by Boots Hart, CAP

Thursday, June 26, 2014

A 5 Cancer New Moon...and Mercury Direct

With all the (well deserved) attention astrology pays to “major” (outer) planets...which is a whole conversation in itself, as the farther from the Sun (life, metaphysical consciousness) you get, the more vast and often stunning or inexorable effects on that consciousness or life is.

Call the onset of these effects being...say, beyond Saturn, Saturn being the planet farthest from Earth which is visible with our own naked eye and therefore astrologically associated with the extent of our grasp or the greatest of our goals and achievements reached through diligence, long-term effort and all that we associate with slow, sometimes terribly challenging growth.

All of which is about what we do...or try. It’s beyond all that (beyond Saturn, that is) where the precepts of astrological evolution really reside.

Which means (you don’t have to like this, but it well may be considered true), one might thus say that evolution in the greatest sense starts where and only when our ability or sense that we can control things - or even get a grip on them - as humans simply ends.

And where said control probably never existed.

But we all gawk, gasp and gnash our desirous teeth wanting that control.

So maybe because of that...and maybe in spite of that, as much as we all tend to regard stations of Neptune, Pluto, Eris, Sedna and TNOs like Typhon Deucalion et al with something akin to instinctual alarm, there is a level at which we all know that our life is really made up of our everyday deeds, decisions and doings. And all of that is symbolized by planets inside our system’s main asteroid belt.

You know...Sun, Mercury, Venus, Moon, Mars.

And yes, the Moon is a satellite of Earth, I know. It’s referred to as a planet because astrology dates all the way back to yon very much olden times (think: 4,500-3,000 BCE) when all people could do is stare at the night sky and by doing so establish the difference between ‘wandering stars’ (objects which move in the short/observable term like the planets and our Moon) and those many, many stars which appeared to be ‘fixed’ against the night sky.

(Yes, those ‘fixed’ stars - the astrological fixed stars.)

Of those ‘inner’ and more personal points (we’re back to Sun, Moon, Mercury, Mars and Venus), two never go retrograde - the Sun and Moon. But the other three do go retrograde, a fact we’ve all gotten a bit punched-drunken on this year, to be sure.

But this year’s ultra-pressure cooker aside, on an everyday basis there is nothing people into astrology like hearing more than Mercury retrograde is finally over...and when it comes to ‘getting past’ life’s awkward moments and lingering dragnets on our psyche, the monthly New Moon event has always seemed to function as a wiping down of the board and a resetting of all to approximate/current moment zero.

And here...just ahead...we get both. This month’s New Moon will be in Cancer (at 5 Cancer) and occur on June 27th at 8:10 in the morning, UT/+0 time, after which we count to three (days), then Mercury goes direct on July 1st at 12:51 p.m., also UT/+0.

Do these events overlap? Technically no, since we generally give planetary stations a two-days-prior/two-days-after ‘station allowance,’ which would only take us back to June 28th...although if you have a chart with four or five planets in Gemini (or Virgo) that may well (depending on your individual chart) indicate a heightened sensitivity to stations involving Mercury, since it rules (read: tends to excite, promote, provoke or challenge) the attributes of both Gemini and Virgo.

As the Moon comes to its New phase however, that would also be when Jupiter squaring the Nodes comes to perfection, bringing notions associated with 25 Cancer (Jupiter’s position) and those of 25 Aries and 25 Libra (the respective positions of the South and North lunar nodes).

Sappho by Theodore Chassériau (1849, oil on panel)

It’s also when asteroid Sappho goes retrograde at 17 Aquarius in opposition to Black Moon Lilith (calculated Lilith) and in an (8th-derivation) inconjunct to Pallas which suggests threads, notions and developments within this next New Moon cycle which ask of us to think things through and to use logic no matter how loud the ‘roar’ gets, no matter how tough the pressure becomes... with the understanding that 17 Aquarius is a degree which causes difficulties when ignored, whether we’re ignoring something within our own Self or life or whether we’re being ignored by others. There is a need for communication which given this degree’s tendency to ‘go off’ or act in an arrogant, obnoxious or out-of-order manner when denied can create near-cyclic difficulties where the acting out engenders restraints which then result in more eruptions.

Another note here: this is a degree known for physical manifestations, some of which cripple what are otherwise worthy or worthwhile talents, abilities or potentials.

Against these notes we have the Sabian Symbol for this degree: A man’s secret motives are being publicly unmasked - an image astrologer Marc Edmund Jones typified as ‘the difficulty for the modern individual to keep secret his private past or his deeper motives’...(a comment Jones made back in the 1970s and which would seem to apply ever more as time flows by).

For some of us, that Sappho is going retrograde will carry this point’s ‘universal and/or universalist’ within, helping them recognize the greater or ‘universal’ level of some question - and that in turn will help unite their thinking or serve as a means by which they will enter into connection and conversations with others. For some, Sappho’s often nostalgic and ‘poetic’ nature may rise to the fore, softening former ‘hard lines,’ helping foster greater willingness of some kind.

