FOLLOW THE SUN
Everything revolves around the Sun. I have always delighted in that phrase. Long ago, half-legendary Hermes Trismegistus crystallized the entirety of astrological theory in four simple words – “As above, so below.” Saying that everything revolves around the Sun embodies that Hermetic principle perfectly.
- Above, in the sky, the Sun is the gravitational center of the solar system.
- Here below, on earth, it is the gravitational center of your head.
On both levels, the Sun’s job is to hold the planets in their courses – and by “the planets in your head,” we mean all your contradictory, paradoxical needs, drives, and values. Being human is complicated. We’re pulled in so many directions, torn between appetites and integrity, pleasure and productivity, and so on. Still, you get out of bed in the morning and you have a sense of who you are. You have an identity. There is reasonable continuity in your life. That’s the Sun at work, with its “gravity” coalescing you into one reasonably coherent whole.
Make a strong response to the Sun, and your life holds together. You feel like you are on the right course, and you probably are. You feel authentic and natural. In a nutshell, taking care of the Sun is the secret of sanity.
In the course of a year, the Sun transits around your chart once. Another way to say the same thing is that every twelve months the Sun makes every possible aspect to everything in your chart. It has, in other words, a little conversation with every one of those “planets in your head,” updating them about who you have become, trying to get them to align with the evolving program of your soul’s journey.
Those transits of the Sun to your natal planets are all very personal and unique to you. In this newsletter, I want to explore the transiting Sun from a slightly different angle. Let’s look at it from the perspective of the current aspects it is making to the other planets in the sky. In doing that, we’re not only looking at your own journey through the planetary weather this month – we’re also looking at the collective human journey.
What’s at stake here for everybody are the basic treasures of the Sun: a feeling of sanity, a sense of being on the right path, and keeping up our basic vitality – how we might maintain a “sunny” disposition, despite everything.
This November, while the Sun is traversing Scorpio, it makes six important aspects – five of them to planets and one to the lunar nodal axis. On November 22nd, it enters Sagittarius and then makes no more major aspects until December when it opposes Mars and squares Neptune before moving on into Capricorn.
Here’s the ephemeris – and please note that the times given are for the US West Coast, but exact hours and minutes aren’t really relevant to what we’re looking at here.
For those of you who are listening to this newsletter as a podcast or who are just learning astrology and can’t read the hieroglyphics yet, here’s everything in plain English:
- On November 5, the Sun makes a conjunction with the Moon’s south node.
- On November 9, the Sun makes an opposition to Uranus.
- On November 11, the Sun makes a square to Saturn.
- On November 14, the Sun makes a trine to Neptune.
- On November 18, the Sun makes a sextile to Pluto.
- On November 20, the Sun makes a trine to Jupiter.
Each of these configurations has meaning, but the key to doing truly elegant astrological work always lies in tying things together. One of my favorite lines with my students is “remember what you have already said.” That’s just six words, but they embody the integrative principles that make the work of a human astrologer so much richer than any computerized report.
Here’s a way to look at it – if you do well navigating the Sun’s interaction with the nodal axis, that’ll set you up for getting its opposition to Uranus right, which in turn will help you navigate its square to Saturn . . . and so on.
You get the picture. Passing the sixth grade sure helps you understand that seventh grade material. Astrology works the same way.
Let’s go through these developmental steps one at a time and see how they flow into each other. Keep perspective: this is not earth-shaking astrological news like Pluto’s current square to Eris or its upcoming entry into Aquarius. We’re looking at quickly changing astrological weather – the little steps you need to get right if you want your big journey to keep moving in the right direction.
SUN CONJUNCT THE SOUTH NODE
That means that the transiting Sun is also opposing the north node, which lies in Taurus. The south node holds us back while the north node beckons us forward. “It was good enough for my grandparents, so it’s good enough for me” – those words alert us to one of the main pitfalls of Taurus. The Bull is famously stubborn and resistant to change. Just remember that can be a good thing too! It all depends on how you aim that fierce, unyielding commitment.
For a day or two on either side of November 5, reflect on your own wounded places – that’s Scorpio territory. They are “up” in your consciousness now. Where in your life do you keep doing the same thing, hoping for a different result? How does that feel in your body – that’s classic Taurean territory – trusting your gut instincts. Because of the laws of synchronicity, you will probably find yourself staring at the evidence as the Sun triggers the nodes – and with the cutting-edge north node in Taurus, a willingness to commit to a relentless effort to break those old habits is your best ally.
