Low-Down Archives for June-July 2012

New Moon in Gemini, Planetary Transits

Chart for the (second!) New Moon in Gemini
Chart for the (second!) New Moon in Gemini

Jun.19 – NEW MOON in GEMINI (28:43 of Gemini)


Ottawa, Canada and
Washington DC, USA:

Jun.19, 2011, 11:02 AM EDT

London, UK:

Jun.19, 2011, 4:02 PM BST

Sydney, AU:

Jun.20, 2011, 1:02 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.

Repeat yourself.
If you like it, do it again.
If you don't like, do it again.
~ Bruce Mau, Toronto designer (The Incomplete Manifesto for Growth)

There's nothing like a second New Moon in Gemini to remind you just how multiple that sign really is!

We had a New Moon in Gemini back on May.20, which also happened to be a Solar Eclipse. This one is just your garden variety New Moon � no tricks with shadows and mirrors this time.

However, there are a few intriguing repeating themes between the two New Moon charts, which implies that we are getting a do-over in some ways.

For one thing, the New Moon on May.20 was square to Neptune. This time it's trine to Neptune. (Okay, okay, it's an out-of-sign aspect, which usually means it's not as strong, but it's applying and only 2:44 orb away from exact.) Back in May you might have struggled with disillusionment, confusion or idealism. This time, you could experience a kind of re-illusionment. Although this could possibly mean you're simply swapping out old illusions for new misconceptions, if that's true then the new ones are likely to be easier to manage and work better for you. Remember that enlightenment is a gradual process, and with each new step is a new opportunity to learn.

On a more positive note, this re-illusionment could also mean you're able to re-vision what you believe about the world. In Indian religions, the Sanskrit word maya means the illusion or projection through which we relate to the world. Until we're ready to see beyond that projection, we interact with the illusion. It's kind of "life by proxy."

So to change your illusion may not be a bad thing. It could imply that you're ready to let go of the old myth and be open to a new one that is a bit closer to the "raw" truth. On the other hand, watch out for a new illusion that actually just digs you in deeper to where you're stuck.

The Solar Eclipse on May.20 was ruled by Mercury, then in Taurus, which helped to ground us in realism and counter-balance Neptune's tendency to get lost in fantasy. This time, Mercury is in sensitive, caring Cancer, which can blend well with the trine to Neptune, especially in the areas of creativity, compassion and connection to family�whether they are your birth family or your chosen family.

On May.20, Mercury was conjunct Jupiter which expanded our everyday perceptions to see the greater context and meaning about what we were seeing. Now Jupiter is in Gemini (Jun.11.2012 to Jun.25.2013) which has a similar echo from the Mercury-Jupiter conjunction (Mercury being Gemini's ruling planet).

Jupiter is hoovering up all kinds of information, data, evidence, facts and curiosities, in order to eventually compile his thesis on the meaning of life from the perspective of Gemini. Although he'd rather be the publisher of books than the librarian of them, he'll make a royally superb keeper of the proof that there's more to knowledge than mere ideas, words and grammar. Organizing all that information into layers of concepts, context and implications will take him about a year to accomplish!

This is especially important work right now. This New Moon chart includes two aspects that make the overall energy somewhat complicated. On one hand, the Sun-Moon conjunction (a.k.a. the New Moon) forms a trine to Saturn (a bit wide and separating, but it's there). This contributes the knowing from past experience that it is possible to make sense of the information and energy coming your way.

However, Mercury is very tightly square to Saturn, suggesting that although it seems like it should be possible, perhaps even easy, to do this, you might find it difficult to have to deal with the facts, structure and consequences that come from that kind of sensibility. Mercury in Cancer could feel that Saturn's strict rules are a bit too harsh and feel more like a straightjacket than a solid foundation from which to grow.

The Sun-Moon dynamic duo are also in square aspect to Mars � again, getting a bit wide and separating, but still in orb. This could make frustration rise more quickly than usual, especially in response to Saturn's demands. The better scenario is to channel it all into accomplishing some task that takes hard work, which you've been putting off. And in fact, circumstances could possibly push you into a corner where you have little choice but to do just that.

All of this is taking place against the stormy backdrop of Uranus square Pluto. Although these storm clouds have been building for several years now, it is now at the point where things could start getting a bit dicey. This isn't an energy that will blow over quickly � we have 7, count 'em, 7 hits of this thing, and this is just the first one.

By the time the Full Moon takes place in Capricorn on July 3, it could be the lightning rod that evokes a mega-thunderbolt. So hang onto your hat and fasten your seatbelt! Between now and that Full Moon, watch to see which direction in your life seems to be lighting up and flashing in the clouds. It could get quite "interesting" in a couple of weeks!

Jun.20 – Mercury square Saturn (22:46 of Cancer/Libra)  (Jun.21 in AU)

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.

