THE ALCHEMY OF EMOTIONAL EXPRESSION
June 2018 finds us in the ‘waiting room’ of the next eclipse season beginning in July. How we manage the waiting, the growing sense of anticipation or anxiety, the mounting tension… or is it excitement?….depends largely on how happy we are to let things fall into place. Or would we rather force them there, before discovering we’ve jammed yet another square peg into a round hole?! Mars in Aquarius conjunct the South Node through June and July reminds us detaching from our desires can be useful when progress is slow. It doesn’t mean we must abandon all hope and give up the ghost, but it can be helpful to turn down the heat on our expectations and demands when the universe has a different timetable to our own! Then we can relax despite the stress of waiting while the cosmic dance allows life to unfold in its own time and step.
That said, this Mars comes with a warning too: don’t be so detached as to lose touch with your passion, your fiery core. Remember what sets your heart aflame and continue to nurture that warm glow inside, even when externals aren’t looking so hot! Once the eclipse season is upon us our orientation may change quite significantly, with a focus on inner adjustments necessary for outer change to happen. In the meantime this coming month has a lot to say about relationships and raises some potentially thorny, but enlightening, issues about the role our emotions play in them.
June begins with an on-going Grand Trine in Water increasing sensitivities and heightening emotion. Be gentle, choose compassion over conflict and bear in mind the old adage that many are fighting great battles, most of them hidden. The first three days of this month may feel heavy with emotion if we don’t do something proactive about processing our feelings rather than wallowing in them. A Yod focused on Saturn reminds us responsibility for ourselves can’t be abdicated just because we’re not feeling so great. Learning to allow our emotions space whilst placing a boundary around them so we can keep on keeping on is a valuable lesson at times like this.
Come 3rd June sensitivities ease as the Grand Trine in Water and Yod dissolve, life moves on and Pluto in Capricorn begins to oppose Venus in Cancer until 8th June. This opposition highlights the power of love and the love of power, so can be used to enhance our relationships or exploit them! If you find yourself at odds with loved ones during this time, see it as an opportunity to explore the deeper dynamics of your relationship and learn something about yourself while you do. Whilst a concurrent square between the Sun and Neptune from 4th to 10th June may cause us to doubt ourselves just when we need to be firm and clear, it also invites us to take a different view on a situation which has felt stuck or stagnant for a while. Use this energy to be creative about your viewpoint and welcome uncertainty as a sign that a new perspective is forming.
A quarter moon in Pisces as the Sun conjuncts Mercury on 6th June reminds us that meaningful connections with other people don’t always have to be intense. Hanging out with friends, enjoying a few beers and watching the match can be as important as deep and meaningful discussions beneath the stars. We need a range of intensity in our relationships. This Moon allows for the beautiful alchemy of shared interests, happy moments and light-hearted banter which forges connections that stand the test of time when the going gets rough and we need deeper support from those we love.
Eris sextiles the Sun from 11th – 18th June providing some feisty energy if we have something to say or do that feels onerous or intimidating. Eris is intimidated by nothing and no one and wants us to feel the same! Her mighty heart and fearsome attitude combined with the Sun in Gemini’s gift of the gab can embolden us to reach out to others, step out of our comfort zone and dare to think new thoughts to see how they fit in our familiar world. If you’ve been wondering why something in your life isn’t working out how you’d hoped and no matter the efforts you make it simply won’t shift, this sextile from Eris to the Sun can help you find a new route towards your goal. Preferably one that entails less struggle and more creativity!
Mercury in Cancer from 12th – 29th June invites us to speak openly about our feelings when we know we’re safe to do so. It reminds us not to fear all intimacy because some has been corrupted by deception and betrayal. Most people have been hurt and most have hurt others, unwittingly or otherwise. No one is immune. Accepting this fact of life can go some way to regaining a modicum of trust. A square from Chiron to Mercury between 12th and 15th June challenges us to express our emotions and let others do the same. This may be the only way to ease the pressure of holding it all inside. Chiron in Aries wants healing to be quick and complete. It simply doesn’t have time for lengthy exploration and deep inner work! Whilst in the long run we may need exactly that, right now we can take time to articulate our inner world and benefit greatly from doing so. No analysis needed, no interpretation necessary. The simple power of saying the words can bring healing enough in itself.
