Current Transits for June 2009

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


Pallas enters Leo, 6-3
Full Moon at 17Sa07, 6-7
Uranus Semisextile Neptune, 6-10 -- a major, 171 year cycle reaches a milestone!
Jupiter Retrograde Station at 27Aq01, 6-15
Vesta enters Cancer, 6-19
New Moon at 1Cn30, 6-22
Jupiter Semisextile Uranus, 6-30

An online ephemeris for the month is available.

General Outlook for the Month

Like May before it, June appears to be dominated by that powerful conjunction at 26 degrees Aquarius of Jupiter, Chiron and Neptune, in cahoots with Uranus over in Pisces -- what I called "the Neptune knot" last month. Granted, the coming weeks aren't quite as intense and overwhelming as May was -- well, most of the time. Get used to these profound energies, as it looks as if they will be the big picture for several more months. This is a long-term wakeup call for humanity to clean up its act about any number of topics that fascinate and beguile us. The biggest astrological event is the semisextile of Uranus and Neptune on the 10th. I first mentioned this incredible chart in an article I wrote back in 2006 discussing the cycle between these two planets. Of course, you can't discuss this semisextile without looking deeper at the 1993 conjunction of Uranus and Neptune -- many of the same issues from back then are facing us now in a more modern form. Uranus is a kind of mental-intuitive planet, that lightning bolt of "aha!" that cuts through limited thought patterns and changes our whole perspective. Neptune is the deeper unconscious, emotional energy that we feel as the workings of the dark parts of the psyche that the ego can't see, the juicy energies that actually forge the worlds we live in. Reality seems to shift quickly and thoroughly in some subtle ways when this cycle is active and given the weird synchronicities lately, it's very active. Most of the storms in June are activations of this group of outer planets. I find it exciting and intriguing, although I'll admit that Neptune experiences tend to reflect your own unspoken assumptions about life. If you're not in a good place already, this conjunction may seem much more problematic. At least it's not Pluto...

There aren't many important events in June, but some of them are heavy hitters. The list includes 2 "big aspects", the Jupiter station on the 15th, and some sign changes for a couple of asteroids.

Pallas moves from Cancer into Leo on the 3rd. She will be in this placement until she shifts into Virgo on Aug 1. Pallas is many things to us, but she's always known for her artistic streak. To the Greeks, she was a patroness of the arts. While Leo is usually tainted with a reputation for self-indulgence, at his highest he's also known for a creative side, a tendency to express the soul within just because "that's who I am and I like it!" This placement is an excuse to put aside the typical concerns of living and do something for yourself. We all get wrapped up in daily living and need an excuse to -- every once in awhile -- break out of the mold and do something that feeds the soul and makes you feel more alive and connected. This varies from person to person, of course, so you'll have to follow your own instincts as to what works for you. You can't live on the outside within the mask you present to the world all the time and be whole within. Be yourself, in the deepest sense possible.

The chart for the full moon has a split personality, based on two distinct planetary patterns that have only the loosest of contacts between them. One of these is our friend the knot, wiring up the region from 23 to 27 degrees of each zodiac sign. This pattern includes Chiron, Neptune and Jupiter, all at 26 Aquarius, Juno and Uranus in Pisces, Mercury in Taurus and Vesta in Gemini. However, as the early June storm dissipates, the influence of the knot pattern is on the wane. A second pattern is emerging from obscurity this week. The Sun, Moon and Saturn form a T-square, with help from Venus, Mars and Pallas, and Pluto on the edges. (We'll see a second permutation of this pattern in the new moon chart.) We're getting mixed messages.

Since this T-square is the new story in this chart, let's start there. The T-square is in mutable signs, so adaptability is at a premium. Saturn is telling us to cut back, be more practical and realistic, adjust to current realities -- all the fatherly stuff we prefer to tune out. The connection to Venus-Mars is curious, since Saturn puts a wet blanket on any kind of romantic situation. Fantasies are fun, but unsustainable. Further, Venus and Pallas are the only lifelines that Pluto has to the rest of the chart. Pluto deepens and intensifies the emotions way beyond a lighthearted romance, which may be a problem considering all the other stresses on relationships this month. Be cautious if people or things look too good to be true, as appearances resemble your hopes and wishes more than the actual situation. It's hard to keep your feet on the ground -- it's a long chain from Pluto to Saturn. And then there's the ever present knot. Notice that Mercury is square the Aquarius planets, so the thinking mind is mostly clueless about the higher spiritual dimensions coming at us. The attempt to reduce an inspiration that is essentially formless to simple, concrete terms is rather pointless. The lessons of Uranus and Neptune have to be assimilated at a more intuitive, nonverbal level than we are used to. Juno conjunct Uranus is an odd combination. Why would anyone want the chaotic, unpredictable Uranus vibes to take over their intimate relationships? It sounds on the surface like a bad idea to be avoided, but the whole story is more complex still. Squaring these bodies is Vesta over in Gemini (on the discovery degree of Uranus, no less!). There's an intense competition between the need to relate (Juno) and the need to retreat and go within (Vesta), and all the powerful outer planet action doesn't help. With so much high level input coming at us, there's naturally a tendency to step back and attempt to sort it all out. Assuming the people around us give us the necessary space, which may not happen. In short, life is all jumbled up and at odds with itself. It's a juggling act. Maybe as we become more adept at these outer planet energies, it will make more sense...

