7 August 2021, 09h17 BST


Includes your two week waning moon cosmic weather forecast. (Scroll to the end to view)


There’s plenty to look forward to at the September Virgo New Moon, thanks to some stunning aspects between the luminaries and Uranus, along with an incredibly fortunate and expansive Venus-Jupiter trine on 6 September that should bring about pleasant surprises and lucky, serendipitous developments in love, money and creative matters. Find out more in my videocast below.


At the Virgo New Moon, it’s time to sew seeds of intention, begin new projects or press the reset button on certain habits and routines. Using the table below to find your rising sign (Ascendant), discover which life area provides optimal opportunities for fresh starts during the course of this two-week waxing moon cycle.



The English painter, Edmund Leighton’s ‘Godspeed’ which depicts a knight departing for war and his lady tying a silk scarf around his arm to remember her by.

The Sabian symbol for this two week period conjures up the courtly rituals within the chivalric tradition in which a lady would provide a small symbol or token of her affection and devotion to her knight in shining armour such as a lace handkerchief, perhaps dabbed with her favourite scent, as a keepsake. The contrast between the delicacy of the object and the knight’s cut and thrust lifestyle would make the gift all the more special:

We think of a knight, who would carry his lady’s handkerchief as a talisman of the spirit. His sacred chivalry was invoked, and no doubt made him a better person and probably a more passionate warrior. The talisman was always soft, to appeal to his sense of beauty, and awaken his instinctual awareness of the feminine side that made his fierce actions graceful, and actually much more meaningful.

James Burgess, 360 Degrees of Wisdom

Interestingly, Burgess adds a second line to the symbol, which gives it an added dimension, and connects it to the theme of memory and perennialism that was so strong at the Aquarius Full Moon, with its focus on lilies and the simbelmyne, the flower that grows on the graves of fallen heroes and brave horsemen in Tolkien’s novels.


This suggests that by striving to do good (or adhere to chivalric codes of honour) and make our family proud, we also contribute to the heritage handed down to us by our forebears; and in so doing, continue to build a living legacy that will outlast us. In this sense, emblems like family coats of arms or heirlooms like an old family bible, may serve as a reminder of the ideals and aspirations of our tribe and perhaps inspire us to carry this torch into the future via our own deeds and choices.

Inevitably some part of our heritage rubs off and is accepted as a set of true principles by which to engage with life. We may well have a desire to improve certain aspects of our family’s message; this aim not only delivers a base-line reference point for every one of our choices and responses, it also fosters a more refined quality, an allegiance to subtle, enduring, spiritual realities.

James Burgess, Sabian Symbols




This month’s lunar face has a lot to do with both continuity of lineage and tradition, as well as embodiment – the physical manifestations or containers for hopes, ideals and virtues that cross space and time. And indeed, embodiment is problematic in many spiritual traditions, from Christianity to many yogic traditions – there is often a decided urge to transcend the suffering and trammels of physical existence in a movement upwards that can amount to escape. And yet, as Gregory Shaw recently reminded me, this is not true of all spiritual paths. For some, including Sufism (which is plagued by polarising problems such as the doctrine of original sin) and many tantric traditions, the world is not polluted but essentially sacred. And so, while it is important for spiritual development to initially remove ourselves from the distractions and temptations of the world in order to connect with spirit, it is equally important to complete that movement upwards with a corresponding descent of spirit back into matter. For in these traditions, ‘From the highest level down to the lowest and densest materiality, the world is a manifestation of divine power and goodness. Embodiment, therefore, is an expression of the One and we are invited to recognize our existence as part of this theophany.’

