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This week gets up close and personal in a big way. Venus is the scene stealer this week with her opposition to Pluto Rx on Tuesday, her square to Jupiter on Thursday, and finally her quincunx to Saturn on Friday, challenging us to “do the work” and take responsibility for what Pluto brought to light.
The remaining aspects to note include the Sun conjoining with the Lunar North Node on Wednesday at 24° 13′ Leo (a symbolic precursor to the upcoming Solar Eclipse at 28° Leo), as well as Mars quincunx Pluto Rx on Wednesday (right smack in the middle of Venus’ intense cosmic quarrels), creating some irritating distance between what we want, and the more difficult path toward continued growth and transformation. Hopefully we make the necessary adjustments so we can take full advantage of the following sextile between Mars and Jupiter on Sunday, sending us on our way into the shadow of Monday’s Eclipse with a lovely burst of energy.
But before all these cosmic events occur, we have our Last Quarter Moon.
Late Monday night (ADT) the Moon in Taurus, will form its final square to the Sun in Leo as it reaches its Last Quarter, on route to the New Moon Solar Eclipse occurring the following Monday, on August 21st.
Taurus and Leo. Two fixed signs; Earth and Fire. Taurus’ fixed nature often presents through its stubborn desire to cling to security and comfort. Taurus is hard working, but certainly not a risk-taker. Leo’s fixed nature often shows up in its pride, its reluctance to accept assistance, obey limits, or admit a wrong doing.
Taurus may fear the deterioration of its hard-earned security and assets. Leo may fear social disapproval and public embarrassment. Both may fear scarcity. Taurus worries about resource scarcity. Leo worries about love scarcity.
How then, are we to navigate a path forward? The Quarter Moons always present a challenge, an intersection, a struggle to overcome in order to move into the next phase of the lunation cycle.
Can we simultaneously have both our physical needs and our emotional needs met? Can we trust in the abundance of resources and in the abundance of love? It isn’t a competition. Can we trust that there is enough for everyone? Enough to go around, if everyone shares?
Can we swallow our pride in order to state our needs and ask for help? Can we overcome our stubbornness in order to share the wealth of our resources and our love with others?
Can we move through our fears to emerge into a place of joyful spontaneity, deeper authenticity, and greater freedom – together?
Leo is associated with our ego, our core identity, our desire to self-actualize our potential. With two New Moons occurring in Leo this season (one of them being a Solar Eclipse), many of us are being called to step into new ways of being in the world.
How would you describe yourself at this very moment? What “I AM…” sentences would you create for yourself? For example you might say… I AM a doctor. I AM an activist. I AM a mother. I AM a Buddhist. I AM Canadian. I AM a leader. I AM a runner. I AM a good listener. I AM… ?
You could also use adjectives: I AM kind. I AM outgoing. I AM introverted.
What identities, with their corresponding descriptors and roles, do you currently align with? Which ones do you prioritize? Which ones have you assigned to yourself, and which ones have others assigned to you?
I find this a really useful exercise to do about every 6 months. I make a list of all the I AM sentences that I can think of for myself, making note of the ones that first come to mind, the ones that resonate the deepest, and the ones that feel the most uncomfortable.
The point is not to get stuck in any I AM sentence. The point is to make all your identities explicit (if they are not already so), for the purpose of actively working with them, rather then taking them for granted and allowing them to control you through patterns of behavior and life trajectories (for the same reason, this is why studying your natal chart is useful). Which identities are the most important to you? Which ones do you want to redefine or let go of? What new identities do you want to align with?
There is persistent pressure in many areas of the world to “find your purpose in life”. We often associate purpose with passion – i.e. that which we are passionate about, must be our purpose for living.
After obsessing about what our ONE big sole purpose in life must be until the point where we have finally settled on something, we then usually take the next common (but not inevitable) step of associating passion and purpose with “career“, which seems to cement this identity further. But (as recent Bliss & Grit podcast episodes have so effectively pointed out), just as we are in a constant state of growth and flux, our passions and purpose (and identities) are also always susceptible to change.
And that’s okay.
Something that used to light your soul on fire, may no longer do so. Sure you can try to revitalize it, but you are also allowed to let it go.
We invest so much into our identities, particularly ones that are built on passion and purpose. The Leo in us all – our egos – grasp tightly onto these identities saying, “Yes! Finally! This is who I AM. This is how I am special in the world. I have a “role” to play! I have purpose! I’m set for life.”
