“Courage is needed now. Once one has begun the journey, one should never stop or look back. One must allow Uranus to unceasingly shatter one’s limitations, Neptune to expand one’s consciousness and Pluto to lead one through the darkness of the unknown into the Void where a new center of light will eventually shine.”
“The Sun is Also a Star: the Galactic Dimension of Astrology”
Tuning into the Full Moon and the planetary alignments leading up to it this week feels quite profound. There is a seriousness to it, as in momentous and with a sense of urgency even. But also there are seeds of expansion and therefore the promise of accelerated growth towards a new state of consciousness for those who are committed to this effort. The transformational processes represented by the outer planets, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto are all activated so, ready or not, we may be presented with meaningful circumstances that initiate some kind of dramatic shift in how we experience life. And baby, that’s what its all about.
Two sign shifts this week underscore the potential for movement to occur within while correlating to a general change in the tone of the collective atmosphere. Just in time for the U.S. Independence Day fireworks on July 4th, Venus leaves its home earth sign of practical, values-based Taurus for the synaptic, information-based air sign of Gemini where it will spend the next 26 days. Linked to the sheer delight of connecting with others and sharing information in social settings, Venus in Gemini archetypally represents a movement to reunite that which was split into two. Rather than darting about having interactions with others in a superficial way, however, Venus’ highest expression here endeavors to experience the wholeness achieved when two or more individuals – stars in their own right – are gathered in a singular purpose, which requires quality time to achieve the mutual understanding of twin souls.
Increasing the fireworks potential on July 4th, Mercury in Cancer squares Uranus in Aries. One way this could manifest is by people saying things quite abruptly, or saying something shocking or unexpected. Another way the tension-filled square between the planets of lower and higher mind could be experienced is as a lightning bolt of sudden understanding or a brilliant solution. The perceptual planets in air and fire signs augment the potential for inspiration. In Jim Sher’s recent Outer Planet lecture he talked about Uranus representing “the process that leads to true individuality and uniqueness.” Mercury creates a direct uplink to this Uranian process but the challenge is to remain relaxed and open enough under this edgy alignment to receive new information in a non-linear way that will lead us away from “common consensus” to listening to our own truth. “Uranus opens us for a radical shift in the way we see and think about things,” says Sher. “We become responsible for our own inner state, able to handle the events of life with little reactivity as we are no longer triggered by what others say or do.”
The second sign shift occurs on July 5th, when Mercury leaves the sensitive, psychically attuned water sign of Cancer for the creative, radiant fire sign of Leo. Over the next 15 days, the archetypally quick thinking nature of Mercury has the potential to express through Leo in heroic ways. Words spoken from the heart under this signature can ring true, becoming gifts of light bringing warmth to others. One thing to watch out for under this signature is the pride of the ego that all too easily boasts of its own creative flair and therefore casts shadows on others. The key to letting go of the need to preserve the gifts for oneself, is to turn on the generous nature of Leo that recognizes there are enough words of love to go around for all.
Also on July 5th, the Sun in Cancer trines Neptune in Pisces and squares Jupiter in Libra. This comes less than a day after the last exact inconjunct between the latter two that has been operating over the last couple of months subtly influencing us to enter into a philosophical state of inquiry (Jupiter) about cosmic consciousness (Neptune). Just as when it accessed these planets in early June from its position in Gemini, the Sun, now in sensitive Cancer, brings heart to this process. The Sun squaring Jupiter could catapult us into a panoramic experience of even the most mundane situation. Being able to feel the adventure of new knowledge as it informs our everyday life can bring new meaning and ultimately acceptance of exactly where we are. House cleaning, for example, can become a meditative joy as a metaphor for putting some TLC to long forgotten corners of our psyche. Bringing the large into the small so to speak is a way of internally expanding awareness even within a seemingly limited or mundane material situation. The Sun’s trine to the Neptune activates its process, which is one that “leads to connectedness,” according to Sher, “the experience that each of us is, whether or not we are aware of it, netted to each other, to all things and to the larger reality.” During this time of increased disturbance in the world, Neptune can help us remember this connectivity. One way is by not taking things personally, by recognizing that whatever other people express, however alarming or upsetting, is them just being themselves. It takes the courage and compassion of Neptune to be able to allow that to happen without feeling fearful of attack or losing ground to the stronger egos in the room. The process of Neptune is to dissolve the ego. “Neptune represents the force that moves us away from fear and separateness towards Love,” says Sher. “This type of experience, which is sometimes called the ‘mystical experience’, is one of Total Love that is unconditional. Love is the nature of ‘Being’ itself, the very nature of who we are.”
