Fellow Virgos, it’s time to cash in our karma coupons! The Big Daddy of our solar system, Jupiter, has officially entered our Sun Sign (in the 1st House of Self) and will remain there for the next 14 months! Make the most of this auspicious period and welcome Jupiter’s blessings of abundance, joy, expansion, vitality, well-being, and just plain ol’ good luck! It seems we’re way overdue for this outpouring of benevolence–the past two years have been pretty rough, eh?–so who better than the planet dubbed the “Great Benefic” to bestow this cornucopia of goodness in our Sun Sign of the Bona Dea, the nurturing Earth Mother! Boom-shakah-lakah!
Meanwhile, factoring in the current Venus Retrograde (which ends on September 6) in Leo in our 12th House of Occult Mysteries, we have the dynamic energies of the Sphinx at play in our lives: the human Virgo female head lending her wisdom to the regal power of the Lion. There is a simultaneous drive for outer-oriented activities, making our mark on the world stage and communicating with greater precision and Expediting Shyte That Needs Getting Done (especially since our ruling planet of Mercury entered Virgo, where He is exalted, on August 7), that seeks balance with an equally strong impetus to engage in inner work with all of this 12th House energy.
Aside from Retrograde Venus, warrior Mars is also in Leo in our 12th House, inspiring us to marshal energies in inner-work endeavors like taking up a new metaphysical study or studies, meditating, spending more time in ritual, performing divination, taking shamanic journeys (especially Lower World or Underworld journeys), and confronting our Shadows in both a magical and a mundane sense–if you’re on the fence about seeing a therapist, now is an excellent time to start your journey of self-discovery! Mars in the 12th House could also be signaling your body to get extra rest–don’t skimp on your eight hours of sleep, and be sure to record your dreams as precognitive ones are very likely at this time.
So, to use Tarot cards as visual metaphors, the energies afoot for us Virgos right now are the extroverted ones of The Sun and the introverted ones of The Hermit. Strive for balance.
The Great Goddess Isis, Star Queen of Virgo
Mighty Isis, the Grain Goddess Who taught humanity the mystery of agriculture; Isis the Supreme Mother Who nurtures the world; Isis Sotera (“the Savior”), the Compassionate One Who hears the cries of those who mourn, She is the Power Who resides behind the stars in the constellation of Virgo, bearing Her harvested sheaf of wheat that gleams in the star Spica.
I’ll be honest: once my observances of the Epagomenal Days and Wep Ronpet (the ancient Egyptian New Year) concluded, I didn’t think I would be engaging much with the Goddess Isis (Aset) anytime soon. I’ve been in need of physical healing for digestive/ulcer issues (we Virgos are prone to those) and a nasty kidney infection that seemed to come out of nowhere in late July, but I’ve been fervently making offerings to Sekhmet to help banish all dis-ease (including unwanted side effects from my prescription ulcer meds, yeowza!). So why would I “need” Isis? She just wasn’t, to use the business parlance that makes me cringe whenever a coworker spews it, “top of mind.”
But boy did She command my attention and put me in my place. Starting last Thursday evening, in fact, as I began packing my suitcase for a whirlwind weekend trip to Denver with my fun-tastic fiancé, Daniel (a Denver native eager to show me the land- and soulscape of his origins).
I sensed that our bedroom began to swarm with royal blue color, like I was parting waves of it. The windows shimmered as I looked out to the view of the west, where a pair of Ponderosa pines’ branches bobbled up and down in the cool evening breeze. A sense of Presence intensified. I glanced at my shrine to La Santa Muerte Roja in the southwest corner; no, this isn’t Her doing.
And then, a female hand on my shoulder. You’re going to be in need of My Presence on this trip, She said, just as I was rifling through my jewelry case of ritual jewelry, wondering which necklaces to wear for the flight to Denver (apotropaic bling is de rigeur for me). I paused before a 36″ lapis lazuli, malachite, silver, and carnelian necklace I’d beaded as a devotional offering to Isis three years ago in the days leading up to my ordination as Priestess in the Fellowship of Isis; the silver pendant (made in Egypt) anchoring the piece shows the Goddess with lapis lazuli-filled wings outspread. I pulled it out of the case and immediately slipped it over my neck.
Yes. Keep this on the entire time.
