Low-Down Archives May-June 2009

May-June 2009

For the New Moon in Gemini:
May 24 to June 7, 2009

And for the Full Moon in Sagittarius:
June 7-22, 2009

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May.24 – NEW MOON in GEMINI (03:27 of Gemini)

NEW MOON in GEMINI

Ottawa, Canada and
Washington DC, USA:

May.24, 8:11 AM EDT

London, UK:

May.24, 1:11 PM GMT

Sydney, AU:

May.24, 10:11 PM AEDT

"What's a New Moon?"

Read more about the Sun-Moon cycles.

Read more about how you experience GEMINI energy in your life.

New Moon in Gemini, and Mercury is Retrograde.

Run for cover!!!  ;-)

Mercury, the ruling planet of Gemini, is a trickster at the best of times. It's in his job description. Mercury the God (called Hermes in Greece) started his career by very cleverly stealing Apollo's cattle and leaving deceptive evidence that literally pointed in the opposite direction. Mercury is brilliant, clever and ingenious, but not always to be trusted on face value.

When Mercury the planet is retrograde, his trickster/brat side really comes out to play! It's typical to experience delays, wrong numbers, emails sent prematurely or to the wrong address, computers behaving strangely, missed or rescheduled appointments, and (my favourite) spending hours preparing for a reading only to discover that you used the wrong time...

Thankfully, Mercury retrograde only lasts about 3½ weeks (May.07-30 this time around). However, the effects are usually lurking close by while Mercury is in the retrograde Shadow for 2+ weeks before and after the retrograde period (Apr.22-Jun.15). As a rule, Mercury is better behaved when in direction motion and not in the Shadow, although anyone with a strong Mercury or Gemini in their natal chart can tell you that Mercury often feels like it never really goes direct...

During the New Moon cycle in Gemini, it's Mercury's time to shine since he embodies the Gemini energy. But with Mercury being retrograde, we can probably expect that he will be particularly, um, "playful" during this lunar cycle. At its worst, it might feel like 4 weeks of Mercury retrograde (perish the thought), but there are ways to meet this energy half way and not only survive it but thrive on it. At its best, this can be 4 weeks of living on the lighter side of life and learning how to laugh and not take life so seriously.

There is always humour to be found in every situation – not laughing at, but laughing with. Mercury is currently in Taurus, and although Taurus tends to be known for its hard work and pursuit of material goodies, Taurus adores comfort and pleasure. And humour is a great way to feel more comfortable and get more pleasure out of life.

When life throws difficult circumstances at you, one of the best kinds of humour is irony – the kind where you shake your head in wry amazement, knowing that life is bigger than the situation immediately in front of you, and that you will get through it. Ironic humour is a curious combination of disappointment, wonder, sadness and silliness, as well as submission to and respect for the greater whole of which you are a part. Irony can lift you out of a rut and transport you safely over even the most painful experiences. And even if it's just for a moment, that fleeting relief can be enough to break the grip of gloom that can otherwise keep you stuck.

The Sun-Moon conjunction (which is what a New Moon is) is in a close quincunx aspect (150°) to Pluto. Now Pluto is not exactly known as "good time Charlie." And Pluto in serious Capricorn is even less likely to be the life of the party, unless transforming the results of economic disaster is your idea of fun.

The quincunx, on the other hand, can be a bizarre comedy of errors. This aspect generally connects planets in signs that have nothing in common – not the element (Fire, Earth, Air, Water), not the modality (Cardinal, Fixed, Mutable), not the polarity (feminine/negative/yin, masculine/positive/yang), nothing. Ancient astrologers would say they "don't see each other." It's a little like putting two people in a room together who speak different languages, come from different cultures, interpret physical gestures differently, etc., and then asking them to solve a problem together. It can be either impossibly frustrating or hilariously funny, and quite possibly both!

So, imagine big, somber Pluto in Capricorn, grunting and muttering under his breath, complaining about the huge mess he must clean up. And then imagine the Gemini New Moon running around him like a hyper, yappy little dog, excitedly jumping in the air, trying to get him to play. Okay, maybe Mercury in Taurus wouldn't exactly be jumping in the air, but maybe he would try to lick him to death.

