Happy Equinox! Here’s What Fall Will Be Like for Writers, Astrologically
Horoscopes and writing prompts to help creative types navigate the upcoming season
After a summer of retrogrades, things are picking up speed. Most notably, Mars, the planet of action, is direct, inspiring us to pick up creative projects and reestablish routines that may have fallen by the wayside. Jupiter, planet of expansion, and Saturn, planet of responsibility, are direct, too, bringing us extra boosts of luck and drive, respectively. The outer planets — Uranus (rebellion), Neptune (dreams), and Pluto (rebirth) — are still retrograde here at the start of autumn, but the feeling in the air is crisp and full of promise.
Venus has a short retrograde this season in Scorpio and then Libra, slowing us down and prompting us to look to past projects and loves for inspiration. Mercury, too, has its last retrograde of the year, from November 16 to December 6, encouraging us to review our communications — double checking newsletters and Tweetdecks, reading the fine print before signing contracts.
But the feeling is distinctly different from the heady, slow of summer. There’s a precision to fall 2018.
In part, this is because we have cleared summer’s eclipse season. We are now processing and integrating all that the eclipses of Cancer, Leo, and Aquarius brought us. The powerful, forward motion in the sky compels us to put into action everything we have downloaded. It asks us to do the work. It asks us to put our imagination into practice. Put the pen to paper. As Stephen King once said, “Writing equals ass in chair.”
This season also brings us a blessing. The big news of the season, in addition to Venus Retrograde, is Jupiter’s transition from Scorpio into Sagittarius on November 8. Jupiter changes signs about once a year, so this is noteworthy. However, Jupiter rules Sagittarius. Jupiter is the planet of expansion, and Sagittarius is the archer who loves freedom, who longs to roam. In Sagittarius, Jupiter is extraordinarily powerful and able to bring bounty to what it touches, whether it is a writing project, the revitalization of a home office, or a savings account dedicated to a new laptop or coworking space payment. Pay particular attention to where Jupiter is in your chart — particularly if you have any planets or angles (such as your rising/ascendant) here. Jupiter wants to bring luck — but you have to put in the work.
The powerful, forward motion in the sky compels us to put into action everything we have downloaded. It asks us to do the work. It asks us to put our imagination into practice.
Mars, the planet of action, is now direct in your house of social consciousness, friendships, and the internet, which increases your energy for networking and putting time into your online presence. On October 1st, Pluto, planet of transformation, also goes direct in your house of fame and public recognition. Since Saturn, planet of responsibility, is also now direct and hanging out in this house, you have an extra boost of energy to focus on long-range career planning that may have taken a backseat this summer. Together, Saturn and Pluto want to build and transform and bring a new sense of seriousness to your writing efforts.
On October 5th, Venus, planet of love and beauty, stations retrograde in your house of intimacy. Venus is in Scorpio, a sign that she’s not so comfortable in; in Scorpio, Venus takes a walk on the darker side of things. Now is a time to explore darker characters, funky museums, and unusual inspirations. On Samhain/Halloween, however, she retrogrades back into Libra, a sign where she enjoys the finer things. Feed your Venus muse with beautiful surroundings, good conversation, and harmonious balance.
Feeding Venus will help mitigate the turbulence brought by Uranus, the planet of revolution, turbulence, and change, which retrogrades back into your sign of Aries, and into your house of identity and self, on November 6th. It’ll be here until January 6th, wrapping up some lessons, scraping over the last degrees of Aries once more. Check your chart to see if you have planets or angles (like your ascendant) here in these last degrees, as you will especially feel Uranus winding up over this part of your chart once more, making extra sure you’ve got the lessons, if that’s the case.
The season ends with Jupiter, the planet of expansion, changing signs. Jupiter shifts signs about once a year or so, but this shift brings a boon for you. On November 8th, Jupiter is going into Sagittarius — and into your house of publishing, travel, philosophy, and long-term plans. Jupiter is where we find our luck, if we use it right. This is a time to pitch and publish. Mark your calendar for November 26th, when the Sun and Jupiter make their annual conjunction (a time when they sit right next to each other) — this could be a lucky day to pitch a piece you’ve been sitting on.
