The Low-Down on the Far-Out

New Moon in Cancer, July 2015

Chart for the Full Moon in Capricorn
Chart for the New Moon in Cancer

A fight is going on inside me," said an old man to his son. "It is a terrible fight between two wolves. One wolf is evil. He is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego. The other wolf is good. he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you."
The son thought about it for a minute and then asked, "Which wolf will win?"
The old man replied simply, "The one you feed.�
~ Attributed to many, from Cherokee parable to Evangelical Christian Minister Billy Graham; this version published by Wendy Mass, Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life

For the New Moon in Cancer article and Lunar Forecast, we are very pleased to again feature guest writer and astrologer Aerin Fogel. Aerin is based in Toronto where she practices astrology, karmic readings, and hands-on healing. Her music project is called Midheaven and she also writes fiction. She co-manages an organic farm share (or CSA) program. She is one of the founders of the Silver River Institute, an alternative, integrative education system. Discover more about Aerin on her website:

Jul.15 – NEW MOON in CANCER (23:14 of Cancer)

For those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, I always think of the Cancer new Moon as marking the height of abundance from our beautiful earth.

The soil is rich, the rains are falling, the plants are blossoming and strengthening, and the rivers are flowing freely. It is a sign that is about meeting our needs because it falls under a season that is truly rich and nourishing.

In the Southern hemisphere, in winter, it asks us to make space in our homes to nourish ourselves in a different, more internally oriented way. This is Cancer in its most balanced expression.

This particular New Moon challenges that balance, however. It highlights the still-fading conjunction of the Sun and Mars that we saw mid-June, and that is still rippling outwards. Mars is currently debilitated in Cancer and until recently was combust by the Sun�s rays. (Note: combustion is when a planet conjoins the Sun within about 8��. Being so close to the Sun's light, we're unable to see the planet visually, and similarly, its energy tends to become subjugated to the Sun's.)

The effect of this combust Mars is that we have instead seen a world that has lost the will to nourish its community. Traditionally, Mars in Cancer shows a will-force (often associated with masculine or yang expression), that is unable to act with the clarity and directedness that Mars thrives on.

This subversive quality is heightened by its proximity to the Sun (combust). But perhaps our traditional interpretation is not what will serve us here. Because New Moons are about choice. They are about re-orienting our beliefs and re-aligning ourselves with the cosmos.

So perhaps this New Moon asks us instead to revision our understanding of Mars, to let it be something different as it enters a new phase, having emerged from disappearing under the Sun�s rays. This Mars can act with sensitivity; it has an opportunity to integrate some of the feminine qualities traditionally associated with Cancer, with our will-forces. It can act in service—to meet the needs of others and redistribute the imbalance of wealth and abundance on our planet, rather than acting only for the self. This Mars offers us an opportunity for a new kind of balance, as much as it warns of subversive or confused action.

If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.
~ Mother Teresa

Mercury is also conjunct Mars on this New Moon, and this aspect will be exact the following day. With Mercury applying to another conjunction with the Sun (meaning the aspect is not yet exact), it brings intelligence and insight to this new version of Mars. Not only can we act compassionately, we can think it out before we do.

We are called here to the difficult task of aligning our actions with our thoughts, since we are each inclined to let one of them get the best of us. Some of us act without thinking, and some of us never make it to action as we get lost in over-thinking.

This is an opportunity to harness our strength and our wisdom, and hold them all with the level of sensitivity Cancer asks of us. Neither our thinking nor our actions will amount to much if they are disconnected from our emotional selves; it is that disconnect that can cause Mars to become dangerous, and Mercury to become dissociative.

Even the strongest and bravest must sometimes weep. It shows they have a great heart, one that can feel compassion for others.
~ Brian Jacques, Redwall

Meanwhile, Pluto shakes the whole Cancerian tree by the roots from the underworld. The opposition of Mercury and Mars to Pluto is still exact when the New Moon hits. We see here that it is our own unconscious that holds us back from finding the balance of strength, wisdom, and emotional intelligence.

Mercury-Mars opposite Pluto, all exactly 14 degrees

Somehow we feel we lack the power, or perhaps the right, to come into such a rich expression of ourselves. And in a way, Pluto tightens the knot: "What right do you have to power?" Pluto asks. This internal struggle is reinforced by a culture that does not offer us a healthy example of embodied power. It offers us an example of power struggles.

Since Pluto is also in Capricorn, it reemphasizes the theme of balancing the masculine and feminine polarities within each of us. This is not about gender; it is about coming into contact with different expressions of ourselves.

When we struggle with this polarity we find one side of ourselves insensitive and controlling (Capricorn), while the other is terrifyingly vulnerable (Cancer). But if right now we can hold enough space in the opposition for both of the signs, and for all three of the planets involved (Mercury, Mars and Pluto), this struggle starts to dissolve.

Pluto in Capricorn becomes deeply responsible for transforming the old paradigms that no longer work, and Mars and Mercury in Cancer lead this transformation ahead with emotional intelligence. The planets involved also signify that this process is both personal and collective; as we find balance and integrate the different aspects of ourselves, so too will our communities become balanced and integrated.

