Low-Down Archives for Aug-Sep 2012

New Moon in Leo, Full Moon in Pisces

Chart for the New Moon in Leo
Chart for the New Moon in Leo

Aug.17 – NEW MOON in LEO (25:08 of Leo)

NEW MOON in LEO

Ottawa, Canada and
Washington DC, USA:

Aug.17, 2012, 11:54 AM EDT

London, UK:

Aug.18, 2012, 4:54 PM BST

Sydney, AU:

Aug.18, 2012, 1:54 AM AEST

"What's a New Moon?"

Read more about the Sun-Moon cycles.

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

One of the primary Leo traits is creative self-expression. When we think of creativity and self-expression, we think of the drama and theatre, movies, art and music, dance, and so on. Or we might think about how some Leos can be a bit self-centered, or wanting to be at the centre of attention and discovering ways to get the applause and appreciation they need.

One way or another, Leo's creativity is very much about performance. The Leo part of us takes what we feel, desire, value and aspire to, and feels an impulse to express it, demonstrate it, celebrate it and share it with others. And, of course, doing that in a way that is individual and unique to who we are is half the fun and half the reason for doing it.

Performance is something designed to evoke a particular response from the audience. We might want to make someone laugh, or move them to tears. Perhaps we're trying to show someone a different way of perceiving something. For example, a movie might show people what it's like to have lived in Elizabethan times or in 1960s America, and give them a new perspective about the events of those times or the people who were involved in those events.

The Leo part of us needs to be acknowledged, appreciated and heard. Not all Leos want to be on centre stage, though. There is the Leo lion who roars and demands respect and lives to be noticed. And then there is the Leo pussycat who would rather purr quietly in someone's lap or curl up in a comfy chair.

Each type of Leo expresses itself very differently, but both want respect and acknowledgement, even if what is acknowledged is simply the boundary of wanting to be left alone. Leo the lion needs an audience, whether that is a roomful of people who applaud or just patting yourself on the back for your achievements and victories.

Expressing oneself also has consequences. This is perhaps the Saturn side of Aquarius, the traditional ruler of Leo's opposite sign. Sometimes the consequences are positive and helpful, like when some music moves you and coaxes out feelings that need a way to express themselves. How often have you thought of a song that expresses how you're feeling – it's like a mirror reflecting back your inner feelings, as if to say, "Yes, this is what it feels like to be you right now."

And yet sometimes the effects of self-expression might be questionable in whether they're positive or negative, welcomed or forced, stimulating or aggravating. From a certain perspective, we might see the ability to move people into a new perception as being the same as manipulating them into abandoning their own current view and steering them to a new view that suits your needs better.

Is this good or bad? Well, it depends on how you look at it. You might think it's best to push someone into seeing things your way because you believe your way is better than theirs. Maybe it is, maybe it isn't. Maybe both of your ways are messed up; or maybe both are positive and can peacefully co-exist as long as you look beyond them to a greater perspective.

The New Moon in Leo challenges you to question the validity and value of how you express yourself to others, and whether the consequences and effects of that self-expression are positive, negative, neutral or something else entirely.

Arrowhead aspect pattern

The New Moon is staring down the apex of an Arrowhead aspect pattern (also known as Thor's Hammer). The Sun-Moon conjunction is in stressful sesquiquadrate aspect (135° or a square-and-a-half) to the Uranus-Pluto square (90°). Uranus and Pluto have been hovering over our skies like a huge Mothership, making us wonder if the aliens inside are friendly or hostile. Should we welcome them and take them to our leaders, or run like hell and pray we don't get eaten?!

With the Arrowhead pattern, the feeling is not that different. You have a powerful chunk of force in your hand, but how do you know if you're using its power for "good" or "evil?" And how do you tell which is good and which is evil? Isn't something that is experienced as negative and evil by one person, something that is considered good and positive by someone else? How can we place a moral value on what we do with that powerful energy, without getting caught in the net of relativity?

Maybe we're asking the wrong questions. Maybe better questions are something like: what exactly is good and evil, and how does it benefit or damage us? If those things are relative, then why do we embrace them by believing that our perspective is the right one?

When the Sun and Moon (very personal energies) gets into a tussle with Uranus and Pluto (very trans-personal energies), it's like putting that lion and pussycat into the same room with Godzilla and King Kong. And all of them are feeling grouchy.

That Leo self-expression suddenly starts to look potentially dangerous, or at least something so powerful you want to think twice about how, when, why and with whom to use it.

Yod aspect pattern

Mercury, also a channel for expressing ourselves (mostly verbal, but other ways too), is now direct (Hallelujah) but is at the pointy end of a Yod, being quincunx (150°) to a tight Pluto-Chiron sextile (60°). This is likely to make Mercury pretty cranky, himself, being unsure what words to use to convey what he's thinking—and probably not being too clear on what he's thinking either! The trine (120°) to Uranus doesn't help a lot, since it's likely to make Mercury just open his mouth and let any old thing come flying out. Of course, "Mercury" = your own thoughts, ideas, words and mouth.

