Tuesday, September 1, 2020


WPA fresco "California Life" at Coit Tower, San Francisco, California
Photo by Carol Highsmith in her Library of Congress Collection

The Big Picture in September

 We are under the influence of the solar energy of Virgo for most of September. This sign represents  the earthly manifestation of Mercury, the planet that signifies the mind and communication. Because of her tie to the earth element, Virgo thrives when she engages in practical activities. Perhaps this is why Virgo has been assigned the rulership of the  6th house, which symbolizes our daily routines and the work that we perform on a regular basis. Furthermore, the Virgo season corresponds to the late summer harvest, a period of hard work necessary to bring the bounty to our tables so that we may appropriately nourish our bodies. In our contemporary world, Virgo symbolizes the helping professions concerned with our health or that of our pets.

The characteristics attributed to Virgo have undergone a shift from the ancient times to the present. Astrologers Arielle Guttman and Kenneth Johnson, experts in classical mythology, remind us that at one time, Virgo was associated with the goddess Astraea, who symbolized justice. This is what these astrologers said about the ancient myth of Virgo: “When humankind declined to its present state of corruption, she retired from the world in disgust, fixing herself in the heavens where she can still be seen holding the scales of justice (Libra), thus forming an integral unit with the sign which follows.”[1] (The Sun will enter Libra on September 22, continuing the theme of justice through much of October). 

Virgo’s correspondence to everyday labor makes her an apt symbol for the working class, or commoners in general. This is quite unlike Leo, the sign that precedes her. Leo loves the specialness of royal treatment. It is fitting that in the United States, our Labor Day falls within the season of Virgo. We Americans are dealing in the present with a pandemic and a political climate that has further ravaged the unstable financial status of the working class.  

Given the current economic recession, which many are calling the second Great Depression, how will our elected officials handle this crisis? Nearly one-hundred years ago, our country elected leaders who were willing to challenge the wealthy plutocracy and bring some relief to the working class. In that era, work programs were created to employ the large number of people needing work. The mural at San Francisco’s Coit Tower reflects a project of the New Deal, which is captured in the photo at the beginning of this article. Isn't it interesting that at the forefront of the mural is a mail box and a post office employee. In the 1930s, there were probably very few Americans who questioned the importance of the U.S. Postal Service. Yet, in the 21st Century, a significant number of people support a political party that is trying to dismantle this public service.

Astrologically speaking, what energy characterizes September 2020? The month begins with a Full Moon in Pisces, the water sign that represents the emotional nature, with a capacity for compassion and for viewing the world with an emphasis on similarities rather than differences. Who in our world will give voice to Piscean concepts? Two weeks later, on September 17, we arrive at the New Moon in Virgo. By that time, Congress will have returned from its summer break and the Labor Day holiday. That time will be ripe for devising practical solutions to the country’s problems. But how do the various political factions view what is practical? Who will prevail?

The movement of cosmic bodies in September signals that there could be considerable change this month. The most significant shifts are represented by Jupiter and Saturn, the social planets that will be returning to direct motion, the former on September 13 and the latter on September 29. We could see important political and societal activity this month. (I know it’s hard to fathom that we could see more)! On the other hand, Mars, the initiator, begins its retrograde motion on September 9. Of course, this doesn’t mean that motivation or action is withdrawn. However, because retrograde planets retrace old territory, we could see the igniting of old issues or conflicts. 

The significant aspect to watch out for is retrograde Mars exactly square stern Capricorn in Saturn on September 29, just before Saturn turns direct. The energy of the square is already felt at the beginning of the month all the way up to its exact aspect and afterwards. Mars square with Pluto and Saturn and later Jupiter will be felt particularly in October. The square is an aspect that motivates individuals to relieve tension by taking action. Will there be renewed or stronger efforts to contain Covid-19? Will there be intense pressure to begin addressing the economic impact of the pandemic?

Typically, the inner planets change signs frequently. This month, Mercury moves into diplomatic Libra on September 5 and then shifts into investigative Scorpio on September 27. Meanwhile, Venus moves from protective Cancer to gregarious Leo on September 6.

Significant Days in September

Below you will find a table of astrological events for this month. You can assess the quality of significant days by noting when planets form exact aspects and where all this activity takes place in your natal chart. 

