Low-Down Archives Sept-Oct 2007

September-October 2007

For the New Moon Cycle in Virgo:
September 11 to October 11, 2007

A Note About the Solar Eclipse and 9/11:

September 11, 2007 marks the 6th anniversary since the horrific events at the World Trade Center in New York City. It is also the same day as the Solar Eclipse in Virgo. Coincidentally and eerily, the times for these events are just minutes apart -- 8:46 AM in 2001 and 8:44 AM in 2007. This anniversary, perhaps more than others, may be experienced as especially painful or important. The release of a video of Osama bin Laden is an example of how this particular anniversary may be more intense than usual.

Virgo is the sign most associated with healing. While not without compassion, Virgo's healing hand may not always be felt as a soft touch. The Virgo archetype will do whatever is necessary to return its patient to a healthy state. In service to a higher purpose, Virgo seeks the most efficient and effective way to eliminate whatever is toxic and nurture that which supports health. It aims to return the body to a functioning state of integrated balance, in which extremes are softened into harmony and raging fever is cooled, soothed and normalized.

Virgo's methods can sometimes seem rather "cut and dried," dispassionate and even unsympathetic. However, like the nurse who must sometimes administer painful or distasteful procedures in order to return the patient to health, Virgo's intent is ultimately one of healing, support and positive change.

The solar eclipse in Virgo can ideally initiate a healing process that brings our world into a more harmonious balance based on mutual respect, acceptance and understanding. Virgo's quest for perfection must focus on oneself as much as identifying the cause of the dis-ease outside of oneself. This solar eclipse is an opportunity to take a hard look at ourselves and discover what we can do to assist our own healing, and in doing so, contribute to the healing of others as well.

May this anniversary bring healing out of painful memories. May this solar eclipse set in motion the positive changes that allow healing to take place in the collective hearts, minds and spirits of *everyone* involved with and affected by those terrible events 6 years ago. And may we learn to honour and celebrate our differences as much as we enjoy and express our similarities.  

Sep.11, 8:44 AM EDT � SOLAR ECLIPSE � NEW MOON in VIRGO (18:25) ("What's a New Moon?"  What's a Solar Eclipse?  Read more about the Sun-Moon cycles.  Read more about the Virgo side of your personality.)
Sep.11 1:44 PM in UK
Sep.11 10:44 PM in AU

This Solar Eclipse is bound to be intense and exciting! Let's start with the fact that it's in Virgo, the sign of the virgin. "Virgin" is an interesting word. Many Virgos try to distance themselves from the implication this word has in the modern world�that of a sexual virgin or someone who is un-sexual. And in today's highly sexualized and "adulterated" society, this is often seen in a negative way in an adult�someone who is physically unreceptive or is uninitiated into the world of mature interests.

Yet historically, "virgin" meant simply "unmarried" and did not necessarily include premarital chastity. The true virgin is therefore someone who is not bonded to another person (other than family, perhaps). The virgin is autonomous�her own person. She is free to make decisions according to her own interests and urges�unadulterated.

In mythology, the Virgo figure has been associated with a broad range of goddesses, who are both chaste and fertile. The image of Virgo is that of a maiden holding corn or wheat, which are symbols of fertility and abundance. This paradox was noted by astrologer Liz Greene in her excellent book The Astrology of Fate: "I have met a number of professional prostitutes during the course of my work, and some of them have been Virgos ... and I have been compelled to acknowledge this curious dichotomy of a strong inner moral sense coupled with what society would consider grossly immoral, or amoral, behaviour. It has often made me wonder who are the real whores, in the sense that we generally use the word." What a different view of Virgo!

Instead of simply being devoted to a single person in marriage, the Virgo archetype dedicates itself to the service of others in general. There is deep and intense passion involved in achieving this. It requires faith and conviction in the principle, ideal or cause that promises a better world in some way. It also demands a high level of flexibility to allow oneself to be used as a conduit for something greater than oneself.

What does this mean for the solar eclipse? This can be a time when you must decide what you are prepared to devote yourself to, especially over the coming year or two. To what principle or goal will you surrender your love and devotion? Is that goal worthy of your energy and time? It's not enough to simply be paid for your labour�your fulfilment must also come from believing you have made yourself or the world somehow better than before.

And are you worthy of the journey that lies ahead? Not to suggest that you are somehow undeserving�but are you fit enough to endure that journey? Is your body in good condition? Is your mental health free from undue stress? Are you eating properly so that your body and mind can function properly? Virgo knows the value of a good breakfast! These are all questions to ponder and wrestle with now at the solar eclipse in Virgo.