The result is a rather large sign at the side of your path that says, "Slow down, think twice and use your powers the same way you would with your grandmother (assuming you're on good terms with her)."

One possible saving grace for the New Moon is the sextile to Mars and Saturn, who themselves are slowly separating after a long building conjunction. Been feeling like you're trying to run through hip-deep molasses? Feel like you're in one of those where everything is in slow motion as you watch the hero desperately trying to outrun an exploding fire? There are a number of culprits in our skies we could hold responsible, but the Mars-Saturn conjunction is probably top of the list.

As frustrating as it might be, there's a positive side of this. Being forced to slow down has actually given you a chance to prepare before taking action, strategize before reacting, and build energy gradually that will last instead of blowing it all in one impulsive leap.

And right now, that strength and preparation are allies to whatever the Sun-Moon decide to do with that Thor's Hammer aspect pattern. In other words, it's especially important to really think about what effect you want to have and to be very clear with yourself about why you want to do it, since a little is likely to go a very long way.

Note: the next Full Moon is on August 31st, making it the second Full Moon in August. Many people call this a Blue Moon, but do you know what that really means? Read my article on the Blue Moon (expanded and improved).

Aug.18 – Mercury trine Uranus (08:01 of Leo/Aries)  (Aug.19 in UK, AU

Unusual ideas, flashes of insight and seeing unexpected possibilities are all part of this transit. You may find it easier to be open-minded right now, especially about insights that have eluded you. Your ability to see beyond your usual horizon of perception can bring visionary brainwaves, as well as a fun sense of humour. You might be inspired to experiment with something new or do something out of character. You might have an impulse to break free of old habits or constraints. This can be a very liberating transit that opens your mind to new possibilities and ideas. However, be careful that you don't become so liberated and spontaneous that you become erratic, hyper or reckless. Words may come tumbling out of your mouth before you've had a chance to consider their wisdom, or you might find yourself talking non-stop and interrupting, creating a bit of awkwardness in those around you. On the other hand, you might also find the clarity and vision that gives you the words to speak your truth with new conviction. It's a great time to do some writing or other form of self-expression, especially if it's spontaneous or involving technology.

Aug.20 – Sun sextile Mars (28:15 of Leo/Libra)  (Aug.21 in AU

You have power, energy, motivation and enthusiasm to fuel your ambitions now! The catch is you will need to reach for it; it won't simply "come to you." Reach into your past experience and reach forward toward your vision of what you want. This will help to guide your actions and focus your assertive energy in the direction you want to go. This is a good time to make progress toward a goal. Or, you might want to take steps to leave behind inhibitions that have held you back. This transit can also make you more apt to take risks and find the courage to do things you might not otherwise do. Your tolerance for obstacles may be shortened, and making it easy to assume the only way through them is by using direct force. This may or may not be wise, depending on how extreme you want to take it, so use your good judgment and don't throw away your diplomacy.

Aug.22 – Mercury leaves the Shadow (12:32 of Leo)  ("What's the Shadow?"  Read my articles about Retrograde Cycles.  Read my article about Mercury Retrograde.)

Mercury finally leaves the shadow—the part of the zodiac where it was retrograde. This means the confusion, delays and miscommunications of the last 2 months have mostly dissipated and things should be more or less back to normal (whatever that is). The difference is that you now have the benefit of seeing things from a different perspective after having reconsidered, rethought and rehashed information and perceptions over the past 2 months. This gives you more choices than you had before. In fact, you may find that although you thought something was a good idea a month or two ago, you now realize that a different approach, decision or way of understanding it is better. If you've been waiting until Mercury finished with the retrograde cycle before you made a final decision about something or taking action on something, this is the time to take another look at whatever that is. Just don't forget your common sense, and remember that Mercury is only one factor to take into consideration regarding the timing of a decision. Use your best judgment and wisdom.

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

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.

Aug.22 – Mercury sextile Jupiter (13:33 of Leo/Gemini)  (Aug.23 in AU

You may have an abundance of ideas and words to express them under this transit. There is the potential (if you reach for it) to put ideas, facts and thoughts together into a cohesive whole. You may find you can understand the overall patterns in a situation, or you are able to see the Big Picture, better than usual. New insights and a change of perspective may abound, as your stream of consciousness flows abundantly with optimism and visionary possibilities. You may find yourself more talkative than usual, as you try to share and convey the new ideas, inspiration and knowledge coming into your mind. Write down your best ideas for later development, since you may be having too much fun now playing with ideas to want to stop and make them manifest just yet. There is a chance that you may be so elated and confident that you might come across as a bit overbearing or even as a "know-it-all," so be sure to listen too.

Aug.23 – Sun square Lunar Nodes (00:28 Virgo/Sagittarius)  ("What's a Lunar Node?")

