July 2019: Love’s Liberation

The month enters with a bang as Mars (finally) exits the emo waters of Cancer, where he’s been floundering since May 15, for the blazing sky of Leo on July 1. It was a tough 6 weeks with Mars in the sign of his detriment opposing Saturn, Pluto, and Ketu in Capricorn. Mars rules our will, so we’ve all had less motivation than usual, making many of the obstacles we’ve encountered seem insurmountable. Mars will quickly dry out in the hot fixed fire sign, and our desire to be seen and recognized will increase. 

It’s a blessing that Mars leaves when he does, because the Cancer New Moon total solar eclipse happens on July 2. This lunation is a powerful beginning in the sign of family, home, heart, and ancestry. Although the Moon stands solely with the Sun and Rahu (lunar North Node) in Cancer, it opposes Saturn, Pluto and Ketu (lunar South Node) in Capricorn. Saturn entered Capricorn on December 19, 2017, and will not depart until December 17, 2020. Things were always going to be challenging with the great malefic in his wintery home sign, moving into a conjunction with the God of Death, but just to make sure we didn’t miss the message, this year we began an eclipse cycle along the Capricorn-Cancer axis. The tension is between opening to love in our hearts and allowing the crumbling structures that no longer serve us to go. The good news is that love wins, but not without feeling the pain of expanding past the scar tissue.

Venus enters Cancer on July 3, to help us grow whatever intentions we set the night before. She’ll be in the lunar sign of the Great Mother until July 27, and will help us to parse out the blocks the Capricorn pressure is bringing into focus. Deep healing is one of Cancer’s magical qualities. Bring your wounds to the ocean and you’ll emerge stinging but with cuts cleansed, the cure absorbed into your cells through osmosis, and a little more buoyant from the salt. In coming to know the meaning of the trouble in our hearts we’re going to be liberated from it.

It is not a coincidence that Saturn conjoins Ketu on July 4, the anniversary of the founding of the nation state we call America. The planetary signature is about reckoning with the past, and we are in a crucial moment of horror with history repeating itself. The separation of families at the US-Mexico border and the detainment of children in conditions of torture where they are being emotionally, mentally, physically, and sexually abused all echoes of past atrocities. To illustrate this point, some of the detention centers have been re-purposed many times over, such as Fort Sill in Oklahoma where Apache people, including women, children, and freedom fighter Geronimo, were imprisoned in 1860s-70s during the American Indian Wars. It was later used as a Japanese internment camp during World War II, and adults who were imprisoned there as children have been leading protests. Every solar return is a renewal. The USA is a Cancer Sun, Sagittarius rising, and Aquarius Moon. It is interesting to note that Venus was also in Cancer at the time of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. The eclipse cycle in Cancer and Capricorn is an increase on the side of family and love, what we are growing towards, and a decrease on the side of patriarchal authority, what we’re moving away from. That will look different for everyone inter-personally, but on a collective level, we’re being called into a privileging of human rights, the rights of all people to live in safety and dignity, above the laws of a nation. This land was seized through violent means and those in power still seek to maintain our boundaries this way. The moral crisis we’re facing on the birthday of the USA is asking us to actively determine what kind of nation we will be. This astrology is nothing less than a question about the heart of the people who reside in this country. (Note: I am donating a portion of all appointments booked this week to Puente Human Rights Movement in Phoenix, AZ, and Mijente national network to support their important work protecting the rights of immigrants).

Things get a bit more complicated on July 7 when Mercury stations retrograde at 4 degrees Leo conjunct Mars and in a square to Uranus. Mercury and Mars together in a fire sign means that our mind and speech are already going to be a little hot under the collar, but add in the extra confusion and frustration of a retrograde and the unpredictability of Uranus, and we’re going to need to practice patience for the next three weeks. Mercury will be retrograde until July 31, and this cycle will straddle the first two signs of Summer because they move back into Cancer on July 19, adding extra emphasis to the already intense eclipse season. Mercury entered their retrograde shadow, 23 Cancer, around the Summer Solstice on June 21, and on July 21, they will co-join with the Sun at 28 Cancer, beginning a new cycle. Many of the topics and themes we grappled with during mid-late June will be present once again. Retrogrades invite the subconscious to speak; more will be revealed on an awareness level. Nothing is more vast and unknowable than the ocean so don’t be surprised if the old or unfathomable washes up on your shores.  

