The Full Moon that takes place on Tuesday, July 3rd, is an interesting one. In the midst of the summer of change, indicated by the first exact hit of the Uranus-Plutosquare, this configuration reaches toward a balance of energies, and yet also keeps up the intensity of the evolutionary pressures that are upon us now since the Moon conjuncts the powerfully transformative energies of Pluto, the destroyer. We all are coming to recognize where radical transformation is needed in our lives. Pluto is like the wrecking ball that knocks down previous structures that need replacement, to prepare the way for the rebirth to follow. Mars has also now entered Libra where it comes into an opposition by sign with Uranus, still in almost exact square to Pluto, further emphasizing their revolutionary potential. By the time of the next New Moon, later in the month, Mars will exactly oppose Uranus, making for an even more surprising and active mid-July time period, when also Mercury will be in retrograde.
Neptune in Pisces is activated at the time of this important cross-roads, so that his shape-shifting nature also pervades these difficult and yet exhilarating times that we are currently living through. There is the glimmering fantasy and then there is the truth; but right now, the truth is subtle and difficult to separate out from our ideals on the one hand, and a perhaps overly-cynical viewpoint on the other, so that we sometimes see just what we want to see, through the rose-colored glasses of illusion.
This summer represents one major kick-off for the revolution and evolution still to come – a trying time and yet also one when we can see the writing on the wall and begin to make our move. We have the opportunity now to truly occupy our own inner warrior. All in all we are doing well; and we do best when we recognize that we are serious about necessary transformation and that we are indeed in this for the long haul.
Tuesday evening’s Last Quarter Moon, taking place about a week before the mid-July New Moon in late Cancer, is traditionally a time of reassessment, when we look back to the more familiar lunation now ending and attempt to make sense of what has already gone down, as we prepare for the new cycle that piggy-backs as always on the shoulders of the past. This time in particular we are aided in this quest by the transformative nature of the Uranus-Pluto square still so very prominent in our summer skies, and by the confluence of Jupiter and Venus in aspect to that stunning combination of powerhouse outer planet energies. Since Pluto is about bringing to awareness our hidden motivations, we will all go through a great deal of soul-searching at this time, as we assess our relationships in a perhaps painful and yet still radically honest attempt at resolving some of our potentially dysfunctional patterns in this area.
Venus, planet of relationship connection, and as well exemplar of art and beauty, recently retrograde but now direct, is newly baptized as the Morning Star, and visible in the early morning hours just before dawn in a beautiful display with Jupiter, also bright, bringer of light and understanding. She is the esoteric ruler of Gemini, which is also the sign she and Jupiter now occupy, and therefore the sign that is highlighted in her newly acquired status as she begins another synodic cycle, so that a more thoughtful stance regarding our connection with each other indeed characterizes this next year and a half. Venus also currently squares Chiron in Pisces, which brings up some of the more difficult factors of relating. You and everyone you know are thus currently quite fully engaged in sussing out the underlying motivations that cause you to act as you do, and relate as you do, for better or for worse. When you discover difficult and painful truths about yourself, rather than shying away, you benefit enormously if you can have the courage to face these darker places within your psyche head-on, and begin to accept the parts of yourself that in all honesty you would rather not accept.
The concretizing, critical and limiting psychological archetype represented by the Saturnian Senex is also powerfully configured in this Quarter Moon, which makes a T-square to Saturn. As you mull over your prior and present choices you are also in the process running up against restriction, but this negative turns into a positive if it also makes you more aware.
This Quarter Moon time is therefore uniquely powerful, and has the capability to make us stop and think. We do well to take advantage of this time period by spending a few quiet moments each day in contemplation of all of our varied behavior, especially in the area of relationship and soul growth. We are enjoined to be as aware as we possibly can be. Only in this way will we have the ability to transcend the past and emerge into what we can manufacture – with dedication – into a brighter future for ourselves, our community and our world.
Mercury goes retrograde this evening for the next three weeks, all in the tropical sign of Leo. Although returning to direct motion on August 7th, it will be August 22nd before Mercury gets back to where it started when it began drifting backwards, thus escaping its “retrograde shadow.” This means that the usual symptoms of missed connections and mechanical and communication breakdowns might last through to the fourth week of August. The Mercury Retrograde period is a good time for reflection on where we are going and why, and obviously an excellent time for journaling or blogging about interior matters. Mercury aspects Saturn, Venus, Chiron and Uranus as it stations this evening, so that there is plenty of serious food for thought. Uranus and Pluto, triggered by the event, are still at the first peak of their square, so that we all continue to be feeling their symbolism of radical transformation and active rebellion against established norms. All our relations come into the picture in a poignant way and could bring up painful realizations, since Chiron and Venus are also involved in this configuration.
