By Amanda Painter
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.
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? (I.e., 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.