If October has a theme, it is authenticity. Now six days into the Mercury retrograde cycle as October opens, we are experiencing an epic, though mental, battle of truth versus appearances. What is real? What appears to be true but is false? We saw the roots of life as we knew it shaken in September as the Sun opposed Uranus: Hurricane Ike devastated and drenched the middle of the US; three financial institutions fell; and the political campaign became more vitriolic.
October is all about authenticity, and in a more urgent way than usual, because the future of the planet may depend on it in the choices made during the US elections, from the presidency to the House and Senate, to all the local elections. Only after November 4 will we know how well American voters were able to suss out the truth from the lies. The sign of Libra, The Scales, where Mercury is located from August 28 through 8 AM (Pacific Time) November 4, demands that we discern the difference. The scales of justice can only be balanced if we can tell what is authentic—then justice can be administered. Although this is abundantly evident in the current election campaigns, it is also true in our personal lives. We have to find what is authentic and live it. We have to break down the barriers of appearances to see what is real and become it. It can be painful, but our way is both eased and goaded by the aspects that Mercury is making during its long sojourn over this chunk of space. It connects three times with Jupiter (by square) and with the Lunar Nodes-Chiron-Neptune conjunction (by trine), in addition to its customary inferior conjunction to the Sun and weekly "hot" contacts with the Moon.
There's no question of it, Mercury is our Messenger this month. It brings in missives from Chiron about our woundedness and healing process; from Neptune about how well we're perceiving inner truth. These missives are channeled to us through the Nodes in the form of life-changing events and through Jupiter as new understanding. Mercury's contact with the Sun allows us to take action on what we've been learning, while lunar contacts take us from reaction to assimilation—the foundation of personal transformation.
Whenever a planet stations, it beams its rays to us in a concentrated form. We experience three such concentrations of energy this month, and if this sounds repetitious, it indicates how powerfully we will feel these energies all month long. The three planets that station are Mercury, Chiron, and Neptune (on November 1)—and they all station to direct, or forward, motion. This is the time to catch our breath and see what they have taught us so that we can make adjustments as we move to complete the yearly cycle that they have engaged us in. What have we learned during the critical periods of early February, late May, and mid-August? What can we do differently in our lives to create more benefit in the future? More specifically, how have we healed? What is spiritually true?
Given that the two slow movers of these planets, Chiron and Neptune, are in Aquarius, we are faced again with how to heal group consciousness. We have seen divisiveness at its worst over the past ten years—can we begin to get it right this time? "Divide and conquer," they say. This has long been the bane of human existence, and we are challenged now more than ever to come together, as a plan for planetary survival demands it. It can be done, and when it must be done, humans seem to manage it in feats of heroic brinksmanship.
If you can detect this thread running through most events of October, you'll be able to read the subtext in every action, every conversation. You'll be able to see your own growth process reflected back through the way the world "speaks" to you. Mercury retrograde periods are wonderful because it is then that the Messenger speaks most clearly to us. October is a month of listening. The good news is that the messages carried by the Cosmic Courier are gentle enough to be managed but urgent enough to be heeded.
We must not, in our fervor to authenticate, ignore Saturn's opposition to Uranus, which is becoming more exact as the month waxes. The dynamic tension of these planetary giants adds juice to the reality check. Uranus, the Cosmic Course Corrector, is waking us up to where we've gotten off track, and Saturn is watch-dogging the process to make sure we are guided in the right direction. The Moon will carry water for this combo as it transits each sign; the hours between her contact with Saturn and the one with Uranus will be significant and worth taking note of.
WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 1
Accord is the keyword of the day as we head toward harmonious contacts late in the day. Moon conjunct Venus in Scorpio deepens feelings, while Mars's sextile to Pluto opens the door to change. Finally Moon sextiles Jupiter to generate a more visceral realization of what we need to do to succeed in the coming month—a cosmic "what's next".
THURSDAY OCTOBER 2
Moon continues in Scorpio all day but goes void of course at 3:47 PM. A wee-hour Moon-Saturn sextile will bear fruits when the Moon trines Uranus at the noon hour. Our dreams may cast a spell over our day and create magic. After 3:47, we can relax and process the fountain of feelings bubbling inside in preparation for tomorrow's active period. Even though we have a void-of-course Moon for tonight's debate, both candidates will be less affected because the Moon will continue to make contacts to their chart throughout the evening.
