Some grudges never die. But with time and conscientious resolution, all are transmuted, as outdated patterns are laid to rest and new methods crop up from the dense Earth to nourish new versions of ourselves. The Sun entered bountiful, matriarchal Virgo yesterday, but the fields we tend and harvest here are still strewn with the debris of Monday’s Solar Eclipse, and the entire season of radical transition that has been upon us, particularly upon those of us in the continental United States. This current lunation cycle will be largely oriented around integration of Monday’s New Moon Solar Eclipse, and expansion on those themes.
So let’s revisit what all of this has meant. Indian mythology has it that Eclipses are borne of an ancient grudge between a primordial dragon, and the Sun and Moon.
As the tale goes, when Vishnu was creating the universe, he decided to make the planetary deities immortal. He began to churn the milky sea to extract a nectar of immortality to feed to the deities. Upon the nectar’s manifestation, a furtive demigod dragon, RahuKetu, snuck into the scene and began drinking this nectar when Vishnu’s attention was elsewhere. The luminaries Sun and Moon, however, spotted the dragon drinking the elixir, and they alerted Vishnu. Vishnu promptly put an end to this behavior by cutting the dragon in half, producing the lunar nodes of the moon, also known as the North Node (Rahu, head of the dragon) and the South Node (Ketu, tail of the dragon), where the Moon’s path around the Earth intersects the Sun’s ecliptic. Rahu and Ketu did penance to Vishnu to earn their place in the zodiac, but because the Sun and Moon tattled on the dragon at the beginning of time, to this day Rahu and Ketu eat up the Sun and Moon whenever they pass over the nodes in the sky, creating dramatic performances of the luminaries’ rhythmical death and rebirth.
The work we dive into during Eclipse Season, then, is healing this eerie ritual between the Sun, Moon, and Dragon, since it will play out until these planetary bodies cease to be.
So as we all know of grudges, they get old. It becomes constructive to understand that although the Dragon still goes through this same ritual with Sun and Moon all these billions of years later, it is possible that the Dragon no longer does this out of spite. The death and rebirth we are afforded during Eclipse season is, in fact, gracious.
We have yet to see how the “Great American” Solar Eclipse will impact the collective and particularly the United States during its extant crisis of leadership. One thing I do see in the astrology of this lunation cycle is that the energy is promising for radical shifts and unforeseen growth. This is no cause for unchecked optimism as historically troubling conservative extremism crops up across the Western World. This occasions us now to rigorously meet our inner work, to evolve where it is challenging to evolve, and to answer accountably to ourselves and to the collective.
And let’s remain aware that several astrological events will continue to occur around the North Node and the Eclipse degrees during this Lunar cycle, so the work of this Eclipse is anything but finished. We must remain committed to the gradual comprehension of the fragmentary psychic breakthroughs this Eclipse Season has yet afforded.
As Harvest Season comes upon us, then, with Sun, Mars, and Mercury all entering Virgo, we begin to feel prudent, ready to serve responsibly, for ourselves and others. We are always more in the place to get industrious when Virgo Season takes hold, to organize ourselves and, after excitable Leo, to remember what it’s like to want to regulate our energy. We begin to retreat into our native terrain and sort through our harvest, scheming from behind the veils how we can most efficiently apply our reserves.
Virgo is a feminine sign: it is the only female figure in the zodiac. She has been assigned the archetype of Virgin but this is a censored understanding of her work. Goddesses associated with Virgo like Ishtar, Isis, and Demeter are fertility goddesses, and others associated with that sign (Dike, Erigone, and Astraea) represent Justice. Virgo is more archetypally a mother with serious integrity than she is a virgin. So let’s understand her that way. Rather than purity of the flesh, Virgo has purity of intention. She is the highly experienced matriarchal master of integration, prepared to gather our collective chthonic fears, ritually metamorphose them, and yield from them impressive harvest.
Mercury is still in Retrograde in Virgo as this lunation cycle begins, and this has not been a retrograde to titter at. Mercury rules Virgo so the effect of its Retrograde is heightened here. Because Virgo rules health, diet, exercise, colonics, etc., this Mercury Retrograde has wrought strangely bountiful havoc on people’s health. Latent systemic disturbances have erupted and demanded care, so the reality of physical well-being has made itself exigent. With the preponderance of Leo energy in recent days, we have also been turning our attention to how we build strength in the aftermath of carnal collapse, as well.
