The Low-Down on the Far-Out

Full Moon in Pisces, Planetary Transits

Chart for the New Moon in Virgo
Chart for the New Moon in Virgo

The wound is the place where the Light enters you.
~ Rumi

Sep.05 – NEW MOON in VIRGO (13:04 of Virgo)

NEW MOON in VIRGO

Ottawa, Canada and
Washington DC, USA:

Sep.05, 2013, 7:36 AM EDT

London, UK:

Sep.05, 2003, 12:36 PM BST

Sydney, AU:

Sep.05, 2013, 9:36 PM AEST

"What's a New Moon?"

Read more about the Sun-Moon cycles.

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

Healing or wounding? Which is better?

Seems like a stupid question. Of course healing is better! Wounding is the problem that healing is meant to fix, right? Wounding: bad. Healing: good.

If you look deeper, though, you can start to see that the line between them becomes rather blurry.

Wounding is often necessary for healing to take place. You might be thinking, "Well duh! If there isn't some kind of wounding in the first place, what do you need healing for??"

However, as bizarre as it sounds, there is an ironic twist to the healing process that involves making things worse in order that they can become better.

For example, lancing a boil on the skin, when done properly, will drain the infection and allow healing to begin. A tumour may need to be surgically removed in order for the body to put itself back together again. A badly set fractured bone might have to be re-broken so that it can be set straight and avoid chronic problems.

Similarly, recovering from psychological trauma typically requires facing the wound and the pain around it. This may feel like you're being re-traumatized since you're reliving the original experience to some extent.

And yet, just as it is crucial to wash the dirt out of a physical wound so it will heal cleanly, it is just as important to go inside yourself to separate the misconceptions and unresolved feelings from your true sense of who you are.

So, wounding can be an essential part of the healing process. Perhaps re-wounding is a better word for it. Re-wounding is the process of breaking down the initial coping mechanisms that protected the original wound, which now need to be removed or renewed in order for healing to continue.

Re-covering involves clearing away any hindrances to healing and allowing what is injured or dis-eased to rebuild itself under a fresh layer of protection. However, clearing away the previous "bandage" that has now outlived its usefulness is necessary for a new phase of healing to take place.

For example, someone who suffered from violence might need to retreat from the world for a while in order to heal and learn how to feel safe again, but if they don't find a way to grow beyond their hiding place it will interfere with their ability to survive and thrive in the world.

Ideally they will need to learn how to re-enter the world to some extent, but this means they need to let go of their initial protective shell that has allowed them to feel safe since the traumatic event. Breaking down their walls enough to venture out into the world is like breaking the bone again so that it can be set properly and heal more effectively. Otherwise you risk becoming stuck in the initial stages of healing.

The difference between the truth and a lie is that both of them can hurt, but only one will take the time to heal you afterward.
~ Mira Grant, Feed

Chiron is often known as the Wounded Healer. And yet, after looking at the strange wounding/healing dynamic, perhaps it should also be known as the Wounding Healer. Chiron will often bring into our lives something we don't want, and yet this is also an opportunity to heal in a fresh way. Chiron, discover in 1977, has often been associated with the rise of the alternative health awareness and popularity. Homeopathy is one example.

Someone once explained to me how homeopathy works. What I took away from this was a concept of "the wound that heals." Here's how I understand it. (Please bear with me – this may be a bit different from how homeopathic practitioners understand how their system works, but it is a very useful analogy in explaining how Chiron works. I am not a trained health practitioner – this is just how I think about this concept.)

A sick body is one that is out of balance. So: imagine you are standing up straight, leaning forward. You've probably been gradually leaning that way (becoming out of balance) for so long that it just feels normal after a while. You might not even realize that's why your body doesn't feel right.

Traditional western medicine largely works by forcing you to stand up straight again. This might work well for a while, but whatever led you to lean that way to begin with could return. The body takes a largely passive role, allowing itself to be manipulated and redirected by the medical treatment.

The emotion that can break your heart is sometimes the very one that heals it...
~ Nicholas Sparks, At First Sight

Homeopathy works on an entirely different principle of "like heals like" – in other words, it seems counter-intuitive since it supposedly works by applying more of the problem to the problem. It's like fighting fire with fire. Hair of the dog. Wouldn't this just make a bad thing worse? Well, yes and no.

Homeopathic medicine works (in my understanding of it) by doing precisely what you think is the wrong thing, but in a very tiny amount. Homeopathy uses a substance in ultra-diluted form to give the body and brain a wee push. It's as if you're standing there, leaning forward, and someone comes along behind you and gives you just a tiny nudge forward.

Yikes!! You wave your arms in the air, arch your back and struggle to right yourself and recover from being shoved into an imbalance crisis – a healing crisis. With your body now having corrected its imbalance through its own natural balancing mechanisms, it is (at least theoretically) more stable and resilient through its own healing ability.

So things often can become worse before they get better, which is part of the healing process. By worsening the imbalance condition slightly, your body's natural correction mechanisms are jolted into action. If the person nudging you had pushed you too hard you would have fallen on your face, making it much harder to recover and possibly doing more damage. But because the nudge was just a minute one, it woke up your innate balancing mechanism which was then able to recover from the crisis – from the re-wounding.

There are some wounds that one can heal only by deepening them and making them worse.
~ Auguste de Villiers de l'Isle-Adam

Chiron works a lot like that. It tends to make things just a little bit worse in order to wake up your survival instincts and sharpen your awareness of what needs fixing in your life. Wherever natal Chiron is in your chart, by sign and house, is where you have a longer-term, deeper journey of healing and rebalancing to do throughout your lifetime. And wherever transiting Chiron currently is, and how it is interacting with your natal chart, shows the area of your life where you are undergoing much of the healing crisis work right now.

So paradoxically, when things seem to get worse it often means they're in the process of getting better, but it's crucial that you allow the healing process to unfold. When you try to stop it, numb it, avoid it or deny it, this can often interfere with that natural healing process.

On the other hand, it can be equally problematic to try to hide inside the wound, pain or dis-ease by allowing it take over your identity. It's healthy to acknowledge, accept and embrace the reality of the wound in your life, and the healing process that can bring you back into balance. However, you are more than your wound. If you become overly invested in seeing yourself as the wounded person, then you risk becoming stuck in the very process that is intended to lead you beyond the problem.

This doesn't mean you have to endure suffering without ever having the aid of something to make the journey more bearable. A little escapism can give you a vacation from the hard work of healing, enabling you to keep moving. However, running away from it indefinitely—by pretending the problem doesn't exist or by wrapping yourself in it like a cocoon—is likely to just aggravate and perpetuate the problem. The process ultimately needs to unfold in its own way, with you as a willing (even if reluctant) participant.

Other people are going to find healing in your wounds. Your greatest life messages and your most effective ministry will come out of your deepest hurts.
~ Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here for?

So the question becomes how best to undergo such a journey. The Virgo New Moon is only too happy to provide specific instructions! The Sun-Moon conjunction (a.k.a. the New Moon) is opposite Chiron in the New Moon chart. Since Virgo is well versed in health and healing matters, and since Chiron is the Wounded/Wounding Healer, himself, healing and woundedness are likely to be primary themes for the upcoming 4-week lunar cycle. However, being in opposition, they are likely to have rather different ideas about how to address and remedy these issues.

