The Low-Down on the Far-Out

Solar Eclipse in Virgo, September 2016

Chart for the Solar Eclipse - New Moon in Virgo
Chart for the Lunar Eclipse ~ New Moon in Virgo

There comes a day when you realise turning the page is the best feeling in the world, because you realise there's so much more to the book than the page you were stuck on.
~ Zayn Malik, One Direction

Sep.01 – SOLAR ECLIPSE ~ NEW MOON in VIRGO (09:21 of Virgo)

Feeling a little cranky lately? Everything seems to be in a state of flux? Nothing is good enough for your own or others' high standards? Hard to let go of worry from your overworked brain? Stuck in workaholic mode? Brain boggled trying to figure out what to do next?

Give yourself a hug and a pat on the back. You're a survivor of the Mutable Deconstruction-Restoration Brigade!

Yes, I hear all those groans, and I'm sorry to say it's not quite over yet. However, this hectic pace of change, adjustment, perfection and reorganization is about to shift and eventually find a focus to move forward more consistently.

Now: repeat after me. I am not stuck forever in Mutable Hell. And keep repeating it as Mercury retro-gratingly repeats his steps through Virgo.

Knowledge of the self is the mother of all knowledge. So it is incumbent on me to know my self, to know it completely, to know its minutiae, its characteristics, its subtleties, and its very atoms.
~ Kahlil Gibran

Stellium in Virgo

In fact, there has been a plethora of planets and points working their way through Mutable Virgo for quite a while now.

Mercury has been in Virgo since July 30th. It just went retrograde 2 days ago, and I'm sure you barely noticed. (*cough*) It will remain in Virgo until October 7th, so don't worry—if you didn't get it right the first time, Mercury will give you lots of chances to bring it to a sublime state of perfection. (*cough*)

Venus came into Virgo on Aug.05 and just left it behind to come home to her own sign of Libra just 2 days ago on Aug.29. Nevertheless, her passage through Virgo added a sharper focus on issues of esthetics, social etiquette, and taking care of yourself and others.

Jupiter has been in Virgo since August 2015. Jupiter has amplified the priorities of Virgo, insisting that if we're going to aim for perfection and reorganize our lives, we might as well do it in the context of higher principles, universal ideals and justice.

Naturally, the finer the point that is put on this aspiration, the more difficult it can be to achieve what you're trying to do. It's been easy to get lost in the endless details and forgetting that those details exist in service to the whole, not the other way around. Put another way, you don't build a painting around one single tiny brush stroke; rather, you build up many brush strokes to produce the painting you want to create.

Thankfully, Jupiter is about to change signs and leave Virgo forever!!! Okay, maybe not forever but it won't encounter Virgo again for another 11 years, so relief is on the way!! Once having left Mutable Virgo, Jupiter moves into Cardinal Libra. This will (a) help to stabilize and rebalance your sense of vision and aspiration, and (b) make it easier to focus your intentions on a new or rejuvenated destination.

The North Lunar Node has been in Virgo since November 2015, with the South Node in Pisces. Although I don't feel the lunar nodes are sources of energy, the way planets are, their effect seems to be to magnify whatever they touch, amplifying those energies.

It may help to think of the nodal axis like a wind tunnel, where your journey from the south to the north node feels like you're pushing into a head wind. It takes continual effort and mental focus to leave behind the ambiguity, illusion or deception of the Pisces South Node (in this case) and embrace the clarity, specificity and practicality of the Virgo North Node.

We should always endeavor to wonder at the permanent thing, not at the mere exception. We should be startled by the sun, and not by the eclipse. We should wonder less at the earthquake, and wonder more at the earth.
~ G.K. Chesterton

And now, of course, we have this Solar Eclipse in Virgo on Sep.01 – a supercharged New Moon spewing intense radiation on multiple levels. (Remember: do NOT look directly at a Solar Eclipse; use proper eye protection to keep your eyes from being damaged.)

Annular Eclipse, May 2012

A solar eclipse happens when the Moon moves across our view of the Sun, blocking some or all of the Sun's light. This eclipse is an Annular Eclipse, which means the Moon isn't quite close enough to the Earth to cover the whole Sun, so a ring of sunlight is seen around the Moon when the eclipse is at maximum.

