Libra, as symbolized by the scales, is generally associated with balance. In fact, in French, the sign is called Balance. And, as we know, Libra starts at the autumnal equinox: when day and night are roughly equal in length.
In my opinion, Libra is more about balancing. Libra is Cardinal Air, and is active.
We often think of balance with a set-it-and-forget-it mindset—sort of like placing a ketchup bottle on its top. But notice that this form of balance is unstable. The slightest nudge will knock the bottle over.
A pendulum is also in a state of balance—a fluid state of oscillation.
But let’s get back to the actual symbol of Libra: the scales. Imagine that your job is to maintain balance in the scales, but also image that the Universe is constantly adding and subtracting objects from the other side. This is the way life works, yes?
So, in general, Libra, according to me, is about balancing…the constant task of adjusting to what life throws our way. This year, I think Libra will be about rebalancing. And if the Libra new moon chart for Austin has anything to say on the subject, the rebalancing must start at home.
Before I dive into the chart, I want to give you some spoilers. The full moon in Aries, which occurs in about 2 weeks (on 8 Oct), is a lunar eclipse. And, that eclipse comes just 4 days after Mercury turns retrograde.
Mercury is what adds ‘re’ to the front of a word. Since most of Mercury Retrograde occurs while the sun transits Libra, we thus get tasked with rebalancing. But the task was already there! Mercury is just going to put it in motion.
The taskmaster, as I see it, is the North Node, which entered Libra some time ago (18 Feb 2014). It will remain in Libra until November 2015. The North Node has gravity and pulls us forward. It, of course, is counter-balanced by the South Node, which holds all of our past within it.
Looking at the new moon chart for Austin, we see that the sun and moon meet at 1 Libra 08. That’s pretty early in the sign! [Next month, they will meet at 0 Scorpio 25 and the following month, even earlier in Sadge.] This means our lunar and solar months are synchronized for a few iterations. [This also means we’ll have two new moons in Sagittarius. I’ll have to look into that later…]
The new moon not only sits at the beginning of Libra, but also sits at the beginning of the 4th house…hence the ‘rebalancing at home’. Furthermore, Cancer, the sign of home, sits on the ascendant.
Notice that Pluto sits almost exactly on the descendant. Mars, in early Sadge and late in the 5th house, is applying sextile to Pluto. Transformation is staring us in the face from across the way. Our work is cut out for us…or nearly so.
And what does that work entail? For that, we want to look at Jupiter, Uranus, and the South Node. The South Node, which is always retrograde, is applying conjunct toward Uranus in the 10th house. From the time of the new moon, the next aspect will be Jupiter Trine Uranus, which occurs a day and a half later. [And just before the new moon, Jupiter will inconjuct Chiron.]
So Jupiter, in our values house, learns something new about healing (helping others I assume), and then asks us to apply that knowledge in a clever way for the good of others. In a sense, we are asked to think global and act local. Uranus and the South Node are in Aries. This makes the story personal. But they are in the 10th house, which pushes the effects of our actions outward.
The message is this: we each have something to add, which is helpful. We don’t need to do it all, and we don’t need to do what is not ours to do. But we do have something to contribute—and the choice is ours to do or not do.
Furthermore, I see reflection, which is oh, so apropos for Libra. Normally, a wise one would say: to change the world, change yourself. However, this month, I think our actions really do need to be outward. By setting out to rebalance our surroundings (starting at home, and then expanding outward), we will then find ourselves changed!
Starting with Libra, we enter the more social side of the Zodiac. The last few signs shift the focus from inside to outside, from self-development to social-evolution. Sometimes the ‘work’ of improving one’s self gets overwhelming or even self-defeating. When that happens, we have to rebalance our focus.
I do want to leave you with a thought that popped in before I started this post. Often, one considers compromise as a means of rebalancing. When you find yourself considering that word, I suggest looking to another: temperance. Can you feel the difference between compromising and tempering? The outward actions might be just the same, but the sentiment is different.
