Low-Down Archives June 2008

June 2008

For the New Moon Cycle in Gemini :
June 3/4 to July 2/3, 2008

Jun.03 � NEW MOON in GEMINI (13:34 of Gemini)


Ottawa, Canada and
Washington DC, USA:

Jun.03, 3:22 PM EDT

London, UK:

Jun.03, 8:22 PM BST

Sydney, AU:

Jun.04, 5:22 AM AEST

"What's a New Moon?"

Read more about the Sun-Moon cycles.

Read more about how you experience GEMINI energy in your life.

It is said that there is nothing new under the Sun. Everything is a spin-off or reincarnated version of something that came before. History repeats itself, and every event in that history is like a line in an every-changing song with a repeating chorus. Each repetition reflects a slightly different perspective on the same theme. We come full circle, except this time we�re approaching the same place from a different angle. We�re not going in circles�we�re going in spirals!

Astrology is a classic example of how repeating themes show not that we�re stuck but that we�re evolving. Planets circle the Sun, yet each time they return to a previous position, it is fresh and new because the other planets have moved and now form different relationships. The same event but in a different context. Retrograde cycles (�What does Retrograde mean?�) also show repeating themes, but more in terms of fine-tuning our intentions and actions. Rethink, rehash, reflect and revise are the key concepts of any retrograde cycle.

So when Mercury is retrograde (which it is now), your mental focus gets turned a little inside-out. Mercury effectively takes your brain and empties everything out onto the table top, shaking out all the flotsam and jetsam that could cloud your judgment. Of course, you need to put things back together again afterwards, but that also gives you a chance to reorganize what�s there more meaningfully and effectively.

So if you�ve ever wondered why your mental focus becomes so jumbled under Mercury retrograde, now you know why�he�s spring-cleaning your brain! ;-) During any cleaning project, the place tends to look like an even worse mess than it was to begin with, right? That�s similar to the confusion of thoughts, communications and decision-making that tends to happen under Mercury retrograde. Things will settle down as it all gets put back together�hopefully in better condition than before! (Think of professional organizer Peter Walsh.) And voila! A new beginning.

As we go into this lunar cycle (Jun.03 to Jul.02), Mercury retrograde sets the theme of repetition. When Mercury stationed to go retrograde (on May.26), it was exactly trine to Chiron and the North Lunar Node, and in a slightly wider trine to Neptune. It was also in square aspect to Uranus and quincunx to Jupiter. (See Multiple Stations for more about this.)

Why is this relevant for the New Moon in Gemini? For starters, Mercury is the planetary ruler of Gemini, so whatever Mercury is doing will colour the tone of this lunar cycle that begins in Gemini. Second, as the lunar cycle unfolds, the Sun and Venus will repeat all those aspects that Mercury just made to Chiron, Node, Uranus and Jupiter. Third, there is a Sun-Venus-Mercury conjunction that converges at the same degree on Jun.07 (more about this below). In addition, this Sun-Venus conjunction forms the fruition point for two Venus retrograde cycles in the last 4 years (more about that below too). Throw in Pluto temporarily moving back into Sagittarius on Jun.14 and it makes for a lot of echoing back and forth that�s happening during this lunar cycle.

Starting to get that d�j� vu feeling now?

It starts with an exact Sun-Venus-Mercury conjunction at 17 degrees of Gemini on Jun.07, although these have been in orb since around Jun.01. It is said that the Sun, Mercury and Venus collectively form the different parts of ego identity � spirit, head and heart, respectively. Conjunctions to the Sun (identity, purpose) can be tricky, particularly for Mercury and Venus which never stray more than one or two signs away from the Sun.

When these three planets are all in the same sign, all of you is essentially pointing in the same direction. This can simplify things by unifying your intentions, perceptions and desires, but it can also be too much of a good thing, making it harder to be objective. However, when these components are aligned as precisely as they are on Jun.07, their collective energy can become focused like a laser beam.

At the time of the New Moon, we�re still struggling to align the different parts of our psyches, and with one of those parts being retrograde (Mercury) it might seem that everything will just scatter in all directions. Part of you (Mercury) is looking back on what has been, wanting to take a break from forging ahead into new territory. Other parts of you (Sun, Venus) are busy resolving and processing the events and experiences that began in 2007 and also in 2004. Still feeling that d�j� vu?

