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The Astrology Blog 22 July 2019
Vulnerability, Patience & Progress
“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness.”
– C S Lewis, author/theologian
“ Don’t keep your heart safe – be vulnerable.”
– John Mayer, singer/songwriter
If you want to go straight to this week’s astrology just scroll down but firstly some feedback you might find interesting. One of the ways that we learn from astrology is empirical – that is, from evidence, to see the “as above so below” principle in action and to observe how planetary activity accurately reflects events in our own lives and out in the world. In this sense astrology is not “causal” – the planets don’t make us do things – but for some magical and unknowable reason their journeys symbolize our own.
Looking at the current astrology or studying your own horoscope is like looking in an enormous celestial mirror, enabling us to see the people/events in our lives and foresee the people/events coming into our lives. You can also look back to the past, to learn more about key relationships or those fated moments that influenced the course of your life. This is the subject of the astrology day Looking Backwards and Forwards in Hampstead on Sunday 11 August. If you’re not already addicted to astrology I guarantee that you will be after this workshop!
The Lunar Eclipse
There’s a lot of controversy about timing issues with Eclipses, but I’ve found that their symbolism often shows on or very close to the actual event as well as having far reaching implications.
Eclipses symbolize tipping points in a process of change, especially in competitive situations as the intricate dance between the Sun, Moon and the Earth throws and lifts shadows, revealing winners and losers, and issues of power or disempowerment. As the Sun is the life force this can very often involve critical health issues too.
Just as the Sun is masculine (Lord of the Day) and rules men, the Moon is feminine (Lady of the Night) and rules women. The Lunar Eclipse at 24 Capricorn, conjunct Pluto at 22 Capricorn, was exact late last Tuesday evening, at 22.39 BST. The news on Wednesday morning was noticeably packed with stories relating to women in positions of power or being disempowered –
- The lead story on the BBC on Wednesday morning was that the US House of Representatives had voted to condemn President Donald Trump after a series of attacks aimed at four congresswomen. Donald Trump’s tweets stated that these representatives all originally came from countries whose “governments are a complete and total catastrophe and they should go back”.
- Mr Trump did not explicitly name the women – Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley and Rashida Tlaib all four of whom are US citizens – in his initial Twitter tirade, but the context made a clear link to the four Democratic congresswomen, who are known as The Squad. The president later tweeted: “I don’t have a Racist bone in my body!” Debatable …
- Angela Merkel (b 17 July 1954) has a Sagittarius Ascendant and is therefore ruled by Jupiter, at 12 Cancer (within 2 degrees of the Solar Eclipse at 10 Cancer 2 July). She’s also born on a very close Sun – Uranus conjunction, Uranus at 23 Cancer/Sun at 24 Cancer, therefore exactly opposite the Lunar Eclipse at 24 Capricorn. The feature on Wednesday morning was entitled “Merkel: The steady woman whose shaking has touched a nation”. In medical astrology Uranus is linked to the brain’s nervous system. Pluto will be transiting 23-24 Capricorn throughout all of next year. In spite of the fact that she protests that she’s fine and intending to stay in office until 2021 the astrology suggests that she’s more likely to resign for health reasons before her term is up.
- The BBC reported that 40 year old Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, the British-Iranian woman jailed in Iran in 2016 for alleged spying, had been moved to a hospital psychiatric ward and was being held by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard. This came after she’d been on hunger strike for 15 days last month in protest at her detention. Her father said he visited the hospital on Tuesday but was not allowed to see his daughter and that she has not been allowed to contact her family.
- Germany’s Ursula von der Leyen was narrowly elected president of the EU Commission following a secret ballot among MEPs on Tuesday evening and will replace Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker on 1 November. She’s the first woman to be elected president of the European Commission, and has stressed that she would stand up for women’s rights. “About time we get a woman in that important position,” Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven said in a tweet.
- Christine Lagarde has the Sun at 10 Capricorn (exactly opposite the Solar Eclipse at 10 cancer 2 July) and her Midheaven (career/status) at 21 Capricorn (within 3 degrees of the Lunar Eclipse at 24 Capricorn). She has announced that she’ll step down as managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on 12 September, after 8 years of holding the position, in order to take up her new role as head of the European Central Bank (ECB).
Mercury the Trickster and the Magician, the winged messenger of the gods, planet of the mind, language and everything to do with the written or spoken word, is in havoc making retrograde motion, for which the textbook interpretation is “problems with transport and communication”.
Stories from here in Greece –
A friend turning her car around in a tight space at night didn’t see a motorbike parked in the shadows behind her. She knocked it over. The owner went crazy and called the police, even though she had immediately assumed responsibility and offered to pay for the damage. She’d had one gin & tonic, but unfortunately Greek measures are on the large side. She was only 0.5 over the driving limit but they still fined her 200 Euros and the bill for the repairs to the bike came to 1,700 Euros. Bang went the weekend away planned for her partner’s birthday.