FRIDAY OCTOBER 3
Fresh energy flows, as Moon enters Sagittarius at 8:14 AM. You can take action now based on the newness you feel. Mars is at the end of its stay in Libra, one of its signs of detriment. Waiting until after it enters its rulership in Scorpio at 9:34 PM for significant actions will spur them along on eagle's wings.
SATURDAY OCTOBER 4
Where the planets are concerned, there's almost never a ride without a burr under our saddle, and today this is certainly true. The Moon sextile Sun at dawn sets a tone of opportunity, but something brews in the currents of the day. The Moon's square to Saturn perfects in mid-afternoon, re-establishing the tension between old and new until the Moon reaches Uranus at midnight. Change is possible, but hard work is necessary to achieve it.
SUNDAY OCTOBER 5
Our dreams will be sweet as the two benefics, Venus and Jupiter, sextile soon after midnight. The resonance is enhanced by a Moon-Neptune sextile soon after. The Moon ends its stay in Sagittarius with a bang as it conjoins transformative Pluto as its last aspect at 6:08 PM. However, the Moon still performs in this Jupiter-ruled sign, so actions can produce results even until she enters Capricorn at 8:48 PM.
MONDAY OCTOBER 6
This is a day of relative significance, as three planetary contacts reach perfection. At 9:52 AM, the Sun squares Jupiter. This signals our entry into the completion stage of our yearly Jupiter story. The enterprises we sought to expand in late December of last year are now ripe, and we need to focus on integrating what we have learned from them more fully into our daily life as a foundation for the next cycle, which starts in January. Mercury has been retrograde for 13 days and now reaches the halfway point, signaled by its conjunction with the Sun. This culmination can bring urgent dispatches from its messaging service, and this is likely, since Mercury is also squaring Jupiter as it joins with the Sun. This will combine to create an uncomfortable clarity about the state of our affairs, but our condition is something we have the power to change. We will have the coming four months to effect the necessary transformation in our lives. This day of realization ends on an up beat as a Venus sextile Saturn reminds us that if we develop our relationships with others, we can depend on each other in times of need. We only need to ask.
TUESDAY OCTOBER 7
The Moon's transit through Capricorn brings the chickens home to roost as it connects with yesterday's planetary pattern before dawn. This opportunity for rumination can be transformed into genuine opportunity as the Moon creates a minor grand trine between Venus and Uranus. The key phrase here is "miracles from friends".
An aspect that adds potency to the day's events is the waxing Sun-Moon square at 2:04 AM, marking the First Quarter lunar event. This emphasizes the Libra-Capricorn square that perfected yesterday. In the chart cast for Washington, DC, this square straddles the 2nd and 5th houses, emphasizing the economy and the stock market. This also suggests that the Senate is enacting limitations to curb further economic difficulties. However, the most noteworthy part of the chart is the Saturn-Uranus opposition, which is aligned with the Ascendant-Descendant. This is most likely to signify a move by the population "out of power" against the establishment, perhaps a public outcry for change. It will have a considerable impact on the nation's direction and identity. Given that this is an election season, a sudden shift in public opinion is a probable outcome. The number of sextiles in this chart suggests that the chance of a beneficial outcome is good: Saturn, Venus, Jupiter-Moon, and Uranus are linked by sextiles, forming a cradle in the bottom of the chart. Actions internal to the nation will be positive. The Moon's void of course after 12:37 PM gives us time to pause and reflect, until 9:03 AM tomorrow. Again, because the candidates each have contacts with the late-degree Moon during the debate period, they will be able to engage as effectively as they would normally do, despite the VOC moon.
WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 8
At 9:03 AM, the Moon enters Aquarius to lift us up to a higher perspective. The sole aspect of today is a square of the Moon to Mars, motivating us to take fast action. This can also result in an impulsive effort toward damage control—something we're likely to see on the political scene in response to perceived gaffes made in last night's debate.
