Image: Two powerlifters, one spotting the other. The month starts off as a powerful Mars in Scorpio story, but turns into a powerfully supportive Venus in Libra story
November brings an end to eclipse season, and this fall’s eclipses were brought to us by Venus in her fall in Virgo. Similarly, the eclipses that happened in April and May of 2023 were ruled by Mars, also in his fall at that time in Cancer. Eclipses are intensifications of the daily rhythm of life–they mark the weightier events that can sometimes feel like karmic chickens coming home to roost. Planets in their fall symbolize things like literally falling, being behind, or disappointment. Often they describe problems of perspective, a word that describes where you are standing and what you can see there, as well as your internal biases. Perhaps this year, some of us initiated some new things that ignite impostor syndrome; are in a situation that invites unfavorable comparisons to others; or are generally not measuring up to someone’s expectations. Of course, others of us have been the ones doing the measuring in these events, and are disappointed. And there are also folks reading this who have been in an important support role for someone else’s literal or figurative fall.
Whatever your eclipse story this year, what’s interesting about November is the way it so prominently features our eclipse hosts, Mars and Venus, in positions of strength, doing a lot of heavy lifting. To me, this looks like learning from the disappointments, struggles, and deficiencies, real and imagined, that came up during this year’s eclipses, and gaining some literal or metaphorical ground.
We start the month with Mars solidly in the fixed water sign of Scorpio. This is a powerful, deep, ruminative, truth-seeking, strategic place for Mars to be doing endurance work. It’s also a great place to recover from events that happened while the god of war was trying to manage eclipses from deep within the sweet, nostalgic womb of Cancer this spring. Mars in Scorpio can both hold and meaningfully cut through emotional and relational difficulty with care and precision. It can let go of the things that need to die. Mars will be in charge of the first non-eclipse lunation we’ve had in some time, a new Moon that happens to be tightly conjunct Mars in Scorpio November 13. If all new Moons are an opportunity to plant a seed, this new Moon is planting a seed that needs you to add plenty of compost. The phrase “letting go of what no longer serves you” is too selfish to make any spiritual sense. But I do think this new Moon is asking for something similar. It’s asking you what is dead, and asking you to ensure that the dead material you cut out of some part of your life isn’t wasted. Rather, it must be handled carefully so that it feeds the future. Similarly, the annual reunion between Mars and the Sun on November 18th is a moment of clarity about precisely this question of what needs to die so that a new cycle can begin. For some of us, what might need to die is an image of ourselves as the underdog, or as unskilled. For others, it might be an attachment to a past that is no longer relevant. Some of us might need to sacrifice an idealized image of another, and others might find ourselves literally pruning trees, sifting our compost, crunching up leaf litter, and mulching garden beds. Whether your Mars cazimi is literal or figurative, there’s potential here for a wise, confident use of the death force that could propel you out of a problem by creating room for new life.
November starts off as a Mars in Scorpio story, but I love the way it slowly turns into a Venus in Libra story. Venus enters Libra November 8th. We will just be coming off of two eclipses ruled by Venus in Virgo, and these eclipses might have been all about the real or imagined seeing of someone’s true colors; asking to be heard and getting help; or otherwise being disappointed by yourself as a lover, or someone else’s capacity to love. When Venus enters Libra, she retains some of the analytical power of Venus in Virgo, and can also regain the ability to act as a loving witness who can simply bear the experience of another, without being compelled to make things right. If you handled the emotional weight of October’s eclipse season by doling out unsolicited advice; running a particularly judgemental internal dialogue; or furiously cleaning up after everybody around you, take heart! Venus in Libra’s superpower is the ability to hold both the self and the other a little bit more lightly, with the right amount of loving detachment. Rather than clear moments that punctuate a decisive shift, Venus’ indirect influence over other planets grows incrementally as planets start shifting out of Scorpio and into Sagittarius later in the month, until she is ultimately in charge of everybody but Pluto and the Moon by November 25th. You might experience this as just a little bit more space every day to listen, affirm another’s emotions, and truly see and love someone for who they are. You’re also likely to find yourself on the receiving end of a more spacious, more accepting kind of love. I like the way this gentle, indirect power of Venus in Libra slowly building throughout the second half of the month describes the way love spreads. When you’re more gentle and spacious with your love, it gives others the space and comfort to be gentle with you, and with others, in return.
Are there shadow sides to these bold archetypes? Hell yes! But many people who are going to read this horoscope are still in October, have one eclipse to go, and are in need of a little hope about the short term future. Everybody’s chart is different. There are certainly people reading this who need to worry about Mars in Scorpio putting them on a path to revenge. There are of course people who are going to use the loving power of Venus in Libra to wriggle right out of the task of loving themselves and invest everything in everybody else. In doing this these folks will absolutely evade love instead of express it. But in the big scheme of things, it is reasonable to expect improvement upon eclipse themes as these two planets gain strength, especially if you know where to look!
