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

January 2019: Earth Matters

Majestic Capricorn Sea Goat

The New Year starts with a bang as Mars enters Aries just hours before midnight on December 31, 2018. It’s fitting that the ruler of the initiating sign of the zodiac returns home as the Gregorian calendar begins anew, but the red planet’s energy may give the night a bit of an edge. Recklessness could have higher consequences than usual so stay safe, and try to keep the partying light because hangovers, both the emotional and physical kind, will be heightened due to the Sun moving into a conjunction with Saturn. One fun low-key activity is to have a tarot party, with friends or by yourself, and do a year ahead tarot reading. Here’s an accessible spread I created for 2019:

YEAR AHEAD TAROT SPREAD:

Shuffle the deck thoroughly, holding all your questions and hopes for the New Year in your mind. Lay out 13 cards with 1 in the middle (the first), and the rest encircling. The 1 card represents You, where you are right now. The 2 card is January (Capricorn), the 3 is February (Aquarius), 4 is March (Aries), and so on. Once you have laid them all out, you will have a circle of 12 cards (the months/signs of the year) with You (or the querent) in the middle. Meditate on each month individually, but also look at the cards in groups of 3s by season. What does Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall look like? What are the elemental themes contained within? Use the numerology to get a sense of the overall pattern of the year: aces are beginnings, 3s abundance, 7s challenge, 10s culmination. Are there big shifts as indicated by major arcana cards? All years contain periods of growth and contraction. Don’t get too hung up on if any specific month looks good or bad, but notice whether change is happening internally or externally and when. The true purpose of divination is to help us greet the future with acceptance and grace.

If you need help seeing the big picture and synthesizing the overall meaning, pull 2 more cards and place them on the left and right of the 1. The 14 card on the left is what you’re learning, and the 15 card on the right is where you’re going in 2019. Sit for a while and ask the universe to help you align yourself with the divine flow of energy as it moves through your life. Let me know if you use the spread and how you like it, and tag me if you post a pic on IG (@lauracampagna.astrology).

The Sun moves into a conjunction with Saturn on January 2, 2019. This is a serious and somber note that signals a definitive end to the frivolity of the holiday season with a back-to-work role call. If the duties you’re returning to feel heavy, try not to be daunted by all that was left undone. This is an excellent day to make a list, get clear on priorities, and get down to business. The Sun in Capricorn wants to build, and Saturn is the metal used to fortify the structure. On January 4 (my birthday!) the Sun will sextile Neptune in Pisces, reminding us that we are more than what we do. Our dreams and ideals must be part of the project for it to create anything good. Use the drive of the goat to climb the mountain you envision, but take time to rest and appreciate each unique vista on your way up. Capricorn has a tendency to sacrifice the present for the future by putting their head down and barreling through, but in doing so they miss the sacred beauty of the mundane. The way we do anything is the way we do everything so let the fantastical waters of Neptune provide some lubrication for you to stay flexible enough to be present when Saturn starts putting the pressure on you.

Mercury in Sagittarius is trining Uranus in Aries on January 4, so your thoughts and speech may feel more amped up. Try to reign it in if you you become a bit bombastic, but let yourself be inspired. There’s lightening hitting the water, so pay attention to what images dance across the screen. You’ll start to feel more grounded by late evening when Mercury enters Capricorn. This should feel like a definitive, and perhaps welcome shift. Mercury’s been in Sagittarius, the sign of their detriment, since Halloween, and went retrograde there, so it’s been several months of scattered minds and lost details. With Mercury in Capricorn it should feel easier to focus, though with a square from Mars in Aries, you may still have a little edge to your tone.

The Capricorn New Moon partial solar eclipse on January 5, initiates us into a new eclipse cycle along the Cancer-Capricorn axis that will last for the next year-and-a-half and highlight themes of family/community and work/creativity. Capricorn gets a bad rap as the workaholic of the zodiac, and while I’m not trying to argue the validity of that point (ahem, me), it’s important we recognize that all cardinal signs initiate. The drive of Cancer is towards belonging and the drive of Capricorn is for building, but both want safety and security and both are compelled by a deep sense of duty and loyalty. The difference is the Moon is endlessly changing, and Saturn is eternally constant. This New Moon is wedged between Saturn and Pluto so there’s a depth and intensity emerging from the earth. What tremors of change are being felt in your body? The first lunation of the new year is asking what do you want to make with yourself in 2019? You’ll have several weeks for the Sun to grow this intention so be judicious with your time at the beginning of January (sorry, my Capricorn Sun made me say that).

