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All information contained herein is written by and the property of Lynn Hayes. You may include a portion of this information on your website without permission, but please do not post the entire article and be sure to include a link back to the original and clearly credit the author.

Lynn's Skywatch:
Planetary Illuminations for July 2011

7/1 New Moon at 9 Cancer (partial
   solar eclipse) 4:54 am EDT
7/2 Mercury enters Leo
   Jupiter sextile Chiron
   Sun square Saturn
7/4 Venus enters Cancer
   Venus trine Neptune
   Mercury trine Uranus
7/5 Mercury square Jupiter
7/6 Mars trine Saturn
7/7 Jupiter trine Pluto
   Venus square Uranus
7/8 Venus trine Chiron
   Venus sextile Pluto
7/9 Venus sextile Jupiter
   Mercury sextile Saturn
   Uranus turns retrograde
7/11 Mercury sextile Mars
7/13 Venus square Saturn
7/15 Full Moon at 22 Capricorn,
   2:40 am EDT
7/23 Sun enters Leo
7/27 Sun trine Uranus
7/28 Venus enters Leo
   Mercury enters Virgo
7/29 Mercury opposite Neptune
7/31 Venus trine Uranus

All dates and times are for the Eastern time zone; please adjust for your own locality.  For daily planetary news, visit my Facebook and Twitter pages.

July begins with the Cancer New Moon and a partial Solar Eclipse.  This is the third of an eclipse series that began on June 1st and you can read more about this eclipse here.  Although this is a partial eclipse and therefore weak astronomically, it packs a more powerful punch than it normally would because the conjunction of the Sun and Moon that forms the New Moon alignment engaged Saturn, Uranus and Pluto in a Grand Cross formation.  The Grand Cross locks the three planets and the luminaries (Sun and Moon) in battle that will result in a climax of some kind in order to release the energy buildup that occurs through the square.  The presence of Saturn in the Grand Cross in a nearly exact square to the New Moon ensures that there will be a lesson of some kind to learn; Uranus will inspire that a change be made.  The presence of Pluto empowers us to leave behind anything that no longer serves us.  Resistance to these transformative forces will not only slow down the process of change, but also create unnecessary bumps in the road.

The Cancer New Moon offers us an opportunity to begin anew from a place of deep feeling and emotional sensitivity.  This is easier for some of us than others, but the Cancerian influence provides us with a nurturing well of emotional resources from which to drink. Fortunately there are a number of harmonious aspects that will help us to integrate these energies more easily.  A nice trine from Pluto to Jupiter encourages success and facilitate the larger actions that can help us to make real change.  A trine from Saturn to Mars helps to provide us with the discipline we need to inspire and energize ourselves and others. 

Eclipses often serve to unmask behavior patterns that need alteration, and that will be especially true here especially where emotional patterns are concerned.  There is also likely to be an escalation of intense energy due to the challenging alignments that include the electrical Uranus.

Where a few months ago we were in an overabundance of fire energy, we now have a lack of fire represented in the sky.  Fire provides us with the inspiration to act, and without it we may find ourselves left without direction with Mars, the fire planet, still in Gemini where it generates lots of enthusiasm but with no real focus.  This lack of fire will be resolved on July 2nd when Mercury enters the fire sign of Leo and our thoughts and mental processes (Mercury) take on a more energetic means of expression for a few weeks.

Jupiter (confidence and expansion) has been moving into position to form a sextile to Chiron (wounding and healing) which culminates on July 2nd, providing psychic surgery to assist in the revelation and unwinding of emotional distress and old wounds that may still be sensitive.

On July 4th Venus (relating to others) enters Cancer, the sign of emotional sensitivity, forming a harmonious trine to Neptune which enhances our ability to connect deeply with others and to find that connection to our inner Spirit as well.  Venus and Neptune work together to expand the creative force, making this a wonderful time for any projects that require imagination and inspiration.  This inspiration is further enhanced by a trine of Mercury to innovative Uranus, providing us with "Eureka" moments and a vision for change. But try to pay attention, because a challenging square from Mercury to Jupiter on the 5th can make us so optimistic and comfortable that we become sloppy with the details causing needless human errors.