The Gemini New Moon calls on Mercury to give it direction, but Mercury in Taurus is a little busy right now trying to deal with a stressful square aspect to the Chiron-Jupiter-Neptune brigade that's all crowded into one-quarter of a degree at 26 Aquarius. This could be a time when you might feel disillusioned, disappointed or confused, and wondering what happened to all that promise that blossomed a few months ago. It hasn't disappeared; it just has to be integrated with and tempered by reality. (Read more about the Jupiter-Neptune-Chiron conjunction.) Mercury's stressful aspect to this conglomerate could bring some depression, discouragement or a sense of resignation to what seems like the "same old same old."

On the other hand, it could also be a window to see new, weird and wacky ways to try something different and experiment with new ideas. Allow that slow, methodical Taurus patience to work for you by letting it pace you instead of reacting to whatever is happening in your life. This is good advice under any Mercury retrograde, but right now it is bound to be especially helpful. If you are going through frustrations, disappointments, delays or confusion, use this to learn new insight – it's showing you something about what isn't working and what you need to feed your soul. I'm not talking about just the surface circumstances, but a perspective of who you are beyond the immediate situation.

Saturn is virtually unaspected right now and still the "handle" of the chart (meaning it is a loner off by itself on one side of the chart, and not connected very well to the other planets by aspect). In its favour, it is finally moving in direction motion, which means that part of us is more able to focus on forward progress in our long-term goals. However, it may be a while longer before we can really get a solid footing to get moving. This is probably just as well with Mercury still being retrograde, since this is better used as a time to gather information, evidence, resources and support. When Mercury goes direct on May.30, the Sun will be applying to a square to Saturn – not the easiest aspect to connect to Saturn with, but at least it's more grounded and it may well be a time when your mounting ambition and conviction hurl you forward like a slingshot.

One more thing worth mentioning (this is a busy update!) is the fact that the Jupiter-Neptune-Chiron group gets a lot of traffic during this lunar cycle. They are sextiled (60°) by Venus and Mars (who themselves are creeping closer toward their conjunction on Jun.21). Mercury continues his 3-pass square aspect (90°) to the trio, and the Sun makes trine aspects (120°) to them in mid-June. This lunar cycle will see a lot of energy tied to the conjunction of Jupiter, Neptune and Chiron. You will likely see it manifest and played out in many areas of your life, from your state of mind and perceptions, to your social and love live, to your health, physical energy and sense of purpose.

Remember, the one ally you still have is humour – irony, hilarity, fun and laughter at how crazy life can be. Mercury sextiles Uranus right now, and Uranus always loves to look at things inside-out and upside-down. Take off your glasses and put them on the other way around, or put on someone else's glasses and see how bizarre and silly the world looks. A personal reading can, believe it or not, help you find that uplifting, transcendent perspective that can brighten you up out of a heavy mindset. And when you get a personal reading with me, you'll find that Pegasus loves to join in to make you smile.   :-)

May.26 – Mars sextile Chiron (26:13 of Aries/Aquarius) (May.27 in AU)

This transit gives you the opportunity to take action that can bring some healing resolution to some ongoing problems you've been having. For example, if you've been suffering from weakened energy or chronic health problems, this transit could bring a bit of relief, especially if you're willing to invest some effort to move yourself forward. Or you might find that you have extra self-confidence to deal with a dilemma that has not wanted to go away. You might also find yourself in a position where you can help others find some relief or empowerment related to their suffering and chronic struggles. Problem solving of all kinds can benefit by taking an attitude of proactively doing what you can do, and then let go of what you can't.  

May.26 – Mars sextile Jupiter (26:26 of Aries/Aquarius) (May.27 in UK, AU)

There is potential for optimism, cheerfulness and increased energy during this transit. You will probably have to go after it (rather than it just falling into your lap), but you can probably increase your mood and energy level by applying a bit of effort. Your self-confidence and general attitude can improve, although be careful you don't become so caught up in feeling good that you ignore common sense, caution or realism. This is a good time to consider the moral, philosophical or greater implications of your actions, and then make adjustments to bring your behaviour into alignment with your beliefs, aspirations and ideals.  

May.27 – Mars sextile Neptune (26:28 of Aries/Aquarius)

There is potential for inspired action now. You could achieve a softening or soothing of the blunt force of anger, frustration, confrontation and conflict, without this resulting in powerlessness or passivity. It may be easier to move forward with your plans and intentions based on the power of faith or ideals. It's important to not get lost in those ideals to the point where you lose sight of what's realistic, but this is a time when you may be more inclined to take a leap of faith and say "Oh what the heck!" Your emotional impact on others (or their impact on you) could be greater than is intended or expected, so use this expanded energy wisely.  

May.27 – Jupiter conjunct Neptune  (Read more about the Jupiter-Neptune-Chiron conjunction.)

