The Low-Down on the Far-Out

New Moon in Cancer, June 2017

Chart for the New Moon in Cancer
Chart for the New Moon in Cancer

What a beautiful woman. She moved with grace, she was entirely feminine, and yet, she possessed incredible inner strength. She�s a survivor.
~ Jan Moran, Scent of Triumph

Jun.23 – NEW MOON in CANCER (02:47 of Cancer)

It is said that there is none so aggressive or dangerous as a mother protecting her young.

So much for the myth of Mom and apple pie, eh?

We do seem to paint this image of the feminine as sweet, loving, nurturing, innocuous, demure and safe. But if you've ever encountered a young animal with its mother nearby, you'll know it's wise to tread very carefully —preferably in the opposite direction!

The feminine tends to be defined by the stereotypes of our culture. It's rare that the collective will view women�or men, for that matter�as whole human beings with a full spectrum of human traits. Instead, we usually idealize or demonize the extremes of those stereotypes, polarizing people with labels that are all-good or all-bad.

Norman Rockwell painting

The selfless mother whose devotion and love are endless, or the heroic man whose courage and strength make him invincible, are held up as ideals to live up to, as if we live in a Normal Rockwell painting. On the other side of that coin, the antagonistic woman who will not be placated, or the docile man who cannot be provoked, are often shunned, ridiculed or condemned for behaving contrary to their supposed "true" nature.

The Cancer New Moon has a lot of feminine energy flowing through it. So, how do we work with that without getting stuck in stale stereotypes?

We cultivate love when we allow our most vulnerable and powerful selves to be deeply seen and known, and when we honor the spiritual connection that grows from that offering with trust, respect, kindness and affection.
~ Bren� Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection

Cancer is one of the quintessential feminine signs of the zodiac. It is ruled by the Moon which is strongly associated with women's reproduction: menstruation, pregnancy, motherhood, etc. Traditionally in astrology, the Moon represents women in general, especially Mother. For a man, it may show the women in his life; for a woman it may indicate how she embraces her feminine nature.

In today's world of increased open-mindedness and psychological savvy, we regard the Moon more as a universal energy. It doesn't mean the Moon can't represent Mom or women, but we recognize that everyone has Moon-like qualities, regardless of their gender identity. This includes intuition, feelings, empathy, sensitivity, nurturing, caring and protecting. Whether you're male, female or otherwise, if you have Cancer or the Moon prominent in your chart then these Cancerian qualities are usually a strong part of your temperament and life experience in some way.

Stellium in Cancer

Feminine energy overflows the New Moon chart! Besides the Sun and Moon being conjunct in Cancer, there are two other planets there, all cozied up together in a Stellium: Sun, Moon, Mercury and Mars. That's a lot of Cancer!

As a result, during the few days before and after the New Moon, don't be surprised if you're feeling especially emotional, sensitive and intuitive. It can be a wonderful influence if you're doing anything creative, which includes not just artistic projects but anything where you actually create something. And if it involves empathy, sympathy or extending a tender hand to help someone out, all the better.

If you're involved in something that requires clear, concise, rational thought, you might need some extra time and patience to allow your mind to find its way out of your non-rational right-brain and into your logical left-brain so you can do what you need to do.

It might also help to give your Cancerian right-brain something to do. So: bake a pie and take it to someone who could use some cheering up. Weed your garden or put some flowers in a vase for your computer desk. Find that old knitting, quilting or other creative project you never finished and do some more work on it. Invite a friend over to watch your favorite chick flick (BYOK � bring your own Kleenex). Or, if you're feeling a bit insecure or in need of a hug, find someone who will listen and remind you that you're okay.

Be the one who nurtures and builds. Be the one who has an understanding and a forgiving heart one who looks for the best in people. Leave people better than you found them.
~ Marvin J. Ashton

Both Venus and the Moon are in their signs of rulership, and therefore are the strongest planets in the chart. The Moon is (of course) in her sign of Cancer, and Venus is in Taurus. Both of these planets and signs represent the essence of feminine energy which is therefore amplified all the more.