Symbolically, it is helpful to think of the Moon's emotional openness and unconscious nature obscuring the Sun's conscious focus and confidence. In other words, we may become exposed more than usual to feelings, urges, internal self-talk and fears that are normally stowed away below our conscious awareness. Your anxiety and fear levels may increase, but so might your inspiration and hidden longing. It all depends what you have locked away in your unconscious closet.

If you want to identify me, ask me not where I live, or what I like to eat, or how I comb my hair, but ask me what I am living for, in detail, ask me what I think is keeping me from living fully for the thing I want to live for.
~ Thomas Merton

With the eclipse being in Virgo, you might experience dis-ease that's related to work, health, service, perfection and self-improvement. Your tendency to critique yourself and those around you – or others toward you – could sharply increase. At worst, it might feel sometimes like you can't do anything right or that your efforts to fine-tune your actions are a never-ending labour. As such, it can be easy to get stuck, spinning your wheels in one place and unable to make any real progress forward.

This overall overdose of Virgo (Moon, Sun, Mercury, Venus, Jupiter, North Node) can make it difficult not to get overly involved in details. The best remedy is to take a step back and remind yourself what the greater purpose is in what you're trying to do. The means are nothing if they don't lead you to the end, and even a worthy end won't justify means that lack integrity and effectiveness. When you're tempted to do one more go-round to make things more perfect, ask yourself if this will really make a significant difference in the end result.

This concept is underscored by Mercury being conjunct Jupiter while stationing retrograde. Jupiter is always about the Big Picture, but even Jupiter can get lost in all that Virgoan minutiae. If Virgo is about details (and it is), then Jupiter is likely to believe that the Big Picture simply means more details. But even Jupiter will get exhausted sifting through all those tiny grains of sand while searching for the beach.

Mercury retrograde conjunct Jupiter could bring out issues that are rooted in this struggle of balancing the micro and the macro. Are you getting lost in the little bits, tasks, double-checking and rehashing? If more details appear to be necessary, what value do they add to the greater whole? Alternatively, are you stuck in Big Picture mode and unable to know what the next step is because you're overwhelmed by so many possibilities and details to keep track of? The point is not to lose perspective.

We do not need magic to transform our world. We carry all the power we need inside ourselves already.
~ J.K. Rowling

Let's be honest: the solar eclipse has a pretty tough chart. It has more stressful aspects like squares (90°), oppositions (180°) and sesquiquadrates (135°) than you can shake a telescope at, and precious few easy-going aspects like the trine (120°) and sextile (60°). Lots of conjunctions (0°) add more busy-ness to an already-busy chart.

Good news first: The softer aspects are somewhat abstract and a bit wide in their orb. Neptune sextile Pluto: both are transpersonal energies and won't be exact for another 10 years. Sun and Moon trine Pluto: this aspect is applying (which tends to be stronger) but still 5:43 from being exact. The Sun trine Pluto aspect perfects in a week, which is half-way to the Full Moon (Lunar Eclipse) in Pisces.

Wedge aspect pattern

However, using these wide aspects, Pluto forms a Wedge aspect pattern to the Sun/Moon opposition to Neptune which spans the Lunar Nodal axis. This pattern can help to soften the tension of the opposition and introduces a saving grace or escape hatch that can channel that stressful energy in a more productive direction.

The fact that (normally Big Bad) Pluto is involved in the only two easy aspects is also intriguing. It suggests that (1) the easy aspect energy is likely to be a bit less forthcoming than usual, requiring effort to make the beneficial energy come together; and (2) the benefits of the easy-flowing energy will be helpful for activities and projects that involve transformation, letting go of the old and building self-empowerment.

