The Sun enters Libra III on October 13, 2023 at 10:38 am EDT — the decan that Austin Coppock called The Gyroscope, forever spinning in an effort to stay upright and keep going. T. Susan Chang in 36 Secrets, her book on Tarot, called it The Widening Gyre, noting its associations with the four of swords in Tarot. The Greeks of Hellenistic Alexandria noted that this season of the year was associated with Nemesis, the goddess of equilibrium — we tend to think of her as a deity of retribution against evil deeds, but the Greeks saw her as a spirit that also presided over the redress of inordinate good fortune, as well — it’s not just that all evil deeds are punished, it’s that too much good luck must be balanced out as well.
One of the key themes in astrology is the Motion of the Same against the Motion of the Different. Every year about this time of year, the Sun enters the decan of Libra III, and we shift from thinking about the opportunities that Kairos provides, to risk management under the watchful eyes of Nemesis — and indeed, there’s a shift in our thinking as October continues to bring autumn’s chill and winter’s warning. Now we move from enjoying the fruits of late harvests, the apples and pears and squashes, to bundling up against the cold and layering shirts and sweaters and coats as we go outside. The first days of the school year’s excitements have settled into routines, too. That part is always the same.
That’s reflected in the dodeks of Libra III, the four sectors of 2° 30′ arcs that demarcate this region of the sky — each re-presenting the arc of Gemini-Cancer-Leo-Virgo. Here we see changes in variability of the weather, sunny warm days contrasted with chilly rains. On my street, the rains of Cancer-in-Libra turn our dirt road to muddy ruts in short order. Leo heralds a blast of the last bright warm days, and Virgo points to one last harvest of pumpkins and squashes before the farmers’ roadside stands close for the season. The risk of bad fortune, to balance out the good, should be on our minds — and we ward against Nemesis by acknowledging that we, also, must go down into the dust: no amount of thought and care, no emotional outburst, and no personal glory, will save us from returning to the earth at the end of our lives. It’s not humiliation, but it is humbleness in the face of a cycle that’s gone on for hundreds of millions of years.
Yet astrology points to what is different from last time, and the time before, and the times before that. I can certainly say that I’m more experienced as an astrologer, more experienced as a counselor, as I write my fifth Libra III column. I try to be more cautious, too, more nuanced in my thinking — yet I, too, am guarding myself against hubris here.
Libra III is managed or administered by Jupiter under Venus — but since Venus is inconjunct, power first flows through the triplicity rulers, Saturn by day and Mercury by night and Jupiter their professional associate… and both Saturn and Jupiter are inconjunct like Venus. We ought to notice that Mercury is present but off-shift; like the night manager forced to show up because the day supervisors have flaked out, the herald-planet is cranky. They and Venus are in a relationship called mutual reception — the night manager has called the boss in to switch places with them —and this gives the two of them a few more precious shifts to spend in the leadership roles where they each feel most comfortable.
Yet it makes October 14th’s annular solar eclipse considerably more fraught: the schedule is all thrown off, the agenda is upended — and the path of the Eclipse’s visibility cuts a slash from Portland, OR deep into Central America through Texas. The next solar eclipse on 8 April 2024 crosses North America in a second diagonal — and they crisscross over the Lone Star State. We tend to look at judicial/mundane astrology issues when it comes to eclipses — they’re rarely personal, but often have outsized economic or political effects on the nations or empires where they’re visible…. and on the provinces or states or satrapies where they’re most visible.
We’re about to see a seismic shift in the politics of the Lone Star State over the next few months. If it were just Uvalde, if it were just immigration, if it were just historic failures of the electrical grid, if it were just political corruption in the governor’s cabinet, if it were just an impeachment trial and acquittal of the state’s attorney general… it might go away. But it’s all those things, and precipitating events in the next month might be the straw that breaks the rugged-individualist cowboy mentality. Even people who think governments are badly run, expect governments to do something even if it’s not done well.
I could be wrong… and it might not go easily or well. Some people don’t take defeat easily or happily, and there’s plenty of trouble that can be stirred up. That said… Nemesis comes for us all, sooner or later.
This time around, we’re looking at a Day Chart, with all three of the members of the night sect above the horizon, and most of the members of the day sect below the horizon. Jupiter is nominally the ruler of the chart, but cadent and below the horizon in the sixth house, his focus is on managing day-to-day operations, and not making too many waves — in his mind, the landscape is unchanged despite ongoing tumult. There’s a deep irony here: perhaps we can see the embers in the smoking ruins of what-was; he is out tending to routine affairs, and not rushing home to put out the blaze.
