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Pivotal week ahead: Saturn direct, Sun and Mars enter Leo, New Moon

Ducks in the River
Ducks in the RiverCatherine Al-Meten

Saturn turning direct, a pivotal point in the year

Another big week ahead. We start the week off with the Moon in Libra conjuncting Saturn, about ready to station and turn direct in Libra today, July 20 (11:41 PDT/2:41 EDT). After major shifts last week, this week is full of more. The Sun changes signs, leaving Cancer and entering Leo, and the week ends with the New Moon in Leo on Saturday, July 26. This is sure to be an active, busy, and tumultuous week.

Saturn’s transit through Scorpio will make its annual turn into direct motion within hours of my writing this column. On Sunday, July 20 the Great Teacher, will go direct. Through hard work, pressure, deep-seated awakenings, and the urge, indeed compulsion, to master those areas of life that are calling to be mastered. Saturn is a serious sort, and Saturnian energy sits heavy on our shoulders and tugs at our heart strings. When Saturn turns direct, all that you have been building, envisioning, and shaping rises to higher levels of excellence through persistence, hard work, and strong focus. Look to the house where Saturn has been transiting to determine what area of your life receives the benefits of Saturn’s hand of mastery. Whatever area of your life and your chart Saturn aspects, will receive the extra push, challenge, or pressure. Whatever part of your life Saturn affects, you will notice a need to put things right—create greater congruence and live more authentically.

Saturn reached 23 degrees of Scorpio before it turned retrograde, and it has retreated back to 16 degrees. It will turn direct at 16 degrees and push forward. While Saturn is in Scorpio, it makes challenging aspects to Taurus, Leo, and Aquarius. Saturn’s transit through Saturn has been a helpful and productive time for those with water sign planets, and for those areas of your chart where water signs rule. Any planet between 16-23 degrees also is affected, and these degrees of Scoropio have been receiving the strongest energy as we move toward this pivotal time. I’ve been feeling this pressure building up for the last few days. One of the best ways to handle the pressure is to take a two-pronged approach. Tackle the hard work at hand, one little piece at a time while getting proper rest, nutrition, exercise, and relief from stress and anxiety. Stop fighting yourself and the circumstances, expecting things to change that aren’t or won’t change. Instead, tackle what is at hand and take care of business. This is no time to sit and ponder how we can get out of doing something that needs to be done, finish something that is waiting to be finished, or getting started on a long project that has to be started in order for you to achieve your goals and fulfill your dreams. Stop rationalizing, putting off, or throwing yourself into other people’s ideas about who you should be or what you should be doing. You know what is right for you, and now is the time to stand in your own truth, live honorably and with complete authenticity, and move ahead with the life awaiting you.

Give yourself a way to keep track of major changes, plans, decisions, or projects. For example, I’m working on three major projects, and am keeping a log of all my projects. This enables me to set goals and objectives, outline deadlines and target dates, and to write down what I have completed, and what needs to be done. Use a calendar to outline goals, make your lists, or do whatever it is that helps you envision your plans and keep track of your progress. Whatever you are beginning now under Saturn’s forward motion, is major and requires that you enter into the process fully alert, well rested, focused, and nourished.

As we feel the pressure building for Saturn’s pivotal moment when it turns direct on Monday, we may also want to be aware that the Moon in Libra is building up to a conjunction with Saturn on Monday as well.

Saturn’s forward motion has the benefit of Jupiter’s movement into Leo. Jupiter just entered Leo, the dramatic, action-packed sign that showers whatever you are doing for the next year, with blessings, good fortune, expansion, and forward-moving energy. Jupiter moved from its transit in watery Cancer (focused on safety, security, focused on survival needs and creating a comfortable home) into fiery Leo. Jupiter bestows blessings, gifts, abundance, and expansion. Since Leo is all about acting out of desire, Jupiter may bring the feeling for some of us, of having too much energy, and not enough time, space, energy, resources to handle it. This period requires the ability to temper our actions, thoughts, and energy. It is also a time when it is vital to actively seek balance in body, mind, emotions, and spirit.

Jupiter, in the early degrees of Leo, forms two special aspects this week, first with the Sun in the early degrees of Leo, and then with the New Moon in Leo on Saturday. This is an auspicious time for whatever it is we are setting into motion. Whatever we are setting out to receive energy and to be activated, now receives new growth, expansion, and improvement.

Another beneficial aspect this week is the nearly exact trine between Saturn in 16 degrees of Scorpio and Chiron in 17 degrees of Pisces. The Great Teacher, Saturn, is in harmonious alignment to Chiron, the Wounded Healer—both in water signs where they have the greatest impact and influence on our spiritual, emotional, psychological, and energetic nature. The major areas of learning in our lives right now are helping us discern those parts of our lives where we need healing. Whatever seems most challenging will give you some hint as to where Saturn and Chiron are creating a healing balm through experiences, dreams, mental upset and confusion (significant signs pointing toward what is broken or wounded within us), not to mention demands, drives, and urges. Learning to discern what we need to pay attention to, what we may need to alter or eliminate, and how best to behave, adapt, or seek greater clarity, is essential now. Discernment is a process of continually seeking authenticity, Divine direction and insight, and changing our perceptions, actions, and attitudes in order to follow the path we are pursuing.

