Current Astrology

Mercury, Venus, & Scorpio

 Photo by Chad Woodward, 2018

Photo by Chad Woodward, 2018

Mercury in Scorpio makes a conjunction with Venus retrograde at the start of the week. Mercury/Venus makes for unusually smooth verbal and financial transactions. Venus' retrograde cycle is increasingly amplifying desires, attractions, and all heart-related themes clear up to its inferior conjunction Oct. 26.

So yes, the heart is getting louder, and Mercury can help us speak up about what we're profoundly feeling, especially anything that's been hard to say. Mercury is fleeting, and so this heart/mind connection won't last long. The first few days of this week can be extra synchronistic/serendipitous, potentially magical in various ways.

Conversations/dialogues can feel especially infused with intensity and brute honesty. For clearing the air of pent-up and repressed emotional content, Mercury/Venus can work beautifully to smooth things out and accentuate receptivity. And those potentially challenging, distressing, or otherwise objectionable topics can fit more easily into discourse and examinations.

Also, elements of the past can come powerfully forward this week. Unresolved discussions, past-life muses, unfinished creative works, and insightful facts/information can be dominating points of focus. Pay close attention to any brief yet poignant interactions and still, look beyond what's said. The mind isn't always this lucid or intuitive, so note the deeper complexity beneath the words.

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Tipping the Scales: Venus Square Mars & Mercury Opposition Uranus

 Arches National Park; photo by John Sullivan

Arches National Park; photo by John Sullivan

Mercury's ingress into Scorpio this week triggers its opposition to erratic and electrifying Uranus. While a brief and fleeting event, it just might send waves until the remainder of the week. Of course, far more is going on. Mercury is now in Scorpio, discussed here. Venus is retrograde and is now reaching its square to Mars and the Sun squares Pluto.

Mercury's opposition to Uranus can correlate with a breakthrough in dialogue or perception. Occurring in fixed signs, Mercury/Uranus seeks to radically alter a static view of reality or impulse an innovative train of thought. On the material level, techno/mechanical aberrations are likely (but can resolve as quickly as they manifest).

Sudden flashes of insight accompany a potentially agitated or restless atmosphere, so yes, expect the unexpected and seek to liberate your mind and voice. Venus' square to Mars adds some poignant intensity to various relational interactions. Consider that healthy conflict and tension can deepen trust and understanding. With Venus retrograde, we are adding new layers of complexity to our perception of those we interact with most.

Latent relational tensions may give rise and find a voice. But also, Venus square Mars is a highly sexual stimulus, and quick flings will likely provide more than initially expected. For unleashing raw and uncensored urges, the remainder of the week can feel unusually visceral. Venus/Mars has optimal creative applications, too. Take note of emerging passion which can reinvigorate pending projects.

The Sun's square to Pluto exacts Oct. 11 and carries some energies of the New Moon in Libra. Combined with Venus/Mars, Sun/Pluto can correlate with power struggles in our relationships this week. The need to assert a unique view of things could meet resistance. But all of this tension can strengthen values and integrity, despite a potential lack of a clean resolution.

Reflect on how idealism is currently being challenged. Pluto in Capricorn and Venus in Scorpio especially offer a more honest view of reality. The Sun in Libra still leans on the side of diplomacy, yet the strong Scorpionic undercurrent and Pluto's dynamic square present the challenge of balancing niceness with realness.

The Dark Moon & Mercury in Scorpio

 Early October sunset; photo by Chad Woodward

Early October sunset; photo by Chad Woodward

We are in the darkness of the Libra New Moon. Yes, this is a natural rest and reset moment which can relate to a ubiquitous zap of energy (that some people feel more strongly). But the New Moon is also a fresh beginning point. The next two weeks of the upward turning lunar cycle are conducive to the initiation of new paths.

This New Moon is particularly dark with the New Moon ruler, Venus, retrograde in Scorpio. There is more going on right now than you can presently see, especially in the context of relationships. Scorpio works on subterranean levels as does its modern ruler Pluto. The next few days are pivotal starting points for several Venus retrograde themes.

One side effect of this New Moon could be a gradual unveiling of concealed desires or hidden aspects of another. The Scorpio realms add more dimension and insight to what we consciously know about our reality. Mercury enters Scorpio Oct. 9 which gives the mind investigative prowess evident until the end of the month.

For mentally and perceptually dissecting just about anything, Mercury in Scorpio is optimal energy. Authenticity wins out over all things superficial. The subtext is more clearly discernable and false fronts rapidly dissolve, revealing the underlying vulnerability. Do what you will with such insight, but in this karmically charged landscape, you might do best to stick to what eases your conscience.

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Peace, Love & Darkness: New Moon in Libra 2018

 Photo by Chad Woodward, October 2018

Photo by Chad Woodward, October 2018

New Moon @ 15 Libra 48’

October 8, 2018

8:47 PM Los Angeles

11:47 PM New York

October 9, 2018

4:47 AM London

11:47 AM Beijing

1:47 PM Sydney

Every New Moon is a dark Moon, the moment within the lunar cycle when the Moon cannot be seen. This New Moon is especially dark, given its square aspect to Pluto and with Venus now moving retrograde in Scorpio. Occurring in tropical Libra, this New Moon highlights relationships, desires, and attractions and their ability to reflect concealed and unconscious aspects within ourselves.

