The Low-Down on the Far-Out

Solar Eclipse in Cancer, June 21, 2020

Chart for the New Moon in Cancer
Chart for the Solar Eclipse ~ New Moon in Cancer

Solar Eclipse
New Moon in Cancer

You Gotta Feel it to Heal it

The emotion that can break your heart
is sometimes the very one that heals it...
~ Nicholas Sparks, At First Sight

Jun.21 – SOLAR ECLIPSE ~ NEW MOON in CANCER (00:21 of Cancer)

Happy Solstice Eclipse!! Eclipse season is always a wild ride to some extent, some more-so than others. This Solar Eclipse in Cancer—less than 12 hours after the Solstice—is a powerhouse with lots of turbulent energy. Now's the time to be prepared, so you can ride out the choppy waters and land safely on the other side.

If you're finding life a bit chaotic, intense and stormy lately, it's not surprising. The Solar Eclipse chart has 3 stationary planets (Mercury, Venus and Neptune), Saturn and the Sun and Moon at the 0 degree mark of their signs, and an Out of Bounds Moon (yes, even during an eclipse!). More on all of these below.

For now, let's start with Cancer and its ruling goddess, the Moon which are associated with family, belonging, nurturing and our "inner circle" of support and close connection. They represent our need for safety, security and sanctuary.

Cancer is very protective of those in that "inner circle" and can be hostile toward anyone or anything outside of the circle that might be a threat. This is the Momma Bear dynamic – you do not want to mess with her, especially if her young'uns are around.

In Cancer, we strive to take care of our loved ones, and to be taken care of by them. What we often don't learn until we become adults is that it's important to count ourselves in that "inner circle" that we feel compelled to protect. We often do this instinctively, unconsciously, through defense mechanisms, shutting down emotionally, hiding our true feelings, or becoming emotionally dependent on others whom we hope will take care of us.

As we mature, we learn that we can't always leave ourselves wide open or we become too vulnerable, easily hurt, gullible or so sensitive that it hurts. We start to consciously develop our own "inner parent" and find ways to take care of ourselves.

We come to recognize the situations that we can handle and others that make us feel like we've got no skin on, leaving us wounded and aching. We learn how to consciously set boundaries for ourselves that will give us the space we need to heal, recuperate and feel secure. And we develop the resilience necessary to let our hearts be broken in the name of love, caring, connection and humanity, without destroying ourselves in the process.

I'm so tired of the fear
That weighs us down with wrong assumptions
A broken heart's a natural function...
It's the human condition that keeps up apart,
Everybody's got a story that could break your heart.
~ Amanda Marshall, Everybody's Got a Story

The boundaries that Cancer and the Moon need typically involve calling upon Saturn and/or Mars. Saturn is our self-authority that can say No when we need to say No. And if we don't get the results we're looking for, we can always summon Mars to come out and growl at who or whatever is not heeding our boundary, pushing them back behind the line if necessary. Mars and Saturn may be considered the traditional "bad guys" – the "malefics" – but they are indispensable allies when it comes to keeping us safe and protected.

The traditional malefics (Mars and Saturn) not only snarl at the rest of the solar system, they tend to be archenemies with each other as well. They really don't see eye-to-eye on much. Mars is fast, Saturn is slow. Mars is hot, Saturn is cold. Mars is impulsive, Saturn is cautious. Mars looks for instant gratification, Saturn plays the long game. Mars wants to do what Mars wants to do, Saturn thinks everyone should do what Saturn thinks is best.

Mars aspects

Luckily, right now, Mars and Saturn are applying to a friendly sextile aspect (60°) which becomes exact on Jun.28 a mere 9 hours after Mars enters Aries.

The Mars-Saturn sextile remains within a 6° orb from Jun.19 to Jul.06, and while still applying (Jun.19-Jun.28), Mars is in Pisces and Saturn is in Aquarius, which means their signs are not exactly compatible. As a result, the cooperative sextile energy might be a bit awkward to bring into constructive focus. However, this changes when Mars enters Aries (Jun.27), at which time the sextile quickly becomes exact and ignites with a promising flash of potential.

For best results, do your homework to get prepared in the days leading up to Jun.28. Saturn typically rewards the well-prepared, and Mars needs something to do so he doesn't give up while waiting for Saturn's reward. So don't give up, and dare to have a little faith if you're not quite feeling the love before Mars gets into Aries.

In the meantime, Mars is exactly sextile Jupiter, which became exact the day before the eclipse but is still partile (same degree of their respective signs). This sextile is in compatible signs (Pisces and Capricorn) and Mars is in Jupiter's sign, so this energy is probably easier to access than the Saturn initially. At best, this combination gives the courage to act on your principles, doing what you feel is right in a contentious situation. However, it could also lead to overreaction and the rigid belief that everyone "should" adopt the same beliefs and ideals as you.

