October MMXX | A.W. Clovenhopf

October is bookended with potent moon action, opening with a full moon on the first and closing with a second on Samhain. The ravenous feelings aroused by Mars retrograde are raw and primal. The ongoing square between Saturn and Mars is, at best, tempering and, at worst, irritating and exhausting. We may find ourselves howling at the revelations that will occur; but reactionary impulses are best delayed until Mercury is better suited to guide us in November.

Our cosmic messenger turns retrograde on October 14th, going into the underworld and then direct on November 4th. The coincident alignment with Election Day in the United States suggests that we aren’t looking at an election day as much as an election week, or longer. We could hear arguments about the validity of mail-in ballots or poll numbers. Mercury retrograde runs on twenty year cycles, meaning it has been retrograde on an US Presidential election day before – in the year 2000.

Mars moving through Aries has been agitating the strained peace treaty with the powers that be. This dynamic can be showing up for you between home and work, wallet vs. bills... look to Mars and the houses it rules (Aries and Scorpio) in your chart for clues. An astrologer can help you sort this out if you’re struggling. A square aspect from Mars to Saturn and Pluto in August forced us to address ongoing issues, or face feelings of self-doubt, overwhelm, and defeat. If we attempted to blame others or avoid responsibility for our actions, the reckoning arrives as Mars squares these planets from retrograde motion in October. You may be beyond losing patience with a difficult situation, or meeting a scenario you thought you had addressed.

Try to untangle the issues and tackle them one at a time. Mars loves to be put to work, and the planets in Capricorn love to come up with a strategy. Use this time to your benefit—the astrology may not feel pleasant, but it is useful. If you are in a situation where you cannot move forward with your goals, at least allow yourself to be active each day. Mars energy needs an outlet to avoid becoming destructive. If you put the work in now you may be surprised at how you feel by late November.

Astrology is rooted in our connection with the seasons, and October finds us moving from Libra to Scorpio. This forces us to delve deeper into relationship issues that have been bubbling away, perhaps through claiming a necessary timeout and healing personal practice. The Sun is said to be “in Fall” in Libra, as the scales seek to balance energy between self and other, an unfamiliar concept for a self-reliant and glowing entity like the Sun. Reconciliation and forgiveness are at work now, and perhaps it becomes most important to forgive ourselves for our failings. Use the drive of Mars to address where you can improve moving forward. The full moon on October 1st is right on the heels of Saturn stationing and beginning direct motion at the end of September. This puts Mars and Saturn at odds in the sky, and the slow movement of Saturn exacerbates the frustrations and delays. Cosmically, Saturn is playing the role of the oblivious, slow walking sidewalk hog right now, and Mars is the fleet-footed person trying to dodge around them and get moving. Slow down and recognize where your own impatience is making the situation more difficult.

This moon is also conjunct wounded healer Chiron, who plays an interesting role in both full moons this month. This aspect can suggest that struggles with your own issues need not blind you to the pain of others. There may be a necessity for introspection, and for Aries people particularly a highlight on themes of release, healing and learning. Prioritize yourself at this time, and provide others plenty of space as they are likely to be reactive, defensive or moody. Once the Sun enters Scorpio on October 23rd that exhausted feeling should recede a bit as we find ways to address the rifts forming in our relationships. Scorpio is a deeply private and passionate sign and being able to focus and dedicate yourself to an organization, project or person may be a helpful use of the energies. With Mars, the traditional ruler of Scorpio, continuing its retrograde throughout the month, the Sun moving into Scorpio may highlight another aspect of a situation, or limitation, we’ve been struggling against. October has the feeling of attempting to remove a box from a packed shipping container—it’s tempting to do it all at once, but it needs to be removed carefully, corner by corner. Forcing it will only lead to unhappy consequences. From this retrograde we should learn to prioritize and ask for help when we need it.

This dynamic is highlighted by the new moon on October 16th. With the Sun and Moon in Libra being opposed by Mars in Aries, and forming a square with the planets in Capricorn, we may find our attempts at reconciliation come up short. Partnerships are highlighted, and this may be a new beginning for relationships that have been on difficult footing, or a decision to go separate ways. Juno opposite Uranus affirms that independence is a necessary component of any healthy partnership, and we are not likely to take kindly to any attempts to curtail our freedoms of thought or movement. Mercury moving through Scorpio at this time suggests a psychoanalytical focus—watch out for a tendency to stew on negative thoughts or perceptions, or to see the worst in a situation.

