School is back in session and it's not just the kids who will be required to take classes this month. With a T-square in the fixed signs and the Earth signs holding court in the major planets, EVERYONE is going to be pushed to delay gratification and take notes in September.
Fall is the physical and therefore metaphorical time for harvest. Energetically and spiritually that is NOT the case this year. These transits call on all of us to assess our mistakes and miss-judgements, learn from them, and plan a more effective course to more efficiently reach our goals as individuals and as a society. This is not a doom and gloom time…but it is a time of correction. You will notice this all over the world. Situations that were neglected and dormant suddenly become combustible. Irresponsible choices reveal painful consequences. True motives are revealed. Check in with your integrity. Check in with your motives. Remain independent and strong in your individual character. That is all you need to follow this cleansing and yet painful current. The false and extraneous are being removed. Progress is too important for the Universe to sit stagnant right now.
This is not a doom and gloom time…but it is a time of correction. You will notice this all over the world. Situations that were neglected and dormant suddenly become combustible.
Aug 24th- Sep 23rd
“I told you so"
Happy birthday Virgo! We love your commitment to doing everything “100." We love your discernment and your bull*%#^ meter. This truly is your month to shine with all of the major planets harmoniously rewarding your consistency and excellence. You are so good at the routine and the dailyness…but I would like to suggest that you veer from that hyper focus on the mundane a little bit this month. Look up from the detail and into your future. Can you see how big you can be? They are trying to show you. It's time for faith without facts and certainty of vision without clarity or guarantees. Take a cue from our Fire sign friends and let your heart lead you right now. Let your emotions show you the direction. You are meticulously prepared for what is in store for you. I promise.
Sep 24th- Oct 23rd
I love this month for you. The first week of September please make sure that you take time for your relationship. If you aren't in a romantic relationship spend time on a friendship or partnership that means a lot to you. On and after September 11th you get your mojo back. The heaviness that has weighted you down over the last few months lifts and your energy to start new projects kicks in. It is also a time to invent new ways of doing things or to revamp or add to an invention or job description. Travel is also favored this month, especially with friends.
Oct 24th- Nov 22nd
“Seat belts on?"
Virgo season is always a quiet time for you. You are harmonious with the routine and discernment that this mutable earth sign brings. This September, however, the universe has a “T-square" obstacle course planned for our fixed signs including Scorpio. These challenges will have to do with relationships of all kinds. It includes lessons regarding the balance of power, gender equality and it will test to see how strong or weak a relationship's foundation is. You may also have some surprises thrown your way, reminding you that you are not always in control.
Nov 23rd- Dec 22nd
“All action, less talk"
The fire signs that will weather this month beautifully will have one trait that they will lean on heavily; humility. Because this trait is virtually nonexistent in our Leos and Aries friends, my bet is on you dear Sagittarius. It just isn't the time for boastfulness, bravado or blustering. It's a time for perseverance and hard work. Your time to shine will come I promise. There is a wonderful gift for you this month however, in the form of a new moon in your archer's sign on September 16th. That is the night that you should plant your magic beans.
Dec 23rd- Jan 20th
“End of the affair"
The fixed sign T-square this month will be affecting everyone but with Saturn trining Uranus in your earth signs, you get a softer version of the challenge. It will probably show up in the form of relationship strain or surprise. Your spouse could get a job offer in another city. Unspoken grievances suddenly surface. A stagnant romance ends abruptly. As tough as it is, it will be for the better. On a happier note your career and/or asset portfolio should be soaring right now. Remember with the retrogrades, it could be a good time to sell.
Jan 21st- Feb 19th
“Pardon our progress"
I'll give you the good news first. The first week of September should be great for romance so set a date night with your love. The other good news is a boost of energy and momentum going forward with Mars moving into your sign on September 11th. Here is the caveat…watch your frustration and temper. The fixed sign T-square is going to push you to your last nerve. Then, when you are at your stress breaking point, there may be a few surprises thrown into the mix. Calm heads will prevail. Make sure that you keep yours the coolest. Read the intro paragraph again please and lean into the reason why: progress. Aquarians want progress more than ANYONE else, whatever the cost.
