Today on the Twitter™ a friend posted the following:
The Virgo moon asked me to discern. Asked me to purge. Asked me to focus. In a way, this is what i imagine Lent feels like…♍🌛🌕🌜
To which I said, immediately, “hey, yeah, that’s exactly what Lent is about.”
In my faith tradition there is a season that precedes the holiest days of the year, viz. Holy Week, which culminates with Easter. We call this season “Lent,” or in Latin, Quadragesima. The word “lent” is related to the French word lent, meaning “slow,” which is evocative of the journey our tradition takes us on: we spend the forty days (quadragesima) preceding Holy Week slowing down, “discerning,” “purging,” “focusing,” to use the words my friend used, so that we can better appreciate the promises, the gifts, and the joy that the Easter season brings.
In a felicitous calendrical accident, we have a Virgo full moon marking the midpoint of the season. It so happens that, because of the way the calendar works and because of the calculation of the dates for both the Jewish festival of Pesach and the Christian celebration of Pascha, we always have this Virgo full moon occurring every year during this season—and it is exactly the symbolism of this particular full moon that so richly captures the process of Lent and similar processes in other religious traditions that seem to happen this time of year (to say nothing of general “spring cleaning” as the Sun makes his transit through double-bodied Pisces as winter dissipates and we shake out the dust of our hibernation).
The symbolism of double-bodied, or mutable, signs is rooted in the change of seasons as one season falls away and yields to the next. Each of these signs (Pisces, Gemini, Virgo, and Sagittarius) has an obvious “double bodied” icon: the two fish, the twins Castor & Pollux, the virgin Astraea and her eagle (or the Virgin Mary with the Dove, pick your legend), and the two-bodied centaur Chiron, the tutor of Achilles. Each of these signs marks the time of the year where the story of the year bridges two seasons, and each calls for adaptation, adjustment, and yielding to change.
Virgo is the double-bodied sign of the earthy triplicity: indeed, a full moon lunation in this portion of the sky speaks to the need to re-order and re-structure our very surroundings. This manifests, as I said, as spring cleaning for most of us in the northern hemisphere: many of us will spend time over the next weeks purging and getting rid of stuff that’s been hanging around, changing our sheets (change them more than once every three months, please), selling old stuff on eBay, vacuuming out our cars and washing the crust of brine off of them, changing the filters in our HVAC system, doing our taxes, and so forth. Some of us will also spend time out-of-doors, tilling the ground, fertilizing, mulching, and making our gardens and flower beds ready for another season.
But the energy of this particular lunation also manifests as a call to engage with the process of spiritual “spring cleaning” as well. What is it that demands our energy? What takes up room in our soul? What do we need to let go of? How do we re-order, in Virgo fashion, our material and spiritual existence in order to make ready for the next cycle of life? Those are questions that I can’t answer for you, but the placements in your chart may give you some guidance. For instance, this lunation occurred in my natal 7th house, at the trine of my Part of Fortune, and I’m finding that I’ve spent quite a bit of time and energy in the last day or so attending to money management and my spiritual relationship with my “fortunes,” so to speak.
Moreover, the Virgo lunation serves as a counterpoint to the Pisces sun, which signifies deconstruction: we can’t remain in a state of deconstruction forever and expect to continue to thrive, so the contrapuntal play of the Virgo moon reminds us to adapt to what we have learned through the process of the deconstruction that is a function of growth as humans.
Indeed, this lunation can be read as the cosmos bidding us to make ready for the great greening and renewal of the entire planet which occurs as the Sun ingresses into Aries each year. It is a call for us to breathe along with the breath of the planet, which the stories of our faith traditions bear out in festivals around this time of year: Pascha/Easter for those of us who are Christians, Pesach for our Jewish friends, Ostara for others, and on and on. So many of us, especially those of us who are making preparations for our respective holy days, will experience the energy following this lunation as “tidying up” energy that, when employed skillfully, can enable us to Marie Kondo our physical environments as well as our spiritual environments in order to reorder and restructure for the best growth possible.
So I give you this prayer or affirmation to hold in mind as you work with this energy over the next two weeks: “may I reorder and make room in my life and my heart so that I may feast on the joy of the Earth’s restoration.”