Mars is also sextile to Pluto (exact Jun.18), which can give tremendous powers of endurance and determination. At best, this is the energy you want when you're exhausted and need your second wind or an injection of willpower. On the other hand, there's a risk of forcing something to manifest that might not be ready to come together, and forcing the issue could possibly damage the opportunity. Use your better judgment about how far to push.

And of course, Jupiter is still closely conjunct Pluto, getting ready for their second of three conjunction on June 30. Although not yet back in Capricorn (Jul.01), Saturn continues in orb of conjunction with both Jupiter and Pluto.

These transits are with us all year and they provide a backdrop to everything else that's happening in the skies. Together, they are challenging us to deep change on a personal and collective level. Walk the walk of the principles and standards that we claim to have or aspire to. And open our minds to acknowledging and understanding the controversies, unfairness, and ineffective structures that we are carrying in our lives.

No one would have guessed that the jagged pieces
of our soul fit the puzzle in this box. We were
considered the left over remnants that had no place,
except the picture we wanted to create together.
~ Shannon L. Alder

The exact Mars-Saturn sextile takes place at 0° of Aries and Aquarius. The first degree of a sign carries raw, wide-open but undeveloped energy, and this adds extra strength to this transit. Since they are in orb at the Cancer Solar Eclipse, this potential becomes woven into the eclipse energy. And there are a few other reasons why the Mars-Saturn sextile is important.

Solar Eclipse quinxunx Saturn

First of all, the Solar Eclipse is also at 0° of Cancer, so at the moment of the eclipse the Sun and Moon are exactly quincunx to Saturn. This presents a very thorny conundrum in the chart. The quincunx aspect (150°) connects signs that have no qualities in common (element, modality, polarity), which puts both planets in each other's "blind spot" making it super hard for them to work together.

Put another way, quincunxes are like the misalignment of two surfaces – they look like they should be able to fit together, but they never quite line up correctly. So, when you go from one planet to the other, you bump and lurch over the uneven surface – it's anything but a smooth ride.

So, here we have our Cancer Solar Eclipse looking for some help with boundaries to keep our feelings, our loved ones, and our need for security all reliably safeguarded. The problem is that its best ally for this—Saturn—is in a very prickly, obscure relationship (quincunx). They're out of alignment, so their best combined potential gets all tangled up and therefore not very effective.

Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as
difficult as spending our lives running from it.
Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly
as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging
and joy—the experiences that make us the most
vulnerable. Only when we are brave enough
to explore the darkness will we discover
the infinite power of our light.
~ Brene Brown

Now: here's the thing with quincunxes. Even though the signs have nothing directly in common, you can often find an uncommon connection if you look outside the box, as it were. Quincunx aspects ask the impossible but can't be ignored – you can't get there from here, but somehow you have to at least try.

So, consider this: Cancer is about family, nurturing, feelings and intimate connection. Aquarius is about groups, friends, associates and the greater societal community. They seem as different as chalk and cheese. Archetypal Cancer has the need to feel cherished and surrounded by caring reassurance, and from that perspective Aquarius seems coldly impersonal and unfulfilling. Archetypal Aquarius has the need for space and freedom to roam the vast universe of ideas and experiences, and from that perspective Cancer seems stifling, claustrophobic and overly sensitive.

In Cancer, our family of origin was our original source of nurturing. It's where our instinctive need to belong first blossomed. Our family was our first encounter with the world beyond ourselves and our first experience with being part of a group. Whether our personal experience of this was good or bad, it nevertheless was our first baby-steps being part of a collective.

In Aquarius, as we grew, our encounters with groups expanded outside of our immediate family – our friends and buddies, our school classmates, working associates, and eventually the greater community and society at large.

In both of these signs, we have a need to belong-with or belong-to a group of like-minded others who share a sense of connection and common ground: one on a more intimate level, and the other on a more detached or abstract level. Cancer is our personal family and support system, and Aquarius shows our collective, societal family and support system.

So, the uneven quincunx between the solar eclipse and Saturn presents us with a challenge: How do we bridge the gap between the personal and the abstract? Between our feeling sense of who we are among loved ones and our conceptual vision of who we are in the greater scheme of things? Between our personal past (Cancer) and the collective future (Aquarius)?

The explosion of racism issues under the flag of "Black Lives Matter" that have ignited—in particular since May 25 triggered by the murder of George Floyd and many others, past and present—has brought up the question of who gets to be part of our "accepted" collective family. Historically, in Caucasian-dominant countries throughout the world, the answer has too often been that only those with white skin have unquestioned priority membership, while the status of pretty much everyone else is up for debate. The quest to correct the resulting social inequalities and injustices has been glacial, albeit with high points of progress here and there across the centuries

So, here we are again, confronting the issue of who gets to belong and who doesn't, and what that means. It's not just a case of membership in the collective whole, it's also about the subsequent division of everything from wealth to positive assumptions to choice of residential location to what constitutes fair interaction, and more. It's a vast, complex, thorny issue, with a long history of precedents and no shortage of differing, passionately-felt viewpoints. In this ongoing journey of a thousand steps, we are currently faced with taking the next one. It will take all the love, empathy, caring and open-hearted courage that we can muster.

