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The Wheel of Light

Monthly Newsletter - November 2011

There are two planetary phenomena this month that are worth noting. One is Mercury turning retrograde on the 23rd. The other is a solar eclipse at the time of the New Moon on the 24th.

Mercury pertains to communication. We usually attempt to communicate in an objective way, finding common ground with the listener in order to enhance understanding and accurate sharing of knowledge. Whenever a planet is retrograde we tend to experience its energy in a more personal or subjective way. So, Mercury retrograde is a time when communication is challenging. We may focus more on what something means to us and less on getting the point across clearly. Difficulties can also extend to other things that pertain to Mercury, such a travel or the signing of documents. When on the road we might get unexpectedly delayed or perhaps directed to the wrong place. Documents may get misdirected to the wrong office or never arrive at the intended destination. This is fairly well-known information. However, the effects of Mercury retrograde can begin prior to its actual retrogradation and last beyond when it turns direct. This is due to what is called “the shadow”. The shadow period of a retrograde planet includes all the degrees that a planet will transit during its retrogradation. The shadow begins on the day that a direct planet reaches the same degree that it will turn direct after having been retrograde and remains in the shadow until that planet reaches the degree at which is first turned retrograde. For example, this month Mercury turns retrograde at 20 degrees of Sagittarius and turns direct at 3 degrees of Sagittarius. So, when direct Mercury reaches 3 Sagittarius on November 5 it enters its shadow, even though it won’t actually turn retrograde until the 23rd. And even though Mercury turns direct on December 13 it remains in its shadow until January 1. 2012 when it returns to 20 degrees of Sagittarius. The effects of Mercury retrograde remain until we are completely out of its shadow. The retrograde influence of a planet is always strongest when it is actually retrograde. But it’s wise to keep track of the shadow period. That way we can adjust our thinking, acting and expectations to accommodate the intricacies of a retrograde planet and period. Remember, that when Mercury is retrograde, it’s an excellent time to write, do research and re-evaluate our previously understood perceptions and conclusions.

An eclipse takes place when the Sun and Moon are at the same degree of both longitude and latitude. This is also when the Moon’s orbit is transiting from north of the ecliptic (the path that the Sun makes in its annual journey around the earth) to south of the ecliptic. This is also where the nodes of the Moon are located. There are many, fascinating ways of interpreting the Moon’s nodes, many of which I’ve addressed in previous columns. Today I’m going to address the significance of the degrees of the eclipse relative to the degrees of the nodes.

In general, the closer an eclipse is to the node, the more powerful it will be. This month, the New Moon solar eclipse will be at 2 degrees of Sagittarius. The north node is at 14 degrees. Contrast that with the Full Moon lunar eclipse that takes place on December 10 at 18 degrees Gemini, the south node will still be at 14 degrees. Thus, we can assume that the lunar eclipse in December will be more significant and powerful than the solar eclipse in November. In some ways that is beneficial because the solar eclipse is usually more important and tends to bring in more extreme and unexpected events, than does the lunar eclipse.

Furthermore, the eclipse is taking place at a lower degree than the node, suggesting that the events often triggered by an eclipse might not kick in right away. There could be a two week delay or more. One reason new moon eclipses are so powerful is that they often indicate major changes in political leadership. In order for an eclipse to negatively impact a political leader, however, his or her chart would have to be significantly impacted by the degree of the eclipse. The north node at 14 degrees of Sagittarius is at the midpoint between Barrack Obama’s Pluto and Mars. Although this could prove to be volatile if it actually connected to either planet, it remains to be seen if the current eclipse will prove challenging for the president.

For the rest of us, we should see if any planet or significant point (such as an angle) is within a degree of 14 Sagittarius or Gemini. If so, the energy of that planet, and the house of its placement in our natal chart, could experience some unexpected changes and possibly challenges this month.

AriesAries (March 21-April 20)
Pay attention to details this month. Often you may tend to be too impatient to do so, but his is the time to iron out the wrinkles in such things as daily routine and health maintenance. This is also a time to work on refining work related skills that will enable you to be more efficient on the job.

TaurusTaurus (April 21-May 21)
The full Moon in Taurus on the 10th is an opportunity to become more aware of your feelings and emotional needs. You are often quite stoic when it comes to revealing sensitivities, preferring to deal with them yourself. This is an opportunity to open up, let others know what’s going on with you, and allow them to provide some emotional support.

GeminiGemini (May 22-June 21)
Significant one-to-one relationships could be a prime focus for you this month. Whether it’s with a spouse, good friend or business partner, two things stand out. One is, of course, communication. Make sure that the other person knows exactly what you are offering and needing in the situation. Second, avoid co-dependency. This is a good time to assert your independence even as you reaffirm your involvement.

CancerCancer (June 22-July 22)
Because the Moon is the ruling planet of Cancer, eclipses often have a major impact on you. You may feel emotionally out of sorts, kind of blah. Counteract that by going within. Spending time alone enables you to tune into your inner being or higher self. Growth for you this month comes from sharpening your intuitive awareness.

LeoLeo (July 23-August 23)
Relationship issues could surface in mid-month. You may feel the need for some time away from your partner, who may respond by feeling abandoned. Growth for you comes from being emotionally open and honest about what your true feelings for the partner are. Your honesty could buy the desired time to explore other aspects of your life.

VirgoVirgo (August 24-Sept 22)
This is a good time to get in touch with feelings of anger and expressing them clearly, directly and appropriately. Growth comes from seeing the big picture before unloading. If you get stuck or lost in the details your anger could seem more like nagging or too petty to respond to. A broader perspective will also bring more fulfilling results and make it more worthwhile to take the risks in opening up.

LibraLibra (Sept 23-Oct 23)
One key word for you this month: communicate. This could be speaking with friends or relatives. This could also involve writing in any form, from journaling to creative writing. In addition, your state of mind should be quite open and positive. Take advantage of that by taking another look at a painful or challenging situation. You might see a more positive perspective or a new way out at this time.

ScorpioScorpio (Oct 24-Nov 22)
Life may feel filled with harmonious flow this month, especially in the social realm. New relationship opportunities may turn up and possibilities of transforming ongoing relationships may also be possible. The energy itself is not flashy. It’s more methodical and deliberate. This is more a time of building or stabilizing relationships than it is a period of deep emotional connections.

SagittariusSagittarius (Nov 23-Dec 21)
The solar eclipse in Sagittarius could bring some new intellectual or philosophical revelations. It could also bring some desirable support or an interesting new opportunity. Growth for you comes from recognizing the encouragement and taking advantage of it without getting too idealistic or unrealistically expectant about what the eventual outcome could be.

CapricornCapricorn (Dec 22-Jan 20)
A shadow side of Capricorn is its potential for mystical attunement and striving to achieve spiritual as well as material goals. This is a good time to spend more time in spiritual pursuit. This could be in the form of meditation, quiet walks in nature or reading something spiritually inspiring. Growth comes from doing this even it’s outside your normal comfort zone.

AquariusAquarius (Jan 21 to Feb 19)
There are two points of focus for you this month. One is expanding your social life. New people coming in could bring interesting and useful information. Old friends could prove inspiring and supportive. The other focus is family. Spend some time around the eclipse (24th) striving for insights into family members and ways of creating more joy in your home.

PiscesPisces (Feb 20-March 20)
New opportunities and positive feedback at work provide the potential for expansion in that area. Don’t look at the ideal situation and notice how what’s happening is not that. With the economy as it is, any positive situation beats the alternative. This could also be a good time to be direct, self-affirming and authentic in your primary relationship.

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