The Sun enters Libra, the sign of the scales and balance, on September 22nd at 14.31 BST, crossing the celestial equator, moving from north to south – The Autumnal Equinox. Officially bringing the start of Autumn to the Northern Hemisphere, and Spring to the Southern Hemisphere.
Another turn in the Wheel of the Year, and the second celebration of the harvest – Mabon. It’s harvest time – a time to thank the waning Sun and the Earth for the bountiful harvest bestowed, celebrate the work and results of summer, as well as align with nature and prepare for winter as the light begins to diminish, the leaves fall from the trees and the temperature cools.
The Sun entering into one of the Cardinal signs marks the unfolding of a new season. In the Northern Hemisphere this is Aries – Spring Equinox, Cancer – Summer Solstice, Libra – Autumn Equinox, Capricorn – Winter Solstice. In the Southern Hemisphere this is reversed.
Equinox – is Latin for “equal” and “night” – the hours of light and darkness are in perfect balance. But this balance is brief, the scales are continually – gradually – tipping one way or another. For those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, the hours of darkness begin to outnumber those of daylight.
Being aware of and connecting with the cycles of nature – seed, fruition, death and renewal – appreciating the continual change taking place, accompanying and reflected in the cycles of our own lives is beneficial. Correspondingly, as the year begins to conclude, it is a good time to pause and ponder how our own seeds planted this year manifested – evaluate our achievements or losses. Prepare to let go of, or change whatever is necessary, think about what we need to sustain ourselves through the long winter ahead.
Libra Ingress Chart
In Mundane astrology, the Cardinal points, and the chart for the moment of the Sun’s ingress into a Cardinal sign are of significance and value.
Libra is ruled by Venus, and as the Sun enters Libra, Venus is in Leo – domicile of the Sun – meaning that the Sun and Venus are in mutual reception. The Sun is in his fall in Libra, but the mutual reception enables them to provide understanding, and support, to each other.
Mercury is also in Libra, conjunct fixed star Spica – and in the chart for London, conjunct the MC. Spica is one of the 15 Behenian Stars, the brightest star in the Constellation Virgo, located in the sheaf of wheat held by the Virgin. Ptolemy says that Spica is of the nature of Venus and to a lesser extent Mars.
Spica ~ “Success, renown, riches, a sweet disposition, love of art and science, unscrupulousness, unfruitfulness, injustice to innocents” ~ Fixed Stars and Constellations in Astrology, Vivian E. Robson
Bernadette Brady in Brady’s Book Of Fixed Stars says that Spica was considered a symbol of the bounty of the harvest, acquired through the gift of human knowledge of cultivation from the goddess. Nowadays, Spica is a symbol of knowledge and insights, without attachment to any particular area or focus.
Spica with Mercury ~ “neat, tidy, clever, ingenious, favour of clergy and people in authority, gain through investments, responsible position.” ~ Robson
Mercury is in a sign ruled by Venus, as well as in the terms of Venus, so Mercury will have assistance from Venus, as well as the Sun due to the mutual reception. Enhancing this, Venus is in the terms of Mercury. Additionally, Mercury is trine the North Node in Gemini – the domicile of Mercury – and sextile the South Node of the Moon. The North Node brings a focus to information – gaining knowledge and perhaps a different perspective – exploring all sources of information, not just the official narrative.
However, Mercury is also entangled in a harsh Cardinal T-Square – square Saturn and Pluto in Capricorn and opposite Mars in Aries. Saturn is strong here, in his own domicile and terms. Mars, whilst in his own domicile, is retrograde, and in the terms of Saturn and the face of Venus.
In Capricorn, Saturn and Pluto are accompanied by Jupiter, a trio whose amalgamated influence, signifies and aligns with the tumultuous events of 2020. This T-Square in the sky speaks of the many, unresolved, challenges and conflicts we collectively face, that need alleviating and rectifying.
The Moon is in Sagittarius, in her own face, and conjunct fixed star Antares another one of the 15 Behenian Stars. Antares is a red binary star, in the Constellation Scorpio, known as the Heart of the Scorpion. Ptolemy says that Antares is of the nature of Mars and Jupiter.
Antares ~ is one of the four key stars in the heavens, along with Aldebaran, Formalhaut and Regulus. At one time, they marked the two Equinoxes and Solstices.
“malevolence, destructiveness, liberality, broad-mindedness, evil presages, danger of fatality, rashness, ravenous, headstrong, self-destructive through obstinacy.” ~ Robson
Diana Rosenberg says that Antares is notable in “marking the great issues of humankind, especially intolerance, racism and human rights.”
