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Astrology Of October 2018: Turn The Beat Around

Reaching into the water and down into the silt and sand which beds beneath, we feel our fingers slip into the fine materia and parting serpent scales probe the orbs and egg-sacks for a single pearl unlike the plethora. This one, which glows and hums, vibrating in its medium, speaks and sings, in a moaning tone, somber and hungry, diverting attention, asks for something else; we cradle it in the palm of our hand, and wish to cast it out into the grey wash, but the ocean cries out in curls of grey fog, billows up to us and prevents our ejection; we must hold on to this thing, this kernel of yearning that stirs our passions, our loins a shifting cradle of sortilege, the sticks tumbling into a random order around the pearlescent pulse in the halls of water in a hush of bellows breath, the subterranean springs haunted by Nereids deprived of sunlight. They sing with sea stone hearts, pining for that which they’ve never seen or experienced, lusting for a world they have never known.

Meanwhile, a process has played out and finishing knots lay upon the edge. We fold what we have weaved and tuck it under our arm to go and follow the chime of social clamor; clinking glasses and beckoning triangles, the pleasant sound of chit chat blooming out of champagne foam. Simultaneously drums pulse and stalk in our guts, miles below the surface of our stomach, in the place where the Hermit paces and with his lantern exposes that which we had forgotten, stows away in private from our previous incarnations. They say the damned are not stuck in Hell but may migrate up to the heavens where they merge with their guiding star. The rumor roils in the seedy bathhouses, contaminated waters belching sulphur. ‘The way out is through’, and for that we must find our footing; where we can stand centered, framed by denizens of the cardinal kings and withstand any type of turbulence. With dimly glowing pearl as our guide, in slanting silver light, toasted by copper glint that frays the sullen grey as chariot wheels roll near the piping still; the flavors of the feminine metals colloidal in our saliva. Is it blood? Ours or theirs? Is it serum, elixir, ambrosia? We intoxicate ourselves by sucking sap from the heart-meat. Is it sexual fluids? If so they are too sweet so we fear they might have been poisoned, or at least drugged; laced with a chain of vowels and soft consonants that lull us to superior sleep, where the Pharaohs of our dreams undress and show themselves as the Universe first crafted them; more animalistic, nearer to the pattern of perfection, which is surprisingly more apocalyptic than we would normally like to imagine. Fire and brimstone, leviathan.

Have our emotions churned and splashed their way into our brains, and that grey nut become a sponge which likes to drink up the phlegmatic fluid? We vamparize our subjects, and they lay before us as slaughtered lambs; is this then a sign? Is our love a thing slain and our lust a play for power, and responsibility a thing that calls from the core that we must crank our trunks in the torture chamber of nature’s structure? Yes and no; as of course it can’t be any other way. The air tosses our lovers hair and we watch from a nearby perch, a collection of ocean shore boulders set down by God for us to relinquish languid and consider our reflections, and in paintings our bodies appear broken, smitten.; the mirror of others, and the challenging sting of the Other; the prick of the thorn which enters through a wound and whispers into the streams of blood a new way to work which in mere moments echo in the brain. We have wandered beyond equinox, the Sun secedes, the air cools, the pond flips, our bellies lurch, the diabolical baby kicks, libidinous engines crank, turn over, belch black smoke, old incinerations emitted, we change our course, set our sites somewhere between the flower that has gone and a strange bloom we never noticed, we’re pulled forward, attracted. As the Moon swells, pregnant with sensual bombs.

Mercury rushes into a dissonant void as he squares Pluto around 8pm (EST) on Tuesday October 2nd, our negotiation and dialogue abilities clash with powerful, unknown forces in large scale architectures and constructions. We may be challenged to apply diplomatic logic to overwhelming and unprecedented situations, some of monumental proportions. Earlier in the day the Moon passes through a Grand Water Trine in her own sign of Cancer harmonizing with Neptune in Pisces and Venus in Scorpio. Intuitive, mystical, imaginative emotions flow into our deepest and realist needs, as well as voracious hungers and sexual mystery. This pair of configurations could ring a strong bell that reverberates into Venus’ retrograde narrative, especially as Mercury squares Pluto from her domicile. Keep your eyes peeled here for clues and components, and feel it out as well as go easy.