As Uranus is squared by Venus from 12th to 17th June we may discover that honest emotional sharing raises some interesting issues! Here we see the consequences of speaking our feelings into the world. It changes things and yes, we may fear those changes which is why we didn’t do it in the first place. But if we keep inside something as powerful as emotion it will change us anyway. The inner twists and turns needed to avoid what we don’t want to see can be significantly more harmful than the consequences of looking it in the eye and owning it. Uranus and Venus remind us that only by engaging with the world around us can we discover what we truly desire and how we can go about getting it. And most emotion is ultimately about desire: our reaction to what we do and don’t want to happen, how we do and don’t want to be and what we do and don’t want to have to deal with. This square identifies desire as the driving force at the heart of all that we are and all that we do. As such, being honest about our desires is a radical act of self-determination and personal sovereignty.
This emphasis on authentic communication is further enhanced on 13th June by a New Moon in the 23rd degree of Gemini which occurs just a couple of hours prior to Venus entering Leo (where she remains until 10th July). This Moon encourages openness and honesty, whilst helping to keep things light. It reminds us relationships don’t have to be a battle ground or an endless therapy session. They can also be fun, creative places where we get to know ourselves and others through mutual exploration and revelation. Bringing a more light-hearted attitude to any challenging inter-personal issues we encounter may be just what’s needed to ease the tension preventing their resolution. Once Venus is in Leo we’ll all benefit from some affection and acknowledgement along the way so using this new moon to shift heavier dynamics and brighten things up will put it to good use indeed.
Once in Leo, Venus invites us to celebrate ourselves and embrace the sheer pleasure of unapologetically being who we are. She recognises the wonder of our individuality, the nuance of our speech, that certain way we approach other people, the glint in our eye and the lilt in our walk. She loves us just as we are, whoever we are, and bids us look in her mirror to see ourselves through her eyes. She sees behind the uncertainties and fear, lack of confidence, social faux pas, embarrassing moments and deepest shame to the sacred humanity at our heart. She celebrates us all and urges us to do the same. In a busy world where life rushes by at a lightening pace it’s easy to overlook the importance of appreciative moments: a compliment here, a kind word there, a vote of thanks or a gesture of gratitude. She reminds us to acknowledge each other and ourselves, to focus on the best of humanity and accentuate the positive in our relationships. Not as some Pollyanna act of denial but because in doing so we can find a balanced view which might just save the day.
Saturn in Capricorn opposing Mercury in Cancer between 14th and 17th June adds some grounding ‘common sense’ into the mix, encouraging us to share our wisdom and insight as well as our emotions. ‘I feel this way and I think it’s about something that’s happening between us’ can be an easier message to hear than ‘I feel this way and it’s all YOUR fault!’. If we want others to listen we need to present a message they can hear, especially if it challenges their own perceptions, feelings and security. This opposition helps us take responsibility for the expression of our feelings, by being clear where they’re coming from and knowing what’s ours and what’s someone else’s to address. In doing so we can take communication to the next level, exploring our thoughts and feelings in greater depth without others feeling threatened or our retreating into denial because owning up to who we are comes at too high a price.
Between 16th and 24th June the theme of relationship dynamics continues with Venus conjunct the North Node while Mars is conjunct the South Node, reminding us that all healthy relationships require a balance of opposites, an acceptance of contradictions and the embracing of paradox. It’s helpful to examine and learn from the past but not to carry it with us like a pack on our back weighing us down. We’re not destined to repeat the past if we choose to do things differently this time around. And no matter what’s happened before, we can opt for a positive and hopeful attitude towards the present rather than a negative or combative one. True positivity is born of awareness and realism, not a denial of the challenges we face. Negativity isn’t ‘common sense’, it’s a decision to allow past struggles to define our future rather than choosing a new approach to how our life unfolds.
