The Autumn Equinox occurs at the moment that the Sun crosses the boundary from Virgo to Libra — and this year, that occurs on 23 September 2023 at 2:50 am EDT. For me on US east coast time and in the eastern part of the Berkshires, this means we’re looking at a night chart when the Erinyes ride forth in their season of terror. Were apotropaic rites performed at this time of year to keep them at bay? I don’t know, but the name Austin Coppock chose for this decan was The Blindfold and the Sword — he wasn’t expecting a wrist slap from judges in the courtroom of the gods. T. Susan Chang named it Ties that Bind — an appropriate name for the transition to the dark half of the year when there are fewer options and narrowed choices.
I do know that this season is administered by the Moon. The first half of the astrological year begins with Mars-ruled Aries, while the second half begins with Venus-ruled Libra: the initial fire of the year must be balanced with… balance. No fire long endures without oxygen; and no day endures forever, either. The night, and the time of the Moon, must surely follow the day, as certainly as the dark and the cold must follow the light and the heat.
The Erinyes were the three spirits responsible for punishing violent crimes that contradicted ancient laws of hospitality. Snake-haired like Medusa and immortal, they carried barbed scourges and serrated knives, and chased those individuals who committed the five unforgivable crimes of the ancient world, all of them villainies that seemed to precede even law codes passed down orally — children who murdered their parents, slaves who attacked their masters, guests who maltreated their hosts, householders who betrayed their city-state, and mortals who committed sacrilege against the gods. By the classical era, these monstrous spirits still had the power to fire the imagination of the typical Hellene’s mind — at the first performance of Aeschylus’ trilogy of plays, the Oresteia, the Erinyes smashed their way through a wall to appear on stage, and a stampede of 5,000 fled the theater in terror, trampling dozens in their haste. Yet just a few hundred years later, with legal frameworks encoded in the relatively new technology of writing, fear of the Furies had genuinely subsided to a merely ritual or magical concern. Late Antiquity’s writers like St. Augustine of Hippo were able to point to a genuine lack of care for familial piety and hospitality as a reason for Christian morality’s new popularity — the ethical frameworks of ancient societies no longer made the average Roman citizen fear the gods in how they behaved toward mortals.
The four dodeks of Libra I are recapitulations of Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, and Capricorn, representing a merchant or landlord’s slide from arranging just and fair payments for products and services, to a more scheming and villainous way of collecting rents from disempowered clients. First the payment is just and fair — an agreeable price for an agreeable service or product. Then follows Scorpio — a secret decision to increase the price or to reduce the quality of the product or service. Sagittarius the storyteller steps in as the firelight becomes a bed of coals, telling stories of why this was necessary and just based on market conditions. Capricorn ends the story by locking the clients into a terrible product or service at an audacious and unacceptable price, a miser hoarding gold and refusing to improve his response to customer complaints — or revolt.
Let’s do something I haven’t done before in describing planetary placements, and look at planets based on which planets they’re vibing with at the moment. John Frawley designed the chart that I use to track this sort of thing, identifying which planet rules each sign, which of the magistrates is currently in charge, the governor of the term, the administrator of the face… and which planets would be in the brick outhouse or even locked up if they happened to appear in the same location.
We see, first off, that the Moon is in a Saturn-ruled sign — but Saturn answers to Jupiter; while Jupiter and Mars both answer to Venus. Venus herself answers to the Sun, and the Sun answers to Venus. Yet the Sun is currently in a Venus-ruled sign, and in the sign of his fall — welcome Autumn! We all know a guy who follows his lady around like a puppy dog, does everything she says, agrees to let his life be managed by her, and who cannot be persuaded to do anything against her. This is the Sun at the moment — the golden retriever of a guy who worships his queen even to his own difficulty and personal challenge, confident and emotionally in touch with himself about everything but her. In the third house with Mars and the South Node he’s cadent and preferring quietly surfing shopping websites for her to the bustle of the public mall — but if you can get him out of the house, he’ll still carry her bags and keep quiet.
