Welcome to the liminal lands between eclipses. Bewildered? Disoriented? That makes at least two of us!
The week kicked off with a few awkward quincunxes. MONDAY featured Venus on center stage as the apex of a Yod aspect, quincunx both Hygeia as well as Mars, while conjunct Ceres and the Moon in Virgo. Our efforts to connect with others and with our values through actions that were responsible, dutiful and consistent, as well as nurturing and supportive of the wellbeing of ourselves and of others… may have expressed through a rather confuddled, rudderless, anxious conundrum.
Furthermore, Mercury in Leo was quincunx Pluto at the same time, perhaps throwing power dynamics, deep emotions, and latent, hidden messages into our communications… possibly thwarting a clear path forward; bringing old hurts to surface through words and thoughts; highlighting a betrayal, a lack of trust; or revealing where the faulty connections lie.
These MONDAY astro dynamics were spectacularly displayed on the world stage by the U.S. President as he met privately with the President of Russia at an international gathering in Finland. He then preceded to undermine the evidence uncovered by US intelligence agencies that Russia interfered with the 2016 election… and then within 24 hours attempted to clumsily back-pedal as accusations of treason and calls for impeachment ripped through the political sphere.
In my personal world, on MONDAY my brother was still really sick. As we walked out the first 36 hours of him being diagnosed with a kidney infection, we struggled to discern if a hospital re-assessment was necessary and whether the antibiotics were working – and working fast enough. Last SUNDAY was the third anniversary of my dad’s death and there were unfortunately some parallels between their health journeys which created a situation that was more emotional tense and triggering than it would have been otherwise. Thankfully, he’s out of the woods it would seem.
I hope you are also navigating your way through and beyond, Pluto’s forest post-Cancer eclipse; finding liberation through facing fear, dismantling the detrimental patterns and imprints of the past, and rewriting old stories and conditioning.
THURSDAY arrives with the First Quarter Moon in Libra; the first juncture in our lunar journey this cycle, following the New Moon Solar Eclipse in Cancer last Thursday. Relational matters are highlighted as we gather the emotional fortitude to initiate the next step in this lunation cycle. There may be efforts to smooth over conflict or disagreement to create peace, to achieve a fair compromise, to make a convincing argument, to repair and apologize or engage in a delicate public relations strategy – despite strong Cancerian emotions invested in these matters.
Quarter Moons are quite transient and not always strongly demarcated in time… and yet, as a stepping stone in quite an intense eclipse lunation cycle, we are more likely to be aware of every plot twist.
Arguably the most important transit of the week is Mars perfecting its conjunction with the South Node in Aquarius on FRIDAY, while retrograde (although the conjunction continues to be very active throughout the week before and after it perfects).
The first conjunction (while Mars was direct) occurred early on June 8th. This was the week that suicide was so prominent in the news due to a number of public figures ending their lives.
If we bring an astrological lens to that week, as I did in an earlier post, we might say that the cosmic weather (Mars conjoining with the South Node of the Moon), may have correlated with a global increase of despair, frustration, futility, lacking the motivation and the energy to continue, old issues resurfacing, feeling trapped, believing that there was “no way out” or “no way forward”, and wanting to give up.
Mars is our raw life force energy, our fighting spirit and survival instincts, our inner warrior, our source of courage, our anger and our willpower, our drive and our internal motivation. In contrast, the South Node seeks to empty, to decrease, to release, to redirect, to let go.
Clearly then, Mars + the South Node sets the stage for some major frustration… but also for some potential re-configuring of our priorities, a rediscovery of our inner strength, and a rejuvenating springboard and upgrade for our Mars energy. In other words, don’t give up!
The intense Full Moon Lunar Eclipse next week on July 27th will occur at the midpoint of the Mars Retrograde journey, which began about three weeks ago on June 26th. The Lunar Eclipse will shine a very direct, explicit spotlight on what our Rx journey with Mars is all about, where it’s at, and what we are learning from working with it. In the meantime, on route, we are revisiting the South Node for Take 2.
Patience and pausing before impulsive reactions take over, are two pieces of advice I would offer for this week and the following one. This too shall pass, as the saying goes. Let yourself soften into the possibility that you may feel completely differently about some issue by late August. What seems so very desperate and extreme right now, may meld into corridors of hopeful potential as you stay with the process.
I have a personal South Node story I thought I would share, along with some reflections on Mars Rx globally…
Back in February, when the Sun was about to conjoin with the South Node in Aquarius, I was at an intersection in my life at the time, with a lot of important astro activity going on.
For the astro-nerds out there: A month after my Saturn Return had ended and Saturn had entered my 5th house, my Progressed Moon left Cancer for Leo, immediately squaring my nodal axis at 0 degrees Taurus/Scorpio. Chiron was exactly conjunct my Sun + Mercury for the fourth and final time, and there was a last quarter moon that was landing on my IC (home, family) squaring the transiting Sun + South Node in my 6th house of daily responsibilities, employment, and health.