Note also the very real danger/violence to bodies we have seen recently in the Charlottesville riots. This began on August 12, the day that Mercury stationed retrograde in Virgo. Beyond the personal experience of the body, we were collectively jarred into the urgency of demanding respect for all bodies.
So we are making sense now, of how to handle this newly invigorated awareness of the material realm’s pertinence. We may catch some glimmer of these solutions during Mercury Cazimi on August 26th, but answers may wait to make themselves readily apparent until Mercury stations direct on September 5, and it does so right on the degrees at which Monday’s Eclipse occurred, rehashing what opened up for us during or around the Solar Eclipse. Information about what took place on or around that day will flood in, and pieces of the puzzle may begin to fall into place.
However this is a lunar cycle that brings that sometimes troubling sense of multiple inner projects needing to splinter off from the more basic core growth cycle. Between the movements of Mars, Venus, and Mercury, intimacy and creative work projects are not in sync this month, but will give us the opportunity to develop some ambidexterity.
Finally, we will have several events occurring on the Virgo/Pisces axis this month, including the Full Moon on September 6. This is a sacred axis: no other pair of signs represents the microcosm and macrocosm so succinctly. After redeeming the dramatic death and rebirth tokens the Leo Eclipse cycle promised, we have earned some time to drop into the quiet required of a truly devotional life, which Virgo adores. “As above so below” begins to show us a path beyond the dualistic model of human experience, and into the rich, mysterious soil of a truly authentic life that integrates logic with mysticism, the literal with the otherworldly.
Blessings in the integration and expansion of this lunation cycle.
Sun enters Virgo: Flaxen Fields
Monday August 21
Beautiful Virgo embraces the Sun, and our will becomes quite naturally captivated by the concept of the fruits of labor. We want to work, to produce, to do right by our physical vitality. We are in an agricultural age after Leo’s fiery hunting and gathering, so allow yourself to settle, develop your ingenuity and problem-solving logic. Craftsmanship is ripe to explore, and we may go in to diligently pursue our creative projects as the light wanes, and the Equinox approaches.
Mars in Leo Trine Saturn in Sagittarius: Rewriting the Classics
Tuesday August 22
Mars in Leo in trine with Saturn is a facile aspect. From here the young warrior has the opportunity to make friendly with his elders. He is prepared to fight for the weak here, but not recklessly. Aware of the wisdom he must acquire, he also remembers he must retain individuality as he parses through Saturn’s relationship with convention. Tradition has substance, but we must use it as the unique warriors we were born to be. The mature dynamism of Mars in late Leo conversing with Saturn in late Sagittarius echoes Heracles’s final of his twelve labors: his confrontation with Cerberus, the three-headed dog guarding the gates of Hades. Before he sets off to capture Cerberus at the mouth of Hell, Heracles must be initiated into the Eleusinian mysteries. Esoteric initiation is no easy task: it takes incredible care and discipline, and profound surrender. This is precisely how the vivacious Leo Mars approaches Grandfather Saturn from the trine: ready to champion all auxiliary tasks or projects that will carry him toward the completion of the hero’s journey his lifeblood is so heavily invested in. But remember, Mars is still young in this cycle (less than a month into his 26-month cycle after renewing on July 26) so be careful that he does not become subservient to an out-of-balance Saturn. Saturn is currently retrograde, so we are more aware of his perversions that uphold patriarchal disease. We are not here to live in the classics, we are here to rewrite them in our own lifetimes. So do that methodically. The Sun in Virgo gives you the extra compulsion.
Venus in Cancer trine Chiron in Pisces: Finding the Mutual Coordinates with Past Life Love
Wednesday August 23
This Venusian chat we have with Chiron today begins the conversation we’re having with intimacy over the course of this entire lunation cycle. Basically, this aspect lets us know that we’ll be healing karmic relational patterns this month, downloading information from past lives or from the store of collectively held archetypes that need healing. Receive the messages, and embrace the responsibilities they entail.
Venus in Cancer square Uranus in Aries: Tectonic Plates of the Heart
Thursday August 24
As we download Venus’s Chirotic duties of the month, we are promptly directed to break the rules of relationship. When Uranus and Venus square, it is actually quite an important time to do so. Tectonic plates of the heart are shifting and we are less concerned with finding mutual ground to stand on with friends, family, and lovers, than with asserting our individuality within relations. It’s crucial that we do not bend to others’ will around this time. Individuality is the adamantine treasure to recover. Resist coagulation of empathy as you orient yourself around your own authenticity. Others need this space as much as you do.