I live for coincidences. They briefly give to me the illusion or the hope that there's a pattern to my life, and if there's a pattern, then maybe I'm moving toward some kind of destiny where it's all explained.
~ Jonathan Ames, My Less Than Secret Life: A Diary, Fiction, Essays

Mutable T-square - Sun and Moon

On the difficult side, the eclipse chart contains yet another iteration of the Mutable T-square that's been haunting us this year. This T-square aspect pattern hinges around the Saturn-Neptune square. This time it's the Sun-Moon conjunction – the eclipse itself – that takes up position as the 3rd corner of the T-square triangle. In addition, Mars is leaving but still conjunct Saturn, and therefore close enough to be dragged back into this Mutable vortex.

This sets up an intense and complicated combination of energies. Saturn square Neptune has been pitting fact against fiction since the beginning of 2015. We're coming up to the merciful final battle between these two adversaries on Sep.10 (and previously, on Jun.17 and Nov.26).

Indeed, we have been through over a year of OMG and WTF. Like watching an inevitable train wreck, we're often caught between wondering if we can believe what seems to be, and not wanting to believe it, or maybe not wanting to disbelieve it either!

Saturn versus Neptune. Is it real or made up? Is it a hidden fact or a believable lie? Is it penetrating insight or a convenient spin on what we only want to see?

Our life is frittered away by detail. Simplify, simplify.
~ Henry David Thoreau, Walden and Other Writings

Mutable T-square - Mars and Saturn

Mars conjunct Saturn (active throughout August and exact on Aug.24) brings even more ambiguity about what we can do about it all, what we want to do about it and whether we "should" do anything about it. Act on inspired passion and we still must follow through with the practical elbow grease to make it more than just a flash in the pan. Act from a purely analytical or practical point of view and we risk flattening the very sense of purpose and hope that we're aspiring to.

Now that Mars is moving away from Saturn and heading toward Capricorn (Sep.27), the ability to choose what to act on, what direction to go and why we want to go there is likely to become clearer over the next few weeks. Just remember that come October, you will be challenged to put your money where your mouth is and commit to sustained action or attitude, whose consequences you will need to live with for a while.

So, while Mars is still in Sagittarius, it's a good time to think in terms of where your passion really lies. The Mars-Saturn conjunction of August showed you what might not be a wise move or what may not be your best destination or why it's necessary to look before you leap.

Now it's time to go back and ask yourself: what do you really want? If you're going to have to live with the consequences of what you do or what you want, what destination is worth that hassle? What do you really want that is worth the price you will pay?

Don't be dismayed at good-byes. A farewell is necessary before you can meet again.
And meeting again, after moments or lifetimes, is certain for those who are friends.
~ Richard Bach, Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah

Mutable T-square - Neptune and South Node

Neptune is conjunct the South Lunar Node, and they will pass each other on Nov.17 have cast a spell on us through much of this year and into next year. The Nodes amplify and magnify whatever they touch, zooming in on that planet's or point's themes.

In this case, it brings us up close and personal to our personal and collective illusions and beliefs, dreams and nightmares, imagination and fantasies. We've been taking a close look at what we see, what we want, what we fear and aspire to. Are they real? Are they what we thought they were? Are we projecting onto others the shadow side of our own longing that we are unaware of or don't want to look at?

The South Node is a place where we let go of that which no longer serves us in our journey. Merged with Neptune, this might be attachments that we have outgrown and no longer need. It might be the dust of past assumptions that have crumbled under the scrutiny of time. Or, we might need to relinquish our magical believe something that supported a particular view of life, and now we are ready to face that life more directly.

If you can see your path laid out in front of you step by step, you know it's not your path.
Your own path you make with every step you take. That's why it's your path.
~ Joseph Campbell

In addition to the Mutable T-square, there is also a Thor's Hammer aspect configuration that is woven into the T-square. Uranus is in sesquiquadrate aspect (135°) to Saturn and the Sun/Moon conjunction, which are themselves in square aspect (90°).

Thor's Hammer aspect pattern

This aspect pattern is what the name suggests – its impact can feel like you're being hit over the head with a hammer! In the case of Uranus, this hammer can be like a lightning bolt that disrupts the conveniently conventional rhythm of Saturn and the Virgo Lights (Sun and Moon) in their effort to be effective, productive and perfect.

