The beginning of something has significance, and what happens in the sky relates to what happens on Earth. The process of becoming whole involves working with the planets in stages of initiation. First, there are the personal planets to be integrated, held in check by Saturn. Next is the crossing over the Centaur bridge, where Chiron leads to the transpersonal planets, bodies that require awakening, flow, and presence. This phase of initiation is held in check by Pluto. The third phase pushes out to the new level boundary of Sedna, the spirit territory. Understanding these dynamic energies, as demonstrated through the ever-changing cosmic weather, encourages greater ability to live connected to purpose and meaning. Establishing connection to the energy source and simultaneously remaining grounded--As Above, So Below--gives a sense of true location. The key ingredients for this celestial navigation, are listed here with current longitudinal position, and are updated at each New Moon.
The Sun is the Invincible Spirit. So great is this universal wonder that it must come in small doses, distributed as it travels around the 360 degrees of the Zodiac over the course of a year. The Sun's position symbolizes the active presence of the Divine. At this New Moon, the Sun is at 20 SCORPIO 43, with the depth of winter just around the corner. The Sun will move into the jolly sign of Sagittarius on November 22nd. The Sun's path is steady and reliable. It forms the analemma (figure 8) as it moves. It is now heading South on the path, and will be at the low point (23 South Declination) from December 11-January 1. The Sun will stand still for 4 days (December 20-23rd), and will move into Capricorn at 10:27 PM on Thursday December 21st, the Winter Solstice.
The Moon is the Receiver, catching emotional attachments, hooks, and patterns. The Moon receives and moves through her angular relationship with the Sun over the course of the month, reflecting the Sun's invincible spirit through her silver light. The Moon delights in shape-shifting, and in the repetitive ebb and flow from night to day and from New to Full in predictable sequence. We see this dance every month, beginning at the New Moon, timed for the Moon's alignment with the Sun, where Soul is connected with Spirit. The November New Moon at 20 Scorpio 43, occurs on November 13, 2023 at 4:27 AM. Mars stands with the Sun and Moon, and the cluster opposes Uranus. The apt Sabian Symbol for this degree reads as follows: A soldier, ready to face the charge of desertion for love's sake.
Historic 2019, 20, 21, and 22 are now over. At this 4th quarter of 2023, Jupiter is making a transit through the sign of Taurus, and will align with Uranus in April of 2024, preceded by the Total Solar Eclipse across the US on April 8, 2024 (19+ Aries). Saturn suggests redemptive repair in Pisces, and Rx, it is traveling the early degrees of the sign. Neptune is reiterative at the late degrees of Pisces, emphasizing the need to approach the unconscious and befriend the archetypal energies found therein. Pluto has returned to Capricorn to complete the restructuring begun in 2008 to underscore the US natal Pluto position, and will not freely move into Aquarius until late November, 2024, after the US presidential election. As transcendent foundations for the future are forming, we are travelling through important crossroads.
