By Nan DeGrove

The last Full Moon ( June 20th) came just hours before the Summer Solstice, marking a time when volatile energies that have been building over the past months begin to reach a peak of intensity. Now, the New Moon in Cancer on July 4th offers a glimmer of hope and new vision. At the New Moon a total of seven planets—Sun, Moon, Venus, Mercury in Cancer; Mars in Scorpio, Neptune and Chiron in Pisces—are in water signs. Water is receptive, reflective. An active receptivity creates friendship, empathy, imagination, art; passive receptivity leads to overload, confusion, burnout. It’s important now to be discerning, about what we absorb from our environment as well as what we send out. With such emphasis in water signs the psychic currents of world events affect us deeply and can “flood” into personal mind-space.

summer moon

Now is the time of the dog days of July, when Sirius, the Dog Star rises with the Sun. The brightest star in the heavens, next to our Sun, it was called “the scorcher” and the “shining one” in ancient Egypt. The rising of Sirius was linked to the flooding of the Nile, and the cycle of renewal in an arid land. Sirius is the sacred blue star of the goddess Isis. Cancer in Egyptian astrology was represented by the scarab beetle, symbol of rebirth and immortality. The stars of Cancer were sometimes called the “manger” or the “cradle,” and this sign is considered a portal through which souls come into form and depart unto death.Pay attention to gates, doors, and threshold this month that may need repair or tending. Place sacred objects at your door or gate to bring in new life, and invite the old to exit.

dog star

Healing Waters
Water and the life it sustains are imperiled all over the world. Rivers are drying up, oceans dying, seas rising, municipal water supplies are contaminated. The privatization of water, along with war, climate change and political strife, threaten access to this precious resource, The sacred river of the Nile is one of the most polluted in the world. With Neptune still in Pisces for many years to come, these water issues are sure to become more critical.

hedaling waters

Birthday of the Nation
With the New Moon on the fourth of July the planetary alignment sets the stage for a dramatic, emotional year for the U.S. All the Cancer planets form an oppositions to Pluto in Capricorn, which will join the coming Capricorn Full Moon (July 19) just in time for the Republican National Convention. Pluto is coming to a return (back to it’s natal place) in the U.S. chart (July fourth 1776), bringing continued breakdown of the current system of corporate and financial power. In a way we are seeing a “Pluto return” of global industrial capitalism, which has its origins in the mid to late 18th century, now has reached its apotheosis, and is in a decadent (Pluto rules decay) phase. Pluto remains in Capricorn until 2025; its effects are deep, sometimes hidden, and slow.

Birth of a nation

The subterranean force of Mars in Scorpio can, in some cases, unleash violence and mayhem, of which we have seen all too much lately. Prophets of doom and fear can easily easily manipulate masses to serve their own ends. Astrology teaches us about duality—dark and light, good and evil, not as moral positions, but as energies.. Mars in Scorpio calls forth the courage of the true hero, willingness to face the darkness within, and harness the ego to serve the greater good. With Mars in Scorpio through August 2nd, a (false) hero who pursues only his own glory may be devoured by the shadow. A certain public figure is currently enacting this tragedy for all the world to see. May we apply careful thought and discernment to find and share messages of healing and hope in dark times. Alchemy, sister art to astrology, teaches that “gold”— illumination, balance, beauty—comes out of ugly messiness and chaos.