The Astrology of July focuses on the powerful New Moon eclipse at the beginning of the month plus once again the important T-square of outer planets Saturn, Uranus and Pluto. The New Moon squares Saturn, now returned to direct motion after its June 12th station. Saturn thus emphasized is bringing its restrictive and yet constructive energy to the table of the changes promoted by Uranus-Pluto for one last monthly cycle before the T-square fades. The extreme polarization of our times – strongly symbolized by the Saturn leg of the T-square – is likely to continue through these summer months but will lessen markedly in September. Since in contrast the Uranus-Pluto square reaches the one-degree mark this month and stays close for the next several, we will gradually find that a more purely transformative thrust begins to take hold, fading slightly over the late fall and winter, to emerge in its greatest intensity yet by June of 2012. We therefore will see even further evidence than we have thus far of the massive transformation still to come begin to show itself over these climactic summer months. Does this mean that in the words that Bob Dylan famously penned nearly 50 years ago, the old guard will be forced to “get out of the [new road] if [they] can’t lend [their] hand,” that the times indeed are “a-changin’” ? Time will tell but it is certainly beginning to appear that some form of his prophetic vision will indeed once again be the case as was the case in the tumultuous decade of the sixties that this current one reflects.
The intense changes of our world will continue to manifest on a more personal level as well. The planetoid Chiron, termed in modern Western Astrology “the Wounded Healer,” is also strongly invoked by the Solar Eclipse of July 1st. The eclipse Sun and Moon trine it; Mars, Jupiter, Neptune and Pluto strongly aspect it, while Saturn and Mercury form a bi-quintile Yod to Chiron. Since an eclipse is good at bringing things to greater conscious awareness, we might expect that that hidden traumas of all kinds will become more apparent to us. So also will the knee-jerk reactions and dysfunctional behavior patterns that stem from such deep woundings, and our task when these dark places within us do surface is to remain in conscious contact with our emotions while putting at least a temporary hold on our reactivity. Only by accepting every part of our human inheritance at the deepest possible level are we able to love ourselves through the grief and rage inspired by early trauma and begin to move past it. The scary part of all this is what might come up for us during the first two weeks of this present month, but that is also our greatest blessing, since what comes to conscious attention at this time is ripe for healing and eventual integration.
As this monthly cycle unfolds and our awareness continues to grow, we are able to feel creative limitation evolve into a sense of our own empowerment, but it won’t be easy. The First Quarter Moon of Thursday, July 7th, conjuncts Saturn and strongly aspects Neptune in mystical Pisces. Then the next week can bring us to new levels of self-actualization as the Moon opposes Mars and conjuncts the recent lunar eclipse degree, followed by the Full Moon on the 14th. The Last Quarter Moon of Friday, July 22nd, adds to this process as the Sun and Moon respectively enter Leo and Taurus. The hard work consists in figuring out who we really are, including a strong dose of out-of-this-world spiritual component, and then in acting on this realization to form a better basis for security beyond ordinary superficial reliance on material gains or beliefs conditioned by consensus thinking. The stages of this powerful lunation cycle demand no less.
July 1st New Moon
The Solar Eclipse and New Moon in Cancer – taking place at the very beginning of the month of July – strongly aligns with the T-square of cardinal planet energies and thus continues the series of powerful New Moons that we have been seeing lately. This is perhaps the most powerful one yet in terms of its configuration with the three outer planets forming the T-square. Uranus squares Pluto in closer and closer aspect through July and the late summer, fading in autumn but picking up again in June 2012, while Saturn is disappearing from the scene after august but is strongly constellated during this mid-summer month of July. The New Moon degree is 9+ of Cancer, closely squaring Saturn as it opposes and squares the other two, and bringing the conservative empowerment of Saturn strongly into the picture for one more divisive month.
