NOTE: In this early edition of my monthly forecasts, I was drawing inspiration directly from Austin Coppock’s book 36 Faces which covers the topic of decans. For more in depth understanding of the decans and how they are used in astrological interpretation, please visit http://austincoppock.com .
Note: In our solar system, the Sun is the central point around which the planets orbit. From the Earth perspective, we cannot survive without sunlight; it is the light that nourishes our bodies, and the spotlight under which we act out our entire lives. Given the Sun's importance, we've learned to articulate time around its trends. The Spring Equinox, Summer Solstice, Fall Equinox, and Winter Solstice all relate back to the felt shifts of shining brilliance the Sun shares with us in this lonely universe. And so it is from Earth's perspective that I write these astrological forecasts in time with the Sun's journey through the tropical zodiac.
On September 22nd, the Sun enters Libra, casting equal parts darkness and light all around the globe. This is one of the equinox points. These noticeable demarcations of light coincide with two halves of the tropical zodiac - Libra to Pisces and Aries to Virgo. Libra's half of the zodiac includes the two Saturnian signs, Capricorn and Aquarius, while the half belonging to Aries includes the luminaries' signs, Cancer and Leo. As such, there is a distinct weight that falls on Libra's side of the zodiac. Appropriately, the sign of the scales guides us into this collective shift by showing us how to strike a balance between internal and external / embodiment and spirit.
Libra is a cardinal air sign ruled by Venus. Venus loves to unify, beautify, and indulge in pleasure. As expressed through air, we can imagine Aphrodite going out to many parties, engaging in love affairs, and enjoying the mental elements of flirtation. Because of the air element, this is a notably social sign, and there is a desire to be in conversation with others. As a result, Libra ends up taking on a lot of other people's ideas and desires - oftentimes in such a way that limits Libra's ability to identify ideas of its own. In Libra, there is a lesson about the value in speaking out for one's personal beliefs in order to attract a crowd of like-minds. This can cause conflict and disharmony, but that is the nature of balance - it is only in the rarest of moments that scales are actually still. This is the complexity of Libra's social responsibility - learning when to stand back versus standing up: the nuances of social grace as balanced with vulnerable expression.
As Venus tours through Scorpio, slows down, and turns retrograde, Libra season becomes the platform for Venus' lessons to come through. Mixing the nature of Libra with Scorpio, we get to peek into the underlying nature of social engagements. Strategy, defense, and separation come through as a means to re-balance ourselves, re-connect to our personal truths, and re-align our social energy. This is a season of death and regeneration as a source of nourishment and an expression of love.
Sep 23 - Oct 3 | Libra 1 | Light Births Shadow
Following the Sun's entrance into the first decan of Libra, we are met with a confrontational energy. Several planets see a square to Saturn in Capricorn, highlighting structures and obstacles, both social and physical, that force us to re-route. The first of these squares is from Mercury in Libra.
Mercury squares Saturn on September 23rd at 12:45 PM ET.
Mercury-Saturn contacts embrace definition and boundaries - there is a need to distinguish A from B. In a square pattern from Libra to Capricorn, there is an issue of moral approach. Saturn in Capricorn leans towards conservative, tried and true, long-standing approaches without concern for feelings. Mercury in Libra sees shortcuts by speaking with sweetness, harmonizing with the environment in order to move in a desired direction. As these two planets confront each other, we begin to identify potential structural ignorances - either too sweet or too harsh - that don't account for a holistic perspective.
My advice is to use Mercury’s intellect to parse out these cracks in the system, and then use Saturn’s strength in building foundations to make plans for change. It seems this is one of our first calls to reflect on societal and interpersonal compositions.
On the same day, September 23rd at 9:29 PM ET, Mercury in Libra sees a trine to Mars in Aquarius.
Mercury's trine to Mars activates the mental quality. Both Libra and Aquarius enjoy ideas, and both Mercury and Mars enjoy breaking things down in order to make them better. This can present itself in a number of ways. For some, there can be a strategic quality - identifying issues and creating defense/offense plans for improved functionality. For others, there can be an aggression that comes through - a desire to share ideals and beliefs as a form of activism: the act of giving someone a piece of your mind. In whatever way this comes through, it will likely be in response to whatever was illuminated with Mercury's earlier contact to Saturn.