Virgo approaches healing by "getting it precisely right." She carefully measures the dosage of whatever medication or remedy is being administered to the patient. She takes pains to log the symptoms accurately, fine-tune the diagnosis and arrive at a credible prognosis. If something is incorrect, it could create side effects that are impeding or even damaging, and we mustn't have that!

Mercury semi-sextile Venus

Virgo is ruled by the cerebral Mercury. Although being mega-strong in his own sign of Virgo, he has no major aspects to other planets, so his usual motor-mouth is not easily heard through the noise of the rest of the chart. Mercury does, however, have a very tight semi-sextile (30°) aspect to Venus, who is also virtually unaspected but also very strong in her own sign of Libra. So they form a rather exclusive coalition of expertise that combines the practical pursuit of excellence with the finesse for achieving finely tuned balance.

So, the Sun and Moon parts of you turn to Mercury for instructions on how to navigate his Virgo territory. Mercury is likely to tell you to choose your resources and alliances carefully, giving priority to quality over quantity. It will also help to remember that while it's vital to get the mechanics and technical details right in whatever you're doing, it's just as important to connect with others (as well as yourself) in a personal way.

In other words, remember that the patient is also a person – both aspects of whoever you're dealing with are equally important. Whether you're focused on fixing some part of your own life that's broken or trying to let go of bad habits or helping someone else achieve something important or whatever – it won't be enough to simply perform the required actions, nor to assume that as long as everyone is smiling and enjoying themselves then all is well. The most effective approach will combine the two. And sometimes simple connection with another human being means more than all the medicines in the world.

Only people who are capable of loving strongly can also suffer great sorrow, but this same necessity of loving serves to counteract their grief and heals them.
~ Leo Tolstoy

The New Moon is involved in a somewhat rare aspect pattern called a Mystic Rectangle. The Sun and Moon oppose Chiron, while Jupiter opposes Pluto, and there are trines and sextiles forming a box around these cross-pieces. On one hand, this configuration speaks of healing through rebalancing that which is out of whack (Sun/Moon opposite Chiron). On the other hand, you are also challenged to search for the right reasons to do it, as well as the most authentic integrity to do it with (Jupiter opposite Pluto).

Mystic Rectangle aspect pattern

In this way, you not only can achieve your goal of setting things right, but you also can maintain a meaningful sense of purpose and motivation to guide your progress. In other words, what you do (to establish healing and balance) is equally important as how you go about it and why you do it.

In the Mystic Rectangle, there is conflict which results in struggle – not just one but multiple conflicts that complicate each other (the two crossing oppositions). This struggle tends to be active internally, while on the outside you may appear more at ease than you feel inside (the trines and sextiles). In a way, although the multiple struggles seem to complicate each other, if you are able to find and become grounded in your centre, the stresses can actually work together to create a flow of released energy.

Think of the oppositions as two legs that must work hard to coordinate muscle, sinew, bone and blood into motion, and yet can work cooperatively to perform the action of walking—or they could argue with each other and just get tangled up in a mess.

In the same way, this Mystic Rectangle could become a demanding but rewarding struggle in your life by finding ways for complication and difficulty to work together. For instance, these conflicts might be supported by similar resources (e.g. motivation, skills, encouragement), or directed toward a common purpose (e.g. a vision or goal that can benefit both).

On the other hand, you could become fragmented by trying to push yourself in too many directions and not doing any of them very well. It all depends on whether these different priorities are brought together in a collaborative or competitive way.

Water does not resist. Water flows. When you plunge your hand into it, all you feel is a caress. Water is not a solid wall, it will not stop you. But water always goes where it wants to go, and nothing in the end can stand against it. Water is patient. Dripping water wears away a stone. Remember that, my child. Remember you are half water. If you can't go through an obstacle, go around it. Water does.
~ Margaret Atwood, The Penelopiad

There's a very powerful aspect in the New Moon chart that is likely to amp up the intensity level of everything else that's happening: Mars square Saturn. This aspect becomes exact on Sep.09, although its influence reaches from around Aug.27 to Sep.22 (depending on the orbs you want to use). It takes place at 7:52 of Leo/Scorpio (Mars/Saturn respectively), so if you have any natal planets from 2-14° of the Fixed signs (Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, Aquarius) you are likely to feel this particular transit more than others.

Mars square Saturn

You may have observed this energy building in yourself or in the world around you lately, in the form of argument, conflict, posturing, power struggles and resistance to authority. Mars squares Saturn (90°) on average every 11 months, but this can vary from about a month to over a year between these transits. The last time they squared each other was January 2013, and they won't square each other again after this one until January 2015.

Mars square Saturn is not usually experienced as a waltz through the park. This energy is where the rock meets the hard place, as Mars tries to push in one direction and Saturn digs in his heels and pulls in another. This particular Mars-Saturn has the added weight of Saturn being in Scorpio (a very dense, determined, tenacious and demanding energy at the best of times) and Mars being the traditional ruler of Scorpio. That means Saturn is going toe-to-toe with his sign's Lord and Master, but neither of them is likely to suffer this gladly! At best they may decide that they can accomplish more by working together, and at worst they could create so much conflict and friction that you might want to grab some popcorn and enjoy the fireworks show.

The best use of this energy is to convert all that discord into determination—not to demand to have your way no matter what. Instead, grasp the most authentic and honest truth about your situation and your experience of it, and then use that as your cutting edge to forge and construct a better outcome.

The New Moon in Virgo is about searching within to heal your own wounds, as well as reaching out to mend that which is damaged around you. Seek not to force the world to bend to your will, but rather to sculpt yourself in the most effective way so you can contribute the best of who you are to the world around you.

Wounding and healing are not opposites. They're part of the same thing. It is our wounds that enable us to be compassionate with the wounds of others. It is our limitations that make us kind to the limitations of other people. It is our loneliness that helps us to to find other people or to even know they're alone with an illness. I think I have served people perfectly with parts of myself I used to be ashamed of.
~ Rachel Naomi Remen

Sep.07 – Sun sextile Jupiter (15:06 of Virgo/Cancer)

This is a time when your understanding of the Big Picture and your place within it has the potential to click into place. As a result, your confidence and self-esteem can be quite high right now. Your ability to see opportunities and possibilities more clearly can produce an experience of being "lucky." Your insight into life and the world around you may be especially bright, optimistic and inspired. This is a "feel-good" transit, when your sense of self can seem to expand and become free. You may feel especially connected to spiritual energy during this time. Just be careful that all this self-assurance and "knowing" doesn't backfire, by overestimating the extent of your knowledge or underestimating the reaction of your audience. It is possible to become a bit self-indulgent under this transit, so be careful not to overdo it. Beyond a reasonable caution, this is a transit to enjoy!

