Stargazer – astrology for Oct 2023
Image: Drahomir Hugo Posteby-Mach| UnsplashAstrology for Oct 2023: Pluto in Aquarius and the ‘Voice’, Referendum chart, NO and YES campaigns | Mars in Scorpio | October eclipses, and more!
by Stella Woods

"Scorpio is the sign of transformation and rebirth. This transit can prompt psychological exploration, compelling you to make significant changes. This could involve shedding old habits, relationships, or situations that no longer serve. A good time for personal growth and self-improvement." 
Pluto in Aquarius and the ‘Voice’All of us are diminished while Aboriginal peoples are denied their rightful place in this nation. –Gough Whitlam, Labor Electoral Campaign (1972)

Pluto is our solar system’s slowest moving planet, taking almost 250 years to circle the sun as he passes through the 12 signs of the zodiac. Pluto challenges the status quo, clears out dead wood, revolutionises, and rebuilds.

Because of the length of time he spends in each sign, Pluto is considered a generational planet, meaning his recent move into air sign Aquarius in March 2023 marked a major shift in world power dynamics and the birth of a new generation.

In the April Stargazer, I wrote about how Pluto in Aquarius will gradually change our society over the next 20 years. With the upcoming vote on Indigenous Representation in Australia’s Parliament this month, it is worth revisiting some Pluto in Aquarius themes.
Level playing fieldPluto in Aquarius will put the spotlight on inequality, injustice, and lack of freedom. It will help us understand the importance of being part of a larger and more diverse community.

In practice this means:
• Accepting people of all races, colours, beliefs, sexual preferences, and genders
• Standing up for social justice, diversity, liberty, equality, and human rights
• Legislating to empower and protect marginalised communities
• Embracing the concept of solidarity, community, and cooperative action

Pluto in Aquarius will make us question our current values, including forms of government, ways of doing business, company hierarchy, class, race, and educational privilege, bureaucratic processes, international treaties and alignments.

We will also become more aware of and compassionate towards those who are oppressed, be it refugees, those living under dictatorships, modern-day slaves, bonded labourers, or victims of human trafficking.
Indigenous Voice to Parliament BillWhenever our Indigenous citizens are left out or marginalised, or feel their identity is challenged, we are all diminished. It’s about appreciating that their long struggle for a fair place in the country is our struggle too. –John Howard Liberal Prime Minister (2007)

On 30th March 2023 (just one week after Pluto moved into Aquarius), the Australian government took its first formal step towards holding a referendum to recognise Indigenous Australians in the constitution and set up an Indigenous ‘Voice to Parliament’ to advise lawmakers on matters that impact their lives.

Introducing the bill in parliament, Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus said the referendum would be an opportunity to acknowledge history and help Australians come together ‘for a more reconciled future’. On 19th June 2023, the Senate passed the bill confirming the wording of the constitutional change.

On both 30th March and 19th June, the moon (representing the public mood) is in Cancer. Cancer is the sign of home, nurturing, family, tribe, and nation. From an astrological viewpoint, the bill was heart-driven and inclusive. And indeed, Dreyfus stated the constitutional amendment would rectify over 120 years of ‘explicit exclusion’.

Moon in Cancer also echoes the theme of the Uluru Statement from the Heart (Voice, Treaty & Truth), a 2017 invitation from a group of First Nations people to non-Indigenous Australians, calling for reform to help realise Indigenous rights and heal the divisions of the past.

However, despite this promising start, on 11th June 2023, a week before the bill was passed, Pluto moved back into Capricorn, where he will stay until January 2024 before re-entering Aquarius for the next 20 years.