Although a fragmented effect is certainly possible, that doesn�t mean that they can�t converge briefly to illuminate the best destination ahead of you, and this is most likely to happen on Jun.07. Since Mercury is retrograde (until Jun.19), there might be delays before you can put clear plans into place to move forward. In the meantime, your mental searchlight could show you what direction you�re heading in�or perhaps should be heading in.

Over the next couple of weeks, as the Sun and Venus move through the aspects to other planets made recently by Mercury, this could add even more to that d�j� vu feeling. Events, situations, experiences and issues that occurred in late May could return in a similar or different form. This gives you a chance to change how you handled them the first time or build on what was begun. Your best resources are likely found in imagination that is rooted in reason, information and creativity. It will also help to be open to seeing the unexpected, without feeling you must act on it right away. Give yourself time to try on the various possibilities for a while first.

The Little Eye aspect configuration (Jupiter sextile Uranus, with Chiron semi-sextile to both) continues to glide through the skies in very close orb. Anything undertaken now needs to be balanced on a delicate pinnacle of healing and acceptance. This is especially true when looking for ways to break out of any rut you might be stuck in by reaching for a new perspective to guide you. Keep your aims focused on the idea of balancing what is possible with what is necessary.

A personal astrology reading can help you find the best healing focus for you right now and in the future. Mercury retrograde is the perfect time to get a reading because Mercury�s energy wants to be reflective, and that�s exactly what happens in a reading. And if you don�t feel ready for a personal reading yet, an astrology report can also provide valuable insight and food for thought. 


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Jun.04 � Sun sextile Mars (14:06 of Gemini/Leo)

You have power, energy, motivation and enthusiasm to fuel your ambitions now! The catch is you will need to reach for it; it won't simply "come to you." Reach into your past experience and reach forward toward your vision of what you want. This will help to guide your actions and focus your assertive energy in the direction you want to go. This is a good time to make progress toward a goal. Or, you might want to take steps to leave behind inhibitions that have held you back. This transit can also make you more apt to take risks and find the courage to do things you might not otherwise do. Your tolerance for obstacles may be shortened, and making it easy to assume the only way through them is by using direct force. This may or may not be wise, depending on how extreme you want to take it, so use your good judgment and don't throw away your diplomacy. 

Jun.06 � Venus sextile Mars (15:14 of Gemini/Leo)

It is possible now to take a balanced approach to conflict, problems and projects that require effort. This can combine both a gentle touch and firm action; sensitivity and forcefulness. Negotiation and interaction with others could be aggressive and determined now, but also balanced with sensitivity and style. Any expressions of anger, frustration or discontent are more likely to be tempered with fairness, moderation and composure. You'll have to apply some effort to get these opposite energies working in sync together, but the potential and opportunity are there more-so than usual now. 

Jun.07 � Multiple Conjunction is exact (17 of Gemini) (Sun, Mercury Retrograde, Venus)

This was already mentioned in the previous update, but is repeated here now that it�s exact. This is an alignment of spirit, heart and mind�of purpose, pleasure and perception. It's not uncommon for these three planets to be in the same sign together, but having the three of them closely conjunct is quite rare. The last time they were within 2 degrees of each other was August 2007. The last time they were conjunct within a mere half degree (as they are now) was June 1988�interestingly, also in Gemini.

Today, the Sun, Mercury and Venus are conjunct at the same degree: 17 degrees of Gemini. The Sun and Venus have actually been within orb of conjunction since mid-May, and Mercury has been lurking around since the beginning of June. Today their collective energy peaks and becomes greater than the sum of its parts.

When a planet is within 8 degrees of conjoining the Sun, it is said to be Combust or �burned up by the Sun.� A combust planet tends to be weaker because the energy of the Sun overpowers it. The Sun consumes and merges the other planet with its own powerful light, making it difficult for the planet to operate independently or objectively. We over-identify with that planet�s energy.

However, when that planet is within the span of the Sun�s disk (a half degree across), their energies become aligned so closely that the planet can flip to the other extreme and become extremely strong. The planet is said to be �Cazimi� (usually pronounced �ka-ZEE-mee�). Perhaps at this point, we are so identified with that planet�s energy that it becomes almost archetypal within us.