We are at the end of a Grand Cross, which has been in effect since around the beginning of September � Sun opposed Uranus, and Mars opposed Jupiter. This combination of planets brings together ego and ideals! The solitary identity of the self must balance itself against possibilities and visions in the outside world. The unfolding of this energy is being punctuated by the solar eclipse in Virgo, as the Moon catches up to the Sun near the Lunar South Node. (When a New Moon or Full Moon is very close to the Lunar Nodes, an eclipse happens.)

At the Lunar Eclipse of Aug.28, I explored the concept of an eclipse as being a time when archetypal energy emerges from the shadows of our unconscious. An eclipse is a time when darkness suddenly consumes the light when it is at its brightest. In the case of a Solar Eclipse, the Moon moves across our line of sight with the Sun, creating an eerie twilight for a few hours in the daytime. Unfortunately, this cannot be seen everywhere on Earth, though � this particular solar eclipse is visible only in South America and Antarctica. Its visual effects won't be as intense either, since it is only a partial eclipse (the Moon won't completely cover the Sun). However, its astrological effects will still be evident!

Venus has just turned direct (Sep.08) and is still a bit dreamy after her trip through the retrograde underworld. Venus themes are returning to business-as-usual � money, income and possessions; love, romance, relationships and interaction; creativity, beauty and harmony. What new learning, perspectives, creative potential or people have emerged from that underworld into your life? The solar eclipse asks you to find ways to perfect these changes and be mindful of them as you make choices now.

Saturn has just recently gone into Virgo (Sep.02), the same sign as the solar eclipse. The choices and decisions you make now are likely to have lasting effects or to set in motion changes that will unfold over the next couple of years. You are likely to start seeing deeper implications of the current changes by October 2008, when Saturn passes over this current eclipse point.

The important thing to remember is that Virgo is meant to be a way to make yourself and the world better, not to compare yourself to an unreachable ideal and then beat yourself up when you fail to manifest it perfectly. This is the beginning of the harvest (literally so, in the northern hemisphere), when you get to see the results of your efforts. It is a time to enjoy the bountiful gifts of the Universe, as well as your participation in creating or acquiring them. If you become so critical of yourself or others that you are unable to celebrate the abundance of life, a personal reading can shed some valuable light to understand where you are stuck.  

Sep.12 � Mercury trine Chiron (11:12 of Libra/Aquarius) (Sep.13 in AU)

Your mental focus and communication now get an injection of healing energy. Cynicism and depression may soften now, as you become more receptive to a more optimistic viewpoint. If you have been caught up in escapism or "stinkin' thinkin'" (thinking you're more in control of your impulses than you really are), you may now find some relief and healing. Mental argument and critical "self-talk" can now find some reconciliation and acceptance that brings some peace of mind. You have increased ability to find the right words and understanding to help others with their problems. Compassion and empathy may be more accessible because you can identify your own experiences with what you see in others. You might also find someone who can give you good advice or support about your own problems -- possibly a teacher or mentor -- or you could become this to someone else.  

Sep.13 � Mercury sextile Jupiter (12:00 of Libra/Sagittarius)

You may have an abundance of ideas and words to express them under this transit. There is the potential (if you reach for it) to put ideas, facts and thoughts together into a cohesive whole. You may find you can understand the overall patterns in a situation, or you are able to see the Big Picture, better than usual. New insights and a change of perspective may abound, as your stream of consciousness flows abundantly with optimism and visionary possibilities. You may find yourself more talkative than usual, as you try to share and convey the new ideas, inspiration and knowledge coming into your mind. Write down your best ideas for later development, since you may be having too much fun now playing with ideas to want to stop and make them manifest just yet. There is a chance that you may be so elated and confident that you might come across as a bit overbearing or even as a "know-it-all," so be sure to listen too.  

Sep.17 � Sun square Mars (24:35 of Virgo/Gemini) (Sep.18 in AU)

Assertiveness, aggression and intense energy burst out under this transit. This can be a time of being pushed into taking action...or it can erupt in anger, irritation and hostility (in yourself or others). It may seem like everything pushes your buttons and rubs you the wrong way, creating conflict and putting you on edge. You may feel the impulse to burn off this excess energy through sexual activity. If you look beneath the irritation you may see a frustrated part of you that wants change, yet you have held back for some reason. Being pro-active and initiating steps for voluntary change is preferable, since you will have far more control over the process than if you get pushed into a corner and forced to act. The more preplanning you've done for this moment, the more successful you're likely to be. But if you get caught in a whirlwind of change, connect yourself to the part of you that wants change and let that ground and guide you.  

