Low-Down Archives September 2008

September 2008

For the New Moon Cycle in Virgo :
August 30 to September 29, 2008

Aug.30 � NEW MOON in VIRGO (07:48 of Virgo)


Ottawa, Canada and
Washington DC, USA:

Aug.30, 3:58 PM EDT

London, UK:

Aug.30, 8:58 PM BST

Sydney, AU:

Aug.31, 5:58 AM AEST

"What's a New Moon?"

Read more about the Sun-Moon cycles.

Read more about how you experience VIRGO energy in your life.

Virgo likes perfection. Let me be more precise about that: Virgo wants things to work. Perfectly. Efficiently. Predictably. Right down to the finest detail. If the broad strokes are in place but the fine brushwork is incomplete, the bigger picture will fall apart as soon as you start to zero in on specifics. Therefore, Virgo demands discipline, patience, thoroughness and dedication.

To the uninitiated, Virgo energy can seem merely critical, perfectionist and unreasonably nit-picky. Yet, Virgo people don't attempt to correct or improve things just for the sake of making changes. Wait, let me refine that. Virgos don't see themselves as correcting or improving for trivial or petty reasons, even though others might feel that they do. Rather, Virgos are only trying to help others attain the same level of excellence that they themselves aspire to, while assuming that everyone else wants to achieve that too. I mean, who wouldn't want to be the very best they can be? And if you can't be overzealous about perfectionism, what's the point?? ;-)

Virgo is about being dedicated to the manifestation of an ideal, whether that concerns your motives, behaviour or actions. It applies equally to everything from your loftiest aspirations to your most mundane day-to-day routines. Any ideal worthy of manifestation deserves to be applied like a formula to everything that you think and do. Remember�the fine brushwork that may seem trivial compared to the broad strokes is what can make the difference between an "interesting" painting and a masterpiece. Virgo is definitely going for the masterpiece.

The simplest act becomes an act of service when applied in the context of Virgo. The ordinary tasks that you do every day to contribute to the world around you become offerings to the sacred Universe. This could be the job you are paid to do, or the labour of love you do for your family, or the time and energy you commit to help make the world a better place, or the routines and habits in your life that maintain your health and keep you functioning.

The lunar cycle that begins in Virgo (Aug.30 to Sep.29) is a time when everyone gets a chance to work with their Virgo energy. Since the New Moon is conjunct Saturn, this could put some strong expectations on you to get serious about making your life more efficient, functional and effective.

So, how to do that? (As perfectly as possible, of course...) Look into the areas of your life that could use some improvement, fine-tuning or adjustment. No�don't just look at those areas; formulate a plan to make them better. Don't just tinker with them for the sake of saying you did something. Think about how they're not working as effectively as they could. Be specific. What is one thing you can do now that will make that part of your life run a little more efficiently or effectively?

How could you bring that part of your life more in line with your best intentions? Does it require more discipline? Slowing down and bringing your life into better order? Taking things one step at a time? Committing to a line of action that you've been trying to avoid? Making a decision you've been putting off?

Then, don't forget to DO it!

There's a LOT more going on in this lunar cycle than just the Virgo energy from the New Moon. Please read on for more about this intriguing and dynamic cycle. 

Aug.28-Sep.29 � Jupiter stationary, square Mercury-Venus-Mars, trine Sun-Saturn

Jupiter is the hub of a tremendous amount of energy while it makes its Direct Station! Although Jupiter doesn't officially change direction until Sep.08, it hovers at the same degree for a few weeks. During that time, Jupiter, the King of the Gods, holds Royal Court and receives literally half the solar system into its orb of influence!

So who are the players? Their combined energies will be with us for the duration of the entire New Moon in Virgo lunar cycle. We will do well to get to know them!

Jupiter Stationary Direct and square 
				Mercury-Venus-Mars conjunction

Let's start with Mercury, Venus and Mars, who are traveling buddies in a multiple conjunction through Libra. This conjunction is in orb roughly from Aug.28 to Sep.27 � throughout the entire lunar cycle. Mercury, Venus and Mars have sometimes been called the building blocks of the psychological ego. Mercury is your thoughts, your ability to analyze and communicate. Venus is your heart, love, values and your need for social interaction. Mars is your impulses, your passion and your will.

Collectively these planets are linking arms and dancing to Libra's tune. Libra wants life to be fair, equitable, harmonious and balanced. Your desires, motives and intentions will probably be focused on creating and negotiating a win-win situation with others around you. Using Libra's qualities, you may wish to bring this about using art, love, beauty and alluring charm.

However, Libra can also be ultra sensitive to situations that are unfair, one-sided, conflicted and otherwise out of balance. "Libra the peace-maker" is not above becoming "Libra the war-maker" if it might clear the air and bring things back into balance again. And with Mercury, Venus and Mars teaming up in Libra right now, there is plenty of ammunition available through words, intentions, actions and subtle tact that could have a strong impact on others�for better or for worse.

