Fake news, or what used to be called propaganda, clearly has a firm grip on our mass consciousness at this time. With “Post-truth” named Oxford Dictionary’s 2016 Word of the Year, and George Orwell’s classic dystopian novel, “1984,” published in 1949, declared this year’s “must read” by the New York Times and now opening on Broadway this week, the question “What is real?” is clearly this era’s zeitgeist. The challenge to our confidence in the ability to discern the truth is actually pretty exciting to me as it could lead to a place where more of us become open to looking at something new. Once we acknowledge we don’t know what is going on in the world, it may lead to consciously extracting ourselves from “groupthink” and developing an internal compass that points us in the direction of our own truth. It may also lead to additional existential questions such as “Who am I?” That’s when things get very interesting. Really.
There is an abundance of planetary alignments this week making for an archetypally potent period to tune into the vibration of higher truths. When Mercury, the Sun and the Moon join Mars in Cancer, they quickly hit transition points in their various cycles that may correlate to significant shifts in our attention and consequently the direction of daily life. Additionally, Mercury, Venus and Mars each form aspects to the three outer planets, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto, taking us beyond the rule-set of the physical material reality (represented by Sun through Saturn) and into cosmic truth-seeking territory. The connections to the transcendent planets combined with the concentration of planets in intuitive Cancer, create an opportunity to experience thoughts and encounters that help us realize the border between physics and metaphysics isn’t no man’s land anymore. “The nature of the outer planets in their most positive expression is transformative in nature,” says Jim Sher. “They describe processes by which a person can elevate to a higher level of consciousness. Although some individuals are able to integrate these forces,” he says, “the nature of Uranus, Neptune and Pluto is not yet unified in the collective consciousness as a whole. Perhaps evolution tends to occur in fits and starts,” says Sher, “but I would like to believe that it is also true that the greater the collective consciousness, the more able ‘we’ might be to see where we are and what we need to do to create a better life for all of us.”
An alert sextile alignment between Mercury in Gemini and Uranus in Aries on June 20th represents the spark of genius. Borderlands of thought are mighty enticing under this aspect so it is a fitting jumping point for the week that could lead to some lively, inspiring talk about all things unusual. Mercury in its home sign of Gemini aligning with Uranus in pioneering Aries is likely to stimulate our natural curiosity into life’s bigger questions. May we use this springboard to leap far into new territory where we actually experience, even for a brief moment, the truth of our transcendent identity.
Just an hour after intellectual Mercury is primed by the higher mind archetype of Uranus, our manner of relating and valuing as represented by Venus in its home sign of Taurus is touched by the even more distant planets Neptune, in its home sign of Pisces, and Pluto in Capricorn. Venus’ outer planet encounters in the deep space of night could subtly influence our dreamtime with the sacred and profound. We may wake up infused with the desire to create experiences of love in whatever conditions exist in our lives at this very moment. With or without a significant other, we can express love authentically to anyone no matter their station. In that act we may open to the kind of love that is beyond the Saturnian need for logic, rules and well-defined order, love that is all-encompassing (Neptune) and all-powerful (Pluto).
The Sun arriving at the season changing solstice point of 0° Cancer before the end of the day on June 20th sets the archetypal tone for the next three months. By looking at the aspects unfolding this week in correlation to the headlines playing out in the media, it appears the polarity of truth and lies will be the dualistic set to behold. Understanding the nature of Cancer could help in developing the inner barometer needed to weather the storm of media noise. According to Dane Rudhyar, the gift of Cancer is “knowing where one belongs.” While the archetype of Cancer is known for its tribal nature and hunkering down in cloistered environments, belonging here means to develop a strong sense of individuality that feels “at home” in a larger societal context that is outside the narrow and safe confines of family. The lesson of Cancer tells us if we can go so far as to acknowledge that we actually have great fear in encountering the big bad world out there, we can then consciously deal with it directly. In being truthful to ourselves about this, we can then start to become secure enough in who we are to venture out wherever needed to do our work in the world as befits our purpose line.
