This Month: Astrological Trends * Retrogrades * Tower Tarot Card Contest * Gluten-Free / Sugar-Free Pear Almond Coconut Muffins
October 2014 Astrological Trends
The month of October opens with Pluto moving forward again, beginning to retrace the degrees of the zodiac it reversed through since April. This means you likely feel energetic cylinders engaging all around you. Pluto turned direct September 22. Until October 4, when Mercury turns retrograde, you’ll see lots of action, so fasten your proverbial seat-belt and just keep in mind that you can do some reflecting in a few days, after the first week of the month. Mercury will be retrograde October 4th through 25th, and it will be a good time to review how well our thoughts align with our feelings. Are they in harmony?
Speaking of action, the action planet appears on the scene prominently this month. While Mars travels through Sagittarius (through October 25), the action will be around teaching, adventure, religion/philosophy, and expansion. The lower vibration of Mars in Sagittarius expresses itself through single-mindedness and conflict, but Mars-in-Sagittarius higher vibration energy is the teacher, traveler, the mentor, and wisdom provider of the best kind. With Saturn, another of astrology’s teachers and mentors, in the depth-probing sign of Scorpio, more weight is added to the theme of wisdom givers and guides needing to step up the plate at this time. As spiritual practitioners know, in order to help the groups that are having trouble managing themselves, we can send our wise energy out into the world via meditation and prayer. Even if we do nothing directly to be involved in any problems or conflicts that arise like poisonous mushroom stems amongst the mycelium of humanity around us, our indirect attention has power. We are all connected under the surface of the form of things, and we can often affect outcomes with the energy work we do beneath the surface.
Additionally, Uranus in Aries touches (or aspects) Jupiter in Leo, making its voice heard now to remove restrictions and provide energy where it is necessary, helping people and groups break new ground—even in unconventional ways. The “teacher” you experience may be corporeal or may come from an intuitive insight, so keep your spidey senses activated and honed. You might experience this energy personally, and/or on a more universal level—since these are “outer” planets—and often affect groups instead of just individuals. Usually, we feel some of these energies in our own microcosms, as well. This Uranus-Jupiter trine was active in September, and October is the final month to take advantage of its benefit, as it closes around October 26th.
There’s even more support for you to expect the unexpected during October, since we will experience two eclipses—a lunar eclipse in Aries on October 8 and a solar eclipse in Scorpio on October 23. What do these two eclipses have in common? Both Aries and Scorpio rule the planet Mars! (Read last month’s newsletter—“Learn Astrology” section—available at intuitivemoon.com—to understand a little bit about planetary rulership…)
Both begin 6-month cycles of activity in our lives to engage us in transformation. By next April, you can look back to see how the discussion that follows has manifested for you. You’ll look back and say: it had its origins in October.
Mars energy is a recurring theme in October, and it is a very active and engaging force to be reckoned with. Mars may be the “god of war,” mythologically, but Mars is also the warrior and protector of justice. Mars protects the peace as much as the thought of bringing any conflict. In Taoism, the greatest warriors are those most loathe to pick up a weapon, and I would concur with that philosophy from what I know of great warriors.
So the vision of Mars is the planet that brings movement where there has been stagnation and protection where there has been fear. It is an exciting time when many things will emerge cleared and cleaned. It is a time of breakthroughs and new beginnings as much as disruptions.
We can accept the gifts of Mars by accepting our own transformation and the transformation of the environment around us. We can practice loving kindness as well as do our part in the activities as they ramp up. We can show up and be kind and wise. We will be able to see how far we have come by whether or not we react to circumstances that trigger us. We can be proud when we see ourselves move beyond triggers and when we can see the souls of people around us instead of their personalities. We can forgive ourselves and others when we or they still have progress to make. Things will be moving so fast; it won’t be worth it to hold on to particular situational triggers.
The faster we can give up any slights and wounds, the faster we can get to where we need to be. This is a different process than denial of our feelings—I am not suggesting you deny what you feel—but that you transform from holding on to things from a personal ego perspective to a soul or spirit perspective. What if you were an angel having this conversation with your sister/lover/child/spouse/friend? What if you were already dead and buried and never had the chance to talk to them again? How would you have wanted to react to them? Would you have been kinder? Less attached to the outcome and more attached to making them feel welcome and loved? Less needful of attention, approbation, credit? This also implies spending more time with those people who and on those activities which provide you with some measure of joy in your heart!
