Roses and Thorns
Even mellow Taurus can't seem to smooth out the jagged edges of this eclipse season, especially with ruling planet Venus having a hard time in this chart. But there are saving graces and ways to make the struggle worthwhile.
FULL MOON in TAURUS 05:09
Ottawa, Canada and
Washington DC, USA:
Oct. 28, 2023, 4:24 PM EDT
Oct. 28, 2023, 9:24 PM BST
Oct. 29, 2023, 7:24 AM AEST
Let us try to see things from their better side:
You complain about seeing thorny rose bushes;
Me, I rejoice and give thanks to the gods
That thorns have roses.
~ Alphonse Karr (original quote)
The Full Moon in Taurus features the Moon exalted in Taurus opposite the Sun in Scorpio – welcome to Scorpio season! Some people swear they feel the earth tremble a little at the mention of Scorpio, but in truth Scorpio isn't bad any more than any other sign – all signs are good, bad and neutral in their own ways.
At its core, Scorpio is about depth and intimacy (more than sex), as well as death and rebirth (metaphorical as well as literal). This Mars-ruled sign challenges us to embrace the emotional courage to face and grapple with life directly, in all its intensity.
This Full Moon is also a Lunar Eclipse in Taurus, so it's more powerful than your typical, garden variety Full Moon. The Lunar Nodes are still in Aries and Libra, but the Full Moon in Taurus is just close enough to the Nodes for the Moon to cross through some of the Earth's shadow, creating a Lunar Eclipse. It's unlikely this eclipse will put on much of a visual show, but it's still an eclipse and even wide eclipses can still pack a punch astrologically.
Taurus, being an Earth sign and ruled by Venus, is concerned with acquiring that which will make our existence in the physical world more pleasurable, comfortable and secure. It is therefore focused on creature comforts, from sensory delights to possessions, to wealth, to resources that enable us to replenish our physical support system. Our values are the measuring stick we use to decide if something is "worth" whatever we must pay, barter or sacrifice to have it.
At the Lunar Eclipse, the Moon is conjunct Jupiter, the planet of expansion, growth, morality, knowledge and wisdom. Jupiter is also often associated with good luck, opportunities, and aspiring toward your fullest potential, but like everything else in life, anything can become too much of a good thing. So, while Jupiter can signify confidence, vision and leadership, it can also lean towards arrogance, pie-in-the-sky dreams, harsh judgment, or dogmatism.
At the other end of the eclipse axis is the Sun conjunct Mercury and Mars, all in Scorpio. Mercury in Scorpio can have penetrating awareness of undercurrents of energy below the surface. Mars in Scorpio is literally in his element, prone to acting on passion, conviction and tenacity. Mercury conjunct Mars in Scorpio can underestimate the power behind its words, becoming too direct, brusque or harsh.
These three Scorpio planets form a powerful coalition that can do tremendous good or bad or even a bit of both. In Scorpio, with its deeply intimate connection and intuitive awareness, it may take only a word or two to break someone's heart—or to heal it. Like the surgeon's scalpel, it can be therapeutic and effective when used carefully and compassionately, or it could do severe, unnecessary damage.
Mars opposite Jupiter is super tight and therefore extra potent. At its best, we may be inspired to take action to fight for or defend (what we believe is) a righteous cause. On the other hand, we could react in anger and blame regarding a situation that's upsetting or frightening. And it might not be easy to tell one from the other, since both are rooted in a passionate, heartfelt response.
Mercury opposite Jupiter and conjunct Mars are also very tight aspects, all less than a degree in orb. This can generate a lot of pressure to know what's right or wrong, and be clear about how we "should" respond in a difficult situation. We're strongly pushed to align ourselves with the "right side" in situations that may be complicated by many different factors.
There can be great depth of shrewd perception in a Scorpio Mercury, and Mars being strong in his own sign is determined to do something about it or with it. Jupiter in opposition to both urges us to use that motivation wisely, leaning more toward understanding and compassion than judgmental pronouncements.
Saturn forms a Wedge aspect pattern with the Sun and Moon, indicating that one way to bring some stability to the Scorpio energy is to find the common threads running through a complex situation. Those threads tend to be most visible when you view them through your highest and most compassionate perspective. In other words, be cautious about foredrawn conclusions and assumptions, and allow yourself to just see what you see.