On the other side of that same coin, Libra's wish to be fair to all sides can also result in a stalemate of indecision. If those Libra planets can't come to a collective agreement about how to resolve a conflict, they could get stuck in indecision or resort to passive-aggressive tactics.

Enter Jupiter!

Jupiter is stationary, which means it's slowed down and hovering while in the process of changing directions�in this case, to end its retrograde cycle and resume direct motion. Jupiter is especially strong while stationary. This accentuates and amplifies Jupiter's priorities of justice, moral values, truth and reaching out toward a force greater than itself (e.g. spirituality, wisdom).

Although Jupiter has a reputation for bringing "good luck" and beneficial effects, like every other planet it has its shadow side too. Jupiter can sometimes be dogmatic, holier-than-thou and full of condemnation and blame. Jupiter in Capricorn in particular can sometimes be a bit rigid in its view of right and wrong, as well as strict in the solutions it believes will create justice.

Jupiter is in a square aspect to Mercury, Venus and Mars while it is stationary. This brings some very forceful and potentially volatile energies together throughout September! In Jupiter's search for truth and justice, it must deal with Libra planets in search of fairness and balance. However, these two factions may have very different ideas of what the end result should look like and how to get there.

This begins to sound like a group of people who share the same goals but may become divided from within due to disagreements about how to reach those goals. (Doesn't sound like any political party I've ever heard of�) At its worst, it may be wise to watch out for impulsive bad judgment, arguments due to hypersensitive reactions, and defensiveness due to an expectation of being judged by others.

At its best, this potent combination of energies could also generate enormous motivation to find solutions that will satisfy all concerned, while staying true to the highest shared values and inspired vision. In other words, just because there's conflict doesn't mean it won't lead to increased strength, resolve and wisdom. This could be a very dynamic time when change happens fast and acts as a lightning rod for some far-reaching hopes and ambitions.

Jupiter Stationary Direct trine Sun-Saturn conjunction

Jupiter is also trine the Sun and Saturn while it is stationary. This brings into the mix some much-needed stability, a sense of honor and duty, and a desire for tidy, effective solutions. Although the Sun conjunct Saturn is sometimes seen as an oppressive or inhibiting influence, in this case it could act as a stabilizing anchor to keep potential problems from getting out of hand.  For example, authority figures or disciplined leaders might step in to soothe hot tempers or perhaps intervene in the interests of peace and resolution.

And just to add a little spice, Pluto is stationary direct less than 24 hours after Jupiter stations! Pluto brings a transformative energy, seeking deep change that squeezes out whatever influences could contaminate the desired result.

These transits all becomes exact within just a few days of each other. That means from Sep.04-09 all of these themes are likely to be very prominent around you. If these transits were a recipe, think spicy Cajun Jambalaya or perhaps a fast and hot Sichuan stir-fry!

While all of this is taking place, Jupiter hovers precisely at 12:32 of Capricorn. The Sabian Symbol for this degree is "A fire worshipper" or "A fire worshipper meditates on the ultimate realities of existence" (depending on which books you read). This symbol brings in a magical quality of transformation, primal purity, and a light of hope in the darkness. It also suggests that it will be helpful to focus on some kind of "guiding light" that represents the whole of everything we believe is good and positive in the world. That doesn't necessarily mean an absence of danger � we could still "get burned" if we lose ourselves in that light or become consumed by it. However, without it we could simply wander, lost and defensive, in the darkness. We all need a night light ...and a good astrologer! 

Sep.03 � Sun conjunct Saturn (11:55 of Virgo) (Sep.07 in UK, AU)

For a few days before and after this date, you may feel serious, studious, stuck, blocked, committed and/or hard working. It could be a good time to manifest well prepared plans, or you might have to get real and deal with difficult realities in new ways. You may have business with authority figures, or you might be called upon to act in a leadership role. It can also be a time to own your own authority � that is, to BE the authority figure, either to someone else or just to yourself. It might be a time of decision, when you have to choose one path or option over another. This can feel like an ending, as much as it is a new beginning, because selecting one possibility means you must let go of the other possibilities (at least for now). This is a necessary part of the process of manifestation and maturity. Doing closure on the people and situations that are passing out of your life will help to complete the process of growth and learning they have brought into your life, and can help clear the space for something new to begin growing in their place. 

Sep.04 � Mercury enters the Retrograde Shadow (until Oct.31) ("What's the Shadow?"  Read more about Retrograde Cycles.  Read more about Mercury Retrograde.)

Mercury now enters the area of Zodiac where it will later go retrograde (Sep.24 to Oct.15). During its retrograde cycle, Mercury travels through the same span of the Zodiac three times (called the Shadow). The first time through, it is going in direct motion (moving forward), then retrograde (looks like it's going backwards), and then direct again. This means there is a more involved process of development and change involved with things that Mercury influences�ideas, thoughts, frame of mind and mental focus. It also concerns the collection, exchange, analysis and organisation of information. All forms of communication are also affected�email and snail mail, the Internet, the media in general, books and magazines, as well as public transit (buses, trains, etc.) and neighbourhoods. The situations developing over the next 2 weeks (leading up to when Mercury actually goes retrograde) will likely require further research, deeper consideration and adjustments to 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. It's wise to leave lots of extra time to do things, plan future projects and get to wherever you're going. 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 (Oct.15).

