Low-Down Archives June-July 2007

June-July 2007

For the New Moon Cycle in Gemini:
June 14/15 to July 14, 2007

Jun.07-Nov.29 � Pluto long conjunction with the Galactic Center

(I snuck this one in here because I forgot to include it in the last update. :-) For about 6 months, Pluto will be within 1 degree of conjoining the centre of our galaxy. During this time, Pluto will make 2 exact conjunctions to the Galactic Centre: Jul.17 and Oct.27 (it also made a conjunction back on Dec.02.2006). We call our Galaxy the Milky Way because of the beautiful river of milky white light that stretches across the night sky. The centre of our galaxy is a massive source of radio waves, very possibly from a huge black hole, called Sagittarius A*. According to Ephemeris.com, this centre is currently at 26 degrees, 57 minutes, of Sagittarius. Its position shifts very slowly (primarily due to precession) and takes roughly 75 years to traverse just one degree of the Zodiac. According to The American Ephemeris for the 21st Century, the GC will remain at 26 degrees until October 2010.

What does it mean for a planet to be aligned with the Galactic Centre? This is still a new area of astrology, so very little research has been done as yet. However, it is generally interpreted to be a powerful amplifier of the planet's raw archetypal energy. As such, we're more likely to experience its effects on a global or vastly transpersonal scale, rather than a personal one. Pluto has to do with death, rebirth and transformation. It has been associated with very intense and powerful energy, such as war and nuclear energy. Initially Pluto can be very destructive before we start to see the more healing or transformative benefits. Pluto is in the neighbourhood of the Galactic Centre throughout 2006 and 2007, with close glimpses in 2005 and 2008. In fact, when Pluto went Retrograde in March 2006, it stationed at 26 degrees of Sagittarius � the same degree as the GC. Pluto is at 26 Sag during the time ranges of: Feb.04 to May.24 2006, Dec.03 to 31 2006, and Jul.14 to Oct.29 2007 (although will remain within a 1-degree orb until Nov.29), which could well be especially sensitive times.

It is interesting (and not a little frightening) that during 2005 and 2006, we have seen a persistent global escalation of "sabre rattling" involving nuclear power (real or potential). This seems to echo some of Pluto's themes, although it remains to be seen what influences will shift this situation in one direction or another. We shall have to continue to observe the unfolding of world events as Pluto continues to pass through this sensitive area of the Zodiac. In particular, the rest of this year could prove to be very "interesting" in Plutonian ways! 

Jun.14, 11:13 PM EDT � NEW MOON in GEMINI (23:41) ("What's a New Moon?"  Read more about the Sun-Moon cycles.   Astrology humor about Hermes/Mercury.)
(Jun.15, 4:13 AM BST in London UK)
(Jun.15, 1:13 PM AEST in Sydney AU)

This should be an "interesting" New Moon cycle, to put it mildly! The New Moon is in Gemini, and Gemini's planetary ruler, Mercury, is just hours away from going Retrograde! Having the New Moon in Gemini typically brings a time when you can explore the workings of your conscious mind � thoughts, ideas, perceptions, observations and the communication of these.

Mercury retrograde, however, is famous for its tendency to take the conscious mind and befuddle it! Mercury in mythology (or Hermes in the Greek pantheon) was a clever trickster who loved to play tricks to squeeze his way through a tight spot. During Mercury retrograde, your mind tends to play tricks on you, words may come out of your mouth without thinking and assumptions turn out to be misguided or wrong. It is common to have to reschedule appointments, suffer delays, redo things that were already done (especially in the 2-3 weeks prior to the retrograde period) and continually adapt to new information and changing circumstances.

It's a little like the traffic lights at an intersection suddenly going crazy and watching the drivers try to figure out the mess! But it can also be a time when valuable new information emerges that would normally be obscured by day-to-day life. With the New Moon opposite Pluto, this lunar cycle is especially likely to bring you to a deep awareness of what goes on under the surface of your own mind and the world around you. You may or may not like what you see, but you will be more empowered for knowing it because you will be aware of it. You can't deal with what you're not aware of, and Gemini is the essence of conscious awareness.

The New Moon takes place as the "Almost Grand Sextile" is starting to break apart (see Jun.05-13). Some of the aspects are still in orb: Sun/Moon sextile Mars (creative and physical energy), Mars sextile Neptune (use of energy for a creative or higher purpose), Sun/Moon sextile Saturn (stability, discipline and productivity), Sun/Moon trine Neptune (optimism, faith, creativity, love) and Mars trine Saturn (sustained energy, effective progress, physical strength). However, Jupiter has moved out of orb, leaving a Cradle configuration (see Jun.06-16) � still a very creative energy filled with potential. Pluto is within wide orb to maintain the Grand Sextile energy, but it's not likely to be quite as potent.

