The Astrology Blog 27 July 2020
All times in BST
“Pushing through fear is less frightening than living with the bigger underlying fear that comes from a feeling of helplessness.”
― Susan Jeffers, American psychologist and author of Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway 1987
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OUT OF SHADOW
Sorry for the late blog. Massive internet problems all weekend, it finally crashed completely for 24 hours, and also soaring heat – heading for 40 degrees – it’s amazing I get anything done! But Mercury came “out of shadow” yesterday afternoon and am praying that this might mean the proper resolution of our constantly on – off internet.
Out of shadow is a phrase that sometimes causes confusion but it simply relates to the time when Mercury gets back to the place at which he originally turned retrograde. The retrograde turn is the beginning of a backwards loop, the direct turn is the beginning of moving forwards again and the “out of shadow” moment marks the moment when Mercury is back to full speed. Here’s the sequence –
- 14 June – Mercury turned retrograde at 14.44 degrees of Cancer
- 12 July – Mercury turns direct at 5.30 degrees of Cancer
- 26 July – Mercury gets back to 14.44 degrees of Cancer – “out of shadow”
So to put this into further “as above, so below” perspective, Mercury turning direct is literally the turning point, the moment when the “Open for Business” sign goes back on the door and everything starts moving in the right direction, but slowly to begin with.
When Mercury moves out of shadow that’s the moment when you can expect to experience the easing of pressures or complications, to see more definite results, answers or closure, including whatever problems unfolded for you in the first place! Look out for themes of coming full circle with Mercury concerns – the Messenger, the mind planet and everything connected to communication.
For me it was the decision to go ahead with Summer School courses here in Greece in September. I actually turned a tarot card a couple of months ago, asking Will I be able to run September courses? To my huge surprise I turned The Sun, which is a success card for any question but especially in regard to travelling and holiday time. At the time, with lockdown measures firmly in place across the world, I thought, really?? I couldn’t in fact have turned a better card for a positive outcome to my question. I also said that I was pinning my hopes on Jupiter (long distance travel, education, liberation) turning direct in September and Mercury coming out of shadow appears to be marking the beginning of this new journey. But groups will be smaller and new garden furniture has arrived so that we can observe social distancing even while learning.
WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING THIS WEEK?
Throughout this year I’ve been talking a lot about the massive Jupiter – Pluto conjunction that is the main symbolism for the year of the pandemic. This aspect happens three times, the third and final one yet to come in November. But Jupiter is also picking up an aspect to another major planet, which also happens three times this year and this is the middle one, exact today with Venus in on the act as well –
Monday 27 July
- Jupiter 20 Capricorn sextile Neptune 20 Pisces 17.05
- Venus 20 Gemini quinqunx Jupiter 20 Capricorn 18.38
- Venus 20 Gemini square Neptune 20 Pisces 18.50
The first alliance was 20 February (17 Capricorn/17 Pisces) and the third and final one will be 12 October (19 Capricorn/19 Pisces) – that is, after Jupiter has turned direct again mid September and then catches up with very slow moving Neptune for the last time before moving away (Jupiter will move into the next sign of Aquarius in December).
Jupiter is Mr Big. Whatever he touches, he expands, so here are the combination of themes to look out for, everything from Big Dreams to Big Grief –
Jupiter – main principle is expansion, anything that makes our life bigger and better, known as the Greater Benefic, he brings the things or the people into our lives that are good for us. Planet of opportunity, luck, liberation, good fortune, abundance, generosity both giving and receiving, learning, publishing, truth and justice/all legal concerns. Long distance travel, foreigners, and matters or people related to overseas.
Neptune – main principle is Redemption. He rules our night world of sleep and dreams, and any altered state of consciousness. He is god of the seas and psychologically his realm is fusion, the boundless watery world of the emotions, ruling the fuzzy world of falling in love right through to the suffering of loss, grief or personal sacrifice. On the plus side the Neptunian nature is magical, healing, boundlessly imaginative, empathic, subtle and seductive. The trickier side is addictive – ruling alcohol and drugs – mysterious, confusing or disorientating.
Neptune also rules photography and films, and is often prominent in the charts of well known actors. Marilyn Monroe is a classic example with Neptune rising in golden Leo in her 1st House. In the news this morning one of the main stories was the death of Hollywood Great Olivia de Havilland who passed away in her sleep at the age of 104. What a way to go.