Venus ingress into Leo: Punk Lover
Friday August 25
While our solar energy has just moved into the pure and noble fields of Virgo, Venus now sidles into the theatrical arena of Leo, and just after her rebellious square with Uranus. She’s likely to play the teenage punk here after such an aspect, irreverent and sometimes reckless. She is, in both her shadow and brilliance, a performative lover and artist when she transits Leo. Her gestures are grand, and she is happy in the spotlight. Let her be there, but remind her to check herself, for she is in unfamiliar terrain when in Leo. What are her motivations for seeking visibility? What does the flare of her actions accomplish? If she is lucky she will remember that compassionate self-love is the greatest and most radical foundation of all relationship and creative self-expression.
Mercury Cazimi at 3’ Virgo: Harmonizing the Mind at 7.83 Hz
Saturday August 26
Welcome the clarity of Mercury Cazimi in the midst of paramount disorder. The reigning chaos of Mercury’s retrograde stands still for some hours. In the provident fields of Virgo’s first decan, Mercury and the Sun strike a harmonious chord, one bringing peculiar information from an underworld sojourn through Mystery, the other simply bearing witness, in possession of the foresight and faith these strange tales require if they’re to be applied in evolving the agricultural wealth of the inner landscape. We must be wary of naivete about the weight of these tales. Mercury Cazimi at this degree of Virgo suddenly sees the sky light up and the spirit of the journey reveal itself, but if unchecked, Mercury ends up with logorrhea, desperate to tell any listening ear about the revelations and endless implications of his insights. Choose your confidants wisely, calm the prattle, and meditate on the deep frequency the Earth emits.
Jupiter in Libra sextile Saturn in Sagittarius: Second Wind
Saturday August 26
This is an extremely favorable aspect for achieving sophisticated balance and applying it to longstanding projects. This is a waning sextile, so the energetic quality is catching the second (or third or fourth) wind during a marathon. You’ve trained, you’ve been through your ups and downs, and by now you know how to pace yourself to deliver a smooth-sailing finish, though that may be some time in the future. Use this aspect to ground yourself into patience for the bigger projects.
Mars in Leo conjunct North Node: Stronger and Wiser
Saturday August 26
The North Node, or Rahu, head of the primordial dragon, swallowed the Sun just several days ago. He is still hot, and very excited to remind us what we need more of in order to evolve. When Mars is with the head of the dragon, we need more fire, movement, and more strength. We should be cautious of compulsive violence or lording-over, and very much on the look-out for those who are domineering towards ourselves. Exercise is a highly recommended activity for the day. Less easy aerobics and more choreographed movement or strength-building. Cultivate a mindful relationship with the physical realm.
Retrograde Mercury enters Leo: Hot Words
Thursday August 31
While Mercury’s Virgo retrograde has wrought havoc on ‘order,’ the fleet-footed comes back to the still-charged late degrees of Leo, where he is slowing down to station direct at the exact degree that Sol and Luna converged on Aug 21, and disappeared into that evolutionary Eclipse. Mercury is piping here and feels compelled to speak up. Careful how you language yourself as Mercury is still in retrograde and not entirely clear on what he means to say.
Retrograde Mercury conjunct Mars in Leo, both trine Uranus in Aries: Evolving the Rebellion
Saturday September 2
Mercury has arrived at the ‘hot’ degree of the Eclipse, where he will stay for several days, and here he encounters Mars. When Mercury and Mars meet, you get the strategic warrior, and there is without question a shocking and potentially rebellious vibe in the meeting of these two today as they talk congenially to the thunder-and-lightning planet, Uranus. Allow yourself to be surprised on and around this day: where incongruous opportunities to break out of the norm arise, take them, especially if you can quickly conjure up a mental scan of the provisional course of action. Because this happens at the degree of the Eclipse, expect it to be thematically related to what you personally have been opening up to throughout Eclipse season, and expect it to be a highly evolutionary event as well. Open up to the unusual and magical underpinnings of reality. This Saturday’s aspect is an opportunity to sortie smartly into the field of manifestation.
Midmorning, the Moon in Capricorn also squares Uranus, and quincunxes Mercury and Mars. This creates some pressure to evolve emotionally to meet this aspect, and to seek out the less obvious tasks we need to accomplish.
