The Astrology of November 2012

(with a footnote about Super Storm Sandy)

A Test, Really

In some respects, November is a good news/bad news month; in others, it is a Rorschach (ink blot) test. What we think we see will have a lot to do with what we get. And for a great many of us, for those who choose so, November is a portal into a new and better time.

The difficult aspects are in the foreground.  The good aspects are powerful and lasting, but they are in the background. So how we come out of November, the choices we make, will depend a lot on where we put our focus.

The bad news for November is a month-long series of challenging aspects with a respite in the middle of the month. These are, as I said, very much in the foreground.

November opens with a series of astrological events bound to generate immense, all but overwhelming, confusion and frustrating delay.  It closes with a series of potentially explosive aspects. A potential for radical, unexpected change and crisis pervades the month.

With two eclipses in November, the choices we make will be fateful and, realistically, irreversible.

These difficult aspects affect all of our most important relationships, from their spiritual, physical and emotional foundations to their outermost social, economic and political manifestations.

The Test

To escape the worst effects of the obvious bad aspects and benefit from the powerful, but more subtle, supportive aspects, we need to release any negativity built up over the last several years, respond constructively to November’s challenges and embrace the opportunities that are now rapidly emerging.

We’ll need to meet the challenges of November optimistically and focus on the profound, and profoundly positive, potentials now emerging.

In September and October many of us committed ourselves to a new course of action.  November is a test of how clearly we understand the task we have set ourselves and the depth of our resolve to overcome the inner and outer obstacles to our goals.

For a great many of us, the challenge will be a struggle to make deep, difficult changes in important relationships so everyone can move forward, materially, emotionally and spiritually.

At the same time, the planets are laying the foundation for stability, restoration, dramatic reform, innovation and growth in our lives generally.

I’m not saying it will be easy.  The challenges are as real as the opportunities. The planets appear to be creating a very dark moment purposely to see how well we remember the light and how willing we are to embrace it.

Bad News First

Let’s consider the raw astrological energies first. I will place these events in the context of November’s composite chart and discuss the themes they will touch upon, afterwards.

That is often how planetary energies manifest and how we experience them. They appear to us as unspecific, untargeted releases of destructive or constructive energy bursting on the landscape. It is only later that we understand that certain areas of our lives have been affected, for better or for worse.

Mercury Aggravated

1. 11/06 – Mercury is stationary/retrograde.

We can look forward to all the usual Mercury retrograde stuff: communication snafus, stalled transactions, and bureaucratic snarls. Postponements, cancellations and schedule changes will abound. Some familiar services and products will become unavailable. New ones will come online. The day-to-day will be disrupted in a hundred ways, big and small.

On the upside, old business and long-delayed issues will reach closure. And when it’s over, new, improved systems will be online.

But this Mercury retrograde will be seriously aggravated by other astrological events.

For the US, it will also come at the worst possible time. For example, Mercury will turn retrograde at 6:04 pm EST, during the general election in the US. More generally, the affect of this Mercury station will be seriously aggravated by other aspects.

Neptune Piles On

2. 11/11 – Neptune is stationary/direct.

Ideological issues, spiritual issues, questions of personal aspiration are resolved.  People feel better able to move forward, more confident in their beliefs.

However, for a few days before and after its station, Neptunian fogs will compound the retrograde Mercury confusion. Neptune will badly blur already broken and jumbled lines of communication.

Stationary/direct Neptune will raise expectations, but retrograde Mercury, befogged by stationary Neptune, will frustrate those same expectations.

But it’s worse than that.

Lights Out

3. 11/13 – There is a total eclipse of the Sun.

A solar eclipse always brings sudden and unexpected events. Karma comes due. Crises break. Lives change. On the upside, people escape limitations, self-imposed and otherwise. Long overdue changes occur, suddenly and very often unexpectedly.

It is always important to remember that the worst effects of an eclipse seem to occur on the macro-level.  Individual’s seem to benefit from the changes wrought by eclipses.