So, although there may be some difficult truths to face as you peer into your unconscious, you have a lot of supportive energy and opportunity to transform any disadvantages into advantages. And of course, the Saturn-Neptune opposition once again dominates the planetary landscape, since it forms the brace from which the Cradle is suspended. The more you can master the conflict and challenge of the Saturn-Neptune opposition, the more you will be able to access the creative and transformative potential of the other aspects given above. (See Jun.25 for more about the final pass of Saturn-Neptune.)

There's a duality to Gemini that may come into play here. Gemini is the Twins, and Gemini people often have two sides to their personality. These "sub-personalities" often play "tag team" � for example, one comes out when the other becomes stressed. With the Saturn-Neptune duality in the air, and with Pluto bringing up feelings, issues and dynamics from the unconscious, you may find that this lunar cycle brings a fair bit of shifting back and forth between different outlooks, opinions, perspectives and attitudes (in yourself and in others).

The key is to stay flexible, but not so flexible that you become lost in the confusion. There are no planets in Earth signs at the New Moon, which could make it a big difficult to stay grounded. If you wander away from your centre, find activities, ideas and experiences that can remind you of who you are, what you're trying to accomplish and why, and what is in your best interest. If nothing else, take a walk, take a break, put your mind in a different "space" � anything that can break the cycle of negativity, stress or overwhelmed feelings.

The fact that Earthy energy is a bit inaccessible suggests that the potential and transformation are primarily internal rather than external � spiritual, mental and psychological, rather than physical. Since the New Moon is in Airy Gemini, this is likely to be primarily mental, intellectual, communicative and conceptual. The Moon and Mercury are also in Mutual Reception (in each other's sign), which gives an intuitive, empathic, creative, feeling kind of spin to this lunar cycle. With Mercury being stationary (about to turn retrograde) and therefore very strong, you are challenged to be open to unexpected perceptions and intuitive sensitivity that can give you powerful insights.

To get the most out of this New Moon cycle, tune your awareness to a different "station" that is on a more intuitive, "right-brain" frequency. Listen to information, ideas and feelings that may disrupt your usual way of approaching events, experiences and activities, but can also show you a different view of what is happening inside you and around you. To find out how all this is affecting you personally, schedule a reading with me and let's find out what potential awaits you!

Jun.15 � Mercury stationary Retrograde (11:35 of Cancer; until Jul.07)  ("What is Retrograde?"  "What is Mercury Retrograde?"  Read article on Mercury Retrograde.)

Mercury now goes retrograde for the next 3-3� weeks. For up to a week before and after today, Mercury is moving very slowly or stopped during the station. During this time, you may experience intensity, frustration, confusion, miscommunications, or feel like you're getting bogging down in your progress. Mercury retrograde is usually a time when it is best to rethink, rehash, reflect, and tie up old loose ends, rather than begin new ventures. It is typical for new insights and information to emerge later in the retrograde cycle that you didn't anticipate, which can change the whole picture. Because of this, it is usually advised to avoid making final or permanent decisions (e.g., signing contracts or putting new projects into action), during the retrograde and even up to 2 weeks after Mercury goes direct. However, it is an excellent time to do fact-finding, research and investigation to prepare for major decisions, which are usually best put off until well after Mercury goes direct. In the meantime, while Mercury is retrograde, expect the unexpected, and leave lots of extra time when planning your schedule (to minimize any disruptions from delays and complications). Stay flexible; for example, it's common to have to reschedule appointments. Do some things that use your intuitive, creative, non-rational mind for a while until Mercury goes direct again.

Mercury is retrograde in Cancer, so you could become unusually sensitive to your surroundings. You might also become more empathic toward others, able to pick up on their moods, needs and feelings. Emotional and intuitive awareness may be more pronounced, although at first it might just seem like you're a bit more moody. This can be a good time to get a closer look at the feelings that flow under the surface of your conscious awareness. Dreams, daydreams, fantasies and imaginings could provide valuable insight and clues into your emotional state of mind. Creative ideas could bubble up spontaneously or intermittently. You might change your mind about something you thought you'd already decided on -- perhaps because you start to "feel" differently about the situation. This is a time when feelings and intuitive perceptions may emerge, which you would normally suppress, dismiss or lose in your usual mental chatter. Listening inside to your feelings can bring gifts of insight and intuitive awareness. 

Jun.19 � Sun Opposite Pluto (27:39 of Gemini/Sagittarius)

Who owns the power? This is a time when you may be called upon to stand up to a situation or person who pressures you to dance to their tune instead of your own. This is a chance to assert and empower yourself in new ways, putting into practice the inner strength you've developed in the last 6 months. The trick is to face the situation or person while rooted in inner honesty and authenticity, rather than trying to annihilate the enemy using overkill. Strive to negotiate (or struggle) together using just enough force to establish a workable balance of power, without either of you being nuked in the process. Also, be open to the possibility that your "opponent" might be holding up a mirror, which is showing you something about yourself that you may not want to acknowledge. That doesn't necessarily make your opponent right and you wrong, but there might be something for you to learn from the situation. If you are in a situation that doesn't involve an "opponent" as such, there may still be an aspect of your environment that is holding up a difficult mirror, requiring you to find a more centred and authentic point of inner power. It is by finding new balance within this kind of dynamic, whatever the circumstances, that transformation can be found. 

