Dear Friend and Reader:
We’re in one of those phases of time that can feel a little curious. Not as weird as Alice stepping through that looking glass, necessarily. But between Mercury having stationed retrograde Tuesday morning and a New Moon eclipse earlier this morning (the first of an eclipse pair), we’re experiencing a shift in perception.
Shifts in perception subsequently alter how we view things like opportunities, challenges, synchronicities and the ‘meanings’ behind events in our life.
Kind of like how waking up from a dream can result in some new level of understanding about your life or a specific personal issue, thanks to the way its bizarre imagery and logic show you things that are hard (or impossible) to see while awake.
I’ll come back to the dreamtime in a moment. First, some basic astrological information to help you get oriented.
As mentioned, Mercury stationed retrograde Tuesday at 9:03 am EDT (13:03 UTC), in the very last degree of Virgo. It will continue in apparent retrograde motion until Sept. 22, when it stations direct in mid-Virgo.
Today, Mercury is in the next-to-last degree of Virgo, conjunct Jupiter. Jupiter is finishing up its year (approximately) in Virgo, and will move into Libra on Sept. 9.
I’ll consider Jupiter in Libra more closely next week (and you can get an even more in-depth, sign-by-sign perspective on it through Eric’s BALANCE Midyear Readings). For now, I’ll emphasize that retrograde Mercury is in a sign it rules and where it is strong, and this is directing your awareness inward and backward.
This could mean that your attention, should you choose to notice, is being drawn to things like: how you have manifested your ideas to create your reality (Oh — so that is how I got here!); the ways you’ve allowed self-criticism or perfectionism to hold you back from such creation; questions about what purposes and people you’ve served with your efforts, and whether that effort has served the higher good for all — or whether it’s served your creative aspirations.
As always, any Mercury-related frustrations or delays (travel, communication, electronic, etc.) can be opportunities to re-focus your attention on the task at hand, and to limber up your workaround-finding muscles. Virgo is a mutable sign, after all, making flexible adaptation potentially more accessible.
Chart for the Virgo New Moon, which was exact at 9:03:03 UTC. Note that the times for the beginning and the peak of the annular eclipse itself vary from this time by a couple minutes or so on either side. The Sun and Moon are close together in Virgo, just below the dark horizontal line on the right. The orange horseshoe is the Lunar North Node, indicating eclipse territory. View the chart at larger size here; view a glyph key here.
Virgo was also the location of today’s eclipse: at 5:03 am EDT (9:03 UTC), the Sun and Moon formed a conjunction at 9+ Virgo (properly the 10th degree).
Due to the way the orbits of the Earth and Moon happened to intersect today, the Moon passed almost precisely between Earth and the Sun, blocking out all but a fiery ring of the Sun’s light around the Moon’s edges (visible across southern and central parts of Africa and around the southern Indian Ocean).
In general terms, this eclipse opens up a two-week span of time that might feel a little extra-dimensional.
Astrologically speaking, this Virgo New Moon and eclipse makes significant contact with several objects around the zodiac, especially along the mutable cross (Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, Pisces). Directly across the wheel is Neptune in Pisces. Square them both is Saturn (and a few degrees away, Mars) in Sagittarius. Put together, that makes a T-square, with Gemini the ‘empty’ corner.
Yet, there are some interesting minor planets (asteroids) also aligned with this configuration, including one in Gemini: Altjira. Altjira was named for the Australian Aboriginal creator-god and sky-god who created the dreamtime.
This brings us back to the topic of dreams. Given all the earthy Virgo in this eclipse chart — with the Sun and Moon opposed by dreamy, illusory Neptune, and Saturn pushing on both of them — the first thing that came to my mind was: Who will do the work toward your dream if you do not?
The second question that emerged was: Do you notice anything filtering through the dreamtime that offers some clues about where to start?
And then I suddenly remembered a dream I had before waking up to write this piece that might help you to find a foothold. Simple version: I was on a bus that made many stops. My stop — to visit a colleague with an office on an upper floor in some kind of fancy, tall business building combined with a mall — caught me by surprise. I pressed the bell for the stop and tried to gather my bags; but as I was about to get off I realized I’d left two of them on the floor, and the full paper bag in my hand was tearing apart. The bus started moving again, and I had to get off at a later, less convenient stop.
