Illustration by Taylor Dow

Illustration by Taylor Dow

So This Is the New Year

The Sun pushes us to improve, and Mercury clears things up.

If you’re struck by a fierce desire to yank up all the weeds in your walkway, clean grime off your windows with a special hose attachment, and then pressure-wash the back deck while you’re at it, you’re definitely feeling the Virgo season spirit. Right now we want improvement—order. In the agricultural cycle (in the Northern hemisphere), Virgo marks the phase when we’re canning veggies and drying fruits to preserve summer’s bounty as we transition to fall. It’s mend-and-repair time. That includes internal work too. New Year’s resolution energy is all around while the Sun is in Virgo, an Earth sign that emphasizes physical health and bodily nutrition. After all, the Virgo constellation depicts a woman holding wheat. And we are about to enter a New Year of sorts. We’re wrapping up the first half of the astrological year, preparing to enter the darker, colder half.

Now that Mars is direct and clearing its throat this week, our tries and attempts are more effective. Stalled plans can start to take off like planes. Virgo loves stacks of facts, and we’re weighing options this week, especially on Sunday and Monday. Accurate communication is a big theme now too, as Mercury—Virgo’s ruler—is clearing up fuzziness and confusion from the retrogrades. Since Mercury leaves its retrograde shadow on Sept. 1, on that day you might return to conversations that occurred near July 7. Speaking of shadows, Venus—planet of relating, beauty, and income—enters pre-retrograde shadow on Monday. (Venus retrograde starts Oct. 5. I know. I’m sorry.) If you’re planning to alter your appearance in a big way, try to do so before the 3rd.


Precise, meticulous Virgo is not a relaxed sign. The same keen eye that makes Virgo an ace proofreader can easily flip inward and morph into anxiety and self-criticism. I recently saw a tweet from @notmatthewww that read: “Anxiety is literally just conspiracy theories about yourself.” Wow! Virgo embodies the delicate dance between reflecting on your actions (a necessary self-improvement step!) and waking up twice a night covered in regretful “I shouldn’t have sent that last text!” sweat. It’s good to edit yourself, but know when to apply pressure and when to ease up. A panicked Virgo will also criticize others. Watch out for that.

Another reason Virgo season feels like New Year’s is because Virgo rules our routines. We’re examining and refining the weird daily rituals get us into that zone where we can be productive and helpful. Whether it’s a morning meditation session or an evening jog, Virgo covers our daily practices. The to-do list is such a Virgo invention. But at Virgo season, there’s a risk that we’ll seek perfection so intensely that we’re never satisfied. Fight that never-good-enough shadow. Capricorn shares a similar quality. And Capricorn’s ruler, Saturn, wiggles to turn direct on the 6th, which means this week brings up concerns about structure and restriction. If you’ve been taking it a little too easy, push yourself—but do so responsibly.


Wednesday the 29th is fast-paced and full of artistic potential. Venus and Neptune make a positive angle that supports interpersonal bonds too. Power and control issues color conversations. On Thursday the 30th, Venus and Uranus provoke a change to our relationship dynamics or money life. You may also hear a “Nope” from someone or have to draw a boundary yourself. Friday the 31st includes an interaction that chafes your ego. A money pinch is possible too. But the same day gives us a beautiful Taurus Moon that trines the Sun, greasing go wheels. On Saturday the 1st, Mercury clears its post-retrograde shadow! Saturn-flavored concepts like discipline and achievement start becoming prominent after the 1st, and remain spotlit for the rest of the week. You’re able to process complex feelings on this day. Starting Sunday the 2nd, we can start using a Mercury/Venus sextile angle to clarify relationship matters and communicate about meaningful topics. Mercury also forms generally positive angles with Pluto and Chiron on Sunday. Discussions—even awkward ones—can turn around a stuck situation. On Monday the 3rd, Venus enters its pre-retrograde shadow. You exchange more important words, still supported by that Mercury/Venus sextile (which perfects on this day). Clean your living space too. Jupiter and Saturn annoy each other, which may take the form of philosophical differences. Try to take alone time on Tuesday the 4th. The Moon in Cancer is helping you chew through emotional riddles.


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