Mars trines Saturn on July 6th, integrating the principle of action (Mars) with the discipline and structure of Saturn.  From the 4th or so through the 7th this influence will help us to find stability and assist us in making solid plans for the future.  This is a good time to schedule any ventures that require focus and preparation.

Throughout this period Jupiter is aligning in a trine to Pluto, an extremely beneficial planetary cycle which helps to facilitate expansive (Jupiter) transformation (Pluto).  This phase will last until July 10th or so, during which you may find more abundant opportunities than are typical.  Jupiter opens the doors, but it's up to us to walk through them!

Venus is very active between July 7th and the 9th, interacting in a stressful square to Uranus (potentially causing interpersonal conflicts),  but harmonizing with Chiron, Jupiter and Pluto which helps us to find healing (Chiron), greater joy and connection (Jupiter) in our relationships, and to deepen their meaning (Pluto) as well. A harmonious sextile from Mercury to Saturn aids in our understanding and enhances our mental balance.

Meanwhile, Uranus has been at a virtual standstill in preparation for its retrograde turn on July 9th,  When a planet appears to stall in the sky before changing direction its influence is more intensely focused, so the Uranian pressure to make changes where required to preserve an authentic experience in our life is highlighted now.  That has been a theme in the eclipse series, and it will continue over the next year as Uranus begins to move into place to square Pluto.  Uranus and Pluto are closer to an exact square right now than they will be until that square culminates next year, so the force for revolution (Uranus) and destruction and regeneration (Pluto) are at a peak right now.

A harmonious sextile from Mercury to Mars on July 11th could make this a very busy day, and it may be difficult to focus on any one thing although we will likely be successful at accomplishing a multitude of projects that day. 

On July 13th a challenging square from Venus to Saturn could make interpersonal communication difficult.  Wherever Saturn appears it enforces a reality check, and this could cause us to re-evaluate our relationships in a different light.  This aspect lasts only a day or perhaps two but its influence extends into the Full Moon on July 15th.

The Capricorn Full Moon the 15th occurs with the Moon in Capricorn opposite the Cancerian Sun.  Signs in opposition are like the Yin/Yang symbol - each sign contains what the other lacks, and the Full Moon requires that we integrate those opposing forces.  The Cancerian Sun is concerned with family and feeling - a connection to our tribe and our ancestors.  There is an emotional focus that personalizes everything we see.  The Capricorn Moon is all about business and prefers to put emotions aside until our responsibilities and tasks are behind us. 

The Venus/Saturn square will still be in effect at the time of the Full Moon which suggests that this focus on Capricornian accomplishment could stand in the way of harmony in our relationships (since Saturn rules Capricorn it provides support in this case for the need to build structure and put aside our personal feelings for the tasks at hand.  Capricorn's purpose is to master the material world. and personal feelings (both our own and those of our loved ones) are not always considered as part of the master plan.

The Sun enters its own sign of Leo on July 23rd, and for the next month will shine its brilliant light on us, helping us to develop a healthy ego and sense of Self.  This will be made easier on the 27th when the Sun forms a harmonious trine to Uranus which creates excitement and opportunities for new adventures and new avenues for self-expression.  On the 28th Venus enters Leo for a few weeks of fun and expressing joy through our relationships, and with Mercury entering the relationship sign of Libra that same day we will be more sensitive to imbalances in our interactions with others.  Mercury in Libra seeks harmony, and for the next few weeks it will be more important to resolve disputes in a balanced way that is fair to all. 

You will be relieved to hear that after the Full Moon on the 15th, the planetary energy will subside somewhat and we will have a nice breather with no stressful aspects for quite a while.  So nurse your wounds, bandage your bruises, and use this time of positive energy to prepare for next year's fiesta of planetary power!