Low-Down Archives June-July 2009

June-July 2009

For the New Moon in Cancer:
June 22/23 to July 7, 2009

And the LUNAR ECLIPSE - Full Moon in Capricorn
July 7 to 21, 2009

Jun.22 � NEW MOON in CANCER (01:30 of Cancer)


Ottawa, Canada and
Washington DC, USA:

Jun.22, 3:35 PM EDT

London, UK:

Jun.22, 8:35 PM GMT

Sydney, AU:

Jun.23, 5:35 AM AEDT

"What's a New Moon?"

Read more about the Sun-Moon cycles.

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

The New Moon in Cancer brings an opportunity to explore and nurture our feelings, needs, bonding, creativity, intuition, family and home life. Cancer is a Water sign, the element associated with sensitivity, the unconscious and our "sixth sense."

When the New Moon in Cancer is opposite Pluto, as it is at this New Moon, we are likely to encounter experiences that run much deeper than usual. Feelings that spring from your deep unconscious can rise to the surface of your consciousness, creating emotional needs, urges and compulsions you didn't know you had (or hoped you had seen the last of them). If you find yourself feeling unusually insecure, uncertain or thin-skinned, you can probably blame it on Pluto.

The Moon is aligned unusually far north, relative to the Earth's equator (this is called being "out of bounds" by declination). This suggests the Moon could pull in feelings, intuitive perceptions, memories or creative inspiration from beyond your usual conscious awareness � possibly from a trans-personal realm. For example, if you find yourself struggling with feelings that you can't get a clear handle on, it might be possible that you are picking up on the feelings of another person and acting them out (or even from the whole Collective around you). This phenomenon can sometimes happen to people who are especially sensitive and empathic (Cancer-like), and who have difficulty maintaining clear boundaries with other people. In this case, it's important to become grounded and centered, and to remind yourself what is "your stuff" and what is the "other person's stuff." It means being willing to own and acknowledge your own "stuff" while also letting go of the other person's "stuff" (which can often be more challenging than it sounds).

As much as all this might sound like an ordeal that you could live without, there is a wealth of learning to be discovered about what motivates and moves you from within your unconscious. Are there people, situations, substances or experiences that draw you like a moth to a flame, despite your best efforts to a make more rational choice? You might get a glimpse of this during the upcoming lunar cycle. Use this as an opportunity to learn what triggers this compulsion. What feelings deep down make it hard to resist? What needs are you hoping will be soothed and satisfied by giving in to the person or situation? There are hidden treasures to be found by exploring and shining a light into your darkened unconscious motives, drives, desires and needs.

Venus and Mars are exactly conjunct at the moment of the New Moon. They reached the precise conjunction just one day before the New Moon, and are still less than a half-degree apart. Venus and Mars inflame your desire and passion, bringing a sharp focus to emotions and feelings. Being in the steady, Fixed sign of Taurus, this is less likely to spill over into hedonism or impulsive actions; however, if it does manifest in this way it could be more difficult than usual to change your mind and cool down your emotions.

Hard Wedge aspect configuration

The Venus-Mars conjunction (which has been building for several months and is only now reaching its, um, climax) forms a very tight Hard Wedge aspect figure with opposition between the New Moon and Pluto. ("What's a Hard Wedge?") Venus and Mars are in semi-square aspect (45°) to the Sun-Moon conjunction, and in sesqui-quadrate aspect (135°) to Pluto. This suggests that what is likely to rise up out of that Plutonian unconscious is some rather strong emotions, desires and impulses. With Taurus involved, this could easily manifest in an intense obsession with food, money, spending or the need for stability and certainty.

On the other hand, Venus and Mars also form an exact trine aspect (120°) to Saturn, which is likely to add a very stabilizing, calming and rational energy. Saturn is likely to help to keep Venus and Mars from getting too carried away with passions and desires that may not be in your best interest. On the other hand, the intensity of this lunar cycle might also be the trigger that spurs you into taking action to manifest your plans that have been developing since April.

T-square aspect configuration

Uranus is also involved in a slightly wide T-square aspect figure with the Sun-Moon opposition to Pluto. This is one of many previews we will have of the upcoming Uranus-Pluto square (which won't reach exact until 2012). The Uranus-Pluto square is a turning point in the revolutionary process that was begun with their conjunction in the 1960s, and which we are now feeling the beginnings of, through the massive global changes that are leading us into another phase of transformation. With the New Moon bringing these two outer planets together, it suggests that many of the changes, struggles and challenge you will face during this lunar cycle are part of this longer-term transformation which we all are taking part in. In other words, the changes and growth you go through over the next 4 weeks will likely have implications for and be part of this greater process of growth that our planet is going through over the next several years.

