astrology autumn equinox

Art by Ernestine Grindal

The autumn equinox takes place every September in the northern hemisphere when the Sun enters Libra.  The equinox is a time of balance between day and night, and Libra is itself the sign of balance and equilibrium, so at the autumn equinox we find our own inner balance between what lies within and what is outside of ourselves; between what we need for ourselves and what we need to do to nourish and nurture our relationships.

The chart for the Autumn Equinox this year includes a first quarter Moon.  The first quarter Moon is the opening square (90 degree aspect) of the lunar cycle, and squares create conflict and challenge.  This aspect echoes the opening square between Uranus and Pluto which is currently creating such a huge need for adjustment on the global stage, so we are witnessing this crisis of adjustment and change as a macrocosm (Uranus/Pluto) as well as a microcosm (Sun/Moon first quarter) at the Equinox. The square between Uranus and Pluto reached its culmination just a few days before and the two are still tightly locked in the alignment.  The pressure to transform our lives is at its most intense right now, yet the Equinox inspires us to find balance and create equilibrium in our lives where we are able to find it.

Since 2008, the Sun has been in hard aspects (conjunctions, squares and oppositions) to Pluto at the Equinoxes and Solstices as it entered the cardinal signs, since Pluto is in Capricorn which is one of the cardinal signs (the others are Libra, Aries and Cancer).  Last year when Uranus moved into Aries it joined the intense dynamic and created further intensity and conflict.  Because the charts for the Solstices and Equinoxes set the tone for the unfolding of the seasons, these interactions are significant.

WIth Uranus and Pluto now at nearly seven degrees, the intensity of the relationship to the Sun is beginning to weaken.  While the transformative power of Uranus and Pluto still reigns, it is becoming less personal as the two planets separate from the quarter point Suns.

The need for balance and integration is further highlighted by a square in the Equinox chart between Mars and Venus.  Mars represents our needs and desires; Venus our need for connection and harmony.  When Mars and Venus interact in a stressful way we must learn to find a way to achieve healthy relationships with others (Venus) while honoring our own wants and wishes (Mars).

Fortunately, Mercury is in Libra helping us to gain the understanding of where balance is needed, but Mercury is in a 90 degree angle to Pluto, creating intensity of thought and intellect, and opposite Uranus, inspiring thoughts of change and revolution.  This creates a powerful “T-square” of three planets, all putting pressure on each other to create transformative crisis in areas of our lives that have not been very functional.

The theme of this Equinox is finding the anchor in the storm in the heart of our own being, and then reaching out to others in ways that foster harmony and peaceful coexistence.  Whether you are in the southern hemisphere, marking the beginning of Spring, or in the northern hemisphere where Fall is beginning, this integration is a gift we can all appreciate.  For those of us who are beginning to feel a chill in the air that begins the process of shutting down for winter, this Equinox offers another opportunity: that of retreating into the heart of Self (Sun) to gather strength for the personal growth and expansion that lies ahead.

For daily planetary updates visit my and pages. For a free subscription to Skywatch, a monthly report on the planets and how they affect our inner and outer worlds, visit my website.

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