This lunation is about plunging deep to uncover what lies hidden beneath our social veneers which prevent authentic interaction. Libra's negative face exemplifies the abuse of charm, charisma, and glamor when used as vehicles for manipulation and self-gratification. A successful descent into this New Moon requires a commitment to honesty as well as integrity.

Over the next three weeks especially, with Venus now retrograde through Scorpio, we are undergoing a powerful personal and relational renewal which occurs every year and a half. Venus, as ruler of this New Moon, initiates us on our quest into the darkness, to confront the obscure and discarded to find peace, love, and acceptance for what is.

Pluto's square to the New Moon and Mars' applying square to Venus are two points of tension which can challenge us with the limitations of power or serve as catalysts to step up and create real and lasting change. As we pass through this lunation, consider the time, patience, and commitment required to develop love and passion for anyone and anything.

This New Moon can stand as the gateway to the deepening of both love and passion for those commitments and relationships we've established close bonds to. Venus' retrograde station can amplify our desire to love and be loved, sensitizing any woundedness or heartbreak.

A most significant step in life, as it is with this New Moon, is learning to trust our wounds, pain, fears, and anxieties as teachers. There is great wisdom in the darkness, despite the western world's obsessive subjugation of it. There is freedom and liberation in encountering the taboo and those things despised. We are not separate from the things we fear or do not understand. We have merely lost our connection to the totality of our truth.

With this lunation, step back, sink in, and listen. Move beyond the comfortable prison of your personal and subjective perspective. Over the next lunar cycle, there is a challenge in trusting the call to seek a potentially ambiguous viewpoint. As Venus' archetype gets louder, we will descend deeper into the irrational, wild, and untamable. We may have to move into some uncomfortable places to grow, but we will learn to value and appreciate a new reality (both within and without) that we never really noticed before.

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The Heart's Descent: Venus Stationary Retrograde

pexels-photo-921703.jpeg

Venus stations retrograde this week (Oct. 5) as we head into the darkness of the New Moon. Of all Venus retrograde cycles, Venus in Scorpio most exemplifies the archetypal descent into the underworld. In the sign of its detriment, the Venus archetype delves deeply in this cycle to explore hidden dimensions, concealed chasms, unsettling truths, and salacious realities.

As Venus stations and begins its descent toward the Sun, this is not likely to be a comfortable process for many. Especially over the next three weeks before the inferior conjunction of Venus and Sun, there is a notable dissolving, shedding, and releasing of the past. Yes, the heart is getting louder, but so are its wounds.

Anticipate a dramatic revaluation of self-worth and of the things and people you love. Venus invites us to reflect on what we want, desire deeply, and are attracting into our lives. A change of heart or passion is likely. While Venus retrograde is an illusion, it is a definite shift of perception as Venus transitions from evening to morning star. The Venus retrograde transition relates to a mirroring or synchronicity in our personal lives, a symbolic transformation in how we relate to ourselves and thereby connect to others.

In this first phase of the Venus retrograde cycle (Oct. 5 through Oct. 26), allow time and space for an intimate encounter with yourself. The magic of Venus retrograde happens most profoundly on the interior dimensions as a moment of rediscovering the power of self-love, which is the prerequisite before loving anyone or anything else. Honor the need for space and time to reflect and listen intently to what the heart is saying.

New Venus (the inferior conjunction of Venus/Sun) on Oct. 26 is a resetting of relational/financial narratives, creative unfoldment, and self-discovery. It clears out the old to make space for more love and higher capacity to express appreciation. Gently allow your unfolding over the roughly 40 days and nights of Venus retrograde. Allow yourself to descend more deeply than you have before, and trust that you will eventually find your way through the darkness and closer to what matters most.

For more insight/perspective about this upcoming Venus retrograde cycle, check out my video on YouTube. Comments, likes, and channel subscribes are greatly appreciated!

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Pluto, Venus, & Mercury

 By H. Zell [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], from Wikimedia Commons

By H. Zell [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], from Wikimedia Commons

We begin the week with Pluto’s direct station, and Pluto receiving a square from Mercury (exact Oct. 2). With Pluto in Capricorn, this week starts off with a profound influx of pragmatism, intent, and focus, feeling the weight of karmic responsibilities or needing to get serious about the pursuit of your mission. 

Increased anxiety/paranoia can be other Pluto direct side effects, though finding a grounding point, such as consumption in some meaningful work/project can help dissipate the intensity. Mercury's square to Pluto can sometimes impulse obsession with the shadow dimensions, or can unexpectedly reveal blunt truths through conversations and dialogues. 

Do be wary of forcing convictions and beliefs onto disinterested parties. Keeping it light this week is a little problematic, but a consciousness of these Plutonian vibes can prevent situations from becoming overly abysmal. Mercury/Pluto can also gift access to concealed insight or potentials, but an arduous effort will be required to reveal more depth. 

And yes, Venus is stationing retrograde this week. In fact, Venus' retrograde station will begin to dominate the week's remainder and into the New Moon (Oct. 8). Serendipitous encounters are most likely with Venus stations, as are sometimes mysterious or vague karmic untangling via our relationships. 

Venusian themes will get increasingly louder, but they will have a Scorpionic tint. Powerfully seductive temptations, the unveiling of inconvenient truths, or a fascination/attraction to things typically too macabre may be relevant. Also, with more prominent self-worth anxieties, a subsequent personal revaluing is underway the next several weeks. 

