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AstroUpdate – October 2010

By Stella Woods, 01-10-2010

Hi and welcome to the Stella Starwoman October AstroUpdate!

This month you can read all about the rise of the dark feminine, and what that means for your love life, as we plunge into the Venus retrograde cycle…. but if that all sounds a bit much, you might prefer to balance your own yin and yang energies at an exciting new workshop I’m co-hosting with Linda Marson in Northern NSW in November. The other good news is the upcoming launch of my website shopping cart…. only a few more sleeps to go, but I’ll let you know when we’re open for business.

‘In Your Element’- Three Day Workshop 26 h th -28 h th November – Pottsville Beach, Northern NSW

Restore harmony and balance to your life and get set for 2011 at this three day interactive and fun workshop in the idyllic setting of Pottsville Beach on the NSW Tweed Coast, just south of the Queensland Border.


  • Feast on delicious home-cooked food
  • Relax on the beautiful pristine beach
  • Enjoy the company of like-minded others
  • Leave feeling relaxed, energised and ready for anything


Former Tarot Guild President, Linda Marson and I have teamed up to take you on a three day journey designed to balance mind, body, spirit and heart working with the four astrological elements fire, earth, air and water. We’re pooling our skills to offer a whole program of activities including lunar planning, meditation, music, healing, tarot, astrology, Ayurvedic nutrition, rituals, vision boards and dream analysis.

And as Linda and I are both Sagittarians (which some might think is too much of a good thing), you can be sure we’ll be spending plenty of time outdoors swimming in the ocean, doing morning tai chi and strolling barefoot along the beach. Linda’s also organised some optional post-workshop excursions to Mt Warning, the Minjunbal Aboriginal Cultural Centre, Crystal Castle and Byron Bay for those who’d enjoy a longer break.

So…if you feel like getting ‘in your element’ or have further questions, you can contact Linda on (02) 6676 1212 or email: Click here for the full program and registration form.

Book before 25 th October and SAVE $100 - Early bird price is $559 (including lunches and dinners). Bookings after 25 th October - $660

Venus Retrograde – Rise of the Dark Feminine

On the 8th October, Venus, planet of love and personal relationships turns retrograde and will travel backwards for six weeks, turning direct again on 19th November. This phenomenon only occurs every 18 months but its effects can be extremely challenging, particularly for those in dysfunctional or unhappy relationships.

For two months before she turns retrograde (8 th August to 8 th October) Venus can be seen in the evening sky setting after the Sun as the Evening Star. You may have noticed a bright, shining star in the western skies after sunset as Venus moves closer and closer to the Earth. Another reason for her blazing brightness is that she is completely enshrouded in layers of bright clouds, which make her reflect light from the Sun almost like a mirror. I was lucky enough to see Venus through Robert Jackson’s new telescope a couple of weeks ago – how beautiful she looked - almost too bright to contemplate. We noted with surprise that Venus was not round, but had phases just like the Moon! As the distance between Earth and Venus shrinks, the apparent diameter of Venus grows, meaning that a thin crescent Venus closer to the Earth looks bigger and, therefore, brighter than a small full Venus farther away from Earth. So the Venus retrograde phase resonates symbolically with the balsamic and dark moon phases, the pre- menstrual phase and the midwinter season.

Venus in mythology is a dual goddess with a light and a dark face. She embodies the paradox of the sacred and the profane; the divine and the temporal; life and death and love and war. As ruler of Libra and the Morning Star, Venus represents the refined, ideal, heavenly and socially acceptable idea of love and what we consider to be aesthetically pleasing or culturally desirable. As ruler of Taurus and the Evening Star, Venus represents the sexual, sensual, physical and selfish or instinctual side of love and desire.

Venus Retrograde Mythology

The Aztecs of Central America knew a great deal about Venus retrograde and attached great significance to her cycle. When Venus was the Evening Star and stationery retrograde (15 th -23 rd November in this year’s cycle), the Aztec myths told of how she visited the earth in the form of a man. The man met Xochiquetzal, the beautiful goddess of passionate sexual love who seduced him, making him break his vows of purity and from their union, a sky monster was born.

In his shame at allowing his baser instincts to take control, Venus descended to the underworld and was challenged to play a ritual ball game, peylota, also known as “the game of life.” He lost the game and was sacrificed by the Sun. As Venus died he became invisible, resting in the arms of the Sun for eight days but was eventually reborn as the Morning Star, in female form.

What Does Venus Retrograde Mean For Me?

Symbolically, the Venus retrograde period makes us re-evaluate our deepest values. As Venus moves towards conjunction with the Sun (8th – 29 th October in this cycle), we are challenged to let go of old ideas of purity and ‘right behaviour’. Seduced by our desires, we often feel ashamed and try to hide our actions and thoughts, creating ‘sky monsters’ in our minds. Going within (to the underworld or unconscious) a battle takes place between our values (Venus) and our essential self (the Sun). Like the man in the Aztec myth, we play the game of life. When our essential self defeats our outmoded values, we are forced to surrender and release them. We can then be reborn with new values and a more honest heart.

Venus retrograde can be a challenging time, particularly for those in unhappy relationships or living lives devoid of pleasure. Imagine a bright torch shining into the darkest corners of your heart – you can no longer hide your true desires or keep up appearances. When analysing a Venus retrograde transit, look back eight years to see when Venus was retrograde in the same area of your chart (mid Scorpio –late Libra). This area of life will be vulnerable again.