She had a stellium in Cancer so all the activity in the opposite sign of Capricorn will have created some pretty heavy going transits over the last few years, but I think the showing for her passing is the last Lunar Eclipse at 13 Capricorn exactly opposite her natal Venus at 13 Cancer and natal Moon at 15 Cancer. The Jupiter – Neptune in this case is also a beautiful showing for passing away in her sleep, the aspect picking up her Ascendant (the physical body) at 22 Virgo.
If you keep a diary look back to see what you were doing on or close to the first aspect 20 February, especially if you have planets or Angles at or close to 17-20 degrees of Capricorn – Pisces or their opposite signs of Cancer – Virgo. If you have an ongoing unfolding story then this middle contact may well write you a new chapter.
The most difficult side to the Jupiter – Neptune combination though is the expansion and escalation (Jupiter) of emotional issues or fears (Neptune) that take us into the realms of soaring imagination in a fearful way. It made me think of how life has ground to a halt for so many thousands of people and of the increasing psychological pressures wrapped up in that “not daring to leave the house” scenario.
I returned from my last trip abroad on 19 February, to the grief of my dog’s grave as Coco died while I was away, and to the beginnings of the virus fear in the community. Just a few days later all the carnivals in Greece were cancelled. Neptune is certainly linked to the unstoppable spread of the virus. Again in the news just this morning was the announcement of another record, a million new cases reported in the last four days. This feels like a tsunami.
At a universal level Jupiter in his sign of fall (Capricorn, Saturn’s sign) and retrograde is struggling to contain things, but his current condition is also a very clear reminder to do things Saturn’s way – that is, to keep boundaries in place, including masks, and to follow all the rules, such as regular hand washing.
At a more personal level there’s a big message connected to how we have all had to learn to live up close and personal with fear. Everything from nagging underlying anxiety to full blown moments of pure terror have become the norm. It made me think of the author I’ve quoted this week and her legacy of Feel The Fear and Do It Anyway. I don’t for one minute mean that we should ignore the rules, quite the opposite. Follow the rules because that is the best way of staying safe. But within those new parameters there’s no reason why life shouldn’t go on, and that includes not ignoring our everyday fears on top of the pandemic related ones.
One take on all of this has come up again and again in news stories and in conversations with friends, students and clients, that we’ve all inevitably checked our priorities, to one extent or another. We all know at a theoretical level that life is short, but to have that fact in our faces all the time is another matter. On the first Jupiter – Neptune sextile I wrote about seeing the bigger (Jupiter) picture, in “get real” hardy Capricorn, sign of the surefooted Mountain Goat who knows how to pick its way to the top of the roughest rock face. I wrote about giving up on hopeless fantasies (Neptune) that are just wasting your time, and to focus instead on pouring your energy into the things that you can really work at and be good at. So be selective about your dreams and your choices, accept that authentic relationships require us to be vulnerable, and remember that we’re all in the same human boat!
Here are Susan Jeffers’ 5 Fear Truths which are the basis of her book –
FEAR TRUTH #1
The fear will never go away as long as you continue to grow!
Every time you take a step into the unknown, you experience fear. There is no point in saying, “When I am no longer afraid, then I will do it.” You’ll be waiting for a long time. The fear is part of the package.
FEAR TRUTH #2
The only way to get rid of the fear of doing something is to go out and…do it!
When you do it often enough, you will no longer be afraid in that particular situation. You will have faced the unknown and you will have handled it. Then new challenges await you, which certainly add to the excitement in living.
FEAR TRUTH #3
The only way to feel better about yourself is to go out and…do it!
With each little step you take into unknown territory, a pattern of strength develops. You begin feeling stronger and stronger and stronger.
FEAR TRUTH #4
Not only are you afraid when facing the unknown, so is everyone else!
This should be a relief. You are not the only one out there feeling fear. Everyone feels fear when taking a step into the unknown. Yes, all those people who have succeeded in doing what they have wanted to do in life have felt the fear – and did it anyway. So can you.
FEAR TRUTH #5
Pushing through fear is less frightening than living with the bigger underlying fear that comes from a feeling of helplessness.
This is the one truth that some people have difficulty understanding. When you push through the fear, you will feel such a sense of relief as your feeling of helplessness subsides. You will wonder why you did not take action sooner. You will become more and more aware that you can truly handle anything that life hands you.
