Low-Down Archives for August-Sept 2010

New Moon & Full Moon Astrology, Planetary Transits

August-September 2010

For the New Moon in Leo:
August 9 to 24, 2010

And the Full Moon in Pisces:
August 24 to September 8, 2010

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Aug.09 – NEW MOON in LEO (17:24 of Leo)

NEW MOON in LEO

Ottawa, Canada and
Washington DC, USA:

Aug.09, 2010, 11:08 PM EDT

London, UK:

Aug.10, 2010, 4:08 AM BST

Sydney, AU:

Aug.10, 2010, 1:08 PM AEST

"What's a New Moon?&quote;

Read more about the Sun-Moon cycles.

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

The Sun normally shines brightly in Leo, the sign that it rules. The Sun is our central sense of purpose, identity and self-expression, and when in Leo its energy is strong and open, like on a hot summer's day.

The Sun is also our primary source of creativity, expressing itself through whatever sign it is in (especially in your natal chart). When the Sun shines in Leo, the sky is the limit for creative energy! But don't think that creativity is just about artistry. Certainly art is one form of it, but even people who say "Oh, I'm not creative" still have a creative impulse inside them.

When we procreate—have children—our bodies literally create another human being, or at least the physical body into which another human being incarnates and which will help to shape their life experience through genetics. Children are associated with the 5th house, Leo's natural house, in the natal chart. Leo and the Sun also signify our playful Inner Child—the puer eternus or child-god who is forever young.

Recreation means to refresh, recover or restore—to activities by which we recreate ourselves in a renewed form. Leo is about how we engage in recreation through fun, play, amusement and entertainment. We play games, fool around and free our Inner Self from its straightjacket of Saturnian rules, roles and expectations. The Sun, Leo and the 5th house are also associated with games, gambling and sports.

The Sun and Leo are also linked to leadership, celebrity and the people and positions we admire and look up to. They also signify human will—the power to focus our intention to bring about a deliberate result. And they are also about heart—the attitude of spirit, passion and courage through which we express the essence of who we are.

So how are all these qualities being expressed and experienced during this New Moon and the coming lunar cycle? Well, the New Moon chart is a rather tense one. If I had to pick one word to sum it up, it would be challenge.

Challenge can be experienced as hardship, exertion or the conquering of obstacles. It can be discouraging, daunting, motivating, stimulating or exciting, depending on how you approach it. One thing is for sure—a challenge is never dull! And no matter whether you experience it as "good" or "bad," you must invest effort, energy, will, courage and creativity in order to champion the challenge.

This need for dynamic Leo and Sun energy is written all across the New Moon chart. For one thing, the chart consists of almost entirely "hard" aspects—squares (90°), oppositions (180°), semi-squares (45°) and sesqui-quadrates (135°). These aspects typically create obstacles, challenges and problems to overcome. While this can often be experiences as hardship, it is also typically motivating and energizing since it gets us moving—if only to get out of the discomfort and back to a place of harmony and comfort.

Pluto forms the only "soft" aspect—a sextile (60°) to the Chiron-Neptune conjunction. The sextile usually brings the potential for creative cooperation, although it can easily go unnoticed or taken for granted and therefore it may not be actively put to use. The creative potential in this case lies in the ability to turn a crisis into a "healing crisis," which taps into and speaks to a higher purpose and perspective.

Cardinal Cross

The chart is dominated by the now-infamous Cardinal Cross T-square aspect pattern. (New article available in the Cardinal Cross series!) This dynamic collection of energies now consists of three groups of conjunctions.

In one corner of the T-square triangle, we have a Mars-Venus-Saturn conjunction in Libra. Together, these planets generate a powerful energy of creative manifestation. The urge to make your actions and surroundings beautiful, harmonious, cooperative and benevolent has the energy and structure to become reality. Negotiation and mediation can have powerful results which unfold over the next 4 weeks.

Venus and Saturn definitely have the upper hand in this group, since Libra is one of Venus' signs and Saturn is exalted in Libra. Mars is their advocate who actively promotes their cause or their champion who defends it. Since Mars is in Detriment in Libra, he might submit to this yoke willingly or resentfully, so be alert to any subversive impulses in yourself or others that could interfere with the greater purpose.

