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Cosmic Weather Report

The Month Ahead

by Astrologer, Author and Registered Counsellor

 Danielle Blackwood

July 2020

Five Tips to Navigate Mars Retrograde

Take a deep breath, and a moment to center yourself, because the intensity is just not letting up this year. Mars, the Warrior entered his own sign Aries on June 27th for the next six months. To give you an idea of the rarity of this transit, the last time Mars was in Aries for this duration was 1988, and before that, 1941. Mars will station retrograde at 28 degrees Aries on September 9th through November 13th at 15 degrees Aries, and will finally move into Taurus on January 7th 2021. Mars is the principle of action and energy. It is the way we handle conflict and anger, as well as our sex drive and libido. In Aries, Mars can lead towards frustration, impulsive action, and hot tempers. When unchecked, Mars in Aries is violence, war and unbridled rage.  Mars is also aligned with willpower, motivation and the ability to stand our ground and fight for what we believe in. When channelled mindfully, Mars in Aries is noble, passionate, strategic, and empowering. It is stepping into your sovereignty, standing your ground, and setting healthy boundaries. Mars in Aries is the goddess Macha, who was the only queen in the List of the High Kings of Ireland, having fought for her right to the kingship according to her own merits. Mars in Aries is the Iceni queen Boudicca standing up in an unprecedented uprising against the Romans to save her broken and battered people. A skillfully embodied Mars in Aries says no to oppression in all its forms.

Mars in Aries gives us the green light to break new ground, set plans in motion and heed the call to adventure. However, it might be best to wait on those new beginnings until Mercury stations direct on July 12th.

From someone who has lived her entire life with Mars in Aries (as well as the Sun and Moon) here are five tips for navigating the next six months more constructively:

1.           Channel your energy effectively. Choose a cause that motivates you and clear the decks for action. Be proactive.

2.           Realize that anger is a normal human emotion.  If you are angry, take a deep breath and express it in a clear and direct way. Own your anger and speak your truth. Sublimated anger turns into passive aggression, depression, or buried rage that comes out in a distorted way to someone to whom it was not intended.

3.           If you’re feeling heated, count to 10 and take a deep breath before responding. If you need time out, take it.

4.           Make space for regular self care. I can’t stress this enough. If you don’t, you will burn out. If you burn out, you will not achieve your objectives. Know when to take a break, so you can come back out refreshed, focused, and more effective.

5.           Cool that Aries fire with exercise, mindfulness meditation, breathing, and time spent in nature. Go swimming. Start journaling. Dance. Eat nourishing, grounding foods and avoid stressing your nervous system with too much caffeine or sugar. If you’re having trouble with anxiety or sleeping, consider adding some nervine herbs to your self care toolkit: my personal favorites are, passionflower, skullcap, and wood betony. Consult a herbalist to find the best ones for you.

If you want to learn more about Aries, the goddess Macha, and ways to work constructively with this energy, check out my book, The Twelve Faces of the Goddess: Transform Your Life With Astrology, Magick and the Sacred Feminine. Llewellyn, 2018.

Jupiter Pluto Conjunction

Continuing a story that has been unfolding throughout 2020, Jupiter aligned in its second of three conjunctions with Pluto on June 30th (the first was April 5th). Remember that although things seem to intensify near the exact date of a transit, the energy doesn’t just stop after that date. Transits (especially significant ones like this) wax and wane, and we feel their energy reverberating in our own lives and in the collective. Jupiter conjunct Pluto is the overarching hallmark of this year (its last exact conjunction is on November 12th). We will likely be revisiting a second chapter of what was in the zeitgeist in April, there’s a very good chance that we will be experiencing a second wave of coronavirus, which is already apparent in the US.

Saturn Retrograde into Capricorn

On July 1st, Saturn moves into its last stint in Capricorn, before moving into Aquarius from December 2020 until March 2023. While traveling backward in Capricorn, Saturn will get closer again to Pluto, but doesn’t become exact as it did in January 2020. However, it is still close enough to intensify the Saturnian element in the mix, bringing a more sober, serious and discerning tone to the collective.

