By Christine Payne-Towler
ArkLetter 31, October 11, 2007
NewMoon in Libra
Our NewMoon in Libra is embedded into a slightly loose version of a Bucket chart. This configuration strings together all the planets except Mars between Virgo and Pisces, with only one empty sign in the sequence (Capricorn). Mars in Cancer is the singleton defining the 'handle' of the bucket, though he's not equidistant to both edges (a preference, not a necessity). The Virgo-to-Pisces swath is also a little wider than 180 degrees, but really, who can demand perfection from the heavens?
Here's an interesting detail that might prove significant: The point opposite Mars, his 'release point' if he were to be feeling tense, is lost in the enigma of untenanted Capricorn. This is not by any means always the case with a bucket chart; the empty sign (if there is one) is by no means always aligned with the release-point of the bucket's handle. This coincidence of this arrangement makes a 'hole in the bucket' right in early Capricorn, and it’s hard to believe that this will fail to attract a response from Mars. I expect that a signal of some sort will emerge in that spot to evoke one of Mars' super-swift offense/defense reactions.
For example, the Moon is due to cross those degrees early in the day
of October 17, and both Venus and Saturn will trine 5+ Capricorn this
month (a trine which Saturn holds onto through the beginning of next
month, essentially till next NewMoon). That means for at least the next
week (but better the whole month!) we need to put a curb on our
whip-fast unconscious self-protective assumptions, allowing things to
show themselves to us at their own rate rather than jumping to
conclusions within a nanosecond of first glimpse. Remember, Mars is in
Cancer right now, so he's moving through water, a distorting and
dampening medium for such a fiery energy. Don't jump the gun --
whatever is going to be done will happen according to the flow.
Most importantly, we have to be patient and watchful in order not to be decoyed by Pluto in late Sagittarius, who is only 9 degrees away from the early Capricorn bull's eye. In previous ArkLetters we have described that Pluto is a sacred bonfire that is systematically immolating all of our past identifications, bindings, and attachments. As is his nature, Pluto has been systematically placing every planet that transits or aspects his position into the alchemical furnace, rendering down its superfluities and only releasing it when the higher qualities have shown themselves. This is annoying as hell to go through, but hardly a bad thing or a punishable offense! So remember, just because he's there doesn't make Pluto the true and rightful target of Mars' beady eye!
Fighting the symbol of evolutionary transformation is just not the
best use of Mars' current capacities. (That would be tantamount to
shooting the messenger, right? Of course we have to evolve to survive,
that's a given in this world!) So the 'hole in the bucket' frames our
challenge this month -- to dampen our fire, restrain our reflexes, and
keep studying the empty spot till our unique and worthy personal
opportunity comes into view. We must refuse to just explode at the
first stimulus that triggers our adrenals, tempting though it might
be. We will be tested on this issue all month, so we might as well
take the attitude of the traditional hunter and blend into the scenery
until the real, true and perfect moment arises. Know your goals and
accept no substitutes!
The NewMoon itself is just past halfway through Libra, so we have already had 17 days to enjoy the benefits of the most harmonious sign in the zodiac. (I say this with tongue in cheek, of course, because I am a Libra and am therefore fully aware of how not harmonious Libras can become at the drop of a hat!) The sincere and dedicated desire of Libras everywhere is to help everybody understand each other, from loved ones to the United Nations. Towards that goal we innately take up the role of therapists to the whole zodiac, whether invited to or not. Right now there are no planets sharing the Libra energy with the NewMoon, so the two sides of the Ego/Psyche pair (Sun/Moon, animus/anima) can explore the feeling of being alone with 'themself' right now. Following this idea might allow our personal sense of myself-in-relation to distill, emerge and separate out from our equal but opposite sense of those things and beings we are in relationship with.
This is a good time to risk an up-close, unclouded and intimate
glimpse into our essential relationship nature. It's time to relax and
become naked under our own internal contemplative gaze. What do I
really want? What am I essentially asking for? Scary, yes, but
absolutely necessary if we are going to become conscious enough to put
our relationship house in order in a timely fashion. Remember, our
next NewMoon will be in Scorpio. At that point you'll be glad for
whatever ground you have managed to clear during the Libra era.