I’m not looking for additional interpretations, but some questions that came to mind to share with you include:
Are your metaphorical bags packed in a way that will let you travel efficiently and with minimal stress? (In other words, do you feel like you have your shit together?)
If not, what can you do to start putting your bags in order now, whatever that means for you?
Some random possibilities that may or may not fit your situation (feel free to add your own to the list): de-clutter or rearrange your space; communicate specifically with your partner; diagram some short-, mid- and long-term goals for your business and how they feed into each other; start small with that exercise/health plan you keep talking about; say ‘yes’ to an opportunity to make art (then set a deadline and start playing); update your resume; start therapy; work with a coach to define a goal or vision; finally set up that budgeting tool to help you reach financial goals; and so on.
What can you put in motion now to help those beautiful ideas in your head find life in 3-D reality?
Louis Pasteur famously said that, “chance favors only the prepared mind.” Yet there’s a fine line between preparing your mind and falling for the illusion (thanks, Neptune) that all you need is the dream or the vision to manifest your desires. Structure, cumulatively built step by step in the direction of your goal, invites opportunity. And momentum, also accumulated through those many small actions, helps to generate the confidence to say ‘yes’.
So what patterns do you want to set in motion with today’s eclipse? It’s okay if you start small in moving toward what you’d love to see more of in your life. But do start; your dreams are your dreams for a reason.
Yours & truly,
Planet Waves Astrology Editor
Planet Waves (ISSN 1933-9135) is published each Tuesday and Thursday evening in Kingston, New York, by Planet Waves, Inc. Core community membership: $197/year. Editor and Publisher: Eric Francis Coppolino. Web Developer: Anatoly Ryzhenko. Astrology Editor: Amanda Painter. Music Director: Daniel Sternstein. Special Projects Designer: Lizanne Webb. Finance: Victoria Pomante. Astrology Fact Checker: Len Wallick. Copy Editor and Fact Checker: Jessica Keet. Eric’s Assistants: Gale Jazylo, Brooke Peshke. Client Services: Amy Elliott. Media Consultant: Andrew Marshall McLuhan. Research, Writing and Editing: In addition to those listed above, Planet Waves is produced by a team consisting of Fe Bongolan, Kelly Janes, Amanda Moreno and Carol van Strum.
Our beautiful home galaxy, photographed over Nanga Parbat, Pakistan, by Pervisha Khan.
This Week on Planet Waves FM
Total Eclipse and the Cosmic Feminine
Dear Friend and Listener:
This week’s Planet Waves FM [play episode here] dives into the vortex of feminine by way of a total eclipse in Virgo. In a spontaneous manifestation of symbolism, Florence Welch appeared as if to fulfill this archetype and describe it to us vividly in astrology and the music of Florence + the Machine.
To express the many facets of unusual, ulterior, side-frequency or socially unacceptable forms of the feminine, we have Florence’s chart and music for an in-depth exploration of Black Moon Lilith, Chiron, the Moon, Vesta and Eris.
Altjira (in Gemini, square the eclipse) takes the discussion into the dreamtime, and my discussion of tantra after the second song break focuses on ideas and misconceptions about time, and how to experience time differently: by climbing up into it.
With that, I wish you a pleasant evening.
PS — We feature songs from three of Florence’s albums. “Spectrum” is from the album Ceremonials, which you may get on Amazon here, or iTunes here. “Cosmic Love” is from Lungs (Amazon | iTunes). “What Kind of Man” is from How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful (Amazon | iTunes).
Building the Dream
By Amanda Painter
The Virgo-Pisces axis gets a fair amount of attention at Planet Waves, since it seems to epitomize the mix of applied thought/science and creative visioning that it takes to make art — or make your dreams reality — no matter what sign you are. Clearly Catherine King and Wayne Adams, skilled carvers, have worked both sides of that polarity to great effect in devising their floating home in Freedom Cove, on the coast of Vancouver Island, Canada.
There are no roads linking their cove to mainland roads. The water is their highway; the Sun their power source; the rain and a waterfall their drinking water; the ocean their source of fish and their own hand-built greenhouses their source for fruit and veggies. Yet despite the lack of power lines, roads and other conveniences, they live surrounded by art, beauty, abundance and even room to dance — minus the debt involved in owning land and building a house.
