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Mid-Year Planet Review: Next up—Lunar Eclipse July 4th 2020
Time for an update on the current planetary weather.
We are just now going into the 3rd of 3 eclipses for the summer season (winter in Southern Hemisphere). What with all the Retrogrades, eclipses and the continuing Capricorn triplex, we can sure understand why 2020 is as unusual as any year on record. It’s actually difficult to choose words that describe 2020 as there is a strange cocktail of planets (dwarf and otherwise), asteroids and eclipses, seemingly playing a competitive game of “Who can cause the most havoc to the most people this year”? And the prize goes to….(winner to be announced in 2021)!
Of course, many astrologers have researched this time compared to other times in history. We have to go back over 500 years to find the patterns in place that we are witnessing today. And those patterns shook up the world order tremendously in their day. First, a word about the Retrogrades… This is a unique year for retrogrades. As well as all the outer planets turning retrograde (as they do each year) we have all 3 inner planets—Mercury, Venus and Mars— going retro in 2020. It is common for Mercury to retro 3 times a year for 3 weeks at a time. Mars and Venus, however, have different cycles. Venus turns retro every 1.6 years and Mars about every 2 years. They don’t often overlap, but this year two of Mercury’s retro periods overlap with both Venus and Mars. June (17th-24th) saw a retrograde of both Mercury and Venus simultaneously.
The next Mercury retro, overlapping with a Mars retro, occurs for the entire last half of October and the first few days of November. Did you catch that? Early November, which in the US is Election Day and a most crucial one at that. It’s certainly not unexpected that this year’s election will be chaotic, but with those two planets retrograde, we can only begin to speculate as to what type of chaos will ensue.
The conventional wisdom on retrograde is “re-“. Literally the planet is returning to territory it occupied before. A turning back or a turning in. Actually these planets do not travel in a straight line backwards along the ecliptic. They do a wild dance with loops and bends off the ecliptic. (The ecliptic is the path the planets follow on their orbit around the Sun—call it the super highway for the planets if you will). So they are actually “off the beaten path” and act a bit wild and unpredictable while there.
If that weren’t enough, Venus spent much of her retrograde period out of bounds as well. Out of bounds is a situation that occurs for certain planets when they are beyond the limits the Sun imposes. The Sun never reaches further than 22-23 degrees north or south latitude, but certain planets in certain signs (usually Gemini, Cancer, Sagittarius, Capricorn) can go beyond that limit. It’s somewhat like being called out of bounds by a referee in a sporting event. When a planet is out of bounds it is acting on its own behalf, not engaging in the conventional rules of the game. I liken the out of bounds condition to Icarus, the famous figure from mythology. His father, the master architect Daedalus, constructed wings for his son to fly. But the wings were fashioned from wax. Father’s warning to son: be careful – don’t fly too close to the Sun or the wings will melt. What boy listens to his father? Icarus had no intention of obeying the warning, became exhilarated by his flight and flew past the Sun. You guessed it — the wings melted and Icarus crash-dove into the sea, since named the Icarian Sea which surrounds lovely Greek islands.
I have discussed the Venus Retrograde, the 2020 Venus Star Point and its meaning in detail on other formats. Click here to listen to the interview with Chris Flisher at Turning of the Wheel Podcast, or use the player below.
Both of these retrogrades (Mercury and Venus) had strong ties with not only the eclipses of 2020, but also the US chart. In mid June when the many states in the US were prepared to swing open their doors proclaiming “Back in Business”, Mercury our planet/god of commerce and trade, went retrograde. To those of us in the astrological field it seemed like truly ill-advised timing on the part of those wishing to congregate once again. The stats on the coronavirus were showing that we still had not yet hit the peak, flattened the curve and prepared ourselves to be ready to engage socially once again.
The natural response from people around the country and the world was a euphoric exhilaration not unlike that of Icarus when he took flight. Cabin fever had become intense, summer was upon us here in the states and people were ready to party—at the beaches and in bars with nary a mask in sight. Icarus, if you will. Many state and local leaders, humbly eating their words and reversing their just proclaimed orders for opening needed to back-track and begin insisting on enacting protective measures. Gavin Newsom, Governor of California, uttered this in one of his regular messages to the state’s citizens: “Of course you have cabin fever. But apparently many of you also have amnesia.” Back-tracking if you will. Retrograde, if you will.
And now for the Eclipses…
Typically we have four eclipses in a year—two solar and two lunar. But as mentioned previously, there is nothing typical about this year. We are having four lunar eclipses this year as well as the two solar. Eclipses run in 19 year cycles, called Metonic Cycles. This year’s eclipses are related to those of 2001 when there was also an eclipse on the USA Sun. We have 3 eclipses this year, matching the dates and degrees of those 2001 eclipses! And to emphasize the event, it will be visible throughout the Americas.
Another important point is that all the eclipses this year hit something in the US chart, but this one hits the hardest. It’s right on the Cancer Sun of the US (the Sun) and opposite the Sun (the Moon). There is a polarity principle in play between the people of the country and the leader of the country. All the leaders of the world including the heads of state, governors, mayors, etc. are coming into question at the moment. Cancer and Capricorn are the two signs of the solstice, making them signs at which the Sun reaches its maximum height in the northern or southern hemisphere in the yearly round. At its maximum power, leaders are scrutinized carefully as to how well they are leading.
Capricorn, in particular, relates to the idea of power and in fact almost always involves a test of power in leadership. The idea of hubris or excessive pride is associated with it. Like Icarus who ignored warnings from his elder, a leader whose pride interferes with his rational capacity and capability to lead, will eventually topple.
Another unanticipated but not surprising aspect of the Capricorn triplex (Jupiter, Saturn, Pluto) all occupying the sign for most of the year is the idea of icons. These are leaders who have had statues or monuments erected to honor them. Look around the world at the moment. Icons and idols are falling, being debased, smashed and carried off, without hesitation.
This leads us to America’s birthday – July 4th – celebrating the 244th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, signed on July 4, 1776. What type of celebration will people be engaged in? For many, it will be simply another holiday and an excuse to take a little vacation or have a family picnic, complete with BBQ, corn-on-the-cob, watermelon and apple pie. But for many in the country there will be questions about what exactly we are celebrating. Certainly, freedom from a former over-lord oppressing the colonists. Celebrate your freedom by casting your ballot on election day. It hasn’t been that long, in the history of our nation, that all of us were even able to vote! Perhaps Independence Day should remind us, annually, of just how free (or not) we really are