The horoscopes of Decan I of any sign are free to everyone, but Decans II and III are available to supporters of my Patreon account at the $3 or greater tiers. Deborah Sam’s generosity through Ko-Fi.com has made all the Virgo columns available to all readers for free. I have closed readings through most of August, September and Octber due to my upcoming wedding. My Almanac is also available! It’s for sale through my Etsy website as a PDF.
September 2, 2021 at 2:07 am sees the start of Virgo II — the decan that Austin Coppock titled The Hammer and Anvil, and which the ancient Geeks of Alexandria associated with the Moirai, the Three Fates. In the descending triplicity scheme, the second decan of Virgo is administered by Venus, supporting the feminine power to create and develop through assemblage and recombination. The Greeks of ancient Alexandria also celebrated the Moirai at this time — whom we know as the Three Fates.
This hidden wisdom of women’s power to create and make is perhaps nowhere more clearly expressed than in the Moirai, whom the Greeks called Clotho the spinner of thread, Lachesis the measurer, and Atropos the cutter. The idea of the Fates as women spinning, weaving, and cutting threads exists in nearly all of the Indo-European cultures of Europe — from the Norns of Scandinavian myth to the Moirai of Greece, it’s a common image. It’s an image of industriousness, as well as one of fate. Virginia Postrel, in her relatively new book Fabric of Civilization, points out that women spinning, weaving and sewing was practically the definition of industriousness prior to the Industrial Revolution in the 1700s and 1800s AD — because the work of providing thread for weaving and making garments, blankets, and even sails and cordage for ships was constant and voracious. The destiny of mortals was tied up (see the string/fabric pun there) in the work of weaving, and the work of weaving was inseparable from the making of thread. If the women were interrupted from that work for too long, people would freeze in the cold, or die from exposure, or a trade or a raiding ship would be lost at sea. If the darning wasn’t done or the weaving wasn’t finished or the thread wasn’t made, the world as mortals knew it would come to an end. The making of thread, string, and yard was the precursor to knitting, to crochet, to textiles, and to clothes — and all of that work was supremely Virgoan: deeply attentive to mathematics and order, to the management of resources, to the organization of a labor force, and to the analysis of results: surviving records from the Palace of Knossos on Crete indicate that the people of the late Minoan period processed eighty tons each of wool and flax a year, all the way from raw animal and plant fibers to finished cloth — roughly 3.2 million miles of thread. By comparison, a modern t-shirt has about 6 miles of thread in it, so the Cretans produced the equivalent of 533,000 t-shirts a year. BY HAND. Industriousness, indeed.
It’s strange to associate the hammer and anvil with the Moirai, and I admit that I think Coppock screwed up a bit here in not making this decan the Loom, or even the Spinning Wheel. Yet there is an ancient connection between Hephaestus the smith-god and the Moirai and the nymphs. It’s been pointed out by mythologists far more well-informed than I am, that smith-gods are often lame — not because of accidental injury in the forge, but deliberate injury to prevent the metal worker from abandoning the community: a lame smith is unable to leave the village without permission and assistance, and he can easily be stopped. So, too, with the spinning women whose work is necessary to the robing and warming of the village: “spinster aunts” were rarely relatives, and far more often they were slaves who’d earned a position of importance in the household by eating little but contributing much, in the form of yarn to hand on to the weavers. The Moirai are destined to sit in one place forever, churning out the thread of life, much as Hephaestus is condemned by his crippled state to remain by his forge-fire. Beautiful work and the power of creation are both techne — that is, skill or artistry — but the creators themselves are bound up in power structures where they have influence but little control.
Venus herself expresses this distinction in Virgo: she is considered to be in fall or in exile in the whole sign, but in these ten degrees she has at least a little bit of dignity — not dignity of power or magistracy, but dignity of skill and creative capacity. Here she is the jeweler, the knitter, the yarn-dyer, the crocheter, the weaver, and most of all the spinner. You all know a woman like this: persnickety and precise about her craft or chosen art form, deeply aware of its underlying mathematics and process, and eager to teach but prickly about the genuine cost of her labor. Her archetype is all over TikTok as artisans remind people that their time and labor is valuable too, and it’s not just the cost of the materials.
