by Boots Hart, CAP

Sunday, August 28, 2016

September 2016: In Sight

Black Hole M87 (Messier 87) as part of a deep image of the Virgo Cluster
(photo credit: Chris Mihos at
With Mercury’s August 30th station still having us with gum in our ears and wax on our shoes,  September starts with a solar eclipse, a wholly-independent and dedicated article on which precedes this one.

Here's a link:
That said, the month of a solar eclipse does tend to feel ‘heavy’ with potential, so  if the solar eclipse of September 1st aspects your personal and oh-so individual natal chart, it’s highly likely (read: a given) you already know the area of life being affected. No, you may not (yet) know what the details are going to be, or when certain ‘shoes’ are going to drop, but give or take, you probably what the general nature of the quicksand is, if there is any.

Therefore, give or take all such Mercury-and-Solar Eclipse jazz (...understatement intended...) we can just start this September conversation with a simple comment about how said eclipse, (which occurs at the degree 9 Virgo and at 9:04 in the morning of September 1st, UT/+0 time) ... aside from being its own astrological event, is also setting an overall tone for the next lunar month, just as any New Moon would do.

(And yes, a solar eclipse is an extra-special, super-deluxe version of a New Moon.)

Solar Eclipse (New Moon) at 9 Virgo (glyph chart)
September 1, 2016 - 9:04 a.m. (UT/+0) -- Aries Wheel (Location Not Specific)
Solar Eclipse (New Moon) at 9 Virgo (glyph chart)
September 1, 2016 - 9:04 a.m. (UT/+0) -- Aries Wheel (Location Not Specific)
September 1
So here's the statement which falls here: like any New Moon in Virgo, this one is putting us on tract to deal with whatever is at hand in life, with the emphasis being on ‘how well’ things get done - - which means the emphasis can be on the “how” (method) part of the question, the “well” (quality and standards) part of the question, or how what we do and how we do it says much about us as individuals who are choosing to do (or not) do, know, acknowledge, deal with or otherwise attend to things in life, whatever they may be.

That said, with this solar eclipse having occurred under Mercury retrograde in Virgo, and indeed with Mercury having gone retrograde on August 30th, two days prior to the eclipse, much of what we will be going through now will be two-fold (or dual-sided) as we work on that which needs doing which we can do even as we work through nursing the inevitable eclipse headache(s) which have so flagrantly pointed out (at least to us) where we have been or done something ‘unfitting’ out of some form of overly first-person dedication.

And with Mercury being the ruler of Virgo, that says a lot - - particularly as that may pertain to thinks we are thinking about (or about doing). Under virtually ever circumstance, Mercury retrograde speaks to some sort of 'internal process' we are going through which pertains to the quality or qualities with which we are going about our life (or) which we are (or aren't) holding our Self to as we go about that life. Any New Moon in Virgo speaks to a month of 'working on' those things which need attending to in order to 'keep things going,' whether our effort is personal (doing something to support our individual life) or not.

Either way, Virgo New Moon months tend to feature reasons to excel and time spent on things which need attention or attending to (and that goes double with a Virgo solar eclipse happening here on the 1st, particularly if your natal chart is aspected by 9 Virgo, that being the degree of the eclipse). And though focus is needed in order to get through our lists of things 'To Do,' getting overly focused (or too narrow in our day to day thinking) is seldom a plus at the time of a Virgo New Moon or during the lunar month which follows. Issues of sensitivity (physical, psychological, emotional, etc.) may well be part of what is going on, with things becoming difficult wherever anything becomes "one-sided" or out of balance.

Under this Mercury retrograde, estimations of competence and/or ability, especially of things which matter and which therefore provoke emotional responses (whether on our part or that of others) are likely to surface. Such issues may touch on what we're doing or how (even why) we're doing them. Then again, this Mercury retrograde in the sign of the eclipse may signal a period when we recognize some flaw in our thinking, leading to a series of inner 'revelations' as to why we think and respond as we do, sometimes properly and sometimes because of emotional hangups we aren't enthralled with dealing with.  

As all the aspects and planetary pictures involved with this New Moon (Solar Eclipse) are in the other post, I will leave it up to you whether you want to know details with regards to aspects and effects or not. It is a complicated time, and life is going to be full of complicated moments, general complexities and a truly creative ability to surprise us this month.

What with? With exactly that we hadn't been wanting to face (or think about), most likely. But then, it is a solar eclipse - - in Virgo (no less).

So with that I'll leave that there (having already said much elsewhere) and continue on with September.
September 4 
As Ixion is going direct at 22 Sagittarius on September 4th, chances are some of us will not have learned what we shouldn’t do, and maybe we began realizing that (or putting our foot in it) as much as a day or two ago.

(Note: all stations get a two-days-before + two-days-after ‘station allowance.’)

A symbol of being ‘led to believe’ we are entitled or able to ‘get away with’ things generally because we believe we are either ‘above the law’ or because ‘the rule doesn’t apply to me,’ flaws shown up by Ixion have to do with an inequality of consideration with regards to Self versus others.

Is this on purpose? Not always. Are we conscious of what we are doing? Again, not always - - and where we aren’t conscious of our failure to consider our parameters, responsibilities and motivations with sufficient clarity, Ixion - - like all Plutinos - - tends to deliver situational “punishments” which, while they point to matters of the moment, most often do not prompt any direct change of the ‘causal mechanism.’

That’s just one of the challenges with Plutinos. Whatever sign a Plutino may be in, and whatever its intrinsic astrological meaning may be, the real challenge underlying all Plutinos (including Pluto) has to do with our failing to understand how the force which makes a Plutino a Plutino. That force is called magnetic resonance, and in the case of Plutinos, the magnetic resonance which controls their orbits around the Sun (and thus our Sun/consciousness of their metaphysical nature) is all about planet Neptune.

An orbital diagram of Plutino Ixion
(courtesy of the JPL Small Body Database) 
In other words, Plutinos ‘draw us in’ or ‘lure’ us to give in to the ‘allure’ of something based on our own ideals and illusions. Where Neptune reigns, facts should be our byword and guide, but getting to the fact of the matter is not always easy. Sometimes we don’t really want to know the facts. Sometimes the facts get ‘veiled’ - - whether purposefully, by accident, or by a willing sort of denial on our part.

Where Ixion is specifically concerned, ‘rights,’ doing things ‘the right way’ and having boundaries, humility and a personal sense of proportion tend to be our testing grounds. Traditions, family and the structural of civilization (its ‘cultural glue’) also seems of note with Ixion. Thought of in Greek myth as a parallel to the biblical Cain and Able story, Ixion speaks to our sense of integration within our social society (and social circles) with an emphasis on our willingness to betray others (or) ‘accepted civilized standards’ out of some conviction we are (or should be) allowed to ‘color outside the lines’ when it comes to codes, laws and standards, whether spiritual, legal, societal, social, religious, metaphysical, philosophical or simply mental.

And to cut to the chase here, living in our Ixion seldom works our all that well. Depending on where Ixion falls in your natal chart, its sign, house, degree and aspects relay to each one of us where, who and how we tend to repetitively ‘sucker ourselves’ into thinking ‘it’s going to be okay.’ The problem is, it isn’t - - going to be okay, I mean.

Where Ixion is concerned, we try, try again until our hand gets SO badly burned by repetitively sticking it into the ‘Ixion fire’ that we learn to flinch and turn away. Or we get impaled - - once and for all - - on a ‘point’ we should have known better about, and which we probably DID know better about.

We just didn’t think it would - - or could - - matter so much. And yet, it does - - which is one of our Ixion lessons.

In going direct at 22 Sagittarius, the current Ixion station is speaking to something which either involves others directly or as a matter of participation. It also refers to people who tend to be ‘rebels,’ some exhibition of ‘rebelliousness’ (or) simply where something is ‘going against the grain’ or being approached from an unfamiliar perspective. Matters being called into attention are said to need examination, though the reasons being given in the moment for the inspection may be manipulative or merely put ‘on the table’ as part of the spirit of rebelliousness.

