It’s been a good summer.
Of course, there’s still three weeks of it left, but I can say that Cancer and Leo were actually not bad. In fact, it’s the first summer I’ve enjoyed in decades.
I embraced summer. I accepted the heat, the sun, the sweat, the bugs, the crowds, and I adapted. I learned to accept the sunshine and find joy in getting my vitamin D, of the relief of a cool breeze, of the softness of night in contrast to the harshness of the day. I like that I can see green everywhere, and that people aren’t entirely covered up — though mask mandates are coming back — and that life is buzzing around me – literally, because of the fucking cicadas.
And when I say I adapted, I really adapted. I can walk around in 80 degree weather and barely break a sweat. I have rediscovered my ability to tan (yeah, some redheads can tan!). I sleep naked over the covers like a beast.
And I actually got used to these fucking cicadas.
But fuck you, cicadas. Seriously. You guys are assholes.
Aries scatters the seeds. Taurus takes root and sprouts. Gemini grows the flower to mix with other plants. Cancer pollinates to create new life. Leo grows the fruit. Virgo harvests the fruits.
Virgo is the month of the harvest, when we don’t merely collect what we have grown, but use our discretion to determine what is good, what to keep, what to discard, and what is useful. We don’t harvest and keep the entirety of the wheat – for us, it’s the kernel, and the rest goes to the animals or the fire. We take the grapes, not the vines, and we take what is good and make the wine that will mature over time. Contrast this to Pisces, which absorbs: it takes it all in, the wheat and the chaff, the wine and the vinegar, the fruit that is good and the fruit that is rotten.
Everything is bad right now, which frankly, isn’t news, but it’s worse in other places, and I fear for the Afghanis who can’t escape. Even our small victories toward a better society are being shit on by people reminding us that other bad things are happen – and if you’re one of those people who can’t be happy that the governor passed a particular anti-discrimination law because someone else is dying somewhere in the world, go away until you’re ready to be an adult living in a society with a brain that can process many things at once. There is never a time when any society needs a constant naysayer who can’t appreciate small steps toward progress, and frankly, the people who can’t are always the people who were never affected by the problem in the first place.
Virgo is the season of small victories, small success, small accomplishments, of keeping the gears turning on the machine.
My hope is that with Mars and the Sun currently transiting Virgo, that people start to take a more practical turn when it comes to taking care of themselves and others, especially now that we know that this pandemic isn’t simply going to go away on its own, and because we’re all still feeling this new world out.
2020’s Solar Return in Review
I have the Sun transiting my Mars, North Node, and Jupiter in Virgo, and it’s giving me a terrible itch. This is also about the three-month mark before my solar return, and three months before my solar return, I draw up the chart for next birthday and look at the last solar return to see what I got right and what I got wrong.
I thought I would have done a lot more writing this year with the Sun in the third house, but I actually engaged in a lot more communication with the community.
I have spent the last year focused on my health and who I want to be as an adult in the world, and frankly, the adult I want to be right now doesn’t want much to do with the world. I’ve been experiencing a radical reassessment of what I think and who I communicate with, who I share my thoughts with, and what I actually think and remember. This is a year of departing far from origin and into solitary adulthood as a distinct individual whose past is just a distorted memory that I keep dipping into as if I will empty the well the more buckets I send down.
Health has been important. After all, if you’re going to survive a pandemic, the first thing you need to do is avoid catching the pathogen, but the second thing to do is to make sure your body is as healthy as possible in order to deal with it in case you catch it. I’m vaccinated, but that’s not enough. Now, with Delta spreading and the likelihood of even a fourth wave of the pandemic in the winter and a good chunk of America deciding to be fucking stupid and take horse dewormer, not wear masks, not socially distance all in the name of free-dumb, the rest of us have to be the adults and be hypervigilant because if we get sick — and I mean, if I get sick from anything — the chances of me being able to get timely medical care are lessened across the board due to the shortage of hospital beds and supplies. I live alone, and my closest relative is two states away with a family of her own, and there is no one in Chicago who can handle my affairs if I fall ill, so I am my only safety net in these times.