WRITING PROMPT: Make a list of creative projects you meant to work on this summer, and didn’t. This isn’t a time for guilt — this is a time to make a long-term plan for the next year, and to commit to it. Now, sort the list a few different ways: what project would take the longest to complete? What would take the shortest amount of time? What would require others’ input, versus what could you complete on your own? And what project are you most excited about?
Have you recently felt a boost of energy when it comes to your writing? After spending the entire summer retrograde, Mars, the planet of action, is direct in your house of career and public recognition, giving you a sense of direction. It will be here until November 15th, when it enters Pisces and your house of social consciousness, friendships, and the internet — use this fierce energy to your benefit.
You get a boon with a full moon in your sign on October 24th. Full moons in our signs are often energetic boosts, with full moons being a time of release and completion. Use this energy to bring an existing project to its realization, or to release things or people in your creative life that are no longer serving you. Since the moon is in Taurus, the body, senses, and themes of nourishment and growth may be involved.
Uranus, the planet of rebellion and change, shifted from Aries to Taurus earlier in the summer, so you may have been feeling some sense of dissonance around the self and identity. However, on November 6th, Uranus retrogrades back into Aries for one last cull of your house of rest and spirituality. Review your practices around self-care: what served you well this summer during eclipse season and retrogrades, and what made you feel more tired? You, especially, need time to care for and connect with your body. How are you listening to your body?
For the last year, Jupiter has been transiting your house of committed partnerships, bringing you a newfound sense of how you want to commit to people: how you want to invite people to partner with you, personally and professionally. The people in our lives affect our work, affect our schedules, affect our emotional states, can even affect what we write about. This transit, however, is coming to a close. On November 8th, Jupiter, planet of expansion, is taking a deep dive into your house of intimacy. Get ready for some deep emotional depths: thinking about inheritance in many forms, about connection with folks in many forms. About the impacts of committed partnership, in business, creativity, and in life.
WRITING PROMPT: What committed relationships — personal and professional — have most impacted your writing life over the last year? Make a list. Friends, family, lovers. Your therapist; your writing group. Choose one person, and write them a letter. A thank you letter, an angry letter. A “this is what I’ve learned from you” letter. (You don’t have to send it.)
With the planets finally going direct, your creative drive and curiosity is unstoppable. Mars, planet of action, is finishing a trip through your house of publishing, travel, and long-term plans. If you spent the summer revising and reviewing projects while Mars was retrograde, now is the time to put those plans into action, to lay track for the train that is coming. On November 16th, Mars goes into Pisces, which is your house of career, fame, and public recognition: those plans and projects are getting ready for the spotlight, but you’ve got to put in the work.
These big plans are supported by other transits in the sky. On October 1st, Pluto, planet of transformation, stations direct. Pluto is currently in Capricorn, a sign known for building empires. Pluto is currently in your house of intimacy, allowing you to do some deep emotional work for those big projects, laying a strong foundation for how you ground yourself.
Meanwhile, Jupiter, planet of expansion and luck, is going through your house of daily habits and work. Your routines may have undergone a shift over this last year — a change for the better and more healthy and productive. Reflect on the changes you’ve gone through as you anticipate the projects you’ll be further developing in 2019 and the habits you’ll need to really level up. On November 9th, Jupiter dives into your house of committed partnerships, inviting you to take a deep look at the personal and professional partnerships that inform and influence your daily life (and, perhaps, your creative work).
Also hanging out in your house of daily habits and work? Venus in Scorpio, which is retrograde and consequently asking you to consider what is serving you in your creative life. How do your daily habits and routines serve your creativity? Not everyone writes every day, but how do you take care of your life (and your body) in a way that supports your creativity? Now is a time to review your schedule, your diet, your fitness: the ways that you run that make your mind run. On October 31st, Venus retrogrades further back into Libra and your house of creative inspiration and imagination, which inspires you to reconsider how you find the magical in the everyday.
You have a full moon in your house of self and identity on November 23rd. Full moons are a time of release and completion, and this moon is a time to really pay attention to how you have grown as a person over this past year, to tune in holistically to your creativity, your physical body, your spirit, your mind.
