Upon the edge of the balcony crouched like a cat in spring pounce position, coiled cobralike and in a huddle with a few other similarly clad companions passing around a vial of belladonna to drop upon our retinas and dilate our eyes. Night vision, spectral green and violet, haunting the world we look at, the cobwebbed and haunted ballroom moaning under dragging chains and sexy screams and cherry red nails raking across chalkboards leaving tracks of flame ripped down the slate surface, like the cold flat cheek of Golem; an onyx obelisk creaks and falls onto a feather bed and waits for its lover to arrive, but they never come and the shrieking begins in silence at first and then in full owl screech out the window but muffled by dream so no one else in the house is awoken, and the wind that makes its rounds from West to East rapping upon the doors it finds marked by red letters can only wait until the haunting reaches its unknown limit. The small semi circle of compatriots in catsuits upon the ledge hiss down into the visible night, and one by one slink down into the forest below, a twisting maze of cigarette smoke curls and woodstove exhalation beneath the low clouds and cellophane spirals that populate the slick streets after the utility trucks skated out of control and spilled the solutions they carry for putting undesirables asleep. Truth serums, chloroform, low dosage entheogens. The Catpeople descend, having lost their voices from the night prior screaming prayers over snuffed wicks huffing the lampblack and clutching each other as they pass out and are laid to rest in the theatre of prophetic dreams, wrapped in furs and fleeces. Their meows are raspy, striated, sheer morse noise, streams of white text under blurry eyes, the skylights of the nocturnal ceiling in a swirl of gentle storm. But they persist undeterred. The cemetery calls in woeful comfort and the strand of NightStalkers slithers into the breast of burial for a purring nap, nursing on diffused starlight. After a brief rest they prowl on, looking for imposters, weeding the wheat from the chaff, winnowing the social strata, taking the temperature of their Other’s, courting with disaster, serving drinks to their nemesis, and clinking glasses with their antithesis, kissing the mirror goodnight, sweet doppleganger, they purr, if only I could be you and you could be me; I would switch stories and leave behind a mad person, rambling nonsense to scare their nieces and nephews and neighbors children awake to this out of control world of our most poisonous penmanship. I would slide into a slightly different story where I was not in a costume at all, but could shatter reflections with my voice, could caress my wicked fangs across the nape of necks, could Split Images, could shed my fur rather than change my attire.
An alarm sounds, an imposter has been spotted, someone is not being true to themself somewhere else in another neighborhood, in another community, alien to this one, and that’s the target we’ve been looking for, but in an alternate narrative, with another title, we’ve been warned about this, right from the get go, but we forgot, all of it, the circumstances of our birth, our conception, the violence and tumult and jealousy and longing and fear that came together colliding in an erotic explosion to create us, an ocean of enzymes flooding a flesh hung skeleton electrified and plasma shocked and imprinted with our souls; ok, ok, lets get it together. Only some of this makes sense but all of it is real. Too fucking real. We’ve got a lot of stuff here to sort through.
We radio to our cell center that we are taking a time out. We’ll go MIA, AWOL; but operate undercover, go in there a different way. Contrary to popular belief. Counting backwards. Once we get our voice back, we’ll get them on the horn and let them know whatever it is we see out in the wilds, down the drain. Till then. Its been a pleasure. Over and out.
There are multiple layers, inextricably interwoven this month that need to be pried apart slightly to see which thread is connected to which vital organ of the marionette who is thrown into passionate distress and ecstatic enthusiasm all at once. I know everyone wants to talk about this utterly bizarre Mercury retrograde story, and so do I, but I think it would be most helpful to get to that later, so we can see what the chain of rulerships has trickling down the line.
