With the truth so dull and depressing, the only working alternative is wild bursts of madness and filigree.
~ Hunter S. Thompson, Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72
There's an old saying about being caught between the Devil and the deep blue sea. Except in this case the "devil" is often attributed not to the religious personification of evil, but to the seam between planks on the ship's hull which require occasional calking to keep the ship seaworthy. Trying to calk the seam on a moving ship even in calm waters is not for the timid!
Whatever its origin, it means being stuck between two undesirable, frustrating or risky alternatives. And this phrase reflects the essence of this Full Moon in Capricorn.
On one side we have the Moon in Capricorn which, for starters, is not the happiest place for the Moon at the best of times. Capricorn is its sign of "detriment," meaning it is difficult for it to simply be itself – it's a struggle. The Moon's best basic nature is one of trust, innocence, openness and receptivity. When she's in Capricorn, her worldview tends to be more serious, adult-like, sombre and cautious. She feels the weight of responsibility on her shoulders. She's like the kid who has to grow up faster than her years.
On the plus side, this can make it easier to be mature, responsible and practical. This is a good energy to have if you need to get serious about something that usually has an emotional charge to it, since it can bring you down to earth. Or it's good to keep you focused on doing something you know you have to do but find it oh so easy to get distracted.
Standing next to the Moon, Pluto looms large. Both being in serious Capricorn, and Pluto being sombre by nature, there is a rather heavy energy in the air. Not exactly party-time. However, the two have the ability to achieve something important through a shared project ...as long as Moon lets Pluto be the boss.
Pluto's leadership style tends to be stern, commanding, imposing and overpowering. Nevertheless, his intentions are generally good. All he wants is to give society a makeover by facilitating dramatic change. ("Oh, is THAT all," moans the Moon, looking around for her herbal antidepressants.) He wants to start with the Moon, using her as a makeover test subject.
The Moon doesn't quite trust Pluto not to become overly bossy, controlling or even abusive. She tries to keep her distance, but can't avoid answering him about his offer indefinitely. So she is feeling very cautious, wary and sceptical about this fabulous makeover that Pluto wants to do with her. Pluto is very secretive and won't tell her what he's going to do – only that it is necessary, orderly and politically correct.
"Step into my parlour, said the spider to the fly, ha ha," jokes Pluto. "Ha, ha," replies Moon dryly, as she edges past him through the doorway into the darkened room.
So: In what ways are you being challenged to do a makeover of some part of your life, but perhaps feeling a bit apprehensive about it? What exactly is it you're distrustful of? What are you afraid might happen? Are you avoiding this because it would disrupt your comfort zone, or is there some kind of real danger possible? If the former, consider the idea that you might gain something valuable by facing it that you couldn't get any other way – some form of learning, illumination, insight, material gain, advantage or other gain.
If there is the possibility of real danger or risk or serious problems (physical or psychological harm, loss of respect from others or yourself, unnecessary loss, etc), then think about what you can do to empower yourself in the situation. Where is your point of power? Where do you have control – not control over someone else, but control because you have the ability to choose how to respond?
Either way, this is a time to "get real" and confront the facts and the reality of what you're really dealing with. Boil it down to its essence. Rather than "what do you suspect" or "what are you afraid of," think about what you know. If things continue in the same way, what is most likely to happen? If that's not what you want, what can you do to avoid it, change it—or how might you be changed by it for the better?
Sometimes I think the loneliness inside of me is going to explode through my skin and sometimes I’m not sure if crying or screaming or laughing through the hysteria will solve anything at all. Sometimes I’m so desperate to touch, to be touched, to feel, that I’m almost certain I’m going to fall off a cliff in an alternate universe where no one will ever be able to find me.
~ Tahereh Mafi, Shatter Me
Meanwhile, the Sun is far away and enduring problems of his own. He has been hanging around with Mars for some time now (since mid-May). With most of their trip being in Gemini, it's been a little like travelling in a small car with a small child hopped up on bubbly soft drinks and Disney World. It's all fun and games until Mars hits his head on the ceiling from jumping up and down, and then it's tears and yelling.
Now that they're both in Cancer, Sun is gradually moving past Mars. Mars has exhausted a lot of his hyper energy and is more willing to play quietly in the back seat, with the occasional tears from being overtired or upset at the thought that the Sun might abandon him. Sun must therefore watch him carefully and be ready with a snack, a hug and a blankie when needed. It's demanding work, and although Sun is up to the task, he would rather be able to move on to other, more adult things.
