Wednesday, September 8, 2010

New Moon September 8, 2010: Summer's End

It’s closet cleaning time. The end of Summer, always has me looking longingly at closet organizing catalogs. Can a perfectly organized closet really bring happiness? Oh probably not, but perhaps it can help to ease the tension that this time of year brings. This is the Virgo tension— a nagging sense that I must put all in order. Something really important depends on it. Like the maniacal squirrels running around my neighborhood, I am impelled to rush about hoping that I can get ready for the change in season.

I know an organized closet is not a substitute for what this season is really about, but it is tempting to think that if I could just have a place for everything and everything in its place, then I’d be ready to accept the Fall and coming Winter with grace and ease. I’d be really ready. If a clean closet doesn’t actually create that readiness for what’s ahead, then what does? Seeking the answer to that question is a good intention for this New Moon in Virgo.

Each season has three parts, three months, three signs that mirror for us internal and external realities. These three parts are called the modalities in astrology. They are Cardinal—season’s beginning, Fixed—season’s middle, and Mutable—season’s end. The Sun and Moon join together on September 8 in the Mutable sign of Virgo at Summer’s end. Understanding and integration are the key purposes of each Mutable sign. (The word integration comes from a Latin word that means renewal.) At season’s end, we do whatever is necessary to put away the past and prepare for the future. And we can’t simply forget about what has happened, we must find the wisdom, value, and purpose of those things. Each Mutable sign (there are four, one for each element) has its own methods of doing that. Virgo uses the Earth element. Earth specializes in the physical realm; hence Virgo understanding comes bound with physical practices and manifestations. The more maniacal I feel about cleaning my closet, the more aware I am that I probably need to focus on other Virgo values like balance in mind and body, as well as spiritual and physical practices that keep me centered and grounded. Even though Virgo is an earth sign, there is a definite mental component to Virgo’s energy. All the Mutable signs are learners and synthesizers. So, even though I will benefit from using my body to integrate the lessons of summer, I still have a sense that I must spend some time in contemplation as well.

The Hermit is the Tarot card that stands for the sign of Virgo. This image from the Thoth deck captures a vital Virgo idea. Take the wisdom of this season, the light in his hand, and go deeper into understanding. The planets have conspired this last season to give us lots to think about. Many profound shifts are happening. Although some of the transits are over, the impact is still coming, I think.

Lessons of Summer to integrate

Saturn in Libra square Pluto in Capricorn—These planets challenge us to take on hard issues. Ecological disaster, economic injustice, and religious intolerance are just some of important issues  we must confront. On a personal level, people with planets or important points at the beginning of any Cardinal sign are having profound experiences. Now is a time for life-defining choices. It is particularly important for you to find ways to integrate the changes happening in your life.
Uranus conjunct Jupiter in Aries—The ingress into Fire sign, Aries, signals a deep impatience with the status quo. Both of these planets retrograde back into Mutable Water for the fall and winter. I find myself trying to integrate my spiritual values into my desire for change. Water gives us wisdom on an emotional level. This will be an important skill to have on hand when Jupiter and Uranus go back into Aries (Jupiter in January 2011 and Uranus in March 2011).

Mercury retrograde—Mercury is stationing direct at this New Moon. It’s been traveling through Virgo, a sign it has special affinity for. Mercury will have passed through the same degrees of Virgo three times when this retrograde journey is finally complete on September 27. This particular retrograde cycle is challenging us to take our time in truly integrating the experiences of Summer. It won’t come right away, we’ll have to dig a little deeper and perhaps rely a little more on faith that understanding and completion will come.

Fall’s beginning. The Mercury retrograde lesson of patience comes in handy as we begin a new season. A new season begins. This is an excellent time to set new intentions. However, it is important to give the integration time of Virgo complete attention before we move into the Fall. Skipping over integration often means we will have to go over those lessons again in the future. 