All I ever wanted was to reach out and touch another human being not just with my hands but with my heart.
~ Tahereh Mafi, Shatter Me

Meanwhile, Venus and Jupiter are still locked in with each other and also in a square with Saturn. So amidst the struggle for balance that the opposition presents, this square finds us bursting at our own seams against the walls of our own limitations.

Venus-Jupiter square Saturn

Venus and Jupiter conjunct in Leo have certainly shown us a powerful combination of love, beauty, and thriving community. But it has also shown us jealously, quick tempers, and a whole lot of actual fire (the west coast of North America is quite literally bursting into flames). All this while Venus and Jupiter are still separating from the trine to Uranus.

So when all that fiery abundance meets Saturn in Scorpio, it hits a brick wall—or rather, it has to clean up its own mess. Saturn demands that all that activated energy slow down and take responsibility for what is burned up in its wake; the dark ashes left behind in the fire.

Traditionally Saturn squares are not exactly cause for excitement, but in this case it is a helpful quality that balances the otherwise unobstructed Fire. It may feel uncomfortable at first, but like the Pluto opposition, Saturn here reconnects us with any unaddressed challenges that may be lurking in the shadows, and we have the opportunity to offer them up to be burned up and transformed in the Fire as well.

Never be afraid to raise your voice for honesty and truth and compassion against injustice and lying and greed.
If people all over the world...would do this,
it would change the earth.
~ William Faulkner

Finally, the Moon and Sun are applying to a trine with Saturn. In fact, virtually all of the planets are in close relationship to the Sun-Moon conjunction. This makes it a particularly powerful moment both in time and in our intentions, as well as being an opportunity to foster seeds of change in our consciousness.

The Sun-Moon trine to Saturn complements the aspects between all the planets, and brings a soft, supportive promise of what is possible to the challenge of Saturn's square to Venus and Jupiter. It tells us that when the challenges emerge from the shadows, it is the very place of vulnerability from which they emerge that will help us to move through them.

Instead of allowing Saturn's and Pluto's harsh energies to close us off from ourselves, they can become tools to help us go deeper—to reach into what feels terrifying, to become comfortable with it, and to allow it to integrate and become balanced in the rest of our being.

We can emerge on the other side of this New Moon with open hearts and focused minds. We can reach a deeper connection with the part of our power that is often obscured by our old relationships to the very idea of power. We can meet our passionate desire for inspiration and transformation with a slow, even and grounded pace. We can take individual steps that continue to shift the Collective.

And, because it is the New Moon in Cancer, after all, we are encouraged to celebrate the gift of abundance that so many of us on the planet have the privilege of enjoying, and extend these gifts to nurture people and communities of less privilege.

Amidst the weight of the more intense planetary aspects at the New Moon, we can find a moment of stillness, nourishment and tenderness.

A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.
~ Albert Einstein

Jul.16 – Mercury conjunct Mars (14:24 of Cancer)   (Jul.15 in HAST, AKDT, PDT, MDT, CDT)

Spontaneous or impulsive words may come flying out of your mouth under this transit! If you've been struggling to keep opinions or observations to yourself, you might find it hard to keep them quiet, especially if you feel strongly about the situation. You might see things as more "cut and dried" than usual. Although you might feel frustrated if things don't happen in a direct, quick, straightforward way, it can also be a good time to make decisions and move forward with plans. On one hand, this can have a positive effect because it can give you courage to speak your mind and assert yourself candidly and honestly. On the other hand, you might also come across as abrupt, cranky, argumentative or even downright hostile, especially if you've been stuffing down anger or resentment for a while. This transit represents a new beginning in how you can handle self-assertiveness, communication and decision-making. By "listening to" your impulses, passions and urge to speak your truth, you can get an idea how your "inner voice" wants to emerge – and how to do that without annihilating the other person. ;-)

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Jul.18 – Venus enters Virgo (until Jul.31)

Under this transit, it is possible to fall in love with purity, precision and analysis. It is a time to invest in health, efficiency, and your contribution to the world around you. The beauty is in the details, as you embrace a labour of love in your life. Just don't get so enamoured with pristine splendour that you get lost in perfectionism and unable to accept the natural imperfection that exists in all life and humanity. Each of us is the Universe's perfect child, but we are also in a state of becoming and growing and are therefore likely to make human mistakes. Remember that we're here for the journey, as much as the destination. This part of the journey takes us into service and devotion, whether that is focused on another person or on ourselves.

Venus dips into Virgo for a couple of weeks where she stations retrograde on Jul.25. She returns to Virgo again on Oct.08.

Jul.18 – Mercury square Uranus (20:28 of Cancer/Aries)   (Jul.19 in UK, AU)

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

Jul.19 – Mercury trine Chiron (21:16 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.

Jul.21 – Sun trine Saturn (28:23 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.