When Mercury Retro makes you clean out an old closet and asks you to redo something in there, before you resist or concede compromise, temper yourself. Bring your thoughts and emotions in line…into a line…and thus connected. When you find the connection between your current thoughts and emotions and something that came before…you can gain understanding. Through understanding, you can better decide when to hold your ground, and when to let go. You’re not negotiating with the Universe this way, you are listening and harmonizing.
Another thought I want to leave you with: recent news contained a lot of unbalance. We had stories of police brutality, athletes abusing their spouses and children, and war, war, war. Did the male forces suddenly get totally amped up? Or are we just now seeing more of what was already there?
The autumnal equinox passes through equality and brings on the seasons where darkness prevails. This is not dark as in evil, but a process of yin. By tempering the light, we prepare for the next cycle of growth.
Venus rules Libra, which opposes Aries: a sign ruled by Mars. If we perceive that something is amiss, now is the time to gently adjust the scales. Venus does not fight fire with fire. In fact, no two fire signs oppose each other in the Zodiac. (There is a message there!)
Balancing is an art. Less is more. As my father used to say, “Do it gingerly!”
This morning, when I woke, I was reminded of a sentence I read years ago, which had a profound impact on me. I believe it is from one of Neale Donald Walsch’s Conversation with God books. Paraphrasing, it goes something like this:
You can love someone your way as much as you like, but other’s can only love you their way.
Within human interaction, communication is a huge challenge. Each of us expresses ourselves in unique ways. Each of us, in a sense, speaks our own language. To be most effective, we must learn another’s language.
And then there is the unspoken. Being able to read between the lines and empathize is immensely helpful.
Essentially, Neale tells us that to receive love from another, we have to learn their language; we have to see their unique expression of love.
The Pisces moon, on the other hand, excels at the subtler forms of communication—the unspoken.
In yesterday’s post, I focused on the giving of love and support. It, of course, occurred to me that there is also the receiving side. I think Neale’s quote bubbled up to remind me to speak of that as well.
Receiving love can be a challenge. It is hard letting others love and care for us. It is hard to trust others—partly because trust often comes with expectation, and expectation too often leads to disappointment.
Sometimes we don’t see the love that is given; sometimes we fail to distinguish between genuine giving and manipulation.
Corporations are hugely manipulative. In business, coercion and bate and switch are commonplace. It seems that once money is involved, all integrity flies out of the window. It is no wonder that we have such a hard time trusting others in our one-on-one interactions.
While the moon completes its journey through Pisces today, I recommend observing your interactions with others. Really tune in. Try to see how others love you their way—those subtle expressions we often overlook. And try to discern the difference between subtle, genuine expressions of love and subtle manipulations that may come your way.
Pisces is the sign of compassionate love, and the Pisces Full Moon chart has that theme written all over it.
Here in La Mesa, CA, the moon rises just minutes after being exactly full. It’s less than 30 degrees from perigee, so the moon will appear larger than average. Look for the rising full moon right around sunset.
Moments before the moon exactly opposes the sun, it joins Chiron. Two weeks ago, I mentioned that the new moon brought our attention to our wounds so that we could heal them. The full moon now helps us support others within their journeys.
The sun-moon opposition forms the backbone of a kite when we add in: Saturn, Vesta, Juno, and Chiron. Saturn, as we know, reminds us of our responsibilities. Juno focuses the subject on marriage—not the soul mate, romantic love aspect of marriage, but the domestic partnership aspect of marriage. Vesta stimulates our dedication to the subject. The Grand Trine, when taken together, summarizes a good foundation for a partnership.
Picture your perfect relationship. Is your partner compassionate, dedicated, supportive, and caring? Does he or she inspire all of those same qualities within you?
For many, painting a picture of one’s dream is easy. The hard part is putting one’s self in the scene. In this Kite, the sun (with its opposition to the moon) adds tension to the flow; it stimulates purpose; it eggs us on.
When I cast the new moon chart, I placed the sun and moon in the first house. This full moon chart simply uses my current location, and just happens to place the opposition along the first-seventh house pole. This axis represents me-versus-you. In a partnership, we often must balance our own wants and needs with those of our partner. We can lose our identity, autonomy, or individuality within the partnership. To maintain happiness, the ends must meet. Right now, I don’t think that will be difficult.