Here is a basic key for understanding the meaning of the aspects: 

The Conjunction: This aspect represents the merging and fusion of energies by two (or more planets) that have joined at a particular degree (or within a specified orb). This combined energy is very potent. When this occurs, we might feel subjective about a matter in our lives.
The Sextile (60°): Planets in this formation are harmonious and lend themselves to cooperation. Astrologer Sue Tompkins says there is a quality of “coaxing” in sextiles. In other words, if we put in a little effort at these times, we can take advantage of opportunities in a situation.
The Quintile (72°): Planets in this aspect represent the type of harmony inherent in creative endeavors. It might often describe the impulse to fuse an idea into a tangible substance. Quintiles often describe the talents possessed by individuals.
The Square (90°): Planets that line up in this aspect reflect incompatible energies with contrasting needs. Consequently, we can describe this planetary relationship as tense and strained. Because these energies can be working at cross-purposes, the situation at hand may require us to make choices. The “silver lining” is that squares compel us to take action and this often results in dispelling tension. If we are conscious of the dilemma, we can use the excess energy in a matter so that we can achieve something useful.
The Trine (120°): There is an ease in the relationship between planets involved with this aspect because they are of the same element. At this time, we can perform activities with a flowing energy. We enjoy these activities, and they often reflect our innate talents. Because this energy is so comfortable, it often does not promote growth. Yet, these aspects reflect how we can be healed.
The Quincunx (150°): Planets forming this relationship appear to have nothing in common. These planets display energies that are out of step with one another. There can be an element of irritation and stress because of this, but it is not a confrontative type of energy. If we are conscious of this reality, we can make adjustments to the relationship such that we do not feel so out of sync.
The Opposition (180°): This relationship between planets brings to our awareness how something is different from our preferred position. We could be in conflict with others about a matter. Also, we might shift our preference from one point of view to its opposite. Yet, we can also find common ground in this relationship. This aspect has the potential for us to integrate our perspectives.

Date of Exact or Near Exact Aspect
Pacific Time
Astrological Event
September 1
3:41 AM
Mercury (22 Virgo 41) trine Pluto (22 Capricorn 41)
September 1
10:21 PM
Full Moon (10 Pisces 12)
September 2
5:17 AM
Venus (12 Leo 01) opposition Saturn (12 Aquarius 01)
September 2
7:08 AM
Sun (10 Virgo 33) trine Uranus (10 Taurus 33)
September 3
0:22 AM
Mercury (25 Virgo 52) trine Saturn (25 Capricorn 52)
September 3
11:12 AM
Saturn (25 Capricorn 51) quincunx North Node (25 Gemini 51)
September 4
2:12 AM
Venus  (27 Cancer 55) square Mars (27 Aries 55)
September 4
1:31 PM
Mercury (28 Virgo 25) sextile Venus (28 Cancer 25)
September  5
12:46 PM
Mercury enters Libra
September 6
12:21 AM
Venus enters Leo
September 9
9:03 AM
Sun (17 Virgo 25) trine Jupiter (17 Capricorn 25)
September 9
3:22 PM
Mars begins Retrograde period
September 11
1:25 PM
Sun (15 Virgo 32) opposition Neptune (15 Pisces 32)
September 13
5:41 PM
Jupiter (17 Capricorn 24) turns Direct
September 14
4:08 PM
Sun (22 Virgo 34) trine Pluto (22 Capricorn 34)
September 15
8:29 AM
Venus (10 Leo 18) square Uranus (10 Taurus 18)
September 17
3:34 AM
Mercury (17 Libra 26) square Jupiter (17 Capricorn 26)
September 17
4:00 AM
New Moon (25 Virgo 01)
September 17
2:36 PM
Sun (25 Virgo 26) trine Saturn (25 Capricorn 26)
September 20
10:21 PM
Mercury (22 Libra 31) square Pluto (22 Capricorn 31)
September 22
6:30 AM
Sun enters Libra
September 23
3:37 AM
Mercury (25 Libra 21) square Saturn (25 Capricorn 21)
September 24
3:52 AM
Mercury (25 Libra 36) opposition Mars (25 Aries 36)
September 25
8:40 AM
Saturn (25 Capricorn 21) quintile Chiron (7 Aries 21)
September 27
12:40 AM
Mercury enters Scorpio
September 28
6:01 PM
Venus (25 Leo 33) trine Mars (25 Aries 33)
September 29
2:49 PM
Mars (25 Aries 20) square Saturn (25 Capricorn 20)
September 29
10:11 PM
Saturn (25 Capricorn 20) turns Direct


[1]Arielle Guttman and Kenneth Johnson. Mythic Astrology: Archetypal Powers in the Horoscope (Llewellyn Publications, 1993), 287.

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