View from the Summit of Elk Knob, Watauga County, North Carolina,
5520 ft. above sea level, photo by Jane Sherry, 2021
Photosynthesis depends on chlorophyll, a substance stored in plants that absorbs red and blue frequencies of sunlight and reflects greens.
We see that reflected light when we look at plants and they appear green.
Inside the plant's tiny organs, called chloroplasts, the stored energy of the absorbed sunlight is the catalyst that transforms carbon dioxide and water into oxygen, which the plant excretes, and carbohydrates, which are sugars and starches, the building blocks of plant life.
Plant Cell Structure, courtesy Wikimedia
This work has been released into the public domain by its author, LadyofHats.
As days shorten during the autumn, less sunlight reaches the chloroplasts in healthy plants and tree leaves, and ambient temperatures drop. Production of chlorophyll plummets and as the unstable chlorophyll decomposes, less and less green frequency sunlight is reflected from the plants.
But many trees are rich in carotene, a compound that assists chlorophyll in storing energy, by absorbing blue and green sunlight.
As the fall season slowly strips tree leaves of chlorophyll, the much more stable carotenes remain in place, blue and green frequencies of sunlight are still absorbed, and the tree's leaves reflect yellow and orange frequencies.
Carotenes lend vegetables such as pumpkins, carrots and sweet potatoes their characteristic red, yellow and orange colors.
Beta carotenes found in plants are essential for healthy herbivores and humans too!
Other useful compounds found in plant cells such as anthocyanins also persist as the chlorophyll disappears. Anthocyanins create the vibrant red and purple autumn colors found in maple trees and oaks, for example.
Autumn Leaves, Pleasantville, New York, 2000, photo by Jane Sherry
Each type of tree contains its own unique combination of pigmented compounds vital to photosynthesis, so autumn's color palette is rich and varied in our forests on the East Coast.
Here in North Carolina, peak autumn colors are predicted to appear in mid to late October, which is about normal for our area.
It's a relief to know that after our long hot summer of global floods and droughts the new season just beginning promises to bring beauty and some stability to our inner and outer landscapes.
A series of beneficial stellar aspects are also about to unfold during the Libra season, although the US will have to be prepared for unexpected upheavals in global financial affairs and in geopolitical struggles.
Aries Full Harvest Super Moon, Libra Solar Festival 2023 Cosmic Weather Forecast
Friday, September 29, 2023, at 5:57 AM EDT we celebrate the Full Harvest Super Moon at 6° Aries and the Libra Solar Festival begins with Sun at 6° Libra. Farmers in the Northern Hemisphere will enjoy exceptionally well lit fields over the next few nights as we enter the harvest season, when it's essential to work much later than normal.
Mars joins the Sun in Libra, and Mars sextiles Venus in Leo, signaling a moment of harmonious interchange between male and female aspects of consciousness, and harmony in sexual relations. Unexpected opportunities to partake of Venusian indulgences can arise.
If you are in need of some support and aid from the Universe, don't forget to ask for it this Full Moon.
Visualize your most desired outcomes. The Goddess just might manifest a series of synchronicities that deliver exactly what you require, directly to your door.
This Full Moon is the perfect time for visualizations, rituals, and other spiritual practices designed to manifest your spiritual and material goals.
The Sabian Symbol for 6° Libra is "A man watching his ideals taking a concrete form before his inner vision". This weekend is the time to seek a vision of the best and highest path forward in your life, and to create your own ritual designed to align your thoughts, words and deeds with your own personal path of Spirit.
By combining practices designed to open your mind to visionary solutions to your issues, and then grounding that energy in ritual, you combine the best traits of individualistic Aries and the transpersonal consciousness embodied by Libra.
In short, prepare yourself to receive and internalize incoming Perfection patterns from Source, and affirm your willingness to encounter a series of meaningful coincidences that will enable you to manifest those Perfection patterns in your everyday life.
This Aries Full Moon we also have Venus in Leo square Uranus in Taurus.
Regular readers of this newsletter know that Uranus, planet of disruption, placed in Taurus, the sign of finance, can signal sudden dislocations, panic and even systemic breakdowns in financial systems and the economy in general. Troublesome aspects between Uranus in Taurus and other planets, such as the current square to Venus amplify the potential for volatility in financial markets.
