As the Sun’s light starts to intrude over the horizon and blot out the stars just before dawn on July 1, the Second Decan of Cancer begins. Austin Coppock named the second Decan of Cancer “The Walled Garden”, suggestive of the
Arabic Persian (thank you, T!) word paradis or paradise — a well-defended enclosure with a rich and well-cared-for beauty within. Protected and sheltered and private, yet elegant and refreshing, it is the perfect realm in troubled times: only the invited may enjoy the lush greenery and the refreshment of the fountain, and rest from the trouble of the world. At the same time, the Decan reminds us that having a refuge where we can shut out the world, usually means that the world beyond the walls is in a messy and difficult state.
The Greco-Roman world assigned this Decan to Herakles or Hercules, the strong-armed glory-hound who performed twelve labors to secure his greatness. People sometimes forget that Hercules’s labors were imposed upon him as punishment for multiple homicide: in a state of insanity, he murdered his wife and children. An oracle (I think of Delphi) commanded him to serve the king of Tiryns for twelve years in recompense, and perform twelve impossible feats during this time of atonement.
Twelve is a number that should always make us sit up and take notice, of course: the number of Zodiac signs is twelve; and it takes twelve years for the planet Jupiter to go through all the signs of the Zodiac. Shakespeare’s Prospero tells his daughter Miranda that they have spent twelve years in exile, waiting for the ‘fortunate star’ to come around again — and the fortunate star associated with kingship is Jupiter. When we see twelve and kingship mentioned in the same breath, as in the story of Hercules, we should pay attention to Jupiter, who is exalted in Cancer — and presently in exile in the late degrees of Capricorn, in the sign of opposition to his exaltation. So right now, the Sun is in the place where Hercules is glorified and celebrated… while Jupiter is in the place where Hercules is in a state of madness and homicidal confusion, and where normal behavior is in abeyance. Although the Sun and Jupiter are not in pure opposition (yet), there’s a growing awareness that only heroic labor will atone for past actions — and the labors are each individually looking impossible.
The Ascendant is in the Cardinal Water sign as this decan begins. We’re likely to find a lot of new themes cropping up in our lives this week — and it’s unlikely there will be much closure, either. Expect that there will be a holdover of themes from the last ten days, even as new ones crop up. It’s been a while since we’ve experienced the dissipating energy of a mutable sign as the Ascendant, and so the emotional energies of the last ten days are likely to be piling up.
The Sun is essentially conjunct the Ascendant, as the time to sunrise shrinks. The themes of the walled garden stand strongly in place. Turn the powers of your higher mind to perform a meta-analysis on the communities you belong to: which ones have shielded themselves against the storms of the coming days, and the tumult in the streets? Which ones have invited the chaos in?
Between the Ascendant and the Sun is Mercury. Somewhat behind the Sun and about to go speeding away, the herald planet is nonetheless under the beams and burnt up by the Solar force. While the Walled Garden is normally Mercury’s desmene, they have fled it for more nurturing places: the comfort of a mother’s arms, or those of a lover; it will be difficult to use our most effective communications skills except with our closest intimates, and even then our speech may be awkward or unfamiliarly stilted.
The Imum Coeli, or bottom of the sky, holds the middle decan of Virgo, “The Hammer and Anvil”, in the Third House. All of us are seeking to reshape our neighborhoods and communities and extended kin-networks, as well as our more intimate circles of friends, into something far more agile and less risky than what we had a few months ago. A portion of the fast-moving crisis is over; now the question becomes how to weather the aftermath, which may not be anywhere as easy.
The North Node – South Node axis floats between the late degrees of Gemini (“The Executioner’s Sword”) and the end of Sagittarius (“The Horse’s Skull”), balancing the daily life and disease concerns of the sixth house against the desperate loneliness of the twelfth house. All of us seek more social time, even as the conditions beyond our homes indicate real risks of swift demise. However, the threat outside is starting to be of less concern to many, compared with being cooped up one more day … even so, the sword hangs there. Chop-chop!
Venus offers one possible solution, holding out the “Apple of Eden” in the first decan of Gemini. There’s a forbidden fruit on offer in our solitude, a taste of some new experience that’s possibly worth pursuing. The placement of Mercury in a term of Venus, and Venus in a term of Mercury, creates mutual reception between the apple and the walled garden. We’re on the verge of being ‘kicked out’ of something allegedly wonderful… or is it just the beginning of an amazing new life?
