Saturday, July 28, 2012

Forecast July 29, 2012 – August 4

We’ve reached the core of Summer in the northern hemisphere. If we look inside this core, we find the Sun. This is the season of first harvests and we thank the Sun for what we receive. The golden light of the Sun infuses this season with the gifts of illumination, the ripening of our gifts, and the blessings of life force freely given. This week it is important to talk about the significance of the Sun’s sign—Leo. I want to invoke the wisdom of this season of first harvests and add this wisdom to my New Moon* intentions for this month.

I can’t talk about the cross-quarter holy day of Lughnasad, usually observed on August 2, without talking about fire. Each cross-quarter Sabbath happens when the Sun reaches the approximate center of a fixed sign—Beltane during Taurus, Fixed Earth; Lughnasad, during Leo, Fixed Fire; Samhain, during Scorpio, Fixed Water; and Imbolc, during Aquarius, Fixed Air. These elements infuse each of these important Pagan holy days. 

We need fire. The Sun reminds us that life absolutely depends on this element. Not only do we need fire to sustain life, but we need it to ripen into the lives we are meant to live. I love the image of a sun-ripened peach to remind me of the delicious potential we may reach with help from fire to develop sweetness and blush.

So, what feeds your fire? How do you know the element of fire is working in your life? How do you honor this element? These questions seem appropriate for this week of Lughnasad and the Full Moon of Sun in Leo and Moon in Aquarius.

All fire signs seek self-expression. They emphasize the individual’s journey to understand the significance of the Self. Identity, self-worth, and meaning are important to fire signs. Every fire sign is connected to an air sign by opposition in the wheel of the zodiac. For instance Leo is opposite Aquarius. Opposite signs need each other for wholeness. Air signs seek relationship. The wholeness of fire signs and air signs is about the relationship of self and other—an ebb and flow that permeates human life. There is no good and bad, or better and worse about these two instincts. We need strong individuated selves and we need to belong to something bigger than ourselves.

One of my teachers, Cynthea Jones, taught me my personal key to understanding fire signs when she described fire as the most vulnerable element. Hearing that rocked my world—what a contrary statement to the usual impression that fire is the most powerful, destructive, and feared element. She reminded us that fire needs the other elements to survive. It needs earth for fuel, air for energy, and water, in balance, to burn steady. If any of these elements are missing or are over-supplied, the fire dies.

When fire feels vulnerable, and by this I mean the fire of our souls, we can latch onto egotistical behaviors, we can feel isolated, undervalued, and threatened. Fire becomes destructive when it is not tended properly and given what it needs. When I feel those threatening fires within myself, I know I need to practice self-love. I know I need to honor my Self. I believe this is the work of Leo.

 This week, with both a Full Moon and a cross-quarter Sabbath to honor, we have the opportunity to practice self-love in a sacred way.

July 29—Gibbous Moon: Perfecting. Pressure builds under the Gibbous phase of the Moon. The New Moon of July 19 planted a seed in security-conscious Cancer. We’ve been called to plant seeds that honor our tides of emotion. Under pressure, we may need to take strong measures to affirm our self-worth and continue to honor whatever emotions present themselves.  The Moon is in fire sign, Sagittarius. We are encouraged to look to the horizon, to see past current limitations, to discover the truth that gives meaning. What adventure of consciousness gives you a greater sense of your value? What are your gifts that need to be shared?

Monday, July 30. A paradox builds today. This is the quincunx aspect between the Sun and Pluto. This paradox opens up the Mystery of the relationship between self and the dissolution of self. How do we keep from gravitating to one or the other of these two forces? What kind of stress does this create in you? This is a good day to be kind to ourselves. The Moon is in Capricorn. Self-love may look like taking ourselves more seriously, honoring our goals, and committing to attaining them.

Tuesday, July 31. After a stressful contact with Pluto yesterday, the Sun makes a harmonious connection with Uranus today. Fire is emphasized! Part of the journey of self-love is to be who we truly are. This is not a day to hide.

