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Here we go, into a new September, with the second decan of Virgo beginning about two hours after sunset, at 8:17 pm EDT. With the pink and salmon and orange hues of twilight fading from the horizon and the shimmering stars appearing, the Sun leaves behind a decan it rules, and enters the middle face, where the orange glow comes not from sunset, but from the forge-fires near the anvil, where cherry-red iron receives the hammer-blows: a thing of beauty is about to be born, but through sweat and forge-heat, rather than through the organic union of sunshine and soil.
The Greco-Roman era assigned these next ten days to the Moirai —the three Fates. Clotho who spins the thread, Lachesis who measures it, and Atropos who wields the iron scissors, together measuring the mortal lives, and weaving them into the tapestry of the world. As a secondary power, Hephaestus the smith-god was also celebrated at this time — whose works, more closely aligned with mortal activity, carried more sense and personal meaning into the world than the merciless and implacable Fates. Thus we have the necessary work of crafting clothes as protection against the elements, standing side by side with the forces of tool manufacturing in the forge of Hephaestus.
We look briefly at the Tarot deck, where the card assigned to this Decan is the nine of pentacles — which Pamela Colman Smith so ably represented as a woman hawking in a garden while the pentacles bloom on a tree. The woman does not appear to care who or what labored in her garden to create such treasures; instead she engages in sport and play in a state of luxury and enjoyment. Herein lies the great dichotomy of Virgo II’s power — that some heavy work, some lighter effort, and some idleness fall into every life; and that the heat of the forge, the hammer blows of the smith, and the quenching trough must follow in perpetual order.
The Ascendant is in Pisces, making Jupiter in Capricorn (in the 11th house) the ruler of the chart. The lordly planet in royal blue reigns unevenly in exile from the domain of Saturn, where he occupies the middle decan, The Pyramid. All of us are seeking to create structures that allow us to engage in the social activities we remember from the past: dinner parties and movie-going, bowling and bar-crawling. In the 11th house the Jovial one receives visitors joyously in his isolation. Many of us will risk a visit or two with friends in upcoming days, and jollity may ensue.
However, the Saturn-Pluto conjunction (in the decan called The Throne), square to the red warrior Mars in Aries (in the Burning Rose), reminds us that we have duties and responsibilities to attend to, no matter how ugly or unpleasant we may find them to be. The square indicates conflict, which invites us to pause, take stock, and regard our position carefully — we’re still in the midst of a pandemic, and a fraught political situation. Passions may flare in discussions about money, or in the relationships between friends and wealth. Cold duty and poisonous attitudes lurk in every discussion about politics and economics, and your own personal finances may take a hit from such discussions.
Mars has another square too, to Venus in Cancer (in the Overflowng Cup). The green queen occupies the last decan of a cooling and gracious water sign, and prepares to enter hungry, pompous and fiery Leo. The Moon in Pisces (in The Labyrinth) reigns over Venus, as Jupiter reigns over the Moon, and as Saturn is the final ruler over all. There is a sense here, of wandering around trying to find a way forward, on the one hand; while overindulging and luxuriating in the pleasures of the moment. The path forward will become clear, have no fear — but recognize that your creative talents may soon be in the spotlight.
Whenever three corners of a square are occupied by planets in such strong configurations to one another, we look to the empty corner for resolution and solution. That’s in Libra in the 8th house, where the Lot of Fortune sits at 0° Libra 43′, in the decan called The Sword and Blindfold, a reference to the goddess Justice. But the last corner of the square sits two decans away, in the Gyroscope. We can thus see that present circumstances can’t resolve until certain matters of law and order are addressed — we can’t spin up to a new stability, without resolving matters of what justice sounds like and feels like, without dealing fairly and responsibly with others. The blindfold symbolism should be obvious — justice has to be the same for everyone, regardless of outward appearances.
