by Boots Hart, CAP

Sunday, May 29, 2016

June 2016: Having a Grand (Square) Time

Enjoying Mars retrograde?

Well, here’s the good news – Mars will be going direct before the end of June. Not much before the end of June … but we’ll take what we can get when it comes to Mars going direct as no one really likes the sluggishness, pent up feelings and frustrations which so typically feature as part of the Mars retrograde "experience," even if on occasion the delays, missteps, blank walls and sporadic punches to the gut may in time prove useful.

Even freeing -- though what that means to any one of us will vary. Mars does, after all, have primary rulership of two signs: Aries and Scorpio.

Representing more of the Scorpio side of things, 'external' experiences under Mars retrograde may be tough -- and once Mars retrograded back into Scorpio (which it did back on May 27th), unsettling -- at least to some emotional status quo. Successful or unsuccessful on their face, negotiations and the process of negotiating with (or through) others is likely to be leaving much to be desired at the moment.

Perhaps you feel stalled? Or maybe you're having to finish, cleanup, reconstruct or rehabilitate something - or something is exerting power over you and/or your options at the moment?

Then again, as I am doing in having broken a tooth and now having to live with the 'ow' until I'm able to get it dealt with, perhaps you too are dealing with more of the Mars-as-ruler-of-Aries side of this retrograde -- which beyond things Strictly Physical (breaks, burns, bumps, sprains and cuts all being very Mars) ... which beyond that would also include having to wait to do something, or feeling particularly 'unfocused,' uninspired, or undecided as to 'what to do next.' 

Having to wait (as I am) is also classically Mars retrograde. In fact, think of it this way ... wherever need meets inhibition or limitation, that (and the frustration which goes with 'that') is entirely Mars retrograde-like.

And yes, good can come of all our confronting of various forms of unrelenting feelings (or feelings about things which seem 'unrelenting') as we deal with (and consider) whatever life tosses in our path. And we may truly know that, it's just the 'getting through' thing which is tough at the moment (which isn't to say we aren't getting things done).

In fact, all may be going along just fine, even if its taking more effort - particularly emotional effort - than usual.

Such is Mars retrograde. 

Fortunately, we not only have a date when all this Mars non-delight and sapping will end, but said date is now within range of mental sight.

And what’s that magic date?

That date would be June 29th. Late on June 29th, to be exact – a scant 21 minutes before the 29th becomes the 30th (in the UT/+0 zone, anyway) - but still the 29th.

So we have a ways to go yet with Mars retrograde.

Plus just as this last month (May) gave us all a case of grand trine (which when combined with Mercury and Mars retrograde made for life’s gluey quality) , this month we all get a case of squares this month – grand squares to be exact.

That will have started on June 28th or 29th, depending on your particular location on this globe we call Planet Earth.  And with Venus and the Sun in Gemini as we start into June, there is a decent amount of indication that June will start on a busy, if slightly ‘under wraps,’ ‘behind the scenes’ or not-yet-complete aura in the mix.

But Mars is still in retrograde. So either we’re working ‘inside our own bounds’ (whatever that may mean to you on a personal level), or we’re working or waiting to work (or work more) on something external.

Or both.

Getting back to that trine (last month) versus square (this June) thing for a moment more however … being that we each have a monthly Lunar Return to call our own (occurring whenever during the month the Moon ‘returns’ to the degree and minute it was at when you were born), there is something of a ‘carry-over’ effect from month to month.

In other words, let’s say you had a personal lunar return last month around mid-month – say on the 14th. The Moon happened to be in Virgo, which means your next lunar return will occur when the Moon gets back around the moving its lunar self through Virgo during June, an event which will occur somewhere between when the Moon reaches Virgo at 13:47 (1:47 p.m.) on June 10th (UT/+0) and when it exits Virgo for Libra shortly after midnight on the 13th (again, in the UT/+0 zone).

During that time, no matter what is happening in the world, your world is going to in part be experiencing day-to-day astro-life as that is reflecting in your ‘May-June’ lunar return. 

That means even if the world (in general) has started experiencing a month of grand square effects as of May 28th or 29th (depending on where you are), your personal world will still carry a nonce of those immutable, unmoved (or immobile, unmovable, inert, blank, solid, stolid, imperturbable) metaphysical qualities we associate with grand trines. And that will continue until you get to whenever your June lunar return takes place – as it does in our imaginary example between June 10th and June 13th.

So it’s worth knowing when your lunar return is going to be every month – and on which ‘side’ (prior or after) things occur. It’s not the sort of information which is all that hard to come by, too. With time of birth, date of birth and place of birth in hand, you too can cast your horoscope online for free – look for a list of sites in the sidebar. Once you have that, then you’ll be able to cast (or look up) lunar returns – again, for free, online.

Wherever said lunar return occurs, once that happens your life will then get more directly affected by what is likely to be (or by that time, have been being) a more fragmented and  multi-task-oriented pace of experience going on around you – that being typical of grand squares. As all squares test our sense of priority and proportion, so grand squares do all that while throwing in a few quizzes on perspective just to see what kind of mortal jugglers we really are – which, by the by, leads to one of the better things any grand square can yield.

Squares are a test. They test our sense of proportion and they test our ability to be thorough while continuing to think ‘constructively.’ Grand squares, being four squares put together, speak to ‘many square-like situations’ (four, to be exact) plus oppositions – an equation which equals either running from one thing to the next (physically, mentally or metaphorically) … or recognizing your current place ‘amongst all’ and using that to gain perspective on all else so that priorities are managed, tossed balls don’t get dropped and (perhaps most useful of all) we come to recognize how to deal with the feeling of multiple pressures, whether they exist or not.

With Venus and the Sun already in Gemini, the one thing we are likely to be fussy about is the quality of the conversation. Or challenge. Or the debate, plan, choice or opportunity. It just has to be interesting! Gemini represents our capacity and desire to be intrigued on an ongoing basis by what we see or hear -- which means, particularly with Mars in retrograde, we had best understand (on the inside, most of all) why we are doing, or even thinking of doing anything.

Especially that which doesn’t dazzle us right out of our socks time and again as time goes along.

With Mars in a Scorpio retrograde, getting bored is not anyone’s friend and disagreements are likely not particularly because we don’t like others, but we aren’t in the mood to like anything (or anybody) at the moment. (And neither are they as Mars is retrograde in their world too.) Not everything is or becomes serious, of course… most such moments will be relatively easily brushed off or away – or wherever such moments go when disposed with.

Yet after a while, if they happen again – or again and again and again – our patience is likely to wear thin, and like as not we will feel miserably burdened at the same time (whether or not that really applies!).

In spite of all this, it will be a busy time, whether ‘within’ our personal world (or even our body or mind), or around us in some real time manner to enough of an extent that we feel enrobed, enshrouded, encompassed and effortlessly made self-aware.

Mind you, the experience may feel good, terrible, challenging or like some manna from Heaven.

Welcome to June, 2016. Sound good so far? 

As for what this grand square is ‘about,’ here’s what it looks like as of June 1st ...
This grand square formation – or rather, its formulation (that which makes up the formation) is going to evolve as we go through June. For instance, by the time we get to the 20th, Venus will have moved on to other things and both Mercury and Vesta will have joined the Gemini corner of the equation, meaning the whole of this month’s activities – at some level evolves from a (Venus) ‘what goes into it, what we get out of it’ equation into more of a (Mercury + Venus) ‘how to, and what is this going to require of me?’ focusing more on methods and what has (or hasn’t) gone into the choice, the situation, the method or manner in which things are being pursued.