The month of Virgo 2014, as a whole, seems to highlight the healing of self in one way or another. The full moon gives us plenty of energy to help support others in their healing. There’s a synergy here. Whatever time and energy you spend supporting a friend or partner right now will directly support your own healing, contentment, and evolution, so long as you utilize all that is energetically available to you.
There are times to retreat, and there are times to connect. This is a time to connect.
The four planets that are easiest to see in the sky are Venus, Jupiter, Mars, and Saturn. In the past month, Venus swept past Jupiter visible in the morning sky, and Mars crept past Saturn viewable in the evening sky.
Right now, I am staying with friends in Southern California in a beautiful house with an amazing view toward the east. The sunrise here is about 40 minutes later than in Austin. When I first arrived about a week ago, I got to see Venus separating from Jupiter and heading toward the sun. Each day, Jupiter appears higher above the pending sunrise, and Venus closer to it. As I mentioned earlier, Venus will join the sun in late October and then become an evening star.
I’ve also been keeping tabs on Mars and Saturn as they continue to separate. The best way to see them is in the western sky during and after dusk. This particular conjunction hit me hard, so I’m glad to see it waning.
Today, we have another (very brief) conjunction, but not one that you can see. The moon will pass by Pluto (@11 Capricorn 5) at 9:56 am PDT. The moon conjuncts Pluto once a month, however this time, it happens in close aspect to the sun (@12 Virgo 5) and Jupiter (@10 Leo 55).
In the past two Tarot readings, both Death and The Emperor have shown up together. Picking 8 cards out of 78 and getting the same two twice is unlikely…except when it is an active meme. When I look at today’s chart, I see that same meme again.
Jupiter in Leo feels very much like The Emperor. The Emperor represents empowerment. The words even look the same. Fire signs are active, but Leo is Fixed Fire. It is a slow and steady burn. The sun is the ruler of Leo, which is appropriate. To me, the sun is about will, presence, personality, and being-ness (not necessarily doing-ness).
I often say this: The Emperor sits on his throne. He sits within his empowerment. He is no longer trying to prove his worth…to himself or others. He owns his worth. The Emperor card is not about taking action, but rather being within a state where one is ready, willing, and able to take (future) action, if / when needed.
In life, we, as human men and women, sometimes struggle with empowerment. We don’t feel worthy in our being-ness. We feel like we have to earn respect, earn wealth, earn health, etc. We are constantly looking for what we can do to improve our situation, our feelings, our happiness…
Jupiter in Leo says you are worthy. Do as an expression of who you are; do not do in order to prove who you are. Do because it is fun. Show off your assets and talents.
Death, in the Tarot, is about transformation…and in Astrology that equates to Pluto. Transformation takes time, and Pluto is a very slow planet. We don’t live long enough to see Pluto lap the sun.
Jupiter in Leo is showing us where to be. Pluto is showing us how to get there. The moon is reminding us that if we follow our heart, the journey is not a labor, but an adventure. And the Virgo sun is telling us to pay attention to the details.
These days, I’m building another chicken coop, but one that is much larger than the previous two. When you’re building something big, small errors get magnified. When you’re placing a two-foot board at an angle, a degree one way or the other will be unnoticed. But for a ten-foot board, a full degree will put you inches off at the far end.
Jupiter in Leo wants you to go long. Go for the 60-yard pass…the time is right. Apply all that you have been working on for the past 2 years, 7 years, or 12 years. Give it a shot, and then observe the results. Virgo has a keen eye, so really look at the details…what worked and what didn’t work. But don’t fall into the trap of over-emphasizing the error, just make the adjustment and try again.
Mars was pushing us as he neared Saturn. There was a feeling of urgency. Saturn slowed him down and now progress is rolling along at a more comfortable pace.
Take inventory of your own empowerment. You may feel empowered in some areas, and doubtful in others. Jot down your findings, and then set your GPS to guide you where you want to go. Remember, GPS only tells you what to do next (or maybe the next two steps). It never tells you to go faster…to hurry up. It never says, “If you don’t turn now, you’ll miss your opportunity.”