Ixion in Tartarus on the Wheel (1731) from a Private collection. (colorized)
Astrologers writing about this degree speak of its capacity for violence and disruption - - and certainly with fixed star Ras Alhague currently positioned at 22 Sagittarius such things should be kept in mind, as by itself Ras Alhague speaks to situations which are intrinsically ‘harmful or healing,’ depending both on our approach and our willingness (or ability) to differentiate between those who are taking advantage of us and a personal nature which simply wants others to take up their cause or otherwise ‘do their work,’ dirty or otherwise.

With Ixion going direct in an inconjunct to Uranus/Eris (which are currently absolutely conjunct at 23 Aries) and, particularly as this station is occurring only a few days after the 9 Virgo solar eclipse, it would not be unreasonable to think many of us are going to look up and see how we’ve been undermining our own cause, shooting ourselves in the foot or betting on the wrong horse (or horse race) about now. Where such errors become evident, hard feelings are likely to erupt, which in turn will prompt questions of how (or how well) we deal with internal conflict - - which is Ixion’s Plutonic stock and trade.

Will we learn? Or will we insist on throwing away some possibility or personal potential because it isn’t exactly what we want it to be?  That Saturn being about to perfect a conjunction with royal and fixed star Antares on the morrow suggests some of us being ‘too dug in’ even as some of us are digging in our heels in a display of inner conviction as others are busily ‘putting a stop’ to things, whether that’s a reference to something they are doing themselves or otherwise.

With Mercury in retrograde, do we know what needs to be learned or what needs doing first? Maybe yes, maybe no. 

September 5 
Determination - - or the lack of it - - would seem to be at the heart of Saturn’s conjuncting Antares, which Saturn will do as of three minutes after midnight (UT/+0) on September 5th. Saturn either structures or limits, builds or solidifies, doing all such in keeping with the age old idea ‘what we sow, so do we reap.’

An emblem of earning, Saturn’s being astrologically conjunct royal and fixed star Antares may here be speaking to unmatched determination to a well-planned cause for which we are perfectly suited, or at least well enough suited that we are capable of achieving success through much extended effort which has us learning things we need to know at each step along the way.

Where we have enough Saturn experience, strength, capacity, factual understanding and patience, we stand a good chance to be able to harness Antares’ famously obsessive energy in some act or effort which ‘moves the needle’ (and the scope of our efforts) closer to our goals. Where however we aren’t strong enough … where we lack strength, internal discipline and structure, where we may not know how to do something (or) why, in doing it, certain methods, approaches, attitudes, rules or standards are necessary or need to apply - - in such instances, things are likely to go awry, get stopped (temporarily or permanently) or become something we can wait to be done with.

Being one of the royal stars, Antares guarantees success only where we avoid being overly invested or ‘obsessed’ in, or about something. And with September 5th being the first day of the station allowances (plural) we will give to Pholus and asteroid Lilith (both of which are going direct on the 7th), knowing why we do (or) don’t do something (or how we are choosing to go about doing or not doing it) plays out in part now - - and in part at some point after Pholus and Lilith go direct.

Beyond that, Jupiter is about to change signs. Symbol of enlargement, growth and expansion whether that applies to our waistline, our bank account, our proverbial ‘reach’ or our scope of comprehension, ability, influence (or any other kind of ‘pushing back’ of boundaries), Jupiter is about to move from Virgo into Libra on the 9th. As part of that process, as of September 5th, Jupiter will move into 29 Virgo - - Virgo’s last degree and a moment when ‘all things (and qualities) Virgo’ become a natural matter of focus, which with a Virgo solar eclipse barely in the rear view mirror speaks to the possibility for deeds, for moments, for revelations motivational and in some cases, fairly urgent.

Or at least urgent feeling. 

September 7 
Centaur Pholus going direct at 24 Sagittarius says a number of things - as does asteroid Lilith’s going direct at 17 Capricorn.

As a general concept, the asteroid form of Lilith having mass (as opposed to Black Moon Lilith, which is a calculated point) - - that mass lets us know Lilith-the-asteroid refers to something about, or in us - - which Lilith being that about the Self we want to ‘send away’ or deny, we ignore, bypass or reject, forgetting how we cannot deny that which we (or others) actually are.

With Lilith going direct at 17 Capricorn (with Capricorn being ruled by Saturn) whether we have done enough to put things in perspective both for our selves, and possibly for others plays some big part in how things ‘take a turn’ or ‘turn out.’ Denials of responsibility, participation, knowledge, appreciation, culpability or anything else are possible here - - as are claims of incapacity (I can’t do more), inability (I can’t do it), or standard-issue ‘I didn’t do it.’ Where denials are honest, a price is still likely to be paid if (or where) we ‘withdraw,’ without making ‘a best effort.’ Yet even more than that, with Pholus going direct at 24 Sagittarius on the same date Lilith turns to direct motion there would seem to be a suggestion of a time when past choices and ‘premature exits’ turn out to produce some sort of ancillary (and possibly consequential) loss of opportunity or viability of some personal or reputational type.

A study for the painting 'Lady Lilith' done in 1866 by Dante Gabriel Rossetti (colorized)
In going direct on September 7th, Pholus and Lilith speak to forces in life which may have us wanting to ‘step away’ from others or something we are either involved with, or which we are being asked to commit ourselves to. This fits perfectly with the idea of Mercury retrograde, so anything we are working on in our mind or ‘behind the scenes’ may benefit here. With Jupiter just about to abandon Virgo for Libra’s more public zone on the 9th (while Virgo-ruling Mercury is in retrograde) this station and its associated ‘allowance,’ much which has been worked on is now playing out, revealing a bevy of pluses and minuses in the process - - while opening the door to further notions and opportunities yet to come.

As we say that, we should however, also think of the idea of ‘pushing’ or pressing one’s case - - as that may also happen now. Any planet passing through 29 degrees (the last degree) of any zodiac sign represents a moment when the issues of that sign - - in this case, Virgo - - reach a ‘critical point’ of effort, striving and understanding. 

We all want the advances and advantages. Will we, however, be as willing to embrace and own the errors, lingering negatives and admissions (most of all to our Self about who that Self is) which goes along with whatever we have (or) have not done? 

September 9 
As Jupiter enters Libra at 11:19 in the morning (UT/+0 time) on September 9th, it officially ends just under six years (the years of Jupiter in Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo and Virgo) during which the metaphysical Jupiter emphasis has been focused on internal rather than external growth. In other words, though during the past six years we may all have been acting, interacting, succeeding and losing in (and at) all sorts of worldly things, the greater metaphysical purpose of all that would have been learning about who we are and all of our abilities, capacities, beliefs - - not just so we would know our Self better, but because theoretically those attributes were being brought ‘on line’ in our life and made active so that we might use them to learn more, experience more and therefore multiply our growth and capacity to give, produce, share, interact, provide, discern and recognize falsehoods.

Jupiter enters Libra (glyph chart)
September 9, 2016 - 11:19 a.m. UT/+0 - Aries Wheel (Location Not Specific)
Jupiter enters Libra (text chart)
September 9, 2016 - 11:19 a.m. UT/+0 - Aries Wheel (Location Not Specific)
So now that Jupiter is in the zodiac’s ‘worldly and public’ signs (Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius and Pisces), does this mean we don’t grow personally? No. We have an opportunity to learn about our Self and life wherever Jupiter is. But where Jupiter’s transit of the first six signs has us focusing on what things happening ‘in life’ mean to us and who we are or aren’t in the world and why that is, during Jupiter’s transit of the zodiac’s worldly and public signs we tend to learn more what we need life - - and the world - - to be, thus drawing us to work on that world or life with all those abilities and smarts we’ve been building up (or improving on) over the past just-shy-of six years.

Part of Jupiter’s function being to draw us into things so that we will learn and will ‘expand’ our scope of consideration and personal abilities, Jupiter moving into Libra also means the period of September 9, 2016 through October 10, 2017 is a time when there will be a lot to be learned through relationships, about relationships, about our capacity to relate to things, people and ideas, and how in the end, relationships are far more about us than they are about ‘the other’ if only because it is our life (and the metaphysical needs of that life) which draws us into relationships with others, just as it is some metaphysical need in their life which causes them to be in relationship with us.