Uranus in Taurus is currently upending comfortable friendships. Know anyone who’s kicked a dozen or a hundred people out of their friends’ lists on social media? Anyone threatening to ban people from their online club-houses? There are larger concerns about justice and fairness in play — of course there are. But preservation of self vs. other is also in play, as is the concept of “better our bastards than their saints.” Often, our friends are those whose habits we consider as reliably meshing with our own — and over the next few months and years, that may no longer be the case.
Mars has entered Aries at last, where he’ll be until late November: first direct, then retrograde, then direct again — no doubt, those with bosses will be fired up to go back to work again, but expect a regression back to your home office before too long, and then a “return to work” order in the late autumn. For now, business leadership seeks to bring the axe down, right on the line between profitable and unprofitable, the loyal and the disrespectful, the productive and the whiners. Later on, there will be a more authoritative issuance of new rules and regulations… and then the accounting may get … creative. Be on the look out, and know when it’s time to step back from the fire, or leap over it.
Neptune at the Midheaven signals that all of us are learning that we have no idea what is really going on — everywhere we turn, the illusions and delusions are holistic and holographic. The lack of clarity about mission, values, aims and methods infect every part of our decision-tree: travel or go back to school, learn and work at home or in the physical job-site or college. What is clear is that the medicine that relieves these anxieties, dreams for the future on the one hand and FUN on the other, are both in short supply.
The Lot Of Fortune is in the 8th house of Aquarius, in the decan called “The Knot”. Most of us are involved in either knitting together that which has been improperly divided — or untangling what was not carefully brought together. In the realm of shared resources and death, the Lot shares the sky with Saturn, still steadily demanding a justice that is more than human, but actually rooted in the laws and habits of nature. Our wealth is tied up in a remembrance that real justice, and real liberty, often come from welcoming the exiles home and restoring the dignity of the unjustly outlawed.
In the seventh house of relationships, Jupiter and Pluto occupy the Throne in close conjunction, in the last decan of Capricorn. A combination of gracefulness and poison is seeping into most of our romantic and business relationships as self-isolation and working from home drags on… and on… and on. My mother said it best: “Your father and I have been married fifty-three years, and between his business career and my family, we’ve never spent this much time consecutively under one roof, together, before. We’re still married, but it’s a shock to both of us that we still like one another.” Imagine a relationship – perhaps your own – that has not been so well balanced, and the forces that contend for power in many relationships may still bring untamable wildness into play.
Finally, in the Fifth house, we find The Moon, inching along toward her fullness on July 5, when a penumbral eclipse will take place over the Salta and Jujuy provinces of Argentina. With only a partial shadow extending over the face of the Moon as the Earth passes between her and the Sun, nothing too bad may occur — and yet an eclipse over the headwaters of the rivers of the Pampas may signal dangerous flooding. The Eighteenth Mansion, named the Scorpion’s Heart, promises illness to some and medicine to others; by stellar placement, the Sixteenth Mansion of The Counter-man is in play as well, suggesting economic turmoils in Argentina spilling over into larger crises.
Rising Sign Horoscopes
Cancer: Career matters are likely to get fierce from now until late November; either choose ambition and work for what you want; or be prepared to bow out of the heat. Your emotional life may thank you to take a less-firey path, but your partner may be initially venomous about that decision. Consult with your more-radical friends before making any rash decisions; and check in with an inspired teacher.
Leo: Wall yourself off from other concerns for a bit, and go through your financial statements a little more carefully than usual; once you’ve done that, communicate your concerns to a partner without judgement, although some pushback should be expected. An open secret in your family comes to the fore, and healing can emerge from its revelation; try not to crow about it too loudly though; give the matter some rest, and take an approach of forgiveness rather than reproach.
Virgo: Hammer some of those dreams into shape, even if your partner is all over the place in terms of what they want to do, where they want to go, or what they want to learn next. A relative or super-close friend is facing a difficult choice around potentially-risky medication, and may want your take on it. It’s not the right time to go back to office work, and avoid that if you can help it. You may have to have it out with a partner about your shared resources in the next ten days; a feast of creative options are laid before you in your career: take a bite, you might like it.
