Into the Dark to Find the Light
Eclipse Season begins with the Solar Eclipse in Scorpio, while Venus and Mars continue their dance, taking turns as to who leads. Stationary Mars is more dominant, but Venus conjunct the Sun-Moon also has a strong presence. Stationary Saturn also helps to make this eclipse an unusually intense one!
NEW MOON in SCORPIO
Ottawa, Canada and
Washington DC, USA:
Oct. 25, 2022, 6:48 AM EDT
Oct. 25, 2022, 11:48 AM BST
Oct. 25, 2022, 9:48 PM AEST
The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion that stands at the cradle of true art and true science.
~ Albert Einstein, The World As I See It
When a Solar Eclipse takes place, the Moon moves across the disc of the Sun. For several minutes, the Moon blocks our primary source of light, in total or in part. The light reaching us here on Earth dims, resulting in an eerie midday twilight when the eclipse is Total.
This one is a partial eclipse with 82% coverage of the Sun at its maximum location in Central Russia, also visible in Europe, the Middle East, and in West and South Asia. (Remember that you should never look directly at a Solar Eclipse without proper eye protection, or you can damage your eyes. This is especially true with partial solar eclipses.)
Scorpio is already associated with darkness, since it begins the time of longest nights in the Northern Hemisphere (where astrological correspondences originated) which peaks at the December Solstice. This sign also signifies the experience of going into hidden places in the psyche, the psychological shadow, and the great mysteries of life.
What an eclipse in Scorpio can do is release subconscious feelings, longings and urges, which could include memories and emotions that we tend to push down in order to function from day to day. Pay attention to your dreams, since they may express hopes, fears and concerns that you usually ignore or avoid. The point is to become aware, to know yourself better, and to integrate your inside and outside.
Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.
~ Martin Luther King Jr., A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings and Speeches
This is a Solar Eclipse, so the Sun and Moon are both conjunct by zodiac sign/degree, and parallel by declination, making this a New Moon in Scorpio with Extra Attitude. Venus is also exactly conjunct the Sun and Moon, all at 2 degrees of Scorpio, and Venus is parallel the Sun and Moon, which adds extra passion and desire to the already-ardent Scorpio energy.
Venus conjunct the Sun is also part of the planetary cycle called the Venus Star, which refers to the 5-pointed star-shaped pattern created by Venus retrograde cycles over time. Venus has an 8-year cycle that repeats within 5 signs – five signs = five points of the Venus Star. In other words, the Venus cycle pings the same sign every 8 years, and each cycle takes turns in a group of 5 zodiac signs.
This is over-simplifying Venus' complex yet very predictable cycle, but hopefully you get the idea. I talk more about the Venus cycle in my article Venus Retrograde: Scorpio 2010. And to learn more about the Venus Star cycles, check out this podcast with Chris Brennan interviewing Arielle Guttman who literally wrote the book on the Venus Star!
The 5 Venus signs change gradually over time, precessing backwards by about 2-3 degrees each cycle, and spending up to 168 years in each of those 5 signs. Right now, the Venus cycle points (stations and Sun conjunctions) are shifting gradually from Scorpio back into Libra, straddling these two signs from 2010 until 2050. Prior to the Venus retrograde station in November 2010 at 27:39 Libra, there were no Venus cycle points in Libra since 1903.
The current Venus-Sun conjunction just happened in the final degree of Libra (29:26), but 3 days later at the Solar Eclipse the two are in Scorpio, still partile and still Cazimi (in the same degree, and within 1°). I've written in the last couple of updates how we have repeating Venus and Mars themes over a few months. This eclipse is no exception, with the Venus-Sun starting in Libra and continuing through the eclipse in Mars' sign.
So, again we have these polarized energies dancing together, negotiating who will lead and how they'll combine and/or distinguish their respective energies. (The Mars side of this equation is discussed below.)
Venus normally prefers to solve problems through diplomacy, persuasion, negotiation and engagement. However, when she's in Scorpio it's like Venus is channelling Mars, so her problem-solving style can become more seductive, scheming, aggressive or brazen.
In a similar way, the Scorpio Sun and Moon are channelling Venus energy, since they are all huddled together so closely (0:39 orb). Scorpio energy tends to be intense and passionate, with strong feelings. Scorpio may also be either very direct (speaking bluntly, for example) or very subtle (keeping one's feelings, observations or thoughts hidden).
