Leo New Moon & Mars

Paul Klee Pride of Lions

Paul Klee (1924) A Pride of Lions (Take Note!)

New Moon in Leo

The Leo New Moon on July 23 is united with Mars, bringing primal intensity and vigor to the lunation.  New Moons are a time to set intentions, yet the symbolism of the Moon being invisible correlates with the necessity of embracing the unknown for no matter how much passion we invest into our intentions, we must ultimately surrender when forces out of our control emerge to contend with.  This is especially important to keep in mind at this martial New Moon in Leo, for the coming astrology suggests that unexpected elements are likely to emerge in the weeks ahead.  The influence of Mars on the New Moon points to the vital importance of standing up for yourself and reasserting your energy toward the role you wish to play within our global collective.  There will be challenges to face in the lunar cycle ahead that are capable of reshaping the course your life trajectory is taking, and so it will be imperative to boldly flow with the changes with courage and a presence ready to respond responsibly in accordance with the vision you wish to manifest.

The Leo New Moon escorts us into the most impactful period of astrological aspects in 2017.  The darkness of the New Moon will ripen into a Lunar Eclipse in Aquarius, to be followed by a Total Solar Eclipse in Leo.  The Leo Solar Eclipse will be followed by a Pisces Full Moon united with Neptune, and in between the Aquarius Lunar Eclipse and the Pisces Full Moon we will experience Mercury moving retrograde from Virgo back into the same area of Leo as the Total Solar Eclipse on August 21. Interestingly, Mercury is in Leo at the time of the Leo New Moon very close to the same degree it will later station direct on September 5.   Mercury is furthermore separating from a conjunction with the North Node of the Moon while forming a fiery triangle with Uranus in Aries and Saturn in Sagittarius.  As a result the Leo New Moon is opportune for going over the plans you wish to initiate in the coming months and strengthening their structural foundations.

ClavisArtis.Lion

from the Clavis Artis

Rebirth of Mars in Leo

The New Moon in Leo arrives at the very, very end of the synodic cycle of Mars that goes back two years.  The last time that Mars was regenerated in the heart of the Sun was on  14 June 2015 at 23º15′ of Gemini, and so it will be fruitful to reflect upon this two year period and the desires that you manifested as well as those that remained dormant.   Since we have been at the close of the Mars and Sun cycle in the past weeks, its important to realize that if you have felt a lack of energy or a need to rest as part of a feeling of something being reborn, that you have likely been tapped into the current Mars cycle.  Mars will unite with our Sun on July 26 at 4º12′ of Leo, and so this is a beautiful time period to ritualize a rebirth of Mars in your life and reinvest your passions toward whatever you most desire to create or whoever you want to be in our world.  Since the Sun will be receiving Mars in its home, there is enormous creative potency available in their union.

The Hellenistic text the 36 Airs ascribed the god Hephaistos to the first face of Leo where Mars will be reborn in the heart of the Sun.  Hephaistos is another aspect of Mars associated with smiths and artists who at heart is an embodiment of the primal potency of fire.  The Orphic hymn to Hephaistos calls the fiery artist to “suppress the rage of fire’s unwearied frame, and still preserve our nature’s vital flame.”  Hephaistos carried wounds of abandonment and rejection he transmuted into a creative process of fire that burned up the old to manifest his new inventions.  Similarly, as we have been facing old wounds and emotional issues through the course of Mars closing its past cycle with the Sun in Cancer, we are now given the opportunity to transmute the pain of the past into beautiful works of artistry and tools we can wield in the journey ahead.

Hephaistos created both the chariot of Helios as well as the winged sandals and helmet of Hermes.  What heroic role do you wish to play in the forthcoming two year cycle of Mars, and what symbolic or literal tool can you now forge in the solar fires to support the talents and skills you wish to share?  How do you want to direct the ambition, aggression, and courage of Mars being consumed and reborn in the Sun?  The mythic figure of Hephaistos is also fitting for the fiery triangle being formed by Mercury and the North Node in Leo, Uranus in Aries, and Saturn in Sagittarius.  Hephaistos can forge and create whatever image we desire, yet to succeed in our endeavors we will also need a level of courage that knows when it is necessary to fight as well as let go.  The Leo New Moon is perfect for discerning the inner principles that align with our authenticity and whatever we wish to creatively actualize, and then assertively pushing forward with our work in accordance.

