The beauty of imperfection

by Juliana McCarthy


We begin September on the heels of a Virgo New Moon, with five planets falling in practical Virgo—calling forth her extremes. In her most enlightened state, the Virgin represents service and healing, encouraging us to polish, refine, and strive toward spiritual perfection. When she’s out of balance, we might feel overly neurotic, anxious, or worried. Perhaps we’re working too hard for the benefit of others, forgetting to relax and ‘just be’ as we lose touch with our broader visions, dreams, and ideals. 

Luckily, Neptune in Pisces is offering counterbalance this month, reminding us to make room to feel and grieve, as we let go of all that is falling away. The trick is to bring the Virgo-Pisces polarity into harmony. We can become better organized, establishing healthier boundaries and routines as we also move into greater relaxation, flow, and acceptance. As the saying goes, “We are all perfect and we could use a little improvement,” which beautifully reflects this month. As we work to fix what’s broken, we can also embrace the absolute beauty of our imperfections.

Meanwhile, it’s important to note that many of us are feeling overwhelmed by the intensity of the world and our own internal states. As we culminate the Saturn-South Node conjunction and move closer to an exact Saturn-Pluto alignment in January, karma is compressing and ripening in the collective and within ourselves. We’re healing deep wounds around patriarchy and our own childhoods as we work to establish healthier emotional expression and mutual kindness. If we can see beyond our Virgoan anxiety, we might realize that we’re on the precipice of great change—bringing a better paradigm into being. Now is not the time to give up, but to foster whatever we need to ground and take care of ourselves—spiritually, emotionally, and physically. The power of Virgo is supporting us, helping us muster our gentle humility, self-care, and quiet devotion to ourselves, each other, and the world.

Pisces Full Moon

On September 13, the Pisces Full Moon elicits a well of deep feelings, confusion, and sensitivity. The Moon is conjunct Neptune, squaring Jupiter, and opposing the many planets in Virgo. On top of this, Mars is directly opposite Neptune, thwarting our action and clarity of direction. We may feel tired or drained by a cacophony of information and communication, or even by our own flurry of internal thoughts. However, we can try not to check out, but to meditate, rest, find center, and allow ourselves ample room to emote, without definitive fixes or answers. We’re ultimately learning to dissolve our aggression, busyness, and fixed beliefs so we can establish more peace.

Fall Equinox

The Sun enters Libra on September 23, beginning the Autumnal Equinox in the Northern Hemisphere, the Spring Equinox in the Southern. Libra, sign of relationships and spaciousness, is now leading the way as we find better balance within ourselves and our partnerships. With significant Venus and Mars transits this month, we’re focusing on healing the divides between our inner feminine and masculine. We’re moving into greater nuance in our relationships, taking more ownership, and better getting along. Our inner feminine is now feeling more relaxed and empowered, while our inner masculine embraces deep feeling, vulnerability, and the practice of asking for help.

Saturn-South Node Conjunction / Libra New Moon

We end the month with Saturn forming his third and final conjunction with the South Node, right as we experience the Libra New Moon on September 28. Dancing around the South Node, Saturn has been eliciting serious heaviness as we sort through old karma and recognize limitations—and even oppression— leftover from childhood and societal conditioning. We’ve been working hard to unstick from old patterns and habituations, which hasn’t been easy or comfortable—but ultimately rewarding. Now, with a New Moon in Libra, we have the chance for fresh starts in our relationships, love, values, and creative output. We’ve been learning to individuate and break free of outside authority and expectations so we can become more authentic—less fearful and complacent. From this place, we’re now ready to forge more meaningful connections and alliances. Chiron is opposite the New Moon, and we’re deeply healing our fears of rejection and partnership, while stepping into new kinds of relationships and dynamics that bring more love, harmony, and peace. Our values are shifting away from empty achievement toward more holistic pursuits that align with our truest hearts and desires.

At the same time, we’re learning to accept what is right in front of us—how we look, our silliness, emotional messiness, and beautiful mistakes. This is not the kind of acceptance that requires us to have glossy eyes of love and light, but one that allows for our perfect human imperfection.

September Summary

September begins with a stellium of planets in organized Virgo, challenged by dreamy, foggy Neptune in Pisces. We’re learning to balance our needs for boundaries, routine, improvement, and self-care, with our idealism, flow, and acceptance. We’re allowing ourselves to grieve and release all that’s falling away as we find the discipline to return to center and ask for what we need. So much healing is possible this month—in our physical bodies, psyches, and relationships. Strong tensions are showing up between the old paradigm and the new, which is beginning to glimmer on the horizon. The third and final conjunction between Saturn and the South Node will form at the end of the month, helping us release heavy karma, patterns, and addictions, so we can make way for greater vulnerability and emotional fluidity. If we’ve been feeling old wounds around childhood and societal traumas, abuse, and oppression arise, it’s for a reason. We’re healing our inner children, which will ultimately benefit the world. Healing crises are here to wake us up and spur our spiritual evolution and improvement in our lives. As we accept our own emotional depth and imperfections, we can then do this for others—helping our relationships, unraveling our aggression, and creating more unity in ourselves, our communities, and the world.

With the summer sun beaming down on our tired heads, may we find the balance between discipline and flow, improvement and acceptance. May we allow space to be our imperfect selves—truly lovable in the messiness of being human.

My book, The Stars Within You: A Modern Guide to Astrology, is available for purchase.

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