At an elemental level November 2018 is all about fire and water. A Grand Trine which began to form at the end of October features significantly throughout this month, accentuating the creative force of fire and the intuitive nature of water. Fire is anger and passion, desire and resistance, inspiration and the impetus to be made new through courageous engagement with life itself. Water is the world of emotions and sensitivity, intuition and spirit, tenderness, oneness and overwhelm. We may drown in our emotions or be refreshed by them; delight in the intimacy of shared feelings or be overcome by a lack of boundaries and the impingement of the world around us. Throughout this month we must strive to balance inspiration with intuition, anger with empathy, tenderness with courage and resistance with surrender. External struggles may trigger emotional meltdown but still we must stand strong in the world and say our piece, make our mark. We may have to fight when we’d prefer to retreat or withdraw to contemplate the world rather than struggle to change it.
Attention to the subtle nuance of each moment will be necessary. The perceptual impact of heightened emotion and the fires of inspiration or anger must be carefully discerned. But most importantly we will need to connect with the subtle knowing that lies beneath all of this, steady and stable, neither you nor me nor anyone else: just the flow of energy and essence underpinning each moment from cradle to grave. It is from this flow that we can draw energy in each moment, pure and untainted by an obsessive mind or broken heart, by shame or regrets, grief or despair. Free even of the joys and delights that hook us into a worldly narrative of good and bad, right and wrong. This energetic presence that lies beneath – the source of our being – remains forever true to the moment and free of all that binds us to the world.
From this place of quiet clarity we can know what’s called for in each moment. When to speak and when to remain silent. When to act, when to step back, when to insist and when to yield. This month invites us to engage with life from a deeper place where wisdom flows like a fresh mountain stream, born of intimacy with all things and embodiment of the wise heart which sees beyond the deceptions of the world to its radiant core.
Mercury entered Sagittarius on 31st October, adding fuel to our inner flame. It will remain there all this month, turning retrograde mid-November and returning briefly to Scorpio at the beginning of December. In Sagittarius, Mercury can be a bit too confident if we let it. A tad over-zealous in its expression, it may tempt us into arrogant pronouncements where open-minded enquiry would better suffice. Consequences are often out of radar range with this Mercury. We forget they exist and make decisions with little regard for them. Sometimes there’s a place for doing this and when Mercury’s in Sagittarius it’s often the case that we simply need to speak out and see what happens. But it’s important to bear in mind that this Mercury can be liberal in its interpretation of fact and fiction, as can we. It allows for all manner of ‘creative’ truths, subjective perspectives and exaggerations, just as it provides the unfettered freedom to speak one’s mind and say it like it is no holds barred.
At its best, Mercury in Sagittarius seeks grand truths that weave all things into an integrated whole. At its less than best it fosters division through its sheer fiery force of opinion which leaves no space for difference or debate. It can broadcast opinions as fact far and wide, and so might we when under its sway. The force of resistance to our pronouncements may catch us off guard if we don’t first listen carefully to what we, ourselves, are saying. Forming part of this month’s influential Grand Trine as it shifts from the water of Scorpio to the fire of Sagittarius, this Mercury reminds us that only through deep inner enquiry can we know the truth and only through the risk of honest and open expression can we share that truth with others in a meaningful way.
Throughout the next two months we’ll have plenty of opportunity to consider the stories we project upon the world to make sense of it: how we insert our personal narrative into the impersonal conditions we encounter in our lives. Using this time to observe how that narrative impacts our experience will be time well spent. Do we weave stories that allow for creative solutions or feelings of limitation and despair? Do we forever resist the conditions we dislike, refusing to discover the power of surrender to a greater force of change in the deeper recesses of our lives? Or do we have the courage to change what we can and the wisdom to let be what we can’t? Do we project a dark and disempowered future or one of possibility – both good and bad – which we, ourselves, can shape – even by the power of our attitude in each moment? Mercury’s current cycle will reveal much about the sense we make of the world and what that sense means to our on-going experience of every day.
Venus also retrograded into Libra on 31st October where she will remain until the beginning of December, turning direct on 16th November. Since turning retrograde on 5th October she’s revealed where we get lost in obsessive desire, allow past hurts to dictate the course of the present and seek unhelpful interpersonal drama to feel connected. As Mercury now highlights the dramas we create out of life’s twists and turns, Venus’s return to her own sign softens the edges of these realisations, allowing us to share with others insight seeded in recent weeks. If relationships have revealed their problematic sides of late, it doesn’t necessarily mean an end is called for. The solution may be far more subtle. Better communication may be necessary, or a deeper understanding of the different ways in which we express love. We may benefit from an agreement to air grievances as they arise, not let them fester for a later date. Or perhaps committing to quality time together as a priority, not a luxury, will help us connect at a more intimate level once more.
Venus retrograde in Libra allows us to find love for self and others. She relights the flames of intimacy and the warmth of appreciation, recasting difficulties in the light of busy lives, stressed-out minds and troubled hearts in need of gentle care. It is always true that some relationships simply don’t survive Venus’s retrograde cycle and were never meant to. Their time has come and moving apart is the only way. But for many, gentle and more nuanced shifts of time and attention can release the healing balm of acceptance and forgiveness which forges a more loving and intimate path ahead.
Throughout November, Venus reaches out her wise and gentle hand to any and all who seek greater intimacy and a more heartfelt exchange with life itself. She wants us connected – with each other and ourselves – guided by the heart and relaxed in the warm embrace of love. Together with Mercury in Sagittarius she reminds us that love really does make the world go around, but it comes in many different forms. The more open we can be to giving and receiving it in all its guises, the safer and gentler the world will be. Which is exactly what the North Node’s shift into Cancer on 6th November is all about. So stay tuned for more on that soon!