- Host a Party
With fires stoked high this month your choice is clear: epic meltdown or allow the heat to forge you into something stronger than you’ve dared imagine.
Consider the “Hero’s Journey” as Mars, the Cosmic Warrior, takes center stage July 2017. Though valiant Mars is usually eager to embark on the quest, slogging through the sign Cancer in recent weeks has left him feeling a bit water-logged.
Nevertheless, sometimes it’s in the moments when we’re feeling our least heroic that challenges matter most. Because it’s when we’re feeling vulnerable, out-of-sorts or defensive, and yet we still choose a higher road, the stronger we become because of it.
Mars meets his underworld dragons around the July 8 Cancer Full Moon, followed by a rebirth of his essential creativity at the July 23 Leo New Moon.
While the journey may not be easy, if you journey with eyes open, the treasure you’ll return with will make your quest worth the effort.
Here’s the story’s week-by-week unfolding…
July opens with a tense face-off between the gods of War and the Underworld. You don’t need to be an astrologer to guess what that might mean: tempers flare as the Machiavellian “the ends justify the means” approach rules the week.
Though Venus counsels reconciliation, her shift into Gemini on July 4 leaves many with a short attention span and a preference for instant gratification. Mercury’s move into Leo a day later turns minds further toward light-hearted entertainment rather than deep thought on the issues of the day.
The July 8 Capricorn Full Moon aligns with the Mars-Pluto standoff, upping the ante on all-or-nothing thinking. What we do without forethought we may come to regret later. Don’t take on the role of Nero fiddling as Rome burns. Engage with the world, if you can do so without lighting fires yourself.
After the annual Pluto opposition on Sunday, July 9 — that’s the moment when Pluto is at its perigee, the Earth’s closest approach to the dwarf planet for the year – this week is the welcome quiet lacuna in an overheated month.
An opportunity knocks on Friday, July 14, as Mercury and Jupiter align to reveal the truth you’ve been seeking, or even bring someone new who can help you see your situation more clearly.
We’re back into the thick of it as the July 16 last quarter Moon aligns with quirky Uranus, squaring off with Pluto on the one side, and the Sun and Mars on the other.
Flip a coin for this pair – Moon Uranus may bring the flash of insight you’ve needed, or the lightning strike that breaks you out of an impasse. Difficult aspects between Venus and Neptune, Mars and Uranus, the following day could leave you struggling to make sense of the rapidly-changing world. Have patience with yourself; this too shall pass.
Catch your breath quick on July 18 and 19, as a pair of fortuitous trines between Venus and Jupiter, Mercury trine Saturn, will once again have you looking for the silver lining — how you can turn even the difficult bits into an opportunity.
The heat is on at the end of the week as the two blazing planets – Mars and the Sun – race together into fiery Leo July 20 and 22 (respectively). On a mundane level, heat waves and wildfires make headlines. On a personal level, it’s an opportunity to learn how to channel your internal heat into creative pursuits.
Get ready to roar. Sunday, July 23, sees the first Leo New Moon of two (the second one being the upcoming Great American Eclipse on Aug. 21.) The New Moon with Mars brings your first opportunity to get your creative juices flowing. If you overdo it, don’t worry; consider it a practice round for your next opportunity.
Tap into the cosmic inspiration field on July 24 as Mercury aligns with think-outside-the-box Uranus, then enters its shadow period for the upcoming Mercury retrograde. Over the next week it enters its home sign Virgo, all the while slowing dramatically to begin its three-week retrograde on Aug. 12. Don’t expect perfection; continuous quality improvement should be your mantra for the week.
The slow-burn friction generated by the titanic square of Jupiter and Pluto climaxes at week’s end on Aug. 4. With Uranus also near its Aug. 3 retrograde station point, we may feel the urge to “fish or cut bait,” especially with regards to relationships or other partnerships that feel stagnant or holding you back from what you really want.
Venus blows Uranus a good-bye kiss as she saunters into Cancer on July 31. In Gemini, the love goddess may have sampled the field, but in Cancer, she’s now looking to meet her essential needs. Get ready for some adulting; you are the one best able to care for your own inner child’s demands.
For the June 2017 astrology forecast, what if I wrote:
Big picture: It’s a bit like boiling a frog slowly. The month begins quietly, but by the last week, some of the most fractious and challenging aspects of the year dominate the sky.
But, thanks to Venus in Taurus for most of the month, your best chance for centering yourself (instead of living in fear of what might be) is to find pleasure in what you are doing right now. For in the end, this moment – this Now – is all we really have.
Could you actually do that? Or would your mind endlessly spin frightful tales of what-might-be?
