20th June, 21:45 GMT
The solstices and equinoxes are the great gateways of the year, indicated by the Sun’s passage into the first degree of each of the cardinal signs: Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn. These signs are the initiators, inaugurating the new. We – and our Earth – enter these portals and are conditioned by their energies; they herald the Zeitgeist for the coming season. So this is a chance to glimpse what is unfolding over the next quarter.
picture credit: dartmoorcam.co.uk
At the Summer Solstice the Sun is at its northernmost point from the celestial equator, and so at the peak of its power in the northern hemisphere: the longest day. Maximum illumination. The Sun’s entry into Moon-ruled Cancer marks the Solstice moment, creating a strong energetic rapport between the two luminaries. The Moon rules the Summer Solstice. Just nine hours after the Solstice, the Moon conjuncts and eclipses the Sun, (this New Moon eclipse of the Sun is not observable from Earth). Prior to this, at the Solstice moment the Moon is exactly square Mars, warrior planet of will and drive. Mars energises the Moon, heightening emotional reactions amongst ‘the people’, creating a charge that the Moon will carry to the Sun as a challenge to leadership and consciousness. As Mars is now beleaguered (being conjunct Neptune in Pisces – a very watery situation that is difficult for the Red Planet) there is a mood of thwarted will, frustration and anger. Individual drives and desires are running counter to what serves the good of all, as expressed by Neptune and Pisces. The opportunity here is to raise the vibration of Mars, aligning our effort and determination with the highest good: compassionate action. This might mean breaking out of lockdown in order to stand with others for a cause; equally it could mean observing lockdown and resisting sending your kids back to school even if you are climbing the walls. However it manifests, we are really feeling the rub!
Lockdown has intensified our collective awareness of the private and public spheres. The commitment required to take to the streets at this time may help facilitate a seachange in our social culture. The expressions of protest and defiance in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement across the world are remarkable. Mars entered Pisces in mid-May and at the time of George Floyd’s death was in an exact sextile with Uranus, planet of rebellion and iconoclasm, in Taurus (ruling the neck/throat). Mars/Uranus are keynotes of unpredictable aggression, and Pisces saturates the event with the spirit of sacrifice and martyrdom. Mars/Neptune in Pisces helped to heave Edward Colston into the waters of Bristol harbour; he came down as Mars, approaching conjunction with Neptune, squared the Sun, and was recovered as the Sun squared Neptune.
The Dark Moon is always a fertile time for the planting of seeds; its potency now, at the Summer Solstice, is considerable since it is also in conjunction with the lunar North Node, which transited into the last degree of Gemini early in May having been in Cancer since November 2018. The North Node indicates growth experiences: the nourishing direction. Amazingly many people around the world have been going through a really intense Cancer experience (Cancer rules the domestic sphere, the inward world), locked down in our homes, getting strongly acquainted with the strengths and weaknesses of our domestic situations. Now we are consciously re-orienting towards Gemini, which is the sign of local interaction, communication, education and trade. We may feel like following the line of least resistance, indicated by the South Node of the Moon in Gemini’s opposite sign, Sagittarius, which rules living it up, freedom and long-distance travel. Sagittarius can be cavalier – eat, drink and be merry – especially in the face of straitened economic circumstances. Let’s have a blow-out and the devil take the hindmost. But the North Node will be strongly advising negotiation, intelligent troubleshooting and really giving our attention to situations within our local environments. This is not the time for sunshine holidays! And normally buoyant Jupiter, ruling the Sagittarian South Node, is struggling in the sign of its fall, Capricorn, which brings restriction and confinement. Now is the time for review and recalibration: Mercury, Venus Jupiter, Saturn and Pluto are all in retrograde; Neptune is stationary, turning retrograde on 23rd June.
Such retrograde times are wonderful opportunities for dreaming up the most brilliant outcomes that we can imagine from the circumstances in which we find ourselves. Wishing for life to return to what it was prior to Covid 19 risks being blind to all the shortcomings embedded within our old ‘normal’. Lockdown birthed amongst many a will to do things differently, to find healthier and more compassionate ways of being, operating with values beyond individualism and greedy materialism. Remember all the talk about birdsong?! We need positive visions of the future! The ongoing emphasis in Capricorn is still defining our overall context (being the locus of major new cycles beginning this year). Jupiter and Pluto make three conjunctions in 2020, the second of which comes up on 30th June. Jupiter’s principle is expansion; it is freedom seeking. Its journey through Capricorn is disciplining Jupiter’s normally boundless optimism, urging caution and realism. Its struggle to find grounds for faith and meaning in life may actually serve to create grounded, thought-through visions for future expansion. The conjunction with powerful Pluto purges Jupiter of frivolity, hammering home the injunction for systems of authority to get real, to be accountable. Pluto is revealing and intensifying the effects of boom and bust economics that underpin our socio-political organisations (and the State). Jupiter is the signifier of foreign influences and, hence, of globalisation, the positive and negative underpinnings of which will increasingly be hitting us between the eyes. Pluto may intensify Jupiter’s impulse to break free of restriction and we may well see public displays of this impulse met with authoritative kick-back. This will serve to de-legitimise systems of governance, because the status quo’s own obsolescence is breaking it apart under the aegis of Pluto’s evolutionary pressure.
Political clampdown is the motif of 2020. Its benign manifestation, lockdown, may begin to look rather different as we move through the year. Saturn (authority structures – ruler of Capricorn) has moved into Aquarius: the State now has to be perceived as humanitarian. It retrogrades back into Capricorn in July, leaving the sign finally on 17th December, just four days prior to both the Winter Solstice and its own conjunction with Jupiter on 0° Aquarius: the times they are a-changing!
Kate Hubert firstname.lastname@example.org
 Neptune is the esoteric ruler of the Summer Solstice and therefore indicative of activity in the subtle realms at this point.
 The first occurred on 5th April on 24° Capricorn, the second (with both planets retrograde) occurs on 30th June again on 24° Capricorn, and the final one takes place on 12th November (on exactly the same degree – 22° Capricorn – as the great Saturn-Pluto conjunction of 12th January).