Sep.17 � Mercury sextile Venus (18:09 of Libra/Leo)  (Sep.18 in AU)

There is a potential to benefit from social connections, diplomatic communication and receptive awareness during this transit, although a certain amount of effort is needed to make this happen. It can be a good time for negotiating contracts and other agreements, especially if you consciously focus your intent on achieving balance with your counterpart, partner or opponent that results in a win-win situation for all concerned. There is also potential to appreciate and express beauty, pleasure and sensuality. If there's someone in your life that you want to get closer to, try speaking gently and listening receptively, which can be the key that opens the door to harmonious interaction. Creative ideas can also find expression now if you apply your conscious awareness to bring them into focus. The thing to watch for is a tendency to use manipulation to achieve an advantage, which might be done by you or to you. Keep communication straightforward and clear, and find diplomatic ways to deal with manipulation if you sense it happening.  

Sep.17 � Mars enters the Retrograde Shadow (24 Gemini to 12 Cancer; until Apr.05.2008) ("What's the Shadow?"  Read more about Mars Retrograde.  Read more about the Retrograde Shadow.  Read more about Retrograde planets.)

Mars now enters the Retrograde Shadow � the area of the Zodiac where it will go retrograde (Nov.15.2007 to Jan.30.2008). Similar to when Mercury goes into the Retrograde Shadow, you will start to increasingly feel the effects of the coming Mars retrograde, between now and Nov.15. Mars retrograde can increase or decrease the things to do with Mars � anger, physical energy, motivation, sexual energy, etc. The important thing to remember is that, as with all retrogrades, Mars retrograde will require the reconsideration or redoing of things to do with Mars. So, whatever Mars-like themes emerge in your life during this time are likely to need reworking later when Mars goes retrograde. For example, you may feel an urgency to take action that winds up having to be reconsidered or redirected later (during or after the retrograde period). You might feel very motivated, focused and driven to make progress with plans and ideas you have been thinking about, although needing to make some changes to these plans while retrograde. You might feel increasingly on a "short fuse," from feeling pressured or stressed. You could become more sensitive to hostility, anger, sexual energy or defensiveness in others. This tension could become unavoidable during the retrograde period, forcing you to deal with conflicts that have been building for a while. Or, tensions could suddenly drop during the retrograde, and like the calm centre of a hurricane, give you a period of "cease-fire" in which to reconsider your position and decide which battles are important enough to fight and which ones are best left alone. Your physical energy may also increase or decrease during this time.  

Sep.18 � Mercury trine Neptune (19:43 of Libra/Aquarius) (Sep.19 in UK, AU)

Your mind is very open to imagination, dreams and compassion under this transit. This can be a very creative time, when ideas flow like a magical river. It can also be easy to get caught up in yearning and fantasizing about your hidden wishes, although it is possible to channel this into creative expression. (e.g., writing poetry, dancing, wistful music, singing in the shower, whatever!) Listening sympathetically to others' problems may come easily now, and you are more likely to get a compassionate response from others about your own problems. However, it may also be difficult to draw clear and firm boundaries with others, since you are more susceptible to the emotional gravity of others. It is ultimately a time for optimism, hope, creativity and intuition, although it's wise to keep at least one foot on the ground.  

Sep.19 � Sun square Pluto (26:20 of Virgo/Sagittarius) (Sep.20 in AU)

This can be a challenging time, when your sense of purpose, identity and direction may feel blocked, overpowered or regulated by forces beyond your control. You may find yourself confronted by difficult situations or people, requiring that you rally an unusually strong show of power to keep from feeling powerless or overwhelmed. The trick is to center yourself in empowerment rather than simple power -- that means your power comes from within yourself rather than from controlling people and situations outside of yourself. You might find yourself involved in power struggles or abandonment, either in the present or stirred up from the past. You might be forced to let go of your attachment to something or someone due to circumstances beyond your control. However, this can also be a time when you reach inside yourself and find you have more strength than you thought you did. Adversity may inspire new assertiveness and purpose in you -- empowerment born of conflict and struggle.  

Sep.21 � Mars opposite Pluto (26:21 of Gemini/Sagittarius)

Mars and Pluto doing battle in the skies can create a very intense showdown! This is a time when tempers can flare, power struggles can emerge, and aggressive action could seem like the only way to handle a conflict. If you feel yourself becoming entangled in a mounting tension with someone, you might do well to back off a bit to let the adrenaline subside on both sides. On the other hand, it is a time when we are often challenged to assert ourselves and strengthen our spirit, which can often be brought on by confrontation. This is the kind of atmosphere where our interactions with others can bring out deeply hidden and intense feelings inside us, which long to be expressed but are usually suppressed instead. This is an opportunity to observe what gets triggered inside of us and what kind of interaction triggers those feelings. It can be valuable to use the experience as a way to vent old frustration, work through unresolved anger, and ultimately heal our deeper wounds by letting go of whatever holds us back. Sexual energy can run very high under this transit, so handle it wisely.  

