Régime des Fleurs
No. 28: The Astrology of September 2016:
As summer turns to fall, Virgo, sign of purity, leads us to cooling weather and turning leaves. On the horizon, we may notice the golden maiden approaching, carrying her basket of thistles and purple asters, eating freshly fallen apples as her entourage of baby deer roams close-by. This month, we are in loving hands as Virgo envelops us with her subtlety and devotion, while four planets dance in the soft but alchemical light of her constellation. Two symbols reflect Virgo’s essence: Demeter, goddess of harvest, and the High Priestess, the mystical, self-empowered healer. These two archetypes point to our path over the next few weeks. Demeter tells us to work hard in order to reap our harvest, while the High Priestess shows us how to restore ourselves so we can help others. With two eclipses and some powerful long-term aspects drawing to a close, September marks a moment of culmination as Virgo’s gentle orb illuminates our wounds so we can finally heal.
On September 1, a New Moon Solar Eclipse arrives two days after Mercury stations retrograde, dipping us into magic. Our minds are expanding into worlds unseen, opening portals of space and time. Virgo-Pisces represents one of the zodiac’s pathways to enlightenment: Virgo represents the embodiment of pure intention while Pisces reflects oneness and unconditional love. The eclipse sharply nudges us along this path, reminding us to serve others while recognizing our interconnection. The North Node has remained in Virgo since January, dancing in and out of a Jupiter conjunction, and we are now reaching the height of these energies. We are stepping into crystal-clear discernment and understanding our true purpose. Neptune conjunct the South Node tempts us with old patterns, while the eclipse in Virgo shows us the way forward: We must work hard to step into discomfort, facing whatever remains unhealed. We must be gentle with ourselves while releasing judgment, understanding that the road to awakenment is not about perfection, but embracing our humanity with forgiveness.
Continuing the month, September 10 marks the final exact square between Saturn and Neptune. We are recalibrating inner and outer structures and surrendering unrealistic fantasies. Everything about this month beckons us to release what is out of integrity while calling on Virgo’s precision to surgically remove stubborn patterns and neuroses. This is not an easy task, and for those up for the challenge, now is the time to step in to help our fellow humans.
Continuing our voyage of healing and purification, the Lunar Eclipse on September 17 will square Chiron, while Chiron squares Mars. We are rallying courage to face our oldest wounds as the eclipse brings about sudden clearing and awakening, restoring our equilibrium. We are leaving the dragon hole—the surreal, amplified period between two eclipses—and forging ahead into the fresh, inspired energy that permeates the remainder of the month.
September 22 is especially happy, marking the Fall Equinox, the Sun’s shift into Libra, and Mercury stationing direct. We have emerged from our tunnel of healing and purification, and now we can bask in the fruits of the year’s hard labor. With Jupiter already in Libra, we are beginning a new period of love and harmony, as the golden light of Jupiter shines on the sign of relationships. September 26 will amplify these feelings as Jupiter conjuncts the Sun. Good fortune is expanding to envelop all of humanity, ushering in a restorative month, along with a coming year of relative peace.
We forget that gentle Virgo is the sign of alchemy, that the goddess of purity and service has a subtle way of encouraging hard work and healing for the benefit of all. With Virgo’s aid, we are embarking on a new era equipped with clearer minds, stronger hearts, and purer intentions. As the world’s energetic frequencies increase, goodness is prevailing, veils are lifting, and our true natures are revealing themselves like the magenta dahlias of late season.
Sweet Virgo, the pure virgin and goddess of harvest, diligently sweeps the debris of this year’s challenging path of purification. She pours her magical, alchemical energy into September, beginning with a Solar Eclipse on September 1, which brings about sharp healing that requires self-care and forgiveness. Reality warps as Saturn squares Neptune for the final time, Mercury is retrograding, and we are entering the dragon hole—the intensified period between two eclipses. While we may face challenges mid-month as we uproot our deepest wounds, the Lunar Eclipse on September 17 brings an opportunity for sudden awakening and the shedding of old patterns. On September 22—the Fall Equinox—Mercury stations direct as the Sun enters Libra. Now, we can forge ahead with purer vessels, a better understanding of our purpose, and the bright light of Jupiter expanding peace and harmonious relationships. With Pisces communicating with Virgo all month, the fish reminds the virgin to relax and go with the flow. We are here to serve, but, as always, we can simultaneously relax and enjoy ourselves, savoring the beauty of love and the richness of the phenomenal world.
Like mother bears picking apples for her cubs, may we reap the harvests of this year’s hard work, feeding our souls while delighting in helping others. We are opening to a fresh era of relating, as balance, harmony, and love permeate our connections. With crickets chirping in the cooler nights of fall, may we welcome the crispness of a new season.
