New Moon Virgo, Saturday, September 3, 2005, 11:45 AM PST

Once upon a time not so long ago there was a Prince who more than anything wanted to marry a Princess. Many townswomen coveted his affections; he was wealthy, powerful, handsome, well-endowed, kind. He had the skills-certainly gifted with the male survival strategy of wooing. Yet as he widened his search, the Princess he sought was not found. She was too short or snorted when she laughed. Her bum was too big or flat. She didn’t laugh at his jokes or interrupted his stories. There was always something wrong.

And so one stormy night toward the end of his journey, a knock came in the middle of the night. He opened the door to a drenched human mop. He invited her in out of the pouring rain. Her face? Couldn’t even see it. Mascara ran down her cheeks, which were caked with mud. Her clothes were so limp they hung like heavy wet laundry on a hanger. Yet he sensed this woman was special, she was a Princess. His mother, the Queen, wasn’t so convinced and so concocted a real Princess litmus test. She placed a pea beneath 10 feather bed mattresses. If the woman didn’t miss a wink, she was not a real Princess. Now here is the interesting part of the tale– the special quality that differentiated noble blood from common was sensitivity. As the story goes, she doesn’t sleep and so is indeed a Princess, both hypersensitive and now symptomatically sleep deprived. Taking astrological license for the unwritten Virgo ending, we must attempt a few predictions. The Princess’s acute sensitivity turns royal Queen into a royal-housewife. She develops a sleeping disorder, blames her husband for her demise and drives him batty by obsessing about how to get that dang pea out from under the mattress. Or, option number two, she grows into a Queen who cultivates an attentive and nurturing caretaking for her mind body-connection. She doesn’t hop on the symptom wagon but instead holds that little seed of a problem and asks ‘how can I serve you?’ Instead of going to the palace physician for a prescription for Ambien, she learns to understand her body is her royal jewel and its wisdom a blessing. Every signal is biofeedback, pointing to necessary adjustment for the success of its rule. She fills her royal court with healers: an acupuncturist, a masseuse, a nutritionist, a personal trainer, a wise priest. Sensitivity leads to sensibility; she inhabits her body more fully and recognizes her true temple. This newly beautiful Queen has a profound impact on the Kingdom. Bumper stickers appear throughout the land read: ‘Real Men Do Yoga’. The King quits his day job and becomes a yoga instructor.

It’s worth repeating: Virgo’s sensitivity is not her downfall; it is her nobility. At first glance, the Virgin may behave like her husband the Prince, who fault-finds his way to his bride. No one is good enough, and the criticisms appear heavy handed, nit-picky. Under his methodical scrutiny, he is a Jerry Seinfeld of a Prince- letting a superficial hang up dominate the search for wholeness. Here is the Princess, eternally awake in her bed, unable to appreciate the palace for the pea. Virgo’s psychology can resemble an itchy mohair sweater; always another itch to scratch, there’s simply always something wrong. What’s at work behind the analysis paralysis? Virgo’s additive and subtractive process is quite beautiful. Akin to a sculptor allowing the image reveal as he shaves and releases it from a block of clay, with Virgo we are always searching for the perfect form. Virgo holds both the artist-Creator and the raw material. What’s the space in between? A lot of work. We feel the restriction of inert matter and start to animate it by shaving away what is not essential for absolute perfection. Until perfection is reached, we are preoccupied with the existential pea. With this enormous task, we give thanks for the Virgos in our universe. What a job!

If the goal is nothing less than reflection of divine perfection, preparatory for Libra, the next sign of the zodiac, wouldn’t you be uptight, too? It’s the pressure of readiness for partnership, union of any kind where harmony of mind, body and spirit must first be achieved. A marriage of masculine to feminine, compassion to wisdom, psyche to cosmos, the particular to the eternal, body to mind to spirit. We’re looking in the mirror and realistically assessing all of our flaws. We learn to forgive Virgo’s discrimination and instead see it as necessary discernment. We notice our annoyances & grievances and use them as tools to shape solutions. As with Libra’s judgment, we learn that that used consciously judgment is good and necessary. When we really listen to the voice of the inner critic, we embrace the voice of the critical thinker as our ally, the only one who will truthfully point out when we’ve veered off course. Virgo pulls no punches.

