The Fall―Sun in Scorpio―October 23rd ―November 21st
So comes snow after fire, and even dragons have their endings―J.R.R. Tolkien
Darkness comes early in October. Shoals of fluttering leaves twist and turn like golden minnows and delicate spiderwebs spangled with diamonds of dew shimmer in the hedgerows.
Autumn’s endings are accompanied by those things that are too quickly gone. So much has changed this year, simply fallen away. The brilliant greens of summer have turned to marmalade and plum and as the Sun moves into Scorpio, we enter the gap between the equinox and the solstice. We descend into the “fall”. This is the month we meet shadowy things that move in the dark, that wake us from our sleep. We may feel a pressure to release, eliminate, burn on the bonfire those things, those thoughts, those behaviours, that have outlived their purpose. Something is calling us to our purpose. Scorpio is a feminine sign, and paradoxically ruled by testosterone-driven Mars and the Kali-like presence of Pluto. With tenacious Scorpio there can be no compromises, no half-hearted excuses.
For eons, the Scorpion has been connected with the mystery of death and rebirth. To the Sumerians, Scorpio was Mul Gir-Tab, “burning sting” and it was Serket, the Egyptian Scorpion Goddess who guarded the gates of the underworld. And three days before the Sun entered Scorpio, NASA’s spacecraft OSIRIS-REx scooped a sample of ancient cosmic dust and rock from the surface of the asteroid Bennu.
Bennu was a primal creator bird-deity, associated with creation and rebirth, a symbol of Scorpio’s regenerative powers of healing.
As Nature responds to the ancient rhythm of life and death, some of us may sense a seam of blackness in a world advancing through a dark night of the soul. Here in the north, firebreak lockdowns presage a winter of discontent. “Burnout” and exhaustion attend a certainty that the pandemic is far from over.
Psychiatrist Dr Lise Van Susteren co-author of the book, Emotional Inflammation, describes the anticipatory anxiety and pre-traumatic stress that has emerged in this uncertain time.
She reminds us that the parietal lobe of our brain lights up when we work collaboratively, when feel compassion, when we transcend our own feelings and reach out with generosity; when we become what she calls an “upstander” instead of a “bystander.”
The edgy, unpredictable astrological signature this month accentuates endurance and resilience. Mercury, the Trickster, (connected with communication, commerce and travel) is the planet to watch as he Retrogrades through the deep dark waters of Scorpio, symbolising entrenched attitudes that may be concealed as people cast their votes in the US; and the burning sting in the tail at the end of this enormously costly campaign.
Mercury turned Retrograde in Scorpio on October 14th and will oppose unpredictable Uranus three times on October 7th, October 19th, and November 17th as more disturbing news flies from the Pandora’s Box of the US Election war chest. The opposition of October 19th (at 9° Scorpio/Taurus) and the Samhain Full Moon on October 31st (at 8° Taurus/Scorpio) offers us all a choice. We can be “upstanders” or “bystanders”.
On Sunday, October 25th, Mercury Retrograde is “cazimi”, conjunct the Sun, re-forged in this tight alignment. When Mercury is cazimi he is purified, so that the essence of his wit, his intelligence, and dexterity is revealed. There is a spiritual quality to this alignment, not in the trite sense of a “cosmic ordering service” but in the energy of commitment to invite Divine Order into our lives. Author Lynne McTaggart writes, “a single collective directed thought is all it takes to change the world.”
Mercury revisits Libra on October 28th making a tense square to the Celestial Establishment―Jupiter, Saturn and Pluto―before stationing direct on Election Day, November 3rd. The war-god Mars is still raw and wild and moving Retrograde in Aries (till November 17th) so expect delays, perhaps technological breakdowns, confusion, and high emotion and drama in the weeks ahead. And although the actual cost of the bloated American Election Campaign is yet to be counted, Elizabeth Stanley in her new book, Widen the Window, says bluntly, “the United States today is one of the most violent, stressed, and traumatized countries in the world.” Our restraint and stoicism will be tested in the weeks and months ahead.
Something bigger than ourselves, something fated, is at work. We may remember that for the ancient Greeks, Fate came in the form of three Moirai, those three sisters who determined the Fate of every living creature. It was Atropos who cut the thin thread of life. She decided the end of things.
We meet Fate when the Nodes of the Moon transit the planets or angles of our birth chart. The South Node draws us back, into the undertow of the past, we hesitate at the threshold, we circle endlessly in our place of discomfort. The North Node is where we see the diamond of our destiny, although the threshold crossing is never easy. As the Nodes move through the signs of Gemini and Sagittarius, they square Neptune, a planet associated with delusion, with suffering and sacrifice.
On November 3rd, as Biden and Trump make their fated bid for the Oval Office, a waning Gemini Moon conjoins the North Node (fate, destiny) and makes a confusing square to Neptune Retrograde.
The Moon in Gemini will pass over Trump’s Gemini Sun and oppose his Moon in Sagittarius on November 3rd. In 2016, Trump’s Jupiter Return marked the beginning of an expansive and progressive 12-year cycle. In February 2020, an inflated Jupiter square offered an opportunity to re-assess and re-value his sense of self-importance. Neptune has been squaring Trump’s North Node and Uranus since July 2020. Now Neptune squares his Sun, Moon, North Node and Midheaven, while Jupiter, Pluto and Saturn oppose his vulnerable Saturn/Venus conjunction in Cancer.
Neptune opposes Biden’s Midheaven (reputation, status) and may undermine his career. From this December 21st until March 2023, Saturn and Jupiter square his Taurus Moon and his four Scorpio planets. On November 3rd, the transiting Moon briefly conjoins Biden’s Saturn while an uncompromising Scorpio Sun conjoins his Mars, activating the natal square to Pluto.
Trump and Biden are destined to battle. In this Game of Thrones, the planetary transits gift Trump with more opportunity than his challenger to power to a late victory.
The American nation dances with the Fates as the nation’s Pluto Return (2022-23) marks the culmination of a cycle that began on July 4th, 1776 when America declared independence from Britain and pledged to uphold democracy and freedom.
“So comes snow after fire, and even dragons have their endings” wrote J.R.R. Tolkien.
We are now all called to our purpose―to Love, and to care for one another. At Autumn’s end may there be a regenerative new beginning.
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