Release the many layers of self-doubt and self-loathing from here on out. It's time to see your potential from a new lens. Personal transformation happens in synch with the relational dimensions of Venus retrograde, too. It's not just about the other, though there will likely be a plethora of mirrors to reveal those places you've been denying. No matter what, make space for more love. Start with yourself, and extend from there. 

Do you have any questions about Venus retrograde? Comment below….

And for more information about the upcoming Venus retrograde cycle, watch my detailed video on YouTube. Make sure to like and comment to help me reach more viewers.

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Pluto Direct+Venus' Station

 Spectacular views on the way to Lee’s Ferry in Glen Canyon, AZ'; photo by Chad Woodward.

Spectacular views on the way to Lee’s Ferry in Glen Canyon, AZ'; photo by Chad Woodward.

Pluto is stationing direct this weekend. The God/Goddess of the underworld comes to a standstill this Sunday, the last day of Sept. October will be upon us soon, which is the month of Venus Retrograde. Next week is heavy and profound, and we're likely already feeling the weight of it.

Pluto has been in Capricorn since 2008, and since then has brought the underbelly of corporate, political, patriarchal, and authoritarian structures into view. Pluto's station in Capricorn is dominating earth energy, which can stand as a reminder of some significant challenge, ambition, or responsibility that you need to tend.

Pluto stations don't typically feel good, but they're revealing and sometimes insightful. While you may need to fend off increased paranoia or a doom and gloom outlook, Pluto's station can inspire seriousness about a more significant purpose or personal mission. Combined with Venus' retrograde station in Scorpio, we are beginning a symbolic descent into the archetypal underworld.

Venus retrograde is amplifying the heart--attractions, desires, and the need to love and be loved. Venus wants to experience connection, joy, and the stability that comes from a relationship or resource stream. We are beginning a phase of revaluing partnerships, preferences, and resources next month. This is a moment to connect deeper with yourself and the things you love.

With both Pluto and Venus' stations next week, take some time to pause and listen to primordial and heart-centered wisdom. Pay close attention to the needs of your body, and the concerns of other people. Practice patience, empathy, and compassion. Soon, we can more easily clarify what matters.

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Waning into the Void: Moon in Aries

 By ESO/WFI (Optical); MPIfR/ESO/APEX/A.Weiss et al. (Submillimetre); NASA/CXC/CfA/R.Kraft et al. (X-ray)Derivative work including grading and crop: Julian Herzog

By ESO/WFI (Optical); MPIfR/ESO/APEX/A.Weiss et al. (Submillimetre); NASA/CXC/CfA/R.Kraft et al. (X-ray)Derivative work including grading and crop: Julian Herzog

While the lunar cycle is now on the wane, the Full Moon still radiates via its transit through Aries. With the Sun square Saturn, limitations, responsibilities, and perceived shortcomings may taunt us. And the Full Moon's conjunction with Chiron could have pierced open areas of intense sensitivity, rendering the Aries warrior especially vulnerable. These Full Moon vibes are not a smooth integration, but they open spaces conducive to deep healing and transmutation. 

Avoid stuckness in guilt or shame. Feel what is arising, and choose to move on. Saturn's square is about being proactive and accountable. With the Sun and Mercury now in Libra post-equinox, relationship issues are likely to dominate. Venus' approaching retrograde station heightens serendipitous meetups and relationship review. We are about to descend deeper into the shadows, so prepare for a far more intimate confrontation with themes which are arising. 

If you've felt blocked or stagnant from the Full Moon, the Sun's applying trine with Mars will help to liberate motivation. However, Mars is nearing its final conjunction with the lunar South Node, so the courage, stamina, and strength desired may not be readily available. In this waning Moon in Aries, focus on a releasing of fears, frustrations, and anxieties. Make space for the warrior to return to his or her full glory, so gather your strength and push on. 

The Moon is void in Aries until Sept. 27, which is long enough to taint new starts or block consummations. However, this is a viably creative/spontaneous space, where unexpected turns can lead to exciting new shapes. In the newly waning Moon phase, you can sever connections, attachments, and habits. Be careful, as disconnections made over the next day may be more permanent than you initially might think.

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Libra Season+The Equinox 2018

 Venus reflected on the Pacific Ocean and setting with the Sun in 2008; by OceanBrocken Inaglory at the English Wikipedia [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Venus reflected on the Pacific Ocean and setting with the Sun in 2008; by OceanBrocken Inaglory at the English Wikipedia [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Mercury and the Sun are now in tropical Libra. The Sun's annual entrance into Libra each year initiates the equinox (autumn for the northern and spring for the southern hemispheres). For the north dwelling ancients (where western astrology gave rise), the Sun into Libra symbolized the start of the Sun's descent. Traditionally, the Sun is in its "fall" in Libra, where it loses some of its autonomy and power.

Today, we know that the solar system is heliocentric, that all planets orbit the Sun. The ancients, at least those who developed western astrology, did not. However, it's an interesting synchronicity (synchronicities are ubiquitous with astrology) that the Sun (as a symbol of the self, ego, or I) would lose its dignity in a sign which emphasizes relationship. Relationships do not revolve around an individual. For any relationship to work (romantic, marriage, friendship, or professional), some part of the self must be sacrificed or changed.

In Libra, the Sun is not symbolically at the center; it must accommodate the needs of others. With Mercury and the Sun entering Libra side by side, this equinox doubly emphasizes empathy, diplomacy, and sensitivity to alien points of view. At the moment, both Mercury and Sun in Libra suggest moving beyond a purely egocentric lens and seeking understanding of another.

