The Sun enters Cancer at 5:44 pm Eastern Time on 20 June 2020 — with the Ascendant in Scorpio, we can expect that the position of Mars will have some important messages to convey about the state of the world and our own lives. At 25°, Mars is in his own Decan and his own Term within Pisces — a place that Austin Coppock ominously names “The Cup of Blood”. Roughly square to the South and North Nodes in Gemini and Sagittarius, and precisely square to the Moon (they’re off by only a minute of arc) a bare nine hours before an eclipse… Mars promises a violent and tumultuous period again, when blood may literally run in the streets, and the legacies of the past clash with the scaffolding of the future. On the 20th, the scale is weighted to favor the past, but eclipses are ill omens for the status quo — and the annular eclipse here, the very next day, promises to be an intense one. The Moon, passing in front of the Sun, will form a black spot surrounded by a ring of fire, most startlingly visible in the Uttarakhand province of northern India, within a hundred miles of some of the world’s more-prickly borders, where India, China, Pakistan, and Nepal all converge in the Himalaya mountains at the roof of the world. Mars greets this dazzling lunisolar display with complete hostility, while also activating ourselves, our partners and associates, and the powers of law with favorable ambitions: whatever new challenges emerge in the wake of this solstice for the history books, we are likely to be drawn into them on a personal level: for the sake of our sovereignty, we will be called upon to act with prayer, with black-clad calls to action, and with honor. Just… don’t expect to win in the next ten days. This isn’t blowing over. This is blowing up.
The Hellenistic era of the Greeks and Romans assigned this ten-day period to Nike, the goddess of Victory. If astrology has any humor at all, expect a certain shoe company to be in the news during the next ten days, and possibly with a new ad about a mother and child exercising together. Funny synchronicities aside, the Sun is cadent and about to be shadowed in an eclipse — suggesting that a good many people in leadership positions are likely to be overtaken by events beyond their control, especially in institutions of higher education, travel and tourism companies, and transportation. The next ten days, and the next six months, are likely to see significant difficulties in these economic sectors; and these issues will spill over into our personal lives as government is unlikely to make any necessary changes to forestall these problems. Nike-the-goddess reminds us that our allies are not cannon fodder, but adults with keen minds and self-interests of their own — and alliances weaken and fray when we allow our own desperate self-interest to outweigh our associates’ genuine concerns.
We start by looking at the placement of the Sun in Cancer I, co-present with Mercury retrograde in Cancer II. As I mentioned earlier, Cancer I is associated with Nike the goddess of victory; but Cancer II is associated with Herakles/Hercules, the protector of humanity from monstrosity. Thus, our higher minds should be focused on deciding what winning looks like for us today; but our detail-oriented intellectual capacities, represented by the swift-moving herald-planet, should be determining how to ward off bestial behavior in the next ten days — and maybe go on the offensive against threats to life and limb. Mercury’s presence invites us to think about different boxes than the one we think we’re trapped in. They’re determined to get us to think about alternatives to direct frontal assaults: Hercules is famous for his strength, of course, but his tactics are also trickster-like: he killed the Nemean lion with its own claws, slew the hydra by having his charioteer use his heated shield as a cauterizing iron, cleaned the Augean stables by rerouting rivers, befriended the Cerynian hind, and startled the Stymphalian birds with noisemakers before killing them with poisoned arrows. The times call for more than mere strength; they require planning: lead with your overall strategy, and follow up with a broader range of tactics.
The Tenth House which we associate with career and reputation is empty, and the Sun its natural ruler is in aversion to it, while the Midheaven is at present in the 11th house that we associate with friends, allies and acquaintances. So don’t try to advance your career or job prospects in the next ten days: instead, focus on self-development and learning new skills, and on raising the prospects of your friends and allies. Build your network and build up its other members; learn a new thing. Career right now is an empty goal — make allies your priority, and your allies will deliver later.
