“The River rose all day, the river rose all night
Some people got lost in the flood, some people got away all right”

~~~ Randy Newsman’s Louisiana

“Transformation, alternation, deviation, you know Mother Nature rules us all”
~~~ Nona Hendrix, Transformation

Halloween came early this year as the Taurus/Scorpio full moon on the 29th treated the East Coast to three hellish and fearful nights while Superstorm Sandy pummeled the tri-state area leaving darkness, death and devastation in her powerful destructive wake.

Storms that occur around a full moon are always potentially more lethal due to the gravitational pull of the full moon increasing the tides. This storm from an astrological standpoint was exceptionally fierce due to another factor. On October 5th, Saturn the titan planet of responsibility, heaviness, consequences, and testing entered Scorpio the most destructive water sign of the zodiac. On any full moon the Sun and moon are in perfect opposition. On this full moon the Sun and Saturn, the heaviest and most serious planet of the zodiac, formed a powerful tag team opposing the full moon in Taurus which rules construction and plantings. The results speak for themselves. The Death toll of the storm is over 100. In NYC, where I weathered the storm, the infrastructure as of this writing is still in disrepair; thousands are without power and heat and many homes on Staten Island, Breezy Point and the Rockaways (communities along the water) are utterly destroyed.

Saturn is the executive planet. It tests each sign and its opposite as it moves through that sign over a two year period. Sandy was both a wakeup call and a test. It has been said that everything happens first in NY. As Ellis Island has been likened to the front door of the nation, this is actually and metaphorically true. Here are the lessons I observed and experienced that we will all be facing in the coming years:

Our infrastructure is woefully unprepared to face a decade of rising water levels. The subway system failed. The tunnels were flooded (read the harrowing NY Times article on water rapids shooting thru the Brooklyn Battery tunnel, still closed as of this writing). The electrical system failed below 34th Street and in Staten Island, The Rockaways, parts of Long Island and Queens. Cell phone reception failed. The East side hospitals failed and had to be evacuated

In downtown Manhattan where I weathered the storm in a 9th floor apartment, caregiving an elderly parent, we looked out on a dark, silent, increasingly cold downtown, referred to by those with lights and heat uptown, as the dead zone, very Scorpio indeed. Downtown we learned how quickly any apartment high rise becomes a slum when there is no elevator or compactor service to remove trash. We learned the utter dependence of a vertical city like New York on electricity. Climbing and evacuating a 14 story building is an inconvenience for young residents, but utterly impossible for the elderly and the handicapped. Seeing what we were going through I found myself grateful that the blackout had not spread uptown to the land of massive skyscrapers.

Though our infrastructure utterly failed here in New York City, the news is not all grim. There was little looting or crime to speak of and a downtown without traffic lights produced very careful and polite driving. When it came to survival, resourcefulness, generosity, sharing of resources and loving kindness, New York gets high marks. I experienced this first hand when my neighbor from another building who recently had reconstructive leg surgery climbed 9 flights of stairs to sit with my father, sometimes twice a day, so I could get supplies and walk my dog.

On the second night of the storm, a neighbor on my floor came by to check on us. A fireman and father of three, he brought some dinner that his wife cooked. I mentioned being worried about the Jersey Shore where my family has a house and he replied that his house on Breezy Point, where a fire took out over 100 homes was almost certainly destroyed. He looked me in the eye, smiled, shrugged and said “I shoulda been dead so many times by now. Don’t worry about it. It’s only a house.”

The deepest message of Saturn in Scorpio was the immediate restructuring of our Taurus values. In the face of Death, the loss of a house is unimportant. In the face of those who lost their homes, the loss of possessions, power and electricity was unimportant. The echo thru all social media was r u OK, r u OK, r u OK? Pettiness and ego are burned away when we consider death and devastation. In New York again, just as after 9/11, there was that kind and loving unity. This is Scorpio at its finest. The angel of death sings a song of heartbreaking ego-shattering unity and we come to truly feel and know that we are one. We are One. We are One.

As word began to trickle in about Jersey, Staten Island and The Rockaways those areas have been flooded with volunteers bringing help and support. Scorpio rules all shared resources. In New York we are passing that test and will hopefully sustain our commitment to our neighbors in the Rockaways, Breezy Point Staten Island and New Jersey. In a world where the waters are rising we will sink or swim by our ability to share.

The other crucial message of the storm is how amazingly precious water is. To live without clean running water for even one day is a trial. Longer and health and hygiene become threatened. This is a looming issue for our globe that mature adults must face. Required viewing for the Saturn in Scorpio foreseeable future is a film produced by Dave Mathews Called “Last Stop at The Oasis”

Scorpio rules power, death, deep water, the underworld and underground, oil and natural gas, precious metals and gem stones, shamanism, all shared wealth including the stock market and taxation system, psychotherapy, sexuality and intimacy, energy and energy fields, the invisible world, alchemy and most importantly transformation.

