by Boots Hart, CAP

Saturday, August 29, 2015

September 2015: Eclipsing Notions

The Solar Eclipse of January 4, 2011 as photographed from Strakonice in the Czech Republic
(photo credit: Hynek)
With the edges of our feistiness showing the wear and tear of effort, critique and many a necessity reflecting some sort of ongoing focus on  preference which has been preserved in spite of limited utility ...
So we arrive at September’s dawn with the Lunar Nodes at 1 Libra, with eclipse effects dismantling various forms of resistance and with Venus still in retrograde, causing life to feel like some sulky old wet blanket determined to rain on our parade of ‘best efforts’ more often than not.

And I’ll bet you’re ready for a change. Most of us are - even if we’re not enchanted with the idea of having to do all the work associated with getting change under way.

How do we know that? Metaphysically, we know many (if not most) of us are, to one extent or another, currently less enchanted with necessities than what we would like to think (and tell others) is necessary. We aren’t really ‘in the mood’ to tale on things we don’t ‘know’ the results or possible consequences of - we’d just like that thing (whatever it may be) that we know and like to ‘work’ for us.

Frankly, we don’t want to try. As September begins, in anticipation of its turn to direct at 8:30 in the morning of September 6th, Venus will be ‘stationary’ at 14 Leo, a degree which in being one degree shy of the zodiac’s 15 Leo second-of-four cross quarter points speaks to either a ‘reluctance’ to move ahead as that entails some sort of exposure, or at least some form of leaving our ‘comfort zone’ ... OR a making sure that you’re ready to plunge ahead.

Venus will be at 14 Leo and in retrograde from September 1st through the 6th ... and then from September 6th to the 11th in direct motion as the relationship between the orbits of Venus and Earth allow Venus’ apparent rate of motion to pick up speed. All retrogrades are ‘apparent’ - planets don’t actually go into ‘reverse,’ and they don’t slow down or speed up except as a function of how they are being perceived by us earth-types from our comfy-cozy (or not so comfy or cozy) position here on Terra Earth.

And hence why astrology says so much is about our perspective on our world, our universe - and by implication, our life.

Furthermore, as a degree, 14 Leo has a reputation for not bringing a lot of ‘active energy’ to any cause. It tends to represent the philosopher or the dreamer (whether those dreams are good or awful) who observes and sometimes critiques without getting involved - which is part of the challenge which goes with the entire process of ‘building up’ so commonly associated in with fixed signs, and therefore the zodiac’s four cross-quarter points, each of which represents some need to challenge our Self to take that next step, grab that opportunity, or take the personal plunge.

In Leo, the sign which asks us ‘what am I going to make of myself?’ (or put more popularly, ‘what am I going to grow up to be?’), which doesn’t take much to extend to Leo’s creative dynamism and desire to do what we’re good at - or that which we want to be good at.

But there is a place where push comes to shove here - and that’s where we have to begin trying to be that thing or person, rather than imagining ourselves doing or being that person. The reason why this is an issue in Leo is because the ‘doing’ or the ‘being’ is where our efforts to ‘develop’ our Self meets up with risk - risk being that thing which Leo really has to learn to manage as part of its polarity interaction with Aquarius, sign of society, friends, being appreciated, feeling like you ‘belong’ and that all-important word, ‘income’ ... all of which has to do with doing that which is going to get appreciated, or which is going to earn you those friends, that great societal reception or just that highly important paycheck.

In other words, we can develop our abilities all we want. But if society or others don’t find that useful or usable, we won’t get rewarded - and in purely psychological terms, that’s where it ends. But metaphysics takes this one step farther by saying that which we do which is only about our Self and what we like or what we want) is unlikely to connect to others as when we do that which we do only because we LIKE it, others aren’t mattering.

And metaphysically, that will come back to haunt us in the form of personal karma ... karma being one of the great hallmarks of the fixed sign after Leo - that sign being Scorpio, the sign of all which undoes us and our efforts when we can’t (or choose not to) face who we really are in a world or time we may not like having to be realistic about.

With 14 Leo being the degree Venus has backed up to through the process of its retrograde - which let us remember, began at 0 Virgo in conjunction with royal-and-fixed-star Regulus. Over the past weeks, we have all had to ‘back into’ or ‘back up to the point where’ on some level - and certainly in different ways - we have had to consider whether we are/were ‘ready’ to proceed.

Where we were (or are), chances are we have had to ‘wait’ on others or some external process to catch up. Or to get around to us. Or maybe we’ve even been waiting on some outcome which will have a bearing on whether, when, where or how we can - and whether we should - morally or physically - proceed.

And now ... as Venus begins ‘sitting’ in the degree it will go direct at come 6th, as the first days of September clip by, we’re likely to begin grappling several different concepts, the sum of which are going to point to our missteps and however Venus retrograde has caused us to be ‘all about our Self’ in a manner which both (Pholus) kills some chance to achieve something we seem more content to think about than tackle ... even as we fail to live up to some (Ixion) personal potential because we are so devoted to humoring our own desires.

And that last ... because it is echoing central themes learned through the Leo-Aquarius polarity as it is being underscored in a Venusian (results-oriented) manner precisely when Ixion, Byblis and Pholus are going direct - all of that suggests that the weekend of the 5th and 6th of September (which if you include Friday and Monday becomes September 5-7) is highly likely to provide various forms of impetus or demonstrations as to why development means little without application and why rewards seldom come without equally substantial risks.
At least to our ego, that is.

With Ixion going direct at 21 Sagittarius, the (Ixion) quality we either a.) choose to ignore or, b) think ‘isn’t all that important’ (generally out of some form of blind arrogance) pertains to some internal or personal fear we have about our Self and our capacities. Given how Venus goes ‘on station’ on Friday, September 4th (in advance of its moment-OF-station, which occurs at 8:30 in the morning UT/+0 time on September 6th)... Ixion is stationing at a moment which pertains to a (Venus) reward which is yet to be received.

Or, if ... or where we have tripped our Self up with some Ixionian tendency to think we know ‘better’ than (Jupiter) wisdom would seem to dictate, we fail to succeed, we “lose” something, lose out on something or we simply fail to advance - all of which would be Venus in negative form.

So that’s one part of the ‘Venus station’ theme we will be experiencing, maybe hearing about, or even setting ourselves up for (in various forms) during this Venus station September 4-8 period. As we pass through the station itself, the Venus ‘reference’ is likely to shift from something pertaining to ‘going forward’ or the ‘future,’ (some opportunity or thing to look forward to) into more of a ‘closing off,’ ‘finishing up,’ ‘realizing something is over’ sort of vibe ... and for some, this will transform the Ixion effect to something we will ‘set our Self up for’ to something we realize we’ve done. (Or been.)

Byblis by William-Adolphe Bouguereau (1884)
As Ixion is going direct, so is Byblis, an asteroid which carries a theme of defending something which shouldn’t be defended (i.e., which we need to admit to our Self was wrong). At 22 Capricorn, this pertains to something which carries with it a sense of ‘that which is hidden’ and an intensity which with Byblis would seem to be about ‘the thing’ (or person, or situation) but which in reality is about the feelings or emotional state/status - one which is likely to include some feeling of vulnerability, helplessness or haplessness - with which we perceive the person, situation or ‘thing.’

That the North Node is at 1 Libra all through this period (as it has been for the past several weeks) will bring our ability to relate and our relationships to the fore - in our mind, if nothing else. How we relate to others becomes important here: in all Libra situations it is as easy to talk ‘about’ or ‘at’ a subject (or person) without actually connecting at all to what may really be at stake... which would (oh, by the way) be exactly the sort of ‘blindness’ Ixion generates.