It is thus under the more structured and traditional Capricorn energy (rather than the ground-breaking and humanitarian Aquarian energy) that the referendum will take place. Interestingly, public support for the ‘Yes’ vote has steadily waned since the bill was passed back in June.
Image: Florian Schmetz| UnsplashReferendum Day – 14th October 2023
Any amendment to the Australian constitution needs to have what is known as ‘a double majority’ – a majority of people across Australia voting ‘Yes’ – as well as a majority of states voting ‘Yes’. And this referendum is unique. No one has ever attempted to constitutionally recognise First Nations peoples, and their place and status in the state.

But with the rise of targeted news and misinformation online, the ability of Australians to make an informed and independent choice is in danger. We saw this with the 2016 UK Brexit vote, where misleading information and lack of regulation around referendum campaigning distorted preferences and steered the outcome. It is easy to plant doubt when the issues are complex.
The No campaign – Capricorn
The ‘Vote No’ campaign with its slogan ‘If you don’t know – Vote No’ presents the proposed amendment as risky, unknown, divisive, permanent, unwieldy, costly, and bureaucratic. ‘No’ campaigners, including some Indigenous leaders and politicians, insist there are better ways of moving forward.

Many Australians have little interest in constitutional reform and little knowledge of the struggles of First Nations people. The ‘Vote No’ campaign’ will appeal to those who either have no interest in the issue or who want to maintain the status quo.
The Yes campaign – Aquarius
The ‘Vote Yes’ campaign will appeal to those with a sense of social justice. ‘Vote Yes’ campaigners use terms such as recognition; agency; listening; value; representation; inclusiveness; responsibility; equality; healing; and togetherness.

The ‘Vote Yes’ campaign’ will appeal to those who want things to change for the better – and, of course, these include some Indigenous leaders and politicians too.
Referendum chartWe can examine the chart for when polls open to determine the energy on polling day.

The ascendant or rising sign is Scorpio, representing the way the referendum appears to the outside world and the nation itself. The Scorpio ascendant is ruled by Mars, with Mars in Scorpio in the 12th house of secrets, endings, and karmic affairs. There is much at stake here, but people are keeping their views to themselves. No-one really knows what the outcome will be.

The sun and moon are also both in the 12th house, in Libra, sign of fairness, justice, and equality. In mundane (political) astrology, the sun represents leaders and people in authority. The sun can also represent the force or will of the nation. The moon represents the people.

The referendum vote takes place on the day before the new moon, during the dark moon, when matters are unclear, hidden, and uncertain. The moon (people) is moving towards the sun (the will of the nation). But when the polls close, the sun and moon are still a few degrees apart.
Rhetoric or action?The moon’s south node represents old karmic issues. Mercury, as communication planet, represents media coverage, and debate about the ‘Voice’ that has been denied to Indigenous Australians for so long.

Mercury and the south node are both in the 12th house in Libra. Mercury sits exactly halfway between the sun and the moon. The media has an extremely important role to play in the run up to the referendum – people need to be aware of the issues involved in order to cast a meaningful vote.

Thus, we have four planets (moon, Mercury, sun, Mars) plus the karmic south node all in the house of endings, secrets, and hidden matters. Mars is the strongest of these four planets – the desire to fight for justice is very strong.

Chiron and the North Node in Aries (karmic quest for healing) oppose the 12th house planets, highlighting the need to move from rhetoric to action.

Finally, the 4th house of home and country has Aquarius on the cusp, ruled by both Uranus and Saturn, representing the desire for a new foundation and fairer structure.
Burning desire for justiceThe poll chart clearly demonstrates the issues of this referendum – redressing old imbalances (Libra) a burning desire for justice (Scorpio) and desire for a new foundation that will help heal the injustices of the past (Aquarius).

But those fighting for change are not in the strongest position. And there is a lot of secretive discussion, debate, and manoeuvring going on behind the scenes.

On 14th October, we have an opportunity to rise above Capricorn tradition to embrace Aquarian common ground. Other countries will be watching. After all, our First Nations families stretch back over 65,000 years – the oldest continuing cultures in the world. We have the chance to end our repeated failure to listen to the voices of Indigenous Australians and move forwards as a reconciled nation.
ConclusionMy prediction is that because the vote is taking place while Pluto is in traditional Capricorn, during the darkest phase of the moon, that the ‘Vote No’ campaign will triumph.