No. 27: The Astrology of August 2016:
“Love is what carries you, for it is always there,
even in the dark, or most in the dark,
but shining out at times
like gold stitches in a piece of embroidery.”
How beautiful that we enter August with loving, heart-centered Leo in command, reminding us to relish life’s pleasures. He demonstrates that the fast path to enlightenment comes not from asceticism, but from delighting fully in the five senses. If we relax with the richness of mottled moss, the sounds of bubbling creeks, the sight of wild flowers speckling deep-green mountains, we may find our channels bursting open, eliciting natural awakenment. Leo provides a well-deserved turning point as we move out of shadow work and into the light. Gone are the days of Mars retrograding through intense Scorpio, and Uranus squaring death-ruling Pluto, forcing us into the underworld. With the Sun King reigning, we will best spend our time enjoying the company of friends, laughing heartily, playing the role of generous host—entirely free of guilt.
After a long stint in Scorpio, Mars enters optimistic, visionary Sagittarius on August 2. This occurs just moments before the Leo New Moon, representing an auspicious and powerful coupling. Together they bring a fresh phase of passion, action, and expression. After a long period in the trenches, focused on purging our own inner darkness, we can now raise our gaze and see how we can benefit society.
This Moon will also activate the ongoing square between Neptune and Saturn—an aspect eliciting fear in some people. Deception is chafing against reality, and attempted lies are bursting to the surface as quickly as they are told. Neptune blurs the strict boundaries of Saturn, and we are seeing the effects in quickened communication, globalism, and the ongoing blending of cultures. We would feel most rewarded by this planetary alignment if we surrender our dogma and solidity, relaxing with change and inclusion. If we insist on separateness, we are abiding in the illusion of fear rather than the freedom of clear vision.
How we relate to this New Moon will deeply affect the rest of the month. While we begin August speeding along with Mars in high gear, he eventually slams into Saturn on August 24, bringing a sudden karmic reckoning. If we are steadfast in the purity of our intentions, continuing our efforts towards combing out greed, power, and ego, this aspect will reward us with respect and recognition from the outside world. If not, we may feel like we have smashed into a wall of our own undoing.
The Full Moon in Aquarius arrives on August 18, marking another karmic day—the first of three eclipses. Since Aquarius rules humanitarianism and global issues, on this day altruism will eclipse the selfish Leo Sun, purifying any neurotic attributes of the regal lion. This brings to mind the mythology of Icarus. Riding too high on wings of hubris and inflated ego, Icarus fell to his death. Similarly, any parts of us out that are out of integrity with the enlightened side of Leo will easily be defeated.
In fact, with male and female energies inverting this year, it is only natural that any archetypal king of narcissism could unravel as we usher in a new era ruled by feminine ideology—a paradigm antithetical to our current age of materialism and patriarchy. While many have been expressing fear in the face of uncertainty and collapsing structures, we could instead find solace in knowing that everything occurring aligns perfectly with the planets’ intended path. We are beginning to set in motion our enlightened ideals, to contemplate where best to lay our bricks. If we continue purifying the ground, mustering courage to take action from our truest hearts, we will have great potential to rise fully into the new age, to form communities and societies which align with a higher frequency. Staring over the edge of a future unknown, we could remind each other that the path to
enlightenment involves leaping into uncertainty — again and again.
This August, Leo, the Sun King, heartily shines through our Plutonian darkness, marking a pivotal moment in lightening up. The New Moon on August 2 coincides with Mars moving into Sagittarius, increasing our optimism as we widen our scope from our navels to the farthest-reaches of horizon. As we begin barreling forward this month, we must continue the work of purifying our intentions. Mars will conjunct Saturn later in the month, and if we have been operating from a place of grasping and self-centeredness, we could experience a painful, karmic reckoning. On the other hand, if we have been working hard with integrity, Saturn will reward us with outside acknowledgment. The Full Moon Eclipse later in the month will bring balance to the neurotic qualities of Leo Sun. Like Icarus flying too high, anyone behaving boastfully or egoically may fall to their metaphorical demise. As Saturn continues to square Neptune, rooting out deception and dissolving boundaries of all kinds, we may remember to surrender to the process rather than solidifying our various walls. If we can move beyond fear, we may even glimpse an awakened future as we play with the bounds of now, just like cheerful lions and lionesses.
Basking in the heat of the late-summer sun, may we open fully to our sense pleasures, experiencing the pulsating beauty of the phenomenal world. May we open to the luminosity that arises as we courageously dive into the immense unknown.
No. 26: The Astrology of July 2016:
Green Shoots from the Ashes
It is a fire that consumes me, but I am the fire.
