Know Better

I did then what I knew how to do.

Now that I know better, I do better.

-Maya Angelou

I’m writing this blog post at 3 p.m. on the day of the 2018 Midterm Elections in the United States, without knowing the outcome of this volatile political season. I wanted to write this first, to try to unpack the changes in the cosmic scenery during this Scorpio New Moon (exact at 11:02 a.m. on Wednesday, November 7), without trying to integrate that astrology with the headlines that will start rolling in after polls close tonight.

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Old Town Hill, Newbury, MA

The message is clear; we need to restore our vitality, to practice a higher standard of care for ourselves and our neighbors. The world is depleted, and this planetary shift signals a need for spiritual healing and repairing our ideals. Let’s look at some important themes in the sky, focusing on 4 big aspects that will be affecting us immediately.

  • Jupiter enters Sagittarius on November 9
  • Uranus retrograde re-enters Aries on November 6
  • Nodes of the Moon shift signs on November 15
  • Venus stations direct; Mercury stations retrograde on November 16

Jupiter’s entry into Sagittarius fires up the heat in our expansive side– bringing with it the potential for renewed enthusiasm and the expression of pent-up energy, like the wild horse finally being let out of confinement to run free. While Jupiter transited the deep waters of Scorpio (since October 2017), the penetrating and scrutinizing nature of Scorpio has been blown up by Jupiter’s enhancing effect, creating a mood of suspicion, with complex emotional motivations coming to the surface in extreme ways. It was necessary for us to purge secrets hidden in our unconscious– heavy, serious stuff we didn’t want to deal with before. And Scorpio gave us the depth to deal. Now we’ll begin to feel a need to stretch, to move beyond what we’ve been wrestling with for so long, to let the brightness of Sagittarius warm the shadowy areas we’ve been prodding through.

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Old Town Hill, Newbury, MA

Jupiter is the planetary ruler of Sagittarius– so this is a strong energy to harness in your own life. Dreaming up your future, traveling, learning from foreign people, moving beyond what is familiar, experiencing the extraordinary, breaking from routine… all of these are under the Jupiter/Sagittarius umbrella. Where is your soul desperate to say ‘yes’, desperate to break free from emotional restraints and old patterns of fear? This is where Jupiter can help instill faith, optimism, and the unflinching belief that life is worth living.

Astrological Disclaimer: Jupiter in Sagittarius is full of hot air!

Of course, it’s always important to remember the shadow side of Sagittarius: FOOLISHNESS and HASTE. Jupiter in Sagittarius is hungry for knowledge and understanding, meaning that we are all going to want to feel more sure of ourselves. In human terms, that means we get more swept up in our own opinions and philosophies, and less willing to listen to the perceptions of others, especially if their views contradict our own. This will be especially true while Mercury is retrograde later this month in Sagittarius (more on that later), but take any grand plans with a grain of salt– get advice from trustworthy, rational sources and use this energy to refuel your imagination and inspiration, rather than taking unnecessary risks and wasting valuable effort. Explore and engage, but don’t bet the house.

Moving on to the next planetary transition: Uranus retrogrades back into Aries for the next 4 months, turning direct again in January and eventually completing an almost 8-year transit of Aries in March 2019. The slow-moving planets are subtle in their overall emotional impact, but shockingly emblematic of historical phases that we experience on earth. During its cycle in Aries since 2011, Uranus has brought fierce independence, radical breaks from suppression, unexpected reactivity, nationalism, and explosive violence to the forefront of consciousness.

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November Trees

We have a final push of this energy through the upcoming winter, and an opportunity to make significant changes based on the trauma we’ve endured. Aries is the warrior, symbolized by the ram. Be brave, not aggressive. Wherever you were feeling your courage weaken, reclaim it and defend your right to be different from how you were before. Change is here. Live it in your own life.

And now we add in some self-care reminders. The North and South Node of the Moon are points in the sky that reflect karmic lessons we are here to learn. In our natal chart, the Nodes represent our own karmic story, and the details of the symbols weave together to point to your soul’s purpose– a blueprint towards greater self-awareness, and a tool for achieving a sense of fulfillment. But in the ever-changing sky above, the Nodes of the Moon change signs every 18 months, and we’re about to experience one of these shifts in the astrological landscape. On the First Quarter Moon next Thursday, November 15, the South Node will move into Capricorn, and the North Node will move into Cancer.

We need to take better care of ourselves. Cancer is the sign of the Great Mother, and the North Node shines a guiding light toward what we seek for healing. Our hearts and families, our earth and our spirits need some nurturing. It’s exhausting to continue on, alone, stoic, and hardened to the callous anger we’ve endured for so long. The South Node is beating the gong that’s already been ringing from Saturn and Pluto in this reality-based earth sign, Capricorn. All the garbage of Capricorn is coming up for reconciliation– patriarchy, greed, pollution, sexism, abuse of power, institutional corruption– but in order to rip up the roots, we need to tend a new garden. Build with care, and nourish yourself and your body. It’s time to stop proving our toughness, and instead be proud of our ability to care for our own needs.

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Old Town Hill, Newbury, MA

And how’s this for a double whammy? Venus ends its 40-day retrograde cycle on Friday morning, November 16, at 5:50 a.m. EST. And later that day, at 8:33 p.m., Mercury stations retrograde for the following 3 weeks, until December 6. It’s like they’re handing off batons in some bizarre planetary relay race. This Mercury retrograde is a wild one because it’s also out of bounds, an astrological condition that means that it’s out of the normal path of the planets– it has reached a point in latitude out in space that is out of the Sun’s reach.

Mercury is retrograde, out of bounds, in the extroverted sign Sagittarius, and in a square with Neptune, god of the ocean. We’re not on solid ground during this phase, which is strongest from November 9 – 22. It’s intuitively ingenious, artistically creative, and unexpectedly fun. But confusion and wishful thinking is fogging up the atmosphere. Venus retrograde has really re-oriented our values in relationship issues. Things are tender here, where we’ve dealt with some self-scrutiny and the dissection of close personal bonds and attitudes. Now we’re getting a Mercury-induced mental storm of “what if’s” and “could be’s” that can get us so far off track that we end the year way behind where we wanted to be.

My advice is to think extravagantly and act humbly. We deserve to go into the holiday season with a cheery heart, but this astrology can get us so worked up and over-extended that we forget where our priorities are.

Bravado is a danger, as Jupiter excites us with possibility and exaggerates our reach. Impatience is high with Jupiter and Mercury (retrograde and out of bounds) in Sagittarius. Uranus is back in the sign of the warrior, stirring up self-righteous defenses. Jupiter, Uranus, and Mercury are all in fire signs, creating a self-expressive vibe in the  population. It can be hard to reel it all back in once this energy is released– this is a charged scene, where firecrackers will likely be easy to light.

At a fundamental karmic level, we all need to care for our own sensitivity, which we may likely be denying. The chronic need to be “tough enough” has run its course. Fierce action will distort our intentions, making us come across to others as misguided or unhinged. The noble path right now is toward self-care, softness, and sensitivity, which will guide us to a better way of being and doing. Re-invent your vision of your future, and take care of the inner harsh critics that need to lighten up their mood.

Get imaginative and restore your hope.

Know, and do, better.

Interested in an astrology reading? Read more here!