If you are exhausted and weighed down or physically affected by the people you surround yourself with, it’s important to acknowledge and free yourself. Finding freedom and joy is serious business during October. If you do not seek it, it will seek you!
The solar eclipse in Scorpio on October 23 kicks off a 6-month cycle that will bring out anything that is hidden—hidden feelings, any responsibilities that have gone unheeded, and transformations under the surface that are just waiting to blossom. Whatever is under the surface will be exposed, so it’s a nice time to give up on secrets and give in to joy. Prepare now to be whole on all levels, and laugh when you discover there are still pockets of yourself to grow into. Some responsibilities will probably come out for all of us to realize and manifest. We can’t know it all—all at once.
Here’s a fun note: the Mars energy all month long can be routed into the bedroom for a month of hot and steamy action of a very personal sort if you’d like to use it in that fashion, and be more playful about the whole darned thing!
On October 23, the Sun and Venus enter Scorpio, and the Fall season enters its depth. Halloween is on the way, and you can feel the nights become substantially longer. It becomes time to dream and think deeply of our intentions and our ancestors. It is even more energy for transformation. Scorpio energy tests the waters of everything.
Then, the month will end on a high note as Mercury turns direct and Neptune and Venus make a nice aspect that provides some relaxing spiritual energy for meditation on October 27 and through month’s end—just in time to relax for Halloween!
Retrogradation: The Illusion of Going Backward
Having mentioned that Pluto and Mercury will be in forward motion for a few days at the beginning of October, I thought I might write a little bit about the retrograde motion of the planets in astrology. While we are on earth, our planetary neighbors appear to move backwards to us humans due to the relative motions of planets through their orbits. Just as cars on a freeway are never standing still or moving backward although they can be perceived this way by other cars traveling at sufficiently high speeds, celestial bodies can perceive the same sort of illusion. It can appear that a planet is moving backwards or standing still in its orbit for a period of time due to relative movements.
When an astrologer says a planet is in retrograde, it means this perception of planets moving backward, relative to earth, is occurring for the dates reported. There are 10 planets in our solar system, and from western, earth astrology’s perspective, only 8 of them experience retrograde periods. The sun and the moon do not have retrograde periods. They are called “planets” in astrology even though they are not really planets. There are other bodies in our solar system called “asteroids” that are pretty big, and they are not called “planets,” so I imagine at some point in the future, western astrology will have an update to its nomenclature to account for some of the conveniences that have been used that make very little sense, like lumping the sun and the moon with the planets. When it comes to retrogradation, it is actually confusing because they behave quite differently than the other 8 heavenly bodies.
In a person’s natal chart, or the chart for the time and place of their birth, retrograde planets indicate where that person experiences dissipated or diluted energy. If a retrograde planet is involved in an opposition aspect, it indicates a compromise in their life—that the area of life indicated by the retrograde planet and the house it rules will be compromised for the planet it opposes and its ruling house. If both sides of the opposition are retrograde—watch for an internal conflict that is hard to decipher. In that case, a person will go round and round inside their thoughts.
In transit charts, which are the charted movements of the planets as time goes by compared to the natal chart of an individual, retrograde planets and their relationship to the other transiting bodies along with the natal chart points of interest—indicate internal events, rearrangements, and sometimes delayed results. The nature of the planetary archetype and energy involved, along with the sign(s) it’s traveling through can clue you in to how it may express itself in people’s experiences.
When planets are moving in direct instead of retrograde motion, things are no longer delayed. Events are external, not internal. Things occur for the first time, and they are not recurrences. New combinations and situations are likely to emerge, instead of repeats occurring.
Retrogrades occur often, and usually one or more retrogrades are occurring at any given point. It’s a positive thing to take it slowly in life, i.e., not to have those “cars on the freeway” constantly moving at their maximum speed! Retrogrades give us time to breathe and reflect.
One of the best ways to internalize the meanings of Tarot cards is to write short stories about them. Since Mars is predominating the action astrologically, and Mars is all about action, let’s have a contest this month to learn Tarot! Mars rules the 16th Tarot card in the Major Arcana: The Tower. Let’s write short stories about the “Tower” card and its themes. It can be true, fantasy, fiction. It can be about tarot readings or just about life themes. A paragraph, longer, whatever inspires you.