The Sun is enclosed with Mercury his herald with the South Node in a kind of imprisonment, waiting in the “black hole” or oubliette for a solar eclipse tomorrow to cover the only entrance like a lid. The next several days are likely to bring an end to many friendships and alliances, as challenging news from around the country and around the world wrings thoughtless opinions from folks in the “marketplace of ideas” — social media may keep spinning, but the shit will hit the fan.
The one source of light in this is that Venus and Mercury are still in mutual reception — each in the other’s sign — and it means that the experts may indeed be able to solve some of the emerging problems in the world, and the diplomats may be able to help everyone save face and come to their senses. However, the separating trine between Mars and Saturn should not go unacknowledged — you may be finding that you’d rather just keep everyone at arm’s length and create a long and winding process for deciding who is welcome in your own home. The Lot of Fortune’s opposition to Uranus indicates considerable tension between what you hope to accomplish day-to-day, and your efforts to create a longer-range strategic plan that keeps you out of the trenches.
Let’s take a look at the rulership table of the coming week:
What we see is a chart in which many of the planets answer to Venus in Virgo, who is angular but in Fall/Exile. There is still time to make diplomatic solutions, to come to organic agreements that recognize the right of each person to dwell in peace under their own trees, and to plant the groves that will shelter their grandchildren. The war lord Mars, though, is gaining considerable strength, and by October 23 a considerable amount of momentum will slip toward increasing conflict. Strategic and tactical leadership decisions will empower relatively weak minority opinions, resulting in an increasing tendency to come out swinging; financial decisions made for safety are likely to follow. There are still solo decisions that can be made, though, to strengthen and bind together the powers that would prefer to shatter existing norms.
Finally, Pluto in the second house and Neptune in the fourth invite you to look to your resources and familial relationships with a gentle and kind assessment. Right now, Pluto wants you to think “mine! mine! mine!” like a Pixar seagull — but by late January 2024, sharing with others in your orbit may be desirable — establishing some early connections here will matter; Meanwhile, Neptune continues his own self-orbiting pirouettes in Pisces’ last decan The Cup of Blood — where he continues to lure family members and close friends into both extremism and counterfactual beliefs. It’s not time to strengthen those family ties to the bewildered and confused among your own kindred, not yet. Even so, Americans in particular should be thinking about where and how to spend Thanksgiving holidays — and to decide where their red lines are, and when to shut up. You might need these folks next year — don’t blow a gasket, plan now.
Horoscopes by Rising Sign
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Sagittarius: Keep plodding along on routine tasks this week, but use the next month or so to make big plans for the year ahead; those big plans are where you have the most options. Expect some difficulties to arise with friends over the news if you mouth off — some consideration of your drawn battle lines is worthwhile. All the same, spend more time nursing your “babies”, your passion projects, than keeping friendships in good rotation. Your creative efforts are likely to be recognized, if you’ve been nourishing your garden of delights; meanwhile, “home” is likely to need a somewhat meandering definition.
Capricorn: Financial success right now comes from listening, in a roundabout fashion, to your closest advisors in the comfort of your own home (while taking care not to drink in conspiratorial nonsense). Think about how to be your own person, even while you glad-hand with friends and make big plans together. Big changes are coming in your workplace. First there’s going to be some troublesome data that has to be chased down; creative efforts will arise to deal with it. Make time for fun, but revisit old forms of happiness: no new projects just yet. Avoid going into offices for now.
Aquarius: You’re threading a very narrow financial needle with a large piece of yarn. It would be helpful if you got out of your own light while doing that — but neighborhood politics and your own economic goals may be hampering your vision. A difficult boss or supervisor is likely to badmouth you this coming week; your response to that once it becomes known can be both surprising and transformative. You may not have to leave, but you do have to assert your own agency in the workplace — and this might require a leave of absence and your own journey of discovery.
Pisces: Familial matters come to the fore this week, as house and family will seem simultaneously prison and palace. When dealing with “crazy uncle” hold your peace — you gain nothing from fight-picking, and risk much. A friend may ask you for financial help, and you might give some — but not all and not without conditions. Choosing to travel is good, as long as it’s a bit of solo time for personal change. Be wary of travel companions who intrude on your peace with much conversation. Before you go anywhere, be sure you’ve checked off your complete to-do list; something will bring you grief otherwise.
