August 27 4:17 AM EST
This new moon falls at 4 degrees of the sign of perfection, refinement and simplicity- Virgo- the Virgin. Along with Scorpio, the Virgo archetype is one of the most misunderstood of the zodiac. While negative lower vibrational stereotypes of Scorpio as sex-crazed, manipulative, and dark have permeated (one could even say obsessed) the collective consciousness, Virgo has remained largely ignored and sidelined. The Virgin? What a strange archetype for our modern culture. But not so much perhaps when we consider the roots of the ancient Greek and Latin words for Virgin meant “whole” and “complete within oneself”. “Virgo intacta” meant sexually inexperienced, but the word Virgin itself was reserved for autonomous and unmarried women. This gives us a whole new angle of understanding about the “Virgin” Goddesses, such as Artemis, Vesta and Athena who were NOT sexually abstinent but rather fiercely independent, subservient to no man, and in personal authority and integrity in their own lives.
In astrology, Virgo fulfills this function as well. In complement with its opposite sign of Pisces, Virgo is about wholeness. While Pisces, as the last and final sign of the zodiac, is about our wholeness within the infinite oneness of creation, Virgo is about wholeness within OURSELVES. After the embellishment and uninhibited creative exploration of the Leo archetype, we must pare back, analyze, cull and refine, and that is the task of Virgo. Not all of our open-hearted Leonine excitement passes muster for the long term, instead we must get to the purity and simplicity and core essence of whatever project or creative endeavor we are working on, as well as within ourselves. Often we only learn what is truly important and meaningful to us after experimenting with lots of things that are not, and this is a worthwhile process. But so is the subsequent Virgo process of elimination of the unnecessary and unproductive. Only then can we move forward in wholeness and integrity (Virgo) into personal and professional partnerships and collaborations (Libra) that are in correct balance and alignment.
And that is what this new moon is all about. The new moon is in exact square to Mars at 4 degrees of Gemini. Mars in Gemini is an energetic and influence that will dominate for the next 7 months, and here, squaring up to the new moon it provides conflicting and seemingly contradictory inputs. It is a classic “information overload” aspect where on the one hand we want to simplify and refine (Virgo), but on the other hand there are so many possibilities, potentialities, opinions and ideas (Gemini) on the table, we have a difficult time knowing which is the one worth focusing on. This task of discernment will be a key to moving forward effectively during this entire 7 month Mars in Gemini transit, and we are getting a master class in it now already at this new moon.
Fortunately, Mars in Gemini is also forming a beautiful grand trine to Mercury at 1 degree of Libra and Pluto at 26 degrees of Capricorn. A grand trine is the “most auspicious” astrological aspect, wherein the 3 planets connected are all working harmoniously and supporting each other. When we are in humble and simple personal integrity (Virgo), our communication within our relationships should be seemless, balanced, and cooperative (Mercury in Libra). We should be able to weigh the options on the table accurately and move forward accordingly (Mars in Gemini). And Pluto in Capricorn here is reminding us of what its function has been since 2008 when it moved into that sign- fundamental structural change. In other words we may have to make some deep and structural adjustments (Pluto in Capricorn) within our own personal lives and psyche, in order to set a stage where it is easier to discern and choose effectively (Mars in Gemini) and communicate smoothly and productively (Mercury in Libra).
This brings us back around to another core meaning of Virgo- our daily lives and routines. After all, that is where “the rubber meets the road” so to speak, where we either sabotage ourselves right out of the gate (counter-productive or poor daily routines and habits) or set the stage for success by making sure the ‘little things’ in our lives are functioning at maximum ease and efficiency. This is the time for a conscious inventory of the minutiae our daily lives. How can we make adjustments to our schedule, our nutrition, our health, our productivity and our daily mindset, in order to set a stage that supports us moving forward? The goal is to set our lives up in such a way that we have a kind of ‘tabula rasa’, or “clean slate”, from which we can operate with maximum clarity and discernment. From that place of purity and completeness, nothing is “missing”, we are simply weighing all of the options that come up (Mars in Gemini) in clarity, and communicating diplomatically accordingly (Mercury in Libra).
Venus, the planet of love, money and relationships- still in dramatic Leo- is also helping us with this task. Venus at 19 degrees of Leo is in nearly exact opposition to the planet of realism and pragmatism, Saturn, at 20 degrees of Aquarius. Traditionally a Venus/Saturn opposition can be seen as a time of relationship (Venus) disappointments (Saturn) or feeling like harsh reality (Saturn) is dampening our enjoyment (Venus). But taken in the context of a Virgo new moon intention to separate what is truly useful and durable (Saturn) from what is merely alluring/appealing (Venus), thus aiding in our discernment, we have a great combination. While it can sometimes be a bummer to recognize that what we had hoped would be a fruitful investment or romance (Venus) doesn’t quite stand up under scrutiny (Saturn), ultimately it is always better to recognize that what glitters is not always gold. Virgo is intimately aware of this, and can help extract lessons from situations and move on without any extra baggage or drama.
This is all the more true because Ceres, the dwarf planet that represents ‘the harvest’ and Mother Earth/seasonality is also in Leo, conjunct Venus and opposite Saturn. Some astrologers actually believe that Ceres is a more apt ruler for Virgo, than communications planet Mercury who is traditionally ascribed rulership over Virgo. Ceres reinforces that we must choose wisely where we ‘plant our seeds’. If we are planting in harsh or unforgiving territory (Saturn) then we can expect to reap the results of that choice. Some good may come from it, but it is possible there is an easier path. So being conscious of our choices and the trajectory they lay out for us is important now, especially when it comes to Venusian themes around relationships and finances.
As traditional ruler of Virgo, Mercury once again plays a prominent role in this new moon. In addition to the grand trine with Pluto and Mars, Mercury is also being opposed by both Jupiter at 7 degrees of Aries and Neptune at 24 degrees of Pisces. This is a VERY heavily aspected Mercury! AND Mercury is already in it’s shadow period, since it will retrograde in Libra on September 9th and re-tread this territory once again in late-September. This may give us an “instant karma” kind of experience, whereby the choices we make around the new moon have a quick ‘boomerang’ effect, and we get a loud cosmic YES or NO from the universe in the subsequent weeks about the choices we are making or the overall direction we are headed. This could prove to be frustrating, but once again like Ceres/Venus opposing Saturn, it is usually a ‘blessing in disguise’ even if it is not what we had hoped for, because it shows us the reality of the situation in front of us. Mercury retrograde is also not a ‘bad’ thing, but rather prompts adjustments and revisions, so if we can enter this time with the spirit of improvement and revisions in mind, the bumps will smooth out much more easily.
Ultimately this Virgo new moon is a time of purification. Not the self-recriminating and judgmental kind of purification that can sometimes be associated with lower vibrational ‘picky, fussy, critical’ Virgoan behaviors, but purification in its most essential and helpful sense. Our bodies, another significant aspect of Virgo’s psyche and symbolism, are quite literally purification machines. When we are truly in tune with our bodies, we have an implicit sense of what serves us and what does not. Pisces, Virgo’s opposite sign and complement, is the sign of great emotional and psychic sensitivity and easily ‘absorbs’ energies that surround it. It is up to Virgo energy to take what is useful and expel the rest, otherwise we can fall into the Piscean traps of ungroundedness, illusion, and overwhelm. Now is the time to celebrate and practice Virgo’s high levels of discernment and self-care so that we can easily eliminate and pass over sub-optimal situations and choose for the relationships and environments where we can truly thrive.
*art by @seamlessoo