As this period opens, retrograde Mercury is slowing down and will turn direct on July 12. It has been in the sensitive water sign of Cancer since May 28 and retrograde for the past three weeks, so its emotional potency is greatly intensified at this time. This suggests we could experience some kind of breakthrough as it turns around, releasing us from a time of reflection on the tremendously impactful events that have transpired recently so we can move forward to implement the ideas we have had on where to go from here. In Cancer, Mercury is archetypally intuitive and feels the world more than it intellectually perceives it. The focus is on family, from our immediate biological ones up through successive wholes of society to the family of humankind. There is also an emphasis on the process of individual development whereby we recognize we are not alone and learn a sense of belonging. During this global time of crisis with a ravaging pandemic and the Black Lives Matter (BLM) protests, which has been characterized as the largest movement in U.S. history, we have been deeply reflecting on how we treat each other as human beings and what is acceptable or not. The vivid personal stories coming out now have awakened us to the grief, loss and despair of those affected, and have helped us better understand the depth of the systemic problems we face. There will always be more to say about what is still transpiring, but it is clear how more and more of us feel about it: we have now entered a rare sustained and widespread tipping point of social and political change.
The Sun, also transiting the deeply sensitive sign of Cancer, makes four major aspects during this period so this archetype is on strong display. The ‘giver of life’, the Sun symbolizes our heart, what lights us up inside and our bliss. It also represents our will and purpose, the core of Self through which we connect with Spirit and discover what we are here to do. Expressing through Cancer, the Sun can be overly tribal in nature to the exclusion of others, defensive and take everything personally when underdeveloped. When evolved, it knows its sense of belonging is developed within, wherever it is, and its bliss, which it feels when it is fulfilling its cosmic need, is to be nurturing, protective and to infuse its home with the essence of love. On July 12, the Sun in Cancer trines Neptune in Pisces, the sign that represents consciousness and the movement towards love and unity. This harmonious alignment may correlate to images of our ideal of home and family on a personal as well as collective level. As much as we may want to believe those who would say things are getting better for all of us, this is a good time to be an open minded skeptic about the data coming in to see if it aligns with the reality we and those around us are directly experiencing. If that reality is painful, we may seek to avoid it thinking it will magically go away, such as when Trump said in a recent interview that the COVID-19 virus will “sort of just disappear,” or how in his Independence day rallies he focused on inflaming a culture war with “the radical left” (basically everyone supporting the BLM movement) calling us “fascists” and “evil, bad people” instead of focusing on the very real and significant problems related to the unprecedented pandemic and centuries of racial injustice.
As the Sun moves deeper into Cancer, it forms a series of powerful oppositions to the stellium of outer planets that are conjunct in Capricorn. July 14 and 15 it faces Jupiter and Pluto, which are only 1.5 degrees apart, essentially acting as one highly pressurized united force for change that in part is correlating to the crisis we are in now. Archetypally, Jupiter relates to experiences we seek to expand our knowledge about life. It also is related to the opportunities that lead to such experiences and how they shape the meaning we find in our existence. Pluto symbolizes the constant renewal of death and rebirth in the cycles of life. It ultimately can correlate to transformative experiences whereby we realize our consciousness exists outside the physical body. Being able to accept even the possibility of this concept opens us up to many more opportunities than we could have imagined simply because it helps us face our fear of death. To willingly face this fear time and again in the form of extreme crisis, which usually indicates the death of something is immanent, such as our way of life pre-COVID, prepares us for the self-evident revelation of who we are: a being having a human experience.
On July 18, the Moon enters Cancer and follows the Sun in opposing Jupiter and Pluto, thus extending their archetypal intensity in play. The Moon rules Cancer so amplifies the issues of home, family and belonging. On July 20, the Moon meets up with the Sun for a rare second New Moon in Cancer (the previous one was the June 20 Solar Eclipse at 0° Cancer; this one is at 28° Cancer), then they both oppose Saturn in its home sign of Capricorn, suggesting there is going to be some hard work ahead. Saturn in Capricorn is best actualized when we gladly do what needs to be done, with integrity and without need for reward. It requires being able to focus on the immediate need at hand, seeing it realistically, then making whatever effort is required to move methodically through the process until it is done. The formidable Capricorn stellium of Saturn/Pluto/Jupiter in opposition to the Cancer New Moon thus sets up the new lunar cycle as a critical wake-up call embedded with an opportunity to stand up and take responsibility for our part in creating the society we have today. It not so mildly suggests it is time to GET REAL about the virus and the cancerous racial injustices permeating every cell of society, and that it is time to take these things SERIOUSLY so we can see what needs to be done for the sake of the public good. This is our great reality check on how we treat each other. Seeing something as it is takes the mystery out of how to deal with it.
The Sun leaves Cancer for its home sign of Leo on July 22, where it will finish out the dynamic lunar cycle operating through the lens of creative self-expression for the pure joy of it. Having fun with the task at hand may seem like a paradox but imagine that a simple change in attitude could shift our perspective on how we view what lay before us. We could take a cue from the Sun in Leo and see it as one grand sandbox to play in and re-create a generous, loving life that finds joy in the adventure of existence. As Saturn tells us, we need to be in this experiment for the long haul. Such radical change won’t happen overnight, but it can happen sometime in the future depending on how much of a priority we make it to transform our consciousness, starting with ourselves.