Capricorn New Moon

Nereid riding a Sea Goat, Greek bronze from 4th Century B.C.

Capricorn New Moon

Though the beginning of every lunar cycle is a cyclical cusp of renewal to cross, the New Moon in Capricorn on January 2 is more transitional than normal as it will announce the beginning of a new year as well as new cycles with both the Moon and Venus. The threshold guardian Janus with his two faces simultaneously looking forwards and backwards will be strongly felt within the darkness of the lunation, as old memories and patterns will become deeply felt at the same time that new desires for future growth contend with the familiarity of the past. The presence of Pluto has been radically reshaping the landscape of Capricorn ever since 2008, with the more recent alignment of Saturn, Jupiter, and the South Node of the Moon with Pluto during 2020 bringing about a total reshaping of global civilization at the same time we experienced our own individual transfiguration. With Venus presently retrograde in Capricorn and applying toward a conjunction with the Capricorn New Moon, there will be a need to embrace nonlinear perceptions and feelings, reaching back into the depths of our past at the same time as we envision a more authentically creative direction forward.

The dark forests and alpine terrain of Capricorn encourages the development of strategies to deal with the challenges of life as well as the mental fortitude to bear suffering while persevering toward goals. Yet its living image of the Sea Goat speaks to the more complex capacities of Capricorn for entering the dissolution of chaotic processes at the heart of creation, as the Sea Goat’s watery tail can draw vision from imaginal sources that bring about a necessary renewal and reordering of material being reshaped on the dry land of everyday life. The strength of Capricorn for constructing effective boundaries can be utilized for creating space to deepen into a letting go of old forms of identity and security, allowing whatever wild off shoots from inner fertility need to emerge. Due to the interplay between the lunation with the present state of Venus retrograde in Capricorn, it will be necessary to accept the mystery of present emotions and events rather than insisting on gaining certainty or a quick fix. Venus has much more to reveal in the coming weeks.

Venus stationed retrograde within close range of Pluto on December 19, forming her second conjunction with Pluto within two weeks on December 25. Since then Venus has been slowly moving away from Pluto and towards the flames of the Sun, intensifying the presence of the star of Aphrodite in our lives. You may be simultaneously experiencing inner desires lit by the approaching heat of the Sun while also undergoing a purgation of what needs to be burned off from the past. Venus is still only three degrees away from Pluto during the Capricorn New Moon, and so while Venus may still be hearing the chthonic siren songs of underworld desires within the darkness of the lunation, her approaching union with the Sun on January 8 will demarcate a slow shift away from the pull of old relational patterns stirred up by her close proximity with Pluto. During the waxing half of the forthcoming lunar cycle, the sensual sultriness and inner wildness of Capricorn will be available to explore as part of coming into relationship with the new desires and values that we will be continuing to develop in the months ahead.

The Capricorn New Moon is closely separating from an invigorating trine aspect with Uranus retrograde in Taurus and applying toward a sextile with Neptune in Pisces and a conjunction with Venus and Pluto in Capricorn; these aspects amplify the breakthrough quality of the lunation, whether in relation to old memories and patterns or becoming more deeply stirred by present desires emerging. The harmonious aspect between the Capricorn New Moon with Neptune can facilitate imaginative engagement with the flux of desires, using the felt sense of images, films, music, and other artistic or creative processes to deepen into awareness of what needs to be let go from the past to clear space for new growth to take root. The strange, magical quality of time that can be experienced during Venus retrograde will be bringing opportunities to make foundational alterations in your relationship with Capricorn, eventually bringing awareness for how to claim greater authority and agency in creatively reshaping your direction in the year ahead. Yet within the coming weeks we may first need to confront the challenges to our future growth lurking within the shadows, necessitating a descent into whatever material within our interior depths needs our attention.

The Sibyl and a Child Bearing a Torch (1520-40) unknown artist after Ugo da Carpi

Less than a week after the Capricorn New Moon on January 8 we will experience a rebirth of Venus, as she will be reanimated by her union with the Sun at 18º43′ Capricorn. Demetra George in Ancient Astrology wrote that “the protected space at the heart of the Sun is the sanctum sanctorum, the innermost holy chamber of the mystery initiations,” symbolizing the felt sense of mystery and revelation that may be felt when the Sun and Venus come together. Venus will be enthroned within solar light, bringing about a purification that can help in receiving greater clarity regarding the inner metamorphosis of Venus that has been in process. It will be worthwhile to reflect upon the placement of 18º43′ Capricorn in your natal chart to gain a sense of what areas of your life may be especially impacted by the renewal of Venus on January 8.

The inferior conjunction of Venus with the Sun on January 8 demarcates the shift from Venus away from being in her Evening Star phase into entering her Morning Star phase. Her inferior conjunction also places Venus upon one point of the five pointed star pattern that Venus forms within the five inferior conjunctions she forms every eight years while retrograde in between our orbit with the Sun, as well as within the five superior conjunctions she forms every eight years while moving direct on the other side of our orbit around the Sun. The nonlinear nature of the solar conjunctions formed by Venus can often resurrect memories and patterns associated with the stories taking shape in our lives during previous alignments of Venus with the Sun. For example, it will be helpful to reflect upon whatever storylines were taking shape when the present Evening Star phase of Venus was seeded at the superior conjunction of Venus on March 25, 2021 at 5º50’ Aries; these storylines in particular will be experiencing significant developments. It will also be important to contemplate the storylines taking shape during the previous inferior conjunction of Venus with the Sun on June 3, 2020 at 13º35’ Gemini, as this was the last time that Venus united with the Sun while retrograde. The last time there was a conjunction of Venus with the Sun in Capricorn was the superior conjunction of Venus on January 8, 2018 at 18º57’ Capricorn; this solar conjunction was additionally relevant due to it occurring near Pluto. Moreover, the last time that Venus was retrograde and conjoining the Sun in Capricorn was eight years ago on January 11, 2014 at 21º11’ Capricorn; this previous Venus retrograde phase in Capricorn was additionally significant due to Venus stationing direct while forming a conjunction with Pluto on January 31, 2014.

Fortunately, the inferior conjunction of Venus with the Sun on January 8 is taking place within a section of Capricorn that pleases Venus: her own bounds. The bounds or terms of each zodiacal sign are sections in which planets have greater agency to express their nature even if they are not the domicile ruler of the sign. For example, Demetra George has compared a planet being in its own bounds to being like a classroom that the planet can manage within the larger context of the zodiacal sign. Since Venus has her bounds from fourteen to twenty-two degrees of Capricorn, she will begin operating from her own terms beginning on January 3 and will remain within her own terms until January 17. The presence of Venus within her own bounds during her inferior conjunction as well as the surrounding time period will enhance our capacity for deepening into whatever changes in our values and desires are taking shape and being able to experience the pleasures of Venus in the process.

The deep alterations to inner values we experience on personal levels will be taking place within a larger context of disruptive societal change due to the final exact square aspect that formed between Saturn in Aquarius with Uranus in Taurus on December 23. Indeed, Saturn in Aquarius rules the New Moon in Capricorn while beginning to separate from its exact square aspect with Uranus. Due to the recent entrance of Jupiter into Pisces, Saturn will no longer be sharing space with the cohering and uplifting presence of Jupiter. Instead, Saturn will be sharing space with Mercury in the coming weeks. Mercury recently entered the sign of Aquarius on January 1 within his curiously explorative Morning Star phase, full of questions and new ideas to develop that can be strengthened and deepened by the influence from Saturn.

During the end of the previous lunar cycle, Mercury swiftly moved through the end of Capricorn and formed conjunctions with Venus retrograde on December 29 and Pluto on December 30, picking up important messages and insights regarding our experience of the present Venus retrograde phase. With Mercury in Aquarius along with Saturn and applying toward a square aspect with Uranus in Taurus, the star of Hermes will be in position to help us adjust our inner changes taking shape in correspondence with the larger shifts erupting in the surrounding world. Mercury and Saturn together in Aquarius can be extremely effective in the development of intellectual research and ideas, and so it will be worthwhile to create space for focused work on projects, with the influence from Uranus enhancing our capacity for being experimental with new approaches that can lead to revelatory insights.

3 of Pentacles by Pamela Colman Smith

Capricorn 2 Decan

The Capricorn New Moon will emerge within the second decan of Capricorn associated with the Three of Pentacles card illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith. In the image we see a skilled sculptor in process of creating a divinely inspired masterwork in stone. There is a consultation taking place between the artisan and authorities associated with the institution, with carefully drawn plans for the masterpiece on display. Fittingly, Mars and Venus are the co-rulers of the second decan of Capricorn, as it is a face in which great works can be created through collaboration, careful planning, and incredible effort bonded with artistic vision. With the inferior conjunction of Venus on January 8 also occurring within the second decan of Capricorn, the visionary blueprints of this decan are in the process of experiencing major renovations.

Austin Coppock in his book 36 Faces ascribed the image of “The Pyramid” to the second decan of Capricorn, noting it is a place where sublime works of material manifestation are completed. Coppock described this face as showing “visions of what might be wrought upon the earth, blueprints as a type of revelation.” There is not only a necessity for blueprints but also disciplined, hard work in collaboration with numerous resources in order to complete the grand visions that emerge in this face. Coppock wrote that while it is necessary to bind effort to accomplishing ambitious goals, he also cautioned to take care in the “enduring consequences” created by becoming consumed by the creation of a grand magnum opus. Images in both the Picatrix as well as Three Occult Books of Philosophy speak to this face inspiring a search for what cannot be known and seeking what cannot be done, leading Coppock to note the importance of finding a balance between having enough ambition to envision worthy goals while refraining from the kind of hubris that can envision “impossible or ill fated projects.”

Thus with the Capricorn New Moon on January 2 and the inferior conjunction of Venus on January 8 both taking place within the second face of Capricorn, we can explore if we need to release ourselves from past ambitious goals that are no longer aligned with the emerging values we are coming into relationship with. The revelations from the retrograde phase of Venus may also bring realization that continuing to purse a particular vision will make you complicit in a pyramidal hierarchy of power you no longer wish to be involved with. While some may link the symbol of pyramids with problematic hierarchies, pyramids were also associated in ancient Egyptian culture with creation itself, as they represented the mounds of earth that would arise out of the fertility of water. Within the darkness of the New Moon in Capricorn, let the Sea Goat of Capricorn lead you into the depths of your inner fertility in order to contact the vibrant visions ready to emerge through your work and planning in the year ahead.

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References

Coppock, Austin. (2014). 36 Faces: The History, Astrology and Magic of the Decans. Three Hands Press.

Jupiter and Neptune in Pisces

Jupiter in Pisces Vija Celmins

ocean image by Vija Celmins; astrology glyphs by Bradley Naragon

Jupiter in Pisces

Like the nine muses who dance with pounding feet around violet-stained springs to awaken desire, the transit of Jupiter in Pisces during 2022 will give life to imaginal visions and elevate idealistic inspiration. Pisces is the oceanic home of Jupiter where the star of Zeus can directly express its gifts for synthesis, shaping, ordering, nourishing, expanding, creating, and sustaining faith in the unknown. During a time of unprecedented collective crises and a year bearing extremely volatile astrological themes involving the ongoing tension between Saturn and Uranus, the presence of Jupiter in Pisces will deliver moments of epiphany that cohere greater understanding within our experiences while also planting seeds of revelatory ideas that may blossom in the decade ahead. 

The mystical and otherworldly Neptune awaits Jupiter underneath the waves of Pisces, promising that Jupiter will expand the dissolution of old forms, bringing about a reshaping and reordering of values, perspectives, and beliefs through a disintegrative process. We will need to be mindful of the ways Neptune combined with Jupiter can lead us astray through illusion, escapism, and intoxication, influencing us to be unfocused on mundane responsibilities that need our attention. Although we will need to keep in mind the potential for deluding ourselves when hearing their call from the far-off sea, following the siren songs of Jupiter and Neptune can also reveal insight that unites diverse perspectives and traditions.  Just like the muses as daughters of Mnemosyne and Zeus share truths that cannot be forgotten, so may Jupiter in Pisces retrieve essential meaning that will emerge from the dissolution brought forth by Neptune and stand the test of time. 

Jupiter will return to its watery home of Pisces on December 28, 2021 after previously occupying Pisces from May 13 until July 28, 2021. Jupiter will then swiftly sail through its oceanic domicile in less than five months, entering Aries on May 10, 2022. After an initial foray into Aries, Jupiter will come back home to Pisces on October 28, 2022 for a sojourn until leaving Pisces for a final time on December 20, 2022. The pivotal conjunction between Jupiter and Neptune will take place on April 12, 2022 at twenty-four degrees of Pisces, with the influence of Neptune upon Jupiter intensifying once Jupiter moves within fifteen degrees of Neptune on January 27. Jupiter will remain within fifteen degrees of Neptune for the rest of 2022 (ending the year within nine degrees of Neptune), creating a lingering effect from their conjunction that will last well beyond their April meeting.

blue grotto

Blue Grotto (Capri Island, Italy) Detroit Publishing Co., ca. 1890

Pisces is the nocturnal home of Jupiter, an aquatic landscape of gushing springs and expansive seas that accentuates the fertile life force of Jupiter. Although the reputation Jupiter has in astrology for being the “great benefic” does not mean that transits from Jupiter always bring positively joyful experiences, it is important that significations of Jupiter involve relief from troubles, generosity, charity, growth, abundance, elevation, truth, reverence, affirmation, and coherence. Since Pisces is Jupiter’s home it can fully express its beneficial significations, with the moist mutability of Pisces amplifying the capacity of Jupiter for synthesizing meaning, distilling wisdom, and generating new mixtures of ideas. For example, a list of famous Jupiter in Pisces natives includes Da Vinci, Rembrandt, Kepler, Freud, Darwin, Nietszche, Goethe, and Rousseau. The brilliance of Jupiter in Pisces may also be heard in the music of Billie Holiday, Edith Piaf, Marvin Gaye, and Stevie Wonder, the writing of Edgar Allen Poe, JRR Tolkien, Louisa May Alcott, Anais Nin, Henry Miller, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and Arthur Miller, as well as in the art of Paul Klee, Max Ernst, and John Singer Sargent.

Indeed, the inwardly directed nature of Pisces allows for extraordinary insight and inspiration to be found through exploration of our boundless inner realms. In contrast to Sagittarius, the fiery domicile of Jupiter where it swiftly gallops with outward enthusiasm, the nocturnal water of Pisces slows down the pace of Jupiter and invites inward exploration that can enable us to sink into embodiment of our soulful essence. The waves of Jupiter in Pisces can wash over and weave in between the places where we have been fragmented, coalescing a presence that can bring together parts of our inner multiplicity that have become disconnected. By taking our time and acting with the flow of surrounding natural cycles rather than trying to force things to happen, Jupiter in Pisces can create an experience of abundance that allows us to feel more expansive with less by aligning us with our authentic nature and values.

Yet with the dissolving whirlpool of Neptune present with Jupiter in Pisces, the coherence we gain through Jupiter will be important to question. The combination of Jupiter and Neptune in Pisces will necessitate a descent into the dissolution of our previous beliefs, embodying the essence that will eventually coagulate out of the disintegrating stirring of our inner life. There will be a need to embrace nonlinear processes rather than insisting on linear progress, as we may need to pass through a disorienting phase of fluidity before we are able to differentiate and clarify the deeper meaning we receive. Liz Greene has taught that while Jupiter seeks personal meaning that helps cohere understanding for how our personal lives are meaningful within a larger context, Neptune is the antithesis of personal enrichment due to it revealing our sense of egoic control as being a fantasy that we need to transcend or release (1).

Within Irish folklore, the concept of “seachran si” or “fairy straying” is interesting to consider in terms of the disorientation and disillusionment that can occur under the influence of Neptune. When under the spell of fairy straying, wayfarers become confused while journeying across liminal landscapes as they experience a sudden shift into the strange and unfamiliar. An impassable fog or mist may obsfucate their view of the path ahead, or a river may block all forward progress no matter which way they turn. In this way Neptune can function like the Otherworld of fairy as all familiar reference points dissolve, forcing an interfacing with the indeterminate. Interestingly, a remediation from Irish folklore concerns turning your coat or clothes inside out in order to counterbalance the enchantment (2). Similarly, we may need to take on the inverted stance of the Hanged Man arcanum from tarot, allowing our perspective to be turned inside out while navigating the waves of Jupiter and Neptune.

As a result, the disorientation and disillusionment that can occur under the influence of Jupiter and Neptune must be kept in mind while also remembering their capacity for fostering hopes and aspirations that go beyond the conditioning of past identities and beliefs. Dane Rudhyar wrote that a key issue with Jupiter is the tendency for people to seek success through conformity with the expectations and rules of the present power structures, whereas the influence of Neptune may render a future form we may seek which transcends the problematic and oppressive aspects of the dominant cultures we live within. However, Rudhyar also noted that the confusion that can accompany taking a visionary step forward can also create a regressive pull in many toward the security of familiar institutions and beliefs. Nonetheless, Rudhyar stressed that it can be the accumulation of smaller changes within our relationships that occur in correspondence with the merging of Jupiter and Neptune that later allow for the greater revolutionary events in the wider world to materialize (3).

Fish Magic by  Paul Klee

Fish Magic (1925) by Paul Klee, born with Jupiter in Pisces

“To use the world well, to be able to stop wasting it and our time in it, we need to relearn our being in it . . .

Relationship among all things appears to be complex and reciprocal — always at least two-way, back-and-forth. It seems that nothing is single in this universe, and nothing goes one way.

In this view, we humans appear as particularly lively, intense, aware nodes of relation in an infinite network of connections, simple or complicated, direct or hidden, strong or delicate, temporary or very long-lasting. A web of connections, infinite but locally fragile, with and among everything — all beings — including what we generally class as things, objects . . .

I guess I’m trying to subjectify the universe, because look where objectifying it has gotten us. To subjectify is not necessarily to co-opt, colonize, exploit. Rather it may involve a great reach outward of the mind and imagination.”

— Ursula K. Le Guin from Late in the Day (published in 2015 with Jupiter in Virgo opposite Neptune in Pisces and square Saturn in Sagittarius)

Jupiter and Neptune Cycle

Although unions between Jupiter and Neptune can open awareness beyond the usual limits of material reality, their cycle in mundane astrology is one of the most orderly and consistent. In fact, the Jupiter and Neptune cycle stands out from all others as it occurs in a successive order of zodiac signs, typically moving from one sign to the next with an occasional repeat of a sign. For example, the 1958 conjunction between Jupiter and Neptune was in Scorpio, the 1971 conjunction was in Sagittarius, the 1984 conjunction was in the beginning of Capricorn, the 1997 conjunction was at the end of Capricorn, and the 2009 conjunction was in Aquarius. It takes Jupiter and Neptune approximately 166 years to move through their entire cycle, forming conjunctions with each other every thirteen years or so. Since Neptune was discovered in 1846, the first conjunction between Jupiter and Neptune to occur following Neptune’s discovery was their union on March 17, 1856 at nineteen degrees of Pisces. Thus the conjunction between Jupiter and Neptune on April 12, 2022 will demarcate the first time that humanity has experienced the full cycle of Jupiter and Neptune forming conjunctions in every sign of the zodiac sequentially since becoming aware of the existence of Neptune.

It’s further important to realize that the last three conjunctions between Jupiter and Neptune have occurred in signs ruled by Saturn, with the 2022 conjunction between Jupiter and Neptune occurring within a recent astrological period dominated by Saturn. Indeed, the visionary potential of Jupiter uniting with Neptune in Pisces will follow the new cycles initiated between Jupiter, Saturn, and Pluto in 2020 that correlated with the onset of a global pandemic, the conjunction between Jupiter and Saturn in Aquarius at the end of 2020 that established a volatile new era of Jupiter and Saturn uniting within the air triplicity, and the waning square aspect between Saturn in Aquarius with Uranus in Taurus that has coincided with rapid innovations and sudden collapses across society in 2021 and will continue to do so in 2022. We are at the beginning of a two hundred year era of air involving rapid dispersal of previously solid power structures and dynamics, with Saturn in the middle of transits bringing a radical reordering of boundaries. Though the ideas we generate from Jupiter and Neptune conjoining will have to face the reality tests of Saturn, their union will be taking place removed from the restrictions of Saturn in astrological terrain where both Jupiter and Neptune possess maximum capacity for visioning creative potential.

Furthermore, there is a harmonious sextile aspect between 23º58’ Pisces where Jupiter and Neptune will unite in 2022 and 22º46’ Capricorn where Saturn and Pluto formed their massively influential conjunction in 2020. The union between Jupiter and Neptune having a supportive aspect with the union between Saturn and Pluto suggests that the inspiring vision of Jupiter and Neptune can provide a counterbalance to the difficult despair brought by Saturn and Pluto, helping to nurture new dreams and ways of recovering from the setbacks and resets brought by the pandemic. Though the astrology of 2022 suggests that there will continue to be numerous collective crises to contend with, the union of Jupiter and Neptune can provide moments of relief in which significant new ideas and sources of inspiration may be found within surrounding challenges.

In many ways the meaning of the Jupiter and Neptune cycle is diametrically opposed to the meaning of the Saturn and Pluto cycle. Richard Tarnas in Cosmos and Psyche described Saturn and Pluto as aligning with “conservative empowerment” and “eras of international crisis and conflict, empowerment of reactionary forces and totalitarian impulses, organized violence and oppression” (4). In contrast, Andre Barbault wrote that conjunctions between Jupiter and Neptune emphasize “unified collective global power” and a “collective liberal order,” with “collective movements that have liberal democratic tendencies” favoring “universal moral values” (5). For example, women finally gained the right to vote in the United States of America through the 19th Amendment being ratified less than a month before the Jupiter and Neptune conjunction in Leo in 1919. Moreover, both the first and second world wars ended during periods of conjunctions between Jupiter and Neptune, with the League of Nations being formed following their conjunction in 1919 and the United Nations being fomed following their conjunction in Libra in 1945. It’s remarkable that both attempts during the 20th century to form governing bodies which brought world powers together on behalf of avoiding another world war occurred in exact alignment with Jupiter and Neptune. In fat, the ubiquitous peace symbol commonly used today was in invented in 1958 with Jupiter and Neptune within a few degrees from one another in Scorpio.

Barbault also stated that the unions of Jupiter and Neptune tend to bring “a swing to the left” with “democratic, socialist, or even more or less revolutionary” tendencies. There can thus be tension between the more revolutionary manifestations of Jupiter and Neptune with efforts by global powers to expand their influence and power. For example, while the League of Nations mandated the territories of Palestine and modern Iraq to the United Kingdom and Syria to France during the period of the 1919 conjunction, the Cuban revolution achieved victory following the conjunction of Jupiter and Neptune in 1958 and the Zapatista Army of National Liberation was founded in 1983 with Jupiter and Neptune within fifteen degrees of one another in Sagittarius. Across the world there has often been an upsurge in strikes and protests on behalf of the labor movement and workers’ rights when Jupiter and Neptune come together. For example, the Coxey’s Army march of unemployed workers to Washington D.C. during the time of the Jupiter and Neptune conjunction in Gemini in 1894 was the first significant protest march in history upon the capital of the United States of America.