Vision and a sense of mission are conjured under this magical transit! This conjunction comes around approximately every 13 years: 1907 (Cancer), 1920 (Leo), 1932 (Virgo), 1945 (Libra), 1958 (Scorpio), 1971 (Sagittarius), 1984 (early Capricorn), 1997 (late Capricorn) and now in 2009 (Aquarius). Those born under this combination tend to have a strong sense of what the "perfect world" should look like, and usually strive to live in a way that will bring that about. While these planets are conjunct, everyone is touched by this same kind of energy – envisioning how the world could be a better place, with lots of opinions and ideals about how to make it so. This transit can bring an abundance of creative imagination as well as a refreshing sense of hope and optimism. Spiritual renewal is in the air, as greater possibilities promise to feed our hunger for connection and belonging to something greater than ourselves.  

No transit is without its challenges, though. The trap here lies in the idea that simply believing will make it so. Belief and faith are certainly a central and essential part of translating hope into concrete change. But they aren't enough by themselves. What happens when beliefs contradict each other, whether that's between people, cultures, religions, or even between different feelings or motives within yourself? What happens when faith collides with reality and must either then question its assumptions or become "blind faith" that is disconnected from the world around it?  

The challenge lies in how to use faith, hope and idealism as a guide rather than as a final destination. The deeper magic lies in allowing the vision to be like a rainbow that inspires you to move toward it. But rainbows are a temporary phenomenon made of reflections of light – they're not solid things. However, they can still entice you toward a worthwhile destination even after they vanish. Sometimes we need a vision that seems miraculous to get us moving forward, but that doesn't mean the journey is worthless when the vision fades – it just means we had help to get moving in the right direction.  

This is the first of three passes of this transit: May.27, Jul.10 and Dec.21. The "rainbow" vision may seem to come and go throughout this year. If we look beyond it to the real goals that are reachable, the vision can inspire us to keep moving. Just don't fall into the trap of believing it must be absolutely real to be of value.  

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May.29-30 – Triple Station of Mercury, Chiron, Neptune  ("What's a Station?")

Within a span of less than 2 days, we have 3 planets making a station. That means 3 planets are changing direction within a very short time span, which is likely to generate some pretty intense and powerful energy for up to a week before and after these dates.  

First Neptune stations and turns retrograde. The next day, Chiron turns retrograde. Part of what makes this especially noteworthy is that they are a mere quarter of a degree shy of an exact conjunction. They don't actually make the exact conjunction until Feb.17.2010, but this is going to feel like a true pass of this transit. With both planets being stationary, it intensifies their energies anyway, but when they combine these energies in a conjunction, it is likely to be an especially powerful mixture. In addition, Jupiter is exactly conjunct both stationary planets (conjunct Chiron on May.23 and to Neptune on May.27), which is likely to amplify the effects of the stationary planets.  

For this reason, we are likely to feel this one for a good couple of weeks before and after May.29-30. Add to the fireworks the fact that Mercury is also turning direction to go direct on May.30, which adds more fuel to the fire. And Mercury is also within less than 4 degrees orb of a square aspect, which brings them all together in a stressful but dynamic and powerful concoction. With all these factors, we have the recipe for a very "interesting" few weeks! Don't be surprised if you feel a bit more stressed out than usual around the end of May – or, if not stressed out, then possibly more motivated and inspired than usual.  

May.29 – Neptune stationary Retrograde (26:28 of Aquarius) ("What does Retrograde mean?"  "What does stationary mean?"  Read article about Retrogrades.  Read article about Stations.)

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.  

May.30 – Chiron stationary Retrograde (26:13 of Aquarius) ("What does Retrograde mean?"  "What does stationary mean?"  Read article about Retrogrades.  Read article about Stations.)

The Retrograde station can be felt for up to a week before and after this date. Since Chiron is often about health, you may find health issues coming to the foreground now. General issues about wounding, healing and hurt—physically, psychologically and/or spiritually—may come to a turning point now, making it necessary to take some time for healing, reconstruction, and reconciliation of the energies that are out of balance in your life. The retrograde station (now) begins this process, which gradually unfolds over the next 5 months. Focus your energies on acknowledging the areas that need healing in your life—literally or figuratively. Don't forget that although there are areas that still need healing, you have made progress on much of this in the past. It's important to balance your acknowledgement of the work yet to be done with recognition of what you have already achieved in the past.  

