October 2022 Author Highlighted Ephemeris from Astro.com
Many challenging transits suggest a volatile US bear market downturn with oil and energy issues exacerbated. My advice: take care and beware this month.
October 1 – 5: Mercury (blush) stations to turn direct (“D”) at 24° Virgo 5:07 a.m. Eastern Time. Mercury usually travels fast, about 1° per day. This station at 24° Virgo starts September 30. For one whole week Mercury, the ruler of commerce, trade, and communications, crawls to a snail’s pace. Markets may appear derailed and confused. Mercury is also in a 1° orb in opposition to Neptune (periwinkle) in Pisces, ruler of fog, confusion, and delusion. Neptune rules gas and oil. Opposition aspects are challenging and climactic. Expect drama and heavy trading in the oil and energy markets now.
October 2 – 12: Saturn (gray) is in partile (same degree) square to Uranus (sky blue). It’s the last *close to exact* meeting of this waning square transit. Remember, Saturn-Uranus cycles in hard alignment indicate big market nosedives. Saturn is our structure and foundations while Uranus stirs rebellion. Saturn while in revolutionary and innovative Aquarius has also restricted the technology sector. Uranus in money sign Taurus has incited financial upsets, particularly with cryptos. The square is a stressful orientation. Significant challenges to technology and crypto sectors are probable. Taurus is ruled by Venus, the planet of money, currencies, and banks. Pressures in banking, mortgage and real estate sectors are a concern.
October 7: the Sun (bright yellow) is now within 30° of the South Node, as indicated by its opposite True North Node (green). This additional transit implies by now we’ve reached or are about to reach another market top per Anthony of Boston’s theories in “The Mars Hypothesis”, suggesting a double whammy for a continuing rolling bear market.
October 8: Pluto (mulberry) turns direct (“D”) at 5:56 p.m. Eastern Time. Pluto rules power and energy. We can feel a shift at this time relating to those sectors, especially mining. Trading and investing in these areas may see a marked increase. Just before Pluto turns direct, a growing Moon in Aries (light lime green) conjoins Jupiter (fuchsia) highlighting oil and gas.
October 9: the Full Moon (light lime green) is exact at 16° Aries at 4:55 p.m. Full Moons shine a spotlight on situations. Since the Moon *kisses* Jupiter (fuchsia) yesterday, and Jupiter rules expansion along with oil and gas, this is one clue prices may increase or we’ll see some issues cropping up in this sector. Note: Aries, ruled by Mars, can also relate to war.
October 11 – 15: Mars (rosé red) in Gemini squares Neptune (periwinkle) in Pisces. It’s the first of three times these two speak in exact square during the coming months, as Mars will turn retrograde (“R”) on October 30. The second square occurs next month on November 19. Recall that Mars rules personal actions, assertion and aggression. It’s also the planet that rules war, machinery, and military. Neptune oversees our dreams and ideals yet can also be illusive, delusional, foggy and add confusion. This square planetary pairing is known to enhance fears, deceit, and disappointment. It’s a time when Russia’s war against Ukraine and issues about oil, gas and energy futures notably in Europe can see increased tension and further distress the markets. Gemini and Pisces are mutable signs so they’re flexible yet highly changeable. I expect extreme market volatility during this transit and entire month. When we apply a 3° orb of influence, this challenging alignment lasts throughout October. I believe these five days will be some of the most intense for 2022.
October 19 – 24: the Sun (bright yellow) conjoins (aka *kisses*) Venus (pink) within a 0 – 1° orb as they reach exact conjunction on Saturday, October 22 at 5:17 p.m. Eastern Time. Note: options expire on Friday, October 21. The Sun lights up what it touches; in this case Venus, planet of money and relationships. Therefore, money, financials, banking and perhaps politics all surge to the forefront. The test with this transit comes from Pluto (mulberry) which makes a square configuration to both planets on October 19 – 20. Control, power, and conflicts about monetary or other policies are possible. Egos are involved as the Sun represents self, ego, and heads of government. Expect an intense buildup of election campaigning that will be center stage in the news media. Imbalance and stress that can roil US markets are stirred. All this is a more optimistic outlook than what Putin might do now. Btw, he was born with Sun in Libra.