But in the meantime, some things apply across the board. For one, Saturn is involved. So whether we work to advance something, work to stabilize something, work to keep things together in spite of losses, lacks or other ‘hard times’ or work to improve our condition, work we will – and since Saturn is (already) in retrograde, we either already have an agenda and process under way, or we’re already thoroughly enmeshed in avoidance (at once extreme) and sheer, pure coping at the other. For those who are ‘deconstructing,’ rebuilding or otherwise working towards something, Mars and Saturn unified in retrograde can be a definite plus, but you can’t be in a rush.

Think of it as something of a wee life exam… how good are you with deferred gratification?

With Antares (one of the royal stars) in conjunction, success depends on maintaining and intensity of focus without going over-the-line into over-focus or obsessions, as that can create big bumps in the road – and more than the occasional blow out.

There are actually two grand squares in force as we start into June seeing as the orb of conjunction (or a square or opposition) is only five degrees. So for example, at 9 degrees of Sagittarius Antares does square Jupiter (at 14 Virgo), Antares does not square the lunar nodes at 18 degrees of Virgo (North Node) and Pisces (South Node) respectively.

Beyond that, Vesta is joining our June grand square festival by coming into orb of opposition to Saturn (in Sagittarius) from the Gemini (and Aldebaran) side of things as of June 4th, which says several things. For one, Vesta in Gemini (as an overall trait) typically indicates a lessening of our instinctive inclusion of considerations, including those sometimes wholly necessary communicating of feelings moments. Vesta in Gemini is great for doing whatever is necessary to acquire and/or integrate information (allowing for future planning), and it’s wonderful for those moments when perspective is needed in order to reach sensible decisions. Yet with that comes a Vesta-in-air desire not to ‘get involved emotionally,’ be that on a relationship or conversational level. And being that Vesta refers to things we commit to (and) the cost of holding to our commitments with the general aim and purpose being about something which is ‘bigger than just our Self,’ that may – or may not work very well.

Then there’s the alternate chance June will lead to important considerations or conversations which being ‘unavailable for’ (emotionally or otherwise) may bring about problems – or at least complications. Plus as Aldebaran is one of the Royal Stars of Persia, its presence in this grand square speaks to how all-around success (or success which satisfies everyone in an ‘all around’ manner) is only going to happen where (Aldebaran) standards of integrity are being lived up to – which certainly goes with the idea of (Vesta) commitment and challenges.

Then there are the lunar nodes to think about...

Any time we see the lunar nodes involved in a configuration, we know that relationships and our ability (or willingness) to relate to someone or something is involved, for good or bad, for convenient or inconvenient. With Jupiter a couple of degrees off the position of the North Node on the Virgo side of this conversation, the ‘should do’ is very pointed – or it may be bugging us, for whatever reason. With Neptune conjunct fixed star Achernar (an ‘outpouring’) and the South Node, talk is cheap, compassion is available, entertainment values may soar and it’s easy to get lost in conversations and feelings instead of getting anything done – you know, just on a regular and everyday basis. (Mars is in retrograde, you know – hardly anyone is feeling as peppy as usual!)

That so much of this is taking place in second decanate degrees (degrees between 10 and 19) tells us the push-pull and this/that quality of the grand square is greatly emotional.

Plus with all this – from head to toe and tip to tail -- is in mutable signs…? That says -- never mind Mars retrograde, this configuration all by itself speaks to a June which can be very start-stop-start again … or like some giant life scavenger hunt where one clue leads to a next and where what we encounter at each step can change everything (yet again). Mutable signs manifest on a learn-as-you-go plan, which is fantastic for some and a groan-and-a-half for others of us.

Think of it this way: if signs were eating habits, the mutable signs would be the here and there nibble throughout the day, as opposed to the three square-and-solid meals.

All of this speaks to a month which can be filled with much … or much ado. And if there is much ado, it can be about something … but then again, it may be about nothing… And no matter what happens, the question is why?

And what are we looking forward to, or planning to do next?

The last general note here speaks to the rhythm of events. For the first half of the month, astrological events fall on Sunday and Monday. But once we get to the 17th (the Friday ending the second full week of June), from there until the end of the month (including Mars’ turn to direct) events occur on a pretty much daily basis, indicating a month when, whether in our head or in real time, things get more complicated – and possibly far more interesting and possessed of further potential – as the month goes along. 

Week Two
June 5 
With June beginning on a Wednesday, the first astrological ‘event’ of the month falls on Sunday following, with that first event of the month being a New Moon at 14 Gemini at 3:01 in the morning, UT/+0 time.

New Moon at 14 Gemini (glyph chart)
June 5, 2016 -- 3:01 a.m. UT/+0 -- Aries Wheel (Location Not Specific)
New Moon at 14 Gemini (text chart)
June 5, 2016 -- 3:01 a.m. UT/+0 -- Aries Wheel (Location Not Specific)
Like all New Moons, this one sets something of a society-wide ‘tone’ for the month – which with the sign being Gemini means the weeks ahead will be all about the ‘idea’ of the thing, whatever that thing may be.

Expect much talk, singing, shouting, proclaiming, debating, and questioning this month.

And what does the degree 14 Gemini add to all of this thinking, dancing, running, handling, planning, learning and discussing? Answer: an ability to play with the facts or ‘truth.’ This does not necessarily mean lying – 14 Gemini represents an ability to be creative with ideas and words, making this a month when something ‘new’ (or new to us) of a verbal or theoretical nature may come our way, or appear and catch the attention of the social, societal or product marketplace.

But let’s be real: this can also speak to being swindled, manipulated, lied to – or the effort to ‘don a mask’ and be (verbally) heard and seen as someone we don’t tend to be on a day-to-day basis, whether for reasons honorable or otherwise.

With Venus as part of this New Moon (to the degree), the value of things and ‘appearances’ are on deck, in play and possibly at stake. Choices are important, and with Venus in opposition to Saturn (as part of the grand square) conservative choices and values may be highly important – or they may represent two rather different ideas, ideals, challenges or efforts under way or there for the considering.

Plus there’s one other astrological note to take into account here, that being the idea that June 5th is also the date when centaur Nessus goes retrograde at 5 Pisces, underscoring everyone’s ‘integrity issues’ (and the need to hold to standards of integrity) lest we do something we will (Nessus) come to regret at some later moment, hour or date.

Hercules, Dejanira and the Centaur Nessus by Hans Rottenhammer (c. 1600)
Why this would be comes from Nessus being a centaur – that half man, half horse beast which represents both the good which can come of combining of the strength, grace and ‘animal magnetism’ of the horse with the ethics, the thinking ability and self-determinative qualities of mankind and the bad which can occur (or come to be part of our personal nature) when we allow our animalistic side to ‘rule’ our human nature, furthering our desires without regard for what we’re doing or getting into. This last comes from something a lot of people miss about centaurs, namely how despite ‘sanitized’ moderns version seen here and there merge the human body from the waist to where the horse’s neck would start – which isn’t how centaurs were originally conceived of. In myth (specifically Greek myth), the human spine does become the horse’s spine exactly as described above. But the front of the person continues … downward, shall we say, merging human and animal at a latitude which fuses the animal heart with the human’s genitals.