Sep.09 – Mercury enters Libra (until Sep.29)

Mercury glides into Libra, bringing awareness and new ideas about your style of interaction and how you communicate with others. It may be easier to speak (and listen) with gentleness, fairness and diplomacy during this time. Thoughts, ideas, communication and negotiation could reach a state of increased balance and harmony, and you may be especially sensitive to other people and your environment. You could be more motivated to balance criticism or anger with gentleness and diplomacy. On the other hand, interaction could also become a carefully crafted game in which truth, honesty and facts are replaced by manipulative strategy and "white lies" designed to avoid hurt feelings. Indecision and "fence sitting" are possible under this transit, since you are able than usual to see many different sides of a situation. It might help to bounce your ideas and thoughts off someone who can be a good sounding board and give you feedback. It may be easier now to reach a win-win solution to conflicts, which is fair to all concerned – but be careful you don't make incorrect or self-serving assumptions about what the other side wants.

Aug.28-Oct.12 – Multiple Conjunctions and Squares

Venus and Saturn conjunct the North Lunar Node. Mars square Saturn, North Node and Venus. These transits are dispersed throughout September, and in one case even going back to last July and forward into November. Some occur together, while others are spaced apart, but it makes sense to comment on the cumulative effect they all are likely to have.

Saturn-Venus-Node square Mars

Venus, Saturn and the North Lunar Node all line up together in conjunction on Sep.17-18/19. That alone is significant! Venus cnj Saturn on its own could be an opportunity to commit to something that brings you Venusian pleasure or comfort (like love, sensory delight, financial stability or purchase of various goodies). On the other hand, it might bring obstacles, hardship, struggle, heaviness or endings, very possibly in or affecting those same areas.

At best, this transit can push you to get very practical and grounded about which direction you want to go in your life from here. Saturn conjunct the Node will certainly give you some pause to assess whether you are still pointed in the right direction. It could signify the end of a phase of progress, growth, accomplishment or struggle you've been going through, especially since 2002 when they last conjoined. The current conjunction may challenge you to finish out this recent phase and plan out your course for the next 11 years. It's a good time to take stock of what you've achieved and what is still left to be done. It's time to recalibrate your cosmic GPS and plot your course.

Bringing Venus into the picture for a few days, at best, can remind you that whatever horizons you're pointing yourself toward from here, it's important to take into account what you love and what's important to you. It may be a good time to do a reality check on your priorities. Are you living according to your dearest values? If not, how could you change that? It doesn't have to be a huge change, but commitment to the change is the most important part of it.

Venus, on the more difficult side, might also bring awareness about the abundance in your life – do you have enough of what you need? Do you enjoy enough pleasure in your life to make the hard work worthwhile? Are you able to balance what you're doing for others (job, family, etc) with making sure you are also doing enough for yourself? Alternatively, Venus and Saturn might also bring awareness that you are indulging too much in these things and not giving enough energy to the responsibilities, duties and necessities in your life.

This triple conjunction is also squared by Mars, although by the time the Venus-Mars square becomes exact, both have moved out of orb with Saturn and the Node. Mars square Saturn is one of the more difficult transits at the best of times, often bringing obstacles and conflicts that are hard to get around. Diligence and persistence usually pays off, as long as the problem isn't trying to tell you that "you can't get there from here" and need to reconsider what or why you're trying to do it.

With Mars also poking and prodding Venus and the Nodal axis, these hurdles and difficulties may well have greater implications for your life direction and how you approach the cutting edge of your personal development. Therefore, rather than bang your head against a wall if you feel stuck, it might help to look at a broader perspective and how your current situation is being affected by the bigger picture.

Date Aspect Position(s) In Effect Dates
Mars square Saturn 9 September 2013 07:52 of Leo/Scorpio Aug.27 to Sep.22
Mars square North Node 10 September 2013 08:51 of Leo/Scorpio Sep.01 to 20
Saturn conjunct North Node 17 September 2013 08:35 of Scorpio Jul.26 to Nov.18 *
Venus conjunct North Node 18 September 2013 08:25 of Scorpio Sep.12 to 24
Venus conjunct Saturn 18 September 2013 08:45 of Scorpio Sep.11 to 26
Venus square Mars 28 September 2013 19:45 of Scorpio/Leo Sep.14 to Oct.12

* Depending on the orb you want to use, we've actually been feeling the Saturn-Node conjunction from the Saturn station on Feb.17, when it was about 8½° shy of the Node. They stayed within that orb from late-February to mid-April.

Sep.09 – Mars square Saturn (07:52 of Leo/Scorpio)

The impulsive forward action of Mars meets the serious structure of Saturn. The resulting friction can often generate considerable heat in the form of frustration, argument, conflict and stress – but also productivity and results for hard work. Your efforts may seem thwarted and your actions blocked at every turn. Your sensitivity to problems with authority figures can be especially high, as well as your sensitivity to others not cooperating with your own role as an authority figure. The youthful, free spirit in you is somehow required to deal with the serious, responsible, cautious side of you, and a power struggle between the two energies can easily result. If one side wins out over the other, either depression and guilt or rebellion and obsession may result.

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However, you are not without power or ability! This friction can also be put to use in very productive ways. Your energy, desire and goals can be made manifest and concrete – even if possibly forced by circumstance. Obstacles can strengthen us, if we work with them instead of just fighting against them. To minimise interpersonal problems, remember that assertiveness is important, but aggression or rigidity will usually only get the other person's back up. You may find yourself in a situation where you must defend or assert your personal boundaries. Or, you might find it difficult to comply with someone else's boundaries. If the heat from this transit starts to overwhelm you, take some time out, find a safe (perhaps creative?) outlet to vent your feelings, and then find a new way to approach the problem.

This aspect is in effect from Aug.28 until Sep.23. During this time, Mars also squares the Nodal axis (North and South Lunar Nodes) as well as Venus.

Sep.10 – Mars square North Lunar Node (08:51 of Scorpio/Scorpio)  (Sep.11 in UK, AU)

For a week or so, it might feel like the actions you must take to deal with current circumstances are at cross purposes to what you see as your higher purpose or optimal direction in life. You might feel at odds with others, or in the wrong place at the wrong time. On the other hand, this can be a time when being forced to take a temporary "detour" off your chosen path can bring an opportunity to gather new resources, information or insight that can actually help you more, in the long run, than if you had stayed on the main path. However, there's never any one way to experience a given transit. The question becomes: is veering off the main path something that enables you to avoid something you should be facing? Or is does this detour bring you to a new perspective or resources that you are resisting because it's off the main path? Either way, it's a good idea to balance your impulses and passions with mindful awareness.

Sep.11 – Venus enters Scorpio (until Oct.07)  (Sep.10 in PDT/PST)

Venus is the planet of relationships, interaction, beauty, pleasure and material resources. She struts through Scorpio with attitude! As a result, we may experience sensuality, sexuality and intimacy in a more intense, in-your-face kind of way. You might feel the need to establish a better balance of power with others that is pleasant and even-handed on the surface but also deals with the more gritty or intense energy that tends to lurk under the surface. It may be easier to attract what (or who) you want now, by focusing your intent and interest on the object of your affection and desire. However, there can also be a danger of becoming manipulative, controlling or devious to get what you want. Strive to become centred in your deepest heart's desire through steadfast self-honesty. Aim to avoid becoming obsessed with power, wealth or lust so that you lose sight of your true light inside. This is a good transit to take joy in your instinctive nature.