As for Pholus, Pholus refers to some choice or tendency or ‘position’ we choose to take which is ‘apart’ from the core or center of the action. In choosing to ‘sit this one out’ or perhaps ‘not be/get involved’ we may avoid some sort of immediate difficulty or ‘danger’ (to ego or otherwise) ... but in the process we are also likely to ‘kill’ off some sort of opportunity for accomplishment, achievement or growth.

In going direct at 22 Sagittarius, this Pholus station refers to the sort of energy we might well refer to as that which seems bent on irritation, rabble rousing and/or trouble-making simply for the sake of it - which suggests a detachment from that which has been caused, or a deliberate choice to be antagonistic for the sake of being antagonistic.

And Pholus goes direct the same day that Venus does.

Plus, all of this - in some way - pertains to where this Venus cycle started: at 0 Virgo and conjunct Regulus, which means all of it carries an underlying 0 Virgo energetic bent on getting us to rethink, rework, reconsider all the how’s, why’s and whether’s of something which in US represents...

1.) The 0 Virgo need to be both servant and magnanimous leader in order to fulfill the specifications and nuances of some life lesson,

2.) Regulus’ royal star parameter which instructs us to the effect that only the thing which is conceived of, brought into being, and carried through on without any taint of revenge or vengeance shall ultimately succeed,

3.) Venus’ drive to do that which will improve our sense of Self and thus our self-worth, confidence and ambition to do more or better.

Moreover, as Venus goes direct ... we are in several other personal countdowns. One concerns this month’s Solar Eclipse. Another concerns Mercury (which is about to go retrograde, a fact I’m sure you’ll just be jazzed to hear about...)(...only joking!).

Then there’s the fact that Saturn is going to be re-entering and committing to its transit of Sagittarius at 2:49 in the morning (UT/+0) on September 18th - which means the entire first half of September is going to reflect Saturn at 29 ‘critical’ degrees of Scorpio - a degree known as one which tests us through our sense of worldly proportion as a reflection of the how well we do or don’t understand the nature of our inner self...

... which being that this is Scorpio and Saturn in particular means our flaws - and in particular, our vulnerabilities, not out of any spirit of punishment, but rather in the sense of purification, particularly in those areas where our insecurities or inabilities to see where we are defeating ourselves through our relationships with others is getting in our way.

And as if that’s not all thrilling enough, then we have Mars moving from Leo into Virgo at 2:19 in the morning (UT/+0) on September 25th, a fact which will have Mars moving right over Venus’ station position (and Regulus), stirring up any left over hornets from all that even as Pluto goes direct on that very same day, September 25th.

After that, things are easy. Well, relatively easy ... all we will have to deal with is a Lunar Eclipse at 4 Aries at 2:52 in the morning of September 28th ... which is roughly like saying all we have to do is stick our wet finger in an electric socket while whistling ‘Dixie,’ and keep that up until we reach the end of September.

Taking these one by one, without question, the single overshadowing effect here is that of the Solar Eclipse, a metaphysical effect which ‘bends’ the path of anyone affected by its position - which in this case is 20 Virgo, a degree which in being the first degree of Virgo’s last decanate (its last ten degrees, i.e., Virgo 20-29) represents where our feelings and ego ‘intersect’ the life around us.

Are we throwing some idea (or our proverbial ‘hat’) into some ring? Are we watching life’s parade in full march, be it thrilling or despairing in its ceaseless and impersonal process? Are we seeing how something we have already done is being reacted to?

To be specific, 20 Virgo is a degree which is about tangible things: tangible effects, tangible situations, concrete efforts and our very physical Self as part of any process - or even the focus of some process, whether that refers to our having to do something or, as would be the case if we were sick or injured, something about that Self. Writings regarding this degree all refer to some sort of skill or ability and its interplay in the ‘goal’ of reaching ‘beyond’ ...which in this case may be beyond the Self (as previously described), or beyond our previous efforts or achievements.

That said, there is also a ‘slippery’ side of 20 Virgo which refers to some sort of habit which involves of trying to ‘get around’ what it takes to do something properly (‘earn’), even if just as much energy is expended in getting around some method or means which has been previously established - or if one of Virgo’s ‘standards’ of responsibility, morality/moral choice and/or ‘health’ is being violated.

The Solar Eclipse effect here is as always: to ‘explode’ some mask, shell or method of ‘making do’ with or about something in our life which we know we can do and have the potential to be, do or ‘fulfill’ as part of our certainty of who we are (and are ‘meant’ to be).

In the above diagram, the metaphysical Earth is the person - you, for instance. As the Moon passes between the Earth and Sun, with the Sun symbolizing your sense of Self, your consciousness of life, your daily 'life aim'... as the Moon 'blacks out' the Sun, something about or in your life gets ‘blacked out’ too.

And thus it is gone - at least in a total eclipse, which is where the Moon covers the whole of the Sun’s disc, allowing us to see the Sun's corona, that being a metaphysical representation of something very special about who you are. It may be your essence, or consciousness, or being - but something which normally can't even be seen (as the corona itself is normally hidden by the Sun's overall brilliance) that gets 'revealed' even as the total eclipse eliminates or 'removes' something else.

This September’s eclipse, however, is not a total eclipse. What we will be experiencing is a partial eclipse - which sounds like things may be more simple, except for how having to function with only 'part' of one’s capacities is often so very not ideal.

Put simply, where the total eclipse 'eliminates' something which tradition says is no longer 'working' for us (though we may love it mightily) ... the partial eclipse can be expected to focus more on the 'how' we have been going about something rather than the aim or thing itself. Its position in Virgo suggests factors having to do with responsibility, health, propriety, priority, inclusiveness, standards, effort or any of their opposites (irresponsibility, illness, exclusion, lack of standards, etc.) - and given that 20 Virgo is a third decanate (i.e., not strictly personal) degree, its altogether likely whatever is going to happen is going to affect others as well as your Self.

In fact, your change may be in response to theirs - it all depends on individual chart factors. (And yes, I wish I could talk to each and every one of you about your chart, but I doubt there's time between now and the eclipse!)

Whatever is being revealed as unworkable, take it seriously. Why? Because as they say about City Hall and Mother Nature, you can't fight eclipses. Whatever has been constructed around the 'unworkable factor' is going to be debilitated either until the 'unworkable part' has either been repaired or replaced, or until you simply let go and move on.

And yes, eclipses are often simply about letting go and moving on ... though there is an ironic side to all this, namely how when we 'move on,' we often find ourselves returning more or less to being who we are (or should be), which is the metaphysical purpose of a solar eclipse to begin with.

Funny how that works, ain't it? 

The first month after a solar eclipse are the most ‘awash’ with its effects - however in ‘watching’ eclipses as an astrologer, it has been my observation that there is a ‘resurgence’ or transient repeating of eclipse or eclipse-like issues some two months after the eclipse, which in the case of the eclipse of September 13 would point to mid-November.

Meanwhile - which is to say between September 13th and November, most of us will also have at least ‘touched’ on issues having to do with another eclipse, this second one having taken place back in May of 2013 at 19 Taurus. Particularly when eclipses hit our charts with any acuity, we tend to ‘run’ (at least psychologically) from the feeling of having our life shift without our choosing to shift it - and for whatever cosmic, karmic reason, the thing which seems to ‘seize’ us in that moment tends to be associated with an eclipse which took place around 2.5 years ago.