Great Big Story created a short but well-edited video interview with Catherine and Wayne. The couple has also been written-up elsewhere on the internet about their 500 tons of floating homestead created entirely with hand tools (words by Catherine herself are available here, at the bottom of the page). Although Catherine and Wayne sell their artwork in a town elsewhere along the coast, theirs seems to be an astonishingly beautiful and inventive level of subsistence living.
They’ve been off the grid in Freedom Cove since 1992, and have raised two children there. I suspect their story will seed many other dreams in people willing to roll up their sleeves and make it happen.
Your Monthly Horoscopes — and our Publishing Schedule Notes
Your extended monthly horoscope for September was published on Thursday, Aug. 25. We published your extended monthly horoscope for August on Thursday, July 28. Len’s Moonshine horoscope for the Aquarius Full Moon was published on Thursday, Aug. 18. Please note: we normally publish the extended monthly horoscope on the first Friday after the Sun has entered a new sign.
Aries (March 20-April 19) — Nobility is often thought of as a privileged social status to which one is born. For you especially, the concept of nobility means much more. It’s a state of mind. It’s also a way of behaving. It would appear as if your sense of nobility is very strong. Even though you may not be explicitly asked to do so, the skies imply that you would be well advised to build on that particular strength in your character even more. Begin with the time-honored maxim that one should be noble in proportion to the degree one is privileged. Then, count the privileges, entitlements, blessings and powers that you have realized or exercised in recent months. Finally, raise the level of your noble conduct appropriately, so as to create a balance in how you influence your world. If you can do just that, the world will respond to leave you feeling more balanced in turn. – by Len Wallick. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.
Taurus (April 19-May 20) — There’s an old saying that one should gamble only what one can afford to lose. Now is a good time for you to remember that. While you have just entered a period when it is good to be optimistic, be aware of the borderline between that and recklessness. You may, however, leverage what appears to be a two-to-three-week ‘window’ of optimism currently opening for you. Do this by keeping two objective intellectual guidelines in mind to balance any undertaking of risk you have a good feeling about. First, stay constantly aware of being able not only to afford, but to contentedly accept, the consequences if the best possible outcome does not accrue. Next, be just as realistic about what you stand to gain if everything turns out exactly the way you want it to, should you literally or figuratively decide to roll the dice. – by Len Wallick. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.
Gemini (May 20-June 21) — There is a potential and substantial creative achievement inside of you waiting to come out. Interestingly, it is not only your inner environment that needs attention so that your creation can be realized. What you have between you and the manifestation of a masterpiece is thus a two-fold task. You might think of it as doing on one level and not doing on the other. Fortunately, there is nobody with a greater aptitude than you at managing two parallel but related strategies. To begin with, actively attend to the physical space (either home or studio) where you compose. That probably means less clutter and more air. Follow up by taking the pressure off yourself. While still holding a clear vision of your objective, relax regularly in your own way toward a state of inner peace, even temporarily, and see what flows out of its own accord. – by Len Wallick. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.
Cancer (June 21-July 22) — Craving satisfaction? You can get it. The key is to be willing to find it in more than just one way. If you are not receiving appropriate recognition or reward for what you have already achieved, be open to starting a new chapter or journey that has the potential to provide satisfaction as part of the process, rather than as an end result. It will not be necessary for you to initiate on a grand scale. After all, satisfaction is a personal need, not a public accomplishment. For that reason alone, allow yourself to follow up on whatever piques your interest or whets your curiosity without getting invested in a particular outcome. Give yourself a chance to try and err. Explore for exploration’s sake. This is not to say that you should be aimless. What you might want to aim for, however, is a feeling more than a thing. – by Len Wallick. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.
Leo (July 22-Aug. 23) — You do not rule the world. Perhaps you should, but that’s not the issue for you now. At this time, it is less necessary for you to spread your influence, and more important for you to expand your appreciation of how influential you already are. If you will stop and think about it, there are small but significant recent examples of people deferring to you as never before. It is almost as if you have come of age somehow, and claimed a place among peers who were previously elders. Now, your task is to own and care for your new level of status as if it is a proud possession. Don’t abuse it. Keep it clean and polished. Display it. Stake out the ground that is now properly and duly yours so you can both stretch out within it and invite others to share it. – by Len Wallick. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.
Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22) — Unlike some people, you are probably not well suited to keep out of sight and exercise power from behind the scenes. It’s more becoming for you to be out front so that others can associate a face with the words that move them to action. It’s more powerful for you to shake things up by setting a clear example. To the extent that you have been recently flying below the radar (to consolidate gains, to organize after a change or just to keep out of the way), you might now want to consider coming back among us again soon. You know there are many who respect and want to hear your thoughts. More importantly, you also know the downside of leaving a vacuum either where you physically were or where you existed in the minds of others. It’s time for you to catch up with us, and us with you. – by Len Wallick. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.
Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23) — Infatuation is a word and a concept for you to be aware of during the next month or so. It’s distinctly possible that somebody will become infatuated with you in the next four weeks. It is somewhat less probable (but still within the realm of possibility) that you will come to be infatuated with someone else. Either way, you should also be aware that the skies above imply your appropriate response will be to exercise a balanced mix of authentic compassion and strong boundaries. Compassion is distinguished from empathy, sympathy and other similar feelings by not being judgmental. Contrary to common opinion, boundaries are best employed not to keep others out, but to keep you functioning at your best — which is to say, within your own limits. Infatuation is no small or shallow thing. It comes from deep within. Match that depth and all will be well. – by Len Wallick. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.
Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22) — Whether or not you do the right thing is often a very personal matter. Many are the decisions that remain between you and yourself. In many ways, that’s a good thing, allowing you room to make mistakes and needing only to forgive yourself and learn something from the experience should you find your choices somehow wanting. At this time, and for the foreseeable future, however, you will not be able to avoid having at least some of your judgments and decisions witnessed by those with whom you must continue to share your life in some way. It’s almost as if you are about to go through a period when you will be obliged to show how fair and wise you are capable of being. Someday, it may be the turn of those now watching to judge you. Therefore, do yourself the greatest favor possible and do unto others as you would have them do unto you. – by Len Wallick. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.
Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22) — It would seem as though there is some mirroring going on (or about to happen) in your life. What form these reciprocal reflections take will depend on who you are. One way or another, however, you will either somehow be seeing yourself in others, or they will somehow see themselves in you. Should you begin to have such a set of experiences, remember that the reflections are most likely subjective. That is, they’ll say more about what is going on inside you (or inside the other person seeing the reflection) than with the party or parties being so perceived. Therefore, don’t assume that somebody is anything like you just because they remind you of yourself. By the same token, don’t take it too seriously if somebody else says you remind them of themselves. Rather, take any such incidents as evidence that the word ‘familiar’ implies a profound possibility of the true interrelatedness of all human beings. – by Len Wallick. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.
Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20) — By now you should at least be starting to see in yourself some of what others have seen in you over the last seven or eight years. It has undoubtedly been a long, strange trip for you during those years. You may have wondered what kept some old friends faithful in spite of your testing their loyalty. You also may have mused upon what attracted some new friends to you even when you were feeling anything but attractive. Now, the perspective of your most recent decade should finally be opening your eyes to the greater, wider worth and importance of your life. Perhaps you have been avoiding seeing it. On the other hand, you could have been earnestly seeking it. Either way, a larger truth about you is finally becoming available to you. Let that truth inspire you to take the best care of yourself that you possibly can from here on out. – by Len Wallick. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.
Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) — Unlike the deepest point in the ocean, the deepest mysteries have no bottom. One layer is peeled back only to reveal another, without end. The subject of bottomless mysteries might very well be of interest to you at this time. That’s because you are probably facing several questions or situations that have not yet resolved themselves with certainty. In addition, there is also a good chance that you will never have an answer for at least one of those questions or situations. Even so, in the absence of a sense of completion you must still go on living from day to day. How do you carry on indefinitely without a sense of closure? As you find your way through doing so, consider having faith in what works for you. When in doubt, rely on the revolutionary idea that the proof you seek lies within, unless or until you may learn otherwise. – by Len Wallick. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.
Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) — Relationships with other individuals differ from those you have with groups, institutions or the world as a whole. If it’s just a question of what goes on between you and another consenting adult, the two of you are accorded a great deal of freedom. Even so, many pairs, partners and other types of couples never even think to explore that freedom. Many pairings are mediated, formed, shaped and finally determined by expectations and rules taken in from the outside. There is now the distinct possibility that at least one of your one-to-one relationships can be among the few that do things differently. Of course in order to refresh, renew or re-balance a partnership entirely from scratch requires that one of you start the conversation. If you see a chance to open negotiations aimed at creating a brave, new private world of thoroughly mutual satisfaction, start slowly and gently, but at least start. – by Len Wallick. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.