Here's some of the important astrological news this month ...
Saturn enters Virgo, 9-2
Jupiter Sextile Chiron, 9-7
Pluto Direct Station at 26Sa17, 9-7
Venus Direct Station at 16Le35, 9-8
Juno enters Scorpio, 9-8
Chiron Octile Pluto, 9-9
New Moon / Partial Solar Eclipse at18Vi24, 9-11
Ceres Retrograde Station at 23Ta55, 9-20
Full Moon at 3Ar20, 9-26
Mars enters Cancer, 9-28
An online ephemeris for the month is available.
September is a pretty mixed bag. On the one hand, there are a large number of astrological influences to consider that become exact this month, enough to keep us plenty busy. Some of them are significant enough that they dominate the first half of the month. But then you look at the waveforms and see a sleeping giant that never quite seems to fully wake up. It's as though we are in a month long storm pattern that never gets completely orgranized, but never falls apart either. Much of the important action is in the first couple weeks. This includes the direct stations of Pluto and Venus as well as the second eclipse of the summer. This is a time of breaking down old structures and clearing the ground for future growth, which is a poetic way of saying it feels chaotic and directionless. Concentrate on the letting go and clearing out part of the picture -- the new directions won't become obvious for some time, most likely. Strong Pluto times, such as we're in this summer, are not always pretty or comfortable, especially when "disasters" fall (August was quite a show!). From the spiritual perspective, these all happen for a reason, even though us mere humans may not get the message. Stay patient with the process...
There are 8 significant astrological events on my list to discuss this month. The list includes 3 stations, 3 sign changes and 2 "big aspects", both involving Chiron.
Saturn is moving from Leo into Virgo on the 2nd, setting up shop for the next 2 years. It will be here until 2009-10-29,when it begins a protracted dance across the Virgo-Libra border. The last time Saturn was in Virgo was from late 1977 (shortly after Chiron was discovered, curiously) through 1980, so we haven't seen much of this influence lately. Saturn, of course, is a disciplinarian. He makes sure we learn to do things properly, without cutting corners, by showing us the folly of not doing it right the first time. He's a stickler for details, which isn't such a bad thing except that it's infuriating sometimes. Karma can't be cheated, however -- we should have more Teachers like this. As for Virgo, she's often associated with a weird grab-bag of miscellaneous topics ranging from wheat to librarians, so maybe we need to highlight some of her more important themes. The important clues are that Virgo is an earth sign traditionally ruled by Mercury. Earth is a practical element. It demands that great ideas actually work on the physical plane. This balances the more mental qualities of Mercury by making sure that "blue sky" actually touches the ground. Virgo is where the rational mind and the "young" conscious awareness needs to come in contact with matter and master the art of living on the physical plane. Living is a skill that many of us only do in a half-assed manner, learning to "get by" and handle everyday concerns well enough. Like most skills, it improves the more you pay it attention and practice it. Even better, actually do the work. The next two years are a time to get out of your head and take care of business. Look at where parts of your life are spinning out of control or falling in a rut -- that's some of that folly Saturn was talking about. You actually wind up wasting more time and effort on these things by not doing them right the first time, so there's little excuse for avoiding this lesson. Pay attention to communication issues, especially when it seems miscommunications are cropping up. It could just be that you need to be more precise about conveying your thoughts. Using vague concepts when a more exact idea would do is a lousy way to interact with others. This accord with matter also extends to how "you" relate to "your body", as though the psyche and the body could ever exist separately. All the issues relating to health, diet and exercise stem from this body-mind connection in the Virgo paradigm. Mercury plays the role of the nervous system in this part of the picture. There are many levels to the puzzle of Saturn in Virgo, a never-ending quest to discover how to be fully embodied and in the world in the most conscious way possible. Saturn is here to make sure you learn as many lessons as you can master. Grumble a little, but it's still liberating in the end...
