William Turner’s Angel Standing in the Sunshine
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The Solstice Chart
Astronomers and astrologers alike mark the start of the Southern Winter and Northern Summer with the Cancer Solstice, this year falling on June 21. On this day the Sun lingers on its northernmost declination, before beginning to descend again toward the Equator. An important time in the yearly calendar, recognised and held sacred by most cultures, since the dawn of time. Still today, all the promises and mysteries of the coming season are contained in the Solstice Chart.
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This year the Solstice Horoscope shows the Moon in Via Combusta, that trait of the Zodiac that traditionally is said to span between the middle of Libra and the middle of Scorpio. As its Latin name implies, translating something like ‘burning path’ or ‘fiery road’, I’m reminded here of the feats of walking on hot embers and fire accomplished during initiation ceremonies in diverse cultural traditions, including those of some Australian Aboriginals. The months ahead then we will all be walking on a difficult but enlightening path, a trial of sorts, with empowering potential.
The Moon also forms a beautiful Grand Trine, the combination of three 120 degrees angles, shaping an imaginary equilateral triangle between the Moon (emotions, family), Neptune-Chiron (spiritual healing and karmic suffering), and the Sun itself stationary on 0 degree Cancer, the ancient Gate of Life. Grand Trines are highly energetic configurations, mostly harmonious and positive, opening up new valves of understanding and offering outlets for greater creativity. This configuration seems to redeem the more difficult reading of Via Combusta. There is great potential for healing in this Chart and to overcome the emotional burning with an outflow of higher emotions, compassion, desire to help and heal the world, and all round enhancement of the nurturing quality of Cancer.
Full Moon in Capricorn, Lunar Eclipse, June26
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The Eclipses, once again, accompany the change of season, a significant fact that will make their influence more marked and also longer lasting.
The Capricorn Lunar Eclipse is Partial, visible after sunset from Australasia, and before sunrise in western South and North America.
The Moon, central to the whole interpretation, is transiting in close proximity to Pluto in Capricorn, separated from the position of this planet, as projected on the ecliptic, by a mere 0 degrees and 41 minutes of longitude. The Sun then is of course exactly 180 degrees away from the Moon and also Pluto. Even by itself this configuration would heighten the intensity of the ecliptic Moon, but there is much more. Mercury is in Cancer with the Sun on the day, while Jupiter and Uranus, still conjunct in Aries, are 90 degrees away from both Sun and Moon; while Saturn in Virgo, opposite to them, is also in a wide 90 degrees angle to Sun and Moon. This configuration is known as a Grand Cross, usually connecting four celestial bodies, but, in this case, linking instead seven: Sun, Moon, Pluto, Mercury, Jupiter, Uranus and Saturn.
Grand Crosses are tough, tight knots, forcing planets to work together, especially problematic if difficult planets are involved, as here are Saturn, Uranus and Pluto, heavy weights of the Zodiac. This Eclipse seems to draw attention and energize the knotty transits coming into activity during this season, the squares and opposition of Saturn to Pluto and Jupiter-Uranus respectively; more about these specific transits later. Some intensely emotional events can be the result of such a configuration corresponding with the time of an eclipse, because the combined forces of Jupiter and Uranus in Aries will create a fierce opposition to the might of Saturn in Libra and Pluto in Capricorn, also challenging each other: a time of quickening, a protracted labour inducing the birth of the New (a forceps birth rather than a gentle water birth). Unavoidably astrologers would notice the similarity between this event and the last lunar eclipse of 2009 (or first eclipse of 2010, depending where you were at the time), the one that preceded the Haiti and Chile’s disasters. The Sun and Moon were then placed in the Sign each other occupies in the June eclipse, on opposite hemispheres. The Sun was separating from a conjunction to Pluto and both Sun and Moon were widely square Saturn in Libra. But there is a great difference too.
All Eclipses are grouped under one specific number, known as their Saros number. A Saros group begins with a particular eclipse; other eclipses follow, at an interval of 18 years approximately, all falling around the same degree of longitude.
