Featured image: Čeština: Obraz “Balance” by Jan Wenig. 1964. Made available by the Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike 4.0 International License
Happy Equinox, Happy Autumn (in the northern hemisphere), Blessed Mabon and Welcome to Libra Season.
Equinoxes and solstices are times of seasonal shift. The Equinoxes mark times of the year when the Sun is exactly above the equator, making our days and nights of equal length and bringing light and darkness into balance. The Autumnal Equinox marks the ingress of the Sun into the sign of Libra, a point halfway through the annual seasonal cycle. Note how these literal celestial positions translate symbolically: the concepts of equality, balance and midway is the essence of Libra season.
As an air sign, Libra’s energy is primarily mental/intellectual and its forte is communicating and socializing. Being a cardinal sign, Libra prompts us to get active with other people –friends, family, love relationships, networking etc. However, an increased need for human contact is not great during a pandemic. You might be craving human company and companionship so much that you just forget what’s at stake and throw yourself into social situations that you might normally avoid. By all means, take time out now to communicate with friends and family (especially online or telephone) but please don’t toss caution to the wind during your face-to-face interactions. Remain vigilant. Fortunately, a Retrograde Mercury in Libra/Scorpio will come in handy, because it will attempt to hinder over-exuberant mixing and mingling. It will also make some of us a little more
paranoid sensitive to hidden dangers such as contagion.
If you are alone more than you would like to be, cheer up because socializing is not all it’s cracked up to be right now. Mars is in Aries and over the next few weeks he will be forming some hard aspects to the Sun in Libra and Jupiter/Saturn/Pluto in Capricorn. Relationships of all kinds will experience conflict as egos clash due to opposing goals, needs and desires. There might be some separations or breakups (Mars) happening for some of you. But the real purpose of this transit is to prod us to listen and understand the other person’s point of view now. Libra is the sign of The Other and oppositions are aspects that force us to consider other people and really take in what they are saying. This often results in conflict, but it doesn’t have to. The goal is to take into consideration what other people think and need and then strive to balance your own individual nature with the needs and desires of others.
For those of you with cardinal planets around 21 degrees, this could be a volatile month. If you have planets near 21 degrees Libra, Mars is challenging you to quit fence-sitting, stand your ground and stop trying to be a people pleaser. You might be feeling a sense of liberation as you begin to communicate more honestly and you might be surprised how great it feels. Don’t be afraid of disagreements or confrontations now. For those of you with planets near 21 degrees Aries, you might find that you have to pull back some of your fiery nature or competitive instincts in order to make space for other people now. If you are not considerate of others, you might experience some unpleasant confrontations when friends or family members give you a shove to let you know that you unwittingly stepped on their feet. Being overly self-centered now could cost you, so be willing to open your ears, listen and be willing to compromise. Strive to be diplomatic now.
If you were born with Pluto in Libra, Mars’ transit through Aries is an important one for you to keep an eye on. Watch out for when Mars lines up to oppose your natal Pluto because it could trigger some important karmic experiences regarding relationships, communication and equality. Libra is a sign that is concerned with ethics, morality, justice and judgement, and as I have mentioned many times in previous articles, the Pluto in Libra generation is playing a key role in ushering in justice and equality for marginalized groups at this point in history. This month, your power and energy are highlighted. A person or set of circumstances might confront and provoke your ire so much that you feel pushed to stand up for yourself or for someone else. You might feel like you have no choice because the situation is so in your face that you cannot escape it. Whatever equal rights cause you feel drawn to, whether it is LGBTQ rights, the Black Lives Matter Movement, the plight of refugees, Animal Rights Movement or some other movement, now is the time to make your voice heard. Mars will be in the sign of Aries until January 6th 2021 so you will likely be challenged more than once due to his retrograde motion.
Libra and the Notion of Balance
A friend who was born in Libra Season texted me the other night to ask me why Libra’s glyph (the scales) is the only one that is not an animal or person. To answer this, I’ll quote Liz Greene here, who so eloquently writes: “Libra is the only sign of the zodiac which is represented by an inanimate object. This may sound insulting, but it suggests to me that as we arrive at the point of equilibrium reflected in the autumnal equinox, we meet something which is very far removed from the instinctual kingdom….because the faculties of judgement, reflection and choice which seem to be so basic a feature of the sign are the fruit of conscious effort and not ‘natural.‘ “(From The Astrology of Fate, by Liz Greene, 1984: Boston: Weiser books, p. 220).