A newly married friend lost all her vital paperwork – original birth and marriage certificates and residents permit. Her birthday is 27 July which puts her Sun at 4 Leo, the exact degree at which Mercury turned retrograde. She thinks she somehow scooped them up with other paperwork that she threw out. A horary (a horoscope for a question) didn’t help, it was a “void of course” Moon (ie, the Moon making no more aspects to the other planets before changing sign, which is a “stricture” against judging the chart, and which can also indicate that this question’s going nowhere). The Moon was also posited in the 3rd house (Mercury’s Natural House, admin etc) and Pluto (black holes!) was conjunct the 3rd house cusp.
My horary teacher the late Derek Appleby taught that a retrograde Mercury in any question can obscure the truth, indicate that more information is yet to come to light or, if the question is about a desire or a “should I?” that the querent will change their mind about the matter.
A lorry crashed into a pylon in a nearby village that is surrounded by exclusive villas. A fire broke out and all the power got cut off. The accident happened in the morning and the power was off all day. This meant no pool pumps, air con, etc – all the mod cons of an expensive holiday! Another friend who reps these villas was besieged with phone calls, mostly asking her what she was going to do about it? Only 2 of the guests texted to ask if the driver was ok.
My own sad story is that Mercury turning in Leo, the sign of the big cat and all felines, in my 8th House (which rules death) brought the time to have my beloved Lulu put to sleep. We plucked her off the streets when she was about 6 weeks old and I’ve lived in her house ever since. She’s been a constant source of love and laughter, the cat with “attitude”. She was nearly 17 and was diagnosed with liver failure at the end of last year.
I was led to believe that she would go very quickly but she’s been using up her nine lives. I was trusting that I would know when the moment came to intervene, and I did. I did a horary for her to confirm it and the answer was obvious, still a heart ripping out decision but I absolutely know that I timed the phone call to the vet with total precision. I feel so privileged when I’m able to call on astrology in this way, it’s a totally reliable frame of reference and guidance. But I’m still crying. This was also the Venus Pluto opposition – Venus ruling my 6th House (where we locate pets), transiting through my 8th, and this opposition to the planet of endings being the finale of a long string of challenging aspects. It was part of the picture that told me that Lulu had reached the point of no return but that I could rescue her from the final struggle. The thing we still can’t do for our humans.
Mercury now back in Cancer
Mercury slid back into the previous sign of Cancer last Friday (19 July) and will turn direct in this sign at the end of the week. In the meantime the retrograde themes encompass a wide range of possibilities and is the umbrella heading for potential havoc with everything from cars to computers. There are many psychological factors at work too. These are the kind of themes to look out for, or which you may already be experiencing, so keep these points in mind for another week –
- Guard against trying to construct situations or distress yourself with regard to anything beyond your control. Forcing any kind of round pegs into square holes won’t be worth the effort and could cost you dearly
- Know that there are things you don’t know – yet
- Try to operate by “re” words – review, revise, research, reappraise, rethink, repair, redress the balance and so on. Also remember rest and relaxation, give the brain some time off and try not to put yourself under unnecessary pressure
- Expect cancellations or rescheduling of appointments or personal arrangements
- Buy yourself time wherever needed – keep options open
- When in doubt, check it out – second hand opinions are a dead cert for getting hold of the wrong end of the stick – and don’t believe everything you hear
- Write things down and double check everything – forgetfulness, being distracted, inattention etc can be a troublesome theme
- Back up all your computer work
- Don’t delete any documents – you may need them at a later date
- Getting back to ideas on the back burner
- Getting back in touch with those who’ve been neglected or important to you in the past – let them know how much they matter, especially those in crisis bearing in mind the presence of Scheat
- Keep a close watch on all belongings – especially keys or anything linked to communication such as phones, laptops, tablets, cameras etc and don’t even think about buying new ones for the time being
- The same for cars – never buy any mode of transport under a retro Mercury
- Plan any journey with extra care, don’t trust to luck, don’t travel unless you have to and make sure tickets are covered on your insurance
- Kill your speed when driving – allow extra time for getting there slowly but safely
- Take extra care with form filling/signing on dotted lines – paperwork and admin of all kinds are a minefield
- Decide to ease the pain or cool the resentment. Write the letter you can’t send or you’ll never send – whether it’s to someone you’ve lost or to someone you want to strangle it’s great therapy
- Turning this the other way around you can also write a letter to yourself from someone you’ve lost – which is even greater therapy. I did this myself on the last retrograde Mercury in March, from my twin Sue, and it was unbelievably powerful
- Stop trying to fix others – just focus on yourself. Changes starts with us, and within us, from the inside out, not the other way around
- Assume nothing. No matter how certain a situation might seem there is a good chance that it will morph into something else over the next couple of weeks – the “x” factor is at work …
- Reserve the right to change your mind/keep an open mind. As you start to see something from a different angle the truth, reality or logistics will evolve in a way that you couldn’t possibly have planned or expected
- KEEP A SENSE OF HUMOUR J
What else is Happening this Week?