The four dodecatemoria of this second decan also express this value: Capricorn is reinstantiated at first, followed by Aquarius, Pisces, and Aries. The crafter begins with a practical desire: to learn knitting, for example, with the goal of making a Doctor Who scarf; then comes the gradual assimilation and wisdom of the craft’s fixed body of knowledge and information, signified by Aquarius’s intellectual rigor and outsider insights; then comes the gradual holism of the craft-tradition’s full range of techniques represented by watery Pisces; then at last comes the fire in the head as the new-made queen of technique discovers ways to make this tradition uniquely their own. Whether in the forge or at the jeweler’s bench, in the knitter’s chair or at the loom, all artisans take roughly the same steps toward mastery of skill, and grow in both knowledge and insight as a result. Yet we rarely respect the work to the degree which is required — a key reminder of Venus’s power and limits in Virgo II.
The Sun is below the horizon, making this a Night Chart, and The Moon is above the horizon and proceeding toward a new moon, giving her unusual dignity in her own sign — however the other planets of the Day Sect are above the horizon, and the planets of the Night Sect are below the horizon, making the Luminaries themselves the strongest actors. The Moon, Venus and Saturn are the planets in their own signs of rulership at the moment, giving significant strength to the feminine and to the aged in the next ten days.
The Ascendant is in Cancer’s third decan, The Overflowing Cup, associated with the 4 of Cups in the Tarot as shown by T. Susan Chang and others. The Moon is also here, in the decan called The Walled Garden, and in the Eighth Mansion of the Moon called The Gap, associated with victorious energies and new alliances. Follow your intuition in the next ten days. Pay attention to what secrets you reveal or keep, and what desires follow through you. You need to practice holding more back from the general public, for sure, and practice recognizing some desires as transient or ephemeral, while correctly seeing others as perpetual and enduring.
In the third house, The Sun and Mars each invigorate one decan — the Sun energizes this one, of course, while Mars brings fire and force to the third decan of Virgo The Sarcophagus. Questions of craft and artistry are on the horizon, while questions of death and eternity bring both shape and urgency to some family discussions.
In the fourth house representing house and home, Mercury and the Imum Coeli share the decan called Blindfold and Sword in Libra, and ruling Venus herself is in the decan called The Gyroscope. It’s a good time to communicate your goals for both balance and fairness around household management and tasks, but it’s also important to recognize that you have to keep the household spinning even when things aren’t quite fair yet. So much of the labor of household management falls on women traditionally, and yet it’s up to men to 1) acknowledge this factor, and 2) actually choose to do something about it.
In the sixth house of Sagittarius, The South Node draws energy and awareness away from health issues, daily work, and the work that we hire others to do for us. In the first decan, The Poisoned Arrow, it brings trouble and turbulence to the matter of ‘getting the shot’, while also promising that this is where the feces will hit the fan. The North Node meanwhile is in the opposite decan in Gemini and the twelfth house, bringing a hunger to the lonely and isolated that secret information unconfirmed by any outside source will be a source of hope and success — although the twelfth house is more often associated with self-imposed obstacles and tripping over our own mistakes. The combination here is not favorable for an increase in the number of vaccinated, but it is also not favorable for those who put their trust in conspiracies, either.
In the seventh house of the most important others in our lives, Pluto holds pride of place just on the horizon above the Descendant in the final decan of Capricorn The Throne. One of your peers is running the realm and making a series of small decisions that result in big challenges that last a long time. This might take the form of running their mouth in online forums, or putting too many small bills on one credit card, or making a lot of small decisions about taking a lot of small pandemic risks that lead to one big overall risk. Pluto stands for the idea of accumulations running out of control, and here we should be alert to cumulative problems caused by business partners, romantic partners, spouses or key allies.
In the eighth house of duties and obligations, we find both Saturn and Jupiter in Aquarius. The eighth house has traditional associations with difficult sickness and with death, and Saturn is the harvester, bent double with sickle or scythe over the field of humanity. Both are retrograde, and each occupies a decan alone — Jupiter in the decan called The Knot, about untangling and loosening overly-binding connections; and Saturn in the decan called the Mark of Exile associated with outsider opinions and weird ideas. Both planets were direct and in these decans earlier this year during one of the American surges in COVID cases — now, both planets have returned to these positions retrograde, an indicator of delayed but enduring effects. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t concerned — even as I hope this scourge passes over you, my readers.