The pendant falls at my solar plexus. Upon “hearing” Her words, I pressed the pendant closely to my skin. I darted about the bedroom, continuing with packing my suitcase and simultaneously answering Daniel’s “Have you seen where I left my…?” series of questions about misplaced/missing clothes, toiletries, and ritual gear in rapid succession. Virgo efficiency for the win! Once I’d finished packing and I wheeled my suitcase by the garage door for easy retrieval in the morning, I decided to go in the temple room and do rounds of devotionals at various shrines, asking the Powers I serve to ensure that Daniel and I have a safe journey. I spent the longest amount of time before my Black Isis statue at my main Kemetic altar. I lit kyphi incense and anointed the statue’s forehead and nape of neck with Isis essential oil (made by the fine folks at Alchemy Arts, Chicago’s premier occult shop). I sang my sistrum-accompanied hymns in Egyptian. The room once again felt dense with that royal blue energy. My skin broke out in goosebumps. She was there; Her ba suffused me with its might and mercy.
The Ghosts of Denver
Like the Otherworldly visitors that we were, Dan and I rang the doorbell of our late nineteenth century-built, downtown Denver-located B&B precisely at the stroke of midnight the morning of Saturday the 8th. The sleepy (or stoned? Both!) young desk clerk assigned to let us in after hours didn’t hear our ringing the doorbell at first, so it was the kindness and prompt action of a fellow guest from Australia who showed us the way in. Daniel then excused himself so he could go unload luggage from our rental car, which he unfortunately had to park several blocks away due to the dearth of street parking near the B&B. The desk clerk finally showed up, and, after handing me the old-fashioned keys to our attic suite (cheerfully named “Vivaldi,” as each suite in the B&B is named after a famous composer), led me up the narrow, spiral wooden staircase to show me where to go.
Three ghosts: boom, boom boom! They appeared immediately in my peripheral vision, clustered by the south-facing windows. A man and two women, all dressed in turn-of-the-last-century clothing. The man was burly, with an auburn beard and whiskers; he exuded strong low-level vibes. The women, one older and one in her prime of life, seemed cowed by the male spirit but were very curious about me. The desk clerk kept apologizing for not hearing the doorbell earlier and I swung around and asked her if anyone had ever seen ghosts on the premises before. “Oh, all the time–the staff and guests both,” she replied. “I haven’t personally but I believe what others have seen. Actually, not to weird you out or anything, but this is the creepiest room in the house. I don’t like coming up here. But seriously, the whole house is haunted.”
And with that, she excused herself to go sit outside on the massive stone steps out front to wait for Daniel to return and let him back in the building, since I had the keys and I immediately set myself to unpacking my carry-on bag with its toiletries. The sense of being watched by the trio of ghosts grew more intense. I asked the women if the man with them was going to pose any problems for me and Daniel. They said no, but the fear in which they made their reply had me not believe them. They wanted to show me things–chiefly, their sun room, whose door was located in the massive salon/parlor area adjacent to the bedroom proper. I knocked three times on the curious door before opening it, and ventured down a step into a strange, oblong room with three narrow windows that had bars on them. What’s up with that? I peered between the bars and was instantly seized with this wholly cold sensation of being able to look out onto the street and see with Ghost Sight, through the eyes of the restless dead; I don’t know how else to explain it. That’s what the spirits wanted to show me most of all.
I wasn’t having any of it. I released the bars and spun around. Scratching sounds, sounds of fingernails clawing wood. I was surrounded by them. Fear started to rise and settle in my throat, making breathing and swallowing difficult. Despite it, or because of it, I motioned the hieroglyph of the tyet knot, sacred to Isis’ blood mysteries, and I walked out the door and shut it behind me forcefully. Turning to face it, I motioned another tyet knot in mid-air and I pointed at the door, all but shouting: “Nebet Weret Aset! Mighty Isis, be with me now! Isis places fetters upon my foes, and loosened am I from all fear! Isis binds my foes on earth and in the Duat with Words of Power, and loosened am I from all peril! Nehes, nehes, nehes, Weret Hekau! Awakened on my behalf is She, Mighty in Magic! Evil cannot abide Her Presence! I stand strong within the might of Isis; Her wings spread out over me, protecting me! Nedjen ma sabet! Nedjen ma fa-u! AaaaaaahhhhhhhhSsssssssehhhhhhhtttt!”