Mercury makes aspects to a number of different planets during this retrograde cycle. It squares Jupiter 3 times, conjoins Mars 3 times, and trines Chiron and Neptune each 3 times. It also conjoins Venus once. The net effect could challenge you to reassess decisions and judgments to see if you are seeing things as clearly as you thought. It's possible your decisions might be challenged, which could require you to defend them or reconsider if you should change your mind. It might be necessary in the end to take things on faith and accept less than perfect�yet workable�solutions, although this could require some rethinking about what that faith is based on. 


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Sep.04 � Sun Trine Jupiter (12:33 of Virgo/Capricorn) (Sep.05 in AU)

This is a time when your understanding of the Big Picture and your place within it can 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, finding new meaning in your live and the events that unfold around you. Self-confidence can run high now, and you could feel inspired to fight for justice or some cause. At the same time, there is a chance that all this self-assurance and "knowing" could go overboard into over-confidence, dogmatism or over-indulgence if it's not grounded in realism and humility. Just use your best judgment and enjoy this warm, shining energy!

Note: Jupiter is Stationary Direct during this transit. The Sun is also conjunct Saturn during this transit. Please see above for a detailed discussion of these and other transits involving Jupiter. 

Sep.07 � Mars square Jupiter (12:32 of Libra/Capricorn) (Sep.08 in AU)

Under this transit your energy is more accessible, but this could be more problematic than helpful. On one hand, you have more enthusiasm and motivation available to take bold steps toward your goals. However, you might be forced to do this out of a sense of moral coercion, rather than freely choosing it. Or, your actions could be triggered by exasperated impulse more than by a sense of what is right for that moment. Impulses are likely to become easily amplified, but also more difficult to control. This includes anger, sexuality, aggression and assertiveness. Confidence could come across as arrogance. Courage might become reckless or brazen. If you find it difficult to bring out these qualities in yourself, they may come spurting out in a way that might be frightening or intimidating. But once your energy has emerged, you are in a better position to learn how to harness it, use it, work with it and summon it at will.

Note: Jupiter is Stationary Direct during this transit. Mars is also conjunct Mercury and Venus during this transit. Please see above for a detailed discussion of these and other transits involving Jupiter. 

Sep.08 � Jupiter stationary Direct (12:32 of Sagittarius; direct until Jun.15.2009) ("What's a Station?"   Read more about Stations.  Read more about retrogrades.)

For up to a week before and after this date, you may feel a surge of idealism, inspiration and confidence. A quest for knowledge, truth, optimism and faith could become a beacon of energy in your life. Jupiter has been retrograde since Apr.05.2007 and is now changing direction again and resuming its normal direct motion. You may have been exploring and developing the deeper qualities of spirituality, beliefs, confidence, knowledge, faith and/or optimism during that time. Or you might have found ways to expand your horizons�directly through travel or indirectly through the study of other cultures and languages. For the next 3 months (as Jupiter retraces its steps through the Shadow), you can start to apply and integrate what you've learned over the past 4 months. For example, if you have been taking a course or exploring your religious beliefs, this might be a time when you are able to put your discoveries into practice or place them into your worldview. This turning point may be uplifting, overwhelming, inspiring and/or illuminating. You could discover new meaning in areas of life that had become stale or worn out, or you might realise that your old ways of understanding don't work for you anymore and need to be let go. Whatever you've learned or gained over the last 4 months, it is now available to be expressed and used more openly and directly in your life.

Note: When Jupiter stations, it is EXACTLY square Mercury and Mars, AND is also exactly trine Saturn! For more about the transits to the Jupiter station, please see above. 

Sep.08 � Mercury square Jupiter (12:32 of Libra/Capricorn)

You may be seeing the weak links in your knowledge, understanding or beliefs right now. Your ideas and words might seem to fall short of what your mind envisions, or you might be unable to convince others of your point of view. As a result, it can be tempting to over-compensate with more self-confidence, faith or optimism than you actually have. Or, you might give out "too much information" by over-explaining or through nervous rambling. Alternatively, you might encounter someone else who does this and perhaps have a blaming or judgmental reaction to them. This is an opportunity to learn something about how you might jump to conclusions or blame, possibly triggered by a situation that challenges your beliefs, opinions or perspective. To learn more about this part of yourself, try taking some time to think about what is really bothering you or what you really need to say in that situation. There may be a higher truth to be found if you open your mind to something you're reluctant to acknowledge, rather than looking for a "final truth" around which to close it. 

