Tread Softly—New Moon in Virgo—August 27th
Wave upon wave of searing heat baked the land this summer. Now a jolt of fiery foliage, burgundy and gold. The rowan and holly are fruiting. The hawthorn bedecked with festive red berries. A false autumn, they say. Nature in shock.
Tonight, as a lightless new Virgo moon wraps herself tenderly in the black shawl of the night, we may be experiencing our own false autumn. This may be a time of our own shedding of leaves, emptying out, as we leave a job, a home, a relationship, accept that a source of income has withered.
This new Virgo moon comes at a time of transition in the seasons, accompanies us on our own tender transition as we withdraw from the rough edges of the world and rest a while.
War-god Mars confronts the moon; an aspect that is often associated with irritability, even anger, as tensions surface in our relationships. The sharp sword of Mars slices and wounds, often quite literally, with cuts and accidents, and in Mercury-ruled Gemini, with words that land painfully. Lunar symbolism encompasses women’s issues, and this lunation mirrors rampant misogyny, violence and cruelty that is directed against women, and on a more subtle level, the violence we inflict upon ourselves, our bodies. If we choose to embrace the symbolism of this New Moon, we could use the heated energy of Mars like a poultice, to draw deeply on our courage as we reach out and repair a rupture in a relationship, sending life-affirming Love energy to all living things.
Tonight, relational Venus opposes Saturn and squares erratic Uranus, two archetypes which signify the disorientating turbulence of social and political upheaval as energy costs soar, interest rates rise, and even those who are employed now queue at food banks. Uranus turned Retrograde on August 24th as Ukraine celebrated 30 years of Independence now a matter of life and death while Western nations recoil in discomfort from the unspeakable horrors of this war.
Virgo is a transitional sign. As this New Moon brushes across the imprint of our own birth chart, we attune to the silent cycles of the natural world, we assimilate and digest the experiences we have absorbed, turn our focus inwards. We tread softly on the earth, and on each other’s dreams, as W.B, Yeats implores so poignantly in his poem, The Cloths of Heaven.
The Venus/Saturn opposition this month emphasises our human need for consistency and commitment and Mercury in Venus-ruled Libra underscores our deep desire to relate, to matter, to be seen and to be deeply listened to. Mercury turns Retrograde (September 9th – October 2nd) prompting us to trust our intuition, to shift our perspective, to turn things around and focus on what is right and good about ourselves and those around us.
There are six planets moving Retrograde now, drawing us back to shadow energy, the pain body where misunderstandings and the old eye-for-an-eye vibrational energy still linger, and the compelling need now to treat each other kindly, hone our innate capacity for empathic connection, cultivate and nurture enduring friendships, stitch together those bonds of connection that may be frayed or broken. Author Elizabeth Gilbert who has a moon in Virgo, describes our human longing for connection so beautifully, “to be fully seen by somebody, then, and be loved anyhow—this is a human offering that can border on miraculous.”
As the sun and moon awaken our Virgo planets or illuminate that part of our birth chart that is Virgo, we may feel insecure, unappreciated. Our industriousness and attention to detail may not get the recognition or financial reward we need to pay the bills. Virgo’s shadowy traits emerge when we stumble into the seductive archetype of “The Harlot/Prostitute”, when we sell ourselves short, when we don’t honour our commitmentsto ourselves, when we collapse into the fear of survival, and clutch onto security at any cost. When we serve others—and like the foolish Virgin—neglect to fill the oil or trim the wick of our own lantern.
At this time of transition, we may be seduced by the security of the old ways. We may try to continue as we did before. Yet there is another way. “Where do we begin? Begin with the heart,” wrote anchoress Julian of Norwich who was walled up in a small cell built onto the church for most of her life. In so many ways, this woman who took on the name of the church she was quite literally attached to, epitomises the humility and reclusiveness of the Virgo archetype.
Dr Mary Wellesley writes, “at the moment of an anchoress’ enclosure, a priest would recite the office of the dead, which was the set of prayers said at a person’s funeral. This symbolised that the recluse was dead to the world.”
The exclusive mens’ club, which was the medieval church, was a dangerous place for an intelligent woman. “Julian” called herself a “simple creature that cowde no letter,” yet she courageously wrote Revelations of Divine Love. It was seminal writing, a daring act of self-expression, which could have been construed as heresy. “All shall be well, and all shall be well and all manner of thing shall be well,” Julian of Norwich is quoted as saying. Even as we feel the slow suck of apathy, a sense of numbness or hopelessness, the inconstant moon will shine resplendant once more; her energies fortified by the light of the Sun as she waxes and grows fat and full again.
All shall be well. So let’s rest awhile, then begin again, with tender, open hearts.
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