This isn’t necessarily about being ‘equals’ or “alike” – at least not at least at any level we usually tend to perceive - - as what Libra ‘attracts’ are what we might think of as ‘pieces which fit together,’ whether that’s a teacher and student, a lawyer and client, a married couple, business partners or members of a band or theatrical troupe, the members of which have not only been drawn to ‘complete’ and ‘balance out’ the capacity of the ‘whole,’ but which as that whole will also create a Libra dynamic by producing a performance which attracts its ‘like attracts like’ Libra audience.

So during the year ahead, we can all expect to be interacting more than we have been of late - - or at least we are going to be becoming more aware of what our relationships and how the manner of approach and presentation (personal or otherwise) affects others, to the positive or otherwise. Interactions are not just a Libra concept either, but a main concept and theme behind the first three of the zodiac’s six worldly and public signs (Libra, Scorpio and Sagittarius), with air sign Libra being the sign where ‘the idea of the thing’ and the opportunity to be/become more consciously aware of how the nature and manner of our choices prompts the actions and reactions we get from others.

And as we interact and ‘broaden’ our Libra experience, we will inevitably learn more about what we like and don’t like - - plus what others like and don’t like about us, all of which illustrates how Libra functions not just as the sign of ‘thou,’ but as the polarity to Aries, sign of Self.

That said, with Jupiter entering Libra unaspected by any of the ‘standard’ planets tells us things may ‘get out of hand’ now - - and to some extent, throughout the coming Jovian year. With Arachne and Sappho just behind at 28 Virgo, some fairly ‘universal’ quality of being ‘stuck in’ or ‘stuck with’ situations which either don’t resolve or ‘won’t go away’ are likely. And with Jupiter entering Libra in an out-of-sign trine to Sedna (aka Sedna-Algol-Capulus), there is every chance that it is our refusal to relinquish some idea, some internally idealized measure of how life ‘should be’ and/or ‘should feel’ which is currently, and will continue to get in the way across the board, ‘enlarging’ any gap (of understanding, agreement capacity or anything else) to the extent that we deny we, or that vision we want so dearly to hold onto, are wrong - - or perhaps actually ‘at fault’ in one way or another.

Jupiter Weighing the Fate of Man
by Nicolai Abraham Abilgaard (oil on canvas, 1793, housed at the Ribe Kunstmuseum)
That the ruler of Libra, Venus, is at 12 Libra as Jupiter makes this ingress and in a semi-sextile (and inconjunct) to the nodes in Virgo and Pisces speaks to things we each need to do which we come into this time having difficulties with. Objections to such measures and/or efforts will tend to be about the required effort, needed resources, or other ‘obligations’ which we will tend to use as a ‘justification’ (read: excuse) for not looking at and/or seeing whatever our errors are. With this Venus also in square to Pluto (aka Pluto + Vega + Lilith), things, structures and justifications are wearing thin and many a matter will show ‘stress cracks’ pointing to over-estimations of ability and a desire to ‘dictate’ or ‘design’ what gets said and thought about things, with efforts to project the desired ‘effect’ only growing more intense if, when and where external facts reveal flaws in our methods or thinking.

One other comment on Jupiter’s shift into Libra, that being about how once Jupiter is in Libra that makes Virgo the derivative 12th sign (or 12th harmonic) to Jupiter’s position, indicating something of a symbolic ‘energy eddy’ quite capable of further destabilizing (or) bringing to a head things which though challenged by the recent Virgo solar eclipse, didn’t get fully exposed, understood, brought out or faced - - at least not in terms of the full list of details and consequences. Being obviously not always in zodiacal position to be leaving the sign of an eclipse in that eclipse’s wake, Jupiter’s shift here is a somewhat special thing which, depending on our individual chart may be felt during these days as a ‘bump in the road’ … or something akin to life ‘pulling the rug out from under’ us (or) or something we are doing, observing or involved in/tied to.

We all will gain in some way from this experience, and some may find themselves ‘freed’ of some feeling, obligation or false impression as Jupiter’s shift occurs, even though the benefits of same may (as yet) not be in obvious evidence, particularly while Mercury remains in retrograde. Given how there is a super-massive black hole (M87) just inside the Libra doorway at 1 Libra, ‘alternatives’ or some ‘alternative perspective’ may have begun formulating out of the unexpected cosmic mists as far back as the latter part of August (when by reaching 26 Virgo on August 21st Jupiter came within orb of aspect of said black hole.

Not to put too fine a point on it, this would have marked the onset of a ‘buildup’ of energies which are one part Jupiter expansiveness (which sometimes speaks to ‘going too far’) in a sign (Virgo) which doesn’t tend to our easiest of times, an one part black hole M87, which like all black holes represents a sudden ‘fluctuation’ or ‘flexing’ of circumstance, perception and/or realities.

Messier 87 (M87) as photographed by NASA and Caltech
And all of that, by being just inside the Libra doorway at 1 Libra speaks on one hand to our  relationship with Self, and on the other to our relationship with others - - which is the classic Libra embodiment.

Given Jupiter’s reputation for being far more ‘friendly’ (to our aims) in Libra as opposed to Virgo, this shift will also end just about a year of ‘lack of comfort’ which began back in August, 2015 - - and that alone may indicate feelings like weights being lifted off our shoulders, for reasons which stem from wherever early Libra - - and Jupiter - - natally fall in our chart.

Recognitions are welcome now - - going overboard however, may not play out as we now think in the long run – and not just because of Jupiter being in orb of M87 until October 7th, either.

No, there’s something else in the works – and that ‘something else’ is called Saturn square Neptune. 

September 10 
Having gone direct last month in square to Neptune, Saturn perfects that square (and then moves on) as of 13:11 (1:11 p.m.) UT/+0 time on September 10th. Often a signature of addiction - - whether to an idea, a substance, a habit, a lifestyle or anything else, Saturn squaring Neptune from 10 Sagittarius in particular poses questions about what abilities we really have, and whether they are real and effective … or possibly something we are just so ‘addicted’ to we can’t bear to give them up. Manners, mannerisms and our regard for, as well as our ability to deal with (and/or) communicate is highlighted here, with any tendency we have to fool ourselves being as likely to work against as for us, leaving us unsure as to whether things are going ‘our way’ or not in odd moments (and) for reasons we are unlikely to pinpoint in advance.

Saturn represents reality, in all its’ most finite and durable senses. And Neptune? Neptune represents all which can never be quantified and everything we don’t know, and therefore have to trust - - which leads either to all having faith or being afraid, however that surfaces in life. Never a graceful pairing under any circumstance, the square between Saturn and Neptune represents an increase in the number of (and) consequential nature of challenges we will face which require us to weigh reality against ideals and beliefs, seeing which is viable and which is merely an allure, preference or hope without falling prey to the desire to believe that which in fact is an ideal can actually be, become, or avoid becoming a fact.

Saturn’s current transiting square to Neptune came into force (this time around) back in mid-April, about the time Mars went retrograde on the 17th, which suggests some things which may be coming around (again) about now first arose as challenges to our conceptualization(s) as to ‘how things work’ back then. How long will it last? Saturn will continue being in orb of square to Neptune through November 7th - - which if you recall, means Saturn square Neptune effects will end two days before Saturn’s square to the Lunar Nodes also ends (on the 9th), with the U.S. presidential election sandwiched right between.

Neptune by Werner van den Valckert (1619)
Does any of that (or all of that) say anything about the presidential election? That the end of these lingering transits is so exact when it comes to the presidential election does tend to say Saturn’s square to Neptune and (separately) to the lunar nodes is a ‘prime feature’ of this year’s elections, which means the campaigns (in case you haven’t noticed) are likely to be contentious, loaded with statements of fact which aren’t exactly fact - - and how all sorts of people are going to want to believe what they want to believe in spite of what facts may or may not actually be.

