Low-Down Archives for May-June 2012

Solar Eclipse Gemini, Lunar Eclipse Sagittarius

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

May.20 – SOLAR ECLIPSE ~ NEW MOON in GEMINI (00:20 of Gemini)

SOLAR ECLIPSE
NEW MOON in GEMINI

Ottawa, Canada and
Washington DC, USA:

May.20, 2012, 7:47 PM EDT

London, UK:

May.21, 2012, 12:47 AM BST

Sydney, AU:

May.21, 2012, 9:47 AM AEST

"What's a Solar Eclipse?"

"What's a New Moon?"

Read more about the Sun-Moon cycles.

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

If you live in eastern Asia, northern Pacific or western North America, you're in luck! (weather willing, of course) This will be the first solar eclipse to be visible in North America in 18 years.

The important thing to remember is do NOT look directly at the solar eclipse without proper eye protection, or you could damage your eyesight.

There's an old saying that goes: Curiosity killed the cat, but satisfaction brought it back.

Curiosity is the natural urge to know – to find out something that's not in plain view, or to get a closer look at something that is.

Gemini's penchant is to know everything! There's so much to discover!

How is the petal of a rose fastened to its stem? Why does a forward moving bicycle wheel sometimes look like it's going backwards? How and why do bears hibernate in the winter? How does a planet go retrograde when it doesn't actually go backwards? And the $65,000 question: why did that silly chicken cross the road, anyway??

Human curiosity is, in many ways, a primary reason we are no longer merely foraging for food in the savannah. Curiosity expands our range of perception and awareness. As we gather facts and data, we amass the tools and raw material to construct a map of how the world is, how life operates and who we are in the midst of it all. Curiosity lures us out into the unknown, past the threshold of our current awareness.

Here's the thing, though: we can't always know what we'll find on the other side. Will we feel good about it? Will it be dangerous? Will we understand it? Will it answer our questions or just raise more? Will it put the pieces in place for us, or will it shatter what we thought was true?

This is a Solar Eclipse in Gemini, and as such, is also a New Moon in Gemini. A Solar Eclipse is a New Moon that is so precisely aligned that the Moon actually obscures the light of the Sun for a few hours. You have to be in the right place at the right time to be able to see this. And if you are, it is crucial to remember NOT to look directly at the eclipse – otherwise you could seriously damage your eyesight.

Astrologically, a New Moon is a time of beginning and initiation. In esoteric circles, "initiation" means something other than just starting something new. There's a connotation of transformation. It's not just that something new has begun, but through that beginning something inside has fundamentally shifted and opened up, and will never be the same again.

The Sun is our conscious sense of self, our sense of life purpose, our will and our ability to radiate our essence. The Moon is our feelings, our memory, our needs, and our personal access to our creative source and our unconscious.

When the Moon obscures the Sun, as in a Solar Eclipse, it allows something from the unconscious to leak out past the brilliant light of the conscious self. This happens during any New Moon, to an extent, since the Dark of the Moon (when the Moon isn't visible in the sky due to being too close to the Sun) is often a time when we become a little lost in the liminal space of the unconscious.

However, during a Solar Eclipse, this alignment of the conscious and unconscious is especially close. Think of it as two pieces of paper with a hole in each. When the two holes are lined up together, you can see what's behind them much more clearly. In our case, it gives us a window into our soul, if you like, or into whatever lies beyond the shell of the conscious self.

Flower

Sometimes what we see there is a revelation, but revelations can disrupt our usual view of what life is about. Eclipses can bring experiences that are disturbing, disappointing, unexpected or just mind-blowing. At other times, they can merely introduce new ideas and awareness into our conscious minds, giving us a new perspective or fresh information to integrate into our worldview.

When the eclipse happens in Gemini, it can manifest through our natural curiosity and the added information and expanded awareness that result.

So: where is your curiosity taking you? What companions are you taking with you on that journey? What tools do you have in your backpack that will help you navigate through the difficult places? What could possibly get in your way, and how can you get past it?

In the eclipse chart, the Sun and Moon are aligned at the first degree of Gemini – an initiatory degree! This eclipse ushers in a very pure beginning that involves seeing something new about life or perhaps recognizing something new in what's already there. It's a creative degree, which in the case of Gemini can be about creative thinking, creating new ideas out of existing ones, or taking a fresh idea and expanding on it to create a new understanding.

Venus is also now retrograde in Gemini, although not conjunct the Sun and Moon. Venus can help with the inward self-reflection that allows you to be more receptive to new ideas and what they can mean to your life. If you're not being very friendly with Venus (nor she with you) at the moment, this might add to the feeling that you're losing something (person, belief, idea, awareness, possession, perspective, etc) that you really care about. Wait for clarity. Self-reflection can feel turbulent at first, but will eventually show you something that is valuable and worth the effort.

The planetary ruler of Gemini is Mercury, which is conjunct Jupiter in Taurus in the eclipse chart. Being in Taurus, Mercury contributes a grounded sense of practicality. This is a good thing, since Gemini can easily get lost in speculation and theory, losing touch with how it fits into the "real world."

Flower

Mercury expands our awareness by following our curiosity, leading us beyond what is familiar. Jupiter expands our awareness by following implications – by placing our immediate situation within a greater context, our understanding about it can be totally changed.

