October MMXXI | A.W. Clovenhopf

Retrograde Mercury, in a vital retrieval mission to the underworld, squares up with Pluto on October first. So whatever we’ve come down here for remains elusive. Do we drink the cup on offer or risk upsetting the ruler of this barren hellscape by refusing? As we mull over our options, Venus embraces her nocturnal instincts and makes an encouraging aspect to Pluto. Mercury’s interaction with Jupiter on the third follows: understanding arrives, but the crass morning light does nothing for the optics of our situation. Pluto stations and heads in direct motion again October 2. It seems the rules of the games have changed. Do we have the proper resources to outfit ourselves for our new role? The glove fits, but tightly.

The new moon on the 6th continues a peculiarly Mercurial theme, as Mercury is at the table with the Sun, Mars and Moon. As much as the Libra Sun and Moon would wish for an easy time, Mars and Mercury together have some fighting words to share. Letting inflamed feelings take the wheel is an especially bad idea. Instead, let the resentments boil away under the Sun as Mercury and Mars move into its rays on the eighth and ninth. With both the Sun and Mars uncomfortable in peace loving Libra, making any unnecessary moves would be uncouth. Saturn begins its process of stationing and then moving direct on the 10th, drawing attention to what has transpired since May. Perhaps the discovery of limitations has moved us toward creative ways of coping. Perhaps we have struggled meaninglessly against our own well-trodden paths, refusing to change or blaming our bad luck. Saturn has no interest in excuses, and the direct motion movement reminds us that we each are responsible for our own situation. But we may find internal hurdles easier to clear now, and those projects begun with earnest effort begin to show signs of progress.

We stumble over the golden apple rolled into our path on October 10th with the culmination of the ongoing square between dwarf planet Eris and Pluto. They met recently, on August 27th, alerting us to an area of life in which we had perhaps taken something (or someone) for granted. If you feel tasked to compete in a game in whose outcome you have no stake whatsoever, refusing to play is absolutely an acceptable response.

The skies begin to lighten up a bit as benevolent Venus and Jupiter make helpful aspects to the Sun and Mercury on the 13th into the16th. On the 18th, the cavalry begins to arrive as Mars trines Jupiter and both Jupiter and Mercury station direct. Be firm about what you need now, chances are there’s some sucker out there willing to help you out. October 20 lights up with the full moon, late in the sign of Aries. Expect to have the feeling of dragging something out into the sunlight. Get a good look at it and realize that whatever you were afraid is not nearly so menacing in the cold light of day. Or perhaps you’ll find you haven’t honestly addressed your shortcomings and it’s actually quite terrifying and you should just throw that thing back in the basement. Eris is in Aries for a few more years and conjoins Chiron. If you aren’t ready to deal with them, rest assured, those demons will wait for you.

Mars may bite off more than he can chew with a square to Pluto on the 22nd. The interest now is to go deep, open to uncovering the Faultline in a project or relationship and become motivated to address it. With both planets in cardinal signs, resolution can happen quickly. It’s stability that suffers now. The Sun squaring off with Saturn and Mars moving into Scorpio signifies issues that are a bit more intractable or not quite ready for resolution. Stubbornly digging your heels won’t help, but looking inwardly to uncover what you’re trying to defend may clear your conscience as well as a route forward.

Have a Happy Halloween!


ARIES: The tricky thing about balance is how sometimes it means that someone has to go way out of their way to keep things in check. With the new moon in your house of relationships so close to Mars, there’s a feeling that you’re pushing back from being in a position of support. They may balk at the changes, but it’s best to be honest about your abilities.

TAURUS: You’re a very embodied sign, Bull. My best advice for you is to always make sure you’re in touch with whatever makes you feel connected to the Earth. With Chiron opposing the new moon and Mars, you need to be alert to ways you’ve adapted to feeling disassociated. Phantom aches and pains are pointing out what needs attention—make time for some extra stretches or actually use that yoga membership you’ve been sitting on.

GEMINI: Fun and romance and excitement all rolled into one mischievous package with the new moon in your house of joy. One bee in the bonnet though—challenger Mars isn’t going to let you escape unscathed. Do you feel like you have something to defend? Watch your temper around the 6th—even a wordsmith like you may not be able to talk yourself out of this one.

CANCER: Depending on your hemisphere, this is a great time for Spring/Fall cleaning. The moon in your cozy house of home and roots wants to get snuggled in for a long winter's nap—but Mars so near gives you the motivation to get those gutters cleaned, wash up the wool rugs and shine up your exoskeleton.

LEO: Your communication style can perhaps be a little overbearing sometimes, Leo. Think of how you feel sitting out in the sun on a 95 degree day—the relief that comes when a cloud provides a little shade overhead. With the new moon conjunct Mars and near communicative Mercury in your talky third house, you’ve definitely got something to say. Here’s the trick Sunny one – recognize when we need the clouds.

VIRGO: The new moon is in your house of assets, suggesting that you’ve got a golden ticket for setting up your financial life in a more solvent fashion. The caveat is Mars. You’re motivated, but may be struggling against the feeling that you’ve bought a new boat with a hole in the deck. With your ruler Mercury retrograde, do look the gift horse in the mouth, Virgo. Did you see the taxes on that thing?

LIBRA: Your normally peaceful demeanor gains an edge early this month. With grouchy Mars in your sign and your ruler Venus captivated by Scorpio, you may need to fight to get what you need. Scales are a mercantile tool. One of the great balms for many an ill is to be properly compensated for your efforts. Money doesn’t solve everything, but it sure feels great to get paid.