Jun.19 � Venus trine Jupiter (13:10 of Leo/Sagittarius) (Jun.20 in AU)

Your luck and opportunity to attract money, love, resources and self-esteem are high right now. The flow of attraction (whether that is magnetizing people, things or opportunities) is riding a strong current right now. You could find it easier than usual to get the resources and abundance for whatever you need right now. On the other hand, "your eyes may be bigger than your stomach" (as mother used to say), meaning your desire may magnify your sense of need beyond what is wise. You may be tempted to spend, flirt or bluff your way through situations, preferring to ignore or avoid hardship, boundaries or drudgery. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but be careful you don't get your hopes up so high that you set yourself up for disappointment or make promises you can't keep. It's probably wise to balance this easy flowing energy with some discretion and good judgement. 

Jun.20-Aug.24 � Venus in long conjunction to Saturn (exact on Jul.01)

Venus is preparing to go retrograde at the end of July. As Venus enters the retrograde Shadow (which technically begins Jun.24), she begins a long period when she and Saturn are in conjunction. In a nutshell, we'll be going through 2 months of Venus conjunct Saturn! This will greatly colour the Venus retrograde cycle, as well as Saturn's transition from Leo into Virgo in September.

Venus lives for pleasure, enjoyment, abundance, peace, contentment, love, intimacy and beauty. Saturn is committed to structure, responsibility, hard work, gradual development, ending things that have outgrown their usefulness and drawing firm boundaries.

When these energies work together well, you could have a more solid commitment in relationships or financial responsibilities. It can be a very productive time in creative projects. You may find it easier to draw healthy boundaries in relationships and interactions with people. You may find increased peace and happiness by simplifying your life and becoming centered and grounded. It can also be a time when you are rewarded for hard work that you are doing or have been doing.

On the other hand, these energies can also create problems by forcing you to face what isn't working in relationships, finances and projects. In some situations, if you've been avoiding problems and trying to make things work against all odds, or if the problem just can't be repaired, it might even be necessary to make an end and do closure. Although this may be difficult, it also clears things out and makes room for something new to develop. Or, you might have to be more realistic about your financial budget, or cut back on indulgences like junk food. Your ability to enjoy life can feel somewhat dampened, and you might feel a bit inhibited, shy or insecure.

This combination of energies may not exactly create a "party mood" but it can support your efforts to create something enduring that allows for gradual development over time. To work most effectively with these energies, it will help to be realistic in your expectations, responsible for going after what you want and accountable for whatever the results or consequences are.

Venus and Saturn form 3 exact conjunctions (Jul.01, Aug.13 and Oct.13). They stay within an 8-degree orb from around Jun.20 to Aug.24, and then again through most of October during the final pass. (More about that in October!) The first two passes are in Leo and the final pass is in Virgo � so, vivacious Venus will be escorting serious Saturn from Leo to Virgo in September.

During this current conjunction (June through August), Venus and Saturn travel through the second half of Leo, so if you have planets in the later degrees of the fixed signs (Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, Aquarius), this will probably affect you more than other people. A personal reading can show you how this long conjunction affects you and how to turn stress, limitation and necessity into productivity, opportunity and strength. 

Jun.21 � Mars trine Pluto (27:35 of Aries/Sagittarius)

You may feel a strong urge to embrace and engage power, assert your desires and act on deep impulses. Your sexual energy could also be very high now (use it wisely). You might feel like nothing can stop you or hold you back. In fact, the ability to create change and take action is especially strong right now. If you have been preparing to put plans into action, this can be a powerful time to do so. But also be aware that too much of a good thing can sometimes backfire -- it is possible to overstep your bounds or come on a bit too strong, with this energy. Suppressed anger, frustration or an urge to "vanquish the enemy" may be expressed more forcefully than you intend. It will help to center yourself and focus on acknowledging your emotions, impulses and power -- then use your good judgment when deciding whether or how to act on them. 

Jun.21 � SOLSTICE � Sun enters Cancer (until Jul.23) (Jun.22 in AU)

Happy Solar Return to everyone born in the sign of Cancer! When the Sun enters Cancer, it also marks the Summer Solstice (in North America, the UK, Europe and other places in the northern hemisphere; or the Winter Solstice in Australia and other places in the southern hemisphere). This is the time when we all get to cultivate and nurture the Cancer side of our nature. This includes feelings, needs and nurturing instincts, as well as your connection to home and family, and your most primal sense of belonging. To explore this area of your life, think about your family -- are you closely connected to your family-of-origin (the one you grew up with), or do you also have a "chosen family" in adulthood? Who is part of your support system (the people you know you can turn to when you need them)? What people, groups, places or experiences satisfy your need for belonging, which everyone has inside them? Cancer is about our distant past (childhood, ancestry, memories) that influences our current behaviour, motives and methods of getting our emotional needs met. Take this time to find new ways to nurture yourself, to share that nurturing with others, and to ensure that you don't give to others at the expense of not getting what you need. 