Staying with Mercury, he will link up with Venus midweek, who is on the final leg of her journey through Cancer –
Thursday 25 July
- Mercury conjunct Venus 26 Cancer 01.27 BST
Sunday 28 July
- Venus ingress Leo 02.55 BST
This is an important aspect as it’s Mercury’s final aspect before turning direct again (at 24 degrees of Cancer on 1 August) and it’s Venus’ final aspect before she changes sign at the very end of this week. So this has the feel of some kind of closure. Note that as the moment of exactitude is the early hours of Thursday then the aspect is at its most powerful throughout Wednesday.
Mercury/Venus combinations are generally very positive and are great for love talk, money talk, heart to hearts of any kind, making connections or finding answers, but the actual effects or outcomes may yet be delayed a while. Don’t hide your feelings if you want to get closer to someone or if you have something important to deal with. This doesn’t mean that you have to get hugely emotional but it does mean not being afraid to be vulnerable. Don’t laugh off your pain or hurt. A moment of true authenticity could be the moment of bonding or healing.
Also look out for themes of resolving issues that have been troublesome since Mercury first turned retrograde (8 July at 4 Leo), information gathering, making or hearing of agreements that will kick in properly from next week or even later. This includes secrets and confidences.
As the conjunction happens in the sign of Cancer then family, home and property issues are still ranking high on the list of priorities. This also includes your extended family, your closest circle of friends – ie those who are like family to you – so be ready to step up for someone who needs your protection, or vice versa, if you’re in need of some protection and nurturing then reach out to those whose love is unquestionable.
A Shift in Tempo
After experiencing the emotional demands and other frustrations of the Sun, Venus and Mercury in Cancer, throughout the list of aspects they’ve all made to the outer planets, we’ve probably all had our fill of this watery world in one way or another. So it’s good news that things are firing up again, starting with the Sun moving into his own sign –
Tuesday 23 July
- Sun ingress Leo 03.52 BST
Thursday 25 July
- Mars 16 Leo trine Jupiter 16 Sagittarius 13.24 BST
Saturday 27 July
- Mars 16 Leo quinqunx Saturn 16 Capricorn 03.42 BST
The Sun is dignified in the fire sign of Leo and, for the Northern Hemisphere, this ingress coincides with school summer holidays. Even if you’re not going abroad there’s a respite from the daily grind of getting up early to get children to school, and it’s a chance for tired children to recharge their batteries.
Mars the action planet is already in Leo and this week makes a lovely aspect to Jupiter, also in his own sign, one of the other fire signs of Sagittarius. This is fantastic for travel and getting away from it all, for getting your mojo back, for inspiration or for developments in any matter related to the law, publishing and education.
It’s also good news for getting signs of life from any matter that has stagnated. Those irons you stuck in the fire weeks ago could now start to sizzle, which also fits with Mercury preparing to turn direct. More importantly with this aspect note that Jupiter is also slow moving, as he’s going to turn direct at 14.30 Sagittarius on 11 August. In other words, he’s hovering on 15 to 14 degrees of Sag now and will be coming back over 14 to 15 degrees of Sag from mid August to mid Sept. This Mars aspect could light a fuse.
There is however a spoke in the wheel as Saturn is also at 16 degrees of his own sign of Capricorn, so Mars is picking up an aspect to this planet too but by the awkward quinqunx , formed when planets are exactly five signs apart. Again we have the moment of exactitude in the early hours so the previous day, as the aspect is “applying”, is the most important.
Even though this is a minor aspect it’s still worth noting as it’s associated with blind spots – literally and emotionally – and with Mercury still retrograde such themes are underlined. Be super cautious when driving. We’re into “silly season” here, lots of traffic on the roads, and I see people doing stupid things and think argh, you wouldn’t be doing that if you knew any astrology! The best possible thing you can do is kill your speed and don’t overtake. Check for delays before heading off to the airport. And if you’re in a deadlock situation in any relationship take a big step back. Mars is going to repeat this tricky picture with Neptune next week, just before Mercury turns around, so there’s not long to wait before things start to make sense again but in the meantime at least part of the picture is still out of focus.
Bide your time and take care, with love from Greece