In personal terms this is also quite an exciting month. Pluto is a powerful transformative force and in combination with the other two is pure dynamite. Many of the personal planets also line up with Pluto in the configurations of this month and Jupiter gives it juice via a trine aspect. You will want to be asking yourself where Pluto in the early degrees of Capricorn falls in your chart. Obviously the Cardinal signs are the hardest hit, but it is somewhere everyone’s chart, and this reflects the fact that all of our lives are in deep metamorphosis over this summer period, a harbinger of even greater changes still to come by the summer of 2012. This implies radically changing circumstances for each one of us, and who can say that they do not need to grow and evolve past present stages? This is equally true for our society, which will be unrecognizable by 2020, and this is again all for the best. We echo the 70’s Blue Oyster Cult when they sing “Baby don’t fear the reaper.”
The Sabian Symbol of the eclipse degree reflects our situation: “A large diamond not completely cut.” We are in process, and we will stay that way until we reach home base, our diamond revealed. This is the far-distant future however, so that we’d better get real and start to enjoy the journeying itself, rather than focusing on a glimpse of the destination.
July 7th First Quarter Moon
A powerful First Quarter Moon is coming up, with connections to all the outer planets. This happens late on Thursday evening, July 7th, just before midnight on the West Coast, and so therefore affecting the morning of Friday July 8th even more strongly. The configuration is remarkable and follows the remarkable New Moon energy from the 1st, which of course was also a Solar Eclipse. The eclipse touched Saturn directly and also opposed Pluto in early Capricorn. This is therefore a very strong lunation cycle, when many things about our lives could radically alter, and when the polarization of these times that we are living through will become even more intense – if such is possible. The tension of polarization does ease considerably after this month. However, nothing can stop the dramatic life changes that are coming down on all of us, so that it is important to continue to keep alert to everything that is happening around you; and within you as well.
This first quarter is notable in that the Sun parallels both Venus and Mars. Venus is exactly Uranus, while Mars is Saturn, and to complete the emphasis on the cardinal T-square, Jupiter almost exactly trines Pluto, amping up the thrust toward transformation. The First Quarter Moon is further distinguished by the strong sesquiquadrate aspect that the Sun and the Moon make to Neptune in the first degree of Pisces. This means that the Sun and Moon, in with each other, have a midpoint that is exactly opposite Neptune. Known as a sesqui-yod, this somewhat difficult connection between these lights and the planet of mystical compassion focuses both conscious mental energy and less conscious emotional charge on the deeper and more mysterious realm of our inner world. We might expect a little more spaceyness on the part of those we come into contact with, and in ourselves, while the urge for compassionate union – and the feeling that we are all essentially one being – forms the backdrop of the potentially problematic connections that we experience. That Venus and Mars are also implicated in this configuration makes interactions with others significant – especially regarding members of the opposite sex.
Amongst the swirling forces of this powerful crossroad in time we might find the grace to rise above and to synthesize, for certainly that is one way to read the energetics. We also might find ourselves trapped in old patterns of dysfunctional interrelationship that have not always served us so well, and that continue to trip us up. We win as individuals and as representatives of the larger collective by applying greater awareness to whatever does come up; taking as our maxim that “to understand all is to forgive all.“ For whenever we can allow ourselves to see the bigger picture, the real truth of our situation, that truth shall indeed set us free.
July 14th Full Moon
The Capricorn Full Moon at the 23rd degree of that sign takes place late Thursday evening, early Friday morning, July 14th and 15th, at nearly midnight on the West Coast. It serves as culmination to the powerful lunation cycle that was begun on July 1st with the Solar Eclipse in the opposite sign of Cancer. Having been through the ringer over these past two weeks we reach for a new form of synthesis. We have been stuck in an unrealistic black and white mode of artificial contrast for far too long. Uranus is still in strong square to Pluto, and this movement toward a third way might take the form of rebirth, reinvigorating our connection to Spirit. This is essentially a return to the wisdom that we have known all along within the depths of our psyche, but have somehow forgotten to manifest as part of our everyday waking lives.
Since Neptune was an important part of the configurations of the first half of the month, and since Uranus and Pluto are powerfully invoked even now, at the mid-point, it is very fitting that the Full Moon takes place in Capricorn, the sign of Saturn’s rulership, completing the quartet of outer planet energies that are still so strongly with us now. Saturn too has been a big factor, initiating the T-square in Cardinal signs and bringing along the conservative empowerment that we have seen so strongly in recent seasons. This factor of limitation Ð or perhaps nay-saying doom and gloom Ð is fading from the T-square after this month, so that a more purely transformational thrust will carry us into the fall period and the climactic changes of the next several years.