But this issue will not go away. The referendum will make people think. Those who have avoided this topic for their whole lives will no longer be able to ignore it. And one day, in the not-too-distant future, public opinion will swing towards inclusion and reconciliation.
Mars in Scorpio (13th October – 23rd November)The first half of October is dominated by pleasant, cooperative, and conciliatory Libran energy, but things start to shift mid-month when Mars, planet of action and desire, moves into Scorpio on the 13th.

Scorpio is a water sign known for intensity and passion, and as Mars is the ruling planet of Scorpio, this transit tends to be particularly transformative. Use the Mars in Scorpio energy to focus on your goals. Here are some key themes:
Passion and determination Mars in Scorpio is determined and persistent. You are likely to have a strong desire to overcome obstacles and challenges.

You may find yourself feeling more passionate about relationships, and desires, and keen to pursue what you want.
Sexuality and sensualityWhen Mars is in Scorpio, there is a heightened interest in matters of intimacy and desire. This can lead to intense and passionate experiences in sexual relationships.

Mars in Scorpio also encourages you to confront and explore your deepest emotions and desires and deal with emotional issues you may have been avoiding.
Personal growthScorpio is the sign of transformation and rebirth. This transit can prompt psychological exploration, compelling you to make significant changes. This could involve shedding old habits, relationships, or situations that no longer serve. A good time for personal growth and self-improvement.

You may become more interested in therapy, self-help, or spiritual practices that delve into the deeper aspects of your psyche.
Digging deepScorpio is known for its investigative nature, and Mars in Scorpio can make you more inclined to dig deep, both mentally and emotionally. A good time for research, uncovering hidden truths, solving mysteries, or pursuing esoteric or occult studies.Power struggles and shared resourcesThe intensity of Scorpio can sometimes lead to power struggles and conflicts. Be mindful of being overly controlling or manipulative, as this will create tension in your relationships.

Scorpio also rules shared resources and financial matters. Mars in Scorpio puts the focus on financial issues, such as investments, debts, and inheritances. Perhaps it’s time for a financial health check?
SummaryMars in Scorpio is a powerful and transformative transit that can bring both challenges and opportunities for growth. It's important to harness the intense energy in a constructive way, while being mindful of its potential for confrontation and power struggles.Image: Jake Hills| UnsplashOctober eclipsesEclipse season is just around the corner – here’s a heads up on preparing for these cosmic wild cards which bring change, evolution, endings, and new beginnings.
There are two solar eclipses each year and two or more lunar eclipses, occurring when the sun, moon, and earth align energetically.
New moon in Libra and solar eclipseOn 15th October we have a solar eclipse at the Libra new moon with both sun and moon in Libra. During a solar eclipse, lunar concerns (gut feelings, emotional patterns, subconscious mind, and habits) somehow interfere or block out our outwardly focused yang energy (the sun) bringing new and often sudden insight.

The sun and moon are both conjunct Mercury, bringing new information to light and helping us find common ground.
Full moon in Taurus and lunar eclipseOn 29th October we have a lunar eclipse, with the sun in Scorpio and full moon in Taurus eclipsed by the earth’s shadow and turning blood red.

This is an energetic full moon with Jupiter, Mercury, and Mars in the mix, pushing us to take a radical look at our own lives and commit to change.

With both solar and lunar eclipse, the key is to consider what we truly value, whether that be possessions, lifestyle, relationships, or activities. Have the courage to make sweeping changes, aligning yourself with people and activities that make your heart sing and leaving behind things that no longer serve.

The energy generated by these eclipses will bring change and growth, with any important themes arising during this period resonating for the next six months.
About the author:
Stella Woods is an astrology teacher, writer, and consultant. Contact Stella at or or

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