The next two months’ astrology are intense, impactful and in-your-face, although due to the potent effects of Mercury’s transit and some Neptune nebulousness, a lot of this may happen in a subconscious space.
Perhaps more in-your-cortex, than in-your-face.
During this period we will have a conjunction between Saturn & Mars, 2.5 Eclipses (more on that below), a Mercury Retrograde in Virgo transit, Jupiter entering Libra and the final Saturn-Neptune Square.
Although the nature of this astrology will likely cause us all to pause at some point, my brothers and sisters with planets at 15-30° degrees of the mutable signs (Pisces, Sagittarius, Gemini & Virgo) need to pay special attention! Especially affected are planets at 21° to 27° degrees of the mutable signs, as the September 16th Eclipse will impact these planets most strongly.
For directions on how to generate your birth chart, please go here.
Saturn & Mars: A Cosmic Pipebomb
Effects felt August 21 – 31st (possibly sooner)
I’m stealing the term ‘pipebomb’ for a Saturn-Mars conjunction from Eric Francis, who noted that the punchy fight of Mars, likened to gunpowder, potentially becomes explosive when held in the contained spaces of Saturn. While most of us won’t experience a full-on pipebomb, the other expression of a Saturn-Mars conjunction can be a hot-cold, on-off, yes-no energy that can rock between thrilling and thwarting at a moment’s notice. On a more positive note, we might be able to combine our drive (Mars) with a bit of structure (Saturn). Projects initiated under this kind of energy definitely have the legs to go the distance, but they might incubate for longer than normal.
The important thing during this period is to just be patient and keep yourself out of the fight. In a period where the cosmic sands are shifting underfoot, the most clever move is sometimes no move at all.
There is only one thing certain about the next 60 days – the jury is out and the edges are blurred.
Part of this energy is related to the upcoming Mercury Retrograde in Virgo, but there are just as many twisty, confusing minor aspects to Neptune, Mr. Misty Illusional Esq., to provide mental fog.
Besides the fact that these two zodiacal ‘baddies’ are in a fistfight for a couple days after both having undergone extended retrograde periods earlier this year, this conjunction will occur on top of the fixed star Antares.
Antares is the ‘heart of the Scorpion’ as it lies at the center of the constellation of Scorpius (aka Scorpio). Like Mars, Antares is seen as a flickering red star in the night sky, belying some its ancient connotations, which ranged from passion to malevolence and ruthlessness. (If you want to know more about Antares and the fixed stars, go to Dark Star Astrology)
This is a celestial game to watch from the bleachers if you can manage it.
2 Eclipses and a Baby
August 18th, September 1st, September 16th
In the most technical sense, we’ll have eclipses on August 18th, September 1st, and September 16th. In truth, the August 18th Lunar Eclipse is so minor as to be nearly invisible to the naked eye, but it might be useful to consider this lunation as a building block towards the total lunar eclipse of September 16th. If you’d like to know more about eclipses, you can check out this mini-guide here.
The August 18th eclipse at 26° of Aquarius is followed almost directly by the Saturn-Mars conjunction. I’m wondering if there may be a humanitarian or technological event that impacts the global consciousness (UPDATE – my thoughts are this was the Omran photos); with a healthy relationship to Uranus, I’m hoping this could be more breakthrough than breakout. Venus and Pluto in friendly alignment could create a connection to internal reserves of power, and Pallas-Athena in this lunation will add a wise, strategic vibe.
The September 1st eclipse at 9° of Virgo will tensely square the Saturn-Mars points that were recently activated by their conjunction one week prior; there is also a stealthy opposition to Neptune that begins to re-activate the Saturn-Neptune square. There are positive aspects with generous Jupiter conjunct Mercury (which is the ruler of this Eclipse), so overall it’s a mixed bag. There could very well be issues around what we feel is productive versus what we feel is poetically important; there could be a lot of talk/write/chat; there could be a lot of criticism/analysis/worry. These are Jupiter’s final moments in Virgo, so he might try and milk it for all it’s worth at last minute.
