Retrograde Mercury re-enters Virgo on Oct 1. Although Virgo is a place of strength for Mercury, its retrograde transit can show an overwhelmed mind. It’s as if it were in Pisces. This is best used for creatively thinking outside the box, coupled with taking some practical steps.
Mars conjoins Mercury by Oct 9, as they both come into combustion by exact degree. This is a hot spot in the month, for better or worse. Combust planets challenge the outer significations of the planets, while intensifying their inner significations. Actions may fall flat, yet inner resolve and courage are increased in the process.
Imagining what lies outside any confinements is necessary in October, as Pluto, Saturn and Jupiter all station direct. These slow moving planets do not appear to move for most of the month. If you are unable to work with what is, whilst thinking outside the box, you may end up feeling frustrated at the slow pace.
The Sun enters Libra on Oct 17, placing our lights, the Sun and Jupiter, in their weakest places. The Sun is further challenged by moving into an aspect to Saturn. A powerful sense of restriction can either hinder or focus you. If you can focus all your energy on the task at hand, you can make the most of these otherwise frustrating transits.
Jupiter stations direct in Capricorn on Oct 18. This is a slow turnaround, a more hopeful approach by the end of November. But not necessarily before then. Remind yourself, it is always darkest before the dawn.
Mercury also stations direct on Oct 18, and the pace of life can begin to pick up again by the end of the month. This occurs near Mercury's degree of exaltation, and is a better indication for effective planning.
Mars moves into Libra on Oct 21, into a tense relationship to the restrictive Saturn. The mind may be full of anticipation due to Mercury's station direct, yet any actions require a lot of patience and perseverance.
Mercury re-enters Virgo Oct 1
Mercury and Mars are combust in Virgo. Mercury is exactly conjunct Mars Oct 9, just as they both come to their exact degree of combustion, i.e. the same degree as the Sun. This also happens to be the Cancer 9th division, reflecting an underlying weakness for Mars.
This is potentially very tense. Mercury and Mars can increase mental tensions and headaches. A volcano is an expression of this tension looking for an outlet. An angry outburst is our way of doing the same.
While Mercury is exalted in Virgo, its retrograde reverses some of its strengths. It's as if Mercury were in Pisces, its weakest position. You may experience this as overwhelm. The mind may find it difficult to process everything that has happened, while attempting to keep up with new input. At the same time, Mars' inclusion may feel as if something needs to be done - yesterday. It probably doesn't.
The period leading up to and around Oct 9 requires a lot of patience. This is especially the case if you are travelling or doing important business. While I am not one of those astrologers who suggests not doing anything, the problems begin when our minds are overwhelmed and we miss certain details.
Best to use this time to rework and review something that you can channel all your energy into. Try to get something as perfect as you can, while realizing that perfection is sometimes a ploy to procrastinate. Nothing wrong with that either.
Yet Mercury's retrograde in Virgo is not a time to do nothing (err), nor is it a time to overdo it - whatever you are doing.
Venus in Scorpio Oct 2 - 30
Venus is 'out of bounds' from Oct 10 until Dec 7. It moves out of bounds as it conjoins Ketu by exact degree, just as Mars, Mercury and the Sun all come into conjunction in Virgo. This is a complex few days.
Ketu conjunct Venus brings up issues from the past, filtered through the planet of love and value. It may cause issues with the people and things we value. Ketu brings endings, of course. The furlough scheme has just ended in the UK, for example, taking money away from already challenged individuals.
Venus transits the upcoming eclipse degree by Oct 18. Past financial dealings and relationships may create some complexities to deal with now. Venus-Ketu conjunctions bring a need to simplify life, but this may show many people having to simplify their lives when they don't want to, because of the lack of funds.
Ketu always asks us to go deeper. If you have challenges financially, it helps to be orientated to something else, beyond material wealth. Love connections are the same. If Ketu shows losses, then better to experience a loss of surface level relationships, in favour of deeper connections. If you cannot go deeper, we lose out. Time to value something more than the tangible things, it seems.
