This summer, the world is in for a challenging time, thanks to the combination of two eclipses in Cancer and Capricorn, both of which tie into a configuration that has come to be known among astrologers as the Cardinal Event. This is the lining up of several major planets, all in cardinal signs, in a way that creates a large pattern in the skies, each interconnecting aspect also linked to the other in a large cosmic web. Cardinal signs have, since ancient times, been considered the most active of the three modalities assigned to zodiac signs; the others being mutable and fixed. This means that they are more likely to lead to action and events out in the world, as opposed to psychological or spiritual shifts, or inner conflicts.
The eclipses, which are due to take place on the 26th of June and 11th of July respectively, are in and of themselves considered to be bi-yearly harbingers of change. This particular eclipse series forms part of the eclipse family that began on 31 December 2009. However, as is the nature of eclipses, these now occur in inverse signs – a lunar eclipse in Capricorn, and a solar eclipse in Cancer.
At the time of the lunar eclipse, the Full Moon in Capricorn will be orbiting close to Pluto. Pluto in and of itself, is associated with deep, extreme or dramatic transformation, which in the outer world, can resemble an earthquake or atomic explosion – an event that completely wipes away the old and brings about irreversible change. The obvious analogy is with death – very few people ever return from that transition, and it is no coincidence that in Greek and Roman mythology, Pluto is the King of the Underworld. Although many psychological astrologers like to talk of positive transformation, in reality, this process can be rather violent and traumatic, visceral and gut-wrenching – a sudden removal or pruning of what is no longer necessary. Translated into external events, this could mean a change that feels rather fated – one in which larger forces appear to conspire to force a catharsis or release of pent-up energy in a manner that removes the ability to return to old ways.
Over the last few years, we have been witnessing Pluto’s power at work on reforming our global banking and political systems, thanks to a set of ongoing squares with Saturn, representative of convention, establishment and material structures. Tem Tarriktar, editor of the Mountain Astrologer, has also made the association between Pluto and oil very clear – many world economies are based on oil – that black substance that oozes up from beneath the earth’s crust, making certain individuals extremely wealthy and commanding such power over governments that they are willing to go to war to maintain their reserves of it. Given Pluto’s pivotal role in the cardinal event – squaring Saturn and the Jupiter-Uranus conjunction, it is likely that some form of power struggle involving the distribution of global wealth, power or oil is likely to take place. Could we be poised on the edge of a move away from a dependence on oil? Or are we about to see an end to capitalism?
Returning to the eclipse and the Moon-Pluto conjunction, it is worth mentioning that Pluto is currently retrograde (i.e. moving in an anti-clockwise direction.) This can have the effect of internalising events or forcing an intense re-evaluation of current circumstances. Combined with the Moon, it is likely that such inclinations will be directed toward an emotional or physical need for change. However, it is worth remembering that from a traditional perspective, the Moon is in detriment in the sign of Capricorn – as an emotional, intuitive planet, it is not comfortable in the realm of cold, hard, and possibly even ruthless decision-making – making tough calls is not something that comes easily to the nurturing lunar nature. Given that the Moon is Full, but is being ‘occulted’ by the earth, there is a suggestion that this may be a time when we are being asked to put aside any ‘soft,’ or seemingly ‘irrational’ urges and take on the mantle of responsibility, forcing ourselves out of a comfort zone, into the big wide world and away from the protection of the familiar and the private. Thus, crises could emerge that force you out of instinctive, knee-jerk reactions or old ways of dealing with things, creating new internal structures and habits that enable you to survive within your current context or circumstances. Pluto is the planet of survival par excellence and combined with the Moon, perhaps this means some form of emotional survival strategies.
However, given the Sun-Moon opposition, these new circumstances may also require us to let go of ego-based inclinations as well – after all, Pluto will also be opposing the Sun at this time. The Sun represents our ego consciousness or basic identity – our urge to shine in the world. This can veer from altruistic heroism and benevolent leadership, on one hand, to the selfish quest for fame, recognition and personal advancement, even at the expense of others, on the other. The Sun is also very much concerned with logic, whilst the Moon is associated with intuition. Clearly, with the Sun located in the sign of the Moon, Cancer, during this eclipse, it is as though the Sun’s very nature is being alchemically altered so that it is forced to take on some feminine, lunar qualities such as nurturing and co-operation, as opposed to self-interest and autocracy. With Mercury close by, it seems likely that any attempt to hold on to one’s ideas or identify with one’s intellect in a way that is non-cooperative or self-serving will now be challenged. It seems as though a new type of thinking is being called for – one which combines the best of seemingly conflicting forces – heart and head, logic and imagination – in order to cope with current circumstances, which appear to be changing rapidly, if the square to Jupiter-Uranus both Sun-Mercury and Pluto-Moon are anything to go by.
