Low-Down Archives for June-July 2013

New Moon Gemini, Full Moon Capricorn

Chart for the New Moon in Gemini
Chart for the New Moon in Gemini

Dancing in all its forms cannot be excluded from the curriculum of all noble education; dancing with the feet, with ideas, with words, and, need I add that one must also be able to dance with the pen?
~ Friedrich Nietzsche

Jun.08 – NEW MOON in GEMINI (18:00 of Gemini)


Ottawa, Canada and
Washington DC, USA:

Jun.08, 2013, 11:56 AM EDT

London, UK:

Jun.08, 2013, 4:56 PM BST

Sydney, AU:

Jun.09, 2013, 1:56 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.

Gemini is driven by curiosity, playfulness and a voracious hunger for information and ideas. It has to be fun and keep moving with lots of variety or Gemini will grow bored very quickly. Chipper, cerebral, expressive, and talk talk talk.

Ideas are Gemini's currency. I'll tell you my ideas if you tell me yours. Let's compare notes. The twins of Gemini are typically huddled together in a t�te-�-t�te, comparing notes and sharing information; each filing anything new away in his/her mental database.

If ideas are their currency, then the coins passed back and forth are the words that describe the ideas. Language�of some kind�is essential to Gemini and its function of connecting everything to everything.

Gemini is an Air sign. Air connects everything that above ground, even things that are otherwise independent of each other. Air is the primary medium through which sound travels, which facilitates verbal communication.

Being the manifest building blocks of thoughts, logic and ideas, words give definition, shape and focus to raw information, but it's not the only form of expression that can do this. Communication takes many different forms which may have nothing to do with sound. For example, sign language � used by the deaf to communicate � uses hand gestures that are full of meaningNew Window instead of sound waves (unless you're translating the signs for a hearing person).

Body language is also primarily visual rather than auditory (unless your body is making rude noises). We can often tell a person's emotional or mental state by observing their body languageNew Window � the various twitches, postures, movements and positioning that our bodies take on that often reflect our subjective state. However, like any other language or form of communication, accurate interpretation depends largely on contextNew Window and other factors.

Creative expression can also be a form of symbolic or implied communication, conveying emotional, passionate, inspirational and/or playful qualities. Music, singing, dance, photography, painting, drawing, sculpting and film/video are powerful examplesNew Window.

Words are the coinage in Gemini's currency, whether those words are spoken, written, signed, painted, danced or sung. Above all, Gemini likes to have fun with ideas, using curiosity, cleverness, creativity and playfulness to explore thoughts, connections, information and eventsNew Window to see where they lead.

No matter what anybody tells you,
words and ideas can change the world.
~ Tom Schulman, Dead Poets Society

So all this fun and games is fine, but what happens when your ideas really matter? This is the challenge written in the New Moon in Gemini. What if, instead of merely feeding curiosity, your ideas and thoughts had an effect that could create profound change? What if your words were to become deeply transformational and liberating? What would you think if your ideas inspired people to come together in comfort and kinship?

Passion and revelation can be persuasive by-products of your words, thoughts and questions, both for you and for others around you. Imagination is a powerful asset that can help you envision exciting possibilities, and through this to change and improve your situation. This is provided by Mercury trine stationary Neptune in the chart. Through logic, reason, methodical planning and concentrated mental focus, you can figure out how to manifest those possibilities and make them happen. This is the gift of Mercury trine Saturn in Scorpio. The three form a Grand Trine aspect pattern.

On the other hand, what if your ideas were to evoke destructive force, spark disruptive turmoil, or drive people into the clutches of someone who smothered and engulfed them in the misguided name of safety and security? Or suppose your mind became dominated by paranoid, suspicious thoughts that left you incapable of trusting or connecting with another person? This is the negative potential of a forceful T-square aspect pattern at the New Moon that involves Uranus, Pluto, Venus and Mercury.

Words and ideas have power. Unfortunately, not always in a positive way. They can inspire us to move when we're stuck, but they can also add to spiritual paralysis through pessimism and gloom. Words can help us believe in ourselves when we're disheartened, but could also wound our self-image by convincing us we're unworthy.

Overgrown bramble bushesBlackberries

Ideas can give us direction and focus by providing a goal to aim for, but they can also confuse, mislead, camouflage, conceal, or lure you in a direction that is not in your best interest. They can shatter your dreams, or bring them into clarifying focus. An idea can plant a seed that flourishes into life-affirming momentum, or it can gestate into a nightmare that drains your vitality from you.

It's not even about the seed idea, since it can grow into something positive or negative depending on what you do with it. A seed can grow into a bramble bush that takes over a garden in a thorny mess and chokes out other plants. The same seed could also be a treasured addition to a garden and a source of yummy berries. And like bramble bushes, once ideas have taken hold they can be extremely difficult to uproot and remove, so be watchful how you nurture an idea and how you let it move in your life.

Freedom begins the moment you realize someone else has been writing your story and it's time you took the pen from his hand and started writing it yourself.
~ Bill Moyers

The New Moon in Gemini contains all of these potentials and more. Mercury, the ruler of Gemini, is conjunct Venus in Cancer. These two participate in two powerful aspect patterns: a Grand Trine and a T-square. These two configurations are the dominant energies in the New Moon chart, each providing very different potential or problems.

