Astro Forecast
Astral Awareness & Insight by Gaia
September: O-n-e   S-l-o-w   S-t-e-p   A-t   A   T-i-m-e
Mars Retrograde (9/8- 11/13) and Pisces Full Moon (9/1)
My invitation is to read this month's title above slowly and deliberately, letting our awareness sink into our bodies and noticing how it feels. The path we'll walk on might be filled with detour and challenges as Mars retrograde will be at odds with Saturn, itself entangled in the long conjunction with Pluto and Jupiter in Capricorn. The quality of this time suggests a change in our actions' speed. We might revise our decisions, tackle the next test, and come up with new strategies to face the turmoil of the present time when our habits are tested continuously.
On September 8, Mars, the red one, the principle of action and assertion, is changing direction to begin “walking” back in the sky. Since July 24, Mars has marched forward in fiery Aries covering the path from 15 to 28 degrees of this sign. From 9/8, Mars will be in retrograde motion until it changes direction again on November 13.  It will then move forward, passing for a third time on the same path, until January 4, 2021. Mars' extended stay in Aries symbolizes the hero/heroine ready to take action, jump forward, and face the obstacle at hand, with courage and strength. This long retrograde journey is one that challenges all of us to shift our inner image of heroine and warrior, learning new ways to embody this archetype. Mars in Aries's readiness to fight is somehow averse to moving backward and pausing. It asks for our awareness and willingness to challenge our usual ways of operating, particularly for those with planets and points in Aries and Scorpio, or those with planets between 15th and 29th of the cardinal signs (Aries, Cancer, Libra, Capricorn).
Since the end of August, and all through September, Mars will also be challenged by Saturn, the symbol of stillness, and restrain. This dynamic encounter adds an extra layer of challenge that requires slowing down, re-assessing, careful planning, and deliberation. A peak week that is likely to intensify this experience will be around the 8th at the Mars station, as well as at the end of the month,  around September 23 and onward.  Mars will be at odds with Saturn, which will station on September 28. Every “station” of a planet, like the word itself, means that the planet slowly decreases its speed until it stops and changes direction, just like a train stopping in a station. There, it is announced for all interested in paying attention. Likewise, stationary planets intensify their energetic presence and are particularly felt by those with planets at those degrees. Hence, Saturn's connection with rules, pressure, stillness, is likely to be felt as it will be followed by Pluto's station on October 5.
The image that comes to mind is that of Sisyphus, pushing a heavy boulder up the hill. Unlike him, we are not destined to do this forever. But as we collectively have faced an unprecedented challenging year, we might take this time to recognize the shifts in our habitual MO. Turmoil and unrest bubble up from the depths of those whose suffering has been ignored. Cultivating empathy and compassion, learning to move, step by step in uncharted territories, recognizing our fear while being open to change can lead us to the transformation these planetary cycles are pointing at.
The end of September might feel like pushing the boulder past the very end of a steep mountain peak. This might constellate feeling overburdened, depleted, frustrated, or imprisoned. Our capacity to recognize these inner states will allow us to feel safe within ourselves and stay still if that's needed.  After the stations, while Mars will still be retrograde, a sense of relief, feeling that a significant effort has been accomplished, might "slowly" begin to settle in.
This complex cycle invites us to learn new ways to take action: gradual, deliberate, controlled. We might imagine how it feels to carry a heavyweight in our body or push it up a steep, rough trail on a mountain. This might limit our range of motion, as we need to focus all our attention and energy on the task at hand. We might need to slow down our movements, keep a specific posture, engage muscles we were not aware of. We might realize we need to find new strength, as we cautiously put our foot forward, sensing the land underneath before putting our weight on it. We might often have to stop, rest, replenish, and take stock of the small but significant steps we have taken.  And perhaps, we might have to find another trail, return back and start again, filled with more knowledge and experience. Out of this intense challenge, we'll learn about patience, about our strengths, about what feels replenishing in times of challenge, about our resilience, and about adjusting and adapting.