Mercury in Leo sextile Venus in Gemini on July 7th symbolically offers up vibrations of much needed charm and delicacy leading into the crescendo of the dramatic Full Moon. While tactfulness is in short supply these days, the archetype of the Mercury/Venus planetary pair provides a good role model to follow when interacting with others. This stimulating aspect provides a harmonious air of congeniality. Whether or not we avail ourselves of it in the heat of the moment is another story. It just may, however, be the vibration we tune into that makes us hit the pause button on any automatic reactivity to external upsets we may at first be taking personally. For example, if encountering an angry person, we could push the pause button by connecting with them on a personal level; by looking them in the eyes and finding something to say that disarms them. It is in that moment of tuning into what they need to hear that is an act of love.
Being conscious of bringing love into our encounters will be perhaps the most important effort needed at the Full Moon on July 8th. The Moon in Capricorn is tightly conjunct Pluto, which may trigger some very deep, perhaps repressed feelings to come to the surface. From the perspective of evolutionary growth, Pluto represents according to Sher “the process that leads to transformation and integration.” It does so by instigating a great purging process. The need to eliminate that which is not aligned with one’s purpose line becomes too great to ignore. This could happen internally in the way of purging negative thoughts about something, or externally by finding that situations are set up which result in some kind of separation from toxic people or a job that has become intolerable. “Truth will always win out,” says Sher. “Pluto sees to that. It does this by an explosive demonstration of whatever set of fears we have so they can be seen. Pluto forces things into consciousness by going to extremes, even if death is the result.” Whatever happens is the evolutionary process at work, the interpenetration of everything obliterating false walls of defense that give the appearance of separation. Total transformation means being open enough to allow all of existence to penetrate our beingness, to receive the grace of Love, and also to be the penetrator pouring Love back into the whole. The Cancer Sun opposing Pluto (exact on July 9th) could manifest as encounters with others over control of something. With the fighting energy of Mars in Cancer still closely conjunct the Sun and opposing Pluto, and the iconically excessive nature of Jupiter in Libra being the focal point of a T-square to the Full Moon, this bundle of tension could potentially lead to some kind of explosion. The more one fights for what one wants, the more the other side resists. The greater the struggle, the more likely it is for unconscious material to surface, and it usually isn’t pretty. The rules of the game of evolution are that everything can be used for transformation so if something scary does come up that is actually a great gift. All we have to do in that case is be observant enough to be able to contemplate: “How can I use this to grow?”
Here’s the data (using Pacific Time and planetary positions rounded to the nearest whole degree, unless otherwise noted):
July 4 – Venus at 0° Gemini at 5:12 p.m.
July 4 – Mercury square Uranus at 28° Cancer/Aries at 5:51 p.m.
July 5 – Mercury at 0° Leo at 5:20 p.m.
July 5 – Sun trine Neptune at 14° Cancer/Pisces at 5:47 p.m.
July 5 – Sun square Jupiter at 14° Cancer/Libra at 7:44 p.m.
July 7 – Mercury sextile Venus at 3° Leo/Gemini at 6:19 a.m.
July 8 – Moon opposite Sun (Full Moon) at 17° Cancer/Capricorn at 9:07 p.m.
July 9 – Sun opposite Pluto at 18° Cancer/Capricorn at 9:31 p.m.