This is the year for Mercury retrogrades in water signs, letting us know that growth around emotional truth and intelligence have a special importance in 2019. The next one will be in Scorpio on Halloween (insert terror emoji here). Summer is often a time for home repair and major projects, but as always, try to avoid making big purchases (especially appliances) or signing contracts during the retrograde. If you travel, expect a reasonable amount of “hilarious” snafus–maybe buy that insurance they’re always trying to push, though I never do. Mercury will not clear their retrograde shadow until August 15, so we can expect to be fully done with the mayhem by the time Virgo season begins.   

The week of July 8 will test us as the Sun moves into an opposition with Saturn, Pluto, and Ketu in Capricorn. You may encounter restrictions or limitations that feel unfair. Conflicts in relationships could lead to a sense of isolation or being misunderstood. Saturn’s signature move is to cause us to blame others for our problems. Projection is not just possible but probable, but with Pluto in the mix, dynamics that you previously ignored or hid from are being revealed to you. Whatever crap other people are pulling, and pull they will, it’s our reactions to them that matter. Pluto is showing where you give your power away, and Saturn illuminates what you lose when you stay stuck in these grooves. Saturn and Pluto will not conjoin completely until January 12, 2020, but all of 2019 can be seen as a lead up to that moment. They’re dancing so close all year. All of this emptying out is preparation for a new 200 year air cycle that will begin when Saturn and Jupiter meet on the Winter Solstice December 21, 2020. Until then we are undergoing a deep release that is a painful but necessary preparation.  

This challenging and purgative energy is building up to the Capricorn Full Moon partial lunar eclipse on July 16. Eclipses are portals. They create energetic containers that hold the space for 6 months. The stage for this moment was set at the new year. The Sun conjunct Saturn in Capricorn on January 2, indicating 2019 was about hard work, discipline, and confronting messiness. Saturn doesn’t like sloppy and we all have some places we could tidy up. This eclipse cycle was kicked off at the Capricorn New Moon partial solar eclipse on January 5. If you’re familiar with your chart, you know what area of your life is getting werked. Half a year later, you get to stand in this place of fullness and consider where you are now. What change were you called into making? Have you fulfilled the intentions you set? Congratulate yourself for all you’ve accomplished, and think about where you can let go. Saturn isn’t great at encouraging gentleness, but with the Moon in Capricorn, we know that’s what we need.   

Venus will be opposing the Capricorn crew from July 17-21, making this a tender and trying time. At the end of Cancer season we return to the wisdom of the Moon: how do we nurture, comfort, and care for ourselves; what makes us feel secure, how do we navigate safety in a chaotic world; what are our family values; how do we protect the sacred? The universe is relentlessly driving home these lessons because they are of utmost importance for our spiritual development. Do not fear if this month brings feelings of depression, rather, let the weight of whatever is moving through you be an invitation to listen closely to your emotional landscape. It has a lot to tell us right now.

The pressure begins to ease when the Sun enters Leo on July 22. The Sun is at home in Leo. This is where Apollo reigns supreme in full power and strength. Let yourself shine because things are going to improve for the rest of the Summer. Mercury conjoins with Venus on July 24, in a sweet meeting, and Mars will trine Jupiter on July 25, giving us a boost in self-confidence and drive. On July 27, Venus will enter Leo, and we’ll feel a renewed passion and excitement for romance and creativity. 

The second New Moon of the month happens at the very end, on July 31, at 8 degrees Leo, present with Venus and Mars, in a grand fire trine with Jupiter in Sagittarius and Chiron in Aries, and square Uranus in Taurus. Mercury will also station direct on that day. After all the difficulty of the month, this is an exciting new beginning that you won’t be able miss. You’ve survived the worst astrology of the year so give yourself a hand. After all you’ve been through you’ll have a clearer sense of who you are and what you want. Now is the time to go for it. The Summer has two distinct flavors, and the second is much more pleasurable so save the best for last. Let the fun and play begin!

We the People: Shepard Fairey

May 2019: Spring Rites


Herne The Hunter: Sally Fryer

The month opens with the joyous pagan fire and fertility festival of Beltane on May 1, celebrating high Spring, around 15 degrees Taurus. We’re halfway to Summer, shoots are sprouting up from the ground, and light is filling the land. Traditionally, Beltane is when animals were let back out to pasture. From the Old Gaelic meaning “blazing fire,” great bonfires were lit on April 30, May Eve, and burned all through the night. Cattle were hearded from one fire to another for purification and to increase fertility. People jumped the flames or ran between them for the same reasons. This was the 2nd most important holiday in the Celtic world after Samhain (Halloween). Both are cross-quarter days of power; the mid-point of Taurus and Scorpio.

