This week the big news is Neptune turning direct on December 1 after traveling in apparent retrograde motion since June 2021 (like the other two outer planets, Neptune is retrograde approximately half the year), and the upcoming solar eclipse on December 4th in Sagittarius.
The outer planets work as inspirational forces, and because they move slowly their impact can last for a long time. When a planet is preparing to change direction, its apparent motion from our perspective on Earth slows down to a crawl before stopping as it appears to turn, just like a car doing a U-turn would do. At these times the influence of the planet is particularly potent, especially if it is hitting a sensitive point in our own chart. Neptune has been between 20-23 degrees Pisces since February 2021, so if you have planets in this degree range in any of the mutable signs (Pisces, Virgo, Sagittarius, Gemini) you might have been experienced some intense confusion, inspiration, heightened imagination, deeper spiritual connection – all of these are Neptunian experiences that tend to enhance or blur the mundane day to day reality.
This can be a magical time, full of Spirit and wonder, but it can also create some illusion and delusion. In the middle of a pandemic, and with the intensity of the square from Saturn to Uranus creating some conflict and disruption, the desire to escape may be a strong one. Neptune in Pisces is itself connected with the idea of a virus that spreads mysteriously around the world. Neptune will not leave this 20-23 degree box until April after a conjunction to Jupiter in Pisces, which is another whole story of potential spiritual grace mixed with delusion.
In any case, Mars in Scorpio harmonizes in a trine to Neptune early in the week, a helpful alignment to help us to utilize the inspiration of Neptune to enhance a spiritual practice or creative endeavor.
The solar eclipse on December 4th is in Sagittarius, the sign of philosophy, optimism, and an expanded vision. The eclipse falls on the South Node, helping us to release something from the past which is no longer needed. Being an eclipse, a doorway to consciousness may be opened in order for something important to be realized, and in a solar eclipse the light of the Sun is eclipsed by the lunar light of instinct and emotion which prevails.
The Sun and Moon are in a wide square to Neptune at the time of the eclipse, which could force us to face up to areas of our lives where we might be deceiving ourselves, exposing a blind spot or area of our life in which we have been deluded. Mercury, planet of information and communication, is conjunct the Sun and Moon to bring in the mental realm to assist in the processing of experiences at this time, but the square from Mercury to Neptune is even tighter. At times like this our intuition is the clearest source of wisdom we can get – it’s a time to rely on gut instinct more than what we imagine to be true.
Other passages of note this week (dates and times are for the Eastern time zone):
- The Moon enters Libra at 8:54 am Monday November 29. Mars is trine Neptune. Mars in Scorpio is potent and powerful, and the trine to Neptune helps to soften any hard edges and add a layer of compassion to the willfulness of that Scorpio Mars. This influence lasts into Tuesday November 30th.
- Mercury is active on Tuesday November 30 for a day or so, harmonizing with Chiron and Saturn to effectuate mental processing and emotional understanding.
- The Moon enters Scorpio Wednesday December 1st at 11:55 am
- The Moon enters Sagittarius Friday December 3rd at 12:12 pm
- Solar eclipse at the Sagittarius New Moon, 2:33 am
- The Moon enters Capricorn 11:30 am on Sunday December 5.