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Dear Friend and Reader:
As the northern solstice approaches and the Sun comes to an apparent halt along the horizon, the planets are making many moves. Among them is Mercury in Gemini pushing into a 90-degree meeting (a square) with Neptune in Pisces, exact Tuesday.
This is part of the current retrograde cycle that is still working itself out. It’s the third of three Mercury-Neptune squares associated with the recent Mercury retrograde.
Mercury square Neptune illustrates the question of what is true and what is not. Both planets are strong in their signs, with Mercury in Gemini (classical ruler) and Neptune in Pisces (modern ruler). Neither has an advantage over the other; seen one way, the square is a kind of stalemate. And that is how it is with truth and lies in our society.
This third and final contact of the square also describes some kind of resolution or gaining of clarity. It could represent gaining sufficient information to make a decision. It is, in any event, a turning point in whatever this extended Mercury retrograde phase has represented for you, and in particular anything involving the square.
In our culture, truth and illusion seem to meet one another as if they have equal value. There are philosophies that say there is no need to bother with a distinction. In a sense they can assert themselves in consciousness with similar emphasis, though it would seem that the agenda of deception has more purveyors than any agenda of truth. To say there’s no such thing as truth clearly serves one agenda and not the other.
Taking this discussion out of the abstract realm and into the pragmatic, the issue seems to be one of applying discernment. Even if we only need to reach the place of true enough, or true for me now, or true as far as I can tell, or this is what the data points to, there is a difference.
To see that difference, it’s necessary to apply discernment. You might say that Mercury square Neptune both demands extra discernment and at the same time makes it difficult to have any.
Seen another way, the aspect can act like Chiron, which might provoke a crisis when clarity is needed. It’s just that with Mercury and Neptune engaging one another as they are, it may be a subtle crisis, evading easy detection, definition or expression. This is a slippery aspect, the kind where you need to throw sand on the floor so your feet can keep a grip.
Other aspects in the chart are helping us to power through the misty quality of the square; for example, the ongoing conjunction of the Sun and Mars in Gemini. That’s helping to burn off some of the fog.
The Sun and Mars are helping by making contrasts more visible, though you have to be careful — you might have the sensation of turning your high beams on along a fog-covered road, and see your own light reflected back to you. Right now it’s dry heat we need more than light, and I would say that the Sun and Mars in Gemini count as hot and dry.
Clouds photographed from over China. Photo by Axel Rouvin.
When in doubt, subtract the emotional component and try to focus on a reasoning process. Logic is a useful tool now. Use it if you get confused. Break things down to individual steps and make sure they lead to the goal you want. If you don’t have a goal, you might need one.
When the Sun reaches solstice on Sunday (at 12:38 pm EDT or 16:38 UTC), Mars will be in degree 29 of Gemini, conjunct fixed star Betelgeuse. I call this the Atlantis Degree for a number of reasons that you can read about in this article from 2011 called Here at the Edge of the World.
I have no special prediction here, just the suggestion to be aware that this placement sends a surge of energy through a diversity of charts that are linked together by that one degree.
Among them are the Sept. 11 incident, the Boxing Day tsunami of 2004, WikiLeaks, the Fukushima quake and nuclear meltdowns, the Titanic and a few others. This is indeed a very strange phenomenon and it took me about 10 years to figure out what was going on. If you’re curious about this I do suggest you read the piece I just mentioned, Here at the Edge of the World.
The solstice means that the Sun has entered the first degree of Cancer. This in turn lights up the Aries Point, that group of zodiac positions in ‘hard’ aspect to the first degree of Aries, where our zodiac begins. [Note that the Aries Point therefore comprises a group of eight separate degrees — the first degree of each of the cardinal signs Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn; and the exact midpoints of Taurus, Leo, Scorpio and Aquarius. They are all sensitive to Aries Point effects.]
I often look to emphasis on the Aries Point for some kind of external event that provokes ‘personal is political’ consciousness. Under this astrology, we might be looking more at a ‘political is personal’ scenario — opening up to more personal involvement from currently unfolding events.
Today I bumped into one of my consulting clients in town, and she said she woke up worrying about the 2016 election. She can’t really do much about it personally, though her concern shows that she’s allowing her mind to go to the transpersonal level. This remains a choice. What you allow into your awareness is, to a large degree, a personal decision. And there may be something beyond the individual level trying to get your attention.
Minor Planets in the Solstice Chart
When the Sun ingresses Cancer, it’s making exact (less than one degree) aspects to four minor planets. It will be conjunct Pandora, from whose box sprang all the problems in the world, and also hope. To my mind, hope is one of those problems, and I would suggest that the themes false hope and abandoning hope in favor of something more tangible are valid here.