The Sun progresses into the 2nd decan of Libra in the wee hours of the following day (Wednesday October 3rd), deepening our attention to maintaining agreements and bonds we share with others and whether or not they are in sustained accord. By afternoon Mercury moves into Libra’s 3rd face where he works to juggle a variety of cultural perspectives simultaneously and is able to operate under multiple paradigms at once. He has recently emerged from combustion so his expressions begin to be visible, and the logic of his actions emerge into consideration.

On Friday, Venus’-day, October 5th Venus turns retrograde around 8pm (EST), beginning the inversion of our likes and dislikes especially in the realm of intimacy and pleasure or intense relationships as this occurs in Scorpio. What we are most intensely attracted to may shift, where we derive pleasure may migrate, how and what we create may meander into new and unknown territory. We may find ourselves following the scent of secrets, salivating for forbidden flesh, plunging into primal pools, feeling our way through the dark, intoxicated predators pursuing their prey, or animals in rut required to mate. These deep drives can find us wandering way off map, in pursuit of pleasure and aesthetic satisfaction elsewhere. Her retrogrades occur in the same area of the zodiac every eight years, drifting about two degrees per complete cycle, touching five points around the ecliptic one every year and a half, drawing an elegant flower with her orbit, a five pointed star, a pentagram that drifts two degrees every eight years. In this process we change and refine our tastes over time; we investigate new flavors and sensations. This makes for a perfect opportunity to try something new, but complicates romance, as Venus rules love; it is much riskier to try a new person than it is to try a new flavor ice cream, so if possible put off any changes in relationship status until after the retrograde, they might be painfully regrettable.

Just before midnight on Monday October 8th we receive a New Moon in Libra, and a new cycle of bond, agreement, pact, accord, and union is quietly incepted. This is both Sun and Moon in Libra, entering the tunnel of the Via Combusta, where they both find their falls, and though considered inauspicious by some, it is a stretch of zodiac (15 Libra to 15 Scorpio) that brims with magical and necromantic potential, studded with stars of Crows and Herdsmen, archetypes that populate shamanistic myths such as the Irish epic Táin Bó Cúailnge. Divination via the dead and other darker works may begin here; especially significant for those working with Hekate.

By the afternoon Mars finally exits his retrograde shadow, and may now enter fresh territory in the cycles and story of actions, confrontation, competition and so on. We may begin to encounter new battles and challenges rather than toil over the same few since last May. At last we move on, and hopefully with a sense of completion and accomplishment.

Mercury ingresses Scorpio in the evening of Tuesday October 9th intensifying logic and fixing concentration, priming our brains for an espionage type intellect, one intent on action rather than mere intelligence. As this is subterranean Scorpio, dirty or dark thoughts may filter freely in and also lace our breath, as well as becoming fixated on the primal drives in life, such as hunting, mating and fighting for territory, as well as initiation rituals. Here he exits the beams of the Sun and emerges as evening star, so communication and idea thinking becoming more extroverted, integrating into the manifest narrative; our analytical minds become less reflective and more pro active.

Wednesday morning October 10th sees Mars proceed into the 2nd decan of Aquarius where he tends to fight for principles as conventional and visionary ideas clash, highlighting the revolutionary-political-manifesto directives of Saturn’s air domicile. That Mars squares a very slow and retrograde Venus, finding potential revolutionary violence in tension with inversions of primal intimacy; Be exceedingly careful here of regrettable sexual storms. The Moon separates from conjunction with Venus, so this episode carries deep emotional weight, and is followed by Luna trining Neptune, so emotions are likely washed in delusional swells; also allowing for intensely intuitive creative expression, a chance to channel sexual fantasies and frustrations into obscure outlets.