October 23: Saturn (gray) turns direct (“D”) at 12:07 a.m. Eastern Time, followed by Venus (pink) and the Sun (bright yellow) entering Scorpio. Weighty fiscal concerns may intensify as Saturn slowly moves forward after being retrograde. As the Sun and Venus move into in Scorpio, issues of power, control and toxicity about money and figureheads strengthen. Since Scorpio is ruled by Pluto, trades in energy, metals and mining sectors may see a favorable bump.
October 25: Solar Eclipse 2° Scorpio New Moon at 6:49 a.m. Eastern Time. Solar Eclipses are considered huge portal openings to future possibilities. Scorpio ruled by Pluto suggests intense transformations continuing. Energy, power, metals and mining resources are still in focus. This eclipse reinforces the US Federal Reserve raising interest rates to “kill” the economy and markets. Mythic Pluto aka Lord of the Underworld is the celestial controller of riches and death.
October 28: Retrograde Jupiter (fuchsia) transits from zodiac sign Aries into Pisces at 1:10 a.m. Eastern Time. As Jupiter now joins Neptune (periwinkle) in Pisces, odds are good that oil and gas prices will rise. This is similar to April 2022 when they conjoined in Pisces. It’s a last hurrah of these two together in Pisces during our lifetime. Jupiter backtracks to 28° Pisces and then returns to Aries on December 20, 2022. A coinciding rise in oil and gas prices may end by January 2023.
October 29: Mercury (blush) enters Scorpio at 3:22 p.m. Eastern Time. Again, there’s an emphasis on commerce, trading and communications about all things involving Scorpio dynamisms. Take your inspiration and clues from events triggered on the October 25 Solar Eclipse at 2° Scorpio. While deep in Scorpio season, it will likely feel stinging for many.
October 30: Mars (rosé red) turns retrograde (“R”) at 25° Gemini. The planet of action and war remains within a 2-3° orb square to foggy Neptune (periwinkle) through all of November. Feelings of anger, frustration, tension and confusion aren’t good for encouraging sustainable growth or maintaining a joyful society.
© 2022 Trudy Carol
September 2022 Author Highlighted Ephemeris courtesy of Astro.com
Geocosmic alignments influence global stock markets, consumer sentiment, and world events. Always remember the good advice from TV show “Lost” how “people are the variable”.
Important note: exact planetary transits and aspects are stated for current Eastern Time zone. Allow 1-5 days before or after to notice their energetic impact. The further the planet from the Sun, the greater the orbit (a.k.a. orb) of influence.
Btw, let me know if you like my color coding of the monthly Ephemeris and if it helps you understand which planet is being referenced.
We start September with all outer main astrological planets traveling retrograde: Jupiter (lavender), Saturn (gray), Uranus (sky blue), Neptune (periwinkle), and Pluto (mulberry). That’s a lot of slowed down energy! Everything worldly seems under review rather than moving forward for the entire month.
Asteroid Chiron (orange) like the above outer planets is in retrograde motion. This suggests healing our wounds as unique individuals is also under scrutiny. Ponder this: how do we cure what ails us?
The True North Node (green) is now halfway through zodiac sign Taurus. Taurus is ruled by Venus, which rules money. Maybe money issues for the collective and stock markets are halfway over? I’m not really buying that premise, rather just being a sarcastic New York born optimistic Pisces.
There aren’t many outer planetary alignments this month. Most of the action is between inner to outer planets. Inner planets Sun (yellow), Moon (lime), Mercury (blush), Venus (pink) and Mars (red) make multiple contacts with the “big boys” and each other to refine picky details we’re reassessing during this retrograde season.
Important for the next seven months is that Mars will remain in Gemini until March 25, 2023 due to its cyclical retrograde which occurs every 26 months. The area where Mars in Gemini transits your own natal chart will be enhanced with super activity. If you don’t know where that is, feel free to contact me for a consultation.
Mars usually transits each sign for roughly six weeks. While in Gemini actions may seem jittery, jumpy, highly erratic or changeable. Gemini has a “mutable” quality. It’s an “Air” sign, ruled by Mercury. Bustle in commerce, trading, contracts, and communications are all heightened for an extraordinarily extended time. Plan and prepare for continued market volatility.
My sense and hope for financial markets in September are that they at least move sideways, but skyward would be better. Someone once told me “hope” is a four-letter word.