Grand Trine aspect pattern

The Grand Trine in Water signs includes Venus conjunct Mercury in Cancer, and both of them in trine aspect (120�) to Saturn in Scorpio and Neptune in Pisces. Together these planets offer an abundance of imagination, practicality and nurturing interaction and ideas. Grand Trines tend to give great potential and natural ability, with an easy flow between the energies involved. This is generally regarded as a good thing, since it's relatively easy to tap into this flow of energies that have the element in common and tend to work together well. In this case we're talking about Water, which involves creativity, feelings and our personal connection to others.

However, this potential is unlikely to simply park itself in your lap and automatically do your bidding. You will need to make a point of reaching out to connect with and utilize this energy as you strive to achieve a goal, manifest a vision or play with an idea. With the energy flowing so smoothly, it's easy to get lazy and take it for granted, rather than tapping into it to put it to productive use.

Another drawback is that just because trine energies see eye to eye and get along, it's still possible for the end result to backfire. For example, if you often tend to be someone who readily takes command, Mercury and Venus in trine aspect to Saturn could amplify this. To you it might feel like you are solidly in control, but to others you might come across as overbearing, demanding and bossy. Sometimes there can be too much of a good thing!

Trees and plants really do communicate and interact with each other [through] an underground web of fungi connecting the trees and plants of an ecosystem.
This symbiosis enables the purposeful sharing of resources, consequently helping the whole system of trees and plants to flourish.
~ Jane Engelsiepen, describing the work of Suzanne SimardNew Window

The T-square in Cardinal signs involves the Uranus-Pluto square, with the Venus-Mercury conjunction making an opposition (180�) to Pluto and a square (90�) to Uranus. The T-square is usually regarded as stressful, involving relationships between the planetary energies that conflict and compete with each other, evoking strong reactions to compensate.

T-square aspect pattern

For example, here's a rather gloomy possibility of how this might potentially play out. Mercury and Venus opposite Pluto could put pressure on you to feel you must be extra vigilant about defending yourself against suspected dangers (at its worst, we call it paranoia). Those potential dangers could lead you to fear that the very people who are closest to you (Cancer) can't be trusted and are trying to control you or be cruel to you (Pluto).

Uranus can shake up and disrupt whatever it touches, so you might also find that doubts or disagreements could make your usual resilience a bit fragile. As a result, you may be a bit more likely to break off contact with the person for a while, until tensions calm down a bit. Or you might be very impatient and irritable with people whose behaviour leads you to feel unsafe or vulnerable.

Just because I'm paranoid doesn't mean
people aren't out to get me.
~ "Frank Burns" on M.A.S.H. TV series

Paranoia doesn't mean there isn't a real problem or threat out there to beware of. By all means, if you are in a situation where you feel you are in real danger, do what you need to do to protect yourself. However, a reality check can often help you avoid overreacting, where you see excessive danger in every flicker of every shadow.

The point is that we humans have a tendency to perceive a situation through our feelings and emotions. While this can alert us to true danger, it can also make it difficult to process the information objectively and realistically and therefore result in a paranoid perception � kind of "I'll assume the worst, just to be on the safe side." That trine to Saturn could potentially help with the reality check.

Just as a Grand Trine can have its drawbacks, a T-square can have its benefits. The true gift of squares and oppositions is that they are motivating. They're the aspects that get you up off the couch to actually do something. They often appear in your life as problems to be solved. If nothing else, they can become so troublesome that you simply must do something about them because you can't stand it any longer! Although not usually pleasant, it does tend to be effective. And although the solution you go with may or may not solve the problem successfully, at least you're not stuck.

In the case of our New Moon T-square, the nurturing, protective side of Cancer could kick in, so that you become more aware of potential risks and can proactively make changes to deal with them before they become critical. Well, that's the angelic ideal. ;-)

The more likely scenario is that by facing events or encounters that are intimidating, overwhelming, frightening or disturbing, you have a chance to strengthen your ability to take care of yourself. When faced with a crisis, we tend to focus on the person or event out there as being the cause of the problem, and therefore the only real solution is for them to change what they're doing. And if they don't then, at worst, we wind up feeling powerless, helpless and hopeless.

Yelling at living things does tend to kill the spirit in them.
Sticks and stones may break our bones, but words will break our hearts...
~ Robert Fulghum

The alternative is to look within and discover what you can do to protect, nurture and empower yourself. A better solution is to ask yourself what you need and where your personal power is in the situation.

For example, if you're in an argument that's going nowhere, then clearly the other person isn't being convinced by your position. In the heat of the battle, it can be tempting to try to force an agreement through ultimatums, or just give in, give up and give them your power. A better solution might be to give yourself some space to calm down and become centered and grounded. That might mean going out for a walk to let yourself calm down (please don't drive when you're that stressed out). Or you could agree to disagree for the time being, which can allow the stress to dissipate without you giving up your right to your opinion.

Another example is that when you become more centered and grounded again, you might try active listeningNew Window. This focusing on really hearing what the other person is trying to say, and mirroring back what you hear to see if you in fact understand. We all need to be heard, and when the other person only rebuffs what we're trying to say, listening only to find points to argue against, it can leave anyone feeling angry and abandoned.

It takes some inner strength to temporarily put aside your own need to be heard, so that you can clearly hear what the other person is trying to say. It doesn't mean you have to agree with them, but rather to listen and "get" what they're saying about their position, feelings, needs and priorities. Often this can defuse acute tension, and feeling heard can sometimes help the other person become more receptive to hearing what you're trying to say.

This isn't simple stuff, so it might helpNew Window to do some researchNew Window on it (under a Mercury-Venus opposite Pluto transit, no less).