pamela colman smith scythe woman

by Pamela Colman Smith

Venus opposing Saturn

The other major aspect of the Leo New Moon finds Venus in Gemini applying to an opposition with Saturn in Sagittarius.  This takes us back to the Venus retrograde in Aries and Pisces in which Venus stationed direct in Pisces in a square with Saturn.  Now Venus has moved forward into her first opposition with Saturn since their long engagement during her retrograde cycle.  Whatever shifting began happening in our life during February, March, April, and May as we entered and left the Venus retrograde period has now in hindsight become clear, and we can now witness and evaluate how the elements of our life have been rearranged.  Similar to the fiery triangle of Mercury, Uranus, and Saturn, the opposition between Venus and Saturn is also opportune for strengthening the foundations of the plans we wish to enact as we enter into eclipse season.   In fact, Venus is strongly activating the aforementioned fiery triangle, as she is in sextile to both Mercury and Uranus at the same time she is in opposition to Saturn.  The opposition between Venus and Saturn can not only help us figure out what aspects of our life and relationships need to be modified, but how exactly they need to be altered.

During the waxing lunar cycle Venus will move from her opposition with Saturn toward a trine with Neptune in Pisces following her ingress into Cancer.  At the same time Mercury will leave the creative fires of Leo for its home and exaltation of Virgo during the waxing of the Moon, toward an opposition with Neptune that does not perfect due to Mercury stationing retrograde.  Neptune in Pisces is veiled in the background of the Leo New Moon but does form the shadowy aspect of antiscia with Jupiter in Libra for the remainder of July.  The more we can effectively work with Neptune in Pisces at this time, such as shedding the illusions of the past and opening our imaginations in our creative process, the better we will be able to enter the flow of the coming eclipse season.  It will be helpful in working with Neptune to create some sort of daily spiritual practice for yourself, however you connect with Spirit.

wands05

5 of Wands by Pamela Colman Smith

Leo 1 Decan

The New Moon falls in the first face of Leo associated with the Five of Wands card illustrated above by Pamela Colman Smith.  The Five of Wands is associated with conflict and competition, and though its meaning could be linked to an inner battle of different aspects of one’s personality contending for control, oftentimes the strife among competing external interests is literal.  In one way or another it suggests a need to stand ground and fight to achieve a desired, prominent position.  Austin Coppock in his book on the decans 36 Faces ascribed the image of “The Spotlight” to the first face of Leo which can be connected to the imagery of the Five of Wands through the five youth battling for the attention of the starring role of the spotlight.  Coppock wrote that the “power of this decan is to focus a mass of attention on one point or person” (p. 122), and analyzed that the decan’s rulership by Saturn signifies the ability to direct the spotlight in order to both reveal as well as conceal, binding the attention, and projection, of an audience to one’s performing image.

Importantly, Coppock also noted that Saturn’s influence can be found in that the performer can become bound to their public image to such an extent that it can drain their energy and betray their inner authenticity.  Keeping all this in mind, remember at the Leo New Moon to make sure that the image you desire to project into our world aligns strongly with your essential authenticity.  Saturn in Sagittarius in trine with Mercury, Uranus, and the North Node of the Moon is available to assist with the discipline and integrity necessary to separate and sever whatever does not align with our inner values, and bind oneself with commitment to whatever does align.  Within the catalytic atmosphere of the coming eclipse season, there  will be found a fertile matrix through which to embark in creative directions attuned to the passions arising from within.

References

Coppock, Austin. (2014). 36 Faces: The History, Astrology and Magic of the Decans. Three Hands Press.

 

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Cancer Solstice 2015

Munch the sun

The Sun by Edvard Munch

Solstice Changes

The Solstice marks the change of the season, with the Sun’s entrance into the sign of Cancer on June 21, 2015 initiating Summer in the Northern Hemisphere and Winter in the Southern Hemisphere.  We can also interpret the chart drawn for this solstice moment of the Sun entering Cancer and glean messages for the coming season and year ahead.  There is an intriguing link between the chart of this solstice and our last solstice that occurred on December 21, 2014 in the form of Saturn, as at that previous solstice Saturn was at 29°49′ of Scorpio and preparing to enter the sign of Sagittarius, and at this solstice Saturn is retrograde at 29°35′ of Scorpio having recently left the sign of Sagittarius.  In fact, Saturn’s time in Scorpio marks this next season, as when we reach the upcoming Libra Equinox in September, Saturn will have freshly returned to Sagittarius.