With Venus being part of the family, the Scorpio eclipse may nudge us to be more sensitive to the impact of our actions and behaviour on others. Or our Venus side might be won over by the Scorpio forcefulness, leading us to be more blunt, forward, pushy and determined to get what we want, perhaps through manipulation.
One thing that Venus is unlikely to be is disinterested. She insinuates herself into the drama not only through conjunction and parallel to the Sun and Moon, but also through rulership. There is what we might call a 3-way Mutual Reception happening:
Venus in Scorpio, ruled by...
Mars in Gemini, ruled by...
Mercury in Libra, ruled by...
Venus in Scorpio
Venus in Scorpio sends passionate, balance-seeking energy to Mercury in Libra,
Mercury in Scorp-ified Libra sends impassioned-harmony-seeking energy to Mars in Gemini,
Mars in Libr-ified Gemini sends passionately-harmonious-and-expressive energy to Venus in Scorpio...
The overall effect may be to boost the urge to discuss deep, secret mysteries with people we're close to—or perhaps becoming closer to someone by talking about deep subjects. It could also indicate a need to express (especially creatively) our passionate depths through some kind of interpersonal activity. Sex probably tops that list, but this can also involve a non-sexual yet intimate meeting of the minds; a true heartfelt connection person-to-person.
"She can't help it," he said. "She's got the soul of a poet and the emotional makeup of a junkyard dog." ~ Stephen King, Under the Dome
Mars is really the star of this show for several reasons, starting with the fact that he is the traditional ruler of Scorpio, and therefore rules the Solar Eclipse. So, whatever Mars is doing will get passed through to the Sun and Moon who take their marching orders from him as their sign's ruler.
Mars is in Gemini which cranks up the volume on communication, ideas, expression of emotion, and activity involving the mind and nervous system. On one hand, this combination could give you the courage to say difficult things that need to be said, to stand up and speak truth to power, or to be forthright about what you're thinking and feeling. On the other hand, you might also feel a bit jumpy, nervous or over-reactive, in which case it may help to find something to keep your mind occupied so you don't get lost in free-floating anxiety, frustration or emotional overload.
Mars is in a harmonious trine aspect (120°) to the Sun, Moon and Venus. The trine is rather wide (over 6½ degree orb) and separating, as well as being out-of-sign (not in signs normally trine to each other), which makes the energy somewhat weaker and fading. (Sun-Mars trine was exact on Oct. 17. Venus-Mars trine was exact on Oct. 18.) Mars aims his Gemini qualities at the Sun-Moon-Venus conjunction in Scorpio, which could loosen tongues in those who are itching to blurt out things that perhaps are best spoken more softly or even left unsaid. But it could also clarify what your options are regarding what actions to take on the issues in question.
Mars is ruled by Mercury in Libra, and these two are also in an easy-flowing trine aspect, as well as close and applying, making their energy stronger and building. On the plus side, this could increase your ability and willingness to be outgoing and sociable; able to find the right words to make a good impression with others. On the minus side, this might also make it far too easy to speak your mind in ways that are inappropriate, premature, or abruptly blunt. ("Oops, did I say that out loud?")
Interestingly, although on good terms with Mars, Mercury has a difficult square aspect with Pluto, Scorpio's modern ruler. This discordant energy could lead to awkward indecision, where you feel the urge and courage to speak your truth—but then second-guess yourself and dilute the point you're trying to make. As a result, you risk coming across as ambiguous, inconsistent or fickle. That said, this energy might also make it easier to stop short of using the nuclear option in conflicts, since you're probably more aware of the unwanted possible consequences.
Pluto is also square to the Sun-Moon-Venus conjunction. This heaviness can indicate situations and experiences that call for you to tap into your authentic inner self, and if you are not living your external life in a way that reflects your authentic self then this could be a difficult reminder of that. The good news is that the Pluto square Sun-Moon-Venus is wide and separating (and as with the Mars trine, is an out-of-sign aspect).
With fingers crossed, this suggests the energy may be past its best-before date and is now fading in strength. The bad news is that because Pluto rules Scorpio and because we're talking about a Scorpio eclipse, its impact is still likely to endure beyond its usual shelf-life. And to top it off, Mercury square Pluto is still building in energy, becoming exact on Oct. 27, so Pluto's heavy energy is likely to stay with us for a week or even a few months.
