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One Sky for November 2021: What Has To Die

A key theme of 2021 is trudging slowly and determinately toward big changes that absolutely need to happen and will last a long time. These life shifts have the potential to be better than the “beforetime” in two specific ways. They have the possibility of being more equitable for more people, and also more free, or easier for each of us to authentically live with. The catch of course is that reconciling personal freedom to the public good is a grand, paradoxical job. That’s why it’s going to take all of this year and most of the next. Right now, we are meant to remake some basic elements of our society, our work, our very sense of who we are and what we owe one another. And that work is meant to exist both as an idealistic vision of reform, and as an embodied, material reality that we enact by moving, changing jobs, relationships, or habits… generally doing life differently in some way.

November brings us back to this storyline in progress at a high stakes moment. While spring was all about smelling the flowers of possibility, and summer was all about sticking your neck and your chest out and taking those initial risks to make change… we’re in Scorpio season now. It is time to consider what must die so that this new life can grow.

This could go a few ways. We live in a culture that cannot handle the fact that death, loss, grief, and decay are a necessary, even beautiful part of being alive, and that might make this month harder than it needs to be. If we can hold and honor the deaths and losses that are so likely to occur this month, we will be better off. There’s also a lot of potential for finding ourselves in situations that feel so impervious to change, and are perhaps so frustrating, that we are outrageously reckless within them. If we can enter this month with more clarity about how much power we have… not necessarily to change the systems that confine us but to kill, cut ties, and generate loss within them, we will be more likely to act bravely instead of recklessly. Whether we walk through this month consciously or not, we cannot help but take big steps--be they stupid or brave--toward the new lives we’ve been imagining for the better part of a year.

Here are the highlights!

November 4 New Moon in Scorpio

All New Moons plant a seed. This New Moon in Scorpio wants us to bravely and lovingly sever ourselves from whatever is keeping us from being free, and dig a hole in the ground and bury it. It wants us to let death and decay feed the new lives we are creating. And it wants us to do this in a way that gives thanks, in exactly the way Marie Kondo thanks everything that does not spark joy before she throws it away.

This is an easy thing to say, and a harder thing to do, but let’s try. Even if we can just imagine our impediments to freedom and run through the whole life cycle with them in a way that gently introduces all the stuff our culture can’t face, like the violence of loss, the finality of death, and the return to life through the nasty process of decay, we’ll be a step ahead of this month.

November 8-11 Mars and Mercury Square Saturn

Denying Saturn and destroying Mars are both in their own signs and therefore very strong. They will be saying something destructive over these few days that is likely to be impossible to ignore. Some of us will find a lot of power during this week to terminate relationships with authority that no longer serve. Others will be in positions of authority and have to defend themselves and acknowledge that there are people who just can’t get with our program. Because we all occupy multiple roles, most of us will experience both sides of this. What’s interesting is that both Mars and Saturn, who are already strong, will be massively amplified as this energy peaks. The Moon will conjoin Saturn, making all of this more likely to concretely manifest. And Mars will be met by Mercury, so those of us cutting authority out of our lives will be more likely to find our voices, and be able to say what needs to be said, loud and clear.

Before this hits, it would be great if each of us could take a long walk and get in touch with our various relationships to power and authority. Wherever we have power, we could be powerfully critiqued, and the right move is not necessarily going to be to acquiesce, even though the assault could feel absolutely annihilating. And where we are in the wrong power dynamics, we are likely to sever ties, whether we do so with intention or not. This will often be the right thing to do, but we are not likely to get the thrill of winning or being perceived as righteous. What is more likely to happen is a lot of bloodshed that keeps the power structures roughly in place, but that realigns all of the people in those structures. The people with power who don’t feel justified or can’t take the heat will get out of the kitchen, and the people who reject the existing power dynamics are likely to be released from them.

Remember how all last month we endlessly drilled compassionate conflict? That might come in handy.

November 13-17 Mars and Mercury Oppose Uranus

Perhaps unsurprisingly, a week of intense verbal warfare either against or playing the role of The Man is likely to be followed by a week of saying and doing things that are either astoundingly brave or stupendously reckless that will totally change the facts on the ground in the blink of an eye. A tension that has been building up will be released, and with both Mars and Mercury, who both like to cut, in the sign that concerns itself with death, that release of tension is likely to involve losses and endings.

Remember the New Moon, when I suggested that it would be good to get ahead of all this by deciding what you are going to separate from because it is standing between you and the freedom you need? This is why. The New Moon is an important opportunity to proactively start directing this energy where you want it to go. It was perhaps unfair of me to give you an image of Marie Kondo gently saying goodbye to a pair of socks. That’s a good place to start, but this week is gonna feel more like Johnny Knoxville and Steve-O weaponizing a shopping cart or strapping themselves to a cannon, but without a safety crew standing by because it’s not on TV.

