July 2012 is the first month of what is likely to be an endless summer – but not because we’re catching the perfect wave. Quite the contrary; July is a month of never-ending astral intensity, with all sorts of waves – physical, psychological, emotional, and spiritual – breaking in uneven patterns against the shores of daily life. As these erratic celestial rhythms collide with routine terrestrial agendas, there is a strong potential to be dragged under or pulled along by hidden riptides in a tumultuous sea of change. Yes…from a planetary perspective, it is that intense, but we won’t need the stars to prove it. All any of us need to do is witness our own lives and the lives of those we love. And it’s not all bad. While the heat is on, there are plenty of creative opportunities for transformation.
Several major themes create July’s arc of intensity.
(1) Mars moves into Libra on July 3, liberating us from its nearly eight-month transit through Virgo, the Sign of details. It’s not that there’s anything wrong with Virgo – we love its grounded perspective – but Mars is a fiery planet that thrives on forging forward into new territory, not lingering on previously trodden paths. As Mars journeys through Libra, it will focus on relationships, amplifying the urge to join with significant others, personal and professional. But don’t confuse this impulse toward partnership with a lack of personal ambition. From July 4 until July 30, a Mars/Jupiter trine, exact on July 17, stirs a deep desire for success. Jupiter just entered Gemini, the Sign of communication on June 11 and now as it forms a positive alliance with Mars, you can be sure there will be a lot of talk, primarily political but also personal, about what’s necessary for effective partnerships.
(2) Mercury is retrograde from July 14 through August 8. Please start your backup engines early – this is not a normal Mercury Retrograde. The Mercury Retrograde rule is three days before and prior to the actual “turn around,” so don’t procrastinate. Those of you new to Mercury Retrograde, here’s the skinny: Mercury Retrograde negatively affects all things related to communication and language. Translation: All mail sources from the snail to the email have problems, as do other all other sources of connectivity from phones to scans to documents to negotiations to travel.
(3) But this retrograde is particularly problematic, because Mercury goes retrograde in a trine to Uranus, and Uranus signifies technology. Yes, that means your smart phone is likely to turn stupid. It will take enormous effort to resist the temptation to throw your iPad or any other electronic device against the wall in a demonstration of unbridled frustration … because (4) Uranus goes retrograde on July 13, the day before Mercury.
Oy…oy…oy… pretty much covers the effect of Uranus Retrograde combined with Mercury Retrograde. But if I must elaborate: When Uranus “reviews” its recent past, we revisit ours. Given that Uranus always indicates spontaneous and often startling plot twists, which tend to manifest as complete reversals of attitude and perspective; and given that Mercury is often as squirrely and unstable as Uranus, especially when it’s retrograde, this dual retrograde is sure to bring even the mightiest of transformers to their knees. Expect entire systems, personal and collective, to go haywire. You’ll need huge stores of patience, tolerance, and compassion for yourself and others to handle the delays and detours of this double retrograde.
What’s more, we always experience an etheric bump when Uranus throws its weight around, but there’s never any way to accurately predict how that bump will manifest because the essence of Uranus is unpredictability. That notwithstanding, this month, prediction is totally out of the question, because from the 13-20 a profound aggregation of dynamic forces, all of which might cause your interstitial brain fluid seize up (mine did just writing about it) if you attempt to fit the pieces of this puzzle together with a linear logic.
On July 15, a Sun/Saturn square that begins on July 9 is exact and separating; it will continue to be in effect until August 22. This square is traditionally interpreted as a pessimistic interaction that could lead to hypercriticism -- but really, given the degree of intensity, who wouldn’t be pessimistic? On the other hand, this square has the potential to serve as a sobering buoy amidst a stormy sea, particularly if you are willing to use its serious signature for an impartial assessment of your situation.
But it is July 17 and 18 that pose the biggest “challenge” to stay afloat on July’s seas of shift, because on those two days Mars intensifies the already too intense Uranus/Pluto square. The energetic signature of this square without the presence of Mars is revolution. Uranus and Pluto want to take it to the streets, and this active, dynamic, fractious interaction is the major contributor to the current tumult, individual and collective. We will be in its grip for many months to come. And just to be clear: On July 9, Mars begins an opposition to Uranus and a square to Pluto, forming a T-Square, and while T-Squares always magnify existing stresses and strains, this particular configuration speaks to a pernicious inclination toward violence as a solution for what ails. Mars is the archetype of the Warrior. Uranus is the archetype of the Revolutionary. Pluto signifies death and rebirth. And while their combined presence engenders the possibility for extraordinary accomplishments, that potential is thwarted by a need for personal glory that tends to show itself as intolerance for opposing opinions. The famous Martian need to lead as well as win exacerbates ego conflicts and power struggles, turning already irritated skins hypersensitive with conflict and confrontation.
On July 17 Mars’ square to Pluto is exact, and on July 18, its opposition to Uranus is also exact. When any astrological interaction is exact and separating, we feel the full thrust of its power. That release coupled with the already difficult physical and psychic landscape of the week is likely to create a need to discharge pent up feelings. Do your best to avoid contributing to this mess by refusing to react. Instead, be compassionate. Stay conscious. Be kind to yourself and your fellow travelers.
One of the wisest ways to navigate July’s waters is to simply acknowledge its complexity – no pretending, no whitewashing, and no Pollyanna moments of denial. A superficial attitude will only postpone the inevitable. Positive thinking, applied thoughtfully and consciously, will work wonders, especially if it’s combined with the awareness that each of our choices contributes to the outcome. I know I often repeat this idea, but it bears repeating as often as possible, because many of us feel ineffectual in the face of all that must be done – an attitude that ultimately leads to the despair of apathy. One way to stay positive during this month and the months to come is to take responsibility for your attitude by being determined to recognize old patterns and obstacles keeping you mired in old, moldy modes of negative behavior. Another way to meet the challenge of July is to stop thinking that blaming is a solution. Positive, healthy participation is the answer. Gandhi’s words, “You must be the change you want to see in the world” may have become a cliché, but that doesn’t diminish their truth or lessen their power. Particularly in times such as these when it seems as if David doesn’t stand a chance against Goliath.
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