New Moon in Virgo is the new seed pointing to worship of our body-mind-spirit temples. Organizing, cleaning, analyzing like crazy is healing, because sorting and sifting allows all of our being to participate in a subtle integration. We figure out what’s wrong to get to the ‘what’s right now’. When we ‘get something into our body’ we’re doing a Virgo thing. We trust the higher mind to direct us to mundane tasks of self-improvement: list maKing, appointments with health care providers, creating new files, throwing out old papers, seeKing wise counsel. We use Virgo’s body-sensate experiences to give us feedback about how we’re doing mentally, emotionally, physically. There’s useful information in there. As we give the details of the body-life the attention they deserve we find we’re able to loosen up to a sense of magnimosity. Magnanimous- a whole body experience of your largesse in the world. And with a magnanimous body-mind-spirit you just may find you no longer need to sleep on the pea every night. Instead, as the classic story ends- we place the pea under glass in the town museum. The irritating minutiae transformed into sacred irritant! Marvel at the temple of your sacred irritant. Honor how one little pea sized problem, a certain sticking point of ‘This thing really does bug me-‘ or ‘I won’t settle for anything less than-‘ polishes the key at the door of your blissful union. And proves a blessing for the rest of us, your entire kin-dom.

New Moon Day, 9/03 just because you don’t see it yet doesn’t mean its not coming to you. Virgo can feel like the underdog, so much work to do & where’s the reward? No, remember that fall is the harvest. You’ve busted through some patterns this summer. Yesterday, Pluto’s recently directed motion has some of us sensing new pea shoots even while in the trenches, meanwhile those who haven’t blasted through chronic issues are feeling more mired. Virgo provides the motivation- responsibility to others, serving the whole of life. Ignore at your own peril your connection to the global tragedies, crisis of friends and loved ones, and your own inflamed pea. Truly the only control we can exercise in life’s unexpected curveballs is our respond-ability. Responsibility literally translated is nothing uber-heavy, just an ability to respond. No matter how insignificant you deem your contribution, it is important. The Uranus/Sun opposition says a decision to improve any situation in your life benefits us all.

9/4 Moon is wandering aimlessly today as we wake up to sweet relationship solutions. We can be loving one another more fully if we’ve dropped a little bit more of yesterday’s baggage. As Mercury moves into Virgo, your inner drama gives way to solution-focused thoughts. Mercury’s Leo movie- the editorial team could’ve cut the running time by half. Too much drama! The long, comically tragic drawn out affair is over; self-analysis replaces excessive self-expression & ego involvement. Mercury’s trip through Virgo is brief (through 9/19) but en pointe. Our mind now clearly sees what our self-involvement had obscured. At our best we’ll wisely use our time and resources for the tasks at hand. Let’s affirm new & better solutions for the world.

A slow shift has begun (through 9/20) Mars quincunx Jupiter, a couple weeks of adjustment. Is it groundwork time for Mars’ retrograde journey later this fall? The Taurus Mars is snugly stubborn taking the next step only if there’s an agreement in values; Jupiter is hedging its bets for compromise by promising the benefits received by taking a larger perspective. Your ability to cope with new life changes hinges on relinquishing the controls you’ve grown used to exercising. It’s not like you’re manhandling or forcing a situation or somebody, is it? Well, are you approaching a new development in your life with an old instruction manual titled ‘this is how I’ve always done it’? To begin a new manual- all it takes is a simple intention.

9/5-6 Moon in Libra points to enjoyment of others on this Labor Day. Libra loves to please and can please her way right out of a personal take for the sake of others. Balancing the needs and wants of others to your own closes the loop. 9/6 The mood starts out dreamy, perhaps loosening tongues and opening ears. If you find yourself spewing excess, balance it by blessing the ears on which your words land.

