FROM THE CANCER SOLSTICE TO THE LIBRA EQUINOX
Hello and welcome to my astrological thoughts for the new season, covering the period between the June Solstice and September Equinox 2008.
Cancer Solstice, the ‘Gate of Birth’: again, as by magic, the Sun appears to stand still, on this longest/shortest day/night on Earth, depending in which hemisphere you happen to be on June 21 2008.
Solstice Charts, cast for the times the Sun reaches its extreme declinations (zero degree Cancer-Capricorn), have been used since antiquity to fathom the destiny waiting to manifest itself in the following three to six months. As the Equinoxes are turning points, beginning new phases in our lives, so the Solstices are times of intensified activity and change, ideal for the ripening and success of projects initiated at the Equinox. These are also periods during which we may experience instead the failure of those enterprises to which we have not granted our best efforts in the previous months, or those which, we now realize, were never quite viable, and have seemed so only through the Equinox’ enthusiastic and impulsive mood.
In this Solstice Chart the Lights (Sun and Moon) are in close proximity to the two Planets which are considered most beneficial, the Sun to Venus and the Moon to Jupiter. This combination of energies promises general good will amongst people, with the desire to settle differences or, at least, to agree to disagree. Venus generates loving feelings, appreciation of one another qualities, all in all a refining influence, bringing the intuitive, nurturing qualities of the feminine to the fore. Jupiter inclines to generosity and forbearance, stimulating a more philosophical and open minded attitude, enhancing awareness not just through right ideas but also through right action (Earth Jupiter).
The conjunction Sun-Venus is greatly intensified and also tested by their opposition to Pluto, demanding that we take a serious look at our real motives and question our value system in fundamental ways. This could prove challenging in particular to the lives and close relationships of people born in early Cancer (Jun.21/23), Capricorn (Dec.22/24), Libra (Sep.23/26), Aries (Mar.21/23); and, to a lesser degree, Virgo (Aug.23/26), Taurus (Apr.19/23), Scorpio (Oct.23/26), Pisces (Feb.19/22).
The Pluto effect will last well into 2009, but this season could prove a particularly taxing time, due to the Solstice’s magnifying effect. Experiences of loss and separation are possible, though Plutonian crisis eventually bring their rewards, in the realization of how much more true to yourself you have become, and how much more profound and meaningful relationships you can now experience. The positive, life giving side of this transit could manifest as a surge of passion, a grand passion of sort: an event or relationship becoming the catalyst to a whole new sense of identity and life direction.
Pluto itself has actually retrograded into Sagittarius’ on June 14 and will hover on this cusp until November 26, returning for a while to either haunt or empower late period Sagittarius (Dec.19/21), Gemini (Jun.19/21), Virgo (Sep.20/22), Pisces (Mar.19/20). This is the last passage of a long lasting transit, a phase of your life near to its conclusion. Well deserved deliverance from the tight grip of Pluto is at hand, but some unfinished business will need attending to, before it can be safely over. The Lunar Eclipse in mid-August, in particular, and the period soon following, could trigger Pluto into action again, due to a difficult angle between Mars and Pluto, exact just on the day. Angry outbursts and even craving for retaliation may be the effect of this powerful transit, especially if resentments and old hurts haven’t been fully realized and honestly dealt with before.
Mars-Neptune is the other opposition in force around the Solstice, with the potential to unleash great creativity and imagination, perhaps helping to fulfil some big dreams, even on the world stage. At the same time there is a risk of breaking down all safety barriers, letting emotions and passions run wild, or to give in to escapism and fanciful, even delusional day-dreaming. This opposition could be compared to a Devil wish card in a Tarot spread, promising you your heart desire but, at the same time, giving you dire warning about its dangers: ‘take care of what you wish for, it might actually come true’! The aspect is made more powerful by the proximity of Mars to the Moon’s South Node, indicating that an important lesson can be learnt from an honest appraisal of the past, especially for some Leo (Aug.15/18), Aquarius (Feb.11/14), Taurus (May13/16), Scorpio (Nov.14/17).
At the same time Chiron, in wide opposition to Mars, is conjunct the Moon’s North Node, showing the collective drive to heal the past, in a spirit of reconciliation and friendship (Aquarius). Issues concerning healing of childhood and other psychological/physical illnesses will be more relevant to some Aquarius (Feb.6/8), Leo (Aug.5/7), Taurus (May3/6), Scorpio (Nov.5/9). Transit active until October-November 2008.