Feb 20th- Mar 20th
“Here comes the rain again"
Just when you thought everything was barreling towards resolution…a speedbump. Along with that speedbump is a feeling of sadness or depression, but you just can't quite put your finger on why. I chose the word speedbump carefully. I didn't say stop sign. You are still moving forward you just need to slow down. And the heaviness is just your antennae picking up everyone else's stress and drama from the fixed sign T-Square. It's not yours. Give it back. You're just sensitive to the world in general. All is well. Keep going.
Mar 21st- Apr 20th
“The beauty of negative ions"
I know it isn't your birthday this month but I do hope that you will make a wish on September 16th when the new moon is in Sagittarius. This could be a very powerful and lucky day for you. I would even light a candle or meditate on the first fire of the season because it's a good bet this dream will come true. Mars is moving into your copasetic sign Aquarius but it is squaring Venus and Uranus so get ready for some combustion in your relationship. Nevermind. You are always ready for a fight…in fact you even enjoy an argument so this will be easier for you than most. You understand the value and spirit of clearing the air.
Apr 21st- May 20th
“Slide, slide, slippety slide"
This could be a beautiful month for you if you just MANAGE YOUR TEMPER. There are two types of Taurus: loud ones and quiet ones. Either type could suffer severe frustration this month if they study setbacks from a micro perspective. The loud Taurus folks could do further damage by mouthing off. Our quiet Taurus friends can do internal damage to their blood pressure or worse by internalizing anger. A piece of advice- go big. Think about the big picture. Even the setbacks right now are setting you up for something better. I know it's a cliché but this month don't sweat the small stuff. Slide along with it and you will be fine.
May 21st- Jun 21st
“Now you see me…"
There are so many big forces batting you and everyone else around this month. Gemini natives are better at weathering storms than most because of their mutable nature. The fixed T-square this month isn't easy for anyone but it is harder for those that push back. Geminis never push back. Please do not mistake their passivity in the face of impossible odds for weakness. Their mercurial adaptability is their secret weapon and admirable strength. And with Mars moving into Aquarius on September 11th, our Twin sign friends will be able to shuck and jive around adversity faster than anyone.
Jun 22nd- Jul 23rd
“Joy in the Purpose"
This month will be challenging for everyone but I believe that the Virgo sun will take the edge off for our Cancer friends. Cancer finds a home in Virgo. It's a time to rest in the routine. Cancers love the consistency of duty that Virgo brings. Yes the squares could bring surprise setbacks or the proverbial wrench in the machine but Cancer can lean into the peacefulness in the commitment to their cause or project. There is also a profitable money release that could happen on or around September 10th. This Venus trine could also bring sweet moments with a loved one. Take notes because Cancer is one of the best signs to teach us what to focus on in adversity. It's not WHAT we are having to fight against that matters. It's the joy that we have a family, company, organization or cause that we love dearly to fight FOR.
July 24- Aug 23rd
“Oh captain my captain"
Happy Fall dear Leos! I have some good news and some bad news. The good news is that you are going to be at the center of many things this month (and you love that.) The bad news is that the center that I am referring to is that of a big storm. It could be family dynamics coming to a combustible head. It could be that the foundation of your relationship will be tested. It could be that surprise challenges are thrown into your best made plans. Like the dignified monarch that you are: KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON. Your kingdom depends on it. Your subjects are looking to you for leadership. This isn't your darkest hour, this is a time of preparation and correction so that your dreams will have the right fertile ground from which to flourish.
Gender divisions in sports have primarily served to keep women out of what has always been believed to be a male domain. The idea of women participating alongside men has been regarded with contempt under the belief that women were made physically inferior.
Within their own division, women have reached new heights, received accolades for outstanding physical performance and endurance, and have proven themselves to be as capable of athletic excellence as men. In spite of women's collective fight to be recognized as equals to their male counterparts, female athletes must now prove their womanhood in order to compete alongside their own gender.
That has been the reality for Caster Semenya, a South African Olympic champion, who has been at the center of the latest gender discrimination debate across the world. After crushing her competition in the women's 800-meter dash in 2016, Semenya was subjected to scrutiny from her peers based upon her physical appearance, calling her gender into question. Despite setting a new national record for South Africa and attaining the title of fifth fastest woman in Olympic history, Semenya's success was quickly brushed aside as she became a spectacle for all the wrong reasons.