Venus itself is about to behave unusually for the rest of 2021. First, it moves 'out of bounds', which means it is transiting outside the bounds that we normally see planets transit within the zodiacal belt. Second, it will finish the year in retrograde motion, beginning in Capricorn and returning to Sagittarius. Lots of adjustments to be made, with each other, and in the economy.
This just happens to be the section of the zodiac which began the pandemic. Venus moving back and over this section of the zodiac by the end of the year suggests we will be doing the same, going back over this as we reevaluate what happened and how we must adjust, economically, and every which way.
We are already seeing the cues at fuel pumps, as Rahu continues to transit Venus' sign Taurus, and now Venus joins Ketu in the opposite sign Scorpio. This will likely see more adjustments before the Christmas period, as Venus enters Sagittarius in November and Capricorn in December.
For now, Venus in Scorpio is channeling Mars' energy and combustion, burning up its outer comforts and pleasures, in favour of a more deeper approach. And just like the lava flowing into the sea, releasing toxic gas, Venus moving into Scorpio conjunct Ketu, while Mars is combust and Mercury retrograde, we can see the potential release of toxic behaviour - in our personal relations and in countries interactions.
Toxic behaviour can also be removed, as Venus reminds us of what is truly valuable to us - many times after having removed that thing we may have taken for granted.
Rahu (Mean Node) in Krittika Oct 6, 2021 - Jun 14, 2022
Rahu moves lunar mansions and changes the flavour of its transit in Taurus in October. Krittika's flavour is bittersweet. It is sharp and soft. Actually, if we're being exact about it, as Krittika would like, its association with Venus and the Sun would show a sour and pungent taste! What do these tastes have in common? They get the juices flowing!
Krittika is ruled by the god of fire, Agni. This deity represents the inner and outer fires that help us digest, whether food stuff or ideas, anything really. Everything we take in must be digested properly, so it doesn't leave a residue. Okay, you can see where I'm going with this. Rahu takes on too much, not allowing us to fully digest the experience. This begins a period of huge transformation on the planet and in our personal lives. But it also brings up issues around processing stuff. Rahu gives an even bigger appetite, but an appetite for what? An appetite for destruction, perhaps.
A recent incident where a man pulled a knife at an altercation at a fuel pump in the UK did not go unnoticed. This is a symbolic act of Rahu moving into Krittika, in the sign Taurus, relating to resources, or the lack thereof. Other examples of this are the energy shortage, energy companies going out of business.
Themes of helping out the less fortunate are connected to Krittika. Rahu transiting here during the Live Aid concert in 1985 is a good example. We've just seen a worldwide concert, with the Global Citizen Live event around the world. What's interesting about Global Citizen Live is that it wasn't about raising money. It was about raising awareness. Perhaps a lesson has been learned since Live Aid!
The dark side of Rahu in Krittika is corruption, of using the energy and resources to your own advantage, while disadvantaging others. Rahu twists things, of course. It brings out the shadow side of philanthropy, revealing those who would take advantage of generosity.
The most obvious example was when money sent to Ethiopia for the famine was used by the country's president to buy weapons in a civil war. But you may not have heard of that. You will probably think about the Live Aid concert and Bob Geldof and think it solved the problem. It doesn't take a lot of searching to realize that is not what actually happened. According to Spin magazine, ''Live Aid had, through its missteps, exacerbated the already terrible humanitarian crisis.'' You can read an article here
The issues were not solved, because the real issue were not widely known throughout the world. It is Rahu's nature to deceive.
Fast-forward to 2021 and Rahu is up to its tricks again. The shadows find expression in even the most altruistic pursuits. In the context of the pandemic, and food or fuel supplies, one can only imagine the wheeling and dealing going on now that we will only find out about much later. We must also be open to manipulation of energy and resources, and the increased threat of war. Or, at the very least, the issue of 'vaccine apartheid', of fighting over resources.