That eclipse is about to ‘turn’ towards fruition, and something about current events or where our life has taken us in the past 2.5 years has put us in position to do something about (or with) what we’ve been doing as the many months rolled by.

And together ... probably around the time the ‘backwash’ of the solar eclipse floods our consciousness a couple of months ago, the trends of old and current ‘remaking’ of our trajectory combine.

So much of the week after Venus goes direct is going to be our sorting through whatever matters are going on as we try to resist life ‘pushing’ at our thinking from within. As Friday the 11th arrives, the Lunar Nodes reach zero degrees of respective signs (North/Libra, South/Aries) and perspectives become increasingly basic, bringing us to ‘ground’ on some sort of internal level barely two days before the Solar Eclipse moves through at 6:42 a.m., UT/+0 time on September 13th.

Solar Eclipse at 20 Virgo (glyph chart)
September 13, 2015 - 6:42 a.m. (UT/+0) - Aries Wheel (Location Not Specific)
Solar Eclipse at 20 Virgo (glyph chart)
September 13, 2015 - 6:42 a.m. (UT/+0) - Aries Wheel (Location Not Specific)
To recap: who is getting most ‘centrally’ affected by this eclipse?

First in line would be those among us whose charts are being aspected by eclipse conjunction, as that’s the experience of having your own life, perspective or psyche transformed. With this eclipse occurring at 20 Virgo, a 5-degree orb of conjunction means those with a planet, dwarf planet, node or cusp line between 15 and 25 Virgo are affected.

Next in line would be those whose charts are being aspected by opposition, the opposition indicating a challenge or ‘confrontation’ with some energy or factor in life. On occasion, an eclipse by opposition indicates the eliminating of some problem or ‘blockade.’ Far more frequently however, its effects cause us to stop what we’re doing as something either eliminates the need or logic of continuing on, or because we are stymied as to how to proceed as something (in this case, an earthy or tangible something) goes missing or becomes problematic to our advance.

People with a planet, dwarf planet, node or cusp line between 15 and 25 Pisces are going to experience this eclipse by opposition.

Then there are the two squares: the departing square at degrees 15 to 25 Sagittarius and the approaching square (the reference being to a sign-by-sign zodiacal ‘approach’ or ‘departure’ from the eclipse point) ... which is at 15 to 25 Gemini.

Squares represent our ability to balance dissimilar thoughts, forces or drives, keeping all things in balance such that one issue doesn’t outweigh or ‘crush’ the other. Squares are basic ‘building blocks’ in charts representing things which though challenging in time become that with which we build or structure our life (i.e., “square building blocks”) and the eclipse by square indicates a challenge, basic alteration or removal of or by some factor which is either over or under emphasized in our life or efforts ... or which is no longer useful, and which needs to be reconsidered or replaced - and the departing versus approaching square, that refers to whether we are in the process of building something up or creating it (the departing Sagittarian square) or living with something, maintaining something, or allowing something to come to some natural conclusion (the approaching square).

The trine - of which there are two - represent a change to ongoing patterns or continuing efforts, energies or ‘flows’ which have, until this time, been consistent or able to be ‘counted on,’ this being why eclipses by trine can be very upsetting, which is contrary to the ‘normal’ concept of trines as happy-go-lucky, peaceful indicators.

Yes, they may be just that. But when an eclipse comes along and ‘explodes’ or exposes them, for some the ongoing peace comes to a crunching stop as happy go lucky fades into the sobriety of realistic assessment as life asks that we return to a more active mode of growing ... while on the flip-of-the-coin side of things, those for whom trines have meant some sort of ‘ongoing inhibition’ or even some life-long limitation of circumstances may find their lives immeasurably freed up by an eclipse hitting some focal point of their natal trine(s).

With trines also being given a 5-degree orb, anyone with a planet, dwarf planet, node or cusp line between 15 and 25 of either Capricorn or Taurus are going to be affected here, but that’s the end of the 5-degree orbs. The next group - the sextiles to the eclipse - get three degree orbs.
Occurring at sixty degrees distant to the eclipse, anyone with a planet, dwarf planet, node or cusp line between 17 and 23 degrees of Cancer or Scorpio are going to be eclipsed by sextile.

Sextiles indicate opportunities which are seldom mandatory. They represent ways we can broaden or enrich our world, and as such can represent anything from our income to our friends, from our choice of reading material to organizations or clubs we choose to join. So when a planet, dwarf planet, node or cusp line gets eclipsed by sextile, depending on current circumstance we can a ‘reversal’ of whatever we have now: those who have (or who have had) opportunities may find those spigots running dry just as those who have had little or no luck will find them begin to run more freely. Those with natal chart points in Scorpio (the sign which is ‘departing’ or moving away from the eclipse’s position in Virgo) will tend to be about enlargements of life or working towards something we want to have, or have happen. Moreover, because Scorpio is the derivative third sign to Virgo how much we ‘know’ about something - as opposed to what we may optimally need to know in order to make beneficial choices, prioritize correctly (not to mention profitably) - all that matters both in what we do, how we do it, why we do it and our ability to ‘voice’ our Virgo concerns, be they I-me-my concerns or those representing some collective, concept or organization/organized movement.

There are two other commonly used aspects to consider - the 30-degree semi-sextile and the 150- degree inconjunct or quincunx. Each of these gets only a 1.5-2 degree (maximum orb), which in rounding to two degrees means they affect 18-22 degrees of their respective signs.
Being only 30 degrees away, semi-sextiles always refer to the ‘sign next door.’ And since adjacent signs are a.) always of different elements, and b.) always of different qualities, with both of the signs (and points) which are going to be affected being ours in ‘our’ semi-sextile, we find the ‘closeness’ somewhat chaffing or irritating. Semi-sextiles by general planetary transit tend to represent things which frustrate, embarrass or otherwise annoy the tar out of us. Maybe we’ve done something sincerely dumb, maybe we forgot to zip something important (like our mouth), or maybe we’ve just been caught with our hand in the cookie jar not five minutes after protesting loudly about how good we are.

In other words, it’s not the end of the world, but it’s a bruise to the ego which takes some time to resolve.

In this case, with the Solar Eclipse in Virgo, the two semi-sextiles are from 18-22 Leo and 18-22 Libra - the former lending itself more to the ‘ego bruise’ side of this equation, with the latter likely leading more in the direction of ‘rocky relationship moments’ resolvable and otherwise.
As for the inconjunct (or quincunx), inconjuncts tend to manifest as situations which ‘hem us in’ either through some sort of ‘standard responsibility’ (a job, a promise we’ve made, the need to take care of our physical Self, etc.) or through our desire to ‘secure our place’ - and thus our forward path - through associations with others, be they friends, lovers, business associates or arch enemies.

In all forms of an inconjunct, we ‘know’ there are ‘rules’ - and whether or how we deal with that concept (the idea that some things in life simply are what they are) generally decides how well we deal with inconjuncts. Some people love direction, some people hate it - and for some, it’s a matter of the situation. As well, some people can work and work well with others even when they don’t trust them worth fly-covered tar paper, and some people wouldn’t work well with others even if everyone else was a clone.