Sep.21 � Venus opposite Neptune (19:40 of Leo/Aquarius) (Sep.22 in AU)

Romance, idealism, fantasy and imagination are blossoming into a bright aura right now, which is likely to influence your relationships, interactions, finances and values -- for better or for worse! Compassion, caring and selfless giving can be good ideals to aim for, as long as you remember that ideals tend to lose some of their shiny glow when they're translated into hard reality. If you forget this, the end result may be disappointing or disillusioning. Disappointment may also indicate that there have been hidden hopes or high expectations that no one can really live up to. Aim to balance your innocence and longing with the judgement of your older, wiser, mature self; and do a reality check with a trusted friend or adviser if in doubt. That said, this can also be a very creative and inspiring time -- just remember to keep one foot on the ground.  

Sep.22 � Mercury enters the Retrograde Shadow (23 Libra to 09 Scorpio; until Nov.18)  ("What's the Shadow?"  Read more about Mercury Retrograde.  Read more about the Retrograde Shadow.  Read more about Retrograde Cycles.)

Mercury now enters the area of Zodiac where it will later go retrograde (Oct.12 to Nov.01/02). During its retrograde cycle, Mercury travels through the same span of the Zodiac three times�once direct (moving forward), then retrograde (looks like it's going backwards), and then direct again. This means that there is a more involved process of development involved with things that Mercury affects�ideas, thoughts, frame of mind, mental focus, and the collection, exchange, analysis and organisation of information. Also affected are all forms of communication�email, the Internet, letters, the media in general, books and magazines, as well as public transit (buses, trains, etc.) and neighbourhoods. The situations that are developing over the next 2 weeks (leading up to when Mercury actually goes retrograde) are likely to require further research, deeper consideration and unexpected discoveries over the next couple of months. Expect changes in your plans, increasingly disrupted communication, and new information coming to light that may not fit conveniently into your plans. If you must make important decisions during this time, try to build some flexibility into your plans to allow for later changes�or if possible, you may want to delay final or irrevocable decisions until well after Mercury goes direct (Nov.01/02).  

Sep.23, 5:51 AM EDT � Equinox ~ Sun enters Libra (until Oct.23)
(Sep.23, 10:51 AM BST in UK)
(Sep.23, 7:51 PM AEST in AU)

Happy Solar Return to all Libras! While the Sun is in Libra, it brings experiences into our lives that focus us in the areas of love, close relationships, one-on-one interaction, diplomacy, negotiation, strategy, fairness, equilibrium, balance, harmony and beauty. This time also marks the point of equal balance between day and night -- the Autumnal Equinox. In the Northern Hemisphere, the nights now become longer than the days, and in the Southern Hemisphere, the days become longer than the nights, until the December Solstice. Balance is the key concept here! What is out of balance in your life? How can you negotiate or strategize to bring that area of your life back into harmony? Libra encourages you to balance your life in diplomatic, discreet, "win-win" ways. But if that's not possible, it will do it aggressively (creating conflict in order to break the stalemate of the imbalance) or manipulatively (people-pleasing to co-dependently get its way). Thus, Libra is known as both the peace-maker and the war-maker. If you find yourself instinctively trying to smooth out conflict -- or instigate it! -- take a step back and ask yourself if that is your best choice in the situation. Just don't get stuck in Libran indecision! Make your choice and then see if it brings what you want.  

Sep.24 � Mercury sextile Pluto (26:23 of Libra/Sagittarius)

Penetrating insights and passionate communication are possible under this transit ...although, so is speaking more forcefully than you intend to about things that require a bit of delicacy or discretion. It is also a time when your mental concentration can come together so easily that you become obsessed. You may prefer in-depth discussion to small-talk, and it might feel awkward if you aren't able to explore the depths in your interaction or communication with others. However, you likely have an increased ability to pick up on undercurrents of what's happening around you. This is also a time when you can start to shed and leave behind old worn out perceptions and ways of communicating. You also have an increased ability to take thoughts, ideas and information and transform them into something healing ...or wounding. Choose your words carefully and mindfully. Writing down your thoughts and ideas to capture the energy of this transit can help you gather the deeper qualities.  

Sep.26 � Mercury trine Mars (28:58 of Libra/Gemini) (Sep.27 in AU)

It may be easy to find the courage to speak your mind and say what needs to be said, under this transit. In fact, your ideas and words may come so quickly and easily that it's hard to stop them from tumbling out of your mouth before you've had a chance to evaluate the best way to say them. Your communication is likely to be direct, concise and right on the mark, even if it might also be a bit blunt or pointed. If you need to confront someone about a difficult situation, this transit can provide courage and clear words to help you do that -- although perhaps not as good for a situation requiring a more delicate, sensitive touch. It is a time when you could potentially find the nerve to take risks, or to defend yourself if the need arises (especially verbally). Overall, this is a wonderful transit for anything involving direct communication (e.g., public speaking, writing, debating), as well as mental agility (e.g., generating ideas, finding solutions, making decisions).