When the Sun squares the Lunar Nodes, your sense of purpose and identity appear to be in conflict with the lessons you need to learn in life. It may feel like you're forced to take a detour around your direct route to your destination (whatever that might be). This may only be true on the surface – if you look deeper at the situation (or possibly in retrospect), you'll probably find that your sense of self is actually helped by the benefits that you are able to get on that detour, which would would have missed if you hadn't been diverted from your original path.

Sun square the Nodes is sometimes called "Moon Wobbles," which is a bit of a misnomer. The Moon itself doesn't wobble or even necessarily interact directly with either the Nodes or the Sun. Rather, the Moon part of us (the inner, feeling, intuitive, sensitive part of us) can feel a bit "wobbly" or unsteady when the Sun squares the Nodes. The "Moon Wobble" effects are said to build and dissipate for up to 10 days before and after the Sun-Node square is exact.

Aug.23 – Mars enters Scorpio (until Oct.06)  (Aug.24 in AU

Mars now swaggers through Scorpio – its own sign, by traditional rulerships. Our impulses, willpower and forceful intent are more likely to be intense, passionate and controlled (or controlling) under this transit. Sexual energy may run high, although this may be a hunger for emotional intimacy and deep closeness, as much as it is a drive to satisfy a physical urge. Jealousy, anger and revenge may be more easily triggered, since passionate feelings and instincts are closer to the surface and may be harder to keep under discreet control. This can also be a time of potent creative and transformative energy, since the same emotions and drives that can be so destructive can also provide fuel for powerful self-expression and growth. This energy can also provide a formidable resource when used to fight for a cause – just be sure that the cause (and your methods of fighting) are consistent with your ethics, principles and integrity.

Aug.24 – Sun opposite Neptune (01:44 of Virgo/Pisces)

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.26 – Mars trine Neptune (01:41 of Scorpio/Pisces)

This transit can bring a mystical, imaginative, compassionate aura to Mars' normally direct, fast, aggressive, self-focused energy. You may feel inspired to act on faith, confront with compassion, and react gently. On the other hand, it can be much easier to be motivated by something that turns out not to be what you thought it was. Much can depend on how impulsive your actions are and whether they are based on preplanning and research. We may tend to see our actions as righteous and justified. Creative energy is usually strong, whether this is used literally in the arts or in finding creative solutions to conflicts and problems. Our anger and aggression may be expressed in a way that is compassionate and intuitive, although our assertive edge might also be blunted a bit too much. It might help to think of the snake in the old parable – even if you choose not to bite if someone steps on your tail, it doesn’t mean you can't hiss.

Aug.29 – Sun trine Pluto (07:02 of Virgo/Capricorn)  (Aug.30 in UK, AU

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.

Aug.29 – Mercury sextile Saturn (26:03 of Leo/Libra)  (Aug.30 in UK, AU

It can be easier to take a logical, practical approach to problem-solving and decisions now. It's a good time to make plans and work out the logistics of how you're going to get from "here" to "there" in pursuing your ambitions. Or, you may find it's time to bring closure to finished goals, by distilling and systemizing what you've learned in the past several months. This will probably require a bit of effort on your part to make it happen, but the opportunity is there if you choose to take it. This transit can bring mental stability and the ability to apply your mental focus in a practical and grounded way. It may be easier to see things realistically and objectively. Creative energy can become productive and rewarding, if you use it methodically or logically.

Aug.29 – North Lunar Node enters Scorpio (until Feb.18.2014)  (Aug.30 in UK, AU  ("What's a Lunar Node?")

When the North Lunar Node is in Scorpio, its opposite point, the South Lunar Node is in Taurus. Together they form an axis of energy which, in this case, moves toward Scorpio and away from Taurus. At the North Node, you take in the energy; you take on new awareness and learning and you confront (or are confronted by) new challenges. For roughly a year and a half, you are learning about empowerment: how to stand your ground and strengthen your resolve. You also have the opportunity to undergo fundamental changes and reinvent some part of your life: transformation. You will be called upon to maintain your centre, which means you've got to "get real" with yourself—your feelings, desires, impulses and your urge to control the world around you. The primary lesson of Scorpio is that you can only control what's inside of you; and in order to control that, you have to reach deep into the part of you that can stare down an obstacle or threat in your way, even (especially!) if that obstacles lies inside yourself.

At the South Node (Taurus, in this case), we let go of something that is no longer needed. Once you've learned the less on the South Node, you release it; move it from the foreground to the background. The lesson of Taurus is maintaining your ground, but Taurus may do this arbitrarily, out of stubbornness or habit; the stability, possessions and sensuality become an end in themselves. From Scorpio's perspective, they are a means to something more, something deeper – stability allows you to reach deeper into yourself; material wealth becomes shared abundance; and sensuality can be explored as a sensory adventure, not simply for feeling good.

The Scorpio-Taurus themes will also play out in the houses in your Natal chart where these signs reside.

The North Node is in Scorpio from February 1994 to July 1995, August 2012 to February 2014, March 2031 to December 2032, and December 2049 to January 2051.