We have mentioned a few of the most problematic aspects to Uranus in Taurus that could trigger unwelcome financial repercussions in several newsletters during the time since Uranus entered Taurus in 2018.
So far, notable disruptions since Uranus entered Taurus include: the Covid economic collapse followed by a multi-trillion dollar stimulus package in the United States; the dislocations in global supply chains and in energy and commodity markets worldwide triggered in February 2022 by the Russian invasion of Ukraine; runaway global inflation and central bank tightening of financial conditions over the last year or two; the ongoing slow motion collapse of cryptocurrency markets as key players like Sam Bankman Fried's FTX go bankrupt amid charges of fraud; and the disastrous decline in the value of high tech unicorn start-ups in the wake of Federal Reserve induced high interest rates.
So there have been a lot of financial shocks already in the Uranus in Taurus interval, and with Venus in Leo squaring Uranus in Taurus this week, the stage is set for more disruptions. More on that in a moment.
Immediately after the Full Aries Super Moon, on October 1, Mars in Libra moves into a square with Pluto retrograde in Capricorn, still at the position Pluto occupies in America's Birth Chart. In short, we are going to see yet more fallout from America's Pluto Return, which we have discussed extensively in newsletters past.
We can feel the charge of this upcoming square already, if we are sensitive to cosmic currents. Or, if we just check out the news, it's obvious.
Pluto, painting by Franz von Stuck, 1909, Public Domain
The United States government is facing a very Plutonian financial and political crisis because unless Congress can overcome its extreme polarization, funding will be cut off on Sunday, October 1st. This crisis coincides with the Venus-Uranus square this week, which can signify unexpected disruptions in financial markets.
The debt ceiling is a recurring issue because of a seemingly unnecessary and arcane rule that requires an annual Congressional agreement to raise the debt limit to accommodate the budget expenditures already agreed to by Congress and the President.
In May, President Biden and Republican Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy announced their agreement approving a budget through January 2025, specifically so there would be no Congressional game of chicken when the time came to lift the debt ceiling -- and no nasty head-on collision with immense collateral damage.
Congress has raised the debt limit routinely over 100 times since this rather bizarre custom was instituted in 1917, in order to give the government more flexibility when borrowing money. Prior to that, Congress had to approve additional spending authorized by each new bill it passed, in a separate vote for each new bill.
Now that "reform" feels like a weaponized fiscal straitjacket.
Absent Congressional approval of a new higher debt ceiling, in the near term the Treasury Department would not be able to meet all its obligations, including interest payments on US Treasury bonds, payments to veterans and Social Security recipients, and salaries for government employees.
This would undoubtedly cause financial markets to panic.
Now, the Freedom Caucus of ultra right wing Congressional Republicans is holding the country hostage and threatening to defeat the passage of the Congressional agreement to raise the debt limit, despite the fact that Congress acted in a bipartisan manner to easily raise those debt limits when Donald Trump was President.
House Freedom Caucus
Here's a taste of what the Freedom Caucus wants, according to the Washington Post : “Cutting housing subsidies for the poor by 33 percent as soaring rents drive a national affordability crisis. Forcing more than 1 million women and children onto the waitlist of a nutritional assistance program for poor mothers with young children. Reducing federal spending on home heating assistance for low-income families by more than 70 percent with energy prices high heading into the winter months.”
Surely after years of constant threatened debt defaults, other countries must view America's dysfunctional governance as totally unworthy of a global hegemon at best, and indicative of an Empire in the middle stages of terminal decline, at worst.
But no worries. Other countries won't want to stop buying US Treasury bonds or try to replace the almighty US dollar as the nation's global currency. Will they? LOL! Can you say Pluto Return, the planetary aspect most closely correlated with the onset of extremely slow, yet thorough disintegration of Empires?
The energy signature of the Venus-Uranus square active at this time will resonate for around a month and the Mars-Pluto square will be extremely potent for the next couple of weeks, but America's Pluto Return will continue to bedevil us through January, and again toward the end of next year. So the culmination of our Pluto return will be during next year's Presidential election. Good luck to us!