Sep.08 � Mercury conjunct Mars (13:06 of Sign) (Sep.09 in AU)

Spontaneous or impulsive words may come flying out of your mouth under this transit! If you've been struggling to keep opinions or observations to yourself, you might find it hard to keep them quiet, especially if you feel strongly about the situation. You might see things as more "cut and dried" than usual. Although you might feel frustrated if things don't happen in a direct, quick, straightforward way, it can also be a good time to make decisions and move forward with plans. On one hand, this can have a positive effect because it can give you courage to speak your mind and assert yourself candidly and honestly. On the other hand, you might also come across as abrupt, cranky, argumentative or even downright hostile, especially if you've been stuffing down anger or resentment for a while. This transit represents a new beginning in how you can handle self-assertiveness, communication and decision-making. By "listening to" your impulses, passions and urge to speak your truth, you can get an idea how your "inner voice" wants to emerge � and how to do that without annihilating the other person. ;-)

This is the first of 3 passes of this transit (Sep.08, Sep.23 and Nov.28). It is worth noting that when Mercury stations to go retrograde on Sep.24, it is EXACTLY conjunct Mars. We essentially have a Mercury-Mars conjunction throughout September!  

Sep.08 � Jupiter trine Saturn (12:32 of Sign/Sign) (Sep.09 in UK, AU)

The expansiveness of Jupiter works cooperatively with the concise structure of Saturn in this transit. Its peak effects can be felt for up to about a week to 10 days before and after the exact date (above). This transit can bring adventure and caution into a healthy balance. You have the confidence and imagination to envision bright possibilities in your life, while also having the grounded realism to make the plans and do the hard work to make it happen. If you have been making plans to create, build or reach for a goal in your life, this is a time when you may be able to make substantial progress. You have access to vision that can see beyond obstacles, insight to deal with problems, enthusiasm to sustain your efforts, and faith in the process as it unfolds. It is also easier to be responsible, stable and predictable without limiting your options or potential. There's a slight possibility that this could backfire somewhat, by giving you the strength to push through your vision or opinion with such force that others find it overwhelming. Or, you might feel so reassured and confident with the way your life is unfolding that you take it for granted and don't apply any real effort to help it along ...and then wonder why it didn't bring as much as you thought. Make a point of putting this energy to productive use!

This is the fourth of 5 passes of this transit! The exact pass dates are: 16-Mar-2007, 6-May-2007, 21-Jan-2008, 8-Sep-2008 and 21-Nov-2008. It's somewhat unusual to have 5 passes of any Jupiter-Saturn transit, and it only happens when they are on opposite sides of the solar system (e.g. the trine and opposition aspects). The last time we had 5 passes of a Jupiter-Saturn aspect was at the last opposition in 1989-91. This current long-term trine aspect means we have two years to make the most of this productive and powerful combination of energies. Also, whatever long-term plans you are nurturing during this time, there may be a chance to develop something even better than you originally thought was possible. 

Sep.08 � Pluto stationary Direct (28:30 Sagittarius) (Sep.09 in UK, AU) ("What's a station?"  Read article about Stations.)

For about a week before and after, you may experience energy that is intense, compelling and transformative, as Pluto changes direction to its normal forward motion. If you've been going through deep, cathartic changes in your life over the last 6 months to a year, you may find that this station brings a shift in how you are able to approach those changes. This might be a time when you feel the weight of power struggles or loss in your life, but it can also be a time when you find empowering strength in yourself that you didn't know you had. Above all, it is a time when your deepest, most authentic Self can start to emerge and be reborn anew.

This is an especially important station for Pluto! It is the final turn before Pluto enters a new sign to stay. Pluto ventured into Capricorn earlier this year to take a look around (Jan.25 to Jun.14), but then went back into Sagittarius to complete the transition from one sign to another. This station represents Pluto rounding the corner to come down the home stretch. The finish line in Sagittarius becomes the point of no return in its journey through Capricorn. Once Pluto goes back into Capricorn this coming Nov.26, it will stay there until 2023. 

Sep.09 � Venus square Jupiter (12:32 of Libra/Capricorn) (Sep.10 in AU)

"Your eyes are bigger than your stomach" (as Mom used to say). That means you are more likely now to over-indulge, especially in the areas of relationships, spending, desires, pleasure and social contact. Your desire for fulfilment and satisfaction may exceed your resources, and you might not even realise it until the bill comes in later (probably under a Saturn transit ;-). You may also find you require more knowledge, understanding, faith, freedom or optimism than you have available, making it tempting to compensate by inflating what you really have. For example, you might want to resort to flattery, manipulation or over-optimism in an effort to make up for a lack of genuine confidence, rapport or preparation. However, this can also be a time when your creativity is running high and you are able to pull rabbits out of your hat on a moment's notice. The problem is that you could over-extend yourself by doing so. 

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Sep.11 � Venus conjunct Mars (15:17 of Libra) (Sep.12 in UK, AU)

Diplomacy and harmony combine with forcefulness and enthusiasm under this transit. How you experience the results will depend in part on which you value more � winning (Mars dominant) or resolution (Venus dominant). One possibility is being able to negotiate agreements with others in assertive ways; another possibility is being able to confront others with gentleness and diplomacy. The courage to act could become either blunted or enhanced by an increased sensitivity to how your actions could affect others. Your ability to negotiate a diplomatic solution to a problem might be sabotaged by impatience, frustration or too much directness � or that same forcefulness might help by keeping things from getting bogging down or by injecting an infectious enthusiasm to the discussion. Although the effects could look very different in various situations, the best results will likely be found by using the best of both of these opposite energies. 