The message of Uranus in Aries is: Forget being orderly and predictable and normal and proper! Life is not a straight line. Life is messy! If it doesn't surprise you, confound you, wake you up and piss you off, then you're doing it wrong!

In other words, don't expect all of this stuff under the Virgo Solar Eclipse to happen by the book! Expect to make it up as you go along. The path will most likely meander in a 3-dimensional way that compels you to look beyond what you are expecting. Don't get stuck in the minutia! Look to what lies beyond it all.

You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself any direction you choose.
You're on your own. And you know what you know.
And YOU are the one who'll decide where to go...
~ Dr. Seuss, Oh, The Places You'll Go!

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You can see how this Mutable T-square, combined with Thor's Hammer, bring powerful undercurrents that are subtly yet dynamically changing the world around us and our place within it. Like a children's game of Musical Chairs, everything gets rearranged and suddenly where you thought you were heading has disappeared from the map. What do you do now??

If you have not yet reached a crossroads of having to choose a new direction (or reorganize the old one), this Virgo Solar Eclipse just might be the time you are faced with turning that corner. This is why it's so important to get a handle on your Mars to find out not only what you really want but what cost you're prepared to pay to get it. And by letting go of your excess Neptune baggage, you will be in a much better position to know where, how and why to move forward.

The Virgo contingent is only too happy to help you examine the myriad possibilities, factors and considerations that will need to be navigated to get you from "here" to "there." And Mercury retrograde (Aug.30 to Sep.22) is here to help you go over your work to check it for errors and improvements. Do your best with your homework and you will bring valuable new skills (or improved old ones) to the table when it's time to harvest the seeds you've planted.

Again: don't get stuck in the sinking sand of minutia that's been divorced from its greater purpose and vision. However, by prioritizing the importance those pinpoint details, you can figure out what should come next and what should come later.

Then: just take the next single step. And then the next. And then....

Everyone underestimates their own life. Funny thing is, in the end, all our stories...they're the same. In fact, no matter where you go in the world, there is only one important story: of youth, loss and yearning for redemption. So we tell the same story, over and over. Only the details are different.
~ Rohinton Mistry, Family Matters

Sep.01 – Sun square Saturn (10:05 of Virgo/Sagittarius)  (Sep.02 in ADT, NDT, UK, AU)

It is necessary for you to come to grips with limitations, boundaries or expectations. If you have been avoiding some task or obligation, this transit might bring consequences from that avoidance or a warning of consequences to come. You might also encounter a situation that requires you to accept unwanted responsibility or restricts your freedom in some way. You might be faced with some part of your life being pruned back, either to rein in something that is out of control or to make room for new growth. This is likely to be more or less stressful depending on how comfortable you are dealing with responsibility, authority, limits and hard work. If you have a hard time with authority issues, you might find yourself in conflict with someone in authority under this transit – perhaps in part because your buttons are getting pushed. On the other hand, this could also be a time when you are challenged to take action or make a decision that involves taking on more responsibility. It is also a time when you may have to find better ways to deal with personal boundaries – accepting others' or learning to assert your own. You're bumping up against reality, so try to work constructively with it, not hurl yourself against it.

Sep.02 – Sun opposite Neptune (10:37 of Virgo/Pisces)  (Sep.03 in AU)

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.

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Sep.02 – Mercury Retrograde conjunct Jupiter (28:34 of Virgo)  (Sep.03 in AU)

This aspect can make you quite talkative and your mind flooded with ideas. Be careful you don't blurt out any secrets! Your stream of consciousness ideas can flow abundantly right now with optimism and visionary possibilities. Write down your best ideas for later development, since you may be having too much fun playing with ideas, to stop and make them manifest. Basic perceptions and simple communication can provide food for thought that feeds your greater understanding and philosophical insight. Your point of view expands to identify opportunities, possibilities and the broader implications of what is happening around you. You might get a flash of vision, insight and inspiration. You could be called upon to form an opinion, consider a different viewpoint, expand your knowledge, or make a judgement call. Your conscious awareness is open to spiritual experiences right now.

This is the second of 3 passes of this transit: Aug.22, Sep.02, Oct.11.