Samhain is the time when the veil between the living and the dead is the thinnest, and the Welsh believed that on May 1, a doorway opened into faeryland. This is a time of heightened magic when it’s easier to visit the Sister Realm (where the faeries live). This holiday celebrates the marriage between the Goddess and the Green Man. The Green Man, also called the Horned God, is the divine masculine manifestation of Mother Nature/Gaia. He is protector of the forest and its beasts. He loves the land, lives in harmony with its rhythms, and plays a central role in the continuation of life on the planet. When the Goddess and the Green Man come together all the creatures on earth rejoice. Beltane rituals celebrated the May Queen, the Goddess in her fertility phase. Dancing around the Maypole, which represents the virility of the Green God, is a practice that has survived into modern times. On May Day, we join together with what we love to create new things. It is time to celebrate transformation through sexuality and a day to make merry.

A RITUAL TO JOIN YOURSELF WITH WHAT YOU DESIRE:

What you’re seeking is also seeking you. This is never more true than during Beltane. Taurus season is about resources. Prudent use of the Goddess’ abundance pleases her. Everything we need already exists on earth. The Goddess creates it all; we’re simply agents of transformation. Seek to align yourself with what you desire using this simple Beltane ritual.

Imagine what you want to join with. It can be something tangible, like a new job, or a quality, like unconditional love. Take three ribbons, pieces of yarn, or branches from a pliable tree. Weave them together, imagining you are one string, the quality is the other, and the Divine is the last. You can recite to yourself as you do this, I join myself with XXXX. Imagine the Divine weaving you all together in an inseparable mix. When you’re done, hang the braid outside on a tree or shrub and let the wind carry away your want. Don’t wonder when the thing will manifest. Trust that the Divine is handling it all.

Many personal planets are moving through Aries and Taurus in May, squaring and trining the retrograde heavyweights Saturn, Pluto, and Ketu (the South Node) in Capricorn. These transits draw your awareness into where you need to let go in order to move forward with what you’ve been building in the Capricorn realm of life. It all starts with the one closest to the Sun, Mercury, who rules our mental habits. The God of Communication determines what and how we perceive, observe, learn, and move through life. On May 1, Mercury sextiles Mars and squares Saturn, and, on May 2, Mercury squares Pluto and trines Jupiter. Saturn and Pluto are throwing up some mental blocks, but Jupiter will help us find creative work arounds.

Pluto stationed retrograde on April 24, on the 23 degree of Capricorn (look to see if you have any planets there or on that same degree in cardinal signs). Pluto transits are times of truth. It becomes impossible not to be honest with oneself when the God of the Underworld comes to call. Saturn stationed retrograde on April 29, on the 20 degree of Capricorn conjunct Ketu for a delicious little karmic sandwich. Ketu represents the energetic resonance of past lives; the patterns we formed that no longer serve us today. The adaptive strategies that helped but now hinder so we must learn to live without them. As I wrote in my Plutonian Power post on Patreon, Pluto has been moving through Capricorn since November 26, 2008, and will be there until January 20, 2024. Saturn moved into his home earth sign of Capricorn on December 19, 2017, and will remain until December 17, 2020. Saturn transits mature us. Grow us up. Anywhere you’re shirking responsibility, Saturn will make you feel the consequences of those actions. Saturn will be retrograde for the next five months, until September 18. The karmic past is very present right now. Many of us are going through it, and it’s a lot to digest. Mercury will help wrap our minds around it, and the trine from Jupiter will give us faith we can get through it. 

Dark Moons are reflective times of quiet energy, but the Taurus New Moon on May 4, is electric due to its proximity with Uranus. We’re initiating a new cycle in the Taurus area of our lives and Uranus wants it to be revolutionary. The Full Moon in Taurus on October 24, 2018, was conjunct Uranus. What was going on for you then? What is up now? Uranus has come to shake us out of our unconscious habitual patterns around food, money, sex, pleasure, love, production, capitalism, and security. No big deal. This is the first New Moon of its kind, but for the next 7 years, no lunation in Taurus will be like any we’ve known. The seeds you plant during this time are radioactive. They may grow into things you never imagined possible. Take a long view with your intention setting and leave lots of room for Divine play.

On May 5, Mars in Gemini will oppose Jupiter in Sagittarius. This is a great day to take on a challenge. You may feel called to prove yourself and you’ll have the resources to come through. This can be a lucky day, but its not dumb luck. Be smart in your dealings, and don’t go to every battle your invited to (unless it’s the Battle of the Bastards). If desire overwhelms you, that may be a sign to take a step back and consider what you’re hungry for vs. what you’re really seeking? Often when focus on people or things when we really want an experience or feeling. Satisfaction will be found at the essence of the matter, not the simulation. Anything you do that increases self-esteem will multiply so play to win by playing nice (you can have boundaries and be nice, but you can’t have boundaries and put yourself last).