So: what exhausting, exhilarating or stressful situation have you been going through for the last 7 weeks or so? Whether this has been difficult or exciting, where are you now with this? What progress have you made, and what part of it is still playing out over the next couple of weeks? How have you been taking care of yourself through this? Making sure you get enough sleep and rest, for example? Eating properly? Have you stayed connected to people who care about you (rather than isolating), and were you able to ask for help if/when you needed it? Most important, have you been able to absorb the caring, support, assistance and care you have received? Because if you haven't, if you find it impossible to let anyone in enough to receive what is given, then you're probably feeling far more exhausted or burned out than you need to.
This is a time to take good care of yourself and others who have been through a rough time in the last couple of months. It's not over quite yet, although that doesn't mean more of the same necessarily. It just means the ball hasn't finished rolling yet. So breathe, relax and rest your mind, but don't lose sight of what you're trying to do. Things may or may not be urgent now, but they still need your attention.
We have two alternatives: either we question our beliefs – or we don't. Either we accept our fixed versions of reality – or we begin to challenge them.
~ Pema Chödrön
So now we're back between the Devil and the deep blue sea. The Devil is the Moon with her partner in crime, Darth Vader, doing a makeover on the world and looking for more victims—er, clients. The deep blue sea is the Sun and Mars in Cancer, feeling a bit worn out and wishing they could just float around and sunbathe, so they don't have to keep swimming so hard.
Connecting these two pairs is a series of opposition aspects that look like braided cable to rig the sails. Do this right and you'll have a powerful resource to move full speed ahead (as much as Pluto and Capricorn full-speed anything). Miss the mark and you may find yourself tangled up in the issues represented by both ends, or at worst, possibly dead in the water.
Pluto is concerned with the Big Picture – what kind of change can happen that will take in as broad a swath as possible, because when you're talking real transformation you might as well go all the way. The Sun is more concerned with the immediate environment and what can be done within a more contained territory bound by what one feels emotionally connected to – in other words, your home base or environment or the range of people and places that mean something to you on a personal level. So the first struggle is in the scope of change, activity and accomplishment that you're prepared to aim for.
The Moon, being the planetary ruler of Cancer, where the Sun and Mars reside, understands and prefers the closer boundaries of a more personal scope of action. But it's hard to say no to Pluto. Looming over her with his glossy black helmet, he can be very persuasive. He doesn't take no for an answer easily, and is prone to saying menacing things like, "I find your lack of faith disturbing..." Nope, not gonna go up against that. Maybe tomorrow, not today. So the Moon feels a bit out of her depth, having to take her very personal, feeling nature and apply it in a rather depersonalized, larger-than-life way.
Mars is probably closer to Pluto in his energy than he is to either the Sun or Moon. Being the traditional and modern planetary rulers of Scorpio, they are cousin-like energies. They share a certain understanding about force, pressure, ambition and relentless determination. It is often said that Pluto is like a higher octave of Mars. (Octave, as in high and low Do. You know, "Do, a deer, a female deer...that will bring us back to Do!" .Hmm... okay, if you're one of the 3 people on the planet who have never seen The Sound of Music, you can listen to the song here, complete with cuteness overload of the movie clip with Julie Andrews.)
Ahem! Where was I? Um, right.
Okay, so Mars and Pluto have a certain kinship that in some ways give the Sun and Moon similar issues to deal with – how to handle the giving, taking, temptation or resisting of intensity, aggression, power and passion. The differences lie mostly in how each is expressed – Moon-Pluto through Capricorn, which is about moving beyond ego needs and toward objectified achievement, and Sun-Mars through Cancer, which is about confronting one's ego needs and working with challenges on a personal level.
The Devil? Or the deep blue sea? The choice may be yours. Or, it might be decided for you by circumstances, and then your choice is how you will respond to it. That's the real point of power here – not in whether you can avoid the danger zones, but in what you do to respond to the situation, whatever it is. If you wind up getting stuck in Moon-Pluto in Capricorn, you may squish your Inner Child and stuff him/her in the corner while you go off doing Grown-Up work.
This might mean trying to win the approval of people, authorities and standards that have little to do with you, and then feeling down, lost, powerless and abandoned by life because you haven't included yourself in the equation of whatever you're trying to achieve. Better to find ways to include yourself by making room for some personal needs, feelings and humanness in some way.