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.
We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality,
tied in a single garment of destiny. 
Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.
~ Martin Luther King Jr., Letter from the Birmingham Jail

Solar Eclipse, Mars, Saturn

Getting back to the eclipse chart, there are a few more factors worth noting.

First, there's more to the Mars-Saturn sextile, which could breathe fresh energy into the eclipse. When this aspect becomes exact on Jun.28, both Mars and Saturn will be at 0° of their signs. Mars will be fortified by the exact sextile to Saturn, and will also be extra strong in its sign of feisty Aries.

When Mars sextile Saturn perfects on Jun.28, Mars will also be exactly square to the solar eclipse point (0° Cancer). This can rekindle the eclipse energy, as well as reviving the long Sun-Mars square that just ended (May.16-Jun.25). So, just as Sun-square-Mars seems to fade away, it could easily flare up again due to Mars' square to the eclipse point, which in turn will echo the 6-week-long Sun-Mars square energy. So it seems the Sun-Mars square doesn't really go away, but could reverberate for days, weeks or months after the eclipse.

If you've been able to put this Sun-Mars energy to productive, constructive use since mid-May, this could be a secondary wave that gives you an extra push to continue. On the other hand, if you've been wrung out by volatile energy (within yourself or outside of yourself), you'll need to draw courage from the learning you've acquired to guide you through the coming weeks. The good news is you'll get a second chance to make it work better for you.

Mars is often associated with the police, so it's not that surprising that the protests against racism and excessive police action rose up with the approaching Sun-Mars square, which was well within orb when George Floyd was killed. So, with Mars persistently impacting the astrological sky, I doubt we've seen the last of angry marches, nor of the controversial actions by police that have evoked protests worldwide. Besides fighting systemic racism, this Mars energy will no doubt see continued calls to redistribute some of the police funding to more healing-focused agencies, rather than taking a largely punishment-focused approach.

In addition, Saturn at 0° Aquarius is exactly the position where the upcoming Jupiter-Saturn conjunction will be. This happens on Dec.21 of this year—the Capricorn Solstice! Another indication of powerful momentum for change rising in 2020, including at this solstice eclipse.

You know what truly aches? Having so much inside you
and not having the slightest clue of how to pour it out.
~ Karen Quan, Write Like No One Is Reading

There are even more factors that make the eclipse itself an unusual and noteworthy one. For one thing, the Moon is Out of Bounds by declination for the eclipse. (You may be wondering how a perfectly aligned Sun and Moon can have the Moon's declination being higher than the Sun's. Check out my explanation below this article; see Moon goes Out of Bounds.)

The Moon began her 8-year Out of Bounds cycle back in March of this year. Since then, I've noticed that when the Moon goes OOB, people's emotions often seem to be elevated to a somewhat higher pitch. I noticed this as we were starting to come to terms with the COVID-19 risks and the lifestyle changes that became increasingly necessary to avoid infecting ourselves and others.

This also seems to happen during the current anti-racism protests – case in point: George Floyd was killed during the OOB Moon in late May (24-26)  when protests erupted to a higher pitch than before. And during the OOB Moon June 6-8, protests worldwide escalated into the action of tearing down of statues and monuments that were seen to symbolize systematic racism but had previously only been argued about.

Now we have another OOB Moon period (June 20/21 to 22/23) that begins with a powerful solar eclipse where the Moon is OOB. This could bring renewed escalation to protests against systemic racism and police brutality. On a more personal level, you may find it gets harder to resist getting swept up in the high-pitched emotions happening around you, either in your immediate environment or in the collective. Cancer's message is: take care of yourself; don't let yourself get flattened by what's happening.

Change has to be hard because you're fighting against inertia.
~ James Thornton

World Axis

In addition, the fact that the eclipse is at 0° Cancer is also remarkable! The last solar eclipse at that degree was on the June Solstice 2½ months before 9/11. This, of course, led to radical disruption of just about every corner of our lives, and the ripple effects are still felt today 19 years later. Anything happening on the world axis—0° of the Cardinal signs: Aries, Cancer, Libra or Capricorn—tends to have a dramatic and powerful effect, so it's not surprising that the 2001 eclipse would have such extreme effects. Will this 0° Cancer eclipse have such dramatic effects? I'd say we're already seeing it.

Now: before you start thinking, "Ya but eclipses at 0° Cardinal probably happen all the time, right?" They don't! There are other eclipses at 0° but very few in Cardinal signs. So it turns out it's very rare for a solar eclipse to happen on the world axis. The last one specifically at 0° Cancer prior to 2001 was 1648! And we won't see another one until 2039. Even a search for eclipses at 0° of any Cardinal sign shows very few – we have to back to 1889 (that one in Capricorn) or forward to 2033 (in Libra).