Jupiter is sextile Chiron on the 7th, the last of 3 such contacts. The previous contacts were on 2006-12-28 and 2007-5-31. Jupiter is our connection to the outside world, the way we join forces and interact with others for our mutual benefit. Chiron is best known as the psyche's indicator of "where does it hurt?", that place that isn't working well for us and needs to be examined with a fresh eye. For many people, the ability to reach out to others and prosper in community with like minded souls is pretty restricted. Despite all the lectures we receive about prosperity in our lives, until certain basic attitudes change, it's hard to let other people enter our circle and enrich our existence. Sextiles are a time of opportunity and growth, when it's easier than usual to put in the effort and make the changes. Look for the open doors that life is presenting and take a few risks. Life is much easier when you don't have to do everything yourself.
Pluto is standing still at his direct station of 26Sa17 on the 7th, ending a 5 month retrograde cycle that began on Mar 31. Pluto's retrograde cycles can be some of the most spectacular of astrological processes we can witness, especially if he happens to be going back and forth over a tender spot of your birthchart that year. Pluto's interest in your life is to strip you down to basics, burn off the fluff and get you back on some course that you've lost touch with. He's very good at pointing out some area of life that you've gotten cozy with and showing you it's unimportant to who you are by removing it. You may not get the message at first (when he first goes retrograde), as the hints are easy to over look at that time. However, as the cycle drags on, the message to let go and move on, to simplify life and get back to basics, becomes increasingly obvious with each passing month. As we approach the direct station, he's done with talking things over. You can let go of that cherished part of your life willingly, or you can have it torn from your grip as you go kicking and screaming. Either way is fine with Pluto, although the path of cooperation is certainly less trouble for you in the long run. Look for the parts of your life that are spinning out of control despite your attempts to hold onto them. When they slip from your grip, don't look back. Pluto can be very demanding sometimes, but you seem to come out stronger and more focused after his trial. Let the changes happen and move on. It's simply who you're supposed to be now.
Venus also reaches a direct station of 16Le35 on the 8th. She's been backing up since July 27, when she went retrograde at 2Vi57. You're all familiar with Mercury retrograde by now, when the thinking mind goes on vacation. In my opinion, Venus backing up is much worse because she operates at the level of feelings and gut level instincts. She's the learned behavior of like and dislike, of being attracted to certain things or people versus feeling the need to avoid them, of pursuing what feels good and avoiding the unpleasant stuff. Normally, these instinctual hunches and nudges, which operate at a barely conscious level, are helpful guides for making endless choices in everyday life without having to make a "big decision" out of it. If you had to rationally sort through every choice that crossed your path in a day, you'd get nothing accomplished. Intuition guides you through this maze, usually with pretty good results. Venus retrograde is not one of those times. It seems the intuition and instincts go haywire, causing us to be attracted or repulsed by situations that generally don't trigger such a reaction. It's a good idea to put away the credit card, as impulse purchases may not be so appealing later on. New friends or lovers will quickly lose their charm when you come out of your fog. Be suspicious of your own instinctive urges and whims, as they don't really reflect who you are or what's good for you. Well, it's the direct station now. As you wake up and look at what your creative Muse has attracted into your life in recent weeks, don't be surprised if you have a few "what was I thinking??" reactions. It's OK, as long as you can see the fun and enjoyment of the situation -- and can change your mind, if necessary. It's fun to do things on a wild whim every now and then, shaking up the "same old" way of making choices, shedding a few ruts. Even your feelings can be brought up to date when they've gotten old and stale. Enjoy!
Juno enters Scorpio on the 8th. She will be in this sign until Dec 8, when she shifts into Sagittarius. Of all the zodiac signs, this may be one of the more problematic for Juno. She's the Queen of Relationships, the ruler of partnerships between equals. She loves nothing better than to bask in the glow of a relationship where she feels loved, accepted and treated as an equal partner. Of course, if she doesn't get this idyllic kind of relation, her more difficult side slowly comes to the foreground, including such unlovely emotions as rage and jealousy. Unfortunately, Scorpio, the seething swamp of deep, dark emotions and barely conscious motivations, is an arena ripe to bring out these negative traits. Scorpio sees below the surface of people's smiling masks, so Juno is likely to see all the nasty things in her partner's behavior, the lies and egocentrism, the cold manipulations and entanglements -- whether these things exist in reality or not. Equally problematic, she is more than likely blind to her own hand in these problems. As she stews in this (real or imagined) sea of emotional slights and hurts, she imagines all sorts of infidelities going on in the background. It's easy for trust and acceptance to break down under these circumstances and once broken, the relationship is hard to put back together. If you find these dark emotions arising, take a good and honest look to see whether they have any basis in fact before resorting to a fit of jealous rage. Issues of fairness and mutual concern may be legitimate under the circumstances, but just as likely Juno is not feeling like the Queen she believes is her due. Sometimes she just gets a big head about how special she is and no amount of attention can satisfy such neediness. Fairness is a two way street. If you can work through these emotional storms and the relationship is basically sound, a deep and rewarding passionate connection between partners can emerge, one that acknowledges how valuable and precious each person is to the other. Don't let your feelings destroy a good thing unnecessarily.