This is the first of 3 passes of this transit, as both planets enter their retrograde shadows (where they will later go "backwards" or retrograde). The other dates are: Oct.17 and Nov.19.  

Sep.26, 8:44 PM EDT � FULL MOON in Aries (03:20) ("What's a Full Moon?"  Read more about the Sun-Moon cycles.  Read more about the Aries side of your personality.)
(Sep.26, 3:44 PM in UK)
(Sep.27, 5:44 AM in AU)

The Full Moon in Aries brings an explosion of energy! This might be expressed physically (Aries loves to be active) or emotionally (the Moon is our emotional centre). It is also the Full Moon following the Solar Eclipse in Virgo (which was also a New Moon). Any Full Moon brings fruition and a turning point in the unfolding process that began at the previous New Moon. In this case, that fruition expresses the powerful energy released at the Solar Eclipse! An eclipse can bring out unusual, unconscious energy. The Full Moon in Aries is the midwife of the emergence of that energy.

Pure Aries energy isn't usually interested in subtleties or unconscious ambiguities. It wants to find the most direct way to get from Point-A to Point-B. No messing around, just "do it!" (as the slogan goes) Aries can therefore be very impulsive, sudden, fast-moving and candid. We all have a part of our nature that is Aries (since Aries and Mars are always somewhere in your chart, whether emphasised or not).

Sabian Symbol for the
Full Moon in Aries

Aries 4

Two lovers strolling through a secluded walk.

This gentle, lingering, romantic image seems a bit unexpected as a Sabian Symbol ("What's a Sabian Symbol?") for Aries. It's not that Aries can't be romantic, but this sign is more well known for its "just go for it" approach to life and love. However, remember that this is a symbolic image.

Mark Edmund Jones, who co-created the Sabian Symbols (The Sabian Symbols in Astrology), says about this symbol: "Implicit here is the fact that reality is ever without meaning or power except as it stimulates the self to move in its own interest..." (italics mine) In other words, it is our subjective experience that gives meaning and significance to the events that happen to us and around us.

This is a Full Moon, which is the fruition or expression of a powerful Solar Eclipse and New Moon in Virgo (the seed that's planted). This symbol seems to encourage you to take the larger-than-life energy released at the solar eclipse and find out where it intersects you at your center of being. If Aries seeks to reduce something to its most essential, direct terms, then this symbol suggests that the reduction is mere self-indulgence if it is not about enhancing one's Self.

Dane Rudhyar sees the "two lovers" as representing the dual natures that lie within each of us�male and female, yin and yang. (An Astrological Mandala) Despite the implied heterosexual assumption, Rudhyar focuses on the need of every individual to embrace both sides of the yin/yang duality. Only through this inner coupling can we be whole, and only through wholeness can we hope to understand our place within the larger scheme of things.

Lynda Hill (360 Degrees of Wisdom) sees the gentle seclusion and escape from reality depicted by the symbol. You can "touch the deeper feelings of your heart, without fear of being criticised." It encourages you to "be with someone you love ... even if this means being with that part of you that you never seem to have time for."

Become the lover you wish you had!


Read more about the Sabian Symbols in these recommended books:

The Sabian Symbols in Astrology,
by Marc Edmund Jones

An Astrological Mandala,
by Dane Rudhyar

The Sabian Symbols: The Original Symbols Fully Revealed,
by Blain Bovee

The question is: how will this Aries part of you carry and deal with the nebulous energy that was released at the solar eclipse? In an effort to make sense of a difficult, bewildering or overwhelming situation, you might try to reduce an intricate situation down to its most basic, essential terms. This may be done so that it can be dealt with quickly, directly and effectively. But in doing so, is it possible you are missing the details, the richer texture, multi-dimensional complexity or the "fine print?"

This is the effect of going from the New Moon in Virgo to the Full Moon in Aries � from the meticulous minutia of Virgo to the straightforward, blunt force of Aries. The advantage of these combined energies is that one can, potentially, boil the vast complexity of a situation down to an essence which points to an action or a choice or a straightforward way of understanding it. The single most important part can rise to the top where it can be scooped out and used.

The disadvantage is that, although this may allow you to make decisions and move forward, you also risk losing some important complexity and subtlety. This may be a necessary sacrifice in order to make progress, but it's also possible to resort to "overkill" that seeks only to "get on with it" and therefore leave behind a residue that becomes important later.

