Tuesday is Election Day. A lot of people believe it is useless to vote, but it really isn’t. If we don’t vote, we lose our right to be part of our nation and our nation really needs us to participate right now. Whether Democrat or Republican or Independent, it is important and this particular election is really important as our nation faces a fulcrum of choice as to which direction it must go. With the Full Moon on the following Thursday at 14° Taurus 26′ and 14° Scorpio 26′, it falls on what we call critical degrees.

This particular degree set of 45° points, or, what we call semi-square in astrology are turning point degrees — some are expected, but often they are very unexpected and a surprise. I always think of the semi-square as the trick aspect of change…in other words, you are walking through the field and a snake, hidden, gets you! How you choose to react to that sudden and unexpected event, is exactly the lesson of this week. If something comes at you, out of the blue, don’t answer immediately and try to not take it personally. This is good advice for those running for office during this crucial election as well.

With the Sun trine Chiron on October 5, there is a lesson in everything that happens this week. Listen to your first intuition rather than what others tell you is correct. Our guts were operating long before we had language!

Before we start this week’s forecast, there are two things to remember — Halloween falls on Friday October 31 and Daylight Savings Time ends at 2 am on Sunday November 2. In addition, the week has the energy of direct Mercury imbued as part of the overall experience. The Sun is in some very pleasant aspects with Neptune, triggering the imagination for either that costume, or, that class or business idea you’ve been mulling over. Venus and Neptune are also working in tandem, so there are probably a lot prettier costumes of choice this year than in past years.

The First Quarter Moon on Thursday October 30 is about getting organized for the weekend projects or activities since on Saturday November 1 Mercury and Jupiter as well as Venus and Pluto are working together. This could be a good weekend to plant winter vegetables, rototill the soil to get ready for winter (Northern Hemisphere) or spring (Southern Hemisphere).

This is a week of another eclipse except that this one is a New Moon or, Partial Solar Eclipse at 00° Scorpio 15′ and it is in line with Venus who also enters Scorpio earlier in the day. New Moons usually signify new beginnings and with Venus in the mix, new beginnings in relationships, new views of values, and new approaches to spending are all possible. Again, eclipses don’t often show their complete face during the time of the eclipse (it is, after all, a dark moon when there is a new moon), but in 90 or so days around January 20, 2015, the rest of the story, or, how this new relating cycle plays out is more apparent.

There are many other factors this week, mostly pleasant with Venus and Mars and Mercury and Jupiter working in compatible exchanges with each other. On Saturday October 25, Mercury finally goes direct at 16° Libra 49′. This is very close to the Total Lunar Eclipse of early October and might suggest a resolution to something that came up earlier in the month. On Sunday, Mars enters its exalted sign of Capricorn so be ready for some really hard work and some really hard play over the course of the next few weeks. Like a bulldozer knocking down the sediment in the foundations of our lives, you find yourself taking chances and making choices over the course of the next few weeks that are long overdue!

This week’s energy is a bit more contained and calmer than last week’s. There are several wonderful aspects encouraging productive projects and positive outcomes from prior unrefined proposals. Tuesday October 14 has Venus and Jupiter working with each other to find the right fabric, materials, or people with which you can work well. On Wednesday October 15 the Sun and Mars work together providing a booster shot of energy and on Thursday October 16 excellent aspects with conjunctions between Sun and Mercury (often signifying change in trend in markets) as well as wonderful Mercury to Mars aspect for good trades and refining contractual agreements. This continues through Friday and into the weekend as the lovers Venus and Mars dance the dance of relationships.

The highlight of this week is the Total Lunar Eclipse on Wednesday October 8 at 15° Aries 07′. This is an intense degree for the USA as the USA Saturn is at 14° Libra. Saturn is about government and full moon eclipses often ‘throw out’ things, people, present new perspectives and throw out emotional issues as well as old jobs that no longer server. They cut back the deadwood in organizations and governments! In Libra, lawsuits many abound during this period bringing new perspectives to legal stances long outdated. We don’t usually see these changes at the time of the eclipse, but often feel or experience them about 90 days later, which, in this case, is approximately mid-January 2015.

For those of you with many planets in middle degrees of cardinal signs–Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn, there could be some very big changes surrounding the anchor parts of your lives — changes in how you deal with your health, your homes and their upkeep as well as families, your very intimate partnerships, as well as your professional lives and careers. This is often good and by no means a bad thing. Because there are many other wonderful aspects this week, there is great support for change by choice.