In addition, Venus is the oriental planet in the chart, meaning it is the next planet to the east of the Sun. Think of Venus as the Sun's calling card, so the Sun's energy is communicated first through Venus: sociable, interactive, attentive, beautifying, loving and harmonizing. Again, this shows even more emphasis on feminine energy in this chart. (Note: I'm not labelling the Moon as the oriental planet, since as of the Sun-Moon conjunction the Moon has technically moved to the occidental side of the Sun. But even if the Moon is considered the oriental planet, this would still contribute additional emphasis on feminine energy.)

Moon in Cancer, Venus in Taurus

Venus in Earthy Taurus emphasizes the sensual aspects of the feminine � pleasure, desire and a yearning to be in full frontal contact with the physical world in its many forms. The Taurus side of Venus is about living in your body more than in your head: seeing, listening, tasting, touching, smelling ...and feeling.

Connecting with your body is a powerful way to listen to your intuition. Women tend to do this more naturally; biology aside, the reason is most likely because we are socialized this way from a young age. If something doesn't "feel right" you can sense it in your body � your chest may tighten up; your breathing is shallow and high up in your chest; your gut might feel queasy or anxious. Alternatively, when you feel safe, eager, or drawn to something or someone, your body tends to become more open, comfortable, supple and receptive; your breathing is slower, deeper and centered down in your belly which is more relaxed.

There is a kind of conversation that happens between your mind and your body. Your feelings alert your body which responds in reaction, and your body language also informs your mind which expresses this through feelings, emotions and expectations. This has often been called "woman's intuition" but anyone who learns to tune into their body's language can access this.

The body-mind dialogue is often subconscious � without knowing all of why, we may breathe a sigh of relief, or suddenly feel wary or resistant. And that interchange can work both ways � for example, if you're feeling anxious, you can often improve your mindset by adopting the body language of trust and safety.

With Venus strongly positioned in her own sign, and the Moon securely nestled in her own sign, there is a lot of "feminine" energy in the New Moon chart. Doing things in a way that has traditionally been associated with women can be an advantage. Tune into your own "woman's intuition." Listen to your body, listen to your feelings, and treat yourself and your body like a cherished loved one.

I have chosen to no longer be apologetic for my femaleness and my femininity. And I want to be respected in all of my femaleness because I deserve to be.
~ Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, We Should All Be Feminists

Okay, this sounds all warm and fuzzy and squishy, all Mom-and-apple-pie-like, but what about the aggressive-Momma-bear-defending-her-young image? Where does that fit in? With the feminine energy so strong in the New Moon chart, how might the cool, tough, formidable side of the Moon make an appearance?

Meet Mars in Cancer. Mars is only too happy to be the ambassador of adversity, the champion of chill, and the warrior of the wild. Being conjunct the other Cancer planets, he is called upon to support, facilitate and defend the more forceful side of the Moon.

In Cancer, Mars is in fall (opposite the sign of his exaltation), meaning he can't behave like a pure Mars. He has one fist tied behind his back and a velvet glove on the other, and his job is to walk on eggshells without breaking them. Under most circumstances, Mars in Cancer would rather have a root canal before doing anything that would hurt someone, so his natural anger, aggression and forthrightness sometimes come out indirectly; even a bit passive-aggressive.

However, when Cancer gives Mars the green light, he can come out swinging. To hell with the eggshells, and watch out for that velvety fist! Cancer is most likely to let Mars off his leash when safety and security are threatened�yours or someone else's. For example, that part of you can become Momma-. You might also find Mars leaping out in order.

There are many ways that Mars might don his Super-Momma-Bear cape. The most obvious is when a young person is involved (mothering instinct) or anyone who is vulnerable. You could be protecting yourself or something/someone you are taking care of, or even trying to stop someone from harming themselves. You might be advocating for someone you care about, keeping your environment secure, safeguarding a creative vision, defending an ideal you cherish, or sheltering yourself from disappointment.

