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October
Changes—

Oct. 22
Neptune direct

Oct. 25
Saturn retrograde

O C T O B E R   2 0 0 3   R E T R O G R A D E   W A T C H

Retrograde Watch
by Maya del Mar

We have two changes in direction this month, and it’s an interesting combination. Neptune, the planet of new realities and new dimensions, turns direct, and Saturn, the planet of strict earth-reality, turns retrograde.

This says that taskmaster Saturn takes a back seat, and fantasy-generating Neptune steps to the fore. With the reality tests of Saturn in the background, it will be important to get a number of points of view of what is going on with ourselves and with the world. And we will.

Neptune turns direct on October 22, a power day. Neptune represents our direct connection to the cosmos, which includes everything. Its work is to help us to open ourselves to the larger picture, the larger universe. By its nature, it is hard to grasp, just as is the universe. On earth, it often manifests to us as illusion and addiction, which is really a yearning to lose ourselves in something larger than our ego.

When Neptune is retrograde, we seek those connections to spirit in our own way. We find our own visions which can expand our boundaries. When Neptune turns direct, we tune into the public sphere, and are susceptible to absorbing the current fantasies and dreams in which we are immersed, primarily through the media.

Neptune will travel direct until May 17, 2004, when it turns retrograde.

As it stations, Neptune has a close quincunx to Jupiter in Virgo. We might feel a conflict between head and heart. Neptune can encourage us to reach out in compassion, but Jupiter in Virgo will want to check the fine print. Virgo is a sign of the military—the "services"—and military affairs will be part of the prevalent visioning. The gap between grandiose visions and reality will become more apparent.

Neptune is traveling through Aquarius, and we have seen the Bush Administration’s vision of ruling the world through military force, as stated by Bush in September 2002 as his National Security Policy. Other reformist visions have been incubating during the retrograde period, which began in mid-May, and now they can emerge to challenge the Bush & Co. vision.

It’s very relevant that during much of Neptune’s retrograde travel, Mars was in Pisces, and traveled retrograde there. Pisces is Neptune’s sign, and between both Neptune and Mars retrograde, we had an unparalleled opportunity to get in touch with our inner god/goddess self, our inner inspiration, and our deepest spiritual visions. Now that Mars is traveling direct in Pisces, we can begin to manifest those visions, and by so doing add them to the collective stream.

We might say that with Neptune retrograde, we get in touch with our own souls. When Neptune turns direct, we turn again to giving up our souls to the collective.

Just days after Neptune’s turn, Saturn turns retrograde on October 25. It turns at 14 Cancer, conjoined the U.S. Sun, just after the New Moon in Scorpio on October 25.

If Neptune is a direct experience of the soul, Saturn is like a laser beam showing us our particular earthly path to merge with the soul. Saturn is often called the Great Teacher. It teaches us those skills which we need in order to develop our unique power and authority here on earth. It is a work planet, a practical planet.

As Neptune turns direct, and re-introduces us to our collective membership, Saturn turns retrograde to give us the opportunity to gestate new and more workable means to manifest our individuality within that collective. We have a nine-month period until Saturn returns to 14 Cancer ready to begin to manifest a new project or approach—which will have formed deep in our unconscious during the retrograde period.

Saturn turns direct again on March 7, 2004, at 1 Cancer. By mid-June it has returned to 14 Cancer. All energies at that degree will have been changed in a deep way, and we can begin to manifest a new way of dealing with the relevant authority.

In this case, the Suns of both Bush and the U.S. are involved. That means that during this retrograde time, we can take a new look at our national reality—especially of government, for Saturn rules government—and figure out the improvements needed to match it up with our national ideals. We can start putting ideas and changes out in March, and by mid-June we can have a new deal moving. Events now will be an indication of what will be on our minds.

This retrograde journey of Saturn also retraces every degree of Cancer up to 14 degrees. Cancer is about getting in touch with feelings, and establishing emotional security. Saturn travels through Cancer every 29 or so years. Saturn is a builder and a boundary-maker; it forms and structures what it touches, within the framework of reality. Saturn is the big reality principle in our charts. (Saturn and Neptune together make art. Neptune carries the images and inspiration, and Saturn makes them real and tangible.)

It has been, then, a generation since we’ve had similar opportunities to form and to remodel our emotional security. Life has changed, and now we can work with the new developments. However, there are similarities for the nation. The last time Saturn was in Cancer, the nation dealt with President Nixon’s lies and the Vietnam quagmire, came to terms with them, and ended both.

The contact then did not target the U.S. Sun. Now it does, and this means major reorientation in U.S. government, and in our identity as a nation. With Suns conjunct, the nation has identified with the authority of Bush, and let his personal ego substitute for the national conscience. In so doing, we have wreaked havoc in the Middle East, and made of ourselves pariahs in the world. Now, as Saturn turns retrograde, we can begin to take back our own authority and reflect on matching the direction of the nation to U.S. national ideals of liberty and justice for all.

In the meantime, Neptune direct allows the unleashing of new visions of how this nation (and our own lives) can be. By convention time next summer, there will be a sea change in the attitudes of U.S. citizens about the possibilities of government.

Neptune and Saturn will have quincunx aspects for much of this journey. This shows that big adjustments will be necessary. It is like the gears grinding as we change speeds. Saturn is very conservative. It is resistant to change anyway, and it often takes a Uranian shock to knock it into a more productive rut. It is likely that now Neptune direct can just dissolve the old boundaries.

I haven’t even mentioned the very strong influence of Chiron in Capricorn at this moment, as it exactly opposes Saturn. Chiron will push for a re-alignment, and Saturn will resist it. By the end of summer 2004 those two will have resolved their difficult relationship. Read much more about Chiron and Saturn, the defining aspect of our times, in various sections of the September and October issues of Daykeeper.

And read this October’s entry in the Daily Success Guide for the New Moon in Scorpio on October 25. This describes the character of the womb in which Saturn begins its gestation.
Back to current issue

October 2003
Table of Contents
October Home
Ceres and the Crisis in "Free" Trade
Alex Miller-Mignone: Beware the Black Hole Vampire!
Crystal's Meditation—
Invoke the Miraculous Power of Endings
Daily Success Guide
October 1 through 31
Monthly Astrological Influences for October 2003
General Sun Signs,
October 2003
Virgo Moon Cycle Report
Retrograde Watch—
Neptune Direct and Saturn Retrograde
October Skywatch
Goddess of the Month: Bast
Books Reviewed: Buddhist Astrology
Maya's Astrology Favorites: The Secret Language of Birthdays
Sign of the Month: Libra Maya's Sun Sign Archives

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