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Astrology Update: Sept 2 - 12, 2023

The Second Decan of Virgo Season: Sun moves from 10° Virgo through 19° Virgo. Virgo is ruled by Mercury, and the 2nd Decan of Virgo is sub-ruled by Venus. (Each sign is ruled by a planet, and then each decan is also ruled by a planet - you can think of this as a sub-ruler or "Shift Manager".) You can think of this period of Virgo season to be both Mercurial and Venusian in nature. Overall, the transits and lessons of both Mercury and Venus will be very important right now - and students of astrology could benefit from studying both at this time.

Mercury: Mercury in astrology signifies communication, thought processes, and intellectual expression. It governs how we gather, process, and share information, impacting our reasoning, decision-making, and interaction styles. Mercury's position in the birth chart and its transits influence our learning tendencies, language skills, and the way we convey ideas to others. Mercury is currently in the sign of Virgo, and it began its retrograde on August 23. Read more about the Mercury Retrograde in Virgo here: Mercury Retrograde in Virgo 2023

Venus: Venus in astrology represents love, beauty, relationships, and pleasure. It governs our affections, attractions, and aesthetic preferences, influencing how we form connections, express affection, and appreciate art and beauty in all its forms. In astrological transits, Venus's movement across the sky brings shifts in matters of love, relationships, and aesthetics. Depending on the aspects it forms with other planets, Venus transits can spark romantic opportunities, enhance social interactions, or prompt reevaluations of our values and desires. These transits influence our approach to love, beauty, and harmony, inviting us to explore new connections or deepen existing bonds. As Venus is the sub-ruler of this Decan that the sun is currently moving through, we can consider that the current transit of Venus will be very important for us at this time. Venus is ending its Retrograde this week, once again resuming direct motion in Leo starting on September 4. What beautiful timing!

After the retrograde, Venus will remain in the post-shadow phase until October 6 and leave Leo to enter Virgo on October 9. Venus in the post-retrograde Shadow is now evaluating the changes that were made during the retrograde, facing the consequences of choices made during the retrograde, and gradually returning to the more fun and carefree glow of Venus in Leo.

Venus in Leo brings light, enthusiasm and pleasure to all - certainly helping to balance out the other focused, serious energies of the middle of Virgo season. Venus in Leo is optimistic and helps us see the bright side in life. Venus in this sign helps us feel more confident, adventurous, and, and outgoing. It can also bring out a strong sense of pride and even an inflated ego in some circumstances. But overall Venus in Leo is loyal, friendly, and supportive. The shadow side of Venus in Leo relates to being overly dependent on attention or compliments from others. If you have self-esteem issues, the Venus retrograde likely made you confront those issues - but your work isn't done yet! Now that the retrograde is over, it is time to engage with this Venus in Leo Direct energy - in new ways that you were somehow blocked from before the retrograde.

It may seem counter-intuitive to consider the middle of Virgo season to be a place of honor for Venus - because Venus is Fallen in the sign of Virgo - the sign opposite from Pisces where Venus is Exalted. It is true that Venus can struggle in this Mercurial sign - where the focus is not on pleasure but on service, healing, and getting work done in the most effective way. However- in the very middle of Virgo I think that Venus can start to find her footing here; finding the pleasure in the work, finding the joy in serving or helping others, and finding the beauty of seeing things come together through attention to detail. Any makeup artist, seamstress, or fashion designer likely knows this kind of Virgo-Venus pleasure - finding that the attention to tiny details made all the difference in creating a beautiful look. That taking time to really bring the look together took great care and effort, but it was so worth it in the end.

Tarot Card of the Decan: 9 of Pentacles

Each of the tarot cards are in some way associated with an astrological sign, decan, season, or planet. The 9 of Pentacles is associated with the second decan of Virgo or with the energy of Venus in Virgo.

The 9 of Pentacles in tarot signifies a sense of self-sufficiency, luxury, and accomplishment. It reflects a stage where you are enjoying the rewards of your efforts, basking in personal freedom and material comfort. This card suggests a period of appreciating the fruits of your labor and relishing in the pleasures of a well-deserved respite.


I think it is perfect that this card represents Venus energy, and Venus will be ending it's retrograde now. What a perfect time to really experience the feeling of enjoying the rewards of your hard work, and experiencing a period of comfort. If you have done the shadow work that Venus retrograde encouraged, you certainly have a lot to be proud of now, and you can enjoy your life in ways that you weren't able to before.


You can study this card and it's meaning in your life through the period of Sept 2 through 12. Patreon subscribers will soon have a more detailed post about this card and it's relation to the second decan of Virgo. You may also find a new podcast episode about this card coming soon!


Astrological Events of Sept 2 - 12:

Sept 2 - Moon in Aries

Sept 3 - Moon enters Taurus 7:59 am PDT. Venus stationing Direct. Jupiter Stationing Retrograde. Mercury in Virgo trine Jupiter in Taurus.

