Low-Down Archives for July-Aug 2012

New Moon in Leo, Full Moon in Aquarius

Chart for the New Moon in Cancer
Chart for the New Moon in Cancer

Jul.19 – NEW MOON in CANCER (26:54 of Cancer)

NEW MOON in CANCER

Ottawa, Canada and
Washington DC, USA:

Jul.19, 2012, 12:24 AM EDT

London, UK:

Jul.19, 2012, 5:24 AM BST

Sydney, AU:

Jul.19, 2012, 2:24 PM AEST

"What's a New Moon?"

Read more about the Sun-Moon cycles.

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

A fish and a bird can fall in love, but where will they build their nest?
~ Jessie Nelson
(Corrina, Corrina)

It's all about the nest.

Without the nest, the eggs won't hatch. If you don't have a good pot, you can't make the soup. Without a stable hearth, the fire won't stay put. Without solid bedrock, your building won't stand. To grow or develop anything you need something to provide support, stability and strength.

In alchemy, it's called the alembic – the container that holds the work. In Cancer's world, it's the nest, where the eggs gestate and the hatched fledglings get ready for the world.

A good nest is strong enough to be unyielding when it must support volatile transformation, yet also flexible enough to adjust to changing needs when the process calls for it. It's soft, comfortable and nurturing enough to offset difficulties until the tender thing growing inside it is ready to face a harsher environment. The ideal nest is perfectly balanced between protection from the external world and allowing access to it.

The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances; if there is any reaction, both are transformed.
~ Carl Gustav Jung

So: what if you have conflicting needs? What do you do when the answer to one problem just creates more problems? How do you build a nest that will serve conflicting needs?

These are the questions put before you. There's a lot to figure out in this New Moon and throughout this coming lunar cycle. It's all about making things fit that don't fit easily together. When the square peg meets the round hole, there's only so much you can do, but creative ingenuity and vision will definitely help.

This New Moon is in Cancer. This is the Moon's territory. Cancer is all about nurturing, caring and safety. Like a bird incubating an egg, it takes patience, dedication and a well constructed nest to contain the transformation occurring within.

The nest must come first – just ask any bird in springtime! The work itself can't be done in a vacuum, so it is critical to create a good platform on which the work can be done.

This is like the bedrock that supports the foundation, and the foundation that is the underpinning to the building, and the building that provides the space in which to live and grow ...or even to plan new buildings!

So what kind of foundation are you building or renovating in your life right now? Is your current foundation crumbling at the seams and misaligned from all the changes and challenges over the years? Do you need it to be a little softer and not quite so harsh? Or perhaps you would benefit from being a bit more disciplined and focused on the end result than how comfy it is in the present?

Always with you it cannot be done. You must unlearn what you have learned... Do or do not! There is no try.
~ Yoda (George Lucas)

The New Moon in Cancer has some difficult aspects to the rest of the chart. There's only one major aspect – a square to Saturn. This is what we call A Difficult Aspect. Without some kinder, gentler aspects to counteract it, this could feel rather sharp-edged to that sensitive Cancer energy.

Cancer wants the nest to be comfy and cozy, safe and sound; with a revolving door that allows fledgling ideas to come and go while they build up their strength before they're ready to take flight. Saturn has some pretty strict ideas about what kind of nest should be built, and possibly some rather clipped comments to remind you about the successes and failures of nests that you've built in the past.

However, Saturn can provide a good, solid nest that can take any tantrums our Cancer Inner Child throws at it. If you need help creating a strong, durable structure that can hold its shape against destructive forces, Saturn's your guy! He believes in challenging you to grow through difficulty and discipline, to ensure that what emerges from it will be sturdy, resilient and ready for the outside world that's not always nice. Whereas Cancer wants an encouraging, supportive, reassuring atmosphere in which to grow, Saturn just says, "Grow up!"

Arrowhead aspect figure with Jupiter

Saturn is still impaled on the pointy end of an Arrowhead or Quadriform aspect pattern, ("What's an Arrowhead or Quadriform aspect pattern?") and has been since mid-June. That's a long time to be sitting on a tack, so it's understandable if he's getting a bit snarly by now.

Whereas the Arrowhead figure was originally formed with a Venus-Chiron square, Jupiter has moved in to take Venus' place since early July, and will remain there until early August. So we've moved from struggling with values, finances, relationships and interactions to struggling with knowledge, judgment, morality and understanding.

At the Cancer New Moon, Saturn has no "positive" aspects – only the square to the Sun and Moon, and the sesqui-quadrates (135° or a square-and-a-half) to Chiron and Jupiter in the Arrowhead. This brings out an edgier, more demanding, do-or-do-not side of Saturn.

Whatever you're trying to build in your life right now (or renovating, or tearing down so that you can rebuild, etc) will require some extra calibration to adjust your aim and be more effective in what you're doing. And, as Yoda describes, this could take some unlearning of bad habits or incorrect assumptions before you can relearn it and make it work.