The Mercury-Jupiter conjunction is intriguing, since it brings together the planetary rulers of opposite signs: Gemini and Sagittarius. Both being Mutable signs, these planets transform through adjustment and alteration. However, they are both in Taurus which is an Earth sign, so these adjustments are likely to have a lasting effect and have a very practical purpose.

These two planets in combination at the Solar Eclipse embody the old saying: Curiosity killed the cat, but satisfaction brought it back. The satisfaction is Jupiter's contribution – by understanding the bigger picture which allows you to put things in a meaningful context.

Whatever the eclipse stirs up in your psyche or your life, you might find a bit disturbing or unsettling. However, by following your natural curiosity and being receptive to seeing the farther reaching implications, it can lead to a greater understanding. Add the superpower of the Solar Eclipse, which takes place at a critical degree, and that expanded awareness could become a game changer!

The Sun-Moon conjunction (a.k.a. the New Moon or Solar Eclipse) is in square (90°) aspect to Neptune. This is a caution against simply taking these new perceptions at face value. Perceptions can sometimes be very misleading or distorted at the best of times, and Neptune is only too happy to amplify and add to this effect. Again: wait for clarity, rather than grabbing at assumptions or jumping to conclusions.

Distored reflection on water

Neptune can also dis-illusion us – take away our misconceptions and the distortions we already hold. Seeing the bald truth without embellishments that make it more palatable can be a struggle, especially if you have been especially attached to what you thought was true or real.

It's all fine and nice for me to say, "It's all for the best and you'll grow from it in the long run," but let's face it: disappointments can suck. Big time. And with the Solar Eclipse energy behind the Neptune effect, any disillusionment could lead to some pretty major changes in your perspective.

Here's the reality check: there's nothing that says that either the eclipse or Neptune will necessarily manifest that way for you. But if it does, remember that how you frame your experience can make a big difference as to how that experience will affect you in the long run. If you can rise above the immediate impact, you can choose to focus on what is important to you.

I'm not talking about disconnecting from the experience, or whitewashing over painful feelings. I'm talking about being able to expand your understanding of what is changing. This can allow you to embrace not only the difficult stuff, but also the broader implications that lead to greater wisdom.

May.22 – Mercury conjunct Jupiter (25:14 of Taurus)

This aspect can make you quite talkative and your mind flooded with ideas. Be careful you don't blurt out any secrets! Your stream of consciousness ideas can flow abundantly right now with optimism and visionary possibilities. Write down your best ideas for later development, since you may be having too much fun playing with ideas, to stop and make them manifest. Basic perceptions and simple communication can provide food for thought that feeds your greater understanding and philosophical insight. Your point of view expands to identify opportunities, possibilities and the broader implications of what is happening around you. You might get a flash of vision, insight and inspiration. You could be called upon to form an opinion, consider a different viewpoint, expand your knowledge, or make a judgement call. Your conscious awareness is open to spiritual experiences right now.

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May.23 – Sun square Neptune (03:06 of Gemini/Pisces)  (May.24 in AU)

Your ideals, hopes and wishful thinking may loom a little too large during this time, making you prone to disappointment and disillusionment. You might want a fantasy or dream to come true so much that you disconnect from the reality that seems to be in the way – only to find that the obstacle was serving a positive purpose after all. Your imagination may be very active now, but not easy to control or balance with reality. However, it can be a very creative time if you're able to harness that imagination for productive use. Unconscious urges and longings may be especially close to the surface, so you have an opportunity to learn more about the hidden forces that drive you (and perhaps distort your view of the world around you). Spiritually, you might discover that your yearning for enlightenment is not the straightforward path you had hoped for, but it can be just as valuable (although disappointing) to discover what is *not* your best path. Emotionally you may feel a bit overwhelmed, discouraged or confused. On the plus side, you have an opportunity to observe a deeper part of you, which is usually camouflaged against the distracting background of day-to-day life. There is tremendous creative, spiritual and healing potential to be found by listening to and working with the inner voices from those depths.

May.24 – Mercury enters Gemini (untilJun.07)

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.

May.25 – Sun conjunct South Lunar Node (05:03 of Gemini)  (May.26 in AU)  ("What's a Lunar Node?")

This transit involves a creative release or a letting-go of a piece of your self-image that you don't need anymore. However, this letting go can often be difficult, especially if what you have invested a lot of your sense of self in whatever you're letting go. It might feel like circumstances are wrenching it away, or you could feel quite relieved to let go of this old baggage. Letting go can free up a lot of creative energy, life force and joie de vivre, which can then be rechanneled into other forms of self-expression. Follow your heart! It is time to begin letting go of something in yourself that no longer serves you well. This could be a negative belief about yourself, or perhaps dropping an inhibition that has eroded your self-confidence. This transit only happens close to the eclipses, so its energy is likely to come out around the timing of those events more noticeably.

May.25 – Mercury square Neptune (03:07 of Gemini/Pisces)  (May.26 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.

May.26 – Mercury conjunct South Lunar Node (05:03 of Sign)  (May.24 in AU)  ("What's a Lunar Node?")