Sep.14 – Venus trine Neptune (03:28 of Scorpio/Pisces)  (Sep.13 in PDT/PST)

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.

Cardinal Grand Cross with Mercury

Sep.14-18 – Cardinal Grand Cross with Mercury (8-17° of Aries, Cancer, Libra, Capricorn)  (This is a Cardinal Cross aspect.)

This Grand Cross is similar to the one in August that included Venus in the corner where Mercury is now. At that time, Venus brought a focus to the Jupiter-Uranus-Pluto T-square that was about balance and harmonizing conflict. Now Mercury steps up to bat with an agenda about how our perceptions influence our thoughts and expectations. It also is likely to reveal how our communication of what we perceive, think and expect will either strengthen an effective approach to difficulties and challenges, or now it might just reinforce misconceptions and confusion. Words matter. Concepts matter. The meaning behind the words – even the unintended or unconscious meaning – matters. This is a good time to think twice before assuming that your perceptions are accurate and before speaking (what you believe is) your truth. There may be far more going on than you realize.

Sep.14 – Mercury square Pluto (08:59 of Libra/Capricorn)  (Sep.15 in AU)

You are faced now with a challenge to empower your communication and perceptions, although this may not come easily. It could involve having to face some rather difficult truths that might be a bit disturbing or hard to accept. However in doing so, you gain a deeper understanding and acceptance of yourself, your situation and your role within it. Obsessive or persistent thoughts that are morbid or paranoid are possible, which could be helped by finding something more positive to focus on or a creative outlet. Communication (from others or yourself or both) could be intense, intimidating or even downright damaging, since it may be tempting to get caught up in power struggles and domination. But communication can also be used now to heal, by cutting through hypocrisy and insincerity in order to reach a deeper authenticity and truth – like lancing a boil so that healing can take place.

Sep.14 – Mars trine Uranus (11:16 of Leo/Aries)  (Sep.15 in AU)

This is a very high energy time, although not necessarily predictable or reliable. Your energy may come in spurts or in response to situations that don't normally affect you very much. You may find an upsurge of daring and confidence that seem to come out of nowhere. Or your sexual desire might suddenly come alive. This transit can inspire motivation that is spontaneous, sudden or unexpected. It might make your physical or emotional energy fluctuate or feel a bit "wired." However, it can also give a burst of courage and drive that can propel you out of a rut or inspire you to break free of limitations. Freedom, liberation and asserting your individuality are key areas that can ignite this energy. You might also find yourself involved in group activities, possibly in a leadership role or in a way that your ideas have a greater effect than usual on others.

Sep.16 – Mercury opposite Uranus (11:12 of Libra/Aries)  (Sep.15 in PDT/PST)

This is a wakeup call! You are asked to open your mind so that you can see something about your life, yourself or your situation that has eluded you until now. It might be a shocking revelation that changes your whole perspective...or it might also be a delightful surprise that adds a new dimension you hadn't thought of. However it manifests, you are in a position to see your situation more clearly and objectively – although this can also make it seem like this energy is outside of you and happening TO you. However, if you look closely inside yourself, you may see thoughts, perceptions and impressions that correspond to the external events and participate in the interchange. Emails, Internet chats, and interaction with technology may be part of this transit as well. Communication may be a bit erratic or unpredictable, so be careful not to speak thoughtlessly or carelessly. However, you may find that words and perceptions come to you intuitively and spontaneously.

Sep.17 – Saturn conjunct North Lunar Node (08:35 of Scorpio)  (Sep.16 in CST/CDT, MST/MDT, PST/PDT)   ("What's a Lunar Node?")

The light on where you're heading in life now shines on the planet of discipline, structure, responsibility and authority. The North Node is like a compass point that shows the direction where you'll find your greatest learning and growth. When that compass points toward Saturn, it's time to get serious about what you really want to accomplish in your life. If you already know what you want to achieve and know that it's realistic, this transit will likely involve a lot of planning, calculating, analyzing and preparation. If you've already been doing those things, then Saturn on the North Node could be a time when you "make it so!"

Sometimes Saturn is experienced as an obstacle in your path or a giant stop sign. Understandably, this can make for a very frustrating transit! When you hit a roadblock, it's usually because it's been there the whole time while you've tried to push past it. Sometimes pushing past something shows courage, strength and determination, although sometimes being blocked shows that you've missed something. The way you're going about it isn't working, or maybe there are consequences you haven't anticipated that will negate the results you're trying to achieve, or perhaps you're just not ready for what lies beyond the roadblock and you need to go back and do more preparation. You're bound to get a lot farther in this process if you can treat Saturn as a stern, tell-it-like-it-is friend who just wants you to do it right, than as a punitive parent determined to say no to anything you want.

Saturn last conjoined the North Lunar Node on Jun.04 2002. The next encounter after that is Apr.21 2025.

Sep.17 – Mercury sextile Mars (12:47 of Libra/Leo)

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.18 – Venus conjunct North Lunar Node (08:25 of Scorpio)  ("What's a Lunar Node?")  (Sep.19 in AU)

Your love, beauty and joy are especially visible to others right now. You are likely to be at your most attractive – both in body and personality. You could become a magnet for what you desire today – just be careful what you ask for, since you might get it! What you attract to you might be material abundance, admiration and appreciation from others, or perhaps a sense of well-being that brings you into a more beautiful balance with those around you. This can also be a time when you begin a new relationship or social contact, or perhaps you begin a journey to make yourself or your world more beautiful, loving and kind. At worst, or if other stressful transits are also in effect, you might also have a tendency to fall into over-indulgence, empty glamour or compulsive craving.

Sep.18 – Venus conjunct Saturn (08:45 of Scorpio)  (Sep.19 in AU)

The serious structure and responsibility of Saturn combines with the desire for pleasure, beauty and material abundance in Venus. This can be a good time to make concrete plans about financial matters (e.g., investments, budgeting, purchases, etc.), although this will work best if you do some serious research first, rather than simply going for whatever seems to "feel good." This is a time to begin a process of commitment, whether that involves developing your resources to achieve a certain goal, or negotiating the terms of a relationship or partnership. However, in order to clear the way for new commitments to flourish down the road, sometimes old commitments must be brought to a close first. So this may also be a time when previous involvements or plans may come to an end, especially if they no longer fulfil your needs or lack enough potential to reach your desired goals. In a similar way, you might find yourself blocked from being able to move forward in the areas of relationships, finances or pleasures. These areas may require some reworking or reconsideration before you're ready to proceed.