Libra: Settle in at home, is the best place to be right now — even if things are looking up at work, and there’s a career-altering project that needs your attentive reforging. Your spouse is making significant demands, and while there’s consideration in the request, it also likely feels outrageous. Recognize the thoughtfulness of the offer of “fun”, but be mindful of nurturing your own career goals. Arrange for a taste of some new creative work: follow along in a how-to video, and taste the sweetness of new knowledge.
Scorpio: The Moon offers you both secret pleasures and risky behaviors out of sight of the laws of the land. Take care that your entertainments don’t trip you up as you pursue your daily endeavors; and take fevers and other sicknesses seriously for the moment. Your partner faces a swift turnover among her circles of friends, while you wrestle with a mix of vicious and gracious behaviors from your extended kin; your spouse may get into a bit of an argument at a neighborhood party. A health scare may require limits on visitors to your home, but good fortune emerges from your new protocols.
Sagittarius: Today you get a significant career boost, as a leadership role finally comes to you at home. Alas, it doesn’t come with many boundaries or guidelines. With you in the big chair, you’ll be able to cast a wide net from the comfort of home. In you, there’s a combination of leadership and skill that’s second-to-none, but comes with some harsh personality conflicts. Lessen your ego, focus on delivering high-quality thoughtfulness and communication to your team, and expect that your days are going to go through some shifts of responsibility and activity.
Capricorn: Make your spouse or partner a priority in the next ten days. They’ll be wearing the crown, but you’ll be the power of the throne, seeing to it that stuff gets done on time and in the right way. No spouse or partner? You’ll still be the power behind the throne, and you’ll find that you need to do the things that your spouse might expect of you anyway: clean the house, cut your way through a bunch of garbage, burn through a lot of the “honey do” list that’s making your household unloveable (I typed unliveable, but autocorrect has insisted three times). Strike the spark that burns through the troubles of home, for the sake of your would-be partner, in other words: Make space for love to come in.
Aquarius: You’re likely feeling on the outs right now, with a Mark of Cain on your forehead (or perhaps a sign reading unclean hung around your neck). Have a cough? A touch of allergies? Your best fortune comes from untangling your present state of mind and present state of health from one another, and being aware of how you come across to others. You cannot buy the “splendid isolation” you might crave, and so you must pay for the recognition of our intimate levels of interconnection in your daily labors.
Pisces: In your all-too-public learning, you must recognize the holistic nature of reality: that each part mirrors and integrates with the complete version of yourself; thus, until you accept that you do have limits, it will be hard to accept the structural changes that your spouse or business partner is trying to create. The next few months are likely to see forced changes to the economic structure of your life; try to ensure that the resulting bifurcation of your home life allows you to form a nurturing creche for you and your family, even as you have to chop away parts of your collective family experience; let your focus rest naturally on fun and the experience of your children (if any), even as your spouse centers their attention on winning support from friends and allies.
Aries: An exercise program has a chance to change your public persona in the coming months, first as you overcome inertia and then get fired up. You’ll likely have to revolutionize your approach to sharing money and resources (like time) with friends, as creating an effective and healthy familial ‘bubble’ takes priority for the time being. Career matters require you to handle matters with a combination of grace and cruelty, but you’re likely to achieve fame mostly for what you do on your own. Limit your time with your friends whose heads aren’t on right; you don’t have to call them out or cut them off, but know that your luck is more favorable when you remember your own duty, and don’t pay much heed to the thief, the brigand or the exile.
Taurus: You often believe you are who you’re friends with, and you’re familiar with the same often-ploughed and well-settled (comfortable) groups. Now your attention has to be turned to a wider circle composed of less-familiar friends and allies. There’s going to be some growing pains here, and it may not always be easy. There may be conflict between your family, and your spouse’s family, in the next ten days; accept that there is also grace and good will, and that in large measure this is to your advantage. Know that your ancestors have your back, and that the immediate ugliness turns out well in the long run.
Gemini: You’ll need to take what you need for yourself, as you rethink some fashion choices and feel your way through a tricky financial landscape. On the one hand, you may have to provide for your child, more than you’re used to doing; on the other hand, you have your own garden to nurture. In your daily labors, you have to remember to take your medicine (or maybe pick your poison) — there’s things you should do for your health and well-being that still aren’t very enjoyable. Attend to the financial affairs of your partner for a while, or at least look over their shoulder. The money they spent on learning and wisdom may seem excessive, though it brings you wealth in roundabout ways; but travel plans are unlikely to come to fruition, and your dreams are better fulfilled closer to home.
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.