Jun.22 � Venus opposite Chiron (15:08 of Leo/Aquarius)

You may be extra sensitive to other people's suffering, struggles or dilemmas under this transit. Your own ongoing issues in relationships or finances may undergo a kind of "healing crisis" in which you endure increased problems and must use extra tolerance, compromise or negotiation to keep things from collapsing into a worse state. At the same time, you may be able to reach a new level of acceptance and peace -- not necessarily by solving the problems, but by letting go of the struggles that are not as important as you thought and by making the best of the ones that are left. Other people or outside circumstances may give you a push in this direction, which might feel at first like old wounds are being opened up. But this is an opportunity to find new ways to bring healing and balance to old problems, especially using tolerance, compromise and acceptance. 

Jun.23 � Uranus stationary Retrograde (18:42 Pisces) ("What's a station?"  "What is retrograde?"  Read articles on retrogrades and stations.)

Uranus now appears to go backwards (retrograde) against the backdrop of the stars. This is often a turning point in situations involving issues of spontaneity, freedom, breaking free of old patterns, rebellion and expressing your personal uniqueness. It could feel a bit chaotic or erratic�or perhaps just spontaneous and exciting�for up to a week before and after this date. However, Uranus' ultimate agenda is to clear the way for your true spirit to manifest in your life. You may experience unexpected changes, flashes of insight, or disruption of established situations that aren't working well (which might include computers, Internet, mass media, groups, friends or future plans). This can be the awakening of a new perspective, to be brought into a clearer focus through open-mindedness and being willing to try new things. If you are going through major transits from Uranus to your natal chart, you are more likely to feel the energy of this station. To find out if you are going through important Uranus transits this year, and how to find your center in the whirlwind that Uranus tends to bring, you can get a personal astrology reading with me. 

Jun.24 � Mars enters Taurus (until Aug.07) (Jun.25 in AU)

Making steady progress with your goals and stabilising your energy are among the effects of this transit. In general, this is a good time to move forward with your ambitions, especially doing the "grunt work" of routine, methodical work -- putting one foot in front of the other, as it were, and making slow steady progress in your projects. It's a great time to "make hay while the Sun shines" but don't stay out so long you get sunburned. In other words, be careful not to get so locked into one direction or focus that you become stubborn, rigid, counterproductive, overcautious, or burn out from workaholism. It's common for physical energy to sag and slow down somewhat, although it will usually make up for it in endurance. Mars wants to be fast and impulsive; Taurus wants to go slow and steady. The trick is to pace yourself: do a little every day and don't beat yourself up if you can't do it all at once. 

Jun.24 � Venus enters the Shadow (until Oct.11) ("What's the Shadow?"  "What is Retrograde?"  Read articles about the Shadow and Retrograde.)

Venus now enters the span of the Zodiac where she will go retrograde from Jul.27 to Sep.08 (between 06:35 Leo and 02:57 Virgo). This is similar to when Mercury enters the Shadow, except that we are now building up themes and energies related to Venus � beauty, art, love, pleasure, desire, fairness, diplomacy, finances, possessions, values. As Venus approaches her retrograde station, you may notice increasing experiences and events that emphasise these areas.

For example, money and income could either increase or decrease during the Retrograde phase, and then often returns to its former state after Venus turns Direct again. Romantic possibilities may heat up during the Venus cycle, only to cool down again afterwards if there is no real substance to sustain it. Or, existing relationships might go through a period of confronting and sorting through issues or problems that have been lurking in the background. If the relationship is on shaky ground, this might push it to the breaking point, forcing you to do some serious negotiating or consider ending it.

The best way to work with this energy is to avoid too much escapism and overindulgence, but also don't crumble into too much seriousness either. It doesn't mean you can't have fun, but things will probably work better if you strike a healthy balance between "party hardy" and being a lead weight. Aim for joyful productivity, compassionate honesty and gentle yet firm boundaries. 

Jun.25 � Saturn opposite Neptune (21:47 of Leo/Aquarius) (Jun.26 in AU)

This is the third and final pass of the Saturn-Neptune opposition. The other two passes occurred on Aug.31.2006 and Feb.28.2007. Their peak effect is often felt within about 10 days or so before and after the exact dates, although we've been feeling this powerful energy on an ongoing basis since last August. At this final pass, we are integrating our experiences from the last 11 months.

