Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Here We Go Again: New Moon In Virgo

New Moon @ 5 degrees Virgo
August 28, 2011
8:04 PM Pacific
11:04 PM Eastern

The flow of life seemingly contradicts our linear perception of time--sometimes we find ourselves back to a place we thought we had left behind, long ago. When the past re-emerges we can sometimes feel frustrated, because we "expected" something else entirely, and yet, sometimes our objectives must surrender to the fact that life is not linear as our minds are--it is cyclic, and it turns with the great wheel of creation and destruction which underlies the very fabric of our visible world.

The last lunation (New Moon) cycle reveled the theme of 'emerging from chaos', largely influenced by Mercury's retrograde cycle in Virgo/Leo conjoining Transpluto in opposition Neptune. This energy is not solely confined to that lunar cycle, because Mercury is carrying it further and to completion as it transits direct, and back through its shadow. When Mercury goes retrograde, there is actually a definitive three step process that is taking place, beyond the actual retrograde period itself.

When a planet goes retrograde is appears to be moving backwards, which is an optical illusion, but a rather convincing one. Before "going backwards", the planet passes through an area of the zodiac called the shadow, which is the location from which the planet will retrograde through. There are two shadow periods, and both are roughly two weeks in duration--the first introduces us to the themes and issues we will likely resolve during the retrograde itself, and the final shadow allows us a process of finishing up and resolving whatever was brought to our attention.

This lunation begins right at the tail-end of Mercury's retrograde cycle, just as it enters into the final shadow period, and so there is a pronounced blending and carry over of the process that began at the last lunar cycle. The final shadow ends on September 9th. Take a moment to review what has come up for you over the past few weeks. Who or what has re-emerged from the past? Do you see a deeper meaning behind it, what insight or perspective has it brought you? What have you needed to reconsider, have you been open to new perspectives, allowing yourself to see things differently? These are not random and meaningless events, they are deeply purposeful and have much to show us about ourselves. How are we consciously emerging from chaos and disorder, both as individuals and as a collective?

This New Moon takes place in the tropical sign of Virgo, within three degrees of conjunction with Venus. Virgo is the archetype of assimilation, which manifests as the impulse to create order out of chaos--organizing, cleaning, cleansing, purging, purifying,--and so often, compartmentalizing. Virgo likes to have everything in its proper place, not necessarily as a desire for perfection, but more as a need for functionality. Of course, on the darker end of Virgo we find all sorts of obsessive compulsive tendencies, but this is only when the energy is misdirected or blocked in some way.

This lunation presents us with some interesting aspect configurations and symbols, and all of them blend and corroborate with each other quite nicely. The New Moon itself is conjunct Venus, and forms a dynamic Grand Trine with Jupiter in Taurus and Pluto in Capricorn. Grand Trine configurations can be highly creative and inspirational, if we don't get caught up in an obsessive loop--the energies must be integrated and applied in some way, or they shut an individual off into their own world. This is a powerful earth grand trine, in fact, this new moon is quite earthy in nature--so we find ourselves focusing more on practical and down to earth concerns. This provides us the opportunity to gain more autonomy and self-sufficiency, and we may be presented with remnants of the past which can act as a catalysts for our growth.

We must be conscious, however, of an impulse to shut out others entirely, and focus only on our own self interests--believing that only we can do it, or that we don't need the help of others. The New Moon conjunct Venus is in an opposition to Chiron conjunct Neptune, so we are invited to reach out to a greater whole, perhaps even to larger spiritual forces for assistance. Combined with the New Moon's placement in Virgo, we see the perfect opportunity for re-organizing some things in our lives, more so relating to physical structures. This is an excellent opportunity for creative brainstorming. As Mercury slowly picks up speed, we can now begin moving forward, but again, not too fast.

There aren't a lot challenging aspects within the horoscope, we find only two prominent squares and one wide opposition. Mars in Cancer is square Saturn in Libra, and this can often have a rather irritating energy that comes with it. We are invited to move forward with caution and to do things slowly--be mindful and conscious with each step that you take, consider all the possibilities that surround you. Some unfinished business or projects from the past may emerge now, or possibly something that may not have much to do with you at all--you may find yourself doing things for other people or assisting in completing something you didn't start in the first place. This could feel like a distraction from your present course, but perhaps the purpose is to keep us from chasing our own tails and getting caught in a loop. This soon shall pass. When working on some project or important task, be mindful of resistances or others who may trigger you in some way--do what you can, but don't drain yourself either; if too much seems to be in the way, its probably best to back off and try another time.

So much of of this lunation echoes a process of building things back up, steadily and consciously, piece by piece. The previous lunar cycles may have also presented a financial dry spell, and it seems that this energy will begin to shift with this New Moon. Obviously, the nation is currently in the midst of many financial challenges, primarily because our current economic system is dysfunctional and is in process of transmutation--the reality is that many things are currently hanging on by a thread. I don't say this to be pessimistic, but merely practical--judging by the upcoming astrological configurations, there is much shifting that is about to take place, and we all have to take responsibility for ourselves and our place within this. Finding ways of becoming more self-sufficient is a good place to start, and just beginning with one step at a time toward more autonomy is the best that we can do right now.

The Sabian Symbol for this New Moon reads:

06 degrees Virgo: A Merry-Go-Round

This symbol is quite interesting, because it appears to compliment the cyclic/repetitious energy of the Grand Earth Trine, and the Mars/Saturn Square. We can interpret this symbol in two ways--we can look at it quite literally for what it is, as an image of repeating cycles and repetition, and also we can penetrate to the origins of the Merry-Go-Round as an historical symbol. The latter reveals that the Merry-Go-Round as the playground version of the classical Carousel amusement ride, which was originally a device that was once used as a training mechanism, to prepare for combat and battle. According to Wikipedia:

"The earliest known depiction of a carousel is in Byzantine bas-relief dating to around 500 A.D., which depicts riders in baskets suspended from a central pole. The word carousel originates from the Italian garosello and Spanish carosella ("little battle"), used by crusaders to describe a combat preparation exercise and game played by Turkish and Arabian horsemen in the 12th century. In a sense this early device could be considered a cavalry training mechanism; it prepared and strengthened the riders for actual combat as they wielded their swords at the mock enemies. European Crusaders discovered this device and brought the idea back to their own lands. A carousel was also a training device for the ring-tilt, consisting of wooden horses suspended from arms branching from a central pole. Riders aimed to spear rings situated around the circumference as the carousel was moved by a man, horse, or mule."[1]

Looked at this way, we can interpret this cycle as a preparation for a proceeding lunation which will involve much more activity and movement, and in looking at the following energies, this appears to be so. The metaphor of repetition reveals the inevitable process of training in order to master a specific skill or ability. In another sense, the symbol of the playground, with its equipment, also represents a "training ground" for young children, where they learn to interact and communicate as a preparation for modern life. Looked at another way, we see the image suggesting that we may be going in circles, and possibly chasing our tails. Each time we confront the situation, it may be the same, but we see it differently with each turn around the wheel. Perhaps the image presents us with a question: Do we keep going in circles, or do we get off and do something else? If things aren't changing outside or within us, with each visit to the same thing, we must make a decision and take appropriate action, because the wheel keeps spinning, and we only choose to hold on.

Notes & References

Image 1: The Wheel of Fortune by Norbert Losche (as featured in the Cosmic Tarot card deck)


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