The Moon of this Cancer Solstice reflects the solar light of the Sun in the form of a waxing Crescent Moon in the sign of Leo.  The Leo Crescent Moon further points to the significance of Saturn as it is separating from a square to Saturn at the time of the solstice.  This gives the solstice a more serious tone and signifies heavy thoughts necessary for our consciousness to confront and process.  As Dane Rudhyar taught, at the Crescent Moon we must fight off the ghosts of our past and resist the regressive pull of the past, instead focusing on the vulnerable new sense of growth we are experiencing yet fear we do not have enough resources in our environment to support.  The lesson of the Crescent Moon is to be present in our path and cognizant of whatever resources we do have around us and make choices to utilize the support available to us. Since the Crescent Moon of this Solstice is at the final degree of Leo, separating from a square to Saturn retrograde in Scorpio, working with the full spectrum of challenges in our environment without denial and with resolve to creatively find a solution will be most helpful.

Amplifying the need to embody strength that recognizes our vulnerability is Chiron stationing retrograde on June 24, 2015 at 21°33′ Pisces.  With Chiron beginning to station at the solstice it casts increased influence, even more so considering that Chiron is stationing opposite Black Moon Lilith in Virgo.  The opposition between Chiron and Black Moon Lilith calls us to examine the rejected, oppressed, alienated, ostracized, or wounded in the greater collective as well as within our Self.  Remember Chiron was rejected by his own parents and found healing and substance through taking in other abandoned youth and training them to develop and manifest their heroic capacities.  As each day brings another global event highlighting racism, sexism, homophobia, and other forms of institutionalized oppression, within the crescendo of these traumatic events there is a movement growing stronger each day to refuse silence and become vocal witnesses to the tragedies surrounding us.  Chiron stationing opposite Black Moon Lilith brings a transmutation of the inequality, discrimination, and persecution individuals experience in our society into a cathartic release of pain, anger, and emotion.  This does not mean racism will end or everything will become instantly healed, but it does mean greater focus will be shone on both the roots and effects of this wounding, and as a result of increased awareness there can be a shifting of new movement toward greater understanding despite a lack of change and insistence on obstinacy in many.

Sun Solstice

Illustrated by Pamela Colman Smith

Yet this solstice is not all about heaviness, as there are also numerous optimistic, expansive, and visionary aspects happening.  The heart of this dynamic energy centers around Venus in Leo applying to a conjunction with Jupiter in Leo, both also applying to a trine with Uranus in Aries.  The day before the solstice on June 20 is especially auspicious along these lines, as the Moon will be in Leo and moving across conjunctions with Venus and Jupiter and through a trine with Uranus before coming into the square with Saturn at the time of the solstice.  The trine between Jupiter and Uranus is almost exact at the solstice, and in fact will be exact the very next day on June 22, 2015.  This brings extraordinary promise to the chart of this solstice and indicates we will have the ability to invent dynamic solutions to our present dilemmas in the coming season that can liberate us from our present predicaments.  This also can be a season for collaborating with others of like mind or shared passion, and developing relationships with people on a similar path to our own who can be a source of inspiration and support to us on our journey.

The sheer beauty and brilliance of Venus and Jupiter at night is something to relish and savor in the weeks ahead.  It is easy to see why Venus and Jupiter were labeled as our benefic planets in ancient astrology when we experience their white light these nights, and each day from the solstice they will get closer and closer to one another in the night sky until they climax around June 30 to July 1, 2015 at 21-22° Leo.  The alignment of Venus with Jupiter at this solstice lends us rays of promising hope no matter how challenging our current circumstances.  It is fitting they are uniting in the sign of the Sun, as at the Cancer Solstice we celebrate the return of the Sun in the Southern Hemisphere and the peak of the Sun in the Northern Hemisphere.  Look to see what aspects Venus and Jupiter are making in your chart and what house they are passing through.  Whatever house they are passing through can help you realize how to make best use of the gift they are offering.  So many of us hold ourselves back from our power and our own beauty- if you have been acting this way Venus and Jupiter now want you to release yourself into an experience of your radiant Self.

