The Low-Down on the Far-Out

Full Moon in Capricorn, July 2017

Chart for the Full Moon in Capricorn
Chart for the Full Moon in Capricorn

Confront the dark parts of yourself, and work to banish them with illumination and forgiveness. Your willingness to wrestle with your demons will cause your angels to sing.
~ August Wilson

Jul.09 – FULL MOON in CAPRICORN (17:09 of Capricorn)

You know that Mars-Pluto opposition that we've had for the last week or two? The opposition that was exact on July 2nd, just 3 days after Mars came in from being Out of Bounds (OOB) for 7 weeks? The one that happened while Mars was parallel and conjunct Mercury (who, himself, was also returning from OOB)? And while both of them opposed Pluto at the end of June and the beginning of July? Remember from the last update?

Ya, that one.

Well... I'm here to tell ya they're not quite finished with us yet.

The good news is that Mercury's done with both of them. He's well beyond his conjunction to Mars and not even in the same sign anymore. Whew! Thank you Venus for small favours! Yes, we can thank Venus since she's now entertaining Mercury with a nice, friendly sextile chat (60°).

But there's still that wee problem of the Mars-Pluto opposition, which is being revived by the Sun-Moon opposition (a.k.a. the Full Moon axis). The Moon is conjunct Pluto and the Sun is conjunct Mars, and Jupiter knits them all together into a T-square aspect pattern.

Oh joy, right?

Okay, so let's start by getting all those toxic worries and expectations out in the open. Then we can discover what good can come from it all.

I have always believed, and I still believe, that whatever good or bad fortune may come our way we can always give it meaning and transform it into something of value.
~ Hermann Hesse, Siddhartha

No doubt about it—the roughest side of this Mars-Pluto combination is cringe-worthy. Between the two of them, they can evoke anger, rage, power struggles, and passionate disagreements that make you want to throw a chair through the window.

Mars opposite Pluto

It can be easy to simply get fed up with entanglements and just want a quick end to a conflict. One possible result can be a need for control that hardens into rigid authoritarianism: All or nothing. My way or the highway. Don't piss me off or you'll regret it. Put up or shut up. Both Mars and Pluto often prefer to fix problems using force or punishment, rather than looking for a nice win-win solution that works for everyone.

Disagreements in this kind of atmosphere can be difficult to settle peacefully because compromise may be seen as losing power and control, instead of as a means to resolution. Having to give something up in the name of negotiation can feel more like weakness, where the other guy gets the all the good stuff at the expense of your loss. This isn't necessarily true if you step back and look at it logically, but these kinds of conflicts are usually emotionally charged, and logic is not a strong area for Mars and Pluto who tend to live more in the intense emotions.

This can result in a struggle between just wanting a quick-and-dirty win versus needing to muster the patience and discipline to wait for a longer-term, enduring result. Mars prefers to be fast and impulsive, whereas Pluto (especially while in Capricorn) understands the value in slow patience, so the two can easily get out of sync when trying to achieve a common goal.

If your Mars energy feels that it's been fighting for too long, and needs an injection of encouragement and hope to keep fighting the good fight, it might go for a hasty reaction, instead of choosing a more effective one that requires more patience. This isn't necessarily good or bad, but it can help to be aware that this Mars-Pluto energy might aggravate a tendency to spin your wheels and waste your energy on venting frustration instead of persevering toward the more enduring solution.

The meeting of two personalities is like the
contact of two chemical substances:
if there is any reaction, both are transformed.
~ C.G. Jung

The Sun is approaching a conjunction to Mars (exact on July 26) and they're still parallel to each other (see the last update for more about this). With both of them in Cancer, they're on the lookout for solutions to problems that can ultimately nurture a feeling of safety, security, belonging and connection. However, this fiery combination of energies is more likely to feel secure and connected when expressing enthusiasm and excitement, more than indulging in group hugs and singing Kumbaya. I mean, what's the point of safety if it doesn't make you feel secure enough to take risks and be adventurous, right?

Sun-Mars opposite Moon-Pluto

On the other side of the zodiac is the Moon conjunct Pluto in Capricorn. Not the easiest partnership in the solar system! Pluto in Capricorn is out for systematic control of the whole Big Picture. He's convinced he understands how to make it all work and how to turn all that raw material into something useful and enduring, and where he gets to control what happens.

The Moon in Capricorn, on the other hand, might feel a bit like the child in a dysfunctional family, where her needs are secondary or even ignored in favour of the priorities of the greater family. It can make a Moon feel downright lonely, unimportant and a little lost.

When our Inner Child feels lost in the shuffle of a greater whole, we might feel drawn to people who see us as powerful and confident, and with whom we feel important, needed and respected. This can make a crucial difference that enables us to feel encouraged and supported. However, the price for this could be taking on more expectations that we must live up to, and with the Moon conjunct Pluto it could also mean we ironically wind up becoming more aloof or isolated in our quest for connection.