Inner planets like Mars or Mercury turning retrograde can symbolize a time of major course correction as the focus is on reviewing and revising what we’ve done up to this point. This prior post talks more about how to handle retrogrades: https://www.trudycarol.com/forecasts-blog/how-to-make-the-most-of-planetary-retrogrades-in-astrology.
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell spoke in serious tone while in Jackson Hole, Wyoming last week. Coinciding on that day, the Sun which represents men, leaders and figure heads was in challenging square to Mars which signifies actions and driving force energies. Also, money planet Venus was square to Uranus in money sign Taurus. Squares necessitate adjustments, and Powell essentially put the writing on the wall.
Perhaps also owing to the skies double stressed that day, the markets tumbled; the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) dropped 1008 points!
Following that brief speech, stock markets continue dropping as Powell announced Americans would soon experience “some pain to households and businesses” and “a sustained period of below trend growth” with “softer labor market conditions”.
This is all in the hopes of reducing inflation formed by too much money printing and low interest access to borrowing – policies the Fed themselves created. Astrologically I attribute this to power and control planet Pluto in an opportunistic sextile aspect to Neptune, the planet of deception, illusion and idealism.
Pluto in Capricorn has been sextile to Neptune in Pisces within a 10° orb of influence for quite some time, giving those in positions of power high-minded ideals that backfired to cause inflation. During the pandemic it really was a no-win situation. But this post is not about judging. It’s about analyzing how what happens above in our skies is reflected below on Earth.
Saturn in Aquarius and Uranus in Taurus have also been transiting closely during their last waning square instigating tensions between our rooted life structures and attempts at breaking free from whatever is holding us back. We can see Saturn has been restricting and limiting Aquarius themes of invention and technology this year by a declining NASDAQ index.
With Saturn in Aquarius, the zodiac sign ruled by planet Uranus, people also want to revolutionize existing structures. We’ve clearly seen an upsurge in workers seeking to unionize. This theme will continue for 20 years. Pluto dips into Aquarius during March 2023, and won’t reach the following sign of Pisces until March 2043.
As the Saturn-Uranus square is close to perfecting by partile (same) 18° degree in October, we’ll start to feel some of this tension more strongly around September 11 when these two planets face off a mere 1° apart. It’s as if all we’ve been struggling to achieve is rising to the surface and we’re trying to climb past a tall wall.
That’s it for the outer planets this month. Now let’s dig into more daily and inner planet transits.
September 1: Mars in Gemini sextile Jupiter in Aries
This may be the best transit of the month. Take advantage of this time with clever and thoughtful actions to expand your personal, professional and financial wealth opportunities.
September 2: Mercury in Libra opposition Jupiter in Aries
Communications and ideas about old or new partnerships are spotlighted in hopes of growing our individual selves in climactic fashion. It’s a good time to weigh vital situations and try to reach conclusions for future goals. We might hear important breaking news, and the markets should be lively this Friday.
September 5: Venus enters Virgo at 12:05 a.m.
Money and relationship matters become more grounded, settled and nuanced for details most of this month. We’re apt to be analytical to the point of being critical. When it comes to investing in September, remember the devil is in the details. Meme stocks and cryptos can disappoint due to this Virgo influence.
September 6 to 14: Mercury stations (a.k.a. stalls) at 8° Libra
Mental energies, communications, and commerce are magnified, particularly wherever this lands in your natal chart. We’ll likely see many mixed signals in the markets throughout this duration. Should we buy or sell? It’s hard to tell.
September 9: Mercury turns retrograde at 8° Libra
This retrograde happens on a Friday just before a Full Moon. Whatever trade trends are current in the stock markets may now suddenly reverse. When planets change directions or move into new zodiac signs, reversals often occur. There’s some positive encouragement here, albeit a brief reprieve.
September 10: Full Moon at 17° Pisces at 5:59 a.m.
We’ll now see something (or things) come to light, or a type of climax in our lives. This Full Moon brings beneficial aspects to outer planets Uranus, Neptune and Pluto.
September 11: Sun in Virgo trine Uranus in Taurus
This transit supports the prior two days, amplifying feelings of soul centered self-care and innovating new ways of upgrading our monies and relations with others. Practical dealings toward cryptocurrencies are also spotlighted.