A Time for Long, Slow, Careful Decision-Making

4. 11/14 – Newly retrograde Mercury squares newly direct Neptune.

As both Mercury and Neptune emerge from their respective stations they square with each other, seriously compounding the confusion caused by their stations.

It’s unlikely that anyone will completely escape the ‘informational turbulence.’  It will be hard to think and communicate clearly about our emerging hopes or to make plans.

The total solar eclipse on 11/13 will occur amidst these bewildering Mercury and Neptune vibes.

Picking a Path in a Pea Soup Fog

The confusion caused by Mercury and Neptune will compound any potentially upsetting effects of the eclipse, and vice-versa.

Eclipses often force us to make difficult, irreversible decisions that we aren’t prepared to make, when they don’t just make the decision for us. This time around, we could be forced to respond to difficult events, and/or make fateful decisions, in very confusing circumstances.

The confusion will also make it hard to capitalize immediately or straightforwardly on the opportunities that the eclipse brings.

Then the planetary bombardment stops for roughly a week. And then the vibes become explosive.

Good-Bye Status Quo and/or Blind-Sided by Events

Now come four powerful astrological events that, realistically, must be thought of as one big, potentially very destructive event: Mars square Uranus (11/23), Mercury stationary/direct (11/26), Mars conjunct Pluto (11/27), and a partial lunar eclipse (11/28).

5. 11/23 – Mars squares Uranus.

The Mars/Uranus square will trigger uncontrolled, angry, potentially violent assertions of independence and resistance to authority.

In settled parts of the world we are likely to see public willfulness and bursts of temper. More incidents of freakish violence would not surprise me at all. In the US, we might see another in the rising tide of mass killings. In more troubled areas of the world, there is a likelihood of riots, civil unrest and outbreaks of warlike violence.

Lost in the Sound and Fury

6. 11/26 – Mercury stationary/direct.

Normally when Mercury turns direct, order and clarity return, events resume their normal pace. And there will doubtless be some of that. But Mercury makes its station two days after the Mars/Uranus square, one day before the Mars/Pluto conjunction and two days before a partial lunar eclipse. Please take that into account when making plans. That goes double for people in the US, which will be celebrating Thanksgiving around this time.

Confrontations, Most Likely

7. 11/27 – Mars conjoins Pluto.

Mars/Pluto conjunctions often express as bursts of temper and outbreaks of violence. Or, simply, the violent imposition of will upon others.

Combined with the Mars square Uranus vibes, I think it makes violence much more likely during this period. We might also see heated confrontations on the interpersonal level. People will come to the end of their patience. Tempers will be very much in evidence.

8. 11/28 – Partial Eclipse of the Moon.

This month-long marathon of difficult aspects comes to a close with a partial lunar eclipse on November 28th.

Sudden, unexpected events or outright crises will overturn outdated, self-limiting attitudes and release deep fears and anxieties.

At best, this tight grouping of astrological events will express as a surge of commitment to new ideas and demonstrations for reform. At worst, it will express as violent conflict or, on an individual level, heated, possibly violent interpersonal confrontations.

Eclipses often force us to make decisions, or confront dramatically changed circumstances – circumstances suddenly changed for better or worse. The first, solar eclipse (11/13) brings change amidst confusion. The second, lunar eclipse (11/28) brings change amidst highly charged, potentially violent circumstances.

So, November looks, in part, like radical changes amidst extreme confusion, a pause, then radical changes amidst hectic circumstances, high energy, little patience and short tempers. All told, rapid changes amidst confusion, impatience and anger.

The Chart Itself

Now let’s look at these aspects in context.

Where do they strike the November composite chart?

Precisely where they can shake the deepest foundations of all our most important relationships.

Just about every reason, every motive people have for relating to each other will be affected. Interpersonal behavior will change across the board. There is not likely to be anything subtle about it.

Relationship Armageddon

Mercury’s back and forth movement and the total Solar eclipse all take place in Scorpio on the cusp of the 5th and 6th houses.