Sun in Virgo opposite Neptune in Pisces: The Super-Organism
Monday September 4
A beehive is a super-organism. All the basic physiological functions that support life are shared. Individual units of the beehive lack all the resources or information needed to survive, and yet within the group, all information to sustain life is accessible. To what degree then does each individual bee have significance? The nuances of the answer to this question are the crux of Sun in Virgo opposite Neptune in Pisces. How does the individual best organize itself to serve the teeming whole? How does one dissolve egoic boundaries enough to draw on the treasures of the collective consciousness, without dissipating one’s sense of self beyond where one remains productive?
Be very aware on this day of where you resist release, and where you hold yourself unnecessarily. Where is fastidiousness keeping you from finding a greater purpose? At the same time, be aware of how you crave dissolution or resist building form within the world. These two inclinations –toward form and formlessness- are at odds today. Of course hard aspects are always opportunities to meet challenges, but oppositions are the challenge to strike a balance rather than to revolutionize one’s patterns. So plant seeds today to more fully access the bliss of universal consciousness while moving about the world with actions self-contained enough to contribute on a literal level.
Mars enters Virgo (4:35am)
Venus in Leo quincunx Neptune in Pisces (12 degrees)
Mercury stations direct at 28’ Leo (6:29am): Roadmaps to Ambition’s Grail
Tuesday September 5
Mars enters Virgo and Mercury stations direct today. We can climb aboard the HMS Get-It-Done today. Work ethic escalates exponentially, and the roadmap to success in one’s projects suddenly reveals itself, as if a wand had revealed hidden ink. There is a distinct atmospheric shift from fighting the good fight to learning new skills and committing to new levels of excellence. Careful that these ambitions do not eclipse current projects in intimacy, which we may be tempted to scratch for the sake of industry if things aren’t flowing easily there. If we can continue to give matters of love some attention even when the energy flows less easily in that direction, we will find ourselves fascinated, discovering generously proportioned pieces of the puzzle that might never have made themselves obvious unless we had gone looking down obscure passageways.
Full Moon in Pisces at 13’53 Pisces: Pearl Diving
Wednesday September 6
After such fiery summer, what a Moon. The intuitive Moon, psychically rich and united with every body of water on Earth. In the boundless seas of Pisces, defended in these primordial waters by Neptune, the Moon is free to slip into the dreamspace that yields untold wisdom. The esoteric speaks. Nereids, Tritons, mermaids, monsters of the deep, selkies, whalesongs. All of these begin to reveal their meaning. Whether we can verbalize or not is of no concern to this Moon, with Mercury still in childlike Leo. With the proper temperament however, the Sun in Virgo and Jupiter sextiling Saturn will fully support instinctual assimilation of this Delphic wisdom. We have access to structural intelligence that creates some order by which to understand the spiritual downloads.
Essentially, obstacles in the soul’s path to wholeness seem to fall away today. The work of Harvest Season looks promising, drawing us toward the radiant pearls of redemption that lie within.
Sun in Virgo trine, and Venus in Leo quincunx, Pluto in Capricorn:
Friday September 8
Pluto in Capricorn receives aspects today, reminding us that all rewarding evolutionary work is not deep-sea diving for psychic dragon pearls. It is also facing the demon. In fact it is going looking for the demon because we know he’s out there and needs redeeming. Do not go to slay him. Go to know him.
Mercury ingress into Virgo: Out of the Brambles
Saturday September 9
Keep sowing the fields of personal projects. Mercury’s travels through Virgo will see him meet Mars again in a new iteration, so this does have to do with getting smart about how we cultivate the type of energy that moves us, be that light/fluffy or serious/dour. It is remarkably refreshing, however, to have our heads on straight and in the light of the season’s attractively angled sunlight, rather than traversing the underworld and shoring up the carcasses that have crucial information on them. Mercury is ready to straighten up, and, simple as that, get to his damn work!
Venus in Leo trine Saturn in Sagittarius: Charismatic Real-Talk
Tuesday September 12
Excellent day to take care of challenging conversations with intimates and family members. Venus in Leo is loyal and pure-hearted, yet charismatic and, when in a trine with responsible Saturn, sensible enough not to hurt feelings.
Sun in Virgo square Saturn in Sagittarius: To Love and Let Go
Wednesday September 13
Virgo is the last Earth sign in the cycle of the Zodiac: it’s wise. From these grounds we gain Virgo’s matured and mutable disposition regarding material reality. We have grown enough in spirit to lovingly cultivate what we are growing in the material realm, but we have also learned enough to know that we must also be willing to surrender whatever we are cultivating, for all we have control over is our response to what circumstances the world deals us. When the Sun in late Virgo squares the Saturn, ruler of Time, we are heavily reminded that we must be as prepared to lose all as we are to give our all. No light aspect, yet this is certainly an opportunity to evolve into higher acceptance.
