by Boots Hart, CAP

Sunday, June 17, 2012

A New Moon Solstice: An Incoming Cancer Tide of Gemini Thoughts

 Summer Solstice Sunrise over Stonehenge
(photo credit: Andrew Dunn, June 2005)

Give or take, the Moon moves about half-a-degree per hour. The Sun moves just under a degree per day. So once you know that - and that there’s going to be a New Moon on Tuesday the 19th at 28 Gemini (28 degrees of Gemini 43 minutes, to be exact), with barely a flicker of a brain cell you’ll grasp that it’s just over a day until the Sun arrives at 0 Cancer.

The Sun's Cancer ingress will occur at 11:10 p.m. on June 20th (UT/+0 time).

And just as you get done thinking that, no doubt you'll also realize that the Moon, with it's half-a-degree per hour speed - will be arriving at 0 Cancer before the Sun does...about four hours or so after the 11:13 a.m. (UT/+0) Tuesday June 19th New Moon.

The Sun's arrival at 0 Cancer is what Earth’s northern hemisphere calls the Summer Solstice – the longest daylight day of the year. Earth’s southern hemisphere calls this the Winter Solstice – the shortest daylight day of the year.

The fact that Earth's orbital tilt remains constant as it orbits
around the Sun is responsible for our seasons
(diagram credit Tau'olunga)

Not to be partial here, astrologically it would simply be called the Cancer Solstice.

So, what does all this mean? Why should we care?

Well, with the Moon arriving in Cancer before the Sun does, we expect our feelings to evidence themselves in a Cancerian manner before our (Sun) consciousness does. Instinct leads the way - as do our feelings. And with Mercury already at 20 Cancer, our thoughts head in the emotional direction, particularly where relationships are concerned. With Mercury (in Cancer and therefore ruled by the Moon) in square to Saturn at the New Moon, new concerns are prompted.

The real question here is twofold. The first part of this question is whether we are exhibiting what we do and who we are with an eye to the quality of what we’re ‘putting out there.’ That’s the general concept raised by Saturn’s retrograding in Libra’s third decanate degrees (degrees 20 through 29) and with Saturn in opposition to Eris at 22 Aries and both planets just sitting there, the metaphysical implication is that though we may be focused on others or in some sort of debate with someone else, the real argument is with our Self.

At some level, most of us want to ‘hold out’ for what we know: Eris conjunct Lachesis (duration) and Kassandra (disbelief) is likely to manifest as the sort of indignantly stubborn thinking which says ‘I don’t think I’m wrong here’…with the Aries part of this having to do with ‘who I am’ or ‘what I’m doing.’

Whether you should hold out or whether you should change is astrologically seen through the opposition to Saturn, which in retrograde asks us to consider the precepts of Arcturus and Spica: whether we lead with our proverbial ‘best foot’ (or finest ability)forward or not. The feedback, the support, the approval (or lack thereof) is really all about that – not about who we are as a person.

It’s not easy to take it all that way (Hello? Venus retrograde) but that’s really what it is – and here Venus retrograde is the ‘softening’ agent which gets us to listen as points and objections hit home.

This thus becomes a time of measuring whether, where and why change is needed.

And then we get to the second question: should things be easy? With Uranus and Eris both in Aries (a situation which is going to continue for a good half-dozen years yet) we can change of be changed. Astrological wisdom would tend to vote for ‘change’ as opposed to ‘being changed’ because we get a vote in how we change things and no vote at all in how life changes us.

But there is – undoubtedly – some quivers and quandaries at this time. For one, as the Moon moves into Cancer the Sun will be entering 29 Gemini, Gemini’s most critical degree.  And considering Gemini is a sign of mentality and communication (among other things), that concept of ‘critical’ could be literal. Or with Moon and Mercury already in emotionally evocative Cancer, at least cranky!

Yes, we could vote for this same combination manifesting as joy and cuddly happiness, too. But with Venus still in retrograde…?

(…A brief pause while the astrologer heaves a resigned sigh…)

These weeks of Venus in retrograde seem to be wearing people down. That would be the evidence that Venus is performing its retrograde in Gemini and how mentally-driven we are as human beings.

So once the Sun and Mercury are both in Cancer? With Mercury in square to Saturn-opposition-Eris through June 24th, there are challenges to face. But the good news there is that Mercury in this position defines this period of time as a t-square.

(Yes, I did just call a t-square a good thing!)

The reason why I would hold that a t-squares is a good thing is that by itself, an opposition is either a ‘balancing act’ (the me part against the ‘them’ part) OR a formidable challenge to grow into something other than what you start out as which integrates the principles of the opposition.

But a t-square? T-squares basically say that once we get over ourselves on the personal level (i.e., our ego issues) and get on with doing the task at hand because it needs to be done and done correctly, then we not only excel and succeed, but we end up creating situations which give that ego some positive reinforcement.

Not that it’s easy! T-squares have earned a hefty astrological reputation for difficulty for good reason. Yet statistical surveys of charts show that many of the charts of people we consider ‘among the great’ include t-squares. In fact, in the past 100 years or so, astrologers have moved from what is often thought of as the ‘Germanic school’ of astro-speak (which is couched greatly in negatives and disaster) through the sunshine and roses candy floss stage of the mid-late 1900s to a rather realistic perspective of ‘life includes challenges because through challenges we grow’ sort of perspective.

So the trine which in the early 1900s could ‘consign us to misery for all time’ and which then gave way to ‘peace and light’ in the middle/late 1900’s is now looked at as being ‘all in how you use it.’

