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As many of us orient to all the changes, delays, frustrations or re-directions the outgoing Mars retrograde period has brought in (beginning in early May/ mid-June), the planet of harmony, Venus begins to enter her slightly overlapping retrograde period, entering the shadow of the path of her retrograde at 25° Libra (Sept. 3) and squaring the planet of discord Mars (exact Sept. 8). They are both making a hard aspect to trickster Uranus, alerting us to be on the lookout for mischief in our intimate, social and work environments. Tensions that have been hidden may suddenly spring into the light, or ongoing problems may finally boil over. Patience is running short and this configuration can indicate a desire to completely overhaul existing agreements and arrangements.

Meanwhile, Saturn is moving at his slowest as he prepares to return to direct motion through the zodiac on Sept. 6 at 2° Capricorn. Waves of karma are spinning some of us in great circles, while others of us take bold and decisive steps to break free of ancient restrictions, however problematic the jailbreak may be. Sometimes falling two steps backwards will provide an impetus to take a great leap forward—even if that setback is annoying or baffling at the time. For everyone invested in their healing path to psychospiritual wholeness: we never get rid of our wounding and our karmic tendencies. As these are attended to with care and tenderness, they may become more integrated and less overwhelming, but they’re still there. The path towards wholeness is more of a spiral, so that the next time we encounter a particular wound, we get a different viewpoint of it from along the spiral, but the wound is not simply gone. With each encounter comes the chance to gather more wisdom about ourselves and the human condition.

Which brings us to the Virgo New Moon at 11:01am US/Pacific on Sept. 9, 2018. This New Moon offers a powerful conversation around health and wellness, whether psychological, spiritual, physical or emotional, in large part due to its close opposition aspect with the planet of healing, Neptune in Pisces. Virgo can be health obsessed and perhaps that’s because of the desire to never be in the position of needing help (overly independent). Virgo’s opposite, Pisces, can be too vulnerable to external influences and therefore constantly in need of help (overly dependent). Both Virgo and Pisces are service-oriented, perhaps out of recognition of vulnerability both large (Pisces) and small (Virgo) and this New Moon could represent a melting of old defenses that are no longer needed—or a complete meltdown of epic proportions. The Mars Retrograde of the past few months has highlighted for a great many people any incongruity between their ambitions and their capacities, especially physical limitations. If we’ve listened to the signals to slow down, we are in a better position to rearrange our strategies for self-care. If we’ve ignored those signs…this may represent a breakdown point.

Regardless of your current trajectory, Virgo’s potent powers of discernment can be challenged by such a strong aspect from Neptune, who can create confusion and disorientation. But if we take time to alter our ordinary ego consciousness and enter into other, more Neptunian ways of knowing, we may receive some vital information on: the state of the sacred union of the active and receptive principles within ourselves; how to fortify our boundaries, whether energetic or more material; where or how we should practice more vulnerability; how to open our hearts to ourselves; the nature of freedom and attachment in relationship. Altering our consciousness could look like taking inner journeys with the spirits of plants, including non-entheogenic plants who reach out to us as allies, such as ocotillo, motherwort, cornsilk, black cohosh, hydrangea, devil’s club, hawthorn, and so on.

Step into the realms of Soul and enlarge the conversation you are having with the world through an astrological consultation. With Erica as your guide, cross the astrological bridge between heaven and Earth to transform liabilities into assets and cooperate with the energies and forces presently shaping your life. Get in touch at erica at realimaginal dot com!

2019 RETREATS   I am excited to share that astrologer Renn Butler and I will be offering another holotropic breathwork + archetypal astrology + dreamwork retreat in summer 2019!  Watch this space for more details and to save the date!

I will also be appearing Sept. 15 in Portland, Oregon with the Oregon Astrological Association offering a 3-hour workshop on Saturn-Pluto and You: The birth contraction of 2018 – 2021. Then on Sept. 29, I will be giving a Kepler online webinar on An Uncommon Saturn Return: The Capricorn Stellium of 1988-1991 (registration at the link).

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