The Sun is opposite Chariklo (a centaur planet), which is about abiding with and abiding love. The water-nymph wife of Chiron, Chariklo remained present with him through the long struggle that followed his injury. She was therefore also present for the compounding of innumerable remedies and could be considered a partner in the healing process. Chariklo has some resonance with Vesta as a holder of space and of purpose.
An opening in rain-bearing clouds over Queensland, Australia. Photo by Senator via Wikimedia Commons.
The Cancer Sun is also square the asteroid Amor in Aries. Amor can represent the conditions placed on unconditional love. This is to say that all love has conditions, though when that fact is denied, it’s time to study what those conditions are. This term may extend to environmental factors, which certainly influence the ‘condition’ of things.[Personally I am guarded about the term ‘unconditional love’, as it seems to exist most often as a theoretical romantic state rather than a real-world one. In the quantum universe, anything can and must exist. My point is that most of the time there are indeed conditions and we need to know what they are so we can address them.]
Amycus, a long-period centaur, is conjunct Chariklo in Capricorn, opposite the Sun. According to minor planet researcher Marc Andrew Holmes, Amycus “seems to indicate the proper way to treat people; the consequences of not doing so; innocent victims of violence or getting caught up in violence (‘when elephants fight, the grass suffers’).”
So we have a description here of the conditions that surround relationships, and which influence the potential for feeling safe and nourished (Cancer-related themes). I believe that these things are worth careful study. Relationships all involve contracts, whether spoken or not; whether understood or not; whether ‘conscious’ or not. Mercury square Neptune is guidance to look closely at the specifics of those agreements, many of which you may need to identify by inference.
Among those conditions are the constant threat of violence (Mars-related) and the obsession with money (one perspective on Venus and Jupiter in Leo).
We might say that the creation of a safe space begins to be real where money matters have been set aside or addressed, and where there is no threat of violence.
Saturn Returns To Scorpio
After two years in Scorpio, Saturn ingressed Sagittarius on Dec. 23, 2014. It stationed retrograde in Sagittarius on March 14, and on June 14 retrograded back into Scorpio. It will be there until it re-enters Sagittarius on Sept. 17. (To see a Saturn ephemeris, visit this link.)
Saturn will now be spending three months in Scorpio, which looks like an opportunity to clear up and resolve certain financial and sexual matters dating back to the beginning of the Saturn in Scorpio era, which began in late 2012.
Cumulus clouds from the Boson University resource for first-graders.
When retrograde Saturn ingressed Scorpio this week, it did so making an opposition to a slow-moving point called Admetus. A hypothetical point (that is, a planet with no body), Admetus represents blockages and any effort to clear them.
It can also represent both delays and biding one’s time. So the use of time, and the use of delays, is a factor with Admetus, as is understanding the nature of obstacles within time.
It’s interesting that Saturn, the traditional lord of matters involving time, is in this encounter with a modern point that describes and refines the same themes.
If there seems to be something unusually stuck, Saturn’s presence may help to break it free. Saturn is a dependable agent of progress. Admetus is a reminder not to force the issue, and also to be aware of various forms of shunning or avoidance.
There is the implication here that Saturn’s three-month return to Scorpio is calling for slow, steady work. Scorpio’s presence indicates that sexual matters are involved. These tend to respond better to the setting of clear intentions and to gentle persistence.
Mercury square Neptune in the equation describes the sensation of isolation. With the world more crowded than ever and everyone more interconnected than ever, it’s some wonder that people are still dealing with loneliness.
This is partly a matter of the individual mind that has the experience, and partly the obsession, with social conformity and its results, which include in-group bias and various forms of shunning.
I would propose that under the influence of the solstice chart, we’ll get to look at these issues closely between now and the next major stop, the Libra equinox.
It will help immensely to see through or clear away the clouds of the mind.
P.S. Please note that this week’s horoscopes have been written by Len Wallick, who has graciously filled in for me. I will be back with a reading of the solstice chart with the July monthly horoscope next week.
Planet Waves (ISSN 1933-9135) is published each Tuesday morning and Thursday afternoon in Kingston, New York, by Planet Waves, Inc. Annual basic subscription rate: $97/year. Core community membership: $197/year. Editor and Publisher: Eric Francis Coppolino. Web Developer: Anatoly Ryzhenko. Office Manager: Lauren Gdovin. Astrology Editor: Amanda Painter. Astrology Fact Checker: Len Wallick. Copy Editor and Fact Checker: Jessica Keet. Client Services: Amy Elliott, Lisa Gatto. Media Consultant: Andrew Marshall McLuhan. Research, Writing and Editing: In addition to those listed above, Planet Waves is produced by a team consisting of Fe Bongolan, Judith Gayle, Kelly Janes, Amanda Moreno, Carol van Strum, Len Wallick, Lizanne Webb and Chad Woodward.
