October 9 2015: Sign and phase of the Living Moon

Ask the wild bee what the Druids knew…

Virgo Moon

Virgo Moon

Balsamic to New Moon Phase

Balsamic to New Moon Phase

The waning Moon is transiting VIRGO, from October 9, 6.50 am, to October 11, 7.45 pm,  when she will enter LIBRA.

The VIRGO Balsamic Moon begins on October 9, 7.18 am, and ends on October 13, 11.05 am, with the Libra New Moon Phase.

← Click the images for Moon’s Sign and Phase Readings.

The Sun Golden Sun is transiting the Air Sign of Libra from September 23 to October 24 2015.

The times given are now Australian Eastern Summer Time (=11 hours East of Greenwich). Summer Time will end in Eastern Australian on Sunday, April 3, at 3 am.

Click HERE to change it into your own Time Zone.

October 9, 2015: Latest Astrological News

Maya Animation 10 pictures c♦ On October 9 check out the alignment of the waning Moon to Venus in the early morning easterly sky, both these feminine celestial bodies entering Virgo on the same day. This will not be just any round of the mill conjunction but an occultation, meaning that the Moon will appear to swallow bright Venus. Hopefully the clouds will clear in our region before this special event! Visit the October Star over Wollumbin page for more details.

♦ Transiting Venus is joining Jupiter and Mars in Virgo on October 9, at 4.29 am (Eastern Australia Summer Time). There is a hope that the gentler touch of Venus may curb some of the hard edges of current Mars’ Transits. Mars has in fact made the international situation even more challenging, introducing risk elements that weren’t present before, manifesting in more man-made and natural disasters. If interested please visit may post on the transits of Mars in Virgo HERE.

I repeat here the dates of Mars and Venus’ major transits while in Virgo:

September 26 = Mars square Saturn

October 7 = Mars in opposition Neptune (Putin’s birthday)

October 16 =Mars trine Pluto

October 18 =Mars conjunct Jupiter

October 23 =Mars in opposition to Chiron

November 13 =Mars conjunct Lunar North Node

Venus follows suit with the same transits on different dates:

October 11 = Venus square Saturn

October 17 = Venus in opposition to Neptune

October 23 = Venus trine Pluto

October 26 = Venus conjunct Jupiter

October 28 = Venus in opposition to Chiron

November 3 = Venus conjunct Mars


♦ A ‘Super-Moon’ Total Lunar Eclipse in the Sign of Aries took place on September 28, at 12.50  pm (Australian Eastern Standard Time), but unfortunately it wasn’t visible from anywhere in Australia or Eastern Asia, not even as a partial view.

The United States, Canada and South America had the  front rows for this event, roughly from moon-rise (at sunset) to midnight. Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Western Asia viewed the eclipse in the early hours of the morning instead, before sunrise.

This is a special eclipse because the Moon is at Perigee (closest to Earth for the whole year) and the event is the fourth and last of a series of Lunar Total Eclipses, called a Tetrad, that occurred in autumn and spring between 2014 and 2015. Here are the Signs occupied by the totally eclipsed Moons, with their dates:

♥ April 15 2014, Libra Moon

♥ October 8 2014, Aries Moon

♥ April 4 2015, Libra Moon

♥ September 28 2015, Aries Moon

Stay tuned for my thoughts on this latest Eclipse, whose effects could last well into the next eclipse season, in March-April 2016, and beyond.

Mars in Virgo. Mars entered Earthy Virgo on September 25, and will be transiting Virgo until November 13 when he will move into Airy Libra.
People with Virgo highlighted in their Birth Chart will be feeling more restless and impatient, ready for action but also prone to make mistakes if they rush into things without planning.  Much could be accomplished during this period, with the potential to finally tackle jobs or projects that have been left in the drawer for a while. By all means take advantage of this transit’s abundant energy, but try not to overdue it or your health and peace of mind may be adversely affected. Your keen critical sense may become even sharper, so take care not to become more disparaging and nit-picking that you normally are. Pluck your courage to assert yourself and you could see quick return for your efforts.

Libra Equinox 2015Libra Equinox 2015. Libra Equinox on September 23, 5.20 pm. Here is the Chart for the ingress.

← click to view larger image

♦ On September 17 Mercury began its Retrograde period that will last until October 9 2015, from the middle back to the beginning of Libra. Mercury, now an Evening Star, will conjunct the Sun on October 1 (Inferior Conjunction), and afterword return to the morning sky. Click here for my post on the September-October Retrogradation of Mercury. And here for a recent post on the meaning of Retrogradation, focusing mainly on Mercury.

♦ The September New Moon was also a Partial Solar Eclipse on the 20th degree of Virgo. The Solar Eclipse will be followed by a Total Lunar Eclipse at the next Aries Full Moon (04° 40′), on September 28 2015. If interested please read my recent post on this Virgo Solar Eclipse here. And two tutorials on Eclipses that I’ve also re-posted recently: Eclipses as Doors of Perception – part 1 and Eclipses as Doors of Perception – part 2.

♦ The Sun entered Libra on September 23, 6.20 pm. This is the Spring Equinox in our southern parts and Autumn Equinox in the Northern Hemisphere.

♦ Jupiter entered the Earth Sign of Virgo on August 11 at 9.11 pm local time. Jupiter will transit Virgo until September 9 2016, when he will enter Libra.

Jupiter also reached the opposition to Neptune in Pisces on September 17.

Saturn turned Stationary Direct on August 2, on the 28th degree of Scorpio. Saturn has re-entered Sagittarius, in direct motion, on September 18 2015.