On September 24th, a full moon occurs in Aries at 10:52 PM ET. This lunation is conjoined a retrograding Chiron in Aries, opposite Mercury in Libra, and square to Saturn in Capricorn.
There is a lot of tension here, which comes from Saturn in Capricorn square to the Moon and Chiron in Aries and Sun and Mercury in Libra. The Moon's contact to Chiron illuminates a feeling of self-doubt or uncertainty about identity. In opposition to the Libra Sun and Mercury, we feel pulled back and forth between who we really are and who people want us to be. With Saturn in the middle, squaring both parties, we ask ourselves, "What is the responsible thing to do?" For some of us, this may relate to a long-term goal we have. For others, this could call on us to review issues in relationships. Ultimately, the stress of indecision can lead to impulsive behavior which likely won't turn out for the best. Instead, try to make space to pause and reflect. Mercury has been heavily involved in this lunar cycle, so it will be wise to lean towards articulation and thoughtful actions. Overall, this is a good lunation for self-discovery, solo endeavors, and making plans.
The Sun's square to Saturn is exact on the following day, September 25th at 7:50 PM ET.
This can cast some low energy on the day, as the moon begins to lose light and the Sun confronts restrictive Saturn. The two luminaries are our life force, so when they are both feeling dark, our world gets a little darker too. Despite popular consciousness, darkness and shadow are not innately bad. Close your eyes and imagine something wonderful - it isn't as easy to do that with your eyes wide open and the light shining in. So take the opportunity of the Sun-Saturn contact to let light die a little, as you use your inner wisdom to feel into the tectonic shifts that Saturn has been working on.
Chiron re-enters Pisces on the same day at 8:10 PM ET.
Chiron's ingress into Pisces adds to the darkness of the day. The wounded healer reminds us of the emotionality that exists within; the depth and grandeur of feeling. It can be a lot to handle on the same day as the Sun-Saturn square, but it can also be uplifting if we let it be. There is potential to drown, there is potential to float. It all depends on how you choose to move in the oceanic space of shadow.
Mars in Aquarius conjoins the South Node at 1:17 AM ET on September 26th.
Throughout Mars' retrograde cycle, the red planet has been conjoining the South Node, activating old energy patterns and igniting us to question what is worth letting go and holding onto. The conjunction on September 26th is its last conjunction for a while. This may finalize some of the activity that came up throughout the retrograde cycle as well as the eclipse season. If you've been letting go of old behaviors in order to make space, this may mark a moment of the final goodbye.
To add, on the following day, both luminaries make contact with Mars. First, the Moon squares Mars and the nodal axis, and conjoins Uranus in Taurus. The lunar involvement widens our scope of understanding and awakens insight into what has been going on since the summertime. Then the Sun in Libra sees a trine to Mars in Aquarius. The Sun-Mars contact is a heated one, and in air signs this can lead to heated conversation. The Sun-Mars trine can also indicate a spark of activism and a brighter sense of vitality in social settings. Overall, we may be feeling re-awakened to the passion felt during the summer, and a new sense of belonging/stability in whatever shifts may have occurred since then.
On September 30th, Pluto turns direct at 10:03 PM ET.
Pluto is the furthest planet from the Sun, and the slowest moving one. What occurs during Pluto's transits in a sign are sometime too big to really understand in the present moment. Oftentimes, it isn't until we look back on a certain zodiacal transit that we really learn the bottom line of Pluto's journey through that sign. That said, whenever Pluto stations direct or retrograde, its message momentarily bubbles up from the depths of the underworld so that we may be clued into its ongoing lesson. Take note of where Pluto is in your chart, and meditate on that placement on Sep 30.
The Last Quarter Moon in Cancer occurs on October 2nd at 5:45 AM ET. At this time, the Moon trines Venus in Scorpio and Neptune in Pisces.
Unlike the earlier lunations in this lunar cycle, the last quarter moon softens us and gives us some space to nurture ourselves. This is a good opportunity to lean into trusted self-care practices, cozy environments, and imaginative emotional expansion. This could also be a good opportunity to feel into the nature of Venus in Scorpio and the upcoming retrograde - what energy is presented on this day? What feels beautiful, what feels loving? Why?
