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.

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References

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

Libra New Moon: Deepening of Venus Retrograde

autumn thoughts arnold bocklin

Autumn Thoughts by Arnold Bocklin

Libra New Moon

The Libra New Moon on October 8 brings us into the deepening of Fall in the northern hemisphere as the days darken and multicolored leaves descend from branches, and seeds buried under the earth pulsate with the promise of new life. The New Moon is in the home of Venus, and also takes us into an intensification of the forty day Venus retrograde period which began on October 5. There is a Plutonic quality to the lunation, as the New Moon is applying to a catalytic square with Pluto in Capricorn. Initiatory, death bringing, regenerative themes of Pluto have been strong in the week before the New Moon as Pluto stationed direct on September 30 and now begins to slowly crawl forward on course to eventually enter new zodiacal terrain. As Venus stationed retrograde on October 5 less than a week after Pluto, it is as if Pluto cleared a path underground for Venus to dig into during her retrograde through Scorpio.

Since Venus retrograde in Scorpio rules the Libra New Moon, and Venus retrograde is also being received by Mars in Aquarius in a change inducing square aspect, the New Moon in Libra is a calling to re-center within whatever changes and strong feelings have been triggered in the past week with the stationing of Venus. Venus retrograde has a different way of working towards Venusian themes of harmony, value, and attraction than when Venus is direct. One way to think about the difference is that Venus becomes more intolerant of whatever is oppressive or working against harmony rather than being accepting or attempting to mediate compromise. Especially with Venus retrograde in the fixed, deep waters of Scorpio, previously hidden or denied emotions and issues within relationships will rise to the surface and demand awareness and renegotiation. The Libra quality of the New Moon can hopefully help with listening within as well as to others so we may begin to rebalance and shift in whatever way needed.

There is also a shedding of Venus that occurs, a process that will become more intense in a couple of weeks as Venus begins to approach its conjunction with the Sun on October 26 and experiences a purifying burning away of accumulated material. Since Venus is retrograde in the home of Mars, and Venus is applying to a square aspect with Mars in Aquarius, the shedding process at the New Moon becomes accelerated and in the week following the New Moon it will become obvious whatever issues are being brought to the surface in correspondence with Venus retrograde. We can set intentions at the New Moon, but due to the square between Mars and Venus we will also be forced to deal with and respond to circumstances and themes that will be deepening in meaning as the Venus retrograde process develops through the next month.

Notably, Mars in Aquarius has finally returned to the degree it previously stationed retrograde at the end of June, and so just as it has now completed its own retrograde journey it is simultaneously an integral part of the initiation of Venus retrograde in Scorpio. The airy quality of Mars in Aquarius that is capable of detaching at times from feelings in order to catalyze needed growth can be helpful in grasping a larger vision of the bigger picture within which we are feeling difficult emotions in the moment. The deep emotions of Venus retrograde in Scorpio can be overwhelming, yet ultimately regenerative through bringing forth a cleansing purge. In the wake of what we release, the visionary capacity of Mars in Aquarius can help us push forward into new areas of growth and development.

Persephone_Opens_Liknon_Mystikon

Persephone opening the Liknon Mystikon, found in the shrine of Persephone at Locri

Persephone

Venus retrograde has a tradition of being associated with an underworld journey for the Star of Aphrodite, and with Pluto having stationed in the same week as Venus, it brings to mind the story of Persephone who was pulled into the underworld by Hades in order to become a Queen mediating between realms of the living and dead. Moreover, the Sun in Libra was conjoining Ceres at the time Venus stationed retrograde, and Ceres in Libra is also conjoining the Libra New Moon. All of these aspects connect with the Persephone myth, including the fact that Mercury is at the final degree of Libra at the New Moon on the threshold of entering Scorpio and uniting with Venus retrograde in the following week (Hermes was sent by Zeus to bring Persephone back to her mother Demeter aka Ceres). Moreover, the Persephone asteroid #399 is exactly conjoining Venus retrograde in Scorpio at the time of the New Moon and was applying to a close conjunction with Venus at the time Venus stationed a few days before the lunation.

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. We all must reconcile ourselves to living in a world of great suffering and death, and with Venus retrograde in Scorpio will be feeling things intensely, yet on the other side of Venus retrograde we may discover newfound power and strength within ourselves in spite of the wounds we must bear.

“Persephone has reached out with both hands…committed to the embrace of the wondrous flower. This…is the key to the true artist, who seeks to manifest the infinite beauty of spirit in finite matter . . . Most human beings have arrived at some kind of stasis in their relationship with the world which could, and often does for awhile, pacify the deep-seated urge to rediscover their spiritual nature. To start out on the mystical path of initiation is to put at risk our mundane contentment for the sake of something unknown, and possibly frightening.”

