Tempests and Tides

Dear Friend and Reader:

Whether they know it or not, people all over the world are witnessing an event that perfectly illustrates our current high-pressure, confrontational astrology: the slowly growing beat of war drums as Saudi Arabia joins the U.S., Israel and the U.K. in blaming Iran for attacks on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman last week. The astrology in question: Mars in Cancer opposite the Saturn-Pluto conjunction in Capricorn — with extra intensity added by a Full Moon in Sagittarius.

Photo by Enrique Lopez Garre.

These events are occurring in a week that ends with the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere: the solstice, when the Sun enters Cancer to begin the new season.

That occurs on Friday, June 21, at 11:54 am EDT (15:54:07 UTC) — bringing the emblem of consciousness into contact with the early cardinal sign planets. That is Aries Point territory, coming with a reminder to notice how the personal intersects with the political/collective.

Even though the official word from the U.S. government is that it does not want a war with Iran, does the energy around this event feel like that to you? Without getting into all the reasons how certain people in power might benefit from armed conflict in a region known for its tinderbox qualities, this is an issue we all need to notice carefully.

It’s easy to forget the important role emotions play in our decision-making processes, whether individually or collectively. We like to imagine we only make decisions rationally. Yet even if the U.S. Secretary of State is not ‘thinking emotionally’ about the prospect of a war with Iran, you can be sure that appealing to the emotions of U.S. citizens is part of the technique that will be used to make any decision to retaliate with military force ‘acceptable’.

On a personal level, awareness of how much your emotions are driving your decision-making processes right now is just as crucial. Though the outcomes of your choices will not impact as many people as a U.S. war with Iran would, they still will have impact — including potential consequences that cannot be reversed easily, if at all. True, not every individual is dealing with high-stakes situations currently. If you are, however, you’ll want to take things with as much awareness and deliberateness as possible.

Map of the locations of the two oil tankers attacked last week in the Gulf of Oman: the Norwegian-owned Front Altair, and the Japanese-owned Kokuka Courageous. According to NPR, four other ships were attacked in the region last month. Not named on the map: Kuwait, Bahrain and Qatar along the eastern coast of Saudi Arabia.

Power struggles are a very real possibility. If you’re the one with the power, that’s a reminder to wield it judiciously and without the intent to dominate ruthlessly. If you feel like you’re the one without power, this is a reminder to enlist assistance from others — with complete openness about your position and agenda.

Bear in mind that you may have more power than you feel like you do; it could be a matter of needing to re-center yourself within it, so you can side-step reactive interactions. If you don’t feel like you’re in a power struggle either way, you’re likely in a good position to use this energy in more creative ways, particularly to make some positive changes in your life.

Mars is the planet of action and Mercury the planet of mind. They are making a conjunction (exact Tuesday) in Cancer — just as Mars opposes Pluto in Capricorn on June 19. It’s an illustration of the emotional, mental and physical facing off with a deeply compelling force of change.

The Saturn-Pluto conjunction is not itself exact until January, yet Mars seems to be lighting the fuse, with a little help from Mercury. We will likely see whatever is happening now develop in traceable ways between now and then. You can review Eric’s thoughts on this astrology from last week, as well as his recent essay linking current aspects with the ‘natal chart’ for the U.S., called the Sibley chart.

As mentioned, we also have a Full Moon in Sagittarius, opposite the Gemini Sun. It’s exact at 4:31 am EDT (8:30:33 UTC) this Monday morning. The Sun and Moon will be square a cluster of asteroids in Pisces that point to some form of needing to wake up and make new choices.

ull Moon over the Pacific.

Compared to the Mars astrology, I get the sense that this Full Moon — even though it’s an opposition involving the symbol of emotions — is the less high-pressure, and even less emotional, of the two configurations. For one thing, its placement in mutable signs suggests a little more wiggle room: a willingness to be flexible, and creative means for using the options available. In the Thursday night issue I outlined some of the themes at play here.

On Tuesday, the Gemini Sun opposes the Galactic Core and a centaur called Ixion. This aspect will be in effect during the Full Moon — describing both the potential of facing something profound, and of facing either someone’s amoral actions (possibly the effects of your own?) or a second chance to choose ethically.

It can be tempting to view ‘enlightenment’ as something spiritually ‘pure’ and separate from real-world nitty-gritty. I think perhaps, however, it really just boils down to being willing to recognize our role in the causes and effects of the circumstances of our lives, and what it means to learn from those experiences — including the questionable ones, the ones we’re not proud of.

Finally, do note that Mercury enters its pre-retrograde shadow or echo phase on the solstice Friday, at 11:54 am EDT / 15:54:07 UTC. I know a few people, myself included, who have felt like Mercury already entered its shadow/echo phase early last week. I suspect that might be described by its proximity to the Mars-Saturn-Pluto configuration, which has been reflected in some agitating circumstances for many.