WRITING PROMPT: Where do you spend most of your time? Write out what a typical workday looks like for you, or what a typical not-working day looks like for you. Now, write out how you would actually like to be spending your time: on working days and on off or weekend days. What does an ideal schedule look like? How can you feed and nurture yourself creatively, even in the everyday?
You may be breathing a bit easier after a summer of retrogrades and heavy eclipses, one of which was in your sign, in your house of self and identity, asking you to do some cleaning house. But more eclipses will be coming in 2019 in your houses of self and identity (Cancer), as well as of committed partnerships (Capricorn). You’re on the verge of major breakthroughs, and now is the time to get your house in order: to lay track for the train that is coming.
One of the big stories in the sky this autumn is Venus, planet of beauty and art and culture, which is retrograde until November 16th. Venus is in Scorpio, a sign that she isn’t always comfortable in — Venus wants to shine, and Scorpio is more comfortable in the shadows. However, she is blessing your house of creative expression and inspiration. Feed Venus in Scorpio with shadowy inspirations: offbeat museums, hole-in-the-wall restaurants, the dark and abject and hidden. Shore up your reserves here.
Venus retrogrades further back into Libra and your house of family and home on October 31st. If you haven’t been satisfied with the relationship between your physical workspace and your creativity, take this opportunity to revisit your workspace and redecorate. Bless it with beautiful touches.
Meanwhile, Jupiter, the planet of expansion and luck, is also transiting your house of creative expression and inspiration. Jupiter has been here for almost the last year, helping you get in touch with some of the deeper parts of yourself that you aren’t always comfortable with. As Jupiter gets ready to enter your house of daily habits and work, spending the rest of 2018 and 2019 transforming your routines and everyday work life, draw on this ability to dive deeply into the unknown that you aren’t always comfortable with. Especially as we ready for the eclipses that are coming.
WRITING PROMPT: The work you create can start to feel like home after a while, can start to feel like a security blanket. Same old project, same routine. But is the work you’re doing right now inspiring you, or do you feel a dull sense of obligation? Now is a time to take advantage of the direct energy in the sky and really sort through your motivations, Cancer. Journal about what inspires you, about the projects you would work on if you knew there would be no strings.
The eclipses this summer rocked your houses of self and identity, of committed partnerships: much of the story for you this year has been on how your relationship to yourself and to the important folks in your life informs your work. Whether this manifests in the content of the work itself or in the work/life balance, or in some other capacity, you are working through tensions between the personal and the professional. This fall, the story continues as the planets highlight your relationship between the self and the other, between your home and your career.
Mars, the planet of action, has spent the entire summer retrograde in your house of committed partnerships, asking you to review how you treat others you want to exist in relationship with — and also asking you how you expect to be treated. He is finally direct, barrelling forward, bringing people in and out of your life (personally and professionally). Creative folks don’t exist in isolation, and healthy relationships of all kinds are vital for an active and imaginative life. Long-term, committed creative partnerships may be highlighted for you this fall, whether that looks like a writing group, editor, agent, or other creative relationship.
Meanwhile, for the last year, Jupiter has been journeying through your house of family, home, and nesting. Jupiter is expansion: you may have been inspired to put down roots and invest in your community and/or family, whatever that looks like to you. Venus has also recently entered Scorpio and this particular house, bringing an extra bounty of love and beauty to this part of your life. Venus is retrograde, inviting you to consider your home office or workspace: what does the relationship between your creativity and your physical home (and the people in it) look like?
On November 8th, Jupiter jumps into Sagittarius, which for you is your house of creative energy and inspiration. Here, Jupiter is playful, energetic, flirtatious, and extraverted. Look for opportunities to go out with your creative friends and to spark inspiration by going out and being your big, beautiful, bold Leo self. On November 26th, Jupiter hooks up with the Sun for its once a year super-lucky conjunction — mark your calendar for a particularly high dose of inspiration.
WRITING PROMPT: What have you learned about yourself, creatively, through other people over the last few months? What kinds of creative people, events, and energy do you want to surround yourself with in the coming year?
Happy Birthday, Virgo! It’s autumn, which means it’s your season, and you’re ready to thrive. Jupiter, planet of expansion, has spent the past year in your house of communication and short-term plans, boosting your energy around a variety of creative projects. Venus, planet of love and beauty, also recently entered this house, offering you an extra burst of interest and inspiration. She will be retrograde most of the fall, offering you the chance to go back and tie up loose ends on any projects you (somehow) didn’t get to.
