Here's some of the important astrological news this month ...
Juno enters Libra, 9-5
New Moon at 14Vi20, 9-6
Chiron Direct Station at 3Cp13, 9-7
Jupiter opposite Neptune, 9-11
Mercury Retrograde Station at 13Li15, 9-14
Full Moon at 28Pi24, 9-21
Vesta enters Virgo, 9-27
An online ephemeris for the month is available.
Compared to previous months this summer, September looks rather tame and quiet. There are only a few deep acting astrological events to consider, namely the opposition of Jupiter and Neptune on the 11th and Chiron's station on the 7th. We aren't riding the rapids, by any means, but the currents are slow and deep. This kind of energy can be extremely useful. Half the time, there's enough support from the world to actually get some work done without feeling like you're being bowled over. The rest of the time, you get to kick back and relax, giving the bodymind some time to recover from all the stresses in our lives. The impediments now are more distractions than "major crises", so pace yourself, keep moving towards your goals, and enjoy the journey.
There's not a lot of news this month. The Jupiter-Neptune opposition is the only "big aspect" worth mentioning. There are two stations (Mercury goes retrograde, Chiron goes direct) and a pair of asteroids change signs.
Juno moves from Virgo into Libra on the 5th for a 3 month stay (until Nov. 27). Juno has a natural affinity for Libra as they both have themes of making relationships work right. It's important that a sense of fairness, equality and mutual respect are the order of the day. Juno is a lovely and affectionate woman when she's treated right, but her nasty side (jealousy, bitterness, rage) can easily come out if she feels slighted. Lack of respect turns into covert emotional manipulation, as that is how Juno retaliates when she feels in a powerless situation. If you want to improve your partnerships and make them more pleasing, pay attention to what you do to bring out the nasty side of your partner. Instead of attacking them for being mean, correct your own unfairness that brought it on. Only rarely are these manipulative behaviors unprovoked (usually in people that have a long string of bad relations). Done properly and consciously, these 3 months are a time to create a relationship heaven in your life that brings beauty, love and warm support into the lives of both of you. Don't settle for second best.
In the new moon chart, Venus is caught in the crosshairs of two powerful planetary patterns. On the one hand, she stands in the middle of a 45 degree fan, halfway between the new moon and Pluto. The other pattern is a Grand Trine with Saturn and Uranus. Either one of these could throw relationships into a tizzy, but together you can safely bet on it. You wouldn't think of a Virgo new moon as being remarkable, but the square from Pluto indicates there are deeper motivations going on under the surface. Since Venus is in the last degree of Libra (the degree where the lessons of the sign are being summed up), it seems the coming lunar month is a testing time of what we understand of love and friendship. Your commitment to these ideals is being tested. Further, if your approach is too small or restrictive, you'll be forced to consider different perspectives that will definitely challenge you. We're one day past Juno entering Libra and only 10 hours away from Chiron standing still -- this is a powerful time! Our conservative ways of relating to each other that have served in the past (in a crippled sort of way) are not up to the demands of the present. As we move into higher heart energies, there is no room for such timidity of spirit anymore.
Chiron is standing still at 3Cp13 on the 7th, about to resume normal forward motion. The last 5 months of this retrograde cycle have been a study in how we fail to engage the physical and social world competently. Capricorn is our connections to the world at large; it often symbolizes the powerful institutions around us that rule over our lives. Chiron seems to point out areas where we have a "failure of adjustment", where some part of us shrinks into the closet because it's not validated by others. With each rejection in our lives, we stuff more and more of our vibrant selves into this closet, until one day we realize there's no pizzazz in our existence. Only then do we realize how much we've compromised with the world and how badly we need to recover that authentic self. Issues involving work, money, prestige and rewards for your efforts may be common now. It's interesting how the last few months have seen a bubble of secrecy and illusion pop for corporate America, as an endless stream of executives have been paraded before the media, investigative committees or simply off to jail. Their sense of entitlement or rewards "earned" was so pathologically exaggerated that they resorted to defrauding investors and employees to satisfy their needs. Chiron in Capricorn equally applies to the people who trusted them and lost out. The "social contract" between people that makes society work has been wounded, as it is founded on a trust that has been betrayed. Perhaps we've simply put our honor and decency in the closet for too long, in order to survive in the world. Do what you can to clean up your situation, wherever it seems to be creaking. It's hard to be too responsible these days...