Venus turned Stationary Retrograde on July 24, on the first degree of Virgo. Venus re-entered Leo, in retro motion, on August 1 and was retrograde until September 7, re-entering Virgo, in direct motion, only on October 9, a very lengthy Venus in Leo Transit.

In the pipeline is a post on Saturn in Sagittarius and Jupiter in Virgo, their coming and going square aspect punctuating the next nine months, with the risk of a global economic downturn very present, recession continuing in some countries and even food shortages worsening in less developed countries. A lesson in humility and make do, living within our means in the developed countries so to restore some balance to our lop-sided world. Stay tuned.

Mars in Virgo 2015: bad news?

Ancient War Helmet

Ancient War Helmet, a ‘martial’ iconic object

As i discussed at length earlier the really important developments now and for 2016 are the mutual relationship of Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune and Chiron, locked in a T-Square in Mutable Signs (Jupiter in Virgo opposing Neptune-Chiron in Pisces and squaring Saturn in Sagittarius, while Saturn squares Neptune-Chiron). These transits will be active, on and off, until September 2016. Neptune has been transiting watery Pisces since early 2011 (to 2024), Jupiter moved into earthy Virgo on August 11 (for one year) and Saturn into fiery Sagittarius on September 18 (until 2017).

From a previous post: ‘2015 and ‘16 are important years for the Jupiter-Saturn mutual relationship: they have reached a distance of 90 degrees from each other. This coming and going aspect will punctuate the next nine months, with the risk of a general economic downturn very present; recession continuing in some countries and food shortages worsening in less developed ones. This should be a lesson in humility and ‘make do’, getting used to live within our means in the developed countries, to restore some balance to our lop-sided world. …. We could embrace our reduced circumstances as real opportunities (Saturn) to find more lasting values in our daily life and work (Jupiter)….

…. The August 90° between Jupiter in Leo and Saturn in Scorpio coincided (no coincidence here!) with the huge and yet unresolved China’s crisis, being a classic aspect of economic and social downturn. The world has not done with it though. It will in fact return in March and May 2016, between Virgo and Sagittarius.

Jupiter and Saturn are also in turn aligned to Neptune and Chiron in Pisces, making their interaction more complex by introducing a spiritual element, the theme of the global environment, the dream of a united, at peace humanity, the gift of compassion and inclusion, and the poignant need for healing of rifts between cultures and ongoing damage to the global environment. (Germany opened its door to thousands of refugees in September, around the time Jupiter opposed Neptune, September 17). Pisces is the Sign of the great Ocean Mother to which everything and everyone return in the end. The issue of rising sea levels and more frequent destructive weather events, in Australia and around the world, will be big in the news during the active period of these planetary configurations.

The Jupiter opposition Neptune effect is now passing, but the square Saturn-Neptune has still to become active, in November 2015 and again in June and September 2016. This transit describes a powerful tension between our best humanitarian aspirations and the realistic limits of implementing them…. ‘

Mars joined this historic configuration by entering Virgo on September 25 (until November 13), adding fuel to the fire of these challenging angles. We could console ourselves thinking that this is an aspect of relative short duration. It is actively inflaming many situations and brought others to an acute state, but it will pass by the middle of November.

We have seen the Mars’ effect recently in the unexpected and controversial intervention of Russia in the Syrian conflict and general escalation of conflicts and destructive ‘natural’ events.

Here are the dates of Mars’ major transits up to his ingress into Libra on November 13:

September 26 = Mars square Saturn. Two days later, on September 28, Putin proposed the creation of a coalition against ISIS insurgent group in Syria. On September 30 the upper house of the Federal Assembly of Russia approved Putin’ request to deploy Russian air forces in Syria. On the same day the controversial air strikes began. On October 1 the Russian attacks intensified and on October 3 Hezbollah and Iranian fighters were preparing major ground offensives in coordination with Russia. In the December 25 Horoscope for the birth of modern Russia (December 25 1991, 7.25 pm, Moscow, click Here to see it) the Moon and Jupiter were transiting Virgo (present Jupiter, Mars and now Venus’ Sign), while Mercury and Mars were in Sagittarius (present Saturn’s Sign).

October 7 = Mars in opposition Neptune (Putin’s birthday)

October 16 =Mars trine Pluto

October 18 =Mars conjunct Jupiter

October 23 =Mars in opposition to Chiron

November 13 =Mars conjunct Lunar North Node

Venus follows suit with the same transits on different dates:

October 11 = Venus square Saturn

October 17 = Venus in opposition to Neptune

October 23 = Venus trine Pluto

October 26 = Venus conjunct Jupiter

October 28 = Venus in opposition to Chiron

November 3 = Venus conjunct Mars

October 2015, Stars over Wollumbin, our Southern skies


Van Gogh Starry Night golden

October 2015 planetary highlights


Jupiter GlyphJupiter no background


VENUS, MARS and JUPITER are still the stars of the pre-dawn sky, remaining aligned throughout the month of October. Venus is of course still the brightest, rising one hour before the Sun early in the month and two hours at the end. Our sister planet will reach Maximum Elongation (furthest distance from the Sun disk, from earth viewpoint) on October 26.

Venus will be at her closest to giant Jupiter also on October 26 and to Mars on October 31.

A remarkable event in October will be the Occultation of Venus by the Waning Moon, on October 9. The Moon will glide between the Earth and Venus, hiding our Sister Planet from view from about 4,30 to 6 am, in Eastern Australia. Venus will disappear behind the Moon for nearly one and half hours, a spectacle not to be missed, a sort of Venus Eclipse!

Below is a Stellarium’s snapshot of the Eastern sky on October 9, around 5.25 am, Occultation time.

