Finding Strength No Matter How the Light Breaks Through

By Amanda Painter

Every once in a while, if I’m feeling a little stumped for an overarching theme for one of these columns, I’ll draw a tarot card or an oracle card of some sort, with a question: what do readers most need to hear — what serves their highest good — regarding this week’s astrology? Sometimes it takes some meditation for me to see how the card offers a way in; such was the case today.

Acadia National Park; photo by Amanda Painter.

Acadia National Park; photo by Amanda Painter.

I think that’s partly because this week’s Taurus Full Moon — which is exact on Saturday, Nov. 4, at 1:23 am EDT / 5:23 UTC — has a busy chart. There are several strong aspects involved, most of which are already palpable — either in people’s personal lives, or reflected in the news (think surprises — including sudden tragedies, disruptions, confrontations or stalemates, and an urge to do something).

Even so, it can be tough to see the big picture of a particular astrology chart when there’s so much detail begging for interpretation. So I’m going to start by describing the card I pulled: the Nine of Wands from the Rohrig Tarot, created by Carl-W. Rohrig.

Traditionally, the Nine of Wands is associated with resolve and resilience, often in the face of roadblocks. Those themes can still apply with the Rohrig Nine of Wands, which carries the word “Strength” at the bottom. But this card depicts the theme differently: as a brilliant burst of white light that has blasted some sort of stone container open.

In this particular card, we’re looking at the strength and resolve — really, the faith in oneself — needed to allow some kind of breakthrough, break out or even a clean break. That is, the strength it takes to allow yourself to go beyond whatever has been containing you or what you’re used to.

By extension, this also implies the strength and faith in yourself to build something new; to heal and grow into the space that opens up. This is the space that emerges after a stalemate dissolves; for example, the kind of interpersonal stalemate that often accompanies a Full Moon. So let’s take a look at the major players in that chart.

The Taurus Full Moon is the Sun in Scorpio being opposed by the Moon in Taurus. This puts the object representing consciousness and outward expression (the Sun) in the sign of secrets, sex, death, and transformation; and the Moon, which represents emotions and the unconscious, in the sign of the body, the senses, material objects and values.

On one level, a Full Moon can represent your own inner negotiation process between your conscious and unconscious along the themes involved. On another level, any Full Moon can also manifest as some form of conflict, stalemate or reflection between you and another person.

You might take a moment to ask yourself what you’re not expressing fully. The Taurus Moon suggests your body is giving you hints about how you feel, whether you’re saying so or not. Or you might stop to notice what someone is mirroring back to you.

The caution here lies in jumping to conclusions about what the things you’re seeing must mean; that is, beware of projection. We see a Full Moon thanks to the Sun’s light being projected onto the reflective surface of the Moon. You might need to do a reality-check to make sure you’re not ascribing some emotion or state of mind to the person you’re dealing with, when really what you’re perceiving offers clues about your own emotional reality.

Additionally, the dwarf planet Ceres, in Leo, is making a square to the Sun and Moon. In one possible interpretation, it would seem that your heart is urging you to take action toward what actually feeds you — physically, emotionally and sexually. With all three of these bodies in fixed signs, notice whether you’re being too stubborn to see what would truly be nourishing. Remember that when you give yourself what you need, you’re in a much better a position to nourish others.

Also in the Full Moon chart we have another opposition, actually a double opposition. Venus is conjunct the asteroid Vesta in Libra, and the two of them are opposite Uranus and Eris in Aries. This is some combustible astrology. And whereas the Sun and Moon in fixed signs might represent “what you’re used to,” this quartet across cardinal signs looks like the breakthrough or break out that lets you begin to express your energy in some new way.

The upside is that if you look for new adventures with others or for exciting new people to create with, you give this energy a very productive space and purpose. The downside could be that if you’ve been sitting on unresolved tensions in a relationship, those tensions could push through to a confrontation.

So there’s potentially a doubling of the Full Moon effect, and that calls for heightened awareness on your part — which is not the same as fear or avoidance. Oppositions ask us to negotiate each side of the equation; and honest negotiation requires careful communication — which includes listening and considering what you hear.

Finally, you should know that along with the tension, there are actually three aspects in the Scorpio Full Moon chart that indicate the potential for healing. Two are exact today (Mercury in Scorpio trine Chiron in Pisces; and Saturn conjunct the Galactic Core in Sagittarius, which is square Chiron). The third is exact tomorrow (the Scorpio Sun trine Neptune in Pisces).

From what I can tell, Mercury-Chiron indicates an intuitive level of healing. If you’re open to it and set the intention for it, you may intuitively know how to get under the surface of what’s hurting you.

Saturn-Chiron would seem to give form to our ‘cosmic homing signal’ in a way that we can actually use in the face of crisis (and we’re certainly aware of a lot of crises these days, personally, locally and globally). This one might not be a ‘soft’ or ‘easy’ form of healing, but that square gives some real leverage if you’re willing to work it.

Sun-Neptune offers the kind of healing available when your inner idealism and outer drive work together. It’s imaginative, artistic and sensitive — and in this time of year when the veil between this world and the spirit realms is said to be the thinnest, you may find it easier to make contact if you desire it.

However your personal breakthrough, break out or clean break comes, remember that it is light that’s pushing through. It means you have the strength to use it — even if it’s momentarily disorienting, and even if it seems to be someone else who’s doing the shining. When you claim your light, you open up space for those around you to do the same. With that, we all become stronger.


By any standards, 2018 will be a distinctive year astrologically. Get your essential guide to riding the waves of the next 12 months and beyond. Pre-order The Art of Becoming, the 2018 Planet Waves Annual by Eric Francis.

3 thoughts on “Finding Strength No Matter How the Light Breaks Through

  1. Amanda Painter Post author

    OK, just noticed that I’d accidentally pasted Len’s blog post at the bottom of mine when I added the promo image for the annual edition last night. Oops! That’s been fixed; apologies if it caused anyone any confusion!

  2. Lauren Stupar

    Thank you Amanda, I enjoyed reading this and found it inspiring. I’m adding this quite to my notebook for today, “When you claim your light, you open up space for those around you to do the same. With that, we all become stronger.”

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