Astrology Column

Belinda Dunn is a professional astrologer, trained at The Temple of Kriya Yoga in Chicago, and has more than 35 years experience. See her bio and contact info at the end of this column.

What's Up October 2016

WHAT'S UP – Belinda Dunn
October 2016

Libra/Aries Full Moon
October 16 @ 12:23 am

Scorpio New Moon
October 30 @ 1:38 pm

As seasons turn, an alluring, distinct and noticeable difference permeates the air. A Libra New Moon in the final hours of September initiated a new pace for October. Including a retrograde phase, Mercury is completing a two-month stint in Virgo.

If you have been experiencing stalled progress, analysis paralysis along with other mental-emotional agitation, then Mercury's entrance into Libra on October 6 will be a welcome relief.

Jupiter entered Libra skies on September 9 where it remains for the next year. These outgoing influences will provide a needed boost. Libra beckons us into the social sphere to connect, relate, and rejoice in the glory of autumn colors.

Relationship Skills Helps
Libra is a very important zodiac sign to understand these days. It's quite literally the peacemaker. Whether we are aware of it or not, Libra is continually at work in our relationships, making sure that circumstances are fair and balanced.

The Libra traits of consideration, kindness and cooperation can bring out the best in people. Being able to see where others are coming from, and openly exchange personal points of view is the foundation of true connection.

Communication skills can make or break a relationship. Over the next month, and continuing for the next year, there is potential to develop and maximize these essential skills that are readily overlooked.

The mind moves so quickly, and many people are habituated to their own perspective, resisting the need to slow down enough to focus and truly listen. Harmony entails an exquisite blend of speaking and listening to cultivate genuine connection. Paying attention to this can improve all relationships profoundly.

US Chart Shows Challenge
Libra shines overhead as the point of destiny in the United States astrology chart, and Saturn was in Libra during the country's inception.

As the taskmaster, Saturn presents challenges and limitations to overcome, especially in the area of diplomacy. Repeatedly, the United States has been tested on the global stage to uphold truth, justice and model the high ideals of democracy.

In recent decades, aggressive and combative Mars entered a long-term retrograde phase in the United States astrology chart. The exorbitant cost of violence in terms of loss of life and property along with financial repercussions has become increasingly clear.

[From the internet:] Mars can be a troublemaker when retrograded in your chart. New plans may backfire, lose their drive to succeed or fail to happen at all. Mars retrograde is an excellent time for strategizing, reworking projects and making plans. It’s a great time for resting and recharging batteries and then launch or take action when Mars moves direct.

In the US chart, Mars is retrograde for decades to come. It is urgent to recognize this trend by supporting appropriate and responsible action. The proliferation of weapons, and gun control legislation remain uppermost on the agenda for reform.

There are many lessons for the country around this topic. Numerous factors point to the necessity for retreat from outward, thoughtless, self-defeating, and arrogant demonstrations of power. In most cases, force does not lead to social stabilization. It is unnecessary and destructive, except in the most rare and unique of circumstances.

It behooves government officials and citizens to develop relationship skills, and take to heart the lessons learned from past confrontations. Negotiation, mediation and cooperation are not always quick and easy, but these are cornerstone skills of democracy.

Promising New Partnerships
Jupiter in Libra joins the U.S. Saturn in November and December, and again in May 2017. Libra bestows the perspective of seeing all sides of an issue without taking sides, meanwhile coming to a detached, compassionate and comprehensive overview.

This trend presents dramatic opportunities for progress on the national and global stage. This planetary combination can act as a rudder on the ship, steering humanity away from conflict, and stabilizing direction.

Over the next year, we will experience plenty of activity in the area of partnership, personal as well as professional. Seek out your allies, those you harmonize with. A major challenge on this dimension is projection. It is all too common for people to disown personal responsibility, play the blame game, and lose sight of reality.

Astrology is a potent tool in this area of relationship. It can dispel misunderstanding, and open our eyes to each other. Each of us comes into this world with our unique lesson plan of challenges, weaknesses, strengths and gifts.

The Pluto in Libra generation, those born in the years between 1971 and 1984, have a significant contribution to the area of partnership. It was an era of exploration, rebellion and free love; feminist values surged to the surface, and the traditional institution of marriage was rocked to the core.

For those under 45 years old, it is rare to find biological parents still together. Separation, divorce, live-in partners, blended families, single parenting . . . the list goes on in creative ways to answer this need for autonomy and individuality within the context of family life. This is the new normal.

It is not always easy for the Pluto in Libra generation to find satisfaction in relationship, but they are here to model equality, and develop relationship skills to the next level. Traditional roles have blurred and dissolved. Each gender has more permission to bring out their best in a full range of skills. The family unit benefits in terms of productivity, resourcefulness, nurturing and love.

Plans for the Long Haul
Due to its retrograde phase, Mars has been transiting Sagittarius/Scorpio skies for a good part of the year. On September 27, Mars enters Capricorn where it will remain throughout October. This is a very grounding, realistic, sobering and restraining influence. It is an excellent influence for setting long-term goals, and getting the job done. Step by step methodical diligence is the way to go.

