The Low-Down on the Far-Out

Lunar Eclipse in Capricorn, July 16, 2019

Chart for the Lunar Eclipse ~ Full Moon in Capricorn
Chart for the Lunar Eclipse ~ Full Moon in Capricorn

To light a candle is to cast a shadow...
~ Ursula K. Le Guin, A Wizard of Earthsea

Jul.16 – LUNAR ECLIPSE ~ FULL MOON in CAPRICORN (24:04 of Capricorn)

What happens when you put a hundred or so planets in Cardinal signs, including a Lunar Eclipse, but there are no planets in Air signs and Mercury isn't much help since (naturally) he is retrograde?

Well, we're about to find out!

Best guess is this will bring intense energy that's determined to grow legs and take off in a persevering direction. But we will need something other than our intellect and mental faculties to guide us along the way. Use instinct, intuition, pre-planning, trial-and-error, or maybe just making it up as we go along, but our intellect might not be the brightest colour in our crayon box for a little while.

When faced with a complicated chart, it is usually helpful to go through the chart planet-by-planet, aspect-by-aspect, but Capricorn isn't especially into details (that's more Virgo's bailiwick). Capricorn is about taking care of the system that's composed of the bits and pieces that are glued together to make the whole. Capricorn's purpose is to develop and maintain the working parts of the machinery, but the end goal is not the individual tasks and components, but the system as a whole.

Massive opposition

So, what is the systemic whole that this chart speaks of?

The primary theme comes from the vast majority of planets that are stretched tightly across the Cancer-Capricorn axis like a tightrope, with a couple of planets in early Leo close enough to conjoin the Cancer Sun.

Something is always born of excess: great art was born of great terror, great loneliness, great inhibitions, instabilities, and it always balances them.
~ Anais Nin

Just to add a bit more spice to this already intense stew, most of the planets in the opposition are also parallel and contra-parallel by declination. Jupiter, Saturn and Pluto have been travelling in tight parallel since the beginning of this year and will continue until the end of next year.

Also since the start of this year, the Moon's maximum southern declination has been parallel to Jupiter, Saturn and Pluto, which you can see in the graph below. When a planet reaches its maximum declination (farthest north or south of the equator), it acts almost like a retrograde or direct station. Its energy is deepened and may coincide with changing one's mind or direction. This is especially true for progressed declinations in your natal chart, and to a less personal extent when it's a transiting planet as it is now.

As you can see from the graph below, the Moon's maximum declination doesn't always coincide with a New or Full Moon (the dots scattered along the Moon's line). However this year, that lunar maximum does coincide with the eclipses in December/January and June-July, which adds even more zest to an already lively event.

So, in other words, the Solar and Lunar Eclipses this year are all parallel or contra-parallel to the Jupiter-Saturn-Pluto group. This increases this year's eclipse energy and gives us the extra challenge of extracting greater meaning (Jupiter), resolve (Saturn) and empowerment (Pluto) from the eclipse experience than we normally do.

This also adds even more weight to the Capricorn end of the current eclipse axis, which could mean there isn't much wiggle room to squirm out from under a heavy Capricorn thumb. In other words, results matter more than mere intentions. Manifestations matter more than just plans. Conclusions and decisions become more important than simply processing information for the sake of self-discovery. And with a lack of Air in the chart combined with Mercury being Retrograde, actions will definitely speak louder than words.

Declination graph
Click for larger image

The walls we build around us to keep the noise out only reverberate the same ideas, notions and beliefs we enforce, leaving no room for debate. When we opt out of an argument we are choosing to ignore opposing views, thereby failing to understand the other.
~ Aysha Taryam

This massive alignment emphasizes tension and conflict through disagreement and polarization. In order not to get stuck in the either-or extremes, there is a compelling need for balance, tolerance and perspective.

Being in Cancer and Capricorn, the divergence is between the personal versus the collective, the subjective and the objective. Between needing support and connection on an individual level, versus working with the impersonal systems, traditions, institutions and standards that support us on a societal level.

We tend to prefer hanging out at one end or the other of that opposition axis. So: which end do you identify with more? What side do you feel safest in? Which side feels more like it holds promise for your growth, empowerment, accomplishment and resolve?

The truth is we all have both sides within us. So: which part of yourself do you feel most comfortable in? Do you prefer to lead or follow? These are not trick questions with right or wrong answers; just designed to help increase your self-awareness.