May.30 – Mercury stationary Direct (22:52 of Taurus) (May.31 in UK, AU) ("What does Retrograde mean?"  "What does stationary mean?"  Read article about Mercury Retrograde.  Read article about Stations.)

For up to a week before and after today, you may experience mental intensity, confusion, and miscommunications or changes in your outlook. After being Retrograde since May.07, Mercury is now taking a slow turn to resume Direct motion. These past 3.5 weeks have challenged you to rethink and rehash things that required some fine-tuning or revision. The Direct station can be a time when clearer decisions start to emerge from the issues and struggles you've encountered during the retrograde period. Or, it might turn your perspective around so that you're seeing your situation fresh again. Over the next couple of weeks, while Mercury is still in the Shadow ("What's the Shadow?"), your brain may feel a bit like it's gradually waking up after a deep sleep. During this time, you can gradually put into practice the learning and knowledge you've gained from your retrograde "dreams" and moonlight visions. It will take time to get fully back into sync with the Mercury direct energy. So, take it slow, one step at a time, and untangle yourself one strand at a time.  

May.31 – Mars enters Taurus (until Jul.11) (Jun.01 in AU)

Making steady progress with your goals and stabilising your energy are among the effects of this transit. In general, this is a good time to move forward with your ambitions, especially doing the "grunt work" of routine, methodical work – putting one foot in front of the other, as it were, and making slow steady progress in your projects. It's a great time to "make hay while the Sun shines" but don't stay out so long you get sunburned. In other words, be careful not to get so locked into one direction or focus that you become stubborn, rigid, counterproductive, overcautious, or burn out from workaholism. It's common for physical energy to sag and slow down somewhat, although it will usually make up for it in endurance. Mars wants to be fast and impulsive; Taurus wants to go slow and steady. The trick is to pace yourself: do a little every day and don't beat yourself up if you can't do it all at once.  

Jun.02 – Venus sextile Chiron (26:13 of Aries/Aquarius)

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

Jun.02 – Venus sextile Neptune (26:28 of Aries/Aquarius) (Jun.03 in AU)

Artistry, romance, creativity and faith have the potential to flow freely now. Your creative Muse is whispering in your ear, although it will still take your own elbow grease to turn it into something real. Socially and romantically, things could run smoothly and even a bit magically, so be sure you are clear in yourself about what you really want. This can be a time of blessings and abundance (in all areas of life) ...but there is also the risk of overspending and being overly optimistic in your assumptions about money and relationships. Your natural beauty and warmth can be brought out by this transit, but don't just waste it on creating a faηade of outer glamour and charm. Let the essence of your inner beauty and pure spirit shine through your appearance and mannerisms!  

Jun.02 – Venus sextile Jupiter (26:46 of Aries/Aquarius) (Jun.03 in UK, AU)

There is an abundance of creative inspiration, material enjoyment, feel-good pleasure in the air! Your luck and opportunity to attract money, love, resources and self-esteem are high right now. It may be relatively easy to attract the people, possessions and opportunities you want or need, but you'll still have to work to get them. On the other hand, your eyes may be bigger than your stomach (as mother would say) and you might be tempted to charm, flirt or bluff your way through a situation more than usual. There may also be a tendency to self-indulgence. These are not necessarily bad things, but it's probably wise to remember to use this energy to enhance your best judgement, not override it.  

Jun.04 – Mars trine Pluto (02:28 of Taurus/Capricorn)

You may feel a strong urge to embrace and engage power, assert your desires and act on deep impulses. Your sexual energy could also be very high now (use it wisely). You might feel like nothing can stop you or hold you back. In fact, the ability to create change and take action is especially strong right now. If you have been preparing to put plans into action, this can be a powerful time to do so. But also be aware that too much of a good thing can sometimes backfire -- it is possible to overstep your bounds or come on a bit too strong, with this energy. Suppressed anger, frustration or an urge to "vanquish the enemy" may be expressed more forcefully than you intend. It will help to center yourself and focus on acknowledging your emotions, impulses and power -- then use your good judgment when deciding whether or how to act on them.  

Jun.05 – Sun square Saturn (15:14 of Gemini/Virgo) (Jun.06 in AU)

It is necessary for you to come to grips with limitations, boundaries or expectations. If you have been avoiding some task or obligation, this transit might bring consequences from that avoidance or a warning of consequences to come. You might also encounter a situation that requires you to accept unwanted responsibility or restricts your freedom in some way. You might be faced with some part of your life being pruned back, either to rein in something that is out of control or to make room for new growth. This is likely to be more or less stressful depending on how comfortable you are dealing with responsibility, authority, limits and hard work. If you have a hard time with authority issues, you might find yourself in conflict with someone in authority under this transit -- perhaps in part because your buttons are getting pushed. On the other hand, this could also be a time when you are challenged to take action or make a decision that involves taking on more responsibility. It is also a time when you may have to find better ways to deal with personal boundaries -- accepting others' or learning to assert your own. You're bumping up against reality, so try to work constructively with it, not hurl yourself against it.  

