Astrological update for the week of July 18-25, 2022
Chiron turns retrograde. Chiron is unlike any other planetary body in the solar system in that it has a cometary tail with the volume and size of a planet. Orbiting between the personal planets, bounded by Saturn, and the outer transformational planets of Uranus, Neptune and Pluto, it acts as a bridge between the personal and transpersonal. By encouraging the healing the soul wounds of this and previous incarnations, Chiron facilitates the growth and evolution of the soul as well as the personality.
When any planet turns retrograde it appears to be stationary in the sky, and this can intensify the experience of anyone whose natal chart is being activated by that planet. Chiron has only traveled one degree in the past two months, and it will take another two months to retrograde back one degree. If you have planets in your own natal chart between 12 and 18 degrees of the cardinal signs (Aries, Libra, Cancer or Capricorn) this may present emotional challenges as undigested feelings and dramas emerge to be released. If you have planets in those degrees of a fire sign (Leo, Aries, Sagittarius) this process of healing and release will be just as important, but since this is a harmonious trine aspect the release will come more easily.
Sun and Mercury both enter Leo this week. Leo is the sign of the Sun – under its auspices we receive the warmth and vitality of its light and heat, and we learn to fully identify with the Self that is given to us for this lifetime. Leo is the ruler of the Sun, and expresses this need to fully express the Self as offered by the sign under which we are born. Under the influence of Leo our spirits are warmed by the Sun and it becomes easier to allow joy into our lives if we are the kind of people that tend to be skeptical or damaged in some way.
Every astrological factor contains a dark side as well as a light side, and Leo’s dark side can be narcissism with a touch of pride and arrogance. Often these negative traits obscure a wounded personality which longs for Leo’s authentic expression of pleasure and happiness. With the Sun and Mercury both entering Leo this week, these energies infuse our lives for a time regardless of whether
Leo is present in our own natal charts. With both the Sun and Mercury conjunct Ceres, planet of nourishment, we will want to be particularly mindful of the needs of the body for nutrition, movement, and tools to calm the mind.
Pluto is highlighted. The transformational planet Pluto is triggered by Mercury on Monday July 18, quickly followed by the Sun and Ceres (see below). Pluto’s power can be somewhat relentless in its drive to destroy the false and empower the true, and for the first few days of the week we might expect some harsh words, especially since the Moon enters fiery Aries at 7:17 EDT on Monday.
The Sun opposes Pluto on Tuesday July 19, continuing the need to expose whatever isn’t working so that it may be transformed. The Aries Moon conjoins Chiron that day as well, so this could be a little challenging emotionally.
Then on Wednesday morning the Aries Moon sets off this Sun/Pluto dynamic for one last exciting fiery drama. This combination can be very exciting! It can help us to find motivation where none existed previously. But if relations are out of balance, that will become quite apparent under this dynamic.
The rest of the week:
By Wednesday afternoon EDT (July 20), the energies will begin to settle down. The Moon enters Taurus where we seek peace and comfort.
The Moon enters Gemini on early EDT on Friday July 23 to encourage communication of all kinds, and a harmonious trine from Mercury to Jupiter helps to ease the mind and encourage positivity. The Sun will be in Leo by then, and Ceres enters Leo that day as well. The remainder of the week is extremely beneficial with opportunities to find emotional and mental balance. My only caveat is that on the weekend we will need to watch for an overzealous social calendar that could throw off that balance (Venus square Jupiter, Moon square Neptune).
On Sunday afternoon EDT the Moon will enter Cancer and draw our attention back into the moods of our feelings and inner world for a few days.
A heads up for next Monday: A challenging square from Mercury in Leo to Pluto could bring up some difficulty in communication and potentially some arguments. Forewarned is forearmed!
Monday morning’s Moon starts at the very beginning, the first degree of Aries. Reboot the mood! It squares Venus at zero Cancer, a cardinal square. That kind of friction responds best to getting up, getting started, and going after something … Read More…
In a futile attempt to erase our past, we deprive the community of our healing gift. If we conceal our wounds out of fear and shame, our inner darkness can neither be illuminated nor become a light for others. ~ Brennan Manning (The Cry of the Heart for Intimate Belonging)
On Tuesday, July 19th, the centaur Chiron stations Retrograde at 16º Aries 26’. When planets appear to station, as Chiron will this week, they will often make their presence known. They feel stronger. They let us know they are there. During the retrograde phase, as they appear to be retreating back through the zodiac, we use this time to internalize and process the qualities of the planet (or centaur in this case). Chiron will remain in its retrograde phase through December 23rd.