Cancer Solstice Chart as a Solar Return — Cancer Birthday Summary
Dear Cancer Reader:
I thought I would offer a few ideas on the Cancer chart as a solar return chart — that is, as an indicator of your upcoming four seasons (actually more, because this chart points far into the future).
The first image that emerges is that of Mars in late Gemini when the Sun has ingressed Cancer. That places Mars in the 12th house, where it can represent fear, hesitancy or the question of where your drive and determination went. There’s no shortage of energy in your chart. To the contrary, you have an abundance of it, but Mars in the 12th can reveal the question of connecting with your drive.
Image by Lizanne Webb.
Here’s the thing. Mars is hanging out at 28+ Gemini — a very strange degree of the zodiac. It shows up in many historic charts.
There’s a fixed star there (an actual star, rather than a planet) and that fixed star is associated with things going well. We see it in news charts as bad things that went well. You can apply this factor yourself.
To do so, you will need to do two things. One is consciously connect with your ambition. The other is to connect with your fear, which could be anxiety or hesitation or even, in the rare moment, panic. Your chart illustrates fear as energy, which you can then re-apply and use in a creative way.
Ok, that covers thing one. Thing two involves Aries, your solar 10th house. That’s the house of achievement, and of reputation. It’s the most extraverted house, because to use this house you must take a chance and assert your leadership and your authority in some way.
There are two stories developing here. One is that Vesta has recently entered Aries, where it’s going to be for a while due to a retrograde, which spans from Aug. 12 through Nov. 13. Vesta finally leaves Aries in March 2016. This is a VERY long time for an asteroid to be in such a prominent house, and the message of this placement is obsession with service. In a phrase, that is your key to success. You must do what you do to do it, and make sure that it serves who it can serve.
There is another story in your 10th — an even more momentous conjunction between Uranus and Eris. These two planets in Aries are an old story, but their joining forces is a new one. The message is that you’re poised to contribute something revolutionary to the world over the next few years, if you focus your energy and are brave and determined. This is a conjunction that will shape the world and describe changes in society to rival the Uranus-Pluto squire that we’ve been living through. For you this is about being boldly who you are, with no hesitation — inventing yourself as you go.
Photo by Anthony Ayiomamitis.
Thing three is the Moon. The Moon is the body associated with your sign, and at the moment of the solstice we find it in the very last degree of Leo — in my opinion one of the most interesting degrees of the zodiac.
The message here is that you will be revealing yourself in some bold way. Secrecy, privacy, concealment; these things are not your friends.
You are the most free where you can be the most open, and that is where you will succeed. Where you must conceal yourself, take notice that there may be something toxic in the environment.
The Moon is square Saturn, now in the last degree of Scorpio. That again points to the theme of secrecy and why it’s such a menace. In this aspect, concealing oneself is described as the very essence of what causes stuckness. You’re likely to be fully engaged with this issue, and in a sense, called upon to draw on the strength of radical honesty. As you do so, keep your sense of humor, and remember, the ‘scary’ thing about this is the reminder to everyone else, so obsessed with concealing themselves, that someone else has the guts to do something different.
One last bit — Pluto in your opposite sign Capricorn. Pluto is now at the midpoint of its trip across your relationship house. This is calling for a review, and a reorientation. Your ideas about traditional relationships are falling away even as you recognize the strength and power inherent in building new, living, relevant traditions. These are based your actual values rather than what others in the past imposed on you.
If you are fueled and inspired by anything, it’s the beauty and radiance of what actually motivates you, at your core. You have many, many gifts to offer the world and by all indications, you are about to get many chances to do so. The catch is that you must reveal yourself as human at every turn. Lead with your vulnerability. Experience your fear and let it be burned off by your own creativity.
I’ll be elaborating on these points and many others in my Cancer birthday reading.
A New Twist On Family Dinners
By Amanda Painter
Mercury might have stationed direct in Gemini Sunday, but for many people its retrograde effects have not abated; in fact, for some, they’ve intensified. Think of it as Mercury just trying to make sure you’re paying attention to (and committing to memory) whatever it was you had to learn these last few weeks.
Australian pasta sauce brand Dolmio’s ‘family dinner hack’ — the Pepper Hacker — could easily pass as just another Mercury retrograde SNAFU in an unsuspecting household. Their YouTube video debuts what looks like a large pepper grinder; in actuality, it’s wired to be able to shut down all TVs, WiFi and mobile devices with just a simple twist.
