On August 22, 2022, at 11:17 pm EDT, the Sun enters the sign of Virgo, and with it Virgo I — the decan that Austin Coppock called A Tree Bearing Fruit. Administered by the Sun, it’s a season of great fruitfulness, as the last ripening begins to occur before the major harvests of the year, of corn and grain. The Hellenistic-era residents of Alexandria, at the mouth of the Nile river, assigned the festivals and rites of the goddess Themis to this time of year — a patroness of mores and customs, the unwritten laws that hold societies together.
Virgo and its opposite Pisces contain six decans between them, administered by Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Sun, Venus, and Mercury — the missing power is the Moon. This “mini-pantheon” of the six deities from the fragmentary text 36 Airs of the Zodiac consists of Themis, the Moirai, Hestia, Okeanos, Dolos, and Elpis — representing morals, fate, the household, the wild, trickery, and hope. It’s a very narrow view of the world, is it not? A world without the imaginary and imaginative powers of the Moon shrinks and narrows, until all that’s left is historic custom, the rattle-clack of the loom and the crackle of the fire — and the howling wilderness outside the locked door. Only Pandora’s jar on the mantlepiece, with hope yet contained within, offers any solace from the challenges of the world beyond. A world without the Moon is dark indeed — and we get a taste of that in the failing light of the balsamic moon in this chart, rapidly approaching its monthly conjunction with the Sun— already past the third quarter moon, shrinking to the waning crescent. We’ll hit the dark of the Moon on August 27, and the completion of the Sun’s greatest season of power each year.
Themis, the goddess assigned to the Decan, was the goddess assigned to watch over the stomach and the valves of the small intestines — but more importantly she was known as the goddess of customs and mores, the laws of hospitality and of piety. Distinguished from nomos, or human law, the ancient Greek concept of themis was the idea of divine law — rules of behavior that went beyond human custom. Different places might practice hospitality differently, but hospitality remained the standard expectation no matter who the people were. In some myths, Themis was the presiding officer of the assembly of gods, as well, and acted as the patroness of assemblies of mortals on earth — a kind of prototype parliamentarian like Henry M. Robert of Robert’s Rules of Order. She thus calls us to know how we are supposed to act in the presence of other mortals, but also to claim our rights as fellow-citizens in the assembly of decision-makers.
The dodecatemoria of Virgo I are recapitulations of Virgo, Libra, Scorpio and Sagittarius — the harvest gathered and then valued, secreted away and stored, and then celebrated with feasting and storytelling that goes on until late in the night.
The Ascendant is in Taurus with the Sun below the horizon, making this a night chart ruled by Venus in Leo. Separated from the Sun by sign but not degree, she possesses no particular dignity and is operating under the beams in a state of uncomfortable angularity — Eager to Help, but Unsure How. Uranus in the first house with the North Node makes us all eager to be seen and to see the world as individuals and as persons — distinct from one another in both physical shape as well as intellect and identity.
Mars has entered Gemini, where he’ll remain for the next seven months through a retrograde. Mars in Gemini has been described as a constantly angry soldier planning his next campaign, but he can easily be imagined as a couple of angry guys who’ve been given a microphone and a platform with which to yell at the world — which has to be the setup for at least a dozen podcasts, now that I think about it. In the second house, neither dignified nor debilitated, he brings financial trouble to our households in the form of rising costs for goods and services, but no explicit, general collapse. At least, not yet — watch out for when Mars enters his own decan (and particularly his own term) late next month.
The Moon and the Lot of Fortune both sit astride 13° Cancer in her own sign — in the Ninth Mansion, a place of infirmity and disempowerment, misfortune and obstacle. Closing in on the dark of the Moon, these two entities suggest that we’re likely to feel a fair bit of angst and trouble in dealing with our relatives and close friends — and yet acknowledge that this is the place of the greatest freedom of action. You may feel like you can do nothing for your siblings, cousins or extended family… but what you can do is likely to be seen with a great deal of grace and forgiveness: reach out and connect, hold your counsels in private, and don’t attach too much certainty to your feelings.
The fourth house is Leo, currently home to the Imum Coeli and Venus — inviting your expertise and skill to engage in important and necessary DIY projects around the home. Yet remember William Morris’s advice to homeowners in the late 1800s: “Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.” It’s a good time for a housecleaning, but also a good time for a beautification project.
The Sun and Mercury hold opposite ends of Virgo, each in their own decan — and with Mercury triply dignified by domicile, exaltation and decan. Shine a light on your hobbies, your pastimes, your children, your enjoyment of food and drink and intoxicants — and for a little while yet, at least, tell the truth about them, as a treat. Allowing yourself to understand these things organically and truthfully, will give you permission to bury your mistakes and misconceptions, and reinvigorate the truth about them.
