Hello to readers in Austin!
To be completely honest, September is sluggish, so it won’t be easy to gain autumnal momentum. There’s nothing wrong about its days and nights, although there are bound to be more than a few difficult moments. The sluggishness is more about September’s overall energy field; we are used to September being its own kind of new year—it has that back-to-school and vacation-is-over frequency that signals the start of a new phase. But this September, the days and nights are inclined to move at the speed of slow, especially when you add in concerns about the delta variant and a natural reticence to become engaged in too many social interactions. However, there are plenty of lively interactions among the planets and no pernicious obstacles impede forward motion—Mercury Retrograde doesn’t happen until the end of the month.
The source of September’s underlying sluggishness is an absence of astral fire—there are no planets in any Fire Signs—none (with the exception of Chiron in Aries, which doesn’t really count), which has the potential to manifest as an absence of passion. No planetary fire to heat up the days could manifest as an irksome feeling that something is missing. Or for those more keenly attuned to the astrological elements: no fire translates into no magic, which has the potential to turn September’s days and nights dull with routine. Try not to despair—there’s plenty going on and most of us are likely to be busier than we want to be. But without fire and the zeal it provides, many are likely to grow bored with the same old same old.
For some, the slower pace might be a welcome relief. August moved fairly quickly as well as intensely, and a break from that pace might be appreciated. But don’t confuse September’s sluggishness with a vacation—far from it. The month is busy. It’s just that the sparkle behind all that busyness isn’t quite as brilliant as you might want—and that missing piece could make it hard to feel motivated to enthusiastically do all the things that need doing. For many, this translates into a dullness that drags the spirit down. You’ll need to muster your desire and determination to have fun.
Please don’t misunderstand—Fire Signs aren’t the only fun-loving members of the astrological system. We do get fun from Jupiter, the most enthusiastic planet. But we need fire to heat things up and lend its light to the shadows; without fire, regular routines become a mundane slog of things to do. Fortunately, there are several astral interactions that indicate powerful surges of energy, and those spurts could infuse regular routines with a bit of much-needed passion.
Week One: September 1–7
For all its sluggishness, September begins with a strident planetary signature: a Sun/Uranus trine that started on August 31 is exact on September 6 with the New Moon in Virgo and lasts until September 12. This is an intense interaction that fuels freedom fighters everywhere, so don’t be surprised if you feel the need to break absolutely free from whatever you believe enslaves you—an idea, an obsession, or a political system. This is a dynamic interaction and because Uranus signifies startling plot twists, instability, and rebellion with or without a cause, we can expect (and we don’t need astrology to know this) lots of difficulties in all the areas of the world where things are already too intense and unstable. This Uranian source of prodigious energy can also be used to get all sorts of things done, so don’t hesitate to take on big projects under this influence.
Unfortunately, a Mars/Neptune opposition interferes with the strength of that Sun/Uranus trine. This opposition began on August 26, is exact on September 2, and lingers until September 11. While this interaction fosters empathy, it is also enervating, so try not to lose yourself in the energy of others because you might have a hard time extricating yourself. Yes, it can be used for shape-shifting your way through the days, but finding yourself and establishing personal boundaries in the midst of all those transformative dimensions could be problematic. Under this influence it would be wise to anticipate being more than a little sensitive as well as highly susceptible to suggestion. The best use of this Mars/Neptune permeability would be to let yourself be inspired—write, draw, paint, sculpt, sing, play any and all musical instruments, to name just a few possible creative outlets for this deeply inspirational planetary combination.
A Venus/Pluto square also opens the month. It begins September 1, is exact September 5, and ends on September 10 as Venus conjuncts the New Moon in Scorpio, also on that day. Venus/Pluto interactions often feed obsessive or compulsive romantic attractions; have at it, but be sure that the object of your obsession is as interested in you. If romance is not on your daily playlist for the next couple of weeks, this square also supports creative efforts like those listed above, but add gardening, hiking, cooking, or whatever else feeds your heart.
