Cycles upon cycles upon cycles of action unfold in the heavens as they do in our lives: interweaving stories with new beginnings, middles and endings on the ever-ascending spiral of evolution where thought seeds are planted, cognitions happen and change manifests. Astrology is the study of cycles as represented archetypally by the players circling within our own solar system. But that has its limitations. Imagine the billions of other spinning stars, moons and planets that exist within their own “contained” systems, and the cycles represented therein. Then imagine where all creation may end (or not). It is hard to fathom a finite point at which it ends, but could there be an ultimate center around which it all revolves? Just thinking about it blows the mind. So after reaching out to the cosmic frontiers, we bring it back down to the personal, each individual, and the interweaving cycles of action in our own lives, of which we are the center, each of us a microcosm of the macrocosm, a unique representation of ever evolving creation with our own cycles of growth mirroring what is happening Out There in a small but special way. The galactic consciousness system needs us to evolve on a personal level in order that it may evolve and it has presented us with a solar system and the symbols presented therein to give us messages about our personal cycles. While each aspect during this time represents a cycle reaching a significant marker, two are very personal: Mercury will have its Inferior Conjunction with the Sun in Libra, marking the beginning of the Mercury cycle that acts like a New Moon where seeds of cognition are planted; and while Venus doesn’t make any exact aspects during this time, she is travelling the final leg of the degree space she traversed during her recent retrograde period (through October 9th) giving us an opportunity to see the changes that we are now implementing after all the relationship re-org that happened during her review period. Although the Mercury retrograde cycle occurring in the sign Venus rules feels like a continuation of her retrograde cycle. Whereas with Venus retrograde we looked at the value our relationships bring and made adjustments where there was imbalance, with Mercury retrograde in Libra, we’re reviewing how well we communicate in those relationships and if our perceptions of them are on the same page.
The Sun also marks a significant cycle shift on September 23rd when he reaches the gateway of Libra marking the Equinox point. As the symbol of a Being’s core life force, the Sun at zero degrees Libra directly opposes the Aries point, which represents new beginnings of the budding individual. Now at the halfway point in the annual solar cycle, something new is introduced. Whereas Aries is all about the Self and the progression of the Sun through the first six signs offers various opportunities for developing the Self, Libra is all about Other and specifically the relationship between the Self and Other. On a global level, it is cosmic synchronicity that the United Nations has its annual gathering of heads of state when the Sun is in the sign of the diplomat. The UN website indicated that this year, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will be working this month “to mobilize a ‘humane, effective and rights-based response’ to a global crisis that has seen 60 million people flee their homes by an unprecedented number of brutal conflicts, the breakdown of basic governance and mounting economic despair.” With the Sun focusing his dynamic light through the Libra filter of fairness, balance and harmony in relationships, he offers the best conditions possible for nations to come to agreement on these urgent global matters that affect individuals on a very personal level. The Sun in Libra recognizes there are at least two sides to every story and endeavors to be impartial as he weighs the merits of each in his decision making process. Following on the Jupiter/Neptune opposition that will be in effect through the rest of this month (see last AstroCast), it is clear the mandate for solving the refugee crisis in Europe is and should be a high priority. Just hours after the Sun enters Libra, he forms a sextile to Saturn in Sagittarius, adding stability and a sense of purpose to his relationship building endeavors. Saturn concentrates the energies going into this phase of the cycle and also encourages all of us players to take our next steps a bit more seriously. With the sextile, this doesn’t mean it has to be without humor, but what is required is a strong commitment to what needs to be accomplished during this time.