Jun.06 – Venus enters Taurus (until Jul.05)

Venus rules the sign of Taurus, so she is very comfortable here! Your experiences of pleasure and sensuality are likely to be heightened...perhaps even a bit too much! You might be tempted to overindulge in sensory delights. On the other hand, you may feel the urge to be more grounded, practical and methodical in the way you handle relationships, money, possessions, material values, and attracting what you desire. It is also a time when your desires could manifest tangibly or at least become more apparent. It may be possible to see more clearly the ways that your self-worth is tied to material things, like income, savings, possessions and spending. Your finances and possessions could act like a "touch stone" to reassure you in times of stress. The trick is not to let this become a substitute for genuine self-respect. To make the most of this transit, take some time to relax and enjoy life! Take your time, smell the flowers, drink in the sunsets, listen to beautiful music, get an aromatherapy massage or explore new uses for chocolate. ;-)  

Sabian Symbol for the
Full Moon in Sagittarius

Sagittarius 18

Tiny children in sunbonnets.

This Sabian Symbol ("What's a Sabian Symbol?") suggests an innocence that needs to be protected from overexposure to nourishing yet potentially harsh elements.

The image is of a hat (sunbonnet) that specifically protects the head – the part of the body that contains our instruments of thought and vision, as well as other sensory interaction with the world.

The symbol implies that what we are nurturing now is fresh, fragile and vulnerable to damage from extremes of experience. New ideas need to be protected from contamination by prejudice. New inspiration must be distinguishable from mere illusion. Emerging awareness cannot be subjected to overstimulation that could blind its vision.

At the same time, it's important to remain open and allow our natural curiosity room to play. Overprotection could inhibit our opportunity to drink in the nourishment of new experience.

This symbol's message seems to be: enjoy the sunshine of new possibilities, but be sensible and don't overdo it.

 

Find out more about the Sabian Symbols in these recommended books:

An Astrological Mandala,
by Dane Rudhyar

The Sabian Symbols: The Original Symbols Fully Revealed,
by Blain Bovee

The Sabian Symbols in Astrology,
by Marc Edmund Jones

Jun.07 – FULL MOON in SAGITTARIUS (17:07)

FULL MOON in SAGITTARIUS

Ottawa, Canada and
Washington DC, USA:

Jun.07, 2:12 PM EDT

London, UK:

Jun.07, 7:12 PM BST

Sydney, AU:

Jun.07, 4:12 AM AEST

"What's a Full Moon?"

Read more about the Sun-Moon cycles.

Read more about how you experience SAGITTARIUS energy in your life.

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Microcosm or macrocosm?

This Full Moon (Sun in Gemini, Moon in Sagittarius) illustrates the subtleties, contrasts and conflicts contained in the Gemini-Sagittarius axis. Both signs want to embrace and share everything there is to know, but what they do with it is a bit different. Gemini seeks to analyze, define, rationalize, collect and communication this information. Sagittarius wants to understand it, discover the patterns that illuminate its wisdom, discern the greater meaning and truth that lie within it, and grasp the implications that expand it into more questions that lead to more answers. How are you called to the macrocosm level of your life?

Playing around with facts, or weaving a greater meaning?

With the Full Moon in Sagittarius, the movement is toward the Sagittarian end of the spectrum, but we must start with the raw material gathered in Gemini. With Mercury having just been retrograde (and still in the Shadow), we've gathered a lot of information, experience, ideas and learning. You may prefer to use a few other words for these things (many spelled with just four letters), but nevertheless you will have learned something through the last several weeks as Mercury travelled through his retrograde cycle.

The Full Moon in Sagittarius brings the opportunity (even the need) to take a step back and collect all the bits and shards of data and events collected during that time. These can be pieced together like a mosaic to form a bigger picture that collectively reveals another dimension of knowledge and understanding. What larger truth or vision can you see in your life?

Think globally, or act locally?