We are ...the perpetrators of the confusion and alienation we abhor and which keeps us impotent in finding new alternatives. It is up to us to diligently discover new solutions and learn new patterns of relating, ways more conducive to growth, peace, hope and loving coexistence. Anything that is learned can be unlearned and relearned. In this process called change lies our real hope.
~ Leo Buscaglia (Loving Each Other)

T-square: Mars opposed Uranus, square Pluto

So where is the cutting edge that will slice through the obstacles in your path? What kind of obstacles are we talking about? What is your best direction through it all?

This is where Mars comes in. Mars is in a T-square aspect pattern with Uranus and Pluto throughout July. The T-square is pretty much at its closest orb in the New Moon chart, so it is a very loud driving force in this lunar cycle!

The hinge swings on the Mars-Uranus opposition. These two can bring out an irresistible urge to engage in a battle of wills. And with it involving an opposition, this battle could easily deteriorate into a polarizing yes/no, good/bad, did/didn't, will/won't pendulum swing. It could be about something you genuinely feel passionate about, but it could also just as easily be driven by the need to exercise your confrontation and assertion muscles.

This also puts an interesting spin on the Cancer New Moon's quest for foundation – Mars opposite Uranus may use it merely as something to push against! After all, what good is a foundation if you can't test it, do push-ups on it? Throwing Pluto into the ring only make it worse. Think circling Sumo wrestlers shaking the ground, while Mars brandishes a switchblade in the corner.

In these times I don't, in a manner of speaking, know what I want; perhaps I don't want what I know
and want what I don't know.
~ Marsilio Ficino (The Letters of Marsilio Ficino, Vol. 3)

Ambivalence Aspect Figure

Jupiter forms an intriguing and complex aspect pattern with the Mars-Uranus-Pluto T-square. The Hubers called it a Double Ambivalence figure.

On one side, Jupiter is trine to Mars and sextile to Uranus, which creates an aspect pattern that I call a Wedge (or an Ambivalence Triangle in Huber-speak). It means Jupiter is in a position to mediate and sooth the conflicts that arise between Mars and Uranus. So when they start "pushing against" whoever or whatever is handy in your immediate environment, Jupiter can use this to learn more about how the dynamic works, what triggers it, what inflames it and what perpetuates it.

Unfortunately, Jupiter and Pluto are in very close quincunx (150°). It bridges the two aspect patterns (the Mars-Uranus-Pluto T-square and the Mars-Uranus-Jupiter Wedge) but the road is unpredictable and precarious. It can set up an dubious flow of energy between the creative, positive energy of the Wedge and the conflicting energy of the T-square.

Pluto could lead Jupiter into either a place of doubt or one of arrogance – which are really just two different sides of the same coin. So that wonderfully creative, soothing mediation that Jupiter brings could also tilt into a tyranny of positive thinking, where you don't dare to feel or acknowledge anything but optimistic thoughts.

Jupiter can bring Pluto to the uncomfortable challenge of needing to expand its perspective beyond its realm of control, which Pluto may agree to do only if it can continue to dominate and control what it finds. So any deep conflict you experience could become even more conflicted, all in the name of growth and knowledge—which could defeat the whole point of the exercise if it only tightens the knots of the conflict rather than liberating them.

Ideas stand in the corner and
laugh while we fight over them.
~ Marty Rubin

So this lunar cycle is a challenge to find ways to fit together ideas, actions, motives and feelings that don't easily fit together—and if they do, it might just make matters worse. Ironically, the best way to navigate through this minefield might be through Mercury retrograde! All that rethinking, rehashing, reflecting and redoing might actually leave you with a more revealing and helpful perspective than if you just fought your way through it all.

Mercury retrograde can bring out miscommunications, confusion and general weirdness. Yet aspect-wise, it's the happiest planet in the solar system: sextiles (60°) to Mars, Jupiter and Venus, and a trine to Uranus. Mercury's rascal side has lots of toys to play with, so you could get some visits from the Trickster through physical exercise or assertiveness, travel or spiritual pursuits, relationships or interactions, and your computer or Internet experience. (For example, this website is a bit up and down lately due to some technical problems - just the kind of fun Mercury loooooves to have! Please be patient and try again in a minute or two if that happens to you. Thanks!)

Listen to your Right Brain – the part of you that's creative, intuitive, musical and non-rational. It may be best not to let it have the driver's seat if you have to function in a more rational way (e.g. your job), but make a mental note of when it wants to navigate in some other direction. What excites it? What fulfils it? What makes it feel unappreciated?

Make this an intuitive journey to discover what you feel, what you need and what will allow you to get that need met. Don't dismiss any information that comes, but go on the assumption that it is a piece of the puzzle that will show you its position in the picture when enough pieces have been found.

