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July 2019

Normally, in a month that not only hosts two eclipses but the first, in the early days of the month, a total solar eclipse, there would be a lot of intensity building. While the impact from the solar eclipse on 3rd July New Zealand and Australian time (2nd July in most other parts of the world) will be just as intense as it always would be, from where we have been in June, July will come with a sense of relief. 

It was in the second half of June, just as Mercury and Mars were moving together in Cancer that, over the course of just seven days, they both moved into opposition with Saturn and Pluto, in retrograde motion in Capricorn. This saw the Cancer and Capricorn ruled areas of your chart lock horns, in a way not seen in decades, if ever. It was three decades ago that Mars last moved into opposition with Saturn in Capricorn and while he has opposed Pluto there every other year, since the planet of change and revolution returned in 2008, never before with both. It was a different story for Mercury, who moved into opposition with both last year and will oppose both again next year. Mars has never and will never again oppose both Saturn and Pluto in Capricorn, at the same time. That it happened within days of each other made June one of the most challenging months of 2019.

By just moving into July we are over the hump and while a total solar eclipse in the early days of the month will create a lot of intensity, falling in Cancer this is what Mars has been fighting for. Mars won’t actually be here for this eclipse, but we will have his warrior spirit to tap into when the total solar eclipse opens the door to major new beginnings. The Moon will return to Cancer on 2nd July, returning just two hours after Mars leaves to begin the lead up to the solar eclipse less than 24 hours later. The fact that the Moon returns just two hours after Mars leaves is a chance for your intuition, instincts and imagination to tap into his passions and fighting spirit as eclipse energy starts to build.

It is two weeks later that we will have a lunar eclipse in Capricorn and this eclipse could be more challenging, but this is when everything is likely to fall into place. What I mean by ‘everything’, is a chance to make sense of last month’s oppositions between Mercury and Mars in Cancer and Saturn and Pluto in Capricorn, as well as the balance issues building since the lunar nodes' return last November. It is in Cancer that this month’s total solar eclipse will fall and it is in Capricorn that the lunar eclipse will fall on 17th July. It is as if last month’s oppositions were a chance to shake the tree, see what will fall and get everything out in the open, knowing that these eclipses will allow us to reap the benefits.

This isn’t an end to the oppositions between planets in Cancer and Capricorn, but they are very different to Mars’ oppositions last month. The Sun will oppose both Saturn and the South Node (the force behind the lunar eclipse on 17th July) on 10th/11th July and Pluto on 14th/15th July. Venus will oppose Saturn on 17th July, during the lunar eclipse on the same day, which is an opposition between the Sun and Moon. Venus will then go on to oppose the South Node on 18th July and Pluto on 21st July. So once again we have a period of planetary oppositions between planets in the Cancer and Capricorn ruled areas of your chart, during an 11 day period from 10th July to 21st July. The lunar eclipse on 17th July will be the epicentre of this period.

This will see the same themes come to a head and the same tension or conflict between these two areas of your chart, but there are two things that make this different to the Mars’ oppositions last month. The first point of difference is that this isn’t Mars. Mars is the warrior planet of the cosmos and Cancer is not a sign that he is particularly at home in. Mars is a planet of action and the watery realms of Cancer don’t sit with his fiery approach to things. When Mars was confronted by Saturn and Pluto, that frustration would have boiled over. Mars’ opposition with Saturn was the first here in three decades and will be the last for another three decades and where Mars is an unstoppable force, Saturn is an immovable object.

It was during Mars’ opposition with Pluto that the planets of war and revolution came together, with neither side giving an inch and both more than happy to go into battle.

The second factor that is different about this month’s oppositions are the eclipses. Last month there was no outlet and no chance for that pressure and tension to result in a real breakthrough. The total solar eclipse on 3rd July will be like a volcano blowing its top, with all the potential that has been building behind the scenes able to escape. At the same time, while the lunar eclipse on 17th July is an opposition between the Sun and Moon and it comes right in the middle of the 11 day period of tension, its emotionally charged nature allows for a breakthrough as well.

There is actually a third factor that makes these oppositions different to Mars’ oppositions last month and that is the fact that the Sun and Venus are involved. The Sun and Venus moved into opposition with Saturn and Pluto last year and will move into the same opposition next year, so there isn’t just the one chance that Mars has. In addition, the Sun is not a confrontational force and instead, the solar spotlight will help highlight the dynamics that are clashing, giving you the insight to achieve the balance these two areas of your chart are working to achieve. Meanwhile, Venus will always be more focused on making love rather than war.

Venus will return to Cancer 21 hours after the total solar eclipse, returning on 4th July New Zealand and the east coast of Australian time and on 3rd July everywhere else in the world. A solar eclipse brings the solar and lunar cycles into synch and as a super charged New Moon, gives even more weight to the potential for new beginnings. As a North Node eclipse and close enough that it creates a total solar eclipse, this is the most powerful eclipsing New Moon in Cancer in two decades.

Venus will return to help you capitalise on this and as she doesn’t leave until 28th July, she will stay on after the Sun leaves on 23rd July and will be here when Mercury retrogrades back in for a double dip visit on 19th July. Mercury, the planet of communication and smart thinking left late last month, but a retrograde turn on 8th July will see him retrograde back out of Leo and back into Cancer, where he has some unfinished business. This puts Mercury in a unique situation in that he is able to live up to his title of the messenger of the gods.