I saw this astro ahead of time and I knew I would likely be faced with a decision to make. In early 2018, I was struggling as to whether or not to move forward with, and fully commit to, some creative projects and income-generating projects that I was working on behind the scenes (i.e. North Node + Progressed Moon in Leo, 12th house), or whether to plunge back into full-time work within a more mainstream context working with others (i.e. South Node in Aquarius, 6th house), which would require relocating (i.e. IC; Moon). Everyone, including myself, was aware that my energy and enthusiasm was invested in my creative projects.
I was thankful that I had been given space and freedom to pursue these… although I still had some hesitations. The urgent need for consistent income could not be denied, and I felt conflicted. When a healthcare-related job advertisement synchronistically came my way, related to an area of interest I had been researching for the last few months within my professional field, I spontaneously submitted an application at the last minute without anticipating it moving forward any further.
I did get a call-back. I was really thrown off because I was already mentally and emotionally oriented toward continuing on a different path. I do not handle big decisions well as a Pisces-Gemini type with a 3rd house Scorpio South Node! I was tortured over the possibility I would get the job offer and then would not be able to say no to it because I needed the income and the job was in an area of interest…. while also having doubts as to whether or not I had recovered sufficiently enough for that leap… and also being aware that I would have to significantly let go of my creative investments and plans. Furthermore, I have some identity insecurities and doubts related to the profession I was trained in (highlighted by Chiron transiting my natal Sun), and the job interview definitely presented a challenge to my confidence.
The interview was arranged… for the day that the Sun (purpose, identity) conjoined the South Node (release, surrender, redirection) in Aquarius (groups, teams, co-workers) in my 6th house (employment, daily responsibilities, health(care)).
This is where I – as an astrologer and someone who is inclined to search for patterns of meaning – look at my transits with a furrowed brow, asking plaintively:
“WHAT does this all MEEAANN?! Should I not have applied because the South Node is in the 6th house of employment? Even though the timing of discovering the job ad (the day Saturn entered Capricorn), and the way it came my way was so unusually synchronistic? Should I cancel the interview or force myself to say no if I get it and work through the guilt that follows?? Or maybe the ‘release’ component of the South Node in my 6th house means I should let go of my resistance and fear related to relocating and buckling down with a more normal job?!”
Astrology is a potent, powerful, uncannily accurate tool for reflection and guidance. And yet sometimes you can drive yourself wild looking for correlations and trying to force meaning and answers out of everything. With a natal 3rd house South Node in Scorpio, I know I have to watch for this in myself.
Before the interview, someone said to me: “Hold it with an open hand.”
Hold it with an open hand.
How perfect is that for a South Node transit? It isn’t necessarily about forcing relinquishment, renunciation, or suddenly, drastically cutting something out of one’s life, but it involves opening up to uncertainty and redirection.
So I let out a deep exhale and unclenched my grasping fingers.
On the morning of the day of the interview (the day the Sun met with the transiting South Node in my 6th house) the employer cancelled the interview at the last minute because they were sick and woke up with no voice.
I held it with an open hand.
It was rescheduled for the following week. During the interview I realized for a number of legitimate and obvious reasons, that this job and location was definitely not a good fit for me. The interview went well, but I was able to end the conversation knowing that were I to be offered it, I would turn it down without hesitation and without guilt because it so clearly was not in my best interest for multiple reasons.
…And I never did hear back from them. So that was that.
Now, about 6 months later, after investing in creative projects (one eclipse season to the next), I’ve changed my mind. I feel strongly, with much greater gut-level certainty than before, that it is time for me to relocate, and return to full-time work and utilize more of my training.
And yet, here we are in the liminal period in eclipse season, with a bunch of planets retrograde and the transiting South Node (release) is STILL in Aquarius (independent, but group-focused) in my 6th house (employment, daily work), and the transiting North Node (direction of personal growth) and my Progressed Moon are STILL in my 12th house (isolation, retreat, behind the scenes, surrender) in Leo (creative self-expression, passion projects). There’s even a job advertisement that closes this Friday that I plan on applying to – the same day that Mars (willpower, ambition) happens to perfect its conjunction to the South Node (surrender, release).
My point with sharing this story is that the symbolism of astrology can express and correlate with life events in various ways. And while it is such a gift to be able to incorporate astrology’s symbolism into one’s life as a creative act of meaning-making, grounding, reflecting, and healing, astrology should never control you or make you rigid with paranoia or overthinking.
I’m aware that the next 1.5 months or so, is a time of constant flux and change in terms of the cosmic weather. And while I do not plan on doing something rash, and I will try to pause before taking major action catalyzed by an emotional reaction, I will still proceed according to what feels intuitively right to me, right now.
And, I’ll continue to hold the summer’s twists and turns with an open hand as I engage in a daily process of acting and listening, acting and listening, while dialoguing with the symbolism of the sky and allowing myself to move with any unexpected plot twists that unfold as I maintain my active participation in my own life story.
