June 2003 A Conscious Evolution Newsletter
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Volume 2, Number 6

Opinions presented in Metamorphosis are those of their respective authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of others associated with the newsletter.


June Star Watch

By Terri Smallwood


Welcome to June, Star Watchers, the point of balance between the rush of growth that is spring and the hazy lazy days of summer. The urgency of spring with its renewal of life and purpose reaches its apex in Gemini, which is where we find the Sun at the beginning of the month.

Gemini, symbolized by the Twins, is a mutable air sign. The glyph for Gemini Gemini clearly demonstrates its duality, both by its resemblance to the Roman numeral for two and in the way it appears to be two individuals, standing side-by-side, simultaneously united, yet apart. The Zend Avesta, the sacred book of Zoroastrianism, reveals a deeper purpose for the duality of the Twins, “Now the two primal spirits, who reveal themselves in visions as Twins, are the Better and Bad in thought, word and action. And between the two, the wise ones choose aright, the foolish not so.”

The dual nature of Gemini carries with it a connotation of higher and lower abilities. That is, when working from the highest level of potential, a Gemini is easily able to grasp many of life’s complexities and then, using his gift of communication, explain these mysteries to his fellow man. Many talented and influential authors, playwrights and composers have a strong Gemini influence in their charts. A Gemini who has not yet learned to tap into his higher range of abilities can instead find himself scattered, dependent on logic, fact and rhetoric, lost in his own chatter and using his powerful oratory skills for petty gossip, rather than as a channel for the inventive genius that is his birthright. Ruled by Mercury, Gemini is associated with the third house of the natural horoscope and all things that lie therein - short-distance travel, publishing, friends, siblings and school-aged children. There is an appealing childishness apparent in Gemini. Their curiosity and sociable manners make them popular and entertaining friends.

The Sun finishes its turn in Gemini this month on June 21, which is also the Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. From ancient times, people throughout the world have observed this day with sacred rituals and ceremonies. Derived from Latin, the word “solstice” can be roughly translated as “the sun stood still,” which is what it seems to do on this day, rising to its highest point in the sky, and then appearing to pause there. The ancients called this point, “the Gate of the Northern Sun,” and its place in the sky corresponds to 0 degrees Cancer, the sign after Gemini on the cosmic wheel. It is fitting, then, that the celebrations to honor this special time are largely based on ceremonies that honor motherhood and strong female energy, as is associated with the sign of Cancer. The goddesses honored at the Solstice are not the svelte, virginal brides of spring, but rather are abundant, heavy and full of life, the culmination of promises whispered on the first wisps of the spring breezes we felt at the vernal equinox, when the Sun rose over the horizon into Aries.

Aries is the first sign of the zodiac, and its properties are masculine, cardinal and fire. In nature, Aries fills animals with the strong urge to procreate; trees and flowers begin their yearly cycle of growth, and all around us we see creation burgeoning with new life. This process continues though the spring, with the earthy energy of Taurus stabilizing and nurturing this growth and the airy energy of Gemini disseminating the seeds and pollens throughout the air. Cancer is the next cardinal sign on the wheel, which means that we again find ourselves in a period of action and growth. This time though, it’s a watery and feminine sort of creativity we feel. On the surface less urgent than Arian energy, Cancer instead brings us fulfillment and maturation. We begin to see the first fruits of summer ready for harvest, the first young born ready to leave the protection of nests and dens. Many marriages are consecrated under Cancer’s skies, when “spring-fever” has run its course and the couple is ready to mature into a deeper commitment to the family life that is ruled by the Crab.

Family is certainly the domain of Cancer. Often represented as a mother figure, and ruled by the womanly energy of the Moon, Cancer is concerned with all aspects of domestic life. The crab that symbolizes Cancer is so attached to his home that he carries it on his back! Often considered materialistic, Cancers are not so much interested in things for their material value or status, but rather for the security they provide.

The focus on family is intensified this June, as Saturn, the planet that asks us to acknowledge our debts and responsibilities, enters Cancer for a two-year tour on the 4th, encouraging all of us to look at our relationships with family and our responsibilities to them. Cancer, Libra, Capricorn and Aries will have the most asked of them during this time, as Saturn forms hard aspects to these signs. Causing more fear and trepidation than perhaps any other transit, an encounter with Saturn does not automatically ensure dire tragedies or painful lessons - providing you are willing to buckle down and do some hard work.

Saturn respects hard workers. After all, he’s the ruler of Capricorn, and for those willing to do their homework, a transit from Saturn, Lord of Karma, can actually be a rewarding time. Saturn’s duty is to remind each of us of the sacred contracts we made with our higher selves before incarnating into this present life. It’s these Saturnine lessons that keep us from falling too far off our personal life path. The more out of touch we are with our own sense of Higher Self and the goals of our own spirit, the harder Saturn needs to nudge to get us back in line.

