Low-Down Archives July-August 2013

New Moon Cancer, Full Moon Aquarius

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

Life is a series of pulls back and forth... A tension of opposites, like a pull on a rubber band. Most of us live somewhere in the middle. A wrestling match...
Which side win? Love wins. Love always wins
~ Mitch Albom, Tuesdays With Morrie

Jul.08 – NEW MOON in CANCER (16:17 of Cancer)

NEW MOON in CANCER

Ottawa, Canada and
Washington DC, USA:

Jul.08, 2013, 3:14 AM EDT

London, UK:

Jul.08, 2013, 8:14 AM BST

Sydney, AU:

Jul.08, 2013, 5:14 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.

Saturn and Cancer usually prefer to have little to do with each other. And yet, at this New Moon they are called upon to find ways to dance together.

Each one tends to regard the other as a tolerated guest that they hope will leave soon.

Saturn rules Capricorn, which opposes Cancer, so they have that shadow/projection thing going on, on both sides of the divide.

Cancer is soft, cushy, feeling, intuitive and subjective. Therefore, stern Saturn sees Cancer as potentially eroding its resolve to construct and maintain firm boundaries, durable structure and clear expectations. It's hard to be objectively focused on the overall system when you have to take others' feelings into account.

In the same way, Water sign Cancer sees Saturn as a bit too impersonal and heavy for its impressionable sensibilities. Saturn is like a stone that sinks to the bottom of the river, and by having to flow around it, the Cancerian water becomes turbulent and upset. Cancer values the free flow of feelings and intuition, and Saturn keeps wanting to dam up that flow or direct it elsewhere to suit its systemic agenda.

Obedience may have its uses, but it is no substitute
for willing, uncoerced co-operation.
~ Eleanor Roosevelt,
You Learn by Living: Eleven Keys for a More Fulfilling Life

"But wait!" you gasp. "Saturn is in Scorpio right now, not Cancer!" Saturn awards you a glowing red dark star for your astute observation.

Indeed: what does this have to do with Cancer? Saturn stations Direct just 2 hours before the New Moon in Cancer is exact; that's what. And although they don't make a major aspect to each other, these parallel energies dominate the New Moon chart and this lunar cycle. So they'd better learn to get along!

They (meaning you) will need to find ways to work cooperatively together. Failure to do so is really not the best option – at its worst, it could result in suppressed emotion, guilt, depression, or feeling like your life is defined by everything you ever tried that didn't work out like you'd hoped.

As it is, for a few days before and after the New Moon, you might feel a bit low on both physical and emotional energy. This is your energetic focus seeking to plumb your depths in order to bring some healing and repositioning to your life, inside and out. Take it slow for a few days if you need to. Pay heed to your body and your Inner Child.

I have seen this aspect operate in several fashions, and all seem to involve a circumstance presenting itself that perfectly fits a unique gift or need, or a gift or unique quality that fits the need of a pre-existing circumstance. The Tredecile is complementary, interactive, and specialized, the "quintessence" of a thing perfectly complementing the "quintessence" of a circumstance. When active, it seems to bring forth unique qualities in situations that involve interaction to bring forth awareness, completion, polarization, or re-polarization.
~ Robert Wilkinson, AquariusPapers.com

Although Saturn and the Sun-Moon conjunction don't form a major aspect with each other, they do make an intriguing minor aspect: the Tredecile or Tridecile (108°), sometimes also called a Sesquiquintile. This aspect is part of the Decile family (division of the circle by 10) and derived from the Quintile family (division by 5). These aspect families are known for brilliant spontaneous creativity, even to the point of genius. The Deciles in particular have been associated with mental ingenuity and with finding the perfect solution to a need.

Saturn in tredecile aspect to New Moon in Cancer

A bridge of opportunity is formed with the New Moon in tredecile aspect to stationary Saturn (0:31 applying orb). It implies the answer to what you need (especially in the area of feelings, family, home and security: Cancer) could come to you almost magically if you are willing to approach it in a practical way and commit yourself to doing whatever is necessary (Saturn).

It also suggests that, whereas Cancer and Saturn tend to be somewhat wary allies, what you need could appear when you look at how they work together in a new light. What are usually regarded as problems between them actually hides unrecognized benefits and advantages. Ironically, it may be through the very thing you try to protect yourself from that you find what you need to deal more effectively with the situation.

I'm most interested in that moment
when my entire perspective changes,
and I have to reconsider everything.
~ Hedi Slimane

Mercury is still retrograde until Jul.20 (stop that moaning) and conjunct the New Moon. This can help you look at things from a different point of view, but be careful not to assume that the way you're seeing it is necessarily the way it is. You might be looking at something real, but upside down! You just never know with that rascal Mercury.

With Merc in Watery Cancer, your intuition is likely to be flowing freely, but watch out for intuitive insights that conveniently seem to match what you are hoping to see. Certainly the tredecile between Saturn and the New Moon suggests that it might be exactly what it seems, lucky for you, but Mercury the Trickster can also be misleading.

With such a strong stationary Saturn, be sure to use some of that practical energy to do a reality check. And make sure Neptune and Jupiter, in trine to Saturn, don't let him cast a dark cloud of pessimism over everything. Grounded realism balanced with jovial optimism and hopeful imagination – that's the best way to surround Mercury retrograde with nurturing support.

I can only note that the past is beautiful because one never realises an emotion at the time. It expands later, and thus we don't have complete emotions about the present, only about the past.
~ Virginia Woolf

Jupiter is now well integrated into the superduper Grand Trine in Water signs that graces us for a couple of months. Jupiter just recently (Jun.25) swung open the door and yelled, "Hi honey, I'm hoooommmme! Feed me a big plate of that amazing home cooking and let's party!"

The fact that slow-moving Jupiter is now in Cancer, the sign of the New Moon, is Big News! (We would expect no less from Jupiter.) For one thing, although Jupiter isn't conjunct the New Moon, it still graces that Cancerian energy with optimism, enjoyment and broad thinking. He's brought home pictures of his travels to show the family, and gives home-body Cancer a glimpse of what life is like—and could be like—beyond the boundaries of the family estate. In other words, Jupiter can help you to keep from getting too barricaded inside your safe walls, and entice you to come out and play with the rest of the world.