People tend to think of this transit as one about ‘weakness’ or vulnerabilities, which it may be in terms of preoccupation, but Saturn square Neptune does not speak to ‘weakness’ as in any incapacity to act. Far from it - - Saturn square Neptune often has us ‘acting’ or ‘choosing’ out of some personally perceived necessity which makes us feel like we need to be or act strong (or with strength) when nothing of the sort is necessarily true. Ultimately, Saturn squaring Neptune describes a period when we are particularly susceptible to the split or ‘gap’ between what we really, really want and what our reality really is.

On one hand, this period will tend to inspire and get us to move past previous limitations, even as it reveals some personal shortcomings, particularly those which have us acting on (or from) a position of unmerited bias which focuses on our Self. On another, with this transit occurring less than a week in advance of a Lunar Eclipse at 24 Pisces, this transit is also likely to coincide with situations and dynamics (particularly those which have an effect on how we feel about things) which ‘stir’ us to act (or) which ‘stir’ us or our feelings, for any of a plethora of reasons. 

September 15 
With Photographica going retrograde at 15 Taurus here at mid-month, the ‘look‘ of some things (or) how we tend to ‘see’ them, or our reaction to seeing them is likely to ‘take a turn.’ Or, given Mercury in retrograde, we may change our mind about liking (or not liking) something/someone, causing us to alter our approach, attitude or aim. For some, this will be a simple matter of needing to ‘turn’ our attention to something else, with no harm, no foul and no effect other than that which goes with a simple change of focus. Yet for others among us, having Photographica go retrograde speaks to a ‘change of heart’ about something or someone, whether that’s merely a matter of changing our mind about what we want to have for dinner - - or whether we like, believe, love or trust someone, something, or even what we are doing with our life.

And because Photographica is going retrograde in one of the zodiac’s four ‘cross-quarter’ points, such ‘changes of mind’ - - should they happen, or even should they come up for consideration  - - we also know that this moment could have a lasting effect on any of us and our attitude about ‘what things’ (or people) ‘look like’ on the whole.

The zodiac's four cross-quarter points
As a reference, the zodiac’s four cross-quarter points refer to points in time and personal development where what we have been learning either turns into application (or the need to apply what we have been learning) either directly, through decisions and choices we make going forward based on what we’ve learned, or in terms of moving from a position of ‘following’ or ‘being the student’ into a more pro-active or self-motivated mode of development, activity or assessment. And in being in Taurus, this cross-quarter point (the first one) taps into our instincts and instinctive reactions, whether those instincts are right or wrong and whether it seems right or wrong that feelings (anyone’s feelings) may be getting involved.

Known as a degree which tests our capacity to convey intent through means other than the spoken (or written) word, the general 15 Taurus question is one which asks ‘do you know what you know?’, prompting moments when we come into conflict with our Self and/or how we feel about that Self in light of what we are now being shown we do not yet know or have not yet experienced.

Essentially 15 Taurus is therefore not about what we can do or not do, but whether we are sufficiently ‘matured’ in our thinking. So what do things ‘look’ like? And what are we likely to ‘look like’ (in our own regard or that of others) depending on what we do, or don’t do?

Our feelings may well be worth getting emotional about now. Then again, with Photographica going retrograde a day prior to the September 16th Pisces lunar eclipse, we may well be reacting to something very real - - or that we are coming to realize, in spite of all. 

September 16 
Having asteroid Chaldaea go retrograde at 16 Taurus - - one degree beyond the 15 Taurus cross-quarter point we were just talking about - - on the same date that we experience a Lunar Eclipse at 24 Pisces may well suggest that we are ‘stopping and turning around’ (or retreating from) something, someone, some situation or stance now, though why we would be doing that is entirely individual. The degree of Chaldaea’s station Is said to promote the sort of situation which challenges determination(s) of every type, helping to discern between that which is real and/or worthwhile and everything else - - which when we add Chaldaea to the mix may mean we need to ‘take a step back’ - - or which may mean things are now supporting a preference for (or) calling on a need to ‘fall back’ on something/someone which is reliable in terms of capacity, stability or worth.

As for the Lunar Eclipse, the eclipse which occurs at 19:06 (or 7:06 p.m., UT/+0 time) will, like all lunar eclipses, set us up for an emotional moment - - or even an emotional few days, with the relative strength and/or weakness of what is felt having a good deal to do with whether this eclipse (or any astrological event) at 24 Pisces aspects our chart.

So, what do we know about this lunar eclipse? We of course know its’ position, which at 24 Pisces speaks to things we may well already be involved or invested in (as opposed to totally ‘new’ subjects which arise in the moment) which we are learning about, coming to understand the ramifications of - - or which we are coming to see in a different light.

As for 24 Pisces in particular, typified by the Sabian symbol ‘A religious organization succeeds in overcoming the corrupting influence of perverted practices and materialized ideals’ this is a degree known for an association with ‘intimacies’ and secrets of every kind. More specifically, 24 Pisces has something of a reputation for causing us to be (or get) ‘exposed’ to whatever will trigger some sort of ‘avalanche’ of emotionality or recognition (which we might well get emotional about), with the eventual karmic or metaphysical aim being an initial release of internalized pressure (whether that refers to internal emotional pressure or ‘being pressured’ by someone or something) which leads to a release of toxicity, whether that refers to toxic circumstances, allegiances, beliefs, feelings, convictions, obligations or stances.

What else do we know? Well, on the Moon’s (Pisces) side of this equation we have Moon in conjunction with Chiron (in retrograde) at 22 Pisces, a degree which has a peculiar reputation for causing reputation problems, particularly as that concerns personal and intimate relations and/or relationships (meaning either the act of relating or the nature of the relationship itself). That which is at stake here seems to be the nature (or) quality of whatever we have placed our faith in, with incidences of ‘defending the indefensible’ being not uncommon where 24 Pisces is concerned. Having Chiron appears in this degree suggests that there is an element of falsehood or perhaps some form of ‘false valuation’ involved in whatever arises now, with the Chirotic problem being a.) how we are unfamiliar with ‘what to do about it’ … and, b.) we really don’t want to have to tackle learning ‘on-the-fly’ (or) as we go along.

Lunar Eclipse (Full Moon) at 24 Pisces (glyph chart)
September 16, 2016 - 19:06 (7:06 p.m.) UT/+0 - Aries Wheel (Location Not Specific)
Lunar Eclipse (Full Moon) at 24 Pisces (text chart)
September 16, 2016 - 19:06 (7:06 p.m.) UT/+0 - Aries Wheel (Location Not Specific)
Is that reluctance the indefensible issue? Possibly, though with the Moon (not Chiron) also conjunct fixed star Scheat, rejection on some larger or possibly even ‘mass’ scale is likely to be involved - - at least as a consideration.

On the other side of the lunar eclipse, the Sun at 24 Virgo in conjunction with Pandora speaks to some quality of ‘hope’ being held onto - - or which needs to be held onto - - which with the Sun in trine to Sedna (aka Sedna + Algol) speaks to some sort of high energy emotionalism or emotional reaction which is part of some overall ‘picture.’

Not in direct aspect to the eclipse but certainly of interest in the whole of the eclipse picture, having Jupiter at 1 Virgo (the heart of black hole M87) says a lot about alternatives and consequences, be they ours or those being felt or experienced by someone else. With Sappho and Arachne conjunct this Sun, that may indicate some situation where ‘many’ (or ‘everyone’) is facing such a problem - - or it may be that ‘many’ or ‘everyone’ is facing what has to be done about some situation.

Whatever it is, with Mars at 22 Sagittarius and therefore in position to create a lunar eclipse t-square, things are likely to be far from quiet.

The degree 22 Sagittarius has a polarizing effect - - which when added to the naturally polarizing quality of the lunar eclipse says things may get ‘driven to extremes’ or reach some point where they can no longer be ignored, which apart from everything else, given current events may say something very interesting with regards to the U.S. presidential election as 22 Sagittarius is exactly in opposition to Donald Trump’s Sun at 22 Gemini.

That aside, the degree - - apart from anything which may be positioned in this degree - - is known for high energy and the kind of conviction which leads to revolutionary actions, insights and choices. Given that, and given Jupiter’s rulership of Sagittarius, should we think in terms of some ‘alternative’ to such attitudes? Or does the high energy native to 22 Sagittarius refer to energy being exerted in order to create or ‘find’ some alternative?