The September 16th eclipse is the final eclipse of 2016 at 24° of Pisces, bringing the energy that was opened up with the Solar Eclipse of March 8th to a closing (which is not the same thing as an ending). This is a total eclipse with possibly intense results due to the Moon’s conjunction with Chiron, the wounded healer. There’s a loose story being told with Vesta trine the Moon, and speaking about the benefits of real spiritual service to a cause that’s a life-long effort, and Mars squaring the Moon, speaking about the possible inefficacies (and irony) of trying to bring about peace through a fight.
Mercury Retrograde in Virgo: Work & Re-Work
August 30th – September 21st
When I started looking at the upcoming Mercury Retrograde in Virgo, the first thing that came to my mind were the lyrics from RuPaul’s song ‘Supermodel’: “You’ve better work”. This is a funnily accurate connection since Mercury Retrograde essentially works like models on the runway walking out to a pinnacle point and then folding back on their path to the exit.
So what do we have to work on in this retrograde? Well, worrying, for starters. And nagging. And criticizing. And endlessly demanding that life, and the lives of those around us, be productive. The mind when in Virgo is able to make use of its information, Virgo being one of the home signs of the messenger planet Mercury.
Yet, there’s a difference between making using of information, and demanding it to be useful.
There’s a huge freaking difference between using our minds, and depending solely on them.
In this Mercury retrograde, transiting 14-29° of Virgo between 30th August and 21st September, we’ll see a number of potent aspects made to Neptune (misty illusions), Pluto (penetrative power) and Jupiter (captain expansion). Jupiter will have his last hoorah in Virgo, and during the retrograde, we will have one solar eclipse in Virgo, although in the early degrees; later, a total lunar eclipse occurs in the very degrees of the retrograde turf by opposition.
These degrees are getting a cosmic workout. Since we’re in Olympics season, I’ll use an appropriate metaphor: this retrograde is more of a heptathlon than a 100-meter sprint.
“But what does it all mean?!”, I can hear you crying.
Well, girl, it means you better work, both inside and out.
In a results-oriented sign like Virgo, conjecture is a dirty word – so get on some rubber gloves and start scrubbing out your synapses.
Jupiter enters Libra
September 9th, 2016 – October 11th, 2017
Jupiter enters Libra on September 9th after spending about a year in the sign of Virgo. I will write a more in-depth post about this soon, and when I do I will link it here.
Suffice it to say, the effects of Jupiter moving into Libra should feel like a gentle release. Virgo, while an incredibly productive sign, could have demanded a lot out of us in the last year, especially work that felt more like toil, and could very well have amplified certain ‘shadow’ sides of the Virgoan archetype: martyrdom, criticism, and perfectionism, to name a few.
Eventually, we’ll look back at this year and remember it fondly for how much we progressed, but for now, it’s a pleasure to start saying goodbye to Jupiter’s Virgo transit.
In Libra, Jupiter should breathe more easily – more thoughts on this to come soon.
The Saturn-Neptune Square
September 10th, effects felt from Agust 20th
I haven’t written about this series of squares, but invite you to re-visit this brilliant post by Sarah Varcas about the themes being exposed through these transits.
As with all retrogrades in their final movement, this transit should be relatively more calm than the previous two. Retrogrades are like taking an ax and chopping into a log: the first cut is the deepest and the most painful, the second reinforces the action of the first, the third is the most final, but no longer a shock to the system.
If you’ve experienced the Saturn-Neptune squares intensely, I’d invite you not to worry about this final meeting – you’ve already done most of the learning here.
The final word comes from the man we all meet at the end: Pluto, the God of the Underworld.
After an intense period, Pluto’s forward movement on September 26th gives us a small nudge out from underneath our hiding spots.
I hope by then that we’ll be ready for above-ground life again.