Crab Nebula photo from the Hubble site.

On July 9, Mercury turns direct and begins the end of this heavy retrograde period, and Venus forms a trine to Pluto which enables a deepening of our love for each other and for ourselves. When the Goddess of Love takes a trip to the underworld, fear takes a back seat and we find ourselves with a new sense of courage as we face one another unadorned by the artifice with which we sometimes hide from ourselves. The conjunction of Venus to Saturn is still very close, with Saturn beginning to move into a trine alignment with Pluto.

The Saturn/Pluto trine cycle began December of 2006 and will reach the apex of the second phase of the cycle in early August, but its effects are beginning to make themselves known. Saturn motivates hard work and responsibility, and Pluto induces regeneration and transformation which makes this a powerful cycle of change. Trines generally inspire change rather than force it, although the concurrent conjunction of Pluto to the Galactic Center which is also in the second phase of its cycle seems to be intensifying the need for change and change NOW.

Aspects between Pluto and the Galactic Center appear to correlate with periods of intense shifts in cultural awareness. This conjunction appears to have generated a flood of concern for the future of the human species and the planet itself, and on a more personal level many of us are experiencing a need for a more truly real and honest experience of our lives. We see this not only among “seekers,” but even in the halls of government and the entertainment industry. The conjunction from Pluto to the Galactic Center will conclude in December of 2007, just as Pluto transitions out of Sagittarius into Capricorn.

Mars conjuncts Ceres on July 10. With Ceres now reclassified as a dwarf planet along with Pluto, she has gained new life on the astrological stage. Ceres rules over the nurturing of ourselves and others at a life or death level; she shows how we take care of not only our own physical and emotional needs but also those of others, and how we provide and experience sustenance and nourishment. Ceres appears to operate as a “higher octave” to the Moon; where the Moon deals with emotional safety and security, Ceres deals with issues of basic survival and how we approach life in an incarnated physical form. As the god of war, Mars seeks to better our situation but because of its often ruthless demeanor it can create its own problems. With Mars conjunct Ceres our drives (Mars) can interfere with our ability to take care of our basic needs. This combination can either put us at risk because of the needs of others, or it can drive us to feel we must take care of ourselves at all costs. Attention to the balance of give and take will be very useful during the few days before and after the 10th.

reprinted from July’s Skywatch.

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