However, Mars isn't the most nurturing of planets, and doesn't wear that Super-Mom cape easily. As a result, you might find you feel irritated by others who are tugging on your apron strings while you're trying to do something else, or you brush off others' attempts to be caring toward you. In other words, rather than all that Cancer energy bringing out a warm, nurturing, receptive energy, you could feel repelled by it instead: Don't baby me! Stop nagging at me! Do you have to be so needy? I can do it myself! Leave me alone! Give me some space!!

Mars prefers to be independent and self-sufficient, so he would rather be in almost any other sign than the one that's all about closeness, bonding, inter-dependence, and squishy group hugs singing Kumbaya. If you find yourself annoyed by the feelings of others or wishing you could get lost on a desert island, it could be your Mars energy feeling the Cancer pinch. It might be a good idea to give yourself some alone-time or adventure-time, where you can let Mars be himself for a while.

What need had I of so many efforts? The soft lines of these hills and the hand of evening
on this troubled heart teach me much more.
~ Albert Camus, The Myth of Sisyphus and Other Essays

Mars is conjunct the asteroid Sisyphus in the New Moon chart. I don't usually include the minor asteroids and miscellaneous bits of space dust, so I'll credit Mercury being Out of Bounds with this observation. ;-) Sisyphus is part of a group of small asteroids that hang out near Earth's orbit (rather than in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter).

The combined cycles of Mars and Sisyphus are weird and erratic, to say the least! They have been travelling in conjunction, within about 3�, since March of this year and remain so until mid-August. They make two exact conjunctions on Mar.23 and Jul.09. So their conjunction is not a new energy at the moment, but it is significant since they are part of the Cancer stellium.

If the mythology behind the name has any relevance, it puts an interesting spin on how you might experience Mars during the New Moon. Sisyphus was a very clever king but also a rather nasty dude who angered Zeus by cheating death, among other things. Hermes finally snared him and brought him to the Underworld, where Zeus had devised a special punishment that Sisy's cleverness couldn't overcome. He was cursed for eternity to roll a huge rock uphill, only to watch it roll back down just before reaching the top. (Ever felt like that? Been feeling like that since last March? No, me neither... *cough*)

You could not step twice into the same river; for other waters are ever flowing onto you.
~ Heraclitus, Greek philosopher

Back to our New Moon: if Mars is about taking action and making progress, then this conjunction to Sisyphus might feel like you're spinning your wheels and getting nowhere fast. At its worst, you might even feel like you are being punished by the Universe for reasons you cannot fathom. (And if that's what you're going through, then I send you a Cancerian hug!)

However, there's another, more constructive way to interpret the Sisyphus myth. Through his repetitive labours, he is actually participating in a kind of cyclical rhythm. Like the rise and fall of the ocean waves, or the rising and setting of the Sun, we are fluctuating within certain built-in limitations. We may never escape those limits entirely, but then, perhaps that's not the purpose of it.

Greek vase with Sisyphus

Our world is full of repeating cycles contained within certain parameters. This starts to sound a bit like Saturn, doesn't it, with its structural limitations of the physical world. In addition, the cyclical nature of Sisyphus' labours is not unlike the Moon with her monthly phases. In fact, Saturn is opposite the New Moon in the chart, albeit very wide (almost 9�) and out-of-sign (Sagittarius and Cancer, which are not opposite signs).

The ups and downs of Sisyphus' rock are also a bit like the rising and falling of planetary declinations, and the Sun just passed its northernmost declination 2 days ago at the Solstice. Cancer is one of the signs where Out of Bounds planets are most likely to be found (Gemini/Cancer or Sagittarius/Capricorn). And indeed, both Mars and Mercury are currently Out of Bounds.

So yes, on one hand, you might be feeling the futility of Sisyphus in his labours. However, there's a different lesson if you listen for it. If you feel like you're stuck in the futility of Sisyphus Hell, reframing it in a cyclical rather than linear understanding might be more helpful. That doesn't have to mean you're stuck going in circles. Every repeating cycle is a little different each time. Nothing is ever exactly the same thing twice.