Just over the line, in Virgo and the seventh house, the Descendant and Mercury occupy the last decan called The Sarcophagus. People tend to forget that a sarcophagus is a technology of sorts, by which the dead are transformed into ew life — and that’s not a typo: the life that emerges from a rotting corpse is often a source of personal revulsion to those who knew the old person and believed in the old ways; but until we accept this new ‘otherness’, the new world is going to look mightily strange. Jeremy Irons, in Margin Call, says with cadaverous certainty, “there’s three ways to get rich here: to be first, to be smart, or to cheat. I don’t cheat, and I’m not smart. That leaves us one option.” So it is here — the first to communicate clearly a vision of the future that we can all live with, the first to present a clear sense of what justice sounds and feels like, and can articulate that presentation clearly, is likely to be victorious. Just … don’t show them the maggots that have to do the work of picking the bones of the old world clean. OK? Some work is better done underground and out of sight.
The Midheaven and the South Node both occupy the last decan of Sagittarius — suggesting we’re all beating the dead horse of our careers, trying to make them move forward. The bones of what was, will not carry us. Likewise, the Imum Coeli and the South Node occupy the last decan of Gemini in the fourth house, The Executioner’s Sword, square to Mercury and the Descendant — it’s time to kill certain dreams about what home looks like, and start to speak and write the shape of your new household.
Which brings us to the outermost planets, and the innermost. In the third house of Taurus, Uranus keeps inching backwards from the second decan (the Yoni-Lingam) toward the first which is The Plough and Furrow. Some readers may be experiencing an ongoing revolution or upheaval in their sexual mores and romantic relationships; or witnessing such changes in the relationships of their close circle of friends and extended family: divorces, break-ups, hookups, new polyamorous relationships. Any long-term, stable relationships may be up for a significant review between now and the end of September — when Uranus’s retrograde begins to indicate a need for our relationships to shift toward long-term planning for survival rather than simply mutual enjoyment. This revolutionary planet trines the Sun and sextiles the Moon — indicating that our higher minds are mulling over these issues and hammering out a picture of what the new relationship-space might look like, and then figuring out how to reshape reality to conform with that mental picture.
The almost-full Moon in Pisces, meanwhile, occupies the decan called the Labyrinth: every issue we face touches some aspect of the self, not just in its outer folds and layers, but in the innermost secret folds where our most subversive thoughts arise. Neptune‘s retrograde presence in the middle decan, The Net, presents a deceitful or self-delusional opinion for us — that our connections to the wider world through the internet are teaching us something practically helpful, worthwhile, and profound — when in truth they may be binding us to something more complex and less useful. Entanglement of ourselves in a web of unusual falsehoods is one of the stories of the coming ten days, and indeed much of the rest of the year.
Turning again to the Moon, we see that she is in the 27th Mansion — traditionally a strong placement for self-delusion and the causation of accidental evil: destruction of resources, damage to infrastructure, and wastes of time. In the course of shaping our actions over the next ten days, we ought to be alert, for one of the things forged on an anvil are the chains of slavery — our higher minds, in dreaming up long-term solutions for the challenges of the immanent present, may easily craft our own middle-term binding. However, by sidereal motion, the Moon is in the 25th Mansion — a placement well aligned for the creation and nurturing of gardens, for the planting of trees, and for the awakening of a relationship with the non-human persons that form the natural world. By sextile with Uranus, this promise to join the web of all life, and to be a friend of Earth, is truly revolutionary.
Horoscopes by Rising Sign
Let’s now turn our attention to the horoscopes by rising sign. In each of the paragraphs that follows, I try to understand the chart in two ways: its relationship to the Ascendant by house, and what houses the chart would be if the listed sign was the Ascendant. This reveals the relationships that appear to be present.
Pisces: Your capacity for self-delusion is at a serious high right now; your career is in a rocky place though you yourself may not be able to see it, and home is the critical motivating factor in all you do. You’ve done your best to maintain whatever sort of self-isolation you and your pod may need — but you’re going to need more than this to sustain you. A conversation with your partner/spouse or most significant friends will help, but you still have some large decisions to make — and your wants or wishes may not be the deciding factor. Consider the best interests of your ‘children’ too — both the live little ones and the projects you consider your ‘babies’.
Aries: Has the cash burned a hole in your pocket yet? Or are your pocket, and head, hot from processing all the possibilities? A close family member may be going through a divorce or significant relationship disruption, and could use a friendly ear. You may also be experiencing a messy leadership situation at work; activating your network to at least explore new jobs possibilities may be worthwhile — but more schooling or another certification is not in your best interests at the moment. Your partner, if you have one, is going to have some substantial, mental heavy-lifting to do at work, but the results are likely to be financially valuable to both of you.