Neptune in Pisces is in the ninth house of travel and higher education, promising a state of ‘no boundaries’ in airplanes, cruise ships, colleges, and universities; as well as delusions and misinformation widespread in published materials, religious communities, and rumor-mills (and astrology columns like this one). Since Neptune is retrograde in the third decan, The Cup Of Blood, these delusions and bad info are most likely to be found in the realm of medical information — we’re not able to trust fully what we read, write, or see.
The Midheaven in Aries in the 10th house puts a miniscule amount of attention on our careers in our overall headspace, but invites us to establish clear divisions between what we want our reputation to be in the long haul, and what we’re willing to do for an employer right now in the moment. The Midheaven invites you to pick your own way through the particular mindfields of your current job and career trajectory alone, recognizing that there’s probably a lot of fire under your feet to come back to your job’s actual workplace — and that you have good and sufficient reasons why you can’t do that. There’s no planet here to support you, though, and ruling Mars is in aversion: you’re making decisions here without much of a spiritual safety net to assist you: lay out your clear divisions, but know that you may have to do things that fly in the face of your own take on the situation.
Uranus in Taurus in the eleventh house brings ongoing upheaval to the realm of friendships and alliances in the next ten days. The middle decan of Taurus The Yoni-Lingam, suggests that this is only in the realm of sexual and sensual partners — but the reality is that it’s likely with anyone that you think of as being in your ‘touch circle’. We’re all likely to re-evaluate who we shake hands with or hug, and why. This is likely to cause some hard feelings and sudden and unwelcome surprises.
Part of this is that (although we don’t like to use the word) COVID is a plague. Historically in plague times, people adopt one of six basic strategies to cope with the plague:
- Grin and bear it but don’t do anything to change;
- Adopt what seem to be common-sense precautions;
- Flee to the countryside and get away from all people;
- Follow the advice of the currently attested experts;
- Follow the advice of certifiable wackos;
- Rebel against the civil authority trying to maintain order.
We’ve seen all six behaviors on display in the US, at least. You can probably pick out two or three of your own strategies from the list here, as well. It should seem obvious that strategies 2, 3, and 4 are the most likely to keep you alive, of course — But historically, variants of the first five strategies have always worked for at least some people, while variants of the first five strategies have always failed for at least some people. It’s really important to understand this: all of the first five strategies work for at least some people, and fail some others — so that everyone has ‘proof’ that their method works, as well as suitable unlucky counter-examples. (Strategy 6, by the way, Rebellion, has a notoriously bad failure rate in plague times — people look for some source of stability in troubled eras, and if they can’t get it in economics or medicine, they choose to look for it in politics).
However, returning to Uranus in Taurus — this means that it’s extremely difficult to maintain friendships and alliances with people who have picked a different plague-time strategy than you. And these conversations are likely to pop up more and more frequently over the next ten days. One day all of this will be over — try not to burn any bridges just yet.
Horoscopes by Rising Sign
Cancer: Ruling Moon is present, above the horizon, waning in a night chart, angular, and in the first house. You are in your power these next ten days, likely to face some trouble with peers, but also likely to be able to face down any trouble. Your family (blood or chosen relations) may argue over questions of family fortune — remember to promote the “we’re one family” and communicating ideas of fairness can help keep the whole thing from grinding to a stop. Hold the higher vision in mind and untangle challenges gracefully. You’re likely to want more down time than you’ll get, but your challenges will come from doing the work that you thought mattered.
Leo: Ruling Sun is inconjunct in Virgo and cadent. Financial matters are in focus, with a recent money-error in the recent past. Let go of the stress about the mistake; what’s done is done. Concentrate on how you’ll forge a new project that will bring in new cash flow; recognize that this likely involves making something, but it also requires that you take charge of your daily habits. You may want to learn some new skills with a study buddy that will promote your own independence. Take the time to speak to your family members about your vision of home, but remember that you may not be able to achieve this high hope for a little while; spin up the vision, and find the thread of the future. A partner wrestles with both spiritual and life-direction questions. It will take them a little time to sort things out, but the results will endure; try not to push too hard.
Virgo: Ruling Mercury is angular but inconjunct. You’re committed to finding answers to a couple of pressing questions: who are my real family, friends and allies? What kind of good fortune can I generate on my own right now? The good news is that you can talk yourself into a dream job that you can do from home, that plays well with your integrative and holistic capacities. Your outsider vision will be highly valued in this working environment, and you’ll have a prophetic talent for untangling knotty problems. The bad news is that the family and allies question isn’t going to resolve itself clearly in these ten days — as much as you want to be around others, there’s some risk there; and the people you most want to be with are dealing with highly fluid and changing circumstances. You have the capacity to learn to make new acquaintances into allies, though, but it will require crafting your plan with more clarity and care.