Click the sky scapes to see larger images

Ocotber 9 2015 Moon occultation Venus + Mars-Jupiter-Regulus

Snapshot of Eastern Sky on October 9 2015, around 5.25 am, Eastern Australia: Moon’s Occultation of Venus

MARS will rise earlier and earlier in the course of October.

MARS and JUPITER will appear at their closest on October 18 as shown in the picture below:

Ocotber 18 2015 Mars-Jupiter Conjunction

Mars conjunct Jupiter early morning of October 18 2015

VENUS and MARS will be perfectly aligned on October 31 instead, as in the image below:

Ocotber 31 2015 Venus-Mars Conjunction

Venus conjunct Mars on the early hours of October 31 2015

*MERCURY: if you didn’t spot little Mercury in September, while it was at its brightest setting after the Sun in the West, you have missed out for the time being. Mercury is in fact now a Morning Star, after reaching its Inferior Conjunction to the Sun on October 1. This Planet will be very hard to spot in October immersed as it is in the Sun rays before dawn. Mercury will return to the Western sky, setting after the Sun, only on November 18, day of its Superior Conjunction to the Sun.

Saturn remains visible throughout October in the North West, after sunset. An event that will make it easy to spot our ringed friend will be the alignment with the Waxing Moon, on October 16. Here is the Stellarium image of this conjunction:

Ocotber 16 2015 Moon-Saturn Conjunction

Waxing Moon aligned to Saturn on October 16 2015, around 8.30 pm, Eastern Australia

https://livingmoonastrology.files.wordpress.com/To view previous STARS OVER WOLLUMBIN’s and other sky-watching posts please navigate to the Archive HERE

All the Sky Snapshots have been generated using Stellarium, a wonderful Planetarium freeware software.

Information for the Sky Events has been gathered from these web sites:

Mudgee Observatory



June, the month to observe six members of our Solar Family


~ Jupiter at dawn in the eastern sky ~ Mercury, just emerged from darkness, low on the eastern horizon, below bright Jupiter ~ Venus in the western evening sky, for a couple of hours after sunset ~ Mars and Saturn in the North-West at dusk and through the night ~ With a pair of good binoculars we could even spot far away Uranus close to Jupiter in the eastern sky before sunrise ~


MERCURY has re-appeared as a Morning Star, very faintly at first, at the end of May. It will remain visible until mid-June, but very low in the eastern horizon in the pre-dawn sky, below much brighter and more elevated Jupiter, reaching its Superior Conjunction with the Sun on June 28.


VENUS will trace her bright course between the Twin Stars Castor and Pollux (alpha and beta of Gemini constellation) until mid-June, setting with the Beehive Cluster in constellation Cancer by June 19 (find snapshots in the June Calendar of Observable Events, below).

Our Sister Planet will remain the beautiful Evening Star until October 2010. In June it will remain around magnitude -3.9 (its maximum being -4), and also spend more time in the night sky, setting at 8 pm, three hours after the winter Sun (in Southern Latitudes), by the end of June.

The Evening Star’s incarnation of Venus represents a collective opportunity to become more self-reflective, acknowledging our contribution to any relationship issues we may be experiencing. The Goddess of Love is looking deeper into our hearts and show us the way to a less self-centred and more aware kind of loving, (see also Venus in Cancer post).


MARS‘ light keeps diminishing this month. You can spot Mars in the evening in the North-West, relatively low above the horizon, reddish in colour, rising in daylight and setting just before midnight in mid-June. It will be easily spotted on June 6/7 when it will conjunct Regulus, alpha Star of Leo, and, again, on June 16/17 when it will be close to the Waxing Crescent Moon (find snapshots in the June Calendar of Observable Events, below).


JUPITER, after emerging from the glare of the Sun in March, is now a very bright star, rising at midnight and very conspicuous in the east until sunrise, with the backdrop of the Pisces constellation. By the end of June Jupiter will rise at midnight. Jupiter will become brighter and brighter as the year advances, reaching its greatest brilliance in its whole 11.8 years cycle just in time for the Libra Equinox 2010 (September 21). This is due to the fact the giant planet will reach its perihelion, closest position in relation to the Sun, in March 2011.


There is a companion to Jupiter in the pre-dawn sky, though invisible, so you will need a good pair of binoculars to spot it, 0.4 degrees above Jupiter. It is giant Uranus, spinning at right angle to everyone else, a bluish/green star-like object. Jupiter is -2.4 magnitude and Uranus at 5.8, dim but still the brightest object in the vicinity of Jupiter.

Jupiter and Uranus are conjunct for the first time in nearly 14 years on June 9, and they are nearly as bright as they can be, their opposition from the Sun getting closer. It will be exact on September 22, just as the Sun prepares to enter Tropical Libra (Spring-Autumn Equinox), opposing them only five hours apart from each other. Jupiter and Uranus meet cyclically (synodic cycle) every 13.7 years. This time they are playing a prolonged duet, though, meeting twice in 2010 (June 9 and September 22) and a third time on January 2, 2011. This is a rarer opportunity for the energies of these planets to blend for a sustained period, so exerting a greater overall influence over the affairs of the whole year. The last time Jupiter and Uranus met three times was in 1983, 27 years ago.

Animation of the triple conjunction of Jupiter-Uranus in 2010/11, from Martin J.Powell astronomical site, can be found HERE.


By the end of June Saturn will rise around midday and set around midnight. Saturn emanates a yellowish light, easily spotted between Regulus of constellation Leo and Spica of constellation Virgo, not far from Mars.Like Mars, Saturn also is becoming dimmer this month, around +1 magnitude, moving away from the Earth at an angle that will cause its rings to become thinner, reflecting less sunlight.

The Moon will be conjunct Saturn on June 18 (find snapshots in the June Calendar of Observable Events, below).