Sep.18 – Venus sextile Pluto (08:59 of Scorpio/Capricorn)  (Sep.19 in UK, AU)

Close one-on-one relationships with people (close friends, lovers, partners of all kinds) could possibly benefit by being taken to a deeper level now, through creatively combining balanced harmony with deep connection. Just be careful that intimacy and bonding don't go over the top into obsession or domination. There is a brief opportunity now to become more authentic in how you relate to those close to you and how you establish a balance of power with them. The trick is to do this without trying to suppress, control or overpower the other person's interests. Financially, it is a time when you may have an opportunity to profit in your dealings with banks, insurance companies, taxes, and other institutions that deal with collective money.

Chart for the Full Moon in Pisces
Chart for the Full Moon in Pisces

Your hearts know in silence the secrets
of the days and the nights.
But your ears thirst for the sound
of your heart's knowledge.
You would know in words that which
you have always known in thought.
You would touch with your fingers
the naked body of your dreams.
And it is well you should.
The hidden well-spring of your soul
must needs rise and run murmuring to the sea;
And the treasure of your infinite depths
would be revealed to your eyes.
~ Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet

Sep.19 – FULL MOON in PISCES (26:40 of Pisces)

FULL MOON in PISCES

Ottawa, Canada and
Washington DC, USA:

Sep.19, 2013, 7:12 AM EDT

London, UK:

Sep.19, 2013, 12:12 PM BST

Sydney, AU:

Sep.19, 2013, 9:12 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.

Pisces knows no bounds.

Pisces belongs to the great primordial sea of everything-ness and nothing-ness.

Pisces is two fishes swimming in different directions and yet magically converging again in the same place. Breathing in peace, breathing out love.

Pisces melts into the universal amniotic fluid. The Aquarian archetypal quest for equality now applies to everything and everyone. We are not only equal, we are indivisible, indistinguishable, integrated.

We are absolutely assimilated into All That Is. Resistance is not only futile, it is meaningless. It would be like trying to separate your body from the molecules, atoms and quarks it is made of. Everything is connected. All is One and One is All.

Nevertheless, we humans are in the paradoxical and wondrous position of being able to be aware of this Oneness as something in itself. To say "I am aware of the Universe" is to imply that "I" am separate from that Universe—at least enough to perceive it as something other than "me." In other words, we are able to objectify, to some extent, the very stuff we are made of and part of.

Is a fish aware of the water in which it swims? Perhaps not. But we humans have the ability to detect the universal "water" that surrounds us, and therefore to perceive ourselves as distinct beings.

The aim of life is to live, and to live means to be aware, joyously, drunkenly, serenely, divinely aware.
~ Henry Miller

The Moon is our Inner Nurturer – the loving, nurturing part of us that wants to cradle and cherish all that is around us. Life is so much easier when there are no disruptions in our ability to love and feel safe; when we are free to embrace and bond with anything and everything that we encounter. What a blessing to unreservedly say Yes to the world!

The Moon is also our Inner Child that longs to be cuddled and protected by the Universe. This is the primal memory of being completely enveloped within the amniotic fluid in the womb. Protected, safe, warm. The Moon within us instinctively seeks to recreate that oneness in the manifest world, so we reach out to bond with others. We connect, we merge, we see ourselves in and identify with the other.

When the Moon is in Pisces, we especially feel—or long to feel—that Oneness with the Universe. Our Inner Nurturer may yearn to reach out in unconditional oneness to connect with the world around us. Our Inner Child may hunger for that feeling of total safety, stillness and peace. We often feel a strong urge to express those longings through art, music, dance, beauty, love, compassion or prayer – all part of the Pisces magic. We want to just coast along with the flow of the Universe. It's all good. Everything will work out. Have faith.

If we believe that this Oneness is the ultimate state of being, it's easy to see discord, doubt and struggle as therefore being bad, inferior or detrimental. And yet, life is full of disagreements, conflicts, upsets and obstacles. What one person regards as good and wonderful might be experienced as objectionable or harmful by another. Differences seem to be an unavoidable part of life, and yet this marks the beginning of selfhood.

As much as we might see Oneness uniting us all, each of us is still an individual. I might like Roquefort Cheese, while you see only mould and can't throw it away fast enough. I adore strawberries, but you might break out in hives if you ate any. One of my favourite places on this planet is a beach on the ocean where I can just immerse myself in the rhythm of the waves and the salty smell of the air, while you might prefer to climb up a cliff, feeling the thrill of risk and defiance of gravity.

We're all wired differently – physically, mentally, emotionally and in what motivates us. So what happened to all that Oneness??

Each relationship between two persons is absolutely unique. That is why you cannot love two people the same. It simply is not possible. You love each person differently because of who they are and the uniqueness that they draw out of you.
~ Wm. Paul Young, The Shack: Where Tragedy Confronts Eternity

Individuality is a bit of a tough one for archetypal Pisces. Being an individual implies that Oneness is breakable – it is not absolute. Life is subject to conditions, variation and differentiation. How deep do they go? At what point do differences break apart the bedrock of unity that we supposedly share? Does that mean I share Oneness with a mass murderer? Then what does that say about me?? That I have the same potential in me? Oneness is supposed to be bliss – does that include the thrill of destroying the life of another human being?

Individuality is not for the timid.

In order to embrace your individuality, you must acknowledge and honour the ways you are different from others. You must be willing to risk separateness, estrangement and even loneliness. Others might misunderstand you, judge you, criticize you or think you're crazy. To the Pisces part of us that seeks peace, Oneness and connection, individuality might seem to be worth far less than the price that might be paid.

Not all of individuality is so stark and painful, of course – and even the difficult side of it isn't always as extreme as what I've described. It also brings joy and celebration through self-expression. This includes anything from creating fine art to planting a garden to singing in the shower.

Individuality strides arm in arm with selfhood. They both emanate from that mysterious core of our being where the magic of sentience and awareness is born. As we exercise and cultivate our selfhood, we are developing an identity, self-image and a vision of who we are.

Grace means that all of your mistakes now serve a purpose, instead of serving shame.
~ From People of the Second Chance

That's the bump in the road for Pisces. Individuality seems to be the antithesis of Oneness. It means we must learn to draw boundaries, which is a rather foreign concept to the most idealistic side of our Pisces nature. Boundaries mean exercising self-definition. But this divides and differentiates, which is the wrong direction for the part of us that wants to merge with All That Is. It means having to say No to some things, as well as identifying what to say No to and why. It's hard work!

Definition and differentiation lie more in the realm of Saturn, which is kind of everything that Pisces is not. Pisces embraces faith, surrender and idealism. Saturn is about delineation, proof, discipline and practicality. These energies mix together like oil and water that combine only with a lot of agitation and effort, and even then only somewhat and for short periods of time!

Mars, too, is not the easiest energy for Pisces to work with. All that self-sacrifice, surrender and passive acceptance can drive Mars to climb the walls looking for an escape hatch. He prefers to valiantly defend individuality, independence and autonomy. While Pisces looks to flow around obstacles (as in Margaret Atwood's wonderful quote in the previous update), Mars prefers to conquer them and hang them on a wall afterwards as his trophy.

Mars and Saturn almost seem like the nemesis of Pisces in its quest to remain connected to All That Is. Pisces knows that the independent ego can easily get in the way of that connection, so it will often lean toward self-sacrifice and selflessness. Mars and Saturn, on the other hand, want to strengthen and cultivate the ego identity and celebrate the selfhood that Pisces would rather dissolve. Quite the dilemma.

