We are halfway through the year, just past the solstice, in between eclipses, and there is suddenly a breath. A lot of the furious accomplishing of June has been accomplished or is at a still point before the next phase of the project begins. We find ourselves only midway up the stairs we have to ascend this year, but at a landing where we may pause and orient towards the work accomplished and that still to come.
I want to try something new and do a check-in with each planet, to capture their stories and trajectory for the year. Please let me know if you like this form and would appreciate more writing like it in the future.
It may be helpful to pay closer attention to certain planets or luminaries - one’s that rule your chart, sun or moon, are annularly profected (ruler of the year) or are activated by other timing techniques.
The moon changes signs every 2-3 days, so is often dismissed as holding sway, but there are several other ways of looking at her and the stories she offers. Not only is she our closest companion, but she is also our inner narrator and rules the tone of our memories, and the significance of how we give our emotions, so she holds a lot of sway with regards to how we feel about how our lives are going.
The astrological nodes are in fact the Moon’s nodes -- the points where her orbit crosses the sun’s -- and these nodes are linked to eclipses. Whenever a new or full moon occurs within 12 degrees on either side of a node, we have a partial eclipse. The nodes are currently at 17 degrees of Cancer/Capricorn and yesterday saw a total solar (though not visible in the US) at 10 degrees of Cancer. The next lunation will be a partial lunar eclipse at 24 degrees Cancer/Capricorn during the Capricorn full moon on July 17th.
Eclipses are tricky things to interpret -- because they can signal huge pivotal shifts, or pass by without a blip. Eclipse season always feels exquisitely vulnerable to me -- it is a kind of, “all bets are off” time personally. Spiritual self-care is key, paying special attention to dreams that come through at this time, the time and quality of my social interactions, and being extra careful with the situations around my body or the substances entering my body/psyche.
Solar eclipses are kind of super-charged new beginnings, and they take six months to show all their cards and to culminate in all they portend. Additionally, ones that occur on the south node signal things that need to be purged or emptied, while north node eclipses call to be filled with new material. Notice all you have sorted through since the south node solar eclipse that took place on January 5th - anything that still needs to go should be dealt with in the weeks before the next eclipse on July 17. Yesterday’s solar eclipse on the north node calls for more Cancer (tenderness, intimacy, family, silliness) and will culminate on lunar eclipse happening on Christmas.
Additionally, the eclipses are further emphasized because they are happening in Cancer, during Cancer season, all very lunar. Be patient if people seem extra-emotional, be patient with yourself too.
Feel the feels, but also take good notes so later you can find patterns and stories in this complicated gift of your life.
The sun entered Cancer on the solstice and will remain in the moon’s sign until July 23, making this Cancer season. This is a fertile time where the sun, representing our self-actualization, is in the primordial waters of Cancer, from which life comes in their complicated and intricate family bonds. Creative and nurturing urges abound, channel them consciously to avoid accidental conceptions.
The sun is the other party involved in eclipses, and being swallowed by the moon signifies a triumph of soul over spirit -- direction may be chosen for us rather than by us, but by a deeper and wiser part of us that knows what we need in this life, rather than just what we think we want. When the sun returns to Leo, the sign of its rulership, we may be able to integrate these changes into our ego in more empowering ways.
When the sun conjoins Mercury on July 21, the changes may become clear and the path revealed.
Mercury has been dancing with Mars, first in Cancer and now in Leo. If the foot-in-mouth disease has been getting you down from either direction, you can pin it on this one.
Mercury will station retrograde this weekend on July 7 at 4 degrees Leo, and spend much of July retracing steps to 23 Cancer, just a hair away from July 17’s eclipse, meaning that our understanding and processing of whatever that eclipse signifies may take a few extra weeks to untangle.
Mercury retrogrades offer built-in break-the-pattern and reflect times, making the shifts of this eclipse season especially potent. If you feel lost, words (in the form of journaling, conversation, or expository Instagram captions) may serve as helpful breadcrumbs to come back to and make sense once the dust settles.
Mercury is in the second of three retrogrades in water signs for this year, changing the tenor of emotions and how we let them affect our thinking and communication patterns. February’s Neptunian fugue stunned us with collective grief, confusion, and visions of what could be. This current one may seek to balance personal expression with how you communicate with your intimate circle.
Venus enters Cancer today, pulling us closer and adding a sense of value to “family time.” Her time here is fraught with challenges from Capricorn, which Mercury and Mars dealt with in June. This means that for a few weeks while she is more sensitive in Cancer, Venus will have to oppose Saturn (July 16), the South Node (July 17), and Pluto (July 20), fierce challenges to Venusian feels.
Venus will enter Leo on July 28th, ready to drape herself in jewels and celebrate the part of summer not plagued by Capricornian sinister woes. From here on she’s chasing her lover (Mars) towards their conjunction at 4 Virgo on August 24th.
Mars finally cleared the last degrees of Cancer yesterday (July 2) and we can set our sights and move forward directly after weeks of Cancerian side-stepping. However, once he dries off in the savannahs of Leo, he must connect with the heart center or he will inflate with bombastic bravado. This may come to a peak when he trines Jupiter in Sagittarius on July 24th.
Also he is poised to start a new cycle when he conjoins the Sun in Virgo on September 2nd. These final weeks close his cycle which began almost two years ago at 4 degrees Leo on July 26 2017.
Jupiter spends nearly this entire year in his home sign of Sagittarius, and though retrograde since April, is still a cheery spot against the dark backdrop of Capricorn. Coming Leo season will see all the personal planets trine his buoyancy.
In June he completed the second of three squares to Neptune, an aspect which generates dreams and fantasies big enough and deep enough to take into his time in disciplined Capricorn, which will begin in December.
Saturn is still in Capricorn, lumbering back and forth over the south node, forcing us to clear the past or become dominated by a host of hungry ghosts. Deal proactively with the ancestors, whether they be family expectations, unconscious demands, or business without connection to deep purpose. Saturn shows where discipline and hardwork are needed, though after 18 months in Capricorn it’s probably obvious by now.
Is plugging away into Taurus, keeping the beginning of the fixed signs charged with electricity, and snagging the moon whenever she enters one. As the planets and luminaries enter Leo this year, they’ll each hit a square with Uranus, charging summer skies with some fireworks. Look for these squares on the 11th (Mars), July 29th (Sun), August 1st (Venus), and August 16th (Mercury). Additionally, Uranus will station retrograde on August 11, giving sweet relief and integration time for the changes made to Tauran pastures so far.
With all the personal planets free from Gemini, Neptune is no longer squaring our personal navigators, though the handoff to eclipse season and a mercury retrograde might not bring clarity that this might otherwise signal.
Neptune entered retrograde and will be so for much of the rest of the year, dreaming more deeply into the middle degrees of Pisces.
Pluto is also retrograde since April, but has been showing up mostly in opposition to the swifter planets. Once the sun and Venus oppose him, we should have some relief from the lilting power shifts until all the squares when Libra season hits.
To wrap up -
It’s real guys. It’s really real. We made in through June, we will make it through July. Pool party in August maybe?