Alternatively, we could feel drawn to others who come across as powerful and confident. We may hope that by supporting and nurturing someone who is in control, we can become important and needed, too. By serving a power structure greater than ourselves, we may find a sense of purpose and belonging. This isn't necessarily good or bad. Much depends on whether the greater purpose we support is a good fit with the values, ethics and standards we embrace.

Never let your sense of morals prevent you
from doing what is right.
~ Isaac Asimov, Foundation

We're dealing with the two ruling planets of Scorpio (Mars and Pluto), which at their worst can become rather volatile. If we control or containment of those energies, they could stir up experiences involving abandonment, betrayal, lashing out in anger, or severing the very connections we crave.

If you start to be overtaken by these, it might be wise to step out to a secluded place where the energy can settle down a bit. Since the Moon and Pluto are in manifesting Capricorn, however you choose to handle these energies, there will be consequences—good or bad—that you may have to live with for a while. So, it's probably best not to let your inflamed reactions make those choices for you.

Enter: Jupiter. Into this dynamic of Moon-Pluto versus Sun-Mars steps the Lord of meaning, morality and principles. Jupiter looks out and sees these two sides of us that are at odds with each other – the quest for authority and control over our lives (Moon-Pluto), versus the need to feel part of a collective that will nurture and support us (Sun-Mars).

T-square aspect pattern

Jupiter, being in Libra, totally "gets" that both sides need to co-exist in harmony, but also understands that it can be tricky to reach a workable balance. So, Jupiter sits down between them to ponder the meaning of life and discover how to weave these two clashing sides together peacefully.

Jupiter is here to remind us how important it is to avoid becoming aligned with something that clashes with our sense of ethics and principles. Even if the situation unfolds to our advantage, if we achieved that by betraying our own integrity then our success will be a sour one. You can't run away from yourself far enough to escape who you are, and if you had to become something you're not in order to get what you wanted, then your integrity becomes the shadow that follows you around.

To learn which questions are unanswerable, and not to answer them: this skill is most needful in times of stress and darkness.
~ Ursula K. Le Guin, The Left Hand of Darkness

With so much intensity in the air, it might help to offset this with some softer or less clearly focused energy. Actually, we have both.

Let's start with the inconjunct aspects: the quincunx (150°) and semi-sextile (30°). These aspects are about ambiguity, confusion and difficulty getting the energies to talk to each other. They are found between signs whose elements, modalities and polarities are different or incompatible, so the energy can be irritating and frustrating, and require flexibility and thinking "outside the box."

Jupiter quincunx Neptune

Jupiter is quincunx to Neptune (150°) and they are partile (14°), meaning the same degree in Libra and Pisces—in other words, very tight orbs! We are just finishing the last of this 3-pass transit, which was exact Oct.23.2016, May.17.2017 and Jul.05.2017, and stay within a 1° orb for 1-2 weeks.

This combination of energies can lead to questioning—and perhaps even doubting—our beliefs, our ethics and our optimism. At its worst, it can become cynical and disdainful. At its best, it can lead to a deeper exploration of our values. This brings an opportunity to look beyond our assumptions to a more complex understanding of why we hold the beliefs that we do and whether they still have meaning for us.

Mars quincunx Saturn

Mars is quincunx to Saturn, and again they are partile at 22° of Cancer and Sagittarius, respectively. These two energies are anathema at the best of times, yet become a powerful force when they pull in the same direction. Unfortunately, this is not one of those times. Motivation and taking action (Mars) may lack clarity, discipline and order (Saturn), while it may be difficult to get our ambitions and purpose moving out of planning mode.

This could result in spinning our wheels, but since they're already out of sync, it may also give us a chance to work on and improve each component separately – how to consolidate and focus our energy (Mars), as well as how to ensure that our plans and ambitions are truly aligned with our highest vision (Saturn).

The most authentic thing about us is our capacity to create, to overcome, to endure,
to transform, to love and to be greater than our suffering.
~ Ben Okri

Chiron is semi-sextile to Uranus, and once again these two are partile at 28° of Pisces and Aries, respectively. Semi-sextile planets are often a bit easier to work with, since they share a flow in the zodiacal sequence – they're next door neighbours to each other. Many astrologers consider this a "positive" aspect, but like most neighbours, just because you share a proximity doesn't mean you want the same thing or that you'll approach it in the same way.

Chiron's orbit crosses the orbital paths of Saturn and Uranus. It acts as a bridge between the traditional, visible planets and the transpersonal, invisible planets – between mundane matters and the realm of greater meaning and spiritual evolution. So for Chiron to be semi-sextile one of its companions indicates a time when there is existential torment and distress within the collective, at the same time as there is an urge to break free of constrictions that are believed to cause that distress. However, the semi-sextile suggests that being successful with one will not necessarily alleviate the other, at least not as much as we hope it will.