When the bread dough rises, you punch it back down again�not to punish it but to improve the bread. If you're feeling like bread dough, perhaps you're still getting read for the final transformation that will turn you into bread. This is a time when your use of Mars in Cancer, and indeed your experience of Cancer/lunar energy, may best be framed through the awareness that the journey is more important than the destination right now.

The lion cannot protect himself from traps, and the fox cannot defend himself from wolves.
One must therefore be a fox to recognize traps, and a lion to frighten wolves.
~ Niccol� Machiavelli, The Prince

Mars is also part of a T-square aspect pattern, opposing Pluto squaring Jupiter. Reactive Mars opposite paranoid Pluto (180�) probably has no shortage of potential dangers to deal with, and expansive Jupiter in square to them (90�) could just magnify the perceived threat level, whether it's warranted or not. Mars also trines Neptune (120�) which may at least keep Mars focused on doing the right thing with a noble purpose in mind, but Neptune might also just make it easier to believe Jupiter's inflated assessment of the situation.

T-square: Mars opp Pluto, square Jupiter

The result could be that you might feel a bit over-protective, over-reactive or quick to blame other people or external situations for what is actually your own vulnerability. This may be an important time to draw on your ability to be your own parent. Look inward and be aware of what you're feeling, whether that is insecure, afraid, angry, sad, innocent, open or trusting. Awareness is the key to avoiding overreaction.

Enter: Mercury, who is conjunct the New Moon. Mercury in Cancer is very intuitive, sensitive and perceptive, but often doesn't like to reveal all it knows. It's that protective thing again. if you say what you know, it could make you vulnerable or a target for criticism, disbelief or ridicule. So Mercury in Cancer prefers to keep his cards close to the vest, and shows them only to those he knows he can trust.

But Mercury's perceptive ability is penetrating and picks up subtle cues easily�to the point where you might wonder if you really saw what you saw or if you're embellishing it with your own expectations, fears, hopes and needs. Mercury is also conjunct Mars, who is only too happy to jump if Mercury gets startled. Therefore, it's a good idea to think twice, thrice and then again, before you decide to act. If you have an overwhelming urge to react or take action, it's better to get a better understanding of what you're picking up, if possible, before rushing to judgment.

I'm selfish, impatient and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I am out of control and at times hard to handle.
But if you can't handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don't deserve me at my best.
~ Marilyn Monroe

In closing I have to mention yet another Quindecile aspect pattern. Geesh, you see one and suddenly they're everywhere! This one involves slow-moving planets and lasts about 8 weeks. This Spike figure began to come together back on May 23 and lasts until July 15, their closest orbs being 0:48 or less on Jun.29-30.

You may remember, at the Full Moon in Sagittarius (Jun.09), that the Sun-Moon opposition was part of what I called a Quindecile Kite figure. The quindecile aspect is 165� and is associated with obsessive, compulsive, unrelenting energy.

Quindecile pattern: Railroad Spike

This new quindecile figure starts with a semi-sextile between Chiron and Uranus (30�). Jupiter forms a quindecile to each of them, forming a Yod-like figure. I've dubbed this a Railroad Spike pattern. All that driving energy seems to focus like a steel spike at the apex planet�Jupiter in this case.

Here's how I would interpret the Spike: The hammering end is the semi-sextile, implying that the trigger could be traced back to little things that bug you or illogical frustrations that don't make sense. In this case, Chiron and Uranus could indicate an impulse to blast your way out of a chronic or painful situation, yet the impact of the "blast" seems blunted or frustratingly insufficient.

The quindeciles suggest that your reaction to these irritations might be a bit out of proportion, or that by addressing those annoyances you may have a chance to impact more than just the immediate situation. Since the quindeciles point to Jupiter the amplification of the reaction, as well as the potential to discover greater meaning, is especially pronounced.

