Themis — Sun in Virgo I

The Sun enters Virgo I on August 23, 2023, at 5:02 am EDT. Austin Coppock called this decan A Tree Bearing Fruit, and one ancient text associates it with Themis the goddess of custom and due process.

Virgo as a whole is ruled by Mercury, who is also exalted in this sign. The herald planet is preparing for one of their retrogrades, and we have a long steady period where Mercury will be in residence — it’s a good time to do the long slow analysis of your life circumstances where they’re governed by Mercury. Yet the first decan is administered by the Sun, as befits the place that often indicates the ripening of stone fruits like peaches and nectarines, and the seed fruits like apples and pears. Virgo I shows us the ongoing harvest, and the wealth that Earth creates.

Themis rules this decan mythically. She was the goddess of custom and due process, which on the surface sounds a bit dull. Who would want to be the goddess of parliamentary procedure, with Henry Martin Robert of Robert’s Rules sitting on her right hand? Who would want to be the goddess of the Federal Rules of Evidence, with Notorious RGB seated upon her left? Who would want to be the goddess of “elbows off the table” and the correct fork at dinner? Nonetheless, that is Themis’ function in the world, and I’ve no doubt that we’ll get a serious public education in these forces and issues in coming weeks, with the lead-in to the most serious trials in American history about to begin. Additionally, Themis reminds us that the productivity of the fields and the standard interest rates of banking are often out of alignment — and that no society that has removed the capacity to forgive or release debt has ever survived long-term. Themis also reminds us that jubilee is an important mechanism in the safety and healthiness of a society.

The dodeks of Virgo I are recapitulations of Virgo, Libra, Scorpio and Sagittarius — the analysis of the field or orchard, to decide if things are ripe enough to harvest; the judicious collection of the harvest and the dispersal through the marketplace; the counting of coins in secrecy, to determine one’s profit; and finally the boasting and pleased joking at the fire, telling stories of the successful growing season.

I’ve written about Virgo I in several previous years: 202220212020, and 2019.

Planetary Positions

The Sun is not yet above the horizon, making this a Night Chart — but the Moon is also below the horizon, and only Venus of the night-sect planets is above the horizon… and still peregrine though angular. Accordingly, there’s no planet with special dignity in this chart except tricksy Mercury.

Indeed, despite the Ascendant being in Leo, this is a Mercury-ruled chart — Saturn and Neptune are in Pisces, ruled by Jupiter in Taurus; Jupiter and Uranus in Taurus are ruled by Venus in Leo, and Venus is ruled by Mercury in Virgo; the Scorpio Moon is ruled by Mars in Virgo, hence ruled by Mercury. Pluto answers to Saturn, who answers to Mercury through Jupiter and Venus. The non-binary and gender-switching herald of the gods has tremendous sovereignty in the next ten days, as all the others answer to them — and Mercury, about to begin their retrograde tomorrow, 24 August, invites the other planets to enter into a thorough review of their recent activities and upcoming plans, and to submit budget reports in triplicate: what is this all going to cost? Expect financial matters to arise in all areas of life, and to require special finagling to work out the details of a payment plan.

Joining Mercury in the second house of money and possessions are Mars and the Sun, insisting that the time is right to shine a bright light on the issues that arise from ownership and ower-ship, and to make conflicts occur in order to have a chance of resolving them. in opposition, Saturn and Neptune in Pisces are both retrograde in the eighth house, promising both an overenthusiastic commitment to irresponsibility, and an unavoidable reckoning coming. It may not be a massive overhaul of the stock market that’s coming… but some exuberances still need to be reined in.

Venus in the first house remains retrograde, as she will be through the end of the month and the start of the next (she remains retrograde until September 4, and doesn’t clear her shadow period until October 7). It’s a good time to review your fashion choices, to dispose of unseasonable or unsuitable clothes, or to shift your wardrobe to match your age and lifestyle and sense of self — clothes and hairstyle are a performance, and we benefit from this kind of ongoing reinvigoration of our self presentation.