Uranus is semisextile Neptune on the 10th for the first of 3 such contacts. The upcoming contacts are 2009-10-4 and 2010-4-13. I've been anticipating this aspect for quite some time. This semisextile is the first major aspect for these planets since their spectacular conjunction back in 1993 , the start of a new 171 year long cycle. The changes that occurred in people's lives back then were quite profound and I expect this current aspect to take this process of spiritual transformation to the next level. Uranus operates as the Awakener, the planet that blasts us out of our ruts and lets us see the world from a whole new perspective. He takes our petty concerns and points of view and with one quick stroke, shows us how irrelevant they are. He gives us our first intuitions of what life beyond our normal, mundane world might be like. Neptune is more elusive. He's a gateway to a deeper region of reality than the conscious ego or the Mercury thinking mind can fathom on their own. This ability to transcend the thinking mind is what makes this region mysterious and confusing. This gateway leads to a hall of mirrors, where everyone sees what they "want" to see, although they may consciously deny that's what they intended. In one mirror, one sees the inner world, filled with mythic and powerful drives and stories that underlie our lives, a vast world that modern psychology blandly calls "the unconscious". In another, the outer world appears as a dance of subtle energies and influences that lie behind the material forms we know with our senses. One person feels the hand of God guiding the world, another sees a world of magick where the entire universe in interconnected. In a sense, all these perspectives are correct, but each interpretation is misleading if it is believed in an overly literalist manner. Neptune is too slippery to be confined within a strict set of beliefs. And then there's all the misunderstandings, delusions, confusions and blind spots where Neptune is operating less than optimally.

The conjunction in '93 was a wild ride (and not just because I was laid off that year and starting a new life). It really felt like normal reality was being reshaped regularly, often several times a day. People felt this wild rush of energy coming from within that became difficult to hold for such a long time -- stress levels went crazy as people confronted the inner world without warning. The more "spiritually agile" among us experienced this rush as an extended initiation, a promotion to a higher plane of activity than we were used to handling. The conjunction finally died off (went out of orb) about 1998, but the cycle continues.

The semisextile is the next chapter of this story. I think we're already experiencing the crazy-mystical energies as the cycle kicks in again. This aspect is amplified by a number of curious astrological details. Obviously there's the tight Neptune knot at 26 degrees of Aquarius, putting a spotlight on Neptune, not to mention all the aspects between these planets going off constantly. And all these planets are hitting their retrograde stations, drawing our attention even closer. But the most curious clue is the Neptune return of Apr 11, when Neptune returned to the same zodiacal position (25Aq52) as when it was discovered in 1846. Simultaneously, Uranus is squaring its discovery position (24Gm27) this year. The discovery point for a planet represents the moment when a new activity of the psyche is revealed to the conscious mind, when humanity first becomes aware we have abilities we didn't suspect before. When a planet aspects its discovery degree, it's like we turn the page in our lessons with that planet and move on to a more profound lesson and understanding. I suspect we're going to see a lot of this hall of mirrors the next year. I'd love to be more specific about what to expect, but given Uranus' flair for surprises and Neptune's penchant for mystery, I don't see a lot of details yet. The trip will be fascinating...

Note: many of the birthcharts for the USA have the Moon (the public) around 26 or 27 degrees of Aquarius, right in the middle of this knot. Is it any wonder the average person is worried about what's going on? And then there's Jupiter...

Jupiter reaches his retrograde station of 27Aq01 on the 15th, starting a 4 month period of reverse motion. He'll be backing up until Oct 12, when he reaches his direct station of 17Aq09. Jupiter is about making connections with the outer world and other people for our mutual benefit. These connections work on many levels: business, government and the law, higher learning, spirituality, etc. It seems when Jupiter starts to back up like this, many of these connections "dry up" on us. Of course, in these hard economic times, everyone is pulling back from any connection that involves spending money. It can be a lousy time for a business person, so it's best to cut back and prepare for a few lean months -- so what's new? Of more interest than this typical story is the connection Jupiter has with Chiron and Neptune this year. Due to their various retrograde motions, these three planets are performing an intricate dance in late Aquarius the coming year, so their influences are linked to an uncommon degree. Compared to the "spiritual" qualities of the outer planets, Jupiter is more of a pedestrian common sense, the collective story about "Our World" that most people agree with. It's these kinds of stories that the Neptune knot is likely to challenge and transform. This business of who we are as a people, what we stand for, and the connections that bind us together are up for renegotiation. The social contract of shared lives and assumptions needs renewal and modification, especially since the social conditions we're living now are so radically different from even 2 years ago. People become hesitant and uncertain when the ground shifts beneath them -- this will take some time. Hopefully a new consensus will emerge out of this process that we can live with.