Sun-Moon T-square to Saturn and Hard Wedge to Venus

Saturn in Virgo forms a T-square aspect figure with the Sun-Moon opposition. Venus in Taurus also forms a Hard Wedge (45° to the Sun and 135° to the Moon). Both of these aspect configurations introduce the need to be specific, critical, disciplined and dedicated when you pursue whatever vision you perceive. The challenge is to be willing to sacrifice a bit of the dream, a bit of the magic, in order to do business with the physical world and turn your dream into a reality. This "business" could be a career or money-making venture, or it might be more abstract in the sense of finding practical or realistic ways to integrate your higher values or philosophy into your everyday outlook on life.

Either way, it is necessary to aim for the big picture (think globally) and yet take small, grounded steps that reflect it (act locally). Whether your focus is on a personal or collective level, if you do this the right way then actions made in your own little corner of the world could well have implications that help make that world a better place.

Another indication of a struggle between these sign energies is the stressful square aspect between Mercury and Jupiter – Mercury being the planetary ruler of Gemini and Jupiter being the ruler of Sagittarius. A square indicates a conflict of interest between the energies, where their different priorities create a problem to be solved.

Jupiter is also exactly conjunct Chiron and Neptune right now – all three planets at 26 degrees of Aquarius! The Sabian Symbol for Aquarius 27 (no, it's not a typo – to find the Sabian Symbol, you round the degree up to the next number) is "An ancient pottery bowl filled with violets." It speaks of fresh spiritual evolution contained within ancient forms that we consciously (re)create. Look to the best of the past as a foundation that can support the fruits of your new growth which is both delicate and enriching.

Mercury in square aspect to this energy suggests a struggle in how to carry this elusive mental focus on our best potential within the strength of our past experience, without allowing past disappointments or old beliefs of unworthiness to crush it.

Dazzle them with brilliance, or baffle them with bullshit?

The risk of embracing this challenging energy lies in going a bit "over the top" when reaching for our highest potential. It could be all too easy to make promises we can't keep, or to polish up the facts to the point where they no longer reflect the truth but instead only show a distorted fantasy. Another danger is the need to be right, to the point of simply dismissing all other perspectives, opinions and ideas as unworthy, irrelevant or heresy.

It is important to maintain a delicate yet resilient middle path between adhering to a rigid, pessimistic view of "what is" or "what should be" versus reaching so far into the realm of positive visualization or pleasure-seeking that it becomes little more than escapism or a tyranny of optimism. To walk this path will likely require frequent adjustment and conscious attention to navigating between extremes of opinion, mood and attitude. Don't hesitate to reach out to a trusted friend, counsellor or advisor if you need a bit of help to strengthen your balance. A personal astrology reading is an excellent resource to have in your magic tool kit.  

Jun.08 – Venus trine Pluto (02:21 of Taurus/Capricorn) (Jun.09 in AU)

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

Jun.09 – Mercury square Chiron (26:10 of Taurus/Aquarius)

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.  

The Future Minders

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Jun.09 – Mercury sextile Uranus (26:26 of Taurus/Pisces) (Jun.10 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.09 – Mercury square Neptune (26:26 of Taurus/Aquarius) (Jun.10 in AU)

Your mental focus may be a bit clouded, confused or lethargic right now, as your conscious mind struggles to grasp the formless, limitless expanse of the Universe and the unconscious. You may experience some disillusionment or disappointment, in your observations or communication with others. However, what is flowing under the surface of events right now is the need to dissolve away the crust of old expectations that blocks your view from seeing a greater Truth. If you're feeling off-balance, try to listen more than you talk, so that you can be receptive to your inner sensitivity. Left-brain analysis might be difficult to work with right now unless you balance it with a lot of right-brain intuition. You may have to let go of a rigid mindset, or give up what you think you understand about a situation in your life, in order to open yourself to a new perspective that is difficult to define but is ultimately in the best interest of your spiritual growth.  

Jun.10 – Mercury square Jupiter (26:58 of Taurus/Aquarius) (Jun.11 in AU)

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

Jun.13 – Mercury enters Gemini (until Jul.03) (Jun.14 in UK, AU)

Mercury is the planetary ruler of Gemini, so the mind wants to fly fast and free. Communication and perceptions may come and go like a fresh breeze through an open window. This can create a wide variety of ideas but not necessarily productive application of those ideas. You might find it a little easier to articulate words, sharpen your mental focus, and collect and analyze your thoughts and information. This can give wings to your ideas and self-expression, but remember that you'll have to back up any promises and "fast talk" with action and substance. Let this be a time to explore possibilities and enjoy social interaction, rather than jump to final conclusions. Collect the raw data and exchange ideas, but be aware that understanding the broader meaning will likely come later.  