In the tenth house ruled by Venus stand Jupiter and Uranus, together with the Lot of Fortune — though the Midheaven occupies the first decan. The decans of Taurus are all about action, agency, and self-direction, with the first decan advising us to keep an eye on what we’ll need to have to boost our reputation six months from now. The second invites us to act to sustain our agency and control of our work situations now, while the third promises upheaval that will rock our sense of agency and self-determination even in the world to come. When we look to the safety and well-being of our souls, we currently have the greatest capacity to shift our lives — but this requires holy, and wholly responsible, action in the present moment… although the final results may not be visible for six to eight months.

The Nodal Axis runs between Aries and Libra, giving us a hunger for foreign travel and new adventures in distant places and the deepest realms of the mind and soul. However, what suffers is our ability to maintain routines and normalcy in our home communities and households, where instability has a risk of turning into crappy results with family and close friends.

Pluto‘s continuing retrograde in Capricorn continues to give significant advantages to owners and shareholders in ongoing strike actions, at least for a little while longer, but the negotiating table is looking more and more unavoidable. A reservation for a lengthy sit-down must be made soon, and the nature of that dinner is going to be expensive; it will be hard to pin the check on the waiters, or the busboys, or the cooks, or the front of house staff, or even on the other patrons. The bills have to be paid.

Finally in Scorpio lies The Moon, at the autumn equinox of her orbit, signaling a change in her routines and orders. In this chart, she’s hanging out in a Moon Mansion called The Scorpion’s Heart. It’s a favored haunt of traditional herbalists, who usually take over the back bar area while construction workers and landscapers crowd the front room near the road: the burly stonemasons and carpenters and hedge-clippers provide good cover for the more covert conversations behind, on breaking fevers and calming upset stomachs and managing difficult pregnancies. Here, she promises a successful end to the construction season, but invites certain individuals to go on the lam; she offers medicines for the belly and bowels, but conspires to defraud inspectors and bring down public officials. In the fourth house, she brings a warning that any malfeasance is likely to follow a clear path back to your own door — be wary of launching hexes or jinxes before the first of September.

Horoscopes by Rising Sign

Decan I of any sign (usually covering the 21st of the month to the first of the following month) is free to all visitors; Decan II is only available to Patreon and subscribers; and Decan III is available to Patreon, Ko-Fi, and MailChimp subscribers.

