Current Transits for June 2006

Here's some of the important astrological news this month ...


Mars enters Leo, 6-3
Juno enters Leo, 6-5
Full Moon at 20Sa40, 6-11
Mars Conjucnt Saturn, at 8Le45, 6-18
Uranus Retrograde Station at 14Pi43, 6-19
Saturn Opposing Chiron, 6-20
Ceres Retrograde Station at 26Aq57, 6-20
Jupiter Square Saturn, 6-22
New Moon at 3Cn57, 6-25
Saturn Trioctile Pluto, 6-29

An online ephemeris for the month is available.

General Outlook for the Month

Most of June seems to be a continuation of the chaotic, low energy pattern of influences that has been dogging us since early April. We do get a brief reprieve between the 15th and the 22nd in the form of a rather intense Koz Alert storm. This storm consists of a double T-square pattern of planets, which promises to be pretty difficult to handle at times. It's as though all the latent tensions in life come bursting out that week, for both good and bad, so give it your best effort. However, the rest of the month seems to be this endless noise waveform, punctuated from time to time by quick blips of energy. The harmonics are such that life seems full of interruptions and unexpected detours that keep knocking you off course and disrupting your plans (believe me -- I really know this one!). As soon as you put your mind to doing something important, something else grabs your attention and won't let go. Many of the big astrological events this month involve the outer planets, especially Saturn. Frequently, when these bodies are active, it's as though some invisible hand is quietly influencing your path, pushing you in directions you had never considered consciously before. Yes, you do need to pay attention to these guiding signals, but you also need to maintain some focus on getting the mundane stuff done as well. Remain patient, pace yourself and try to keep a bemused attitude -- it's easy to wear yourself down if you're not careful.

Unlike recent months, June actually has a sizable number of astrological events to talk about. The news includes 3 very "big aspects" and one that is critical in its own right, even though it's not between the outer planets. Uranus and Ceres both go retrograde, while Mars and Juno both enter the sign of Leo. We appear to be at the end of several of the big aspects, making way for some new ones later in the summer. That may be why the spring and summer feel like an extended transition period.

Mars moves from Cancer into Leo on the 3rd. He will be travelling through this sign until July 22, when he shifts into Virgo. After the last 6 weeks in Cancer, Mars' entry into Leo is such a relief for him. After all, Mars is about expressing your will power and doing things your own way, while Leo is all about "me", or rather about the emergence of the ego. All this sounds well and good, unless of course it is expressed on a very crude and undeveloped level of awareness. It's this lower expression of Leo that has given him the reputation of being a boring egotist. You can see the negative consequences of this expression best by hanging around other people who are doing the "me first" thing at the same time -- just watch the arguments and brawls that a room full of egos can create! The secret of this placement is that Mars in Leo is not simply about ego, but is even more importantly about the emergence of one's heart center as the source of all your behavior. A higher Leo is warm, compassionate and emotionally open, just as a higher Mars is about simply getting things done, not throwing your weight around. It's impossible to be a tyrant or a snob when your heart is opened up like this. The lower Mars in Leo operates from the solar plexus center, the seat of power relationships and self-promotion. Use this time to refine the self and unleash it from the silly power games that preoccupy a lesser person. After all, you need to develop your self in the ways of the heart before you can have any self to express. Be considerate, but have some fun. This placement is good for kicking back a little and enjoying yourself.

Juno enters Leo on the 5th, where she will stay until Aug 10. As with Mars, this placement could go any number of ways depending upon your intentions. As I said 4 years ago, Juno loves to be appreciated as an equal partner and Leo simply loves to be appreciated -- period. If the "me first" side of the formula predominates, it spells trouble for any relationship. One partner will always feel put down if true equality isn't present, and that breeds resentment and mistrust. Once more, Leo rules the heart. The best recipe for companionship is to love openly and receive love fully, but only if the feeling is genuine and heartfelt. It may feel like Mars and Juno are in a tug of war for a few weeks, but only if you "value" conflict and disharmony. If they both take on their higher forms, I can see them making quite a couple...

