Urania's Well: Astrology for Changing Times

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Revel in the Details: A Virgo New Moon

b2ap3_thumbnail_154494_10151337343351322_1797131129_n.jpgTake your ordination in the rains from heaven and the winds of change that have gathered around us. Let it come, this new world. As I have written before–these are the times we are made for.
~ Byron Ballard
The Virgo New Moon happens tomorrow, August 25th — you can find the chart here. Before I get into the analysis, I want to emphasize again that lunation (New and Full Moon) charts can be worked with on an individual level to bring out the most positive characteristics of the planetary alignments, even if the chart has numerous difficult aspects. On a wider, country-wide level, however, on the larger social/political/economic stage, we are likely to see the difficult aspects manifesting in difficult ways more often than not. When a chart is cast for an entire country — as I do with these lunation charts, which are cast for the USA — you’ll see the issues highlighted in the chart reflected in the news, in the national conversations, in your life and the lives of those around you, but in differing degrees and in different ways.

Obviously, not everyone is going to be equally affected. For instance, in my post on the recent Full Moon, I said there would be widespread flooding in the country, as indeed, there has been — widespread and record-setting. But not everyone has been flooded out, and some people are more strongly affected by these events than others. I also spoke of the need to deal with anger in that same post, and you may have experienced feelings and/or incidents  of anger in your life, or seen it manifest in the lives of those around you. Certainly anger has been at the center of the national conversation around Ferguson, MO, entrenched racism, and the militarization of the police. Much depends on the birth chart of a person, or even a town. (The incorporation chart of Ferguson, MO, for instance, is being strongly aspected by current transits and lunations.)

I will always do my best to explain how an individual can use current transits positively, while alerting you to possible pitfalls. So please keep this in mind, and don’t let yourself get swept up in negativity simply because the planetary alignments are challenging. My intention in writing these posts is to help you become aware of the prevailing energies — both flowing and challenging — and how you can work with them. I hope you will use magic and intention to create the best possible outcome for yourself, your loved ones, and your tribe — however you define that word.

As you may have already surmised, there are some challenging aspects in this New Moon chart. “Challenging” does not mean “bad”. It means there is a lot of power in the aspect, and it takes more awareness and skill to maneuver through your daily life than it would were the astrological weather more gentle and accommodating. If you use this powerful energy adeptly, the rewards you enjoy can be profound and long-lasting, and there are some “silver lining” aspects happening as well this month to help you in your work.

The notion of the infinite variety of detail and the multiplicity of forms is a pleasing one; in complexity are the fringes of beauty, and in variety are generosity and exuberance.
~ Annie Dillard

The first thing that we’re likely to notice in this chart is the opposition between the Sun-Moon conjunction in precise, practical, organized Virgo and Neptune, the “All One” planet, enthroned in his home ocean, the sign Pisces. Virgo is the sign of skill, craft, and service, and is further emphasized by Mercury’s presence there, for Mercury rules the sign.

Unless you are a strict materialist, and believe that consciousness is the result of chance combinations of atoms, an epiphenomenon of the brain, then you probably have some sense of physical reality as being a manifestation of Consciousness.  (I capitalize it to emphasize that this is not simply awareness, but a creative force)  You may call that Consciousness God/dess or Tao or Dryghten, or you may think of it in terms of many Consciousnesses. You might believe that you are already part of it, or seeking to join it — or maybe both, because paradox is the spice of life, right? Concepts of Consciousness are at the foundation of religion and spirituality. But if you assume the reality of Consciousness, and you try to identify what Creator Consciousness must value while you are looking around at the vast physical universe, at the incredible diversity of our world, you would almost have to come to the conclusion that who-or-whatever created physical reality must value variety and creativity above almost anything else.

Virgo revels in that variety, and works in service to others to organize and harmonize the details of life within the boundaries of time and space. Pisces tends to float in the ocean of Consciousness, not paying too much attention to details and differences, reveling in the Oneness. This is the tension that is at the center of the New Moon chart. Virgo sorts, organizes, does its best to make life on the physical plane easier for others. Virgo brings in the harvest — an exacting task that requires focus and discrimination. Virgo thinks about what will be kept, what returned to the Earth, how much will be kept aside for seed next year, curing, storing, and the myriad details of producing what is needed. Pisces knows it’s all sacred, it all has meaning, it’s all about the ever-changing creations of Consciousness. Virgo says that all creations must be judged on their merits. They are both right, and the way through this month will involve making choices that encourage and reflect the world you want to create, the world you want to live in.