I realized how it could have easily turned into a comedic moment, had the young desk clerk returned at that time for whatever reason and seen me forcefully yelling and pointing at the sunroom’s door. But she didn’t. Even better, my spontaneous banishing prayer worked. Once the adrenaline began to subside, I grabbed the keys and started to descend the stairs, trying to minimize the creaking I did with each step, as I was worried about waking up the other guests. Like clockwork, as I reached the landing, Daniel was ushered in through the front door by the desk clerk. They both looked up at me, somewhat alarmed by my appearance. I know I looked wild. “We need to talk,” I said to Daniel, and his puzzled facial expression was soon met with grim resolve as I whispered a brief narrative of my encounter. Once we entered the room, we could feel crazy energy. Daniel calmly opened his suitcase, rifling for one particular object: the phurpa he’d brought from home and was looking forward to energetically charging in the soil of his native state. Once he extracted it, he performed a quick but effective banishing ritual. I felt the ghosts soar out of the walls and into the inky blackness of Denver in the Witching Hour. “They’re gone,” I announced.
I decided to change into my nightie but was too wired to sleep, so I thought I’d head to the main parlor downstairs, where the young Australian and a traveling companion of his were engaged in playing cards before a massive stone fireplace. We chatted for a while. Daniel, meanwhile, wanted to go outside and have a smoke break in the garden (a designated smoking area), and I later found out that he had a ghost encounter of his own, for the Victorian home across the garden to the east had low windows, and it was out of one of those, as he looked over his shoulder, that Daniel saw a young spectral woman in white, dressed in an old-fashioned sleeping gown with nightcap (her long blonde braid spilling out of it) and holding a candle, her gaze boring right through him. He rose out of his patio chair and walked closer to the window. She kept her gaze on him, he reported to me, and then as he came right up to the fence separating the two properties she vanished. And then a few moments later, an electric light on the ceiling was switched on. Perhaps the ghost by the window also spooked the room’s occupant? That’s what we both surmised.
At any rate, we wound up staying up late and perhaps got a total of three hours of sleep in the wee hours of Saturday morning. The good news was we found ourselves incredibly energized.
Isis the Healer
Isis made it known to me, before Daniel and I left Chicago, that this whirlwind trip to Denver would prove to be immensely healing for my body. She was right. I didn’t touch my prescription stomach-coating or acid-blocking drugs once the entire time. I didn’t need to. I ate like a horse, especially the gourmet vegetarian breakfasts and happy hour appetizers prepared just for me by the awesome (and Pagan, I later found out–yaay!) young chef at the B&B. I drank very tasty coffee and tannin-rich red wines. I partook of some choice herbs, wink-wink (when in Rome…). I hiked the foothills of the Rockies and the terrain where Daniel grew up, which fed me body and spirit. My heart chakra got blown wide open! The solidity of the primal earth energies as well as sylph-like energies born on airy currents of thin oxygen in the altitude of the Mile High City healed me, head to toe.
As did the Goddess Isis, of course. She was with me everywhere, but some places bore Her unmistakable stamp more than others. Imagine my delight on early Saturday afternoon when, cruising down Broadway Avenue in downtown Englewood, Colorado (a cheerful street laden with antique stores, microbreweries and restaurants, tattoo parlors, and more than one medical marijuana dispensary), I spy with my Virgo eye the following sign advertising a giant metaphysical store that was actually decorated like an Egyptian temple, painted lotus pylons (you can see them on the right) and all:
I squealed and stomped my feet into the floor mats; Daniel knew to make an immediate right turn into the parking lot. He grinned. “Something tells me you’re going to get into trouble here,” he said, noting my tendency to indulge in retail therapy when Venus is Retrograde. Well, my man sure knows me! I was in absolute heaven; it wasn’t just a shopping excursion (to be fair, several items I purchased–books, mostly–are Yule gifts for friends) in a Pagan Wonderland, it was akin to a spiritual pilgrimage for me as well, especially when I came to the southern wall, where the store stocks its magical and medicinal herbs and prepares essential oils for sale, and beheld this stunning relief of the Goddess Isis:
I was so overwhelmed by joy and gratitude, I nearly wept. The store’s owner, with whom I discussed Isis-Seshat magazine (I could kick myself for not having packed any hard copies for the trip!) and the Priestess Life™ , led me to a corner where they kept ritual clothes for sale. “I really want to show you something: we have one ritual piece handmade in Egypt,” she said. “A gorgeous cotton embroidered dress, black and gold. Honestly, I think it’s meant for you. Everyone admires it who comes in, but it’s been rejecting them, because those people are not priestesses of the Goddesses of Egypt. You, however, are. Prove me wrong after you come out of the fitting room; I really am insisting on you trying on that dress!” And she fished it out from the rack where it was hanging on a hanger, and my jaw dropped. Stupendously gorgeous! Look at that embroidery work! I went in the fitting room, and the dress fit me like a glove. Bast appeared, purring madly above and around me. I exited the dressing room feeling like one of the Ptolemies, a regal foreign-born Queen of the Nile!
