Welcome to what is probably the most challenging month of 2019. Hopefully June’s previews helped you prepare for July, but if you’re feeling overwhelmed, you’re in good company. We made it through last summer’s simultaneous Mars and Mercury retrograde and this winter’s eclipses, and we’ll make it through this eclipse season too. I see the 2018-20 Cancer-Capricorn eclipse cycle as a series of floods and earthquakes—not literal disasters, but major changes that reconfigure the geography of our lives. Floods change the landscape, making lakes where there once was dry land, and necessitating boats where there were parking lots. Earthquakes change the lay of the land too, destroying what is not securely fastened, and requiring us to rebuild.
As I said in the June forecast, what challenges you now will be similar to what you faced in January of this year, when we had our first round of 2019 eclipses. This is the second eclipse cycle of 2019; the next one will start at the end of December. An eclipse cycle represents a cycle of change, and the “crisis” or transformation varies in intensity depending on how it falls in your natal chart. Last month we prepared by cultivating resilience to support ourselves through changes, and listening to our intuition to determine the right strategies.
First, Mars heads into Leo for his solo act on July 1st. Mars in Leo is much more assertive than Mars in Cancer. In this fire sign, the planet of desire and action mostly desires attention—and knows how to get it. Mars here is passionate, ambitious, authoritative, and proud.
We start eclipse season with a total solar eclipse at 10 degrees of Cancer on July 2nd. This one can be seen in its totality from the South Pacific Ocean, Argentina, and Chile. This eclipse makes a wide opposition to Saturn in Capricorn. What lessons of Professor Saturn’s were you reviewing in June? They are coming back in a big way for you now, giving you a chance to clear out old emotional junk and act with more wisdom. The moon also squares Chiron, indicating potential pain, but it’s ultimately healing. New and full moons in Cancer tend to be more emotional, as the moon rules this sign, and eclipses are more intense than the average lunation. The “crisis” faced here is most likely to be about dealing with emotional triggers and releasing pent-up feelings. Emotions flood the body, sometimes taking over, but if we become conscious of our triggers we can pause and change an emotional reaction into a thoughtful response. Shadow work is always appropriate for a total eclipse.
On the 3rd, Venus moves into Cancer. It’s definitely Cancer season right now, and we feel it. Venus here values security. She enjoys beautiful historical items, vintage décor, and indulging in nostalgia. In this sign, she is especially sensitive, sentimental, and nurturing. Given the oppositions she makes to Saturn, the south node, and Pluto in Capricorn later on this month (on the 17th and 23rd), the vulnerability might feel overwhelming. Better that we feel and recognize emotions than ignore them in our relationships though. The empowering side of sensitivity is revealed with Venus in this sign.
Then on the 7th, Mercury stations retrograde for the second time this year. This one starts at 4 degrees of Leo and continues until Mercury stations direct at 24 Cancer on July 31st. I say this every time, and it bears repeating: Mercury stations retrograde 3-4 times a year. There are always other transits happening too, so half the time when people are like “Is Mercury retrograde?” it’s actually something else. While it can be annoying to deal with communication breakdowns in a technology-dependent world, it’s most helpful to view Mercury’s Rx periods as opportunities to rest and reflect.
Now that the PSA is done: since this retrograde comes during an intense eclipse season, it’s likely to be one of the more emotionally challenging retro periods for some. Make space for all of the F E E L I N G S, especially those of you who automatically winced at that word! This Mercury Rx is about revealing the gold, recovering dignity and pride, re-discovering our passions, retracing steps from the past, re-membering, releasing old emotional pain, (mis)communicating with mothers and ancestors, and re-investing in care.
The first thing Mercury does while retrograde is meet with Mars in Leo on July 8th, for a conversation about ambition, attention, and pride. Expect some combustion with this aspect. This is a good day to pay attention to for clues about the rest of the retrograde, since Mercury spends half their time in Leo (and the other half in Cancer). We are recovering our sense of self-worth, a sense of play, some passion, or an old ambition. Remember who you are, Queen!
Because Chiron and Uranus are both situated around 5-6 degrees of Aries and Taurus right now, anything that hits 5-6 degrees of a sign aspects these heavy-hitters. On the 8th, Venus squares Chiron and makes a sextile to Uranus, reminding us of these major shifts that are causing pain, healing, and wild change, and therefore impacting us on an emotional level. On the 11th, Mars squares Uranus and trines Chiron from Leo, intensifying the sudden changes, and reminding us (however loudly) that we have to be authentic to have meaning in our lives. The sun makes the same aspects from Leo at the end of the month (on the 28th and 29th), echoing this call to self-expression in the face of stubborn reactivity.