Into all of this come the degree of the June New Moon: 5 Cancer. Known for difficulties stemming from a ‘meanness’ of character which often surfaces in greed and/or miserly attitudes (or refusing to care or extend some feeling benefit) 5 Cancer is known to focus on a refusal to accept or work with/deal with various forms of human weakness - which is at some level a weakness in and of itself. There is a strong sense of ‘having to do what must be done’ which goes along with this degree as well, which since it’s poised in Cancer’s first ten degrees (degrees 0-9) refers to what we do or - again - our certainly very human individual physicality. The Sabian symbol here being ‘Game birds feathering their nests’ can reinforce the ‘borders’ and ‘boundaries’ placed between those being cared for/about and those who are remaining unrecognized at some vital, human level. Referred to as a degree which philosopher-astrologer Dane Rudhyar keynotes as ‘rationalization,’ this would appear to be Cancer at it’s a basic and instinctual level some might typify as individual (or close-held) survival and which some will internalize and transmute into ‘the survival of the group which insures my opportunities for future growth.

As for the chart...

New Moon at 5 Cancer (glyph chart)
(Aries Wheel - Location Not Specific)

New Moon at 5 Cancer (text chart)
(Aries Wheel - Location Not Specific)

The degrees of this chart fall into two rather separate ‘circuits’ - one being in the first decanate of various signs (degrees 0 through 9)...and one being in the third decanate of various signs (degrees 20 through 29). Moreover, taking just the the first decan points for the moment, these are also all in signs which occupy the left or pro-active (learning, experimental) side of the natural zodiac wheel.

What does that say? That tells us that this next month is about what we do or are doing, about what we are willing to try, learn about, say your peace on -or realize the reality of. Or to put it another way, this isn’t a month about building in the sanctity and security of our nests - whether through deed or presence, contribution of thought or concerted willingness to just be there for others...this month speaks to our all being part of this life and this world.

And how those two ideas differ.

Beyond the balancing of all that as a wash of color across the wide screen of life’s backdrop, then we add in a few configurations...

Remember Neptune sitting at 7 Pisces? It’s still there, so if you missed the first chat on same, since this now-you-get-it, now-you-don’t coming from that twitchy place inside where we all want so much to feel what we want and so don’t want to feel anything which will unsettle our secret (and secreted) sense of vulnerability...there’s still time.

In any case...Neptune trine a New Moon which is itself conjunct Niobe speaks to pride as a self-delusional detriment - and one which has every possibility of refusing to feel and surrender to some reality now only to pay a far larger price down the line, all of which like as not has to do with some issue with emotional cost to ‘pride of standing.’

With Neptune squaring Phaethon, there’s a headstrong ‘I can do this and get away with it’ quality to many a choice now...but if you remember Phaethon’s story, that may not turn out well. After all, Phaethon was the world-be-heroic teen who insisted to Apollo that he was strong (mature) enough to control the horses which drew the chariot of the Sun across the sky...which most of us (providing you’re not still in the ‘it can’t get me’ stage of life) know is a recipe for trouble.

And when you add fuzziness of emotional standing (with Self most of all) to the need/desire to get out there and prove you can do something simply because you think you ought to be able to (never mind those pesky realities)...we shouldn’t be surprised if Phaethon in Gemini’s tendency towards hasty thinking, shooting off of one’s mouth (aka the tendency to make declarations) and other ‘immature’ ways of working through challenges drive some of this month’s questions and quandaries.

As for Venus in Gemini squaring that Pisces Neptune, this is a combination which promotes friendliness of expression - if not always genuine friendliness. This isn’t likely to be much of a problem unless we are either promising or choosing to believe something out of our personal and basic desire not to have to ‘go through experiencing’ some other choice.

In other words, it isn’t about what ‘they’ do - it’s about why we’re doing what we’re doing. If we’re doing it to evade or avoid something in us we’re likely to unconsciously create ripples in our own pond through others.

This really does give us control, though most of us are (despite what we all like to think) not all that big on controlling ourselves. Others? Yes, indeed. But control our Self? That’s a harder, if more respect-worthy thing.

To finish up here, Juno-Sisyphus is a particularly quirky combination as Juno speaks to self-discipline or the management/conservatorship of one’s resources, possessions, talents...or since this is Gemini, our minds, mentalities, choices and chosen ways of getting things done. Against this we have Sisyphus, an indicator of the ability to do what you want with a warning that if you go that direction, no matter what you just isn’t going to turn out well.

Sisyphus always speaks to something we know we have the capacity to do but shouldn’t...which in combination with headstrong Phaethon is purely an argument with Self. Will we adhere to the standards of treatment, specifically those which deal with how we treat other people (a Sisyphus issue) or simply amuse, assuage or enrich ourselves at the expense of others?

