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The Autumn Equinox

Ah! We’re a few days before a necessary and perfect moment of balance and equipoise. (1)

The autumn equinox, the Sun’s ingress into Libra, is at 2:05 a.m. PDT on Friday, the 23rd.  At the moment of the equinox, the center of the Sun is aligned directly with the earth’s equator. This alignment is precise and distinct, as are the moments at the solstices. The solstices are the moments of the Sun’s furthest north and south declination. At the summer solstice, the Sun reaches its furthest north declination, which corresponds to the Tropic of Cancer. The winter solstice is when the Sun reaches its maximum southern declination, which is over the Tropic of Capricorn.

But soon, the Sun is directly aligned with the equator, midway between its extreme possibilities.

All layers of experience — in balance, weights, measure, equipoise, symmetry, and proportion — are at hand, offered by the great celestial beings that are carried through the zodiacal constellations.

In mundane forecasting, the equinox and solstice charts are studied as indications of the affairs of the state. This year’s spring equinox chart (set for Washington, D.C.) was notable, with seven angular planets making it an especially strong chart whose influence will stay for the entire year. (Charts are in Whole Sign houses)

Spring Equinox 2011In comparison, this autumn equinox chart is a less potent horoscope, i.e., no angular planets.

My point is not to diminish its significance (and I look forward to your insights), but rather to suggest that we are still under the very strong influence of the spring equinox chart.

In the spring chart, carrying the potency of both cardinal signs and angular houses, the Moon is conjunct Saturn in Libra and opposite Mercury conjunct Jupiter in Aries. As a simple picture, we can describe this as greatly divergent opinions and world views that are contained and expressed with conviction and certainty (dignified Saturn).

We might say that an enthusiasm for tolerance and generosity (Jupiter) meets an incalcitrant status quo (Saturn). Both are fueled by the square from Pluto in the 4th house. The 4th house represents the people and what is felt at the level of instinct. Pluto is pure potency and brings necessary upheaval; its placement in the 4th suggests that the creative/destructive urgency of Pluto is a quality that the U.S. populace is connected to this year. Pluto carries the life/death motif and certainly we can see that many in our populace are walking in some treacherous conditions, i.e., no jobs, home foreclosures, etc.

But the strongest, or at least the most obvious, marker for the year is the angular Sun conjunct Uranus. (Uranus also gets back to 0° Aries for its station direct on December 10.) We’ve seen rebellion and revolt and shocking circumstances in all dimensions this year. The Arab Spring (2), an earthquake affecting all 13 original colonies, and the current occupation of Wall Street (The American Revolution begins Sept 17th) (3) are a few visible examples.

This week’s equinox Sun is opposite Uranus and square Pluto. It won’t be long before those mighty, inspiring, exhilarating, terrifying collective forces have their way with us again, but for now I am thinking of resting in the lap of Venus.

Venus and Mercury are both in their places of rulership in the equinox horoscope.

If my family, friends, and clients are typical — and I think they are — I suspect many of us have had troublesome, painful, and profound insights within the arc of personal relationship this past week. Transiting Venus in Libra is newly out of the turbulence of her opposition to Uranus (September 17) and square to Pluto (September 18). Venus is quietly at home in Libra. In the equinox chart, she is shouldered between the warmth and life-giving force of the Sun (0° Libra) and the steady, cool commitment of Saturn (17° Libra).

Mercury in Virgo rules both Ascendant and Midheaven in the equinox chart. The moment suggests that discriminating awareness is available, if we notice it. It is not a glamorous or loud picture, but a quiet reflection of the nature of reality. We can recognize where we are in life, in both our outer and inner circumstances. Clear perception and precise communication is indicated; we can find the words to express what is important in our hearts. (Mercury in Virgo, ruler of the 1st house, is in the 1st house.)

Amidst the wilder swings, may we all be restored for a moment of blessed equanimity at this autumn equinox and enjoy each and every one of the others! Have a good week, everyone.


(1) e·qui·poise n (formal)
1. a condition where weights are in balance or there is a balance between different social, emotional, or intellectual influences
2. something that creates a balanced state, usually by counterbalancing some other force or thing

(2) Wikipedia

(3) Occupy Wall Street


  1. Great article! My birthday is on the fall equinox (00lib24) with my natal chart ascendant on the winter solstice (00cap00), so I suspect the upcoming alignment will give me some important activations.

  2. This past week I had to disengage from two different friendships–the demands on my time had been draining for some time. My progressed Sun at 29 Virgo is about to join the Aries Point grand cross, and, wow, do I feel an outburst of socially significant interaction. I also stopped taking two medications and monitor my blood pressure which lowered as a result of watching my diet and walking more.

  3. Judy….I had to comment on your comment,and Mary…this is a good post and so clearly written. I,too, adjusted my BP mess this week downward. My Asc is 0 Scorpio with MC at 0 Leo and Mars at 8 Aries in 6th house of health. Venus 0 Leo also with Pluto at 5 Leo. I am learning all about managing stress in a positive way. Thanks Mary.

  4. That should read BP medications but I am writing on an iPhone and it auto filled mess instead…. Of course I also have my Sun/Saturn conjunction at 17 Gemini…..

  5. This thing about BP medications is interesting. I have the ascendant at 0 deg Cancer, and am also on BP medication. Pluto is also approaching my progressed Venus at 7 deg Capricorn (7th House). I’ve recently been troubled with a funny taste and am starting to worry about blood sugar levels – a possible side-effect from one of the drugs. I do go for long walks whenever I can, but maybe I too need to re-adjust my medication.

  6. Looks as if the 0 degree aspect could have something. To do with Uranus &Neptune? My BP problem surfaced when I was hit & my car totaled on 12/24/09.

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