In other words, lust was an issue with centaurs – and as such, the astrology of Nessus always speaks to our ‘lusts,’ whether they take the form of the obvious (i.e., sexual lust) or whether the issue is just about something we really, really want which we have to contend with in our Self. Will we master our desire? Or will we, in spite of knowing what we’re doing is wrong, do it anyway?

Sometimes this debate in internal – we ‘argue’ with ourselves. Sometimes our centaur-like debate will arise in interaction with someone else, or some organization or public entity. Astrologically, much of this is simply about where these points fall in your chart – above the prime horizontal (the Ascendant-Descendant line), things tend to be public. Below that line, they tend to be personal and often internal.

With Nessus comes a quality of desire – and one of repetition. Sometimes that’s just an ‘I’ve been here before’ realization. Yet Nessus’ turn to retrograde may also manifest as something which happens ‘again’ in a manner that allows us to avoid some negative (large or small), or perhaps gain insight on why that Self of ours keeps ‘making’ some choice, or doing that which causes some not-so-good thing to happen. 

June 6
Just to make the point here, by moving into 8 Gemini as of June 6th – one short day after the New Moon – Vesta enters the orb of opposition to Saturn in Sagittarius. Does that ‘make’ it part of the New Moon as it develops – or should we be thinking more in the direction of the great metaphysical maxim which says ‘unbeknownst to us, the universe is unfolding as it should’ in thinking Vesta was not part of the New Moon image for a reason?

As an astrologer, I tend to think the latter. Stretching astrological theory instead of accepting astrological ‘statements’ for what they are (and aren’t) is always best – if you want to end up knowing anything accurate, that is!

Getting back to our ‘Tale of Days,’ June 6th will also see asteroid Lachesis retrograding from Capricorn into Sagittarius. Given Lachesis’ symbolic association with the idea of ‘duration,’ how long things (or efforts) last and ‘the time we are given in which we may act’ the move from the world of Capricorn ‘hard edge, hard limits’ into a Sagittarian zone which considers, reconsiders, probes, argues, investigates and theorizes suggests there may be a ‘softening’ of some decision or ‘rule’ … or the considering of such things about now, for any of ten thousand reasons. 

June 7
Now for a brief change of subjects. Remember that Mercury retrograde you went through just last month? Well, I’m sure you’ll be happy to know Mercury will be exiting the shadow of that retrograde as of June 7th.

What this says to us is that matters we were going through under Mercury retrograde will now be ‘wrapping up.’

Or you may simply be ready to move on, one never knows...!

Whatever this means to you, the balance of the week unfolds with no further global astrological notices, though of course, nothing says your personal life (and transit list) can’t be stacked to the gills (and beyond).

Although there is one thing. With Neptune about to go retrograde, Neptune’s ‘station allowance’ begins on Saturday the 11th (and extends through the 15th) making the whole of this next weekend a good time to not be committed to anything too, too serious. Whatever else they represent, Neptune stations do not tend to be precision-loaded moments. They’re fine for relaxation, lovely for getting together with friends and often associated with anything and everything which ‘magically’ shows us life is more than we had been thinking it was – which again, often plays off of whatever attitude we have coming into Neptune’s station.

Call it something of a recipe for reversals which come upon us with some degree of subtlety, involving and moving us off some sort of course we were embarked on without our even noticing until the deed is done. 

Week Three 
June 12 
June 12th is a Sunday. And on this particular June 12th kind of Sunday, Mercury will be entering Gemini -- one of its two signs of rulership -- at 23:24 (or 11:24 p.m.) in the UT/+0 time zone.

Mercury enters Gemini (glyph chart)
June 12, 2016 -- 23:24 (11:24 p.m.) UT/+0 -- Aries Wheel (Location Not Specific)
Mercury enters Gemini (text chart)
June 12, 2016 -- 23:24 (11:24 p.m.) UT/+0 -- Aries Wheel (Location Not Specific)
Now, getting back to that discussion of an evolving grand square during June we were having, Mercury does not enter Gemini and join Club Grand Square right off the mercurial bat. But it does enter Gemini while trining the Moon while the Moon is at 29 Virgo, a combination which is classically ‘negotiable’ and, with the Moon often connected to ‘transactional’ (or) earned money, a moment which favors effort being put forth towards ‘making our way’ in the world.

This effort may be merely mental or conversational – Mercury in Gemini represents the heart and soul of learning and recognizing who we are through what we learn, what we choose to learn, what we learn about our Self through how we deal/don’t deal with information, ideas or our own mentality. The pace of life often feels like it’s picking up under Mercury in Gemini, whether there really is more coming down the pike, or whether we’re just getting so (mentally and Mercurially) absorbed in certain details or the overall business of life that time is seeming to pass more quickly.

Being so mentally-oriented, you will sometimes hear of astrologers speak of Mercury in Gemini (or any of the zodiac’s three air signs) as ‘dry’ – this being a reference to a period when the aura, the atmosphere and our perspective on things is less than usually emotional. This can be a very good thing in that it represents a period when facts and logic tend to take priority over emotional loyalties and native biases, a quality which tends to help when working through complicated discussions, contemplations and decisions. As Mercury enters Gemini, our sense of perspective may well feel like it’s expanding or becoming more clarified, allowing us to make better sense of things and to ‘cool down’ with regards to issues which may have been subject to becoming ‘hot spots’ during Mercury’s transit of Taurus as Mercury in Taurus doesn’t just draw our (mental) attention to weak spots and possible problems, it causes us to fixate (Taurus being a fixed sign) on whatever it is which we think of as providing us with (or as precious to) our ‘security,’ be that emotional, physical, financial, reputational security – or whatever it is which secures us or causes us to feel/not feel secure in any other way.

With Mercury entering Taurus in trine to the Moon in Virgo, the probability that our (Mercury) thinking about something – something we consider (Virgo) practical or pragmatic in our life. Or we’re (Mercury) considering some sort of ongoing (that’s the trine part) feelings (the Moon) about something which is either currently important to us, or which we are thinking about doing.

Or even trying to figure out how to un-do, what with Mars still in retrograde. At least a few among us are likely to stumble across a few regrets about now – with Mars retrograding through the latter part of Scorpio past deeds (ours or those of someone else) are likely to be ‘hanging’ in the background of our mind or memory. And for some (read: those for whom late Scorpio degrees are sensitive), such feelings will form the basis of motivations, choices and conversations.

Whatever is in play now, Mercury in Gemini allows us to deal with it with less emotionally, although during the week beginning with June 19th Mercury will both be moving through Gemini’s second and most ‘fervent’ decanate (during which time it’s likely a few among us will burst forth in rash overstatement) and because June 19th is the date that Mercury becomes part of June’s ongoing and evolving grand square. 

June 13 
So with Mercury having just entered Gemini, Neptune goes retrograde at 12 Pisces on June 13th at 20:44 (or 8:44 p.m.) in the UT/+0 zone. And though normally we would eye Mercury and Neptune events occurring in close time proximity as an indication of something odd, ‘unreal’ or possibly meant to deceive, being that Mercury is not on station and no aspect by orb exists between Neptune and Mercury, Mercury’s having just entered Gemini mostly puts us in a better-than-average position to think about (or think through) whatever happens now.