Concerning the most recent cycle of Jupiter and Neptune that began in 2009 in Aquarius, within the United States of America there was not only the inauguration of President Barack Obama, the first African American president in the nation’s history, there was also the landmark Affordable Care Act signed into law by President Obama that dramatically expanded healthcare coverage to the US populace. The ability of President Obama to lead congress in the passage of liberal legislation had a parallel to the election of Franklin Roosevelt to the presidency during a previous conjunction between Jupiter and Neptune in 1932. Roosevelt became president during the initial stages of the Great Depression and was able to have his New Deal legislation passed to address the economic depression gripping the nation, bringing hope and increased opportunity to many during a bleak period. The push from the present Biden administration to pass legislation aimed at addressing the economic crises emanating from the pandemic is thus in line with past historical examples of the cycle.

Max Ernst

by Max Ernst, born with Jupiter in Pisces

Jupiter combined with Neptune in Pisces will also stimulate and galvanize new trends and imaginative forms of creative expression across diverse disciplines around the world. The last time that Jupiter and Neptune formed a conjunction in Pisces, the fashion and textile industries were revolutionized by the accidental discovery of the first synthetic organic dye by William Henry Perkin, who was trying to synthesize quinine for the treatment of malaria. Only eighteen years old when he discovered aniline purple, known today as mauveine, Perkin was primed for the impact of Jupiter and Neptune as he was born with a stellium of Mercury, Uranus, Venus, Mars, and the Sun in Pisces. Before Perkin’s discovery the only materials available for textile coloration came from plants or animals and involved long, laborious processes to extract color. Significantly, the brilliant purple hue revealed by Perkin had previously only been accessible to the wealthy. There was even an initial thought to name the dye Tyrian purple after the legendary coloring created from sea snails that was a signature of eminence in ancient cultures. After the discovery of mauveine, there was an immense wave of clothing and textiles dyed purple as the color became widely accessible for the first time in human history.

The thrill of wearing brilliant colors and the lift they can provide to the spirit corresponds with the imaginal potency that trends within art possess that emerge within the zeitgeist when Jupiter and Neptune form conjunctions. The archetypal mixture of Jupiter and Neptune brings together the expanding and elevating functions of Jupiter with the fantasizing functions of Neptune, kindling desire for fusion with transcendent sources of idealism that can temporarily remove us from the travails and limitations of mundane reality. In the 20th century there were numerous grandiose releases such as “Purple Rain” by Prince and “Stairway to Heaven” by Led Zepplin timed with their unions, as well as smaller moments that led to later epic releases such as The Quarrymen (later renamed The Beatles) paying for their first ever recording session. The crux becomes whether or not we become led to avoid our purpose in the world through Jupiter and Neptune, or whether we can drink from their enlivening well in order to instill a deeper sense of our destiny. For example, the virtual reality technologies likely to emerge within the new cycle between Jupiter and Neptune simultaneously have the potential to open new avenues of therapy and creativity as well as massive escape from reality.

Mid-Ocean-Mid-Winter John Singer Sargent

Mid-Ocean, Mid-Winter (1876) by John Singer Sargent, born with Jupiter in Pisces

The purpose and passion that can be uncovered beneath the waves of the oceanic unconscious when Jupiter and Neptune unite is exemplified by the publication of The Red Book: Liber Novus by Carl Jung during the period of their conjunction in Aquarius in 2009. A testament to the deep meaning that can be extracted from disorienting, disillusioning, and disintegrative experiences of the unconscious, the long-awaited publication of Jung’s personal odyssey has revolutionized not only the understanding of Jung’s work during the past cycle of Jupiter and Neptune, it has also expanded the potential meaning all of us can gain through encounters with the mystery of unconscious forces. The field of depth psychology has important links with the Jupiter and Neptune cycle, as the famous meeting between Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud took place during the period of the Jupiter and Neptune conjunction in Cancer in 1907. Moreover, Sigmund Freud was born with both Jupiter and Neptune in Pisces.

Not only was Jung’s Red Book published during a period of Jupiter and Neptune conjoining, he was actively working on it and beginning to excavate insights regarding his unconscious process to share publicly during a previous period of Jupiter and Neptune uniting in Leo during 1919 and 1920. In a paper presented in 1919 on “The psychological foundations of the belief in spirits,” Jung distinguished between two ways the collective unconscious can become activated: as part of personal crises of lost hope and as part of extraordinary societal and cultural upheaval (6). This insight is crucial for everyone during 2022, but especially for those in the United States as the USA will be experiencing its first Pluto return at the same time the conjunction with Jupiter and Neptune will be forming an opposition to the natal Neptune for the USA. Jung’s revelation that suppressed cultural content can accumulate in the collective unconscious and erupt with disturbing, disorienting effects during times of societal turbulence points to the importance of differentiating oneself enough to explore what emerges within the unconscious and translate the meaning we may retrieve through dialogue and forms of creative expression.

Indeed, due to the Jupiter and Neptune conjunction in April occurring in the same time period as a conjunction between Mars and Saturn, as well as the final contact between Jupiter and Neptune in Pisces at the end of 2022 occurring in range of a disruptive square aspect from Mars retrograde in Gemini, we can foresee that there will be difficult and tragic collective events occurring alongside whatever inspired experiences correlate with the Jupiter and Neptune conjunction. Yet while difficult collective and personal events may invoke the muse of tragedy, Melpomene, her melodious voice within the collective storms of 2022 can guide us in resiliently persevering through the challenges and inspiring others to do the same. In a time of widespread propaganda and conspiracy theories reminiscent of the themes involved in the dystopian novel 1984, it is fitting that not only was the author George Orwell born with Jupiter in Pisces but also that the famous commercial that introduced the Macintosh personal computer with imagery from the novel 1984 was broadcast at the same time as the Jupiter and Neptune conjunction in the year 1984. Though our personal technology devices point to how we give power away to those in power, Jupiter and Neptune coming together can also remind us of ways we can each take back and claim greater personal power from within.

Within the sweep of planetary alignments to come in the next few years, the conjunction between Jupiter and Neptune in Pisces will interface with the disruptions to the status quo brought forth by the square aspect between Saturn and Uranus in 2021 and 2022. As Uranus forces open the gates and boundaries of Saturn, so will Neptune inspire flights of boundless imagination from Jupiter. The new visions unearthed will be key, for in 2024 we will experience a conjunction between Jupiter and Uranus in Taurus followed by a conjunction in 2026 between Saturn and Neptune in Aries at the first degree of Aries following a period of Saturn being co-present in Pisces along with Neptune that begins in March 2023. While these years will witness another wave of rapid change across global societies, the extended alignment between Saturn and Neptune can support making real the imaginative leaps in thought inspired by the union of Jupiter and Neptune in 2022. May the conjunction between Jupiter and Neptune aid you in dreaming well and deepening into the meaning of your myriad relationships within the world around you.

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Works Cited

  1. Greene, Liz. (12 October 2004). Centre for Psychological Astrology (CPA) seminar at Regents College, London. Neptune.
  2. Bluirini Bealoidis Folklore Podcast. (9 April 2021). Episode 30 – The Stray Sod.
  3. Rudhyar, Dane. (1958). The Jupiter-Neptune Cycle. Horoscope Magazine.
  4. Tarnas, Richard. (2007). Cosmos and Psyche. Plume.
  5. Barbault, Andre. (2016). Planetary Cycles: Mundane Astrology. Translated by Kate Johnston. The Astrological Association.
  6. Jung, C. G. (2009). The red book: Liber novus (S. Shamdasani, Ed.,& trans: Kyburz, M., Peck, J., & Shamdasani, S.). New York: W. W. Norton.

Goethe

Colour Wheel by Johann von Goethe, born with Jupiter in Pisces, from his book Theory of Colours published during a year of a conjunction between Saturn and Neptune in Sagittarius

Full Moon in Gemini

Hilma af Klint, The Swan, NO. 1 (1915)

Full Moon in Gemini

Gemini is the sign of the Twins, an archetypal image carrying multitudinous stories from multitudinous cultures around the world. In the Greek mythos there are a pair of twins, one mortal and one immortal in each pairing of Castor and Pollux, Helen and Clytemnestra, conjuring images of being simultaneously bound to an immortal soul while being separated into incarnate form. All stories of twins involve symbiosis that becomes differentiated into separate paths emanating from a shared source. In astrology, the airy sign of Gemini is ruled by the planet Mercury named after the cunning Hermes of myth who is available at the crossroads where one path separates into a choice of options. Mercury like the sign of Gemini holds the tension of paradox, probes the meaning that weaves together differences, questions the certainty of righteousness in order to tease out the insight necessary for a deeper and more authentic engagement. The Full Moon in Gemini on December 18 will illuminate a pivotal turning point in personal and collective stories, a quality of time holding the tension of astrological influences simultaneously culminating with intensity while on the threshold of dramatic change.

The Gemini Full Moon will brighten the night during the time of peak darkness in the northern hemisphere, a few days before the deep stillness of the Sun entering Capricorn and reaching the nadir of the Winter Solstice, the darkest day of the year that signals the return of light to come. At the same time the final exact square aspect between Saturn in Aquarius with Uranus in Taurus will be amplifying their longstanding tension until forming on December 23. Moreover, Venus will station retrograde while conjoining Pluto the day after the lunation, while Jupiter will finally leave Aquarius for its home sign of Pisces during the waning half of the lunar cycle on December 28. Yet not only is Jupiter in Aquarius during the lunation, the Gemini Full Moon is applying to a flowing trine with the star of Zeus. The trine between the Gemini Full Moon with Jupiter holds the promise of finding the light within the darkness to guide the path forward, to stabilize a sense of coherence amidst the flux of fluidly shapeshifting dynamics.

The final exact square aspect between Saturn and Uranus occurs less than a week after the Gemini Full Moon on December 23. The previous exact square aspects between Saturn and Uranus were on February 17 and June 14, 2021: looking back you may realize ways in which the previous exact alignments involved longstanding structures of stability became shattered or dislodged with new sources of liberating inspiration thrusting through the death of the old. In personal and collective events their alignments have forced the collapse of systems no longer capable of moving forward with sustainability through the changing of the times, forcing awareness to what needs to be addressed with creative renovation. Although the moments of their exact aspects forming can bring events and insight of peak intensity, it is important to realize that an extremely powerful impact of the square between Saturn and Uranus in fact lasts for the entirety of 2021 as well as 2022 with extremely important experiences occurring in relation outside the periods of time in which they form exact aspects. Nonetheless, with the third and final square aspect forming in the wake of the Gemini Full Moon it will be important to pay close attention to witness and contemplate ways in which the new storylines that have erupted in alignment with Saturn and Uranus clashing take on new forms and meaning during the waning half of the present lunar cycle.

Mercury in Capricorn rules the Full Moon while applying to a flowing trine aspect with Uranus in Taurus, stoking perception toward the emancipatory potential of new creative paths and aligning choices with the exciting, liberating side of Uranus within its tension with Saturn rather than clinging on to old patterns and relationships you have outgrown. Vitally, Mercury is barely separating from an exact square aspect with Chiron in Aries, during the same time that Chiron is stationing direct on December 19. Listen for the message being transmitted by Chiron to Mercury which can help in bridging choices and reality from the old structures of Saturn passing away into the more authentic, passionate aliveness that can be embodied through Uranus.

Within the astrology of astronomy, Chiron’s orbit bridges the realms of Saturn and Uranus, with his transit in Aries placing him on the side of Uranus. In myth, Chiron similarly bridged celestial insight from the heavens into material forms of medicinal as well as martial arts, nurturing heroic capacity from his dark, Saturnine cave. Chiron brings understanding for our wounds, fragmentation, and alienation experienced with our identity, showing how the external forms of matter and relationship we struggle within have the same divine source, teaching us how to move with heart-centeredness through our difficulties in ways that can companion and ally with others experiencing their own struggles.

While Mercury is engaging with Uranus and Chiron, Mars in Sagittarius is engaging with the side of Saturn and Chiron. Mars is sextile Saturn in Aquarius and applying to a trine with stationing Chiron in Aries, having recently separated from a conjunction with the South Node of the Moon in Sagittarius. Mars in the sign of the Centaur will be receiving Chiron through a flowing trine, making the star of Ares receptive to the wisdom and guidance that Chiron has to offer. Moreover, the sextile between Saturn and Mars can help in taking decisive action when necessary that is grounded and focalized on the matters at hand that most need our attention. Mars in Sagittarius can help in separating from what needs to be left behind, protecting what needs to be held, and pursuing visions of new growth and inspiration. Mars in Sagittarius will be ruled by Jupiter in Aquarius until Jupiter returns to its home sign of Pisces on December 28, at which point we may experience a kindling of inner celestial fire to transmit through our experience of Mars in Sagittarius.

Helen by Gustave Moreau

Venus retrograde in Capricorn

Some men say an army of horse and some men say an army on foot / and some men say an army of ships is the most beautiful thing / on the black earth. But I say it is / what you love.

Easy to make this understood by all. / For she who overcame everyone / in beauty (Helen) / left her fine husband

behind and went sailing to Troy. / Not for her children nor her dear parents / had she a thought, no- / ] led her astray

] for / ] lightly / ] reminded me now of Anaktoria / who is gone.

I would rather see her lovely step / and the motion of light on her face / than the chariots of Lydians or ranks / of foot soldiers to arms.

] not possible to happen / ] to pray for a share / ] / ] / ] / ] / ] / toward [

] / ] / ] / out of the unexpected.

Sappho 16 translated by Anne Carson

Venus will station retrograde in Capricorn about six hours after the exact alignment of the Gemini Full Moon. Venus will station retrograde within a degree of Pluto, and will form her second exact conjunction with Pluto on December 25 at 25º43’ Capricorn (Venus previously formed a conjunction with Pluto at 25º19’ Capricorn on December 11).  Venus will be glowing bright in twilight on the western horizon during the Gemini Full Moon, heralding the rise of the illuminated Moon in the east. Her proximity with Pluto has brought an extended process of old relational issues and patterns resurfacing to be engaged with. In some cases the messages gleaned need to be integrated, in other cases bringing awareness to what needs to be shed and released from the past with finality. In some cases there may be harrowing and terrifying fears and memories resurfacing that could influence present perceptions, yet also bring the possibility of realization regarding how present relational dynamics are not the same as the past. Thus relationships in which trust, devotion and mutual support are present may experience a deepening with Pluto and Venus together, whereas relationships replicating patterns of past toxicity may bring realization of what needs to be ended, separated, remediated, or have boundaries redrawn. Like Helen, the immortal twin of Gemini, there is much more to come from her story and presence following her initial abduction by Plutonic forces.

After Venus stations retrograde on December 19 at 26°29′ Capricorn, she will initiate us into a forty-one day period in which the star of Aphrodite will backtrack through the zodiac until stationing direct on January 29, 2022 at 11º05′ Capricorn. Thus the zodiacal terrain of eleven to twenty-seven degrees of Capricorn will receive a thorough excavation from Venus as it moves back and forth across the degree range, digging up some emotional material in need of release or recycling, while also rediscovering ancient artifacts of our psyche that can reveal vital lessons we need to learn in the present. Venus first crossed eleven degrees of Capricorn on November 17 and will not finally move beyond 26°29′ Capricorn until March 1, 2022. Fascinatingly, once Venus finally moves beyond the point of her retrograde stationing she will have one more exact encounter with Pluto on March 3, 2022; however, this time around she will be accompanied by Mars in his exaltation of Capricorn.

Centrally, Venus retrograde brings an end to Venus being visible at night and initiates her phase of being visible before sunrise. Venus will descend from visibility as an Evening Star in the beginning of January, disappearing into an invisible and liminal passage of rebirth until reemerging in visibility within her Morning Star phase. As Venus transitions from a nocturnal to diurnal phase, her apparent backward motion is a result of her orbiting in between our Earth and Sun, coming to her closest proximity with us in orbit. In our personal lives, Venus retrograde brings an intensification of all things related to Venus, as her visual descent in the sky reflects a call for an inner descent to dig up the roots of our desires, purging and purifying material that will bring about a reseeding of desire on the other side.

Venus retrograde periods invite us to depart from the usual into exploring the unusual, shedding old desires while coming into relationship with neglected parts of ourselves and new desires emerging from within. Venus when moving direct enjoys uniting and harmonizing elements, such as the pleasures of fresh fruit and flowers, copulation, love, art, music, aesthetics, and whatever we attract and find attractive in relationship. During Venus retrograde, the nature of Venus shifts from seeking social harmony into a transitional space of social norms loosening to allow for deep reevaluation of inner values as well as how we are seeking to fulfill our changing values and needs.

While Venus is normally associated with seductive pleasures that draw us into full sensual engagement in our body, as Venus draws closer to us in orbit through her retrograde her magnetism on our desires increases and creates a potent influence on our daily experiences. Pivotal turning points in stories often occur and important new relational developments and directions often emerge as we simultaneously must confront and lay to rest old issues from the past. Emotions and desires become messy and paradoxical during Venus retrograde, a necessary disorder that becomes part of a process of reordering passions.

During the waning half of the present lunar cycle, we may experience a more intensified purging and putrefaction of past relational patterns and old value systems as part of a process of clearing the ground for new relational desires and inner values to take root. The upcoming New Moon in Capricorn at 12°20′ Capricorn on January 2, 2022 (close to the same degree where Venus will ultimately station direct on January 29) will be applying toward a conjunction with Venus and will initiate us into the invisible, underworld phase of the retrograde journey of Venus which will culminate with her rebirth in the heart of the Sun on January 8 at 18°43′ Capricorn.

Kore (6th–5th century B.C.)

While the stationing of Venus with Pluto has obvious mythic parallels to the story of Demeter (aka Ceres) and the abduction of her daughter Persephone by Hades, it is further fascinating that the dwarf planet Ceres as well as the asteroid Persephone are both present in Gemini near the North Node of the Moon in Gemini during the Full Moon in Gemini. With Ceres retrograde in Gemini at 00º22’ conjoining the mean North Node of the Moon in Gemini at 00º12’ and the Persephone asteroid at 03º18’ Gemini, their co-presence with the Gemini Full Moon likewise illuminates their archetypal themes in personal and collective events.  

Tim Addey in Seven Myths of the Soul analyzed that while Persephone’s name can be translated as “death bringer,” and she does indeed step into the role of ruling over the realm of the dead, she equally signifies our incarnation of being an eternal soul fully embodied within a material realm of continual life and death. Addey focused upon the 6th century Platonic philosopher Damascius who linked Persephone with the soul’s descent into generation, interpreting how Persephone is drawn toward the narcissus flower, a bloom whose name has mythic associations with the soul falling in love with its reflection in matter. Her innocent, purely spiritual state is shattered by her violent pull into the underworld of death, yet ultimately on the other side Persephone discovers a powerful underworld role of mediation and rulership to embody. 

Safron Rossi in The Kore Goddess: A Mythology & Psychology associated the archetypal Kore being bound within an archetypal polarity with the Great Mother, and her insights regarding their relationship to me is significant to the meaning of Ceres within astrology as I have previously associated her with themes related to the Great Mother. Rossi summarized the Great Mother as “a vesseling and containing condition of consciousness whereby individuality is returned to primordial oneness . . . Nurturing and devouring, the Great Mother obscures the presence of the Kore because autonomy and difference stand in opposition to her principles.” The separation and strife encountered by Kore and her descent into underworld processes becomes a necessity for her to to differentiate her own autonomy and sovereignty. Thus within the astrological associations, we can imagine how the inexhaustible abundance of Ceres as the goddess of fertility and agriculture can be set against limitation and loss until integrating the grieving side of Ceres associated with the introduction of the Mysteries to humanity. Rossi wrote that the Great Mother can constellate a “generally unconscious expectation of life that demands equal and ever-increasing plenty,” which “stands in contrast to the focus and choice of the Kore” and her “celebration of the limited.” Rossi declared that “the Kore makes sacrifices, differentiates, and incubates the unique . . .[helping] women focus and make choices without feeling they are betraying something of their own nature.”

Ceres moving retrograde in alignment with the North Node of the Moon symbolizes the need for grief and expressing rage against the injustices and oppression of our world, releasing the emotions felt when experiencing death or loss. For nine days Ceres aka Demeter refused to eat and mourned; Addey in Seven Myths of the Soul interpreted the fasting of Demeter as representing “the need to purge the concerns of matter from our perception if we are to rediscover the soul lost in hyle (matter).” Likewise the purging and putrefaction we experience and emote in the next couple of weeks of the opening stage of Venus retrograde will ultimately open deeper levels of self realization. With Venus retrograde occurring in Capricorn, a sign that exalts Mars and is home to Saturn, we can find ways to protect our inner wildness from outside threats while gestating and incubating new forms of desires taking shape.

Due to Ceres and Persephone both moving retrograde in close proximity with the transiting North Node of the Moon, they will continue to do so until each stations direct in turn. Ceres will station direct at 27º57’ Taurus on January 14, 2022 while Persephone will station direct at 00º24’ Gemini on January 19, 2022. They will eventually reunite on March 23, 2022 at 10º15’ during the return of Spring in the northern hemisphere.  

10 of Swords by Pamela Colman Smith

Gemini 3 Decan

The Full Moon in Gemini will arise in the third decan of Gemini associated with the Ten of Swords card illustrated by Pamela Colman Smith. While the card’s image contains dark skies and death, there is also brilliant light present in the sky revealing new beginnings. The Sun is the ruler of the third face of Gemini, and since the Sun is moving through the opposite zodiacal terrain en route to its glorious appearance at dawn on December 21 during the Capricorn Solstice, we likewise will be experiencing the death of one season of light for the birth of another.

The death and regeneration within the image of the Ten of Swords fits with the influence of Egyptian culture upon Hellenistic astrology and the Thema Mundi chart for the birth of the universe which lies at the foundation for numerous astrological concepts: from this perspective Cancer is the beginning of the cycle and the first house of the nativity, making the third decan of Gemini the end of the cycle, the final of the thirty-six faces of the zodiac. Austin Coppock ascribed the image of “An Executioner’s Sword” to the third decan of Gemini, writing that though “the other decans of Gemini involve discovery, exploration, and simultaneity, in the third wait choices- judgments that must be made. To achieve actuality, a multitude of possibilities must be sacrificed.” Thus the image of a dead man with ten swords plunged into his back resonates with surrendering to the end or death of a cycle, as Coppock described this face as “the final bloom of internal and external polarization.”