What helps Cancer is to have others who will support you, care about what is happening to you, and give you human connection when you're feeling ungrounded or uncentered. Sometimes it helps to find someone else to give these to, where you become the nurturer. Other times, it can be important to have someone else provide you with a secure foundation of support, acceptance and stability. That's when a personal astrology reading can be very helpful, to guide you in processing your experiences in a non-judgmental way.  

Jun.23 � Sun Opposite Pluto (01:59 of Cancer/Capricorn)

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.26 � Mercury square Saturn (16:16 of Gemini/Virgo)

Your thoughts, ideas and communication need to become structured, rational and discreet, although this may not be easy to achieve. You may have to work extra hard to get your point across now, since others might be resistant to your ideas or may not be familiar with the basic concepts. It is a time to be clear, objective and down-to-earth in your communication and thinking, but equally important to do this without going overboard and becoming rigid, autocratic or over-cautious. If you find yourself stuck in a "glass half empty" frame of mind, you might be sagging under the weight of melancholy ...Or, it might mean you are coming to terms with some hard realities and decisions and feeling the gravity of the implications. But also check to be sure you're not taking yourself and your situation too seriously. By applying your best efforts, this can be a very productive time, especially with anything involving communication, writing, organising or logic.  

Jul.01 � Uranus Stationary Retrograde (26:37 of Pisces) ("What does Stationary mean?"  "What does retrograde mean?"  Read article about Stations.  Read article 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.  

Jul.01-07 � Small Learning Triangle aspect figure (26° Taurus, Aquarius, Pisces)

Small Learning Triangle aspect figure

In April, May and June, Mercury was in square aspect (90°) to the Jupiter-Neptune-Chiron conjunction and sextile aspect (60°) to Uranus. Now Venus forms the same aspects to these planets on July 1-2, and on July 5-7 Mars follows in the same footsteps. In addition, Uranus is in semi-sextile aspect (30°) to the Jupiter-Neptune-Chiron group (and remains in this aspect throughout 2009-2010), forming an asymmetrical triangle.  

Astrologers Bruno and Louise Huber called this aspect figure a Small Learning Triangle. It indicates a learning process of inner struggle and dissatisfaction that is perceived as coming from (in this case) things to do with Uranus � chaos, unpredictability, change and being pulled out of your comfort zone. The struggle is in the square aspects to Jupiter-Neptune-Chiron, first by Mercury, then by Venus and then Mars. Jupiter, Neptune and Chiron collectively bring us face to face with our ideals, dreams, illusions and the need to accept ourselves and others as imperfect, yet also a work in progress. To "stay in the struggle" is to continue to grow and allow ourselves to be shaped and tempered by conflict and challenge. Note that this is not the same as suffering as an end in itself or resigning oneself to a life of pessimistic drudgery.

Mercury gave us the opportunity to become more aware of how our perceptions, communication and thoughts help or hinder our growth process in these areas. Venus brings a learning process of how we bring these issues to our social connections, close relationships, attitudes about money and abundance, and how our ideals, illusions and attitudes about acceptance shape our personal values. Mars challenges us to find ways to put our learning into action � to live by our values and ideals, without imposing an impossibly strict standard on ourselves. It also urges us to confront and examine the ways we handle anger, frustration and being proactive versus reactive, particularly in the context of our struggle to find a peaceful balance between assertive change and acceptance. Uranus might feel like a constant upheaval and disruption through change, unpredictability and the need to re-vision what our greatest potential really is in the light of today's radically changing world.

Shield aspect configuration

Mercury actually plays a new role on July 1, since it is now in a trine (120°) aspect to Jupiter-Neptune-Chiron and squaring (90°) Uranus. This forms another tight and relatively rare aspect figure that the Hubers called a Shield. In their fabulous book, Aspect Pattern Astrology, they describe this energy as being a protective mechanism to keep others at a safe distance. This figure can give you strength to take hard knocks without breaking apart. With Mercury being especially strong in its own sign of Gemini right now, this can grant the strength to be objective and rational even when circumstances are difficult, while also helping you frame your experiences in a positive, cheerful way. The trick is to do this without alienating people by becoming overly defensive. 

Jul.01 � Venus square Chiron (25:43 of Taurus/Aquarius)

You may be forced to make adjustments to relationships and/or finances now, as you face situations in these areas that just don't want to balance out the way you want them to. You may feel a bit like you're in a catch-22 (no-win situation), where the more you try to find balance and harmony, the more you feel like you're chasing your own tail around in circles. This is a time when healing in relationships and financial problems may be difficult to obtain. Harmony in these areas can seem impossible or blocked, yet it is still necessary to keep trying. By trying anyway, it may be possible to find a solution that meets your needs, even if it may not be what you wanted, hoped for or expected. Strive to find a creative solution that draws on your best side.  