Aug.30 – Sun opposite Chiron (07:19 of Virgo/Pisces)

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.31 – Mercury enters Virgo (until Sep.16)  (Nov.01 in UK, AU

Mercury moves into its own sign of Virgo, where it brings an awareness of health, healing, work and service. This is a good time to be analytical, methodical and focused on improvement. But be careful not to get so lost in details or perfectionism that you can't see the forest for the trees. This energy is well spent by finding ways to make your work and the pursuit of your goals more efficient and effective. Try organising your activities better and prioritizing them according to what works well and what needs improvement and how. This is especially true for any health issues that keep getting pushed to the back burner. Whatever your plans, this transit can help you organise an effective strategy to move you forward.

Chart for the Full Moon in Pisces
Chart for the Full Moon in Pisces
Is this a Blue Moon?

Is This a
"Blue Moon?"

We've often been told that the second Full Moon in the same calendar month is a Blue Moon. Since the Full Moon on August 31st is the second Full Moon in August, it is indeed a Blue Moon by that definition.

But wait! What does it mean to have a Blue Moon? Is there even such a thing? The truth is the current popular definition of a Blue Moon is actually incorrect—but the deeper story is even more weird and wonderful!

Read my improved and expanded article about Blue Moons and find out what's really behind the "Blue Moon" lunacy!

Blue Moon Lunacy!

Aug.31 – FULL MOON in PISCES (08:33 of Pisces)

FULL MOON in PISCES

Ottawa, Canada and
Washington DC, USA:

Aug.31, 2012, 9:58 AM EDT

London, UK:

Aug.31, 2012, 2:58 PM BST

Sydney, AU:

Aug.31, 2012, 11:58 PM AEST

"What's a Full Moon?"

Read more about the Sun-Moon cycles.

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

What's the difference between imagination and illusion?

At what point does moving beyond limitations mean you have simply lost your way?

What separates faith from gullibility?

If you're open and trusting, how can you know if you're being manipulated or used?

And how can you be proactive, assertive and empowered without losing your essential innocence and peaceful aura?

These will be the challenging questions at the Full Moon, to wrestle with and explore until the next New Moon (Sep.15).

 

But one creature said at last, 'I am tired of clinging. Though I cannot see it with my eyes, I trust that the current knows where it is going. I shall let go and let it take me where it will. Clinging, I shall die of boredom.'

The other creatures laughed and said, 'Fool! Let go, and that current you worship will throw you tumbling and smashed across the rocks, and you will die quicker than boredom!'

But the one heeded them not, and taking a breath did let go, and at once was tumbled and smashed by the current across the rocks.

Yet in time, as the creature refused to cling again, the current lifted him free from the bottom, and he was bruised and hurt no more.

All quotes in this article are from Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah, by Richard Bach

Pisces is known for its association with imagination, fantasy, illusion, deception and surrender. Depending on how they're used, any of them could be a force for healing and growth or for confusion and damage.

For example, imagination is an essential tool for creativity and inspiration, which can help you move into a better place in your life. On the other hand, it could also be used as an escape from the difficult parts of your life, which ironically can keep you stuck in the very thing you're trying to escape from.

There's a part of our humanness that longs to surrender to something greater than ourselves. Imagination is the quality that allows you to envision the benefits you can get from letting go, that you're unlikely to get by holding on. But that can be tricky business. If you surrender, you also give up control—at least overt control. It means putting yourself in the hands of something other than your personal will.

If this sounds risky, that's because it is! The trick is to recognize that surrender doesn't mean you have to give up your choices. The thought of surrender sends many of us running screaming to the nearest foxhole to defend our vulnerability, our fear, our distrust and our need for certainty.

And he said until them, "If a man told God that he wanted most of all to help the suffering world, no matter the price to himself, and good answered and told him what he must do, should the man do as he is told?"

"Of course, Master!" cried the many.

"And what would you do ...if God spoke directly to your face and said, 'I COMMAND THAT YOU BE HAPPY IN THE WORLD, AS LONG AS YOU LIVE.' What would you do then?"

And the multitude was silent...

If surrender feels like too big a step, consider acceptance. Acceptance essentially means you stop hurling yourself against the brick wall of whatever is stubbornly refusing to comply with your demand that it change. This isn't surrender in the sense of giving up or giving your power away, but bringing yourself back to the moment and letting everything else fade into the background.

We can get lost in the projected future or in the past that haunts us. There is a healthy place for the past and future in our lives, but when we get overwhelmed it helps to just bring ourselves back to what is: the Now.

Worry, on the other hand, can interfere with our ability to do that. It's the opposite of surrender. Whereas surrender relaxes into the present moment, allowing all else to fall away into the background, worry focuses all of our attention on something we fear and pushes other things to a lower priority where we can't deal effectively with them. Even if we focus exclusively on something we want, worry focuses on the fear that we won't get it. And this tells the story of the best of Pisces as opposed to the worst of Virgo, its opposite sign.

