The Astrology of July features Venus, Mars, Saturn and Pluto, along with three potent lunations, the New Moon of June 22nd that began the current cycle, together with the eclipses of mid-July: the Full Moon and lunar eclipse of Tuesday, July 7th; and the solar eclipse in the final degree of Cancer taking place on the evening of the 21st. All three of these moments in time are very powerful, and signal a sea change in the affairs of the earthly realm which the celestial realm reflects. Perhaps we are finally ready, as a species, to take the next step forward into our maturity.
The New Moon of June 22nd, the first of two Cancer lunations, was an extremely potent event that marks this period as exciting and entirely transformational both personally and collectively. The Sun and Moon at the 1½ degree mark of Cancer directly opposed Pluto. Also Venus and Mars, conjunct in Venus' own sign of Taurus, were a semi-square away from the Sun and Moon and in strong dynamic aspect to Pluto. Saturn trined Venus and Mars as well, from discriminating Virgo. These aspects set the stage for the thirty days to follow, taking us to the third week of July. With Venus and Mars so closely aligned at the start of this period, we are looking beneath the covers of all our motivations — our relationship impulses in particular. Furthermore with Pluto emphasized we are seeing what Pluto represents, namely a metamorphosis of values, as the country and indeed the world struggles with the latest economic news and attempts to right the ship of state. What is of becoming manifest is that it will take a series of major changes in attitude and in spending priorities in order to do so. It's not a question of a simple fix and back to business as usual, ignoring important social values that have been neglected for far too long. Instead, we are collectively in for a major restructuring. That is the message of Pluto in Capricorn. On an individual basis we are all going through a similar restructuring, as we attempt to determine what we truly value and how all our relationships reflect this.
The July 7th Full Moon in Capricorn represents an evolution of these themes from the time of the previous New Moon, and with Mercury in Cancer now opposed to the Moon/Pluto midpoint, greater consciousness surrounding these ideas as well. The Sun and Moon at this time directly aspect Saturn, highlighting this somber energy of limitation along with its important life lessons. At this time also, Venus newly in Gemini aspects Pluto while Mars in Taurus squares the triple conjunction of Jupiter, Neptune and Chiron in Aquarius, bringing up and highlighting yet another powerful configuration of these spring and summer skies that has been with us for weeks now.
The July 21st Full Moon and Solar Eclipse takes place in the last degree of Cancer, and also make aspects to Jupiter, Neptune and Chiron — and to Pluto. This will again represent a potent and very energized time as we move forward with our activities in service to the greater collective. At this time the Jupiter, Neptune and Chiron triple conjunction is even closer to exact, and since aspected by the eclipse energy of this powerful New Moon even more greatly emphasized. The symbolism of this configuration reflects on one hand a total and unquestioned reliance on Spirit, and on the other the fear of failing to meet our highest expectations for ourselves. A descent into doubt can manifest at this time, but there is the potential for major healing as well. This spiritual archetypal combination has provided a more optimistic backdrop to the difficulties represented by the Saturn and Pluto archetypes, also prominent in these summer skies. We must also keep in mind the pending Saturn — Pluto dynamic aspect, which last occurred in the fall of 2001. This challenging connection between these two powerhouse planets perfects just as Saturn enters Libra in late October, forming a square. Judging from the intensity of this combination our societal difficulties will magnify toward the end of the year, beginning in the fall. Equally, so too will magnify the potential for redemption if we can face them unflinchingly and head on.
Transits to the U.S. Chart
In the previous month's column we had felt that during the time period of the previous New Moon that opposed Pluto there would be some factors that would come to light and that would powerfully affect the United States, since Pluto is currently transiting in square to the U. S. Midheaven. Here is a sample of the headlines from this period of time last month, just after the New Moon of the 22nd:
On Monday June 22nd, Court Declines to Hear Valerie Plame Lawsuit. This refers to the Supreme Court deciding to uphold the Bush administration's policy of keeping the lid on the outing of CIA agent Valerie Plame, which has been shown to implicate the former administration at the very highest levels, including the former Vice President and also key White House strategist Karl Rove. The leak to the press of Ms Plame's identity as an agent was a felony, and had a fairly sordid motive since it was done in retaliation for the denouncing of Bush by her husband, former ambassador Joseph Wilson. This is the scandal that goes back to the very outset of the Iraq war, and that simply will not go away, and rightly so, since the upholders of the law were the very ones who were breaking the law.
