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Summer Solstice in the Northern Hemisphere! Winter Solstice in the Southern Hemisphere!

Cancer Ingress of the Sun
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
1:16:30pm EDT
Washington, DC

Welcome Summer, Season of Water! With the Sun's ingress into Cancer, the cardinal water sign, comes relief from the incessant fire we've faced for the last three months. Now we're stepping into the realm of ocean and rain. Again, I'm running this chart for Washington, DC to give a mood forecast for the United States. If you're outside the US, you can ignore everything about house position, as that's determined by geography; everything about planets and signs, however, will work no matter where you are.

Quite a lot is happening in the Summer Forecast chart, so I'm going to try to hit the highlights and then talk about Asteroid Goddesses, which I've never covered before.

First, the awesome:
Jupiter is wearing stable, wealth-oriented Taurus and is the apex of several helpful aspects, including a so-called "mini grand trine" (i.e. Sun in Cancer is trine the Chiron-Neptune conjunction in Pisces, and both these points are sextile Jupiter in Taurus. It forms a shallow triangle with Jupiter at its point.) Jupiter is the Great Benefic, bringing blessings to all things, so this is like taking a good luck charm and multiplying it threefold. Jupiter is also receiving a trine from Pluto in Capricorn, indicating beneficial job/monetary changes, and it has zero challenging aspects from other points. That brings great things to everything related to Jupiter: faith, hope, luck, discovery, etc. And because Jupiter is wearing Taurus – the earth, music, the arts, fertility, wealth, etc – the luck spills over to those realms as well. The fact that Jupiter is in the 8th house of the Washington, DC Solstice chart indicates that the financial sector (dealing with other people's money) is bound for recovery. (This is even more apparent in the coming Fall equinox chart three months from now.)

To find out what part of your life is most apt to receive Jupiter blessings, find 3° Taurus in your own natal chart and check what house it's in. Also, if you have aspects to 3° Taurus from planets at 3° of the other signs of Earth and Water (Virgo, Capricorn, Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces), then you'll pick up an added dose of Jupiter's blessings.

Second, the uncanny:
In this chart, the Ascendant is at the beginning of Libra. The Midheaven is at the beginning of Cancer. The Sun is, necessarily, at 0° Cancer, but in the Washington, DC chart, the Sun is reaching 0° Cancer at a mere six minutes on the clock past its daily zenith (4 minutes on the clock = 1 degree of arc as the Earth rotates). In other words, the Sun is almost exactly at the midpoint of the sky at the exact moment of Solstice. When the Sun is at the Midheaven like this, it represents an important – public, potentially historic – time for the region the chart is drawn for, in this case for the US. Major, lasting goals and decisions are ready to be established, albeit with (per other parts of this chart) lots and lots of discussion and debate first.

Third, the curious:
We're looking at the forecast chart for the entire Season of Water. That means, Sun is at 0° Cancer. Mercury and the Midheaven are also in Cancer, giving a lot of prominence and discussion to matters related to Cancer (feelings, home, mother, safety, etc.). Meanwhile, look at Pisces (mutable water): we have Neptune at 0° Pisces, Chiron at 5° Pisces, Moon at 10° Pisces, and the asteroid Ceres (nurture, harvest) at 27° Pisces. Neptune rules Pisces, and is in a tight square to Mars at 0° Gemini (mutable air) and in trine to the Sun at 0° Cancer (cardinal water). Now, maybe it's just me, but I really, really wonder if there might be a correlation between this extreme water emphasis and the Atlantic hurricane season. The energy is there for some very heavy emotional storms, but I wonder if, like earthquakes and Uranus, there could be an astrological correlation with tropical storm season. Seeing this configuration makes me feel extra leery of torrential rains, floods, and such, but I've never seen any research that looked for connections here, so it may be nothing. It's something I'm curious about, though, so we'll see how it plays out.

And now, the challenging:
The Ascendant, Pluto, Uranus, and the Midheaven-Sun conjunction are making a Grand Square in Cardinal signs. Grand Squares are fundamentally stressful because they consist of two oppositions and four squares. That's a lot of friction in one place. When in Cardinal Signs, Grand Squares tend to be about personal identity and being true to oneself. Look carefully at your own chart and find what houses the beginning degrees of Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn are located in, as these areas of your life are likely to feel the greatest levels of stress. The key to dealing with Grand Squares is to focus on balancing the oppositions. If one corner of the square gets neglected, the whole framework goes out of whack.

In general, we're looking at three months of loud, incessant arguing. Mars has just entered Gemini, sign of talking. Mercury, planet of talking, is at the top of the chart in the 10th house of public activity. The hard Mars-Neptune square indicates incredible charisma, accidental or willful miscommunication, spin, and even hoaxes (imagination used as a weapon). And Aries, which is rule by Mars, is energized by the presence of Uranus, who is constantly seeking revolution and change.