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With both Mercury and Venus being cazimi on the same day, it�s likely to be an interesting day! There are many implications. You may get some penetrating insights about events that happened in 2007 and/or 2004, when Venus was retrograde (more on this below). New perceptions and insights could come to you by interacting and exchanging ideas with others. Your thought and awareness could be rebalanced, allowing you to see beyond your usual point of view.

Today, make it a point to write down any unusual or powerful ideas and thoughts. Watch for �ah-ha!� moments that pierce your normal train of thought. Be open to a meeting of the minds with others, when it almost seems like you�re reading each other�s mind. 

Jun.07 � Sun conjunct Mercury Retrograde (17:15 of Gemini) (Jun.08 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. 

Jun.07 � Mercury Retrograde conjunct Venus (17:07 of Gemini) (Jun.08 in AU)

Social connections, diplomatic communication and receptive awareness mark this transit. It can be a great time to negotiate contracts or agreements because the communication can usually flow easily. Focus your awareness on achieving a mutual balance between you and the other person. A win-win solution is especially easy to achieve now -- so much so, in fact, that it might be tempting to only say what you think the other person wants to hear (which may or may not be wise). This can also be a time of appreciating and expressing beauty, pleasure and sensuality. If there's someone you want to get closer to (in terms of romance, friendship, business, partnership, or even an adversary!), talking gently and listening receptively can be the key that unlocks the door. You may also get new creative ideas from your interactions with people or from observing them. 

Jun.08 � Mercury Retrograde sextile Mars (16:37 of Gemini/Leo) (Jun.09 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. 

Jun.09 � Sun conjunct Venus (18:43 of Gemini)

Your ability to radiate an aura of love, pleasure and beauty is very strong right now. You have the ability to soothe the rough edges -- both your own and others' -- and to spread joy and love around you. You are more able to come across in a diplomatic, gentle and easy-going way. This can also enable you to glide through tricky interactions with others with strategic finesse, as well as to negotiate through difficult conflicts with ease (at least, relatively speaking). Your ability to attract your heart's desire to you is especially strong right now...so be careful what you ask for! This is a good time to take a look at your choices, to see how much you are living according to your values and how much your values bring joy and satisfaction into your life. Relationships may also be on your mind, either looking for someone new in your life or rekindling an existing one. This could apply to committed intimate relationships, business partnerships or close friendships. Your focus could be pointed at acquiring material abundance, gathering resources or cultivating self-worth. You are as beautiful and as prosperous as you feel!

This conjunction is actually the fruition of two Venus retrograde cycles. When Venus is retrograde and conjoins the Sun, this is kind of like a New Moon in that begins a new Sun-Venus cycle. When Venus is direct and conjoins the Sun, it is considered to be in its Full phase. Similar to a Full Moon, this is a culmination of the energy begun at the New phase. The energy is assimilated and integrated for the remainder of the cycle until the next New phase (the Sun conjunct Venus retrograde).

This Sun-Venus conjunction is the Full phase to the last Venus retrograde which took place Jul.27 to Sep.08, 2007. Situations that began during that time have fully emerged and can now being applied and worked with in a more developed way.

This Sun-Venus conjunction also represents a Full phase for the last time Venus was retrograde in Gemini, which was May.17 to Jun.29, 2004. Situations, events and experiences that took place that year could be repeated this year, either literally or symbolically. Lessons that appeared in your life at that time might come back to give you a chance to see how much you�ve learned. This could unfold throughout this year, not just on this day. However, for a couple of weeks before and after today, be on the lookout for the Universe dropping by for a �pop quiz� to reflect what you�ve learned and what still needs some work. 

Jun.10 � Venus trine Chiron (21:00 of Gemini/Aquarius) (Jun.11 in UK, AU)

Healing and rebalancing are possible now, especially in the areas of relationships, finance, resources and values. Any problems that have persisted in these areas lately could benefit from an influx of helpful and healing resources now. Relationships and interactions of all kinds can benefit now, since it can be easier to see the beauty and value in others whom you might usually dislike or feel ill at ease with (or they with you). Negotiations and strategic efforts to resolve conflicts may go smoothly now, especially when you balance the results in everyone's interests. You may also be able to attract what you need to heal your wounds (physical, psychological, spiritual, etc.). Like it says in the "Serenity Prayer," you may now find it a bit easier to accept that which you cannot change, while finding you make progress with the things you can. 