Let me refresh your memory about what this conjunction is about. This is a very complicated combination of energies! Saturn represents the physical world�Neptune represents the spiritual realms. Saturn is about discipline and hard work�Neptune is about faith and trust in the Universe. Saturn brings us face to face with hard reality�Neptune brings us to our imagination, fantasies and illusions. These two planets mix together like oil and water!

At their best, these energies combine to manifest the highest potential and vision that we can imagine. Yet, this kind of idealism typically loses something in the translation and we can easily wind up disillusioned, disappointed and depressed. In addition, we often harbour hidden hopes, fears, dreams and illusions that can come flooding out and overwhelm us if we don't see them coming. Life does not consist of only the physical world of the sensory experience and logic. We are sentient beings who are greater than the sum of our parts. You might believe that life extends into a spiritual dimension that transcends and exceeds the physical. Or, you might believe that "what you see is what you get." Either way, our human experience stretches beyond simple creaturehood, and our potential reaches far beyond mere impulse gratification.

Saturn and Neptune challenge you to find the illusion in the reality and the reality in the illusion. This takes you into the liminal or "in-between" spaces � that transitional gap between one thing and another. When Saturn and Neptune combine, you are in both places at once, and yet, in some place that is neither. With this being the opposition aspect, it is the fruition of the conjunction that took place in 1989. At that time, you began a new relationship with that liminal space. You set off on a journey of exploring the connection between the physical and the non-physical, the logical and the intuitive, the practical and the inspirational, the known and the unknown.

By now, your journey has brought you to a new ability to recognise and be open to both of these realms. As you have wrestled with these energies, you may have found that one of them tends to overpower the other and it's difficult to keep them in balance. For instance, if you are more comfortable with the solid realism of Saturn, you may try to define, structure or suppress the more nebulous experience of Neptune. If you are more at home in Neptune's intuitive, imaginative realm, you may want to cloak the harsher Saturnian reality in "sweetness and light."

This transit is about finding a balance between these extremes that will allow you to exist in and embrace experiences from both worlds. Your humanity has elements that belong to both worlds, and this journey has allowed you to separate them and bring them back together, and experience how they clash AND fit together. Doing this has brought you to the yawning precipice that separates your highest potential from mundane survival.

So...what have you been through during the last year? What have you learned? Have you been inspired to rise above your usual experience of life? Have you struggled with disappointment or having to make tough decisions? Have you found yourself on the verge of feeling that you're within reach of something special, only to then feel like you've run into a brick wall? Have you struggled to keep moving through a difficult time and then finally felt resistance give way to hope, clarity and acceptance?

So many of my friends and clients have been feeling the effects of Saturn and Neptune these past months! It has challenged us all to stretch ourselves to new heights, depths, substance and complexity. It has been about "fighting the good fight." We have often had to battle against apathy and hopelessness, and then find solutions that both nourish the spirit and conform to the world of reality and basic survival.

We can touch our hope and faith if we are also willing to face our underlying expectations and desperation. We can survive and thrive in a world full of imperfection and disappointment, provided we are willing to acknowledge and embrace our secret longing and vulnerability to the brilliant vision of fulfilling our dreams. These experiences are inseparable, in the same way that our shadow follows us through the sunlight. If we grab hold of one, the other comes with it. That is the message of Saturn and Neptune.

It may have been a long climb for you these past months. Perhaps its true value lies not in the destination you were aiming for (which you may or may not have reached), so much as in stretching yourself to discover new horizons in yourself and in life. By encountering parts of yourself that you normally pass by or disregard or avoid, you have grown. It may take some time to integrate what you have experienced in your broader self, but there is time for that. Whether it's been painful or thrilling or both, Saturn and Neptune have brought you to a new perspective on life that may take some time to fully absorb and understand.

During this final pass, it is time to integrate your diverse experiences of the past year. If it seems like you've been swinging between extremes, it may help to accept the fact that both ends of the spectrum co-exist within life and within you. YOU and your awareness are the bridge between them. Rather than just feeling like the rope in a "tug of war," you have the power to extend your acceptance to each side without demonizing the other. Instead of trying to squeeze the vastness of life into a more manageable view, it might help to relax your viewpoint and allow it to expand to encompass more of life.

If you feel like life has been a "damned-if-you-do-damned-if-you-don't" tangled mess, it may help to explore what advantages or learning you have from being in that in-between state. What do you see when you are in the middle of that tangle? As much as this might have been difficult for you, there may be a gift in it for you too.

Practice being in two places at once. Be aware of the part of you that hopes for the best, while also accepting the part that expects or fears the worst. Try seeing the sublime aspects of life while going to work or grocery shopping. Or, when you're in a spiritual setting (church, nature, etc.), let yourself see the sacredness of your everyday experiences, worries and fears. It's all part of the same Universe.

Another great resource to integrate your Saturn-Neptune experience is to get a personal reading. This can help you get the most out of this rare transit and understand how these profound energies are changing your life. 