As for aspects to this eclipse (and at the time of the eclipse) the eclipse itself is in opposition to Chiron + Amor, indicating a need to interact which one doesn’t quite know how to do or deal with. Is that in any way connected to why what happens in our life occurs at this time? Maybe - though it could also be an indication that it was because we didn’t deal with that ‘not knowing’ what to do or how to do it - that may be the cause of some personal eclipse event. With Chiron in Pisces, there is some discomfort included in whatever reason or rationale one is using (or has used) no matter the case - and though there’s very little doubt but that what has gone undone will have been blamed on ‘the other,’ the truth of the situation is far more personal, far more daunting, and far more about our desire to avoid knowing something about our Self which would cause us to think we aren’t as nice or wonderful or beloved or effective as we so dearly want to think.

Moreover, with Uranus at 19 Aries in a perfect semi-sextile to Chiron at 19 Pisces (and thus inconjunct the eclipse), there is a distinct ‘thread’ of having tried so hard to avoid something that in essence, you’ve back right into something else.

And no, you didn’t ‘see’ (or realize) what would happen. Some number of us may realize we were given some sort of warning or ‘heads up!’ about something which happens now, given the presence of Nemesis at 22 Virgo. And there will be some who will experience Nemesis as some form of their own ‘dark side’ or as some situation where they have embodied the spirit of revenge or vengeance in some way. The closeness of Nemesis to the eclipse point suggests some sort of ‘eliminating’ of this trait - either at the time of the eclipse or when it’s ‘backwash’ hits (if the two-month-after-the-eclipse pattern holds true) come November. 

Meanwhile, with Mars at 22 Leo (trining Uranus, inconjuncting Chiron and semi-sextiling the eclipse) we also know that there’s some pride and some degree of stubbornness in this mix - and how being (Mars) motivated or driven by a personal desire to help can sometimes make things more complicated than they would have been if cooler heads (and factual perspectives) might have ruled this day.

One other note here - this being courtesy of someone on Facebook who though they didn’t specifically set out to do this in particular, managed to call my attention to the fact that dwarf planet Haumea is conjunct Jupiter, Spica and Arcturus at the time of the eclipse.

Haumea is an interesting astrological character. The myth concerns a female shape-shifter, an idea which metaphysically translates into astrologese (yes, it’s a language) how we respond to others - and how our responses change and shift - or how/how well we contain our Self in terms of our relationships with others. Ultimately Haumea’s shape-shifting (not to mention questionable morals) proves her undoing, and all of this - in conjunction with Jupiter - either suggests an ‘exposing of’ and something highly unpleasant about our Self (or selves in one or various collectives) which in spite of its unpleasantness is nonetheless true, or an ‘aggrandizing’ or ‘enlarging upon’ something or some trending energetic which while it has the power to ‘enchant’ also leads astray, or simply nowhere.

Plus, any of this may seem both brilliant (Spica) and possessed of with either a deft quality of leadership (Arcturus) or an aura of being ‘ahead of one’s time.’

To all of this, we add how this eclipse isn’t occurring in isolation - which seems to be a special September theme. Just a week prior to the eclipse, Venus stationed in the company of Ixion, Byblis and Pholus ... and now our Solar Eclipse is being accompanied by asteroids Mnemosyne and Chaldaea going direct on the same day, with Ceres going direct one day later (at 19:15  or 7:15 p.m. UT/+0 time on the 14th) at 25 Capricorn.

(photo credit: NASA, ESA, J. Parker/Southwest Research Institute, P. Thomas/Cornell University, L. McFadden/University of Maryland, College Park, January 23, 2004)
In being a Titan, Mnemosyne refers to something primary or primal about us - which in this case is the entire concept of ‘memory,’ both as that thing which stores experiences and that from which we draw our inspiration - hence Mnemosyne’s secondary function as ‘mother of the Muses,’ or that ‘fertile bed’ from which our inspirations, good or bad, arise.

In combination with a solar eclipse, this could be perfect. After all, eclipses which strike our chart with any sort of exactness (see above for degrees of orb) are going to leave some form of ‘gap’ in our world which, big or small, we are going to fill in somehow.

Then again, that Mnemosyne’s turn to direct that synchronized with the eclipse may mean that it was our original ‘inspiration’ which is lost here ... with or without any immediate ‘replacement’ - and with this station occurring at 22 Capricorn (which is not just conjunct Ceres’ 25 Capricorn station but also the degree where Byblis direct) … that ‘flavors’ whatever it is which emerges from ‘memory’ or is revealed at this time with a ‘history’ which may have been right or wrong to begin with ... and which may or may not ‘fill some gap’ now.

That Chaldaea’s station is on the same day certainly speaks to a ‘try, try again’ quality. This may point to something which merely takes time (making you wait and wait and wait), something which requires more and more effort (particularly emotional effort) ... or, Mnemosyne’s presence, something which needs to be preserved for the purpose of memory, whether as a museum might do with an archaeological or as we might do for the purposes of ‘holding onto memories,’ which with an eclipse in Virgo can mean a lot of things, including those which ‘rob’ us of memory or the ability to process or recall memories.

Either way, depending on how we come into this time period, again the tables get turned. Something happens which alters our ‘trajectory’ or reason for doing things. Will that contribute to the breaking away of some eclipsed ‘shell’ in which we have held ourselves - or will we be the person who in being stripped of some sort of power or progression reaches for that with which they can try anew?

As for Ceres, having just checked chez JPL and NASA, though there has been a conversation about Ceres qualifying as a dwarf planet, Ceres is currently still classed as an asteroid, meaning it represents something we will encounter … and be called upon to consider, ‘know about,’ ‘face up to’ and ‘deal with’ from time to time (as necessary). And what qualities are those? Ceres refers to how well we understand what happens between the time we ‘plant a seed’ and when we expect to pull in any harvest, and how good we are at nurturing that which we think important, whether to us individually or to the whole of the world in general.

Ceres requires that we know how to ‘till our fields’ and ‘get our hands dirty’ doing life’s weeding and fending off pests as necessary along the ways to our goal. It describes ‘earthy’ (and earthly) qualities – and when we realize how all four of the symbols we’re talking about at the moment (the eclipse, Ceres, Mnemosyne and Chaldaea) are all in earth signs, that underscores rather maximally all those issues, concepts, efforts and responsibilities which in real life (and in real lifetimes) refers to the active phase, the ‘working to make things work,’ as opposed to the discussing, theorizing, imagining or hand conversing about any of it.

With Ceres going direct just after the eclipse, something about whatever is, has been, or is about to be revealed, exposed, shed or discarded through the eclipse process may be exactly that which then allows us to be effective in planting our seed and caring for our ‘crop’ so that a future harvest has its best chance. Or perhaps this eclipse period will provide the reason or motivation - even the ‘seed’ of some opportunity that we will then (Ceres) plan on working with in developing something fruitful or worthwhile. And when we then add in the specifics of 25 Capricorn speaking to our ability to ‘reflect’ or be ‘reflected in’ that which surrounds us the ‘greater eclipse complex’ begins to take on something of a two-pronged thrust, one of which points to about who we are (and aren’t, despite our sincere desire to think so well of our Self) ...and that which we are doing in daily life which attends to greater concerns and perspectives.

Our ‘environment,’ one might say.

Plus there’s one more think we need to say about this eclipse - namely, that it’s occurring four short days before Mercury goes retrograde.

(Go ahead and groan - I won’t tell.)

During Mercury retrograde, things bog down, slow up and otherwise don’t get clarified. Mail goes astray, messages get garbled, traffic of every kind (not just automotive) makes everything harder. Mercury several weeks of retrograde (which this time starts on September 17th and ends on October 9th) being a time when the very thing we’re most interested is like as not the thing which isn’t going anywhere, Mercury’s retrograde periods also have a reputation for hosting a lot of cleaning, researching, purging, getting things in order and ‘out of the blue’ sorts of communications as we all catch up with stray loose ends and mentally ‘go back over’ our thoughts, our histories and our lists - be they of the ‘bucket’ kind or otherwise.