THE ECLIPSE SEASONS
Eclipses occur in pairs or trios. Though the visual effect occurs on the day of, the influence can be felt before, during, and after, covering an immediate period of 6-8 weeks (the eclipse season), and also up to 6 months. The energies can be touched off at various times, depending on the location of the Moon's nodal axis, the Sun, the Moon, or Mars. Solar eclipses occur at New Moons, when the Moon eclipses or blocks the Sun, so that there is an eerie shadow cast on the Earth's surface, as the emotional reactions overpower logic, with new beginning suggested. Lunar eclipses occur at Full Moons, when the Earth passes between the opposing Sun and the Moon, creating a shadow across the Full Moon, highlighting the mundane impact of the emotional landscape, suggesting endings. The exactitude of the alignment defines the type (total, annular, partial, appulse). Eclipses resonate at different levels of consciousness. Because eclipses involve the alignments of the Sun, the Moon, and the Nodal Axis, eclipses have a "destiny" quality to them. While there is a personal impact, with the position in the Zodiac determining focus, the mundane impact is obvious in the making of history. The trigger point date for sensitivity of the degree is often before or after the exact date, hence eclipse seasons of elongated influence. Eclipses are tied to the Lunar Nodes, and are often triggered by them. The Nodal cycle is 18.6 years; the Nodes spend approximately 1.5 years in a sign pair. The 2023 Eclipses are listed below:
- April 20, 2023 Solar Eclipse at 29 AR 50 Activates after (July 17, 2023)
- May 5, 2023 Lunar Eclipse at 14 SC 58 Activated before (September 10, 2022)
- October 14, 2023 Solar Eclipse at 21 LI 08 Activates after (December 31, 2023) *Note: This eclipse falls at a tight opposition (within 1 degree 43 minutes) of the upcoming 2nd Great American Solar Eclipse of April 8, 2024 at 19 AR 24. This 2024 eclipse will traverse the US and crisscross with the earlier Great American Solar Eclipse that occurred on August 21, 2017 at 28+ Leo (in the area around Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky)
- October 28, 2023 Lunar Eclipse at 5 TA 09 Activated before (March 6, 2023)
The 2024 Eclipses are:
September 17, 2024 Lunar Eclipse at 25 PI 41 Activated after (May 14, 2025)
Mercury is the communicator. Mercury has 3-4 Retrograde (Rx) cycles every year, each lasting approximately 3 weeks, and each offering a period of reflection, recalibration, revision, and resolution, as Mercury and the Sun exchange the message of a particular degree of the Zodiac. Mercury aims to make connections and move on. Clever, agile, and appreciative of humor, Mercury will bring wisdom to the conversation with light and good will. At this New Moon, Mercury is located at 4 + Sagittarius. Mercury is looking for some fun! On December 13, Mercury will turn Rx at 8+ Capricorn until January 2, 2024. Slow it down during the holiday season and factor in self-care.
Venus refines, evaluates, and strives to make ideals real. Her cycle is complex and mysterious, beginning while Retrograde as an Evening Star, moving through conjunctions with the Sun, and shifting from Evening Star to Morning Star, and back. This cycle recalibrates Venus' relationship to the Sun. At this New Moon, Venus is a Morning Star, calm and rushing into love and life for 9 months, epitomizing the feminine as the container of gestation, until her next Exterior Conjunction in June. At this New Moon, Venus is very comfortable at 5 + Libra. Sextile to Mercury, she knows exactly what to say to create grace and harmony.
Mars is the warrior on a mission, with energy that can pierce and penetrate in swift motion. At this New Moon, Mars is at 22 SCORPIO 11. Mars has attacked. All the relational bad habits have surfaced, leaving a trail of blood. Standing with the Sun and Moon, in opposition to Uranus, anything and everything is up for disruption and awakening. No spiritual bypass here; the work of transformation is difficult.
Jupiter is the wise guru, the planet of expansion. Jupiter has the big picture, and functions best as a problem solver, planner, project manager. Jupiter has the vision and wants to take the leaps needed to create something big and wonderful. Jupiter is at 9 TAURUS 08 Rx, twelve degrees away from a conjunction with Uranus. This is the time to think through the practicalities of the big vision. Jupiter turns Direct on December 30.
Saturn is the planet that sets limitations and boundaries, while offering a karmic payback if necessary. Saturn relates to time, records, the destiny of earth experience. Often presenting the difficult lessons, Saturn's gift brings essence and structural solidity. Saturn has turned direct, and stands at 0 PISCES 35 at this New Moon. Here, Saturn offers a challenge: to stand with heart open in compassion and empathy for the next 2.5 years, without rescuing, fixing, saving, or setting anyone straight. No persecution or victimization allowed, but kindness furthers. Saturn's reminders of limits and boundaries are everywhere.
CHIRON, URANUS, NEPTUNE, PLUTO, THE LUNAR NODES
Representing the archetype of the Wounded Healer, Chiron is a minor planet/comet/dwarf planet located between the orbits of Saturn and Uranus. Sometimes representing audacious attempts, pushing forward despite the wounds, it forms a bridge between the Chaldean limits represented by Saturn and the transpersonal realm represented by Uranus. Chiron encourages processing and integration. Chiron has a 50 year eccentric orbit and is currently at 16 ARIES 17 Rx. (The US, with a 20AR 08 Chiron position, is having another return, in addition to Pluto.) Strengthening the self through holistic healing is the focus at this time.