Another harmonious aspect forms today between Venus and Saturn. Both of these planets are in air signs and this gives a great deal of support to making connections with others. This connection could be profound when we consider that another quincunx forms today between the Sun and Chiron. This paradox opens the Mystery of awareness of our individual experience of pain and the awareness of global suffering. When I am feeling sorry for myself, my pain is foremost in my mind. It is hard not to apply my whole attention to my own needs. This paradox invites us to split that attention between self and the whole.

August 1—Full Moon: Illuminating.
Open to new understanding and release it into the stars. The release that occurs at the Full Moon is like finally being able to let go of an arrow we’ve been progressively pulling tighter and tighter in our bows. We are aiming toward an intention and now, we get to let it go, no longer able to control its development. I mention this metaphor because there is a configuration of planets in the Full Moon chart that actually looks like this bow and arrow. It is the triangle of Pluto, Chiron, and the Sun bisected with the arrow of the Sun opposite Moon. The arrow is pointing to the Sun. The tension comes from Pluto and Chiron and the force of release comes from the Moon.

If you were to aim an arrow into the Sun, what energy would you like it to carry? The previous two days, I’ve discussed the paradoxes that Pluto and Chiron quincunx the Sun evoke. Now, we add the energy of Aquarius to the mix. If the Sun represents self-worth, the Aquarius Moon represents the communities we are able to serve with our gifts, the enfolding culture that either nourishes our true selves or becomes the toxic container that undervalues our essential being. We need communities that give us room to be ourselves and in which we can help others to be themselves too. The relationship between the ego and the collective is a stormy one. Often we expect to be affirmed in all we do by others. It doesn’t work that way. Sometimes the feedback we receive is that we still need to work on our issues or take responsibility for our impact. The collective pushes back on our sense of being special. Sometimes this hurts. Often it is a good source of information. This Full Moon may teach us more about this dynamic relationship.

Thursday, August 2. The energy of the Full Moon still resonates today, the traditional day of Lughnasad. We give thanks for our first harvests. Given the energy of the Leo/Aquarius opposition, we look at these harvests in the light of how they feed us individually and collectively. The ways we shine, the gifts we have to offer, are encouraged by Jupiter today. In Gemini, Jupiter embraces opportunity by exchange of information. Make connections. This is a beautiful day to network. Notice the interplay of personal desire with the desires of others. Where do these intersect and feed each other? “There are no small parts, just small actors.” We can all be big today.

Friday, August 3. After the high energy of the Aquarius Moon, we get to cool off in the oceans of Pisces for the next two days. Notice your reactions to this shift. For some, it is a welcome relief to let go of the quest for individuation and our place in the group and surrender it all into an experience of unity. For others, the cosmic soup of Pisces can feel like a loss of definition, a reversion back into a primal state. How we react to this shift may be typical or unique for us. I think it depends on external pressures and how flexible we are feeling, as well as how capable we are at holding paradox. There is no blame in however you feel the change today. Just take some time to notice what it is. Mercury, still retrograde (you haven’t forgotten have you?) makes a quincunx connection to Neptune, the co-ruler of Pisces. Communication is strange but could be quite significant. Pay attention to messages.

Saturday, August 4.
A wonderful way to begin this day could be with a yoga class or doing something in nature where you can forget yourself and relax. The Pisces Moon could encourage escapism and that is OK. Pay attention to the ways you find to leave ordinary consciousness behind. Some ways serve our bodies, minds, and spirits more than other ways. Honor the urge and find a way that encourages you to stick with your intentions for this lunar cycle, remembering to honor emotion and feeding the fires of self-love. That isn’t too much to ask, is it? 

*See the forecast for the week of the New Moon July 19 to follow along with the developing energy of this lunar month.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Follow the Moon: Forecast July 22, 2012 - July 28

Forecast July 22, 2012 – July 28

I’m not going to lie to you; this week has been difficult for me and I am feeling a little sorry for myself. The unsettled energy of this Summer—hard aspects between Uranus, Pluto and Mars; Mercury stationing retrograde; and a new Moon in sensitive Cancer—seemed to have conspired against me. My intention to remain mindful and centered has been tested.

