From raging hurricanes and flooding in the Gulf Coast to out-of-control fires in Lake Tahoe’s primeval forests, each day brings more dire warnings from Mother Nature. Despair is rampant. What to do? We can raise our voices about climate change and support alternatives to fossil fuels, but how do we break the patterns that got us in such trouble in the first place (like allowing corporations to place profits above all else?) And, how do we stay grounded in the face of devastation and confusion in our personal and collective lives, so we can actually make progress without being totally overwhelmed?
These are big questions. Yet it’s the small things we do on a daily basis that keep us grounded, as well as take us closer to where we want to be. These include expressing our views to those in power and being mindful of what we’re eating and the trash we’re talking to ourselves and others. We are all creatures of habit; some of them work for us, and some don’t. Each day I practice my French on Duolingo, and three times a week I take water fitness classes at the Y. These habits weren’t hard to form. Yet breaking old habits has proved much harder, especially those related to food and men.
So here’s the good news for all of us: if you long to reform a destructive habit or establish a healthy one, the Virgo New Moon (Sept. 6, 5:51 p.m. PDT) is a great time to begin. Not only will the Sun (willpower) and Moon (emotions) join in that practical, detail-oriented earth sign, but active Mars is also in Virgo, exactly trine powerhouse Pluto. And, the Sun and Moon trine innovative Uranus. Essentially, it’s a grand earth trine, which brings the potential for lasting change. The Virgo planets also oppose Neptune, however – ruler of addictions and illusions. Yet it’s also the planet of dreams and magic, so keeping the faith is essential. Just be realistic about your timeline and let your intuition guide you through any foggy terrain.
As for me, inspired by the writer Anne Lamott, who met her soulmate and married for the first time at age 65, I am determined to do whatever it takes to create a happy marriage. I’m aware that this involves some serious inner work on learning how to protect and cherish myself. So I just started working with Katherine Woodward Thomas’s epic book Calling in the One, and am feeling encouraged by the results so far. It’s wonderful to have a clear roadmap for breaking old habits that have been running my life.
The author reminds us that, “Breaking a pattern is much like breaking any addiction – difficult but not impossible. It will, however, require of you an advanced level of self-awareness regarding the connection between what it is that you are doing and the results that you are getting. Yet the alternative – to continue on in the same unconscious fashion, creating the same disappointing results – is simply unacceptable.”
Establishing a new habit also takes self-awareness and time (some experts say it takes 21 days), but if you’re going that route, give yourself however long it takes. Also, forgive yourself for any backsliding, which could happen as Virgo’s ruler Mercury turns retrograde in Libra (Sept. 26 – Oct. 18). The winged messenger enters its shadow phase on Sept. 7, making the New Moon of the 6th the perfect day to set intentions and begin establishing a new habit – as long as you’re prepared for a few twists and turns along the way. If you begin on the New Moon, you’ll have about two months to work out any bugs and make real progress. (Mercury leaves its shadow on Nov. 2). Adding some luck, Venus in Libra conjuncts benefic fixed star Spica at this lunation, and both trine growth-oriented Jupiter in Aquarius.
At this healing New Moon, please join me to offer up prayers for rainfall in areas besieged by firestorms, and safe, dry conditions in those deluged by floods. Visualize the masses rising up in support of climate action. And never forget that you help the world by helping yourself. So take small steps in the right direction, and forgive yourself when you slip up. May we all make the most of this Earth-loving, good habit-forming Virgo window of opportunity – and create some order and renewed health in our lives!