THURSDAY OCTOBER 9
Trines abound as the Moon's trines to Mercury and Sun bracket the daylight hours. We'll be alert and productive, perceptive and decisive about situations that have flummoxed us in recent weeks. A Venus trine to Uranus also colors the day exciting. Accepting an social invitation may have surprising and beneficial consequences.
FRIDAY OCTOBER 10
Dreams are vivid as the Moon occults Neptune in the early morning hours. This is a good day to make changes in your routine or do some organizing—the Moon sextiles Pluto until 4:13 PM. At that time, the Moon enters its void period, which lasts only until 6:31 PM, when it enters sensitive Pisces.
SATURDAY OCTOBER 11
We'll sleep off a Moon trine Mars before dawn, but Venus's square to Neptune will awaken us to what's real among friends, partners, and women in general. Apologies may be desirable and are always in style. The evening's Moon sextile to Jupiter suggests that conciliatory gestures will be gracefully accepted.
SUNDAY OCTOBER 12
As the Moon makes its way through Pisces, it connects the dots between Saturn and Uranus again, stimulating us to develop new solutions to old problems. The fact that this stimulation comes before dawn bodes well for creative insights that come from our dreams. Allow them trickle in over the day. Moon trine Venus lays the foundation for a lovely brunch, but don't let anxiety taint the remainder of the day as the Moon moves to square Pluto at 10 PM. This signals the start of her void-of-course period, but since Pisces is a Jupiter-ruled sign, she still "performeth somewhat", in William Lilly's words, if you are so motivated to act.
MONDAY OCTOBER 13
We're off to a good start for the work week as Moon enters Aries at 0:07 AM. Our focus will be tempered by the perspective of Mercury, slow but still retrograde, across the wheel from our lunar companion. We'll feel clear, but perhaps pressured, to accomplish a lot in a short time. How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?
TUESDAY OCTOBER 14
Four planetary events occur by mid afternoon but fill our day. After Moon squares Jupiter in the dead of night, the Sun makes its yearly waning trine to Neptune, giving us a boost of imaginative and spiritual juice as it slows to make its direct station. The Moon aids the process by picking up Neptune's energy via sextile just in time for the Full Moon at 1:02 PM. This Full Moon is marked by the harmonious ties to the healing duo Chiron-Neptune, as well as a fairly close trine between Jupiter and Saturn.
In the chart cast for the US in Washington DC, Neptune is distinctly highlighted by being on the Ascendant as well. It's a time to surrender to what's inwardly correct, even as a nation. People have many ways of using Neptune's energies, among them religious faith, spiritual practice, creative expression, psychic perception; but it can also be expressed as confusion, illusion, and dreaminess, even neglect, in mass consciousness (i.e., a national chart). On the Ascendant, it represents the face of the people, and the US population may appear to be confused, disillusioned, or wishy-washy in its direction. With the Sun and Mercury retrograde in trine to it, the issue of authenticity will be front and center, and it is most likely to be expressed through the campaign. This is likely to coincide with a crescendo in both candidates' claims on the truth, but the population will have to decide who they believe. It will be a time of national soul-searching. The political mud-slinging is also suggested by the Jupiter square to the Sun-Moon opposition, which is about pressure to disseminate information to the voting public. The Saturn-Uranus opposition is found in the economic zone once again, making more economic surprises likely.
WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 15
With a trine to Pluto at 12:36 AM, the Moon enters its void-of-course period while in Aries. Unless you're a night owl, you won't feel a thing though, since it enters its exaltation in Taurus at 2:31 AM. You'll be skating through the day, with Mercury's station to direct motion pushing you along. The one blip on the radar is the Moon-Mars opposition that gathers force in mid-afternoon. Don't let over-sensitivity lead you to aggressive action, but do let your awareness of your feelings lead you to support your own needs. With Mercury direct today, if we are speaking the truth, we will find it easy to communicate clearly; if not, it will be almost impossible. This energy will also pervade the final presidential debate. Now that Mercury is direct, watch for it to makes its third pass over Jupiter, Chiron, the Nodes, and Neptune to bring resolution of issues that arose in September and October.
