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Astrology for Sep. 12-18, 2022: A Flag at Half-Mast

A Flag at Half-Mast

Dates and times are given for U.S. Pacific Time zone.

The Itchiness of Boredom

Years ago, I put my Virgo Mars and Midheaven to work as an executive secretary. There were aspects of the job I enjoyed, such as bringing order out of chaos, feeling helpful, the uncomplicated reassurance of my usefulness as I filed folders and neatly typed memos at the end of each day.

But inevitably, once order had been restored, the itchiness of boredom set in. In my last position, which offered little in the way of engagement, I spent hours studying astrology charts and gossiping with the engineers who stopped by to wait for an audience with my boss. As you might expect of someone with planets in Gemini and Virgo, boredom doesn’t agree with me. I started to get cranky and developed a bad attitude.

That’s the danger, as Venus in Virgo squares Mars in Gemini this week (Sep. 16, 2022, 11:49 am PDT): boredom. These are both Mercury-ruled signs that need engagement. If your Virgo side is not feeling useful and productive right now, that Gemini side will annoy you by gyrating and chattering all over your tidy desk. And if Mars in Gemini starts passionately pursuing too many avenues at once, Venus in Virgo will disapprove of the untidiness of it all.

The solution: Give these two a juicy challenge (or two) that they can tackle together. Give Mars in Gemini something to write, and let Venus in Virgo edit it. Just don’t let them get bored.

A Flag at Half-Mast

The Sun engages in an opposition with Neptune this week (Sep. 16, 2022, 3:21 pm PDT). There’s a longing quality to Neptune, and also an emotional undertow that can suck us under if we’re not careful. This aspect reminds me of the Nietzsche quote: “He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And if you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss also gazes into you.” Neptune represents those fathomless depths in us, sadness that never really goes away, nostalgia (a word whose root means something like homesickness), an aching to return to the old ways, and the haunting awareness that we don’t really know what happens after we’re gone. On one hand, we have to be willing to look at all these things and to understand about our own hidden fathoms.

But on the other side of this aspect is the Sun – and the Sun is the way out of the abyss, through inspiration, loyalty, fun, and leadership. At this opposition the Sun, ruler of monarchs, is on the Sabian symbol, A flag at half-mast, a universal symbol of mourning. This week the world remembers Queen Elizabeth II, who passed away after 70 years on the throne. The legacy of any monarch is controversial, but she is widely praised for her very Virgoan sense of duty. Perhaps the Virgo Sun’s gift is to pull us out of the abyss of longing through service – to our highest ideals, and to one another.

Curation and Calm

This week’s Last Quarter Moon (Sep. 17, 2022, 2:52 pm PDT, 24º59’ Gemini) is in Mercury-ruled Gemini (with the Sun in Virgo, Mercury’s other home sign). At the Last Quarter we look over our shoulders at what we’ve done and failed to do, and occasionally, there will be regrets. Particularly with Gemini involved, they could be regrets over things we’ve said.

Born at a Last Quarter Gemini Moon, I’ve said plenty of things I regret. I’ll never forget the time a kindly viewer tipped me off that a video I’d uploaded might benefit from a little trimming. When I watched it, I was mortified to hear myself – enormously frustrated at the technical challenges of finishing the video – blurt a frustrated expletive that I’d overlooked clipping out! I hope no one was offended by it, but I have to admit that I had a good laugh at myself when I heard it.

Sometimes, though, our past words can have far more serious consequences. In the modern age of social media, most of us have, at some point, posted in haste and repented at leisure.

This Last Quarter Moon falls on the Sabian symbol 25 Gemini: A man trimming palms. This is a symbol of curation – of trimming the video, of curbing the social media excesses. In this Mercury retrograde week, the Gemini Last Quarter Moon reminds us to tame not only our tongues, but our busy, chattering, Mercury minds. The calmer the mind, the more control we have over what we say, and the fewer regrets we’ll have to live with in the long run.

The True Inner Knowledge

Mercury opposes Jupiter this week (Sep. 18, 2022, 3:34 pm PDT) on the Sabian symbol, 5 Libra: A man teaching the true inner knowledge. As the new school year begins, you’d think this would bode well for teachers of all stripes. But Mercury is retrograde, after all, and we might take this symbol as a reminder that while Mercury’s retrograde times are good for learning, they’re not necessarily great for being taught. As the symbol suggests, when Mercury’s retrograde, it’s up to us to figure things out for ourselves – that’s the “true inner knowledge” referenced in the symbol.

This is the second in a series of three Mercury-Jupiter oppositions (the first on Sep. 2, the last on Oct. 12). It’s a time for backtracking a bit and catching what we missed a couple of weeks ago. That way, we’ll be better prepared for the flights of fancy suggested by Jupiter’s Sabian symbol at this opposition: A triangle with wings.

So Good They Can’t Ignore You

Doing something well is no guarantee of success. In fact, it’s more often qualities such as charm and charisma that pave the road to fame and fortune.

But someone whose nature is aligned with Virgo is a bit of a purist, and has no choice but to give their very best effort, for its own sake. Better to be a starving virtuoso, says Virgo, than to make big money by letting your songs be used in a television commercial. Yet although doing your very best is its own reward, the sincerest practitioner of any art can experience dark moments watching lesser talents command the lion’s share of attention and wealth.

Luckily, every now and then, talent and skill are acknowledged at the highest echelons of power. The comedian Steven Martin, when asked his advice for aspiring entertainers, replied, “Be so good they can’t ignore you.” That’s Virgo’s strategy; and this week, as the Sun in Virgo trines powerful Pluto (Sep. 18, 8:58 pm PDT), such quality can no longer be ignored.

Writing and collages © 2017-2022 April Elliott Kent

More about this week’s highlights in the latest episode of my podcast!

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