It is in the spirit of this more holistic and far less polarising attitude that I think we can best view James Burgess’ contemplation of the third demi-decan of Virgo, which is, after all, the sign of Demeter, who is first and foremost, a fertility goddess, despite her later appropriation (and desexualising) by Christianity:

Coming to terms with physical existence is no small achievement as, from first to last breath, we are compelled to stabilize a great many influences that push and pull us around. Still, even though some of the procedures that shaped us as children may have been intrusive, nonetheless we have gained profound benefits. The projections upon us from our parents, teachers and peers actually helped to build a steady sense of who we are, and what to do. Whether we conform or rebel, the standards that were put in place can act as guidelines, and therefore promote the possibility of aspiring towards excellence. It is both by following, and rejecting, these indicators that we grow strong and pure of motive.


Given the strong emphasis on keepsakes, talismans and heirlooms that have meaning or sentimental value in this lunar phase, I thought it worth pausing to consider these in relation to memory, legacies and traditions. Consider holy relics, for example – what is it about the object that makes it precious and holy to us? And why do we feel so driven to acquire tangible objects that ‘contain’ or somehow embody the memories, principles or experiences we hold so dear? Think about a family coat of arms, or a treasured keepsake from a special place – every time we look at or hold the object, it has the potential to remind us – possibly even transport us back in time – of a moment when we somehow felt deeply connected to something or someone sacred or precious. Perhaps it goes back to our long history with talismans – creating objects imbued with magical powers using a combination of ritual and sympathetic magic. Certainly books like the Picatrix spend a lot of time explaining to the aspiring magician precisely how to go about doing just that.

The Renaissance scholar and occultist, Marsilio Ficino, who translated many of works contemporary to the Picatrix from Greek and Arabic into Latin, noted that:

 The Arabs and the Egyptians ascribe so much power to statues and im­ages [i.e. talismans] fashioned by astronomical and magical art that they believe the spirits of the stars are enclosed in them. …The Arabs say that when we fashion images rightly, our spirit, if it has been intent upon the work and upon the stars through imagination and emotion, is joined together with the very spirit of the world and with the rays of the stars through which the world-spirit acts.

Ficino, On Obtaining Life from the Heavens

Whatever the theory behind it, I think it fair to assert that on some level, we all seem to know instinctively, that there is some truth to this statement. Whether we choose a particular crystal for its healing properties, or wear a piece of jewellery we inherited from a beloved grandparent or a ring or pendant that contains our birth stone, we are all, to some degree, performing a theurgic ritual – one that seeks to ‘call down’ or capture a particular feeling, spirit or ideal within matter. Performed with the context of a cosmology in which everything is inter-connected and imbued with soul and consciousness, such an act is seen as holy and natural – not ‘primitive’ and misguided.

And so, we come full circle to to where we started at the beginning of this section, I shall leave you with another quote from Shaw’s wonderfully incisive paper, Platonic Tantra:

Withdrawal from material fixations is necessary for theurgic and tantric initiates, but to take it as the final goal, as encouraged by Vedantins and ‘many Platonists’ (Iamblichus 2002: 70.9), is to remain trapped in dualism. For Tantra and theurgy, escaping from the world is a profound self-delusion. For both traditions, the world is theophany. Why would one need to escape it?

Gregory Shaw



With the Sun and Moon trining Uranus, which is heading back out of the mouth of the whale as it retrogrades (spat out like Jonas?), the focus is once again on our relationship to our parents, especially our the mothers, but also on legacies and our contribution to society/the collective. Rather than her aspect as the devouring mother, however – something we focused on during the August Leo New Moon – this is more about her more benign and nurturing qualities, as per the second Aquarius Full Moon.



Given that Uranus is retrograde and is linked to the luminaries, this fixed star aspect may also touch on psychological legacies or baggage – the beliefs and behaviour patterns we may have learned from our parents or inherited from our family. Think of attachment style theory in psychology, for instance.

However, on a more positive note, and in keeping with the Sabian symbol and Lunar Face, this aspect may also highlight the traditions or legacies we feel proud to be a part of, and may now choose to honour in some way through our actions. On a wider scale, this combination can encourage us to find innovative ways to contribute to the collective through acts of altruism. Indeed, we may be graced with opportunities to achieve something truly meaningful or heroic for our human family through our actions or decisions, perhaps introducing something innovative or groundbreaking.


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