— Tim Addey, Seven Myths of the Soul

The New Moon in Libra conjoining Ceres also draws attention to the immense grief and trauma experienced by the Earth Mother in losing her daughter to the invisible underworld, and Ceres in Libra will be continuing to play a pivotal role in the enfoldment of Venus retrograde. Ceres in part 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.

Ultimately after securing the return of her daughter for part of the year, Ceres brought the gifts of corn and the mystery rites to humanity. Though she endured traumatic wounds she would have to continue to bear and nurture, Ceres managed to bring a source of physical nourishment and profound spiritual understanding to the greater collective. The Libra New Moon conjoining Ceres similarly signals a month of needing to nurture past wounds, hurts, and vulnerabilities, while at the same time reaching out to others in need with warmth, support, and heartfelt action. There are numerous astrological transits coming at the end of October through November signifying immense change that could dramatically change current narratives, beginning with the coming Full Moon in Taurus on October 24.

Eros_Hermes_And_Aphrodite

Pinax of Eros, Aphrodite, and Hermes found in shrine of Persephone at Locri

Mercury is co-present with the lunation at the final degree of Libra and then enters Scorpio the next day on October 9, with the newly waxing Moon joining Mercury later the same night.  The Moon and Mercury upon entering Scorpio immediately begin applying to an opposition with Uranus in Taurus, while also becoming co-present in the sign of the Scorpion along with Jupiter and Venus retrograde. Simultaneously the Moon and Mercury begin moving toward a catalytic square aspect received by Mars in Aquarius. Mercury is still invisible under the beams of the Sun these days and in Scorpio is able to penetrate and investigate previously hidden areas. The opposition between Venus retrograde in Scorpio with Uranus in Taurus is the dominant astrological theme of October, and so the contact between Mercury and Uranus can help us adjust to whatever is beginning to come into our life in correspondence. With Uranus involved not only can this be something unexpected, but something that changes everything quickly.

A week after the Libra New Moon around October 15, Mercury in Scorpio will unite with Venus retrograde and further deepen our perception into whatever is brewing and arising from underworld realms. This union between Mercury and Venus retrograde is particularly notable because it happens just after Mercury has ascended again into visibility as an Evening Star, and just as Venus is descending into no longer being visible as an Evening Star. During Venus retrograde periods we always experience Venus descending from being an Evening Star into an invisible underworld phase that ultimately leads into it arising again as a visible Morning Star heralding dawn.  As a result Mercury is playing an instrumental role in transitioning us into this more secretive, subconscious, underworld period of the Venus retrograde transit.

Furthermore, as the Moon waxes toward fullness in the next couple of weeks Mercury will also be moving toward an eventual union with Jupiter in Scorpio that will occur just after the Full Moon in Taurus on October 24 and the inferior conjunction of Venus with the Sun on October 26.  The co-presence of Jupiter in Scorpio with Mercury and Venus retrograde isn’t going to make things easier or more pleasant, but it does signify a greater potential for wisdom and growth to be harvested from the corresponding experiences. These are the final lessons for us to learn from the time of Jupiter in Scorpio that began 10 October 2017.

swords03

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 pain that can be brought by Saturn. In times of heartbreak we can access a newfound strength that can then increase our capacity to return to our love, as well as opens us to greater levels of empathy, compassion, and awareness of those around us. The piercing of the heart by swords is also resonant with the current Venus retrograde occurring in Scorpio, the nocturnal home of Mars, with Venus also applying to a hard aspect with Mars at the time of the New Moon.

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.” The importance Coppock placed on being faithful to commitments within relationships as well as to oneself is vital to bear in mind as we deepen into the transit of Venus retrograde in Scorpio. Venus retrograde periods can coincide with new attractions and desires for change within relationship, or feelings of needing to change the balance of a relational dynamic. The influence of the second decan of Libra focuses attention on the importance of taking responsibility for clear communication and acting from integrity so as not to destroy the bonds of current relationships should desire for change occur.

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. 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. While its comforting to believe we can always use our free will to create the reality we wish to live within, it usually takes an opportune moment of kairos arising that we may then seize to make the desired change. The next two months are full of change inducing astrological transits, and while difficult feelings may emerge in correspondence, so may opportunities arise to fundamentally alter our life. It will be a deep sea change, so keep an eye alert for favorable winds to catch sail with.

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.