This week’s Last Quarter Moon is the time of the month to clean things up and clear things out, such as the desk, files, cabinets and closets. Doing this invites the new in, and is preparation for the New Moon in Scorpio on Sunday, October 27. With Venus in positive aspect to Neptune on the 21st, it is a good time to visit with friends and family you’ve not seen for a while. This is a time to reconnect. It is also a romantic aspect and plays well with some of the more challenging aspects later this week.

It is always good to bank those memorable experiences to draw from as we move into a time when the days are growing shorter and the nights longer (in the Northern Hemisphere). Those positive memories comfort us as the Sun enters the sign of Scorpio on October 23. The month of Scorpio is often a month of endings or the resolution of issues that have been a burden, or a continuing challenge with something that is out of our control. Scorpio is the time when we begin to feel the autumn chill in the Northern Hemisphere. We look around and our plants are going dormant, we begin lighting fires in our homes for warmth, and layering against the chill. This is the beginning of our internalization process for pending winter, when we explore our inner needs.

Mercury, the planet of agreements, communications, and technical equipment is active this week. As it moves along, it creates some lovely energy that asks you to think imaginatively (Mercury trine Neptune on October 15), think strategically (Mercury sextile Pluto on October 19) and directs your focus on a possible investment decision that may not be completed until Mercury goes direct November 20. (Mercury doesn’t begin its retrograde period until October 31, but it is indeed slowing down). When Mercury begins to slow down, play with ideas that you’ve been wrestling with. Random ideas from the last year begin to resurface.

As Jupiter (good fortune) is now in direct motion and nicely aspecting Mercury and Mars throughout the month, this could be a good time to start researching a new place to live, a new piece of equipment that will better your communications, or a journey that you’ve wanted to take. Putting ‘psychic feelers’ out there will bring rewards. This is a month of balancing the possibilities with the challenges.

Venus (what we desire) is in a beautiful aspect to Saturn (Planning in a most practical way) on October 20. This could be a good day to solidify the plan for one of those ideas. Watch your voice of judgment telling you things like “you can’t do that.” That can bring the imaginative possibilities of those ‘psychic feelers’ to a roaring halt. It is important to keep your voice of judgement in check.

As Monday starts the week, hit the ground running. The Sun (daily activities) is in a challenging aspect to Saturn (meaning, no fooling around). The parties happening last week mean this week is about getting things done with the Saturn/Sun aspects. Venus enters the sign of Scorpio on Tuesday, the day before Yom Kippur, the day of Atonement, and a quite perfect combination, considering this week’s aspects. These days can be emotionally volatile so stop before you say what you cannot take back. Forgiving people and asking for forgiveness are in order.

The energy is high as Venus in Scorpio runs with brilliant, innovative, and sometimes chaotic Uranus on Saturday, October 12. Get ready for surprises, or out of the box events that allow a change in direction. The weekend also brings us the Full Moon at 20º Aries and 20º Libra. Some big surprises and often very welcome opportunities could present themselves this week, as this Full Moon is challenging the current Saturn/Pluto conjunction. It is also one of those ‘firecracker’ days which are 90-days after the July 16 eclipses, which bring hidden issues to the surface that remained somewhat unseen, or unsettled this past July. (Click here to get a copy of the BRAND NEW 2020 Starcycles Cheat Sheet). Challenge doesn’t always translate as difficult. It can also mean that one must take a chance, jump off the cliff to grab an opportunity floating by.

Venus is squaring Pluto this week. She is exact on October 1. Pluto is much slower and tends to see things in a very black and white way. Something is either good or bad, there really isn’t much gray area when Pluto is involved. The big questions this week-whether in the workplace, our home, or with friends: “What do I value?” “What have I outgrown regarding my values?” “How long will I put up with a behavior from someone I care about that is non-productive and, frankly, destructive to my growth and spirit?” Issues from the past reveal themselves when we least expect. Pluto erupts from the Underworld to show the truth of what has been going on. Hopefully, Venus’ position here will soften the judgment of some of these revelations.