The Hellenistic text 36 Airs named Praxidike to this face, goddess of judgment and exactor of vengeance, signifying the complex karma encountered here in decisions made and actions undertaken. Fascinatingly, the Orphic hymn to Persephone connects Praxidike to the subterranean queen, signifying the psychopomp side of Gemini that holds space between worlds and between cycles. Coppock linked the decan’s image of “An Executioner’s Sword” to Praxidike through the “sword of judgement.” To Coppock, “to hold or face such a blade is to understand the consequences of one’s choices. Those entrusted with this blade grow wise and judicious, else fall to the very tool they wield.”

Demetra George recently shared her translation of The Sacred Book of Hermes to Asclepius (a Greek language text ascribed to Hermes Trismegistus during early Roman Imperial period, possibly around 50 CE) in a webinar entitled Egyptian Decans: Star Gods of Time. In her presentation Demetra shared her translation for the image in the text associated with the third face of Gemini: “It is the figure of a woman who seizes a thunderbolt in her right hand and holds a small water urn in her left hand. Her body is winged from her middle to her feet and she has a crown upon her head.”

As Safron Rossi’s extended exploration of the Kore archetype is rooted in Carl Jung’s association of the Kore with the Self, so does the image from The Sacred Book of Hermes to Asclepius for the third decan of Gemini reflect the potent divine wholeness our path may turn towards when making the pivotal decisions found within the third face of Gemini. May the light of the Gemini Full Moon illuminate the way forward in alignment with your most essential and authentic soulfulness.

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References 

Addey, Tim. (2000). The Seven Myths of the Soul. The Prometheus Trust.

Coppock, Austin. (2014). 36 Faces: the history, astrology, and magic of the decans. Three Hands Press.

George, Demetra. (2021). Egyptian Decans: Star Gods of Time. Astrology University.

Rossi, Safron. (2021). The Kore Goddess: A Mythology & Psychology. Winter Press. 


2022 Astrology Forecast

I was recently interviewed by Melissa LaFara on her Energetic Principles Podcast giving an astrological forecast for 2022. There are a lot of big themes for the year that we discussed including the lunar nodes changing to Scorpio and Taurus, eclipses in Taurus and Scorpio amplifying the tension between Saturn and Uranus, Uranus conjunct the North Node in Taurus, Jupiter conjunct Neptune in Pisces, and much more. We also give a more detailed overview month to month.

Here is a link to watch it on YouTube which is helpful to see a visual of the astrology transits we discuss:

Here is a link to listen to our discussion on SoundCloud:

Solar Eclipse in Sagittarius

Disappearing Act by André Kertész

Solar Eclipse in Sagittarius

The Solar Eclipse in Sagittarius on December 4, 2021 is total, resulting in the blackness of night completely overcoming the light of the Sun. In Hesiod’s Theogony, the earliest known mythical cosmogony in ancient Greece, it is Chaos who gives birth to Gaia along with Erebus (primordial deity of Darkness) and Night who mate and give birth to Day and Aether. As there are many other creation stories in which Day/Light is born from Night/Darkness, the phenomenon of eclipses cloaking the radiance of solar light in darkness both visually and psychologically returns us to a sense of the chaotic abyss, chasm, and fertile void which opens wide to bring forth creation. Similarly, the diverse cultures that have imagined mythic tales of chaotic dragons attempting to devour heroes also corresponds with past astrological traditions equating the lunar nodes with chaotic dragons and serpents which devour the light of the sun during solar eclipses.

The Total Sagittarius Solar Eclipse will be at 12º22’ Sagittarius aligned on the side of the South Node of the Moon in Sagittarius, known as the tail end of the imaginal astrological dragon. Similar to how the South Node can be a place of sacrificial fires of purification in traditional Indian astrology, Dane Rudhyar described the South Node as a place of sacrifice as in “making sacred” rather than egoic sacrifice in which we expect something in return. Amidst whatever liminal transitions you have been experiencing, intentionally making the changes sacred will bring you into better flow with the eclipse, such as releasing fixations and being willing to enter the mysterious unknown. Rather than focus on expansive new growth, themes such as releasing, purifying, emptying, and letting go will be favored. The way forward requires returning to patterns of the past that need to be laid to rest in putrefaction that will eventually give rise to new desires. The dissolution of old forms that leads to the arising of new forms in times of eclipses is symbolized well by the ancient ouroboros image of a dragon devouring its own tail. As Brian Clark beautifully described in Soul, Symbol, and Imagination:

“The ouroboros is a cross-cultural symbol which uses the fabled image of the dragon-serpent swallowing its own tail to embody the recurrent nature of the cosmos; on one hand it represents the alpha, the beginning or the head, and the omega, the ending or the tail, yet both are the same point. In astrology we know this point as the conjunction, the beginning of a new cycle marked by the end of the old. This eternal cycle suggests that creation emerges out of destruction, or that life is renewed through death. As the dragon-serpent devours its own tail, its life carries on in a renewed form. Death and rebirth, creation and destruction, beginning and ending, heads and tales mark the eternal return, the never-ending cycle of regeneration.”

Brian Clark

The Sagittarius Solar Eclipse is the final eclipse to occur in the signs of Gemini and Sagittarius, and so serves as the final chapter of the eclipse stories that have been coinciding with eclipses in Gemini and Sagittarius. The first eclipse in the series was a Lunar Eclipse in Sagittarius on 5 June 2020, followed by a Lunar Eclipse in Gemini on 30 November 2020, a Solar Eclipse in Sagittarius on 14 December 2020, a Lunar Eclipse in Sagittarius on 26 May 2021, and a Solar Eclipse in Gemini on 10 June 2021. As these eclipses have flowed back and forth between whatever places the signs of Gemini and Sagittarius occupy in your natal chart, you can trace narrative themes that have developed in correspondence involving the ways both Gemini and Sagittarius are involved in your nativity. Yet since there has been more of an emphasis on eclipses in the sign of Sagittarius, it is fitting that the sequence ends with a Total Solar Eclipse in Sagittarius.

Sagittarius is the fiery home of Jupiter, zodiacal terrain which kindles inner embers into flames of expansive vision and intuitive knowing that can be fervently expressed in outward action. As a fire sign which excels in distinguishing and separating matters to aim with precision at a targeted goal, the Sun in Sagittarius being eclipsed suggests that righteous knowing will become cloaked by a dark tapestry of unknowing and questioning the course of direction forward. As we are in a collective period of great upheaval with numerous societal systems on the brink of collapse and in need of radical reformation, the shadow side of Sagittarius that can become ruthless with dogma and moralizing preaching needs emptying and release. On the other side near the North Node of the Moon in Gemini, the close presence of Ceres retrograde calls for deep listening to our grief and the grief shared by others we encounter through dialogue and witnessing.

Robert Fludd from Utriusque Cosmi (1617)

Mercury in Sagittarius and Neptune in Pisces are especially important influences on the eclipse. Mercury is only three degrees away from the solar eclipse, having recently been reanimated in the heart of the Sagittarius Sun on November 28. The close proximity of Mercury to the eclipse will make significations of Mercury readily apparent in events connected with the eclipse. In contrast, Neptune stationed direct a few days before the eclipse on December 1, and so is saturating the astrological landscape with its imaginal influence. While the Sagittarius Moon is applying to a square aspect with Neptune it will complete later on the same day as the eclipse, Mercury is also applying to a square aspect with Neptune that it will complete on December 7. While the impact of Neptune can often feel like an imperceptible underlying influence, its stationing and catalyzing aspects with the eclipse and Mercury will make it much more viscerally felt than normal. It will be worthwhile to explore the meaning of any images that grab your attention through dreams or in your waking life. The contact between Mercury and the eclipse with Neptune may bring inspirational images, ideas, and messages into your awareness that unveil aspects of inner psyche and ineffable qualities of soul patterns that will reward attention and contemplation.

Having recently been regenerated by the Sun, Mercury is moving fast through its invisible phase, actively in process of gestating the forms of new ideas that will be injected by the otherworldly influences of the eclipse and Neptune. Mercury in Sagittarius excels at taking visionary leaps of thought and synthesizing information with sharp intuition, but its propensity for blazing speed of thought can lead us to excitedly rush forward before throughly analyzing dynamics. Moreover, the square between Mercury in Sagittarius with Neptune can also manifest as dogmatic crusaders or excessively idealistic evangelists wishing to convert others to whatever perspective, philosophy, or belief they have become impassioned by. Making a conscious effort to ground and slow down to allow for thought processes to deepen can help in opening to the imaginative influences of Mercury with Neptune while also creating space to separate the illusory from the authentic.

Eagle by Morris Graves

Jupiter in Aquarius rules the eclipse, with Mars in Scorpio applying toward a square aspect with Jupiter he will complete on December 8. While Jupiter is positively in a whole sign sextile aspect with the eclipse, the overbearing influence of Mars upon Jupiter can create a more volatile atmosphere in which anger and anxiety can be more readily triggered. As a result, it will be helpful to find a balance between resting and relaxing to calm nerves as well as making an effort to be physically or creatively active to move and release energy rather than having it become bottled up and at risk of imploding. Positively, the friction between Mars and Jupiter can be invigorating and fuel dynamic action and courageous efforts to fight through obstacles as well as bravely bring protection to those who are vulnerable.

Jupiter is sharing the same sign of Aquarius with Saturn for a few more weeks, as he will enter his expansive ocean home of Pisces on December 28. Fortunately, this means that Jupiter will be present in the same sign as Saturn during the time period in which the final exact square aspect between Saturn in Aquarius and Uranus in Taurus will be building in intensity until it becomes completed on December 24. Richard Tarnas in Cosmos and Psyche described periods of Saturn and Uranus as involving “the exacerbation of tensions between authority and rebellion, order and freedom, structure and change” as well as “repressive revolution,” “erratically unpredictable authority,” “sudden collapse of structures,” and “grim awakenings.” While these themes elucidated by Tarnas have fit perfectly with events that have erupted during the past year of Saturn and Uranus clashing, in our personal lives we will be able to have more agency to create the changes we wish to experience than within the much larger societal events that careen out of our control. During the final weeks of Jupiter sharing the sign of Aquarius with Saturn, see how you can continue to embrace whatever radical changes you have been inspired to embody and enact, finding ways to make space for shifting perceptions so you can more resolutely release the forms and patterns of the past that need to be let go of.

The Dancing Faun (1919) by André Kertész

Within the darkness of the solar eclipse, Venus in Capricorn will be glowing very bright as an Evening Star in twilight. Although Venus will be shining brightly in the night, she is also slowing down in speed as she approaches her retrograde stationing on December 19. Moreover, Venus is applying closely to a conjunction with Pluto in Capricorn that she will complete on December 11, the first of three conjunctions that Venus will form with Pluto over the course of her upcoming retrograde phase (the next two will be on December 25, 2021 and March 3, 2022). Gary Caton and other astrologers have compared the present phase of Venus that lasts until she stations retrograde and disappears into her invisible phase with the nigredo of alchemy, a period in which we experience loss and putrefaction of matters that will create space for us to receive the seeds of new desires and visions to come into relationship with. The close proximity between Venus with Pluto in the month following the eclipse will amplify the intensity of old relational patterns needing to rise into awareness so we may shed the dead skin of past patterns that no longer align with our present relational needs. It will not be an easy or quick process, but the deep regenerative potency of Pluto can help purge past toxicity as we make more intimate contact with the relational needs and desires that are authentically aligned with our emerging presence.

While Mars in Scorpio is making an activating and disruptive aspect with Jupiter, it is simultaneously forming a harmonious sextile aspect with Pluto in Capricorn that will become exact on December 6. However, although Venus is only about a degree away from an exact sextile aspect with Mars in Scorpio during the eclipse, due to Venus stationing she will not complete the sextile aspect before she stations retrograde and moves away from Mars in the opposite direction. The influence of Mars in Scorpio upon Venus and Pluto in Capricorn will further volatilize and deepen the transformative process already underway for Venus, making it a potent time for deep listening and sharing within intimate relationships. While much can be uncovered within relational dialogue that facilitates penetration into the core dynamics and patterns at play, it will also be important to make time and space for solitary contemplation and becoming more grounded and rooted in one’s sovereign sense of self outside of relationship.

The Sagittarius Solar Eclipse is part of the saros 152 eclipse family that originated with a partial solar eclipse in the southern hemisphere on July 26, 1805; all of the eclipses in this family occur on the south or descending node of the Moon. Interestingly, at the time of the origin eclipse in 1805 there was a conjunction between Jupiter and Neptune in Scorpio, reflecting the Jupiter Neptune conjunction in Pisces in 2022, and there was also a conjunction forming between Saturn and Uranus in Libra, reflecting the building tension of the square aspect between Saturn and Uranus occurring during the present eclipse.

Thus the saros family of the Sagittarius Solar Eclipse has a strong connection to both the Jupiter Neptune and Saturn Uranus cycles that will be the key astrological themes of the year ahead. The last three solar eclipses in this series have been total: 23 November 2003, 12 November 1985, and 2 November 1967. Regarding the eclipse’s metonic cycle, the last time there was a total solar eclipse at twelve degrees of Sagittarius near the South Node of the Moon was on December 4, 2002 and so the same aspects of your natal chart would have been activated by that eclipse as the present one.

9 of Wands by Pamela Colman Smith

Sagittarius 2 Decan

The second decan of Sagittarius where the Sun will be eclipsed is associated with the Nine of Wands card illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith. In the image a bandaged and alert figure stands with his chosen staff planted firmly in the ground, with eight other wands of varying size rooted behind him. There is a resilient strength and courage to persist in the face of opposition found here that resonates with the meaning of the second face of Sagittarius. It is significant that the figure has been wounded at the top of his head, as Sagittarius unifies fiery spirit with the will of the body. Since the Moon is ruler of the second face of Sagittarius, the fact that the Moon is eclipsing the Sun while in her own face makes the meaning of this decan especially activated.

Austin Coppock in his book on the decans 36 Faces ascribed the image of “The Bridle” to the second face of Sagittarius, stating that the battles and conflicts pictured in the Nine of Wands card “are necessary to inflame the will and provide the heat necessary for the fusion of the mind and body.” Coppock praised the capacity of the second face of Sagittarius “to keep the body and mind in line with intention, despite contrary forces,” as its rulership by the Moon and Mars brings the ferocious resiliency needed to protect what we most value in the face of opposition with all of the odds stacked against us.  Yet Coppock cautioned that while the second face of Sagittarius “represents a formula for strength in the face of opposition,” we must discern when circumstances “do not demand, nor reward such a response” but instead require yielding to develop a different strategy.

The dichotomy of fighting to protect a vision, whether it is securing a boon through victory or bewailing the loss of defeat, is found in ancient textual images of the second decan of Sagittarius. In the Birhat Jakarta a golden woman of grace picks up gems from the ocean, while in The Beginning of Wisdom by Ibn Ezra as well as the Yavanajataka there is a chest of golden ornaments and jewels set before a beautiful woman. These images are in contrast to images in other tomes signifying sadness and fear, such as a “lamenting woman” in Three Books of Occult Philosophy.  These images of mourning and unearthed treasure are also curiously resonant with the figure of Kore who was ascribed to the second face of Sagittarius by the Hellenistic text the 36 Airs. Austin Coppock linked Kore’s presence here with her form as Persephone Praxidike, mistress of the furies and the forces of nemesis that create the adversarial force necessary to bring forth our most heroic qualities.

Safron Rossi in her recent book The Kore Goddess: A Mythology & Psychology associated the archetypal Kore with “psychological integrity” and “what it means to be grounded in one’s essential nature as an individual.” To Rossi, the sacred qualities that the Kore personifies include “unto-oneself, sovereignty, vitality” and “authenticity,” viewing “one-in-herself as central to the archetypal stream of the Kore.” She further referenced classicist Guilia Sissa that the Greek meanings of kore and parthenos included “a treasure that one guards (phylassein), a value that must be respected (terein).” With an eclipse in a decan associated with Kore, Rossi’s identification of the Kore’s shadow as involving “innocence” and becoming “untouchable, impenetrable, self-enclosed,” is further vital to consider.

In relation to the association of the Kore with Persephone, Rossi noted that “when we can embrace a more complex perspective that is not primarily concerned with maintaining psychological innocence, Persephone’s myth shows us how Kore consciousness is forged by underworld initiation.” Indeed, Rossi stated that “Persephone-Kore is the divinity within the painful loss of innocence for it is she who shows how there would be no growing down into authenticity without the forays into the underworld.” These archetypal revelations concerning Persephone-Kore will be important to keep in mind as Venus stations retrograde while conjoining Pluto within the forthcoming lunar cycle. They also connect with the synchronicity that during the time of the Sagittarius Solar Eclipse the Persephone asteroid will be retrograde at 6º16’ Gemini nearby Ceres retrograde at 3º26’ Gemini and the true north node of the Moon at 1º44’ Gemini.

In some versions of Persephone’s story, her playmates by her side before her abduction by Hades were none other than the Sirens, daughters of the muse of melody and tragedy, Melpomene. Just like Persephone ultimately brings her divine beauty into a sovereign role as Queen of the Underworld, so do the Sirens bring their beautiful voices into a psychopomp role of helping to maintain harmony between the underworld and the upper world through music. Safron Rossi in The Kore Goddess mused “that Kore consciousness can experience the Siren’s songs as north stars, calling us to move beyond our limited perspective and gain further knowledge of ourselves and the world.” In the aftermath of the eclipse, may you hear the music and songs of soulfulness that help you cope with whatever grieving and wounding needs tending, and call you to embark upon a journey beyond past confinement with fiery vision and aplomb, like a piercing arrow shot forth from the sacred bow of Sagittarius.

If you enjoy my writing please consider supporting my work through a monthly subscription on my Patreon page. Take a look to see the benefits you will receive as a patron!

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References

Clark, Brian. (2019). Soul, Symbol, and Imagination. Astro*Synthesis.

Coppock, Austin. (2014). 36 Faces: the history, astrology, and magic of the decans. Three Hands Press.

Rossi, Safron. (2021). The Kore Goddess: A Mythology & Psychology. Winter Press.

Rudhyar, Dane. (1971). The Planetary and Lunar Nodes. CSA Press.

Tarnas, Richard. (2007). Cosmos and Psyche. Plume.

Lunar Eclipse in Taurus

The Hall of Stars in the Palace of the Queen of the Night, from The Magic Flute by Karl Friedrich Schinkel

Lunar Eclipse in Taurus

Eclipses are portals of intersecting pathways, signaling an upswing of new relational developments entering our life while older storylines end in release or fade from focalization. Lunar eclipses occur when a Full Moon occurs near the intersection between the Moon’s orbit and the ecliptic, the apparent pathway of the Sun from our perspective on Earth. As the crossroads of the Sun and Moon becomes illuminated, so does our sense of soulful direction and destiny. Since the Lunar Eclipse in Taurus on November 19, 2021 is the first eclipse to occur in Taurus and is co-present with an activated Uranus in Taurus, there is greater likelihood for new attractions, revelations, disruptions, challenges, and opportunities to emerge in the surrounding time period. There may be a need to create time and space for restorative rest and resourcing to help digest what needs to be integrated into one’s life and understanding.

The Taurus Lunar Eclipse is the first eclipse of the series that will be going back and forth between the fixed signs of Taurus and Scorpio, initiating new narratives involving the signs of Scorpio and Taurus that will last until the final eclipse in the series occurs on October 28, 2023 in Taurus. In addition to activating a new zodiacal sign polarity, it is also the first eclipse to occur in the same sign as Uranus since Uranus entered Taurus in 2018. Later eclipses in the series will be exactly aligned with Uranus and more potent in their promethean expression, and so the Taurus Lunar Eclipse will bring an initial sense for how the combination of eclipses occurring in the same sign as Uranus will be accelerating change and inspiring breakthroughs in the next couple of years.

The Taurus Lunar Eclipse will catalyze the recent release of tension and dynamism created by Mars in Scorpio forming an exact opposition with Uranus in Taurus on November 17, after Mars previously formed a square aspect with Saturn in Aquarius on November 10. The ongoing square aspect between Saturn and Uranus has been underlying all of the radical structural changes that have been rippling across 2021, as it has been bringing the consolidating contraction of Saturn that builds enduring structures into conflict with the accelerated vision of Uranus that resists restrictions and insists on making innovative changes to the status quo. Though dramatic external changes that have correlated with Mars in Scorpio igniting the friction between Saturn and Uranus may already be obvious, the Moon being eclipsed only a couple of days after the exact opposition between Mars and Uranus will bring a stronger sense for how inner processes are being transmuted in correlation. Since Venus in Capricorn rules the eclipse and is forming a trine aspect with Uranus and a sextile aspect with Mars, we will be able to attune to deep changes within our inner realm while we simultaneously receive a felt sense for how our interpersonal relationships are likewise shifting in correlation with the larger changes at work.

The Taurus Lunar Eclipse is separating from a sextile aspect with Pluto in Capricorn and a propulsive square aspect with Jupiter in Aquarius, bringing vital insight into whatever goals and projects connected with our core purpose and values we have been contemplating and developing. As the Moon becomes eclipsed while inhabiting her sign of exaltation, there may be old idealizations that will be brought down from their formerly lofty heights as we realize what their exalted light has been obscuring within shadow. It will be necessary to become clear about the challenges we are facing, while also kindling visions of vivifying growth and creative expression that can emerge within the dismantling and regeneration underway.

The Taurus Lunar Eclipse will be partial, meaning that while the shadow cast across the face of the Moon will become ruddy in color, it will not become the more vibrant blood red color that occurs during a total lunar eclipse. The lunar eclipse will be unusually long, in fact the longest partial lunar eclipse since 1440, and visible across North and South America, Asia, and Australia. The Taurus Lunar Eclipse is also a member of an eclipse family associated with the saros series 126, and is the first partial lunar eclipse following a long sequence of total lunar eclipses. The last lunar eclipse in the series was total and took place on 9 November 2003, with the previous total lunar eclipses in the series occurring on 28 October 1985 and 18 October 1967. You may notice some strange recurrences or replicating patterns associated with events that took place during previous lunar eclipses in the series.

Salome and the Apparition of the Baptist’s Head (1876) by Gustave Moreau

Astrological tradition imagines eclipses as a great dragon or serpent consuming the light of our Sun and Moon, with the North Node of the Moon symbolizing its head and the South Node its tail. The Lunar Eclipse at 27º14’ Taurus will be aligned with the head of the dragon, as the North Node of the Moon will be at 1º47’ Gemini, introducing a symbolic dragon with a head in Taurus and tail in Scorpio that will take much stronger form over the course of 2022. The dragon symbolism further links eclipses with ouroboros imagery of a dragon consuming its own tail that has been used in Hermetic arts for ages. The dragon devouring itself mirrors the dissolution of nature that leads to the arising of new forms. In alchemical work the arts of separation and union tied to this imagery reflect our capacity for purifying material attachments. The inner and outer changes we experience in correlation with eclipses can facilitate a letting go of fixation to enable release, while a burgeoning sense of new forms coming together to emerge can be felt.