Jun.15 – Mercury leaves the Shadow (until Aug.17) ("What is the Shadow?"  Read an article about the Shadow.)

Mercury finally leaves the shadow—the part of the zodiac where it went retrograde from m May.07-30. This means the confusion, delays and miscommunications of the last 2 months have mostly dissipated and things should be more or less back to normal (whatever that is). The difference is that you now have the benefit of seeing things from a different perspective, which gives you more choices than you had before. If you've been waiting until Mercury finished with the retrograde cycle before you made a final decision about something, this can be a good time to decide what direction you want to go. Just don't forget your common sense.

A special note: This particular Mercury retrograde cycle has been unusually intense, chaotic and challenging for many people. This is most likely due to Mercury making 3 passes of a stressful square aspect to the Jupiter-Chiron-Neptune conjunction. (Read my article about the Jupiter-Chiron-Neptune conjunction.) Mercury has now finished the 3 passes of this aspect; however, it's possible that the effects of Mercury retrograde could linger somewhat until the upcoming New Moon in Cancer (Jun.22). It's probably wise to still move ahead with your plans somewhat cautiously and mindfully until that time.  

Jun.15 – Jupiter stationary Retrograde (27:01 of Aquarius) ("What does Retrograde mean?"  Read more about Retrograde planets.)

For up to a week before and after this date (while Jupiter is moving very slowly and stopped during the station), you may experience an increase in idealism, longing or inspiration. Your opinions, beliefs and assumptions may come under question, as your understanding of life and the world around you now requires further study. While Jupiter is retrograde over the next five months, you may have to re-examine your assumptions, attitudes, biases and judgments about one or more situations. It can be a time to gather more knowledge and look at things from a different perspective, which can change your interpretation of events. Right now at the station there is the turning point, which might inspire you to explore already-known territory in a new way, or it could disrupt your journey because your map of the territory isn't accurate or up-to-date. This especially applies to situations that have been developing in the last three months (since Jupiter entered the shadow). Allow yourself to be open to new possibilities emerging gradually out of old situations. There is a deeper understanding that can result from exploring things from a different perspective and questioning what you think you know. That which is known and familiar may seem strangely irrelevant or foreign for a while, yet will eventually become integrated and understood again after Jupiter goes direct in five months.s.

A special note: Jupiter is currently conjunct both Neptune and Chiron in Aquarius. (Read my article about the Jupiter-Chiron-Neptune conjunction.) This station is therefore likely to be especially powerful, intense, amplified and/or inspiring. Take advantage of the creative potential and avoid extremes which can be risky, exhausting or disorienting.  

Jun.16 – Sun Trine Chiron (26:04 of Gemini/Aquarius) (Jun.17 in 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.  

Jun.17 – Sun Trine Neptune (26:22 of Gemini/Aquarius)

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

Jun.17 – Sun square Uranus (26:32 of Gemini/Pisces) (Jun.18 in 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.  

Jun.17 – Sun Trine Jupiter (26:32 of Gemini/Aquarius) (Jun.18 in UK, AU)

This is a time when your understanding of the Big Picture and your place within it can click into place. As a result, your confidence and self-esteem can be quite high right now. Your ability to see opportunities and possibilities more clearly can produce an experience of being "lucky." Your insight into life and the world around you may be especially bright, optimistic and inspired. This is a "feel-good" transit, when your sense of self can seem to expand and become free. You may feel especially connected to spiritual energy during this time, finding new meaning in your live and the events that unfold around you. Self-confidence can run high now, and you could feel inspired to fight for justice or some cause. At the same time, there is a chance that all this self-assurance and "knowing" could go overboard into over-confidence, dogmatism or over-indulgence if it's not grounded in realism and humility. Just use your best judgment and enjoy this warm, shining energy!  