Jul.22 – Mercury trine Saturn (28:22 of Cancer/Scorpio)   (Jul.23 in AU)

It can be easier to take a logical, practical approach to problem-solving and pursuit of your goals now. Your mental outlook is likely to be calm and grounded. This is a good time to make plans and work out the logistics of how you're going to get from "here" to "there" in pursuing your goals. You may find it's time to bring closure to finished goals by distilling and systemizing what you've learned in the process of pursuing those past goals. Or, you might find you are able to draw on past achievements to assist and support your current goals and plans. It is a good transit to bring structure to your thoughts and communication. You may find it's a little easier to accept authority – yours or someone else's – and that you are able to speak authoritatively about things about which you have knowledge or experience.

Jul.22 – Sun enters Leo (until Aug.23)   (Jul.23 in ADT, NDT, UK, AU)

Happy Solar Return to all Leos! Today the Sun moves into its own sign, so its radiant energy is extra bright during this time. Leo's focus is on identity, individuality, self-esteem, creativity, self-expression and fun. You can benefit by rejuvenating, revitalising and rekindling the fiery spirit of who you are. Celebrate your existence! Do something that reminds you about who you are. Recharge your batteries and do things that help you return to the centre of the orbiting circumstances in your life – not spinning around at the edges where you feel at the mercy of everything around you. What are you doing (or what do you want to do) in your life that express the passions that move you? What is the focus of your sense of purpose in life, and what is your next step in moving toward that? If you've been feeling like you're stuck or have lost your sense of purpose, do something that uplifts you. If you could do anything with your life that you wanted to, what would it be? And what one thing (even just a small thing) can you do to take a step toward that goal? Rejuvenate your sense of self and do things that help you to just BE who you are. Hang out with children and watch how they play and are spontaneously free. Find ways to connect to your joyful Inner Child. Celebrate your existence!

Jul.23 – Mercury enters Leo (until Aug.07)

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

Jul.23 – Sun conjunct Mercury (00:37 of Leo)   (Jul.24 in AU)

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

Jul.25 – Venus Stationary Retrograde (00:46 of Virgo; until Sep.06)   (Jul.24 in HAST)  New! Article on Venus Retrograde 2015!   ("What's a Station?"  "What does Retrograde mean?"  Read more about Venus Retrograde.  Read even more about Venus Retrograde.  Read more about Retrograde planets.)

For up to a week or more before and after this date, you may experience intense energy in the areas of relationships, finances, beauty, self-worth and harmony. Similar to Mercury retrograde, Venus retrograde is a time when we go back over the same ground we just came through in order to refine, polish and adjust the affected areas in our lives.

Venus retrograde can be a time when latent problems in relationships (all kinds, not just romantic) become outright conflicts. Or, previous ongoing conflicts may take a rest and go underground for a while, as everyone regroups and reassesses what is important to them. If you have been keeping the peace at any price, this could be a time when that peace suddenly falls apart and you are faced with having to deal with old unresolved problems.

Finances also can shift direction. Income and resources might become somewhat scarce, forcing you to let go of or rethink your material focus. Or, you might find your material resources booming ...possibly along with your spending. Issues about personal appearance, fashion, beauty and charm may also become conspicuous by their absence or by their sudden importance. In general, it is a time to examine your value system and decide whether the people and things that you have cherished still hold the same high priority for you, as well as whether you are truly living according to your values.

The key dates of this Venus retrograde cycle (for North American Eastern Time):

Read my new article on Venus Retrograde 2015 ~ Thrills, Frills and Spills!

Jul.25 – Mars square Uranus (20:30 of Cancer/Aries)   (Jul.24 in HAST)

Erratic action and unpredictable impulses can surface under this transit. Active energy is more available now, but it can be very hard to control its direction, speed, intensity or predictability. Under this volatile atmosphere, unconscious or suppressed emotions (like anger, frustration, fear or desire) can jump out when you least expect them. Being accident prone is not uncommon. This can be great if you're trying to release inhibitions, find courage to sprint forward or break out of an old habit. Unfortunately, there's no guarantee that your actions won't turn out to be destructive, counter-productive or too much of a good thing. You might be tempted to take greater risks than is wise, but this risk-taking impulse can also break you out of a rut too. It's important to use your best judgment when faced with this kind of potent yet volatile energy.

Jul.26 – Mars trine Chiron (21:06 of Cancer/Pisces)   (Jul.25 in HAST)

The healing of assertive energy and willpower mark this transit. It is bound to be easier to get past any inhibition you might normally feel about being assertive, expressing frustration and anger, and putting things into action. Perhaps you are able to reconcile some internal guilt or fear that has held you back in the past. Or, maybe you are finally able to reach a state of acceptance or resolution that allows you to move beyond a conflict or struggle that has been keeping you stuck. Applying your willpower to problems has a better chance of succeeding now because you're likely to be more attuned to the path that leads to peace rather than more conflict. It's possible you might choose to use this energy in the defence of another person, a cause or something else you feel passionately about. It's possible to focus your energy, intent, motives and actions in ways that are healing, healthy, balanced and constructive.

Jul.26 – Uranus Stationary Retrograde (20:30 of Aries; until Dec.25)  ("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.

Next Update:  FULL MOON in AQUARIUS - available by July 31, 2015.

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