sower-with-setting-sun- Summer Solstice

Sower with Setting Sun (1888) Vincent Van Gogh

Venus in Leo holds another message for us in the chart of the Cancer Solstice with a far reaching impact, as Venus has entered its retrograde shadow zone at the time of the solstice.  Venus will station at zero degrees of Virgo on July 25, 2015 and then will eventually station direct on September 6, 2015 at the exact same place Venus is located at the time of this Cancer Solstice.  I’m not sure if Venus needed her upcoming retrograde to be even more higher status than normal, but in my book the amazing alignment of this Cancer Solstice chart with the eventual stationing of Venus at the end of her retrograde is a profound sign of the deep rooted changes that will coincide with the upcoming Venus retrograde.  Now is a good time to begin looking at your chart and noticing the house Venus will be passing through retrograde and aspects made during her journey into the underworld and back again.

Speaking of being in the underworld, Mars is still only a couple degrees away from the Sun at the time of the solstice.  As a result, another important message held by this Cancer Solstice is the new cycle between the Sun and Mars, and the implication of their new cycle beginning in the sign of Gemini.  It seems the new Mars cycle will be about sharing and communicating new ideas, with the mutable energy of adaption and being flexible enough to shift in response to new perspectives.  Whatever new sense of Mars we are coming into now, we are at an early manifestation of it that could feel difficult to fully embody this soon in the evolving process.  Using the old astrological theory that a planet is under the beams of the Sun up until fifteen degrees away, Mars will re-emerge with a message from this process around August 4, 2015 when it will be at the end of Cancer in trine to a Saturn in Scorpio that will have recently stationed direct.  At the very end of August on August 31, we will have another conjunction between Mars and Venus, this time with Venus retrograde, around fifteen degrees of Leo.  Thus it seems there is a huge transformative process involving Mars underway at this solstice.

The final aspect of this Cancer Solstice chart I want to highlight is one of the most significant:  Mercury in Gemini square to Neptune in Pisces.  This is the third and final square between Mercury and Neptune in this cycle, with the first occurring on May 9, 2015 with Mercury direct and the second occurring on May 28, 2015 with Mercury retrograde.  At the third pass we have greater understanding what this square has meant for us, well about as much certainty as is possible with an intense aspect between Mercury and Neptune.  The square will become exact on June 23, 2015 but is applying closely at the time of the solstice making it one of the most potent aspects of the solstice chart.  With Mercury and Neptune in the mix there are multitudes of possible ways this could impact you, from upwelling of artistic inspiration to deflation associated with disillusionment or an unveiling of dishonesty.  When we consider the significance of the new Sun and Mars cycle occurring in Gemini, and that later in this year there will be incredible mutable energy with Jupiter in Virgo, the lunar nodes in Pisces and Virgo, and Saturn in Sagittarius, it seems this square between Mercury and Neptune is a vital re-alignment of the manner in which we are discerning meaning in our lives.  Allow your mind to take it all in without over-rationalizing or restricting your thought process:  as legends suggest, there is magic afoot at this Cancer Solstice and Mercury is in position to help us perceive a key insight to carry forward in the season ahead.

Cancer Solstice Summer 2015

Full Moon in Sagittarius

Full Moon in Sagittarius Angel by Basquiat

by Jean-Michel Basquiat

Full Moon in Sagittarius

The Full Moon in Sagittarius on June 2 is extremely mutable in activity, with the Full Moon square to Neptune in Pisces and the Sun also conjunct Mars and Mercury retrograde in Gemini.  Mutable signs are also known as double-bodied signs, as they each symbolize a different aspect of dualism:  the two fish of Pisces, the twins of Gemini, the winged maiden of Virgo, and the centaur of Sagittarius that is half human and half horse.  The transits at this Full Moon contain something in each of these signs:  Black Moon Lilith in Virgo, Neptune and Chiron in Pisces, Mars, Mercury retrograde, and the Sun in Gemini, and Pallas Athena, Saturn retrograde, and the Full Moon in Sagittarius.  Since this full lunation illuminates the sign of Sagittarius, it is worthwhile to consider how the other mutable signs impact Sagittarius through transit.