There are other possibilities for Rahu in Krittika, of course. There can be huge personal transformations that collectively express itself as overcoming many problems in our lives. In the context of the pandemic, we could imagine that there are other solutions presented during this period. But we must also be mindful of its destructive tendencies. Usually, it's about using its sharp and destructive quality to help others. Usually, that is.
The symbols of a knife or blade is an obvious connotation of removing something. But Krittika is a bit of a double-edged sword. Likewise, fire can either burn or warm us. Krittika can do both. Rahu in Krittika can exaggerate and distort these tendencies.
Then there's the energy issues. Rahu blocks things. It may bring more blackouts, along shortages in energy, as the world continues to deal with supply chain issues. This may lead to further problems, maybe even wars, down the line, especially as Rahu moves into Aries and the first section of Krittika. Let's face it, if there's one thing that's guaranteed to start a war, it's a threat to resources.
Rahu in Krittika is a sort of catalyst, I imagine. Use it to your advantage, without taking advantage.
Pluto stations Direct Oct 6
The first of the slow moving planets, the slowest in fact, stations on Oct 6. But because Pluto is so slow, it doesn't appear to move in October. Pluto represents a mostly unconscious part of our being, so we probably won't even acknowledge the turnaround. But there it is, all the same.
Pluto represents deep, inner work of change through its retrograde motion. Its direct station points to further changes that must now take place in the world around us. More change, you ask?! Life is change. Without change, we do not live. Without letting go of the way things were, we cannot live fully, at any rate.
Pluto is finally about to move out of the first degree of Capricorn. The beginning of the changes we must make on the planet can now, well, begin! The big changes in the systems that structure our lives will eventually lead to a need to make some inner adjustments.
For now, Pluto's station heralds big shake ups in the world around us. When we add Ketu's transit and the upcoming eclipse in Scorpio (a sign Pluto is said to rule in modern astrology), we can see even more potential for sweeping changes in the coming months.
New Moon in Virgo (Hasta) Oct 6
The new Moon in Hasta and Virgo is exactly conjunct Mars, with Mercury coming into an exact conjunction with Mars in the coming days. This is a very precise reset, a major adjustment that could cause impatience and frustrations if things don't line up as wanted.
The theme of Hasta is that of creating something, of making something happen. It is ruled by Savitur, the Sun god, particularly the rising Sun. The Gayatri mantra is connected to Hasta, which is ideally recited during sunrise, facing east, pouring water into one's hand and onto the Earth, as one greets the new day and the illumination the Sun provides.
Here is a video posted on YouTube by P.V.R. Narasimha Rao on the a simple ritual for those feeling stuck in life, called Tarpana:
In the video, he describes how to pour water from your hand in honour of your ancestors. This new Moon is the end of the fortnight of the ancestors, and a good time for the new Moon in Hasta to pay your final respects, to ask those who have gone before you to clear a path to what you wish to achieve.
This new lunar month has a lot going on for it. Mercury's station in Virgo subsequently shows a great time for planning and doing things very effectively and efficiently. The downside is being overly focused on the details, 'not seeing the wood for the trees'.
This could lead to frustrations, as the slower moving planets appear to slow down and stop. We can use this time to slow down and stop ourselves, hold up a hand and say, 'enough is enough'. It's time for something else.
Saturn stations Direct Oct 11
Saturn is the second slow planet to station direct, slowing changing direction as we do that same. Saturn represents our long term plans about big societal issues. When it stations, things can feel on hold. Yet there is a big difference between when it stationed to go retrograde and now as it prepares to move forward: we get more of a sense of how we can begin to move ahead.
It may take a few weeks to be able to move forward with these plans, but at least we are looking in the right direction.
The problem with this Saturn station is that the degree it appears to stop moving is 12 degrees of Capricorn, which is the Aries 9th division. This means that both Mars and Saturn are both weak, in a way. They don't have an underlying support. This is particularly challenging for Saturn which stations for the month at this degree. It will not move to the Taurus division of Capricorn until the first week of November.