So, it really is special that we have yet another solar eclipse at 0° Cancer. The fact that social justice issues are erupting so intensely right now is significant. It points to a time of vital change both on a collective level and a personal level, when you have access to more energy and momentum than usual. It's not exactly a walk in the garden, but it can be a time of profound change—for better or worse!

This is a time when you can make meaningful changes in your life and in yourself. Taking place in Cancer, this touches on how you handle your feelings, what triggers upset in you and why. It's about who you accept as part of your family – your actual personal family, your chosen family of loved ones and significant others, and even your extended humanitarian family in the world.

Perhaps you might reconsider an old grudge with an estranged member of your family-of-origin. Or you could rekindle an intimate connection with someone you've drifted away from in your adult family-of-choice. You might try on a new perspective of how you see others in the world whom you had dismissed or ignored, and see a new commonality you had missed.

On the other hand, you might find you are increasingly upset by controversy involving those whom you prefer to exclude from your circle of "okay" people. If so, it might point to a discrepancy between how you see yourself and your attitudes versus how you really feel about those situations. With such a precise quincunx between the eclipse and Saturn, this could reveal inconsistencies between what you think you think and what you actually think.

When you come out of the storm,
you won’t be the same person who walked in.
That’s what this storm’s all about.
~ Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the Shore

Last but not least, we have 3, count 'em, three stationary planets! There's more about them below this article, but here's the summary.

Mercury turned retrograde on June 18, just 3 days before the eclipse and is still moving very slowly. Mercury will be in trickster-mode until July 12. The whole time Mercury remains in Cancer, so this is an opportunity to become more aware of your feelings, how you express your feelings (or not), and perhaps discover hidden emotional needs and yearning for close connection, or maybe a wish to step back from others to give yourself some alone-time space. (For more about the Mercury station, see Jun.18, and my article on Mercury Retrograde.)

Stationary planets

Venus finally turns direct on June 25, just 4 days after the eclipse, having been retrograde since May 13. Venus remains in the shadow until July 29. Venus and Mars have had a very complicated relationship this year, which has followed the different phases of Venus' retrograde cycle. (For more about this, see Jun.05, and my article on Venus Retrograde.)

Venus going direct seems to coincide with increased loosening of social restrictions, so you may find you're looking forward to seeing friends and loved ones again. But watch out for that entanglement with Mars, which could harbour impulses to do too much too fast. Keep staying safe, and remember that you've probably been able to maintain social connections despite the limitations, so it's good to remind yourself of that when you feel the urge to throw COVID caution to the wind.

And Neptune turns retrograde on June 23, just 2 days after the eclipse, and stays retrograde until Nov. 28. This casts an aura of confusion, magic and mysticism over the eclipse. On one hand, it might melt the boundaries between clarity and chaos, but it might also bring a sense of idealized purpose and a vision of a better world to reach for over the long-term.

If you are always trying to be normal,
you will never know how amazing you can be.
~ Maya Angelou

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After experiencing and witnessing the fury, outrage and grief that the last few weeks have brought—what's next?? Cancer is a Water sign, which is about feelings, emotions, vulnerability and sensitivity. You might be feeling a bit raw, overwhelmed, emotionally exhausted and battle-fatigued. By all means, do what you need to do to take care of yourself, but if possible, don't just shut down.

It's natural to just want things to "go back to normal" but that's not likely to happen as much as you might hope. Or maybe you're hoping that all this turmoil will lead to a new normal. There's definitely new energy rising and it's important to work with it and figure out how it's impacting you and what you are called to do about it and with it.

So, as much as you can, stay in your feelings, stay in the struggle. Pay attention. Check in what your empathy, what is it telling you? Read – find books and articles and social media posts that help you understand and come to terms with what you're seeing and experiencing.

Use Mercury retrograde to rediscover what you didn't know, and maybe what you didn't even know you didn't know. There are many layers of information, learning, understanding, perspective, and impact (emotional, spiritual, mental and physical). Take it in bitesize chunks, if you need to, but don't just run away from the table.

This is happening on a collective level, but it's also affecting you on a personal level. For best results, process it on both levels – how you usually see the world and your place in it, as well as how you feel facing this changing world and the adjustments you'll be making.

In healing circles, they say you gotta feel it to heal it. So remember that this can be a time of healing, not just ripping open old wounds. That applies to each of us as individuals as well as collectively as a sociaty. You gotta feel the sorry, the anger, the grief, the fear and the hope in order to heal it. You can't heal what you don't acknowledge, and you can't truly acknowledge something if you don't include how you feel about it.

So trust the process and stay open as much as you can. And especially, stay safe—there's still a pandemic out there! Wear a mask, wash your hands, keep your distance. We'll get there.

