The Forest and the Trees

Posted by Amanda Painter

Deering Oaks Park. Photo by Amanda Painter

In this week’s Monday Astrology Diary, Amanda Painter offers an overview of Jupiter leaving Leo and ingressing Virgo; Mercury (and Jupiter) opposite Neptune; and the Leo New Moon. You energy level could feel ‘intense’ or ‘fatigued’ as the week progresses; either way, it’s up to you to keep the big picture and the details in view — even if you close your eyes to dance.

This week’s astrology is marked by three significant events: Jupiter leaving Leo and ingressing Virgo on Tuesday; Mercury opposing Neptune on Wednesday; and on Friday, the Leo New Moon. If you’ve already noticed a shift in the overall energy (especially your own) compared to last week, this combination of building events is likely why.

Photo by Amanda Painter

Deering Oaks Park, Portland, Maine. Photo by Amanda Painter.

Let’s start with Jupiter. Before it gets to Virgo on Tuesday at 7:11 am EDT (11:11 UTC), it’s spending about four days in the last degree of Leo. The last degree of any sign is said to be ‘anaretic’.

Anaretic degrees are usually described by astrologers as ‘edgy’ or ‘intense’, or as coming with a buildup of pressure or energy. That sounds invigorating on its surface. But if you’ve been expending a lot of energy recently and you’re nearing your limit, I could see Jupiter in the last degree of Leo as feeling a little overwhelming or fatiguing.

Your mileage may vary depending on your personal chart and whatever life’s been handing you, so try on each description and see how it feels: ‘edgy and intense’, or just ‘more than you can be bothered with’.

The approaching New Moon also contributes to any sense of ‘winding down’ you might be feeling. It might be an inconvenient way to begin the workweek if you need to get a new project started; but it’s perfect for tying up any loose ends on anything nearing completion.

As of 8:08 am EDT (12:08 UTC) today, the Moon will be in Cancer, the sign it rules. You’ll be feeling your feelings; notice if any of them are especially cyclical in nature, or if you’re particularly inclined to stick close to home and to focus on cooking, cleaning and taking care of others.

Given how a Leo Sun is oriented on public interaction and display, while a Cancer Moon is tuned to subtler (and more changeable) inner tides, you may find your conscious and unconscious urges don’t quite match up.

Try listening to whichever feels truer, whichever comes with a sense of your entire being relaxing or brightening. When the Moon shifts into Leo Wednesday, you may find your inner and outer experiences aligning a little better again.

By that time, Mercury in Virgo will be exactly opposite Neptune in Pisces — and Jupiter, newly in Virgo, will be within orb of opposing Neptune. Jupiter in Virgo is more cautious, practical and scientific than Jupiter in Leo. This is not a bad thing at all; as Isabel Hickey notes, people with natal Jupiter in Virgo can make excellent nurses, dieticians, investigators and detectives. But it will be up to you to remember what the ‘bigger vision’ is, so you don’t lose the forest for the trees.

You need to remember what you know, and stay aware of what you don’t know. With Mercury and Jupiter opposite Neptune, integrating the big picture and the known details is one of your safeguards against being deceived this week.

Mercury opposite Neptune can come through as mental confusion. It can also be a great aspect for enhanced spiritual awareness; with that, however, it can be harder to separate out the most important or salient details.

Recent offerings from Planet Waves have emphasized working your sense of creative daring. With planets on the Virgo-Pisces axis, that still holds true. Pisces brings the imagination; Virgo brings the hands-on execution. So continue your creative play and risk-taking, especially since taking action can do wonders for busting through any lack of confidence. The place to play it safe is with any interactions that come with significant financial risk, or in which you might be over-idealizing another person.

Finally, a word about that Leo New Moon, which we’ll be developing through the week. As mentioned, it’s a good time to be completing projects. And though Leo is a high-energy, display-oriented sign, New Moons tend to be low-energy and inwardly oriented. How do you reconcile those opposing tendencies? I think the key is in the minor planets aspecting the New Moon. I plan to get into the details later in the week, but for now:

Sometimes, you need to dance as though nobody is watching. Sometimes, it’s nice to know that everyone really is watching, and that in some way they’re dancing with you. And sometimes all that matters is that, when you close your eyes and move, no matter who is or is not watching and no matter how they may or may not judge you, you let your heart guide you into feeling good about yourself.

13 thoughts on “The Forest and the Trees

  1. pam

    ‘Sometimes, you need to dance as though nobody is watching. Sometimes, it’s nice to know that everyone really is watching, and that some way they’re dancing with you. And sometimes all that matters is that, when you close your eyes and move, no matter who is or is not watching and no matter how they may or may not judge you, you let your heart guide you into feeling good about yourself.’

    Thanks Amanda I’ll go with that!

  2. Carol

    Thank you for so beautifully painting the set. I am dancing joyously through gardening, farming and recently added sewing into the mix. As always, I am loving Planet Waves!

  3. Michael MayesMichael Mayes

    Good stuff, I feel a little odd today, and the way you described the Cancer Moon/Leo Sun setup is an accurate description of the oddness. I have a slight urge to be seen, but the urge to just sit back & watch is there as well, a theme which repeats itself with the Sun approaching, but not quite reaching my ascendant for a few days yet.

