by Joan Kiley
We had barely crossed over into September when one of the most important events of the year occurred. At 2:02 AM PDT on September 1, there was a New Moon in Virgo paired with an annular Solar Eclipse. Part of what makes this so rare is that the annular eclipse forms what is called a “ring of fire,” for the moon appears smaller than the Sun when it passes by, creating a ring effect, lit by the Sun’s glare. This is unlike the total eclipse, when the Sun is completely darkened by the Moon. It was visible across most of eastern and southern Africa, giving any sky gazers quite a show. Here's a video of the September Solar Eclipse show.
The New Moon, at 9 degrees 21 minutes, was in tight opposition to Neptune at 10 degrees 40 minutes Pisces, and all three were tightly T-squared Saturn at 10 degrees 4 minutes Sagittarius. This strongly Virgo time also had retrograde Mercury exactly conjunct Jupiter in Virgo.
As we know, New Moons are new beginnings for us all, times to look ahead, find a vision for a future we desire, and plan some next steps for getting there. But a New Moon paired with a Solar Eclipse, brings an added dimension, some extra help, if you will, for moving in a direction that benefits not only us personally, but also the collective. Another aid to visioning a promising future is having the New Moon conjunct the North Node. With Mercury retrograde conjunct Jupiter, however, we had to be satisfied with envisioning, planning, and reviewing this month, for if we started taking action steps, it was likely one step forward, two steps back, unless it was a project begun weeks before.
When I looked at that amazing New Moon chart, I envisioned/prayed for a successful protest that our indigenous peoples and allies are engaged in at Standing Rock, over the Dakota Access Pipeline Project which would inevitably pollute the Missouri River and all the lands and water surrounding those states where it would be built. These people want and deserve justice for their land and water, and all the violated treaties with which our government has wantonly abused them for centuries. It seemed so perfect for that Virgo New Moon, in its T-square formation, and for the Virgo Mercury retrograde conjunct Jupiter, to be looking at health issues, abuse issues, and protecting the earth at such a critical moment. The Neptune in Pisces was perfect for the “Water is Life” slogan. Its conjunction with the South Node was a metaphor for how this showdown is an opportunity for the U.S. government to rethink, to realign in a just way, to atone for hideous actions of the past, in order for us to move into the future in a positive way with the people who were here long before the immigrating colonists.
Retrograde Mercury is important throughout the month of September, and can have us in a frustrated mood unless we accept that moving forward with most new projects could be delayed for a time. It stationed retrograde at the very end of August, while conjunct Jupiter. That partnership with Jupiter during the early days of September could have made events we correlate with retrograde Mercury seem much stronger. There were many comments over Labor Day weekend about that “dastardly Mercury retrograde” snarling up traffic, creating missed or mis-communications, and slowing down electronics devices!
But many crises were somewhat diminished after the first week. Mercury continued its backward motion, while Jupiter continued its forward motion, and they soon parted ways. In fact, Jupiter entered Libra at 4:19 AM PDT on September 9 where it will remain until October 2017. It made no close aspect to any other planet at that time. The Virgo Sun on September 9, however, was in a strong first quarter square with the Moon and Mars in Sagittarius, and also trine to Pluto. Retrograde Mercury in Virgo was strongly opposed Chiron in Pisces.
I’m giving credit to that medley of aspects, as a reflection of the mixed messages received by the indigenous earth and water protectors in North Dakota on September 9. The tribes’ own motion for an injunction halting construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline was denied by a federal judge, who sided with the pipeline companies. Very shortly after that decision, however, a joint statement was released by the U.S. Department of Justice and the Department of the Interior that construction of a critical part of the pipeline had been indefinitely put on hold. So, definitely a Mercury retrograde moment (changing of message after review), plus Jupiter entering Libra (increase in peace, fairness, diplomacy, seeing another’s point of view), Moon/Mars conjunction in Sagittarius trine Uranus in Aries (taking some new action on the bigger picture of an emotional issue)! And of course, Saturn still square Neptune (water can be destroyed for profit vs water is sacred, water is life).
Two days later, there was another powerful Mercury retrograde moment. On September 11, the 15th anniversary of the World Trade Center attacks, the Moon was conjunct Pluto in Capricorn, and square Venus, while the Sun and retrograde Mercury, conjunct in Virgo, opposed Chiron in Pisces. Interesting, that while both Pluto and Chiron wound symbols were aspected powerfully, news of many thousands of people scarred, diseased, and over 1,000 dead from breathing the air surrounding the WTC right after the bombing, was brought into media focus. Christine Todd Whitman, the EPA director in 2001 for the Bush Administration, finally apologized for giving bad information on the air quality, and telling people the air was safe to breathe. The EPA encouraged first responders to wear masks and respirators while conducting searches of the site, but declared the surrounding areas safe. Of course, they were not. Scientists say that information could not have come from anyone with any credible knowledge of the environment. A knowledgeable person would never have declared the air, which was loaded with dust as well as debris coated with lead and asbestos, “safe to breathe.” Again, re-thinking, re-communicating about an issue that created massive physical wounding, and emotional scarring.