William: "I'm sure we can all pull together, sir."
Vetinari: "Oh, I do hope not. Pulling together is the aim of despotism and tyranny.
Free men pull in all kinds of directions.�
~ Terry Pratchett, The Truth

The Grand Trine and the T-square aspect patterns each provide an important resource for the other. The Grand Trine offers emotional stability and creative problem solving to the stressful problems of the T-square. In turn, the T-square contributes the energy, motivation and determination that can tap into the gifts of the Grand Trine. In fact, being able to deal (at least somewhat effectively) with the stress and conflict of the T-square is pretty essential in order to access the ease and benefits of the Grand Trine. The actions and impetus of the T-square form the key that unlocks the treasure chest of the Grand Trine.

In this context, the conjunction of Mercury and Venus takes on new meaning and importance. Mercury is a bit more tightly wired into the T-square than Venus, and Venus is more closely connected to planets of the Grand Trine than Mercury is. There's strength in numbers when these two bond together in Cancer. Venus' negotiating skills and cooperative sense can work very well with Mercury's intuition and awareness. Combined, they are a force of nature that, at best, can be sensitive to the needs and feelings of others and work out creative solutions to disagreements.

This also gives them a united front with which to deal with Pluto, who can be rather intimidating but can ultimately provoke transformative change�as long as you don't get stuck in the trap of insisting that your problems won't stop until the other guy changes. At its best, this is self-empowerment motivated by the need for safety, security and bonding with others.

In the context of the Gemini New Moon, all of this is about becoming aware of what is really happening under the surface. This is also the cultivation and demonstration of your ability to articulate and express your feelings, needs, opinions and priorities. That expression could take any of a number of forms. The point is not to stay silent, unless it is to listen. And even in listening, become an active listener who gathers information in order to understand, not simply to gain power over someone you feel intimidated by.

Do stuff.
Be clenched, curious.
Not waiting for inspiration's shove or society's kiss on your forehead.
Pay attention. It's all about paying attention. Attention is vitality.
It connects you with others. It makes you eager. Stay eager.
~ Susan Sontag

Jun.08 – Mercury square Uranus (11:55 of Cancer/Aries)  (Jun.09 in 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.

Jun.09 – Mercury enters Retrograde Shadow (13:21 of Cancer; until Aug.03)  (Jun.10 in UK, AU)   ("What's the Shadow?"  Read my articles about Retrograde Cycles.  Read my article 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.

Information is the name of the game during a Mercury retrograde cycle! If you're a beginner and want an easy to understand what it's about, check out my articles on Retrogrades.

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 LandscapeAmazon 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 editionAmazon.

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

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.

Jun.10 – Mercury trine Chiron (13:49 of Cancer/Pisces)

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.

Jun.11 – Venus opposite Pluto (10:47 of Cancer/Capricorn)  (Jun.11 in AU)

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

Jun.11 – Saturn trine Neptune (05:22 of Scorpio/Pisces)  (Jun.12 in UK, AU)

Imagine a situation where realism and predictability was compatible with imagination and whimsy. This transit brings those energies together in a positive, productive, cooperative way. What kind of situations might fit that definition? Creative projects are a classic example, combining imagination and skill. Humanitarian endeavours are another example that brings together compassion and practical application. Be on the lookout for opportunities to take your highest spiritual, moral or creative calling and apply it to practical situations.

This is the first of 3 passes of this transit: Oct.10, Jun.11 and Jul.19. However, we have already had a taste of this cooperative energy. On Feb.07.2012 Saturn stationed just half a degree (0:37) from an exact trine to Neptune. So think back to events and experiences that were happening in January and February. You are now entering a period when your vision and practical concerns can be brought together in a very specific, manifest way over the coming 12 months.

Jun.12 – Venus square Uranus (12:02 of Cancer/Aries)  (Jun.13 in AU)

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

Jun.12 to 17 – Sun/Jupiter unaspected (21-28� of Gemini)

For a few days, just before the Sun conjoins Jupiter (Jun.19), these two planets are conjunct each other but no other planets (other than brief interludes from the Moon). If you have natal planets between 21-28�, the transit from Sun and Jupiter during this time might have an extra intense quality to it. On the plus side, you might experience extra self-confidence and brilliant insight into life. On the minus side, you might feel a bit erratic, over-reactive or dogmatic.

Jun.14 – Venus trine Chiron (13:49 of Cancer/Pisces)

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

What's special about this particular transit of Venus and Chiron is that Chiron is stationary. The Venus trine should give some extra gentleness, caring and cooperation to the Chiron station experience. When dealing with Chiron issues (health problems, limitations of solutions to problems, unique human qualities that could make you feel a bit isolated or out of sync with the world around you, struggles between your humanity and your creaturehood), it may help to be a bit gentler with yourself (and others) than usual, be willing to compromise and cooperate, and connect with others to find healing energy (especially those close to you).

Jun.14 – Chiron Stationary Retrograde (13:50 of Cancer/Pisces)  ("What's a Station?"  "What does Retrograde mean?"  Read more about Retrograde planets.)

The retrograde station can be felt for up to a week before and after this date. Since Chiron is often about health, you may find health issues coming to the foreground now. General issues about wounding, healing and hurt�physically, psychologically and/or spiritually�may come to a turning point now, making it necessary to take some time for healing, reconstruction, and reconciliation of the energies that are out of balance in your life. The retrograde station (now) begins this process, which gradually unfolds over the next 5 months. Focus your energies on acknowledging the areas that need healing in your life�literally or figuratively. Don't forget that although there are areas that still need healing, you have made progress on much of this in the past. It's important to balance your acknowledgement of the work yet to be done with recognition of what you have already achieved in the past.

