Some things in life cannot be fixed. They can only be carried―Megan Devine
As the year begins to tip and turn and balance briefly between light and shadow, V-shaped flocks of migrating birds follow ancient pathways in the skies, sweeping over holes torn in the earth and shards of cities split open. A Virgo Full Moon reflects the sunlight on March 18th pulling at the tides, tugging at our hearts as throngs of traumatised people cross borders into the unknown, and millions of compassionate hearts carry them into their new lives.
The symbolism of the Virgo archetype is strong medicine if we align ourselves with what must be healed within ourselves so that we can assimilate and digest the ultrafast events that pulse across our newsfeeds and penetrate our psyches. Virgo moves us to engage in practical ways with the world around us, to be present and willing to do what we must to serve others as the collective consciousness pulsates with profound sadness. Yet for those of us who have carry the salty pearl of sorrow in our heart, we may feel alienated in a world that wants us to “move on” after devastating loss.
Psychologist Megan Devine speaks to our culture of pervasive positivity, the fast-food platitudes we use to by-pass unresolved wounds, divert painful feelings into “spiritually enlightened” activity. “There is a pain in this world that you can’t be cheered out of. You don’t need solutions. You don’t need to move on from your grief. You need someone to see your grief, to acknowlege it. You need someone to hold your hands while you stand there in blinking horror, staring at the hole that was your life.”
This Virgo Full Moon opposes a gauzy Sun/Neptune conjunction in nebulous Pisces, heightening our sensitivity, dissolving facts, blurring fiction, fusing by trine with Pluto, that planetary archetype that strips us of our innocence, drags us into the underworld and strips us of all that we hold most dear. As she spills her silvery light over a troubled world, she follows the annual Sun/Neptune union (13th March at 23° Pisces) and heralds the meeting of the once-in-every-thirteen-years Neptune and Jupiter conjunction in Pisces (exact on April 12th.) This is the last lunation before the Equinox on March 20th. Astrologer Dane Rudhyar’s Sabian Symbol for this Moon is “A bald headed man who has seized power.”
Some things just can’t be fixed. Yet Virgo is a mutable, transitional sign, bringing our attention to what is growing underground in the spring and what falls to the earth in the autumn. At this time of the equinox (March 20th) light and shadow are as binary as the choices we make when we can’t or won’t see the spaces in-between, when we allow ourselves to stay distracted, to look for rainbows before we have fully felt the sting of the rain. As the seasons change, we may sense a new momentum, a desire to springclean, rearrange, prioritise, prepare for a new rhythm in our inner lives. Mercury-ruled Virgo is also the alchemist and the magician who uses ingenuity and clear vision to guide us across the threshold of change as we stay present to our own grief, or acknowlege the grief of another.
Joseph Campbell called the Magician archetype “the mentor with supernatural aid” and as Mercury moves through Pisces, we may be re-imagining our lives, prioritising self-care and spiritual practice as the spoils of war impinge on the poorest in society; rising fuel and food prices prompt politicians to make pacts with new tyrants. Neptune (oil and gas) and Jupiter (high hopes) infuse the zeitgeist with compassion and altruism; amplify grief and loss; trail clouds of hype, euphoria, and befuddled delusion. Life assumes a trance-like quality as we sip a latte and imagine what it must be like to be sheltering in a damp basement as missiles rain from the skies.
Yesterday, as the Moon entered Virgo, Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s release from imprisonment plunges her into the light, out of the shadow. In 2016, Nazanin became a pawn in a political power struggle after visiting Iran for three days to stay with her parents. In the symbolic language of astrology, her transits speak of redemption (transiting Neptune and Sun opposing her natal Sun/North Node in Virgo, transiting Mars/Venus in Aquarius square her Scorpio Venus/Uranus and transiting Uranus opposing her Venus/Uranus—quite literally, freedom!)
This month, the primordial gods of Love and War, Venus and Mars, are sailing in tandem across the heavens in the humanitarian sign of Aquarius, activating the degree point of the Saturn/Jupiter Conjunction of December 21st, 2020, that initiated a new era for humankind. The Venus/Mars combination that lasts until April is a potent union. In myth, Aphrodite (Venus) and Ares (Mars) have many children: Phobos (fright and panic) Deimos (terror), as well as Eros and Harmonia. In Roman times, altars to Mars were placed outside city gates. As we sip our herbal tea, we can project our own aggression outwards, wage war internally as neurosis, or carry these opposing forces in our hearts, invite them inside our own psychic city gates.
When the Full Moon awakens our Virgo planets or illuminates that part of our birth chart that is Virgo, shadowy traits emerge as we stumble into the seductive archetype of “The Harlot/Prostitute.” We sell ourselves short, fail honour the commitments we make to ourselves, collapse into the fear of survival and clutch onto security at any cost. In our service to others, like the foolish Virgin, we neglect to fill the oil or trim the wick of our own lantern.
At this time of transition, we humbly begin again, staying present with our grief, rooted and connected to our deepest source.
“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 and activates the Magician, the Earth Goddess, the Warrior in us all.
Let’s begin with the heart.
“here is the deepest secret nobody knows
here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart
i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)
For astrology consultations, please get in touch: Ingrid@trueheartwork.com