These are powerful times and the more that we can take the time to stop and think about our situation the better. We might not solve anything but it helps immensely when we can remain as aware as possible to everything that is going on around us, and within us, during this climactic year and decade.
The New Moon in late Cancer taking place on Wednesday evening, July 18th, is a powerful one. For one thing this New Moon squares Saturn, slowing us down. In another quite significant and yet contrary development, a strongly aspected Mars has come into exact opposition to Uranus – making for an exciting, lively and potentially accident-prone time. Meanwhile Jupiter is exactly parallel the Sun and also closely aspects Pluto, by quincunx, triggering the Uranus-Pluto square of these summer skies that is still quite active, being currently less than a degree from exact. Then, too, Mercury has only just recently retrograded, and makes a quincunx aspect to Chiron, bringing a deeper meaning to the transformational tension of this timeframe, one that relates to inner wounding with regard to some important part of ourselves, and, ultimately, to healing in these crucial areas.
Uranus square Pluto, as I have been describing for many weeks now, represents first of all the sudden realization that strikes without warning, regarding some part of our lives that has become dysfunctional, and then a bold move to cut ourselves off from this sense of dysfunction by eliminating the problematic factor. When we do not take action, either through complacency or from fear of the unknown, then the forcefulness of the universe comes in to assist us in making healthier choices, although perhaps in a disruptive way that seems unkind or even cruel at the moment of the discontinuity. This is the so-called kick in the behind that pushes us over to what we eventually can see as what was truly needed. This could refer to job loss, removal of money or possessions, perhaps to relationship adjustment. Sometimes that which we love and refuse to part with must be nevertheless sacrificed. As columnist Cheryl Strayed puts it, “Go, even though he’s your best friend, and even though there is nowhere to go. … Go, because you want to.” Like it or not we must sometimes come to realize that this loss and subsequent rebirth is the beating heart of our time on planet Earth and of life unfolding.
The Sabian Symbol for this New Moon presages a warning: A storm in a canyon. The way for our salvation might be narrow at this time and results might come in a flood, faster than we can easily handle. It is good if we can to move with all due caution. There is, after all, simultaneously a slow-motion effect in these days of Mercury retrograde and with Saturn strongly aspected in Libra. Also it might be that things will not go the way that we planned, might even come out 180 degrees the other direction. We are seemingly moving fast and strange, but if we can take a moment to reflect there is much wisdom to be found in the turning.
Wednesday night’s First Quarter Moon, taking place in the late night or early morning hours of July 25th and 26th, depending on location, is another powerful lunation. It is made stronger by the hovering presence of the Uranus-Pluto square, triggered by this somewhat stressful phase of the current cycle that culminates in mid-August. Mercury is still retrograde, and in concurrent timing with this event moves into direct aspect with both Uranus and Pluto, increasing its symbolic power to mentally ensnarl and confuse. Uranus and Pluto continue to urge upon us radical realization and transformation. We do best in dealing with the Mercury retrograde energy – on any level – by being patient with ourselves and by forgiving mistaken assumptions on anyone’s part as we thoughtfully meditate on what might eventually emerge as the truest nature of our situation.
There is another factor in these late July skies which contributes to the general fuzziness, namely a strong aspect from both ends of the Sun-Moon square to Neptune in the third degree of Pisces. The Sabian symbol is “A petrified forest” – things might not be what they seem. The Sun in early Leo is quincunx while the Moon trines Neptune, bringing in more reasons to suspend judgment and to wait for the final answer to emerge, perhaps redolent with a symbolic rather than literal meaning. We live in a magical world to a much greater extent than we usually give credit to, and these cosmically significant times at the middle of a very special summer are there to remind us of that.
Jupiter is as well in close square to Chiron at this time, while Mars trines Jupiter and makes its own quincunx aspect to Chiron, strengthening this piece of the puzzle. Jupiter with Chiron emphasizes what I like to call the Shamanic Path, the freedom from received ideas of religion and morality in favor of voyaging onward in your own way, toward the discovery of your own truth, independent from the illusory voices that represent consensus thinking. This is perhaps best illustrated on the level of politics by how little the TV news represents what is really going on; while on a more intimate level of personal evolution the message might be that no one but yourself can tell you what needs to happen for you, and for navigating this present moment of your life. Only you have the keys to your future – in both a conceptual and an action-oriented sense.
Therefore, as we move through the stresses of our time of history and as we attempt to make sense of what is happening all around us, and to us, we win when we suspend judgment and wait for the roiled stream to clear, when we take the largest possible viewpoint on events and circumstances, and when we forgive ourselves as well as others as we stumble onward toward the recognition of our own light.