Originating from the Kuiper Belt just outside our solar system, centaurs are similar in size and appearance to asteroids but are more like comets in their makeup,. Occasionally they will get caught up in the gravitational field of the planets within our system and will end up revolving around the Sun, but in a very convoluted way. Due to their irregular orbits, they will often end up colliding with other objects or get thrust back out of the Solar System. Chiron was the first of these temporary visitors from beyond to be discovered in 1977.
Named for the centaur of mythology, Chiron is often referred to as the wounded healer. Like its namesake, there seems to be this correspondence between the wound, be it physical, psychological or existential, and our own healing journey. In the myth, Chiron was accidentally wounded by a poisonous arrow. However, because Chiron was the son of the titan Chronos, he was immortal, and would not die. Instead he would live with the pain of this festering wound until he renounced his immortality in favor of Prometheus, the one who foresees the future. This almost sounds like a metaphor for the soul’s evolutionary journey.
Chiron is here to remind us that one of the casualties of the human experience is the constant reminder of our vulnerability and the reality of our suffering. Ironically Chiron searched the world over in order to heal his own wound, thereby becoming the most skilled and sought out practitioner. Despite this he was never able to find a cure for his own wound. What he did find was acceptance and understanding. It was believed that because of his own wound, and that he understood what it was to feel pain and suffering, it was this, even more than his skill, that made him such an effective healer. Chiron therefore will often be prominently placed in the charts of alternative and even conventional healers.
The Chironic 5-month retrograde phase is a time of year in which we are asked to pay attention to our own healing journey. Memories surface, old wounds reopen, and we come face to face with what needs healing, forgiving, releasing and forgetting. The retrograde phase of Chiron compels us to look within, to the very root of what ails us, to the inception and cause. This is when we are most able to do a lot of this inner work. Know that it is not easy.
It means raking things up from the past, reliving old traumas, confronting our own doubts and insecurities. One advantage of Chiron being in Aries is that it brings the courage and the motivation to clear out the dungeons, confront the dragons in their caves, and cast out the demons, allowing us to move freely into the future with a much lighter load. Doing this Chironic work over the next 5 months can be incredibly liberating. And because it is in Aries, can even help us to write new scripts, paving the way for a whole new beginning.
There is a great deal of debate among astrologers for which astrological chart is the right one for the United States. Most of us use the Sibley chart of July 4th (here’s why I use it), but some argue for a Gemini rising chart, or a Scorpio ascendant.
The ascendant describes the way we see ourselves, and the way the world see us and it’s therefore more visible in many ways than the Sun sign. So when I see articles like this one, about a research study undertaken by Microsoft about what makes their employees happy, it reinforces my confidence that Sagittarius, the sign of sunny optimism and adventure, is the correct one.
We live to feel good.
That’s the American way. We get up every day; we’re excited about our lives, our jobs and our bank balances.
At least that’s what we say — because a positive attitude is vital to being, or appearing to be, a success.
Yet is this everything? And has the pandemic incited us to wonder whether we’re really so excited about working at all? Even if we’re the boss.
This idea of feeling good and a positive attitude being vital to success is quintessentially Sagittarian, and easily explained by the Sibley chart. This chart also shows that Aries, the sign of the individual, is on the cusp of the sixth house of work and labor. Pulling oneself up from the bootstraps and all that stuff is very sixth house Aries in nature. But beginning in 2018, the U.S. progressed Venus transited the cusp of the sixth house of work (also health and small animals, but historically this is the house of masters and servants). Transits of the progressed Venus shows where we need to feel that what we are doing is valued, and suddenly “work” needed to be more rewarding. According to a Vox article from 2019, more workers quit their jobs in April 2019 than in any previous single month, and as we know the great labor shortage continued to worsen through the pandemic.
Progressed Venus won’t leave the U.S. sixth house until 2041, suggesting that this idea of laborers being valued is likely to continue for quite some time.
The Full Moon in Capricorn involves the polarity of Cancer and Capricorn, cardinal homes of the Moon and Saturn which utilize inward receptivity as part of their potent ability to initiate change and new growth. While Cancer is a watery place of fresh springs and tidal currents that nurtures life and amplifies emotional response, the cold stones and dark forests of Capricorn test resolve by bringing the adversity and suffering necessitated by mortality and time into focus. Cancer and Capricorn have ancient associations as being gateways of life, with Cancer linked to life and the descent of souls into incarnation, Capricorn connected to the ascent of souls following death to the realm of the ancestors. Porphyry in On the Caves of the Nymphs described Cancer as the northern gate “adapted to souls descending into generation,” and Capricorn as the southern gate that is “adapted to ascent” and “dissolves life . . . send[ing] it upward to the heat of a divine nature.” Capricorn holds the wisdom and guidance found in the ancestral realm as it’s also a place where the putrefaction and deep contemplation of Saturn finds its home. The knowing strength of our ancestors who survived extraordinary collective crises will be an important resource to draw from under the light of the Full Moon in Capricorn on July 13.