I have mentioned before the confusion portrayed by the ancient astrologers in their traditional assignments of the signs of the Zodiac to the classical image of Zodiac Man. This diagram is called the Melothesic man, and it was "introduced to Europe with Arabian astrology in the 12th century", says Fred Gettings in his Encyclopedia of the Occult. Lacking a full understanding of the systems within the body that govern our multiple functions, the ancient astronomers mapped the Zodiac to visible parts of the body in a superficial way only. Hence the ancients would say Virgo rules the Stomach, whereas moderns would say it rules the Digestion and Assimilation, a much larger territory. Libra was thought to rule the "pelvis", a singularly unmeaningful designation, whereas now we would say Libra signifies the hormonal, reproductive and sexual functions. Scorpio was given to the "private parts", an unfortunate conflation of reproductive and eliminative functions that only served to increase errors in people's thinking. Better we should understand the sign of Scorpio as tending to issues of detoxification and elimination, burning up the dross that is an inevitable side effect of living.
With this in mind, we can better understand the implications of having half the moving bodes in this chart occupying Virgo (Venus and Saturn), Libra (NewMoon), and Scorpio (Mercury). This is the archetypal moment when we have to examine whether we are capable of being self-sufficient within our own skins and allowing loved ones some privacy within theirs, or if we are seeking to become 'joined at the hip' with another in order to ward off the feeling of being alone. Of course, there's nothing wrong with being linked in various ways with other people, but there's a limit on how much energy one can derive from outside sources. It behooves each one of us, as best we can, to keep the main weight of our personal being centered in our own square on the grid, without lapping over each other's boundaries and causing identity conflicts.
These five are simultaneously filling up the wedge of the circle marking the second repeat of the Elements in the zodiac sequence. Aries to Cancer completes the first iteration, the realm of discovery; then Leo to Scorpio marks the realm of exchanging with others; and finally Sagittarius to Pisces marks the realm of completion and closure. From this angle also, one can see that the current arrangement is forcing us to contend with the consequences of our interactions with the world. Such activities range from attention seeking (Leo) through gaining support and nourishment (Virgo), having sexual and creative relationships (Libra) and recovery from the intended and unintended consequences of our experiences (Scorpio.)
A person is not integrated enough to move out into the transpersonal
signs (in this case the Pluto/Jupiter pair in Sagittarius, Neptune in
Aquarius and Uranus in Pisces), until one has struck a balance between
self and other through the second circuit of the elements. Hence
the emphasis in this sequence is on regulating intake and output,
recreation and austerity, sharing and holding back, and all the other
boundary issues that help us to clarify what is self and what is other.
If we can really focus, and work to separate out the contextual
effects of relationship upon our inner life (issues of assimilation,
issues of detox), then we will finally have perspective on the Libra
center, the place where yin and yang meet, where self and other
interpenetrate, where container and contents become one. What a sweet
reward for our efforts!
Meanwhile, the strongest aspects that NewMoon has this month are to the three Outer Planets: NewMoon is quincunx Uranus, trine Neptune and quintile Pluto. This sets us up to be extra-sensitive to the subtle influences at work behind the scenes, tapping us into a pulse that runs below or behind the foreground scrabble that usually absorbs our attention. Note that with the trans-Saturnian planets in the trans-personal signs, not a lot of the signals received will come pre-packaged in proper English for you to just mentally print out and 'know'. You will have to turn up the volume on your intuition, your pattern-recognition capabilities, your imagination, your peripheral vision, your sonar and all your other subtle senses, if you want to decode these frequencies.
- Advice for the Uranus quincunx NewMoon is: Fake it till you make it. Be willing to roll with the punches till you get a sense of the rhythm and can fall into step. Just because you don't know something right now doesn't mean you can't pick it up on the fly.
- Advice for the Neptune trine NewMoon is: Stay awake while you are resting, trancing, dreaming. Let everything dissolve but your point of attention, and then go 360 with it.
- Advice for the Pluto quintile NewMoon is: Own your passion and move towards it, even if doing so makes you or others uncomfortable. Quit denying yourself and admit what you really want.
This is a somewhat placid chart, being slight on the more stressful
aspects, but there are a few spots of friction to provide grist for the
mill. The strongest one is the square from Jupiter in Sagittarius to
Uranus retrograde in Pisces. Pisces is Jupiter's other natural sign, so
we can expect that having a retrograde Uranus involved with Jupiter by
this aspect will create somewhat paradoxical results. I'm guessing that
among the 'benefits' of having Jupiter in Sagittarius is the tendency
for the sense of Self to exaggerate its importance, inflate, and become
subject to irrational exuberance. It would not be against Uranus'
nature to smuggle a hatpin into the party, providing the necessary
corrective to bring the balloon back down to ground zero in no time
Another stressful bit is the semisquare between NewMoon and Venus, the natural ruler of Libra. Virgo is not the most comfortable sign for Venus to occupy, as it's a little uptight and sticklerish for Libra's loose and groovy style. Plus, Venus is traveling with Saturn at the moment, which means there's an extra emphasis on the "shoulds" of the situation. Venus might be looking for some guarantees of safety and longevity before she totally abandons herself to the full release of her Libra relationships, and who could blame her?
