Astrology: Mutable Grand Cross, Summer Solstice Full Moon June 20, 2016
As the Spring equinoctial eclipse was remarkably powerful this year, so is the Summer Solstice, the second point on the annual cross, marking the first quarter of the astrological year. Just as it happened this past Christmas and the Winter Solstice, it coincides with the full moon, the first time in 70 years. Moreover, Mercury positions itself midway in Gemini to form a mutable grand cross along with the Saturn, Jupiter, Neptune T-Square.
The Sun enters Cancer and this sign, according to French mason Jean-Marie Ragon, the sign is named after this shellfish because, as the sun reaches its apex and seems to reverse its course after this point, similar to the backward travelling motion of the crab. (La messe et ses mystères, p. 376) The month of June comes from junior, signifying ‘young’ because the primitive Roman new year began with this month.(Ragon, La Messe, p. 376). The ancients generally celebrated this moment with a feast marked by games and fires of joy, a tradition taken up in Christian practice with St-John’s Day. (Ragon, La Messe, p. 377)
According to Ragon, “June 9th, the day which the sun enters this sign and evokes those ancient symbols of initiation where, under the name of Hermathena, connecting both sexes with the two characters of Mystai and Epoptai, that is the active Mercury and the Contemplative Minerva.”. He furthers add that the reason for the fire in the heat of summer is to evoke the burning of the earth in the myth of Phaethon . (Ragon, La Messe, p. 377)
Summer Full Moon Fire
With the Sun/Venus conjunction in Cancer, we have a romantic, passionate summer full moon, nicely creative and intuitive, although with the moon opposite in Capricorn, there is moodiness and sensitivity, especially with family and amorous relations. A key point is the recently retrograde Neptune (in Pisces) as the Venus/Neptune trine, discounting the long-standing Jupiter/Pluto trine and Pluto/Neptune sextile, is the only ‘easy’ aspect in this chart, in conjunction with Pallas, heightening the creative, intuitive atmosphere. The moon’s relatively close proximity to Pluto in the sky, I think, is an added ingredient favoring spiritual inspiration.
Combustible Pluto/Uranus Square
The longstanding Pluto/Uranus square, combining with a Mars/Uranus semi-square and a Saturn/Uranus sesquialter, makes for a highly volatile factor for deep societal change and revolution, signaled by abrupt, explosive incidents. Note that Ceres, the goddess of the mysteries, is in perfect conjunction with Uranus.
Blazing Mutable Saturn-Mercury/Jupiter-Neptune Grand Cross
In the remarkably poetic timing that punctuates the cosmic dance in the harmony of the spheres, we witness the Sun/Venus pair that formed a Grand Cross at and with the new Moon on June 4th move into the solsticial position only to be closely followed by Mercury, replacing its position to form a new Grand Cross. Many consider that the Saturn/Jupiter/Neptune T-Square to be the most significant aspect of 2016, in place since September 2105 and due to end by late July. Thus this configuration can be considered to be the final crisis point of a rather tense, trying configuration.
Comprised of two oppositions and four squares, grand crosses are considered to be powerful, dynamic and intense – as well as complicated and difficult. Managing these energies often give results that can be either very troubled or very successful. With Saturn, Neptune, Pluto and Mars (in Scorpio) all retrograde there is a certain energy of retardation and also revelations from the past, with the recent exact Saturn/Neptune square on June 17 bringing an extra sense of anxiety to the mix.
Mercury is in domicile in Gemini and so is very strong, but the risk of scattered, cloudy, deluded or rigid thinking strongly challenges Mercury’s acumen in the areas of communication, relationships, travel and finance. Interestingly, Mercury is within 3 degrees conjunct to Vesta and the Part of Fortune. There might be a tendency to be pessimistic and overly critical (Mercury/Saturn opposition) or hyperbolic (Mercury square Jupiter), although the Venus/Sun conjunction should bring some tolerant, cheerfull compassion.
I interpret the Mercury placement to signify that one can be faced with some intense decisions or meetings concerning important issues in a broad range of socio-political concerns. I would suggest to be careful of the rashness and impulsiveness that this passionate, high energy aspect encourages and therefore one would do well to be cautious and read the fine print before making decisions. Loose lips sink ships. At the same time, successful outcomes can be had by bold operators in a worthy cause, if they play their cards right; although in that case, I think flexibility and openness is important.
Although this long-standing Saturn/Jupiter/Neptune T-Square has been tense and difficult, it is possible that, by the end of the summer, one could witness a positive dissolution of constrictive obstacles, unrealistic objectives and unproductive commitments, paving the way for a new series of aspects forming near the upcoming fall equinox (Jupiter enters Libra) and winter solstice points (a Jupiter/Uranus/Pluto T-Square) that bring on some fresh challenges...