Solstice Alignments

In my previous post, I wrote about the Astrology brewing for the summer: the big stuff (as in the background vibrations created by the Gas Giants) and the poignant stuff (the eclipses). This post is about things closer to home (the inner planets) and closer to now (Solstice and the next few days).

Today is the last day of Spring. (The sun crosses the Aries point of 0o0’ Cancer at 5:06 am CDT tomorrow.) At the time I am writing this (9 am CDT) Mercury is halfway between its Trine with Jupiter and its Trine with Neptune. The Jupiter-Neptune Trine is loose at the moment. Soon enough, in less than 3 weeks, Jupiter will Station Direct and the Trine will begin tightening up again.

Jupiter in Scorpio has us feeling things deeply. Sadness, pain, and anger will be sharper. It is hard to hold back.

Neptune has been in Pisces for a long time (six years now). In the same way the moon pulls on the oceans, Neptune is pulling on everyone’s emotional body, but quite differently than Jupiter is. Pisces is far more subtle than Scorpio, and Neptune is far more subtle than Jupiter. Jupiter is expanding a specific sensation in a moment in time whereas Neptune is spreading and blending sensations over years worth of time. Jupiter in Scorpio is like popping a raw clove of garlic in your mouth. The taste will be strong and clear. Neptune has been simmering a stew on the stove. Yes there is garlic in there, but also a slew of other ingredients.

The way the two are working together right now is interesting to think about…and that brings up Mercury in Cancer forming a Grand Water Trine.

In my progressed chart, Mercury is inching through Cancer. So today, as Mercury moves through the Grand Trine, I feel like I’m swimming in familiar waters.

If you’ve been reading me for a while, you might have noticed that in the past few years (since my progressed Mercury moved into Cancer), I have been focused on feelings and emotions and the guidance they provide. I have dabbled with the idea of feeling with intention (a literal interpretation of Mercury in Cancer). Pisces, the epitome of empathy, and the collector of mass consciousness emotion, is literally an ocean, which is being pulled by planetary forces. But Cancer is cardinal water. If any sign can feel and then emote with intention (and choice), it is that one.

Mercury moving through Cancer wants to understand whether it is really possible to feel with intention—to choose what one feels regardless of what is happening around him or her. He wants to understand how to do this. He wants to observe those who seem to be able to do this. Unfortunately, he won’t stick around long enough to master the skill.

With me, having a slow moving progression through Cancer, I get a longer dip in that pool.

Today, if you’re feeling strong emotion, or have been more or less for a while, you’re likely thinking about it with curiosity and wonderment. Maybe not as light as those words imply, but you will not simply be experiencing your emotions and consumed by them. There will be a bit of questioning…and if you focus on those moments, you might even feel as if you are observing your pain from just outside of it.

Right after Mercury exactly Trines Neptune (later today), the sun will make its ingress into Cancer, starting off summer (or winter) in earnest. It is, however, the alignments after sun enters Cancer and before the Eclipses that has me intrigued.

If we focus primarily on the personal planets, this is the coming sequence: Venus opposes Mars, Mercury opposes Pluto, and then Mars Stations Retrograde. Remember from the previous post, the Full Moon Lunar Eclipse will conjunct Mars next month, during Mars Retrograde and Mars Opposition.

Venus opposes Mars often enough. It is a frequent reminder of the differing points of view between female/male, mother/father, yin/yang, black/white. Venus and Mars represent clear, simple, and contrasting archetypes. But also remember that every single one of us has both Venus and Mars in our charts. There is a part of us that is Venus and a part of us that is Mars (and a part of us that is Jupiter and a part of us that is Neptune and…and…and).

I love how Astrology reminds us that as above, so below. The planets don’t make us the way we are, they simply reflect back to us who we are. Life does that too. What you see outside of yourself always connects to something inside of you. You couldn’t see it otherwise.

But life doesn’t necessarily reflect who we really are. Rather, it reflects what we’ve been thinking about.

I had an interesting thought during my walk today and it was as if someone spoke it to me:

“Trying to change another will create nothing but more conflict. Instead, change yourself…even if you do nothing other than see the other (person or situation) in a different light, you will gain. You don’t have to empathize with them or it, or even understand them or it. You can nevertheless see it in a way that will change how you feel about it…and that’s when things begin to really change.”

Mercury’s realm is thought and logic and communication. These do not work that well when deep sea diving. That’s where both Jupiter and Neptune excel. Regardless, Mercury does have much to study and learn down there.

Mars moves backward least often of all the planets. About 26 months pass between one retrograde and the next. Venus, which is second least, retrogrades once every 18 months. All of the outer planets retrograde about once each year and Mercury moves backward about three times each year.

So Mars in retrograde is the most unusual and the most foreign to us. None of us like to retrace our steps. Thinking back is something we do often, but to go back and undo something so it can be done again is something that always feels off.

Venus will retrograde this year as well. In the early evening sky, you can watch her as she gets closer and closer to Jupiter one day to the next. She will, however, retrograde before meeting him in the night sky. Her retrograde starts in October and the Venus-Jupiter conjunction will occur after that (early next year) and in the morning sky.

My thinking about all of this is simple: feel what you feel, but pay attention to it. Don’t just notice how you feel (physically or emotionally) but see if you can notice the movement of your emotions and pain. See if you can track back and see the progression. You might notice physical pain following on the heels of emotional pain. In other words, if you’ve been experiencing strong negative emotion (pain, hurt, anger) for a few days, it can turn into physical pain (or cause ongoing physical pain to get worse). Also, if you’ve been focused on someone else’s pain and thus feeling bad for them, you might suddenly get sick or hurt yourself (stub your toe) and then feel pain yourself.

Neptune is here to show us the long cycles. Negative emotions do pop in and sometimes quickly, but if we focus too much on things we do not like day in and day out, we can evolve into grumpy or depressed people. We can, through our focus, do just the opposite and guide ourselves into happier more optimistic individuals.

Jupiter, by emphasizing how you feel, is going to show you those emotions you may have gotten used to. The background moves into the foreground.

With Mercury, one approach is to listen to the words you choose when describing how you feel. Are you over-emphasizing, over-stating, or embellishing? If you are, why? Do you want to move further into that over-stated emotion? Or would you rather back away from it? You can use your words to reorient yourself.

Choosing more optimistic words does not mean you are denying your pain or hiding it or repressing it or stuffing it. It just means you are looking toward an experience of less pain (or no pain). Looking toward that experience is the precursor to looking forward to it.

Negative emotion and physical pain are uncomfortable. They are simultaneously guidance from within. They are here to teach you or show you something.

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