So, for instance, the Lunar Eclipse of June 26 2010 belongs to the Saros number 120. This group of Lunar Eclipses began with one that took place on October 5, 982 AD, close to the beginning of the last Millennium. The Eclipse that began a series is said to give its colour, tone and vibration to the lot of them. Therefore it is very important to study the first Eclipse of a Saros series to get a feel of what we are dealing with. This first eclipse of the series shows a highly charged Horoscope, but also one with many redeeming factors. The Saros number of the December eclipse instead began with an extremely difficult eclipse in 1000 AD, showing more clearly the potential destructive nature of all the following eclipses of the same number.
Cancer New Moon, Solar Eclipse, July 11
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The Total Solar Eclipse of July 11 (or 12, depending on your location) will be visible within a narrow corridor in the Southern Hemisphere, across the South Pacific, through the latitudes of the Cook and Eastern Islands. According to the NASA website the path of totality will end just short of Chile and Argentina’s coastlines.
The threatening Grand Cross manifested during the Lunar Eclipse has become a more common T Cross in the Solar Eclipse Horoscope, a less powerful configuration. A difficult square Jupiter-Pluto is nearly exact on the day, and the opposition of Saturn to Jupiter-Uranus and square to Pluto are still active, while the Sun and Moon, conjunct in Cancer, are both in harmonious aspect to Mars. This is not an easy Chart either. The ancient Eclipse, that began the Saros cycle pertaining to this one, took place on September 20, 1541. The Chart for this event presents a milder picture, with positive aspects of Pluto to Sun, Moon and Mercury and of Mars-Uranus to Venus and Saturn. There is an alignment in Libra of Moon, Sun, Mercury, Venus and Saturn, but the most difficult short term transits are the Mars-Uranus conjunction and the Venus-Neptune’s opposition. So, if we follow the ancient rule of the Saros numbers, it seems that the Solar Eclipse, despite its totality, may not be as intense in effect as the preceding Lunar Eclipse. Their combined effect however could be something to reckon with.
Saturn in Libra
From July 22 Saturn is again in Libra, this time to stay. The ringed planet will traverse the Sign of Justice until October 2012. Saturn is in a very special place in Libra, traditionally described as the Sign of its Exaltation. Apart from some seriously hard transits this year, this is one of the best promising cosmic influences for the next few years. At first it may seem like a strange energetic mix: why the planet of responsibility, discipline and old age should be considered in its best zodiacal position (Exaltation) in the bright and light Sign of Libra? Libra is traditionally said to be ruled by Venus, the ever-young goddess of beauty, love and all pleasures. Venus’ Eternal Feminine and the usually grim old Saturn archetype are indeed an odd couple, apparently most unsuited to each other. This notion however comes from our limited (a Saturn’s keyword!) concept of Saturn, the one that tends to stress only his negative potential.
If Saturn represents commitment and serious attitudes, and Venus symbolizes love and relationships, the positive combination of the two would spell something like: committed and lasting love, responsible relationships, love of duty and work, sense of family, respect for elders and women, generation and gender’s gaps bridged by a sense of cooperation and mutual respect. Now, that doesn’t sound too bad, does it? Collectively, during this two years transit, we could all improve the way we relate with each other, paying attention to fairness, gentleness, respect, upholding high but practical ideals of relating.
All Librans, and, to a lesser degree, all Aries, Cancer and Capricorn people in turn will learn their Saturnine-Venusian lesson, becoming more serious and committed not only in their relationships but in all their activities. Saturn always demands effort and commitment. Old Father Time wants us to learn from our experiences, good and bad alike, in order to slowly build a solid centre of consciousness that will serve us well until old age and beyond.
Coming back to Saturn’s present transits, the fifth and last pass of the opposition to Uranus, this time from Libra to Aries, will be exact on July 27. While the square (90 degrees angle) from Saturn in Libra to Pluto in Capricorn will be exact, for the third and last time, on August 21 (previous passes were in November 2009 and February 2010).
I’m sure the world will be glad to say goodbye to these difficult transits, considered by many responsible for the global financial crisis and the increasing antagonism between reforming and conservative forces all over the globe.