Ah, to be a boundless centaur, galloping freely across meadows and within forests, instinctually acting on animalistic passion and impulse, alive with presence in the moment with attunement to the surrounding natural world.  Sagittarius has a mission of evoking fiery vision that coalesces the duality of spirit and matter, intuitively acting from a place of inner knowing.  Yet this inner knowing can also lead to the shadowy side of Sagittarius that assumes it knows what is right, that does not question if their own personal truth is in conflict with the truth of others, and that expresses their ardor without being aware if their passionate action is transgressing the boundaries of others.  The opposition from Gemini and square from Virgo and Pisces to Sagittarius can bring lessons of humility to temper the narcissistic tendencies of Sagittarius, as well as challenges of discernment and the multiplicity of perspectives present in the ultimate philosophical understanding Sagittarius often strives for.  Despite the untethered bravado of Sagittarius, there is potential for the belief system Sagittarius welds from experience to become dogmatic, and so hard aspects from Virgo, Pisces, and Gemini force the centaur to acknowledge that there are many other belief systems circulating with an equally valid perception of truth to their own.

With such strong Gemini energy now (Mercury retrograde, Sun, Mars all within range of conjunction) the Sagittarius Full Moon could spark a synthesis of all the fragments of mental activity we have been exploring recently into a fresh vision to live from, or create a deepening of understanding along a line of thought we have been developing for some time.  The square from Neptune in Pisces to this Full Moon brings a wave of deliquescence and a challenge to our Sagittarian vision that will cause disillusionment wherever the belief system we are perceiving from is out of alignment with our actual reality.  Events can pull us out of abstract theorizing and into the heat of the moment where we experience the stark effect of acting from our beliefs.  Wars, fights, arguments, and debates rooted in ideological conflict are likely to emerge in this atmosphere, with Neptune cloaking the clashes in a fog of idealism.  Yet with a focused use of our mind, there is also potential for the square from Neptune in Pisces, in tandem with the other aspects present in this Sagittarius Full Moon, to help us penetrate into bodies of knowledge that were previously mysterious and facilitate reception of a profound message.

Full Moon in Sagittarius Ascent by Basquiat

by Jean-Michel Basquiat

The Full Moon in Sagittarius is ruled by a Jupiter in Leo that is conjunct Juno and forms a Grand Fire Trine with Uranus in Aries, Pallas Athena in Sagittarius, and the Full Moon in Sagittarius.  This is an incredibly liberating arrangement of potent creative visualization and progenitive insight.  The trine between Jupiter and Uranus has been with us since last September 2014, and we now have less than a month to enjoy it’s dynamic energy as it’s last exact aspect occurs on the Solstice later this month.  Trines generally require something to kick us into gear to activate them, and so the opposition of the Gemini Sun, Mars, and Mercury retrograde to the Sagittarius Full Moon can do the trick.  Open your mind and seize the moment, for this is an opportune time to be pioneering and initiate bold action to propel you into a new level of development.  If a clear direction is not coming to mind, it can also be a powerful time to brainstorm and mind map as many options as possible in order to realize the choice that will be break you out of a past limiting pattern and into a broadened horizon.

Jupiter in Leo has also been holding compelling aspects to the Pluto and Uranus square, as it is applying to a trine with Uranus in Aries and separating from a quincunx with Pluto in Capricorn.  These aspects ask us to take the liberating thoughts and expansive visions associated with Jupiter in Leo and the Grand Fire Trine of this Full Moon, and to discern how to integrate the corresponding gift and message into our surrounding community.  Instead of forcing our will like the idiom of driving a square peg into a round hole, Pluto in Capricorn wants us to figure out how we can use the creative actualization of Jupiter in Leo to meet the needs of our society.  While Pluto in Capricorn does have to do with the tearing down of systems of power, there is still a dominant power structure intact.  Instead of hurling ourselves with anger, shouts, and fists at oppressive powers, these aspects between Uranus, Pluto, and Jupiter suggest a more subversive route of figuring out how to infiltrate into networks of the power structure and transform the system from the inside out.