Worry is obsessive hyper-vigilance combined with waiting for something that hasn't happened yet. Here's the logic: if we take our focus away from what we fear (will or won't happen), then we can't monitor it. If we can't monitor it, we can't be ready to react if things get worse; nor will we be ready to pounce when the long awaited opportunity finally arrives.

A cloud does not know why it moves in just such a direction and at such a speed. It feels an impulsion...this is the place to go now. But the sky knows the reasons and the patterns behind all clouds, and you will know, too, when you lift yourself high enough to see beyond horizons.

To believe that only worry will empower us to be ready for these things (good or bad) implies a fundamental distrust of ourselves. If we really want (or don't want) something that badly, how could we not recognize it when it happens?

If it comes and goes without our notice, then maybe we've moved on from, or outgrown, our need for it. Perhaps you longed for a pony when you were young. Now that you're an adult, you may get the same fun from driving your car or from horseback riding, but you've probably moved on from wanting a pony.

Another possibility is that we really hunger for something other than what our desire focuses on, which we think (or used to think) would become more accessible if we could just have the thing that just passed us by. Rather than wanting the pony, as such, perhaps you thought it would make you popular with your school mates. Maybe you were lonely and thought that your relationship with a pony would fill the need for social connection.

Acceptance means you let go of the obsessive need for external life to change in order for you to be happy or content or fulfilled. Acceptance says, "Whatever I do or don't have in my life right now, I have myself and I have the Now." The Now moment is sustainable and provides what you need to get to the next Now moment—unless, of course, you are in imminent danger, in which case you must do whatever you need to do to protect yourself and/or others with you (e.g. a child). In that case, vigilance is a necessary survival mechanism.

In order to live free and happily, you must sacrifice boredom. It is not always an easy sacrifice.

The Full Moon in Pisces presents a number of obstacles or issues that may require you to choose between worry and surrender. With the Sun in Virgo and the Moon in Pisces, we have the classic battle between these two. Virgo is about worry and trying to oversee and control every little detail so that the outcome has no other choice than to go the way you want it to. (This is not all there is to Virgo, of course, but it is one of the qualities of Virgo that could create a challenge during this Full Moon.) Pisces is about surrender and allowing yourself to become part of something greater than yourself. (This is not all there is to Pisces either, but is one of the qualities of that sign that you may need to grapple with.)

Everything else in the chart turns on the Sun-Moon hinge. There are several Wedge-like aspect patterns that all involved the Sun-Moon opposition.

Hard Wedge aspect figure to Venus

Venus forms what I call a Hard Wedge (involving a semi-square to the Sun: 45°; and a sesqui-quadrate to the Moon: 135°). These aspects are exact to the minute, meaning that the energies are especially strong and focused. Venus is about receptivity, balance, beauty, love and harmony.

Irritation Wedge aspect pattern to Uranus

In this case, she presents a challenge: if you surrender, do you also surrender your right and ability to choose? With Venus in Cancer, she asks: How can I be safe if I am not watching out for danger? Alternatively, she may ask: if I want to give nurturing to someone else, does that mean they must give up their right to choose? Must they accept what I have to give, whether they want it or not, in order for me to feel good?

Uranus forms what I call an Irritation Wedge (which includes a semi-sextile to the Moon: 30°; and a quincunx to the Sun: 150°). Uranus, the planet of chaos and the unexpected, could make it hard for the Virgo Sun to know how to anticipate and keep up with things that seem erratic and potentially dangerous (or at least unwanted). Uranus seems to say, "In order to surrender, you have to develop a tolerance and acceptance for the unpredictable. There are no guarantees that you will get what you want or need. You might have to put your personal needs aside in favour of what is best for the group."

Every person, all the events of your life are there because you have drawn them there.
What you choose to do with them is up to you.

Jupiter makes a T-square that is a bit wide at 6 degrees of orb (square to both the Sun and Moon: 180°). Nevertheless, with Jupiter being the traditional ruler of Pisces, this is still significant. Jupiter is expansion. The Sagittarian side of Jupiter (its other sign) is more about going after something and expanding your reach to do so. The Piscean side of Jupiter's expansion is about becoming open and relaxed. As you let go of worries, fears, distractions and expectations, your mind, body and spirit unfold like a rose in bloom.

T-square aspect configuration to Jupiter

This quality of Jupiter becomes a source of stress for a number of possible reasons. Expansion that isn't balanced with purpose or direction could simply become laziness, if you are overtaken by a lack of motivation to do something that needs to be done (as part of your participation in life on Earth). Jupiter being in Gemini might also want to expand your mental focus and thereby just feed new ideas and possibilities into Virgo's tendency to worry.

If you tend to be cautious about allowing yourself to surrender and let go, Jupiter's urge to expand could be experienced as a threat or as something to guard yourself against. On the other hand, Jupiter's passion for understanding and wisdom can also be the impetus that challenges you to move beyond your comfort zone so that you don't either get stuck in worry or dissolved and lost in surrender.