The Full Moon comes just hours after the Sun goes into Libra – also known as Fall Equinox. Astrologers use the seasonal charts, known as the ingress charts, set for a country’s capital as a way to forecast the fortunes of that country during the season. In this Ingress Chart set for Washington D.C. I am noticing that the angles (Ascendant, Descendant, Midheaven and Nadir) are in Mutable signs. In the last two ingress charts of Spring and Summer, the angles have been in Cardinal signs. This signals that change is coming. Perhaps it will be the Republican Party gaining control of the Congress, or perhaps a new revitalization of President Obama’s influence. The 10th house of this chart represents the President. There we find Uranus, Jupiter and the Moon in Pisces. If Obama is going to revitalize his message, he will have to tap into a spiritual force, a collective consciousness, much like he did during his inauguration.

The tension in the Equinox chart also shows up in the Full Moon chart. We again have the Cardinal t-square configuration that was prevalent this Summer. This is the last time that Pluto/Saturn/Uranus and Jupiter will align with the Sun and Moon. (The December 21 Lunar Eclipse will include all these planets in a t-square but without Saturn.) The Fall continues to be an important time for dealing with big shifts and difficult problems.

Neptune is again conjunct Chiron in this chart. These two have been traveling together for some time. Underneath the drama of the Cardinal t-square, we are gathering medicine to respond to our world with spiritual insight and empathy.

From September 19 through the 30th, the Sun comes into aspect with every outer planet – Jupiter through Pluto. This period of time will give us important insight into the changes that are before us. The first part of October, Mercury will also come into aspect with the same outer planets. A good inquiry is: What do we think? What is our understanding? How do we express ourselves?

Venus and Mars in Scorpio. Another important ingredient to the season is the ingress of Venus and Mars into Scorpio. With this transit we have the opportunity to travel deeply into the psyche. At the next New Moon on October 7 Venus will be stationing retrograde for a journey through Scorpio and Libra. We may feel a closer connection to the world of our beloved dead. We may need to uncover hidden truths. We will benefit from being ruthlessly honest with ourselves. I’ll write more about the Venus retrograde journey next month.

Knowing that I have a lot to integrate this month and some indications that this integration requires patience and time, I am vowing to be gentle with myself. If a cleaner closet helps to alleviate stress, then what a gift! Perhaps cleaning my desk will bring enlightenment. You never know.

Dates important to our stories: *

September 8 Venus enters Scorpio
September 8 Jupiter re-enters Pisces
September 12 Mercury stations direct at 5° Virgo
September 13 Pluto stations direct 2° Capricorn
September 14 Mars enters Scorpio
September 18 Jupiter conjunct Uranus 28° Pisces
September 19 Sun 26° Virgo quincunx Neptune 26° Aquarius
September 19 Sun 26° Virgo quincunx Chiron 26° Aquarius
September 21 Sun 28° Virgo opposite Jupiter 28° Pisces
September 21 Sun 28° Virgo opposite Uranus 28° Pisces
September 22 Sun enters Libra – Fall Equinox
September 23 Full Moon 0° Aries
September 25 Sun 2° Libra square Pluto 2° Capricorn
September 30 Sun conjunct Saturn 7° Libra
October 1 Mercury 26° Virgo quincunx Neptune 26° Aquarius
October 1 Mercury 26° Virgo quincunx Chiron 26 ° Aquarius
October 1 Mercury 27° Virgo opposite Jupiter 27° Pisces
October 2 Mercury 28° Virgo opposite Uranus 28° Pisces
October 3 Venus conjunct Mars 12° Scorpio
October 5 Mercury 2° Libra square Pluto 2° Capricorn

*These dates are not a complete list of transits for the month, but rather are times when the themes of these stories are stronger. Each aspect between planets carries its own energy of harmony or conflict. These are:
Conjunction – merging
Sextile – encouraging
Square – challenging
Trine – harmonizing
Opposition – confronting
Quincunx – perplexing