The horoscopes of Decan I of any sign are free to everyone, but Decans II and III are available to supporters of my Patreon account at the $3 or greater tiers. Your generosity through other means, like Ko-fi or PayPal opens the column to any potential readers. You can also schedule an appointment with me using Accuity Scheduling, for a natal or solar return consultation. My Almanac is also available! It’s for sale through my Etsy website as a PDF.
July 1 sees the entry of the Sun to Cancer II, at 11:15 am EDT. Austin Coppock called this face The Walled Garden, and noted its associations with the three of cups — in Pamela Colman Smith’s painted Tarot deck, the one with the three women dancing with their goblets raised high.
The planetary power associated with this decan is Mercury, the swift non-binary messenger of the gods. Concerned with business and expertise, communication and medicine, sciences and fraud, they are the princely carrier of ideas, words, phrases, and messages.
Yet the Hellenized Egyptians and the Egyptianized Hellenes of 1st century BC Alexandria looked to an allegedly more heroic figure for these ten days: that of Herakles or Hercules, as the ruling power of the second decan of Cancer. Disney movies aside, the heroic or demi-god figure, the super-strongman of ancient Greek myth was important enough, revered enough, and popular enough to warrant a decan of his own — something that Zeus himself didn’t get at all.
I don’t much like Hercules/Heracles.
Hercules is famous, of course, for his twelve labors — slaying various monsters, diverting a river to clean out some stables, and otherwise engaging in feats of both heroism and observant intelligence. Nearly all of the creatures he defeated could not be beaten with mere strength or weapons. Hercules skinned the Nemean Lion, with its fur harder than iron, using its own claws. He scattered the Stymphalian Birds by using a rattle made of their own bronze feathers, and shot them while they were separated from one another in flight. In his chase of the Ceryneian Hind, Hercules used devotion to the gods and persistence to get what swiftness and cunning could not achieve alone. There’s more stories about Hercules, of course — I’ve only mentioned three so far, so there are at least nine more — but the ones that I want to talk about here are the one that came before the Twelve Labors, and the one the same after.
Because Heracles was sent to king Egeus to perform the Twelve Labors after going crazy and killing his family. Egeus’s job was to give Hercules impossible tasks, too — not so that Hercules would get famous, but so that he would get properly dead. The goal here was not triumph and achievement; the goal was a disastrous quest-gone-wrong and a short funeral. That the gods chose, time and again, to turn the penitent into a hero, is not Egeus’s fault. And after the Twelve Labors, and after he was formally forgiven for his prior crimes and properly atoning? Hercules did it again — his second wife and second set of kids also died from his murderous rage, when Hera inspired Heracles to acts of madness and brutality. The second time he did his penance living with an Amazonian queen as one of her spinning-women, because the gods were tired of his antics and didn’t want him to get any more famous or revered than he already was. His third wife wound up ‘accidentally’ giving him a poisoned cloak, which lacerated his skin and put him in a state of permanent, immortal agony. But you have to wonder, how much of that was self-preservation on Deanaira’s part??
And what kind of patriarchy blames a man’s psychotic, murderous outbursts on Hera, of all entities — the goddess of love and marriage?
And maybe that’s the point of this decan, The Walled Garden. As a Tarot card, it’s associated with the Three of Cups — which Pamela Colman Smith painted as three women lifting their cups to toast one another, and celebrate being alive while they danced. The second decan of Cancer tells us to have a close-knit circle of friends, a group with whom we share our intimate worries, and our revelries to discover that we’re still alive. And maybe, just maybe, we can let our Herculean meatheads actually suffer for a change instead of making them into immortal, untouchable gods. It doesn’t escape my notice that the card doesn’t have any men in it, while the image from H.C.Agrippa’s 3 books of occult philosophy has a man and a woman playing games. Did the women win, and that’s why Smith showed them in a victory celebration?
The dodecatemoria, or 12th-parts of the sign, begin with Scorpio, and then proceed through Sagittarius, Capricorn, and Aquarius: this gives us a little taste of conflict that resolves in favor of a more-jovial and caring solution rooted in wisdom. Yet the decan ends with Saturn’s rectitude and orderliness from on high, putting aside Hercules’ buddy-buddy nature in favor of a more solemn and discerning posture.
The ingress chart for Cancer II takes place at 11:15am EDT, making it a Day Chart in which the Sun plays a principal role. This puts the positions of the three day-sect planets in a position of prominence: Saturn in Aquarius, Jupiter in Pisces, and Mercury in Gemini are all in their rulerships — and the result is a three-way tussle for control and command of the situation. Expect the coming ten days to be deeply weird and unusually contested, as Jupiter, Saturn and Mercury contend to express themselves most fully: Jupiter here represents the idea of our common life together as political animals, while Mercury indicates the pressures and options of our individual lives as economic animals. However, Saturn holds sway as the indicator of our animal nature overall — that is, as beings subject to the will and whim of nature.
