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It can be so tiring, being human – inhabiting an identity, having a biography, carrying so many memories and grudges and sorrows. What would it be like if we were amnesiacs and had no idea who we were supposed to be? How light it would feel, with none of the emotional burdens and limitations that are part of how we define ourselves.
This week’s trine between the Sun and Neptune (Nov. 9, 2020, 9:11 pm PST) offers a mini-vacation from the tyranny of ego. The Sun’s Sabian symbol, “A parrot listening and then speaking”, finds us mindlessly repeating our old stories. But Neptune is on “A master instructing his pupil.” Let yourself disengage from who you think you have to be. Let yourself float; downriver, your teacher awaits.
The Queen’s Gambit
After dipping its winged foot back in Libra while retrograde and getting its toes nibbled by Jupiter, Saturn, and Pluto, Mercury moves back into Scorpio for good this week (Nov. 10, 2020, 1:55 pm PST).
I can offer no finer example of Mercury in this incisive, penetrating sign than Beth Harmon, the chess wunderkind of the Netflix series The Queen’s Gambit. I’ve seldom seen a piece of entertainment that so perfectly nails the delicious obsession for excellence, the hunger to throw yourself into a particular passion and the exhilaration of becoming the best, as well as the harrowing cost of it all.
In particular, I loved the recurring piece of magical realism that finds Beth gazing at the ceiling and envisioning a chess board with the pieces flying through the possible moves. Mercury symbolizes the way we perceive, process, and disseminate information. Scorpio is a water sign, after all. Magic is part of its brilliance. As Mercury moves through Scorpio (through Nov. 30), the veil is pulled back to reveal this magic to us. Keep your eyes open for it.
The path forward
Jupiter conjunct Pluto – Jupiter makes the last of three conjunctions with Pluto this week (Nov. 12, 2020, 1:38 pm PST). Its last two passes have coincided with dramatic increases in coronavirus numbers, and we’ve seen those numbers going up quite a lot in recent weeks. But as I mentioned in the podcast this week, the real story of Jupiter, the god of expansion, coming together with Pluto, lord of destruction, may be the way we’ve reacted as a society to this global crisis. Different countries have taken a variety of different approaches, with a variety of outcomes. This week, it’s time to appraise those outcomes (with the help of incisive Mercury in Scorpio), and figure out a path forward.
It seems Mars has been in Aries forever. And it feels like it’s been retrograde forever, too, though that’s only been since Sep. 9. Mind you, that’s long enough. By now, we’ve probably gotten a bit used to the frustration and blockages that this retrograde has symbolized. But this week, Mars stations and turns direct (Nov. 13, 2020, 4:35 pm PST) on the Sabian symbol “Brownies dancing in the setting sun.” I’ll be one of those dancing brownies as the sun sets on this retrograde, I can tell you that much!
The point of this protracted Mars in Aries and retrograde period has not been about punishment, but rather about restraint and discipline. Mars in Aries is a great warrior, but it’s even more effective when it’s gone through basic training; and being retrograde and meeting tempering aspects to Jupiter, Saturn, and Pluto in Capricorn has been a tough boot camp.
Particularly if your chart is heavy in planets or points in Aries and Scorpio (the signs ruled by Mars), you may feel like a kid who’s just gotten a cast off a broken leg – ready to get out and hit the ground running! But until Mars leaves Aries (Jan. 6, 2021), proceed with a little bit of caution; you’re still healing.
Using what you’ve lost
What do we make of a New Moon (Nov. 14, 2020, 9:07 pm PST, at 23.17 Scorpio), the phase of beginnings, in Scorpio, the sign of goodbyes? For one thing, there’s a good meditation to be had on the inextricable relationship between beginnings and endings. When one thing ends, another begins. It’s inevitable.
Each year, this New Moon prompts us to take the compost of what is dead and gone, and use it to refresh the soil of your life. You’ll plant new seeds, and what you’ve lost will enrich your future efforts. Scorpio’s ruler, Mars, is moving forward now. And at this New Moon, so – at last – are we.
Writing and collages © 2020 April Elliott Kent
Jen and I explore all the week’s highlights in our latest podcast episode,