Circuit number two in this New Moon horoscope concerns a series of three semi-sextiles which connect the first four signs of the zodiac (Aries, Taurus, Gemini and Cancer) in a jostling energetic speaking to how easy it is to merely be disrupted or disruptive [Eris/South Node] based on some ‘image’ we have implanted in our brain about how life ‘should be’ but isn’t.

All of that filters (uncomfortably...maybe even annoyingly) through our [Mercury] mental faculties, with all of this coming together as something we [Jupiter in Cancer] need to [25 Cancer] establish or take on, whether in our personal life or in the world around us.

Plus let’s not forget, we do have the Jupiter-Node t-square just now coming into high focus.

Balancing the need to be who we are in our own mind and in this world (so much has to do with proving something to ourselves, have you noticed?) the North Node being in trine to Mercury (which should be marked as retrograde, sorry)...this is the ‘should do’ of the North Node (which automatically comes with a side order of ‘do I have to?’) in trine to Mercury as Mercury nears but is not yet at it’s degree of station.

That will be 24 Gemini, not 25 Gemini.

Meanwhile, there’s a ‘squaring’ of our own need to grow in our own ability to comprehend and handle things with others - all of which plays into personal and public success through our [Eris] ability to deal with things we never imagined in a thousand-million years.

Will we react? Or will we, despite hesitations, misgivings, other things we’d rather be doing and a clutter of misunderstandings old and new which seem to be haunting our waking spite of all that, will we persevere?

25 Libra is a degree which acknowledges difficulties and yet which retains a clear, indefinable yet eternal sense of hope. This is not the hope of any miraculous salvation but rather that which holds out that what we earn, we shall in time be rewarded with.

Are we impatient? Are we just tired and looking for a break?

Maybe one...maybe all. We are all just human, you know. Disappointments, trials, defeats, exhaustion and losses...they do happen. Sometimes they’re outside of us and tangible, sometimes they’re to some cherished notion we’ve been toting around despite life’s evidence to the contrary.

As for Mercury...

Le Traité d'Angoulême by Peter Paul Rubens

...Mercury will be going direct on July 1st at 24 (not 25) Gemini, a degree for which the Sabian symbol reads as follows: ‘A gardener trimming large palm trees,an image which can be well thought of not only through Marc Edmund Jones’ concept of ‘bringing under control nature’s power of expansion’ but through the more naturalistic idea of the palm tree itself, the palm being a fairly ubiquitous species (something we all know or have in ‘common’) which uses its own dead leaves to shield itself and its fruit (‘the fruit of its labors’) from the intensity of exposure to dry (unemotional) heat (friction, change, conflict).

Mind you, as Mercury goes direct we’re not out of the weeds just yet...

...that which is on our plates and on our minds, they have a bit of time to get worked through - until mid-July when Mercury exits its shadow (which is just prior to Mars exiting its shadow and Saturn going direct).

As Mercury goes through and emerges from its station, attitudes, opinions, conversations open up. Information we have been waiting for finally arrives. People finally look at their phone messages and that which has been back-ordered seemingly forever comes back into stock. So yes, we begin to move forward as Mercury goes direct - but we’re still tying up, settling out and dealing with that which we’ve been focused on for weeks... maybe even months now. Known for its own qualities of generosity and willingness to share (as opposed to those signaled by the Venus/Neptune square, which may amount to too much friendliness or putting those who deserve little but ‘look good’) 24 Gemini benefits us all by being an energetic which encourages open minds and a willingness to listen, hear and discuss - though to be honest, not all such discussions are in earnest. There is some ‘showiness’ which goes along with this degree, so to have Gemini’s ruler (Mercury) going station-direct at 24 Gemini speaks of this entire June 29th through July 3rd period as a good one for parties and hijinks, if also one when we may quite literally hear about grandstanding or someone ‘taking the stage’ so as to have their say.

But the bottom line here for most of us is just this: as Mercury goes direct again, at very long last we are at the end of the seemingly endless slog which began last December when Venus went retrograde. The whole of the time since then has been marked (some would say marred) by one or another of the personal planets being in retrograde...or about to go retrograde.

That’s over. We have a few weeks or sorting out the mental paperwork to do yet while Mercury and Mars both work back and out of their retrograde shadows, but there is cause for optimism in knowing we have now experienced facets of our beings we would never have dreamed of walking ourselves through - and that having done that, we are now better prepared to face our future...directly.


  1. Excellent writing... leave alone the astrology, the writing itself holds so much substance! Thank you.

    1. You are entirely welcome...and thank you also for the compliment. Writing has always been my primary art and craft - and it's even better when I know it moves or helps someone else in their own life.

  2. I concurr. Speaks to my life experience right now quite intimately. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.