The emerging elemental shift during September is created as the planets change signs and move from fire to earth.
This month three personal planets Mercury, Venus and Mars all enter earthy Virgo. This adjustment inclines towards there being less inspiration and more perspiration brought for all activities as Virgo can get things done.
At the equinox on the 22nd the Sun crosses the celestial equator moving south and enters Libra. This is the start of Fall or Autumn for the northern hemisphere and Spring in the southern hemisphere.
Mercury Stations Direct
Early in the month retrograde Mercury turns direct and releases the hesitation this challenging period has brought.
The dreamy Pisces full Moon happens early on in the month and the later new Moon falls in practical Virgo.
by Alison Price
Image by Michal Kubisek
The Four Seasons
There are four seasons each year; spring, summer, autumn and winter.
The seasons start when the Sun enters one of the four cardinal signs which are Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn.
These seasonal ingresses are the time markers for the year and the basis for calculating the tropical zodiac, which is the one used on my site, and that references time not space.
The Sun spends three months, or one quarter of the year, in each season.
Autumn or Fall
As the Sun leaves Virgo and enters Libra the third season of the year Autumn begins.
During its passage of Libra, Scorpio and Sagittarius the autumn season develops and the beginning is very different to the end.
Mild temperatures at the start of Libra lead through to cooling and far crisper weather at the end of Sagittarius.
Autumn is the time to gather in the crops and store grains to sustain animals and us over the long winter and into the early spring.
We who live in the developed world and reside in major cities may be slightly out of touch with the sequence of growth and harvest for food.
We just pop into the local deli or bakery and pick up a fresh loaf of bread, baked and sliced that morning.
Rural dweller on farms and small-holdings do notice the changing year more closely.
Venus rules Libra and she also rules sugar and the fructose in all fruits and berries.
During the Libra part of autumn the late fruit is harvested (the early fruit harvest starts at Lammas on August 1st).
Typically at this stage the food plants have their sugars fully developed even in crops like onions and potatoes.
Plants are ripe and juicy.
As the Sun enters Scorpio the leaves fall profusely and annual plants start to decompose to provide nutrients for the next year’s trees and crops.
This is the transformation period of plant’s decay and part of the cycle of nature.
It is reflected in astrology by the Sun being disposed by Pluto as the ruler of Scorpio.
In many plants the seeds for the next year are being created in pods and flower heads and they wait for the Sagittarian breezes to blow them hither and thither.
Seed distribution is a process of autumn and can be spread over the whole three months.
The last sign of autumn is Sagittarius.
By now all the leaves have fallen and bare branches abound and this allows the wind to whisk through the branches.
Jupiter’s influence as the planet of Sagittarius now disposes the Sun and we can see much further through the trees and our horizons are broadened at this time.
The late crops are now in and the animals have grown in their thicker coats ready for the cold ahead.
The final migrations have finished and long journeys by birds and herds have come to an end.
Did you notice? Really?
Did you notice all this going on?
Neither did I.
But I live in Vancouver city where I can see the changing seasons by the trees in the streets being stripped bare and the varying colours throughout the city’s parks.
This year I hope to pay more attention, will you?
by Alison Price
Essential dignities refer to a planet in a sign and whether the planet is well placed in that sign or not.
The table below I created from information found in the (Arguably the greatest astrology book of all time) Tetrabiblos by Claudius Ptolemy. Any errors are my own.
Initially we are concerned with Rulership, Exaltation, Detriment and Fall.
When a planet is in it’s own sign it is in dignity. A planet functions well here as its urges are in line with the sign. A planet here can most easily express itself.
Example: Venus in Libra (Relating & partners)
When a planet is in the sign of its exaltation it functions well and is in line with the sign meaning. A planet in exaltation expresses intensity of energy.
Example: Saturn in Libra (Responsible & balanced).
When a planet is in the sign opposite its dignity it is in its detriment. This is not a good placement for the planet as its urges can be surpressed and thwarted.
Example: Mars in Libra (needs independence vs. needs of others).
When a planet is in the sign opposite its exaltation it is said to be in its fall. This is a difficult placement, as the planet will struggle to reach its full potential here. A planet here is weak.
Example: Sun in Libra (Individual’s needs vs. partner’s needs).
A planet is peregrine when it does not have any essential dignity. This imparts a neutral energy.
Example: Moon in Libra (but not when the Moon is at 0-9 degrees Libra = face)
Note for the purists A planet is peregrine when it does not have any essential dignity by rulership, exaltation, term, face, detriment or fall.