The New Moon, the Tide, and the Issue
Dates and times are given for U.S. Pacific Time zone.
Forcing the Issue
When you’re faced with an obstacle, it’s sometimes more effective to use gentle tactics such as persuasion or diplomacy to overcome it. Well, this is not one of those times. This week, Mars in Aries sextile Saturn (June 27, 2022, 3:29 pm PDT) suggests we’ll have to force the issue a bit in order to move past what’s been blocking us. If we’ve not been successful up to now in moving forward on our Jupiter in Aries dreams, it could that we haven’t really been doing everything that it takes to succeed.
Mars in Aries can get a little carried away, and you want to be careful not to veer into hurting others to get what you want. But to the extent you can give every bit of energy and determination that you have, this is a week when Sisyphus can move the rock a little bit.
Walking Along the Waterline
Navigating Neptune’s retrograde periods (beginning June 28, 2022, 00:55 am PDT) is like walking along the beach when the tide is out. The landscape looks a little stark, littered with ropes of kelp, chunks of driftwood, and birds scavenging for something to eat.
It’s a lot easier to walk on the compacted sand at the waterline, though. And at Neptune’s retrograde times, we seem to walk on more solid ground, with a clearer view of the inner and outer landscapes – whether we like that view or not. And then, when Neptune turns direct again (on Dec. 3), the tide will come in and we’ll be pushed back to the shifting sands of the shore – to sit, spellbound, lulled by the sounds of the waves.
For this week’s Cancer New Moon (June 28, 2022, 7:52 pm PDT), I’ve brushed off an essay from my archives, written soon after the death of a dear aunt in 2000: Cancer New Moon: True North. Here’s an excerpt. You can read the full essay here.
The formidable matriarchs in all our lives—symbolized astrologically by Cancer, the Moon, and the fourth house—orient us in the world by insisting on the importance of things essential and irreplaceable: history, family, lineage. For years I had no place in my life for these things. I had watched my mother and aunt give endlessly to others on the basis of their blood connection to us, and as I watched them both grow tired and ill and spent at an early age I drew conclusions which connected their philanthropy to their illnesses. Not for me, I decided early on, and blithely ignored any family member not in my direct vicinity, and many who were. Despite the example of my mother and aunt, I didn’t yet appreciate the notion of blood connection and tribe. I suppose it’s because I had the luxury of their protective generational buffer between me and rootlessness.
While the most potent astrological symbol of womanhood—the Moon, ruler of Cancer—is synonymous with caretaking, heritage, and nurturing, caring for others and defending family bonds are not the sole dominion of women. In my family, however, it has always been so. For a clan full of fishermen, sailors, sad cases, and lost souls, women like my mother and aunt were our true north, guiding us gently away from the rocks.
The day of my aunt’s funeral, her daughter, my sister, and I rushed around, providing food and comfort—a little clumsily, like children playing dress up—while waves of grieving men and children washed up against us. I remember thinking, Good god, now we’re all that’s left. Our mothers left us their compass, hidden deep in our fourth houses like buried treasure; but we’ll have to learn to read it ourselves if we’re to bring this ship safely into harbor.
I wonder, when the torch passed to them, if they felt so small and inadequate to the task, so unprepared and false. How did they know so much, bear so much, love so much? Those are the questions we forgot to ask. Maybe we hold the answers in our memories of their examples. Or maybe we’ll find them on hot summer nights, gazing up at the moon and asking her to share with us her secrets, the secrets of history and of women.
A Large, Disappointed Audience
On July 1st at 7:13 PM Pacific Time, Mars makes a square to Pluto on the Sabian symbol, “A Large, Disappointed Audience”. And Pluto is on the symbol of the US Pluto Return, “A Large Aviary.”
This symbol, “The Large Aviary” reminds us of the importance of getting along together in a small space, even if we are birds of a different flock. But Mars in Aries, making the square to Pluto, doesn’t really seem to be in a mood to get along. Mars is the planet of force, and as I mentioned earlier in the week about Mars making a sextile aspect to Saturn, the use of force and determination can be helpful in helping us get past an obstacle. But sextiles are a little bit friendlier than squares. And placing Mars, the planet of force, in a volatile square to Pluto, the immovable object, places into bold relief the conflict between individual will and larger forces.
Back in the days when I served on the board of my local astrology group, monthly board meetings were a necessary – if not the most thrilling – administrative ritual. There, we brought together our reports, facts, and figures, and undertook critical decision-making as well.
Mercury is a good planet for gathering information, and in Gemini it does a fine job of presenting a comprehensive collection of facts and figures. As Mercury trines Saturn (July 2, 2022, 3:39 am PDT), it presents that information to the board to be used in long-range planning. Like a board meeting, this meeting of Mercury and Saturn is a fleeting and fairly routine aspect; but especially if you have important planets in the Mercury-ruled signs of Gemini or Virgo, it offers a couple of days of productive brainstorming. Mercury in Gemini and Saturn in Aquarius are both sociable placements, so this is an ideal moment to sit down with a friend or team – or even a helpful book and a journal – to set goals with long-ranging importance.
Fighting the Fog
When any planet connects with Neptune, you might assume that its ventures are doomed to failure, victims of a lack of clarity and a surplus of deception. Mercury square Neptune, in particular, was vilified in most the astrology books I read early in my journey.
Maybe the fact that I have this aspect in my birth chart muddles my judgement and proves the very myth that I’m trying to dispel. But I really like this aspect. Squares force us to reconcile different sides of our nature. When it goes up against Neptune, Mercury fights against fog and confusion – and along the way, learns to express Neptune’s poetry and sensitivity, and to give it a voice.
As Mercury squares Neptune this week (July 2, 2022, 1:53 pm PDT), find a way to give Neptune a voice. Sing. Create art. Make beauty. Listen to those who are hurting. It’s a fast aspect for most of us, just a couple of days; but for some of us who are born with it, it’s a life’s work.
Writing and collages © 2019-2022 April Elliott Kent
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