In other words, balance does not come easily to human nature and seems to be a skill that comes along after the fact, after much trial and error and especially after periods of wild imbalance that leave us feeling exhausted and raw physically, mentally, emotionally or spiritually. During Libra season, our attention might be drawn to the places in our life that are extreme or where we are over-doing or under-doing things. Pause now to notice where your life is out of whack. If you can, make a conscious effort to restore inner equilibrium and inner harmony again.
The Yin and Yang of Relationships
Libra Season is also a time that draws our attention to balancing the power dynamics of our social relationships. Mars and Chiron in Aries are challenging our sense of harmony and homeostasis; outside circumstances and people are prodding and provoking us, causing us to lose our sense of equanimity. We might just want to be left alone but find ourselves being constantly provoked by others and being forced to engage with them. Or conversely, we might very much want to engage with others, but find ourselves being rejected or rebuffed, despite all our best intentions and good efforts. Just notice the extremes and work with what you can.
In Evolutionary Astrology the 1st/7th house axis holds an evolutionary intent of creating equal relationships–relationships where each person holds the same amount of power and agency, thus creating a fair and balanced relationship. But since nothing in life is routinely fair or equal, this axis is bound to be wildly out of balance at most times in a person’s life. Rather than feel upset about this lack of equilibrium, perhaps treat it as a constant work in progress; something to be managed and tinkered with on a day-by-day basis, for the entirety of one’s life.
I recall reading a study a long time ago that measured people’s feelings of connection with their partner and was surprised to find that most of the time, couples feel disconnected from one another. The moments when they actually do feel connected in a positive way were only a small percentage of time. To know that this was normal made me give a huge sigh of relief. Libra is an energy that seeks balance, equality and harmony in relationships…and then goes crazy because no such thing exists in real life.
The Pluto in Libra generation (born 1971-1984) are some of the top candidates who can lose their minds when platonic, romantic and family relationships are unequal. A mental tally of what is given and what is received can pile up causing enormous stress or resentment. If this sounds like you, make an effort to chill now because Libra season could cause this tendency to flare up a bit. If someone gives you a gift or does something nice for you, learn to enjoy it as a gift from the Universe without freaking out about how you need to reciprocate back. And if you give of your own time, energy or resources to others, try to do so without expectation of seeing a return investment. At times you might need to just have faith that the Universe has got this covered and keeps its own karmic score sheet so you don’t have to.
Mercury Retrograde in Libra/Scorpio: Getting to the Bottom of Things
This Libra Season, Mercury retrograde takes place between October 3, 2020 and Nov. 2 2020, travelling between 25 degrees Libra and 11 degrees Scorpio. So check your natal chart to see which house/s Mercury will be travelling in because that is where you will experience the most noticeable effects. If you have a problem that you want to get to the bottom of, this transit can help. It will allow you to go over a previous issue once again at a deeper level in order to gain a deeper understanding of what happened or root out the truth.
Mercury enters the shadow zone after September 23rd–start to pay attention to what is going on in your life from that date on because issues that arise might repeat again between Oct 3rd and November 19th when Mercury finally leaves the shadow zone.
Mercury is the natural significator of speech, messages, documents, books, publications, commerce, travel, vehicles (and other methods of transportation), schools, shops, markets and the post. When dealing with these sorts of things, it is important to take your time. Do not rush, do not try to push the river if things seem stuck and be sure to double check important tasks in order to avoid the typical snafus that can plague us during a retrograde. Successfully negotiating a Mercury retrograde requires that you tune in with the energies of your environment and be willing to be patient.
You might want to be especially careful around Sept. 23/24th and then again between Nov 1st and Nov. 6th when Mercury makes hard aspects to malefics Mars and Saturn. These transits typify conflict, arguments, delays, obstruction, and frustration. We might also expect to get criticized for errors we make during these times, too, or get criticized for something we say or write. Self-censoring might therefore become an issue. If you have something to say yet feel that your message is being resisted, you might need to wait until a better time in order to have it received in a more favorable way. Try again in a few days.
Mercury also rules breathing, which can be a significant issue during a pandemic. (And Mercury’s passage through Scorpio is enough to make me a little nervous about the symbolism.) Mercury is also the natural ruler of keys, so if you have lost a set, you might find they turn up after Mercury goes direct.
Mercury Retrograde in Scorpio loves to dig out secrets, especially scandalous ones, so we might see some truth coming to light or chickens coming home to roost. This might especially be the case when Mercury opposes Uranus: surprising or shocking reveals might come to light on October 7th, October 19th and November 17th. Expect an increase in conspiracy theories, too.
