The next lunation cycle opens with a rare Black Moon, a second New Moon in the same sign of the zodiac. The first New Moon in Cancer, which was also a Solar Eclipse, took place late at night between June 20 and 21. The second New Moon in Cancer will take place on July 20, inaugurating the next lunation cycle. The subsequent alignments between the Sun and the Moon—from waxing sextile to closing conjunction—will take place with the Sun in Leo. Thus, this cycle is primarily dominated by that Solar Leonine energy, but our seeds of intention will be planted in the Lunar-ruled soil of the sign of Cancer.
The retrogrades of Venus and Mercury are now behind us, and the Mars retrograde still lies ahead. The inner planets have smooth sailing, while the outer planets will all be moving retrograde against the backdrop of fixed stars before this lunation is out.
The fiery warrior energy of Mars in Aries is dominant throughout this cycle, and with the Sun also in a fire sign the energetic temperature seems to be turning up to higher and greater degrees of heat. Fire can be purifying and cleansing, burning away what no longer serves or what has lingered past its time, but fire also can be destructive, consuming in its flames that which was still meant to grow and flourish. We each have a fire within us that can be directed towards right action, and the long march of Mars in Aries through these coming months will continue to remind us that we have the power to direct that will for good or for ill.
Transits of the Cancer-Leo Lunation
*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.
*July 22 @ 1:37 am PT* Glory be as the Sun ingresses into the radiant sign of its rulership, while Mercury, still lingering in Cancer, makes an intellectually stimulating sextile to Uranus in Taurus. The Sun is home in its midsummer fixed fire sign, the blazing heat drawing all attention to itself as the one light of the day sky. The Sun is the archetype of individuality and identity, it is our will to be, our impulse to exist—“the infinite I AM”*—and when dignified in Leo, the Sun draws our attention to the spiraling center of the Self.
*Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Biographia Literaria
*July 23 @ 10:46 pm PT* Virgo Moon forms a T-square with Venus in Gemini and Neptune in Pisces, luring forward themes last felt in May: the exquisitely dreamy mood, the ethereal wash of poignant emotions, the sensitive emotional attunement to the heart of others. Ophelia drowns in the flower-strewn river of her poetic fantasies, and sylphs mourn her passing.
*July 24 @ 11:33 pm PT* Libra Moon forms a waxing crescent in a sextile to the Sun in Leo, the first alignment between the luminaries in the Leo lunation cycle. The confluence between the air and fire of these signs may bring an energetic harmony and sense of energized balance, although the reprieve may not last long in the heated conditions of this year’s lengthier planetary alignments.
*July 27 @ 5:33 am PT* Scorpio Moon squares off in its waxing quarter phase to the Sun in Leo, opening a day of astrological potency: exact alignments of Jupiter sextile Neptune, Venus square Neptune, and Mercury square Mars set the spheres alight with ringing overtones of archetypal music. Venus-Neptune may be holding forth with romantic ideals and divine love, but Mercury-Mars may want to argue and debate against such fantastical notions. Fortunately, Jupiter-Neptune does offer a broader perspective, a cosmic optimism that may provide the relaxed ease needed to contextualize mortal conflicts.
*July 29 @ 12:47 pm PT* The Moon in Sagittarius points its arrow towards the Sun in Leo, forming a fiery trine between the great lights of our sky. Harmonious and supportive for action, growth, and self-actualization, some seeds planted during the Cancer Black Moon may be starting to sprout, putting forth new leaves and furled buds that extend upwards towards the warm light.
*July 30 @ 7:17 am PT* Mercury in Cancer opposes Jupiter in Capricorn while also forming a trine to Neptune in Pisces. Jupiter takes joy in broadening and expanding Mercury’s mind, while Neptune pours forth its stream of images into Mercury’s consciousness. The ever-widening river of thoughts rushes and flows through the valley of the mind, submerging the intellect in daydreams of grandeur.
*August 1 @ 3:52 am PT* Mercury in Cancer opposes Pluto in Capricorn, deepening the mind, intensifying the intellect, driving one’s curiosity to ferret out secrets and voraciously devour knowledge. Beware of paranoid thinking, but conscious of how your thoughts can be manipulated, especially since the effects of yesterday’s exact alignment of Mercury with Jupiter and Neptune are still immensely potent.
