The week begins just after Uranus and Pluto’s first square and Saturn’s direct station, which occurred last Sunday but reverberate throughout the week Despite the relatively epic nature of recent configurations, there is more in store. Monday Mercury enters Leo, the sign in which the messenger will find his next retrograde. Then, on Wednesday, Venus spins on her heel, turning direct after nearly 6 weeks of retrograde motion. Meanwhile the Sun creeps into a chaotic T-square with Uranus and Pluto, volatilizing things, especially Thursday and Friday. Saturday and Sunday offer some relief, but it is another intense week. One set of transformations finishes out and another set of alchemical operations begins, with no down time between them.
Mercury Enters Leo
This Monday, Mercury leaves behind Cancer’s tidepools for the hot savannas of Leo, where he’ll be dramatizing communications and spurring visions for quite some time. In Leo, Mercury’s clever words escape his mouth as a Lion’s roar. It’s a helpful wavelength for advertising, promotion and creative writing, not to mention lordly speeches and commands.
On a personal level, Mercury’s time in Leo pushes us to speak from the heart. If you happen to believe that the heart is a font of unmuddied wisdom, this is a good thing. However, if you have even the most preliminary experience with human vivisection, you know that hearts are full of all sorts of nasty things. Why, there’s jealousy, hatred, and vanity all mixed in with whatever eternal fire still manages to burn.
With people moved to give voice to their bloodiest organ, there is tendency toward drama that can be observed whilst Mercury is in Leo. Do your best to avoid being cast in the cheap little plays soon to be enacted.
Nevertheless, beneath the ego, Mercury in Leo conceals the often latent ability to speak directly to the heart of the listener- and to the core of any issue. This ability to speak from and to the blazing nuclear heart transcends the idiocy of the blustery corona. Recognizing the difference will save you from some unnecessary suffering later in the season, when Mercury turns retrograde.
Due to his upcoming retrograde (July 14th –August 8th), Mercury will be in Leo an unusually long time. In fact, we’ll be dealing with Mercury in Leo until the very last day of August. Enjoy the bright, extraverted quality of Mercury’s energy this week, for as we move deeper into the season these rays will bend backwards in search of answers to tricky questions.
Venus Stations Direct
Retrograde since May 15th, Venus finally turns direct this Wednesday. Venus’ direct station is in, in many ways, a happy event, signaling quite literally that it is once again time to move forward socially and emotionally. However, sometimes moving forward means leaving old and beloved things behind. It also means entering into new relationships or new types of relationships, exploring dynamics in which we are yet unpracticed. This retrograde brought a rare depth of realization and change into yet that very profoundity constitutes a real challenge. How do we make a home in our lives for what we glimpsed only briefly as a tiny bee buzzed the face of the Sun?
Yet the lady has left us a trail of honey to guide us back through the mirror maze. Its sights should be familiar at this point, its illusions not so bewildering. From now until July 31st, Venus will revisit the degrees she retrograded through, asking us to work on integrating and understanding the emotional changes we swept through so quickly this Spring.
The Sun in Cancer spends much of the week moving through a T-square with Uranus and Pluto. This puts the spotlight right on the revolutionary changes and evolutionary mandates which comprise the bulk of world news and inner awareness right now. Although the influence can be felt all week, the Sun is configured most perfectly to red hot Uranus and black ice Pluto on Friday. On one level, this aspect helps bring awareness to the deep processes of change unfolding, yet on a more practical one, this is some gnarly shit, complicating plans and lighting the fuse on sensitive situations.
The T-Square in astrology is so named because of the letter its shape resembles. Formed of an opposition and 2 squares between a minimum of 3 planets, this configuration is notably tense and unstable, often indicating complicated situations to which there are no simple answers. Another name given to the shape of the T-square is the Tau cross, called that for its resemblance to the Hebrew letter Tau. This is the shape of the cross as it appears in the Old Testament, and as such is sometimes called the “Anticipatory Cross,” prefiguring, as it does, the crucifixion of the Solar savior. This week that title is especially relevant, as the Sun’s T-cross with Uranus and Pluto prefigures Mars’ much nastier one in a few weeks.
The T-Cross is often found adorned by a serpent in iconography. This emblem, derived from the Old Testament but used in a more precise manner in alchemical works, represents the “Fixing of the Volatile,“ keeping still what wants to squirm. Here we see the Serpent representing volatile Mercury and that Tau cross corresponding to fixating Saturn. This alchemical formulae, which yields the elixir of Mercury, is the key for working with the difficult energies on offer this season.
On a psychological level, the fixing of the volatile refers to concentrating upon the issue at hand until it transforms. On the level of artful living, it is the craft of holding to fast to your aims amidst a season of distractions. This week we are offered the first in a series of opportunities to learn to fix the volatile or be whirled about by it. This is one of a series of crosses we’ll brave, and we can use it to establish the concentration needed to make it through the Summer’s many crosses with our intentions intact. That, or we could flail our arms in terror.