Th 5th and 6th houses govern friendships and romantic and work relationships.  Scorpio governs all 8th house matters: reproductive sexuality, long-term, large scale financial concerns – pensions, insurance, social welfare programs – the distribution and redistribution of wealth and power within a nation and between generations.

This foretells deep, sweeping changes in romantic, intimate, reproductive, work and financial aspects of our lives, at all levels, inwardly and outwardly. The long and short-term expectations of friends, lovers, work associates and familiar members shift across a broad spectrum.

The motives that shape our behavior in all these areas will shift. We will want different things in our relationships with others, or the same thing, but for different reasons.

These energies will deeply and substantially affect all your social relations from those with people you hang out with to those with whom you work and everyone in between. Expect things to change profoundly in relationships you might have thought were casual and uncomplicated.

This could cause an epidemic of second-guessing, as people try to understand what others want, and, probably not successfully, try to fit those new things into familiar, comprehensible, and old, terms.

The Mars/Pluto activity takes place in Capricorn in the 7nth house of key relationships, near the descendant and not too far from Juno in the 6th house, the house of interdependency.

These explosive, potentially violent and disruptive energies affect our most important personal and professional relationships. With Juno involved, that will include long-term, formal bonds, i.e., marriage and domestic partnerships of all kinds.

Those involved in sound, healthy personal and work relationships might expect substantial but more or less mutually agreed upon changes. Those in shaky relationships might experience a sudden and complete break.

The Mars/Uranus square at about the same time adds a potentially disruptive drive for personal liberation to the mix. Whatever other sticking points there might be, partners will be demanding greater freedom of movement. Keep in mind: when Mars squares Uranus, the Uranian impulse can be awkward, rude or embarrassing

What Not to Do

The New Moon eclipse energy hits in Gemini in the 12th, near the South Node, Lilith, Jupiter, Vesta and Ceres.

This eclipse, striking near the South Node, warns us away from reliance on ideology, religious dogma, legal abstractions, ingrained attitudes and fixed ideas about nurturance issues.

Work out new agreements with real people in real situations in the real world. Be practical and tolerant of what friends, lovers and fellow workers need to live well. Be realistic, also, about what is possible under present circumstances.

Respect the desire of friends, workmates and others for personal freedom and self-expression. Above all, be prepared to change.

Two other placements, not previously discussed, help us get a feel for November’s chart in general and its effects on relationships in particular.

Planetary Overtones

Neptune and Chiron are in Pisces on the Midheaven.

People are seeking looser more flexible bonds that will allow them greater freedom of movement and space to process and heal.

Venus in Libra is close to Saturn in Scorpio in the 5th.

Relationships are passing through a Platonic, or celibate, phase.  People want relief from the burdens and complexities of physical relationships to work out emotional and spiritual issues and to make changes.

Bad News Summary

November opens with a barrage of confusion, some of it profound.  It closes with a high energy burst of impatience, determination and temper. The combination could be overwhelming on many levels.

The planets demand that we seek clarity, commitment and determination with respect to our goals.

We need to be sure our plans for the future are not dictated by outdated or unfair attitudes or by simple ignorance of the facts.

Expect moments of truth and major turning points. Eclipses often bring personal situations to a head – in finances, at work, among family, in relationships, in health matters.

For better or worse, the easy way or the hard way, eclipses can change the course of our lives. On the upside, a great many those changes will be welcome, long overdue and relatively painless.

The Good News

As we all know by now, three major, and highly disruptive, planetary ingresses occurred between January 2008 and February 2011. Pluto entered Capricorn, Uranus entered Aries and Neptune entered Pisces. Each of these placements is, in its way, unusually powerful and important.

After the initial and substantial shock of theses ingresses, the outer planets established a powerfully transformational but highly destabilizing planetary relationships. The immense energies of these outer planets were also subject to gross abuse.

Our lives entered a calmer state, but one still marked by deep turmoil. The damage had subsided but we could not heal, beyond a certain point. Events lacked clear direction. There was no consensus among leaders. Stalemate, stagnation and unhelpful confrontation was the order of the day.