I’ve said this before, but I think it is really worth repeating: The planets are not to blame for our challenges. In fact, I think blame in general is a waste of opportunity and I try to avoid it, even when I am feeling sorry for myself. I’m not sure why astrology works so well to describe energy, potentials, and challenges, but I believe that the point of it all isn’t about who or what to blame for events in my life. Mercury didn’t make my car break down and my roof leak. Mars didn’t make me twist my knee. Pluto and Uranus are not causing my free-floating anxiety about the future. No, it isn’t that easy for us humans. There’s no one to blame for how we react to situations. Those reactions, whether they are frustration, anxiety, or self-pity, are our responsibility. It is my reactions, not the events themselves, which are the real challenges.

With that said, not letting myself feel tender, sad, frustrated, or fearful is, to me, a form of self-violence, which I also refuse to indulge in. So here I sit, mindful that I am feeling overwhelmed and sorry for myself. And somehow, this seems appropriate to acknowledge in this moment as the Sun makes it way out of Cancer.

It would be easy with the recent transits and the Sun entering Leo on Sunday, to gloss over my feelings and just get on with it. I could do that, but I wouldn’t be honoring the intention of the Cancer New Moon of July 19: to learn from and honor the tidal currents of emotion that I feel each and every day.  Developing my emotional awareness will serve me as the rest of the year unfolds, helping me to let go of unhealthy expectations for myself and allowing me to develop a fuller, more useful, emotional intelligence.

If you are being tested too, I invite you to let yourself feel and honor what your feelings are telling you.

July 22—Crescent Moon: Beginning.
This phase of the Moon can be about the excitement of trying something new, and it can be about the first inkling of resistance to sticking with our New Moon intentions. If this lunar cycle intention is to honor feelings or to find that place of rootedness, security, and nurturance that Cancer values so highly, then we begin to notice how easily we want to forget those intentions, put them on the back burner, or get overwhelmed by them. However, during this phase, we also have the opportunity to get excited by how the flowering of our intentions will improve our lives. Now is the time to commit.

The Moon is in Virgo encouraging us to put our lives in order. What will help you stay true to your intentions?

The Sun enters Leo today. If like me, you’re feeling just a little sorry for yourself, watch out for overindulgence in self-pity. From tenderness to exuberance, emotions might swing wildly as we notice the shift from Cancer to Leo. The transitions from water signs to fires signs are the most interesting of all the ebbs and flows of the astrological year. We go from relating to others through our feelings while the Sun is in Cancer to an emphasis on self-actualization and self-expression with the Sun in Leo. Which side of this divide do you prefer? It is interesting to notice the difference. These signs, which seem so different from each other, want to be integrated however. Without both, we’d be missing a lot. After all, Cancer is ruled by the Moon and Leo is ruled by the Sun; where would be without these two lights?

Giving an extra boost to self-expression, Mercury (still traveling retrograde) makes a favorable contact with Mars in Libra today. Mars invites us to gracious expression; Mercury asks us to get a new perspective on self-actualization. There is a lot of potential in this delightful combination.

Monday, July 23. Much is made of void-of-course Moons. [Void-of-course means that the Moon has made its final major aspect to another planet before it changes signs. These periods usually last a few hours sometimes they can last for over a day. Void-of-course periods become more significant the longer they last.] Some astrologers treat a void-of-course Moon like a Mercury retrograde and recommend that people don’t do anything important during them. As you might guess, I don’t feel that way myself. I simply take note that there is a period of time when it might feel like I’m not ready to get anything started. It might feel better to take my time and wait for the energy to feel right. A void-of-course Moon began on Sunday night and goes until 5:38 pm* today. This may feel like a day to catch up on life. At the speed things have been moving lately, this may be a relief.

Tuesday, July 24.
The calm of yesterday breaks today with potential turbulence in the atmosphere. This is not to say you will have a bad day today. But there are lots of connections being made. The Moon may act as a trigger to release stagnation. The Moon joins the t-square (think: Wow, this is a lot of challenging yet exciting energy!) of Pluto square to Uranus opposite Mars. Today is another day to be on the lookout for short fuses. The Moon is looking for harmony but may be hard pressed to find it. Remember that intention to honor our emotions from the New Moon? Today, those emotions may spill over as Jupiter in Gemini squares Chiron in Pisces. In addition, the Sun contacts oceanic Neptune today with the paradox-inducing quincunx aspect. There are parts of this day that defy rational understanding. Become a mystic.