The channels of intuitive knowledge are opened according to the intensity of individual need.
~ Jane Roberts

Jul.22 – Jupiter sextile Uranus (08:30 of Gemini/Aries)

Wisdom and truth now shine a light on struggle and gloom in your life. By looking beyond your immediate challenges, your far-reaching vision and expanded understanding can lighten the load a bit. This energy may not splash itself across the sky, but is more like a potential you can tap into if you reach out for it. This can also be a time when wisdom and understanding can be gathered from the areas of life that might normally feel difficult or blocked – making lemonade out of the lemons, so to speak.

Jul.22 – Sun enters Leo (until Aug.22)

Happy Solar Return to all Leos! Today the Sun moves into its own sign, so its radiant energy is extra bright during this time. Leo's focus is on identity, individuality, self-esteem, creativity, self-expression and fun. You can benefit by rejuvenating, revitalising and rekindling the fiery spirit of who you are. Celebrate your existence! Do something that reminds you about who you are. Recharge your batteries and do things that help you return to the centre of the orbiting circumstances in your life – not spinning around at the edges where you feel at the mercy of everything around you. What are you doing (or what do you want to do) in your life that express the passions that move you? What is the focus of your sense of purpose in life, and what is your next step in moving toward that? If you've been feeling like you're stuck or have lost your sense of purpose, do something that uplifts you. If you could do anything with your life that you wanted to, what would it be? And what one thing (even just a small thing) can you do to take a step toward that goal? Rejuvenate your sense of self and do things that help you to just BE who you are. Hang out with children and watch how they play and are spontaneously free. Find ways to connect to your joyful Inner Child. Celebrate your existence!

Jul.22 – Mercury Retrograde sextile Mars (10:25 of Leo/Libra)  (Jul.23 in AU)

There is a potential now to find the courage to speak your mind and say what needs to be said, if you focus consciously on doing so. In fact, your ideas and words may come so quickly and easily that it's hard to stop them from tumbling out of your mouth before you've had a chance to evaluate the best way to say them. Communication is probably easiest and most effective when it's direct, concise and quick, although it might also be a bit blunt or pointed. If you need to confront someone about a difficult situation, this transit can provide courage and clear words to help you do that – although perhaps a bit too forceful when a more delicate, sensitive touch is called for. It is a time when you might find the nerve to take risks, or to defend yourself if the need arises (especially verbally). This is a good transit for creative problem solving and trying on decisions to see if they fit.

This is the second of 3 passes: Jun.21, Jul.22 and Sep.05.

Jul.24 – Jupiter square Chiron (08:56 of Gemini/Pisces)

Your sense of wisdom, understanding and spiritual truth may have to face a difficult test under this transit. That test is to look at and acknowledge the ways in which your wisdom is limited or inadequate—not because there's something wrong with it, but because there is only so much in life that can be conquered by optimism, faith and hope. There are some things in life that must be experienced and cannot simply be eradicated. When we're in the thick of this, it can feel like our knowledge and understanding are defective or worthless, even though this is not the case. By embracing those experiences (rather than beating ourselves up for not being omnipotent, or overcompensating with arrogance), it is eventually possible to transcend them. Your wisdom can be expanded and transformed now by a situation that brings you into contact with this truth. It may be an uncomfortable, even painful experience, but this brings the potential to grow spiritually in ways that are not otherwise possible. To get the most out of this transit, strive to find a way to accept that we are all in a state of becoming, and that our imperfections do not subtract from our sacred nature, but merely make it more divinely complex.

This is the first of 3 passes: Jul.24, Jan.15.2013, Mar.27.2013.

Jul.24 – Mercury Retrograde sextile Jupiter (08:59 of Leo/Gemini)  (Jul.25 in AU)

You may have an abundance of ideas and words to express them under this transit. There is the potential (if you reach for it) to put ideas, facts and thoughts together into a cohesive whole. You may find you can understand the overall patterns in a situation, or you are able to see the Big Picture, better than usual. New insights and a change of perspective may abound, as your stream of consciousness flows abundantly with optimism and visionary possibilities. You may find yourself more talkative than usual, as you try to share and convey the new ideas, inspiration and knowledge coming into your mind. Write down your best ideas for later development, since you may be having too much fun now playing with ideas to want to stop and make them manifest just yet. There is a chance that you may be so elated and confident that you might come across as a bit overbearing or even as a "know-it-all," so be sure to listen too.

Jul.25 – Mercury Retrograde trine Uranus (08:28 of Leo/Aries)

Unusual ideas, flashes of insight and seeing unexpected possibilities are all part of this transit. You may find it easier to be open-minded right now, especially about insights that have eluded you. Your ability to see beyond your usual horizon of perception can bring visionary brainwaves, as well as a fun sense of humour. You might be inspired to experiment with something new or do something out of character. You might have an impulse to break free of old habits or constraints. This can be a very liberating transit that opens your mind to new possibilities and ideas. However, be careful that you don't become so liberated and spontaneous that you become erratic, hyper or reckless. Words may come tumbling out of your mouth before you've had a chance to consider their wisdom, or you might find yourself talking non-stop and interrupting, creating a bit of awkwardness in those around you. On the other hand, you might also find the clarity and vision that gives you the words to speak your truth with new conviction. It's a great time to do some writing or other form of self-expression, especially if it's spontaneous or involving technology.