November 19 Lunar Eclipse in Taurus

Speaking of endings… all Full Moons are a climax or an ending. A lunar eclipse is a Full Moon on steroids, or a really big ending. This lunar eclipse one is a particularly big big ending… and we could all try to sit still through an explanation of the astrology of why but this month is a lot. Maybe it’s more helpful to stop explaining and notice that the theme is big changes. Big changes can be shocking and difficult! They also propel a lot of things forward. November is a month of big, percussive shocks, cuts, and endings. Taking some time to consciously consider what needs to end and be cut will definitely help take the edge off.

November 29-30 Mars Trine Neptune

It is both funny and helpful that this month, which does feel a little like a DIY root canal, ends with Mars getting pleasantly anesthetized for a couple of days. Everything else in this month’s horoscope is probably going to be unavoidable… but put this one on your calendar because it’s easy to get ahead of trouble and way harder to take advantage of those moments when tension lifts. These two days are a good time to get away and stare at a beach, stay in bed, be held by a loved one, or go on a meditation retreat.

Your Sky—Rising Sign Horoscopes


A karmic or literal debt is coming due over the next couple of months that could radically change your financial situation or your sense of your worth, and you have an opportunity to make this work for you. What are the debts, or windfalls with big strings attached, that keep you from being financially free? If you have an opportunity to just kill and bury them, do so! If not, which seems more likely, can truly accepting this state of indebtedness free you? If you sit with this question like it is a Zen koan, you might find that making choices that work with the debt, even if it requires bravery or does not feel good, does create a clear path toward the financial authenticity you seek. You might face scorn from your social circle about these choices. That is okay--it is more important to resolve these questions about resources over the next year and a half than worry about what your friends think, or what you think you can get away with.


Your partners in work and life are giving you very important feedback this month about who you are becoming and where your career is going. As your identity and career path are both up for appraisal by the people you love, you need to figure out who “gets” this new you and who doesn’t. Relationships are going to feel sharp, and they will be double-edged swords! There will be loving, valuable truth-tellers who are helping you make radical transformations, and there will be those who want access to an old you who is never coming back. Make sure you understand your career goals and how you are changing before things get stressful. And take time to imagine some relationships changing radically or even dying, and what it would take to let them die with love and grace. The good news is that you are making the basic changes to yourself and your path that you wanted to make! The hard lesson of this month is that you can’t expect everybody to come along with you.


Your health, habits, or daily grind are “killing you” in a way that could yield to something like a radical spiritual awakening, therapy, or freeing yourself of a habit that is undermining you. You’ve been needing to get to know yourself more deeply and perhaps acknowledge that there are limits to rational knowledge. You might find yourself in a face off that pits the raw force of your body’s limits or the anger produced by chronic overwork against a teacher, legal body, belief system or other doctrine or authority that thinks you are more like a machine than you really are. The good news is that you’ll be able to make significant spiritual and psychological progress! Just take some time before things get stressful to assess where you feel overworked, depleted, or unhealthy so that you can proactively cut out the things that aren’t working.


What part of your creative “baby” needs to die so that it can be given more freely and loved by more people? You’ve been itching for a more authentic relationship with your audiences, friends, or a group that you belong to. The good news is that you cannot help but make significant headway and achieve more social freedom! But you’re going to have to take a hard look, ideally before things get stressful, at the family karma, traditions, and lineages you are beholden to--what you owe your ancestors, and how this informs your creative work. How have you taken these karmic debts and spun them into new creative work that you are now offering other people? And does that really work? What is the tension between the past and how you are interpreting it? Your beautiful creation is not going to survive what the group needs intact. Take time to think through what needs to be sacrificed so that your creative work can be understood and loved… or take Stephen King’s advice and “kill your darlings.”


Your home or family is in the process of killing the career you have so that you are free to pursue the career you want, and it is perhaps surprising that the tension between these two parts of your life has become so extreme. Take the beginning of the month to name the parts of your current career or life path that are resistant to change, and imagine what it will take for them to truly die and be buried so that you can move on, and how quickly that could happen, because that’s what’s most likely to happen. All this force that you’re focusing on your home, family, and your sense of foundation might strain your marriage, and could sever key work partnerships. Make sure you have decided what relationships you need to stick with, and which ones don’t serve you before things get stressful. And take heart. You’ve been wanting to change your life direction, and by the end of the month that change is more likely to be a fact on the ground than an itch you’re dying to scratch.


