By Camille Liptak, Staff Writer

Retrograde alert! October starts off with a reverse transit for Venus in Scorpio, triggering a collective groan from every sign. Love, money, and art rule Venus. And those are just the things that retro Venus will rattle and reverse. The beginning of Fall will be bumpy for fire signs. Likewise, air signs get swathed in a mental smog hindering their creativity. Though earth and water signs are used to the upsetting realities of life, they aren’t immune to Venus’s backwards influence, and indeed grow more prickly. Look, nobody said retrogrades were easy. But they don’t have to be torturous.  A new moon in Libra and Mercury in Scorpio lessen the sting of the retro, and help all signs see things more clearly. Heed Cosmic Cannibal’s counsel and you shall smoothly navigate the first two weeks before Halloween.


Retrograde Venus in Scorpio hurls the love and values planet back towards your partnership area, and you’d do well to curtail your cutting remarks during disagreements (because they will happen, you and I both know that, especially when fundamental issues between you and your partner resurface). But wait, there’s hope! The Libra new moon on the 8th will bring some balance back into your partnerships, smoothing out your creative endeavors, and deepening major commitments you are in the midst of making. By the 9th, you’ll be in the Halloween headspace, as Mercury joins Jupiter in the 8th house part of your chart. Don’t be surprised if you’re suddenly all Morticia Addams about this season, dreaming about the paranormal and loathing pastels. Ooh…look at you, Aries, getting all gothic before everybody else. No surprise there, you love leading the charge.


October is likely to move along without a hitch. Unless, of course, you count your planetary ruler, Venus turning retrograde in your opposite sign, Scorpio, and Mercury joining its ranks, the combination of which making your love life and communications shiftier. Other than that…Pay special attention to how you talk to others. Scorpio is a furtive sign, one that encourages you to keep quiet about your deeper thoughts and feelings. It is also the sign of taboo. You might find yourself getting extra shady, if not downright dark, especially after the 9th. Watch out for the promises you make and take. Messages from comrades will be muddled with suspicion. Don’t fret, though. The new moon in Libra brings balance to your daily routine, which in turn, has you looking at how you can balance all aspects of your life.


The retrograde Venus in Scorpio affects your day-to-day routine; that power surge of creativity you’ve been feeling these past few weeks is see-sawing now, and your artistic endeavors suffer. Keep your chin up, Gem, stay the course, and scrutinize what’s causing the glitch. Retrograde Venus lasts until Nov. 16, when it shifts back into Libra and your creative house. Speaking of Libra, the new moon brings a swell of creative inspiration and/or romantic inclinations, which brighten your mood considerably. Mercury is Scorpio is a blessing in disguise. It links with Venus, deepening your intuitive powers and sharpening your perceptions. Your usual mutable mentality switches into second gear, and you can finally slow down and focus. Research is much easier, and you can see the crux of every matter. Take advantage of this transit before Mercury goes retro Nov. 16th.


Retrograde Venus destabilizes your romantic and financial affairs. The grip of your inner penny pincher should tighten, not loosen, Cancer. Don’t slack off just because one planet is retrograde. It’s not an excuse to start spending all your financial aid on creature comforts. Likewise, rein in your possessiveness. Venus and Mercury in Scorpio heighten feelings of jealousy, and may have you clawing after loved ones. One the plus side, Mercury brings a level of taciturn shrewdness back to your mentality, which you should find comforting because you love keeping secrets. The Libra new moon in your 4th house brings near-perfect circumstances to your personal environment and may bring with it prospects regarding your home. You should enjoy the heightened intuition of this month. (Though one never knows with you. Or Gemini for that matter. You two are just so moody.)


The Venus retrograde on the 5th may feel like a sucker punch to your love and home life, as it circles back through your 4th house of family and foundations. All that’s on your mind is what’s in your heart, when Mercury joins Venus in Scorpio on the 9th. During this retro period (which lasts until Nov. 16), the close relationships that establish your sense of security are gnawing at you, and you are feeling it, Leo. Best to keep your thoughts to yourself and find a creative release for your emotions. Research, write, and repeat. The new moon in Libra should lighten your mood, and give you the chance to express yourself more positively alongside your siblings, neighbors and friends, which is a welcomed lunation, and gives your deep thinking side a rest). New opportunities are coming your way…


Retrograde havoc reaps opportunities for you, Virgo. Scrutiny, honesty, and realism are the skills you need to employ during the Venus retrograde, which shouldn’t be the least bit difficult, because you were born scrutinizing life with honest realism. Still, the rules for any retrograde (and I know you love yourself some rules) are: revise, reevaluate, but don’t react. And certainly don’t repress. You’re prone to keep things to yourself until they build and build and eventually implode; the Scorpio Venus and Mercury intensify these instincts. But you’re shrewd enough to know when you’re bottling up your feelings, aren’t you? October is a month for unfettering those deep-rooted hurts. Just don’t let them overwhelm you, or you’ll be complaining and dissecting more than usual. The Libra new moon brings new opportunities for using your criticism creatively, which rakes in some cash.