This is the second of 3 passes of this transit: Jul.04, Jul.25 and Aug.18.

Jul.28 – Sun conjunct Mercury Retrograde (06:07 of Leo)  (Jul.29 in AU)

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

Jul.31 – Sun trine Uranus (08:24 of Leo/Aries)

You are more open than usual to spontaneity, surprises and "flying by the seat of your pants!" Your sense of humour and fun are let loose during this transit, as is your ability to break out of old outworn habits. You may get a flash of insight, a burst of courage or a surge of inspiration under this transit. The spirit of who you are can become released now, possibly leading to you behaving a bit "out of character." 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. If your self-confidence, self-expression or self-esteem have been stifled or dampened lately, these could come flying out rather erratically, carelessly or chaotically. Strive to have fun pushing the envelope without ripping it. ;-)

Jul.31 – Venus trine Saturn (23:48 of Gemini/Libra)

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.

Jul.31 – Venus leaves the Shadow (23:59 of Gemini)

Venus finally finishes her retrograde cycle by leaving the Shadow – the area of the zodiac where she was retrograde up until 4-5 weeks ago. Before that, Venus was retrograde for about 6 weeks, after spending 4-5 weeks in the pre-retrograde Shadow. The whole cycle lasts for about 3.5 months, and we are now at the end of this current cycle.

Look back on these time ranges and see if you can identify a pattern in your life. The pre-retrograde Shadow phase may have seen the development of issues, problems, challenges or changes in your desires and appetites in the areas of relationships, finances, resources or the need for balance. During the retrograde phase, you may have reconsidered and re-evaluated these areas, identified something you wanted to change, or perhaps allowed yourself to express feelings or desires that you normally keep locked away. You might have experienced either an increase or decrease in sex drive, desires, finances, social connection or romance during the retrograde phase and to some extent during the entire cycle.

The post-retrograde phase (which ends now) is the time when you make changes or choices based on what has emerged during the other two phases. Anything that increased and filled up the foreground of your attention may now recede into the background again, and things that seemed to hibernate or disappear may have begun to resume. We will not see the Venus Retrograde Shadow again for another 15-16 months.

Chart for the Full Moon in Aquarius
Chart for the Full Moon in Aquarius

Aug.01 – FULL MOON in AQUARIUS (10:15 of Aquarius)

FULL MOON in AQUARIUS

Ottawa, Canada and
Washington DC, USA:

Aug.01, 2012, 11:27 PM EDT

London, UK:

Aug.02, 2012, 4:27 AM BST

Sydney, AU:

Aug.02, 2012, 1:27 PM AEST

"What's a Full Moon?"

Read more about the Sun-Moon cycles.

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

This is the first of two Full Moons in August! Does that mean the second Full Moon is a Blue Moon? Well... it's complicated. Read my improved and expanded article: Blue Moon Lunacy!

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.
~ Friedrich Nietzsche

The Full Moon always consists of the Sun at one end and the Moon at the other end, each in opposing signs. Opposite signs tend to be different sides of the same coin, so to speak, but we often react to them as if they were mutually exclusive.

Take Leo and Aquarius, for example. Leo is about the self – our conscious ego identity, which is what makes us unique from all the other conscious ego identities out there. Leo is also about self-expression – ways that enable us to shout from the rooftops: "I am! Here I am! Look at me, I'm a self!! Here, let me show you what I'm about!"

Aquarius, on the other hand, is associated with groups – a collection of conscious ego identities who share similar interests or perspectives or characteristics. But if there's a collection of people who are like me, how am I unique? Am I unique?? What makes me Me if there are others that are like me? We are social animals, so we need association with others of like mind, but how do you preserve your sense of individuality in the face of similarity? Aren't these ultimately mutually exclusive?

Well, yes and no.

The truth is that we're not entirely as unique as we like to think we are. We are social creatures, and as a rule we have a strong a need to bond together in commonality; to belong. Yet, we also have a need to differentiate ourselves as being unique; to be the centre of our world. And the irony is that we all need mirroring, and so we tend to want recognition of our uniqueness from the very groups that we want to merge with. So yes, they are mutually exclusive at the extreme, but they are also two sides of the same human nature.

Solitude is fine but you need
someone to tell that solitude is fine.
~ Honoré de Balzac

Here's an oversimplified view of how groups work. Groups are definitely a challenge to the whole idea of individuality. A group's natural survival mechanism must tread the fine line between emphasizing the qualities that its members share and recognizing that its members also bring in other qualities that are not shared by other members. It must find that place somewhere in the middle in between the two extremes where the balance works best. 

Too much emphasis on similarities leads to a closed system where individuality is not allowed, since it would threaten the conformity necessary to keep the group closed. In this case, expressing oneself within the confines of the group is acceptable, but "colouring outside the lines" will bring disapproval, perhaps even punishment. However, humans have an innate drive to embrace, express and believe in their uniqueness, so the more closed a group is determined to be, the less sustainable it will be, and the greater the suppressive force it will have to exert to keep its members in line.

