The emphasis on collaborative creativity and unexpected developments in relationships that dominated the month of August should experience a palpable shift when the Sun departs flamboyant Leo and enters practical, service-oriented Virgo on August 23rd. The natural segue from summer fun to a back-to-school mentality may hit at the same time every year but we always seem to look at it the same way. This is not a negative, people! Yes we love our R&R, but even the most die hard Leo would have to admit that without study and work to give us something to compare it to, at the risk of sounding like a die hard Virgo, all fun all the time could become a just a wee bit monotonous. Duly humbled by his square to Saturn that was exact a couple of days ago (see last AstroCast, not to mention the stock market report for August 21st), the Sun entering detailed, “I prefer a low profile” Virgo might actually seem like a natural antidote to Leo’s attention-getting movements. Yet it may be some time before the Sun fully immerses in the purity of the Virgin territory he will traverse over the next month because he is traveling in tandem with Mr. Big himself, Jupiter. The two were in Leo over the last couple of weeks, and they remain coupled in Virgo through the first week of September. The Sun and Jupiter’s transition from big-hearted Leo to steady, modest Virgo should help us find a practical way to harness that big bundle of inspirational enthusiasm into meaningful service benefitting all. While in Leo, Jupiter amped up the Sun’s expression of confident nobility; in Virgo that expression will transform into a dignified noblesse oblige – the grand self is minimized for the sake of other, which could be viewed as sacrificial, but the more significant effect is to raise the level of compassion and understanding that initiates an experience of unity. Each individual tree surrenders its unique identity in order to become the glorious forest.
Their conjunction exact on August 26th, the Sun and Jupiter together radiate natural buoyancy, and just as the stock market will likely shrug off the 10% “correction” it just experienced (at least in the short term!), so too will we have Jupiter’s infusion of optimism to cheerfully bounce back from whatever has rocked our world of late, especially in the area of relationships that has been undergoing the Venus retrograde re-evaluation since July 25th. In Virgo, the Sun/Jupiter planetary pair should take it all very matter-of-factly as part of the process of everyday transformation, which in simple Virgoan terms means to become aware of all the little unconscious moments in our lives that create chaos. Sun/Jupiter in Virgo will definitely want to clean up any messes they created and restore order, and the best way to do that in Virgo’s world is to philosophically analyze each of the thousands of choices we make every day and bit by bit begin to make them consciously. Mercury in Virgo sextile Saturn in Scorpio, also exact on the 26th, gives a critical assist with a methodological approach to problem solving. In the last degree of their respective signs, Mercury and Saturn are brimming with expertise in depth analysis and functional solutions to everyday challenges, and their harmonious encounter will help to offset any over the top energies presented by the Sun/Jupiter alignment.
Still in Saturn’s orb of influence, Mercury shifts from applied thinking to relational intellectualism when he moves out of Virgo’s earthly terrain into the airy space of Libra on August 27th. Due to his retrograde period that commences in mid-September, he will remain in Libra through November 1st, so there will be a lot of time to contemplate relationships of all varieties. Infused with Saturn’s sense of responsibility at the gateway to Libra, Mercury’s sense of diplomacy becomes more than just pretty words meant to keep the peace. His level of communication is elevated here with the purpose of truly understanding other in such a way that not only respects differences between beings but also celebrates them. In Libra’s domain, how we relate to each other is the art of the collective and Mercury’s medium of choice here is language. Written or spoken, words have tremendous power and it is our choice to use them consciously and responsibly to unite rather than divide. As Mercury crosses into Libra he enters the “shadow” (the degree space he will traverse three times), so whatever is at the forefront of our mind for the next few weeks is what we’ll undoubtedly be reviewing during the retrograde period that commences September 17th. Known for his agility and changeable perceptions, Mercury in Libra will lead us into shifting our point of view towards finding balance in relationships.
