by Joan Kiley
July is full of powerful aspects, powerful Moon phases, and the potential for lots of self-empowerment! And, like every opportunity for increasing our fortunes, it has a built-in shadow side that allows us to disempower ourselves as well. When I use, or in this case perhaps, overuse, the word power it is because I find the planet Pluto to be particularly involved with much of the action this month.
July began with a very edgy opposition between Mars in Cancer and Pluto in Capricorn, forming a T-square with the Moon conjunct Jupiter in Libra. This cardinal T-square spoke volumes about the need for self-awareness. When Mars is in Cancer, despite its being a cardinal sign, the warrior planet does not feel quite as robust, or in charge of its will, as in some other signs. And here it is being poked and prodded by Pluto, and Jupiter, to the point where it could explode from the feeling of impotence or lack of independence. Add to that, the fact that Mars is combust the Sun for the entirety of the month.
What is Mars “combust” the Sun? A planet is said to be combust when it is extremely close to the Sun, being conjunct up to 8°30’. The effect of such a condition is to combine the planet's influence more closely with that of the Sun, until it is incapable of total independence, because it is too integrated with the energy of the Sun. When Mars is combust it is possible to exhibit too much aggression or ego, out of frustration that the Mars energy does not feel powerful, tough or courageous enough. Adding to the confusion was a trine of Mars to Neptune during the first week of the month, the Neptune influence distorting boundaries.