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The implication is that if you know how to hammer the Chiron-Uranus energy just right, Jupiter can pierce through almost any resistance. But be aware�the impact could be more than you bargained for. For example: you might push yourself to break out of a painful struggle you feel stuck in, by reaching toward a higher level of meaning in the hope that it will at least make more sense.

If you are truly ready to move out of that suffering and struggle behind, this could be like breaking out of the egg. But if you're not ready and you're only trying to escape from the process, you might be trying to leave the healing process too soon and only making the discomfort worse. Like taking bread out of the oven before it's baked, you might wind up half-cooked by interrupting a long-term process.

If you're not ready to "leave the oven" yet or you're stuck in mid-process, this quindecile Spike could give you a burst of energy that can get you moving again. Or, you might discover new insight about what you're going through and why it's important. Just remember that a little goes a long way. It's okay to do this in small steps, if you can, but with Jupiter at the pointy end of this thing you might feel the urge to take some giant leaps.

In the context of the Cancer New Moon, it's probably a good idea to let Momma-bear's sharp spikey claws come out only when it's really necessary and only with your highest intentions at heart. If you find you're taking swipes at the slightest annoyance, ask yourself: What "baby" am I trying to protect? Is it your own Inner Child? An urgent goal? A cherished hope? A need to avoid disappointment? The urge to be a loyal friend? An attempt to resist unwanted change?

Awareness can be a powerful lens if you remember to look within.

If you care about something you have to protect it.
If you�re lucky enough to find a way of life you love, you have to find the courage to live it.
~ John Irving, A Prayer for Owen Meany

Jun.24 – Venus trine Pluto (18:30 of Taurus/Capricorn)  (Jun.23 in HAST)

Close one-on-one connections with people (close friends, lovers, partners of all kinds) will tend to gravitate to a deeper, more intense level now. Instead of automatically doing the diplomatic, "nice" thing, you may find it is more fulfilling to share more of your authentic feelings. It may be possible now to connect with people on a deeper level, while still ensuring that your interests are equally balanced with theirs. The trick is to do this without trying to control or overpower the other person, and it may be easier to avoid those traps now. You could make some deeply intimate connections with people under this transit. Financial dealings with other people may also go smoothly, although it might be wise to get clear confirmation that you're both on the same page about the fine print.

Jun.25 – Mars square Jupiter (13:34 of Cancer/Libra)  (Jun.24 in HAST, AKDT, PDT)

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

Jun.26 – Mars trine Neptune (14:14 of Cancer/Pisces)  (Jun.25 in HAST, AKDT, PDT)

This transit can bring a mystical, imaginative, compassionate aura to Mars' normally direct, fast, aggressive, self-focused energy. You may feel inspired to act on faith, confront with compassion, and react gently. On the other hand, it can be much easier to be motivated by something that turns out not to be what you thought it was. Much can depend on how impulsive your actions are and whether they are based on preplanning and research. We may tend to see our actions as righteous and justified. Creative energy is usually strong, whether this is used literally in the arts or in finding creative solutions to conflicts and problems. Our anger and aggression may be expressed in a way that is compassionate and intuitive, although our assertive edge might also be blunted a bit too much. It might help to think of the snake in the old parable – even if you choose not to bite if someone steps on your tail, it doesn't mean you can't hiss.

Jun.27 – Mercury square Jupiter (13:42 of Cancer/Libra)  (Jun.28 in AU)

You may be seeing the weak links in your knowledge, understanding or beliefs right now. Your ideas and words might seem to fall short of what your mind envisions, or you might be unable to convince others of your point of view. As a result, it can be tempting to over-compensate with more self-confidence, faith or optimism than you actually have. Or, you might give out "too much information" by over-explaining or through nervous rambling. Alternatively, you might encounter someone else who does this and perhaps have a blaming or judgmental reaction to them. This is an opportunity to learn something about how you might jump to conclusions or blame, possibly triggered by a situation that challenges your beliefs, opinions or perspective. To learn more about this part of yourself, try taking some time to think about what is really bothering you or what you really need to say in that situation. There may be a higher truth to be found if you open your mind to something you're reluctant to acknowledge, rather than looking for a "final truth" around which to close it.