Jupiter also brings a philosophical perspective to all things Cancer, including (especially?) all the experiences and assumptions about life we tend to carry that were imprinted on us in our childhood. If you're willing to be open-minded, it's possible to discover new truth and insight about the past. Even if you're a bit too cautious, Jupiter has a way of shining a spotlight on the things in your life that could benefit from greater awareness and understanding.

Pay attention to what zooms up close in your life. If it's something positive, then it's an opportunity to explore. If it's something uncomfortable or if you're tempted to dismiss it as nonsense, count to twelve and take a closer look at it before you chuck it in the recycle bin. It probably has something to teach you.

The personal life deeply lived
always expands into truths beyond itself.
~ Anaïs Nin

The New Moon in Cancer, coming right after Jupiter's grand entrance into that sign, initiates a 4-week process of discovering how you can employ Jupiter's energy in your life. And with Mercury being retrograde and conjunct the New Moon, it could well involve reconsidering or rethinking something you thought you had learned everything there was to know about it. In particular, it's a time to re-examine parts of your life that you have an emotional connection to – your home, your family, your relationship, your perception of past experiences, and so on. And with Venus trine Uranus in the chart, it could involve some major (and probably positive) change regarding your possessions, finances or relationships.

On one level, you might feel the urge to buy something new for your home that brings it to life – some bright wallpaper or that gorgeous lamp. Or you might want to create a bigger space to live in – decluttering or making plans to finally build that extension on the house. Or take all those wedding gifts, your grandmother's embroidered pillow cases and boxes full of trinkets that you've saved for the last 20 years that you know you'll never use, and donate it all to a charity that helps people get off the street and into a stable living environment. Go through your kitchen cupboards and find all the cans and boxes of food that you aren't likely to eat (that isn't post-dated) and take it to the nearest food bank.

Jupiter will shower you with glowing pride for your generosity. And the Cancer New Moon will give you an appreciative hug for being such a good girl or boy. ;-)

Here’s what I know about the realm of possibility—
it is always expanding, it is never what you think it is. Everything around us was once deemed impossible. From the airplane overhead to the phones in our pockets to the choir girl putting her arm around the metalhead.
As hard as it is for us to see sometimes, we all exist within the realm of possibility. Most of the limits are of our own world’s devising. And yet, every day we each do so many things that were once impossible to us.
~ David Levithan, The Realm of Possibility

Jul.08 – Saturn Stationary Direct (04:49 of Scorpio; until Mar.02.2014)  ("What's a Station?"  "What does Retrograde mean?"  Read more about Retrograde planets.)

For up to a week before and after this date, your physical and emotional energy may feel a bit heavy, stuck, serious or sad. You might feel held back by circumstances or pressured by people or situations involving structure, rules, authority figures, expectations and responsibilities. For about the next four months, your ambitions and goals can benefit from planning and development at a deeper level. It is a time to rework and refine your goals to figure out how you are going to achieve them. You may also need to examine your motives for wanting to achieve these goals, as well as how feasible they are. You may therefore look at how your goals, or your method of achieving them, ought to be changed. This can also be a time of improving how you deal with authority, expectations, obligations or discipline. Toward that end, today's station could trigger these issues through events, conflicts, challenges or additional "homework." If you've been having problems or are uncomfortable with these areas, especially during the last 3 months, this retrograde period can allow you to gradually build a new way of dealing with them or problem-solving the difficulties. After Saturn turns Direct in 4 months, you will be in a better position to apply what you've learned and developed more fully.

Jul.09 – Sun conjunct Mercury Retrograde (17:42 of Cancer)  (Jul.09 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.09 – Venus square Lunar North Node (14:43 of Leo/Scorpio)  (Jul.10 in AU)

Perhaps you're finding that the people in your life are not being as supportive, encouraging or cooperative as you thought they would be, in terms of helping you fulfil your life purpose. Someone might suddenly withdraw their support, or maybe they contradict or interfere with what you're trying to do with your life. Perhaps an argument or disagreement happens and the upset, stress or hard feelings that result seem to cast a shadow on how you feel about your life. If this happens, it's possible that what you disagree about is something you should look at more closely. Are you responding to this situation in a way that truly reflects your values? Or perhaps your values need to be reconsidered. The agreement or balance of priorities between you might need to be renegotiated. This transit might also manifest as problems around finances or possessions, which requires some adjustment on your part. Since this transit usually lasts only a few days, in most cases its effects will not be major. If it does bring up some significant issues, it is probably hinting at a deeper issue, and you would be wise to look at the problem beyond the current circumstances. Other transits (especially to your natal chart) can give you more information about the nature of the situation.

Jul.13 – Mars enters Cancer (until Aug.27)

The fiery energy of Mars is poured through the sensitive, emotional waters of Cancer. This is not the easiest placement for Mars, since its sharp edge becomes somewhat softened and diluted. However, this is also a time when it is possible to use your assertive and proactive energy for the protection of yourself or others. This is like the mother bear that can become extremely fierce when protecting her young, and in the same way you have an abundance of energy to defend your "children" – literally or figuratively, in the sense of creative projects, loved ones, your Inner Child, or your home "nest." This is also a time when deep emotional issues may erupt to the surface, like buried anger, repressed frustration or unconscious fear. The focus of your feelings may be a little unstable and moody, but it also gives you an opportunity to nurture, vent and express those feelings. Observe how you respond to any deep feelings that emerge, either in yourself or in others. Does your Inner Parent try to repress or scold that Inner Child, or are you able to respond lovingly, caringly and sensitively? This is a learning experience that can teach you how to nurture yourself ...and others.