Full Moon in Capricorn, Lunar Eclipse, June26

A Partial Eclipse of the Full Moon is due on June 26. It will happen in the Tropical Sign of Capricorn, with the Sun in the opposite Sign of Cancer. I re-post here the article I wrote concerning this Eclipse in the 2010 Forecast post (June to September):

Click to enlarge

The Eclipses, once again, accompany the change of season, a significant fact that will make their influence more marked and also longer lasting.

The Capricorn Lunar Eclipse is Partial, visible after sunset from Australasia, and before sunrise in western South and North America.

The Moon, central to the whole interpretation, is transiting in close proximity to Pluto in Capricorn, separated from the position of this planet, as projected on the ecliptic, by a mere 0 degrees and 41 minutes of longitude. The Sun then is of course exactly 180 degrees away from the Moon and also Pluto. Even by itself this configuration would heighten the intensity of the ecliptic Moon, but there is much more. Mercury is in Cancer with the Sun on the day, while Jupiter and Uranus, still conjunct in Aries, are 90 degrees away from both Sun and Moon; while Saturn in Virgo, opposite to them, is also in a wide 90 degrees angle to Sun and Moon. This configuration is known as a Grand Cross, usually connecting four celestial bodies, but, in this case, linking instead seven: Sun, Moon, Pluto, Mercury, Jupiter, Uranus and Saturn.

Grand Crosses are tough, tight knots, forcing planets to work together, especially problematic if difficult planets are involved, as here are Saturn, Uranus and Pluto, heavy weights of the Zodiac. This Eclipse seems to draw attention and energize the knotty transits coming into activity during this season, the squares and opposition of Saturn to Pluto and Jupiter-Uranus respectively; more about these specific transits later. Some intensely emotional events can be the result of such a configuration corresponding with the time of an eclipse, because the combined forces of Jupiter and Uranus in Aries will create a fierce opposition to the might of Saturn in Libra and Pluto in Capricorn, also challenging each other: a time of quickening, a protracted labour inducing the birth of the New (a forceps birth rather than a gentle water birth). Unavoidably astrologers would notice the similarity between this event and the last lunar eclipse of 2009 (or first eclipse of 2010, depending where you were at the time), the one that preceded the Haiti and Chile’s disasters. The Sun and Moon were then placed in the Sign each other occupies in the June eclipse, on opposite hemispheres. The Sun was separating from a conjunction to Pluto and both Sun and Moon were widely square Saturn in Libra. But there is a great difference too.

All Eclipses are grouped under one specific number, known as their Saros number. A Saros group begins with a particular eclipse; other eclipses follow, at an interval of 18 years approximately, all falling around the same degree of longitude.

So, for instance, the Lunar Eclipse of June 26 2010 belongs to the Saros number 120. This group of Lunar Eclipses began with one that took place on October 5, 982 AD, close to the beginning of the last Millennium. The Eclipse that began a series is said to give its colour, tone and vibration to the lot of them. Therefore it is very important to study the first Eclipse of a Saros series to get a feel of what we are dealing with. This first eclipse of the series shows a highly charged Horoscope, but also one with many redeeming factors. The Saros number of the December eclipse instead began with an extremely difficult eclipse in 1000 AD, showing more clearly the potential destructive nature of all the following eclipses of the same number.

For an in-depth reading of the major transits of Saturn and others, for the present and near future, please visit 2010 Forecast page.





Information and pictures to make you better acquainted with your southern night sky

The different lighting of some of the pictures is due to the time the snapshots of the Planetarium were taken.



JUNE 6: the Waning Moon, just past the Last Quarter Phase, will join Jupiter and invisible Uranus in the pre-dawn sky. The snapshot of this event was taken looking East, just before 6 am.

JUNE 6 and 7: Mars is today and tomorrow very close to the Star Regulus, the little King in the constellation Leo. This is a great colour contrast, with red Mars and white-blue Regulus.

The snapshot of this event was taken looking toward the North, at around 7 pm. In ancient times this conjunction would spell the violent or sudden death of a king or ruler.

Click to enlarge

JUNE 7: Venus is setting very close to Castor, one of the Gemini Twin Stars. While Mars is s still very close to Regulus, the Little King Star (alpha of Leo constellation). A great time to observe Gemini and Leo Stars.

Below is a snapshot of this event, looking toward the West around 6 pm.

JUNE 15: Venus has now moved higher than Castor and Pollux, the Twin Stars, but the tiny Crescent Moon is joyning her in a beautiful display. Here is a snapshot of this event, looking toward the North-West, just before 6 pm.

JUNE 17: the Moon will become conjunct Mars and Regulus tonight. This snapshot was taken looking toward the North-West, just before 7 pm.

JUNE 18-19: the Moon will be close to the conjunction with Saturn over these two days, against the backdrop of the Virgo constellation. This snapshot was taken on June 19 around 10 pm.

JUNE 20: Venus can be seen setting in the Beehive Nebula of constellation Cancer. Here is a snapshot of this event, taken looking toward the West, around 6 pm.

JUNE 20: the Moon is just 04 degrees far from Spica, the Ear of Corn Star in the hand of the Virgin constellation.

Here is a snapshot of the event, taken looking toward the West, around 7 pm.

JUNE 24: the Moon can be oberved very close to the alpha Star of Scorpio, Antares. The snapshot was taken, looking toward the North-West, just before 8 pm.



All the Sky Snapshots have been generated using Stellarium, a wonderful Planetarium freeware software.

