Updated: Jan 5
Alexandra Blair is an astrologer, artist, and dark moon sorceress living in the American south. Astrologically, she blends traditional Hellenistic methods with contemporary interpretive techniques. She is a lifelong student with special interests in art, esoterica, and ruthless self-development.
First things first, here's the link (Android / Apple) to an incredible star mapping app I mentioned on this month's episode of the show. It is a free, beautiful augmented reality app that you can use to understand which stars and planets you're seeing in the night sky and what constellations they're currently in. You can get names and details for all visible stars and many invisible ones, too.
Well. October is coming to a close. I wish I could say that things were going to get better right away, but if you’ve been listening to the show (and have seen the diagram I made for the retrogrades!) you know that we won’t be fully out of this turbulence until early Spring 2023.
Adding to our tensions this month is a series of eclipses in Taurus and Scorpio. This is a cycle that began for these two signs in 2021, heated up in April-May of 2022 and will conclude with the Penumbral Lunar Eclipse in Scorpio in May 2023 and the Partial Lunar Eclipse in Taurus in October 2023.
Eclipses are large scale shifts that mark a dramatic change. This isn’t usually a one-off event. It’s often more like the catalyst of a series of events that unfold over the course of the eclipse cycle. In ancient times, eclipses were omens of destructive forces that would disrupt the natural order of things. They were often considered to mark the downfall of kings. In a tarot analogy, eclipses often feel like a Past, Present, Future sequence if you pulled The Hierophant, The Tower (or Death), and The Fool. It will be a “destructive” sort of energy, but not necessarily bad or negative in presentation–think of it as breaking down old systems and instituting something new.
The series of eclipses will occur in two opposing signs approximately every 6 months for a total cycle length of 18-24 months. Because these eclipses will take place in Scorpio and Taurus, this shift has likely been particularly meaningful for people with Scorpio and Taurus placements. What does that mean exactly?
Well, pull up your birth chart and take a look at where Scorpio and Taurus fall in your chart and what planets may reside in those signs. If you have a Scorpio or Taurus Ascendant (rising sign) these changes will be relating to your self, your soul, and your identity. If you have a planetary stellium (3 or more of the 7 classical planets in one sign) in Taurus or Scorpio, you will be feeling this quite strongly in the realm of your life that corresponds with that house (more info here and here).
If you have just one planet in these signs or if those houses are empty in your chart, you won’t be feeling this as intensely, but it looks like this cycle is bringing about a moment of transformation and renewal for you in whichever areas of your chart are governed by Taurus and Scorpio.
Time for laying low
Eclipse cycles are like volcanoes of energy and, while it’s useful to use the stars to predict and inform our transformations, it would be futile to try to direct the flow of lava. This is especially true as Mars will station retrograde on 30 October and will be squaring Jupiter (also in retrograde) for much of the month of November.
These transits make for a great time to rethink our thoughts, actions, and feelings–especially those of us who are going through foundational changes that will shake things up. Consider what parts of your practice are self-reflective and feed those habits. Journaling, tracking synchronicities, and trancing are all great activities during this time. On the other hand, these aspects mean this is a bad time for taking decisive action.
Scorpio energy kicking off the new cycle
Between 22-25 October we have a flurry of activity that will be unclogging the pipes after a long time stuck. Much of this energy will be swirling behind the scenes, though, so we’re not really going to feel that release and change happening until mid-November.
Saturn stations direct on 22 October bringing a sense of relief and freedom in whatever areas of our life are ruled by Saturn (look to your natal Saturn placements and aspects as well as which realms are ruled by Capricorn and Aquarius). The Sun and Venus will have a lovely Cazimi on that same day (chart) and move at similar times into Scorpio. Setting us up for...
The New Moon in Scorpio on 25 October at 5:48 (chart). This lunation will be a partial solar eclipse and will be a major catalyzing moment for those with prominent Scorpio placements and will set a series of events into action that will carry you through the next 7-8 months. This is likely related to a major conversation, theme, or issue you were having or dealing with in April-May which was our first taste of this cycle.
Usually, New Moons are great times to do manifestation magick, start a new project, or work actively towards a goal, but in ancient times solar eclipses in particular were associated with the death of kings or the end of wars. This is just a partial solar eclipse, so it will be less intense than a full, but it's still going to be a catalyzing event that has a mind of its own. It will feel much bigger than our terrestrial needs.
Mars will be squaring Jupiter with the Sun, Moon, Venus, Mercury, and Mars all together in favorable aspects and it really looks like we're embarking on a cycle that is coming from on high, especially considering the full moon on November 8 that will have us receiving a download or embarking on a path.
If you have a Scorpio or Taurus rising, a stellium (three or more planets/luminaries in those signs) or any of your 7 classical planets in those signs, this is especially true for you. I would recommend doing any type of work you’re usually involved in that is geared around receptivity - whether that’s trancing, scrying, journaling, ancestor work, or something else. Ask your guides, deities, ancestors how you can prepare for what’s coming and then hang on tight. Big changes like this generally affect the fixed (Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, & Aquarius) signs more than anyone else.
When retrograde Jupiter leaves Aries to re-enter Pisces on 28 October at 00:10 (chart) we will be rethinking and re-evaluating big picture thinking in the Pisces-governed area of your life, so check your natal chart. It’s likely that whatever you’re rethinking now was a major part of your life in March 2022 when Jupiter moved through Pisces direct. Jupiter in Pisces is big and dreamy so, now that it’s retrograde, you may be rethinking some of those big picture ideas you had. Any planets or strong placements in Pisces will color how intensely this affects you.
Rounding out the end of the calendar month, Mars will station retrograde in Gemini on 30 October until January 12.
Mars stations retrograde once every 2ish years and this can be a tough transit. Mars is a planet of fiery passion, initiative, and decisive action and, more generally, is considered a malefic force in the sky. More than anything, this expands on the idea that now is not a time for action, but rather a time to wait and observe.
Because everyone’s chart is so different, this transit may mean a flurry of activity or a sense of sluggishness. Look to where the planet Mars falls in your chart and to which area of your life is ruled by Gemini for clues. If you have prominent Mars-ruled placements (Scorpio or Aries) or Gemini placements, this may affect you more dramatically.
Transformation, Restriction, & Turbulence
The 8th of November will bring us a total lunar eclipse Full Moon in Taurus on 8 November at 5:01 (chart). A little later in the same day at 10:42 (chart) we will see a Mercury Cazimi in Scorpio. This series of transits will see the Sun and Mercury squaring Saturn in Pisces and opposing the Moon in Taurus. Jupiter and Mars are square while Venus is under the suns’ beams. This lunation looks like it will bring restriction and difficulty to a head–particularly around our abilities to be proactive and generate drive and activity. It seems the stars are asking us to be still and allow changes to happen. There are things in the works that we’re not aware of. The Cazimi, however, is always a fortunate aspect that favors speaking something into existence as often as it brings messages from otherworldly sources into our lives.
This lunation will–as much of recent astrology does–impact those with strong Taurus (especially) and Scorpio placements. IF you are a Taurus rising/Taurus stellium/have major Taurus placements: sit back. Do not try to wrangle this energy because (to use my analogy above) it will be like trying to stop a volcano with a cork. Do lots of writing and try your best to track synchronicities and messaging (esp on Nov 8). The same is true for Scorpios, but you will be feeling this less acutely on this day.
For anyone who doesn’t have strong Taurus/scorpio placements, you can actually tap into and use this energy. Look to where Taurus & Scorpio fall in your chart to see which areas of your life are governed by these two signs and see what planets you have there. If you’re wanting to let go of some bad habits or instigate transformational change in those areas of your life, those efforts will have quite a bit of steam to them through July 2023.
This is also a good time to do “receptive” work that’s in your practice–trance, channeled writing, scrying, journeying–just don’t be surprised if your ancestors or guides ask you to give up something you aren’t quite ready to part ways with yet.
In the days following the full moon Mercury (on 10 November at 1:51 (chart)) and then the Sun (on 11 November at 2:03 (chart)) will square Saturn. In fact, all 7 major planets will be involved in a square or difficult aspect with one another over these few days. The astrology suggests that the days following this lunation won’t feel immediately fruitful. For those with prominent Taurus or Scorpio placements, this may even feel actively frustrating, restrictive, and like your ability to act is being curbed.
Don’t be surprised if you have trouble talking about what you’re going through or generating any energy to get shit done. Things will be happening behind the scenes. This is a time to lay low, document and write synchronicities.
15-17 November - A breath of fresh air and a time of reward
Here, the month splits into two distinct patterns. One for those with prominent fixed sign placements (especially–you guessed it!–Taurus and Scorpio) and one for those without.
For Taurus, Scorpio, Leo, and Aquarius, there looks to be a difficult situation emerging with a Fixed Grand Cross exacting from late afternoon on 15 November through early the next morning. This Grand Cross involves Saturn, the Sun, the Moon, and Uranus all squaring and opposing each other in the four fixed signs. This aspect is a difficult one which can manifest as situations or humans that are obstinate, immovable, and straight up failing to adapt. While the rest of us are moving forward and moving on, fixed signs will be feeling a failure to catch up and transition to a place of optimism and security.
Regardless of this tough moment, the stars bring a series of positive aspects and nice transits around this time that will bring a breath of fresh air. The energy of the month here shifts from something intense and restrictive to something really buoyant and exciting, especially for those without major Taurus & Scorpio placements.
We have a handful of really beneficial aspects and transits taking place in Scorpio, Sagittarius, Pisces, and Capricorn. On 15 November at 3:35 (chart), Venus trines Jupiter and later that evening (on 16 November at 0:09 (chart)) she enters Sagittarius. Venus in Sagittarius finds pleasure in growth, broadening ones horizons, and exploring new frontiers. Mercury follows into Sagittarius shortly after (on 17 November at 2:42 (chart)) and, as this puts the planet in its detriment, will bring us braggadocious energy that loves to embellish. Expect Venus’ transit to overrule and bring rewards of emotional energy, luck, and a sensuality or romance about life again. This will be especially related to new experiences, new places, and the result of that which was hidden having been uncovered in the moon cycle. Look to where Sagittarius lies in your chart for clues.
Time to make sense of what we’re going through
The end of this month will be a time for making sense of what we’re going through with the Sun trining Jupiter on 20 November at 22:06 (chart) and a Mercury conjunction with Venus on 21 November at 16:54 (chart).
These transits reify the idea that we’re now empowered to speak about, intellectualize, and make sense of what we’re going through. However, with Mars still squaring Jupiter and both in retrograde, it's still not a great time for decisive action.
Sagittarius season is upon us with a buoyant New Moon in Sagittarius just as Jupiter stations direct.
Notes on process:
All referenced times are CST (but will be relevant within an hour or two for anyone in North America); Find exact times for your location by using a Transit calendar like this.
See which areas of your life these transits will illuminate and activate by calculating your own natal chart. Astrologer Chani Nicholas has a fantastic and equitably made tool to generate your whole sign house (different than some other apps) natal chart with Whole Sign/Fixed houses that is free to use here.
For more information about astrology, witchcraft, and other pagan paths, visit the Pathways of the Pagan discord channel here.