And complicating this more than a little bit is how Mars is not alone at 22 Sagittarius, but rather how Mars, a symbol of energy, assertion, motivation and action is involved in a ‘degree of closeness’ with Plutino Ixion and fixed star Ras Alhague, both of which are also going to be lollygagging about at 22 Sagittarius come the moment of the eclipse.

And that pair - - with or without Mars - - ain’t just whistling Dixie. Wherever we see Ixion, we know there is some ‘habitual sense of entitlement’ which is going to be in play. Someone somewhere is thinking they ‘don’t have to’ because they can get away with something, and with Ixion the basic question is whether this will be the moment when they get ‘burned’ by the very arrogance of their very mortal if entirely unacceptable choice.

To all of this we then add the concept of Ras Alhague, a fixed star which speaks of the capacity to ‘heal (or) harm,’ which in Sagittarius begins with questions about whether what we are saying is true, legal, viable, responsible, workable, ethical, far-seeing enough, humane, productive, educational, appropriate to the moment and beyond all that, popular or not.

The way t-squares work, whatever is at the ‘t’ (in this case, Mars + Ixion + Ras Alhague) represents something in our way, with the t-square tending to say that our solution lies in seeing the problem from a far more ‘universal’ and less personal point of view. The principle of the thing, rather than the details of the thing (or how it is affecting us individually) is generally what is at stake - - which means our answers like in those solutions which take on the principle behind the problem and not just ‘who is doing what’ or who is ending up where in what condition as a matter of consequence. Moreover, because t-squares work in a direction dictated by zodiac order (the order of the signs), this t-square starts at the Sun’s end of the eclipse, making Moon + Chiron the ‘goal’ we are wanting to reach.

Does this mean we are working very hard in the hopes of being able to (Moon + Scheat) deny something? Are we ‘going into battle’ with others or some set of facts, or are we fighting with our Self about the truth of who we are (or) the validity of what we think (or want to think) is true?

As a combination, Ixion-Mars unfortunately tells us that we are likely to insist on something, someone or some method until we more or less ‘kill’ any hope of success, however the end of that tales comes about - - and lest anyone jump to their feet twirling their villain’s mustache shouting ‘AHA!’ in a fit of evil glee, in being a Plutino Ixion always gets us, is always about us, and the more we try to project its effects onto others (or assign ‘error’ to the other side), the more likely it is that the error is ours … and that if we pursue that which we believe we are ‘entitled’ to do (have, say, etcetera…) we are going to end up paying for it.

That said, there is so much of a personal intent nature here, with heaping helpings of conscious (or unconscious) emotional demands as to make not falling afoul of some sort of overly self-concerned (ego-oriented) perspective about now a bit difficult, as in this moment the mere notion of ‘because I can, I should’ or ‘because I can, it is perfectly all right’ or any other form of ‘ability equaling permission’ is exactly what we’re likely to go for while also being exactly the thing which is likely to cause further complications either immediately or in rather short order.

Like all lunar eclipses, the ‘direct’ effects of this eclipse will tend to ‘hit in the moment’ and after a relatively short time, taper off. Unlike the effects of a solar eclipse, the ‘evolution’ of which will continue for a full three years (with a ‘twist’ coming at about 2.5 years into the process), lunar eclipses tend to become part of our ‘history’ within the space of about three months. This does not (by any means!) mean feelings associated with the eclipse will be forgotten, or that events which may occur now may not be something we learn a big lesson from. Such ‘highlighted moments’ may even be part of a greater process, as we might see if a marriage is proposed (and accepted) at a lunar eclipse. Soon all the details of the wedding and the life yet to come will take precedence over the moment of the proposal, though that moment itself will never be forgotten. 

September 18 
Venus conjuncting fixed stars Spica and Arcturus is not a major event. But as Spica is said to have a creative, ‘Venus-Mars’ sort of flavor, having Venus basically ‘double-up’ on this Venusian vibe as planet passes both on September 18th speaks to moments when we either will … or may be given an opportunity to ‘make gains,’ whatever that may mean to us in the moment.

Generally thought of as a positive influence, some people do seem to have problems with Spica. This tends to happens when this star is natally placed close to (within a couple of degrees of) any of the four axis points of the chart - - the Ascendant, IC, Descendant or Midheaven - - or when Spica is in a natal conjunction with Mars, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune or Pluto.

The Moon, Mars, Venus Spica in a night sky over the city of Nashville
(photo credit: Goddard Space Flight Center)
Arcturus differs from Spica in that it is said to have more of a Jupiter-Mars quality, an expansive and pro-active combination which functions well when and where there is an opportunity to excel and ‘take the lead’ or be/become a leader in some field of endeavor, whether that means we rise to some position of responsibility for and leadership of others, or whether we ‘take the lead’ in our own life.

Combined - - as these stars tend to be because of degree position (it’s hard to aspect one and not the other), by placement Spica + Arcturus work as indicators of our ‘how’ we lead (style of leadership) and where in life we tend to take charge (or specifically not take charge). Positioned in late Libra, Venus’ passing over these stars is an opportunity to be rewarded or do something rewarding, but by itself not likely to indicate anything remarkable.

Remarkable on its own or not however, being how this Venus-Spica moment also a mere four days shy of Mercury going retrograde in Virgo, there is some chance that things which are put forward or started now may end up being delayed - - or possibly set aside because of something of higher priority. 

September 22 
The Sun entering the sign of Libra being one of our planet’s yearly equinox points, many have long thought of the Sun’s Libra ingress as a moment of ‘balance’ - - when the more accurate way to see Sun in Libra may be ‘seeing if everything IS in balance,’ with an understanding that those things which are not ‘in balance’ or ‘on the metaphysical level’ being that we will learn about or through during the Sun’s next solar month.

Sun in Libra (glyph chart)
September 22, 2016 - 15:22 (3:22 p.m.) UT/+0 -- Aries Wheel (Location Not Specific)
Sun in Libra (text chart)
September 22, 2016 - 15:22 (3:22 p.m.) UT/+0 -- Aries Wheel (Location Not Specific)
Sun in Libra is a time when whether we agree or disagree with others, it stirs a reflexive reflection on Self. And that in turn may drive us to pay attention to how we affect others and how they affect us - - even to the point that we become involved in a (Libra and air sign) theoretical discussion (or debate) focused on how things are being done as opposed to the purpose or need motivating the doing. Or, considering how Sun in Libra is also a time when what we do gets responded to in kind (even when such responses aren’t kind in and of themselves) this month may bring us into closer alignment, to the triggering of a dispute, to a ‘negotiation table’ … or to a decision to avoid something or someone, thereby “divorcing” yourself from “that.”

And that “that”…? That could even be our Self.

But is this an ‘active’ trend - - or just something which weaves in and of all else?

If Mercury (which has been in retrograde thus far all month) - - if that Mercury was to stay in retrograde, we might say we would be spending some significant amount of time having to confront imbalances, at least on a mental basis. However!! Lucky for us, as the Sun enters Libra at 14:22 (2:22 p.m., UT/+0) on September 22nd, Mercury will have already turned direct (at 14 Virgo) as of 5:32 that morning.

That means we’re starting into our month of Sun in Libra with Mercury in the sign behind the Sun - - which particularly after Mercury’s retrograde suggests some form of ‘catching up’ with something (or someone), all of which may or may not have anything to do with our personal priorities or individual focus. Beyond that, having Mercury emerge from retrograde in the sign behind that which the Sun is in (technically known as having Mercury in the derivative 12th sign to the Sun) … that also suggests a chance for ‘sloppy,’ mistaken or unworkable methods, ideas, choices, stances and statements resulting in problems (or which have resulted in problems) now getting ‘cleaned up’ or otherwise mended.

Does this indicate yet another time when Mercury going direct indicates something ‘finally’ coming together or becoming clear? And is this what we are ‘turning around’ or otherwise getting ‘straightened out’? It certainly could be. Then again, having the Sun cross an equinox point while in the sign just in front of Mercury at the time of Mercury’s station-direct turn (which would otherwise be known as the Sun being in the derivative 2nd sign to Mercury’s station) places (and) indicates a value or sense of ‘worth’ coming from an awareness and consciousness of others - - both in the sense of who and what they are in this life, and as pertains to what they mean to us individually, whether that’s something cuddly and loving or something which has taught us a difficult but valuable lesson.