With the Sun opposite Uranus on Tuesday and then Venus squaring Pluto on the very same day as October 8’s eclipse, many of the changes are about voicing your thoughts and opinions in a positive and productive manner so that all ideas and thoughts are on the table. Other ways this might manifest is that challenges coming out of the blue require immediate attention. It is not a good idea to delay this attention and procrastinate on responses, although that may seem the easier thing to do. This allows all of us to confront and shift and change the manner in which we relate and become far more productive and positive.

I don’t know why people hate Mercury retrograde. I think it is a great time in which to re-think plans and ideas and come up with something even better as it goes direct. With that said, yes, Mercury is retrograde for the last time this year starting on Saturday October 4 at 10:02 am (Pacific) and 1:02 PM (Eastern) in the water sign, 2° Scorpio 17′. However, we feel it slowing down a few days earlier and this could make for some sluggish thinking.

We have some cushion with Venus entering intelligent and balanced Libra at the beginning of the week on Monday September 29 around 1:52 PM (Pacific) and 4:52 PM (Eastern). The good news is that with Venus moving through Libra and being the balancing agent between Mars (motivation and direction) and Jupiter (opportunity and good luck) over the course of the next few weeks, that Mercury retrograde between October 4 and 25 acts as an intelligent tempering agent for the many changes of October as we enter eclipse season starting next week. The sign of Libra through which the sun is moving at the present time needs more time than others because it has to think things through before making decisions, but they do need to learn to get off the fence and make those decisions — always a challenge.

With Venus moving through Libra along with a productive First Quarter Moon on Wednesday October 1 we ease into that Mercury retrograde. Make sure that you get all those little nitpicky things done before the weekend, because the Sun and Pluto and Mars and Chiron at adverse aspects to each other on the same day that Mercury is retrograde (October 4) may not be such a walk in the park.

This is a big bang kind of week with lots of news that isn’t expected — some of which may be unwelcome, but much of which clears the way for positive changes for the future. As the Fall Equinox kicks in on Monday September 22 at 7:29 PM (Pacific) and 10:29 PM (Eastern), Pluto also goes direct at 10° Capricorn 59′ earlier in the day. Usually when Pluto goes direct (by itself) we find ourselves making choices (or choices are made for us) where a great deal of risk is involved and we have to choose sacrificing something we really believe we cannot live without. But that is the price we pay for evolutionary change and new levels of understanding. With the New Moon at 1° Libra and fast on the heels of Pluto direct, it is time to plant new ideas (seeds of thought) as well as the beginning of some winter gardens (depending on where you live in the Northern Hemisphere) .

Opportunities through organizations, classes, groups, friends and even acquaintances come in starting on Thursday July 25 (also Rosh Hashanah) as Jupiter trines Uranus at 11:19 am (Pacific) and 2:19 PM (Eastern). This is a great time to make those calls, send out those resumes, write down ideas for business plans, design a class or talk with someone who can help you design it. But don’t jump in just yet with that plan — give it some time over the next few weeks to rethink some of the finer points. This is the perfect action for that Mercury retrograde which beings next week.

The Last Quarter Moon falls on Monday September 15 in late degrees of Gemini. Last quarter moons last about a week and are very good times to clear things away as you prepare for the New Moon that occurs the following week. This week finds Venus, the planet of relationships, but more the planet of values, at adverse relationships on Wednesday September 17. It is a good idea not to take too harsh a position for some idea or offer presented to you during this time with which you do not agree, because Venus does pass the adverse relationship by Sunday September 21 when it is in a solid support line with solid and anchored Saturn.

The solutions to the dilemma may start appearing on Friday and Saturday as the Moon effectively partners with energetic and directed Mars and then aligns with good luck Jupiter and innovative Uranus and intelligent Mercury through Saturday September 20. This is a perfect ending to the second quarter of the year as the third quarter arrives at Fall Equinox on Monday September 22 at 7:29 PM along with Pluto going direct on that same day! Decisions, choices and more decisions all play out over the weekend of the 20th and 21st

The week starts out with a Full Moon at 16° Pisces 19′ — so those with lots of Pisces, Virgo, Gemini and Sagittarius in their charts are getting hit with some emotions kept buried for the last few months. This full moon is running close to Neptune, so we could be seeing some volatile activity in the markets as Mercury squares Pluto on the 9th and Venus oppose Neptune on the 10th and the Moon moves through Aries on the 9th and 10th triggering off that volatile Uranus Pluto square. Things calm down considerably at weeks end as we move away from the Full Moon and note Moon and Sun in great relationships with each other on Saturday, the 13th. That and Venus trine Pluto on Sunday makes for a weekend where we can get a lot done, get more focused and maybe fit in a social event or two.