Since the meaning of a lunar eclipse is rooted in the phenomenon of the Sun casting the Earth’s shadow onto the face of the Moon, Dane Rudhyar interpreted the solar shadow as symbolizing the present overcoming the past as shadows veil the lunar impact of past conditioning and attachments on our present consciousness. Since the Taurus Lunar Eclipse is aligned with the North Node of the Moon while the Sun is illuminating the side of the South Node of the Moon, growth will come from the resolution and release of old issues, emotional material, and familial conditioning that have shaped our actions and relationships. Engaging whatever insights may be excavated or new growth nurtured from the putrefaction of the past will continue to be important as we traverse the strange vortex of time that occurs in between eclipses, as the Taurus Lunar Eclipse will be followed by a Total Solar Eclipse in Sagittarius on December 4 that will be aligned with the South Node of the Moon. The intersection of the past into the coming eclipse portal brings a dragon’s pearl to the surface that has been born from the darkness of the beast’s belly, a natural gem purified across time that now opens awareness to future potential and growth that may emerge from decomposition of the past.

Gorgon (around 580 BC), as depicted on a pediment from the temple of Artemis in Corfu

The Taurus Lunar Eclipse occurs near the fixed star Algol, known as the severed head of Medusa in some traditions and the head of the demon in others. Algol fits well with eclipses due to it being a three star system containing an eclipsing binary which causes Algol to blink in the night sky, as it contains stars that are constantly eclipsing themselves. Just like astrologers have long feared the volatile impact of eclipses within mundane events, so have they also feared Algol. However, although Diana Rosenberg wrote that Algol has been correlated with horrific events in human history, in natal charts “it is not necessarily malevolent and may, in fact, bestow considerable benefits, including intellectual brilliance, creativity and originality.” Rosenberg wrote that having Algol strongly connected to a nativity “does not necessarily mean one will commit or experience violence; it is, rather, that one will not be able to remain aloof from the awareness of that level of human experience, and will be led to come to terms with it in some manner.” Rosenberg gave the examples of a journalist covering tragedies or those called to comfort or assist victims of disaster or those recovering from trauma.

Yet Rosenberg also warned of the potential for one to “lose one’s head” under the influence of Algol, going against better judgement through “dictatorial” and “absolutist” tendencies with an “unwillingness to see any humanity in their opponents,” leading to “wanton aggressiveness,” “criminal intolerance,” and using “religion or intense patriotism to justify violence against others.” Similarly, Bernadette Brady wrote that “Algol represents a strong consuming passion that may devour you with anger and rage.” Yet Brady also wrote that if “one can contain an unconscious compulsion to take revenge, and focus that passion into a more productive outcome, Algol is one of the most powerful stars in the sky.” Along these lines Rosenberg wrote that there is a strong artistic and intellectual side to Algol that can lead to great ambition and accomplishment.

As a result, the eclipse occurring near Algol may bring increased awareness of the ways systemic oppression has been causing devastation within the natural environment and landscape of human relationships. There may be increased waves of anger and rage unleashed in retribution, as well as polarized conflicts within politics continuing with each side locked in projecting back and forth without listening to one another or reflecting on how one’s own shadow may be influencing their behavior. Yet within our personal experience we may gain a deeper sense for how some of our own wounds and frustrating patterns are connected to must vaster ancestral patterns underlying the present conflicts within surrounding culture. Turning within to explore one’s shadow when needed, making effort to pull back one’s projections when possible, and deeply listening to internal processes and the messages received within relationship can help in finding creative ways to engage with whatever material becomes stirred up by the eclipse.

Queen of the Night by Marjorie Miller

Venus in Capricorn rules the eclipse while shining brightly as an evening star following sunset. Venus is out of bounds in southern declination, and so is appearing low in the sky in the northern hemisphere. The freedom oriented nature of Venus being out of bounds is further amplified due to Venus actively engaging and mediating the recent opposition between Mars in Scorpio and Uranus in Taurus that has dislodged and jarred loose stuck material and issues. Venus is separating from a trine aspect with Uranus and applying to a sextile aspect with Mars in Scorpio, both aspects that suggest opportunities being available to become creatively activated. Moreover, there is reception involved in the aspects Venus is making with both Uranus and Mars, as Venus is receiving Uranus within her earthy home of Taurus and Mars is receiving Venus through Venus being in the exaltation of Mars. Venus in Capricorn is capable of enforcing boundaries and cultivating containers within which shared intimacy and creativity may flourish, and her supportive aspects with Mars and Uranus suggest opportunities for deepening our engagement with whatever relational processes and revelations become activated while also having the courage to embrace the depths of our experience.

Yet Venus is also beginning to approach another significant aspect with Pluto in Capricorn that will become stronger as we approach the upcoming Total Solar Eclipse in Sagittarius on December 4. Venus will be within three degrees of a conjunction with Pluto during the upcoming solar eclipse, eventually forming a conjunction with Pluto on December 11 the first time and then again on December 25 after stationing retrograde on December 19. Venus will then remain within three degrees of Pluto until January 1, 2022. Although Venus is twelve degrees away from Pluto during the Taurus Lunar Eclipse, during the waning half of the lunar cycle we will be gaining a stronger sense of whatever deep material that Venus and Pluto will be bringing to the surface for an extended process of engagement.

The approaching confrontation between Venus and Pluto conjures the myth of Persephone aka Proserpina and her mother Demeter aka Ceres. During the Taurus Lunar Eclipse, Ceres is retrograde in Gemini near the north node of the Moon, with the eclipsed Moon applying toward a conjunction with Ceres. There is a fascinating link between the Taurus Lunar Eclipse and the present period of Ceres retrograde: the degree of the lunar eclipse at 27º14′ Taurus is the same degree where Ceres will eventually station direct on January 14, 2022 at 27º58′ Taurus. Thus whatever material emerges from shadows in connection with the lunar eclipse may have an important relationship with whatever material that Ceres is leading us to remember and integrate during the course of her present retrograde. Ceres previously stationed retrograde on October 8, 2021 at 12º08′ Gemini, creating a region from twelve degrees of Gemini to twenty-seven degrees of Taurus to pay attention to in your natal chart. An incredible additional synchronicity is that the Persephone asteroid stationed retrograde at the same time as Ceres, within a few degrees, and so is also on a simultaneous retrograde journey nearby Ceres.

Ceres produces the resources needed for vitality as well as bears the seeds of renewal. Yet the swing of her scythe that brings the harvest necessitates loss as much as it brings forth gain, and her retrograde passage can correlate with her passage of grief following the loss of her daughter to the underworld.  Just as the Taurus Moon will be eclipsed by shadow, so was Ceres eclipsed by pain and rage over her own personal tragedy.  In an element of her myth that parallels the story of Isis and Osiris, Ceres was willing to incarnate into human form as part of fully embodying her grief. Ceres reveals the importance of taking time and space away from production in order to grieve and tend to inner darkness, while also illuminating the resolve necessary to return to the world of suffering in order to bolster strength in others. Just as the myth of Ceres/Demeter tells the story of how the mystery initiations were brought to humanity, so does the connection of the dwarf planet Ceres with the Taurus Lunar Eclipse suggest paying mindful attention to the deeper mystery of your experiences and what important aspects of soul are emerging within your interactions with others that contain a wealth of insight to reflect upon and slowly integrate across the course of Ceres being retrograde.

7 of Pentacles by Pamela Colman Smith

Taurus 3 Decan

The Moon will be eclipsed in the third decan of Taurus associated with the Seven of Pentacles card illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith. An image of a farmer or gardener carefully watching over the growth of green foliage he hopes will ultimately ripen into a bountiful harvest, it is a card of delayed gratification that necessitates patiently cultivating the process at work so that a savory climax of fulfilling ripeness can later be enjoyed. Fittingly, Saturn rules the third face of Taurus as it is zodiacal terrain where the calm, prudent, and attentive countenance of the farmer in the image of the Seven of Pentacles is needed to make sure all of the necessary planning and responsibilities will be completed even when facing adversity. Similarly, we will need to mediate whatever blessings or burdens emerge with the Taurus Lunar Eclipse while maintaining a long range perspective that will allow for carefully tending to and nurturing the needs of our relationships and endeavors so that they may ultimately bloom in healthy wholeness.  

The destabilizing nature of eclipses aligns well with the meaning that Austin Coppock gave to the third face of Taurus in his book 36 Faces. Coppock ascribed the image of “A String of Prayer Beads” to this face, stating that it “represents a confrontation with destructive factors which impede completion,” as well as the need to enact remediation and “make plans to accommodate the unforeseen.”  While Coppock acknowledged that we must face toil and difficulty at times in this decan due to everything that can go wrong in between the germination of a seed and its ultimate flowering and fruiting, he also listed virtues such as “wisdom, patience, humility, and foresight” as being “the unexpected fruits of the destructive forces which prowl this face.” Indeed, Coppock concluded that while this face may make us confront potential disaster, it is also a place from which we can call for support from higher powers and worthy allies while developing the remedies needed to overcome threats. 

T. Susan Chang in her book 36 Secrets made the astute observation that it is important to “consider the nature of boundaries” in all of the decans ruled by Saturn, as “freedom depends on its limits.” Chang also noted that the image of the farmer staring into space in the Seven of Pentacles image suggests “a sort of timelessness” inherent in the card’s meaning, not unlike the role Saturn plays in astrology as the threshold guardian between time and timelessness. To Chang there is a lesson in this face found within the relationship between our finite perception of time and the truly infinite nature of time. Indeed, by patiently attending to what needs to be completed or cared for in accordance with the finiteness of time, we may also gain wisdom from and find strength within the infiniteness of time in ways that can help us withstand hardship and toil. 

Since the Taurus Lunar Eclipse will be followed by a Total Solar Eclipse in Sagittarius on December 4, we have forewarning that significant changes will be occurring, especially for those whose natal charts have natal placements impacted by the eclipses. The wisdom of the third decan of Taurus suggests we may prepare through patient attention to whatever needs attending to, as well as by reaching out for support from those who will be able to assist us through whatever transitions we will be moving through. Choose rest and personal nurturance rather than burning yourself out through overproduction, as there will be much to gain through focusing on mutually supportive relationships and taking the time to attend to foundational elements of life that will bolster your long-term health and prosperity.

If you enjoy my writing please consider supporting my work through a monthly subscription on my Patreon page. Take a look to see the benefits you will receive as a patron!

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References

Brady, Bernadette. (1998). Brady’s Book of Fixed Stars. Weiser.

Brady, Bernadette. (2008). Star and Planet Combinations. The Wessex Astrologer.

Chang, T. Susan. (2021). 36 Secrets: A Decanic Journey through the Minor Arcana of the Tarot. Anima Mundi Press. 

Coppock, Austin. (2014). 36 Faces: The History, Astrology and Magic of the Decans. Three Hands Press.

George, Demetra. (1994). Finding Our Way Through the Dark: an astrological companion to Mysteries of the Dark Moon. AFA.

Rosenberg, Diana. (2012). Secrets of the Ancient Skies, Volume 1. Ancient Skies Press.

Rudhyar, Dane. (1980). The Astrology of Transformation. Quest Books

Scorpio New Moon

City Beyond the Tree by Margo Hoff

Scorpio New Moon

Ancient astrology texts give the fixed, watery sign of Scorpio a special status due to being the place where the Moon experiences her fall. Being the place where Fortune has her fall, Scorpio is considered zodiacal terrain where nothing can be exalted. When planets are considered to be exalted, they are elevated into the highest strata of fame and status within the dominant culture. Considering the current state of those in hierarchical positions of power and the value to be found by playing into the games of present political and popular power structures, the fallen quality of the Moon in Scorpio deserves honoring and embrace. Scorpio penetrates through the false gloss of superficial interactions, cuts through appearances, demands the honesty of the depths and the desire to go there. During a period in which people all around the world are simultaneously poised on the precipice of an enormous threshold, when the structures of civilization are being challenged and torn asunder when incapable of enduring, we need to drink deeply from the dark well of Scorpio.

The New Moon at 12º40′ Scorpio is exactly opposite Uranus retrograde at 12º47′ Taurus. The Sun in opposition with Uranus is the heart of the Uranus retrograde passage, when Uranus is as close to Earth in orbit as possible within its cycle and can be more intensely felt than normal. Uranus stationed retrograde on August 19 at 14º48′ Taurus and will eventually station direct on January 18, 2022 at 10º49′ Taurus, demarcating the lunation as dead center on whatever internal journey Uranus has been calling you to fully commit to. The tension between the Scorpio New Moon with Uranus in Taurus can be released suddenly, striking with revelatory force into a moment in which a completely new understanding or path forward becomes revealed. Uranus electrifies the fallen quality of the Scorpio New Moon, like an otherworldly vision of healing and mystery received while laying low, incubating.

In addition to activating Uranus, in the bigger picture the Scorpio New Moon is triggering whatever tension has been building up between the ongoing square aspect between Saturn and Uranus. The Scorpio Sun recently formed a square aspect with Saturn in Aquarius on October 30, and in the week following the lunation both Mercury and Mars in Scorpio will form a clashing square aspect with Saturn on November 10. The speed of change and dismantling within collective events has been feeling overwhelming and anxiety provoking to many, yet in keeping with the mythic connection many astrologers make between Uranus and Prometheus, within the suffering can also be found the seeds of liberation. Prometheus brought the creative potency of fire, the arts, and sciences to humanity, yet his story also necessitates a confrontation with hubris and questioning of what kind of civilization has been constructed by humanity with the gifts of Prometheus.

Indeed, Tim Addey in Seven Myths of the Soul wrote that Prometheus requires the soul to ask, “what am I not?” Addey stated that “the mystic’s initiation into the mysteries of Prometheus is the voluntary acceptance of the limitations of matter, not its rejection.” Like Prometheus, integrating and embodying the radical awakening of Uranus necessitates a voluntary sacrifice to bring its emancipatory vision into the incarnated world of limitation, suffering, and death. Within the shattering to collective systems wrought by Uranus in Taurus, by going within and finding our center amidst the chaotic tumult we may liberate our authentic values from their concealment within cultural conditioning. To follow one’s true path in the face of consensus conditioning necessitates the risk of abandonment and fears of experiencing shame and betrayal.

With Mars ruling the New Moon while at full strength within its watery home of Scorpio, there is enduring courage waiting to be seized like an ancestral sword long bound by stone, awaiting release. Make the space and time needed, no matter how painstakingly slow it seems to be taking, to allow the decomposition and putrefaction of Scorpio to work its magic on the ways in which the conditioning of consensus culture has led you to believe you need to live your life. Ask yourself what you wish to awaken in yourself and others, and what you want to bring to civilization from the soulfulness of your own inner depths. We are in a crucial time full of crucial choices that deserve the thought and contemplation needed to align our actions with our essential integrity.

Egyptian Scarab inscribed with hieroglyphs (ca. 1479–1458 B.C.)

Mars is as strong as possible at the degree he is inhabiting during the Scorpio New Moon, as he is in his own domicile, bounds, decan, and triplicity. Meanwhile, Saturn is also especially strong due to being in his own domicile and triplicity. The fact that both Mars and Saturn are so powerfully positioned amplifies the tidal force of the tension building between them as they prepare to clash on November 10. Mars and Saturn are the planets most associated with being tested and learning how to traverse periods of difficulty and strife. While Mars can incite pushing forward with passion and making things happen with direct action, Saturn can push back through restraint, slowing things down with contemplative containment, and erecting boundaries and defensives to keep the red hot heat of Mars at bay. Yet Mars in Scorpio is in the dominant position by being in the tenth place from Saturn, the first time all year that Mars has been engaged with Saturn through being in a superior square. Thus while Saturn may attempt to clamp down on Mars, the propulsive force of Mars will topple the towers of Saturn, especially those systemic structures which lack a strong foundation and capacity for flexibly adjusting to changing conditions.

Adding to the intense, explosive quality of the conflict brewing between Mars and Saturn will be Mercury, as the star of Hermes will enter Scorpio on November 5, the day after the Scorpio New Moon. Mercury will form a conjunction with Mars in Scorpio on November 10, with both Mars and Mercury simultaneously forming an intensifying square aspect with Saturn in Aquarius. As a result the days leading up to November 10 may feel especially charged, with an extended release in the following week. Mercury will form a tense opposition with Uranus in Taurus on November 13, followed by Mars forming an opposition with Uranus on November 17.

The union of Mercury and Mars can weaponize language as well as increase the capacity of Mars for being cunning and tricky when implementing strategy. It will be wise to avoid unnecessary conflicts and walk away when possible to avoid escalation. Yet when brought to bear on one’s inner depths, the penetrative force of Mercury and Mars in Scorpio can dislodge potent desires to express through creativity as well as through protective support of one another within community.

While Saturn in Aquarius will be extremely activated with all of its defenses by the charge from Mercury and Mars in Scorpio, the star of Cronus will also be applying toward a potentially integrative sextile aspect with Chiron, who is retrograde in Aries and mutually applying with Saturn. Saturn will not complete his sextile aspect with Chiron until November 26, allowing for an extended period of time to explore what sort of dialogue and relationship can be bridged between Chiron and Saturn. Adding to the complexity, Ceres retrograde in Gemini is also involved in the dynamic between Saturn and Chiron, as Ceres is applying toward a trine with Saturn and a sextile with Chiron (Ceres will sextile Chiron on November 8 and trine Saturn on November 14).

Thus both Chiron and Ceres are available for tending to whatever wounds and burdens we have been experiencing related to Saturn. We may need to make space for grief related to loss, issues of identity, and feelings of alienation or dislocation that we have been experiencing. Yet the harmonious aspects between Ceres and Chiron with Saturn can also help retrieve a deep sense of the inner treasure we may find within ourselves, buried underneath the accumulation of so much stress circulating within collective crises and personal difficulties. Relationships we may turn to involving secure bonds of attachment can be particularly helpful in exploring whatever medicine can be alchemized between Ceres, Saturn, and Chiron.

Doorways by Margo Hoff

We can expect the unexpected in the weeks following the Scorpio New Moon not only because of the activation of both Uranus and Saturn by transit, but also because we will be entering an eclipse season. Indeed, the lunar cycle beginning with the Scorpio New Moon will reach peak light with a Lunar Eclipse on November 19 at 27º14′ Taurus. Since this will be the first eclipse to occur in the fixed signs of Taurus or Scorpio, there will likely be important endings and beginnings in storylines taking shape in correspondence as we get closer to the eclipse. Pay attention for signs of what new stories may emerge in correspondence with eclipses in Taurus and Scorpio.

Another sign of changing narratives will be the entrance of Venus into Capricorn on November 5, the day after the Scorpio New Moon. Venus in Capricorn will begin activating a storyline that will have a long arc, extending across the threshold between 2021 and 2022. Venus will remain in Capricorn from November 5, 2021 until March 5, 2022 due to stationing retrograde in Capricorn on December 19, 2021. Tellingly, the first major aspect that Venus in Capricorn will complete with a planet besides the Moon will be a harmonious sextile aspect with Uranus in Taurus on November 18. Since Venus will be receiving Uranus into her earthy home of Taurus, their contact on the day before the Lunar Eclipse can help us find ways to relate and be more creative with the more explosive tension that will be released by the opposition between Mars in Scorpio with Uranus in Taurus on November 17. Venus in Capricorn knows how to play the long game, and while Venus can enjoy the lust of earthly delights in Capricorn she can also utilize boundaries to create the space needed for whatever she desires to gestate and birth.

6 of Cups by Pamela Colman Smith

Scorpio 2 Decan

The New Moon in Scorpio is in the second decan of Scorpio associated with the Six of Cups card illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith. The image reveals the virtuous innocence of receiving through giving, which connects with the Sun and Jupiter being the rulers of the second face of Scorpio. Austin Coppock in his book 36 Faces ascribed the image of “An Apparatus for Mutual Distillation” to the second decan of Scorpio, describing it as a face in which mutual distillation within relationship allows for matters to be passed back and forth as in an alembic, “growing increasingly rarefied and potent.” Coppock wrote that while “it is easy to imagine these dynamics between romantic partners, all relationships which rely on trust and continuous exchange generate such circuits.”

Coppock’s description of ideal relational exchanges rooted in trust also brings to mind its antithesis of broken trust that unleashes overwhelming emotions and catalyzes separations and letting go. Twelfth century astrologer Ibn Ezra in The Beginning of Wisdom wrote that within the second face of Scorpio there “ascends a woman who has left her house; she is naked and has nothing on and she is entering the sea.” Austin Coppock described the second decan of Scorpio as warning that we need to be careful to whom we bare ourselves to, because the “virtuous circuit of exchange can become vicious in this face . . . the process of dual cultivation becomes one of mutual degradation, each destroying the quality of the other with each pass.”

Further showing the importance of separating from degrading relationships in the second decan of Scorpio, the Hellenistic text 36 Airs ascribed the Titan goddess Leto to the second face of Scorpio. Sister to the starry, divinatory goddess Asteria and mother to the twin lights of Artemis and Apollo, Leto’s presence in the face where the Scorpio New Moon will darken reveals the need to protectively nurture and cultivate whatever we hold most dear and wish to bring into the world. Leto had to flee and take refuge on an isolated island unattached to the ocean floor in order to escape the wrath of Hera, who had made all lands exclude Leto from entry due to her anger over the affair between Leto and Zeus.  It was said that the twin offspring of Leto would stabilize the new order of Olympian deities, and so her persistence in nurturing the birth of Apollo and Artemis was additionally a birth of a new collective age. In this time of great global shifts and collective thresholds, Leto is a fitting symbol for taking the necessary steps to give birth to the world you wish yourself and the generations to follow to inhabit.

As the power found in the second face of Scorpio involves distillation and cultivation from intimate exchanges, the closeness of our relationships and the mutual support and love found within them will be the vessel to tend and drink from in the coming weeks. Let the darkness of the Scorpio New Moon bring you closer to the community and relationships needed to help bring forth the blessings and beauty of your lineages more brightly into the world.

If you enjoy my writing please consider supporting my work through a monthly subscription on my Patreon page. Take a look to see the benefits you will receive as a patron!

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References

Addey, Tim. (2000). The Seven Myths of the Soul. The Prometheus Trust.

Coppock, Austin. (2014). 36 Faces: The History, Astrology and Magic of the Decans. Three Hands Press.

Full Moon in Aries

Wave Weave 1 by Sarah Wertzberger

Full Moon in Aries

The polarity between Aries and Libra centers around change of the most primordial sort. In the northern hemisphere the entrance of the Sun into Aries brings the propulsive eruption of Spring from the darkness of Winter, its entrance into Libra the turn from the light and enlivening heat of Summer into the decomposition and reseeding of Fall. While the reverse is true in the southern hemisphere, the axis of Aries and Libra still holds the tension of shifting dynamics ready to give birth to new storylines, motion arising out of stasis, revelation from incubation, breaking through out of breaking down, and vice versa. The Full Moon in Aries on October 20 will be especially catalytic and volatile, as the brilliant Aries Moon will form an opposition with Mars in Libra and a square aspect with Pluto in Capricorn. Yet as the Aries Moon will also pass through a harmonizing sextile aspect with Jupiter in Aquarius as it waxes into fullness, there can be new opportunities for expansive growth to extract from whatever chthonic, internal process of change you have been engaging.