On the other hand, you might find you're spinning your wheels in the Sun-Mars in Cancer swamp, where you could start to drown in personal needs, feelings and perspective that you aren't sure how to pull yourself out of, so that you can get beyond it all. And ironically, the trick might be, not to try to get beyond it and leave your personal experience behind, but to find a way to take it with you. That's different from letting an unhappy Inner Child make your decisions and choose your path – you still need to be the Grown-Up and decide where and how the whole of you will go from here.
On the other hand, if you try to stick your Inner Child in the back seat and tell it to shut up, it's only likely to become more upset and needy. It might involve having to sit down for a few minutes with yourself and just be receptive to what you're feeling – sad, angry, afraid, upset, alone, unsafe, bored and so on. Then look for ways to take him/her along with you in your Big Person travels. Find ways to keep that part of you occupied – let yourself play a bit and rest, let yourself just be okay the way you are, rather than feeling that all of you has to be a Big Person. It's okay to be all that you are – Child, Adult, rebellious teenager, independent elder, etc.
We are our own dragons as well as our own heroes, and we have to rescue ourselves from ourselves.
~ Tom Robbins, Still Life with Woodpecker
Three other factors in the Full Moon chart help in your quest.
Neptune forms a Wedge aspect pattern to the multiple opposition. Imagination can provide a way out of being stuck in one way of thinking or looking at the situation. Let your mind wander and imagine other ways it might happen in a movie, for example, or through writing, drawing or dancing. Then, let your intuition watch for ideas that could be used to find a different path out of where you are. Just be careful that Neptune assistance doesn't turn into Neptune escapism – or maybe that's a bit harsh; just make sure escapism isn't the only way you deal with the situation.
Venus and Jupiter are still tightly conjunct. I hope you've been catching the stunning light show in the western sky in the evenings lately, with these two bright lights doing a slow, luxurious dance together. If you haven't, it's not too late! They should still be visible in the western evening sky until around the end of July, although moving apart. If you're south of the equator, it might be harder to catch a glimpse, but don't feel left out because Venus is moving further south and you will get your chance to enjoy her radiant beauty.
Venus-Jupiter in Leo contribute joy, delight, hope, faith, abundance and ease – at least, they hold out a glowing promise that these too could be yours for the asking. Unfortunately that's not a guarantee that these things will actually crawl into your lap and make themselves at home. These two are in an uneasy aspect to the Sun/Mars opposition to Moon-Pluto, forming what I call a Hard Wedge – semi-square to the Sun (45°) and sesqui-quadrate to the Moon (135°).
The point is that if you try to overindulge or overdo the Venus-Jupiter qualities, you could teeter into glamour, entitlement or self-absorption, which would definitely dim the brilliance of their best qualities. Aim instead for self-acceptance rather than self-esteem and radiant inner beauty rather than manufactured outer attractiveness.
The other point is that there is hope and a positive outlook for the asking, when/if you get overwhelmed. You don't have to (nor perhaps should you) take it as a Pollyanna-everything-is-rainbows-and-wonderful kind of panacea, but it can help keep you from getting buried in discouragement, pessimism, worry and despair. Think of it as the spoonful of sugar that helps the medicine go down. (Why am I on a Julie Andrews kick tonight??)
There is also a Mini-Trine aspect pattern involving Mercury in sextile aspect (60°) to Venus-Jupiter and to Uranus, which themselves are in a lovely trine aspect (120°). This can be an exciting and plentiful energy for fresh ideas that can see far beyond the immediate situation, and can bring into focus the potential that lies in store on the far horizon. Again, this is best used not to merely avoid dealing with any issues, problems or challenges that you have, but as a great resource to help to work through it all toward achieving your goal.
It is easier to live through someone else than to complete yourself. The freedom to lead and plan your own life is frightening if you have never faced it before. It is frightening when a woman finally realizes that there is no answer to the question 'who am I' except the voice inside herself.
~ Betty Friedan
Lastly, Saturn, the planetary ruler of our Full Moon in Capricorn, has just moved back into Scorpio on Jun.14 – yet another Capricorn-Scorpio connection! It will stay there until Sep.17, stationing direct on Aug.02. Although this is certainly a heavy energy, it's also a great time to finish up the Great Work you've been struggling with over the last couple of years. This is about getting real and facing your deep psychological reality – the stuff you'd rather read about in some celebrity or public figure who just messed up.
When it's someone else, it can be easier to distance yourself from those same issues in yourself, by expressing judgment or disgust about them or by showing oh-so-much compassion for poor old them. Either way, it's easier to solve the problems when it's someone else who has to do the work. And the more you are drawn to someone else's failure (for better or worse), the more you are probably likely to have something like that inside yourself that you too are struggling with.
