Sun enters Cancer
Moon in Scorpio
June 21, 1:04am EDT
The Summer Solstice arrives overnight Friday. One of the great hinges of the year, this apex of light in the Northern hemisphere is celebrated as Midsummer––a time of magic, lighthearted fun, and a bit of madness.
Grasshopper time, when fields are green, skies are blue, warm breezes caress the skin, and merriment is rife––like the Saucy Solstice Burlesque Cabaret scheduled for this Sunday in Nottingham, UK.
And why not? What's wrong with forgetting care and having a bit of fun? Nothing, really. Except turning points are just that: Reminders we've reached a culmination and now turn toward something completely different.
In ancient times, the bonfires of Midsummer blazed for protection. Cattle were driven through twin fires to protect them from disease and magical interference. Charms of protection were made, and worn, by those out and about at this thin time of year. Elaine Kalatarian of Blue Moon Astrology has posted a lovely essay exploring these traditions.
The Chinese symbol of yin and yang shows a small dot of white in the black, and likewise black in the white. When we are most deeply in yin, yang is born. When we are most deeply in yang (as we are at Midsummer), the yin of winter begins to stir. Carl Jung pointed this out as well. Each quality, when most in its suchness, potentiates its opposite.
Sometimes, grasshopper behavior is denial. We will not look at what's around the corner, hidden in shadow, down the lane, in back of beyond. We don't want to know.
The newly-Cancerian Sun triggers the Grand Trine in Water anchored by Neptune in Pisces, Saturn in Scorpio, and Lilith in Cancer. These are oceans of dreams, visions, illusions, the subconscious, our fears and our deepest desires.
Since all three anchors are retrograde, these are deep, deep waters indeed. I picture the Cancer Sun putting a toe in the waves and wanting to pull back. Nope, uh-uh, too cold ... looking around for sunnier playmates.
But with Mercury, Venus and Vesta conjunct in Cancer, and Ceres there as well, the pull of the waves is undeniable. The Scorpio Moon flows easy energy with these four planets in late Cancer. Dreaming will be very strong on this night.
Yet, we're not being drawn into a well of emotion just to wallow about. Signs point to action.
Mars in grasshopper Gemini might feel ripe for distraction and fun, except he's conjunct Pallas Athena, the ever-cerebral protectress of civilization. And ... hmmm ... Mars is point man for a yod (that awkward, pushy pattern that demands adjustment) with the North Node and Pluto––nothing lighthearted there. Then, wow, the North Node is at the apex of another yod with Mars, Pallas, and Uranus at its base.
Last but never least, Jupiter clings to the end of Gemini, conjunct the Sun and therefore part of the Grand Water Trine. This year, we're meant to think, connect, and act. Get out the swim goggles, pull on the fins. We're heading into deep emotional territory and we're meant to dive in with eyes open for the opportune moment.
If your life feels overfull of challenge and turmoil, remember that Gemini Mars keeps us light on our feet, and possibly light-fingered as well. This is the trickster, the one who dances away from danger with the prize hidden in his pouch.
Think of whistleblowers, of dancers in gas masks, of children speaking up to CEOs of huge corporations. These are the Mercurial heroes and heroines now, the ones seemingly without power who still find a voice and a way to act.
Our lives these days can seem filled with challenge and turmoil. That same Mars catches a square from Chiron, the healer and mentor. What do skillful means look like now? How can we finesse this situation? How can we be both effective and safe?
At the Summer Solstice, we hold this paradox. We celebrate, we sing, we dream ... and we remember those who suffer, we know it's not all fun and games. This knowing brings poignancy, brings depth, and the courage to stand and say yes to the whole catastrophe, YES to life.