Do you like to call the shots or let someone else carry the burden of responsibility? Which aspect of yourself is easier for you – the part that needs protection, defending and caring for? (We all need to be taken care of to some extent, even as adults.) Or, does it feel better to be self-sufficient and autonomous, where you can control your wants and needs in order to achieve a larger purpose? (We also need to develop the strength to stand on our own two feet, at least to some extent, and this takes time.)

It takes a lot of skill, resolve and attentiveness to stay balanced; to fulfil the needs and responsibilities of both sides at the same time. Most of the time, we're usually tilted more in one direction or the other. For some of us, that tilt is steeper than for others.

As a result, under this Capricorn Eclipse you may feel that you have to double-down on control and willpower to keep things stable, consistent and on track (Capricorn). Or, you might feel you need to defend your personal space and interests (Cancer) in order to keep from getting lost in the shuffle of the so-called "greater good."

The mind can go either direction under stress—toward positive or toward negative: on or off. Think of it as a spectrum whose extremes are unconsciousness at the negative end and hyperconsciousness at the positive end. The way the mind will lean under stress is strongly influenced by training.
~ Frank Herbert, Dune

So, you're facing the challenge of keeping both sides of yourself happy—Cancer and Capricorn—and you may feel a bit torn or indecisive about which side should be given greater priority. Alternatively, you might already know that one side needs to take precedence, but you're having trouble shifting the other side into the background.

For example, you might know that tub of Hagan Daaz is not a good idea if you're to maintain your health, but the part of you craving it can't quite manage to allow your better judgment step in to make the decision for you.

Or, you're painfully aware that you need to take a break and just chill for a day or two, but there always seems to be one more task calling your name. So, that time out keeps getting pushed down the priority list, until one day you wonder why your energy is through the floor and your brain feels like mush. (Not that I would know anything about that, of course...)

On the collective level, this might play out with governments whose systemic agendas are pitted against the needs of the masses. There's nothing new about this, of course, but what's different right now is that (a) the tension in this conflict could flare up from old issues coming back to haunt, and (b) the either-or polarization could become stretched to the breaking point.

What kind of issues?

Political issues involving women, children and families (Cancer and the Moon; plus Venus conjunct the North Node and opposite Saturn). This could also raise issues about your personal relationships with women or your own feminine nature (for women and men). Your need to feel connected to family (your family of origin or your chosen adult family) could feel a bit precarious and in need of strengthening.

Sudden flare-ups of conflicts or violence, perhaps involving weapons or the Internet; (Mars square Uranus). Best not to "feed the trolls" – pick your battles wisely. And for maximum safety, DO NOT drive or use sharp instruments when you're upset or seriously angry.

Past conclusions, directives, and news stories that need to be re-examined with fresh eyes (Mercury retrograde). You might see problems with a past decision (especially if it was made in haste) and now need to change it or to adjust other areas of your life to make it fit better. Or, you could find it's necessary to double-down on a previous decision in order to keep from backsliding, but be careful not to get overly obsessed about it to the point of blocking out reasonable arguments or alternative ideas (Mercury quindecile Saturn).

A kite flies against the wind, not with it.
~ Winston S. Churchill

So, this Lunar Eclipse is bound to raise issues around authority—your own and/or someone else's. The first question to ask yourself is: how do you handle authority in other people? Can you follow someone else's direction and let them take care of the Big Picture, as long as they let you know what your role is and make you feel appreciated for your contribution? Or, are you the kind of person who bristles when someone tries to tell you what to do because you feel like you're being treated like an inept child?

Mars square Uranus

Mars square Uranus (90°) could amplify the urge to rebel against rules, policies, or just the word "no."

And what about your own authority? Can you say "no" when you need to? Are you comfortable taking control and making decisions for others? Are you able to set limits for yourself and follow them without being overpowered by the urge to push back against those limits?

Or do you fight hard to follow your desires, needs and feelings whenever the mood strikes you? Here too, the Mars-Uranus square could bring out resistance or rebellion from those who receive your instructions, recommendations or corrections. Since the Moon is one of the planets in Capricorn, it could feel a bit "lonely at the top."

Venus opposite Saturn

Can you stand your ground when challenged, or will you try to compromise by giving in to the other person's needs? (Venus opposite Saturn, tightly aligned with the Lunar Nodes) Again, there's no right or wrong way to do this; you will need to evaluate the situation and decide what will work best.

Remember too that the eclipsed Capricorn Moon is tightly parallel to Jupiter, Saturn and Pluto. This could make it easier to engage and embrace your inner Saturn, giving a stronger resolve to do what's in the greater good. On the other hand, if you tend to lean toward the Cancer side of that axis, it could make the Capricorn side loom larger than usual and look bossy, pushy, cold and impenetrable.

