“Being different, it’s easy. But to be unique, it’s a complicated thing.”
― Lady Gaga
The last Full Moon of October burns brightly in the sign of The Ram. Aries is where we encounter our own autonomy, our sense of Self in a world where being different has a price and uniqueness is rare.
In Aries we encounter the mythic motif of conquest, which always implies an act of bravery, daring and autonomy. The leader who makes split-second choices in situations that could tip either way… the employee who dares to speak out, the parent who takes a stand against bullying, the friend who leans closer when others turn away.
For most of us, the battle for autonomy is enacted in those held-breath moments of choice, our fingers poised to respond to words that invade the temenos of our minds―other people’s opinions that school our eyes, ignite archaic reactions, fuel fears and insecurities that thread through our nervous systems.
We may discover that autonomy is concealed in the small choices we make each new day and that the hardest battle is with our self as e.e cummings, Sun in Libra and Aries Moon wrote, “To be nobody-but-yourself—in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else—means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight.”
As the Full Moon on October 20th ignites Aries in our birth charts, we may dare to re-imagine ourselves and those who hold different opinions in a new light. In a world that may feel split and polarised, where being congruent, uniquely ourselves, the daily battle is seldom tidy or neat as our dopamine levels are stroked by algorithms. “In ancient times, having power meant having access to data. Today having power means knowing what to ignore,” writes historian Yuval Noah Harari.
As Mercury approached the midpoint of this three-week Retrograde cycle (October 7th-8th) a “configuration error” silenced Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp for almost six hours. This was one of many outages that have occurred over the years that have highlighted our collective reliance on a complex and outdated web that some joke is “older than the Spice Girls; designed on the back of a napkin.”
Perhaps a more important symbol of Mercury Retrograde in Libra is that former Facebook data scientist, Frances Haugen, has dared to speak out and say what most of us know: that the loudest voices re-route their rage and their pernicious pain through the lightning rods of social media.
Her indictment of the careless theft of time, self-esteem and profitable personal data by the big tech companies is one of many little fires that will inevitably become a conflagration as Pluto moves through Aquarius (March 2023-January 2044) fanning profound social and technological metamorphosis as we journey through the age of the Anthropocene.
Pluto was also moving through Aquarius when the wealth of Europe and America was accumulated on the bodies of African slaves, and the Conquistadors plundered the riches of South America. It’s looking likely that bots will be the new slaves; our personal data the new gold; and that malware and cyber warfare will topple our digital infrastructure in seconds.
On October 18th, both Mercury and Jupiter reversed their Retrograde motions as we circumambulate the curves and the rough ridges of life, as we sense the emergence of something new. Opportunistic Jupiter moves direct at 22° Aquarius, accompanied by Mercury at 10° Libra invoking a new impetus to bring more of our matchless and truthful selves to our relationships, and to be curious and welcoming to those who dare to be vulnerably unique.
As the ardent Aries Moon blazes across the skies, spreading her light, she may spark glistening embers of passion, setting a-blaze all that is caged and conformist. This Full Moon is a symbolic challenge to seize new opportunities; dare to break out of the tired old roles that keep us cornered in our relationships.
This Full Moon activates Eris and the square to Pluto, an aspect which has been in effect all through 2020. Eris stirs up latent competition and jarring discord. And when she makes a catalytic square to Pluto, Lord of the Underworld, all that is repugnant and buried emerges from the darkness of the collective mire. The cosmic masculine, the Sun and Mars, confront the fierce feminine. This Moon symbolises the courage of Queen Boudica, who dared to challenge the might of Rome, yet Boudica was flogged. Her beautiful daughters, raped. In the end, she took poison, rather than become enslaved. It may be worth remembering that the glyph for Aries is the Ram. And Rams are sacrificial animals, their holy golden fleeces, held aloft by conquering heroes. The Moon’s sextile to Jupiter may stoke volatility as hot-headed Mars makes a confrontational square to Pluto on October 22nd and 23rd arousing ruthlessness or violence, so it may be wise to temper rugged individualism with empathy and compassion.
The swallows have flown south. Crows, strung like necklaces of obsidian, perch darkly on the wires in the lessening light. The beauty of summer feeds the flames of bonfires that attend summer’s end. May we bask in the generative heat of fire as we fortify our willpower, strengthen our resolve, dare to be nobody but ourselves as we strive to make a difference in the world today.
For there is always light, if only we’re brave enough to see it…brave enough to be it―Amanda Gorman.
Please drop me a private email if you would like to find out more about the whys and the hows in your own life and in the world, from an astrological perspective. I offer sessions via Skype or Zoom.