Lord of The Year Horoscopes
Every month features too many transits. Lord of the year horoscopes help you focus on only the moments that are impacting you the most. You’ll need to know which planet your lord of the year is, either by using this handy annual profections calculator; booking an annual forecast reading with me, this is a timing technique that I rely on heavily; or just emailing me your birth date, time, and location–I am happy to tell you your lord of the year for free with no obligation.
If you are in a Moon year, put your feet up and have somebody fix you a drink! Your mandate this month is to recover from eclipse season. The only catch is that the Moon changes sign at a brisk pace of every 2.5 days, and both the new Moon in Scorpio and the full Moon in Gemini are spicy. Not eclipse spicy! But they both feature difficulty, and your role is likely to be to hold that difficult space for others. November 13, pay special attention to what you need to let die or prune away in order to do your best work as a nurturer or caretaker. This decision is not likely to be easy or comfortable! Just keep in mind that nurturing is a flexible, holistic act. It is not just you giving hugs and kisses–it is anything that promotes the growth of that project or individual under your care. To contrast, the full Moon in Gemini November 27th is seeking clarity, but is more likely to reveal a miscommunication, exaggeration of the truth, or an interaction that looks at first like a shaggy dog story, but is actually a diversion so someone can steal your wallet. Keep in mind, whatever happens, that even in situations like this that look, and maybe are, totally suss, it’s wise to assume kind intent. Humans almost never communicate well with one another. We all lie a little bit sometimes. You can’t keep someone from being their worst self, but you can make it easier for them to remember their best self.
If you are in a Sun year, you similarly need to prioritize recovering from eclipse season. And just like the Moon, you will need to figure out how to put that on your to do list. Your role all month long will be to hide Mars, the god of war, under your big beams of transcendent light. The best way this could play out is insightful, enlightened use of death, effort, and even violence. You might be able to see exactly what needs to be pruned away and turned into mulch that feeds the soil, literally or metaphorically. But watch out–you are particularly prone this month to denying violence in the world or in your life because we are all children of god; or punishing or judging everybody who is not on board with your optimistic outlook. The best moment to set your attitude about this ongoing relationship with conflict will be November 13-16th, during the new Moon in Scorpio, followed by Mars’ annual reunion with the Sun in Scorpio. Tune into the fact that death is part of the cycle of life, and ask yourself what needs to die this week. And if you are offended or go blank, that’s okay. Just keep asking until you are ready to sit with a nuanced, paradoxical understanding of the cycle of life, which necessarily includes death. November 22 the Sun will be off to the races in the galloping journey of Sagittarius, and it will be important, and more difficult, to keep that sense of acceptance about all things martial, because Mars is right behind you. Your role in the full Moon on November 27th will be to bring the light, and with Mars still nestled in your beams, the light you shine might be passive-aggressive, conniving, irritable, or generally too much. What is going to make that moment okay is your ability to own your part in any drama that arises.
If you are in a Mercury year, get as much desk work done in the first days of the month as possible. When Mercury moves into Jupiter’s sign of Sagittarius November 10th, you might find yourself particularly prone to exaggerating the truth, spinning clever children’s stories, questing for knowledge, or writing dramatic poetry. All of this is great, in its own way! It’s just not Mercury’s comfort zone. You’ll also want to remember during the second half of the month that you’re building toward being the person in charge of the full Moon in Gemini November 27th, and that you’re not set up to execute this with facility or precision. Instead, you are going to find yourself being asked to tell the truth at a moment when the truth is going to be very difficult to discern. To prepare for this moment, I want you to practice saying the words, “I don’t know” right now! They are the hardest words for Mercury in Sagittarius to say, I realize that. But I can assure you that because Mercury folks will be in a position of responsibility during this collective moment, while they're in a place to do interesting rather than factual or clear; while actively getting picked on by dissolving, fantasizing Neptune; with the Sun hiding a covert aggressor named Mars under that delightful smile…
…in all likelihood you honestly will not know. But you'll want to say something. So just say it to yourself now. Get some practice in. Say, “I don’t know” a hundred times a day in the middle of the month. And when you are in that moment and say a bunch of stories or rationales or excuses in the days after Thanksgiving when you should have said “I don’t know,” that is okay! You can always fix that by saying, “I am sorry.”
