Photo by Amanda Painter.

Virgo New Moon Eclipse: Movement First, Then Change

“Disease is inertia. Healing is movement. If you put the body in motion, you will change.” — Gabrielle Roth

By Amanda Painter

How often have you tried to think your way into a new state of being or belief, or tried to think yourself into feeling healed? Thoughts are amazing tools for many things in life: planning, research, analysis. But often, when it comes to fully shifting our experience of ourselves, they are only part of the process — and sometimes not even the place to start.

Photo by Amanda Painte

Photo by Amanda Painter.

For example, years ago I was really struggling with hearing any kind of career calling; I was at a job that used my talents only marginally, though its grassroots focus aligned with my values.

I remember speaking to an older, wiser friend about how I had no idea what I was meant to do, no idea what would be ‘perfect’. I was afraid of getting just stuck again.

This loop of ‘I don’t know’ felt like a permanent glitch in my psyche. My friend said to me, “You can’t think yourself into knowing what will fit; you have to actually try things. They don’t have to be forever; you can always look for something else. But until you actually try the jobs that interest you, you can never know if they’re right or not.”

To heal my career-calling inertia, my stalled creativity, my fear of ‘getting stuck for the rest of my life’, I had to move out of the realm of thought. Because my thoughts about how stuck I felt were not helping me. My imagination was not even helping much, since any fantasy jobs came with a sense of being too far from my reality, and were therefore too ‘risky’. I had to move into the realm of ‘applied science’, or actually, tangibly trying things, to heal my perception of stuckness, and to heal my beliefs about creativity’s place in my life.

Admittedly, ‘healing’ can be a vague term. Same with ‘creativity’, though you may actually think of it too narrowly: as a rare gift that applies to ‘everyone else’, but not you.

Yet healing and creativity — perhaps even teaching yourself to heal your relationship to your creativity, or healing your relationship to your mind through creative means — look like themes of this weekend’s Virgo New Moon and partial solar eclipse. This New Moon occurs Sunday, Sept. 13 at 2:41 am EDT (6:41 UTC), when the Sun and Moon conjoin in the same degree of late Virgo.

Unfortunately, this partial solar eclipse will only be visible from the southern portion of Africa, the Indian Ocean and Antarctica. Eclipses generally happen in pairs, however, (sometimes we get three) and the corresponding total lunar eclipse on Sept. 27 will be visible from North and South America, skies permitting.

What opens up Sunday is a two-week period in which time can seem to condense, in terms of how you may be able to move some part of your life forward. The weeks between eclipses often have a sense of being removed from the normal rhythm of life. It’s a good time to consciously set new, desired patterns, and to slide into any unusual opportunities that emerge.

Astrologically, some eclipses carry a signature of releasing something that has run its course or that holds you back; others indicate a chance to move toward what could be described as your true purpose in life. You can see how those two concepts work in tandem: often we must let go of the old to make room for the new.

Yet they don’t always happen in that order — kind of like how you might not realize it’s time to list an old chair on Craigslist until after you’ve gotten your new couch. Suddenly the living room is cramped, and it occurs to you nobody really liked sitting in that old chair, anyway.

Virgo is an earth sign ruled by Mercury. The Sun and Moon conjoined there relate to harmony between your conscious and unconscious expressions of what goes on in your mind, through physical or tangible means. That is, it’s an image of actually doing something with your awareness in the 3D world. Even if the actions are small, they serve the larger purpose of subverting inertia. Small movements still count as change.

Opposite the Sun and Moon is Chiron in Pisces. Chiron emphasizes the themes of healing, teaching and service already present in the New Moon and eclipse, bringing them into clearer focus. It does so from the realm of imagination and desire: wanting to heal and to move forward is the first step; the wanting just can’t be the only step.

Several minor planets that align with the New Moon and Chiron amplify the message: do not let yourself get tricked into thinking you can never ‘fix’ yourself if you feel broken. That sense of stuckness is ‘just’ in your head, and other astrological factors suggest it may be easier to move forward mentally if you put yourself physically and energetically in motion first.

Sometimes, to step out of the chaos of Monkey Mind, we just need some outside help — a teacher, a mentor, a wise friend. Sometimes we need to buy the couch first, then ditch the chair. Sometimes we need to move the body first for healing to occur, and let the mind follow.

18 thoughts on “Virgo New Moon Eclipse: Movement First, Then Change

  1. Lizzy

    Such a wonderful piece. I have come to learn over the years that whenever l I am in a state of inertia I have to get myself up off the sofa and move -even if it means going for a walk round the block. You’re so very right about the trap of getting stuck in the mind.Right now I’m tortured about applying for a job that I would love to do -but it would involve such a massive amount to do in little more than a month – and such a massive sea change,which I can’t face right now. Am worried about missing out on the opportunity of a lifetime -at the same time it has effectively shown me that I am not as stuck as I thought I was – and if I don’t do it this time – I’ll really be ready for the next one -and will keep looking. Thank you Amanda!

    1. Amanda Painter Post author

      Lizzy — am a great fan of the “walk around the block” solution! It does not help with all things, but it can work wonders for shifting one’s frame of mind.

