*Times are PDT, unless stated otherwise. Planetary positions are expressed as the degree (rounded to the nearest whole degree) followed by the sign.
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Are you wondering why you feel some of the transits we talk about and not others or why a friend may feel one but you don’t? If the transiting planet affects a planet in your natal chart, that is where the planets were at the time you were born, then you are more likely to feel the transit or may feel it stronger than one that does not affect a planet in your natal chart. Don’t have a chart? Would you like one? Let us know.
In the darkness of the early morning of September 23rd, the Sun slipped across the equator on its journey southward, marking the Autumnal Equinox and fall in the northern hemisphere, or spring in the southern hemisphere. This seasonal transition also marks the beginning of Libra, the sign of the scales, and a major shift in focus from the individual to the collective. Libra is intensely interested in human beings and how they get along. She seeks balance, justice and harmony in all relationships, but sometimes this comes at a high cost – Libra is also notoriously reticent to choose sides. Standing for something is her challenge and true justice comes when both sides are taken into consideration. At this time, however, there are no planets in water signs and won’t be until the Moon moves into Scorpio on September 28th. Water signs keep us in touch with our emotions and without access to that vibration our feelings may run underground and be more difficult to express. Additionally, the trine between Mars in Leo and Uranus in Aries is now exact. This aspect’s high-energy kick has been building for more than a week and is generating an action-packed pace that is pushing many us beyond what we thought were our limits. The “shocking” discovery at CERN, announced on September 23, that particles traveled faster than the speed of light has the Mars/Uranus imprint all over it and is sending earthquakes with far-ranging consequences across the scientific community. It puts the well-anchored theory of relativity to the extreme test and could lead to a quantum leap into a deeper, perhaps radically different understanding of our universe. Revolutionary fervor is also heightened with this fiery aspect. The Palestinians are jumping on the Arab Spring bandwagon with their bid to be recognized as a United Nations member state. The diplomatic community’s annual gathering in New York, by the way, appropriately coincides with the Sun’s entrance into the sign of the Diplomat. Libra offers us the opportunity to find balance between the radical individualism that is so prevalent today and collective compassion.
On Sunday, September 25th at 12:47 pm, the Moon in Virgo trines (120 degree aspect) Jupiter in Taurus. Then the Moon goes “void-of-course,” making no major aspects until it enters Libra on September 28th. This is an unusually long void-of-course period lasting over 33 hours. The Universe does not rest, however, as less than two hours after that period begins, Mercury leaves his home sign of Virgo and follows the Sun into Venus’ home sign of Libra, moving thought processes from meticulous systems analysis to social-political concerns or artistic principles, anything that involves thinking about the invisible threads that bind us all and how not to break them – Mercury in Libra probably generates the fairest decisions of all. Three hours later, the Sun at 2° Libra opposes retrograde Uranus at 2° Aries. Sudden, potentially radical changes are the order of this week, especially of a scientific, technological or metaphysical nature. The timing of the CERN announcement was certainly within orb of this aspect as well. Collective compassion will be put to the test, as radical individualism will be almost irresistible. Conservative elements of society may challenge any new ideas but this week is so packed with the energy for bind breaking that all varieties of bucking the system will probably be undaunted.
Late on September 26th, as the Moon ends her long void-of-course mode by entering Libra, we find ourselves in another unusual situation. There are now no planets in mutable signs. The energy of initiation and creative drive is rampant with seven planets in cardinal signs; the three planets in fixed signs add tenacity. Mental processes and perpetual curiosity are running on high as well as there are six planets in air signs; the two each in fire and earth provide a foundation of stabilized action. Less than two hours after the Moon joins the Sun, Saturn, Venus, and Mercury in Libra, Mercury at 2° Libra opposes retrograde Uranus at 2° Aries, giving voice to new ideas and insights. What could happen if we all dance to the beat of a different drum? Restraint may be in order unless we can rise above the self-indulgence cacaphony that is created when we all do “our thing” and orchestrate our collective beats into a harmonious rhythm. With five planets in Libra, that may not be too difficult as the emphasis is definitely on relationships – what we want and need from them, what we want to say about them and what we feel about them. Remember earlier this year when we had five planets in Aries? Well, now they are in the opposite position on the zodiacal wheel creating a huge energy shift from the focus on self to other. “In Libra,” says Dane Rudhyar, “the sheer glory of human companionship is of itself a sufficient goal. And that glory, which begins in the “Soul-mate” ideal, ends in the realization of the universal and integral Community of humanity” that is “ready to know the true meaning of creative companionship and of a noble and harmonious, cooperative and free society.”