Venus in Sagittarius
In the evening of November 1st Venus moves at last into Sagittarius and becomes copresent with Jupiter who has just a little time left in his own domicile, putting both benefics in one sign and moving toward an inevitable conjunction. Whatever haunted holes Mercury dove down directly through Venus at his retrograde station there is going to be a step change and big modality shift up on the surface with Venus seething and salivating and sniffing fear less for fun and feeling more genuinely optimistic and attracted to noble goals and higher objectives. Plus, while she is supported by copresence with the sign ruler she’ll also be sextile by sign to Mars in her domicile of Libra, where they will again be able to see one another and collaborate until Mars moves into Scorpio on the 19th. At that point he’ll be back in his own place and not reliant on the planet of desire and charm to do his thing. For the meanwhile, Venus fires up for questing, and sets her attractions steadily on larger than life desires, seeking pleasures of mythological proportions, perhaps drawing more satisfaction from the chase than even the goal, bond with others and elements of the tale which she seduces to her side as she is propelled forward toward her target, assembling an entourage that is tied together by an aesthetic sense and a creative purpose. Romance is in the air as adventurous avenues beckon us onto conveyer belt floors with the signage around all speaking in booming voices about what we really want ultimately above all, fusing our yearnings, philosophies and spiritual senses and spinning up some inertia to augment our motions. Jupiter hands down copious resources in the form of vitalizing insights and inspiring opportunities to make things as pleasant and exciting as possible. Mars gets to take from this and make use of the massive mojo. He’s still stuck being a soldier at a soiree, wanting to kick ass but having to be diplomatic instead. All the useful info coming down the chain of command causes him to feel much more optimistic about his situation, and he can begin to make some successful maneuvers putting operations back into balance now that he receives coherent maps to inspect. He’s pulled aside from the party, side arm cocked in his pocket, and is shown a revealing view of the landscape from the balcony amidst an awe inspiring sunset. He’s smoking a fragrant cigar, and bonding with his comrades, and getting back in touch with what they are even fighting for in the first place. There’s cultural context, and a revolution to raise. The slogans sound in his ears and touch his heart. There’s nothing more beautiful than being arm in arm with your fellows beneath the banner. Together we will win.
Moving toward mid month, the same day Mars sextiles Jupiter, the apex of this rousing atmosphere, we receive a Full Moon in Taurus, which our Sagittarian Venus will rule over. This climax in a cycle of manifestation which began in Scorpionic stealth and secrecy takes hold with grounding outcomes in sensual and sensory Taurus that bear some practical fruit from which bright light opens in aperture with each bite. Whatever primal pouncing we might have wished for back at the New Moon, we can now savor in relative safety, with a steady hand, even if there is labor involved in the process, its the kind that keeps the balls rolling and the sails full rather than deflating the balloons.
Two days later on the 14th Venus squares Neptune, which opens the stables for many fantastical horses to flow forth, either in or out depending on your needs or feelings. This is Jupiter ruled sign to Jupiter ruled sign, so is facilitated by his support, but I’d still expect to either be up all night floating in thrilled illusions or propelled through a dazzling and indescribably mythopoetic dreamscape. Venus will be applying to this square as the Moon swells to full, so what berries we pick from the patch and which clay we coral into our hands will be largely influenced by this attraction to mystically motivated urgency.
After Mars moves into his own sign, and is no longer reliant on Venus’ condition, she completes her conjunction with Jupiter, which has jackpot written all over it, and indeed the machine’s on tilt, as while the lights burn unimaginably bright illuminating realizations of how truly epic the entirety of the landscape actually is, and great droughts of pleasure stream in from the magnitude and magnificence of it all, this world of glorious love and the desire of the spirit to overcome and achieve contact with the divine against all odds, simply because the love of God is so strong, and how massive that feels, and how miracles rain down upon the saints who walk the winding roads through the mountains and deserts in search of light and knowledge, meanwhile Mars opposes Uranus while the Warrior is in possession of the Moon. We might be howling our heads of here, with ecstatic influences of divergent varieties coming in from alternate sources. There are potent emotions triggering irreversible actions from ultimate realizations that bond us strongly with our acquired wisdom. This might coagulate all together into a nice spiritual serum, although, it may be a lot of mania all at once, some amazing and some exploding. The amplifier sounds great as its catching on fire. It may be like winning the lottery jackpot as the plane is careening out of control. For some there will be earnings, and for others a jumping for joy into the jaws of the Dragon. Obviously, use it or loose it, but spend some time now trying to imagine how to keep cool when things get hot, and remain calm when every buzzer goes off at once. We want to be ready to contain our prize bull, as it’ll be a rodeo trying to hold the hot potato.