Sep.12 � Mercury trine Chiron (16:58 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.12 � Sun Opposite Uranus (20:40 of Virgo/Pisces) (Sep.13 in UK, AU)

This transit brings an encounter with the Awakener! This could come in the form of another person or outside situation that shakes you out of your habitual routine and pushes you to try a new approach to your situation. Life may be very unpredictable right now, requiring you to be spontaneous, innovative or independent in the way you respond to it. This could be stressful or exciting! It is actually showing you a new path in the darkness, like a lightening flash in the night. If you feel startled or caught off guard, or confused about what to do next, find your internal centre and try to be open to what the situation is illuminating for you. You now have a chance to shed some old habits and ways that you are stuck, if you can stay centered in the middle of the whirlwind. You may experience revelations � that "ah-ha!!" feeling � which could open up new possibilities and opportunities for you. However, it might feel like you have little choice but to try these new things (rather than freely choosing them). You could find yourself reacting to others with a powerful impulse to throw off the shackles of anything that feels restrictive, to reclaim your independence � although this could also be motivated by a fear of commitment or responsibility too. It is wise to check your own inner motives, feelings and assumptions before automatically dismissing, rejecting or rebelling against other people. 

Sep.13 � Venus trine Chiron (16:56 of Libra/Aquarius)

Healing and rebalancing are possible now, especially in the areas of relationships, finance, resources and values. Any problems that have persisted in these areas lately could benefit from an influx of helpful and healing resources now. Relationships and interactions of all kinds can benefit now, since it can be easier to see the beauty and value in others whom you might usually dislike or feel ill at ease with (or they with you). Negotiations and strategic efforts to resolve conflicts may go smoothly now, especially when you balance the results in everyone's interests. You may also be able to attract what you need to heal your wounds (physical, psychological, spiritual, etc.). Like it says in the "Serenity Prayer," you may now find it a bit easier to accept that which you cannot change, while finding you make progress with the things you can. 

Sep.14 � Mars trine Chiron (16:53 of Libra/Aquarius)

The healing of assertive energy and willpower mark this transit. It is bound to be easier to get past any inhibition you might normally feel about being assertive, expressing frustration and anger, and putting things into action. Perhaps you are able to reconcile some internal guilt or fear that has held you back in the past. Or, maybe you are finally able to reach a state of acceptance or resolution that allows you to move beyond a conflict or struggle that has been keeping you stuck. Applying your willpower to problems has a better chance of succeeding now because you're likely to be more attuned to the path that leads to peace rather than more conflict. It's possible you might choose to use this energy in the defence of another person, a cause or something else you feel passionately about. It's possible to focus your energy, intent, motives and actions in ways that are healing, healthy, balanced and constructive. 

Sep.14 � Mercury conjunct Venus (18:55 of Libra) (Sep.15 in UK, AU)

Social connections, diplomatic communication and receptive awareness mark this transit. It can be a great time to negotiate contracts or agreements because the communication can usually flow easily. Focus your awareness on achieving a mutual balance between you and the other person. A win-win solution is especially easy to achieve now � so much so, in fact, that it might be tempting to only say what you think the other person wants to hear (which may or may not be wise). This can also be a time of appreciating and expressing beauty, pleasure and sensuality. If there's someone you want to get closer to (in terms of romance, friendship, business, partnership, or even an adversary!), talking gently and listening receptively can be the key that unlocks the door. You may also get new creative ideas from your interactions with people or from observing them. 

Pisces 23: A materializing medium gives a seance

Sabian Symbol for the
Full Moon in Pisces

Pisces 23

A "materializing medium" gives a s�ance.

This Sabian Symbol ("What's a Sabian Symbol?") echoes the other-worldly aura that permeates this Full Moon!

Dane Rudhyar describes it well: "The person who believes he or she has a mission or mandate, or any special gift that can be of value to his community, must substantiate this belief. He has to produce results." (An Astrological Mandala) And sometimes it can seem like those results must be conjured out of thin air with little other than your own energy to give it shape.

Rudhyar also points out that there is a danger of exhaustion after having given so much of yourself. This symbol is therefore a warning to avoid burnout. Give your energy, but be sure you give yourself the time, space and support to recharge your batteries.

Lynda Hill talks about how increased sensitivity could bring either confusion or enlightenment. She suggests sitting quietly with your experiences until you start to understand what they're trying to tell you. Pisces is an energy that is usually best experienced apart from the distracting outer world. (360 Degrees of Wisdom)

Psychic or magical work requires a solid grounding in the physical world, in order to find your way back to it again. If you get caught up in too much confusion or get too blurry around the edges, bring yourself back to the practical aspect of what you're doing, or focus on specifics, or clean out and reorganize your closets.