Jul.17 – Uranus Stationary Retrograde (12:31 of Aries; until Dec.17)  ("What's a Station?"  "What does Retrograde mean?"  Read more about Retrograde planets.)  (Jul.18 in AU)

Uranus now appears to go backwards (retrograde) against the backdrop of the stars. This is often a turning point in situations involving issues of spontaneity, freedom, breaking free of old patterns, rebellion and expressing your personal uniqueness. It could feel a bit chaotic or erratic—or perhaps just spontaneous and exciting—for up to a week before and after this date. However, Uranus' ultimate agenda is to clear the way for your true spirit to manifest in your life. You may experience unexpected changes, flashes of insight, or disruption of established situations that aren't working well (which might include computers, Internet, mass media, groups, friends or future plans). This can be the awakening of a new perspective, to be brought into a clearer focus through open-mindedness and being willing to try new things. If you are going through major transits from Uranus to your natal chart, you are more likely to feel the energy of this station.

Jul.17 – Jupiter trine Saturn (04:52 of Cancer/Scorpio)  (Jun.18 in AU)

The expansiveness of Jupiter works cooperatively with the concise structure of Saturn in this transit. Its peak effects can be felt for up to about a week to 10 days before and after the exact date (above). This transit can bring adventure and caution into a healthy balance. You have the confidence and imagination to envision bright possibilities in your life, while also having the grounded realism to make the plans and do the hard work to make it happen.

If you have been making plans to create, build or reach for a goal in your life, this is a time when you may be able to make substantial progress. You have access to vision that can see beyond obstacles, insight to deal with problems, enthusiasm to sustain your efforts, and faith in the process as it unfolds.

It is also easier to be responsible, stable and predictable without limiting your options or potential. There's a slight possibility that this could backfire somewhat, by giving you the strength to push through your vision or opinion with such force that others find it overwhelming. Or, you might feel so reassured and confident with the way your life is unfolding that you take it for granted and don't apply any real effort to help it along ...and then wonder why it didn't bring as much as you thought. Make a point of putting this energy to productive use!

For several days, Jupiter forms perfect Grand Trine with Saturn and Neptune, all at 4° of the Water signs (Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces).

Jul.17 – Jupiter trine Neptune (04:57 of Cancer/Pisces)  (Jun.18 in UK, AU)

This long-term process brings the opportunity to integrate healing, beauty, imagination, spirituality and uplifting optimism. You may also see yourself become so caught up in hope, optimism and euphoria that it's easy to get a bit too carried away, leaving realism behind. Although falling into fantasy and wishful thinking can make you more susceptible to illusion and deception, it can also bring healing inspiration and dedication when you need it most. This can be a time when you bring into clearer focus a new sense of faith (in terms of religious beliefs, or just faith in life and in yourself). You may now be able to see beyond your usual horizons to the distant possibilities open to you, if you can keep that new faith in focus. This inspiration may not last in its current form, but can be used to clarify and enhance the goals you have been pursuing for many years, as well as formulate some new ones.

For several days, Jupiter forms perfect Grand Trine with Saturn and Neptune, all at 4° of the Water signs (Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces).

Jul.19 – Saturn trine Neptune (04:55 of Scorpio/Pisces)

Imagine a situation where realism and predictability were compatible with imagination and whimsy. Impossible, you say? This transit brings those energies together in a positive, productive, cooperative way. A classic example of this is artistic or creative projects that combine imagination and skill. Humanitarian efforts are another example that bring together compassion and practical solutions. Be on the lookout for opportunities to take your highest spiritual, moral or creative calling and apply it to practical situations. The potential is there if you reach out for it. It might simply fall into your lap, butmore likely you'll have to work for it.

We all have the need to connect to something greater than ourselves in some way. With Saturn and Neptune, this is likely to happen in practical, concrete ways. For example, you might have the opportunity to volunteer your abilities to help others, or you might get involved in a project at your local church. Alternatively, you might find you are comfortable spending time alone (or at least away from the busy world) where you can commune with nature or just become more productive without the distractions. Examples: dig in the garden or go swimming; or turn off your phone, logoff Facebook and focus on organizing your music collection. Use your imagination to make your workspace beautiful, inspiring and meaningful.

This is the last of 3 exact passes of this transit: Oct.10.2012, Jun.11.2013 and Jul.19, in addition to Feb.07.2012 when Saturn stationed about half a degree (0:37) from an exact trine to Neptune. Think back to events and experiences that were happening at those times. You are reaching the completion of a cycle when your vision and practical concerns can be brought together in very specific, manifest ways.

Last Saturn-Neptune trine: 2001-2002 and 2012-2013.
Next Saturn-Neptune trine: 2036-2037.

Dates for the current Saturn-Neptune cycle:

For several days, Jupiter forms perfect Grand Trine with Saturn and Neptune, all at 4° of the Water signs (Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces).

Jul.20 – Mercury Stationary Direct (13:21 of Cancer; Direct until Oct.21)  ("What's a Station?"  "What does Retrograde mean?"  Read more about Mercury Retrograde.  Read more about Retrograde planets.)  (Jul.21 in AU)

Mercury finally turns direct! Yippeeee!!!! ;-) But we're not out of the woods just yet. 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.

Jul.20 – Mars trine Neptune (04:53 of Cancer/Pisces)  (Jul.21 in AU)

This transit can bring a mystical, imaginative, compassionate aura to Mars' normally direct, fast, aggressive, self-focused energy. You may feel inspired to act on faith, confront with compassion, and react gently. On the other hand, it can be much easier to be motivated by something that turns out not to be what you thought it was. Much can depend on how impulsive your actions are and whether they are based on preplanning and research. We may tend to see our actions as righteous and justified. Creative energy is usually strong, whether this is used literally in the arts or in finding creative solutions to conflicts and problems. Our anger and aggression may be expressed in a way that is compassionate and intuitive, although our assertive edge might also be blunted a bit too much. It might help to think of the snake in the old parable – even if you choose not to bite if someone steps on your tail, it doesn’t mean you can't hiss.

Today, Mars forms perfect Grand Trine with Saturn and Neptune, all at 4° of the Water signs (Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces).

