Cancer (June 21-July 22) — Mercury’s recent station direct in the most sensitive area of your chart is taking you on a tour of your innermost being. We are talking about the influence of Gemini in your life; for everyone that is a double reality, potentially a hall of mirrors where you wonder which is the real thing and which is the reflection. Which is the dream and which is the reality? Well, if you’re asking that, you’re onto the actual question. You will go back and forth on this for a while, and one way to handle it is to test out every perception as real, and live with it, and then test it out as an illusion and live with it for a while there. There is an isolated quality to the 12th. Mercury is the planet of communication, and you are likely to feel that what you are thinking or where you are mentally cannot be understood by others. The way I think of the 12th house is the place where the secrets are so deep, you keep them from yourself. Yet once you start to reveal these thoughts, ideas and desires, you may decide you want to move in for a while, which would be convenient since that is where you currently are. This kind of self-exploration may come with feelings like, do I want that to be true? Do I need to know that? They may violate any or every taboo, boundary, or preconceived idea that you have about yourself. Yet this is the place of true creative chaos, and of liberation from what is genuinely oppressive. With the Sun transiting your sign or rising sign at the moment, and the world ‘opening back up’, it will be easy to miss this introspective opportunity: that is, of your inner world opening up.
Leo (July 22-Aug. 23) — Society is walking a fine line where matters of privacy are concerned. In truth the notion no longer exists in the way that it used to, because inner space has been turned inside out. In the past, privacy was not so much about concealing your deepest hopes, dreams and fears as it was about what you had for dinner. Then we find out that our Social Security number is for sale somewhere and that the last thousand things you ‘liked’ were added to a database sold to a political consultant. Then all your Instagram photos end up in an NSA database studying facial expressions. This is not intimacy, though it sure does get in the way of our ability to relate to one another in a trusting and honest way. Meanwhile, the front-end of all this technology is essentially the world’s largest study in DIY public relations. While this has all been happening, our relationship to ourselves has been radically altered. The sense of one’s private inner being is gone, as if it never existed. While this may vary by degree — there are still people who keep a diary, in a book — the overall environment is saying anything could be public at any time. Yet as much as people seem to accept this, there are few who would allow absolutely anything about themselves to be known — even if we accept that it might be discovered and revealed forcibly. My question for you today is, where do you draw the line between public and private? Where do you end, and they all begin? What strategies do you use to maintain some semblance of an inner being? This borderland is an interesting place, rich with emotional and intellectual resources. It is a kind of frontier, calling for you to explore consciously, and enter some spaces neither you nor your thoughts have ever been. If you notice, that, in a sense, is true privacy.
Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22) — You do have some professional decisions to make, though this is not the time to leap ahead, make a commitment or even depart from one. It’s time to get your bearings, which is to say, determine where you are now, and see if you can figure out where you’re headed if you continue on your current trajectory. Of the two, your present location is the more significant factor, because you can get anywhere from here, if you know where here is. The real choice you’re making is not where you want to be or what you want to do but rather understanding something about yourself. You might think of this as the principle of synergy or biophilia: the whole of you is greater than the sum of your parts. This is particularly true when you’re thinking of yourself: as skills, facets, roles, identities: all of that is fictional, or secondary. All that you are emanates from one inner being, and that being is made of purpose. You may not be able to describe it right now; you may think it’s indescribable. That is an illusion, as to ‘describe’ in this situation means to admit to yourself what you know, even if you don’t know the source of your knowledge. We are talking about something you already possess, not something that you have been told. In fact, much or all that you’ve been told serves to conceal what you know; your most basic reality — and conceal it from yourself. Think of it this way. If you were to wake up tomorrow morning shorn of all of your present commitments and all you think the world expects of you, what would you do? Even if you would go to the beach every day for a while, then there would be something that you know is true and truly you.
Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23) — The peculiar insanity of our time is being in a world not only where people are unwilling to awaken themselves but rather where many are shocked and traumatized into a daze. To the extent this may include you, there is a way through. In your particular environment there are people committed to self-awareness, and there are others who are capable of assisting others in their healing process. Some may present themselves to you as mentors, as colleagues and as those who are willing and ready to help — as well as people seeking your assistance. In this spirit, it’s essential that you equate truth not with belief but with evidence. Evidence is not merely what you perceive (“seeing is believing”) but rather what you have used your beautiful mind to analyze and assess. This line of thought, and the inquiry it might drive forward, are a discomfort zone for many people. It’s therefore necessary to make peace with getting reasoned or drawn by curiosity outside of your so-called comfort zone, meaning, the point where you stop asking questions. On what you might call the spiritual or psychological level, all of society is involved in a drama where the needs and perceptions of the individual are being set at war against claims of what’s being called collective need. There is no reasoning process here; it’s all emotional, which bypasses curiosity or any other form that the quest for truth might take. We are in a time when being yourself, truly being yourself, is considered an affront to society and where “we all must be as one.” This is dangerous both individually and on a very wide scale, and besides, you have different karma. Your life is about using your mind and your senses in a creative and alive way — not doing or being what someone else tells you. In this project, you have some excellent support around you right now. Please tap into that.
Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22) — How has your sense of the future been shaped by events of the past year? To understand this, you would need to consider your sense of the future up until 2019. That might include your vision for yourself, and our collective future, and where the two meet. Consider your sense of your personal potential as you experienced it then and now. If you think of the future as a space, has it become larger, or smaller? Do you feel like you have more options, or fewer of them? Now for the most personal question: do you feel more clearly guided, or do you feel more confused? Be aware that the shock of 2020 hit you in a particularly blunt and unexpected way, for many reasons though one of them was that you could see through much of what was happening. Or rather, you could see it directly, in particular, the curious nature of the total disruptions and up-ending of nearly everything. You not only experienced the financial shock, you sought to understand it and I reckon you still care. Like everyone, you are now in the position to navigate the new-not-normal that seems to be here to stay. You are in a good position to bet on long odds — that is, your attributes, qualities and goals that you may have, at other times, thought had little prospect for success. The way the world went in 2020, all those dependable things that were supposed to work perfectly were suddenly thrown under the bus or fell into the ocean. It turns out they were not so real after all. What is left is who and what you truly are, and what you truly desire. This sense that people have is often crushed when they are young. Yet you are in contact with it now. This is the time to create your future, not the one others think is right for you.
Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22) — You’ve just come through an over-the-top Mercury retrograde in your opposite sign. This will be working itself out well into July as Mercury clears the degrees where it was retrograde, makes its third square to Neptune, and finally makes its way into Cancer. Until then, it will be difficult to understand where you stand with key relationship and business partners, though if you’re paying attention to the facts, you have all the information you need. If you don’t like the facts, you may be subject to propaganda and deception of various kinds, whether from yourself or from others. However, what you know is not a matter of preference. If you think that it is, you miss the opportunity to use your knowledge as a tool, meaning, as a basis for making better decisions. That said, you seem to be obsessed with feeling safe more than you are concerning yourself with being a clear thinker. This will shift later in the month when Jupiter re-enters Aquarius. Yet for now you might question what is preoccupying you and with that, evaluate your concepts of safe, secure, and the crux of the matter, confident. That last one is an interesting word and idea: it means with fidelity. That in turn means faithfulness and devotion, in this scenario, to yourself. So we could ask: are you committed to your own purpose? For you the single biggest distraction will be telling yourself you’re really committed to the purposes of others. The two do not need to be in conflict, though there is a difference between them and that is worth studying carefully. This last few weeks of your ruling planet Jupiter in Pisces (for now) are a good time to sort out these issues.
Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20) — You do well working closely with others. These relationships can be fruitful, though only when you trust that there is a shared foundation of both trust and common values, and that trust turns out to have been well invested. The reason this is so often difficult to discern is that most people are not true to themselves, and have a way of tossing commitments out the window after putting on a song and dance number about how serious they were. It gets worse, too: people can at times turn on themselves, and on partners, in an aggressive way. Sadly, this is on the level of Psych 101: observing the most basic human behavior. There are, however, a few ways to evaluate people. One is how they conduct themselves over time, meaning a long time — probably longer than you’ve know them for. Another is your intuition. Neither of these are 100% safe. You might be doing well if you have a .500 batting average (in baseball, a .300 average is considered excellent). The other thing to monitor, perhaps the most important, is to study mental health. This applies to you as well, though we’re talking about noticing who might turn out to be dependable. For you, this amounts to people with good self-esteem, who respect themselves, and whose dignity comes from a deep place within them. With some practice it’s easy to spot who is posing from who is committed to respect in all of its forms. Notice how people conduct themselves when times are difficult. Are they fair whether it’s raining and when the Sun is shining? Or do their commitments vary with the weather? Remember, the weather is an atmospheric condition. The Sun is a star, and in many ways, it’s your guiding star — and it keeps on keepin’ on for billions of years.
Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) — Whatever may be going on now, the month of July builds to an exciting, intense and potentially fruitful conclusion. Just after Jupiter re-enters your sign on the 28th, it makes an opposition to Mars in your opposite sign Leo. While Mars-Jupiter aspects happen on a fairly regular basis, this opposition is different because it occurs with both planets in the last degrees of their signs. Here is where reading astrology can get subtle and take experience, though these are two of the most unusual degrees of the zodiac: 30 Leo and 30 Aquarius. This is an initiation, as in, a point of advancing to the next level of your existence. You are passing through something that you’ve been engaged with for a while, and arriving in a new place. At the same time, it’s a moment of near-total transparency about who in your life is there for what purpose, and of discovering what people know and have concealed about themselves. If you fully encounter, accept and make peace with what you have learned, you emerge at a new stage of your growth and evolution. There are no assurances here; not everyone is amenable to the diversity of conditions that I have described. That is why it’s an initiation, which implies meeting requirements and undergoing a test of some kind, in this case a test of truth. Many do not want to know, much less accept, where someone close to them is coming from: what they truly think, how they feel and what they want. For many, it’s easier to pretend. Yet if you embrace this encounter directly and sincerely, what you also get is an honest and grounded relationship that has depth and potential well beyond the usual promises of a Hallmark greeting card.
Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) — In a little while, your ruling planet Jupiter will rejoin Saturn in Aquarius, your 12th place (house, whole sign house, solar house). For any sensitive astrologer, the 12th has an ominous tone, and few actually understand it. Yet this zone in your chart references many essentials, including your inner life and your core being — qualities that are becoming mythical figures of days gone by. Having the two most massive planets in this angle of your chart at the same time is exceptionally rare. On one level it is about you being summoned to get your house in order. By in order, I mean clarifying your deep inner experience of existence, and sorting out your priorities. It’s also about cleaning, clearing, releasing, and returning what you do not need, and do not want — including much you did not know you were holding onto. There is the matter of facing your fears, many of which are contained in the 12th, and most of which came as standard equipment from the family into which you were born. You do not need them, though you may be attached to them. Not everyone is up to the challenge of identifying and recognizing the problems that inherited, deep-seated and unconscious anxiety causes. If you do nothing else but address the matters of anxiety and unfinished family business, then this transit was a success. Yet I suggest you set a higher standard. Your particular 12th contains a special quality: more than for most people, your sense of inner being creates the community and family of choice that surrounds you. And one other: in Vedic astrology, the 12th is the house of ‘the pleasures of the bed’. Know what you want. Know what you need. And know that by clearing baggage, you open the way to cosmic ecstasy.