Jun.11 � Sun Trine Chiron (21:00 of Gemini/Aquarius)

This is a time when you may find that your recent efforts to mend and heal the chronic struggles in your life start to come together. You likely have the confidence now to try new solutions, or at least to approach problems from a different angle that sheds new light on the situation. Some of this progress may come from daring to walk your own path, or from finding the courage to face the hidden shadow of your worries and weaknesses (the hidden benefit that those worries give you). There may be a variety of different struggles and wounds in your life that could benefit from this kind of healing, although it can be tempting to let this transit pass by without taking advantage of it. Strive to reach a midpoint between merely dipping your toe in troubled waters and thinking that is enough, versus jumping in the deep end and marinating in it. 

Jun.12 � Venus square Uranus (22:34 of Gemini/Pisces)

Under this transit, you may be tempted by impulse spending, or you might be somewhat erratic in your use of resources. This can result in unpredictable or unstable finances, so double check your bank accounts and credit cards before you draw on them. It is also a time when the way you relate to others (or they to you) could be somewhat inconsistent, fickle or impulsive. If your relationships or financial situation have been struggling with difficulties for a while, this transit could bring a lingering problem to the surface and require attention. On one hand, this could be a welcome breath of fresh air that cuts through the complexity of your problems and puts the cards on the table (despite the stress and conflict that likely triggered it). Or, you might feel resistance to making these changes and instead experience this as a time of unwelcome instability, upset and adjustment. However, this may be a good way to break free of excessive restraint, control or structure, which allows new possibilities to emerge that couldn't do so otherwise. 

Jun.13 � Sun square Uranus (22:35 of Gemini/Pisces)

Your world may experience a bit of a shake-up right now, as the Universe decides it's time to make things "interesting." This is a wake-up call, designed to loosen you up from the ways you have become too habitual, stuck or inhibited. The "radical rascal" in you may be itching to come out and stir up trouble, which on one hand might be necessary but also very disruptive and possibly even destructive. Be alert to new insights and opportunities disguised as accidents or crises. Your usual sense of self and purpose may become somewhat unsettled right now, but a space is likely being cleared to make room for new growth and possibilities. If you're looking to break old habits or break free of old restrictions, this may be the time -- but it could create a mess that you'll have to clean up later. Resist the urge to rebel just for the sake of doing something different, and aim instead to break free of old forms of self-expression and ideals that don�t work for you anymore. Expect the unexpected and then surf the shock-wave. 

Jun.13 � Venus trine Neptune (24:10 of Gemini/Aquarius) (Jun.14 in AU)

This can be a time of romance, creativity, and a sense of oneness with the natural beauty of all that exists in the world. On a social or intimate level, things may run smoothly -- even a bit magically! So be sure you are clear about what you really want. In terms of finances and material worth, this can be a time of blessings and abundance that could seem to appear out of nowhere. But be careful -- it can also be a time of overspending and wondering where the money went! Your natural beauty and warmth shines through now, so it is a good time to peek out from behind any fa�ade of glamour or illusion you might be cloaked in. You are likely to see the very best in others (and they in you), so that negotiation, interaction and attraction can seem to flow effortlessly. This magical attraction energy could also open you up to seeing wonderful qualities in others that may or may not actually be there, so do a reality check with a trusted friend before you make any important choices. 

Jun.14 � Pluto Retrograde enters Sagittarius (until Nov.26/27) (Read article about Pluto in Sagittarius.)

Pluto returns to Sagittarius briefly to tie up loose ends and do closure on the lessons it brought to us since 1995. In doing so, we prepare ourselves for the next phase of our collective evolutionary journey: Pluto in Capricorn. Pluto returns to Capricorn on Nov.26, after stationing to turn direct on Sep.08. The station could be especially intense because it is the final turn before Pluto enters Capricorn to stay.

In the meantime, this is the ideal time to take stock of what you have learned and how you have changed since 1995 when Pluto first went into Sagittarius. If you were in your childhood in 1995, or not yet born, how much has changed in your life is obvious�everything! Pluto moves so slowly that it will change signs only a few times in your lifetime, so it�s hard to separate its effects on you individually from normal age-related changes that we all go through.