By midday Mercury in Scorpio opposes Uranus in Taurus; primal logic and intense fixity of mind needing to balance with disruptions of organic rhythm and pace as well as destabilizations within material resources. Mercury is best at receiving Uranus’ lightening, converting chaos into discovery, so make sure to keep it experimental here and receive a eureka. This opposition occurs on the bends of the nodes, so it is likely pulling on tensions of the past year and a half’s eclipse narrative: the flowing from obscurity into the light and embracing a central role in your own story.

The Sun squares Pluto on October 11th, which may echo Mercury’s square on the 2nd. Identification with and focus on mutual agreements clashes against powerful unknowns in monumental scale construction and system assembly. This could feel like a weight of the world versus the functionality of the local culture tension. In the small hours that follow (early October 12th) Venus returns to Scorpio’s 1st decan, and the danger of returning to deleterious pleasures of past grows more raw and tangible. Mercury then sextile’s Saturn providing the lubrication for primal logic and fixed intellect to somehow work hand in hand with the laws and limits of territory, nature and society.

24 hours later (5:30am October 13th) the Sun enters Libra’s third decan and the attention is less on one on one agreements and more on the general equilibrium and accord of the whole. As the Solar eye sights the final degrees that lead to Scorpio’s excesses, the polarities of balance and imbalance are also very visible.

Mercury catches up to and conjoins Venus on Monday October 15th, and our primal logic and fixed intellects become one with primal pleasures and dangerous inversions of intimacy. Mind and attraction, logic and creativity, art and expression all unified in themes of hunger, hunt, sex, secrecy, war, witchcraft and howling desire. This consolidates our fixations and intentions, but also allows us the opportunity to think over what has recently aesthetically, romantically or creatively capsized. This occurs sextile the Moon in Capricorn, so our notions are likely willing to endure to meet needs of labour, or inversely feel overworked and starved of what we need.

October 16th Mercury proceeds into Scorpio’s second face where his logic and communication skills are directed toward intense, sustained mental intercourse and mutual exchange. Imagine the two Scorpio’s you know locked in an intense and deep conversation in the corner throughout the entire party, unwavering even through the turbulence of the bacchanal. The Moon moves into her second quarter here, delivering a ramp up in manifestation and energy via the management of empire type needs.

By the 19th Mercury comes to trine Neptune, and though a friendly aspect, this dissolves and muddles Mercury’s normally careful organization; the sustained mental intercourse is blended with and thus contaminated by the imaginal. The Scorpio corner is getting quite carried away with themselves, and true tales grow a little taller as the night passes. At 1pm Mercury squares Mars and locked mental exchange clashes against ethical and principled agendas of aggression and defense. The mood of personal tall tales might have tread upon some triggers. Interestingly the Moon in nearby Aquarius is trine to the Sun in Libra reflecting how the need to emotionally disentangle is harmonized with a focus on general equilibrium.

On Monday October 21st at 9am the Sun draws near Venus and she goes combust in the reach of his rays, disappearing from the sky and entering the Underworld to find and retrieve lost love, lost pleasure, lost creative inspiration, lost aesthetic value. We don’t know anymore what we love and look for it in dark places, the past or where we have never explored before. This begins the process of her purification, where outdated and stale values are burned away.

Mercury sextiles Pluto on Monday afternoon October 22nd, where intense and deep mental intercourse can collaborate with powerful unknowns in monumental construction. This is an interesting precursor to the Sun’s ingress into Scorpio around 7am on Tuesday October 23rd, as our general focus shifts to intense desires and identification with being able to seize and take, receiving gnosis of primal hunger. Venus’ Underworld journey becomes more the general story as the two bodies drift together. Mercury moves into Scorpio’s 3rd decan a few hours later, pushing logic and language into awareness of deprave dynamics such as addiction and vampirism; the mind intuitively connected to the more dark and polluted human nature psychologies. This is where twisted psychological thrillers are born, and to add the cinematic sense of destabilization and urgency the Sun opposes Uranus by 8:30pm, randomizing the pace and material resources available in our state of yearning and brooding.

