Summer 2008

This Summer begins with the Summer Solstice and the Sun’s entrance into the Cardinal Water Sign of Cancer on June 19th – 20th. At the time of the Summer Solstice, there are two planets in Fire Signs, three planets in Earth Signs, two planets in Air Signs and three planets in Water Signs. There are four planets in Cardinal Signs, two planets in Fixed Signs and four planets in Mutable Signs. There are four planets in Positive Signs and six planets in Negative Signs.

This Summer starts with an ‘all or nothing’ disposition, an intensity when nothing is likely done in half measure. Although we are looking for summer fun times, we may also come to realize that the landscape has changed. The easygoing ‘lazy, hazy days of summer’ may be a past memory, hard to recapture under today’s backdrop. While we might find these times challenging, we could also use this period akin to the grain of sand within the oyster — irritating, aggravating but also the means to create the pearl.

Although our financial situation might seem confused, and even prone to distortions and illusions, the challenges of these times allow us to review our lives, consider how we can best instill quality into our living and ask us to be creative working smarter rather than harder and open to unexpected situations, alternatives and options that we might not have taken into account during so-called easier times. The complacency of discontent may be over for many of us as we are forced to take the bull by the horns, accept accountability for our actions and be far more discerning regarding our choices.

A keynote of this Summer period is Pluto retrograding back through Sagittarius, having briefly transited Capricorn, a transit that will begin a multi-year sojourn at the end of this November until the end of 2024.

A major theme of Pluto transiting Capricorn is and will be the question of whether ‘building upon sand or building upon rock’. Anything that cannot withstand the shifting tides and extreme onslaughts may be washed away. The key question for each of us will be the ability to get to our core, to draw upon our essence and to live our lives in soul-full manner. The shallow, the superficial, the extraneous will no longer support us or comfort us. We have to focus on the fundamentals of our lives and emphasize the quality rather than the quantity in our living.

We have already witnessed indications of the Pluto Capricorn transit. Like Chicken Little, this Pluto Capricorn transit that occurred from the end of this January through mid-June has seemed like the sky was falling. Whether financial restrictions through soaring energy and food costs, or atmospheric paroxysms with bizarre and aberrant weather patterns and devastating cyclonic storms, or geophysical phenomena with explosive volcanic and profound earthquake activity, or health issues and a general malaise feeling that things are just not right but rather heading in the wrong direction; all of us may have felt hard-pressed during these recent times. As that great New York Yankees philosopher Yogi Berra once memorialized in words: ‘It ain’t over ‘til it’s over’.

While we have a brief respite from Pluto going through Capricorn this summer with Pluto going back through the latter part of Sagittarius, we have to recognize, even appreciate, that the initial indications of Pluto’s transit going through Capricorn reaffirms the beginning lyrics of a Carpenters’ 1970 song: “We’ve only just begun…”

This Summer allows us to take a very serious look at our lives. Like the Native peoples’ concept of shapeshifting, we are in a major process of TRANSFORMATION. We have the opportunity, often times experienced as a challenge, to consider how we can focus on the essence, the integral substance of our lives.

The Summer starts with Pluto opposed both the Sun and Venus. Our sense of self, our relationships, our family matters and our dependence on past experience with the assumption that the ‘tried and true’ is productive or even effective are all up for question. We may not like the process, but the more we can keep in mind the grain of sand within the oyster, the better able we can understand that forces are operating that bring us to a new day. First the irritations and the aggravations, and then the pearl.

The Summer begins with a Grand Cross by Sign in the Mutable Signs with Mercury in Gemini, Saturn in Virgo, Pluto in Sagittarius and Uranus in Pisces. We might all feel as if we have attention deficit disorder going from one thing to another to another. But such frenetic activity could also prove a wonderful thing, for it can allow us to explore possibilities, investigate options and may also move us increasingly into a co-creative stance rather than the old ingrained and conditioned mindset of controlling situations and making things happen. It can also keep us from being stuck, unhinging us and forcing us to be more ‘in the moment’.

There is a saying that ‘if you want to make God laugh, tell God your plans.’