SCORPIO: Modern psychological jargon suggests holding on to vengeful thoughts is counter-productive to getting along in the world. We all have those people we’d love to come back and haunt for the next 6 generations, but with a new moon tied up with your ruler in your house of secrets, perhaps some ill-will is best exorcised in a healthy way early this month. Getting it out of your system before birthday season is a good call!

SAGITTARIUS: There’s a strange backwards dance happening between your ruler and Mercury at the time of the new moon. Both planets are headed retrograde after making a connection. Did someone new entering the scene draw your attention to an old issue that needed resolution? No time like the present to clear up some misunderstandings.

CAPRICORN: You’ve been patient, you’ve been appropriately manipulative, and finally, the galoots you work with are starting to get the picture. The new moon in your house of career bodes well for changes you’ve been itching for—just remember to disappear behind the scenes before they realize what happened and show up with pitchforks.

AQUARIUS: Your sign, lauded for its objectivity, can struggle if left without a birds eye view of a situation. The new moon on the 6th actively encourages you to get away from your situation for a while. Even if it’s just an afternoon, you need the sense of perspective afforded by distance.

PISCES: There’s a lot going on behind the scenes now, Pisces. The new moon is in your moss-covered eighth house, and your ruler is seated in your secluded twelfth. Nothing may be new in the outside world, but the inner one is bustling. Like mycelium taking over a lightning struck forest, things are on the move. Attunement to this process serves you best in silence, and in retreat.


ARIES: Your sign is known in astrological circles for your spirited disposition. In the ‘as above, so below’ arrangement, you have a tendency to attract (or jump head first into) circumstances that would make other, less plucky types shiver in their boots. The full moon in your sign on the 20th is calling for just this type of adventure, Aries. With a loose trine to affection planets Venus and Juno and squares to change agent Pluto, it might be a challenge in the realm of relationship that puts you to the test.

TAURUS: The full moon is very late in the sign of Aries, almost within the borders of your own kingdom. Events in your sleeping state are likely to make their way to your waking consciousness quickly. Attention to the symbols and keys presented therein serve your development, even if they make you feel a little stretched or challenged. Perhaps you need to be reminded that you are up to the task.

GEMINI: Ah, networking. The modern alliance, a nudge of the public opinion in your own favor. Feeling dubious when reaching out to others, or suspicious when others want to connect with us is natural. Healthy skepticism is encouraged, but the full moon says you have something to gain from widening your social network at the moment.

CANCER: You’re in the interesting position of hosting no planets in your sign during the October full moon. It doesn’t mean the event will pass you by unnoticed, but for once, you have an opportunity to see things with a sense of neutrality. With a lunar rulership, this is always a potent time for you. Use it well, some career developments need your impartial observation.

LEO: The chemistry between you and Aries is typically pretty good, when you’re on speaking terms. You’re both insufferable hot heads with hearts of gold. The full moon on the 20th reminds you to either not take it personally, or apologize when you’ve stepped out of line. The Sun and Mars moving so close together in your house of communication suggests energy is best spent getting vocal for a good cause or tackling some long overdue projects.

VIRGO: Often, when I’m writing horoscopes a song unheard for years comes back to me. In this instance, R.E.M.’s “The One I Love” came up and is oddly salient. A full moon in your uncomfortably close eighth house reeks of the struggles of codependency, boredom, and failing ourselves and those whom we are dependent upon. But also, the spark of renewal inherent in the drama and sticky emotional situations, as well as the passion that got us there in the first place.

LIBRA: Is it just me, or does it feel like your whole birthday season has been spent arguing with people? Sorry Libra, it just happens that way sometimes. At least Mercury is direct and now you can finally get the last word in… make sure it’s not some apologetic drivel over something you have every right to be upset about.

SCORPIO: Moving house? Invading a new human host? What’s going on here? Committed hearth keeper Vesta is holding it down smack dab in the middle of your sign, opposing radical mover and shaker Uranus. The full moon is busy with chores and the Sun is hiding from view in the house of confinement. Whatever you’re embarking upon, stay hydrated, this moon is a feisty one.

SAGITTARIUS: Partnership minded Juno is hosted by your sign, making a pleasant angle to the full moon in Aries and the Sun and Mars. You may find yourself unwittingly acting in a mediator role. It’s not that you don’t have better things to do with all that moxie, but you’re in the right place at the right time to do a good deed. Try to not hold it over their heads when they realize what a good pal you are.

CAPRICORN: The full moon in Aries blazes across your subterranean house of secrets and family histories. There’s a feeling of opening up the war chest and handing something off to a new generation for safe keeping. If you aren’t in touch with your community or family, reading about your ancestral heritage could hold new meaning for you.

AQUARIUS: Just because Saturn is your ruler doesn’t mean you don’t struggle with the planet’s lessons in your experience. Hosting Saturn in your own sign has perhaps made you aware of your limits in potentially frustrating ways. The idea is learning how to better direct your energies to engage more effectively with your work. With both Jupiter and Saturn heading direct now, and the full moon in your on-the-go third house, your recent challenges have hopefully given you some hard won confidence, if not a new direction.

PISCES: The Aries full moon puts you in an interesting position. You have a lot to gain, but the opportunity feels risky. An old alliance seems like they can be trusted, but something of your self-worth is also at stake. Tread carefully. Your wishes to see the best in others may be causing you to cast a blind eye to situations that require a little more reticence.