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Jun.21 – HAPPY SOLSTICE! Sun enters Cancer (until Jul.22)

Ottawa, Canada
Washington DC, USA

Jun.21, 1:46 AM EDT

London, UK

Jun.21, 6:46 AM BST

Sydney, AU

Jun.21, 3:46 PM AEST

Happy Solar Return to everyone born in the sign of Cancer! When the Sun enters Cancer, it also marks the Summer Solstice (in North America, the UK, Europe and other places in the northern hemisphere; or the Winter Solstice in Australia and other places in the southern hemisphere). This is the time when we all get to cultivate and nurture the Cancer side of our nature. This includes feelings, needs and nurturing instincts, as well as your connection to home and family, and your most primal sense of belonging. To explore this area of your life, think about your family -- are you closely connected to your family-of-origin (the one you grew up with), or do you also have a "chosen family" in adulthood? Who is part of your support system (the people you know you can turn to when you need them)? What people, groups, places or experiences satisfy your need for belonging, which everyone has inside them? Cancer is about our distant past (childhood, ancestry, memories) that influences our current behaviour, motives and methods of getting our emotional needs met. Take this time to find new ways to nurture yourself, to share that nurturing with others, and to ensure that you don't give to others at the expense of not getting what you need.  

Jun.21 – Venus conjunct Mars (15:15 of Taurus)

Diplomacy and harmony combine with forcefulness and enthusiasm under this transit. How you experience the results will depend in part on which you value more -- winning (Mars dominant) or resolution (Venus dominant). One possibility is being able to negotiate agreements with others in assertive ways; another possibility is being able to confront others with gentleness and diplomacy. The courage to act could become either blunted or enhanced by an increased sensitivity to how your actions could affect others. Your ability to negotiate a diplomatic solution to a problem might be sabotaged by impatience, frustration or too much directness -- or that same forcefulness might help by keeping things from getting bogging down or by injecting an infectious enthusiasm to the discussion. Although the effects could look very different in various situations, the best results will likely be found by using the best of both of these opposite energies.

Special notes: Venus and Mars have been strolling in tandem since Venus turned direct (Apr.17/18) after being retrograde (Mar.06/07 to Apr.17/18). There was a Venus-Mars conjunction on Apr.21/22, when Mars overtook the stationary Venus. Since then, Venus has slowly been catching up and today finally overtakes Mars. Today's conjunction therefore represents the conclusion of a very long process that really began back in early February (when Venus first entered the Shadow).

Venus has been the stronger of the two at the time of both conjunctions: the April conjunction took place in Pisces where Venus is exalted (a place of strength), and now in June the conjunction is in Taurus where Venus is strong as the planetary ruler and where Mars is in fall (a place of struggle). In between, still in orb of the conjunction aspect, they spent most of the time in Aries (late April to early June) where Mars is strong as the planetary ruler and Venus is in detriment (also a place of struggle). Looking back since early February, you might see a pattern of swinging back and forth in areas like finding the courage to take a stand in your interactions with both friend and foe; or negotiating contentious contracts; or finding a happy medium in your physical or emotional energy.

There won't be another conjunction of these two until August 2010, so this conjunction represents the final push-off of a Venus-Mars cycle that will last for over a year. Therefore, be mindful of how you reconcile or conclude any negotiations, disagreements, ambitions or plans. The energy fuelling these situations has been gestating over the last 5 months. Whatever is hatched now will develop over the next 7 months (culminating at the Venus-Mars opposition on Jan.27.2010), and will continue to unfold for another 7 months after that (until the next Venus-Mars conjunction on Aug.20.2010).  

Jun.22 – Venus trine Saturn (16:00 of Taurus/Virgo)

Stability in relationships and finances characterises this transit. You have increased ability to be disciplined about spending and to invest the hard work to maximise your earnings. Your ability to grasp the solid, realistic facts will help you choose wisely in your investments of both money and interaction with others. Commitment and structure are easier to achieve and embrace than change or taking risks. Self-worth can benefit now because you are less inclined to give in to mood swings. However, if you are prone to depression, you might want to be careful you don't become so grounded and stable that you lose touch with your sense of hope and potential. It is a good time to make concrete progress in matters involving beauty, love, harmony and balance. Keep your pleasures simple and humble for maximum benefit.  

Jun.22 – Mars trine Saturn (16:02 of Taurus/Virgo) (Jun.23 in AU)

This is a great time for disciplined action that can produce grounded, specific and stable results. If you have a project that needs to push ahead to the next step, you may find this is a good time to do that. If you want to make progress with your ambitions, goals and plans, this can be a good time to make plans or to take action. You are likely to feel "together," capable and strong, giving you a serious, calm and realistic confidence. It's usually easier to control or restrain your more volatile emotions, and present yourself as someone who is stable and on top of things. This transit can bring sustained physical energy that doesn't burn itself out quickly and can pace itself for lasting endurance. Remember that the effects of this transit typically last only about a week or two, so make the most of it!  

Next Update:  NEW MOON in CANCER - Jun 22, 2009. Available by Jun.22.

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