Summer 2009

 This Summer begins with the Summer Solstice and the Sun’s entrance into the Cardinal Water Sign of Cancer on June 20th-21st.   At the time of the Summer Solstice, there are no planets in Fire Signs, four planets in Earth Signs, four planets in Air Signs and two planets in Water Signs.  There are two planets in Cardinal Signs, four planets in Fixed Signs and four planets in Mutable Signs.  There are four planets in Positive Signs and six planets in Negative Signs.  By Sign, there is a Grand Trine in the Earth Element and a Mutable Sign T-Square.

The Summer Solstice represents the longest day of daylight in the Northern Hemisphere and officially kicks off the Summer Season.  While Summer is often associated with down time, getting off the track of our routine and taking time for relaxation and re-creation, this Summer can have us balancing our personal needs with the demands of our daily responsibilities.  While there is not a great deal of Fire to impassion us and give us the drive and verve to aggressively push our interests forward, the Grand Trine in Earth does allow for a time of manifesting and providing a best practices approach to the things we both want and need to do.  What we may find is that we are mulling situations over, dealing with situations that have already been initiated or are in need of completion, more so than new beginnings and radical departures into unknown territories.  To some degree, we might feel somewhat skittish of being too bold, assuming bold action could prove reckless during these times of intense volatility and vagaries we can hardly be fully aware of.

There is a major energy shift as we come into the mid-Autumn period, and it would be suggested that we use this Summer to get our act together — to focus on a good health regimen, bump up our immune system, organize our lives, budget our time and our finances; all as a conditioning, as a preparation for the changing times ahead.

That great baseball player and sage Yogi Berra is known to have philosophized: ‘It ain’t over ’til it’s over.’  No wiser words have ever been said.  And although various commentators and spinmeisters encourage us consumers that the worst is over, I would remind you of Berra’s words.  And, thus, the suggestion to use this Summer both to catch our breath, enjoy ourselves but also to take a cold, hard look at our lives, and take the time to make necessary adjustments and failsafe back-ups in order to adapt further to shifting tides.

The early part of the Summer has the influence of the New Moon on the 22nd, a Cancer New Moon opposed to Pluto.  The transformation we have witnessed in our institutions, with the eliminations of some organizations, the holding up and ‘revitalization’ of some old outfits and the springing up of new entities could continue through the Summer and beyond.  While one would hope that the dramatic changes occurring in society’s landscape prove successful, the question posed by Pluto entering Capricorn last year resounds: have we built, and are we building, upon rock or upon sand?

In our own lives, it would be wise for us to use the summer months to evaluate and reconsider where we are going, what we are doing, and how we are proceeding, all with that question as the driving force: are we building upon rock or building upon sand?

The end of June is a good time to sort through the different ingredients of our lives.  An early Summer cleanout might be called for and in the process we may find that we have to deal with outstanding matters, and even situations we assumed had been resolved.  Past issues and unresolved matters may need to be cleared before we can move ahead with the new plans and new intentions that we conceived and even began over the past few months.  Let’s be careful not to get caught into an old mindset, putting on blinders and seeing things from a perspective of past reality.  We are no longer there.

We have entered a brave new world that demands a new perspective, one whereby we maintain awareness and mindfulness and recognize the potential of things changing dramatically and instantly, sometimes without notice and sometimes without many tools at the ready to deal with shapeshifting reality.  We are stepping onto the magical, mystery tour which at times can seem exhilarating, other times may seem like falling down the rabbit’s hole in Alice’s Wonderland into a bizarre and surrealistic landscape.  Either way, we might have to suspend our old beliefs, our previous viewpoints and let go of our judgments and opinions.  Again, we need to keep in mind Berra’s words: ‘it ain’t over ’til it’s over.’

During the volatility of these times, we are likely to feel exuberant to the point of irrationality and then flip into a sense of apocalyptic despair beyond the true reality of the circumstances.  We have already been there, as witnessed at the end of ’08 and the early part of ’09 when various hand-wringers warned of the end of the world with the outcome moving towards a deep and dark period of Depression.  The apocalypse was averted, followed by a Springtime of grand illusions and the assumption that the worst was behind us, even as figures and statistics confirmed Berra’s words.  The bad, perhaps the baddest, was not totally behind us.