Jun.20 – Sun enters Cancer (until Jul.22)


Ottawa, Canada and
Washington DC, USA:

Jun.20, 2012, 7:08 PM EDT

London, UK:

Jun.21, 2012, 12:08 AM BST

Sydney, AU:

Jun.21 2012, 9:08 PM AEST

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

Jun.20 – Venus sextile Uranus (08:20 of Gemini/Aries)  (Jun.21 in UK, AU)

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.

Jun.21 – Mars leaves the Retrograde Shadow (23:05 of Virgo)  ("What's the Shadow?"  Read my articles about Retrograde Cycles.  Read my article about Mars Retrograde.  Read more about Mars Retrograde cycle.)

Mars now leaves the Retrograde Shadow � the span of the Zodiac where it was retrograde up until about 2 months ago. Mars goes through 3 phases in its retrograde cycle. The pre-retrograde phase is where Mars enters the Shadow � the area of the Zodiac where it will go retrograde � and lasts for 6-9 weeks. The retrograde phase is where Mars appears to go backwards in the sky (retrograde motion), which lasts for about 8-12 weeks. The post-retrograde phase is when Mars makes his final pass through the Shadow, again lasting about 6-9 weeks.

If you think back to these time periods, you may notice a pattern involving Mars-related areas of your life. This includes physical and mental energy, anger and assertiveness, conflict and challenge, aggression and hostility, courage and risk-taking, motivation and enthusiasm, ambition and obsession, disruptive change and putting things into action. You might have experienced either an increase or decrease in some of these areas over the last 6 months, especially during the retrograde period.

Now, Mars is leaving the post-retrograde Shadow phase, which finishes this long retrograde cycle. If Mars-related areas became stronger and more noticeable, or if they seemed to fade into the background or dropped in strength for a while, they are likely returning to their "normal" state (whatever that is for you). We will not see another Mars Retrograde Shadow again for another 1.5 years.

Jun.21 – Mercury sextile Mars (23:51 of Cancer/Virgo)

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.21-Jul.06 – Cardinal T-square aspect pattern

This is another incarnation of the Cardinal T-square that happens with the Uranus-Pluto square during 2012. This one features the Sun opposing Pluto and squaring Uranus. On the plus side, this T-square can be a good opportunity to purge whatever is not needed, especially when it comes from your authentic spontaneity. Perhaps it's something you've wanted to let go of or liberate yourself from. Check in with yourself and see if you feel ready. If you force it, you risk stalling or crashing the momentum, but if you feel the swell of impulse or inspiration, it might be the perfect time to go for it! Allow yourself to be transformed.

On the minus side and at its worst, this T-square could evoke hidden, prickly fears or an eruption of over-reaction or intense paranoia. Life could feel like it's out of your control�and it might be. The lesson here is to learn what you can control and what you can't. Do what you can, and find ways to accept�or at least tolerate�the rest. It might feel like you're caught in the middle of a tornado with circumstances spinning around you, and the best way to deal with this situation is often to become still in the centre and allow it to spin.

Jun.23 – Sun trine Neptune (03:03 of Cancer/Pisces)  (Jun.24 in UK, 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.24 – Uranus square Pluto (08:23 of Aries/Capricorn)  (Read articles that talk about Uranus square Pluto.)

If you haven't noticed that the world has been heating up in the last few years, with controversy becoming the norm and escalating competition for dominance by competing philosophies and priorities... well you just haven't been paying attention. Uranus and Pluto have been moving into position for the square aspect (90�). Think prize fight between the Hulk and Darth Vader. I'd suggest loading up with popcorn and grabbing a seat on the sidelines, but in this drama there aren't really any true sidelines. Everyone will be (and are being) affected by the massive changes that our world is undergoing.

This square aspect is the first major turning point in a roughly 140 year cycle that Uranus and Pluto make together. The last conjunction (the start of the cycle) took place in 1965-66. The social upheaval that occurred during that time was legendary. We are still feeling ripple effects 40+ years later. In fact, those ripple effects, which themselves produce more ripple effects, have built up to the point where they are becoming waves crashing into each other. We have 3 years of exact passes of the square transit, with its effect spread out over a good 15 years, all told, possibly more depending on how you look at it.

So what's a mere mortal to do?

It's so easy to get caught up in the "hooray for my side" politics, trying to persuade others with impassioned urgency. It's as if Pluto is stubbornly refusing to budge, while Uranus does his best to throw the knockout punch. The rock meets the hard place. Everybody's yelling; nobody's listening except to formulate their next argument. And in a competitive world, winning can feel like the only worthwhile conclusion, while losing can feel like the end of the world.

This is the kind of atmosphere that wars are spawned from.

When the negotiation of Venus is overridden by the winner-take-all attitude of Mars, there's more destruction than healing that takes place. Chiron's message is that some wounding can be a good thing if it removes the toxin and stimulates healing, but too much will only destroy what is still healthy and sabotage healing.

This is NOT about any particular political party or religion or nationality or any other group that forms itself around a philosophy or ideology or belief system. In fact, all groups are subject to this escalation of energy as a collective reaction. That kind of dynamic only serves to narrow the focus to such a sharp point that it's impossible to see anything else, and that almost never goes anywhere good in the end.

