Astrology: Full Moon in Taurus October 31, 2020

Full Moon in Taurus October 31, 2020 14:49 UT (10:49 EDT). This year Halloween is special for a few different reasons. Firstly, we are still living with a global pandemic. Secondly, it is a Full Moon day, and an unusual full moon in that it is the second full moon of October 2020, thus what is known as a “blue moon”. Thirdly, the last time we had a full moon on Halloween was in 1944, during the thickest part of World War II. Fourthly, we will soon be witnessing the results of the hotly-contested US Federal Election race, which, it can be said, will be an unsatisfactory showing no matter who wins.

We have five planets in retrograde, giving a largely sublimated feel to current energies. Retrograde Mercury in Libra is in a tight square to the Saturn-led stellium in Capricorn, making communication ornery, and frustration plentiful as people try to get their point across nicely, but with an underlying current of “I know best, it’s for your own good, I am trying to be nice here, so you’d better appreciate it!” Mars in Aries, also retrograde, loosely squares the Capricorn cluster, suppressed aggression embodied as the urge to accomplish is stymied by red tape and power struggles. Venus in Libra is opposed to Chiron in Aries, but otherwise unaspected, a melancholy scenario where we see the urge for partnership, pleasures and refinement juxtaposed against wanting to blame all the superficiality of the world for the troubles we are globally experiencing.
The Moon/Sun opposition stands alone though punctuated by a highly unnerving Uranus at 8º 41’ Taurus. Perfectly conjoined with the Moon, in complete opposition to the Sun, the presence of Uranus is inescapable, creating deep stirrings in the subconscious mind. Be on the lookout for things oozing out of the edges, strange remarks and “Freudian slips”, and unusual perspectives leaking into regular day-to-day affairs. For most people, the status quo is equated to comfort, and security is an assumption. While we don’t like change, this Taurus Full Moon is a perfect time to admit to what doesn’t work any longer, and embrace new, fertile energies. What if all that we assumed for so long just doesn’t work any more? What if our habits are no longer nurturing us? What is holding us back? What is there that might benefit from exposure to the light? People can learn to live with anything, even if those things are toxic, detrimental and ultimately crippling. Where are we crippling ourselves, as individuals and as a society? Allow the light of this Full Moon to illuminate the path forward, exposing what needs culling and enlightening inspirations that we can use to shift ourselves to a new level.

With Jupiter as chart ruler, issues of fraternity, equality, philosophy, morality and religion are of paramount importance, perfect for the US Election of November 3, and for addressing the ever-expanding conflict that we see around the world, all stemming from persistent tribalism and closedmindedness. What is justice, what is sacred, and how do we find a clear path to safety in the thicket that is the world today? How do our personal values correspond or clash with the values of the society that we live in, and how does society impact on our individual perceptions of security, comfort and well-being? We strive to rationalize the current events of our world, and to do so we need to tap into clarity of mind, unobstructed by irrational, subconscious emotion and preconceived, ancestral expressions of sentimentality. Whatever happens in the US on November 3, expect the unexpected, and be prepared for things to go very much sideways for a little while as people’s constellated preferences are challenged to the max. The very identity and consciousness of the US (if you can imagine such a thing) is transforming, and we must pray that the resulting pressures remain controllable.

Full Moon in Taurus, October 31, 2020 14:49 UT, Greenwich, UK. Chart courtesy of

Cardinal Signs – Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn – Keep communications open, even if it feels like an uphill battle. Partnerships and social organizations press upon individuality. Aries – stay cool, you are learning some new moves. You have new desires cropping up, and those closest to you don’t quite understand. Patience is wearing thin, but stick it out. Be nice. Cancer – draw on what you see in the world, and create. You are a perfect conduit for what is emerging from the depths, and while sometimes this feels threatening or scary, flow with it. Beautifying your home feels good; hold back on major expenditures until the New Moon of November 15 if possible. Libra – sometimes you feel as if you need to constantly explain and justify, keeping it sweet, and that still no one can understand. There is a firestorm pushing at your psyche, impatient and persistent, requiring you to dig deeper for the clarity you take for granted. Keep the peace and stand your ground. Capricorn – if you feel like the walking wounded, remember to be patient. The deep work continues, and while there may be irritations, even conflagrations multiplying around you, remember that the eye of the storm is the calmest place. Be in that place and remain in stillness. Creative inspiration is high.