And celebrate the moments as they pass. Today is opening day for the NFL, and we’ll be gathered around the TV for it! We’ll also show off our progress on the chicken coop project and others…
About one year ago, I released Journey to the Temple of Ra. [There is a new-ish review on Amazon...if you're interested.] My original plan was to then release the sequel, Scribe to the Pantheon of Rome, a year later. The good new is: I am working on it. However, its not ready yet.
Within Scribe, which talks a lot about numbers, there is a discussion about the perfection of imperfection. I think this is a good topic for today.
In a ‘perfect’ world, numbers would be exact. The first of every month would start on the first day of the week. Each month would be the same number of days. And, as some would prefer, the calendar months and the astrological months would align.
But look at how we’re just off. The lunar cycle is…what…29 days and change? But 4×7 is 28. A circle is 360 degrees. The zodiac is a circle (from our vantage). But the sun takes 365.25 days to go around the zodiac. The sun and the moon appear exactly the same size, but they aren’t all of the time. Some of our eclipses are annular, when the moon is too small to cover the face of the sun. And eclipses only happen twice a year, not every month.
Some of the planetary cycles are close by not quite something ideal. For example, Jupiter takes approximately 12 years to cycle the sun, which is nearly one sign per year. That’s pretty good. Saturn, on the other hand, takes 29 years and change. If it were 28 years, then we’d have a nice and neat 7 years for each quarter of the zodiac. A 24 or 36-year cycle would be much better resulting in two or three years per sign.
Because none of our cycles are perfect, we get all sorts of combinations we wouldn’t have otherwise. How boring would it be if your birthday fell on a Monday or a Wednesday every year?
So let’s look at the imperfect perfection happening right now.
Today is a Monday—the beginning of the week by one measure. It is also the new moon (at 9:12 am CDT). It is also the first day of school for many. It’s not quite the first of September, but is just past the beginning of Virgo (sun and moon conjunct at 2 Virgo 18’).
Virgo, being ruled by curious and mental Mercury, is an appropriate sign to begin the school year. In a normalized chart, Virgo rules the 6th house—the house of work. Virgo is an earth sign, and work is physical, even if using nothing more than your eyes, ears, and mind.
The 6th house, however, is not just about work, but is also about heath and healing. This makes sense. Virgo, as mutable earth, enjoys making shifts and changes (improvements) to the physical. Healing could be defined as: moving or shifting the body toward increased heath, function, and ease. Of course, we all know that healing also applies to the mental and emotional bodies.
Mercury, the ruler of the chart, is reaching ahead of the sun. Before the sun leaves Virgo, Mercury will station retrograde. To me, this is precisely Virgoan. Virgo as both mental and physical, studies what is, thinks about how to make it better, and then gets to work doing just that. Mercury explores ahead now, and will report back his findings before Libra begins.
In modern Astrology, Chiron is another ruler of Virgo. At 16 Pisces, Chiron directly opposes Mercury (at 17 Virgo). If you ignore the sun-moon conjunction, all other aspects in this chart tie in with them: Uranus (16 Aries), Venus (16 Leo), Apollo (17 Leo), and Mars and Saturn (conjunct at 17 Scorpio). This chart is very synergistic, another thing Virgo loves!
I cast this chart as a Virgo Horoscope (or Sun Sign) chart, which means Virgo is the first house. The 6th house thus contains both Psyche and Nessus, which are indicators of wounds. Opposing that house, we have Apollo conjunct Lilith in the 12th, which can be thought of as the results or symptoms of wounds.
Mercury and Chiron do have their work cut out for them this month. There’s a lot of wounded souls struggling and bleeding and needing care. Venus and Jupiter got together recently to help, but a pairing like that doesn’t last long. Venus will help in another way when she enters Virgo, in less than two weeks on September 5th.
[By the way, Venus’ 9 months as a morning star will soon come to an end. She’ll conjunct the sun on 10/24 and then start a 10-month cycle as an evening star.]