On the other hand, too much individuality means the group is at risk of becoming fragmented and losing the "glue" of shared qualities that holds it together as a group. When the commonality becomes too diluted with divergent perspectives and conflicting needs, the group can be in danger of falling apart because it lacks a sense of collective identity. Its members have lots of room to be unique individuals, but there's little or no central principle or goal around which the group is based. The common purpose that brought the group together initially is no longer strong enough to serve those needs of its members.

Its members then have three choices. They can look elsewhere toward other groups to meet needs that are no longer being met in the current one, which might mean having to leave the original group. They could try to sublimate their unmet needs in "acceptable" ways and hope that this will be enough. Or those who share the same unmet needs often become a subgroup - initially to validate their experience and have it mirrored by the subgroup.

However, if the need becomes great enough and the subgroup becomes strong enough, it may try to exert its influence over the larger group in an attempt to bring the central purpose back to include more of the subgroup's priorities and needs. This is usually seen as an empowering, positive move by those in the subgroup, while being seen as disruptive, insubordinate or even dangerous by the larger group, which often attempts to discredit or suppress the subgroup.

If a resolution can't be negotiated, a split can occur that results in a kind of "civil war" (figuratively or literally). The more polarized the two groups become, the less chance they have of resolving the problem because each will see anything less than total victory as being total defeat. This is a no-win situation. Even if force is applied by one group to banish or suppress the needs of the other, it will be a cold peace that requires continued and increasing force to maintain equilibrium.

Maintaining such a balance ironically requires an imbalance of power, and this dynamic is ultimately unsustainable. Imbalance of power will always lead to further change or, at its extreme, revolution. The better choice is to negotiate an agreement or compromise earlier in the process before it stretches to the extremes, which can be extremely difficult to come back from without painful wounds that don't heal easily. Human collective wounds are very slow to heal. Our memories are long and trust in a situation like that becomes scarce, making "post-war" peace very difficult to establish and maintain.

I fear being like everyone I hate, I fear failure, I fear losing control. I love balancing between chaos and control with everything I do. I always have a fear of going one way or another, getting lost in something, or losing everything to get lost in. And I fear being a completely acceptable sheep in society.
~ Marilyn Manson

Understanding how groups spin out of control can help in preventing it. It starts with the fact that there's constant conflict and tension between the needs of the group and the needs of the individuals that make up the whole. Each group answers the question of balance a bit differently, between the needs of the individual and the needs of the group; between commonality and diversity, conformity and freedom, allegiance to the group and commitment to one's self. This is a natural, even healthy phenomenon. Just like swirling currents in a stream, it's only extreme unresolved problems and blockages that will impede the overall flow of the river.

The group's dynamics can grow very complex, since there are usually multiple issues of discontent within the group, especially if it is a large one (e.g. an entire religion or nation or culture). The members flow in various currents throughout the whole, nudging the balance point between differing needs a bit farther one way or the other. This affects other currents/subgroups within the whole to change their course in order to bring it back again or to push it in yet a different direction.

In a healthy group, these changes alter the currents that swirl around within the whole, although they tend to be moderate and cooperative to a large extent. Maintaining awareness of the common bond they have helps to avoid or minimize the extremes of power struggles. However, in a dysfunctional group these shifting currents can become like boiling water. Tension heats up the interaction and exclusive subgroups form, each determined to ensure that its priorities are not forgotten. Yet, the more each subgroup feels that its needs and priorities are in danger of being excluded from the group identity, the more extreme the reaction, the greater the distrust and the less tolerant of differences they become. When the subgroups can no longer agree on what holds them together, it is almost impossible to find peace and balance without doing it through oppression and force—which is not a sustainable system.

It doesn't matter what group it is. It matters not what philosophy, perspective, values, morals, goals, ideals or ideologies the group has. These dynamics are the same.

What to do? These are issues that are resolved through a process of exploration and change, not a quick answer that wraps it all up in a neat bow. And this Full Moon offers a chance to explore these dynamics.

There's never been a true war that wasn't fought between two sets of people who were certain they were in the right. The really dangerous people believe they are doing whatever they are doing solely and only because it is without question the right thing to do. And that is what makes them dangerous.
~ Neil Gaiman

These dynamics are precisely what we are seeing as the Uranus-Pluto square heats up. Uranus (the group) is at odds with the forces that are trying to keep the whole together (Pluto). We are also approaching a Mars-Saturn conjunction, where the drive and desires of Mars meets the cautious hesitation of Saturn. Since both Saturn and Uranus are associated with rulership of Aquarius, these energies will colour the aura of the Full Moon in that sign. Are we having fun yet?

In fact, there are several forces in the Full Moon chart that are eager to make an important impact on its energy. In particular, there are two or three—okay, maybe more—"Wedge" patterns, involving a variety of planets.