Jun.17 – Mars sextile Uranus (12:09 of Gemini/Aries)  (Jun.18 in AU)

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.

Jun.19 – Sun conjunct Jupiter (28:32 of Gemini)  (Jun.20 in AU)

Confidence, optimism, leadership, vision and well being characterise this transit. Your self-esteem and self-awareness can be wide open now. Your sense of being part of something greater than yourself may be vivid and bright. And you may have increased ability to identify and act on opportunities around you, which can bring you "lucky" prospects. On the other hand, if you have difficulty embracing a positive sense of self, or if you shy away from believing you are a treasured Child of the Universe, then this transit might stir up those difficult feelings to the surface. You could wind up trying to compensate with over-confidence, arrogance, blind faith, or gambling on what are realistically poor prospects. The trick is to tap into the spirit of who you are. Let go of blame and instead apply some honest yet compassionate assessment. Let your spirit shine brightly out to the world, but not so brightly that you blind yourself or others by your own light. Consult a trusted friend for feedback or advice if in doubt. This is a great time to expand your horizons, whether that is through travel, by learning something new, by sharing your knowledge with others, or by exploring the Meaning of Life.

Jun.19 – Mars square Chiron (13:49 of Gemini/Pisces)  (Jun.20 in UK, AU)

It may be time to confront issues in your 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.

Jun.20 – Mercury conjunct Venus (21:59 of Cancer)  (Jun.21 in UK, AU)

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

Jun.21 – Sun enters Cancer (until Jul.22)


North America
Mountain & Pacific Times

Jun.20, 2013, 11:03 PM MDT and 10:03 PM PDT

Ottawa, Canada and
Washington DC, USA:

Jun.21, 2013, 1:03 AM EDT

London, UK:

Jun.21, 2013, 6:03 AM BST

Sydney, AU:

Jun.21 2013, 3:03 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.22-29 – Grand Trine aspect pattern (Sun, Saturn, Neptune)

Grand Trine aspect pattern with Sun

This is similar to the Grand Trine of May.31 to Jun.12, but instead of Mercury and Venus completing the Grand Trine triangle, it is now the Sun. Your sense of self, purpose and vitality (Sun) are brought together cooperatively (trine aspects) with uplifting imagination and spiritual awareness (Neptune), as well as practicality, methodology and discipline (Saturn).

This is potentially a very powerful combination that mixes manifestation with artistry and creativity. It can also bring strength of self that can provide a solid foundation from which to explore the unknown. However, you'll need to make a effort to tap into this energy in order to utilize it. It could be all too easy to just let it pass you by and hardly notice it, but if you need these qualities to solve a problem or make progress toward a goal or venture into a new experience, they will be more accessible than usual during this time.

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

It does not do to leave a live dragon out of
your calculations, if you live near him.
~ J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit

Jun.23 – FULL MOON in CAPRICORN (02:09 of Capricorn)


Ottawa, Canada and
Washington DC, USA:

Jun.23, 2013, 7:32 AM EDT

London, UK:

Jun.23, 2013, 12:32 PM BST

Sydney, AU:

Jun.23, 2013, 9:32 PM AEST

"What's a Full Moon?"

Read more about the Sun-Moon cycles.

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

You've just moved into a new house. The boxes are piled in a mountain in the living room. Your mission ("should you choose to accept it") is to unpack and create your new space.

So: what next?

Okay. Let's grab this box on top of the pile. I wonder what's in it? Oh, cutlery. Okay, put it in the top kitchen drawer. Also spatulas, wooden spoons, a can opener, some wisks and a meat thermometer. Put them all in the same drawer with the cutlery.

Next box: cutlery tray. Okay, take out the cutlery and put it in the tray. Try to put the tray back in the drawer. No room. Okay then put it in the second drawer.

Yay! We're making progress! And I thought this was going to be hard!

Hold it�it would be better to have the cutlery in the top drawer for easier access. So take out the wisks and the spoons and other utensils. Move the cutlery tray to the top drawer and put the other stuff in the second drawer. Good.

Oh wait�isn't it better to have the cooking utensils within easy reach on the countertop near the stove, instead of having to open a drawer to get them? Now which box is that big antique jar in? That would be perfect to hold them. But where? Probably in that box way at the back.

In the meantime, you've already found a better use for that second drawer. So out come the utensils again, piled on the counter until you find that antique jar...

Adventure is just bad planning.
~ Roald Amundsen, polar explorer

Here's the thing: you could have avoided a lot of this back-and-forth, doing and redoing, if you had (a) packed logically with similar and related items in the same box, (b) written a list of contents on the box, (c) had the movers stack the boxes in the rooms where their contents will go, and (d) taken photos of the kitchen before you moved in so you could plan where everything should go.

Planning and a system: Capricorn's mantra. These will take time, energy and forethought, but in the long run you've saved time, energy and sanity. It's more efficient and effective. In the time it took to pack, unpack, distribute, redistribute and re-redistribute the stuff in the kitchen drawers, you could have been half way through the entire kitchen and ready to cook tonight's dinner.

Even if you like to experiment and use intuition and creativity when building your space, it will still work better if you know where to find the thingamabob that your intuition says would go perfectly in that corner next to the doodad. This requires some degree of organization. A system. A plan that will put your materials within easy reach.