Neptune begins five months retrograde in Pisces on 18th June reminding us that no matter the cacophony of the world, inner silence remains, patiently waiting. It calls us into stillness where we are nothing, no one and yet in all things everywhere. Stillness itself can overwhelm, however, threatening our sense of identity and meaning, in which case life’s demands come as a welcome distraction from disappearing into the void! But when Neptune’s retrograde it’s important we find time to do exactly that when we can. Trined by Jupiter as it changes direction, we have deep and powerful support to explore life aside from the world, from who we think we are and believe others to be. Extraneous distractions can be seen for what they are, we can pare life down to what matters and unlock great riches within.
A Grand Trine in Water formed by Mercury, Neptune and Jupiter from 19th to 21st Juneencourages us to walk gently and with grace in the world. Let our words be comforting, our actions wise and our wisdom humble. Battles fought now may wound deeply so they’re best avoided. Conflicts engaged in will hurt so if we can step around them or postpone them for another day this would be best. The Sun begins its month in the sign of Cancer on 21st July. Squaring Chiron in Aries as it does so, it sets, in part, the theme of the solar eclipse in Cancer next month. The power of emotional healing is emphasised and the influence of emotional wounds highlighted. The world can be a hurtful place and we can cause much pain to one another. The Sun’s journey through Cancer helps us acknowledge this fact and turn to face, rather than avoid, our own wounds. Emotional pain isn’t a sign of weakness or an indicator of not being ‘spiritual’ enough. It simply means we’re human and so we suffer, and then we heal, and then we suffer, and then we heal, and so it is in this realm as we let go those things that bind us and blossom into who we truly are.
Pluto opposes Mercury from 21st to 25th July. Words have power and ideas can change the world, so what we say and how we think are key factors in how we impact others. Mercury in Cancer seeks common ground, emotional sharing and a sense of belonging. Pluto in Capricorn sees these priorities as sentimental hogwash when change is necessary and truths need to be aired! This opposition can augur harsh words and cutting speech or exchanges which get to the root of a problem so completely that it never need recur. Which of these results we get is largely up to us. If we can use Mercury’s ability to create a safe space in which to have difficult conversations, and then embrace Pluto’s life-changing truths about how we move through this world, use our inherent power and respond to that of others, we could experience some truly profound exchanges during this time, capable of shifting not only our relationships but also our perception of how the world really works and what’s actually going on around us. Pluto reminds us that what looks like destruction is purification and what feels too hard to bear is our spirit rising up anew to reclaim its own. Keeping this in mind now can help us stay with emotionally challenging situations and see them through into renewal.
From 24th to 30th June an opposition between Saturn in Capricorn and the Sun in Cancer takes over from Mercury and Pluto, affirming that emotional sensitivity, when accepted and understood, can be a source of wisdom rather than a liability to be controlled at all costs! This world rarely welcomes those who feel deeply and live life without emotional armour. This opposition may augur a suppressive or punitive response to emotional sensitivity, or a supportive effort to contain and make sense of emotional pain. For those we encounter who are struggling now we can be a safe witness for their pain. And if it is we who struggle, we can seek out that safety for ourselves. But finding it isn’t a given. A square from Chiron in Aries to the Sun reminds us that at the end of the day it is we who must contain ourselves and know ourselves as whole. We cannot forever seek to pour ourselves into another’s cup but must become our own chalice, offering up our difficult emotions, challenging circumstances and painful experiences to be transmuted by the restorative capacity of life itself which makes all things new eventually. If we find that safe space and grounded person who can help us allow and make sense of emotional pain now all well and good. But if not, Saturn reminds us we can be that person for ourselves, and there is a wise and grounded self wanting now to emerge.