It's time to let go of old perceptions and ideas that are now just getting in the way of your ability to see things clearly. This might not be an easy task, because your new point of view might show you something you don't really want to see. It might mean you need to change your mind about something or someone. However, by clearing away the blocks to greater awareness, you can start to reshape the way you see yourself or others or life in general. To do this, you might need to release, share and communicate your observations of the last 6 months or so. Take advantage of this time of transition by doing some writing, or perhaps comparing notes with someone about things you've been mulling over.

May.26-Jun.05 – T-square aspect pattern

T-square aspect figure

This T-square aspect pattern starts with Mars opposite Chiron (and still within a wide orb of opposition to Neptune as well). One by one, there are a succession of planets that fill in the apex position to form a T-square to Mars and Chiron (and a little Neptune). First Mercury arrives (in orb May.28-31), then the Sun (May.30-Jun.07), and finally Venus retrograde, culminating at the Venus-Sun conjunction (Jun.03-05).

Mars opposite Chiron has been hanging around since the beginning of March (!) due to slow Mars stationing Direct. Your actions, passion, drive and ability to make things happen have been going up against limitations, setbacks, disappointments, imperfect resources, and damned-if-you-do-damned-if-you-don't dilemmas. However, by wrestling with these obstacles and issues, you are likely starting to find that there are actions you can take that will make a difference and improve your situation, even if it's not a perfect solution.

Mercury adding his energy to the process suggests you will be challenged to give a voice to what you've learned, what you're experiencing or to a new perspective on the situation. The Sun encourages you to look inside yourself to see how you are stronger for having wrestled with these difficulties—or how you have become disadvantaged as a result and therefore what needs to change and shift in order to heal the stress you're feeling.

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Venus only steps in for a quick visit, as she conjoins the Sun. Unfortunately, by that time Mars has moved on and is no longer within orb of his opposition to Chiron, so Venus only gets to wave good-bye as the party breaks up. However, this is likely to colour Venus' retrograde cycle, since it occurs at the time of a very important Venus-Sun conjunction (their alignment is very precise, which is very rare, and their combined energies are likely to have more of an effect as a result). Also, the Sun-Venus conjunction begins a new Venus long-term cycle.

Overall, this T-square challenges you to take your struggles with Mars issues—taking action, anger, sexuality, energy level, physical activity and self-image—and integrate a higher understanding of them into your mindset, how you frame your experiences and how you communicate those experiences, as well as seeing the humour in them (Mercury). Then look at these through the lens of your identity and sense of life purpose (Sun) and see how things look different. Finally, take it all and see how it all relates to your social life, your interactions with others, what and who you love, and your values in life.

May.27 – Sun conjunct Mercury (06:34 of Gemini)

During this transit, your sense of self and purpose can become merged with what you think, perceive and say. On one hand, this can make for an easy flow of ideas and communication from inside your brain to the external world. It can also increase your perceptions and observations of the world, as you file it all away in your internal database. On the other hand, you may find yourself a bit tongue-tied, as it could be hard to separate your sense of self from your perceptions and ideas enough to find the words to adequately express them. In that case, just observe and go with the flow; the words will come later. It can also be a time when it's not easy to be objective, especially about yourself and how you bring yourself to the world around you. It's like your Being automatically expresses and sets into motion the things you think, perceive and want to say. This can help you to feel like your sense of self is shining effortlessly, but if your thoughts and perceptions are in conflict with other parts of you (e.g., emotions, needs, objectivity) then it might become a time when you act a little too quickly with blinders on. Strive for balance and self-honesty before you act.

May.27 – Mercury sextile Uranus (07:41 of Gemini/Aries)  (May.28 in UK, 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.

May.28 – Sun sextile Uranus (07:43 of Gemini/Aries)  (May.30 in AU)

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.

May.28 – Mercury square Chiron (09:39 of Gemini/Pisces)  (May.29 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.

May.30 – Sun square Chiron (09:40 of Gemini/Pisces)  (May.31 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.

May.30 – Mercury square Mars (14:20 of Gemini/Virgo)  (May.31 in UK, AU)

Fiery speech, argument and hot debate characterise this transit. This could come in the form of conflict, or it might be stimulating and challenging – or both! One thing to watch out for is that you may have a short fuse for a temper, and the same may be true for others around you. It can be a time when you blurt out things you later regret, or you might finally find the courage to do something that's long overdue. The problem is that one can easily look like the other, and what feels like courage in the moment might look more like reckless haste in retrospect. Harsh words can't always be taken back, so keep a grip on your objectivity and better judgment while you're verbally fighting the dragons. Use this energy to stoke your motivational fires, and use your ideas to generate positive action. It can help to pace your mental energy like racing a horse, which can harness abundant energy to fuel your decisions, courage and resolve.

Jun.01 – Mercury conjunct Venus Retrograde (18:20 of Gemini)

Social connections, diplomatic communication and receptive awareness mark this transit. It can be a great time to negotiate contracts or agreements because the communication can usually flow easily. Focus your awareness on achieving a mutual balance between you and the other person. A win-win solution is especially easy to achieve now – so much so, in fact, that it might be tempting to only say what you think the other person wants to hear (which may or may not be wise). This can also be a time of appreciating and expressing beauty, pleasure and sensuality. If there's someone you want to get closer to (in terms of romance, friendship, business, partnership, or even an adversary!), talking gently and listening receptively can be the key that unlocks the door. You may also get new creative ideas from your interactions with people or from observing them.