Here are some suggestions. Use this transit to observe the ways you get swept up in the turmoil. (This could be personal turmoil in your immediate life or global turmoil.) How much of your own opinion, perspective and passion is being amplified by the eruption of energy from those you identify with? Or how much is a reaction to the force with which your opponent is expressing their position and trying to persuade you?

Being influenced and having your own thoughts, feelings and actions affected by the collective currents around you may or may not be something that's beneficial for you. For now, just observe it and be aware of it. See where that leads you. Aim to respond rather than react. Question, question, question. Let go of the belief that you must win at all costs or that the end will justify the means. Trust your ability to find ways to rise above what you do and don't believe to be true � it will allow you see more of what is.

Jun.26 – Jupiter square Neptune (03:02 of Gemini/Pisces)

This can be a time when you may have to question your belief system and philosophy of life. You are challenged to examine the ways that you use theory, speculation, wishful thinking and blind faith to justify your opinions and beliefs. There is a difference between the principles, opinions, attitudes and spiritual perspectives that we hold dear versus our personal, intimate experience of the vast Universe that shapes and gives rise to our beliefs.

This transit (which only happens about every 6 years) can show how your beliefs, opinions and attitudes are misinformed, misguided or no longer fulfil your spiritual needs. You might come face to face with misconceptions you have held and realise that you have grown beyond your old viewpoints. You might find yourself disillusioned by something or someone you had placed a lot of faith in. Although this may bring deep disappointment, it also clears the way to see a higher, clearer truth. Faith that is founded only on wishful thinking or exaggerated optimism may make you more vulnerable to deception and poor judgment, so it is wise to do a reality check about major decisions with a trusted friend, mentor or expert. This can also be a time when you are challenged to expand your sense of spirituality, meaning and understanding of life to include more of your subject personal experience, rather than relying on conventional wisdom, doctrine or interpretation. If you have been drifting away from living according to your morals, ethics and principles, this may be a time when you become aware of the need to bring your choices and actions more in line with these.

Jun.25 – Saturn stationary Direct (22:45 of Libra)  ("What's a Station?"  "What does Retrograde mean?"  Read more about Retrograde planets.)

For up to a week before and after this date, Saturn�s energy is especially intense and strong. You might experience this as physical or mental heaviness or sluggishness. You might find you have to "get real" with some responsibilities, or make some difficult decisions. This can be a turning point in long-term projects and plans that you've been developing over the last 5 months or so. Or, you may start to deal differently with old limitations, either finding ways to move beyond them or finding ways to make peace with them. If you�re dealing with closure or endings in some area of your life, this could be a time when you can finally start to let go and move forward.

Jun.25 – Mercury enters Leo (until Aug.31)  (Jun.26 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.

Jun.27 – Venus stationary Direct (07:29 of Gemini)  ("What's a Station?"  "What does Retrograde mean?"  Read more about Venus Retrograde.)

For up to a week before and after this date, you may experience or witness a shifting of energy affecting finances, relationships, love, resources, values pleasure, beauty, harmony and/or balance. Situations or issues related to these areas that have been occupying your attention during the past 6-7 weeks (while Venus has been retrograde) may reach a turning point now. It is a time when decisions and choices could be made�perhaps out of necessity.

If you have felt unusually introverted or extroverted during the retrograde period, this could shift back the other way again. If you have experienced difficulties or challenges in close relationships, this may be a time when decisions can (and perhaps must) to be made about them. Adjustments, compromises or renegotiations may be necessary; and if this is not possible or tolerable, it might be necessary to consider ending the relationship. During the retrograde phase, you may have encountered people or social situations from your past, and now it's time to decide if you want to continue with the contact or to bring closure and move on.

You might have experienced a change in your finances�for the better or worse. This change could simply revert to its previous state, according to a natural cycle of ebb and flow. Or, you might be faced with a choice of what to do from here�to change something in your life so that your situation improves (or so that an improvement continues), or to let go and move beyond this period of temporary change.

Whatever you have learned, embraced, questioned or invested your time in during the last 6-7 weeks, you will begin to apply and integrate in a new way over the next 4-5 weeks (while Venus is in the Shadow). This has been a detour allowing you to explore hidden territory, complete unfinished business or reconsider possibilities in the affected areas listed above. It's time to come back to the main path again, bringing with you new learning and values that will gradually be integrated into your life. The Direct Station is another shift in your life's balance point that enables you to keep moving, changing, growing and evolving.

Jun.27 – Mercury enters the Retrograde Shadow (01:25 of Leo)  ("What's a Station?"  "What does Retrograde mean?"  Read more about Mercury Retrograde.)