At the time of the Full Moon, Mars is in the last degree of Gemini and Mercury is in the final degree of Libra. This would be significant in its own right. However, Mars is the ruler of Aries, the Full Moon's sign, and Mercury is the ruler of Virgo, the sign of the New Moon that began this lunar cycle. It is therefore especially important and meaningful that these planets occupy these potent degrees!

The last degree of any sign tends to be a rather ominous degree! You've felt its energy before � you've almost finished something and are already thinking ahead to the next project or day or lover or whatever. You're not fully in the previous situation anymore and your heart just isn't in it. You're focused on what is coming, on the potentials that lie ahead. Your attention is split between the past and the future, which can leave you not present in the present (so to speak). Perhaps not the best frame of mind if you need to make focused decisions.

On the other hand, Mercury and Mars are in exact trine aspect to each other, which is usually seen as a positive influence. This alignment could bring out your creative intuition. Perceptions that come in flashes may contain valuable insights. You may recognise opportunities now whose portals of opportunity open only briefly and must be taken advantage of now or else wait for a more conventional encounter. The trick is to be able to tell the difference between a wise choice made on the spur of the moment versus an erratic lunge that turns out to be poorly timed. If you are able to stay grounded and centered, this is likely to work out better than if you suddenly decide to change your direction in mid-leap.

Another interesting point is that both Mercury and Mars are both in their retrograde shadows. In other words, each is within the span of the Zodiac where it will go retrograde, and thus will cross the 29th degree 3 times. This is the first pass through that degree for both planets; however, in future passes they will not be at the 29th degree at the same time, as they are right now. (You can read more about the 29th degree in this article by Eric J. Uberseder.) This reflects the whole split-attention experience, in which you will likely have to go back later and revise decisions and actions that are forming now.

It is entirely likely that this pending revision will need to be done because you're not fully paying attention now � you're not present in the moment. Your awareness may be somewhat scattered or fragmented, as your mind searches for something stable to hold onto. Yet, the prevailing energy is one of transition and change, so stability is not likely to be easy to come by. Staying present in the moment when you're in flux is never easy!

Best to ride with the current, using your mental focus to steer you away from the obvious rocks and hazards. If you can't manage it, at least try not to make any decisions now that can't be undone or changed later. It may be wise to avoid saying things impulsively now, which you may later regret if you have to "eat your words." On the other hand, if you need to make a quick decision that speaks to the future, while also having one foot in the past, this transit can make this easier to do.

Mars is also opposite Pluto (exact Sep.21), adding intensity, urgency and strength to all of the above energies. Since Mars is about to go retrograde (Nov.15.2007 to Jan.30.2008), this is the first of 3 passes that Mars will make in opposition to Pluto. I'll write more about this in November.

Saturn, having recently entered Virgo (Sep.02), forms what I call an Irritation Wedge ("What's a Wedge?") to the Full Moon. Saturn is quincunx the Moon and semi-sextile the Sun, and not even half a degree from being exact. While you are wrestling with impulses and the desire to make courageous strides into the future, Saturn is reminding you that the past is just as important. The value of tradition is its ability to act as a keel that provides stability and a rudder to allow you to steer in the direction of your choice. Fast or sudden moves can create instability and problems. Saturn's message to Aries is: Don't "just do it" � do it right!

Of course, Saturn in Virgo can set some rather strict standards. At worst, the rebellious Aries Moon may pull against the quincunx aspect to Saturn. You might feel an "itchy" feeling that you must preserve your independence, yet never quite be able to keep Saturn's rules from nipping at your heels. However, with Saturn in sextile to both Mars and Mercury at the time of the Full Moon, Saturn can be an ally if you give him half a chance. Try seeing the benefits of rules, standards and stability�not to stifle your autonomy, but to support and strengthen it. If you need some help understanding how to make friends with Saturn without feeling like you've just handed over the keys to your independence, consider getting a personal reading. I can help you see how all this applies to your individual life.

Sep.27 � Mercury enters Scorpio (until Oct.23) (Sep.28 in AU)

Cunning communication and insight are at their peak, as Mercury skulks through Scorpio. It�s a time for unearthing secrets and delving deeply into the psychological Shadow (Carl Jung�s term for the unconscious parts of ourselves that we don't want to or know how to face). There is opportunity for healing and grounding now, but you may have to resist the temptation to manipulate others to control that process. Your awareness of the undercurrents around you could be increased...or you might stir up those undercurrents in others without intending to, by blurting things out in a blunt or harsh way. This transit presents an opportunity to learn new ways to wield words with the skill of a surgeon - to heal and remove what is toxic, not to wound or retaliate. Use it wisely. If you are not crystal clear with yourself about your motives and feelings when communicating with others, your unconscious or hidden agendas could seep through and cause hurt when that was not your intention.