The world has changed dramatically since 1995. Religion has taken a central role in world politics and events. Our collective knowledge base has expanded exponentially. We truly live in a �global village,� now that the Internet has brought the entire world into our living rooms in a much more personal way. These are all Sagittarius concepts, which have developed over the last 13 years.

Over the next 5 months, think about how these Sagittarian themes have changed your life, and how you personally have contributed to these themes in the world around you. This is your chance to tie up any loose ends in these areas before you embark on a journey through new themes. A personal astrology reading can be a huge help when processing past experiences so that you can put those lessons behind you and move forward. 

Jun.14 � Sun Trine Neptune (24:09 of Gemini/Aquarius) (Jun.15 in AU)

Faith in the bountiful blessings of the Universe is within reach under this transit...but then, so is the fantasy that you will be magically granted anything you wish for. Hope, optimism and imagination spring eternal right now, which can bring some relief from any depression or discouragement you might be feeling. Your creativity can become very inspired under this transit. Your sense of self could also get an infusion of uplifting vision. And you experience a sense of mission, feeling that you are truly a Child of the Universe. There is potential to lift you out of the ordinary and into the sublime -- spiritually, creatively, romantically or compassionately. Enjoy it while it lasts, but before you make changes based on what might feel like a permanent condition, remember that this is mostly a temporary influence and you will still have to live within the bounds of the physical world after it passes. Don't make overly optimistic promises now, that you will have to fulfil later when the euphoria wears off. 

Jun.14 � Mars conjunct South Lunar Node (20:16 of Leo) (Jun.15 in UK, AU) (�What�s the Lunar Node?�)

It is time to let go of old baggage containing aggression, hostility, resentment and unresolved anger. It�s time to acknowledge and embrace your efforts to put your ambitions into action and fuel your ambitions with your passion. Mars conjunct the South Node is like the Full phase of the Mars-Node cycle. The New phase began with the conjunction on Apr.25.2007. Mars-related issues that began at that time are now emerging and are ready to be let go. Let go of unresolved anger that muddies your personal power. Leave behind the habits that block your energy. Release depression, despair and oppression so that you can embrace your true passion. 

Jun.16 � Mars opposite Chiron (20:54 of Leo/Aquarius)

Your efforts and physical/emotional/mental energy may struggle with fundamental limitations and latent imperfections under this transit. Weakness or chronic problems in health may flare up now, especially if you are under a lot of stress. It will help to do whatever is necessary to support and take care of yourself. You may find it works better to minimize or prevent deterioration, rather than to attempt a complete cure of whatever ails you. Emotional health may also be affected, bringing out latent issues related to anger, sexuality, assertiveness or courage. This is a time when you can probably see all these problem areas more clearly, and as a result it can seem like they are getting worse. While this may or may not actually be true, you are in a position to respond to these issues in a different way now -- precisely because you are able to see the nature of the problems more objectively and clearly. So don't allow yourself to just be intimidated by difficult experiences you might have now; use them to take steps toward a new well-being. 

Jun.18 � FULL MOON in SAGITTARIUS (27:50)

Sabian Symbol for the
Full Moon in Sagittarius

Sagittarius 28

An old bridge over a beautiful stream is still in constant use.

When I first read this symbol, I immediately heard the song Bridge Over Troubled Water in my head. I think it fits too.

This Sabian Symbol ("What's a Sabian Symbol?") has several key concepts. The bridge unites two places that would otherwise be inaccessible from each other. It is an old bridge, which suggests enduring values, principles and practices.

There is a duality here�old and new, inner and outer, here and there, you and me. It calls for balance, equity, mutuality and a trusting openness to allow life to flow in both directions. Distrust on one side will likely be met with distrust on the other side, and turn the bridge into a wall.

With all the deep �stuff� coming up from our unconscious at the Full Moon, this could indeed be a �bridge over troubled waters.� The bridge is the acknowledgement of both sides of whatever you happen to be wrestling with. It�s not enough to focus on just the good, in the hope that it will eradicate the bad. It�s not enough to dive into the bad in an effort to meet the challenge head-on.

It�s not even enough to embrace both, although this is important.

The bridge suggests the need to develop a third place on which to stand that can mediate and connect the two sides while maintaining its own structure. The bridge does not belong to one place or the other�it is a separate place that can connect equally to both. In other words, it will help to find a position or perspective or focus that can understand encompass all the conflicting or unrelated opinions, feelings, thoughts and beliefs inside of you.

