Astrology Column

Belinda Dunn is a professional astrologer, trained at The Temple of Kriya Yoga in Chicago, and has more than 35 years experience. See her bio and contact info at the end of this column.

What's Up September 2017

Mercury direct
September 5 @ 7:30 am EDT

Pisces/Virgo Full Moon
September 6 @ 3:03 am EDT

Virgo New Moon
September 20 @ 1:30 am EDT

Autumnal Equinox
September 22 @ 4:02 pm EDT

Doors close and doors open, standing on the threshold of major change, September begins with a sense of transition that only grows more insistent as the month unfolds.

There is the usual wrap up of summer fun as the familiar routine of school and work gets underway, and yet, there's a sense that more is to be revealed in this poignant, nebulous, in between place.

Where is the apparent chaos and upheaval taking humanity? Where are we going in our individual lives as well as nationally and globally? For many people, it can feel like society is jumping off a cliff of no return.

For others, the recent Solar Eclipse in Leo is the Lion's Gate of expanded consciousness opening wider than ever before to allow celestial frequencies to flood the planet, allowing a swift rising of vibration like never before.

Virgo Wisdom: Discernment
Harvest begins as our Sun transits through Virgo, the final zodiac sign of summer. Virgo is the epitome of the divine feminine, embodied through the stages of a woman's life as innocent maiden, nurturing mother and wise crone. At each stage of life, the divine feminine freely offers nourishment and sustenance for every living thing. She represents the wisdom garnered from tangible, direct experience on planet Earth.

Each zodiac sign has an archetypal symbol, and Virgo is the pure and chaste virgin. She is depicted as holding sheaves of grain, rich from the fields. A necessary step in harvesting grain is winnowing, separating the nutritious germ from the chaff. The zodiac sign of Virgo can assist each of us in discerning what is necessary, life sustaining and nutritious, while releasing what is superfluous, and ready to be discarded.

As each zodiac sign comes with its inherent characteristics, Virgo is known for its heightened and precise skills of observation. Virgo sees what needs to be done, and goes about the task of enhancing productivity to carry projects forward to successful completion.

It can be helpful to keep these ideas in mind as September begins with Mercury retrograde.

Moving Forward Carefully
On August 12, Mercury started a retrograde phase in the zodiac sign of Virgo. These past weeks have been a time for research and review. If you have found yourself more exacting, cautious and contemplative in making decisions, this is to be expected according to Mercury's current phase. This slow down has been necessary to clearly determine the optimal course ahead.

However, it probably has not been easy to slow down and consider all the options. The pressure of circumstances, and an internal sense of hurry and worry may be clouding the issues. As Mercury goes direct on September 5, the clouds begin to dramatically clear, and the light of reason illuminates the way ahead.

There is an added intensity to this current Mercury retrograde phase. First, Mercury goes direct on the exact degree of the Solar Eclipse (28 Leo). This means big decisions with long term consequences are in the works. Individually and collectively, a need for circumspection has been driving consciousness inward for answers to very complex and perplexing situations. A change of mind and heart is needed to effectively move forward.

Secondly, as Mercury goes direct on September 5, in addition to returning to this potent eclipse degree, Mars joins this combination. Astrologers have been eyeing this rare combination of planetary influences since last year. Now that the cards are on the table, so to speak, explosive, unpredictable, and destabilizing events continue to roll out, speaking volumes for the current social environment in the United States.

Mercury exactly joins Mars on September 3, activating the sensitive eclipse point. Ancient astrologers defined this combination as “sweep of the malefic.” Obviously, this signals a time of potential danger, and need for caution.

The fixed star Regulus is also on this point. Historically, planetary transits to Regulus have been associated with major events. It is said that Regulus punishes those leaders that are motivated by revenge.

Passion & Drive Prevail
A word about Mars . . . this is the planet that gets us up in the morning. As the planet of vitality, momentum, competition, passion and drive, Mars will fight for what it wants. Desire is a key component of what it means to be human, and many desires are productive. For example, if you want to be fit, Mars will get you moving in healthy directions. However, Mars comes with the caveat of “choose your battles wisely.”

Historically, Mars was known to the ancients as the god of war. The instinctual and programmed response of human biology is fight/flight/freeze. As Mercury joins Mars exactly on the 3rd, and a second time on September 16, there is an opportunity to watch and learn from your response to Mars energy. Some typical responses include irritability, angst, impulsiveness and combativeness. When Mars is strong, there is a need for caution in speech as well as operating mechanical devices.

As humanity evolves, and becomes more aware of collective unity, Mars the warrior transforms into the Mars the builder. September is the month to double check your motivations, and get moving in productive directions.

This burst of Mars energy can breakthrough stagnation, and get the ball rolling on many levels, individually and collectively. Astrologer Emily Trinkaus writes, “Mercury-Mars conjunct Regulus animates the power of the sovereign, liberated mind to guide creative and effective action in service to collective healing.”

A Full Moon on September 6 shines light on decisions as it closely follows Mercury's direction from the previous day. The Full Moon chart shows Moon joining Neptune with Sun in opposition. As the planet of glamour, Neptune tends to cast a spell over appearances.

If it's too good to be true, it may very well be. Neptune can be quite challenging in its effect, giving that extra nudge to awaken people out of their personal dream while dispelling veils of deception. Neptune is also highly sensitizing, opening perception to alternate realities.