The silvery fullness of Selene will illuminate great depths of desires during the Capricorn Full Moon, spreading open what had been tightly concealed and bringing the influence of previously hidden undercurrents into awareness. The Capricorn Full Moon holds the tension of Mercury applying to a conjunction with the Sun in Cancer while the Moon applies toward a conjunction with Pluto in Capricorn, an especially volatile and chthonic dynamic that can involve both anxieties over the chaos of changing conditions as well as penetrating insight into the complexities of present circumstances. Political and economic crises have been erupting around the world as global structures continue to dissolve and mutate, making the impact of the Full Moon’s alignment with Pluto potent for letting go of the places within us that have been resistant to facing the ways we need to make personal changes adjusting to the immense systemic disintegration that has been intensifying. The incredible craftiness, cunning contemplativeness, and fertile imagination present within the sign of the Sea Goat can be a benefit in facing facts while coming up with inventive plans that open new possibilities for forward movement.
The Capricorn Full Moon is applying to both a conjunction with Pluto as well as a creative sextile aspect with Neptune in Pisces, evoking the imaginal depth of the Sea Goat who draws sustenance from the oceanic expanse underlying reality to churn vision of what to manifest from subconscious senses. With the plutonic Full Moon in the nocturnal domicile of Saturn, there’s a need for descent into the darkness of whatever processes of death and rebirth we are experiencing, patiently allowing for a gathering of resources in situations that do not demand immediate action. While external stressors may necessitate immediate responses and adjustments in some circumstances, on internal levels we will need to make the space and time to deepen into our personal underworld where we not only face our core issues but also come into contact with the internal source of power we may wield creatively in the world. Experiences of Pluto can coincide with experiences of powerlessness in the face of titanic forces, yet ultimately the role of Pluto is to guide us into greater embodiment of our power to creatively make change with the fortitude of inner resolve in support.
Our collective experience of having so many people around the world simultaneously facing a liminal and precarious threshold is reflected by the fact that we have gone through an extended sequence of full moons in aspect with Pluto during the past year. The Full Moon in Pisces on 20 September 2021 was sextile Pluto, the Full Moon in Aries on October 20 was square Pluto, the Lunar Eclipse in Taurus on November 19 was trine Pluto, the Full Moon in Cancer on 18 January 2022 was opposite Pluto, the Full Moon in Virgo on March 18 was trine Pluto, the Full Moon in Libra on April 16 was square Pluto, and the Total Lunar Eclipse in Scorpio on May 16 was sextile Pluto. Pluto’s long journey through Capricorn that began in 2008 is coming to an end, as Pluto will enter Aquarius for the first time on 23 March 2023 where it will remain until backtracking into Capricorn on 11 June 2023, eventually moving into Aquarius for good by the end of 2024. Pluto’s time in Capricorn has been a major astrological factor in both the exposure of toxicity within collective structures as well as the dismantling of societal systems, and though Pluto’s journey through Capricorn has coincided with collective fear of being controlled by external forces it has also brought experiences reminding people of not only their power to reshape their life structures but the need to take responsibility in doing so.
In the United States of America the Capricorn Full Moon also aligns with the second exact Pluto return for the astrology chart most often associated with the USA, set for 4 July 1776 at 5:10 pm in Philadelphia, PA. The idea behind this chart is to set it for when the Declaration of Independence was signed, placing Pluto at 27°33′ Capricorn. Pluto returns to this degree and minute three times in 2022: the first time was on February 20, the second time was on July 11 only two days before the Capricorn Full Moon, and the third time will be on December 28. Whether you agree with using this exact time for the USA chart or not, there is strong logic behind the idea that Pluto has returned to the general area of where it was astrologically when the USA was born by declaring its independence from the British Empire. The experience of the USA’s Pluto return has brought innumerable toxicities from the nations’s past into current events, including systemic racism, military interventions, and mass shootings among many others. Most recently the role of the Supreme Court has taken center stage, with rulings that have deprived women of their equal rights to make private choices concerning their bodies, dissolved boundaries separating church and state, and limited the power of environmental protection agencies to monitor pollution, among others. The Capricorn Full Moon will bring greater illumination to the plutonic process underway within the USA, with the opposition between Mercury and Pluto likely bringing further information and insight into light. The dark night of the soul being traversed by the USA brings the possibility of regeneration ultimately occurring from so many critical issues being dredged to the surface, yet the astrology of 2022 reveals that the internal conflicts will continue to intensify during the rest of the year.
