This week is so full of planetary action I hardly know where to begin! If you missed my post on the Full Moon of June 17th you can catch it here. The amplification of the Full Moon intensifies some of the other drama going on right now with Mars and Mercury so let’s talk about that a bit here.
Mars and Mercury
Last week I wrote: “Mars is quite active between the 13th and the 23th, which will help us to shake off some of the inertia of Jupiter/Neptune but could also create some problems. Mars is the action planet, and it is currently opposing Saturn (limitations and restriction) and will soon also oppose Pluto (destruction, new beginnings). The combination of Mars attempting to push its way through blockages, sometimes in a reckless manner, with the confusion of Jupiter/Neptune could create some chaos. All of these planets are between 16 and 22 degrees, so if you have planets in your chart at those degrees you will be particularly affected.” All of this is still true, and Mercury is involved now as well.
Mercury represents the mind and the way we think, communicate, and process information. Mercury is in Cancer now where it encourages emotional thinking – this can be helpful when dealing with emotional issues, but less helpful when a more rational mind is required. Mercury aligns with aggressive Mars on the 18th, stirring up arguments and creating a generally disagreeable environment. It’s tempting to want to avoid the emotionality of what may arise, but there are clues to healing and progress in those emotions. Ideally we want to pay attention to the reactions that bleed through our normal interactions without getting swept away by them, but this may not be possible ESPECIALLY between the 17th and the 21st when both planets face off against the intensity of Pluto. Fortunately both Mercury and Mars are fast moving planets and once we get through this short period things ought to become easier and more fluid.
Planets don’t actually move backwards, of course, but from our perspective on Earth they sometimes appear to do so and we call this “retrograde.” The outer planets, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto, are each retrograde for about half the year so this is not so uncommon. However, as a planet is preparing to turn retrograde, its motion slows to a standstill and its influence is more powerful. We are seeing this now with Neptune, the planet that inspires us to transcend material reality and merge with a more divine and creative reality. This can be magical, but also confusing as the boundaries that define our usual reality are more blurry. Neptune asks that we seek divinity, and if we follow that path instead of the one that leads to self-delusion we will have a more effective Neptunian experience.
Summer Solstice (northern hemisphere)
The Solstice occurs on June 21st when the Sun enters the sign of Cancer. Cancer is one of the four cardinal signs that signify a shift from one Earth cycle to the next, so there is a real sense of change at the time of the Solstice. Under the influence of the cardinal signs it becomes easier to initiate a new action. At the New Moon we are typically dealing with lunar energies that are internal to ourselves – the new beginnings are far more personal. At the Solstices and Equinoxes, marked by the entry of the Sun into the four cardinal signs, we can initiate larger and more universal experiences.
Solstices and Equinoxes have been honored by cultures around the world for thousands of years for their power to evoke change and transformation. We can honor them in our own lives as well, in today’s times which are fraught with environmental change, by doing some kind of action to help preserve the Earth on which we live.