The Sun and Venus exactly squared Pluto on October 19 and 20, respectively, so whatever was going on in your life around those dates, this energy may linger in the background of the eclipse energy. In other words, there may be a deeper level in which to explore the events, feelings, questions and ideas that came up around that time, and this is likely to take longer than just a few days – more like a few weeks or even months.
Just to make things more "interesting," Pluto has a tight quincunx aspect (150°) to Mars, as well as being parallel to Mars. This can make conflicts and strenuous situations more complicated and concentrated: when faced with a challenge, conflict or obstacle, is it better to muster personal courage and determination, or to gird your loins and release the dragons? Or both??
The complication arises because it may not be easy to know which response is better, nor which option you are feeling up to dealing with in that moment. Too little empowerment could leave you with unresolved problems. Too much pushback and you risk inflicting unnecessary damage in a situation or relationship. It's a dilemma that can only be effectively handled by staying aware and flexible, and adjusting your reactions to suit the situation.
There is scarcely any passion without struggle.
~ Albert Camus, The Myth of Sisyphus and Other Essays
At the moment, we're suspended between two stationary planets: Saturn and Mars. Saturn turned direct just 2-3 days before the Solar Eclipse. Mars retrograde doesn't officially begin until 5 days after it but believe me, we're feeling it now!
Having 2 planets stationary makes for quite an intense backdrop to the eclipse. While Saturn was retrograde (since June 4) we were most likely doing planning, homework, research, and accumulating resources toward a goal. Now as Saturn has turned direct, it's time to apply it: choose the final destination, start building, put the pieces together, take a new step forward, make a change, embrace a commitment, and/or begin the final journey down the home stretch. But remember that Saturn doesn't rush through anything (especially near a station), so consider this a new phase of a long-term process.
Mars is both stationary-retrograde and Out of Bounds by declination. As discussed in the update for the Full Moon in Aries (Oct. 9), Mars is Out of Bounds (OOB) the entire time it is retrograde, which is like throwing more logs on the bonfire – energy, emotions and ambition are likely to burn bright ...or might stall due to overwhelm and taking on too much. Mars is OOB from October 22 to May 5, 2023, and is retrograde from October 30 to January 12, 2023. This is likely to make Mars extra passionate and extra independent—or it could go the other way and become lethargic, depressed or discouraged.
As Mars begins his retrograde phase, something that seemed inevitable, unavoidable, straight ahead, or a sure thing, may suddenly take a turn. A goal gets interrupted, or a difficult situation is averted, for example. Don't just assume that whatever you were aiming for has been derailed, and don't conclude that the difficult situation has magically vanished either.
Mars retrograde is often a time to regroup, reconsider, recalibrate and regurgitate. ;-) You might feel the urge to reject, resent, rebuke, revile, revolt or rebel. On the other hand, it might be wiser to restrain, resist, reduce, remain, release, reveal, reflect or recognize.
As Mars stations retrograde, all things related to Mars are likely to feel like the proverbial hot potato – hot-tempered, impulsive, overreactive, and difficult to calm down. Or the effect might go the other way and you could find your energy level becomes flat, your motivation dull, your willingness lazy, or your mood depressed.
Unfortunately, both effects could lurk around during the whole Mars retrograde phase, so it may be very helpful to make a list now of the resources and support systems you can draw on if your energy becomes difficult to work with: friends to cheer you up (or peel you off the ceiling), activities to distract you from a bad mood (or help you vent volatile feelings), and routines to help you remember the best of who you are (or let go of the worse).
Since Mars turns retrograde in Gemini, you and others around you may feel ultrasensitive to things that are said, the words used, the tone of voice, the timing, the body language, subtle subtext, or "micro-aggressions." Examples of the latter might include what is not said, reading between the lines, etc.
With both Mars and Saturn stationary at the eclipse, it intensifies, enriches and/or deepens all of that energy and more, since stationary planets tend to be extra powerful, forceful and vivid. Mars and Saturn tend to be sworn enemies. Saturn wants things slow, cautious, structured and long-term, whereas Mars wants things fast, spontaneous, free and now. The cosmic joke is that these two planets can accomplish amazing things – they just have to cooperate with their nemesis.
