Virgo New Moon

Thursday the 1st of September (5.05pm AWST) brings us the Virgo New Moon Eclipse. And such a special one this is: farewell to Jupiter as it transitions into Libra and beyond on its 12 year cycle through the zodiac. Let’s make use of the simple and practical inspiration of Virgo, unearthing the numinous potential in the small things.

The North Node~Moon~Sun conjunction in humble Virgo, in opposition to the South Node+Neptune in dreamy Pisces, and anchored into a T-square by the Mars~Saturn conjunction in spirited Sagittarius. Once again the vibes are highly mutable, so we do well to adopt a flexible and adaptable attitude, welcoming the changes that face us now, and prepared to release the past with grace and an effort to forgiveness and compassion.

Forgiveness is tricky. My experience tells me that it is both a process, as well as the positive result of a process. It comes not through the espousal of ideals that have more to do with who we want to be than who we really are. But, once we have grasped that those who’ve wronged us have done so in ignorance (that is, they haven’t come to know their Divine nature) and are embroiled in the egoic material world traps that kid us into believing we must compete and impose and manipulate and betray in order to advance, we sense true compassion. We create space for empathy in place of the burdensome grievance that keeps us bound in knots of anger, resentment and victim-thinking. For so long as we remain in the grips of a grudge-bearing mentality, there can be no room for forgiveness.

BUT

in order to come to a place of authentic forgiveness (which may be only partial, and is subject to demur and falter and recoil, often repeatedly, before strengthening and deepening), we need to allow ourselves time (within the dark chrysalis) to feel the betrayal and suffering. Not perpetual wallowing in self-pity but accepting and observing the feelings, emotions and sensations that emerge from the pain. Within this we will uncover golden wisdom and transformative truth that helps us to see that our perspective is not the only one, and that, were it not for the actions of the “perpetrator”, we could not’ve come to this moment of metamorphosis that frees us like a butterfly, and empowers us in its alchemy.

We’ve turned the offering of lead into pure gold

~ wisdom ~ strength ~ healing ~ power ~

We understand that none of us is perfect, and it is in our imperfections that we uncover the most liberating and transformative gifts of our lives, including forgiveness. There is only love when we recognise the universal predicament of our human frailty.

The ruler of the New Moon is the now-retrograde Mercury, conjoined with Jupiter at 28° Virgo. In our honouring of this coincident beginning and ending we now pause to consider the gifts offered by Jupiter’s 13-month (since August 2015) journey through Virgo. How have we expanded our sense of service? How have we learned to discriminate in order to better focus upon our mission? How have we healed? Where do we find potential for further development?

One of Virgo’s lessons is that of humility. We come to recognise our own fallibility. We allow it to be seen by others. We drop the performance and come to our knees as we recognise that it is in service we make our specialness sacred. As we forfeit our ego’s limited perceptions of success (personal gain, fame, fortune) we find something of lasting value…

Beautiful virginal painting spied somewhere in the Louvre

our contribution

our fulfilment

our gift

our legacy

 

~ our commonality is our blessed humanity

Mercury Retrograde in Virgo

Between the 31st of August and the 22nd of September 2016 Mercury will retrograde in Virgo. With an attitude of openness and flexibility we may truly and meaningfully benefit from such periodic reflective phases, though they might appear to bring mere delays and diversion.

Virgo teaches us the numinosity of service, and Mercury (the traditional planetary ruler of Virgo) represents our powers of perception. There are many demands upon us in this modern world ~ family, work and social life. Of course it is important to ensure we allow adequate time for Self ~ nourishment of body, mind and soul. However, we might also find replenishment of spirit by broadening our view of contribution, reframing our perspective to source strength and inspiration from the ways in which we serve others.

My own experience as a stay at home mum has been challenging at times as the relentless demands of housewifery/ Cherub Management are many, monotonous and sometimes seem meaningless. With a shift in perspective, learning the Latin origin of the word sacrifice ~ to make sacred ~ I have found a way to view mundane life as grist for the mill of my personal growth and come to truly value my role as wife* and mother.