On November 8th, Jupiter will enter Sagittarius and your house of family, home, and nesting for the next year. If you feel a push-pull, don’t be surprised: Sagittarius is a sign that wants freedom, and for you, this is a feeling of wanting freedom — while at home and within the nest. Find time to carve space for yourself and your work, even if working from home. A home office, or even a well-ordered desk, could do the trick. Jupiter will bless your efforts.
Meanwhile, Mars, planet of action, is (finally) zooming direct through your house of daily routines and work. Most folks wouldn’t consider this sexy, but you’re not most folks, Virgo. Also, fall is upon us, and it’s cuffing season: time to rededicate yourself to your work, and Mars is giving you an extra sense of commitment to your work. On November 16th, Mars enters Pisces, which is your house of committed partnerships — personal and professional. Be on the lookout for folks who may bring long-term opportunities for creative partnership into your life.
Meanwhile, Pluto, planet of transformation and rebirth, is finally direct in Capricorn in your house of creative energy: your work ethic is on fire. Put it to good use and make that list of projects you’ve been meaning to get to. By the end of 2018, you’ll be sure to have accomplished it.
WRITING PROMPT: We aren’t sure if we believe that cleanliness is next to godliness, but certainly, a clean working space in the home helps to declutter the mind and invite Venus and her muses to play. This autumn, take the time to create (or redo) a space in your home that’s all your own, no matter how small. Write about it.
There’s a New Moon in your sign on October 8th, Libra. This is a good time to set intentions, start new projects, make a list of things to do this season. Start the autumn right.
Venus is in Scorpio in your house of value and material assets. Venus rules this particular house, which is also where you find your sense of self worth, where you lay foundation for how you build your life and the things in it. In Scorpio, Venus is asking you to consider the dark parts of yourself that might bring you shame, that you historically have swept under the rug. These next months bring you the opportunity to shine a lot on them, to clear out the dross that holds you back. When Venus retrogrades into Libra, back into your house of self and identity, this transforms into a chance for integration. What lessons have you learned over the last few months, with the summer of retrogrades and eclipse season?
Meanwhile, Jupiter, the planet of expansion, is also traipsing through your house of value and assets, transforming your relationship to your finances. On November 8th, Jupiter goes into Sagittarius, a sign that loves freedom and rules your house of communication, short-term plans, astrology, and writing. For those of you who are inclined to the occult, this next year may well bring a boon when it comes to writing about the occult. For others, Jupiter will bless your short-term creative projects. Jupiter craves travel and freedom, so especially consider opportunities — professional and personal — that feed this part of you creatively.
All of this energy is getting off to a start while Mars is (finally) direct in Aquarius, which is your house of creative inspiration. Mars was retrograde all summer, and while we all felt it, you may have felt especially melancholy, or in a rut, creatively. Now, the ideas are flowing once again.
WRITING PROMPT: Where is your favorite place to travel? Imagine yourself there, in a favorite spot. Picture it. Describe the people, the sights. The scents. The sounds.
For the last year, Jupiter, planet of expansion, has been rooting through your house of self and identity, shining a light on what makes you tick. Over the last year, you have been pushed to grow in new ways: some that were perhaps expected and longed for, others that were perhaps unexpected and uncomfortable. You’ve been noticed, too, and for Scorpio, a sign that prefers to operate behind the scenes, born when the days are getting shorter and the night is expanding, this has been a time.
But it’s not just that others see you in a new way, Scorpio. You see yourself in a new way, too. This has been a profound year of growth for you, of coming to a new sense of self-understanding.
Now, Jupiter prepares to enter Sagittarius and your house of value on November 8th. This house isn’t just about material worth, however: it’s about your sense of self worth, of valuing yourself. Now that you have spent this last year coming to a new sense of identity, how are you going to let Jupiter expand your sense of value, how you truly consider yourself worthy?