Sep.04 – Sun conjunct North Lunar Node (12:42 of Virgo)  (Sep.05 in AU)  ("What's a Lunar Node?")

For a few days before and after this date, your sense of self and purpose are in sharper focus. You might encounter people who understand you more than usual, or you could find the courage to shine a little brighter than you normally do. However, this also brings a challenge to find and fulfil your potential within a broader context of life, friends, associates, groups and the world. It is a good time to look at your vision of the future—on a personal level but especially the wider vision you have for the world around you. What is your greatest potential over the coming year? Ten years? The New and Full Moons just before and after this transit are usually Eclipses. Check to see if those Eclipses form major aspects to your natal chart, since these will show a future direction for you over the coming months. The Sun-Node transit happening right now will help to focus those changes.

Sep.07 – Sun trine Pluto (15:01 of Virgo/Capricorn)  (Sep.06 in HAST, AKDT, PDT, MDT)

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

Sep.07 – Venus sextile Saturn (10:16 of Libra/Sagittarius)

It is possible to find some stability in your relationships and finances under this transit, especially if you are willing to negotiate fairly and realistically. You have increased ability to be disciplined about spending and budgeting, and to invest in hard work to maximise your earnings. Your ability to grasp the solid, realistic facts will help you choose wisely in your investments of both money and your interaction with others. Commitment and structure may be easier to approach and achieve than if you take risks now. Your self-worth can benefit from this transit because you may be less inclined to give in to mood swings. On the other hand, if you are prone to depression, you might want to be careful you don't become so grounded and stable that you lose touch with your sense of hope and potential. It is a good time to make concrete progress in matters involving beauty, love, harmony and balance. Keep your pleasures simple and humble for maximum benefit.

Sep.09 – Jupiter enters Libra (until Oct.10.2017)

Jupiter in Libra is all about fairness, justice and peace. Libra's love of negotiation takes on an agenda of higher purpose, in the name of achieving a more perfect and peaceful balance. Its love of fairness combines well with Jupiter's passion for justice. This transit can bring an urge to right the wrongs in your life through compromise and listening to both sides of the story.

Unfortunately, it can also bring a difficult struggle with indecision. Your opinions may be difficult to crystallize. Hearing all sides of the story from everyone involved could color your own opinions and make it difficult to be clear about what you personally believe. Making up your mind about something could become a never ending quest for the ultimate truth, since one perspective leads to so many more questions.

Ethical and moral behaviour by those around you may take on special priority under this transit, and your expectations of others could also rise. Not only can it be important for those you're associated with to exemplify the highest moral character, you might also become adamant that they adopt principles that reflect your own.

However, this transit can also bring out an inspired urge for peace and harmony. Its energy can encourage you to find commonality in the midst of conflict, from which a bridge of agreement can be built. Just be careful to resist the temptation to impose your own beliefs or perspectives on others, or to assume that your views are the only ones worth having.

Jupiter is in Libra during these times:

Sep.10 – Mercury Retrograde opposite Chiron (23:08 of Virgo/Pisces)

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.

This is the second of 3 passes of this transit: Aug.19, Sep.10 and Oct.01.

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Sep.10 – Saturn square Neptune (10:24 of Sagittarius/Pisces)

Saturn and Neptune mix together like oil and water. Saturn is the physical, manifest world that has limits, boundaries and rules. Neptune emanates from the world of fantasy, imagination, deception and illusion. Not exactly an easy marriage. With these two planets in a stressful yet dynamic square aspect (90°), they are likely to go through some major arguments before coming to a resolution.

Saturn's "get real" mandate could strip away Neptune's fuzzy aura, leaving you feeling like winter suddenly set in with a brisk chill. The usual tactics for dealing with stress and hardship by envisioning a better day might not work very well. It may be important to deal directly with the problem and not rely as much on soothing activities.

On the other hand, reaching for some comfort food or a glass of wine or buying that magnificent painting you happened to find aren't necessarily bad. It's when they become obsessive or you use them to avoid dealing with the real issues that they can create more problems than they solve. For example: excessive alcohol or drugs, impulse spending, heavy gambling, emotional eating and so on.