Jun.03 – Mercury trine Saturn (23:07 of Gemini/Libra)  (Jun.04 in AU)

It can be easier to take a logical, practical approach to problem-solving and pursuit of your goals now. Your mental outlook is likely to be calm and grounded. This is a good time to make plans and work out the logistics of how you're going to get from "here" to "there" in pursuing your goals. You may find it's time to bring closure to finished goals by distilling and systemizing what you've learned in the process of pursuing those past goals. Or, you might find you are able to draw on past achievements to assist and support your current goals and plans. It is a good transit to bring structure to your thoughts and communication. You may find it's a little easier to accept authority – yours or someone else's – and that you are able to speak authoritatively about things about which you have knowledge or experience.

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

Jun.04 – LUNAR ECLIPSE ~ FULL MOON in SAGITTARIUS (14:13 of Sagittarius)

LUNAR ECLIPSE
FULL MOON in SAGITTARIUS

Ottawa, Canada and
Washington DC, USA:

Jun.04, 2012, 7:11 AM EDT

London, UK:

Jun.04, 2012, 12:11 PM BST

Sydney, AU:

Jun.04, 2012, 9:11 PM AEST

"What's a Lunar Eclipse?"

"What's a Full Moon?"

Read more about the Sun-Moon cycles.

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

This Lunar Eclipse can best be seen from Australia and throughout the Pacific. Also from western North America at Moonset and from eastern Asia at Moonrise. This is a partial eclipse so only part of the Moon will be in the shadow.

The power to guess the unseen from the seen, to trace the implications of things, to judge the whole piece by the pattern, the condition of feeling life in general so completely that you are well on your way to knowing any particular corner of it...
~ Henry James

What begins with curiosity inevitably leads to implications. One thing always points to something else.

But implications are tricky things. They show a possible, perhaps even probable, future or outcome. They're not exactly consequences, which are a done deal. Implications are spun from speculation woven from logic, wisdom, knowledge and belief.

They're visionary. They can either reveal the true structure of things or they can embellish it with imagination that makes the original thing look very different.

If A, then B. If B, then C. Therefore, if A, then C. Or is it? What if D comes along? How might that change the others? What comes after D? Could the progression lead to something entirely different? If it does, then does that alter the nature of B or C? And how do B, C and D change how you think about A? Do they even play by the same rules anymore? And if not, why?

These are all Sagittarius questions. What if...? Could...? Why, why, why...? With the Full Moon in Sagittarius, our ability and need to question, explore and speculate are likely to be very strong.

Sagittarius is a Mutable sign, and therefore has very changeable energy. Reaching for the answers, or even just asking the questions, can stir up more questions and ideas that may show something entirely unexpected. 1 and 2 lead to 3 – this may be simple logic and arithmetic to us now, but to 1 and 2, 3 was a complete surprise! You mean there's more than just us?? Who knew!! And imagine 1's shock when she first discovered 2! Just think of the possibilities!!

Knowledge is a Sagittarian journey of discovery that never ends. There's always another horizon. Something is always going to be over the next hill. And what lies waiting beyond that? Sagittarius, the endless wanderer and adventurer, absolutely lives to find out!

There is not one big cosmic meaning for all, there is only the meaning we each give to our life, an individual meaning, an individual plot, like an individual novel, a book for each person.
~ Anais Nin

But here's the thing: distance distorts. Sometimes this is a good thing...or not. Either way, distance tends to distort our perception by changing the more accurate and realistic view of the person or situation into something simpler and easier to manage.

For example, you might be drawn to a career as a nurse because you see it as a noble profession of healing. Although your idealized image of nursing might become a bit tarnished by the reality, you might find you stay because you feel enriched by the skills you develop and the camaraderie you feel with other nurses. You might never have gone into nursing if all you saw in it was skills and interaction with colleagues. The glowing image of nursing was a bit distorted from the reality, but it motivated you to embark on a path that you might not otherwise have taken.

Rocks distorted by water

Another positive example is when that distortion makes a person or situation look undesirable. For instance, you might be repelled by someone because they're overweight, and yet if you take the time to get to know the real person you could see that they're a caring, thoughtful, smart and sexy person.

On the other hand, that distortion could be a not-so-good thing too. You might be drawn to someone romantically because they're drop-dead gorgeous or they make you feel special, so you see them as being wonderful because of that. However, when you get to know him or her better, you start to see the reality beyond the idyllic glow.

Mind you, this will happen with anyone since we are all imperfect human beings and, individual uniqueness means there will always be some degree of incompatibility with others. However, if that distortion hides something more serious, you might discover that he or she is an alcoholic or abusive or unfaithful. You only get to see the reality as you get closer to the person and get to know who they really are—when the distortion of distance gives way to the clarity of closeness.

Our perception of the world tends to be shaped by our expectations and beliefs, hopes and fears, needs and condemnation. It's as if they have a gravity all their own, and reality takes a form that's consistent with them. There may or may not be anything magical about this. If nothing else, we simply tend to see things in a way that's consistent with our worldview – it's easier and more efficient than reinventing the wheel every time we encounter something or someone. Unless we are capable of relaxing our expectations and being open to new experiences, we will focus on the things that support and confirm what we believe while dismissing anything that conflicts as invalid, undesirable or meaningless.