Neptune by Étienne Jeaurat (18th century, oil on canvas)
As for Neptune going retrograde at 12 Pisces, the effect of this station is likely to center around whether we are living a life which is ‘true’ to our most personal inner nature, or whether we will now realize how little what we are doing with our days really means when compared with who we really know we are (or feel we should be or were ‘born to be’) in the core of our soul. With Neptune going retrograde in conjunction with the South Node (at 16 Pisces), part of this involves seeing how easy it is (or has been) for us (or others) to be overly defensive, and with Jupiter-conjunct-North Node sitting in opposition to this station, the ‘voices’ or instructions of others, whether being heard now or heard long ago, play some part in what we learn … or don’t learn now.

And the question of that learning – the weather we do or don’t learn, that is – that depends on whether we are willing to accept life’s inherent lack of ‘perfection’ and how there are no ‘magic pills’ or cures for our problems.

About the only thing we can ‘swallow’ here is our pride and the dream that there is any ‘perfect fix’ or escape from our own choices in this life – and how the willingness to know our Self and who we are (and aren’t) top that very list.

The challenge, in other words, lies less in understanding where we are or where we have come to, and more in the realm of understanding why the vision, the ideal, the dream or belief which over time has led us to wherever we are – why that was so appealing to us to begin with, and what that appeal said to us about our feelings about our Self.

Neptune Station-Retrograde (glyph chart)
June 13, 2016 -- 20:44 (8:44 p.m.) UT/+0 -- Aries Wheel (Location Not Specific)
Neptune Station-Retrograde (text chart)
June 13, 2016 -- 20:44 (8:44 p.m.) UT/+0 -- Aries Wheel (Location Not Specific)
In other words, if achieving our dreams is like scratching a some personal itch, this station – and all the events, non-events and situational dynamics which accompany it – are likely to lead us to some sort of internal discussion (you know, the kind you have in the shower, while walking down exceptionally long halls, while waiting for someone or while riding in elevators) …some kind of conversation with our Self where we recall and do a little reconsidering as to what caused our itch to begin with.

Apart from that, all the general Neptune precepts certainly apply, which means our ability to idealize, feel rewarded or be inspired is now heightened – as is our ability to be disillusioned or disappointed. These two seemingly incompatible are, at this moment, not only perfectly capable of existing in the same emotional space but more than likely to, particularly points in an individual natal (corporate, national, relationship, etcetera) chart are in aspect to 12 Pisces, the degree of Neptune’s station.

Lore speaks to 12 Pisces as being a degree which asks – even requires -- that we utilize our will (particularly our emotional will, this being Pisces) in determining who we really are, and therefore what our path should (and shouldn’t) be. Given Neptune’s ability to negate, dissolve and veil, this may mean we are now ‘letting go’ of something which was not a good ‘match.’ Or with this station may come something which shows us we are in the wrong place, doing the wrong thing or ‘following a star’ which isn’t ours.

According to the writings of astrologers Marc Edmund Jones and Dane Rudhyar, the Sabian symbol for this degree (‘An Ancient Sword, used in many battles, is displayed in a museum’) even holds the possibility of using this moment and our feelings about this time as motivational strength which will allow us to step forward, showing who we really are in taking some stance or leading some idea or cause.

Does this mean with Neptune going direct on this degree that some chance to lead is lost, or that our ‘cause’ could be revealed as merely an idealistic or other kind of ‘false’ vision? Either could be true, as Neptune events (such as its stations) are famous … even infamous … for timing out moments when our hard-nosed focus softens and gets just ‘fuzzy’ enough to get us to step outside our ‘comfort zone’ – if also famous (even infamous) for showing up where we have been fighting imaginary foes or rejecting the good while treasuring the destructive, often simply because of ego.

Ego is, in the end, something of a Neptune magnet as Neptune negates ego, with Neptune transits (including stations) tending to work best and most effectively when they either promote our working for the greater good (i.e., the good of all) without any thought of ‘what’s in it for me?’, or where we are recognizing (and discarding) how we have been operating solely for our own gain or why (and how) we came to be someone who is egotistical by nature.

Because Neptune is part of June’s evolving Grand Square, things may get off course or get confused (or confusing) during this station. Things which had seemed easy may suddenly appear difficult or ‘out of reach,’ whatever that may mean in the given situation you are confronting. With the Sun and Venus now out of the grand square on the Gemini side and Vesta taking their place (and in conjunction with Aldebaran, royal star of integrity), what it takes to keep our promises, or possibly the wisdom of having made certain commitments may seem troubling, though whether they are truly good or bad may not be apparent in the moment, promoting that confusion spoken of, or even a measure of insecurity. ‘Outpourings’ and  ‘streams’ (or the act of ‘streaming’) may now either get out of sync or reveal something unexpected.

Neptune’s stations can be a time when we are greatly inspired. Then again, they can be a time when we make a mistake because we aren’t clear on things or aren’t in an emotional place where we are likely to act based on logic. The arts as well as all things philosophical and natively ‘enchanting’ are heightened by Neptune transits, which may mean taking in a concern now may be a delight.

Beyond the station as a ‘moment,’ Neptune’s general turn to retrograde points to several months ahead where Neptune is going to be in retrograde – Neptune doesn’t go direct again until mid-November. During that time we will be less likely to ‘see ourselves’ in others and more likely to think of ourselves as we want to, which again makes the question of the status of our ego rather important.

With Neptune in Pisces until the year 2025, we of course still have time to work on our foibles. Then again, if everything happens when it should and for however long is needed, we and our planet may, unbeknownst to us, be in metaphysical in need of every moment of that time being allotted to us!

It’s worth wondering about, that’s for sure. 

June 17 
Venus’ entering Cancer on June 17th (at 19:40 or 7:40 p.m., UT/+0 time) is one of those transitions we are all likely to feel. For one, Venus’ moving into water sign Cancer is the beginning of a trend which by the end of the month will have four of the five personal planets in water signs, as opposed to there just being one (Mars, which is retrograding back through Scorpio) before Venus dips its metaphysical toe into the surf zone.

Venus in Cancer (glyph chart)
June 17, 2016 -- 19 40 (7 40 p.m.) UT +0 -- Aries Wheel (Location Not Specific)
Venus in Cancer (text chart)
June 17, 2016 -- 19 40 (7 40 p.m.) UT +0 -- Aries Wheel (Location Not Specific)
The change we’ll feel as something mild, something we feel in those moments when we stop to take a breath … or open a window. Plus as Venus will be entering Cancer in and out-of-sign conjunction with the Sun (which is still in Gemini) as well as in an out-of-sign trine with Juno and Black Moon Lilith (at 3 Scorpio), we may feel in need of a ‘break’ or at least a short opportunity to step away from things, whether emotionally, mentally or physically. As with all conjunctions with the Sun (particularly those involving personal planets), something of a self-centered perspective or short-sightedness tends to surface when we see this kind of transiting meet-up, and in the case of Venus, the subject is in some way linked to some form of ‘what will I get out of this?’ -- also (and more popularly) known as ‘what’s in it for me?.’

As for the trine to Juno and Black Moon Lilith (also in an out-of-sign conjunction), the combination of Juno’s ‘management’ energies which in Libra are likely to focus on ‘the other’ as the source of pluses or minuses and Black Moon Lilith – a symbol of societal denial whether we’re denying something society believes in or society is denying us some chance, some voice or some choice – is likely to represent either a period of waiting for what we want (or until we can get to what we want to do) or a ‘curbing’ of something, be that something we are, are doing, or something someone else is doing or being, with one of the overhanging questions being about who has the power to insist on, or operate based solely on their own needs or priorities.