Opposite this group are Jupiter and Uranus, conjunct in Aries. Uranus is just days away from being backwashed into Pisces for 7 months, after which it returns to Aries to stay. When these Uranus and Jupiter first entered Aries last May and June, respectively, they brought the promise of fresh new beginnings that could break free of old karma, old disappointments and old assumptions. Now that they are both retrograde and heading back into Pisces for one final dip in the cosmic ocean, that initial potential might be starting to feel more like yet another broken promise. However, before new hope can truly spring from what was, we must first become ready to let go of the past. Consider these next few months your chance to bring closure to past blessings that have now run their course or past disappointments that need to be discarded like a hollow shell.

Pluto squares these two opposed groups of planets. Pluto is also approaching the conjunction to the North Lunar Node, which becomes exact in early November. Increasingly, this puts a focus on Pluto as being the guy to have on your side, as you evolve through the process of the Cardinal Cross. Pluto's best qualities involve his roles as facilitator of your transformation and midwife to your rebirth. What is being transformed is your experience of, and response to, the challenges of the other energies in the Cardinal Cross.

Change is inevitable. The questions become: what is the intention you bring to that process of change, and how will you choose to go through the experience? Jupiter and Uranus want to throw off the cloak of the old and launch into the new, possibly losing some of the good stuff as a result. Saturn, supported by Venus and Mars, wants to be more cautious, strategic and balanced, by making sure that for every step forward you take, one foot remains behind in the past to keep you steady and balanced. However, Saturn can linger a little too long with that trailing foot and therefore can interfere with forward progress that needs more speed to keep pace with all the problems, challenges and opportunities that need to be met.

Think of yourself as the King or Queen and Pluto as your champion. Are you asking him to crush the conflict, challenge and change that's being fought out by the other two planetary groups, by commanding that he dominate over and control them? Or are you asking him to provide the boundaries and structure within which they can wrestle out their differences and find a natural balance between their conflicting agendas, while making sure that neither one annihilates the other and then runs rampant? The former might (seem to) bring a faster result, sparing you from prolonged emotional "bloodshed," while the latter will bring more enduring and productive results, even though it requires more strength and restraint on your part.

Hard Wedge aspect pattern
Hard Wedge aspect pattern
Arrowhead or Thor's Hammer aspect pattern
Arrowhead or Thor's Hammer
aspect pattern

The Sun and Moon form two aspect patterns in the chart. One is a Hard Wedge to the opposition between Saturn-Venus-Mars and Jupiter-Uranus. The Sun-Moon conjunction is also at the apex of an Arrowhead or Thor's Hammer aspect figure.

These configurations consist of aspects from the octile family, based on dividing the circle by 8: the semi-square or octile (45°, or half of a 90° square aspect), the sesqui-quadrate or tri-octile (135° or a square-and-a-half or triple-octile). Similar to their cousins, the squares and oppositions, octile aspects tend to be difficult and conflict oriented, yet also dynamic and motivating. I find the octiles can be nit-picky, in that they demand perfection or fine-tuning. Yet, this can also fuel tremendous creativity as an outlet for its underlying anxiety and irritation.

Overall, the chart speaks of meeting challenges with creative problem-solving and a quest to generate something new and wonderful out of past—or even present—difficulties. Leo energy provides the imagination, inspiration, courage and will to do this.

At its worst, you might feel haunted by self-doubt or lack of confidence in the face of what feels like overwhelming obstacles. This is not the time to just give up and succumb to those feelings. I'm not suggesting you ignore them or underestimate them either, since self-doubt can sabotage your efforts from the inside out. However, it's important to keep finding your way back to your center, where you can start to believe in yourself again. Even if you get knocked out of your center again, keep finding your way back. If you get lost or overwhelmed, or just need some reassurance that you're on the right track, contact me for a personal reading.

They say (whoever "they" are) that the best defence is living well. In other words, seek out ways and excuses to celebrate that which brings you joy (or at least some pleasure and fun), when the dark clouds of hardship blot out the Sun in your inner sky. Find creative, innovative and fun ways to create your own sunshine: have fun, be silly and playful, laugh and rediscover things that make you smile. This is not meant as a panacea, but as a way to balance out the heaviness that life may be dumping on you by finding some of that lightness of being inside. Or, better yet, take your anxiety, discouragement, weariness and frustration and channel it into productivity or healthy defiance. Instead of letting circumstances get you down, use your passion and bravado to climb up over top of the rubble where you can plant a flag of triumph.