You may wish to take the late part of this week as gently as possible. Know the difference between going with the flow, getting swept away by mental/emotional currents, and trying to push the river. Ebb and flow are simply two phases of the same cycle. We have a considerable amount of choice in whether to whip the tides of our lives into a tempest.

Yours & truly,

Daily Birthday Readings from Planet Waves

As a new feature on our Monday Morning pages, we’re adding our If Today is Your Birthday readings for the week ahead. To all readers whose birthday falls this week, we wish you many happy returns.

Sunday, June 16, 2019 (The Day of Capital Investment)

Today’s meeting of the Moon and Jupiter offers many signs of hope and encouragement, though don’t put your eggs in anyone else’s basket but your own. You must find the guts to have confidence in yourself — enough confidence to take action, whether you think you will succeed or fail. The result is not the point, so much as whether you rise above the malaise of the world and challenge yourself to take action, no matter what else anyone says, does or thinks is right.

Monday, June 17, 2019 (The Day of Artful Force)

There are circumstances you will need to monitor and respond to, with the alternative being that they run out of control. This is true where financial matters are concerned, as well as relationships where power, sex or money are factors. You must be the one making the decisions in your own life. It’s all too easy to hand over your power. Study the ways this has happened to you in the past, so that you can avoid any such situation happening in the future.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019 (The Day of Financial Security)

Your life must become an exercise in claiming your power back rather than giving it away. Sadly, for most people, these are just words. You will, however, know that you have an opportunity to do either of these things when you feel yourself unable to speak or make a decision, and you’re wondering why that is. When you assess the situation honestly, you will notice that someone else has influence, control or authority where they should not, and that’s when it’s time to speak up — clearly, not loudly.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019 (The Day of the Spark)

Do not let push come to shove over joint financial, investment or taxation situations. Be proactive, and take steps to secure your best interests and protect your assets, now and in the long run. Proactive begins with having full knowledge of what are in truth your affairs down to the last detail, and ensuring that the numbers add up. The more you know, and the sooner you know it, the more likely you are to avoid confrontations and work toward mutually beneficial solutions.

Thursday, June 20, 2019 (The Day of Ecstatic Appeal)

You can earn money by selling your time, your labor or your ideas. Which of these do you prefer, or in what combination? In any event, remind yourself regularly that you must take the initiative on your own success, and that means daily effort, aspiration and refinement of your approach. There is no one solution — in fact there may be many solutions even to simple equations, situations or problems. Use your full intelligence, and be aware that the chance encounter or mental disruption can lead to the most brilliant approach.

Friday, June 21, 2019 (The Day of Worldly Rapture)

By now you’ve figured out that it’s essential to direct your energy in productive and creative ways rather than in aggressive ones. Yet the line between the two approaches to the use of energy can be difficult to see if you’re in a negative space. So it would be fair to say that creative and productive means positive and friendly. Let your curiosity and sense of humor lead you forward, and try new approaches — one at a time, long enough to see if they work.

Saturday, June 22, 2019 (The Day of Romantic Exaltation)

You’ve been through some unusual events the past year and a half, by which I mean on a lifetime scale. The thought of another year may be filling you with a sense of both optimism and some concern about repeat performances of some challenging situations. You are well past most of them, though one particular scenario involving your family will benefit from your sustained attention. Do not get dragged in; take it to therapy. It’s time to learn this lesson and move on.

Sunday, June 23, 2019 (The Day of Interpersonal Enchantment)

Success in any form — whether personal, professional or in some abstract sense of the word — usually calls for a bold approach. The message of your solar chart this year is fearlessness about being different. Often concern around standing out is one of those lurking debilities that most people never overcome. Yet it’s inevitable that you will, so you may as well get over yourself sooner rather than later. You’re not like the other kids. Cash in on that fact.

— By Eric Francis.

Monday Morning Horoscope #181 for June 17, 2019 | By Amy Elliott

Aries (March 20-April 19) — Knowledge is power, and you’ve certainly accumulated more than enough in recent times to take a stand for greater autonomy in your life, and take a fresh approach to your aspirations. You’re seeing potential in scenarios you once dismissed as improbable, if not outright impossible. This change in perspective is a sign of maturity: that you no longer need rely on the limitations others (or your inner critic) impose as if they’re somehow guardrails. Learning to let go of them and instead trust your own judgment is likely to be a major part of your current evolutionary journey.

Taurus (April 19-May 20) — Your life during the current period may seem to be a series of continual restarts and new beginnings. No doubt this has its annoyances, yet it’s also potentially a source of interest and excitement: you get to take a fresh look at things constantly, from several different perspectives; to make mistakes and try again, which is an essential ingredient of growth. Just remember to keep your higher aims in mind, and to try to make the most ethically sound decisions, and you can’t really go far wrong. You have the power to forge this phase of your journey into any shape you want.