Full Moon in Capricorn and Eclipse (visible in North America)

July 4th brings a Full Moon (9:44 pm PT, 12:44 am ET) and penumbral lunar eclipse in Capricorn. Beginning on June 5th, this marks three eclipses in one lunar month. The next time this will happen is in 2029. This eclipse season has been intense, illuminating that which has been hidden, closing old doors, and beginning bold new chapters. Those in the US will be celebrating Independence Day on this Full Moon, so do watch for unfolding events in the news, and please stay safe. This is a serious Full Moon. We may feel contemplative or melancholy. The unadorned truth of something may suddenly be brought to light, causing us to feel the somberness of what actually is, rather than what we wish it would be. The Capricorn Full Moon might also bring a reality check. This Full Moon can also show us where we need to be more accountable, roll up our sleeves and walk our talk.  On the other hand, the Full Moon in Capricorn can also be a time of completion or reaching a milestone. It’s time to push past procrastination and self sabotage and commit to something important. Capricorn brings up themes of survival, commitment, responsibility, consequences, accountability, big business, institutions, banking, the patriarchy, and government. On a personal note, we may be re-evaluating priorities, and making some serious decisions before and after this eclipse.

Goddesses to work with: Hecate, Frau Holle, An Cailleach, Baba Yaga

Crystals to work with: Black tourmaline, smoky quartz, jade, malachite

Mercury Stations Direct

Mercury stations direct on July 12th. In a few days, it will be all systems go as Mercury gets back up to speed. You now have the green light to sign contracts, launch something new, or consider travel – with one caveat – if you are starting something big, signing important papers, or buying transportation or tech, try and wait until Mercury is completely out of its shadow, July 26th.

New Moon in Cancer

The Moon begins a brand new cycle in the sign of Cancer on July 20th (10:33 am PT, 1:33 pm ET). The New Moon in Cancer highlights themes of family, home and hearth, real estate, connection, belonging and security.  All new starts and initiatives in these areas will be on the table now. We might be feeling extra sensitive, intuitive, and craving comfort. Perhaps nostalgia plays a part, and we can gain sustenance and wisdom for our next steps by reflecting on the past.  New Moons happen each month in a different sign, pointing out where we can best plant our new seeds of intention for the coming six months.  Look to you chart to see what house this month’s New Moon/fresh start will be happening for you.  This is your most fertile ground to plant those seeds. To make the most of this month’s New Moon, think about what home means to you.  Do you like where you live? How can you make it more comfortable? Cancer is also about family and family of the heart.  The archetype of the Great Mother is also connected to Cancer, and all things associated with mothering and nurturance are underlined: food, shelter, protection and emotional safety.  The Sun opposes Saturn today, lending a serious tone to this New Moon. We may be feeling the need for intentional solitude as we process emotions, memories and wounding.

Goddesses to work with: Demeter, Danu, Anahita, Parvati

Crystals to work with: Moonstone, blue calcite, larimar, selenite

Leo Season – Happy Birthday Leo!

The Sun enters Leo on July 22nd, heralding Leo season and illuminating the part of your chart which contains 0-29 degrees of Leo. Leo is a fixed fire sign, meaning it occurs in the middle of a season (in this case summer) and resonates with the ardent, creative, visionary element of fire. Leo embodies the archetypal King or Queen and aligns with the themes of creativity, individuality, the inner child and sovereignty. Leo’s purpose is shine. To find creative avenues of self expression that are intimately tied to individuation. Leo is here to cultivate self confidence. For Leo, personal style can be a sacred embodiment of who Leo is at core, a way to discover their personal myth. Leo is connected to the heart center, but when they are out of balance, feeling not enough, or acting from the shadow side of the sign, insecurity can arise, and come out as shaky self worth, expressed as competitiveness, arrogance or attention seeking. Leo’s task is to learn self trust, and to realize that in generously sharing their gifts of creativity, self expression and inspired leadership, they come into their own in a powerful and grounded way. For the rest of this year, Leos born late July through early August will be seeing a lot of powerful changes in their lives. Some of these changes will be unexpected, but in retrospect, may be just the medicine required to move you into your next chapter.

Lunations and Ingresses July 2020 (all times Pacific)

July 1st Saturn RX into Capricorn 4:27 pm

July 4th Full Moon 13 Capricorn 38’: 9:44 pm Penumbral Eclipse: 9:32 pm

July 12th Mercury stations direct: 5 Cancer 30’ D 1:26 am

July 20th New Moon 28 Cancer 27’

July 22nd Sun into Leo 1:37 am

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