Jul.01 � Mercury trine Chiron (25:42 of Gemini/Aquarius) (Jul.02 in AU)

Your mental focus and communication now get an injection of healing energy. Cynicism and depression may soften now, as you become more receptive to a more optimistic viewpoint. If you have been caught up in escapism or "stinkin' thinkin'" (thinking you're more in control of your impulses than you really are), you may now find some relief and healing. Mental argument and critical "self-talk" can now find some reconciliation and acceptance that brings some peace of mind. You have increased ability to find the right words and understanding to help others with their problems. Compassion and empathy may be more accessible because you can identify your own experiences with what you see in others. You might also find someone who can give you good advice or support about your own problems � possibly a teacher or mentor � or you could become this to someone else.  

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Jul.01 � Venus square Neptune (26:11 of Taurus/Aquarius) (Jul.02 in AU)

Money, material resources, relationships and pleasure could be subject to confusion, deception, or unrealistic wishful thinking under this transit. It may seem that what you thought you had (love, friendship, pleasure, money, resources) has suddenly disappeared or isn't as dependable as you thought it was. You might feel disappointed, disillusioned, sad or alone, but this is more likely to be a passing phase than a serious crisis. The question is: what are your secret longings and subtle desires that may be operating unconsciously? These could be clouding your ability to relate to people and situations in your life. Old addictions, depression or idealism may surface as way of dealing with feelings. A better outlet would be to channel your feelings and experiences into creativity, beauty, inspiration and compassion; for example, art, music or helping others.  

Jul.01 � Mercury trine Neptune (26:11 of Gemini/Aquarius) (Jul.02 in AU)

Your mind is very open to imagination, dreams and compassion under this transit. This can be a very creative time, when ideas flow like a magical river. It can also be easy to get caught up in yearning and fantasizing about your hidden wishes, although it is possible to channel this into creative expression. (e.g., writing poetry, dancing, wistful music, singing in the shower, whatever!) Listening sympathetically to others' problems may come easily now, and you are more likely to get a compassionate response from others about your own problems. However, it may also be difficult to draw clear and firm boundaries with others, since you are more susceptible to the emotional gravity of others. It is ultimately a time for optimism, hope, creativity and intuition, although it's wise to keep at least one foot on the ground.  

Jul.01 � Mercury trine Jupiter (26:34 of Gemini/Aquarius) (Jul.02 in UK, AU)

This transit can make you quite talkative and flooded with ideas, along with those around you. Your stream of consciousness can flow abundantly with optimism and visionary possibilities. Write down your best ideas for later development, since you may be having too much fun now playing with ideas to want to stop and make them manifest just yet. Your outlook is usually optimistic and open-minded under this transit, although it might simply neutralize an already pessimistic frame of mind. You are likely to be more open to spiritual or philosophical perspectives, being more able to see yourself as part of something greater than yourself. You might even find that luck comes your way because you are more receptive to opportunities and possibilities.  

Jul.01 � Mercury square Uranus (26:37 of Gemini/Pisces) (Jul.02 in UK, AU)

Flashes of insight can show you new clarity but you might not like the answers you get, since they could disturb your logical perception of what's what. You might get some news or learn come information that shakes you up in some way. This isn't necessarily bad, since this may be necessary to open your mind to something you've been resisting. There's a Higher Truth here that wants to be told (by you or to you), but the way it's phrased can make a big difference in the reaction. There is a risk of "shooting off your mouth before your brains are loaded," as the saying goes, and impulsive or reckless communication and ideas could create more problems than they solve. It will probably help to listen inside yourself first to discover what you really need to say, and then figure out how to say it in a way that doesn't cause unnecessary damage. Strive to shine a light of truth without blinding anyone with it.  

Special note: Uranus is stationary, turning retrograde, when Mercury squares it. This intensifies the Mercury-Uranus square, as well as our experience of the Uranus station. What is interesting is how Mercury has squared four outer planets as they were stationary � Chiron, Neptune and Jupiter back in June, and now Uranus. It seems our consciousness, perceptions and awareness are being stretched and challenged to the max. After confronting the complicated picture of our illusions, dreams, aspirations and human limitations, we now might be a flash of insight or understanding. This could disrupt any illusions that are still hanging on, or it might spotlight a realization of what we must do in order to bring our dreams into being. We only get one pass of the Mercury-Uranus (rather than 3 passes that Mercury went through to Chiron, Neptune and Jupiter). So, this transit might come as an "ah-ha!" experience, or you might simply find your mind's eye staring a little wider than usual.  

Jul.02 � Venus square Jupiter (26:33 of Taurus/Aquarius)

"Your eyes are bigger than your stomach" (as Mom used to say). That means you are more likely now to over-indulge, especially in the areas of relationships, spending, desires, pleasure and social contact. Your desire for fulfilment and satisfaction may exceed your resources, and you might not even realise it until the bill comes in later (probably under a Saturn transit ;-). You may also find you require more knowledge, understanding, faith, freedom or optimism than you have available, making it tempting to compensate by inflating what you really have. For example, you might want to resort to flattery, manipulation or over-optimism in an effort to make up for a lack of genuine confidence, rapport or preparation. However, this can also be a time when your creativity is running high and you are able to pull rabbits out of your hat on a moment's notice. The problem is that you could over-extend yourself by doing so.  

