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Astro Notes for New Moon in Cancer cycle (July 5-Aug 4)

Before I talk about the main influences over this monthly cycle, I want to briefly recap where this year fits in the big picture, astrologically speaking. Since 2020, when Jupiter, Saturn, and Pluto met in a triple conjunction, the world was plunged into an initiatory crisis, a crucible of change when the structures and patterns of the old order have been dissolving and the seeds of the emerging era have been/are being planted. From November 2024 to July 2025, Pluto, Neptune, Uranus, Saturn, and Jupiter all change signs, meaning that we can expect quite soon now to pass through a rapid and unmistakable shift in the collective zeitgeist involving the start of many new plotlines in the human story and thus akin to something like a (re-)birth.

This year, on the other hand, involves the end of several major cycles and therefore is characterized more by the energy of completion-decay-death than beginning-creation-birth. 2024 represents the last year (in the foreseeable future) that Pluto will be in Capricorn (a 17 year cycle), the last year that Neptune will (solely) be in Pisces (a 13 year cycle), the last year that Uranus will (solely) be in Taurus (8 year cycle), and the last year that Saturn will (solely) be in Pisces (2 and a half year cycle).

This is important context to keep in mind if we find ourselves getting dispirited by the collective picture of so much decay and loss. One of the main benefits of astrology is the way it reminds us that no archetypal reality is final. Everything is in process, and when the new archetypal configuration comes in, the whole collective mood and sense of what’s possible shifts with it.

At the start of this new moon cycle, Pluto, Neptune, and Saturn are moving retrograde. From the end of January through to the beginning of May, almost all the planets were moving forward, resulting in a very fast paced start to this year with a lot of forward momentum. Now we are entering a period when the foot will come off the accelerator a little, with more opportunities for reflection, review, and learning lessons.

It’s Cancer season until July 22, meaning the background rhythm in that time will be characterized by themes of healing, self-care, home, and family. The new Moon in Cancer on July 5 is conjunct Venus and sextile Mars, bringing a soft, sweet, and sexy energy to the start of the monthly cycle.

The period that stands out for me in this month’s cycle is from July 12-18, when Mars and Uranus will meet in a conjunction in late Taurus. Mars conjunct Uranus is associated with sudden disruptive events, accidents, ‘a spanner in the works’, and a general energy of impulsive reactivity. The transit is at its peak on July 15-16, when it will also oppose Moon in Scorpio, adding a dimension of emotional intensity and drama to the mix.

It so happens that the Republican convention is from July 15-18. One must imagine that things will not go smoothly or as planned.

Soon after that, on July 21, we have a full moon at 29 degrees of Capricorn, closely conjunct Pluto and in an exact trine to Mars at 29 degrees of Taurus. The full moon in the final degree of Capricorn — the sign of the political establishment — in a conjunction with Pluto, the planet of power and in a trine to Mars the planet of action — and coming right on the heels of what portends to be a sensational Republican convention. Very interesting. We could see shocking political developments and decisive, consequential actions that cut away aspects of the old order. (I’m not, by the way, making any specific predictions about the fate of Donald Trump, just delineating the general archetypal patterns, which could manifest in various ways. It would not surprise, though, if something unexpected did occur in relation to him at the convention, since the Mars-Uranus transit is conjunct his natal MidHeaven, which represents our connection to success and society.)

On a personal level, that period of July 12-18 is one to be mindful of in terms of both the potential for emotional disruption and the benefit of practicing non-reactivity as much as possible. On July 16, there is an auspicious grand water trine between Sun, Moon, and Neptune that offers an opportunity for us to hold our reactions in a healing, spiritual container. This can help to redirect our consciousness to the higher possibilities hidden within whatever disruptive events we might experience with the Mars-Uranus conjunction.

On July 22, we enter Leo season, with the Sun joining Venus and Mercury in the sign of the Lion. In the northern hemisphere, Leo corresponds with the peak of summer, and the spirit of play and creative self-expression that typically accompanies that time of year. Leo season is our annual time of year to let our hair down, to play, to take risks to let our inner light shine so that we give others permission to do the same. Leo is a heart-based energy; as such, it is the one sign of the zodiac that can fully trust the impulse of the inner child. Let your inner child lead you at this time. Soon enough, when Virgo season arrives, we’ll be rolling up our sleeves to get back to work.

