What's Going on? Fall Equinox + Sun into Libra = Create Unity
Hey there -
Welcome to the latest edition of my astro blog. I must say, it feels really good to not be talking
about a retrograde for a change. It seems like it has been a long time. For this one, I had
originally thought it might be nice to spend some time delving into the intricacies of the
Autumnal Equinox. And as frequently happens for me, I start out looking at/looking up one thing
and find myself stumbling across a bunch more, altering my conclusions a bit, sometimes quite a
bit. I used to get really bothered by that. But now, as many of you are gaining in both
interest and technical proficiency, I am finding from the feedback I am getting that those
tangents really appeal to a lot of you, so I am just rolling with it and glad it serves.
So to start, I just want to remind you all that I truly think one of the highest and best
applications of astrology is to help you determine what is going on right now and what the
next right action is. As the ADD generation of the ADD nation, nobody can freakin’ focus on
much of anything for more than a nanosecond during the course of any given day. Most of
us have way too many choices and lose way too much time chasing way too many wild geese.
Most of the folks who walk through my door for sessions are simply trying to figure out
what to do and what not do in any given moment. It was that dynamic, as well as some recurrent
nagging from a friend, that got this whole newsletter thing started in the first place. If
you are new to them, you should know that I generally try to show my work, and give you
the astrological data that I am basing my opinions on, so that if you were interested in
looking things up (as some of you are) you can do that. I am also quite clear that some
of you really aren’t remotely interested in that. At the request of some very vocal of
fire signs, I (now) always include a handy, cut-to-the-chase Do and Don’t Do section
about 3ž4 of the way through.
With that said, the biggest astrological event this week is the equinox. On September 22nd
at approximately 3:23 PDT, is the Autumnal Equinox, or the first day of the season of Autumn.
In the Northern hemisphere, this means that on this day at this time the sun crosses the
equator moving southward. It is one of only two days a year when the daylight and the
darkness are the most equal in length. In fact, the word we use for these moments equinox,
comes from the Latin words for “equal night.”
When I was a child growing up in the Judeo-Christian tradition, the solstices and the
equinoxes were simply not important - not a part of our spiritual vocabulary or dialogue
on any level. When I first went to college and was pursuing a degree in Cultural Anthropology,
I was amazed to find out how important these markers were and are to virtually every other
ancient and modern culture. As I began a family of my own, I found the need to redefine part
of my faith as a means of staying connected to the earth and the heavens, and these natural
cycles become even more important. Given that, here are some aspects of this equinox that
I find particularly significant now.
In the pre-Christian European Pagan tradition, the Fall Equinox is technically the second of
three harvest festivals. The first is known as Lamas (or Lughnasadh), which occurs around the
first of August, and which marks the very beginning of the harvest time. The last is Samhain
(later Halloween) which marks the official end of the harvest season and is when the very
last of the crops are gathered and stored. For the European Pagans, the Fall Equinox marked
a time of accomplishment, when the members of society had tangible evidence of the what they
had been working so hard on all year. It was a time of feeling satisfaction for their efforts,
and of honoring their achievements. It was also a time of reflection - of taking honest stock
of what they had and of what they were likely to need as they made the descent into winter’s
Where I live in Southern California, the original inhabitants were the Chumash. For them, as
for the European Pagans, the Fall Equinox was the herald of winter. It was celebrated with a
Sun Ceremony, which took place after the fall harvest had been picked, processed and stored.
In their tradition, all humans were children of the Sun, or Kakunupmawa, and this was also a
time to honor and acknowledge that connection. But the Chumash took it a step further. During
the harvest time and Sun Ceremony the thoughts of the tribe would be deliberately refocused
once again on the importance of unity - finding ways of creating it and maintaining it -
particularly in terms of working together in the face of the coming of winter and it’s
inherent confinement and darkness, death and rebirth.
These are just two examples of how all over the world, a common thread in fall equinox celebrations
of different religions and cultures were/are of coming together to find ways to prepare for and
stand together in order to more effectively handle whatever was coming down the pike. I think it
would be good for us as individuals and as a race to find ways of doing that right now. I have been
heartened and encouraged in seeing our political and spiritual leaders attempting to do more of
this of late. Given all that we have been through as families, communities, states, nations and on
a greater level a species in the last year, and given what we are likely to face in the coming one,
these concepts of taking stock of our harvests and of creating unity are more than appropriate. They
are long overdue
It was very gratifying to see Bill Clinton calling for unity on George Stephanopoulos’ show on Sunday morning.
It was very gratifying, as well, to hear the repeated call for unity made by some of the speakers at the national
prayer service on Friday. It was also incredibly gratifying to see President Bush take responsibility for the
failures of his administration last week. Granted, it was the first time in his career - and perhaps in his life -
he’s done that on the record, and while many of us feel it was both long over due and lacking in sincerity;
it is a step in the right direction. While no one will probably ever accuse Bush of channeling Harry “The Buck
Stops Here” Truman, or of even coming remotely close to trying to emulate him, those of us who are managers,
who are raising or have raised children know that you have to acknowledge and praise the behavior you want to
see more of in order to get it. No matter how small or trifling. Let’s hope this behavior will be something
we see more of - from him and other leaders - in the future.