Depending on the significance and magnitude of the factors involved, the variation between what you believe you see and what is actually there can be considerable. What (you think) you see can be so convincing, so compelling, that it's hard to imagine any other way to look at it. Is it real or is it a distorted illusion? How can we know? Perhaps faith can help by giving you a way to interpret and understand it all, but faith is notoriously undependable when you try to view it through the lens of manifest Saturnian reality. Sometimes it pans out, sometimes it doesn't.

Reason is the natural order of truth; but imagination is the organ of meaning.
~ C. S. Lewis

Now we've moved from implications to illusions, which bring us beyond Sagittarius and into Pisces. In the Full Moon chart, Jupiter (the ruler of Sagittarius, and the traditional ruler of Pisces) has only one major aspect to another planet – a square (90°) to Neptune, which is the modern ruler of Pisces and is currently located in Pisces. It suggests a conflict between the implications of your situation and the idealism being projected onto it.

Jupiter square Neptune can be a tricky combination. Jupiter, with its optimism, hope and faith, longs to believe whatever it sees, even though Neptune's rainbow prism may be refracting the situation into a million different possibilities. Like a hall of mirrors, it's extremely difficult to tell which is the reflection and which is the real thing. And is the real thing further distorted by Neptune's boundary-less perspective? It's like trying to see something clearly through the murky and moving currents of the ocean. Whatever is there, you might not know for sure until you get there.

As much as that distortion could interfere with your progress, it might also be a blessing. It can take something ugly, painful or arduous and shine it up with enough glitter and glow to get you through to the other side. Neptune can restore Jupiter's faith and free the imagination so that it's possible to see hope beyond the obstacles and problems. Jupiter can give Neptune's idealized imaginings and sharpen them into purpose and principle.

In addition, Jupiter is a singleton in Fixed signs, meaning it's the only planet in all 4 Fixed signs. So, it shoulders all the Fixed energy in the chart. A Fixed Jupiter runs the risk of expanding and expanding, and nothing will ever be enough to satisfy it, although it could also provide some stability by keeping Jupiter's aim on the target and his eye on the prize.

And there's one more complication: Neptune is stationary! Neptune officially goes retrograde just 9 hours after the Full Moon is exact. This gives Neptune a much stronger role in the drama than it would normally have. It would be wise not to underestimate the power of projection, illusion and idealism. Things may not be what they seem, so it may be a good idea to reserve judgment or conclusions until all the facts are in. But don't let the risks cloud you to Neptune's gifts either – creativity, compassion and connection to All That Is could come to you in surprising, unexpected ways, especially if it happens as a result of conflict or struggle.

To know, is to know that you know nothing. That is the meaning of true knowledge.
~ Socrates

The Sun is conjunct Venus Retrograde—just a day away from her much awaited and very rare dance across the face of the Sun. Venus brings a vision of balance and beauty to the journey, but being retrograde these qualities may need to be approached from a different kind of perspective. What are you balancing yourself with or against? Perhaps it's time to think beyond immediate gratification or relief, and extend your footing—and your perspective—a little further. You might benefit by taking the greater implications of your choices and options into account—a struggle at first, but bringing more rewarding results in the long run.

Grand Cross at the Lunar Eclipse in Sagittarius

The Sun and Venus opposition to the Moon form a Grand Cross with the Mars-Chiron opposition, all of them in Mutable signs (Gemini-Sagittarius, Virgo-Pisces). There's a lot of energy in flux! Working with perceptions and information (Sun-Venus in Gemini) to understand the greater meaning that is implied (Moon in Sagittarius). This is at odds with our continuing struggle to reconcile the physical and non-physical aspects of our being (Chiron in Pisces) that we may try to resolve by struggling to live up to a strict (and probably impossible) standard of perfection.

The trick is not to get tangled up in knots of absolutes. This Grand Cross can ultimately show you a better way to understand the implications of your situation, carrying you beyond the need to be right—especially when that means someone else is therefore wrong. Good and bad don't have to compete in a winner-takes-all crusade, and much of what we adopt as right or wrong can be ultimately understood as footholds in our climb up the evolutionary mountain.

Camouflage is a game we all like to play, but our secrets are as surely
revealed by what we want to seem to be as by what we want to conceal.
~ Russell Lynes

There are two more noteworthy features of this Full Moon. For one thing, it's also a Lunar Eclipse, meaning that the Sun, Moon and Earth are so precisely aligned that the Moon moves through the shadow cast by the Earth. This one is just a partial lunar eclipse (the Moon only dips one foot into the Earth's shadow; she doesn't go for a whole swim), but even partial eclipses can pack a punch.

All the energies, dynamics and dramas discussed above – multiply them by 5, if not 10. The issues you'll wrestle with at this lunar eclipse will likely have much broader implications in your life than if it were your garden variety Full Moon. Expect that whatever comes up, it will take a while (months or even a few years) to sort it all out, or else there will be deeper levels to explore and discover that give you a richer understanding of the situation.

The second remarkable element of this Full Moon and Lunar Eclipse is that it's exactly conjunct a mysterious astronomical "something" called the Great Attractor.