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

Sep.15 � FULL MOON in PISCES (22:54)


Ottawa, Canada and
Washington DC, USA:

Sep.15, 5:12 AM EDT

London, UK:

Sep.15, 10:12 AM BST

Sydney, AU:

Sep.15, 7:12 PM AEST

"What's a Full Moon?"

Read more about the Sun-Moon cycles.

Read more about how you experience PISCES energy in your life.

The Full Moon in Pisces is dreamy, romantic and imaginative, with all of our hopeful ideals projected onto it like home movies on a wall. In the northern hemisphere, this is known as the Harvest Moon. It is usually the Full Moon closest to the September equinox, which is just a week away (read more about the equinox). It coincides with the harvesting of the crops in the northern hemisphere, and is associated with abundance, giving thanks for one's blessings and the beginning of the end of the warm weather.

Pisces is the last sign in the Zodiac. It is the place where the Zodiac recycles itself. The old sequence of events comes to a close and preparation is made for a new one. It is a place of letting go and anticipation of what is yet to come. In the phases of the Moon, this is akin to the Dark of the Moon, when the Moon is no longer visible in the sky just before a New Moon.

We are in freefall � we have pushed off from one side of the abyss and have not yet landed on the other side. We are sailing through the Unknown, where anything might happen. This is the kind of experience when our awareness can reach beyond our usual boundaries, trying to connect to something solid, something real, something reassuring.

What we find "out there" in the shadowy abyss might be friend or foe. We might find the divine � God, Gods, All That Is, the Universe, Higher Power, unification principle, or whatever your title of choice. Or, we might find demons � the Devil, Satan, negative energy, self-undoing, or whatever your name of choice.

And how does one tell the difference? It's a place where the very best or the very worst can come into your life. Imagination can be a powerful resource to help you bring a focus to your diffused thoughts and feelings. Imagination can also work overtime, leaping into the ideal and surrendering to the best of all possible worlds; or it could leap the other way, bringing your greatest fears swimming into view.

This particular Full Moon in Pisces is conjunct Uranus! Uranus brings surprises, the unexpected, the unusual and the downright weird. In her book The Art of Stealing Fire, Liz Greene describes Uranus as being like Prometheus stealing sacred fire from the Gods. When we tap into Uranian energy, we access a spark of the divine that does not normally fit nicely into conventional everyday life. We are required to "think outside the box" and experience life in a way that challenges us to stretch beyond our familiar awareness of who we are.

The Full Moon in Pisces conjunct Uranus therefore can bring a kind of divine madness. This doesn't mean you're likely to go off the deep end (although if you are susceptible to emotional or psychological extremes, you might want to keep an eye on your equilibrium). It does mean that things to do with Pisces could be bumped up a few notches.

It can also mean that your emotions, moods and sensitivity could fluctuate or swing between extremes. If you are especially sensitive, this could create "out there" experiences ranging from increased intuition to psychic channelling and clairvoyance. If you get weirded out by this, try seeking out the company of a trusted friend or someone who is familiar with this kind of territory. If you don't have those kinds of resources, take it one step at a time and resist the urge to fly off the edge of the world in one swoop.

Irrigation Wedge: Neptune qcx Full Moon

Neptune, considered by many to be the modern planetary ruler of Pisces, forms an aspect figure with the Full Moon that I call an Irritation Wedge (which the Hubers call an Irritation Triangle in their fabulous book, Aspect Pattern Astrology). Neptune is quincunx the Sun and semi-sextile the Moon and Uranus (see diagram at left). This figure could create irritation ranging from mild annoyance to deep existential angst, depending on how comfortable you are with Pisces energy and how much Neptune is interacting with your natal chart.

Neptune is likely to amplify the Pisces energy and bring increased confusion, strange dreams, or perhaps a feeling like you're stuck in mud and spinning your wheels. However, these experiences could open a portal to a higher state of consciousness, if you are open to it. Its benefits may come to you kind of "sideways" out of the "peripheral vision" of your awareness, or it could slide over you like golden sunshine against dark clouds.

For example, if you're an artist or creative person, your imagination might yearn to take risks and venture into unfamiliar�and therefore potentially very creative�territory. If you are intuitive, psychic or very sensitive, you might find insights and perceptions zinging into your mind in "ah-ha!" moments.

If you tend to experience life as difficult, painful or harsh, you might find your imagination working overtime and amplifying the "worst possible scenario." In this case, it could help to make a point of balancing your thoughts and feelings with a more hopeful, calm or accepting perspective. Find a peaceful centre in which to rest, which might require you to take some alone-time away from the chaos of the outside world. Or, if the chaos feels like it's inside, get yourself out to get grounded by connecting to other people.

Jupiter, the traditional ruler of Pisces, is still in Capricorn and in trine aspect to Capricorn's ruler, Saturn. They will remain in trine aspect for the rest of this year. These are stabilizing influences, which can provide a grounding effect in the midst of so much ethereal, nebulous and free-floating energy. This will make it easier to take that Piscean energy and bring it into the "real world" of form where it can benefit you in practical ways.