SUN OPPOSITE URANUS
On the 9th, the Sun opposes Uranus and that spells revolutionary breakthroughs. Grasping the cosmic flow here is about as easy as it ever gets. Say you did well a few days ago with the Sun’s interaction with the nodal axis. As you reflect on the destructive hold that certain old habits have on you, you find yourself in the mood for a jailbreak. Insights dawn on you. You understand that things can be different – fundamentally different – in your life. You are no longer the person you thought you were.
There’s a wonderful, wild, recklessness about Uranus. It’s “damn the torpedos, full speed ahead.” School is out – forever.
SUN SQUARE SATURN
Two days after the Sun opposes Uranus it makes a square aspect to Saturn. So, about those damned torpedos...
The idea here is not that everything you have realized so far this month is doomed or hopelessly flawed. It’s more like realizing that escaping the old patterns is not as easy or cost-free as snapping your fingers. Practical obstacles arise. Delays happen. Some responsibilities cannot be shirked. Can you keep your eye on the prize anyway? Can you prevent emotion – especially depressing, discouraging feelings of defeat – from clouding your long-term thinking? You may have to make some compromises. If so, drive a hard bargain, but don’t be so inflexible that you can’t make a workable deal. Never give up – that’s your new Saturn tattoo.
SUN TRINE NEPTUNE
You know the cartoon trope where a lightbulb lights over someone’s head? We can all relate to it – bright ideas sometimes appear in our minds suddenly, seemingly out of nowhere. Where do they come from? That’s one of those questions you can think about for a long time, but the astrological answer is Neptune. That’s the planet that represents the vastness of your own mind. And on the 14th, the Sun trines it, lighting some of those lightbulbs. Pay attention to them. They are precious.
Here’s how that aspect connects with what has gone before: with the Sun square Saturn, you very probably hit some brick walls – problems that appeared logically to be insoluble. Sit back, close your eyes... call it meditation or just call it relaxing and spacing out. Unexpected insights arise naturally and spontaneously now – insights that can unlock doors that you had mistaken for walls.
The trick with Neptune is to cooperate with it. Neptune wants you to sit very still. In the inverted cliché, don’t just do something, sit there.
SUN SEXTILE PLUTO
On the 18th, the Sun forms a sextile aspect to Pluto, the modern ruler of Scorpio. Since all of this is happening while the Sun is moving through that sign, this transit takes on extra significance. Back at the beginning of the month, everything started with you having a long talk with yourself about habits of attitude that were limiting you – that was the story of the transiting Sun triggering the nodes. Since then, you’ve been running with those initial insights, testing them against reality, adding a dose of unexpected Neptunian insight.
So what have you learned? What insights into your own glitches do you now have that you didn’t have at the start of the month? The Sun’s transit to the sextile of Pluto ices the cake you began baking about three weeks ago. Take a few moments to reflect on what you have learned. See if you can say it in a sentence or two. If you can, then an insight that began to rise up out of your soul has finally completely crystallized in your conscious mind – and for Pluto, that’s the Grand Prize.
SUN TRINE JUPITER
Among fortune-telling astrologers, this is the absolute Rolls Royce of aspects – the all-powerful Sun making a “good” aspect to the “lucky” planet. And indeed, the Sun trine Jupiter can open doors for you – in fact, very probably there will be more than one open door available to you now, around the 20th of the month. The thing is that not all doors, even the gold-plated ones, are healthy or even safe.
From the evolutionary perspective, here’s the heart of the matter: if you’ve made a decent job of everything that we’ve just been exploring, then you’ll recognize the right door. Luck is on your side, you Feel the Force, and the wind is at your back – and not just because you’re “lucky.” It’s because you’ve earned it with your conscious responses to those previous transits.
SUN ENTERS SAGITTARIUS
Step out into the sunlight, stretch your body, and take a deep breath. See how bright you feel. See how different the world looks. Those old patterns you’ve now defeated were draining you of energy. That’s all over now. You’ve plugged some of the leaks in your life. Enjoy your breakthrough into a higher energy state.
Just one more point. Everything we’ve explored here in this short essay is the map to the higher ground. This is how you get these steps right. This is the energy-map for how to use November’s potentials as consciously as possible.
You can do it too! But you can also sit there doomscrolling Instagram and Facebook and TikTok for thirty days if you prefer – it’s up to you. Evolution is a sport that requires your participation, and of course, your participation is 100% optional.
As the Upanishads put so long ago, “Such verily is knowledge. Now do as you will.”
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