The month’s second full moon on October 31st promises surprises, as it is conjunct the planet Uranus. This could look like someone’s unexpected behavior bringing about needed change or a decision for an abrupt exit after a slow slog through dire circumstances of the past few months. Sometimes we hit rock bottom and find our landing is softer than expected. That sort of grace can lead us to breakthroughs at this time as Jupiter makes awkward angles to the north node. Maybe our past choices were less than ideal, but they were the best we could make at the time with the resources we had. At this lunation, the moon is responsive to Venus, who at 4 degrees Libra is opposed to the asteroid Chiron. This moon stresses the healing and recovery theme we saw on the October 1st moon. Chiron was a teacher, healer, warrior, astrologer and artist. Time spent with him forged the future for many ancient heroes of the Greco-Roman pantheon. Venus opposite the asteroid suggests developing a relationship with a paternal/teacher figure or enjoying the tutelage of an art or discipline at this time. With Venus being otherwise celestially isolated, we may be alone, but we have the option whether or not to be lonely.

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Horoscopic Perspective October 1-15

ARIES: Chiron moved into your sign back around birthday time in 2018. Since then, what messages have you been working to integrate? Hosting the centaur in your own sign suggests a need to find the balance between your instinctual wild side and your disciplined, booksmart side. There is wisdom in each approach, and we’re looking to you for guidance on integration.

TAURUS: The full moon on the 1st may find you getting vocal about needing more support in a work situation. You are practical and resilient, and don’t give up easily, but with Venus applying to an opposition with Ceres, you may be tired of taking care of everyone else. It doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing situation; even seasonal help may be a huge asset right now.

GEMINI: With the north node in your sign mediating between Mars and Venus, you may find the month opening with you acting as a neutral third party or seeking out this sort of assistance. Are you getting the band back together, Gemini? If you weren’t still thinking about resolution you’d know there was nothing left to resolve.

CANCER: Full moons are usually a time of heightened sensitivity for you as the Sun stares at your ever-changing ruler from across the sky. Having two of them this month suggests many situations need closer examination and you may have to allow yourself extra time to process recent events. On the first, it’s home versus work, and the moon moving toward an energizing angle with Pallas, the asteroid of strategy, talking things over with a special someone can provide necessary insights. Make sure you’re on the same page before you get lost in your head.

LEO: Venus moving through your sign hasn’t quite been able to deliver all the treats she loves to bestow, or perhaps allowing yourself an indulgence just feels superficial right now. But how else can you learn to care for yourself? With Venus moving away from her other commitments as October opens, it looks like you’re considering hitting the books or diving more deeply into a skill or craft.

VIRGO: The full moon happening in the house of other people’s money suggests that you’re spending a lot of time considering mutual assets or shared property. It may be that you wish to control something that doesn’t really belong to you, or worse, to control your partner. If someone’s behavior or an ongoing situation is making you anxious, tend your own resources. Your ruler’s upcoming retrograde suggests there’s more to the picture than meets the eye anyway.

LIBRA: Did you enter a new relationship that very quickly moved to more serious levels of commitment? It looks like you need some time to cool your heels at the start of the month. Emotional honesty may sometimes be a struggle for you, but the best relationships strengthen when you admit your own needs.

SCORPIO: Mercury’s upcoming retrograde in your sign and Mars’ continued backwards movement both suggest you’re deep into dealing with some heavy material. If you’re feeling lost in yourself, focusing on healthy daily habits can be a huge help. Take the time to eat well, exercise and organize your time. I allow you until mid-October to marinate, and then I expect a strategy for tackling your struggles one by one before you’re in full birthday season.

SAGITTARIUS: Old habits are hard to break. Particularly when they still seem to get you results. I always hit you with the proverbs, Sag, because I know you respect wisdom more when it comes from a mythical source. Like Lao Tzu says, “if you don’t change direction, you may end up where you’re heading.”

CAPRICORN: Changing home life and family responsibilities can be challenging for you at the start of the month. There may be some unfair situation you’re forced to deal with, or old family drama resurfacing. With Mars angling to challenge your ruler, a quarrelsome person may seem to be making things worse. It may be painful to reopen that wound, but some fresh air will aid the healing that much more.

AQUARIUS: Have you been working to develop a new outlet for your voice and ideas? The Sun in the 9th suggests some educational pursuits have been inspiring you to strike out on your own. Sharing your insights is a welcome and healing opportunity for you and the lucky few you decided to invite along. With Mars moving through your third, you may feel insecure about revealing so much, but your bravery will be rewarded.

PISCES: Money seems to be easy come easy go for you recently. Or you’re writing checks your fins can’t cash. Slow down fishes, I see your ambition but temperance is the key right now. What plans can you get in place, and implement early next year? Working through your goals strategically is key right now.