Venus sextiles Saturn the following day, Wednesday October 24th, a possibly sobering moment where our inversions of hunger for primal pleasure play along with natural limits. Just after noon the Moon reaches Fullness at 1 degree and 13 minutes of Taurus, just after having passed over Uranus. The blossoming of a cycle expressing through materials, sensuality, craft, the hands on, the satisfying, the rhythmic occurs in a radicalized and volatile mutation. This is another event on the bends of the Nodes, placing it in a pivotal point in the delivery of the nodal storyline, of emerging from the fringes into the spotlight.

The Inferior Conjunction of Venus and the Sun occurs at 10:15am, 3 degrees and 6 minutes Scorpio. Intense focus and identification on primal drives, hungers and desires leads to finding new loves and pleasures and creativity and aesthetic sense in primal depths of hunt and hunger, sex and death and predatory mystery. Here the Sun and Venus are one in the realm of personal intimacy, primordial thirst, secrecy, night maneuvers, lust. For some this follows all the goth aesthetics associated with Scorpio, and for others, it may be a deep stirring of a general ‘lust for life’. This is our sense of Values connecting to deep materiality and a vision of what is beautiful underneath in the normally hidden layers, the undercurrents of our libidos, a realignment of our art with what really turns us on, a realization of what we are horny for resonating into the deeper chambers of our organism; this is not about remembering what makes us feel nice, but instead what gets us off, even if its a little, or a lot, dangerous.

Unsurprisingly, the Sun sextiles Saturn the next day, Saturday October 27th at 11pm, earthing our realizations, we begin to connect them to reality and figure out how we can acheive that which we hunger in actuality, from where we currently stand. Monday morning (October 29th) at 7am Mercury conjoins Jupiter in Scorpio’s third face, logic and language filtered through the psychologically depraved swells into greater awareness of such things and expands into coherence, wisdom and a more elevated mind. Perfect timing, we get the details in context of the big picture. As this occurs in a grand trine with Neptune and the North Node in Leo on the cusp of Cancer, it is in a way the revaluations of Venus and the resultant realizations and contextualizations that foreshadow the activity of the next eclipse cycle beginning this winter; it is this fall that we realize what we really need to love our lives, and then the following couple years we prioritize our needs to incubate our growth; this takes imagination and creative lust to for fuel.

Venus exits combustion on Halloween, and here on a day marked by dressing in whatever costume we desire and exploring alternate versions of ourselves we bring our new loves into the light, and search for a place for them to exist in our lives. Venus has gone from Evening Star to Morning Star after having been in the Underworld for 10 days; she is now not only the enchanter of our dreams, but the creatrix of our waking world.

Mercury ingresses Sagittarius just after noon on October 31st, where he is in detriment, confusing or coopting details for the sake of big picture prerogatives. He excells at motivational language, even though he can easily sugar coat and deceive, its normally for the sake of a higher purpose, the sake of the mission. this is propaganda, which is useful and effective, but should be monitored well so we don’t all end up on a crazed crusade.

Finally, Venus returns to her domicile in Libra, where she goes to conclude her retrograde in the weeks to come. All of our inversions of love, pleasure, and aesthetic begin to seek equilibrium and balance so that they may become integrated into the cultural discourse and accepted. Now her explorations are less spiny, she’s been purified and returns to the place where she rules and belongs. She may have brought back to the banquet things that are curious and highly strange, but somehow they go with the decor, and the gala is more memorable by it; the band strikes up a unexpected note, and party goers drop their garish masks, revealing charming visages decorated in exquisite cosmetics, the dance commences. Up seems to be down, and left seems to be right, feminine and masculine swap their meanings and what is right and wrong, polite or rude also step into each others positions, but somehow the whole thing measures out perfectly into a rather charming affair.


October 2018 Herbal Forecast for Liminal Light

These notes are suggestions for herbal allies to assist with the effects of the cosmic influences of this week. Before imbibing any of the herbs recommended, research what is a recommended dosage, & ask yourself & research such questions as, Does this herb interfere with any medications I am taking?, Does this herb match with my constitution?, Do I really need to take this herb into my body? Be wise: listen to your own body, intuition, guiding spirits & the plants themselves.

