New Moon in Virgo August 30

If there’s anything or anyone you want to purge from your life, the New Moon in Virgo is the time to do it. The New Moon takes place at 7 degrees of Virgo, quite close to disciplined Saturn, at 3:58 p.m. on Aug. 30.

Virgo, the sign of the Virgin, is about cleansing and purification. If you’ve been eating junk food all summer, as I have, now is the time to go back to a healthy diet. It’s harvest time, so that makes it easy to embrace the fruits of the nature. I plan to make a big batch of ratatouille this weekend.

If you’re looking for something more extreme, it’s a good time to fast (not too long, please!) or start a new exercise regimen. The only thing I’ve been exercising this summer are my fingers, which have been dancing across the keyboard. I really need to get back to the gym.

Of course, the New Moon in Virgo means back to school for lots of children, as well as the parents who drop them off and pick them up. It’s back to a routine, another Virgo word, as we put our noses to the grindstone. In the Hudson Valley, where I live, there’s a giant grindstone in the lobby of the Town of East Fishkill offices that dates from colonial times.

When my friend Don and I visited the reservation of the Agua Caliente Indian tribe this summer in Palm Springs, the ranger who gave us the tour told us Native American women were traditionally judged by how finely they ground their flour. This was a mind-boggling concept for a woman accustomed to buying Gold Medal flour at the supermarket.

The concept of grinding finely comes naturally to those born under the sign of Virgo. They have fine intellects and a keen attention to detail. Everyone knows the stereotype of Virgos as neat freaks, but, as my former astrology teacher Eileen McCabe taught me, they can also be total slobs. Why? They just give up and surrender to chaos if they can’t achieve perfection.

That love of perfection can become an addiction in itself. It’s not unusual to see people with a strong Virgo emphasis in their chart to have body issues and struggle with eating disorders such as anorexia or bulimia. This is mistakenly thought to be exclusively a female problem, but now that thin is in again for men, don’t be surprised to be hearing more about men and eating disorders.

Virgo also rules work, and therefore it’s apt that the New Moon in this earth sign often falls close to Labor Day, the holiday that honors the working class. As you rest from your labors this weekend and prepare to dive into a busy fall schedule, thank the Goddess for the fertility she bestows on our lives.

In exchange for these blessings, why not take time to perform service? Send a soldier overseas a goodie box, bring the neighbor next door some zucchini from the garden, or participate in a neighborhood cleanup. Better yet, perform a random act of kindness for a stranger. The lesson of the New Moon in Virgo: Virtue is indeed its own reward.