Vesta slips from Gemini into Cancer on the 19th. She will remain in this sign until Aug 26, when she moves into Leo. This placement is a bit of a contradiction. Vesta is an introvert, someone who withdraws from people and goes within whenever she feels overwhelmed by others. She can find social interaction draining because the true source of her power comes from the inside. Cancer, on the other hand, is all about strong emotional connections with friends and loved ones. This puts Vesta in a bind, caught between opposing tendencies that are hard to balance out. If you're one of those Vesta people that needs to go off by yourself frequently for your own sanity, try to balance your relationships with your need for solitude. Other people can interpret your silence and withdrawal as a kind of emotional rejection, which it really isn't. Their reaction is not really your problem (each of us in responsible for our experiences), but you wind up still having to deal with it. On the other end of the scale, it's way too easy for Vesta to claim emotional overload and go into her cocoon. Come up for air every now and then. Your good friends will understand your absences, even if the peskier relationships might suffer. At least you'll know who is on your side. Don't disappear completely...

With some minor variations, the basic structure of the new moon chart is remarkably like the full moon. There are two main patterns, loosely connected: the Neptune knot and the Saturn-Pluto grouping. The big difference is that Pluto is directly opposite the new moon (and Vesta), receiving attention from Venus -Mars, and clearly a powerful player in this chart. Meanwhile Saturn, while still important, is second fiddle this time. As for the knot planets, they are relatively isolated and quiet in this chart, lurking more in the background this time. In the tug-of-war between these two groups, Pluto and friends temporarily comes out ahead.

The next few days (if not the whole lunar month) are more Pluto-ish than we've experienced for several months. On the personal level, your emotional responses to people and situations is heightened, making life feel more intense and demanding than usual. If you're in a close relationship, it will inevitably spill over to this arena as well. We are attracted to the "warm fuzzies" in these relations, but Pluto is mirroring back the shadowy sides also. You can react in two major manners. The first is to take these dark sides literally and take it out on your partner -- a low probability of a desirable outcome. A more useful technique is to realize this kind of judgment says more about yourself than the other person. By suspending belief in your own critical judgments, you give the other person some breathing room to remain in your presence. The proud ego may not like to admit it, but we are all "flawed creatures" in some way or another, and our individuality is colored as much by these flaws as by our sterling talents. Back off and accept each other's humanity a bit more. Pluto coaxes us to let go and bad attitudes are certainly something worth relinquishing. On the national level (since the 4th is coming this lunar month), remember that Pluto has been dominant on the national scene the last 1-2 years, particularly in terms of the meltdown of the economy and the effort to rebuild it. There's been much activity on this front recently, mainly in the automobile sector, but I suspect there's some big news on the horizon again. (Then again, this may be a more general influence for the coming year.) And behind all this is the ongoing Uranus-Neptune story: How do you make your world? Is this really the world you want? The power of belief is strong and works in ways we can barely fathom. But the power of destructive beliefs is simply tragic. There's no excuse for negativity, especially since you're at the center of any storm you create. Be gentle, honest and clear -- it works better.

Jupiter is semisextile Uranus on the 30th for the second of 3 such contacts. The first contact was on May 19, while the final connection is on Dec 12. Jupiter and Uranus are both mental-intuitive planets, although Jupiter is more conventional in his thinking and Uranus is rather wild and unpredictable. This is a good aspect for shaking up your thinking and taking on a fresh perspective. It promotes research of any kind, especially in the areas of science, technology or modern communications. It also teaches us that many of the stories and myths in our lives are not god-given truths, but are merely mental tools for helping us order our lives. If our tools create more chaos and distraction in our lives, maybe we should start questioning their use. Uranus does speed up our mental universe considerably (how fast is your Internet connection compared to 10 years ago?), but constant high-amp mental energy is very draining and stressful. We need a break from the busy-ness to stay sane. Question the stories in your life, choosing the ones that serve you and letting go of the ones that work against your purposes. That's some good, practical wisdom that we rarely remember to apply. This Jupiter-Uranus cycle began in 1997 and much has changed since then. As we near the end of this 13 year cycle, it's time to start asking what we've learned from this journey. Wisdom is good...

For me, one of the more fascinating manifestations of the Neptune knot storm in late May was an email discussion with some friends. It started out on the topic of 2012 and its more virulent "end of the world" forms, which led to precession and the idea of world ages, and then turned into a seminar on the nature of synchronicity and causation in astrology and magic. We wound up in some strange places that surprised and befuddled us at times. Meanwhile in the outer world, every day brought new synchronistic events: daily references to 2012 in the papers, one blatant outbreak of Carl Jung and synchronicity on my car radio, street lights going out as I pass by on my walk (always an obvious sign!), people showing up after you think of them. Related events happening on the inner and outer planes at once that change your perspective -- this is exactly what you'd expect of Uranus and Neptune!

One of my friends expressed some disappointment with the new energies. She imagines Neptune energy to be feminine in nature (I often do as well), but was perplexed that the knot doesn't feel that way to her. "Maybe it's the Chiron influence", she says. The energies are rather impersonal so far, not at all like a lovely goddess.

And one informant says my "quiet times" are a joke -- it's all crazy-busy for her these days.