Jun.27 – Mercury trine Neptune (14:13 of Cancer/Pisces)  (Jun.28 in UK, AU)

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

Jun.28-Jul.04 – Mercury-Mars-Sun parallel (in Cancer)

Mercury, Mars and the Sun do a little waltz together at the end of June and into July. The lead-up to this is that Mercury has been Out of Bounds from Jun.16 to Jul.01; Mars has also been OOB from May.14 to Jun.29. So Mercury and Mars return from OOB within 2 days of each other. Having a planet return in-bounds can be a bit of a bumpy ride, as all that "out there" energy must now squeeze down "in here" within the mundane world.

There are a couple more events that make this even more noteworthy. For one thing, Mercury and Mars are also conjunct as they cross parallel paths, giving their combined energies added oomph. In a nutshell, watch your words! Be aware of your communication and what kind of energy you're putting out. A little will go a long way.

On the other hand, you may also be more sensitive to others' energy, possibly finding yourself in the company of those who are especially "touchy," direct or argumentative. If you're into debate, this could be a lively and enjoyable time; but if you're looking for warm fuzzies you might find they feel more like hot pricklies.

Another factor adding to the significance of this threesome is that the Sun is also very close to the Cancer Solstice (exact Jun.21). That means all 3 are parallel by declination during this time. So, as Mercury and Mars return in-bounds, they are also parallel with the Sun. The Sun amplifies the Mercury-Mars effect, increasing their potential and potency.

The Sun can bring consciousness and heroic intentions to the Mercury-Mars battle cry, or it could open a window of opportunity for you to express your strength of character with directness and clarity. On the other hand, these three could backfire and affect your health through increased stress, conflict and anxiety. Finding a positive and/or creative outlet for this energy can help you focus it in a positive, beneficial way.

Mars and the Sun travel in parallel for several days, as Mars comes in-bounds, but they don't actually cross paths this time. As Mars descends gradually, the Sun is already descending faster and pulls away from him before he can catch up. Their closest proximity is a mere 11 minutes of declination on Jul.04. Mars must wait until mid-September to finally cross paths with the Sun.

The Sun and Mars near-parallel also initiates several weeks of these two travelling in conjunction, reaching exact on Jul.26 and remaining within an 8� orb from Jun.30 to Aug.26. How you perceive and "frame" your Mercury-Mars-Sun experience now is likely to greatly affect how you are able to direct the Sun-Mars energy over the coming weeks. In other words, it will help to "frame" your current experiences in a positive, constructive or learning light, since this will help you manage and direct the high-octane Sun-Mars energy over the next couple of months.

See the declination graph below to get an overall picture of what happens. Here are the dates of the events that occur between them over the coming week:

June 28Mercury conjunct Mars15:54 Cancer
June 29Mars returns in-bounds
July 1Mercury returns in-bounds
July 2Mercury parallel Mars
July 3Mercury parallel Sun
July 4Mars parallel Sun(closest 0:11 apart)
Graph of declinations of Mercury, Mars, Sun
Declination graph showing Sun, Mars and Mercury.
June 10 to July 9, 2017.

Jun.28 – Mercury conjunct Mars (15:54 of Cancer)  (Jun.29 in AU)

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. ;-)

Jun.29 – Mars returns from Out of Bounds (was OOB from 15:49 of Gemini to 16:21 of Cancer; next OOB is Apr.20.2019)   ("What does Out of Bounds mean?"   "What is Declination?")

Mars has been Out of Bounds (OOB) since May.14 and now returns within the bounds of the Sun, by declination. While OOB Mars qualities can be somewhat erratic and exaggerated: angry, hostile, hyper-reactive or hyper-sensitive, aggressive, quick to protest or take offence, feeling out of control, or (the flip side of these qualities) depression, lethargy or cynicism. Now that Mars is coming back within bounds, these qualities will likely become more manageable and "back to normal" (whatever that usually is for you).