Hard Wedge aspect pattern with Venus

Venus forms what I call a Hard Wedge aspect pattern (Venus semisquare to the Sun, and sesquiquadrate to the Moon), which demands that we scratch the itch of how our values and desires get involved with the greater dynamics of the Collective (i.e. your peer group, your national or religious group, or the entire planetary Collective). How are your personal values and need for pleasure at odds with the priorities of the greater groups in your life? How are you dealing with this? If you're trying to ignore it, this Full Moon could feel a bit prickly. If you're working on it, this is a good opportunity to learn more about how or why the two are in conflict.

The question is: how are the values of the Collective, that are currently at odds with each other, affecting your personal values? Is the surrounding tension starting to pull you out of your centre, either to react to the tension or to hide from it? Think back to the last few months – what emerged at that time that reflected what you value?

Wedge aspect pattern with Jupiter

Jupiter forms a plain old Wedge aspect pattern (Jupiter sextile to the Sun, and trine to the Moon), which provides a creative way of relieving and redirecting the tension of the Sun-Moon opposition. For instance, reconnecting with your higher principles can give you greater insight into what the Full Moon conflicts can teach you. On the other hand, the Wedge figure can also show a tendency for escapism or avoidance of the issues. An example of this might be where someone decides that they have the One And Only Truth, which avoids having to wrestle with how each side of a conflict has their own story and their own truth.

Jupiter can also cast judgment and blame on others we disagree with. And blame is a common reaction when we fear being powerless or dismissed. There's a fine line between casting blame and demanding accountability, and it can be very hard to tell them apart. Trines and sextiles can provide a very slippery platform for Jupiter to view the conflicting currents around you. It's easy for your best intentions to start off motivated by a desire for accountability or understanding, yet slip into a position of blame or condemnation. It will help to keep an eye on your reactions so that you can stay aligned with your highest truth.

We can know only that we know nothing. And that is the highest degree of human wisdom.
~ Leo Tolstoy (War and Peace)

Wedge aspect pattern with Uranus

Uranus also forms a Wedge pattern to the Sun and Moon, but in mirror image to Jupiter. Whereas Jupiter is trine the Moon, Uranus is sextile to it. Uranus is trine the Sun, while Jupiter is sextile to it. Jupiter and Uranus are also in sextile. All four planets form an aspect figure called a Cradle. This is a double dose of creative problem solving – Jupiter and Uranus search for higher truth, understanding and enlightenment, and can pool their resources to see beyond the immediate problems or stresses. Both of these planets can help you see the bigger picture; to understand it all within a context that reveals a deeper meaning. Greater understanding gives you choices and options, which you miss in a more short-sighted perspective.

Cradle aspect pattern

However, the Cradle can also a double dose of potential avoidance – Jupiter and Uranus can wind up seeing such a broad, theoretical context of what's happening that you could become disconnected from the human side of it. Sooner or later you have to come back down to Earth again (because you live here). All the brilliant theoretical insight in the world may still be ill equipped to help you find a personal place amid the turmoil. Living only in theory and intellectualization would become just a fancy form of avoidance.

Focused Yod or Boomerang aspect pattern

Pluto and Chiron, in sextile, form a Yod aspect figure pointing at the Sun, and this energy bounces back to the Moon. This figure is sometimes called a Boomerang or a Focused Yod, and it puts enormous stress on the apex planet – in this case, the Sun and your sense of individuality. Finding and maintaining your distinctiveness amid the surrounding collective chaos could be more challenging and overwhelming than you expect. It could feel irritatingly difficult to stay on an even keel (the Yod) with all the boiling controversy and argument around you. In addition, Mercury is still retrograde, which is just likely to add to that sensation.

As the saying goes, it will probably help to be "in the world but not of it." In other words, don't take yourself so seriously that your personal needs, identity and values completely take over the priority list. It's good to laugh at yourself. It's good to grieve the struggle you're feeling in the midst of the chaos. And it's good to let the chaos break you open a bit so that you can see new ideas that you have blocked out.

Do you feel vehement about making sure you win the argument? Take some quiet time, and just for a few minutes let go of your judgment and your need to be right. Close your eyes and envision what it would be like to see things through the eyes of your opponent. Just for a moment. How might their actions or beliefs make sense to them from their viewpoint? What do you and your actions and beliefs look like through the lens of their perspective?

Then let it go and come back to your own position again. Did you see anything new? Did anything surprise you? Did you see anything about them that you could relate to in yourself?

It is ultimately by seeing ourselves in each other – our desires, our passions, our fears, our humanity – that we will heal the wound between us and calm the chaos.

Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing
and rightdoing there is a field.
I'll meet you there.

When the soul lies down in that grass
the world is too full to talk about.
~ Rumi

Aug.02 – Sun sextile Jupiter (10:30 of Leo/Gemini)

This is a time when your understanding of the Big Picture and your place within it has the potential to 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. Just be careful that all this self-assurance and "knowing" doesn't backfire, by overestimating the extent of your knowledge or underestimating the reaction of your audience. It is possible to become a bit self-indulgent under this transit, so be careful not to overdo it. Beyond a reasonable caution, this is a transit to enjoy!