Mercury is now "in the Shadow" � the area of Zodiac where it will later go retrograde in about 2� weeks time. During its retrograde cycle, Mercury travels through the same span of the Zodiac three times (called the Shadow). The first time through, it is going in direct motion (moving forward), then retrograde (looks like it's going backwards), and then direct again. This means there is a more extensive process of development and change involved with things that Mercury influences�ideas, thoughts, frame of mind and mental focus. It also concerns the collection, exchange, analysis and organisation of information. All forms of communication are also affected. This includes not just talking, but also email and snail mail, the Internet, the media in general, books and magazines, as well as public transit (buses, trains, etc.) and neighbourhoods. The situations developing over the next couple of weeks (leading up to when Mercury actually goes retrograde) will likely require further research, deeper consideration and adjustments to unexpected discoveries over the next couple of months. Expect changes in your plans, increasingly disrupted communication, and new information coming to light that may not fit conveniently into your plans. It's wise to leave lots of extra time to do things, to plan future projects and get to wherever you're going. Patience is a valuable quality during this time. If you must make important decisions during this time, try to build some flexibility into your plans to allow for later changes�or if possible, you may want to delay final or irrevocable decisions until well after Mercury goes direct.

Recommended Reading:

If you know your way around a chart fairly well, there are two books I highly recommend on retrogrades in general. One is Erin Sullivan's Retrograde Planets: Traversing the Inner Landscape which is detailed, comprehensive and very in-depth. Everything you ever wanted to know about retrograde cycles and planets! Erin's book is also available in a Kindle edition.

Another excellent retrograde book is Joanne Wickenberg's republished and updated Your Hidden Powers: Intercepted Signs and Retrograde Planets, which includes information about interceptions. It too is very comprehensive and detailed about retrograde cycles, including progressions, natal retrograde planets and transiting retrogrades.

Jun.29 – Sun opposite Pluto (08:15 of Cancer/Capricorn)  (Jun.30 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.

Jun.29 – Mercury sextile Jupiter (03:58 of Leo/Gemini)  (Jun.30 in AU)

You may have an abundance of ideas and words to express them under this transit. There is the potential (if you reach for it) to put ideas, facts and thoughts together into a cohesive whole. You may find you can understand the overall patterns in a situation, or you are able to see the Big Picture, better than usual. New insights and a change of perspective may abound, as your stream of consciousness flows abundantly with optimism and visionary possibilities. You may find yourself more talkative than usual, as you try to share and convey the new ideas, inspiration and knowledge coming into your mind. 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. There is a chance that you may be so elated and confident that you might come across as a bit overbearing or even as a "know-it-all," so be sure to listen too.

Jun.29 – Sun square Uranus (08:28 of Cancer/Aries)  (Jun.30 in AU)

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.30 – Sun trine Chiron (09:35 of Cancer/Pisces)  (Jul.01 in UK, AU)

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.

Jul.02 – Jupiter opposite North Node (04:41 of Gemini/Sagittarius)  (Jul.03 in UK, AU)  ("What's a Lunar Node?")

This is in effect for up to about a month before and after this date, but reaches its peak now. This is a time to take a look at your aims and aspirations, your beliefs and principles, and the ways that you expand your horizons (literally through travel, or figuratively through personal growth). It is time to assimilate and integrate the knowledge and philosophy that you've accumulated over the last four years (since Jupiter went over the Lunar North Node). You can also benefit by letting go of old beliefs and opinions that have become stale or outlived their usefulness. If you look closely, you will see a spiritual element in your relationships and interactions that is in the background as a resource. "Spiritual" in this context could mean religious beliefs that act as an inner support system, or a strong sense of your greatest potential, or a broad perspective of being a part of something greater than yourself.

Jul.03 – Mars enters Libra (until Aug.23)

This is a time when aggression, anger and directness may have to be expressed gently, diplomatically and gracefully. Libra is not the most comfortable sign for Mars, since his typically sharp-edged and forceful nature becomes blunted and filtered through Libran softness and tact. It's a bit like dressing Star Trek's "Worf" in a tutu. However, when these energies combine and work well together, what can emerge is the passion to fight for justice and fairness. This is "the fisted hand in the velvet glove," and can create situations in which you must respond more like a charming but crafty ambassador than a brute force boxer. On the other hand, with force, aggression and directness somewhat blocked or unavailable as options, it may be difficult to respond decisively or purposefully to conflict and challenge. You need to rely more on your wits than your impulses, and strive for a win-win solution than a clear victory.

Chart for the Full Moon in Capricorn
Chart for the Full Moon in Capricorn

Jul.03 – FULL MOON in CAPRICORN (12:13 of Capricorn)


Ottawa, Canada and
Washington DC, USA:

Jul.03, 2012, 2:51 PM EDT

London, UK:

Jul.03, 2012, 7:51 PM BST

Sydney, AU:

Jul.04, 2012, 4:51 AM AEST

"What's a Full Moon?"

Read more about the Sun-Moon cycles.

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

Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.
~ Thomas Edison

Whose Full Moon is this anyway??

Normally, I would say that Saturn rules the Full Moon in Capricorn, since it's the planetary ruler of that sign, but Pluto kind of dominates this landscape (as he is wont to do).