Fixed Signs – Taurus, Leo, Scorpio and Aquarius – Things you have taken for granted are showing their flaws. You can hear movement and rumbling somewhere far away, and it feels scary…but kind of wonderful too. Taurus – crack it open, this lunation is powerful and deep. If it feels weird, great! Embrace some new facet of you. Let them watch as you shed a few layers and shine a new light. Don’t be afraid to push back, and see how good it makes you feel. Leo – work life could feel emotional, and while you love the attention, it might be a bit tender in there. Watch for something surprising to crop up, and consider the adjustments that you need to make at home to accommodate changes as they arise. Scorpio – partnerships, close alliances, legal issues, contracts and negotiations are highlighted for the next few weeks. Plans emerge in new ways causing you a bit of a shake up. Communications feel testy as it is a matter of logic vs creativity. Avoid power struggles, or consider your philosophies as you engage. Aquarius – innovations and improvements at home are on the horizon and you are in demand on the work front – people look to you for answers and your inspirations surprise everyone. Daily communications could be annoying, take the higher ground.

Mutable signs – Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, Pisces – How we move through the world, those little routines that define us are all highlighted. Gemini – Watch your dreams, listen to your intuitions, follow your fantasies and imagination, you could find some insights into how you take care of yourself, basic health and mind/body maintenance. A good time to address these issues and how deeply they are interconnected. Virgo – how do you define your personal philosophy, and how do you communicate this to those in your immediate environment. Expect some new ideas to come to light, perhaps you have decided to examine some new philosophies or culture outside your normal frame of reference. Your ideas of creativity and pleasure are up for renewal, and primal urges could be quite moving. Sagittarius – you are feeling reflective and deep moods bring you a sense of renewal, inspiration in how to approach daily matters that have proved irksome. Sometimes it’s easier to find new ways than to keep shoving your opinions where they don’t belong. What is important takes on new meaning, informed by depths you have previously avoided. Pisces – are you getting your point across, or maybe it’s time for a new tack? A fresh sense of freedom pervades your interactions, as you are loosening the fetters on your previously held philosophies and methods of interaction. People you thought you knew surprise you. Building a sense of home that allows pleasure to take center stage takes on greater importance.
Be well everyone and thank you for reading

Astrology: Sun Ingress to Scorpio October 22, 2020

Dracula, 1992 starring Gary Oldman and Winona Ryder (a Scorpio). The novel, Dracula, was written by Bram Stoker, also a Scorpio.

Happy Birthday Scorpio! In beautiful Scorpio style, the Sun moves into Scorpio at midnight October 23 (00:00 UT/October 22 19:00 EDT). How perfect and lovely, a midnight ingress into the sign of all that is dark and mysterious. Traditionally ruled by Mars, modern astrology assigns Scorpio’s rulership to Pluto, and the combination of these planets makes Scorpio intense, brooding, sometimes war-like, hard and cathartic, but also insightful, loyal, deeply loving and tenacious. Not easy energies to hold, but very necessary, as we can’t all be sweetness and light all the time, can we?

Despite what people think they know about these folks, it is my belief that Scorpio people get a bad rap. Indeed, they may be prone to dark moods, dramatic pronouncements, have an affinity for all things heavy and serious, and yes, they wince at superficiality and abhor trivialities, and are likely able to manipulate the pants off you (literally!), but these are the people you want to have around you when things get serious in your life –in fact, the more serious, the more comfortable, as far as Scorpio is concerned. Enough with the fluffy stuff, this is the kind of thing they come out for, and if they care about you, they will stick with you to the end. They won’t mince words and give you platitudes. They won’t hold your hand and say “there, there”. They will get directly to the heart of the matter, and give you the straight goods, and you will be content with this, as it is honesty. As the famous songwriter Billy Joel (interestingly, a Taurus, the sign directly opposite Scorpio) once said, “Honesty is such a lonely word; everyone is so untrue.” Honesty, and loneliness for that matter, are familiar territory for most Scorpios. These people are very familiar with living on the edge, forever looking down into the abyss that is the human soul, even if those around them either prefer to ignore the darker facts of life, or are simply ignorant.

Looking at things from a perspective that many people would have to dig very deep to access, Scorpio is fully familiar with what is hard, dark, taboo and unspeakable, and typically, they laugh at it all. Many people wouldn’t even dare to approach life in the way a Scorpio can – no holds barred, full frontal, straight up and way, way down. It’s hard for people to understand this sort of approach, for while thrilling, it can also be exhausting, isolating and unpleasant to always look at the dark side of the moon. Just ask those closest to Scorpio how often these folks take things too hard, react with suspicion, assume every word is a slight, and generally get a bit too heavy for prevailing circumstances. And if you ever cross a Scorpio, especially if you think you are clever and can really get the better of them – watch out! You will learn what it is to be on the receiving end of that famous stinger, and receive a lesson that may just last you a lifetime. Revenge is a dish best savored by Scorpio, cold and dark as the deepest, most remote lake imaginable.

