Planetary Weather for September 2008 – Moving Forward while Holding Back

As all life seems to be, September strikes me as a month filled with dichotomies. Are you feeling it? Are we seeing it in the world? Early in the month both Jupiter and Pluto ceased their long-term backwards motion and moved Direct! Yet, coming up on the 24th, the trickster planet Mercury will begin its tri-annual backwards motion. As you’re pushing forward with one hand, you’re holding back with the other! Additionally, Jupiter and Saturn, two radically different energies are combining efforts for the whole of September, creating a background of pushing the limits toward a new future while simultaneously trying to maintain the status-quo. You can see this clearly in the political arena!

Moving forward:  Jupiter moving Direct frees you to see and experience greater optimism, to make positive advances and to continue your growth and expansion. Jupiter was Retrograde from early May until early September. During this period, you most likely felt that whatever area in your life was being impacted by Jupiter’s backward motion needed more effort and more time than you originally imagined or allotted. This area probably brought you less joy than it did originally. (The area of your life is determined by the House occupied by transiting Jupiter in your personal birth chart) But now you can once again move toward progress with optimism. What a relief!

Moving forward:  Pluto, planet of death, transformation and rebirth, the planet of shared resources (and debt), of magical, profound and subtle healing, was Retrograde from the beginning of April until September 8. With this newly direct movement of Pluto comes the forward momentum for deeper transformation in whatever area of your life that’s being impacted. When Pluto was Retrograde, it could have enhanced the feeling of being out of control of the transited area of your life. Powerlessness is often experienced with this retrograde. You may have felt fearful and were required to do some soul searching. Something in the realm that Pluto Retrograde touched needed to die away, to be reborn in a purer form; but the death has felt too long coming and painfully difficult. The depths to which Pluto can take us might blind us to the true purpose of the required transformation until a later time, when we’ve had the chance to process fully. The shadow now begins to move into the light as Pluto starts to move forward. A release is imminent. 

Holding back:  Another interesting dichotomy is reflected in the trine between Jupiter and Saturn during the entire month. Jupiter expresses, while Saturn reflects. Jupiter expands while Saturn contracts. Jupiter loves excess, while Saturn appreciates frugality. Jupiter represents wealth, while Saturn represents poverty. The combination of these two very different energies can operate harmoniously (as indicated by the trine) creating an atmosphere of restrained and careful positive growth that has the potential to be maintained over time. Think about what’s happening in your life, and ponder on what areas you could best utilize this type of subtle and lasting expansion. Seek new territory and wax philosophical…but still do the work! Throughout September you may be able to express a sense of optimism while being equally grounded by your sense of reality. The downside of this combination, if you aren’t able to utilize it positively, could find you being pulled back and forth between optimism and pessimism, trust and mistrust, or gain and loss.

Holding back:  Mercury goes Retrograde (yes – again!) on Sept. 24 in the sign of Libra, and stays Retrograde until Oct. 15. Mercury Retrograde in Libra bids us to ponder the question, “What is the quality of the relationships in my life?” It’s not so much about how you feel in your relationships. It’s more about how you participate in them. What are the patterns? What techniques do you always use that could stand some true revamping? What sort of creative or social patterns do you generally employ in relationship? Do they work? Do they suck? We’ll probably be given some twists and turns to work out in these areas, slowing us down enough so that we actually spend some time reflecting on these tough questions. Don’t be surprised if you find it more difficult than usual to relate and communicate during this 3-week period. Internalize a bit, keep to yourself more than usual, watch and reflect. Socially this retrograde will be very interesting! To watch this energy at play in the ways that the Presidential Candidates relate to each other could prove quite frustrating. The Retrograde will end less than 3 weeks before Election Day. I feel pretty confident in suggesting that as we move through this period traditionally associated with difficult communication, our own knowledge of the true mind-sets of these opposing forces, and perhaps even our own, will not become much clearer. We probably won’t have any real clarity on who is pulling forward and who is losing ground until about 2 weeks before The Day. I even expect some camp-switching very late into the race. But, for the last week of September (and throughout the Retrograde), focus on yourself and how you can change patterns and habits in your own relationships. Don’t push; simply learn.

Happy (and Challenging) Full Moon!

On Sept. 15th at 5:13 EDT we experienced the Full Harvest Moon. This is traditionally the Full Moon that falls closest to the Autumn Equinox, which occurs as the Sun moves into Libra on the 22nd. Happy Fall! The Full Moon is always a time to reflect on our accomplishments and to see where we have achieved clarity and resolution. It’s also a time of tremendous emotional energy. This Full Moon in Pisces, opposite the Sun in Virgo, is ULTRA charged emotionally, operating with the influence of the radical awakener Uranus, and the powerful transformer Pluto. What does this mean to us? That it’s time illuminate new ways of serving the greater good, using both our ability to discern and judge as well as valuing and working toward our highest ideals; time to see the details of our lives as the bridge to understanding the unity of all life and our role within that total fabric. Uranus will demand change and unleash the maverick mentality (change, maverick…heard those words anywhere lately?), while Pluto will either powerfully destroy or heal the putrid matter that still clings to the progress that is rushing us toward the future. Virgo’s enlightened task is diligent, practical service, but when in shadow, is hypercritical and slandering. (Slander: an untruthful statement about a person that harms the person’s reputation or standing in the community. Seems to be ALOT of that going around!) Pisces’ enlightened task is to imagine the ultimate utopia and unify all disparate sources into one. Yet, when in shadow, Pisces is confused and falls into escapist tendencies. We can clearly see both the light and the shadow sides of these two forces operating strongly in the political race toward the presidency. This Full Moon will mirror full light onto the intricacies and the idealism of both parties, and push them to reconcile reason and logic with chaos and the numinous. In order for one party to win and the other to lose, one must retreat farther into the shadow, and one must step fully forward into the light. Work with this same symbolism in your own life during this Full Moon. What did you begin in March that is either coming to light or stepping into the shadow world at this time? Use the energy of this Full Moon to harvest what is working, to cut away what is not, to boldly and radically step into new emotional territory and to cut away what is dead and transform what still has heart.

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become.

Steve Jobs’ 2005 Commencement Address at Stanford