And I had Virgo rising at my last solar return, with the Sun in the 3rd house and the North Node conjunct the Midheaven in Gemini. The Capricorn stellium of Saturn, Jupiter, and Pluto were all in my 5th house, Chiron in my 7th and Neptune conjunct the descendant, Venus in the 2nd opposite the Moon and Uranus in the 8th, so romance was predictably off the table, but not necessarily friendship. So far, that’s all proved to be true. However, that stellium in the 5th not only transformed, expanded, but also contracted my ability to enjoy life and express myself, but it also inspired me to slow. the. fuck. down. and increase. the. simple. pleasures. Saturn = slow the fuck down. Jupiter = increase pleasures. Pluto = transform your idea of fun and self-expression. All of this in a Capricornian way, which has manifested in me struggling to engage with the world via social media until I very recently gave up. Capricorn isn’t secretive – that’s Scorpio – but it’s prudent, and social media is a mass experiment in imprudence. A Virgo rising approach to the world would be cautious and self-effacing anyway.
Not that I won’t lurk, but I don’t think I’ll be posting selfies and pictures of my dinners any time soon. I don’t want to be out in the world in any way other than the way I can control, which is through whatever I write, and I prefer my joys and pleasures to be private ones. My career requires the discretion anyway and besides, all social media seems to be doing is celebrating and encouraging mediocrity — come to the table with nothing to offer, and they’ll face- and auto-tune you into something you’re not…but even a 24/7 world wide web has a proverbial end-of-the-day, and because we still live in a world where 99% of the rest of us are valued by what we produce and not because we mug for a selfie looking like a cartoon version of ourselves or for lip-syncing to the work of someone who actually has talent or at least creativity, the most interesting people have the least time and resources to be curating their daily lives on video, much less the inevitable banalities of such, for the amusement of anonymous masses.
Besides – I’d rather be the thing I want to be than worry about convincing random strangers that I’m the thing I want to be. It’s difficult to imagine a world in which that’s possible now, but it’s still possible to exist simply for yourself because you’re here.
And you know, that’s another thing: social media for astrology sucks. It’s too much of an unstratified grab bag of truth or fiction, masturbatory memes or actual information, or simply astrology conflated with scientific misinformation coming from the wellness community, and I’m tired of seeing it, tired of having it presented to me, tired of having it sent to me, tired of feeling compelled to jump into the mud puddle with the rest of them.
But along those lines, this has been a nice year for self-expression and self-identity. In fact, 2021 has been the most peaceful year of my life, perhaps even the least stressful. There’s nothing to say I can’t spend the evening in a cool bath after work, listening to jazz and reading. There’s no one and nothing in my life demanding all my attention to my own detriment. No emergencies. No dramas. No crises. My entire motivation for my side hustle, then, dried up: I could either spend my time outside of work hustling for astrology clients, or…not. I could spend evenings and weekends not working for the first time in I don’t know how many years. I could go out on the weekends. I could be choosy with whom I worked with and how. Don’t want to do astrology readings? Tutor and teach it then.
The latter half of the year, so far, has been about learning to relax, of taking simple pleasures, of finding peace in austerity.
And then I lost my interest in writing.
As it turns out, my compulsion to write about astrology was fueled by anxiety, and without anxiety, no desire to put anything out in the world.
But I just discovered that I can turn the anxiety on again by eating a whole bunch of carbs, and that I can also turn it off again by listening to jazz.
Seriously. I have liked jazz passively for a few years now, but over the past year or so, it’s been like a very specific drug, and if I can muster the courage to face the Delta variant, I would go enjoy it a lot more. I mean, the Green Mill is only a mile away from my apartment. What am I doing?!
The Season to Come? The First New Moon of Virgo
Instead of talking about my own solar return, I want to get back in the swing of talking about what’s going on, astrologically, whether it has anything to do with me.
I believe that everyone’s solar return chart starts to drip into the present around the three-month mark, and mine was about August 28th. That day, I had a very strong compulsion to drive to the Mississippi River, and once I got there, had to fight a very strong desire to keep driving south, knowing damned well that there was a fucking hurricane at the end of that journey. I got to see the Mississippi, however, and maybe when it gets cooler and people start wearing masks in Iowa, I can spend more time along the banks of it. That morning, I put on a pair of pants that was tight on me two years ago to discover that it’s now loose, and I just grabbed some coffee and headed west.
