When planets change signs (make ingresses), there are shifts in the ethers. The more we sensitize ourselves to the ingress, the more we benefit from its energy. It only makes sense to honor the planets when they do something noteworthy; e.g. enter a new sign, station direct or retrograde, or lend their heft to an important transit like the Cardinal Climax.
The next major milestone of the Cardinal Climax centers around this month’s Full Moon (see lecture series box in right-hand column).
“Honoring the gods” is a handy metaphor for engaging with the universal laws that planets represent. It makes them less abstract, helping us to cultivate a relationship with them. If we don’t take it too literally (as, alas, so many fundamentalist religionists do), a little anthropomorphizing allows us to go deeper with our understanding of the planet than our intellects alone can go. It allows us to tap into a part of ourselves that’s already in touch.
Notice how children, who think archetypally by instinct, understand the meaning of characters’ behavior in fairy tales. They know, without being told, that the haughty young man in the story is being supremely unwise to insult the old beggar woman. From legends worldwide, people of all ages know that one honors the god when he or she comes to call; even – maybe especially — if she appears in a scary disguise.
When we allow ourselves to think archetypally, we use understanding to benefit from astrological transits. If we are fortunate enough to be visited by Uranus, the wild-eyed god of liberating change, should we bolt the door? Just the opposite: we should bring out wine and flowers. If Mars is doing something significant in the sky, should we hide under the bed? On the contrary. We might put a red cloth on the altar and lay upon it a prayer of thanks for the courage he bestows.
Some transit trackers like to ritualize ingresses with a candle, which brings spiritual energy to the moment. When you strike the match, think about the planet you’re invoking, and what it means to you. Sweeten your prayer with thanks. Sincere gratitude brings out the best in a transiting planet.
In addition to the Sun going into Leo on July 22nd, five planets change positions this month.
Uranus goes retrograde on July 5th, heading back towards Pisces until it turns forward again in December.
If your life has been a roller coaster since late May, when Uranus entered Aries, this is your chance to check in with The Great Awakener and thank him for the freedom he is bringing you. Practically speaking, it makes sense to appeal to the essence of the planet rather than forcing it to hit you over the head with a 2-by-4…. which it will, if you try to ignore it.
The essence of Uranus is liberation. When we resist his teachings, we feel panicked and chaotic; when we understand and accept what he’s about, we feel the thrill of living in the moment. Make time on July 5th to proclaim your openness to being changed. Open a window in a room where they’re usually shut.
Mercury leaves Cancer for Leo on July 9th .
This inaugurates 2 ½ weeks of emphatic self-expression: the stories you tell during this period will have fire behind them. Your performing skills can be usefully deployed and communications charismatic if you maintain perspective about your need right now to generate applause.
Venus begins a month in Virgo on July 10th.
This is a modest and sober placement for the goddess of socializing, recreation and aesthetics. The energy lends itself to straightening out your living space and personal effects. Express affection in small, helpful ways.
Chiron re-enters Aquarius on July 20.
Chiron tentatively entered Pisces, sign of the oceans, on April 20: a matter of hours after the Deep Water oil rig explosion. Its return to Aquarius this month will take us through Feb. 8, 2011, at which point it returns to Pisces for eight years. Chiron in Pisces will be an undercurrent of the tumultuous period ahead , that is dominated by the Uranus-Pluto square. This fall and winter, Chiron will once again meet up with Neptune . Remember the Super Conjunction? That was the melt-down transit that took over the skies in 2009 and February of this year. In November the Neptune-Chiron duet will be back for their swan song about the nature of illusion
Saturn re-enters Libra on July 21st.
Saturn’s ongoing square with Pluto (Nov 09-Aug 10) is strengthened with this ingress. So is its opposition with Uranus, which peaks for the last of five hits on July 26th. With all three planets in Cardinal signs at the same time, the T-square they form together is made particularly tense and unstable, especially in the last part of the month.
The last time the Uranus and Saturn opposition reached exactitude was in April, when the Deep Water Horizon rig blew up1. With Pluto (corporations, corruption, death) squaring them both, we got an explosion (Uranus) not just of fire but of consciousness . This harrowing event has deeply sobered (Saturn) many people into paying attention to what’s at stake in the world right now.
July marks the next step in this learning curve. What will we do with this newly awakened consciousness?
Mars enters Libra on July 29th
At the end of the month, Mars will join in to the Cardinal T-square. On July 30th and 31st it will oppose Uranus and conjunct Saturn. Mars is a provocateur, agitating and energizing whatever it touches. There will be action, there will be high drama, there will be martial energy unleashed. Our job is to keep it constructive. The global themes that have been festering will be shaken up like a smoothie in a blender. We should be prepared for anything. Mars’s involvement here exaggerates the Aries theme of activism that underlies the Cardinal Cross years.
These transtits do not support sitting at home twiddling our thumbs. This is not to suggest that every one should sail to Gaza on a flotilla or join an agitprop theatre — although such creative expressions of righteous feeling will appeal to an increasing number of people. What it does suggest is that the spark of action is enlivening all of us, each in our own unique ways, and that it is a call to be heeded.2
Leadership — signified by the Cardinal signs — can express itself in a myriad of different ways. In whatever way the impulse expresses itself in you, pay attention to its promptings. These transits are about agency. They are dispelling passivity, and replacing it with a healthy pride in our individual capabilities. Their lesson is that we are agents of the world we want, and of the lives we want to lead.
1 See the August issue of The Mountain Astrologer for my analysis of the rig explosion chart. Media sources place the explosion time at 9:53 p.m. CDT on April 20 (0253 GMT on April 21).
2 An example of a less overtly political but equally apropos use of this energy is the spiritual activism of the Unity Wave collective, . who have planned local and global intention-setting activities, including synchronized meditations and prayers, in response to the desecration in the Gulf. Their main program takes place on July 17th and 18th.