Additionally, Venus is at its greatest brightness and visibility as it gets closer to the Earth. As ruler of Libra, the Venusian energies are dominating this Libra season. At sunset, we can still glimpse Venus in its last moments as the evening star. Soon, it will descend into the heart of the Sun, vanishing in Oct. but emerging again before sunrise as the morning star in early Nov.

The desire to love and be loved is getting louder. You might note a deeper appreciation for those you love and the things you want. With Venus bright and both Mercury and Sun in Libra, we perceive through the heart, noticing beauty and feeling more strongly pulled by our attractions. Next month, anticipate a critical revaluing of relationships, resources, and self-worth.

For now, delve deeply into your heart. Attune your focus to another viewpoint or perspective. Calm the mind and surrender to the heart energy so that you can hear what it has to say. Decisiveness can be a problem, especially the next several days, but it is the season to embrace ambiguity, paradox, and consider the pros and cons.

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A Sharper Focus: Mercury's Superior Conjunction

 By Thennicke [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], from Wikimedia Commons

By Thennicke [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], from Wikimedia Commons

Mercury is reaching its superior conjunction with the Sun (Sept. 20) just before entering tropical Libra. Sun and Mercury enter Libra side by side, jointly announcing the equinox Sept. 22. Mercury's superior conjunction occurs every 116 days as it transitions from morning to evening visibility (aka apparition). Currently, you will not see Mercury in the sky.

Mercury is behind the Sun and at apogee, the furthest it could be from us on Earth. Mercury's superior conjunction is the antithesis of its retrograde/inferior conjunction. Mercury is moving at its top speed, and so the mind is "out there" enthusiastically dissecting, editing, and dividing. At this point in the Mercurial synodic cycle, the mind is attuned to the future and getting ahead.

In Virgo, Mercury's more pragmatic focus infuses the solar consciousness. Communication is empowered and most useful right now. Look for the spontaneous emergence of insights and progressive perspectives. Mercury's exalted position in Virgo gives the mind profuse precision, detail orientation, and technical competence. This Mercury/Sun conjunction is favorable for learning, teaching, writing, speaking, traveling, or for honing critical skills.

Mercury enters Libra just before the Sun on Sept. 21. Mercury's superior conjunction alongside the equinox is a most potent transitional period, quickly moving our focus from the micro to the macro. Mercury through Libra can assist in reaching a more balanced perspective, incorporating different viewpoints, and learning to speak or perceive through the heart. For articulating feelings, moods, and impressions, Mercury in Libra will be a vital asset through Oct. 9.

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Revolution Reboot: Mars Square Uranus

 By Thennicke, via Wikimedia Commons

By Thennicke, via Wikimedia Commons

Mars is making its final square with Uranus this week (Sept. 18). We are likely to feel the full force of Mars/Uranus clear to the Full Moon in Aries (Sept. 24). This week can inspire sudden, impulsive moves. Mars/Uranus is erratic, individualistic, and freedom-loving. Mars in Aquarius has a flair for genius and eccentricity, too. And these Mars/Uranus themes have been ongoing since Mid-May. Notice the progress you have made.

Dissatisfaction with stale or stifling routines is a likely possibility, but be careful how you carry out liberations this week. Mars on the lunar South Node significantly cools Mars' aggressive hostility, which can help lessen explosiveness. Still, be mindful that Mars near the South Node emphasizes a letting go of violent or destructive behaviors. Uranus can help liberate frustrated energies and channel them to more constructive means.

So yes, this week is infused with restlessness or potential agitation. Don't push yourself too hard, but don't repress your need to change or innovate something either. With Mercury nearing its superior conjunction Sept. 20, the mind is getting sharper and more attuned to the future. Virgo Mercury alongside Aquarian Mars can generate fresh perspectives and transcend the past.

So do indulge in creative change/innovation this week. Seek a healthy expression of pent-up unrest. However, considering that we are nearing the equinox this weekend and a dicey Full Moon square Saturn, do not throw all caution to the wind or recklessly pursue your own needs and desires. Maintain mindfulness of consequences, because the Full Moon energies are not supportive of an unrestrained Mars. Compassion and common sense are a must.

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Listen to the Wound: Full Moon in Aries 2018

 By Moyan Brenn from Anzio, Italy (Meditation) [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

By Moyan Brenn from Anzio, Italy (Meditation) [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

September 24, 2018

2 degrees tropical Aries 00’

7:52 PM Los Angeles

10:52 PM New York

September 25, 2018

3:52 AM London

10:52 AM Beijing

12:52 PM Sydney

September's Full Moon in tropical Aries occurs shortly after the equinox and conjoins Chiron. A Full Moon in Aries represents a temporary rise in courage, assertiveness, and adventurousness. Aries, the trailblazer/warrior archetype, ruled by the planet Mars, doesn't initially think before leaping. Aries is great at getting something started but often struggles with consistency or commitment, which the Sun/Mercury in Libra emphasizes.

With Mars in Aquarius still in square aspect with Uranus, that freedom loving, impulsive, and erratic energy is a dominant force with this Full Moon. However, with the Full Moon receiving a square from Saturn, an opposition from Sun/Mercury in Libra, and with Mars conjunct the lunar South Node, there is considerable restraint imposed upon the willful and impetuous Mars/Aries dynamic. Chiron, too, adds another layer of challenge and complexity.