Welcome to Capricorn's house!

A goal without a plan is just a wish.
~ Antoine de Saint-Exup�ry

If you want to make something happen, you've got to have a system. You need to have a plan, a blueprint, for how to get from Point-A to Point-B, from the first step to the whole finished product.

A system ensures that what you do in step one will support and fit with subsequent steps. If you don't have that kind of consistency and intra-compatibility, you'll constantly be undoing and redoing previous steps so that the later steps fit together more effectively. Who has that kind of time?

That's not to say that nothing will work right unless you pre-plan down to the nth level of detail. With the exception of space missions, surgery, packing parachutes and other procedures that could have dire consequences if not done right, even Capricorn needs some breathing room.

Improvising, making mistakes and discovering a better way to do something while you're doing it � all of these are a natural part of the development process. But too much of them will fragment the organization that keeps the whole thing from falling apart and having to start again from scratch.

By the same token, too much predictability can result in suffocating boredom and, ironically, potential ineffectiveness. Even the best laid plans may not match the reality they're meant to fit into and must be revised or improvised. Plans and systems need to have some wiggle room to allow for errors, mistakes and the unexpected, and these are almost always inevitable to some degree. If that flexibility isn't there, it may become necessary to dismantle part or all of the system in order to correct it, or else live with a problem that can't be effectively resolved.

Within weeks of the launch of the [Hubble] telescope, the returned images indicated a serious problem with the optical system. ... While Kodak had ground a back-up mirror for Hubble, it would have been impossible to replace the mirror in orbit, and too expensive and time-consuming to bring the telescope back to Earth for a refit. Instead, the fact that the mirror had been ground so precisely to the wrong shape led to the design of new optical components with exactly the same error but in the opposite sense, to be added to the telescope at the [first] servicing mission, effectively acting as "spectacles" to correct the spherical aberration.
~ Wikipedia, re: the flawed mirror problem in the Hubble Space Telescope
(not surprisingly, launched under a Mercury retrograde station)

How often have you planned something down to the letter, only to find that the plan fails? There might have been something you missed, or life intervened with something unexpected. Even Capricorn can't anticipate everything 100% of the time.

Another very real possibility is that the finished result simply wasn't a good fit for what you needed or wanted. It all worked beautifully in the planning stage, but somehow it missed the mark. It's a bit like building the perfect chair out of wooden planks and then discovering that it's the most uncomfortable thing you ever sat in! So what went wrong?

The truth is that not everyone works well with a solid plan or an ironclad system. Pre-planning can sometimes get sidetracked and become an end in itself, resulting in over-analyzing. The plan may work beautifully in logical theory but then be a poor fit when it's implemented. Why? From Capricorn's perspective, logic and structure are always the best tools for the job, so what's the problem?

The thing is that human nature has a fluid, mutable quality and doesn't thrive well when confined to a closed box. Human nature can suffocate and wither under too much logic. In the same way, a system can fall apart or become ineffective if it doesn't have a sound structure and logical organization.

As a result, some people do better when they start with a vision or intuitive sense of where they're going, taking one step at a time that leads them in the general direction they want to go. This kind of person, when unpacking and organizing the kitchen stuff in their new house, may feel their way along, piecing together the big picture as it forms intuitively. It might take more time and effort, but the end result may serve the person's needs and purpose better than if they followed a logical blueprint.

A human being - what is a human being? Everything and nothing.
Through the power of thought it can mirror everything it experiences.
Through memory and knowledge it becomes a microcosm, carrying the world within itself.
A mirror of things, a mirror of facts.
Each human being becomes a little universe within the universe!
~ Guy de Maupassant

There are two levels where Capricorn lives. One is the Big Picture. A system doesn't deal much with the minutia, as such. Rather, it is concerned with accomplishing its purpose or goal by building the overall structure within which the minutia will be guided and supported as they go from "here" to "there." A clear blueprint is essential in the world of Capricorn�without a solid plan, how will you know you're heading in the right direction?

[photo of conduit]So, if you build a good conduit, the water will flow smoothly and easily from entrance to exit. Indeed, the water will have little choice. This makes its journey much easier and more reliable, which can work well for those who want what's at the other end of the conduit and are willing to be steered through it. However, it doesn't work very well for those who aren't sure of what they want or have a strong need to find their own way.

The other level where Capricorn lives is in the specifics, which ensures that the minutia will fit effectively into the Big Picture. Capricorn is an Earth sign: reality, manifestation, commitment. So, if you're going to build something or achieve a goal, you've got to get away from the blueprint at some point and get down with the bricks and mortar. This is the proving ground where you find out if the plan actually works. The saying "the Devil's in the details" may be Virgo's territory, but if Virgo hasn't done her job then Capricorn's system won't work.

If there are fundamental problems, they often show up in the early stages and you'll have a chance to revise your plan if necessary. This is another reason to keep your plans flexible to some extent: you will be able to adjust, correct and compensate for any problems, oversights and unexpected complications that arise. For example, a wise builder will order a few more bricks than s/he expects to use, in case some are defective or get broken. This keeps the options open in case something goes wrong.

A plan that's too strict could come up short when live intervenes with unanticipated obstacles. Ironically, too much structure and order can be just as ineffective as too little.