Of course, I don’t actually remember what I did three months before my solar return last year or the year before, so it’s more of a superstition of mine, though it appears I was working on 8/28/2020.
The new moon in Virgo is on labor day at approximately 14 degrees Virgo, which will be exactly conjunct my natal Lilith in the 6th house and conjunct the descendant. This will be making a wide grand trine with Uranus in Taurus and Pluto in Capricorn — frankly, I wouldn’t even say this is a grand trine because Pluto is just too far into the sign of Capricorn, but the New Moon and Uranus will be exactly trine. I hate to disappoint you, but:
Trine transits aren’t that big a deal. I mean, they’re nice, they’re pleasant, but they don’t usually bring the big changes we hope for at a new moon, which is the end of something, and the beginning of another. An end or beginning signified by the new moon may have a pleasant surprise, and if that surprise is Taurean, it could simply be that it was all easier or quieter than anticipated, or that you didn’t actually have to do anything at all, or that you were right all along. But don’t expect fireworks from a trine.
What I think will be the most telling is that the Mars and the New Moon will be opposing Neptune in Pisces. Mars opposing Neptune can do a few things. It can “dream true” as in, it puts energy behind a dream, though as an opposition, it may happen suddenly or seemingly out of your control, like chasing your dream to finally start your own business because you just got fired. It could also be intrusive psychic impressions or the blockage of psychic impressions when you rely on them. It can also be the manifestation of a visions you’ve had, and events that are seemingly disconnected from your regular life and yet connecting you to the universe.
When I had transiting Neptune opposing my natal Mars, I was in South Korea, and stuck, because the IRS had seized my savings to pay my ex’s taxes, working in probably what was the worst job I’ve ever had with the worst boss I have ever had, and wondering what I would do once my contact finally ended. I decided that ESL wasn’t my jam. It was less like a dream and more like a nightmare, but there were good things that came out of it. I was forced to be a lot more autonomous, and looking back, I was. I think that’s when I pretty much gave up on peer approval.
However, this was also a very creative time for me. I was writing a lot of short stories. I developed an interest in new urbanism and 3-d design and sculpture that all lead to new artistic expressions, ones that I think I’m more naturally inclined to than 2-D art. I had my first, albeit finite, relationship since my divorce the previous year.
This current transit, however, is a transit, but it’s exact today but will remain and strengthen during the new moon (in fact, it may feel much more possible during the new moon and then urgent during the next full moon), and it’s a good time for everyone to make material their artistic and spiritual visions. Me? I’m listening to jazz and looking forward to a metalsmithing class I just signed up for, toying with the idea of trying a new makeup look (as opposed to the one I’m doing now, which is none at all these days), and trying to figure out where I want to go hiking this weekend, and it looks like my pool of available options are only in Illinois, but I’m not deterred.
I’m looking forward to the -ber months. I mean, I always do. It’s when my planets tend to be activated, but as much as I’ve learned to appreciate, even enjoy summer, give me cool nights again, give me apples again, the smell of fireplaces, and the death of those fucking cicadas.
Fuck you, Brood X.
Seriously. They’re little red-eyed monsters, and even though my windows are always open, they’re a summer sound that I’m looking forward to not hearing again for a while, a pile of crunchy carcasses on the sidewalk I’m looking forward to not having to avoid stepping on, because i remember summer having sounds other than the droning of these little pieces of shit, like wind in the trees, or the lapping of the waves of the lake. No. Instead, I hear these guys.
Now, I’m used to these guys, but sometimes, I realize I can hear them, especially when I travel somewhere like Michigan where they’re not experiencing a major cicada event, but I’m also kind of fascinated with the fact that I’ve mostly endured constant loud noise all summer and still kept my chill for the most part.
But yeah, I’m looking forward to these fuckers dying and taking the mosquitoes with them. I want to wear my boots and jeans again, want my bedsheets to be cool at night again, want to go back to my office without being blasted out by the air conditioner, because while summer is relaxing and pleasant, autumn is productive and magickal, and that’s when I get my mojo back.
So, I think for this new moon, I’m going to let Lilith be roused and see what sort of ceremonial and practical magick she makes.