This tension isn't simply an ordeal, even though it might feel like that sometimes. Tension spawns creativity and progress. Any action requires you to enter into a state of friction between stasis and change. It is through this friction that heat is generated, and heat mobilizes transformation. By going against the grain, you stretch your limits and strengthen your endurance. Through struggle you push yourself beyond what is merely familiar and into new territory where fresh possibilities can flourish.

Transcendence transfigures; it does not reconcile,
but rather transmutes opposites into something surpassing them
that effaces their oppositions.
~ Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine

Wedge aspect pattern

 Neptune contributes some soft, fluffy energy, which should help soften the sharp Cardinal edges. Neptune is trine Venus and the Sun, and sextile Saturn, Pluto and the Moon, forming a Wedge aspect pattern. When all that Cancer-Capricorn energy becomes too much, it might help to take a vacation in Neptune.

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For example, a little wine might help to loosen that tension a bit. Music, art, dance, a movie, a sunset or sunrise, or getting out into nature could also help. Same with meditation, yoga, prayer, or whatever helps you connect with a sense of something greater than yourself—something greater that can take the wheel and do the driving, letting you relax and take a nap in the back seat.

That said, overindulgence in any Neptunian activity is probably unwise (Jupiter square Neptune). How will you know if you're overdoing it? Keep in mind that the key to handling all that opposition energy is balance and moderation. Neither side gets what it wants at the expense of the other side, so a compromise needs to be negotiated.

Neptune can help by reminding you that priority is a relative thing and depends on context. Having that glass of wine might help to ease your stress in the moment, but if you have a problem with alcohol and can't easily stop after just one glass, then it is likely to only add to your problems. If you're about to go for a job interview, then timing will make a critical difference as to whether it's a good or bad thing.

So, in all, this very potent Lunar Eclipse in Cancer/Capricorn could be a bit hair-raising. At worst, you may feel like Nik Wallenda walking a tightrope in November 2014 (when Mars was OOB!) between Chicago skyscrapers, on live TV, blindfolded! But at best, remember that Wallenda succeeded in his quest and broke 2 world records.

So, with careful planning, attentiveness, and a balanced approach that takes into account the needs, responsibilities, necessities and well-being of both ends of the tightrope, you can get through this and come out the other side having achieved something that takes you beyond yourself.

Your hand opens and closes, opens and closes. If it were always a fist or always stretched open, you would be paralysed. Your deepest presence is in every small contracting and expanding, the two as beautifully balanced and coordinated as birds' wings.
~ Jelaluddin Rumi , The Essential Rumi

Jul.17 – Venus opposite Saturn (16:39 of Cancer/Capricorn)  (Jul.16 in HST, AKDT, PDT, MDT)

There are realities to face and deal with, probably related to the way you handle relationships and/or finances. This is a time when you start to see a return on your investments – literally or figuratively. This could be an investment of energy, cooperation and good faith in a close relationship, or it might be the long-term development of a goal requiring financing or resources. It can be a time when "the bill comes in" and you are required to "put your money where your mouth is" and make a deeper commitment to that investment. Or, you might have to admit that the results are not what you had hoped for and you must decide whether to continue or reinvest your energies elsewhere. In other words, this is a time when something might come to an end or your situation becomes more stressful because you have some hard choices to make. The key is to take a long hard look at the realities before you – is it worth it to continue in the direction you're going? What is required if you decide to take it to the next step? The situation may demand effort, but there's also a more solid footing waiting on the other side.

Jul.17 – Venus conjunct North Lunar Node (17:38 of Cancer)  (Jul.18 in UK, AU)  ("What's a Lunar Node?")

Your love, beauty and joy are especially visible to others right now. You are likely to be at your most attractive – both in body and personality. You could become a magnet for what you desire today – just be careful what you ask for, since you might get it! What you attract to you might be material abundance, admiration and appreciation from others, or perhaps a sense of well-being that brings you into a more beautiful balance with those around you. This can also be a time when you begin a new relationship or social contact, or perhaps you begin a journey to make yourself or your world more beautiful, loving and kind. At worst, or if other stressful transits are also in effect, you might also have a tendency to fall into over-indulgence, empty glamour or compulsive craving.

