by Joan Kiley
“Summertime….and the livin’ is easy.” Hmmm, well for some that may be true. It is July, definitely summertime! Powerful aspects reflect the potential for bringing about remarkable innovation! However, for those folks experiencing record droughts and wildfires, it doesn’t feel so “easy,” more like waiting for the other shoe to drop. And for those who have had so much rain that their crops all lay under pools of water? No, that likely felt very un-easy, more like extreme insecurity.
The month began with strong fire as well as strong water energies. The Sun and Mars were conjunct in Cancer. Neptune, of course, was in Pisces, and Saturn, was in its relatively brief return to Scorpio. Thus, all three water signs were present and accounted for. The fire element was represented by Uranus at 20 degrees Aries, Jupiter and Venus conjunct at 21 degrees Leo, and the Moon, in late Sagittarius. All three fire signs were making their energies felt via a Grand Trine.
The sensitivity and emotionality of water, plus the spirited enthusiasm of fire were pointing in the direction of a new awareness of self in relationship to other. This was about personal relationships, and also relating to others on a much larger scale. Recent events, such as the Pope’s encyclical on the environment, the Supreme Court’s decision on gay marriage, the blatant revelations of institutional and societal racism thrown in our face over and over again, have many people rethinking their place in the world. Yes, it is summer, and it would be easier to just jump in the pool, lay back, relax, and pretend there’s nothing to worry about. Those willing to evolve, however, are being shaken out of their rigidly entrenched denial and insensitivity, opening their hearts, and facing up to their own contributions to the many human crises we as a species are facing.
On a more personal level, we may find ourselves nagged by feelings that we’ve outgrown some of our relationships and need to put less of our time and energy into “feeding” what no longer feeds us. There may also be people with whom we’ve nurtured a grievance that is no longer relevant. We can take the action of letting that go, so that our spirit is no longer drained by resentment. There are many options this month for subtle and not so subtle opportunities for healing. As the month proceeds, Saturn makes more aspects to the personal planets. Thus we are reminded to dive beneath the surface of our outer façade, strengthen our resolve to move forward, and clarify our boundaries in ways that provide for our self-care and evolution. As the month comes to an end, allow the Mars/Saturn trine to give you courage to speak, act, and live as the true force for good in the world that you are!
In the beginning hours of July, the Moon in Sagittarius was in the final degrees of the Waxing Gibbous phase which requires a “working with” others, bringing about a compromise where involved parties may not get everything they want, but give something to get something. This moon phase lead us directly to the Full Moon in Capricorn that occurred July 1 at 7:19 PM PDT. Full Moons, we know, are 180-degree aspects, oppositions. At the Full Moon, we saw Mars conjunct the Sun and Pluto conjunct the Moon. The conjunctions by those planets added dimension to the opposition, more push and pull to a power struggle that can eventually bring about a resolution.
The Cancer/Capricorn polarity is a very personal one, the pull between the home and the outer world, with literal as well as metaphorical meaning. Cancer is the feeling, subjective, family, home, security, safety end of the pole while Capricorn is the earthy, objective, work, authority, accomplishments of the outer world end of the pole. We all have that struggle, and we all have to find ways to resolve it. Each year, summertime’s Full Moon in Capricorn, and wintertime’s Full Moon in Cancer, give us the opportunity to rebalance, and shift priorities as needed.
Venus and the Moon are unusually key planets in the chart of July. As the month unfolds, we find they both will be going through unique activities. Venus will enter a retrograde cycle that happens about every 18 months. And the Moon will have a second Full Moon in July, often called a Blue Moon. It will be at least 3 more years before that reoccurs.
The first few weeks of July, Venus in Leo was an evening star, conjunct Jupiter, and made for wonderful viewing in the night sky. The building Venus/Jupiter conjunction was tightly trine Uranus, making the issues of love, creativity and innovation strongly felt in our lives. Later in the month, Venus will enter a retrograde period that begins in Virgo, but quickly retrogrades back into Leo for the remainder.
Many other aspects make their way into our consciousness in early July. On July 6 the Sun reached exact opposition to Pluto. Mercury joined the Sun and Mars in Cancer on July 8. Also on July 8, Mars trined Neptune, bringing an imaginative and more compassionate quality to Mars. Thus, any confrontations that occur, and they are likely with Mars coming to exact opposition with Pluto on July 15, could be less aggressive, and more apt to find solutions where everyone benefits. On July 12, the Sun squares Uranus. We may get a bit of a wake-up call during this square, be reminded of where we may be stuck or where an old habit is holding us back. On July 13, Mercury trines Neptune. Stay open to your dreams, and listen to imaginative musings. They may lead you to an important creative expression.