The Mercury-Venus-Mars conjunction remains in tight orb (just under 2 degrees). Mercury and Venus reached their exact conjunction just the day before and are a mere 9 minutes of arc apart at the time of the Full Moon. (See Aug.28-Sep.29 for more about this multiple conjunction.)

This Full Moon is the point of emergence from the New Moon on Aug.30. At that time, you were challenged to examine areas of your life that needed improvement, better organisation and active steps to accomplish these things. At the Full Moon, your efforts could reach critical mass and suddenly manifest like a bolt of lightning, or it might emerge like shimmering vision. Alternatively, your efforts might suddenly seem to fall apart. This could be showing you the imperfections in your plans and you'll need to make practical adjustments. Or, perhaps your plan wasn't the wisest choice in the first place and you'll need to let go of your goal for now. Or, new possibilities could emerge that you hadn't anticipated and you will need to be flexible in order to take advantage of them.

Finally, Pluto forms a T-square aspect configuration with the Sun-Moon opposition. Its orb is a bit wide (and therefore perhaps not a powerful as these other influences) but I believe its presence will be felt nonetheless. This aspect figure taps into the developing Uranus-Pluto square energy that will reach exact in 2012. You are challenged to look toward deep transformation and change in the distant future, both in terms of what will happen collectively around the globe and what role you can play in it.

If you want to learn more about how these and other transits are affecting you personally, it's best to get a personal reading. Find out more�


Sep.17 � Venus trine Neptune (22:00 of Libra/Aquarius)

This can be a time of romance, creativity, and a sense of oneness with the natural beauty of all that exists in the world. On a social or intimate level, things may run smoothly � even a bit magically! So be sure you are clear about what you really want. In terms of finances and material worth, this can be a time of blessings and abundance that could seem to appear out of nowhere. But be careful � it can also be a time of overspending and wondering where the money went! Your natural beauty and warmth shines through now, so it is a good time to peek out from behind any fa�ade of glamour or illusion you might be cloaked in. You are likely to see the very best in others (and they in you), so that negotiation, interaction and attraction can seem to flow effortlessly. This magical attraction energy could also open you up to seeing wonderful qualities in others that may or may not actually be there, so do a reality check with a trusted friend before you make any important choices. 

Sep.19 � Mercury trine Neptune (21:57 of Libra/Aquarius) (Sep.20 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.

With Mercury slowing down to go retrograde, this is the first of 3 passes for this transit: Sep.19, Sep.28, Oct.30. 

Sep.20 � Sun square Pluto (28:32 of Virgo/Sagittarius) (Sep.21 in UK, 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 trine Neptune (21:55 of Libra/Aquarius) (Sep.22 in UK, AU)

This transit can bring a mystical, imaginative, compassionate aura to Mars' normally direct, fast, aggressive, self-focused energy. You may feel inspired to act on faith, confront with compassion, and react gently. On the other hand, it can be much easier to be motivated by something that turns out not to be what you thought it was. Much can depend on how impulsive your actions are and whether they are based on preplanning and research. We may tend to see our actions as righteous and justified. Creative energy is usually strong, whether this is used literally in the arts or in finding creative solutions to conflicts and problems. Our anger and aggression may be expressed in a way that is compassionate and intuitive, although our assertive edge might also be blunted a bit too much. It might help to think of the snake in the old parable � even if you choose not to bite if someone steps on your tail, it doesn�t mean you can't hiss. 

Sep.22 � Equinox - Sun enters Libra (until Oct.22/23) (Sep.23 in AU)


Ottawa, Canada and
Washington DC, USA:

Sep.22, 11:44 AM EDT

London, UK:

Sep.22, 4:44 PM BST

Sydney, AU:

Sep.23, 1:44 AM AEST

"What's the Equinox?"

Read more about how you experience LIBRA energy in your life.

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 September Equinox (traditionally called 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.22 � Venus sextile Pluto (28:33 of Libra/Sagittarius) (Sep.23 in AU)

Close one-on-one relationships with people (close friends, lovers, partners of all kinds) could possibly benefit by being taken to a deeper level now, through creatively combining balanced harmony with deep connection. Just be careful that intimacy and bonding don't go over the top into obsession or domination. There is a brief opportunity now to become more authentic in how you relate to those close to you and how you establish a balance of power with them. The trick is to do this without trying to suppress, control or overpower the other person's interests. Financially, it is a time when you may have an opportunity to profit in your dealings with banks, insurance companies, taxes, and other institutions that deal with collective money. 

Sep.23 � Venus enters Scorpio (until Oct.18) (Sep.24 in UK, AU)

Venus is the planet of relationships, interaction, beauty, pleasure and material resources. She struts through Scorpio with attitude! As a result, we may experience sensuality, sexuality and intimacy in a more intense, in-your-face kind of way. You might feel the need to establish a better balance of power with others that is pleasant and even-handed on the surface but also deals with the more gritty or intense energy that tends to lurk under the surface. It may be easier to attract what (or who) you want now, by focusing your intent and interest on the object of your affection and desire. However, there can also be a danger of becoming manipulative, controlling or devious to get what you want. Strive to become centred in your deepest heart's desire through steadfast self-honesty. Aim to avoid becoming obsessed with power, wealth or lust so that you lose sight of your true light inside. This is a good transit to take joy in your instinctive nature. 