The Sun changes signs on Tuesday, July 22, moving from Cancer to Leo. Time for more dramatic activities, and a time when we do everything with more flare and playfulness. Everyone seems to want to be a star during Leo times, so just notice where your ego may be a bit overactive at times (vanity and selfishness can be the shadow sides of Leo). Leo focuses on the individual, and on finding ways of expressing the self and showing one’s prowess.

Mars is also changing signs this week, entering Scorpio from July 25 to September 13. Mars in Scorpio seeks to have its own way. Along with all the pressure of Saturn, the expansion and growth of Jupiter, Mars in Scorpio adds a hefty dose of perseverance, focus, and strength. We are less threatened by the hidden or unexplored elements of our nature and that of others, and more willing indeed fascinated by the exploration of the deeper issues and elements of our own psyches and the psyches of others. We can dig deeply, learn a great deal, and benefit from some powerful understandings We have more tolerance for the darker or wounded areas of our being, and we learn from others how we influence, hurt, misunderstand, and judge others through our own wounds and weaknesses. While there may be more crises in our lives at this time, we rise to the occasion, handling issues, conflicts, challenges, and problem areas with more forthcoming, vigor, and clarity.

Venus in Cancer trines Neptune in Pisces on July 22-23. This may seem like a magical time, when serendipity and romance place before our feet, exactly what our hearts desire. We see the world and everyone in it through the lens of compassion, and we are kinder, more generous, and loving to ourselves and others. On July 27-28, Venus forms an opposition to Pluto in Capricorn—a stressful time when we may feel overwhelmed emotionally. Fear, insecurity, and the remnants of abuse may seep into our experiences.

Monday. Uranus in Aries, stations and turns retrograde (7:53 PM PDT; 10:53 PM EDT). When in retrograde motion, Uranus become more Uranian. In direct motion, Uranus sparks our intuition, and we can rely on a steady flow of inner knowledge, serendipitous events, and synchronistic occurrences. When Uranus is retrograde, the energy and intuitive knowledge builds up and bursts forth in creative and fantastic visions and ‘aha!’ moments. This adds to the movement of Mars and Saturn in Scorpio that are waking up the unconscious elements of our being. Our desire to know more, go deeper, and understand more fully increases by leaps and bounds. This is an excellent time to make progress on exploring our deeper selves, of allowing our imagination and intuition to guide us, and to spend time envisioning plans, solutions, creative, and artistic visions, dreams, and goals.

While this can be a very fruitful and productive time, it can also raise some issues that you may want to address. When Uranus is retrograde, whatever areas of your life need altering, changing, healing, are all actively being processed internally. This may not make sense, and may lead to feelings building up which will seek release. We recognize how we have been working against our own good, or have been bucking the different systems that we find constraining and limiting. This struggle is more about what is going on within ourselves, than at other times. During this retrograde phase, notice how you are repressing your own needs and desires, and how you are projecting that on other people and situations that really have little power over you. Our need for freedom is heightened wherever Uranus transits, and this is where we can learn and discern what needs changing. This is not necessarily the best time to make sudden or drastic changes. When Uranus turns direct, whatever we have processed, learned, and discerned can unfold more smoothly. This transit is really about learning to ride with the energy of the time. Learn to know when it is best to sit still, and when it is time to act. When too many things are blocking your progress, or when you have rationalized or procrastinated, look to that place within you that is resisting or responding to deeper intuitive understanding. When things aren’t working out in some area, there is usually something signaling that the time is not right or the red flags are to warn you. Work with the flow of energy instead of against it. Look within for the questions, the information, the answers, and the advice, and then notice how the Divine guides, guards, and governs the life you are living. It is a matter of ebb and flow, give and take, push and pull. Our lives are dynamic, and we have to be more fluid in how we flow between different stages of life, different types of energy, and in different types of energy.

Tuesday. At 11:47 PM PDT on Monday/2:47 AM EDT on Tuesday, Mercury opposes Pluto. The energy around all forms of communication is powerful, strong, and in need of an outlet. This stress aspect can lead us into obsessive thoughts, cause disruptive sleep and nightmares, and find us seeing conspiracies and deceit around every corner. Taking things too personally, or taking communication out of context, can lead to confusion, misunderstandings, and disruption. This aspect affects us more on an emotional level than in regard to activities. We make things worse than they are, we see things through the worst possible lens, and we create a storm of confusion within—-that is if we go into this aspect unaware. By noticing the extremes and unbalanced ideas that are cropping up, we can counter the excessive and obsessive thinking.

In the early afternoon, the Sun enters Leo, shining some light into dark places. On Thursday, the Sun conjuncts Jupiter in the early afternoon (1:44 PM PDT 4:44 PM EDT), raising energy, confidence, and lifting our spirits. We feel more energetic and encouraged to act on what gives us life and fulfillment. A bit later, Mercury square Uranus heightens our senses, and stimulates our intuition, imagination, and intellect. We lack patience for the routine and mundane tasks of daily life. We are stimulated by new ideas, and find ourselves needing a break and little more time to integrate new concepts, plans, and changes into projects that are already in process. A good time to put off making final decisions or presenting ideas as you may not be able to present your plans in a cohesive, unified manner. A couple of hours later, Mercury trines Saturn, and our ideas seem clearer and our communication skills are sharper. If you took the time to pause earlier in the day, you may find that you can get back to whatever plan, project, or conversation demands your attention. The timing and the clarity is much better with even a bit of a break. When we take a little extra time to process and rest, we are able to present our ideas from a sounder, firmer base.

The New Moon in Leo on Saturday. I will write about the new moon later in the week.