One more note here concerns asteroid America – a symbol which yes, can indicate any of the countries in the Americas, the United States specifically as country known as ‘America,’ a citizen of the Americas or in certain cases, activities being done in, or in conjunction with an American firm or person.

All that being true and valid, when we work with proper name asteroids, those values can – but don’t have to hold true, as proper name asteroids all have more ‘generic-sounding’ meanings of their own. In the case of America (which is retrograde and at 28 Libra, conjunct Juno), the known quality is ‘newness,’ though like many fairly recently discovered (or named) asteroids, astrologers doing research and taking notes is still the name of the game. But that aside, the ‘new’ quality of the Americas (which originated, of course, as a matter of history and mankind’s migrations) seems to be operative wherever we see asteroid America, so its conjunction with Juno speaks to something ‘new’ which is (retrograde) working within us as part of (trine) some ongoing process which is probably (retrograde) not yet finished, all of which is being (Juno) managed, whether that term means keeping something under wraps (as in discipline, however applied), something being kept ‘alive’ or in progress despite difficulties or something which is dealt with on a day-by-day basis in a responsible manner.

Venus portee par les amours (1853) by Joseph-Benoît Guichard
Beyond all that, Venus in Cancer often refers to a time when family concerns or things about how or where we live come to be in the forefront. And with Neptune having gone retrograde just a few days ago and Saturn about to perfect a square to Neptune overnight (as June 17th turns into June 18th in the UT/+0 zone), Venus’ shift into Cancer may mark our being presented with a new challenge, one which we either don’t know much about – or which we don’t, for whatever reason, want to feel ‘equal’ (or suited) to.

Could this be an opportunity in spite of any of that? Yes, it could. (It doesn’t have to be, but it could.) Yet transiting Saturn squaring transiting Neptune is not the sort of energetic which often represents opportunities of the obvious kind, as it is a square which asks us to challenge our beliefs, our illusions, our capacities and our willingness to deny (or be in denial) about the weakness of something we are trying like the dickens to say is ‘acceptable’ and just fine, particularly if-or-where there are universal concerns which in not being taken into account represent an ego-driven (“how I want to see it”) position on our part.

During these next three-plus weeks of Venus in Cancer, whatever our rewards and ‘rewarding situations’ are, they will seem (and feel) even better when they touch us or acknowledge who we (and have been working towards) in some basic sense. Our best of times will be those which allow us to ‘feel at home’ with what we’re doing and our surroundings. This may well be in spite of what others don’t like … or in spite of what they (Black Moon Lilith) even reject. And with Juno in the Venus/Cancer ingress image, there are all sorts of chances that these weeks of Venus in Cancer will include some form of having to (Juno) figure out where or how to fit in with others (i.e., joining an already-established group), or figuring out how to fit our needs in, despite a busy schedule, our responsibilities, or the needs of others.

And let’s not forget – Mars is going to be in retrograde during all of this, so there are going to be ‘those moments’ when we get into a bit of a snit with Self, with others … with that stupid piece of paper which just doesn’t seem to want to go into the trash basket in spite of several tries. (You know… those moments!) 

June 18 
Saturn squaring Neptune (at 3:24 a.m. on June 18th, UT/+0 time) does not represent something which in occurring out-of-the blue. Moreover, its effects are going to be with us until Saturn (in direct motion) exists its orb-of-aspect to Neptune (which will be in retrograde) come early November, 2016. With Saturn transiting Sagittarius and Neptune traveling through Pisces, there is a native ‘balance of power’ issue which, given Neptune as co-ruler of Pisces, suggests a tendency to put more ‘weight’ on whatever we want to think (or feel) rather than anything  uncomfortable or which would require us to stop what we’re doing. This can be a difficult square in that it can mark a time of necessary or unnecessary questioning, all of which may undermine momentum, will or personal hopes of success even if nothing has changed.

For some, this transit is going to merely test their determination. For others, it will manifest as a trying time of either physical or psychological exhaustion. Accepting that the future is an unknown and that we can only put our best thought and effort into things is generally the solution here, though with Mars entering 23 Scorpio (the degree Mars at which will go direct come June 29th) some sort of delay or feelings of denial (current or impending) wouldn’t be unusual. Mars is going to be at 23 Scorpio until July 12th, giving us plenty of time to work through the dichotomy of 23 Scorpio, a degree which though imbued with determination and gifted with sparks of insight and intuition is also apt (as are all Scorpio degrees) to have us ‘projecting’ our flaws and weaknesses onto others simply because we are afraid to feel our own vulnerabilities. 

Week Four
June 20 
With Mercury (in Gemini) having just moved into orb of the ongoing Grand Square as of June 19th, from now until June’s end our challenges and efforts are going to be more the mental facts associated with the details, schedules, methods and dates associated with whatever it is we are doing (or planning on doing) rather than how we – or anyone else -- feel about things.

That means just as Mars is beginning its week-plus of camping out in 23 Scorpio, Mercury’s joining of the ongoing grand square signals some thinking, rethinking and facing up to various things -- or at least certain aspects of things.

And that this is happening just as we arrive at the June Full Moon? That suggests the ‘bestirring of deep emotions and emotionalism,’ though obviously the specific reasons for such things happening are individual.

Full Moon at 29 Sagittarius (glyph chart)
June 20, 2016 -- 11:03 a.m. UT/ +0 -- Aries Wheel (Location Not Specific)
 Full Moon at 29 Sagittarius (text chart)
June 20, 2016 -- 11:03 a.m. UT/ +0 -- Aries Wheel (Location Not Specific)
In any case, this month’s Full Moon is at 29 Sagittarius and it occurs at 11:03 a.m. (in the UT/+0 zone) on June 20th. 29 Sagittarius being the final degree of the most ‘global’ of the fire signs, difficulties with grasping, dealing with or accepting realities are to be expected, and if there’s someone in your life who disagrees with you about something, this would be a moments when such disagreements may become focal. Known as a degree which emphasizes the physical and which often triggers particularly immature behavior, 29 Sagittarius theoretically incites such very mortal behavior in part in order to ‘highlight’ the difference between who we are and who we can be or could aspire to become.

As for aspects, this Full Moon comes with an interesting array – all of which will still be in effect when the Sun enters Cancer at 22:35 (10:35 p.m.) UT/+0 time, though the Moon (which at that point will be at 5 Capricorn) is just a hair-of-a-breath away from exiting the t-square we’re about to talk about.

That particular t-square is literally a figure of the Full Moon (Sun opposition Moon) with Chiron (at 25 Pisces) creating the t-square ‘t’ indicating a lack of clarity (or understanding) with regards to what is right or wrong when and where questions which pit the way things ‘should be’ and positions of faith in belief against stark and immutable realities. The ‘object’ of this t-square being represented by the Sun (in Gemini) conjunct Venus (in Cancer) with our motivation being pictured the Moon, which at 29 Sagittarius speaks to questions of conviction or confidence in one’s ability, and particularly the ‘ability to succeed’ as defined in worldly terms. This t-square appears to speak to a particular stew of awkwardness, in fact, with all those questions of ability or methodology being compounded by a ‘not knowing how’ which is not just ours. In other words, we may not know the answer, but others may not know it either – and no amount of pushing, pressuring or shoving is going to change any of that. The ‘object’ seems to involve coming to grips with this, even while (given Chiron at the ‘t’) part of the challenge is that the problem itself may not be well understood.