Jupiter is opposite Neptune on the 11th for the first of 3 times. The next contacts are on 2003-2-16 and 2003-6-2. At first glance, this seems like a pretty decent influence, since both planets have an upbeat, feel-good reputation. However, oppositions tend to pit two planets against each other, like a good, old fashioned tug-of-war. So it's best to look at where these two planets disagree. Jupiter works mainly on a material or social level, helping to expand your boundaries and lessen restrictions. He makes things easier and more lively, but he usually acts in a rather conventional manner. Neptune, on the other hand, is more of a dreamer or mystic, more at home in the "other world" than this one. There's a strong idealistic streak here that can be hard to reconcile with the mundane world. So while they agree on the basic vision (and both ignore the details), there's a difference of emphasis or approach that needs to be examined. It should be mentioned that Jupiter and Neptune are also in a contraparallel aspect (same distance north and south of the equator), exact on the 19th, which further enhances this connection. I'm also intrigued by the timing of this aspect, namely the first anniversary of the World Trade Center attacks. This is not an easy "time of passage" for the country, as memory brings us face to face with a rocky year past and an uncertain future. It should be noted that Jupiter and Neptune lie across the USA north and south nodes, indicating some connection with our national karma. There are competing visions of where our country should be headed at work now, visions that can affect the entire world for generations to come. If we take the old, traditional approach to problems, we'll probably get the same old, totally botched up results we've got now. Something new and out of the ordinary is needed, something that reflects a deeper version of ourselves and our character, if we are to move past this impass. Idealism grounded in realism sounds like a contradiction in terms, but that's the nature of this opposition. Let's see if we can figure this one out together.
Mercury is standing still on the 14th at 13Li15, about to go into reverse gear for 3 weeks. It stops and resumes normal motion on Oct 6 at 29Vi19. Mercury is the thinking, symbol using part of the psyche that tries to understand and control the world via the intellect. The trouble with this approach is two-fold. One, no symbol system is ever rich enough to fully capture the world in its infinite variety. And two, if you start with a silly symbolic foundation, the explanations only get stupider and less useful as you go along. Nothing reveals these weaknesses better than Mercury retrograde, when the thinking mind turns to mush. If things don't make sense, it's not because the world is crazy, only our explanations are. This retrograde cycle is mostly in Libra, so we can expect many of these effects to take place in relationships. The tendency for mixed up communications between people will probably be especially pronounced, so make sure to speak your mind clearly and make certain you are heard properly. Disagreements will happen, so do your best to handle them with grace. There's likely to be a need to "prove I'm right" going on with both partners, a typical Mercury addiction. Understanding is more important than being right, listening more healing than arguing. Since this cycle is intertwined with Juno's entrance into Libra, partners want to be heard more than usual. Give a little -- intellectual pride has no payoff. Things will seem clearer again by mid-October.
The full moon is a study of tensions and balances, based on two T-squares. The Virgo Sun is rather mental and picky, with a tendency towards precision and trying to make things better. The full moon itself is in Pisces, a more emotional sign with mystical inclinations. They combine with Saturn in Gemini, which tries to bring the mix down to earth via a regimen of mental discipline. Uranus in Aquarius is also opposite a Leo Vesta (soon to be in Virgo). Here again, the quirky Uranus energy that is directed outwards into the world is pitted against the more quiet, self-absorbed Vesta influence. Obviously, a grouping like this could go in many different directions in your life, depending upon your particular circumstances. Meanwhile, Venus is still in a T-square with Jupiter and Neptune, sending the emotions into 15 different directions as we try to get past the old emotional garbage that is holding the heart down. For kickers, note that Mars is square Pluto tommorrow. That aspect is always good for a temper tantrum or yelling match with somebody, as the ego runs into unspoken and unconscious roadblocks. Be extra diplomatic with people for a few days. You may feel torn by all these conflicting influences in coming weeks, as though the demands on you can't possibly be reconciled. The world won't leave you alone when you'd rather crawl into your shell. Don't take it personally. The universe often puts us in an "impossible bind" prior to a growth spurt. Be patient with the process...
Vesta moves from Leo into Virgo on the 27th. Vesta often represents the need to retreat and recharge your batteries. She symbolizes that "vital flame" within that juices us up and fills us with a passion. Unfortunately, this flame is often depleted by people or events that sap our strength and attention. So Vesta needs to pull back from time to time and rekindle her inspiration. When she's moving through Virgo, one of these places of retreat is her work, paradoxically enough. We're not talking about simply doing the 9-to-5 routine, but literally burying yourself in some project for the sheer pleasure of it. Since this is something unique to the person, others may have a hard time comprehending why she puts so much effort into that project. Don't be concerned about the opinions of others -- if it jazzes you up, do it! This is also a good time to be concerned about your health and what you can do to improve it. All this may require you to withdraw from most people, but you probably feel cut off from them and their "trivial concerns" anyway. Vesta always seems to follow her own path. Vesta will move into Libra on Dec 10. However, due to an upcoming retrograde cycle next year, she'll make a brief return visit to Virgo between 2003-4-22 and 2003-5-30.