You get a boost this season from Venus in Scorpio, which will retrograde through your house of self and identity, asking you to consider how you show love and affection to yourself. How you allow yourself to feel beautiful. On October 31st — Samhain — she will retrograde into Libra, which for you is your house of spirituality, where she will ask you to look for harmony. To look for opportunities for rest.
Meanwhile, a New Moon in your sign of Scorpio on November 7th brings a special opportunity for new beginnings. Journal, set intentions, start new projects.
WRITING PROMPT: What is an aspect of your creative process that you have had the most difficulty accepting? Write about it. Then, write about it from a perspective where that difficulty is a part of you that you accept.
The summer of retrogrades is over, and the planets are once again moving direct. Pluto, the planet of transformation and rebirth, is now moving direct in your house of value. For the past few years, Pluto has been asking you to consider and reevaluate your relationship to materiality: to possessions and your belongings, but also to money, to what you value, and to how these things relate to your sense of self-value. What is your attitude toward the relationship between your writing and money, between inspiration and money, between your life goals and money? Between your sense of self and how you provide for yourself in this world? The business side of writing isn’t always sexy, but Pluto is rooting through this deep side of your unconscious, and if you are willing to put in the work, there is rebirth to be had here.
Meanwhile, Venus, the planet of love, beauty, and value, is in the deep waters of Scorpio, rooting through your house of spirituality and rest, asking you to do that deep, unconscious work around your relationship to value.
But, a boon: Jupiter, the planet of luck and expansion, is finishing up a transit through your house of spirituality and rest and will be moving into your house of self and identity on November 8th. From the ultimate behind the scenes to all eyes on you. This may have felt like a year of internal work or preparation, but Jupiter getting ready to go into your sign will be the ultimate blessing. A particularly lucky day is when the Sun and Jupiter make their annual conjunction (when they are right next to each other), bringing a bounty on November 26th.
Remember, though: a transit on its own isn’t necessarily lucky. It’s what you make of it. Plant intentions for this Jupiter transit on your very own New Moon in Sagittarius, which takes place on December 7th.
WRITING PROMPT: Make a list of ten ways you would like to grow — personally, professionally, or otherwise — over this next year. Bonus points for doing this on the New Moon in Sagittarius.
We are approaching your birthday season, Capricorn. We are also approaching a series of eclipses next year that will be in your sign as well as your opposite sign, Cancer. But before we get there, the planets are asking: are you ready for what’s coming? Are you doing your work?
Work is something that comes pretty naturally to you, in that it is something that often emotionally fulfills you. However, is your work purposeful, or is it just there? Is it driving towards a goal, or is it just busy, helping you bide the time until the next indeterminate thing?
Planets which were retrograde, asking you to review and revise, are now direct, asking you to take action, to build a plan, to make moves. Mars is moving through your house of value, asking you to bring order to your finances and material possessions this fall, but also to organize your sense of value. On November 13th, Mars goes into Pisces, which is your house of communication and short term plans. You’ll find it easy to brainstorm and daydream some big new projects and plans for the new year.
Jupiter, the planet of luck and expansion, has been moving through Scorpio and your house of social consciousness, friends, and the internet, bringing blessings to your Twitter, your newsletter, your writing groups. On November 8th, Jupiter moves into freedom-loving Sagittarius and your house of spirituality, intuition, and rest. You feed this quiet part of yourself with independence: with travel, with alone time. Be sure to make ample room for that over this next year.
We do have one last major retrograde of the year: Venus, planet of love and beauty, which is retrograde in Scorpio, in your house of social consciousness, friendship, and the internet. Double check those newsletters, tweets, and online interactions. On October 31st, Venus spirals back into Libra and your house of career and public recognition — again, make sure to double check contracts and be particularly conscientious when asking for a promotion or pitching an editor. Retrogrades aren’t a time to put your life on hold; they’re just a time to take care, review, and revise. (But you always do that, don’t you, Capricorn?)
Underneath it all is Pluto, the planet of transformation and rebirth, which is still in your house of self and identity — where it has been for years — asking you to consider who you are, what you want, what drives you.
WRITING PROMPT: Time for a pro/con list. Which creative habits served you well this summer during the retrogrades and eclipses, and which slowed you down? What have you outgrown? What goals are you hanging on to for old times’ sake, that haven’t kept up with where you are now? Time for some autumnal cleaning.