The other key aspects in this chart revolve around the conjunction of Mars and Saturn in Scorpio. This is an aspect that epitomizes the emotion of fear, but also embodies courage, indomitable will, and a willingness to fight for deeply-held values. The Moon, which treasures traditional values, rules the Midheaven. Then we see volatile Uranus, closely trining Venus, demanding change oppose the Venus-ruled Ascendant. What this all means is that change is likely to come through artists and artistic pursuits, and skillful handling of resources and financial assets. But it is also likely to manifest in upheaval and revolutionary actions.  This highly emotional, explosive pattern is fueled by the simmering anger of the Mars-Saturn conjunction, and we may see displays of violence, as well as overwrought fault-finding and criticism, nit-picking, and attempts to avoid reality by either getting lost in the details or lost in confusion. There is also a distinct lack of the Element of Air in this chart, suggesting problems with communication — which might also manifest as inappropriate over-communication. It’s always a good idea to engage the brain before opening the mouth, and also remember that people can’t read your mind. It’s important to speak up.


I have never been lost, but I will admit to being confused for several weeks.
~ Daniel Boone

The financial system of the country is under considerable strain in this chart. Mars and Saturn sit solidly in the second house, powerfully ensconced in Scorpio (Mars co-rules it, Saturn is in mutual reception with its other ruler, Pluto). The ruler of the eighth house , Venus, squares them both from Leo, the gambler’s sign up in the tenth house of government and business. Play your cards close to your chest this month, and stay very aware of attempts to distract or manipulate your attention. You may want some distraction, which is fine. Just be aware of what’s going on around you. Also know that others may act with a lack of transparency, and/or with physical force.

Both Neptune and Pisces rule glamour, and since Neptune is located in the fifth house of fun, entertainment and celebrity here, we might find ourselves being spectacularly entertained in one way or another — though not without plenty of tsk-tsking from those for whom fun is a four-letter word. All those people you know who drive you crazy because they take themselves so seriously? They’ll be out in force this month. Watch that you don’t wander into their party highly-significant meeting. Addiction and addictive behavior are likely to be on display this month as well, and glamour will be used to cover a multitude of sins, so there will be plenty to tsk at. Stay truthful to yourself and others, and if you are prone to addictive behavior, be very aware of where you are at emotionally this month. Tune into your thoughts and feelings frequently. Small grounding rituals, repeated frequently — even if just in your mind — will help you stay balanced, and affirmations/prayers/mantras can be a big help in holding a positive emotional focus.

Tend the Earth in any way you can, and try to spend as much time in nature as possible. Even lunch hour at a local park will help, especially if you spend time intentionally connecting with the Earth and the Web of Life. The month will have its challenges, but those challenges are also opportunities — yours to use or lose. If you remember to stay grounded in your personal spiritual values, you’ll be fine.

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Diotima Mantineia began studying astrology in 1968, taking classes from Zoltan Mason in New York City. For the next 22 years, she practiced astrology only for herself and her friends, continuing her studies while watching an increasingly humanistic, psychologically oriented, modern astrology blossom through the work of leading astrologers such as Noel Tyl, Liz Greene, Rob Hand, Marion March, Stephen Arroyo and Howard Sasportas. In 1986, Diotima began her study of Wicca and started reading Tarot, discovering that she is a gifted intuitive. In 1991, she began practicing both astrology and Tarot professionally. She majored in plant and soil science both in college and grad school, and grows much of her own food and "materia magica" on her land in the mountains of western North Carolina. Diotima’s personal spiritual path is rooted in the Western mystery traditions, the principles of Yoga, and a profound connection with the natural world. Wicca gives structure to her spiritual journey, and she utilizes shamanic practices for healing and to live in harmony with Nature. Over 15 years of studying Chinese martial arts has given her a deep appreciation of Taoist thought which has strongly influenced her magical and personal philosophy. You can find her at www.uraniaswell.com


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