Mercury Direct (glyph chart)
September 22, 2016 - 5:32 a.m. (UT/+0) - Aries Wheel (Location Not Specific)
Mercury Direct (text chart)
September 22, 2016 - 5:32 a.m. (UT/+0) - Aries Wheel (Location Not Specific)
As for the degree of Mercury’s station - - 14 Virgo - - that suggests a moment of working on things as they are, rather than looking to create something new. ‘Fine points’ and other kinds of details matter here, though why they matter may well vary, with efforts being made to serve, service, comply with or provide explanations (or) “proofs” to others being just as suitable to the moment as anything we may doing for our own purposes.

Fairness matters now, both that which we ‘bring to the table’ in the present and as a matter or reference to that which has been done in the past. Libra being the sign of the scales, equality, balance, negotiation and however we are ‘connected’ to others, honesty and the clarity of facts are paramount, lest all come to nothing in the end. Under Sun in Libra, we all have our aim(s) and we all have our priorities. Yet rich or poor, mighty or vulnerable, we also must (inevitably) contend with the needs, goals and whatever sense of Self is present (or) presented to us by others, as the premier Libra tenet involves learning about our Self through Others … which necessitates knowing and learning about them, (no matter how much we may not want to).

As for specifics, the Sun is entering Libra with Jupiter just ahead at 2 Libra, which may simply indicate many people (or) much to do and say, an ‘enlargement‘ or ‘enlarging’ of something (or) some relationship between parties, something being ‘blown out of proportion’ or the raising of a substantial notion, issue or situation which needs attention. And let us not forget that black hole M87 is sitting between the Sun and Jupiter 1 Libra, so suggestions and alternatives ranging from the brilliant to the ridiculous are also to be expected. With Mercury taking its station (at 14 Virgo) in conjunction with the ‘should do’ North Node (at 12 Virgo), communications - - in particular - - require or merit attention now, with the functional, responsible, pragmatic and/or utilitarian taking’ precedence over that which is fun or entertaining. With Neptune, asteroid Child and the South Node in a Pisces opposition (Neptune is at 10 Pisces, Child is at 11 Pisces and the South Node is at 12 Pisces) … though having fun is (South Node) easy, and though those who are (Child) ‘offshoots’ or supportive of our aims (which can even refer to a division or ‘offshoot’ of a company or organization), apart from asteroid Child as the concept of ‘immaturity’ whether that refers to immaturity of the emotional or physical (or any other) kind, with Neptune present we are likely to not be seeing the whole picture (and) we are equally likely to be functioning more from a mix of preference, emotionalism and ideals than we would like to admit.

With Neptune in opposition to Mercury at a moment when Mercury is on station, that which is untrue or which ‘does not hold water’ gives way to necessity. Lies, whether of the moment or told prior to now need to be faced, lest confusion or miscommunication disrupt support, leaving us feeling like we’re on our own (whether we actually are or not) and in many cases, creating some form of temporary ‘loss of control.’

Having the nodes involved also puts an emphasis on relationships, our ability to relate (to others, things and situations)and the notion of whether anyone is ‘relating’ to where anyone else is coming from in terms of their positions, needs and efforts. So whatever we are going through at the moment, it does not concern us alone, even if we are going through something in isolation. Furthermore (and I’m sure you’re getting tired of my saying this, but …) as has been true since last March, with Saturn squaring the lunar nodes ALL of our relationships (and our willingness or capacity to have or function within the parameters of those relationships) are going through some testing times, some amount of re-evaluation and for most of us, some measure of reorganization, pruning and reassessment.

Mercury by Peter Paul Rubens
(1636-1638, oil on canvas, Prado Museum)
With Venus (ruler of Libra) in a peculiarly confining ‘in-sign’ semi-sextile to the Sun from 28 Libra at the moment of the Sun’s Libra ingress, things may not be going entirely as any of us might want at the moment, though if we are being fair, we will admit we had been counting on (or at least hoping that) things would ‘be easy’ (or easier) by now - - which means things may not be ‘bad,’ whether or not we’re fabulously enthralled by the prospect of having to continue our efforts, work or personal perseverance.

All that aside, with Mercury’s station (at 14 Virgo) occurring in a perfect trine to Pluto (at 14 Capricorn) speaks to a depth of effort or - - for some, a trying or contentious sort of struggle. With what? Well, with Pluto conjunct Vega (at 15 Capricorn) and asteroid Lilith (at 18 Capricorn) there is every reason to think we are questioning why things which we think should work aren’t working, which with Lilith is at 18 Capricorn is a reference to something we deny about our Self (that’s the Lilith part) with 18 Capricorn defining some sort of ‘lie’ which is itself a cover-up for cowardice or some form of irresponsible or stridently angry disposition.

And all of this is stirring up Plutonic energies but four days in advance of Pluto’s station - - a station which, like all other things Pluto, are going to test our ability to remain calm and to know the facts we are standing for (or on) before we say a thing.

Sounds like fun, right? 

September 23 
As part of that developing Pluto station and perhaps adding a bit of ‘spice’ to same (as if Pluto stations require spicing?) Venus will exit Libra and enter Scorpio at 14:52 (2:52 p.m., UT/+0) on Friday the 23rd, even as TNO Chaos is going retrograde at that presidential election-watcher degree known as 22 Gemini.

(And for the record, Hillary Clinton’s Sun is at 2 Scorpio.)

Venus in Scorpio (glyph chart)
September 23, 2016 - 14:52 (2:52 p.m.) UT/+0 - Aries Wheel (Location Not Specific)
Venus in Scorpio (text chart)
September 23, 2016 - 14:52 (2:52 p.m.) UT/+0 - Aries Wheel (Location Not Specific)
In opposition to Taurus (one of Venus’s two signs of rulership), Venus in Scorpio represents a period where we either are not ‘comfortable,’ or when we are faced with adapting to things which are not our first choice or preference. Where Libra speaks to the fine and airy art of negotiation, Scorpio speaks to the equally fine art of compromise - - that being the emotional version of negotiating, and one which beyond all else tests our ability to deal with conflict(s), whether within our Self (or) between ourselves and others, which speaks to Scorpio as the sign of hurt feelings, conflicts and war along with the rebuilding which inevitably results from mankind not being able (read: willing) to deal with conflict, choosing killing and death over compromise and life, foolish as that may be.

Sex and conception are Scorpionic. So are war, death and murder. It says a lot about this sign, and about the very old saying ‘just because you can does not mean you should’ which is more or less its warning.

With all this duly mulled, Venus is entering Scorpio in opposition to Ceres at 3 Taurus, a degree which supports Ceres’ ‘planning energy’ with its capacity to think ‘long term’ in very practical and pragmatic ways.

Does this mean we are having to decide between what we (Venus) want and what we should do in terms of long-term success, profit or comfort? It may. Might this mean that at this point we are learning or discovering how things could change - - and might we be reacting or responding to that, either in ‘pro’ or ‘con’ mode? We could indeed. Whatever we are meeting up with in this moment, it is likely to reveal whatever ‘gaps’ or dichotomy exists in our mind, soul and gut, forcing us to choose between our ‘want’ and whatever our ‘should’ quotient may be - - OR finding a way to compromise (in our own mind) between those two things, considering what we’re facing (which is always going to be individual).

Vénus Astarté by Emile Jean Baptiste Philippe (1894)
In also making this Scorpio ingress in a trine to the Moon in its home sign of Cancer, what we are contending with is likely to be something basic, or which will become ‘basic to’ some effort or ‘cause’ yet to come.

As for TNO Chaos, in Chaos being a Cubewano (a Kuiper Belt object the orbit of which is not controlled by any planet) it expresses a certain degree of independence (or) ‘aloneness,’ whether that quality of being ‘alone’ speaks to uniqueness, exile, self-separation, a difference of definition or isolation … a quality which is particularly interesting when we consider Cubewano Chaos as a symbol of ‘endless fertility’ or ‘source’ from which things ‘always’ come, or from which there is always a potential for ‘more’ of something, whether wanted, needed, or not particularly desired.