Gemini (May 20-June 21) — As Monday’s Full Moon heralds the closing week of your birthday season, you may be eager to leap forward and on to the next phase of your life. Be aware of whether you might be trying to push the river, and not taking sufficient time to enjoy the pleasanter aspects of your present surroundings. In particular, it’s possible you’re looking for ‘progress’ in current relationships, which is usually best allowed to happen organically, if it needs to at all. Over-focusing on expectations for the future means you’re not looking at what you already have. Pay attention to the latter, and take it easy.

Cancer (June 21-July 22) — Given all the tension that’s been building lately, including Mars making powerful contacts from your sign, your self-protective instincts might well be going at full throttle. You may even be tempted to shut out just about everyone and create a cocoon until you’re good and ready to emerge. It’s natural to feel this way from time to time, and you could certainly benefit from taking some space for yourself this week. Avoiding confrontation while the environment is so electrically charged would probably also be helpful. Try to suspend judgment until the agitation has eased off somewhat.

Leo (July 22-Aug. 23) — For some time now you’ve been tackling a specific puzzle in terms of your daily life, or of your general wellbeing. This week may bring some much-needed clarity, though you’ll need to review all the information to hand. What will probably help you significantly is asking yourself two questions: What is your ultimate aim? And what are your fundamental needs — that is, physical and emotional? This should strip matters down to the basics, and negate any unwanted pressures or distractions. Focus first on what is absolutely necessary to you; everything else can wait its turn.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22) — In the past few weeks especially you’ve been making some major strides in terms of confidence and maturity. This week’s Full Moon describes an important confrontation with some aspect of your past: a particular state or habit of mind you’re finally ready to shake off for good and move on from, which amounts to a significant step for you in claiming your innate power. Doing this may feel bold and audacious, perhaps even presumptuous, though that is highly unlikely. Watch for any signs of guilt or shame, and be prepared to nip them in the bud. You are emerging into newfound freedom, as a butterfly from a chrysalis.

Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23) — Mars in your 10th house suggests you may be a little restless in terms of meeting career goals. Perhaps your current position or duties don’t use enough of your broad skill set. However, it’s worth figuring out whether that is the actual source of your irritation, or whether you simply desire to move for the sake of motion. If you discern a lack of fulfillment, first consider your options, which are probably more numerous than you think. What can you do to improve your own situation? Assuming you have autonomy in your decisions is generally a good place from which to begin making them.

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22) — Human beings are complex creatures and you are no exception; neither are your loved ones. In the digital realm, which we all now inhabit to some degree, everything’s either/or, black/white, for/against; that is, there’s no third option. There is no gray area, despite pretty much every issue in which we concern ourselves requiring some sort of nuance. This week’s opposition between your two ruling planets is encouraging you to buck that trend for all you’re worth. If you feel undecided or uncertain around a position, great — hold that contradiction in your mind, however uncomfortable it feels, and honor every facet of you.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22) — Monday’s Full Moon in your sign is helping illuminate how important it is not to yield your individual will entirely to a perceived common cause, or to external pressures. You may feel as if it’s all too easy to become lost in the labyrinth, especially of the digital world, but also of the various demands and claims by others on your time and thought. If you’re sensing this, try to step back enough to take in the whole picture, then make sure you’re giving precedence sufficiently to your needs and self-respect. Don’t be afraid to call for space whenever it helps you, and for as long as you require it.

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20) — With the recent activity of Mars in your opposite sign, you’ve been experiencing a challenge to stand to your full height, and acknowledge your true capacity as a person. This means facing up to all your responsibilities and taking charge of the trajectory of your individual journey, even if that involves choosing a direction that seems risky or unconventional. You now know that in terms of using your gifts and aiming at your goals, there can be no compromises; and while fear may be natural, it just gets in the way. Go toward what you were born to accomplish, and don’t look back.

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) — You’ve probably been experiencing a good deal of disquiet in recent weeks. The tension will eventually subside, and a clear path should then present itself. In the meantime, using your skill at taking a broad perspective may bring some relief. This essentially means the understanding that you are inextricably part of the human race, and as such have fundamental capabilities, for example, free thought, learning and self-consciousness. Regardless of the restrictions we impose on one another, at root you are in control of your life. Keep that in sight, and exercise it as you feel the need.

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) — It’s possible you are a little confused as to how assertive you should be in tackling certain issues, especially with Neptune in your sign fogging up boundary lines. Yet you have a number of resources to hand, one of which is imagination. You might discover potential solutions to a problem by playing out scenarios in your head, or on paper; your inventive abilities are running high just now. Then there’s good old-fashioned logic: weighing up the various pros and cons of each option, and making a determination based on the available evidence. Just make sure you’re clear on what your priorities are.

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