All of the store owner’s sales associates were summoned to where I stood, and a curious Daniel appeared also, who swiftly whistled his approval. I spun around slowly, smiling broadly, as everyone remarked how the dress didn’t just fit my body like a glove, it matched my Priestess Self exquisitely. The accolades kept pouring in, even other shoppers stopped to take a peek at me and add their enthusiastic approval; it might not seem like it as you read these words, but it was very clear to me and Dan that this wasn’t some crass sales ploy to get me to buy the dress. The folks at Isis Books knew, as I knew once the dress was on my skin, that it truly wasn’t meant for anyone else. This was medicine meant solely for me: this garbing for the Goddess served as an integral part of my Isian healing adventure.
So yes, I bought it, along with a new 11″ tall statue of a golden Bast, standing and holding Her was scepter of authority (and garbed in a black and gold dress, I might add), with a litter of kittens at Her feet. I also found a blue wall plaque of a freestanding tyet knot, which is now hanging in our temple room.
Honestly, that visit to Isis Books & Gifts had me high for hours, a spiritual equivalent to the chemical effects given to me by the pair of sativa strains that I tried over the weekend.
Isis didn’t just preside over my healing during this trip; She definitely, in Her Divine Mother aspect, walked with Daniel as he literally took me down memory lane with him and showed me his two childhood homes, his elementary school, and related former stomping grounds. Some of the memories that surfaced were painful–even traumatic–ones for him, and I felt honored, as his life partner, to serve not just as a witness to him processing those experiences as they surfaced but to serve as a midwife to the Self of his being reborn as a result of this integration and healing. (For Daniel, the Venus Retrograde is taking place in his 4th House of home, family, and security issues. He’s reevaluating the concept of “foundations” as his Venus Retrograde task.) Isis was everywhere in those locales from his past, taking the form of hawks and kestrels perched on nearby fences, standing strong as a vigilant, loving Protectress.
And Isis surrounded us with Her beauty: the majesty of the Rockies, the wide open skies, the emerald trees. We felt Her on Sunday the 9th as we meandered about the Denver Botanical Garden, snapping photos on a picture-perfect summer day, as well as on our road trip to the lovely town of Boulder, where we stayed a while before heading back to the airport for our return flight home.
So many people in committed relationships view Venus Retrograde periods from a fear-based lens–that expressions of affection and moments of connectivity will somehow be put on hold, that an ex-lover will reappear and cause drama, etc. It puzzles me and makes me surmise that people who express these views must not be on sure footing in their relationships to begin with. The beautiful truth about Venus Retrograde periods is that rekindling love/affection/great sex/a sense of togetherness with your current partner(s), rediscovering all the wonderful reasons why you fell in love with him or her or them in the first place, is high on the cosmic agenda regardless of which House in your chart Venus happens to be transiting. It’s a beautiful honeymoon period, so enjoy it! With Mercury in considerate, fair-minded Virgo, whatever longstanding relationship issues there are that need to be addressed can be done in a heartfelt, harmonious way. Take advantage of the Venus Retrograde period to review for yourselves as a couple or polyamorous group what works and what doesn’t work for your relationship or network of relationships, and set your boundaries accordingly (Leo, after all, is a Fixed Sign, so there’s rugged determination when Venus transits the sign of the Lion). Open and honest communication is the only way to go.
Healthy and whole individuals make good relationship partners. I’m truly grateful to the Goddess Isis for the countless ways She blessed Daniel and I with healing during this Denver trip so that we could be fully present, more grace-full, partners for one another. We’re also more empowered to keep on with our Sacred Work. “We’re going to have a great marriage,” Daniel said softly as he drove, squeezing my hand somewhere on I-70. I nodded. Hieros Gamos. Is there any other kind?
Other Planetary Transits of Note This Month for Virgos
Again, today’s big news of Jupiter entering Virgo and staying there until October of 2016 is a huge boon to Virgos! Set your intentions, work hard to achieve them, but also make room in your heart for luck to enter, and it can take many forms where Big Daddy Jupiter is concerned: financial windfalls, nailing the job you want, successful establishment of a business, improved health and well-being, boundless optimism, cheerfulness, and increased religious faith. Make the most of the next 14 months, fellow Virgins: this is our time to shine!
Other cool planetary transits this month include:
August 14: New Moon in 22 Degrees Leo Conjunct Mars in Leo and Trining Uranus in Aries. Again, look to the 12th House for where you should be making a new beginning in metaphysical endeavors. Is it time to take your divination skills to a new level? What about stepping up your devotional practices? The House of Occult Mystery, fueled by Mars’ energies, becomes a place of magical transformation for you. The Trine of the New Moon to Uranus in Virgo’s 8th House of Sex, Death, and Other Peoples’ Money could speak of financial windfalls or a kinky new way to spice up your sex life! This Trine will also help release complexes from the past that are related to sex/intimacy. No matter what, it’s a great New Moon so make use of it and set your intentions!
August 23: The Sun Enters Virgo at 5:38 a.m. CDT. Happy Birthday, Fellow Virgos! Welcome to the battery recharge of this day (and year ahead for us all) that’s well-aspected for doing works of healing. Since the Sun is in our 1st House of Self, think of the image you project to the world and how it does or doesn’t serve you. Do you like what you see when you look at your Self? What about your appearance? What changes would you make? Venus is still Retrograde, so radical alterations to your appearance (e.g., cosmetic surgery) are not advised until after Venus goes Direct on September 6. Love the you that is uniquely you!
August 26: The Sun Conjuncts Jupiter in Virgo. The Sun conjuncts Jupiter just once a year, so the fact that Jupiter is in Virgo when this conjunction takes place makes it an extremely lucky day for us! Get your attitude of gratitude ready and prepare to receive with arms wide open a multitude of blessings!
August 27: Mercury Enters Libra in Virgo’s 2nd House. This is the House of Earned Income, so anything related to the job front gets a major boost now and is graced by Libra’s penchant for networking and harmony. Boost your status in the workplace–be seen by those who ought to notice you. Enjoy your tasks, which will be blessed with smooth sailing. Advocate for a promotion or a raise. You’ve got this!
August 29: Full Moon in Six Degrees Pisces at 1:35 p.m. CDT in Virgo’s 7th House and Venus Conjunct Mars in Leo in Virgo’s 12th House. Full Moons are always opposite whatever Sign the Sun is in. Since the Sun will be in Virgo, this month’s Full Moon is in Pisces. Note the time of day of exact fullness; if you’re like me, I’d do whatever Full Moon rituals you practice the night before to take advantage of the rising tide of power. If you wait for the night of the 29th, you’ll be past the peak moment and thus dealing with energies that are technically waning.
Given the 7th House placement of Marriage and Partnerships and the 12th House conjunction between sexy Venus and Mars, this is going to be a feisty Full Moon! Committed partnerships will undoubtedly get closer and way hotter! On the financial front, given the Venus Retrograde, remember that since Venus rules money, this is not a good time to play around with investments, the stock market, high-ticket purchases, etc. Wait until mid-September to adjust your 401(k) portfolio or buy that pricey piece of artwork you’ve been eying at your local gallery. Your bank account (not to mention your spouse) will thank you!
This Full Moon is also in close proximity to Neptune Retrograde in Pisces. Remove all forms of veils, pretense, and unhelpful boundaries that keep you from truly being close with your partner. The caution of the 12th House is its association with Secrecy, so make sure you’re not keeping things under wraps that you ought to be sharing with your partner. Celebrate your passion for each other openly: who cares if your neighbors hear you having the Big O?!
This Full Moon in Pisces is what’s called a Supermoon, meaning it’s closest to the Earth and in alignment with the Sun. Be sure to find someplace where your view of the Moon’s rising will not be obstructed: you will thank me for it once you’ve seen it!
Much to Look Forward to and Much to Give Thanks For!
Yes, Virgos, this is the time to know we’ve got the Midas Touch in life: what we do will be golden! Continue to be the persevering, patient, hardworking, nurturing, helpful, service-oriented, sensual, analytical, creative, health- and wellness-conscious, intelligent human that you are! You ROCK! For all those times in the past two or three years when it felt like you’d never get a break with one sucker punch from life after another, I’m here to announce that your break has officially arrived, thanks to some very benevolent Powers!
Give thanks. Truly and with every fiber of your being, give thanks. An attitude of gratitude ensures that you’ll always have more blessings headed your way to be thankful for!
Dua Aset! Hail, Mighty Isis! Hail, Sekhmet! Hail, Bast! Hail, Ra! Hail, Set! Hail, Hermes! Hail, Hekate! Ave, Iupiter! Ave, Mercurius! Ave, Venus! Ave, Maris! Hail to my Ancestors, who made me who I am and who want to see me succeed in this wonderful world! Hail to my own Ori, seat of my Destiny! Blessings of profound gratitude to these and many more Powers for making life worth living!