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The Sun represents the Self, one's way of being in the world. It can represent, on different levels, both the ego and the higher Self or soul purpose. It rules Leo and is exalted in Aries. The Sun is the most important 'planet' in the chart and symbolizes one's will and sense of vitality. When the Sun is afflicted (poorly placed or poorly aspected) it could indicate problems with the father, or male role model. The Sun energizes your entire chart, and planets in close relationship to the Sun (by planetary aspect) are emphasized in your personality. If your Sun is prominent in your chart, you will exhibit great power to do and to be.
The Moon represents the personal self, the feelings and the unconscious. It is a reflection of the true self, represented by the Sun. The Moon also stands for security and instinctual or habitual patterns, as well as the ability to relate to others, and to be nurturing to others. The Moon rules Cancer and is exalted in Taurus. It is often contrasted with the Sun as the female receptive principle versus the masculine or positive principle. The Moon represents the feminine and nurturing part of oneself. In a male chart, the Moon represents the feminine within, or the 'anima' and also indicates the type of partner you will attract. The Moon also represents an attunement from the past, which operates at an instinctive or habitual level in your present life.
Mercury represents the mind and intellect, and rules Gemini, sign of duality also Virgo, and has its exaltation in Aquarius. Mercury is an airy planet, associated with all forms of communication and the in-flow and out-flow of intelligence. Its position indicates how your mental function will be expressed, and where techniques and skills are available to you.
Venus is the planet of love and relationship. Venus is in-taking, rather than out-going (as represented by Mars), and rules the signs Libra and Taurus. Venus has its exaltation in Pisces, and is associated with aesthetics, beauty, refinement and romance. Its position in the chart indicates the area in which the give and take of love, affection and sensual pleasure will be expressed.
Mars is the planet of outward activity and animal passion. It rules Aries and is exalted in Capricorn. This fiery planet is masculine in action, versus softer more receptive Venus. When strong in the chart it can indicate a volatile temper, and also great courage. Its position indicates how your personality will assert itself, and what modes of activity will stimulate your physical energies.
Jupiter is the planet of faith, positivism and optimism. It rules Sagittarius and is exalted in Cancer. Jupiter represents the principle of expansion, versus contraction (as represented by Saturn) and the aspirations of the higher self. Its position in the chart indicates how your faith will be expressed, and what modes of activity will stimulate self-confidence.
Saturn is the planet of limitation and contraction, and the trials of life experience. This includes disciplive, punctuality, and the conservation of material resources. Saturn rules Capricorn and is exalted in Libra, and is limited and material, versus unlimited faith (as represented by Jupiter). It indicates areas where the personality will be restricted by fears and lack of confidence, and also areas which are important to be worked on in this lifetime.
Uranus is the planet of freedom and revolutionary vision, the urge for change and the ability to visualize new possibilities. Uranus rules Aquarius, and is exalted in Scorpio. It is also associated with mental studies, electricity and astrology. Its position indicates the arena of originality and freedom from conventional thinking in your life.
Neptune represents the universal ocean of oneness with all beings. It is thus highly compassionate, also idealistic, imaginative and self login or even self undoing, and can be associated with drugs or media, as fantasy expressions. Neptune rules Pisces, and finds its exaltation in Cancer. Its position indicates where there may be confusion and also great creativity in poetic or musical fields. Neptune has been called the higher octave of Venus.
Pluto is a force for change that can be destructive in its power. Pluto rules Scorpio, and is exalted in Leo. Pluto is related to will, and intense passion, and has a reputation for ruthlessness. As god of the underworld Pluto brings the deepest compulsions into the light. Its position indicates areas of life that must ultimately become transformed as part of the soul's evolution.
Chiron is a small planet, or 'planetoid' that was only discovered in 1977, and which has already shown itself to be quite powerful in an individual's chart. Occupying an eccentric orbit between Saturn and Uranus, and named for the centaur physician of Greek myth who taught ancient wisdom to mankind, Chiron represents the archetype of the "Wounded Healer" and is associated with shamanism and going within to heal oneself. Its discovery is synchronous with the rise of the holistic health movement. Chiron's position in the chart reveals where one has been wounded, and where also there is the opportunity for discovering healing from within and sharing this discovery with other people, since from our wounds arises our compassion for the suffering of others. The position of Chiron, by house and sign, can also show where we have talent and access to ancient wisdom, as well as where we may depart from the mainstream in service to a higher practicality. Those with prominent Chiron are likely to be educators and spiritual healers.
As goddess of the harvest and the natural process of fertility and renewal, Ceres represents the process of nurturing and motherhood in an individual chart, and has been attributed to the sign Cancer as a co-ruler with the Moon, as well as to the signs of Taurus, Scorpio and Virgo.