One current theory is that it is an enormous super-cluster of galaxies, whose massive collective gravity is pulling other super-clusters of galaxies (including our own) along behind it like it was the Cosmic Pied Piper. Not much is known about it yet because our view is obscured by our own Milky Way galaxy and therefore data is difficult to obtain. Currently located at 14:05 Sagittarius, the GA is a mere 8 minutes of zodiacal arc from our Full Moon! That makes it a significant player in the lunar eclipse drama.

With the GA's immense gravitational pull, light bends around it so much that we can actually see some of what lies beyond it. That brings up a number of those Sagittarian implications! For one thing, the distortion factor is greatly amplified. Whatever we are reaching and aiming for (Sagittarius) could easily turn out to be something very different than we are currently able to see in the situation. Since eclipses tend to stir up things that take months, even years, to unfold, this could mean we are embarking on a journey that will change dramatically along the way.

It’s an inescapable force, or so it seems. A factor that emerges within the [Great Attractor] is that of free will. Do we have free will and consciousness? Or do we remain subject to the immutable laws of the physical forces of nature? Given the massive gravity of the GA, it would appear that the latter principle will hold up in the Universal realms. Once engaged, there is no hope. You will be swept away. There is no control. No act of volition can alter this fact of life.
~ Philip Sedgwick, from The Soul of the Sky

The best astrological material I've found on the Great Attractor is written by Philip Sedgwick, who offers some well-turned symbolism about this mysterious something. One of the more intriguing qualities he raises is the idea of precognition, suggested by the GA's gravity bending light so that we can see what's behind it. And yet, the distortion factor means we can't be certain of the true nature of what we're seeing – past, present or something else entirely?

This light-bending dynamic sounds like the science fiction (or futuristic) concept of a "cloaking device." The idea of cloaking involves bending light in order to camouflage a person, spaceship or just about anything, and is moving out of the realm of science fiction and into real physical science.

In terms of our lunar eclipse, it could hold a caution that you might not see a danger or problem until you're right on top of it, so mesmerized are you by the cloaking mirage around it. It might also suggest that you yourself have the ability to project an image of yourself that is greatly idealized and lacking in authenticity.

Whatever you do under this eclipse and over the next couple of weeks could take on a life of its own far greater than you ever imagined or intended. There are pluses and minuses to all of these possibilities. Either way, just remember that eventually the idealistic glow will wear off and you'll be left with the reality. Sagittarius inevitably evolves into Capricorn, so don't get so attached to the illusion, the promise or the principle, that you can't adjust to the changes.

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Jun.04 – Neptune stationary Retrograde (03:09 of Pisces)  (Jun.05 in AU)   ("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.04 – Venus square Mars (16:23 of Gemini/Virgo)  (Jun.05 in UK, AU)

Your receptive, diplomatic side is arguing with your assertive, decisive side. The result is either a battle of wills between your Yin and Yang, or a new creative energy that harnesses both. This could manifest in the form of relationship problems, financial struggles, arguments about control, or you are propelled to take action with plans that have been percolating for a while. If you're usually more comfortable with your Yin side (receptive, diplomatic), you might feel a bit backed into a corner or forced to negotiate under pressure. If you're more at home in your Yang side (assertive, action-oriented), you may feel compelled to blunt or sheathe the sword you would prefer to smite your enemy with. Either way, this is about balancing the two sides and finding a new cooperation that works for both.

Jun.05 – Sun conjunct Venus (15:44 of Gemini)  (Jun.06 in UK, AU)

When the Sun conjuncts Venus retrograde, it initiates a new beginning in all things related to Venus. That includes self-image, beauty, love, relationships, interaction, finances, resources, pleasure and sensuality. However, this new beginning is small and largely hidden, like a seed beneath the earth that is about to sprout. You are the co-gardener of your soul now, in partnership with the Universe. Therefore, be gentle, consistent and supportive of yourself, as you would a sprouting seed. You may not be clear on what the new beginning is until well after Venus goes direct, so be patient. Now is a good time to gather intuitive thoughts and impressions of what kind of changes you would like in Venus areas. Would you like to improve your self-image so that you are more loving and accepting of yourself? Perhaps you would like to stabilise your material security and help it grow gradually? Or maybe you want to bring more pleasure and harmony to your relationships and interactions with others? Start by connecting to the loving and blessed person inside yourself first.

This isn't just any Sun-Venus conjunction! These two will be so precisely aligned that Venus will actually appear to cross the face of the Sun. This is extremely rare! These alignments occur only when Venus is retrograde. They typically occur in pairs, 8 years apart, with the pairs occurring 105 or 121 years later. We won't see the next one until 2117! Although we'll still see Venus go retrograde every 1½ years, she won't be aligned closely enough to appear within the disc of the Sun until that time.

So what does it mean? Venus is our sense of love, beauty, pleasure and harmony. It's our connection to feminine energy, along with the Moon. For any planet to be so precisely conjunct the Sun is called Cazimi, which means "in the heart of the Sun." The Sun—our central sense of purpose and identity—shines that planet's energy out from its heart centre. To have Venus there is to allow love to fill one's heart. However, as this is a retrograde Venus, the love, beauty and delight we'll find will come primarily from within.

You might become aware of a new appreciation for someone you had previously taken for granted. You could tap into the archetypal Feminine, which can share love and pleasure—but don't even imagine that she's a push-over! It is an opportunity for Goddess energy to seep more deeply into the collective psyche – living life as a reflection of universal beauty and harmonization, as well as cultivating increased respect and reverence for feminine energy.