All of these planets just mentioned are aligned by declination as well as by aspect. The Moon is parallel Jupiter, (red circle in diagram) and Mercury is tightly parallel Mars (gold circle) which is common with conjunctions (0°). In addition, the Sun is tightly parallel Saturn (blue circle) even though they are a trine apart (120°). These 3 groups of parallels form a zigzag pattern that might be called a Rolling Contraparallel. The parallels amplify the conjunction and opposition effects, while the Sun-Saturn parallel brings out their cooperative trine energy and brings Saturn further into the mix.
What's more, Saturn stations direct at 0° of Pisces just a week after the Lunar Eclipse. This upgrades Saturn's ticket to a front row seat at the eclipse show, even though the chart seems to imply that his involvement is more in the background. It suggests that the best way to navigate our passions, opinions, impulses and cravings is to find a place of stillness and reason within, where we can accept both our longing for peace and our hunger for justice.
Venus rules the Taurus Lunar Eclipse. Being the lead planet in the chart's locomotive distribution pattern also makes her a very key player in the drama. So, how we handle this Venus energy will lead the way for the rest of the chart to follow. Venus represents the harmony and comfort loving parts of us, but being in exacting Virgo is not the most comfortable placement.
However, Virgo can also enhance Venus' ability to be more discriminating about who and what she chooses to harmonize with. So, it's okay to be a bit picky about how and who you interact with the world around you. That said, there can also be advantages to choosing the less comfy option if you gain something from it.
Venus is part of a Wedge aspect pattern that features a trine aspect to Uranus (Oct. 31) and opposition to Neptune (exact Nov. 3), suggesting that we could benefit from trying new things especially in the areas of art, music, love, spirituality and healing.
Venus is still feeling a bit prickly due to her octile aspects (semisquare-ssq-45° and sesquiquadrate-sqq-135°) which she also had at the Solar Eclipse in her sign of Libra. Right now, she is sqq the Moon and ssq the Sun which underscores the difficulty finding a place of ease and contentment. Like a cat or dog who winds around and around trying to create a comfy place to lay down, we may feel restless and go in circles as we try to find the position or attitude we can be most comfortable with.
Venus is part of an aspect pattern called a Hard Rectangle that is almost in orb at the Lunar Eclipse, but the aspects are just a bit too wide. However, this figure does come together in early November, as Venus opposes Neptune and the Sun opposes Jupiter, with the "corners" connected by octile aspects.
From Oct. 31 to Nov. 6 (peaking on Nov. 3), it may take some determined persistence to find a place of peaceful balance in today's world that is so chaotic and conflict-ridden. That said, this can be a time to stay aware of who or what triggers you into upset and agitation, and to try tweaking how you frame these experiences in a way that allows you to remain in a calm centre.
Will you meet me in the middle?
Will you meet me in the air?
Will you love me just a little?
Just enough to show you care?
~ Sister Golden Hair, by Gerry Beckley of America (band)
Sabian Symbol for Taurus 6: A (cantilever) bridge being built across a gorge.
The image of a bridge across a gorge is pretty easy to interpret – it's about finding a way to literally bridge the gap between two separate sides, viewpoints or opinions. With so many conflicts and wars happening between major countries right now, goodness knows we need a way to heal the gaps and find peace.
Dane Rudhyar (An Astrological Mandala) changed the wording to specify a cantilever bridge, which is an impressive bit of engineering. Essentially, a span of road can be supported between two structures, one on either side, and the combined push and pull dynamics of those structures then supports the road in between.
Taking this metaphorically, it seems to suggest that if both sides of a conflict or gap can build on their own strength, it will be easier to meet in the middle in peace. This is both the cooperation and the compromise. Neither side needs to be fully responsibility for reaching out; rather, it's a joint project requiring effort, willingness and trust on both sides. As long as each side keeps its own side strong, and the distance between them open, the gap between them can remain bridged.
Most women suffer thorns for the sake of the flowers, but we who wield power adorn ourselves with flowers to hide the sting of our thorns.