But if Scorpio darkness is explored, its intricacies realized and understood, the levity that results from having plumbed those depths allows for an emotional and spiritual freedom that, if achieved, is a true rarity. This takes a lot of effort, but the strength of character required to achieve this kind of perspective is stock in trade for most Scorpios. Unfortunately though, as this is Fixed Water, if life has been harder than normal for a Scorpio, and indeed, many Scorpios are prone to make things a little harder than they need to be, a natural kink in the psyche can result, a twist in the spirit, and a particular limping gait will be assumed throughout the lifetime, painfully obvious to those around, creating a nuance of forbidding danger and mystery around the Scorpio native. But if it weren’t for those twisted, gnarly trees in the forest, how would we ever know what it really means to be straight and true?

The next year offers many fruitful days for Scorpio, with a reassuring sense of being quite sure of where you stand, mentally. All your ducks are in a row, and while you may feel mounting pressure to perform, you are getting more and more comfortable with sudden changes of direction, and rolling with random out-of-the-blue shocks and inspirations. Things will get progressively more irksome as Saturn fully moves into Aquarius next year, but this is nothing that any Scorpio can handle. You have the capacity to overcome any and all complications, as you are patient and tenacious. January 2021 could be a bit tense – watch out for accidents, and avoid home renovations that month if possible. Early spring might feel like you are being stymied; push through and watch the details. November should be quite supercharged for you – a great month if you have something major you want accomplished.

Famous Scorpio Personalities: Christopher Columbus, Leon Trotsky, Martin Luther, Marie Curie, Marie Antoinette, Bill Gates, Indira Gandhi, Pablo Picasso, John Gotti, Hilary Clinton, Peter Jackson, Leonardo Di Caprio, Charles Manson, Georgia O’Keefe, Paracelsus, Emma Stone, Albert Camus, Bram Stoker, Winona Ryder, Katy Perry, Prince Charles, Anne Hathaway, Matthew McConaughey, Adam Driver, Ivanka Trump, Owen Wilson, Tilda Swinton, Neil Young, Joaquin Phoenix, Margaret Atwood, Kendall Jenner, Emilia Clarke

Astrology: New Moon in Libra October 16, 2020

Aphrodite Anadyomene, Fresco from Pompei, Casa di Venus, 1st century AD. Photo: Stephen Haynes ‘Impressions of Pompeii’, 2004.

This year’s New Moon in Libra falls on October 16 at 18:31 UT (15:31 EDT), and is tightly constellated in an aspect of great dynamism and tension. The potential for conflict is high, as we have the Libra Sun/Moon conjunction very neatly squaring the Jupiter/Saturn/Pluto stellium in Capricorn, and opposed to retrograde Mars in Libra, creating a cardinal t-square of high amplitude. Feeding into this is a dreamy, fuzzy opposition of Venus in Virgo against Neptune in Pisces, and off on its own is a free floating, and otherwise unaspected retrograde Mercury in Scorpio opposed to Uranus in Taurus. Yes, sneaky Mercury in Scorpio turned retrograde on October 14 (it’s been in shadow since September 23). When Mercury is retrograde in Gemini, or Leo, literally the whole world will be talking about it, there will be news reports and otherwise non-astrological people shouting from the rooftops that their problems must be a result of Mercury retrograde. Not so obvious in Scorpio, where things tend to stay hidden, a lot of behind-the-scenes talking and secrets, though with this particular aspect, juxtaposed against Uranus in Taurus, there may be a few unintended outbursts and surprising revelations. Not great for a federal election (Mercury does direct on November 3, Election Day), but hey, we are used to being patient after all we’ve been through this year, aren’t we? Count on a messy election process, and a lot of ballot recounting.

At any event, this New Moon poses a tight, tense chart which is bound to surprise and unsettle even the most placid among us. While the prime impetus is toward finding a state of emotional and energetic equilibrium, people are feeling goaded to new levels of self-assertion, to trying new things, rapid-fire insights into personal motivation, all coming through with a tendency to gloss things over, leaving the details to someone else. Communication is assumed, and discussions occur in erratic outbursts, as people lazily lift their head out of the sand, casually dropping last-stand ultimatums and lingering suspicions in a “by the way” sort of fashion.