Aug.10 – Venus square Pluto (03:05 of Libra/Capricorn)  (This is a Cardinal Cross aspect.)

Relationships and interactions are likely to be deep, intense and transformative under this transit. The same goes for your sense of beauty, and your material and financial dealings, which may require you to delve far deeper than usual to discover the truth under the surface of things. You may encounter the dark shadow of your desires – the obscure, secret or unconscious hunger that hides underneath the "politically correct" face you show to the world (and to yourself. This is a challenge to be resolved in some way. It might bring out conflict rooted in envy or jealousy, if someone has something (or someone) that you feel you are entitled to. Or, it might prompt you to reach very deep into your soul to find your inner beauty and value. You may be challenged to develop empathy or empowerment about something that initially seemed undesirable, unforgivable or scary. This transit can show you the problem areas that need to be transformed and healed. And seeing these more clearly can be a catharsis that sets that transformative healing in motion.

Wandering Star astrology jewelry

Aug.13 – Uranus enters Pisces (until Mar.11.2011) (Aug.14 in UK, AU)

Uranus wades back into Pisces for 7 months before leaping out into Aries again. This is a time to bring closure to some of the long-term issues you have been working through since 2003, when Uranus first went into in Pisces. Think back over the last 7 years. How have you been reaching toward individuality by surrendering to something greater than yourself? How have you broken free of old karma by allowing yourself to go with the flow of the Universe? Have you been discovering your uniqueness by learning how to be alone with yourself? Have you been able to break through to a new spiritual connection to the Universe by listening to your intuition? Did you experience a shock, surprise or sudden change 7 years ago that left you feeling vulnerable, more open or a bit disoriented, as you adjusted and reoriented yourself during these past years? The point is that these next several months are a time to wrap up whatever this process of learning, change and growth has been for you. When Uranus moves back into Aries for the next 7 years next March, it will be time to initiate a whole new perspective and attitude on whatever has been on your mind these past 7 years. So use these next months to wash the residue of this past experiences from your psyche so you can make room for the exciting adventures that await over the next 7 years.

Aug.16 – Jupiter opposite Saturn (02:26 of Aries/Libra) (Aug.17 in AU)  (This is a Cardinal Cross aspect.)

The forces of freedom, confidence and expansion (Jupiter) are having a tug of war with the forces of responsibility, humility and pruning back (Saturn). You could easily find yourself swinging from trying to be disciplined, productive and staying on the "straight and narrow," to wanting to break free of all that to roam and explore new horizons, and back to buckling down to what you're "supposed to" be doing because you want the results this can give you. Another possibility is that you could find yourself taking on one of these extremes and then polarizing to someone else who personifies the other extreme. So you might be the responsible one and then resent someone else because they're being footloose and fancy free. Or you might be the one taking wing with new ideas, travels or spiritual inspiration, and annoyed when someone else tries to drag you back down to earth to fulfil what's expected of you instead. We could easily see this drama played out on a community or global scale between people, organizations, political agendas or interests that are in conflict with each other.

This is the second of 3 passes of this transit: May.23.2010, Aug.16.2010 and Mar.28.2011. By this time you should be able to see evidence of the rules-versus-freedom, truth-versus-facts, expansion-versus-contraction dynamics in your life and in the world around you. This is the phase when you "do your homework" to learn more about the challenge and struggle you are facing. Do research about it, read about it, explore it, discover what it's made of and learn how it affects you. If you're not sure how it's affecting your life or what "homework" you're supposed to be doing, try letting yourself imagine that you're completely free to do whatever you want, and then notice what comes up to pull you back into "reality." There's an example of how this opposition is affecting you. Need a more personalized perspective? Contact me for a personal reading.

Another implication of the Jupiter-Saturn opposition is that it is the fruition point of the Jupiter-Saturn conjunction in Taurus that happened in 2000. Think back to 2000 and what began in your life at that time which has developed since then. Certainly, the events of September 11th 2001 have rather overshadowed other things that came before, but think back to what was happening in your life during that year. What has come of that? Can you see how there is an essence of what emerged at that time, that has grown and developed since then? This transit represents a time when you can look back between now and then and take stock of how far you've grown.