Chiron is octile Pluto on the 9th, the second of 3 such contacts. The previous contact was on Mar 24 and the final one in this series will be on 2008-1-25. Given that the first contact was a week before Pluto's retrograde station and this one is 2 days after Pluto goes direct, I'd say Chiron is acting as a helper influence to assist us in handling all this Pluto stuff going on. Going back to their conjunction on 1999-12-30 (an aspect that I captured for a remedy I call "Shadow Master"), this 70 year long cycle of Chiron and Pluto is helping us dredge up all the shadow material in the unconscious that is holding us back and binding us with old fears that have little substance. Sometimes the emotions of fear and shame surrounding an old incident in your life are more of a prison than the event itself was. You shy away from the changes and transformations that Pluto demands because the feelings surrounding these changes are too hot to handle. Chiron seems to make it easier to face these fears, to look at the issues dispassionately, without freaking out. Octiles are rarely smooth acting aspects (though not as overtly difficult as squares or oppositions), so this is a bumpy road. You may see the issues that are holding you back and stifling your free expression, but without seeing the doorway that lets you escape and move on. Stay with the discomfort and work through it -- it's not as bad as it seems.
The solar eclipse this month is in many ways a much more dramatic chart than the Aug 28 lunar eclipse was. It has a T-square in it, tending towards a loose Grand Cross, that creates a low Koz Alert, so the energies are rather strong now. In fact, this period between the Pluto station and this eclipse is the most powerful time all month. Unlike the lunar eclipse, however, this one isn't visible in the US. You'd have to be in South America or Antarctica to see anything.
The eclipse point in Virgo is directly opposite Uranus in Pisces, a symptom that wild and erratic energies are being released. Mars squares these points from Gemini and widely opposes Jupiter, Vesta and Pluto in Sagittarius. There is a lot of stress and tension in this pattern that promises to break through some of the more stagnant areas of our lives. Much of this pressure has an unconscious, below-the-surface nature, as we are being forced to move beyond the everyday concerns of our lives into something deeper and more demanding. Check where this Virgo-Pisces axis lies in your birthchart, as these houses will describe the issues needing your attention in coming months. A Venus-Neptune opposition points to important emotional issues, as they soften up our heart chakras.
A curious historical note: The pivotal Uranus-Pluto conjunctions of 1965-66 were at 16-17 degrees of Virgo, right under this eclipse point and opposite where Uranus is now. People born in the mid Sixties will be more sensitized to this eclipse energy than the rest of us, although it has an unmistakable global influence on everyone. That conjunction initiated immense social changes for the world, breaking us free from stifling restrictions inherited from the past, a process that is still ongoing. If anything, the social overhaul is more obvious this year than it has been for quite some time. Life is chaotic for a reason...