This month take advantage of powerful Scorpio energy by engaging in any deep transformational practice. We are all being asked to seek enlightenment and wakefulness like never before. This month share your resources. Help someone who has lost everything. Educate yourself about how other cultures especially tribal cultures shared resources. Contemplate death and let it inform your values and choices. Commit to living fully, like you are dying, which we all are after all. Transform your environment. Ruthlessly Feng Shui by giving away possessions others may need. Risk real intimacy. Reveal your authentic self, first to yourself then to someone else. Learn about chi. Tai chi or chi gong. Send prayers and blessings to those affected by the storm. Send clothes and money. Send Love. Send Love. Send Love.

To those who lost loved ones in the storm our hearts are with you. We send you love. We send you peace. We send You prayers. We send you strength. To those who lost their homes in the storm, we send you love. We send support. We are and will continue to send help. To those who have been affected we are with you. You are not alone. To those who helped me, my father and all others our deep gratitude to you. Thank you. Thank You. May All Blessings find You. Amen

The Sun entered Scorpio on October 22nd and will remain there till November 21st when it enters Sagittarius. Saturn, the planet of serious consequences and responsibility, moved into Scorpio on October 5th where it will remain for the next two years, making our most serious duty, personal and collective transformation.

Mercury in Sagittarius went retrograde on November 6th, election day here in the U.S., handily delivering a sizable re-election to President Obama. It continues its retrograde journey entering Scorpio on the 14th. The General Petreaus scandal (the head of the U.S. CIA resigning over an affair) is very Mercury retrograde in Scorpio, complete with espionage, power brokers, sexual indiscretions and power players with communication leaks. Mercury retrograde also signals a time of recovery for victims of the storm, as well as ongoing fiscal recovery from the 2008 crash. Mercury goes direct on November 26th at 18 degrees Scorpio. Mercury in Scorpio assists us in transformation, and fiscal sharing as well as helping us support disaster relief.

Venus, the planet of beauty and love, begins the month in Libra, helping us to be diplomatic, compromising and conciliatory. This is the right approach after an election, regardless of which side wins. On the 22nd Venus moves into Scorpio and we are asked to express love be sharing deeply who we are and what we have with others.

Mars, the planet of war, desire and energy, begins the month in generous, jovial Sagittarius. This is the sign of gratitude and buoys our spirits after the Storm. The refrain I keep hearing is how grateful we are. How much worse it could have been. This aspect helps us give of ourselves. On November 16th Mars enters executive Capricorn and it’s time to get to work and focus on business and long term goals.

Jupiter in Gemini continues to enlarge our minds, all month and beyond. This aspect helps us think bigger and more faithfully and expansively and optimistically than ever before. Uranus in Aries empowers us all to evolve and be free of whatever is oppressing us.

Neptune floods us both with water and compassion ever reminding us of our spiritual unity. Pluto in Capricorn changes the world one enlightened executive at a time.

ARIES: The Sun and Saturn are shining in your house of sex, death, intimacy, transformation and shared resources ushering in a 2 year period where your holy work depends upon deep excavations of your soul, healing your capacity for intimacy and putting together deals that are mutually lucrative and beneficial for all. Venus in your house of partnerships in the beginning of the month gives you loving fair interactions with partners. Uranus in the first continues to send the lightning bolt of liberation, intuition and invention to all that you do. For you the revolution is one with liberty, prosperity and intimacy. This month, do some deep inner work and you can easily clear away psychic and other debris that has been cluttering up your life. Mercury in your writing house retrograde makes this a good time for rewrites.

TAURUS: The Sun and Saturn are shining in your house of partnerships ushering in a serious time of focus on your partnerships. Over the next two years you may get very serious and marry or formalize a business partnership. You may also end an existing relationship. Respect will be the deciding factor. Relationships in which there is flagrant disrespect and boundary violations will not easily weather this transit. Relationships that deepen in their capacity to share honestly have some hard work ahead but could thrive. Jupiter in your house of money makes this a great time to be generous in both giving and receiving. Mars and Mercury are in your house of therapy and shamanism helping you transform so you can deeply connect in a whole new way.

GEMINI: Jupiter in your house of identity makes this an incredible time for you. Never have you felt so buoyant, expansive and free. You are in the process of transforming your relationship to abundance and deepening your faith. The next two years put the focus squarely on work. The nature of your work is transforming and will also transform you. Think of yourself as an energy alchemist. You could become very well known for what you do over the next two years. Saturn asks that you be disciplined and devoted and study all methods of clearing energy and creating health in your workplace. The serious focus has shifted from romance to work, but somehow this holds the key to your success.

CANCER: The Sun is shining in your fifth house where it has joined Saturn, the planet of hard work and responsibility which will be camping out here for the next two years. The fifth house is the house of art, self-expression, one’s actual children and one’s inner children. What this means is that this month ushers in a two year period when the serious focus must be on your creativity and your inner child. You may also have increased responsibilities with your actual children but this must include setting firm boundaries and learning to say no and mean it. For help with this I highly recommend watching Caesar Milan, The Dog Whisperer. While not all of his techniques translate, learning to maintain calm assertive energy is never a bad idea. Your healing and transformation depend upon you resurrecting your inner artist and nurturing your inner child.