Sept 4 - Moon in Taurus. Venus Retrograde Ends.

Sept 5 - Moon in Taurus. Jupiter Retrograde Begins. Moon enters Gemini 1:06 pm PDT.

Sept 6 - Moon in Gemini. Mercury Cazimi. Last Quarter Moon

Sept 7 - Moon in Gemini. Waning Balsamic Moon Phase Begins. Moon enters Cancer 9:59 pm PDT.

Sept 8 - Moon in Cancer. Sun in Virgo trine Jupiter in Taurus.

Sept 9 - Moon in Cancer.

Sept 10 - Moon enters Leo 9:36 am PDT.

Sept 11 - Moon in Leo.

Sept 12 - Moon in Leo. Dark Waning Moon.


Astrology Updates: More details for the upcoming transits


Waning Gibbous Moon Phase; Aug 31 - Sept 6

The Week of August 31 through Sept 6 is a Waning Gibbous Moon Phase. Although still radiant in the night sky, the moon's illumination is gradually diminishing each night. Notice how it rises later each evening, and stays up longer each morning, lending more and more of its time above the horizon to daylight hours. During this phase, it's a time of integration and reflection. Take a moment to contemplate the lessons learned during the full moon and integrate them into your goals. As you witness the fruits of your labor from the waxing moon period, embrace the spirit of harvest and gratitude. Now is the perfect opportunity to review the past, correct mistakes, and make amends. Settle any disputes that may hinder your progress. Embrace this phase as a chance to let go of bad habits, release addictions, and embark on a dietary journey by removing certain foods from your lifestyle and engaging in detoxification. Focus on removing obstacles, nurturing healing, banishing negativity, and freeing yourself from negative influences. The waning moon invites you to shift your focus towards removing anything that hinders your progress. Take this time to re-evaluate your path. If you're facing difficulties in achieving your goal, be honest with yourself about the underlying reasons. It's also acceptable to release a goal if you discover it no longer aligns with your true desires or if there are other priorities that require your attention first. Embrace self-forgiveness and accept the situation for what it is. In this week's Waning Gibbous moon phase, the moon will journey through Pisces, Aries, Taurus, and Gemini- infusing each day with its unique energy. This moon phase ends with the Last Quarter Moon in Gemini on September 6.


Venus Retrograde Ending Venus will be stationing on September 2 and 3rd, and then beginning direct movement again on September 4. Venus Retrograde in Leo has brought up a lot of shadow work for many people - forcing us to confront our desires and have a good hard look at what is not pleasant in our life. The work here has been discerning whether or not our lack of pleasure or enjoyment is temporary - or if it is showing us something that needs a drastic change. Some people may have ended relationships, quit jobs, or just stopped engaging with a part of life that wasn't bringing joy. Some people worked on changing how they appear, or how they see themselves - working on issues of self esteem and acceptance. Now that Venus is turning direct again, we get to take a clear look at the consequences or those changes. Venus remains in the post-shadow zone of the retrograde through October 6.

The Post-Shadow period is the third time that a planet moves through a specific section of the zodiac. Venus came through this section early in the summer, slowed down (stationed) and then appeared to transit backwards through this section, stationed again and now moves forward through these degrees. I often think of a retrograde planet as a teacher offering an advanced and detailed course on a specific subject for a limited time. In this case, Venus has been giving us an advanced course on the second and third decan of Leo since around June 19, 2023. The most intensive part of the course was the retrograde, and as this ends we have more ease and pleasure in the subject. There may still be manifestations of lessons, an occasional pop-quiz, and of course we get the consequences of choices we made during the retrograde shown to us - in the same way a student might receive grades or feedback from their teacher.

It is good to revisit the basic meaning of Venus in Leo and work to re-align yourself with feeling all the goodness that Venus can offer us in this sign. The planet of Beauty and Desire, can really enjoy herself in the sign of Leo - a place of Passion, creativity, fun, pride, self-expression, romance, and sexuality. Especially as the Sun travels through the second decan of Virgo, where Venus is a sub-ruler. (See the earlier paragraph on Venus at the top of this post)


Mercury Trine Jupiter When Mercury, the planet of communication and intellect, forms a harmonious trine aspect with Jupiter, the planet of expansion and wisdom, the energies of both planets combine in a highly positive and (usually) beneficial way. We experienced this aspect last month, around August 9 - before the Mercury Retrograde began. Now we experience it again while Mercury is retrograde, so it is not quite the same. Additionally, Jupiter is stationing - meaning is is moving very slowly and preparing for it's own retrograde. Remember - Jupiter expands whatever it touches, and in this case it is expanding the influence of Mercury retrograde.