The human heart has a way of making itself large again
even after it's been broken into a million pieces.
~ Robert James Waller, The Bridges of Madison County

Day to Day Transits for the Next 2 Weeks

Jun.21 – Moon goes Out of Bounds (29:09 Gemini to 24:38 Cancer; OOB until Jun.22)  (Jun.07 in AU)   ("What does Out of Bounds mean?"   "What is Declination?")

The Moon goes Out of Bounds (OOB) by Declination, during which time your feelings and emotions may be a bit stronger than usual. You might feel a little separated from the world around you, and as a result you might feel a bit lonely or in need of some reassuring human contact. On the other hand, this detachment might be a welcome change if you're feeling a bit stressed or overwhelmed by the energy around you and need some time out. Or, you may find it's time to go your own way a bit more, to seek your own company or search for a more supportive environment. Your creativity and imagination might be more willing to follow unusual ideas, whims and impulses.

A planet goes OOB when its declination is greater than 23:26 (23 degrees and 26 minutes), which is the maximum declination of the Sun, and the Sun defines the Bounds. In 2020, the Moon's maximum declination finally goes beyond the Bounds in March, for the first time since 2011, and will continue to go OOB until January 2030.

For now, the Moon's maximum declination increases very gradually each month, and only gets to 24:52 by December 2020 (compared to her maximum declination of 28:34, which she'll reach in 2025). So, in 2020 the Moon is only a little OOB and this energy might not be very noticeable until around September. On the other hand, the OOB periods can be a time when your emotional reactions may be somewhat more amplified than usual. In any case, if you have the Moon or other planets OOB in your natal chart, you might be more sensitive to this energy.

SIDEBAR FOR ASTRO-GEEKS:
How can the Moon be OOB during a Solar Eclipse??

At the Solar Eclipse, the Moon's declination is 23N33, which is Out of Bounds. This might seem counter-intuitive, if not impossible.

[1] The Sun's maximum declination defines the bounds, which is 23:26.
[2] The Sun at Solstice—and for this eclipse—is at its maximum declination.
[3] The annular Solar Eclipse is where the Moon is perfectly aligned with the Sun – entirely encased inside the disc of the Sun, leaving only the dramatic "ring of fire" around the outside.

So, how can the Moon's declination be higher than the Sun at the moment of the eclipse??

The answer lies in the parallax effect, which calculates the Moon's declination from a specific location on the surface of the Earth. However, for the Low-Down on the Far-Out, I use non-parallax Moon calculations because then it's not geared to any one location, but averages it out to everywhere on Earth.

The location of the maximum eclipse is approximately in Dehradun, Uttarakhand, India, which has a geographic latitude of 30N19. However, the non-parallax Moon for this eclipse is calculated at 23N26—the position where the Sun is, viewed from the centre of the Earth. But calculated that way, the Moon's declination comes to 23:33 which puts it slightly north of the Sun's declination and therefore OOB.

However, if we calculate the eclipse's parallax Moon from Dehradun, its declination matches the Sun's (23:26). That makes sense, since the Sun and Moon are aligned perfectly at that location at the maximum eclipse moment.

So, the Moon can appear Out of Bounds for an eclipse if it's calculated without the parallax adjustment. If we consider the non-parallax declination to be a kind of "average" position, which applies to everywhere on Earth, then it's possible to have an OOB Moon for an eclipse.

In general, the OOB effects are likely to be felt worldwide to some extent. However, in places where the parallax Moon would be calculated as OOB (south of geographic latitude 30N19, in this case), it's possible that the Out-of-Bounds effect, as well as the eclipse itself, might be experienced more intensely than in locations where the parallax Moon is In-Bounds (north of 30N19 for this eclipse).

Diagram of OOB Moon at the Solar Eclipse
The Out of Bounds Moon at the Solar Eclipse
Parallax Moon at Eclipse location
Parallax Moon for maximum Eclipse location

Jun.23 – Neptune Stationary Retrograde (20:57 of Pisces; Rx until Nov.28)  (Jun.22 in HAST, AKDT, PDT, MDT, CDT)  ("What's a Station?"  "What does Retrograde mean?"  Read more about Retrograde planets.)

For up to a week before and after this date, you may feel a thick concentration of Neptune energy. This could include vivid dreams and imagination, foggy confusion or fluid intuition. You might experience unusual sensitivity to the people and situations around you. The station could create a turning point in situations that have unfolded over the last few months, especially those in which you need to surrender to something greater than yourself, whether that is the creative process, a stressful situation or the Universe in general. This can be a time when you come to an internal acceptance (or resignation) about what needs to be done in your life. As a result, you might feel a sense of longing, dissatisfaction, disappointment, sadness, depression, fatigue or low energy. Or, you might feel a sense of unburdening relief, inspiration, hopeful possibilities or deep beauty. The next 5-6 months will be a time to probe the spaces in between the facts and the uncertainties – to learn about that force greater than yourself, as well as the (unconscious) part of yourself that longs to merge with it.