THURSDAY OCTOBER 16
We'll glide through the morning as the Moon creates its once-a-month grand trine with Jupiter and Saturn, then opens the door to opportunity by sextiling Uranus in mid-morning. A long, late lunch will help avoid the diffusion of focus that can accompany the Moon's square to Neptune, but leave the wine in the bottle, or you'll fulfill its tendencies with a fuzzy-headed feeling for the rest of the day.
FRIDAY OCTOBER 17
Once again, the Moon's void period occurs between 12:33 and 3:25 AM, but if this is when you are most productive don't let it stop you—a void Moon in Taurus still activates positive results. Once it enters Gemini, you'll be ready for a talkative day to stimulate beneficial connections as the Moon moves toward a trine to Mercury all day long.
SATURDAY OCTOBER 18
This morning the Moon brings new awareness of the deep change we're experiencing when it bridges the gap between Saturn and Uranus with squares to each planet. At 11:31 AM, Venus enters Sagittarius, leaving one of its signs of detriment behind. Our social contacts will be lighter, breezier, and involve more independence now. The Moon finishes our day with two trines. The one to Neptune suggests a much-needed long, lazy afternoon and an evening of taking care of yourself as it trines the Sun. Enjoy yourself!
SUNDAY OCTOBER 19
We luck out again if we like to be productive: the Moon void-of-course occurs between 2:52 and 4:40 AM. Our dreams and emotions before the void period may be cleansing and bring deep understanding if we can capture them as the Moon opposes Pluto. Once the Moon enters Cancer, her day-long move toward a square with Mercury brings an inconvenient awareness, perhaps that we've wasted time on an unproductive activity. However, all is not lost. A Moon trine Mars at bedtime permits us to make up for it before we begin the work week.
MONDAY OCTOBER 20
New understanding emerges with the sunrise as the Moon opposes Jupiter at 6:20 AM. After that, it's smooth sailing as we get a chance to make lemonade out of the Saturn-Uranus opposition. The Moon sextiles Saturn and trines Uranus, giving us a chance to slide gracefully into a new reality and leave the past behind.
TUESDAY OCTOBER 21
As the energy of newness circulates through our life, we get a glimpse of how to integrate it into our lives. The Last Quarter Moon square to the Sun occurs at 4:55 AM, the last aspect before the Moon changes sign from Cancer to Leo. In the nation's capital, it transpires at 7:55 AM, placing Sun just above the Ascendant and the South Node on the MC.
Also in highlight is the impending opposition of Saturn to Uranus, and Mercury is once again square to Jupiter. Just as the day begins with sunrise, there is a new dawn in America with this lunation. The people spent a week in turmoil, making sense of their new post-economic crash national identity. Now they emerge transformed—they've decided where authenticity lies for them. Saturn and Uranus are in the 11th and 5th house respectively, suggesting that the legislative branch is going through some self-examination and subsequent change. Indeed, they are on break to campaign, so passage of legislation is unlikely. However, those members of the Senate who are not running will probably keep the body in session to obviate any interim appointments by President Bush, an usual and disruptive function indicated by Uranus in the Senate's house. Campaign advertising continues to bombard voters in contested states, but Mercury square Jupiter suggests an escalating use of negative messages and falsehoods.
Even if there are some difficulties suggested by these aspects, there are positive planetary contacts as well: The Sun precisely sextiles Pluto, and Mars sextiles Jupiter, portending more stability in the economy. Mars in rulership (Scorpio) in the 1st house tells us that one of the candidates will become a symbol of change and take a strong lead in the polls—for now. The Moon enters Leo at 7:35 AM, then flows easily into a Moon-trine-Venus for placid interactions with others. To cap off the day, Sun sextile Pluto offers the possibility of a deeply meaningful (and maybe sexy) evening.
WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 22
Moon supports lucid dreaming with a sextile to Mercury in the wee hours and emphasizes emotional release nearer to sunrise as it squares Mars. The sun sings its Libra swan song all day, then enters Scorpio at 6:09 PM. Moon opposition Neptune at bedtime brings spiritual understanding to our feelings if we care to look within.
THURSDAY OCTOBER 23
Moon goes void of course on a positive note, as it trines Pluto at 10:53 AM; positive changes are possible before then. The void period of respite is brief however, as the Moon enters Virgo at 12:40 PM. A sextile with the Sun makes the afternoon potentially productive.
