Updated: Sep 17
My grandmother, she was always telling me
Wealth is the way you live,
The way you conduct yourself,
The way you speak,
The way you look at things,
This is all wealth
Wealth is not all just riches.
It is all in you.
Marjorie “Grandma” Thomas, Chinle, Az
The Virgo New Moon on September 17 invites us to tend to what is right in front of us: the laundry, bills, weeds in the garden, details of a plan, preparation of meals, how we speak to one another... And we have the creativity and impetus to re-imagine our daily routines and rituals so they better serve our overall well-being.
Our ability to discern how to best use this hour, and the hour after this one, is sharpened and there is greater facility with handling detail. We need look no further than the day we are living to find small but distinct ways to create order and beauty so when we place our head on the pillow at night we fall asleep feeling satisfaction with what we accomplished that day.
Many ancient cultures operated from a lunar calendar. The solar calendar we use today gives us the perception that we are progressing one year to the next, pioneers heading away from past mistakes and achievements and heading toward some unknown future that has yet to take shape. For our ancestors who used the lunar calendar, life was cyclic. While changes occured, the essentials of life repeated over - like the seasons with a recurring cycle for planting, harvest, and celebration. They weren't 'going anywhere' but visiting and revisiting life with an ever-deepening engagement and wisdom.
To align with the lunar calendar mindset, we follow the cycles of the Moon, seeing each month as a complete cycle. A new beginning is seeded with the New Moon, which is what makes it an opportune time to set an intention. In the two weeks that follow, we initiate activity borne of that intention that will climax in a crisis or culmination of efforts on the Full Moon. During the last two weeks of the cycle, as the moon wanes, we give ourselves to completing and integrating what was initiated at the New Moon as we ready for the next lunar cycle.
There are cultures, like the ancient Egyptians, who viewed each day as a complete cycle of creation. At dawn, the world is newly created. At sunset, the world as we know it dies and goes back to the dream, to the womb, to be birthed again for a new day. In this way, the people viewed each day as a whole creation. They more or less said to themselves, I have this one day and I will dedicate myself to being fulfilled with what I can create with it.
The Virgo New Moon cues us to think of our days as our ancestors did, meaning that for the next four weeks we make the most of each day without thinking too much about the next day or week or month. There is plenty today to engage our heart, efforts and focus. Thinking and tending to more than today may be too much right now and if we dwell in possible scenarios of tomorrow we may only succeed in creating anxiety and worry.
Rather than trying to see the forest for the trees, our time is better suited to zeroing in on particular trees - the small tasks and routines that provide harmony within and without. 2020's larger movements of Pluto, Saturn and Jupiter in Capricorn continue to do their work to uproot, dismantle and transform the structure of society and our way of life. Rather than wanting to wrap our minds around the big picture, the New Moon urges us to break our ambitions down into small manageable tasks that can be completed within the scope of a day.
Virgo as an earth sign looks for practical results. Ruled by Mercury, our mental activity is enhanced and is best used to sort, discern, problem-solve and pay attention to the specifics of what we are doing. We look for activities that will create better order and balance, like cleaning out a closet, giving ourselves to a new self-care routine, or in tackling the next small project within our career. The key is to focus solely on the next step and the task in front of us and to take life a step at a time.
Creativity and Ingenuity is Readily Available to Us
(Venus square Uranus and Mercury square Jupiter)
We may be bored with the routines already. They have become deadening, rather than nurturing. We are highly encouraged to re-invent the rituals of daily life: from how we prepare a meal or the morning routine that kicks are day off, or how we spend quality time with those we love. It is within the daily routines that we find the well-being and centeredness that gives us the ability to adjust to the unexpected and meet challenges that inevitably arise. So, let us make our daily rituals meaningful and life-enhancing.
Virgo Does Not View Effort as Work, but as Service
Our attitude towards the tasks and routines we undertake is an essential ingredient in feeling satisfaction with our efforts. Rather than falling into patterns of frustration, resentment, or martyrdom about doing what needs to be done, we can source a feeling of care, a desire to take care of something or someone.