Next we turn to Venus — in the next ten days she’s queen, the ever-present lurker just below the surface of consciousness? What woman is in control of the situation you’re studying? Is it because of her creativity? Her passion? Her beauty? Looking to the themes of the triplicity, terms, decans, and even detriment — it’s really her age, her wisdom, and her “leashed kindness”; I’m reminded of the Matt Smith Doctor Who saying, “Good men [women here] don’t need rules. Today is not the day to find out why I have so many.” Generous and kind, she’s still ambitious, and woe betide the one who crosses her. In the first house, she proclaims, channel your inner bitch today!
Jupiter also answers pretty directly to Venus —the nominal boss deferring to his long-time secretary’s competence or asking the older bookkeeper to double-check his numbers. This isn’t the skirt-chasing Zeus of myth; it’s the young manager finally recognizing the potential and the wisdom of his much-older colleague who hit the glass ceiling, and deciding to do what he can to make the power differential right. Is it ok that it took this long to recognize her competence, to promote her or to increase her pay? No, and nothing will make that right… but there is a chance to address the old grievance.
Saturn answers to Jupiter, and again it’s that older and more plodding but meticulous assistant wending his way through the slide-deck on an old Windows 10 machine. He doesn’t understand PowerPoint, but he’ll catch every single misspelling and every mis-matched dollar figure… and he’ll pester you about them until it’s corrected. The temptation is to see a rival or an enemy, but it’s a mistake to think that way: sometimes a tedious boon companion is a chore, but he’ll save you in a tight spot.
The Moon is in the 22nd Mansion, “The Fortune of the Sacrificer”, a low-class dive bar for farmhands, bike messengers, and agricultural workers where the jukebox hasn’t worked in years — but the live music is surprisingly good, and they don’t pay too much attention to fugitives or vile gossip here. Separating from Saturn and applying to Mercury, there’s a sense of leaving off from hopelessness, and at least starting to analyze the situation rationally. With Mercury in the second house, we know the plan to get free of current trouble, or to heal the current illness, will cost something: resting time or medicine — use one or the other while the problem is still manageable.
Our three Interlopers — Uranus, Neptune and Pluto — all occupy late degrees of Water and Earth signs. Uranus promises overhauls and mishaps at work that only an especially alert and detail-oriented mind will catch. Neptune ensnares older family members in visions of a better past that never was. Pluto grabs your face and gestures to the couch and the video screen, hoping you’ll forget about picket lines and scabs as you buy from internet stores and watch shows and movies produced by striking professionals.
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.
Leo: You may find yourself acting as advisor to a family matriarch this week — or possibly even as family matriarch, even if you’re not a woman. Consider this role carefully in the families in which you participate — you’ll be coach to your boss or supervisor, replacement parent to aunts and uncles, speaker for the deceased whose voices are important to many; counterweight to public propaganda; and secret-keeper extraordinare. None of these roles are easy, and there may be unexpected strain on your wallet or gas tank as a result. Don’t sink into the couch; remember that your chief power is to be a light in darkness.
Virgo: Everyone who wanted your advice a week ago is suddenly silent; and nobody seems to be considering your opinion any more. There’s a troubling financial picture but a creative solution can be found if you continue to dance and play around it — worry will not serve, but imaginative possibilities can be contemplated. You might find a friend to assist you, or journey someplace cheaper, or acknowledge your part in the financial mess — but the trouble must be addressed, and soon. Don’t mistake silence for hatred, though: you’re out of the loop because others are facing their own challenges: call and offer to help.
Libra: A woman friend is likely to set you on the right path in the next ten days, but only if you’ve told yourself what it is that you are trying to achieve; and only if you’re prepared to reveal to close friends or family members some of the secret issues that trouble and plague you. Some questions relating to your internal turmoil have been hidden for a long time, and it seems best to let bygones be bygones —but they’re likely to come out in the next ten days in explosive fashion if you’re not careful. A generous attitude toward your work subordinates is probably needed; but be prepared to protect your team from a harried boss.
Scorpio: In the privacy of your own room, or with a circle of close friends, you may want to beat yourself up over bad decisions — but allow your friends to craft a new way of thinking about yourself. This may involve culling your possessions or building a new wardrobe; or helping you find a new freelance gig. It’s not a great time to find a brand new job, but if you’re currently unattached, be open to a relatively unencumbered date or two. If you’re attached, invite your partner on a date night to someplace outside your regular orbits. Whenever possible, draw yourself toward your passion projects and away from spinning in your own daily grind.