Jun.25 – Venus Stationary Direct (05:20 of Gemini; Direct until Dec.19.2021)  (Jun.24 in HAST, AKDT, PDT)  ("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 before and after this date, you may experience or witness a shifting of energy affecting finances, relationships, love, resources, values pleasure, beauty, harmony and/or balance. Situations or issues related to these areas that have been occupying your attention during the past 6-7 weeks (while Venus has been retrograde) may reach a turning point now. It is a time when decisions and choices could be made—perhaps out of necessity.

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

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

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

Here are the key dates of this Venus cycle (for North American Eastern Time):

Jun.26 – Mars square North Lunar Node (29:05 of Pisces/Gemini)  ("What's a Lunar Node?")

For a week or so, it might feel like the actions you must take to deal with current circumstances are at cross purposes to what you see as your higher purpose or optimal direction in life. You might feel at odds with others, or in the wrong place at the wrong time. On the other hand, this can be a time when being forced to take a temporary "detour" off your chosen path can bring an opportunity to gather new resources, information or insight that can actually help you more, in the long run, than if you had stayed on the main path. However, there's never any one way to experience a given transit. The question becomes: is veering off the main path something that enables you to avoid something you should be facing? Or is does this detour bring you to a new perspective or resources that you are resisting because it's off the main path? Either way, it's a good idea to balance your impulses and passions with mindful awareness.

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Jun.27 – Mars enters Aries (until Jan.06.2021)

Mars is in his own sign while in Aries, which stokes the fires of passion, enthusiasm, drive, and a pioneering spirit. Assertive, decisive action can come more easily now...but then, so can anger and conflict. This is a good time to initiate new projects and activities, and move old projects forward, taking advantage of the courage and daring that is in the air now. However, the results will be better if you are able to channel this energy through a focused goal, rather than going on impulse alone. The tendency to take risks is also high right now, which can be a mixed blessing. It's best to avoid complications and problems that can arise from being reckless or irresponsible, but do use this energy to muster the courage to take pre-planned action.

Mars stays in Aries for just over 6 months! That's practically a lifetime considering the average time Mars spends in each sign is 1½ to 2 months. The reason is that Mars is winding up to go Retrograde in Aries (Sep.09 to Nov.13), so Mars will remain in Aries until January of next year. That means you'll have access to a lot of passionate, enthusiastic and potentially volatile energy as this year progresses. If you channel it into a long-term project or improving your anger management, it can be a productive and rewarding year.

Jun.28 – Mars sextile Saturn (00:13 of Aries/Aquarius)

There is an opportunity to harness the energy of willpower using practical discipline. Your physical and mental energy are likely to be stable and enduring, or else they can become this way more easily than usual by applying a sustained focus of effort. This is a great transit if you need to be productive or to make progress in a goal that you are working toward. The thing to watch out for is a tendency to be over-cautious to the point where you get stuck in the planning stage and don't get much done. Or, you might try to rush into the production phase before your plans are fully formed. This transit works best when these areas are brought into balance.

There is a lot of significance to this transit! See the article for the Solar Eclipse in Cancer at the top of this page for more about this.

Jun.30 – Jupiter conjunct Pluto (24:06 of Capricorn)  (Jun.29 in HAST, AKDT, PDT, MDT)

You are being challenged to embrace and accept both the best and the worst in yourself and in life. Jupiter brings a love of freedom, knowledge, potential and justice. Pluto brings a love of power, domination, transformation and the need to accept things beyond your control. When these two planets join forces, you can get everything from learning to use power in an ethical, principled way, to finding a new philosophy of life based on your true inner passion, to having a crisis of faith as you are forced to reconsider what you believe and make adjustments according to how your life has changed in the last 13 years (since the last Jupiter-Pluto conjunction).

This is the second of 3 passes of this transit: Apr.04, Jun.30, Nov.12. This is a good time to review the beliefs, assumptions, biases and judgments that you've noticed coming up in your perceptions and feelings over the last couple of year, and this year especially. There is likely a lot more depth and baggage underneath what you've observed on the surface, so this is the time to dig deeper and find out what's driving them underneath. That's not to say these feelings are necessarily toxic, but that the transforming process you're in this year is now in its second phase. That transformation (Pluto) might involve shedding old ideas and perspectives that are only getting in the way of a clearer understanding about what you're facing. Or it might mean you are starting to wake up to a broader awareness of who you are, what your life purpose is, and what the world around you can—and can't—offer to help you do that.

This rare transit only happens about every 12-13 years. In the past it happened in 1906 (Gemini), 1918 (early Cancer), 1931 (late Cancer), 1943 (early Leo), 1955-56 (late Leo), 1968 (Virgo), 1981 (Libra), 1994 (Scorpio), 2007 (Sagittarius), 2020 (Capricorn).