And it that’s not all. Retrograde Mercury is very active today too. It plays a role in the square between Jupiter and Chiron. As we open to the messages from the heart, expect the unexpected. This could be an opportunity to show compassion, have a heart-to-heart conversation, or reveal our vulnerability. This day may be a good one to develop trust in the process.

Wednesday, July 25.
The day starts out with a big aha. Something suddenly makes sense or we get excited about sharing a new idea. Then the Moon makes a conjunction with responsible Saturn and goes void of course till 9:30 tonight when the Moon enters Scorpio.  From brilliant ideas to a focus on manifestation—not a bad way to go today.

July 26—First Quarter Moon: Manifesting.
The Moon in Scorpio today loves our Cancer Moon intentions. The first quarter phase of the Moon challenges us to stay the course in our intentions. Each water sign teaches us about another layer to our emotions. Scorpio tells us that there is so much more below the surface when we let ourselves feel. Sometimes this revelation can be overwhelming. Can you navigate the torrents and stay present to your emotions? Today is not a day to judge what or how we are feeling, but to honor those feelings as true teachers and allies. After squaring Mercury in the morning, the Moon goes void of course again until tomorrow night. This is a long void period. Notice what happens during this time. Is there more going on inside than outside? Mercury forms a quincunx to Pluto today and this fits nicely with the Scorpio Moon energy. This may be a wonderful day to write about feelings, memories, or currents of thought and emotion.

Friday, July 27.  Even though we are at the height of Summer in the northern hemisphere, we may feel the cold of winter cross our paths today. The Moon is void of course all day and in Scorpio, the sign of late Fall when the veils thin. Do you feel Summer’s end already?

Saturday, July 28.
Every time Mercury turns retrograde, it disappears from the sky as the Evening Star and journeys toward a meeting with the Sun. This conjunction of Mercury and the Sun while Mercury is retrograde is called the inferior conjunction. In the synodic cycle between Mercury and the Sun, this is like the New Moon phase. A seed is planted. Today that inferior conjunction happens at 6° Leo and it represents the heart of this retrograde period. Whether you are experiencing this Mercury retrograde as challenging or amusing, this is the point to set an intention around what you desire from Mercury. If 6° Leo is significant in your chart, this may be a particularly important and perhaps challenging Mercury cycle for you. The Moon in Sagittarius today supports a philosophical approach. What is your truth? How can you express that in the world? Do you have a latent gift that needs to be developed? Go for it.

*All times CDT

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Follow the Moon: Forecast July 15, 2012 - July 21

Forecast July 15, 2012 – July 21.

I have an image in my mind of an ocean shoreline. There are large rocks in the water. Waves pound against the sand. The wind enjoys the unfettered space. I settle more fully into this vision; imagining the sounds and smells, I arrive more fully there. On this shore when the tide is low, tidal pools are exposed between the rocks, which are teeming with life. When the tide comes back in, they disappear under the waves.  This is a landscape of rhythmic flow, fertility, nurturance, and hidden life. Until the New Moon in Cancer on July 19, this landscape provides a good metaphor for considering our intentions for the upcoming lunar cycle that begins then.

My favorite metaphor for Cancer is this shoreline. It helps me to understand what really drives this sign. It seems to me Cancer’s depiction is often oversimplified in a way that just doesn’t do justice to this complex sign. I use this shoreline metaphor to better understand the gifts and needs of Cancer. The middle of the ocean feels more Piscean to me, but Cancer is about the shore—that boundary between substance and feeling, the fertile place of tidal pool, sea life, and the rhythm of wave in the ebb and flow. These things speak to me of Cancer.

Some qualities of Cancer to notice as we prepare for this New Moon.

The wave on the shore.
Cancer is a Cardinal sign, and as such, needs to make an impact on its environment as the wave shapes the shore.

The tidal pools, which become the nursery for so much diversity of life. Cancer provides the environment for life to be nurtured. It is a fertile sign that pays attention to what is needed for sustenance.

The easily changeable ocean, going from calm to tempestuous in an instant. Cancer has a strong feeling nature, which can shift quickly too. These fluid emotions can range from compassion and concern for others to reactivity and defensiveness.