For starters, Pluto is conjunct the Full Moon. That means this is not just any Capricorn Full Moon � this is like Saturn on steroids, armed with a nuclear briefcase and an iron clad insurance policy against lightning strikes and other unscheduled events.

Pluto and Uranus are currently locked in immortal combat, having just passed the first of seven, count 'em, seven square aspects (90�) over the next 3 long years. Pluto's transformation agenda is at war with Uranus' shock-and-awe campaign. Being in the middle of this combined energy is a bit like waking up in a hurricane, only to realize that to prevent it from destroying your house is to somehow take it apart and move it elsewhere.

There is a parade of planets going through Cancer this year. One by one they form a T-square aspect pattern with the Uranus-Pluto square, bringing that energy into new focus. The Sun is the most recent, having just reached its closest alignment on Jun.29.

The T-square with the Sun is still in orb, which means this Full Moon is likely to feel like it's pulling the Uranus-Pluto energy through the eye of a needle. Does the world around you feel a bit intense lately? Do you feel a bit like you're locked in a struggle for survival, be it physically, emotionally, spiritually, politically or ideologically? Do you have the frequent urge to scream out loud?

Here's the thing: these are Larger Than Life energies. Once these Big Boys get you in their grip, they can pull out feelings, urges, obsessions, impulses, reactions and ambitions that you never thought you had and didn't think existed outside of a TV frame or movie theatre. Understanding the energy currents can help you work with the prevailing tides, instead of just feeling like you (or those you see as your opponents) are pointlessly swimming upstream.

Capricorn is about manifesting � its job is turning ideas into plans and plans into reality. Doing this takes commitment, organization, preparation and management. When you combine this with Pluto, it adds a massive power dynamic to the mix. At worst, commitment becomes obsession, organization becomes severity, preparation becomes paranoid scheming, and management becomes domination. On the other hand, at its best, this combination also provides the fuel that can get The Little Engine That Could up the tallest mountain and across the roughest terrain. It all depends on how you use the energy.

What makes the difference? How can you ensure you're empowering the Little Engine instead of using it to clobber anyone who dares to interfere with your plan? A better question might be: how do you tell which is which? The answer isn't as clear as you might think. And right now it is likely to behave more like a confused M�bius strip than a straight line to clarity � rather un-Capricorn-like, but there it is.

Pluto's message is that there is nothing happening anywhere to anyone
that isn't deeply connected to global issues, and that one must not waste social interaction
on anything trivial, superficial or vain...

Two Yods that form a Double Yod Key aspect pattern

The Full Moon chart has an aspect figure that I've seen called a Double Yod Key, although perhaps a better description is a double interlocking Yod. A Yod has two planets in sextile (60�) and a third planet (the apex of the figure) in quincunx (150�) to both. Its energy can be very irritating and difficult to manage. The apex planet tends to be experienced as "itchy," so it's temping to try to adjust the apex in order to find some relief. However, the best way to bring stability and balance to the Yod is to "steer" it from the two sextile planets, which can be tricky since their creative harmony is continually challenged and disrupted by the apex planet.

In this case, we have Pluto in Capricorn at the apex of a Yod with the Mercury-Venus sextile. Normally Mercury and Venus will want to create pleasing communication, presenting the ideas in their best light in an upbeat way. However, Pluto in quincunx aspect to both of them will insist that any ideas they're chitchating about must have deeper implications to be considered if they are to have any real meaning and any point to giving them a voice.

Normally, Mercury and Venus would be content to enjoy small talk about their favourite book or the latest rumours about the neighbours, or even discuss current events as a way of keeping up with what's happening. However, Pluto's message is that there is nothing happening anywhere to anyone that isn't deeply connected to global issues, and that one must not waste social interaction on anything trivial, superficial or vain. It's a tall order for Mercury and Venus to fill and for us mere mortals, it's likely to feel like we're trying to eat a whole watermelon in one gulp.

The other Yod involves a sextile between Chiron and Pluto, and Mercury is the apex planet. Pluto and Chiron both understand transformation, healing and effective change. They know you'll only get there through heartfelt struggle and inner confrontation to shine a revealing light on hidden fears, beliefs, expectations and (ultimately futile) resistance. Poor Mercury is given the job of trying to put all this into words and express it in a way that can be integrated into your everyday life. Good luck with that! Mercury is in Leo, so creative or dramatic forms of expression may be helpful, but doing it justice is likely to feel like you're sucking that watermelon through a straw!

The two Yods overlap, creating the Double Yod Key aspect pattern. The common denominator is Mercury quincunx Pluto, which demands deep empowerment through words and self-expression. However, it's easy to either overdo it (think deep passionate debate about politics at a garden party) or underdo it (think defusing intense, passionate discussions through humour or satire, which risks trivializing or ridiculing the issues).

