or environmental qualities, but we aren't thinking of the elements in terms of causal, scientific explanations (e.g. this is how everything works, its the primal elements of fire and air interacting with earth and water to create this event).
* The element of earth can be understood in a variety of ways. Earth is practical, solid, formal, grounding, and functional. Earth is sometimes referred to as "cold and dry," and the element has been associated with the melancholic temperament.
* It was associated with heaviness, matter and the densest aspects of material life, especially birth and death. Earth is associated similarly with the four seasons, with agriculture, harvest, crops, fields, farmers, Demeter and Persephone, Ceres, as well as Hades and the autumn.
* In Greek humoral medicine black bile was associated with the element of earth.
* The symptoms of melancholia were characterized by Hippocrates as, "fears and despondencies if they last a long time."
* Melancholia was also thought to be related to the planet Saturn.
* Monotony, gloom, despair, and fashionable darkness all may define melancholy.
* Earth was thought to be the most feminine of the elements, and Capricorn is also considered a feminine sign. It may be wiser to think of the word "feminine" here in an archetypal sense, closer to the idea of "yin," or as something that isn't literally connected to a person's sex.
* Earth is related to the body, the bones, the structure, form, or vehicle of the spirit. It is related to sensuality, the five senses, and the ground or support systems inherent in all things in the material realm.
* Earth is related to the heaviness or limitations of the physical world as well as the inherent passivity or receptivity of matter to the will or direction of spirit or consciousness. Earth is the midwife and the womb, the gentle, nourishing hold and the mother.
* Earth is also the dark mother who holds and grips and possess and will not let go. The desire body, the enmeshment of the mundane, and the curse of the literal, physical, and material.
* Earth is related to practical things like math and science, the study of causal laws, as well as understanding of how structures operate. Traditionally earth was also related to practical things like business, markets, trade, building, tools, and physical medicine.
* The last time that Saturn was in an earth sign was roughly September of 2007 to October of 2009 (Virgo). For example, during that time I was living alone in rural Georgia and was struggling with some depression. I was introduced to yoga and began practicing regularly, began studying health and nutrition and became a vegan, and was eventually managing the disability income of adult schizophrenics at a residence in Manhattan. It was an incredibly earthy time for me, especially filled with a deepening knowledge of the relationship between my physical body and its health and my psychological health.
* Practically it was also a time of the entire structure of my life transforming as I moved from life as a graduate student to living in the concrete jungle and practical living struggles of New York City.
* If you look back at the same time you may notice a general theme of earthiness predominating, remembering that Saturn tends to define our experiences of time. Saturn's changes reflect changes in our experience of time, how we labor with time, or what "kind" of time we're dealing with. And remember, we're coming out of a much more fiery time period, as Saturn has been in Sagittarius from December of 2014 to the present.
* So when we put the cardinality or "tropical" nature of Capricorn (which I discussed yesterday) along with the earthy/yin qualities of Capricorn what should we expect?
* Structural, distinct, pivotal but practical changes
* A turning point with an emphasis on the body
* A turning point with an emphasis on the environment or earth
* Pivotal hanges to existing structures
* A distinct and earthy change of psychological manner, character, or "way"
* An emphasis on laws: natural, social, and cosmic
* A change toward a more dense, solid, grounded, or possibly unconscious state
* The importance of our relationship to the body, the earth, the feminine...restoring right relations
* Explorations of limits or boundaries, the need for them or the need to change them, and dynamism or initiation related to limits and boundaries
* The practical responsibilities of life and the initiation of a period of new responsibilities
Tomorrow we'll look at the rulership of Saturn and the fact that Saturn is returning to its home sign.
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Prayer: Remind us of the sacredness of mother earth. Help us to restore right-relationship to the earth.
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Adam Elenbaas is a professional astrologer and the founder of the Nightlight Astrology School. Adam holds an MA and MFA in English and Creative Writing and is one of the founding writers at RealitySandwich. To learn more about Adam, click here.