Jul.02 � Venus sextile Uranus (26:37 of Taurus/Pisces)

Relationships, finances, resources and pleasures could benefit from spontaneously trying a completely different approach. If these areas of your life have been getting a little stale or too routine, this transit could shake things up a little...just enough to make things interesting and breathe some fresh air into your familiar routine. Unexpected income could come your way, or you might discover something you just can't resist buying, or you might have an opportunity to make new social connections. The upside of this transit is that it's possible to break free of old habits and enjoy spontaneous interaction. The downside could come in the form of impulse purchases that are beyond your budget, or behaving a bit recklessly or making snap decisions that you can't live with later. This energy is best used to break free of what restricts you, without shattering the foundation you're standing on.  

Jul.03 � Mercury enters Cancer (until Jul.17) (Jul.04 in AU)

Intuition, sensitive perception, and communication of feelings flow more easily during this transit. Your empathy may be deepened now, as you can be more able to imagine and pick up on what other people feel and need. Because of this, you may also find that it's easier to say difficult things in a sensitive, caring way. However, your open connection to others might also increase the risk of communicating in a hurtful or callous way, if you are not used to treading gently. Your creative imagination is also more accessible now. To take advantage of this, try doing some journal writing, expand your emotional awareness, have some creative fun, or think of ways to make your environment more homey and comfortable.  

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Jul.04 � Mercury opposite Pluto (01:41 of Cancer/Capricorn) (Jul.05 in AU)

This transit brings powerful words and ideas! They require you to strike a balance between personal perceptions and trans-personal implications. Your communication can be more penetrating, forceful or persistent than usual now, and a little will go a long way, so use this ability sparingly and carefully. In the same way, the words and perceptions of others may have a deeper and stronger impact on you than they normally do. This could be a mixed blessing � you may discover some profound insight and psychological truth in what others say to you, but you might also be receiving their unconscious projections too (meaning their perceptions and feedback might say more about them than about you). Deep self-honesty can help you decide what is true and what is being distorted. Avoid reacting on "automatic pilot" and give yourself some mental and psychological breathing room to avoid becoming overwhelmed.  

Jul.05 � Venus enters Gemini (until Jul.31)

Relationships, finances, resources and values take on an air of curiosity, communication and cleverness. It is a good time to discuss, think about and create strategies to improve these areas or make them more enjoyable. You may be especially curious, flirtatious or easy-going now � so much so that you might drift into superficiality (which might be a welcome rest from more intense or committed social activity). It can be a good time to exchange ideas and information with others, especially in a social context. Schmoozing and networking with others are prime examples of this. This can also be a good time to negotiate contracts and agreements with people, in this atmosphere of information exchange. Just remember that it's one thing to use charm and humor to influence the direction of the discussion, but it may not be wise to indulge in blatant manipulation of others.  

Jul.05 � Mars square Chiron (25:34 of Taurus/Aquarius) (Jul.06 in AU)

It may be time to confront issues in our life that involve how/why you get hurt by others, how you yourself hurt others, and how healing can take place in either of these situations. Your awareness of this may due to a conflict in your life, but this can be a valuable learning experience for you, more-so than usual. Part of the problem may be that you need to tread your own path but are avoiding this for whatever reasons � perhaps circumstances compel you to satisfy others' expectations, or perhaps you are still struggling to muster the courage to find and walk your own path. Whatever the reasons, this transit may give you a push that will help to steer you in a healing direction, possibly by showing you how and why the path you have been on does not lead to where you want to go. If you start to feel overwhelmed, take some time out from the stress to get re-centered and grounded.  

Jul.06 � Mars square Neptune (26:06 of Taurus/Aquarius) (Jul.07 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. It may feel like you are spinning your wheels or "shadow-boxing" and not even sure why. You may be fighting a hidden agenda or unconscious motives (yours or someone else's). You might also be trying to apply a concrete solution to an ambiguous situation, and then wondering why it isn't working very well. Responding to conflicts in a passive-aggressive or manipulative way can be tempting under this transit, since you may not 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 idealism, and resisting the acceptance that the other person or situation can't be the way you want them to be. Feelings of disappointment or helplessness may trigger much deeper feelings from your unconscious, making it difficult for you to know how to respond effectively in the here-and-now. It will probably help to work on owning your feelings, needs, longings and (hidden) agendas. Being honest with yourself about what's really going on inside you will go a long way toward increasing your empowerment.  