The powerful force of wave. When this sign feels a need to act, protect, or defend what it holds dear, Cancer has incredible strength.

The ebb and flow of tides, which are a key metaphor for Cancer’s innate wisdom of knowing when to push forward and when to retreat. If this emotional intelligence is honored, Cancer teaches us how to sense what is really needed in any moment.

So, thinking about your own shoreline, what is the state of your ocean? What intention do you wish to set for this New Moon? Home is important. Is your home sustaining you or are you depleted by the demands of tending your hearth? Are you at low tide or high? What changes do you need to make during this cycle to support what best feeds you so you in turn may feed others. Take your emotional temperature. What do you need for balance?

Cancer is one of the four cardinal signs being strongly impacted by the Uranus/Pluto square right now. It is not surprising if we find ourselves submerged in whirling pools of emotion as we grasp for a sense of safety and security. Sometimes the best work we can do is to forgive ourselves for succumbing to these very natural feelings of fear and anxiety in a changing world. When we develop compassion for ourselves, it is much easier to extend that compassion to others.

Sunday, July 15. The old waning phase of the Moon has a tone of oceanic surrender to it. It is appropriate today, to spend some time in relaxation and reverie to prepare the way for the next lunar cycle. Mercury just stationed retrograde in Leo the day before and we feel this shift in consciousness. Mercury, the god of doorways is holding open a space for us to learn new ways of perceiving. Sometimes we can feel frustrated by this shift, wanting to keep things the way we like them. If you feel frustration today or during the next three weeks of retrograde motion, take a moment to notice that pattern and see if you can let go of rigidity around it. We benefit from becoming more flexible.

Monday, July 16.  As the Moon enters Cancer this afternoon* the real deepening into the dreaming of the New Moon begins. Begin to notice your own emotional state and those around you. What is really needed at this time? Open and receive.

Tuesday, July 17. A crossroads represents a time of choosing—four directions, four choices. Sometimes it can feel like no matter which direction we choose to go, there is a hard road ahead. Today might feel like that. Four planets in the four Cardinal signs create a Grand Cross today.  This configuration of planets represents a need to find our still center in the midst of potentially stormy events. It is only from the center that we have any choice at all. In this cross are: Mars in Libra, Uranus in Aries, Pluto in Capricorn, and the Moon in Cancer. To say we may be pulled in multiple directions today is an understatement. We may also experience unexpected bursts of anger, fear, and/or impatience. New shifts in power are quite possible. The New Moon is approaching and with it an opportunity to set a new intention for the next month. What are you discovering about your intention today?

Wednesday, July 18. If the fuel for a fire was set into place yesterday, today may be the spark that sets it ablaze. Mars opposes Uranus today encouraging a release of pent up energy.  Uranus blows a horn to wake us up. Mars may be trying to hold things in balance, but even in the sign of Libra, Mars sometimes has got to let loose. The question today: Am I ready to wake up and live a life of authenticity and empowerment? Today is not a day to take the backseat on the road to the future. What do you want to do? Will you begin it today?

July 19—New Moon: Dreaming In the first half hour of this day, the New Moon at 26° Cancer occurs (EDT). The Sun has only three more days to be in Cancer. Before it leaves this sign, we take a moment to remember our deepest selves—the shoreline of Cancer’s ocean. Know what truly matters to you, because Cancer touches on those places of deep need.

After the excitement of the last two days, we return to the grounding we need to manifest our dreams. The Sun and Moon square Saturn today. It may not feel entirely good, but we want to act responsibly and have something real to show for our emotional experiences of this week.

The chart for the New Moon shows that the challenging relationship between Mars, Uranus, and Pluto are still very much in effect and still very much part of our New Moon possibilities. We can use this energy to try something new; to uncover toxic secrets; act for justice; take a risk; dare to be powerful … What if this lunar month were an initiation? Would you accept the challenges in order to grab onto this potential?

Another configuration presents intriguing possibilities as well.  There is a Yod (or Finger of God) formation pointing to Chiron in Pisces. This triangle has as its base a sextile aspect between Mars in Libra and retrograde Mercury in Leo. The theme of initiation applies when Chiron is emphasized. Perhaps the test will be to sacrifice the ego in order to find the ego’s true purpose. Each of us has a unique gift that the world really does need. What holds you back from that gift? What if it takes letting go of it before you can find it?