FYI, you don’t have to earn your right to exist in this world. Your value is inherent, unique, and irreplaceable.
But nevertheless, understandably, shifting into a new way of being in the world, a new identity (or set of identities), can be extremely scary and destabilizing. People, places, commitments, and “stuff” that fit with the old identity, may not fit well with the new identity. When our identity, our way of being in the world, is in transition, our worth and value as a person, may feel challenged – from our own perspective and through the reactions of other people. In other words, this is when we may experience an identity crisis; a Leo crisis.
However, paraphrasing from a Bliss & Grit episode here: Continue to follow “truth and aliveness”. If life circumstances provide you this space, allow your passions, your identities, your many purposes to unfold naturally, moment to moment. Pay attention to what you spontaneously and joyously gravitate toward. It could be something that occupies all your time and energy, or something that is less of a personal resource investment. Whatever it is, does it make you feel fully alive? The energy of Leo seeks aliveness.
Identities often get reduced to labels, to molds, to boxes. And this can be convenient for social introductions, for giving our anxious brains something to grab hold of, for giving us something tangible to ground us. This is the part that Taurus likes. Taurus likes that which is tangible, defined, and consistent – particularly if it helps us secure an income.
But don’t let identities limit you. We are not static beings. Don’t try to force all the story lines of your life under one restrictive roof forever and ever. Follow your continuous unfolding with curiosity and an open hand. Honour the lifespans of your different identities, passions, and purposes, for however long they last and in whatever direction they lead you.
At this Last Quarter Moon, lean into the highest expressions of these two signs, in order to move forward. Follow Leo’s call to a life of aliveness, passion, and the creative expression of your inner truth. Ground yourself in Taurus’ peaceful contentment, which will allow you to enjoy wherever you are at in your journey. Utilize Taurus’ patience and persistence to move steadily toward your passions if they are currently beyond your immediate reach.
Both signs can be very caring and protective of their loved ones. How will you support the unfolding identities and emerging truths of those around you?
We are in the midst of Eclipse Season. There’s a change in the wind. It beckons your inner flames to follow. Do not fear the desert. Trust in abundance and dance in the breeze.
Now on to the week’s mega Venus T-square…
Remember those Jupiter squares and Pluto oppositions we hit way back in early July as the Sun and Mars traveled through Cancer? Well, now it is Venus’ turn. This time though, the square between Jupiter and Pluto is tighter, more exact, and more powerful, than it was back in early July.
As Venus moves into opposition with Pluto on Tuesday, it will simultaneously be squaring Jupiter (exact very early Thursday morning, ADT). Together, all three planets will form an astro configuration called a T-Square. As you can see in the graphic, Jupiter is forming a 90° angle to both Venus and Pluto. This means that Jupiter is the Apex of the T-square. T-squares produce an incredible amount of tension (ahem, I have one in my natal chart). The build up of energy seeks an outlet, a resolution, an integration, through the apex planet, which is Jupiter in this case.
So let’s start with Jupiter. What does Jupiter in Libra want?
At an individual level, Jupiter’s placement may indicate an area of life where you really want to expand and succeed (check your natal chart to see what houses are activated by these three planets to tailor this interpretation to your life). At a global level, we might say that Jupiter in Libra wants justice, peace, and harmony for all individuals living in this interdependent, interconnected world. A world where everyone is thriving and prospering, where everyone has the freedom to explore and grow into their potentials without infringing on the rights of others to do the same.
That’s goal. But to get there successfully, we need to deal with that gnarly Venus – Pluto opposition.
Venus symbolizes the drive to relate to others, to love, to be valued, to experience pleasure, to find and create beauty and “the good life”, however you define it based on your values. She is primarily known as the “relationship planet”, but she is also associated with self-worth, personal values, finances, art, and physical beauty.
In Cancer, Venus expresses this drive to connect with others and experience shared value and pleasure through relationships, in a nurturing, mothering way. Venus in Cancer’s priority is emotional security. This is a highly sensitive placement, with endless amounts of love to give – providing that protective defense system doesn’t kick in and block the flow.
Venus in Cancer is also very nostalgic. She clings to the past… relationships, in this case. This week (and the days leading up to it) might give you a brutal case of nostalgia for past loves. With Venus triggered by Pluto, you may find yourself obsessing about an ex. Grief is also a very possible theme for this week, particularly for those of you who have lost partners or mother figures in your life. You could find yourself reminiscing about childhood days, or mourning a lost childhood.