Here are some possible manifestations.

  • War on the senses, on attitudes to love and on old, redundant values and beliefs.
  • Hatred, infidelity and jealousy - the dark side of passionate and romantic love.
  • A cold hard look at relationships of all kinds, often leading to break ups but also to reconciliation.
  • An examination of what is needed to maintain personal integrity.
  • A time of failure, resignation or accident.
  • Conscious or unconscious retreat.
  • Instinctive understanding of events and interactions.
  • Life seems to be turned upside down.
  • Hidden needs emerge, creating emotional turmoil.
  • Contemplation of one’s own creative needs and need for love and nourishment.

The best way to prepare for the Venus retrograde cycle is to be honest about any shortcomings in your relationships, or any area of life where you are living a lie or stifling your creativity. Take action to sort out the problem rather than waiting for it to surface and take you by surprise. As Venus rules aesthetics, beauty, fashion and interior design, October and November are perfect months for a physical makeover or home decorating spree. And as Venus is also the planet of money, you may find your finances taking an unexpected downward turn as the dark goddess heads into the underworld.

Featured Sign-Libra

The Sun travels through air sign Libra from 23 rd September until 23rd October this year. Libra is the seventh sign of the zodiac with keywords “I balance” and “I seek my other half”. Those born under the sign of the Scales promote love and harmony and teach us about the importance of give and take. They adore relationships, are often cultured or artistic and are experts in charm, diplomacy and negotiation. Negatively, Librans can be superficial, indecisive, manipulative or dependent and because they hate unpleasantness or disagreement, they often avoid conflict and bury their heads in the sand. In medical astrology, Libra rules the kidneys, lumbar region and skin, so when Librans are out of balance they tend to suffer from lower back pain, kidney problems, urinary tract problems and skin diseases such as eczema. The Libra colours are ivory, pink, turquoise and blue. Libra’s greatest lesson is to learn to develop their ‘inner partner’ and become whole rather than seek an outer partner to feel complete.

No More 3RRR

I’m sad to say that after a wonderful seven-year stint, my astrology talkback segment on radio 3RRR is no longer. The program presenter of Wax Lyrical has decided to wind up my segment to focus on other issues.

I’ve let 3RRR know that I’d be delighted to do live-to-air in some other timeslot, but for now, no more free readings on Wednesday mornings. Thank you to those of you who have supported the program over the past seven years and to those of you who have phoned or written offering congratulations and commiserations. As we astrologers know, ‘seven years’ is a key timeframe – it’s one quarter of a Saturn cycle, one transit of Uranus through a zodiac sign and we’ve all heard of the seven-year itch! I’m hoping that as one door closes, another more exciting one will open – though being on 3RRR has been pretty exciting. Interestingly, I was invited onto the show when Uranus went into Pisces back in March 2003 and then asked to leave when Uranus went into Aries in the middle of this year. Don’t you love synchronicity!

Libra New Moon This month’s new moon is in air sign Libra on the 8 th . The ruling planet of Libra is Venus, and Venus and Mars meet up in the heavens in Scorpio just days before this New Moon. This is a passionate union which is highly sexual and emotional. This new moon is therefore inextricably linked with new beginnings in relationships, but also the need to identify and resolve any underlying tension in existing relationships. With Venus stationing retrograde on the day of the new moon, the energy is further intensified. The Sabian Symbol for the October new moon is ‘Circular Paths’. This image refers to the cycles of life and work and the important of a balanced existence. Only when we are attuned to the cosmic rhythms of the universe can we act from a place of inner peace, free from peer and group pressure.

Aries Full Moon The October full moon falls on the 23rd in late Aries and is the second Aries full moon in as many months. Last month’s preparations and efforts can now start to bear fruit. It is important to listen to feedback from others, be it positive or negative, but resist the pressure to act until there has been a chance to think things through. The Sabian Symbol for this full moon is ‘Duck Pond’ - the understanding of natural boundaries. The lesson here is to accept and be contented with the limitations of everyday life. It is all very well to indulge in flights of fancy and imagination, but we all live in a physical body on planet Earth and can only accomplish so much each day. Inner peace is the gift for those who understand this concept.

October Moon Calendar

Launch projects at the New Moon, bring them to completion in the period from just before the Full Moon to the Third Quarter phase and wind them down and reflect on developments in the week before the next New Moon. The period between the New Moon and the Full Moon is the waxing moon (moon getting bigger and fuller). The period between the Full Moon and the New Moon is the waning moon (moon getting smaller and thinner).

Many of you have written asking for info on the best time to cut your hair or wax/shave your legs. You can use this moon table to select the most favourable days to slow or increase hair regrowth. Full instructions can be found in my Lunar Hair Care guidelines at but to get you started I’ve marked the best dates for waxing/shaving to slow regrowth in yellow and the best dates to cut hair for thicker, lusher growth in green. If you’re serious about Lunar Hair Care - order your own Moon Calendar then you’ll know exactly what time the moon changes from one zodiac sign to the next.

Thanks for being part of AstroUpdate. If there’s something you’d like to see featured, or have something you think would interest others, please contact me at

PS – Don’t forget to check out your October Monthly Stars at to see what’s coming up for you this month.

Happy Stargazing Stella Woods