Chiron's conjunction with this Full Moon and square with Saturn makes it difficult to ignore a source of pain in some specific area. A Full Moon is a breaking point, crisis, or state of completion, so it's time to acknowledge the source of that pain and bring awareness and healing. Saturn's square is a catalyst for taking the initiative and responsibility for our suffering. Chiron also works like a key, helping to unlock a door that was previously obstructed or concealed.

Interestingly, Chiron will move back into Pisces the day following this Full Moon. It will re-enter Aries in Feb. 2019 and transit here until 2026/2027. Reflect on the house where the Full Moon and Chiron fall in your chart; this will reveal what your specific pain, wound, or defect relates to. Chiron's transit through this house/sign the next eight years will assist in unlocking and eventually transmuting self-defeating attitudes or beliefs blocking a healthy flow and expression of energy here.

Aries/Mars energy is about taking the initiative and action. What is preventing you from being proactive here? This Full Moon can help illuminate your blocks and can also symbolize a breakthrough or a threshold reached with changes you may already have initiated. Witnessing the results of hard work, dedication, and commitment can rapidly transmute some area of your life and inspire you to continue in your efforts.

Yes, Saturn's square can also amplify the woundedness so characteristic of Chiron. Feeling the weight or enormity of hardship or challenge is possible with this Full Moon. But a Full Moon is about the integration of two ends of a spectrum. This Full Moon can additionally help to balance or diversify a limiting or self-focused perspective via the Sun and Mercury in Libra. Listening to alternative points of view, receiving helpful feedback, or reaching out for support can help shift excessive or obsessive focus on a problem.

There are obvious limitations to anyone's personal and subjective viewpoint. Getting your way can only take you so far in life. For some, it might work out circumstantially. If you have enough wealth, power, or privilege, it's easier to bulldoze your way through any environment without considering your impact. But this Full Moon can put the brakes on any selfish or destructive pattern.

Chiron in opposition to the Sun and Mercury can impulse more profound thought and consideration of the consequences of one's actions, attitudes, or choices. Saturn's square to the Full Moon axis can bring forth the knowledge that absolute freedom is impossible. Ultimately, we need the help and support of others to survive. This lunation can also work as a breakthrough in realizing that teamwork and cooperation can more effectively solve a problem than going it alone.

Chiron's transit through Aries will continue next year, but with this Full Moon, remain receptive to any insights or suggestions you receive in regards to healing and transmuting your woundedness. Don’t forget the power of your body and mind to change. Mars' last conjunction with the south node can limit or dampen the energy of Mars, which lessens one's ability to effectively make those impulsive leaps or respond to this Full Moon with full strength hostility or aggression. As counterintuitive as it may sound with an Aries Full Moon, it might be best to put down your sword and fully assess both sides of a situation before charging into a battle. An alternate perspective can sometimes change everything. A willingness to listen will be vital.

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Mercury Trine Pluto+Sextile Jupiter

Along the Yuba.jpg

Mercury's opposition to Neptune may have momentarily dissipated the Virgo/earth sign productivity flow. But Mercury is moving on, nearing its superior conjunction with the Sun next week. If you lost your focus, anticipate a rapid return soon enough. Mercury's superior conjunction in Virgo is high power mental/communicative energy and helps if you need to concentrate ahead or clarify just about anything.

Mercury makes a trine with Pluto this weekend alongside the first quarter Moon and a sextile to Jupiter. The Moon's power is rising and surging and can empower motivation for the completion of tasks and critical projects. The Full Moon in a little over a week is not a smooth integration, but it is a catalyst for growth, maturity, and change. If you've been proactive with managing your to-do-list and responsibilities, expect a rising sense of accomplishment or authority.

Mercury's trine to Pluto this weekend favors in-depth investigations and conversations. Combined with Venus in Scorpio, superficial exchanges especially reveal their hollowness. If you need or want to go further with an interaction, be upfront, and you'll effortlessly move beyond the usual obstructions. Mercury to Pluto lends a high degree of persuasiveness, so utilize this momentary leverage with mindfulness.

Pluto can empower Mercury in Virgo's perceptiveness as few details evade notice. Of course, Neptune's fading opposition still manages to stir up idealism and residual cloudy judgment, but reason, logic, and an acute focus will be on the increase over the next week. By Sunday, Mercury's sextile to Jupiter can help dissolve mental blocks, mobilize creativity, and forge a path toward clearness.

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Getting Wyrd: Mercury/Neptune Opposition

 A rocky peak rises from a sea of fog in an Arizona Valley; image by NOAA.

A rocky peak rises from a sea of fog in an Arizona Valley; image by NOAA.

Mercury's opposition to Neptune is building in intensity, inviting the numinous into the daily flow. For Mercury in Virgo, Neptune's opposition can be a frustrating distraction to the current, earth sign synergy. Staying on track/task could be a challenge. But Neptune can open the mind to the domain of the irrational as well as magical.

The synchronistic flow of the past week continues through Mercury/Neptune, a poignant reminder that mystery and meaning imbue our daily narrative. Combined with Mercury's trine to Pluto this weekend, the remainder of the week offers up cutting-edge insight and altered perceptions. Be careful with all communicative transactions, as critical details can evade even the most astute.

