NOTE: In this early edition of my monthly forecasts, I was drawing inspiration directly from Austin Coppock’s book 36 Faces which covers the topic of decans. For more in depth understanding of the decans and how they are used in astrological interpretation, please visit http://austincoppock.com .
Note: In our solar system, the Sun is the central point around which the planets orbit. From the Earth perspective, we cannot survive without sunlight; it is the light that nourishes our bodies, and the spotlight under which we act out our entire lives. Given the Sun's importance, we've learned to articulate time around its trends. The Spring Equinox, Summer Solstice, Fall Equinox, and Winter Solstice all relate back to the felt shifts of shining brilliance the Sun shares with us in this lonely universe. And so it is from Earth's perspective that I write these astrological forecasts in time with the Sun's journey through the tropical zodiac.
The Sun's entrance into Virgo shifts the collective focus from fiery passion to grounded intentions. We feel a renewed need to step back and observe how the recent information and activity of Leo season fits into our current reality structures. We've been through the fire, seen some of the shadows that light can create, and felt the intense shift of the eclipses. Like learning a new dance, the integration of learned insights may not be in sync with the rest of our lives. Appropriately, Virgo Season gives us the opportunity to expand on the details, to reconnect with our natural rhythm and process.
Virgo is often associated with turning chaos into order. It is a mutable earth sign ruled by Mercury, a planet that always wants to categorize and organize what's in front of it. In earth, Mercury's desire to separate things is embodied in activities like cleaning, bookkeeping, and lab work. There is a precision to Virgo because of Mercury's love of details; and that precision can sometimes look like perfectionism, nit-picking, and anxiety. In many ways there is an engineering quality to this mutable earth sign - I imagine a mechanic gently taking apart a car, wiping down every nook & cranny, inspecting every detail, and then putting it back together in perfect order, restoring the function of the car. Another association with Virgo is healing - because this sign can elevate a planet's sensitivity to details, there is a natural desire for filtering that can occur where we might see a strength in removing toxins in order to restore or maintain function.
In kind, the astrology of this Virgo Season is asking us to meticulously sort through the recently shifted sands and re-create order for better functionality and overall well-being.
Aug 23- Sep 2 | The Shape of Things | Virgo 1
As the dust finally settles from the recent eclipse season, the Sun's entrance into Virgo allows us to see the shape of things. We enter a season so dedicated to the earth element that shape, form, function, and our literal physical things are now in focus. This is a welcome break from the attention we've been placing on internal passions and our energetic expression of self. Now we can finally put plans into motion.
In support of plans in motion, Mars will be stationing in its exaltation degree in Capricorn. This can produce an excited stillness, an anticipation for release of pent-up tension, like a crouch before the jump. To add, the potential energy is further compounded as the Sun immediately becomes a part of a Grand Earth Trine with excitable Uranus in Taurus and steady Saturn in Capricorn.
The Grand Earth Trine first reaches its fullest culmination on August 25th, and sets the tone for the rest of Virgo Season.
Grand Trines are associated with the three signs of a single element: water, fire, earth, or air. The Grand Earth Trine of this Virgo Season is completely absorbed in the elemental qualities of earth. Some buzz words include: cold, dry, reflective, steady, grounded, practical, embodied, physical, sensual, dedicated, stubborn. However, because of Uranus' involvement in the Grand Trine, movement becomes a major part of this aspect pattern! Think: movement of physical objects, overcoming a static situation, removing obstacles, shifting furniture, large shipments, and mass production. The Mars station, though it isn't in aspect to the Grand Trine, amplifies that sense of shake-up/wake-up to Uranus's movement quality by coloring the moment with an extra-boosted desire for action. Saturn's placement in the trine suggests that what is moved or changed has the potential to stand the test of time for better or worse. And with the Sun involved, it seems that the change is related to the recent eclipse season and what has been learned or let go from that earlier environment.
One day after the Grand Earth Trine's culmination, we see the culmination of the full moon in Pisces. This occurs on August 26th, and is directly involved in the Grand Trine's aspect pattern.