It is a time when negotiations could require more diplomatic skill and compromise than usual. In conflicting or challenging situations, you might need to check your own projections to see if what's coming from the other person is, either partly or primarily, a mirroring of your own attitude or intention. With Venus being consumed by the Sun, it is within your own sense of self that you will find your deepest connection with other people. If your sense of self is struggling to feel that you are loved enough, appreciated enough and valued enough, then your interactions may be primarily about what they can do for you.

And yet, this is also a chance to shine your own light inside, to realize that you can give some of that validation and blessing to yourself. When you feel you have enough, it is possible to reach out and give it to someone else without unconscious strings attached. This isn't a shameful thing, nor is it about ignoring your right to have boundaries or to ask for something in return for what you give. Rather, it's about learning to believe you are worthy of love, and as you discover this, realizing that you can shine that love freely on others without feeling you are losing something by doing that.

Jun.07 – Mercury enters Cancer (until Jun.25)

Intuition, sensitive perception, and communication of feelings flow more easily during this transit. Your empathy may be deepened now, as you can be more able to imagine and pick up on what other people feel and need. Because of this, you may also find that it's easier to say difficult things in a sensitive, caring way. However, your open connection to others might also increase the risk of communicating in a hurtful or callous way, if you are not used to treading gently. Your creative imagination is also more accessible now. To take advantage of this, try doing some journal writing, expand your emotional awareness, have some creative fun, or think of ways to make your environment more homey and comfortable.

Jun.07 – Sun square Mars (17:42 of Gemini/Virgo)  (Jun.08 in UK, AU)

Assertiveness, aggression and intense energy burst out under this transit. This can be a time of being pushed into taking action...or it can erupt in anger, irritation and hostility (in yourself or others). It may seem like everything pushes your buttons and rubs you the wrong way, creating conflict and putting you on edge. You may feel the impulse to burn off this excess energy through sexual activity. If you look beneath the irritation you may see a frustrated part of you that wants change, yet you have held back for some reason. Being pro-active and initiating steps for voluntary change is preferable, since you will have far more control over the process than if you get pushed into a corner and forced to act. The more preplanning you've done for this moment, the more successful you're likely to be. But if you get caught in a whirlwind of change, connect yourself to the part of you that wants change and let that ground and guide you.

Jun.08 – Mercury trine Neptune (03:08 of Gemini/Pisces)  (Jun.09 in UK, AU)

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

Jun.08-15 – T-square with Mercury

There is a series of T-square aspect figures that are hovering in the skies from early June until early November. They're connected because they all involve the square between Uranus and Pluto. In 2010 we had a series of T-squares that worked with the Uranus-Pluto square, including a powerful Lunar Eclipse in Capricorn on Jun.26.2010 that formed a Grand Cross. During that year the energy was quite intense because Jupiter and Saturn were involved – slower moving energies that created a more lasting and far-reaching effect.

These T-squares this year involve the inner planets: Sun, Mercury, Venus and Mars. The energy of 2010 that was working at the collective or global or societal level, is now working on a more personal or interpersonal level. Uranus square Pluto is a very transpersonal combination of energies, so these T-squares are bringing a very broad, intense, transformative influence to bear on personal consciousness and awareness. In other words, we are being challenged to find ways to expand that awareness and adjust to, change with and grow from these larger-than-life energies.

The first of the group is Mercury opposing Pluto and squaring Uranus. It is active from Jun.08-15, reaching its tightest peak on Jun.11 when all are at 8° of their respective signs.

Keep these dates on your calendar:

Inner Planet When Active Closest
Peak
Closest
Degree(s)
Additional Transits
Mercury opp Pluto, sqr Uranus Jun.08 to 15 Jun.11 Moon cnj Uranus Jun.12
Sun opp Pluto, sqr Uranus Jun.21 to Jul.06 Jun.29 Moon opp Uranus Jun.27
Moon cnj Pluto Jul.03
Mars opp Uranus, sqr Pluto Jul.05 to 28 Jul.16-19 7° to 8° Moon cnj Uranus Jul.09
Uranus Stationary Retrograde on Jul.12
Moon opp Pluto Jul.17
Moon cnj Mars Jul.24
Venus opp Pluto, sqr Uranus Aug.09 to 21 Aug.15-16 7° to 8° Moon cnj Venus Aug.13
Moon opp Uranus Aug.20
Mercury opp Uranus, sqr Pluto Sep.16 to 24 Sep.20 Moon cnj Mercury Sep.16
Pluto Stationary Direct Sep.17
Moon cnj Pluto Sep.23
Sun opp Uranus, sqr Pluto Sep.22 to Oct.05 Sep.29 Full Moon, Moon cnj Uranus Sep.29
Venus opp Uranus, sqr Pluto Oct.28 to Nov.08 Nov.2 to 3 5° to 7° Moon opp Pluto Nov.03

After these T-squares, we don't see another T-square with Uranus and Pluto (other than briefly with the Moon) until June 2013.