The outer planets push us toward the transpersonal and provide a collective container for the development of consciousness. The twists and turns of these bodies facilitate our evolution, sometimes disturbing peace of mind. Uranus, the Awakener, transforms. Uranus entered the sign of Taurus in March, 2019, and will remain there for the next 7 years, clarifying security, practicality, resources, and values. Uranus provides energy to break traditions and calibrate revolutionary ideas. Technology continues to amaze, and is becoming more practical, and therefore seen as necessary, as potential brilliance is being grounded and brought to Earth. What are the criteria for just and ethical use? At this New Moon, Uranus is at 21 TAURUS 04 Rx. Uranus's retrograde period will end on January 27, 2024.
Nebulous Neptune transcends, bringing the vicissitudes of the tides forward to be dissolved. Neptune is diving further into the oceanic fog where the gems of spiritual truths can surface. Neptune's ethereal nature continues to deliver the surreal dreamlike kaleidoscope of the shifting reality. At this New Moon, Neptune is at 25 PISCES 02 Rx. Neptune's 6 month retrograde period ends on December 6.
Unequivocal Pluto aligns with the principle of metamorphosis. Small but mighty, this Dwarf Planet has been steamrolling the reality we once knew. His travel over the Rx recovery path has been long and arduous, with world-wide implications. Pluto made three contacts with the US Pluto (27 CAPRICORN 32 Rx) in 2022: February 20: the Russian attack on Ukraine; July 11: worldwide economic stress; and Dec. 28, 2022: the need for an ending. But the ending seems to be nowhere in sight, with the Rx natal placement, coupled with the late degree. A brief relief was felt when Pluto moved into Aquarius in March, 2023, but his Rx turn back into Capricorn in June, 2023 quickly put that to rest. The work is not over yet! Pluto turned Direct at 27 CAPRICORN 53 on October 10, 2023. On the world stage, the focus is on Israel. Pluto will move through the last 3 degrees of Capricorn and back into Aquarius in January, 2024. Relief is felt again, with the show over, seemingly, as Pluto moves up to 2 degrees Aquarius. But on May 1, 2024, relentlessly, Pluto turns back one final time at this critical juncture. Pluto travels backwards, to reach back into the last degree of Capricorn. Last or anaretic degrees portend extreme outcomes, often of a destructive nature, for karmic completion. Capricorn's anaretic 29 degree is one of collecting, as in a debt. Pluto turns Direct again then, on October 11, 2024, to move finally and solidly into Aquarius on November 20, 2024. At that time, the US presidential election will have taken place. At this New Moon, Pluto is at 28 CAPRICORN 09.
The transiting Lunar Nodes, representing the dragon's head and tail, travel backwards through the Zodiac and function in polarity. Rudhyar described the nodal line as a fateful, destined space. At this new Moon, the Nodal Axis has shifted into the Aries-Libra polarity. Self vs. other, assertion vs. compromise; alone vs. together are the themes in balance. NNode is at 24 ARIES 48 Rx; SNode is at 24 LIBRA 48 Rx.
OTHER DWARF PLANETS
Ceres, associated with fertility and agriculture, is located in the Asteroid Belt between Mars and Jupiter. With an orbit of 4.6 years, Ceres is currently Direct at 29 + SCORPIO. Lying in the Kuiper Belt as a TransNeptunian Object, Eris, with her 559 year orbit around the Sun, is associated with the strife and discord that emerges in the quest for justice, activating the sentiment of resistance to exclusion. Eris is currently 24 +ARIES Rx, with the Nodal Axis. Eris will move into Taurus in 2044. Another TransNeptunian Object, Sedna orbits the Sun in 11,408 years, and is associated with evolutionary consciousness. Sedna moved into Gemini on June 16, 2023, and turned Rx in September. Sedna will move back into Taurus in November. Sedna is currently at 0 GEMINI 32 Rx. A new blend of hands-on curiosity is in the offing, along with a clear shift in communication style and capacity.