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Astrology Horoscope: May New Moon
On Monday, September 17th, at 3:27 am (PDT), the Sun and Moon conjoin at 24 degrees Virgo. This New Moon happens just 5 days before the fall equinox and signals the end of summer and the beginning of autumn. Also known as Mabon, this holy day celebrates the balance of light and dark in the world with the days getting shorter and darker in the northern hemisphere and the days growing longer and lighter in the southern hemisphere.

In European traditions, this is a time when the solar God leaves his consort, the Goddess, and descends into the underworld to be reborn again at winter solstice. Mabon is also known as a time of harvest, when the crops from the fields are reaped and feasts are prepared to honor the abundance. This is a time to give thanks for the bounty in our lives, and to share our riches with our community so that all may be full and without hunger. This is a time to balance the scales, to make sure that everyone partakes of the abundance and none are left behind. This is also a time to work on developing balance in all our relationships, with our family, our community and with the Earth.

Virgo Moon: Nourishing Ourselves Spiritually

The sign of Virgo is associated with the image of a virgin, pure and unadulterated. In our pursuit of health and happiness, we can sometimes confuse purity with being healed and holy. To heal ourselves, some health practitioners advise long fasts, strong colon and intestinal cleanses and eating very simple vegan food. In this methodology, negative thoughts should be banished and only optimistic or happy thoughts should be encouraged. Though this approach can sometimes be helpful, it certainly is not the only path to health. Health implies a balance of mind, body and soul. Strict rules and demanding discipline can make us more neurotic and cause us to blame ourselves excessively for our shortcomings. When we see life as black and white, good and bad, holy or impure, we can get caught in a cycle of judging ourselves and others for our "good" or "bad" ways of living.

Instead of looking at life and health in a singular and narrow mind frame, we can expand on this belief system during the Virgo Moon. The wisdom of this sign teaches us to nourish ourselves optimally, to give ourselves a place for pleasure and pain, love and joy as well as the darker emotions. Nothing is cut out. Nothing is wrong. In this mind frame, even illness is not seen as bad. Illness can become a powerful ally in helping ourselves to grow and develop. A headache may be seen as a symbol to slow down and rest. Chest pains may be a way of the body asking us to look at old grief and deeply held feelings.

In this way of looking at life, which the herbalist SuSun Weed calls the "Wise Woman Tradition," as opposed to the "Heroic Tradition," each moment is a chance for exploration, for play, for curiosity and possibility. Rules that applied to our health a year ago or even a few days ago, may not apply now. We need to have a direct experience of what is true for ourselves, instead of trusting books, doctors or holy men. Of course, certain people and writings can be very helpful in giving us advice, or ideas about how to live in balance and strengthen ourselves. But only we as individuals know what our bodies, minds and spirits need to be healthy.

Grandmom's Cooking

One example of this comes to mind. When I was younger I was more dogmatic in my approach to health and lifestyle. I had rigid rules about what I needed to do to stay healthy. When I went to my grandmom's house, I was inevitably fed food that did not adhere to my guidelines. At first I resisted, but then I realized the amount of love and compassion my grandmom poured into the food she served me. From then on I ate what she had to offer. It was from that experience that I realized that food could be healing simply from the intent involved in making it.

Gardeners of the Soul

This New Moon in Virgo is a perfect time to examine how we live, eat and exercise. In our desire to be healthy, we may choose to punish ourselves through intense exercise regimes, demanding dietary plans and harsh schedules. Though discipline can be very helpful, it's important to notice how we feel through this process. Are we trying to mold ourselves into the perfect man or woman who everybody, including ourselves, will love and admire? Or can we take a more moderate and loving approach? Is there a way to seek health through caring and nourishing ourselves optimally? The difference may be subtle, but it is truly important.

In the "heroic" tradition, we are busily trying to conquer darkness, rid ourselves of negativity and illness and purify ourselves until we are perfect. In the "wise woman" tradition, we can choose to embrace both light and dark, the rich complexity of our lives, the difficult and transcendent experiences as equally meaningful. We can choose to honor ourselves and strengthen our hearts. We can be as gardeners, gently pulling the weeds while nourishing our roots with good soil and fresh water. This New Moon in Virgo is a perfect time to turn into caretakers of the heart, gardeners of the soul. Good health to you!



Jonathan Keyes, B.S., is an astrologer, herbalist and plant spirit medicine practitioner. His writing has appeared in The Mountain Astrologer and in numerous Llewellyn almanacs. Jon has written a book entitled 'Guide to Natural Health, The Horoscope as a key to Ancient Healing Practices'. Jon is available for readings and can be contacted at Go to Jon's web site at

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Other StarIQ articles by Jonathan Keyes:

  • Pluto and Your Psyche   10/26/2013
  • Astrology and Stones   2/25/2012
  • Your Health and Saturn   2/4/2012
  • Lunar Health Cycles   3/13/2002
  • Lunar Health Cycles   2/27/2002
  • Lunar Health Cycles   1/26/2002
  • Lunar Health Cycles   11/14/2001
  • Lunar Health Cycles   10/31/2001
  • Lunar Health Cycles   10/15/2001
  • Lunar Health Cycles   10/1/2001
  • Lunar Health Cycles   8/31/2001
  • Lunar Health Cycles   8/16/2001
  • Lunar Health Cycles   8/2/2001
  • Lunar Health Cycles   7/18/2001
  • Lunar Health Cycles   7/4/2001
  • Lunar Health Cycles   6/17/2001
  • Lunar Health Cycles   6/4/2001
  • Pluto, Your Health and Herbs   4/30/2001
  • Your Health and Neptune Part 2   3/12/2001
  • Your Health and Saturn Part 2   11/13/2000
  • Michael Stipe Shuns the Spotlight   9/16/2000
  • Michael J. Fox   8/21/2000
  • Animals and Astrology Part Two   7/3/2000
  • Animals and Astrology   6/12/2000
  • The Astrology of Stones Part 2   5/15/2000

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