Aug.04 – Neptune square the North Lunar Node (2:16 of Pisces/Sagittarius)  (Aug.05 in AU)  ("What's a Lunar Node?")

The Nodes are points that show the direction of your cutting edge learning (North Node) and the direction from which you are emerging (South Node). When the South Node is working well, you are finishing and letting go of the lessons from the past, while integrating the learning into the database of experience you have to draw from. You are ready to move the learning that has been in the "foreground" and it becomes blended into the "background."

When the North Node is working well, you take on new learning that that propels you along your journey to fulfil your potential and become a more complete You. The North Node is sometimes called your point of destiny, perhaps because it represents the potential you can learn to embrace if you can just let go of those past issues that keep you stuck.

Neptune square the Lunar Nodes

When a planet squares the Nodes, it sets up a conflicting energy that can feel like it's pulling you off the path of that journey. It's like having to make a stop for food, gas and a bathroom break when you're trying to get somewhere as quickly as possible. Or you can feel like you're forced to drive on a detour around road construction, which means adding distance and time to your trip. It can feel like you're going exactly the wrong way.

And yet, these detours can often bring gifts and benefits that you couldn't have found if you'd stuck with the straight-and-narrow. Those roadside breaks give you a time to relax a bit, as well as a chance to take care of various physical needs. Even that detour might take you through a beautiful scenic area of the countryside that you would otherwise have missed. Or you might discover later that the detour was necessary because of a bad accident down the road where you might have been in danger if you had become stuck there.

Neptune is currently squaring the transiting Nodes. This transit has been in effect roughly from March 2012 until the end of this year. The aspect is exact on Aug.04, and hovers within a one degree orb from Jul.20 to Aug.18.

So: what is it about Neptune that feels like it's pulling you off your path of destiny? Neptune takes you into a realm of imagination, faith and universal oneness and beauty. So what's to dislike, right? Well, if you're being driven by ambition or have a rock solid focus on your goal, Neptune could feel like it's dragging you into something that's a waste of time or that makes your goal less clear. However, Neptune's unforeseen benefits include gaining a greater sense of why you're aiming for that goal in the first place.

Neptune is also the realm of escapism, which is not always a bad thing since it can give you a vacation from your worries and stress. The problem lies in the idea that it's easy to get lost in that place, where you are lured into thinking, "I could stay here and I wouldn't have to deal with the challenge or struggles of my journey." If you get stuck there, it can be hard to find your way back to the main road again.

Whatever your Neptune detour this year, the trick is to allow yourself to embrace its gifts while not holding onto them. Like water, it's best to let the good stuff slip through your fingers after you've taken a drink. And remember that the road from the South to the North Node is about taking in the new while letting go of the old. It's not about arriving at a destination – it's about the journey.

Aug.07 – Venus enters Cancer (until Sep.06)

Your focus in relationships may shift for a while to family, loved ones and people in your support system. You may also find that your interactions with others takes on a quality that echoes the past, perhaps childhood, and you want to reach out to connect with others more than usual – or to avoid it if those echoes are not pleasant ones. You could be especially sensitive to getting your emotional needs met, or how others want their needs to be met. Interactions with others may bring up a deep need to belong and to connect and bond with others on a personal level. The need to feel secure and safe could come up in a variety of forms now – either directly as a feeling of vulnerability, or indirectly disguised as defensiveness or manipulation. This could also a time when you want to be somewhat protective and cautious in your handling of money, possessions and other resources, striving to conserve and cultivate these areas in order to nurture them for future growth.

Aug.08 – Mercury stationary Direct (01:25 of Leo)  ("What's a Station?"  "What does Retrograde mean?"  Read more about Mercury Retrograde.  Read more about Retrograde planets.)

For up to a week before and after today, you may experience mental intensity, confusion, and miscommunications or simply changes in your outlook. After being Retrograde for the last 3 to 3½ weeks, Mercury is now taking a slow turn to resume Direct motion. This period has 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, 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.

Aug.09 – Venus trine Neptune (02:08 of Cancer/Pisces)  (Aug.10 in AU)

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

Aug.10-21 – T-square aspect pattern with Uranus, Pluto and Venus

T-square Aspect Patter - Pluto, Uranus, Venus

This is the 4th of 7 T-square aspect patterns made to the Uranus-Pluto square during 2012. This one involves Venus in Cancer opposite Pluto and square to Uranus. It is in effect from roughly August 10 to 21, reaching its closest point from August 15-16.

Venus went through a retrograde cycle in Gemini earlier this year (retrograde from May.15 to Jun.27). This was a time of reassessing the information we base our values on and how we express those values. In the area of relationships, it might have challenged you to renegotiate agreements and reconsider what is communicated between you and the other person. In the area of finances, you might have needed to reassess your budget or question the wisdom or conditions of large purchases or investments.