We're seeing this play out in volcanoes, supports faltering and a general sense of instability around the world.
It takes Saturn nearly 9 months to go through its retrograde and shadow phases, pointing to the time it takes for human life to form in the womb. We are constantly re-creating ourselves, throughout our lives. We're not just born, and that's it. We are always a work in progress.
Saturn will not move past the point at which it began to move back until Jan 2022. At that point, things can move forward more in terms of long terms plans that turn a corner now. It's a slow turn around, so be patient with whatever you are re-creating in your life, in relation to the signs Capricorn and Aquarius.
Generally, this means a new direction in work-related themes and big business, including banking and governments, and changes in society and communities, in grass roots movements.
Sun in Libra Oct 16 - Nov 16
The Sun squares Saturn by exact degree on Saturday Oct 30. This might be a bit of a horror story (err, sorry).
Seriously, though, Sun-Saturn connections, especially squares, show tensions; between the masses and leaders, our sense of confidence and doubts about what we are doing. Add Mars' combustion and square to Saturn, and you can see why I've been eyeing this period as one of the more tense and volatile of the year. Mars will square Saturn in the first week of November.
Okay, it could be very easy to get all pessimistic about these transits. They are certainly tense. But you could use the added tension in your life to focus all your energy and will to get things done. You could muster all your reserves to focus and acheive a great deal. If, on the other hand, you try to plough ahead mindlessly, ignoring the limitations, you are likely to create problems.
Best to focus your energy and will power to make something happen. If you scatter your attention, it will be a wasted opportunity. And while it may not feel like there are as many, if any, opportunities at this time, it is the work you do now that leads to the opportunity later that you can focus on. Saturn is the foundation. Before the foundation is put in, you must clear the way.
The Sun is not only in a square to Saturn, of course, it is debilitated. It is the weakest time of year in many ways. The Sun is weak in Libra because it is about the other, not about the self. It's about the customer. And the customer always seems to be right, even when they're not! This poses a problem for the Sun, which reflects our connection to ourselves, and through that connection, to one another. Problem is, when we are more concerned about others, we cannot connect with ourselves to be able to truly connect with others.
In other words, if you are focusing only on what others want, and not at all on what you need, you cannot be of any real help to others.
You have to be selfish enough to connect with your own being, before you can express the altruism the Sun in Libra suggests. As OSHO is quoted as saying, ''True altruism begins with selfishness''.
So, be selfish enough so you can help others. And by helping others, you help yourself.
Let's be real though, this is not an easy transit, especially if you have Leo rising or Moon sign. Watch a video I made on the Sun's strengths by sign and how to mitigate its weakness in Libra below.
Jupiter stations Direct Oct 18
Jupiter is the last slow planet to station in Capricorn, and although this is a welcomed turnaround and new direction, it is bogged down in uncertainty in Capricorn until the end of November.
At least Jupiter is facing the right direction. It's just it will take time to get there. It's as if we've been going the wrong direction on this particular ship, due to stormy weather which threw us off course, and now we can see how far wrong we have gone. At least we can see where we need to be. It's now a case of turning this ship around and getting on with it.
Jupiter will clear the point at which it began to retreat at the same time Saturn makes it past its shadow, in Jan 2022. This means that the New Year points to much more progress than we experience in October. But it starts here.
Jupiter's return to direct motion takes away one of its mitigating factors while in Capricorn, its sign of debilitation. This means that Jupiter no longer feels like it is in Cancer. It's very much bogged down in the reality of the situation in Capricorn. This may means further restriction, even if its only in our minds.
By being real, by restricting ourselves in more positive way, we can negotiate with this turnaround. Some things may feel as if they can move forward, while it may become more obvious which things must now be dropped.
One of the things we need to drop is a sense of dread. By cutting loose the anchor that's been chocking us all for the past year and a half, we can finally breathe deep and release what we need to.