*August 2 @ 4:19 am PT* The Sun in Leo squares Uranus in Taurus, illuminating the revolutionary impulse for change, disruption, and innovation. The pace of life may feel quickened and accelerated, with changes arising unexpectedly and from unforeseen quarters. Electric jolts of new insight spark awakening and jagged impatience.
*August 3 @ 8:59 am PT* The Aquarius Full Moon basks in the Leonine Sun’s glow, just before Mercury in Cancer gazes into the cold stare of Saturn opposing it in Capricorn. This lunation’s crowning flower is a cold pearl, an elusive feeling just beyond reach. Uranus in a T-square with the luminaries catalyzes changes that ripple through the atmosphere like lightning. The intellect focuses with concentrated precision to clasp the airy mood, but mystery radiates through the silent chambers of the mind, evading all but the most calmly persistent inquirers.
*August 4 @ 6:07 am PT* Mars in Aries squares Jupiter in Capricorn, initiating its long angular journey of igniting the Jupiter-Saturn-Pluto stellium in three lengthy passes between this August and next January. The last time Mars was in hard alignment to these three planets was in March and April of this year as it moved in conjunction through the stellium, correlating with the rapid spread of the coronavirus pandemic around the globe. A highly energized transit, arrogance may become enflamed and confidence inflated if the amplified heat is not channeled into positive action and growth.
*August 7 @ 8:21 am PT* Venus completes her long sojourn as Mercury’s guest in the sign of Gemini, now submerging into the sensual waters of Cancer for a month. Sweet, gentle, loving softness; young love and innocent romance; the heart chakra glowing with feelings and emotions. How do you show tender care to your beloveds?
*August 8 @ 3:49 pm PT* Aries Moon trines the Leo Sun, creating the second fire trine of the lunation between the two luminaries. What have you actualized and ignited during this cycle? As the leaves of your intentions begin to wither in the waning heat, what fruits are you harvesting and how you are sharing them?
*August 10 @ 5:52 am PT* Mercury, having swum out of Cancer on August 4 and now drying off in Leo’s rays, makes an electrifying square to Uranus in Taurus, setting off sparks of insight and awakening in the mind. What new thoughts are you entertaining that you have never dared to engage before?
*August 13 @ 12:14 am PT* Mars in Aries squares Pluto in Capricorn, intensifying the ferocity of this first pass of Mars in angular alignment to the great stellium. What deep rage has been simmering below the surface, that is ready to erupt in volcanic destruction? Instincts are enflamed, libido unleashed, the wild hunting cat bares her fangs at her frightened prey. The lava flows across the landscape, and the shifting of tectonic plates sets the world afire.
*August 14 @ 1:32 am PT* Gemini Moon makes a closing sextile to the Sun in Leo, winding this lunation cycle towards its conclusion. As you hold the airy dandelion globe before you, what wishes will you send out upon the breeze to be planted at the Leo New Moon?
*August 15 @ 7:25 am PT* Uranus in Taurus turns retrograde, joining the rest of the outer planets in their backwards dance across the sky. The outer planets—Jupiter through Pluto—are currently moving retrograde, while the inner planets all wend forward against the backdrop of the fixed stars. The appearance of retrograde motion is caused by the movement of the Earth itself, carried forward in its elliptical orbit by its love affair with the Sun, and traveling faster than the planets that move slowly at the outer reaches of our solar system. Retrogrades remind us that we too live upon a moving planet. As the poet Drew Dellinger writes:
“we are standing on a planet
that is shooting through space,
and it’s time we started acting like it
planetize the movement—
you can’t stop
the Earth’s revolution.”
*August 16 @ 7:02 am PT* The Sun-Mercury conjunction in Leo trines Mars in Aries: at the correct angle, sunlight through a magnifying glass can cause a roaring blaze. Mars seems to be igniting anything and everything it can touch right now, but perhaps this intellectual warrior energy can be harmoniously directed towards more heroic usage.
*August 18 @ 7:42 pm PT* The New Moon in Leo comes at last, closing out the Leo lunation cycle instead of initiating it—as has been the case for every previous lunation cycle this year. Plant your seeds of intention in the sunbaked soil, and offer them the creative fertilizer of the Venus-Uranus sextile that also comes into exact alignment on this day. The heart awakens with new and unexpected desires, bringing breakthroughs, excitement, and experimentation in love, romance, and friendship.