Jun.30 – Sun square Chiron (09:23 of Cancer/Aries)  (Jul.01 in AU)

Your self-confidence and patience may be a bit strained right now, stretched by the urge to break free of chronic constraints. Motivation and self-esteem may seem to sag and suffer from old problems that you thought were resolved. This is probably because you are seeing "the flaws in the system" that are preventing you from getting the results you want. It will help to take a fresh approach to your situation. You may need to let go of what you think the results "should be" or how they should come to you. Be open to getting what you want in a different form than you were expecting. You may have to work extra hard for results now, especially if it means having to find a different route to success. If it seems like a door of opportunity has closed, look for an unexpected advantage or hidden alternative. This could allow you to tap into other opportunities that wouldn't have been possible otherwise.

Jun.30 – Mercury Rx sextile Uranus (09:51 of Cancer/Taurus)  (Jul.01 in AU)

There is potential for brilliance and excitement under this transit. You may be more spontaneous, upbeat and eccentric than usual. If you are used to a fairly predictable lifestyle, it is a time when you may be inspired to experiment with something out of character. If you are used to being whacky, zany and impulsive, this transit can provide opportunities to express this. You may have an increased ability to "think outside the box" if you stretch your mind a little, and there is the possibility of having an "ah-ha!" experience, when answers and realisations fall into place. There is also the possibility of being mentally restless, so that it's hard to slow down your thoughts or apply yourself seriously to your responsibilities. Your attention span may be a bit short for a couple of days. This energy can be used to consider new ideas that seemed outlandish or impossible before, and see new potential in them.

Jun.30 – Sun conjunct Mercury Rx (09:44 of Cancer)  (Jul.01 in NDT, UK, AU)

When the Sun conjoins Mercury Retrograde, a new Mercury cycle begins that unfolds until the next Mercury Rx conjunct the Sun (about 4 months from now). You may notice something new or different in the areas of awareness, conversation, information and ideas, and your understanding of this will develop throughout the coming Mercury cycle. This may or may not be heralded by a recognisable event or experience, although for a day or two your consciousness may shift. Your thoughts and mental concentration may take a dip into the unconscious, becoming unusually murky and muddy, or perhaps rise into ultra-consciousness and become suddenly clear and lucid (afterwards returning to the usual Mercury retrograde fog). New insight or perspective about 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 light of new information. This shift in awareness could be obvious or subtle, sudden or gradual, but this transit marks a turning point in the retrograde cycle. It also marks a time when your consciousness often goes further underground for the rest of the retrograde period, which could make it a little harder to operate objectively and rationally in the outside world. So, spend some time in your right-brain, intuitive, non-rational mind – write down your dreams, immerse yourself in music and art, listen to how you talk to yourself in your mind, and take a moment to just observe your surroundings. These things can invite your mental creativity and inventiveness to come out and play.

MERCURY CAZIMI TIMES (0:17 orb)
PlaceZoneBeginsEnds
AmericasHSTJun.30, 11:30 AMJun.30, 08:14 PM
AKDTJun.30, 02:30 PMJun.30, 11:14 PM
PDTJun.30, 03:30 PMJul.01, 12:14 AM
MDTJun.30, 04:30 PMJul.01, 01:14 AM
CDTJun.30, 05:30 PMJul.01, 02:14 AM
EDTJun.30, 06:30 PMJul.01, 03:14 AM
ADTJun.30, 07:30 PMJul.01, 04:14 AM
NDTJun.30, 08: PMJul.01, 04:44 AM
UKBSTJun.30, 11:30 PMJul.01, 08:14 AM
AUAESTJul.01, 08:30 AMJul.01, 05:14 PM

Here are the key dates of this Mercury cycle (for North American Eastern Time):

The peak period of Mercury conjunct the Sun is when they are within 17 minutes of arc (or some say within 1 degree), which lasts roughly 14-20 hours when Mercury is direct, or 5-8 hours when retrograde. This is called being Cazimi, meaning "in the heart of the Sun." When any planet is Cazimi, it is said to be unusually strong – being in the eye of the storm, so to speak – and can potentially be used to great advantage (for better or worse).

In the case of Mercury, your perceptions, awareness, ideas, and ability to put your thoughts into words may have a strong impact, being unusually clear, focused or direct. It is recommended that you use wisdom and good judgment, since an extra sharp wit during this time could possibly have negative consequences, intended or not. Since Mercury is Retrograde, these increased Mercury qualities are likely to be especially intuitive or creative in nature than analytical or logical. Pay attention to your dreams, as they will probably reveal messages from your deep unconscious.