Libra: Ruling Venus is present and angular. Treat your home as an extension of your self expression these next ten days — communicate to your partner(s) what you want your house to be in dream, and then figure out how to move your household in that direction. Don’t start with the biggest needed changes, but do something each day to signal that how home looks is an extension of how you feel. In order to achieve your goal, though, you’ll have destroy some of what doesn’t serve you… and some of your stuff may have to go to a yard sale or eBay for your own sense of peace. There’s both work and pleasure in this restoration, but at least one of your housemates may prefer the couch, or to give direction from a chair, while you labor. Their outside perspective may be useful, but it may also be a source of resentment. Try to remember that this combination of cleanup and refreshment is for you, not them. At the same time, commandeering their assistance when you genuinely need it, is yours for the having. Just ask out loud — don’t silently posture and then fume when your signals go unnoticed.
Scorpio: Ruling Mars is sextile and dignified by term, but cadent. Some fun times ahead may give you a reputation as a partier — but try to make your entertainments a source of learning and education as well: use the insights of celebration as fuel for your next artistic project or endeavor. Solo time is for using up what’s in your creative batteries at the moment, however you should try to make these efforts serve a triple bottom line: make things that you’re happy to have around the house, that communicate a message rather than being just purely ‘artistic’, and that speak to larger issues of justice and fairness. Expect that there will be some rough times ahead for friends and neighbors, and a fair bit of argument about death and the dead in some communities you interact with. If you care about COVID, you may consider establishing a loving-but-solid boundary around your home and who you let in to visit for the next ten days — it’s not really about you, but about who you have a duty to protect, for the moment.
Sagittarius: Ruling Jupiter is sextile but succedent and peregrine. You may feel disrespected or find that your opinion doesn’t carry much weight in council. Post your concerns where appropriate but don’t fight for them beyond your needs — and in mid-January try not to gloat too much. For now, don’t be troubled too much by a lack of sufificent work, or too much family duty. Do keep an eye on the bottom line in money matters, and recognize that your home is subject to a lot of emotional storms at the moment. Your friends and colleagues are looking forward to seeing your dreams accomplished, and fulfilling their own dreams of connecting and communicating with others. Your work ambitions may feel like they’re running off the rails, but analyze what you’ve been doing to find new work and complete old work with a precise razor — cut away what’s not working, and focus on what is.
Capricorn: Ruling Saturn is in a sign he rules, but inconjunct and succedent; Pluto is present. You’ll be in a state of service to your partner, but on the surface you’re likely to be bossing them around. Make sure that you check in with them emotionally: from your perspective, you’re keeping them from taking on too much— from their perspective you’re walling them off from the delicacies of romance and being overprotective. Check in often and re-establish connection where needed. Professional work is best done at home right now, and you’ll find that you’re more creative too. However, be aware that your naturally elevated and expert talents are likely to come across as “grumpy oldster yells about being left behind” rather than “sensible voice correctly cautions about stupidity.” Wherever possible argue from dollar signs in a spreadsheet rather than personal experience, no matter how relevant that anecdote is. Drive an iron spike into the coffin of the things you don’t want to do, by being open to organic and well-crafted solutions even if they require you to learn new skills.
Aquarius: Ruling Saturn is present and succedent. Unlike your siblings in Capricorn Rising, you’re likely to be able to be the sensible voice of experience and wisdom in your overlapping communities right now — whenever you take the contrary or outsider position. However, you’ll need discernment to see when to go with the flow, or to stand against the stream. The discernment is a tricky problem, and the answer is going to be “I need to think about this some more… can you give me more time?” This technique is the Fabian Delay, named after a Roman general who avoided direct battles with a Carthaginian army he knew he couldn’t defeat. Where possible, avoid settling any matter in favor of more analysis. Just know that when you’re 58% of the way to the decision, make it; at that point, the turbulence isn’t going to settle just because you wait two more days. The temptation, though, based on this horoscope, is to go back to your lair and solve problems alone — resist that. Find the stakeholders, and resolve the problem with their help, and with your duty to them built into the equation from the beginning.