Take a step back, and if in doubt, allow the next few days to pass before you can once again rely on clarity. By the weekend, Mercury's Pluto trine can re-empower prudence and reasonable control, giving the mind an acute focus. Mercury in Virgo's constructive powers will be at maximum strength by the start of next week, so use that as an incentive to wait out the fog.

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Venus/Uranus Opposition+Jupiter Sextile Pluto

 By Mostafameraji [CC BY-SA 4.0  (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], from Wikimedia Commons

By Mostafameraji [CC BY-SA 4.0  (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], from Wikimedia Commons

Venus is now in Scorpio, a sign with a vastly different resonance than Venus. In the dignity/debility scheme, Venus is currently in detriment, set to retrograde in early Oct. Venus in Scorpio imbues all relational interactions with a sense of ferocity, passion, and realness. Fake fronts won't work until at least the first of Nov., so it's best to come forward now and avoid a more dramatic unmasking. However, Venus won't complete its full transit through Scorpio until early Jan. 2019. 

Venus will make its first of three oppositions with Uranus Sept. 12, while Jupiter sextiles Pluto. With Mars back in Aquarius, Venus/Uranus makes a striking and somewhat intimidating t-square in the sky. The need for new sexual/relational experiences is one possible result, or a desire to detach from a static dating/relating routine. The Venus/Uranus theme will be an ongoing saga with unusual twists and turns until the end of Nov. 

Bring something edgy and exciting into your current relationships, and also be mindful of the need for space or time to individuate. Sudden and unexpected changes in a relational narrative can synchronize with these Venus/Uranus oppositions, increasing in intensity toward the end of Oct. For now, we might begin seeing the subtle emergence of signs pointing in the direction of change. Combined with Mars in Aquarius, and Jupiter/Pluto, ingenious creative changes are within our grasp. 

Jupiter's sextile with Pluto is an impressive surge of power, optimism, and a bolstering of faith. Jupiter in Scorpio can strengthen conviction, but be cautious about leaning too heavily in the direction of fanaticism. For lessening self-doubt, momentarily overshadowing existential questioning, and increasing a sense of personal power, Jupiter/Pluto is 100 percent behind this collective boost of purposeful confidence. 

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A Fresh Route: Mars in Aquarius+Venus in Scorpio

 By Johannes Plenio jplenio (https://unsplash.com/photos/nfreue44HjI) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons

By Johannes Plenio jplenio (https://unsplash.com/photos/nfreue44HjI) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons

We are still in the dark of the Moon, the cyclic restart of the lunar cycle. New beginnings abound pointing us in fresh directions. The Moon's new cycle is underway at the start of the week, so be prepared to rise and forge ahead. Mars re-enters Aquarius today, following Venus' entrance into Scorpio yesterday. Mars direct in Aquarius will make its third and final square with Uranus next week (Sept. 18), but we will feel it the next two weeks. 

Mars in Aquarius square Uranus is innovative and cutting edge in its approach, but also volatile, even erratic. The rebel genius is the Aquarian/Uranian ideal, and Mars' square can inspire sudden breaks with the past and anything suffocating autonomy. So, the next two weeks offers up another wave of rebellion, freedom fighting, and groundbreaking moves. However, unlike Mars/Uranus squares earlier this year, Venus joins the conversation. 

Yes, Venus will turn retrograde next month. We may already notice strange turnarounds in our relationships, serendipitous meetups, or even blast from the past reemergences. Those will get louder Oct. through Nov., and Uranus flavors each of these changing dynamics in our partnerships. Anticipate allowing yourself and others more space to reinvent themselves.

Experimentation with new arrangements and interactions is a likely scenario. However, Venus in Scorpio gets deep into the core of relational issues, uncovering all hidden dimensions. Be sensitive to that, and avoid pushing others too hard too fast. Venus retrograde is a cycle of revaluing what we love and want, so give your heart some time to reflect. Some profound work lies ahead. 

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Mercury's Grand Trine+Sun/Neptune Opposition

 David Hawgood / Rock Arch in Diggory's Island

David Hawgood / Rock Arch in Diggory's Island

Mercury in Virgo joins Saturn and Uranus in an earth grand trine, alongside the Sun opposing Neptune. The mind is attuned to the mundane this week as it enters into a phase of extra efficiency. Plotting your way toward accomplishments, solving real-world problems, or tending to bodily needs/desires might take up a lot of our time and energy. Saturn's direct station can inspire proactive steps to free yourself from stagnation if you've felt especially static the last few months. 

However, the typical limitations brought by pure earth energy are not as dominant this week. Mercury trine Uranus offers fresh possibilities, unique perspectives, and novel solutions to all practical dilemmas. The earth trine synergy with Mercury helps with mental/communicative clarity. For enhancing competence and understanding, Mercury's grand trine is exceptionally fortuitous. 

While you may feel additionally motivated this week with all that you need or want to get done, the Sun's opposition to Neptune suggests that many things still evade our grasp. This weekend's New Moon is a natural period of rest and downtime, and its oppositional relationship with Neptune can feel like a need to step back for some of us. Neptune also infuses the numinous in all that we do, which can be a source of inspiration or outright confusion. 

In your busyness or worldly focus, don't ignore the subtle signs or synchronicities all around you. Take a moment to notice the mystery of the world and how little you understand it. A step back might sound counterintuitive, but it offers a chance to slow down and clarify a vision. Realize that your efforts have a higher purpose and that tending to the details always takes more time. 

