Planetary Illuminations for July 2015 now posted

July astrological forecastIf you are on my mailing list you will soon receive your abridged version, translated into easy to understand English.  If you’re not, please sign up in the sidebar!

You can read the article in its entirety here, and meanwhile here is the summary for July’s main events.

During July there are no interactions between any of the slower moving outer planets that create intensive energies of change, but the challenging square  (90 degree angle) between Jupiter (expansion) and Saturn (restriction).  Dances between Jupiter and Saturn often create restriction in financial markets, and the first exact square alignment occurs in early August.  This cycle will continue through May/June of 2016.

Venus turns retrograde on July 25th and will be stationary for a week or so before the change of direction and remain retrograde until September 8th.  Venus rules not only love and beauty, but also describes the things we value and attract.  Therefore, it is involved in matters of wealth accumulation and personal possessions – anything that provides a sense of security.  During Venus retrograde cycles it is not uncommon to reconnect with old friends and rediscover loved ones, or repair relationships that need it.  During the retrograde period Venus will align with Jupiter three times, creating an atmosphere of beauty and joy that will help to offset the Saturn effect described above.

Uranus also turns retrograde this month but its stationary period lasts a bit longer – usually about two weeks.  Uranus will remain retrograde until December 25th, giving us plenty of time to re-examine areas of our life that require change.  Uranus is retrograde every year for about six months so this is not an unusual occurrence.

Big & Powerful Capricorn Full Moon: July 1, 2015

Full Moon July 1 2015
Photo manipulation by Amin Sedig from Moonipulations

Today’s Full Moon in Capricorn is a big and powerful one, amplified by both Mars and Pluto which are moving into a dance of opposition which will culminate on the 15th of July.

The Capricorn Full Moon brings our focus to the material world and encourages us to apply discipline and structure to our lives so that we can create something of meaning – something that will last beyond our small and mortal life.  The Moon is opposed by the Sun in Cancer, so we find ourselves dancing in the polarity between Cancer and Capricorn.  On the one hand we have the Sun in Cancer, encouraging us on the conscious level to develop a rich inner world of feelings and emotions and the links between our individual selves and the family of our heart and community.  On the other we have the Capricorn Moon, hardening the heart a bit so that greater achievement and accomplishment can occur.

In this Full Moon we have the luminary of the conscious Self (Sun) in the sign of the inner world (Cancer) and the luminary of the interior realm of emotions (Moon) in the sign of outer world focus (Capricorn).  There is a double whammy of polarities here which require balance between the emotions and feelings that drive us and enrich our world and the hard reality of life in a material world of accomplishment and production.

Applying even more pressure is the conjunction of the Moon to Pluto, and the Sun to Mars.  Emotions (Moon) are intensified (Pluto) and aggressive energy (Mars) is enhanced by the power of the Sun.  The alignment of Mars and Pluto will continue to tighten over the next two weeks, creating the potential for power conflicts and perhaps violence, but also stimulating the creative soul to unfold and emerge in its truest form.

Fortunately Neptune (spiritual compassion) is in an exact harmonious alignment with both the Sun and Moon, encouraging us to surrender any egoic limitations that might inhibit our growth at this time. A conjunction between Venus and Jupiter which has just culminated will continue to shine a light of beauty and harmony into any crevices of darkness to help soften the transformational process, and the trine from Uranus (radical innovation) to both Jupiter and Venus aids in the process of expansion and shifting our focus away from the past and into a renewed future.

Sunday musings: Can we, should we, move past Charleston?

racistNormally a tragedy such as the one which just occurred in Charleston, in which 21-year old Dylann Roof, in the throes of the double transit of Saturn and Uranus I wrote of just this week, killed nine people worshipping in a church, would send me to the astrological chart to attempt to find a personality disorder that would explain how a person could commit such a heinous act.

The real tragedy is that these events are becoming so commonplace that there is barely time to profile so many criminals and murderers, and at this point it becomes evident that the illness is not just in the individual, but also in the society that feeds the illness of the individual and causes it to erupt into the collective conscious experience.  The racist spewings of Dylann Roof are not that different from what you will hear on Fox News nearly every day.  “Taking our country back” is a catchphrase that was often used during the 2012 election when conservative voters talked about taking the country back from the African American living in the White House.

There has been a drastic spike in mass shootings since 2000, and especially since 2007 (just before Pluto entered Capricorn and sent financial markets into a contraction that still reverberates today).   Between 2000 and 2006 there were 6.4 mass shootings a year.  Between 2007 and 2013 that number jumped to 16.4 mass shootings a year.  Mother Jones magazine has posted a comprehensive list of mass shootings in the US and you can see that in the 1980s there were one or two mass killings a year.  Shootings began to increase in the 1990s to two to three a year, and then we see a drastic increase to five in 1999, the year of the Columbine shootings.  During this time transiting Pluto was crossing the ascendant of the astrological chart for the United States and doing its job of bringing out the darkness of the collective unconscious.