She was a genius of sadness, immersing herself in it, separating its numerous strands, appreciating its subtle nuances. She was a prism through which sadness could be divided into its infinite spectrum.
~ Jonathan Safran Foer, Everything is Illuminated

This Full Moon in Capricorn is a great time to prepare, plan, speculate and organize your intentions and goals. Although this might seem strange, since a Full Moon is usually a time of manifestation, this is typically best developed in stages.

The Moon struggles in Capricorn. Our fair Luna grows and shrinks in her visibility, as well as causing the tides to ebb and flow. Although the lunar phases are predictable and ordered, it makes her nature changeable and fluid. Contrast this against Capricorn's love of order and structure and you have that struggle mentioned above between the human need for flexibility versus Capricorn's certainty in the value of a solidly structured system.

On the other hand the Moon, being fluid in nature and ruling a Cardinal Water sign (Cancer), works best when she has a conduit to move through. So, although Capricorn might mean having to sacrifice some of that flexibility, the benefits will pay off in stability, effectiveness and clarity. In order to get the benefits, the Moon � your feelings, intuition, creativity and need for bonding and connection � will need to become very down to earth, very specific, very objective and very focused on results.

If you're the kind of person who is more comfortable allowing your feelings and moods the freedom to flow with the tides, you might feel a bit unhappy, depressed or flat under this strong Capricorn Moon. If you are more comfortable knowing where you're going, having a sense of how to get from "here" to "there," then this Cap Moon will encourage you to do what is necessary to develop, plan and construct the means to do that.

Sometimes intelligence can be a millstone. And forcing the over-analyzation of things can immobilize. Every decision doesn't have to be mulled over for hours. Sometimes you just have to follow your gut.
~ Amy Larson Davenport

The Sun, opposite the Moon (which is the definition of a Full Moon), swam into Cancer at the Solstice just 2 days ago. Jupiter is conjunct the Sun, poised in the final degree of Gemini and donning his swimming trunks to make a big splash when he dives into Cancer just 2 days from now.

This makes an interesting combination of energies. Jupiter is associated with freedom, expansion, speculation and adventure, which contradicts Capricorn's domain of limits, stability, facts and predictability. So the Cap Full Moon is balancing act between developing structure and order toward a specific goal, versus exploring the possibilities in order to keep your options open and growing.

Child eating watermelon

The problem is that Capricorn can't manifest if you don't commit and choose one of those possibilities � too many options and your efforts get fragmented. Trying to give your energy to the whole Big Picture, all at once, means you're only giving a fraction of your energy to any one of those possible goals. This is an almost guaranteed recipe for failure, resulting in mediocre success. Better to eat one slice of the watermelon at a time than to try to swallow it whole.

Similarly, Jupiter can't very well keep his eye out for new possibilities, ideas, options and enhancements if he's got blinders on. Well, he can but his vision is very limited. If you block off your growth potential you risk stagnation, and the actual benefits you have in your possession will eventually rot. In order for Jupiter to function well, Capricorn's ordered system needs to be one that is flexible and open to change, growth and innovation.

So the Full Moon challenges you to keep your options open, while still choosing to commit to something you can invest your time and energy in effectively.

In the space between chaos and shape there was another chance.
~ Jeanette Winterson, The World and Other Places: Stories

The fact that Jupiter is at 29� of Gemini is also significant. For one thing, it reminds the Cancer Sun that success isn't just about what makes you feel good, safe and secure � it's also about understanding why that is the case. It's important to become aware of and be able to explain (if only to yourself) what works and what doesn't in pursuing that safety.

Additionally, Jupiter reminds the Cap Moon that it needs to reserve some room for growth, new possibilities, tinkering and fine tuning. It is said that the whole (the system or plan) is greater than the sum of its parts. If this is true, then the whole exists to serve its parts as much as the parts come together to make up the whole. It is therefore essential for the whole to acknowledge and understand those parts � their needs, ideas, aspirations and values � in order for the whole to function effectively.

As an example, if you can't fit the couch through the door of your new home, then the whole (house) is not serving its parts (couch) very well. Either the house needs to change or you have to buy a new couch. They're not a good fit, and each must sacrifice some of its potential and benefit in order to coexist with the other.

So the Cap Full Moon is also about prioritizing. What's most important? If you have to pick just one of many options, which one would you choose? You might be faced with exactly this kind of challenge right now, or you might simply need to reorganize something in your life so that it reflects your current priorities. In order to do that, you'll need to have a good grasp of the significance and importance of each option or component.

Don�t be paranoid � but don�t be complacent, either.
~ Richard Nolle (referring to a somewhat increased potential for earthquakes at a Supermoon)

Comparision of moon sizes The "Supermoon" of Mar.19.2011 (right) compared to an "average" moon of Dec.20.2010 (left).

This Full Moon is also known as a Supermoon, a term first used by astrologer Richard Nolle and is now a commonly used word among astronomical circles as well (one of the rare common grounds shared by modern astronomers and astrologers). It means the Moon is very close to the Earth (called perigee) while it is also opposite the Sun (a Full Moon). By "very close" compared to "very distant," we're talking about a visual difference of maybe 10% - it's not like it's going to blot out half the sky. ;-)

Nolle has researched this phenomenon in the context of earthquake activity. Other astrologers have interpreted the Supermoon to bring unusually intense effects of the Full Moon. With Jupiter being so closely aligned with the Sun-Moon opposition, this is (also?) likely to amplify the energy. Jupiter says "go big or go home." Capricorn says "do it right or don't do it at all." Whatever we attribute the powerful energy to, it's likely to be a significant Full Moon.