~ Leigh Bardugo, King of Scars
Roses and Thorns
There are many themes in this Lunar Eclipse. With so many planets aligned across the Sun-Moon axis, it emphasizes the idea of conflict between opposing views and a split that widens the gap between them. This is true of any Full Moon or Lunar Eclipse, since the emphasis is on the opposition aspect. However, this one involves 3 planets in Scorpio, including ruling planet Mars, which stokes passionate feelings in reaction to whatever is activating it—namely the Moon and Jupiter in Taurus.
Both Scorpio and Taurus are Fixed signs which can be steadfast and hard to convince otherwise once their mind is made up. One of the benefits of this is dedication, loyalty and perseverance. On the other hand, the downside is being stubborn, wilful or fixated – same qualities but different ways of using them.
Taurus can be extremely determined once it has chosen a particular goal – saving money, for example, or growing a garden, or building up pleasure and comfort in one's life. The flip side of Scorpio's tendency for obsession is Taurus' possessiveness and persistence. Scorpio's deep passion and desire become attachment to indulgence and security in Taurus.
There's an enormous amount of tension in this eclipse chart, though. There are 3 Scorpio planets in opposition to 2 Taurus planets, and they're close enough to the Lunar Nodes to create an eclipse that amplifies the effects. All of this can generate a lot of emotional heat as each side seeks to take control over the other.
Right now, planet Earth is on fire in multiple ways. Ongoing tensions in the Middle East have literally exploded into all-out war during this eclipse season. Ukraine vs Russia has been an intense focus for almost 2 years now with no clear end in sight.
In addition, many other eruptions and disputes around the world continue to sound alarm bells, including global concerns of climate change and energy sources, social issues like racism and poverty, and power struggles in areas of politics, religion and cultural issues.
The current eclipses have intensified these clashes. Venus, who rules both eclipses, has had an awkward sign placement with many complicated aspects. There is great difficulty trying to untangle the knots of adversity to weave a tapestry where all sides can coexist peacefully.
In your personal life, you may have found in recent weeks that obstacles, challenges and efforts haven't gone as smoothly as you thought they would. The path from "here" to "there" has been more twisted and jagged than expected.
For many of us, it has felt as if Mercury has been retrograde or Out-of-Bounds for weeks, although this has not happened since September, and won't again until mid-November. Perhaps we can blame it on Eris conjunct the True North Node, which has been stirring the chaotic pot for a while now. This transit hovers within a wide orb from last June to next February, and within the 1-degree hot zone from August 28 to December 13, becoming exact on November 27.
What might soften the Lunar Eclipse tension a bit is that Venus is moving toward making yet another Grand Trine Kite with the Mini-Trine pattern of Uranus trine Pluto, sextile Neptune. This is the last of a series of Kite figures that have been happening since August. (This was discussed in the update for the New Moon in Leo on Aug. 16.)
At the eclipse, Venus is already trine Uranus and opposite Neptune. The entire Grand Trine Kite comes into orb on Oct. 31, when Venus is exactly trine Uranus. This figure is closest on Nov. 3, the same day Venus is exactly opposite Neptune. And it extends until Nov. 6, the day Venus is exactly trine Pluto.
Venus forms the "tail" or endpoint of the Kite energy. Being surrounded by all those promising trines and sextiles, this Kite could turn Venus' struggle with those octiles in the Hard Rectangle into opportunities and rewards that make the hard stuff more productive, satisfying and worthwhile.
Put another way, it's a bit like hanging out inside a rose bush – it takes some careful squirming to find the least prickly position, but it smells and looks heavenly. How you frame the experience has a lot to do with how you will remember and benefit from this energy (or not). Whichever way you process your feelings, reactions and perceptions during this time, don't forget to breathe in the roses and breathe out gratitude.
The next update will be for the New Moon in Scorpio on November 13, 2023. In the meantime, stay safe. Stay sane. Stay awesome. The world needs you! ❤️
And when all the wars are over, a butterfly will still be beautiful.
~ Ruskin Bond, Scenes from a Writer's Life
© 2023-10-27 Wendy Guy, all rights reserved. Astrological diagrams by Wendy Guy. Divider of wild roses by Darkmoon_Art via Pixabay.com. Sabian symbol photo of cantilever bridge demonstration: photographer unknown, demo by Benjamin Baker (c.1882-1904) via WikiCommons.