These two months are when you can take a final look inside yourself and do a little reality check about what you need to transform. Think back on the last couple of years to the news stories, the people around you and the situations that evoked the strongest reaction in you. Then look inside yourself and see if you can see something similar in yourself that you too have been trying to come to grips with. This is the time to nail down what that is for you. It doesn't mean you have to do all the work in the next 2 months. Even just squarely acknowledging something you don't really want to look at is a solid step forward.
It's a process, not an event. One step at a time. One trauma at a time. One time.
You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, 'I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.' You must do the thing you think you cannot do.
~ Eleanor Roosevelt, You Learn by Living: Eleven Keys for a More Fulfilling Life
There is potential for brilliance and excitement under this transit. You may be more spontaneous, upbeat and eccentric than usual. If you are used to a fairly predictable lifestyle, it is a time when you may be inspired to experiment with something out of character. If you are used to being whacky, zany and impulsive, this transit can provide opportunities to express this. You may have an increased ability to "think outside the box" if you stretch your mind a little, and there is the possibility of having an "ah-ha!" experience, when answers and realisations fall into place. There is also the possibility of being mentally restless, so that it's hard to slow down your thoughts or apply yourself seriously to your responsibilities. Your attention span may be a bit short for a couple of days. This energy can be used to consider new ideas that seemed outlandish or impossible before, and see new potential in them.
Your mental focus and perceptions may feel a bit strained right now. You could find yourself locked in a struggle of indecision that stems from a "glass half empty" versus "glass half full" dilemma. It may be difficult to stay objective and evenly balanced in your perspective, but by working with this you could also find a new mental focus that gives you increased clarity. It might be tempting to sink into cynicism as a way to deal with what seems like a no-win situation. On the other hand, this transit could bring your mental perspective to a kind of "healing crisis" that forces you to get a better grip on the ideas, communication and frame of mind that have been problematic for you. Instead of reaching for extremes (hoping this will clarify the path in front of you), it will help more if you can take a few steps back to allow all the conflicting and out-of-sync elements to coexist together – creative paradox. If you have been in denial about something, this could be a turning point that allows you to grapple with the complex reality of your situation.
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.
There is a potential to benefit from social connections, diplomatic communication and receptive awareness during this transit, although a certain amount of effort is needed to make this happen. It can be a good time for negotiating contracts and other agreements, especially if you consciously focus your intent on achieving balance with your counterpart, partner or opponent that results in a win-win situation for all concerned. There is also potential to appreciate and express beauty, pleasure and sensuality. If there's someone in your life that you want to get closer to, try speaking gently and listening receptively, which can be the key that opens the door to harmonious interaction. Creative ideas can also find expression now if you apply your conscious awareness to bring them into focus. The thing to watch for is a tendency to use manipulation to achieve an advantage, which might be done by you or to you. Keep communication straightforward and clear, and find diplomatic ways to deal with manipulation if you sense it happening.
This is the second of two passes of this transit: Jun.10 and Jul.05.
Who owns the power? This is a time when you may be called upon to stand up to a situation or person who pressures you to dance to their tune instead of your own. This is a chance to assert and empower yourself in new ways, putting into practice the inner strength you've developed in the last 6 months. The trick is to face the situation or person while rooted in inner honesty and authenticity, rather than trying to annihilate the enemy using overkill. Strive to negotiate (or struggle) together using just enough force to establish a workable balance of power, without either of you being nuked in the process. Also, be open to the possibility that your "opponent" might be holding up a mirror, which is showing you something about yourself that you may not want to acknowledge. That doesn't necessarily make your opponent right and you wrong, but there might be something for you to learn from the situation. If you are in a situation that doesn't involve an "opponent" as such, there may still be an aspect of your environment that is holding up a difficult mirror, requiring you to find a more centred and authentic point of inner power. It is by finding new balance within this kind of dynamic, whatever the circumstances, that transformation can be found.
Intuition, sensitive perception, and communication of feelings flow more easily during this transit. Your empathy may be deepened now, as you can be more able to imagine and pick up on what other people feel and need. Because of this, you may also find that it's easier to say difficult things in a sensitive, caring way. However, your open connection to others might also increase the risk of communicating in a hurtful or callous way, if you are not used to treading gently. Your creative imagination is also more accessible now. To take advantage of this, try doing some journal writing, expand your emotional awareness, have some creative fun, or think of ways to make your environment more homey and comfortable.