On Saturday Mars enters fiery Sagittarius, which compliments traveling Jupiter over the course of the next few weeks, bringing lucky opportunities and a more positive energy into the marketplace and new visions and ideas for your business or office environment.

The week starts out with Labor Day one of the few holidays celebrated in the United States not related to either a religious or a conflict event. It was designed to honor those who work, who are employed and who keep working regardless of circumstances and who take responsibility for themselves and those they love. It is one of the few days in this commerce-centric nation that businesses really close down to give their workers some time to be with family and friends and regroup. This nation was founded on hard work and labor and the need to succeed and to serve. How appropriate that it falls during the time that the Sun travels through Virgo.

I had a teacher Wendy Ashley (Wendy@WendyAshley.com) in Portland, ME, who talked about various relationships between the constellations and the myths. One of the constellations related to Virgo (as I recall) was Bootes, or, The Ploughman. Wendy’s take on this was that this was a workman, a ploughman, who works and tills the fields even though he is lame. He does it because he is dedicated to caring for those he loves and sacrifices regardless of his condition.

This is a week in which to review this story for those who are not working and who wish desperately to work and take heart that opportunities are there very soon as we move into the First Quarter Moon on Tuesday September 2 in Sagittarius. If you need further education or training, then keep working but take those classes even if it requires more energy and time. This is a great time in which to decide this as the academic school year begins and many certifications as well as vocational licenses are offered even through Adult Education programs throughout the nation.

For those who choose to not work (but can) because they think that welfare and other government subsidies are better than going out there to make a living — well, karma is rough — and will play out considerably in the next two years as Jupiter begins moving into a square to Saturn and many government subsidies and programs are cutback and prices rise.

And, of course, for those who really cannot work because of an unfortunate disability or lack of opportunity in your immediate vocational sphere — perhaps it is time to give some time and thought to talking with young people, helping out in some small way in your community with the expertise derived from living on this planet for so many years. There are many organizations like the Abilities Organization (which I’ve recently come to know and love) in Florida — contact information (Frank de Lucia at Frank.Delucia@servicesource.org). This is an organization which focuses on helping those with disabilities to find their ‘ability’ regardless how extreme their disability. Theirs is a labor of love that returns itself tenfold.

With Mercury entering Libra on Monday and moving our thinking towards cooperation and relating and Venus entering Virgo, the sign of service and sacrifice, on Friday — this is the perfect week to honor those that work and take care of those who cannot.

I love New Moons and Monday’s New Moon at 2° Virgo 19′ is of particular importance as it presents each of us with the question of whether we are being too perfect, expecting perfection, and whether or not we are being realistic or not. The thing to remember with this New Moon is to not beat yourself up because the 10% of whatever you did didn’t go right — and then forget about the 90% of what you did was great! None of us are perfect. We expect much of ourselves and others and hyper vigilance when many planets are in Virgo is best put to good use by writing, editing, cleaning out closets, cabinets, dumping old stuff. Get the physical mojo going on and get that picky and critical stuff out!

This could include letting go of a few stocks or equities or properties or things that really are clogging up the forward movement that you so desire at this time of year. Taking an inventory of those things you don’t want and making plans to release them (again stocks or stuff) is a great preparation for the tumultuous days of October coming soon. By the way, if any of you ever have the opportunity to hear George Carlin’s great routine on Stuff, you will get what I’m talking about!

It is also a great way to handle some of the other activities of the week as traveling Venus and Mars (the relationship planets) confront hard driving Saturn (July 26), Mars (July 27) and Mars and Saturn kick the week in on Monday creating opportunities for finding project managers, administrative assistants and technical specialists — these folks can help you decide whether or not you want to keep that ‘Palm Pilot’ from the 1990s!

As the week begins, the vibe of Jupiter Venus is still with us. Extending into the late afternoon, one might not feel like working that much and the markets may be reflecting a ‘lazy’ pattern. However, it is temporary as the week unfolds and the Moon enters Cancer on Wednesday August 20 and begins many positive interactions between Neptune (visions and dreams and inspiration), Mercury (thinking), Mars (energy and motivation), and Chiron (learning and coaching). This makes for easier emotional communications.

However, Mercury is very involved in the week as well, which means the head and the heart are working together and many ideas show up out of nowhere either by day or by night in dreams. As the week comes to an end and the Sun enters Virgo on Saturday August 23, we head into a busy month of thinking, getting back to school, finishing up summer projects and vacations and getting down to the business of planning — both our financial year as well as our personal year.