Here's some of the important astrological news this month ...
Fourth of July Fireworks
New Moon at 18Cn00, 7-10
Mars enters Leo, 7-13
Vesta enters Leo, 7-22
Jupiter quincunx Uranus, 7-23
Full Moon at 1Aq18, 7-24
Saturn trioctile Neptune, 7-29
An online ephemeris for the month is available.
The energies are picking up again, compared to last month -- it seems the sky is almost never truly quiet. We're also heading into new territory, since all the important aspects are new ones -- the door is closing on the last year or so. As such, this is a time to look forward and say goodbye to the past. Be prepared for some unexpected surprises and changes in direction, as Uranus the Trickster is unusually active all month. It seems that unexplored parts of your psyche are popping up, causing enough commotion to grab your attention. Look at these disturbances less as a situation to be fixed so you can go on with life, as a mirror of some internal imbalance that needs to acknowledged and brought to the surface. Above all, approach life in an attitude of fun and excitement -- things are shifting!
In traditional terms, it may not seem like there's much news in July. I noted 2 sign changes and 2 "big aspects" to mention. In addition, there are a lot of parallel connections between planets, which strengthens many of the contacts going on. It should be mentioned that Jupiter moves from Cancer into Leo on August 1st and immediately trioctiles Pluto. We're building up to this shift the last part of July already -- I'll discuss that one next month.
Here's the biggest fireworks display since last January! During mid-day on the 3rd, the A5 Spectrum grows in strength until it nearly becomes a Koz Quake. There are a number of planetary contacts going off at once here, combined into one big pattern. Mercury goes over Saturn on the 2nd, giving some intellectual discipline to the mix, while lightening up Saturn's sometimes dour mood. Mars is going over Jupiter today, sending our physical energy reserves into overdrive. If you've got work to do, it's a really good time to do it. If anything, you may be too antsy to stand still, so it's better to put it to good use. The Moon, Venus and Neptune are also part of the picture, adding a light, emotional-intuitive side to this influence. Powerful emotions may come up to look at for some people -- give the feeling side of you nature its due.
By the 4th, the waveform cools off a little, but this same pattern will be the nation's solar return chart for the coming year. That Mars-Jupiter point may come across as more military action, both abroad and (this is just my opinion) on our own soil again. This conjunction is on the USA Mercury and opposite the USA Pluto, indicating the need for improved intelligence and information, although the secretive nature of such activities are bound to raise suspicions. The Mercury-Saturn conjunction is on the USA Mars, further inflaming the military situation. I think this will be a pivotal year for the country in some ways, especially with the fall elections coming up. This may well affect Bush's perceived standing as well, since he is also heavily affected by these return positions (his birthday is on the 5th). Interesting times ahead...
Those 6 planets in Cancer (including the new moon itself) give this chart a very down home feeling. Issues of family, history and tradition, of our larger connections and bonds to others are on people's minds. Granted, our thoughts are very conflicted on these matters, but at least people are trying to come to terms with them somehow. Another arena for this lunation is partnerships and romantic relations. Those 28 degree planets (Vesta, Jupiter, Mars, Venus, Pallas, Uranus) are good for shaking up our romantic notions quite thoroughly. Too much Mars/ego action may make it increasingly difficult to get along with partners -- you'll know to back off if people start getting short tempered. Bad communication may be the main culprit, especially if people are confusing emotions and old hurts for legitimate issues. Focus on the matters at hand and avoid the temptation to "score points" over others. We can all do a lot of growing if we deal with our emotions in a more adult fashion. It's really nice to be able to do this kind of learning when the stakes aren't so high...
Mars moves from Cancer into Leo on the 13th. What a relief! There's nothing bad with Cancer per se, but the way it binds people together emotionally is a real drag on Mars' willful ways. But Leo, on the other hand! Here's the sign of "me first" and strutting your stuff, a perfect placement for our Warrior God. It's time to do things you want to, without worrying so much how it fits in with other people's plans. Just make certain your actions are a faithful rendition of who you are internally -- it's time to let the inner self shine. The pitfalls of this placement are all tests of how healthy your ego is. A healthy ego stands up for his- or herself, asserts needs and wishes without being overbearing about it, engages others in an open and creative manner. Ego gets a bad name, however, when it comes out in an unhealthy fashion. There are many variations here, so take your pick. There's the petty tyrant that puffs himself up and keeps others down, just to prove his worth. There's the quiet wallflower, too retiring to truly assert himself. More subtly, there's a reaction we all have at some time of looking at someone else and thinking "what a pompous ass..." or "what a selfish so and so..." All too often, the very behavior you're complaining about is one you also do without blinking an eye. It's all too easy to see everybody else's ego but your own. If you find yourself butting heads with people, it's probably a signal that you need to look at some of these ego issues. Otherwise, enjoy the limelight. It's a great time to shine. Mars will move into Virgo on Aug 29.