If the world were merely seductive, that would be easy. If it were merely challenging,
that would be no problem. But I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world
and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day.
~ E.B. White

Grand Trine - Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune

The Moon-Sun/Jupiter axis also forms the spine of a Grand Trine Kite aspect pattern. The Grand Trine part of this starts with the trine between Saturn and Neptune. Since the beginning of June, there has been a Grand Trine formed, as one fast moving planet after the other has paraded over the 3rd point of the triangle in early Cancer.

Both the Sun and Jupiter are stepping into the spotlight now to form the Grand Trine again. Although the Sun will move out of orb in a few days, Jupiter will remain and continue the Grand Trine until mid-August. This is a rare alignment of these slow-moving planets! The Grand Trine in Water signs offers creative and emotional support for systems, plans and projects that relate to faith, justice, forgiveness, higher learning or connecting to something greater than yourself. (More about this below.)

Here's the thing though: in order to access that Grand Trine energy, it will be important to resolve and work with the Moon-Sun/Jupiter opposition, described above. That will help you stay grounded, practical and focused on where you're going (and why you want to go there), while you harvest and put to use all that wonderful creative, inspired, capable potential in the Grand Trine.

'I feel too much. That's what's going on.'
'Do you think one can feel too much? Or just feel in the wrong ways?'
'My insides don't match up with my outsides.'
'Do anyone's insides and outsides match up?' 'I don't know. I'm only me.'
'Maybe that's what a person's personality is: the difference between the inside and outside.'
'But it's worse for me.' 'I wonder if everyone thinks it's worse for him.'
'Probably. But it really is worse for me.'
~ Jonathan Safran Foer, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

Last but hardly least, we have Mercury who is already stirring up trouble. Having been wading through the shadow since Jun.09, Mercury is getting ready to go retrograde in just 3 days. That means he's going very slow right now and is looking around for opportunities to mess things up and make your life, um, "interesting."

He's also conjunct Venus right now and has been since mid-May. They reached exact on May.24 as Merc pulled ahead, but then started slowing down just as he was starting to leave her behind. Venus caught up and overtook him on Jun.20, waving "buh-bye!" as she wistfully watches him slow down and fade off into the road already travelled. He won't catch up to her again until January 2014.

What's interesting about them right now, however, is that they are isolated from the rest of the chart. They essentially unaspected. Although they conjoin each other, they don't form any major aspects to other planets from Jun.20 when the Moon trines them, until Jun.24 when the Moon opposes them. By that time, Mercury is stationary as he screeches to a halt and kicks into reverse on Jun.26.

This suggests that you might go through a few days of feeling a bit socially isolated, or maybe it feels like no one really hears what you're trying to say. On the other hand, it could be a great time to write in your journal and explore your deep inner feelings, or you might become more aware of what drives your need for love, comfort and connection. It will help to watch your inner awareness when it's drawn to something, or listen to your inner voice when it tugs at your sleeve and tells you to pay attention.

With Mercury going retrograde, it puts an extra spin on the themes of the Capricorn Full Moon to spend a bit more time putting your plans together, deciding which goal to pursue and hammering out your strategy. This is an slightly longer than usual Mercury retrograde period, so go the extra mile in your research and make sure you've got all the information you need.

Mercury retrograde in Cancer is bound to bring out your intuitive senses, so it's good to be aware of your comfort level. Your gut will tell you when something doesn't feel right, which might be telling you something about the situation or person you're dealing with. On the other hand, it could be telling you something about yourself, what you need and whether you're getting enough of it.

Without leaps of imagination or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities.
Dreaming, after all is a form of planning.
~ Gloria Steinem

Jun.01-Aug.12 – Grand Trine aspect pattern (Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune, Mars)

Grand Trine - Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune

Meet the dream team of planetary alignments! The wisdom and perspective of Jupiter, the realism and structure of Saturn, the imagination and compassion of Neptune. These energies could come together in a very positive way as carrying out justice for a higher purpose, or building a dream, or a system that brings enlightenment through compassion and creativity.

Remember that trine aspects (120�) are not a guarantee that everything will turn out perfectly. They provide opportunities and resources, allowing an easy flow and mixture of the planets' energies. However, as with all things astrological (and life itself), sometimes there is too much of a good thing or the energy can be used in ways that invite problems.

For example, Jupiter trine Neptune can make it easier to have faith during times of difficulty. This can be good to see you through, but over-amplified this combination can also saturate your perceptions with so much sweetness and light that you can't deal with the practical necessities effectively.

At their worst, Jupiter trine Saturn could make it easier to bring out Jupiter's judgmentalism and blame, together with Saturn's cut-and-dried certainty, coming out as arrogance, prejudice or dogmatism. But on the positive side, they can provide the support you need to make clear plans that manifest your aspirations. Or they could inspire the thrill of optimism, vision and potential, together with a methodical structure that helps you prioritize and choose the best possibility to pursue and manifest.

Mars catches up to Jupiter in the latter half of July, which lights the fuse that launches the rocket. Whatever plans you've made under this Grand Trine could take off, whether you're ready or not! At its best Mars can inject the motivation, enthusiasm and get-up-and-go to make it all happen. However, this is powerful energy and it might be a bit overwhelming or emotional initially (since this Grand Trine is in Water signs). You might initially find yourself feeling a bit defensive, pressured, short-tempered or stressed out. Tell your ego-self that you don't have to handle this all alone; that you have support from the Universe that is there if you reach out (or reach inside) for it.

