November: Planetary Cycles as Ongoing Change

The birth chart of November already looks like the past, in that so many things are changing this month. All planets, with the exception of Saturn and Pluto, have a major change during November. It feels like a whirlwind, but could it be a calming? Let’s see.

On November 6, Election Day in the U.S., at 10:09 AM PST, the Moon’s Nodes changed signs, from the Leo/Aquarius polarity to the Cancer/Capricorn polarity, with Cancer on the North Node, and Capricorn on the South Node. This is a very interesting shift, from fire/air, i.e., masculine polarity, to water/earth, i.e., feminine polarity. Considering the increase in the number of women elected that day in all kinds of political races, I’ll just assume it was significant! But looking forward, will we move at least slightly away from our Capricorn value system of prioritizing big business and economic interests, big military budgets, militarized policing, and a patriarchal governmental? And perhaps give some importance to true conservation, and care of people regardless of class, race, gender or age. Given that Cancer is the sign of mothering, nurturance, deep feelings, and emotional security, can we finally move toward being more humane in dealing with immigrants, providing real healthcare to all people, decent housing, and nutritious food? Or will we continue to dig in, try to go backwards in time, to the “good old days” which of course will result in nothing more than marching onward to ultimate catastrophic destruction. The Moon’s Nodes will change again on May 5, 2020. Interesting days ahead.

The first planet to change was Uranus in the 0 degree of Taurus, retrograding back into Aries at 11:59 AM PST on November 6, where it remains until early March of 2019. Is this significant? Yes. We often dismiss the power of these slow-moving planets, in the moment, because they are slow. However, these next few months will be our only chance to redo anything of the Uranus in Aries era that perhaps we didn’t get just right the first time. Once it goes forward into Taurus it will be there until 2026.

Uranus in Aries was an amazing revolutionary period. The planet entered Aries in the spring of 2011, which, if you recall, was a period of uprisings like we have never seen in our lifetimes, called now the “Arab Spring.” The world is still reeling from it. During its time in the first sign of the Zodiac, this planet of rebellions and other shocking unexpected events also revealed much of our own inner world that we had no idea existed, and perhaps, that we hoped would stay hidden beneath the surface of our consciousness. Yet, awakening to more of our country’s true history, revealing the ugly story of the colonial period of stealing from our native peoples, and massacring them mercilessly, brought a very new perspective to many of us. For me, the beauty and bravery of native tribes standing up for themselves once again, during the time of Uranus in Aries, has been revelatory, for how we need to be so much more respectful of their cultures, learn from them about the sacred earth, and ask forgiveness.

The Uranus in Aries period also revealed more details that most of us were ignorant of, about the enslavement of African peoples in our country, and how, despite the Civil War, that we continue to enslave people in a myriad of ways. The inherent racism of people of white-skinned European ancestry has never been erased, will never be erased, until its blatant fact is faced, owned, and we have a desire to heal it. The years when Uranus was conjunct the planet Eris allowed more people to begin to understand the depth of misogyny in our culture, and the brutal ways women have experienced oppression and suppression. Eris, in myth, was named by the patriarchy, the “goddess of disharmony.” But we’ve learned that disharmony is often necessary to begin to dislodge the blind disrespect that is embedded in a culture. I grieved mightily during Uranus in Aries, yet I have sincere gratitude for its often shocking truths of reality being brought into consciousness. It has allowed us all to at least begin to evolve where we need to go, despite the sometimes difficult acceptance of it.

Now, we need to spend a bit of time, recalling some of those issues we were forced to become aware of, and perhaps had still hoped to deny. In that recalling, we need to acknowledge their truth, and ask ourselves if there isn’t a better, more realistic, and perhaps more compassionate response we can bring to these difficult issues. That would be a brave warrior-like (Aries) Uranian response that we could then take on into the Taurus Uranian period and ground it in earth-bound reality.

This month’s New Moon was November 7, at 8:01 AM PST, at 15 degrees Scorpio. The Sun/Moon was trine Neptune in Pisces and sextile Pluto in Capricorn. Retrograde Venus was opposing Uranus and Eris in Aries and trine Mars in Aquarius. This may have been quite an emotional New Moon for you, in this deeply emotional sign, as we were still emerging from a mid-term election fraught with extremes. Powerful women taking a stand, women of color winning in greater numbers than ever before, but also blatant, corrupt voter suppression, particularly of the poor and people of color. We were exhausted, exhilarated, and desiring some peace. The powerful position of Venus retrograde with Uranus and Eris, however, gave a message of “no, not yet.” We must maintain our vigilance, perhaps through the remaining vote counts, but at least until we protect what we’ve been fighting for from deep within us. Then, and only then, can we envision a way to procede via a more Libran sense of balance.

On November 8, at 4:39 AM PST, Jupiter moved out of Scorpio and into Sagittarius, where it will remain until early December of 2019. We were still in the first 24 hours of the New Moon cycle. And then another fresh start. So many were looking forward to Jupiter shifting into its own sign, myself included. However, that move of the biggest planet, into a mutable fire sign, was synchronistically timed with the the most destructive wildfire in California’s history! Not exactly what folks were hoping for. Jupiter magnifies and expands, and when square to Mars (in an air sign, and air fanning the fire), it literally blew out of control. Not only did we have the wildfire in the foothills of the Sierra in northern California, but a number of out-of-control fires in the Los Angeles area at the same time. The entire state was on maximum alert!

During the hectic week after the New Moon, Mercury in Sagittarius was slowing down, preparing for another retrograde period, and also squaring Neptune. Dreams were vivid, we felt the need for a higher power to slow things down, and bring more sanity to our world. We hoped for calming the high winds in California and for rain to come. None of those prayers were answered.

