The transition to summer in the Northern Hemisphere is marked by an annular Solar eclipse, when the dark-light of the otherworld can be glimpsed from this side of the veil. Eclipses are potent and powerful alignments, a reminder of the extraordinary physical and symbolic harmonies of our solar system; even though the Moon is many times smaller than the Sun, its distance from the Earth is proportionate to the Sun’s distance—thus from our perspective the two celestial bodies appear in the sky as the same size. These two great lights of day and night join for their coniunctio, a moment that feels to the mortal witness like a mysterious love-making and renewal of sacred cosmic vows.
Powerful, intense, transformative, catalytic, confrontational, consequential: these are but some of the qualities associated with Jupiter-Saturn-Pluto that have been distinctly present this year and will be especially highlighted during this lunation cycle. Finding ground and cultivating enduring foundations will continue to be especially important, so that our works and acts of service can be most effective during this pivotal time.
Transits of the Cancer Lunation
*June 20 @ 11:41 pm PT* The Sun slides into Cancer to mark the Summer Solstice, but falls behind the shadow of the New Moon, creating a Solar eclipse to mark the first day of summer. A Solar eclipse in the Moon’s sign subsumes the Sun’s summer light and brings it down to illuminate a darker realm. Winter comes into the heart of summer for a moment, recalling the last eclipse cycle that fell at the turn of the last year. Mars in Pisces sextiling Jupiter in Capricorn at least can give us some confidence that the heroic light will return, perhaps the wiser for its underworld journey.
*June 22 @ 9:31 pm PT* Neptune in Pisces turns retrograde, joining more than half the pantheon who appear to be moving contrary to their usual motion. Mercury, Venus, Jupiter, Saturn, Pluto, and now Neptune all seem to be traversing backwards against the backdrop of the fixed stars. And while the outer planets average about half the year in retrograde, it is less common to have swifter Mercury and Venus traveling along too—even if just for a few more days in the case of Venus. Everything is slowing down, concentrating, intensifying, a thick culinary reduction of archetypal qualities distilling to their coagulated essence.
*June 24 @ 11:48 pm PT* Minutes before midnight, Venus turns direct in Gemini. How is your heart? How are your relationships? Have you been tending to your loving connections, addressing the challenges, seeking endings and new beginnings? As Inanna-Persephone arises from the underworld, how has she been transformed? Now Venus takes the long path back through Gemini once more, keeping the focus on how we communicate and express our love. As Cornel West states: “Justice is what love looks like in public.”
*June 25 @ 6:33 pm PT* The Virgo Moon in her waxing maiden phase makes a sextile to the Sun in Cancer, the first Solar-Lunar alignment of this lunation cycle. A harmonious and balanced aspect between water and earth signs, one can cultivate and nurture the ideas one intends to embody. How might you be able to bring some grounded feeling to your inner thoughts, focusing attention on the sensitivity and empathy you can in turn extend to others?
*June 27 @ 6:45 pm PT* Mars alights in Aries, the diurnal sign of its rulership, and settles into its fiery home for the rest of the year. Mars has already dominated the archetypal zeitgeist this year, crossing through the Jupiter-Saturn-Pluto stellium in March and April, and aligning as the focal point of the last lunar eclipse on June 5. But with Mars in rulership for the rest of 2020, and turning retrograde in September while square the Capricorn stellium, an already scorched year seems likely to burn all the hotter.
*June 28 @ 1:16 am PT* Mars’s first act in Aries is to make an exact sextile to Saturn at 0° Aquarius, just on the heels of the waxing quarter Moon in Libra. Perhaps Saturn can temper some of Mars’s heat from this gentler angle, providing necessary structure for planning and directing actions so they can be more effective and enduring.
*June 29 @ 10:46 pm PT* Jupiter and Pluto conjoin exactly in Capricorn for the second time this year, bringing a union between the heights and the depths, abundance and power, expansion and transformation. Look towards ambitions, charisma, the rise to power, arrogance, pride, and grandeur. The High Priestess walks through the cold night, deciding who will rise and who will fall based on the integrity at one’s core. By her side stalks a panther, she rides a mighty horse, a great hawk soars above her head—the priestess of Jupiter-Pluto is surrounded by charismatic megafauna, symbolic of this rich archetypal complex.