Luckily, right now Mars is trine Saturn and they make 3 exact passes of the trine during Mars' retrograde cycle: Sep. 28, Nov. 28 (both times at 19° Gemini/Aquarius), and March 30, 2023 (at 2° Cancer/Pisces). This can enable better stability, hopefully avoiding the stop-start or gridlock syndrome that Mars-Saturn can get into. The trine can make it easier to turn the Mars-Saturn friction into effective productivity.
Mars is square Neptune in the eclipse chart, and this transit also makes 3 passes: Oct. 12 (23° Gem/Pis), Nov. 19 (22° Gem-Pis), and March 14, 2023 (25° Gem/Pis). This could amplify the low energy or frustration side of the Mars station, or it could encourage a free-floating mood for art, music and peace.
Mars is also square Jupiter, staying with in a wide 7° orb from Oct. 16 to Nov. 22 (closest is 4:00 orb on Nov. 3), and it's not until well into 2023 that they finally perfect the square aspect. Jupiter's effect on Mars might boost the more volatile side of Mars (anger, frustration, impulses), or it could bring out a need to defend what you believe.
In both cases (Neptune and Jupiter), it might inspire a quest to find a more passionate sense of meaning and purpose in your life. Jupiter is poised to move back into Pisces from Oct. 28 to Dec. 20, so with Jupiter going from Mars' hot, passionate sign back into Jupiter's own dreamy, visionary sign, this is likely to boost the urge to channel Mars retrograde energy in a more spiritual, philosophical or creative direction.
Sabian Symbol for Scorpio 03: A house-raising (party in a small village enlists the neighbours' cooperation).
Group activities aren't usually the first thing we think of when we think of Scorpio. But when people come together in a common cause, for a common purpose, the collective energy can be infectious! Scorpio is about empowerment, and therefore power and energy. If we can't raise energy on our own, it helps to be around others with whom we can build energy together, build confidence and motivation.
This Sabian Symbol not only depicts such an effort, but also envisions what the end result could be – a house, a protective structure in which to live, grow and prosper, and which is too big a job to do alone (unless you're a super-obsessed Scorpio, I suppose). As the African proverb says: If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.
Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.
There is so much going on in the chart of the Solar Eclipse in Scorpio that it's easy to get lost in it! It's like there are clumps of energy that burst out of nowhere, like the perpetual flames on Yanar Dağ ("burning mountain") in Azerbaijan.
It starts with the Solar Eclipse in Scorpio that reveals our deep, hidden hopes, fears and obsessions, challenging us to transform them into passion, motivation and dedication. The eclipse embraces Venus at her star point where it precesses from Scorpio to Libra, emphasizing the value in channelling love, balance, cooperation and beauty into all we do. Out of darkness: light.
Then we have Scorpio ruler Mars stationary and about to turn retrograde, daring us to look within at how we manage our more volatile feelings and impulses, and finding constructive ways to communicate those feelings. Saturn too is stationary, having just turned direct and now instructs us to find ways to build something enduring, liberating and self-actualizing with all that energy.
Jupiter is at the powerful point of Aries 0° just before he somersaults back into Pisces for a couple of months. During that time, Jupiter once again overlaps auras with Neptune, summoning the Jupiter-Neptune conjunction that was exact back in April 2022, and this time reaches about 6° of separation.
These two could set the sky on fire with an aurora of inspiration, hope, vision and love, or they might reveal disappointment, disillusionment or deception. Together, they paint a picture where the assertive action, courage and confidence of Mars and Scorpio are mostly superficial without a deeper sense of purpose, aspiration and Universal Love to guide us.
Through all of this and more, we can discover how to love from the boots up. That doesn't require the absence of the more "negative" feelings. On the contrary, in Scorpio we learn to acknowledge and claim all of our feelings. To transform and integrate them through humility and love. So that ultimately we own who we are rather than unconsciously projecting it.
The next update will be for the Full Moon and Lunar Eclipse in Taurus on November 8, 2022. In the meantime, take care of yourself and each other. Stay safe. Stay sane. Stay awesome. The world needs you. ❤️
here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows
higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart
I carry your heart (I carry it in my heart)
~ e.e. cummings
© 2022-10-24 Wendy Guy, all rights reserved. Astrological diagrams by Wendy Guy. Divider of Yin and Yang Hands by 0fjd125gk87 via Pixabay.com. Eclipse map by Fred Espenak via WikiCommons. Sabian symbol photo of Lift the House by Abdillah23 via WikiCommons. Photo of Yanar Dagh at night by Frokor via WikiCommons.