Today is Monday, Aug. 29, 2011. We’ve just experienced the Virgo New Moon. Virgo is the sign we can associate with hurricanes. Just about all the famous ones (I haven’t found an exception yet) have the Sun in Virgo; Hurricane Irene — downgraded to a tropical storm Sunday morning — is passing over New England during the New Moon in this sign.
My theory about the evacuation of parts of lower Manhattan and the outlying areas of the other boroughs was that this was a practice run for the inevitable floods that will come with global warming.
I lived in one of the Brooklyn evacuation zones for eight years as a kid, and went to high school in another. There was never the faintest notion that these places might flood, much less be evacuated — but now we all know that the sea levels are rising, and storms are becoming more frequent because they draw heat from the sea, which is their one and only natural source of power. As the world gets warmer, the hurricanes become more prodigious. While this one was not Katrina, it moved a heck of a lot of water.
Let’s take a look at the Virgo New Moon chart. The New Moon is conjunct Venus, and trine Jupiter in Taurus and Pluto in Capricorn. Grand trines are aspects that carry momentum. They work like a vortex; think of the Bermuda Triangle, where things go in and (in theory) don’t come out. When the energy gets going in a positive way, that can build on itself. When it becomes a downward spiral, that can perpetuate.
When working with a grand trine, look for something at one of the midpoints to show the way out of the situation, or the way to stabilize it. This isn’t always the case, but you can go to the minor planets for advice. When there’s one or more planets halfway between two points on the triangle, that is called a kite pattern, and it provides a point of egress, or a different way to think of the situation. In the current chart, notice how Chiron is early in one of the water signs (Pisces), which provides just such a focal point. Neptune is nearby in late Aquarius; that counts too, even though it’s slightly out of sign. It’s right in the configuration.
I’ve cast the chart using fewer planets below. You can easily see the four points that make up the kite pattern — Chiron and Neptune are the two that are the highest up, which shift the spiral energy of the grand trine. The one that I think is most meaningful here is Chiron, suggesting the need for emotional grounding in the midst of lots of worldly activity (indicated by the many earth-sign planets in the chart). Neptune also puts a focus on Pisces, though it’s just over the line in the next sign. Together, the Chiron-Neptune conjunction seems to be saying, apply some kind of Pisces approach to whatever the grand trine might represent: compassion, seeing through illusions, creativity, and in general, a spiritually grounded approach.
There are many subtle aspects in this chart (including a number of sesquiquadrates or 135 degree aspects) — and they would require a long technical explanation that I will leave for those reading to add to the comments. But I would point out the aspect from Vesta, the highest planet in the chart cast for this location — to me this is about making space for whatever the rest of the aspect structure is describing. The aspect from Sun/Moon/Venus to Vesta is a quincunx (150 degrees). That’s another way of saying it’s a kind of stretch, something you have to notice and reach for. The classical keyword of the quincunx is adjustment. It’s not quite a trine (ease of flow) and not quite an opposition (direct confrontation). It’s halfway between. Both parties need to be willing to give up a little to have a lot.
One last thing to point out. Mercury and Jupiter are an important pair of planets, because they are associated with the entire mutable cross. Jupiter is connected to Sagittarius and Pisces; Mercury is connected to Gemini and Virgo.
At the moment, Mercury is coming out of a station direct (it was retrograde for three weeks, ending Friday), and Jupiter is close to a station retrograde (it will be retrograde from Aug. 30 to Dec. 25). Both planets have a spotlight shining on them, and the stations give the sensation of a turning point we may not quite understand. These turning points are always around us; we find them most easily when we get caught in our own resistance, and notice the point of friction. There is a reminder here to see the world from one another’s point of view (many, many relationships are signified by the Mercury-Jupiter contrast) and to make sure that your own viewpoint changes and evolves on a fairly regular basis. Keep your files updated, and respond to your actual environment and the actual facts as you know them.