The astrology of the asteroid Pallas indicates the creative use of the mental faculty in combination with ageless wisdom, and is also involved with the arts, especially the plastic arts such as sculpture and pottery, and with medicinal remedies.
The astrology of Juno indicates partnering energy of intimate relationships, as in the more modern issues of where the boundaries are with another person, how much sharing is appropriate, versus holding back, are there issues of bitterness and jealousy, or projected authority and control onto another person, and intimacy needs in general.
In the astrology of Vesta issues of sexuality and completeness unto oneself predominate. Possible associations are the woman (or man) who chooses celibacy, but as a nun or monk takes on a higher purpose than normal family life, also issues of sexuality and who is ultimately served in the process, self or other.
While the lower expression of Eris might manifest as the lust for struggle and violence, there is also a more positive manifestation in the most basic defense of one's rights in standing up to established power, by violence if necessary. By recognizing and coming to terms with this potentially violent factor in ourselves we can grow as humans and become more whole.
The Part of Fortune (from the Latin Pars Fortuna) is the only Arabian astrology part still commonly used in modern astrology. It indicates an area of life that is a fortunate one for the native. The house in which the Part of Fortune is placed indicates an area of your life which is likely to be a successful one for you; an area where the applications of your skill will bear fruit. Its is where you will find good luck and happiness.
The Nodes of the Moon indicate areas of life that are of special concern to you. Also referred to as the dragon's head, The North Node indicates your goals. The placement of the North Node indicates work that needs to be done in your life, or new faculties that need to be developed in the present lifetime.
Aries people tend to be energetic, forceful and outgoing. They are good at getting things done, although they prefer starting to finishing. Like the energy of the first rush of spring, they move into the world in a headstrong, pioneering way. Aries people are likely to rush into things before reflecting, and may also be impatient or unwilling to sit back and allow events to mature.
Taureans revel in the pleasures of life. They crave the security and comfort of relaxing in the warmth of their home environment. They value the senses and the enjoyment of material things. Taureans are likely to work hard to make their home an attractive one. They also have the makings of a healer and have a large capacity for kindness.
Gemini is the sign associated with communication, logical thought processes (based on duality) and the conscious mind. Gemini people tend to be airy and intellectual, glib of tongue and curious about life and other people. They can experience two sides of things at the same time, and may tend to be flighty.
Cancerians are nurturing and protective of others. Their ruling planet is the Moon, and they tend to be moody, with constantly changing emotions. Cancerians are also likely to be security-conscious and highly value their home life. They may appear passive, and tend to rely on their feelings to make decisions. They are subtle, rather than direct, and are likely to reflect the moods of those around them.
Leos are likely to express themselves in dramatic, creative and assertive ways. They are also likely to enjoy the warmth of the physical Sun. Leos have great energy, courage and honesty. They are likely to be self-confident and maybe even a bit self-indulgent as they expect to be the center of attention, and often are. Leos can be quite determined and usually get their way when they really want to. They also possess great integrity, and are a natural leader.
Virgos love work, service to others and the gathering of the fruits of the material world, as symbolized by the harvest. They are also likely to be a good conversationalist, with wide-ranging knowledge and interesting ideas. They can be analytical and perhaps overly fond of detail, with perfectionist tendencies, and they may miss out on the big picture by concentrating on the micro. It also benefits them to learn the fine line between discrimination and criticism.
Libra is the sign of harmony and relationship. The Sun in Libra is at the time of the Equinox, when day equals night, and similarly Libra strives for balance between polarities. Librans are known for their good taste, elegance and charm. They are seekers of harmony and beauty.
Scorpio is the most intense sign of the Zodiac, and is associated with sexual activity and with the symbolism of death and rebirth. Their emotions run deep. Scorpios have great personal magnetism and great powers of persuasion or even the ability to coerce others.
Sagittarius is an optimistic, positive-thinking sign associated with the quest for freedom from all restriction as well as idealism, religion and philosophy. Sagittarians are direct and forthright, good-natured and affirmative in their outlook.
Capricorn people are ambitious and practical, and are likely to have an excellent sense of social responsibility. They also tend to be conscious of social mores, perhaps to the point of over-concern. Their natural caution allows them to advance slowly and steadily to the top.
Aquarians have a rebellious nature, and are eccentric, spontaneous and original. They are forward thinking and detached, and can seem conservative though they really are not very much so. They are scientifically minded and logical, and confident in manner.
Pisceans are friendly and likable, and yet can be very moody and introspective as well. Pisces is a watery sign, concerned with subtle emotions and secret mystical depths. Pisceans are not entirely at home in this world.