Taurus: You’re going through a reorganization of your self and life that will take years yet, but it’s not too early to rethink relationships in general, or in particular… or to think clearly about what you want out of the rest of your life, especially as regards your intimate community. You have more money than you’re used to for fulfilling your dreams, but your method for making money come to you (or your partner’s method) may not be up to the task of fulfilling the largest of them. You’re taking the lead on establishing travel or vacation plans, but a romantic or business partner sits uneasily on the throne while on these jaunts. Fun in small doses is great for them, but they still have business plans to execute, and your overall fortunes depend on them doing a good job.
Gemini: You’re having significant dreams about following through on a vision of home, as an extension of self; while a business or romantic partner is trying to push more energy at their career (and probably failing spectacularly). If you like this person, it’s worth sitting down with them, and explaining, as clearly as you can, what’s destroyed and what’s salvageable, and what can be reassessed for value in six months — after you’ve found a way to have some happiness among the ruins. This doesn’t mean wild excess when it comes to spending your money, or theirs — lead from economy here, not first-class. Cut off that friend who’s so creatively dramatic, and tune out the deceit and misrepresentation that’s become so common at the office. Use your solo time in a more renegade fashion — and plan a long-range future that builds from what you know is true, now.
Cancer: If there’s a surprise in store in the next ten days, it’s likely revolving around a stunning new creative effort, or one of your kids succeeding at something big. Either of these could be joined to communications or business project or an increase in awareness of how all things are interrelated. But don’t just immediately take off in retreat to your meditation couch or or your yoga mat, even if that’s where you want to be; there’s a rough decision to be made about the office and the money you make from there, a decision to make about school in the fall — and let’s not forget that a partner may be embroiled in leadership roles in the wider community that can’t simply be left behind. You have familial responsibilities of your own, too — and this may require that you ignore some of your official daily schedule in favor of the people you really care about.
Leo: You’re going to have to start forging a new path to financial success in the next ten days, which probably starts with getting creative and fun about how and who you network with. Unlike a lot of other people, you also have to spend some time working on the execution of the nice parts of the job you have now — you’ve had to delegate too much of the fun bits to others, who may be acting in your name but clearly don’t enjoy that work as much as you do; claiming back that fun may be important. You’ve cultivated a reputation as a homebody this last while, and on the one hand that’s good — but a few risk-sensitive forays for career-purposes would do you a world of good; just don’t overdo it.
Virgo: The next ten days are likely to be complicated for you, as the Sun traverses the middle decan of your own sign, and highlights themes of both creation-by-fire, and partnership. The core message is that you must find ways to create value from your own labors. The secondary message is that you’re relying on a partner (real or imagined) to do more of the work of caring for you both than that entity is capable of doing. This puts your housing arrangements in some difficulty; it creates an unexpected tension born of envy with a female friend; it puts pressure on you to be the ‘cruise director’ dreaming up entertainments for yourself and this real or imagined partner; and it creates opportunities for dangerous mischief in how you relate to other people. Get outside, and walk in nature — do things that activate your reality meters and help you re-calibrate to what is honest — put stock and value the learned skills that serve you in the long term.
Libra: Your good fortune in the next ten days may come from giving your partner — business or romantic, real or imagined — the space and time to work on their business or career goals. This doesn’t mean abandoning or closing the communication channels, only treating them as something to be used responsibly and with gracious care. Your own career efforts require exercising creative gifts that stand in opposition to what the powers-that-be may want, and fighting for those ideas against mere accounting; remind the bookkeepers that some beans are poisonous until well-washed. A family member goes through a minor shakeup that turns into a significant trauma upon the re-telling. A servant or employee lies to you about some significant job — or maybe you’re covering up your own half-assed labors at the office? Either way, own up to the truth, even if only to yourself — the financial implications may turn out to be less dire if you do so.