Meanwhile, the square – and its cousins the t-square and grand square – have come to be looked at not as total malifics and not as horrible things which get in your way but the very things which in confronting us, cause us to grow. And from such growth comes the building blocks with which we build our success – external and internal.

At the moment, those challenges may look enormous. Yet Venus retrograde may play in two directions here. Either it’s worn you down to the point where you’re feisty and irritable…or it’s worn down the very resistance which has allowed you to go on refusing to change or learn something new about life (and therefore, your Self).

With Mars moving into Virgo’s third decanate as the New Moon arrives and the Sun moves on through its Solstice there’s a feeling of wanting – and wanting either to get it right or that you (still) feel within your rights. Is that about what you’re doing? About whether you should tell someone what they’re doing wrong?

Well let’s see…Venus in retrograde...hmmm…how do you think people will take to having someone sticking unwanted noses into their business?

But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do so. At the time of the New Moon – and therefore as a factor moving forward into July – is a semi-sextile to Ceres. Ceres being the symbol of the kind of awareness, attention and timely action which gets the seed planted when it should be planted, the fields watered and weeded regularly – that’s Ceres. Often thought of simply as the nurturance associated with Virgo, Ceres is also the mental planning which goes with growing anything ‘from seed’ to harvest feast.

Ceres is also about ‘getting your hands dirty.’

 Farming (here being done in Indonesia) is probably the
oldest and most critical form of occupation (apart
from motherhood!) where we get our hands dirty.
(photo credit: Jan-Pieter Nap)

With semi-sextiles being noted for arousing feelings of being put upon (and sometimes embarrassed) the whole of the late June/early-mid July period may have people feeling insulted, rejected, unappreciated. Yet some of us will grow from that – just as some of us have grown from taking the Venus retrograde period as a time to harness our abilities in a productive and ultimately useful way.

The big question would seem to be about whether you’re moved to mix it up – most of all with yourself. So…can you get past your sense of ennui? Can you get past the ‘what now?’s and the ‘why do I have to do everything?’ and follow the plan of productivity?

Probably the biggest glitch here – which because this colors the Solstice implies it will be carried through as a theme during these next three months – is the New Moon’s exact conjunction with Polaris and Betelgeuse.

The degree is 28 Gemini, a degree which by its 3rd decanate position denotes input and feedback. Things are not in our control and moreover, with Betelgeuse’s position being 28 Gemini, we don’t even want control. I know a doctor with Venus/Mars (personal pleasure, a sense of wanting things to be rewarding) conjunct this position and the last thing this MD wants is to have to take control.

That's a challenge for a doctor, granted. But it can be made useful if and where we remember that we are a participant in life and merely called upon to do our part as well as we can. Some things – yes, they happen. For this doctor, some of his patients will get well, others will die. That is the way of life. Hopefully he rests easily with the fact that he’s not in charge of the universe.
At the same time, this configuration also asks that he should take delight in doing all he can as an intelligent being with regards to his patients. He can't just 'do what he likes' and ignore the rest.

So he shouldn't expect himself to know everything. Who does?All any of us are called upon is to do is the best we can. And that, my friends, is where enters Betelgeuse at 28 Gemini, a degree which the great astrologer Dane Rudhyar typified as being about ‘the creative exuberance of the human soul in response to basic life experiences.’

We are talking Gemini here – the third sign of the zodiac. The first four signs of said zodiac, the first round through the elements – they’re all about the basics of life and the basics of our life. They’re about learning. Gemini is our mental facility. So no, in Gemini we are not supposed to know everything...we are merely supposed to learn, be willing to learn, and to never buy into (nor settle for) the idea that we’re stupid. Or ‘less than’ someone else because we do not yet know something.

 Red star giant Betelgeuse
(photo credit: Hubble-NASA-ESA, 2004)

Betelgeuse challenges us here, as Betelgeuse drives for the 'easy,' which in Gemini would have us wanting things to be 'easily learned' or 'easy to come by' or do.

And that's why this star is such a challenge to the essence of Gemini. Gemini is wholly about learning. So if you're someone who is a workaholic, you should learn to relax. But if you're someone who likes the luxurious life, you need to learn to apply yourself.

Betelgeuse in Gemini is all about learning how to 'be' in this world, yes. But it's our world and Betelgeuse is in our charts. So in the end, it all comes back to learning about ourselves. And what we think of ourselves. And learning more, so we can be more and maybe even achieve those rewards we all seem to want!

So this New Moon...set exactly conjunct Betelgeuse...that combination heralds a month in which to learn about learning and in doing so, to learn more about ourselves….and probably how we make things harder for ourselves by being set in our ways, by pre-judging who we can be, by coping out – whether that involves saying I’m stupid or I can’t learn that or (adding in a bit of Cancer here) I don’t know how to get along with my family or I can’t see living in some other house.

We are probably not meant to know all ends. Our life is an exploration – a learning process. Gemini is with us always. And here we are given a New Moon to remind us of our innocence, and hopefully of our vulnerabilities. We all feel hurt, we all get angry. Harsh words get said, mistakes get made.

Can we move beyond that and indeed be and become a family of mankind?

Polaris – Earth’s current pole star – is sitting conjunct Betelgeuse and the New Moon. Known as a star of leading or leadership, let’s hope that this lunation and Solstice season to come leads us all towards greater understanding of ourselves, of each other, and the willingness to ‘take the lead’ in turning difficulties into good times yet to come. 

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