As for 22 Gemini, as one of Gemini’s third-decan degrees, that which originates under the 22 Gemini vibe tends to apply broadly or in an ‘across the board’ manner, with success or failure often coming from whether parameters are correctly (or aptly) chosen, designed or otherwise planned. Known also for a very Gemini-like ‘very good, very nice’ versus ‘very bad, very nasty’ duality, having Chaos going retrograde in 22 Gemini may well produce a higher rate of suggestions (which may be good or bad, depending) and many an idea or suggestion, some of which may be pure gold, and some of which will probably qualify as manure.

In combination with Venus’ entering Scorpio, this suggests moments in which something we thought would be good turns out badly (and) moments when, in need of ideas, we get presented with what we have asked for, only to find out they aren’t what we want, or that usage of same requires changes we either had not anticipated, or are not particularly inclined to make.

Would this be (in its own right) … or be feeding into matters about to ‘take a turn’ or be ‘transformed’ as Pluto goes direct on the 26th, or is this totally separate?

Hmmm….. that is worth pondering. 

September 26 
Any day which starts off with the Sun conjuncting Jupiter at 6:19 in the morning is, pretty much by definition, a ‘big’ day. And though obviously the Sun won’t be doing this Jovian act at 6:19 in the morning for everyone (that’s a UT/+0 time, so adjust to your own time zone), this Sun-Jupiter effect speaks to an ‘enlarging’ of things and a definite chance of expansiveness - - along with the possibility of going ‘overboard’ in some way during the 24-hour period surrounding this transiting conjunction.

Probably far more of interest however, is the idea that as of three o’clock in the afternoon (UT/+0), Pluto is going direct at 14 Capricorn.

Pluto Direct (glyph chart)
September 26, 2016 - 15:00 (3:00 p.m.) UT/+0 - Aries Wheel (Location Not Specific)

Pluto Direct (text chart)
September 26, 2016 - 15:00 (3:00 p.m.) UT/+0 - Aries Wheel (Location Not Specific)
The degree being cited here, 14 Capricorn, has a reputation for a capacity to confront that which is incorrect, not working, unstructured or which is not working well, with its Sabian symbol “In a hospital, the children’s ward is filled with toys” speaking not just to societal ‘ills’ and ‘injuries,’ but the responsibility society has to help the innocent and vulnerable, to care for the vulnerable and innocent, and to whatever efforts need to be made to create situations which make enduring those ‘ills and/or injuries’ is a little bit easier (read: bearable) while also (hopefully) supporting the innate creativity and future potential of such people (whatever their age, as the metaphysical term ‘children’ is one of quality, not of age) - - or even the flora and fauna of this world.

With Pluto taking station in this degree, the ideal would be a ‘transforming of’ dark, difficult or even dangerous circumstances (or things which pose a danger of making things ‘dark’ or ‘difficult’) through a measured (read: neither emotional nor emotion-driven) response.

But let’s face it, Pluto isn’t always known for well-planned, carefully thought through, measured sorts of responses. It just isn’t. Namesake for the entire Plutino class of astronomical objects (which includes such illustrious members as Ixion, Huya and Orcus) Pluto exemplifies the Neptunian ‘tug’ on our individual emotional status and all forms of societal emotionalism (individual and en masse) by representing everything which we become obsessed with, everything we try to persuade others (and importantly, our Self) of, and every form of desire, insecurity, longing and fear which can, by driving us into an emotional state, cause us to not think clearly or not work through our challenges sensibly and (oh, by the way) successfully.

One wonders if anyone of the U.S. political ilk is caring about this too, as the date of Pluto’s station is also the date of the first scheduled presidential debate, an event where one’s ability (or inability) to think clearly, choose calmly and thus be (or) become effective (in truly Plutonic style) is very much ‘on display.’

And no doubt of concern to the candidates and their supporters, but that would be their personal chart issues being (or not being) set off here.

In going direct in conjunction with Vega, Pluto speaks to the changing tone of societies around the world - - and our changing view of that world in which we live as we and the world continue to evolve rather 'nakedly' before our eyes. Associated with the idea of appeal and charisma (which is hardly limited to politics or political campaigns), having had Pluto and Vega playing astrological footsy with Vega over the past couple of years during difficult and less-than-charitable (or mannerly) times, though not much fun, is also apt. With Vega currently at 15 Capricorn, there is a systemic and world-wide challenge to the idea of being “supportive” being described here, with 15 Capricorn specifically points to two things: a lack of dedication and  qualities of ‘softness’ which prompt a lack of respect. Questions of manipulation and martyrdom may arise in connection with this degree, as does a need for the kind of skill which is typically gained through doing something many times (experience).

Does Pluto going direct in conjunction to Vega at 15 Capricorn indicate a change of attitude? An accepting or rejecting of some standard or idea of how things should - - or can be done? It may. Then again, with Pluto going direct not just in conjunction with Vega, but also with asteroid Lilith (at 18 Capricorn) and Niobe at 11 Capricorn, questions of pride and what is or isn’t true (or true about us in particular) are also likely to be topics of current discussion or thought.

In going direct at 14 Capricorn, you may have noticed Pluto is also going direct in a perfect trine to Mercury’s station back on the 22nd. Does this tie the two events together? It may, though the trine between the positions of these two stations may also simply indicate the days between the 22nd and 26th as being particularly critical to efforts and matters of the moment - - which could be good to know in case you get into something now which seems like it’s going to ‘go on forever.’ (Isn’t it nice knowing you can use astrology to see when that ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ is going to appear? That’s one of my favorite uses for astrology!)

With Mercury now at 16 Virgo and conjunct the North Node, Pluto is trining both at this station, indicating a change of parameters, priorities, responsibilities and/or methods is under consideration, in progress or coming to pass. And given Mercury’s conjunction with the North Node, the question of having a ‘plan,’ sufficient or correct ‘instructions’ or some sense of how things work (or how they should be done) and what happens now depends greatly on whether our basis for operation is moral, sound, responsible, workable and whether it takes the ‘whole of the need’ (which may differ from what we want to deal with) into account.

That last bit is important - - a lot of us are going to stub our toes (or worse) on the fact that we have only been dealing with the things we want to deal with, as opposed to the whole of the problem, responsibility or ‘assignment.’ Plus that when Pluto trines the North Node it also automatically sextiles the South Node speaks to a chance to change our ways - - and in this case, possibly ‘ways’ which we have grown accustomed to which have become ‘habit’ over time, whether they fit us or not. That the South Node at 12 Pisces is conjunct fixed star Achernar (at 15 Pisces) and Euphrosyne + Charybdis (at 16 Pisces) also suggests this as a time when some sort of ‘outpouring’ may be stilled - - or when a ‘mask’ (or something which ‘masks’ some truth) falls away as the underpinnings of some part of our ‘status quo’ begins to change.

Pluto’s station is also in sextile to a bubbling astrological coffee klatch in the middle degrees of Scorpio. That said klatch includes Juno at 16 Scorpio, Black Moon Lilith (at 14 Scorpio) plus Nemesis and Deucalion (both at 15 Scorpio) speaks to a lot of existing resistance to certain aims which we now have an opportunity to change or affect, though the nature of the outcome is going to be individual, depending on where all these objects fall both natally and by transit in your individual chart.

Last (but certainly not least) by virtue of the Moon being at 13 Leo as Pluto goes direct, that Moon is in an inconjunct (or quincunx) to Pluto, indicating a need for - - and a sincere chance of adjustments coming about now, regardless of what we (or others) want.

Jupiter, Neptune and Pluto by Caravaggio (c. 1597-1600)
So how does this work? Thirteen Leo indicates a good deal of ‘digging in’ and refusing to budge, change or listen, which when funneled through the Moon may well speak to the Niobe ‘pride’ we may be showing now, or our (asteroid Lilith) determination not to admit or accept we are responsible for things because to do so would distract us from some personal purpose we have which is bent on gaining something we either want for our Self, or that we want to be accepted for (or as) by others.