Uranus semi-sextile Chiron

This Chiron-Uranus transit is a very long-term one. Its first exact pass was in 2009 and it lasts until 2038, with a 15-year break between 2021 and 2036, beginning in Aquarius-Pisces and extending through to Gemini-Cancer. So this energy is not new and isn't likely to be resolved anytime soon. This is a long journey through frustratingly small adjustments which unfortunately can't be done any other way.

As this transit began in 2009 (plus some near-misses since 2007), the world has undergone some huge changes that have had overlapping and confusing ripple effects. Chiron and Uranus seem to perfectly reflect the frustration and spiritual exhaustion we've all been going through, as we must adapt time and again to a dramatically changing world on every level: technologically, politically, culturally, environmentally and globally.

The long-term nature of this transit means its influence right now is mostly a subtle part of the backdrop to everything else that's going on in the foreground. That said, this could be the beginning of an especially demanding part of that longer journey, since Chiron and Uranus stay within 1° orb from April 2017 until September 2019, with 5 exact passes in between: July.29.2017, Dec.29.2017, Jul.16.2018, Jan.19.2019 and Jul.01.2019. This is the only time period of this transit when there are more than two passes within that 1° orb, which points to this being a particularly challenging part of this transit.

The nutshell version is that this Full Moon could raise some intense energy that will be played out on a global, collective scale over the next 2 years. Therefore, it may help to work with the more immediate intensity with a much bigger picture in mind of what's happening collectively to all of us. How you participate in this energy may only be one strand in a huge tapestry, but it can still have an influence. This tapestry is still being woven, so it will help to expect there will be a need for flexibility and adjustments for quite a while yet.

What you're supposed to do when you don't like a thing is change it.
If you can't change it, change the way you think about it.
~ Maya Angelou

Amidst all this intensity and struggle, there are some easy-going trines and sextiles (120° and 60°). As mentioned before, Mercury and Venus are enjoying some creative and playful times together through their sextile (exact on Jul.07).

Wedge aspect pattern with Neptune

Neptune forms a Wedge aspect pattern with Moon-Pluto and the Sun, suggesting that creative imagination and believing in a positive outcome (perhaps despite evidence to the contrary) can help to prevent bad things from becoming worse. Just remember that the difficult stuff still has to be dealt with or else Neptune might only provide an unhealthy escape hatch from it.

Saturn is still widely trine Uranus (5:26 orb), and although they're separating (getting further apart) they will beheading back for a final pass in November. This indicates a time when significant changes can be made to our expectations, rules and plans, as well as society's norms and the status quo. These are outer energies, so you may or may not enjoy how these changes affect you personally, but they are part of a greater unfolding process of change that is necessary to keep these systems from becoming stale or stagnant.

If you're honest, you sooner or later have to confront your values.
Then you're forced to separate what is right from what is merely legal.
~ Tom Robbins, Still Life with Woodpecker

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In summary, this Full Moon in Capricorn is likely to be a challenging one. It could simply mean it's demanding and requires you to put your back into whatever obstacles you are trying to move out of your way. Or it might mean experiences that are draining, unsatisfying, discouraging or overwhelming. It's a good time to simplify your life a little, so that you can conserve your energy to focus on the important things and so that you don't waste energy by spinning your wheels in frustration.

If you get stuck in overwhelm, take a break. If you can't find the time to take a break, take an even longer break, but do it now. Take a breath, get a grip, don't make things worse by hurling yourself against a brick wall that doesn't want to move out of the way.

Especially do not turn that Scorpionic Mars-Pluto stinger against yourself by amplifying old negative self-talk, and avoid turning it against others as well. There's a difference between being passionately assertive while remaining grounded within a broader context of understanding the situation, and using the situation to vent excess frustration that's been building up inside you.

Put your energy to constructive use. Capricorn is prepared to help with this! If you're feeling like the world is spinning out of control, Capricorn's methodical approach to things can help bring them back into order again—or at least your experience of the situation will be more grounded and centered as a result. Focus on what you're trying to accomplish and channel your frustration through persistence to find creative solutions to problems.

Find that fine line between concentrating on your goal while filtering out unimportant distractions, and becoming so laser-focused that you can't see anything else.

The truth is that the world is full of dragons, and none of us are as powerful or cool as we’d like to be.
And that sucks. But when you’re confronted with that fact, you can either crawl into a hole and quit,
or you can get out there, take off your shoes, and Bilbo it up.
~ Patrick Rothfuss

Jul.10 – Sun opposite Pluto (18:07 of Cancer/Capricorn)  (Jul.09 in HAST, AKDT, PDT, MDT, CDT)

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.