The next 10 years (until the next Jupiter-Saturn conjunction in December 2020) will be a time when you take what has developed and integrate it, like fitting a piece within a larger puzzle that is your life. Now that you "have" this quality or ability or knowledge or perspective or skill or whatever "it" is, what can you do with it? How can your life be changed as a result? What can you do now with your life that you couldn't do 10 years ago? This Jupiter-Saturn opposition represents a turning point in this greater process, where instead of working to develop whatever it is, you are now challenged to find ways to utilize it.

Aug.20 – Sun opposite Neptune (27:17 of Leo/Aquarius)

For a few days, you are face to face with the boundless universe! This could come to you in a number of ways, from creative inspiration to vivid dreams to enchanted encounters with great mystery. There is a tension now between clarity of purpose and infinite vision; between being centred in yourself versus being connected to the Great Unknown; and/or between personal independence and autonomy versus blurred boundaries with a person or situation. If you lose your bearings, you could feel some depression, lethargy or confusion. Your dreams, longings and expectations may be rooted more in wishful thinking than reality right now, which could lead to disappointment or disillusionment. It's a good idea to do a reality check with a trusted friend if you need to make any important decisions. On the other hand, you are also able to see your hopes, dreams and illusions more clearly than usual, reflected back through other people or the outside world. It may be like looking in a cosmic mirror that shows you what's going on in your subconscious. Just remember that it may be hard to tell which is the real thing and which is the mirrored reflection. Just like a dream, you might get better insight by interpreting them intuitively rather than literally. Try expressing your experiences, feelings and perceptions in ways that are poetic, artistic, creative and non-rational.

Aug.20 – Venus conjunct Mars (13:35 of Libra) (Aug.21 in AU)

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

Aug.20 – Mercury stationary Retrograde (19:03 of Virgo; until Sep.12) (Aug.21 in AU) ("What's a Station?"  Read article about Stations.  Read article about Mercury Retrograde.)

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

Mercury is retrograde in Virgo, which is likely to affect how you work with analysis and organisation of ideas and information. On one hand, you might get so bogged down in the details that analysis and organisation become too fragmented (or too "anal") to be effective or productive. On the other hand, you might find it easier to get at the detailed level of things so that you can explore your situation in more depth. Those details are probably best organised later into a cohesive whole, rather than trying to take in the bigger picture now. You might find yourself having to be of service in some way that is not usual for you. For example, you might feel compelled to help someone when you'd rather not. Or you might see someone's situation from a different perspective, leading you to want to do something to help when you had decided not to in the past. You may need to rethink your health strategy during this transit, especially if old health problems come back to haunt. Or this can be a good time to really sit down and get real with yourself about health issues you've been putting off dealing with. In this sense, you are called on to be of service to yourself too.

This Mercury retrograde cycle is likely to be a bit weirder than usual. See Mercury enters the Retrograde Shadow (Aug.01) for more information.

Aug.21 – Saturn square Pluto (02:55 of Libra/Capricorn)  (This is a Cardinal Cross aspect.)

The planet of structure, authority and responsibility (Saturn) squares off with the planet of power, purging and transformation (Pluto). This is part of a much larger cycle that evolves over 38 years and began in 1982. In more immediate terms, this transit challenges you to examine how effectively you are working with discipline, responsibility, leadership and authority – your own or others – and discover how you can transform these areas to support your growth, maturity and personal development. Both of these planets are associated with endings, so this could be a time when circumstances force you to let go of the ineffective or outmoded ways you have been dealing with authority, power and control.

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These planets are also about mastery – developing your ability to own your personal power, be your own authority and be self-sufficient. Do you have a tendency to project power, control and decisions onto others? (e.g. authority figures) Does your fear of powerlessness get projected onto others in the form of resentment or jealousy of (what you believe is) their power to make decisions over you? Or perhaps you are the one who must make or influence the decisions of others, and you feel reluctant to take on that kind of responsibility? This is a time when you may need to delve deeply into the ways that you handle or react to power and authority. This challenge may come to you in the form of a conflict or struggle that shows you where and how you need to take the next step in your evolutionary growth.

This is the last of 3 passes of this transit: Nov.15.2009, Jan.31.2010 and Aug.21.2010. You might have experienced this as a time when you worked hard to accomplish something challenging, or struggled to overcome a difficult obstacle. Perhaps you have had to take responsibility for something that sometimes felt like you were being crushed by its weight. Or you might have had to use discipline, self-control and deep self-honesty in order to restructure some part of your life. This last pass of the transit signifies the final phase of the process of learning and development. This is often a time when you see the results of whatever you've been struggling with or working toward. If it seems like you're falling back instead of moving forward, it doesn't necessarily mean you "flunked the test." Treat it as a chance to demonstrate what you've learned in the last year, and do your best, one step at a time.