Your own relationship to yourself, your appearance, and your capacity to address your own emotional needs and engage in self-care practices, might feel particularly challenged right about now.
At a broader level, Cancer, the zodiac sign of home and belonging, is associated with nationalism, with “the mother land”, with history, with tradition, with “the good old days”. On a global scale we are seeing Cancer’s angry protective instincts come out in full force against the progressive tide of change, with all crab claws bared, lashing out in the ugliest ways possible in some cases.
Across the way, good old Pluto, god of the Underworld in Capricorn, is in a face-to-face confrontation with Venus in Cancer. Under Pluto’s steady, penetrating glare, there is nowhere to hide. Our fears, our darkness, our demons, come spilling out and over Cancer’s protective walls; like a sea of spiders moving in a frenzy, freed from their cage, seething with self-righteous anger built up over hundreds of years of bitterly ruminating in the shadows.
This, is white supremacy. This is the horrific Nazi rally in Charlottesville, VA. This is racism, sexism, ableism, ageism, transphobia, homophobia, xenophobia, and all forms of discrimination. This is hate crimes and the threats of warfare between countries.
Here are some questions for us all to consider and reflect upon as this mighty T-square activates in all our lives: What darkness is lurking within the perimeters which define your belonging in this world? How permeable are the boundaries between your tribe, and other tribes? Between “your people”, and “those people”? To what extent do you base your belonging, the foundations of your identity, on the exclusion of those who are different? Is the security of your sense of belonging in this world contingent on proving others wrong? On maintaining power?
How do you respond when you feel threatened by the beliefs of others, by adherences to other forms of belonging in this world? How might your spheres of belonging shift and constrict when you are feeling fearful? Do you wield your form of belonging in the world as a weapon to protect your personal sense of identity and worth? When might this be okay, when is it not? What truths have you repressed or compromised in yourself in order to achieve or earn belonging in the world? To obtain membership or inclusion into an exclusive group? To find acceptance in relationships? Where have you been inauthentic in your search for belonging?
Fragile, insecure belonging in this world, is a danger to humanity. As are our demons and darkness, which are often permitted to fester unchecked, unaddressed.
Let’s return to the apex planet of our T-square, the goal of Jupiter in Libra: a just, peaceful, harmonious society where everyone has the freedom to grow and thrive and manifest their glorious potential in a way that doesn’t infringe on the rights of others – rather supports and contributes to our collective advancement as a human species.
Jupiter is in Libra. One of Libra’s shadows is to try and seek peace without true justice. Libra is so anxious for harmony in relationships that Libra can be liable to gloss over conflict, attempting to pretend we are all one big happy (colorblind) family. Libra can be satisfied with the appearance of utopia.
Pluto’s involved in this t-square though, so there’s no getting away with a slick cover-up. However, in astrology, oppositions between planets often indicate an area where we may avoid integrating the lessons of this aspect, by projecting the symbolism of one of the planets on to someone else. Especially with Pluto, there is a risk that we could fall into the trap at pointing fingers at others for causing chaos, for being “monsters”, rather than facing the monsters that haunt all of our pasts and present day lives. We have to go deep, deep into the slimy basement and address that spider infestation collectively, and personally, before we can thrive and progress as Jupiter so longs to do.
As this week quivers and trembles, caught within this powerful t-square, open yourself up to being uncomfortable, to being humbled, to speaking out against white supremacy and social injustices.
At its highest expression, what Venus in Cancer ultimately longs to do is to love. And love and love and love. And take care of everyone. And protect everyone by standing up for their rights.
Let’s enact Venus in Cancer at her best, purified by Pluto’s searing fire and purging cleanse. Open yourself up to being transformed, to allowing the perimeters of your belonging to expand. Experience personal growth in your life by transforming your relationship to yourself and others by facing the darkness that lurks in the basement.
I’ll leave you with a favourite quote that some initially interpret as pessimistic, but wait. Let it simmer in your belly for a while.
[Utopia] is on the horizon… I go two steps closer, she moves two steps away. I walk ten steps and the horizon runs ten steps ahead. No matter how much I walk, I’ll never reach her. What good is utopia? That’s what: it’s good for walking. ~ Eduardo Galeano
No, it’s not optimism. Optimism is passive. This quote speaks of something much more precious. It speaks of hope.
May we always, always, keep walking.
Photo Credit for couple in the rain: Pedro J Pacheco (Flickr/CC – words added)
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