New Moon in Libra, 16 October 2020, 18:31 UT, Greenwich, UK. Image courtesy of

While this may sound daunting, there is a lot of very positive forward-moving energy afoot here. Consider the old adage that you need to break some eggs to make an omelette. The emphasis on cardinal signs requires that we “feel the burn” (sorry Bernie, not yours this time). The whole world has been talking smack about everything that society needs for improvement, this year has been an open town hall meeting as everyone and their dog has an opinion on what is wrong with the world, how it makes them feel, and exactly how it should all be fixed, and now we actually have a great atmosphere to put some of that fine talk into action. Unfortunately, we may also find that when push comes to shove, a lot of people are ghosting out of the party with nary a whiff of “sorry, maybe next time”. Frustrating, but don’t worry about those types. We forge ahead.

Every New Moon offers a powerful opportunity each month as we are simultaneously given the chance to bring an old way to closure, put things to rest, and bury energy that we no longer require. Even more importantly, we are aided in eliminating that which is doing us harm. It can be a relationship, a worldview, a habit, even a place of residence or employment that we have outgrown or is holding us back. While we put the old to rest, in order to truly move forward, we need to have some new direction that we can put our focus on, something that will bring us ahead to experience more fruitful and authentic ways of being. Sometimes it is hard to see what is obscuring our progress, and the New Moon can be a good time to seek clarity that can unfold with the growing of the light, working towards some rectification with the coming Full Moon.  This New Moon, while certainly chock full of dynamic and challenging aspects, allows us the grit and drive to push ahead, define new directions, slash and burn those things which are holding us back. If we want to lay something to rest, we need the stamina and willpower to dig the hole and get it done, and now is a perfect time.  If you prefer to let that thing stay in your life for another cycle, another month, another year, let yourself be at peace with that as well, and honor your rhythms. In that case, use this New Moon to lay to rest any self-judgement, opening for yourself a path of generosity, acceptance and love.

Cardinal Signs – Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn – time to shift up. Aries, you are doing a lot of pushing right now, and you are feeling that coming back at you, as you try to define new ways of doing things in old circumstances. Let the revisions happen, and don’t stop being who you are. Cancer, you are taking it in the neck as all this tension is spilling out towards you. You may feel the need to fix everything, sort it out, make it better, but ensure that you take care of yourself first and foremost, and consider if all that (or any of it) is actually yours. Libra, happy birthday to you, this New Moon is a treat of rejuvenation and a new test of your mettle as you expand your roles, take on new personas, and renovate old approaches to relationships. Capricorn, that grinding will eventually polish off all the rough stuff, and reveal the diamond inside. It’s not an easy road, but your forays into the darkness will provide a map for those coming behind you. Carry the torch and keep going.

Fixed Signs – Taurus, Leo, Scorpio and Aquarius – hold the line. Taurus, you are manifesting deep changes in your subconscious processes, affecting how you intuit, react and put together information. Enjoy the ride, it’s alright to be surprised every now and then, and don’t be afraid to bellow a bit, it’ll knock out a few cobwebs. Leo – continue to shine, and consider that the process you are experiencing now is preparing you for deeper changes to come. This is like a dress rehearsal, so it’s a good idea to tidy up your act now before you hit the stage for real. Scorpio – you don’t much like change, and you don’t like being confused, as it might make you feel (or look!) foolish, but you certainly have the capacity to dive deep when necessary. Enjoy a swim in the deep end as you draw together revelations that come at you from the edges, and see where things lead. Aquarius – this New Moon offers you the opportunity to reconnect with your people. Clear out those who just aren’t cutting it any longer, the hangers on and false friends who end up aggravating more often than not. You don’t need the complications, and you have a lot more to offer than you think, even if sometimes it feels like what you do and say might be a little bit over the edge. Those who need to hear your stuff will understand and appreciate it – once you let it out.

Mutable signs – Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, and Pisces – remember, God is in the details. Gemini – your capacity to suss out the nitty gritty, to find those little niggling facts that elude and yet are so important to a comprehensive whole is key right now. At times, it may feel like your head is swimming, but the details are there, if you can only remember to catch them. Virgo – you aren’t used to things eluding you, to systems falling out of order, to forgetting and losing things, but roll with it and don’t stress. This is a good time to embrace a new “keep it real” policy, and remember that square pegs don’t fit into round holes – ever. Sagittarius – relationships might feel a bit murky at the moment, and perhaps you are faced with a taking on a new role, a new direction in existing situations. Beware of overly romanticizing scenarios, and keep your head above water. You are highly appealing, so work with it. Pisces – Groovy, baby. Show the world your stuff, and feel the acceptance, bask in the glow of feeling supported. If you can’t quite feel that groove just yet, have faith – it’s there! Open up to the idea and you may be very surprised to find that despite everything going on around you, it’s ok – it’s really ok. Do someone a favor, and share that insight, spread the love and feel your glow.

