In the miserably hot summer of 1963, when I turned eight, my next-door-neighbor Virginia took care of me while Mom was in the hospital, battling cancer. I adored Virginia, and spent as much time at her house as my own, hanging out and helping her with chores. That year, transiting Neptune was squaring my Midheaven – an angle associated with the mother. Thankfully Mom recovered, but the destabilizing Neptune effect wasn’t yet complete.
On the night of April 14, 1964, Virginia died suddenly of a brain aneurysm. Dad and I were watching TV when we heard a siren coming up the street. And somehow I knew that Virginia was dead. For several days, my parents maintained the fiction that Virginia was in the hospital. No doubt they were trying to protect me, but I knew the truth. And so I began to hide my inner knowing, and to blame God for taking her before I could say goodbye.
It seems I was destined to lose a mother figure during that Neptune transit. (Oddly, both my beloved Mom and Virginia were Virgo Suns with Aquarius Moons.) I’m grateful that I had Mom for many years to come, but Virginia’s death still haunts me – especially around her Sept. 17 birthday.
This year, Virginia’s birthday happens just prior to the watery, nostalgic Pisces Full Moon (Sept. 20, 4:54 p.m. PDT). At this lunation, the Moon joins Neptune, intensifying such Neptune-Pisces themes as death, loss, falsehood and illusion – as well as intuition, compassion and forgiveness. This Full Moon happens at 28 degrees, signifying that things are about to change. And, this awareness can trigger deep emotions. If you’re facing loss or feeling nostalgic for a person, a place or a time gone by, let yourself feel it and shed some tears. Bless each precious moment – past or present.
At Monday’s Full Moon, the Moon is in fluid, changeable Pisces. But the Sun is in take-care-of-business Virgo, trine powerful Pluto in Capricorn, helping us find a sense of grounding through taking care of ourselves and others. Also, this lunation happens just before the Equinox, a seasonal change that can bring significant shifts. This one ushers us into Libra, an air sign that emphasizes balance, relatedness and social justice. Be sure to tune in to whatever gift (perhaps a perceptual shift) it might be bringing you.
Now is a good time to recall, as spiritual teacher Pema Chodron reminds us in her brilliant book, When Things Fall Apart, that life is continually in a state of flux. “The truth,” she says, “is that things don’t really get solved. They come together and they fall apart. Then they come together again and fall apart again. It’s just like that. The healing comes from letting there be room for all of this to happen: room for grief, for relief, for misery, for joy.”
Not only will I light candles to Virginia on her birthday, but I’ll also spend the Full Moon with my sister Linda in Flagstaff, as she prepares to enter hospice. Who or what are you bidding goodbye to, or feeling nostalgic for? Life is impermanent, and only the memory of love remains. Allow things to fall apart, and find the healing that occurs when you make space for it.