The full moon in Pisces re-emphasizes the integration of changes related to the recent eclipse season since the Sun & Moon are reaching a full phase following the new phase of the Solar Eclipse on August 11th. On the same day, Venus in Libra sees a harsh square to Pluto in Capricorn. The Venus-Pluto square adds a social depth to the full moon's illuminating perceptions, giving us an opportunity to see where we stand in outdated, unfair, and unjust social patterns. We can use the Grand Earth Trine and Pisces Full Moon to identify priorities, goals, and processes that will support our development towards being better humans.
On August 27th, Mars stations Direct.
A release from the stillness, a jolt of energy, the relief of finally being able to move again. For some of us, the Mars station will be harsh - we may see the final collapse of a broken system, the climax of an ongoing battle, or a violent break from a terrible situation. Though it can be harsh or violent, the direct motion of Mars is something that will give all of us renewed sense of vitality and energy. Overall, anything difficult that may arise during this time will likely be for the best in the long run.
If you'd like to know more about how Mars will affect you, consider getting a natal chart consultation.
Following the Mars station and direct motion, the planets are relatively quiet until the Sun enters the next 10 degrees of Virgo on September 2nd. This gives us the opportunity to find a sense of calm or play time - almost like a break from the intentionality of working with the planetary energies. Most likely, due to Mars, we'll be feeling ultra energetic and may even have a desire to be productive. I suggest using the productive energy to make plans or work on something that's already in motion rather than doing anything seriously important - save the important stuff for moments when the planets are actively engaged. :)
Sep 2 - Sep 12 | Evolving Patterns | Virgo 2
As the Sun continues into the second decan of Virgo, Mercury reclaims full speed and even begins to move a little faster.
In highlight of Mercury's revitalization, the Moon in Gemini comes into a last quarter phase with the Sun on September 2nd.
The last quarter moon in Gemini signifies a mindful wrap-up to the nearly finished re-integration process from the eclipse season. Whatever had been planted, illuminated, uncovered, or started during the eclipse season is reviewed once more before falling behind the veil again until early 2019. Adding to the review process, the quicksilver planet Mercury sees a friendly sextile to Venus in Libra. This combination encourages us to consider how we influence others and how others influence us.
Three days later, Mercury enters Virgo on September 5th.
Mercury is not only at home in the sign of Virgo, but is also exalted - giving this mental planet some extra dignity in its abilities to dissect, analyze, and process. As Mercury enters the first decan of Virgo, like the Sun just 10 days earlier, it becomes the missing Virgo piece to the Grand Earth Trine with Uranus in Taurus and Saturn in Capricorn.
The second Grand Earth Trine, now with Mercury, occurs on September 7th.
This is an opportunity to better understand, articulate, and build on what occurred during the last Grand Trine on August 25th. And with Mercury's involvement in the aspect pattern, there may be an added emphasis on organization of materials and fine tuning processes. Additionally, Saturn stations direct in Capricorn the day before, speaking to the longer Saturn transit in its home sign of Capricorn. Saturn's station brings an extra sturdiness to the realizations made, and can offer a positive support to an active analytical mind (Mercury) and reversal-revealing insight awareness (Uranus). That's to say - if you get a little anxious about the shifting potentials and the literal changes to your environment, Saturn will likely be there to offer support in the form of sturdy structure - both figuratively and literally.
Then, on September 8th the Moon and the asteroid Pallas Athene in Virgo repeat the Grand Earth Trine, giving us another opportunity to really feel into and understand the significance of the Grand Trine.
This repetitive energy really drives home the point of the Grand Earth Trine. The Moon helps us to gain a felt awareness of how the physical developments are affecting us internally. Pallas Athene, an asteroid in tone with the lore of Athena, helps us identify the patterns of the Grand Earth Trine and how the patterns may develop into the future.