Humility is especially vital in the next few days. Be forthcoming about what you don't know or understand. And Neptune the trickster can be a tempting route toward escapism, so be mindful of what you're trying to avoid. For those struggling with meeting responsibilities this week or with feeling overwhelmed, focus on the first step you need to take and go from there. Surrender to your desire for change and trust that each effort will get you closer to your goal. 

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Close, Yet So Far: Neptune Perigee

 Image of  Neptune's rings  acquired by   Voyager 2   in August 1989; photo by NASA/Voyager 2 Team

Image of Neptune's rings acquired by Voyager 2 in August 1989; photo by NASA/Voyager 2 Team

Neptune and Earth are getting intimate. For the vastness of the solar system, intimacy is millions or billions of miles. For Neptune, that's 2.7 billion to be exact. Every year when Neptune makes its opposition to the Sun, its at perigee, which is a planet's closest approach within its elliptical orbit. Opposite perigee, is apogee, a planet's furthest path. I remember the difference using this mnemonic: apogee means "away," and perigee equals "pretty darn close." Neptune's perigee is exact Sept. 6, with its opposition to the Sun Sept. 7. 

However, you will not see Neptune with the naked eye. Like its symbolic nature in astrology, Neptune evades our immediate senses, requiring a telescope and a knowledge of where to look and what to look for (binoculars will even suffice). But you can also experience the archetype of Neptune as perhaps closer than usual, by looking within yourself, or by noticing the increase of synchronicities around you.

Neptune's opposition to the Sun each year symbolizes a clash or confrontation between the rational/conscious awareness and the numinous. In Neptune's positive face, we gain an understanding that the world we see and touch is not the whole story. Perhaps, over the last week, you've begun noticing the strangeness of things beyond what is usual. Synchronicity is a primary experience of Neptunian realities. 

When a dream symbol physically manifests in the real world, that's a sure sign you're experiencing a meaningful coincidence. Repeating numbers, themes, or names can be another way of witnessing synchronicity. What do synchronicities mean? Everyone has their interpretations, but for me, they're just little reminders that I'm a part of something bigger, and that this world is shrouded in one giant enigma. Through synchronicities, I feel only slightly closer to the mystery, yet its distance still eludes me. 

It's easy to get caught up with a micro-sized view of ourselves and our lives. Modern people are feeling increasingly alienated and alone. While the internet and social media have connected us, they've also left many devoid of a sense of meaning, or even meaningful, human relationships. When we tap into Neptune, we gain access to the knowledge that a strange reality exists behind the one we see. A true Neptunian experience is beyond words; it's an intuitive sense that we've made communication with something that bypasses rational explanation. 

With the Sun and Mercury in Virgo, Saturn stationing direct, and Mercury's earth grand trine, we are in the thick of the worldly earth element. And yet, Neptune's opposition to the Sun pierces through the veil to offer us a glimpse of something beyond what we can tangibly interact. With Neptune opposite the Virgo Sun, we have to find a compromise between reason and fantasy. Or we might glimpse that both are just as valid realities in their own right. Mercury's opposition to Neptune Sept. 13 carries this synchronistic thread clear through next week. 

The negative side of Neptune can seductively tempt us into distraction or escapism. With Mercury's earth grand trine, it would be a shame to waste this productivity flow while chasing an energy drain. The challenge of the moment lies in overcoming the heaviness of Saturn's direct station by taking responsibility for any limitations or hardships we face. Don't make yourself a victim. Step up and meet life, and you might reach more than you were expecting. 

Remain humble with Neptune opposite the Sun, and try your best to not rely on purely rational faculties. The New Moon this weekend captures this opposition and carries its themes for the next six months. A new vision is emerging, or perhaps a newfound sense of faith in your life purpose. To embrace and manifest this vision requires a slight modification of the ego and mind, so slow down your thoughts and the pace of life in any way you can. Surrender to the flow this weekend, and trust that you will slip into the right place (or at least a strange one).

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Mercury in Virgo+Saturn Direct

 Grand Tetons National Park, August 2017; photo by Chad Woodward

Grand Tetons National Park, August 2017; photo by Chad Woodward

Mercury is entering Virgo, its home sign, and place of exaltation. From Sept. 5 through Sept. 21, Mercury in Virgo empowers mental and communicative precision, favoring the editing of words/documents, clarification of messages, and technical mastery. For all cerebral tasks, projects, and activities, a more precise focus can fuel productivity but can also overwhelm with minutiae. 

Hyper-awareness of imperfections can lead to rigorous and laborious digressions. If you need your words or thoughts on point, Mercury in Virgo is invaluable. With Saturn's direct station Sept. 6, anticipate a notable increase in ambition the next few days. For those just getting into the work groove this Virgo season, Saturn direct is pure motivation. 

If you think you're not living up to some higher expectations at the moment, assess whether or not that's true. You might have internalized an unhelpful inner voice which has now become a tyrannical critic. Guilt tripping is never useful nor helpful, so make improvements where needed, but then forgive yourself for not being perfect. Start with small steps now, and you'll rise with the new lunar cycle next week. 

The week's end brings us high-capacity earth energy, and yet, from the background, the numinous invades our perception through the Sun's building opposition to Neptune (exact Sept. 7). Beyond delusions of grandeur and paranoia, lies the awareness of one's participation in a vast synchronistic field, rich with meaning, inspiration, and insight. While the magical and pragmatic may clash toward the end of this week, the mystical can infuse the physical, revealing their separation as a total illusion. 