Friday, July 20. How do you feed your fire? By this I mean that internal spark of creativity and joy. Fires need to be tended, given the right fuel, enough air to breathe. If we are feeling depleted, it is good to pay attention to our fires of self-worth. Today is a good day to do this. Have fun this Friday night and pay attention to what truly nurtures your heart flames.

Saturday, July 21. This is a good day to get your house in order. With the Moon in Virgo, we feel a need to create more order in our lives. It doesn’t have to be obsessive. Is there a pile of papers on your desk that need to be sorted through? Or perhaps a new organization system for a closet, or just sweeping the floor? Notice the difference in your spirit when you do simple tasks today. Jupiter and Uranus are connecting in a delightful way today also. We see the positive side of change. Expect new insights, feed your sense of curiosity, and push past old limiting beliefs. The horizon opens up!

*All times are CDT

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Follow the Moon: July 8, 2012 - July 14

Forecast for July 8, 2012 – July 14.

If the waning phase of the Moon is about winding down and releasing, why does it feel like I’m speeding up more and more?

There is a lot to process right now. For me, as I notice how easy it is to get knocked off my center by events and even worse, anticipation of events, I’ve been putting extra effort into remembering intention, aligning with values, and seeking some semblance of calm. And from time to time, even actually enjoying myself in this beautiful summer. How about you?

Aries energy is the star this week, contributing to the tone of action and reaction. The gift of Aries, a cardinal fire sign, is the ability to start over. Because Aries often goes first—taking the lead even when feeling insecure about doing so—Aries also gets to make a lot of mistakes. But the “do over” was invented by Aries, and people with this sign emphasized are good at it. When Aries is emphasized by a transiting planet, we all get to practice the “do over.” This week may be full of such opportunities.

Not only does an Aries emphasis encourage us to try again, two planets station retrograde this week adding to the theme of going over past mistakes and successes, to see what more we can glean.  Both Uranus in Aries and Mercury in Leo station retrograde this week.

Uranus is very strong as it stations retrograde on Friday the 13th. Fridays that fall on the 13th are special to Witches who were suspected of causing unlucky things to happen on these days. With this Uranus station, we get to claim our outcast, oddball status—perhaps do a little cackling as we notice all the unexpected mishaps around us that Uranus often provokes.

I attended two fascinating lectures on Mercury at the United Astrology Conference in May, one by Demetra George and the other by Gary Caton. Demetra George framed the role of Mercury by looking at the mythological qualities of Hermes. Hermes had many roles and one of them was the gatekeeper, the god at the doorway. Mercury stations retrograde three times a year, weaving and reweaving mental constructs, passing across the threshold of polarity, and inviting us to let go of rote patterns of perception. Think of Mercury retrograde periods as times to get a new outlook and way of doing things. The more we resist, the harder this transit can be. The more we welcome it, the more magical it is.

Gary Caton talked about the significance of the moment when Mercury retrograde conjoins the Sun. We can think of this as the heart of the retrograde experience, the time to invoke the magic of it. That moment won’t happen until July 28, but we can prepare ourselves for it now.
Sunday, July 8. The Full Moon on July 3 still resonates, but on a much more subtle level. The Moon wanes through its “sharing” phase for the next two days. In order to share our wisdom, we need to spend some time contemplating what it is. The Moon in Pisces favors the intuitive or mystical approach to contemplation. Today is a good day for reverie. What is your favorite way to daydream? Try to make that happen.

Monday, July 9.
Cue the trumpets; Monday starts with a bang, or maybe a hangover if the Pisces energy led us down the path of overindulgence yesterday. The Moon moving into Aries today triggers the Pluto/Uranus square, as well as inciting a little confrontation with Mars in Libra. The energy is much more prickly today. Yes, Aries is really good at brushing off past mistakes and taking another stab at a problem, but Aries is also prone to impulsivity, acting before thinking. This may be a day when we do more of that than is good for us.