You are never given a wish without also being given the power to make it true.
You may have to work for it, however.

On a more positive note, Mars and Pluto each form a happier garden variety Wedge aspect figure (involving a sextile to the Sun or Moon: 60°; and a trine to the other: 120°). In fact, Mars and Pluto together form a Cradle aspect pattern with the Sun and Moon, where their respective Wedge patterns are opposing and interlocking (see diagram).

Cradle aspect figure to Mars and Pluto

With all the erratic, challenging and potentially blocking energy on the other side of the Sun-Moon opposition, Mars and Pluto seem to be a bit more reassuring: "It's okay – movement, action and change can come relatively easily. You don't have to fight so hard. It's enough to put intention into action."

On the other hand, if surrender and letting go feel like a fate worse than death to you, then Mars and Pluto might just become allies to those fears by providing the ability to exert tight control over what happens. This can be a good thing if you have been unfocused and need to pull yourself together to make something happen.

However, this might also just aggravate your worrying, distrusting nature. Don't mistake your paranoid readiness to defend yourself with the conclusion that there is therefore something "out there" that you must defend yourself against. They're not the same thing. Better to use that Virgo Sun to do a reality check and see what you're actually dealing with, and how much might be coming from your own free-floating anxiety.

There is no such thing as a problem without a gift for you in its hands.
You seek problems because you need their gifts.

Chiron is the one energy that becomes an integral part of the Pisces Full Moon without triangulating out from it. Chiron is our human woundedness, and is associated with the concept of the Wounded Healer – someone who, through their own struggle with their woundedness, gains the wisdom and experience that allows them to help others who have similar struggles.

Full Moon in Pisces conjunct Chiron

Chiron isn't about victoriously conquering that which had wounded us, but rather it is more about learning how to live with the wound. Chiron doesn't say there's nothing that can be done about the wound, but he recognizes that there will be scars and sometimes lasting effects that must be accepted and dealt with on an ongoing basis. You can't "un-ring the bell." You can't go back and stop the past from happening. You can only go forward, do what you can and find a way to accept and live with what can't be changed.

At the Pisces Full Moon, Chiron is like a mirror that will show you the core of any struggle you have with surrender, imagination, illusion, deception and faith. Perhaps you collapse yourself into surrender too easily, and thereby abdicate your responsibility to do what you can to help yourself. Or maybe you want so badly something that you believe surrender will give you, that you're willing to ignore the stuff that comes with the package that includes stuff you don't want.

Maybe surrender is so terrifying that you would rather suffer the pain of a thousand wounds rather than give yourself over to that force greater than yourself (which your fear assures you is not a friendly force). Or maybe you're stuck between being too afraid to surrender, yet with too much desire for its gifts to walk away from it, in which case Chiron may show you what consequences you pay as a result of your indecision.

The Full Moon in Pisces isn't all struggle and difficulty. Pisces is also about compassion, creativity and a connection to a greater sense of purpose and higher love. With so much stress going through the Full Moon chart, it could be that it is by struggling with these obstacles and challenges that you will be able to embrace these other Pisces qualities.

You are led through your lifetime by the inner learning creature, the playful spiritual being that is your real self. Don't turn away from possible futures before you're certain you don't have anything to learn from them. You're always free to change your mind and choose a different future, or a different past.

Sep.01 – Mercury opposite Neptune (01:30 of Virgo/Pisces)  (Sep.02 in AU)

Inspired thinking, mental fantasy, imaginative ideas and lucid dreams are likely during this transit. This can result in enormous creativity that sees inspiration and magical ideas in the world around you (be sure to write them down to develop later). Your communication may be unusually intuitive and inspiring now. However, it can also be a time when your perceptions about reality are a bit off and coloured by wishful thinking and irrational conclusions. Doing a reality check with a trusted friend or advisor is a good idea, especially if you are trying to make important decisions right now. But be sure to explore any non-rational or irrational thinking, since the veil between the conscious and unconscious mind is thin now and you can learn much by observing your thoughts and perceptions.

Sep.03 – Venus square Saturn (26:28 of Cancer/Libra)

Finances, relationships, social contacts and/or pleasures may seem blocked or require extra effort right now. Manifesting your desires may require added hard work, but this struggle could also bring you closer to your goals. It may feel like there is a huge rock blocking your path that keeps you from fulfilling your heart's desire. It may be necessary to face some difficult aspect of your situation before it is possible to know how to proceed. This is ultimately a problem to be solved by confronting that which is unrealistic, unworkable, or just not in your best interest. This can also be a time when you arrive at a crossroads and must make some firm choices, or when circumstances might force you to change your direction. This transit can make your choice clear, although it might not be the one you hoped for.