Planetary transits, even of Saturn and Pluto, the two dark forces of the astrological pantheon, do not in themselves create murder and horrific events.  Their role is to enforce the need for Universal balance, and when the life of an individual OR of a nation is out of balance, events will occur in the outer world to draw our attention to the need for change.  When our children began murdering members of our society, we must cease our denial and explanations and realize that there is something very fundamentally wrong with our culture that needs immediate repair.  With Sagittarius rising in the US chart there is a tendency to want to believe only the best about the country – the myth of “American Exceptionalism” is at this point only a fantasy, and yet it appears to be the driving force for many political forces and only serves to keep us trapped in a web of delusion.

There is a lot of talk right now about forgiveness.  And there’s no doubt that carrying rage and resentment in one’s heart for a lifetime creates nothing but illness and misery.  But forgiveness will not correct the underlying karma of a nation trapped by its own mythology.  These murders in Charleston were committed by one very disturbed young person – that is absolutely true.  But it was an action that resonated in the hearts and minds of a large portion of mainstream America as we have witnessed nearly ever night over the past year as we watch the news.

Until the truth is allowed to emerge and real discourse and accountability can take place, the darkness will continue to rule this country.

 

The Astrology of Rachel Dolezal

Rachel Dolezal astrologyRachel Dolezal, a woman who was just outed by her own parents for posing as a black person for years but is actually white, is the type of case that send me right to the astrological chart to try to find an explanation of such bizarre behavior.

Unfortunately without a birth time we can’t identify the ascendant, the sign on the horizon at the time she was born, which would provide more details about her relationship to her personal identity which is what this case is all about.  The rest of the chart is interesting  – three planets in Scorpio and three planets in Sagittarius show a basic duality in the personality between two signs that have nothing in common with each other and don’t understand each other.  Scorpio is intense and dramatic and concerned with matters of power – Sagittarius rebels from all that and wants to get unstuck and find freedom to explore new ideas.

Dolezal’s Scorpio Sun conjoins Uranus, the planet of radical behavior so it wouldn’t be unusual for her to be rebellious and want to find her own way.  Her Mars – showing her desires and drive – is in the sign of Leo which needs a sense of importance and validation and often seeks fame and attention when the inner validation is not found.  Uranus forms a challenging square to Mars, aggravating the rebellious streak and instilling a desire to be different and unique.

With her Venus in Scorpio she is passionate about everything she becomes involved in, but Chiron, the planet of wounding and healing, opposes her Venus and suggests insecurities and a fundamental lack of self-worth.   In addition, Saturn, the planet of self-doubt and restriction forms a square to her Sun, further stressing her confidence yet pushing her to achieve.

On the Sagittarius side of the equation we see the Moon conjunct Neptune – an aspect which instills imagination and creativity but potentially also a disconnect from reality if one travels too far into the Neptunian realm of transcendence.  The Sagittarius influence encourages her to think big – to yearn to expand beyond the boundaries of a limited life.

Her identity confusion is apparent in several different areas.  Dolezal is apparently an accomplished artist, and some of her paintings took the perspective of a black man.  She self-identified as black.  Yet as a student at Howard University, a predominantly African American college, she tried to sue the university for discrimination against her because she was white.  If we had a birth time we would likely see either Neptune or Pisces on the ascendant, clouding the identity question, or perhaps Gemini or Mercury which creates a fluidity of self-identification.

Neptune can play a different role – a darker role, in which the individual is either scapegoated or takes on the role of victim.  In any case, this is an individual with a tremendous imagination (Moon/Neptune) who used that imagination to escape (Sun/Uranus) a life of boundaries and limits (Sun/Saturn) and got carried away with the drama.

There is a karmic element at work as well, which we can see with Pluto sitting right on the North Node, the point of destiny.  This typically denotes an individual with a very focused path in this lifetime, and Pluto’s destructive and regenerative power suggests that there will need to be significant surrender and letting go in order to continue the growth required. Transiting Pluto is in an exact square to her natal Pluto, the first of the midlife crisis transits for this generation, setting off this karmic quest.  And, as several commenters have pointed out, transiting Saturn just moved across her own Saturn for the second phase of a challenging cycle that will force her to face some hard cold realities as Saturn so often does. View the chart here.