Finally Venus ingresses Capricorn by the 25th, where she does surprisingly well in Saturn’s formidable fortress. Here she teases out the sensual elements of the cold king of territory and time. The temperature of the soil, the elegance of the deep roots, the sublime beauty of the stones, the bones of the earth, the organic aesthetics of uncaring nature, and the worth of its raw materials. Old, strong, well built and sexy. Not the dripping fruit of Taurus, but the sensual experience of a body draped over a boulder, admiring the height and girth of the towering trees. The receptivity of body standing before a towering castle in ruination but impressive all the same.
Mars in Libra / Mars in Scorpio
We’ve talked about Mars’ peculiar situation in Libra, trying to blend in with the ball, but the punch was spiked with Spanish Fly and Horny Goat Weed and Henbane and Belladonna. So its the party in full swing with only the green glow of night vision goggles to navigate your way through, cocktail in one hand, opposite palm rests upon the pummel. Too much social obligation for direct action, and the place is a little to randy for nerves of steel. Where is James Bond when you need him? A fiction. It’s a hard row to tow.
Having recently squared Saturn, which was a combination of helpful structure, directives, awareness of limits and the forced facing of the consequences in disrupting social networks and injuring communities, now Mars comes square Pluto, where he gets to experience the unknown results of upsetting the balance of justice, and is pressured by immeasurable and invisible forces to maneuver through awkward relationship upsets. There is never a way to get an absolute idea of what Pluto will bring, only the knowledge that our fears will be confronted, some shadows will be crossed, and some initiatory trials will be brought to the tactical forefront, and in this case that will have to do with our inter-relational worlds, hard laws and limits of the manifest dimension and how our ignited spirits can be candle flames to hopefully lead us through the passage, bringing our friendships and partnerships safely with us, even if they are transformed once we reach the other side.
Mars’ sextile to Taurus, as we talked about already, acts as the ultimate pep talk to get Mars marching again with a purpose, and march he does, right into his most highly dignified portion of the entire zodiac. This doesn’t mean necissarily that he’s well behaved, just fully functional. After being too concerned with other people’s well being and reactions for the past several weeks he gets to go under cover, covert, move with stealth and terminate his targets swiftly, efficiently and permanently. He is a extremely effective predator, stalking through the night silent, and then delivering the death blow. Whether its sex, death or the soul, the Scorpionic dimension is attended to the darkest passions, that seem horrific when brought to the surface but are integral to our instincts and the core of our animal nature. They are what hooks us into the greater ecosystem. We got to explore them sensually with Venus, get a clear look at them annually with the Sun, are rethinking their analytical organization with Mercury, but with Mars we get to do something about it. We go out on the prowl and make some moves. Sever certain ties. Lance certain problems. Burn certain bridges. Make the cuts, insert the stinger, pierce the skin, deliver the poison, bite, twist and snap. Done. Per usual with astrology, everyone will be up to something simultaneously, so there are so many sharks infesting the waters, and unknown enemies may be after enacting vengeance. This makes for a tense and paranoid time-period, where everyone’s got a loaded pistol, is a sharp shooter and all of the drinks left un-attended are probably poisoned. We’ve all seen the wild westerns. The gritty side eye and observant aloofness. Its sexy and dangerous, but effective, and ultimately headed toward destruction. This is not a doom prediction, but when traversing snake habitat, its helpful for the place to be sign posted.
A point on the timeline to look for rattlers in the road is Mars’ opposition to Uranus while he has the Moon held hostage. As noted, this is also the Jupiter Venus conjunction, so amidst the Scorpion’s Nest there are bountiful breakthroughs to be had as long as we can keep from poking ourselves accidentally with the potent epiphanies as we are otherwise overjoyed at the moment. With the right precautions and protective measures put in place we are likely to experience this taste of the real deal elixer as elevating us to the next level, or alternately initiating us to the underworld. Whichever is your objective. There is likely going to be an effective upgrade in the potency of our sorcery, a kind of technological integration that improves our toolkit and rains some rubies upon us. When you win a million dollars or whatever is your hearts desire (and your loins) don’t get so excited you drop your weapon on your foot. Click on the safety before you engage your celebration dance.
