November finds us moving through the Scorpio mansion, and we continue our trek through change and alchemy, and what in the northern hemisphere is the steady march toward the least light at the solstice. With apologies to my readers down under, this is the time in our solar year that we consider the cycles of death and rebirth that are intrinsic to our existence. If there were no death, there could be no birth. This fundamental binary code is most salient to our humanity, and this time of year is when the solar system herself is moving through this territory, and so we follow suit.

One of the major transits of the year will hit for the third and final time this month; a Sextile between Saturn and Neptune. In a time of tremendous instability, this thread has been one of the solid underpinnings to a year that has otherwise been driven by the us navigating the unexpected. On November 9th, the Great Teacher and the Great Spirit come together in a geometry that is productive in terms of achieving success, and moving forward in both creative and spiritual pursuits. Saturn tells us we must attend to our life lessons, or we will suffer. Neptune brings our connection to the Divine front and center. Because of the 60-degree geometry, we have been putting this to good use this year in three peaks. You can look back to late January and mid-June for clues to what I am referring to, as those are the time frames this transit hit the first and second time, and may point to a building arc that completes itself this month.

The really big news of the month is that we are moving through Mercury’s retrograde cycle, which started just as October was ending, on the 31st. He spends the first three weeks of November moving backward and, as is typical, this retrograde promises to be a pretty bumpy ride. The juiciest part of this process will take place between the 12th and the 18th, where Mercury will Sesqui-Square Chiron, Semi-Square Jupiter, Sextile Saturn, and Trine Neptune, all within one week. In colloquial terms: Wounds will be triggered by Chiron, and Jupiter may interrupt your forward moving plans. The Sextile to Saturn is an important thread of patience needed so that you don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. The Trine to Neptune tells us – no surprise here – that any comfort and serenity you seek, will only come to you through your spiritual practice.

In every Mercury retrograde cycle, the Inferior Conjunction between Mercury and the Sun takes place at the exact midpoint of his backward journey, this one on November 11th. This is the aha moment of the cycle, where much is often revealed about what the theme of the retrograde is turning out to be. Even though Mercury is still in his process, as our conscious awareness (the Sun), connects with the thinking mind (Mercury), we get a glimpse into what is happening, what we are exploring. In the secretive sign of Scorpio, such revelations may be quite literal, so don’t be surprised if this month has a theme of secrets and their exposure, and this revelatory moment may be key to your movement through the lunation that follows less than 24 hours later.

That Full Moon takes place on the 12th at 5:34am PST at 19-degrees of Taurus. It comes right when Mercury is heating up the month, so things will feel all the more powerful. There is an exact Trine with the Lord of the Underworld, and this intensifies the depth of power built into this moment. The polarity of Scorpio/Taurus is all stability on the one hand, and the destabilizing experience of change and transformation on the other. This Full Moon is asking us to embrace all of the change we have been moving through this year (Scorpio), and ground it into our hearts (Taurus). A Sextile between Mars and Jupiter, arguably one of the most energetically positive meetings in all of astrology, also accompanies this Full Moon. Jupiter brings hope, aspiration, expansion and optimism, and Mars allows us to fold all of the energy of what the Full Moon brings us right into our bodies.

The Sun moves into the Sagittarius mansion on the 22nd, changing themes from exploring the depths of the inner landscape, to moving about the fabulous edges of the outer consciousness. Sagittarius is ruled by Jupiter, the planet through which we understand that abundance is our birthright. The elements of life that are the invention of this mansion are expansive in nature; education, travel, spiritual truth, and a profound desire for stimulation, and the experience of joy. When we move into this territory, we are in consideration of all of the ways that life is rewarding and filled with possibility. In fact, on the 24th, we are treated to a lovely Conjunction between Venus and Jupiter – love and abundance vibrating together – and this meetup is the perfect on-ramp to the New Moon that takes place two days later.

That New Moon in Sagittarius is exact on November 26th at 8:05am PDT and will take place at 4-degrees of this fire sign. As with all New Moons, we are setting intentions, but Sagittarius asks us to reflect on all of the ways that life feels bountiful. This is the moment of the solar year where we are in consideration of the ways we want our life to meet us with joy, abundance, and prosperity. Jupiter is about to leave Sagittarius and enter Capricorn at the very beginning of December, so this New Moon has a bit of an extra jolt of power with it’s ruling planet so well placed. In some ways, the stakes are a bit higher with this New Moon, since its ruling planet is just a few weeks away from leaving his home sign for the next twelve years.

When setting intentions with this New Moon, don’t be afraid to go big and bold, as the Sagittarius energy is where we first connected to life as full of possibility. The New Moon itself will Trine Chiron, and create the Great Eliminator angle with Uranus. What this means is that all of the healing process we have been attending to with so much depth and earnestness – especially since the Cancer mansion back in early summer – will be folded right into this next lunar cycle. The Inconjunct with Uranus indicates that with this New Moon will be generating an important fork in the road for many people. The shift in direction may come out of nowhere, for that is the nature of the lightning flash when Uranus is triggered. Think of it this way; Jupiter is whispering in your ear, asking you just how magnificent and enormous you would like your life to feel. Respond with confidence, enthusiasm, and the biggest “Yes” to life that you can muster.