Information for the Sky Events has been gathered from these web sites:





JUNE 15: Venus has

What a difference an eclipse makes….the change in Australian leadership and a peek at future cosmic trends, in particular the Jupiter-Saturn’s mutual relationship

Tony Abbott and Malcolm Turnbull

Tony Abbott and Malcolm Turnbull

The recent change in our political leadership didn’t come as a great surprise, but its timing did. Astrology can explain that better than many political analysts or the gossip columns, I think.

This eventful month of September coincides with the last eclipse season for 2015. The ballot to decide the fate of our former PM, held on September 14, 9.15 pm, happened just a day from the Virgo Solar Eclipse on September 13, 4.41 pm (Eastern Standard Time).

An Eclipse of the Sun is, first of all, a New Moon, a time for new beginnings. When this is also an eclipse, the new beginning often represents a major shift, with long lasting repercussions.

Tony Abbott’s was born in London on November 4 1957, 4 am. Here is a link to a post about Abbott when opposition leader and his Sunrise Horoscope, before his time of birth, 4 am, was confirmed. See below for his proper Natal Chart. The degree of the solar eclipse fell in the astrological sector of his Natal Horoscope described as the House of self-undoing, manifesting as the sort of events that are out of the individual’s control (12th House). The next Total Moon Eclipse, on September 28, will align nearly perfectly instead with his Aries Moon. The areas where Sun and Moon are located during this eclipse show Abbott’s present need for sacrifice, humility and discrimination (6th and 12th Houses). I also believe he will probably fight on, in some ways, the Lunar Eclipse spurring into action the fiery spirit of his Aries Moon.

Here are three Transits Charts imposed upon Tony Abbott’s Natal Chart, at the time of the two Eclipses and the ballot.

Tony Abbott and Solar Eclipsse September 13 2015

Tony Abbot and the Solar Eclipse of September 13 2015. Click to view larger image

Tony Abbott and Lunar Eclipse September 28 2015

Tony Abbott and Lunar Eclipse September 28 2015. Click to view larger image

Tony Abbott Transits at ballot September 14 2015. Note the Moon in Libra opposing his Natal Moon in Aries...

Tony Abbott Transits at ballot September 14 2015. Note the Moon in Libra opposing his Natal Moon in Aries…Click to view larger image

Eclipses tend to have a long lasting effect on individuals and the collective, these last ones spreading their vibes all the way to the next eclipse season in March 2016 and beyond.

A lucky star is shining on Malcolm Turnbull at present (born Sydney, Oct-24-1954, time undisclosed. See his Sunrise Chart below). He was chosen to become our new PM just as the transiting Saturn became aligned to his Birth Venus on the cusp Scorpio-Sagittarius. This conjunction can occur only once in 29 and half years. The odds of that happening as he became PM would be very high indeed! To all students of Astrology this clearly shows how positive a Saturn’s transit can be, despite this planet’s reputation for hard work and little pay/joy. Saturn also helps to consolidate and make factual, in this case Turnbull’s long held wish to become PM (Venus on a cusp of power).

Here is the Transits Chart of the time of the ballot imposed upon Turnbull’s Sunrise Chart (time of birth undisclosed).

Malcolm Turnbull Transits at ballot September 14 2015

Malcolm Turnbull Transits at ballot September 14 2015. Click to view larger image

A positive sign for this change of leadership is the fact that it happened when Mercury was still transiting in direct motion, while the day his cabinet was revealed, September 20, Mercury had turned retrograde. It sounds good for the PM, perhaps not so good for his cabinet.

A topic of concern is the Jupiter opposition to Neptune that occurred on September 17, very close to the date of the ballot, an aspect that could inflate collective expectations of what is to come. This aspect could erode people’s trust in this new leadership if matters of importance aren’t disclosed and discussed openly. There is also a risk that someone may decide to undermine the new cabinet’s credibility from within.

The Jupiter-Saturn cycle and global economic downturns

Many internet ‘prophets’, happy to spook as many people as possible, are reporting that the Lunar Eclipse on September 28 is a ‘Blood Moon’, portending all sorts of catastrophes and even the end of the world! In fact ‘Blood Moons’ are not that rare, the Moon taking on that red-coppery hue because it is at its closest to planet Earth as our planet’s shadow falls on its disk during the eclipse. On all account it has been a bloodily ghastly Moon for many of our prominent politicians.

To compound the effects of these eclipses a lasting planetary shift occurred between August and September 2015: Jupiter moved into earthy Virgo on August 11 and Saturn into fiery Sagittarius on September 18.

Jupiter will remain in Virgo for one year (to September 9 2016), while Saturn will transit Sagittarius until the end of 2017, with few interruptions. Jupiter and Saturn are the giant of our solar system, their mutual dance in the sky has been considered of the greatest significance for world affairs since antiquity. They were known as the ‘Chronocrators’ or ‘Time Markers’ in classical Greece. Now they are both transiting Mutable Signs, symbol of the ending of something, learning from past experiences and preparation for a big change ahead, namely Saturn entering his own Sign of Capricorn in 2017.

2015 and ‘16 are important years for the Jupiter-Saturn mutual relationship: they have reached a distance of 90 degrees from each other. This coming and going aspect will punctuate the next nine months, with the risk of a general economic downturn very present; recession continuing in some countries and food shortages worsening in less developed ones. This should be a lesson in humility and ‘make do’, getting used to live within our means in the developed countries, to restore some balance to our lop-sided world.

A real global recession may be less likely because it is more often associated with the opposition between Jupiter and Saturn rather than their right angle (historical examples of opposition periods and global downturns: 1890-1931-1951/52-1969/70-1989/90-2010).

