July's Sharp Turn


Avid astrology-watchers know that July is the month when 2014's energy makes a sharp turn in a different direction.

The first of July's two main vibe-altering astro-events is the movement of greater-benefic Jupiter into Leo next week (Jul 16), where he'll spend the next thirteen months fanning the flames of the fire element.

The second is Mars's long-awaited departure from Libra the following week (Jul 25), after a marathon visit that first began in early December '13 (he ordinarily zips through a sign in six or seven weeks), and his reinvigorating arrival to Scorpio. This is a transition bound to make initiative-sparking Mars very happy, as he shifts out of a sign where he's in his detriment (or 'zone of discomfort') and into one he rules, empowering him to more reliably do what he does best.

What these two developments share in common is both Jupiter and Mars were key players in the spectacular cardinal-grand-cross turmoil that's dominated our scene since late last year (when Mars first entered Libra). Each served as an exacerbating irritant to the other cardinal-cross players, Uranus and Pluto—already disruptive enough, in ongoing square to one another, without any additional help—by forming its own simultaneous squares-and-oppositions to that powerhouse duo. Now, as both Jupiter and Mars leave cardinal signs (Cancer and Libra) and shift into fixed ones (Leo and Scorpio), they'll no longer form direct hard-aspects with Uranus and Pluto. They'll no longer be taunting and jabbing at these at-odds outer-planets, further aggravating our already tumultuous social reorientation.

With Jupiter and Mars now drifting out of this orb, we might speculatively say the worst of the Uranus-Pluto upheaval is behind us… not just the worst of this year, mind you, but of the entire duration of the square (2012-2015), as it faces no more major head-on aggravations from other planets on the same scale as what we're in the midst of leaving behind. That said, this doesn't mean all the biggest redefining life-revolution developments incited by Uranus-and-Pluto's squaring friction have already manifested into visible being. Plenty of revolutionary seeds were planted (and continue to be), but have yet to poke their fresh green sprouts through the surface-soil. Looking back on this first half of '14 from a few years down the road, though, we will notice that primordial inklings of profound life-choices and directional turn-arounds first made themselves known to us during this pivotal period. Mark my words.

Jupiter changes signs roughly once a year, but this particular change is noteworthy because it downgrades the powerful water-sign signature we've been under for more than a year now, with other slower-movers Saturn and Neptune also both in water signs (Scorpio and Pisces, respectively). In his exaltation (or 'honored place'), Jupiter in Cancer helped elevate the level of importance our emotional truth occupies in our day-to-day lives. It's been harder to ignore when something's felt 'right' or 'not right', a person or purpose has tugged at our heartstrings, and/or the palpable suffering of others instinctively calls on us to kick our care-giving capacities into higher gear. On the other hand, there's been an excess of nostalgia and sentimentality hanging in the air, often catching us in wistful longing for what was and/or a wishful idealization of what is… either of which can serve emotionally as an impediment to both accepting what really is and acting upon it, forward-mindedly, to create what could be.

Once Jupiter's in Leo, the elemental emphasis starts to tip toward fire… a tipping which becomes even more pronounced when Saturn enters Sagittarius late in December (where he'll stay into the end of 2017, with a brief return to Scorpio between June and September next year). Fire is the element of action, motion, impulse and immediacy. Over the months ahead, we can expect a forward surge of vital, vigorous activations which propel the players and their playing-pieces around the gameboard to new posts and positions—any movement preferable, according to fire's wisdom, to no movement at all. This fiery action-orientation holds the capacity to cut through any watery clouds of emotionality which might've inhibited our unabashed onward advances, while threatening to rattle the more sensitive types by catapulting us ahead too quickly, forcefully, or impetuously. Such potentials are only heightened by the fact that Jupiter in Leo will form a snowballing fire trine to instigator Uranus, beginning in September and lasting through next June, further fueling Uranus's erratic risk-taking with Jupiter's bloating beneficence.

Mars's sign-change also fits this same thematic tone-shift, also fanning a palpable increase in forward motion. Though Mars will land in Scorpio (which is more water again, rather than fire), his archetypal purpose as a planetary player is all about action: Mars is an initiatory agent, thrusting us into assertions-of-will that distinctly separate us from what's come before. At his best—for instance, when he's in a sign he rules, such as Scorpio—Mars is a proactive force for creation, a generator, a motor. However, over these past many months in Libra, Mars has been stuck in reactive mode… not only because he's inordinately relational and indirect in his actions while traveling through the sign of the scales, but also because he's been in constant inescapable discourse with Uranus, Pluto, and Jupiter. Mars couldn't attempt any move without having to bounce it off these other three… which translates to the experience of every action this year so far proving more complex than it otherwise would've been, due to this unavoidable need for properly considering all the other interrelated factors such an action would impact. Pull this wire, and some other light down the block goes dark. Move that brick, and the whole foundation suddenly seems too shaky for comfort.

Plus, to top off all these woes, Mars's 2-month retrograde earlier this year caused such a backup of onward momentum, we still haven't recovered. Put more technically, Mars has not yet passed beyond the shadow of his retrograde… meaning Mars hasn't traversed any new zodiac-wheel ground since first going retrograde early in March, and won't until July 20 (mere days before arriving in Scorpio). Only then will our 'action planet' finally hit new ground, and be in a position to rouse actions which aren't mere rehashings of recent material—but are authentically original, novel, or fresh.

Expect that 'fresh' feeling to be in full force by August, once both Jupiter and Mars are in their next zodiacal homes.