Astrological Alchemy, Post-Eclipse

By Amanda Painter

With the Great American Eclipse now behind you, how are you feeling? Do you notice anything different? Do you feel like things are pretty much business as usual, or has your life changed dramatically?

Photo by Amanda Painter

Photo by Amanda Painter

Due to previously made plans for this week, I’m actually writing this several days ahead of when you’re reading it; as I type, the eclipse is still about 24 hours away and fast approaching.

I just turned down an unexpected creative opportunity in favor of getting done all the things I’m obligated to complete, and (as sometimes happens around eclipses), I’m wondering if I’ve just ignored some kind of signal from the universe that I ought to have said ‘yes’ to.

Perhaps you can relate to that feeling of uncertainty and second-guessing. If so, you probably know it’s sometimes a tricky thing to shake.

In other words, it can be challenging even for astrologers to be sitting on one side of a major astrological event (especially an eclipse) and to imagine how life might feel or how different it might look on the other side. So I’m going to let you fill in that side of the story for yourself, and will offer a few highlights of the astrology for when you’ll be reading this.

The Sun entered Virgo on Tuesday, the day after the Leo New Moon and eclipse, joining retrograde Mercury and shifting the overall tone. Virgo is the last sign in the current season. You may already be noticing the signs of summer loosening its hold — either with things like the harvest from your garden and cooler nights, or children heading back to school.

Relative to the eclipse in Leo, solar Virgo seems to follow along with an appropriate emphasis on correlating and digesting what you’ve just experienced. It’s time to begin gathering materially whatever you need in order to develop and manifest what emerged for you during the weeks between eclipses.

Today (Thursday) Venus in Cancer makes a square to Uranus in Aries. Astrologer Robert Hand says of this transit that it’s a good day for flirting — as long as you don’t take it too seriously, which is definitely a possibility with Venus in sentimental, security-seeking Cancer. To help mitigate that, remember that expressions of individuality, trying new experiences, and looking for a little excitement (even friction) within a relationship need not “undermine” your sense of emotional security. That comes from within. In fact, the more you can be the initiator while staying empathetic to how someone else is responding, the easier today might be.

On Saturday, Venus leaves Cancer and enters Leo, just after 12:29 am EDT (4:30 UTC). If Venus-Uranus contributed more sparks than you were prepared to handle, it could be tempting today to emotionally dramatize whatever happened. But you have much more power of choice in how you feel than you may think. When you remember that, it’s easier to let the famous Venus-in-Leo compassion and warm-heartedness shine through. Sometimes it’s just a matter of getting a little perspective on things. (Note, this is about processing and releasing emotions, rather than getting stuck in them — it’s not about “stuffing” and ignoring them.)

Finally, on Saturday, the Sun makes a conjunction to retrograde Mercury in early Virgo. This marks the halfway point in Mercury’s retrograde phase (can I get a Hallelujah?), and it’s potentially a day to take care of business that can’t wait until after Sept. 5, when Mercury stations direct.

Virgo is one of the signs Mercury rules, so the emphasis here is on the mind. Having the Sun (self-awareness) so close to Mercury (the mind), especially during a retrograde, is another reminder to check your sense of perspective: it may need to be broadened. What — or, better yet, who — might you be overlooking right now?

One of the best ways known to human beings for extricating oneself from self-absorption — whether it be egotism, being overly self-critical, feeling left out or envious, or even some phases of mild depression — is to help out someone else. Virgo is the sign of service. Pick your cause, whether small and localized or grand and global, and experience some true alchemy this week.

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