In this case, the whole of this Mercury retrograde is in Libra. So right away we know the texture of life’s backdrops are going to concern the ability (or willingness) to relate to something or someone. It’s about how we approach others, our perspective on others and our tendency to project, compare, judge (or prejudge) and why we think as we do - in general.

How have we been seen by others? What image do we want to project - and is this how others see us?

Generally speaking, the week or so prior to Mercury retrograde reveals several things in that some things ‘move right along’ as others ebb to some sort of halt, pause or moment for reconsideration - and for a few of us, things happen in synch with Mercury’s station, a quality which - as it would be with any event which occurs in your life in tandem with any station whether it aspects your natal chart or not - is to be taken at least seriously, if not beyond that as an example of how things can ‘turn’ upon a moment.

Or in Mercury’s language, upon a thought or recognition which becomes the basis of so much else - if not yet known.

In going retrograde at 18:11 (6:11 p.m.) UT/+0 time on September 17th specifically at 15 Libra, something about this moment may well turn upon how much ... or how little one puts into something, which could be either good or bad. In typical Libran fashion this degree tests one’s relationship to others (and the environment) ... and, of course, their response to you. This could certainly take place totally in third person as well, meaning you may be in a position to observe, witness or otherwise recognize how the parties to some situation (whether in this exact moment or otherwise) are operating with, or against each other ... or even their own better interests.

It all depends. 

Mercury station-retrograde (glyph chart)
September 17, 2015 - 18:11 (6:11 p.m.) UT/+0 - Aries Wheel (Location Not Specific)
Mercury station-retrograde (text chart)
September 17, 2015 - 18 11 (6 11 pm) UT +0) - Aries Wheel (Location Not Specific)
Part of the question posed by this degree concerns responsibility, specifically of the type which asks that we make consistent and proper efforts and not just take the easy way out or otherwise ‘go along to get along,’ as the saying goes. And because in astrology the word ‘responsibility’ harkens to Saturn ... and because Saturn is, as we’ve already observed, pressing its requiring way through 29 Scorpio...

...and not only that, but the date of Mercury’s station (the 17th) being the very last day of Saturn at 29 Scorpio (and therefore in Scorpio) - let’s just say things are likely to be a bit more intense.

And yes, there’s also the eclipse.

Make that a lot more intense.

Still, this is a Mercury station we’re talking about. And the rule with Mercury stations is that you ‘don’t force.’ Going in, you may not know. And though you may noodle and natter the entire way from September 17th to October 9th when Mercury goes direct at 0 Libra, the real ‘solution’ to your situation (should there be something specific on your mind) is likely to take the whole of that period to work its way into your existence.

Under Mercury retrograde, certain things are considered problematic. Beyond that already mentioned, various sorts of ‘chores,’ ‘errands,’ or ‘personal interruptions’ which have gone undone often make themselves known under Mercury retrograde. Classically, ‘Mercury objects’ fare the worst, and by ‘Mercury objects’ we mean anything which helps us convey ourselves or our thoughts to others or within the bounds of Self or personal life. So think cars, mail, computers, feet, decisions - and everything which can come of them, or anything which could go wrong with them, a known ‘Mercury retrograde quirk’ which has long had astrologers suggesting that computers get backed up (and/or updated) and that any ‘car things’ or issues having to do with your personal mobility (legs, feet, etc.) which may have been put off get looked at prior to Mercury’s station.

Also traditional is the idea that it is unwise to try to finalize agreements or sign contracts under Mercury retrograde, though there is a marked exception (as there would be with all retrogrades) that IF what you are doing or looking to start is meant to be temporary, as it would be if you were buying a house or car or anything else for the sole express purposes of resale. Under that condition, since there is no intent for the contract you’re signing to buy such a house, car or anything else to remain ‘in force’ for all time - that’s an exception, as would be any other ‘commitment’ being made with (or within) this type of ‘temporary’ framework.
And of course, being as this month’s ‘theme’ seems to be doubling and tripling up on events, there is also the fact that as Mercury goes retrograde on the 17th, Juno is entering Libra, Jupiter is opposing Neptune (exactly) and Saturn is indeed finishing up the last gasp of its 2.5 year-long transit of security-testing Scorpio ... which if you take a look around our world, seems to have indeed timed out the manifesting of great structural deficiencies, particularly those which in being based in personal fears have tested to see whether we recognize how that we attract is not about ‘them’ so much as a quality in US ... in our Self which in that singularly metaphysical ‘like attracts like’ way attracts ... or detaches from ‘them.’

To this, Jupiter-opposition-Neptune adds the power of idealism and disappointment - sometimes in combination. With this global transit occurring with Jupiter in Virgo and Neptune in Pisces, nothing is likely to be as sure or precise as one might want it to be, making matters which require precision or exact timing questionable on the Jupiter/Neptune face of things even before we consider Mercury’s station.

Jupiter-Neptune can indicate being ‘lost in a fog’ or emerging from a fog, depending on circumstance. And though with Mercury’s station in this mix we might be tempted to look at this as either ‘fuzzy’ or inspirational thinking (and we might be quite accurate in that), given how Jupiter tends to excess and Neptune is often associated with anything which ‘softens the edge’ or ‘dissolves’ intent or structural resolution, this would also seem to be a recipe for either intoxicating joy or some form of consequential ‘intoxication’ due to simple inattentiveness or a disregard for, or lack of knowledge about others.

Does that mean that Juno’s entering Libra is about a sudden awareness that something needs (Juno) managing and that (Libra) someone is going to have to do that? It could. Then again, this combination of Mercury’s station, Jupiter/Neptune and Juno entering Libra may very well have to do with (Juno) managing our (Jupiter/Neptune) expectations or desires as such expectations and/or desires pertain to (Mercury in Libra) someone else’s choices, thinking, plans, or preferences.

Whatever it is in your world, apparently its one of like-as-not many things which could do with a little reconsidering.

Or at least a bit of ‘cooling off’ time before one proceeds... but then, that might pertain to more than one thing at the moment, considering eclipse effects and all. 

So as Mercury turns ‘inward,’ directing us towards some sort of multi-week (Libra) reconsidering as to where we are going with, or in terms of (or even in spite of) others, this is when Saturn ends its transit of Scorpio, ending (for a while) the ‘need’ to dig, delve or otherwise plumb those elements of Self which are stillest, coldest ... and yet supernaturally super-heated in terms of potential, allure and ability to promote and provoke personal trials.
Why? Well, because Scorpio is the realm of alchemical emotional irritation, subduction ... and ultimately, metamorphic transformation.

But as of 2:49 in the morning of September 18th, all that ends as Saturn moves on into Sagittarius, heralding several years of working to expand our world and our understanding of Self through others and whatever we’re doing during this time. Where Saturn in water sign Scorpio can indicate heartaches and emotional trials which in time lead to a greater and more realistic estimation of capacities and better (read: effective, even if not necessarily likable) priorities, Saturn in fiery Sagittarius is more of the headache which teaches what works and doesn’t work even as events deliver the ‘yea’ or ‘nay’ on choices made long ago.