Sagittarius Full Moon with Mercury retrograde in Gemini

by Jean-Michel Basquiat and Andy Warhol

This Full Moon illuminates our experience of the Mercury retrograde in Gemini so far, as it comes a few days after the inferior conjunction of Mercury retrograde with the Sun.  In keeping with the symbolism of the Sagittarius archer, the Grand Fire Trine between Jupiter and Juno in Leo, Uranus in Aries, and Pallas Athena and the Full Moon in Sagittarius is like an arrowhead on a shaft of opposition to Mercury retrograde, Mars, and the Sun in Gemini, with this Gemini trio in sextile to Uranus in Aries and Jupiter in Leo.  There is potent force in these aspects, and as a result it necessitates a mindful presence so we can focus on aiming at targets that will inspire instead of harm others.  To make productive use of the Mercury retrograde in Gemini requires that we actively focus our mind, and if we do so now the recent retrograde rumination will clarify into a reception of meaning that has a transformational impact on us.

As the Sun is separating from Mercury retrograde in Gemini at the time of the Full Moon, it is actively chasing after Mars in Gemini.  The Sun gains ground on Mars by zodiac degree each day in the next two weeks, but Mars will manage to barely stay ahead of the Sun until they finally become conjunct on June 14 at 24° of Gemini.  While Mars this close to the Sun may lead to hot tempers difficult to manage, at this Full Moon there is an inspiring sextile between Mars and Uranus as well as between Mars and Jupiter that can link our will-force to our soul-purpose.  Similar to Jupiter, Mars is forming a quincunx to Pluto in Capricorn at the same time as its harmonious aspect with Uranus in Aries.  This means that by transit there is temporarily a yod formed between Mars in Gemini, Pluto in Capricorn, and Jupiter in Leo.  Crucially, the trine from Uranus to Jupiter and sextile from Uranus to Mars means that if we push past whatever fear is coming up for us with regards to initiating a new, dynamic step forward in our growth, we will experience an upswell of invigorating force that will lead us into acting from a revitalized belief system that liberates instead of limits us.

Full Moon in Sagittarius II Decan

9 of Wands by Pamela Colman Smith

Sagittarius II Decan

The Moon is the ruler of the second decan of Sagittarius, and so the Full Moon on June 2 illuminates the depth of this decan.  The 9 of Wands is the associated card in tarot, and in the image above illustrated by Pamela Colman Smith, we see a wounded yet resilient figure brandishing a staff in front of the eight staffs of the previous card, the 8 of Wands, planted in the ground.  It’s as if the rushing, quicksilver visions of the 8 of Wands and the first decan of Sagittarius has brought about conflict from adversaries in the surrounding environment.  Receiving an inspired vision, as we may at this Full Moon, is only the first step in what can be a long and arduous process of manifestation full of conflict.  We are often not aware of all of the obstacles standing in the way of our vision becoming palpable in material form until we decide to take action and strive to make our vision a reality.

Austin Coppock in his book 36 Faces paints the second decan of Sagittarius as being a test of the Sagittarian purpose of unifying manifold elements into a cohesive system, as in this decan “the figures struggle to maintain that unity under the assault of contrary forces” (p. 198):

Yet the trying circumstances depicted in this face are utterly necessary to produce the force of will required to sustain the conjunctio between body and spirit which is this face’s purpose . . . The strength pictured here is the strength to defend what one has established- the ability to keep the body and mind in line with intention, despite contrary forces.  This may seem stressful, but this level of friction is necessary to generate the heat capable of fusing mind and body, vehicle and will. There is no hero without a nemesis.  (p. 198)

With Neptune in Pisces being in square to this Sagittarius Full Moon, possessing resilient faith in the unknown and our capacity to adjust to change and collaborate with others for help when necessary will be key.  While Austin Coppock described those that emerge from the conflict of the Sagittarius II decan as being “ruthless, bold, and of undivided will” (p. 200), attempting to aggressively fight back against the forces of Neptune in our way is unlikely to yield us positive results.  Instead, we may need to surrender or let go of something, and in the process of eliminating what no longer serves us or is out of alignment with our experience, we will make space for new inspiration. Anyone who is a writer or artist can also utilize this same energy to imbibe their creations with amplified power.  If we are holding a vision dear to our hearts that is truly good and beautiful for us, it will hold up against the square from Sagittarius to Neptune in Pisces- in this case we need to resiliently stand firm in our fiery desire and spirit.

Full Moon in Sagittarius June 2, 2015 chart

References

Coppock, Austin. (2014). 36 Faces: The History, Astrology and Magic of the Decans. Three Hands Press.