This is the Solstice, the still point of the Sun, its cusp and midnight, the year’s threshold and unlocking, where the past lets go of and becomes the future. The place of caught breath—Margaret Atwood.
As summer thrusts sunlight into the receptive hollows of the earth here in the north, and the benediction of winter silence presses into the cold soils of the south, the Sun moves into the sign of Cancer on June 21st, and pauses at the threshold of the year.
Our Earth is girdled with contrast, bejeweled with the counterpoint of light and darkness. Spiritual teacher, Gary Zukav describes the Solstices as “the opposition of light and dark, expansion and contraction, that characterize our experiences in the Earth school so that we can recognize our options as we move through our lives.”
At the solstice, and right now in our human his-story, we stand at a threshold, and at a time of unlocking, which promises the release of pent-up energy, the slaying of old dragons. The choice to expand, or contract against the forces of change that swirl around us all.
Uranus moves through the sign of Taurus (2018-2026) engendering social and financial seismic upheaval, spurring climate change—a potential “ecological Armageddon” —to shatter our illusions of security and what we believe is safe and sure. For many, these social and economic changes will change how we live, how we work. Like the interwoven spirals and coils of Celtic knot-work, the astrology of our times is threaded with the amalgam of the past. Uranus moved through the sign of Taurus between 1934 and 1941. Yet, in the darkness of depravity and suffering many experienced their “their finest hour”. The Industrial Revolution between 1850—1859 irrevocably destroyed a way of life but also brought innovation and a new social and economic order as Uranus moved through Taurus.
Against the backdrop of the widening gyre, the Sun rides his chariot through that segment of the zodiac associated with home, with family, with safety and security, between June 21st to July 23rd.
Cancer is a water sign, associated with the bonds that bind us kith and kin, to the land of our Homeland, our Motherland. Cancer is associated with the Great Mother, with the mythic Bear and She-Wolf who nurture and suckle their young. Psychologically, Cancer offers the opportuntiy to explore the other dimension of Mother—the mother who lives vicariously through her young or who keeps them dependent and infantile. The mother who devours and destroys. Cancer represents our need to individuate, to separate from Mother and the family alembic. To turn from the breast and to nourish ourselves. In a world where health care and social security systems are being dismantled, this need for self-sufficiency and innovation may become more urgent.
Cancer is also associated with the crab who carries her shell on her back to protect her soft body from the elements. This is poignantly enacted each day as homeless men and women pack up their meagre belongings from park benches and doorways in so-called “First World” nations. In the poorer countries of the world, millions live in fetid squatter camps or risk their lives to seek refuge from famine and war. And in South Africa, land invasions will escalate in a disruptive and violent manner as Uranus moves through Taurus. As the gulf between the rich and the poor widens, Ted’s story is the story of thousands of men and women who, through divorce, retrenchment and rising prices, have lost their moorings, slipped into the abyss and have no place to call home in a bloated housing market peppered with Airbnb. Ted died at a table in a coffee shop in one of the most affluent areas of Vancouver this month. Battling cancer, with no means to rent or buy a home of his own, Ted had been living at a table near the washroom of the coffee shop for a decade. There are increasing numbers of people, struggling to cover the cost of food and housing in cities where house prices have rocketed. Judy Graves, an advocate for the homeless met Ted about four years ago when he had been diagnosed with cancer. “He had worked all his life, but at low-paying working-class jobs. For much of his life he had managed to scrape by, but an unexpected expense left him suddenly scrambling. Eventually he was left him without a roof over his head.”
Frank Baum’s “There’s no place like home,” and the clichéd “Home Sweet Home,” reflect our heart’s longing for safety and belonging as we pause in the dreamy haze of mid-summer heat, or close the curtains against the raw chill of mid-winter. As Uranus moves through Taurus, one of the manifestations will be the issue of land and affordable housing—a place to call Home.
The dreamy magical month of June may have brought timely reminders to stay flexible amidst uncertainty and ambiguity of the bellicose tweeting, the self-aggrandisement of the politicians. We’re exactly one month away from eclipse season and as the Wheel of the Year turns, and we draw closer to the mid-Summer/Winter Solstice, Venus ingressed into Leo on Wednesday, June 13th, and Mercury slipped into Cancer on June 12th against the backdrop of Brexit, which will affect us all. Another colour wash is Mars opposing the North Node this week and beginning to slow down in the early degrees of Aquarius before turning Retrograde on June 26th to August 27th.
So, stay flexible and alert, prepare for things to change, perhaps not in the way that you expect them to. If you have planets in Aries or Scorpio, you might feel this shift quite dramatically as life seems becalmed. Return to basics, re-do, reinforce, and use this time wisely to replenish your own energy reserves. Black Elk offers this wisdom for Mars in Retrograde—It may be that some little root of the sacred tree still lives. Nourish it then, that it may leaf and bloom and fill with singing birds.
Mars is the archetype of war and is associated with anger. Moving slowly through idealistic Aquarius, ideologies and the Tribal Mind are emphasised. When Mars is in Retrograde, his energies are bridled, curtailed, he cannot move freely or spontaneously. If you’ve ever been at the receiving end of an insult that explodes through your heart, you’ll have sense of the power of this astrological signature. These next few weeks may may feel supercharged, yet nothing happens; our nervous system may feel like a string of a violin that has been strung too tightly. Be mindful of thoughts create tsunamis across the surface of your mind and capsize your calm, words that emerge from the cave of your unconscious and darken the blue skies of affection.
Mars always needs to pick a fight, so the energy may feel as volatile as a swarm of bees racing through the skies con a hot summer’s day. If you’ve been putting up with, or tolerating a situation that has become untenable, anger may erupt in a heated rush as Mars goes direct. Projects, plans may proceed with unprecedented speed.
We’re living in uncertain times.
Yet there’s a certain kind of freedom in uncertainty. Freedom from our addictive fear of the unknown, freedom from our past conditioning.
Writes Deepak Chopra, “in our willingness to step into the unknown, the field of all possibilities, we surrender ourselves to the creative mind that orchestrates the dance of the universe.”
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