Sharp words about mundane things are likely to provoke big changes this month, but what type of changes could vary quite a bit. A fight with your landlord could get you evicted and this could prompt you to quit your job and travel. You could get into a dispute with a sibling or neighbor that either involves the law or changes your beliefs. You might also publish something that gets you in trouble at work but that then contributes to changing the academic understanding of whatever you wrote about. Whatever the circumstances are around these sharp words, perhaps the best advice would be to proactively consider whom you want to offend and how, and what you hope to gain from it. Your tongue, emails, and social media accounts will all be somewhat weaponized for a couple of months, and you have been aching to travel more, learn more expansively, or break free of a teacher or a legal situation. What is the best way to speak your truth?


This month you have the power to declare yourself ferociously worthy, and you’re going to use that power whether you want to or not. Which of the many obligations that you carry shrivel up and fall away in the face of you truly valuing yourself, financially or otherwise? And how lovingly and responsibly can you declare your own worth? This declaration that you have the resources and can do this, however necessary and irrepressible, is not your comfort zone, and it’s going to create sustained conflict with your children or perhaps your creative life, or you may be finding that this increased sense of your own worth is coming at the expense of your joy. But the payoff is profound. If you can take a moment at the New Moon to think through what you owe to others, and whether or not that sense of indebtedness is really true, you stand to release yourself from all the debts that are inauthentic. And if you don’t get it this time, that’s okay. This is going to be your cosmic homework for about the next year and a half.


What part of your identity has to die, or alternately, what or whom do you personally have to go out and slay like a dragon so that you can finally be in the authentic relationships you need and deserve? You will be a fierce advocate for yourself, particularly in the context of authority figures in your family, and you want to take a little time before things get intense to fully account for how powerful you will be and be clear about who your targets are. You will only wind up with relationships in which you can show up as yourself, and in which you are free… which means that not all relationships will survive this month in the form they are now. You are a very sharp sword. Be careful and conscious about each cut, and also have confidence. Know that it’s time to be cutting. You’ve been aching for this freedom in your relationships, and you will have a different relationship landscape by the end of the month.


What bad habit or undermining belief has to die so that you can free yourself from your dayjob, or loosen some other service position that you find yourself in? You are in a tricky spot because it might feel like an external enemy is undermining you, perhaps wreaking havoc on a semblance of order you’ve tried to create in your extended family or daily life. Whether or not that external enemy exists, if you can muster the courage to address the part of you that is participating in the drama, you can channel this month productively and take real growth steps toward the life you want. You’ve been wanting to let go of a job or feeling like you need to recalibrate how you take care of others for some time now! The good news is that you can make progress this month. And be careful! It could either happen in a ferocious burst of consciousness and self awareness, or you could undermine yourself right out of your paycheck without any semblance of a plan.


You’ve been struggling to get free so that you can commit to your joy, your kids, or your creative vision, and over the next couple of months you may find that your struggles with this are social. Maybe you aren’t pitching a creative project to the right audience, or belong to groups that don’t get your kids or hobbies, or are being held back creatively by your friends. Take some time to think about where and with whom you belong before things get stressful! And be mindful that this struggle to find your tribe could bring up serious financial issues or make you feel bad about yourself. Do it anyway. Sticking to your guns and being more intentional about who you surround yourself with and whether or not they feed your joy and creativity is going to give you more of that creative life, kid time, or joy you need.


You’re the one going into Yoda’s Cave this month, Aquarius. Your career or public life is on fire and you are getting noticed in a way that could help you create the authentic relationships in your family that you want. How are you advocating for yourself out in the world? And what aspects of your family life would have to die in order for you to be seen that way at home? Are you ready to see that you are the one standing in the way? This is an important question to think through before the month turns into a very personal showdown. You’re going to have to face some of the parts of your own identity that are responsible for maintaining the status quo in your home or with your parents, and if you don’t change this, it doesn’t matter how much you ask your family to relate to you differently. This month there will be an opportunity to bravely show your family who the world sees… if you can step out of your own way.


Your ability to travel, beliefs, knowledge, and pursuits are going to give you the freedom you’re seeking. What have you been learning in your travels or with a teacher that can pierce through your daily routines, neighborhood, or your family dynamics? You’ve been needing to get free of some aspect of this daily or extended family life for some time, and it would be wise to get specific before things get stressful. Who or what needs to change? And how much of this change is about you addressing your own limiting beliefs and blind spots, and how much of it is truly about getting away? Because away is what you are going to get! You will be getting a lot of expansion, either through actual journeys or through learning alternatives to your status quo. You want to make sure you are leaving the right things, either physically or conceptually. You stand to make significant progress with your daily or family life, and if you don’t nail it this time, that’s okay. This will be a site of change for some time.

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