Sep.03 – Mars sextile Pluto (07:00 of Scorpio/Capricorn)

This can be a time of intense and powerful energy. It can be especially so if you focus your intention to tap into and use this energy deliberately, although if you are triggered into a reaction you might find it is more forceful than you intended. This can be a good time to make changes that have far-reaching, transformative effects. Your powers of persuasion can be stronger now, so be careful you don't try to force things to the point of making something happen that perhaps should be left alone or treated with a gentler touch. Sex and other passionate urges may rise more easily now, although obsession and the need to control your surroundings might come up with them. This transit is perhaps best used to refresh your sense of passion and transform your sense of purpose and direction.

Sep.03 – Mars trine Chiron (07:07 of Scorpio/Pisces)  (Sep.04 in AU)

The healing of assertive energy and willpower mark this transit. It is bound to be easier to get past any inhibition you might normally feel about being assertive, expressing frustration and anger, and putting things into action. Perhaps you are able to reconcile some internal guilt or fear that has held you back in the past. Or, maybe you are finally able to reach a state of acceptance or resolution that allows you to move beyond a conflict or struggle that has been keeping you stuck. Applying your willpower to problems has a better chance of succeeding now because you're likely to be more attuned to the path that leads to peace rather than more conflict. It's possible you might choose to use this energy in the defence of another person, a cause or something else you feel passionately about. It's possible to focus your energy, intent, motives and actions in ways that are healing, healthy, balanced and constructive.

Sep.04 – Mercury trine Pluto (07:00 of Virgo/Capricorn)  (Sep.05 in AU)

It is possible to dive deep below the surface now, in your perception of situations, other people and yourself. If you have been working on trying to understand the deeper motivations and dynamics of what is happening in your life, there could be a breakthrough now. The light may finally go on in the darker corners that have eluded you, and your penetrating insight. You could find a way to articulate these perceptions and speak your mind in a way that is unusually powerful or intense (so be careful you don't inadvertently blow your audience out of the water). This transit can bring an opportunity to shed and leave behind old worn out perceptions or ineffective forms of communication. Try writing down your thoughts and ideas to capture the energy of this transit. This is the only exact pass for this transit, since Pluto was out of range when Mercury came through this area two months ago.

Sep.04 – Mercury opposite Chiron (07:04 of Virgo/Pisces)  (Sep.05 in AU)

You could experience extra sensitivity, compassion or sympathy toward the problems and suffering of others under this transit. One possibility is that you encounter more people than usual who are struggling with problems that are brought to your attention. Another possibility is that you might be on the receiving end of the results of their suffering – for example, if someone takes out their frustration or discouragement on you. Yet another option is that you may encounter others who are sensitive to and able to offer help for your own ongoing problems and struggles. You may be in a special position to have insight into the problems of others, or they into yours. Exchange of information, experiences, ideas and theories could be useful. You might also experience a difficult interaction with someone that raises an old issue about style of communication (for example, words might be spoken with good intentions that instead cause hurt). This is a good time to listen and observe, and you might catch a glimpse of some ironic or paradoxical truth.

Sep.05 – Mercury sextile Mars (08:14 of Virgo/Scorpio)

There is a potential now to find the courage to speak your mind and say what needs to be said, if you focus consciously on doing so. In fact, your ideas and words may come so quickly and easily that it's hard to stop them from tumbling out of your mouth before you've had a chance to evaluate the best way to say them. Communication is probably easiest and most effective when it's direct, concise and quick, although it might also be a bit blunt or pointed. If you need to confront someone about a difficult situation, this transit can provide courage and clear words to help you do that – although perhaps a bit too forceful when a more delicate, sensitive touch is called for. It is a time when you might find the nerve to take risks, or to defend yourself if the need arises (especially verbally). This is a good transit for creative problem solving and trying on decisions to see if they fit.

Sep.06 – Pluto sextile Chiron (06:59 of Capricorn/Pisces)

Chiron is about acceptance of obstacles that don't have a clear solution, and mysteries and paradoxes that don't have a clear-cut explanation. Pluto is the process of transformation that requires something to "die" (move out of the way) in order that new growth and evolution can take place. These two energies work together very well. Both involve a certain level of acceptance of something that seems intolerable or undesirable.

Pluto viewed from Chiron

Artist's vision of Pluto viewed from Chiron
© Dallas1200am on Flickr

These planets come together over a two year period in a sextile (60°) aspect, which combines these energies in a creative, capable and clever way. They actually have been hovering within a 6° orb since about 2010 and will remain there until around 2018. Over a very long period, these energies are forging a gradual process whose purpose is to generate healing and transformation. This could involve physical healing (most notably where chronic health problems are concerned), although more likely it relates to psychological and spiritual healing. In addition, this transit can provide an undercurrent of healing that supports the collective woundedness we are currently struggling with.

The thing about both of these planets is that things often get worse before they get better. Chiron's message is that by accepting and acknowledging our woundedness, we will find opportunities for healing—and that some wounds can't be healed completely. Chiron is about healing what can be, and finding ways to accept what can't—and to discover that there are hidden gifts that the struggle can bring you. The trick is not to get stuck in perpetual suffering, despair or helplessness.