October may feel as if we are holding our breath, in preparation for the release that comes in November and beyond.
Mercury stations Direct Oct 18
Mercury stations along with Jupiter on Oct 18. This lends itself to a sense of heightened anticipation, a sense of what is possible.
Mercury's station feels exciting, or perhaps unnerving. This is especially because of Mars' combustion and conjunction. Excitement and fear are two sides of the same coin, anyway, I guess. It just depends on which you identify with.
By the time Mercury moves past the point it began to retreat, by the first week of November, it will come into another exact conjunction with Mars, both in a square to Saturn. This could be very frustrating, in terms of more immediate desires and plans.
If you can focus all your energy at completing something now, you may be able to assuage much of the angst this suggests in November. Use the Mercury turnaround to plan; certainly, but be mindful of the upcoming road block. Or perhaps, the narrowing of focus. Use this narrowing of focused to get it done.
The good news is that Mercury is stationing very near its degree of exaltation, at 16 degrees of Virgo. This is a powerful time for planning and scheduling, of improving our lot. This will be more apparent by the end of the month, after a period of frustration at trying out other things that may just not work out.
Things can now be planned and more productive, more effective, more direct.
Full Moon in Aries (Aśvinī ) Oct 20
A full Moon in Aries is a time to find ourselves again, to find balance between our wishes and those of others. This highlights the ongoing contrast between our own needs and those of the many.
With the full Moon conjoined Uranus in Aries, squaring Saturn et al in Capricorn, we are continually reminded that anything wish to do must adhere to a the rulebook. We can break the rules, of course, but we'll soon be reminded of what happens when we do.
Mars is hanging out between signs for this full Moon, between Virgo and Libra, in Chitra lunar mansion. This shows a need to say precisely what we need to say, and do precisely what we need to do, while acknowledging that others have their needs too.
The full Moon in Aśvinī is a culmination point in the month. Once we have finished something, we can begin something else. It's just that with the Sun moving towards its degree of debilitation in the following days, we may feel less confident about what we are doing. And yet, there it is. We must still do what we have to.
Mercury has just stationed direct along with Jupiter, after Pluto and Saturn have stationed, so this full Moon feels as if things can begin to move forward. While it may not feel like the confident first steps back to freedom, it is certainly a return to a move in the right direction.
Aśvinī is all about taking swift action. It represents healing. Sometimes, it shows impulsive actions which can cause other problems. If you get a strong intuitive nudge in the right direction, heed it. Take the appropriate steps. Make sure you have a clear nudge before you take off, as it can just as easily show a mistake. Of course, there are no mistakes from another vantage point, only bigger lessons.
But don't worry about it, as you will learn from your mistakes and missteps. If you fail, get up again, and try again, and again. That is how Saturn ultimately builds confidence. We just keep going, chipping away at the masterpiece that is our lives.
The full Moon is a more expressive time of the month, further emphasized by its position in Mars' sign, Aries. The energy seeks an outlet. With Mars in combustion and Uranus conjunct the full Moon, the energy might be hard to contain, although that is exactly the issue, i.e. Saturn's square aspect.
If we can find a place for expression and freedom, and movement, while adhering to the rules, the restrictions, we can find a place for all of it, including this full Moon.
Mars in Libra Oct 21 - Dec 4
Mars is combust as it moves from a place it was not comfortable in to another place it is not as comfortable. But at least Mars and Venus are neutral to each other, as opposed to Mars' inimical relationship to Mercury.
Mars and Mercury are the big theme of October, and into November, as they must again in Libra. Mars and Mercury do things very differently. Mars gets frustrated with Mercury when it cannot just do it, while Mercury feels bullied by Mars.
Mars in Libra may be a better time to play with opponents, to find more balance, but it is not necessarily a time for peaceful negotiation. Perhaps it's a time for more direct negotiations, to get something done. The good news is that Mars and Venus are willing to negotiate this time, as Mars is in Venus' sign and Venus is in Mars' sign - at least until Venus moves on Oct 30.