LEO: The Sun is shining in your house of home family and ancestry this month along with Saturn the planet of the father and responsibility which will remain in this house for the next two years. This month ushers in a time of increased responsibility to your home and family. It is also a time when you can do some deep and transformational work around family of origin issues. For the next two years see that you get your house in order on all levels. Jupiter in your house of friendship sector brings faith, expansion and protection through your friends. This month Mars and Mercury in your house of art give you lots of creative energy. Use some of it to create beauty in your home. Anything that nurtures your nesting instinct is especially healing these days.

VIRGO: The Sun and Saturn are shining in your communication sector this month. In fact Saturn, the planet of discipline and responsibility, has moved into your communication sector for the next two years making that the serious area of focus for the foreseeable future. What this means is it is time to focus on the nuts and bolts of how you communicate. If your work is in the communication sector, it is time to put your nose to the grindstone. If not it is time to learn a new way of writing, speaking or communicating. The deep transformation is in how you think and what you say. I highly recommend Marshal Rosenberg’s nonviolent communication as a course of study. Any formal mystical or therapeutic practice aimed at transforming your thinking is a great idea at this time. Mercury and Mars give you lots of energy to devote to home and nesting. Neptune in your partnership sector sends you visions of ideal relationships.

LIBRA: Well Libra, Saturn is finally out of your sector where it has spent the last two years teaching you to take your authority, develop self-respect and forcing you to work harder and be more disciplined than ever before. If you did the hard Saturn work, you have put in a foundation and positioned yourself to succeed. As of October 5th Saturn entered Scorpio and your fiscal house where it is now asking you to deploy all of your disciplined energy toward making money. You are also asked to do any deep transformational work around feelings of worthiness and shifting values. This also ushers in a time when you could benefit by merging with backers and attract financiers who want to support you and the new self-respect you exude.

SCORPIO: Happy Birthday Scorpio!! This is a big year for you. Saturn is now in your sign as of October 5th beginning a two year period of hard work and testing. The pressure is on for you to define yourself, be disciplined and do the hard work that will lead to the fulfillment of your goals. You are known for ruthlessness and power. Now is the time to deploy all of that in the service of personal transformation and transcendental goals. Never have we needed therapists, shamans and alchemists more than we do at this moment. Build a metaphoric funeral pyre and for the next two years throw on it all that no longer serves your highest, most loving goals. Begin with selfishness, resentment and self-pity. Then help transform the lives of all you so deeply connect with. Have the courage to rise from the ashes? The transcendental phoenix, Jupiter, in your underworld sector makes this a time when transformation is easier than usual for you.

SAGITTARIUS: The Sun and Saturn are in your transcendental spiritual sector this month, where Saturn will remain for the next two years. This ushers in a time when you must put spiritual discipline and spiritual practices first. This will support everything else in your outer world. Think of it as building an ethereal and invisible foundation that will support every other endeavor in your life. This is also a great time to do therapeutic work specifically in order to deepen your capacity for intimacy. At the same time, Jupiter is in your partnership sector which could mean formalizing expansive new partnerships. Keep your eyes open for abundant business partners who you could work with for mutual benefit. Mars and Mercury are in your sign this month giving you lots of jovial energy. Mercury retrograde will have you deeply reflecting on issues of intimacy and sharing this month.

CAPRICORN: This month the Sun is shining in your house of friends and your social network along with Saturn your ruling planet. For the next two years Saturn will be in Scorpio and Pluto, one of the rulers of Scorpio, will be in your sign. Pluto will be in your sign for a decade in fact wreaking transformational havoc on the outdated infrastructure and outmoded vestiges of imperialism that the world is fast outgrowing. But for the next two years you and your Scorpio friends will be the most powerful transformation tag team of the zodiac. What this means on a personal level is that your personal transformation depends on your friendship network and vice versa. Ask yourself who of your friends can help fulfill your long-term goals and who can you help to either empower or succeed. This month Jupiter in Gemini in your house of work offers major expansion through your communication sector.

AQUARIUS: The Sun is shining in your house of career this month, along with Saturn the most natural ruler of that career sector. You are ready to wield power like never before. It is time to be disciplined and learn the art of saying no. Now is the time to be the executive of your career and life. The next two years powerful friends and allies can help you achieve your transformational goals. You are about to have more professional responsibility than ever before. Your boundaries need to be incredibly clear. Know where you are willing to compromise and where you will not. When the pressures and duties of work get to be too much, spend time with children and enjoying the arts and literature. This will help expand your mind and all you bring to work.

PISCES: The Sun is shining in your house of philosophy, sports, publishing and promoting this month along with Saturn, which just moved into this house for the next two years, making this the place where the disciplined focus needs to be in your life for this period. If you are an athlete or teacher it is time to ramp up your game or coaching. If you are a writer or promoter it is time to be disciplined in these areas. Saturn in Scorpio in your house of philosophy is teaching you the meaning of life by giving you on-the-edge experiences that show you how precious life is. You may have something to teach or write about this. You also may have something to offer these days in the art of demolition and transformation. Mars is in your career sector this month giving you plenty of energy to deploy in your career. Mercury retrograde in the same house may bring a career opportunity from the past back to you.