On Tuesday the 23rd we had: Insurance Companies: Public Health Option Would Be "Devastating" referring to the battle against single-payer health insurance, something that the American public has shown that it wants, but that would threaten the industry's profits.
Finally the biggest issue of all for the national image, the preliminary headline involving the Iraqi oil contracts:
The Iraqi government is preparing to sell off large oil contracts to foreign companies for the first time since nationalizing its oil industry in 1972. An auction for developing six national oil fields is scheduled for next week. Companies taking part in the bidding include Exxon Mobil, Royal Dutch Shell and Russia's Lukoil. The Wall Street Journal calls the auction "a welcome-back party for Big Oil."
This issue is still very much a breaking news story during the opening weeks of July, as the negotiations have begun in earnest for what the oil companies will eventually demand or have to settle for, and calls into question the motive for the invasion as the left has consistently maintained.
This will obviously become a developing story over the next six months, while Pluto continues to closely aspect U.S. Midheaven and while Neptune and Jupiter conjunct U.S. Moon degree, representing the public. These transits suggest that the image of the United States will suffer in the eyes of the world as a result of these maneuverings, that the public will take an optimistic and potentially high-minded approach, and that changes are in store for the way this country continues to do business.
In July these transits continue with little change, and are highlighted again by the lunations. The eclipses of July 7th and July 21st will once again be likely times for further developments in these important areas.
July 7th Full Moon
This powerful lunation brings the restrictions and difficult limitations of Saturn to the fore by trine and sextile, and with the Moon in mid-Capricorn opposing both the Sun and Mercury in Cancer, emphasizes Pluto in early Capricorn. In fact, the Moon/Pluto midpoint almost exactly opposes Mercury, meaning that throughout this month we will become more conscious of the deep changes being wrought in the very fabric of our lives as the transit of Pluto through Saturn's sign of Capricorn — representing the structure of society — continues to unfold. This Full Moon period of time also emphasizes the triple Aquarius conjunction of Jupiter, Neptune and Chiron, now only minutes of a degree apart from each other and squared by Mars in Taurus. Mars also exactly sextiles volatile Uranus at this time, bringing his trickster archetypal pattern into the mix of energies swirling around us now. Venus has entered Gemini and there makes a quincunx or inconjunct aspect to Pluto, completing the picture for dramatic change and the recognition of change that characterizes the entire month.
July 15th Last Quarter Moon
This is traditionally the time when we contemplate the successes and failures since the beginning of the lunation three weeks prior, with a thought for what we have learned and what we can try to do differently as we absorb the wisdom of experience and prepare for the next cycle. In this event, Jupiter, Neptune and Chiron are further emphasized since aspected by the Sun and also Mercury in conjunction as they are also sextiled by the Moon in Aries. This is just as Jupiter slips past Neptune backwards and moves closer to problematic Chiron, representing the painful places within us that we can choose to either accept or reject, together with the potential joys of integrating what is after all an essential part of our nature.
July 21st New Moon
This is another powerful lunation, the third in six weeks, taking place in the final degree of Cancer. The Jupiter, Neptune and Chiron triple conjunction in Aquarius is once again emphasized, since the eclipse degree aspects this spiritual configuration. Jupiter has by now drawn quite close to Chiron in this beginning point in time for the next four-week cycle, so that the archetype of the Wounded Healer is therefore emphasized for this entire mid-summer timeframe. Jupiter with Chiron brings up the wound of the mis-placed belief system, and is characteristic of our times, when we have to struggle to find new maps of Spirit to replace the ones that are outmoded and dying now, overburdened by the institutionalized and currently irrelevant philosophies of the past. The transition we as a society are entering into might have something to do with one world and one Spirit as opposed to the nationalistic tribal religions that have dominated thus far. Uranus in Pisces is also aspected by this New Moon degree, indicating that we must look to our own unique inner guidance for the pathway out of the maze of failed traditions that we are currently traversing.