So is the solution to re-examine or learn more about the problem? Maybe. Then again, With the Sun at 29 Gemini (a degree which has a hard time getting ‘past’ things) and Venus at 3 Cancer, what is also being expressed is a genuine lack of comprehension, not some sort of fakery or cop-out – and getting to where that much is understood may also be contributing to local headaches.

Whatever it means in your own life, having such a Sun/Venus conjunction as part of a Full Moon raises the specter of ‘emotional uprisings’ which, with Sun-Venus in trine to Black Moon Lilith (at 3 Scorpio) and Juno at 29 Libra refers to some form of (trine) ongoing (Black Moon) denial which we are trying to (Juno) manage or deal with. We may be on the receiving end of this. Then again, we may be on the ‘dishing it out’ side of the equation.

We may even be in position to – given Juno’s sextile of opportunity to the Moon – see how we are creating our own challenges and problems by going ‘overboard’ through insisting we know all and are always and completely right. (Or at least entitled to have our way and ACT like we’re right in spite of how miserable that ends up making us - and others.)

Sun in Cancer (glyph chart)
June 20, 2016 -- 22 35 (10 35 p.m.) UT +0 -- Aries Wheel (Location Not Specific)
 Sun in Cancer (text chart)
June 20, 2016 -- 22 35 (10 35 p.m.) UT +0 -- Aries Wheel (Location Not Specific)
Once the Sun passes through its Solstice in entering Cancer, things will certainly change. Not only will ‘mental meetings’ of all forms become more feeling and about subjects which move us in whatever emotional direction, but a life which over the past few weeks has become greatly a matter of discussion will regain a more dynamic ‘doing’ mode.

Of course, with Mars still in retrograde, we may not yet feel entirely free to act for some reason. With asteroid America going direct at 28 Libra just as the Sun is entering Cancer, something new and possibly useful to communication, hospitality or basic human values arises or puts in an appearance -- and with Vesta (at 15 Gemini) now squaring the lunar nodes to the degree (as part of the ongoing grand square), questions of how everyone has been looking at ‘things’ begins being honed, revised, tweaked and otherwise thought through (like as not, again).

Then there’s the fact that Mercury is opposing Saturn just at this, the Sun’s solstice. Mercury being at 11 Gemini puts it very much in conjunction royal star Aldebaran (at 10 Gemini), and that either speaks to our holding to standards of integrity or needing to. And with Saturn (retrograde at 11 Sagittarius) in opposition and conjunct royal star Antares (the star which warns us not to obsess or be too obsessive about things) there is every chance that what we do now – and the success of it – depends on level-headed choices and actions which adhere to standards of integrity and which either avoid or put a stop to some ‘over use’ or ‘obsessive use’ of something. Known as an assistance in business, schooling or any other kind of effort which requires ‘level-headed’ thinking and a willingness to consider and work with details, this particular Saturn-Mercury opposition, because it is so closely aligned with Aldebaran-Antares in an indicator of much which can be achieved and much which will be found to be ‘faulty,’ ‘unworkable’ or ‘unacceptable’ over the next zodiacal quarter (the months of Sun in Cancer, Leo and Virgo) being initiated by the Sun now entering Cancer.

As for Cancer itself, Sun in Cancer is typically a time which has us focusing on our home, hearth, homeland, family, traditions and childhood in the sense of what we know (memories), what we do now (making memories), and all which we have experienced or which we have been ‘brought up to know’ or think of as ‘everyday life.’ And for the next solar month, that is where life will focus, whether we see that life as what we are learning about or what we are building up or building on. Known as the sign of native lands and culture, by mode Cancer is a cardinal sign, meaning its energetics tend to have us ‘taking a shot’ at things and learning from the ensuing results.

Ruled by the Moon, as the first of the zodiac’s water signs Cancer energies are said to resemble the Moon’s many phases and the variable, shifting ‘highs and lows’ of those ocean’s tides so affected by the pull of earth’s Moon, producing every mood in the emotional spectrum along the way. Associated within the family with the father (or father-figure, whether present or absent) the Sun’s passage through Cancer often brings about situations and experiences which point out (at least to us) what our strengths and weaknesses really are not so we feel defeated, but so that we will take stock of what we can do to better ourselves and get on with it.

That said, with Pluto in opposing Capricorn (and still conjunct Vega) and Uranus in Aries, there is a great deal of pressure being applied in – and through various life forces aiming at getting us to let go of old standards of what we ‘should’ be as people. We live in an era where what we can have or can achieve often becomes the thing which defeats us as the very trappings of wealth and success so treasured in this life are also the life-blood of power.

Those with wealth and success have power … and power corrupts. Those with the greater power bear the greater responsibility … and yet the greater the power in this world, the more people tend to use that power to wall remove themselves from real responsibilities on a worldly basis, preferring the privilege of self-indulgence. That’s absolutely natural … and yet, it may also be the worst of traps, as that very self-indulgence is the manifestation of a famous saying: “absolute power corrupts absolutely.” And ever since Pluto started squaring Uranus back in 2010, these symptoms – and the cost of same to many, by a few (a Uranus-in-Aries sub-specialty) have been coming upon us and in some senses, accumulating. But that would be all about Uranus in Aries, as these years of Uranus in Aries are all about ‘breaking things down’ to the point where that which ‘was’ or has been is so hard to recognize that almost in spite of our Self we let go of preconceptions and metaphysically ‘reassemble.’

And if you look at the process which ends up with the ‘advance of consciousness’ Uranus is always about and never more so than now, when our world, our planet, our society and concept of individuality is shaking off the remnants of Age of Pisces conditioning in adopting the more universal-and-universalist consciousness of the Aquarian Age, that which we are now entering.

So…! Given all that, Uranus squaring Pluto is part of the ‘breaking things down’ process – which is entirely and generically very Pluto.

No, that doesn’t make things more comfortable, but it does mean we’re still on course with that great and everlasting metaphysical maxim: everything happens when it should. 

Plus there’s one more item to consider here – namely how the Full Moon and Cancer Solstice, with all their implications are also, in occurring just a day prior to Pallas going retrograde and two days prior to Juno going direct, making all of what we have been talking about subject to loss and the controlling of effects which may well come about where we fail to adopt or try to ignore (or bypass) facts, whatever they may be. 

June 21 
One of the better-studied asteroids, Pallas (short for Pallas Athena) goes retrograde at 7 Pisces on June 21st at 13:23 (or 1:23) in the afternoon, UT/+0 time. Associated with clarity of observation and dispassionate information, Pallas going retrograde speaks to ‘taking a step back’ (or away) from worldly and external concerns. Why this happens can certainly vary – for some of us, our stepping away has to do with something we need to attend to at a personal level, while for others, the idea of ‘taking a step back’ is more about gaining some distance (physical, mental or otherwise) on something or someone, and coming to realize or recognize more about the person or situation once you’re far enough away to take a breath.

However, in going retrograde at 7 Pisces, Pallas is doing so in conjunction with Neptune. And that throws a bit of a wrench into the works. While a combination of Neptune-Pallas may point to ‘the lifting of a veil’ allowing us to see something we haven’t wanted to see or understand, Neptune-Pallas can also represent a perspective or position being adopted which is based on ideals rather than facts. With Juno going direct the day after Pallas goes retrograde (and Sisyphus going direct the day after that), the importance of working through whatever is at hand (or) which is likely to be needed in short order may be hard to assess or gauge properly, particularly where things are being taken for granted. With Neptune in this mix, things seem confusing or possibly not in our favor we may also tend to try to control it, stop it, or steer it – which may or may not help … or even be well intended. 