Since this next month is about revelations of many of the political antics of the last two years, do not be surprised if some of the characters showing up in the news surprise you because you didn’t expect them to be involved.

The revelations of last week continue through this week as Pluto is stationing to go direct on Wednesday, October 2, at 21º Capricorn. This is a station point that is extremely powerful as it is close to alignment with Saturn. Whenever Pluto goes direct emotions burst. There are endings, maybe those we love who have been struggling with health issues for some time find a resolution, or we see resolution of ongoing issues that were not resolved when Pluto went retrograde last April. We see emotional outbursts that we never saw coming. We make decisions that are powerful, requiring some sort of sacrifice psychologically or financially in order to become empowered. We decide to seek therapy. We decide to let go of some major investments.

With Mercury in the last degrees of Libra on October 2, and Mars at the very end of Virgo on October 3, during the entire time that Pluto is stationing to go direct, be ready for some surprises regarding bosses, authority figures, your company, as well as positive resolutions to empower bosses, companies and authority figures. It is suggested you wait on major decisions until both Mercury and Mars change signs after October 3 and 4. With Pluto going direct, and if one has been conscientious about changes in this last few months, things can change for the better rapidly. If one has not been conscientious, perhaps putting things off like financial responsibilities, then it can be a bit more trying. Pluto is black and white.

The weekend brings us two more days of those Moon/Saturn/Pluto occultations mentioned in September. Rest is suggested. Sleep and dreams help incubate what in the waking stages is often impossible.

The key to the Fall Equinox (equal day and equal night) occurring on Monday, September 23, is that life issues that have been challenging in the last year are coming to a head and a balanced decision with a positive outcome is possible. Some of the decisions people will make in the next few weeks may be hard choices, since Saturn gets involved in about 15 days, but they aren’t difficult to make because they are realistic and practical. Hard choices require courage and a strategic approach to those choices. “If I do A then I will get B” or “If I choose A I could get C.” Once the Equinox kicks in on the 23rd, those decisions may seem a bit clearer and a direction appears.

This is supported by the fact that Venus and Saturn are in hard aspect to each other on the 25th, which means the choice is duty over pleasure. Once you have an idea of which way to go with your decision then research time kicks in with the Mercury square Pluto aspect on September 26. It is time to attack a confusing problem, delve into it and sort out the truth from fantasy.

As the New Moon (new beginnings) starts on September 28, it has a little more ‘oomph’ than the New Moon in Libra usually has because it is in a wide alignment with Mars, the go getter of the zodiac, pushing one to get off the fence and make a decision. This New Moon is 90-days after the July Total Solar Eclipse on July 2. At that time, an earthquake rumbled Southern California with the Ridgecrest earthquakes and conjuncted the USA Sun sign in Cancer. This is one of two days this month that are ‘firecracker’ days in our annual Starcycles Cheat Sheet. There may have been many ideas, particularly around sorting out one’s future security, housing and family issues that cropped up at that time, creating new thought patterns on how to live and think differently. We had to go through the eclipses of July to really feel how things might be if we don’t change. We may have been challenged to sort things out because of living in ‘shadow’ at that time. The month of October is about finally seeing ‘how’ to make changes. With so many planets in Libra, air signs, it is a refreshing way to move forward.

I did a chart for Saturn going direct on September 18. I calculated it for Washington, D.C. It is an interesting chart in that Saturn is lined up with the South Node (things we don’t see or self-destructive behaviors) in the 12th house of the Washington, D.C. chart. This is a hidden signature. I do know that in Vedic astrology (I work with tropical) the 12th house often has to do with foreign affairs. In the Western system, the 12th house can be a house of hidden difficulties, but it can also be the place where incubation for building (Saturn) something can be percolating. As always, the attitude of how we approach our problems provides direct result of positive or negative outcomes.