In general, Mercury rules the 6th house (via Virgo), but also the 3rd house (via Gemini). In the Virgo chart, Scorpio lands in the 3rd house, which helps fuel Virgo’s ability for intense focus and mental stamina—two things Gemini can struggle with.
In this chart, we find the conjunction between Mars and Scorpio in the 3rd house. This defines the topic to consider. Again…I find this very apropos.
Mars is all about action and movement. Saturn, conversely, slows things down. You would think these two getting together would be complete frustration. And it can be. However, if you combine their assets, then it will be very productive! Let Saturn direct Mars. Pour your excess energy into something practical. But use Virgo’s discernment. Remember, practical does not mean mundane.
Picture it like this: Let’s say that at some time in the past (a past life maybe) we got stabbed by a stick. The stick pierced our shield…and our skin. It penetrated to the core and left one hell of a splinter there. If it didn’t kill us, then it created a scar. If it did kill us (in that past life), then we still have a scar—a virtual scar…an innate discomfort, dis-ease, mental or emotional block.
For two years, Saturn has been digging up what’s not working right in our Scorpio house(s). He knows that to heal, we can’t just cover up the wound. We can’t just medicate it. We have to get that splinter out, which means we have to find it.
There is a theory out there, which says that health problems are really mental and emotional problems that have seeped into the body. If we don’t heal our mental or emotional wounds at the mental or emotional levels, we then get to work on them as physical problems. However, even when the problem becomes physical, we still can (or still must) heal the physical and emotional.
Saturn’s time in Scorpio is slowly drawing to a close. Saturn will enter Sagittarius for the first time on December 23rd. It will fall back into Scorpio next June, then leave Scorpio for good on September 17, 2015. Saturn then won’t see Scorpio again until the 2040s!
This time around, Saturn in Scorpio has been so much deeper and harder and more painful than before…because of Pluto. Pluto is in Saturn’s sign of Capricorn and Saturn is in Pluto’s sign of Scorpio. That means they are working together—even when not aspecting. This is a unique time in history: a perfectly imperfect opportunity for true evolutionary growth.
Since this post is already long, I’ll wrap it up—though I could go on and on. If you read charts, study this one. Look at the connections. Those two Trines are oh-so-significant!
The month of September is a nine. Nine is simultaneously the beginning of the end, and the approach to a new beginning. I think that’s precisely where we are.
We all know that light is real. We can see it. We can feel it. We can create devices that measure it. We can create devices that emit it. We can even slice matter with it.
When light is blocked, a shadow appears. We can see a shadow, but is it actually real?
In one view, it is not real. It is not a thing. It is the lack of a thing. We cannot create devices that emit darkness. Light is real, so when light is missing, we see darkness—the absence of light.
Yet, for all intents and purposes, shadows are real and darkness too. We experience darkness. It touches us and affects us. Illusory or not, darkness is scary.
Now, on to some Astrology terms, which may be a review:
- When the moon opposes the sun, we experience a full moon.
- When the moon conjuncts the sun, we have a new moon, which we cannot see.
- When the new moon or full moon conjuncts the lunar nodes, we experience a solar eclipse or lunar eclipse respectively.
- When a new moon or full moon conjuncts perigee, we experience a supermoon. The only supermoon we can actually see is during the full moon. The tides, however, are larger in both cases.
The other day, we experienced a full moon supermoon. The sun was at 18 Leo 2 and the moon was at 18 Aquarius 2. Perigees had occurred moments earlier when the moon was at approximately 17 Aquarius 50.
In Astrology, there is a point most don’t pay attention to. It is called the Dark Moon. It is also called Lilith or the Dark Moon Lilith. It more or less indicates apogee. On August 10th, Lilith was at 17 Leo 50 or so.
So the supermoon occurs when the moon opposes the sun, and when the sun simultaneously conjuncts Lilith. And that is what happened the other night.
[You might be interested to note that all of this occurred almost exactly on my horizon, which is along 17 Leo/Aquarius 57.]
Lilith, they say, is called the Dark Moon because it represents shadow. It is sometimes called the anti-moon. The moon can represent mother, so Lilith can be the anti-mother.