The fire in the sky starts to decrease when Mercury enters Taurus on May 6, moving towards a conjunction with Uranus on May 8. The amount of planets in earth signs creates a grounded and plodding feeling, but Uranus keeps it interesting. Mercury has just been reminded of the rules by the Capricorn gang. Uranus says, Good for them, and blows it all up with dynamite. You may feel overstimulated during this time and experience a heightened sense of intuition. Breakthroughs are possible at work, but avoid jumping to conclusions. Test results twice before presenting them to anyone. If possible, move your body to release the extra stimulation on the nervous system and go easy on the caffeine.

Venus is busy the week of May 6 as she squares Ketu, Saturn, and Pluto. This is the same rocky terrain Mercury has just crossed, but now our heart is involved. Our feelings are already in a tough spot because Venus is in her detriment in the fire sign Aries. There may be an edge to relationships right now, especially romantic partnership. Anger is closer to the surface than usual. It is advisable to cultivate patience. You can use this energy to assist with honesty, but don’t let the ego to crowd out love. Our hearts become hurt when we allow arguments to become the central method of communication. Give your feelings an outlet, and then share your thoughts with the person involved. During the week of May 6, we may experience some loss or confront serious issues, but it will be for our greatest good because Venus will make a fire trine to Jupiter on May 9. This is one of the best transits possible, and would be one of the best days of the year, if not for the restricting influences. Nevertheless, there will be unexpected boons and boosts of hope. Enjoy the feeling of the wind blowing in your favor.

The weekend of May 10 is a great time to get things done, as the Sun trines Ketu, Saturn, and then Pluto on May 13. You’ll feel called to bring yourself closer to your goals by taking tangible steps. The Sun is getting intel on Saturn and Pluto’s retrogrades, so this could mean letting something go or revising a past decision. It will be easier to discipline yourself so if there’s something you don’t want to do, wait till Saturn’s Day on May 11, and he will help you get ‘er done. The trine to Pluto may raise questions about inner motivation and what’s fueling your work. You’ll get great satisfaction from the transformation that’s occurring.  

Mars gets a sextile from Venus on his way out of Gemini on May 14, and enters Cancer on May 15. Mars doesn’t enjoy being in the sign of the ever changing Moon. Cancer is moody, fickle, and emo af. Mars likes to start a fight but doesn’t want to watch your tears fall. Over the next six weeks, you’re desire may feel stymied. People will act more defensive and overprotective, and be inclined towards passive-aggressive behavior. Our task is to show up with compassion for the emotional work that presents itself and tap out when you need. Mars will be in Cancer until July 1, and is conjunct with Rahu (the North Node) and Mercury at the Solstice on June 21, lending an edge to the start of Summer. This isn’t as bad as last Summer when Mars was retrograde in Aquarius the entire time, but from May 15-July 1, it’ll be easier to get your feelings hurt. Keep the focus on yourself and trust that this too shall pass.

The good news is that Venus will enter Taurus, her domain of earthly delights, on May 15, giving us a feeling of abundance and prosperity. Everyone is happy when mama is happy, and Venus will be in Taurus until June 8. This will help offset some of the Mars in Cancer crankiness and give us a feeling of support as we go through it The weekend of May 18 has an electrifying buzz because Venus will make a conjunction with Uranus at the Scorpio Full Moon. Wowza. Talk about Big Witch energy. This is a day where anything can happen in the areas of love and money. Have fun with it and let yourself feel free.

This energy is a follow up to the Scorpio New Moon of November 7, 2018, when Jupiter was taking his final lap through the dark waters, and a retrograde Venus ruled from Libra. Jupiter in Scorpio brought to light painful enshrouded secrets, and gave birth to the Me Too movement. For the next 7 years, Uranus will be opposing Scorpio. We will not be allowed to forget, nor will we be allowed to conduct business as usual. Whatever arose for you last fall may show itself again in a new form. People with planets in fixed signs (Aquarius, Leo, Scorpio, and Taurus) will be feeling this the most.

The Sun and Mercury engage in parallel play as they move into Gemini together on May 21, and form a perfect conjunction that morning. The double-bodied sign of the twins is social, inquisitive, and chatty. The Sun and Mercury meeting here is a nice reset that will blow away the old and stagnant, and bring in some fresh air for the end of Spring. You may feel inspired to change things up. Mercury is moving fast and will only stay in their home sign until June 4, when they enter Cancer. Make the most of this quickening energy that may feel like a flash of inspiration across your eyes or a hundred galloping horses in your brain. Gemini season is about dispersing so scatter your seeds far and wide and enjoying the rise to Summer.