Put simply, none of that stands a chance where an inconjunct from Pluto is involved. We will change (or be changed) now - - and the more closely Pluto (or any of its aspects) affects our individual chart, the more ‘energy potential’ there is going to be for change in our personal life. Those of us whose charts are not being aspected directly will ‘feel’ and hear about changes going on in the world around them - - and they too will (over time) evolve.

But right now? Especially with Mars sitting at 29 Sagittarius (a sign of things being ‘pushed’ if there ever was one) we can expect a few people to shoot their mouths off - - and a few surprises as well. With Mars having just passed Lachesis (the Greek Fate who measures the ‘length’ or ‘duration’ of things) it’s likely some note of urgency or desire to hurry influences things now, with Mars’ position in an out-of-sign square to Sun/Jupiter (both at 3 Libra) suggesting an overshooting of one’s ‘mark’ or simple haste being the cause of many a mortal mistake.

In going direct on September 26th, Pluto’s station ‘colors’ our decisions and life’s offerings. Inherently connected with every form of that which is ‘mysterious,’ things and events which happen around the time of a Pluto station speak to growth yet to come, the ‘purification’ of what we are (or) have been dealing with and every form of ‘taking the trash out’ or removing that which is disruptive, dangerous, toxic or a ‘drain,’ whether such effects are visible or not. Any planet at 29 degrees of any sign indicates an effort and real feeling of conviction about our ability or need to achieve something, whether that ‘something’ is some desired goal or the kind of understanding which supports our achieving our aims.

So to have Mars at 29 Sagittarius as Pluto goes on station … is that a sign of things working out - - or coming apart?

Whatever happens now, remember that wherever Pluto is, while feelings and considerations of feelings is proper and often useful, emotionalism itself is frequently problematic - - as is the idea of making decisions based on feelings, hunches, yearnings and desires, as opposed to facts. 

September 27 
Being that there are thirty (30) degrees in any given sign (with each sign starting at zero), and if, as of September 26th, Mars was at 29 Sagittarius, it’s just not surprising to think that as of September 27th (at 8:08 in the morning, UT/+0 time), Mars would be entering Capricorn.

Said to be strengthened merely by being in Capricorn (‘exalted’ is the astrological term) the just-shy-of-six-weeks of Mars in Capricorn (which ends November 9th) is a time when determination and determinations (verdicts, some of them) are to be an expected and necessary part of life. What causes those needs (or the need for determination) will differ with each of us, and it should be said straight away that the nature of Mars in Capricorn strength is far more considered than demonstrative.

Mars in Capricorn isn’t particularly ‘showy,’ in other words. This is not a time, in other words, for a ‘scattering’ of energies of efforts, but one when life asks us to prove (at least to our Self) that we are capable of getting something done. Why that may be is individual, of course. However, being how we are not yet out of ‘solar eclipse month’ (the lunation begun by the September 1st solar eclipse does not end until October 1st), Mars moving into Capricorn does signal some degree of calming of particularly ‘choppy’ waters. This does not necessarily mean problems are getting solved, but Mars in Capricorn is known for a less fractious and excitable levels of energy with less of the ‘hair trigger’ effect.

What gets done now, in other words, is generally intended - - more likely to be meticulously planned and less likely to be of an off-the-cuff, spur-of-the-moment or spontaneous nature.

Mars in Capricorn (glyph chart)
September 27, 2016 - 8:08 a.m. (UT/+0) - Aries Wheel (Location Not Specific)
Mars in Capricorn (text chart)
September 27, 2016 - 8:08 a.m. (UT/+0) - Aries Wheel (Location Not Specific)
As for aspects to this Mars ingress, there are two of them. The first is Mars trining Ceres (aka Mirach, Ceres, Tisiphone + Byblis) in early Taurus (Ceres is retrograde at 3 Taurus) … and the second is Sun-conjunct-Jupiter in Libra, with the Sun now at 4 Libra and Jupiter still at 3 Libra - - which if you know your aspects means Ceres (in Taurus) is inconjuncting Jupiter and the Sun in Libra, speaking to an adjustment in plans with, or in regards to others (plus) what we (personally) need to do in order to satisfy some personal want, whether those two ideas are connected or not. (And they may well not be connected. In fact, that may be the problem - - two different things which both need attending to.)

Strictly speaking to the Mars aspects, Mars trining Ceres invites or sets us up for situations and situational dynamics which test our ability to plan, and which test the viability of our plans (current plans which are in progress, that is). And with Mars squaring Jupiter and the Sun (with black hole M87 lurking nearby), we may or may not feel we have any alternatives - - or we may feel ‘too committed’ to one thing to change.

Or maybe that’s just the problem. Any Mars-Jupiter square is likely to speak to an ‘overage’ of some kind, which with Capricorn and Libra being involved hints at problems with ‘others’ and their involvement, or how any ‘move’ on our part might either ‘upset’ something or someone or present us with a situation so thoroughly energized that we are unequal to the task - - one small tugboat faced with needing to turn an entire fleet and get it safely into port, one might say.

With Tisiphone and Byblis on the Ceres side of this equation and Ceres in opposition to Venus, something which is ‘insupportable’ (i.e., not to be tolerated) or lacking in support (i.e., vulnerable or hapless) is asking to be faced, and as Venus is in Scorpio, this may come up as a result of lackluster results or as a result of some lack of understanding.

Once Mars enters Capricorn, life will take on a more strident and goal-oriented tone. Standards are going to seem more important, whether that means we agree on what ‘the standard’ is or not. Never known as shy, retiring or mealy-mouthed, our weeks of Mars in Capricorn will include events and opportunities which show us who we are - - and who we’re not (and maybe never were going to be). With Mars having finally exited the shadow of its 2016 retrograde during the latter part of August, we are all now moving into a period of building something new, whether that’s something entirely new or merely a ‘new’ phase of something we’ve already been working on, with the months between now and late January 2017 holding a particular potential for connecting with others in the world (and on a ‘worldly’ basis) particularly enhanced as Mars moves through Capricorn, Aquarius and Pisces - - the signs of society, civilization, interconnected systems and the overall ‘marketplace,’ be that local or global.

Not that anything is guaranteed … but then, is it ever? 

September 28 
In the short run, having Phaethon retrogrades into Cancer as the last act of the month - - and more importantly just after Mars moving into Capricorn puts the bit of determination into our mouths - - that would seem something of a warning not to ‘bite off more than you can chew.’

The Fall of Phaethon by Peter Paul Rubens
A figure of insistent energy, Phaethon either represents a tendency to be headstrong, immature and, on occasion, just plain pig-headed (no offense to pigs meant, of course) with an emphasis on over-estimations of our own ability and/or understanding of what’s at stake … or it represents some force, idea or event which ‘gets through to us’ in spite of some barrier, or maybe even in spite of our Self.

The story of Phaethon references two other entities in particular: Apollo and Helios, two Greek gods which both speak to the idea of ‘enlightenment.’ Helios is the god of the sun - - the actual disc of the sun, and thus ‘the power of enlightenment,’ in all its glory and incandescence. As opposed to this, Apollo represents the ability to be enlightened, and all which we do with the knowledge or understanding that we gain, which includes the idea of truth, as on this level to lie is to corrupt a gift we have been given (i.e., a mode of self-destruction).

So the basics of the myth go like this: hot-shot, headstrong teenager Phaethon gets a chance to make a request of Apollo. And what he asks for is a chance to ‘be Apollo’ by driving the Chariot of the Sun across the sky, a request which when granted end goes (predictably) very, very wrong, leading to Phaethon’s death.

This question of ‘death’ may be applicable now in the sense that the sign of Cancer speaks to ‘foundations’ upon which we stand, and in having rock comet Phaethon retrograde out of Leo back into Cancer suggests taking a step back from the ‘birthing’ or bringing something new into being - - at least for the moment - - which, being in virtual opposition to Mars in Capricorn may well indicate indecision, delays and a need to not fight the inevitable.

And that, in turn, suggests a need to be ‘measured’ about what we take on our jump into here at September’s end - - perhaps for reasons we as yet simply do not know.


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