Venus conjunct North Node in Leo and sextile Jupiter in Libra: Coming Out
Thursday September 14
We are more prepared, today, to be bold about expressing our needs in intimacy, and to give ourselves the space to explore our needs if we do not already know them. There is no recipe for happiness in intimacy: every individual’s needs are unique. Because there is no “real” norm and yet we live in a society that prescribes and proscribes roles and rules in relationships, many people have forgotten how to listen to the voice within that reveals where we’re out of balance in relations. On the level of mundane astrology, Venus transiting the North Node in Leo and sextiling Jupiter in Libra means we have the right amount of luck on our side to express our needs to one another. Use this day to have productive conversation or to say to the world what you’ve wanted to say. Perhaps this means coming out publicly as the new and lesser-known Self that’s been in development for some time. Perhaps it means expressing your needs in relationship. Perhaps it means intentionally making space for your loved ones to express their needs. Whatever locating and expressing what works for you in relationship (with intimates, the public, and beyond) looks like to you, use this day to get on it.
Mercury conjunct Mars in Virgo
Venus in Leo quincunx Chiron in Pisces: Dexterity
Saturday September 16
Again, work and intimacy don’t necessarily see eye to eye. We are strong in our stride putting the pieces together in our creative work, and relationship is just on a different page. Neither page is necessarily more nor less evolutionary, but we are juggling different projects that have not synced up. We are beginning to let the light in around karmically healing ourselves in relationship, and that project is revealing to us the many intriguing pathways it offers, glimmering with small bits of visual stimulation that hint at the depths you may discover within yourself if you will only continue giving effort here. However on the other path, Mercury meets Mars in Virgo and shows a straight and narrow path, which still feels like respite after the rabbit holes of Mercury’s recent retrograde over these very degrees of Virgo. Remember that life does not always seem totally congruent, and that this is one of its magics. Maintaining multiple important projects and retaining full focus and determination where each one is concerned is one of those dexterity tests that satisfies like no solo project could alone.
Sun in Virgo opposite Chiron in Pisces: The Wounded Healer
Monday September 18
We now begin to see how our recent Venus quincunx Chiron fits into the big Life Picture. Healing the capacity to love and surrender to it hits us right in the solar plexus today. Can you be within your self-contained sense of power and still nurture a limitless commitment to healing? Healing within is healing the collective: nothing like Chiron in Pisces reminds us of that, and Chiron in Pisces is having a very direct, potentially stern conversation with our life force. You can’t hide from your woundedness, nor can you hide from the woundedness of your fellow creatures. Be sensitive today rather than rigid. Agony and ecstasy hold hands here. We do not have the rewarding work of healing to do when we have not obtained wounds, and we cannot ignore the wounds and still expect to heal.
Mercury in Virgo opposite Neptune in Pisces: You Are the Super-Organism
Tuesday September 19
Healing requires a checked mind. Chatter and undirected mental exercises divert us from access to the deeper intelligence that effectively grows us. The mind is a tool –an evolutionary one– to help us survive. When we glorify the mind and identify the Mind as I, we lose sight of the fact that “I” must necessarily be identified with something much greater than this little body. The mind can’t understand that on its own, but when he talks to Neptune from across the zodiac, he has the opportunity to hear that lesson and begin to integrate it.
This isn’t a new lesson, however. Mercury was opposing Neptune on the day he stationed retrograde a little over one month ago. We learned much about this lesson during retrograde, but perhaps it wasn’t so clear what we were learning. Here we have a chance to see it straight once again, and walk forward with a mind and memory clear enough to retain this experience. We are so much more than what passes through the machinations of our minds. If we quiet the mind, we can taste what lies beyond. Humbling ourselves to the enormity of our own power is the trick. We must go beyond the limited, dual understanding of ourselves. Hard, patriarchal lines cannot be drawn. There is no lasting delineation between Self and Other. Like the bee, it isn’t clear where “I” ends and the super-organism begins: we are deeply involved in the vast and complex web of biological, physical life. Neptune is granting us this one of many gracious opportunities to find the faith that, if we operate as though our actions impact every other Being, our own experience of life may be more gratifying and readily nurtured, than we might have yet imagined.
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