The June lunation on the 22nd feels the influence of the Venus Mars conjunction and their trine to Saturn.  We are also feeling the influence of the Sun Moon conjunction opposed to Pluto with which we begin this Summer Season.  We have the ability of both structuring our garden and solidifying our plans and our connections, while we are pulling weeds and getting rid of those things that are no longer necessary in our lives.

On the 26th of June, Mercury squares Saturn.  We could feel on overwhelm, either with a sense of having too much on our plate or a willingness to gloss over details in order to cover all the bases.  Neither approach would be appropriate and it would be wise to take time, think things through and do what we can do with the recognition that we might not be able to get it all done in one shot.

July could see some interesting news coming forward.  The first week of July can create major problems regarding computer glitches, electrical blackouts and travel problems with talk becoming heated with veiled, or even blatant, threats.  For many corporations and government institutions, the start of July begins a new fiscal year.  Reports could now come forward that depict the situation of the previous fiscal year that ended June 30th and the possible ramifications for the fiscal year ahead. 

The early part of July demands that we keep in mind Rudyard Kipling’s ‘If’ and accept a grown-up approach to living during these paradigm-shifting times.  In so doing, it would be wise for us to read between the lines, act with due diligence, maintain the key characteristics of these times – AWARENESS & MINDFULNESS, and not react with any knee-jerk movements but rather recognize the metronome-like movements between extremes endemic to these times.

July 1st has a bevy of energies with Uranus turning retrograde, Venus square Jupiter, Mercury trine both Neptune and Jupiter, and Mercury square Uranus.  While we might have some great ideas and plans for get-togethers, social occasions and future goals, getting from here to there could be challenging.  Traveling could prove difficult, especially if people are planning an early get-away for the long holiday weekend coming up.  Computer problems could be severe.  The 1st and 2nd could be somewhat confusing, although we may push forward with a feeling that there’s nothing to get in our way or to stop us from moving ahead.  The 2nd has Venus square Jupiter and Venus sextile Uranus.

On a regular basis, we are likely to be reminded to think outside the box, work with peripheral vision and not buy into assumptions without taking into account all the conditions and still maintaining an openness to the possibility of unexpected factors entering the picture without warning.

Conversations can be sharp, to the point but even with a tone of belligerence, as Mercury opposes Pluto on the 4th.

On the 6th and 7th, we have to be careful regarding accidents and explosive situations.  This is a time to tread lightly and keep our eyes wide open.  Mars squares both Neptune and Jupiter on the 6th and sextiles Uranus on the 7th at the time of the Capricorn Full Moon.         

Just as the first few days of July could prove challenging, mid-July seems to go to the other extreme of enthusiasm and exuberance.  Once again, we may feel that we have averted catastrophe and have righted the lurching movements threatening to capsize us.  We may then see the early July period as but a blip on the screen, a hiccup and nothing more, as we proceed into July committed to our Summer fun, vacation time and embracing wish fulfillment, with the sense that if we believe everything to be all right, it will be so.

Jupiter conjuncts Neptune on the 10th and the upbeat attitude at the end of May can be back in vogue, with us buying into the appearances or hoped-for illusions.  The potential of irrational exuberance could be strong now, even with a feeling that we are taking into account all the factors and doing a best practices approach, thanks to the Sun sextile Saturn on the 9th, followed by Mercury sextile Saturn on the 11th.

Mid-July can be especially pleasant, a time for family get-togethers, vacations or staycations, whereby we are focused primarily on enjoying ourselves.  We may want to incorporate various changes, use this mid-July period as a time of testing the waters of new interests and even new behavioral patterns.  This impetus for change can come with revelatory insights, some ah-has and prodding to stretch beyond our normal parameters.  Mercury trines Uranus on the 16th, followed by the Sun trine Uranus on the 18th.

We do need to watch that we don’t go overboard on buying into the ‘good times’ or the media-induced hype of ‘happy days are here again’.  For the latter part of July could allow for extravagance and indulgence.  The two good guys of the zodiac, Venus and Jupiter, do a lovely dance on the 27th, reinforced the following day by Venus trine Neptune.  All’s right in our world, or the world we wish to perceive.  A sense of excess could be instilled now and contributed to by Venus square Uranus on the 28th and the Mercury oppositions to Jupiter and Neptune in the 30th and 31st respectively.