The two Yods are joined by a square aspect (90�) between Venus and Chiron. The square aspect in the Double Yod makes it very difficult to resolve or calm the Double Yod, since a remedy for one Yod is only likely to throw the other Yod into turmoil. For example, Chiron can make it difficult for Venus to find peace, pleasure and relaxation due to chronic disruption. There may be circumstances that won't cooperate with your efforts to reach a balance, or your mind might keep wandering into morbid fantasy that envisions the worst outcome.

The fundamental issues must be dealt with in some way,
and some kind of concrete solution must be at least attempted...

Saturn is the planetary ruler of the Capricorn Full Moon, and he has a particularly difficult role in this drama. He is virtually unaspected! That is to say, he has no major aspects to other planets. What he does have, though, is sesqui-quadrate aspects (135� or a square-and-a-half; SQQ) to that Venus-Chiron square. Jupiter and the South Lunar Node also get pulled into the SQQ through a wide orb.

Arrowhead or Thor's Hammer aspect pattern

Therefore Saturn forms an Arrowhead or Thor's Hammer aspect figure with Chiron, Venus, Jupiter and the South Node � and these are the most major aspects Saturn has! Pretty intense positioning for the planetary ruler of the Full Moon!

This means that the Venus-Chiron struggle of finding peace and harmony in the face of struggle, suffering or chronic problems will not be easily ignored, soothed or appeased. The fundamental issues must be dealt with in some way, and some kind of concrete solution must be at least attempted, even though it might feel like you have to move through a prickly briar bush to get the fruit or flowers that await you inside. If the recent Saturn station (Jun.25) has been aspecting your natal chart, you are likely to feel this more than other people.

Patience, information and awareness are virtues and resources, in this case. Venus in Gemini is Saturn's dispositor (ruling Libra where Saturn currently resides), so Saturn can benefit from Venus' gifts. However, if you're hesitant about grappling Saturn's challenges, Venus in Gemini could provide only superficial ideas, which will not be substantial enough to allow Saturn's work be effective.

You might need to rally everything you have and
everything you are, to move past an obstacle in your path.

Pluto, besides being a key figure in the Double Yod, is also very tightly square Uranus, and the Sun-Moon opposition (a.k.a. Full Moon) forms a T-square with it. As mentioned before, the Sun has been forming a T-square with Uranus and Pluto during June, and now as it begins to wane in effect, the Full Moon just stirs it all up again.

The Uranus-Pluto square is a Big Deal. It dominates the astrological landscape for many years, reaching the critical turning point in 2012-2015. It has far reaching implications for change on many levels: political, social, cultural and especially on how we see and express ourselves as a global collective. On an individual level, each of us is being challenged to grow in ways we might not feel ready, capable or willing to do. You might feel lost in a storm without a sense of direction. You might need to rally everything you have and everything you are to move past an obstacle in your path.

However you are being impacted personally, this Full Moon could well bring it to the forefront. This is especially true if you have planets in Cardinal signs (Aries, Cancer, Libra, Capricorn) around 7-13�. At worst, the effect might feel heavy, demanding, overwhelming, frustrating or even a bit frightening. However, it is also an opportunity for you to observe how this energy is moving in your life and what the lesson is for you.

How do you know what the lesson is? What difficulties are you feeling most resistant to in your life right now? Is there a situation where one part of you thinks "I really should do this" or "I really need to change that," but the thought of actually doing it makes you want to go back to bed and pull the covers over your head? That's it�you've probably found it.

What houses do the T-square planets land in, in your chart? The things to do with those houses are likely the stage on which the Full Moon energies will be played out. Are any natal planets brought into the drama? Those parts of your psyche are engaged and being challenged to consider a different point of view or a new way of expressing themselves or a broader context of understanding.

The important thing to remember is that the Full Moon in Capricorn is a time to deal with the realities of the challenging situations in your life. The path is a rocky one, with many twists and turns, but the rewards at the destination are worth the effort. You are working on your foundation, whether you are building it up, reorganizing it or tearing it down to rebuild.

It's easy to resist the demands of Saturn and Capricorn. Few of us prefer to work hard rather than bask in fun and pleasure. Here's the thing with Saturn and Capricorn, though: once you let go of the fantasy that things "should" be better than all this hard work, and once you simply focus on and apply yourself to the work at hand, your efforts are supported. You start to move through that rocky terrain and the situation starts to change.

This may mean resigning yourself to some degree of discomfort in order to do this (especially if you'd rather be spending your energy on something fun, exciting and delightful). But this is ultimately temporary and the results will start to shift your experience into something that works better and feels better. Everything in balance.

Jul.04 – Mercury sextile Venus (08:22 of Leo/Gemini)

There is a potential to benefit from social connections, diplomatic communication and receptive awareness during this transit, although a certain amount of effort is needed to make this happen. It can be a good time for negotiating contracts and other agreements, especially if you consciously focus your intent on achieving balance with your counterpart, partner or opponent that results in a win-win situation for all concerned. There is also potential to appreciate and express beauty, pleasure and sensuality. If there's someone in your life that you want to get closer to, try speaking gently and listening receptively, which can be the key that opens the door to harmonious interaction. Creative ideas can also find expression now if you apply your conscious awareness to bring them into focus. The thing to watch for is a tendency to use manipulation to achieve an advantage, which might be done by you or to you. Keep communication straightforward and clear, and find diplomatic ways to deal with manipulation if you sense it happening.

