New Moon in Virgo

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Winged Sphinx from Petra, Jordan

New Moon in Virgo

Virgo is a mutable sign of seasonal transition, as in the northern hemisphere we shift from Summer into Fall, while in the southern hemisphere we complete Winter in turn for Spring. The New Moon in Virgo on September 9 similarly serves as a bridge between distinct astrological seasons. Previously, we experienced a volatile series of eclipses with numerous planets in retrograde, most notably Mars and Mercury. Now within the darkness of the Virgo New Moon we are experiencing the gravitas of Saturn having stationed direct a few days before the syzygy, bringing us into a lunar cycle ideal for generating forward momentum and taking care of whatever responsibilities need our attention following a season of volatility.  Within a month, however, Venus will station retrograde and by the time the star of Aphrodite has completed her backward motion in November we will also have experienced the lunar nodes moving into Cancer and Capricorn, Uranus moving back into Aries, and Jupiter entering its domicile of Sagittarius. The Virgo New Moon thus connects two distinct periods of change inducing astrological influences.

The recent stationing of Saturn makes the ringed planet’s significations take precedence, and with Saturn in Capricorn in range of creating an earthy triangle with Mercury in Virgo and Uranus in Taurus, there is great potential for clarifying goals and the priorities and tasks necessary for effective manifestation. Yet the Virgo New Moon is separating from an opposition with Neptune in Pisces, an aspect which lends itself more so to simply enjoying the presence of being rather than diligently taking care of work details. As I wrote about recently, the planetary nodes of Neptune were strongly activated in recent months, and transiting Neptune in Pisces has likewise been an important influence.  If we have been able to take time for imaginal exploration of whatever we most want to bring into the world, the Virgo New Moon is perfect for discerning choices and following through on action for development.

The Virgo New Moon is full of resilient, visionary aspects as it is applying to a harmonious sextile with Jupiter in Scorpio and an empowering trine with Pluto in Capricorn. Rather than being lost in a cloud of Neptunian fog, the Virgo New Moon can aid in recovering from disillusionment with the state of the world in order to invest energy in our own personal projects or in helping others in collective efforts toward the greater needs of our surrounding community. Jupiter in Scorpio has completed its final exact trine with Neptune in Pisces and is applying tightly toward its final exact sextile with Pluto in Capricorn.  We’ve been experiencing Jupiter in Scorpio since 10 October 2017, and the Virgo New Moon signals the time to make a final push to complete or make significant progress in realizing whatever growth opportunities have coincided with Jupiter’s time in the fixed sign of the Scorpion.

the-sacred-wood-arnold-bocklin

Arnold Bocklin The Sacred Wood

Mercury rules the New Moon from its home and exaltation of Virgo, separating from an earth triangle with Saturn in Capricorn and Uranus in Taurus. Mercury is experiencing a phase change during the New Moon, heading under the beams of the Sun and disappearing from view on its way toward a union with the Sun in Virgo on September 20. This means we have come to the end of the synodic cycle of Mercury that began with its superior conjunction on June 5, which was interestingly in square to Neptune in Pisces. With the ruler of the New Moon at home in Virgo, it amplifies the potential of the New Moon to help us recover and move forward from all of the change that has occurred since the beginning of June. Mercury in Virgo is ideal for analysis, organization, and clarifying decision making.

As Mercury moves toward its rebirth with the Sun on September 20 at 28º02′ Virgo, it will recreate the same aspects with Neptune, Pluto, and Jupiter that the New Moon possesses. On September 13 Mercury will form an opposition to Neptune in Pisces, then on September 15 Mercury will form a trine with Pluto in Capricorn, and then on September 16 Mercury will form a sextile with Jupiter in Scorpio. All of this will occur in the build-up not only to the superior conjunction of Mercury on September 20, but also to the Aries Full Moon on September 24. Thus during the week of September 13 through the 20 we can experience a manifestation or significant development toward whatever we set in motion at the Virgo New Moon.

Bocklin Schwanengrotte

Arnold Bocklin Schwanengrotte

One of the most significant elements of the Virgo New Moon is the entrance of Venus into Scorpio that coincides with the lunation.  One reason is that as soon as Venus enters Scorpio, it instantly begins to tightly form an opposition with Uranus in Taurus. The tension of the polarity between Uranus and Venus is somewhat mitigated due to Venus receiving Uranus, but it is likely to coincide with sudden and rapid developments in associated areas of life (for example whatever places in your natal chart are occupied by Scorpio and Taurus). Most importantly, this is the first of three oppositions that will be formed by Venus and Uranus in the coming months. This is due to the fact that after Venus completes the opposition with Uranus on September 12, it will be slowing down as it approaches its retrograde station on October 5 which will lead it to forming two more oppositions with Uranus on October 31 and November 30. Thus more so than a temporary activation of Venus and Uranus, the Virgo New Moon launches us into an extended process of change we will not fully have understood until December. For now, it will be helpful to begin taking note of whatever changes arise in storylines while also realizing we are only at the beginning of navigating the corresponding developments.