If you are in a Venus year, give yourself some grace. You have held two eclipses while in a difficult situation, and are entering the month perhaps feeling a little disappointed in yourself or behind, but also with more resources than you’ve had in some time. On November 6th, take advantage of an important opportunity to write down what you learned from the previous month as Venus connects helpfully with Pluto, lord of the underworld. And then on November 8th, enjoy stepping out of the wheat fields of Virgo and into the airy, columned, delightfully orderly portico of Libra, where you can finally get some good work done. The shift from Virgo to Libra is likely to feel like finding the space to love people well, on their terms. And it’s interesting that you are increasing your ability to hold others throughout the month. By the end of the month you are ultimately responsible for every single planet in the sky except Pluto and the Moon, and that means big things, like increasingly everybody's ability to handle a stressful end of the month with compassion. A good, simple mantra that might serve you well in all this growing responsibility might be “I love you as you are.” There is contagious power in simply beholding someone, instead of trying to fix them or make them make sense to you, and it’s easy to dismiss it as not doing anything, but it spreads like wildfire. The more someone feels truly seen, the more likely they are to see someone else. And that is a perfect description of the power you have this month.
If you are in a Mars year, you’re entering the month like an invisible freight train, and might benefit from seeing yourself as the agent of death most of the month. Here’s what I mean. Scorpio season is the time of year when leaves fall to the ground, and much of what is alive dies, so that it can feed the earth. This time of death is a necessary part of the cycle of life! This month, with Mars riding alongside the Sun, you are hidden, but also quite strong as you enact this regular time of death that is a necessary part of the cycle of life. You may or may not be in charge of deciding what needs to die! But you will be the one wielding the knife. As you attend to this important work enacting the death force, keep your integrity and sense of purpose intact. Be careful and skillful in your work. Let go of the right things. Let your cuts be clean, merciful, and swift. Do not simply cast aside what you have killed–lay it to rest thoughtfully, so that it may feed the earth. And whatever you do, do not let a culture that does not understand the death force make you feel like you are wrong! You’re not likely to be recognized for your work this month but you are valuable and right in it. Lastly, do try to discern when your moment has passed. Mars leaves this central, strong position and starts to become more of a problem right around November 24th. You will face an intense challenge that you are not resourced to overcome but that you probably won’t be able to just let slide. This is not in your nature, but do try to hold your fire as much as you can for the last week of the month, especially around the full Moon November 27th. And remember that if you wind up being that covert or passive-aggressive instigator of much confusion around that time, even people in a Mars year can apologize.
If you are in a Jupiter year, there is one big moment to be aware of, and a more subtle shift in attitude that slowly proliferates all month. November 3, the Sun in Scorpio opposes Jupiter in Taurus. This might put you in a position of having to mentor or teach someone about the most appropriate use of the death force, or otherwise reminding someone that the whole point of things dying each autumn is the promotion of new life. Enact this leadership role with confidence and grace! We are living in a culture that does not understand the cycle of life, and that can therefore glorify or totalize these moments in which something must die. You might be able to help someone recognize this, even though your capacity to simply love someone who is confused might be a little limited. This feeling of judging or fixing instead of just loving is a big part of your experience these days, but that will change November 8th when Venus, your host, enters Libra. Take note on that day how much easier your work as a mentor, provider, and teacher gets, simply because you can accept others as they are, instead of focusing on what they are doing wrong. Enjoy this shift in resources, which will last until early December, and love more. Love everybody.
If you are in a Saturn year, you will be a productive player in the beginning of the month, both because Saturn has a natural affinity for all this death and letting go business, and also because Saturn in Pisces is in a harmonious relationship to all the planets in Scorpio. This changes as planets start entering Sagittarius, starting with Mercury November 10th; followed by the Sun November 22nd; and finally culminating with Mars November 24th. Each of these dates represents a confrontation, and you will be playing the role of the negator, the boundary setter, or the brick wall. Pay particular attention to November 24th, which is the closing square of the Mars-Saturn cycle. Every couple of years, Mars and Saturn work through a cycle of difficulty, and hard aspects like this one describe particularly challenging moments. Mars will be hidden and challenged–operating covertly. So your role as the overt oppositional force will be all the more visible. Ultimately, this moment of opposition is your job, and you can do it with Saturnine weight and severity. But what might not be apparent is the fact that you also have an opportunity to do it with love. See if you can see the person or situation that you are denying, or the challenge you are creating by saying no, in a loving way. To do this, you might want to think like a parent, whether you are one or not. Sometimes one of the most loving things you can do as a parent is set boundaries and limits. When parents don’t set boundaries, they give their children more power than they want or can handle, and kids generally respond with anxiety. Even if you are setting a boundary with an adult, can you think about it as helpful information that keeps you in a connected, loving relationship?