Back for a ninth time (not eighth!), my decans-based astrology column! (Libra II and I here, Virgo III, II, I , and Leo III, II, I here… Did I start with Cancer, even though that would have been smart? No.) I had heard several commentators and astrologer say that writing astrology columns get harder, the more of them you do, but I hadn’t appreciated this reality until I actually began writing my own column. Coming up with something interesting and useful to write to unknown readers every ten days is challenging and complicated — not impossible, but weirder than I would have anticipated.Still, let’s see if we can’t put together a forecast for October 13 through 23, and give you some insight into your lives, yeah?
Dignity by Sect and Sign
I’ve tried, at the start of each column, to give you a taste of the astrological principles I’m trying to work from. In this column, we’re identifying the relative strength of the planets in two ways: their dignity by sect (whether they prefer the day or night), and whether they’re in a sign which they rule or are an honored (or dishonored) guest, a curious tourist, or a lonely exile.
Sect in some ways is the easier of the two themes: The chart is divided in half, top and bottom, by the Ascendant and by the Descendant. These are marked AS and DS, and I’ll bet you can guess what they stand for. Whichever half of the chart contains the Sun, belongs to the Day Sect; and the other half of the chart (weather or not it contains the Moon) belongs to the Night Sect. So, in this chart above the line that joins the AS and DS, the Day Sect has power; below that line, the Night Sect has power. Many astrologers, apparently me included, tend to think of the top part of the chart as the public realms; and the lower half of the chart to be the private realms — so, Each sect consists of a luminary and two other planets, making six in all; Mercury, as always, is neither a planet nor a star, neither entirely male nor female, and thus not completely in either sect… it switches Sect depending on its placement. Because of that, I’m going to start using They as the pronoun for Mercury.
In this and every chart, the Sun, Jupiter, and Saturn belong to the Day Sect. The Sun is the stronger power, so it holds both the Greater Benefic (Jupiter), and the Greater Malefic (Saturn) in its sect. Meanwhile, the Moon, Venus (the lesser Benefic) and Mars (the Lesser Malefic) belong to the Night Sect — which the Moon leads. In this chart, Mercury belongs to the Night Sect: they’re behind the Sun (and may be briefly visible at sundown).
I think there’s a case to be made for a Silent Sect, as well, consisting of Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto. The Sun, the Moon, and the other five planets, are all visible with the naked eye… but these three are not; you need a telescope to see them. More than that, their complete lack of speed makes their ability to affect human affair run generationally or culturally, rather than individually. Human beings care about cycles of daytime and night, activity and rest — but the Silent Sect planets tell much deeper, slower stories than the visible planets. Thus, it doesn’t matter whether they’re in daylight or darkness; they cause change on stranger timescales.
Currently, only the Sun and Moon are in their own sky: Saturn and Jupiter, the Day Sect followers, are both below the horizon; while Mars, Venus and Mercury are all in proximity to the Sun in his half of the sky. The result is likely that many people have odd sleep cycles, as they deal with daylight affairs at night, and the business of night creeps into daylight hours. No planets have any vast strength at the start of this Decan, which Austin Coppock in his book 36 Faces called “The Gyroscope”. It’s an appropriate image for this face, which involves Gordon White‘s idea, that someone is always spinning, somewhere. According to Archbishop James Ussher in the 1500s AD, the planet Earth’s birthday is October 23 — and so maybe what keeps turning in this decan, is us.
The second thing that I need to consider more carefully, is the planetary placement not simply by aspect, but dignity-by-sign. Each luminary rules one sign, and the other five planets rule two. There are additional dignities based on terms, decans, and triplicities which we ought to look at, too, and I’ll include that in the next section so that you’ll be aware of the dignities that apply to each planet.
Each planet and luminary of the Day and Night sects can be affected by each of five layers of dignity. The first layer of dignity is rulership or detriment: is the planet in a sign it rules, is it in a sign where it has no power, or is it in a sign where it’s actively opposed? The second layer of dignity is exaltation or fall: is it an honored guest or a visitor under suspicion? The third layer of dignity is based on Triplicity: is the planet like a magistrate or governmental official in that sign? The fourth layer of dignity is by term: is the planet in a sign where it’s considered a citizen, carrying certain rights? And finally, the last layer of dignity is based on Decan: is the planet in a Decan where it may have no particular powers or authority, but it does have skills and abilities that make them a valued member of the community?
