Sunday, September 27, 2015

Between You and Me: The "Supermoon" Lunar Eclipse

The first Full Moon of autumn is upon us (exact 10:53 p.m. EDT). It also happens to be a Harvest Moon (the Full Moon that occurs closest to the Autumnal Equinox), a total Lunar Eclipse, and a "Supermoon" (i.e., the Moon is closer than 224,834 miles to the Earth; although Supermoons are not rare, this particular Supermoon has the distinction of being 2015's closest one).

I just went downstairs to gaze at this action-packed Full Moon rising in the early evening sky; not even the nearby zillion-watt streetlamp could blot out its magnified beauty. The very sight of it reminded me that when any planet is rising in a natal chart, its energy is extremely important to the native. No matter that the planet's seeming hugeness is an optical illusion; the Moon is actually closer to the Earth when it is directly overhead, at what astrologers refer to as the Midheaven or MC position. When a planet rises, it looks bigger from our perspective on Earth, and so takes on a greater significance.

The significance of this particular Full Moon / Harvest Moon / Supermoon / Lunar Eclipse is not one-size-fits-all; it depends on which Houses the Full Moon falls in your own particular chart. Different Houses represent different areas of life, such as self-identity, finances, communication, home, creativity, work, travel, and friends. As well, if you have one or more planets that fall at 4 to 5 degrees of Libra or Aries, and to a lesser degree, 4 to 5 degrees of Cancer or Capricorn, those planets will modify the energy of the Full Moon for better or worse. For example, the Sun is fast approaching a conjunction to my Uranus at 5 Libra, and I have been feeling the energy of the upcoming Full Moon as jangly yet highly creative, to the extent that I feel as if I am having a major breakthrough (a Uranian specialty). I've also had a hell of a headache (Aries rules the head). And with the Sun in my 1st House and Moon in my 7th, self-identity and relationship issues are demanding my attention.

That said, no matter what Houses the Full Moon falls in your own particular chart, no matter what natal planets (if any) the Full Moon connects with, the energy of a Sun in Libra opposing Moon in Aries is bound to highlight relationships (Libra) and self-identity (Aries). Oppositions always bring a sense of tension and a desire to resolve a particular issue, and it is especially important on a Full Moon to acquire a resolution, a satisfying climax, in order to go through the waning Moon for the next two weeks with a sense of accomplishment instead of disappointment. This is because the solar and lunar energies are of utmost important to us all, symbolizing the ego and consciousness (Sun) and the id and emotions (Moon): who you are (Sun) and what you feel and need (Moon).

The "I am"-ness of the Sun is expressed with difficulty in the sign of Libra, which defines itself through others. The Moon in Aries, by contrast, wants to take care of itself first and foremost; if it can't be first in line for whatever its heart desires, and it can't cut into that line for whatever reason, it would rather go home. Libra is famous for its diplomacy; Aries refuses to compromise. You can see, therefore, that this Full Moon will put the spotlight on "me" vs. "we." If you ask which one will win, the Sun or the Moon, you have already lost -- for even one loser in this setup will be so wounded that it will do its damnedest to make life miserable for the winner. Aggressive Aries tends to shoot first and ask questions later; at the very least, it will stomp off very loudly to be alone. And sweet, charming Libra can act pissy and passive-aggressive in its "Whatever you say or do is fine with me, dear" proclamation that makes it crystal clear that it is not, in fact, fine with whatever its partner says or does, even if Libra itself can never seem to reach a definite decision about anything.

Tonight, as Earth's bronze-red shadow passes over the huge, perfectly round face of the Moon, try to be honest with yourself about what you really want in a relationship (if indeed you want a relationship at all -- you may very well not, which is fine as long as you are being honest about your needs). And consider what you can give to, not just take from, your sweetie. This last piece of advice is especially pertinent if you are not a Libra or do not have Libra Rising, a Libra Moon, or an emphasized 7th House; if you have a Libra-ish chart, you would do better to consider yourself first for a change. Just remember that first does not mean "only," and that some sort of balance should be attempted no matter what sign you happen to be.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Autumnal Equinox: An Early Clue to the New Direction

Greetings, dear stargazing readers:

I am midway through The Beatles Are Here!, a not-bad look-back book edited by Penelope Rowlands, which indirectly inspired the subtitle of this post -- a line from my favorite scene from the first Beatles movie, A Hard Day's Night. George (my favorite Beatle when I am in spiritual, searching mode, as opposed to cynical-but-idealistic, kickass-but-vulnerable John mode) accidentally wanders into the office of an ad/PR firm and is pressed into offering his opinion on some new shirts said firm is flogging ("They're grotty!") and an "It Girl" on a teen TV show ("We turn the sound down on her and say rude things."). When the Brit Mad Man kicks George out, the receptionist suggests he may be "an early clue to the new direction," but it is mistakenly decided that he is "just a troublemaker."

And what has this Beatleology to do with astrology? Well, today marks the first day of fall, aka the Autumnal Equinox, aka the Sun's ingress into Libra. On this first day of the Sun in Libra, its scales are perfectly balanced between day and night, but from here on out, the night force grows until the Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year. The beginning of all four Cardinal signs marks the beginning of the four seasons: the early clue to the new direction.