September 16: Venus in Virgo squares Mars in Gemini PLUS Sun in Virgo opposition Neptune in Pisces
Traders and investors should watch out for this “Triple Witching Day” when multiple options expire. I expect a tumultuous day in the markets. These challenging planetary alignments will only increase the drama.
September 17: Mars in Gemini transits beyond 30° of True North Node in Taurus
This shows the end of a market low according to author Anthony of Boston in his book, “The Mars Hypothesis”. If his theories hold true, we may start to see some upward momentum which would be a nice change for investors. A lift in the markets may be brief or minor since Anthony’s thesis states the next top begins on October 7 when the Sun is within 30° of the True South Node. Better for day traders than long term investors.
September 18: Mercury in Libra opposition Jupiter in Aries PLUS Sun in Virgo trine Pluto in Capricorn
This Mercury-Jupiter opposition is the second of three identical aspects since Mercury is now retrograde and moving over old territory. Look back to September 2 for clues by noting what unfolded then. The Sun trine Pluto now boosts potential results for positive transformations.
September 20: Venus in Virgo trine Uranus in Taurus AND quincunx Saturn in Aquarius
Today the Federal Reserve holds the first of two new Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meetings. The Venus trine to Uranus is auspicious however the quincunx to Saturn suggests a blind spot where money is concerned. We still may not be getting a full story from the Fed, or numbers used to determine the real rate of inflation may prove inaccurate.
September 21: Jupiter in Aries semi-square Saturn in Aquarius
These two planets are now 45° apart since December 21, 2020 when they both conjoined in Aquarius. It’s not quite as stressful as a regular 90° square angle, yet there’s some underlying (note the word “lying”) tension brooding below the surface from this alignment. Sometimes this pairing can point to a market bottom, but based on October skies I’m not confident of that assumption. Markets can indeed tumble hard when the Fed announces rate hikes today.
September 22: Sun enters Libra at 9:04 p.m.
The need for greater harmony and a sense justice will be illuminated. Libra as indicated by its glyph of balancing scales likes to weigh decisions, similar to Pisces with two fish swimming in opposite directions. Since we had a Full Moon in Pisces on September 10, there’s a lot of uncertainty and confusion still in the air. Meditate and go with the flow for peaceful Pisces serenity and Libra balance.
September 23: Sun conjunct Mercury in Libra PLUS Mercury enters Virgo at 8:04 a.m.
This united pair reinforces soul and mind. For personal and mundane worldly matters, conversations geared toward relationship building are reinforced and beneficial. Government figures will likely be featured in the media having significant discussions. It’s all about fine tuning adding practical details as retrograde Mercury slides back into zodiac sign Virgo.
September 24: Venus in Virgo opposition Neptune in Pisces
Money and relationship planet Venus meets head on with foggy Neptune. This is a time to be extra careful about being deceived by others and cautious of any tendencies toward self-deception. This goes for investments and all kinds of partnerships whether personal or professional. Today can feel especially dreamy and illusive. It’s a great coupling for those making art or love as creativity and imagination are heightened.
September 26: Venus in Virgo trine Pluto in Capricorn PLUS Mercury conjunct Venus in Virgo PLUS Sun in Libra opposition Jupiter in Aries
Wow! This is going to be a powerful Monday! The Moon is touring through Libra too. These transits indicate many questions will be answered. We can move forward with better understanding after analyzing all the finer points that have been under review since Mercury turned retrograde. Markets will be rocking and rolling.
September 27: Mercury in Virgo trine Pluto in Capricorn
We can find clarity now and communicate in hands-on, methodical ways to transform the various structures in our lives. For example, this is a good day to ask for a raise at your job by demonstrating all you’ve brought to the company in order to earn that increase in income.
September 28: Mars in Gemini trine Saturn in Aquarius PLUS Jupiter in Aries semi-square Uranus in Taurus
This Mars-Saturn trine supports all verbal and written actions for positive progression in advancing your life structures. With mutable Gemini it’s best to adapt and be willing to make appropriate changes even if they seem uncomfortable. Transportation, machinery, defense and technology sectors are emphasized for investors. Jupiter-Uranus in semi-square suggests wealth expansion will be tested as we aim for lofty goals.
September 29: Venus enters Libra 3:49 a.m.