Jul.20 – Mars trine Saturn (04:57 of Cancer/Scorpio)  (Jul.21 in AU)

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

Today, Mars forms perfect Grand Trine with Saturn and Neptune, all at 4° of the Water signs (Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces).

Jul.22 – Venus enters Virgo (until Aug.16)

Under this transit, it is possible to fall in love with purity, precision and analysis. It is a time to invest in health, efficiency, and your contribution to the world around you. The beauty is in the details, as you embrace a labour of love in your life. Just don't get so enamoured with pristine splendour that you get lost in perfectionism and unable to accept the natural imperfection that exists in all life and humanity. Each of us is the Universe's perfect child, but we are also in a state of becoming and growing and are therefore likely to make human mistakes. Remember that we're here for the journey, as much as the destination. This part of the journey takes us into service and devotion, whether that is focused on another person or on ourselves.

Jul.22 – Sun enters Leo (until Aug.22)  (Jul.23 in AU)

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!

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

The truth is rarely pure and never simple.
~ Oscar Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest

Jul.22 – FULL MOON in AQUARIUS (00:05 of Aquarius)

FULL MOON in AQUARIUS

Ottawa, Canada and
Washington DC, USA:

Jul.22, 2013, 2:15 PM EDT

London, UK:

Jul.22, 2013, 7:15 PM BST

Sydney, AU:

Jul.23, 2013, 4:15 AM AEST

"What's a Full Moon?"

Read more about the Sun-Moon cycles.

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

Any New or Full Moon at zero degrees is a special occasion for a couple of reasons.

For one thing, zero degrees of a sign is that sign's energy in its purest, rawest and most primal form. It still has that "new car smell." It's the shiny brand new thing that everyone wants to have so they can get it dirty in their own personal way.

For another thing, a lunation in the first couple of degrees is typically followed by a second lunation in the final couple of degrees of the same sign. In other words, there is a greater process unfolding that can't be completed in just one pass.

This Full Moon is like that. It is the first of two consecutive Full Moons in Aquarius, the next being on Aug.20 at 28° of Aquarius.

Welcome to Full Moon in Aquarius 1.0.

Some day you will be old enough
to start reading fairy tales again.
~ C.S. Lewis

In its most radical and primal form, Aquarius wants to explode out of and beyond whatever form it is emerging from. Archetypally, this is Capricorn, the sign of order, discipline, predictability, conformity and rules. Not usually what Aquarius calls a fun time. And yet, they are both ruled by the same planet, traditionally speaking: Saturn.

I like to think of Aquarius as Capricorn all grown up.

Now—before all the Capricorns start surrounding my house with pitchforks and torches, let me explain. ;-) I mean this in an archetypal way, not as a judgment about Capricorns—nor about Aquarians, for that matter. As with all the signs, there are Capricorns and Aquarians who are very grown up with both feet on the ground, and others who are still very much a work in progress.

In Capricorn, Saturn – archetypally – creates impressive and enduring systems and structures. These are held together by rules and standards; rights and obligations. The individual works effectively within the Capricorn system by following what is expected of them and obeying authority. Red light means stop, green light means go, yellow light means go very fast. (Just kidding.)

"The thing about growing up with Fred and George," said Ginny thoughtfully, "is that you sort of start thinking anything's possible if you've got enough nerve.”
~ J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

So what happens if you take some of that structure away? Without an external rulebook to follow, does the system fall apart? If there are no traffic lights and no rules of the road, how do we keep from getting hopelessly jammed up at intersections?

This is the quandary from which Aquarius is born. In the world of Aquarius, the guidelines, norms and responsibility are intended to come from within, not from some outside authority. Archetypally, Aquarius is what you encounter when the Capricorn restraints are taken off.

What happens? Excitement!!! You may feel like a dog running free off its leash! Woohoo!! Crazy, wild, joyous, doing all the things Capricorn didn't allow you to do, just because you can! Free to act and express yourself spontaneously, without all those annoying dos and don'ts. Wheeeeeee!!!!!!!!

However, at some point it's necessary to come back down to earth and function in the world. You need to keep a job to pay for the roof over your head and food in your belly? You'd better find a way to incorporate some Capricorn back into your life again. It doesn't have to be one or the other, and in fact your human nature works best if it's a well-integrated balance. And that's the tricky part – how to honour, act on and celebrate your spontaneous, wild-and-crazy side, while also being able to behave yourself while in the company of your boss, your customers, the police officer who just pulled you over for speeding, and so on.

I went to a tattoo parlor and had YES written onto the palm of my left hand, and NO onto my right palm, what can I say, it hasn't made my life wonderful, it's made life possible, when I rub my hands against each other in the middle of winter I am warming myself with the friction of YES and NO, when I clap my hands I am showing my appreciation through the uniting and parting of YES and NO, I signify "book" by peeling open my hands, every book, for me, is the balance of YES and NO...
~ Jonathan Safran Foer

There are two ways to balance yourself between extremes. One is to allow yourself to venture out from the middle toward the extremes, but to spend most of your time in the middle ground somewhere. This is the "all things, but in moderation" motto. The other way is to swing wildly from one extreme to the other, but this doesn't necessarily work. Although the average may be somewhere in the middle, too many extremes will tend to just make you polarized and erratic. This is the "two wrongs don't make a right" truism.

Either approach can come out of Aquarius. If you were raised on a very tight leash and hated it (maybe someone in authority was abusive or oppressive), you might react to Aquarius like a rebellious teenager who runs amok and can't do all the wrong things fast enough. Then again, if you kind of liked being on that leash (perhaps life feels easier when you know what to expect and what is expected of you, or maybe you get a lot of benefit from staying inside the rules), then Aquarius energy might jangle your nerves and make you feel anxious or disgusted.

The point is that how you react to Aquarian energy depends largely on your experience of Capricorn energy. If Capricorn expectations and rules felt restrictive, arbitrary or rigid, then Aquarius is likely to bring out the Yaaaahoooooooooo side of you as you go bounding off in all directions.