What have you noticed since Mars stationed retrograde in Aquarius conjunct the South Node around June 26th? What has been re-assessed, revisited, and reviewed?
I’ve noticed a lot of people making public statements (very Aquarian) about disconnecting from their social media accounts (very South Node) because they are re-prioritizing how and where they invest their time and energy (very Mars retrograde). Aquarius is also associated with technology.
For me, Mars is retrograde in my 6th house, which includes daily routines, work, and responsibilities. (Unplanned) I bought an alarm clock that first week of the retrograde, because it would be more difficult to ignore than my phone, and would help me wake up earlier. I also bought a small timer to put on my desk to remind myself to get up and stretch every 20 minutes instead of risking an eventual collapse into a numbed-out, screen-blitzed state.
Mars in Aquarius really appreciates an efficient and systematic use of energy.
And what about the successful evacuation of the boys trapped in that cave in Thailand that they ventured into on June 23rd, as Mars was slowing down toward its stationing point? A number of astrologers have noticed the strong astro correlations with this narrative that began to unfold at the end of June.
It is always strange to me how challenging situations happen all over the world every single day, but certain stories or images manage to skyrocket onto the international world news stage because of certain scenario ingredients that capture the attention of the public on a vast scale. When this happens, I do tend to take a closer look at what inherent symbolism seems to be speaking to everyone at a collective level.
Thankfully, all the boys and their soccer coach were successfully freed after a very strategic, publicized, high-risk rescue mission liberated them from a cave (which is all so very Mars Rx conjunct the SN in Aquarius). The last of the 13 boys were rescued as the buoyant, hopeful, spiritually faithful, public and celebratory, “lucky” planet Jupiter, stationed direct at 13 degrees in the dark, cave-like sign of Scorpio on July 10th (18 days after they first found themselves trapped). The Jupiter symbolism for the final rescue day is pretty strong indeed. The following examples speak to some of the evident Jupiter, Mars, and Aquarius symbolism…
As I followed the story, I found it noteworthy that most of the news stories were full of maps and diagrams of the caves with illustrations of the proposed rescue plans. It was unusual; I felt almost like I was reading a puzzle book or learning about gaming strategies with the way it was presented. With the risks involved, this was not a rescue mission to be undertaken rashly or impulsively (i.e. what Mars, the warrior planet, is generally known for). It was a very Aquarian, very intellectual and innovative, very strategic, brainstorming process, which reflected the Mars (associated with sports, daring, risks, protection, courage, rescues) Retrograde (a time for more careful, thoughtful (re)assessment and action).
This brainstorming process even included a proposed solution by the famous billionaire investor and engineer Elon Musk. Elon’s suggestion and submarine donation was eventually dismissed as impractical. It would appear Elon’s pride was hurt when his high-tech solution was refused and he lashed out impulsively in response to a comment that his donation was a PR stunt. This then spiraled into a Twitter fight that involved Elon eventually apologizing and admitting he “spoke out in anger” (i.e. impulsive Mars energy unleashed).
Interestingly, Elon Musk has his North Node and Mars conjunct in the strongly opinionated and visionary sign of Aquarius.
While this has propelled him into the limelight as a world leader with inventive technologies (and a progressively futuristic, sometimes humanitarian orientation)… during his reverse Nodal Return (i.e. when the transiting South Node is in the same sign as one’s natal North Node, bringing an element of release to that which you have been progressing toward).... at a time when Mars is retrograde conjunct the South Node…. clearly, a humble pause would have done him well and avoided potentially being sued for libel.
Anyway, perfect case in point re: how-not-to-respond-during-Mars-Rx-conjunct-South-Node-when-your-intentions-and-efforts-are-questioned-and-thwarted-and-you-are-frustrated. And yet, his efforts to apologize also fits with retrograde motion.
What this story and successful outcome DOES indicate, however, is that the next couple weeks are a good time to carefully consider ALL your options, to put aside any blinding pride and judgement, and carefully, systematically strategize, in order to come up with the most effective game plan that will lead you to your freedom.
Draw maps, draw diagrams, draw flowcharts, or do whatever best supports you with sorting, organizing, and prioritizing your ideas and corresponding actions.
Systems-thinking is always recommended for Aquarius transits…
Mars conjunct the South Node on FRIDAY may share some similarities with the events of the last conjunction around June 8th. It may also occur with some big emotions as the Moon interacts with the ripples of Jupiter in Scorpio also on FRIDAY.
SUNDAY brings us the Sun’s shift out of Cancer into the bright fires of Leo. Venus in Virgo will engage with a pleasant sextile to Jupiter in Scorpio around the same time, kicking off Leo Season with an invitation into expansive pleasure and connection that strives to be both emotionally intimate and responsibly navigated. As Pallas Athena conjoins with the North Node in Leo, we all may be granted fresh creative insight as to how to most effectively tap into our passion and manifest our dreams.
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