Dear Friend and Reader:
This morning’s Full Moon in Aquarius begins a kind of astrological Olympics. Late August through the end of the summer is an adventure where a good few world records will be set.
We might ask, though, before looking into the details of this sequence of events, how it is that the movements of the planets combine with consciousness and physical experience to create an effect.
Each time I describe one of these sequences of events, it’s as if the cosmos is spewing forth another totally unique pattern in the astrology, which we then get to navigate. This is true whether we’re aware of the astrological details or not. Yet we might also ask what result the awareness yields, and how that result happens.
The traditional (and newly revived, increasingly popular) approach of astrology is to predict an outcome. My approach to astrology is to describe the environment, which then becomes whatever we want it to become, or unwittingly choose: opportunity, creative fodder or an apparent source of chaos and crisis.
Our dominant, generic model of time proposes that one day is like another; that 4 pm today is like 4 pm tomorrow. The astrology model of time reveals that every day and indeed every moment are different. A constant stream of new patterns is rolling out of, well, out of something. Not only are no two the same, they are all so wildly different as to call for an entirely new approach to each.
There is an additional factor. Everyone has a natal chart. Each new pattern that comes along is plucking, stroking or knocking into each unique natal chart differently. The transits as they meet each natal chart form a unique pattern of what you might call interference. That pattern, mixed with consciousness, becomes what we experience.
Meta Landscape: the Eclipse Pattern
We are now in the midst of an eclipse pattern. Eclipse patterns happen twice a year, approximately every five-and-a-half months. They gradually drift earlier and earlier in the year, that is, each year they come about two weeks earlier. Said another way, eclipses move retrograde.
The Aquarius Full Moon this morning was listed by some sources as a very slight lunar eclipse. It was distinctive for other reasons, including sending a surge of energy through a long-standing pattern of planets: the Uranus-Eris conjunction in Aries, covered here many times, as well as Chiron, Jupiter and others. Lunation events — including eclipses and ordinary Full and New moons, power up the background, and in a sense bring it forward.
Then there’s a total eclipse of the Sun in Virgo on Sept. 1, and an eclipse of the Moon in Pisces on Sept. 16. This is an excellent opportunity for a review of what eclipses represent. I have four main properties that I’ve identified.
These properties are: 1. Concentration of experience; 2. Events seem karmic or predestined; 3. Discontinuity; 4. Critical transition or decision points.
Let’s take them one at a time, so we have a guide to the next month or so. Then I’ll add a fifth property that I’ve mentioned a number of times before.
The most notable effect of an eclipse phase is concentration of experience. A lot happens in a short time, and time becomes distorted, like it’s being run through a funnel or venturi. This works on an individual level, and on a collective level. Time feels like it’s moving more briskly as an individual perception, and then at the same time, personal and world events arrive closer and closer together.
Events seem karmic or predestined. They may not be, but they certainly might feel that way. A lot of how that effect shapes up depends on your relationship to the ideas of karma and destiny — and remember, these things are ideas. However, this ‘fate effect’ merely emphasizes the more valuable sense that decisions are more vital now. Smaller decisions mean more; larger decisions can have a much more vivid, lasting and sweeping impact on life. Pay attention for when you’re making a decision you don’t know you’re making.
Add some discontinuity. The world always seems to plow forward on its crazy way, and yet little seems to really change. Life is genuinely different as eclipses approach, and then never quite returns to normal. Instead, a new kind of normal takes over.
In the process of the parallel evolution of the planetary level, and in our individual lives, these events often represent a type of movement without which there would be very little progress at all. You might think of eclipses as opportunities to catch up with yourself.
So, a fourth characteristic is a distinct sense of critical transition. We move from one space of life into another. Personal relationships are particularly susceptible to shifts, emotional movement or rearrangement. The change can manifest as a deepening of stronger relationships, or shake-ups in weaker, less stable relationships, many of which are likely to change dramatically. Anything that’s not working with the process of our personal and collective evolution is subject to disruption, things that are working are subject to challenge, and their strength can be put to good use.
