In Transpersonal Astrology, a distinction is made between the planets we can see in the night sky and those we can’t. The Sun, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn have been in the consciousness of humanity ever since the first sky watchers began paying attention to their movements. The universal archetypes that have developed after millennia of observation of these planets are primarily associated with our experience in this reality and how to survive in it. The “outer planets,” Uranus, Neptune and Pluto, are relative newcomers to our awareness, having been discovered in the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries respectively. While we are only just beginning to have an understanding of their archetypes, we do know they are transcendental in nature, tasked with transforming our approach from surviving to thriving by leading our awareness outside of this reality into the much vaster space of galactic consciousness.
During this period, Venus, Mars, the Sun and the New Moon all make major outer planet alignments, while Mercury and Venus align with the “societal planets,” Jupiter and Saturn, which by drawing our attention towards serving humanity rather than just ourselves, prepare us to take further steps into outer planet consciousness. Outer planet transits can often trigger personal experiences that bring a sense of belonging to something much greater, however indefinable, that contains immeasurable power, love, but which also has an absolute need for the uniqueness we each have to offer. With Jupiter through Pluto all retrograde, any experiences triggered by these transits could be internalized and lead to shifts in our thinking and consequently the choices we make that over time will reshape our external reality to be more in line with living our destiny.
September 2 to 6, Mars in service-oriented Virgo segues from a culminating opposition to retrograde Neptune in its home sign of Pisces, to a closing trine to retrograde Pluto in Capricorn. This is another in a series of activations over the last couple of months of the nearly century-long sextile alignment between Neptune and Pluto that is now within a three-degree orb of exactitude. This period is thus rich with the potential for tuning into their visionary and transformational archetypes, as they are further amplified by the driving motivation of Mars. Rather than becoming energetically depleted or misdirected trying to force something for selfish reasons (Mars/Neptune) or immersed in dysfunctional controlling behavior patterns (Mars/Pluto), we could contemplate putting our actions in service to evolving consciousness. Persevering in this area can deepen our understanding of the cosmic forces at work and help us tap into the depths of our power and ability to love.
On September 4, Mercury in Libra forms a closing trine to retrograde Saturn in Aquarius, which suggests our thoughts and manner of communicating may be focused with a sense of purpose and personal responsibility, which could bring greater clarity on what needs to be done during this time. We may also be more open to considering others as we go about our business, motivated by a need to maintain harmony in our relations as a way of developing stability in life. Mercury enters its “shadow” on September 6, the first leg of its journey through the space of 10 to 25 degrees Libra it will travel three times due to its upcoming retrograde commencing on September 26. Mercury’s extended stay in Libra would have us focus on how we sustain balance between supporting others while also taking care of our own needs. We may need to review situations where we have yielded our true ground just to keep the peace. Imbalance occurs at both extremes when we either leave ourselves or others out of the equation.
September 5 to 6, Venus in its home sign of Libra intensifies the focus on relationships when it quickly segues from a third quarter “crisis of consciousness” square to Pluto, to a closing trine with Jupiter in Aquarius. Venus/Pluto contacts can be intense no matter what alignment they are in, but the squares generally keep tensions high. Pluto asks us to strengthen our connection to soul, which is where true authenticity comes from. Knowing our deepest motivations as we engage with others will help us understand when we are acting from selfish ego desire or aligning with our soul purpose to participate in life as an agent of galactic consciousness. Venus/Pluto asks us to willingly engage with others in the process of bringing our unconscious to consciousness. The more we learn about our own soul and live authentically from that place, the more we will be at ease in our relationships. The simultaneous Venus/Jupiter trine suggests we may see the benefit of engaging with an agreed intention of discovery and transformation, and therefore be motivated to go deeper with others, no matter how dark it may get. If both parties are equally committed to the process, the buried treasure therein is the potential for relationships to become more loving and powerful.
The New Moon conjunct the Sun in Virgo on September 6 is exactly trine retrograde Uranus in Taurus. This is the second New Moon in succession aligned with the planet known as a change agent that disrupts routines and fixed thinking in order to break us free from automatic patterns and common consensus. This alignment is a flowing one, rather than the previous challenging square to the Leo New Moon. This new lunar cycle commencing in Virgo, therefore, may be more about introducing new ideas and possibly innovation into our day-to-day operations. The Virgo New Moon is archetypally grounding, which suggests we may be most effective when focused on practical matters and where we can be useful. Uranus asks us to be more aware of who we truly are – awakened to our soul nature. The Virgo New Moon will appreciate that being authentic is actually quite efficient. Think of how much energy it takes to pretend we’re something that we’re not. If we were unencumbered by a thick layer of societal and familial convention, think of how much mental band width we would have to focus on creating and thinking outside the box. Virgo brings a highly refined, analytical process that will recognize the simple beauty of this and ensure the most practical ideas are supported.
After a week of digesting these alignments with no other major aspects unfolding, the Sun in Virgo makes the final alignment of this period when it opposes retrograde Neptune in Pisces on September 14. While Pluto intensifies and Uranus awakens, Neptune calls us to courageously go through every experience, no matter how challenging, as part of our developmental learning process to experience the fullness of life, including our connection with Divine Love that powers all existence and is the basis of consciousness, the very life force that connects us all at both the cellular and psychic levels. At this culminating moment of their cycle, the Sun in Virgo represents the material plane while Neptune in Pisces represents the etheric. Experiencing both matter and spirit is essential. Metaphorically, each of us is a unique drop of water that collectively makes up the vast ocean of consciousness. Strangely, it is in being fully present in the all-encompassing details of every moment that we find ourselves beginning to experience the connectedness we have with each other and with all life. Furthermore, total acceptance of the life we are living transforms our very orientation to it from constant struggle to pure gratitude for being an active participant in this wondrous existence.