June 22 
As Juno goes direct at 29 Libra, external matters will take more of a center-stage position, whether because we’re moving ahead with a giant cry of ‘MUSH!!’ or because we’re looking to do something which feels productive or just different as a way of owning our own life and thus ‘managing’ our days, our time, and our various choices. This may turn out well, or may reveal where or how we have put too much emphasis on others, their abilities, or how they feel about things (including us).

It may even mark the end of an outbreak or ‘outburst’ which clarifies someone’s position on something.

In all of this, with Juno’s station surrounded on one side by logical Pallas and on the other by the selfish brilliance of Sisyphus, questions are likely to arise, and many will linger – at least for a couple of days. Emotionality is a consideration, as is capacity and possibly the sanity of motivations. Much depends here – and during these few days – on what we are choosing to be involved in or exposed to, with effects running the gamut from mild and mundane to wild, woolly and quite possibly hostile, whether for reasons sensible or otherwise. 

June 23 
With Sisyphus is going direct at 17 Libra, this is a station which literally ‘speaks’ to who we are and our capacities and willingness to give two figs about others. The degree is a verbal one, and with Libra being the zodiac’s “I/thou” sign which functions through words, thoughts and ideas, it’s likely we will be hearing a deal of something from someone, whether it affects is directly or not.

That aside, Sisyphus is not the kindest crayon in the asteroid belt box. In being member of the Apollo asteroid group, the astrology of Sisyphus is going to be about ‘enlightenment’ or some ‘enlightening process,’ whatever shape that enlightening may take.

But with that said, the story is that of Sisyphus, and the Sisyphus of myth wasn’t ever likely to be anyone’s favorite person. A spoiled young man born into the wealthy and powerful ruling family in control of a town controlling a major trade route, Sisyphus had a habit of befriending travelers and hospitably offering them a place to stay while in town (part of common manners in that day). Yet once such visitors were in his home, Sisyphus became a jailor, tormenting and killing his guests for his own amusement – and simply because he could.

Moreover, when the Olympians on high heard of this mortal trespass and tried to take Sisyphus in hand, Sisyphus set about defying them, too. And he might have succeeded, had not the Olympians been gods – which in parallel is rather like how humans, priding ourselves on our smarts, try to avoid the inevitable, and how we so often lose out because the inevitable is … well, inevitable.

So Sisyphus ends up incarcerated (permanently) just outside the doorway of Tartarus, the Greek underworld, where he remains an immortal warning to all who would ignore the basics of what it takes to be a human living among other human beings. And that idea is reflected at astrological Sisyphus moments – at stations or when this asteroid aspects or is aspected in our chart by choices which basically say ‘I can, but should I?’

In going direct at 17 Libra, Sisyphus will have us focused on others and what they have done, are doing, or are going to do (or at what they’re least expected to do) with 17 Libra’s highly mental and verbal quality fitting right in with the Sisyphus quotient, underscoring mental potential which the Sun in Cancer is likely to steer in emotional directions – or towards some emotionally desired (or satisfying) end. The Sabian symbol here – “Two men placed under arrest” pictures the dualistic nature of Libra as two men, but that may just be two sides of some question (indicating internal conflict of the mental type) with the term ‘arrest’ pointing to a ‘stopping’ or stoppage – or to the idea of ‘arrest’ as ‘arrested’ or under-developed. With 17 Libra being an emotional degree of an airy sign, conviction and fervency are likely, and with Sisyphus being the object attitudes may range from the disarmingly persuasive to the crass, sarcastic and daunting. But according to various writings on this degree, there is something about ‘finality’ or ‘conclusions’ which go with 17 Libra, whether that refers to (given Sisyphus) our looking to end something bad, looking to end something by being bad or something which is ending or being ended because of its ‘failure to develop’ properly – or possibly at all.

Adding to the equation here is the fact that Mercury, ruler of Gemini, is conjuncting Vesta at 16 Gemini on the last day of Mercury being (by orb) in opposition to Saturn and thus part of June’s transiting grand square.

Can you say ‘good riddance’? For some of us, that’s just what this entire Sisyphus issue is going to be – an experience of emotional rejection of someone or by something where someone says ‘I’m done with them’ (or that), all of which actually fits nicely with Rigel at 17 Gemini representing not just our need to learn, but our ability to teach our Self and others as we go along. 

June 27 
With Mars about to go direct on June 29th, Chiron turns to retrograde motion on June 27th, tying these two stations together in the sense. After all, Chiron going retrograde as Mars comes to station is a commentary on things which one doesn’t know ‘how’ to (Mars) ’do’ but which need to be done, while Mars going direct but a couple of days after Chiron goes retrograde is either a ‘highlighting’ of need or the finding of a ‘door’ or ‘path’ forward, considering something has to be done.

Either way, Chiron is going retrograde on June 27th at 1:12 in the morning, UT/+0 time – and the degree Chiron is going retrograde at is 25 Pisces. Twenty-five degrees of any sign being the ‘third third’ (third decanate) of the sign, 25 Pisces is defined as a degree which pertains to things which are not under our control, but which exist for us to react to, respond to, learn from, adapt to or perhaps merely witness.

That said, lore speaks of 25 Pisces as a fairly assertive degree and one which in true Piscean fashion is particularly responsive when issues pertaining to morality or clarity where our personal perspective are in play. With asteroids Euphrosyne (the grace of merriment) and Charybdis involved, there is a dash of something monstrous and a dash of having to keep dealing with ‘the beast,’ all of which here is either ‘graced’ with our emotional (Piscean) strength or dealt with in spite of the strength of emotionality, be that a reference to our own feelings or those we are surrounded by. That asteroid Hel is also going retrograde on this date (at 6 Pisces) indicates a challenge to us involving some sort of ‘gamble’ being taken, though whether that is with our own needs or resources or those of others will vary from life to life.

Chiron is a symbol of that we don’t know about, or how to do (or be) which we are faced with having to learn about and take on (or master) anyway. In a lifelong sense, Chiron will always manifest through the house it is placed in at birth. So for instance, if your natal Chiron is in houses one through four, you will always meet up with Chiron in a very personal way and as a very personal challenge (no matter what house it is transiting) where someone with Chiron in houses five through eight will experience Chiron through interactions and those with Chiron natally in houses nine through twelve will always face dealing with Chiron in, or in conjunction with some public, societal or worldly effort.

As Chiron is now in Pisces, all the things about the ‘area of life’ through which Chiron operates in our individual world are now perplexing and daunting us in ways which feel very emotional and which arouse strong reactions in us on the emotional level. So there’s a reason for any strong feelings which come to the fore about now. Those feelings – whether we like them or not – are being metaphysically prompted, promoted or otherwise elicited so that we will learn what we are (and aren’t ) able to do and be … teaching us our limits, our strengths, and the need to consider others not as we might want them to be, but for who they are. 

June 28 
As Germania is retrograding back into Scorpio with Chiron barely having gone retrograde, it’s likely the 28th will be a day of strong internal feelings about what we are supposed to do (or be) at the moment. Connections with others being always emphasized by Scorpio, Germania retrograding back into Scorpio on its own raises questions of emphasis and how much emphasis (or emotional strength) to put into any given situation. And with all of that applying to Germania no matter where it is in Scorpio, the specific here is that in backing into 29 Scorpio, Germania also conjuncts fixed star Toliman (also known as Bungula) as it does so, either introducing factors which may not be suitable for airing out in public (at least at this time) or by simply reminding us of ‘that which is no more’ which we remember as sweet and easy (or at least sweeter and easier than things are in the moment), whether they were at the time or not.

