The Sun enters Virgo III on September 12, 2023 at 8:55 pm EDT. Hestia, or Vesta in the Latin tradition, is the keeper of the hearth of the gods, the chief cook of their kitchens, and the Olympian sister of Zeus/Jupiter who rules over the feasts of the gods. She portions out the nectar and ambrosia that are the food and drink of immortality. In the third decan of Virgo, which Austin Coppock named The Sarcophagus and that T. Susan Chang referred to as Return on Enfleshment when comparing it with the 10 of Pentacles, she is a suitable symbol of the divinity of the soul — provided that it is properly fed and feasted in the realm of the spirit.
Hestia is not a common figure in myth. During the tale of Prometheus stealing fire from the gods, she looks the other way, though — deliberately condoning and permitting the theft. In many parts of ritual life in Ancient Greece, she was propitiated first and last, by consecrating the sacred flame to her and then releasing that dedication at the end of the ceremony. The Orphic Hymns describe her suffumigation as coming “from aromatics” — which is the term in modern cookery for elements like trinity in Louisiana gumbo and sofrito in Mediterranean cooking — usually a mix of onions, carrots, garlic, celery, along with peppers and spices simmered in olive oil. (Many Southeast Asian cuisines do something similar with ingredients like garlic, ginger, cinnamon and pepper, in either sesame or coconut oil). Hestia’s scent is that of a busy kitchen: who knew??
Mercury both rules and administers this decan, and they reward us with the most sober forms of analysis and judgment when present here: this will occur during the window of September 29 to October 6 this year, depending on your location on the planet — make good use of this timeframe for your most essential intellectual decisions!
The dodeks, or twelfth parts, of Virgo III are Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, and Leo — representing the ways that cautious analysts and researchers present their findings. First they form a comfortable, even luxurious ground of data and curated information; that’s the Taurus nature making itself felt. Then there is the wide-ranging thought process, as the particulars are explored with a mix of inventiveness and deliberation; that’s Gemini making itself known. Cancer manifests as the thoughtful process of organizing and presenting this information in a useful form of guidance that is emotionally relevant, while Leo appears as a sophisticated presenter who delivers the information in a clever performance.
In the chart of September 12, 2023 at 8:55 pm EDT, we have a Night Chart with both the Sun and Moon below the horizon, and no planets in their proper sect except Jupiter in the first house. The Venus retrograde has ended, but Jupiter’s has begun, and Mercury’s still continues — along with Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto. The waning Moon readies herself to go dark shortly after she enters Virgo.
The result is a chart in which very little can “move ahead” — we’re urged to wait, to delay, to accept limitations, to put up boundaries and push back against intrusions on our own plans, and to acknowledge that slow-downs, limits, and unusual background noise may cause erosion of our own capacities to move. It’s not for forever — but patient review and gentle acknowledgement that all is not going according to plan, is probably for the best.
The dispositor of the chart seems to be Mercury in Virgo for a second ten-day sequence — Neptune, Saturn and Pluto answer to Jupiter; Uranus, Jupiter and Mars answer to Venus; Venus and the Moon answer to the Sun; and the Sun answers to Mercury. It’s a bit like the King going to see his treasurer or spymaster in the library, trailing his entire court behind him but deferring to anything his expert says; and all the court simply defers to this small nerd with glasses.
Still, certain particular difficulties will manifest in the days ahead. First the Moon will oppose Saturn in the next few hours, triggering challenging relationships between long-planned leisure activities and limitation in the schedule of participants; expect annoying last minute cancellations that could have been addressed earlier. While the square between Venus and Jupiter is rarely contentious, it still represents a conflict between formal and informal relationships; you may have to choose between going to a party, or sensual playtime with a significant other. Once choice or the other isn’t necessarily wrong, but they are mutually exclusive. Finally, the Moon’s monthly conjunction with Mercury is taking place during a retrograde — suggesting that any plans for group entertainment may still fall apart at the last moment.
Uranus, Jupiter, Venus, and the Moon are currently angular in the first and fourth houses — raising the prominence of personal opportunities for leadership, generosity, and subversion of bad habits; but also requiring additional attention to familial diplomacy and imaginative recreations of the future of one’s household. Breaking old patterns will be relatively easy, but only if you replace them with positive new systems and concepts that you prefer.
The Nodal Axis currently runs between Aries and Libra, and sits at the opening of this decan in the line from the 12th to the sixth houses. This is representative of long-range passions and goals and intentions running up against the craptastic challenges of just continuing with the norms of daily life: time management, sustaining health, and keeping to routines. If you’re currently facing a series of messes and are thinking about giving up on your dreams, remrember: it’s just a temporary setback, not a forever-situation.
It’s also worth attending to the presence of only Neptune, Saturn and Pluto above the horizon — our private decisions have much more sway and bring about more real shifts in the world around us in the next ten days. Yet many of those decisions will be made based on three very public issues: financial turmoils, structural limitations affecting vast networks of people, and misinformation and propaganda. Be Wary: you are more readily ruined by the things that you know, that just ain’t so, than by unknown information. At the same time, know that Nature has limits, and if you see a natural edge… don’t step off it.
Finally, w’ere approaching an unusual square between Venus and Jupiter but in signs of antiscia, or signs where the Sun’s course is at the same height in the sky from the solstices. Normally, squares are confrontational and combative, sharing the nature of the planet Mars. However, antiscions are generally regarded as favorable — and an antiscion at 15° when Jupiter is in a Venus-ruled sign, and Venus is in a Jupiter-ruled decan, has the chance to bring about both delight and difficulty in convoluted ways around September 18. Look to make friendships more secure, more intimate (perhaps both emotionally and physically), and more robust.
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 Ko-Fi.com subscribers; and Decan III is available to Patreon, Ko-Fi, and MailChimp subscribers.
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.