“Do what you have to to be happy in this life. There is so much beauty. Go well my children.” The Bridges of Madison County - Robert James Waller
In the film’s final scene, the ashes of Francesca Johnson waft elegantly off a covered wooden bridge while Meryl Streep tenderly reads those perspicacious words to her character’s grown son and daughter. The story is about a mother’s devotion to her family and the eternity of true love. Richly emotional, these themes are fitting ones for the Sun’s entrance into watery, maternal Cancer. On June 21st at 4:29 A.M. PST the Sun enters this passionate, moon-ruled sign and thus activates this summer’s greatly anticipated Grand Cross. A full Capricorn moon eclipse takes place a few days later on June 26th with Mercury, newly moved into Cancer, adding more energy to the Cardinal sign thrust. On July 11th a total solar eclipse occurs with the new Cancer moon. Meanwhile Saturn is forming its final opposition to Uranus in the series that began on Election Day 2008. Finally, Neptune, the only large outer planet not directly involved in the Grand Cross, continues its retrograde motion through Aquarius, subtly adding an oceanic element to the mix. While the celestial stage is set for some of 2010’s most seismic astrological activity, Cancer, completely committed to caregiving and emotional integrity, calmly embraces the incoming waves. For her wisdom is as ancient as the moon, and she has long anticipated the needed changes these powerful tides are bringing.
Like no other sign, Cancer protects, nourishes and nurtures, and accessing its insights, instincts and ability to support are our keys to the cycle ahead. While the internet is awash in fears about the Grand Cross and T-Square, complete with doomsday scenarios, here in the world of 12, astrology is not dogma. Astrology is a language of symbols and set of tools for self-empowerment, and you the reader, not the planets, are in charge. Intrinsically psychic, the sign that starts the summer is compelled to forge ahead, and It offers us both its uncanny sixth sense and perpetual drive. This year that Cancerian quest to break on through to the other side will be abundantly aided by revolutionary Uranus and expansive Jupiter in bold, pioneering Aries and transformative Pluto moving through the sign of achievements and physical manifestation, Capricorn. Add exacting Saturn moving toward the 4th Cardinal sign of the zodiac, Libra, and welcome to the Grand Cross. As if by design, the Cosmos’ Great Mother, Cancer, has assembled some of her strongest allies to move us past unhealthy and unsustainable habits into brave new worlds. The navigation system she suggests is simple, the heart’s longing. Desire knows and lights the way.
On the eclipse of June 26th, the moon will be full in the sign of Capricorn where life-altering Pluto is sitting. Pluto is the planet that must to get to the ultimate truth in any matter and the moon puts us in touch with our intuition and real feelings. They will be opposite of Mercury and the Sun in Cancer. The Capricorn/Cancer axis asks us to reconcile ambitions and accomplishments in the outer world with our emotional and domestic needs. On a personal level this is the classic career versus home-life struggle. In the wider world, the moon and Pluto in Capricorn, ruler of banks, government and real estate, will be pitted against Mercury, information, and the Sun, individual will, in the sign ruling housing. While it’s impossible to predict how these aspects will play out precisely, news about the banks releasing more of their toxic housing assets is likely to surface. In an even wider context, Capricorn is about material success and Cancer about security, the home and emotional satisfaction. So more sober discourse on how we collectively balance the monetary needs of a capitalist society with Mother Earth’s needs is also likely to continue to be a central issue at this time. Yes, more debate about the oil spill, the environment and public policy will be in the spotlight. New ideas and new templates are needed. While innovative Uranus in brazen Aries portends support for the introduction of these radical new solutions, more esoteric Information and instruction will be downloadable on July 11th.
A solar eclipse occurs when the moon moves between the Sun and the Earth, temporarily blocking the Sun and the energy it emits. Mountain Astrologer’s Stephanie Austin has suggested the following interpretation.
“Solar eclipses are thus extra powerful. New Moons - and a total eclipse even more so, as the interruption of electromagnetic support facilitates a greater shift from one template to another. The more prepared and receptive we are to this upgrade of our biochemical circuitry, the easier it is to spiral up to the next octave of consciousness.”
With the Moon in her native home of Cancer, the eclipse of July 11th offers an opportunity to unplug, receive and reboot. Spending this eclipse near water is a stellar way to tune into these new energies.
In the background during this solar Cancer transit, heavyweights Saturn and Uranus head toward their final clash on July 26th. Since its beginning on Election Day 2008 when the two first met, this series of Saturn Uranus oppositions has played out strongly in the political arena. Conventional wisdom has been challenged by new ideas at each of their encounters. During the healthcare reform debate we saw the conflicts between stern Saturn in practical Virgo at odds with ground-breaking Uranus in utopian-minded Pisces. Now the two planets meet along the Aries (individual rights) Libra (group harmony) axis. The battle lines this time are forming around those whose livelihoods and wealth depend on the oil industry and the growing chorus of those who want to completely cease offshore drilling until environmental protection and safety can be assured.
Imbuing that and other global conversations with its nearly imperceptible yet considerable influence is Neptune. The planet most strongly associated with the ocean is transiting through humanitarian minded Aquarius, and its sagacity continues to subtly emerge from its watery depths. From the sinking of a South Korean naval ship (allegedly) by North Korea and subsequent calls for harsh sanctions against nuclear-armed North Korean, to the Gulf oil disaster, to the attack in international waters of the Mavi Marmara, the catalyzing events of this time are playing out in Neptune’s domain, water. In fact, the seeming sleeping giant went retrograde on May 31st, the day the Israeli commandos attacked the Gaza-bound aid flotilla.
When planets are retrograde they give us an opportunity to review the areas they influence. Pluto in Capricorn is presently retrograde while historic banking reform is before Congress. Uranus turns retrograde on July 6th, heightening the chance for advances in science and technology. Joining those two substantial forces, the Neptune retrograde factor suggests a spiritual dimension to the situations now presenting themselves. With its placement in broad-minded Aquarius, the call to social consciousness is also being sounded. In the case of the Koreans, in early June the South opted for a constructive and conciliatory tone, thus deescalating the threat of nuclear conflict. In the case of the BP oil spill, President Obama is championing green energy as the wider-ranging solution. In the case of Israel and the Palestinians, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair is brokering a compromise that will protect Israel’s security interests and yet allow food, medicine and construction materials for home-building to move through the four-year-old blockade to the people in Gaza. Food for the hungry, healing for the sick, security and peace, perhaps inspired by reflective Neptune waves from visionary Aquarius, they are most agreeable to Cancer’s fiercely maternal disposition. These conflict resolutions are instructive and hopeful signs of the times ahead. This summer’s Grand Cross and the T-square (lasting through late 2012) are duty bound to bring critical issues to the fore. Cancer aligns us with emotional honesty and our compassion for others. Then it gently prods us to take the next step with love. Catch its sweet waves!