We might discover the truth to this statement, as unexpected situations arise that disrupt our schedule and throw monkeywrenches into the spokes of our plans. Through the volatility of these times, we may be forced to ‘let go’ and become more observant of the shifting tides and the extreme caroming that is likely to be operating.

Things may not be as they seem, but such a reality provides us the opportunity of attuning our awareness and being open to all possibilities. We are certainly determined, forceful and looking to find avenues for our creative self-expression and venues for active recreation [re-creation]. What we have to avoid is leaping into situations with passionate commitment without having considered the conditions or the likely consequences of our actions. If we do not evaluate our steps or our jumps as we go along, we might discover that we are racing towards or leaping into intended destinations that turn out to be precipices and nasty falls.

The desire for transformation, change, a need to find real purpose for ourselves are great intentions but without full and repeated consideration of what we are doing and where we are going we could wind up affirming the old saying: ‘the pathway to hell is paved with good intentions’.

If we are clear about our motivations, passionate about our goals and devise an expeditious strategy to achieve results, all the while willing to adjust and adapt as we go along; then this Summer allows us to virtually move mountains.

The Mars Pluto trine that begins Summer becomes exact on the 30th of June giving us the strength, power and reserve to make the changes necessary to bring us closer to what we perceive to be the quality of our lives. For some, this energy could be used in merely getting off the track, having a good time and using the energies as a healthy respite from the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune. Why go there if we can broaden the approach and see this summer as a threshold crossing into making determined shifts in the ways we are doing our living?

Increasingly we may realize that we do not have to do it all, since the universe is likely to step in with unexpected situations arising. We do have to be determined to release elements of our past that are no longer functional or productive. We may have to let go of certain situations in order to provide space for new possibilities to come forth.

Early July could be a little testy. Mars exits Leo to enter Virgo on the 1st, and we might find ourselves demanding standards of others while feeling insecure about ourselves. We may feel like we have been punched in the gut as we are buffeted by challenging events and unexpected situations. Things we thought resolved might rear their ugly head and demand that we look again at where we have been and what we have done. Everyone may feel a little on edge during this July period. On the one hand, we might see the Promised Land before us, but on the other hand we may not have a clue as to how to get there. During these times, it is essential that we not fall into a victim mode, cursing our circumstances and refusing accountability for how we got where we are.

Communications can be off, and we might refuse to face facts, preferring instead to buy into wish fulfillment, the image rather than considering the substance. Computer glitches, travel problems and the potential for accidents are strong liabilities during the early part of July. We all need to catch our breath, count to ten and not make assumptions based upon first impressions. While the energy may be ratcheted up severalfold, it is important that we keep our cool and maintain a clearheaded approach to things that are insistent upon gaining our attention.

The first half of July may provide a tug of war between our professional responsibilities and personal interests and the needs of family members and living environment issues. A tendency towards excess is likely. Especially around the 5th when Mercury squares Uranus we have to be careful with our driving, traveling, communications and computer problems. Slowing down during the first half of July would seem necessary to prevent rash actions and miscalculations. Let’s keep in mind cyclical nature whereby the greater the wave, the greater the trough. ‘Moderation in all things’ would be wise to keep mantram-like in our minds.

Although July can start off on a rocky road, the second half of the month seems especially pleasant and a great time for us to get off the track, get away or enjoy the recreational activities of our local environs. We are feeling more on top of things during the second half of July, far less susceptible to the vagaries of these changing times. We can take a more proactive approach during this second half of July and feel less reactive to events and circumstances that may be beyond our control.

Towards the end of July, we have a Stellium of three or more planets in the Fixed Fire Sign of Leo with Venus on the 12th, the Sun on the 22nd and Mercury on the 26th entering this regal and pleasure-seeking Sign. The second half of July is a good time for fun events, partying and enjoying warm weather activities. We are likely to feel more creative and far more expressive of our own personal interests.

August continues with the vacation feeling of having a good time. We do have to keep a heads-up around the 6th of August for on the 6th and influencing that week we have two difficult planetary configurations: Mars opposed Uranus and Mercury opposed Neptune. Champing at the bit, we could experience a tendency to leap before we look. The potential for accidents and assaults can be strong, as the energy is ratcheted up severalfold with an unexpected thrust of force and a lack of clarity that can create confused situations. It would be wise to take everything now with a grain of salt, not rush to judgment and avoid hasty actions or knee-jerk decisions.