Jul.06 � Mars square Jupiter (26:16 of Taurus/Aquarius) (Jul.07 in AU)

Under this transit your energy is more accessible, but this could be more problematic than helpful. On one hand, you have more enthusiasm and motivation available to take bold steps toward your goals. However, you might be forced to do this out of a sense of moral coercion, rather than freely choosing it. Or, your actions could be triggered by exasperated impulse more than by a sense of what is right for that moment. Impulses are likely to become easily amplified, but also more difficult to control. This includes anger, sexuality, aggression and assertiveness. Confidence could come across as arrogance. Courage might become reckless or brazen. If you find it difficult to bring out these qualities in yourself, they may come spurting out in a way that might be frightening or intimidating. But once your energy has emerged, you are in a better position to learn how to harness it, use it, work with it and summon it at will.  

Jul.07 � Mars sextile Uranus (26:36 of Taurus/Aquarius)

You have an opportunity to move forward through inspired action. This can bring creative problem solving to any conflicts or challenges that are currently in your life. Now is the time to think outside the box and experiment with trying out new responses, actions and directions. It may be easier to be spontaneous and even to act "out of character." If this is something you easily go overboard with, you might want to find ways to channel this constructively. The idea is to be refreshingly spontaneous, not recklessly impulsive. On the other hand, if you have trouble kicking up your heels and being free and unfettered, this transit can be used to get you moving a bit better. If you don't use this energy constructively or consciously, you might wind up feeling somewhat erratic or restless. Find something exciting, inspiring or unusual to spend your energy on.  

Sabian Symbol for Capricorn 16: Boys and girls in gymnasium suits.

Sabian Symbol for the
Lunar Eclipse ~ Full Moon in Capricorn

Capricorn 16

Boys and girls in
gymnasium suits.

This Sabian Symbol ("What's a Sabian Symbol?") shows a seemingly mundane scene. It brings to mind team sports, school grounds, physical training and (remembering my school days) ridiculous costumes designed to look as utilitarian as possible. ;-)

Being a symbol of earthy Capricorn, the key features are more likely to be about regimented training and preparedness � remember, the symbol focuses on their clothing, not the setting. Having the proper attire, draping oneself in the appropriate "skins" will go a long way to prepare you for the work ahead.

The old saying "Clothes make the man (or woman)" is echoed here. However, in this case it's not so much about dressing for power and authority, as ensuring that what you wear matches the purpose of the task. If you're going to work out, don't wear heels or a suit. Dressing "down" in this case will get you farther.

This might be literally about clothes for some people, but it is even more likely to be about making your outer attitude, manner or approach fit the purpose of your activities. The key is to step up, come prepared, and be ready to build up your skills, strength and experience. And don't forget to work and play well with others.


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:

Jul.07, 5:21 AM EDT

London, UK:

Jul.07, 10:21 AM BST

Sydney, AU:

Jul.07, 7:21 PM AEST

"What's a Lunar Eclipse?"

"What's a Full Moon?"

Read more about the Sun-Moon cycles.

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

Penumbral (partial) Lunar Eclipse. Only the top edge of the Full Moon will pass into the Earth's shadow. At most, you might see a slight blurring or dimming at the northern edge of the Full Moon. Visibility, if any (see PDF on NASA site), will be just before Moonset (early morning, just before sunrise) in northern and eastern Canada, eastern United States, Brazil and northeastern South America; or just after Moonrise (evening, just after sunset): western Australia, Indonesia, Japan, Kamchatka Peninsula and mid-Alaska.

This is likely to be a strong energy as a Full Moon, although its effects as a Lunar Eclipse, both visually and astrologically, are likely to be relatively minor compared to other eclipses. In fact, depending on how it interacts with your natal chart, it might seem more like other Full Moons than an eclipse.

Eclipses have a reputation for stirring up trouble, although this one is likely to be relatively mild. In fact, the most challenging part might have more to do with learning to deal with a calmer, more structured existence, especially considering the rather "interesting" year we've had so far. The Full Moon is in the grounded, practical sign of Capricorn. This is a time to be responsible, work hard, find your strength and use it to keep both feet planted firmly on the ground. This might arise out of a necessity to stabilize your financial base, for example, or it could simply be a time when you're ready to choose to commit to a more structured approach to your life.

Wedge aspect figure

Saturn, Capricorn's planetary ruler, is in trine aspect (120°) to the Moon and sextile aspect (60°) to the Sun, creating a Wedge aspect pattern. Both Saturn and Capricorn bring a stabilizing, grounding influence to the Full Moon's energy, so there's lots of help from the planets to build a solid foundation, commit to a plan, or take on a role of responsibility or authority in a project.