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Astro Notes for New Moon in Pisces cycle (March 10-April 7)

There is an unusual pattern in the sky from mid-February to mid-May of this year wherein almost all of the planets are clumped together in one part of the chart at any given time (in astrology this is called a Bundle Chart Configuration, with all planets within 140 degrees).

This roving caravan started last month during Aquarius season, and will move slowly across Aquarius, Pisces, Aries, and Taurus over the next few months. What this means is that there is an extraordinary concentration of energy in one particular quadrant or hemisphere of our chart, supporting us to bring a special focus to that particular area of our lives.

At the same time, between January 20 and April 1, all of the planets are also moving direct, creating tremendous forward momentum in whatever area of our lives we are focusing on. While this can feel like an exciting ride, with much satisfying progress toward our goals, it may also create the impression that events are moving too quickly, and potentially careening out of control. It might feel at times that we need to be running very fast just to keep up with all the new developments coming in.

In January, we had a heavy dose of Capricorn energy that provided strong support for developing new structures and routines to enable us to better implement our goals and visions. It’s a good time to call upon these structures now to keep us on track even while we are racing ahead at breakneck speed.

This advice may soon become even more relevant as we head toward an especially intense eclipse season (from March 25 to April 8) and the much-anticipated Jupiter-Uranus conjunction on April 20, both of which entail potentially explosive energies of transformation.

It’s like we’re hurtling down a runway, and when we hit the breakthrough energies coming up in April (with the eclipses and Jupiter-Uranus conjunction), we will want to be poised enough to achieve lift-off, rather than crash and burn.

Major Transits

March 10: New Moon in Pisces

The new moon in Pisces initiates and sets the tone for this monthly cycle in a deceptively powerful way that might be overlooked. With the Pisces new moon, we are swimming in the deep and subtle waters of consciousness, close to the Mystery. This new moon is conjunct Neptune and sextile Uranus, a combination associated with altered states of consciousness. While subtle, the effect of the new moon can be to initiate a gentle revolution that dissolves boundaries of separation, both within us and in the world at large. A beautiful day for meditation.

March 12: Venus enters Pisces

When Venus was in Aquarius, how we related to others and what we desired was up for a change. Our hearts may have been excited by a new vision that serves the greater whole. When Venus moves into Pisces, we are drawn into deeper emotional waters, our hearts seeking to merge with their divine source. From these depths, we find it easier to feel the unity that underlies all, and can relate to others with greater compassion and acceptance.

March 17: Sun conjunct Neptune in Pisces

The Sun represents the ego, which is defined by time and space. In Pisces, these egoic boundaries become permeable to the infinite and the eternal. With Sun conjunct Neptune in Pisces, the ego dissolves entirely into the One. From the perspective of the separate self, this might seem like a set back. We may wonder why we feel so weak-willed. Unable to find our usual energy or drive, our very identity may seem in question.

The only way to approach this transit is through surrender. It’s time to put down our to-do list and simply be. There’s a profound transmission and healing on offer here, if we can allow ourselves to relax and do nothing.

March 19: Sun enters Aries

Welcome to the start of the astrological year! After the individual self has dissolved into the ocean of consciousness in Pisces, it is reborn when Sun moves into Aries. The life-force is strong, surging back with fresh energy and initiative. It’s time to take action, launch something new, feel the fear and do it anyway - another epic new cycle has just begun.

March 20: Mercury conjunct Chiron

We may experience our core wound being activated by something someone says. It may be helpful to understand this communication as a divine message, rather than making it about the person who delivers it. Although there could be pain involved, there is also healing in this exchange, including ways we are discovering how to help others who suffer from the same wound we do.

March 22: Venus conjunct Saturn in Pisces

There is a sober dose of realism associated with this transit that can bring some of the dreamy energies of Venus in Pisces reluctantly down to Earth. We may be forced to develop more realistic expectations about our relationships in ways that feel emotionally challenging. Although it’s not an expansive time for expressions of affection, this transit offers an opportunity to establish a deeper foundation for a long-term partnership based in truth.