The Ascendant is in Virgo, making the turn toward harvest seem inevitable. Yet the also heralds changes in the earth itself, not all of them easy. The Ascendant is in opposition to the planet Uranus, and both are square to Mercury in Gemini — we may find that there are professional matters that require our attention which are at odds with our self and our sense of personal identity. Virgo’s middle decan the Hammer and Anvil suggests that we’re shaped by the events of the next ten days rather than being able to give our own shape to circumstances around us.
In the fourth house, representing home matters, the South Node and the Imum Coeli are both in the middle decan called The Bridle. Less time at home seems to be in the offering of the next ten days, and we face the challenge of steering between two options of sensible rest and relaxation, and insane demands of duty and responsibility.
Pluto in Capricorn in the fifth house points to the accumulation of a great deal of toxicity in small doses, around the idea of pastimes and hobbies on the one hand, and our children on the other. The last few months have been an unusual time for children, who have had more access to their parents than any other generation in the last dozen decades; and all of us have had both more and less access and time for hobbies and pleasures — the result is a reverberation in the next ten days, as economic and political forces attempt to wrench the balance back to the old normal. In the third decan of Capricorn The Throne, we can expect efforts to command us back to the office, to order children back to school (even if it’s summer vacation), and to curtail our enjoyable pursuits.
Saturn retrograde in Aquarius in the Sixth House is one of the ruling powers of the chart this month. In his own sign, he rises early to make the day and catch the worm, and here he brings his capacity to dry out, analyze, separate and delimit to the weaknesses in our lives — our capacity to be ill or sick, flaws in our workout routines and health management systems; and our relationships with underlings and vendors or service providers that keep our lives functional.
Jupiter retrograde in the seventh house of Pisces appears to promise all manner of good things — to other people, not ourselves. The first decan The Labyrinth is a place of wandering in and out, looking for exits or looking for the center — in politics and economics, in personal management and relationship, all sorts of relationships with others are up for consideration: “further up and further in”, to quote C.S. Lewis’s The Last Battle — or an escape from the system’s clutches? If Jupiter represents expansion inside of reasonable boundaries, though, Neptune represents the dissolution of those boundaries — suggesting that the way out is more complicated than it may appear at first glance; and that we are farther from the center than we suppose.
The Moon is in Aries, in the first Mansion of the Moon, called The Two Signals, and the eighth house. The eighth house is a place of duties and obligations first and foremost, though it has other meanings like death and taxes too. This is a place of sudden and rising anger and ferocious energy, as the Moon gives new shape to the things that are coming: new foes and new risks are emerging — and with them a new set of commitments.
Uranus in the ninth house in Taurus brings a revolutionary fervor to romantic travel and social learning. Men in relationships with women may want to take the opportunities of the next ten days to learn to be better lovers — and not just with bedroom activities. My own beloved says, “No man was ever shot for washing the dishes,” and there’s a sense here of needing to rebalance relations outside the bedroom for better relationships in it.
Mercury is our third planet in rulership this decan. In the tenth house and conjunct the midheaven, they are in a place even more authoritative than Jupiter who is merely angular: the economic and financial circumstances of the world are likely to get a front seat this next two weeks, even if they achieve it by a mix of misstatement and fraud. In close proximity are The Lot of Fortune, and The North Node, all of them jammed together in Gemini’s middle decan The Hermaphrodite. Expect business, reputation, financial matters, communication, and career issues to be especially hyped up this week.
The Sun in Cancer in the Eleventh House asks us to put a spotlight on our relationships with friends and associates — determining which should be allowed to remain inside a privileged circle, and who should be at least temporarily shut out.
Finally, Mars and Venus hold down two decans of Leo, and prepare for their conjunction on July 13-14. Venus’s approach and overtaking of Mars is said to make Mars more ardent and fierce and rough; yet here they are in isolation one from another — Mars holds the middle decan The Laurel Wreath, while Venus occupies The Spotlight: Men are likely to encounter a series of fleeting honors and recognition for their work, while women are more likely to encounter moments where their expertise leads them to sometimes-unwanted prominence. Neither of these citations are likely to be happy, deserved, or even significant, though — a promotion or jump in job title doesn’t seem to be in the offering except for a few lucky individuals.
Horoscopes by Rising Sign
As this is a Second Decan column, the horoscopes are available to my Patreon supporters at the $3/month tier and above.
I have a Patreon account for those who want to support this column as it approaches the end of its second year (I began with Leo I in 2019 )We’re currently doing a decan walk through some Tarot, astrology, mythology, and magic. If you don’t want to become a regular patron, you can also buy me a Ko-fi in $3 increments, and any column I write after receiving a Ko-Fi donation will be open to the public. You can also schedule an appointment with me using Accuity Scheduling, for a natal or solar return consultation.
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 Hugh Tran‘s Physis typeface to craft logos for this blog, as well.
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 much 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, as is my Almanac for 2021. 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.