Coming back in bounds can be a bit of a bumpy landing as that unrestricted energy becomes squeezed back into its usual potency. This is a good time to observe your passions and energy levels, as well as changes in Mars themes in society around you. For several days before and after this date, pay attention to the things that amplify or cool down your Mars energy. Realize that this is an adjustment period, and having some patience with yourself and others can help to smooth and soothe this time.

Alternatively, the re-entry can also be an eventful time when changes in Mars-related areas can occur. For example, you might feel this is the right time to start�or end�a project or make changes to a situation in your life. A shift in how you experience or handle anger, assertiveness, depression or high/low energy levels could inspire you to make positive changes in those areas. This might be due to a change in perspective as a result of your experiences while Mars was OOB.

Jun.29 – Mercury opposite Pluto (18:22 of Cancer/Capricorn)

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

Jun.30 – Venus square North Lunar Node (25:17 of Taurus/Leo)  (Jul.01 in AU)  ("What's a Lunar Node?")

Perhaps you're finding that the people in your life are not being as supportive, encouraging or cooperative as you thought they would be, in terms of helping you fulfil your life purpose. Someone might suddenly withdraw their support, or maybe they contradict or interfere with what you're trying to do with your life. Perhaps an argument or disagreement happens and the upset, stress or hard feelings that result seem to cast a shadow on how you feel about your life. If this happens, it's possible that what you disagree about is something you should look at more closely. Are you responding to this situation in a way that truly reflects your values? Or perhaps your values need to be reconsidered. The agreement or balance of priorities between you might need to be renegotiated. This transit might also manifest as problems around finances or possessions, which requires some adjustment on your part. Since this transit usually lasts only a few days, in most cases its effects will not be major. If it does bring up some significant issues, it is probably hinting at a deeper issue, and you would be wise to look at the problem beyond the current circumstances. Other transits (especially to your natal chart) can give you more information about the nature of the situation.

Jul.01 – Chiron Stationary Retrograde (28:51 of Pisces; until Dec.05)  (Jun.30 in HAST, AKDT)  ("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.

Jul.01 – Mercury returns from Out of Bounds (was OOB from 20:12 of Gemini to 22:22 of Cancer; next OOB is Jun.06.2018)  (Jul.02 in UK, AU)   ("What does Out of Bounds mean?"   "What is Declination?")

Mercury has been Out of Bounds (OOB) since Jun.16 and now returns within the bounds of the Sun's declination. An in-bounds Mercury is generally easier to work with, where your thoughts, ideas and awareness works more constructively with the world around you. You might find you have new ideas picked up while Mercury was OOB that you now are able to put into practice. If you've felt somewhat liberated by the OOB period, it might be a bit uncomfortable to feel simply "normal" again. On the other hand, if you were feeling a bit ungrounded or out of focus during Mercury's OOB period, coming back in-bounds could feel somewhat reassuring as your brain may find it easier to grapple with ideas and process experiences. Words and thoughts might fit more comfortably into what society regards as "normal" and as such, life may start to feel a bit easier to navigate.

Coming back in bounds can also be a bit of a bumpy landing as that unrestricted energy becomes squeezed back into its usual potency. This is a good time to observe your thoughts, ideas, communication and how you process information, as well as changes in Mercury themes in society around you. For several days before and after this date, pay attention to the things that amplify or cool down your awareness, perceptions and your need to express what you're thinking. Realize that this is an adjustment period, and having some patience with yourself and others can help to smooth and soothe this time.

Alternatively, the re-entry can also be an eventful time when changes in Mercury-related areas can occur. For example, you might feel this is the right time to start�or end�a conversation about things that inspire or aggravate you, or make changes to how and why you express yourself. A shift in how you experience or handle the exchange of ideas and information with others could inspire you to make positive changes in those areas. This might be due to a change in perspective as a result of your experiences while Mercury was OOB.