July 10 – Last Quarter Moon: Evaluating. 
Emotional awareness is a really important skill. People usually fall somewhere along the scale of either understanding the world through emotional cues or through rational logic. Some people fall into one camp or the other. Some do a little of both. Today, we have the opportunity to notice our own preference along this continuum. It could be a very emotional day and one where we may try to solve problems rationally when there is no rational way to approach them. It is important to let feelings have their expression. These too, help us to know where we want to go next as well as evaluate where we have been.

Wednesday, July 11. Early this morning, while most of us are sleeping, our impulsivity meets our sense of responsibility. Uh oh. Or, yay! Depending on your point of view. It is good to let grounded accountability give us a reality check today as we wake up to sobering realities. This evening, the Moon moves into earthy Taurus and some of us will be quite relieved. Perhaps we said or did things while the Moon was in Aries that we now regret. Well, the retrograde period of Mercury coming up on Saturday, will give us plenty of opportunity to redo those things.

Thursday, July 12.
There is strength underneath the shifting currents of life. We most likely will already be feeling the tremors of the Uranus station that happens tomorrow. The unexpected, chaotic, and brilliant insights of Uranian thought are infecting the atmosphere today. For some, this will be over stimulating, for others it will be exhilarating. For everyone, it will be good to anchor into the Taurus Moon embodied strength to help us through the day.

Friday, July 13. Friday the 13th is here. According to lore, the reason that the number 13 is considered unlucky is due to the Norse idea that the 13th guest at a dinner party is the unwelcomed one. Uranus also is attuned to being the outsider in the group, often unwelcomed or excluded. Let’s notice where we feel we are the oddball in the group and celebrate our differences today. Let’s turn this superstition on its head and welcome in the stranger. We have a lot to learn from them.

July 14—Balsamic Moon: Surrendering.
The Moon returns to Gemini, where it was at the start of this lunar month. We’ve had an extra dose of this mutable air sign, and now the ruler of Gemini— Mercury—stations retrograde. There is a beautiful synchronicity to that, something I love about astrology. So, Mercury gets to lead us out of the Gemini cycle and of course, does it walking backwards. Mercury is in Leo, so we pay extra attention to the Leo desires in all of us during this retrograde period. This desire is to know that our gifts are welcomed and valued by others. Think how the Sun fills us with vitality. Leo also wants to share that kind of vitality with others. It isn’t easy to live a life of wholeheartedness, but it is important that we try. Will you dare to change your mind (a good Mercury retrograde practice) about a shame-based belief you have about your inherent value? Venus helps us in this work too. Still in Gemini, Venus offers integration through the path of love.
How exquisite!

Tonight, the Sun in Cancer squares Saturn in Libra. As the Moon wanes through its final phase of the month, we have the opportunity to compost fear, reactivity, and shame over mistakes made and turn toward the lasting benefit of living in balance. When we acquire that inner harmony, we add beauty to our homes, hearth, and kin.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Follow the Moon: July 1, 2012 - July 7

Forecast for July 1, 2012 – July 7

Stand anywhere on this earth and let your attention go deep, straight down through the core of the earth, out the other side and into the sky under your feet—this is the sky of the fourth house in an astrological chart and it represents home, hearth, kin, the deepest anchor we have to our deepest selves. While standing in that place, look up above you at the highest part of the sky, notice how you just might soar into that sky, going ever higher and higher—this is the tenth house of our aspirational selves, where we want to achieve, manifest, and create social order. This axis from deep self to public self will be activated this week by a Full Moon in Capricorn.

Imagine how important both of these areas of life are to you and to everyone else standing on this earth, and we begin to sense just what each of us is capable of doing to bring security and safety to those places. This is core to the deep motivations for both Capricorn and its opposite sign, Cancer. So essential are these areas of life, wars are waged to protect them. Big stuff, right?

Just like anyone, I can get caught in whirlpools of fear and anxiety when I think about the protection of my family or my right, not only for meaningful work, but societal systems of government and economics that support this meaningful work. Is it possible to care deeply about these things without getting caught in fear and reactivity? That may be a challenge this week as the Sun in Cancer and the Moon in Capricorn join with the square of Pluto in Capricorn and Uranus in Aries.

Fear is temporary. Joy is eternal.

