We’re in the midst of a confusing time when it’s hard to know what’s real and what’s an illusion (or deception). This can be attributed to Neptune, the planet of fog and non-reality, being at a standstill on the summer solstice. In fact, it’s in 18º of Pisces all of May, June, July and half of August. Also, it’s never less than 4º from an abrasive and powerful “square” at cross purposes with Jupiter, which amplifies the haze. Since both planets are in the signs they rule (Neptune in Pisces and Jupiter in Sagittarius), the effect is even stronger. If you have something in your chart in the range of 14º – 18º of the “mutable” signs (Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, Pisces), you’re being hit especially hard by this uncomfortable combination. Whatever that part of your chart indicates will be subject to misunderstandings or missteps.
Mercury dances around Mars this summer, hanging out very close to the red planet at both the summer solstice and at the July 2 Solar Eclipse New Moon. Influences at a solstice or an eclipse last an extended period of time. Mercury passes Mars in Cancer on 6/18 before going Retrograde 7/7 – 7/31, during which time it passes Mars again on 7/8 in Leo. (Later this fall, when both are in Virgo, they meet again on 9/3, the one day of 2019 that I rated a “5,” the best day of the year.) Their blend promotes quick-thinking as well as speaking too hastily and will likely propel many people to drive too fast. There can be an aggressive side to speech with these two so close, along with jumping to conclusions. Caution is advised, along with slowing down.
Mercury zigzags back and forth between the latter part of Cancer (around 24º) and the beginning area of Leo (around 4-1/2º), crossing the Cancer/Leo border three times: 6/26 entering Leo, 7/19 backtracking into Cancer, and 8/11 re-entering Leo. This is one of the two most important cusps of the zodiac (the other being the Pisces/Aries cusp, the traditional end point of the zodiac and its new beginning). This cusp reflects a key shift in energies from Cancer’s subconscious impressionability (the Moon’s home turf) to Leo’s conscious will power (the Sun’s kingdom). Our most important heavenly bodies, the “luminaries” or “lights,” are the rulers of these signs, the primary reason for the significance of this cusp. Since Mercury is the main planet of thinking, we’ll be shifting gears between logic-based decision-making and trusting gut instincts.
Venus approaches and passes the Sun over the summer (exact on 8/14), hanging out close together and traveling at about the same pace for while. This should help counterbalance the potential pugilistic influence of the Mercury-Mars conjunctions. These four heavenly bodies gather in a grouping and often simultaneously occupy the summer signs, moving first through Cancer and then through Leo and Virgo. The marriage asteroid Juno is also near these quick-moving planets, moving through Leo, putting emphasis on marital matters. Many people will have marriage on their minds, either a union they’re in or one they’re contemplating. (If you plan to to marry this summer, a good day for a wedding is August 10.) There is one week, August 11 to 17, when all the speedy planets (Mercury, Sun, Venus, Mars, as well as asteroid Juno) are in Leo. The Sun and Venus are within 5º of one another from 7/26 – 9/3 and within that range, within 1º from 8/10 -8/17. This makes for a very romantic time around the 8/15 Full Moon. Venus joins Mars on 8/24, and all the quick planets pass Juno. This is a rare situation. What a year for a summer romance! That said, there are potentially bumpy times for relationships when the Sun is square unpredictable Uranus on 7/29 and especially as Venus follows suit on 8/2. Uranus is famous for throwing curve balls and though it’s traveling now in the normally stable sign of Taurus, it is a highly unstable influence.
Many types of relationships are improved by being proactive in expressing our affections and caring. Ceres, a dwarf planet of nurturing, is traveling in a helpful trine with Chiron, the “repairman” asteroid. They are within 5º of this connection from 5/18 until 9/13, exactly trine on 6/6 and 8/27. Across July and August, the quick planets all form imprecise (but still effective) Grand Trines with them.
Eclipses occur when new or full moons are within range (about half a sign) of the lunar Nodes, which are the intersections of the two key orbits: the Moon around the Earth and the Earth around the Sun. The North Node, an indicator of the direction in which we should travel for our spiritual growth, is in the maternal sign of Cancer. The Solar Eclipse New Moon on July 2 in Cancer (10º38’) close to the North Node brings out our soft side and puts the focus on nation, home and family. The South Node, signaling what we should strive to release, is in Capricorn, a judgmental and regimented sign that turns a cold shoulder. The Lunar Eclipse Full Moon on July 16 is in Capricorn (24º4’) close to the South Node and Saturn. Capricorn along with its ruling planet Saturn represent government. The July eclipses in Cancer and Capricorn occur within about 7º of the Nodes, highlighting how they point to the crisis at the US southern border regarding how refugees, especially the children, are being detained in harsh conditions rather than being cared about and for. Saturn is about 1º from the South Node at both eclipses, showing us it’s time to look at the laws that encode exclusion. Pluto is about 4º from the South Node, as well, and it’s a planet of elimination. There are some regulations that need to be changed! The Ceres-Chiron trine (featured at the Solar Eclipse) and its enhancement by the quick planets’ trines should help bring better conditions for these desperate people seeking a welcome from America. And there is already a lot of poverty and hunger among America’s children that also needs to be addressed. Hopefully, this summer of love will be about loving our neighbors, not just our lovers.
The Lunar Eclipse looks to be a more difficult time, due to that pesky dwarf planet of disruption and chaos, Eris. (Its discovery is what prompted astronomers – not astrologers! – to re-examine what a “planet” is.) The opposition of the Sun and Moon (which is what defines a full moon) is weighed down on the Capricorn side of the seesaw, and both ends of the axis are squared by Eris forming a troublesome T-square. But a T-square can also mean a turning point, a push – even if a hard one – for transformation.
A second New Moon (not an eclipse) in July on the 31st (which calendars not based in the Americas will list as August 1) shows a somewhat easier pattern, still featuring the long-term Pluto-Eris square that tries to force change, this time in a milder T-square with Mercury occupying the space where the Sun was at the Lunar Eclipse. The rest of the quick planets are having a good time in sunny Leo, trine other planets in the Fire signs. This means HEAT along with lots of passion and creativity, and hopefully fun.
Do the best you can this summer to show your heart!