In all, given this environment, two things are necessary — pay attention and work with the process. This is good advice for life at any stage, but particularly during an eclipse, these two little points can get you a long way from feeling overwhelmed to a sense that you’re actually making some progress. Of course, with eclipses, it’s best to not judge progress in the moment. Wait till you have a longer view.
Let’s add a fifth property of eclipses, one that’s especially relevant now, during a presidential campaign that affects the whole world. That is what you might think of as an Aries Point-like effect, of the individual and the collective merging. Eclipses represent several different factors meeting in space and time. They are, in actual, scientific reality, an intersection of several dimensions.
The way that shakes out symbolically is that they can arrive with that feeling of world events seeming to be more personal and relevant, and a calling to take part in the wider world. Needless to say, this will be a very interesting few weeks in the presidential campaign.
Mercury Retrograde: The Truth Revealed
Mercury is about to be retrograde. On Aug. 30, just prior to the Sept. 1 eclipse, Mercury begins its second retrograde of the year. This lasts through Sept. 22, the Libra equinox.
The retrograde begins in the last degree of Virgo, one of two signs that Mercury rules. Mercury is unusually strong in Virgo; both the planet and the sign are related to what I would call applied intelligence. Virgo tends to represent mental patterns, and retrograde Mercury is going to provide many occasions to reconsider what we’ve been thinking.
I am being polite here. What I really mean is that we may see many, many things revealed as bullshit — as the insanity that they are, or as the blatant deceptions that they are. When Mercury stations retrograde or direct, stuff comes out. It’s like Mercury shakes the tree of the ‘sphere of all intelligence’ and some fruit thumps to the ground, or leaves of information come a-fluttering.
This Mercury retrograde is distinctive because it takes place entirely in Virgo, and for two other reasons: it begins in the very last degree of Virgo, which describes high mental focus: a state of total concentration. This is an interesting image, though the thing to remember is that total concentration also needs a kind of polarity point of relaxation. So you might keep your favorite puzzle, sketchpad, kittycat or Pocket Rocket nearby for those planned distractions.
Then, this Mercury retrograde involves three conjunctions to Jupiter. Mercury is tapping into something much larger than itself. It’s a little like the individual computer meets the internet, or the mind meets a source of knowledge greater than itself. This is likely to add to the “truth comes out” process.
Another truly interesting distinction is that Jupiter is changing signs. It does so on Sept. 9. That alone is noteworthy, and I’ll cover it as its own topic in the next section. One way to describe this is that Mercury is involved in the process of Jupiter changing signs.
For the past year, Jupiter has been in Virgo; a sign opposite one of the signs that it rules, Pisces. This has been about making connections. It’s a little like Virgo being visited by its counterpart. One interesting feature of this is that Chiron, a planet with a close resonance with Virgo, is now in Pisces, and the two made an opposition aspect in mid-August.
Still, Jupiter can feel a little awkward or out of place in Virgo, which describes the relationships that it’s formed; yet the connection to Virgo. Virgo has had to stretch its capacity thanks to Jupiter’s presence. Now, Mercury making its double conjunction to Jupiter while in Virgo is about claiming that added knowledge, ability or flow.
Then Jupiter moves on to a new energy field: Libra. The third conjunction from Mercury takes place with Jupiter in its new sign.
Jupiter in Libra:
Quest for Equilibrium
On Sept. 9, Jupiter ingresses Libra, which happens every 12 years. This is like the Great Equinox in the Sky. Jupiter can have so much emphasis that it can feel like the Sun. It’s 1,200 times the size of the Earth and denser than Saturn. And it moves a lot more slowly than the Earth, taking a year to go through a sign rather than a month.
There’s something in astrology called the Aries Point. The Aries Point is the great granddaddy of where cultural meets individual — the crossroads of the personal and the political. It begins at the first degree of Aries: a degree that has all the power of a planet, even when empty. then it extends to the first degree of all the other cardinal signs. That includes Libra. Jupiter in this position will expand and enlarge something about experience. It’s as if the scale of everything will increase.