The Full Moon is in the fiery home of Mars and the exaltation of the Sun, forming an opposition with both the Sun and Mars. Mars in Libra is still within his invisible, underworld phase of being at the beginning of a new solar cycle which began on October 7 when Mars was reanimated by the Sun a day after the New Moon in Libra on October 6. The present lunar cycle is all about Mars, as the Moon began her cycle conjoining Mars and will reach peak illumination in opposition with Mars. While new visions and desires related to Mars may be taking root, we are still in the midst of gestating and coming to terms with whatever the new cycle of Mars may propel us toward. Mars is known for being off balance and off kilter, creating strife and separation within relationships in ways that pull you back toward a sense of your own autonomy outside of the dynamic. The opposition aspect in astrology has long been known as having the nature of Saturn, and with Mars occupying the sign opposite its domicile of Aries while forming an opposition with the Aries Full Moon, there will be a need to hold the tension of whatever relational questions or conflicts you may be facing, slowly but surely coming into deeper awareness of the underlying dynamics at play.

Mars also instills courage, the kind of courage necessary to face the unknown and cross thresholds of radical change. In the airy sign of Libra, however, there can be increased levels of mental anxiety regarding change and associated frustrations. As a result it will be helpful to find ways to release energy, calm nerves, and utilize available outlets of creative expression in the days surrounding the Aries Full Moon. Due to Mars and the Aries Full Moon both forming catalyzing square aspects with Pluto in Capricorn, the lunation will coincide with a deep stirring of unconscious desires and memories that may become activated within present relational dynamics. While the hard aspects between Mars and the Aries Full Moon with Pluto may dredge up difficult feelings, it can also provide important illumination regarding your relational patterns and attractors presently operating within your relationships.

Moreover, the Full Moon in the element of fire can help distinguish and separate insight that has accumulated from the recent retrograde phase of Mercury, as Mercury will have stationed direct two days before the Aries Full Moon. With the presence of Mercury saturating the astrological atmosphere, we can draw upon the gifts of Hermes for calibrating opposites, finding the threads that connect disparate elements, and weaving together meaning from whatever processes have been undergoing decomposition and transmutation over the course of the Mercury retrograde period that began on September 26 when Mercury stationed retrograde. In fact the Full Moon at 27°26’ Aries is close to an exact opposition with the degree of 25°28’ Libra where Mercury originally stationed retrograde on September 26.

Ikat Wave by Sarah Wertzberger

Mars in Libra rules the Full Moon and is separating from a flowing trine aspect with Jupiter in Aquarius while applying toward an intensifying square aspect with Pluto in Capricorn, similar to how the Aries Moon is separating from both a sextile aspect with Jupiter and a square aspect with Pluto. While Jupiter is making the more harmonious aspect with Mars due to them both occupying air signs, Jupiter has the most intensified presence due to having stationed direct on October 17 a few days before the lunation. As a result, the new desires that Mars is incubating and the future quests he is beginning to develop are being injected with the enlivening vision of Jupiter which can instill hope for breaking free from past limitations and barriers to growth. Yet the simultaneous square aspect between Mars and Pluto may necessitate confronting deeply held internal blocks to becoming more fully actualized creatively. Mars will continue to harbor in darkness during the rest of the present lunar cycle, and so when possible it will be better to wait, contemplate, and continue to develop plans as you continue to deepen your relationship with whatever new pursuits, goals, and desires emerge as Mars gets closer to emerging again in visibility next month. It’s a good time to gather courage away from the glare of the public eye, as you continue to hone and develop plans with daily work and practice.

In addition to Jupiter having an intensified presence due to stationing direct a few days before the Aries Full Moon, Mercury will be embodying an extremely potent presence due to not only stationing direct on October 18, but also having recently risen again into visibility in his Morning Star phase. It will be wise to pay special attention to dreams, symbols, signs, and synchronicities in the days surrounding the Arie Full Moon, listening closely to whatever meaningful messages Mercury will be delivering. Mercury is in range of a flowing trine aspect with Saturn in Aquarius, and so with Saturn, Jupiter, and Mercury all recently having stationed direct, Mercury can help with coalescing insight and gaining greater clarity for the path opening up ahead and the next steps to take.

As the Moon begins to wane within its present cycle, Mercury will be generating forward momentum and will reach maximum elongation as a Morning Star on October 25, the point of its synodic cycle in which he begins to increase in speed and can more easily set in motion whatever changes and new ideas were gathered and generated during his previous retrograde cycle. Before the Scorpio New Moon on November 4, Mercury will completes his third and final trine aspect with Jupiter on October 31, followed by completing his third and final square aspect with Pluto in Capricorn on November 2, the same day that he also will move beyond the degree of the zodiac where he previously stationed retrograde on September 26. Mercury formed his first trine with Jupiter on September 20 and his second on October 3, so you may trace the development of innovative ideas and opportunities for growth across these dates until now. In contrast, Mercury formed his first square aspect with Pluto on September 22 followed by his second square aspect on October 1, and so the process stretching across these dates until now may have been bringing deepening awareness of how inner relational patterns and issues from your past intersect with the present as well as a sense of how to become more empowered in creating and cultivating the work, relationships, and life you desire to experience.

Heat Weave by Sarah Wertzberger

The Sun and Mars are both in the airy home of Venus, and so it is significant that Venus is not only traversing the fiery sign of Sagittarius, but is also out of bounds in declination. Venus will not only be out of bounds in southern declination during the Aries Full Moon but will be continuing to descend even further out of bounds during the waning half of the present lunar cycle into extreme declination for Venus. With Venus out of bounds in southern declination, within the fiery and visionary sign of Sagittarius, the leaps of desire for greater freedom of expression, creativity, and desire may be felt more internally within private places at times.

As Venus approaches a square aspect with Neptune she will complete on October 26 at 20°45’ of Sagittarius and Pisces, there will be great potential for imaginative use of creativity and artistry that can break new ground of expression and form. Yet the boundlessness of Neptune combined with the free spiritedness of Venus out of bounds in Sagittarius also means there will be greater potential than normal for becoming swept up into exciting desires that ultimately prove to be illusory or less than the ideal imagined. Whether within internal or external realms of relationship, however, Venus out of bounds will incite desires for breaking free from past restrictions or barriers. While in some cases there may be a need to take a breath, ground, and contemplate options before rushing heedlessly ahead in new directions, positively Venus out of bounds in Sagittarius can stoke movement and creative expression in places we have felt stagnated or stuck.

4 of Wands by Pamela Colman Smith

Aries 3 Decan

The Full Moon will illuminate the third decan of Aries associated with the Four of Wands card illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith. It’s not clear who the figures in the center of the image are, if they are performers being celebrated or celebrants participating in communal festivities. What is clear is the lovingly decorated garland filled with vivacious blossoms and the combined symbolism of a bridge and large castle in the background: the figures are in a centering and protective place from which to express their creativity and charisma. T Susan Chang in her book 36 Secrets described the Four of Wands as a “temporary refuge” and “safe haven” similar to Rivendell in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, a moment to take comfort and refuge from whatever ordeals you have been enduring. Although Aries is the domicile of contentious and combative Mars, the third decan of Aries is ruled by Venus and Jupiter, the two traditional planets most associated with fertile growth, sources of abundant pleasure, and creative vision. 

While Venus is not naturally comfortable in Aries, she is capable of manifesting success and achievement in the third face of Aries despite it being an environment suited for the fiery assertiveness of Mars and the radiant grandeur of the Sun. Austin Coppock in his book 36 Faces ascribed the image of “The Burning Rose” to the third face of Aries, attributing to it “the power of art to overcome hostility,” and “the power of the spirit to unify and seduce, to motivate and to bond those of confluent passions.” Coppock further noted this decan requires “the martial heat of the battlefield,” as it is the battle-ready ferocity of Aries turned toward artistic performance and charismatic presentation that gives this decan its power “to create a commonality of spirit even in the most hostile conditions.” Yet Coppock also pointed out that the bonds formed within this face require its burning intensity to endure, whereas less intense passions are needed within longterm relationships. Thus it’s a face of “peak experiences” and “inspiring unions amidst life’s greatest struggles,” a place where “bonds are forged and spirits raised,” a decan which “grants the charisma to motivate and attract.”

Third decan of Aries image from Allegory of March: Triumph of Minerva (1476) by Francesco del Cossa

The image above by Francesco del Cossa of a figure who resides within the third face of Aries encapsulates aspects of numerous images found in ancient text. The trinity of Three Books of Occult PhilosophyPicatrix, and Liber Hermetis all reveal figures dressed in red and holding a staff or sword. This passionate figure is wearing either a golden or wooden bracelet depending on whether you consult Three Books of Occult Philosophy or the Picatrix, but both texts indicate the figure embodies the unrest of not being able to do desired good. The reason for not being able to manifest these good wishes is not stated, but Three Books proclaims there is “talent, tameness, joy, and beauty” to be found. The figure in the Picatrix is an iron worker and so has a medium through which to transfigure frustrated anger into works of vivifying creation.

In contrast, the figure in Liber Hermetis wears a gold crown with glistening emeralds decorating her belly. She is full of magic and her staff has the heads of four serpents facing a polarity of directions. Her garments of dark rose are lined with golden strings and she seems to possess the grace of the figure painted by Francesco del Cossa rather than the fury over constraints described by other texts. The focused countenance in del Cossa’s figure suggests they have an inner knowing of being able to make a targeted impact, as they seem to be summoning an inner force to project through the golden bracelet held delicately with their fingers. Francesco del Cossa placed an arrow in the other hand, evoking the mythic Eros or Cupid.

Eros is in fact resonant, as the Hellenistic text 36 Airs ascribed the figure of Eros to the third face of Aries. Indeed, the capacity of Eros to arouse passions into creations that inspire collective forces lies at the heart of the decan’s meaning. While some spiritual lineages place Eros as a primordial, hermaphroditic deity at the dawn of Creation, later traditions made Eros into the cunning son of Aphrodite who constantly stirred up the troubles brought forth by lust in both mortals and gods with his bow and arrows. Austin Coppock in 36 Faces stated it is more likely that the 36 Airs had the son of Venus in mind with the third face of Aries as “Eros’ escapades make clear that the desire for unification is inflamed by separation, love by war, lust by forbiddance.”

Another version of Eros is found in Plato’s Symposium, where Eros is portrayed as a great daimon and described by Socrates as the child born from the union of the divine forms of Poverty and Resource. To Socrates, Eros is always poor, always in a state of need, but is also always resourceful in being able to gain what it needs. Within the polarity between Poverty and Resource, the daimonic force of Eros weaves together awareness of the wisdom to be found through our earthly desires that lead us to experience Beauty and Love. The opposing extremes of Poverty and Resource giving birth to Eros is further resonant with the meaning Austin Coppock gave to the third decan of Libra where the Sun and Moon will form an opposition with the Aries Full Moon. Indeed, Coppock described the third decan of Libra as facilitating a process of finding the center within wildly oscillating extremes, inhabiting “the eye of the storm, calm and clear as the chaos of desire and fear whirl all about.” With the Full Moon in the third face of Aries, may the enlivening passion of Eros create the movement needed to flow with the changes circulating around you, finding ways to center within the integrity of your purpose and values while remaining open to flexibly adjusting plans as needed.

If you enjoy my writing please consider supporting my work through a monthly subscription on my Patreon page. Take a look to see the benefits you will receive as a patron!

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References

Chang, T. Susan. (2021). 36 Secrets: A Decanic Journey through the Minor Arcana of the Tarot. Anima Mundi Press. 

Coppock, Austin. (2014). 36 Faces: the history, astrology, and magic of the decans. Three Hands Press.

 

Libra New Moon

Mirror of Venus by Edward Burne-Jones

“Were it possible for us to see further than our knowledge reaches, and yet a little way beyond the outworks of our divining, perhaps we would endure our sadnesses with greater confidence than our joys. For they are the moments when something new has entered into us, something unknown; our feelings grow mute in shy perplexity, everything in us withdraws, a stillness comes, and the new, which no one knows, stands in the midst of it and is silent.”

Rainer Maria Rilke, “Letters to a Young Poet”

Libra New Moon

Cycles are central to astrology, at the core of the rhythm within the nature around and within us that we perceive in correspondence; at the root of our imaginal revelations, feelings, and the stories we participate in with our lives. Each and every New Moon brings a death and rebirth. Approximately aligned with the calendrical timeframe of a month, each time the Moon approaches her regenerative union with the Sun, we experience a putrefaction and decomposition of matters belonging to the past month, while simultaneously experiencing the reanimation of meaning to be brought forth in the cycle ahead. During the dark of the Moon, when her silvery light is cloaked in night due to being too close to the Sun, we also draw sustenance and resources from the past. Cultures across time have used the dark, invisible lunar phase to feed and commune with their ancestors, receiving guidance on the path to come and the inborn gifts to cultivate in the process. Within the liminal embrace between Sun and Moon, we move through a threshold of intersecting narratives, sensing how to embody and tell our next chapter.

The New Moon on October 6 is much more regenerative than normal, as it involves new cycles between the Moon and Mars beginning with the Sun at the same time. Just after the Moon’s coming cycle of light becomes rekindled by her solar union, within an hour of clock time she will conjoin Mars, followed by Mars becoming reanimated by the Sun a day later on October 7. In contrast to the Moon’s monthly mingling with the Sun, it takes Mars approximately two years to move from one solar conjunction to the next. The last time there was a conjunction between Mars and the Sun was on September 2, 2019 in Virgo. And so the gestative darkness of the Libra New Moon also bears endings and beginnings of your relationship with Mars, a regeneration of patterns and stories related to courage, conflict, dynamic creativity, how you fight for what you love and want to protect, how you draw from the inner forge of fiery desire to pursue goals and dreams of purpose in the world.

Yet there is more, for also lingering nearby the Sun, Moon, and Mars in Libra is the star of Hermes. Mercury is also invisible, also traversing an underworld landscape as it moves backwards through retrograde motion toward its inferior conjunction with the Sun that will take place a few days later on October 9. In stark contrast to Moon and Mars, Mercury typically makes six conjunctions with the Sun every year, a six pointed pattern in which three solar unions occur while moving fast and direct, and three other solar unions occur while moving slow and retrograde. Just like the newly revivified Libra Moon will form a conjunction with Mars later in the day on October 6, so will she unite with Mercury and draw us more deeply into internal processing of the myriad aspects of our perceptual, intellectual, vocational, and relational patterns being actively transmuted by the liminal passage of Mercury.

Mercury so close to Mars and the Sun will be wielding their piercing heat which distinguishes and separates matters within the thoughtful terrain of Libra, where Mercury can deftly oscillate with probing analysis that turns issues around on every side, reflecting back and forth between questions and responses within relationship, deciphering where imbalances need reform and restoration. The Mercury cycle ending and beginning can be traced all the way back to the last time Mercury formed an inferior, retrograde conjunction with the Sun in Gemini on June 10, the same day as a Solar Eclipse in Gemini. More recently, Mercury was reanimated by the Sun while moving direct on August 1 in Leo while also setting off the propulsive tension of the ongoing square between Saturn and Uranus, as it formed an opposition with Saturn and a square with Uranus. As a result, Mercury’s past cycle has been connected to sources of immense, radical change within the astrology of the past six months, and so its skills for recalibration and noticing the pivotal way our stories are changing will be much needed medicine in the week following the Libra New Moon.

While the Libra New Moon is applying to conjunctions with Mars and Mercury, it is separating from a trine with Saturn in Aquarius and an opposition with Chiron in Aries. In between aspects with Saturn and Mars, the lunation calls for initiation into the next stage of our story. As in all initiations we must process loss as part of making a sacred transition across a new threshold of experience, and so whether we feel suffering over the present state of the world or more personal travails, the Libra New Moon forming in between aspects with Saturn and Mars will call attention to the challenges that need our attention. When possible find moments of stillness and rest to better orient with whatever personal patterns and issues need your full presence, so better to begin adapting to the new visions of future growth that will soon begin stirring within.

Themes of the underworld, death, rebirth, and what lurks in hidden places will be further amplified due to Pluto in Capricorn stationing direct on October 6, the same day as the Libra New Moon. Moreover, the Libra Moon will also be applying to an intensifying square aspect with Pluto within her orb of daily motion, deeply stirring the inner cauldron of unconscious desires and feelings. While stories in current events will involve major power plays and falls with those in positions of power, within our personal stories we may realize important revelations regarding how to shift balances of power within not only our external relationships but within our inner life. The stationing of Pluto brings the invisible gravity of Hades into palpable contact with our surface awareness, demanding we pay attention to issues at the root of embodying a more empowered presence. Old identities may need to be shed, old patterns released; let the psychopomp Hermes receive the message from Pluto most needed to be integrated, and allow the simultaneous rebirth of Mercury to shepherd you from where you have been to where you need to go with your full being.

from Anonymous version of Rosarium Philosophorum published in 1578

“I believe that almost all our sadnesses are moments of tension that we find paralyzing because we no longer hear our surprised feelings living. Because we are alone with the alien thing that has entered into our self; because everything intimate and accustomed is for an instant taken away; because we stand in the middle of a transition where we cannot remain standing. For this reason the sadness too passes: the new thing in us, the added thing, has entered into our heart, has gone into its inmost chamber and is not even there anymore,- is already in our blood . . . We cannot say who has come, perhaps we shall never know, but many signs indicate that the future enters us in this way in order to transform itself in us long before it happens . . . The more still, more patient and more open we are when we are sad, so much the deeper and so much the more unswervingly does the new go into us, so much the better do we make it ours, so much the more will it be our destiny, and when on some later day it “happens” (that is, steps forth out of us to others), we shall feel in our inmost selves akin and near to it.”

Rainer Maria Rilke, “Letters to a Young Poet”

As the Moon, Mars, and Mercury enter and pass through the sacred, inmost chamber at the heart of the Sun from October 6 through 9, Saturn will be saturating the astrological atmosphere with its sobering and ponderous significations due to stationing direct on October 10. As the New Moon is in the exaltation of Saturn and in range of a trine aspect with Saturn in Aquarius, we may receive meaningful insights into the aleatory aspects of changing conditions by moving slowly and patiently taking our time surveying the scene. Saturn previously stationed retrograde on May 23, and so its stationing direct signals a pivotal turn of the tide that promises important new developments beginning to take shape. Yet the shift most readily felt from Saturn as it stands motionless in stillness may be felt within moments of deep, solitary contemplation and reflection. Rather than trying to rush ahead, take your time coming into deeper relationship with the ways in which inner desires are continuing to be reshaped and will be continuing to alter forward trajectory.

While Mars and Mercury are both invisible during the Libra New Moon, Venus is continuing to glow bright as an Evening Star during twilight. As Venus is the ruler of the Libra lunation, her capacity within the nocturnal waters of Scorpio for absorbing surrounding emotions and underlying dynamics within relationships will bring an additional level of intensity to the insights that may be received during the New Moon in Libra. Venus is separating from a sextile with Pluto, a square with Jupiter, and a trine with Neptune that altogether has helped Venus bring whatever deep material has been inhabiting the underbelly of relational patterns and attractors to the surface of awareness. While Venus may have taken us into uncomfortable material and feelings to confront, she is ultimately leading us through an incredibly cathartic process that can enable us to redream our life to be more authentically aligned with the present state of our authentic desires and purpose.

After Venus leaves the churning waters of Scorpio for the fiery expansiveness of Sagittarius on October 7, she will first pass through a conjunction with the South Node of the Moon during the same period of time that Mercury will be regenerated through its conjunction with the Sun. The visionary flame kindled between Venus with the South Node of the Moon will provide a sacred spark for offering relational patterns in need of being burned off within the flames of Mercury becoming regenerated by the fire of the Sun. Yet while we may experience a decomposition of what needs to be released from the past, there may also be treasures of insight to excavate through measured contemplation. Regarding creative ideas and goals we wish to further cultivate in the future, we may also experience a sharpening of focus into the essential qualities that need to be prioritized versus the excess weight that can be shed. Listen for the new ideas, dreams, symbols, and meaningful purpose that Mercury will be calling your attention to on October 9.

Following the intensity of Mars being regenerated on October 7, Mercury being regenerated on October 9, and Saturn stationing direct on October 11, there will be a strong undertow of directional change emerging in the following week as Jupiter will station direct on October 17 and Mercury will station direct on October 18. Furthermore, there will be a flowing trine between Mars in Libra with Jupiter in Aquarius on October 18 that will provide supportive wind to spur movement on developing goals. Thus while we may need to sense where subterfuge is lurking within shadows in the days following the Libra New Moon, previously hidden matters will come to light with greater clarity as the Moon waxes into the Aries Full Moon on October 20. Since the Aries Full Moon will form an opposition with Mars in Libra, whatever new desires are beginning to emerge from the new cycle of Mars will be illuminated, enabling deeper attunement with whatever internal changes are simmering in the heat between Mars and the Sun.

3 of Swords by Pamela Colman Smith

Libra 2 decan

The New Moon is in the second decan of Libra associated with the Three of Swords card illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith. Saturn rules the second face of Libra, and in the piercing heartbreak and cold atmosphere of the image we can observe the transcendence through painful experiences that can be facilitated by Saturn. In times of heartbreak we can access a newfound strength that can ultimately increase our capacity to return to love again, as well as opens us to greater levels of empathy, compassion, and awareness of those around us. The piercing of the heart by three swords is also resonant with the Moon, Mars, and Mercury all entering the heart of the Sun within days of the Libra New Moon, with Mars melting down its old blade to forge a sword anew.

Austin Coppock in his book on the decans 36 Faces linked Saturn’s exaltation in Libra to the binding of “happy marriages and fruitful alliances” found in the second decan of Libra, as well as the breaking apart of such agreements.  Coppock described it as “a face of lasting unions and blended karma” in which “the power of obligation fixes volatile passions,” creating “a firm foundation for the good life.” Oaths and binding contracts are central symbols of this face that hold one of its central lessons: with whom and for what should one pledge themselves in oath. The second decan of Libra promises a bounty of abundance for those who stay true to their commitments in contracts of mutual beneficence. Yet it also contains the heartbreak of betrayal and becoming abandoned by the other side not holding up their end of the agreement. With the Moon, Mars, and Mercury all beginning new cycles with the Sun within the second face of Libra, take time to contemplate the commitments you are forming so that you do not later face the torment of being bound to a contract you do not want to uphold, nor a partner incapable of honoring their side of the oath.

