10 Sep The Death of Innocence~ September 11th-17th, 2017
This week in Virgo season, the majority of significant aspects will involve Venus, still traveling through the glamorous and flamboyant sign of Leo. So over the coming days, as Venus interacts with Saturn, the North Node, Jupiter, the Moon, and Uranus, expect a more melodramatic and performative quality to overtake any issues you may have regarding love, sex and desire.
And though Venus in Leo is certainly attempting to upstage the other players this week, the Sun in Virgo remains the star of the show where dramatic tension is held in the inner struggle to adhere to one’s principles.
On Tuesday, the Sun will reach 20 degrees Virgo, marking the beginning of the end of the season, now fading into the oblivion of another bygone year. The last ten degrees of Virgo are the most melancholy, for it here where the mysteries of matter are revealed in ornamental demonstrations of decay.
Under Virgo’s watch, things fall apart, but elegantly. In a single exhale of summer wind, the over-ripened fruit falls to the ground, its uneaten remains left to rot into the earth below. It is in this time of waning fullness, that the phantoms of lost summer love begin to emerge. The names of the people and the titles of the books that ‘totally changed your life’ are forgotten. Now is the time when once beautiful friendships may begin to fade into dust.
In this placement in the zodiac, the Virgin sees a hyperdimensional reality, an agonizing time-lapse that depicts how even the most beloved flowers, children, romances and ideals must one day harden, wither, and die. It is the nature of all things in the material realm. Thus, for Virgo, every loving kiss is felt with its future pang of grief alongside. The light of every enjoyment brings the sorrowful foresight of impending darkness.
In Virgo season, all promises of infinity and eternity, whatever is beyond the beyond, only serve as distractions from your responsibility to confront the reality of material death and decay. This is a path to wisdom, for life without death is like spring without winter. There can be no genuine love or appreciation for one without the other.
This week, both the Sun and Venus will be in aspect to Saturn in Sagittarius, who is in the final months of his transit through this sign. Thus, there will be many Saturnian themes of death, finality and restriction that greatly affect your sense of identity and your relationships at this time.
In order to mull all these qualities over with some enjoyment and relish, I invite you to read into William Blake’s The Garden of Love, which is one of his Songs of Experience. The Garden of Love by William Blake evokes a haunting atmosphere somewhat akin to a nightmare because every symbol and image bears some sign of blight.
I laid me down upon a bank,
Where Love lay sleeping;
I heard among the rushes dank
This poem is a perfect evocation of the feelings you might associate with the Sun in the last degrees of Virgo square to Saturn in Sagittarius. Think of these lyrics as a beautiful meditation on Virgo’s inner world, where images of the life and death of innocence twist together like coiling vines.
Then I went to the heath and the wild,
To the thistles and thorns of the waste;
And they told me how they were beguiled,
Driven out, and compelled to the chaste.
The Virgin’s Mysteries culminate in a purified and honorable relationship between life and death. As such, this season can be emotionally and spiritually challenging for those who shy away from this necessity.
Virgo’s innocence is seen as a climbing vine, whose nubile tendrils eventually harden into maturity, wither under restriction and die.
And with Venus making herself so influential this week, the Virgin’s usual reserve may be provoked by Venus‘ urgency and wild abandon. Blessed with good lighting and soft focus, any issues of sexual or creative tension will burst into flames, finding expression in many melodramatic monologues.
In the Book of Genesis, the first knowledge of death was symbolically illustrated as Adam and Eve being driven out of the Garden. Thus, Virgo season can be a time that embodies some of that mythic sorrow of lost innocence. This pain was keenly felt by William Blake, for his poem Garden of Love seeks to explore the burden of being cast out of Edenic innocence and into the restraints and restrictions of maturity.With Venus in Leo this week, expect anything that resonates with a fall from grace to be hyperbolically acted out, going from a sunset to Sunset Blvd. in no time flat.
I went to the Garden of Love,
And saw what I never had seen;
A Chapel was built in the midst,
Where I used to play on the green.
Monday/Tuesday: The Garden of Love
Blake brings the reader into the garden with a sad memory of an idyllic scene of innocence. A picture filled with green grass and playtime has been obstructed by a Chapel, an image of rigidity and authority. Thus, the reader can connect with the feeling. You remember how your craving for knowledge and experience demanded the sacrifice of your innocence until your playful spirit became overtly obstructed by obligation.
At the beginning of the week, you will be meditating upon where some of your childhood joy has been supplanted by the ideologies and expectations of maturity. On Tuesday, the Sun will enter in the final ten degrees of Virgo and Venus will trine Saturn in Sagittarius.
