by Joan Kiley
July began with Mercury retrograde, plus a preview of a configuration we will see evidence of throughout the entire month. It is a rather rare event called an outer planet grand trine (or equilateral triangle) in water signs. The planets involved are Jupiter, just 1 degree into Cancer at month’s onset, Saturn retrograde in early Scorpio, and Neptune retrograde in early Pisces. They were loosely trined on July 1, but become nearly exact at just under 5 degrees July 17, and remain in orb all this month and into August.
What might we expect of such a configuration? The trine aspect itself is a 120-degree angle, the circle divided by 3. Symbolically, the number 3 suggests a harmonizing of opposites, the bringing about of resolution or compromise. Thus, the trine is often looked at as an easeful aspect, particularly when the planets in question are in the same element. With a grand trine in water, obviously the element is the same for all the planets. The difficulty of bringing the character of the planets themselves into harmony, however, cannot be underestimated. Therefore an assumption of “all will be harmonious” is naïve indeed, particularly when we still have the active Pluto/Uranus square keeping things on edge. And don’t forget Mercury retrograde, as an added bonus!
Jupiter is expansive; Saturn is conservative. Neptune is boundless; Saturn is boundaries. Neptune is spiritual, and Jupiter can be religious; yet Saturn is much more mundane, representing government, military control, status quo, and maintaining the established order of things. If we think of global news at the moment, we see huge religiously oriented battlefronts all over the world: 1) the religious zealots battling against the rights of women in state and federal governments in the U.S.; 2) Egyptians protesting for the removal of a president who wants an Islamist state while they wish for a secular democracy and the military saying they will back the people; 3) the Taliban, an extremist religious/military group in Afghanistan, pushing for the capacity to “talk” with the US about what happens when the U.S. departs; and 4) protests in Turkey, which came about for many reasons, not the least of which was the government’s disrespect for human rights and secularism.
Could this grand trine of July actual bring about some peace and harmony on any of these fronts? Or at least some easing of conflict, some improvement of understanding between fractious parties? Possibly, but more likely we’ll be in for some surprises. The same can be expected for individuals on a personal level. We could experience some parts of ourselves and/or our lives coming together unexpectedly. We could see some relief from stressful conditions, or an opening in what we thought was an implacable situation. The key is to feel into our own positions, honor the heart’s desire, be sure we are being true to ourselves in a given situation, and then be open to unpredictable consequences.
As this trine began, it also happens that Venus in Leo was simultaneously approaching a trine to Uranus, and moving away from a square to Saturn. Venus in Leo does want attention for bringing parties together, and with Uranus in the mix, there could be unpredictability. It is good to expect …and welcome…the unexpected! If we can just keep in mind that change is really all that is predictable, we’ll be ahead of the game.
Just hours before the New Moon, at 10:12 PM PDT on July 7, Saturn stationed direct. This means that Saturn will now move ahead faster than it has for some months. Then we have the New Moon in Cancer, 12:14 AM PDT on July 8. The Sun and Moon are in waning squares to Uranus, and waning oppositions to Pluto, forming a T-square. Venus exactly trines Uranus. This tells me we cannot ignore the Uranian energy in Aries in these weeks, despite the emphasis on water signs. We could find ourselves in a somewhat confused space, slightly overwhelmed, and agitated, with all of the feelings flowing through us.
A New Moon is always the time to dream, to vision what it is that we want to manifest for our future. And this is a powerful New Moon! Cancer is a cardinal sign, which emphasizes new beginnings. It is ruled by the Moon, so a New Moon in Cancer is a particularly important one to honor within this dark-of-the-moon 24-hour time period.
Don’t be limited by what you have already experienced, while imagining your future. Dream the impossible dream! And think of it as a direction to move toward, not necessarily as a final destination. As Thich Nhat Hanh said in “Being Peace”: If I lose my direction, I have to look for the North Star, and I go to the north. That does not mean I expect to arrive at the North Star. I just want to go in that direction.”
On July 9th, Venus remains important, as she squares the Moon’s nodes, and the Moon joins her in Leo. This configuration may have us dwelling on the past, or more likely, musing on the future, and wondering what our particular role might be in creating it. This would be especially so if we did our visioning homework on the New Moon.