Later in the evening, Mercury in Libra squares Pluto in Capricorn and the Moon in Cancer. Though T-squares are tense, there is still a softness in the depths of the energetic bind we find ourselves in. Pluto in Capricorn elicits shadow work, underworld exploration. With contact to both Mercury and the Moon, this gives us a really broad sense of awareness - both intellectually and emotionally. We get to feel into the undercurrents of situations, of ourselves, of our environments, and of our relationships. It can be a lot to process, but we have the bandwidth for it. If you can work through the potential fear that comes up with darkness, you are likely to find some diamonds in the rough.
Oct 3 - Oct 13 | Libra 2 | The Beauty of Bruising
The Sun’s move into the second decan of Libra spotlights Venus’ message for this retrograde period. The love planet turns retrograde, sees several aspects, and draws our consciousness towards the death-rebirth phase of Venus’ cycle. Now is a time to turn inward, and reflect on what needs to be released in order for love and beauty to be renewed.
On October 5th at 3:04 PM ET, Venus stations and turns retrograde in Scorpio.
Venus retrogrades takes beauty, desire, and love, and turns them inside out for us to learn more deeply about the core of these sweet fruits. Venus is typically felt or embodied, so the lessons often come in the form of misguided make-up routines, low self-confidence, challenging relationships, and excessive lust for hedonistic joys. In these lessons, we come to an insight that has less to do with the superficial expression and more to do with a deep reframing of what it means to really value our selves and others in our lives.
As Venus turns retrograde on October 5th, we feel the first heavy hit of Venus’ lesson. In Scorpio, this likely has to do with the underpinnings of our relationships - the unspoken promises, the secrets, the invisible energy dynamics, and the fears that can hold us back. There is something primordial and grotesque about it, wild and savage. We get to work with the blood and guts that spill out as we dissect the body of our social selves. It can be engaging work, but it can also be a lot to handle if that isn’t your sort of thing. The most important message for this retrograde is this: When in doubt, love. Behave kindly with the grotesque - we all have ugly things inside of us; it doesn’t mean that those things don’t deserve nurture and love.
On the following day, October 6th, the Moon in Virgo sees a sextile to Venus in Scorpio, which helps us download these first impressions into a visceral experience. Take note of what or who comes up, and attempt to address these insights with the calm of a loving surgeon.
On October 8th a New Moon in Libra is planted at 11:46 PM ET. This new moon applies to a square with Pluto in Capricorn and a trine with Mars in Aquarius.
The new moon plants a new intention for us. It is guided by the recently retrograde Venus, whose mission is to helps us deep dive. The square to Pluto and the trine to Mars accentuates the separative qualities of Venus’ surgical endeavors. This a defensive space for the moon - an energy best used for reflection, research, and solitude. Though the qualities of Capricorn, Libra, and Aquarius may ask us to get social, we won’t feel very safe in settings that require us to be on our best behavior. Instead, it’s best to keep a distance from anyone you might not want to make a bad impression on, and spend time in spaces where you feel free to be raw. Consider this to be an ongoing energetic that grows into a source of insight and social awareness later at the time of the Taurus Full Moon.
Mercury enters Scorpio at 8:40 PM ET on October 9th.
Mercury’s entrance into Scorpio helps us intellectualize the Venus retrograde. Now it is time to talk it out. Words can be cutting and sharp in this Mars-ruled sign, so be careful to apply your insight only to objective research and not to your self or others who you don’t want to harm. This could be an opportune time for meditation, journaling, and sharing reflections with an outside party (eg, going to a therapist).
Adding some flair to Mercury’s entrance is a Mercury-Moon conjunction at 00:35 AM ET on October 10th. This conjunction adds depth of feeling to the sharpness in Mercury’s insights. This can help us feel into awakenings, but it can also add that much more weight onto harsh words.
The following day, October 10th, Mercury in Scorpio sees an opposition to Uranus in Taurus at 1:35 PM ET and the Moon in Scorpio conjoins Venus in Scorpio at 6:15 PM ET. Later that evening, Venus in Scorpio sees a square to Mars in Aquarius at 10:28 PM ET.
The 10th of October is a day to watch for. The activity of our two most perceptive planets - Mercury and the Moon - will give us a lot of awareness around Venus’ significations and how this might play out in our lives over the next several months. Mercury opposite Uranus speaks to sudden downloads, a shift in perspective, a change of opinion. With Uranus in Taurus, another Venus ruled sign, the shifts and shocks that Mercury is downloading come in support of Venus’ intentions. With the Moon conjunct Venus, these new shifts are made very obvious and more potent. We not only are rationally aware, but we are emotionally aware as well.