Imbibing the herbs recommended is of course only one way of meeting the herbs. There are multitudinous manners of developing relationships with our herbal allies including sitting with the fresh or dry herbs, or a picture/drawing of the herb, making an amulet to wear or have on your altar (adhering to planetary hours/days is important here), visioning or meditating with the plant, & taking an herbal body or foot bath (In this case remember your skin is the largest organ of your body). Use your imagination & listen to the plants, they have been on this planet much longer than we have, are our Elders & have great wisdom to offer.

October begins with the Moon in Cancer forming a Grand Water Trine with Neptune in Pisces & Venus in Scorpio. The harmony of this Water trine can be called upon & looked back upon for messages as we pass into the murky, sultry depths of Venus heading into retrograde in Scorpio on October 5th. This waning Moon in Cancer reminds me of the Rugosa Rose (Rosa rugosa) along the sea, full of nourishing love, Neptune in Pisces tells of Dulse (Palmaria palmata) & Bladderwrack (Fucus vseiculosus), the salty fluidity of the plants of the sea & Venus in Scorpio of the beautiful Water Lily (Nymphaea spp.)& Skunk Cabbage (Symplocarpus foetidus) of the murky swamps, the dazzling sensuatlity rising from the muck. Any combination of these can be called upon throughout the month to access the messages of this harmonious trine. Caveat: Skunk Cabbage’s raw roots are toxic & raw leaves can burn the mouth.

Soon after this, Mercury in Libra squaring Pluto, who recently stationed direct in Capricorn, may bring sigils of the foundation of the Underworld & archaic language rising from tombs. Love-in-the-Mist (Nigella sativa) also called Fennel Flower is a wonderful Mercurial herb to call upon here. A close look at the black seeds of this plant, also called Black Cumin, shows the inconspicuous furrows, almost hieroglyphs, etched into the outer shell. Black Cumin was found in the grave of the pharaoh Tutankhamun & the physicians of the pharaohs often called upon Black Cumin seeds for digestive aid as well as to treat infections, toothaches, colds & headaches. It is a delicious, flavorful spice that aids in immune health, allergies & gives succor to those dealing with asthma. As Mercury heads into Scorpio later this month, on October 9, Black Cumin can continue to be used for deciphering messages from the great Beyond.

On October 3, the Sun ingresses into the 2nd decan of Libra, while Mercury moves into the 3rd decan of Libra. Emerging even further from combustion, Mercury, in dignity here in Libra’s 3rd decan,has the clear view as if from a mountain top, able to see all sides & able to breathe the fresh air of diverse perspectives. To guide this openness, call upon Mercury ruled Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) or Fenugreek (Tirgonella foenum-graecum) tea for sharp thinking & clear passages for intuition to flow. As well, Schisandra berries (Schisandra chinensis) with their five flavors, salty, sweet, bitter, pungent, & sour, tells of Libra’s ability to see all sides & aids in this adeptness. Schisandra is at the same time stimulating to the central nervous system, enhancing performance & mental clarity, as it is calming, relieving anxiety & stress. It assists in preventing stress-induced immune system depletion. It is enhancing to the function of the endocrine system including increasing the strength of reproductive hormones.

Friday, Freya’s & therefore Venus’ day, October 5, is when our planet of love, desire & relation begins its retrograde in Scorpio, at 8 pm EST. This Venus retrograde season, we

will need to call upon those Venus herbs that remind us of our inner love as we traverse these necessary dark caverns of relationships. Of course, one will need to carry six Pomegranate seeds (Punica granatum) throughout this time, or place them on ones altar, so to call upon Persephone, the Queen of the Underworld, for guidance in her realm. Rose (Rosa spp.) is another crucial herb of this time period, an herbal ally that has been called upon during the many months of this year. Venus ruled Rose allows our hearts to open, but has the thorns of protection for this grand opening. Rose thorns will be important to carry on ones being or placed on ones altar for protection form others & from our own possible brash actions during this time.