A charmed Venus ends the month on a positive note, as the planet of love, money and relationships moves into its second home of Libra (Taurus being the first). Venus rules Libra which again is focused on finding balance, harmony, and constantly weighing decisions. So many choices, so little time. My advice: try to set aside some sweetness with your loved ones in September and October. Love will be your saving grace this and next month when volatility intensifies.
Until then, wishing you a successful September…
© 2022 by Trudy Carol
August 2022 Author Highlighted Ephemeris courtesy of Astro.com
Geocosmic alignments influence global stock markets, consumer sentiments and world events. It’s valuable to remember the good advice from TV show “Lost” that people are always the variable.
This month feels electrifying with an extremely rare Mars-Uranus-North Node conjoining in zodiac sign Taurus as if on cue August 1st that’s sure to jolt and bolt us into action. (Check out the orange color highlights in the above Ephemeris picture.) We’ll be feeling this at a personal and collective level. The energy will reverberate for the first 10 days of August.
In financial astrology Taurus represents money, finance, banks, currencies, and crypto (combined with Uranus). We’ll likely be bullish, rattled and/or trying to shake off any negative corporate earnings news delivered recently, especially during the last week of July. Uranus is a break-out energy and Mars invigorates us to take action.
Whichever area 18° Taurus sits in your natal birth chart will also be lit up and energized for years to come. There are 12 houses (aka sectors) in the zodiac chart wheel. For me, Taurus will be in my 9th house of publishing, long distance travel, education and spirituality. I’m excitedly planning to write a book, teach, travel and of course, learn more.
If we don’t have some huge catastrophic world event (such as a sudden escalation of the Russia-Ukraine war), it’s quite possible stock markets will experience a few weeks of “skyward trends” momentum. The North Node typically travels backward and remains at 18° to 17° Taurus most of August, while Uranus is slowing down stationing at 18° Taurus to then turn retrograde on August 24. These 2 are transiting closely together for a sustained time.
That long North Node-Uranus conjunction is urging us to break out of ruts, doldrums, in favor of exhilarating innovation. It’s possible that when or after Uranus turns retrograde, we’ll see a reversal of the excitement and people (aka investors) might begin to have second thoughts about farfetched futuristic ideas.
Prepare for lots of electricity in the air, talk about electric cars, revitalized money discussions, and a renewed sense that our future direction must be revolutionized with advanced technology. Coincidentally, Congress just officially passed the new “Chips Act” which President Biden will surely sign to bolster USA semiconductor production.
Note to investors: CEO Patrick Gelsinger Intel Corporation ($INTC) has expressed during interviews he’s been waiting for this bill to pass so Intel can expand their new Ohio manufacturing facilities. We might rightly conclude semiconductor stocks will go “to the Moon” this month.
If only Congress would continue to work rather than enjoy an August recess, the US might accomplish much more during what’s sure to be a stirring summer month.
All the outer planets retrograde as August begins as highlighted in green on the above Ephemeris: Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune and Pluto. Astrologically this means it’s a great month for reviewing, revising, and redoing. When Uranus joins these others in retrograde, all the 5 planets as well as asteroid Chiron will be retracing their steps.
This is a perfect time to realign and revamp whatever needs to be strengthened, including your investment portfolio. Making choices won’t necessarily be easy or long lasting due to the current cosmic climate. See my previous post about retrograde here for more understanding about this outer planet “retrograde season”.
Voila! That’s the big picture for August. Some (but not all) additional finer points I marked on the Ephemeris:
August 2 – Venus at 18° Cancer sextiles Uranus and Mars.
Our minds are focused on financial security and partnership or relationship matters. This transit provides an opportunity for liberation, but not without some potentially explosive surprises or taking action. Often changes can be good, even if we don’t realize it at the time. Be willing to come out of your shell.
August 3 to 4 – Mercury enters Virgo.
Mentally we are now seeking out details, being more analytical, and can be critically constructive. Remember, the lighthearted, playful spirit of Leo hasn’t fully left us yet since the Sun is still in Leo. However, our minds will be concentrating more on practical matters rather than simply basking in the sun’s rays and having fun. This bodes well for reassessing your financial portfolio, daily work routines, or communicating specifics with others.
August 7 to 8 – Mars in Taurus squares Saturn in Aquarius (shaded in gray).