Vesta also moves from Cancer into Leo on the 22nd. Vesta is a withdrawing hermit by nature, so this puts an interesting spin on the Leo influences that Mars introduced. Vesta needs to go off by herself from time to time to regroup her energies and get in touch with who she really is. This should really tone down the boisterousness we normally associate with Mars in Leo. Instead of the roaring lion, we see the insecure pussy cat that needs to reassure itself. So while you're trying to express yourself and assert your needs, perhaps it's worthwhile to ask yourself whether these expressions truly reflect who you are deep inside. You might be surprised to realize how many of your actions are simply habits that you've outgrown, but still cling to. This is often a time when you need to withdraw from people for awhile, in order to find your own rhythms and patterns. Day-to-day life is the expression of who we are, not some big flamboyant act that only attracts attention. Look at the little things in your life. It's time to get your surroundings and habits in order, to provide a truthful foundation for simply being yourself. Only then can Mars be effective. Vesta will enter Virgo on Sep 27.
Jupiter is quincunx Uranus on the 23rd for a quick, one pass contact. This aspect is the backbone of the second planetary storm this month (the 17th to the 22nd), when the Sun and Mercury go over Jupiter -- it may be quick, but it's impact is considerable. Jupiter in Cancer tends to promote more conventional points of view, a perspective that is colored by emotions and tradition. The big resurgence in patriotic and religious feelings in this country the last year has been a perfect mirror of this kind of thinking. However, Uranus in Aquarius would love nothing better than to shake up all this conventionality and stand it on its head. Uranus is a revolutionary at heart -- he never saw a status quo he didn't want to lob a grenade at. Granted, his criticisms are often right on the money -- there's much about "the way things are" in our culture that should be overhauled. That won't make him popular, however (e.g., the recent legal ruling on the Pledge of Allegiance and the big flap that caused). The trouble with a quincunx is that it brings together two forces that have little in common and thus have a tough time reaching a reconciliation. Both sides need to adjust a little and give up any pretense to being "the one truth" that everyone agrees upon. Fortunately, this aspect is only in effect for a month or two, diminishing its effect. That may be to our loss -- we could use a good debate like this. Make the most of this time to reexamine some of your beliefs and assumptions, trying on new ideas and perspectives just for the intellectual pleasure of playing with ideas. It's a great time to lighten your mental baggage. This is certainly not a time to dogmatically hold onto old ways "just because we've always done it that way" -- traditions reflect the past, not the present. We need to grow up and move on...
With 4 planets in the "me first" sign of Leo, and 4 opposite them in Aquarius, there's a big tug-of-war between more self-centered activity and acts that benefit the greater good. In fact, this kind of duality is usually more a matter of appearances than reality if you don't see yourself at odds with the rest of the world. Perhaps this dichotomy is most easily seen in your close relationships. There's a crying need to treat loved ones fairly and compassionately, since any perceived inequality can quickly be blown out of proportion. There was a Juno-Venus conjuction on the 22nd (at 13Vi28), which creates a practical kind of love between partners, but only if there's a level playing field. If you aren't playing fairly, then all kinds of resentments can bubble to the surface. Ask yourself what's truly important in your life -- your desires may not be as selfish as you assume. There's a largeness of heart in Leo that comes out when you aren't protecting your ego obsessively -- see how big your heart is now...
Saturn is trioctile Neptune on the 29th, the first of 3 such contacts. The other connections will happen on 2002-12-30 and 2003-5-20. Here are two planets that are as different as you can possibly get. Saturn is "hard reality", the status quo, the reality of the material plane. I often refer to him as "the Headmaster at the School of Hard Knocks", since Saturn likes his karmic lessons to be paid in full, without cutting any corners. Neptune, on the other hand, is the Dreamer and Idealist, the very clouds that we stick our heads into when we're in an escapist mood. While stressing the connections between all things and how we're all one, he glosses over the individual and particular circumstances, casting a hazy and illusory glow over everything. Given that trioctiles are difficult aspects (a bit like squares, but not so harsh), it appears the Pragmatist and the Mystic are not going to agree on things. There's a big disagreement going on between practical realities and a more idealist approach to living, with no clear cut answers (Neptune doesn't know how to do "clear cut"). On the one hand, it's good to question old realities. "The way things are" is more a matter of past habit than it is a question of wise and useful decisions. These things should be questioned from time to time, especially when our behavior is at odds with our true beliefs and ideals. On the other hand, our dreams and ideals are also a matter of habit, a history of our path of heart and mind, both the wisdom and the folly. Ideals can become out of step with current demands, holding us back instead of promoting our growth on both spiritual and practical levels. This aspect is a time to let these two radically different points of view bounce off each other, trying each other in combat as it were, perfecting each other until they can finally come together again. Spirit and everyday living are never at odds -- it only seems that way with our limited understanding. Avoid easy answers or accepting one point of view over the other prematurely. By withholding your identification with either perspective (the ego loves to say "this is what I believe!"), you gain the freedom of using each of them as needed. Eventually you can drop the baggage of belief altogether. This is a testing year -- get to work!