Now, Venus moves in to complete a T-square aspect figure with the Uranus-Pluto square. Going up against heavyweights like these Big Guys is likely to challenge your values, relationships and finances yet again. It won't necessarily be focused on the same issues as before, but you might find that there are issues to consider that reach further than what you were wrestling with back in May and June.

For instance, are you hoping to push an agreement beyond the previous immediate issues, so that the same concepts could apply to other areas of your relationship or your financial status? Perhaps you feel pushed to examine the universal potential of your personal values – do they hold up when you put them in the context of the greater Collective? In other words, what would happen if a large group of people began to act according to those same values? Would it be met with conflict and disagreement from others, and if so, what might they object to? Conversely, you might look at the values you want to see working in the Collective more, and examine how you can adopt and live your personal life by those guidelines.

Aug.15 – Venus opposite Pluto (07:13 of Cancer/Capricorn)

Under this transit you could experience great intensity and challenge in your relationships or financial matters. It is a time to delve into the depths of your personal issues that associated with relationships, finances, resources and values. That means being willing to examine the under-the-surface dynamics and hidden patterns that affect these areas of your life. These emerging patterns could indicate a need to come to terms with your "Shadow" – this could include unconscious hidden agendas, secret desires, obsessions or power games. You have an opportunity now to learn more about how you project this "Shadow" onto others through your interactions, expectations, hopes and fears. At its best, this can be a time to transform fear into fortitude and powerlessness into endurance. By being willing to negotiate and work with your fears, feelings of intimidation or efforts to gain empowerment through self-honesty, you have the potential to create a win-win situation.

Aug.15 – Mars conjunct Saturn (24:49 of Libra)

This is one of those good-news/bad-news kinds of transits. The forceful, exuberant energy of Mars meets the cautious, serious energy of Saturn. This combination can create a lot of productivity or a lot of frustration – and often both. The wild horse of Mars energy can become a workhorse when combined with Saturn's discipline, capable of sustained effort that can bring concrete results. But it may also bring impatience from having your efforts blocked or delayed, or having to be accountable for impulsive actions. If having to conform to discipline, limitation and responsibility tend to trigger you into resisting and fighting back, you might feel a lot of anger and frustration under this transit. On the other hand, it could also help you come to terms with a difficult reality or decision, to take the necessary initial steps that can lead to long-term achievement and development. It is a good time to take action that has been carefully considered and planned out, or to start making plans for a long-term project.

Aug.16 – Venus trine Chiron (08:00 of Cancer/Pisces)

Healing and rebalancing are possible now, especially in the areas of relationships, finance, resources and values. Any problems that have persisted in these areas lately could benefit from an influx of helpful and healing resources now. Relationships and interactions of all kinds can benefit now, since it can be easier to see the beauty and value in others whom you might usually dislike or feel ill at ease with (or they with you). Negotiations and strategic efforts to resolve conflicts may go smoothly now, especially when you balance the results in everyone's interests. You may also be able to attract what you need to heal your wounds (physical, psychological, spiritual, etc.). Like it says in the "Serenity Prayer," you may now find it a bit easier to accept that which you cannot change, while finding you make progress with the things you can.

Aug.16 – Venus square Uranus (08:05 of Cancer/Aries)

Under this transit, you may be tempted by impulse spending, or you might be somewhat erratic in your use of resources. This can result in unpredictable or unstable finances, so double check your bank accounts and credit cards before you draw on them. It is also a time when the way you relate to others (or they to you) could be somewhat inconsistent, fickle or impulsive. If your relationships or financial situation have been struggling with difficulties for a while, this transit could bring a lingering problem to the surface and require attention. On one hand, this could be a welcome breath of fresh air that cuts through the complexity of your problems and puts the cards on the table (despite the stress and conflict that likely triggered it). Or, you might feel resistance to making these changes and instead experience this as a time of unwelcome instability, upset and adjustment. However, this may be a good way to break free of excessive restraint, control or structure, which allows new possibilities to emerge that couldn't do so otherwise.

Aug.17 – Sun sextile Saturn (24:58 of Leo/Libra)

You have an opportunity now to make some progress in obtaining results in your projects, career, ambitions and creative expression. It is possible to tap into a disciplined mindset, which can be used to take some steps toward goals that you're trying to manifest. You are surrounded by potential to achieve this, although it will not simply be handed to you – you will still have to work for it. Your mind and purpose are likely to be clear and strong now, enabling you to be decisive and productive. Leadership, management and organizing abilities are potentially high right now. Asserting your authority in a situation that calls for it can be done successfully, as long as you don't let yourself become rigid or bossy. It can be a good time to learn or practice new skills, or to apply yourself to any kind of serious study. It is also a time when you could formulate some solid plans for future projects or make some progress with current undertakings. Make the most of it!

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© 2012 Wendy Guy. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied without the author's written permission. Photo of canyon storm by pdell via MorgueFile.com. Paintings of Cancer the Crab and Aquarius the Water Bearer by Johannes Regiomontanus (Deutsche Fotothek) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.


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