In general, this Mercury retrograde is a good time to go back and hash out some previous issues regarding some serious topics. Births and deaths. Financial issues might need to be re-addressed, too, especially when it comes to taxes, government funding or resources that you share with others. Some of you will be tackling issues regarding psychology, surgery, sex and sexuality, too. In short, no topic is too deep or too scary now. It is time to face the things that make us the most afraid. Head on.
Those of you who love shadow work will be able to go super deep during this retrograde. If you need to clear out the cobwebs of what is lurking in your psyche, if you are working to bring trauma to the surface or heal your inner child, this energy can be as deep and precise as a surgical instrument.
Mars Retrograde in Aries: Rushing into Regrets
Oh joy–this year, Mercury retrograde overlaps with Mars’ retrograde cycle. Mars went retrograde on Sept 9, 2020 and will finally station direct on Nov. 12th, 2020. Being in its own sign while also being retrograde will make Mars’ malefic nature extra strong and destructive. And just to add fuel to the fire, the Sun will form an opposition to Mars, which means Mars will be positioned at its perigee, or the closest distance it gets to the Earth during Mars’ orbit around the Sun. The opposition will be exact on October 13th (Pacific) at 21 degrees of Aries/Libra. Also during this time, the Mars/Sun opposition will form a square to Jupiter, Saturn and Pluto in Capricorn, further maximizing Mars’ potential to inflict damage. So the weeks surrounding October 13th might seem particularly volatile, tense and tumultuous in the world.
This energy makes it easy to do damage to things–property, possessions, relationships, etc. This energy also lends itself to mass death and destruction, too (witness all the horrific forest fires plaguing the USA currently). Frustration will also mount due to Saturn’s limiting influence. This is bad news for countries currently dealing with the Mars-ruled themes of protest, political conflict or war. Some additional difficult dates might be Sept. 29th 2020 when Mars squares Saturn and then again on October 9th, 2020 when Mars squares Pluto and Oct. 18th, 2020 when Mars squares Jupiter.
This Mars energy creates a tendency to move more quickly than usual or try to do things too fast, leading to impulsive actions you might later regret and accidents. Even while retrograde, Mars in Aries seems to be saying “Hurry, hurry, hurry! Go, go go! Do do do!” but it is accompanied by frustration because you sense something is hindering you from going after your goals. If you are feeling anxious about something, the tendency might be to take action as quickly as possible to relieve your stress, but this does not tend to pan out well. You might feel tempted to “act first, think later.” The result might be impulse spending that does not solve your original problem, or other types of impulsive actions that you later discover do actually get you any closer to your goals. Try to slow down and think first before jumping into action, taking a risk, losing your temper at someone or impulsively spending a lot of cash. Try to think things through first because it is easy to do a lot of damage in a short time.
Other times when we might really notice the effects of this Mars retrograde are at Full Moon (at 9 degrees Aries on Oct 1, 2020) when the Moon conjoins Chiron, ruled by Mars who is squaring Jupiter/Saturn/Pluto. This might be a day when we need to spend time mourning a pain or reflecting on recent emotional wounds. Honoring our own hurt and tender places (as well as the hurt and tender places of others) will be needed before we can bring healing to our lives and relationships in Libra season. The New Moon on October 16th, 2020 at 23 degrees Libra will also be somewhat volatile with its opposition to Mars. However, this Moon offers us a fresh start with a more positive outlook due to a grand Earth trine between Venus, Uranus and Jupiter/Saturn/Pluto. This will help us make practical changes in our material lives (think finances, possessions, careers etc.) and can even help us make some positive changes to help the environment and planet Earth.
So What’s the Good News for Libra Season?
A Little Help from Venus
Venus starts off the season in Leo but switches into Virgo on October 2nd. This is a sign of fall for Venus, so she is not at her best, but all is not lost. Venus does manage to gain dignity during her travels through Virgo via triplicity, term and face and she makes some friendly aspects to some tough players like Uranus in Taurus and Jupiter/Saturn/Pluto in Capricorn. As such, Venus’ energy can suddenly step in without a moment’s notice to save the day, abruptly change a tense situation and help smooth out strife or frustration. She will do this by suddenly making you feel the urge to express some love and goodwill or she might prompt you to want to be useful or helpful to someone else. So if you get the urge to do something nice, even if you are engaged in a conflict with someone, don’t question it–go with it. Venus in Virgo also helps us keep our egos under control and inject a healthy dose of humbleness into our social interactions. With Venus in fall, it might take a bit of extra work and effort, but that’s okay.
