The solstices accord with the longest and shortest days of the year and the equinoxes (on 21/22 March and September) equate to those days of equal dark and light. These dates differ from the meteorological start dates (of 1 Mar, Jun, Sep and Dec) though different countries observe the start(s) at different times, dependant often on their latitudes or, in the case of Pennsylvania, on whether a groundhog sees his shadow when emerging from his burrow! Connection with the Solar rhythm is the astrological custom and these times have been revered and celebrated in ceremonies for thousands of years.
The watery, nurturing and empathetic qualities of the Crab are highlighted at this time, coloured of course by the prevailing energies. These comprise the major outer planet alignments and the contacts formed as the quicker moving planets move in and out of their many aspect patterns. Some of the meanings behind the current outer planet dynamics have been touched on in recent blog commentaries, specifically Volatility…… the new norm** which overviews the square of Uranus and Pluto (in Aries and Capricorn respectively) and the recent shift by Neptune into Pisces, where it joins Chiron, detailed in What’s happening……month of Pisces**. Suffice to say the four outer planets are all active at this time and their archetypal themes are demonstrating everywhere.
(** refer to 'Categories' in the right hand margin of this site)
Sometimes there is only one contact via the forward motion of the faster planet. More than occasionally there are 3 contacts (forward, back and forward). This is often the pattern of Saturn’s return (which I’ll do a piece on some time later). Rarely there are 5 contacts. And very, very rarely there are 7! Seven of course is a highly occult number and significant in astrology as the number of traditional planets, i.e. those visible to the senses, which is in turn the basis of the seven days of the week
June 24 is the first of the series of seven exact Uranus/Pluto contacts. The chart for the event is quite special and very rich in symbolism. As fate (or destiny perhaps) would have it, the Moon moves into Virgo on that day. The chart for that moment follows:
Perfect Square + Moon in Virgo
1. The Sun (in Cancer) forms a T-Square with Uranus and Pluto. We’ve been subject to the Uranus/Pluto energies for some time now and will continue to be for several years to come. History of cause will reveal what the pivotal points of the cycle have been (as they have been observed in all the previous Uranus/Puto cycles). The post GFC economic environment, the Arab spring and the global ‘Occupy’ movement, to name three, have already left an indelible impression……and there is the sense of more (maybe much more) to come.
The alignment with the Sun suggests power themes – big time. There is strength and force here, potency but also purity. In a T-Square the energies are felt to be at odds with one another, pushing in different directions. But these three are all strong and the ’equality’ between them adds to the dynamism. The vacant ‘4th spot’ in Libra holds a key to how some of this force may distribute and manifest
2. For the Sydney chart the angles (Ascendant/Descendent/IC/MC) are all ‘activated’ with Neptune and Chiron on the Pisces Ascendant opposite the Moon in Virgo on the Descendent and a triple conjunction of Jupiter, Venus and the South Node in Gemini opposite the North Node on the MC in Sagittarius. Collectively they form a Grand Cross (or grand square). Generally speaking the grand cross is as tense as a T-Square, or more so. With no release point the energies potentially spin and spin until something gives. On the other hand the Grand Cross can signal a tremendous quality of receptivity where cosmic and finer energies are picked up, as if by radar, through a heightened state of sensitivity. That the planets involved in the mix are feminine in nature (with the exception of Jupiter which is friendly and adds positivity and expansiveness), contributes to the feeling of a dynamic which matches and (in this chart) transcends the masculine force represented by Sun, Uranus and Pluto.
3. Most interestingly the Sun, Uranus and Pluto feed into the Grand Cross via flowing and supportive aspects – trines and sextiles. Specifically the Sun is trine Neptune, Chiron and the Ascendant and sextile the Moon; Pluto is flowing the other way – Trine the Moon and sextile Neptune, Chiron and the Ascendant and Uranus is sextile Venus, Jupiter and the South Node and trine the North Node on the MC.
Greek and later Roman astrologers referred to this star as ‘Cor Leonis’ - the heart of the Lion. He is the alpha (or main) star in the Leo constellation and for thousands of years has been the ‘watcher of the north’, one of four royal stars standing in each of the four fixed signs marking the ‘cross of the heavens’. In mythology each star is associated with one of the 4 archangels – Regulus with Raphael, the angel of healing. This accords with the relation to Leo and to the vitalising and healing powers of the Sun.
5. The astronomic process by which we define the 26,000 year cycle of the ages, where each sign is seen to rule a 2,100+ year period, is known as precession. It is via precession that we are transiting from the Piscean to the Aquarian age and it is by the same slow celestial movement that Regulus is now shifting from a 2,000+ year stint in Leo into Virgo. This is taking place now, though Regulus will be at 0° for 70 odd years.
Many astrologers, as well as metaphysical scholars. view this as a significant and sacred period where a power shift is taking place from a masculine/solar order to a feminine/lunar order. In this age it will perhaps not be so much a supplanting of one by the other but a period of integration and equality, of yin and yang and heart and mind. In this is held something of the mystery of the Sphinx, to which Leo/Virgo has long been associated.
What is stunning about this chart is that on the day that marks the first of seven exact Uranus/Pluto contacts (which is unique in itself) and amidst such a potent set of alignments, the Moon is also conjunct Regulus. It will of course conjunct Regulus every month in its cycle, but perhaps never so importantly (at least symbolically) as right now. The symbol of the Queen conjunct the higher Sun is a perfect representation of the cusp of Virgo and Leo and the union of female and male; made all the more so by the Moon’s status as the soul (or esoteric) ruler of Virgo.
In this placement the Moon is a symbol of the Mother; not the mother of life (or mother nature) connoted by the Moons relation to Cancer, but the Mother of the Christ, or the Christ potential, dwelling within each human being. Here the Moon in Virgo is a symbol of the process that we enact when we have sufficiently awoken to the reality of this potential within ourselves and set about nurturing, informing, protecting and mothering this life in priority to all other activities. And much of the promise of this possibility is held in the opposition of Moon/Regulus to the mystical Neptune in Pisces on the Ascendant and the squares to the nodes – the highway from the past to the future and from the lower to the higher.
More to follow.