Jul.18 – Venus trine Neptune (18:31 of Cancer/Pisces)  (Jul.19 in AU)

This can be a time of romance, creativity, and a sense of oneness with the natural beauty of all that exists in the world. On a social or intimate level, things may run smoothly – even a bit magically! So be sure you are clear about what you really want. In terms of finances and material worth, this can be a time of blessings and abundance that could seem to appear out of nowhere. But be careful – it can also be a time of overspending and wondering where the money went! Your natural beauty and warmth shines through now, so it is a good time to peek out from behind any façade of glamour or illusion you might be cloaked in. You are likely to see the very best in others (and they in you), so that negotiation, interaction and attraction can seem to flow effortlessly. This magical attraction energy could also open you up to seeing wonderful qualities in others that may or may not actually be there, so do a reality check with a trusted friend before you make any important choices.

Jul.19 – Mercury Retrograde enters Cancer (until Aug.11)  (Jul.18 in HST, AKDT)

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.

Jul.21 – Venus opposite Pluto (21:43 of Cancer/Capricorn)  (Jul.20 in HST)

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.


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Jul.21 – Sun conjunct Mercury Retrograde (28:28 of Cancer)

When the Sun conjoins Mercury Retrograde, there is a new beginning in the areas of awareness, communication, use of information and exchange of ideas. This may or may not be heralded by a recognisable event or experience, although for a day or two your consciousness may shift. Your awareness and mental concentration may take a dip into the unconscious, becoming unusually murky and muddy, or it may rise into ultra-consciousness and become suddenly clear and lucid (afterwards returning to the usual Mercury retrograde fog). A new awareness or perspective on what has unfolded during the retrograde cycle thus far may surface now, or an unworkable attitude or perception of these events may fall apart under the weight of new information. This shift of awareness may be obvious or subtle, sudden or gradual, but this transit marks a turning point in the Mercury retrograde cycle. It also marks a time when mental awareness often goes further underground, for the rest of the retrograde period, making it a little harder to operate objectively and rationally in the outside world. Spend some time in your right-brain, intuitive, non-rational mind, which can coax your mental creativity and inventiveness to the surface.

Read my new article about the Mercury Retrograde Cycle in Cancer-Leo ~ Bridging Troubled Waters

Jul.22 – Sun enters Leo (until Aug.23)  (Jul.23 in 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.24 – Mercury Retrograde conjunct Venus (26:13 of Cancer)  (Jul.25 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.

Jul.25 – Mars trine Jupiter (14:57 of Leo/Sagittarius)

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

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Jul.27 – Venus enters Leo (until Aug.21)  (Jul.28 in UK, 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.28 – Sun trine Chiron (05:46 of Leo/Aries)  (Jul.29 in ADT, NDT, UK, AU)

This is a time when you may find that your recent efforts to mend and heal the chronic struggles in your life start to come together. You likely have the confidence now to try new solutions, or at least to approach problems from a different angle that sheds new light on the situation. Some of this progress may come from daring to walk your own path, or from finding the courage to face the hidden shadow of your worries and weaknesses (the hidden benefit that those worries give you). There may be a variety of different struggles and wounds in your life that could benefit from this kind of healing, although it can be tempting to let this transit pass by without taking advantage of it. Strive to reach a midpoint between merely dipping your toe in troubled waters and thinking that is enough, versus jumping in the deep end and marinating in it.

Jul.29 – Sun square Uranus (06:32 of Leo/Taurus)  (Jul.30 in UK, AU)

Your world may experience a bit of a shake-up right now, as the Universe decides it's time to make things "interesting." This is a wake-up call, designed to loosen you up from the ways you have become too habitual, stuck or inhibited. The "radical rascal" in you may be itching to come out and stir up trouble, which on one hand might be necessary but also very disruptive and possibly even destructive. Be alert to new insights and opportunities disguised as accidents or crises. Your usual sense of self and purpose may become somewhat unsettled right now, but a space is likely being cleared to make room for new growth and possibilities. If you're looking to break old habits or break free of old restrictions, this may be the time – but it could create a mess that you'll have to clean up later. Resist the urge to rebel just for the sake of doing something different, and aim instead to break free of old forms of self-expression and ideals that don't work for you anymore. Expect the unexpected and then surf the shock-wave.

Next Update:  NEW MOON in LEO. Available by July 31, 2019.

© 2019 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. OTHER CREDITS: Most or all of the quotes on this page were found at Illustration of Capricorn plate 25 in Urania's Mirror. Artist: Sydney Hall, 1825, via Wikimedia. Illustration for the fairytale "Magic Carpet" by Ivan Bilibin, via

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