Happy Season, Libra! The Sun is transiting your sign, and its effects are positively prolific. You’re thinking clearly, flirting more cleverly, and charming everyone you meet. You haven’t felt this good since May. Those feelings fade however, starting Oct. 5th. Since Venus is your ruling planet, you’re particularly sensitive to its transits, and this retrograde is no exception. Relationships are always on your mind, but the Scorpio influence is calling you to scrutinize those partnerships of yours more deeply and from a less objective point of view. Mercury joins this party and pushes you to get to the essential truth of your personal situation. A new moon in your sign is your chance to set the tone for next 12 months. What do you want to begin, experience, or achieve? Brainstorm possible projects or prospects and hone your attention on getting them!


One word to describe the retrograde Venus in your sign: inconvenience. Everyday things that typically run smoothly will be on the fritz during this transit. Haircuts will be bad. Relationships will get rocky. And your overall sense of tranquility gets rattled a bit. What’s important this month, Scorpio, is that you don’t let the inconveniences get under your skin. You of all signs should know that you’re in control. New moon in Libra on the 8th brings creative and relationship opportunities, and these same opportunities are preparing you for the Nov. new moon in Scorpio (which happens only once a year!). Think about how you can better use your transformative energy and incisive, searching mind. When Mercury and Venus join forces on Oct. 9th, you’re in your element, thinking mostly of zombies, ghost seances, and paranormal activities. You know, Scorpio stuff.


Vigilance and insight are needed this month, Sagg. The retrograde Venus gives you an opportunity to examine your close relationships and determine their worth. Remember: a conclusion is where you grew tired of thinking. So ask yourself, is it really over or am I just bored of this situation? Don’t make too many major decisions while Venus is spinning backwards, though. Mercury in Scorpio on the 9th demands even more navel-gazing. Those pesky questions about the deeper issues of your life just won’t leave you alone, will they? Still, it’s prime time for finding inspiration. Use these first two weeks of October to get into the spooky spirit of the season. On the 8th, the Libra new moon will help you get together with a group and do some brainstorming with some like-minded individuals, which introduces you to someone special.


The Venus retro in Scorpio will slow creative and financial endeavors, and cause tension between you and your network of acquaintances (especially the women). But you’re so unshakeable, Capricorn, that you’ll take these bumps in stride. On the 8th, you’re all work with that Libra new moon lighting up your career house, so take advantage of it before it happens and set your mind to what you want. New moons shepherd in new opportunities, but only if you’re open to them. You’re still a tad tetchy this month. By the 9th, irritation caused by the retro-V will seek expression, and prograde Mercury encourages you to communicate your feelings. DON’T. Petty problems only escalate during retrogrades. Backwards Venus vibes and Scorpio influence are egging your edginess on, but you shouldn’t let them. Instead, try to lighten up and enjoy yourself, please.


If you read the ‘scopes above (which I know you did, because you’re that eager to know about everything), then you know that there’s a retrograde Venus on Oct. 5th, and that it will affect your love life and money matters (yippie!). But this particular retro-V impacts you internally as well as professionally, Aquarius. Important projects will be delayed, and a blanket of Scorpio-influenced smoke will seem like it’s blocking you from your creativity; it isn’t, it’s just asking you to dive deep and look past what’s lurking above. Good news! The person (or people) you meet on the 8th during the Libra new moon will clear out some of that Venus-in-Scorpio brain fog, because its likely to be at an event launch or something artsy. Come Oct. 9th, Mercury joins the retro Venus and you’re incentivized to succeed.


By the time you scrolled down here, you’ve most likely already read all the planetary happenings, so I’ll spare you the rehash. When Mercury joins Venus, your inherent ability to read others’ intentions is sharper than usual. Use it Pisces! But you may need to get away from those loved ones in order to understand them better, and the Libra new moon helps with this. Yes, the retro-V is going to bring some relationship squabbles your way. And yes, Fall season seems more somber to you, because its chillier, all the leaves are brown, and the sky is gray. Just take it one step at a time, and use your noodle. Think before you feel, and don’t feel like the universe has plotted against you, because it hasn’t; the temps and trees change because of Earth’s obliquity, not because you’re a Pisces.