Jun.28 � Sun conjunct Mercury Retrograde (06:42 of Cancer) (Jun.29 in AU)

When the Sun conjoins Mercury Retrograde, there is a new beginning in the areas of awareness, communication, use of information and exchange of ideas. This may or may not be heralded by a recognisable event or experience, although for a day or two your consciousness may shift. Your awareness and mental concentration may take a dip into the unconscious, becoming unusually murky and muddy, or it may rise into ultra-consciousness and become suddenly clear and lucid (afterwards returning to the usual Mercury retrograde fog). A new awareness or perspective on what has unfolded during the retrograde cycle thus far may surface now, or an unworkable attitude or perception of these events may fall apart under the weight of new information. This shift of awareness may be obvious or subtle, sudden or gradual, but this transit marks a turning point in the Mercury retrograde cycle. It also marks a time when mental awareness often goes further underground, for the rest of the retrograde period, making it a little harder to operate objectively and rationally in the outside world. Spend some time in your right-brain, intuitive, non-rational mind, which can coax your mental creativity and inventiveness to the surface. 

Sabian Symbol for the
Full Moon in Capricorn

Capricorn 9

An angel carrying a harp.

This Sabian Symbol ("What's a Sabian Symbol?") is a bit of a surprise. Capricorn is known for its preference for dealing with physical reality, practical circumstances and facts. Angels, on the other hand, are virtually the opposite � non-physical, spiritual and, for some people, real only in the realm of the imagination. And yet, this symbol seems to reflect the ethereal energy of Neptune as it opposes Saturn (planetary ruler of Capricorn).

This symbol tells us that this final embodiment of Saturn-Neptune can bring a bit of "heaven on earth." Dane Rudhyar (An Astrological Mandala) sees in this symbol a "revelation of spiritual meaning and purpose at the core of any life situation." Saturn and Neptune together can show us the deeper essence behind the facts � the "ghost in the machine."

Marc Edmund Jones (The Sabian Symbols in Astrology) talks about our "continuing sense of spiritual source" that enables us to avoid limitations and arrive at self-fulfillment. Jones says this symbol also contains "a special gift for inspiring others to accomplishment and for realizing the ultimate dreams of [the] self." It is not enough to assimilate and solidify what you've learned in the last year; it is also important to share that knowledge.

Lynda Hill (360 Degrees of Wisdom) speaks of "Being in tune, spiritually. Having an elevated view of humanity." versus "Having a holier-than-thou attitude. Losing oneself in fantasy." And indeed, this describes the best and the worst of the Saturn-Neptune combination.

As you go through the Full Moon and the rest of this lunar cycle (until Jul.14), allow your spiritual learning of the last year to vibrate within you and around you like the strings of a harp. You are the angel that plays your spirit. What will you play?


Read more about the Sabian Symbols in these recommended books:

The Sabian Symbols in Astrology,
by Marc Edmund Jones

An Astrological Mandala,
by Dane Rudhyar

The Sabian Symbols: The Original Symbols Fully Revealed,
by Blain Bovee

Jun.30, 9:47 AM EDT � FULL MOON in CAPRICORN (08:25) ("What's a Full Moon?"  Read more about the Sun-Moon cycles.  Learn more about your Capricorn nature.)
(Jun.30, 2:47 PM BST in London UK)
(Jun.30, 11:47 PM AEST in Sydney AU)

The Full Moon in Capricorn brings an opportunity to strive toward a goal and generate results out of your efforts � which is pretty typical for Capricorn! This sign brings you structure, discipline, commitment and maturity. Being an Earth sign, it is practical, down-to-earth, methodical and realistic. As a Cardinal sign, it is goal-oriented, with lots of ambition and drive.

A Full Moon involves an opposition aspect between the Sun and Moon. Although the Moon is firmly rooted in Capricorn, the Sun is nestled back in Cancer. Cancer and Capricorn form an axis of subjective versus objective, the refuge of home versus the world "out there," and the needs of the one versus the needs of the many. You may recognise these themes at the time of the Full Moon, as well as throughout the rest of this lunar cycle until the next New Moon (Jul.14).

The Full Moon participates in an aspect configuration that I call a Hard Rectangle (two oppositions joined around the outside by sesqui-quadrate and semi-square aspects). This aspect figure can generate enormous drive to resolve tension by fine-tuning or controlling the conflict situation. You might feel yourself (or others) become a bit obsessed with details, in an effort to "micromanage" the way it unfolds and sway it in your favour. It's easy to become polarized, where you take up an opposite position to the other guy's position. This can lead to some intense negotiating, which could easily go around in circles as each of you tries to gain the upper hand. On the other hand, this combination of energies can also give you the drive and endurance you need to get through a stressful situation.

The Sun and Moon form one "strut" of the rectangle. And just guess which pair of planets forms the other one? (As we used to say when I was a kid: "You get 3 guesses, and the first 2 don't count.") Yup: Saturn opposite Neptune. You just knew I couldn't do one update without talking about these guys, right? ;-) Even though they reached their final pass back on Jun.25, they remain in orb until the end of August.