As with much of early June, the full moon chart hints at some powerful energies without overtly delivering on the promise. The planets in this chart are essentially divided into 3 distinct groups with only minimal connections. Hence the chart talks to us as 3 separate conversations that can have little to do with each other.

The first group is the Sun in Gemini and the Moon in Sagittarius , teamed up with Pluto (next to the Moon) and Neptune. We normally think of Gemini and Sag as pretty light hearted and upbeat signs, though Pluto and Neptune add a deeper tinge to the energy that takes us to a more profound level. This is combined (by octile style aspects) with a wide T-square in fixed signs of Juno, Mars, Vesta and Saturn all in Leo (!), Jupiter in Scorpio and Chiron in Aquarius. This is the same T-square that is so active during the storm around the 18th. There's not much flexibility in this group, as fixed signs tend to stand their ground rather stubbornly. Such insistence is likely to promote considerable discord between people at times unless the excessive egos can step back and look at things more coolly. A clash of ideas and opinions is especially likely. The third group appears to be operating quite independently of the rest of the chart. This is a sextile fan pattern (planets every 60 degrees) consisting of Pallas, Uranus, Venus and Mercury. Except for the Venus part, this group has a strong mental overtone to it, although the feelings aren't that far in the background. If you're playing with ideas these days, this group at least demands your notions be practical and intuitively appealing. As I said, there may not seem to be much commonality between these various messages, but sometimes the sky is like that. If you insist on a message, wait a week for the big storm.

Mars is conjunct Saturn on the 18th at 8Le45. While this day is when the conjunction is exact, it should be mentioned that these two trouble makers are "in orb" (close enough for the conjunction to be active) all of June and into early July, charging this entire period with some very trying energies. The ancient astrologers called Mars and Saturn the Lesser and Greater Malefics, a term that means no good comes from these guys. They aren't quite that bad, to be honest about it, but it does seem that their energies trigger parts of the psyche that are pretty difficult for most people to master gracefully. A good phrase for the positive expression of this aspect is disciplined action. Given the Leo overtones of the placement, it's best to keep your ego in check, to avoid acting in a self-serving, stubborn or overly assertive manner. This can also be a time when you start a major project and immediately run into roadblocks. This is likely a clue from the universe to slow down and consider your plans more thoroughly and dispassionately. Fill in the missing details and reality checks. It may not be fun, but it pays off in the end. I guess that's the modern version of malefic.

Uranus stands still at 14Pi43 on the 19th, about to start 5 months of retrograde motion. He will be backing up until Nov 20, when he goes direct at 10Pi48 (that one is an interesting looking chart!). The mind is said to work on two different levels in astrology, ruled by Mercury and Uranus. The Mercury mind (or as I've nicknamed him, the "monkey mind") is clever and skillful. His greatest achievement has been language, the verbal web we weave for making sense of and "capturing" the world with our stories. Generally speaking, he is very efficient at this, more or less successfully stuffing reality into a small mental box. The Uranus mind operates more at the level of intuition, of simply "seeing" the results and conclusions in your mind's eye. When Uranus is in reverse gear as it is in coming months, the effect on the Mercury mind is most apparent. For reasons you can't explain or even fathom, your life ceases to make sense in some area and refuses to fit inside the box you assigned for it. When reality falls outside the box your use to make sense of it, the world appears crazy and chaotic, it literally makes no sense. This experience is the sign that Uranus is acting on you to dislodge some deep-seated mental ruts and outmoded beliefs, the very foundation of Mercury's world. First of all, we tend to confuse our stories, beliefs, "god given truths" and even habits of perception with reality itself. We see the world through the distorting lens of our own minds -- there is no other way for humans to perceive the world. Since most people honestly believe they see reality directly, clearly and without distortion, the lessons of Uranus can be disorienting in the extreme. The lessons of chaos and craziness, far from being an assault on rationality, are actually a mirror for the mind to show it its own limitations. The craziness warns us that our interpretations and stories are too narrow and limited to handle the big picture, that our beliefs have become a prison that restricts your growth. It challenges the monkey mind to move to a higher level of operating that transcends mere thinking. In particular, Uranus is in Pisces these days, the zodiac sign of faith, religion, belief and submission. The topic of religion has been in the news a lot lately (too much for my tastes), especially in its lower forms. This stuck-in-the-past kind of religion can be a very limiting influence that actually kills the life of the spirit. Perhaps Uranus is slowly stimulating us to look this reality of faith in the eye and see its flaws and shortcomings. Anyway, this is a time when a little insanity is good for you. Follow the path into the places where nonsense lives. If you can handle the rude shock, it's an extremely (third) eye opening experience. Look for the "aha!s", where the lightbulbs go off.

