Last Sunday (Aug 28)'s New Moon in Virgo hopefully helped to put a cap on the previous month's Mercury-retrograde madness, as that messenger-planet's recent backwards dance had just ended a couple days earlier (on Fri Aug 26)
and, if we've willingly donned our logistical analysts' thinking-caps, it should've inaugurated a renewed attention to the utilitarian details that make or break our efforts at efficiency.
Both the Sun and Venus have already been in Virgo for over a week now, situating us in the official Virgo season of the year, which (at least here in the US) typically coincides with a decline from summer's peak and the back-to-school, prepare-for-the-business-ahead mode.
Mercury, Virgo's ruler, had also briefly visited his homey earth-sign (Jul 28-Aug 8) before slipping back into Leo. But this homecoming was, frankly, too tainted by the dually-convoluting impairments of (1) a stationing to retrograde motion and (2) an opposition to Neptune to be able to restore us much practical sanity. Next week (on Thu Sep 8), Mercury both returns to Virgo and clears his final Neptune opposition, another reassuring signal we're on track to soon be screwing our heads back on straight, so we may reorganize the disarray that August has stirred, as well as address the nitty-gritty practicalities that'll keep the gears operatively spinning during the months ahead.
What makes this preparatory Virgo moment especially critical this late-summer over any other is the upcoming transit of Mars through Virgoa marathon visit, which begins on November 10 and persists through early July 2012, of nearly eight months. To put this into proper perspective, Mars usually spends about a month-and-a-half in each sign. For those of you wondering what in the heck would cause such an anomaly, look no further than an all-too-familiar astrological concept: Mars will be retrograde (that is, appearing to move backwards in Earth's eyes) from Jan 23 through Apr 13 of next year.
I readily admit that Mars-retrogrades, more so than the retrogrades of the other personal planets Mercury and Venus, throw me for a bit of an interpretive loop. My lived experiences and observations of Mars retrograde has varied wildly from one instance to another, betraying what my initial book-learned presumption of its characteristics had been, leaving me to humbly deem it something of an astrological wild-card. What I do know for sure is, because Mars affects our physical energies and our drive to assert will, the Mars-retrograde phenomenon manifests as some kind of reversal in bodily current-flow in terms of both increases or decreases in energy-level and reorientations in where that energy's being directed. The specifics would depend on how a Mars retrograde hits one's unique birthchart.
For our present purposes, what's most important to take away is the foreknowledge that Mars will be spending a lot of time in Virgo in the impending future and that the Sun, Venus and soon-to-be Mercury are currently traveling through this same zodiac region, essentially opening windows-of-possibility which will receive ample amounts of head-on Mars energy in the months to come.
Virgo is a sign that seeks to manipulate the unruliness of the physical world into better rational order, so we're that much likelier to attain a desired result, with minimal variance from the ideal and minimal waste of effort. Virgo is the quintessential sorter of wheat from chaff, who has earned a modern reputation for anal-retentiveness (sometimes warranted, sometimes not) based on its logical, categorical manner of confronting life: How does this compare with other similar and/or different experiences? How does it function? How might it function better? If you want a detail-oriented task done well, you give it to a Virgo. Not only do they possess the patience and precision to tackle it, but if they don't like how it's turning out, they'll do it again until they get it just right. (I've deliberately avoided the word 'perfect' for obvious reasons.)
Mercury is extra-specially content in Virgo when he is invited to make plans to, first, carefully scrutinize the situation and analyze the particular job at hand, and, then, to compartmentalize the big goal into smaller bite-sized pieces (easier to healthfully digest, of course), before beginning the actual physical work. Mercury-in-Virgo's not the type to just arbitrarily decide on something; he wants facts first, so he can choose the most reasonable option. His worst drawback? Coming to terms with elusive factors, such as those that cannot be predicted in advance (though, ultimately, can anything really?) or proven to be 'right' or 'true' (though, indeed, they may be).
Because Mars will soon be 'stuck' in Virgo for such lengths, he'll essentially be forced to contend with enacting our initiatives in modest, measured, concrete and precise steps over a protracted time-period and, figuring in the retrograde impact, will likely find his attentions diverted and re-diverted toward whichever detail requires further concentration and/or revisionary tweaking. Though this effect may feel clearly irritating during the process, it could simultaneously serve to create a wonderful laboratory, in which to master the many minutiae involved in bringing complex ideas into reality.
Therefore, as I see it, we're approaching an incredibly fruitful time for using Mercury-in-Virgo's impeccable analytic grasp to hatch specific practical plans which then can be manifested, one minute detail at a time, over the course of Mars's long-term Virgo trip from Nov 11 through Jul 12. With this glance ahead at the astrological calendar, we must already acclimate to the knowledge that, during the 2-½ -month Mars-retrograde phase, we'll probably need to address unforeseeable side-effects, logistical glitches or some other looming practicality, perhaps totally unrelated to the aforementioned plans. This is all par for the course when creating something new in physical reality: We're often required to fidget and fuss and finagle (and sometimes fume) until we finally get it 'just right'.
Between Sep 11 and Sep 21, Mercury will be moving through the exact degrees of Virgo (03 Vir 40 to 23 Virgo 05) that Mars will be visiting three times during his coming retrograde. These are the most potent plan-making days. Be fully aware, too, that these plans will take until mid-next-year to become actualized in their most ideal form and that this timeline necessitates constant steady focus, one specific step at a time, over these next many months. Happy designing!