Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Equinox: Not Just a Gym. Get Ready for Fall!


We've gone through some fairly stressful astrological aspects during the past week, as we reach the end of the Virgo period. As much as I wanted give real-time updates, it was too painful at the time. My self-identity is undergoing a serious transformation, courtesty of Saturn conjunct my Pluto and Asc. Basically, I am trying to cast out my bad habits and compulsive behaviors without being too hard on my imperfections. Also, an unconventional, relatively-short-yet-long-enough-to-feel-real relationship broke up (Uranus conjunct my Desc.) and although it ended pretty jarringly it's really for the better, and has also made me ask myself some pretty hard questions about relationships in general and the kind I've been trying to have in particular.

The Dark of the Moon period (9/16 to 9/18) was perhaps the darkest a Dark of the Moon can get: the Sun, followed a day later by the Moon, opposed Uranus and conjuncted Saturn. The Uranus/Saturn opposition is one of the more difficult aspects out there, so it's a good thing it doesn't happen very often; this time around (2008-09) it's manifested in the terrible economy, a repolarization in politics that culminated in the election of the first black president of the United States (black as a color is represented by Saturn; yet President Barack Obama, given his relative youth and his landslide victory, is more Uranian), the swine flu panic, and the health-care debate. Throwing a Mercury/Pluto square into this already uncomfortable mix, it's a wonder more of us didn't go postal last week: Uranus is all about reform and revolution, while Saturn is about structure and the status quo. The Sun highlighting this opposition made it a far more personal struggle for many of us, since the Sun represents our conscious sense of self. Egos were definitely trampled on by other egos, and unless you're an air sign (Gemini, Libra, Aquarius) it was probably hard to detach.

The Jewish calendar is lunar, and so the Jewish holidays do not fall on set days of the year, but in accordance with the Moon. Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, fell on this New Moon; the next two weeks will lead up to the Harvest Moon, in which we hopefully reap the bounty of all that has been sown this year.

We officially leave summer behind today with the fall equinox at 5:19 p.m. EDT, and enter the Libra period. Since the first major Solar aspect in Libra is a difficult square to Pluto at 0 degrees of Capricorn (exact Wednesday 9/23 at 10:21 a.m.), it will be a challenge to keep our balance, particularly regarding relationships (Libra) and authority, power structures, and the status quo (Capricorn). If you are currently employed, this would not be the best time to ask your boss for a raise or test his/her patience in any way. In fact, it might be better for everyone in your life, especially yourself, if you take a personal "mental health" day tomorrow. On a more positive note, light will be shed (Sun) on last week's unpleasant Mercury/Pluto square; even if you can't fix it or take back your words or your actions, at least you'll have a better understanding of what went down.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Second Thoughts? Welcome to Mercury Retrograde.

Mercury turned Retrograde on Labor Day, which makes me really glad I'm not starting school or a new job right now.

Mercury will be Retrograde in Libra and Virgo until September 29, so for the love of whatever god you do or do not believe in, don't sign anything--don't commit to anything you can't easily get out of--expect heavy second thoughts regarding relationships until September 18, and then second thoughts regarding your job, your health, your diet, any writing you might be engaged in, and any service-oriented activities until the 29th.

The Sun signs most affected by this particular Mercury Rx transit will be Gemini, Libra, and Virgo. Gemini and Virgo are ruled by Mercury and thus are that much more attuned to the quicksilver planet's energy than other signs; Libra will also get mired in the muck this time because Mercury is Rx in Libra until the 18th, when it slips back into Virgo. Virgo natives will be most strongly affected between the
18th and the 29th, but at least the 18th also brings the New Moon in Virgo, which should give some much-needed "starting over" energy to a sign that will need it more than the rest of the zodiac.

No matter what sign you happen to be born under, the next three weeks are an excellent time to reflect, retreat, and take stock of the events of August for the purpose of deciding whether or not you want them to continue into the fall.

In the meantime, don't be surprised when the check doesn't arrive in the mail, the phone doesn't ring, and everyone around you seems to be elsewhere.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Full Moon in Pisces: Purification Via Tsunami


It's a damned good thing I practice astrology, or else I'd be convinced I was going off my rocker. For the past day or so I have felt the energy of the Full Moon in Pisces, and this lunation is exact at 12:03 p.m. BFT (Brooklyn Freelancer Time).

Full Moons always bring a culmination to the lunar cycle: for the past two weeks, whatever has been building in yourself as well as the outer world will reach its maximum form of energy. A Full Moon can shed much objective light on an important situation and provide excellent, creative release if you use its energy wisely. Otherwise, the energy curdles, and the next two weeks of the waning Moon may be spent wondering, "Where did it all go wrong?"

Full Moons also illustrate a very important principle in astrology: polarity. Instead of thinking of twelve separate signs, living and dreaming in their twelve separate zodiacal boxes, think instead of six poles, each consisting of a particular sign and its opposite. You may think that opposing signs are truly opposite and have nothing in common; nothing could be further from the truth. Opposing signs always share a "quality," i.e., cardinal, fixed, or mutable, and also occur in compatible elements, i.e. Fire/Air, Earth/Water. Visualize the beauty of the yin-yang symbol: two interlocking black and white paisley shapes, each sporting a drop of the oppposite color. In astrology, each sign contains its opposite in seed form. Much, therefore, can be learned from your opposite sign. Interestingly, the astrological aspect that concerns relationship issues is the opposition! In other words, without the opposition, there would be no awareness that "the Other" exists...I am not just talking about relationships between people, but between objects, words, numbers...the world of abstractions.

For the purposes of this particular Full Moon, which is a "pure" one because no other planets are aspecting it, I shall concentrate on the Virgo/Pisces polarity. Both of these signs have unusually heavy karma attached (the other "heavy" of the zodiac is Scorpio). In the case of Virgo, the stage of self-consciousness has been reached; the self needs to be purified in order to enter the realm of relating that self to the rest of the world. Virgo is considered the final "personal" sign, which does not mean the signs that follow are impersonal; however, the second half of the zodiac generally is pulled toward shared resources and experiences, which culminates in the universality, empathy, collective unconscious, and dissolution (and unfortunately disillusion) of Virgo's opposite sign of Pisces. The Full Moon in Pisces urges us all to consider how healthy we really feel, and this is not limited to our physical body, but how we are getting along with the planet Earth (remember that Virgo is an Earth sign!), and our mental health. Some of the difficulties that can surface during this Full Moon include:

- Extreme perfectionism and dissatisfaction over only being human, leading to beating yourself up (Virgo) or fatalistic "I give up" depression (Pisces)
- Hypochondria
- Psychosomatic illness brought on by constant worry and anxiety
- Indigestion, often due to bad food/drink choices
- Insomnia
- Addictive behavior (if you have a strong Neptune in your natal chart, you may find that you are particularly vulnerable to the energy of Moon in Pisces)
- Reaching the breaking point in terms of services rendered: "After all I've done for (him/her/the world), THIS is what I get in return?" (Slam door, brood, and retreat for the rest of the lunar cycle)

If the above list leaves you shaking your head and wondering if there is anything good about the Full Moon in Pisces, here is another, admittedly smaller list of its more positive manifestations:

- Insightful creativity in the arts, especially writing, film, and dance
- True selflessness that encourages you to serve without expecting a reward
- Increased environmental awareness
- The ability to synthesize trillions of bits of information and, in so putting some metaphoric jigsaw puzzle together, understand the whole
- Setting more reasonable "shalt nots" and "shalt dos" in your life, especially those that affect your physical and mental health

Catch the wave!