Aug.21 – Sun opposite Chiron (28:29 of Leo/Aquarius) (Aug.22 in AU)

This transit can bring a challenge to your sense of personal purpose versus the trans-personal vision of possibilities. This could play out in many areas; for instance, spirituality, career, life direction, physical or emotional healing, etc. Perhaps you are feeling a conflict between what you want to gain on a personal level versus a higher vision of what you could be capable of. The problem is that to reach for greater possibilities, you have to move beyond your comfort zone. There is a certain amount of risk and sacrifice involved in any kind of growth. You might worry that moving into a larger context could undermine your self-esteem by making you feel small or inadequate. You may be concerned that you'd have to give up personal rewards in order to achieve that higher vision. Regardless of how this plays out in your life, the struggle to find a balance you can live with – between what is and what could be – is the purpose of this transit. Later it will be time to take further action, but for how it is important to grapple with the dynamics of your situation which will lead to a decision.

Aug.23 – Sun enters Virgo (until Sep.22)

Happy Solar Return to all Virgos! While the Sun is in Virgo, we are all honorary Virgos. You are encouraged to clean out the toxins in your body and mind. Organise and tidy up your life, in whatever ways it is "a mess." And take stock of the ways you give service and make a contribution to the world around you. Take some time to pay attention to the details and precision of what you do, and appreciate how much you can do with very little. During this transit, organisation, useful procedures and practical application come together to form the key that opens the door to effectiveness, efficiency and improvement. This is a good time to adopt a service-oriented attitude, whether that involves being helpful to someone else or dedicated to your own healing and betterment. You could volunteer your time. Or, perform some "random acts of kindness." Or, just do something nice for someone. Projects and problem solving may work a bit better if you take an analytical, methodical approach to them (rather than intuitive or guessing). This is a good time to assimilate and "digest" the results of any preparation you've been doing toward a project, goal or production. Weed out what doesn't work and what doesn't support your efforts, and then reorganise and simplify whatever is left. Just don't get so carried away that you throw away something that's important to you or your goals.

Sabian Symbol for Pisces 2: A squirrel hiding from hunters.

Sabian Symbol for the
Full Moon in Pisces

Pisces 2

A squirrel hiding from hunters.

This curious Sabian Symbol ("What's a Sabian Symbol?") seems to reflect how many of us might feel right now, after months of being in the sights of the Cardinal Cross. We want to hide from the planetary hunters who seem out to get us.

The symbol suggests that a certain amount of self-protection is probably wise. Hiding is a practical solution to danger that can't be resolved directly or quickly. It's the "harm reduction" response which, although not solving the problem, preserves your strength and increases your chance of survival.

Does this symbol imply that danger is afoot? Maybe, maybe not. Only you can decide if that feels like it applies to your life. It could possibly mean you're being a bit reckless from trying to be invincible in a situation where you would do better to accept and work within the limitations.

Although faith is a necessary quality to get you through hard times, it's also important to combine this with a more practical, reasonable or humble response. Determination to be victorious is a valuable trait, but it can also get in the way if it leads you to try and dominate every situation, rather than working with the ebb and flow of what is happening around you.

And yet, don't simply demonize the "hunters" (whatever they represent in your life) as a bad thing. Blain Bovee points out that danger can sharpen your awareness and alertness, which can provoke you into becoming more focused and able to deal effectively with hardship.

 

Find out more about the Sabian Symbols in these recommended books:

The Sabian Symbols: The Original Symbols Fully Revealed,
by Blain Bovee

The Sabian Symbols in Astrology,
by Marc Edmund Jones

An Astrological Mandala,
by Dane Rudhyar

Aug.24 – FULL MOON in PISCES (01:25 of Pisces)

FULL MOON in PISCES

Ottawa, Canada and
Washington DC, USA:

Aug.24, 2010, 1:04 PM EDT

London, UK:

Aug.24, 2010, 6:04 PM BST

Sydney, AU:

Aug.25, 2010, 3:04 AM AEST

"What's a Full Moon?"

Read more about the Sun-Moon cycles.

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

 

In Pisces, you meet your Maker.