Still, there are some positive aspects during October that should provide us with much needed ease and grace.
By October 13th Mars will have left Libra, the Mars-Pluto square will be in our rear view mirror and Mars in take-no-prisoners Scorpio will be trine Saturn in Pisces, providing us all with seemingly limitless energy to check off one item after another on our to do lists.
We need that because with retrograde Pluto in Capricorn heralding the next installment of the US Pluto return, the cosmic weather pattern is creating a sense of urgency, warranted or not.
The very next day, an annular solar eclipse in Libra amplifies the existential angst and nervous energy spikes.
At that time the Mars-Saturn trine will enable us to bring our very best selves to the game, and we could surprise ourselves and everyone around us with our preternatural abilities to respond with ease and grace to any perceived or real crisis!
Photo of an annular solar eclipse taken by the solar optical telescope Hinode
as the Moon came between it and the Sun. Credit: NASA/JAXA
Annular eclipses create a ring of fire in the sky, because, although the moon passes between the Earth and the Sun, the Moon is too far away from Earth to put El Sol totally in the shade.
During the October 14 annular eclipse the moon's shadow will pass directly over nine states, from Oregon to Texas, and the ring of fire will be visible in those locations. All 48 states will be able to see a partial solar eclipse at that time.
Is it coincidence that this area has been hard hit since long before fire season this year by a persistent heat dome, uncontrollable, widespread forest fires, and smoke from Canadian arboreal forests incinerated? Ring of fire indeed!
Next April, another solar eclipse will be visible from Maine to Texas, and once again, viewers in 48 states will be able to see a partial eclipse.
Here's a NASA video on YouTube showing you exactly where and when you can view the 2023 and 2024 solar eclipses passing over America. Be sure to wear appropriate goggles if viewing the ring of fire eclipse to avoid eye damage.
Astrologically speaking, two solar eclipses during the climax of America's Pluto return seem to me to signal a pronounced decline in America's standing in the world, a darkening of the American spirit and a potential journey into the Plutonic underworld for all of us.
The Birth of Venus, painting by Sandro Botticelli, Sandro Botticelli , CC0, via Wikimedia Commons
Fortunately, Venus in Venus-ruled Virgo trines Jupiter in Taurus on October 22, providing no doubt much needed balm for hyperactive nervous systems. This short transit could energize social relations, and we may find comfort in gathering with friends and loved ones to celebrate life! This aspect could also bring some positive financial news into this month's picture.
Then on October 28th we will celebrate a Taurus Full Moon Eclipse. But that's a story for next month's newsletter.
Jane and I are celebrating our 37th wedding anniversary this month, and we are accepting prayers for good health, abundance affirmations, and positive energy of all kinds!
Seriously, we've been noticing that we say the same thing at the same time, and that we're thinking the same thing at the same time lately. So it's less weird when you recall that yeh, it's been 37 years of an alchemical experiment designed to balance male and female energies and to help one another progress on the path of Spirit.
For us it is a little shocking to look at the photos below, because we look so different, and yet we feel more or less the same. I guess anyone lucky enough to get old says that, yeh?
Curtis and Jane, Horatio Street, NYC 1993,
Reynolda Gardens Gazebo, Wakeforest University, Winston Salem 2023,
photos by Jane Sherry
Anyway, we are so grateful for our 37 years so far, and we are grateful to you all for being part of our lives!
Jane and I affirm that you all experience an abundance of love in your lives this Full Moon week, and we pray that you receive the grace and guidance you require to achieve your loftiest spiritual and material goals.
Meditation Moment: Eclipse by Ranjit Hoskote
You waited all night for the eclipse.
A panther loped down to the lake
and swallowed the moon.
Another night you thought the wind
had called for truce. The moon
never crossed the laterite border.
A third night, searching in this field
where the sky had rained stars,
you found the moon
buried in a furrow that a yoked bull
had measured in loops from left
to right to left, turning
and returning. Speak, lunatic angel,
which was the right way?
Was I implement or impediment?
All night the eclipse waited for you.
Ranjit Hoskote, Courtesy Wikimedia