How long ago? In some cases, as long ago as 2001-2003. And why would that be, you ask? That would be because that was the last time Saturn was transiting the sign of Gemini, the opposition sign to Sagittarius. With Gemini being a sign which majors in thought, mentality, learning, planning and making choices, and what with Saturn being the representation of long-term building in life, choices made back then (when Saturn was in Gemini) would naturally to come to fruition now in the very same way that every month includes a New Moon in one sign and the Full Moon ‘highlighting’ a moment of ‘turning’ or ‘fruition in the moment’ half a lunar month later.

Moreover, as of early 2001 the eclipse cycle was also in Sagittarius and Gemini ... so for entire swaths of us, this incoming transit of Sagittarius by Saturn is going to be the (Saturn) reality which proves, disproves or metaphysically ‘comments’ on things many of us did back then.
And how long will Saturn be in Sagittarius? Until December 20, 2017, at which point Saturn will become an even more prominent astrological influence than it usually is (which is saying something) for the space of around five (or so) years.

Why five years?

That ‘five year’ count is the approximation of Saturn moving through two signs - first Capricorn (Saturn’s primary sign of rulership), then Aquarius (where Saturn co-rules with Uranus).

Plus all of this happens just as the eclipse cycle (which cycles backwards, remember) backs first into Aquarius-Leo (from Pisces-Virgo, where it is now) for a couple of years and then into Capricorn-Cancer, both pairings underscoring Saturn’s effect.

As for 2017, that’s a year which hosts the crossing of paths cast by several past astro-economic and storied Neptune and/or Uranian events such as the 2011 Tohoku 9.0 earthquake (which some will remember as the ‘Fukushima earthquake’ due to focused coverage on Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant complex) ... all of which makes it entirely sensible (even a positive) that Saturn will be significantly positioned, as Saturn represents energies we can personally ‘get a grasp on’ where Neptune and Uranus are not.

So the good news is this: from 2017 through 2020, we all have an opportunity to improve things. And the bad news? Well, let’s just say things are unlikely to be easy to tackle - in part because of complexities, if beyond that because of why whatever needs doing is so Saturn-seriously needed.

But let’s get back to our present... there’s one more station to take note of in this ‘grouping,’ and that’s Hidalgo (our manner, manners and/or mannerisms) going at 9 Capricorn on Saturday the 19th, the day after Saturn commits itself to Sagittarius.

That Hidalgo is stationing in essence just after Mercury tosses a bit more personal reconnoitering into the mix. Beyond such, that its station is after and not before Mercury’s also suggests there’s something about the ‘manner’ in which we’ve done things (or as they have happened) is either part of what we will be working through during this Mercury retrograde ... (or) ... we’re going to find out something about the manner in which things have happened (or not happened) once Mercury comes out of retrograde.

As for the degree of this station, that is said to favor a more (rather than less) philosophical perspective, with attempts to turn, manipulate or ‘shade’ things for personal gain being strongly discouraged. As for why this should be, the only ready answer is that provided by the idea of polarity, as Alhena, a star which speaks to our relationship with the idea of ‘inner Purpose’ currently sits directly across the zodiac at 9 Cancer.

Thus far, every weekend in September has hosted challenges: the first saw Venus’ station, the second gave us the eclipse the third is going to be filled with a subtle if definite ‘adjusting to new or different parameters’ which we’re likely to be thinking through or looking into.

This ‘weekend’ trend changes as we move into the last ten days of September as this entire stretch is likely to be more evocative, perhaps provocative and more active and dynamic than the weekends which came before. For one, there is going to be a Lunar Eclipse at 4 Aries, and with 4 Aries being an energetic we might associate as being akin to that of a toddler who doesn’t quite know what they’re doing but by gum, they’re instinctively determined to give it a try. In real time there’s no reason why this energy can’t be expressed happily, fruitfully and productively. And for some, no doubt this lunar eclipse will time out some sort of event they have been waiting or hoping for.

Yet with TNO Chaos going retrograde on September 22nd at 21 Gemini we know the week leading up to the lunar eclipse is going to have its moments of challenge. Chaos tends to indicate any number of ‘possibilities,’ and for some, sorting through that which lands in their lap early on in the week will prove rather daunting. (Or at least time consuming.) And as 21 Gemini is one of the more polarized Gemini degrees, this can be very helpful or just not what anyone needed. Known for the sort of abstract and organized thinking we associate with math and technological skills, with fixed star Bellatrix currently residing at 21 Gemini, there’s something difficult or challenging which is operating on a mental or communication level which is testing our skill,  which we now recognize is going to test our skills or which we are demonstrating we have the skill to handle.

Are we proving something to our Self or to others? With Mercury already in (Libra) retrograde, that is one likely question - one among others, that is. And with Chaos going retrograde the day before the Sun enters Libra, that means the Sun is at 29 Virgo as Chaos goes retrograde - an interesting concept which may mean some 29 Virgo ‘insight’ now plays out ... or fails to materialize, perhaps in light of any (Chaos) number of facts or factoids previously unknown and/or unaccounted for.

After Chaos takes station, the Sun enters Libra on September 23rd at 8:22 in the morning (UT/+0). With this ingress occurring under Mercury retrograde, everything about relationships with others is likely to come under consideration, though there’s nothing about Sun in Libra which says that is either good or bad.

Moreover, it suggests that relationships and our ability to ‘relate’ to issues, others, ideas (etcetera) may well be/become more prominent as a ‘theme’ than usual throughout the next zodiacal quarter.

Sun in Libra (glyph chart)
September 23, 2015 - 8 22 a.m. (UT +0) - Aries Wheel (Location Not Specific)
Sun in Libra (text chart)
September 23, 2015 - 8 22 a.m. (UT +0) - Aries Wheel (Location Not Specific)
For instance: maybe you’re looking for the right person to approach. Or maybe you’re thinking about exactly how to approach some ‘right’ person you already know of about something. Maybe you’re thinking about, working on - or planning how to work on - your (Libra) image or reputation. Perhaps you’re thinking about how to launch or some ‘campaign’ which will ‘reach’ some (Libra) audience - or to improve some effort you’ve already begun.

With Eurydike going retrograde at 19 Taurus on the same day that the Sun enters Libra, knowing the cost of what you’re doing is important. Does this mean you’re just now learning about what some relationship (or ability to be relatable or ‘related to’) will actually be? Maybe. Yet this combination of influences could just as easily be about ‘identifying’ those (individuals or groups) who are for whatever reason weaker or less responsive than others.

Whatever that part of this moment’s ‘theme’ means in your world, that the Sun is entering Libra not just with Eurydike on station but also with the North Node and Sisyphus at 1 Libra, Juno at 2 Libra and Black Moon Lilith speaks to a need to not be ‘blind’ to what is apparent - or that which apparently needs dealing with. With Sisyphus in this mix, there is an ability to simply ‘kill’ something off, and where this is done it is likely to be done with arrogance or attitude of superiority. Is this merited? Probably not. A troublesome influence at best, Sisyphus refers not to abilities earned through diligence or effort, but rather to things we haven’t earned and that power or those privileges we ‘inherit’ through some stroke of luck or as a ‘perk’ which though not part of something we have earned is not itself anything other than a gift.

And the problem? The problem is that Sisyphus tends to be a hard-hearted, self-amused, ungrateful and morally irresponsible influence. So to see Sisyphus presented in conjunction with the ‘should do’ North Node, does this mean we should be snarky, awful and selfish?
Some will undoubtedly do exactly this, and they’ll do it for an extended amount of time. A few will take up the 19 Taurus ability to ‘dance’ - and if not physically, then verbally at least.