Mosaic image in a church in Monte Carlo
Mosaic image in a church in Monte Carlo

My own evolution has occurred as a direct result of this Yin (inward) phase of my life. Had I remained in the Yang (outward) world of career and social orientation I’d have not enjoyed this expansion of my inner life and may never have understood the depth and significance of the sacred feminine. I have come to find joy and satisfaction in embracing and consciously cultivating my feminine~Mother responsibilities of protector, initiator, nurturer, empowerer.

Of course, in considering all the options available we remember that low-road Virgo is hyper-critical, pedantic with myriad OCD-tendencies. This Mercury retrograde holds the potential for these few weeks to degenerate into a period of irritable nit-picking, and frustrated attempts to get things done and court that unattainable mistress Perfection.

We can make excellent use of this time and energy by reconsidering our methods, habits, practices, patterns, paying homage to the devil in the details, crossing T’s and dotting lower case j’s, without becoming excessively harsh in our appraisals of self and others.

Too, Mercury’s retrograde will retrace the steps taken by Jupiter since October 2015. The cosmos now offers messages of Divine import that consolidate the benefits and healing brought about by Jupiter’s journey through Virgo. We can now come to understand the deeper meaning of this phase of the 12-year Jupiterian cycle. The Lunar North Node remains in Virgo (until May 2017), thus continuing to build upon the vision (re)imagined under Jupiter’s optimistic influence.

And when Mercury follows Jupiter into Libra on the 8th of October we will be emboldened by this retrograde phase and its offerings as we go forth ever-expansive, evolving, co-creative custodians of this magical earthly home.

*not technically married, but in a solid relationship for almost 16 years.

Mercury Retro in Taurus

Sometimes in the evening I realise that I’ve not used my time as well as I could’ve. I’m not speaking of mere efficiency. I’m an advocate for conscious laziness. But since my time is valuable, and so is yours, I think it is worth reflecting upon how we use this most precious resource.

Living in alignment with my own values is a value in its own right. That is, it is important to me that I use my moments wisely, whether I am with
my children, writing, walking, grocery shopping, doing dishes for the umpteenth time, whatever: I want to be present and respond appropriately to each opportunity.

This is the crux of mindfulness I suppose. There is the potential for enlightenment within each mundane chore. Eckhart Tolle describes the conscious choice between acceptance enjoyment and enthusiasm. We may not feel as though we have a choice about whether we go to work or not (maybe we ultimately do but the choice is between home and homeless) but we can always choose our response to our present situation. So maybe I’m hating my reality, but that negativity is always born out of resistance of what is. If it’s truly awful and creating nothing but suffering I must choose to change it, but otherwise I can accept~enjoy~be enthusiastic about whatever I am doing = (our perception of) everything changes.

So much of our thinking is habitual. We re-act out of patterns we have inherited or learned and forget to question ourselves. Our neurocircuitry is reinforced by repetitious thoughts and deeds, and so too is our karma. Our actions stem from intent. With our thoughts we make the world.

Rigid thought patterns are limiting and damaging too. We already know, so we reject new perspectives, different opinions, data that negates our well-established model of the world as we know it. This sort of fixity and stubbornness is low-road Mercury in Taurus.

Consideration of that which we value and of the ways in which we habitually use our time are themes of this Mercury retrograde in Taurus. Since we spend so much time in our minds we must develop awareness of our thoughts.

When we become more aware of our mind’s running commentary we can make a decision to change our thinking. Instead of a monologue of self-hate or judgement or complaints or resentment we can stop. Make a choice about your state of mind that aligns with your values.

When awareness returns you might be surprised, shocked even, by how many negative thoughts you are having. I know I was. Relentless silent punishments.

It is in our mind that intention is born. And intention is like a drawn arrow, aimed toward our future~goal~vision~dharma. From here we go forth, with words action and effort. If we are clear in our setting of intention, life unfolds in ways that support and inspire us.

Until the 23rd of May Mercury is retrograde, joining Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Pluto, so it is truly the season for reflection. A little time spent reviewing the ways in which your thoughts support or hinder your success~growth~evolution is in alignment with the current cosmic vibe.

IMG_1359
Not a Bull but a nice Zen-looking cow

Make like sensual Taurus and prioritise time to connect with your body via feeling it’s messages. Rest, nourishment, time spent in nature, stillness, peace are necessary for our holistic well being. Acceptance that we don’t know all the answers is liberating. Relinquish control. Mystery abounds.

Surrender is a strength.