Sun in Scorpio
The Sun looks into the Scorpion’s nest for the month to see what’s going on in there, the annual check up we receive of our innards, although this round they’re particularly active, maybe a bit agitated, and some tests need to be run. We want to try to give a very honest examination of what we see instead of making excuses for inflammations and simply move on. Luckily the Sun sextiles Saturn on November 8th and we can make a sober assessment of weak spots of the souls depths, and think about getting some psycho-spiritual support. The Sun trines Neptune, and we feel he flow of our internal waters; how the blood pumps, how we secrete digestive acid and produce bile. We might empathize with others or everyone and everything; we all have a dirty old soul, we’re all filled with excrement and the potential for putrid decay, and in the throes of our lewdest lusts we might find a collective current of vital juices. The plasma pulse of the universe, pumping the night away. Saturn sextiles Neptune also at this time, November 8th as well, rendering the habitual blockages more permeable than normal and we might rely on this leakage of passion to allow us much needed release.
Sun in Sagittarius
The Sun spends the 22nd onward in Sagittarius, copresent for a few days with both benefics and riding with Jupiter through the final stretch of his rulership. It might appear that our reassessment of our internal world and our intentional or unintentional catharsis got the fires stoked and the engine revved for following through with adventure. Not only does the Sun get his annual period of wanderlust and philosophical searching, but he sets off with both benefics showering him with gifts and supplies to keep our eyes on the prize. By the New Moon of the 26th we are already casting seeds into the vitalizing lamps, like hopes and wishes that we pray will catch flame, trusting in the Saints and candle keepers to carry our aims to their ends with full success.
Mercury RX in Scorpio
Last but not least is the Mercury retrograde, which operates within a certain context of Mars and his initial influence from the Scorpio-Libra feedback loop, and then is augmented and weaponized by the sign ruler returning to haunt his own house himself. Mercury is attempting to rethink what we are passionate about. This is confusing as there are two brands of passion being articulated at the same time. Venus and Jupiter are rousing the mojo, the gusto, the heart fire, the warmly kindled bright flames of hope and enthusiasm. The moving, reaching, driving, questing need towards onward, chomping at the bit. Meanwhile, Mercury is looking through the loins into the subtle underworld space beneath the internal organs where our soul seethes and growls. This is not a straightforward place. Its entirely non logical; its instinctual. Its emotional, but entirely antisocial, that’s why its invisible to Libra, too close to see what’s right in front of her. Cancer is calmed and assuaged by hugs and support, and Pisces seeks freedom to flow, but Scorpio’s issues end in either violence or copulation or both at once. It is the soul seeking its own destruction. One of the mysteries of existence. We don’t apply this level of emotion to normal discourse, to everyday relations, or even common conflicts. It’s channeled into intense and often hidden activities. Transgressions, that are only lawful or wise in very specific circumstances and understandings. Everyone lives these, plays them out in some way, channels them or effectively represses them to their own detriment. This is what Mercury explores and reorganizes this retrograde, so he can more effectively process and express what is there. We may have avoided much of this part of ourselves and are now called to give it a serious and in depth think over. He will sextile Pluto for the second and third time, collaborating with the void itself, and bondage to powerful landbound fears. He’ll do the same with Saturn, and work with the laws and limits of both nature and the world we’ve built around ourselves. He’ll trine Neptune two more times and feel at home in what fantasies our own libidos conjure and how they hypnotize us and defy all rational thought. He’ll conjoin the Sun on November 11th, and take up strong microscope and look as far into ourselves and the horrific yet ecstatic world within deeper than we might have for several years, or ever for some, and find some intriguing realizations there. And he’ll station direct on the 20th, only a day after Mars returns to his home sign, and initiates action, seeming to stimulate Mercury to move ahead with this fresh understanding of how our own forbidden natures must be employed. Once we figure out this intangible, wrathful, dirty, nasty, beautiful, and highly seductive terrain I’m sure we’ll all be talking about it, and maybe with newly installed animal voices rather than the human tongues that weren’t making the cut before.