Pause for some deep inner reflection upon how to improve the health of your relationships. Whatever disease may be currently spreading through your intimate exchanges can be pulled out by the root at this time. With a fearless sense of purpose, aided in part by Mars’ current placement in Virgo as well, any self-delusion or obsession can be uncovered, removed or sorted out.
Under the steadiness and stability of Saturn, Venus in Leo will encourage you to draw closer to people in trust and mutual respect. This is a call to deepen your sense of integrity and your honest expression of love and affection to everyone in your life. All notes of pretension will become glaringly obvious. And all sincere expressions of love and admiration will be intensely felt.
And the gates of this Chapel were shut
And “Thou shalt not,” writ over the door;
So I turned to the Garden of Love
That so many sweet flowers bore.
The week matures into its middle age as the Sun in Virgo makes a tense aspect to Saturn in Sagittarius, summoning a maelstrom of mutable energies. So much is in need of purging, releasing, and saying farewell to at this time. The dominant theme of the Sun square Saturn is to feel highly moralistic, duty-bound and obligated. The essential pragmatism of Virgo exalts these qualities in the service of virtue. But the emotional timbre will tend towards a melancholic feeling of restriction.
Remember that week’s illumination of the cage that hinders you is an opportune moment to make a much clearer map of the environment that is obstructing you. Rather than thrashing wildly against your current confinement, reserve your energies for an intelligent analysis of how you might later plan for a strategic escape. Rest assured that there is an elegant way out of whatever trap you are currently in, but it requires that you develop more patience and above all, emotional control.
These cunning skills of measured control over rabid instinct can only be had after sacrificing innocence for experience: after being forced out of the garden through impositions, restrictions and denial. Having been conditioned by the sorrows of maturity, you can acknowledge the subtler repertoire of emotions and survival skills that become available. The garden of love begins to bear strange bittersweet fruits, ones that ferment the knowledge of good and evil into the wisdom of eternity.
And I saw it was filled with graves,
And tombstones where flowers should be;
And priests in black gowns were walking their rounds,
And binding with briars my joys and desires.
There are few readers of Blake’s Garden of Love who will not identify with the feeling of being oppressed and restricted by maturing into one’s own societal dogmatism. Knowing how universal these feelings are, Blake reaches for catharsis in the final scene where the innocence of youth is sought but is only found to be dead and gone. If you allow Blake’s dream about the death of innocence to possess you, then a whole life-cycle of joy and sorrow can be better understood and integrated into wisdom.
Ultimately, even when lost in sad internal scenes, life always refreshes itself through some benevolence and grace. In the wake of the intensity of the Sun/Saturn square during the middle of the week, the ecstasy of decadence will arrive to soothe your troubled soul. On Friday, Venus will sextile Jupiter bringing a bubbling wave of merriment and romance into the picture. You will feel good being cast in any role, so long as it adds something of merit to some kind of celebration.
The scenes of stark mortality from the middle of the week will give way to a sparkling mood of festivity and joy! This will all feel so poetic because there is nothing quite so stimulating to the libidinal energies as to confront death and destruction. Thus, your appetites for ecstatic revelry will have been whetted for a weekend of indulgence in frivolity. Make room for blushing flirtations, pop music, meaningless conversation, and costumes! Remember that there is nothing so enriching to the life of a party than to have something glorious, like the end of summer, to celebrate!
On Saturday, Mercury in his exaltation in Virgo will conjunct Mars, bringing your intellect into its most piercing form. You might find yourself spending this energy in conflict with another person also feeling empowered by their ideas. But this is a transit best used this to cultivate your thoughts and ideas into into a more refined form, increasing the beauty and intricacy of their weave.
The week will close with the waning Moon in Leo passing over Venus just as she trines Uranus in Aries. Your generous and affectionate spirit will remain abundantly expressed, but at the end of this week you will be graced with some unexpected insight into what it is that you really exalt in the people you admire.
Everyone has their own standards of idolatry for people who exemplify beauty, genius, virtue and charisma. Thus, the end of the week will bring an illumination to these qualities and bring out the most enamored feelings associated with glowing admiration. If you know who you should admire and exalt, then the end of the weekend will be a flowing and harmonious singsong. But if you’ve been deaf or blind to something truly brilliant in someone who is near to you, expect to have your senses corrected by a surprising revelation.
Whatever is uncovered, let the truth humble you, opening your imagination to many new and wonderful possibilities. Knowing the full breadth and scope of the cycle of life and death, remember that for anyone with a fertile imagination, the Garden of Love is never truly lost.
All images are of actress Gloria Swanson