Jupiter, Neptune and Chiron are still in a tight group huddle (within less than one degree orb). Jupiter and Neptune, just 3 days away from the second of their three conjunction passes, are about as far from Capricorn/Saturn energy as you can get. Jupiter and Neptune reach for the promise and the dream that Saturn strives to manifest. Jupiter and Neptune use imagination, faith, hope, surrender, love, mercy and compassion to envision the best of all possible worlds.

These planets bring out the visionary side of Aquarius, where they currently reside. They bring the inspiration to create (or perhaps wish for) a utopian world in which the many will support and sustain the one, and each one will have the perfect gifts to contribute to the many. Aquarius usually prefers to do this by liberating us from the ties that keep us bound to a conventional, stale or regimented way of life. So part of us might not want to be bothered maintaining a practical, structured routine. Instead, we may be too preoccupied envisioning the world as we believe it ought to be, to deal with the flawed, mundane world that's already here.

Saturn, on the other hand, believes in using discipline, hard work, controlled focus, limiting choices, responsibility, rules and standards to bring that vision into being. The Jupiter-Neptune part of us may not be entirely happy with this because the dream can become somewhat lost as it goes through the Saturn "reality processor." It might be tempting to believe this less-than-perfect manifestation is a sign of failure, but the Saturn side of us knows that ideals were never meant to be manifested literally or exactly.

A certain amount of loss is necessary for progress to be made. Saturn is like Michelangelo the sculptor who believed it was his job to chip away everything that wasn't essential, until all that was left was the final sculpture that had been hiding in the stone. Saturn ultimately takes the Jupiter-Neptune potential and makes it manifest by removing everything that stands in the way of it becoming real. In that sense, this is the transformative side of this lunar eclipse � the reshaping of our life plans and intentions so that the best end result can emerge. And the best way to do that is within a structured system that paces the change one step at a time, or one chip of the stone at a time.

Chiron is currently conjunct Jupiter and Neptune, which underscores the need to deal with the realistic level of what is, while still reaching beyond it to touch a more inspired vision of what life could be. This Full Moon Eclipse and the remainder of the current lunar cycle (until the Solar Eclipse on July 21) could be well spent working out the practical logistics of your dreams and potential. This means you will likely have to come to grips with the ways that your dream must be reshaped by compromise and adjustment. You may also need to sacrifice a cynical, pessimistic, artless or joyless view of life in order to make room for a better potential. Holding onto these negative qualities could block you from being open enough to benefit from the uplifting, liberating and healing potential that is available to you now.

Mars is in a very close square aspect (90°) to Jupiter, Neptune and Chiron, which could make you feel a bit like you're spinning your wheels in the mud. Efforts to make things happen might seem to stall or fizzle out for no apparent reason. Getting a solid grip on your motivation could prove elusive. Mars in Taurus is determined and doesn't give up easily, once it is set on its goal. However, with the square to Neptune, it can also be easy to sabotage your own efforts by giving in to discouragement, malaise or concern that your efforts won't be worthy of your intended results. The question is: what do you really want? It might be necessary to accept the essence of what you want, but in a different form than you're expecting.

If you encounter delays, it's possible that the timing isn't quite right for you to take forward action just yet. You may find that actions flow more easily when Mars trines the Aquarius trio in mid-August. If you can't wait until then to put plans into action, it might help to let your vision be your intuitive guideline, while sticking to practical, concrete steps that can be taken now. In other words, it's probably best to keep it simple and straightforward and in the Now. It's probably unwise to try to leapfrog over obstacles or take shortcuts to your goal right now, or you could find yourself going from the frying pan into the fire, trading one set of problems for another. If your goal can't be reached in a few simple steps, then do what is doable now, even if it means going slower � it will probably produce better results in the long run anyway.

North and South Lunar Nodes axis

The Lunar Nodes are on the verge of changing signs. ("What are the lunar nodes?") I'm talking about the "true nodes" which typically wobble back and forth a bit, rather than the mean nodes which use a steady, average movement. Remember that the nodes form an axis of two points directly opposite each other, which travel slowly retrograde (backwards) and take 19-years to go full circle around the Zodiac.

Although the nodes change signs about every year and a half or so, this particular transition is quite rare. The nodes moved into 0° of Aquarius and Leo on June 6, and will remain at 0° until Aug.21. This is an unusually long time! The fact that this involves the first degree (0°) of these signs is also important and very powerful. This long stay at the zero-degree occurs only rarely, lasting up to a maximum of 75-77 days, compared to a minimum of one day. The last time it spiked up to the maximum while at zero degrees of a sign was in 1992; the time before that was 1969; and before that 1952. This occurrence in 2009 also hits the maximum, at 76 days, and the next one will be in 2032. These long stretches at zero degrees suggest a deeper process of transition and growth, as well as a powerful culmination of the energy of the sign axis the nodes have been in for the previous year and a half (in the current case, Aquarius and Leo).