My suggestion here is, if the outer world doesn’t provide the
material platform for the realization of your dreams right now, you can
always throw a party for one and give yourself a lovely visualization
that touches all your favorite points. Remember that everything you see
around you, from the smallest to the largest, was once a fantasy in
somebody's head. In the world of imagination you can really let down
your hair and let your freak flag fly! That can help you learn more
about what you love and crave. This is knowledge that will take you
closer to having your dream come true.
The final irritant from the 4/8 family is the sesquiquadrate between Mars in Cancer and Neptune in Libra, but that doesn't seem like it should be more than a mild annoyance. What's true about this aspect is, you will be slapped back awake by it each time you are tempted to fall asleep at the wheel. That actually sounds like a safety feature more than an obstacle, but of course some people won't heed their warnings on the first or even the second or third bounce. Here's a safety tip: three slaps means get off the road! Watch for it.
There is a wanna-be Grand Trine in the Water Signs that some people might need to keep an eye on. This one is not supremely compelling because though two of the points are Mars in Cancer and Mercury in Scorpio, the third point is the North Node in Pisces. This is not a 'thing' as such, but a notation of the intersection of two planes in space. For people who are not strong in the water element, this sorta Trine will probably not push them all the way to the deep end of the pool. Nevertheless, it could be felt as a mild curiosity and passing fancy to investigate the inner life a bit more.
As a person who feels the water aspects and events very strongly,
I’m relieved to see the Node completing the picture rather than a third
gravity body. Water trines incline us all towards trancy, floaty,
boundaryless vaporousness, which is great for the occasional reverie,
but is not a truly convenient or practical way to live day to day. It's
certainly not a good state in which to drive, or sign contracts, or
cope with serious decisions! To give this potential somewhere to
express itself this month (and therefore to contain it somewhat, so it
doesn't sog all over your life uncontrollably), you might try
dedicating some regular time to meditation, whether the sitting type or
something more active, like walking. If you know you have a designated
time where you can open up your head and let your wheels spin free for
awhile, it is likely that your focus will improve for your more routine
tasks in between.
Looking for something more substantial to be concerned about? You can worry about this: On October 12th, Friday, two days from now, Mercury will go retrograde. He has only just crossed 9 degrees of Scorpio at this point. That means during the retrograde period he will be retreating back into Libra (by the 24th of October) and wending a confused and fumbling path until he rights himself again at the beginning of November. You can read more about the inner planet retrogrades of 2007 here. Right action for the period of the retrograde and the catch-up might be to keep your own counsel as much as possible, since the potential for both miscommunication and misunderstanding is high even in the best of circumstances. Some things are better left unsaid, or else processed by oneself alone for a while before seeking feedback from another. Particularly in the case of Air signs, who tend to over talk things, it can be better to contemplate within one's own hall of mirrors rather than bring in outside voices to complicate our point of view.
If we need to, we can use the planets in Sagittarius as aspiration-objects while Mercury meanders in the hot and murky dank of Scorpio. Everybody has ideas that inspire them, desires that force them to raise their sights and reach beyond the limits defined by current experience. Sometimes we have not paid enough attention to our desires and they have retreated, like a flame retreats into its coal when pulled way from the main body of the fire. Given a little attention and the simplest fuel, the flame can be coaxed back out to show itself and share its miracle of light and heat again. Sagittarius is our collective "higher mind", including not only the upper echelons of the educational system but also the philosophers and the visionaries of all the ages and cultures of humanity. It contacts us through the imagination, inflaming us with desires that can only be satisfied by seeking contact and conversation with our own Higher Self. Having Jupiter transiting Sagittarius, one of his two native signs (along with Pisces), brings the benevolence and generosity of jovial Jupiter into focus for whoever can respond to his abundant outlook. If each of us will just fan the flame a little and encourage our dearest hopes and dreams to show themselves, Jupiter is likely to respond enthusiastically with his multiplying power.
