June 10 at 6:27 am sees the entry of the Sun into the third Decan of Gemini — ‘The Executioner’s Sword” in the evocative language of Austin Coppock‘s 36 Faces. Although I can’t prove the reference, for me the choice of the sword as the emblem for this Decan makes perfect sense, for at about the midpoint of this Decan, roughly 24° Gemini 35′, the Sun will roll off the shoulders of the constellation Orion like the head falling into the guillotine basket.
Expressed in Sir Gawain’s duel with the Green Knight of medieval legend, the great warrior dressed in green armor, huge as a house, came to King Arthur’s hall at Christmastide, and challenged all the assembled knights to a duel — one of the knights would cut off the Green Knight’s head now, and then in six months time come to the Green Knight’s castle, and have his own head struck off then. The assembled Knights of the Round Table didn’t know whether to laugh or be shocked. It sounds like a crazy man’s duel: stab me now and kill me, and I’ll have my revenge later. Sir Gawain took the knight at his word, and struck off his head. To the surprise and shock of all, the knight merely picked up his own head, promised to see Gawain in six months at midsummer, and left the hall. In due course of time, Gawain fulfilled his promise, and visited the Green Knight in his hidden castle, and nearly fell dead in fear as the Green Knight nearly chopped his head off three times, but in the end kept his head and gained valor as a result of his quest.
And so we see it here, played out: the Full Moon closest to the Winter Solstice occurs in Gemini, where she comes off the shoulders of the constellation Orion in public for all to see — in a Decan that Austin named “The Headless Body”, and which I discussed in the column for Capricorn I. But now, at the Full Moon before the Summer Solstice, it is the Sun himself which is the head of Orion, and the execution takes place in secret, for only initiates of the sky know that the winter hunter lies hidden there in the daylight blue, like a predator in a secret part of the forest. Gawain bows his neck to the Green Knight, and nearly loses his head to the executioner. Only bravery and steadfastness save him at this juncture. For those magically inclined, it might be a good time to perform the Rite of the Headless One, on or about June 12.
And it is Praxidike, the Hellenistic deity of Justice, who ruled over this ten-day period when Alexandria in Egypt was a new city — not some half-hearted goddess of administrative law, but a fierce and terrible presence who brought just desserts to everyone. Iniquity must always be addressed, in whatever form it takes, for Praxidike waits to mete out destiny for everyone: revealing corruption, uncovering injustice, and meting out sentences to all who fail to conform to divine law. Not for nothing does this Decan bear the image of the executioner’s sword: the whole world’s attention turns to what is fair and what is equitable.
For those of us who need a forecast from now to the Solstice, though, we’d better look at planetary placements and horoscopes.
We find the Ascendant in Cancer, the sign which the Moon rules; and the Moon is at 18° Aquarius: with this cardinal sign at the start of the next ten days, we can expect warm and relatively humid weather; and for several interesting matters or projects to begin — but they are unlikely to resolve. Yet the middle decan of Aquarius, associated with the Hellenistic-era demigod Phobos (“panic or terror” personified), offers a warning that the shape of the next week and a half may see ongoing disturbances in the streets, with the better armed and trained holding the upper hand and sweeping their foes before them. Named “Heaven and Earth” by Austin Coppock, this decan points to the dichotomy separating the demands of justice… and the practical, down-to-earth questions of who has the troops and the guns. Stalin’s question, “How many divisions does the Pope have?” is relevant at times like these; moral superiority does not guarantee persuasive firepower.
At the same time, the Moon rests in the Twenty-Fifth Mansion, “the Lucky Star of Hidden Things”, a successful and positive position for gardening, particularly tree-planting: things set in motion now may not yield fruit for many years, but the work is well begun. As long-time readers know, there’s a growing divide between the placement of the Moon tropically/abstractly, and its position against the stars that used to define each Mansion. Against those star-positions, the Moon is in the Twenty-Second Mansion, “the luck of the sacrificer” — promising escape and swift flight and liberation by speediness. This is not a promise to remain secure in our homes, but a call to Exodus — quick action that abandons
The Sun is in the 12th house at 20° Gemini. The sword, in this case, is considering the completed cycle for this decan which ends (and the new one begins) at a Solar Eclipse — the first at a Summer Solstice at 0° Cancer since 2001 — and we all sort of know how that year turned out; the sword of Praxidike is a dangerous thing to call down on one’s foes, for she examines the failings of the accusers first.
The Sun keeps company with Venus and with the North Node — rising Covid-19 numbers in the US will likely keep many at home, and rising temperatures will draw many out into the the warmer weather. The twelfth house is associated with hospitals and prisons in judicial/political astrology, though, as well as reflection on past actions, and the revelation of secret foes — expect our opponents to come out of the woodwork to accuse us, and potentially to uncover their own crimes both petty and villainous.
Mercury lurks just below the Ascendant in Cancer’s second Decan, “The Walled Garden”. Many are keeping their serious conversations silent or exclusive to close allies, waiting for the right time to speak, and focusing on more personal and private matters than the grander stories of the moment.
The Imum Coeli, or bottom of the sky, speaks to our collective dreams: the hammer and anvil of a Brigid-like Venus creatrix, a forge-goddess who hammers out justice and creates equity in our communities and families.
Yet the South Node, in the house of work and labor, promises a fair bit of dead-horse beating in the next ten days in workplaces everywhere, as superiors and supervisors flog visions of productivity that were intended for an earlier time. Confinement and solitude remain more the order of the day than close work in teams.