All these things shall love do until you that you may know the secrets of your heart,
and in that knowledge become a fragment of Life's heart.
~ Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet

Mars is the ability to assert yourself, to stand up and say no, or to stand up and fight for what you want. It means the ability to go against the flow sometimes, and it means the ability to pull back from being self-sacrificing and completely open. It means acknowledging that you are a distinct Self that is, in many ways, unique and separate from the world around you, as well as allowing yourself to be a bit selfish sometimes. After all, surely you're entitled to be counted on your own priority list.

Saturn also brings this sense of separateness. The sacrifice we make by being in a time-space continuum is to be separate from the world around us. It's the price of admission we must pay to exist within this physical reality system. You might sense and experience a connection with others. You can even believe that we are all ultimately connected. But it is still a distinct, autonomous You that is sensing, experiencing and believing.

That's how this physical reality system was set up. It's not necessarily a bad thing. However, this aspect of separateness can sometimes lead to a kind of existential disillusionment, disappointment, disorientation or loneliness in the Pisces part of us. And yet, to have a healthy functioning ego (as opposed to a dysfunctional, narcissistic ego) we must allow ourselves to stand independent from the universe of which we are an integral part.

Some see this as an indication that something is broken within themselves. But perhaps that is the very purpose of why any of us are here—to separate from the primordial nothingness and everything-ness, so that we can then rediscover and reunite with the everything-ness of the Universe. Maybe we are like children who must leave home in order to discover and cultivate who we are, so that we can then be welcomed home again. This time, you reconnect as a separate entity, as an entity in your own right; consciously, deliberately, intentionally. You can't reunite if you've never left, and in that reunion something new is created.

Therefore, ironically, Mars and Saturn are not the enemies of Piscean connection, but rather are the facilitators of the very process that ultimately can reconnect us to the Universe.

Now: just guess which planets are kicking Pisces in the Full Moon right now! Go on, guess, I dare you... ;-)

Your visions will become clear only when you can look into your own heart.
Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.
~ C.G. Jung

The Full Moon in Pisces is rather isolated from the rest of the chart. There are no major aspects to other planets. There is, however, a Quadriform Kite aspect pattern that ensures there's lots of "interesting" challenge to go around.

Quadriform Kite aspect pattern

A Quadriform (a.k.a. Thor's Hammer or Arrowhead aspect pattern) consists of two planets in square aspect (90°), which are both in sesquiquadrate aspect (135° or "a square and a half") to a third planet. This becomes a Kite pattern when the apex (third) planet is also in opposite to a fourth planet, which forms semisquare aspects (45° or "half a square") to the initial two planets. In this case the Moon is the apex planet and the Sun, opposite the Moon, makes it into a Kite.

All of the Quadriform aspects are part of the Square family of aspects, which all indicate stress, conflict and discord in some way. (Are we having fun yet?) Although these energies aren't usually a fun time, they are motivating and energizing. Squares and related aspects are what get you up off the couch to do something. Often that motivation comes because there's a problem that you simply can't stand any longer so you get mad and just do what you have to do to solve it or get past it. So these aspects tend to be difficult but also dynamic. You might experience this as either hardship or excitement, depending on whether you prefer a peaceful existence or live for the thrill of the challenge.

Mars has been square to Saturn for some time (exact Sep.09; in effect Aug.28 to Sep.20). Together they have been instigating the usual havoc, frustration and wagging of the middle finger to anyone who dares to annoy. Although it is now well past exact (and therefore regarded as weakening), these scoundrels are still packing a punch... And they form the square aspect in the Quadriform Kite with the Sun and Moon. Oh joy.

Your joy is your sorrow unmasked.
And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises was oftimes filled with your tears.
And how else can it be?
The deeper that sorry carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.
Is not the cup that holds your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter's oven?
~ Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet

So we have the two archenemies of Pisces squaring off to harass, stalk, provoke, exasperate and torment our poor little Pisces Moon. That means the Pisces part of you is especially challenged right now to become practical, draw healthy boundaries, learn to stand up for itself, and clarify a solid sense of identity. Pisces, being Pisces, would probably prefer to crawl away and hide in a cave by the sea and get drunk. In other words, there is a risk of trying to avoid—to the point of excessive escapism—the challenge, stress and struggle presented by Mars and Saturn.

Unfortunately, the escape isn't likely to work very well. Mars and Saturn don't give up easily, and the adverse situation in your life that's driving you nuts will still be there when you finally stagger back out of your cave. Better to use the cave to regroup and figure out your options while treating yourself to some soothing comfort food or drink.

Kayaking on white water rapids

Rather than simply drifting downstream, you may need to do some active paddling to avoid the rocks and steer through the turbulence. This is a good analogy, actually. When navigating white water, it's said that the trick to getting through turbulent waters safely is to keep your raft moving faster than the water current; that way you remain in control, rather than being at the mercy of the rapids.

So, if you want to manoeuvre as smoothly as possible through tricky or demanding situations right now, it might be best to stay one step ahead of the game. Be pro-active. Listen to your Pisces intuition, certainly, but choose your options according to what will bring the most practical and definite results. If you aren't clear about what you want out of the situation or where you want to end up, the result is more likely to be ambiguous, muddled and less than satisfying. Think of Pisces like a prism through which you shine the light of intention, and from which can emerge a rainbow vision that guides you onward.

To live in the world without becoming aware of the meaning of the world is like
wandering about in a great library without touching the books.
~ Dan Brown, The Lost Symbol

Mars and Saturn are also part of a larger configuration, which was discussed in the last update (Multiple Conjunctions/Squares, Aug.28-Oct.12). Saturn continues to be flanked by Venus and the North Node ("What's the North Node?"), and all are being squared by Mars. This can be a rather demanding time that feels like a lot of hard work without much partying and fun to balance it out. However, it can also be a time when your efforts can pay off and bring you greater and stronger well-being in the long run.

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Put in the context of the Pisces Full Moon, this is a time when you may benefit most by surrendering to the process of improving your situation. It might not feel warm and fuzzy, but it's not likely to be wasted effort and if you stay focused you can take some steps further along your life's path.

The Pisces Full Moon can also be a good time to form a clear vision of where you want to take all that energy you're generating. If you've been feeling a bit low, exhausted or discouraged, Pisces is here to remind you that it's okay to have some faith in the process you're in. Let go and allow the universe around you to be a co-creator, while you keep moving within the process through your hard work.

So let yourself dream a little about where you want your challenges to take you, what kind of changes you would like to welcome into your life and what that would look like. It's best to keep one foot on the ground (with Saturn and Mars helping you stay practical, assertive and self-defining) while the other foot ventures out into the ether to walk among the clouds and stars. When both feet cooperate together, they can really take you places.

Be clearly aware of the stars and infinity on high. Then life seems almost enchanted after all.
~ Vincent van Gogh

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Sep.19 – Mercury square Jupiter (16:58 of Libra/Cancer)  (Sep.20 in UK, AU)  (This is a Cardinal Cross aspect.)