The Sun is in its fall, or more properly Exile, in Libra — like a prince in a foreign and slightly-hostile land, he has to be on his guard and be cautious about trying to rule his own country from afar. In the Term of Mercury and the Decan of Jupiter, he has a penchant for saying the right thing and being generous with his largesse — but he’s aware that large, fast arm movements or threats will land him in more trouble than usual. This is a neighborhood where even the Sun watches his words, and flatters rather than commands — the diplomat saying “nice doggy” who cannot find a good stick. The Moon will be nearly full at the start of this Decan, so our own unconscious shall hold a mirror up to one part of our conscious lives; the sextile with Jupiter invites the discovery of the harmonious, while the square to Saturn and Pluto implies the revelation of both our limits and our more vicious sides. Jupiter has a favorable sextile to the Sun and a trine to the Moon — both conscious and unconscious forces shine a light on us in our Jovial dominions. Saturn has sextiles to Neptune and Mercury, trine to each other — limitations, boundaries, and communications thread together practical matters, deep wisdom and our erotic sensibilities.
The Night Sect followers, Venus and Mars, are each in their detriment, as well as being in daylight. Neither is wholly happy in this place. The warlike and contentious Mars is in the marketplace of Libra, like a solider expected to be on guard in a busy and crowded market; his finger cannot be on the trigger… and yet he is surrounded by both completely innocent people, and potential threats. He’s in the Term of Venus, though, and the Decan of the Moon — the handsome and slightly psychic soldier that knows he’s mostly safe for now… Meanwhile Venus is dressed for the boudoir and made-up for seduction with her best heels — but standing on the Tough Mudder racecourse of Scorpio. In the Term of Venus and the Decan of Mars, though, she’s aware that she’s making a scene, and she’s prepared to make someone “take an arrow to the knee” … an old euphemism for marrying someone. If her costume knocks a contestant out of the race and helps her guy win, that might be ok with her.. Ordinarily, if either planet were alone in this situation, they would be uncomfortable and unhappy. However, since both of them are in this awkward situation, they may be able to help one another with both wry glances and sympathetic smiles. This relationship, called mutual reception, is an accidental dignity that ordinarily wouldn’t apply.
Jupiter and Saturn are each in the house they rule. Like kings of old in their royal halls (I might have said Presidents in their offices, but apparently their powers don’t run that far), they have the full command of all their resources, tools, weapons and bureaucracies to achieve their goals. They’re planets of the Day Sect, though, and currently resident in the realms of night— they’re going to have to make a lot of noise, and get someone’s attention, before they get what they want. I’m reminded of the movie The Lion in Winter, where Peter O’Toole as Henry II of England wanders the halls of Chinon Castle at midnight, shouting, “someone fetch me a bishop!” Both the young king Jupiter, and the old king Saturn, have to rouse their entourages to action in the next ten days, before their will can be carried out. Jupiter is in the Term of Mercury and the Decan of Saturn, though — his commands will be carried out by ordinary folks bearing messages… and those messages will be late to arrive. Saturn, on the other hand, is in the term of Jupiter and the Decan of Mars — potentially sharp legal conflicts.
The Moon, meanwhile, as the Night Luminary, rules her own sect… but from Aries where she is peregrine — a wandering tourist, with all her followers far away. Tourists wander into town halls to look at the sights, but don’t have any reason to be there. Officials will try to help tourists out of kindness — but also to send them on their way so they can get back to work. In the 2nd Mansion, she lays a petition on the mayor’s desk, but it’s a fleeting gesture, as Mars is in Libra, guarding the marketplace that is in opposition to his own domain; it’s telling that Libra’s scales are suited for the counting house and the bank and the merchant’s stall, while Aries’s ram-horns belong on a helmet in an armory or a fortress — there’s a tension between the security of the palace, and the open wheeling-and-dealing of the market, which the Moon highlights rather than solves in this chart. The Moon, in the Term of Venus and the Decan of the Sun, suffers from the same difficulties as those planets — wandering in a dangerous neighborhood with all her silver jewelry out, shining and pleasant with the dangerous characters who inhabit this quarter of the city.
Mercury the trickster and inconstant ally, spies for the Night Sect in the realms of day. In the Term of Jupiter and the Decan of the Sun, he carries the prestige of the young king, the high-end tourist staying in five-star hotels and staying in the best restaurants. However, they stands out of place here in Scorpio— a preppy in tropical pastels haunting the goth club on industrial night. The non-dualistic Hermes has misjudged their reception in this community. Mercury trines Neptune, so an all-changing communication may be delivered.
