As discussed in the last AstroCast, the third quarter, “crisis of consciousness” square between retrograde Saturn in Aquarius and Uranus in Taurus, the dominant planetary aspect of 2021, is archetypally correlating to much disruption in our environment and systems for living. Structures are being tested in all ways for their integrity and ability to serve as intended. In the current 44-year Saturn/Uranus cycle, what was built up as shiny new and modern may now be crashing down, as quintessentially symbolized by the 40-year-old building in Florida that suddenly collapsed with dozens feared dead. As this period opens, Mars in Leo is now pulling away from the intense T-square it created with Saturn and Uranus, and its confrontational heat will likely reverberate with now Venus traversing through this fiery mix. Venus entered Leo on June 26, opposed Saturn on July 6, will square Uranus on July 8 and move into an exact conjunction with Mars on July 13. This creates a 4-planet, tension-filled T-square that carries the potential for a burst of creativity as well as explosive experiences with enduring shock waves that may challenge our values and the way we interact with others.
As a collective, we have been almost exclusively focused on materialistic values and personal concerns without any thought to the impact this has on humanity and the planet, even though as a result of our hubris we are increasingly experiencing spectacular structural failures as well as killer forest fires, extreme heat and other highly destructive weather patterns we know we don’t want. These shocks to our systems for living are calling us to transition to what the pioneering astrologer Dane Rudhyar calls living at a “planetary” level of reality, an approach that values a holistic view of the world encompassing “a biological, mental and spiritual system of activity and consciousness.” This transition is not easy and potentially dangerous, as it means giving up all we think we hold dear. Yet, our resistance to this calling is likely to be met with even more shocks that have the purpose of awakening us to the radical existential crisis we are in.
We don’t even know that we truly want this transition, or would value it so highly as to change the very foundations of our systems for living. Economic researchers interviewed on NPR recently talked about the idea of “new experience goods,” which is something you don’t know you value until you’ve experienced it, such as regular blue-sky days in China and India, which were experienced during the pandemic lockdown when much of traffic and industry virtually stopped. Because of that experience more environmentally friendly transportation and industrial policies are being enacted in those countries where daily pollution has been going on so long many grew up not ever knowing what living under blue skies would be like. The researchers concluded that thinking about clean air as an “experience good” demonstrates the power of something they overlooked in the climate change crisis – “our imaginations.”
Venus teaches us to determine our values, which in turn focuses us on that which is most important to us. Collaboration also comes under Venus’ domain and when in Leo, that is often channeled into creative expression. Uranus in Taurus, the sign that Venus rules, has been correlating to shocks that are awakening us to new values which could spark us to imagine what a planetary approach to living looks like. This process starts internally, by inquiring into our desires, what motivates us and our beliefs, which can then lead to shifts in our personal lives and beyond. Venus/Saturn asks us to clearly see the state we and others are living in, and not get distracted by emotional drama nor allow it to compromise our integrity and focus on what is most important. Venus/Uranus asks us to stand alone in what we feel is right when others lack the sincere intent to cooperate with us for the greater good. With Mars still in the picture it would be wise to consider the impact our actions have on others, but also be prepared that others’ response to our stand, which could be quite reactive when they don’t get what they want. Taking a stand for oneself to live the planetary way is especially challenging when so many are stuck in limiting beliefs that stifle the imagination.
The New Moon in Cancer on July 9 is in alignment with both retrograde Neptune in Pisces and retrograde Pluto in Capricorn. The Moon’s trine to Neptune and opposition to Pluto become exact on July 10, with the Sun following suit on July 15 and July 17 respectively. It is often said that Cancer and the Moon, its ruling planet, are concerned with security and protecting those they love. But what if there is another way our minds can interpret this movement? From a planetary perspective, this core feeling of the need to nurture and protect has to do with love itself. What if we recognized that walking this path of evolving into higher consciousness simply means to come to know that we are love? That of course is a word loaded with all manner of interpretations, but I’m talking about something that must be experienced for it to be truly valued – a new experience good if you will. Once we have experienced a state of love, we would most definitely want to nurture and protect it with all our heart as we know that state is our “soul at midnight” where we are wholly at home with the cosmos, fully knowing the depths of ourselves as part of, not separate from, all that is.
The New Moon subtly activates the very long-term sextile between Neptune and Pluto (in effect nearly 100 years between 1944-2037 with dozens of exact alignments). Dane Rudhyar and many other extraordinary people were born in the years surrounding the 1891-92 conjunction, which commenced the first Neptune/Pluto cycle in our awareness since Pluto was discovered. This opening sextile represents the phase where we will only just begin to sense the nature of the tremendously powerful, cosmically visionary “seeds” these individuals cast forth that will affect humanity over the 500-year course of the cycle. Within his lifetime, Rudhyar published dozens of books that contemplate the hidden mysteries of life with unique insight. His raison d’etre is beautifully expressed in The Planetarization of Consciousness: “The holistic world-view which I present here is meant to be an incentive to think greater thoughts, to feel deeper, more inclusive feelings, and to act as ‘agents’ for the Power that structures human evolution – however we wish to image this power.”
Mercury joins the Sun in Cancer on July 11 and trines retrograde Jupiter in Pisces on July 12, an alignment already building at the New Moon that expands on the extremely sensitive and imaginative nature of the transits. They can transport us up and beyond the rational mind, if we can manage to break from inhibiting programming, so we can begin imagining what a planetary way of living may look like. Mercury in Cancer is archetypally coded to sense the hidden undercurrents of what we’re perceiving. Its trine to Jupiter may bring a visionary optimism and opportunity to deepen our holistic understanding of the cosmos. The flowing nature of this watery alignment could also open us to experience, even if ever so briefly, a state of love. On July 20, Mercury moves into a sextile to Uranus, suggesting an inspiring idea or new way of looking at something could spark conversations which release us from any trepidation we might have to venture into unfamiliar spiritual territory to find a new experience good.