The planet of abundance and opportunities is now in the Sign of hard work, humility, even poverty; while Saturn, the cosmic energy that limits and grounds everything, is now in Sagittarius, the Sign of freedom, philosophy, hope, aspirations. We could seek more concrete ways to tackle our global problems. Jupiter in an Earth Sign and Saturn ‘earthing’ a Fire Sign promise a big reality check for the world.

Jupiter and Saturn are also in turn aligned to Neptune in Pisces making their interaction more complex by introducing a spiritual element, the theme of the global environment, the dream of a united, at peace humanity, the gift of compassion and inclusion (Germany opened its door to thousands of refugees in September, around the time Jupiter opposed Neptune, September 17). Pisces is the Sign of the great Ocean Mother to which everything and everyone return in the end. The issue of rising sea levels could also be big in the news during the active period of these planetary configurations.

The Jupiter opposition Neptune effect is now passing, but the square Saturn-Neptune has still to become active, in November 2015 and again in June and September 2016. This transit describes a powerful tension between our best humanitarian aspirations and the realistic limits of implementing them.

The downside of the Neptune connection could be that, whatever useful reality check we are experiencing, we could still feel unclear about our global goals and the road to peace, Neptune in Pisces possibly fogging these issues or making our collective efforts less effective.

On the bright side, contrary to what many astrologers predict (for instance an increase in religious fanaticism and division brought about by Saturn in the often self-righteous Sign of religion) I feel and hope that the open minded, cosmopolitan, multi-cultural outlook of Sagittarius could help seeing the issues in a less personalized, biased or BW way, as it happened when Saturn was transiting Scorpio (2013/15), a highly polarizing and judgmental Sign.

Let’s not forget also that the dangerous right angle between destructive Uranus and Pluto is now at an end, the last pass exact in March 2015. This to me seems to indicate that things may actually somehow improve. A more radical shift, with an end of the present severe crisis, will not occur however until 2020, when Saturn in Capricorn will catch up with Pluto, ending their mutual cycle that culminated in 2001 with their opposition (9/11).

More posts in the oven about the transits of Jupiter in Virgo and Saturn in Sagittarius. Stay tuned.

The Astrology of Mercury retrograde, September-October 2015

Sagrada Familia Staircase Barcelona

Sagrada Familia Staircase Barcelona

In view of the present retrogradation of Mercury in Libra (September 17 to October 9 2015) I’m re-posting here an edited version of a post I published in 2011, on the general subject of retrogradation. stressing in particular the significance of Mercury when retrograde.

Click here for my recent post on the September 2015 Mercury retrograde period.

The retrogradation of Mercury is a mystery and you are the only one who can unravel it!

In fact each Birth Chart will experience this phase in its own peculiar way. There is no given formula for the way Mercury Retrograde is going to impact on your life.

Lately I have reflected upon and researched a lot the phenomenon of retrogradation, this optical illusion that, at regular interval, makes the planets appear to stop in their tracks, and then move for a while in the opposite direction of the one they normally travel on.

In real terms the planets of course never moves backward. From a sun centered (heliocentric) viewpoint they all travel at their appointed speed, always in the same direction, identical to planet Earth’s.

The phenomenon appears instead very ‘real’ from our Earth’s plane. With long exposure photography we are now able to actually see the shiny loop the planet’s course makes when retrograde.

Too often Retrogradation is accepted as part of the astrological tradition, and not given much thought or meaning.

This cyclical phenomenon appeared instead positively magical to the ancient sky-watchers, who eagerly awaited it, calculated its timing and duration and attributed to it great significance, in forecasting future events, in accordance with the nature of the planet involved.

We, modern people don’t need any more to search the sky for signs, to wait to see a star or planet rising before the Sun. Cyber-planetariums and astrological software are all we need to practice our Art. Thanks to technology we have the tools now to cast many horoscopes in record time, using the most sophisticated techniques ever, but we have also lost the ‘real’ magic of the night sky and twilight hours, the eternally returning cycles of the wandering planets, a vital dimension of the ancient wisdom tradition.

Understanding better what happens during a planet’s retrograde period and putting that particular period within the context of the planet’s whole cycle can help us to recapture some of its true meaning.

Every cycle in nature and therefore in the psyche of man can be conceived as having two halves or hemicycles, one of involution and one of evolution, a Yin and a Yang phase. The place where Yin and Yang meet is the matrix of each cycle, while the place of their maximum separation is the climax of each cycle. So we have a Waxing Phase, from matrix to climax, and a Waning Phase, from climax to matrix, in an eternal round. This specific rhythm permeates everything, all living beings, all experiences. The planets are no different. They too obey the inner order of things, and therefore follow a clear path of Ascent and Descent when viewed from the Earth’s plane.

The Moon is not the only celestial body to show phases, all planets do, each in its own peculiar way. Retrogradation has a lot to do with those phases.

I’m using Mercury here as an example of what retrogradation entails. Mercury is the planet that goes retrograded more often than any other, three or four times a year.

Each Planet is different in fundamental ways from all others, even with regard to their retro periods, but the underlying Waxing/Waning tempo is basically the same for all.

Mercury, from Evening to Morning Star

Often the period of Mercury’s retrogradation is simply interpreted as a time full of misunderstandings, technical glitches, disruption in communication, odd accidents, etc. These effects are often obvious indeed, especially for people who happen to have the Sun, Moon, Planets or their Birth Chart’s Angles (Ascendant, etc.) within the span of the zodiac covered by Mercury.

When we attempt to interpret Mercury in a Birth Chart we tend to take its position (and that of all other celestial bodies) as fixed, a point in a linear, perhaps circular universe, in which Sun, Moon and Planets interact by angular relationship with each other, as in a neat example of cosmic geometry. We tend however to exclude from our interpretation the actual experience of Mercury as it manifests on our Earth plane.