Order and Direction Supplant the Simmering Chaos and Stagnation

On October 5th, Saturn joined the North Node in Scorpio.

Sober, rational Saturn took over rulership of the new planetary arrangement, establishing helpful relationships with the three outer planets. The North Node contributed a sense of direction.

Harnessing the Power

The results will be gradually increasing stability and direction in the world. People are becoming more amenable to reason and common sense. We are all better able to plan for the future and more successfully guide events in our lives.

Saturn’s entrance into Scorpio established a network of positive relationships with the three outer planets, making their powerful but unruly energies easier to work with.

  • Saturn is now in sextile relationship and mutual reception with Pluto. Those in power are more likely listen to reason, now. A proper balance of economic and political power will gradually be restored among nations and between people.
  • Saturn is in trine relationship with Neptune. Ideals are more likely to be rational and harmonize more readily with reality.
  • Saturn in Scorpio rules Uranus in Aries. Reformers are more likely to be reasonable and realistic in their demands. Uranus is exalted in Scorpio. Saturn’s placement there will further enhance relations between reformers and established powers.
  • Saturn, Pluto, Neptune and Uranus are all in positive relationship.This will take the edge off the Uranus/Pluto square. It will lessen the possibility of confrontation and favor compromise and mutual accommodation generally.
  • The North Node is likewise in generally favorable relationship with the outer planets. Events and circumstances will naturally push people in the direction of proper, North Node solutions, i.e., shared solutions for shared problems.
The Real Deal

So, saying that we should release built-up negativity isn’t just invoking general psychological and spiritual principles. The planets are demanding that we do so and promising us rich rewards if we concede.

  • We can look forward to the end of stalemate, indecision and drift. And an end to frustrating, unproductive confrontations with authority. Unless we cling to the dark and decidedly dangerous emotions generated in the last few years.
  • We can also expect a lessening of irrational, freakish, violent behavior. However, these energies are extremely difficult on the human mind and nervous system.  People with mental and emotional challenges and/or poor life management skills will probably continue to go over the edge. Despite improving conditions, we can expect a continuing increase in the number of those experiencing mental and emotional difficulties.
  • We can also look forward to a dramatic decrease in the influence of demagogues and their fanatical, extremist followers.
  • We can shed fears related to the hazards of the previous astrological phase.  These fears are now officially out of date. Don’t let them interfere as you meet the challenges of November.
We need, for example, to abandon disaster consciousness, which encompasses, among other things, the notion that the world economy is on the verge of complete collapse.

We need to realize that this is a new day and start living in it.

A Footnote about Super Storm Sandy

The weather is affected by the planets. Anyone who has kept track will attest to this.

If I had had to guess, I would have said a storm like Sandy would have happened in November. It is an apt expression of November’s astrology. And it is common for one month’s energies to manifest toward the end of the previous month. Also, Solar Arc Chiron is transiting the US first house, making the US prone to more frequent and serious natural and man-made disasters.

I don’t doubt that some of that went on with Sandy.

But there were also several Solar Arc contacts at the time of the storm that might account for it.

At the time of the storm:

  • Solar Arc Sun was contacting US natal Uranus. Exact.
  • Solar Arc Saturn was contacting US natal Uranus. Just separating.
  • Solar Arc Mars and Pluto were contacting US natal Neptune. Exact.
  • Solar Arc Quoaor was contacting US natal Chiron. Just separating.
I think these Solar Arc contacts specific to the US chart are sufficient to account for the occurrence of Sandy. All of them would have been very much in effect at the time of the storm.

More work would have to be done to explain why Sandy struck so hard at New Jersey and New York. In the chart for October 30th, cast for Newark, NJ at the time of Sandy’s landfall, Mars and Pluto were bracketing the descendant.  That would not bode well.

Beyond that, and without a great deal more work, I think we get into the realm of speculation and risk trivializing a very tragic event.