On the other hand, Capricorn might have been supportive and useful, fortifying your abilities and teaching you how to strengthen your resolve and intentions. In that case, Aquarius might feel more like your training wheels have finally come off and you have to balance yourself on your own. The rules, limits, boundaries and decisions are now yours to make – you can continue to follow the same standards or you can change them as you see fit.

The essence of independence has been to think and act according to standards
from within, not without: to follow one's own path, not that of the crowd.
~ Nicholas Tharcher, Rebels & Devils: The Psychology Of Liberation

The Full Moon in Aquarius consists of an opposition between the Moon in Aquarius opposite the Sun in Leo. What's interesting about this Full Moon is that Saturn forms a T-square aspect pattern to the Sun-Moon opposition. So we know that Saturn and all the issues he packs into his suitcase will be spread out on the table when he arrives at your house. That includes the question about who makes the rules and how to achieve balance between being on and off your leash.

Saturn is in Scorpio, which can bring out the controlling, intimidating, "do this or else" side of Saturn. So, if you're one of these people who experience Capricorn energy like a straight jacket, this Full Moon could bring that dynamic into your life for a week or two. On the other hand, if Capricorn has been a stern but constructive teacher for you, then this Full Moon might serve as a wake-up call that your balance between spontaneity and compliance needs to be recalibrated.

On the plus side, Saturn is part of the Dream Team Grand Trine that began in June and continues to grace our skies for another 3 weeks. And at the end of this month, Saturn is a member of the Cirque du Sextile troupe performing their death defying feats of creative prowess high above us. (Much more about this below.) Saturn's talent for structure and split-second predictability is a big part of what can keep all this activity functioning effectively. Even if you're a card carrying member of the anti-Saturn League, remember that he can also be your friend.

It's not life or death, the labyrinth. Suffering. Doing wrong and having wrong things happen to you. That's the problem. Bolivar was talking about the pain, not about the living or dying. How do you get out of the labyrinth of suffering? [...] The only way out of the labyrinth of suffering is to forgive.
~ John Green, Looking for Alaska

Uranus is the other side of Aquarius, being considered by many Western astrologers to be the modern ruler of that sign. Uranus has a very different role to play in the Full Moon drama. This is more the "dog running wako off the leash" kind of energy. Currently sprinting through Aries, Uranus is well qualified for his job as Keeper of the Sacred Flame of Individuality and "don't mess with me, I'll do whatever the $%*/! I want."

Uranus has been involved in the War of the Squares with Pluto for the last several years and no one expects to see the end of it for several more. About 3 years ago, the whole solar system seemed to get lost in the mayhem through the Cardinal Cross aspect figures. Well, we are heading into a return, of sorts, to the Cardinal Crossroads that will take us through mid-September and the again in the first half of 2014.

Mars and Jupiter are forming a T-square aspect pattern with the Uranus-Pluto square. (Much more about this below, too.) This lights a fire under Uranus' backside and fans the flames of the Uranus-Pluto rivalry. With Jupiter's quest for higher truth and understanding, this can give you a chance to shed new insight on how you are being affected by their conflicting energies – the Forces of Destruction in the name of freedom and liberation versus the Forces of Destruction in the name of transformation and atonement.

The question always remains: how will you respond to this crossroads? If we merely choose one side and vilify the other, this only serves to further polarize the situation. Then again, if we don't stand up for what we believe then we risk being swept away by the tidal wave as two rushing currents come crashing together. Better to learn how to swim between them, recognizing both the buoyant nature and the undertow dangers of both currents.

Things outside you are projections of what's inside you, and what's inside you
is a projection of what's outside. So when you step into the labyrinth outside you,
at the same time you're stepping into the labyrinth inside.
~ Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the Shore

Between Saturn and Uranus, this Full Moon in Aquarius reveals both the constructive and detrimental sides of Aquarius. You can be chaotic and erratic, but liberated and free, by catching the radical Uranus wave while giving Saturn the finger. You might also be autonomous, responsible and rooted in your Inner Grown-up, while disparaging the reckless hooligans who only seem to want to rebel.

On the global collective front, you might identify yourself as a freedom fighter while the "other side" is a "stick in the mud" that refuses to budge from its point of view. Or you might see yourself as a force for unification by aligning yourself with a structure that you believe will bring enduring peace and effectiveness, while seeing the "other side" as being like little children who only want to get their way.

Here's the point: ALL of these personas are within each one of us. The polarizing forces, be they within yourself or the collective society around you, need to work in balance. Remember that there are two ways to achieve (some semblance of) balance. You can keep stretching the extremes, or you extend more of your energy closer to the middle. The former is extremely difficult (if not ultimately impossible) to control or utilize in a positive way. The latter is better to achieve long-term stability and peace.

Let there be peace on Earth, and let it begin with me.
~ Sy Miller and Jill Jackson

Jul.22-31 – Grand Sextile aspect pattern (Moon, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune, Pluto) (Grand Sextile 2013 article)

Grand Sextile aspect pattern

GRAND SEXTILE
ASPECT PATTERN

When is it closest?

Ottawa, Canada and
Washington DC, USA:

July 29, 2013
5:00am to 10:15pm EDT

London, UK:

July 29-30, 2013
10:00am-3:15am BST

Sydney, AU:

Jul.29-30, 2013
7:00pm to 12:15pm AEST

Natal points affected:

3-10° of Earth & Water signs:
Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn,
Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces

Previous Grand Sextile:

November 8, 2003

Next Grand Sextile:

November 15, 2025

During this time we have the forming of a very rare aspect pattern. It's called a Grand Sextile or sometimes a Star of David. ("What's a Grand Sextile?") Let's call this the Cirque du Sextile! (...with apologies to the truly legendary Cirque du Soleil.)

This particular configuration starts with the Jupiter-Saturn-Neptune Grand Trine (see Jun.01-Aug.12). Mars is thrown in for good measure, still being within orb to conjoin Jupiter. Then a second Grand Trine forms with Moon, Venus and Pluto. This pattern also consists of 3 pairs of oppositions, as well as 2 interlocking Grand Trines. In this case, the oppositions are: Jupiter-Pluto, Venus-Uranus and Moon-Saturn.