Sagittarius: It feels like opportunities for leisure and relaxation are so far away. Daily routines require constant review; your spiritual practices seem to need updating, and your personal autonomy feels compromised. It’s easy to think about things six months from now, but starting on what needs doing today is hard — your ambition is focused on the next thing, not on what you’re doing or where you’re going. Too many things that you believed were hobbies now seem like work; and there’s anxiety about money even though there’s plenty of it — what you probably miss most of all is being needed and wanted as an advisor and guide. Accept the respite to try something new and creative; you’ll be needed again in the near future.
Capricorn: You may want to try a dietary change in order to achieve some health goal or to narrow in on some mystery complaint in your physical body. But there are a number of exciting entertainments coming your way where food, drink, and celebration will be unavoidable, and your austerity will be counted against you by people that matter to you. Accept that your usual rigor can’t be instituted immediately — and if it could, it would still bring unpleasant results at work, in your learning communities, and with significant friends. Accept the obligation to be moderate and entertaining instead of a monster of asceticism.
Aquarius: I know you’ll find that you spend a lot of time these next ten days considering other people and institutions — both their ideal situation and their practical realities. But this doesn’t come from altruism — it mostly comes from a mindset of figuring out how to extract wealth from them for yourself. This is not an unreasonable point of focus at the moment. But I’d like you to consider how you want this process of drawing forth your own sustenance from others is going to work, twelve years from now. Your plan can’t be to rob these folks blind now, and expect them to come back often to fork over their cash to pay for your lifestyle. What is it that you’re offering which makes you the obvious choice every year for the next decade?
Pisces: in a roundabout way, your current beliefs are coming into conflict with the legacies that you’re charged with passing on to the next generation. The stories you’re expected to hand on to others no longer resonate with you, whether they’re part of your corporate institutional memory or the familiar stories of your childhood. It’s time to make some new stories. Give yourself permission to consider how your responsibilities can be changed and modified, by communicating with close friends, by giving yourself the sacred pause before launching into an old way of doing things — and by burning off the ugliest weeds of the past with a fresh layer of manure, and the new bulbs you intend to grow in fresh soil.
Aries: You’ve got a fiery hunger to try something new, but you’re likely aware that it will hurt someone close to you, who is spinning in the same old ruts. The temptation is to bring the crowbar and pry open the chains that bind — but a higher light could learn a few things by putting on a metaphysical blindfold and pretending you are them: what are they teaching you? How can you learn from imagining yourself in this windy little life? There is deep contentment here, and wealth, and a shared, surprising joy. The flood destroys manmade levees, but the natural marsh absorbs the tide and brings brings new life — be vast, be fluttering, and diversify your duties. Don’t put up walls — accept the flood: you are large enough to hold it all.
Taurus: The next few days will bring occasions for leadership and honor that may not fully take hold for six months, but are planting their bulbs now. Your professional lights can’t be hidden under a bushel much longer; your personal ministry or leadership begins now, even if you’re trying to revolt against it. Some of it has to do with the home life you’re cultivating, and some with the way you’re writing and planning for fun. Some of it is that you’re trying to break away from a past that’s still haunting. Your partner has professional honors they want to reach for, but you’re branching out into what you still want to learn and the relationships you want to build: career isn’t so important as journey and friends right now.
Gemini: It’s time to extend an invitation to friends and bring them home for a council on how to help you earn more money without necessarily taking on more responsibility. The foundations of your obligations are starting to shift, and this is going to require new and imaginative solutions. One possibility is as a guide to travel or personal educational journeys, but you’d need your partner to be on board with this — and some of oyour social (and soul-cial) calendar would have to change. Don’t bow out of life for the whole week (there’s fires you need to put out with your intellectual brilliance), but a mini-retreat to suss out your professional goals would be a valuable exercise.
Cancer: Oh, loneliness! How hard it is when you have big plans and hopes, but you’re dependent on other’ labors for finishing your smallest daily tasks! You need a budget, and you need a regular check-in time with family and close friends — but this won’t happen naturally. You have to do it. Similarly, an inauguration of your new living situation may require a party… and the party may have to end with you kicking some folks out at 3am! People are (ironically) expecting you to be a professional rabble rouser and informal leader among your colleagues; your studious ways and your dedication to your current journeys impress them, but they also expect you to step up and preside over social processes too. You can do it.
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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.