Mars moved out of Aquarius and into Pisces at 2:21 PM PST on November 15, while conjunct the Moon in Aquarius, and square Jupiter in Sagittarius.

The very next day, Venus stations direct at 2:52 AM PST on November 16, but will remain in its shadow until December 17 (when it hits the degree it was in when it went retrograde). This Venus retrograde period was quite a journey. Because Venus is the planet of values, this period forced us to re-evaluate our relationships, our assets, our values, and yes, our self-worth. Because it started in Scorpio, and finalized in Libra, we were forced to go deep into our emotional depths to face the truths that needed to emerge. It may also have set the stage for a number of emotionally-driven power struggles between family, friends and loved ones, which we see in its aspects with Pluto, Uranus and Eris. Sometimes these struggles are necessary in order to reset a relationship out of balance. The closer we got to Venus direct, the more clarity we receive.

Mercury stations retrograde at 5:34 PM PST, also on November 16 at 13 and a half degrees Sagittarius. No, this isn’t the universe playing a joke on us. It’s really happening. Out of Venus retro, and into Mercury retro. Mercury will remain retrograde through the first week of December, still in the Venus retrograde shadow period. The station degree of Mercury is exactly square Neptune, and also has a strong square to the Moon in Pisces, which is conjunct Neptune. All that Neptune? Will we be totally crazy? Or just mildly confused? Mercury in Sagittarius, even without the retrograde, can be easily distracted and in a hurry to move from one idea to the next. With the added issue of retrograde, plus such strong Neptune influence, our thinking could be distorted. Communications could be confusing and complicate conversations and negotiations. So be willing to slow it down and redo, own your part, if things get misinterpreted.

Partway through the Mercury retrograde, as Mercury backs up and Jupiter moves forward, they will form a conjunction, beginning on November 22, and exact on November 27. That period could be a good one to notice realizations about those Venus retrograde difficulties that you didn’t see at the time. You could come to view them with a clearer eye, perhaps even prompting a new conversation and resolution.

The Sun enters Sagittarius very early on November 22, 1:02 AM PST, conjunct Jupiter, for the final month of the fall season. This ingress has the Sun square Mars and trine Chiron. The Moon is trine Pluto. Venus, though now direct, has not reached her normal speed and is still in opposition to Uranus and Eris. Relationships are still mending, our hearts are still healing, and if we are open to the mind’s expansion, a more spiritual form of action is possible. However, we must search for the big picture, and see where multiple pieces fit together, not just focus on minute details that irritate us.

We have a Full Moon at less than one full degree of Gemini at 9:39 PM PST, also on November 22. Jupiter is strongly involved, conjunct the Sun. The three form a strong T-square with Mars in Pisces, giving us a potent dose of mutable energy, given that Mercury and Neptune are also in mutable signs. Given that in the U.S., it is the Thanksgiving holiday, people will likely be gathering with relatives. The strong Mars/Jupiter energy could see people get easily riled, even enraged, so we should try not to allow ourselves to get caught up in old rivalries or petty arguments. Try to stay calm, and use the positive side of Jupiter in Sagittarius to create fun and hilarity when the opportunity arises. Don’t let negative emotions control your intelligence.

According to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, the November Full Moon was called the Beaver Moon by both the NoveAlgonquin tribes and colonial Americans. It got that name because it was the time of year to set beaver traps before the swamps froze, in order to ensure a supply of warm furs for the winter season. Other Native tribes called it the Full Frost Moon, for obvious reasons.

Neptune stations direct on November 24 at 5:09 PM PST, after a 5 month retrograde period. This is usual for Neptune, a planet that spends 40% of its time retrograde each year, compared to Mars at 9% and Venus at 7%. At the time of station, Neptune forms no strong aspects. Because of this it would be easy to just dismiss the fact that Neptune is direct again. No big deal, right?

Hmmm, let’s take a closer look. Neptune often seems like a subtle planet with its association with the spiritual dimensions, and the seeming lack of boundaries and ego. It’s difficult to identify with it in a substantive manner, yet its effect can be deep and profound. It is credited with inspiring amazing artistic visions, and facilitating almost miraculous healings. It’s the jokes people make about Neptune, like “having a Neptune moment,” when they forget something or arrive late to an appointment, that are revealing. It’s as though we credit Neptune with being a bit confused or spacey. And it is this very lack of boundaries that can leave us vulnerable to deception and delusion, even the tendency to escape into addiction.

But what about the dream life we have, that is working so hard in our unconscious to do the healing work that must be done to bring us to a higher, more evolved state? What about the meditations, and the periods of silence we know are so helpful to relieving stress, bringing more focus and less ego to our days? What about the waves of creative inspiration that help us to produce poetry, film, musical compositions, design, or photography? Much of what we value in our life we can attribute to Neptune, so let’s not write off the fact of it stationing direct as “no big deal.” Given all that our unconscious, as well as our conscious, minds have had to process in the last 5 months has me saying, “oh, thank you, Neptune, for slowing down even more than normal, to help me assimilate all the complicated input of this earthly world.” Now, with your direct motion, perhaps I can take conscious, compassionate steps forward to benefit this earthly world—no boundaries.

The final week of the month we will be experiencing the ongoing opposition of Venus to Uranus/Eris forming a cardinal grand cross with the Moon’s Nodes. In addition, Mars will be forming a conjunction with Neptune, and Mercury retrograde will be conjunct the Sun and Jupiter. It’s a period for reflecting on how we create a more balanced, humane, and harmonious  world, via creativity, innovation and providing equal opportunity for all. It’s our homework assignment. It’s not that each of us has to come up with a plan for all of that, but we each do need to come up with a plan for what we can do, as one human being staying alive on this vulnerable planet.


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