Discover more from The Curiosity Report with Aliza Kelly
The Week Ahead (9.18.23 through 9.24.23)
Notes on Libra Season, the Underworld, and more.
The Astrology Forecast
Hello, friends! How are you feeling after that New Moon in Virgo? If you haven’t yet had a chance to set some manifestations, I highly recommend carving out a little time to do so; we’re now in the last lunar cycle before eclipse season, so the intentions you set today will carry you through the next two (!) months. Check out this easy New Moon ritual here, which is effective until the first quarter moon on Thursday, September 22. TL;DR: there’s still time to make magick! Of course, if you have any questions, ask in the comments below. I’m always happy to help :)
On Tuesday, September 19 at 7:17AM ET, the Sun forms its annual opposition to Neptune. Where does imagination end and reality begin? Are we all just living in one big simulation? (Yes, but then wouldn’t that just be… real life?) When the Sun opposes Neptune—the planet of illusion and delusion—it creates an otherworldly atmosphere. This dynamic transit may catalyze restlessness and anxiety since Neptune is a planet that ungrounds us, which is the exact opposite of what the Sun in Virgo wants. But this transit isn’t all smoke and mirrors and nervous energy: As Joan Didion perfectly articulated, “we tell ourselves stories in order to live.” Perhaps the most distinctly human thing about being distinctly human is the ability to dream. To fantasize. To fictionalize. Perhaps—when the Sun and Neptune join forces—we can give ourselves permission to tap into our infinite well of creativity. To create wider, richer narratives. To decorate the mundane with allegory, symbolism, and meaning. To find a greater purpose than just existing. To find inspiration once again.
Then, on Saturday, September 23 at 2:50AM ET, the Sun cruises into Libra, kicking off a brand new zodiacal season and Autumn Equinox. During the Autumn Equinox, we briefly experience a perfect balance of light and darkness, right before the Northern Hemisphere Sun begins its wintery descent into shadow. In magickal practices, equinoxes (like solstices) are portals—halfway spaces that link us to the other side. Similarly, this is when Perseophone begins her annual journey to the Underworld. For those unfamiliar with the Ancient Greek Persephone mythology, here’s a short recap from KTSW’s blog:
While Persephone was performing her duties one day [Persephone was the Goddess of Spring], she noticed a yellow narcissus flower, which was said to only grow in the Underworld. A hole opened up in the earth when she picked it, and out came Hades with his black chariot pulled by black stallions. He then abducted her in that spot and took her to his realm.
In the Underworld, Hades treated her well, showered her with anything she could want and made sure she knew she was an equal. At her request, he even created a realm for those souls who were better than the rest called Elysium.
While in the Underworld, Persephone knew not to eat anything because, if she did, she would have to stay. Nonetheless, she was starving, and, one day, a gardener offered her a pomegranate, so she ate six seeds.
Above ground, Demeter [Persephone’s mother, Goddess of Agriculture] was livid. She caused famine on Earth and let many humans die so that Hades would release her daughter. Hermes, known as a messenger for the gods and a god in his own right, told Hades, and Hades let him take Persephone to Mount Olympus.
After much arguing between Persephone, Demeter, and Hades, Zeus declared that Persephone must stay in the Underworld for six months since she ate six pomegranate seeds.
In the end, Greek mythology states when Persephone goes to the Underworld for these six months on the autumn equinox, the world turns bitter and cold as Demeter mourns, creating fall and winter.
There is so much powerful, rich symbolism in Persephone’s story. What I want to highlight today is how partnership, justice, and diplomacy—all Libra themes—illuminate the narrative. Compromise is a central theme in Persephone’s tale as every character must navigate negotiation. Although neither Demeter nor Hades are thrilled with the outcome, this sort of pervy joint custody situation with Persephone creates the framework for a seasonal rhythm: a year divided equally between light and shadow.
Libra is symbolized by the scales of balance (interestingly, the only zodiac sign represented by an inanimate object). It’s an air sign, which has an inherently social nature, and is likewise focused on the ways we relate to external variables (such as people, partners, and contracts). Libra is itself the negotiation: the halfway mark in the zodiac, Libra creates an effortless symmetry between the signs that come before it and the signs that come after. It stabilizes different perspectives. Different wants. Different needs. Different light and different shadow. After all, isn’t compromise the key to all successful relationships?
As we step into Libra Season, I invite you to consider the harmony and symmetry—as well as the negotiations and sacrifices—you make within your own interpersonal dynamics. Are they fair? Are they just? Are they balanced? Even if you’re not completely satisfied with the (explicit or implicit) agreements, do they yield two halves that elegantly generate equal parts light and shadow (proverbially speaking, of course)?
Over the next few weeks, as the Sun glides through Libra, give yourself permission to examine and reexamine the terms & conditions of your relationships—romantic, platonic, and professional. What’s working? What isn’t? What needs to be updated? Or reworked altogether? Remember, friend, all contracts are negotiable. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
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Card of the Week
Tunnels (from There Are No Coincidences)
Deep, dark, and disorienting, tunnels are liminal, between spaces. Burrowed into mountains, underwater, and miles below the surface of daily life, tunnels are distinctive “other” environments that exist on the fringes of reality. Entering this domain requires humble surrender, as the tunnel contains myriad eerie unknowns. What’s its length? Is it narrow? Can the infrastructure be trusted? Is the enclosure sound? Just as Persephone makes the long journey to the underworld by way of tunnel, you are also currently in motion—somewhere between the entrance and exit.
But know that a tunnel is not a cave. Unlike grottoes—endless underground chambers with a singular entrance—tunnels function as between spaces intended for movement, transit, and (perhaps most important) departure. The tunnel is, in fact, a highly practical passageway designed to expedite travel. Tunnels enable access to destinations that would be otherwise unavailable, creating paths for cars, trains, subways, as well as utilities, like electricity and plumbing. Yes, tunnels can be tedious, claustrophobic, and anxiety-inducing; as you navigate an uncharted passage, you may even begin to question whether there really is a way out. But that old adage—the light at the end of the tunnel—is quite literal. Every tunnel has an exit.
When this card appears, consider your location within the allegorical tunnel. Perhaps you’re approaching the entrance, recognizing that in order to reach your desired destination, you’ll need to move through this unknown, potentially isolating, domain. Sure, you may have some expectations as to what you might encounter during this passage . . . but the truth is that you won’t actually know until you’ve begun your journey. Are you ready to move forward?
Or maybe this card appears to mirror your current odyssey. There’s no doubt that the center of the tunnel can be profoundly destabilizing: with neither entrance nor exit visible, it could feel as though this trip has become a trap. At this phase, you may begin to wonder whether you should turn around—surely you could still retrace your steps? If this is your current state, honor yourself with boundless compassion: It may not be easy, but your profound bravery invites you to keep going. Eventually, a tiny spark of light will appear in the abyss, growing larger and brighter as you push onward.
And maybe this card appears to celebrate your achievement. In that case, let this card remind you how far you’ve come. You did it. You made it. You reached the other side and, yes, it was treacherous—but that’s what makes the reward so profoundly worthwhile.
Extracted from There Are No Coincidences
My latest musical obsession is “Magic” by Wish Queen. The video. The song. The lyrics. As if written by Persephone herself, this track is so incredibly haunting. Give it a listen and let me know what you think.