Vis-à-vis Chiron’s having just gone retrograde on the 27th and Mars going station on the 29th, there is a strength or strength of purpose likely to be encountered here, all of which feeds into, leads, or is associated with Mars poised to go direct. For some this will manifest as ‘a gathering’ (whether of energy, thoughts or something else) while for some this will mark a triggering of either disputes or discoveries, all of which are will like as not evolve over the next few days, setting a trend or inspiring further choice and actions. 

Week Five
June 29 
Mars going direct at 23 Scorpio at 23:39 (or 11:39 in the evening) of June 29th, UT/+0 time is one of those moments many will cheer at. In going direct at 23 Scorpio, Mars is again telling us that whatever is ‘on the table’ (or in our head) at the moment pertains not merely to us as individuals – whatever we are attending to, some part of it is just ‘part of life’ (at least at the moment) and as a participant in life, we need to deal with it. Known for a strong sense of confidence which is rooted in some very internal, soulful and personal sense of Self (the Taurus marker), 23 Scorpio is itself known for ‘lending sufficient support’ (or strength of some kind) to get us past sticking points, or even our own reluctance and fears.

Then again, 23 Scorpio is also known as headstrong in that particular way which causes us to proceed on faith and then fall prey to our most mortal vulnerabilities, be they physical or from any other source.

Mars Station-Direct (+ Mercury Direct) (glyph chart)
June 29, 2016 -- 23:39 (11:39 p.m.) UT/+0 -- Aires Wheel (Location Not Specific)
Mars Station-Direct (+ Mercury Direct) (text chart)
June 29, 2016 -- 23:39 (11:39 p.m.) UT/+0 -- Aires Wheel (Location Not Specific)
In going direct in trine to Chiron - which itself has just gone retrograde at 25 Pisces – this Mars station is likely to carry with it some exploring of, exposing of or resolving of some source (or sources) of ‘bad aim’ or vulnerability, the existence and functionality (or non-functionality) of which has come to be misunderstood along the way.

By inconjuncting a lineup of Eris, Uranus and Ceres at 23, 24 and 25 Aries respectfully (or not so respectfully, considering Eris and Uranus here) this station also stands to reveal something about us to us, prompting some sort of ‘adjustment’ to our position or attitude about something – which in some cases is going to be quite a lesson involving self-chiding of the ‘why didn’t I see that?’ or ‘why did/didn’t I do that?’ type.

With all this taken into account however, it’s Sedna which represents what may well be the crux of Mars’ station. Positioned at 25 Taurus and thus in opposition to Mars, Sedna’s influence in this moment of stationing speaks to a chance of shocks, surprises or pressures which arise either from needs (our own or those of others) or the lack of having things seen from enough of a  mature(d) perspective to make sense, ‘win the day’ or prove effective.

Plus Sedna isn’t alone. By appearing in opposition to Mars as part of a little nodule of energy composed of Sedna, Capulus, Circe and Amor, there is some quality of a (Capulus) ‘cut off’ which is problematic to face in the mix, along with some sort of strong influence or ‘spell’ (Circe) which either requires being dealt with, or which in arising at this time allows some ‘oppositional’ sticking point to be gotten past.

The Witch Circe Poisons Odysseus' Friends by Alessandro Allori (1580, mural)
The combination of Circe and Capulus is probably particularly influential here. After all, both speak to the workings of our mind. Asteroid Circe speaks to the ability to be ‘transformed into animals’ or reduced to functioning on a level of animal instinct and whatever it is which does that to us – or which we do to others. On the other hand, fixed star Capulus, is a reference to the head of Medusa (a scary thing indeed) and all it takes to conquer our ‘fear of fear’ so that we are then able to get on with our life in a more productive manner.

With Typhon going direct (at 23 Libra) and Mercury entering Cancer on the same day as Mars going direct also suggests activity, movement, conversation, information and feelings of a very basic – even primary or primal nature – as being active during this station. This is not to say Mercury’s entering Cancer on the 29th will directly time or direct Mars doings or any ‘turn of affairs’ or ‘turnabout’ of situations, desires or aims.

But it does say that there is a shift in the tone of what will occur during this Mars station, and that shift is more than likely to be timed out by Mercury’s entering Cancer at 23:35 (or 11:25 p.m., UT/+0). Prior to that, Mercury will have been in airy, thought-oriented sign of Gemini – and that may work for whatever you are doing or involved in. Once Mercury enters Cancer, edges will soften, feelings about all sorts of things will deepen or become more apparent, and where under Mercury in Gemini the ‘idea of the thing’ may have been all, under Cancer ideas should mean something to us if they’re going to be taken seriously or invested in through effort.

Once Mars goes direct, things will begin to ‘loosen up’ and become more manageable, though this isn’t any instantaneous thing. In fact, as in looking at an ephemeris I can tell you how Mars won’t even have gotten out of 23 Taurus until just after noon on July 11th (give or take the time zone you’re in) feeling like you’re inching along, somehow stuck in celestial traffic is more than just a little bit likely.

As with all retrograde cycles, after going direct Mars will also be working back through (now again in direct motion) all the degrees of its retrograde. This working back through the retrograde ‘shadow’ generally indicates a period during which we straighten out, finish up things which were held up or being thought through under retrograde – or when alternately, we put into motion (or practice) that which we have been working on during the period of retrograde.

And that means we will all be dealing with various facets and aspects of things which arose under Mars retrograde (or which we began trying to get done since this past April when Mars went into retrograde) through August 22nd, the date when Mars exits its shadow, freeing us from thoughts of Mars retrograde until June 2018.

One more note just to tie this month’s tale of evolving grand squares to its end. That note concerns Vesta, which as of July 1st will have moved out of orb of the lunar nodes, ending June’s Grand Square tale. Saturn (still in retrograde) will remain in square to the nodes, which means we will still be dealing with a t-square, but that’s another thing – and something to talk about next month.

In the meantime, try to have patience – especially with those inner and personal issues which tend to gnaw a bit at all of us under Mars retrograde. As with Venus retrograde, theoretically one of the purposes of Mars retrograde is to get us to focus on certain aspects of how we relate to and treat our Self, which in the case of Mars may speak to our motivations, our fears, our physicality, our choices – or any combination thereof. Those of us who actively take on or work through at least some part of our Mars issues (whatever form they take) are, unbeknownst to us, metaphysically preparing ourselves for things yet to be.

So whether we like what goes on now or not, the time is not wasted. Annoying, exhilarating or otherwise, June events and June feelings are far less about other people or alternate perspectives than they are about our Self: who we are, who we could be, and why we have chosen one path over another. Wherever we have chosen that which we want the problem to be as opposed to what the problem is, responses and solutions will prove iffy, lukewarm or merely temporary.

Ultimately, Mars is not only about who we are and what we do, but why we choose to be and become as we do. Where that choice ends up not supporting or serving our purpose because it gets rejected on the basis of not fitting in with or functioning with the needs or perspectives of others, Mars retrograding through Scorpio (as it will be during June) tends to leave us feeling tired and dispirited.

Question: Why didn’t they ‘hear’ us? Why don’t they understand?

Answer: Because we’re actually talking to, or about our Self – and other people know it.

So what does that say?
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