You might find you're in the middle of a battle between discipline and responsible decision-making versus wanting to let go of the inhibition and melt down your walls of resistance. Depending on your situation, you might benefit from leaning a bit more in either direction.

The thing to remember is that both sides of the battle represent different parts of you, and each part of you is trying to create change that is believed to be in your best interest. Therefore, finding new ways to solve the dilemma can help to calm the argument between them. The square is dynamic as well as conflict oriented, so try on new ideas or repurposing old solutions. Solutions involving creativity and beauty, as well as being grounded and realistic, can help to satisfy both parts of you.

The last Saturn-Neptune square was in 1998-1999.

Dates for the current Saturn-Neptune cycle:

Sep.11 – Venus square Pluto (14:59 of Libra/Capricorn)  (Sep.10 in HAST, AKDT)

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

Sep.12 – Mercury Retrograde square Mars (20:49 of Virgo/Sagittarius)  (Sep.13 in AU)

Fiery speech, argument, hot debate and impatience characterise this transit. You may encounter conflicts of interest and want to solve them NOW. And in your haste to find a quick fix, you could wind up creating more problems than you solve. You might also feel like you have hit an impasse or roadblock in a problem that began since Mercury entered the shadow. What you thought was a solution or agreement might now show itself to be unworkable or needing adjustment. Getting angry or frustrated is likely to just aggravate the situation, so it might be wise to vent these feelings well away from the actual situation or people that are triggering them. Your mind may see what needs to be said, but you could wind up blurting it out before you've had a chance to choose your words more carefully. Figure out what you really want, and when you feel a bit calmer and more grounded, THEN have your say. On the other hand, this could also be a time when you find the courage to speak up or assert yourself in situations where you have been overly inhibited before now. Don't become so calm that you lose your edge, but do use good judgment when choosing when and how to act. Use this energy to stoke your motivational fires and use your ideas to generate action (not reaction). Pace and harness the energy like a race horse. This is a time to "do your homework" and find new solutions to existing problems.

This is the second of 3 passes of this transit: Jul.29, Sep.12 and Oct.13

Sep.12 – Sun conjunct Mercury Retrograde (20:37 of Virgo)  (Sep.13 in UK, AU)

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

Sep.13 – Sun square Mars (21:28 of Virgo/Sagittarius)  (Sep.14 in AU)

Assertiveness, aggression and intense energy burst out under this transit. This can be a time of being pushed into taking action...or it can erupt in anger, irritation and hostility (in yourself or others). It may seem like everything pushes your buttons and rubs you the wrong way, creating conflict and putting you on edge. You may feel the impulse to burn off this excess energy through sexual activity. If you look beneath the irritation you may see a frustrated part of you that wants change, yet you have held back for some reason. Being pro-active and initiating steps for voluntary change is preferable, since you will have far more control over the process than if you get pushed into a corner and forced to act. The more preplanning you've done for this moment, the more successful you're likely to be. But if you get caught in a whirlwind of change, connect yourself to the part of you that wants change and let that ground and guide you.

Sep.15 – Sun opposite Chiron (22:55 of Virgo/Pisces)  (Sep.14 in HAST)

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.

Sep.15 – Mars square Chiron (22:53 of Sagittarius/Pisces)  (Sep.16 in ADT, NDT, UK, AU)

It may be time to confront issues in your life that involve how/why you get hurt by others, how you yourself hurt others, and how healing can take place in either of these situations. Your awareness of this may due to a conflict in your life, but this can be a valuable learning experience for you, more-so than usual. Part of the problem may be that you need to tread your own path but are avoiding this for whatever reasons – perhaps circumstances compel you to satisfy others' expectations, or perhaps you are still struggling to muster the courage to find and walk your own path. Whatever the reasons, this transit may give you a push that will help to steer you in a healing direction, possibly by showing you how and why the path you have been on does not lead to where you want to go. If you start to feel overwhelmed, take some time out from the stress to get re-centered and grounded.

Next Update:  LUNAR ECLIPSE ~ FULL MOON in PISCES. Available by September 16, 2016.

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