Our brambles, Blackberry (Rubus villosus) & Red Raspberry (Rubus idaeus) leaves make wonderful teas & tinctures for nourishing our reproductive organs that are ruled by Scorpio & Venus. As well making a protective wreath of brambles & briars & placing at the entry of ones home or altar space will help filter Underworld messages of this time.

Our Lady’s Mantle (Alchemilla mollis), another Rose family astringent, has a leaf that is in the form of a cloak made of small hearts all woven together which can be called upon during this time to know what really needs to be purged from our lives as that which is not needed & does not offer us love & respect separated out from that which needs our patience. Periwinkle (Vinca major) is another Venusian ally that Culpeper states, “The young tops [of Periwinkle] made into a conserve are good to prevent nightmares.” This is another one worn in ones hair, or close to ones heart will assist with this time of Venus feeling in exile in the Underworld. ‘Vinca’ means ‘to bind’ & has often been called “sorcerer’s violet”, being used to drive away “wycked spirits”. Vince has also been used to strengthen the inner eye.

As Venus visits the Underworld, much can be brought forth & need to be cleared. Calling upon some of our Lymphatic support herbs can assist with clearing that which comes up & does not serve, from the body. Calendula (Calendula officinalis), Cleavers (Galium aparine), & Red Root (Ceonothus americanus) are three of the great Lymph clearers all assisting strong flow through our bodies & keeping movement strong in this possibly swampy mire.

As well, our other Benefic, Jupiter, in Scorpio, & having been here for nearly one year, will be wise to call upon for guidance in the Underworld. Sumac (Rhus glabra) is wonderful Jupiterian ally here. Make oneself a crown of Staghorn Sumac antlers, have some in tea & infuse some of these red berries in vinegar for this red elixir of life understands what it is to hold be in life at the same time as hold death’s hand or paw. Sumac is an ally for those who are nervous, anxious, have great fear & desperation. Sumac’s astringent qualities dry up excess mucus in the body & help to ease joint pain. When drinking of infusion of the berries, be sure to strain this well as the tiny, salty hairs of the red Sumac berries have the ability to irritate ones throat.

The New Moon in Libra, on Monday, October 8, is a time to gather under the grand balancing Oaks (Quercus alba) where one lives & make offerings of Oak leaves, Lavender infused Honey, Poppy seeds & Pomegranate to Hekate or other chthonic deities. Garlands of Rose family Rowan (Sorbus aucuparia/S. americana) & Hawthorn (Crataegus spp.) can be strung & given as offerings. These make a wonderful tea along with Hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis) that is grounding, opening & protecting all at once. This a time to balance ones relationship with the spirit world, to pause from ones own strifes & make great offerings to the great Beyond. Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra), the great Harmonizer, may also be one to call upon as our two Luminaries dance in Libra.

As well, on the 8th, Mars exits his retrograde shadow. Let us celebrate with a steep pot of Nettle (Urtica dioica) tea, a burst of hot & spicy Forty Thieves Vinegar, heavy on the

Horseradish & Cayenne, or a rousing Martian Hopped (Humulus lupulus) brew, offering the first libation of course to the warrior spirits now heading in a forward motion.

Mercury exits Libra & heads into Scorpio on Tuesday, October 9th. Continue with five-flavored Schisandra here to be proficient at all languages that could arise from the Underworld. Bittersweet (Solanum dulcamara) with its toxic purple and yellow flowers that turn into bright red berries, can be placed in bouquets on ones altar. This is not to be ingested as one can paralyse ones central nervous system with consumption of this herb. It once was tied around the neck as a cure for vertigo or dizziness. Its presence will offer steady footing in the dark caverns we are transgressing.

On Wednesday, October 10, Mars moves into the second decan of Aquarius as well as squares Venus in Scorpio. Continue with the chosen Martial herbs here, especially Nettle, to have the stamina with this possibly explosive square. Aprhodisiac Damiana (Turnera diffusa), in the past was used to reach the meditative state during Tantric sex rites. Often associated with Mars or Pluto, Damiana can help one steer ones life with confidence & knowing of what one desires. Damiana can also help this same day when Mercury in Scorpio opposes Uranus in Taurus with the ability to believe in oneself & to be ready for any twist of turn Uranus wishes to spring forth.