      If you apply for the job, good luck! The amount of change sounds daunting, but…. If you’d really love to do it…. 😉 However you approach it will be “right,” I’m sure. I myself sometimes get stuck in the, “Oh I’d love to, but it just sounds like so MUCH” mindset, forgetting that once I’m doing things I truly love, it doesn’t really feel so daunting after all. It’s the anticipation from a place of inertia that makes it seem like too much.

      1. Lizzy

        “after all. It’s the anticipation from a place of inertia that makes it seem like too much.” Ha ha! So true, dear Amanda! Thank you so much for your wonderful reply! I’ve just submitted my application for the job, so your precious words of advice and support mean so much to me right now. Les jeux sont faits!

  2. Stefanie

    “Energy moves in waves, waves move in patterns, patterns move in rhythms – a human being is just that. Nothing more. Nothing less. A dance.” Another quote from Gabrielle Roth I really love because of its tangible truth. Conscious movement practices like Roths 5Rhythms, Vinn Martis Soul Motion or the in Europe more common SchoolofMovementMedicine honor the being as physical – and the joy of being as existential. And as fundamental for any creative process. The same could happen if you’re dancing in the streets or at five o’clock in the mornig all alone in your living room. Thank you, Amanda, for singing this knowledge back into our minds and bodies.

    1. Amanda Painter Post author

      Stefanie — yes, another great quote of hers. There are *so* many movement practices these days that honor the physical being and the existential joy of being, even without “brand names.” It is such a wonderful inner resource to realize that one has the power in one’s own body to move so much energy so easily and joyfully, whether alone or in a room full of other ecstatic dancers.

    1. Amanda Painter Post author

      You are welcome, Rachel! And sometimes I feel like I have a whole clan of monkeys in my head. We don’t always realize how much we tire ourselves in that way until someone points out to us what we’re doing, and that we can tame the monkeys. At least, some of the time…


  3. Amanda Painter Post author

    Oops! I just realized I wrote “Saturday” twice in this piece, when Sept. 13 is SUNday. I’ve fixed the error; apologies to anyone who felt confused!

  4. Emily

    So poignant & perfect! Thank you. I was just writing in my journal this morn about how movement (yoga, dance) shift the energy of an overthinking, anxious mind. So nice to see this reaffirmed here. 🙂

  5. Len Wallick

    Amanda: Thank you once again for a useful eloquent astrological interpretation. Just so readers will not be confused, the approach i took to the upcoming solar eclipse (two types of exploration) does not conflict with your exhortation towards movement (to heal the consequences of inertia) in this piece. Just as your friend encouraged you to “try things” in your career search, the form of exploration i thought most appropriate for this upcoming solar eclipse is non-directive. In other words, i believe we are both on the same page today, and i would want Planet Waves readers to be able to see and understand that.

  6. Len Wallick

    Amanda: By “non directive” i mean what Lao Tsu meant when he wrote: ” a sage does nothing, and yet leaves nothing undone. A fool is always doing, yet much remains to be done.” A lesson i am still trying to learn, but making progress. Take prayer for example. It is any less effective to simply pray for the best outcome for all concerned than to pray for a specific outcome and try to take control where none is available to be taken? Please let me know if my answer is not satisfactory for you.

    1. Amanda Painter Post author

      Hi Len — I was thinking of something more tangible and less cryptic, such as in the email you sent me when you described “directive” as being more like scientific research, rather than movement simply for movement’s sake (if I understood you directly). Or the example in an email you gave comparing “Darwin’s voyage on The Beagle (which had no objective other than to observe and discover whatever) and the directed work done on the Large Hadron Collider in an attempt to discover the Higgs Boson.”

      Just wanted to get some very concrete examples into the conversation for those readers who might not be so adept at more abstract thinking. Thank you for continuing the conversation!

  7. Len Wallick

    Amanda: Further to your request, another example from the realm of scientific exploration (in the form of two contrasting explorations): First, Darwin as a young man as the naturalist on the HMS Beagle.

    Darwin’s objective as naturalist on the Beagle was not directive. (although those employing him probably had their own agenda) He himself did not have some specific theory to prove or disprove. He was simply tasked with making and recording observations – mostly collecting data and specimens. His later work developed organically from his earlier work as a naturalist. Thus (referring back to my quote of Lao Tsu), he left nothing undone.

    By contrast, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) was constructed and is being operated with a directed intent. Proving the existence of theorized sub-atomic particles (such as the Higgs Boson) was part of that intent. Yet, the existence of the Higgs has only been proven to within a certain probability. Also, there are those in the scientific community who believe that Higgs was not observed at all – rather some other kind of particle. Finally, the actual results indicate that the Higgs (if observed) does show some variance from theory that will require additional observations (and perhaps even bigger and more powerful versions of the LHC). Hence, referring to Lao Tsu agai): much remains undone.

    All this goes back to the two types of exploration which i went into with my blog yesterday): directive and non directive. It applies to science, It applies to each individual life. It is a concept which Lao Tsu explored thousands of years ago. It is part of the scenario for Sunday’s solar eclipse, and in harmony with your own, brilliant and original interpretation of that event which we are all privileged to read here.

  8. P. Sophia

    Being aware of, and recieving unintentional promps towatds movement. Following them. Being nurished recognizing partnership in them. Yet with no conditions or conclusion as to where they may lead. Being open to the inner guidance leading to new discoveries. Thank you both . it is also what I am feeling.

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