Lets Make Hay While The Sun Shines
by Terri Jaffe
Welcome to September, the month of harvesting and the mid-point of the zodiacs year. Up until now we have been learning through self and our reactions to the environment around us. September marks the transition from Virgo to Libra, and for the duration of our journey through the signs, the focus shifts from private lives to the public sphere.
The month begins with the Sun in precise, dependable and meticulous Virgo. In September, our attention turns from the lazy days of summer back to the sphere of work. There is the Virgo-ruled corn, wheat, barley, oats and rye to get in. There are tomatoes to be canned and pickles to be preserved. Mercury rules Virgo, and Mercury is associated with school-age children, and so back to class they go. Its a busy time of year, but its not ungratifying. Virgo asks us to work hard, but the Virgin is not selfish with her rewards.
Take time in these last few weeks of summer to go to a local apple orchard and savor the sweetness of a fresh apple picked right from the tree. Then get the rest of the family to pitch in and pick yourselves a bushel or two, head home and make pie. You can enjoy it with friends when the Sun moves into sociable Libra on the 24th and you begin to reap the rewards of the hard work accomplished during Virgo. The movement of the Sun into Libra, the 7th sign of the zodiac, also marks the autumnal equinox and the beginning of fall. From this point on, the days become shorter, the nights grow longer, and the balance shifts from the realm of work to the social sphere. Thats the domain of genial Venus, whose influence comes draped in the natural beauty and splendour of fall. Venus is the ruler of Libra, and by association, ruler of the 7th house of the zodiac, the house of relationships and marriage.
It is against this backdrop of hard work and social energy that we find ourselves entering September 2002. The month begins under the waning influence of Pluto opposing the North Node. The planet of transformation, made bolder and even more truth-seeking in the sign of Sagittarius, has been in opposition with the North Node of the Moon and in conjunction with the South Node. From these portals into our karmic past and future, Pluto has been challenging our perceptions of karma throughout the summer. In the transcendent realm of karma, which comes first - the future or the past? Pluto in this position hints at a simultaneous healing energy available in the present, transcending space and time.
People with Sagittarius, Gemini, Pisces and Virgo influences have felt this energy especially strongly, either through vivid dreams and stirring moments of déjà vu, or through soul-mate relationships. The soul mates who have come into your lives under these circumstances are probably not the romantic heart-love soul mates typically written about in romance novels and sung about in pop music. Instead, under the influence of Pluto, expect interaction with this variety of soul mate to both annihilate and redeem. Pluto transforms by stripping down to the bare foundations and then rebuilding from there.
The Nodes work with past and future, and are gateways to the karma you have made and the karma you are building. On a personal and world level this aspect is all about deep-level transformation and the offer of redemption. As we cross the threshold into September, we find ourselves at the tail end of this influence and are offered a lovely selection of communicative and inspiring aspects that give us the opportunity to reflect privately on the challenges of Pluto, and a chance to seek out resolution with our particularly challenging soul mates.
The dreamy, spiritual and sensitive climate created by Mercury in Libra trining Neptune in Aquarius on the 4th gives us one such opportunity for reflection. This is a lovely day for journaling, painting or writing a song, especially if the theme centers on your spiritual journey and the people you have met along the way. This atmosphere of creation and communication is further heightened by a lovely Grand Trine of planets in the air signs. Venus in her dignity in Libra, Saturn in Gemini, and Uranus, also dignified in Aquarius, together provide us with energy that is beautiful, loquacious and inspiring. Uranus offers us the vision to strive for our ideals, Saturn lends its structure and stability to the project at hand, and Venus illuminates both in the light of her love. These aspects are felt most strongly around the 4th and 5th, when Venus is in her tightest aspects to the slower-moving outer planets, but they remain as a sweet vibration for most of the week. Live joyfully under this influence of love and inspiration, and try to hold the sense of peace you can build through meditation and prayer at this time, as this energy will be needed to sustain you for much of the rest of the month.
