Seeking Balance in Times of Change: Fall Equinox and Mercury Direct

This week continues to see some potentially destabilizing energies: in addition to the ongoing influence of this month’s eclipses, we have Uranus conjunct Eris, and both Pluto and Mercury stationing direct. Luckily, there is also some harmonizing and balancing energies with the Fall Equinox, a trine between Mercury and Pluto, and the Sun’s shift into Libra.

Eclipses act as “course correctors”, nudging (or shoving) us back on track (depending how far we’ve strayed). Such initiations can be powerful wake-up calls, and sometimes find us wondering what hit us.

It’s natural to assume that our conscious mind is in control--after all, that’s the part of ourselves we are conscious of! But the unconscious is vast, and connected with all that is. In the common metaphor, our consciousness is the mere tip of the iceberg, floating atop the deep mind in the vast sea of the unconscious. From a scientific perspective, our conscious mind is governed by the frontal lobe, which in turn is affected by the workings of the rest of the brain, which in turn is impacted by our genetics (ancestral patterning), our environment (community, society, physical environment), and essentially the entire universe. Our brains are not isolated systems that control us; they are embedded within and impacted by the whole.

All this to say that whether we see it from a spiritual, psychoanalytic, or scientific perspective, the conscious mind is not in as much control as it tends to think. The conscious mind is within the unconscious--the soul, which is within all that is. Our souls are working behind the scenes to bring the people and experiences into our lives that help us evolve, and enable us to achieve our soul’s intentions. Sometimes what we think we want and need differs from what our souls have in store for us. Eclipses can bring in small or large events and insights that can assist us in aligning with the intentions of our soul.

But even if the eclipses ultimately help us, sometimes they can throw us off balance. This week carries the themes of balance and harmony, with the equinox, the Sun’s transit into Libra, and harmonizing aspects between Pluto and Mercury. The Equinox is the day when the length of the day equals the length of the night: balance between sun and moon, light and dark. We might contemplate the relationship between polarities that appear to be opposed but in truth require each other: the inhale and exhale, expansion and contraction, me and you, us and them. There is a reason that the Sun shifts into Libra at the same time of year as the Equinox. Libra teaches lessons of relation, harmony, and balance.

We also see Mercury turn direct this week, on September 22nd. On this day, Mercury comes to a standstill before moving forward again: in this moment of stillness, Mercury’s messages are made more clear. Listen closely for what Mercury has to offer. We may now gain insight into the meaning of this retrograde through Virgo: this rethinking of work, service, routine, habit, health.

While Mercury will be moving forward, we’re not out of the woods ‘till October 6th, when Mercury meets the degree at which it turned retrograde at the end of August. So, with this influx of Libran energy, we will likely find ourselves planning partnerships and collaborations--just keep in mind that Mercury is still in its shadow, so any plans and projects set into motion now are likely to undergo changes and negotiations. Stay flexible. From October 6th through November there are no personal planets in retrograde (for the first time all year): then we will really move forward.

As Mercury slows down to a halt and turns around, it hovers around a trine with Pluto, bringing a harmonious awareness of the underworld, where our power lies. This helps us in seeing what we are normally inclined to ignore--in other words to make the unconscious conscious. The more we see, the more power we have. Acknowledging the aspects within ourselves that we tend to repress is the surest way to evolve. Society instills in us that parts of us are wrong, faulted, sinful. It’s not true. There is no part of you not worthy of love. It’s love and acceptance that transform our “sins” into power and creativity and transmute what seems destructive or distorted into gifts. Our awareness is a light that itself is healing: simply seeing and accepting the shadow is all that’s required.  

Like Mercury, Pluto too slows down to turn direct on the 26th, emphasizing Pluto themes: potentially volcanic, earth-shaking, shadowy stuff. Similarly, Uranus conjunct Eris (September 25th) is potentially combustible. Uranus is erratic, can act suddenly, and sometimes with violence. Eris is associated with anger at being excluded; vengeance of the underdog. Used with wisdom, Uranus and Eris could ignite social movements, empower the marginal, and give voice to the oppressed. But it can be used for less than noble purposes too: these two were exact on June 9th, 3 days before the nightclub attack in Orlando; an example of the potentially devastating consequences of this energy.

The more we collectively channel the energies in productive ways, the less need there will be for violence. The energy must go somewhere. Let’s use it wisely. Let’s tune into the themes of balance on offer, and continue to work with the energy of release: releasing relationships (past or present) that no longer serve, letting go of detrimental thought patterns (easier to see now with Pluto’s help), and cleaning out our closets.

Keep in mind that balance is not a place we can ever rest. The tightrope walker is always shifting. Balance requires movement; a continual reevaluation of where we are, and where we need to go, a constant shifting in the direction of balance.

Wishing you insight and harmony in these times of change.