Today, the first day of October, is one of those perfect days. Lately we’ve been bouncing between heat and AC, but sometimes we just get to open the windows and feel the breeze. As this intoxicating fresh air pours into the room where I’m working, it wakes me up and fills my head with ideas.
Air is the medium in which things move most freely and quickly. In astrology, the air signs are connected to our mental functioning. I’ve always believed that thoughts are as real as bits of pollen, and that they fly through the air, looking for like thoughts and building new inspirations as they go.
And this is a very airy month, so there are tons of ideas floating around, waiting to be captured, ready to expand into amazing possibilities. Mercury spends the whole month in the air sign Libra, first going backwards and then (after October 18) forwards again. She touches other planets along her path, and since Libra is a very social sign, it’s almost as if she’s paying visits to old friends.
Mercury meets the moon when she’s new, on October 6. The new moon is always a good time to set intentions, and it’s as if Mercury is there to make sure that nothing is left out of these lists. Retrograde Mercury harkens back to the past, and so she reminds the moon of the things that have been overlooked, forgotten, unfinished.
Then Mercury continues on her backwards path, connecting with Mars and the sun. For a few days, around October 9, the three are together like long-lost friends. They represent mind, body, and ego, all aligned in Libra, the sign of harmony. Mars’ job is to turn all of Mercury’s ideas into definite action, and the sun is about vision and inspiration.
This trio is like a neon sign flashing the Libran message, and the basic Libran message is to treat others as you would like to be treated by them. This doesn’t just show up in every religious text, but is the basis of every law and every civil agreement.
Libra is a sign of harmony, but also a sign of justice and accountability, and as we know, accountability doesn’t make everyone feel peaceful. Especially in the US at this time, there are some bitter divisions between people, and it’s pretty rare that everybody gets in a circle and sings Kumbaya. Sometimes it seems like it only happens at times of disaster.
And yet, as human beings, we have no choice but to examine our actions and try to create a more civil and enlightened world. Everything we cherish, from an ordinary floor lamp to the Constitution, came about because somebody was working on a better way. And so a retrograde Mercury in Libra is one of the best times to work for social justice, as well as to find the path to balance and fairness in our own lives.
Aquarius is the other prominent air sign of October, with both Jupiter and Saturn placed here. Both of them start out the month retrograde, and then turn direct. (Saturn does this on October 10, and Jupiter on October 18, the same day as Mercury.)
Aquarius is a fixed air sign, so it takes that free, airy energy and works on creating definite organizational systems from it. While Libra focuses mostly on the relationship between self and other, Aquarius is all about our relationship with the greater community. What are we building together? What truths will hold the weight of our future?
Aquarius is also a sign that’s oriented towards scientific understanding. With Saturn in this sign until March of 2023, we have a chance to look realistically at such issues as climate change, drug addiction, and economic inequality. Aquarius is inventive, inquisitive, oriented towards learning and teaching. So this is an excellent time to listen to innovative thinkers, to test theories, and to see what works.
Aquarius is all about challenging old belief systems, the ones that keep us burdened or afraid. There’s no shortage of these. Texas is trying to take us all back to a time when women wore crinolines, and bounty hunters stalked people for money. The ad campaign to de-legitimize democracy is going strong, with hucksters and criminals briskly funneling money into their own pockets. Meanwhile, the Supreme Court has completely lost the respect it had when Ginsburg graced its bench.
We all know that we have to treat each other better, and treat the earth better, to survive. And we really do know that there needs to be a complete overhaul of our civic and economic systems. Aquarius is the sign best equipped to draw the diagrams for the future. And Libra is the sign best equipped to meet people in the moment, and say, “I’m listening.”
In the ways we think, and the ways we listen to the thoughts of others, we create our future. Our thoughts, whether we think or speak or write them, meet each other in the air, and form larger designs. The bigger our ideas, the more we understand other people, the more abundant are the possibilities. Yes, we have a lot to learn and many problems to solve, but first, take a breath.