The Saturn – Uranus Wrecking Ball, Retrogrades & the Summer Solstice
The Astrology Blog 14 June 2021
All times in BST
“The most successful people are those who are good at Plan B.”
James Yorke – b 3 August 1842, Distinguished university research professor of mathematics and physics
“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”
ASTROLOGY & PREDICTION
Astrology always reflects what’s going on in this life, at both a universal and personal level. This is something I know from years of following celestial activity so it’s important to remember that astrology is not a faith. All of the competent astrologers I know don’t “believe in” astrology because they want it to be true but because they’ve seen it working, time and again.
This leads us from the obvious and natural question that non astrologers ask, does astrology work? – which is a question that has to be asked – into the far more fascinating subject of, how come it works? And what are the implications? Can we ever really know the answers to those questions?
Anyway the reason for starting with this bigger picture stuff is that this leads me onto the subject of prediction. I’m not sure that God/the all knowing universe – whichever makes sense to you – ever really intended us to use our cosmic connection for predictive purposes. But the act of divination, which is a consultation with that all knowing source, is undeniably linked to seeking our line of good fortune, or providing a frame of reference for our earthly life events and reminding us that there is a Plan. In this, there is much comfort.
The other point that I’m leading up to is that astrology is infallible but the astrologer isn’t. The astronomy tells us where the planets are and what they’re doing. Astrology however is about meaning, and therefore requires interpretation, so we always start with “what might this mean” rather than “what does this mean?”
There is no book in the world that we can consult for these questions because astrology also requires context. This is why dream books don’t work. If you dream about your teeth falling out this will have some particular and personal meaning for you. The same dream will have a different significance for someone else. It’s not one size fits all.
This doesn’t mean that the world of prediction is a non starter. Once we have a context then, along with the centuries old rules of craft, the picture usually becomes pretty clear. This stands up to scrutiny through “retrodiction” – how could the astrologer say what has already happened in someone’s life and when unless these rules of craft work?
But the other point I’m really leading up to – I’m finally getting there – is that looming astrological events can sometimes alarm as there’s always the risk of jumping to worst case scenarios. Sometimes the major transits in our charts, for example, turn out to be exactly what we suspected yet easier to manage than we’d imagined, AND they nearly always turn out to be about something else as well, once a new context starts to unfold.
So as we go into this new week under the crucial middle Saturn – Uranus square – nobody panic!!
WHAT’S HAPPENING THIS WEEK?
This second big square is exact this evening –
Monday 24 June
- Saturn 13 Aquarius square Uranus 13 Taurus 23.08
It’s the middle one of the three –
- 17 February – Saturn 7 Aquarius square Uranus 7 Taurus
- 14 June – Saturn 13 Aquarius square Uranus 13 Taurus
- 24 December – Saturn 11 Aquarius square Uranus 11 Taurus
And a reminder of the message last week, that at a personal level these squares will be especially important for you if you have natal planets or Angles that match the signs and degrees involved – within 3 degrees but, again, the closer the contact between transiting planets and natal planets, the more significant the event. Also take into consideration the opposite signs of Leo and Scorpio, in other words all of the four Fixed signs.
Why is this backdrop to the year considered to be so difficult? Firstly it’s between two slow moving planets, secondly they’re in Fixed signs (less negotiable), thirdly it’s not a one off confrontation but a three legged event, fourthly the two planets involved stand for opposing principles so it’s a mismatch in lots of different ways and last but not least they’re coming together by square (tension, friction, incompatibility issues).
- Saturn – all that is conventional, work, effort, ambition, setting goals, responsibility, limitations, restrictions, frustration, illness, bereavement, events unfolding slowly or wishes being denied, the arrival of those who are of professional value to us, those with whom we develop a serious relationship or with whom we feel a karmic connection.
- Uranus – all that is unconventional, drama, sudden change, disruption, impulsivity, the unexpected, rebellion, shocks or surprises, the things we couldn’t possibly have seen coming or the things we can’t believe that somebody else did/said, so events that come like a bolt from the blue, the arrival of those who knock us off balance, who challenge our views, sweep us off our feet or turn our world upside down.
Look back to what you were doing or what was happening on the first square of 17 Feb. My experience was horrible but obvious – when it happened – as both Saturn and Uranus rule my 3rd house of siblings, and it was the exact anniversary of my sister’s death. It was also the day that my only two month old wood burner started leaking carbon monoxide fumes and filled the whole house with smelly smoke.
