As this period opens, the Sun in Virgo is still in orb of its opposition to retrograde Neptune in Pisces (see last AstroCast) and will be until the Sun moves into Libra later in this period. In terms of the Sun/Neptune annual cycle, however, this “full moon” phase will be active through the end of October and represents a time when things come to light that have been developing since the cycle began last March. Sun/Neptune relates to how we put our will behind connecting with the flow of life. It’s like being “in the zone.” We have a strong knowing when we’re in it, and when we are not. To get to this state, we must first confront our idealizations and where we may be deceiving ourselves into believing something exists simply because it is what we desperately want. Sun/Neptune calls us to develop courage by putting our will behind facing the reality of what actually is, no matter how painful or disappointing. As the Sun/Neptune opposition unfolds, we may be called upon to confront our own or others’ manipulative schemes, which most likely won’t work anyway and lead to regret. When we’re in the flow, there is no struggle or forcing of anything. When we have an intention to serve the greater force of galactic consciousness rather than our personal ego desires, then we fully accept that what is supposed to happen, will happen, even though we may not fully understand why or how. We simply answer Neptune’s call to live at a higher level of consciousness by allowing ourselves to be moved by its mysterious current.
On September 16, while still in Neptune’s wake, the Sun segues into a closing trine with retrograde Pluto in Capricorn, the latter in a long-term opening sextile with Neptune. The Sun in configuration with these transcendent outer planets offers a window into a deeper, more profound existence, one that is connected not just with the flow of life on earth, but also with the unseen forces we can hardly even fathom. While Sun/Neptune beckons us into this loving, compassionate flow, Sun/Pluto empowers us to be our authentic soul-connected selves, no matter how demanding or distractingly cacophonous life is on the surface of the material world. Being in a transcendent state of love, which has nothing to do with relationships, is the ultimate power. Imagine being in that state all the time. With both Pluto and Neptune retrograde, perhaps we will stop our daily business long enough to reflect on why we are not.
On September 20, the Moon in Pisces follows the Sun in aligning with both Neptune and Pluto before it then pulls into its opposition with the Sun. This Full Moon therefore is quite potent in its sensitivity and depth perception. We may have powerful feelings we don’t quite know what to do with, which could lead to recoiling into habitual escapist behavior patterns. We could, however, resist the temptation to fear the feelings and instead summon the courage to just be in them without the need to do anything about it, simply giving ourselves permission to feel what we’re feeling. The Sun in Virgo doesn’t have to be self-critical. It can rise above negative conditioning in order to serve the needs of our soul. And the Moon in Pisces doesn’t have to retreat from the overwhelming suffering of the world. It can embrace it for what it shows us about how we perpetuate a false sense of disconnection from ourselves and others.
September 16 through 23, Venus in Scorpio activates the year-long square between Saturn in Aquarius and Uranus in Taurus, which will have its third and last peak at the end of the year. Yet these ongoing activations by the faster moving planets intensify its erratic stop/go energy that have been challenging the rhythms of everyday life. Venus pulling into their degree space creates a tense fixed T-square configuration that reignites the Saturn/Uranus call for creative structural change with an urgent need to resolve any dysfunction relating to our values and relationships. Venus square Saturn calls us to put effort into our relationships, or face the consequences if we don’t. The pandemic has put a tremendous pressure on families and friends having to live in tight quarters with fewer resources. The same can be said for our relationships at work where major structural and economic contraction have led to fewer people absorbing greater responsibilities. Venus/Uranus relates to a need for freedom in our relationships to express who we are rather than having to conform to standards. It can lead to people separating when one feels stifled or overly burdened by the demands of a relationship. Furthermore, Venus rules the sign Uranus is in, which amplifies the need to change our value systems, perhaps radically. Any alignment involving Uranus has the potential for unexpected or disruptive events, but with Saturn and Uranus both retrograde, the archetypal impact may be experienced internally and relate to dramatic shifts in how we perceive an ongoing situation. Saturn/Uranus calls us to find innovative ways to maintain stability that preserves what is valuable from the past while also having a futuristic view of what would serve our evolving needs.
September 20 to 22, Mercury in Libra forms a trine to Jupiter in Aquarius and a square to Pluto in Capricorn. Mercury then turns retrograde on September 26 and subsequently will repeat these alignments thus extending their influence for a couple of weeks. The retrograde period through October 18 unfolds entirely in Libra, which is ruled by Venus, also strong during this period, suggesting we may more effectively resolve issues by being open to work closely with others. The flowing Mercury/Jupiter alignment may correlate to seeking experiences to gain knowledge and expand our outlook. It can also inspire meaningful philosophical conversations. Mercury in a tense “crisis of consciousness” closing square to Pluto will endeavor to look deeply at the issues and have probing conversations to determine what is working and what isn’t. Hidden information may come to light during the retrograde that could significantly shift how we approach something.
September 22 also marks the Equinox, the moment the Sun enters Libra, the chart for which sets the tone for the coming season. Along with the alignments described above, also featured in the Equinox chart is a Sun/Mars conjunction in a harmonious closing trine with Saturn in Aquarius (the Mars and Sun trines to Saturn are exact on September 25 and September 29 respectively). Archetypally, this is a highly motivated, disciplined and willful alignment focused on getting things done. With six planets retrograde, however, the focus is on reviewing projects already in motion rather than commencing new ones. Checking in with collaborators can help to make sure realistic next steps are laid out and everyone is focused, accountable and committed to doing what needs to be done. Hopefully we’ll do our best to remember that trying to force things to happen will only cause frustration and stress. As the ruler of time, Saturn can ultimately teach us to respect the difference between the constant march of time in the material reality, and the gentle flow of divine timing.