by Terry Lamb
[We welcome astrologer, coach and energy healer Terry Lamb to Daykeeper this month and we're delighted to share with you her illuminating article on July's many quincunxes and their meaning in the longer term. ("Quincunx" is an astrological term for the relationship between two bodies separated by five signs, or 150º, also sometimes called "inconjunct.")—Ed.]
After a sleepy, recuperative month in June related to the high number of planets in retrograde motion, July’s planets give us more room to move—but not a lot. We are likely to remember July as a time of waiting and adjustment. The month is characterized by quincunxes—no fewer than 15 of significance this month! They arbitrate our way of connecting Pluto and Neptune, which have become temporarily separated in consciousness in recent months. These quincunxes will generally be felt for about three days each, with many overlapping each other. However, because they all play a part in a bigger drama as part of a cyclic process, they will cast a long shadow into the future.
Quincunxes have to do with timing. We want something before it is ripe, or we miss the “best timing” window and are trying to play catch-up. I call the quincunx the “hungry aspect”. We hunger for something that we (feel we) don’t have. We look for ways to create it or recover it. If there is a sextile involved, either in the heavens or in your chart, a yod is created. We have such a yod pattern assembling itself using the wide sextile between Chiron-North Node-Neptune and Pluto. Venus, the Sun, and Mercury will each quincunx these points during July, with periodic assistance from the Moon.
Quincunxes are difficult in the sense that we are attempting to combine energies in signs that don’t naturally combine well. Here, we’re blending Cancer with Aquarius, and with Sagittarius. Cancer-Aquarius could be the Ultimate Complainer, because we combine Cancer’s emotion with Aquarius’s skepticism. However, Cancer’s urge to nurture can be blended with Aquarius’s desire to enhance group dynamics to produce the Social Reformer. Cancer-Sagittarius can be the Grumpy Preacher or the Healing Humanitarian. To use this pattern to its utmost, we need to find a way to express our highest ideals (Sagittarius) as social principles (Aquarius), then apply them in our personal lives (Cancer)—a tall order! But every time we give money to a food bank, donate clothes to those in need, or tell our congressperson that we support policies that help people in poverty (for instance)—we are blending these signs harmoniously and beneficially.
All the planets beyond Mars retrograde yearly and become a part of life’s annual rhythm, with impact in our lives depending on natal contacts. We’ve just passed the culmination point in the Sun-Pluto cycle, so now our efforts to transform our lives, begun in late December, are bearing fruits. We will continue to work actively on this process for two more months. Now that Saturn is past its trine to Pluto, it is now collecting energy toward its last two trines with Jupiter in an unusual series of five, even as it moves towards its triune opposition to Uranus.
Neptune has temporarily separated from its dancing partner Chiron. However, the Lunar North Node (aka the transiting eclipse point) has been reconnecting them and diverting our focus toward a deep healing process that will not be complete until next year. We’ll make it through, but how?—It’s a mystery! We’re still struggling some with the awareness that Chiron-Neptune is bringing us; the yearly cycles of these planets will not culminate, bringing that great “aha!”, until mid-August.
Pluto is now back in Sagittarius, and it shifts our consciousness into a realm that has been familiar to us since 1995, giving us breathing room. Pluto in Capricorn (and its standard-bearer Jupiter) had us gasping for air with all the new and jarring realities we’ve had to face in terms of economic, ecological, and possibly personal crises. Pluto in Sagittarius reminds us of the bad ol’ days before we knew what was really going on and started doing something about it all. We can never go back, but we can tap the optimism of that period and use it to move forward into the reshaped world we now find ourselves in.
With Pluto at the end of a sign instead of the beginning, it means that most things end with a bang! That’s because the final aspect the Moon makes now is to Pluto, so that’s how things turn out—transformationally. This is the way it was for several years until it entered Capricorn in January. Suddenly we had things starting off with change, and it was a shock. Don’t get too used to the old familiar pattern though. It will only last through November.
We’re just beginning to work with Uranus’s “redo” period, since its retrograde started only on June 26. Retrogrades are what make Earth such a great school of the spirit: Since the planet treads part of the sign three times, it’s like three cycles for the “price” of one. Uranus awakens us to new realities—in Pisces, these are subtle or hidden. However, with Saturn moving rapidly toward its opposition to Uranus now, these subtle factors are about to be revealed. There will be grand drama (just watch the political campaigns this season if you want an example) as people begin to articulate the divide between the status quo (Saturn) and the innovative (Uranus). Which energy do you think will win? We’ve got until Thanksgiving time to work it all out.