The Shadow Expression of Virgo is Worry and Over-analyzing.
We can overthink a situation to the point where we become paralyzed to act or make a decision. Worry about some future outcome and our inability to control it will create anxiety, worry and sleepless nights. The remedy is to harness our mind to focus on the essentials of what can be done today, trusting that if we give ourselves fully to the next step, the next task, we are doing all we can to move towards a better future.
The Virgo Moon is Caught in A Stressful Grand Cross Configuration
Getting rid of everything
That doesn’t matter
Allows you to remember
Who you are. Simplicity
Doesn’t change who you are.
It brings you back
To who you are.
Oh boy is it easy to feel foggy, second guess ourselves, or to let our imagination get the better of us (Moon square the Nodal axis and opposes Neptune/Sun in Pisces). Again, giving our focus to definable small tasks will curb, if not channel, the uncertainty and confusion we may feel around the future or some big decision or probably circumstance that is looming.
Our belief systems as individuals and as a collective are in flux. We grapple with new information about the way the world works and how we have made it work. We may watch cherished truths crumble as new truths emerge. Agreements that form a shared understanding of reality are vacillating and we find ourselves at odds with others at home, in the workplace and in the larger community.
The New Moon begs us to not get ahead of ourselves. It is okay to not know, to not have the answer. Chances are, though, that we do know the next thing we can do! Even if we are in the midst of a large change like moving, change of jobs or a divorce, it is prudent to simply give ourselves to the next task and not let ourselves be overwhelmed by the sheer number of steps ahead of us. It may be beneficial fine tune a plan of action that helps provide clarity on the next steps with the understanding that the overall plan need further adjusting as circumstance and information come to light.
Mars Retrograde (September 9 – November 13)
Fueling the Unfolding Story of 2020
A tree grows
With no sound
But a tree falls
With huge noise.
Destruction has noise
But creation is silent.
This is the power of silence…
Turbulence and instability are a natural side effect of Jupiter, Saturn and Pluto as they travel together in Capricorn throughout 2020. Structures within human culture that lack integrity and are not aligned with natural order and rhythms are being destabilized so that something new can emerge. Leaders and those that benefit from the old order will fight to maintain the status quo and take measures to strengthen their power and wealth as the signs of change increase. There is a battle happening between the old way and a new possible way for humanity to organize and may find ourselves caught in the crossfire.
And Mars now Enters the Year's Story to Heat Things Up Even More
Mars, in fiery Aries, is ready to initiate, trailblaze, and take the bull by the horns with no toleration for limiting circumstances. And yet, while Retrograde this autumn, our pioneering spirit may need to back itself up, review, regroup, re-evaluate and go over territory, plans, and conversations we thought were completed.
We may have felt we were ready to move ahead, even charge forward, but find that our momentum we had hoped for has been lost. The roadblocks we encounter are not meant to simply aggravate us, but are cueing us to slow down and make adjustments to plans so that when Mars goes direct, we are better aligned for a successful outcome.
Mars is Retrograde every Two Years, but this is Not a Typical Mars Retrograde
Now until the end of January, Mars forms a hard aspect to the 3 planetary giants of Jupiter, Saturn and Pluto. Coming up against these three planetary giants we may feel like David facing Goliath, but without the David's plucky courage. It is easy to pinpoint some outer authority that prevents us from moving forward, but chances are we can also identify some pattern within ourselves that undermines or thwarts our best efforts.
On the world stage, we will see increased agitation and demonstration from the people (Mars) towards the authority (Saturn, Pluto) and authority exercising the full extent of its powers to ensure and maintain control. When we become overheated and operate from a sense of urgency, the shadow side of the Mars Retrograde will be expressed through violence and rash action. The media will be filled with continued and escalating examples of this behavior. We can readily see how violent outbursts and demonstrations of power will not reduce the agitation that caused one to act, but only increase it. If we slow down, practice patience, allow the stewing inside us without needing to let off steam, much can be accomplished.