Being that this moment is happening in the first couple of weeks after the solar eclipse, some part of what manifests here may also be some sort of a ‘reaction’ or response to situational pressures which have originated ‘somewhere else.’ Yet even as a few go down the road of venting, others will be looking to offer (1 Libra) alternatives or new perspectives. Juno being part of this conglomeration suggests that control and management of whatever is afoot or at stake is a central aim here, with Black Moon Lilith pointing to large numbers of people (even ‘unbelievable’ numbers of people) ... or the denying, or ‘managing’ of their expectations, aims or even their desire not to know - which is obviously positive or negative depending on how important the subject matter really is.

With the North Node at 1 Libra also capable of representing an ‘important alternative’ ... or at least that which someone would like you to think is an important alternative ... the presence of Eurydike and Sisyphus in this sequence warns that knowing the true cost of all things is important now. Yet humans are humans - and not many of us are all that ‘friendly’ about North Node mandates as we like the ‘easy thing’ (or that which seems easiest to, or for us). And this, in combination with Mercury retrograde, sets up a moment when one ‘side’ of a conversation is likely to sound (and be) highly convinced or convincing ... at the same time as nothing being proposed is precisely true.

How to know what to do?

Some of that is naturally in flux now, as the Sun’s Libra ingress (and Eurydike’s station) of the 23rd also happens to fall on the opening day of Pluto’s station (with Pluto due to go direct on September 25th). So things are going to feel intense, whatever else they are. Having Pluto take its station with Mercury in retrograde is a combination which seems bound to indicate some changes of stance, opinion, plan and intention, with the words to the wise being (part one) don’t rush, (part two) don’t believe everything you hear, (part three) try not to be manipulative (it might well come back to bite you), and (part four) to not be so stubborn that you defeat some future possibility by clinging to some old notion or standard from the past.

With Mercury in retrograde and the lunar eclipse following (instead of preceding) the solar eclipse, the whole of September is going to have as many people ‘joining in’ as feeling uninvolved - and why those who are wielding power are wielding it as they are is also worth noting.

Part two: with asteroid Hera going retrograde on the day after the Sun reaches Libra, we can expect at least some measure of prompting, prodding or (let’s be real here) nagging to occur - though there’s nothing about this which says that the ‘nagging’ can’t be coming from your own (guilty) conscience. That could be true ... and certainly not true.

Yet perhaps more to the point here is the idea that Hera - a symbol of caring, nurturing and yes, when necessary, nagging ... that Hera is going retrograde at 26 Taurus raises the general ‘annoyance level’ if only because 26 Taurus is currently the degree of fixed star Algol, and Algol is a star known for all sorts of lurking irate-ness, ill tempered deeds and a generally nasty, one-sided perspective which deals with actual responsibilities only begrudgingly.

With Mercury retrograde, where is the real reason - the reason you feel the way you do about the way things stand - where is that reason coming from? How or where, or what was going on in your life when you learned to adopt the ideas which now are causing you to think about things (and others) as you do? Doing some Hera-type nurturing of that understanding (about Self, not others) may well be a good thing, even if it’s not likely to be something we feel particularly warm and fuzzy about.

But if you’re up for it (the facing of truths, whatever they may be, that is) there is hardly a better time to face those truths than at a Pluto station under Mercury retrograde.

Think of it this way: if you have to change, this is a powerful and potentially telling time to be doing that changing. Moreover, there is a lot of astrological lore and teaching which says that using a station or even purposefully makes it less likely something unexpected (and unpleasant) will occur.

Famed astrologer Robert Hand once put it oh-so well: use the energy wisely, lest it use you unwisely.

As for where Pluto is going direct, that would be at 12 Capricorn. And the ‘when’ of Pluto going direct - that would be on Friday morning at 6:56 a.m., UT/+0 time... which remember, is the Friday before a Monday Lunar Eclipse.

In other words, though we put ‘boring’ on our lists as a possibility, this is the kind of astrological period which tends to not be boring per se ...though it may well be a ‘duration’ of time which you’d like to be over and done with. And as for the lore on this degree, 12 Capricorn is known for the kind of drive which creates the possibility of being overly headstrong or overstepping some ‘boundary,’ whether such a limit is personal or societal.
All of this becomes an interesting ... even intriguing piece of celestial timing as on the same day Pluto goes direct, Mars enters Virgo, conjuncting Regulus as it does so. In a subtle sort of way its conjuncting Regulus does point back to Venus’ station at 0 Virgo as it went retrograde back in late July, as well. How so? Well, Mars and Venus are not merely associated as images of attraction. No, astrologically, they’re associated and defined as modifiers of our feelings, moods and motivations. They have more to do, one might say, with why we do something rather than what we do - and that ‘why’ always goes back to how we feel about it.

Venus itself won’t be arriving at 0 Regulus (completing its retrograde cycle) until October 8th (UT/+0). But given Pluto’s station and the qualities of assertiveness and decisiveness associated with Mars, this Mars move from Leo into Virgo may well indicate a different shift - one from what sounds good to what will actually work, for instance. Or maybe one which is from ‘what I like’ to ‘what I need to do in order function’ as part of a family, couple, team or society, as opposed to flying, thinking and otherwise operating solo.

However we ‘take’ this Mars move into Virgo, a lot of what has recently been a period of high-flying wondering, joking, postulating, idealizing ...and in general about flexing whatever mental muscles we have which will prove (at least to us!) how we’re feeling about our Self of late ... a lot of that is going to fade or fall a notch or two in pitch, and maybe in clarity as the Martian drive to ‘imagine’ and push things to develop (interrupted only occasionally by fits of fleeing from imaginary shadows) ... all of which is as common under Mars in Leo as is the Mars and Leo ability to prune, support, work or otherwise make that which already exists (or which already exists to be done) the undeniable priority.

Bound by earthly and earthy qualities, Mars in Virgo pushes for real accomplishments - those which can be seen, touched and measured today and in the future - and represents the sort of indomitable will (or willpower) which, though not precisely daring and not as prone to taking the risks one might see when Mars is in Leo (or any of the fire signs, for that matter) that doesn’t mean Mars in Virgo is shy, and it certainly doesn’t represent any innate lack of self-confidence or courage. All earth signs can represent the qualities of being hard to reach, hardened by nature or hard to confront or get past - and just as certainly can represent that effort or rationale which goes up against such challenges, which with Mars in Virgo can be some sort of ‘brute, blunt force’ just as surely as it represents that which is done with careful attention to detail and a sharp critical eye (one which may, on occasion, be accompanied by a sharply critical tongue).

With Mars coming into Virgo in square to Saturn, challenges loom, and not just ‘making an effort’ but the experience of effort is likely to feel more taxing than usual. Patience may be short, tempers may fray, and courtesy of Pluto and the Lunar Eclipse, the short-term forecast calls for overhanging intensity with sprinkles of conflicts and the occasional bolt of impulsiveness. Given Mercury’s retrograde, delays are to be expected, the chance for miscommunication is higher than usual, and given this Mars/Pluto confluence, something dramatic may well happen which reflects ‘structural instability,’ particularly if your chart is being struck by Pluto’s station and Monday’s 4 Aries Lunar Eclipse.