Here are the rules and prizes:
Eligibility: In order to enter, 1) please purchase Susan Blair-Hunt’s Book, “Tarot Prediction & Divination: Unveiling 3 Layers of Meaning.” If you already have the book, please take a picture of you holding your book instead. 2) Write a short story and paste it into an email message body. 3) Send a copy or picture of your receipt or book and your story to firstname.lastname@example.org no later than October 31, 2014.
Prizes: Everyone who enters (according to the rules in the eligibility section) gets a free 10 minute Tarot reading from me, as long as you schedule it prior to December 31, 2014. The top story, as judged by Susan Blair-Hunt and myself, will win a 30 minute Tarot reading! The top winner will have their short story published in the December newsletter. Please include the name you wish to have published in the by-line—you can use any name you wish (other than Stephen King, author of “The Dark Tower” series…LOL!).
About the Tower Card:
The Tower card is about transformation and awakening. This can happen suddenly and traumatically or this can happen because you have outgrown your current mode of consciousness. The awakening is often spiritual, and it can be radical physical and material change as well. There can be a break-up, a change to your ego or self-image, an unexpected shock or change, a bolt of insight. Watch for erupting emotions, exhaustion and burn-out, damage, illness, and accident. Instead, embark upon housecleaning, a drastic self-improvement campaign, intensive therapy, fasting, and stay away from chaos. Use the affirmations, “I liberate myself from limitations and structures that I’ve outgrown,” and “I am free.”
Meditate on the restructuring of yourself and your environment. Assess your anger level and skills with nurturing anger when it visits you. If your complacency shatters, what is your skill level to handle it? When the rubber hits the road emotionally, how mature are your actions and responses? Do you care for yourself and others compassionately? What sudden realizations and insights have been offered to you from spirit?
There is more information about the Tower card (and much more about Tarot) in Susyn’s book. Check the charts in the back of the book to look up the meaning and themes of the Tower card, specifically and in relation to other cards.
Prayer for Coherence
Spirit and all Beings who offer the best and highest support and guidance,
Let our community open our hearts to provide the channel
for love to stream into and saturate this world we are creating.
Let each person who reads or touches this prayer
receive a flash of peace and health that transforms them
into a being of light and a healer of their heart and others’ hearts.
Let each person now know they have come here to create heaven
and that they no longer need to wait or seek it outside them
but instead generate it like a fire or a light that starts in their heart
and spreads throughout their body, allowing them to rest openly in their joy.
Let us attend to our own internal fire of happiness so we can
then easily become a match for others when they need to be sparked.
Let us glow in this easy light as our gift to the world, even though it
feels like a gift to ourselves because it is so very refreshing. For it
is in this state that we automatically remain of our highest service.
Nourishment for the Body and Soul
Pear Almond and Coconut Muffins
This gluten-free, sugar-free pastry has everything—pears, oatmeal, almonds, coconut and a few super foods thrown in for a secret punch! When you need energy in October, use it as your secret weapon.
(Normally I would recommend using only raw, ground flax seed, since its nutrient value is exponentially better for you when uncooked, but I accidentally picked up a bag of toasted flax seeds so have been including them in some baking.)
Yield: 18-24 muffins
2 TBSP Chia Seeds
2 TBSP Roasted Flax Seeds
1.25 Cups Coconut Milk
1.5 Cups Oatmeal or Oat Bran or a combination
1 Cup Coconut Flour
¾ Cup Almond Meal or Almond Flour
2 TSP Baking Powder
1 TSP Baking Soda
1 TSP Vanilla
1 Cup Buttermilk
½ Cup Sunflower Oil or Olive Oil
3 TBSP Molasses
½ Cup Raw Almonds
½ Cup Shredded Coconut
2.5 Cups Diced Fresh Pear
Prepare a muffin tin with paper liners or with cooking spray. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Whisk the chia seeds, flax seeds and coconut milk in a bowl and let sit for 10-30 minutes to let the seeds plump. After the seeds have softened, add the other wet ingredients: the eggs, the oil, the buttermilk, the vanilla, and the molasses.
In a large mixing bowl, sift together the oats, the coconut flour, the almond meal, the baking powder, and the baking soda.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, mix well, and then add the almonds, the coconut, and the pear.
Fill muffin cups with batter, filling almost to the top. Bake for approximately 30-35 minutes. Let cool for at least 10 minutes before removing from tin.
(Llewellyn also publishes the best selection of Tarot decks that I’ve discovered.)
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