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When you drive, do you ever exceed the speed limit? When you fill out your tax return, do you include the $50 bill you found on the sidewalk one day? Did you ever taste an alcoholic beverage before you’d reached the age of consent?
Probably, each and every one of us has broken the law at some point, even if only in relatively small ways. And as Mars continues its long journey through feisty Aries, there is a spirit of the Wild West in the air. But as Mars squares Jupiter in Capricorn (Oct. 18, 2020, 10:38 pm PDT), the wild west outlaw comes face to face with the Judge. And whether it’s the letter of the law or our personal sense of right and wrong, we have to reckon with – and justify – our actions and beliefs.
Jupiter inflates and exaggerates whatever comes in contact with it, and an impatient, frustrated, and cranky retrograde Mars in Aries does not need inflating or exaggeration. As we draw closer to the election here in the United States, this aspect finds us sharply divided as a nation. When people are free, or wish to be, conflicts arise. Sometimes, it’s because the law no longer accurately reflects the way society has agreed to live. Sometimes, it’s because society itself is divided about the best way to live.
The joy of work
Venus in beautiful, practical Virgo comes into trine aspects with Jupiter (Oct. 19, 2020, 0:35 am PDT), Saturn (Oct. 24, 2020, 8:40 am PDT), and Pluto (Oct. 21, 2020, 2:42 pm PDT) this week. When Venus in Taurus made these aspects to the Big Three back in late March, we found ourselves plunged, unexpectedly, into the underworld. We comforted ourselves with Taurean talismans, relics of a more easy and prosperous time, like toilet paper and eggs and paper towels and chocolate. We put on sweat pants and parked ourselves in front of Netflix. Those who could, figured out how to work from home. Those who weren’t so lucky found some government assistance, unless they couldn’t qualify or even get through to the agencies in charge.
Now, we’ve lived in that underworld for going on six months. Like Persephone, we’ve grown accustomed to this new way of life, and like Persephone we’re ready for our six months above ground. Virgo is a health-related sign, sensible and cautious, so it’s generally not too unhappy with the social distancing of the moment. But it’s also the sign of daily routine and work, and the trine between Venus and the Big Three wants to roll up its sleeves and get to work.
Retrograde Mercury opposes Uranus this week (Oct. 19, 2020, 7:53 pm PDT), revisiting territory it visited just a couple of weeks ago (Oct. 7). Something might have caught your attention then by malfunctioning or throwing a monkey wrench in your plans; if you thought you’d fixed it, think again! It needs a little more adjustment, or something similar arises. For a lot of people I know, this has been specifically about electronic appliances and gadgets malfunctioning, so think long and hard before upgrading your phone… and if you buy a large appliance, this might be a good time to buy that extra warranty.
Spreadsheets to the rescue
Busy Venus also squares the Moon’s Nodes this week (Oct. 20, 2020, 1:33 pm PDT). The Nodes, working their way through Gemini and Sagittarius, are gearing up for their next eclipse season beginning next month. The crux of this nodal axis comes down to this question: What do we know for sure, and what do we need to learn more about?
Enter Venus in Virgo, whose sheer love of facts, figures, and spreadsheets can help us get closer to understanding that question. It’s wise not to keep our minds a little bit too open to everything that comes our way (North Node in Gemini), but it’s very important not to fall into the Sagittarius South Node trap of thinking we know everything, and that our opinion is infallible. Do a little fact-checking this week; you’ll feel better about where you stand on things.
We enter Scorpio season this week, with the Sun entering this shadowy sign on Oct. 22, 2020 (3:59 pm PDT). In Scorpio’s season in the Northern Hemisphere, the days are short and the shadows are long. The flat, autumn light is less forgiving, and if we look in the mirror, we see every imperfection. The nights are longer, and in the darkness it’s somehow easier to locate our faults and weaknesses, fear and grief. But it’s a little harder to share them, because that means admitting them to ourselves first.
I don’t think we change as we age. I think we just become more comfortable being who we’ve always been. We don’t feel the need to be false—more cheerful, more accommodating than we feel—in order to make others more comfortable around us. We become our Scorpionic selves, stripped of artifice and the comforting fictions of youth.
The Scorpio journey is about stripping off layers, year after year, and getting to know the essence of who we are. Because we may not be able to count on good genes or good luck, and some bad decisions can’t be undone. We may lose loved ones. We will probably lose some of our health. But we never lose the person we are underneath our clothes, underneath our skin. In the end, maybe that’s enough to keep us brave.
Anyone who has commuted to a job knows what the First Quarter Moon in Aquarius (Oct. 23, 2020, 6:23 am PDT) feels like. If the New Moon is the feeling of waking up in the morning, the First Quarter is what it’s like after we’ve showered, bolted a cup of coffee, and headed out the door. And in Aquarius, the First Quarter is like navigating a throng of people, all busy, all moving in the same general direction but with different destinations.
If you ride the same train or bus at the same time every day, you will see the same fellow commuters; you may eventually even begin acknowledging each other with a slight smile or nod. On the freeway, your car is one of thousands jockeying for position, fighting to merge into another lane or make your exit.
You’re all going somewhere, more or less together, yet each of you alone. And yet…if disaster should strike, or someone should faint on the train, or a nasty collision occur in the number four lane, prepare to observe humanity at its best. Strangers leap unquestioningly to one another’s aid, with no political, racial, or gender litmus test.
At the Moon’s first quarter, we’re hell bent on getting somewhere. But at the First Quarter in Aquarius, we’re figuring out how to do it in the society of others.
Writing and collages © 2020 April Elliott Kent
Jen and I explore all the week’s highlights in our latest podcast episode,
52 | A Scorpio Season of Long Shadows and Fellowship