The Moon moves into position on July 29, plus or minus a day (depending on where you are). At that time, all 6 planets are distributed throughout the Water and Earth signs at roughly 60-degree intervals around the zodiac, and voilà! A Grand Sextile!

To get that many planets to line up like that and keep them all within a reasonable orb is no small feat! At its peak, these planets are within just less than 5 degrees at their widest orb. Since one of the points is the very fast moving Moon, it only lasts for about a day. It reaches its closest point at around Noon EDT. (Note: add 5 hours for GMT; add 14 hours for AEST. The box above shows, in 3 time zones, when the Moon completes the aspect pattern within a 6° orb.)

Venus forms the 5th point of the 6-pointed Grand Sextile from July 22-31, beginning the transformation of the Jupiter-Saturn-Neptune Grand Trine. The Moon is the last one to the party and the first to leave, starting her first aspect in the configuration (sextile to Neptune) at around 9:30pm July 28th, EDT, and finishing her last aspect (sextile to Mars) at around 11:30am July 30th, EDT.

Grand Sextiles, although rare, do happen occasionally. There were 14 of them in the 20th century, although only 8 in the 21st century. The last one was in 2003 and the next will be in 2025. They typically include several fast moving planets that quickly move out of orb, so holding the entire 6-pointed pattern together beyond a couple of days is extremely rare. The last time we had one that lasted more than 48 hours was 1594, and the next one isn't until 2298!

So: what does it all mean? Sextiles (60°) are all about creative cooperation. They join signs that share the same polarity (Yang/Masculine/Positive versus Yin/Feminine/Negative) and therefore have compatible elements (Earth and Water or Fire and Air). Like all sextile aspects, bringing out the potential requires a bit of effort to combine the harmonious energies together – kind of like bringing apples and oranges together to make a fruit salad or a fruit punch. So right now there is greater than usual ability to discover and create increased potential with what you already have in your life (or have access to). It's easier to find ways to combine things so that they become greater than the sum of their parts.

Here's the thing: like all aspects, the sextile has its less-than-stellar side too. Manipulation or even trickery could be included in the sextile's potential. When you have a talent for mixing similar but separate energies, you have some control over which way the result emerges. On one hand that can be a good thing, but it also means you could slant the outcome in a way that is laden with your own bias or hidden agendas. Is that good or bad? Yes. Maybe. Since creativity means you have the ability to come up with something completely new, who's to say if what you create is good or bad, or is made of integrity or biased distortion? The sextile can easily become an exercise in self-justification and spin-doctoring.

With a Grand Sextile, you have all the beneficial and all the questionable potential of the sextile—times 6! Like all things in astrology, what is projected outward onto the manifest world tends to vary according to the wattage of the light shining through the chart. The Grand Sextile grants you amplified ability to be creative, inventive, innovative and perhaps visionary.

So how will you use it? What obstructions in your life could benefit from some creative problem-solving? How could you set your mind free to see the potential beyond the barriers that hold you back? By the same token, you might do well to ask yourself if there might be a hidden advantage to being held back. As strange as that might sound, we sometimes stay where we are because we fear that changes could bring a disadvantage that we don't want.

For example, say you are frustrated from being in a low-paying job. Although that's a disadvantage, perhaps it has low expectations and is therefore relatively low-stress, which is a priority for you. The Grand Sextile energy could be used to improve your financial situation in some way other than finding a higher paying, and therefore more demanding, job. Maybe overtime pay at your current job is an option, or you might find ways to reduce your expenses, or you might hold a garage sale that will both clear out a lot of old stuff you don't need and bring in some extra cash you didn't think you had.

Perhaps you need money to buy something, and you realize you can get what you need in another form without having to spend as much money. An example might be that you want to hire someone to do housework once every couple of weeks, but you come across someone who will do it as a trade for something you can provide to them on a regular basis. Or you might hire someone who can help you reorganize so that the housework itself is made much easier.

Do you see how this can work? It's about flexibility that can bring together seemingly separate or disconnected resources that create a whole new solution, or even a range of possible solutions. Just be careful that the one you pick is above board and doesn't create as many problems as it solves.

Jul.22 – Mars conjunct Jupiter (05:54 of Cancer)

"When the Moon is in the 7th House and Jupiter aligns with Mars, then peace with guide the planets and love will steer the stars!" This quote from the song "Age of Aquarius" from the musical Hair describes this transit. When the aggression, drive, courage and desire of Mars are combined with Jupiter's love of justice, mercy and higher purpose, we can get the best of both worlds. On the other hand, we can also get the worst of both worlds; for example, self-righteousness or over-zealousness. This transit sparks a new beginning in our use of these energies, which unfolds over the next 2 years or so. The questions to ask yourself at its initiation, now, are: Will you use your energy to seek greater understanding, or to jump to conclusions? Will your courage be used to fight for justice or to blame? Will your passion and drive be used to advance a higher purpose or to inflict angry destruction in the name of judgment? The reality will probably lie somewhere in between, but awareness of which extreme you are drifting toward will allow you to make choices about whether you want to correct your course or go with the flow.

What's interesting about this conjunction is the difference in the dignities of each planet. Jupiter is exalted in Cancer, meaning that Cancer brings out the best in Jupiter and Jupiter brings its best to Cancer. Jupiter's generosity of spirit softens Cancer's tendency to clutch onto what it has, be it someone's attention or their money. And Cancer's nature of feelings and personal connection mellows Jupiter's passion for theory and chasing off to next horizon.

On the other hand, Mars is in fall (opposite its sign of exaltation: Capricorn). Mars struggles in Cancer. Whereas Mars is naturally independent and self-sufficient, Cancer is all about feeling one's connection with others and being interdependent. Mars prefers to be forthright, assertive, even aggressive, but Cancer is sensitive, empathic and nurturing, which is not easy to do when you're being forceful and direct.