The planets of the Silent Sect, Uranus and Neptune and Pluto, have neither dignity nor detriment, at least by traditional systems; the frame of the Zodiac was already staked out by other claims long before humans noted their presence in the sky. Uranus, though, separates from opposition to Venus, the queen of comfortable Taurus; in the Term of Venus and the Decan of Mercury, he causes upheaval in our creative skills, and brings misunderstanding into our communications. Neptune, in the Term of Mercury and the Decan of Jupiter, dissipates clarity of communication and over-extends our generosity and forgiveness — though Neptune, at least, has Mercury on speed-dial to answer any questions, he doesn’t think to ask as many questions as he should. Pluto, in Saturnian Capricorn, occupies the Term of Mars and the Decan of the Sun — which brings a glow-in-the-dark sharpness to his venomous practicality.
All in all, it’s fair to say that many of the planets are well out of their depth, and going slowly — like ships in shallow waters off rocky and foggy coasts, they’re more tentative and careful than usual, picking their way between rocks and shoals, and trying not to run afoul of either the pirates or the coast guards. The result may be a little more nonsensical than usual, as earth resolves its issues and conflicts without clear guidance from heaven — and with riskier results than might be hoped for.
Rising Sign Horoscopes
Sagittarius: The next ten days bring surprising success, as both conscious desires and unconscious needs intersect. You’ll need your wits about you, as issues with professional colleagues clash with personal pleasures; the Sun brings your conscious attention to friends and colleagues who need you re-balance their relationships; while the moonlight illuminates a range of mental pleasures and practical entertainments. Both your deep personal joys and your public reputation are in full flower right now; give due attention to both. More money is going out than coming in, of course — you’re feeling the pinch of fewer customers for your services, naturally, but the expenses you’re incurring are necessary and needed, even if they seem poisonous to your future needs. Let the money go, even if it runs against your nature; this chance to synch up your pleasures with your friends’ needs comes but rarely. If you’re traveling at all, keep your wallet safe in the marketplace, and know where your travel documents are; the cutpurse may not be a swarthy vagabond, but a lurid streetwalker in heels. A sensual experience at home has been long-delayed, and may be delayed further; all the chemistry in the world may be thwarted by bad timing. Your partner comes to good fortune soon; help them make the most of the bequest. A time when you’re normally gregarious brings a certain loneliness marked by little despite some costumed frippery and some vague plans; though the nightclub is dark, you may find yourself yearning for the moment when the closing-time lights come on and the illusions of the present hour are swept aside. Any work you do, either paid or as personal speculation, should be done with a weird mix of aggressiveness and passive receptivity. Proclaim your outsider status to potential clients and assert your loyalties to rulers outside their tribe — recognizing that a foreigner’s accent and unusual clothes are likely to appeal to them right now (don’t buy a suit and fit in, in other words). At the same time, though — keep your wallet close, and don’t pretend to reserves you don’t have… and maybe don’t even reveal what resources you do have; this may be a rougher neighborhood than you thought.
Capricorn: A money issue hits you in your self-identity during these ten days — try not to let a sudden hole in the bottom of your wallet poison your week. Even you have financial limits; you have to be prepared to accept both the message and the current higher-than-usual tide that may swamp you. Although you may want to channel funds toward friends, or solve a neighborhood problem close to home — you’re at a wall here. Choose one, or even none. Unconsciously, you need some genuinely enjoyable time relaxing on your home turf and manifesting some of your midnight dreams. A romantic partner’s labors bring home some illness, but also some much-needed funding. A friend or two have some new career opportunities for you, which is nice — but this job probably has more shine on the outside than on the inside. Don’t let a rough week at work convince you to cut ties and commute to a new neighborhood. Current projects at work probably make you feel like you’re operating the wrong tools, too: a fax machine and a buzz saw don’t pair as well as a loom and knitting needles. Is it time to seek out new training? Maybe… but it may be time to declare your limits, and refer certain parts of the labor to specialists who have the right skillsaw.
Aquarius: It’s risky to say that it will be a quiet ten days — and yet an unexpected project at home, or a brief but rough sick day on the couch, seems to be the height of your potential challenges. You may be out of your depth on a career project, but at least you’ll be left in peace to finish it; and recognize that you have the creative gifts to first receive the solution and then aggressively apply it. It may even be a good idea to establish boundaries and fences around certain projects, and enforce them with mildly poisonous reprimands. One money-issue threatens to spill into “household business” — but try to make sure the financial trouble doesn’t rise to the point of family melodrama. When was the last time you walked through your neighborhood at night or twilight? What stories about your neighbors do you entertain in your head? Make a vision-quest through your neighborhood, and try to understand your neighbors’ problems; that’s how you’ll square your wallet problem… and you may even make a friend or two. That said, carry a flashlight and a walking stick — the one for warning off cars, and the other to warn off predators of several kinds. Your significant other is really a source of joy in these ten days: make sure you show your gratitude and happiness with them at the close of every day; your fortunes are tied together; and each of you is both heaven and earth to the other. If you travel, go see friends, especially if they live in a challenging or risky place, or do business in a challenging market.