The South Node in the seventh house suggests that your secrets are likely to emerge in the next ten days, and that the secrets of your family will re-appear if you let them. Some things need fixing in your familial systems… but it requires refining and purifying the hidden dross into something more useful and medicinal. Allow long-hidden information to re-emerge — know that some stress will come with it, but the overall healing will benefit all.
Pluto retrograde in the ninth house and Capricorn III continues to bring difficulties to travel, particularly long distance and international trips. Delays continue to be common, and many routes may suffer from missing pilots or crew.
Saturn in Aquarius retrogrades away from the Midheaven, hastening his inevitable daily peak and fall. In the decan called The Knot, he proceeds to untangle and disengage us from our career and workplace concerns, inviting us to reconnect with ourselves and what we intend to be and become. Choose the higher-order relationships, he seems to say‚ and to thine own self be true.
Neptune retrogrades in the decan of Pisces called The Cup of Blood. It’s doubtful you’ll be able to figure out what’s going on, with so much misinformation and disinformation in the feed. Your capacities to understand the big picture are severely limited in the current storm of bad-faith info-weather — do the best you can to understand the big picture, but don’t double-down on any alleged ‘proof.’
Jupiter is retrograde in Aries’ The Double-Bladed Axe, in the twelfth house — in an emergent approaching sextile to Mars in Gemini, his old capacity to make decisions without consulting the warlord on every small thing is starting to fail. Revisiting decisions made in the last few months may draw you toward different conclusions and rush you toward an ambitious new goal with deadlines between now and November/December of this year. Set yourself long-enough timelines for your projects, though, particularly those that involve personal self-direction: it’s going to be all too easy to trip over your own feet in the next ten days.
Horoscopes by Rising Sign
Taurus: Your personal emotional life may be out of whack several times in the next ten days, and you may get outraged about small things that shouldn’t so upset you. Some big financial decisions rear their heads, but don’t need immediate solutions… start working on some apparently hopeless family situations, knowing that they can eventually be resolved. Career matter you want resolved is at a standstill — think about moving t if you don’t get a satisfactory answer. Do one thing that makes your home beautiful, even if it’s unlikely to last forever.
Gemini: Be careful of injury in the next ten days, particularly during meal preparation and clean-up; travel mugs, snack-packs, and lunch box sanitation deserve more attention than usual. Avoid fast-food or potentially sketchy road-side dives and diners. A family conversation needs to be had about money and property, and probably some cosmetic fixes need to be made to any property currently being considered for sale. Be cautious about letting your guard down about what you do for work; you’re more likely to let slip confidential information right now. Review any security protocols you’re supposed to have in place at home for files and materials relevant to your career, as well.
Cancer: Familial matters take center stage in a backyard garden party — expect family secrets to be outed, long-distance visitors to bring unwanted guests, and your need for professional solo time to be overruled by the patriarchs and elders. You’ll win prizes for showing up despite pressing demands on your time at home, but your spouse or significant other may wind up dealing with someone else’s fecal deposits unexpectedly. Use your alone time to be ruthlessly specific about tracking expenses and revenue; something is likely to get out of whack here, and will need fixing. When it does, don’t compound errors by wailing about it. Just get it done.
Leo: You are your home, and right now it’s the place whee you’re most likely to find happiness — but plan on using your home for solo adventures in fashion and gentle exercises; visitors are likely to bring trouble and discord, and loud-mouthed bombast. In quiet, you may find practice of music or art, poetry or writing letters far more soothing to the soul. Professional circumstances are likely to be both cyclical and cynical — whether you’re a sad-faced clown in the center ring or a mountain hermit, be sure that you retain control of your own autonomy. A partner winds up dealing with professional disappointment and may wind up spending a lot more time at home with their family.
Virgo: You’re likely to communicate more clearly about yourself, and what you want, these next ten days. But — to the degree it’s possible — try to talk about ideas, people, places, without using the words “me” or “my” or “I” for a while. You’ll find that there’s a greater clarity of thought and precision of language that you’ll appreciate and enjoy — and you’ll be able to get what you want more directly by being indirect: “pasta with fresh tomato sauce sounds really good, doesn’t it?” comes across better than “I want pasta with fresh-made tomato sauce.” Inviting a few friends over for a really intimate dinner in the back yard may help you get over some of your plague-concerns, but expect your boss or supervisor to be a hard-nosed soldier when t comes to following company policy; a certain amount of malicious compliance may help loosen their tie or scarf, though don’t overdo it.