To do this, the symbol seems to recommend looking to the past, to what is �tried and true.� What principles and wisdom have endured through your life? What beliefs do you go back to when you need something to hold onto? This could offer a way to bridge the out-of-sync pieces of your life right now. It doesn�t mean going backwards; it just means drawing on what has worked in the past to help you in the present.

Find out 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


Ottawa, Canada and
Washington DC, USA:

Jun.18, 1:30 PM EDT

London, UK:

Jun.18, 6:30 PM BST

Sydney, AU:

Jun.19, 3:30 AM AEST

"What's a New Moon?"

Read more about the Sun-Moon cycles.

Read more about how you experience SAGITTARIUS energy in your life.

There�s a more profound Truth lurking under the surface right now. A deeper perspective. A further horizon. A richer sense of meaning. There are spiritual and philosophical riches buried nearby. Nuggets of knowledge. Gems of wisdom.

To get at these treasures, you might undergo a test of faith, confidence or hope. The question comes down to: What do you truly believe in? I don�t mean what you wistfully hope is true, or what you think you�re supposed to believe in. When all the convenient distractions and civilized niceties have fallen away and it�s just you and the Universe, what do you believe is the prevailing force in your life?

If you gaze deeply below the surface of your conscious thoughts and feelings, what you see there may surprise you�and possibly even disturb you a bit. At its worst, you might see heavy resentment about the things in your life you cannot control. Or perhaps you see depression or despair that is afraid to hope for improvement in your life.

On the other hand, you might discover a trusting assumption that the Universe has your best interests at heart, no matter what circumstances you find yourself in. Or maybe you enjoy a continuing inner dialogue with the world around you, through which you receive reassurance, insight and a feeling of being cared for.

Be prepared to find the unexpected! Our true feelings, expectations and assumptions are often camouflaged within the thoughts and �self-talk� that we just take for granted and hardly notice.

At the time of the Full Moon, we have several noteworthy planetary events happening. For starters, the Full Moon is conjunct Pluto, who has just slipped back into Sagittarius for one last look around before moving on into Capricorn. Pluto rules the underworld, including the hidden and secret thoughts and feelings that lie underneath the surface of our consciousness.

The Sagittarius Full Moon seeks hope, truth and meaning. Pluto draws this quest down into the dark caves of the psyche, so that we can transform and release toxic beliefs and counter-productive assumptions. The quest might feel intense or unnerving sometimes, but there are hidden riches that can be mined if we are willing to shine the light of Truth into our inner darkness.

Venus has just crossed into Cancer, but is still within orb of being conjunct the Gemini Sun at the time of the Full Moon. This brings a reminder that we need to love and nurture ourselves as we undergo a spiritual transformation. For example, you might discover negative �self-talk� automatically going through your thoughts when feeling stressed. (e.g. �I�m such an idiot!� or �I might as well give up because I can�t do anything right.�) This is the time when you have the chance to counter-balance this with the voice of an understanding, supportive �Inner Parent.� (e.g. �I might get confused sometimes, but not all the time,� or �Everyone makes mistakes. I�m feeling discouraged right now, but I�ll try it again tomorrow.�)

Mercury is stationary, poised to turn Direct the next day after 3.5 weeks in Retrograde. Mercury is also virtually unaspected right now (depending how wide you draw your orbs�closest major aspect is a trine to Chiron at 7:50 orb). This makes Mercury a bit of a wild card! An unaspected planet can be unpredictable and erratic, since there is little to temper or contain it. Add the extra intense energy of it being stationary and there could be some surprises in store! Awareness, perception and communication could impulsively burst out like a solar flare. This is great if you�re looking for sudden inspiration for writing, for example, but probably not so good if you speak your mind a little too abruptly.

We have a T-square aspect configuration (right): Moon-Pluto opposite Sun-Venus, square Uranus. It�s a bit on the wide side but it seems to underscore the possibility of the unexpected and the unconventional coming to call at your door.

There is a Mystic Rectangle aspect figure (below), again involving the Full Moon: Moon-Pluto opposite Sun-Venus and Mars-South Node opposite Neptune-Chiron-North Node. Everyone wants to get in on the party!