The New Moon Helps Soften the Effects of the Mars Retrograde
As this planet of action moves backward, we may feel we are not moving forward at the pace we had hoped or planned. We may feel an inertia has set in or else be teeming with frustration. We are encountering an obstacle that seems insurmountable, so either the fire within us dwindles or else revvvs up in a way where we feel bottled up. Whichever one of these states we find ourselves in, the solution is the same: slow down, find patience, and give ourselves to a manageable task we can complete in short order. And when this one is done, give ourselves to another task. Sitting on the couch, engaging in activities of escape, or frittering away time will likely only serve to enhance the inertia or frustration.
The New Moon provides the inspiration to move through the Mars Retrograde effect with grace and a feeling of accomplishment at the close of each day. And while Mars is in a stressful relationship with Jupiter, Pluto and Saturn, the New Moon is in a harmonious one with these same planets inspiring a can do attitude. This means that if we can break things down into small project and dedicate ourselves to tasks we can accomplish easily, we find ourselves making progress bit by bit so that one day weeks from now we will wake up and realize we have made giant, even herculean strides forward by having simply taken life one step at a time.
September 22 Fall Equinox
The Sun entering Libra denotes the moment of the Fall Equinox. Libra is about relationship and harmony. When there is imbalance, Libra becomes a strong proponent of Justice.
The planet Mercury (mind) is also in Libra forming a hard aspect to Jupiter, Pluto and Saturn, (just like Mars). Our minds and desires are heated up. We want to challenge the authority or what is stopping us and thwarting a just world. Protests will continue to be fueled with an even greater compulsion to make a stand for what we believe.
With Mars is Retrograde, we can recognize that we are not in a sprint but a marathon. It is beneficial to curb rash impulsive action and lean into the slow long burn of taking a methodical, steadfast approach. Persevering and not wavering will yield better results than one explosive outburst.
The Equinox Sun is in an exact quincunx to Ceres, the dwarf planet that rules agriculture indicating there may be issues with food supply and distribution. In Pisces, issues of flooding or access to clean water may be part of the story for the coming months. Uranus in the earth sign of Taurus (which we have said little about these last months) is slowly and assuredly causing disruption with our material resources and will take center stage in 2021 when it squares off with Saturn.
It's hard to love ordinary things
But you get lots of opportunity
In closing, I find myself thinking of my Grandmother, Margaret who came to this country by herself at 16 when her father died in the midst of the famine in Ireland. As the eldest child and a girl in a household with more mouths to feed than food available, it was decided it was time for her to make her way. As U.S. immigrant, she survived both World Wars and the Spanish Flu. Her husband died from TB he contracted in the WW1 trenches of France leaving her with 6 children to care for in the midst of the Great Depression. Her children all succumbed to an outbreak of Scarlet Fever and she lost her eldest daughter to this pandemic. To get through the Depression she put 3 meals on the table each day, sewed her children's clothes and held down 2 full time jobs.
I venture she made it through all these times and raised her family with a Virgo mindset of one day and one task at a time. She lived to hold and get to know all 24 of her grandchildren. And while I met her long after the hardships were over, what I will always remember is her laugh. Through it all, she retained her sense of humor. So while Virgo is not a sign that gives itself to whimsy, silliness or humor, I would like to offer that as we look at our daily routines, we include one each day that inspires laughter. As comedian Trevor Noah said, “When we laugh, we are not afraid.” This seems like an essential and doable task we can do in the midst of 'chopping wood and carrying water'.
The quote from Grandma Marjorie at the top of the is post could easily have been said by either of my Grandmothers. I wonder if we each have a grandmother in our lives, or an elder that we hold as a grandmother, whose words of wisdom can guide us through the times of uncertainty and flux, and we can draw upon the memory of their lives and the wisdom they forged over decades of facing the beauty and fierceness of living.
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