There is also a great deal of activity in the house of ‘joint finances’ or long-term, fixed assets. It is quite possible, looking at this chart, the housing industry, as projected a while back, is slowing down. With Saturn and Pluto together in the house of incubation, new ways of living with people, new types of housing (perhaps taking commercial spaces that are vacant and transforming them into living spaces), or new ways of finding spaces in which to live with others are being formed. All is yet to be seen. I recently saw a program advertising a website which matches people up with baby boomers who have a lot of space, live alone, and would like a younger person living there. It is a platform for inter-generational home sharing. People are vetted, it seems safe, and is available in several American cities. This is another very good example of Saturn (elderly) with Pluto in the twelfth house in an elegant aspect to the Sun and Mars in Virgo and with Uranus in Taurus. This appears to be a good solution for those folks who are older and really don’t want to keep their homes but aren’t sure where they would like to live. These could be good transition opportunities as well.

The Harvest Moon (Full Moon) takes place this coming weekend. This Full Moon is about 90 days after the Full Moon that we had on June 17 (Eastern). 90-day periods are when solutions come to light that may have presented themselves during the prior 90-day cycle. I usually focus solely on the 90-days after eclipses, but I think it is important to start thinking this way particularly as we are in the last few months of the year, attempting to wrap up some of the more chaotic changes that we all experienced last spring.

There is a sense this week, again, of weariness, primarily because when we have several planets in mutable signs, like Virgo and Pisces, the need for sleep is at a premium. Our minds are too busy to shut down and sleep restfully. The other reason for this is that on Saturday, September 14, Mercury, the planet of communication, enters Libra, an action sign. Venus, the planet of contractual agreements and relationships, also enters the action sign of Libra. I find that the few days before planets shift into cardinal/action signs things feel frenetic, like the hamster running on the wheel, a feeling of a lot of energy being exerted but going nowhere.

Things get heated up as we move closer and closer to the Fall Equinox occurring on September 23, and Saturn begins moving into a more direct motion on the 18th of September. Fall is always a busy time. In order to move through what seems to be a frenetic week, the suggestion I offer is to do useful tasks, like clearing out the unneeded items, shred the useless paperwork, donate what you do not need to your favorite charity, and think seriously about who might benefit from donations to causes you believe in. With this many planets in Virgo, the natural sixth house of the zodiac, which is the house of health, health practices, day to day routines, schedules, equipment used to make life more efficient, and on a physical level represents the ‘small intestine’ of the body, which sorts out what is useful and releases what is not, it is a good time to get organized. Consider what you no longer need that is taking up space. Is your home too big? Are your closets too full? Be more willing to ask for assistance (also a Virgo signature) to aid you in processing your life so that you can start fresh?

Click here to get a copy of the BRAND NEW 2020 Starcycles Cheat Sheet — it’s all up to date for the new year, and includes a longer essay exploring the signs and the upcoming major configurations.

Today the Moon is void of course all day (from 4:33 am to 7:35 pm Eastern time) which means that anything and everything can happen. There is an old tenet in the halls of astrology that states that when the Moon is void of course (not making any major aspects to other planets) that nothing will come of it. This is usually a good indicator, particularly when trying to set up the beginning of a business venture or chart. However, in an ancient Samurai manual entitled, ‘The Book of Five Rings’ by Musashi (a book that has been used as a strategy manual in business schools), he states that in the ‘void’ is where all the magic happens. I think this is a time for incubation of ideas and thoughts. Contemplate your ‘how-to’ approach in the midst of this long void day.

It will be important this week, as the once a year alignment of the Sun and Mars in Virgo occurs moments after the Moon is void of course. This means to watch tempers and impulsive responses to any sort of chatter around you. You may already be on edge because whenever Mars is involved, especially in Virgo, patience is tested. On Tuesday, we have more of this outside stimulation when Mercury, the planet ruling communications, is also lined up with Mars. As I always say, don’t say things you cannot take back. Think before speaking.

If there is confusion, that is because there is an impatience to try to figure something out but those insights don’t really arrive until very late on Tuesday, September 3, when the Sun and Mercury align–offering ‘aha’ moments that we love. This happens very late on Tuesday.