The result could be passion and drive that is either more sensitive to the effect on others or directed toward defending and honouring Cancer values: family, feelings, creativity and having a feeling connection with others. Mars energy (anger, aggression, drive) may work better if it allows Jupiter's vision and optimism to lead the way.

Jul.22-Sep.15 – T-square aspect pattern (Mars, Jupiter, Uranus, Pluto)  (This is a Cardinal Cross configuration.   Cardinal T-square 2013 article)

Cardinal Cross - T-square aspect pattern

CARDINAL T-SQUARE
ASPECT PATTERN

When is it in effect?

July 22 to
September 15, 2013

When is it closest?

With Mars:
July 27 to 31, 2013

With Jupiter:
August 7 to 21, 2013

While you're basking in the glow of the Grand Sextile, Jupiter and Mars conveniently provide some good old fashioned stress and motivation to balance you out. When Mars conjoins Jupiter (Jul.22), they pick a fight with Uranus and Pluto in a T-square aspect pattern that persists long after Mars has waved goodbye and eased on down the road. Mars is part of the T-square from Jul.22 to Aug.08. However, Jupiter stays behind until Sep.15, and then returns next year for a final round from January through May (when Mars completes a Grand Cross with them...but we're getting ahead of ourselves).

For Mars, the T-square is closest from July 27 to 31, from when Mars opposes Pluto (9°) until it squares Uranus (12°).

For Jupiter, the T-square is closest from August 7 to 21, from when Jupiter opposes Pluto (9°) until it squares Uranus (12°).

Uranus square Pluto has been discussed, analyzed and endured since they around 2008, with the first of seven exact passes happening in June 2012. You only have to check out the news to see the social, political, moral and planetary upheaval that is happening. At best, this is a crossroads where deep rooted change will result from breaking free of limiting attitudes and policies. At worst, this is a crossroads where deep rooted change will result from breaking free of limiting attitudes and policies. ;-)

Jupiter moving in to square Uranus and oppose Pluto gives the gruesome twosome another energy to polarize with, react to and do battle with. This is actually a new phase of the Cardinal Grand Cross and T-squares that came together 3 years ago (2010-2011). At that time Jupiter conjoined Uranus and squared Pluto; now Jupiter moves to the next corner of the Cardinal Square.

At the time of the Jupiter-Uranus conjunction, these energies urged freedom, expansion and release of pent-up urges and ideas, both personally and globally. Now they are in the waxing square (meaning they are growing more distant from each other and will eventually oppose each other). This is a crossroads when we all must decide what to do with the direction we began at that time. Do we stay the course? Do we adjust our direction? Do we decide to do something different with the energy that has awakened since 2010?

With Jupiter and Uranus now adversaries instead of allies, some of the former promise of freedom and liberation may be looking a bit complicated or tarnished, as the reality of the implications starts to set in. Pluto in realistic Capricorn is only too happy to remind Jupiter that it is essential to act with the long-term goal in mind – otherwise it's all too easy to get tangled up in having to adjust and readjust, which is a waste of energy and resources. On the other hand, Pluto's promise of stability and durability can easily start to feel like a jail sentence to visionary Jupiter, so Pluto's solution won't work entirely either.

Uranus in Aries is still madly waving placards and chanting "All for one and one for all...as long as I get to be the ONE!" This resonates with Mars who is the ruler of Aries and currently in Cancer. Mars feels Cancer's pain at the thought of having all tradition and connection to the past uprooted and destroyed, and disagrees with Uranus' overkill approach to change.

Mars and Jupiter are feeling attacked and stuck in the middle of a fight that wasn't theirs to begin with but is definitely affecting them. They vow to wage a righteous war to defend what's good about the past in the name of strengthening the spirit of family – both an individual's need to belong within a family and a more global common ground within the Family of Humankind.

The upshot is that the turmoil around us could become more complicated, as secondary reactions, implications and consequences start to emerge. On a personal level, you are challenged to explore ideas about the kind of nest you want to build in your life that will support and sustain the broader changes, ambitions and transformations you are going through. On a collective level, we may see more emphasis on finding and strengthening the bond of what we all share, especially the factions that are at odds with each other.

What could further complicate this is that one way to find common ground and alliance is through a shared enemy, so what starts as an attempt to unite and bind together could instead result in further polarization. Awareness, as always, is the key to finding the path that works best for you.

Jul.26 – Venus opposite Neptune (04:46 of Virgo/Pisces)

Romance, idealism, fantasy and imagination are blossoming into a bright aura right now, which is likely to influence your relationships, interactions, finances and values – for better or for worse! Compassion, caring and selfless giving can be good ideals to aim for, as long as you remember that ideals tend to lose some of their shiny glow when they're translated into hard reality. If you forget this, the end result may be disappointing or disillusioning. Disappointment may also indicate that there have been hidden hopes or high expectations that no one can really live up to. Aim to balance your innocence and longing with the judgement of your older, wiser, mature self; and do a reality check with a trusted friend or adviser if in doubt. That said, this can also be a very creative and inspiring time – just remember to keep one foot on the ground.

Jul.26 – Venus sextile Saturn (05:05 of Virgo/Scorpio)  (Jul.27 in AU)

It is possible to find some stability in your relationships and finances under this transit, especially if you are willing to negotiate fairly and realistically. You have increased ability to be disciplined about spending and budgeting, and to invest in 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 your interaction with others. Commitment and structure may be easier to approach and achieve than if you take risks now. Your self-worth can benefit from this transit because you may be less inclined to give in to mood swings. On the other hand, 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.27 – Mars opposite Pluto (09:39 of Cancer/Capricorn)  (Jul.28 in AU)  (This is a Cardinal Cross aspect.)