Although Summer is a time for us to get off the track, recharge our batteries and embrace fun times, August could have us taking on a more serious tone, focusing on our work and our responsibilities.  In many countries, August is the height of holiday time, with many areas of commerce virtually closing down or grinding to almost halt status as people go off to vacation.  This August might be somewhat different.  There seems to be a need to deal with various tasks at hand.  We might take on a more serious attitude but in this attitude it would be wise for us to develop our program in precise detail, addressing our physical health, our financial situations and our plans of effectively and successfully adapting to radically changing conditions.

Every year it seems as though Autumn and our return to school or to work happens earlier and earlier.  While it used to be after Labor Day, our getting back on the track increasingly seems to occur towards the mid to latter part of August.  And this August continues this trend.  We may find that we are concentrating more on our routine and our responsibilities as we come further into August.  Consequently, for holiday and vacation periods, the optimum time this year would seem to be the mid-July period.  If we are going on holiday during August, it would be wise to line up some of our ducks regarding our routine prior to our leavetaking.

August 1st has Venus opposed Pluto, followed by Mercury trine Pluto on the 3rd  Relationships could be dicey but we could also have some good heart-to-heart talks that allow us to get to the core of any disturbing matter.

The 18th through the 21st of August could be difficult with unexpected situations upsetting our plans.  Mars squares Uranus on the 18th and we would need to be careful to avoid accidents or rash actions.  Mercury opposes Uranus on the 21st, and this day could have unexpected communications with possible misunderstandings, equipment problems and difficulties traveling.

The end of August could be explosive, especially around the 26th when Mercury squares Pluto and Mars opposes Pluto.  This is a time to count to ten, or twenty to be on the safe side, before acting or reacting to situations.  People could be belligerent, both in their words and in their actions, and it would be wise to keep a cool head and not engage any hotheads.

September seems to have us back on our track, dealing with a semblance of normalcy in the routine of our lives, but we also have Mercury turning retrograde on the 7th through the end of the Summer and turning direct at the end of September.  Communications can be off and relationship issues can come to the fore.  Any relationship issues now could be a prelude to the energies that will be pervasive over the next two plus years.  It would be wise to have our Autumn schedules planned and in place prior to Mercury turning retrograde and mid to latter part of August can be used to arrange our schedule and make our plans.

We end the Summer with a crescendo, unexpected situations unfolding and extremes operating in discussions, financial systems and weather patterns.  September 17th – 18th has some severe challenges which can be both exhausting and demanding that we stay on our toes and able to act decisively to things that come our way.

The best may be yet to come, but there do seem some significant hurdles and impediments along the way.  If indeed we do experience challenges, frustrations and disappointments during the Summer period, it would be wise to keep in mind the Taoist concept of duality whereby within the one polarity of yang energy is contained the apparent seed of its opposite polarity, the yin energy.  And within the yin energy is the apparent seed of its opposite, the yang energy, both of which are necessary to make up the Tao, the whole.  I know for myself that out of some of my greatest disappointments have come some of my greatest opportunities, opportunities that I could not foresee or even anticipate before going through the troughs of my life.

We, as individuals and as a society, are going through radical changes, shapeshifting through dramatic transformations.  Although the process may not always be comfortable, the changes can bring us to a far better place than we ever imagined for ourselves.

Life is good, and the journey ever exciting.  Enjoy the summertime, have fun and re-create your energies, with an increased appreciation of being adaptable and changing with the shifting tides of these times.

Summer…hot times in the summertime… 


While I do not believe in falling into despair and I recognize attitude to be a major component to the unfolding and outcome of conditions, I also recognize that I am expressing a concern regarding some of these summer months.  Hopefully, I am not expressing myself to the degree of Nouriel Roubini, professor of economics at my alma mater New York University Stern School of Business, who has sometimes been referred to as ‘Dr. Doom’.

At the same time, I cannot conceal my concern for some difficult periods as we come towards the end of the Summer and especially in the mid-Autumn period.  Areas of concern for me, and areas of concern I would suggest you keep aware of, are related to the following:

1.                    Financial stability with the potential of a significant downturn in financial markets with the realization that the housing market and banking system problems may have been the tip of an iceberg, with other problems regarding global financial matters becoming ever more evident in a domino-theory type scenario.  Could problems arise with increasing credit card defaults and commercial real estate?  Please know that historically September and October can be very difficult months for the financial markets.