“The Aldebaran/Antares axis is indicative of political systems, their people, and their opposing politics. ….Antares keeps the vision of Aldebaran up-to-date by challenging authoritarian powers. When there are rebellious or terrorizing forces assaulting the established order, this reflects the need to realize that the established order is no longer supporting in ways truly nourishing to the needs of the people, and requires some type of reform – reform that if denied, may result in some level of, otherwise unneeded, destruction.” ~ The Lunar Planner, Nick Anthony Fiorenza
2020 has been chaotic, the world is in a muddle and scenario’s have been crazy and confusing. The Covid-19 pandemic has led to a huge percentage of the world’s population to be under a lockdown at various times, additionally, laws have been imposed to ensure compliance with the rules. In a Mundane chart, the Sun is symbolic of leaders and authority, and the Moon, the people. Mercury indicates all means of communication – the flow of information – along with intellectual trends, Saturn all institutions that create restrictions, laws, order and control.
Mars can be the threat of aggression towards the people by governments, as well as protests and rebellions against the government. The T-Square – to me – seems illustrative of a move away from the mind control, the fear and panic, as many more start to question how much freedom they are willing to lose, and how much control they are willing to tolerate. The chart also features a quincunx between the Moon and Uranus, which furthers this view, it could also suggest (seems likely) more financial turmoil, with Uranus in Taurus. Alongside, governments will be implementing further rules and regulations.
The harvest thus far, reveals clearly what isn’t working, and the necessity for past ways to be transformed in the future. The trio of planets in Capricorn symbolise all traditional power structures, including governments, big business, banks and the police. The chain of events up to this point, has revealed the vast, multitude of problems we face, contributed to by power structures. How the people are oppressed and the Earth destroyed in the pursuit of profit and control, the fact that inequality and poverty are rife.
Whilst there is no doubt, the time immediately ahead will be unsettled and difficult, there is also potential here for balance. Libra is symbolised by the scales of justice, adept at weighing up the advantages and disadvantages to arrive at a fair-minded, honourable outcome. Libra is also concerned with others, seeks to co-operate, find harmony and unity, excels at diplomacy and mediation.
The fixed stars at the Libra ingress are eloquently significant. Mercury with Spica – knowledge and insight – suggests that a calm, considerate, principled approach, along with applying some creativity and ingenuity to problems, holds the promise of some peace and justice.
But, with so much to contend with and counteract, this may not flow easily. Focus and mindfulness will be pivotal, especially as Mercury is retrograde from October 14th (11 40′ Scorpio) to November 3rd (25 54′ Libra) – plus – Mercury enters the pre-shadow phase of the retrograde on September 23rd.
During Mercury’s initial passage of the retrograde zone, unfolding personal and collective events offer an idea of the themes on the horizon for the retrograde phase. Retrogrades indicate that a re-view, re-think or re-do may prove necessary. Awareness of this, factoring it into our approach to life, means it is less of a problem – we know adjustments may occur.
Mercury square Saturn is also exact on September 23rd – and due to Mercury retrograde – this aspect repeats on November 1st & 6th (in orb approx October 28th-November 12th). Next, Mercury is opposite Mars exact on September 24th. Mercury is besieged – between a rock and a hard place – after the square to Saturn and before perfecting the opposition to Mars.
These influences suggest that a serious, sombre tone could infiltrate thoughts and conversations, our actions may be hindered, along with blockages to information/travel, frustrating news, obstructions to plans. It is also notable that for part of the retrograde period, Mercury will be in Mars ruled Scorpio – and simultaneously, Mars is retrograde in Aries. Simplistically – Mercury is our thoughts, Mars our actions, the need to think deeply – carefully consider our options – before taking action, is essential to navigating the times ahead.
Saturn is exalted in Libra, thus likely to treat Mercury (in Libra) kindly. Mercury square Saturn also reveals assistance with inviting in mindfulness, together with potential for strategies to manoeuvre around obstacles, strength to make decisive decisions as well as negotiations – compromises – that lead to fair, mutual agreements that conclude a bone of contention.
Ahead before the next ingress we also have –
- A New Moon on October 16th at 23 53′ Libra ~ Fixed Star Spica
- Jupiter conjunct Pluto on November 12th
- Mars Stations Direct on November 14th
- A Lunar Eclipse on November 30th at 8 38′ Gemini ~ Fixed Stars Aldebaran & Ain
- A Solar Eclipse on December 14th at 23 08′ Sagittarius ~ Fixed Star Ras Alhague
Eclipses are fated turning points, reveal what is over, what we need to move on from, uncover new possibilities and opportunities.
The next ingress – The Capricorn ingress – is on December 21st, and conspicuously features the Jupiter-Saturn conjunction – also known as a Great Conjunction – at 0 degrees Aquarius. Saturn is the traditional ruler of Aquarius, so remains in a position of strength here, but the shift of the Jupiter-Saturn cycle into an Air sign will certainly change things, as the past gives way to the future. Jupiter-Saturn conjunctions have occurred in Earth for approximately the last 200 years – apart from the first shift into Air with the triple conjunctions of 1980-81 in Libra. Jupiter and Saturn now begin a 200 year cycle of conjunctions in Air – this elemental shift is known as a Great Mutation.
Top Image by Jeremy Thomas on Unsplash