Jul.14 – Mercury sextile Jupiter (14:59 of Leo/Libra)  (Jul.15 in AU)

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

Jul.17 – Venus square Neptune (14:00 of Gemini/Pisces)  (Jul.18 in AU)

Money, material resources, relationships and pleasure could be subject to confusion, deception, or unrealistic wishful thinking under this transit. It may seem that what you thought you had (love, friendship, pleasure, money, resources) has suddenly disappeared or isn't as dependable as you thought it was. You might feel disappointed, disillusioned, sad or alone, but this is more likely to be a passing phase than a serious crisis. The question is: what are your secret longings and subtle desires that may be operating unconsciously? These could be clouding your ability to relate to people and situations in your life. Old addictions, depression or idealism may surface as way of dealing with feelings. A better outlet would be to channel your feelings and experiences into creativity, beauty, inspiration and compassion; for example, art, music or helping others.

Jul.17 – Mars square Uranus (28:25 of Cancer/Aries)  (Jul.18 in UK, AU)

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.

Jul.18 – Mars trine Chiron (28:44 of Cancer/Pisces)

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.

Jul.18 – Venus trine Jupiter (15:24 of Gemini/Libra)  (Jul.19 in AU)

Your luck and opportunity to attract money, love, resources and self-esteem are high right now. The flow of attraction (whether that is magnetizing people, things or opportunities) is riding a strong current right now. You could find it easier than usual to get the resources and abundance for whatever you need right now. On the other hand, "your eyes may be bigger than your stomach" (as mother used to say), meaning your desire may magnify your sense of need beyond what is wise. You may be tempted to spend, flirt or bluff your way through situations, preferring to ignore or avoid hardship, boundaries or drudgery. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but be careful you don't get your hopes up so high that you set yourself up for disappointment or make promises you can't keep. It's probably wise to balance this easy flowing energy with some discretion and good judgement.

Jul.19 – Mercury trine Saturn (22:12 of Leo/Sagittarius)  (Jul.20 in AU)

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

Jul.20 – Mars enters Leo (until Sep.05)

Fire meets Fire during this transit! Physical and emotional energy tends to run high and hot. This transit is great for doing work that requires a creative, dramatic, courageous or confident focus. This is also very playful energy that spurs you to throw off inhibition and express your most brilliant self. Sexual energy can be aroused, as well as anger or aggression. Assertiveness may emerge as more confident, edgy and dramatic than usual. If these emotions are based on defensiveness, lack of self-esteem or automatic reactions to unconscious assumptions, your effect could go overboard and come across as arrogant or sensationalist. On the other hand, if you tend to be a "shrinking violet" and find it hard to express yourself openly, this transit could provide some courage, inspiration and motivation to help you break free. To make the most of this transit, find ways to bring out your playful, creative, expressive side.

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Jul.20 – Sun square Uranus (28:27 of Cancer/Aries)  (Jul.21 in UK, AU)

Your world may experience a bit of a shake-up right now, as the Universe decides it's time to make things "interesting." This is a wake-up call, designed to loosen you up from the ways you have become too habitual, stuck or inhibited. The "radical rascal" in you may be itching to come out and stir up trouble, which on one hand might be necessary but also very disruptive and possibly even destructive. Be alert to new insights and opportunities disguised as accidents or crises. Your usual sense of self and purpose may become somewhat unsettled right now, but a space is likely being cleared to make room for new growth and possibilities. If you're looking to break old habits or break free of old restrictions, this may be the time – but it could create a mess that you'll have to clean up later. Resist the urge to rebel just for the sake of doing something different, and aim instead to break free of old forms of self-expression and ideals that don't work for you anymore. Expect the unexpected and then surf the shock-wave.

Jul.21 – Sun trine Chiron (28:41 of Cancer/Pisces)  (Jul.20 in HAST, AKDT, PDT)

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.

Jul.21 – Mercury conjunct North Lunar Node (24:22 of Leo)  (Jul.20 in HAST) ("What's a Lunar Node?")

Ideas are in focus, especially when they're shared with others. It could be a time when you observe or notice something new, giving you a new perspective that you will mull over for the coming several months. Or you might be called upon to give a talk or presentation that shares information with others. It might be an especially active time with emails, Facebook, Twitter or texting. Communication and collection of thoughts and ideas is the central theme here. Keep your eyes, mind and curiosity open – the world could be showing you something important and fascinating!

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!

Next Update:  NEW MOON in LEO. Available by July 23, 2017.

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© 2017 Wendy Guy. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied or used without the author's written permission. Astrology diagrams © Wendy Guy unless otherwise noted. Most or all of the quotes on this page were found at GoodReads.com. Illustration of Capricorn by Stockshoppe, via CanStockPhoto. Photo of Union Jack flag, by Edward Orde (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons


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