I don't mean that you die. I mean that you have the opportunity to connect with the realm, forces and experiences of your ultimate origin.

If you believe in a divine entity, this could be what you find there. If you believe there are non-material universal forces that shape our existence, you might encounter them more directly. If you believe there is only the physical universe with its mysterious wonders and laws of physics which form the wellspring of your existence, you could experience your place within that vast whole.

No matter how you define it, Pisces takes you into the realm of the infinite unknown, which is the source of all that is known. In the broadest sense, this is your Maker. And this is ultimately what spirituality is: your encounter with the mysteries of life that bring you to an existential sense of wonderment that leads to a sense of being part of something greater than yourself.

Pisces brings you to the far edge that separates what is known from what is unknown. It is only through imagination, intuition and indirect experience that you can reach into that outer abyss. Beyond this point, you're off the radar, off the grid and out of your element. You're on your own. It's just you and whatever is "out there."

Pisces and Neptune (considered by many to be its modern ruling planet) are associated with a state of isolation. That's because the best way—perhaps the only way—to probe into the spiritual unknown is through your subjective involvement. Although external events and actions can inspire or trigger that inner experience, it is ultimately something that you have to experience for yourself. You can describe it, envision it, express it, utilize it or live by it, but the awareness of it is your own. Each of us experiences it a bit differently.

The Full Moon in Pisces can open you up to an encounter with your Spiritual Source, in whatever way that has meaning for you. The Pisces Moon beckons us to "come to the edge" and peer into the unknown, so that you can take your experience back into the known world and use it to expand your understanding of that world.

The Moon is conjunct Chiron and Neptune. Ah—the Chiron-Neptune conjunction! With all the drama of the Cardinal Cross lately, you might have forgotten all about them. Chiron is back in Aquarius now until next February.

The Moon is in dissociate conjunction with Chiron and Neptune (meaning they're not all in the same sign). I think dissociate aspects are much more interesting because they connect signs that don't naturally combine in the way the aspect indicates. Conjunctions usually link planets in the same sign. Dissociate conjunctions bring together planets in signs that have a semi-sextile relationship.

Semi-sextile aspects try to bring together sign energies that are "close but not quite aligned." It's like having a superficial friendship with your next door neighbour but you don't usually have enough in common to form a meaningful friendship. However, when the planets are conjunct from adjacent signs, it can be like discovering you can have a deeper relationship with your neighbour—or like you can't stand them and you're hooked into a serious dislike with them (depending on the planets involved).

In our case, we have the Moon in Pisces conjunct Chiron and Neptune in Aquarius. Pisces and Aquarius both think in terms of the vast field of possibilities. Both are idealistic and "trans-personal," and tend to be associated with a positive regard toward others, each in its own way. Aquarius tends toward being very humanitarian and identifies with the greater community of humankind. Pisces can be very compassionate and empathic, while connecting with a vast sense of Oneness in the Universe.

While Chiron and Neptune are comfortable in this trans-personal context, the Moon is much more subjective and personal. So, if you are able to find ways to connect on a personal level to the transpersonal experience of life, you will benefit from this Full Moon and can go with the flow. Chiron can provide the chance for healing as part of this process, too. However, if you get stuck in a narrow ego identity, you might become a bit overwhelmed or feel like the vastness of life is rolling on and leaving you behind. The Chiron factor could also bring up memories of past wounds, grief or disappointments which would need to be processed on a personal level.

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In general, don't be surprised if you have some very active dreams during this time, as well as easily tipping into altered states of consciousness. This could mean something as simple as daydreaming and feeling unfocused, to outright psychic impressions and picking up on other people's moods and feelings. It will help to keep grounding yourself by bringing yourself back into your body, through things like taking a bath, physical movement or eating something.

Mercury is now retrograde, having turned direction just 4 days ago. So far this has been one of the most disruptive and difficult Mercury retrograde cycles I've seen in a long time (if not ever). I think there are two reasons for this. For one thing, Mercury is largely unaspected throughout most of this retrograde cycle, other than brief aspects from the Sun and Moon and some minor aspects here and there (like semi-sextiles). Another thing is that Saturn opposite the Jupiter-Uranus conjunction has been jumbling up our lives for a while now and adding an unaspected Mercury retrograde to the mix is just the cherry on top of the ice cream.