This is a limited offer, because by Christmas Jupiter will be moving on from Sagittarius. Pluto, Jupiter's companion in this corner of the zodiac, is also finally nearing the very end of his long transit of Sagittarius, which has been going on since the mid-1990s and is not truly over till December of 2008. [see here for more info on retrogrades 2007] No doubt we will collectively feel a sigh of relief when the over stimulation of Jupiter and Pluto together in the final Fire sign passes by. But if we are prudent we will capture a few sparks from their last conjunction to help keep us warm through the winter that's upcoming. Next year there will be a power battle between the forces of Fire and the forces of Earth as Jupiter plows through Capricorn and Pluto wavers back and forth across the Sagittarius/Capricorn cusp. But from now to the end of this year, we have a blazing sacrificial fire on the spiritual mountainside. Spirit is telegraphing signals from our Higher Mind, ready to guide us if we will just follow its leadings. Try to capture your inspirations in a journal, or a song, or a picture that helps you retain the vista that you are seeing right now. When this elevated Sagittarian perspective wanes and the heights give way to the broad Capricorn-ian plain, you will be glad that you kept a snapshot of 'the view from here'.
There are a goodly number of irregular figures among the Planets and Lights, a few of which are rising to my eye as I type. Think of these minor figures as 'conversations' going on between the named planets, which are currently reflecting the qualities of the signs they reside in, and communicating with each other in the style of the named aspects.
- NewMoon inconjunct Uranus, which squares Jupiter, which sextiles back to NewMoon. It's a mini harmonic triangle (2/3/5 instead of 3/4/5).
- NewMoon quintiles Pluto, which septiles Neptune, which trines the NewMoon.
- NewMoon trines Neptune, which sesquiquadrates mars, which then biseptiles NewMoon
- Mars binovile Saturn/South Node, bi-septile Jupiter, quatra-novile back to Mars.
- Mars sextile Saturn, which has a 5/11 to Neptune, closed by a sesquiqudrate back to Mars
- Mars trine North node, which opposes Saturn and South node, which sends a sextile back to Mars.
- Mars biseptile NewMoon, which trines Neptune, which quatranoviles back to Mars.
- Venus septiles Jupiter, which sextiles NewMoon, which semisquares Venus.
- Venus septiles Jupiter, who deciles Mercury, who sends a 2/11 back to Venus.
- Saturn/S.Node biseptile Jupiter, which is binovile to the North Node, which opposes Saturn again.
- Mercury decile Jupiter, who binoviles the north Node, that then trines Mercury.
If there were an overall message I want to impart with this Libra
NewMoon, it would be to pay close attention to what you are paying
attention to. Whatever topic is crossing your nervous system the
most, whether as incoming information, internal rumination or outgoing
action, those issues are what you will gestate and nurture over the
coming month. This is always the case, of course, but with the NewMoon
in Libra we have the greatest chance of catching ourselves in the act
of exporting our causes and effects onto others instead of retaining
and owning the originating impulses for our circumstances. Yes,
circumstances are not ideal, and yes, so-and-so is such-and-such, but
is that really the full explanation for why we find ourselves in this
exact context and situation? Probably not, at least if we are honest
with ourselves. None of us are finished products, we still have blind
spots, and we still con ourselves sometimes because we want to believe
in miracles and outside sources of salvation. This is only human.
In the final analysis, we who are engaged in conscious growth need to take more responsibility for ourselves because that's the only way we can move into the state of being our own cause. Those who fail this step of individuation end up running behind the causes in their lives, cleaning up after the spreading effects. We have to force ourselves through the veil called "alone" and encounter who we are in there, with or without any defined other to bounce our signals off of. We also have to get over veiling our true desires, projecting them onto others, denying what everybody else can already see is true. This is not as hard as it seems, but it means letting down the mask of accommodation drop so the 'I, me, mind' can come forward. There's some short-term pain involved if we are already long overextended into false patterns of co-dependence, but when the disorientation is past, what remains is a strong, deep center of self-knowing, and less temptation to look outside ourselves for our signposts and priorities. The result is greater peace of mind, less identity confusion and yes, better relationships. Which is what we have wanted all along!
CURRENT STAGE OF THE MOON - October, 2007:
NewMoon 17+ Libra across the midnight hour between Wednesday, October 10th at 10:01 pm (Pacific), and Thursday Oct 11 at 1:01 am (Eastern). From this moment, the moon begins to wax, or increase.
2nd Quarter, Waxing Half Moon at 25+ Capricorn on Friday, October 19th, at 4:34 am (ET) - 1:34 am (PT).
Full Moon at 2+ Taurus, across the midnight hour between Thursday October 25 at 9:53 PST and Friday October 26 at 12:53 EST. At this point the Moon begins to wane, or decrease.
4th Quarter, Waning Half Moon at 9+ Leo Thursday November 1 at 5:19 - 2:19 PM.
Next NewMoon 17+ Scorpio, Friday, November 9th at 6:04- 3:04 PM. From this moment, the moon begins to wax, or increase.
October 11, 2007
copyright christine payne-towler 2005-2007, all rights reserved
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