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Digging in the Dirt

Updated: Sep 15, 2023

Astro Notes for New Moon in Virgo Cycle (September 14-October 14)

As we begin the new monthly cycle, the big picture is that Jupiter, Saturn, Chiron, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto are all still moving retrograde. This can make us feel a bit like we are trudging uphill with heavy garments on, especially if we keep trying to push forward at our usual pace. Pluto is still in Capricorn, where it will remain until January 20 next year, driving consciousness into the depths to flush out those structures that belong to the era that is dying. We are still digging in the dirt, pulling out our gnarliest psychic knots from their roots. We are still preparing the ground for the much more expansive and future-oriented phase that will arrive next year when Pluto moves into Aquarius and Jupiter joins with Uranus in Taurus (more on that another time).

Nonetheless, there are gems to be mined down here. The New Moon in Virgo on September 14 formed a gorgeous Grand Earth Trine with Uranus in Taurus and Pluto in Capricorn, creating a magical window through which to bring something new into manifestation. Earth is the element that brings our vision into form in 3-D reality. A Grand Earth Trine involving the New Moon means that the intentions we seed at the start of this cycle have the support of the cosmos to happen for real. Further, Neptune — the planet of transcendence — is also involved in this configuration, at the apex of a ‘kite’ aspect pattern that gives the Grand Trine energies focus and direction (see chart below). It means that we are rewarded this month with a green light to go for our highest dreams (Neptune), as well as the capacity to do the work needed to bring them into actual form. At the same time, with all the retrograde action taking place, we would do well to cultivate patience with ourselves and embrace the need for times of slowness and self-care.

Chart for New Moon in Virgo, 'Kite' aspect pattern highlighted

(cast for Mendocino CA, where I live)

The Sun moves into Libra on September 23, marking the official start of autumn in the northern hemisphere and spring in the southern. The Equinox is the time of year of greatest balance between day and night, light and dark, summer and winter. This principle of balance lies at the heart of Libra. Libra’s role is to bring any situation or relationship into greater harmony, whereby all parties involved feel met as fundamental equals. Libra is associated with the law because it understands something universal about fairness and equality. On a deeper level, Libra represents the spiritual law of Karma, where every action, right or wrong, is balanced over time. Because of this higher order understanding, Libra is exquisitely relational.

It is not just because of Libra season, however, that relationship themes are likely to be strongly up this cycle. Venus has been in Leo since June 5 and will remain there until October 8, an unusually long 4-month sojourn in one sign. During that time, Venus passed through a powerful 42-day retrograde period that asked us to reflect deeply on what we really want in our relationships. Many of us will have had important realizations in that period about what is really true for our hearts. Since Venus started moving direct again on September 3, we have been able to act on those realizations, in some cases taking steps to bring closure to relationships and in others redefining or renewing the relationship's form.

The process of negotiating these changes in our personal relationships will continue as a major theme this cycle. Throughout the month of September, Venus in Leo is in a close sextile with Mars in Libra, bringing the energy and drive to act on the deeper truths of our heart.

The full moon in Aries on September 29 continues this theme, being ruled by Mars in Libra. We will be looking to balance the polarities of healthy self-interest on the one hand with consideration for the other — though at the full moon we will want to align with the assertive Aries energy to overcome any self-defeating patterns of over-giving.

When Venus finally moves into Virgo on October 8, we’ll be ready to get practical about the improvements that we’re feeling called to make in our relationships and to do the work required to get to where we want to go.

On October 10, Pluto turns direct and two days later Mars leaves peace-maker Libra for transformative Scorpio. We will most definitely feel the shift in intensity as we will also be approaching eclipse season, beginning with a tense New Moon and solar eclipse on October 14.

Yes, more intensity on the way — I sometimes wonder these days if I will ever get to retire that phrase. But these last few months of Pluto in Capricorn are also truly a goldmine for anyone on a path of transmutation. I recommend lining up your alchemical container of choice now to allow you to dig deep in the dirt for the treasures hidden beneath the rocky surface.


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