I admire people who refuse to bury their heads in the sand but also don’t cave to their fears. These people dare to choose lives of joyful authenticity. They manage to find the sacred in the fourth and tenth realms of life and do whatever they can to support the sacred all around them.
We have planetary allies at this Full Moon who support us in finding this joy but we will be challenged to hold ourselves to that intention. These allies are a conjunction of Jupiter and Venus in Gemini that are sextile to Mercury in Leo.

Before the sun rises on July 3, the day of the Full Moon, Venus can be seen in the constellation of Taurus, right between the horns of the bull. Jupiter is only a few degrees above Venus adding its brilliant light. These planets are a clarion call to embrace beauty and abundance.
Mercury, the god of doorways, is preparing to station retrograde in a few weeks and is potently holding open a door for us to welcome in our creative gifts.

These planets, Jupiter, Venus and Mercury form an aspect configuration with Pluto, known as a Yod. This grouping creates a tension between its disparate parts forcing us to find resolution. The primary resolution I see is between the need for security and our birthright of joy and creativity. Perhaps flipping back and forth between fearfulness and joy, we find creative ways to live in possibility.

Sunday, July 1. The Moon is waxing to its Full phase. The expansive and philosophical qualities of Sagittarius lead the way. Where are the new frontiers in your life? Take an adventure to expand your point of view, even if only to a different neighborhood in your town. Relieve pressure by taking some kind of action. Get moving and see what happens. Today, Mercury reaches the degree where it will come back to conjoin the Sun on July 28. This is the degree of the doorway that Mercury holds open for us. What doorways are opening for you?

Monday, July 2. When the Moon moves into Capricorn this afternoon*, things take a more serious turn. And there is nothing wrong with that! Notice what matters most to you. This is a good area to apply your focus and attention. You choose: The focus could simply last for as long as the Moon is in Capricorn (till Wednesday evening), or you could find in this Full Moon phase a long-term commitment to dedicate yourself to. Open to these messages.

July 3—Full Moon: Illuminating.
The Sun in Cancer is opposite the Moon in Capricorn today very close to the ongoing square between Pluto and Uranus. Another pressure point is reached. However we are encouraged by Jupiter, Venus, and Mercury to dare to lead authentic, joyful lives even when we experience this pressure. The key is to embrace paradox and not slip into black and white thinking.

A welcome shift today, Mars finally leaves Virgo where it has been since November 2011. We’ve learned valuable lessons while Mars has forced us to slow down, pay attention to the details, look at our health, and set higher expectations. However, if you’ve also experienced frustration in these areas, you might notice a lessening of stress. Although Mars is not always comfortable in Libra, it is as least a change!

I have a quote by Joseph Campbell on my wall: “Beauty invokes, the sublime shatters.” Venus is square to Chiron this week and may be felt strongly at this Full Moon. The goddess of beauty meets the wounded healer. The offering they make is to become shattered by the sublime as we keep our hearts open.

Wednesday, July 4. Independence Day in the U.S. The Moon moves into independent Aquarius tonight reminding us of the freedoms our country purports to value. Venus and Mercury make delightful aspects to Uranus, the co-ruler of Aquarius, in support of authenticity and freedom. After the tensions of the Full Moon, grab onto the hopefulness present today. Change is possible.

Thursday, July 5. Revolutionary zeal continues today as the Moon joins the encouraging aspects of yesterday. We are still in the illuminating phase of this lunar cycle. If the Full Moon highlighted the energies of Pluto, reminding us of the toxic systems that need regeneration in the arena of security, the transits of today and yesterday are highlighting the giddiness of revolution. It is good to make changes after a long period of stagnation. We may be feeling that release today.

Friday, July 6. A day to drift and dream. Most of the day, the Moon is void of course, where it can feel like not much is happening. Then the Moon enters watery Pisces right before bedtime. Dreams tonight offer a revelation or healing.

July 7—Disseminating Moon: Sharing. Did you learn something from your dreams last night? Try not to lose track of it during the day. If we are to make changes in our world, that are sustainable, just, and vital, every one of us needs to contribute to the body of wisdom. It isn’t important to understand the big picture right now, but to trust that we each have something really important to share; and that piece comes from the heart.

*All times are CDT.