In the First House representing Self, we find the Ascendant and the Lot of Fortune in the late degrees of Scorpio, tinting our experience with the colors of Venus, Saturn and Mars — green, black, and red. The third Decan of Scorpio, called “the Crow”, is the insistent caw of an idea whose time has come: this is the time ruled by Kairos, the god of ‘the opportune moment’. Good but perhaps temporary fortune comes to those who render support and demonstrate clear alliance to the blood-black princess of the present hour; her moment may not last forever, but her power is for now, rising in the east.
Her ascendancy is supported by the South Node in Sagittarius, representing “less” in the second house of wealth and money. The constraints and limits of the past several months are starting to bite, and the bones of the horse we’ve been eating are starting to show. You can only eat from a carcass for so long, and then you need to figure out where the next meal comes from; if one great hunter doesn’t provide, one might need to shift allegiance, and change targets.
In aversion to Sagittarius, we find Jupiter and Pluto in Capricorn at the end of the third house indicating neighbors and extended family. It’s likely, after three to four months of self-isolation and distant socializing, that a certain level of cynical humor has settled over our households: sardonicism isn’t always kind, but it’s often morbidly funny — even, or especially, when it masks grief. We’re watching a lot of ordinary things die: grief is normal, of course, but so is reacting to that grief with the kind of sharp-edged kidding. Is that your home? Try to remember the compassion, grace and the mercy that has to be inside that comedy: and spend as much time on kindness as on witticism; we all got stuff to do… and it’s better to do it from a mindset of noble intention than from droll cruelty.
In the fourth house representing immediate home and family, we find Saturn in Aquarius, occupying the first Decan called “the Mark of Exile” – ruled by Praxidike, the queen of exacting justice, who sits in review over the actions of protestors, police, rioters and opportunists alike. Saturn Praxidike is a harsh mistress of the higher law, the one that handcuffs the rioter and brings down the cop that injures him, and impeaches the judge who forgives the one and punishes the other. Human justice rarely resembles Praxidike’s nature — it’s the unforgiving application of natural laws like physics or biology, rather than the human-created frameworks we call “justice.” The presence of Saturn appears to call for an immediate solution for the current tumult affecting our households and extended family… but realistically, a solution is unlikely to appear until Saturn’s retrograde ends, and Jupiter and Saturn enter Aquarius together in late December: stick with the trouble, and don’t rush to the solution.
Pisces, in the fifth house of hobbies, children, and pastimes, contains Neptune, the aforementioned Mars, and the Imum Coeli or bottom of the sky. In the next ten days, our dreams and our children and our hobbies find some sort of convergence. Mars, being in his own decan and term, is considered “to ride forth in his chariot” — a vehicle uneasily named “The Cup of Blood.” Neptune the Utopianist rides ahead of the warrior, creating a fanciful dream of a world without bloodshed, even as they cobble together excuses to cut down ideological foes. The reality is that no utopia ever comes to pass — but they can rack up a huge body count while trying to create it. Expect to see some horror stories soon about parents cooped up too long with their children. Alas.
Uranus continues his lonely trudge through Taurus in the eighth house, while the sign’s ruling planet stands in aversion next door. The electric liberator is your weird friend who comes to stay, but then plays your video games, uses your computer for porn-watching, and eats your special food while you’re at work — but also sees to it that you get to go to amazing parties and live it up. In the house of your spouse or significant other (or “statistically significant other” in the case of you polyamorous types), Uranus indicates a growing restlessness in that part of your life: not so much to leave you, as to get out and wander and be free. Indolence is lovely when it’s an uncommon gift; but as the Bard of Avon wrote in Henry IV, Part I, “If all the world were playing holiday, to sport would be as tedious as to work.” Look for, and mitigate (or accept) the growing signs of restlessness in a cooped-up partner with some mini-adventures.