As we move into Wednesday, Venus, the planet of love, desire and values, is opposite Neptune. There are two ways this can go. It can be a very romantic evening, and/or it can provide a moment of inspiration for the problems that arose earlier this week. Overspending on something we desire often crops up when Neptune is involved with Venus, as Neptune spreads a veil of illusion when these two are in conversation.

As Thursday begins, Mercury and Saturn are in harmony with each other, along with the First Quarter Moon (the management Moon). We are ‘off to the races’ and getting things done. That positive and constructive energy continues through the weekend as several planets, like the Sun (energy) and Saturn (work), are in sync on Friday along with Venus and Pluto, which is a great combo for repurposing, rebuilding, rethinking designs, or contemplating learning new things that require certain levels of research.

On Sunday, September 8, we have Saturn/Pluto and the Moon in occultation. This is like a mini-eclipse and we have been having several of these throughout 2019. The Saturn/Pluto alignments added to the mix have probably caused more distress than usual, but distress and discomfort often lead to change of some sort–IF we are brave enough to make necessary changes. When people are continually barraged with difficulties eventually they must change or grow stagnant, and this is what this year has been about. My dear friend, and amazing astrology colleague Linea Van Horn, has written an incredible article tallying up the large number of these occultations in 2019. It is worth the read. Here is the link: https://cosmicintelligenceagency.com/the-lunar-occultations-of-2019/

I will be at NCGR Baltimore on Monday presenting my lecture on Synodic Cycles (new book: Pushing through Time: Synodic Cycles and their Developing Phases). I will be presenting during a ‘void of course’ Moon. That was this organization’s assignment, so I am hoping it is a lecture where even I, the lecturer, discover some new territory. Have a great week.

Monday, August 26 Venus, who was explored extensively in last week’s forecast continues in positive aspect to Uranus today. This means there could be opportunities for visits and socializing from some of the areas mentioned last week. Someone you met may suddenly call or a group associated with someone you met in one of those environments last week may connect with you to do something that is a large project so throw the dice for more action as Mars (planet of action) and Uranus are in positive aspect on Wednesday, August 28. Breakthroughs, insights, being in the right place at the right time are all possible if you listen to the little voice that directs you to call someone or go someplace. Call them within 24 to 48 hours after having that insight. This is not a coincidence.

Do not ignore those insights because they are the keys that open the doors to many possibilities that are calling you cosmically if you just listen. As Mercury enters its own sign, practical Virgo on Thursday, August 29, the how to do something, or, whom to call to get something done are all possible as ideas keep cropping up. With the Sun (outer life happenings) and Uranus in a positive aspect on the same day, that luck to which I referred to for this next thirty days begins this week with these aspects. Plus, the New Moon (new beginnings) at 7º Virgo on Friday, August 30 adds to the new starts and ideas that have been fermenting over the last 30 days.

With Mercury now in Virgo and sending off positive aspects to insightful Uranus on Sunday along with the more reserved harmonious aspect between Saturn (structure and organization and building) in fine aspect to harmonious Venus, this is a day where ideas, sudden bursts of inspiration can show up particularly if you are brainstorming with others. Uranus is about exchanging ideas with others and all the aspects of this last week suggest that there is strength in numbers.

One of my favorite times of the year is this week as the Sun enters the sign of Virgo (an earth sign) on Friday, August 23. Two days prior to that, Venus enters the sign of Virgo, another earth sign. With Uranus in Taurus and Saturn and Pluto in Capricorn, the next thirty days may offer some incredible opportunities for investment, for remodeling and for organizing something that has long required organizing. All three earth signs of the zodiac are involved here and three of the same signs in perfect conversation with each other can offer fortunate opportunities. This is a good luck triumvirate.

There is an added perk here, too, as Mercury the planet of communications, contracts, and ideas lines up in perfect harmony with good luck Jupiter on Wednesday, July 21.