Adding some punch and spice to the reversal/awakening is the Venus-Mars contact. Venus and Mars generally foster charismatic engagement: an adventurous sense of pleasure, extraversion, and willingness to be a little brash in order to get a loving message across. But with Venus in retrograde, there is something harsh and menacing about these mixtures. Venus can become a little overbearing; the love can be suffocating. Mars can be too intense, coming down too hard with moves that hurt.
Altogether, this a day for watching what occurs and not acting on an impulse. Reflective conversation and intentional awareness practice can all be of use in order to cool down some of the electricity and fire that may come through.
On October 12th at 00:10 AM ET, the Sun in Libra squares Pluto in Capricorn. On the same day, Mercury in Scorpio sextiles Saturn in Capricorn at 4:19 AM ET.
The Sun-Pluto square speaks to the ongoing review of societal or relational structures that could be holding us back. This is an uncomfortable energy - how can I be authentically my self while also fitting into society? Does society need to change to fit around me? What is fair? With the Mercury-Saturn sextile, we are given an opportunity to make space for these reflections to come through in a meaningful environment. It would be wise to go to a safe space where you can share or write ideas openly.
Oct 13 - Oct 23 | Libra 3 | The Gaze of Orpheus
The Sun’s entrance into the third decan of Libra notably focuses on the Mercurial element. Nearly all of the major aspects during this portion of the Sun’s journey involve Mercury. This means that conversation, introspection, writing, commerce, and all other Mercury-related topics play a large role in the way we experience the end of Libra season and this first portion of Venus’ retrograde.
On October 15th Mercury conjoins Venus in Scorpio at 4:20 PM ET.
Venus and Mercury contacts often inspire poetry and technical beauty. In Scorpio, there is a willingness to uncover mystery. And with the retrograde Venus, it seems as though what is uncovered may relate to the root of what’s at stake in Venus’ underworld journey. With the hidden nature of Scorpio, and the challenges presented with Venus retrograde, there is potential for secrets to come out - letting the cat out of the bag, either accidentally or with malcontent. There could also be an important discussion that comes up around values and trust, in which bear-all conversation leads to a peak of awareness.
The following day, October 16th at 2:01 PM ET, the First Quarter Moon in Capricorn illuminates our current standing in this Venus retrograde.
The Capricorn first quarter moon further heightens awareness by identifying how our work in the Venus retrograde fits into the grander scheme of things. We get a sense of sobriety - drawing ourselves up from internal/external debate to see if there is anything we’ve forgotten about during our deep dives. It’s possible we’ve become overly consumed with a certain idea that has led us nowhere. It’s also possible that we are exactly where we need to be in the investigative process, and something additional helps us recognize this.
On October 19th, Mercury in Scorpio sees a trine to Neptune in Pisces at 5:47 AM ET.
The depth-work of this Libra season can leave us feeling heavy and burdened, so it is a relief to experience the lightening nature of Neptune wash over Mercury’s scowl. We are able to escape from some of the investigation, to drift for a moment. We can utilize this energy to analyze dreams and see into the signs that our universe often shares with us (and that we often ignore). Just be careful - sometimes with Mercury-Neptune there can be a bias to see everything as meaningful, and even the most innocent of actions can become seeds for nightmares if we let our analysis go overboard in the realm of Neptune’s fog.
On the same day, Mercury in Scorpio squares Mars in Aquarius at 1:23 PM ET.
Mercury’s square to Mars following it’s trine to Neptune can be a rude awakening to the sleepy safety of the morning. Again, it is possible that a simple misunderstanding can be blown out of proportion - accusations and other cutting words can destroy the hard work that has been invested in the Venus retrograde. Instead, when in doubt - feeling uncertain, find some space to clear your mind. This is another day best used for solo-endeavors, dreaming, and not anything too serious in social situations. If you must engage with others in a way that makes you feel combative, try to pause with a breath and make sure that you won’t mind ruining something just to make your statement.
On October 22nd, Mercury sextiles Pluto at 3:13 PM ET.
As we come to a close in Libra Season, we have an opportunity to review some of the depth work we’ve been through. This is a moment to sit and reflect before the Sun enters Scorpio, to allow thoughts and feelings to flow through us in preparation for the light of the Sun to traverse the dark space of our psyches.