The eighth house, representing other people’s money, death, taxes, and inheritances, is presently home to Venus, the North Node, and The Moon. Lately rolled off the shoulders of Orion (at about 22-23° Gemini), our nearest neighbor the Queen of Night sits in one of the most delicious places in the night sky whether you’re a follower of tropical astrology (relating to the Moon’s position over the Earth relative to the Sun) or sidereal astrology (relating to the Moon’s position relative to the stars in the sky behind her). By the first system, she is a guest in the Seventh Mansion, the place of answered prayer and successful invocation; by the second system, the hosts of the Fifth Mansion entertain her, honoring her with health and goodwill, favor and intellectual growth. Our intentions become our actions here, and our actions promote healthy living and favor toward our allies. The North Node, though, promises these interactions have the power to eclipse and overshadow mightier powers — never has prayer hinted that it could be more efficacious than now. Yet it must be remembered that this eclipse will occur in the next mansion: the fifth and the eighth is not so favorable for a revolutionary moment, so much as a tactical or strategic detente.
Wandering Venus may get the last word in: in the first decan of Gemini, called “The Apple of Eden”, she has no special dignity, no unusual powers. Yet she indicates that the next ten days offer a taste of what may yet come to be — the initiation of a tale of opened eyes, newly revealed shames, and the unleashing of a new order. Don’t trust too much in the proffered fruit; this is a taste, a bite — but not the realization of the meal that the taste suggests.
Rising Sign Horoscopes
Scorpio: You may experience the next ten days as a series of positive potentials that nonetheless cost money that you may or may not have; financial reserves are likely to be significantly drained. There will be short trips to the grocery store or the hardware store that are filled with lovely moments, and yet jaw-dropping insolence or ignorance will be on view as well. Illness may rear its head at home or in your immediate family; stay calm and make no rush to judgement, but if it hasn’t shown up yet, redouble your precautions, and you may yet avoid it. Take extra care with pastimes or with your children when sharp objects are concerned. A creative look at common finances should be pursued.
Sagittarius: You’re likely feeling lessened by the press of the world’s troubles around you; focus on your most significant partnerships and let go of other matters. There’s likely to be a welcome expansion of your financial life thanks to neighborhood or ‘network of loose ties’ connections — but look for the hidden strings made with poisonous dyes. Home may be due for an unhappy disruption; keep your emotions in check, and study carefully what is true, useful, and kind. Work is going to be catch-as-catch-can, for both you and your partner; take what comes your way. Nuturing the shared garden is valuable, but be prepared to put up strong walls against outside predation of your fruits.
Capricorn: It’s easy to be generous with your time, your authority and your personal aptitude in every area. Are you aware that you’re also pouring out a generous helping of hemlock wine and a side salad of poison ivy? Review your last half-dozen interactions with others; are you letting your contempt for their inadequacies show? Some of this may be a result of new constraints on your financial picture, or the fight with the neighbor that you know is brewing… but that’s no reason to be two-faced. Put up your psychic feelers, be more compassionate about doing the final assembly of other people’s work. You have a rare competence right now when everyone else is falling to bits… make sure it’s your competence that’s remembered at your next performance review, and not your too-poorly-hidden disdain.
Aquarius: One of Saturn’s emblems is a rope or a length of chain, and for much of the next two and a half years, you might feel bound up in one. The next twenty days (two Decans) are an opportunity to review your existing responsibilities, and figure out if you’re carrying any particularly odious or objectionable duties — and put them down. Anything you’re holding onto by mid-July is going to become part of your identity in the long haul, bound to your self. There’s going to be a temptation to give yourself over to certain kinds of cheap addictions, too — pornography or fermented liquids perhaps, or drugs — but this should be resisted: your real dreams are better met through deep connections than shallow wish-fulfillment. In work environments, focus on a combination of nurturing the existing walled gardens, and leaving a legacy of good documentation.
Pisces: Starting a workout program? Might be helpful and healthy, but choose a disciplined approach that focuses on the solo rather than the social. A culling of your social media friends’ list is also needed, especially with your self-actualized learning plans slowing starting to move. If you live near your family, take some time to beautify your parents’ house or garden in the next ten days, or at least clean it; a long day of traditional self care may also be helpful, especially trimming nails or preparing some of your favorite “pretty dishes” in the kitchen. You’ll also get significant benefit from reducing your commitments at work.