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Jul.02 – Mars opposite Pluto (18:18 of Cancer/Capricorn)

Mars and Pluto doing battle in the skies can create a very intense showdown! This is a time when tempers can flare, power struggles can emerge, and aggressive action could seem like the only way to handle a conflict. If you feel yourself becoming entangled in a mounting tension with someone, you might do well to back off a bit to let the adrenaline subside on both sides. On the other hand, it is a time when we are often challenged to assert ourselves and strengthen our spirit, which can often be brought on by confrontation. This is the kind of atmosphere where our interactions with others can bring out deeply hidden and intense feelings inside us, which long to be expressed but are usually suppressed instead. This is an opportunity to observe what gets triggered inside of us and what kind of interaction triggers those feelings. It can be valuable to use the experience as a way to vent old frustration, work through unresolved anger, and ultimately heal our deeper wounds by letting go of whatever holds us back. Sexual energy can run very high under this transit, so handle it wisely.

Jul.03 – Venus sextile Chiron (28:51 of Taurus/Pisces)  (Jul.04 in UK, AU)

Although this transit lasts for only a few days, it is possible to make some progress in your healing and rebalancing efforts, although it will take some effort to make it happen. This may show itself in relationships, social interaction, finances, values, health or your spiritual connection to the Universe. You have an increased ability to negotiate with others and with your circumstances to achieve a fair compromise that results in equal sacrifice and benefit for all concerned. However, there is a risk of wanting to avoid conflict and discord so much that you negotiate beyond what you are truly comfortable with – peace at any price. By accepting and embracing the effort or struggle that is required, you can get out of your own way and achieve a more healing balance in those struggles. You now have increased ability to facilitate changes in situations that are within your control. It can also be easier to accept and adapt to that which lies beyond your control. Your effect on others can be potentially healing right now, especially by helping them find a new balance and point of acceptance in the conflicts and struggles of their lives.

Jul.01 – Venus enters Gemini (until Jul.31)  (Jul.05 in UK, AU)

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

Jul.04 – Mercury square Uranus (28:10 of Cancer/Aries)  (Jul.05 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.05 – Mercury trine Chiron (28:51 of Cancer/Pisces)  (Jul.04 in HAST)

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.05 – Mercury enters Leo (until Jul.25)  (Jul.06 in UK, AU)

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

Jul.05 – Sun trine Neptune (14:09 of Cancer/Pisces)  (Jul.06 in UK, AU)

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

Jul.05 – Sun square Jupiter (14:14 of Cancer/Libra)  (Jul.06 in NDT, UK, AU)

You may be inspired to expand far beyond your usual boundaries during this time, although this may or may not work in the way you hope it will. It can be a time of challenge, when you decide that now is the time to move beyond your current horizons and make the ultimate push for something you believe will bring you happiness, fulfilment and prosperity. How successful you are will probably depend on how prepared you are for what comes next. Your judgment and your ability to see things objectively and realistically can be a little "off" during this transit, since your hopes and ideals might distort what is actually possible. It can be easy to overestimate the envisioned results, or you might underestimate the amount of work necessary to sustain your dream and prevent it from being just a flash in the pan. Try to avoid being overconfident and making promises you can't keep (including to yourself).

Jul.07 – Mercury sextile Venus (02:48 of Leo/Gemini)

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

Next Update:  FULL MOON in CAPRICORN. Available by July 9, 2017.

© 2017 Wendy Guy. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied or used without the author's written permission. Astrology diagrams © Wendy Guy unless otherwise noted. Most or all of the quotes on this page were found at Illustration of Cancer by Stockshoppe, via CanStockPhoto. "Mother Tucking Children into Bed," 1921, by Norman Rockwell; cover illustration for �Literary Digest,� January 29, 1921; fair use; Norman Rockwell Museum Digital Collections. Photo of Reindeer in a winter forest in Finnish Lapland, by Shalamov, via Sisyphus vase, by Deutsch: Schaukel-MalerEnglish: Swing PainterFran�ais : Peintre de la Balan�oire (User:Bibi Saint-Pol, own work, 2007-02-13) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons. Declination graph by Wendy Guy.

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