Personal & Planaetary Healing
Two weeks later on September 20, a Virgo New Moon turns the page, setting the pace for the next 28 lunar day cycle. In addition to the Sun and Moon, three planets are in Virgo (Venus, Mars, Mercury).

As Virgo is the zodiac sign of health, this is the time to focus on healing. Chiron, the wounded healer archetype, intensely engages this New Moon. Since Chiron's discovery in 1977, the themes of holistic healing, personal growth, and the recovery movement have surged to the forefront of social awareness.

Chiron is currently transiting through Pisces skies (2010 – 2019), giving a voice to the plight of the vulnerable and downtrodden. This New Moon will amplify the moral choice between service to self, and service to others.

As many government officials would attempt to eliminate assistance to the needy, the question remains, what is the most realistic and effect way to handle many sectors of population such as refugees, orphans, the economically disadvantaged and handicapped?

In centuries past, assistance to the needy was provided by immediate family, community, and religious agencies. Over the past century, to a large extent, governments have stepped in to fulfill this role.

It may not be realistic to turn these responsibilities back on the very sectors of society that struggle to make ends meet, just getting by in the face of very challenging life circumstances. This problem is not going away any time soon, but the debate may very well intensify during September.

Equinox & New beginnings
Autumnal Equinox on September 22 provides a palpable shift in seasons as well as spirit. Like a breath of fresh air, the sacred pause of the Sun's entrance in the zodiac sign of Libra is rejuvenating and hopeful.

Libra is the zodiac sign of partnership, and the myriad forms that relationship takes. Jupiter has been giving a boost of confidence and compatibility in its transit through Libra for the past year. This is due to change in October, but more on that next month.

In the meantime, Jupiter will oppose Uranus in the final week of September. In addition, intense and volatile Pluto is stationary direct on September 28th. This disruptive combination can bring relationship issues to a head. It's one thing in our personal lives as it instills awareness of relationship dynamics, and the need to maintain balance, harmony and healthy interdependence. It's another issue on the world stage as leaders and nations vie for control, and rally for sovereignty.

Astrology gives language to archetypes. As an astrologer for over forty years, I have observed the amazing correlation between this symbolic language, and actual events unfolding in real time.

For example, the current eclipse cycle (2017-2018) activates the zodiac signs of Leo and Aquarius, highlighting the dynamic interplay between leaders, and those they purport to lead. Thus, the evolutionary thrust is bringing key lessons to light, especially in regard to leaders.

This is the current curriculum in Earth school, and the correlations are showing up everywhere. To simplify, humans are taking a good look at leadership, and what it means to be a true, honest, gracious and trusted leader. The current debate on Confederate monuments is a good example of this reorientation. Concepts are shifting and changing before our eyes and new visions emerge.

Values & Priorities
In reality, each of us are leaders, and each of us are followers. Consider all the hats you wear, and roles you play. In one instance you are leading, and the next you are following. Life isn't about blindly following an outside authority. As long as humans turn away and ignore their inner connection with Source, the realization of peaceful co-existence remains elusive.

In regard to leadership, there are enormous misunderstandings on the world stage right now. Many leaders are portrayed as glamorous celebrities, cartoon images bordering on the bizarre. These are not true leaders, and genuine leadership arises out of a calling that is aligned with integrity.

When asked about the current political situation, Andrea Mitchell, a well respected reporter, recently stated, “There is a central corruption of the spirit at the core of this. Self love is not leadership.”

In contemplating recent events, especially in Charlottesville, the word “seminal” dropped into my mind. Looking it up in the dictionary, I was inspired to read, “containing or contributing the seeds of later development; creative, original.” Clearly, this is a seminal moment in the nation's history, with widespread repercussions for years to come.

As September begins with Mercury going direct, potently aligned with the recent Solar Eclipse/Mars/Regulus, all manner of communication and information is ready to surface. In your personal life, a heightened awareness of purpose and direction is ready to be acted upon.

On the collective level, circumstances can turn on a dime. At times, maddeningly disruptive, the planetary trends in September can rattle the nerves, and test the patience of most. Thus, September is a month for discernment, flexibility, adaptability and adjustment.

It is in times like this that true leadership is desperately needed. People are hungry, starving for guidance, seeking meaning in a precarious, and shifting social environment. Many of you dear readers, are in the position to offer solace and guidance to those around you. True leaders lead by example, and may this month give you the boost of confidence to be the radiant light that you are.

ADDENDUM: I completed this article on Friday, August 25, before Hurricane Harvey wrought massive devastation on the Gulf Coast, and would like to add a few more thoughts in the wake of this storm. Since the beginning of 2017, many people have come to me, reporting dreams of major destruction (flooding, storms, tidal waves, tsunami). The dreams came with a sense of tension, premonition and dread.

Now this epic event is here. It is a game changer, and will continue to roll out with unfathomable repercussions for those directly involved as well as the country at large. The mythic meaning of Virgo as the zodiac sign of service is calling for conscience and compassion. It's time to walk the talk. Our hearts go out to those in need, our prayers are with you, you are not alone.

Belinda C. Dunn is a professional astrologer with over 40 years experience. She is available for your personal consultation. Email: Phone: 828-215-2101 Check out her website for services and archive of previous articles,