During this whole 3-4 day period, Saturn and Neptune were exact, or within minutes of exact, square. Could more and more people be finding a higher level of compassion for suffering beings, a relooking at history, a change in belief about whether we have the right to violate the earth, her people, our sacred resources, just because it’s all we’ve ever known? Perhaps. On September 15, the Moon will conjunct Neptune and join the square to Saturn. May this conjunction increase our level of compassion.
We have the Full Moon in Pisces at 12:05 PM PDT on September 16, coinciding with a penumbral lunar eclipse. And what is that? According to EarthSky, it's when "only the more diffuse outer shadow of Earth falls on the moon’s face." Thus it is more subtle, more likely to be mistaken for a normal Full Moon, and one would need good binoculars to view it. However, it will not be visible in North America. If you’re interested in viewing it online, go to NASA’s site:http://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/eclipse.html
The Full Moon is conjunct Chiron, and along with the Virgo Sun, forms a very strong T-square with Mars in Sagittarius. Mars is almost exactly trine Uranus in Aries, and Venus in Libra is opposing Uranus. Despite the Moon being in Pisces, this could be a very volatile Full Moon period. Be sure to check your boundaries, and be cognizant, in terms of thought and emotion, of what is yours, and what is not. We need to be especially thoughtful with our relationships, try to be circumspect in how we react to triggering stimuli, watch for anger, and keep a sense of humor, particularly about ourselves.
With Venus strongly opposing Uranus from September 13 through the 22nd, and Mars trine Uranus, we could experience feelings of confinement, in relationships, in work, or with life in general. Take note, and be prepared to just take some space when needed, unless this really is the time for taking leave, and pulling yourself out of a place you shouldn’t be. On September 18, the Moon will conjunct Uranus, further emphasizing our feelings, and possibly prompting some risky behavior. Be particularly cautious about gambling away your finances, or making an unplanned purchase.
The final days of the month are filled with planetary transitions. Mercury stations direct at 10:31 PM PDT on September 21 at 14 degrees 49 minutes Virgo. For those of you who feel you’ve been rudely pushed around by this retro period, go ahead and breathe a sigh of relief, but also know that Mercury will remain in its retrograde shadow through the end of this month and into early October.
The Sun enters Libra at 7:22 AM PDT on September 22, for the Fall Equinox. The September Equinox marks the half-way point through the cycle of the seasons, and one of two days in the year that there is almost equal hours of light and darkness. In the Northern Hemisphere, it marks the beginning of the Fall season, and thus the time when the amount of darkness begins to overtake the amount of light in a day. In the Southern Hemisphere, it is the Vernal, or Spring, equinox. The September equinox occurs the moment the Sun crosses the celestial equator – the imaginary line in the sky above the Earth’s Equator – from north to south.
The very next day, September 23, Venus enters Scorpio at 7:51 AM PDT. It is trine the Moon in Cancer, while the Moon is square the Sun and Jupiter. Venus in Scorpio will bring more emotional content to our relationships, and less satisfaction with superficiality. She goes into the deep and dark just as we enter the fall season. Venus in Scorpio may reveal our concerns with power in our relationships, our need for/or lack of passion and intensity. If we desire more than our share of power, or are willing to accept less than our share, Venus in Scorpio may help us to see that, and take appropriate action.
Mars shifts into Capricorn at 1:07 AM PDT on September 27. Mars is then square to the Sun and Jupiter in Libra. The Moon is trine Uranus, and of course, Saturn and Neptune are still in square aspect. None of this bodes ease, yet there’s a shift here to actual potential for positive change. Mars moving into Capricorn, despite Capricorn being a cardinal sign, will be calming for Mars. It will be grounding, a shift from fiery excitement to practical action. Despite Mars being in a square aspect to the Sun and Jupiter in Libra, Mars interacting with these planetary bodies can have positive outcomes for all of us. It can stimulate issues of bias and disagreements, but also faith and peace, and the capacity of working through difficult issues together.
There is a second New Moon in September, the New Moon in Libra on the final day of the month, at 5:11 PM PDT. Having the Sun and Moon conjunct Jupiter in a sign ruled by Venus feels like a moment of great optimism after a time of considerable worry and uncertainty. And having the Sun and Moon sextile Saturn gives us stability and perseverance to achieve some worthy goals. Put on your visionary caps, dream big, fill your hearts with love and compassion. As difficult as it feels, together we can do this!