No doubt, the presidential campaign can use some restraint and diplomacy. However, during the week of October 17, Mars joins Pluto. This planetary combination amps up potential for the dreaded “October surprise.”

While Mars is up front and controversial in overt demonstrations of control, Pluto tends to hide in the shadows, manipulating situations through subterfuge, slander and covert power plays. Tempers flare in the mounting pressure to survive and thrive.

Together, Mars and Pluto tend to undermine decency, stability and the status quo. It is an intense week of breakdown and potential breakthrough in the areas of government, economics, environment, and other essential structures. Repercussions ripple into the months ahead.

These challenging influences can be minimized by paying attention, and taking action based on sincere intent rather than pressure or obligation.

Drama Drives Movement
During the entire month of October, there is a marked tendency to sensationalize, exaggerate, take impulse action and unnecessary risk. If you have been feeling stuck, these trends will get things moving. Many people will respond to these trends through restless, poorly planned and rebellious action, especially October 4–14.

According to numerology, 2016 is a 9-year, a year of transition and completion. It is more about letting go of what isn't working than knowing the exact course ahead.

A very powerful Full Moon sets the stage on the weekend of October 15-16. While there is potential for dramatic, destabilizing and extreme events, there also is equal opportunity for freedom and release from limitations.

Both Sun and Moon activate Uranus, the wild card planet. Apparently, anything and everything goes in this surprising, radical and turbulent election year.

I saw an esteemed, well-respected and erudite news commentator shrug his shoulders in disbelief, and refer to this election as topsy-turvy. These words were so out of place in the sophisticated political dialogue that I looked them up in the dictionary. “Utter confusion or disorder, upside down,” seems to be an accurate summation of this year.

Here Comes Eris
Here we come to Eris, a small planet discovered in 2005. Orbiting in a similar pattern as Pluto, but denser and slightly larger, Eris was named after the ancient goddess of discord. I wondered why astronomers would name a planet after the goddess of discord, but apparently many of the ancient goddess names have already been assigned to asteroids and other planets. Eris was way down the list of acceptable and desirable names.

When a new planetary body is introduced into consciousness, astrologers take a metaphysical and synchronous view. The archetypal message begins to reverberate within collective consciousness. It takes years of research and observation for astrologers to come to the table, and derive consensus on a planet's typical affects.

For example, the discovery of Pluto in 1930 coincides with the development of the atom bomb. True to form, Pluto is god of the underworld, and is potentially a very explosive and destructive energy. Another interesting example is the discovery of Uranus in 1781 coinciding with the American and French revolutions, an era of scientific discovery, and radical rebellion from the constrictions of feudal society.

Keeping this in mind, enter Eris as Pluto's twin sister, a planet named after the goddess of desire, greed, runaway competition and the resultant strife and discord. As humanity was forced to grapple with the power and problems of Pluto, humanity is once again faced with another level of potential destruction.

Inclusiveness & Healthy Competition
The myth of Eris is a fascinating story of the goddess being snubbed, and not invited to a wedding. It is recorded that her rage set in motion the Trojan War.

This myth speaks to those segments of population that are marginalized in the global crisis of dwindling resources, government chaos, environmental calamity, and quickly shifting economic disparity. Random acts of violence continue to escalate as the demand for resources outstrips population growth.

Most of civilization attempts to understand the motivation for terrorist attacks, but Eris points the way to the underlying reasons.

I realize this sounds very heavy, but this is reality on the planet now. The sooner we get the message of Eris, the sooner humanity can make its way out of discord. Eris is the feminine aspect of activism, rising up and taking action for good or ill.

Humanity is facing the consequences of rampant greed in the struggle for survival, but competition is closely connected with innovation. Monitored and tamed, healthy competition can promote excellence, and develop viable solutions in the global marketplace.

Coinciding with 9/11, the discovery of Eris opened the doors for this intense archetype to be introduced into planetary consciousness. 2016 is being dubbed the “Grand Opening” as Uranus conjoined Eris for the first time on June 9, and the second time on September 25. In this rare and potent activation, these two planetary bodies will join one more time on March 16, 2017.

Personal Responsibility Counts
As you can see, many astrological factors contribute to the possibility for dramatic breakthroughs in October. The choice is clear. Random acts of violence OR random acts of kindness? The contrast is clear.

Is it possible this worldwide upheaval is exactly what is needed to bring the world together in a more egalitarian society. Who's to say? Ultimately it is up to each individual to take off the blinders and take responsibility for participation and contribution.

Living life in an aura of kindness and love is so beautiful and fulfilling. On this dimension of light and dark, all possibilities exist, and in the words of John Lennon, “Imagine all the people, sharing all the world.”

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Relationship Astrology Analysis
Jupiter is in Libra for the next 12 months, and all signs point to relationship. See full description of this consultation on Belinda's site: