Some Brief Notes on the Annular Solar Eclipse at 9’ Virgo 21 on Sept 1st 2016 + Mercury Retrograde in Virgo by Margaret Gray MSW D. Psych. Astrology

‘It really boils down to this: that all life is interrelated. We are all caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tired into a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one destiny, affects all indirectly.’ ― Martin Luther King Jr 



Annular Solar Eclipses occurs when the Earth, Moon and Sun are lined up in the heavens, so that from our perspective on Earth, the Moon partially blocks out the light of the Sun, leaving a halo of light to filter through. Countries that are in the direct line of the Eclipse are more likely to resonate with the Eclipse themes. Similarly if your Sun, Moon or Angles are within 3’or 4’ of the Eclipse degree, which in this case is 9’ Virgo 21, you are more likely to resonate with the themes below on an individual level. solar-eclipse-990204_640

This is the last Solar Eclipse of the Year and can be seen at least as a partial eclipse in South Asia, West Australia and much of Africa as well as the Atlantic and Indian Ocean + Antarctica. Further information is available here: path-1920

The last Eclipse of this year will be an Annular Lunar Eclipse at 24’ Pisces 20 on September 16th



Solar Eclipses symbolically represent the brief moment of darkness that comes just before an important aspect of ourselves comes to light. In that instant our unconscious lunar emotions surface, obscuring our conscious solar light, thereby leaving us in darkness. All we can do is trust that something as yet unknown is emerging into light and consciousness, ready to be birthed in the weeks and months ahead. As this is an Annular rather than a total Eclipse, we are likely to have some conscious awareness of what is surfacing. The placement of the Eclipse in our Birth Chart by Sign, House and Aspect offers us some helpful information as to what this is[i]wallpaper-1492818_640

Over the centuries the dimming of the light of the Sun has been viewed with some trepidation in many parts of the world. On a primal instinctual level, our survival feels understandably threatened when the light of the Sun is obscured. Hence, although Solar Eclipses always occur at the time of a New Moon, which is all about birth, the Eclipse demands that we experience almost total darkness, before the birth can take place.

Key Planetary Aspects:

In terms of key aspects, this Eclipse is conjunct the North Node in Virgo (3’ orb) and trine Pluto in Capricorn (5’ orb). It is also part of the third leg of a Tsquare involving the Saturn/Neptune square in the sky, which is within ’35 of being exact! The Eclipse and North Node in Virgo are square Saturn/Mars in Sagittarius and opposite Neptune/South Node in Pisces. (The third exact Saturn/Neptune square will be on September 10th! Feel free to read my blog

In addition, the Eclipse takes place within 24 hours of Mercury going stationary Retrograde in Virgo and forming an exact conjunction with Jupiter in Virgo! Venus in Libra is within 3’ of the conjunction and there is also an opposition to Chiron in Pisces (5’ orb). Mercury will go direct again on September 21st. However, it will not reach the same degree it went Retrograde at (29’ Virgo 9) until October 24th!

How is this likely to affect us?


Virgo is the most analytical of the Earth signs, bringing to the fore the Mercurial side of us that likes to mentally dissect and reconstruct as efficiently and effectively as possible! This Eclipse invites us to do so on all levels, including the mental, physical, emotional and spiritual. Virgo seeks to help us understand the finer details of our inner workings so that we can continue to learn and improve as we go through life. This theme is currently reinforced by Mercury Retrograde conjunct Jupiter in Virgo!
Playing an integral role in the Saturn/Neptune square, this Eclipse invites us to integrate our analytical brain with our heart, in a search for a ‘truth’ that is all encompassing, rather than limiting.

On an individual level, a helpful starting point is to form effective bridges between the different parts of ourselves, including our mind, emotions, body and spirit. In doing so we can assess what works and what doesn’t on all these levels. The key is going to be how to do so with compassion, rather than criticism or judgement. For example, we could explore what the link is between what we eat and how we feel emotionally. Or – if and how we are we balancing work with relaxation. Is our mind stimulated in ways that feel enjoyable? What messages do we tell ourselves on a daily basis?

Eclipses repeat themselves approx. every 19 years and the previous Solar Eclipse at this same degree was in September 1997 at 9’ Virgo 24. It may be helpful to revisit this time to see if any significant themes came to light which may resurface to be worked through in a new way now.

According to Dr. Bernadette Brady this Eclipse belongs to Saros Series 19 North. This is her description of the core theme:
“This Saros Series is about realism, a coming down to earth. The individual will become aware of an old situation and see it for what it is rather than what he or she thought it was. This can be a constructive time for tackling the truth.”[ii] awakening-675330_640

The most recent previous Eclipses in this series were in July 1944, July 1962 and Aug 1980. It may be interesting to revisit these times in your life or to explore what was going on in your family at these times if you were not born yet, as it may shed some light on current themes that may be awakened by this Eclipse.

In our Relationships:

Relationships are likely to come under the microscope with this Eclipse, as we dissect our thoughts and feelings in an attempt to understand ourselves and our relationships better. Mercury Retrograde offers us the opportunity to revise our communication skills, particularly with our significant other. Hence, this is an optimal time to review similarities in how we tend to communicate, with patterns of communication or lack of, within our family of origin. Were they effective in our growing up years? Are they effective and constructive now? Are they connecting or divisive? How big a part does judgement, including self judgement play? What changes would be most helpful? Beliefs about what relationships ‘should be like’ are also likely to surface at this time so that we can review them with a view to releasing any over idealistic and unrealistic expectations that may hinder us from intimacy. dancing-1176550_640

The ongoing opposition between the Virgo North Node and the Pisces South Node, which is highlighted by this Eclipse, reminds us that ultimately what we are seeking at this time is the integration of individuality/separateness (Virgo) and togetherness/merging (Neptune). Total separateness can lead to isolation and loneliness and unboundaried merging can lead to loss of self and engulfment. The apex Mars/Saturn conjunction in Sagittarius in the Tsquare suggests that the integration of these two extremes may be possible at this time in our relationships through exploring and expanding beyond our current fixed beliefs. This is part of the new paradigm of spiritual relationships. [iii]

The Sabian Symbol for this Eclipse is: ‘Two Heads looking out and beyond the shadows’. This suggests the possibility that relationships that have felt submerged for some time are beginning to come to the surface and seeing potential light and hope ahead. This is also reinforced by Venus in the early degrees of Libra.

Some tools that may help at this time:

  1. Time in nature to ground the powerful energies of the Eclipse
  2. Dancing and music to express and integrate emotions that are coming to the surface
  3. Journaling as a tool to review thoughts and feelings
  4. Yoga and other forms of holistic exercise to help bridge all aspects of ourselves
  5. Lists and mind maps to help analyze our thoughts and feelings
  6. Physical detoxing with the advice and support of a health practitioner

If your Sun, Moon and/or angles are between 8’ and 16’ Virgo, Pisces, Sagittarius, Gemini and/or Capricorn or between 23’ and 29’ Virgo and/or Pisces you are more likely to resonate with the above themes.

This classic quote from Louise Hay may be helpful at this time: ‘Remember, you have been criticizing yourself for years and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens.’ ― Louise L. Hay

Legal Copyright of Margaret Gray August 2016

Just a quick reminder that you are all invited to the Free Online Astrology Summit starting on Sept 19th – Sept 26th. Thirty-three International astrologers will offer talks on Passion, Purpose, Health and Wealth. Feel free to register your place for free here:

On September 24th I will be talking about ‘Relationships and Love, Discovering and understanding the underlying ‘soul themes’ and purpose of your intimate relationships, with the help of Psychological Astrology’

If you register you will also get a copy of my free PDF on ‘The Astrology of Relationships and Compatibility’ 

I hope you can join us for this very exciting online event!

If for any reason you can’t attend this Free event live – there is the option to buy the full set of recordings via this link:

Re Astrology Readings
I offer Astrology readings online and in person to individuals, couples and children as well as teaching astrology courses and workshops. Feel free to email me at to book an appointment.


[i] If you are familiar with Astrology you can check this out in your chart. If you are new to astrology you may consider having a Birth Chart reading with an astrologer who can tell you where your planets are placed.

[ii]Dr Bernadette Brady  ‘The Eagle and the Lark’

[iii] I explored the new Paradigm of Spiritual Relationships in the chapter I wrote on Relationships in the book ‘Transpersonal Astrology, Explorations at the Frontier.’

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