Mercury will go retrograde in Scorpio on Oct.12. This means that while Mercury is in Scorpio (Sep.27 to Oct.12), your mind is likely to be especially intense, shrewd and perceptive. You might find you slip more easily into suspicious thinking and a defensive mindset. Try not to let it dictate your choices or actions, but do listen to the underlying intuition�it's probably telling you

Sep.28 � Mars enters Cancer (until Dec.31) (Sep.29 in UK, AU)

The fiery energy of Mars is poured through the sensitive, emotional waters of Cancer. This is not the easiest placement for Mars, since its sharp edge becomes somewhat softened and diluted. However, this is also a time when it is possible to use your assertive and proactive energy for the protection of yourself or others. This is like the mother bear that can become extremely fierce when protecting her young, and in the same way you have an abundance of energy to defend your "children" -- literally or figuratively, in the sense of creative projects, loved ones, your Inner Child, or your home "nest." This is also a time when deep emotional issues may erupt to the surface, like buried anger, repressed frustration or unconscious fear. The focus of your feelings may be a little unstable and moody, but it also gives you an opportunity to nurture, vent and express those feelings. Observe how you respond to any deep feelings that emerge, either in yourself or in others. Does your Inner Parent try to repress or scold that Inner Child, or are you able to respond lovingly, caringly and sensitively? This is a learning experience that can teach you how to nurture yourself ...and others.

Mars will go retrograde in Cancer on Nov.15. Mars will be increasingly slowing down over the next several weeks. With this happening in Cancer, your more sensitive emotions may seem to linger a bit longer than usual. You may be more easily hurt by harsh words or actions during this time. On the positive side, though, you can also be more receptive to the needs of others. Your empathy may guide your actions and choices more than usual. And your creative potential is higher during this time.


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Oct.01 � Mercury sextile Saturn (03:28 of Scorpio/Virgo)

It can be easier to take a logical, practical approach to problem-solving and decisions now. It's a good time to make plans and work out the logistics of how you're going to get from "here" to "there" in pursuing your ambitions. Or, you may find it's time to bring closure to finished goals, by distilling and systemizing what you've learned in the past several months. This will probably require a bit of effort on your part to make it happen, but the opportunity is there if you choose to take it. This transit can bring mental stability and the ability to apply your mental focus in a practical and grounded way. It may be easier to see things realistically and objectively. Creative energy can become productive and rewarding, if you use it methodically or logically.

Oct.03 � Venus trine Pluto (26:29 of Leo/Sagittarius)

Close one-on-one connections with people (close friends, lovers, partners of all kinds) will tend to gravitate to a deeper, more intense level now. Instead of automatically doing the diplomatic, "nice" thing, you may find it is more fulfilling to share more of your authentic feelings. It may be possible now to connect with people on a deeper level, while still ensuring that your interests are equally balanced with theirs. The trick is to do this without trying to control or overpower the other person, and it may be easier to avoid those traps now. You could make some deeply intimate connections with people under this transit. Financial dealings with other people may also go smoothly, although it might be wise to get clear confirmation that you're both on the same page about the fine print.

This is the last of 3 passes of this transit (Jul.08, Aug.15 and Oct.03). This is due to Venus going over the area of the Zodiac where she formed a trine to Pluto, while in her retrograde cycle. How have you expanded your intimate relationships to embrace deeper meaning and closeness? How have you transformed your finances, possessions or resources during this time? In what ways have you adjusted your values and priorities to strengthen your self-protection or empowerment, or to reflect your deeper beliefs, standards and ethics? These are issues that Venus trine Pluto has encouraged you to explore and embrace during this time.

Oct.04 � Sun trine Chiron (10:31 of Libra/Aquarius)

This is a time when you may find that your recent efforts to mend and heal the chronic struggles in your life start to come together. You likely have the confidence now to try new solutions, or at least to approach problems from a different angle that sheds new light on the situation. Some of this progress may come from daring to walk your own path, or from finding the courage to face the hidden shadow of your worries and weaknesses (the hidden benefit that those worries give you). There may be a variety of different struggles and wounds in your life that could benefit from this kind of healing, although it can be tempting to let this transit pass by without taking advantage of it. Strive to reach a midpoint between merely dipping your toe in troubled waters and thinking that is enough, versus jumping in the deep end and marinating in it.

Oct.08 � Venus enters Virgo (until Nov.08)

Under this transit, it is possible to fall in love with purity, precision and analysis. It is a time to invest in health, efficiency, and your contribution to the world around you. The beauty is in the details, as you embrace a labour of love in your life. Just don't get so enamoured with pristine splendour that you get lost in perfectionism and unable to accept the natural imperfection that exists in all life and humanity. Each of us is the Universe's perfect child, but we are also in a state of becoming and growing and are therefore likely to make human mistakes. Remember that we're here for the journey, as much as the destination. This part of the journey takes us into service and devotion, whether that is focused on another person or on ourselves.

