When I look outside my window at this time of year in the Northern hemisphere, I see preparation everywhere. Leaves are turning hues of gold and red in preparation for falling to the ground; the deer are putting on their winter coats. Robins and other migratory birds are gathering in flocks and gleaning the last berries from the hawthorn and chokecherry bushes, taking turns with the bears.
As we near the time of the equinox, the Virgo New Moon signals the time of harvest and preparation for the coming winter.
The sun crosses into Virgo about the time of year in which grain was traditionally harvested. Virgo stands in for the many ancient goddesses of the grain, such as Ceres, who oversaw the process of separating and organizing grain to provide nourishment throughout the coming winter. Classifying, discerning and preparing are the hallmarks of her association with Mercury, planet of perception.
Virgin = Sovereign Woman
Possibly the most misunderstood sign of the zodiac in our modern times, Virgo, 6th sign of the zodiac, is symbolized as the virgin. Far from our common understanding of a maiden who has never had sex, however, the original definition of virgin was a sovereign woman, unmarried and therefore not under the protection (or control) of a man. In ancient times, the virgin was both the harvest Goddess and the temple priestess. Each in her own way served the collective good.
As priestess, Virgo’s job is to serve the divine by bringing spirit into matter. She does this by creating intentions and rituals for the daily tasks of life, from work to sex to food. Virgo is the sign of everyday life and taking one step at a time. When she wakes up in the morning, she might say a prayer of gratitude. As she steps into her bath, she honors the water and the earth who provides it. A meal becomes a celebration of the multitude of beings who had a hand in providing it – the plants and animals themselves; the sun, moon, earth; farmers and ranchers; delivery truck drivers; grocers.
In the body, Virgo’s discernment between the ‘grain and the chaff’ is accomplished by the intestines and liver, which she is said to rule. Offering our digestive systems a rest at this time of year can give our livers the opportunity to clear out some of the fire of summer. We do this by having lighter, earlier dinners, coupled with a little more rest as the days grow markedly shorter.
At this Virgo New Moon, we are bouncing back from the intensity of two new moons in fiery Leo, one of them the total solar eclipse over the United States. And while there is still some heat from the ongoing fire trine between Uranus in Aries, Saturn in Sagittarius, and the North Node in Leo, all of the personal planets have moved into cool, earthy Virgo.
Now that cooler heads can prevail, we have the opportunity to take some quiet time to reflect on what the eclipse meant for us, and what intentions we set for this next period of our lives, whether this month, the coming year, or the nineteen years associated with an eclipse cycle.
Spiritual healer Chiron in Pisces
The modern co-ruler of Virgo is Chiron, directly opposite the Virgo moon at 26 degrees Pisces. Chiron, archetype of the shaman and wounded healer, is the bridge between the inner planets (world of matter) and outer planets (world of spirit). In Pisces, Chiron offers us the opportunity to heal our perception of separation from the divine. One way to begin is to treat our selves and our lives as sacred, to blur the artificial lines between sacred and profane.
Also on this new moon, all of the inner planets are moving forward, while all three outer planets and Chiron are retrograde, reinforcing the theme of paying attention to material reality and daily life on the personal level, even as the process of unearthing shadows continues in the collective.
Spend a little extra time through the end of this month honoring the body and simple daily routines.
Honor the harvest and all beings who contribute to your meals as you sit down to eat this month.
Honor the contentment of small moments and small things by paying attention.
Look for divinity in a tree or rock or chair.
Be of service in whatever way you are called.
In these small ways, we connect heaven and matter and make our daily human lives sacred.
Remember Einstein’s words: We can choose to live as if everything is a miracle or nothing is a miracle. Choose everything, especially yourself.