The Uranus’ opposition became exact for the first time in November 2008, revisiting us in February and September 2009, and as recently as April this year, thus permeating the last eighteen months or so. Barack Obama was elected to the American Presidency during this transit’s November 2008 incarnation, so the last pass of the same could bring important developments to his career too.
A transit’s last pass is when the tension the aspect was creating and the issues it was raising are resolved or, at least, addressed; or when the attempt to deal with them ends in failure, a missed opportunity.
In this last opposition the focus has shifted from the Mutable Signs of Virgo and Pisces onto the Cardinal Signs, Aries and Libra. This shift implies that this is a more active pass than the past ones, because, while the Mutable Signs have to do with necessary adjustments to changes in the environment, testing our adaptability and tolerance, the Cardinal Signs are action Signs, tending to bring issues out into the open. In particular Uranus in Aries can stir a degree of militancy and desire to fight for individual rights and freedom. This opposition, combined with the upcoming Saturn-Pluto’s square, exact on August 21, will engage at the personal level especially those people who were born with the Sun in one of the early cardinal Signs (Aries, 21/25 March), Cancer (21-25 June), Libra (September 23/27) and Capricorn (December 22/26). Also people with the Moon, Ascendant, Mercury, Venus and Mars in the first two to five degrees of these Signs will be in direct line with this transit. This is a once in a life opportunity to seriously address unbalances in your life, especially in the area of relationships. The tension created by, on one hand, the desire for independence and self determination (Aries Uranus) and, on the other, the need to cooperate and remain committed (Libra Saturn) could give the last blow to some shaky relationships, while starting a complete new phase for more mature and steadfast ones. Uranus will insure that you allow yourself the freedom and individuality you are striving for, while Saturn will provide you with the experience and wisdom to meet others on neutral ground and remain fair to them too. The presence of Pluto could add more than a touch of emotional drama and the compulsion to tear away from us what of the past we reckon we have truly finished with.
One of the most valuable asset the Saturn-Pluto combined energies can leave to us is the ability to integrate some of the core issues and darker souls’ shades into our outer personalities, thus making life a more authentic and profound experience. Hard collective and personal lessons are showing us how fully responsible we are for our lives and that no one will be coming to rescue us, unless we begin to rescue ourselves from poisonous memories, attachments, attitudes and lifestyles.
Pluto is all well if its energy, especially when combined with the cynicism and earthiness of Saturn, is not misused in demonizing others or becoming prey to obsessive behaviour. Let’s face it: a number of people on this very populated planet will have to respond negatively to these transits, hence the potential dangers to the collective. The next major plutonian encounter will occur in June and September 2012, when Uranus will first form a 90 degrees angle to Pluto, lasting well to the end of 2013. That will be another meeting of Titans and a powerful destiny maker for the whole planet.
In the wide world these are aspects that can and will upset the status quo, making fierce confrontations more likely. Revolutions of the types advocated by Uranus and Pluto are not the non-violent variety and aren’t necessary democratic, but can be autocratic as well, ushering in more conservative forces. Or the desire for change could force many to resort to violence or to abide by their own sense of law and justice rather than the one sanctioned by their governments.
Uranus and Jupiter in Aries
Since May 28 Uranus has remained within the first degree of Aries. it will soon re-enter Pisces, in retro motion, and so will Jupiter, shortly afterwards, both emerging into Aries again only in 2011.
So the very early Cardinal Signs, again, are getting just a two and half months taste of the exciting and independent touch of Uranus, bringing all things weird and wonderful in their lives, including a new sense of self, new friendships, new occupations, new freedom. Jupiter, following the path of Uranus, will add confidence and optimism, helping you to embrace more readily the changes and even disruption to your safe routines that usually Uranus demands. This is just the tentative beginning (see opposition from ‘kill joy’ Saturn) of a startling existential revolution that will unfold during the seven years transits of Uranus in aspect to your Sun Sign, first for the ones born early in the Sign and then, in their turn, all the others.