Saturn is opposite Chiron on the 20th. This contact is the last of 27 contacts in a most incredible aspect. Due to Chiron's highly elliptical orbit, these two planets have been travelling at about the same speed, playing tag with each other for the last 20 years! The opposition started with 20 contacts between 1986 and 1996, then took some time off (including a 4 year quincunx). They picked up again in 2003 for another 7 contacts and now here we are at the end. It's difficult to sum up 20 years of life and even more difficult to tease out the influence of this opposition on our lives from other influences going on at the same time. In broad outline, Saturn rules over the structures of our lives, the things we take for granted and assume will always be there. With Saturn in Leo (9Le02, to be exact), the structures of the psyche that reveal themselves as our sense of self, of being someone in particular, can feel under attack or in need of revision. Chiron in Aquarius (9Aq02) hints at the tension between ego and being connected with others, especially at the level of an intellectual camaraderie, a friendly meeting of the minds. When you let in the support of others, it takes the pressure off you. You no longer have to be the center of the world, taking care of everything, going it alone. Curiously, our sense of identity is completely entangled with our relationships, their influence on us, the ideas and emotions we share, the support networks we create. It's ridiculous to conceive of "my identity" as though I existed in a vacuum. We tend to forget this subtle interplay when we look at our worlds in a very black and white manner. This is a time to break out of the limiting roles and assumptions that unwittingly hold us down and that starts with opening up our hearts to others more thoroughly. Relax and enjoy the feeling of community. It's time to move onto the next lesson for these planets.

Ceres reaches her retrograde station of 26Aq57 on the 20th. She will be backing up until Oct 2, when she goes direct at 12Aq45. We normally think of Ceres as the Great Mother, the Source of Life, the great web that links all living beings in a network of caring and support. It's hard to reconcile "mama!" with a mental, impersonal sign like Aquarius at first, but there's actually a very natural explanation for this placement. Ceres in Aquarius is the mark of the humanitarian philanthropist, helping humanity at large with the assistance of big organizations. It's not a very personal form of caring, but it's ideally suited for some of the massive aid situations we've seen in recent years. With Ceres undergoing her entire retrograde cycle in Aquarius, it's time to reconsider (both personally and as a society) the role of aid and support on these massive scales. It's especially important to raise to awareness the areas and people that need our help and we have yet to respond. I find it interesting that environmental and climate issues are in the news again lately (particularly after the Al Gore movie on global warming was released), as "caring for Mother Nature" is about as Ceres a theme as you can imagine. It's not in our best interest, let alone the interest of the children we profess to love, to destroy the planet that gives us our very lives. In that sense, an issue like global warming is actually a health care issue -- without a habitable planet, good health becomes a moot point. So we need to look at the big picture awhile, free from the stupid ideas that blind our vision to the obvious. Humanity has yet to realize we're all in this together. The time is running short for us to get it...