Aries (March 20-April 19) — You need an organizing principle for your life. It could be anything; you might be working on a ball of string and that is your purpose. You might be building a company and you might keep a journal, and you know that is the thing you keep coming back to. For many, some combination of their job and raising children serves this purpose, though I suggest that it be something other than one of these, unless your work is truly your vocation. That would be helpful in any event, if you can arrange it. A career is something you do and a vocation is something that calls you. The question is, what do you make, with the deepest meaning of your existence? For many, this is a missing experience; for you, it cannot be. Humanity was created to create like its creator. To participate in that is to engage in the essence of being on this planet, in a body, with a mind and senses and hands that can craft the world into some new shape and form, no matter how modest. It is the translation of meaning into tangible substance, and this is of course a means of self-creation. I would add that the money connection here is secondary. I am talking about the thing you would do equally well whether you’re paid or not; whether someone expects you to do it or not. You don’t see this kind of activity referenced in spiritual texts very often; usually they are abstract, and shun the physical world, and for that reason miss the mark. There is also a social element to this same astrology. When you mean what you make with your heart and soul, you do something distinctive and unique that is social at the same time, and on that, you will thrive.
Taurus (April 19-May 20) — Study your relationship to whatever you consider ‘authority’. There is much tension here for you, and you may be making choices that are rooted in ideas you have not acknowledged. Uranus in your sign is restless and rebellious. Saturn at 90 degress to your sign may feel like some oppressive force is trying to get you to do something you don’t want to do (which is how most people experience Saturn). The two are in contact, in what is called a square aspect: a potential clash of the titans. You don’t really consider yourself a rebel, though you’re being pushed to resist and assert yourself against something or someone. What exactly is that? Do you have the right candidate? We live in a world where people are conditioned to give up their inner authority. This in turn opens the way for outer authority to take over, though for you at the moment, that is intolerable. The answer to this seeming puzzle is not to revolt but rather to take over your life as your own primary authority figure and exemplar. This used to be the goal of going to therapy: learning how to run your own life, and make your own choices. At least we have astrology to describe and help map out the circumstances. Once you start (or continue in earnest) to unravel this issue — running your life, making your choices — you will go through layer after layer: parents, government, various professional authorities, religion and finally, your intimate relationships. It is far easier not to do this; easier to leave the big questions unanswered and unexamined. You will meet far less resistance. You won’t annoy your friends or your partners with all of the active growth you’re doing, messy as it is. All of that is petty, and verges on meaningless, if you want a life that is actually worth living.
Gemini (May 20-June 21) — Mercury is in the end stages of spending an astonishing 97 days in your sign, between May 3 and July 11. It was retrograde for about 22 of those days, and that whole time, in a tense and difficult aspect to Neptune — a planet that represents deception, dreams and illusions. What are you working out? What have you done to draw yourself closer to your personal truth? As of this writing around the time of the solstice, you still have some territory to cross. Mercury’s third exact square to Neptune is July 6, and that is a point of revelation, discovery or understanding — but only if you want it. Most people would rather stay in their haze than ever admit they misunderstood something in the past, or were in some way deceived. Most people think of themselves as truthful, or as having good reasons for not being so. All of these notions are subject to review, and I suggest you do so in a careful, thoughtful and thorough way. Modern habits of thought have never groomed people to leap to false conclusions, or false clarity, so fully as they do today. This is about digital conditions, which erase all the nuance and detail you need to understand the world and yourself. Gray areas, doubts, and reflection are uncomfortable specifically because they suspend the seeming luxury of being certain. They are vulnerable states of being, where you are subject to influence, and also to deep questions about your existence. For many, putting their toe in this water seems to come with the risk of drowning. That is an exaggeration, though an understandable feeling. One day you may decide that actually questioning yourself is your best friend. I don’t mean judging yourself. I mean careful evaluation and deliberation. True understanding takes time.
beautifully illustrated by Deirdre Tanton
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