At the crux of all relating is the need to develop the ability to integrate the individual expression of self with all the other individual selves expressing in this earth life. How do we express our uniqueness and yet be able to share space, and ultimately energetically merge with another? The annual Full Moon in Pisces on August 29th is our big opportunity to see how we are faring in that department. The paradox presented here is that the Sun in Virgo is in a constant, if somewhat agitated, state of readiness to move from self to other (as symbolized by the next sign on the zodiac, Libra) while the Moon in Pisces is readying herself to transition to the next level of individualized being (as symbolized by the return to the first sign of the zodiac, Aries). The Moon in Pisces’ job is to shed the memories of the collective experience she has gathered within her bosom from the full circle zodiacal journey, or risk them becoming unnecessary baggage – only the sparkling essence of their DNA can be brought forth to the new cycle of growth. According to Dane Rudhyar, “tolerance” and “courage” are the “gifts” associated with the signs of Virgo and Pisces. The Sun in Virgo must tolerate his role in the growth process at the moment that others must be embraced so that he may see the more important role he plays within the larger context of human life. His need to develop tolerance goes way beyond nit-picky conditions to his willingness to undertake a role in evolution itself. In order for the Moon in Pisces to liberate her soul, she must courageously battle her innate identification with both the suffering of the collective as well as its sublime achievements, the former which she attempts to escape and the latter to which she dearly clings. As the Sun in Virgo and the Moon in Pisces reach out to each other at this Full Moon may they bravely accept their archetypal role in the cosmic play and inch us forward to enlightenment.
The Full Moon occurs at the midpoint between the Sun/Jupiter conjunction in Virgo discussed above and an opposition between the Virgo Sun and Neptune in Pisces, exact on August 31st, thus making it an even more potent existential experience. The rational Virgo Sun facing off with cosmically intuitive Neptune, who is the modern ruler of Pisces, could evoke an otherworldly feeling where the Sun in Virgo finds it difficult to feel the ground beneath his feet. Neptune is calling him into his ethereal realms where the reality of dreams evokes a completely different rule set to live by. In order to maintain his equilibrium in this unusual liquefied state so far removed from his practical earthly routine, the Sun must retain sight of his individuality and simply offer up his special gifts to the cosmic collective. With Jupiter, the ancient ruler of Pisces, exuding his metaphysical lineage at the Virgo Sun’s side, the offering will be given in the all-benefitting spirit of abundance. Enhancing the romantic nobility of this challenge, also on the 31st retrograde Venus embraces Mars in regal Leo. The lovers of the astral world passionately merging under the enchanting Sun/Jupiter/Neptune alignment may feel like they are being lifted into a timeless space where love exists and nothing else matters. Acts of love and all its equivalents of benevolence, grace, compassion, if not being expressed directly between beings could manifest in cooperative creative endeavors that embody that sublime eternal quality.
Out of the galactic dream and into the deep port of power, the Sun in Virgo transitions from the opposition to Neptune into a trine with Pluto in Capricorn on September 5th for a burst of sustaining energy to implement those inspired activities. Pluto adds magic to the state of beguilement with his ability to perceive unseen forces at work and thus maneuver in Tai Chi like fashion to capitalize on their momentum, propelling action forward with ease.
On September 6th, another cycle comes to a close when Venus ends her eventful 6-week retrograde journey in dynamic Leo. Surely issues in relationships have arisen during this period, some probably quite unforeseen. Look to where long-standing patterns of interactions with others have been disrupted and new trends have emerged. Are the surprising infiltrators that gained a foothold during this Summer of Love review period authentic enough to integrate themselves into a relationship that has legs, or are the new characters in our lives mere cosmic plot devices to shake us out of our unconscious routines and help us discover what is really important to us? If they have lasted this long, chances are they’ll stick around. What will have changed is each one of us from within, if we’ve done the work to resolve issues that arose in us during this time, so that we may come together more whole, less fragmented by unconscious conditioning. It is all in how we perceive others, and how much we understand what it actually means to let them be who they are.
Here’s the data (using Pacific Time and planetary positions rounded to the nearest whole degree, unless otherwise noted):
August 23rd – Sun at 0° Virgo at 3:38 a.m.
August 26th – Mercury sextile Saturn at 29° Virgo/Scorpio at 9:08 a.m.
August 26th – Sun conjunct Jupiter at 3° Virgo at 3:02 p.m.
August 27th – Mercury at 0° Libra at 8:45 a.m.
August 29th – Moon opposite Sun (Full Moon) at 6° Pisces/Virgo at 11:35 a.m.
August 31st – Sun opposite Neptune at 8° Virgo/Pisces at 8:39 p.m.
August 31st – Venus conjunct Mars at 15° Leo at 10:04 p.m.
September 5th – Sun trine Pluto at 13° Virgo/Capricorn at 4:08 p.m.
September 6th – Venus station direct at 14° Leo at 1:29 a.m.