Pluto's process is to dig below the surface to find the authentic essence that is neither apparent nor fully accessible until you shed that top layer that covers what's underneath it. By letting go of one thing, you gain access to something behind it, and the experience can be transforming—if you trust the process.

Chiron and Pluto together stimulate healing through struggle that can be strenuous and demanding. However, the nature of the sextile aspect is progressive change. Your experience of that struggle might be more resilient or gentler than with a hard aspect. It's up to you to do the work, but Chiron and Pluto can provide some profound tools and resources for the task. Pluto is the planet of hidden riches, and Chiron reveals the gift of wisdom that comes from experience. Look for those tools in unexpected, unusual or secret places.

This is the second of 5 exact passes of this transit: May.12, Sep.06, Apr.04.2013, Oct.28.2013 and Feb.25.2014.

Sep.06 – Venus enters Leo (until Oct.03)  (Sep.07 in AU)

This can be a very creative time, as Venus' love of beauty combines with Leo's creative flair for the dramatic. Find ways to feel good by making your surroundings and yourself beautiful and reflective of your inner spirit! High fashion and vogue style are "in," and crudeness and ordinariness are out...unless you want to turn them into a fashion statement. ;-) However, it's probably wise not to become so identified with the outer appearance of yourself or others that you lose sight of the person, situation or context that it's all happening in. The aim is to pamper yourself with pleasures that enhance your quality of life, without inflating your ego with synthetic self-esteem and glamour without substance. Relationships, interaction, finances, values and resources all need to include ways to express your identity, valour and "heart." Some light-hearted fun and play can be a good place to start.

Sep.07 – Sun square Jupiter (15:11 of Virgo/Gemini)

You may be inspired to expand far beyond your usual boundaries during this time, although this may or may not work in the way you hope it will. It can be a time of challenge, when you decide that now is the time to move beyond your current horizons and make the ultimate push for something you believe will bring you happiness, fulfilment and prosperity. How successful you are will probably depend on how prepared you are for what comes next. Your judgment and your ability to see things objectively and realistically can be a little "off" during this transit, since your hopes and ideals might distort what is actually possible. It can be easy to overestimate the envisioned results, or you might underestimate the amount of work necessary to sustain your dream and prevent it from being just a flash in the pan. Try to avoid being overconfident and making promises you can't keep (including to yourself).

Sep.08 – Mercury square Jupiter (15:19 of Virgo/Gemini)  (Sep.09 in UK, AU)

You may be seeing the weak links in your knowledge, understanding or beliefs right now. Your ideas and words might seem to fall short of what your mind envisions, or you might be unable to convince others of your point of view. As a result, it can be tempting to over-compensate with more self-confidence, faith or optimism than you actually have. Or, you might give out "too much information" by over-explaining or through nervous rambling. Alternatively, you might encounter someone else who does this and perhaps have a blaming or judgmental reaction to them. This is an opportunity to learn something about how you might jump to conclusions or blame, possibly triggered by a situation that challenges your beliefs, opinions or perspective. To learn more about this part of yourself, try taking some time to think about what is really bothering you or what you really need to say in that situation. There may be a higher truth to be found if you open your mind to something you're reluctant to acknowledge, rather than looking for a "final truth" around which to close it.

Sep.10 – Sun conjunct Mercury (18:12 of Virgo)

During this transit, your sense of self and purpose can become merged with what you think, perceive and say. On one hand, this can make for an easy flow of ideas and communication from inside your brain to the external world. It can also increase your perceptions and observations of the world, as you file it all away in your internal database. On the other hand, you may find yourself a bit tongue-tied, as it could be hard to separate your sense of self from your perceptions and ideas enough to find the words to adequately express them. In that case, just observe and go with the flow; the words will come later. It can also be a time when it's not easy to be objective, especially about yourself and how you bring yourself to the world around you. It's like your Being automatically expresses and sets into motion the things you think, perceive and want to say. This can help you to feel like your sense of self is shining effortlessly, but if your thoughts and perceptions are in conflict with other parts of you (e.g., emotions, needs, objectivity) then it might become a time when you act a little too quickly with blinders on. Strive for balance and self-honesty before you act.

Sep.13 – Venus trine Uranus (07:11 of Leo/Aries)

Spontaneity and liberation burst into your relationships, finances, resources and pleasures. You might feel compelled to try something completely different that shakes up the "same-old-same-old" routines you're used to. The upside is that you have the opportunity to break free of some old habits and breathe some fresh air into your life. But the downside could come in the form of impulse spending beyond your budget, or recklessness in your interactions and relationships. Strive to break free of what holds you back from being your true self, without destroying the structure of order in your life.

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© 2012 Wendy Guy. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied without the author's written permission. Photo of canyon storm by pdell via MorgueFile.com. Paintings of Cancer the Crab and Aquarius the Water Bearer by Johannes Regiomontanus (Deutsche Fotothek) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons. Photo of horse race by seriousfun at MorgueFile.com. Photo of fish courtesy of FreeImages.co.uk


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