All my plans and appointments had to be cancelled and the house had to be cleaned from top to bottom, and I had to process the fact that if I’d fallen asleep on the sofa I now wouldn’t be here and neither would my animals. But – “thought stopping” – that nearly happened, but it didn’t. I was awake, and my eyes started stinging which was the first warning sign.
Just goes to show that these big aspects do work out even if you don’t have planets or Angles at the exact same degree. I have placings in all the Fixed signs (yes, a Grand Cross) but they’re all around the 16 – 18 degree position. But nevertheless the events of that day clearly and indisputably reflected the Saturn – Uranus symbolism.
Also it’s the astrologer’s job to stay symbolically aware for others. I “just knew” that the client I had to cancel at short notice, something that basically never happens, would have some theme of disappointment in her life. I raised and shared this with her when we spoke the following day and sure enough she did, to the extent that it was a dominant theme in her entire life. As a result I think we made a deeper connection than we might ordinarily have done.
I’m not saying that another brush with death will happen on this second square but I’m quietly aware of the need to be extra careful and mindful, especially as we’re currently under a retrograde Mercury too ….
Right, I’d already written that sentence yesterday when about three hours later, so about 24 hours before the exact square, one of my young neighbors turned up at my gate, her baby in the pram and her three year old toddler at her side. She walks around the village with them every evening and they always come by my house because the little girl is obsessed with my dogs, especially Lola. To be honest it’s become invasive but I haven’t wanted to interfere with this love of dogs!
It’s now understood that I don’t go and talk to them every time they turn up and on this occasion I was busy, and Lola as usual was at my feet. She heard the little girl calling her but I think if she could raise her eyes to heaven and say not again, she would. I thought I actually heard the gate as if someone was jiggling it, but then they left. A few minutes later I walked into the kitchen, looked out of the door just in time to see that the gate had in fact been opened and Zindzi (my bigger dog inherited from my sister) was escaping. I just had time to grab Lola. I’ve seen it happen several times, the mum walking away first as the only way to get her toddler to follow her. On this occasion when her back was turned the little girl had slid back the bolt on the gate and then ran after her mother and left it.
I then had to get in the car and follow Zindzi who was having a lovely time and who is a nightmare to get back. You could stand there with a leg of lamb until the end of the week and she would pointedly ignore you. It took about half an hour but I eventually got her to jump in the car. But ironically – ?? – another “thought stopping” moment …. What if she’d run onto the main road, what if I hadn’t been here, what if I’d gone to the bar and had come home in the dark to find the gate open and both dogs gone!!! Needless to say this is top of my trouble shooting list today, a stern word with the mum and, sadly, a padlock (Saturn) to safeguard (Saturn) against any further unexpected mishaps (Uranus). And of course, lesson learned under a retrograde Mercury … still another week to go.
On that subject, we also now have a “stationary retrograde” Jupiter and the exact moment of switching to retrograde falls at the very end of the week, coinciding with the Sun’s arrival in the sign of Cancer, the moment of the Summer Solstice –
Sunday 20 June
- Jupiter turns retrograde at 2.11 Pisces 16.06
Monday 21 June
- Sun ingress Cancer, the Summer Solstice 04.33
The literal meaning of the word Solstice describes the moment of the Sun (Sol) appearing to stand still (stice), the Longest Day and the turning point to start the journey towards the Winter Solstice, the Shortest Day. This is possibly the closest the Sun ever gets to any kind of retrograde symbolism.
Obviously that happens every June but this time it’s coupled with Jupiter turning retrograde. Given that Jupiter is the planet of freedom and travel, especially foreign, this isn’t the best of omens for the summer. On the BBC news this morning it was reported that Monday (today) was meant to be the moment when the government declared the pandemic was effectively over in England. The plan had been to give a week’s notice that all restrictions would end on 21 June.
The wrecking ball of Saturn – Uranus is not just about the pandemic but is obviously a huge factor, already demolishing plans all over the place. Every time I go on Facebook I see posts about people having flights cancelled, but so far this has applied only to flights booked up to the end of June.