Moving through the Gate of Birth and Creation (Cancer), on June 21, we might celebrate by making a pledge to take good care of all life, natural habitats, human resources, children, friends, loved ones, talents, ideals; establishing a sense of real belonging, feeling part of an ever evolving history.
Interpreting Eclipses: reading the traditional interpretations of Eclipses handed down to us from the ancient sky watchers, a modern astrologer could not be blamed to feel that those phenomena are solely omens of troubled times ahead and cannot possibly bring any positive result. As usual the picture is a lot more complicated and also more promising. The difference between a run of the mill New Moon and a Sun Eclipse at New Moon, or between a common Full Moon and a Lunar Eclipse at Full Moon is of intensity rather than substance. Eclipses do not portend catastrophic occurrences; they indicate times of new beginning (as all New Moons) and of fruition, realization (as all Full Moons), but they are rather more intense in their effect. So intense, in fact, that, in some cases or for some individuals and countries, they may become difficult to handle constructively.
Both Charts cast for the August 2008 Eclipses are very polarized, with clusters of planets facing each others on opposing hemispheres. Aquarius, Leo, Taurus and Scorpio are the Signs most constellated by the Eclipses and therefore those which will feel more keenly the Eclipses’ effect.
At the time of the Leo Solar Eclipse, on August 1, Mars has moved into Virgo, reaching the opposition, this time, to Uranus, planet of breakthroughs and innovations. This is a potentially upsetting but also exciting transit, when we may feel tempted to implement social and personal reforms using force (Mars) rather than diplomacy and dialogue. Individualism (Uranus) may run rampant especially for some Pisces (Mar.8/12), Virgo (Sep.10/14), Gemini (Jun.8/12), Sagittarius (Dec.10/14). Try to weight carefully important decision making or you may rush into unwise or too radical ventures. This tendency will be felt not just during this period but for the rest of the year (Uranus’ retrogradation, Jun.27-Nov.27). Venus, on the other hand, has moved from Cancer (where she was conjunct the Sun at the Solstice) to Leo, reaching, around the time of the Solar Eclipse, the opposition to Neptune. The accent here is on dreams of a better life and longing for spiritual fulfilment, permeated with the desire to harmonize our love life, our family and friends’ affections, our personal values (Venus) with a more inclusive, compassionate and unconditional love of mankind and the Earth (Neptune). This is a very helpful contact for increasing our awareness of the beauty and ecological fragility of the planet we live on, and especially of its watery realms (Neptune). This transit will touch more some Aquarius (Feb.10/14), Leo (Aug.14/18), Taurus (May12/16), Scorpio (Nov.13/17), not just at the time of the Eclipse but until, at least, March 2009. This is a Total Eclipse, but its totality will be visible only in the northern regions of Canada, Russia, Mongolia and China, lands of the Midnight Sun. The path of the Moon’s penumbra will however be visible in many more places, including eastern North America, Europe and Asia.
The Partial Lunar Eclipse in Aquarius (Aug.16-17) confirms the Neptunian connection in grand style, with the eclipsed Moon conjunct Neptune and Chiron, all opposing the Leo Sun. The unawares could be swamped by an all pervasive emotional tide: unexplained tears, disquieting dreams, painful memories and unlived bits of life troubling an overwrought imagination. This can be an inchoate, chaotic force, ready to swallow reason and logic, but mainly when spiritual awareness is lacking. For the spiritually aware, emotionally/aesthetically sensitive individual the contact Moon-Neptune during an Eclipse can portend visions, the gift of artistic inspiration, true love and universal friendship. This eclipsed Full Moon could in fact become a powerful agent of spiritual growth for many. Group celebrations of the event, even on a massive scale, with music, plays, healing and all round loving, could help to spread its mystical aura, message of peace and good will.
The Eclipse will be visible from most countries in Europe and Africa, partially also from South America and Australia.
Saturn and Jupiter: Saturn is still active in the lives of many Virgo (Aug.26-Sep.7), Pisces (Feb.22-Mar.5), Gemini (May24-Jun.5), Sagittarius (Nov.25-Dec.5). If you are holidaying, don’t ‘try’ to feel guilty about having too much fun. Visit a museum or do something ‘serious’ like that, or you risk to spoil everyone’s mood. If working, lighten your load, you should have a life, after all!
To some Capricorn (Dec.24-Jan.5), Taurus (May2/10), Virgo (Sep.4/12), Cancer (Jul.4/12), Aries (Apr.2/9), Libra (Oct.5/13) Jupiter will give the rewards they’ve been waiting for, most likely toward the end of the season (Mid to late September). Keeping faith in your project is paying off.