For the first week of the month, we’re also under the influence of a Mercury/Saturn trine that begins on September 1, is exact on September 5, and ends on September 9. I love this interaction because it engenders a keen and penetrating mental mindset that isn’t afraid to be logical and thoughtful—and it also encourages thinking before speaking! And best of all, it can help us to recognize the difference between fact, opinion, and fiction, and everything else lots of folks are throwing up against the wall for personal profit or simply from a desire to create chaos. (On that note, I am reading Mindf*ck: Cambridge Analytica and the Plot to Break America by Christopher Wylie, a book that delineates the depth of digital manipulation of information in order to foment division—it’s a mind-blowing insider look by one of the key architects at how the digital world has fostered our current crisis of polarization.)
The ongoing Mars/Pluto trine that began on August 28 is exact on September 6 and lasts until September 13. This is a powerful, positive combination that also has the potential to dispel some of September’s slow pace, especially if you aim it at specific goals. If you are in a management role or leadership position, try to avoid falling into the trap of insisting that others work harder toward your goals and your tasks than they would toward their own accomplishments.
Week Two: September 8–14
The second week of September opens with a Sun/Neptune opposition. It starts on September 8, is exact on September 14, and lingers until September 20. This is yet another octave of Neptunian sensitivity, and because it is an opposition, we run the risk of being overwhelmed with sensitivity, especially because this interaction makes susceptibility to suggestion likely. Be careful of get-rich-quick schemes and other trickeries that could become quite difficult to discern. If something sounds too good to be true, it likely is. And if you lean toward addictive behavior, do your best to stay sober—Neptune symbolizes every addiction we know of and under this influence, it is very easy to succumb to the notion of “I’ll be okay if I just stick to moderation.” And before you know it, not only have you fallen off the wagon—the wagon is miles ahead and catching up will take a Herculean effort.
Week Three: September 15–21
Mars moves into Libra on September 14, and on September 17, it begins a conjunction to the Sun in Virgo. This conjunction lasts for several weeks. It is exact on October 8 and then finally separates by October 25, with the Sun’s entrance into Scorpio. A Sun/Mars anything signifies a vital interaction, and because Mars is an essentially fiery force, this conjunction could provide a facsimile of heat and passion. But I offer this caution: I think this conjunction is going to be tricky to handle and a little bit of a pain in the butt. I’m not sure how it’s likely to manifest, other than to say that however we experience its presence, it is certain to be quite intense because Mars is changing Signs as we are moving from one season to another. Seasonal transitions tend to be difficult for lots of us, and this Sun/Mars conjunction could make those of us who struggle with seasonal shifts even more cranky. So if you find yourself wanting to pick a fight just for the sake of blowing off steam, back off and do whatever it is you do to soothe your discomfort.
The Sun moves into Libra on September 22 at 3:20 PM EDT, signaling the start of autumn, and we begin a new season.
Week Four: September 22–30
Mercury Retrograde begins on September 27 and ends on October 18. Most of us know the retrograde drill: Mercury Retrograde is not a good time to initiate any new projects. It’s also not a good time to buy a computer or anything else related to technology. Mercury signifies all things related to communication and commerce, so if you can, avoid signing contracts, leases, and all other kinds of agreements. It is an excellent time to review, reflect, and reconsider recent choices with an eye toward finding details you might have overlooked. We know that Mercury doesn’t actually reverse its orbit around the Sun, but sometimes it can feel that way, especially when we are in the midst of negotiations. Also be aware that the three days before and after the retrograde officially starts can feel as if they are laden with obstacles that interfere with decisive forward motion. If you can hold off on big moves, do so. But also know that sometimes Mercury Retrograde can be a great asset in taking care of things you’ve been avoiding and solving problematic situations that have been moldering for long periods of time.
There is a lot going on this month and it may not be easy to find enough passion and enthusiasm to tackle all that needs to be done. I have purposefully avoided talking about strife and conflict, primarily because there’s just too much of it and delving into the details isn’t going to help to dispel those entanglements. More than ever, a commitment to kindness is of utmost importance. What I have learned from reading about Cambridge Analytica has only reinforced my trust in compassion as a unifying principle that will help us recognize just how much work lies ahead. In the absence of external fire it’s necessary to find the fire within—it’s there and we don’t have to rely on external stimuli to feel its presence. Yes, there are times when we need to be reminded, prodded, and invited to tend that fire and care for it properly and consciously. So do whatever it is you do to keep those embers burning. And whenever possible, help others to find and tend theirs.