The trine aspect between Mercury in Virgo and Jupiter in Taurus enhances our desire to communicate and express our ideas with confidence - though we might struggle to do so in an effective way at this time. It brings about a sense of optimism and a deep thirst for knowledge, encouraging us to seek wisdom and broaden our understanding of the world - though the retrograde is also enhancing our distraction and making it hard to focus on any one thing for very long.


Jupiter Retrograde Sept 4 - Dec 30

Jupiter Retrograde indicates a period when the expansive and benevolent energies of Jupiter turn inward. It's a time for reflection, review, and introspection regarding matters of growth, opportunities, and wisdom. During this phase, you might revisit your beliefs, educational pursuits, and philosophical outlook, seeking a deeper understanding and potentially making adjustments to your path. Jupiter Retrograde invites you to internalize its influence before moving forward with renewed clarity and expanded perspectives.

Jupiter Retrograde in the Fixed Earth sign of Taurus emphasizes a reassessment of values, material pursuits, and stability. This period encourages you to reflect on your approach to abundance, financial matters, and personal resources. It's a time to reconsider your beliefs around security and how you cultivate a sense of worth. Jupiter's introspective influence in Taurus prompts you to align your aspirations with practicality and to ensure that your endeavors lead to sustained growth and tangible rewards.

Jupiter is the planet most often associated with Luck or Good Fortune - when it is retrograde it is less apt to give blessings freely - as any "Good Fortune" you have now is more likely to be reward for hard work or come after you have made some internal shift in your beliefs through your introspections. Since Taurus rules over all of our basic physical needs like food and shelter and comfort - these things might feel a bit harder to obtain, or seem more distant while Jupiter is in Retrograde; a good reminder to not take things for granted and to work harder to build systems that are fair and just when it comes to helping everyone have access to basic needs and stability.


Mercury Combust / Cazimi A Combustion relates to the nature of any planet coming into close conjunction with the sun. The sun's bright rays outshine the planet - the planet becomes invisible to us. The planet is considered "burned" or "scorched" by coming too close to the sun - it cannot share a throne and therefore the combust planet loses influence. A planet is considered Combust when it is within 18° of either side of the sun. (Though some consider the combustion to only count when it is within 10 or 12 degrees of the sun - but generally a planet will be invisible unless it is more than 18° away from the Sun)

While Mercury is combust, the "job" of Mercury (Communication, Commerce, Trade, Travel, Critical Thinking & Problem Solving) becomes the job of the Sun; all of the realm of Mercury is now appropriated by the Sun. Mercury is no longer a separate entity with it's own agency to rule the mind - The Sun now rules the heart and the mind. This relates to some of the confusion and chaos of a Mercury Retrograde - Mercury isn't always retrograde when it is combust, but it is always Combust when it is retrograde.

At the middle of the Combust period - an exception to the rule occurs. For a short period, while a planet is very exactly conjunct the sun - it does actually take the throne of the sun. This period is called Cazimi - and the roles are reversed. When Mercury is Cazimi - it takes back its own power and appropriates the power of the Sun. Mercury will be Cazimi in Virgo through the early morning hours of September 6 This makes it a time when Mercury has actually taken over the throne of the Sun - some people find a temporary relief from the Retrograde during this time, as Mercury is finally able to come through and help us clear up any communication troubles. Many people would say that a period of Mercury cazimi during a retrograde might be the best time to petition Mercury or Hermes for help, or to do any Mercury based planetary magic. Your window of opportunity is very small however, as the cazimi only lasts for several hours. In general, the rules of Mercury retrograde will still apply - in some cases, the Mercury Retrograde lessons might intensify, as Mercury energy is amplified and if problems already exist or are not tended to properly - they are magnified.


LAST QUARTER MOON - Sept 6

The half way point between the full moon and the new moon, the moon appears half-lit in the night sky. Moon also begins to set earlier in the night, and rise earlier in the morning, spending less time illuminating the night sky.

The last quarter moon marks the transition from Gibbous Waning Moon Phase, to Balsamic Waning Moon Phase.

The Third Quarter / Last Quarter moon is exact during its square aspect to the sun. As the moon forms a square to the sun, there is a challenge or "dispute" between the sign that the sun is shining from, and the sign the moon is reflecting from. (The moon also squares the sun when it is at the first quarter waxing moon - that was the first major challenge in the moon cycle)

With the waning moon, this square is very often felt internally rather than externally. It is a time of inner reflection as you harvest and preserve the growth from whatever you planted at the new moon 3 weeks ago.

This part of the moon cycle offers deeper lessons for what you need to forgive and release. As moon moves into the darkness of the balsamic phase, we can begin to let go of past desires, find gratitude for what we have, and continue to clear away internal clutter.

