Everything you need to know about the Earth opening up and swallowing your planets or the other way around.
Horoscopes by Corina Dross
September unrolls a hankerchief and strains the end of summer through it. The outsized, bombastic energy of Leo is beginning to quiet down (though there are few partiers lingering). Everything that has gotten bloated and big – our mosquito bites and sunburn hangovers, our appetite for scavenged blueberries, the smell of our sweaty bodies macerating together on a city stoop – now returns to ordinary proportions. With the Sun and Jupiter entering Virgo, narrowing our focus can feel like a homecoming.
With planets in Virgo we have a chance to peer into the microscope, and track what’s happening in our rhythms and habits. Jupiter in Virgo offers opportunities for growth and expansion at the microcosmic level: humble, joyous changes in our daily routines. Anonymous generosity. Letting ourselves heal from cynicism, and bringing a critical eye to how we embody what we believe. It’s a good time to clarify what all our energy is making real in this world, and why. This is especially true in the middle of the month, when Jupiter (planet of philosophy and growth) opposes Neptune (planet of mysticism and blurry boundaries).
Meanwhile, Venus and Saturn both turn direct, and Saturn moves in Sagittarius on the 18th, delighting all Scorpios who have hosted that demanding guest for what feels like ten years at this point (closer to three). The Sun moves into Libra on the 23rd, marking the Autumnal Equinox when the earth begins to tilt away from the Sun. And in case you need a thunderclap-type announcement that it’s time for major transformation, there will be two eclipses this month: a solar eclipse in Virgo on the 13th and a lunar eclipse (Moon in Aries, Sun in Libra) on the 28th. Virgos, Aries, and Libras: expect the next six months to speed up some processes of change and renewal, and don’t be too quick to make major decisions until the dust settles. In short: September will feel very short for how busy we’re all going to be. Schedule in time to cry, stare off moodily into space, and abandon all your paid work to begin writing that novel. It’s too late in the year to focus on anything we don’t take seriously – and we shouldn’t take anything too seriously if it doesn’t bring us joy.
As always, take these horoscopes for what your system needs and cast off the rest. For a more nuanced forecast, the astro-literate are encouraged to read their rising signs first, followed by their Sun and Moon signs.
“Does a sense of urgency propel you forward? Yes, but that’s the whole point: you are taking your time. That time belongs to you, it is fulfilling what you have chosen ... your choices are bound now to be the best, if only because they are yours.”
Imagine a bevy of reporters thrusting microphones in your face: “Excuse me, Aries! What can you tell us about the connection between chaos and unbridled joy? Can you introduce us to that hot young thing currently thrilling your heart and crashing your life? Some say you need to check yourself before you wreck yourself, how do you respond?” If you can make it through the crush and into somewhere quiet, here’s the question you really need to ask yourself: What kind of chaos do you want? Your choices are creative or stagnant. Note that creative and destructive are alternating chapters in the same book, and stagnant is what happens when you stop turning the pages.
You’re cute when you pretend you can go with the flow. That little dance you do, a humble shuffle of contented bonhomie, seems to say you would be just as pleased if your guests left all their dishes in the sink, tuned their fiddles in the common room, and let their leashless dogs tire out your cat (as they ask you to solve their personal dramas, and recommend a Marxist support group). In truth, your goodwill this month derives entirely from your ability to carefully curate the people you welcome into your home and inner circle. If you are granted this power, expect to be dancing throughout the month, perhaps in the arms of someone charming and most definitely alone at night as your alert mind burns with images of beauty and truth.
The problem isn’t that you don’t know how to concentrate, it’s that you’re concentrating all the time on everything around you. If you need to hush up all that noise, call on your natural talents as a chameleon: drape yourself around an isolated canyon that refuses to echo, until you’ve become just as cavernous and still. Can you cling to a twig that is vibrating to the rhythm of a Mozart symphony, till that vibration blurs the world around you to a gentle smear? Better yet, paper your bedroom in books and flatten yourself against the wall for an hour. Or fall asleep in the vast bronzy lap of a statue commemorating a fallen intellectual. Find whatever method lets you merge in single-pointedness with your environment – so that you don’t need to be in conversation with it – and remember to let the Virgos in your life know when they’re not being helpful.
Whatever you’re missing right now, you’ve gotta make it known. People want to help you, but only if you call on them by name. Don’t go posting into the void of social media or mass messages: sit down and write a letter to the ones who might be able to help, even if your desires seem trivial. “Dear second cousin, I seem to have misplaced my copy of Caliban and the Witch. Can you xerox the last 30 pages for me so I know if capitalism won?” “My chér amie, I used to have a spool of thread that came on a wooden bobbin with an imprint from the Austrian factory where it was made. Do you have anything equally beautiful to give me?” “Long-lost love of my life, I have succumbed to cynicism and have decided to run for office. Please restore my sanity.” Why do you get to call in all these gifts when it’s not even your birthday? Because when you feel complete and whole you spread that feeling far and wide.