If you’re being honest with yourself you already know: being present isn’t easy – it’s hard.
There are myriad distractions in the external world. But even more challenging, we are all constantly bombarded by our own inner sensations, thoughts, projections and memories.
Finding stillness within the cacophony is the hardest work you’ll ever do. But it’s also the MOST important. Because it’s the beginning of a life of wonder.
Every moment, even the hard ones (especially the hard ones), is a chance to be more aware.
“Awakened” is not some prize you claim in self-congratulations when you pass a finish line. It’s how you choose to experience every day. Every hour. Every breath.
(A hint: When you allow yourself to feel the deep pleasure flowing through each moment, mindfulness becomes something you cherish.)
June certainly brings plenty of opportunities to practice “waking up.” Here’s the week-by-week forecast.
Tenacity in the face of obstacles is the message of June’s first quarter Moon in Virgo. Make your to-do list, and grind through the details. Pleasure goddess Venus harmonizes with self-restrained Saturn the same day; if you need a lift to keep moving forward, plan a “reward” for your if you manage to stay on task.
A few sweet surprises may be in store for the weekend, as Venus makes her annual conjunction with unpredictable Uranus. Keep your eyes, and your options, open.
Energy shifts this week. Mercury comes home to Gemini (June 6) and Venus returns to her abode in Taurus (June 6). Both are in an excellent position to deliver the goods, if you’re planet-savvy. Mercury’s eager to explore all the options; Venus wants to slow down and savor the good things in life. Find ways to honor both, and you’ve got the secret to a successful month.
Meanwhile, Mars wades into Cancer (June 6). Emotional, moody Cancer leaves Mars with surly, passive-aggressive edge (exacerbated by Mars sojourn out-of-bounds between May 14 and June 28). Remember, almost everyone is trying their best; give them the benefit of the doubt before you overreact.
Summer wanderlust is usually the hallmark the Sagittarius Full Moon (June 9), but not so this year. Luna is conjunct Saturn, and Sagittarius’ ruler Jupiter is stationing (i.e. not moving at all), suggesting you might be more in the mood for a “stay-cation.” Keep it simple, take some time to read a book, or do something around the house you’ve been putting off.
Beware brain fog this week. Intellectual Mercury squares off with dreamy Neptune (June 13), while Neptune is slowing to retrograde (June 16). Neptune stations are notorious for fuzzy minds and confused conversations. Be careful on the road, and especially in the bars, on Friday night.
There’s a break in the clouds on Tuesday (June 13), as a grand air trine forms between Moon in Aquarius, Mercury and the Sun in Gemini, and Jupiter in Libra. It’s your best day of the week to sneak in some clear thinking. Plus, Mercury joins Mars out-of-bounds this week, making it a great moment for some innovative brainstorming. If you can manage to stay focused on the topic that is.
You may need to buckle down and catch up on your work on Thursday (June 15) during the annual Saturn opposition. It’s the Earth’s closest pass to self-disciplined Saturn, making him big, bright and looming.
Don’t expect much from Saturday morning (June 17); the last quarter Moon’s in Pisces, after which the Moon turns void for a few hour. Sleep in, so you’ll be well rested for the evening hours as the Moon in Aries fires.
Summer solstice on June 20 heralds the beginning of summer in the Northern hemisphere. It also marks the moment of greatest light; from this day through Dec. 21 darkness deepens.
A complex Cancer New Moon (June 23) follows soon after, foreshadowing the tense alignments of the upcoming week. Wrap up the month’s business by this lunation, so you have a clean slate to work with.
Ending the week, sweet Venus embraces intense Pluto on Saturday (June 24), which may make for some deep conversations. But, as the potent-though-waxing New Moon meets feisty Mars, squares Jupiter and opposes Pluto, remind yourself that all-or-nothing thinking rarely helps satiate desires. Obsess less and enjoy more.
A fractious T-square between Mercury and Mars in Cancer, Pluto in Capricorn, Jupiter in Libra dominates June’s final week. Mercury moves through the T-square quickly between June 27-29; Mars takes his time between June 25-July 2. The climax may be the meeting of the Moon and Jupiter (July 1).
Power struggles, violence, and other nastiness are some of the most negative manifestations of Mars opposite Pluto. Mercury and Mars are also both still out-of-bounds, which just adds a tendency to irrationally over-react.
Seeking a silver lining, the week may bring the energy you need to spark you out of your lethargy. Jupiter in Libra provides a middle path, if you’re willing to respect others and actively seek the win-win scenarios.