Does Jupiter turning retrograde mean no foreign travel until October? Short answer is no. Jupiter turns retrograde every year, for four months at a time and backtracks 10 degrees, so the same happened last year –
- Last turned retrograde at 27 Capricorn on 14 May 2020, and turned direct again at 17 Capricorn on 13 September
- This week turns retrograde at 2 Pisces on 20 June and will turn direct again at 22 Aquarius on 18 October
In this respect I don’t attach the same trouble making qualities to a retrograde Jupiter as I would to Mercury. Last year courses went ahead during the first few weeks of September and all was fine. The wait and see factors would appear to be quarantine rules as people move in and out of European destinations. It will be interesting to see what news emerges when Mercury comes out of shadow 7 July.
To finish on a more cheerful note there’s a minor aspect midweek between Mercury and Venus as they align when exactly one sign apart –
Wednesday 16 June
- Mercury 17 Gemini semi-sextile Venus 17 Cancer 21.12
Retrograde Mercury has his good moments! Last week I wrote about the Sun – Mercury conjunction that happens in the middle of every retrograde cycle, which is when Mercury is said to be “cazimi”, symbolizing a hot spot, such as a golden nugget of truth or a lifeline of help. I said to look out for your Mercury moment and mine was right on cue, the right person literally just popping up to help me with the latest book ideas. And she’s a Virgo – a Mercury ruled person who is in fact also a writer herself.
I would put this Mercury – Venus connection pretty much in the same category, a positive date for your social life or your love life, the best moment for getting “back” in touch with family or girlfriends, or for hearing from someone special. Listen out for some item of good news connected to love, life’s pleasures or money. It might not be a life changing event but something to put a smile on your face, or the beginning of a new idea or connection that will reveal its true importance at a later date.
I’ll finish with a summary of all the relevant retrograde cycles – dates for your diary!
Until next week, with love from Greece
YOUR GUIDE TO RETROGRADE CYCLES
The Sun and the Moon – the Lights – are never retrograde.
Mercury turns retrograde three times a year, for three weeks at a time.
- Turned retrograde two weeks ago 29 May at 24 Gemini, and will turn direct at 16 Gemini on 22 June. Will be “out of shadow” (back up to full speed) 7 July
- Next retrograde cycle will be 27 Sept at 25 Libra, turning direct again 18 October at 10 Libra
Venus turns retrograde once every 18-20 months, for a period of around 42 days, twice as long as Mercury, and backtracks around 15 degrees.
- Last turned retrograde 13 May 2020 at 22 Gemini and turned direct at 5 Gemini 25 June. Next one, turns retrograde 19 December at 26 Capricorn and will turn direct at 11 Capricorn 29 Jan 2022
Mars turns retrograde approximately every 25 months for periods of around 65-80 days, and backtracks around 13 degrees.
- Last turned retrograde at 28 Aries on 9 September 2020, and turned direct again at 15 Aries on 14 November. Next one, turns retrograde 30 October 2022 at 25 Gemini and will turn direct at 8 Gemini 12 Jan 2023
Jupiter turns retrograde every 13 months, for four months at a time and backtracks 10 degrees.
- Last turned retrograde at 27 Capricorn on 14 May 2020, and turned direct again at 17 Capricorn on 13 September. This week turns retrograde at 2 Pisces on 20 June and will turn direct again at 22 Aquarius on 18 October
Saturn turns retrograde once a year, for about four months at a time and backtracks 6 to 7 degrees.
- Last year turned retrograde at 2 Aquarius 11 May 2020 and turned direct again at 25 Capricorn on 29 September. This year turned retrograde at 13 Aquarius on 23 May and will turn direct again at 7 Aquarius on 11 October
Uranus turns retrograde once a year for five months at a time, backtracks around 4 degrees.
- Last year turned retrograde at 11 Taurus on 15 August, and turned direct again at 7 Taurus on 14 Jan 2021. This year will turn retrograde at nearly 15 Taurus on 20 August and will turn direct again at 10 Taurus on 18 January 2022
Neptune turns retrograde once a year for five months at a time, backtracks around 3 degrees.
- Last year turned retrograde at 21 Pisces on 23 June and turned direct again at 18 Pisces on 28 November. This year will turn retrograde at 23 Pisces on 25 June and will turn direct again at 20 Pisces on 1 December
Pluto also turns retrograde once a year for about 6 months at a time, and also backtracks around 3 degrees.
- Last year turned retrograde at 25 Capricorn on 25 April, and turned direct again at 22 Capricorn on 4 October. This year turned retrograde at nearly 27 Capricorn on 27 April and will turn direct again at 24 Capricorn on 6 October