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.
Under this transit, you might find you need to, or are compelled to, change your mind about where you are heading in your life. You could be confronted with facts or information that contradicts what you thought was real or true about your sense of life purpose, or it might seem like someone is getting in your way. You may be tempted to dismiss this, deny it, avoid it or rationalize your way around it. However, there is probably valuable information coming to you that is important to take into consideration. It doesn't necessarily mean your life destination should be abandoned; rather, you are challenged to see it more clearly. You might also need to communicate information or a point of view that could be unwelcome or unpopular, or difficult to get your point across. In that case, try not to go overboard in standing your ground and focus primarily on what needs to be said and the best way to say it.
Your world may experience a bit of a shake-up right now, as the Universe decides it's time to make things "interesting." This is a wake-up call, designed to loosen you up from the ways you have become too habitual, stuck or inhibited. The "radical rascal" in you may be itching to come out and stir up trouble, which on one hand might be necessary but also very disruptive and possibly even destructive. Be alert to new insights and opportunities disguised as accidents or crises. Your usual sense of self and purpose may become somewhat unsettled right now, but a space is likely being cleared to make room for new growth and possibilities. If you're looking to break old habits or break free of old restrictions, this may be the time – but it could create a mess that you'll have to clean up later. Resist the urge to rebel just for the sake of doing something different, and aim instead to break free of old forms of self-expression and ideals that don’t work for you anymore. Expect the unexpected and then surf the shock-wave.
Your mind is very open to imagination, dreams and compassion under this transit. This can be a very creative time, when ideas flow like a magical river. It can also be easy to get caught up in yearning and fantasizing about your hidden wishes, although it is possible to channel this into creative expression. (e.g., writing poetry, dancing, wistful music, singing in the shower, whatever!) Listening sympathetically to others' problems may come easily now, and you are more likely to get a compassionate response from others about your own problems. However, it may also be difficult to draw clear and firm boundaries with others, since you are more susceptible to the emotional gravity of others. It is ultimately a time for optimism, hope, creativity and intuition, although it's wise to keep at least one foot on the ground.
This is a time when you may find that your recent efforts to mend and heal the chronic struggles in your life start to come together. You likely have the confidence now to try new solutions, or at least to approach problems from a different angle that sheds new light on the situation. Some of this progress may come from daring to walk your own path, or from finding the courage to face the hidden shadow of your worries and weaknesses (the hidden benefit that those worries give you). There may be a variety of different struggles and wounds in your life that could benefit from this kind of healing, although it can be tempting to let this transit pass by without taking advantage of it. Strive to reach a midpoint between merely dipping your toe in troubled waters and thinking that is enough, versus jumping in the deep end and marinating in it.
Finances, relationships, social contacts and/or pleasures may seem blocked or require extra effort right now. Manifesting your desires may require added hard work, but this struggle could also bring you closer to your goals. It may feel like there is a huge rock blocking your path that keeps you from fulfilling your heart's desire. It may be necessary to face some difficult aspect of your situation before it is possible to know how to proceed. This is ultimately a problem to be solved by confronting that which is unrealistic, unworkable, or just not in your best interest. This can also be a time when you arrive at a crossroads and must make some firm choices, or when circumstances might force you to change your direction. This transit can make your choice clear, although it might not be the one you hoped for.
This is the first of 3 passes of this transit: Jul.15, Aug.05, Oct.10. Read more about the 2015 Venus Retrograde cycle.
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.
This transit brings powerful words and ideas! They require you to strike a balance between personal perceptions and trans-personal implications. Your communication can be more penetrating, forceful or persistent than usual now, and a little will go a long way, so use this ability sparingly and carefully. In the same way, the words and perceptions of others may have a deeper and stronger impact on you than they normally do. This could be a mixed blessing – you may discover some profound insight and psychological truth in what others say to you, but you might also be receiving their unconscious projections too (meaning their perceptions and feedback might say more about them than about you). Deep self-honesty can help you decide what is true and what is being distorted. Avoid reacting on "automatic pilot" and give yourself some mental and psychological breathing room to avoid becoming overwhelmed.
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© 2015 Wendy Guy. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied without the author's written permission. Most or all of the quotes on this page were found at GoodReads.com. Capricorn: Becoming a Unicorn © Carol McCloud, Galactic Alchemy; used with permission. Photo of albatross by stormcastle via CanStockPhoto.com.