We may learn from text books that Mercury’s orbit around the Sun in just less than three months (88 days), but the experience we have of the twinkling star that is Mercury to our unaided eyes is indeed very different. The visual cycle of Mercury lasts in fact 116 days (a bit less than four months), during which time this Planet, from our view point, appears to wax and wane.

In the light of the entire cycle the Retrogradation of Mercury is a most significant moment. During this special time the planet passes from waning to waxing, from Evening to Morning Star. This is not only a miracle to the beholder, seeing Mercury disappearing behind the Sun and then re-appearing on the other side, but a real shift of our awareness of the planet’s energy.

The retro period of any planet, like the dark three days of the New Moon, is a twilight status, like the one in between sleeping and wakening. We take usually a little while to wake up completely after a deep sleep. In real life as well as symbolically the in-between waking and sleep phase is all important because it is then that our creative imagination provides the most fertile ground for new insights.

Ten to fifteen days after the beginning of its retro motion Mercury becomes completely immersed in the light of the Sun, which has, in the mean time, caught up with it, due to its slowness. It is of course the Earth that is actually accelerating on Mercury, amounting to the same visual effect. The date of this all important conjunction for the upcoming cycle is October 1, 2015. At first will be a tentative beginning, when the new impulse is guided by yet unclear urges, stemming from the past while longing for the future.

Mid-way through its retro period, Mercury is as close to planet Earth than it will ever be, orbiting directly between us and the Sun disk. This conjunction of Mercury to the Sun is known as the Inferior Conjunction, to distinguish it from the Superior Conjunction when Mercury is as far from Earth as it can possibly be and also disappear in the glare of the Sun, being visually just behind the Sun from our observation point on Earth. The Superior conjunction is really an opposition Mercury-Earth in a heliocentric view. The next Superior Conjunction will occur on November 17, and will represent the culmination of the cycle that starts in October.

The phases bring to the ‘reading’ of Mercury an extra dimension, showing it as an ongoing process, rather than a fixed placement to be interpreted in a rigid way.

In this new light the Retrogradation of Mercury stands for a sort of preparatory period during which the lesson of the last mercurial cycle is appreciated and we look back in order to understand and re-value, before a new cycle can begin in a conscious way, when Mercury turns direct on October 1.

I hope that, if you didn’t know these facts already, you may feel better equipped now to answer your skeptic friends when they tell you that retrogradation is just an optical illusion and non existent. Something really happens to the relationship between the Earth and the planet when this appears to move in a backward fashion.

The astrological meaning of the Retrogradation of  Mercury

All planets’ retro periods represent a revaluation of sort, but what we need to reflect upon differs in accordance with the nature of the planet. So, for instance, during the retrogradation of Mars we need to re-value and re-consider the way we assert ourselves and go out to get what we want from life. This need of self-reflection could make this an ineffectual and tentative period, when for a time we may lose confidence, becoming less able to interact constructively with our environment. At the end we will have gained however a deeper understanding of what need changing in our attitude in order to achieve a less confrontational and more effective method of proceeding.

During the retrogradation of Venus the same thing happens to our feelings. We are inclined to reflect on the way we usually relate to others, especially in a one to one situation. For a time this could mean that we become more tentative when we relate to others, less outgoing, more introspective, not the best social time. But at the end of this tunnel too we may have discovered things about ourselves and our loved ones that can help immensely in healing rifts or deciding the fate of shaky or unsatisfactory relationships.

It is the same with Mercury. Its Evening Star incarnation (spanning in the second half of 2015 from July 23 = Superior Conjunction to the Sun, to October 1 = Inferior Conjunction to the Sun), represents a time for giving due consideration to the way we communicate our thoughts and ideas to others, the way we tackle intellectual challenges, like writing, reading, studying, teaching. In particular the retro motion of Mercury (September 17 to October 9) corresponds to a period of mental introspection, at the end of which we can start again to project our minds onto the world, with renewed inventiveness and adaptability to different circumstances and people.

In the Morning Star phase Mercury’s direct energy does in fact facilitate everything mercurial, such as change, communication, expression of idea in speech or writing, travel, brain-storming, moving etc. This is a forward looking mental impulse, bringing us out of ourselves and onto active participation with the world. This period will end with the Superior Conjunction on November 17, when our mental tendencies will have reached their more concrete and objective state. From then Mercury will begin to wane again, arriving at its next retro Station in Aquarius on January 5 2016.

To discover which phase Mercury was going through at the time of your birth all you need to do is look for its position relative to the Sun. When Mercury is behind the Sun in longitude it appears as the Morning Star, displaying an outgoing type of energy, eager for self expression. When Mercury instead is found to be ahead of the Sun in longitude it appears as the Evening Star, directing its mental energy inward, aiding insight and introspection.

Mercury Retrograde in Libra, September-October 2015

Hermes from Alistair Crowley Tarot deck

To represent this event I’ve chosen a Tarot image from Alistair Crowley’s deck representing the ‘Magician’ or ‘Magus’, first of the Major Arcana. To my eyes it depicts well the cosmic side of our little brother, his connection to the spiritual realm, his ability to ‘magically’ interconnect the physical, the psychic and the metaphysical. Mercury, and his Greek counterpart Hermes were the only gods permitted to travel between the three worlds, the earthly, the heavenly and the underworld, signifying the human mind’s potential to function at the rational level (earth realm), the spiritual (the heavenly realm) and the psychic level (the underworld) and to be thus the go-between these different level of awareness.

Mercury Retrograde

On September 17 Mercury began its Retrograde period that will last until October 9 2015, from the middle to the beginning of Libra. Mercury, now an Evening Star, will conjunct the Sun on October 1 (Inferior Conjunction), and afterword return to the morning sky.