Plus, the love goddess Venus still holds her ground in Taurus, lending Jupiter in Libra some very deep roots. If the week’s energies prove too intense, don’t hesitate to take a time out. Get out in nature, hug a tree, and get some perspective. Life does go on.
It’s time to bravely confront our fears and learn to manage uncertainty. If you can keep your mind focused on the positive that is.
Which do you want first? The good news or the bad?
Let’s get the hard stuff out of the way. That way, you’ve got something to look forward to.
The month begins with a a heavy emphasis on watery Scorpio. The Sun enters Scorpio on Oct 22, Mercury on Oct. 24. The New Moon in Scorpio follows on Oct. 30.
Planets in Scorpio are usually a whiz at understanding the dark undercurrents of any situation. But what they’ve seen has been so intense, it may have left them feeling more paranoid than purged.
Scorpio’s certainly taken a walloping this year. It’s ruler, Mars, spent many months retrograde — some of it in Scorpio. And now that bellicose Mars has moved on, he’s landed in the original plutocrat’s living room; it’s got to make him wonder how his actions have gotten him in this situation.
And so once again, we’re dredging up the same sludge.
It’s all of our broken bits — the things we’re ashamed of or don’t want to see. So we push them off to the shadows. Assign them to others so we don’t have to own the issues ourselves.
As soon as you start blaming someone else, you’re no longer speaking with them. You’re trying to cope with the shadow bits of yourself. It creates an echo-chamber or microphone-feedback effect — where no one can hear each other, only the reverberations from one’s own fears.
Until the blame game stops, there’s no way out. Your best solution may be a time out, at least until you can own up to your own fears. Quiet time isn’t such a bad idea.
See? That wasn’t so bad, was it? Now let’s get to the good news.
For the next few weeks until Nov. 8, Scorpio’s ruler Mars is in Capricorn, where he can be effective at doing his business. That means, he’s more likely than when he’s in other signs to take the high road. To recognize the need to slow down and take responsibility for his actions.
Yes, it may mean some tough clean-up work, but Mars has the fortitude to do it.
But there’s even better news. From Oct. 18 through Nov. 11, the “benefic” planets Venus and Jupiter are in what’s called a “mutual reception.” They are trading spaces, so to speak. Venus is in Jupiter’s sign Sagittarius, while Jupiter is in Venus’ sign Libra.
That’s going to make it easier for both of them to express themselves. Venus wants to make peace, and Jupiter wants integrity and right-relationship with oneself. Together, they can hold hands and encourage “cooler heads to prevail.”
But that can’t happen if folks keep self deluding. You have to look in the reality mirror first, and learn to love what you see without flinching.
Energies reshuffle mid November. In the days following the US Election Day, we see Mars moving into Aquarius on Nov. 8, Venus entering Capricorn on Nov. 11, Mercury entering Sagittarius on Nov. 12.
All in the run-up to the Taurus Full Moon in Nov. 14, and Neptune slowing to a crawl in preparation for turning direct on Nep. 19.
So, what does this mean for the non-astrologers? Well, don’t expect the election jitters to calm down immediately. With the extra emotional juice of the Full Moon, and the planet of illusion (and delusion) Neptune just lurking, there’s going to be a hold-your-breath-are-we-still-okay? feeling.
Hopefully the sigh of relief will come from the Venus, Jupiter and Saturn energetic triumvirate holding steady the following weeks. That means if our pragmatism and self-discipline (Saturn), our sense of forgiveness and fair-play (Jupiter) and our desire to “make love not war” (Venus), all coincide, we’ll find a way even through the darkest moments.
The Sun enters fiery Sagittarius on Nov. 21. No matter what’s happening, that usually brightens the mood. Or at least allows us to be distracted by something else.
To indigenous cultures across the globe, the world was alive with Living Spirit. Everything had an animating force – places, objects, plants, animals, people and even ideas.
It was the shaman’s role to connect the tribe to the spirit realms, and thus maintain a healthy relationship between worlds. And they used various tools – psychic skills, working with dreams, creating art, drumming, chanting, and more – to cross between worlds.
But the central avatars of the divine realm were the seven visible planets. Called by the Corpus Hermetica the “seven governors of the world,” as the moving elements of the heavens, they were responsible for weaving the fabric of the material world into existence. In other words, they were the celestial midwives of the natural world.
The Greeks called the planets daimons – guiding Spirits.
With the coming of the institutional Christian Church, there was little room for animism and lesser spirits, only the One God. And so talk of daimons was – quite literally – demonized.
But Spirit always finds a way. And so, even in the darkest of ages, interest in angels blossomed.
The appellation angel derives from a Greek word meaning “messenger.” The Bible alludes to a vast heavenly host, chief among them the “seven angels who stand before god” (Revelation 8.2) or the “seven punishing angels.” (Ezekiel 9.2).