Mercury enters Cancer on June 21st and within hours forms the Superior Conjunction to the Sun at the solstice zero degree mark. This is the culminating “full moon” phase of the four-month Mercury cycle, which synchronistically began with the Inferior Conjunction at 0° Taurus on April 19th. Mid-way through this cycle, we may see the fruition of ideas or projects that began at that time and perhaps get a sense of the evolution from learning non-attachment to all that we value in Taurus to knowing where one belongs in Cancer. The zero degree point is archetypally strong and represents a cleaning of the slate, new beginnings at a higher level. The Superior Conjunction represents a time when the seed idea planted at the Inferior Conjunction is fully cognited and integrated. In Cancer, this may be sensed experientially rather than intellectually.
The Moon enters Cancer on June 23rd joining with the Sun for the New Moon, which is closely conjunct Mercury. Another monthly cycle begins, and the chart for this one with four astral bodies in Cancer, is deep into the mission of finding out where we belong. This naturally brings into play the issue of truth and the sense of ‘knowingness’ of what that means for each individual. If indeed we are all connected, and can sense ourselves as part of the larger human family, then it is imperative we have a strong sense of our own individuality so that we can remain a clear and distinguishable point of light that contributes to the sum of light. Perhaps this lunar cycle is about nurturing that part of ourselves, which we have subverted in order to fit within a too narrow definition of family, to give ourselves enough TLC to feel safe to expand into unfamiliar territory. If we can recognize where we have allowed familial conditioning to mask our fear of stepping out into unmapped territory, then we can begin to live the promise of the transformational outer planets.
Tuning into Mars in Cancer, with its psychic safety net, may provide the courage we need to charge forth into the unknown. June 24th – 25th, Mars will square Jupiter in Libra and trine Neptune in Pisces, activating the long-term alignment between the planet that rules what we believe (Jupiter) and the one that rules collective consciousness (Neptune). This aspect has been in effect since last fall, with three exact alignments, the last of which will be July 4th, so it is very tight right now, less than a degree apart. Since the inconjunct represents an indirect way of accessing the relevant planetary energies, it takes the faster moving planets to bring them to greater awareness. Action-oriented Mars represents our inner drive. The square to Jupiter may bring some friction to issues of relationships and perhaps our allegiances between family (Cancer) and society (Libra). Where is our faith in each of these groups? What do we believe they represent in our lives? Cancerian issues of safety are clearly part of the picture these days due to all manner of tragic events we hear about, man and nature made.
Neptune is quite potent now having moved only one-thirtieth of a degree since turning retrograde last Friday, and its trine to Mars gives its fluid and bendable sense of reality even more strength. If we stubbornly remain within the parameters of Saturnian material logic, it will be all too easy to get confused. We’re only just beginning to come out of the dumbfounding fog of change triggered by the epochal square between Uranus and Pluto, and coming to grips with a new reality – that we need to become our own authority on what is real. One day Qatar is vilified as a major sponsor of terrorism by its close U.S. ally Saudi Arabia and other Arab nations, and the next it is signing a billion dollar arms deal with the U.S. This is a clear example of the “double-think” of “1984” and why we need to develop a sense of reality that is beyond Saturnian logic. Could it be that what is happening isn’t what is making us fearful, anxious or at best disenchanted (as is a life without Neptune)? For all the noisy media out there, we could choose to consume that which may instruct us on how to observe our thoughts – the starting point for meditation. That would lead to an ability to take responsibility for every thought we have about that which is happening around us, and that is the beginning of true peace. Believe it or not.
Here’s the data (using Pacific Time and planetary positions rounded to the nearest whole degree, unless otherwise noted):
June 20 – Venus sextile Neptune at 14° Taurus/Pisces at 1:26 a.m.
June 20 – Mercury sextile Uranus at 28° Gemini/Aries at 2:30 a.m.
June 20 – Sun at 0° Cancer at 9:24 p.m.
June 21 – Mercury at 0° Cancer at 2:58 a.m.
June 21 – Mercury conjunct Sun (Superior Conjunction) at 0° Cancer at 7:14 a.m.
June 23 – Moon conjunct Sun (New Moon) at 3° Cancer at 7:31 p.m.
June 24 – Venus trine Pluto at 1:57 a.m.
June 24 – Mars square Jupiter at 11:07 p.m.
June 25 – Mars trine Neptune at 11:19 p.m.