And we have more Cancer-Capricorn oppositions happening throughout the month, between 17-22 degrees, starting with the sun on the north node, opposite Saturn on the south node on July 9th. Venus makes the same aspect on July 18th. The sun and Venus oppose Pluto on the 14th and 21st, respectively. These recall aspects from June, and echo the ongoing eclipse season lessons. Remember how we’re investigating the shadow side of tradition, figuring out what to keep and what needs to evolve? How have you traditionally been dealing with emotions in your life? Where are they embodied? How can you work with the shadow here?
Both the sun and Venus also make trines to Neptune from Cancer (On July 11th and 18th), offering some oceanic healing to soothe us through all of this back-and-forth. We all come from the mother ocean, and to her we all return. A cosmic perspective can be helpful when shadow work is calling.
Our second eclipse of the month is a partial lunar eclipse at 24.04 Capricorn on July 16th. This one is visible from Australia, Africa, South America, most of Europe and Asia (basically everywhere except North America). The moon is conjunct Pluto, which indicates powerful transformation. When I say transformation, especially where Pluto is involved, I always mean Death card-style undoing and rebirth. One full moon will not affect every single person in such an intense way, but if you have natal planets or points near 24 degrees of Cardinal signs (Cancer, Capricorn, Libra, or Aries), this is likely to matter for you. This is a clearing of detrimental patterns and empowerment through initiation. It can also just mean drama, for/from people who have not been doing the Real Work of self-development in this cycle. Earthquakes shake the foundations and break anything that isn’t already bolted down.
On July 19th, Mercury Rx moves into Cancer, where our focus on thinking and communication shifts from pride and ambition to emotion. We are remembering the past and re-tracing our feelings with Mercury retrograde here. Mercury Rx will meet the sun on the 21st, illuminating some of the lessons from this retrograde. Then Mercury Rx will meet Venus on the 24th, to discuss some old sensitivities around relationships, and the walls that fell with this month’s eclipse series.
The sun enters Leo, sign of his rulership, on July 22nd this year. Leo season officially begins! With the sun here, this sign is even brighter than usual. This heralds the season of vacations, playtime, and fun in the sun. We can start to see the light after an intense couple of months. On the 25th, Mars makes a jubilant trine to Jupiter, enhancing the spotlight on happiness. Mars and Jupiter together can be a little too passionate, but at their best they get big things done. Then on the 27th, Venus enters Leo, where she loves to be loved and to give love. These are warmer transits to turn to after a potentially earth-shaking month. Like a bright dawn after a stormy night, Leo is here to remind you that the sun always rises.
Mercury stations direct on the last day of July, at 24 degrees of Cancer. On the same day, we have a new moon (not an eclipse) at 8.37 Leo. This one is next to Venus and square Uranus in Taurus. The moon and Venus get along well, serving up happy feelings and a fun sense of style, but Uranus in Taurus is disrupting the old to make way for the new, so this sense of style is infused with high-voltage electricity. Remember what you’re re-wilding and set intentions to express it: in relationships, through fashion, and with a strong sense of play. After the floods and earthquakes of eclipse season, this is an awakening moon.
When I look at the aspects for June of this year, I see two overarching themes playing out. One is shown through the mutable energy of Gemini, Sagittarius, and Pisces: gathering knowledge and remaining open to change, and therefore resilient. The second theme is a reason to cultivate resilience: the lead-up to our especially hard-hitting Cancer-Capricorn eclipse season in July.
June, then, is a time to stay flexible and shift course a bit if necessary, in the spirit of resilience. What challenges you in these next two months will be similar to the challenges you faced in January of this year, when we had our first round of 2019 eclipses. Trust your intuition to tell you whether it’s better to move to high ground or stay and ride out the storm.
If you follow other astrologers and people who occasionally reference astrology in their writings, you will hear them talking about the challenges of this cycle. Be aware that June and July will probably be hard, for some more than others. If you have seen me for a personal consultation this year, you will remember that we talked about this! But also be aware that active cycles are not always “bad,” and tranquil cycles are not always “good.” For example, I have some exciting personal commitments scheduled for this month. Self-development like this always requires effort. My hope is that my endeavors will change my life in positive ways, but I also know that inner work is challenging. A lot of productive change happens in the grind of active astrological conditions. This is an active cycle. Consider that for a moment in a neutral light, and decide what sort of action you need to take. Stay agile. Cultivate resilience.