The Occult Renaissance

John William Waterhouse, ‘The Magic Circle’, oil on canvas, England, 1886

Societal fascination with topics of the occult, ideas of the underworld, demonology, ancient gods and goddesses, particularly those associated with death, has seen a massive surge in popularity over the last decade. Astrologically speaking, we can consider how Pluto passing through Capricorn, as well as Neptune moving through Pisces have contributed to this upswing. Faced with events that are unprecedented in recent memory, people are more often looking to the shadows, to things that lie behind and beyond normal comprehension for explanations of life’s complexity, passing over orthodox religion and established modes of spirituality, seeking for new vocabularies of self-expression and self-discovery. This is not a clean, airy, light time in the psyche of humanity, but rather a time when we are searching ancestral roots, rummaging through established bias and assumed systems of power and hierarchy, and trying to see just how we fit into this mass, as individuals. The identity of the individual is being sublimated as pressures from “out there” impinge upon personal freedom and self-expression, resulting in growing tension and stress. On the personal level, people are left to explore and delve the murky depths of personal and societal, which is resulting in a mass churning of the collective unconscious, the energies of which are left to trickle down into the individual psyche however they may.

Georgiana Houghton (Spirit Drawing), ‘The Portrait of the Lord Jesus Christ’, England, 1862.

Capricorn is a sign ruled by Saturn, the god of time, old age, fear, darkness, the dead and matters of the dead, endings, inhibition, and is associated with dark gods like Lucifer or Satan. Pluto housed in Capricorn is right at home, as Pluto’s energy is cathartic, cthonic, depth-seeking and largely discomfiting. His influence is to purge, exhume and destroy, particularly anything which is unnecessary, fatuous or otherwise useless. This is not an easy energy, and it governs things that are larger than life, beyond comprehension and personal control. Personal issues of the individual are set against a much larger backdrop which can only be assumed and accepted, as personal influence is insignificant in the face of such power. The individual is left with trying to make sense of a system that they had no part in devising, but which they inherited from generations past, with a burgeoning sense of culpability, an impression of pressing responsibility, a need to somehow remedy the errors that manifest in surrounding chaos, but with very few tools that have proven efficient, let alone functional.

Frederick Sandys, ‘Morgan le Fay’, oil on wood panel, England, 1863-1864

Pisces is a sign traditionally ruled by Jupiter, though modern astrology assigns rulership of Pisces to Neptune, and Pisces governs matters of the occult, glamor, mystification, mysticism, delusion, confusion, spirituality, magic, photography and media, as well as addiction, mob mentality, illusion, drugs and other intoxicants, fiction, and all things fanciful and ephemeral. With Neptune currently housed in Pisces, society is swimming in these energies, as we are inundated with mass media, glamorized depictions of celebrity, drug addiction epidemics, pronounced and unprecedented attention to issues of mental illness, patient advocacy, new frontiers of sexuality and self-expression. Fantastical imagery floods our media, and the world is a captive audience, connected to ephemeral systems of communication which few understand, but all embrace as necessity. The Covid-19 pandemic itself is exemplary of the combination of Pisces/Capricorn energy at its most profound – mass pathological illness which we are hard-pressed to avoid, and which we attempt to control with rules, bureaucracy, governmental intervention and population control, all obfuscated by ever more bizarre and disturbing conspiracy theories, suspicion, hysteria and lack of information. Add to this increasing impatience with demographic injustice and incredible anomalies of leadership, resulting in race riots, removal and destruction of long-standing cultural iconography, and increasingly erratic weather patterns (also a Neptunian/Piscean phenomenon), 2020 will certainly be a year to remember, and likely one which will be studied by historians for years to come.

John Trumbull, ‘The Declaration of Independence’, oil on canvas, England, 1819

Pluto moved into Capricorn in 2008/2009 and will remain there until 2024, and Neptune moved into Pisces in 2011, remaining there until 2026. The last time Pluto was in Capricorn was 1762 – 1778, during which world witnessed both the American Revolutionary War, as well as precursory actions leading up to the French Revolution of 1789-1799. Neptune was last in Pisces from 1847-1862, during which we saw the rise of idealistic and spiritually-diverse and evocative movements such as Spiritualism, the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, and Marxism.

Liberty Leading the People. 1830. Oil on canvas, 260 x 325 cm.