At times we might feel we are stalling; obstacles might appear like roadblocks. Each one might ask of us, what can we do differently? How can we use our curiosity to explore, and our strength to learn to act with caution? Perhaps we are asked to take a longer road, one that we don't know, and that is tortuous,  but that might challenge us in discovering new lands and new resources inside of us. The most immediate response might be anger, rage, and frustration, especially in a year that has been incredibly challenging and energy depleting. In this lies the opportunity to look at what makes us tick? Is it really important? Can we find meaning in the challenge? Can we find time to prioritize mourning what we are leaving behind before moving forward?
Mars's anger can stem from early experiences that trigger us into a fight or flight response, mobilizing us for our safety. We might ask ourselves, is this response appropriate for this challenge? Is this threat really a threat? Or is it our early experience that ignites flaming words and actions? We can recognize that in a state of agitation, we might be blinded. To pause, stand still, and breathe, returning to a calm and safe state, will help us deal with the task at hand. 
Since late 2019, Saturn, Pluto, and Jupiter in Capricorn are constellating times of test and collapse of all that stood the test of time (Capricorn) and halting our ways. We might revisit how we relate to new rules and regulations that limit our actions. We might wonder, how do we respond? Is it our adult - mature self that is upset? Or is it our child-self that wants to have its way and resent the authority no matter what? Is our anger stemming from not having choices?
This month, Saturn might be holding a “Stop” sign in front of our faces. We are given the opportunity to distill and differentiate our Martian energy. When we pause, we can re-assess how we take action in matters related to where Mars transiting in our chart (look at the house that contains Mars from 15 to 28 Aries) and what might have happened since July 24 when it first passed 15 degrees.
As Mars represents work, the retrograde phase might constellate the opportunity to review decisions that have been taken since July 25. Obstacles might have thwarted our intentions,  and we might reconsider and readjust our plans, or re-do work-related projects that have been stalled and delayed
9/1. The Soothing Power of  Water: Pisces Full Moon
A few days before the station of Mars, the new Moon in the fire sign of Leo of August 21 will bloom in Pisces. The last sign of the zodiac symbolizes the yearning to experience bliss and magic states, lost in the intangible dimension that poems, music, movies, and fairy tales can vaguely describe. Pisces' undefinable nature is aptly represented by two fishes, swimming in the vast ocean in opposite directions, and tied by the tail. Loosely conjunct Pisces ruler Neptune, this Full Moon might feel like a soothing balm, inviting us to pause and nourish our union to the divine, to spirit, to bring us healing and inspiration.
Sun and Moon will respectively trine and sextile Uranus, while Mercury will transit in the sign of domicile Virgo. This suggests that cultivating rituals and habits (Virgo) nourishes our connection with the healing powers of the spirit world (Pisces.)
This Full Moon might also constellate a sense of exhaustion and tiredness, a yearning to escape and rest from all that is going on. Out of the myriad interpretations of this ambiguous, magical sign, it's worth naming the need to be cautious with deception and exaggeration. Extreme polarities between good and evil, martyr, and victim are possible. We might exert some caution as to how they can be used to serve ourselves in manipulative ways.
Imagining or engaging with the soothing power of water,  such as a bath in the ocean or a lake, a shower or a bath, might help us harness the cleansing energy of Pisces that can feel like a balm in times of turmoil.
9/12 Jupiter's gifts &  Holding our ground at the Virgo New Moon (9/17)
On September 12, Jupiter, the greater benefic and the giver of opportunities, will station direct at 17th degrees Capricorn. This planet's station might feel like an unexpected helping hand,  nourishing our beliefs, and offering a beacon of hope and light that we might take time to sense deeply within ourselves.