In this vein, let's talk briefly about a relatively new aspect formation named by Joan McEvers. This chart contains a Boomerang pattern, which is what you get when you take a yod (two inconjuncts start from the same planet and lead to two planets connected by a sextile, thus forming a giant V across the chart) and have a fourth planet located opposite the apex of the yod. In this case, the Ascendant is the apex. There are inconjuncts to Jupiter and to Neptune, who are then linked by a sextile, and Uranus is at their midpoint and opposite the Ascendant. As McEvers describes it, think of the yod as the frame of a crossbow, with the business end of the arrow facing Uranus. The arrow points to the way out of a closed configuration. In this case, there's friction between the Ascendant (outward appearance) and Jupiter (faith, potential for success) and Neptune (dreams, imagination). It's a closed loop of entrenched patterns of thinking, and the way out is represented by Uranian ideological change.

Also, in the US Solstice chart, this is a 7th house situation – other people are required, either as a source of conflict or creative friction, for Uranian change to happen. As with the Grand Square, the closed loop of entrenched thinking is very much about how we conceptualize ourselves. Aries is Self; Libra is the Other, but Uranus is change and the Ascendant is how we present ourselves to others. Thus, the very concept of how we collectively approach and understand Relationship is shifting.

So, in sum:
There's good news coming about the economy. I think we're in for a summer of soul-searching about how to DO relationships – and faith-based groups will be extra-loud because Jupiter is so well-aspected. (Jupiter is zealotry and hot air, as well as good luck.) The question of who we are, as a people, will be much discussed, especially in political terms (Pluto), and I think we're in for a terribly public, terribly long debate (Mars in Gemini) over what our new values are.

I'm not actually all that concerned about the state of the Culture War, however, as the Saturn-Uranus opposition is a full six degrees away from exact. Uranus is less than three weeks away from turning retrograde and moving even further away from opposition, so there's a better chance for some constructive dialogue between progressive and traditional values than we've seen in a long, long time.

Asteroid Goddesses

There are four large asteroids used in astrology that can open the chart to amazing levels of detail. I have to say that I don't often look at asteroids beyond Chiron because often they only serve to emphasize or confirm themes you can already see using the planets. But a friend asked me what the asteroids were doing when I was running this chart, and lo and behold!

Ceres is the maternal instinct, and is fundamentally about nurturing and harvest. When wearing Pisces, Ceres nurtures through compassion towards others – and self. In the USA Solstice chart, she's located in the 6th House of health and daily work, and I expect a rise in awareness of self-care and charity work.

Ceres is also quindecile (obsessive-compulsive) to Saturn in the 1st, meaning we can expect a major discussion of how we understand mothering and fathering (Ceres-ing and Saturn-ing), as well as the way the food supply (Ceres) works as a regulated industry (Saturn).

Pallas is creative intelligence and the way our minds operate. Right now, Pallas is in Aquarius, a position that's about future-sight. She is enormously inventive and progressive. Pallas in the 5th house of sex, children, and creativity can represent sexual isolation, but the presence of fiery Vesta would cancel that out to some extent. Pallas is also in a very tight trine to Venus, who rules sensuality and art, so with the heavy emphasis on creativity, this Summer may be a time of awesome imaginative output.

Juno is what we need from relationships and how we understand partnership. Right now Juno is in Virgo, and while wearing Virgo, Juno is focused on her perfect ideal of how partners should relate. This can involve a lot of criticism when the reality falls far from the mark. In the USA Forecast chart, she's located in the 12th house of institutions (hospitals, prisons), long-term illness, and things we just don't understand, so apply the critique of partnership to these specific areas of life. She's also quindecile (obsessive compulsion) to Uranus in the 7th house (partners), meaning that the national discussions about gay marriage, civil partnerships, people being unable to afford to divorce and unable to afford to marry, will continue (loudly) throughout the summer.

Vesta is the focusing principle, and shows how we approach dedication and commitment. Right now Vesta is in Aquarius, and is stationed retrograde (meaning, it stopped to turn retrograde only three hours before the moment of Solstice). Stations always amplify the issues brought to bear by the archetype in question, and in Aquarius, Vesta values freedom for oneself and others above all things. This can mean a focus on anything unconventional, although in the 5th house of the Washington, DC Solstice chart, I would expect an emphasis on sex, children, and creativity to pervade the summer.

Remember, these house positions are only valid within the context of the USA Solstice Forecast; we're talking about pervading moods and themes for the country. How it impacts you depends on where these transiting points stand in relation to your natal chart. Likewise, you can run your own Solstice chart for your country, adjusting for time zone and capitol city, to find out what your local houses are.

To find out where your natal asteroids are located, you can go to the Extended Chart Selection page at (, scroll down to the list of Additional Objects, and select Ceres, Pallas, Juno, and Vesta. When you click to go to the next screen, it will take you to the Enter Chart Data screen. Fill that in, and it will give you a printable chart containing your asteroids, too.

If you want to read more on asteroid goddesses, a great article by Demetra George, author of the book Asteroid Goddesses is located here:

I hope everyone has a great summer or winter, wherever you are! Please let me know if you have any questions.
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