This is the most important New Moon of the year. It’s an eclipse that will further emphasize the Saturn-Neptune square that has been dogging us this year, particularly in the political, social and environmental arenas, including an inability to get to the truth, “othering” (e.g. racism, misogyny, religious persecution), floods and fires and major problems with pollution, particularly water pollution. These and other Saturn-Neptune issues (finding truth, spiritual materialism, a pull towards authoritarianism) are being brought to our attention so we can fix them, both in our personal lives and on a larger stage. The eclipse insists we look at how we’re doing with that, and work on manifesting our spiritual ideals in a practical way.
As with all challenging charts — and make no mistake, this is a formidable chart — there is a tremendous amount of power being made available to us, so we will need to stay focused and sharp to make sure that power is directed to our benefit, and hopefully the benefit of all. The benefits here, if we work with the energy, include powerful, practical visions, a balancing of perspective, improved health, wisdom born of experience, and a deeper insight into our personal spiritual paths.
[Astrologers: Cast the chart for 9/1/16, 5:03 a.m., EDT. Washington, DC. Note the stellium in Virgo, with Mercury as lord of the eclipse, retrograde, strong in its own sign, and closely conjunct Jupiter (itself in detriment). Sun and Moon form an exceptionally tight T-square with the Saturn-Neptune square, which is within days of partile. Mars, still conjunct Saturn, is involved in the T-square as well. The closer an eclipse falls to the Moon’s Nodes, the stronger it is, and this one is within less than 4 degrees — exceptionally strong . Uranus is in an almost-exact sesqui-quadrate to the New Moon and Saturn, and semi-square Neptune. The New Moon is in an approaching trine to Pluto. Venus is strong by sign, house and rulership of the MC. There’s a focus on Earth and Fire in this chart.]
On an individual level, this chart offers an opportunity to put ideals into practice, which means it’s important to be able to define what those ideals are. A careful, clear-eyed questioning of our values is in order, digging deep and focusing on being honest with ourselves. The psychological defense mechanism of compartmentalization, can allow us to act in ways that are in conflict with our own deeply-held values and ideals, so personal honesty must involve finding a larger perspective that allows us to see the compartments and break down the walls. Then we can live as a whole, fully-integrated human being, and strengthen our internal locus of control.
One of the things that often stops us from being able to find that perspective and see those compartments is shame. We are afraid that what we find when we look more closely at our inner landscape will cause us to feel shame, so we avoid self-inquiry. In fact, as Brené Brown points out, even talking about shame feels somehow — shameful. This is an important subject that is way larger than I can even begin to go into here. I highly recommend the work Dr. Brown has done to address issues of shame, vulnerability and authenticity. You can start with this article, or this one or watch this short video or read her books.
If we are afraid of what we will find when we take a perspective that allows us to see how we’ve compartmentalized our lives, if we cannot forgive ourselves for things we’ve done or not done, for not being “enough”, or for not being “perfect”, we will not be able to be honest with ourselves — honesty will just seem too painful. We must understand the illusion of perfection, heal the shame, and forgive ourselves if we are going to be able to discern and implement needed internal change.
“Perfectionism is a self destructive and addictive belief system that fuels this primary thought: If I look perfect, and do everything perfectly, I can avoid or minimize the painful feelings of shame, judgment, and blame.
“Healthy striving is self-focused: ‘How can I improve?’ Perfectionism is other-focused: ‘What will they think?’
Perfectionism is a delusion, a trap that Virgo falls into easily (and we all have Virgo somewhere in our charts) particularly when it’s being egged on by idealistic Neptune in Pisces and judgmental Saturn in Sagittarius as it is in this chart. Perfection is a static state, and a highly-subjective judgement. Perfectionism stifles creativity, prohibits our enjoyment of what we have, and leads to an intense self-criticism that hinders growth and change.
One way of dealing with perfectionism is to seek the perfection in each moment, in each individual, in the remarkable variety and complexity that grace our world. To celebrate and explore the mysteries of creation by being present to our experience, instead of trying to force reality into our limited and rigid definitions of “perfect”. As Annie Dillard put it, in her marvelous “Pilgrim at Tinker Creek”:
“The color-patches of vision part, shift, and reform as I move through space in time. The present is the object of vision, and what I see before me at any given second is a full field of color patches scattered just so. The configuration will never be repeated. Living is moving; time is a live creek bearing changing lights. As I move, or as the world moves around me, the fullness of what I see shatters. “Last forever!” Who hasn’t prayed that prayer? You were lucky to get it in the first place. The present is a freely given canvas. That it is constantly being ripped apart and washed downstream goes without saying; it is a canvas, nevertheless.
Another focus of this eclipse will be health — how we care for our bodies and the body of the Earth. In general, people may be more sensitive to food allergies and nutritional deficiencies, and the health of our Earth is going to be of considerable concern, which will hopefully translate into improved environmental policies at all levels — government, business, personal. Of course, that will be least likely in business, as processed foods and unsustainable, resource-intensive, polluting factory farming, with its cruel animal-handling practices, will not change easily.
But you can leave processed, factory-farmed foods off of your personal menu. It will do wonders for your health, and the health of the planet. This is another area where you will want to look closely at your values, and how you may be compromising them in your food choices. Here’s a thoughtful article on food choices from a Pagan perspective: Freyr Isn’t Going to Bless Those PopTarts. It’s worth reading even if you don’t give a hoot about Freyr and his blessings.
Let’s take a look at how this eclipse will affect the USA in general, but first I’ll remind you that while there are overall themes to a chart like this, it affects each person differently, according to their natal (birth) chart. Individuals have much more capacity to turn the energy of a chart in a positive direction, whereas difficult charts will generally play out in difficult ways on larger stages — community, nation, world. But your choices affect your community — something to keep in mind.
I’m going to get a little technical here, so non-astrologers will need to skip over the astrology for the conclusions, which I will bold. [Astrologers: I’m looking at both the eclipse chart alone and the eclipse chart in a bi-wheel with the USA Sibley chart (7/4/1776, 5:10 PM LMT Philadelphia, PA) ]
There is a signature of violence in this eclipse chart (Saturn-Mars conjunction in Sagittarius) that falls right across the sensitive Ascendant of the USA chart. Given that this is the focal point of the eclipse T-square, with the opposition falling across the 3rd and 9th houses, and the 1st/7th axis of the eclipse chart, we are looking at not only internal conflict, but conflict with or fighting within other countries as well (remember, we are looking 6 months to a year ahead with this chart). These conflicts may be political/diplomatic, but physical conflict is also quite likely.
The prominence of Venus in this chart (it rules the eclipse MC and is on the USA MC), the tight Mercury-Jupiter conjunction, and the eclipse falling in the natal 9th house suggest that a fortunate use of careful diplomacy could keep a lid on the violence and lead to a peaceful resolution.
Communications and transportation may be problematic as will foreign travel in general. Throwing enough money at communications and transportation issues on a national level could solve them, especially with some creative brainstorming.
With Mars ruling the USA’s IC, and IC of the eclipse chart, and the Mars-Saturn conjunction falling within the 4th house of the eclipse chart, we are looking at environmental problems — possible earthquakes, explosions, strong storms, flooding, and early winter weather. We’ve already seen huge, out-of-control fires as Mars has been approaching Saturn, and more are not unlikely.
I know, it’s not a pretty picture, is it? But all these shakeups clear the way for much-needed change. A trine from the New Moon to Pluto helps us clear away the rubble and create something new and better. See what you can offer in that direction in your community. We are in the process of profound social and personal changes — your vision and your work are needed.