Mars will leave Cancer before Venus returns so while the Sun, Mercury, Venus and Mars will all spend time here this month, there is no time when they are all together at the same time and the only planet to spend time with every other is Mercury. Mercury was intimately involved as Mars opposed Saturn and Pluto last month and he will return two days after the lunar eclipse in Cancer and just as the last oppositions are playing out. In retrograde motion until 1st August, Mercury will spend the rest of the month going back over old ground and with experience and 20/20 hindsight, can help you make sense of what has been the clash of the decade.

The reason why we have eclipses in Cancer and Capricorn this month is because this is where the lunar nodes are and while you need the Sun to create a lunar or solar eclipse and this is why they are happening now, it is the other planets involved, on both sides, that makes this such a defining point of the year if not the decade. The North Node, in Cancer until May 2020 is always focused on the future and so too is any solar eclipse and especially a total solar eclipse. By the end of the month tension with the planets in Capricorn will be over, but we will benefit from what this has given birth to, for the rest of the year and beyond.

At the same time the South Node, in Capricorn, is always focused on the past and it just so happens that Saturn and Pluto are both in retrograde motion there. Where in the Cancer ruled area of your chart it is all about new beginnings or a breakthrough into a new chapter or way of being, in Capricorn it is all about the past. This could bring up old issues or you could be confronted by the past, though for a very good and exciting reason. On 3rd December Jupiter will return to Capricorn, joining up with Pluto and Saturn here for the first, last and only time in our lifetime. This brings the promise of major new opportunities, developments and growth in the Capricorn ruled area of your chart next year. Saturn, Pluto, the South Node, this month’s lunar eclipse and the final oppositions with the Sun and Venus are all designed to clear a path for the new growth ahead.

Now, onto a lighter and exciting note.

Before the lunar nodes returned to Cancer and Capricorn last November, for the previous 18 months the North Node had been in Leo and the South Node in Aquarius and this is where the eclipses in 2017, 2018 and a final lunar eclipse in January 2019 fell. While Saturn and Pluto weren’t involved, with Mars having spent months in Aquarius, leaving and then retrograding back in, any planets that moved through Leo last year were confronted by him and the South Node. This was similar to what is happening between Cancer and Capricorn this year, but without Saturn and Pluto involved so to a lesser degree.

When Juno and Mercury returned to Leo late last month, it was to find the South Node gone and no planetary activity in Aquarius. There hasn’t been any planetary activity there since Venus left in March and there will be none until she returns over Christmas. This means that any planet returning to Leo this year will move through without being confronted. They will briefly move into a square aspect to Uranus in Taurus, but squares are not oppositions and I see them as just creating enough pressure to keep you motivated. The saying is ‘trines make you lazy while squares get things done’.

Trines are those positive aspects between planets in fellow elemental signs and they create a situation where things flow more smoothly and as we will have our fair share of those these month and you will know about it when it happens and this time, for all the right reasons.

I will briefly paint a picture of what is happening so you can see how exciting these dynamics are. The last eclipse associated with the North Node’s time in Leo (the North Node is all about the future and new possibilities) was in late January and it fell at 00 degrees Leo. With no planetary activity there since then, that 00 degrees Leo point in the heavens has held onto all that potential, just waiting for the right trigger. This means that the moment a planet returns to Leo, they will immediately cross that 00 degree point, where all that potential has been waiting for the right trigger.

As each planet returns it will be to find Eris in fellow Fire sign Aries, where it has been since 1926 but for the first time in 12 years, to find lucky Jupiter in the third Fire sign Sagittarius. Jupiter in retrograde motion in Sagittarius is at 16 degrees so it will be a week or two before any planet returning to Leo will interact directly, in a positive trine. However, Ceres has retrograded back to 01 degrees Sagittarius and will be back at 00 degrees by 5th July. In addition, Chiron, in the early months of an eight year visit to Aries, has come to a standstill at 05 degrees, ahead of a retrograde turn on 9th July. With Uranus at 06 degrees Taurus all month, this creates a potent cocktail of forces as each planet returns to Leo.

The same pattern will apply, whether it was Mercury and Juno’s return to Leo late last month, Mars’ return on 2nd July, the Sun’s return on 23rd July or Venus’ on 28th July. That pattern is that they will return, immediately tap into the potential the North Node and January’s eclipse have planted, will immediately find support from the planets in Aries and Sagittarius and just enough pressure from Uranus to push you to take action.

I will continue to keep you informed of the journey this month will take you on through the Daily and Weekly Horoscopes. In addition, the Monthly Horoscopes will give you the information you need on where this falls in your chart and what the implications will be.

In addition, we have a number of planets making U turns this month. I have already spoken about Mercury’s retrograde turn on 8th July, but he is not the only planet changing direction. Whether  a planet is turning direct or retrograde they need to come to a standstill in order to make a U turn, slowing them down considerably. While Jupiter won’t turn direct in Sagittarius until next month, he is slowing to a crawl and Ceres will turn direct here on 18th July. In the meantime, Chiron will turn retrograde in Aries on 19th July and Eris on 21st July. As I mentioned above, Uranus will spend the month at 06 degrees Taurus and that is because he too is slowing down, preparing for a retrograde turn next month.

Saturn and Pluto are still deep in their retrograde phase and not turning direct until September, won’t begin slowing to a crawl until next month. While there is a lot of action and forward momentum this month, especially in the Cancer and Leo ruled areas of your chart, every planet from Jupiter out is either in retrograde motion or is slowing down in order to turn direct or retrograde. So while in the foreground life is happening at a hectic pace, the planets controlling the year as a whole are working to create a slow, steady and constant backdrop.

Again, I will keep you informed on what is happening, when and the impact this will have on your chart through the Daily, Weekly and Monthly Horoscopes.

All the very best for the coming month, as you stand at the doorway of the second half of the year.

Anne Macnaughtan

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