9/7-8 Moon of the Scorpion always turns up the heat, albeit in a cool undercover kind of way. The detective is called when lines get Neptune fuzzy and boundaries aren’t as easily respected. We may find smears of ink on what’s presented as pristinely white. Pallas joins with Venus, the Queen on her white horse stampedes through the falsity with her eminence’s thirst for truth, justice, beauty and relationship. Institutions & higher authorities may appear to have the upper hand, but by appealing to a sense of holism, compromise triumphs over subterfuge. 9/8 with nervous systems highly attuned and situations proving less than stable, some refuge is in order. A slow aspect between Saturn and Pluto perfects, like the wheels on an ancient machine coming to a grinding halt. Flashes of insight, lightning dancing across a dry midnight on the desert plain, illuminating what’s stuck. If at first you don’t succeed, try again this time with humor.

9/9-10 Wandering moon gives us time to finish up business and get routine stuff done. There’s a little heart tenderness happening today, we find it easy to yearn for the love we think we’re missing. Soothe yourself by knowing that the loving you muster up for yourself comes back to you in Divine time. Send love to the universe http://www.spcare.org/practices/lovingkindness.html 9/10 is a mellow day for the usually energetic Sagittarius moon. She prepares for the activity of tomorrow.

9/11 First Quarter moon in Sagittarius and Sun in Virgo. How to accomplish the nuts and bolts of life while staying true to the journey? It’s the practical questions that send us into deep questioning. We’re feeling the beginning of a later week Sun square Pluto, the dynamic of might meets right. We ask the question: is coercion and force ever useful? With this aspect, the pot you innocently left on the back burner turns out to be more of a pressure cooker. Venus moves into the sign of Scorpio today until 10/06. During this time Lady Love is searching for the quality of connection that wants to know it all. Dissatisfied with the superficial, this lady digs around in your past, your secret desires, and the skeletons in your closet. Relationships have undercurrents and we now see them as though a river, wide, deep and powerful. Through love, learn to corral the watery forces of emotion, possession, desire and seduction into a potent love spell. The kind of love spell we’re looking for transforms vulnerabilities into tenderness & depth, a true capacity to be with & transform the good, the bad, and the ugly. If you experience guerilla tactics, look past the blood, hiss and spit. Venus reveals depth insight into why you’ve provoked this particular response. Remember, even though one of you initiates the seduction, it takes two to tango.

9/12-9/14 this week power structures may change, perhaps in authority or reporting structure. A task may seem to require enormous strength and although concerned about overstretching our resources, they seem to be there in the nick of time. It does take some willingness to look, and a good dose of realistic assessment, balancing time to resources, Virgo style. 9/12 We have the energy to tackle business matters this week kicked off by Moon in Capricorn. This is good, because we have a lot on our plate. 9/13 is the big push; Sun trine Mars is the heave ho! supplying the green light for whoever needs to be moved off the ship deck. Roll up your sleeves and tackle the project that will, like a linebacker, take you down if you’re not already on your way to the goalpost. Gentle nudges throughout the day support the former, not the latter. 9/14 Moon in Aquarius encourages seeing with new eyes. This week’s energy may’ve felt heavy or harsh but we’re trying to put our mind on progress in the midst of long-term demolition project. What is torn down must be built up again. Options seem restricted but we find the focus to work it out. Like an engineer looking at the bugs, you are the architect of your universe.

9/15-9/16 if Mother Nature assigns all of her creature’s job titles the spider is ‘head architect’. My good luck charm, the spider is never without an elaborate and intricate web of connection. Although we may not know the grand design, we work on one strand at a time, knowing one strand will weave onto the next. Even in the face of fear, our visionary self knows its beautiful snowflake design. As we hatch the next plan, recognize that each action we put into the world sends a ripple effect into many other parts of our lives. Practical activism advice: immediately turn any negative thinking into acts of concentrated effort.