Libra: Put one foot in front of the other through the daily grind of the next two weeks, avoid illness, and communicate your desire for solitude as thoroughly as you can. As a treat, you can continue to engage in the kinds of artistic endeavors that you feel feed you; but keep your work communications and travel both intimate and small. A review of your home’s cleanliness wouldn’t hurt, either — when was the last time you ran a thorough sanitization and purification process of yourself and your house? Your significant other may get tangled up in your finances for a bit, but take care that you don’t upset whatever your usual balance of payments is. A long-distance trip may turn out to be more destructive or expensive than you planned.
Scorpio: Oh, the others in your life seem to be determined to make drama and stir up sh*t for you, don’t they!? Work from home wherever possible, but make efforts to deliberately structure your day and time so as not to waste it. Have a good time with friends at least once; go out and have a ball, but be prepared to come home and work alone when the time comes. Separate work from pleasure; don’t talk business when you’re out on the town. Creative energies in the workplace are likely to result in something interesting and cool, but only temporary. Treat even short trips from home as magnificent adventures, and you’ll find your imaginary quests yield magical results.
Sagittarius: Solo time? Not unless you want to make trouble for yourself. Best to think in terms of structured obligations and responsibilities. Keep a tight rein on finances, and check in with familial elders — you have newfound responsibilities, now that you know what you know. Yes… you want to stay home and have fun at the same time, but that’s a wash; you have got to do the work that your elders expect of you, even if that’s unexpectedly grim. Your significant other faces some financial matters with angry discipline; create comfort in secret for their frustrations.
Capricorn: Travel may blow up during your effort to move about gracefully; be sure to bring snacks and comfort to make the journey (and its delays) easier. A structured approach to finance brings happiness and ease, but try not to let miserliness rule your day. A familial upset over misinformation brings challenges; but stability is easy to find if you stay home. Give a significant other temporary leave to build a pillow fort or other comfort structutres in the house; they don’t even have to be built, if you just enjoy one another’s company. You have the capacity to handle a terrible work-responsibility for them, but it probably means being asked to do it again if you take it now.
Aquarius: It’s easy for you to be the critic in the workplace; a lot easier than taking criticism. However, remember that your reputation doesn’t have to be as the office curmudgeon. Plan to help solve lingering problems instead of just pointing them out; you may find that the willingness to be the “grand old [preferred gender term]” leads to more flexible approaches to your compensation, or access to free time. A surprise issue at home may claim some of your time from your employer, but you can make it up with the appearance of your powerlessness in the face of outside challenges; the choice of how and when to solve a problem, though, is still in your control.
Pisces: Many people these days are full of misinformation… but just because they’re spouting nonsense, doesn’t mean that you yourself are right. It’s hard to do a literature review, but it would be a good idea to write down your usual sources of information, and test whether or not you think they’re still good sources of fact rather than wacky opinion. Additionally, you may see a family member or close friend do an about-face on a position that you formerly trusted them about; if so, don’t rush to cries of ‘traitor!’ or ‘turncoat!’ Instead, evaluate why you beleived them, and whether their new opinion is equally well-informed. You can’t win them back… you do have to see if they changed their opinion for good reason. Evaluate these changes in a relatively closed environment; don’t broadcast your questions to the world, but keep it close to your heart while you investigate the roots of any of your former zealotry.
Aries: Familial issues are more likely than ever to make you question old patterns and mistakes, but the worst thing you could do is double-down. Financial matters are in for a bit of upheval, and your focus should be on them for a while; big purchases beckon, but hold off where you can; resolve any crisis among your siblings’ housing situation before spending for pleasure on your own domicile. Your own professional work will be a mix of nurturing the organic growth of your mission… and communicating your true opinions of the Frankenstein’s monster you’re expected to resurrect. Your boss may be furious at your refusal to resurrect the synthetic horror — but a clear explanation to future employers may help get you a raise for your ethics and willingness to refuse bad ideas.
have a Patreon account for those who want to support this column as it continues its third year. Those funds support artists, artisans and thinkers that I regard as contributing to the well-being of the world. You can also buy me a Ko-fi in $3 increments; 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.
If you want to read some of my astrologically-oriented poetry, the largest collection is called A Full Volume of Splendor and Starlight, available through my Etsy shop, and containing poems and hymns to the planets, constellations, decan deities, and Moon Mansion angels. 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.
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. I also 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 for much of my planetary delineations. Neither gentleman endorses me.