Semenya's gender became a hot topic among reporters as the Olympic champion was subjected to sex testing by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF). According to Ruth Padawer from the New York Times, Semenya was forced to undergo relentless examination by gender experts to determine whether or not she was woman enough to compete as one. While the IAAF has never released the results of their testing, that did not stop the media from making irreverent speculations about the athlete's gender.
Moments after winning the Berlin World Athletics Championship in 2009, Semenya was faced with immediate backlash from fellow runners. Elisa Cusma who suffered a whopping defeat after finishing in sixth place, felt as though Semenya was too masculine to compete in a women's race. Cusma stated, "These kind of people should not run with us. For me, she is not a woman. She's a man." While her statement proved insensitive enough, her perspective was acknowledged and appeared to be a mutually belief among the other white female competitors.
Fast forward to 2018, the IAAF issued new Eligibility Regulations for Female Classification (Athlete with Differences of Sexual Development) that apply to events from 400m to the mile, including 400m hurdles races, 800m, and 1500m. The regulations created by the IAAF state that an athlete must be recognized at law as either female or intersex, she must reduce her testosterone level to below 5 nmol/L continuously for the duration of six months, and she must maintain her testosterone levels to remain below 5 nmol/L during and after competing so long as she wishes to be eligible to compete in any future events. It is believed that these new rules have been put into effect to specifically target Semenya given her history of being the most recent athlete to face this sort of discrimination.
With these regulations put into effect, in combination with the lack of information about whether or not Semenya is biologically a female of male, society has seemed to come to the conclusion that Semenya is intersex, meaning she was born with any variation of characteristics, chromosomes, gonads, sex hormones, or genitals. After her initial testing, there had been alleged leaks to media outlets such as Australia's Daily Telegraph newspaper which stated that Semenya's results proved that her testosterone levels were too high. This information, while not credible, has been widely accepted as fact. Whether or not Semenya is intersex, society appears to be missing the point that no one is entitled to this information. Running off their newfound acceptance that the Olympic champion is intersex, it calls into question whether her elevated levels of testosterone makes her a man.
The IAAF published a study concluding that higher levels of testosterone do, in fact, contribute to the level of performance in track and field. However, higher testosterone levels have never been the sole determining factor for sex or gender. There are conditions that affect women, such as PCOS, in which the ovaries produce extra amounts of testosterone. However, those women never have their womanhood called into question, nor should they—and neither should Semenya.
Every aspect of the issue surrounding Semenya's body has been deplorable, to say the least. However, there has not been enough recognition as to how invasive and degrading sex testing actually is. For any woman, at any age, to have her body forcibly examined and studied like a science project by "experts" is humiliating and unethical. Under no circumstances have Semenya's health or well-being been considered upon discovering that her body allegedly produces an excessive amount of testosterone. For the sake of an organization, for the comfort of white female athletes who felt as though Semenya's gender was an unfair advantage against them, Semenya and other women like her, must undergo hormone treatment to reduce their performance to that of which women are expected to perform at. Yet some women within the athletic community are unphased by this direct attempt to further prove women as inferior athletes.
As difficult as this global invasion of privacy has been for the athlete, the humiliation and sense of violation is felt by her people in South Africa. Writer and activist, Kari, reported that Semenya has had the country's undying support since her first global appearance in 2009. Even after the IAAF released their new regulations, South Africans have refuted their accusations. Kari stated, "The Minister of Sports and Recreation and the Africa National Congress, South Africa's ruling party labeled the decision as anti-sport, racist, and homophobic." It is no secret that the build and appearance of Black women have always been met with racist and sexist commentary. Because Black women have never managed to fit into the European standard of beauty catered to and in favor of white women, the accusations of Semenya appearing too masculine were unsurprising.
Despite the countless injustices Semenya has faced over the years, she remains as determined as ever to return to track and field and compete amongst women as the woman she is. Her fight against the IAAF's regulations continues as the Olympic champion has been receiving and outpour of support in wake of the Association's decision. Semenya is determined to run again, win again, and set new and inclusive standards for women's sports.