Hunger sets in as two planetary bodies shift into Virgo during this period. While the humble maiden isn’t normally associated with appetites or zeal of any kind, consider that she represents the harvest. Under her domain, that which was planted comes to ripeness, ready to be plucked. Virgo lives for the moment her fruits become full and can finally detach from their original life-giving source to enter, transformed, into their next phase of purpose. So focused she is on that moment, she can almost taste it. It is what drives her. This mutable sign is relentlessly in a state of preparation for the next level, which can translate into more than just a little nervousness – that is what an entire collection of sub-cellular electrons, protons and neutrons look like when they are always at the ready, keeping in a constant vibrating state of heightened readiness so as not to let atrophy set in.
The Sun enters Virgo on August 22nd at 4:02 pm, burning Virgo’s deep desire for purity into the core of our being. This can manifest as the skillful analysis of the subject at hand or adeptness at culling the non-essential down to its ultra-refined essence. Always looking for the most practical way to work through a project, the Sun in Virgo will sense every roadblock or pothole and devise ways around them. Maintaining focus on the road in front of her is Virgo’s best tool for staying present. If she looks too far ahead to that golden door of transformation, she may become overly critical of anything that is not ready to pass through it. She must develop compassion for herself and others by acknowledging that we are all works in progress. Then she will be able to see the purity inherent in imperfections and her intent to serve will become a springboard for all of us to jump from selfishness to selflessness.
Nearly 24 hours later on August 23rd, Mercury enters Virgo to spend the next 17 days in the sign he rules. Here, Mercury’s specialty is not so much to gather and analyze great amounts of data but ultimately to synthesize it down to its core elements, seeing the interrelationships therein. Operating through ever-pragmatic Virgo, Mercury here doesn’t like a lot of baggage, knowing he can’t possibly take it all where he’s going. With his sights always on the mutation process, Mercury may inspire us to cultivate an analytical approach to map out a pared down path to transformation.
Traveling in tandem since both entered Virgo, the Sun and Mercury meet up in the Superior Conjunction on August 24th at 1:56 pm at 2 degrees Virgo. Other than various lunar conjunctions frequently occurring due to the Moon’s quick 28-day cycle, the Sun and Mercury are the only planets sharing the same stellar space until September 18th when Venus catches up to Saturn in Scorpio. All other planets are splashed around the heavens with their singular voices piping in as they aspect other astral bodies. The Superior Conjunction of the Sun/Mercury cycle has a Full Moon feel with a culminating effect for themes presented at the Inferior Conjunction on July 9th. A conjunction is like mind melding, and with Virgo involved we may all be channeling Spock when the Sun and Mercury act as one, united in their mission to analyze with the sole purpose of brilliantly and efficiently summarizing key points for anyone who will hear.
August 24th through 27th, Venus activates the T-square between Pluto, Uranus and Jupiter to make a grand cross between 9 to 13 degrees of the cardinal signs Libra, Capricorn, Aries and Cancer. At first this may seem like an afterthought since Jupiter’s big bang effect over the last few weeks. But an afterthought could turn into an aftershock from deep within Venus’ feminine camp in her home sign of Libra. As only one of two major players in the astral world representing feminine archetypes, Venus enters this fray to force feminine issues to the forefront. Receptivity is key, as is balance and harmony. Venus in Libra asks what do we value and what imprint does it have on the fabric of society? It is imperative for her to be creative, or at least to begin to develop the notion that being creative is really what it means to live. She asks us to forget about our traditional notions of creativity. It is not just about art. It is also about problem solving – she may propose a way to bring ecology to the economy table or disarm war mongers with face saving ways to garner peace. She will endeavor to force us out of our body box to get a macro perspective from way above ground where we can see all the ripples generated by the micro movements across the global stage. Then she will urge us to Pay Close Attention to how those ripples affect everyone in their wake, and care about it.