FRIDAY OCTOBER 24
The Moon in Virgo makes many dynamic and useful contacts, starting with a square to Venus just after midnight. We'll sleep this potential discord off and flow into a series of harmonies during the day, as she sextiles Mars and trines Jupiter. The evening brings reality into focus as the Moon conjoins Saturn and opposes Uranus. The things we have to face may be difficult, but they will lead to unique solutions that we may never have devised without the current planetary energies impelling us forward.
SATURDAY OCTOBER 25
We may be caught up in an intense process today as our agitation of last evening overflows into today's events. You will not be interrupted until late in the day if you want to spend your time focused on a project or single activity. Chiron returns to forward motion today, beaming its rays of healing our way. We may be filled with insights into how we are contributing to our own conditions, as well as how others do so. At 6:02 PM, the Moon makes its final aspect in Virgo, squaring Pluto before going void of course. Your efforts end with a bang on this aspect, but completions and background activities are recommended until the Moon moves into Libra at 7:47 PM.
SUNDAY OCTOBER 26
Mercury makes its third and final square to Jupiter tied to its retrograde transit, giving one more chance to achieve authenticity in communication. The Moon sextiling Venus supports positive outcomes for our efforts.
MONDAY OCTOBER 27
Today's experiences are down to more than just the Moon as Mars sextiles Jupiter. You'll feel more invigorated—and it's likely you'll need the extra energy to fulfill the opportunities that arise. Couched within its energetic field are three lunar contacts: a square to Jupiter and a conjunction to Mercury re-emphasizing communication, and a trine to Neptune reminding us of the power of inner truth.
TUESDAY OCTOBER 28
At 3:05 AM, the Moon makes its final aspect in Libra, a sextile to Pluto, before it enters its void period. This portends a beneficial outcome to our efforts of the last two days. Since the Moon enters Scorpio at 4:47 AM, most of us will experience the void-of-course downtime while sleeping. At 4:14 PM, the Moon is new at 5:54' Scorpio. In Washington DC, the planets are strikingly placed on the right-hand side of the chart (the western hemisphere), telling us that the fate of the US is in the hands of others. This suggests that the nation may need to look to foreign sources for funds to prop up American financial institutions, and that the election is now in hands of the voters out of power, or the minority party, for Election Day occurs before the next lunar event. Saturn and Uranus are nearly exact in their first of five oppositions with each other, and in this case they fall in houses 5 and 11, the reverse of the last lunation. The stock market, found in the 5th house, will continue to be bearish; the 11th, the fruits of speculation, will continue to elude investors. The Moon-Sun and Mars in the 6th house of the worker grants the working class their ample say in the election. Voting should be vigorous and the lines long at polling places.
WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 29
A litany of planetary events starts at 1 PM and continues to 11:12 PM. The afternoon overflows with harmonies as the Moon sextiles Jupiter, conjoins Mars, sextiles Saturn, and trines Uranus. These aspects make for a lively but beneficial experience. At 10:45 PM, the Moon enters a long void-of-course period as it squares Neptune, giving us a reminder to take some time out. It gives us time to catch up on our filing, as it does not enter Sagittarius until 3:41 PM tomorrow. This mutes the affect of Mercury's late-night trine to Neptune, but it will be felt all day prior to its perfection.
THURSDAY OCTOBER 30
Make this day a quiet one, or take a day off. The Moon won't be lighting up our lives until 3:41 PM, when it enters Sagittarius. Mars sextiling Saturn in the evening makes this a great day for organizing and getting background work done.
FRIDAY OCTOBER 31
The Moon is in Sagittarius all day but makes no aspects. We'll be feeling the power of the Saturn-Uranus opposition, however, as Mars carries Saturn's water to Uranus at midday. This will color our whole experience and made yesterday and today memorable. As the election approaches, people become more intense and jittery, but it's more than the election—we're all locating a new internal balance between old and new as this week passes. You can make use of this energy on this Spooky Day by dressing up as you want to be in the future, not as you (or others) were in the past. Even though it occurs tomorrow, we'll be feeling Neptune's return to forward motion today as well, in the form of greater clarity and perhaps a bit of ground fog to delight trick-or-treaters.