The two cyclical events unfolding September 24th to 25th are both “crisis of consciousness” third quarter squares, a concept coined by Dane Rudhyar in his ground-breaking analysis of astrological cycles that broke from traditional prediction/event based astrology. Generally, having progressed three quarters of the way through a particular cycle and theoretically having done the hard work to get there, we begin to reflect on what has been accomplished and more importantly what it means. So when Mercury in Libra forms his third quarter square to Pluto in Capricorn on September 24th (the second of three during this period due to his retrograde motion), their persuading influence is propelled with even more passion. Filtering through the signs that are concerned with relations between people, beauty and art (Libra) and governments, corporations and other organizations (Capricorn), Mercury and Pluto ask us to dig deep into the true power of our words in those arenas and to use them with integrity. Their alignment is further enhanced by Pluto changing directions on the same day, his already formidable vibration even more powerful as he hangs in the sky, his emanations focused like a laser and marking yet another cycle of action reaching the end of a review period and the a time to begin implementation of what was learned.
Also on September 24th, Mars enters Virgo, where for the next seven weeks military precision and a sense of service in action take over from the heroic bravado that was the hallmark of his journey through Leo. His manner of assertion is concerned with the details and practicality of how to express and pursue his desires, and while relatively humble here, he can be quite exacting of himself and others. High-level refinement in action is his goal, which he usually achieves quite easily, but he’ll need a little tenderness to soften the hard edges of perfection to remember that flawlessness does not equal purity. By September 25th, Mars has his “crisis of consciousness” square with Saturn, putting the impulse to move in a bit of a vice grip. When the “planet of go” meets the “planet of stop” in a fractious alignment, the only way to achieve movement is to relax into it. Using force when something isn’t ready to move will only create an equal and opposite resistance. The “crisis” here would be if Mars did not understand how to work with Saturn’s energies, which require the slow and steady approach rather than the quick and easy way out. Take the tai chi approach and it will come.
The mid-point of the lunar cycle occurs with a high-powered Full Moon Lunar Eclipse on September 27th. The Moon in Aries opposite the Sun in Libra focuses on the polarity between going it alone or in partnership. Although individual expression is essential, and often leads to pioneering endeavors, when two or more are united in a common purpose they are tremendously empowered to make significant contributions to the whole of society. Integration is therefore the key, and what is required to achieve that is not only the recognition that each individual is essential on team earth, but also that no individual operates in an isolation tank. Taking responsibility for our own wholeness also ensures that we can be a functional part of the greater and greater wholes. At this Lunar Eclipse may we set an intention to join the paradigm shift from competition to collaboration, and to enter into equal partnerships that further our personal growth.
Halfway through his retrograde period, Mercury aligns with the Sun in Libra on September 30th in the Inferior Conjunction, bringing new realizations on how to move forward in his ever-shifting relationships. Since he began retracing his steps on September 17th, Mercury has focused his efforts on evaluating the relationship landscape and most likely some loose-end tying in communications. The Sun’s proximity brilliantly illuminates Mercury’s course of thought and at this moment in Libra he ushers Mercury to the end of his four month cycle where heretofore unperceived ideas may stimulate the synapses. Jim Sher says the Inferior Conjunction “is when the ‘seed’ of a new phase begins. It may or may not be noticed yet. It is similar to the New Moon, also called the ‘dark Moon’ because one may not yet sense the nature of what has been quietly born inside us. Then, as Mercury finishes its retrograde period and goes direct, the new seed starts to grow and all kinds of new things will emerge and take us forward in a slightly different direction than before.” Let the planting begin!
Here’s the data (using Pacific Time and planetary positions rounded to the nearest whole degree, unless otherwise noted):
September 23th – Sun at 0° Libra at 1:21 a.m.
September 23th – Sun sextile Saturn at 11:36 a.m.
September 24th – Mercury square Pluto at 3:32 p.m.
September 24th – Mars at 0° Virgo at 7:18 p.m.
September 24th – Pluto station direct at 11:55 p.m.
September 25th – Mars square Saturn at 6:12 p.m.
September 27th – Moon opposite Sun (Full Moon Lunar Eclipse) at 5° Libra at 7:50 p.m.
September 30th – Sun conjunct Mercury (Inferior Conjunction) at 7:38 a.m.