MERCURY & MARS
Today also brings the finale of Mercury squaring up to Mars –
Monday 27 July
- Mercury 16 Cancer square Mars 16 Aries 22.47
This is the third square. The first was 11 May (28 Taurus – 28 Aquarius), Mercury turned retrograde 18 June and made the second square 8 July (6 Cancer – 6 Aries) just a few days before Mercury turned direct. If you have planets or Angles at or close to these degrees then you can expect closure on any long running issue that smacks of Mercury – Mars symbolism, especially friction, arguments or problems related to anything under that huge umbrella of communication. Like internet problems!
At a general level bear in mind that this is a very touchy and feisty combination. Think before you speak or hit the send button with messages. Snap decisions may be better than no decisions but it’s almost certainly a case of not being able to please all of the people all of the time, especially in families. This is also a painful combination so listen out for sad news and be there for someone who needs emotional support.
As you’re no doubt aware Venus has also recently been retrograde – a far less frequent event than Mercury as this happens only once every 18-20 months.
- Venus turned around at 21.50 Gemini on 13 May
- Turned direct again at 5.20 Gemini on 25 June
In the middle of this week she gets back to the degree at which she turned retrograde, and this is followed by Mercury’s turn to play into the major Jupiter – Neptune aspect –
Wednesday 29 July
- Venus out of shadow – approx 06.00am
Thursday 30 July
- Mercury 20 Cancer opposite Jupiter 20 Capricorn 15.18
- Mercury 20 Cancer trine Neptune 20 Pisces 19.46
Venus is primarily the love planet so relationship issues of all kinds are at the top of the list midweek. As she turns around in Gemini sign of the Twins – duality – love choices are especially important and affairs or anything of the “it’s complicated” variety are likely to reach a tipping point. This may come in the shape of information (Gemini) that has previously been either unknown or hidden in the shadows. But Mercury’s involvement indicates major heart to hearts and the need for total honesty, including talking about the things that scare you. Remember this week’s theme of doing and saying the things you’re afraid of as a way of diminishing the terrors and establishing new patterns of strength.
And don’t forget that Venus also rules money and pleasures. New earning opportunities will be a theme for some, or financial help or benefits could come from an unexpected source. Venus has one more aspect to make at the end of the week though, which is that blind spot one, formed when planets are exactly five signs apart –
Friday 31 July 1
- Venus 23 Gemini quinqunx Pluto 23 Capricorn 02.48
This is considered to be a minor aspect but nevertheless it can be troublesome. Generally it’s about the things that you either couldn’t possibly see coming or which are being concealed. It can also be about mismatches as planets five signs apart have absolutely nothing in common. Certainly if you are in the wrong relationship, and especially if you are being controlled or abused (Pluto) the writing is on the wall.
Any “end of the road” scenarios are gathering momentum, as Mercury also lines up opposite Pluto at the end of the week, followed by a huge shakeup clash with the Sun and loose cannon, rug puller Uranus –
Saturday 1 August
- Mercury 23 Cancer opposite Pluto 23 Capricorn 11.52
Sunday 2 August
- Moon conjunct Jupiter 20 Capricorn 00.58
- Sun 10 Leo square Uranus 10 Taurus 12.20
- Mercury 25 Cancer semi-sextile Venus 25 Gemini 20.28
Mercury will also line up opposite Saturn next Monday, his last major aspect before changing sign and moving on into Leo, so just try to ride through the end of whatever is clearly a losing battle. These combinations also indicate setbacks, restrictions, disappointments, cancellations, communication and transport problems. In other words it’s going to be a bit like having a retrograde Mercury, great! Things are, though, in their own way, getting resolved even though the final stretch of this long windy Cancerian road may test your patience and courage.
Keep your goals in sight, and above all keep the communication channels crackling with those who care about you and who have your best interests at heart. Note that the monthly Moon – Jupiter conjunction falls just as we tip into Sunday, so it will be glorious in the Saturday night heavens if you have clear skies, and it often signals a moment of good fortune, a lucky break or a feel good experience. The minor aspect between Mercury and Venus is also lovely for connections of the meaningful kind.
Next week we start with the Full Moon, and Mercury and Venus will both finally be changing sign too. New journeys, and I’ll be talking about these next week,
Until then stay safe,
With love from Greece