This October seems a paradoxical month, but should that surprise any of us? We have been living, continue to live and will be living in a paradoxical world. For many of us, we may feel as though we have entered a strange and bizarre landscape where the parameters have dramatically shifted, the terrain unstable at best, and people’s attitude a little edgy, edging towards a seething frustration, fraught with anxiety. While I have written previously and repeatedly for the need of adaptability and flexibility, it bears repeating with an addendum of the importance of our disposition and maintaining a positive outlook on life, even as life’s circumstance seems to be changing in a kaleidoscopic manner before our very eyes.

The formats of our lives can be under increasing scrutiny during this October. We may be somewhat critical, seeking perfection in an imperfect world. As the wise Taoist saying reminds us: ‘bend like a reed or break like an oak’.

This sage advice is essential for us to successfully navigate the swirling currents of these times. Due diligence, constant evaluation and re-evaluation, getting out of our own way and dispelling any power given to our fixed beliefs are all important characteristics for us to embrace during these times and during this month.

As the biblical admonition states: ‘until we become like little children’.

It would be wise, especially prudent, for us to embrace the innocence and the vulnerability of little children. Nothing is the way it has been. Everything is in a state of flux with little solidity to cling to or hang on to.

October begins with no planets in a Fire Sign, four planets in Earth Signs, three planets in Air Signs and three planets in Water Signs. There are three planets in Cardinal Signs with a Cardinal T-Square by Sign with the Sun in Libra, Pluto in Capricorn and Mars in Cancer. Two planets are in a Fixed Sign and five planets are in Mutable Signs with a Stellium of three or more planets in the Mutable sign of Virgo with Mercury, Venus and Saturn in the Mercury-ruled Sign. Three planets are in Positive Signs and seven planets are in Receptive Signs.

Although Libra, the Sign in which the Sun is transiting as we begin October, is a Sign of balance, this October is akin to the Hopi word of Koyaanisqatsi – life out of balance.

The lack of Fire and the emphasis upon the Receptive Signs speak to a period when we might feel that we are more reactive to life’s conditions rather than taking a proactive approach. Our passion, determination and desire to forge ahead might seem muted as we deal with whatever life is throwing at us at the moment. Now is a time for us to learn our Tai Chi moves, to work with the energy in such a way that we are cognizant and respectful of the energies operating and not feeling solely overwhelmed by life and what seems to be unfolding at this time. By becoming One with the energies unfolding, accepting our role as co-creators rather than expecting to be masters of our universe, we can successfully and productively advance our interests, develop our selves and express our talents by fulfilling our individual journey. As individuals and collectively, we have chosen to be here at this time.

The Saturn Uranus opposition with which we have been challenged since last Autumn of 2008 continues and is reinforced early this month. Not only is the Saturn Uranus opposition close in aspect by orb, but both Saturn and Uranus are triggered by the other two planets transiting through Virgo. At the time of the Aries Full Moon on the 3rd – 4th, Mercury opposes Uranus on the 4th, followed by Venus opposed Uranus on the 9th. On the 8th, Mercury conjuncts Saturn, followed by Venus conjunct Saturn on the 13th.

While unexpected situations can keep us off center, or at least challenge us to maintain our center, we also have the opportunity of considering options and alternatives we might not otherwise have taken into account. How we choose to react to unanticipated variables coming forward is secondary to the fact that new and different possibilities are making themselves known.

The new, the unique, the innovative may stand in stark contrast to our past, to our familiar, to our habitual. We might have to take a walk down Memory Lane, revisit through thoughts, memories and even reconnections the people and situations of our previous experiences. We may even want to embrace the so-called security of those familiar faces. Whether we engage our past or feel a discomfort from the viewing, what we choose to do is secondary to the contrasting of old and new presenting itself, even confusing us with the different push – pulls.

The Stellium in Virgo to begin the month raises the question of our health — our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health. Now is a time for us to embrace a practice of good health regimen, in whatever ways and however manner that works best for us.

Just as we have seen people rising up and making their voices heard; the focus on individualization is becoming ever more of a global presence. Technology has created both an Information Age and an Individual Expression Age. People have the opportunity and the forum by which to express their voice and display their talents. These are exciting times, times when Individuals can emphasize their being and their role as a co-creator. Meanwhile, big government, big corporations, big institutions are getting bigger and seeking more control. Just as Individuals must free their minds of the fixed mind-set of control, so too will these large entities have to be more flexible, adaptable, willing to change in order to stay extant and become more viable.

The battle of old and new is engaged, and the battle is likely to continue over the next few years. In considering ‘old’ and ‘new’, we might be perplexed regarding what is old and what is new. While we might assume that new is new, we would have to be wary that the new wasn’t like the old saying: ‘meet the new boss, same as the old boss’. These times are confusing times, volatile and dramatically changing, but the question remains whether change is meaningful and evolutionary in the natural unfolding or if change is solely for the sake of change and could turn out to be same old, same old in a new costume or a different format.

Let’s allow the jury to be out until we have more information, have done our due diligence and have evaluated and re-evaluated as the unfolding continues. In the interim, let’s be certain that we are taking care of ourselves. Even if it seems self-absorbed, or even narcissistic, now is a time for us to focus on our health and well-being, no matter how life’s circumstances might be around us.

I often refer to the pebble in the pond and its ripple effects. The more we take care of ourselves, come from our integrity and pursue those activities that are self-enriching and soul-fulfilling, the more we can be, and are, of assistance to other people, to our community, to the global society, to the earth and to the heavenly realms. As above, so below. As below, so above.

