This October is a rather placid month with few extreme or frenetic energies. We start the month with two Grand Trines by Sign: one in Air, the other in Water. Linking all three Signs of a particular Element, the Grand Trine in Air has the Moon in Gemini, the Sun in Libra, and Neptune in Aquarius. The Grand Trine in Water has Mars in Cancer, Mercury in Scorpio and Uranus in Pisces. While we have the two Grand Trines by Sign to start October, we also have a T-Square by Sign in the Fixed Signs and a Grand Crossby Sign in the Mutable Signs. Linking Signs of a particular Quadruplicity, the Fixed Sign T-Square has Venus in Leo, Mercury in Scorpio and Neptune in Aquarius. The Mutable Sign Grand Cross has the Moon in Gemini, Saturn in Virgo, Jupiter and Pluto both in Sagittarius, and Uranus in Pisces.

We begin October with two planets in Cardinal Signs, three planets in Fixed Signs and five planets in Mutable Signs. There are three planets in Fire Signs, one planet in an Earth Sign, three planets in Air Signs, and three planets in Water Signs. There are six planets in Positive Signs and four planets in Negative Signs.

Like the transit of the Sun through the Cardinal Air Sign at the beginning of the month, the Libra influence is all about balance. Similar to the Libran influence, we may want to consider all sides to a question, look at every facet to a situation before we come to a decision or make a determination. The Libran influence to weigh, balance and consider all sides was cleverly brought out in the 1976 US Presidential Election campaign. Asking to be included in the Presidential Debates, Independent candidate Eugene McCarthy said it would take him one hour to enunciate his position on a particular issue, while it would take then-President Gerald Ford two hours to state his one position and would take Libran candidate Jimmy Carter three hours to state his three positions on an issue.

The Libran impact takes into account how situations are likely to impact not only oneself but also the impact on other people. Librans tend to look at situations through other people’s perspectives as well as their own.

Much of the early part of October can be spent focused on our relationships. There may be a great deal of socializing, get togethers and community activities as we celebrate in fairs and festivals the splendor of the autumn season.

Although Librans are often accused of being indecisive, they are only indecisive while considering the options and alternatives, while taking into account all the possible permutations and ramifications. When they come to their ultimate decision, they can move forward forcefully, albeit diplomatically with grace and charm.

On the 1st of the month, Mercury sextiles Saturn. Although we may have a great deal going on and even more on our ‘to do’ list, this Mercury Saturn influence allows us to prioritize, consider what is truly important to us and that which is not, and then to strategize and come up with best practices to realize our goals. First, we may have to do a certain stripping away, eliminating or putting on the back burner some of the areas we want to ultimately address. From our prioritization and blueprinting of our ways, we can determine the most expeditious and cost effective means to move forward. This would be a good time for us to consider our finances, to budget wisely and see where we can cut back on our expenses. Whether people choose to admit inflationary pressures or not on the general economy, each of us is fairly well aware of increased costs in our daily necessities of gas, heating, food and other essential items. The Mercury Saturn sextile allows us to figure out how we can stretch our dollars without going significantly into debt.

On the 3rd of October, Venus trines Pluto. With the Libran influence putting much of our focus on our relationships, this period is a time when we’re looking for intimate, passionate connections with other people. We’re not interested in the superficial exchanges about the weather or sports scores or the latest celeb gossip. We are far more interested in deep and meaningful contacts in our encounters.

The 8th has Mars sextile Saturn and Venus moving out of Leo and entering Virgo. We may decide to fix things up around our home, either doing maintenance projects, repairs or just straightening things up. We might also get a little more critical of our interactions with others, holding people to standards and placing expectations on them or having expectations placed upon us. We do have to be careful that we’re not carrying a chip on our shoulder and seeking perfection in an imperfect world, or seeing imperfection in a perfect world.

The 9th has the Sun sextile Jupiter and Jupiter square Uranus. With a sense of confidence, optimism and expansion egging us on, we could easily push the envelope, be overly generous or indulgent and get ourselves involved in new and exciting situations by buying into the image without checking the reality or the details.

The most daunting of this month’s energy configurations begins on the 11th of October at the time of the Libran New Moon on the 10th – 11th. A Lunation, or New Moon, influences the fortnight following. This New Moon seems quite lovely with the Sun Moon conjunction trine Neptune and sextile Jupiter. A sense of ‘dream a little dream’ can instill all of us with an appreciation of the significant people in our lives and allow for mental musings of where we want to go and what we want do in the future. Nothing may seem impossible and it is wise to keep in mind the affirmation in Richard Bach’s spiritual classic Illusions: the Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah: “Don’t Limit the IS.”

This Libran New Moon is pleasant, followed by the Sun trine Neptune exact the following day on the 12th. We can easily be entranced by the beauty of life and the enjoyment of the people that add a little sparkle to our daily existence. While this New Moon tends to lead us to looking at the best of life, offering people the benefit of the doubt and seeing the half glass of water as half full and potentially overflowing; maintaining our grip on hard reality would certainly be suggested.

The daunting configuration to which I referred above is the Mercury change in direction on the 11th, as Mercury turns retrograde for the third and final retrograde cycle of the year. The first Mercury retrograde this year encompassed major travel issues with both the ten hour tarmac stay of Jet Blue passengers at JFK Airport in New York and the twenty-four stalled waiting of motorists on the I-84 turnpike in Pennsylvania.

