|harvest of grain ... grist for the mill|
Thursday, September 5, 2013
7:36 am EDT / 12:36 pm GMD
Let's open with a few words about Virgo, sign of the New Moon. Often thought of as the clerk of the zodiac, the bookkeeper who never lifts his eyes from the page, the copyeditor who gleefully circles every error in bright red ink ... well, what do we wish for? A better eye for detail?
It's time to deepen our understanding of Virgo, look beyond the trees this sign loves so well and catch a glimpse of the forest.
It turns out this particular New Moon is a great time to do exactly that. Maybe the most important intention we can set for this New Moon is to develop a better, broader, more nuanced understanding of what Virgo brings to the table and how this energy influences our charts and our lives.
Check out the chart. There are so many planets located in same degree range as the New Moon, it's easier to list the ones who are not at the party. The Sun and Moon are together at 13 Virgo and
• opposite Chiron, the wounded healer, who astrologer Joyce Mason feels has a special and strong relationship with Virgo energy,Astrologer Simone Butler has already linked Diana Nyad's epic swim from Cuba to Florida to Virgo's influence.
• trine Pluto in Capricorn and the South Node in Taurus,
• sextile the North Node and Saturn in Scorpio, and Jupiter in Cancer
• inconjunct Uranus in Aries––see what I mean?
Virgo likes details. It's easy to make jokes about it, but nothing great is accomplished without that kind of attention. Virgo has commitment, as well as a good eye. Virgo can stay the course, not giving up in the face of opposition.
This is exactly the kind of grit Diana Nyad showed: The ability to keep going, one stroke at a time, until she reached her goal. We see headlines trumpeting her success, not reports of incremental failures––all the times a piece of equipment didn't work out, or somethings went amiss in training.
"The devil is in the details" we say, as well as "it's all grist for the mill." Grit and grist are tiny and powerful. A bit of grit in the wrong place can grind a huge machine to a halt. Grist is the basis of our daily bread, what remains after harvest, after separately out the chaff, after the hard work of grinding.
I visited the Herschel Museum in Bath England the other day and was fascinated with the reconstructed workshop. Herschel, who discovered the planet Uranus and thereby doubled the size of the solar system of his time, succeeded because of his meticulous attention to detail. Not satisfied with the telescope mirrors available, he learned to craft his own, a process tof casting special metal alloys and then carefully grinding the surface, polishing it with just the right kinds of grit, to make it highly reflective.
He never gave up in his quest for knowledge; nor did his sister Caroline, who began as her brother's assistant and became a noted astronomer in her own right, the discovered of right comets.
At this New Moon, we may want to pay some detailed attention to our own relationship to detail, to commitment, to grit. That Chiron opposition will focus us on where things haven't worked out in the past, and offer possibilities for healing.
Are we not reaching goals because we give up too easily? Are we missing important details because we're too busy, too distracted, or simply too cool to stay focused? Are we finding the right balance between acceptance and discernment?
There are tricky issues here. Virgo wants us to makes judgements, not to attach labels like good or evil, but to make good choices––is this the right situation for me? the right relationship? am I heading in a good direction? Answering these kinds of questions calls for attention to detail.
Virgo wants us to get it right. Sometimes in the quest for personal best, we beat ourselves up, falling into negative self talk, even self hatred, and then think the remedy is not making judgements at all. Virgo values discernment, yes, and success––and understands (or at least, can learn) that effectiveness often calls for compassion, not criticism.
The thing is, not choosing is also a choice. Sometimes standing on the sidelines is the worst thing we can do.
To echo the words of another expert in attending to detail: Watson, you know my methods: See where this New Moon will fall in your birth chart, where the middle of Virgo lives for you. Check to see which planets and points are involved.
These are the places we may have a history of avoiding detail (not reading the fine print) or focusing too much on it (missing the forest for the trees). At this New Moon, we can ask to understand our own patterns more clearly. We can wish for healing of any patterns getting in the way. We can set the intention to develop a healthier (and more discerning) relationship with Virgo.
The presence of Chiron suggests wounding, and the healing of wounds, related to Virgo issues. Facing our wounds is painful, as is beginning to shift away from self criticism. So I'd like to close with the words of the great poet Seamus Heaney, who we lost tragically this week.
Attention to detail is, after all, the poet's life blood. Capturing essence in a word or a phrase––this is Virgo at her most wonderful. In his work, Heaney gave us much beautiful detail, and offered acknowledgement and recognition as the beginning of healing of deep wounds.
His last words came in the form of a text message to his wife, simple and powerful, that we can carry into the dark of the New Moon, knowing we will come out into the light on the other side, illuminated.
Nolo timere, he typed. Do not be afraid.