Jupiter is square Saturn on the 22nd for the second of 3 times. The previous contact was 2005-12-16, while the final one is on Oct 25. It's hard to talk about the cycle of these two giant planets without going into global problems and historical trends. Since the most ancient of times, astrologers have considered this cycle to refer to the affairs of kingdoms and empires. This particular cycle (which began with the conjunction of 2000-5-28 on the Israeli Sun) has been tied up with the Palestinian-Israeli conflict in the Mid-East. The various aspects of this cycle have reflected the conflicts on the ground in an interesting manner. Squares are a time of crisis in a cycle, a time to backtrack, reconsider, change course. The problems and unintended consequences of a course of action become painfully obvious during the square, a motivating factor to alter your approach and take a different line of attack. The first contact last December coincided with a minor stroke for Ariel Sharon, a minor speedbump at the time that barely slowed him down. However, a few weeks later he had a second massive stroke that put him in a coma and removed him from the political scene. Later that month, Hamas took over the Palestinian government. We are in a particularly difficult period now, with both sides stuck in yesteryear's ideologies and nobody talking to anyone. It even sounds like the informal truce in the area is breaking down. We're at the crucial stage in this aspect where things will likely get much worse before it gets better. Adversity is sometimes the only thing that gets people to wake up and smell the coffee. It's a hard way to learn, however...

The double T-square pattern of the 18th loses steam quickly after the summer solstice and by the new moon, things are weak and noisy once more. There's hardly any structure in the new moon chart worth analyzing, except for the lingering T-square. This hints that the next 4 weeks may be more chaotic noise like we've been seeing lately (surprise!). We are also heading into the birthdays or solar returns for both the US and President Bush himself. There are still some karmic paybacks in store, with the US nodal axis as well as Bush's ascendent and first house planets affected. For individuals, it's hard to say where this chart is headed, since it has little direction at all. Pick something to focus on and stick with it, despite the interruptions. Don't push yourself too hard now, since there is no tailwind supporting us -- summertime is supposed to be lazy, right?

Finally, Saturn is trioctile Pluto on the 29th, the third of 3 contacts. The previous contacts for this aspect were on 2005-9-9 (during the Katrina aftermath) and 2006-1-1, New Year's Day. Notice that Pluto is closely conjoined with the Galactic Center (GC) during this time, while Saturn has been criss-crossing George Bush's ascendent and first house Mercury and Pluto. His reputation was teetering already, but the Katrina recovery fiasco seemed to send Bush's approval ratings into freefall. He actually showed some uncharacteristic signs of humility and being worn down at his most recent press conferences. Needless to say, Saturn and Pluto are two of the most difficult planets around to cope with. In broad strokes, Saturn is about facing reality (no excuses will cut it) and Pluto is about being in harmony with your inner nature (equally demanding). Unfortunately, these two trends may not be compatible right now, dragging us in competing directions. Generally speaking, trioctiles appear as outside influences that clash with your own path and affairs. In a deeper reality, these outside influences are the consequences of previous (and probably forgotten) actions on your part that are coming back at you. You may have changed in the meantime and moved on, but you still need to deal with all this old business. There's a lot of Saturn in the air this month, never a sign of a good time. Uncompromising patience and honesty is the only way through this, along with all the tough work. Ouch...

The massive earthquake that hit the Indonesian island of Java on May 27 has some interesting connections with the planet Uranus. When I started looking over the charts for this event, I noticed that Uranus was about to cross the midheaven in the city of Yogyakarta, one of the cities most heavily affected. In fact, Uranus was directly over the eastern end of the island when the earthquake hit and would have stood within 1 degree of the zenith at Yogyakarta a half hour later. Curiously, Uranus has been passing over the island daily since early March, almost like a series of strafing runs to soften up the territory for an assault. I suspect Uranus has been loosening up the fault lines in the area for quite some time now and finally something snapped. As for what was the specific trigger that made things happen right then, I'm not sure yet.