My Big Uranus Transit and the Uranus Cycle

"Phoenix of the Heart" by Kim Dreyer
“Phoenix of the Heart” by Kim Dreyer

Some of you may be wondering where I have been, and in fact I have wondered that myself.  I am in the middle of a Very Big Uranus Transit in which the planet of rebellion and the destroyer of all that is rigid and feels like obligation is sitting right on an important system in my chart.  (Geeky astrological details: I have a triple conjunction in Libra of Saturn, Sun and Neptune which is squared by Uranus in Cancer.)  

The Uranus cycle tends to be associated with major changes in a person’s life.  The first one, the square (90 degree) aspect from Uranus in the sky to Uranus in the chart, occurs around age 20-22 in tandem with the closing square of Saturn in the sky to Saturn in the chart.  This is usually a time of chaos in a young person’s life during which they may dramatically shift the course their life has been taking up until that time.  Saturn puts pressure on the individual to get serious about their life, and at the same time Uranus is urging rebellion and a breaking away of anything that feels restrictive.  No wonder it’s such a challenging time!

The second phase in the cycle is the classic midlife crisis transit at age 40-42, the Uranus Opposition, which occurs in tandem with the square of transiting Neptune to natal Neptune.  During this cycle the urge to break out of routine (Uranus) is complicated by the confusion and delusion that is imposed by Neptune in an effort to inspire transcendence and a yearning for a more inward and spiritual life course.

The third phase in the cycle occurs around age 60-62, after the second Saturn Return at age 56-68.  The second Saturn Return marks the entry into what used to be called “Old Age” – now that 70 is the new 40, all of our conceptions about aging has changed.  Yet there’s no doubt that the second Saturn Return urges us to get serious about preparing for old age.  At this stage we have to let go of our ideas of who we wanted to be and recognize that we are who we are, and we had better embrace it.  And here comes the closing square of the Uranus cycle – the impetus for change that calls our attention to anything in our lives and in our psyche that feels stuck and calcified and needs release in order to achieve liberation.

The final phase in the Uranus cycle is the Uranus Return at age 84.  If one has lived to this stage, the Uranus Return offers an opportunity to free oneself from any artifice of human existence and prepare for the final passage out of this life and into the realm of pure energy.  For really, Uranus in its purest form represents the energy of human life: the electromagnetic force that provides the spark of life and supports that spark through a web of electromagnetic fields that we sometimes call “auras.”  For this reason Uranus cycles are often associated not only with shocking events that change our lives in the outer world, but also with kundalini events that can bring about anxiety and intense emotional changes.

When like me Uranus in your birthchart is tied into a sensitive system including a very personal planet like the Sun, these Uranus transits are intensified and become more important in transitioning into the next stage of the human experience.  My own Uranus Opposition happened to occur when Uranus and Neptune aligned in the early 1990s.  It was the best of times and the worst of times – my life was filled with exciting new experiences but also divorce.  I started to tap into my psychic abilities, but I also experienced debilitating panic attacks.  The breaking down of the defenses of the psyche is more difficult for people (again, like me) who have numerous planets in fixed signs that are not easily adaptable to change.

Over the past five years with Uranus locked in its dance with Pluto that you have been reading so much about (and if this is new you can catch up with the mini article in the sidebar), those of us undergoing these major Uranus cycles have been even more powerfully affected because of the inclusion of Pluto’s intensity.  This includes those born between 1990 and 1995 who have experienced the opening square of the cycle, those born between 1970-1975 who are in their Uranus Opposition, those like me born between 1950-1953 in the closing square, and finally, those in their Uranus Return born between 1926-1929.

I was somewhat apprehensive about the effect of this big Uranus Cycle in my own life, especially since transiting Uranus is at a virtual standstill in the sky and has been powering a laser beam of intense energy since May and will continue until at least September.  Like all transits the beginning was the most intense as the energy ramped up for the transit and I was forced to adapt to new energy pathways being forged that created some insomnia and emotional outbursts.  But now the initial intensity has smoothed out and I see that I am being opened from the inside out which is making it easier for me to let go and allow these changes to occur.

When these intense energetic shifts happen it can be quite frightening, but understanding the way astrology works can be quite helpful as we have a better idea of why these changes are happening and what we can do to facilitate the process.

Unfortunately my dear readers, under the force of Uranus I have neglected this blog.  The (almost) daily writing that a blog requires is a Saturnian effort – it requires discipline and focus and patience.  I do have Saturn on my Sun which usually helps me to pump out articles that are hopefully interesting and help to educate on a regular basis where so many other bloggers have quit.  However, with Uranus urging me to drop the routines, forget the obligations – seek something new and exciting in my life – it has been more difficult to write something fascinating about a New Moon for the thousandth time since this blog’s inception in 2005.

So while I apologize to you for having neglected you for so long, I believe that something is awakening in my soul and in my psyche that will ultimately benefit you as well so that we can take this journey into greater understanding together.