With these energies float around, it could make it easier to become aware of tension, conflict or worries that go on beneath a pleasant, �it�s-all-good� exterior. This can be helpful because it can help you keep a cheerful face in public while you work through your existential struggles on the inside. However, it could also make it a bit harder to relax and enjoy the pleasures in life because you�re feeling �out of centre� on the inside.

We also have a Focused Yod configuration: Jupiter sextile Uranus, both quincunx Mars which opposes Chiron along the Lunar Node axis � and Neptune is lurking close to Chiron just for good measure. (If you just got lost in the words, the diagram will probably be clearer.) This is a very complex figure, with outer planets all zeroing in on Mars.

The essence of this combination is that it matters how you assert yourself, vent your anger, express your creativity and put things into action. It�s one thing to focus your intentions on the spiritual �high road� or on your highest potential, but that �road� is full of twists and turns that require you to be flexible and accommodating.

Whatever you put your energy into right now will work best if it is BOTH guided by idealistic principles AND allows room for human mistakes and an imperfect world. If you discover any feelings, beliefs or expectations in yourself that block you from bringing these perspectives into balance, this is a good time to let them go and see how that starts to move you forward.

This can be an exciting and challenging time that can bring many realizations to the surface. It will probably help to talk about what you�re experiencing with someone, like a trusted friend, a counsellor or spiritual guide. A personal astrology reading can help you understand and get a handle on the whirlwind of potential and change that�s happening to you now. Find out more�


Jun.18 � Venus opposite Pluto (29:54 of Gemini/Sagittarius)

Under this transit you could experience great intensity and challenge in your relationships or financial matters. It is a time to delve into the depths of your personal issues that associated with relationships, finances, resources and values. That means being willing to examine the under-the-surface dynamics and hidden patterns that affect these areas of your life. These emerging patterns could indicate a need to come to terms with your "Shadow" -- this could include unconscious hidden agendas, secret desires, obsessions or power games. You have an opportunity now to learn more about how you project this "Shadow" onto others through your interactions, expectations, hopes and fears. At its best, this can be a time to transform fear into fortitude and powerlessness into endurance. By being willing to negotiate and work with your fears, feelings of intimidation or efforts to gain empowerment through self-honesty, you have the potential to create a win-win situation. 

The Mercury Retrograde Book, by Therese Francis

The Mercury Retrograde Book
Surviving/Thriving During Mercury Retrograde
by Therese Francis

Learn how to survive AND thrive during Mercury retrograde! The mysterious enigma of Mercury retrograde is explained in clear, useful ways in this easy-to-read book.

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Jun.18 � Venus enters Cancer (until Jul.12/13)

Your focus in relationships may shift for a while to family, loved ones and people in your support system. You may also find that your interactions with others takes on a quality that echoes the past, perhaps childhood, and you want to reach out to connect with others more than usual -- or to avoid it if those echoes are not pleasant ones. You could be especially sensitive to getting your emotional needs met, or how others want their needs to be met. Interactions with others may bring up a deep need to belong and to connect and bond with others on a personal level. The need to feel secure and safe could come up in a variety of forms now -- either directly as a feeling of vulnerability, or indirectly disguised as defensiveness or manipulation. This could also a time when you want to be somewhat protective and cautious in your handling of money, possessions and other resources, striving to conserve and cultivate these areas in order to nurture them for future growth. 

Jun.19 � Mercury stationary Direct (12:59 of Gemini) (Jun.20 in AU) (�What does retrograde mean?�  Read articles about retrogrades.  Read more about Mercury retrograde.)

For up to a week before and after today, you may experience mental intensity, confusion, and miscommunications or changes in your outlook. After being Retrograde since May.26, Mercury is now taking a slow turn to resume Direct motion. These past 3.5 weeks have challenged you to rethink and rehash things that required some fine-tuning or revision. The Direct station can be a time when clearer decisions start to emerge from the issues and struggles you've encountered 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 ("What's the Shadow?"), your brain may feel a bit like it's gradually waking up after a deep sleep. During this time, you can gradually put into practice the learning and knowledge 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. 

Jun.20 � Sun Opposite Pluto (29:50 of Gemini/Sagittarius) (Jun.21 in AU)

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. 