Mars and Pluto doing battle in the skies can create a very intense showdown! This is a time when tempers can flare, power struggles can emerge, and aggressive action could seem like the only way to handle a conflict. If you feel yourself becoming entangled in a mounting tension with someone, you might do well to back off a bit to let the adrenaline subside on both sides. On the other hand, it is a time when we are often challenged to assert ourselves and strengthen our spirit, which can often be brought on by confrontation. This is the kind of atmosphere where our interactions with others can bring out deeply hidden and intense feelings inside us, which long to be expressed but are usually suppressed instead. This is an opportunity to observe what gets triggered inside of us and what kind of interaction triggers those feelings. It can be valuable to use the experience as a way to vent old frustration, work through unresolved anger, and ultimately heal our deeper wounds by letting go of whatever holds us back. Sexual energy can run very high under this transit, so handle it wisely.

Jul.27 – Sun square Saturn (05:08 of Leo/Scorpio)  (Jul.28 in UK, AU)

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

Jul.28 – Venus sextile Jupiter (07:15 of Virgo/Cancer)

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

Jul.30 – Venus trine Pluto (09:36 of Virgo/Capricorn)

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

Jul.31 – Mars square Uranus (12:26 of Cancer/Aries)  (Aug.01 in ADT and UK, AU)  (This is a Cardinal Cross aspect.)

Erratic action and unpredictable impulses can surface under this transit. Active energy is more available now, but it can be very hard to control its direction, speed, intensity or predictability. Under this volatile atmosphere, unconscious or suppressed emotions (like anger, frustration, fear or desire) can jump out when you least expect them. Being accident prone is not uncommon. This can be great if you're trying to release inhibitions, find courage to sprint forward or break out of an old habit. Unfortunately, there's no guarantee that your actions won't turn out to be destructive, counter-productive or too much of a good thing. You might be tempted to take greater risks than is wise, but this risk-taking impulse can also break you out of a rut too. It's important to use your best judgment when faced with this kind of potent yet volatile energy.

Aug.01 – Mars trine Chiron (12:53 of Cancer/Pisces)  (Aug.02 in AU)

The healing of assertive energy and willpower mark this transit. It is bound to be easier to get past any inhibition you might normally feel about being assertive, expressing frustration and anger, and putting things into action. Perhaps you are able to reconcile some internal guilt or fear that has held you back in the past. Or, maybe you are finally able to reach a state of acceptance or resolution that allows you to move beyond a conflict or struggle that has been keeping you stuck. Applying your willpower to problems has a better chance of succeeding now because you're likely to be more attuned to the path that leads to peace rather than more conflict. It's possible you might choose to use this energy in the defence of another person, a cause or something else you feel passionately about. It's possible to focus your energy, intent, motives and actions in ways that are healing, healthy, balanced and constructive.

Aug.02 – Venus opposite Chiron (12:52 of Virgo/Pisces)

You may be extra sensitive to other people's suffering, struggles or dilemmas under this transit. Your own ongoing issues in relationships or finances may undergo a kind of "healing crisis" in which you endure increased problems and must use extra tolerance, compromise or negotiation to keep things from collapsing into a worse state. At the same time, you may be able to reach a new level of acceptance and peace – not necessarily by solving the problems, but by letting go of the struggles that are not as important as you thought and by making the best of the ones that are left. Other people or outside circumstances may give you a push in this direction, which might feel at first like old wounds are being opened up. But this is an opportunity to find new ways to bring healing and balance to old problems, especially using tolerance, compromise and acceptance.

Aug.02 – Venus sextile Mars (13:34 of Virgo/Cancer)  (Aug.03 in AU)

It is possible now to take a balanced approach to conflict, problems and projects that require effort. This can combine both a gentle touch and firm action; sensitivity and forcefulness. Negotiation and interaction with others could be aggressive and determined now, but also balanced with sensitivity and style. Any expressions of anger, frustration or discontent are more likely to be tempered with fairness, moderation and composure. You'll have to apply some effort to get these opposite energies working in sync together, but the potential and opportunity are there more-so than usual now.

Aug.03 – Mercury leaves Retrograde Shadow (23:06 of Cancer)  (Aug.04 in UK, AU)  ("What's the Shadow?"  Read my articles about Retrograde Cycles.  Read my article about Mercury Retrograde.)

Mercury finally leaves the shadow—the part of the zodiac where it was retrograde. This means the confusion, delays and miscommunications of the last 2 months have mostly dissipated and things should be more or less back to normal (whatever that is). The difference is that you now have the benefit of seeing things from a different perspective after having reconsidered, rethought and rehashed information and perceptions over the past 2 months. This gives you more choices than you had before. In fact, you may find that although you thought something was a good idea a month or two ago, you now realize that a different approach, decision or way of understanding it is better. If you've been waiting until Mercury finished with the retrograde cycle before you made a final decision about something or taking action on something, this is the time to take another look at whatever that is. Just don't forget your common sense, and remember that Mercury is only one factor to take into consideration regarding the timing of a decision. Use your best judgment and wisdom.

Aug.04 – Sun trine Uranus (12:23 of Leo/Aries)  (Aug.05 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 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. ;-)

Aug.04 – Sun square North Lunar Node (12:29 of Leo/Scorpio)

When the Sun squares the Lunar Nodes, your sense of purpose and identity appear to be in conflict with the lessons you need to learn in life. It may feel like you're forced to take a detour around your direct route to your destination (whatever that might be). This may only be true on the surface – if you look deeper at the situation (or possibly in retrospect), you'll probably find that your sense of self is actually helped by the benefits that you are able to get on that detour, which would have missed if you hadn't been diverted from your original path.

Alternatively, you might be confronted by a conflict or stressful dilemma that you usually resist or flail against. This may be an opportunity to explore a deeper level of your experience and feelings. Perhaps there is fear or resentment or defiance behind your reaction. This is a chance to try on a different perspective and respond in a different way that can help you move through the situation instead of just being blocked by it.

When the Sun squares the Nodes it is sometimes called "Moon Wobbles," which is a bit of a misnomer. The Moon itself doesn't wobble or even necessarily interact directly with either the Nodes or the Sun. Rather, the Moon part of us (the inner, feeling, intuitive, sensitive part of us) may feel a bit "wobbly" or unsteady when the Sun squares the Nodes. The "Moon Wobble" effects are said to build and dissipate for up to 10 days before and after the Sun-Node square is exact.

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