When it comes to astrological events that have an impact, Mercury retrograde (ugh), full moons, and solar eclipses tend to steal all the spotlight. But there's also the new moon, the effects of which you'll start feeling on September 20 at precisely 1:29 a.m. EST when the satellite makes its way back to Virgo.
For the uninitiated, a new moon happens when the sun and moon align at the same degree, making the moon either invisible or appearing as a slight crescent.
It marks the beginning of a new lunar cycle, which is why astrologer and success coach Jennifer Racioppi says this is the perfect time to slow down, evaluate, and reassess your goals.
Because Virgo is associated with digestion and self-mastery, it's important now to process what's happened in your personal universe recently, "take an authoritative command of your life, and set intentions that honor your personal sovereignty and purpose," she says.
Keep reading for Racioppi's advice, in her words, for harnessing the power of this month's new moon in Virgo.
1. Look back to move forward
As we part ways with the intensity of the most recent Mercury retrograde and end the first lunar cycle after the most recent total solar eclipse, look backward before you forge ahead. This new moon marks the end of retrograde shadow period, meaning Mercury is back in action. But before you lunge forward, make sure you decompress the changes you recently encountered. Take a look back and ask yourself this: What chapter in my life am I closing? What do I need to release and let go of as I step into this next season of my life? The recent total solar eclipse, which happened at 28 degrees of Leo on August 21, may have expedited the closure of a couple of life's chapters. So take time to look back and honor where you've been before moving forward.
2. Clean up your diet
Fastidious Virgo relates well with eating clean. Look at your diet, and see what adjustments you need to make as the season changes. Time to say goodbye to rosé or that evening trip to the local gelateria—indulgences that often feel synonymous with summertime fun. With fall upon us here in the Northern Hemisphere, returning to a nutrient dense, blood-sugar-balanced diet with adequate leafy greens and cruciferous vegetables readies your body for the decrease in sunlight. Virgo rules digestion, too, so make sure you are eating in a way that lets you process and integrate those nutrients, too.
3. Prioritize alone time
With a new moon in Virgo, take an hour to yourself (or a whole day if possible) to connect with your own needs and desires. The Virgo sign name comes from the Latin word virgo, meaning unto self. So give yourself some space to return to you. With so many demands associated with the end of summer—and the end of summer Fridays—it essential to carve out a little bit of time just for yourself. Under the influence of Virgo, you may need this even more. Take a long walk alone and try to leave your phone behind. Unplug from technology. Doing so allows you to reconnect to your intuition.
4. Watch out for your inner critic
While it might feel tempting to motivate yourself with criticism, in the long term it doesn't work. Under the influence of Virgo, you may feel tempted move the needle of your life in the direction of perfectionism, but at what cost? Grant yourself permission to be imperfect and human. Perfectionism wreaks havoc on your health, amplifies stress levels, and, quite honestly, takes the fun out of living. Steer clear of ruminative thoughts that keep you on the merry-go-round of self-deprecation and negative thinking. Aim for progress instead.
5. Stay in service
A new moon in Virgo offers a potent time to prioritize being of help to others, since Virgo represents humility and service. With so much devastation from the recent hurricanes Irma and Harvey, don't forget those struggling. Donating money or supplies bodes well this new moon. Then consider going through your home to find what you can shed, and drop a bag of unused items off at the local Salvation Army. After all, Virgo invites humility, minimalism, and cleanliness. By donating items you no longer need, you meet multiple angles of Virgo: cleaning up your home space while making an offering to others in need.
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