Aries: You are what you work these next ten days, even though your partner or spouse is more likely to spend the money you earn than you are (or you’ll have to spend on them anyway). Look for sweetness and goodness in your immediate community or family, because extended friends-networks are likely to alternate between nobleness and villainy. If you want actual solo time, you’re going to have to fight for it, especially with coworkers and supervisors breathing down your neck about their own essential projects. There’s rewards to this labor for them, to be sure, but it comes with petty dictatorial issues which are less enjoyable.
Taurus: Ongoing disruptions in your life likely have you focused strongly on a partner (real or imagined, romantic or business)… but that partner is focused on themselves and a recent uptick in their own luck. But it’s your world that’s going through a major shake-up, not theirs — quite the opposite of normal, they have plenty to do and think about, and you have a series of tremors shifting your sense of self and identity. Accordingly, a shift in your focus may be useful: toward using your money wisely to create beauty and elegance; toward communicating with older family members; toward expressing your big dreams to your friends; away from limiting ideas like “career” and toward upcoming education or writing opportunities. You have chance to build life that’s even more magical, but you have to shift some of your attention from what you have in a partner, to what you think about.
Gemini: The legacies of the past are weighing on you, as you consider past violences and imagined horrors; but let your ancestry come to mind with a little more lightness, more nurturing creativity— and a sword to cut away what will not serve. A close look at your financial picture, especially shared resources, is in order — so is a household reset, a cleaning-out and repurposing of old work. Something new is coming up at your place of business, not all of it welcome or aligned with your personal dreams, but likely to bump up what’s in your wallet, and bring home a new set of perplexities to you and any partner you may have.
Cancer: You’re called upon to be a more nurturing and communicative traveler and learner in the week or so ahead, but it doesn’t mean you won’t be lonely — or in need of prayer. The past may not be a useful guide to what the future holds. Various disruptions are changing your relationship both with your partner if you have one, and their friends. Upcoming travel plans fulfill certain long-standing dreams, but carry significant and difficult-to-quantify risk. It’s hard to get your spouse or partner out of their chair right now, even though they seem to be rehashing the same old stuff.
Leo: With the Sun in aversion to the Tenth House, you’re likely feeling the need to be solo, off on your own, or off on an adventure. That may not be what you’re getting, though, with Mars in aversion to the sign of travel. This may change in a few weeks, but for now make plans rather than taking the leap or the plunge. For now, a somewhat disorderly dive into ancestry-dot-com or other dreams of your past history may prove useful. Money matters become heightened, but unless you can find a way to close off access to what you’ve created, don’t release your big work before it’s done. Find a way to blow off steam at home, though, and that may help relieve some of the pressures of daily life.
Virgo: With the midheaven approaching the mid-point of the chart, it’s not clear if you’re going to be the smith working hammer and anvil — or the thing being beaten between them. There’s little safety in your current home, relative to the larger world of work and career you usually inhabit: your creative skills will be nurtured, your almost-psychic sense of when to axe a project or person are on fire. So what if you have to work from home; at least the camera’s on and you get to be with other people who share your excitement. Learn to deal with the surprise argument with equanimity.
Libra: Hard to find balance when you’re on your own, way out on a high-wire. The money coming in right now is good, but you’re aware that the money you’re making comes at the expense of your own skill-development and your own sweat. You’re seeing less of your extended family, and more of your colleagues and network allies than is good for anyone. Partnership may feel like a rollercoaster during an earthquake — memorable, certainly, but a little more jittery than usual. It’s not time to escape your current living situation, but it’s worth keeping an eye out for new opportunities, and to review existing agreements with house or room mates. The new boss is out for blood, but whether it’s for punishing the last quarter’s report, or pushing for the next, is hard to be clear. Look for your dreams elsewhere on the internet. Communicate with spiritually-minded colleagues outside of work about hammering out long-term objectives in your career.
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.