Aries: It’s easy to get passionate about new projects right now, but your attention needs to be on some of your obligations to others; clearing your old agenda should take priority. That may require circling back to people and gently letting them down: “I can’t fulfill your expectations here.” That will feel humbling but it doesn’t need to be humiliating: focus on the relationships, not the failure. Everything else you need to do, professionally, requires a butt in chair, and some deliberate blinders to not try to plan too far ahead. Do fun things too — just don’t do only fun things.
Taurus: Review your past decisions for immediate relief from anxiety. There are actions where a reversal of course may help you stabilize your regular customs into favorable patterns. Your partner may be unnecessarily concerned about money, and the result is a seething undertow. The ball is in their court to resolve tensions, but you have to accept some compromises here. Beauteous things are possible for you professionally, but there’s some difficult days in the next few weeks that will land a lot of labor on you. Seek help even if you have to organize your own rescue party. Travel is costly.
Gemini: Getting to know others is hard, but this is the week to widen your circle of peers — even at the expense of your own pleasures and regular entertainments. Of course you want to focus on doing just what makes you happy; but it’s that narrowed field of vision that brings trouble this time. Lavish attention on making home come together, but some field repairs may be necessary even so. Don’t sleep on the long-range vision either — pin down some daily routines for real success. Your dream job requires letting out a little more yarn in the maze. Review your obligations!
Cancer: You have duties to household and friends that will take your focus, but they don’t need to feel like chores. The bonds that connect you to others have to be properly managed or they’d drag you down into bad places; pay attention to boundaries in the next two weeks between eclipses. Your mouth can get you into trouble at professional shindigs, but you can also pause and say the right thing and startle a room with your wisdom. Set up some daily lunch or coffee plans with some colleagues for career advancement. Be on the lookout for cheap travel deals.
Leo: Attend to the ‘money garden’ you’ve grown over the past months, and do your best to see that you’re harvesting what’s owed. Your local circle of friends is in some uproar over the next few weeks, and some really dark stuff may go down. The crazy uncle in your family or circle may be itching for a fight. Your message and guidance here can have an effect; alone among the signs, you have the possibility of persuading others to a new point of view… you’ll just have to go about it in the most roundabout way. Make durable decisions daily.
Virgo: Your workplace may need more creative effort from you to solve problems; the leadership says they want an organic solution, but you may still have to build it. Talk to the boss about content and listen for context in order to earn your next bonus: lay out your possible options and priorities on your project, but ask for economic and financial realities that inform any decisions. You’re at risk of losing some compensation in the near future, so avoid the fight with the colleagues who are taking leaps to their next careers — but you don’t need to believe the crazy.
Libra: Your friends and your friendships may be tested in the next two weeks. You may go through the fire over the next few months as you adjust to the shifts in your leisure activities. Financial hardships come, yet you’re able to navigate them easily. This raises your stature at home and with family effectively as you navigate. There may be a number of difficult days ahead where you don’t get to do what you want. You may also face routine obligations that require you to lead in the face of emergencies you didn’t create. Plan diplomatic exits from untenable workplaces.
Scorpio: The next two weeks have a significant effect on the direction and speed of the activities of your next two years. Make at least a broad outline of your plans; even if you don’t follow through on everything, you’ll find that you have choices and options that you don’t have now. Just be aware that you can’t do two years of life in two weeks — acknowledge the immediate obstacles and address them where you can. Family and close friends may commission work from you. Do the work, but don’t establish family discounts. Romance, sex? Yes, but with negotiation and precaution.
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If you want to read some of my astrologically-oriented poetry, the largest collection is called A Full Volume of Splendor and Starlight, available through my Etsy shop, and containing poems and hymns to the planets, constellations, decan deities, and Moon Mansion angels. While not astrological, Festae contains hymns to some of the older Roman gods and spirits from the calendar created by Numa Pompilius, the second ancient King of Rome.
I use iPhemeris for my charting software, and screenshot it to make charts. I want to thank the team that develops iPhemeris for the addition of Terms and Decans to their charts. I also use Hugh Tran‘s Physis typeface to craft logos for this blog, as well.
I use Christopher Warnock‘s The Mansions of the Moon as the basis of my Moon placement delineations, and Austin Coppock‘s 36 Faces for much of my planetary delineations. Neither gentleman endorses me.