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Around the world, many of us are beginning to prepare for the upcoming festive season. In an ideal world, holidays are a time for reflection and joy. In the real world, they can draw out old poisons we thought we’d processed long ago. After all, it’s one thing to explore the magic of who we are alone—and quite another to do it within the context of our families of origin, who we tend to spend more time with this time of year.
When you introduce your clan into the equation, your assignment fills with landmines. But the good news is that your work also becomes richer. Keep this in mind as you progress through the month of November and into December. And remember, if you’re able to identify your wounds as a reflection of a problematic system, you can depersonalize them and start to work toward the solution.
As humans, we’re in partnership with each other, and we’re participants in this time of great change. As a yoga teacher, practitioner, or student, you undoubtedly feel the energy of metamorphosis in your body and soul. Know that as you continue to self-reflect and meet your emotional experience with mindfulness, you are playing an important role in the great unfolding. As we say in astrology: as above, so below.
There’s a New Moon in Scorpio on November 7
Imagine yourself as a deep-sea diver: In order to descend to the bottom of the ocean floor, you must prepare by strengthening your lungs and developing stamina. You’ll need a deep breath, and an innate understanding that at some point on the journey, you’ll find yourself in a desperate race to the surface where you can breathe again. You’ll also need courage, because in the furious pursuit of air, panic and fear will invade your mind and you’ll have to surrender to your instincts, allowing them to guide you up and toward the light—into the oxygen.
Scorpio pushes you to face your fears in order to complete your mission. Some of us find the intensity of Scorpio compelling; others prefer to remain on the surface where air is plentiful. Regardless of your preference, the New Moon in the sign of Scorpio will ask you to look with courage at your unhealthy attachments and negative patterns, and anything else that scares you. With fluid connections to Neptune and Pluto here, expect revelations and epiphanies to arrive with a glimmer of fairy dust—especially if you get quiet and yield to what’s trying to emerge.
During this New Moon time, make it a goal to be especially present in your Savasana. Use this dedicated time of stillness to allow inner intelligence to bubble up like a spring, releasing the exact information and wisdom you’ve been looking for.
Venus Goes Direct November 16
Venus has been in retrograde since October 5, which has given us wisdom about living in integrity with our value systems and personal truths. During the retrograde period, imagine that you’ve been cleaning out a room deep within your heart, one filled with old grievances and pains that are connected to love. As Venus goes direct in the sign of Libra, it’s as if you’re opening a window in your mending heart and allowing a cool, fresh breeze to swirl in. The crisp air is invigorating and carries with it a newfound stability and resolve. Because you’ve done the difficult work of emptying your heart of old stories and have come to terms with your own worthiness, you can now enjoy new beginnings in love—and shift your focus elsewhere.
Your spine—a.k.a., your backbone—is an integral part of this particular strengthening process, so take advantage of the stream of vitality available now by incorporating Cobra Pose into your practice. Not only will it precisely support your backbone, but it will faithfully continue to open your heart.
See also Practice Safe Stretch in Cobra
Mercury Goes Retrograde Nov 16
Ignore what you’ve heard and don’t let a little Mercury Retrograde scare you: These happen approximately three times a year, and only last 20 days or so. Mercury rules the ways we exchange, interpret, and hold information, and none of us are particularly objective in those respects. These 20 days have the power to point out the places where you need to review and revise; where your memories aren’t accurate; where you’ve been unduly reactive; or where your thought processes have taken a turn toward bias and prejudice. This can be personally confrontational, and it might explain why Mercury Retrograde gets a bad rap. However, you might choose to look at it this way: Examining your mental landscape is a good thing.
This retrograde happens in the sign of Sagittarius, the daring big talker. This sign is where you become the educated, wise, and an explorer of uncharted territories—but it also brings with it a tendency to cover up the shadow side of things with cavalier enthusiasm. (Awkward silence? How about a joke to distract everyone!)
Retrogrades expose shadows though, and you’ll get a chance to see your Sagittarius characteristics (on a bad day they can be blowsy, evasive, dogmatic, and pretentious) in a whole new light. You’ll also have a chance to look at the ways you might use your own personal soapbox. Are your perspectives valid and useful—or are you being egotistical? The payoff of looking at all of this is renewed direction and the opportunity to chart new intellectual courses.
To support your mental movement at this time, practice Lotus (or Half Lotus) Pose. When your body is upright, your hips are open, and your mind is still, you’ll have space to make room for shifting perspectives, ideas, and unique new ways of relating to those around you.
There’s a Full Moon on November 22
The Sun moves into the sign of Sagittarius on the same day as the Full Moon in Gemini. The planet Mercury rules Gemini, and so we continue the retrograde theme—this time in relationship to the Sun. In many ways, the Full Moon will bring tension between your sense of confidence (the Sun) and your vulnerabilities (the Moon). In this case, the complication spotlights the ways you use your intelligence.
Gemini reaches for the world with the mind by seeking variety in the immediate vicinity, gathering information and puzzling it together to make a whole. On the other hand, Sagittarius seeks knowledge in grand ways, looking for the answers in adventures and faraway enlightenment. Which version will you choose to utilize—the details or the big picture? And will you reason with confidence or through the lens of your vulnerabilities?
A connection to Jupiter can make everything seem much bigger than it really is, and a tough connection to Mars can make you irritable about it all. What’s more, these dynamics will be playing out smack in the middle of the Thanksgiving holiday this year. Full Moons are a time to release the things you no longer need, so stay as present with yourself as possible, being curious about your experience and reactions.
If you do find yourself feeling the effect of this Full Moon surrounded by those you love, Channel-Cleaning Breath is a wonderful technique. Inhale the good stuff, exhale the “bull-stuff,” as they say.
About the Author
Natha Campanella is a Certified Life Coach, professional astrologer, and podcaster (coming November 2018). More than just analyzing astrological archetypes, she gives dynamic interpretations of entire life stories by opening windows straight into the personal, family, and relationship dynamics of her clients. She aims to transform the people she works with by helping them make meaning of the gifts, burdens, and various complexities of being human. You can find her on nathacampanella.com, Instagram, and Facebook.