July begins with the Sun in Cancer, a sign we think of as soft and sensitive. But the tenacious crab is equipped to take care of herself. A master in the art of sidestepping, she has some major claws. Her defensive gifts are accented by the confrontational energies of early July, when feisty Mars triggers the square between authoritative Saturn and independent Uranus, making a T-square.
This is not an easy combination. When threatened, the crab wants to scuttle into a sand hole or hide in a tidepool. As for Mars, he likes to move ahead unimpeded and doesn’t take nicely to finding himself fenced in. And the planet of push happens to be in the growling, prowling sign of the lion. Although part of us wants to run and hide, we feel pushed to face—and act on—our need for freedom.
This need is not new, it’s part of an ongoing process of growth. Just as the American Revolution—celebrated during Cancer time—responded to an evolutionary resistance to then classist, repressive Europe, so each of us is naturally moved by a deep impulse to freedom. One of the signatures of 2021 is the square between conservative Saturn and rebel Uranus. In this aspect’s positive expression, the latter sounds the call and the former insists that we actually build on our intent. As Mars enters the dance, this god of assertion pushes us to face those situations in which our unresolved issues, our fear, our co-dependence, and just plain inertia are keeping us from moving toward the freedom we really want.
The beginning of the month is the most unnerving. After the first week of July, Mars’ hot little rampage subsides. More of the tension lifts on Thursday, July 8, when Mercury finally emerges from retrograde shadow. Then on Friday, July 9, the New Moon in Cancer frees us to establish new intentions. As the month continues, Sun and later Mercury in the sign of the crab will be harmonizing with Jupiter and Neptune in Pisces, activating our subtle connections and aptitudes. Yet this shift isn’t just about escaping the pressure. Though in a lighter manner, tense aspects continue. Several of them involve Pluto, god of evolution.
And in mid-July, wounded healer Chiron goes retrograde in Aries. Aries is ruled by the very red planet who’s been stirring the pot of our distress. Chiron will pick up the issues brought into relief, issues around freedom, consolidation and assertiveness, and the Wounded Healer will carry this package inward. We can apply our subtle aptitudes to continue with the inner work necessary to resolve the themes that have been brought into view by these early-month tensions.
Who, What and When
As the month begins, Saturn is still in orb of its recent square to Uranus. From Thursday, July 1 to Saturday, July 3, Mars in strong Leo activates this square. Sun, now in Cancer, accents emotions: we are apt to feel frustrated. This is a time to avoid locking into apparent blocks, and instead sit down to review our own approach to assertive action. Is conflict-avoidance just a way to stay in our comfort zone; does it mask a resistance to stand up for our deeper values and needs? How can our approach be more strategic without relinquishing our goals of inner and outer freedom? Writing the answers to these and similar questions can help diffuse our impatience and connect us with a higher path of progress.
On Tuesday, July 6, love-planet Venus follows Mars’ footsteps, opposing Saturn in her turn. Where the red planet focused on our need to act, Venus gives us a look at how our values, finances and love fit into the new life we’re building for. Both Saturn—and Uranus he’s currently squaring—can be cold customers. Venus here reminds us to consider wow we can apply our heart energy, especially in situations where there may not be an apparent opening.
Throughout the first week of July, Mercury continues to be in retrograde shadow, favoring…
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