On June 2, Venus in Taurus is trine Pluto in Capricorn. Take stock of the resources at your disposal. Trust in your ability to change the status quo and overcome your obstacles. Early in the morning on June 3 (at sunrise in Brooklyn), we have our astrological new moon at 12.34 Gemini. This moon is ruled by Mercury, also in Gemini, so it’s all about gathering information, questioning what we know, and communicating ideas. With the moon square Neptune in Pisces, we do have to take care with the information we receive, asking ourselves: is it accurate? Does it come from a reliable source? Is there self-delusion here? However, with our critical faculties in use, this can be an excellent new moon for imagining original, dream-worthy intentions to act on throughout the lunar cycle.
Get ready to say goodbye to that brief period when we had Mercury in his home sign of Gemini AND Venus in her home sign of Taurus. On June 4, Mercury leaves Gemini for Cancer. Mercury in Cancer is empathetic and emotional, able to speak the languages of poetry and feeling. Mercury will also be involved in this strong series of Cancer-Capricorn oppositions, so sometimes those feelings are going to be intense. On June 8, Venus leaves Taurus for Gemini. Venus in Gemini is attracted to variety and inspired by good conversations. She’s here to show you all of the many attractive options that will help you stay agile and resilient.
Both the sun and Venus in Gemini are involved in a series of mutable T-squares, squaring Neptune in Pisces while opposing Jupiter in Sagittarius. The sun makes this T-square first, on June 9 and 10. Venus follows on June 23 and 24. This series of aspects bookends our second exact Jupiter-Neptune square of this year, on June 16. So all throughout this month, you are being asked: is your optimism helping you to manifest a dream or are you engaged in self-delusion? Use the information you gather to make thoughtful choices that help you to actualize your dreams...not just dream them. Regarding the first Jupiter-Neptune square on January 13th, I wrote: In its most positive form, Jupiter square Neptune will spur us to seek out our dreams. This can actually be a wonderful transit to pair with all of Capricorn’s structure. Anchor yourself with a plan that keeps you from floating too far out to sea.
Speaking of anchoring yourself with Capricorn’s structure, we get a whole lot of Cancer-Capricorn opposition mid-month. Mars meets the north node in Cancer and makes an opposition to Saturn in Capricorn, as well as a trine to Neptune, on the 14th. Then Mercury follows suit on the 16th. This is all happening at the same time as the Jupiter-Neptune square, so mark mid-June for “hot” spaceweather. Anything involving Saturn in Capricorn is going to be a reality check. Delusion is not an option in 2019; we are dealing with reality like true adults. Remember that as I have said before, “The north node points the wise way forward. It is a council of wise elders convening; the matriarchs speaking up to remind us what we care about.” Orient yourself in the direction of practical wisdom.
Early in the morning (EST) on June 17, we have our full moon at 25.53 Sagittarius. This lunation is conjunct Jupiter in Sagittarius for some excellent luck, and still involved in that dream-seeking Jupiter-Neptune square. While you’re orienting yourself in the direction of wisdom and making all those thoughtful choices to realize your dreams, why not do a little magic for some good luck to help you out? Seeking knowledge, understanding, abundance, good fortune, and glamour are all options for this lunation.
It doesn’t stop there. Mercury and Mars form an exact conjunction in Cancer on June 18 and make an exact opposition to Pluto on the 19th. Pluto in Capricorn is all about old-fashioned power. With the planet of communication and the planet of action in a sign that deals with emotions, we have some potentially powerful, emotional talk happening on these days. It could also be a struggle to communicate. There could be barriers to action, since Mars in Cancer is less potent than Mars in other signs. For mastery of this transit, look to empower yourself and protect those who are vulnerable.
On June 21st, we have the summer solstice, when the sun enters the sign of Cancer. Neptune also stations retrograde on this day. Neptune will appear to travel back over the degrees from 19 to 16 Pisces before stationing direct on November 27th. As with all outer-planet retrogrades, this happens once a year and is unlikely to feel personal unless you have personal planets or points between 19-16 degrees of mutable signs, in which case you may encounter some additional “fog” on your course.
Saturn makes another exact conjunction to the south node on June 23rd. This happened on May 20th. Look to that day for an indication of what might be coming. The cycles repeat, but always in a spiral, so that you receive the lesson in different variations as you learn. Saturn with the south node in Capricorn is about dealing with the shadow-side of tradition. We haven’t finished yet, and we’ll still be doing it in July. So continue to ask yourself, which traditions must be protected, and which ones need to evolve? What’s lurking in the shadows of our traditions? And again, listen to wise elders who can show you the way forward.
Lastly, Mercury enters Leo on June 26th. Mercury here is a creative communicator: loud, performative, and fun. Yay for some fun! In the last week of June, use what you’ve learned to prepare for our upcoming eclipses on July 2 and 16, as well as the next Mercury retrograde in Leo-Cancer, from July 7th through the 31st. The biggest challenge comes in July. Use June for preparation, agility, and resilience.