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Jun.20 � NORTHERN SOLSTICE � Sun enters Cancer (until Jul.22)


Ottawa, Canada, and
Washington DC, USA:

Jun.20, 7:59 PM EDT

London, UK:

Jun.21, 12:59 AM BST

Sydney, AU:

Jun.21, 9:59 AM AEDT

What is the Solstice?

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). Since the Sun is at its northernmost latitude, we'll call it the Northern Solatice here.

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.21 � Venus sextile Saturn (03:42 of Cancer/Virgo)

It is possible to find some stability in your relationships and finances under this transit, especially if you are willing to negotiate fairly and realistically. You have increased ability to be disciplined about spending and budgeting, and to invest in hard work to maximise your earnings. Your ability to grasp the solid, realistic facts will help you choose wisely in your investments of both money and your interaction with others. Commitment and structure may be easier to approach and achieve than if you take risks now. Your self-worth can benefit from this transit because you may be less inclined to give in to mood swings. On the other hand, if you are prone to depression, you might want to be careful you don't become so grounded and stable that you lose touch with your sense of hope and potential. It is a good time to make concrete progress in matters involving beauty, love, harmony and balance. Keep your pleasures simple and humble for maximum benefit. 

Jun.21 � Mars opposite Neptune (24:05 of Leo/Aquarius) (Jun.22 in AU)

For up to a week before and after today, you have a chance to discover and work with your blind spots and the hidden motives that trip you up. You can get a better look at the ideals, hopes, longing and dreams that motivate you. Your actions may reach for heights of inspiration or the ecstasy of surrender. This could bring release of tension...or an encounter with illusion and deception -- and it might not be easy to know which is which. It could feel like you are spinning your wheels or "shadow-boxing" and not sure why. You may be dealing with a hidden agenda or unconscious motives (yours or someone else's). You might be trying to apply a proactive solution to an ambiguous situation, and wonder why it doesn't work very well. Responding to conflicts or obstacles in a passive-aggressive or manipulative way could be tempting under this transit, since it may be hard to know how to take direct and effective action. Resentment might become a defiant way to express "toothless" anger. Part of the problem may be that you are fighting against your own unconscious idealism. Feelings of disappointment, helplessness or frustration may bring up deeper feelings from your unconscious, making it difficult to know how to respond effectively in the here-and-now. Being honest with yourself about what's really going on inside you will go a long way toward increasing your empowerment. 

Jun.25 � Sun sextile Saturn (04:01 of Cancer/Virgo)

You have an opportunity now to make some progress in obtaining results in your projects, career, ambitions and creative expression. It is possible to tap into a disciplined mindset, which can be used to take some steps toward goals that you're trying to manifest. You are surrounded by potential to achieve this, although it will not simply be handed to you -- you will still have to work for it. Your mind and purpose are likely to be clear and strong now, enabling you to be decisive and productive. Leadership, management and organizing abilities are potentially high right now. Asserting your authority in a situation that calls for it can be done successfully, as long as you don't let yourself become rigid or bossy. It can be a good time to learn or practice new skills, or to apply yourself to any kind of serious study. It is also a time when you could formulate some solid plans for future projects or make some progress with current undertakings. Make the most of it! 

Jun.26 � Uranus stationary Retrograde (22:39 of Pisces; retrograde until Nov.27) (Jun.27 in UK, AU) (�What does retrograde mean?�  Read articles about retrogrades.)

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.30 � Mars trine Pluto (29:34 of Leo/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. 

Jul.01 � Mars enters Virgo (until Aug.19)

You are likely to have a lot of energy for working in practical ways under this transit. This can be a good time to respond to projects, challenges and obstacles with some analytical problem-solving. It may be easier now to take action in ways that are adaptable and flexible to match the situation at hand. However, it is also possible for your actions to become fragmented or bogged down in detail, so try to approach what you do with a purpose and an easily reachable goal in mind. Health issues may be a focus now, either out of necessity (health problems may flare up) or out of motivation (determination to improve your health). If you are looking for a new job, this could be a good time to get focused and go after what you want. It is also a good time to devote your energy to service of some kind. For example, you could help a friend move, or volunteer at the local food bank, or just perform some "acts of random kindness." 

Next Update:  NEW MOON in CANCER - July 2, 2008. (July 3 in UK, AU) Available by Jul.02.

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