Jul.01 – Sun sextile Uranus (09:52 of Cancer/Taurus)  (Jun.30 in HAST, AKDT, PDT)

You are more open than usual to spontaneity, surprises and "flying by the seat of your pants!" Your sense of humour and fun are more finely tuned during this transit, as is your ability to break out of old outworn habits. It's a great time to try new things and experiment with something that's out of character for you. In fact, it may be surprising how easy it is to break out of your usual routine...so much so that it's good to be careful not to be too reckless under this transit. Just have fun pushing the envelope! You may also find you want things to be spontaneous and new and out-of-the-ordinary so much that it's hard not to feel restless and dissatisfied with ordinary life right now. But remember that trying to plan spontaneity defeats the purpose of the exercise. And if you are hungering for something new but can't seem to find something satisfying, try digging a little deeper to see what is driving that hunger from inside you. You could find surprising answers.

Jul.01 – Mercury Retrograde square Chiron (09:23 of Cancer/Aries)  (Jul.02 in AU)

Your mental focus and perceptions may feel a bit strained right now. You could find yourself locked in a struggle of indecision that stems from a "glass half empty" versus "glass half full" dilemma. It may be difficult to stay objective and evenly balanced in your perspective, but by working with this you could also find a new mental focus that gives you increased clarity. It might be tempting to sink into cynicism as a way to deal with what seems like a no-win situation. On the other hand, this transit could bring your mental perspective to a kind of "healing crisis" that forces you to get a better grip on the ideas, communication and frame of mind that have been problematic for you. Instead of reaching for extremes (hoping this will clarify the path in front of you), it will help more if you can take a few steps back to allow all the conflicting and out-of-sync elements to coexist together – creative paradox. If you have been in denial about something, this could be a turning point that allows you to grapple with the complex reality of your situation.

Jul.01 – Saturn enters Capricorn (until Dec.17)  (Jul.01 in UK, AU)

Saturn is very strong while in Capricorn because it is that sign's planetary ruler. Saturn, the planet of structure, planning, goals and manifestation, is in the sign of....same things! This is a time when you could reap what you have sown, whether that is rewards for hard work and good planning, or consequences related to poor judgment or insufficient "elbow grease." It's also a good time to lay out plans for what to do next, as a continuation from whatever occurs while Saturn is in Capricorn. You may have to take on additional responsibility, be put in a position of authority, or you might have to deal with someone else in a role of authority. In any of these possibilities, if you tend to have "authority issues" this could prove to be a difficult time. However, it can also give you a chance to try responding in different ways, or to understand better why authority is such a sensitive area for you.

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Life could feel a bit serious and heavy under Saturn in Capricorn. If you have a tendency to depression or low energy, this could aggravate it somewhat. It's not usually a time for kicking up your heels and dancing for joy, but that doesn't mean you can't have fun or be happy. Things will usually work better if you get your work done first. Don't be too hard on yourself, but it will help to do your best to avoid procrastinating too much. Progress is likely to be slow but steady, especially if you keep working at whatever needs to be done. To keep your spirits up and support your resolve, celebrate your small victories and acknowledge the small steps you make along the path. If others are helping you or doing work for you, be sure you give them a pat on the back and appreciate their efforts too. Take it one step at a time.

Saturn is in Capricorn from 1900-1903, 1929-1932, 1959-1962, 1988-1991, 2017-2020 and 2047-2050.

Jul.03 – Moon goes Out of Bounds (29:09 Sagittarius to 24:32 Capricorn; OOB until Jul.05)  (Jun.04 in ADT, NDT, UK, AU)   ("What does Out of Bounds mean?"   "What is Declination?")

The Moon goes Out of Bounds (OOB) by Declination, during which time your feelings and emotions may be a bit stronger than usual. You might feel a little separated from the world around you, and as a result you might feel a bit lonely or in need of some reassuring human contact. On the other hand, this detachment might be a welcome change if you're feeling a bit stressed or overwhelmed by the energy around you and need some time out. Or, you may find it's time to go your own way a bit more, to seek your own company or search for a more supportive environment. Your creativity and imagination might be more willing to follow unusual ideas, whims and impulses.

A planet goes OOB when its declination is greater than 23:26 (23 degrees and 26 minutes), which is the maximum declination of the Sun, and the Sun defines the Bounds. In 2020, the Moon's maximum declination finally goes beyond the Bounds in March, for the first time since 2011, and will continue to go OOB until January 2030.

For now, the Moon's maximum declination increases very gradually each month, and only gets to 24:52 by December 2020 (compared to her maximum declination of 28:34, which she'll reach in 2025). So, in 2020 the Moon is only a little OOB and this energy might not be very noticeable until around September. On the other hand, the OOB periods can be a time when your emotional reactions may be somewhat more amplified than usual. In any case, if you have the Moon or other planets OOB in your natal chart, you might be more sensitive to this energy.

NEXT UPDATE:
FULL MOON IN TAURUS
Available by October 31, 2020.

© 2020 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 GoodReads.com. Illustration of Zodiac Sign by Natalia Hubbert, via 123rf.com. Image of peace flag by Maria Oswalt, via Unsplash.com.


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