Written by Pam Younghans
Photo: Green comet 103P/Hartley 2 is approaching Earth for a close encounter on October 20, when it will be only 11 million miles from Earth. (Photo by Rolando Ligustri)
Of all the astrological signs, Libra is the one most known for working with relationship themes. And Saturn, of all the planets, is the one most often associated with karmic lessons.
With Saturn now fully ensconced in Libra, we've already been feeling the pressure over the past few weeks to look more realistically and seriously at our relationships. We've also been aware of the karmic elements of our current partnerships, both business and romantic. We may even have reconnected with people from our past, either from this lifetime or other lifetimes -- and in either the waking or the dream state.
This week, two more astrological events add to the focus on relationship issues: The New Moon in Libra on Thursday, and Venus' retrograde station on Friday.
The Sabian symbol for the 15th degree of Libra, the position of the New Moon, directs us to pay close attention to the cyclical pattern of our relationships. The symbol reads:
"Circular paths: Coming to terms with the inevitability of establishing steady rhythms of social activity."
It is a characteristic of karmic patterns that we tend to repeat our experiences of the past, but with the hope and intention that we will, this time, move beyond and rise above our habitual actions and reactions. Relationships are usually centerstage in these karmic dramas, since so much of what we are learning about while in physical form has to do with how we treat others and how we, in turn, treat ourselves.
This New Moon, like the beginning point of every lunar cycle, offers the opportunity to make a new beginning -- and, in this case, that new beginning may be a first step off a circular relationship path that has by now become repetitive and problematic.
Although Saturn is now about 6 degrees away from the Sun (the exact alignment was last Thursday, September 30), the ringed planet is still close enough to the luminaries to be considered "conjunct" in the chart for this New Moon. This means that the next two weeks are especially important in the development and/or resolution of karmic connections.
The current emphasis on relationships is echoed by the fact that Venus, the planet most associated with personal relationships, will come to a standstill this Friday and begin her six-week retrograde (backward-motion) phase. While Venus is retrograde, we will be especially aware of the need to review our personal relationship history, in an effort to discover why and how we've reached our present situations, whether positive or negative.
With Venus in Scorpio during the first four weeks of her retrograde phase, we will be asked to pay particular attention to our own and others' motivations when it comes to how we respond when provoked. Scorpio encourages honesty and a willingness to seek truth, whether or not that truth is comfortable to own.
Retrograde Venus will then re-enter Libra on November 7, reminding us that we need balance and harmony in our relationships, in addition to intimacy and honesty. Once Venus goes direct on November 18, we will have specific opportunities to put all that we have learned during her retrograde phase into practice.
On Friday of this week, we see even more clearly the importance of our ability to communicate with clarity. Mercury will align with Saturn on that day, making it apparent where our communication skills are less than stellar. We may even be able to see more clearly where we have been playing codependent roles, one of the hazards of Libra's strong need for harmony and peace.
On the positive side, an alignment between Mercury and Saturn in Libra can help us focus in on what is most important in the long term, as well as help us see what is needed to bring true harmony into our lives. It is a good time to set specific goals, especially those that will result in greater equality and fairness within our relationships.
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