This Mercury retrograde has Mercury retrograding through Scorpio and then back into Libra. Financial issues could be of a concern. If we have overextended ourselves, taken on too much debt, or have allowed our expenses to be more than our revenue stream; we could find ourselves in deep water. Even the recent drop by the Federal Reserve Bank of fifty basis points in the discount rate may seem only a temporary band-aid that masked, instead of resolving, the problem. The Fed’s action could now seem more like an act of desperation and too little too late.

With the Mercury retrograde, it would be wise for us to go over our finances, see where we can cut costs and how we can budget our monies. Fortunately, we have some positive Mercury aspects to assist us as Mercury sextiles Venus on the 16th, Mercury trines Mars on the 17th and Mercury sextiles Saturn on the 19th. If we are willing to accept the axiom that there are times when ‘less is more’, we can take a sharp pencil and a precise mindset to make the necessary cuts and create a strategem by which we can deal with rising costs and contain the financial bleeding we might have accepted during the good times of increased wages, a buoyant stock market and wildly appreciating housing values. That was then, this is now, but we have the tools to address present day situations, if we have the mind and will to do so.

On the 14th, Venus conjuncts Saturn. The question of higher standards in our critiquing of other people could come to a head today. People could seem rather demanding right now. There might be reconnections with people from our past. Obligations and commitments could seem pronounced.

The 16th has Venus sextile Mars and Mercury sextile Venus. If there have been glitches in our relationships over the past few days, these could be ironed out now. Our hard edge of expectations can drop away as we cut people more slack and lighten up. We might also be looking at feathering our nest, adding more practical comfort to our homes and inviting people in for a coffee or a tea or just to spend some time chatting. Mercury trines Mars on the 17th. Our communications can be precise and clear, if we take the time to think things through and recognize that we have the liability of the Mercury retrograde where there can be a propensity to miscommunications and misunderstandings. With Mercury retrograde, we have the opportunity of going back over things, straightening things up and correcting or refining situations that might have been accomplished but need to be fine tuned or reworked.

The Mercury sextile Saturn on the 19th allows us to rework our structure, our strategy and to attend to outstanding matters that need to be dealt with. Taking the time to go over our plans, playing devil’s advocate to any bursts of irrational exuberance and analyzing situations from a sharp, piercing intellect can assist us in being certain that we are mining the most appropriate prospects for ourselves and not merely embellishing fool’s gold.

The 20th has the Sun sextile Pluto. With Pluto the co-ruler of Scorpio and the Sun finishing its transit of Libra and about to enter Scorpio, this is a good time to get real with ourselves. We have the opportunity of truly discovering and noting what has true meaning and real purpose for ourselves. We are looking for the gusto in our lives. We are not interested in shallow experiences or doing life on a superficial basis. We want our lives to be deep and passionate. Other people may prove important sounding boards regarding who we are, how we are perceived and the potentials we might choose to explore and develop.

The Sun leaves Libra and enters Scorpio on the 23rd, the same day that Mercury retrogrades out of Scorpio and back into Libra. With the Sun in Scorpio we may take more time alone, contemplating who we are and how we’re doing. While relationship issues can be a large focal point for us, we are especially interested in situations operating behind the scenes, the essential meaning to our daily life circumstances. We might choose to meditate whether in a particular practice or the reflections and ruminations of walking in the woods, down by the ocean shore or even in the malls. We may find ourselves ‘in it but not of it’ as we are less impacted by the appearances and images and far more concerned with the substance and the fundamentals. In Nature this period in the Northern Hemisphere is a time of falling leaves and the bare bones of the skeletal structures of the tree and its limbs become evident. This is a time of stripping away the decorative, the ornamental and getting down to the core and the basics. The issue of what is truly necessary and what may have served as a reliable crutch could be part of our internal questioning, especially around the 25th – 26th when we have Venus opposed Uranus and the Taurus Full Moon with Mercury sextile Pluto.

Although much of October may have been rather pleasant with a desire not to make waves and to seek a calm exterior and a placid interior; the latter part of October asks us to focus on the truth as we perceive it. Not content with the appearances, the images or even giving people and situations the benefit of the doubt; now we want to pull back the Wizard of Oz curtain to see what is really going on.

If our relationships have been a dance with the trickster, someone appearing one way, the reality being different, then we’re likely to call the person and ourselves on the carpet. We may not read the riot act but our perceptiveness is sharpened and our ability to communicate our feelings in a deep and passionate manner is likely to leave no room for questioning or wiggling out by means of syrupy platitudes or charming impressions.

With the influence of the Full Moon, we can work smarter rather than harder. We can do more with less, conserving our resources and streamlining operations so that we are far more effective and far more productive in a methodical and practical manner.

The end of October has Venus square Jupiter, the Sun sextile Saturn and Jupiter sextile Neptune on the 29th. We can advance our interests and develop our future goals in a way that does not overextend us or leave us out on a limb. We’re all growing up, learning to deal with situations and expand our possibilities all within the constraints of these times.

This October allows us to get a second wind and create the foundations where there is no excess but rather an effective and pragmatic approach to developing our goals, utilizing our resources in the most efficient manner and getting the best out of everything.

October… intended actions within the quiet of the moment…