The Bittersweet Harvest Moon

Welcome to the fall season! The Sun shifted into Libra this past Wednesday, September 23rd, marking the Autumnal Equinox in the northern hemisphere. We are at the midpoint of the zodiacal wheel, which begins on the Vernal Equinox with  the Sun in Aries. Being the midpoint speaks volumes about the sign Libra– it’s a quality of energy that involves balance, consideration, and compromise.Libra innately strives for harmony, trying to make space for each individual to feel at ease. There is usually a bit more of a cooperative vibe in the air as the Sun passes through the 7th sign.

Something can also be a little sad about this time of year. As the strength of the summer Sun fades, we’re reminded of the approaching winter– and symbolically, that resonates with the passing of time and a phase of life ending. We all grow more internal, and with that, more absorbed in our own memories and past. I think most people would be quick to say that they love the autumn– the crisp air, changing leaves, and pumpkin cuteness all contribute to a cozy and sweet season. But there’s also a little nostalgia, a nod to the rear view mirror. Particularly in the northern part of our country, where we start seeing the seasonal shift in sunlight and darkness… it becomes a heavier time, where we know the light is fleeting, and our minds are thrown back into other times gone past. People we’ve lost, opportunities that have slipped away– they can feel really close when the veil is thin, and it seems to be harshly thin at this time of twilight on the yearly calendar.

Today (Sunday) is a big day for the Moon. First there’s a total lunar eclipse, while the Moon is at it’s closest possible point in orbit (known as a SuperMoon.) Then it will oppose the Libra Sun from the fire sign Aries at 10:50 p.m EDT, forming the Harvest Full Moon.  The Moon relates to our emotional and instinctively reactive sides, and in Aries that can potentially be hasty or overly aggressive. Since Full Moons tend to increase the intensity of our feelings, this Aries energy can propel things outward without much thought. It’s a good day to take a step back from total engagement, remaining somewhat focused on our own internal world. Change is tangible at this shift in seasons– we feel it in the air temperatures, we see it in the natural world around us. Honoring the cycle of the year and mentally embracing the change helps our nervous systems to relax into it. So enjoy the eclipse and take the time to welcome autumn of 2015!

( Image by Itokyl (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons)

 

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Root of the Problem

Criticism is easy to come by these days. Or maybe that’s the way it’s always been. Humans are innately flawed, and perhaps one of those many flaws is that we embrace the chance to analyze and judge one another.

The Moon entered Virgo today, joining first Jupiter and then the Sun in this perceptive and grounded earth sign. The Moon will form an exact conjunction with the Sun at 2:41 a.m. EDT Sunday, forming a New Moon at 20 degrees Virgo. Astrologically speaking, that translates to a whole of pressure to make sense of things, to get a handle on where our lives are going. Virgo seeks functionality without waste, so we can be particularly irritable right now with anything that seems to be unnecessary or mistaken. This is great for problem-solving, but somewhat nitpicky when it comes to other people or situations that are getting on our nerves. There can be a critical nature to Virgo, one that holds “setting things straight” in high esteem.

Sunflower

Adding to the hypersensitivity to what is going or what could go wrong, we also have Mercury slowing down to a waddle, preparing to station retrograde on Thursday. This last Mercury retrograde of 2015 occurs September 17 through October 9, extending Mercury’s stay in air sign Libra. Generally speaking, this retrograde involves a reevaluation of negotiations in both business and personal relationships. It’s time to be particularly considerate of the way we present our words to one another, as a lot can be misconstrued. Mercury formed the first of 3 squares to Pluto on September 9 (the next will happen on the 24th and October 22), bringing up larger toxic problems lying below the surface. This lends itself to working out old issues with people because we’re supported in the search for actual health, and in the process purging the dysfunctional stuff we can clearly see is not working for us.

One last planetary note for this upcoming week: Saturn re-enters Sagittarius. We got a taste of this in December when Saturn first entered the mutable fire sign, which you can read about here. Due to its retrograde, Saturn went back into Scorpio, throwing us back into some emotional depths. As it settles into Sagittarius for a good long stay, we will enter a new phase of growth surrounding our personal philosophies. It’s important that we are honest with ourselves, in whatever way the term “living your truth” means to you. The next few years will stretch our understanding of faith, integrity, and honesty. Saturn likes to test the strength of what we may think is solid.

The good news is that although we may be very impatient with all that is wrong, we have an enormous amount of support on our side to actively work towards solutions. Mercury retrograde reminds us to be gentle and considerate, so that the rifts we are trying to mend don’t get wider. But we are operating under some pragmatic and solution-oriented energy that urges us to mend what we can.