There is more Pluto energy on the 11th of October as the Sun in Libra squares Pluto in Capricorn. Keep adding Damiana to ones daily tea blend or carrying some dry herb on ones body so to keep this self-aware confidence during this tension. Venus also returns to Scorpio I so keep those red berries strong in ones daily ritual.

Monday, October 15 sees Mercury joining Venus in Scorpio I. This seems a great space of art, creativity, & sexuality meeting. Mercury & Venus ruled Wormwood (Artemisisa absinthium) &Venusian Mugwort (Artemisisa vulgaris) are both great allies here. We are looking to herbs to assist us with navigating the hidden realms. As well, some of our poison path plants, European Mandrake (Mandragora officinalis) & Henbane (Hyoscyamus niger) can be called upon with wisdom & caution. These are great altar plants or used for creating magical talismans as both are deeply connected to the Underworld. European Mandrake has been often called upon as the ‘Hand of Glory’, seen as possibly the hand of a hanged man in the grimoire ‘Le Petit Albert’ (1706) for fertility & hence creativity. American Mandrake (Podoohyllum peltatum) is often used interchangeably for magical purposes with the European Mandrake, but as one can see from their different botanical names, they are different plants entirely. They both grow in woodlands, have fragrant, white flowers, & both offer golden fruits which when fully ripe, are not poisonous, unlike the rest of the plant’s parts. American Mandrake spreads into stands with rhizomes (more Uranian), making new crowns & above ground plants as it spreads across the forest. European Mandrake has a long tap bulbous taproot that grows deeper & deeper, but does not creep. This growth difference alone would not recommend the use of the two interchangeably as there is different energy offered here.

Mercury in Scorpio trines Neptune in Pisces on the 19th causing clarity to be blurred & the imaginal realm to rule communication. With a later squaring of Mars to Mercury this day, we are wise to call upon the Sun in Libra trining the Moon in Aquarius so to smooth over unnecessary conflicts. The peaceful warrior, Mars ruled Eastern White Pine (Pinus strobus) will be an important ally here. Burning the needles, allowing the smoke to waft into a room, placing some needles in a pot of water simmering on a woodstove or kitchen stove, or drinking some Pine needle tea will bring peace clarity & forthrightness to a situation.

Monday, October 21st, at 9 am EST, Venus goes into combust as the Sun draws near. This is a step into the alchemical laboratory of our subconscious, where the fire of the Sun will help to burn away that which is outdated in our lives. Two Sun ruled herbs that have deep

connections to the Underworld as well are Black Cohosh (Cimicifuga racemosa) & Calamus (Acorus calamus). Black Cohosh, an at-risk medicinal herb, should be called upon sparingly or in spirit. This dear ally has dark roots in the Underworld, yet in the Summer, sends a spire of beautifully scented white flowers that mimic the stars themselves. This ally has been called upon for deep depression as it brings up the depths of our shadows & allows us a safe space to work with these, allowing our shadows to become our strengths. If this work is undertaken with Black Cohosh, make sure one has a strong support system as it is difficult to meet these parts of ourselves we have buried, often for a reason. But if one is ready to work on these with the support of loved ones, Black Cohosh is a great ally. Sun ruled Calamus root (really a rhizome) resides in the murky swamps that Scorpio rules. The Sanskrit name for Calamus is vacha which means invocation, or the power that resides in voice. Calamus is often called upon to restore ones voice, physically or emotionally & brings forth the “bright yang of consciousness”. It helps one who is unable to grasp words & suffers from nervousness from this. It is an aromatic, warming & drying bitter so is a great carminative, increases the strength of the digestive process & can warm & dry cold, damp rheumatic conditions of joints. It is also an herb that is sacred to Hekate.