If we consider the development of computers technology in the last few years close to phenomenal, reaching more and more people on the planet every day (Uranus transiting the highly intuitive, penetrating and group oriented Pisces since 2003 ), we can predict that the transit of Uranus through Aries will bring a veritable information and technology revolution, during which we may find newer and better ways to do just about everything. Aries Uranus spells ‘technology and inventiveness in action’. With the courage to embrace and pioneer new ideas, hopefully we will begin to tackle the issue of our total reliance on oil and coal, the most polluting energy means in world history. There is hope, with another Climate Change Conference planned for the end of November, that Jupiter (becoming conjunct Uranus three times, in June, September and lastly January 2011) will do its job as a grand cosmic catalyst, improving our lives and getting us closer to our higher human ideals.
Looking back in history at the two closest periods of Uranus in Aries (1927-1934 and 1843-1850) we find lots of political unrest, egalitarian and communist movements, as well as autocratic and fascist ones, all uncompromising, radical, war like ideologies and actions, and little time for diplomacy or careful planning. Action time!
Aries however is often misrepresented as just an aggressive and less than thoughtful Sign, while we forget its high intuitions and daring feats that have produced not only great warriors and freedom fighters, but also many great thinkers and visionaries.
Uranus and Jupiter back into Pisces
Re-entering Pisces from the back door, Uranus and Jupiter are providing not just some late born Pisces but also other late born Mutable Signs (Virgo, Gemini and Sagittarius) with the last opportunity in 84 years (Uranus’ cycle) and 12 years (Jupiter’s) to do something different, even radical with their lives. The Uranus in Pisces period will last from August 14, 2010, to March 12, 2011. While the Jupiter in Pisces period will cover the period September to end of December 2010. The birthdays in line with these transits are Pisces, born March 13 to 21, Virgo, born September 15 to 23, Gemini, born June 14 to 22, and Sagittarius, born December 14 to 22.
The sense of restlessness that gripped you in 2009 is returning with a vengeance this year. You feel the need to do something about it. You are striving toward greater independence and detachment from people or situations which seem to limit your freedom of action and thought. With your self confidence improving and your head full of new ideas and plans for the future it is unlikely that you will let this opportunity go. Jupiter will aid Uranus here offering opportunities that will help you to bring to fruition what seemed impossible before (Uranus).
Pisces may find these transits a bit strange, alienating them for a while from their naturally passive and yielding nature. This could prove an emotionally roller-coasting period, unless you are an artist or miracle worker and able to use the surplus energy to your advantage.
Virgo, on the other hand, may enjoy these transits that can provide them with the power and opportunities to free themselves from mindless and life-denying duties and relationships; also encouraging them to apply their innate cleverness to something completely new.
Gemini and Sagittarius may instead become a touch too hypo under these influences, liable to over-reach and under-achieve as a consequence. Sagittarius doesn’t usually need much incentive to be extra bold and Geminis are already a bit too restless by nature, so that the Uranus-Jupiter’s transits may exacerbate these problems for them, for a while. Then again, isn’t the sky the limit? Much can be achieved now that will encourage new trends in these people’s own lives as well as the life of their families and communities.
Chiron back in Aquarius
After entering Pisces on April 20, Chiron will go back to Aquarius in retro motion on July 20, re-entering Pisces for good only in February 2011. The birthdays in direct alignment with this transiting loop are Aquarius, born February 14 to 19, Leo, born August 19 to 24, Taurus, born May 17 to 22, and Scorpio, born November 18 to 23.
The determination and power to heal comes usually with the experience of pain. Symbolically Chiron, the mythical wounded healer and teacher, yields this double edged sword, on one side bringing up physical and psychological hurts we could all do without and which seem often unfair and undeserved, while also revealing to us the healing powers that we all possess but are mainly unaware of.
A Chiron’s transit represents also a time for sharing your life experiences and your knowledge with others, in order to aid them in their healing journey. You may learn, while communicating your knowledge, that there are things you cannot change, in your life and in other people’s, be it a chronic illness, a disability, a loss, or simply old age. Those factors too need to be integrated into a holistic vision of life, one including the joys as well as the pains of existence, gaining wisdom from both.