A Grand Cross is four squares (90 degree angles) and two oppositions (180 degrees). That’s a hell of a lot of tension. Venus making exact aspects to truth-seeking Jupiter, reality-shattering Uranus and atomically powerful Pluto makes her the Queenpin uniting their energies as she passes through the vortex of the Grand Cross formation. When she touches Pluto, she will insist on deep relations with others, but what that really means is we will need to bore through to our own heart first because we can’t touch another’s core until we know our own. When she faces Uranus she may cause shocking shifts in alliances we didn’t see coming. Ordinarily, when she squares Jupiter, we would perhaps over indulge in the good life but with the influences of the transformational outer planets still in play, this partnership could provide the booster required to force the issue with all the girl power Venus can muster (with Jupiter acting through feminine Cancer’s help!). Venus in Libra’s stance will be less gunning for the competition and more befriending them. But don’t expect her to meekly ask: “Can’t we all just get along?” She’ll shout it out: “We will get along!”
August 25th to 26th, Mercury and the Sun at 4 degrees Virgo oppose Neptune at 4 degrees Pisces, dissecting the Grand Cross with an imperative to look within. External irritants could provide insights if viewed like a mirror rather than something to escape. For example, if we feel abandoned, where have we abandoned? If we feel unloved, where are we unloving? The answer could be that we are unloving mostly to ourselves and have abandoned our own purpose in favor of towing someone else’s line. The Sun sees Neptune as the great connector. On a soul level, we are all one. Mercury gives us the ability to perceive it through multiple layers of abstraction. If we truly could know the vastness of being, it may be so overwhelming that we would seek to numb ourselves to the real mind-blowing experience with an addictive substance or behavior of choice. Is Oneness just too much to handle? Venus’ higher octave, Neptune, adds his weight to the Grand Cross conversation, showing us how much more freedom we actually have without boundaries. The less fear we live in, the freer we are to express ourselves, and allow others equal expression. We’re not just thinking out of the box here. We could catch a glimpse of what it would be like if the box actually vanished out of existence.
Mars provides a dramatic shift change when he leaves Cancer and enters Leo on August 27th. Freeing himself up from the restrictive need to assert from a position of safety, he throws off the security blanket for a high rolling creative drive. Strutting like a peacock, he will display a confident, dramatic flare for getting what he wants but will need to keep his arrogance in check by aligning his desires with a sense of noble purpose. In Leo through October 15th, Mars’ natural power drive fires up to command the forces around him, or perhaps pull in a fiery romance.
Between August 27th and September 1st, the Sun and Mercury traveling together in Virgo proceed to aspect Saturn in Scorpio (sextile) and Pluto in Capricorn (trine), with Mercury additionally sextiling Jupiter in Cancer, bringing the cacophony of astral voices to a crescendo. We may feel like we’re bouncing off the walls and ceilings. Focus won’t come easy as our attention is diverted across the universal spectrum from one subject to the next, but it will be sharp. All endeavors have the potential to seem profoundly interesting, potentially deep, meaningful and perhaps provide some practical solutions to vexing problems. This is what smart feels like, when we have so many resources at our fingertips and an easy flow of energy to access them with.
The New Moon at 13 degrees Virgo occurs on September 5th at 4:36 am. With so much dramatic planetary chatter going on right now, it may be a welcome relief to have this new lunar cycle under Virgo’s pure, steady hand to keep our emotions in order. Virgo is the last sign of the first half the zodiac representing the end stage of self-oriented growth. The jump into Libra and the last half of the zodiac, which symbolizes the self in relation to others, represents perhaps the most significant shift from one sign to the next. And who better for the job than the perfectionist to ensure everyone passing through the gates is as ready as possible? This New Moon cycle is Virgo’s debutante ball and while she may fuss over every little detail, her main focus is to ensure purity of intent. To be sure, every hair will be in place and the gown exquisitely appropriate for the occasion, but what is most important for her coming out into society is to distill all that preparation into a heart of service ready to pay it forward.