For people about to have a visit from transiting Saturn, it’s worth investing some time in self-examination. One trick would be to think back seven years, which would be the last time Saturn made a hard aspect to the same planet it is about to transit now in your chart. Consider situations that troubled you then and remember what you did to handle them. If you were having difficulties in your marriage for example, but have spent time in relationship counseling, working hard to improve things with your mate, then the current transit can be a rewarding time, allowing the work you have invested into your relationship to pay off. If however, you hid from any problems, or handled the situation in a way that compromised your values or caused hurt to another, then you can expect a less-than-pleasant visit from Saturn, as these old ghosts will come back to haunt you until you find a positive resolution. If difficult situations persistently arise during your encounter with Saturn, then comfort yourself by knowing that regardless of how you managed your affairs in the past, if you can face the challenges presented to you in this round with an open heart, a spirit of forgiveness, and the willingness to make things right, then your next visit from Saturn will be a much more rewarding time. The old adage, “You reap what you sow” is definitely the case when Saturn is involved.

Besides the movement of Saturn into Cancer, June also brings us a number of interesting aspects and unique configurations. The month opens with Jupiter and Neptune opposing each other along the Leo / Aquarius axis. A relatively long-lasting transit owing to the slow movement of these giant outer planets, this influence will remain with us for most of the month. Oppositions are considered stress aspects, that is, they are aspects that create tension. In this case the tensions are lessened by the basic good nature of both these planets; Jupiter has been considered a lucky force since ancient times and Neptune’s mystic haze of spirituality may be difficult to fathom but is rarely considered to be malefic. The two entwine this month, as the retrograde motion of Neptune pulls them together to work out the basic polarity between Leo and Aquarius. Oppositions compel signs that are often considered to be uncomplimentary to combine their energy in a forceful way. In this case, we see the tug-of-war played out in the realm of the ego vs. the spirit. Leo, the personification of ego, is emboldened by expansive Jupiter, while Aquarius is complemented in his search to serve mankind through his placement in Neptune, ruler of self-sacrificing Pisces. Like all oppositions, this one will be best resolved by finding a point of balance between the two rival entities.

Mercury and Venus in Taurus suggest an answer to this conundrum in the early days of June by forming a square to both Neptune and Jupiter, a configuration known as a T-square. It suggests that one way to resolve the tension between the opposed planets is through love and communication, which when combined with the magnanimous spirituality created through Jupiter and Neptune is a powerful mixture indeed! The added tension created by the square aspects can be challenging, as it creates situations that force one to address the issues highlighted by the aspects. However, in a certain respect T-squares can be positive configurations, despite the harsh aspects that create them, since they generate the action needed to resolve difficult situations.

Not every planetary configuration is as forceful in its nature. Soft aspects, like trines and sextiles, bring together planetary energies that are essentially complimentary. June 10 gives us an example of one of the freest flowing of the softer aspects in the shape of a Grand Trine formed by the planets in the air signs. The Moon in Libra, Sun in Gemini and Neptune in Aquarius come together this day, softening the energy of the Neptune / Jupiter opposition and giving us a day that is creative and inspiring, but in a soothingly gentle sort of way. Not the type of aspect ever complimented for its “get up and go,” a Grand Trine is considered a blessing when it appears in a natal chart, as it is thought to promise a life of ease. It also strongly influences the native with the quality of energy expressed in the trine, be it air, water, fire or earth. While at first glance, flowing aspects like trines seem preferable to stressful ones like squares and oppositions, there can be too much of a good thing. A Grand Trine offers creative promise, but bestows little in the way of the impetus to get there. To truly fulfill all the potential of the Grand Trine, some of those harder aspects are a must, as they provide force and focus.

June 10 does give us an example of a more integrated type of planetary configuration, the Mystic Rectangle. A Mystic Rectangle is formed when two pairs of oppositions are sextile to each other. The result is an aspect pattern that includes two sextiles, two trines and two oppositions. Like the Grand Trine, this is another “soft” aspect pattern that does not generate friction, discomfort or a need to take action. What a Mystic Rectangle does offer, however, is an extremely strong sense of balance and structure, and harmony between the four planets involved. The forces of the oppositions continually stimulate the lazy ease of the trines and sextiles - in this case, Pluto and Jupiter in fire signs, and Neptune and the Sun in air signs. The challenge of a Mystic Rectangle is in integrating all four planets, so that each is supported and honored within the structure. It is common for individuals with Mystic Rectangles in their natal charts to struggle with the two oppositions, see-sawing back and forth between the opposing planets. Once the point of balance has been found, however, it becomes increasingly easy to maintain, and a well-integrated Mystic Rectangle can be the most unflappable of aspect patterns. Once an individual has integrated a Mystic Rectangle, it represents a core of strength for them, and a solid foundation that can be a great gift in handling whatever else life throws at them. The Mystic Rectangle will be in force for much of the latter half of the month, as slower-moving Pluto, Jupiter, and Neptune are first transited by the Sun and then by Mercury and Venus.

The month winds up as it began, featuring another T-square that calls into focus the slowly waning Jupiter / Neptune opposition. This time it is the Taurus Moon seeking to add balance to the celestial tug-of-war. What could be better at grounding an opposition than a Taurus Moon, perhaps the most grounded sign of all?

***





For a detailed listing of this month’s transits, see
the June Interactive Calendar