Venus remains a bright evening star during the night of the Virgo New Moon, so enjoy her luminescence as each subsequent evening she will be descending lower and lower during twilight as she approaches her retrograde in October when she will disappear from visibility.  Venus is also forming harmonious, pivotal aspects as not only is she opposing Uranus in Taurus, but also forming harmonious sextile aspects with both Saturn in Capricorn and Mercury in Virgo. In addition, Venus completed a catalytic square aspect with Mars the day before the New Moon on September 8, an aspect which stirred up all of the material that has been in a process of change over the course of the past few months. Due to Venus stationing retrograde at the beginning of October, it means that Venus and Mars will form another exact square on October 10. Therefore, similar to the opposition formed by Venus with Uranus, its square aspect with Mars also takes us into an extended process of change rather than a temporary impetus.

Mars returns to Aquarius on September 10, a day after the Virgo New Moon, meaning that it will basically be sustaining tension with Venus over the course of the next month.  Mars will be approaching its final conjunction with the South Node of the Moon in Aquarius during the waxing cycle of the Moon, forming its exact conjunction with the South Node on September 25, a day after the Aries Full Moon. Taking all of this into account, it means the lunar cycle we begin with the Virgo New Moon will not only bring significant developments, but also deeper understanding regarding whatever changes we have been experiencing, or however we have been feeling stuck or obstructed.  The forthcoming lunar cycle demands clear thinking bound with decisive action and a willingness to confront whatever is not working, devising solutions as needed.  We will need the resilient desire of Venus in Scorpio that will penetrate to the depths of dilemmas, and with Jupiter co-present in Scorpio there is strength to be found in taking a stand and persisting in the face of opposition.

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9 of Pentacles by Pamela Colman Smith

Virgo 2 Decan

The New Moon in Virgo falls in the third face of Virgo associated with the Nine of Pentacles card illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith. The image is resplendent with a golden aura surrounding a Venusian figure, and fittingly Venus is the ruler of the second face of Virgo.  On her hand sits a bird of prey ready to strike out for resources, while ripening grapevines surround her.  This tarot card is traditionally associated with gains in wealth, and Austin Coppock in his book on the decans 36 Faces analyzed how the hooded falcon (a symbol of spirit enclosed in matter) is a protector of the grapevine resources linked to her wealth since it feeds on the creatures who would damage the growth of the grapes.  Coppock found a theme of continual reshaping and refinement of matter in this decan that unveils the diverse extremes of experiences that unite within the final form of a created work that contains spirit:  “Alchemically, this face provides understanding of the many beautiful and repulsive states the matter attains throughout the Magnum Opus . . . . [and] brings one to inspect material processes and note the efficiency or lack thereof” (p. 146).

Interestingly, the fragmentary 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.  These goddesses of fate appearing in this decan remind us to center within the actual currents of life so that choices can be discerned that will allow one to navigate accordingly.  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 virtue and authentic character. While there are many upsetting events occurring in collective events we cannot change, we do possess the inherent character to respond with responsible virtue rather than in a way that goes against the nature of our higher self.  The current shift toward a time of Venus retrograde will bring tests and events saturated with the feel of destiny, bringing forth deeper aspects of our Self and realizations of purpose and potential. To paraphrase Carl Jung, free will is doing that which one must do.

References

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

 

Virgo Full Moon: Pisces Wave

Rosette

India (1645) from Metropolitan Museum of Art

Full Moon in Virgo

Now all the truth is out,
Be secret and take defeat
From any brazen throat,
For how can you compete,
Being honour bred, with one
Who, were it proved he lies,
Were neither shamed in his own
Nor in his neighbours’ eyes?
Bred to a harder thing
Than Triumph, turn away
And like a laughing string
Whereon mad fingers play
Amid a place of stone,
Be secret and exult,
Because of all things known
That is most difficult.

To a Friend whose Work has come to Nothing by W.B. Yeats

The Full Moon in Virgo on March 1 is full of inspirational force, imaginal vision and emotional tidal waves.  The Sun, Neptune, Mercury, Venus, and Chiron are all lined up in Pisces opposite the Moon in Virgo, with the lunation’s intensity deepened by a harmonious aspect with Jupiter in Scorpio and catalyzed with explosive vitality by an amplified Mars in Sagittarius.   Ideally during the period of fully reflected light one can situate themselves in a place of stimulating learning or creativity where the dynamic force of the Full Moon can be transmitted into tactile manifestation or revelatory reception.  The potential conflict from Mars comes from dogmatic ideals and subjective projections within an atmosphere making the dry discernment of Virgo challenging.  Mercury rules the Full Moon as it applies to a union with Venus in Pisces and so we experience the Moon in Virgo under the sway of poetic richness, emotional reception, and the intuitive knowing of feelings within the body.