This is the first of two passes: Jul.04 and Jul.14. Mercury is currently the faster of the two and moves past the sextile point with Venus. However, as he slows down for the upcoming retrograde period, Venus will catch up and form another sextile just as Mercury stations retrograde. Mercury and Venus have been travelling in sextile since about June 26, and remain in orb until around July 21.

Jul.04 – Mercury Direct trine Uranus (08:30 of Leo/Aries)  (Jul.05 in AU)

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.

Jul.04 – Venus sextile Uranus (08:30 of Gemini/Aries)  (Jul.05 in UK, AU)

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.06-28 – T-square aspect pattern

Cardinal T-square with Uranus, Pluto and Mars

This is the 3rd of 7 T-squares formed with the Uranus-Pluto square during 2012. For fiery, volatile Mars to come into stressful, conflicting contact with these two giant energies, there could be considerable fireworks generated as a result! On a global level, we could see outbreaks of violence, war or even just a lot of sabre-rattling. There is an enormous amount of testosterone contained in this combination, and it could be easy to get caught up in competitive ideologies and poison politics. It brings to mind an excellent quote from HBO's recent docudrama, Hemmingway and Gellhorn: "The fascists are trampling Spain, and you two are comparing testicles!"

It could sometimes feel like you're colliding head-on with everyone on the planet. And yet, if you can bring all that power, energy and fuel into clear, grounded focus, it can kick your actions into high gear, igniting your jet engines to speed you through rough terrain. Just be sure you hang on tight and have aimed your intentions with a clear heart.

This T-square is at its closest from July 16 to 19, so mark this in your calendar as a time to take some extra soothing teas with you to work and maybe take in an extra yoga class or two.

Jul.07 – Venus square Chiron (09:26 of Gemini/Pisces)  (Jul.08 in UK, AU)

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.13 – Uranus stationary Retrograde (08:32 of Aries) ("What's a Station?"  "What does Retrograde mean?"  Read more about Retrograde planets.)

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.14 – Mercury Stationary sextile Venus (12:32 of Leo/Gemini)  (Jul.15 in AU)

There is a potential to benefit from social connections, diplomatic communication and receptive awareness during this transit, although a certain amount of effort is needed to make this happen. It can be a good time for negotiating contracts and other agreements, especially if you consciously focus your intent on achieving balance with your counterpart, partner or opponent that results in a win-win situation for all concerned. There is also potential to appreciate and express beauty, pleasure and sensuality. If there's someone in your life that you want to get closer to, try speaking gently and listening receptively, which can be the key that opens the door to harmonious interaction. Creative ideas can also find expression now if you apply your conscious awareness to bring them into focus. The thing to watch for is a tendency to use manipulation to achieve an advantage, which might be done by you or to you. Keep communication straightforward and clear, and find diplomatic ways to deal with manipulation if you sense it happening.

This is the second of two passes: Jul.04 and Jul.14. Mercury and Venus have been travelling in sextile since about June 26, and remain in orb until around July 21. Initially, Mercury flew past the sextile on July 4, but he has been slowing down to turn retrograde. As a result, Venus is now the faster planet and has caught up to the sextile with Mercury again.

What makes this especially important and powerful is that Mercury is precisely stationary on the same day that Venus forms the sextile. This imprints Mercury's retrograde period with a kind of sensibility, grace under pressure and humour that can defuse a lot of tense situations that arise during the Mercury retrograde. On the down side, it can be tempting to try to resolve problems by merely soothing the surface symptoms. While there's nothing wrong with this, it's no substitute for delving deeper into the cause of the heart of the problem.

Jul.14 – Mercury stationary Retrograde (12:32 of Leo) ("What's a Station?"  "What does Retrograde mean?"  Read more about Mercury Retrograde.)  (Jul.15 in UK, AU)

Mercury now goes retrograde for the next 3+ weeks. For up to a week before and after today, Mercury is moving very slowly or stopped during the station. During this time, you may experience intensity, frustration, confusion, miscommunications, or feel like you're getting bogging down in your progress. Mercury retrograde is usually a time when it is best to rethink, rehash, reflect, and tie up old loose ends, rather than begin new ventures.

It is typical for new insights and information to emerge later in the retrograde cycle that you didn't anticipate, which can change the whole picture. Because of this, it is usually advised to avoid making final or permanent decisions (e.g., signing contracts or putting new projects into action), during the retrograde and even up to 2 weeks after Mercury goes direct. However, it is an excellent time to do fact-finding, research and investigation to prepare for major decisions, which are usually best put off until well after Mercury goes direct.