The Hellenistic text 36 Airs ascribed Kairos to the second face of Libra, a curious repetition as it also connected Kairos to the third face of Scorpio where Venus is transiting during the lunation. Kairos in Greek myth was the youngest son of Zeus as well as the lover of Fortuna, an embodiment of luck and favorable opportunities. Kairos was portrayed as moving with winged feet, carrying a razor or scales that represent the fleeting moment in which opportunity comes and goes, the moment we need to seize and not neglect. In modern culture the term kairos refers to the opportune moment for something to occur that is not confined to the demands of chronological time but rather connects us with a soulful sense of destiny thrust into the moment. We generally know to commit to blessed opportunities brought by the goddess Fortuna when they align with our purpose, but other times we can feel stuck and unsure if the opportunities presenting themselves to us are truly worthy of our commitment. When possible take your time in considering options and the path to commit yourself to in the days surrounding the Libra New Moon, letting the regenerative depth of multiple astrological cycles beginning simultaneously take root within you.

If you enjoy my writing please consider supporting my work through a monthly subscription on my Patreon page. Take a look to see the benefits you will receive as a patron!

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References

Coppock, Austin. (2014). 36 Faces: The History, Astrology and Magic of the Decans. Three Hands Press.

Mercury Retrograde in Libra

Transmutation by Kate Flückinger

Between the idea

And the reality

Between the motion

And the act

Falls the Shadow

T.S. Eliot from “The Hollow Men”

Mercury Retrograde in Libra

In the space between the changing colors of twilight, in a moment of presence within liminal air charged by solar descent, the stillness of Mercury stationing saturates the atmosphere with his divine being. When Mercury stations retrograde, his forward progress as a twinkling evening star halts, giving way to an underworld passage through darkness that the star of Hermes will shepherd us through. We experience an intensification of all things related to Mercury when he stations, including his significations for divination and interpreting omens, and so it will be wise in the days surrounding his stationing to pay attention to signs and symbols of synchronicity that may reveal the important themes and issues that the retrograde movement of Mercury will be continuing to draw your attention to.

Mercury will station retrograde on September 26 or 27, depending upon your time zone, embarking upon a twenty-two day journey in which the star of Hermes will backtrack from 25°28’ Libra until stationing direct at 10°07’ Libra on October 18. As Mercury retraces the zodiacal terrain from ten to twenty-six degrees of Libra, he will excavate material that we need to deepen our engagement with, returning our perception to issues we need to release, rework, or reintegrate. After passing through a phase of putrefaction and purification, we may experience renewal on the other side. Mercury first crossed 10°07’ Libra on September 6 and will not move beyond 25°28’ Libra until November 2, creating almost two months of mercurial focus in this range of your natal chart. 

Libra as the sign of the Scales involves the perpetual balancing experienced within all of our relationships.  As a symbol the scales conjure the Egyptian imagery of Maat and the weighing of the Soul after death, when the heart would ideally be as light as a feather.  Maat is also the balancing of natural, terrestrial, and cosmic order arising from the field of chaos and its constant flux.  From this comes a sense of social justice felt by a heart aligned with natural order, as well as the social conventions of how a society ascribes judgment to what is appropriate or inappropriate behavior. In our modern world, however, the societal conventions and laws created by humanity can be at odds with the reordering of nature.  In the constant balancing act of an individual moving through the injustices of this world, the back and forth movement of Mercury through Libra will exacerbate tensions around social injustices, bringing opportunities to contemplate and reconsider any rigid beliefs you have been fixated upon in relation.

In astrology Mercury possesses a liminal identity that can move in between being masculine and feminine, nocturnal and diurnal, mutating in acclimation with the surrounding astrological environment. Mercury retrograde in Libra beckons re-examination through the Scales, a re-balancing that necessitates extremes, tension, polarity, counterpoints, and contrariness. The awareness we can access through Mercury retrograde can help us transcend rigid parameters of duality by swinging wildly at times between extremes of perception in a continual process of experiencing oscillating oppositions.

Enantiodromia is a term from ancient Greek meaning “to run counter to,” that was unearthed in the work of Carl Jung to demonstrate his understanding that anything at an extreme state will turn into its opposite quality. The concept of a unity found in oppositions goes at least as far back as the time of the ancient Greek philosopher Heraclitus, whose famous statement that no one steps in the same river twice was embedded within a philosophy of flux in which everything in existence contains and turns into its opposite state. Jung brought this concept into his theories about the interplay between our conscious and unconscious, and how what we repress in our subconscious can erupt in polarity through our shadow. The inherent restoration of balance to our system that results is not unlike the meaning we may discover with Mercury retrograde in Libra.  Though we may want or need to strike out against the injustices of the surrounding world or within our personal relationships, it will be important to simultaneously come into relationship with the shifting sands of the shadow within our own inner darkness, holding the tension so we may make the most thoughtful and discerning choices.

Since Mercury will be residing within the airy home of Venus for a lengthy stay we will be able to take a long look at ourselves in her mirror, using the mirror of Aphrodite to alter appearances and aesthetics while also descending into the depths of relational dynamics with others. As Karl Kerenyi wrote in in Hermes: Guide of Souls, “meeting and finding are revelations of Hermes’ essence,” and so “finding and thieving in the realm of love are also Hermetic traits.” Kerenyi also ascribed “belonging to the journey” and being “by the road” as part of the essential nature of Hermes, as any “journeyer” connected with Hermes remains “at home on the road itself, the road being understood not as a connection between two definite points on the earths surface, but as a particular world.” Kerenyi further mused that “Journeying is the best condition for loving,” and that “the gorges over which the ‘volatized one’ passes like a ghost can be the abysses of unbelievable love affairs- Circe and Calypso islands and holes; they can be abysses also in the sense that there no chance exists for standing on firm ground, but only for further floating between life and death.” We need to embrace being in between states and forms during periods of Mercury retrograde, and while it is possible to bring matters into definite form when Mercury is moving backwards through the zodiac, in some situations we must accept the flux of formlessness and fluidity, recalibrating our perceptions and decisions in accordance with changing conditions.

While Mercury will be visible as an evening star when stationing retrograde on September 26, about a week later on October 1 he will cross the threshold of being fifteen degrees away from the Sun, disappearing from view into the darkness of his underworld journey during which he takes on the role of a psychopomp guiding souls through thresholds of liminality. The underworld passage of Mercury retrograde is not a time to fear, but rather a world to fully enter and embrace for the invaluable treasure that may be unearthed within its depths. The gifts we can most readily receive from Mercury retrograde are not always the kind valued by consensus culture:  the illuminated thought received in quiet moments, the mysterious meanderings of a creative process that does not provide immediate reward. As Mercury is the divine messenger who weaves the golden rays of the Sun into forms of expression and translates experiences of phenomenal reality into realization, make time and space during the retrograde movement of Mercury to allow your intuition and inner knowing to receive whatever messages the star of Hermes will be providing regarding changes in storylines and opportunities to stoke movement out of places you have felt stuck or stagnated.

Before Mercury disappears from view over the horizon during sunset, however, it’s notable he is occupying a place in the sky close in proximity to the fixed star Spica. Known as Sunbala, Sunbale, Sumbela, Sumbalet, as well as Spica, the Spike of the Virgin, it has been said that the light of Spica which symbolizes the wheat held by the Winged Goddess is a source of cultivating knowledge and bountiful gifts. Bernadette Brady wrote that Spica brings “a gift of brilliance, an innate talent, skill or ability which is out of the ordinary,” a “symbol of knowledge and insight.”  Brady wrote that the wheat sheaf symbolism of Spica “can be considered a symbol of her [the Goddess] gifts to humankind.” Diana Rosenberg wrote that people born with natal placements conjoining Spica “often have literary, artistic, and (especially) musical ability- they seem able to reach out and grasp inspiration from the stars themselves- words and music pour forth from them as from a deep wellspring.”

Moreover, astrologers in India for ages have placed Spica (“Star of Opportunity”) as the defining star of Chitra (“The Bright and Brilliant”), the 14th nakshatra which has been associated with a Bright Jewel or Pearl, making Spica a pearl of divine spirit within the heavens we have within. Dennis Harness in The Nakshatras explained Chitra also translates as a “painting or work of art” and “reflects the many, variegated colors seen in the radiance of a white star.” Chitra possesses Tvashtar, the Artificer, or Shaper, as its presiding divinity, he who is “the master of maya and magic.” Harness wrote that not only is Chitra “one of the most mystical nakshatras,” with “a deep spiritual depth,” it also also brings “sudden flashes of inspiration and the urge to realize one’s true self.”

As Mercury stations retrograde, the Moon will be passing through a flowing trine aspect with Mercury from its airy home of Gemini on September 27, completing a grand air trine between the Moon, Jupiter, and Mercury. The Gemini Moon will also form a square aspect with Neptune in Pisces, activating the mystical dimension one may also associate with Spica. Be curious regarding whatever sources of inspiration and creative pursuits draw your interest as Mercury spends time in the sky near Spica in the week following its stationing. There may be many-colored gifts of insight and inspiration to carry through the intensifying passage of Mercury retrograde in the coming weeks, sources of creativity that you may meaningfully focus upon and deepen into engagement with.

Water Bearer by Kate Flückinger

Whó am I? Whó am I?
It is the old cry wandering in the wind
and with it interwoven
words of reply: I am fiery ember, dispersed
in innumerable fragments
flying in the wind, gray cinders
and black, and all still burning, all bearing
a point of flame
hidden in ashes. Flying upon the nameless
winds and upon those that men
know and name: sirocco,
bise, northeaster, tramontana. I die and again
life is breathed
into me. Whó am I? Whó am I?
My dust burns
in the past and flies before me
into the whirling future,
the Old World, the New World, my soul is scattered
across the continents
in the named places and the named and unnamed
shadowy faces, my years
a hearth from which the sparks wander
and to its stones
blow back at random upon the winds
to kindle the brand again that fades and flares.

Denise Levertov, “Wind Song”

The three passages of Mercury retrograde during 2021 have been significant due to them all occurring in air signs, as the year began in the wake of the grand conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn in Aquarius that established an era of Jupiter and Saturn uniting in air signs. Each back and forth movement of Mercury through each of the air signs during 2021 has brought important opportunities for recalibrating and readjusting personal perceptions, beliefs, and structures with the way in which collective, systemic structures are being rapidly reshaped or shown to need massive renovations. Along these lines, the retrograde passage of Mercury through Libra is notable due to it occurring in the exaltation of Saturn while making harmonious aspects with both Jupiter and Saturn in Aquarius. Mercury will station retrograde while engaging in an extended, expansive trine aspect with Jupiter in Aquarius, and will ultimately station direct in range of a clarifying trine aspect with Saturn in Aquarius. As a result, Mercury will allow us to penetrate into whatever needs our attention in relation to the larger collective shifts that correlate with the influence of Jupiter and Saturn in Aquarius.

The extended trine aspect between Mercury and Jupiter will hopefully bring awareness of opportunities for growth that can be cultivated during the rest of Mercury’s retrograde journey. Mercury first formed a flowing trine aspect with Jupiter on September 20 and will form a second trine aspect with Jupiter on October 3. In addition to Mercury picking up the starry influence of Spica previously mentioned, it is further compelling that Jupiter in Aquarius is presently near the same zodiacal degree as the projection of the fixed star Deneb Algedi upon the ecliptic. The star lore of Deneb Algedi fits well with the need to adjust to immense collective change, as Deneb Algedi is a star in the tail of the Goat-Fish constellational image associated with the ancient creator god Enki, who brought the gifts of civilization from his realm of subterranean water. A trickster and wise magician bent on reordering civilization with the greater good of the wider community in mind, the flowing freshwater of Enki transfigures the landscape of dry land, creating wetlands and fertile soil in which the food and resources needed to fuel civilization can grow. With Jupiter close to Deneb Algedi while engaging in an extended trine aspect with Mercury, explore what gifts may emerge from the subterranean water within to cultivate during the passage of Mercury retrograde to share with your wider community. Seek to discover how you can reorder your personal structures to be in greater flow with the changing currents altering the wider landscape, staying centered within your own sense of integrity.

In contrast with the potential inspiration contained within the trine aspect between Mercury and Jupiter, Mercury will also be stationing retrograde while engaging with an intensifying square aspect with Pluto in Capricorn. Mercury first formed a square aspect with Pluto on September 22 and will form a second square aspect with Pluto on October 1, the timing of which will correspond not only with the heliacal setting of Mercury and it’s descent into the underworld, but also an extreme intensification of Pluto due to it stationing direct on October 6. The purgative square aspect between Mercury and Pluto that begins its retrograde portends an especially cathartic retrograde passage for Mercury that can draw us into a deepening awareness of inner relational patterns and how they have been playing out within external relational dynamics with others. There may be an upwelling of desire to explore as well as revelations regarding the way relational issues from our past are intersecting with present relational experiences and influences. With Pluto strongly activated, it will be best to face whatever internal issues arise rather than resist or avoid them through denial. Ultimately, by penetrating and exploring whatever deep material becomes stirred up by Mercury and Pluto, by the time that Mercury is moving direct and forms its final square aspect with Pluto on November 2 we may experience greater empowerment around the issues.

Furthermore, the usual underworld atmosphere of Mercury retrograde will be accentuated not only by the tense aspect between Mercury with Pluto, but also by Venus (the ruler of Libra) occupying the subterranean waters of Scorpio during the first half of Mercury’s retrograde journey in Libra. However, the watery landscape of Scorpio is not only a place of burial and decomposition, but also terrain in which decay nourishes and feeds the growth of orchards and vineyards that can eventually produce fruit. Venus in Scorpio can facilitate a plunge into emotions and desires, exposing hidden dynamics and penetrating into the underlying emotions of our relations in ways that can cultivate significant growth. Combined with the fact that Venus in Scorpio will be mutually exchanging signs with Mars in Libra, and Mars in Libra will eventually form a conjunction with Mercury in the middle of its retrograde movement, we may need to traverse challenging or intense relational situations at times. Yet by cultivating honest communication and expression of emotional needs we may also find ways of shifting relational dynamics in constructive ways, gaining realization for how to foster greater equilibrium when possible and clarity for when it is not possible and a dynamic needs to end.

After Mercury moves away from its aspects with Pluto and Jupiter, it will get closer and closer each day to forming a conjunction with Mars and the Sun in Libra. The New Moon in Libra on October 6 will occur on the same day that Mars will become regenerated through its superior conjunction with the Sun; Mercury will be less than seven degrees away from the New Moon and Mars, and so the Libra New Moon will demarcate Mercury shifting into a fiery phase of coming under the influence of the Sun and Mars, both of whom will influence Mercury with their heat and dryness that burns with discrimination, separating elements that had become blurred through enmeshment. It will be wise to avoid unnecessary conflicts and contemplate how to respond to those who anger us, yet at the same time as Mercury gets closer and closer to uniting with Mars and the Sun on October 9, the star of Hermes will have increased capacity for burning off whatever needs to be released from the past to make space for new ideas and purposeful meaning to take root.

Moreover, the New Moon in Libra will also demarcate a shift in the sign placement of Venus, as Venus will exit the boggy water of Scorpio to rise to more expansive heights within the fiery sign of Sagittarius on October 7. The enlivening heat of Venus in the fiery sign of Sagittarius will further accentuate the purgative and cathartic quality of Mercury getting closer and closer to forming its fiery conjunction with the Sun and Mars on October 9. Indeed, Venus will form a conjunction with the South Node of the Moon in Sagittarius at the same time that Mercury will unite with the Sun and Mars, amplifying the potential for releasing relational patterns from the past as well as drawing forth insight from old relational dynamics into the present. If possible find ways of making space for inner contemplation and exploration during the days between the New Moon in Libra on October 6 and the union of Mercury with the Sun and Mars on October 9, as we may simultaneously dislodge and release significant blocks from the past while also receiving intimations of new visions and desires to begin pursuing and developing.

Ballet Skirt or Electric Light (1927) by Georgia O’Keeffe

A certain day becomes a presence to me;
there it was, confronting me- a sky, air, light:
a being. And before it started to descend
from the height of noon, it leaned over
and struck my shoulder as if with
the flat of a sword, granting me
honor and a task. The day’s blow
rang out, metallic- or it was I, a bell awakened,
and what I heard was my whole self
saying and singing what it knew: I can.

Denise Levertov, “Variation on a Theme by Rilke”

In the Heart

Mercury will become reanimated by its conjunction with the Sun on October 9 at 16°35′ Libra, followed by Mercury forming an additional conjunction with Mars later on the same day at 16°16′ Libra. The reseeding of Mercury in solar light occurs as it aligns in between the Earth and Sun by zodiacal degree, as close to us in orbit as possible for Mercury within its cycle. Known as the inferior conjunction of Mercury, it’s a moment of clarifying rebirth that can enhance realization and seed new ideas for the Mercury cycle ahead in which it will transition into becoming a visible morning star. While Mercury is within one degree of conjunction with the Sun, even more so within sixteen arc minutes of its solar conjunction, there can be empowerment for tasks associated with Mercury since it is enthroned upon the solar chariot. Older astrological texts named this moment of Mercury’s rebirth cazimi, or being in the heart of the Sun. It’s the cyclical moment when Mercury enters what Demetra George has named the “sanctum sanctorum,” or “the innermost holy chamber of the mystery initiations” found within “the protected space at the heart of the Sun.” 

The union of Mercury with Mars on the same day it forms its inferior conjunction with the Sun is unusual; the last time it happened was at the end of May in 2015. The influence of Mars will make the revelations received while Mercury becomes regenerated more dynamic, incisive, and penetrative. There may be potent reassessments regarding plans aligned with one’s core purpose, as well as a more radical realization regarding the purpose we have been using to direct our goals and life trajectory. The onery heat of Mars may also magnify places of irritability that can lead to quarrels with others, yet by utilizing the thoughtful measuring capacity of Mercury in Libra it will be possible to hold whatever tension we experience in order to find our way to deeper awareness of the underlying issues involved. As both Mars and Mercury are simultaneously beginning new cycles with the Sun, there is immense potential for envisioning a more creatively actualized and fulfilling direction forward.

Though there is potential for conflict while the Sun, Mercury, and Mars unite together, the airy zodiacal terrain of Libra may facilitate constructive dialogue in which we express our own needs while listening to the needs of others. A related concept that was emphasized in the work of Carl Jung is auseinandersetzung, German for “taking something to pieces.”  This refers to confrontation in dialogue in which two people verbally engage without running away from the conflict.  By staying engaged in the dialogue, the differences inherent to the disagreement become clarified and distinct, making mediation or compromise possible.  Jung believed it was also possible to engage in such a dialogue with one’s anima/us, clarifying the unconscious being projected into relationships and keeping us perpetuating past relational patterns.  To Jung we gain “mettle” when facing the conflicts between our ego and anima/us, and out of the confrontation between the conscious and unconscious arises awareness of our wholeness, what he called individuation. The clarity that can come from Mercury being reanimated by the Sun may be utilized in seeking the kind of inner integration that supports healthy growth and empowerment.

Furthermore, at the same time that Mercury will unite with the Sun and Mars in Libra, Saturn will be stationing direct in Aquarius on October 10. The stationing of Saturn will saturate the astrological atmosphere with the significations of Saturn at the same time there will also be powerful influences from both Mars and Mercury becoming reanimated by the Sun. The sobering impact of Saturn may be deeply felt in moments of being fully present in one’s being, slowly and surely deepening into awareness of whatever internal stirrings are taking shape. Saturn has been retrograde since May 23, and so as it begins to gain some forward traction during the second half of Mercury’s retrograde phase in Libra we may unveil important insights into the direction we want to follow forward, as well as accumulate more momentum to make solid progress on goals.

Mercury and the Graces (1589) by Agostino Carracci

From the shrivelling gray
silk of its cocoon
a creature slowly
is pushing out
to stand clear-


not a butterfly,
petal that floats at will across
the summer breeze


not a furred
moth of the night
crusted with indecipherable
gold-


some primal-shaped, plain-winged, day-flying thing.

Denise Levertov, “The Disclosure”

Forward Momentum

Mercury will station direct on October 18 at 10°07’ Libra, with Jupiter also stationing direct a day later on October 17 at 22°20’ Aquarius. The simultaneous stationing direct of both Mercury and Jupiter, combined with Saturn also having recently stationed direct, will make the stationing direct of Mercury much more propulsive and potent than normal. Moreover, Venus (the ruler of Mercury in Libra) will receive Mercury through a harmonizing sextile aspect on October 16 while the star of Hermes is stationing. As a result, the days surrounding Mercury stationing direct will be important to seize for inner contemplation and mindfulness. There will be inspirational and creative resources available to draw from while integrating and learning how to embody the internal changes and shifts you have experienced during the course of Mercury being retrograde. Internal shifts and how they intersect with external relationships will be further illuminated by an especially activating Full Moon in Aries on October 20 that will involve the waxing Moon forming an opposition with the recently stationed Mercury.

Although Mercury will not form an exact trine with Saturn once stationing direct, Mercury and Saturn will be within four degrees of one another for days. With the presence of Mercury intensified due to it stationing and becoming visible again as a Morning Star, while also in the exaltation of Saturn, allow the star of Hermes to tease and probe the recesses of your psyche for whatever insight may be gathered concerning the path you wish to chart in the period ahead. The astrological transits for the rest of 2021 portend a time of accelerated volatility and change, and so whatever clarity can be gained as both Mercury and Jupiter station direct can help bring centering and cohesion concerning whatever we wish to develop and cultivate during the coming Morning Star phase of Mercury.

Mercury will begin to generate forward momentum and then will reach maximum elongation as a Morning Star a week after stationing on October 25, the point of its phase in which it begins to increase in speed and return to moving faster than the Sun again. Mercury will then form its final flowing trine aspect with Jupiter on October 31, its final square aspect with Pluto on November 2, as well as exit its retrograde shadow zone on November 2, finally moving beyond the point in the zodiac where it stationed retrograde on September 26. The period at the end of October and beginning of November is a sacred time for communing with ancestors as the veils between worlds draws thinner, and so there is synchronous sustenance to be found in Mercury guiding us out of whatever transfiguration we experienced during its retrograde passage at the same time. As the New Moon in Scorpio on November 4 will be in opposition with Uranus in Taurus and will demand an encounter with our own authenticity, we will be able to more gracefully navigate the coming changes the more we can let go of what needs to be released and integrate whatever new desires arise during the period of Mercury retrograde in Libra.

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Snake tapestry by Leonora Carrington

References

Brady, Bernadette. (1998). Brady’s Book of Fixed Stars. Weiser.

Brady, Bernadette. (2008). Star and Planet Combinations. The Wessex Astrologer.

Harness, Dennis. (1999). The Nakshatras: Lunar Mansions of Vedic Astrology. Lotus Press.

Kerenyi, Karl. (1976). Hermes: Guide of Souls. Spring Publications

Rosenberg, Diana. (2012). Secrets of the Ancient Skies, Volume 2. Ancient Skies Press.

Stein, Murray. (1998). Jung’s Map of the Soul. Open Court.