2.                    A sharp decline in the value of US dollar. Already we have heard the BRIC nations [Brazil, Russia, India and China] raise the question of the reliability of the US dollar as the world’s reserve currency and their suggestion of a different reserve currency.  A shift away from the US dollar could further fuel devaluation of the US dollar.

3.                     Health issues.  The WHO has already declared the H1N1 influenza virus a pandemic, raising the alert level as I write from a phase 5 alert to a phase 6 alert level.  With people under stress from the changes occurring in our world at large and with the stress placed upon the immune system at the time of changing seasons, this Autumn period could see a spike up in concerns about influenza virus and it’s ability to metamorphize. It is essential that we develop a good health regimen, concentrate on our well-being and create programs to strengthen our immune system and a healthy attitude.

4.                    Geopolitical issues.  There is a significant shift in energy as we come into the mid-Autumn period, a shift that can put significant pressure on relationships — relationships between countries, relationships in personal interactions.  Toward the end of this year and over the next two years, we may see increased friction between countries with various pacts and trade agreements pitting some alliances against other alliances.  We could also see a step up in domestic violence, as people unable to adapt and change with shifting conditions, vent their frustrations and anger on those closer to home.

5.                    Baton Passing.  Like life itself, superpowers change.  The 19th Century belonged to the British, the 20th Century to the US.  I believe the 21st Century belongs to the Chinese. During the end of this Summer and into the Autumn, the baton passing may become increasingly evident.  It does not have to occur with stretching the muscles of one’s military might.  It can occur quietly, albeit swiftly, by means of economic muscle stretching.  The Chinese have been pursuing various trade agreements with different countries, have been buying up foreign companies of natural resources, and hold a significant percentage of the US national debt.  Recent economic crises have placed the Chinese in a potent bargaining position.

6.                    Although we have been going through a recent period of deflation, are we likely to see incipient signs of inflation as economies start to pick up with the help of governments’ stimulus plans?  With the printing of money, increasing the money supply, could the volatility of these times flip from a deflationary cycle into a hyperinflationary cycle?  As noted at the G20 summit in London in April, the German Chancellor was less enthusiastic than her colleagues of national leaders for stimulus package after stimulus package.  There is the wise saying that those who do not learn from history, are doomed to repeat it.  Prior to the ascent of Hitler and the Second World War, Germany experienced a period when printing money became non-stop and the mark virtually worthless.  Deflationary cycles were followed by inflationary cycles and the rest is history.  Will we learn from history?

7.                    Could another wave of foreclosures dampen the sense of the housing market having bottomed and in process of turning around?  To remember Berra’s words, the housing problem may not have been totally resolved and there could be further foreclosures and price decreases in some housing markets.

8.                    Unemployment figures.  While our society is going through a major transformation, the question needs to be raised as to whether there will be the same level of demand for labor as in times past.  If productivity is increasing, technology advancing and industries shifting, could these factors play to a lessened demand for labor?  If unemployment continues to go up, what are the ramifications for the unemployed unable to meet their financial obligations and service their debt load?

9.                    Post-consumer society.  What if some of the changes occurring happen to be changes on a fundamental structural level?  What if we are moving away from being a consumer society, where in the US 70% of the GDP is the consumer, and moving instead to a post-consumer society?  The implications would be strong for governmental agencies both in terms of revenue streams through taxation and in terms of the size of the economy.

10.                 Stimulus Packages.  With a contraction in the economy, governmental agencies [federal, state, county, municipal] may be forced to find additional funding.  And if the economy is slow to turn around, what other non-governmental agencies might seek federal assistance?  We might wonder whether more bailouts are in the works. 

As I indicated, I am NOT into doom and gloom, but I do believe that these times demand that we be AWARE and MINDFUL, look at circumstances and the various possibilities unfolding and not merely accept the spin or the consensus opinion of what appears to be going on.  Once we are aware of the backdrop, even if we cannot be fully cognizant of the implications of the twists and turns of life unfolding, then we can make our choices and determine the best for our lives no matter what the backdrop of the external realities are around us.