Add to all this, the added benefit that Venus and Mars are together on Saturday, August 24th, which can be a very sexy day. Venus and Mars were lovers in mythology and when they conjoin once a year, check to see where they occur in your horoscope because that is the area of your life triggered for the next year. For Aries it is in their sixth of work and employees, Taurus in their fifth of romance and children and having fun, Gemini in the house of the home and family, Cancer in their third of new studies, short writings and short trips, Leo in their second of cash flow and liquidity, Virgo in their first house of identity and personal care, Libra in their 12th of privacy, spiritual pursuits or…hidden affairs. For Scorpio sudden personal meetings occur through friends or community events. For Sagittarius in their career house, the most visible part of the chart. For Capricorn in their ninth house of travel, publishing, international travel, and market. For Aquarius in their eighth house of investments and long-term fixed income, and, finally, for Pisces these two planets conjoin in their seventh house of marriage ad long term partnerships and official contracts. Venus/Mars combos can mean opportunities offering pleasure in the above areas of your lives. Where will that be in your chart?

Jupiter went direct on Sunday, August 11. I started to explore this last week, but this week I would like to go into more detail. This can be a combination of good and challenging news. Often one is freed from something on a Jupiter direct and since it is in Sagittarius it can indicate a freer philosophical view, but since it is at 15º Sagittarius (the Aries section of Sagittarius) it can be overexertion or overreaction to something that still is allowing you to be free. An opportunity may arise for sure but being too impulsive without exploring the minutiae of that specific opportunity is challenged with this direct motion in the Aries section of Sagittarius. On the other hand, a calculated and very strategic approach to something that is an opportunity may be just the ticket. You know whether you are prepared or not. This is a time that is about strategic risk taking.

Uranus also went retrograde on the same day at 7º Taurus giving this day a double-edged feeling as we enter this new week. Uranus retrograde for a few months (until mid-January 2020) is quite a good thing in that Uranus can cause upheaval in its wake and it has for the last few months, since it entered the sign of Taurus. This gives everyone an opportunity to re-evaluate their investments, their holdings, their values, and their spending since the sign of Taurus is associated with the house of spending and wants and desires and our particular value systems, which may be changing quite a bit over the course of the next few years. If there has been madcap spending in the last few months, don’t cry over spilled milk, but seriously review how you can make your savings and your business more profitable over the course of the next few months. Is it time to leave a job that doesn’t appreciate you or value you?

Is there a person you know (Uranus represents our network) that might know of a better position for your talents? Or, is it time to start your own business in an area you know well and where, if you find the need, you can fill it?

I will throw one idea out to you. In St Petersburg, Florida, where I sometimes live half the year, there are very few recycling opportunities in the condominiums. The grocery stores have recycling bins and so do some of the houses in neighborhoods, but many of the high rises do not have a place to discard plastics and glass. A young student or someone with a truck could put together a pick up recyclables service, provide a schedule and fill a need while earning income. This is an idea, how to use what no one knows how to use. This is a Uranus in Taurus concept like taking shipping crates and making small shops or taking or old windows and making greenhouses. Take something used in a home and recycle it into something for a garden. This is the magic of Uranus in Taurus going retrograde. Just saying…

And more good fortune or opportunities for positive chance meetings are possible as the Sun and Jupiter continue in fabulous aspect to each other on Wednesday, August 7. On August 8, the day after, Venus and Jupiter are in great aspect to each other so affairs of the heart, love, and the creative process are very positive.

Note too that transit Jupiter who has been retrograde for a few months now (quite normal each year) is stationing to move in a direct motion on August 11, at 15º Sagittarius. I write more about that next week. Mercury, the planet of communications is what we term ‘void of course’ all Saturday. It is suggested not to make a major decision during this time as a fresher and more creative idea with more of a foundation could arise closer to the middle of August when Mercury catches up to where it went retrograde in July. When Mercury re-enters Leo on Sunday, August 11, you start moving in a positive direction. This aspect with Jupiter is fabulous for ideas, writing, and contracts. It is also positive for sales, sales ideas and marketing plans. Since Mercury also rules siblings, it might even be a good time to reconnect with them in a positive way particularly with siblings that you’ve not seen for a while.