Pisces: Ruling Jupiter is inconjunct, succedent and peregrine; Neptune is present. Waves are breaking over you and you’re trying to keep your head up out of the surf, but there’s a lesson that the universe is trying to get you to learn that you’re ignoring. You’ll need to spend some time sorting out your obligations to others while ‘on retreat’ over the next ten days, and figure out if you need to expand the list of things that you do for others. You can expect at least one person to take offense if you try to apologize or make up for lost time, though — not everyone is gracious. It’s OK to do this creatively, though, and not just with words (although you might dream of making it easy with just a heartfelt note): some might be happily reconciled with a simple knitted or crocheted item, or a “just us” picnic in the garden. It’s also ok to make these little rapprochements happen at home in very small groups, rather than in the workplace — trying to use these reconnections to get what you want at work is likely to lead to difficulties later on.
Aries: Ruling Mars is dignified by term, but in aversion and cadent. You’ll be in the public eye this week, at least at the scale of your own life, and good fortune may come to you but also some difficulty in the form of a professional relationship that goes a little sideways or even completely off the rails. When dealing with temporary servants like doctors, plumbers, electricians, contractors and even service-people at restaurants and bars, take the time to be nicer than usual; consider how dependent you are on these relationships and act with greater graciousness and gratitude than you think is normal or reasonable. You may find yourself in a bit of a financial pickle in the next ten days, and reliant upon close friends or family members for rides or access to information; don’t burn your bridges. At the same time, consider home a refuge and establish as much of a comfortable nest for yourself as you’re able — and ask any business or romantic partners to help you make that nest so that it serves both/all of you well.
Taurus: Ruling Venus is in a sign she rules and angular, but in aversion; Uranus is present. You’re likely feeling as though you’re the one doing all the work necessary to make a big project happen, one which communicates a big dream and expresses your creativity, but an important ally seems to be sleepwalking through the whole thing. Recognize that they’ll be fully present when it really matters, but know that there will be a bit of side-show trouble before the end – fortunately, it’s only a bit of drama, and like theater it’s over when the house lights come on and the actors come forward for their bows. Your sensual self is going through some upheaval, as a mix of good fortune, uproar, conflict, and delight intermingle in your social calendar. You have more resources than you’re used to, and fewer restrictions or obligations tying you down to direct them. There’s a great deal of household labor that must be done, as you work to bring dreams to fruition. Your family is clustered around you for support and good will, and friends from a wide area are sending good wishes your way. Some clouds still remain, but you know from prior experience that great things come out of the current temporary challenges.
Gemini: Ruling Mercury is angular and trine, but peregrine. Theres a hunger in you for me-time and self-care, which is where the truly revolutionary awareness can come from that upends old patterns. It’s ok to let your instinctive side come out to play, and if you find yourself waking early from the Moon peeping in your window, use that time for journaling and art for your eyes alone. A family member or close friend’s visit to your home brings a windfall, a conflict, and a new insight; relieve the difficulties with a lot of small talk and some time re-settling peace on your household. An important project consumes a peer’s attention in ways that feel indecisive and like a poor use of their energy.. But it’s better to let them do what needs to be done, even if it looks inefficient from the outside. Offer advice, not critique. Your own workplace is suffering from a high level of scope-creep, and particular missions and objectives begin to spill out of their usual containers and get in each other’s way — A mix of openness to new learning and acceptance of new responsibility, coupled with a healthy dose of “I’ll do this, but I’m learning to do something new and I’ll be slow for a while, plus with my other responsibilities it’s not sustainable over the long haul, and I want you to put my objections in writing,” will get you through this. Take the new skills offered — but be vocal and specific about why this can’t possibly last.
have a Patreon account for those who want to support this column as it approaches the end of its second year (I began with Leo I in 2019 )We’re currently doing a decan walk through some Tarot, astrology, mythology, and magic. If you don’t want to become a regular patron, you can also buy me a Ko-fi in $3 increments, and any column I write after receiving a Ko-Fi donation will be open to the public. You can also schedule an appointment with me using Accuity Scheduling, for a natal or solar return consultation.
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 Hugh Tran‘s Physis typeface to craft logos for this blog, as well.
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, as is my Almanac for 2021. I follow T.Susan Chang and the Reverend Erik Arneson for insight into Tarot. 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, “A Full Volume of Splendour and Starlight” contains these smaller collections:
- To the Mansions of the Moon is a collection of hymns to the angels of the Mansions
- 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.
- Festae, hymns to some of the older Roman gods and spirits.