Best days for positive Venus action: look for her good vibes on:
September 28th, 2020 (Venus trines Mars)
October 10th, 2020 (Venus trine Uranus)
October 18th, 2020 (Venus trine Jupiter and opposition Neptune)
October 21st-24th, 2020 (Venus trine Saturn and Pluto)
Saturn goes Direct on September 28th, 2020
This makes malefic Saturn a wee bit more friendly in his travels. And now Saturn heads toward Aquarius (the sign he will enter in December)–something that most of us are looking forward to because it gets Saturn further away from his destructive playmate Pluto. If you feel down or afraid about world events, never forget where Saturn and Pluto are headed: into Aquarius, ushering in new and radical values, altruistic group-orientation, humanitarian principles, cutting ties with the past and creating new social structure to support all these new ideas and values. There is so much potential here. Let’s not blow this, guys!
Pluto goes Direct on October 3rd, 2020
In Evolutionary Astrology, planets that go retrograde take on a Uranian quality of increased individualism, de-conditioning and radical questioning. As Jeffrey Wolf Green writes: “The retrograde principle creates a reactive retreat from the status quo; from societal and collective definitions, expectations and pressures to respond to life in conforming ways.” (Pluto Volume 1, 2003: St. Paul, Llewellyn Publishers, p. 30). During Pluto retrograde transits, we become more reflective and begin to question the status quo of society and all its norms, rules and social mores. This is a routine process which occurs to everyone, no matter which evolutionary state one is in. Therefore, Pluto retrograde transits can be seen as the engine that drives both personal and collective evolution.
Protest movements are one way of questioning the status quo. So is the development and circulation of conspiracy theories. But usually, we might just retreat or withdraw into ourselves more and become a little more philosophical about our life and the human species in general. For those who are up to the task, we will reflect on the life lessons we are learning. Pluto went retrograde back on April 25th of 2020. But now with Pluto’s forward motion resuming, we cease our withdrawal, get back into the stream of life and actively begin to live out our evolutionary life lessons again, instead of just thinking about them.
Jupiter in Capricorn sextile Neptune in Pisces
For those of us who enjoy spiritual pursuits, this little transit has been taking place quietly in the background for most of 2020. It’s effect is subtle and unobtrusive and unless you are pointedly searching for its effects, you might not even notice them at all. It helps to bring feelings of sublime connection to God/dess/Source etc. It also benefits meditation, intuition, psychic activity, and any of the esoteric arts. Even better, since Jupiter is in an Earth sign, it helps ground all this energy into practice in the material realm. Spirituality can mesh with our everyday lives in ways that are useful, productive and practical. If you enjoy working with the principles of manifestation or the Law of Attraction, this is a nice little transit that can help you out a bit, especially for manifesting money or getting guidance with a legal issue.
If you love doing spiritual rituals, this transit helps build a stronger connection between the material world and the unseen realms. It is like a nice little bridge that helps all that awesome Neptune energy pour in from the ether and into your concrete reality. It first hit back in February and July of 2020 and now it peaks one last time on Oct. 12 2020. The energy of this transit lends some juice to teachers, spiritual leaders and lawyers, providing inspiration and ease in the delivery of your ideas. And those of us who are engaged with The Arts might find moments of bliss or seamless creativity–the ideas swimming around in your head are getting help manifesting into physical form now.
If you look for it, something in your life might seem quietly ideal right now (search the houses in your natal chart that contain transiting Jupiter and transiting Neptune for a clue of what that might be). It might not be manifesting in an obvious physical way–more like a quiet sense of smoothness or harmonious connection to someone or something, or just a sense of positive or optimistic flow. It is quiet. It is modest. And its effects are moderate and they must be consciously worked on in order to reap the full benefits. But it’s there, so do look for it. We are often hyper aware of what is not working in our lives. But if there is one thing that astrology transits have taught me is that conscious awareness and gratitude for what is actually working right in our lives is a lost art and one that contributes loads to positive mental and emotional health.
So that’s all my thoughts for now. My articles might be few and far between until after December because I am currently studying with the School of Traditional Astrology right now and don’t have much time to write on my site. But I am still doing personal astrology consultations so if you want to book a personal consultation with me, click here. Or for more info about personal consultations click here. Talk soon!