So, what role is Jupiter and Uranus likely to play in this scenario? Writing in the April-May 2010 issue of The Mountain Astrologer magazine, Dena de Castro explains that:
Jupiter’s Aries ingress occurs just as the early cardinal degrees, associated with beginnings, are alive with planetary activity. Jupiter magnifies what it touches, and new beginnings are prolific under this transit. Primarily, those beginnings will tend to reflect the nature of the other planets that Jupiter contacts at this time: Saturn, Uranus and Pluto. Jupiter’s message must be understood within the context of its relationship to those outer planets by hard aspect. (Mountain Astrologer, April-May 2010, p.22)
Given that Jupiter and Uranus will meet in a conjunction in Aries in late May and still be within orb of each other at the time of the lunar eclipse, the desire for major change is likely to be strong. De Castro suggests that this will take the form of a strong urge for personal liberty and meaning, as well as sudden opportunities that allow for innovation and expansion. She further suggests that the combination of Uranus and Jupiter together in Aries could help to cancel out any ‘shadow’ tendencies in each planet, such as the Uranus tendency to rebel for no reason, and the Jupiterian tendency to exaggerate or develop grandiose ideas or delusions of grandeur. of course, on the minus side, it could also manifest as a selfish and impulsive urge for change or excitement, no matter what the cost – Uranus is a planet associated with cutting off and separation, so there is also that possibility inherent in the Jupiter-Uranus conjunction, especially when combined with a square to Moon-Pluto.
And what of the solar eclipse on the 11th of July? Although that also feeds into the cardinal t-square, the Sun and Moon – this time conjunct (solar eclipses always occur at New Moon when the Sun and Moon are on the same side of the earth) and therefore on the same page – will be making a positive sextile angle to Mars in Virgo, which should provide a boost of strength, determination and physical vitality that should help you to focus more clearly and make decisions more confidently. The sign of Virgo also facilitates the ability to see and attend to the details of a matter, as well as being associated with qualities like modesty, conscientiousness and healing, especially via nutrition and plant remedies such as herbs. This should help one keep a sense of compassion towards the wellbeing of others as well as give one the ability to work hard to sort out problems at this time. This is further emphasised by the position of the Sun and Moon in Cancer – a nurturing sign, known for its love of family and associations with motherhood and cooking. Cancer is also a very private sign, preferring not to venture into the unknown or declare decisions loudly to the world, so the chances of dramatic developments at this time seem less likely.
Still, the cardinal T-square will stay active for much of July and August, reaching another peak when Saturn moves back into Libra around the 6th of August, so don’t expect the drama to completely subside before then. Have a Plan B, and work towards situations that allow the highest values and truths of each planet to manifest, and you are likely to come out the other side with less collateral damage. Of all the sun signs, it is likely to be Aries, Librans, Cancerians and Capricorns that are affected the most, simply because these are the cardinal signs in which all the action is taking place.
Returning to the eclipses for a minute, Bernadette Brady attributes this set of eclipses to the 12 South Saros family which first began in 1541. She writes that this Saros series appears to be concerned with overcoming any long-term worries, especially about the health or wellbeing of loved ones, as well as the likelihood of personal recovery from illness – all very Virgoan themes, so perhaps Saturn and Mars in Virgo are worth watching at this time. She further states that : ‘An issue which has worried or drained the individual for some time will at first seem worse and then clear, with successful outcomes.’ A rather positive way of viewing things!
Astronomically, the total solar eclipse on 11 July 2010 will be visible from French Polynesia, Easter Island and Chile. Tem Tarriktar is speculating that a volcanic eruption or earthquake could be on the cards around now. For a full breakdown on his mundane predictions for this time, visit The Mountain Astrologer website.
Previous eclipses in this series during the 20th and 21st centuries occurred in: 1902, 1919, 1938, 1956, 1974, and 1992.