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.20 – Venus trine Chiron (10:39 of Scorpio/Pisces)

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 make progress with the things you can.

Sep.20 – Pluto stationary Direct (08:59 of Capricorn)  (Sep.20 in AU)  ("What's a Station?"  "What does Retrograde mean?"  Read more about Retrograde planets.)

For about a week before and after, you may experience energy that is intense, compelling and transformative, as Pluto changes direction to its normal forward motion. If you've been going through deep, cathartic changes in your life over the last 6 months to a year, you may find that this station brings a shift in how you are able to approach those changes. This might be a time when you feel the weight of power struggles or loss in your life, but it can also be a time when you find empowering strength in yourself that you didn't know you had. Above all, it is a time when your deepest, most authentic Self can start to emerge and be reborn anew.

Sep.21 – Saturn sextile Pluto (08:59 of Scorpio/Capricorn)  (Sep.20 in MST/MDT, PST/PDT)

Saturn brings stability and structure to Pluto's transformative process of breaking down the old in order to prepare for the new. That stability might help to smooth out the rough edges of that process, or it could encourage you to rebuild some of the structure in your life that's been torn down by those changes. There is a potential to combined raw endurance with responsibility, deep concentration with a forward focus. It can give the capacity for empowerment that can stand its ground when pushed around while still being respectful, responsible and grounded. On the other hand, if you're hoping for a time when you can kick up your heels and fly on the wings of imaginative fancy, this may keep you a little more grounded than you'd like—but it's unlikely to be an unpleasant experience, and you can gain more from it than you might realize.

This is the last of three passes of this transit: Dec.26.2012, Mar.08.2013 and Sep.21.2013. What is especially noteworthy about this pass is that Pluto is stationary, which is likely to give extra power, intensity and strength to the sextile energy. In addition, Saturn is exactly conjunct the North Node, which means you have the potential not only to manifest some creative transformation in your life, but also to take you further along your personal path of greatest learning. In other words, you have a chance during this time to put some passionate creativity into action, dig in your heels and give your life a push in the direction of whatever you came here to do and learn. The house where transiting Saturn and North Node conjoin, as well as the house where transiting Pluto is stationing, will give clues about where that push can have the greatest effect.

Sep.22 – Sun enters Libra (until Oct.23)

EQUINOX DATES

Ottawa, Canada and
Washington DC, USA:

Sep.22, 2013, 4:44 AM EDT

London, UK:

Sep.22, 2013, 9:44 PM BST

Sydney, AU:

Sep.23, 2013, 6:44 AM AEST

Happy Solar Return to all Libras! While the Sun is in Libra, it brings experiences into our lives that focus us in the areas of love, close relationships, one-on-one interaction, diplomacy, negotiation, strategy, fairness, equilibrium, balance, harmony and beauty. This time also marks the point of equal balance between day and night – the Autumnal Equinox. In the Northern Hemisphere, the nights now become longer than the days, and in the Southern Hemisphere, the days become longer than the nights, until the December Solstice. Balance is the key concept here! What is out of balance in your life? How can you negotiate or strategize to bring that area of your life back into harmony? Libra encourages you to balance your life in diplomatic, discreet, "win-win" ways. But if that's not possible, it will do it aggressively (creating conflict in order to break the stalemate of the imbalance) or manipulatively (people-pleasing to co-dependently get its way). Thus, Libra is known as both the peace-maker and the war-maker. If you find yourself instinctively trying to smooth out conflict – or instigate it! – take a step back and ask yourself if that is your best choice in the situation. Just don't get stuck in Libran indecision! Make your choice and then see if it brings what you want.

Sep.25-Oct.07 – Cardinal T-square with Sun (7-12° Cardinal Signs)  (This is a Cardinal Cross aspect.)

The Sun forms a T-square aspect pattern with the Uranus-Pluto square, which is closest from Oct.02-03 but is in effect for up to a week before and after. Jupiter has been forming a T-square with Uranus and Pluto (Jul.22 to Sep.15), forming Grand Cross aspect patterns with Venus (Aug.20-29) and Mercury (Sep.14-18). However, Jupiter moves just out of orb when the Sun finally catches up in late September. So the Sun must tangle with Uranus and Pluto all by itself (poor Sun).

Your sense of purpose, vitality and identity could become a bit jumbled during this time. This could feel exciting, as new possibilities and challenges cross your path; or it might feel a bit overwhelming and exhausting, as you may have to stay fast on your feet to keep up with the changes, demands and bumps in the road. If you start doubting or second-guessing yourself, ask yourself if there are changes that you really do need to make, or whether you're being undermined by a self-hack attack. Or, if you've caught fire with vision, urgency and passion, it's wise to do a reality check about whether you've tapped into something positive or if you're just reacting to an impulse to avoid something negative. In any case, this is a good time to find a good balance between outside stimulus and inner activation; between others' effect on you and your own inner direction.

Sep.26 – Venus trine Jupiter (17:51 of Scorpio/Cancer)  (Sep.27 in AU)

Your luck and opportunity to attract money, love, resources and self-esteem are high right now. The flow of attraction (whether that is magnetizing people, things or opportunities) is riding a strong current right now. You could find it easier than usual to get the resources and abundance for whatever you need right now. On the other hand, "your eyes may be bigger than your stomach" (as mother used to say), meaning your desire may magnify your sense of need beyond what is wise. You may be tempted to spend, flirt or bluff your way through situations, preferring to ignore or avoid hardship, boundaries or drudgery. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but be careful you don't get your hopes up so high that you set yourself up for disappointment or make promises you can't keep. It's probably wise to balance this easy flowing energy with some discretion and good judgement.

Sep.28 – Venus square Mars (19:45 of Scorpio/Leo)

Your receptive, diplomatic side is arguing with your assertive, decisive side. The result is either a battle of wills between your Yin and Yang, or a new creative energy that harnesses both. This could manifest in the form of relationship problems, financial struggles, arguments about control, or you are propelled to take action with plans that have been percolating for a while. If you're usually more comfortable with your Yin side (receptive, diplomatic), you might feel a bit backed into a corner or forced to negotiate under pressure. If you're more at home in your Yang side (assertive, action-oriented), you may feel compelled to blunt or sheathe the sword you would prefer to smite your enemy with. Either way, this is about balancing the two sides and finding a new cooperation that works for both.

Sep.29 – Mercury enters Scorpio (until Dec.04)

Cunning communication and insight are at their peak, as Mercury skulks through Scorpio. It’s a time for unearthing secrets and delving deeply into the psychological Shadow (Carl Jung’s term for the unconscious parts of ourselves that we don't want to or know how to face). There is opportunity for healing and grounding now, but you may have to resist the temptation to manipulate others to control that process. Your awareness of the undercurrents around you could be increased...or you might stir up those undercurrents in others without intending to, by blurting things out in a blunt or harsh way. This transit presents an opportunity to learn new ways to wield words with the skill of a surgeon – to heal and remove what is toxic, not to wound or retaliate. Use it wisely. If you are not crystal clear with yourself about your motives and feelings when communicating with others, your unconscious or hidden agendas could seep through and cause hurt when that was not your intention.