The party in your sign has been raging for several months, and with Venus and Mars swaying drunkenly on the dance floor, it still ain’t over. Your dance moves are still crushing it, but it’s worth trying out some style you haven’t tested. Don’t be scared of the audience: we’re all on your side. This month favors the brave, in romance, poetry, and other contact sports. When in doubt, make it bigger and make it stranger.
Ever the reluctant center of attention, your birth month can be a time of intense self-critique. Instead of measuring how far you have left to go on that ever-growing list of goals, use Jupiter’s joyous optimism to develop new superpowers. And no better way to work on this than to take a new superhero name: no longer Virgo the Easily Demoralized, this year you become Holder of the Keys to Manifestation of Waking Dreams. She Who Can Name Each Thread Woven by the Fates. He Who Figure-Skates Archaic Glyphs Into the Souls of His Beholders. They Who Defy the Finality of Chaos and Offer Instead a Well-Made Tool. Sweeper Away of Demons and Stagnant Fools. If you can name it, you can become it.
Your totem organism this month is the extremophile. Often living in the deepest depths of the ocean, near some hydrothermal vent, and swimming about happily while enduring extreme heat and pressure, these creatures have a lot to teach you about the moment you’re in. This is a month where you’ll be asked to dig a little deeper into the why and the ugh of it all, and you’re going to need some effortlessness to come through it a wiser, more effective healer rather than a piece of burnt algae. Tools you’ll need: Bubble-blowing device. Flippers. Reflective aura protector, preferably gold-toned. Inner fire. Warped sense of humor. Windex for when it all gets foggy. Good luck!
Saturn has abandoned his post, and you are free. Old father time has spent the last three years grooming you into some kind of new adult: more sober, more careful with your time and love, and willing to put more work into this business of becoming a self than you thought it would ever require. Now that your vistas are a little broader and you can raise your head up and sniff possibility in the air, how do you re-approach creativity, abandon, and aimless play?
August ends with the realization that the joyride you’ve been on wasn’t actually in a stolen car, but in your own. And soon, much sooner than you thought, it’ll be time to fix those brakes and assess the other damage done. You may look fondly in the back seat where tattooed and glittered revelers snore, dogpiled in a heap of limbs and actual dogs, and wish you could join them. But even if you tried, you couldn’t pretend to slide out from under your responsibilities. In part, this is because you welcome them. In some ways, it’s a relief to slow your rollercoaster down. As Saturn moves back into your sign on the 18th, to stay for several years, you’ll be learning patience and dedication to the project of becoming more free. If you’re aiming for the moon, consider this month the first class in target practice.
In the library at Nineveh, Babylonian clay tablets from about 2000 BCE tell stories passed on through oral tradition, concerning events from two thousand years earlier. These stories begin with a great flood, but their aim is to preserve memory of the world before the flood: a time when fish people would come ashore each day and teach humans the necessary arts of ritual and hygiene, astrology and agriculture, before returning to the “sweet sea” beneath the ordinary sea, where they lived. After the flood, two things happened: Humans became less hardy, living about 40 years instead of 1000, and the fish people never came back. Mesopotamian scholars, recognizing their teachers had left them, scrambled to remember everything they could to codify this knowledge for future generations. You may find yourself in a similar situation this month, tasked with holding a vision for both past and future that feels beyond human capacity. The Mesopotamian scholars solved this problem, in part, by wearing ceremonial robes that resembled fish. Who has held you up and inspired you? Even if it means just wearing an old band t-shirt everyday this month, call on those heroes to create a ceremonial armature for you.
There will never be a better time to make your move. Declare your heart utterly at the mercy of your beloved, knowing full well that by “beloved” you mean time and mortality just as much as you mean that fellow mortal whose mysteries complement your own. Most of all, when you say “beloved” include all the untidy corners of your soul that you hide away when company calls. There is no need to hide anything this month from the trees, baring themselves as they do every year, or the voice in your heart that’s saying yes, I’m ready.
In honor of your half-birthday, you get two literary references: First, consider Kafka’s country doctor, called out of his house at night in the dead of winter to answer an alarm. Passive and self-pitying, he allows himself to be summoned, hustled, pressured, and miscoded as holy: “They have lost their ancient beliefs … but the doctor is supposed to be omnipotent with his merciful surgeon’s hand. Well, as it pleases them … if they misuse me for sacred ends, I let that happen to me too.” Does this sound at all familiar, my dear put-upon fish? Luckily, Herman Melville describes the qualities you can develop to prevent this kind of ressentiment from creeping into your half-birthday celebrations. In praising the thick, protective skin of the whale, he extols “the rare virtue of a strong individual vitality, and the rare virtue of thick walls, and the rare virtue of interior spaciousness.” In other words, don’t let yourself blend into whatever dream people have of you. Inflate yourself from within, and have at least one impermeable boundary at hand.