Ceres reaches her retrograde station of 23Ta55 on the 20th, about to start 3 months of reverse motion. She will back up to 9Ta40 by Dec 28 before turning around again. Ceres is the Great Mother, the life-giving earth beneath our feet, the web of connections we share with all living beings. She represents the part of us that shows nurturance and concern for the lesser beings in our care, as well as the help and support we receive from others. Her 10 month stay in Taurus, the most earthy and physical of all the signs, plus this retrograde cycle just starting, are a wakeup call to get out of our heads and pay attention to the physical plane more. It starts with a healthy regard for our own bodies. People these days are out of touch with what supports our own health and well being. It starts with the tortured relation we have with the food we eat, the air we breathe, the joy we take in the life of the senses and the pleasures of the body. It includes overcoming the shame and guilt we feel towards physical loving, not just in terms of sexuality (an area bound up in taboos and restrictions), but also in the joy of a good hug with a child. This influence also includes our relationship with Mother Earth in the large, a most literal interpretation of Ceres in Taurus. The messge of our ecological connection with the world around us, of how pollution, global warming, mindless consumerism, etc. is destroying the very planet we rely on for our lives, is slowly entering the public discussion in a healthier fashion. For a Cancer nation like the USA that prides itself on "family values", it's amazing to me that devastating the earth's ability to support life for us, our children and the other species that share this world with us (assuming we don't drive them to extinction first) is not seen as a moral issue to address. The earth is not some repository for us to loot and destroy for our short-term gain -- it's our home! It's not sane to make the only home we've got unlivable before the children we say we love even have a chance to inherit it from us. We've lost our connection with the live-giving soil between our toes and the oceans that are the womb of life itself. This is an influence that calls for an attitude adjustment for all of us, both as individuals and on the wider political scene. We can't take Mother Earth for granted anymore in our mindless fashion.
Guess what -- there's a loose Grand Cross in the full moon chart, too. Mars is opposite Pluto-GC and widely square the Sun and Moon again, so we are still experiencing that rough, stressful energy we've seen so much of the last two weeks. This basic pattern is re-enforced by Saturn, Mercury and Neptune as well, so there is some major planetary support behind this full moon. At least that jittery, chaotic Uranus vibe is less prominent now.
It's hard to juggle both Mars and Pluto at the same time, since one operates on the level of the conscious ego and the other represents the deeper unconscious soul patterns. Perhaps Mercury is here to soften the disconnect by making the more spiritual levels more intelligible to the ego. Good communication defuses many controversies. Develop a more subtle mental perspective in order to juggle all these conflicting tendencies. With the Sun in Libra and the Moon in Aries, there's tension between the individual and the people he interacts with anyway -- these signs always bring out self-other conflicts. At least the Grand Cross is diffuse enough that the sharper conflicts are muted. Muddle through...
Mars moves from Gemini into Cancer on the 28th. Due to an upcoming retrograde cycle, he will reenter Gemini on Dec 31 and eventually pass through Cancer a second time starting on 2008-3-4. Mars in Cancer is perhaps one of the least favorite placements for our Warrior God. Cancer is about the emotions and family connections, of how we fit in with larger groups of clan and nation. For a rugged, fighting individualist like Mars, that's a lot of baggage to haul around. I usually imagine this placement as a tough Roman centurion in full battle armor with a frilly kitchen apron on -- it just doesn't make sense. Mars is about expressing your will power in a strong, physical manner; Cancer makes him suppress that willful action or channel it from the good of the group. He wants to do his own thing in a big, dramatic way and winds up babysitting instead. There's always a tension between the individual and the greater good, especially in our complicated and interconnected world. The ego can't get away with "doing his own thing" all the time, as that leads to a dysfunctional anarchy and society as a whole suffers. But it doesn't pay to stifle the powerful individuals that make it all work, either. It's an uncomfortable balancing act, but a necessary one, particularly given the retrograde cycle hint that this is an important theme to address. Mars needs to be put in a global perspective every now and then if he's not to rage out of control. Take consolation that this won't last forever...
August turned into one of the most disaster-prone months in recent memory. The bridge collapse in my home town was just the start. It was followed by several coal mine disasters here and abroad, structural failures in China, wild fires in Greece, an earthquake in Peru, floods in the Midwest (just a short distance from drought conditions here in MN), etc. The Bush administration has been shaken by several high ranking resignations lately. It certainly feels like things are falling apart in spades. That's Pluto for you! Perhaps the Saturn-Pluto trine of Aug 6 was partly to blame. This is certainly a time of death and rebirth at many levels. As uncomfortable as it seems in the short run, the longer term shake ups being triggered are (hopefully) a sign of helpful changes. Pluto is not always pretty. However, he's a good friend, if he doesn't kill you in the process.