The Sabian Symbols for the north and south nodes of this long transit are revealing. The north node at 0° of Aquarius is "An old adobe mission." Historical religious politics aside, this symbolizes an enduring structure meant to provide a source of inspiration, faith and shared experience. This is where we're heading (north node). Where we're moving from (south node) is 0° Leo, whose Symbol is "A case of apoplexy." This is an old-fashioned term for a stroke (a brain hemorrhage), but can also mean the rush of blood to an organ or the face. It implies an intensifying of the life force, perhaps triggered by some kind of crisis or sudden change.

Since the eclipses and the lunar nodes are linked together, these symbols form a strong theme underlying this series of eclipses (lunar eclipses on July 7 and August 5, and solar eclipse on July 21). To move from Leo into Aquarius (from the south to the north node) suggests we are in a process of building something more solid and long-term to house a sense of higher purpose. Instead of needing a state of emergency to mobilize our life force, we are building a more enduring state of readiness in which inspiration, purpose and incentive are more easily available.

This is certainly happening on the collective level, as the world struggles to heal, stabilize and improve its collective economic structures. On an individual level, this could be affecting any number of areas in your life, including friendships and networking with others, helping to strengthen your greater community, using technology to connect with others and gather new ideas, or reshaping your vision of the future into one that is sustainable through the upheaval and transformation happening all around.

How you are most affected individually will be reflected by a number of factors: the houses where the nodes are transiting in your natal chart; the aspects nodes make to your natal planets, and how this set of eclipses interacts with your natal chart. To discover how these transits are affecting you personally, contact me about a personal astrology reading. Special price for personal readings now available! Find out more... 

Jul.09 � Sun sextile Saturn (17:13 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!  

Jul.10 � Jupiter conjunct Neptune (26:01 of Aquarius) (Read article about the Jupiter-Neptune-Chiron conjunction.)

Vision and a sense of mission are conjured under this magical transit! This conjunction comes around approximately every 13 years: 1907 (Cancer), 1920 (Leo), 1932 (Virgo), 1945 (Libra), 1958 (Scorpio), 1971 (Sagittarius), 1984 (early Capricorn), 1997 (late Capricorn) and now in 2009 (Aquarius). Those born under this combination tend to have a strong sense of what the "perfect world" should look like, and usually strive to live in a way that will bring that about. While these planets are conjunct, everyone is touched by this same kind of energy � envisioning how the world could be a better place, with lots of opinions and ideals about how to make it so. This transit can bring an abundance of creative imagination as well as a refreshing sense of hope and optimism. Spiritual renewal is in the air, as greater possibilities promise to feed our hunger for connection and belonging to something greater than ourselves.

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No transit is without its challenges, though. The trap here lies in the idea that simply believing will make it so. Belief and faith are certainly a central and essential part of translating hope into concrete change. But they aren't enough by themselves. What happens when beliefs contradict each other, whether that's between people, cultures, religions, or even between different feelings or motives within yourself? What happens when faith collides with reality and we must then either question its assumptions or succumb to "blind faith" that is disconnected from the world around it?

The challenge lies in how to use faith, hope and idealism as a guide rather than as a final destination. The deeper magic lies in allowing the vision to be like a rainbow that inspires you to move toward it. But rainbows are a temporary phenomenon made of reflections of light � they're not solid things. However, they can still entice you toward a worthwhile destination even after they vanish. Sometimes we need a vision that seems miraculous to get us moving forward, but that doesn't mean the journey is worthless when the vision fades � it just means we had help to get moving in the right direction.

This is the second of three passes of this transit: May.27, Jul.10 and Dec.21. The "rainbow" vision may seem to come and go throughout this year. If we look beyond it to the real goals that are reachable, the vision can inspire us to keep moving. Just don't fall into the trap of insisting it must be absolutely real to be of any value, or the other trap of believing that the vision alone will manifest without your proactive involvement and efforts.  

Jul.11 � Mercury sextile Saturn (17:27 of Cancer/Virgo) (Jul.12 in UK, AU)

It can be easier to take a logical, practical approach to problem-solving and decisions now. It's a good time to make plans and work out the logistics of how you're going to get from "here" to "there" in pursuing your ambitions. Or, you may find it's time to bring closure to finished goals, by distilling and systemizing what you've learned in the past several months. This will probably require a bit of effort on your part to make it happen, but the opportunity is there if you choose to take it. This transit can bring mental stability and the ability to apply your mental focus in a practical and grounded way. It may be easier to see things realistically and objectively. Creative energy can become productive and rewarding, if you use it methodically or logically.  

