On September 2, 2022, at 7:43 am EDT, the Sun enters Virgo II — the decan that Austin Coppock called the Hammer and Anvil. Administered by Venus, it’s a season of great creativity and deliberateness, as the tools are prepared for the harvests, and the preservation of food for the winter commences. The Hellenistic-era residents of Alexandria, at the mouth of the Nile river, assigned the festivals and rites of the goddesses the Moirai to this time of year — the spindle of Clotho, the warping board and loom of Lachesis, and the scissors or shears of the inexorable Atropos. Today, we call them the Fates, or remember them in their Nordic or Germanic forms, the Norns. The three Weavers, the three who are one, the women with the ball of yarn, knitting the future into being… in a lot of ways, they’re just starting to re-enter our consciousness… assuming they ever left.
The Moirai have been in our collective consciousness a lot more of late; their outlines and silhouettes have appeared in horror comics and supernatural TV shows for decades, and their iconography has appeared in two episodes of the new Sandman TV show (after appearing in the comics by Neil Gaiman in the 1990s). But in the ancient world, from China to Cadiz, from Norway to the Nile, the picture of three women working together to sort out the arithmetic and mathematics of a new weaving project had to have been a common sight. Many has been the time that I’ve come in on my professional colleagues in my sewing space, both of whom are weavers — and they’re doing the work of the Moirai, warping thread onto a board, or attaching it to the loom, or trimming the loom, lost to the counting of lengths and the repetition of number sequences thousands of years old.
To modern folk, it’s possibly hard to understand why three weaver women would make such a strong metaphor for Fate or Destiny — but when we look at a typical set up for a weaving project, it becomes easier to understand. In most weaving projects, as I understand it, all the thread or yarn that goes into the finished project must be present at the start. The end is in the beginning. Indeed, at the start of the Industrial Revolution in the late 1700s, thread production was a significant bottle-neck: it was harder to get enough thread for a project than to complete the work, and many a power loom stood empty while waiting for the spinsters to catch up! There’s roughly six miles of yarn in the average t-shirt, 20 miles in a pair of denim jeans, 40 miles in a wool suit — and forty pounds of wool direct from the sheep or a similar weight of cotton fluff, might produce the equivalent of five or six men’s suits in yarn. So the yarn becomes the warp and weft of the textile — the sideways and lengthwise threads of the cloth — and both must be present in sufficient quantity before the shears can clip a thread and pull the cloth from the loom. Every motion of every thread has to be predicted to some degree by the pattern in advance —this one up once and down once; that one up twice and down once; this other down twice and up once; and this one down once and up once. So does the pattern emerge from the previously established and chosen pattern. All is forecast in great detail before the thread is ever measured out. This is clearly an art that three generations of women taught and learned from each other, with the youngest assigned the job of spinning (the easiest to begin, and the hardest to master), the middle the task of setting up the warp (the main threads of the weave) and measuring the yarn to the desired length, and the eldest double-checking everyone’s work and only snipping at the place deemed best by all three. Were these mysteries in the ancient world? It appears that they were, at least to some degree — Book 9 of Euclid’s Elements is a series of exercises in practical applications of arithmetic; but it wasn’t until the 1990s that group of weavers demonstrated that these applications were likely derived from rules-of-thumb in weaving.
Similarly (although this wasn’t known to ancient people) all of a woman’s future grandchildren are present in her own uterus by the time her daughter is ready to be born — a girl comes out of the womb with all her potential eggs inside of her ovaries, released one(-ish) a month from puberty(-ish) to menopause(-ish). And there is something both alarming and stunning in that — that the mother was once an egg twenty or thirty years ago, in her own mother’s ovary, and that her child is already home to the genetic legacy of four generations. Not all of that legacy will find expression as a fully-grown human, but it’s there. There’s mysteries among the three dames of youth, motherhood, and old age… and a destiny, too, one not easily escaped.
The four dodecatemoria of Virgo II are Capricorn, Aquarius, Pisces, and Aries — Here Capricorn represents the tedious, practical, dark work of spinning fibers into thread, done sun-up until deep in the night, through mourning and joy, perpetual and never-ending, the task that must be done regardless of the season. Aquarius is the hidden knowledge of setting up the loom to produce a twill for warmth and sturdiness, or a straight weave for a summer shirt, or a satin weave for a stunning gown. Pisces is the holistic production of the cloth — the math is done, and now it is the weaver at the bench, sensing by tension and appearance whether the work is going well. Aries is the new garment’s first appearance in the firelight, as the women display their work to family and friends, exciting interest and envy alike.