On September 27th, having passed Mercury, the Moon catches up to the Sun marking the new Moon at 4° Libra and the beginning of another new cycle, one that is marked by the urge to merge on a transcendent level. According to Rudhyar, the Sun in Libra feels the circle of companionship as a sacred reality. “The awareness of a mysterious “Something” which unites the person and his companions is constant… Thus the transcendent and romantic idea of “Soul-mates” is typical of Libra. The Two become One, and the essence of that oneness is Reality itself.” The Sun in Libra stresses “the value of the warmth of human relationship. He plans for it. He fights intellectually for it.” With the New Moon in Libra, the Sun’s directive is driven to home sweet home by the influence of the moon. “The energy of Libra under the Moon’s activation,” says Rudhyar, “produces a love of cultural values, of the arts, of social excellence. It brings out a peculiar charm and personal sensitiveness, often a brilliant and idealistic mentality. It is “the power of the anima.” In the striving for the ideal relationship, Libra typically finds it difficult to get down and dirty. In order to achieve her ultimate balance, Libra must be willing to embrace herself and others, fully, wholeheartedly and with eyes wide open to anything she might find repulsive. She’ll have to endure mucking in the corridors of her mind and others before she can experience the purified joy of mystical union. This is an especially powerful New Moon as it is conjunct Mercury and is in the sights of the epochal Uranus/Pluto square creating a cardinal T-square that urges us to take inventive, ethical and sustainable action in whatever arenas of our life aren’t working. It would be a great exercise to pay attention to how this moon cycle plays out: what seeds are planted at this time and what develops until the next Scorpio New Moon. By the full Moon on October 11th this cycle’s purpose may be revealed. With all this Libra going on, it is certain the power of love will be a major force.
In the dark of early morning of September 28th, the Sun at 5° Libra squares Pluto at 5° Capricorn. Five hours later, Mercury does the same. Six hours later, Mercury catches up to the Sun, passing on the far side away from Earth to mark the “superior conjunction,” a Full Moon equivalent characterized by an active mind that can be a fountain of knowledge. This culmination of the Mercury/Sun cycle as part of a dynamic configuration with Uranus, the New Moon and Pluto, could bring shocking revelations or profound convictions to decisions made during recent months. Pluto especially demands authenticity so we may be challenged to face the dark side of our nature in order to tap his deep channel of uncontaminated power. To get to the core of our issues we’ll need to consciously avoid getting caught up in an overly mental state that can be prone to excessive worrying and game playing. We must overcome the fear of going to the depths of our soul or we will never touch Pluto’s power, much less be able to put it to good use in the world. Meanwhile, the Moon cuts its usual 2.5 days in a sign down to less than 48 hours and leaves Libra for Scorpio – an interesting manifestation of the “quickening” the world is experiencing now.
On September 29th Venus catches up to Saturn and they conjunct at 18° Libra. In mythology, Venus is Saturn’s sister, birthed when Saturn overthrew their Father Sky (Uranus) at the behest of their Mother Earth (Gaia) in order to free her other children imprisoned deep within Earth. Saturn castrated Uranus, threw his genitals into the sea and out of the resulting foam came Venus. While filial love isn’t necessarily the only kind of love to be experienced when Saturn and Venus get together, this is definitely the love tester. Born of the act of taking away of a source of life, Venus/Saturn could represent a lack of or withholding of love or the feeling of not deserving it. The greatest love prevails through thick and thin but the love does need to be honored from both sides. This is the opportunity to focus on where our affairs of the heart need nurturing. In order to have enduring relationships, we must do the right thing by them by showing deep respect for others and ourselves in our words and deeds.
After all this cardinal initiating activity we may finally get a bit of a slow-down while the fixed signs have their say. On Sunday, October 2nd, warrior Mars at 8° of fixed fire Leo squares faithful Jupiter retrograde at 8° of fixed earth Taurus. The crusader in us all may be activated with a noble forcefulness to ensure our precious resources are managed with integrity. We will have the potential to act with solidarity on whatever was recently initiated and will have the wherewithal to sustain it for the long haul.
After that, we should get a “real” break until the next major aspect, October 6th, when Mercury conjuncts Saturn at 19° Libra. Self-discipline is turned to the mind. We will be more inclined to go with thoughts that can stand the test of time. Flights of fancy are out; solid and trustworthy are in. While this aspect in isolation to any other may be predisposed to have a dry, barren perception of life, when included in a holistic perspective that includes the rich abundance the entire astrological universe has to offer, Mercury/Saturn has a unique talent for ferreting out the non-essential and leaving only the economical, the unadorned, the core structures of thought. When we strip away the frivolous we are left with the naked truth.
On October 7th, as Venus trines Neptune we may lift our hearts to the sacred relationship we have with something greater than ourselves, the Divine Romance, or whatever we call it in whatever corner of the world we live in. As always during turbulent times, we call upon that relationship to give us strength and pull us through. But we could aspire to something even more. In the words of Mirra Alfassa, who was affectionately known as “Mother” amongst her followers at the Sri Aurobindo Ashram in Pondicherry, India: “Instead of falling asleep in an easy quietude and letting things happen according to their own rhythm, if one strains to the utmost one’s will, ardour, aspiration and springs up into the light, then one can hold one’s head higher; one can have, in a higher region of consciousness, enough room to live, to breathe, to grow and develop above the passing cyclone.” During this time we have a great opportunity to package all the imagination, sensitivity and creative talent each of us have into the gift of love.