At this point you may notice that there is a huge focus on practicality, stability, and physicality during this repeating Grand Earth Trine, almost to a fault (even shocking Uranus is only shaking us to reveal optimized approaches to fostering stability) - One might wonder, where is the fun and fire? Where is the love and passion? Where is the emotion and the felt community? OR it is possible that you may not notice the over-emphasis on practicality at all because Grand Trines have a tendency to swallow us in the vortex of their element.
Fortunately we do have a balancing set of aspects going on in the background: the Sun in Virgo opposes Neptune in Pisces, and Venus in Libra squares Mars in Capricorn. The Sun-Neptune opposition takes us out of ourselves and asks us to blur the lines between ego and the universe, inspiring a "we are one" attitude and a nebulous sense of self that can bring meaning to the changes and structures occurring in the earth plane. The Venus-Mars square adds excitement, passion, and a relational flavor to the deeper meaning and structure of the Grand Earth Trine; we may find ourselves in tense situations with others in an attempt to defend values or find a sense of internal harmony; those tensions can energize us to really utilize the power of the Grand Earth Trine to find a structure that better suits our needs.
A day later, on September 9th, Venus enters Scorpio and really starts to slow down, readying itself for retrograde motion.
Venus in Scorpio finds value, fun, and joy in uncovering mysteries, understanding the depths of others, and in the aesthetic beauty of anything taboo. Because of the slow motion, there may be some difficulty in social cues - perhaps aggression, jealousy, or defensiveness comes out; harmony is lacking; and separation from others becomes a challenge. Coinciding with this new flavor of social interactions, a New Moon in Virgo occurs, and this lunation is opposite foggy Neptune. As a result, September 9th holds a huge emphasis on what it means to be separate from others, on how to create structures in our lives, and who or what to trust. This naturally relates back to the Grand Earth Trine realizations over the last few days, and offers us an opportunity to plant seeds in response to what we've learned so far. This also gives us the opportunity to hit reset, to step back and read the signs - to determine what our next steps should be.
On September 10th, Mars re-enters Aquarius and moves closer to the South Node of the Moon.
Once again, as in Leo season, we are brought into an energetic state of strategy and conscious awareness. Mars in Aquarius wants to develop plans, take action on theories, and to build or remodel a better future. Being so close to the South Node, there is also a source of spiritual release in Mars' actions - as we build, what underlying aggressions can be released in order to make this structure stronger? This may show up in a couple ways, for instance: as a desire to step back from distraction so one can focus on an action plan; or to indulge in those old resentments and to get lost in overanalyzing and social manipulation.
In support of positive release, on September 11th we see the Sun in Virgo form a sextile to Jupiter in Scorpio, and then, on September 12th, the Sun forms a trine to Pluto in Capricorn. Also on the 12th, Jupiter in Scorpio forms a sextile to Pluto in Capricorn.
By synthesizing these aspects together, we see that there is an opportunity to become better versions of ourselves by digging into the deeper darker parts of why we are here and what the point of our existence is. This supports Mars' best intentions of building a better future. By diving deep into the hidden parts of self, we can discover underlying potentials that inspire us to make changes. We, then, are motivated to clear space and to find an energetic (and potentially literal) foundation from which we can act in confidence.
Overall, this series of aspects upon Mars' ingress into Aquarius catalyzes us to consider what is essential in the process of spiritual growth and evolution. This energy beautifully ushers the Sun into the third decan of Virgo.
Sep 12 - Sep 22 | A Turn of the Wheel | Virgo 3
When the Sun enters the third decan of Virgo, there is an energetic shift toward spirit. Because Virgo is a mutable sign, it has a tendency to wrap things up and make space for the new potentials of the upcoming shift in seasons; especially so in the third decan. To add, after the Sun makes its way through this final ten degrees of Virgo, it will hit the equinox point, creating a perfect balance of night and day all over the world. At the entrance of the Sun into this decan, there is a shift from the earthly realm into the spiritual one creating a decay effect in what has been built up from the last equinox in March. These are days to consider what ideas will last beyond the physical representation - the legacy of something.