There is simply something sublime about the Moon in Virgo ripening full in reflection of light cast by the Sun uniting with Neptune in Pisces.  In Virgo we can sense the spirit in our flesh and the soul of the earth around us like nowhere else in the zodiac.  Virgo can both discern and analyze insight from difficult or confusing experiences, as well as weave together meaning into tangible forms of shared understanding.  Attaining calm presence in the moment amidst the tumult of ceaseless change is key to optimize the grounded, pragmatic wisdom available in the sign of the Winged Maiden.  The overflowing Piscean influence on the surrounding time period of the lunation makes it easier than normal to fall into illusory pursuits or projections, yet the combined earthiness of the Virgo Full Moon in harmonious relationship with Saturn in Capricorn brings the potential to make the magic of Pisces real, true, and embodied.

deer mandala of kasuga shrine
Japanese silk scroll (late 14th century)

The Virgo Full Moon is ruled by Mercury in Pisces applying to conjoin Venus and Chiron in Pisces, as well as applying to a stabilizing trine with Jupiter in Scorpio.  Mercury resides in Pisces in polarity to both its home and exaltation in Virgo, yet since it is being received by Jupiter it has the resources of Jupiter fully loaded in its tool kit.  Combine the fact Mercury is simultaneously uniting with Venus in its place of exaltation, and we have a deeply visionary and imaginative Mercury that can grasp understanding of one’s larger emotional environment as well as perceive creative solutions.  Flashes of intuitive, direct knowing may be received and the inward earthiness of the Moon in Virgo can facilitate processing perceptions in order to receive a harvest of important insight.

Most auspiciously, both Mercury and Venus are emerging as Evening Stars at the time of the Full Moon, regaling the twilight with their bright starry presence.  Venus has already been visible at twilight in the week leading into the lunation, but the fullness of the Moon rising is perfect for celebrating the return of Venus glowing bright on the horizon.  We haven’t been able to see Venus since she was in her Morning Star phase last November, and so her longly anticipated return to visibility is an omen of good tidings.  The following hymn “The Lady of the Evening,” adapted from ancient Sumerian text by Diane Wolkstein and Samuel Noah Kramer, celebrates the re-emergence of Venus as an evening star:

At the end of the day, the Radiant Star, the Great Light that fills the sky,
The Lady of the Evening appears in the heavens.
The people in all the lands lift their eyes to her.
The men purify themselves; the women cleanse themselves.
The ox in his yoke lows to her.
The sheep stir up the dust in their fold.
All the living creatures of the steppe,
The four-footed creatures of the high steppe,
The lush gardens and orchards, the green reeds and trees,
The fish of the deep and the birds in the heavens-
My Lady makes them all hurry to their sleeping places.

The living creatures and the numerous people of Sumer kneel before her.
Those chosen by the old women prepare great platters of food and drink for her.
The Lady refreshes herself in the land.
There is great joy in Sumer.
The young man makes love with his beloved.

My Lady looks in sweet wonder from heaven.
The people of Sumer parade before the holy Inanna.
Inanna, the Lady of the Evening, is radiant.
I sing your praises, holy Inanna.
The Lady of the Evening is radiant on the horizon.

Fascinatingly, due to Mercury slowing down and then stationing retrograde in Aries on March 22, Venus and Mercury will remain in range of a close conjunction all the way through the waning half of the forthcoming lunar cycle, so that on the following Pisces New Moon on March 17 they will still have only one degree of separation between them in Aries.  This is an unusually long time to live with Venus and Mercury transiting in such close proximity to one another and so brings an opportunity to find greater alignment between inner values and outer expression and communication.  There will be a notable shift on March 6 when both Mercury and Venus will move into Aries, bringing potential to take the inner illumination received from their time together in Pisces into direct, courageous action in the world.

While Venus and Mercury are uniting at the end of Pisces they are also taken into a deeper dimension of perception by their additional conjunction with Chiron in Pisces.  Chiron is a celestial centaur who bridges the divide between Saturn and Uranus, the key holder who brings access to vital subconscious information.  Since Mars in Sagittarius is also approaching a challenging square aspect with Chiron, there is a collective trigger that reflects the gaping, aching wounds of trauma and oppression felt throughout the collective, injuries often brought about through violence and conflict connected to dogmatic paradigms of belief.  During the days following the Full Moon there is potential to journey within to both face and dissolve old wounds that are ready to be dislodged.  However, some wounds may still feel more painful than fully engaged in healing and if this is the case the over abundance of planets in Pisces can allow for a flow of emotive release.