The second week of September takes the expression of Venus love principle and challenges it with a turn in the underworld realm of Scorpio. While in Libra, the energy of Venus was expressed almost effortlessly in a social, artistic and prettily wholesome environment. In Scorpio, the wholesomeness is traded for dark and secretive romance, art takes on a hint of vampire-chic, and everything about love and relationships intensifies. Venus in Scorpio gives us the opportunity to re-create our relationships, but carries with it the polarity of obliteration. Those natives born in the 60s, under the influence of Pluto in Virgo, have the opportunity now to begin an unusually intense relationship marked by an air of destiny. This feeling of fatefulness may well be valid but under this influence could just as likely be an illusion. Those people who find themselves in this position would do well to remember that come October, Venus will retrograde back through Scorpio, and in doing so will usher in a time best spent in contemplation of the nature of love. Relationships begun now will likely not come to any clear feeling of fruition until much later this year, after Venus completes its retrograde and then regains the lost ground.
Adding to the potential of disillusionment is the opposition of Jupiter in Leo and Neptune in Aquarius, which becomes exact on September 11. Under this influence we need to guard against the danger of losing objectivity. September 11 this year promises to be an emotional day for us all. The wisest use of this energy is to focus on the expansion of spirituality and the heightened ability to tap into the undercurrent of collective consciousness that this aspect can bestow when operating from its highest level. There is a danger here of becoming overly emotional, caught up in religious dogma or nationalistic pride to the extent of losing all ability to remain rational and centered in the moment. The Moon in Scorpio that day will intensify emotion, especially during that period of time when it squares Neptune. Again, the best way to use this energy is to focus on spirituality as opposed to dogma, and resist the temptation to sink into the nether world of illusion. The influence of this opposition will remain with us until around September 18 and may become more difficult to handle after the 14th, when Mercury goes retrograde and challenges communication. For those few days, the pressure of retrograde Mercury in Libra coming into aspect with the Jupiter-Neptune opposition could be especially challenging for natives who have Mercury in Aries, Cancer, Libra or Capricorn.
Mercury goes retrograde at 13 degrees of Libra on September 14, and will remain retrograde until it stations at 28 degrees of Virgo on October 7. During this period, be prepared to encounter delays when traveling and difficulty with all varieties of communication. It is not the ideal time to be signing legal documents or working on tight deadlines, as often under the Mercury retrograde influence small details are overlooked and misunderstandings about specific terms of a contract or negotiations are common. If one must sign an important document, it is advisable to prepare as many of the details as possible prior to the retrograde, and to proceed with extra caution, to ensure that all parties understand what they are agreeing to. The same cautions apply to travel, with the added proviso to go the airport or train station with a really good book and a sandwich in your bag. Delays are common, but being prepared ought to mean that yours is the brightest smile in the waiting room that day!
To see specifically what area of your own life the retrograde will affect, look first at the house that Mercury is transiting and then at what aspects it makes to other planets. Mercury retrograde transiting the 2nd house, for example, will suggest frustrations with financial matters. Mercury retrograde transiting the 10th house may affect communications in the workplace or cause misunderstandings with authority figures.
It is also interesting to note that this particular retrograde is happening in the sign of Libra, which rules justice, law and the courts. The concern then, towards months end, is further obstructions in the justice system, especially with regards to the treatment of detainees and alleged terrorist suspects. The energy of the retrograde, compounded with the secrecy of Venus in Scorpio and the added stresses of squares from Venus to Neptune, from the Sun to Saturn, and from Mars to Pluto, mark the third week of September as one to watch. Fortunately, the energy of those squares is short-lived and will dissipate as the Sun enters Libra on the 24th.
The month ends with a sweet trine from the Libran Sun to Neptune in Aquarius, an aspect reminiscent of the loving and insightful energy present at the beginning of the month. Spend time on the 29th alone in nature, in prayer or meditation. Its a good day to study spiritual or metaphysical subjects and to prepare for October and the Venus retrograde. Its a good day to contemplate Love.