And yet it’s worth remembering that the middle decan of Virgo is under the administration of Venus — though disrespected and in exile in Virgo generally, she nonetheless is honored here for her capacities to make math and warmth out of the work of her hands and cunning brain, turning sheep’s wool or cotton or silk into blanket and tunic, coat and cowl, sail and sari. Her work is necessary to human culture: what we wear, and how we wear it, is dependent on the work of the Moirai… and we look good, or bad, entirely based on how they fashion the cut of our coats.
None of us escape the weavers’ attention entirely.
The Ascendant is in Virgo III, the Sarcophagus, making this chart a day chart and favoring Jupiter but debilitating Mars, and weakening Saturn and Venus alike even in their opposition. The Sun in the first house is peregrine, leaving behind his own decan for the last twenty degrees before his own fall in Libra — the season of the Sun’s greatest power is ending, and he’s a bit at loose ends.
Mercury, meanwhile, has gone on ahead to Libra I, where they’re already in the shadow period of their upcoming retrograde that begins on September 11. Tangled in financial matters, the herald-planet posts signs and indicators, and points at them repeatedly, promising swift changes to monetary matters and also to personal concerns in upcoming days. Whatever your’e deciding to do now, it’s going to come to a head in the near future. Expect changes to your wallet, and your priorities.
The Moon is in the last third of Scorpio associated with the Nineteenth Mansion of the Moon — a placement strongly associated with precautions and safeguards around both birth and contraception, especially as it relates to extended families. The Moon is just past its monthly conjunction with the South Node, and though we’re not in a warning place for an eclipse any time soon, it’s worth thinking about family planning in a more detailed way than usual… as well as taking precautions to secure appropriate birth control, if that’s something you think may be restricted or limited in the future. For those planning to object in US elections by voting for a different party… the end of voting registration periods may be coming up soon.
Both the Lot of Fortune and The Imum Coeli are in the Fourth House, making family and home both the place where you have the greatest freedom of action, and find the greatest expressions of happiness. In both cases, recognize that it’s easy to overdo both right now — targeting something that you don’t really want but now have to have anyway; and over-committing to something that isn’t actually good for you. Strike a middle path!
Pluto holds the Throne, the last decan of Capricorn, as he has since 2019 — promising a great deal of control and overly critical command over your personal life and entertainments. Have you really been able to do what you want? Or have you done what’s been available? Not likely to change in the near future, but you may be more aware of this, this week, than usual.
Saturn remains in The Knot, the last decan of Aquarius — the lord of perfection and decline is not known for disentangling yarn into neat balls, so much as unraveling rope to bits of string, and ultimately to its constituent fibers. He he promises distraction and delay, and the gradual unraveling of what you thought you must do… as well as the disintegration of the thread of health and the breakdown of patterns of health maintenance. Guard your protocols of illness prevention particularly well in the ten days ahead.
Neptune on the Descendant promises a dissolution of boundaries with a partner in strange ways and toward strange objectives. The last decan of Pisces, the Cup of Blood, is associated with zealotry and unexamined enthusiasm. It may be difficult to hold a significant other back from something they really want to do, even when it’s inadvisable. Expect the riptide to be strong in the next ten days.
Jupiter holds the first decan of Aries The Double Bladed Axe, but retrograde — there’s something that needs cutting, that needs more than a stroke or two. What past projects are lingering in your spouse’s in-box? What has your business partner failed to complete? What legal paperwork must be revisited?
Uranus and The North Node ride in the ninth house in the decan called the Lingam-Yoni — arousing a hunger in us for travel and education, for more public expressions of religiosity, for spiritual awakening, for intellectual stimulation. Yet the combination also promises a fair bit of wrangling over personal autonomy: who is allowed to travel, and where, and why? Expect to see efforts to stop pregnant women from crossing particular state lines… and expect those efforts to go drastically awry as personal rights and liberties clash forcefully with overly authoritarian or conservative legal theories.
Mars and the Midheaven hold the first and third decans of Gemini in an uneasy standoff — with the warrior in possession of dangerously relevant information in the decan called the Apple of Eden, while the public awareness is that the executioner’s sword ought to come down on the necks of the guilty. As I write this, there’s a kind of tense standoff between a former US president and officials of government, over what information might be personal, privileged and private — and what is openly information warfare. The war is likely to continue in the next ten days, but may be more openly fought than before.
Finally Venus occupies the last decan of Leo The Banner, a place of not particular comfort for her in the confines of the twelfth house. Solitary creative endeavors continue to bear fruit, but for best results… work in a message about something larger than yourself, at least for the next ten days.
Horoscopes by Rising Sign
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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.