It's helpful to try and go with the flow of this erratic Mercury as much as possible. Mercury seems to be taking us the long way around almost everything these days. It's best not to fight too much with him or he just gets even more ornery. The Pisces Moon conjunct Neptune can be good background energy to help you resign yourself to the inevitable Mercury mayhem. It's a bit like trying to walk a BIG strong dog on a leash, who's headstrong and indomitably curious. It's more like the dog is walking you! You're best to let him lead you off the path to sniff out all the interesting squirrels, tree trunks and garbage cans rather than trying to insist he stay on the path. You'll get where you're going eventually; it will just take a bit longer and might take more energy to get there. Try not to plan anything you have to get to on time, or leave yourself lots of extra time to get there.

Venus and Mars are still closely conjunct in Libra, having been exact just 4 days ago. They travel together a few degrees apart for the next several weeks, first in Libra (Venus' abode) and then in Scorpio (Mars' realm) after mid-September. However, Venus is slowing down for her upcoming retrograde cycle and Mars finally overtakes her on Oct.03. Venus gets huffy and turns her back on him when she retrogrades on Oct.08. The divorce happens in mid-October as they head off in different directions. Venus has a change of heart and finally catches up with Mars again in May 2011, when they kiss and make up in Taurus (back in Venus' abode again).

Saturn is now exalted in Libra, where it has more balance and forward focus than when it was in Mutable Virgo. It has just passed its final square to Pluto and final opposition to Uranus. Jupiter (traditional ruler of the Pisces Moon) is still in Aries, and still closely conjunct Uranus which has stepped back into Pisces for a few months. Jupiter in Aries is the only planet in a Fire sign at the moment, making its quest for truth, knowledge and something to believe in our primary access to our enthusiasm, drive and energy.

The Cardinal Cross is still hovering overhead. (Read my articles on the Cardinal Cross.) It has been very hard on most of us, putting us through our paces and driving us to achieve more. A lot of people have felt like Sisyphus, the King in Greek mythology who was doomed to roll a rock uphill, watch it roll back down, and then have to go back down the hill and roll it back up again—for all eternity!

Thankfully, we are not cursed with the same fate and will soon see the Cardinal Cross dissipate. Its effects will slowly start to ease up on us as Saturn moves out of orb by the end of September. Faster planets (Sun, Mercury and Moon) will take Saturn's place but they too will move beyond the T-square by early October. (Hint: buy the Champaign now!)

We'll see a return of some of this energy in June 2011 when Saturn stations direct within orb of Uranus and Pluto, but this will last for only a few short months and will probably be more to tie up loose ends and put the finishing touches on our Cardinal Cross learning. (As an interesting side note: the asteroid Sisyphus has been in Virgo throughout 2010 and is now about to move into Libra and conjoin Saturn! This makes it yet another participant in the Cardinal Cross until mid-September.)

So, we're not out of the woods yet. The Pisces Full Moon can potentially give you the ease and surrender to the process that can see you through these final months. Be careful not to overindulge in escapism (alcohol, drugs, gambling, overspending, etc.) or it could have the effect of throwing alcohol on a fire when trying to put it out—it might just make things worse. It will help to have faith in the process and be determined to see it through to the end. If you start to lose energy, hope, focus or clarity about what you're trying to do and why, I'm available for private readings. Together we'll help you find your second wind and refocused in your best direction. Contact me for more information or to schedule a reading.

Aug.26 – Sun trine Pluto (02:52 of Virgo/Capricorn)

Your sense of purpose is strong now, as you are able to tap into a deeper level of energy and determination. Your personality is likely to be more forceful now, which can be great if you need to make a strong impression but perhaps not so much in situations requiring delicacy or subtlety. Your ability to see below the surface of things is especially clear, and it may be possible to unearth secrets or get at the core of unconscious patterns (yours or others'). This is a time when your personal presence may come across as somewhat "larger than life," so you need to remember that a little goes a long way during this transit. This could be a time when you suddenly find the strength to stand up and assert your personal power in a situation that has felt overwhelming or discouraging. On the other hand, if you are still struggling to learn how to own your power, without using nuclear bombs to make your point, you may still feel a bit overwhelmed or daunted by this transit. In that case, take smaller steps and don't try to push the river.