After a return to calmer, gentler energies, we may have to pick up the pieces around the 13th and 15th. Reunions and reconnections may stir up past memories that we would have preferred to be forgotten. A weightiness and seriousness of disposition could set in as we start critiquing life with a critical eye and possibly even a negative attitude.

On the 6th of August, Venus enters Virgo joining Saturn, followed by Mercury entering its own Sign of Virgo on the 10th, at which time we have a Stellium of three or more planets in the Mutable Earth Sign. Our discernment may be stronger. Although this month is often one when we engage in vacations, this year due to energy and food costs and other accelerating costs of living we may decide on doing ‘staycations’, staying around our home environs rather than vacations going away and getting off the track of our normal circumstances. In so doing, a seriousness of thought and anxiety over the future based upon present conditions could set in. We are looking at the details, at the specifics of our lives and no single factor is exempt from our scrutiny. We do need to avoid self-judgment or setting the bar so high to unattainable standards. Criticism, even to the point of hyper-criticism can be en vogue. We might also have a tendency towards tunnel vision, putting on blinders and seeing only what seems evident to us and negating the possibilities of the future and the prospects unfolding due to the impelling factors of change.

Explosive times during this month of August could occur around the 6th, the weekend of the 17th and the weekend of the 23rd. The end of August could have us licking our wounds or continuing the clean-out of our lives.

Yet, the latter part of August also sees a shift from a powerpack in Virgo into a Stellium in Libra with Mars entering Libra on the 19th, Mercury entering Libra on the 28th and Venus entering its own Sign of Libra on the 30th. Although our concerns about our daily existence and how we are likely to make it under the financial strains of these times might still be vexing us, we are also taking the time to enjoy the company of others. Hopefully, we are not engaging in a ‘misery loves company’ scenario, carping and criticizing about the way the world has turned. Rather it would be wise to use the increased interest in others for pleasant social occasions, supportive encouragement and for brainstorming sessions as to how best to stretch our resources and be more productive by cutting back on our expenses.

As we come into September, we might feel as though we had just gone through a lost Summer. Even if we did get away, we could have the sense that we could not truly escape the issues and problems of the world that are impacting our personal lives. Even if getting back on the track seems as though we have had no real break, the sense of it being darkest before the dawn could also arise.

A Sun Saturn conjunction on the 3rd may have us feeling like the wind has been knocked out of our sails, that as we return to the normal activities of our lives with the beginning of the school year we have not truly had the opportunity of re-creation.

With the Sun trine Jupiter on the 4th, we might feel far more energized, confident and optimistic that no matter how bad situations might seem around us, we shall prevail. This sense of exuberance and enthusiasm can be reinforced around the 7th, 8th and 9th of September as Mars, then Mercury, then Venus all square Jupiter and both Jupiter and Pluto turn direct on the 8th. Advancing our interests and making great strides are all possible during this end of Summer.

We are looking to make transformations to our lives, even if we don’t know how we might do so. Even if we try to hold on to the past, we may sense the irrelevant and outmoded slipping through our fingers, like the sand draining in an hourglass. There may be times when we do not appreciate the stresses and strains that we are being put through. If we can keep in mind the idea of labor pains during any birthing process, then we can come to realize that the changes in our lives and the changes happening around us truly provide the means of shapeshifting, transforming and moving into a new way of being.

Like the volatility in life these days, we may experience the summer in the same way. Our lives may be very much the way Mark Twain is attributed to have said about the weather in New England. If we don’t like what’s going on now, let’s just wait a few minutes.

The Summer may have its wild swings — ups and downs, merry go-rounds. One thing is certain. Life in 2008, and life during this Summer, is not the way it has been. Even if we would prefer the complacency of discontent, things are being ratcheted and our life experiences are far more varied with situations coming up fast and furious.

Let’s all take a deep breath, embrace the times enjoyment and realize during the stressful moments the old wise saying that we never get more than we can handle.

Summer 2008… no longer lazy, maybe hazy days of summer…