March 22: Mars enters Pisces

When Mars is in Pisces, our personal will seeks to align with the Universal Will. The Taoist concept of wu Wei, or ‘effortless action’, is a perfect descriptor of this dynamic. If we try, when Mars is in Pisces, to assert ourselves from our usual perspective of the separate self, we will find that we lack the strength to get the results we expect. If, however, we allow ourselves to ‘go with the flow’, and align our actions with where the whole is moving, we reach our destination effortlessly. It’s a time to be adaptable, as we practice surfing the currents of life rather than pushing ahead with our agenda.

March 25: Full Moon South Node lunar eclipse in Libra

An intense eclipse season opens with a south node lunar eclipse in Libra, the sign of relationships. The eclipse is in a trine with Pluto in Aquarius, indicating that we will have the chance to understand and transform our relational dynamics in positive ways.

Libra is concerned with issues of balance and fairness in relationships, while Sun in Aries prioritizes the needs of the self. During this eclipse, issues about how we balance our own needs versus the needs of our relationships will come into focus. Whatever outdated relational patterns need to go will be discarded during this eclipse.

April 3: Venus conjunct Neptune in Pisces

This is one of the most magical days of the year, opening a portal to sublime states of beauty and love. Our artistic imagination is boundless at this time, allowing us to bring through exquisite gems of creative inspiration. We can experience a heightened sense of spiritual connection, our hearts deepening in devotional love for the divine. Yet we need to be mindful of the risk for romanticizing situations, so it’s helpful to keep a discerning eye open to distinguish genuine epiphanies from merely wishful thinking.

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Astro Notes for New Moon in Aquarius cycle (Feb 9-March 9)

Even though I’m now practicing astrology for a living, it never ceases to amaze me just how reliably it works. For the last few months of 2023, with Pluto (the planet of transformation) still passing through Capricorn (the “established order”) and several planets moving retrograde, it was a hard, heavy slog for most of us. Back then, any astrologer could see that we were in for a powerful shift early in the new year, with Pluto moving into Aquarius (the sign of the future) on January 20. Yet when you’re really wading through the muck, it can be hard to have faith that the heaviness will ever actually lift.

But now here we are on the other side of the divide, and the rush of forward momentum is palpable. Along with Pluto having moved into Aquarius on January 20, Uranus turned direct on January 27 -- meaning that, since then, all planets have been moving forward and will continue to do so until April. Suddenly we’ve entered a fast current hurtling downstream. We’re still in Aquarius season of course, that annual time of year when the Sun makes its visit to the sign of the visionary. And during this new moon cycle, Mercury (our thoughts), Mars (our actions), and Venus (our desires) also move through Aquarius. That’s a lot of support for innovative thinking and forward progress.

If you’re anything like me, it has been feeling like a window to Cosmic Mind has suddenly opened and the codes for the next cycle are rushing in. Finally. Thank you.

Yet it’s also a period when the pressure to change may at times become extremely intense.

During this new moon cycle, there are six conjunctions between planets, an unusually high number. Whenever two planets come together in the sky, it represents the end of one cycle of time and the beginning of another. (Each month, for instance, when the Sun and the Moon meet, forming a new moon, it signifies the beginning of a new monthly cycle.) This means we will encounter a remarkable number of opportunities during this month’s cycle to re-invent ourselves, to make fresh new starts. Many new creative sequences are being initiated; we would do well to give ourselves as much space as possible to pay attention to what is coming in.

Major transits

Feb 9: New Moon in Aquarius square Uranus in Taurus

The cycle began with a bang with a new moon in Aquarius, opening a portal for the new codes to start pouring in. The new moon was in a square to Uranus in Taurus, which may have brought a surprising turn of events that revealed what we needed to break free from in order to be able to follow the golden path to the future.

Feb 13: Mars enters Aquarius, Mars conjunct Pluto at 0 degrees Aquarius

First Mars, then a few days later Venus, conjoins Pluto at zero degrees of Aquarius. This is the same degree where the Great Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn took place in December 2020, which announced the beginning of the Aquarian era we are entering. Whenever a planet crosses the same degree of a significant earlier transit, it will tend to re-activate the same themes. So we are getting another jump start into the Aquarian Age. but this time it’s personal.