Ever since the Universe dropped this information into my lap a couple of months ago, I’ve been thinking about it. I’ve been studying it. I’ve been analyzing its placement in my chart and others. It turns out to be in the single most significant degree in my whole chard (in my opinion).
So the Dark Moon relates to darkness: our shadow side or our shadow self—maybe our demons. I thought the shadow self was the part of us that we dislike…or even hate. Maybe it’s the part of us that we are ashamed of. Maybe it’s the part of us we hide from everyone else. Maybe it’s about our addictions or our unhealthy habits. Maybe it’s our evil twin—our Mr. Hyde—our alter ego.
But maybe the Dark Moon is not about the shadow. Maybe it is here to show us the thing that blocks the light, the thing that casts a shadow.
Many moons ago, the Universe was teaching me about manifestation. They said: when we ask for something, the Universe gives it to us…instantly. But we often don’t receive it (or see it) because something (a block of our own creation) is in the way. This is most likely a belief. So, what happens next is the Universe shines light on the block. It wants us to see the block, so we can let it go—so we can move around it. But, since we most likely don’t see the block right away, what we do see is the shadow.
Leo is the sign of fame. The sun-Lilith conjunction in Leo happened minutes before the exact full moon. Later that day, we lost one of our beloved stars. Robin Williams not only passed, but he likely took his own life.
This morning, I took a look at Robin’s natal chart. As it turns out, his mid-heaven is at 22 Leo 15. That means that the sun-Lilith conjunction was just degrees from the highest part of his chart. The full moon was thus near the lowest.
Around the time of his death, the sun sat directly on top of his Natal Pluto (and Lilith was just a degree behind). The moon, having moved into Pisces, approached his Natal moon. (His Pisces moon conjuncts his North node, so he was born a day or two before a lunar eclipse.)
[Edit Note: Another astrologer shows his mid-heaven at 7 Leo 10. This feels more accurate than what I saw earlier. The sun and Lilith thus transit his Pluto in the 10th house - a house of high visibility, which matches what is happening. Because of the nature of his death, his struggle is more visible than it would have been otherwise.]
Robin’s moon sits in his 4th house, which gives it Cancer overtones. His sun is in Cancer, and his ascendant is Scorpio. That’s a lot of water: a lot of emotionality…a lot of feeling. Robin likely felt far more than he ever let on (given that his ascendant was Scorpio…fixed water).
Suicide is a shadow aspect of life. Death, by any means, is too. And death, like a shadow, is something that is not real (according to spirit), yet it is painfully real for those of us in human form.
I would like to now share an experience:
Some number of years ago, I had a bad day in July. That day, which happened to be July 4th, I felt intensely depressed and distraught. It came out of nowhere.
The very next day, I found out that a friend of a friend had ended his life. I never met the man, but I knew of him; we had three friends in common.
Another day later, an odd thing happened. I was driving down the freeway and found myself writing a letter in my head—except in that letter I was apologizing for the pain that I caused when I took my own life. Clearly, I was not the one writing the letter. The thoughts were not mine.
This turned out to be my clearest medium experience to date. The man, from the other side, contacted me because I had the means to convey his message to our friends, and apparently I could hear him.
Now this is the part that everyone needs to hear: he was happy! He was filled with joy! He told me that he was not “in trouble” for what he did. He was not judged. Rather, he was welcomed with open arms by his loved ones. He was supported.
He also told me that from there he could see solutions to his problems, which he couldn’t see when he was alive. Clearly, he was still alive, just not in human form any longer.
Since then, I have been better able to accept spirit’s statement that death is an illusion, and that life goes on and on and on. We, in human form, experience loss, and they never deny that. But death is not an end to life, it is just an end to a phase of life…namely life in a specific physical body.
Some day, each of us will transition the boundary between this physical life and…the beyond. Only then we will truly know what’s on the other side. In the mean time, we can believe what we want to believe.
If you find yourself struggling with shadows, don’t forget to look for the blocks that cast the shadows. These, most often, are inside. These, most often, are self-deprecating and self-limiting beliefs.
Lilith crossing my ascendant is doing its part to bring things into my conscious mind from the shadows. We’ll see what comes of it.