On September 12th, in perfect harmony with the energetic shift of the seasons, Venus in Scorpio opposes Uranus in Taurus and forms a sextile to Saturn in Capricorn.
Because Venus rules Taurus, it gives Uranus an extra boost to do what Uranus does best - to reveal truths and insights in order to optimize our understanding of something. In steady stubborn Taurus, it can be particularly unnerving to experience Uranus' quakes, making us slower to accept changes. And so with this super strong Venus-Uranus opposition, we are woken up to any of the truths and revelations we are still resisting. A slightly helpful boost to any rude awakenings is the sextile between Venus and Saturn, giving us the possibility to find a support system during Uranus' activation. To add, the Moon mirrors Venus' aspects, acting as a huge magnifying glass, bringing a sense of awareness and felt experience into what occurs.
The following day, September 13th, Mercury in Virgo opposes Neptune in Pisces.
This opposition slows down our mental processes for just long enough to really understand how we feel about what's been going on. Up to this point, a lot of physical changes have been occurring, and a sort of over-focus on finding steadiness and practicality, which can lead to cynicism, overwhelm, and stubbornness. With Venus in Scorpio slowing down, and opposing Uranus, there is an added emphasis on how these changes feel. The Mercury-Neptune opposition can feel stressful at first, but offers us an opportunity to find a sense of wonder and faith in the process. This isn't the best day for anything too analytical or mentally oriented, but it's a fine day for release, reflection, daydreaming, feeling, and intuiting.
On September 15th, in pattern with the move towards a mental realm, Mercury in Virgo sees a trine to Pluto in Capricorn and, then on the 16th it forms a sextile to Jupiter in Scorpio.
Like the Grand Earth Trine, this is another aspect pattern that the Sun has already been through and that Mercury is re-visiting for us. So we come back to the questions around what it means to exist in this world and to be a part of the structures of this reality. We might ask more questions, gain flashes of insight about soul-deep purposes, and begin to parse out and articulate what was felt a few days earlier on September 11th and 12th.
Following Mercury's positive aspects to Pluto and Jupiter, a First Quarter Moon occurs in Sagittarius on September 16th.
This lunation calls an awareness to spirit over matter, a repeat pattern of this decan. The Moon in Sagittarius highlights purpose and foresight, the ability to passionately pursue that which makes us feel alive. A sense of physicality is not necessarily present in Sagittarius, but with the First Quarter square to the Sun in Virgo, we have to consider where we started and what the intentions and foundation of this moon cycle are? We have to ask, how are our seeds from the New Moon on September 9th being fulfilled today? In some ways, the questions asked and the answers determined may be related to what was articulated in Mercury's positive aspects to Pluto and Jupiter leading up to this lunar phase.
Then, amidst our philosophical inquiries, on September 18th, Mars in Aquarius sees a final square to Uranus in Taurus.
Considering the last few squares between Mars and Uranus since May of this year, this square is the last one we'll see for a while. This may bring a sense of completion or finality to what has occurred in Mars' retrograde pattern, as well as marking a clear message or lesson from Uranus in Taurus. Whatever comes up today is likely to be part of a larger pattern over the next 7 years of Uranus' transit through Taurus. This is likely related to finding a sense of nurture and stability from within. For more information on how this pattern may unfold in your life, consider getting a natal chart consultation.
Two days later on September 20th, Mercury sees a conjunction to the Sun in Virgo, a grand entrance towards a new path forward. On the following day, Mercury enters Libra and sees a trine to the Moon in Aquarius.
This is the final push towards spirit and away from form. As Mercury conjoins the Sun, we may come into a new state of awareness; our articulation is strengthened; and any plans made during this Virgo season are put into motion.
Mercury's ingress into Libra shifts our focus from observation to interaction. It spotlights Venus' slow down, and takes us out of our selves, into a sense of social awareness. As our attention turns towards this new season, we begin to see how our ideas impact the world around us, for better or worse.