Sep.03 – Sun conjunct Mercury Retrograde (10:54 of Virgo)

When the Sun conjoins Mercury Retrograde, there is a new beginning in the areas of awareness, communication, use of information and exchange of ideas. This may or may not be heralded by a recognisable event or experience, although for a day or two your consciousness may shift. Your awareness and mental concentration may take a dip into the unconscious, becoming unusually murky and muddy, or it may rise into ultra-consciousness and become suddenly clear and lucid (afterwards returning to the usual Mercury retrograde fog). A new awareness or perspective on what has unfolded during the retrograde cycle thus far may surface now, or an unworkable attitude or perception of these events may fall apart under the weight of new information. This shift of awareness may be obvious or subtle, sudden or gradual, but this transit marks a turning point in the Mercury retrograde cycle. It also marks a time when mental awareness often goes further underground, for the rest of the retrograde period, making it a little harder to operate objectively and rationally in the outside world. Spend some time in your right-brain, intuitive, non-rational mind, which can coax your mental creativity and inventiveness to the surface.

Sep.04 – Venus trine Neptune (02:52 of Libra/Aquarius)  (Sep.05 in AU)

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

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Sep.05 – Venus enters Retrograde Shadow (27:39 of Libra; in Shadow until Dec.21) ("What's the Shadow?" Read article about Venus Retrograde.)

Venus now enters the span of the Zodiac where she will go retrograde from Oct.08 to Nov.18 (between 13:13 Scorpio and 27:39 Libra). This is similar to when Mercury enters the Shadow, except that we are now building up themes and energies related to Venus – beauty, art, balance, harmony, love, pleasure, desire, fairness, diplomacy, finances, possessions, values. As Venus approaches her retrograde station, you may notice increasing experiences and events that emphasise these areas.

For example, money and income could either increase or decrease during the Retrograde phase, and then often returns to its former state after Venus turns Direct again. Romantic possibilities may heat up during the Venus cycle, only to cool down again afterwards if there is no real substance to sustain it. Or, existing relationships might go through a period of confronting and sorting through issues or problems that have been lurking in the background. If the relationship is on shaky ground, this might push it to the breaking point, forcing you to do some serious renegotiating or consider ending it. In this time of global economic struggle, this Venus retrograde cycle could lead you to rethink and recalibrate your financial motivations and ambitions on an individual level, as well as all of us collectively on national and global levels.

Venus will be retrograde in Scorpio throughout most of this cycle, even though Venus won't actually enter Scorpio until Sep.08. The Scorpio side of this cycle could bring up issues about control and empowerment in Venus-related areas. For example, in relationships you or your loved one might become prone to jealousy, possessiveness or power struggles. On the other hand, your sex life might start to burn with passion! You may find you're drawn to a deeper level of intimacy, connection, honesty and authenticity with others in general. If your relationships going through tension or conflict, check to see if you are being a bit superficial, overly guarded or even a bit too pushy; it might be leading the other person to feel frustrated, suspicious or defensive.

In financial matters, it can be a good time to pay off debts, catch up on your accounting or bring your insurance up to date. If finances are often problematic for you, this could be a good time to sit down and probe into the underlying feelings, motives and impulses behind your income, spending and investment patterns. For example, do you spend too much money impulsively on luxury items? What feelings would come up if you were to pace yourself in your spending? Perhaps you experience feelings of deprivation or boredom or anxiety or fear that you'll never have that stuff if you don't buy it now? You could probe even deeper to see where those feelings originated in the past. This is just one example, but you get the idea.

Venus actually has fascinating retrograde cycle patterns that repeat over an 8 year period. Did you know that Venus will be retrograde only in certain signs within your lifetime? That's because of her long-term retrograde pattern. Anne Massey has written a terrific book called Venus: Her Cycles, Symbols & Myths (or click here if you're in Canada). It tells you everything you need to know about the complex patterns of Venus retrograde cycles and stations, as well as how these can manifest in your life. There is also information about the mythology of Venus and Venus-like figures. Highly recommended for anyone who wants to learn more about this intriguing planetary cycle.

Sep.05 – Venus trine Chiron (27:44 of Libra/Aquarius)  Sep.06 in AU

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

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Wandering Star astrology jewelry
Astrology - a light in the darkness

So: How's 2017 going for you so far?

Ready for some fresh insight? Sure you are!

An Astrology Report will light your way through 2017.

Insightful • Affordable
Smart • User-friendly

Shop Now!

From Evolving Door
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Next Update:  NEW MOON in VIRGO - September 8, 2010. Available by Sep.08.

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