Lunar Eclipse at 4 Aries
September 28, 2015 - 2:52 a.m. (UT/+0) - Aries Wheel (Location Not Specific)
Lunar Eclipse at 4 Aries
September 28, 2015 - 2:52 a.m. (UT/+0) - Aries Wheel (Location Not Specific)
Occurring at 2:52 in the morning (UT/+0), this eclipse has the Moon (at 4 Aries) in conjunction with the South Node (at 1 Aries) and Vesta (at 5 Aries), giving us a very emotional portrait of need, cost and motivation. That Mars will have reached 1 Virgo by the time the eclipse occurs puts it in an inconjunct with the South Node, indicating the need to ‘adjust’ our aim, attitude or regard for that which is easiest to deal with. Why that would be is going to vary, of course, but when we look to the ruler of Virgo (which would be Mercury) and find that Mercury in retrograde at 9 Libra, it would seem there is some need to get ‘beyond’ something which is perhaps an ‘overall’ or overarching (life) goal in order to attend to something more personal - which would be in keeping with a lunar (as opposed to solar) eclipse.

Not that it may be easy to ‘get away’ from what we’re doing or thinking about. On the Sun’s side of this emotional eclipse equation the Sun, Juno, Black Moon Lilith, Tantalus, Sisyphus and the North Node all within the space of three degrees, indicating a something ‘substantial’ which we need to confront.

Whatever this ‘thing’ is, with Tantalus and Sisyphus in the mix, there’s some sort of ‘internal ill’ which is part of this picture - and therefore this time. As the Sun and Juno are in the same degree (4 Libra) the essence here is about balance in terms of what one gives to others ... and what one gets in return, with imbalances of lack OR excess being a reflection of self-worth or self-confidence issues, either of which can be displayed through domineering or selfish behavior as easily as they can be shown through failing to stand up for Self or one’s worth.

At this time, some will seek to correct these imbalances. others will go around accusing others of being the ‘cause’ of difficulties, some will be trying to mediate between parties or in spite of difficulties and very few of us will be in a position to (or have sufficient perspective) to recognize how all parties in a relationship, good or bad, are responsible for that which occurs within the relationship as we are all drawn to that which allows us to pursue our own life, and how as part of that, learning to incorporate and get along with others is as much of a lesson requiring us to learn about our Self as anything (or anyone) else.

Lunar Eclipses differ from Solar Eclipses on the astrological level in many ways. For one, they have a short ‘lead-in’ time, stirring our emotional waters only for a period of days prior to the event, as opposed to the two-month ‘breaking down’ (of walls and resistance) period which precedes solar eclipses. There’s also a difference in the duration and nature of effects. Solar Eclipses seldom manifest as a single giant event ‘on the day of’ the eclipse though like their more common Full Moon cousins (Lunar Eclipses are a somewhat exotic form of a Full Moon) Lunar Eclipses do tend to ‘highlight’ something particular, and they tend to do that highlighting within a day (sometimes two) of the eclipse.

As for the heart of the Lunar Eclipse’s meaning, that obviously comes from 4 Aries, a degree which deals with things we do ‘instinctually,’ or which we choose (or have chosen) to do out of instinct rather than out of training or experience. As a degree 4 Aries virtually assures ‘something’ will happen no matter what we try ... even though it doesn’t assure that what happens will either be what we wanted - or that we’ll like the results, which of course we then have to cope with.

Given that scenario as the basis of the Moon’s degree, having Vesta positioned on one side of the Moon and the South Node on the other would seem to make a fairly straightforward metaphysical statement about ‘knowing the cost’ (Vesta) of taking ‘the easy path’ through various situations (South Node). There will obviously be variations here as for some of us, the choice to ‘do’ is a current day situation where for others this eclipse will be part of dealing with results and/or consequences.

Beyond that, because the 5-degree orb of conjunction for this eclipse reaches back to 29 Pisces, there are other factors to consider. First of all, 29 Pisces is the position of fixed star Scheat, a star which most often manifests as struggles with various kinds of denial (that we are denied by others or that we deny about others or about our Self in conjunction or relationship to others). Maybe even more importantly, 29 Pisces was the degree of the March 2015 solar eclipse, and that was an eclipse which ‘brought out’ many strengths and as many weaknesses, particularly where that concerned our personal ability or willingness to deal with those things we ordinarily don’t see ... and which we don’t want to see - most often with regards to our Self.

One would guess this means a few folks are going to get surprised by events surrounding this Lunar Eclipse (and Pluto’s station) which harkens back to choices made (or put into practice) earlier this year. Perhaps the ‘real price’ for what was undertaken is just now becoming known or coming due.

Whatever happens, even though we are now at the end of September, that doesn’t mean all is settled, done, dry and tucked neatly away. Much which occurs now, or which crawls out of the walls around now will have to be sorted through and otherwise learned about, managed, worked with going forward - and with the Sun now in the first of the zodiac’s public and worldly signs it would seem unlikely we’ll be doing everything in private or by ourselves.

A few last words here to those who may be celebrating a birthday or other ‘event of note’ (be it personal or professional) this month - or during any month which includes retrogrades, stations and/or eclipses. If the event in question occurs within five days (i.e., five degrees of solar orb) of an eclipse or a station, that effect is going to mark the whole of your incoming year - which in the case of either may well mark this year as a ‘turning point’ of some kind in your life. Events close to Venus’ station on the 6th are likely to carry with them questions of ‘value,’ ‘valuation’ and ‘purpose,’ and anyone with a birthday within five (5) days of a Solar Eclipse can expect a major life change.

As for with events or birthdays which fall around the time of the Mercury’s station or the Aries Lunar Eclipse, these will also contribute a bit of a ‘flavor’ which is going to affect things. In the case Mercury’s station, relationships, the basis upon which relationships exist (or have been founded) and the nature of the interaction becomes the thing which needs to be thought through, where with a Lunar Eclipse around the time of your birthday it’s the fact that the event happens or doesn’t happen (or that it gets ‘highlighted’ somehow) which becomes the issue.

Plus often enough, upon the ‘hinge’ of that issue, something else turns.

Or doesn’t turn.

Or RE-turns.

And thus does September end. The good news is how from here, there’s something of a breather in terms of major events for a bit ... though there are those who think the Sun entering Scorpio is something to sincerely care about, and that happens towards the end of next month. Other than that, with Mercury in Libra retrograde, I’ll leave you with a truly dazzling thought - thinking back over this past month and all the things which happened coming into September and throughout September, what would you say if I told you that come 2018 there are going to be not one, but TWO mid-year solar eclipses, one in Cancer and one in Leo ... and how these two eclipses will be tied together by not one but (also) two personal planets (Mercury and Mars) both in fixed sign retrogrades.

(And no, that’s not the same fixed sign - they’re in square.)

If that makes it sound like I’ve somehow dwarfed your current Mount Everest of life eventuality (and please feel free to substitute another peak, should you prefer), with all due respect maybe it should.

But there is some really good news, too - and that is just this: whatever you’re going through today is there so that you’re ready to great your next tomorrow. September’s eclipses may bring many things. Known to herald the rise of religions, nation states, careers and relationships as often as the toppling of reputations, kings, fates, fellowships and fortunes Solar Eclipses in particular have long held mankind in a singular, species-wide awe - and yes, this eclipse will hit many a national chart, a fact which should be obvious as we look around and see so much chaos, contention, and ultimately unproductive priorities. (That would generally be the sign of an eclipse in the midst of its work.)

As for the awe, that's one of the only things humans all agree upon: Solar Eclipses are truly, totally and amazingly awesome. Not only that, but how awesome is it how in every awesome aspect, solar eclipses are also a metaphysical image of who we can be if (or once) we bring our Self to the point where we are not only capable, but willing to ‘let go’ of working to control priorities and self-awareness (instead of simply embodying same) when it comes to being who we are.

But then, it is a challenging process, learning to be awesome.
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