This special Transit will be felt by everyone, at some level, but in particular those people who were born with the Sun, Moon, Planets or Chart’s Angles in the first half of the Sign of Libra (0 to 17 degrees); and also people with natal placements in the other Cardinal Signs, Aries, Cancer and Capricorn. The effect will vary in intensity and quality of experience depending on the nature of the celestial body or Angle involved.

During the whole Mercury retro’s period we may encounter many opportunities to review our thinking, to become more flexible so to be able to adapt to changing circumstances. To have too rigid plans and expectations, from others as well as ourselves, may not work during this time.

Stay tuned to your inner feelings, listen to your intuition and don’t try to rationalize too much. Creativity, dreaming, imagination can all gain from a retro period of Mercury, especially in the artistic and aesthetically minded Sign of Libra.

Mercury/Hermes represents our inquisitive spirit and intellectual curiosity. He was he who ‘invented’ the spoken and written languages we use to share ideas and thoughts. Despite this, during a Mercury’s retro phase, non verbal communication are naturally facilitated over verbal, because we all can more easily tap into our innate abilities to ‘read’ other people’s feelings and thoughts.

October 1 will be the turning point of this period, with Mercury conjunct the Sun, when those inner experiences may be at their strongest. At this point in fact Mercury will be passing directly between the Earth and the Sun, the closest he can ever be to our planet.

Apart from the conjunction to the Sun, the major alignment of Mercury during his retrogradation will be the 90 degrees angle to Pluto in Capricorn, repeating three times (earlier, in direct motion, on September 10; again, in retro motion, on September 25; and lastly, in direct motion, on October 23). This type of connection indicates generally a time not suitable for small talk or superficial conversation and reading, but rather a time when we can all penetrate a bit deeper and explore more courageously subjects that we may usually consider taboo or just too hard to discuss, demanding a level of intimacy and trust that is difficult to achieve in normal circumstances.

It could be an ideal time to embrace some form of ‘inner’ therapy, meditation, visualization etc. and also confront deeply buried issues festering in our unconscious: fears, feeling of inadequacy, dislike, resentment, jealousy, even undisclosed stuff we suspect others are hiding from us, or those lies we like to tell ourselves when too scared to look into what’s really going on. Sharing secrets and, by doing so, building trust with the people who matter to us could be scary now as always, but it could also prove incredibly rewarding during this suitable cosmic time.

Considering that most of the Mercury’s retro period will fall between two Eclipses (Solar on September 13 and Lunar on September 28) a period that some astrologers defines as a sort of twilight zone, there is even a greater chance for this Mercury’s phase to stir up our longing for a better knowledge of ourselves and others, transcending our habitual way of thinking and sharing ideas. Even in his more mischievous aspect of disrupting our routines and muddling our plans, Mercury retrograde offers an opportunity to think out of the box, to stop and consider things in greater depth, to understand what it’s really important and what instead we can do without or do in a different, less ‘straight’, more creative way.

Libra is a Venus’ Sign. This Mercury’s Retrogradation in Libra coming up just after the end of a difficult Venus’ Retrogradation (July 24 to September 7) will impact particularly on love relationships, heightening difficulties while offering opportunity for more real closeness and honesty.

If interested click here for a recent post on the general mechanics and meaning of Retrogradation, focusing mainly on Mercury.

An aside: Saturn in Sagittarius and Jupiter in Virgo, the time Keepers’ recent Signs change

Contemporary with the beginning of the Retro Station of Mercury is the ingress of Saturn into Sagittarius, where ponderous Saturn will reside until 2017. Hopefully this is not such a negative event, as some astrologers have been predicting, but rather a lift from Scorpio’s emotional quagmire to Sagittarius’ more open and philosophical outlook. Because Sagittarius is known to presides over religious dogma and matters of faith, many believe that Saturn transiting this Sign could spell more religious divisions and prejudices. I am more optimistic about this (wishful thinking, fear that the international situation could get even worse than what it is?). I sincerely hope but also see the real potential for this Transit to help to lighten the situation, offering a more enlightened, less personal approach to everything. Moving into Sagittarius Saturn has also finished his mutual dangerous dance with Pluto in Capricorn, each transiting the Sign traditionally ruled by the other during the time Saturn was in Scorpio (Mutual Reception 1).

1 Section on Mutual Reception from my Tutorial on the astrological Aspects. Click here to see the whole Aspect Page.
Mutual Reception is one of those astrological terms that often baffle the beginner. It may be at first a bit difficult to understand, having to do with the Planets’ connection to the Signs rather than with actual distances or angles between Planets. To ‘notice’ these types of Aspects in a Natal Chart one needs to know the Planets’ rulership over the Signs by heart. This Aspect joins the Planets in a mysterious, subtle but very real way. Such mingling of energies can be very creative.
Definition: two Planets are in Mutual Reception to each other when one is positioned in the Sign ruled by the other and vice versa.
A few examples should make this more clear:
Venus in Gemini (Sign ruled by Mercury) is in Mutual Reception to Mercury in Taurus (Sign ruled by Venus).
The Moon in Capricorn (Sign ruled by Saturn) is in Mutual Reception to Saturn in Cancer (Sign ruled by the Moon).
Jupiter in Virgo (Sign ruled by Mercury) is in Mutual Reception to Mercury in Sagittarius (Sign ruled by Jupiter).
The Moon in Aquarius (Sign co-ruled by Uranus) is in Mutual Reception to Uranus in Cancer (Sign ruled by the Moon).
The Sun in Aries (Sign ruled by Mars) is in Mutual Reception to Mars in Leo (Sign ruled by the Sun).