That historic hurricane, and the Virgo New Moon

Tree fell on Route 209 in Ulster County NY, just south of Kingston, taking out power lines. Photo by Eric.

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.

Earth & water - photo by Eric.

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.

Virgo New Moon seet for Kingston, New York. This is the chart of a grand trine: Sun and Venus in Virgo, Jupiter in Taurus, Pluto in Capricorn. Strong earthy energy seems to be typical of the charts of hurricanes making landfall.

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.

Kite pattern in the New Moon chart. The grand trine are the planets on the bottom and to the left and right; the kite is formed by the planets at the top of the chart.

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.

6 thoughts on “That historic hurricane, and the Virgo New Moon”

  1. This is perfect Eric. . Vesta is “making space” which coincides with her conjunction to the U.S. Sibly chart’s south node (exact somewhere near 9/11) signifying release.

    The Sibly US chart’s Vesta at 19 Taurus 46 is being T-squared by this New Moon charts opposition between Mercury and Nessus. Might this not reflect the U.S. citizens’ dedication and determination and focus to meet the multiple challenges that are being dumped on their country? Might not the very solid and prosperous Taurus 6th house (Vesta near the cusp) indicate further determination to just ‘fix it’ and get on with life? US Vesta is trine the US Neptune in Virgo and I noticed that in the President’s speech to the members of the military today his emphasis on heroism and pariotism which is always emotionally moving, as was his reminder of sacrifices made.

    Goddess Vesta has her work cut out for her, but I guess that’s why she is worshiped, huh?

  2. looks like Eris and Lilith were having a little summer party at Aries’ house last night-and some Centaurs were invited…!!
    there might be a mess to clean up when Mars gets back!…although don’t believe all the hype- one of the Centaurs was consumed with both ‘finding himself’ in the future & navigating the spectacled dogs wandering around and the other was busy laying down a nice blanket for the immobilized woman who couldn’t get into the hammock..
    Saturn was keeping an eye on things and word has it he was actually pretty bored. he’s seen this kinda thing over & over….

    Uranus? oh, yeah, I think Uranus was there, on the fringes…trying to talk over the sound of the water to Pisces, who had a lot of questions…apparently.

  3. Eric,
    Thank you for expanding on your magnificently elemental inspirations.

    Thank you also for the charts.

    It was not so much that Irene did not live up to the hype. It was simply a different kind of hurricane. The wind was de-emphasized and the surge was emphasized. Coming at the time of a New Moon (with the consequential gravitational effect on the tides), that is not surprising. Also, coming during the “storm phase” of a Mercury station, it makes perfect synchronistic sense. Finally, with the Chiron-Neptune conjunction as the “point of egress” it is sensible that the energy of the storm would have been expressed through water. In particular, through water asserting a claim to land. You are correct that will probably see more of that. For the next decade and a half in particular.

    As to how semi-squares and sesquiquadrates have come to the fore (at least in our consciousness) lately, may i please offer a short and non-technical explanation? Please consider thinking of them as bearings.

    The quincunx, of course, serves to bring the boys to the yod.

  4. “…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.”

    Lesson learned at the beginning of my second Saturn Return: when I feel that sensation roiling up in me – the proverbial “up to the ceiling without asking how high on the way up” – or that tightening in the chest and breath, with a bit of yellow/orange/red on the edges of my vision – it doesn’t matter if it is righteous indignation, appropriate anger, or just being cranky/crabby. That’s friction, baby, and it’s time to step aside (never did like the idea of stepping “back” – rather go the side and get out of the way completely instead of continuing to follow) and reach for the lubrication.

    Friction moments can be great “aha!” moments when we not only notice the point of friction, but also recognize the source of the friction, usually in our own resistance as Eric sagely advises. The key is to “notice and choose” – between re-acting (meaning to re-act, as in over and over again with the same result, as in the definition of “stupidity”) and response-ability: “respond to your actual environment and the actual facts as you know them.”

    Thanks for the reminder that as planets changes stations and sequiquadrate aspects bring friction, we can recognize the friction and the planetary turning points can become our turning points, and we can gain some understanding.

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