A Busy Week in the Local Cosmos

This is a busy week in the neighborhood. I’ve already said most of what I have to say about the confluence of events that are underway, published with the November Monthly Horoscope. I’m going to republish a portion of my lead article here, in case you didn’t see it — or want to give it another layer of study.


Swirling clouds in Jupiter’s North Temperate Belt, captured by NASA’s Juno spacecraft. Image by NASA/JPL/SwRI/MSSS/G. Eichstad/S. Doran.

It’s taken me a while to figure this out, but astrology is a story that never resolves.

There are points of resolution, though there are so many cycles running at once that one tends to lead to another, or three or four are going off at once.

That said, this has been an unusual year, with one inner planet retrograde after the next, both of which involved elements related to Scorpio (which tends to make people squirm, though I am personally a fan of those born under this sign, as it comes with its own special je ne sais quoi).

My listing of events below does not include aspects, only stations and ingresses. There is, however, a particularly interesting aspect coming: Mars in Pisces square Jupiter in Sagittarius, exact on Monday, Nov. 19 (which will be the topic of next week’s horoscope). That’s an aspect entirely different from anything we’ve experienced this long slog of a year. Mars-Jupiter has got some fire to it, and it’s building as we speak.

However, we’re still in the very last days of Mars in Aquarius, which means Mars anaretic: a sensitive spot, referencing potentially invisible vulnerabilities. Pay attention as that happens. Venus direct and Mercury retrograde the same day — that one’s a gem as well. A lot of information will shake out.

Here is your clip-and-save guide to current events:

Jupiter entered Sagittarius on Thursday, Nov. 8. This will help shake off the dark, even oppressive quality of Scorpio, of which we’ve had several overdoses this year.

Jupiter in Sagittarius has an optimistic feeling to it, and will help tap into some wisdom larger than one’s own unfilled or desperate emotional and sexual appetites (which were magnified by Jupiter). It will help if we’re more positive about life.

However, there are two cautionary notes to this transit. One is Jupiter square Nessus in Pisces, and the other is Jupiter square Neptune in Pisces. Jupiter square Nessus can amplify the pain body. It can exaggerate the feeling of abuse legacy without actually doing anything about it. This is related to the internet, where it’s only possible to complain, and nearly impossible to heal.


Hanging sand dunes found in 2014 within the Coprates Chasma region on Mars. Image by NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona.

Jupiter square Neptune, exact in January, June and September (in effect, all year), is a caution against idealism, hope and false optimism. This aspect, particularly involving Sagittarius and Pisces, can be abject denial (an American specialty or maybe a human specialty), lying to oneself or the rose-colored-glasses effect. There is no less work that needs to be done today than there was yesterday. A realistic attitude toward the work that must be done, and the challenges we face as a society, is essential.

Jupiter square Neptune can also prompt religiosity or true-believership. We have quite enough of those things right now.

Mars enters Pisces on Thursday, Nov. 15. This concludes the Mars retrograde, which I count (in its very widest metric) from when Mars entered Aquarius on May 15. This was an unusual event in that Mars had not been retrograde in Aquarius since 1971 (Mars retrogrades are skewed more toward the Leo side of the sky). The theme of Mars retrograde in Aquarius is what I would call “anger management.”

We hear a lot of talk about toxic masculinity, as if men are the problem. We hear exceedingly little discussion of toxic rage, which is the real issue we’re talking about. To ascribe it to any one sex or gender is to project it outward (even if you’re a man, it’s always the other guy). Mars in Pisces has the virtue of processing emotions through the emotional body.

And Mars through Pisces is, at least, pleasure seeking, rather than a transit that might incline someone to get off on anger. Why bomb your social media enemies with venom when you can eat a pint of Cherry Garcia?

Venus stations direct on Friday, Nov. 16. Venus retrograde through Scorpio has dragged a good few people through their unresolved emotional patterns and unmet needs. It’s the opposite of a comfort zone; there’s nothing glamorous about it; it’s challenging in ways that are not easily described.


This classic composite image from the Magellan mission is a hemispheric view of Venus centered on the North Pole. Image by NASA/JPL/USGS

Scorpio represents the almost-insurmountable attachments and fears that even the most advanced yogis must confront, such as jealousy, the fear of death, and others.

It’s also a confrontation with the past. Many of the subtler themes of this summer’s Mars retrograde emerged with Venus retrograde. Mars in Aquarius is the external side of the equation; Venus in Scorpio (a sign ruled by Mars) is the inner sensation of those feelings and perceptions. It’s easier to blame what is visible and what is apparent; it’s difficult to account for your own feelings and perceptions as having something to do with you or your personal history. Venus stations direct during a quadruple conjunction in Pisces, described below.

Of note is that while most of the retrograde was in Scorpio (where Venus is “uncomfortable” but actually in a strong position — see related article), the station direct occurs in Libra. This is a bid to go beyond the appearance and glamor level of Venus and Libra, and to draw on the hormonal strength of Scorpio to be fully present in the world. Perception is more than appearance and it’s more than judgment. Be who you are, and give people a chance to get to know you. And when you find yourself in a “comfort zone” or “safe space,” that’s the time to pay extra attention.

Mercury stations retrograde on Friday, Nov. 16. A few hours after Venus moves to direct motion, Mercury begins its third retrograde of the year. This year has been the handoff of one inner planet retrograde to the next. This retrograde takes place entirely in Sagittarius, and begins in a conjunction with the Great Attractor. This can have an effect of amplifying controversy — but who would ever notice? Mercury is exactly square Neptune when it stations retrograde, which is a caution against truthiness and self-deception. But again, whoever would notice?

This is an interesting retrograde pattern in that it begins with the Moon in a conjunction to Mars, Nessus and Neptune in Pisces. Then it ends on Dec. 6 with an exact Mars-Neptune conjunction. That alignment offers more caution against deception and self-destructive activity.

All of these aspects in some way call attention to Neptune in Pisces, an almost invisible transit which needs to be called to the forefront. These aspects will help us do just that. In sum, I would say that the message is: let’s get real.

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