Congratulations, Aquarius: you survived the summer of retrogrades and a nearly two-year long series of eclipses that rocked and redefined your houses of self and identity and committed partnership. Take a minute to take it in, to give yourself time to process and cohere and absorb the lessons of this last major season of your life.
This fall, the planets are encouraging you to cohere your lessons in senses of self, as well as home and career. Mars, the planet of action, was retrograde all summer long, but it is now moving direct through your house of self and identity, asking you to examine what you want and how you’re going to get there. Meanwhile, Venus, the planet of love and beauty, and Jupiter, planet of expansion, are moving through your house of career and public recognition, highlighting the work you’ve been putting in over the past year. Uranus, the planet of rebellion and change, has been journeying through your house of family and nesting, asking you where you make your home and who you consider family.
On November 8th, Jupiter enters Sagittarius and your house of social consciousness, friendships, and the internet. For the last year, Jupiter has been blessing your career big time — odds are good you’ve taken leaps forward. Here, in Sagittarius, Jupiter continues the party. You’ve laid a strong foundation with a work ethic and a commitment to building a career. Now, it’s time to build the relationships that will feed that career for years to come. No matter how introverted or extraverted you are, no matter if you live in Iowa or New York or Alabama, this transit is about doing the social work of connection.
Networking is business, but that doesn’t mean it’s inauthentic. This is about building your website, building an online presence, connecting with likeminded folks on Twitter, going to events that suit your personality, signing up for AWP. If you’re established, this is about mentoring and giving a hand to those who are coming after you. This is about volunteering to help kids with writing at the local school. This is about meeting people and talking with people you wouldn’t normally talk with about the love of the written word. This is about the fact that writing does not happen in isolation, that interesting people do not live in ivory towers, that ideas are best generated in flow.
This next year is about your writing — and writing community.
WRITING PROMPT: So, building a writing community. Do you have one? Have you had one? What’s your relationship to the word “networking”? How does this make you feel?
For you, the big story this fall is the unconscious becoming conscious. The summer’s eclipses lit up your houses of daily routine and work, of spirituality and rest. What did you learn about active rest this summer, about learning to bring different parts of your self into harmony?
Mars, the planet of action, is here to continue the lesson. This fall, Mars completes a summer’s long journey through your house of spirituality and rest and the unconscious. Here, you’ve had the opportunity to experience awakenings around what you really want in life. Mars brings this lesson fully from the unconscious into the conscious on November 16th, when he goes into your sign of Pisces, and your house of self and identity. What do you want? Who are you becoming? And how are you going to get it?
Around the same time, Jupiter, planet of expansion, completes its transit through Scorpio in your house of publishing, travel, and wisdom. Over the last year, you’ve perhaps done some creative work that you put out into the world, or started preparing to put out. Certainly, you’ve spent the last year doing internal work: Jupiter in Scorpio in your house of wisdom asks you to go dig deep, to scrape the bottom, to be uncomfortable in life’s hardest lessons. But those lessons are about to turn to gold as Jupiter enters Sagittarius, where it is most at home, in your house of career and public recognition. This next year is a time to show up for yourself and your work. This is where you truly reap what you sow. Jupiter in this house can be a tremendously lucky transit — but you have to do the work.
Meanwhile, Pluto, the planet of transformation and rebirth, has gone direct in your house of social consciousness, friendships, and the internet, digging up the dross, sifting through the networks of your life that best serve you — and letting go of the ones that have outworn their utility. Pluto has spent several years in this part of your chart, and it will continue here for several more, transforming your personal and professional social lives. Creative work can be solitary, but Pluto in Capricorn — the sign of empire building — is here to teach you to build genuine, transformative connections that will be mutually beneficial for the long haul. You have a lot to give, Pisces. Don’t let others take advantage of your spirit. Hold onto your boundaries. Hold onto yourself.
WRITING PROMPT: Which of your projects is just on the cusp of becoming, Pisces? You know the one — the one that you’ve been sitting on, the one you aren’t quite confident about. It’s time. Grab a pen and start writing. But don’t just write the damn thing. Make a plan for how you’re going to finish (and sell) the damn thing. You’re worthy — and you’re ready.