So, once again, Saturn and Neptune feature prominently in the lunation chart. The struggle of the Hard Rectangle involves the polarization between realism versus wishful thinking, certainty versus ambiguity, and rigidity versus vulnerability. The tendency for Saturn and Neptune to face off against each other could become the polarity issue described above for the Hard Rectangle. However, the Rectangle figure can also be the means by which you wrestle with those issues and finally come to a resolution. This could emerge as stress, conflict and irritation, especially with other people, so it's a good idea to try to slow down your reactions a bit and take time to breathe before you react. Mars in Taurus can help with this, enabling you to take methodical, practical action that is less about stubborn force and more about maintaining peace and acting according to your values.

Saturn is the planetary ruler of Capricorn, and as such has a lot of influence over the Full Moon energy. The Full Moon in Capricorn seems a fitting finale to the year-long process of the Saturn-Neptune opposition. This is a time when you are called upon to manifest and integrate all that you've learned during that time, about how you deal with clarity versus ambiguity, realism versus fantasy, control versus surrender, etc.

With Venus in a long conjunction to Saturn (see Jun.20-Aug.24), relationships with others could easily become entangled in this Saturn-Neptune struggle to resolve ambiguity and make rigid attitudes more flexible. Compromise and cooperation may be helpful (or necessary) to avoid a stalemate or standoff. This might feel stressful or discouraging but is probably better than the alternative.

Mercury is still retrograde in Cancer, while being conjunct the Sun and opposite the Moon. You may have noticed yourself and others being in a very introspective, sensitive or emotional frame of mind since Mercury went into the retrograde shadow (May.31) and especially since it went retrograde (Jun.15). Since the Moon is the planetary ruler of Cancer (where Mercury is now) and with the Moon now being Full, this frame of mind is likely to become more-so.

On the plus side, this can be an extremely creative time, full of inspirational ideas. You might be especially sensitive to the needs of others, which could allow you to bond more closely and be more compassionate. On the other hand, this can be a disadvantage if you become so sensitive that you lose your boundaries or "take on" their feelings and issues.

With the Moon currently in Capricorn, you might feel a little more insecure, vulnerable or "down" than usual, but don't let this swallow you up. Remember that intuitive awareness involves a lot of subjective interpretation, and this may or may not reflect objective reality. In other words, if you feel a little insecure, dependent or self-doubting, it doesn't mean you ARE those things � it just means you FEEL that way in the moment. There is more to you than your feelings!

On the other hand, you might feel extremely productive, motivated and strong, even just once in a while. These are the moments to remember, since this is the mental space you can find your way back to. Make your own choices and act according to your goals and values.

All of these themes will continue to unfold for the next 2 weeks. There is stress in the air, but this can be creative and productive stress, as much as tension or hardship. If you need some support, insight or guidance to help you make the most out of this energy, a personal astrology reading is definitely the way to go! Find out more...


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Jun.30 � Venus opposite Neptune (21:42 of Leo/Aquarius) (Jul.01 in AU)

Romance, idealism, fantasy and imagination are blossoming into a bright aura right now, which is likely to influence your relationships, interactions, finances and values -- for better or for worse! Compassion, caring and selfless giving can be good ideals to aim for, as long as you remember that ideals tend to lose some of their shiny glow when they're translated into hard reality. If you forget this, the end result may be disappointing or disillusioning. Disappointment may also indicate that there have been hidden hopes or high expectations that no one can really live up to. Aim to balance your innocence and longing with the judgement of your older, wiser, mature self; and do a reality check with a trusted friend or adviser if in doubt. That said, this can also be a very creative and inspiring time -- just remember to keep one foot on the ground.

This is the first of 3 passes that Venus makes to Neptune, since Venus is retrograde from Jul.27 to Sep.08. The three passes are exact on Jul.01, Aug.25 and Sep.21. This particular pass of Venus to Neptune also catches Venus' long conjunction to Saturn (Jun.20-Aug.24). Therefore, Venus becomes a channel for the Saturn-Neptune opposition energy. It mostly applies to this one pass, since Saturn is quickly moving beyond its opposition to Neptune (and will have moved into Virgo by the time Venus makes her last pass to Neptune in September).

What does this mean? For starters, the paradoxical mixture of Saturn and Neptune is likely to emerge in your relationships and your finances. For instance, you might feel caught between the shining vision of potential in your interactions with others, and yet must still deal with the reality of the situation that seems to tarnish that glittering potential. Or, you might be faced with a tight financial budget on one hand, yet also a vision of opportunity that just requires the right resources. You might need to adjust your values after taking an inventory of the resources you have (money, possessions, skills, allies, advantages, etc.) and comparing them to what you thought you had or what you hoped you would have at this point in your life. As with all things Saturn-Neptune, be careful of falling into the trap of either-or thinking. Both are important and valid � your vision of possibilities and your need to deal with reality. Aim to bring these into balance without trashing one in favour of the other.