At this juncture in both our annual astronomical cycles and American history I think it is a good time to look
at our choices over the last years and generations and the harvests they have yielded. I think it is really
important not to have a massive national brain fart here about the lessons we have already paid a high price
to learn about what works and doesn’t work. It would be good if we could integrate that material at some deeper,
oversoul or collective unconscious (or for you Ken Keyes fans, the 100th monkey) level and move on to the next ones.
Also September 22nd , the Sun moves into the Sign of Libra, where it joins Mercury, the South Node of the Moon, and
Jupiter. As you may remember from the last blog, Libra energy in it’s pure and actualized form is driven by the
need to discover more about itself and therefore become complete through interacting with (and especially helping
in some way) others. Libra absolutely needs to be involved, active and doing something that is tangibly constructive.
I think the divinity right now in this much Libra energy is that it gives us the strength to either overcome our
differences or at least put them aside temporarily so that we can find solutions to our common problems. Lord
knows we’ve got a few and some of them are hitting mission critical. As much as I have issues with Ronald Regan
and much of his legacy, some of his words (or at least the words of an anonymous speechwriter that he made famous)
have been ringing in my ears since the hurricane, “If not you, who? If not now, when?”
For those of you who are newer to astrology, remember that everyone has Libra somewhere in their natal charts.
Some have more than others. Some (those of you born at anytime in 1969, I am speaking to you in particular) have
a lot more than others. This should be a much grander and more glorious time for those with prominent Libra in their
natal charts. Now most of those folks should be feeling better these days than they have for the last 2 years or so,
given that transiting Saturn has stopped squaring them. During that time, Saturn who is always demanding that we
grow up and get over it in some way has been requiring anyone with Libra anything to step into their dharma and
find their inner Henry Kissinger, brokering a lasting peace with the warring elements and ideas in those around
them and within themselves. Now that Saturn has moved on, Libra energies are more clear, more mature, and have
more to contribute.
There are, of course, other transits helping to set the tone for this seasonal transition. There is also a brief
grand trine tomorrow involving planets transiting through the earth signs. Specifically this involves the Sun in
Virgo, the Moon and Mercury in Taurus and the asteroid Chiron in Capricorn. For those of you who may not remember,
as the planets move around the sky, they form geometric relationships to each other. Some of these are indications
of good things and some of these are indicators of lessons to be learned or work to be done. A grand trine is
formed when three different planets or sets of planets are 60 degrees apart from each other, forming an equilateral
triangle. And that is a very good thing.
Now I love grand trines because they are a moment of extraordinary luck and grace. In general, these are moments
when you can breathe a little easier about whatever it is that has been worrying you. In them you can feel
like there are angels at your elbows helping you stay upright and on task and able to carry whatever load you
are bearing with greater ease and less effort. That’s a big plus. The fact that is in the earth signs makes it
even better, as the earth signs are much more practical and pragmatic. That it is happening during the equinox
indicates that there will be ways in which coming together to solve common problems should be easier for most
people. For those of you trying to build bridges between the different factions of your family, constituency,
political party, or legislative body, now is a good time to put a little more effort into compromise and into
working things out in ways that serve the most people over the long haul.
There are also 4-5 planets during this period which are Quincunx (at 150 degree angles to each other), which
compels us to think outside the box and find creative, innovative solutions to the things that lie before us.
Saturn in Leo also contributes to this dynamic, and helps us to understand how to assess risk and make healthier
choices in risk taking. So given these factors, here are some things that should help you stay positively
focused and on task during this sacred time.
Negotiate a Brilliant Compromise.
Build Bridges and Mend Fences.
Teach Peace and Peacemaking Skills.
Find the Larger Truth.
Identify Your Harvests.
Be Absolutely Clear as to Why You are Harvesting What You Are.
Press Your Personal Values or Agenda.
Be the Bull in the China Shop.
Make a Mountain Out of a Molehill.
Mismanage Your Resources.
Let Your Ego or Unmet Ego Needs Get in the Way.
Be Unrealistic About Your Role in Your Relationships with Others.
So in closing, remember that for many cultures, the fall season was the start of a new year. If you are
not happy with the things you have harvested, materially or emotionally, you can always make a fresh start.
Or you can tweak a few things here and there and see if that improves the situation. No matter how strange
things may seem, there is still time to make your harvest more closely resemble your original vision or
intention. Don’t forget, everything has a learning curve. Or as the Band sang in their infamous (and now oddly
prophetic) Downtown in New Orleans, “..we do it wrong til we do it right.” If you are having trouble
understanding how you got what you got from the seeds you had planted, or thought you were planting, call me,
and we’ll figure it out.