This Capricorn Full Moon is also exactly quintile Uranus in Aries, as is also Mars in Gemini. This brings enlightenment and deep intuition onto the scene, as well as unexpected turnings of events. There is a good opportunity now to use this intuitional power wisely, to seek out the highest potential solution, and to avoid reactivity. We will need to be strong in mind and in heart to make this happen and to not succumb to the easy way out that is always available as a temptation. The Sabian Symbol for the Full Moon degree is, appropriately, “Two awards for bravery in war.“ This is what we carry with us, inside, and what we will have to actualize, both culturally and individually, in the coming weeks, months and years of our thorough-going transformation.
July 22nd Last Quarter Moon
With this Friday’s Last Quarter Moon we start to leave behind an intense Sun-Moon cycle – the one that began with the Solar Eclipse of July 1st in Cancer and squaring Saturn – and prepare for another very powerful lunation sequence that will come along by month’s end, and extend through most of August. It is interesting that we also now have the Sun in the first degree of Leo, with the Moon in square in the first degree of earth-oriented Taurus. Since Neptune also still currently resides in the first degree of its own sign of Pisces, the Sun and Moon are therefore in this configuration exhibiting strong aspects to Neptune, making its otherworldly energy very much part of this last week of the total cycle. This phase is in any case all about deep meditative reflection on what has been transpiring and what sense we can make of the events in our lives in a non-reactive way, as we move forward and prepare for the next lunation in the final weekend of the month.
Uranus and Pluto are still in a tight square with each other at this time as well, moving into closer and closer aspect as we approach the end of July. By the end of August, while still quite closely square, the intensity of this powerfully transformative aspect will begin to fade, becoming less pronounced over the fall and winter months before returning with even greater intensity in the spring of 2012. Since Neptune is part of the current configuration as well, there is an almost dream-like quality to what we are experiencing, even though surprising – and surprisingly enlightening – events continue to transpire. It’s a bit like going over a cliff in slow motion or on nitrous. In one way it just doesn’t seem to be real, or to matter as much as you would think. The important thing is not to lose perspective on what is happening, continuing to remain the serious and silently observing witness, even as some aspects of the life that you have come to expect continue to unravel. We can comfort ourselves with the perspective that as the universe guides us forward, it has our own very best interest in mind; however appearances might seem to be denying this simple and basic tenet of philosophical grounding.
The fundamental message of the Uranus-Pluto square is that we must let go, and keep on letting go, of whatever parts of ourselves no longer serve us, as we continue to transcend our present state of spiritual evolution.
July 30th New Moon
The New Moon in Leo taking place on Saturday, July 30th, has many interesting impacts within its configurations, and of course will be the marker for the ensuing month of August, when Mercury will also turn to retrograde motion. At the time of the New Moon, a slowing Mercury closely opposes Neptune, so that this is one of the fascinating features of this lunation. Mercury tinged with Neptune implies a mystical sense of other–dimensional reality, a reality that is typified by music and poetry, and that far transcends the mere left-brain logic that is embraced by the prevailing culture of our times. Opening to the mystical is in part what this dawning age is all about, an age of enlightenment that will be ushered in by this turbulent decade that is now only just getting started.
The Sun and Moon are also almost exactly square optimistic Jupiter, another indication of a softer and gentler flow of events. But there is also the Uranus–Pluto square, still extremely potent, and triggered as well by this New Moon. Whether we are ready or not, Uranus and Pluto are forcing us into the birth canal of change, and so we might as well be ready. This hits those with Cardinal signs particularly hard; that is Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn. So if you know any of these Cardinal Sign types, be especially nice to them over the next couple of months – and if you are one, be nice to yourself!
With Mercury retrograding through Leo over what is basically the entire cycle of this next lunation, it will be a thoughtful time of gathering information regarding where exactly we are at in this summer of change. With the outer planets all stimulated, where we are currently headed is literally out of this world. The times are indeed a’changing and us along with them, and high time that we do so. We will need this strong dose of otherworldly attitude to get us through to the other side.