After some initial frustration in tech-dependent kids of all ages, the result appears to be worth it: a family dinner in which all the members talk, connect and laugh. Just like in the old days. At least, until the kids catch on and de-program the Pepper Hacker — or until Mercury’s next retrograde.
Gemini New Moon and Eric McLuhan Interview
In this week’s edition of Planet Waves FM, I focus on the Gemini New Moon, which was exact Tuesday morning just past 10 am EDT. And I play my long-awaited interview with Dr. Eric McLuhan, son of my philosopher-hero, Marshall McLuhan. We also have included some excellent music — to ring in my visit with Eric.
Planet Waves TV #7 — Cancer Ingress / Summer Solstice
In this week’s edition, I cover the Cancer ingress of the Sun, also called the northern solstice. I talk a bit more about Mercury square Neptune, which is exact Tuesday, and the last three months of Saturn in Scorpio. If you would like to take my class Saturday, please visit this link.
Your Monthly Horoscopes — and our Publishing Schedule Notes
Your extended monthly horoscopes for June were published Thursday, May 21. We published your extended monthly horoscopes for May Thursday, April 23. Your Moonshine horoscopes for the Sagittarius Full Moon were published Tuesday, May 26. Please note, we normally publish the extended monthly horoscope on the first Friday after the Sun has entered a new sign.
Aries (March 20-April 19) — Let ‘connections’ be your key word. Itemize connections you have made in the recent past. Define ‘recent past’ as no more than three years back. Try to go beyond making a mental inventory. Go through business cards, correspondence, phone records, social media relationships and ‘favorites’ of all kinds. Let these people all know you are alive. Imply you are available to make some mutual rain — or art, or in any other way work toward mutual creative benefit. After refreshing recent connections, start seeking new ones. Look to become friends with friends of friends. If you encounter an acquaintance you don’t know much about, ask them to tell you about themselves. Admittedly this prescription for better fortune may start off feeling as though you are going around kissing frogs. Give it a few months, however, and it should at least open the way towards a princely result. — by Len Wallick
Taurus (April 19-May 20) — Try behaving as if all the world is indeed a stage (with you a willing and enthusiastic player upon that stage) at this time. Look to associate with those who have something substantially illuminating to share. Show those potential associates how the light you bring could serve to enhance, harmonize with, and bring attention to the brilliance of your intended collaborators. There will be no need to come on strong. Attract rather than pursue. Persuade and win over those whom you perceive to be your fellow players as if they are your audience, at least at first. Then, continually emphasize how you are open to integrating their visions and their aspirations with the role you most want to play in the world. Above all, never doubt your own value and the value of what is within you. — by Len Wallick
Gemini (May 20-June 21) — The planet Mercury is no longer retrograde. However, Mercury is not yet up to even half its normal speed as it retraces the degrees of Gemini where it recently appeared to be moving backwards. Hence, be patient. Your time will come. Implicitly, your time will come in the company and society of others with whom you share a similar lifestyle and ways of being. In the meantime, go with the flow as regards to society as a whole. Remember that one of mythical Mercury’s main talents was the ability to go and fit in anywhere. For the rest of this month, it would be a good idea for you to employ that same talent, which you surely also possess. Therefore, as a temporary measure, consider the benefits of going along to get along as you make your own way through life. — by Len Wallick
Cancer (June 21-July 22) — You may already be more than halfway towards an objective you did not even know you had. Either that, or you are unknowingly well on your way to somewhere you don’t want to go. For your birthday, consider giving yourself the gift of some time to add up what has accumulated for you as a matter of course and habit. The timeframe to look at is at least the last three months, and possibly as long as the last two years. For example, consider whether you have gained or lost some weight, either on your body, in the form of possessions, or even in your influence. If you like what you see happening, apply yourself with conscious intent henceforth. If you see a trend you don’t like, you will have some unconscious motivations to examine and something to turn around. What you learn from your discovery of your unconscious doings will allow you to follow through to intentionally build on — or break with — whatever you have unintentionally started. — by Len Wallick
Leo (July 22-Aug. 23) — Indications are that two or more parties are contesting for your time and attention. Give special awareness to those who seem to be going out of their way to flatter you. Of course, you want to be gracious rather than aloof. You also want to accept what you have earned with appropriate gratitude. Nonetheless, now would be a good time to notice when the props coming your way are out of proportion. In other words, consider the person’s motivation. Some may want a piece of you because you look good. Others may be interested in how their attentions to you make them look good. Whatever the case, stay humble, continue to work hard, and remember that your light will not always be so high in the sky. Also remember that when the contest is over, the playing field has taken the greatest beating. Those who want to win you may not have your best interests at heart. — by Len Wallick
Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22) — Some of the greatest thinkers in human history have noted how there is sometimes a stark contrast between heeding your conscience and aligning with groups you identify with. Even so, doing the right thing appears to be your thing at this time. To mitigate the downside of being in integrity with your own awareness, act so as to be at peace with yourself as a first principle in all matters. Next, consider whether there is a difference between the right thing to do for the short term and for the long run. If so, look for a way to close the gap. Also, make an effort to ensure you are seeing things clearly. Compare observations with others you trust. Finally, to be less alone in actuality, appeal to the conscience of others you trust and ask them to do right by themselves as well. — by Len Wallick
Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23) — Did you know you have been showing the way? Whether you know it or not, you have been showing at least a few people a way to be for quite a while now. Whether you want it or not, at least some other people have been looking up to you to measure their own progress. Whether you like it or not, something you did about two years ago keeps returning you to where your aspirations (or lack of same) converge with what others feel they need to become. You probably will not be able to hide away and avoid being observed. So, why not simply accept that you are leading by example and attempt to grow into the role? There are worse things to be than a role model. There are worse things to become than more worthy of respect. It’s not like you will be putting yourself on a pedestal. It’s a simple case of putting yourself in your proper place. — by Len Wallick
Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22) — Don’t cave in to fear. However, just as an exercise, spend a little time (repeat: just a little) each day looking at how the worst of all possible consequences could possibly come to pass. Then, take just a little more time every day (repeat: just a little more) doing something to be better able to live with a worst-case scenario. Put a little money away every day. Stock up on a few necessities. Make do with a little less. If you can do that sort of thing consistently (and not go overboard into anxiety or compulsive behavior), your darkest, deepest worries will shrink in your perception — and rightfully so. On any given day the worst is almost certain not to happen. The cumulative effort of many days will grow. Do a little every day just in case; it will allow you more time each day to make (or remake) your life in the image of best possible outcomes. — by Len Wallick
Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22) — Whatever burdens you feel, try an experiment: shake them off. See if they stay off. Whatever does not stay off will need to be addressed in another way, such as meeting obligations or finishing tasks. Even so, there will be some things you should be done with. To get perspective, look for a chance to travel away from where you reside over the next couple months. If you can arrange for such a sojourn, try to spend most of your time with those you have not become accustomed to since this time last year. Once you get back home, look to renegotiate your responsibilities, and delegate to others a little more than you take on in return. If travel is not in the cards for you anytime soon, at least seek to accumulate less of everything. Buy only what you need, give some things away. Let go of want and become lighter. Focus on need so as to be stronger. — by Len Wallick
Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20) — Do not seek approval from others. You don’t need that. Approve of yourself, for you are worthy of your own affirmation. Give yourself credit. Yes, you have made mistakes; yet, you have also made more than that. You have quite often made the best of what you had to work with. You have even occasionally made a proverbial miracle. In spite of (or perhaps even because of) what turns your life has taken, the actions you have taken in response have shown you to be a person of substance and grit. So give yourself credit, and spend it on further enhancing your value to yourself. Learn new skills because you want to have them, not because somebody else thinks you should. To the extent that others make it their business to depreciate you, make it your business in turn to disassociate with them. Align yourself with those who accept you and want you to accept yourself. — by Len Wallick
Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) — Show up. If your presence is required by those in authority, be there. Once you are there, you need not actually be something other than yourself unless that is what you choose. But at least show up. If you don’t, you will make it possible for others to believe or say you are something that you are not. Even more important, show up for obligations you create for yourself. That way, you will dispel doubts — and widen cracks through which the bright light of opportunity shines. Perhaps most vital, always show up in such a way that you do not show others up. Apple polishing and brown-nosing do not become you, least of all now. There is no need to make yourself look better by making others look bad. Rather, show up and make it your purpose to make others either glad you are there, or more truly aware of who you are. — by Len Wallick
Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) — John Muir had little patience with those who were interested only in what was ‘useful’ to them. Just as Muir made it a point to periodically step away from the world of those who did not appreciate what was useful in nature, try to get out of your world and into experiences that do not serve a ‘useful’ purpose for you. Also, take some time away from what’s most immediate and pressing for you, and take in the ways of other people. Go to the movie your date wants to see. Ask somebody older what songs she likes, and listen to them three times. Ask somebody younger what’s good to eat ‘around here’ and dine on it twice. There is more to this world than what you are concerned with or want out of it. Whatever you are not into deserves a try, especially if there is no conceivable reason you can now see for doing so. — by Len Wallick