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New Visions: New Moon in Virgo 2018

 By Ralph F. Kresge [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

By Ralph F. Kresge [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

New Moon @ 17 Virgo 00'

September 9, 2018

11:02 AM Los Angeles

2:02 PM New York

7:02 PM London

September 10, 2018

2:02 AM Beijing

4:02 AM Sydney

On Sept. 9/10, the Sun and Moon will conjoin in tropical Virgo. During every New Moon, new life is dawning forth from the depths of the darkness. In the dark of the Moon, possibilities are more easily within our reach, because emerging insights and realizations have yet to take shape. While the sign of Virgo is unquestionably pragmatic, the New Moon is a moment of mystery and uncertainty. 

With Mars now direct and the eclipses behind us, we've made it past the intensified astrology of July/August, and actually, the most challenging aspects of 2018. Mercury is direct too, and now undeniably strong in its home sign Virgo, also supported via a grand trine with Saturn and Uranus. Occurring in a mutable sign, this Virgo New Moon is transitional, gently carrying us deeper into the astrology of September. 

You've made it through the thick of this year, so first, utilize this lunation as a grounding point and allow yourself some rest. While true that every New Moon helps to initiate new paths, those seeds can be gently planted. Aside from an opposition from Neptune, this New Moon receives supportive aspects/sign-based relationships from all other planets. And as I mentioned, Mercury, the ruler of this lunation, is in a powerful place. 

In regards to taking first steps with anything you've been mulling over, reconsidering, or processing these last several weeks, this lunation is most definitely supportive. New beginnings are well within your reach, but yes, Neptune's opposition is a dominating theme of this New Moon. Neptune can be a source of deception as well as inspiration. Its opposition here suggests that we could all use insight and revelation. 

However, Neptune's opposition can force insight upon us, especially if we approach this lunation without humility. The hubris of the modern world is its arrogant assumption that all things can be rationalized, every mystery deductively dissected, and all instincts tamed. Don't fall for that delusion with this New Moon. Humbly accept that you need guidance, you need an awakening and that there are endless enigmas which still evade your grasp.  

The first step in passing through this New Moon is to take some time to step back, find your quiet place, and relax. With Mars and Mercury direct, and the delays of the past weeks now dissolving, this might sound a bit counterintuitive. Surely, the first New Moon after the most tumultuous astrology of 2018 is about taking action. But sometimes, the best step is choosing to wait for clarity, and instead allowing the universe to send you a message. Without intuitively and thoughtfully considering these first steps, the Full Moon in two weeks can work to block our efforts. 

If you find yourself feeling lost with this New Moon, unmotivated, or uninspired, you're probably looking in the wrong places. In this dark of the Moon, the best place to look is within yourself, and its there that you'll discover the vision needed to make any new path successful. A supportive trine to Pluto in Capricorn provides access to all of those unconscious narratives that keep tripping you up and holding you back. But to grasp those insights requires some intense introspection. 

The Virgo path is the path toward self-improvement. Virgo understands well that the improvements are endless. Bettering oneself is not an easy thing to undertake, but with this New Moon, the visions we seek can point us in the right direction. But don't fall into the trap of believing that you need to resolve all of your stuff, that you need to cleanse, purify, and scrub away every defective and broken piece before moving forward. Accept that you're human, that you have flaws, and that life is dirty. All of those dirty and perceptively broken places are what make you who you are. 

When approaching the path of self-improvement, it's important to accept that perfection is not the goal. Instead, the journey toward a better you is all about the journey itself and how it changes you. The path of self-improvement has little to do with achieving this towering goal and proving to the world how incredibly disciplined and focused you are. It's not you that changes you. We are shaped and sculpted by life, etched into something we could never have imagined. Neptune here reminds us that we are made "better" by what happens to us. 

So, accepting yourself the way that you are, in all of your wholeness and innate divine perfection is how you improve. It's through loving and seeing ourselves as complete that we can humbly accept that life can make us better. But we have to trust life to do that, and we have to trust ourselves to see it through. And with this New Moon, its about trusting the darkness and loving the mystery and all that it can teach us. Mercury in its domicile is an influential teacher, so look for synchronicities, omens, signs, or a guide who may come in any guise. 

Editing, pruning, and decluttering are Virgo's primary tactics. Mercury in Virgo can undoubtedly notice all the details and flaws. You can apply received insight and a seemingly infinite focus to many things--yourself, a project, goals/objectives, a relationship, or just your life overall. Look for the various ways you can augment your reality, but be kind to yourself. In your scrutinizing, be careful what you choose to believe about yourself and your potential. 

Lastly, Venus is entering Scorpio alongside this New Moon. Aside from a momentary dip back into Libra in November, Venus will not complete its transit through Scorpio until January 2019. Venus isn't comfortable in Scorpio, and her retrograde cycle beginning Oct. 5 can uncover many layers of secrets, truths, and rare insight within our relationships. 

Venus in Scorpio is blunt, honest, and real. Venus adds more profound complexity to the New Moon conversation. And Venus' t-square with Mars/Uranus stimulates a desire to break free of routines in our relationships and our approach to creative projects. However, be cautious with committing too deeply to any new fling, or responding solely to your impulse desires when it comes to investments. Venus' upcoming retrograde cycle will be a phase of revaluing what brings us joy and what feeds our heart. Utilize the Virgo/Mercury powers of discrimination to see past any glamour or gloss. 

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