On July 12, a Virgo Moon forms a kite formation out of the water grand trine, by opposing Neptune and sextiling both Scorpio and Jupiter. Retrograde Mercury is square the Moon’s nodes. It will be a good day for information to flow with intent to improve things from what they are. Take time to jot down ideas for amending current projects, letting go of feelings, or changing behaviors that may have inhibited your forward progress.
On July 14, the Moon in Libra touches off a grand square in cardinal signs, with Jupiter and retrograde Mercury in Cancer, Uranus in Aries, and Pluto in Capricorn. It isn’t a strong square, but we may feel frustrated with the need to make progress and being powerless over obstacles in our way. Mars entrance into Cancer increases our agitation. A day for patience, and taking care not to indulge in negative self-judgment.
As the Moon shifts into Scorpio on July 16, and conjoins Saturn, and Mars conjoins Jupiter in Cancer, it puts a total of 6 planets into the water grand trine. That’s a lot of water energy, especially since Mercury and the Sun remain in Cancer as well. Take a swim anyone? I’m not sure what else could provide us enough comfort for all of that emotional energy flowing in the universe, of which we are indeed a part.
During the Moon’s journey through Scorpio, it will trine retrograde Mercury and also the Sun. We may long for deep connection yet feel strangely isolated. Stay with your feelings as you are able. There is truly nowhere to run. Spending time at the ocean, along a stream, or just at the local pool may help. Don’t be surprised at an unusual level of sensitivity on the part of friends, co-workers, or strangers you meet on the subway. This is a significant period for all of us to wade through, and we are truly in it together.
By July 18, retrograde Pluto will be opposing retrograde Mercury, Jupiter and Mars. This is definitely a configuration reflecting the clash of extremist religious views, and possible violence associated with it. One might hope that the stationing Mercury, plus the water trine could mitigate such clashes, have those involved be re-evaluating their positions. However, we can’t count on it. We can only work on the clashing positions within ourselves.
Mercury stations direct at 11:23 AM PDT on July 20 at 13 degrees Cancer. It will remain in its shadow, retracing its steps, until August 3, at which time it will once again reach the degree it was in when it went retrograde. We may find ourselves going over in our minds some of the same territory we explored during the past three weeks. May you be pleased with decisions you made and/or behavior you altered.
On July 22, the Sun shifts into Leo, and is followed immediately by the Moon moving to Aquarius, bringing about a Full Moon at 11:16 AM PDT at 0 degrees Aquarius. On the same day, Venus moves into Virgo. This means we have 8 of the nine bodies in our solar system in the first 10 degrees of signs, and the tenth body, Uranus, at 12 degrees. The Moon’s nodes, and Chiron are all at 13 degrees. This feels strongly like a birthing process of a new consciousness, as if something truly significant is evolving in us, in our universe, at this time. Newness can be awkward, and look more like devolvement than positive change.
Venus will immediately begin to oppose Neptune, and within days a new kite formation develops with the water grand trine. Venus in Virgo searches for perfection in relationships, in work, in service to others. A connection to Neptune can encourage us to believe we’ve either found Nirvana or will never have hope of finding it. Try to remain realistic while still believing in manifesting the best of yourself.
July 25th finds the Moon in Pisces, accenting the Venus/Neptune opposition, and bringing the feminine archetypes together. During this intense watery period, consider invoking Yemaya, the Yoruba Orisha, or Goddess of the living Ocean. She is considered the source of all the waters, and the waters being the source of all life, she is the mother of all. Strong and protective, she cares deeply for all of Her children, comforting them and cleansing them of sorrow. Even if it’s not your style to imagine goddesses, give Yemaya a try. She is easy to bring to mind, and if you allow access, she can bring you great peace and comfort during these confusing times.
The final week of the month we find the Sun in strong square with Saturn and quincunx Pluto. On July 29, the Moon in Taurus opposes Saturn and squares the Sun in a fixed T-square. This could reflect a change toward stability in volatile or shaky circumstances. It could also make determined foes even more determined. Think tense, edgy, a need for adjustment. The scores of aspects are reflective of almost infinite possibilities. The chart for mid-day is extremely complex. There are no planets without multiple aspects. Things ease up a bit for the final two days of the month, but we’ll be starting August with the Leo Sun still standing alone in its own sign.
Stay cool! See you in August!