Mars in Aquarius will drive a lot of progressive change, not toward self-centered goals but in service of a higher ideal. Mars (the god of war) conjunct Pluto (the god of death), though, is a beast to be reckoned with. This is an intense, explosive energy that can easily bring out our worst instincts. We won’t want to back down from a conflict at this time, yet if we act out our impulses we could cause real damage. We can’t simply take cover and hide until the transit passes either. The only way through is to face into the intensity with the courage to change. If we can apply our courage to take responsibility for our own shadow, especially when we don’t want to, the immense force of this transit can work with us to empower our transformation.

Feb 16: Venus enters Aquarius, Venus conjunct Pluto at 0 degrees Aquarius

With Venus in Aquarius, what we want and how we relate to others is up for a change. We may like to connect with others around idealistic concepts and visions that serve the greater whole.

Yet with Venus conjoining Pluto, we first need to encounter our most vulnerable personal secrets and destructive relational tendencies. We will be asked to get honest and real in our existing relationships, likely at a deeper level than we ever have before. Nothing less than a revolution in how we relate to others is on the table here, and it’s not for the faint of heart. What may help is to remember that this struggle is not merely personal, but how we make our participation in the collective transformation real. The new codes need to take root not only in our service work for the world but also in our most intimate relationships.

Feb 18: Sun enters Pisces

When the Sun moves through Pisces, the boundaries of our ego self become more permeable to the greater reality and mystery of existence as a whole. We are less defined in our separate identity, more fluid and changeable. Our separate self, with all its efforts and anxieties, can feel like it is being subsumed into the vast ocean of being. It’s a time for letting go, surrender, completion. We are more sensitive to subtle influences so it can be helpful at this time to be especially mindful about what we feed our bodies and minds. Spiritual practice and art of all kinds are generally favored now. We can also use this period to reflect on what we have learned from the astrological cycle that is closing and what new seeds we want to plant for the one about to begin.

Feb 19: Chiron conjunct NN at 16 degrees Aries

If we were not already tenderized by the intensely transformative crucible of Mars-Pluto and Venus-Pluto over the previous week, Chiron conjunct the Moon’s North Node on Feb 19 is sure to do the job. The wound (Chiron) to our sense of self (Aries) is arguably the deepest wound there is. Here we get a profound opportunity to integrate our primal wound in a way that directly serves our soul’s evolutionary purpose. Our deepest wound and our greatest service are inextricably linked. Making this connection conscious is in many ways the great work of our soul.

Feb 21: Venus conjunct Mars at 5 degrees Aquarius

Venus conjunct Mars is the quintessential energy of sexual creativity. In Aquarius the expression will tend to be more cerebral and unusual. With Pluto just a few degrees away, explorations of power or other taboo aspects of sexuality may be emphasized. We are still in range of the Chiron-North Node transit, however, so any risk-taking here should be weighed against the impact on our still tender intimate relationships.

Feb 22: Mercury enters Pisces

When our thinking function (Mercury) opens into the vast ocean of being (Pisces), it’s time to listen to the messages of the gods. Creative people and empaths tend to love this time of year; tax accountants and bookkeepers, not so much.

Feb 24: Virgo Full Moon

The Virgo full moon is opposite Saturn and Mercury in Pisces. We may feel that our efforts are being opposed by a heavy, restrictive force. Even after all the transformative work we’ve done this month, we are still not breaking through. Patience is called for here. Deep change is happening but it needs to be stabilized. The ruler of the Moon, Mercury, is conjunct the Sun, suggesting that something needs to be understood first before the new energies can land in a real form.

Feb 28: Sun-Mercury-Saturn conjunction at 9 degrees Pisces

If we have managed to pass through the gate of the heavy Virgo full moon, this day augurs well to deliver substantial change. Sun conjunct Mercury offers a powerful reset of our mental plane, involving a death of tired mental patterns and the birth of fresh ideas. A brilliant new idea or project may come into conceptual form. With the conjunction with Saturn, the structures, work ethic, and time-frame required to make this vision a reality are likely to come through too.

March 8: Mercury-Neptune conjunction at 27 degrees Pisces

The channel is wide open now for communion with sublime subtle forces. This is a wonderful day to spend close to nature and in reverence for the mysteries of this existence.

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