Horoscopic Perspective October 15-31

ARIES: No one loves a fresh start quite like an Aries! Welp, the new moon on October 16th opposite your own sign and ruler suggests that this fresh start may not be entirely to your liking. Has your own emotionally demanding nature put too much stress on your close contacts? Mars’ square with Jupiter at this time suggests you have the power to make positive adjustments, even if you don’t feel like you should have to. The Sun being housed in the sign opposite yours means it’s not about you, Ram.

TAURUS: The new moon sees you like Odysseus – maybe you bit off a little more than you could chew, and now you’re lost at sea and hopeful your allegiance to the grey-eyed Athena will find you home safely. The epic uses repetition as a mnemonic device, and this full moon seated in your house of daily habits requires a similar commitment to the task, even when you’re tired of the chorus. Hang in there, Bull.

GEMINI: With the Sun and Moon in a fellow air sign, and your ruler moving through Scorpio, there’s an opportunity for new contacts, interesting conversations, and stimulating studies. However, some of these new friends and topics may make you a little uncomfortable. You’ll get some time to sit with these feelings as Mercury begins to go retrograde, but first, allow yourself to enjoy the creativity you feel from experiencing something new.

CANCER: Wishing and hoping for a fresh start with partners and family members can’t happen if you don’t speak up about your emotional needs. With your ruler caught between painful aspects to Pluto and Saturn, there’s a feeling that you aren’t expecting help because you haven’t asked for it. This is a time to recognize where your need to feel safe gets in the way of actually being secure.

LEO: You have been challenged since the spring to reimagine what your future looks like, based on constantly changing circumstances. It looks like the middle of the month finds you committing to some ideas and engaging with new goals. Things may need a few more revisions, so try to see your current instability as exciting rather than exhausting.

VIRGO: Hosting Venus in your sign is said to inexplicably boost your own attractiveness, as others are more attuned to those special Virgo qualities. Unfortunately, Venus is considered to be “in fall” in Virgo – meaning it’s more difficult for Venus to roll out the charm when she’s focused on rolling out the dog-eared pages of her favorite tomes. No matter though, ultimately this transit is about falling in love with yourself. Enjoy this creative time and don’t be too surprised if you end up with a new admirer or two.

LIBRA: Your ruler is making positive aspects to Jupiter, but still struggling to gain needed clarity on the situation at hand. If you’re looking for new beginnings in how you relate to the world, you may need to be willing to let go of some hereditary self-sabotaging habits that may be holding you back. Like finding a lost item, retracing your steps to the last time you found yourself in this situation can be really helpful.

SCORPIO: It’s your time of year, Scorps, and the blue moon on the 31st tunes everyone in to your ability to transform and grow. What may have seemed like a radical suggestion a few weeks ago is now accepted. Your partners are playing a huge role in this PR campaign, and at a time where affection is not easily expressed, it’s important to show your devotion through acts of respect. Humbling yourself now gets you and your partners on a new level for the upcoming year.

SAGITTARIUS: It can be difficult to commit to future plans when so much is changing around you all the time. The new moon on the 16th highlights the importance of your network and social alliances. If you want to be a professional wrestler, it may be worth it to get to know other professional wrestlers. Your friends can help keep you on track with your goals, even if you aren’t quite sure how the details will iron out.

CAPRICORN: Turning the page on an old career issue around the middle of the month allows you to create more time for creative pursuits at the end of the month. You may be surprised at how quickly the situation becomes “unstuck” – and with your ruler making helpful aspects to Mercury, you may also be surprised at how quickly you make progress with a skill, craft, or technique around holiday time at the end of October.

AQUARIUS: A full moon in your house of home is conjunct your modern ruler, Uranus at the end of the month. This electric, exciting energy can be full of fun surprises, or willful rebelliousness. Mars’ retrograde motion has been stressing the need to make changes in your career since August, and now you’re starting to see your actions gain momentum. Does someone at home feel energized by your progress, or left out of your process? With big changes approaching the way you deal with the world early next year, any losses now may be angling you for bigger and better situations in 2021.

PISCES: You’re naturally attuned to the supernatural, and with the veil thinning at our final cross quarter day of the year, some unexpected communications may find their way through the ether. With Mercury making a descent in to the underworld in your house of death, and Uranus camped out next to the full moon in your house of communication, I’d urge caution about what you’re calling in these days. But, as the wise and late astrologer/medium Donna Cunningham has said, “dying is like moving to a new school, except none of your friends write you anymore.” Maybe you have some important letters to write now, Pisces.