Pisces: Probably you’re feeling like a homebody these days, although there’s a very… broad, sweeping… definition of home. A money matter comes to a head, and a rebalancing of an account with a friend comes due; a cut-off of funding is needed, if only for your own peace of mind. Your work unexpectedly upsets your apple cart, or brings you into conflict with a sibling or intimate friend. A partner plans to make changes at home, or brings in some money through a home office. An important friend of your partner’s, I’m sorry to say, is at risk of their lives this week, and you may stand to inherit at their passing; I hope nothing so ghoulish comes to pass, but be prepared to be supportive of the friend and their family even if it’s only a brush with mortality, and not the end of the line. If you have your own creative projects or writing efforts to complete, be sure you schedule some solo time to deal with them and manage your time wisely; the secret work won’t be completed if you keep preferring your romantic assignations to the projects you’re trying to complete. At the same time, recognize that your self-worth and career are intimately tied together in the next ten days. Dress and groom for success, be both generous and direct with your underlings, and deferential and attentive to bosses. You’ll find that the way you carry yourself will carry over into quality work. Limit time with friends, except in the event of genuine sorrows; set both start and end times, and try to avoid toxic dramas wherever you can.
Aries: Your partner’s friends are in the spolight right now, and that may feel annoying, but treat them as links in the chain — they’re helping hold you and anchoring you in the present. Be here now, even if their stars seem to be rising higher than yours. Reflect on your feelings, and mirror back to them a combination of love and enjoyment; even if you don’t feel that, mirror it… and maybe you’ll start feeling it. Sometimes we change from the skin inwards. Home and career are affected by the South and North Nodes quite strongly: work likely feels toxic, and illness or ancestral legacies may be holding you at home. Personal money-issues are making your employer’s place of business a toxic cauldron…. and you can’t leave right now, for a range of reasons. It may time to plan a couple of retreats from the world, as a result: one a creative attempt to communicate with your ancestral lineages and claim some creative inheritance, and one to find a deeper understanding of the waters around your home … and specifically where the tap water comes from, and where the waste goes. You belong to these networks in the world, yet you think you’re independent of them. It’s time to trace your connections to the world around you, and discover how generously the world has provided for you, despite your belief in your own personal sovereignty.
Taurus: Surprise! It’s work being you right now, and likely it’s affecting your health. Scheduling some personal time — a spa day or a lounge in a sauna, in a state of serene sovereignty, is in order. At the same time, a partner is wrestling with solitary secrets of their own; a gentle response may open lines of communication, even if it feels awkward at the start; the issue may come in the form of a windfall or an inheritance. Your own work may require involving friends in a bit of a rough-and-tumble project right now; be sure you spin the story to them effectively, and maybe use your LinkedIn account to find the appropriate team. A question of your own mortality may drive you to a lawyer for a consultation about a will; setting some paperwork in order before November is a good idea, and will make you feel better about yourself. Afterwards, reward yourself with a new tie — or a finger of scotch. Making travel plans? Something may get put on hold at the last minute, or you may have to settle for less than you dreamed. Friends may show up at your house, responding to conflicting signals; but your skills at communication are able to manage a suitable conclusion.
Gemini: Your identity is a little too wrapped up in your relationship right now, and it may be because you have a sugar daddy or mamma paying the bills. This is not healthy — your partner is doing it because they’re a little flustered at his current situation, but the sprawling nature of the expenses will wear out the financial spigot. Their star currently seems in the ascendant, but there’s trouble coming near the end of the fall; more money may come in as a result of an inheritance, but what’s shared is going to be limited, and the negotiation for “more” may be poisonous — especially if you’ve got a crew of friends that are mooching off the same pipeline. What appears serene is more tense than you believe. Go put your head on straight: write down what you think is happening, try to see it from all points of view, and be receptive to the idea that you are in the eye of the storm… whichever way it moves, brings the whirlwind. You may be serene and sovereign right now, but coming conflict may pull your career in opposing directions.