These Arch-angels, govern all of the heavenly host. In short, in iconography and religious practice, the archangels take the place of the seven planetary daimons. To the Christian mind, allying with angels was far safer than what Renaissance scholar Marsilio Ficino would later call “star demons.”
We have dozens of angel-planet catalogues penned between the 6th and 19th Centuries; not all agree on which archangel represents each planet. But there’s enough consistency in the tradition that the planetary spirits still shine through the angel’s wings.
In the subsequent posts, I’ll give you a quick sketch of the planetary angels. You’ll have to decide for yourself.
This, hover, is just the beginning of the journey. The links between astrology and angelology run deep. There were also lesser angels for other astrological sky-divisions – the 12 solar Zodiac signs, the 28 Lunar Mansions (the lunar Zodiac), the 4 triplicities (earth, air, fire and water), the 36 decans (10-degree divisions), and the 72 quiniaries (5-degree divisions).
To the Medieval mystics, for any moment in time, they conceived of an ever shifting heavenly host teaming up to infuse the world with spirit, and lift matter transcend itself.
It’s a beautiful vision worth recovering.
In the end communing with the Planetary Angels is a mystical vision, one you must experience for yourself.
Astrology was designed to help you find the optimal times to connect to the planetary spirits. But, for the majority of our history, only the educated, affluent few had access to the tools needed to create astrological charts – maps of the sky.
Instead, they relied on the days of the week, each one named for one of the seven planets.
Or they used the planetary hours. Each day was subdivided into two halves – beginning at sunrise and sunset – of 12 hours each. Each hour was assigned a planet, cycling through all seven visible planets again and again. (The days were actually named after the first planetary hour of the day, the one begun as the Sun rose.)
If you would like to investigate the planetary hours further, you can easily find a table of planetary hours from the Internet.
And, of course, there’s an app for that; I have one on my iPhone called Hours, by Sirius Lab Ltd.
Unlike other angels, Cassiel is depicted as detached from worldly affairs, more inclined to watch events unfold without interference. Medieval angelologists named Cassiel the Archangel of Saturn.
These angel-scribes knew Cassiel by many names — including Kaziel, Cafziel, Quaphziel, Qaspiel. The Qabalistic text Sefer Raziel, pseudo-Peter d’Abano’s 13th Century Heptameron, and the scholar Averroës all list Cassiel as Saturn’s angel, as do numerous later magical texts following in their tradition.
But assignations of Saturn’s angel are by no means universal. Perhaps that’s to be expected from the Archangel of Saturn. Saturn is the faintest of the visible planets; to the ancient astrologers, he separates the world of Nature from the mysterious world of Spirit.
And, for astrologers, Saturn finds his joy in the 12th house – the so-called “house of hidden things.” Cassiel’s been called the “angel of solitude and tears,” appropriate for one who sets himself apart from others.
The classical virtue associated with the planet Saturn is sophrosyne, a complex concept evoking temperance, moderation, prudence, and self-control. In mythology, Saturn ruled over a golden age where all were possessed of such self-discipline, there was no need for laws or punishment.
And so, calling Cassiel the “angel of temperance” essentially names him the Archangel of Saturn.
The astrological Saturn’s also wrapped up with the concept of time. As the slowest moving planet, Saturn has had to do with maturity and the aging process. The Greek’s name for the planet Saturn was Kronos, the father of the god Zeus (Jupiter). But their god of time, Chronos, has such a similar pronunciation to Kronos, it’s unsurprising the two were already being conflated by the Roman era.
And hence, Cassiel became known as the “angel of time.” There’s also a deep, esoteric tradition associating time with the veil between worlds; it’s when we were entangled in Time, that Nature fell from Grace.
Cassiel also presides over the deaths of kings. The reference might be obscure, until you remember that it’s the Sun that represents kingship in astrology.
In the astrological metaphor, the Sun’s Zodiacal sign Leo governs the height of summer, when the norther hemisphere has the greatest light and heat. On the other hand, the Saturn-ruled signs Capricorn and Aquarius rule the darkest months of winter. The Winter Solstice marks the “death” of the Sun, or the death of kings.
But where there’s death, there’s always rebirth. And so celebrations of the Sun’s “rebirth” are often held just after midwinter, including the Christian celebration of Christmas.
When you need to step back from life’s emotional roller-coaster, or when you need self-discipline and focus to accomplish great things, invite Cassiel to come to your aid. The most auspicious time to connect with Cassiel is Saturday – Saturn’s day – or in the Saturn hour.