This last quarter moon is the Square aspect between Virgo and Gemini. Our Virgo goals are being challenged in some way by Gemini energy, and there is a need to find a compromise between the two energies. Bothe Gemini and Virgo are ruled by Mercury, but here in this square we can really feel the duality between the two sides of Mercury. The Gemini side of Mercury is a Projective, Mutable Air sign energy that is curious and flexible, but non-committal and distractable. The Virgo side of Mercury is a Receptive, Mutable Earth sign energy that is determined and focused, committed and self-sacrificing. Both these energies have strengths and weaknesses, benefits and flaws. The square between moon and sun, with Mercury Retrograde in conjunction with the sun and also squaring the Moon in Gemini - is really bringing to focus our need to find a way to honor BOTH of these energies within.


Waning Balsamic Moon September 7 - 14 We're in the final week of the waning cycle, which lasts from about 7 days before the next new moon until the new moon itself. This phase begins right after the Last Quarter Moon square to the sun, when the moon starts closing the gap between itself and the sun through the last quarter of its cycle. During this phase, our focus remains on releasing and letting go. Take some time to reflect on the inner and outer processes of releasing that you started a week ago. You can continue with the banishing work you've initiated or delve into deeper, more intentional processes of banishment. It's important to remove yourself from unwanted situations or relationships that no longer serve your greater good. Let go of obligations that aren't benefiting you, and release any expectations or desires that are not coming to fruition. If a particular goal hasn't produced the desired results, it's time to release it. In gardening terms, this phase represents the final harvest. Preserve what you can, and then trim back the dead leaves, pull up dying plants, and place anything rotten or spoiled into the compost heap. This moon phase is an ideal time for working on releasing bad habits, detoxing, and dieting. If there's a specific food you want to remove from your diet, now is a good time to let it go. Detoxing and fasting can yield positive results during this phase.

During this Waning Moon phase, the moon will move through Gemini, Cancer, Leo, and into Virgo where the New Moon will signal the beginning of the next Lunar Cycle.


Sun in Virgo Trine Jupiter in Taurus - Sept 8

Sun trine Jupiter, especially as an Earth trine, signifies a harmonious alignment between personal expression (Sun) and expansion (Jupiter). This aspect indicates a favorable period for growth, optimism, and self-assuredness. As an Earth trine, this energy is grounded and practical, allowing for the manifestation of opportunities and achievements through consistent effort and a balanced approach. It's a time when your confidence and enthusiasm can lead to tangible success, especially in areas related to your goals, resources, and material pursuits.

When this aspect occurs with Jupiter in retrograde, the energy takes on a more introspective tone. This combination suggests that the opportunities for growth and expansion may arise from within, encouraging you to review and reassess your beliefs, philosophies, and personal values. It's a time to tap into your inner wisdom and seek expansion through self-discovery and inner alignment. The Earth trine aspect further emphasizes the practical potential of these insights, indicating that the changes you make during this period have the potential to manifest in your material world once Jupiter turns direct.


Dark Moon - September 12 & 13 The "dark moon" is an integral part of the waning crescent/balsamic moon phase. It refers to the final day or two just before the New Moon, when the moon is completely invisible in the night sky, appearing only as a small crescent near the sun. During this time, the nights are devoid of moonlight. Typically, I consider the Dark Moon to encompass the last 30 degrees of the balsamic phase, leading up to the moon and sun conjunction. At this conjunction, the moon transitions from waning to waxing, marking the beginning of its brightening phase. The Dark Moon signifies a time of conclusion and the culmination of the moon cycle. It invites us to embrace deep rest, reflection, meditation, divination, and shadow work. In the wheel of the year analogy, this period corresponds to the final weeks of winter before the arrival of the spring equinox. In gardening terms, it's a time for composting and preparing the soil for future planting. As we reflect and rest in this darkness, preceding our rebirth into a new moon cycle, our inner work allows us to refine the goals we will set with the new moon. Please note that some people consider the Dark Moon and New Moon to be the same entity. They can be viewed as interconnected phases, with the moon still "dark" or invisible during the New Moon. I personally distinguish between the waning part of the Dark Moon and the waxing part of the Dark Moon by referring to the former as the Dark Moon (before the conjunction) and the latter as the New Moon (including the conjunction and immediately after). To me, it aligns with the concept of birth—when a baby is in the birth canal, we don't consider it born yet. It is only born once it emerges from the birth canal and exists outside of the mother's body.

Waning Dark Moon will be in the sign of Leo on September 12, and in the sign of Virgo on September 13, with the New Moon in Virgo on September 14


Patreon Subscribers of $10/month or more - watch for your Dark Moon Shadow Work post coming out! If you're not a subscriber and want access to this exclusive post for some Shadow Work Prompts - sign up today! Patreon subscribers also get access to the monthly Lunar calendar, and written versions of the Tarot Decan devotionals that are found on my podcast! www.patreon.com/hestiasmuse

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