The Astrology of July features Jupiter, Saturn, Mars and Venus. Mars conjuncts Saturn during the first half of the month. This makes for a period of time when things that we try to accomplish will not go smoothly and when outer activity will be slowed down and concentrated. Much can be accomplished during this time period, but it will not come easily. Hard work will get its reward, and its long-lasting one at that. After the July 18th Full Moon, Mars moves to a trine with Jupiter, which is quite another kettle of fish. In the closing ten days of July, both Mars and Venus aspect Jupiter, making for a period when we are more inclined to take risks and when we may achieve an entirely beneficial result with very little effort expended, depending largely on attitude. There are therefore two distinct phases to this monthly period, with the shift occurring as the Sun enters its own sign of Leo on Tuesday the 22nd.
Venus makes some interesting outer planet aspects as well during July. At the time of the July 2nd New Moon, Venus exactly opposes Jupiter. This is an entirely different archetypal connection than provided by Mars-Saturn. Although it will be difficult to get things done for the entire first two weeks of this New Moon, for the few days surrounding July 2nd, we may feel compelled to go to the limit on what we desire. Optimism reigns, especially in the area of relationship and romance.
At the time of the July 9th Quarter Moon, The Sun and Moon in square with each other aspect Jupiter, Uranus and Chiron, with the Sun opposed to Jupiter and trine Uranus. Chiron occupies the Jupiter-Uranus midpoint. Jupiter with Uranus (in sextile at this time) bespeaks the rapid dissemination of new ideas into the collective mind so that this period may represent a time of fresh viewpoints. With Chiron involved, old and potentially painful patterns of behavior may be up for recognition and renewal. There will also likely be developments in the presidential election at this time, perhaps surprising ones with Uranus involved, and in our general understanding of the way the universe works itself out.
The Sun and Moon are of course opposed at the Full Moon of July 18th. In addition to some very lovely early evening skies we will have the dramatic tension of the two lights in Cancer and Capricorn. The Sun is also the focal point of a Yod from Pluto and Neptune, providing an powerful feeling of numinous connection to the beyond, and loosening the barrier between the visible and the unseen worlds. It is a spiritually rich second half of the month that awaits us.
Pluto remains active in the last degree of Sagittarius, preparing for his re-entry into Capricorn by late fall. Pluto completes its last pass through Sagittarius, these few months of late summer may signify a summing up of his energy there: self-righteousness in its most extreme cases, the transcendence of religious boundaries at its most generous. There is a verse of the Tao that might be more than relevant in these days of transcendence and wonder:
One who knows his lot to be the lot of all other men
Is a safe man to guide them,
One who recognizes all men as members of his own body
Is a sound man to guard them.
Transits to the U.S. Chart
Last month we indicated that foreign policy matters might be up for review and reconsideration during June with potentially startling information available over the early part of the month and indeed there were quite a few events that reflected this combination of ingredients, including a potential Israeli bombing raid on Iran and the specter of a U.S. military blockade of that country that if carried to the fullest extent could conveniently lead to a new war just in time for the November election. This administration badly needs something to prop up support for its obviously failed policies if Republicans are to have any chance and a new war might just do the trick. There was also the June 12th ruling by the Supreme Court that U.S. law including Habeas Corpus applies to Guantanamo detainees. This ruling although in many ways not surprising but merely logical, has far-reaching implications for the policies that the administration has pursued thus far, including off-shore torture, and may in time lead to the closing of Guantanamo.
Then there was the magazine interview remark by a McCain campaign spokesperson reported in the media on June 24th and summarized as follows in a London-based blog: "Looks like one of John McCain's advisers let loose a little too much 'straight talk' in an article published yesterday in Fortune magazine, saying that a terrorist attack would be a blessing for the McCain campaign. While undoubtedly true, it's not the kind of thing you can say out loud." (guardian.co.uk). This comment is definitely surprising, more so in the mere fact that it came out than as an indication of what anyone in the Republican camp might be secretly thinking.
The last thing that I would like to mention in this regard is the surprising and shocking information regarding techniques of torture in use by the United States that came out at the very end of the month, namely that military and CIA interrogation methods that were adopted post-911 actually derived from a 50-year old report on communist training materials summarizing the methods used to wring false confessions out of U.S. airmen during WWII. The point of the report was that false information was obtained rather than true intelligence, a point that was apparently missed by the twenty-first century implementers. Since this story is so unbelievable, here's a reference: truthout.org.
In the current month, a softer climate prevails. The New Moon of July 2nd is of course very close to the U.S. birthday and therefore conjuncts the U.S. Sun degree. The celebratory nature of this transit has positive implications for the national self-image, aided by a transit from favorable Jupiter opposite the Sun. Meanwhile, the chart's MC ruler, Venus, is hit with a Mercury – Pluto transiting opposition just at the time for the Last Quarter Moon of July 9th, which is likely to represent the point of tension in the first two weeks of July, and when ample food for thought is likely to be provided.
There is also a fuzzy side to the nature of this transiting configuration that lasts the entire month, in that U.S. Neptune is opposed by Uranus, an aspect that is also strongly triggered at the time of the Solar Eclipse of August 1st. At the same time, transiting Neptune remains close to U.S. Moon, and that aspect is triggered by the Lunar Eclipse of August 16th, so that we might have to wait until next month to see the full flowering of this trend. In general, these aspects support a faith-based and higher mind approach as well as the potential for deception in high places. We are bound to see both as the campaign of Barack Obama and the administration response to it continues to unfold.
July 2nd New Moon
This is a time of fresh energy in the feeling depths of our being, as the lunar nature of this sign plays itself out more fully in our lives. Venus is exactly opposite Jupiter at this time so that beneficial relationship energy surrounds us. Mars is also drawing nearer to its conjunction with Saturn, leading to a recognition of greater obstacles than usual, but creating long-lasting eventual gains in reward for the extra effort expended.
July 9th First Quarter Moon
This is a time when we must take cognizance of difficulties posed in making the intention seeded at the time of the New Moon into concrete reality. In parallel with this symbolism, Mars and Saturn exactly conjunct, so that it will be quite difficult at this time to get anything done. The Moon's degree as it squares the Sun also squares Jupiter, creating a sense of optimism that may prove exaggerated and pushing us to take unnecessary risks that may not in fact pan out for us. Chiron is also involved in this configuration, and old patterns of dysfunctional behavior may come up for greater awareness and eventual integration, especially with regard to groups that we espouse and social situations that we favor with our support.
July 18th Full Moon
This Full Moon will be most visible on the evening of the 17th and provides a peaceful respite from the difficulties symbolized by the previous week's square relationship. There will also be a degree of tension represented in the aspects that the Full Moon makes to Mars but these are largely superseded by the positive Mars trine to Jupiter, which is forming for most of the remainder of the month.
July 25th Last Quarter Moon
This is traditionally a time of increased awareness of the parameters of our situation, based on the knowledge gained from the previous three weeks of the cycle. This is what eminent astrologer Dane Rudhyar called the "crisis of consciousness" that accompanies our increased understanding of what has and has not been successful over that period of time. In this case, we are gathering our strength and our wisdom for the eclipses of August, which will rock our world, hopefully for the better. Any shock to the system, such as those prefigured by these powerful August configurations, has the potentially beneficial effect of shaking us out of our collective rut and stimulating our imagination of a better world that is in actuality more than possible, were we simply to rise up as a body to meet it.