Sunday, October 17, 2010

Astrological Influences October 18 to 24, 2010

Astrology Journal
Written by Pam Younghans
Photo: Ultraviolet image of the sun's southern hemisphere on October 16, showing a "vast filament of magnetism" (photo from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory)

The Moon grows into fullness this week -- our second Aries Full Moon of the year. It's not unheard of, but also not very common, to have two Full Moons in the same sign in a row. The lunar cycle is a little more than 29.5 days long, and there are only 30 degrees in each sign, which means the cycle must be lined up precisely for the twin lunation to occur.

But, here we have it: A Full Moon this Friday, in the last degree of Aries, on the heels of the Full Moon at 1 degree of Aries just four weeks ago. We must be needing an extra cup of courage now, and the universe is graciously supplying us with an additional shot of "Aries espresso."

Full Moons reflect the light of the Sun to planet Earth, creating light where there has been dark night and bringing something new into our awareness. Occurring when the Moon is opposite the Sun, they also call us to find a new balance between polarities.

When a Full Moon occurs in Aries, opposite the Sun in Libra, it invigorates our desire to take action, to move forward in some area of our lives -- but it also reminds us to be kind to our companions on the journey. With this lunation, we are called to be true to ourselves but also to be aware of the impact of our actions on those around us.

The Sabian symbol for the last degree of Aries seems to reinforce this theme of equal consideration for self and others:

"A duck pond and its brood: The realization of natural boundaries."

This image also brings us back to basics, reminding us to nurture the details of our lives even while we strive so diligently to gain the higher/spiritual perspective. In essence, this Full Moon is telling us to focus our intentions and energy, and to use "enlightened self-interest" -- the highest expression of Aries' naturally self-centered orientation -- in the management of our mundane worlds.

The directive to use the highest vibration of Aries' energy is echoed by this Full Moon being in the very last degree of the sign -- called a "critical degree" because it represents the culmination of the sign's lessons. With all the personal work we've done, this Full Moon is telling us it is high time to put our enlightened perspective into practice, to no longer fall prey to the ego's need for supremacy.

And, it's interesting to note that the Full Moons for the next four months -- in November, December, January and February -- are all at the last, "critical degree" of the sign. Reminds me of finals week in college...

If this is a test, at least the planets are helping us have our heads on straight for a change. Aspects to Mercury throughout the coming week support our ability to access both our intuitive and our instinctual knowing. And, with Mercury himself entering Scorpio on Wednesday and then sextiling Pluto on Friday, we may anticipate a greater ability to see and speak our truth.

The challenge, of course -- as with all things related to Scorpio/Pluto -- is to remember that words can be used to either empower or disempower. Emotional honesty can be cleansing, but it can also be brutal.

We may have assistance in being tactful while the Sun is still in conciliatory Libra, but on Saturday he follows Mercury into Scorpio. This means that all of astrology's inner planets -- the Sun, Mercury, Venus and Mars -- will be in this intense sign for about a week, until Mars enters Sagittarius on October 27.

As long as we're back at university, we may want to review our Basics of Scorpio book from Scorpio 101 to see more clearly our choices of action and attitude in the week ahead.

Scorpio tends to live by its instincts, and yet is also called to explore and be thoroughly honest about its own motivations. Scorpio learns through transformation, through experiencing the cycle of death and rebirth -- dying to the old so that the new may be born. Scorpio is intense, which can be either insightful or domineering. Scorpio is fearless, which can be either heroic or foolish. Scorpio has strong desires, which can translate into either determination or indulgence.

Scorpio is the only sign that has two animal symbols -- the scorpion and the eagle (or phoenix). Perhaps no other sign has as clear a choice between the light and the dark.

When the scorpion is threatened, he retreats further into the dark crevice of the rock. If still feeling unprotected and fearful, he will sting.

The eagle, when disturbed, flies high into the sky. From this vantage point, he gains the perspective that allows him to see both the light and the shadow, and to choose where he will go next.

The alternative second animal symbol for Scorpio, the phoenix, goes through the fires of transformation as a natural part of his life cycle. He accepts the process in faith, knowing that rebirth awaits.

These are our choices.

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