Jun.11 – Jupiter enters Gemini (until Jun.25.2013)  (Jun.12 in AU)

Jupiter in Gemini can be intellectually both brilliant and exhausting! Gemini is all about ideas and information, while Jupiter is about amalgamating that information into meaningful patterns and understanding. It sounds like a perfect match of energies, but it often doesn't quite work that way. Jupiter must operate in Gemini's style, which means the planet that prefers to work within the big picture and from a broad perspective must instead deal with the nitty gritty details on the ground, so to speak. This is an example of why a planet in its Detriment (opposite the sign of its Rulership) is considered to be weakened or disadvantaged.

At best, Jupiter in Gemini will give you a vision of what all that raw data can become. Information, ideas, and the communication and exchange of these, can be seen in terms of their implications and potential. Opinions, beliefs and inspiration can grow from seed ideas. There is a strong urge—and ability—to decipher the greater context of something based on having just one or two pieces of the bigger puzzle. Gemini's mischievousness also has a bigger playground in which to have fun. Jupiter's philosophical perspective can take on a trickster mentality, resulting in encounters with paradox, irony and other conceptual silliness.

On the other hand, it's also possible to jump to conclusions a little too quickly before all the facts are in. It can also lead to getting bogged down in "too much information" without ever getting to the point of what it all means. Jupiter's philosophical approach to things could result in little more than word play, rather than blossoming into a bigger picture full of meaning and wisdom. If you get stuck in either information overload or superficiality, try taking a step back and remind yourself what your greater purpose is in what you're aiming to do. What is really important and what direction do you need to go to get back on track?

Jun.11 – Mercury square Uranus (08:08 of Cancer/Aries)  (Jun.12 in AU)

Flashes of insight can show you new clarity but you might not like the answers you get, since they could disturb your logical perception of what's what. You might get some news or learn come information that shakes you up in some way. This isn't necessarily bad, since this may be necessary to open your mind to something you've been resisting. There's a Higher Truth here that wants to be told (by you or to you), but the way it's phrased can make a big difference in the reaction. There is a risk of "shooting off your mouth before your brains are loaded," as the saying goes, and impulsive or reckless communication and ideas could create more problems than they solve. It will probably help to listen inside yourself first to discover what you really need to say, and then figure out how to say it in a way that doesn't cause unnecessary damage. Strive to shine a light of truth without blinding anyone with it.

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Jun.11 – Mercury opposite Pluto (08:41 of Cancer/Capricorn)  (Jun.12 in UK, AU)

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

Jun.04 – Chiron stationary Retrograde (09:45 of Pisces)   ("What's a Station?"  "What does Retrograde mean?"  Read more about Retrograde planets.)

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

Jun.12 – Mercury trine Chiron (09:45 of Cancer/Pisces)  (Jun.13 in AU)

Your mental focus and communication now get an injection of healing energy. Cynicism and depression may soften now, as you become more receptive to a more optimistic viewpoint. If you have been caught up in escapism or "stinkin' thinkin'" (thinking you're more in control of your impulses than you really are), you may now find some relief and healing. Mental argument and critical "self-talk" can now find some reconciliation and acceptance that brings some peace of mind. You have increased ability to find the right words and understanding to help others with their problems. Compassion and empathy may be more accessible because you can identify your own experiences with what you see in others. You might also find someone who can give you good advice or support about your own problems – possibly a teacher or mentor – or you could become this to someone else.

Jun.13 – Sun trine Saturn (22:52 of Gemini/Libra)

This is a great time to apply yourself to serious work. You may feel especially self-sufficient and independent, with a strong and clear sense of self and purpose. There is support for your ambitions as long as you stay grounded and practical in how you approach them, which should come easily right now. Your ability to cooperate and feel comfortable with authority figures is likely to be high, along with your capacity to embrace your own authority and make solid decisions. This is a time when you are more likely to feel grounded and deal with problems in a practical, decisive way. Your energy may be more serious than "party animal," but even if you are in "party mode" it will be easier to realistically know your limits and not overdo it. If you've been waiting for the right time to move forward with or manifest a project or plan that you've been putting together (or wanting to), this could be the time when that happens. The final launch or manifestation may or may not happen now, but you will probably be able to at least move forward in some important steps.

Jun.16 – Venus square Chiron (09:44 of Gemini/Pisces)  (Jun.17 in AU)

You may be forced to make adjustments to relationships and/or finances now, as you face situations in these areas that just don't want to balance out the way you want them to. You may feel a bit like you're in a catch-22 (no-win situation), where the more you try to find balance and harmony, the more you feel like you're chasing your own tail around in circles. This is a time when healing in relationships and financial problems may be difficult to obtain. Harmony in these areas can seem impossible or blocked, yet it is still necessary to keep trying. By trying anyway, it may be possible to find a solution that meets your needs, even if it may not be what you wanted, hoped for or expected. Strive to find a creative solution that draws on your best side.

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© 2012 Wendy Guy. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied without the author's written permission. Photo of solar eclipse from NASA. Photos of flower at the Kilauea Crater with sulfur gases in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park by georgeburba at CanStockPhoto.com. Photo of underwater scene by seemann at MorgueFile.com. Photo of water reflection by waterbridge at MorgueFile.com. Photo of Lunar Eclipse taken Jan.20-21, 2000, © Mr. Eclipse/Fred Espanack, www.mreclipse.com. Photo of groundhog by Kenn W. Kiser via MorgueFile.com.


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