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Astrology for Oct. 16-22, 2023: Signs and New Stories

Symbols and Promises

The Sun and Mercury are working as a group this week, and on October 18th, they tag-team the Moon’s North Node with a pair of oppositions (at 5:45 am and 10:34 pm PDT, respectively). The Sun and Mercury at 24º52′ Libra are on a Sabian symbol that’s literally about reading symbols: 25 Libra, Information in the symbol of an autumn leaf. Signs are all around us, in even the simplest things.

This combination in Libra encourages us to tell new stories about our relationships. Let go of old narratives about who is the good guy and who is the bad guy; why does there even have to be a bad guy or a good guy at all? The North Node is on symbol 25 Aries, which offers A double promise that these new stories are the right ones for you.

Insights and Overview

The Sun and Mercury come together in a conjunction this week (Oct. 19, 2023, 10:38 pm PDT, at 26º34’ Libra). As it approaches this aspect, Mercury is weakened, lost in the powerful rays of the Sun; we may feel confused and overwhelmed. But at the precise moment of the conjunction, Mercury is cazimi –”in the heart of the Sun” – symbolizing sudden clarity and important insights, particularly in the realm of relationships.

This particular Sun-Mercury combination in Libra is well suited to figuring out how things work, what is needed to complete the picture, and what is true and fair. The Sabian symbol for the conjunction, 27 Libra, An aeroplane hovering overhead, suggests taking a wider view of things, as though we were looking down from the sky, able to see all sides of the matter.

Getting to the Top

Has a matter been resolved, or is there still space for negotiation? Depends on whom you ask this week, as Mercury in Libra squares Pluto in Capricorn (Oct. 20, 2023, 5:50 pm PDT). Libra loves to explore all sides of a matter before making a decision, while Capricorn prefers making unilateral, executive determinations about which course of action to pursue. It’s tough to argue with Pluto in Capricorn, but both planets in a square aspect have to figure out how to work together to make each of them stronger. So we need to listen to Mercury in Libra’s side of the story, too, which is that nobody gets to the top on their own. Nobody.

Clean Sheets and a Wide-Open Future

It’s just after sunrise and you’re beginning the day in a moldy-smelling laundromat, waiting for your sheets to dry. Your mind wanders back to a fateful decision, and an opportunity that subsequently slipped through your hands. Passing on an opportunity because the timing isn’t right, or because your plate is too full with things you love, is one thing; but letting self-doubt derail you is something else entirely. The Sun’s square to Pluto (Oct. 21, 2023, 7:09 am PDT) gives you an opportunity to face that decision squarely; why did you really say no?

It’s a sobering inner dialogue. But by evening’s end, Venus trines Jupiter (Oct. 21, 2023, 9:32 pm PDT) and the sky brightens. All the detours you’ve taken along your path, all the different interests and classes and projects that seemed like distractions, have led you all at once to something remarkable. All the paths converge and lead toward a joyful, wide-open future. You’ve passed through the slough of despond; you fall asleep on freshly washed sheets, dreaming of a wild blue yonder.


The First Quarter Moon (October 21, 2023, 8:29 PM PDT, 28º28’ Capricorn) is the first action point of the lunar cycle that began at the previous New Moon–in this case, the Oct. 14 Solar Eclipse. What will we do with the feelings or events that emerged at that powerful eclipse, especially in our closest relationships?

At the First Quarter Moon, our actions are instinctual, a best guess at what needs to be done; and the Sabian symbols for this particular first quarter are both quite intuitive. The Moon is on 29 Capricorn, Woman reading tea leaves, and the Sun on 29 Libra, Humanity seeking to bridge knowledge. Although Capricorn is generally pragmatic, this particular First Quarter Moon reaches toward a future that is only dimly perceived and connects with knowledge beyond our usual experience.

This First Quarter is also part of a Lunar Phase Family that began on Jan. 21, 2023, at the Aquarius New Moon (1º32’), closely conjoined Pluto in late Capricorn. Aquarius is always looking ahead, beyond today or this year, to what we want for the future. It’s the sign of the five-year plan, at a minimum. As Pluto toggles between Capricorn and Aquarius through next year, we contemplate what comes next, after Capricorn’s preoccupation with personal success: what’s the legacy we want to leave behind?

No More Small Talk

When you’re interacting with the UPS delivery person or a checker at the grocery store, pleasant chit-chat is just the ticket. Since Oct. 4, Mercury in Libra has favored just that: being what the person in front of you needs you to be, mirroring them back to themselves. But as Mercury enters Scorpio (Oct. 21, 2023, 11:49 pm PDT, through Nov. 9), that’s no longer the way the conversational wind is blowing. Tired of idle chatter, we long to dig deeper, ask probing questions, and perhaps call out hypocrisy when we see it.

Practically speaking, Mercury in this sign is excellent for research, writing, editing, and cleaning up financial affairs, among other things. Magically speaking, Mercury in Scorpio is richly creative, with a powerful talent for transforming raw emotion into moving art and beautiful writing – or anything else that deepens and enriches the soil of the soul.

Take on the Impossible

Whenever a planet connects with Saturn – an exacting planet, even in gentle Pisces, and impatient with mediocrity – it can develop a flinty edge and an over-the-top work ethic. These are not endearing qualities, but on the other hand, diligent work can yield brilliant results. While Mercury, planet of intellect, trines Saturn (exact on Oct. 22, 2023, 9:12 am PDT), direct your focus and intelligence toward good, useful work.

Mercury in Scorpio symbolizes a sort of x-ray vision, and deep insights as well as intuition guide your efforts. Here is the moment to finalize what you’ve drafted, to sign on the dotted line, and to take on projects that are demanding to the point of impossibility. You have the mental stamina now to accomplish impressive things. But be mindful of the language you use with yourself and with others; in the interest of digging deep and telling tough, unvarnished truths, Mercury in Scorpio can sometimes get a little rough.

Writing and images © 2017-23 by April Elliott Kent

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1 comment to " Astrology for Oct. 16-22, 2023: Signs and New Stories "

  • Kim

    I watched both the 2017 total solar eclipse and Saturday’s ring of fire eclipse. I went to the path of totality for both of them and plan to for April’s total solar eclipse. I think they are spectacular sights to see. I enjoy witnessing them live with loved ones. I remember watching one in middle school in the late 70s with shoe box “glasses” we made in science class. It was winter in the Midwest and it was cold and wild outside with tons of middle schoolers mainly excited about something out of the ordinary in the middle of the school year, in deep winter, in the Midwest. I don’t remember seeing it through my shoebox. I wondered if I made incorrectly but it could have been all the mayhem going on that distracted me. I enjoy it now picking out a quiet place in nature and viewing it with someone I’ve personally selected and having solar eclipse glasses vs a shoebox. It always reminds me of the middle school eclipse day and how glad I am not to be in middle school. Haha!

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