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The Heat is On

Updated: Oct 15, 2023

Astro Notes for New Moon in Libra cycle (October 14 - November 13)

I want to begin this month by looking at the astrology of the recent horrifying events in Israel/Palestine.

The big picture is that we are still in the vice-grip of Pluto in late Capricorn and Pluto square the Lunar Nodes until the end of the year. The last half of 2023 is an enormous squeeze, dredging up material from the depths of the personal and collective unconscious, calling on us all to honestly examine our shadows and make the necessary reforms. If we have access to the right kind of internal and external support, it’s a profound opportunity for growth and maturation. But it’s also the kind of pressure-cooker environment in which we could be tempted to act these primal energies out. It all depends on the level of consciousness we’re able to bring to the surfacing material.

Within this general milieu of sustained intensity, on the morning of October 7 when the attacks began, Mars had moved into a tight square with Pluto. By October 8, the square became exact.

Mars square Pluto, in its most unconscious form, is the aspect for expressions of brute force and ruthlessness, naked aggression, and violent sexuality. When the god of War meets the god of Death in a tense aspect like a square, it unfortunately has the potential to trigger events like the ones we saw October 7-8.

Furthermore, Pluto turned direct on October 10. Whenever Pluto stations and turns direct, for several days on either side Plutonic themes become amplified— intensity, power, the shadow, sexuality and other primal drives, etc.

The other factor is that the attacks occurred in the lead up to eclipse season. Eclipses open a portal of time characterized by heightened drama and intensity during which consequential events tend to occur. Their influence can be felt up to a week before the day of the eclipse. And indeed the Hamas attacks occurred seven days before the New Moon Solar Eclipse on October 14.

Eclipses always come in pairs, a solar eclipse at the time of the new moon (when the Moon moves between the Sun and the Earth, blocking the Sun’s light) and a lunar eclipse at the time of the full moon (when the Earth moves between the Sun and the Moon, with the Moon falling in the Earth’s shadow). A solar eclipses is like a new moon on steroids, bringing major new beginnings and a lunar eclipse is a full moon on steroids, offering some kind of significant karmic completion.

The New Moon Solar Eclipse on October 14 was conjunct Mercury, square Pluto and opposite Chiron.  It was a South Node solar eclipse, meaning that an important chapter from our past closed in order to make way for a new beginning. With the challenging aspects to outer planets Pluto and Chiron, it was/is an especially intense passage that may have caused us to feel subject to events unfolding beyond our control. Yet it was also a deeply cleansing process with the potential to awaken us from our complacency and focus our minds on what’s most important to us, especially (being in Libra) in the realm of our relationships or relational patterns.

The two-week period between Solar and Lunar Eclipses is known as the eclipse window. It’s normally a powerful time to engage in shadow work since the cosmic cauldron is already turned up to boiling. This year that’s especially true since at least part of the eclipse window falls in Scorpio season, that annual time of the year when we are called to look more intensely at what is hidden in the unconscious. Mars moved into Scorpio on Friday October 13, Mercury enters Scorpio October 22 and Sun October 23. Honest, intense soul-searching, direct communication, and powerful, decisive action become the name of the main game for a few weeks.

Thankfully there is some blessed cosmic relief from all the pressure and intensity.  From October 19-24, we have a lovely Jupiter-Venus trine in Earth signs, bringing a welcome opportunity for a touch of sweet pleasure for the body and/or enjoyable social contact for the heart.

Then from October 26 through to November 6, there is a Grand Trine of Venus, Uranus, and Pluto, also in Earth signs, offering the exciting possibility of the rebirth of love and friendship, including an opportunity for powerful healing of our capacity to love as well as deep romantic and sexual breakthroughs. In recent times, we’ve been engaged in a lot of hard relational work, discerning what’s true and what’s no longer aligned in our long-standing relationships. In this context, we can look forward to the Grand Trine as a potential reward for our labor.

This auspicious aspect pattern is in play during the Full Moon North Node Lunar Eclipse in Taurus on October 28. As a North Node eclipse, we have the chance to come into greater alignment with our evolutionary purpose. The Moon is conjunct Jupiter, putting us in an expansive and confident mood, though we may have to contend with challenges from others to our big visions, as the eclipse is opposite Mercury and Mars in Scorpio. Ultimately, though, with the Full Moon’s ruler Venus in that beautiful grand trine, we have an opportunity to catch a magic current that carries us in the direction of our dreams.

On November 2, Saturn turns direct at zero degrees of Pisces. Saturn has been retrograde since June 17. Saturn retrograde periods occur every twelve months, for about four and a half months each. During these periods, we are working out karma from our past. Depending on how we’ve behaved in the past, we’ll either be learning lessons in relation to missteps or receiving rewards for good deeds. Since June, we may have been through a time of testing to ensure we are ready to take on extra responsibility relating to our careers or families, or we may have been required to look at where we have become stuck in a negative expression of Saturn qualities, such as depression or isolation. By the time Saturn turns direct, we hopefully will have integrated these lessons and are ready to move forward with our next phase, one that will lead us to greater achievement and recognition.

From November 8 leading up to the new moon in Scorpio on November 13 we face another volatile passage with Mars opposite Uranus, in a broad t-square with Saturn. Mars-Uranus hard aspects bring a tendency for rash and impulsive action; with Saturn’s constraining influence in the mix this can — in its lower expression — result in extreme frustration or explosive acting out. I suspect this might be a time when we see significant repercussions of the Hamas attacks playing out in the world news.  On a personal front, we would do well to apply our maturity to avoid potentially damaging flare ups of anger, and instead direct that energy toward liberating ourselves from old reactive patterns.


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