It's all in how you use the energies. (See also the Full Moon in Capricorn for more about this Grand Trine.)

This is a very rare alignment of three slow-moving planets: Jupiter, Saturn and Neptune. These 3 planets (6� orb) align almost sporadically. From 500 CE to 4000 CE, they've come together only 26 times, averaging 137 years apart, but the frequency varies wildly from 37 to 858 years apart! The last one was in 1967 and the next one won't occur until 2146.

This one is in effect from late June until mid-August, with their orbs being close from Jul.01 to Aug.02. At their tightest orb, they are within a mere 3 minutes of arc of being exact, which happens on July 17/18. They lock orbits, all within one degree of orb, from Jul.13-21. Mars hooks up with Jupiter from Jul.11-28 (within 1� Jul.19-22), adding extra energy to the Grand Trine energy.

Jun.25 – Jupiter enters Cancer (until Jul.16.2014)  (Jun.26 in UK, AU)

Jupiter is Exalted in Cancer, which means they bring out the best in each other! Jupiter can often be a little too theoretical and disconnected from the personal, subjective side of life�the very qualities that Cancer specializes in. Cancer brings Jupiter into the realm of feelings, needs and human vulnerability. Jupiter's compassion and mercy becomes connected with the more personalized caring and nurturing that Cancer is famous for.

At the same time, Cancer can often be a little too clutching and protective, whereas Jupiter introduces an expansive perspective that can loosen up Cancer's tight grip. Whereas Cancer's concern can focus on the family or the immediate environment, Jupiter brings in a vision of expanded horizons and implications for society and humanity.

While Jupiter is in Cancer, allow your quest for truth and justice to include the examples in your immediate surroundings: your family members, those closest to you, those who support you and whom you support. Ponder the deeper meaning of the phrase, "Charity begins at home." At the same time, allow your nurturing and attention for those closest to you to reflect the Greater Good of the world around you. Consider the concept of "the family of humanity" and how you can adopt the best principles of this in your own life.

Jupiter is in Cancer during these times:

Jun.26 – Sun trine Saturn (04:55 of Cancer/Scorpio)

This is a great time to apply yourself to serious work. You may feel especially self-sufficient and independent, with a strong and clear sense of self and purpose. There is support for your ambitions as long as you stay grounded and practical in how you approach them, which should come easily right now. Your ability to cooperate and feel comfortable with authority figures is likely to be high, along with your capacity to embrace your own authority and make solid decisions. This is a time when you are more likely to feel grounded and deal with problems in a practical, decisive way. Your energy may be more serious than "party animal," but even if you are in "party mode" it will be easier to realistically know your limits and not overdo it. If you've been waiting for the right time to move forward with or manifest a project or plan that you've been putting together (or wanting to), this could be the time when that happens. The final launch or manifestation may or may not happen now, but you will probably be able to at least move forward in some important steps.

Jun.26 – Mercury Stationary Retrograde (23:06 of Cancer; until Jul.20)  ("What's a Station?"  "What does Retrograde mean?"  Read more about Mercury Retrograde.  Read more about Retrograde planets.)

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.

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

Jun.26 – Sun trine Neptune (05:16 of Cancer/Pisces)

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.27 – Venus enters Leo (until Jul.22)  (Jun.28 in AU)

This can be a very creative time, as Venus' love of beauty combines with Leo's creative flair for the dramatic. Find ways to feel good by making your surroundings and yourself beautiful and reflective of your inner spirit! High fashion and vogue style are "in," and crudeness and ordinariness are out...unless you want to turn them into a fashion statement. ;-) However, it's probably wise not to become so identified with the outer appearance of yourself or others that you lose sight of the person, situation or context that it's all happening in. The aim is to pamper yourself with pleasures that enhance your quality of life, without inflating your ego with synthetic self-esteem and glamour without substance. Relationships, interaction, finances, values and resources all need to include ways to express your identity, valour and "heart." Some light-hearted fun and play can be a good place to start.

Jul.01 – Venus square Saturn (04:51 of Leo/Scorpio)  (Jul.02 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.

Jul.01 – Sun opposite Pluto (10:17 of Cancer/Capricorn)  (Jul.02 in UKAU)

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.

Jul.04 – Sun square Uranus (12:26 of Cancer/Aries)

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.

Jul.05 – Sun trine Chiron (13:40 of Cancer/Pisces)

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.07 – Venus trine Uranus (12:29 of Leo/Aries)  (Jul.08 in UK, AU)

Spontaneity and liberation burst into your relationships, finances, resources and pleasures. You might feel compelled to try something completely different that shakes up the "same-old-same-old" routines you're used to. The upside is that you have the opportunity to break free of some old habits and breathe some fresh air into your life. But the downside could come in the form of impulse spending beyond your budget, or recklessness in your interactions and relationships. Strive to break free of what holds you back from being your true self, without destroying the structure of order in your life.

Jul.08 – Saturn Stationary Direct (04:49 of Scorpio; until Mar.02.2014)  ("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.

Next Update:  NEW MOON in CANCER, available by July 8, 2013.

� 2013 Wendy Guy. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied without the author's written permission. Most or all of the quotes on this page were found at GoodReads.com. Photo of bramble bushes © Richard Humphrey [CC-BY-SA-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons. Photo of blackberries from WikiCommons. Photo of trees and moon by MikeKinol; photo of child eating watermelon by Lightfoot, both photos from Morguefile.com. Photo of moon size comparison by by Marcoaliaslama (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons.

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