Nearly all the action in the chart occurs in the southwest quadrant, though. In a long arc through the Seventh, Eighth and Ninth Houses, Pluto and Jupiter in Capricorn, Saturn and the Moon in Aquarius, and Mars and Neptune in Pisces, establish entrainment in mortal affairs that contrasts with the Sun’s relative solitude — attention to our primary partnerships brings practical grace but also uncovers eddies of resentment. The unprecedented living arrangements of the past few months have likely put constraints on shared finances and created centrifugal forces that widen the spiraling gyre — the falcon does not want to hear the falconer, but she is tired and the flight is limited by the four walls and the roof of the enclosure — not a real sky at all, but a Truman Show make-believe set. The Midheaven and the Sign of Fortune point to a need for self-education in a deep and complicated ocean, a time spent wandering in a labyrinth or in places online, to uncover the blood spilled in the name of wealth and honor.
It’s not going to be an easy time — but it’s not fair, either, to suggest that the end is nigh. Rather, this is the beginning: the sword strike that swiftly brings a close to old themes, and starts off with the consequences that flow from the justly-ordered execution of the formerly accepted reality.
Horoscopes by Rising Sign
Cancer: Your employer may be demanding that you come back into work, but you should press for an extension on your work-from-home leeway. You may not get it, but it’s worth asking; solo time, especially time away from the potential for “office illness”,will serve you better than a return to the old camaraderie.
Leo: A partner’s work brings a lovely source of income, but also a generous helping of pestilence and malignant office politics. Standoffishness or even quitting may be beneficial— dreams of self-employment may be elusive or even delusional for now.
Virgo: Wandering around the neighborhood? Meeting up with friends for a surprise occasion? A spouse or partner may be bringing the crud home with them from a social event insufficiently-distanced, or workplace that was inadequately cautious; don’t let their financial drives outweigh genuine good sense.
Libra: Home may be feeling like a suitable refuge, all things considered — as long as you’re alone. When others are necessarily there, you may find that escape or flight is your preferred first option. Even with a spouse you love, human contact feels like luxury and terror at the same time. You’re going to have to dive into work sometime soon, but try to avoid the office afterparty for the moment.
Scorpio: You’re dreaming of the chance to make some mischief or art or experience with friends. Although the labors of the present are limited (and money is tight, especially with a partner), it’s really just escape from your self-isolation that you’re desiring. Channel that ambition into a couple of deep projects.
Sagittarius: A period of less work is coming upon you, and it’s likely to affect your sense of self-worth, your bank account, and the quality of home life; more self-directed learning is part of the solution, especially if you can’t travel right now. It’s OK: put your focus on a partner’s downtime and encourage their creative pursuits; help them with executive decisions, as well.
Capricorn: If you’re partnered, remember that their workplace drama is not yours; nor can you be their executive administrator. All the same, expect a business ally’s complex mess to land on your desk in the next ten days. A family member’s (or a neighbor’s ) focused desires create a problem that you think you can solve, as well — but sometimes it’s best not to tangle in others’ delusional vaporware.
Aquarius: Take some money (definitely not all!) and go do it, even if only on a smaller scale. Yes, you have duties and responsibilities that you shouldn’t abandon, but you’re never going to know if you don’t ever try. There’s hard work ahead in this effort, and any partners you may have will be simultaneously supportive and disbelieving. Expect emotional upheaval, more than you think is warranted — but the dream of self-transformation may never be closer.
Pisces: That ambitious project is likely to teach you more than you can see at the beginning, and allow you to go farther down this road than you can see from your present vantage point. It’s going to require more boundaries around your social time, and a fair bit of quick action, but you can do it. Just don’t expect people to notice how hard you worked at it; they’re more interested in what’s done than giving credit for what you’re doing.
Aries: Leadership options at work require that you get more training and redirect your educational time somewhat. A difficult financial surprise may be in the offing, and neither paranoia nor aggressive investigation will help you see it; hold some reserves for now, and you’ll be happier later; a tendency to curmudgeonly isolation serves you well, but you do need more intellectual stimulation than you’re getting. Be kind at work, but be prepared to fend off the venom, too.
Taurus: You may be laughing darkly at all the “Karens” you know right now, and your own money situation may be improving all on its own without your input. There’s big news to communicate privately. Work is something to run from for now, or certainly workplace, but identify any coursework or learning that your job needs, and do it— sometimes certification or recertification is a pain, but it’s a useful way to confirm your skills for the future.
Gemini: You’re going to get more of what’s coming to you, but you’re going to have to get it on your own. A winding path brings in some cash; educational opportunities are constrained; a partner’s transformation is kicking your own magnanimity in the gut and revealing your own noxious habits.
I use iPhemeris for my charting software, and screenshot it to make charts. I want to thank the team that develops iPhemeris for the addition of Terms and Decans to their charts, appearing here for the first time!
I use Christopher Warnock‘s The Mansions of the Moon as the basis of my Moon placement delineations, and Austin Coppock‘s 36 Faces as the basis of some of my planetary delineations. Neither gentleman endorses me. My own book, A Full Volume of Splendour and Starlight, is now available as PDF download from my Etsy website.
Any errors in these columns are my own.
If you’d like to schedule a consultation with me, you can find additional information on the Services and Classes page.
If you want to read some of my other astrologically-oriented poetry, To the Mansions of the Moon is a collection of hymns to the angels of the Mansions mentioned in these columns. For the Behenian Stars is a collection of hymns to the first/brightest sixteen stars. The Sun’s Paces are hymns to the thirty-six Hellenistic-era deities and ascended souls of the Greco-Egyptian Decans-calendar. While not astrological, Festae contains hymns to some of the older Roman gods and spirits from the calendar created by Numa Pompilius, the second ancient King of Rome.