On July 15 we have a New Moon in Cancer, at 6:24 PM PDT. That means we have the Sun, the Moon, Mars and Mercury all in Cancer, strongly conjunct, and exactly opposed Pluto in Capricorn. There is great potency in this configuration. It is up to us whether we manifest the positive face of this New Moon, or its more shadowy one. Cancer, as we know, is associated with mothering, nurturing, food, needing to feel safe and secure, strong sensitivity and emotionality. Its downside is a tendency to be over sensitive, moody, apt to complain about insignificant issues, and to suffer fears of insecurity. Capricorn is associated with strength, persistence, responsibility, playing by the rules, setting goals and striving to achieve them. Its downside can be rigidity, insensitivity to the feelings and needs of others, unreasonable fears, and the need to control.
How will we dive into the struggle? Will we cling to the old structures, ideas, and beliefs that we have been conditioned to feel will lead to security? Or will we be willing to welcome new insights via the Uranus trine to Venus//Jupiter, and seek a way through to a new vision? It is necessary to stay aware of our responses to these strong energies. Can we remain sensitive to our own needs while also caring for others? Can we stay strong and committed to our goals while also recognizing that we may need to restructure and revision our goals in order to actually achieve them in a responsible way? When things don’t go our way, or as we had planned, can we remain open to alternatives, take others’ needs into consideration, and not dig in our heels or complain unreasonably? Remember, the New Moon begins a month-long cycle, so we will be working with these energies, in one way or another, until the next New Moon in August.
At the time of the New Moon, Venus and Jupiter are conjunct in Leo within 5 degrees, but on July 18, Venus moves on temporarily. From July 5 through the end of the month, Venus is square Saturn, exact on the 14th. On July 18, Venus moves into Virgo at 3:39 PM PDT, while conjunct both Jupiter and the Moon. But Venus is slowing, and on July 25, not yet to the first full degree of Virgo, she stations retrograde at 2:29 AM PDT.
Venus remains retrograde through the first week of September. The retrograde period of a personal planet emphasizes the issues associated with that planet but in a way that allows evaluation, assessment, re-visioning, and ultimately, caution. Relationships and finances, or what it is we value, are areas that are highlighted during Venus retrograde. This does not mean you should run out and start a new relationship, or make a big financial investment during the retrograde period. However, if you have a desire to make a major purchase or investment, it is a good time to be researching that which you plan to buy. As for relationships, if you are in a quandary about whether to stay, leave, pursue, or advance a relationship, this is a good time to closely evaluate the pros and cons of the connection, and your level of involvement.
By July 18, the day Venus moves into Virgo, there are 3 planets in Leo, the Moon, Jupiter and Venus, all square Saturn, while the Sun in Cancer begins to trine Saturn. These aspects bring Saturn more clearly into the picture. Though the Moon moves on, by the 20th, Mercury joins the planets in aspect to Saturn. Remember the work on boundary issues discussed earlier in this post, and be reminded that whatever work we need to complete with Saturn in Scorpio, we need to get to it. It may be a relationship issue, a work issue, a self-care issue, or the need to follow up on something you promised you would do and haven’t.
During the last week of the month, Mars in Cancer is square Uranus in Aries. This could be quite edgy, and involve an urge to take impulsive action. Mars, however, also forms a trine with Chiron in Pisces, and if we include Saturn, which is a few degrees off, but still within orb, we will have a Grand Trine in water. This adds a profoundly emotional dimension to the Venus retrograde, and the numerous squares to Saturn. This could really send us spinning in a fear-based tizzy, or if handled with care, to very sensitive and caring resolutions of situations that we used to find wounding and hurtful. In other words, a new way of being, more mature, more nurturing of ourself and others.
The second Full Moon of the month comes on the final day, July 31 at 3:43 AM PDT! It’s in Aquarius, 7 degrees 56 minutes. The rulers of Aquarius are Saturn and Uranus, both of whom are in solid square aspects with other planets at the moment of the Full Moon, Saturn with Jupiter and Uranus with Mars. When thinking of Aquarius as the rational person’s revolutionary, I say do not take this Full Moon lightly, as just another opportunity for howling at the moon. Rather, consider again the issues from the New Moon on July 15, and see this Full Moon as a fulfillment of your visions for resolving the demands of Pluto opposing all those planets in Cancer. And see it as the moment when the old structures of injustice are torn down, and replaced by capacities creating equality and fairness for the future!
See you next month!