    1. Amanda PainterAmanda Painter Post author

      I hear you, Michael. I’m feeling myself vacillate with some public-oriented actions I could take now…and realizing that if I could have carved out the time a week or two ago, the energy might have felt more aligned, or like it was carrying me. Fascinating.

  4. Mary

    I have been feeling creatively expansive. Jupiter has been dancing thru my 10th house and it’s anaretic expression feels to me like a balloon about to explode.
    I have been journaling my ideas and making note of all the creative inspiration revealing itself to me lately.
    I’m looking forward to Jupiter’s entry into Virgo, hoping to put some ground beneath all this lofty inspiration.
    In the meantime, there is laundry and bills waiting for my attention. Aah, Cancer Moon, home sweet home.

    1. Amanda PainterAmanda Painter Post author

      Mary, I think your expression and experience of the anaretic Leo Jupiter and Cancer Moon dynamics sounds just right. What a joy to feel creatively expansive! And how grounding (in the best way, in my opinion) to get the laundry and bills taken care of.


  5. Barbara Koehler

    I like to think of the 29+ degree as a turning point, and that the job of any planet in that sign is being completed. This new cycle that just started between Mercury and Jupiter took place in the 29+ degree of Leo. The cycle between these 2 planets which just came to an end also began in Leo, in the 3+ degree of Leo. As Mercury and Jupiter both rule aspects of teaching, learning, communicating, traveling and thought processing, what is it that has taken/will take 2 years of Leo creativity to complete? Why didn’t that conjunction between Mercury and Jupiter that took place last Friday take place tomorrow in Virgo?

    It’s because we learn best through entertainment. Jon Stewart’s retirement from the Daily Show coincided with that new Jupiter-Mercury cycle in the 29+ degree of Leo Possibly he has a natal Moon at 29+ Sagittarius that influenced his decision, but for sure he has a north node at 0+ Leo, and nodes work in the reverse. Jon’s north node is in the completion stage of the Leo Lesson. This latest iteration of the yearly cycle of communicating and learning will carry another huge dose of Leo creativity (the Leo Sun was trine Pallas in Sagittarius and Vesta in Aries) but also a sense of completion, urgent completion, and that will be the underlying theme of this next year’s educational approach. I feel certain that we will continue to learn through laughter from Jon Stewart, but these lessons will have a deeper focus.

    Jon’s sextile between his natal Venus (who is conjunct his Neptune) in Scorpio and Pluto in Virgo forms a yod to the transiting Vesta in Aries who is stationing retrograde (exact tomorrow night or Wednesday morning in the U.S.). That same trans. Vesta will also be opposite the U.S. Sibly Saturn in Libra and square the U.S. Sibly Sun in Cancer, and square the transiting Pluto in Capricorn. The old cardinal cross trick you may remember.

    If Vesta signifies dedication and hard work, and in Aries that would be work on the self and/or some new intention, then it would also include a payoff (Vesta also indicates investment). Transiting Vesta is in a sesquiquadrate (square family) aspect with transiting Jupiter and has been since the start of August.

    So part of that last-minute Leo energy that Jupiter is fraught with has to do with pushing us all, including the USA, into learning something new about ourselves (Aries Vesta) that will have a payoff (Vesta in Aries). Jupiter in last-minute Leo will try to entertain us into learning something (for example, Donald Trump has trans. Jupiter on his ascendant/1st house) about ourselves that won’t be easy, but. . . .

    The Mercury-Jupiter cycle that became effective early Friday morning also has that grand trine in fire signs I mentioned above, which includes Vesta, to help us learn what we must learn. That cycle also carries the signature square for this year of learning, teaching, communicating, networking, traveling, thinking, and it is between Saturn in Scorpio and Jupiter-Mercury (+ Venus) in Leo. It is a kind of Show & Tell vs. Hide & Seek initiative and it can be transformative as well as a turning point.

    If last year’s Mercury-Jupiter cycle in Leo was college then this year’s Mercury-Jupiter cycle in Leo is graduate school. It’s no time to quit learning and, on so many levels it will be rewarded. The anaretic Jupiter of today will be the professor we will remember fondly years from now.

    1. Amanda PainterAmanda Painter Post author

      whew — Barbara, thank you for your meticulous eye on the long-range cycles!

      I think I like your interpretation of the Mercury-Leo cycle, that it is beginning a new layer/iteration of creative learning, communicating, traveling and so on. Grad school is not always easy, but it certainly is enriching, the more passion you bring to it. Thanks also for the reminder of the grand fire trine that’s still operating in the background. I know we’ve given it some mention recently, but it is far from fizzled out yet; those sparks can still ignite the spirit.


  6. Barbara

    Amanda………..nice stand of oaks for illustration……… your concise delivery on the movement of the heavens………..Grad school it is…………thanks………….

  7. rachael harrod

    amanda, thank you for your beautiful pictures around portland..I grew up just over the martins point bridge, in falmouth foreside, and really appreciate seeing my hometown, and the places I spent time in, and the memories your pictures bring back. :)

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