Sep.23 � Mercury conjunct Mars (22:47 of Libra)

Spontaneous or impulsive words may come flying out of your mouth under this transit! If you've been struggling to keep opinions or observations to yourself, you might find it hard to keep them quiet, especially if you feel strongly about the situation. You might see things as more "cut and dried" than usual. Although you might feel frustrated if things don't happen in a direct, quick, straightforward way, it can also be a good time to make decisions and move forward with plans. On one hand, this can have a positive effect because it can give you courage to speak your mind and assert yourself candidly and honestly. On the other hand, you might also come across as abrupt, cranky, argumentative or even downright hostile, especially if you've been stuffing down anger or resentment for a while. This transit represents a new beginning in how you can handle self-assertiveness, communication and decision-making. By "listening to" your impulses, passions and urge to speak your truth, you can get an idea how your "inner voice" wants to emerge � and how to do that without annihilating the other person. ;-)

This is the second of 3 passes of this transit: Sep.08, Sep.23, Nov.28. The exciting thing about this pass is that Mercury is stationary as it conjuncts Mars. Mercury conjunct Mars is an intense, potent and passionate combination at any time, but when one of them is stationary it amplifies that energy even more! When Mercury is stationary, it makes your mind, perceptions, communication and ideas very concentrated.

You might experience this as having an ultra-clear focus, in which case Mars could contribute a rather pointed edge to your thoughts. You may have a sharp tongue under this transit, or you might find your thoughts running at lightning speed. Enjoy the benefits this brings, but don't forget to give your mind a rest too, or you might find it hard to fall asleep!

On the other hand, your thoughts might be somewhat fuzzy, heavy or confused, as Mercury's change in direction creates a bit of turbulence in your awareness. Mars could increase your frustration or irritation level, resulting in taking this out on others in argument, rage or even violence. However, if your frustration gets bottled up, it's possible this might bring up some feelings of depression or pessimism. Find a healthy outlet for your feelings: work out, go for a walk, write out your anger in your journal, confide in a friend or counsellor who will listen you vent, or channel it all into a creative project.


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Sep.24 � Mercury Stationary Retrograde (22:50 of Libra; until Oct.15) ("What's a Station?"  Read article about Stations.  Read article about Mercury Retrograde.)

Mercury now goes retrograde for the next 3 weeks. For up to a week before and after today, Mercury is moving very slowly or stopped during the station. During this time, you may experience intensity, frustration, confusion, miscommunications, or feel like you're getting bogging down in your progress. Mercury retrograde is usually a time when it is best to rethink, rehash, reflect, and tie up old loose ends, rather than begin new ventures. It is typical for new insights and information to emerge later in the retrograde cycle that you didn't anticipate, which can change the whole picture. Because of this, it is usually advised to avoid making final or permanent decisions (e.g., signing contracts or putting new projects into action), during the retrograde and even up to 2 weeks after Mercury goes direct. However, it is an excellent time to do fact-finding, research and investigation to prepare for major decisions, which are usually best put off until well after Mercury goes direct. In the meantime, while Mercury is retrograde, expect the unexpected, and leave lots of extra time when planning your schedule (to minimize any disruptions from delays and complications). Stay flexible; for example, it's common to have to reschedule appointments. Do some things that use your intuitive, creative, non-rational mind for a while until Mercury goes direct again.

Mercury is retrograde in Libra, which can lead you to reconsider choices you thought you had already made. Agreements with others (especially those close to you) might need to be renegotiated or adjusted. It may become important to discuss issues with your partner or spouse that have been lurking in the background but now become foremost in your mind. It might be difficult to know how to be diplomatic, sensitive or gentle in your style of communication. For example, which is kinder -- to say something difficult and risk hurting the person, or to avoid saying it and risk telling a "lie of omission" and damaging their trust? You may be faced with these kinds of choices that have no clear answer, yet you must decide which path to take. You might find you can listen better under this transit, yet you could find it difficult to verbalize or give feedback about what you hear. At its worst, indecision could become paralyzing, as each choice seems to create more problems than it solves. It might seem like you can only "pick your poison" and deal with the consequences. It's probably wise to wait until well after Mercury has gone direct before you make any important decisions, in this case. If that's not possible, it may help to talk to someone you feel comfortable with who is good at simplifying and organising things.

As Mercury stations, it is also conjunct Mars (see Sep.23 for more), which is likely to colour the Mercury station quite a bit.


Sep.28 � Mercury trine Neptune (21:47 of Libra/Aquarius)

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.

Mercury is now Retrograde, and this is the second of 3 passes for this transit: Sep.19, Sep.28, Oct.30. 

Photo for the Full Moon Sabian Symbol by Puravida at morgueFile.com.

Next Update:  NEW MOON in LIBRA - September 29, 2008. Available by Sep.29.

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