One of the biggest factors in the Virgo Full Moon, however, is Jupiter in Scorpio not only forming a trine to Mercury, Venus and Chiron, but also beginning to station retrograde.  Jupiter in Scorpio will station retrograde a week after the lunation on March 8 and is barely moving at the time of the Full Moon, bringing its archetype into a stronger presence within the collective.  Whenever a planet stations its archetype saturates the landscape, so prepare for lessons involving Jupiter in Scorpio to become abundantly clear.  We have passed through a season of eclipses that formed a square to Jupiter in Scorpio, and so we are primed to receive direct knowing from the accumulation of recent experiences.  Although Jupiter and Mars are not in a major aspect, they are mutually exchanging signs with Jupiter in the home of Mars and Mars in the home of Jupiter.  With regard to the additional interplay between Mars and all of the action in Pisces that Jupiter also rules, Jupiter in Scorpio can help us shed attachments to old illusions of belief and ready us for a new influx of understanding.  Once Jupiter turns retrograde in the first week of March, it will move backwards through our zodiac until stationing direct again on July 10 at 13º20′ of Scorpio.

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Cosmological mandala with Mount Meru (14th century China)

While Mercury and Venus are separating from a square with Mars in Sagittarius, Mars is applying to a trine with Eris and Uranus in Aries.  When we also factor in Mars being conjoined with the asteroid Vesta at the Full Moon, there is potential to utilize the fiery volatility of Mars in Sagittarius to not only explore exciting frontiers but also utilize the focus necessary to bring something worthwhile back to share with the wider collective.  Aspects between planets are multivalent in expression, and so while there is potential destructive conflict signified by the aspects Mars is making at the Full Moon, this same energy of Mars can correspond with separating yourself from previous limitations or oppressive circumstances and making visionary strides forward.  Mars in Sagittarius is fast moving and curious with ample stores of generosity and optimistic hope available to fuel striving for greater freedom and making real progress toward idealistic pursuits.

In addition to all of the watery and fiery dynamics previously mentioned, there is also a lot of the grounded earth element involved in the Full Moon.  As the Moon waxes full in Virgo it will form a trine with Saturn in Capricorn, and then following its opposition with the Sun the Moon will move toward a trine with Pluto in Capricorn.  When we also consider the placement of the asteroid Pallas Athene in the middle of Taurus, there is a stable earth triangle formed that also involves harmonious sextile aspects between Saturn with the Sun and Neptune in Pisces.  As a result, there is potential to find surrounding structures to stabilize and ground the insight available in correspondence with the lunation into tangible manifestation.  It also highlights the availability of outlets for grounding or compassionate support if the emotional waves of the abundant Pisces influence becomes overwhelming.

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9 of Pentacles by Pamela Colman Smith

Virgo 2 Decan

The Full Moon in Virgo arises in the second decan of Virgo associated with the Nine of Pentacles card illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith. The image is resplendent with a golden aura surrounding a Venusian figure, and fittingly Venus is the ruler of the second face of Virgo.  On her hand sits a bird of prey ready to strike out for resources, while ripening grapevines surround her.  This tarot card is traditionally associated with gains in wealth, and Austin Coppock in his book on the decans 36 Faces analyzed how the hooded falcon (a symbol of spirit enclosed in matter) is a protector of the grapevine resources linked to her wealth since it feeds on the creatures who would damage the growth of the grapes.  Coppock found a theme of continual reshaping and refinement of matter in this decan that unveils the diverse extremes of experiences that unite within the final form of a created work that contains spirit:  “Alchemically, this face provides understanding of the many beautiful and repulsive states the matter attains throughout the Magnum Opus . . . . [and] brings one to inspect material processes and note the efficiency or lack thereof” (p. 146).

Interestingly, the fragmentary 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.  These goddesses of fate appearing in this decan points to the importance of centering within the actual currents of life so that choices can be discerned that will allow one to navigate with as optimal a flow as possible.  While there is incredible imagination available with the overflow of Pisces influence on the Virgo Full Moon, this visionary capacity needs to be grounded in the truly developing elements of life rather than dissipated through denial of what is actually happening.  Through a combination of grounding while simultaneously opening to the full range of possibilities available in the moment, the Virgo Full Moon can facilitate awareness of new choices freed from the limiting thoughts of the past.

References

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

Wolkstein, Diane and Kramer, Samuel Noah. (1983). Inanna: Queen of Heaven and Earth.  Harper & Row.