The hazy influence of Neptune hangs over the Capricorn Full Moon, with the Capricorn Moon applying to a sextile with Neptune and Venus in Gemini applying to a disorienting square aspect with Neptune. The tension between Venus and Neptune can manifest in many ways, such as experiencing a beneficial and inspiring lift from idealism to becoming ungrounded by dogmatic attachment to overly idealistic beliefs. Experiences of disillusionment with the state of the world or personal dynamics may occur, yet with Venus also separating from a flowing trine with Saturn in Aquarius the cunning connectivity of Venus in Gemini can help in reorienting to whatever deeper truths or insights we receive, as well as in reaching out to networks of needed support. Venus in Gemini can facilitate questioning our circumstances and digging under the surface of dynamics to make meaningful connections that can help in devising plans going forward. Yet we must also keep in mind how the idealistic influence of Neptune could make us prone to see things how we wish they were rather than the actual reality. By staying grounded we can utilize the imaginal potency of Neptune in receiving meaningful insights that open new possibilities of perception regarding our circumstances.
Mercury in Cancer is also making extremely important aspects during the Capricorn Full Moon, as Mercury is applying closely toward a creative sextile with Uranus as well as toward a trine with Neptune and an opposition with Pluto that Mercury will complete in the days following the lunation. Vitally, Mercury is hidden under the beams of the Sun during the lunation and speeding into a conjunction with the Sun that Mercury will complete on July 16. The superior conjunction of Mercury with the Sun on July 16 can bring clarity regarding the various dynamics we have been experiencing personally and collectively, with the trine Mercury will form with Neptune opening imaginal inspiration and the opposition Mercury will form with Pluto opening penetrating insight into underlying undercurrents. At the time of the Capricorn Full Moon, however, Mercury’s close sextile aspect with Uranus can help in unearthing innovative insights as well as making connections in meaning that can help shake up where we have felt stagnant and bring a spark of liberating momentum.
Mercury will remain under the beams of the Sun until emerging again into visibility toward the end of July in Leo, making the waning half of the present lunar cycle a time in which exploration of hidden realms may be more productive than making the meaning being explored visible. Around the same time Mercury becomes visible as an evening star at the end of July, Mars in Taurus will be forming an incredibly disruptive and disorienting conjunction with Uranus and the North Node of the Moon that can also be extremely creative and open completely new paths of exploration forward. Mars in Taurus will get closer and closer to its impending conjunction with Uranus and the North Node each day during the waning half of the present lunar cycle, with Mars moving within three degrees of its conjunction during the upcoming New Moon in Leo on July 28. While the activation of Uranus and the North Node of the Moon by Mars promises to further intensify the shattering of systemic systems and amplify the political and economic turmoil already occurring, it also holds extraordinary potential on personal level to activate a liberation from past dynamics in order to pursue a more authentically creative and passionate life.
Capricorn 3 Decan
The Capricorn Full Moon will illuminate the third decan of Capricorn associated with the Four of Pentacles tarot card illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith. An image of empire building and wielding influence from a seat of power, the Four of Pentacles signifies a cultivation of inner talents to make an impact in the material world that aligns with the third decan of Capricorn being ruled by the Sun and Mercury. The crowned and enthroned figure is surrounded by the weight of matter with pentacles below and above, as a fourth pentacle cradled at heart level evokes a spinning wheel of fortune. The figure towers in the foreground, suggesting someone sovereign and able to manage structures to bring material prosperity and security within the wildly fluctuating changes in fortune that come and go within surrounding society.
Austin Coppock in his book on the decans 36 Facesascribed the image of “The Throne” to the third face of Capricorn, a fitting image given that the Sun rules the decan. Coppock wrote that this face of Capricorn involves administering from a throne to control the elements of the world needed to attain material gain and positions of greater power and responsibility. Notably, Coppock cautioned that hubris can tempt those grasping for power in this face to overlook the weight of responsibility and the loneliness of isolation that accompany achieving ambitions. Coppock warned that accumulations of material wealth, power, and responsibility “may end up crushing them,” the idealized palace turning into a restrictive prison as “only high places bring with them the danger of terrible falls.” Coppock concluded that although the third face of Capricorn draws us “close to high seats of power,” we need to remember that influential “positions always come with responsibility, and to sit in them is to be tempted by hubris.”
Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa in Three Books of Occult Philosophy wrote that within the third decan of Capricorn “rises a woman chased in body and wise in her work, and a banker gathering money on a table; this [image] is the significator for prudent government and for ambitious and greedy substances.” The duality between wise governing and excessive greed found within the third face of Capricorn, combined with the Full Moon conjoining Pluto, points to the necessity of examining the ways in which we are governing our lives in accordance with ambitions tied to the status symbols of society such as extreme wealth. In a time of systemic collapse across global societies, with the old and familiar forms of hierarchical structures falling apart, new pathways and connections for vocational calling will be continuing to open and mutate. The Full Moon in Capricorn is ideal for centering within the deep purpose found within the limitless recesses of one’s inner soul, making contact with one’s core motivations removed from external symbols of success and status. As the image of “The Throne” suggests, it’s also a potent lunation for coming to terms with the full range of responsibilities we will need to claim and be accountable for in pursuit of goals and in co-creation of the kind of world we wish to live within.
Agrippa, Heinrich Cornelius. (2021). Three Occult Books of Philosophy. Translated by Eric Purdue. Inner Traditions.
Coppock, Austin. (2014). 36 Faces: The History, Astrology and Magic of the Decans. Three Hands Press.
Tomorrow, July 13th, the moon will be full in Capricorn at 21 degrees. Looking ahead, I realized the effects of this thing are going to linger. This is because post the full moon, the moon and then the sun and … Read More…
Nothing like having Pluto in Capricorn conjoining the Moon on this Full Moon at 21° 21’ Capricorn on 13 July 2022, 11:38 AM PDT to get our attention. Not only that but Uranus in Taurus and Neptune in Pisces both harmoniously aspect the luminaries. While the presence of the outer planets suggests there are serious changes in the works, this time we have a little more say in the matter which is always a good thing.
One of the keys to working with these implacable energies is Mercury in Cancer conjoining the Cancer Sun and closely sextile Uranus in Taurus. Mercury in Cancer blends thought and intuition seamlessly, unlike very mental Mercury in Gemini. Non-linear thinking is what Mercury in the water signs does best. Dump as much good data as can be found in, go do a “chop wood, haul water” thing and let the information percolate. Wonderful solutions can pop into our minds at odd moments or emerge in the transition from sleeping to being awake.
Yes, having the Capricorn Moon conjoining Pluto is intense but perhaps it is time, or even past time, to clear garbage out of our lives in order to allow for new growth. The influence of Neptune in Pisces encourages us to be kind to ourselves during this process. We may need help accepting a deep loss of some type and it is very OK to seek help for this. One thing that is critical to this process is being as honest as we can, both with ourselves and those we discuss our issues with. Pluto can be merciless when dealing with hypocrisy and lies. Those who have family may find them more sympathetic than usual because it appears more likely the Cancer-Capricorn opposition will be a cooperative influence rather than combative on this lunation.
By the way, this is a good time to remember our families can be both blood and chosen as long as the people involved treat each other with love and respect. Eccentric Uranus in Taurus plays a role here since it is trine the Capricorn Moon. Capricorn is usually rather conventional and it would take Uranus to coax it into expanding Capricorn’s idea of what constitutes a family.
Venus in Gemini is closely trine Saturn in Aquarius and both planets have a connection to the luminaries. Venus-Saturn trines are usually beneficial in that we tend to be more consistent and responsible in our relationships under this influence. What we value is more easily defined in a clear, rational way which in turn makes the process of choosing what to keep and what to throw out easier. The catch here is Venus is also square to Neptune in Pisces. If this seems like a familiar vibe, it’s because Mercury in Gemini was in the same position on the New Moon in Cancer. Minimize distractions if at all possible!
Off to the side of things, Mars in Taurus is semi-sextile Jupiter in Aries. What gives this aspect more weight than usual is Mars is Aries’s ruling planet. Mars in Taurus moves at a deliberate pace, and even dynamic Jupiter in Aries will have a hard time pushing it to move faster. This is a reminder to us to not get in a big hurry because it won’t do us any good. We still need to take all the necessary steps to complete whatever we’re working on.
The potential for good outcomes is excellent on this Full Moon in Capricorn. However it will take being brutally honest with ourselves and others in order to initiate the process. We’ll need to take extra care not to fall into denial with the strong Neptune presence on this lunation. And, of course, we’ll need to use the Capricorn method of achieving success . . . lot of consistent hard work. We have the tools to see this through with a preponderance of cardinal signs to get us moving, enough fixed signs to keep us going and just a touch of mutable energy in case we need to make adjustments to our strategy. May as well start practicing patience and tenacity as well as kindness and tolerance because we’ll need all those qualities in abundance. Peace and love to all.