As discussed in the last AstroCast, Venus and Mars commenced a new cycle with their conjunction in Leo, and it is still in effect as this period unfolds as both form challenging oppositions to retrograde Jupiter just as all three planets change signs. Venus entered Virgo on July 21 and opposes Jupiter at 0°36 Virgo/Pisces on July 22. Jupiter backs into Aquarius on July 28 and on July 29, Mars opposes Jupiter at 29°52’ Leo/Aquarius, then enters Virgo. While the Venus/Mars cycle is still in its “new moon” phase of casting new seed ideas, the oppositions represent the “full moon” phase of their respective cycles with Jupiter where the fullness of what has been developing becomes clearly known and perhaps indicates a need to integrate the qualities of the opposing signs involved.
The Venus/Jupiter cycle relates to our philosophy of relating and how we attract the experiences we value most. What was set in motion when their cycle began last March may be coming to fruition at this culminating moment in the form of a relationship or collaborative project blossoming into a new phase, or internal cognition about a new direction to take that can make our life more meaningful. The longer Mars/Jupiter cycle, that began in March 2020, can correlate to big, daring movements propelled by an invincible sense of the weight of our inner authority. This pair can correlate to fearlessness in the face of risks, without thought of consequences, yet it can also pack a powerful combination of courage and wisdom gained from life’s experiences that can lead to big achievements. Venus and Mars shifting from fiery, creative Leo to detailed, service-oriented Virgo as they oppose Jupiter amplifies the need to keep in touch with our refined, practical senses when we pull out for the panoramic view.
Jupiter teaches us to look beyond that which we know to what we have yet to learn, and to incorporate as many points of view as possible to get a holistic view of a situation. Jupiter calls us to learn directly from all kinds of experiences, to burst out of our confines so we can take in all the world has to offer. It can feel overwhelming at times, but if we maintain focus on the present moment, we may see opportunities arising from where we least expect them. Retrograding from Pisces to Aquarius represents a shift from a cosmically connected, all-encompassing sensitivity and compassion to a more impersonal and cerebral way of putting our unique talents and power in service to humanity. Venus and Mars opposing Jupiter as it returns to Aquarius suggests we may feel a strong need to give back to society in some way, perhaps rushing in where there is peril, or raising our consciousness to a holistic planetary approach that can lead humanity out of crisis and into a better future for all.
On July 22, the Sun enters Leo, the sign it rules that symbolizes the archetype of personal creative expression and how we shine our light in the world. Sun in Leo often evokes the radiating feeling of a magnanimous heart and playful spirit. It can exude warm and inspirational qualities that attract great admiration from others. To be true to the spirit of Leo, however, one must be careful to share the limelight with a knowing that everyone is a shining star. The gift of Leo, according to Dane Rudhyar, is “simplicity,” which he defines as expressing creatively for the simple joy of it, without need for recognition or reward. Whether we do so through the arts or any other means doesn’t matter, it is the gift of spirit shining through us that gives us, and the world, a sense of sheer delight.
On July 23, the Full Moon in Aquarius pulls into an opposition to the Leo Sun, bringing the current lunar cycle to its culminating moment. The Leo/Aquarius axis highlights the need to integrate our need for personal expression with the need to elevate our creative gifts into service to humanity. This is a shift to seeing things in an impersonal way, where we understand that our gifts are not for us alone, but for something much greater. The Full Moon conjuncts Pluto just hours before opposing the Sun, which is still in orb of its July 17 opposition to Pluto. This further intensifies the lunation and can likely stimulate our deepest, most insatiable hungers that could trigger negative behavior patterns. If we dig into our compulsions, however we may discover a primal hunger for power. If we pay attention to the feelings arising and focus on being as open as possible, we may have new insights about this universal condition that the ego mind often mis-translates as something to be afraid of. Pluto can be quite penetrating and if we summon a little courage to face that fear, we may find our need for power and love are one in the same. Doing something simply for the love of it and gifting it to humanity gives us the experience of being in a state of love, with ourselves and all existence. Furthermore, the experience of this non-dualistic, non-transactional form of love can give us a sense of tremendous power as we awaken and become whole with the spirit within.
July 24 to 25, Mercury in Cancer trines Neptune in Pisces and opposes Pluto in Capricorn. The higher expression of this transcendental alignment calls us rise above petty games of control and manipulation by observing our motivations that elicit negative behavior patterns. This could reveal early programming that perpetuates our own feelings of disempowerment, again a universal condition. We may then feel empowered to speak from the heart about unresolved wounds which have been triggered. Engaging in sensitive, deeply touching conversations with true compassion for self and other can help us heal and evolve from hurt to love.
Mercury joins the Sun in Leo on July 27, which suggests we may shift to expressing in ways that are playful, outgoing or loving of a good, heroic story. On August 1, Mercury catches up with the Sun to form the Superior Conjunction, the “full moon” phase of the four-month Sun/Mercury cycle that began on June 10 when Mercury was retrograde. This alignment can signify a time of heightened clarity and focused conversations. With Leo being a fixed sign, remaining open to new information can help us avoid becoming intractable in situations that are still developing. As the Superior Conjunction unfolds, it activates the ongoing square between Saturn and Uranus, the dominant outer planet alignment of 2021 often discussed in this space. It opposes Saturn in Aquarius also on August 1, amplifying the need to strengthen our sense of discipline to master our skills sets so we can better contribute to humanity’s greatest needs. Mercury forms its exact square to Uranus in Taurus on August 3, and the Sun will follow on August 6, amplifying the sense of urgency about this. The overall quality of this four-planet T-square in fixed signs can feel like an intense need to stabilize a chaotic situation. Uranus often correlates to surprising inner cognitions or shocking outer events that can awaken us and help us grow. Sun/Mercury in Leo may call us to lead the way forward through the volatile energies in ways that tap into new sources of creativity, perhaps even with a sense of joy. In that pure state of self-expression, we would be inspired and willing to face any challenges as our own Hero’s Journey.