Jul.11 � Mars enters Gemini (until Aug.25) (Jul.12 in UK, AU)

Your physical and mental energy are likely to be more available in Gemini � in fact, maybe a bit too available! You typically have the energy to pursue opportunities and ideas, but this can also make you a bit distracted or shorten your attention span. Inspired ideas can lead to impulsive action, which is great when you want to be decisive, take the initiative or find courage in the moment. However, if your ideas are not well grounded or thought out, you might "shoot first and ask questions later." The more you can focus your mind to go after what you want, the more effective your actions will be. With Mars in Gemini, "the pen is mightier than the sword." When conflict arises, it is more likely to be fought and resolved with words and ideas, than with fists. This is a good time to mentally focus your intent and then act on your ideas.  

Jul.13 � Sun conjunct Mercury (21:47 of Cancer) (Jul.14 in UK, AU)

During this transit, your sense of self and purpose can become merged with what you think, perceive and say. On one hand, this can make for an easy flow of ideas and communication from inside your brain to the external world. It can also increase your perceptions and observations of the world, as you file it all away in your internal database. On the other hand, you may find yourself a bit tongue-tied, as it could be hard to separate your sense of self from your perceptions and ideas enough to find the words to adequately express them. In that case, just observe and go with the flow; the words will come later. It can also be a time when it's not easy to be objective, especially about yourself and how you bring yourself to the world around you. It's like your Being automatically expresses and sets into motion the things you think, perceive and want to say. This can help you to feel like your sense of self is shining effortlessly, but if your thoughts and perceptions are in conflict with other parts of you (e.g., emotions, needs, objectivity) then it might become a time when you act a little too quickly with blinders on. Strive for balance and self-honesty before you act.  

Jul.16 � Mercury trine Uranus (26:31 of Cancer/Pisces)

Unusual ideas, flashes of insight and seeing unexpected possibilities are all part of this transit. You may find it easier to be open-minded right now, especially about insights that have eluded you. Your ability to see beyond your usual horizon of perception can bring visionary brainwaves, as well as a fun sense of humour. You might be inspired to experiment with something new or do something out of character. You might have an impulse to break free of old habits or constraints. This can be a very liberating transit that opens your mind to new possibilities and ideas. However, be careful that you don't become so liberated and spontaneous that you become erratic, hyper or reckless. Words may come tumbling out of your mouth before you've had a chance to consider their wisdom, or you might find yourself talking non-stop and interrupting, creating a bit of awkwardness in those around you. On the other hand, you might also find the clarity and vision that gives you the words to speak your truth with new conviction. It's a great time to do some writing or other form of self-expression, especially if it's spontaneous or involving technology.  

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Jul.17 � Mercury enters Leo (until Aug.02) (Jul.18 in UK, AU)

While Mercury struts through Leo, your creativity and self-expression are flying high! Your communication strives to express more than just facts or information � it wants to convey the dramatic energy that tells a story in larger-than-life proportions! How you perceive and experience life right now can be vivid, dramatic and fun, as you pick up more easily on the expressive and "feel-good" elements of what's happening around you. You may become very creative, inspired and motivated during this time. The downside is that it may also easier to indulge in a mindset that is self-serving, egotistical or overconfident. Your motives are likely to be noble, heroic and full of good intentions, but you could also become so in love with your vision of what's possible that you miss valid criticism or drawbacks. This is a time to enjoy the playful delights of sports, games, humor, fun and children.  

Jul.17 � Mercury conjunct South Lunar Node (00:00 of Leo) (Jul.18 in UK, AU)

It's time to let go of old perceptions and ideas that are now just getting in the way of your ability to see things clearly. This might not be an easy task, because your new point of view might show you something you don't really want to see. It might mean you need to change your mind about something or someone. However, by clearing away the blocks to greater awareness, you can start to reshape the way you see yourself or others or life in general. To do this, you might need to release, share and communicate your observations of the last 6 months or so. Take advantage of this time of transition by doing some writing, or perhaps comparing notes with someone about things you've been mulling over.  

Jul.18 � Sun trine Uranus (26:29 of Cancer/Pisces) (Jul.19 in UK, AU)

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. ;-)   

Jul.20 � Mercury sextile Mars (06:11 of Leo/Gemini) (Jul.21 in UK, 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.21 � Venus square Saturn (18:20 of Gemini/Virgo) (Jul.22 in AU)

Finances, relationships, social contacts and/or pleasures may seem blocked or require extra effort right now. Manifesting your desires may require added hard work, but this struggle could also bring you closer to your goals. It may feel like there is a huge rock blocking your path that keeps you from fulfilling your heart's desire. It may be necessary to face some difficult aspect of your situation before it is possible to know how to proceed. This is ultimately a problem to be solved by confronting that which is unrealistic, unworkable, or just not in your best interest. This can also be a time when you arrive at a crossroads and must make some firm choices, or when circumstances might force you to change your direction. This transit can make your choice clear, although it might not be the one you hoped for.  

Next Update:  SOLAR ECLIPSE - NEW MOON in CANCER - July 21, 2009. (July 22 in UK, AU) Available by July 21.

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