Venus' entry into Virgo now brings her back to the sign where she went retrograde back on Jul.27. The final processing of your Venus retrograde experience is to come back to Venus' quest for purity in love and worth. How has your perspective about these areas changed since late July?

Oct.08 � Mars sextile Saturn (04:20 of Cancer/Virgo) (Oct.09 in UK, AU)

There is an opportunity to harness the energy of willpower using practical discipline. Your physical and mental energy are likely to be stable and enduring, or else they can become this way more easily than usual by applying a sustained focus of effort. This is a great transit if you need to be productive or to make progress in a goal that you are working toward. The thing to watch out for is a tendency to be over-cautious to the point where you get stuck in the planning stage and don't get much done. Or, you might try to rush into the production phase before your plans are fully formed. This transit works best when these areas are brought into balance.

Oct.09 � Sun sextile Jupiter (15:35 of Libra/Sagittarius)

This is a time when your understanding of the Big Picture and your place within it has the potential to click into place. As a result, your confidence and self-esteem can be quite high right now. Your ability to see opportunities and possibilities more clearly can produce an experience of being "lucky." Your insight into life and the world around you may be especially bright, optimistic and inspired. This is a "feel-good" transit, when your sense of self can seem to expand and become free. You may feel especially connected to spiritual energy during this time. Just be careful that all this self-assurance and "knowing" doesn't backfire, by overestimating the extent of your knowledge or underestimating the reaction of your audience. It is possible to become a bit self-indulgent under this transit, so be careful not to overdo it. Beyond a reasonable caution, this is a transit to enjoy!

Oct.09 � Jupiter square Uranus (15:35 of Sagittarius/Pisces) (Oct.10 in UK, AU)

Just when you think you've got it figured out, life surprises you! And the revelation might not come as a welcome surprise. New information or insight might be getting in the way of your ability to be confident in your knowledge of life. It's also possible that your beliefs, judgments and assumptions are getting in the way of your ability to see something more clearly. Therefore, a conflict or struggle can develop under this transit that shows how your understanding of life needs to be adjusted in some way. It is time to let in new ideas, perceptions and truths; to expand your worldview and allow your mind to think more freely. However, we often cling closely to what we believe is Truth. We guide our lives and decisions by what we see as the Truth, and it is tempting to believe in absolutes � that there is only one Truth and we have it. This transit will likely challenge your view of life and bring you in contact with experiences, information or a new perspective that requires you to open your mind a little wider. At its worst, this transit could bring a strong conflict of interest, resulting in a lot of finger pointing in an attempt to figure out who is "to blame" for the fact that the same old ideas don't work in predictable ways. At its best, you can gain flashes of insight that liberate your thinking and increase your wisdom. Fighting for a cause � especially involving humanitarianism, spirituality, multiculturalism or technology � could be the inspiration or trigger that sets these changes in motion. For best results, seek to stretch your understanding beyond your usual boundaries.

This is the last of 3 passes of this transit (Jan.22, May.10 and Oct.09). This transit may have put you in a pensive mood, doing some soul-searching, speculating about where you are going, having to refine or reform your spiritual beliefs, and forcing yourself to look beyond your usual zone of comfort and familiarity. At this final pass, take a look back on what this year has been for you in these areas. What have you learned about Life, the Universe and Everything? How have you had to change your perspective so that it matches or supports your actions (or vice versa). This pass will be in effect throughout most of October, giving you lots of time to process and apply whatever your learning has been this year.

Oct.11 � Venus leaves the Retrograde Shadow (until Feb.01.2009) ("What is the Shadow?"  Read more about Venus Retrograde.  Read more about the Shadow.)

Venus finally finishes her retrograde cycle. She has been in the retrograde shadow since Jun.24 and now This means Venus has been going through the same span of the Zodiac since that date � first direct (Jun.24 to Jul.27), then retrograde (from Jul.27 to Sep.08), then direct again (Sep.08 to now, Oct.11). Look back on these periods of time and see if you can identify a pattern in your life. The first direct phase may have seen the development of issues, problems, challenges or desires in relationships, finances, resources or the need for balance. During the second phase, you may have reconsidered and re-evaluated these areas, seeing things you wanted to change or perhaps allowing yourself to express feelings or desires that you normally keep locked away. The last phase (which ends now) is the time when you make changes or choices based on what has emerged during the other two phases.

Next Update:  NEW MOON in LIBRA - October 11, 2007. Available by Oct.11.


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