Cancer: The legacies of the past keep flowing in from your shared property, and it’s proving difficult to integrate all this stuff into your life, bringing with it a heightened awareness that what used to be yours is now ours; and that the expense of maintaining what is ours is definitely eroding what is yours, constraining and limiting it. An auctioneer friend of mine noted recently that we’re at the end of two centuries of Industrial Revolution: there’s too much of everything for any of it to be truly unique or valuable; all the Marie Kondos of the family seem to be dumping their stuff in your lap, early this month. It’s not that you can’t say no to all of this, but you’ll find that your protests are too little and too late. You can try to cut off the flow, but everything is just… so… lovely. How can you refuse? Friends may crowd your house in coming days, responding to fortunate circumstances, even though there’s too much to do. Can’t they all just go away? You have writing to do, projects to finish, work to complete. Solitude is longed for, but even that time fills up with both ordinary maintenance of washing dishes and clothes, as well as more visionary endeavors. And it wouldn’t be so hard if your partner weren’t feeling their age and spewing sometimes-venomous ideas. There are antidotes available: hold a mirror up to the mess in the mind, and verbalize the cure wherever possible.
Leo: It’s time to go to your friends, big cat, and find out how strong the ties that bind really are. The next ten days are you at your weakest, and there’s not much dignity to be found here: seek out allies though you need to be on guard against the false friends, and watch out for negative self-talk and backbiting. Drinks or dinner in the neighborhood is a good idea: be out and about in familiar haunts. Home, though, is not a place for people: this should be a temple for intimacy, for deep communication, for sex with people you love, for sprawling conversations about what’s mine and what’s ours, and most of all for the revelation of secrets. Women and wine and song may be among your personal top-ten pleasures, but consider branching out a bit in what remains of autumn; the next season may bring a new kind of austerity. A legacy brings some contradictory problems from the ancestors, but you’re more likely to find some authority while on a trip, or delving into a personal research project. A friend brings good fortune your way, rather like a red sky at night being the sailor’s delight.
Virgo: You may be feeling out of place in your relationship in the next ten days. A friend once said that a happy marriage is always heaven; while a lonely one is the perfect definition of hell. Your significant other is dealing with a family-based emotional challenge that tends to seep into everything; all of your advice, wired for different neighborhoods, tends to throw sparks, or channel thoughts in useless directions. Best to focus on your professional networks for the moment, even though those tend to lead to busy-ness without result. If you’re a handy sort of person, it’s a good time to invest your resources in expanding your house’s livability; and if you can finish a personal project or two (rather than start three new ones), that would be excellent. All of these efforts may bring proper redress to an unbalanced statement of accounts; creating order in your own finances is likely to improve the serenity of your shared resources; and if there’s a raise at your partner’s workplace due, that’s no bad thing either — just don’t spend the money before it’s in the bank.
Libra: If the winter blahs get you down (or even the early spring ones), it’s time to begin a suitable exercise program. Don’t go overboard, but do bring a buddy for some of these workouts. In money matters, though, you have personal untangling to do, and some fancy dancing, to stay within your limits and manage some expansive health issues — that may be related to the water quality at home. Tested or filtered the water recently? It might be needed. If your partner is normally hot-headed, you will likely find them earthy, practical and serene in the next few days. There’ may have been a promotion at work, or some new funding came in. You may be facing a surprise financial question at work, yourself, but it’s less likely to be about a raise, than how best to use funds… and the question may raise some discomfort.
Scorpio: Venus’s mutual reception with Mars likely means that you’re feeling more receptive to the idea of a more rough-and-tumble sensuality than usual… and your partner’s surprise issues at work are leaving you lonely more often than not. Limits on your money, and some family challenges, are giving you less chance to play out than you’d like; you also have all these fancy clothes, and no one to dress up for. Best find ways to make happiness at home, by washing away some of your old rules in favor of a more balanced approach. Find serenity in your work, too: there’s ways you can be master of your domain in the projects you do for others, or in the ways that you direct subordinates; just be mindful that you may have low energy and need more downtime than usual. Carve out both space and time for your own needs. One of the things that likely weighs on you and a romantic partner is the dual priorities you currently have; the ball’s in your court until early December — negotiating a set of common priorities is a worthy goal, and you may come out on top anyway, once you lay out the case for your vision. You’re not likely to shine at work in the next ten days, though — more likely to spin your wheels in all directions and just barely stay upright. To solve these technical issues, turn to your professional colleagues, and analyze situations that are normally outside your bailiwick; you may be able to find a few resourceful ways to spin hay into gold.