In the meantime, while Mercury is retrograde, expect the unexpected, and leave lots of extra time when planning your schedule (to minimize any disruptions from delays and complications). Stay flexible; for example, it's common to have to reschedule appointments. Do some things that use your intuitive, creative, non-rational mind for a while until Mercury goes direct again.

Jul.15 – Sun square Saturn (23:05 of Cancer/Libra)

It is necessary for you to come to grips with limitations, boundaries or expectations. If you have been avoiding some task or obligation, this transit might bring consequences from that avoidance or a warning of consequences to come. You might also encounter a situation that requires you to accept unwanted responsibility or restricts your freedom in some way. You might be faced with some part of your life being pruned back, either to rein in something that is out of control or to make room for new growth. This is likely to be more or less stressful depending on how comfortable you are dealing with responsibility, authority, limits and hard work. If you have a hard time with authority issues, you might find yourself in conflict with someone in authority under this transit – perhaps in part because your buttons are getting pushed. On the other hand, this could also be a time when you are challenged to take action or make a decision that involves taking on more responsibility. It is also a time when you may have to find better ways to deal with personal boundaries – accepting others' or learning to assert your own. You're bumping up against reality, so try to work constructively with it, not hurl yourself against it.

Jul.17 – Mars trine Jupiter (07:37 of Libra/Gemini)

Energy, assertiveness, aggression and sexuality are amplified during this time. Physical, mental and emotional energy can run high. Your motivation can take on an air of confidence and purpose. If you normally shrink back from asserting yourself, this can be a time when it's a bit easier to find the courage to take a stand. It can also make you more sensitive to this amplified energy in others around you. If you are distressed by Mars energy in general (afraid of anger, intimidated by aggression, cautious about sexuality, etc.), this transit might bring a bit more of it than you can comfortably handle. However, it can also give you an opportunity to experience and make friends with this energy. If you typically enjoy high energy, this can be a time when you can make progress with plans and projects, and have flirtatious or impish fun along the way.

This is the last of 3 passes of this transit: Nov.16.2011, Mar.14.2012 and Jul.17. In the previous two passes, Mars and Jupiter were part of a Grand Trine with Pluto.

Jul.17 – Mars square Pluto (07:48 of Libra/Capricorn)  (Jul.18 in AU)

This can be a volatile combination of energies, which can generate enormous stress and conflict, but can also motivate you go beyond your perceived limitations. The biggest dangers with this transit include obsessive control, violence in response to frustration, and natural reactions of anger being blown out of proportion into rage. However, if you are able to harness this energy and put it to productive use, it can fuel your ambitions and drive you to push past the barriers that are in your way (including your own discouragement or lethargy). There can be a fine line, though, between empowering yourself with determination and courage versus forcing the issue in a way that creates more problems than it solves. And there is a difference between being obsessively attached to the outcome versus discovering that you have more courage, strength and tenacity than you thought you did, when your back is against the wall. Sexual tension can be strong under this transit, so it is wise to use some good judgment about whether or how to act on that. Power struggles with others can become very intense, so strive to be clear in yourself about what you really want and how you can assert your interests without inflicting the emotional equivalent of nuclear war.

This transit occurs at the closest point of the Mars-Uranus-Pluto T-square (Jul.06-28).

Jul.18 – Mars opposite Uranus (08:31 of Libra/Aries)  (Jul.19 in UK, AU)

Your energy is likely to be rather unpredictable, fluctuating or just plain "wonky" under this transit. Your moods could swing back and forth in reaction to outside circumstances that trigger your feelings buried under the surface. In particular, anger, confidence and impulsive desires could suddenly appear and disappear for no apparent reason. If you feel your freedom is being taken away or if you think your individuality is becoming lost in the Collective shuffle, you might feel the urge to abruptly push against whoever seems to be blocking you. This can come across as arbitrary rebellion, and it may not be easy for you or others to understand where this is coming from inside you. It might be a good idea to take some time out to focus inward and find out what's really going on under the surface, especially if these reactions are starting to spiral out of control. On the other hand, this doesn't have to be a "negative" energy. You might also feel more spontaneous than usual and be willing to try new things more easily than you usually do. It can be a time to discover new courage to venture beyond your comfort zone of what's familiar. Flash arguments could clear the air, leaving the way clear to make a fresh start. Essentially, this transit tends to be a bit of a roller coaster ride, which can have you howling in protest or shrieking with excitement...or both!

This transit occurs at the closest point of the Mars-Uranus-Pluto T-square (Jul.06-28).

Next Update:  FULL MOON in CAPRICORN, available by July 3, 2012.

� 2012 Wendy Guy. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied without the author's written permission. Gemini bas relief from the church Saint-Austremonius of Issoire (12th century), Auvergne, France - photo by Jastrow (Own work (own picture)) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons. Photo of solar eclipse from NASA. Photo of mockingbird by "darkglasses" at MorgueFile.com. Mobius Strip by David Benbennick (Own work) [GFDL, CC-BY-SA-3.0 or CC-BY-SA-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons. Capricorn bas relief by Jastrow (Own work (own picture)) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.

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