cancerEmerging from Eclipse season, we head right into Summer Solstice (June 20), the first exact square between Uranus and Pluto (June 24), the Jupiter-Neptune square (June 25), Saturn and Venus stationing direct (June 25 and 27), and then an explosive Full Moon (July 3). We’re in the throes of a densely packed period of planetary activity — what Eric Francis calls the “Solstice Cluster” — signaling a disruption, an acceleration, and an initiation into new realities.

Events may be unfolding more quickly than imagined or planned for. 2012 is, in a sense, just getting started, momentum is building, and there’s no turning back. Barbara Hand Clow says, “Many people are already noticing that they feel good when they are riding the new energy wave, yet they feel chaotic and terrible when they resist the changes and cling to the old ways.” (Welcome to the Truth)

What seeds did you plant, what intentions did you set at Spring Equinox on March 20? Because Mars — planet of action — was Retrograde at the Equinox, momentum this Spring was slower than usual. Mars turned Direct (forward) on April 13, but we are just now coming out of the Retrograde shadow, meaning that Mars is (finally) getting back up to speed, and so are we. Much has been brewing underground and behind the scenes that now, in this sudden burst of planetary activity, is ready to blossom in the light.

The chart of the Summer Solstice (Winter in the Southern Hemisphere) provides a blueprint for the coming season, describing our cosmic assignment and suggesting how we can best ride the tidal wave of change.

waxing crescent moonAt the Solstice (4:09 pm PDT), the Sun moves into watery, deep-feeling Cancer — a sign that longs for security, safety and the comfort of “home.” Cancer is ruled by the Moon, the presiding deity of the season, who, at this particular Solstice, is also in Cancer. The Solstice falls just a day after the New Moon, supporting new beginnings.

Both the Sun and Moon oppose Pluto in Capricorn and square Uranus in Aries, so we’re really FEELING this year’s astro-headline, the Uranus-Pluto square. Feelings may include discomfort, insecurity, anxiety and fear, as well as excitement and anticipation, as we are all, in some sense, “leaving home” and heading into unknown territory.

Uranus in Aries signifies humanity awakening to its power, while Pluto in Capricorn reflects the collapse of the patriarchal paradigm. The square between the two asks, Will we reach a critical mass of awakening before destroying ourselves and taking numerous life forms if not the whole freakin’ planet with us?

Cancer is the Great Mother, the giver, nurturer and protector of all life, and the strength of this sign at the time of the first exact Uranus-Pluto square speaks to the reemergence of the feminine, which, I’m not the first to suggest, is key to this mass awakening. The role of the masculine is to ask, “What’s possible?” while the feminine asks, “What’s valuable and useful?” In the corporatocracy’s mad rush to expand empire, extract resources and accelerate technological “progress,” questions about impact on human and non-human life forms, about quality of life in terms of people’s feelings and connections and overall happiness, about our responsibility to future generations, have been entirely absent.

venusUntil now. Contributing to the rising tide of feminine energy, Venus is also highly potent at the Solstice, exactly sextile Uranus and quincunx Pluto, and in a tight square with Chiron. Venus has recently reappeared as a Morning Star, and her heliacal rise signifies the start of a new cycle, the rebirth of the Goddess. Her previous cycle, which started in October 2010, was in Scorpio — the feminine on an Underworld journey — a time of deep healing and inner transformation. Now the Gemini Goddess emerges, and the feminine has something to say.

Most appropriately, coinciding with Venus’s rebirth in Gemini was the convergence of thousands of women at the Michigan state capitol for a reading of The Vagina Monologues, in support of Rep. Lisa Brown, banned from speaking in the House for using the v-word. The Vagina Monologues is a brilliant expression of the transformational, healing power of women speaking the truth of their own experience. Venus conjunct the South Node in Gemini says, Let’s dissolve the old oppositional duality and instead start speaking the truth of our hearts.

Identifying our personal truth can be challenging in an environment of information overload and endless mental distractions — the unconscious expression of Jupiter in Gemini. Jupiter’s square to Neptune reflects the victimization and powerlessness that result when we surrender mental sovereignty and get lost in the deluge of meaningless data. The higher potential of the Jupiter-Neptune square is to expand our vision, dream a new future, and improve communication with the invisible realm. This requires quieting the mind to create space for your own intuitive intelligence.

– Emily Trinkaus