As I said a few days ago, the New Moon is the thing we’re heading for at the moment. The equinox does come first, by a whisker, but I think Moons tend to drag in and release things, in their own way.
The next New Moon is in Libra, about a degree in, and here is the chart for it.
Libra is a cardinal sign, which makes it initiating and impelling by nature, while its element of air makes it dualistic. This is the sign which definitively puts an end to Summer in the Northern Hemisphere, just as Aries definitively puts an end to Winter, and of course they are also conventionally seen as the beginnings of the transitional seasons of Autumn and Spring (in the North again). In this map, the Sun-Moon conjunction is squared by Pluto from Capricorn, another initiating, cardinal sign, but of an earthy type. That is quite a demanding aspect, and it can demand purification, of feelings and emotions, of identity, but there is a conflict or block involved with a square, and blocks don’t last with Pluto. At the same time, Sun-Moon is also conjunct Venus, the ruler of Libra, still itself travelling through the last part of Virgo. So there is something of a backwards looking feel to this, looking back to Venus and its harmonizing, skilful, creative quality, in adaptable Virgo, which is so much more in tune with the Capricorn where Pluto is stationed. Looking back, but everything is actually going to go forward, including Venus, into Libra, and into square with demanding, purifying Pluto. Just a touch of the postponed Persephones, or in the case of Venus, maybe of Ishtar’s descent and confrontation with the Meat Hook Queen.
When you look at this chart first off, what really jumps out at you is the fire grand trine though. Jupiter-Mars-Uranus. Now there’s just a little bit of fuel, speed and sources of ignition! There is vision, motive power, velocity, and a capacity for unusual forms of excess. Jupiter-Uranus has a good potential for progressive vision, doing something new and creative with a humanitarian implication, and Uranus in Aries is calling the shots here, with Jupiter in Leo giving it some old fashioned grand ideals (but personal enough to warm up Uranus’ freaky alien fridge routine) while Mars in Sagittarius can cover a lot of ground very quickly. But hold those horses, because the fire grand trine is tethered at every corner.
Uranus is being heavily questioned by the reality check of Pluto in Capricorn, though with these heavy weights, that can also be a bit of a provocation. Uranus in Aries is most likely going to be even more Uranus in Aries, if Pluto is going to be Pluto in Capricorn. But they test each other, that’s for certain.
Jupiter meanwhile is squared down to Saturn in Scorpio. Oh the price, the price, especially the emotional price (or the price to other people) of those big Leo-Jupiter ideas. And while they are not conjunct, the line up of Ceres and Vesta on either side of Saturn gives this a rather homey perspective. This is like “who brings home the bread, who keeps this home together and sanctified, and who cleans up”, so that Jupiter in Leo’s ideals can have meaning, and not leave a trail of morning afters. But equally, do you want an unchanging world of domestic if technically nourishing responsibility? Because that also is a morning after, just a morning after the night you let your dreams get buried and die. There aren’t easy answers with squares, just easy (partial) assumptions that don’t actually work.
And then Mars, horsey, galloping Mars in Sagittarius, is just starting to move away from its exact square with Neptune in his own limitless, boundless, shifting and watery sign of Pisces. How do you even have a square with Neptune? Confusingly, basically. Sagittarius is cut corners, screw the details, big picture, big goals, long distance view, and with Mars there, its a clear drive. Road trip! Pisces isn’t big on detail either, but it is everything that ever got left over, left behind and left out, painted big, and trippy, woozy and impressionistic. It’s a trip, just not the kind Mars in Sagittarius was thinking of. With Neptune there, it’s like someone spiked the cast of Gladiator. It could be really interesting, it might even get quite sexy, but scripted and going in one direction? Forget it.
So our fire grand trine probably isn’t going to leave the building till the day after the party they weren’t planning on, and our trusty band are all going to be looking a little different by the time they are in their RV (it’s an RV now), a little sobered up but further out than they ever planned. And the map? Why did we think the map was a good idea?
But just before we have that all sown up, there’s an unexpected accompaniment to the somewhat altered fire project. Shift it along a bit, just far enough to be clear of Pluto, and there is a trine between Black Moon Lilith in Leo and Eris in Aries. Our Olympians might be looking a bit like the furry freak brothers at this point, but they are joined by our own cosmic Thelma and Louise, though these girls do not go in for tragic grand finale gestures. The road trip is definitely on.
Remember with Eris, her discovery demoted everything we thought about Pluto (stop complaining at the back there, I don’t care if you think Pluto should scientifically be a planet – it isn’t), which opens up an amazing world of complexity. She was almost called Xena, but Eris, that bad fairy of all your childhood tales, the one they don’t invite to the wedding, that does just fine. And Lilith, what can I say about Lilith? In fire, this pair call for some potentially desperate action, if that is what it takes to get free or included. And Lilith is square Vesta. Guess who isn’t going to be tending the hearth fires, or being the responsible homebody. We are very close here to Lilith and Eris forming a second grand trine with Pholus, depending on how strict you want to be with orbs, as it is just over 2º off exact.