Jul.01 � Venus conjunct Saturn (22:23 of Leo) (Jul.02 in AU)

The serious structure and responsibility of Saturn combines with the desire for pleasure, beauty and material abundance in Venus. This can be a good time to make concrete plans about financial matters (e.g., investments, budgeting, purchases, etc.), although this will work best if you do some serious research first, rather than simply going for whatever seems to "feel good." This is a time to begin a process of commitment, whether that involves developing your resources to achieve a certain goal, or negotiating the terms of a relationship or partnership. However, in order to clear the way for new commitments to flourish down the road, sometimes old commitments must be brought to a close first. So this may also be a time when previous involvements or plans may come to an end, especially if they no longer fulfil your needs or lack enough potential to reach your desired goals. In a similar way, you might find yourself blocked from being able to move forward in the areas of relationships, finances or pleasures. These areas may require some reworking or reconsideration before you're ready to proceed.

This is the first of three exact passes that Venus makes to Saturn: Jul.01, Aug.13 and Oct.13. However, during this time Venus stays within orb of her conjunction to Saturn for about 2 months (Jun.20-Aug.24). So, although the Venus-Saturn energy will peak in July, Aug and Oct, it will remain as a strong background influence in between these peaks. During this first pass, Venus also acts as a channel for the Saturn-Neptune opposition that is now finishing after almost a year.

Jul.01 � Mercury sextile Mars (04:58 of Cancer/Taurus) (Jul.02 in AU)

There is a potential now to find the courage to speak your mind and say what needs to be said, if you focus consciously on doing so. In fact, your ideas and words may come so quickly and easily that it's hard to stop them from tumbling out of your mouth before you've had a chance to evaluate the best way to say them. Communication is probably easiest and most effective when it's direct, concise and quick, although it might also be a bit blunt or pointed. If you need to confront someone about a difficult situation, this transit can provide courage and clear words to help you do that -- although perhaps a bit too forceful when a more delicate, sensitive touch is called for. It is a time when you might find the nerve to take risks, or to defend yourself if the need arises (especially verbally). This is a good transit for creative problem solving and trying on decisions to see if they fit.

Jul.08 � Venus trine Pluto (27:08 of Leo/Sagittarius) (Jul.09 in UK, AU)

Close one-on-one connections with people (close friends, lovers, partners of all kinds) will tend to gravitate to a deeper, more intense level now. Instead of automatically doing the diplomatic, "nice" thing, you may find it is more fulfilling to share more of your authentic feelings. It may be possible now to connect with people on a deeper level, while still ensuring that your interests are equally balanced with theirs. The trick is to do this without trying to control or overpower the other person, and it may be easier to avoid those traps now. You could make some deeply intimate connections with people under this transit. Financial dealings with other people may also go smoothly, although it might be wise to get clear confirmation that you're both on the same page about the fine print.

Jul.09 � Mercury stationary Direct (02:29 of Cancer) (Jul.10 in UK, AU) ("What does Retrograde mean?"  "What's a Station?"  "What's Mercury Retrograde?"  Read articles about retrogrades.)

For up to a week before and after today, you may experience mental intensity, confusion, and miscommunications or changes in your outlook. Mercury is taking a slow turn to resume his direction motion, officially changing direction today. Mercury has been retrograde since Jun.15, urging you to rethink and rehash things that have required some fine-tuning or revision. This can be a time when a clear decision starts to emerge from issues you've been struggling with during the retrograde period. Or, it might turn your perspective around so that you're seeing your situation fresh again. Over the next couple of weeks, while Mercury is still in the Shadow, your brain may feel a bit like it's waking up after a deep sleep. It is now time to gradually put into practice the learning you've gained from your retrograde dreams and moonlight visions. It will take time to get fully back into sync with the Mercury direct energy. So, take it slow, one step at a time, and untangle yourself one strand at a time.

Jul.11 � Sun Trine Uranus (18:34 of Cancer/Pisces)

You are more open than usual to spontaneity, surprises and "flying by the seat of your pants!" Your sense of humour and fun are let loose during this transit, as is your ability to break out of old outworn habits. You may get a flash of insight, a burst of courage or a surge of inspiration under this transit. The spirit of who you are can become released now, possibly leading to you behaving a bit "out of character." It's a great time to try new things and experiment with something that's out of character for you. In fact, it may be surprising how easy it is to break out of your usual routine...so much so, that it's good to be careful not to be too reckless under this transit. If your self-confidence, self-expression or self-esteem have been stifled or dampened lately, these could come flying out rather erratically, carelessly or chaotically. Strive to have fun pushing the envelope without ripping it. ;-)

Next Update:  NEW MOON in CANCER - July 14, 2007. Available by July14.


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