Sand Bar at Pine Point, Scarborough, Maine, while Mercury was retrograding through Virgo. Photo by Amanda Painter.

A recent email from Patty Newbold, who heads Barbara Sher’s coaching organization, brought up an interesting question: how do you know when a wild dream of yours is just an escapist fantasy — a “bad” dream, because you wouldn’t actually enjoy the practical details of living it — and how do you know when it’s simply BIG and will need to be tackled one small, persistent step at a time, adjusting your plan as you make your way toward joy?

The question resonated with some thoughts I have about this week’s astrology. We’re approaching a New Moon in late Virgo (exact at 9:40 pm EDT on Sept. 14) and the very next day Mercury stations direct in early Virgo (at 4:21 pm EDT Sept. 15).

Virgo is a sign associated with analysis, data, organization, service, teaching, and the practical realities of bringing an idea into material form. A New Moon in Virgo could be a very useful time to start putting a new plan — or dream — into action, identifying its first logical step. 

And in fact, the charts for late this week put the Sun into harmonious relationships with Uranus in Taurus and Pluto in Capricorn: there appears to be solid ground to stand on for revolutionizing, evolving, and breathing new life into a plan in some area of your life. Yet this “seeding” moment (or re-seeding, perhaps) might not feel entirely clear for a couple of reasons.

One is that when the Sun and Moon come together on Thursday, they’ll be opposite Neptune in Pisces. Neptune could represent the dream inspiring the whole plan and process in the first place, maybe even someone helping to hold that vision for you if you’re feeling a little unsure of its feasibility or your own abilities.

However, Neptune might also represent wishful or delusional thinking with no tether to reality, or simple confusion about what you’re facing. This is where the methodical nature of Virgo can come in handy, taking each step individually and analyzing the outcome, instead of trying to leap two or three at a time.

The second tricky factor is Mercury. The two or three days on either side of Mercury stationing direct or retrograde are called the “storm” phase, describing how thinking (and the consequences of unconsidered actions) can get a little choppy.

It’s a good time to slow the pace of verbal and digital communication, driving, and even just walking out of the house to be sure your mind has a chance to stay in sync with your movements. If you notice your thoughts have jumped ahead a few steps or are stuck on something that happened several minutes (or days, or years) ago, that’s a good time to stop and refocus on what you’re doing.

Mercury stationing direct can also come with an “A-ha!” moment: information you did not even realize was missing, but which happens to be crucial to an important situation at hand. I’ve experienced this myself, and the timing can be quite striking. On Friday, especially in the late afternoon / early evening, stay alert for the essential data, logic, or analysis that has been missing from something you’ve had on your mind or have been trying to manifest tangibly.

Incidentally, Mercury will be stationing direct within one arc minute of the asteroid Urania. (An arc minute is one-sixtieth of a degree of the zodiac, like how a second is one-sixtieth of a minute on a clock.) According to notable astrologer Martha Lang-Wescott, Urania relates in part to:

“…handling theoretical, hypothetical or abstract principles and information; logic and rationality; ability to ‘see the big picture’ and not be dissuaded by instant details; an intellectual framework; apperception—intellectual ‘context.'”

To my mind, Urania here describes a boost to our ability to receive and use whatever insight Mercury might offer as it stations direct, even if the information feels a little abstract initially. Urania also suggests extra help in balancing Neptune’s impressionist painting of a “forest” and the potential to fixate on an individual “tree” of data rather than integrating it fully with what we already know from experience.

Overall, my sense is there’s an opportunity to apply some solid, rational thought to even the grandest vision — as long as you start from what is true now, and plan tangible steps that actually serve your goal. Note that regret about steps not taken in the past, if it surfaces, could be a distraction. Talking this over with a friend can help to get out of your own head about it and shift focus to the opportunities you **do** have now.

Consider using the next week-and-a-half to get better organized: identify missing steps in your plan, stay alert for missing information, and ask for help if you struggle with creating the best order of operations or implementing it. When the Sun enters Libra on Sept. 23, you’ll be in a better place to begin the new season with fresh activity and a clearer runway.

With love,


Chart for Mercury stationing direct in Virgo. Mercury is the green critter with horns in the upper-right quadrant, with a bold “08” next to it. Next to it is the Sun in late Virgo (yellow circle with a bold “22” next to it), moving into its opposition to Neptune on the opposite side of the wheel (blue trident with a bold “26” next to it). The asteroid Urania is not shown, but is at 7 degrees and 59 arc minutes of Virgo.

Comments are closed