Pisces Full Moon

Pisces Full Moon

Like waves which inexorably approach, then retreat into the unfathomably vast recesses of their oceanic source, the siren songs of Neptune call us beyond the constructs of our everyday existence which tend to mold and condition our perceptions. While Neptune transits can correlate with being pulled into illusory experiences, ultimately the resulting disillusionment dissolves the ways in which we had been misleading ourselves, revealing meaningful truths about our reality as we continue to navigate with discernment. The inspirational, imaginal nature of Neptune opens us to possibilities and potential of creative expression and fulfillment outside the confines of current circumstances. The present lunar cycle began with a Virgo New Moon opposing Neptune and peaks with a Pisces Full Moon aligned with Neptune, giving us the opportunity to drink from the impossibly deep well of Neptune. It’s a time for allowing yourself the space to dream the dreams of what you most desire to generate and embody.

The Full Moon in Pisces on September 20 illuminates our entrance into the final season of 2021, as the Libra Equinox will occur two days later on September 22 when the Sun enters Libra. With the primal passions of Pisces spotlighted just before the Sun becomes magnified by crossing the cardinal axis, the point where the ecliptic and celestial equator intersect, there is potential to become flooded by the emotions surrounding whatever major life changes have corresponded with the ongoing square aspect between Saturn and Uranus that has been the predominant force within the astrology of 2021. The final degrees of Pisces are a place where Eros flourishes and continually circulates, zodiacal terrain holding space for the dream of all dreams one may devote themselves to completely. It is also a place of sacrifice in its truly sacred form, and so while the Pisces Full Moon may bring feelings of grief regarding what has been lost amidst the chaotic currents of the year, it can also reveal visions of what may fill the freed space during the coming season.

Vitally, the Full Moon is in the exaltation of Venus as Venus is applying closely to a jolting opposition with Uranus in Taurus. The present transit of Venus in Scorpio has been setting off the ongoing square aspect between Saturn and Uranus, and so during the days surrounding the Pisces Full Moon we will have an overarching, longterm astrological influence catalyzed by the star of Aphrodite and her significations involving desire, relationship, and creativity. As Venus moves from the tense square aspect with Saturn she formed on September 16 into the opposition she will form with Uranus on September 23, we will be traversing a volatile vortex of significant change that can show up within shifting relational dynamics as well as exciting strikes of creative inspiration. Venus in opposition with Uranus can feel unsettling when we have been stuck in places of stagnancy, as the polarity between Venus with Uranus will demand breaking free from people and pursuits misaligned with authentic passions. Yet Venus and Uranus can commit and work together when engaging relationships or creative passions which bring our full being alive and give us space and acceptance for our essential nature. As a result, the silvery light of the Full Moon may reveal the people and projects deserving of your full focus and commitment in the coming season.

Utagawa Hiroshige

Jupiter in Aquarius rules the Pisces Full Moon as it continues to glow brightly through the night during its retrograde phase. Since Jupiter rules the Full Moon and Mercury is the ruler of the Sun in Virgo, the lunation has potential to bring profound realizations due to Mercury in Libra forming a flowing trine aspect with Jupiter in Aquarius. The trine between Jupiter with Mercury is further augmented by Mercury being at the same zodiacal degree as the beneficial fixed star Spica which symbolizes the wheat held by the Winged Maiden of the Virgo constellation and signifies a brilliant gift or talent. Make space during the Full Moon or in the days following to see what insights, ideas, and inspiring visions may coalesce out of whatever creative processes you have been engaged with recently. There will be opportunities to synthesize concepts and deepen understanding as the combination of Jupiter in Aquarius with Mercury in Libra possesses immense intellectual capacity. While Jupiter in Aquarius can supply long range vision, Mercury in Libra will be able to recalibrate whatever needs rebalancing or rearranging.

Moreover, we will be experiencing an unusually long period of time with Mercury remaining in a trine aspect with Jupiter due to Mercury slowing down to station retrograde on September 26. Indeed, Mercury will form its first exact trine with Jupiter on September 20 and then a second exact trine with Jupiter on October 3 while retrograde. As a result, there will be an opportunity for extremely deep research and focused work if you already have a project you are developing. As Mercury stations in stillness and then peels back to form another trine aspect with Jupiter in Aquarius in the beginning of October, be open to ways in which you need to modify and adapt any ideas you become inspired to work on during the days surrounding the Pisces Full Moon.

Untitled (Study for Out of Nowhere) by Jeremy Moon

In addition to Mercury in Libra forming a flowing trine aspect with Jupiter in Aquarius during the Pisces Full Moon, it is also applying closely to an intensifying square aspect with Pluto in Capricorn. Mercury will form its first square aspect with Pluto on September 22 and then after stationing retrograde on September 26 it will form its second exact square aspect with Pluto on October 1 while retrograde. Moreover, since the Full Moon in Pisces is separating from a harmonizing sextile aspect with Pluto, the Pisces Full Moon will bring a visceral sense of whatever Mercury and Pluto are stirring up in the dark within. As Mercury will be crossing back and forth in tension with Pluto over the coming weeks, only to return later for a third and final square aspect on November 2, the Pisces Full Moon is initiating us into deep seated issues within the underworld expanse of unconscious sources to be curious about and explore. Mercury can help in attuning to power dynamics within relationships that have come out of balance and need to be adjusted, as well as internal complexes that can be mediated during the approaching retrograde phase of Mercury in order to increase our own empowerment.

Continuing the underworld theme, it is further significant that the Full Moon is separating from a sextile aspect with Pluto in Capricorn and applying toward an opposition with Mars in Libra, while the Full Moon is simultaneously brought together with Mars by passing through an antiscia aspect. Mars is at the end of its synodic cycle, traversing the celestial underworld en route to becoming reanimated by the Sun at the same time as the upcoming New Moon in Libra on October 6. As Mars is closing down a cycle that began on September 2, 2019 when Mars previously formed a conjunction with the Sun, the Pisces Full Moon can amplify feelings revealing what we are releasing from the past cycle of Mars as well as what dynamic new desires are beginning to take form. Mars in Libra is in the opposite sign from its fiery home of Aries, relating with his ruler Venus through the mutual generosity of them each being in one another’s signs. Libra can be a creatively rich placement for Mars especially in terms of music, writing, art, or any form of expression involving aesthetics, and since Mars is presently invisible it can be an opportune time to work and develop projects within intimate, private settings which can later see the light of public display. Positively, Mars in Libra is also within the exaltation of Saturn and will form a productively flowing trine aspect with Saturn in Aquarius on September 25, making the week following the lunation a good time for making progress on important work.

10 of Cups by Pamela Colman Smith

Pisces 3 Decan

The Full Moon will illuminate the third decan of Pisces associated with the Ten of Cups card illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith. An image of idealized happiness, the joyous couple enraptured by a rainbow, their children blissfully dancing in front of their picturesque home, is one manifestation of countless images that could be used to display the inspirational vision underlying and driving inner motivation. An earlier image for this face is found in Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa’s Three Books of Occult Philosophy in which a nude male is present near a beautiful maiden whose head is decorated in flowers. Other traditional images for the third decan of Pisces show the other side of having a great dream: the terror of loss. For example, in Ibn Ezra’s The Beginning of Wisdom the image ascribed for the third face of Pisces involves another nude male, but one armed with a lance and yelling for fear of thieves and fire. The Full Moon shining light through this decan asks us to contemplate the inner images of inspiration that have been motivating our work in the world, the full implications of our dream as well as how well it truly fits our most soulful purpose.

The rainbow pregnant with abundant cups in Pamela Colman Smith’s image for the Ten of Cups evokes the great daimon of Hope found in the ancient story of Pandora’s box. After Pandora opens the box that unleashes evils and ills into the world of humanity, the only presence left in the box is Elpis, the spirit of Hope. It’s the spirit found in cultural ideals such as a young Judy Garland wistfully singing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” musing that somewhere exists where the most precious dreams you dare to dream really can come true. Fittingly, the ancient Hellenistic text The 36 Airs of the Zodiac attributed the figure of Elpis, the daimon of Hope, to the third decan of Pisces. The guiding star we wish upon, the guardian angel we pray to for assistance, the hope we are able to muster in even the bleakest and most desperate of times, is essential to the meaning found in the third face of Pisces, the final face of the zodiac full of the passion required to move through the end and rebirth of the zodiacal circle.

Austin Coppock in his book on the decans 36 Faces ascribed the image of “A Cup of Blood” to the third face of Pisces, describing it as a place revealing one’s willingness to “sacrifice everything” for the “attainment of one’s greatest desire, no matter the cost.” Noting the images of romantic happiness found in the Ten of Cups card as well as in Agrippa’s masterwork, Coppock wrote that the third face of Pisces “inspires the lust and desire implied” by the images, “but the true object of the passions is a merger with the universe itself . . . The face and body of the beloved are a mask, an entry point into the experience of all-as-bliss.” Coppock noted that “the third face unfolds as the quest for true and perfect love,” yet the willingness to sacrifice all for the dream leads to the third face of Pisces becoming “littered with broken dreams and failed martyrs- those who sacrificed themselves for an illusion.”

The  burning desire pulsating through the third decan of Pisces, its grandiose dreams of ecstatic bliss as well as the agony of loss that comes from the failure to materialize dreams all fit well with the fact that Mars is the ruler of this decan. As Mars will be ending its current synodic cycle with the Sun during the waning half of the present lunar cycle, the Pisces Full Moon may bring revelations regarding where we have given too much of ourselves in pursuit of dreams that will not come to fruition, as well as awareness of the people, passions, and purpose we will want to devote ourselves to fully due to their alignment with our inner world from which dreams are born. Let the light of the Full Moon reveal the sources of hope and inspiration that may spur you on in pursuit of your most cherished creative visions.

If you enjoy my writing please consider supporting my work through a monthly subscription on my Patreon page. Take a look to see the benefits you will receive as a patron!

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References

Coppock, Austin. (2014). 36 Faces: The History, Astrology and Magic of the Decans. Three Hands Press.

Virgo New Moon

Pour Gustave l’adoré by Dorothea Tanning

New Moon in Virgo

The New Moon in Virgo on September 6 heralds the coming turn of season, uniting Moon with Sun sixteen days before the Libra Equinox initiates the final quarter of 2021. As a mutable sign Virgo bears wisdom for transitions, for attuning to how our inner mutations may emerge within the changing external circumstances surrounding us. The accelerated pace of change that has been present throughout 2021 will not be easing in the season ahead, and so the darkness of the lunation is ideal for drawing inward away from the cacophony of current events to become rooted within the inner ground of your essential integrity. In correspondence with the rebirth of another lunar cycle, make the time and space for connecting with the resources and relationships that nurture your capacity for creativity, that inspire inventive expression and provide a container for giving life to your deepest desires.

The Virgo New Moon is centered within activating aspects that can stoke forward progress on goals yet require thorough application of the sharp discernment that can be cultivated within the zodiacal terrain of the Winged Maiden. The Virgo Moon is applying to an exact trine aspect with Uranus in Taurus as well as an opposition with Neptune in Pisces, a trine with Pluto in Capricorn, and a conjunction with Mars in Virgo. The earthy triangle formed between the lunation with Uranus, Pluto, and Mars can foster tangible productivity that can be helpful in breaking free from what no longer is working or ways in which you have felt stuck or stagnant. The synergy between the Virgo New Moon with Uranus, Pluto, and Mars can generate the courage and determination to take a new risk in not only constructing plans and conceiving goals, but also following through with meaningful effort.

Yet the boundless, oceanic expanse of Neptune must also be taken into account as the waxing Moon will form an opposition with Neptune on September 7 followed by the Sun in Virgo forming an opposition with Neptune a week later on September 14. While there are many illusory choices to circumvent within a digital age of misinformation and endless distractions, the underlying influence of Neptune upon the lunation can facilitate a release of conditioned beliefs into its dissolving waves. Rather than restricting your path forward based upon what you have led yourself to believe is or is not possible for you to create, see what new vistas of imagination enter awareness through exploration of inner landscapes. Allow a refreshing reordering of longterm goals to emerge that will be in greater alignment with the dreams you want to manifest.

The astrology of 2021 has been centered upon the kind of change that unsettles and disrupts our former sense of normalcy, a trend that will be continuing to occur at an accelerated pace. Indeed, the astrology of the final quarter of the year promises to bring another round of increased volatility that can upturn old storylines and structures while providing impetus for embracing an enlivened resiliency in pursuing what we truly wish to create with our lives in spite of the obstacles we will need to work through. As a result, the Virgo New Moon will be opportune for contemplating and clarifying the various desires and ideas you have been carrying and considering so that you may be more focused on forging an authentic path forward.

Aurora by Remedios Varo

Mercury in Libra rules the Virgo New Moon while separating from a flowing trine aspect with Saturn and applying toward a tense opposition with Chiron in Aries. Mercury is in both the airy home of Venus and the exaltation of Saturn, and so has support through its harmonious aspect with Saturn and the fact that Venus is also present within her domicile of Libra during the lunation. As a result, both sides of the ongoing square aspect between Saturn and Uranus are involved in harmonious aspects during the lunation, with the New Moon in trine with Uranus and its ruler Mercury in trine with Saturn. Mercury in Libra can assist in finding a greater degree of balance in recovering from any difficulties that have led us to feel off-kilter, despondent, or overwhelmed amidst so many collective and personal changes occurring at once in recent months.  The airy nature of Mercury in Libra combined with Venus, Jupiter, and Saturn also occupying air signs can help in connecting with restorative sources of uplifting inspiration and creativity. 

In contrast, the opposition between Mercury with Chiron in Aries can help pinpoint internal issues and blocks that have been getting in the way of pursuing passions connected with our greater purpose. Pay attention to signs in your environment or insights gleaned through relational encounters for messages regarding wounds or places of vulnerability needing your care and awareness. As the Moon waxes in light during the forthcoming lunar cycle into the Full Moon in Pisces on September 20, Mercury will move from its opposition with Chiron into a trine with Jupiter in Aquarius and a square aspect with Pluto in Capricorn. Mercury will be in position to not only dig into internal issues that have been limiting our growth, but also to find the support needed to find ways of moving through places of previous restriction into important development. Mercury in the airy sign of Libra can be helpful in remaining flexible in response to arising challenges, drawing from the strength that Libra possesses in communication and listening as well as both intellectual and aesthetic arrangement and analysis.

Heron Maiden by Nakamura Daizaburo

Providing a buoyant boost underneath the Virgo New Moon is the harmonious trine aspect between Venus and Jupiter, the two planets considered to be the beneficial sources of the good and the beautiful in the astrological tradition. Venus is at full strength in her airy home of Libra, as well as glowing bright in the night sky in her Evening Star phase. In fact, in the days before the lunation Venus made a visible conjunction with the beneficial fixed star Spica in the night sky. Spica symbolizes the wheat held by the Winged Maiden of the Virgo constellation and signifies a brilliant gift or talent. Since Venus crossed Spica in the sky while forming a flowing trine with Jupiter in the days before the lunation, make space within the fertile darkness of the Virgo New Moon to explore what important message about your own unique gifts and talents that the star of Aphrodite is bringing to your attention.

In addition to Venus separating from a trine with Jupiter that can help with stabilizing amidst currents of change, Venus is also separating from a more disruptive square aspect with Pluto in Capricorn during the Virgo New Moon. The square between Venus with Pluto may dredge up issues within relationships that need attention and mediation as well as unearth desires we had been denying or resisting. Due to the trine between Venus with Jupiter at the same time, however, there will be opportunities to make productive use out of whatever deep material becomes stirred up by the tension between Venus and Pluto. As 2021 will end with an extended period of Venus being in close proximity with Pluto in Capricorn due to Venus stationing retrograde in Capricorn on December 19, it will be wise to make space for sorting through what Venus and Pluto force to the surface.

Venus is also separating from a recent conjunction with Vesta in Libra that took place on September 3, with Vesta applying to a trine with Jupiter and a square with Pluto. While Venus in Libra has an emphasis on relationship and social interaction, the recent contact between Vesta with Venus could have revealed insightful meaning regarding how to rebalance relational dynamics in greater alignment with inner needs and our authentic being. Vesta draws attention to the inner hearth of our heart and what is front and center within our inner desires. As Vesta in Libra follows the path of Venus through the same aspects recently formed between Venus with Jupiter and Pluto, we may deepen into contact and discovery of the inner desires needing our attention removed from the demands of external relationships. Vesta in Libra can hold space for the experiences and material dug up by Venus with Pluto as well as whatever inspiring yearning arose from the contact between Venus and Jupiter, helping us sift through their meaning with acceptance that allows for necessary integration.

Self Portrait by Dorothea Tanning

While Venus is comfortably at home in Libra during the Virgo New Moon, within a week of the lunation she will enter the deep waters of Scorpio. As the Moon waxes toward the Full Moon in Pisces on September 20, Venus will enter Scorpio on September 10 and will be less than three degrees away from an exact opposition with Uranus in Taurus at the time of the upcoming Pisces Full Moon. This means that Venus will be setting off the ongoing square aspect between Uranus and Saturn, with Venus in Scorpio forming an exact square aspect with Saturn in Aquarius on September 16 before forming an exact opposition with Uranus in Taurus on September 23. As a result, we can expect another round of dramatic changes in storylines especially within relationships; previously in this past year, Venus set off the friction between Uranus and Saturn from the sign of Aquarius in mid February, from Taurus at the end of April, and from Leo in early July. Venus in Scorpio will encourage an unflinching gaze into the internal dynamics present within relationships, helping us uncover issues that have been buried, feeling into the emotional impact of the changes taking shape in our lives.

Mercury in Libra will also be on a pivotal journey during the forthcoming lunar cycle that will correlate with pivotal events in storylines for us to respond to. Indeed, Mercury is crossing the threshold into its “retrograde shadow zone” during the New Moon in Virgo, meaning that it will ultimately return to the same degree it is occupying during the Virgo New Moon when it stations direct on October 18. This means that in between the Virgo New Moon and October 18, Mercury will move from ten degrees of Libra to 25°28’ Libra when it stations retrograde on September 26, and then will backtrack through the same degrees until stationing direct at 10°07’ Libra on October 18. Contemplate the aspects and house topics this degree range in Libra applies to in your natal chart to begin getting a sense of the issues related to the upcoming Mercury retrograde period that will begin emerging in your life following the Virgo New Moon.

While Mercury is moving direct with the strength of its own visible light during the waxing half of the forthcoming lunar cycle, the fact that Mercury will eventually return to the same degree it is occupying during the Virgo New Moon means that some issues and experiences emerging following the lunation will end up needing to be returned to for reflection and reworking in one way or another. If you realize an important project you are developing is aligning with this same timeframe, it doesn’t mean you should refrain from proceeding but rather be mindful of how things are proceeding step by step, promptly responding to arising issues. The extended period of time that Mercury will spend in Libra from now until early November will give the star of Hermes ample time for thoroughly working through whatever we are designing and generating with our creative output.

9 of Pentacles by Pamela Colman Smith

Virgo 2 Decan

The New Moon in Virgo is in the second decan of Virgo associated with the Nine of Pentacles card illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith. The image is saturated with a golden aura, with an elegant woman covered in flowing, golden robes. On her hand sits a hooded falcon, its capacity for swift flight and hyper vision temporarily restrained. Surrounding her are ripening grapevines and a large estate upon which we can imagine numerous marvels of nature and art residing. Since it is a tarot card associated with gains in wealth and creation of beautiful works, it makes sense that Venus and Saturn are the co-rulers of the second face of Virgo. While Venus is like the guiding star of beauty and love that gives us an overarching reason to seek wealth we can share with others, Saturn functions as the force of necessity, discipline, and hard work required to seed, cultivate, and gather a bountiful harvest or shape primal material into rarefied form.

Austin Coppock in his book on the decans 36 Faces ascribed the image of “The Hammer and the Anvil” to the second face of Virgo. Coppock described a theme of continual reshaping and refinement of matter in this decan that results in beautiful products and gains in wealth, yet “conceals the pain and toil utterly necessary for its creation.” Coppock concluded that this face brings alchemical “understanding of the many beautiful and repulsive states the matter attains throughout the Magnum Opus,” while the “residents of this decan oversee the ever-transforming world, guiding and shaping the Great Work on a microcosmic level,” inspecting and keeping track of how efficiently material processes are running.

Interestingly, the Hellenistic text the 36 Airs linked the Moirai to the second face of Virgo. These are the daughters of Necessity, the goddesses of fate: Clotho the spinner of the threads of life, Lachesis the measurer of fateful threads, and Atropos who cuts the threads. In Plato’s Myth of Er, the Moriai not only ascribe ones destiny but also the guardian daimon who can bring guidance in accordance with one’s intrinsic virtue and authentic character. As the Virgo New Moon initiates us into the final quarter of 2021 and a season of changes that will likely contain significant experiences that feel like they have a fated quality, making the time and space to center within your essential character will help in discerning how to navigate forward. Like the inspired guidance provided by one’s guardian angel, make the choice to share more of your creativity and gifts with your wider community.

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References

Coppock, Austin. (2014). 36 Faces: The History, Astrology and Magic of the Decans. Three Hands Press.

Blue Moon in Aquarius

Evening (1907) by Mikalojus Konstantinas Ciurlionis

That ancient rock face, rosecolor, / image of steadfastness, / gathers the light / through the day and after sundown / and makes of it / something one cannot / call light nor color : an artifact, / as if a smile / broke some ravaged face / and remained / in the glowing eyes, innocent.

Courage by Denise Levertov

Blue Moon in Aquarius

The Full Moon in Aquarius on August 22 is the third of four full moons to occur within the same season, making it a “Blue Moon” according to traditional definition. It is also the second full moon in a row to occur within the sign of Aquarius, placing extra emphasis on the sign of the Water Pourer in a year in which there is already an unusual degree of prominence given to Aquarius due to the grand conjunction between Saturn and Jupiter in Aquarius that began the year. The Full Moon will culminate at the final degree of Aquarius, in the home and bounds of Saturn, forming a conjunction with Jupiter as it waxes into peak illumination. Since the Full Moon will be separating from a union with Jupiter and applying toward a square aspect with the lunar nodes at their southern bending, it will be an ideal lunation for taking a broad survey of what has been developing in your life, leaning into challenges to be present with the underlying dynamics of relationships and any insight arising from unconscious sources. In comparison with the more sobering Aquarius Full Moon on July 23 that was applying to a conjunction with Saturn, the close proximity of Jupiter in Aquarius with the lunation can help facilitate discovery of ways to not only mediate and problem solve whatever issues have been building in the past month, but also spread open vision and greater scope of the imagination in sensing new possibilities on the path moving forward.