This suggests we’ll be needing a serious reality check, maybe even to curtail our actions a bit. Mars wants to move but Saturn says stop, not so fast. Our past, present, and future are momentarily met with restrictions, limitations, frustrations, and some may even feel depressed.
With this above alignment of Mars square Saturn, it’s possible the markets may cool off for a few days. Mars in hard aspect to Saturn can feel like you’re trying to push an immovable brick wall forward. It won’t budge. Heed the title lyrics of Kellee Patterson’s song, “If It Don’t Fit Don’t Force It”.
August 8 to 9 – Venus in Cancer opposition to Pluto in Capricorn.
Dynamic power struggles are a real threat here. During this brief transit we can feel emotionally insecure especially regarding money or love. Turning this energy into art, creativity or loving passion will manifest more positive outcomes. Companies selling home products, or real estate businesses and stocks may need juggling and rebalancing.
August 11 – Sun in Leo squares Uranus in Taurus; Venus enters Leo; Mars in Taurus sextiles Neptune in Pisces; Full Moon at 19° Aquarius opposition Sun in Leo.
It’s a huge day of multiple planetary alignments which I've shaded in peachy-pink. Here’s a tongue twister: say momentum 3 times fast (I’ll bet you can’t). Sun square Uranus suggests more cages are being rattled so doors open for freedom. Steer clear of excessive pride and ego maniacs if at all possible. Catching a few rays of sunshine may lighten the intensity.
August 17 to 18 – Venus in Leo trines Jupiter in Aries.
Supposedly one of the luckiest days of the year. (I’ll take that.) You might want to buy a few lottery tickets or visit a casino with this transit. Except for the Moon in Taurus squaring Saturn in Aquarius briefly on this Thursday, odds are in your favor for a joyful and positively expansive 2 days. The markets will be infused with a glowing Venus making love to a fiery Mars so they’re apt to take us higher as well.
August 20 – Mars enters Gemini.
Our actions may become duplicitous once Mars leaves stubborn money-minded Taurus for dualistic Gemini. It’s really good to look at which area of life Mars will now transit in both your natal and solar charts. More importantly, Mars remains in Gemini for an extended stay that cyclically occurs every 2 years – roughly every 26 months. Mars will retrograde while in Gemini starting October 30 and into 2023. As Gemini is a highly active mutable and changeable sign, stock market activity may now begin to show some divergence or reversals.
August 22 – Sun enters Virgo.
Joining Mercury influenced Mars in Gemini we now have the Sun connecting closer to Mercury, which is also ruled by Virgo. The Sun holds the key to wearing the crown. A lot of analytical thought and more fluctuating energy from Virgo suggests we’ll need fluidity as there are indeed likely changes afoot. It’s beneficial to remember: this is a mere 2 days before Uranus turns retrograde.
August 25 – Mercury enters Libra.
We may have a challenging time making up our minds with Mercury in this zodiac sign. Libra strives for balance, yet is constantly weighing the scales as thoughts float up, down or sideways. There may be sideways market movement as well during this interlude if investors aren’t sure of which direction to take or stocks to buy.
August 26 to 28 – Venus in Leo square Uranus in Taurus (and Sun in Virgo square Mars in Gemini), New Moon at 4° Virgo, Venus in Leo opposition Saturn in Aquarius.
The 90° angular fixed square alignments denote tensions could surround financials and technology companies along with decisive action that requires flexibility. Our emotions with a dark New Moon in Virgo can seem like a hyper-critical Debbie Downer. The Venus-Saturn opposition creates a dynamic T-square indicating serious money matters and structural reviews are in order. At this point renewed recession signals may start to flash a red light.
That’s kind of a somber way to end August, but fear not. On September 1st, Mars in variety-loving Gemini sextiles spacious Jupiter in bold Aries. Opportunities await when we remain flexible and courageous.
For those in the Northern Hemisphere, enjoy your hot August nights (shout out to Neil Diamond)! I've noticed this has been the hottest summer where I live in Pennsylvania since moving here in 2012. I think it's at least partly due to Jupiter now in first fire sign Aries, which always wants to be #1.
p.s. note: all exact planetary transits and aspects are stated in current Eastern Time zone. Allow 1-5 days before or after to notice their energetic impact. The further the planet, the greater the orbit (aka orb) of influence.
© 2022 by Trudy Carol