–Jorge Luis Borges
Every forest begins with a fire. The destruction sparks a chain of rebirth as the heat of crackling flames forces pinecones to pop open and release their long-dormant seeds. As we feel into the planetary energies of July, rather than fearing chaos and unraveling, we might embrace this cycle of change, understanding that we are beginning a revolution, inching towards our collective rebirth. During this process, the world is depending on us as individuals to saddle up with courage, pure intention, and embodiment. We each possess seeds of awakenment, which are ready to germinate alongside others. Then we may collectively shoot green from the ashes and begin anew. Now is the time to consider our roles in creating a new paradigm, and with Cancer reigning this month, our journey begins with self-love.
Early July, the Sun, Mercury, and Venus land in the watery, sentimental sign of Cancer, the crab. Themes of self-nourishment, intimacy, motherhood, and family are central right now. Carrying his house on his back, the crab teaches us to feel at home within ourselves, developing inner security so we can serve others like a nurturing mother. What a soft influence to accompany the more revolutionary energies brewing right now. Cancer reminds us that we can help humanity by loving ourselves. We can create little worlds of warmth and light, around which others may orbit, finding respite in our strength.
This support is much needed after our recent journey with Mars Retrograde, which just stationed direct in Scorpio—sign of death, destruction, and rebirth. Understandably, the past couple of weeks have been challenging, with energies crescendoing beneath the surface like a Stravinsky piece. While we’ve witnessed some explosions, both literal and metaphorical, we may now find solace in knowing that we are at least moving forward. We are forging ahead, hand-in-hand with our dear, wounded Mars—planet of action, anger, and masculinity—who will limp along before gaining traction. He will remain in Scorpio the entire month, allowing us to slowly integrate our Mars Retrograde work, helping us to settle
after rooting out our collective darkness—particularly around aggression.
On July 4, the New Moon in Cancer is surrounded with strong aspects, as the Sun, Moon, Venus, and Mercury join together and oppose Pluto, transforming our relationships to security and self-sufficiency. Hopefully, we will use this time to balance strong backs with soft fronts, relaxing fear and finding strength in dignity. Coinciding with America’s birthdate, this Moon represents a new cycle for the nation—one that is gentler, more loving, and oriented towards kindness. Simultaneously, the New Moon ignites our ongoing Saturn-Neptune square, which continues jolting us into reality, helping us to release illusions and deception. Even on a personal level, fantasies out of synch with reality will inevitably crumble. In romance, if we are still clinging to past lovers or unrequited loves, we may finally release them once and for all, understanding that as humans, we cannot make love to a ghost. We must finally let go of our painful longing.
With Venus, the Sun, and Moon opposing Pluto, themes of softening masculinity continue from previous months, while the divine feminine grows further into her power. Above all, balance is key—understanding how to blend clarity with compassion, strength with humility, as we grow into spiritual renegades heralding a new era. We must find courage to hold both unconditional love and strong boundaries, as aggression and bigotry continue to self-demolish.
On July 19, a Full Moon in Capricorn arrives, pulling in after multiple Pluto oppositions. Issues around power and government continue to transform, bringing the world more unrest. Fortunately, we will be strengthening our compassion and softening as individuals, which will fortify our communities and families with tolerance and love. If we can open to inner-revolutions and release fundamentalist viewpoints, we will truly tenderize the world from a grass roots level—one individual, one family, and one community at a time.
As July draws to a close, the Sun and Venus move into Leo, rewarding us with joy, play, humor, and creative expression. Even in the midst of worldwide intensity, there is cause for celebration. The planet is vibrating at a much higher frequency, and anything out of alignment will surface to dissolve. We are growing into self-reliance, waking up to deception and corruption, and strengthening our abilities to ride big waves. We are finally realizing that we are the sky, and the weather is only temporary. In the wake of our calamity, may we contemplate the beauty of this chaos and the potential it presents to start again—this time, from a foundation of pure intention.
This July, with strong Pluto aspects following our months-long journey of Mars in Retrograde, all arrows are pointing to revolution. Governments and political systems are falling apart, and we are standing on the edge, overlooking the deep unknown. If we work through our fear, we may see that there is tremendous hope to begin again—this time from a foundation of purity, rather than materialism. With the Sun and Venus in Cancer, individuals in their communities are carrying on with gentleness and goodness, nurturing one another and themselves. Now is a time to harmonize and bring darkness to the surface for dismantling. Misconceptions, self-deception, greed, materialism, and corruption are melting away, and we are awakening further into oneness, laying the groundwork for the coming age.
Surrounded with the flowers of high summer, may we play in the phenomenal world, dancing in water, embodying wisdom with boundless joy. While buds shoot from the char, may we stop to rest our minds in emptiness, realizing that fire not only encourages new growth; we are the fire. And all along, there was nothing to fear.
No. 25: Falling Trees
An ongoing series of images by Rachel Chandler