Or you might think of Jupiter in Virgo as having undergone an initiation of sorts, sorting out many matters of relationship, and then it enters Libra — the official sign of relationship.
Notably, when Jupiter makes its ingress on Sept. 9, Venus will already be there, waiting for it. These connections to Mercury and Venus personalize our experience of Jupiter. That’s essential, as Jupiter tends to represent potential rather than actuality. The way to access that potential is by focusing your personal consciousness, and that’s what inner planets such as Mercury and Venus do.
Mars, Saturn and Neptune: Out of the Background
In the background of all the astrology I’ve described is a long, unusual aspect between Saturn (the planet of structure and of time) and Neptune (the planet of dissolving and of dreams). There is tension here between the seemingly real and the seemingly unreal.
Because Neptune is involved, the Saturn-Neptune square has had a tendency to disappear into the background of existence. It’s been this silent, subtle pressure, as if leaning in on everyone’s eardrums but just below the level of perception.
Between now and Aug. 24, Mars will be passing through this square. Mars has spent all of this year in Scorpio and Sagittarius. It’s been collecting the energy of one sign associated with sex and another with religion.
Saturn in Sagittarius can turn lunch in the park into some kind of heavy, religiously tainted experience; everything seems way too serious under this influence.
And now Mars is about to come along and challenge this influence, this authority. That feels like pressure, which means the pressure to change what you believe. Remember that in Sagittarius, this will exist on the level of religion; that is, taken not on faith but on unproven authority. This is the thing about religion. It’s taken so seriously, with absolutely nothing to back it up. It colonizes the brain, ending any real discussion of life, death or sex.
Mars is not having any of this. As I see it, Mars is in revolutionary mode, at its most fiery, enhanced by fiery Sagittarius, and the square to volatile Neptune. This aspect, as well, will bring to the foreground much that has been hidden or that has dropped beneath the level of liminality; that is, conscious awareness.
I would rate this aspect as somewhat dangerous, with a high potential for both overreaction and creative change. It’s going to be a wild week or two in the news — as if it hasn’t been wild enough. Under this astrology, though, we might see things that stretch all credulity and test the definitions of known reality.
You may decide it wasn’t so real after all.
Full Moon Moonshine Horoscope for Aug. 18, 2016, #1113 | By Len Wallick
Aries (March 20-April 19) — When you were a child, simple and unstructured playtime did more for you than you could have possibly known at the time. That’s especially true regarding play with others of your own age. Now it may be time for a refresher course more consciously taken. It’s not so much that all your hard work lately could use a little complementary balance (although that’s part of the picture). It’s just that new connections to a wider community of similarly inclined people will more likely be established outside of your usual environs of service and work, rather than within them. — by Len Wallick.
Taurus (April 19-May 20) — Allow for some paradox, and let that be okay. Specifically, don’t be surprised if being away from home brings you some of the benefits you would normally expect from being cocooned at your place of residence. Therefore, if you do come across greater nourishment, healing and relaxation out in the big world compared to what you find in your own bed and kitchen, go with the flow. Avail yourself of what you find, even if it is not where you expect it. Conversely, if you also find your fortune somehow within the confines of your home sweet home, follow up and go for the gold. — by Len Wallick.
Gemini (May 20-June 21) — It is not unusual to teach what one most needs to learn. In your case, however, it’s not so simple. For the foreseeable future (which will not be all that long, really), the key to your advancement in the world will largely consist of how willing you are to be taught. There are those who are ready and able to coach you, both to your benefit and to theirs; but the best of them will not be willing to offer their services if you are not at least receptive and willing to learn. The extent to which you are now open to taking in what comes from others is the degree to which you will be able to become more than you have ever been. — by Len Wallick.
Cancer (June 21-July 22) — To be a Jack or Jill of all trades does not necessarily mean being a master of none. As a matter of fact, you may very well have become master of more than you give yourself credit for over the last six months or so. Hidden somewhere within your recently acquired versatility is likely to be at least the root, if not the fruit, of a newfound virtuosity. However, to become aware of what would appear to be latent but authentic proficiencies, you will need to share them. Therefore, if somebody asks you to do something you have never done before, consider saying ‘yes’ on faith in yourself. — by Len Wallick.
