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Leaves begin to turn, the harvest starts, the Sun is in Virgo, and it’s time to sharpen our critical capacities to make the best decisions we can. We’ll begin this work year with a review session as Mercury (Virgo’s ruler) retrogrades August 30 through the fall Equinox September 22.

It’s tricky to make new friends or contacts with Mercury retrograde unless we bond over spilled milk, train delays, or other minor Mercurial snafus. Take all basic Mercury retrograde precautions: confirm appointments, check schedules, watch out for misunderstanding, and drive safely. Meditate at prolonged traffic stops, and bring a good book everywhere.

September begins with solar eclipse/Virgo New Moon on September 1, echoed by a lunar eclipse-Pisces Full Moon on September 16. Eclipses act like astrological acupuncture and intensify endings and beginnings. In Virgo, we reap what we have sown, lovely seeds we’ve planted now bear fruit, trouble we planted now produces burrs. New connections unfold easily after September 22.

Aries (Mar. 21-Apr. 19)…Check your health, your work and relationships with your co-workers: what do you need to clean up? Relationships with equals warm up where you balance needs between you, and work towards mutual respect. Take every opportunity to expand your world towards the end of the month.

Taurus (Apr. 20-May 20)…It’s healing for you to dive into your creativity and perfect your craft. You may need to be self-reliant this month; if there is tension around expectations of other people’s resources, know they may be distracted, not withholding. Use gentle honesty to sort out flotsam from your heart’s work.

Gemini (May 21-June 20)…Look to the feng shui of your home, clear clutter, old memories, unfinished business between family members. Give room for one another’s sensitive feelings, particularly around the Pisces full moon, and let that reset family patterns. Clear the path for fresh creative projects and relationships after the fall equinox.

Cancer (June 21-July 22)…Tend to your neighbors, neighborhood, siblings and sibling-like friends; clear the air with those familiar people. Be helpful under the small slings and arrows of outrageous fortune and grow trust. You may have an opportunity to break a family pattern and choose to be proactive in the world, but need peace in your home sanctuary.

Leo (July 23-Aug. 22)…Keep an eye on your material resources, check that the inflow and outflow of funds match, check that the important things you need are in good condition. The rest of your year will be easier if you tend to material matters now. Don’t argue around money, just stay self-responsible and look for creative solutions.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)…This month may bring a crisis or breakthrough around personal identity. Your world may have expanded over the last year, but has your identity caught up? Your progress may be tested, but this gives you a chance to truly believe the changes as you pass the tests with your new strength and perspective.

Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)…They love you, they really do, as Venus in Libra is joined by Jupiter. But that doesn’t stop you from some deep soul-searching; tend to your personal psychic and physical health. As you take personal inventory, make sure you remember what you have done right, as well as where you still need work.

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)…Communication can be complicated with friends or in group or team situations; conflicting needs can bring out the critical edge. In an unusual role, you can play the peacemaker. All the deeper personal work you did earlier this year now stands you in good stead; you can make a difference if you choose.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)…Your wonderful ability to adapt may be tested at work, but take no shortcuts. Use your gift of honesty diplomatically; for the first few weeks, people will be touchy, defensive, but become more open to your good suggestions after the fall equinox. Friendships, however, proliferate when you solve problems together.

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan.19)…Expect confusion around matters of publicity, organization and education; just gently persist in understanding and being understood. Check in with siblings and sibling-like friends around the 16th. Don’t offer material support, but do offer emotional support, and let them know you need it, too. They grow when they help you.

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)…Check yourself for the appropriate use of other people’s resources; return what you have borrowed, and ask before you share. Speak up for good causes but don’t speak for other people. Your generous philosophical heart may receive tricky lessons in boundaries, but don’t be discouraged; just find an authentic, egalitarian way forward.

Pisces (Feb. 19-Mar. 20)…Clean up relationships at home and work. Do not throw the people out, but do some surgical pruning on difficult habits between the two of you; weed misunderstandings on both your parts so that healthy partnerships can flourish. When other people are generous, receive graciously and let it be a joy to them.

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Heather Roan Robbins is a heart-centered and choice-oriented astrologer, palmist and ceremonialist with 30+ years' experience. Her book, Moon Wisdom: Transform Your Life using the Moon Signs and Cycles, brings real astrology into an accessible format. She's trained in astro-locality, mythic, multi-generational and traditional astrology and uses it at the core of her spiritual counseling. Visit www.roanrobbins.com.

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