Mercury's stay in Scorpio is unusually long since it goes through a retrograde cycle from Oct.01 to Nov.27.

Oct.01 – Mercury enters Retrograde Shadow (until Nov.27)  ("What's the Shadow?"  Read my articles about Retrograde Cycles.  Read my article about Mercury Retrograde.)

Mercury is now "in the Shadow" – the area of Zodiac where it will later go retrograde in about 2½ weeks time. During its retrograde cycle, Mercury travels through the same span of the Zodiac three times (called the Shadow). The first time through, it is going in direct motion (moving forward), then retrograde (looks like it's going backwards), and then direct again. This means there is a more extensive process of development and change involved with things that Mercury influences—ideas, thoughts, frame of mind and mental focus. It also concerns the collection, exchange, analysis and organisation of information. All forms of communication are also affected. This includes not just talking, but also email and snail mail, the Internet, the media in general, books and magazines, as well as public transit (buses, trains, etc.) and neighbourhoods.

The situations developing over the next couple of weeks (leading up to when Mercury actually goes retrograde) will likely require further research, deeper consideration and adjustments to unexpected discoveries over the next couple of months. Expect changes in your plans, increasingly disrupted communication, and new information coming to light that may not fit conveniently into your plans. It's wise to leave lots of extra time to do things, to plan future projects and get to wherever you're going. Patience is a valuable quality during this time. If you must make important decisions during this time, try to build some flexibility into your plans to allow for later changes—or if possible, you may want to delay final or irrevocable decisions until well after Mercury goes direct.

It's always good to be prepared when going into a Mercury retrograde cycle. The more you know about how it operates, how to take advantage of it and how to avoid typical problems, the better. If you're a beginner and you want an easy to understand what it's about, start with my articles on Retrogrades.

If you know your way around a chart a bit, there are two books I highly recommend on retrogrades in general. One is Erin Sullivan's Retrograde Planets: Traversing the Inner Landscape which is detailed, comprehensive and very in-depth – everything you ever wanted to know about retrograde cycles and planets! Erin's book is also available in a Kindle edition.

Another excellent retrograde book is Joanne Wickenberg's republished and updated Your Hidden Powers: Intercepted Signs and Retrograde Planets, which also includes information about intercepted planets. It too is very comprehensive and detailed about retrograde cycles, including progressions, natal retrograde planets and transiting retrogrades.

Oct.1 – Mercury trine Neptune (03:03 of Scorpio/Pisces)  (Oct.02 in AU)

Your mind is very open to imagination, dreams and compassion under this transit. This can be a very creative time, when ideas flow like a magical river. It can also be easy to get caught up in yearning and fantasizing about your hidden wishes, although it is possible to channel this into creative expression. (e.g., writing poetry, dancing, wistful music, singing in the shower, whatever!) Listening sympathetically to others' problems may come easily now, and you are more likely to get a compassionate response from others about your own problems. However, it may also be difficult to draw clear and firm boundaries with others, since you are more susceptible to the emotional gravity of others. It is ultimately a time for optimism, hope, creativity and intuition, although it's wise to keep at least one foot on the ground.

Oct.01 – Sun square Pluto (09:01 of Libra/Capricorn)  (Oct.02 in UK, AU)

This can be a challenging time, when your sense of purpose, identity and direction may feel blocked, overpowered or regulated by forces beyond your control. You may find yourself confronted by difficult situations or people, requiring that you rally an unusually strong show of power to keep from feeling powerless or overwhelmed. The trick is to center yourself in empowerment rather than simple power – that means your power comes from within yourself rather than from controlling people and situations outside of yourself. You might find yourself involved in power struggles or abandonment, either in the present or stirred up from the past. You might be forced to let go of your attachment to something or someone due to circumstances beyond your control. However, this can also be a time when you reach inside yourself and find you have more strength than you thought you did. Adversity may inspire new assertiveness and purpose in you – empowerment born of conflict and struggle.

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Oct.02 – Saturn trine Chiron (10:09 of Scorpio/Pisces)

With all things Saturn, slow and steady wins the race. Therefore, healing and recovery efforts are likely to benefit from a stable, paced, structured approach. For example, if you have the flu you might find you get better faster if you take a day or so to rest and focus on getting your health back, rather than trying to push yourself back into action. If that's simply not an option, then do other health promoting things regularly and steadily (e.g. taking whatever remedies, vitamins, etc, work for you). In other words, a sporadic or half-hearted approach are likely to be a waste of energy, since they won't be enough to combat what you're fighting. This can be applied metaphorically as well: if you're feeling out of balance or "unhealthy" or conflicted in your psyche or your life circumstances, a regimen of actions designed to bring yourself back to your stable centre again will likely be your more effective approach.

By the same token, when you're feeling grounded and centred, you are more likely to view life through a healing and healthy perspective. It could be easier now to take responsibility for your own healing, rather than just seeing someone else as the cause of the problems in your life. This transit can also help fortify you when taking a serious look at your suffering and dis-ease, making it easier to face your woundedness (or that of others) in a realistic way, instead of hoping it will go away on its own if you ignore it.

Last Saturn-Chiron trine: 2012-2014.
Next Saturn-Chiron trine: 2061-2063.

Dates for the current Saturn-Chiron cycle:

* Note that the the Saturn-Chiron opposition in this cycle is unusually long: 20 years! This is due to Chiron's eccentric orbit. When Chiron gets close to the Sun, its speed is almost as fast as Saturn, so the two often form the same aspect for many years.

Oct.03 – Sun opposite Uranus (10:31 of Libra/Aries)  (Oct.04 in AU)

This transit brings an encounter with the Awakener! This could come in the form of another person or outside situation that shakes you out of your habitual routine and pushes you to try a new approach to your situation. Life may be very unpredictable right now, requiring you to be spontaneous, innovative or independent in the way you respond to it. This could be stressful or exciting! It is actually showing you a new path in the darkness, like a lightening flash in the night. If you feel startled or caught off guard, or confused about what to do next, find your internal centre and try to be open to what the situation is illuminating for you. You now have a chance to shed some old habits and ways that you are stuck, if you can stay centered in the middle of the whirlwind. You may experience revelations – that "ah-ha!!" feeling – which could open up new possibilities and opportunities for you. However, it might feel like you have little choice but to try these new things (rather than freely choosing them). You could find yourself reacting to others with a powerful impulse to throw off the shackles of anything that feels restrictive, to reclaim your independence – although this could also be motivated by a fear of commitment or responsibility too. It is wise to check your own inner motives, feelings and assumptions before automatically dismissing, rejecting or rebelling against other people.

Next Update:  NEW MOON in LIBRA, available by October 4, 2013.

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© 2013 Wendy Guy. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied without the author's written permission. Most or all of the quotes on this page were found at GoodReads.com. Graphics of Virgo and Pisces and white water kayaking from CanStockPhoto. Family tree diagram from Wikipedia. Photo of harvest moon by Irish Eyes on Morguefile.com.


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