Uranus in Taurus holds a strong influence over the Aquarius Full Moon, as Uranus will be saturating the astrological atmosphere with its influence due to having stationed retrograde on August 19 only a few days before the lunation. Moreover, following the exact opposition between Sun and Moon, the waning Moon will not complete an aspect with another planet until forming an invigorating sextile aspect with Uranus on August 23. While you may have already experienced unexpected events and jolting revelations in the days surrounding the stationing of Uranus, the Aquarius Full Moon may unveil a larger field of patterns and attracting influences that can bring a clearer sense of which directions forward are connected with authentic breakthroughs versus which potential moves are more about rebelling against sources of frustration. In some cases the Full Moon will align with rapid acceleration in an exciting new direction, whereas in other situations it will be more important to be deeply present with the complexity and nuances of surrounding issues, allowing reflection to gradually reveal greater clarity while simultaneously opening to new perspectives. The liberating impact of Uranus is often found within quiet moments of solitude and contemplation rather than the calamity of chaotic change.

With the Full Moon in the same sign as Jupiter and Saturn while Uranus is stationing in the same week, the Aquarius Full Moon will bring yet another key demarcation on the ways your life structures and relationships have been fundamentally reshaped by the ongoing square aspect between Uranus and Saturn that has been shaking up old systems and structures in 2021 and will continue to do so during 2022. While we are only at the beginning of adjusting and reorienting our life to the ways surrounding societies and our inner lives are being radically altered by Saturn and Uranus, the Full Moon in Aquarius carries important insight to gather and sift through regarding our relationship with our present process of creative change in motion. The astrological atmosphere during the next couple of weeks as the Moon wanes from the Aquarius Full Moon into the Virgo New Moon on September 6 is less volatile than at many other points of the year, creating opportunities for recovery, repair, and connecting with the resources need for nurturance as well as making steady progress on goals.

Temperantia (1872) by Edward Burne-Jones

One of the most beneficial presences within the astrology surrounding the Aquarius Full Moon is Venus, as she will be glowing brightly in evening skies each night while also inhabiting her airy home of Libra. Venus can directly express her capacities for harmony, relationship, desire, pleasure, and aesthetics within her own domicile, with the unique qualities of Libra giving her increased skill in deciphering relational dynamics to bring about needed recalibration. Venus in Libra also brings a boost in creative and intellectual abilities, helping with the mental arrangement of ideas, aesthetics, and whatever creative processes we are engaging with. While Venus in Libra will not make troubles go away, she will be a potent ally in deepening in relationship with whatever process we are engaging with, helping us access the creativity needed to respond with intelligence and grace to whatever dilemmas we must address.

Fortunately, Venus in Libra is applying to a flowing trine with Saturn in Aquarius, the ruler of the Full Moon. Since Libra is also the exaltation of Saturn, the trine between Venus and Saturn will make it easier to find ways of not only noticing whatever has come out of balance within relationships but also creating the needed boundaries or adjustments to shift dynamics into the needed direction. With Venus bringing support to Saturn, it is a good time for those who have felt isolated or burdened with the weight of responsibilities to seek relief and support. Saturn has been retrograde in Aquarius since May 23, and from now until it stations direct on October 10 we will have increased opportunity to begin making movement forward based upon the insight we have been gathering through contemplating our relationship between what we desire to create from our inner authority versus the expectations and conditioning put upon us by external systems and authorities. Venus in Libra will be carrying the sword of Lady Justice, honed with sharpness by the enduring integrity of Saturn, helping us make important decisions on what needs to be released and what needs to be cultivated within our many relationships, cutting with clarity through both external and internal dynamics.

After forming a trine with Saturn, Venus will move toward forming an exact trine aspect with Jupiter in Aquarius on September 6, the day of the upcoming New Moon in Virgo. As Venus approaches her exact trine with Jupiter, she will also form a catalyzing square aspect with Pluto in Capricorn on September 5. Whatever deep relational material becomes dredged up by the temporary tension between Venus and Pluto can be mediated by the harmony between Venus and Jupiter, helping us find ways of seeing the larger picture and ways to discover opportunities for growth within present circumstances. However, it will be worthwhile taking note of what arises as Venus engages with the underworld depth of Pluto, as later in the year Venus will spend the entire month of December in close proximity with Pluto due to Venus stationing retrograde in Capricorn on December 19 in range of a conjunction with Pluto.

Similar to the sovereign strength Venus possesses in Libra, Mercury is also in its earthy home and exaltation of Virgo. Mercury has recently returned to visibility as an Evening Star and will be separating from a conjunction with Mars and a trine with Uranus during the Aquarius Full Moon, applying to an opposition with Neptune it will complete on August 24. Neptune is always an important underlying influence to note in terms of the deep imaginal meaning we source our beliefs and perceptions from, but due to the planetary nodes of Neptune being involved in the ongoing square between Saturn and Uranus (Saturn has been transiting close to the South Node of Neptune while Uranus has been in square aspect with the nodes of Neptune) there has been a powerful undertow of Neptune involved in whatever fracturing and new sources of inspiration have been emerging in correspondence with the tension between Saturn and Uranus. As Mercury in its exaltation scrutinizes Neptune through an opposition, we will have the opportunity to take a deep dive into our imaginal inner landscape to investigate what treasures may be excavated beneath the waves, as well as where we have been leading ourselves astray through illusions of one sort or another.

After opposing Neptune, Mercury in Virgo will then move into a flowing trine with Pluto in Capricorn on August 26 before entering Libra on August 29. The strength and profound reflective insight possessed by Mercury in its home and exaltation of Virgo is ideal for exploring the fathomless depth of Neptune and Pluto, and the more we are willing to descend into our inner darkness the better we will be able to reorient our direction forward with the processes of creativity and meaning ready to emerge from within. Once in Libra the star of Hermes will quickly apply to a flowing trine with Saturn in Aquarius it will complete on September 4 a couple of days before the New Moon in Virgo, at the same time that Venus in Libra is applying to a trine with Jupiter. The combined forces of Venus and Mercury in Libra coming into harmonious relationship with Jupiter and Saturn in Aquarius will help in releasing what needs to be emptied at the end of the present lunar cycle while revisioning what to begin initiating as we enter a new lunar cycle and approach the turn of the seasons at the Libra Equinox on September 22.

Odin in the Underworld (1770-72) by Henry Fuseli

While the Aquarius Full Moon illuminates the night, the nocturnal warrior Mars will be plunging downward as he descends into the underworld at his heliacal setting, becoming invisible by moving too close to the Sun to be seen in night skies. As Mars descends into darkness so may you notice external signs and messages correlating with an inner process of certain desires from the past two years of the present Mars cycle beginning to be laid to rest, noting whatever drives and motivations are no longer in alignment with your emerging purpose. The current synodic cycle of Mars was seeded by the Sun at their conjunction on September 2, 2019 in Virgo, with Mars emerging into visibility at its heliacal rise in mid October 2019 in Libra, and so reflecting upon your relationship with Mars from then until now can help orient you to whatever the underworld descent of Mars is calling you to discover from your own inner descent.

As Mars shifts from visibility into invisibility, he is separating from a trine with Uranus in Taurus and applying toward an opposition with Neptune in Pisces he will not complete until September 2. As Mars also recently completed a conjunction with Mercury in Virgo on August 18, there is a profoundly inventive, emancipatory, and mentally active quality that Mars will be carrying into the underworld from his recent contacts with Uranus and Mercury. The approaching opposition between Mars with Neptune signifies the vitality that may be contacted within inner imaginal landscapes through exploring whatever the fiery Eros of your unconscious is calling for you to burn away and regenerate in order to ultimately give birth to new forms of creative expression and burning purpose. Yet the opposition of Neptune also demands that you come to terms with illusory beliefs that need to be released so that the descent of Mars can help you become inspired to pursue a quest aligned with your authenticity.

Mars will be reanimated by the Sun on October 7 at 15º05′ Libra and then will return to visibility as a Morning Star in Scorpio in late November. This means that from the time of the Aquarius Full Moon until Mars enters the heart of the Sun to be regenerated on October 7, allow yourself to purge and release whatever needs to be let go from the current cycle of Mars. As Mars forms its union with the Sun in October, you may discover a better sense of how to come into relationship with the new desires taking shape. There will be a strong influence of Mercury upon the upcoming underworld passage of Mars, and so significations of Mercury such as writing, speech, research and commerce may be key elements of the creative changes coming from the catharsis of Mars.

Ceres (1526) by Giovanni Jacopo Caraglio

As Mars entering the underworld will call for our own inner descent, Ceres in the curious, mentally active, and airy home of Mercury will be in position to help us tend to inner realms and their impact upon external relationships. During the peak light of the Aquarius Full Moon, Ceres in Gemini will be forming a conjunction with the North Node of the Moon in Gemini, while also creating an airy triangle with Venus in Libra and Saturn in Aquarius. With Ceres forming flowing trines with Venus and Saturn occupying their own airy domiciles, the scythe of Ceres will glow with a mysterious light that can help in cutting through relational dynamics, separating issues and tending to the underlying dynamics. We may become more clear about what we value in certain relationships and what aspects of other relationships need tempering, as well as if clearer boundaries or spaces of separation need to be formed. It can be a fruitful time for exploring issues of attachment and communicating our process to those we are close to in relationship, gaining greater insight into the inner relational patterns that have been attracting us to others.

In addition to creating nurturing spaces for healing conversations, Ceres in Gemini can also be a productive time for all things mercurial especially in any intellectual pursuits involving the research, cultivation, and communication of ideas. Ceres in Gemini can hold multiple perspectives and ideas, letting the paradox of polarities reveal necessary insight. As Ceres moves from a conjunction with the North Node of the Moon into a flowing trine with Saturn that she will complete on September 1, be open to new perspectives and allow your curiosity to continue asking questions rather than assuming you have found the only answer.

7 of Swords by Pamela Colman Smith

Aquarius 3 Decan

The Full Moon will illuminate the third decan of Aquarius associated with the Seven of Swords card illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith. Austin Coppock in his book on the decans 36 Faces ascribed the image of “The Knot” to the third face of Aquarius, utilizing the symbol of a knot to reveal the karmic binds that keep us stuck in the known and familiar rather than liberating ourselves to enter the unknown. Coppock described the stealthy figure in the image of the Seven of Swords card as not only having decided to leave a frustrating situation, but also already contemplated what is worth taking and saving versus what is better left behind. The third face of Aquarius involves the risk that comes from exile and the uncertainty of no longer having the stability of the structures being left behind, but the figure in the Seven of Swords card has determinedly chosen the unknown over the known.

The Moon is the ruler of the third face of Aquarius, and so the meaning of this decan will be illuminated by the Moon reaching peak light here. The Aquarius Moon occupying its own face can help us gather the courage and inner resolve needed to experiment, take creative risks, and follow a new direction that may feel scary due to the uncertainty of leaving familiar sources of security behind, yet exciting in the ways it aligns with the leading edge of our emerging creativity and growth processes. Coppock in 36 Faces stated that the third face of Aquarius “illuminates karmic entanglements and oversees liberation from them,” but each of us may be occupying a different stage of this process. While some may have already broken free from the past during this period of accelerated astrological change, others may still be contemplating which direction to follow at the crossroads, oscillating back and forth between options. The Aquarius Full Moon calls for a deepening into coming to terms with what old aspects of the familiar need to be shed in order to embrace a more vital presence in the world.

Fittingly for a face favoring the unknown over the known, the Hellenistic text the 36 Airs ascribed Osiris, Egyptian lord of the dead and the otherworld, to the third face of Aquarius. The presence of Osiris with the Aquarius Full Moon brings themes of fertility and regeneration, mystery and becoming to the forefront. Osiris calls us to find resources and enrichment within the depth of our unconscious so we may nurture our own metamorphosis, rather than seeking external forms of validation that could condition the change underway. Osiris possess a sacred quality of surrender to the process of regeneration, surrendering to all of the suffering that must be endured in order to fully nurture and realize our own creative potential.

The fact that the 36 Airs linked Osiris to the third face of Aquarius is even more interesting due to the 36 Airs also linking Isis, the partner of Osiris, to the second face of Leo where the previous New Moon in Leo occurred. The courageous journey of Isis to search for her deceased and dismembered Osiris, her capacity for retrieving, remembering, and reanimating him back to life, may mirror our own ability within the present lunar cycle to place fears aside so we may embark upon a new orientation to life that brings us more fully alive and creatively actualized. Rather than regressing backwards, pulling away from the fires of transformation, allow the eternally wise presence of Osiris to guide you through whatever trials by fire you are experiencing so that you may become who you need to become on the other side.

If you enjoy my writing please consider supporting my work through a monthly subscription on my Patreon page. Take a look to see the benefits you will receive as a patron!

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References

Coppock, Austin. (2014). 36 Faces: The History, Astrology and Magic of the Decans. Three Hands Press.

New Moon in Leo

Gold phiale (libation bowl), 4th – 3rd Century B.C. (Greek)

New Moon in Leo

The New Moon in Leo on August 8 will be brimming with the brilliant solar radiance that animates the Moon every year when she unites with the Sun in its fiery home of Leo, yet this year its inception will be strongly shaped by the potent force of Saturn and Jupiter occupying the opposite sign of Aquarius. Within the polarity between Leo and Aquarius, our urge to center upon the personal subjectivity of our passions must come into relationship with the plurality of multiplicities surrounding us internally and externally, including on the outskirts of our awareness. As the New Moon in Leo can facilitate connection with the creative desires we wish to pursue, its opposition with Saturn and Jupiter in Aquarius calls for us to find ways of bridging the blazing sovereignty of our purpose with the needs of wider networks and communities. The darkness of the New Moon in Leo will provide fertile soil for what has been gestating in your heart, readying itself to transmit its fiery eros through the presence and work you bring into the world.

As the Leo New Moon is separating from hard aspects with Saturn and Uranus while applying to an opposition with Jupiter, its zodiacal placement is strongly configured to the astrological movements which correlate with the uncertainty of being at a collective threshold while simultaneously experiencing our own personal process of metamorphosis. When feeling the tension of holding paradoxical perceptions while facing a crossroads or preparing to cross a threshold, it is natural for inner defenses to surface into awareness and lead us to question the direction forward. With the enlivening and steadying force of the Sun at the core of the lunation, we can utilize the Leo New Moon for investigating the nooks and crannies of our inner walls and exploring the ways we have built up layers of defense over time.

Within the dynamic strain between Saturn and Uranus, the propulsive force of Uranus may prod us to break free of old limitations or shatter forms of security in favor of whatever feels exciting and freeing, while the influence of Saturn may restrain us from making major changes due to fear of the unknown or feeling we are not ready. However, the profound contemplative capacity of Saturn in Aquarius can also help us reflect upon the ways in which we may feel blocked or inhibited from pursuing new directions, revealing insights regarding the past patterns sourcing our present. Now that Jupiter has returned to sharing the zodiacal terrain of Aquarius with Saturn, we can draw upon the growth oriented nature of Jupiter to find ways of integrating ideas of potential growth that may have felt too overwhelming in the past to expand into.

The fact that the Leo New Moon is applying to an opposition with Jupiter in Aquarius is additionally significant since the upcoming Full Moon in Aquarius on August 22 will be forming a conjunction with Jupiter. Allow yourself to sit with whatever issues may be arising regarding desires and plans, as the concentrated focus of Jupiter in Aquarius can assist in gaining a broader perspective that may reveal multiple sides of present circumstances that need to be considered. Whether patience or more urgent action is required, making space to reflect upon whatever challenges you have been contending with will help with grounding into the next steps to take. With Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Mercury, the Sun and the Moon all occupying fixed signs, you may find yourself more concerned than normal with ruminating over longterm plans and musings related to longterm visions. Between the Leo New Moon and when the Moon forms a conjunction with Jupiter while waxing into fullness on August 22, find ways to generate forward momentum on what you wish to create, gathering the courage to cross the threshold between how things have been and the unknown potential of what you are becoming.

Isadora Duncan at the Parthenon (1921) by Edward Steichen

In addition to the Leo Moon applying to an opposition with Jupiter, Mercury in Leo is also forming an opposition with Jupiter in Aquarius that will become exact on August 10 at 28°24′ of Leo and Aquarius. Mercury in Leo recently formed an opposition with Saturn on August 1 and a square with Uranus on August 3, and so the tension between Mercury with Jupiter during the Leo New Moon will make us more acutely aware of adjustments needed to be made within developing plans, aspects of ideas that need to be let go as well as new sources of inspiration that may open new potential directions. Mercury will then quickly move into its earthy home and exaltation of Virgo on August 11 and into a catalyzing square aspect with the transiting lunar nodes that it will complete on August 15. As Mercury is the ruler of the transiting north node in Gemini, the week following the lunation will place the star of Hermes in position to provide key insight into the issues surrounding the new directions we wish to pursue and however storylines are changing.

Meanwhile, Mars in Virgo is also applying to a tense square aspect with the transiting lunar nodes during the Leo New Moon, completing the aspect a few days after the lunation on August 11. The square between Mars and the lunar nodes comes less than two weeks behind the square formed by Venus with the lunar nodes on July 29 that brought awareness of important changes needing to be made within relational dynamics. It’s been less than a month since Venus and Mars formed a conjunction on July 13 and we are only at the beginning of a long process of coming to terms with the new creative and relational desires that will be taking shape in correlation as they will ultimately form two more conjunctions on February 16, 2022 and March 5, 2022 before fully initiating their new cycle. For now, with Mars forming a square to the lunar nodes we may feel frustration regarding what isn’t working or feeling like we haven’t made enough progress on what we desire to create. Allow the ingenuity of Mars in Virgo to create mutations in plans and actions to better fit the reality of changing circumstances.

As the Moon waxes toward the Full Moon in Aquarius that will occur on August 22, Mercury will form a conjunction with Mars in Virgo on August 18. The conjunction between Mercury and Mars in Virgo is unusually important due to the fact that Mercury will end up forming two more conjunctions with Mars in the next few months due to stationing retrograde at the end of September. Mercury will form a second conjunction with Mars in Libra on October 9 while Mercury is retrograde, with both Mercury and Mars additionally forming conjunctions with the Sun. After Mercury stations direct it will form its third conjunction with Mars in Scorpio on November 10 at the same time that Mercury and Mars will also be forming an opposition with Uranus and a square aspect with Saturn. As a result, the forthcoming lunar cycle will introduce a theme involving Mercury and Mars that will not only be playing out over the course of the next three months but will ultimately also serve as yet another catalyzing trigger to the immense changes in life structures taking place as Saturn and Uranus continue their change inducing, clashing relationship.

Vitally, the first conjunction between Mercury and Mars at 12°48′ Virgo on August 18 is notable due to it occurring at the same time that Uranus will be stationing retrograde at 14°48′ Taurus on August 19. Not only will the astrological atmosphere be saturated with the emancipatory impulses of Uranus at this time, but the conjunction between Mercury and Mars will be forming a flowing trine aspect with Uranus. Moreover, the conjunction between Mars and Mercury will be occurring around the same time that Mercury is rising into its first appearance as a visible Evening Star, intensifying the influence of the star of Hermes. As a result, as we approach the upcoming Full Moon in Aquarius there will be powerful support for breaking free from past restrictive patterns and choosing to pursue the uncertainty of change rather than remain in the normalcy of a comfort zone.

Isadora Duncan by Arnold Genthe

Venus is continuing to glow bright as an Evening Star following sunset and is applying to an opposition with Neptune in Pisces during the lunation. Venus will form an exact opposition with Neptune at 22°41′ of Virgo and Pisces on August 9, a day after the Leo New Moon. Moreover, Venus in Virgo is also applying to a flowing trine aspect with Pluto in Capricorn, forming an exact trine with Pluto on August 11 at 24°59′ of Virgo and Capricorn. The discerning analysis of Venus in Virgo can strip away illusory projections within relational dynamics so we may better orient to the actual needs and reality of our relationships. Yet there is also an ideal of love and devotion that Venus in Virgo can cultivate within her polarizing aspect with Neptune to express within our relationships, with the empowering trine between Venus and Pluto adding a depth of feeling that can connect with the inner soulfulness of each partner. If you have been experiencing difficult emotions or anxieties recently, let Venus direct you towards tangible sources of pleasure that can relax your mind and allow for greater ease in flowing with whatever changes have been taking shape in your life.

After moving through her opposition with Neptune and trine with Pluto, Venus will enter her airy domicile of Libra on August 15. Venus will remain in Libra until September 10 when she will enter Scorpio. After entering Libra, Venus will begin applying to a flowing trine aspect with Saturn in Aquarius that will become exact on August 23, a day after the upcoming Full Moon in Aquarius. Venus in Libra will be helpful for mediating any difficulties or tension within relationship as well as provide opportunities for meaningful and delightful social interactions. With Venus forming harmonious relationships with both Saturn and Jupiter in Aquarius during her time in Libra, it will be an opportune time for making significant progress on whatever new creative directions become generated by the New Moon in Leo. The presence of Venus in her airy home will also create a supportive astrological climate for having conversations within relationships about changing needs and figuring out however the relational dynamics between partners need to be altered accordingly.

6 of Wands by Pamela Colman Smith

Leo 2 Decan

The New Moon in Leo is in the second decan of Leo associated with the Six of Wands card illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith. An image of triumphant victory, we see the strident champion being honored by an adoring crowd as well as a wreath of laurel.  As laurel is of the nature of the Sun just like the gold medals pursued by competitors in the recent Olympic games, there is potential within the second face of Leo for not only expression of soulful radiance, creativity, and power but also reception of honors for it. Fittingly, Jupiter rules the second face of Leo, revealing the potency found within this decan for expansive success.

Austin Coppock in his book 36 Faces ascribed the image of “A Crown of Laurels” to this face, proclaiming it “holds within it the magical power of authenticity- here defined as a harmonious connection between the external sphere in which one acts and the spirit fire within each individual.”  Yet the pride and glory of victory in the Six of Wands image also reflects its shadow of hubris, as Coppock wrote that “great works do not guarantee any greatness of character.” Coppock further noted that the second face of Leo can guide us toward realizing what elements of our public persona are out of alignment with our inner integrity, or instead how we may need to embody more humility within experiences of recent praise or glory. Coppock made the point that “recognition of one’s virtues does not dispel the reality of one’s vices,” since many images of the decan in ancient text show it is “the temptations of selfishness and cruelty which stain the triumphal nature of this decan.” Coppock declared that the promise and power of victory is so strong in this decan we must guard against becoming blinded by the solar light of success.

Thus we can utilize the New Moon in the second decan of Leo for gaining insight into how to refine the way we are expressing the indomitable light of our inner soul into the world around us. Fascinatingly, it is none other than the great goddess Isis who resides in the second face of Leo according to the Hellenistic text the 36 Airs. Isis became syncretized as the goddess containing all goddesses in the Hellenistic era, and just as she weaves many traditions together in her history, so does she weave a web of love through times of trauma to bring about an eventual retrieval and integration of wholeness. Isis brings the courage needed to resiliently persist on inner journeys to reanimate whatever aspects of our essential self have become fragmented. Within the darkness of the New Moon in Leo, be willing to descend into inner depths so that you may retrieve desires that had become lost or suppressed, arising again full of purpose and meaning to share in the world.

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References

Coppock, Austin. (2014). 36 Faces: The History, Astrology and Magic of the Decans. Three Hands Press.