From 26th June to 27th August Mars is retrograde, first in Aquarius and then in Capricorn, giving us five retrograde planets to end the month (Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune & Pluto). With so much retrograde activity our inner life takes on great importance and needs careful attention. Whilst external progress can falter when Mars is retrograde, inside we can make great strides in self-knowledge which will serve us well for a long time to come. Mars only turns retrograde once every two to two and half years so it’s worth making the most of this opportunity to explore issues of motivation and hone our clarity about what’s really driving us. Are we pursuing one thing on the surface but in fact sabotaged by more hidden forces in our psyche which undermine our stated goals? Are we wholeheartedly pursuing our dreams only to find they’re not actually ours but someone else’s that we somehow co-opted along the way? Are we intent on proving ourselves to others according to their values and losing touch with our own in the process? Mars retrograde blows the cover on the many ways in which we work against ourselves, clarifying issues of motivation and intent and bringing them into line with a more authentic expression of who we actually are.
A Full Moon in the 7th degree of Capricorn on 28th June conjunct Saturn affirms the importance of honouring process rather than seeking after premature outcomes. It cautions patience and rewards those who respect the natural order which necessitates firm foundations before we reach for the sky! We may have to let go of unrealistic notions at this moon, recognising that our previous timetable for an important project may be flawed. Alternatively results achieved now may fall short of what we’d anticipated and require a grudging return to the drawing board. However this full moon manifests in your life, take heart and don’t give up hope. This isn’t an unsatisfactory end, but a staging post on a longer and altogether more significant journey. There is much wisdom available in the light of this Moon. Those who are willing to look with eyes wide open will see with greater clarity where they’ve sought to side-step responsibility in favour of an easier road or more naive approach to matters of gravity. Sometimes we must simply walk through the flames to reach the other side, for they are purifying and strengthening, even as they burn through our egoic defences. If we’ve tried to rise above rather than journey through them, this Moon gets our feet back on the ground and reminds us this time we must walk to where we’re going and learn along the way. If, however, you’re rewarded with blessings at this moon, pat yourself on the back and enjoy the moment for these rewards have truly been earned with commitment, hard graft and a refusal to back down no matter what. You deserve this moment, so enjoy it!
The month comes to a close with Mercury entering Leo on 29th June, where it remains until 6th September, turning retrograde in July. Aspecting Uranus and Chiron, Mercury’s arrival in Leo awakens the lion in us all, with its need to roar, make its presence felt and establish its territory. Uranus now in Taurus is working away on all that has been resistant to recent forces of change. We can use this Mercury to stamp our feet and resist the inexorable march of progress or climb on board and spread its message far and wide! Chiron in Aries reminds us that sometimes we simply have to get over ourselves and get on with life, even and especially when it’s tough and challenging and not looking how we hoped it would. Feeling hard done by or insisting life is unfair is simply a waste of energy that could be invested in finding better solutions to current problems or quicker ways to change our state and feel differently about the world around us. Mercury’s journey through Leo will test our commitment to pursuing a purposeful life rather than a frustrated one. We can use it to insist we know best no matter what and impose our ideas and values on everything and everyone. Or we can use it to contribute positive energy and ideas, perspectives and insights, into the ongoing process of change occurring personally, locally and globally. We may, in fact, find ourselves swinging between these two extremes, in which case observing how each makes us feel will be time well spent.
As June ends this Mercury reminds us of the radical healing power in self-expression. Others may not like what we have to say and the feeling may be mutual! But it’s time to speak openly and honestly, with integrity and grit. For only then can the truth be aired and its rectifying power radiate through the world around us. With Mercury turning retrograde next month and three eclipses approaching, now is the time to think deeply about what truly matters and how best to express its importance to the world. This may require some inner adjustments as well as outer ones. The current abundance of retrograde planets will help us make them if we harbour an enduring commitment to authenticity and truth.