Today, at least in the County of Kings (aka Brooklyn), it still feels like summer -- but Mars is still clinging to fiery Leo (the last degree) and Mercury is still Retrograde. What is highly significant about this particular Equinox is that the Sun is conjunct the North Node of the Moon at 0 degrees of Libra. I do not normally spend much time or energy on the Nodes, as they are not planets but points arrived via inscrutable formula having to do with angles on the ecliptic; however, a Sun-NN conjunction at not only a critical degree of a sign, but at the beginning of a season, makes me sit up and take notice. The North Node of the Moon faces toward the future, whereas the South Node faces the past. Today therefore marks an unusual opportunity to break free from the shackles of past disappointments and believe with all your heart that today is truly a new day of a new season in your life.

Strengthening your opportunity to take advantage of this significant and uncommon conjunction is the sextile between the Sun and Saturn, which is now 0 degrees of Sagittarius. We last saw Saturn in Sagittarius in mid-June; the summer of 2015 was marked by Saturn's three-month return to Scorpio, urging us all to confront challenges and limitations involving sex, death, transformation, the occult, and partners' resources. Now that Saturn is firmly back in Sagittarius for the next two years, another early clue to the new direction involves harnessing your desire to communicate in relationships (Libra) to your desire to hone and share your knowledge and philosophy (Saturn in Sagittarius).

With Mercury still Retrograde for another two weeks, this is also a good time to pay a visit to the Lost & Found and retrieve something of value you'd thought was gone forever. (This need not be a material object, but a memory or a solution to a problem.) People with whom you'd lost touch are also likely to reenter your life, and it is up to you to decide if they fit into your own new direction.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Solar Eclipse in Virgo: Work It, Baby!

Greetings, Lovelies and Uglies and those who are a combination of the two:

We are fast approaching the final New Moon of summer (in the Northern Hemisphere), which will also be a partial Solar Eclipse. Exact September 13, 2:41 a.m. EDT, this lunation at 20 degrees of Virgo is a challenge to put on your cosmic hardhat and Get. To. Work.

This is one of those times when all work and no play will not make you a dull boy or girl. To the contrary, the more you work on yourself, the more rewarding you will find the New Moon / Solar Eclipse.

Even in modern-day astrology, when it is standard to sugarcoat the most heinous planetary aspects and placements as "great potential for growth," Virgo suffers from a bad reputation without the fun and intimidation points racked up by its cousin Scorpio. At least Scorpio is a seductive force to be reckoned with and can always get laid, whereas poor Virgo gets zero respect for being a prissy, perfectionist, nitpicking, overly cautious, submissive worker bee whose main weapons appear to be white gloves (handy for doing spot checks of dust levels in other people's homes) and an insistence on perfect grammar.

For those of you smartypants whose knowledge of astrology goes beyond Sun signs, you have doubtlessly learned that Venus placed in Virgo is the pits, and that if you are unlucky enough to attract one of those killjoys who give love a bad name, to run for the hills. Take that, Mick Jagger, Julia Roberts, Joni Mitchell, Roger Federer, Eminem, Mila Kunis, J. K. Rowling, and Kate Winslet! (Although speaking as a Venus-in-Virgo native, I will state here that I myself would probably flee from the likes of Sean Penn, Roman Polanski, and Martha Stewart.)

Now is the time to summon up and own those very qualities that consign Virgo to the dustbin of the Zodiac. Working on yourself can be a royal pain in the ass, and unless it involves a bottle of hair dye or a visit to a tattoo parlor, there is no guarantee that anyone will even notice. Working on yourself can take your entire damned life if you're doing it right. Virgo understands deep down that all worthwhile ventures can take a lot of time and effort, and that if you are in it for the long haul, you must be patient with yourself while pushing yourself.

As a Mercury-ruled Earth sign, Virgo also understands that thoughts are in fact things. To quote R. W. Emerson, "A man is what he thinks all day long." The self-loathing Virgo does itself no favors; the confident Virgo can win its version of the jackpot. This observation applies to all signs of the Zodiac, of course, yet Virgo in particular must be especially vigilant to monitor its tendency to self-doubt. A crippling degree of self-criticism will lead not to a jackpot, but a straitjacket of your own making.

Virgo's place in the Zodiac occurs at a critical juncture of humanity's evolution: self-consciousness. The immediately preceding sign Leo assumes it will be loved and valued simply for being its royal self; Virgo asks, What can I bring to the table? Plenty, actually: the symbol of Virgo is a wheat-toting maiden -- the purity of hard work culminating in harvest time. Even if you are gluten-free or on a low-carb diet these days, take the best page from this sign's thick book and work toward your own harvest. If you are less than thrilled with such Virgo-ruled areas in your life as job, health, diet, and/or wardrobe, use the energy of the upcoming Solar Eclipse to begin to change these areas. Although you may not see results immediately, at least you can make a definite start, and even starts can be very healing.