Much of the first half of October deals with the contrast between past and possibilities. We may find that we have to blend both a visionary quality of what could be with a grounded, focused attention to detail and specifics. If we can combine these two characteristics with a strong dose of adaptability and a willingness to be humble while things unfold as time goes by, then this early part of October can be highly productive allowing us to generate the suspension bridge between our past and our future, testing slat by slat the ingredients to get us from where we have been to where we are going.

Much will be under scrutiny during the first half of October. Our dreams, our goals, our integrity, our accountability and our responsibility are all characteristics that could be tested this month in order to be tempered and honed.

While there can continue to be swings of emotions, at times feeling elated by prospects and the elimination of albatrosses which have hindered our progress, other times despairing of the tests and challenges and feeling only able to react to the changing times; it would be essential for us to embrace the process and not concentrate on the resolution.

An aspect of the paradigm shift that we are all experiencing is the elimination of resolution in the process of beginning, middle, end. Increasingly, we may realize that there are no endings, no beginnings, no middles. As we move beyond the limiting dimension of space – time coordinates into the NOW where past, present, future are all now, where the space dimensions of height, width, depth drop away into the INFINITE, we may come to a recognition and appreciation of the liberation from completion, achievements, resolutions into the embrace of process, rhythmic unfolding and continual flux.

These are exciting times, although they may seem threatening and certainly challenging to our conditioned patterns and learned responses. If we would keep in mind the alchemical process of transformation, of turning base mettle into gold, of the caterpillar morphing into the butterfly, then we can engage our shapeshifting without fear, dread or determined resistance. And it will be important to do so, for in truth the processing of these changing times has only just begun, at least from our old perspective of beginning, middle and end.

The early part of October has the Saturn Uranus opposition engaged by Mercury and Venus transiting through Virgo. Communications can be off with possible computer problems and Internet difficulties. There can be travel delays. People may be raising their voice, at times crying out in concern, frustration and fear.

As we move more into October, the personal planets shift with Mercury entering Libra on the 9th and Venus entering its own Sign of Libra on the 14th. And as Mercury and Venus move into Libra, they also move into a square of Pluto in Capricorn. The Sun did so when it first entered Libra last month, with the Sun square Pluto exact on the 23rd of September. This month, Mercury squares Pluto on the 10th, followed by Venus square Pluto on the 15th. The Pluto in Capricorn raises the question of whether we have built upon rock or built upon sand. Already, we have seen the falling away of various traditional institutions once believed to be rock solid. This process continues.

Although our mind can be incredibly insightful with an ability to strip away the extraneous and concentrate on the fundamental, we might feel as though the stripping away is cutting us to the very bone. We may find our frustrations are vented on those safe harbors, those people with whom we are closest, our significant others. We might feel that there is no other arena in which to release our anxieties and our fears but in the ‘safety’ of our personal relationships. And what collateral damage we could wreak.

It is important for us to notate our actions and our reactions when the Libra transiting planets square Pluto, for there is more to come with ever greater intensity over the next two years.

During these times, we may feel as though our semblance of security is shaky at best. We might have the sense that the floor has opened beneath us and in so doing we might assume that we are about to move into a free fall. While our conditioned beliefs and learned responses may have taught us that the opening of the floor below us automatically triggers a free fall, might I raise the possibility that instead of a free fall we could actually do a free ascent.

In my life’s experiences, I have often found that those times when the floor opened beneath me, what I would refer to in those moments as my greatest tragedies, in actual fact led to an initial free fall from established patterns then shifted to an ascent and provided me my greatest opportunities and greatest successes.

While there are more eliminations to be made, more of a cleaning out and de-cluttering in preparation for new days and new ways, if we will suspend judgment, let go of our opinions, then we might discover our journey is taking a different path, embracing a different itinerary.

As we come towards the end of October, the dis-entangling and cutting to the core seem increased in effect. The Sun enters Scorpio on the 22nd – 23rd, followed by Mercury entering Scorpio on the 28th.

One of the most significant energy shifts this month of October is Saturn ending its two plus year transit of Virgo to move into Libra. While Saturn will retrograde back into Virgo next April into July of 2010, Saturn’s move into Libra on the 29th also transforms the Saturn Uranus opposition, which will continue for the next two years, into a T-Square as Saturn in Libra squares Pluto in Capricorn and joined in the T-Square by Uranus moving into Aries.

If people have felt the battle of old and new over the past two years to be challenging, this T-Square offers a shapeshifting, a time when it will be essential for each of us, and every one of us, to be willing to let go, let god. Whether we can appreciate it or not, these times ask us to keep in mind the truth to the idea that when one door closes, a new door opens up. And so it is. And so it will be. All part of processing.

We are at a time when various significant aspects of our lives may fall away, be released, eliminated or torn from us. While such a process can be wrenching, it is only more so by our attachments. In many philosophical traditions, emphasis is placed upon detachment, with a recognition that true inner peace comes from letting go of our attachments.

October is a month when various unexpected situations are likely to arise. We may be doing a recapitulation, reflecting on our past, remembering our experiences. We may also find that new possibilities arise, even possibilities that seem impossible at best. This is a month when the inventory taking of our lives continues. We can have a good autumnal cleaning of those items, situations and people that may have been significant for us in the past but no longer are essential to our journey. Just as there is a clearing away of old debris for us, so too is there an exploration of prospects and testing the waters of new interests and new approaches.

Nothing needs to be carved in stone. We can try things out, experiment with new, and hopefully more effective, ways of dealing with life. But, like little children, let us also give ourselves permission to embrace the idea of ‘do over’.

We can try things out, see if they work for us, and consider whether to embrace new aspects of our being now or just notate the possibility of changes for ourselves in the future.

October… riding the waves, allowing ourselves to do over…