July 2018

We come into the month of July with a sense that no matter how dire circumstances may be that we are truly protected. We may wish to take some quiet time for ourselves, withdraw into our own personal world and feel the comforts of home and family.

News may be upsetting and might seem to threaten our security, but it would be essential that we not take things at face value or for granted. The more we reflect on what is going on, cut to the core and consider the substance of any situation, the less likely we are to be thrown for a loop by unexpected incidents.

Not that we have to start the month in either a paranoid mood or withdrawal mode. No, we are likely to participate in gatherings both for the social conviviality that summer affords and also to be privy to other people’s interpretation of what is really going on.

The early part of July has a Water Grand Trine with the Sun transiting Cancer, Jupiter in Scorpio and Neptune in Pisces. Our feeling nature can be heightened, and we might find that our intuitive sense proves more spot on than what empirical evidence would suggest. No jumping to conclusions as we start this month. It would be far better for us to reflect and contemplate, as if we were presented with a complex puzzle that we need to sort out and figure out in its right framework. And, in truth, we are. Reality is not as it has been and today’s goings on seem far weirder and more bizarre and increased surreal than anything Lewis Carroll concocted or Salvador Dali painted.
Welcome to our world!

Our ‘feel good’ sentiment can be enhanced on the 5th of July with the Sun trine Jupiter. We may be optimistic, highly confident and exuberant but with a liability to the irrational. For the 5th also has Mercury opposed Mars. We could easily jump to conclusions with a belief that the way we see things and the way we want things to be are truly the way they are. We have to be wary that we don’t leap before we look and even if we do look before we leap our look may be but a cursory glance without truly seeing what is right in front of us. It would be wise for us to curb our enthusiasm and take the time to both delve deeply into a matter before we engage and to feel it out before we launch forward.

During these volatile times, we can be so highly self-protective to the point of what Jimi Hendrix expressed in his song Room Full of Mirrors:

“I used to live in a room full of mirrors
All I could see was me…”

We can get so caught up in how the world is impacting us and without having an objective, detached viewpoint but rather the subjective perspective of our ego that we don’t truly comprehend the bigger picture, how the minutiae is but a fragment of the totality and the immediate but a tiny fraction of the eternal.

The first week of July could be highly pleasant if we would step away, even for just brief momentary interludes, from the hum-drum routine of our daily lives and engage our spiritual nature and the true beauty and blessings of doing life.

The Water Grand Trine triggered by the Sun’s transit of Cancer is highlighted with the Sun trine Jupiter on the 5th and again on the 8th as the Sun trines Neptune.

If we choose to and not be distracted by needless diversions or putting on our own blinders, then this first week of July can truly enhance our deeper being and comfort us on a soul level. We can refresh and recharge ourselves in this first week of July in the quiet and sanctity of true being.

One of the blessings in my life, a truly transcendental experience for me, occurred when I was twenty traveling through Europe during the revolutionary summer of 1968. I was about to enter my senior year in college and facing the draft in the US with the possibility that I would be drafted for the US war in southeast Asia. That summer, the student-worker revolution was occurring in France, the assassination of Robert Kennedy had happened and the violent protests at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago were taking place, and I traveled into eastern Europe. Leaving Austria, I decided to drive to Czechoslovakia, a nation that had defied the Soviet Union and its Warsaw Pact nations with its experiment in independent socialism. I arrived shortly after the Conference in Bratislava where the Warsaw Pact nations decided not to invade Czechoslovakia. The feeling of freedom, the sense of a small nation standing up to a group of nations and winning a major moral victory were intoxicating and made me more appreciative of the freedoms that I had and my countrymen had at that time in the US. While in Prague, I met a Czech soldier who indicated that his feelings and his countrymen’s feelings were like a horse with the blinders removed now able to see all around. Their victory was short-lived, for by the time I reached Paris in August the Warsaw Pact nations had invaded, the workers in France abandoned the students and France returned to its normalcy albeit without DeGaulle, and the US campaigns of Robert Kennedy and ‘clean for Gene’ McCarthy were defeated by the establishment politician candidacy of Vice-President Hubert Humphrey.

There are times, and this first week of July could be one of those times, when we can pull back the veil of Maya, the world of illusion that we live in, and step into a different dimension, a realm of love, peace, collaboration and beauty. Such times provide necessary transfusions to us of what could be — the sense of peace, love and the unfolding of beauty.

From the comfort, solace and nurture of this first week of July with the Water Grand Trine, which continues its influence until the Sun exits Cancer on the 22nd of July, we enter the second week of July ready to make manifest our goals and our dreams. We just have to be wary that we are not carried away by our intentions but rather focus our intentions in a best practices approach, taking things step-by-step but also willing to adapt and change as conditions warrant.

The second week of July has Venus moving into Virgo on the 9th creating an Earth Grand Trine with Venus in Virgo trine Uranus in Taurus on the 11th and Venus trine Saturn in Capricorn on the 14th. Our ability to make things happen by being open to new directions, new methodologies and new connections combined with our experience, expertise and our developed talents can be impressive and successful.

We need to watch for irrational exuberance for Mercury squares Jupiter on the 9th. We may be in an expansive mood. People could be grandstanding, talking the talk but without the necessary resources to back up their claims or presentations. We can only get into trouble if we take things for granted and accept untested assumptions.

Jupiter turns direct on the 10th of July, ending its four-month retrograde cycle and opening the door to generosity and excess. Let’s watch our finances, avoid needless expenditures and keep a focus on our budget.

Apart from this liability to excess, this second week of July is highlighted by the Cancer New Moon, a Solar Eclipse, on the 12th. This New Moon is in the third decanate of Cancer with the Pisces influence. The Sun Moon conjunction is opposed to Pluto but also triggers the Water Grand Trine with the Cancer New Moon trine Jupiter in Scorpio and trine Neptune in Pisces. We also have the Earth Grand Trine with Venus in Virgo trine Saturn in Capricorn and trine Uranus in Taurus.