Power and change are in the air during the second week of the month as Uranus stations direct at 28 degrees Aries on January 6. He turned retrograde in Taurus on August 7 and will return back on March 6. Because he moves so slow, the next three months are the last we’ll see/feel of Uranus in Aries in our lifetime. It’ll be interesting to watch if the themes of radical self-expression and democracy re-emerge this Winter (Uranus in Aries is credited with bringing us selfies and Occupy Wall Street).

It seems hard to believe, but Venus will finally leave Scorpio, where she’s been since September 9, and enter Sagittarius on January 7. That was a long swim across some challenging waters. It may have felt like you weren’t going to make it, and hopefully you didn’t try to hold your breath for too long. Take a moment to appreciate the stamina and fortitude you developed, whether you wanted to or not. Venus in Sagittarius will have a different tempo and vibe, and bring us some blessed unions with Jupiter towards the end of the month.

The Sun conjuncts Pluto on January 11, giving you a sense of personal power and the resources you have to draw from. It may also give you a peek into what’s bringing you down. All the moves the Sun is making in Capricorn, Mercury follows suit, so you may get more understanding when Mercury conjuncts Pluto on January 18. This is an excellent day to take action because Venus is trining Mars and the Sun is squaring Uranus. Passions will run high, desires will come on strong, and it’ll be easy to let impulse get the better of you. Be bold and daring in love, but be considerate and thoughtful in communication.

The Sun enters Aquarius on January 20, cooling down the mind and bringing a sense of innovation to our tasks. If Capricorn wants to build a solid fortress and secure the perimeter, Aquarius wants to know who and what are on the other side. Aquarius cares about the all of humanity, not just the self. The debate around the US/Mexico border is a manifestation of Saturn in Capricorn; the authorities want to decide who is in and who is out, but as someone who taught a class on US/Mexico border studies for three years at Prescott College in Arizona, and brought students to the border to meet with people on all sides of the issue, I can assure you there is already a wall—I have seen and touched it—it cost billions of dollars to construct and it a completely ineffective barrier to immigration. Border Patrol refers to it as a “speed bump” because most people with a ladder can scale it in under two minutes (you can read my student’s accounts of the course here). We may hear more from members of the migrant caravan seeking asylum while the Sun is in Aquarius. Many people are fleeing their home countries in Latin America due to the devastating effects of US foreign policy, and since Aquarius is about changing the structure to accommodate the greater whole, there may be a reckoning with the past that bring a change for the future.

On a personal level, the Sun in Aquarius may feel like a revisiting of themes from the summer when Mars was retrograde there. Hopefully, you’ll be able to see how far you’ve come since then. Matters of the heart may feel cloudy on January 20, when Venus is in a trine to Neptune. The best policy for Neptune transits is, when in doubt, ride it out. Venus is moving into a conjunction with Jupiter over the next two days, so things may be feeling groovy. Allow yourself to indulge in imagination but don’t get carried away in fantasy.

The Leo Full Moon total lunar eclipse on January 21, may also feel like a blast from the past, specifically August. There’s a grand fire trine going on between the Moon in Leo, Venus and Jupiter in Sagittarius, and Mars in Aries, making this a firecracker of a night. You’ll feel it strongly the night before (Jan 20) and the night of. Take advantage by planning exciting dates or letting yourself get out and show up for anything calling to you, but be sure there’ll be no negative consequences in the morning because Mars is also in a square to Saturn.

If there are any disruptions, it should feel easy to reconnect when Venus conjuncts Jupiter on January 22. This is a rare and blessed day when love and prosperity are amplified. Allow yourself to focus on the good, and seek to maximize it in all your affairs. While this is a particularly lucky day for Sagittarius folks, all of us get to benefit. If you have the choice about when to schedule an event, discussion, or big meeting, that is the day when things are most likely to go in your favor. Mars will trine Jupiter on January 25, so the good vibes should continue for the remainder of the week.

Mercury enters Aquarius on January 24, and moves into a conjunction with the Sun that will perfect on January 29. The last week of January may find you feeling inspired and clear about your next steps. Let the Saturn sextile with Neptune on January 31, dissolve any impediments that have been in your way. Allow the fresh air of Mercury in Aquarius blow away any stagnancy in your mind. We don’t have to completely do away with the old in order to make room for the new. Aquarius will help you make it better, whatever that is.