This means there is some give and take involved, of course. But at least there is some cooperation. Whatever you wish to do, there is the ability to compromise to get it done. A
The problem: Mars is now moving into a tense relationship to Saturn, and an opposition with Uranus. This has been the biggest themes of the year. Mars' involvement with the planet of the status quo (Saturn) and the planet of unexpected change (Uranus) shows more volatile change.
I can imagine this spilling out onto the streets in protest, and lava spills from volcanoes, marking the land. Mars-Uranus connections are unexpected. Mars-Saturn connections are simply unwanted.
But we can all work with what comes up unexpectedly, while using whatever is unwanted to anchor us in what is real and true. And in doing so, we can keep an even keel.
Venus enters Sagittarius Oct 30
Venus finishes the month by entering Sagittarius. This is the first of two entries into the sign, as Venus will retrograde and return to Sagittarius by Dec 30.
Venus is all about the nice things in life. Sagittarius is all about the meaningful things in life. Venus in Sagittarius, with Jupiter debilitated, shows a sense of lack right now and into November.
By the time Venus makes it back to Sagittarius by the end of December, Jupiter will have moved into Aquarius, showing other possibilities, but also the need for a lot of adjustments. This is likely the case in the economy, after a festive period where many question what is important, once the things we thought were important are challenged.
The economy is going through some major adjustments in the coming months, it seems. If we are mindful of this now, we can mitigate any negative repercussions as much as possible. Practically, we can make arrangements.
Venus will move over the degree it will move back to in the New Year by mid-November. After this point, we may see some more obvious expressions of what this Venus retrograde points to; that is, a need to reevaluate the things we value, and how what we values adds to meaning and purpose.
And when the things we currently value, be it a thing or a person, is limited, we are often given no choice but to look for something else, something less tangible.
Halloween Oct 31
There's a bit of a horror story forming in the heavens, which is likely to create many a horror story on the planet. More horror, I hear you ask? How could that be?!
Well, we still have the ongoing background menacing music of the Pluto-Saturn conjunction filling us with a dreadful anticipation. Then there's the sudden clash of Uranus in Aries keeping us on our toes. It's what makes horror movies so freaking scary! Then, Mars and the Sun square Saturn and Pluto, making it feel like we have no choice but to go into that very scary looking house up on the hill!
Hmm. Maybe there are some nice people who will help me find my way home? Not at home? Maybe they're in the basement!
We need direction now more than ever, as Jupiter transits Capricorn, but are we going to find what we want in the basement? I think not. But at least we learn a valuable lesson.
Before you make it to the house at all, you've slipped in the mud. It all adds to the horror, right? You're now covered in mud, and it's raining. Then, in the darkness, suddenly, a flash of lightening - illuminating a dark figure to your left. Yikes!
You run to the house for help, the very place you probably shouldn't be running towards, to get away from a figure you haven't actually confirmed to be the bad guy. You know how the rest of the story goes: The dark figure was there to help. The people in the house, or maybe even the house itself, is out to get you!
Welcome to the horror story that is 2021, or as it was titled for its cinema release:
2020 Part 2!
Join me at the Astrological Association 53rd Annual Conference in the UK on Oct 30 at 3pm BST. The theme of this year’s conference is ‘Potions for the Future’.
I will present a talk titled, ‘An East-West Integrative Approach’.
In an era when Western and Eastern astrological traditions seem to be pitted against each other, their zodiac calculations seemingly at odds, using both systems, in some ways, can be an antidote to the divisiveness – and a more potent blend to boot.
You can join the talk online as this is a hybrid conference; both a residential and an online conference simultaneously.
If you cannot make it, I hope to be able to share the talk with you as a patron at some point.
As always, I wish you the very best of what the month has to offer.
OM TAT SAT
All calculations are based on the sidereal zodiac and UTC.