Leo (July 22-Aug. 23) — More than most people, you know who and what you are. More often than not, your intrinsic self-awareness has had the fringe benefit of grounding you in circumstances where others lose touch, if not control. What you may not fully understand is that the rewards of your more-than-usually examined life extend beyond just stability. Included in the qualities that make you both real and realistic is a capacity to distinguish more clearly than most between being bold and being reckless. Therefore, if your current perch begins to feel a little confining, don’t be afraid to try your wings — if only just a little. — by Len Wallick.
Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22) — It looks as though any recent brush with uncertainty is now on its way toward being resolved. To the extent that you are now able to begin settling into a new routine of work and maintenance, devote yourself to doing so. At the same time, keep two likelihoods in mind. First, as good as you have shown yourself to be at landing on your feet, it may take longer than you’d normally estimate before recent transitions cycle through to a complete (and fully determined) outcome. Keep the faith that you’ll get there. Next, don’t forget what you discovered about yourself and others between where you were, and what you now are. — by Len Wallick.
Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23) — Even if you could use a break, consider making it an entertaining (or better yet, a stimulating) respite. Whether you can see it or not, the future is about to open for you like a flower. At the very least, consider doing something that will expose you to new patterns of thinking, if not new patterns of living and relating. Don’t let the season of the year or the season of your life restrict you from either traveling or somehow resuming your education later in the year. For the next few months, however, focus on freeing your mind from previous assumptions so that (when the time comes) your body will be ready to follow. — by Len Wallick.
Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22) — While you may very well move in mysterious ways, it’s not really your truest nature to procrastinate. Therefore, if you have been either putting off or avoiding any decisions (especially regarding your residential environment or inner life), make it your business to get down to business now. Begin by getting clear about what you have actually been thinking while things have been hanging. In order to do so, it might very well be of immeasurable help to think out loud in the company of others whom you trust, and whose judgment you respect. — by Len Wallick.
Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22) — Freedom beckons. It’s probably not liberty from something or somebody on the outside. More likely the freedom now coming your way has to do with a release of tension you have been holding on the inside. It is equally possible that the release in question will necessarily be from a pattern of thinking or behavior you have identified with and maintained since you were very young. Rather than relying upon serendipity to reveal any ancient attachments now binding you, provoke yourself to find it (or them) on your own. Begin with the absurdly simple. The next time you put on shoes, begin with the other foot. Then go on to break other routines; keep at it until a light comes on. — by Len Wallick.
Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20) — Being in service is usually a good practice. Being in servitude usually isn’t. It’s distinctly possible that you currently have something of a blind spot regarding the difference because it has to do with something you own. It may very well be the case that you are not seeing how something you own in fact owns you. For that reason, endeavor to be more than usually conscious of your possessions over the next month or so — especially any time and expense you put into either maintaining or using them. If you are not getting something out of it in proportion to what you are putting in, you may want to make some changes. — by Len Wallick.
Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) — Leadership comes naturally to you. Even the greatest talents, however, are ultimately no match for finely honed skills. Unfortunately, most forms of leadership training either are beneath you or are not sufficiently advanced enough to do you any good. Even so, it would be doing yourself a great deal of good if you were to keep your eyes open for either the equivalent of a graduate-level course in executive proficiency or an open command position that will force you to exceed your previous accomplishments. Whether you can see it or not, room is being made at the top, and your potential to fill it must first be realized. — by Len Wallick.
Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) — There are times to think your way through a situation. There are other times when it’s more appropriate to go by feel. More than most people, you are likely to encounter both types of circumstances over the next four weeks or so. Therefore, whenever possible, respond slowly rather than react quickly. Let yourself experiment to determine whether an intellectual or emotional approach will bring about the most efficacious solution to any given problem. When in doubt, put on your thinking cap first; but don’t be afraid to discard it so you can reach deep down inside for sheer inspiration. — by Len Wallick.