October 22nd sees Mercury sextiling Pluto & then the next morning, the Sun ingressing into Scorpio, Mercury moving into Scorpio III & the Sun opposing Uranus by 8:30 pm. This chaotic Underworld symphony, like some of Pendericki’s work, for example, “Kosmognia’, can be unsettling & continue our journey into places that do not feel comfortable for some. The adaptogen fiery, Martian Ashwaganda (Withania somnifera) came to me dream last week as the perfect ally for our Persephone style yearly wandering into the Underworld during the Autumn. Especially here, with the Sun joining Venus in Scorpio, let us walk with confidence & determination that this calming adaptogen can bring. The name Ashgandh comes from Hindi & refers to the odor of the root that is like the sweat of a horse. The Sandskrit, Âshwa meaning horse & gandha meaning smell tells of this earthly odor. It is said that Ashwaganda offers the stamina & strength of a stallion. In Ayurvedic medicine, Ashwaganda is a Rasavana, or an herb that has such vitality that it offers great nourishment, assists in eliminating toxins & promotes longevity. It is called upon for stimulating the mind, increasing ones life force, & assisting those in convalescing after an illness. Even further, Ashwaganda is placed in a subgroup of Rasavanas called Medhvarasayanas. Medhva speaks of the mind & mental capacities & of Ashwaganda’s ability to prevent dementia & Alzheimer’s, as well as neurodegenerative dis-orders like Parkinson’s & Huntington’s. In studies, Ashwaganda has been shown to halt & reverse neuritic atrophy & synaptic loss, two main roots of neurodegenerative dis-eases.

On October 24, as Venus in Scorpio sextiles Saturn in Capricorn, this may be a time to begin the solidification of some of the dredges Venus has encountered, to make this into a bundle to be burned for release & purification. Take these personal dredges & add them to Venusian Mugwort, Rose & Rose Geranium leaves & flowers to send them forth. This same day, soon after noon, the Moon becomes Full in Taurus, just after passing over Uranus. Uranus, loving lightning quick change, makes this fullness of the Moon in Taurus, a place that is usually a place of groundedness & building, possibly more chaotic & unstable. One may wish to ground themselves in Taurus ruled Speedwell (Veronica officinalis). This herb grows close to the ground, supports kidney health as well as respiratory health. It also aids in peaceful sleep, helps to calm the nerves & offer the vitality & uplift of new Spring growth.

During the Inferior Conjunction of Venus & the Sun, I would recommend to continue to call upon Ashwaganda for its stallion strength & stamina. This will help us to gather in this fierce energy that may be felt here & almost be ridden or the one riding, or both at the same time.

The Sun of course sextiles Saturn the next day, October 27 at 11 pm EST. Ground oneself with Solar Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) through smoke, tea, tincture or meditation. Our dear remembrance ally will bring aromatic clarity to the Sun’s Scorpionic visions.

Then, 7 am Monday morning, October 27, Mercury conjoins Jupiter in Scorpio. This is a wonderful gift of expansive messages of the depths. Calling upon Sumac again here would aid ones transmissions. As well burning Jupiter ruled Hyssop (Hyssopus officinalis) & drinking a roasted Dandelion hot beverage will allow the smoke & taproot into the depths.

On All Hallow’s, October 31, Venus exits combustion, & becomes our morning star. Mercury ingresses into Sagittarius, in his detriment & Venus retrogrades into Libra again, in her exaltation. Licorice, the great Harmonizer, ruled by Mercury, may be able to guide Mercury through such possibly expansive confusions in Sagittarius. Demeter, Persephone’s mother, has created a grand feast to hear the tales of the Underworld & nourish her daughter after the journey. Venus is no longer in exile & joins the celebration with a bit more wisdom than before, but with the equilibrium of Libra to behold the tales of her six pomegranate seeds. These as well as the Rose thorns can be put aside until the return to Scorpio. These red berries: Schisandra, Hawthorn, Sumac, Rose hips & Rowan are now jewels of the journey to be worn as reminders of growth.


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Moon of Hyldemoer, Suzanne Stone, Community Herbalist.

This information is not a substitute for a health care practitioner. Not to be reproduced without permission

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