*June 30 @ 7:20 am PT* The submerged Scorpio Moon trines the exact Sun-Mercury conjunction in Cancer, while Uranus awakens these alignments in opposition to the Moon and sextile to the Sun and Mercury. Quicksilver thinking, innovative curiosity, and bright new ideas come to light, although perhaps a darker or hidden intuition hesitates to see how these ideas might really feel if put into motion.
*July 1 @ 4:37 pm PT* Saturn crosses the threshold back into its earthy home sign of Capricorn, tightening the grip on Pluto and Jupiter. As Saturn finishes out the final months in its nocturnal sign, what structures will we try to return to, seeking after a “normal” that may no longer exist? What practical, tangible, material, organizational, or disciplinary tasks are at hand? What structural scaffoldings seem to be coming back into place? What are we trying to hold onto, what is outworn and ready to perish? And what foundations are beyond repair, and require deeper work to unmake and rebuild?
*July 4 @ 9:44 pm PT* The Capricorn Full Moon is another lunar eclipse, making this the third eclipse of the season. This Sun-Moon opposition crosses near the Jupiter-Saturn-Pluto stellium that has defined the intense array of hardships this year, making it perhaps the most potent of the season’s three eclipses. Take care of yourself and your loved ones, draw the healthy boundaries, turn away from outward manifestation for a moment and inward towards prayer instead, and await the return of the Moon’s pearly orb once the reddened shadow has passed.
*July 8 @ 3:42 am PT* Mercury in Cancer squares Mars in Aries, sparking argumentative tempers, sharpening the tongue to a spear point, the pen into a sword. Yell, scream, debate, conjure words of fire, use the voice for action, the mind for activism, the hand for fierce articulation. Anger can be righteous, and is most effective when conscious, clear, and direct.
*July 10 @ 3:57 am PT* An especially watery trine forms between a Moon-Neptune conjunction in Pisces and the Sun in Cancer. Flowing, merging, dissolving, dreamy, delusional, emotional energies saturate the collective psyche, leaving the boundaries between self and other more porous than usual.
*July 12 @ 11:43 am PT* Cancer Sun perfects its trine to Neptune just before the quarter Moon in Aries pulls into its closing square. The watery, dreamy, imaginal energies from two days prior may not feel quite as harmonious now that the Moon has moved from a trine to a square, but at least the potential to think more clearly arises as Mercury turns direct and swims forward through Cancer once more.
*July 14 @ 12:58 am PT* The Sun begins its journey in opposition to the great stellium in Capricorn, beginning beneficently with the king of the solar system, grand Jupiter enthroned. Expansive, joyful, regal, haughty, optimistic, Jove’s gifts and blessings offer abundance and wealth of all kinds—although they may be limited considering current Capricornian conditions. With Pluto and Saturn nearby, the Sun may be highlighting where abundance lacks, yet also revealing the obscured riches that endure any material conditions: laughter, joviality, and hope can still be found even in the most hidden places.
*July 15 @ 12:13 pm PT* The Sun shifts its clear attention directly into opposition with Pluto, just after the exalted balsamic Moon in Taurus makes its closing sextile to the Sun. Pluto’s chthonic powers retch into the light of day, showing the rotting underbelly of unconscious forces. The Solar hero faces off with the underworld dragon, but when it comes to slaying the worm we may find that the dragon is not outside of us but within. Fears are not so terrifying when they aren’t projected outwards onto that which we do not know or understand.
*July 17 @ 2:14 pm PT* The Gemini Moon traverses from a sugary sweet conjunction with Venus, before coming into a more nebulously challenging square to Neptune in Pisces. What areas of your life could be softened and eased with some gentle, nourishing, angelic love? Where do you feel the impulse to merge and melt, to disintegrate and dissolve the edges of your soul?
*July 20 @ 10:33 am PT* The first New Moon after eclipse season still has an air of the unusual: a Black Moon, shimmering at the surface of the last watery degree of Cancer. The Moon sweeps opposite Jupiter and Pluto in Capricorn, before conjoining the Sun in exact opposition to Saturn. A focus on endings, finitude, loss, even pain and suffering may attend this second Cancer New Moon of 2020. The Sun-ruled sign of Leo hosts a New Moon late in the Sun’s sojourn in that sign this year. We have the opportunity to plant seeds of intention twice within Lunar soil, but don’t have a Solar sowing until the rest of the Leo lunation cycle has already passed. Perhaps we are being reminded to look to the community and to care for the whole, rather than focusing so much on individualism and the self.