With the two feminine, negative, receptive Elements of Water and Earth in play, this Solar Eclipse and New Moon can raise questions regarding our life purpose. This period and its continuing influence over the next four weeks may be a period of intense inventory taking, questioning many aspects of our lives, with fear and dread but also the recognition of certain essential eliminations, all in the process of transformation.

During these drastically changing times, people have become anxious, fearful with wild swings between extreme anger and downright despair. Expressions sometimes reflect hate as people feel their world crumbling down around them and make judgment based upon opinion and belief. And yet what we see and what we hear may not be the true nature of what is really going on. What if we could use the volatility of these times as a dynamic catalyst to rid ourselves of the dross in our life and concentrate instead on the pearls of our living? What if we looked at the half glass of water as half full instead of half empty?

One of my favorite stories and an especially apt story for these times and one I have referred to more than once is the Taoist story of We’ll See:

There is a Taoist story of an old farmer who had worked his crops for many years. One day his horse ran away. Upon hearing the news, his neighbors came to visit.
“Such bad luck,” they said sympathetically.
“We’ll see,” the farmer replied.
The next morning the horse returned, bringing with it three other wild horses.
“How wonderful,” the neighbors exclaimed.
“We’ll see,” replied the old man.
The following day, his son tried to ride one of the untamed horses, was thrown, and broke his leg. The neighbors again came to offer their sympathy on his misfortune.
“We’ll see,” answered the farmer.
The day after, military officials came to the village to draft young men into the army. Seeing that the son’s leg was broken, they passed him by. The neighbors congratulated the farmer on how well things had turned out.
“We’ll see,” said the farmer.

My first spiritual book, apart from the Christian Bible in my growing up, that I came across when I started consciously on my earth journey was the book by Paramahansa Yogananda Autobiography of a Yogi. One statement in that book has always stuck with me and one that I have used mantram-like during the drastic twists and turns in my life journey and especially during the depths of valleys I have encountered is the sage advice given Yogananda by his guru Sri Yukteswar: ‘Look fear in the face and it will cease to trouble you’.

Can we? Shall we?

The 14th of July is the third factor to the Earth Grand Trine triggered by Venus in Virgo as Venus trines Saturn. Whatever new directions, new trajectories and new connections may have arisen serendipitously around the 11th with the Venus trine Uranus can be solidified now. Blending the new and old might create a solid means to develop our goals and realize our dreams. This week can be a time of interesting, serendipitous contacts and a time of reconnecting with the essential elements of our past. Unexpected scenarios could take greater form now.

The 22nd of July has the Sun exiting Cancer to enter Leo and in so doing brings closure to the Water Grand Trine. Venus sextiles Jupiter at this time. Our focus may be more on having a good time, enjoying the summer sun but with the liability of no expense spared. We can engage re-creational activities and enjoyable pursuits, but it would be wise for us to avoid extravagance.

Indulgence and excess are possible. Let’s not allow our appetites to determine our decisions, for we could easily desire more and ever more. Simplifying our lives provides both a broader palette from which to draw and also releases the ties that bind.

There are times when a high maintenance lifestyle can be more a warder than an en-lightener.

The last week of July may prove dicey and test our ability to navigate the currents. The 24th has Venus opposed Neptune, followed by the Sun square Uranus on the 25th, Mercury turning retrograde on the 26th and crescendoing with the Aquarius Full Moon and a Lunar Eclipse on the 27th with the Sun opposed Mars and Venus trine Pluto.

With Venus opposed Neptune we could become disillusioned or deceive ourselves regarding someone in whom we had placed blind faith. Although we might have been attentive to how best to present ourselves, we may discover that appearance was not truly matched by the substance. Something can prove lacking but we have to be wary of being too hard on ourselves or beating up on ourselves for a failure to see things clearly when the evidence was not available to us previously.

The entry of the Sun into Leo sets up a Fixed Sign T-Square with the Sun square Uranus on the 25th and the Sun opposed Mars on the 27th at the time of the Full Moon. Even if we wish to forge ahead with our creative projects or want to be on center stage, we might experience delays and frustrations. Not everyone is likely to be on the same page. We could also experience unexpected situations arising that put monkey wrenches in the spokes of our wheel.

With Mercury turning retrograde, with its enforcing Murphy’s Law of ‘whatever can go wrong could go wrong’, it would be wise for us to anticipate delays and frustrations to our plans. We could experience something akin to a spinoff of what 18th-century poet Robert Burns warned us: “the best-laid plans of mice and men oft go astray”.

This end of July would be a time to slow things down or feel the effects of things slowing down with various bumps in the road. Instead of putting on blinders and being an island unto ourselves, it would be suggested that we draw upon the wise and detached counsel of a trusted friend who can help us see our situation from a more objective perspective. There are times when we are far too close to something and have our ego so attached to what we are doing that it is hard to see our situation clearly. Instead of going around in circles or repeatedly banging our head against the wall, someone else may prove to be the beacon that shines the light on our cloudy scenario.

The Mercury retrograde begins on the 26th of July and continues on into the 19th of August with the Mercury retrograde ‘shadow’ continuing until the 1st of September. During this retrograde cycle, it would be wise to postpone any important decisions or significant purchases. Not being a ‘bar the door and shutter the windows’ type of person, I also suggest that if we do need to make some imposing commitment during this time, that we evaluate and continually re-evaluate our situation to avoid any major screw-ups. And it is essential that we try and avoid our ego determining our choices, for our ego personality can often lead us down treacherous, winding paths that land us up only at a dead end.

July 2018… Hot Fun in the Summertime…