A few days later, the Moon disappears from the sky and renews herself when meeting the Sun in the fertile and humble earthy sign of Virgo at 24 degrees. This New Moon will be in an amicable and supportive aspect (trine) to Saturn, Pluto, and Jupiter in Capricorn, counterbalancing the ongoing square to Mars. The affinity by element, the Earth, between Capricorn and Virgo, constellates the opportunity to embrace and cultivate the numerous qualities of these signs. Experimentally, the Earth, the soil,  the land offer a solid foundation to our lives. We learn to be steady and dependable as a rock; we learn to be patient from the soil that nourishes the seeds. We learn from the intelligence, cooperation, and mastery of complex ecosystems in the natural world. We learn to be humble like trees, as they cooperate with one another, offering support in times of challenge. From the ancient cults of the Virgin Goddesses, we learn to honor and celebrate the power of fertility. These goddesses were not like the Christian Virgin, which praise an unrealistic model of women and sexuality. Instead, they were venerated and embodied the full power of lust as a creative and generative force in nature and humans.
When the fear of change hinders the possibility of adapting and growth at a time of collective turmoil, this New Moon offers us the opportunity to rest, reflect on ourselves, and release old patterns of behavior. We might notice all that arises within us as we contemplate the element of Earth. We might sit on the grass, or holding a rock or the soil in our hand. From this place, we might sense into these qualities, which will help us set our intentions as we face this new journey. As I have written before, humus means soil, and it is the root of the word "humbleness," pointing at the value of being down to the ground. How may we nourish this quality within ourselves? What may we learn from that point of view that can help us connect with other humans and other beings? (Mercury in Libra, the sign of relatedness, disposes of the New Moon.) 
In noticing the aspects of our lives that have been leveled to the ground this year, how can we learn from being attentive and receptive to the whispers within and outside ourselves? Virgo's capacity to discriminate and devotion to a cause suggest how to approach the intentions we might set for this new cycle. How can we be of “service” to a personal or collective cause? Harnessing this energy might help us with the opportunity that Mars retrograde offers us to retrace our steps, and learn to take action from a more thoughtful, embodied inner stance, rather than from a place of fear and impulsiveness.
Every new Moon offers us a time for retreat,  digesting, integrate, release, and start fresh with a new attitude and intention.
Rumi wrote that with every breath, I plant the seeds of devotion, I am a farmer of the heart.” I wish us all to plant the seeds that replenish our heart, body, and soul as we go through a profoundly transformative time for ourselves and our world.
Thank you for reading this astro-report. Please note that this is a general description of the upcoming and unfolding planetary weather.  To know more about yourself and the  ‘seasons’ you are experiencing and what is up for renewal in your own life, you are welcome to reach me at for a personal and more accurate astrological reading based on your natal chart, calculated with your time, place and date of birth. Couples readings are also available. 
Consider giving the gift of astrological insight! Gift certificates are available for astrological readings for your  loved ones. I offer 30 minutes, 1 hour, and 1 hour and 45 minutes for individuals, or couple readings. Happy to provide you with personalized gift certificates and answer your questions.
Please reach me at
Moon pictures by Gaia
About Gaia:
Gaia Somasca is a professional astrologer in private practice and therapist-in-training with a deep interest in psychological and humanistic astrology.
Her rich background includes extensive astrological studies in astrology in NY and London, Jungian psychology, dreamwork, focusing, mindfulness, eco-psychology, and nature-bonding practices. 
In 2014 she completed the Master Degree in Cultural Astronomy and Astrology at the University of Wales, and she has achieved Level 3 certification with NCGR. (National Council for Geocosmic Research)
She offers astrological consultations in person in the Santa Cruz Mountains, or via Skype. With her holistic approach to astrology, she provides guidance inspired by the rich symbolism and wisdom of the sky and nature aimed at self-understanding and personal growth.
Gaia is also a photographer exclusively focused on sharing the beauty of Moonrises and Moonsets.
Visit Gaia:
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Shamanic Fire Reiki Soul Haven  •  56 West 45th Street, Suite 1702  •  NY, New York 10036

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