By Dorene A. Carrel

September is highlighted by three planetary stations that signal a more inward shift of energy. Significant world events may be triggered by another Saturn/Uranus opposition in mid-month and the Pluto station on a world point degree. However, this period generally favors more introspective activity, such as reviewing, retreating, resting and renewal, mainly due to the Mercury retrograde cycle.

We began this lunation period on August 20 with the new moon in fiery Leo, which emphasizes creative expression and leadership. On September 4 a Full Moon will occur at 12 Pisces, with a harmonious trine to Mars in Cancer. Since Pisces is a water sign, the focus shifts to feelings, intuitions, dreams, inspirations and visions. The Sabian symbol for this degree uses the sword (Mars) to depict the use of will to become a symbol of courage. Important messages about relationships may come through dreams or meditation when the August eclipse point is activated by Venus on September 7.

Mercury turns retrograde on September 6, at 6 Libra 13, until September 29. This is a time to expect more challenges with cars, computers and communication, along with traffic jams and other unexpected delays. You may have noticed more interruptions and delays beginning August 18, when Mercury entered its shadow point. Since Libra rules relationships, it is not a good time for entering marriages, business partnerships or signing contracts. While Mercury retrogrades through Libra (through September 17), the focus is on reassessing our relationships; while Mercury retrogrades through Virgo (September 18 to 29) we can reevaluate our daily work or revise our diet and fitness plans.

On September 11, Pluto turns stationary direct at 0 Capricorn 39. Since this station aligns with the world point axis (0 degrees of cardinal signs), there may be shifts of power this week on both a personal and collective level. The Sabian symbol for this degree depicts an Indian chief claiming power for the assembled tribe and speaks to the responsibility implied in any claim for leadership. The Saturn alignment with Neptune may bring significant events concerning healthcare this week. However, there will likely be confusion around any legislation made this month, which will be subject to changes later on. As one's immunity can be lower at this time, be sure to get more rest and nutrients to stay healthy. Saturn will revisit this aspect in May-June of 2010.

The third of five oppositions between Saturn and Uranus occurs on September 15 at 25 Virgo/Pisces. An opposition makes us more aware of contrasting differences, either within ourselves or in our relationships. Practical concerns (Saturn) may be preventing one from making a needed change (Uranus) towards greater fulfillment. Perhaps a sense of duty may be keeping us from choosing more freedom and independence. We are being challenged to let go of how we resolved situations in the past and open up to a higher level of perception and inspiration.

As a result of Mercury retrograde, there will be four challenging square aspects between Mercury and Pluto. The one occurring on September 17 is at 1 Libra/Capricorn, conjunct the world point degree. Communications take on a new intensity and depth, but may also be manipulative and controlling. Pluto can show us the darker side, but also where there our thinking and perceiving (Mercury) can be transformed. It is a favorable time to contemplate the power of one's thoughts in shaping our life. It is said that each thought is like a prayer. Pluto reminds us that we have the power of choice in this area.

On September 18, the New Moon occurs at 26 Virgo and also aligns with this opposition. Virgo themes include vocation, service, health, nutrition, and the mind-body connection; being industrious, discerning, organized and detail-oriented. The Sabian symbol for this degree speaks to participation in the great ritual of planetary evolution. Are there some unique ways that we can express our talents in service to others and our planet? This lunation period can be used to define our inspirations and then devise practical steps to achieve them. The early October full moon in Aries will provide us with extra energy for manifestation. On September 19 Mars conjuncts the July 7 lunar eclipse point, which may trigger events or realizations that continue the theme from this period.

The autumn equinox takes place on September 22, when the sun enters Libra. On the next day, the sun aligns with Pluto, again on the world point degree. Significant shifts may occur both on the world stage and in our personal lives. This is a good time to clean out our closets on all levels and let go of what is keeping us from moving forward in our lives. There may also be situations or people that have served us well in the past, but now may be holding us back and need to be released.

On September 29, Mercury turns direct at 21 Virgo 37. Now we can move forward again to initiate plans and goals. A favorable alignment between Mercury and Mars the next day will assist with creative ideas and communications.

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Dorene Carrel has been a professional astrologer for over thirty years and is available for personal readings. She can be contacted at Donations are also welcome. More information and previous columns can be found at