Leo: It’s a good time for you to review your wardrobe and self-presentation, but you also have larger financial issues that need some pruning and weeding.  You’re likely to lead in professional situations, but be aware that some sudden upheavals may follow your appointment to primacy.  And it’s worth reviewing the team’s past actions, to ensure you’re not being left holding a bag of blameworthy manure.  Responsibilities are likely to take some time to unwind; be cautious of trying to solve your problems with caffeine, alcohol, or sugar.  If you’re on the road, ask someone to check in on your family, house, and yard.
Virgo: Financial matters require you to cut some expenses, and negotiate better prices for other expenses; you may also have to negotiate, in a roundabout way, for an increase in salary or income that is commensurate with your actual labors. This requires a thorough understanding of the numbers. You may wish to approach friends and allies in your industry about new job opportunities, but only if you’re prepared to leave. A parallel question may arise: are you better off with a partner, or on your own, in the current state of affairs? There’s no one right answer, but the question in your personal and professional life will tell you much.
Libra: You may feel personally troubled, and have a hard time managing the balance of affairs.  Solo time probably feels financially draining and full of personal angst; taking care of your family (blood or chosen) likely feels alienating.  Ask some friends of yours to give you an award, to honor you for some personal achievement; it doesn’t have to be anything big, but you do have to feel like you’re at least temporarily enthroned for putting up with a maze of challenges and unexpected storms.  A partner may come into a new position of authority at work, but it may be so that they can take the fall for something beyond their control.
Scorpio: You’re able to shine your inner light and psychic vision on your family dynamics, and speak truths that need speaking; but speaking them in the privacy of your bedroom may not bring you any peace. The best place to allow this speech to flourish is in the company of your friends — and the place to open the conversation is with an analysis of your family’s stories around money and personal property.  You may have thought these issues were long dead, but telling someone about the childhood baggage you have around money is likely to do you a world of good. A romantic partner may also help with this, but so could a business partner. 
Sagittarius: You have some daily labors that you need to complete, on which your relationships and professional reputation depend; but other people are probably regarding you as ‘no fun’ or ‘addicted to responsibilities’.  They probably don’t understand the financial pressures you feel are present, and how much of your economic system depends on your daily activity.  You want more fun than you’re having, but you feel like your friendships suffer as a result.  All the same, your communications with your professional allies and a strict analysis of your business budgeting is probably a daily schedule item for the time being.
Capricorn: Sometimes leadership involves a daily review of the mission statement and the map of policy, and then acting from that kind of overarching ideal in every day-to-day activity. Identify how your employees or subordinates or volunteers on your team are supposed to achieve their goals, and match their objectives to elements of the overall program.  You likely will need to talk in a roundabout way to some friends about what it is that you do for work… and then deepen that conversation with one or two who clearly know what you’re talking about. If you can assume a leadership role in leisure — “I want to do X” you’re likely to get what you want, but in an unexpected way.
Aquarius: You need to focus on what your partner wants, and do your best to re-crown them with honor for the achievements that they’re completing; and you have to do it in a way that builds them up in the sight of your shared friends. It’s one thing to correct them at home, or in familial circumstances, but they’re fighting in a passive-aggressive way with a nominal ally, and they need to know that you’re on their side in public, even if you argue for a different position behind the scenes.  The work from home you’re doing may need to be re-centered in your workplace, but that provides a necessary escape, and better establishes work-family balance.
Pisces: You’re stuck in a bad habit at the moment, of letting your feigned enthusiasm for projects get in the way of what can reasonably be accomplished by deadlines.  It’s time to check in with a few close friends in the workplace and re-set expectations. There’s an argument brewing between you and a partner, but you can head it off by allowing the conversation to grow organically toward what’s bothering you both, instead of resurrecting it in a single instant.  Be aware that you’re taking on new responsibilities in order to make more money — but a creative solution means finding a different method than just “do more work.”
Aries: You want to be able to pursue your passions with greater ease, and to make the journeys that feed you; but there are parts of this effort that are not standing up on their own no matter how you spin it. Some of it is that you have been ignoring or failing at your daily routines; and it’s easy to point to how your pursuit of pleasure and self-care has been getting in the way of those plans… but you are in the driver’s seat here, and things happen the way they do because you are in charge.  Your finances, your daily routine, and your professional repute all depend on documenting your efforts and acknowledging where you’re cheating yourself.
Taurus: You’re playing the role of professional leader right now… everyone knows you’re setting the six month agenda, deciding what happens today, and how this translates into well-being for the long haul. But keep your mind on the long-haul too! At the moment, you’re exerting a lot of energy on “fun in the sun” for your family — but there’s a lot of trouble building up in the parts of your life that require you to keep the daily routines spinning. Your partner may be having trouble expressing their secrets, too.
Gemini: Have you thought about starting a business lately?  You may have a clear idea of how to run it in the long haul, but no idea how to start — and it’s the growing the business from a seed to a sapling that concerns you at the moment, not managing the mighty oak.  Part of this is seeking out the right sorts of advice from the correct friends.  Part of it is recognizing that “a little work on the plan every day” is better than a marathon.  Ask a close friend for help in setting up your routines, and draw your family into your quest.  If this sounds a lot like starting a storm in a life you like, though, then recognize that every life must accept a little rainfall to be livable.
Cancer: The next ten days may feel pretty lonely, as you wrangle your thoughts and marshal your resources.  Friends are there and available, but you have had significantly more leadership experience than many of the folks around you… and you’ll have to take charge and lead the people you want to be in relationship with, if you want them in your life.  Some of this requires that you accept that there’s a maze of new procedures you’re going to have to lear, and some distress and communication failures with your family pod.  But if this is what you want, then acknowledge that you’re going to depend on the resources of a significant other or a partner, and make choices accordingly.


I 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.

Liked it? Take a second to support Andrew on Patreon!
Become a patron at Patreon!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.