Scorpio: A work trip may be the defining event of the next ten days, but don’t expect it to go smoothly, even if it is mission-critical, or offers opportunities to visit a friend with amorous intentions. Maybe especially — your romantic circumstances are ripe for insurgency, or even outright mutiny. For one thing, your reputation for extravagance is probably running up against certain hard limits on your bank account; for another, you have new familial or neighborhood duties that are currently hitting limits both calendrical and structural. You may be engaged in a bit too much self- deceit as well — your pleasures and preferences are out of alignment with how the world works right now, and your ambitions are not aligned with your actual work-output. More education, and more effort to produce commercially-viable work, is necessary — and it wouldn’t hurt to ask some friends for business advice. Expect that advice to include more time doing the work — no output is successful without input, and throughput: your labor that transforms the raw materials into the right stuff, is the natural law of things.
Sagittarius: Your eminence and renown is taking a hit from how much you flog your own services and abilities. It’s not that you won’t get work, but constantly offering those services to your extended aquaintance-network is setting you up for a potentially-toxic situation. Review your price structure for friends, and work to widen your client base too. At the same time, your home and living arrangements are under review: you’re suffering from some delusions about what your abode could be — and it’s worth going beyond hearth and garth (house and yard), to the old idea of ‘kith and kin’, the land and people with whom you have relationship. This may mean pursuing a passion for a relationship with the earth itself, or it may mean overturning some of your notions about what’s sensual; and you’ll have to be a better executor for your partner’s plans and dreams, as well; their career and professional goals are more likely to lead to financial success than your own. Learning to get comfortable with that reality will be challenging, but it’s worth acknowledging to at least some of your allies — and being blind to that reality could be sharply costly. Own up to the truth.
Capricorn: Friends and allies are likely looking to you as a planner and creator-of structures for them… and that can cause you to feel both responsibility, and resentment: “Even though I won’t do anything that someone else has organized, because they’re bad at it… Why must I plan everything?” If you have a partner, that person may be experiencing one of their most creative and emotionally rich periods in their lives — and you probably wish you could have some of that energy for your own professional life. You’re also probably hiding a few secrets from friends, too — and things may be a lot uglier and messier at home than you’ve been letting on. Are your attachments to drugs and drink out of control, or is your enjoyment of food and sex much more pronounced than usual, and are you hungering for these kinds of connections (or disconnections) more than before March? Might be worth casting some sunlight on these subjects, and taking a good look at yourself in a mirror. At the same time, a lengthy conversation with your partners (business and romantic) about their larger goals and objectives would be useful; and don’t forget a re-evaluation of your worth to your employer, either.
Aquarius: You’re probably feeling a bit like you’re waiting in the wings, hoping for a chance to come on stage. DOn’t worry, your time is coming. In the meantime, take advantage of the sense of solitude and peace you’ve got at the moment; enjoy the retreat while it lasts. The next ten days do bring a fair number of disruptions and challenges to your money-and-property: there’s potentially a major effort to scam you or steal your identity that has a chance of succeeding; plan to spend some butt-in-seat time sorting the wild mess out. A family member or close friend may cause significant uproar under your roof, but a long-time dream may finally be possible. If there’s some kind of family business on your partner’s side, it may be worth asking how you fit into their organizational or succession plans — learning what jobs might become needful, and researching them ahead of time, is better than stumbling into the program blindly or unawares.
I now have a Patreon account for those who want to support this column as it continues its second year. I use Patreon funds (as well as my own funds) to support artists and artisans and thinkers that I regard as contributing to the well-being of the world.
I use iPhemeris for my charting software, and screenshot it to make charts. I want to thank the team that develops iPhemeris for the addition of Terms and Decans to their charts, appearing here for the first time!
I use Christopher Warnock‘s The Mansions of the Moon as the basis of my Moon placement delineations, and Austin Coppock‘s 36 Faces as the basis of much of my planetary delineations. Neither gentleman endorses me. My own book, A Full Volume of Splendour and Starlight, is now available as PDF download from my Etsy website.
Any errors in these columns are my own.
If you’d like to schedule a consultation with me, you can find additional information on the Services and Classes page.
If you want to read some of my other astrologically-oriented poetry, To the Mansions of the Moon is a collection of hymns to the angels of the Mansions mentioned in these columns. For the Behenian Stars is a collection of hymns to the first/brightest sixteen stars. The Sun’s Paces are hymns to the thirty-six Hellenistic-era deities and ascended souls of the Greco-Egyptian Decans-calendar. While not astrological, Festae contains hymns to some of the older Roman gods and spirits from the calendar created by Numa Pompilius, the second ancient King of Rome.