Pholus is one of the centaurs, of which there are many, but he, Chiron and Nessus were the first to be discovered astronomically, and these three are all tied up with Hercules’ myth. Pholus’ story is that, like Chiron, he was an atypical centaur, gentle and wise, and a friend of Hercules. He was also the guardian of the intoxicating wine of the centaurs. Hercules visits him, and though accounts differ as to who uncorked or offered the bottle, the wine is poured, and its smell drives the other centaurs crazy. In the chaos that ensues Hercules uses his poison arrows to try and control them, in the process wounding Chiron (the famous unhealing wound), while Pholus removes an arrow from a fellow centaur but manages to accidentally prick himself with it, and so dies. Sometimes the story says that Pholus acts to save his fellow, sometimes that he picked up the arrow out of curiosity, to marvel that something so small could be so powerful. There is the Neptunian tinge of the mind altering wine which belongs to all, not just any one of the centaurs. There is an innocence bordering on foolishness which seems strange for such a wise creature. Somehow it doesn’t seem like just his action, just as it isn’t just his wine. And there is the effect, seemingly out of all proportion to the cause. A drink hospitably offered to a thirsty friend. Curiosity over such a small arrow. Just picking up something, that you happen to then drop.
So though it is very slightly wide (by 7′ or 10′, if you want to have a 2° orb for Lilith and Eris), there is a possibility of a Lilith-Pholus-Eris grand trine in fire. You could be forgiven for wondering where the road trip might be going. But I do feel with Chiron, Pholus and Nessus* that there is a healing theme to all three, even where it is unpalatable or shocking. Melanie Reinhart gives the key phrase “the lid comes off” for Pholus. If I had to say what it was coming off of here, I’d say it was something to do with that Ceres-Saturn-Vesta cluster in Scorpio. Note here as well, Chiron is square to Ceres and Saturn, so there is a wound there, as well as the undeniable essence of a cure. The same thing that killed Pholus can’t kill Chiron, which was itself the nature of Chiron’s problem, but also part of the extraordinary capacity of his work as a healer. Ceres-Saturn-Vesta in Scorpio to me suggests home, nourishment, sacred enclosure, responsibility and discipline all gone somewhere with a marked potential for poison. Square to Chiron, it’s the kind of influence that people live with, imbibe, feel they must support, yet which pollutes them or their culture, and yet which they cannot simply die from, and which will not itself die. It does require healing. Oh, and Sedna is opposing Vesta from Taurus. I think that sounds like an environmental thing too (because Sedna is really not about being human as anything other than just another species), but whatever it is, it would put the culture complex of Ceres-Saturn-Vesta into an uncompromising perspective.
If a Lilith-Pholus-Eris grand trine is flipping the lid off that, I would maybe be careful of my drinking partners, but I also might think of leaving that kind of home, or culture, or at least take a holiday and a rain check. Small things could have big consequences. Turn the world upside down and storm out into the desert with your demon children consequences, or Trojan War hangovers. Or maybe just “fuck the consequences” consequences. No point getting melodramatic.
But remember the Olympian grand trine, and those great, visionary ideals. It could still be that Thelma and Louise are going to drive the guys out of town and save the day, just in a very different way.
One little, clear gem in this chart though: Pallas closely conjunct North Node in Libra (and yes, South Node is close to Uranus at the other end, so don’t let yourself just slip into rebellion or reactivity). Pallas in Libra is a nice position for this brilliantly skilful, strategic asteroid, that can avert trouble, secure results and push exactly what needs to be pushed, to the second, to get you through. On the North Node, it’s just what we need. Keep Pallas in mind, and you might keep cool and collected when you need it.
So to sum up:
New Moon, new beginning, initiating the power of the equinox (whether Spring or Autumn, according to where you are). Something of a demand being made to transform negativity in feeling or identity, something of a testing, maybe a bit of an overly heavy feeling to things, but also a bit of backward looking, assimilating where you have just been, collecting, making sense and use, but don’t get too caught up in looking back, even over the last month.
There’s quite a bit of energy that feels like it ought to be going somewhere, but it’s challenged, either by big or small things, held back by stuff that feels either too big and “mass”, or too homey and mundane and familiar, while energy is still somewhat drained and confused, a bit disoriented. It shouldn’t be swampy, but it kinda is.
That isn’t going to last though. Something quite unexpected is likely going to move things one way or another, and if there is stuff trapped under the surface, going a bit bad, it will get let out, and then things really aren’t the same afterwards. It was probably more than personal, or even generational, in any case. Some things just need to happen, for healing to take place.
Focus on skillful and reasonable response rather than reaction, and don’t just slide into things. Be clear, be wise, be strategic where you need to. Make this your show, your own individual show, whether you are going on that trip, or clearing out the basement, or just doing absolutely fine as you are. Make it your life, because it is.
* there is also a Mercury trine Nessus within 1° in the New Moon chart, but I am not getting what is going on there, so I haven’t mentioned it in the main post.