Northern Solstice: Points of Orientation
Core Community letter for July 2023. Sign readings will be sent separately next week as the July monthly horoscope. This letter has already been distributed via the Planet Waves official lists.
“The seasons change, and so do I.”
Dear Friend and Reader:
Wednesday, the Sun reached its northernmost point along the horizon and entered the tropical sign Cancer. This is the Northern Solstice, indicating the start of summer north of the equator, winter down under. The Sun rises in that spot for several days (when you say “solstice,” think “stasis” — so we’re still right here).
The seasons and the years go by. We’ve experienced something similar to this many times, living as if it will always happen again. The rhythm of the seasonal changes is one basic pulse of the planet, closely related to how we experience life in our bodies.
Cancer and Capricorn are unusual signs in that they represent extremes of the Sun’s movement relative to the Earth. The Sun does not merely enter those signs; it changes its apparent direction of travel when doing so. That’s a truly unusual property common to only two signs, and one I’ve never heard mentioned as something that could be interpreted.
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The Sign of How You Feel
The sign Cancer, closely associated with incarnation itself, is generally about “how we feel.” At the moment, many people are not feeling so good. Some may have a dim memory of when they felt better, but it might be a little hazy.
Life has been stressful for as long as most of us can remember. Yet one quality being rapidly depleted is memory, and the memory of feeling. This is a biological sensory experience that digital conditions do not facilitate.
The underlying issue is exhaustion and spiritual depletion. For this, we need look no further than the fact of digital conditions, which have come at us in an onslaught since the 2020 crisis was mounted. Also, and I don’t really know how to say this, but we are neither as a culture nor as (most) individuals addressing the trauma of what we have been through and what it’s done to us and our lives. We need to.
Notably, Cancer is the sign rising in a chart called the Thema Mundi (translates loosely to “the chart of the world,”) one of the oldest documents from Greek astrology (dating to about 400 BCE). This one factor describes humans as inherently caring rather than as conquering.
However, it’s also a reminder that when we read for the sign Cancer, we are reading for something much larger — potentially the world itself.
This article has already been delivered to Planet Waves subscribers by email and is also in your My Account feed. The feature coverings several essential facets of the solstice chart, including “super-Saturn” Kronos in Cancer and its impact on the family, Venus retrograde, Jupiter in Taurus and the Jupiter-Saturn sextile. Click or tap the headline if the email version of this article is truncated by Gmail or some other mail carrier. The July monthly horoscope will be ready next week.
Nurturing the Brood
Cancer is the sign of the brood, of mother, of caring for and nourishing one another. It’s the sign associated with home, and in particular, its most private spaces, the kitchen and the bedroom.
This includes all forms of care, and any community environment where caring for others is a factor. This is at the core of our humanity, and it’s all been under tremendous stress — by which I mean direct attack and invasion.
The aggression is coming from all directions and in many forms — and people are falling for it. The authority of the family is being willingly ceded over to the state; for example, in many places, children can be given injections at school without the parents’ knowledge and consent.
School districts are taking “in loco parentis” beyond any point of sanity, or necessity. The school is merely the guardian of the child during the school day, not all the time. The problem is that most parents are not objecting. There are many other examples.
Later in this article, I describe the astrology associated with external authority inserting itself into the family dinner table, and into our most private nurturing relationships. We are in a situation where “the state” is supplanting the family as the primary organizing principle of existence.
The ‘Refuge’ of Meaninglessness
Caring requires vulnerability, and meaning requires questioning. Then you might or might not like the answer you get.
Many now pretend there is no such thing as meaning, and are trying to convince everyone else they are right. Nihilism is the prevailing philosophy of our times. This is intentional; it serves a purpose. Without meaning, you’re weakened, disoriented, and have no point of orientation.
In our time, mental chaos is a way of escape. Meaning is too much to bear, and calls for the responsibility of acting on what you know about. Set aside meaning and you can, for a while, set aside being responsible for your existence.
As this happens, and it’s happening quickly now, our humanity is being diluted, infiltrated, supplanted and outright stolen. Sure, this feels like “going with the flow,” and allowing progress to happen without resisting (or having the next cool thing). For many, their last remaining trace of self-awareness will express its regret that this ever happened. It’s possible to intervene before you get there. You are getting the messages all the time — the ones about being pushed too far.
Conquered by Our Own Inventions
The problems we’re experiencing in the natural environment are the consequence of some humans thinking that they are better than or different from what we call nature, and others falling for this con job.
The result is being conquered by our own inventions, which is happening hour-by-hour at the moment. We’ve been warned about this many times; it’s happened before.
Let’s start with a look at the solstice chart and see if there’s a clue where we are heading and what options are open. Remember that in doing this, I’m giving voice to something that is silent and exists mostly in the background, out of reach of the normal senses and normal cognition.
Interpretation is subjective. Astrological cues mean different things depending on one’s level of knowledge, experience and sincerity. Astrology never stands alone; any interpretation is the product of a world view.
Anaretic Pluto and the March of AI — Colonization of the Mind
When the Sun entered Cancer, it made a 150-degree angle to Pluto in the last degree of Capricorn. This is emphasis, also the stress of adaptation. Pluto in Capricorn is a reminder of the U.S. Pluto return — it’s been one Pluto cycle since the American Revolution and the birth of “liberal democracy” where individuals allegedly have rights. You can decide how well this experiment is going.
The core issue here is colonization. There are no countries left to colonize, so our minds are getting the treatment. This has happened through corporate branding, and now through technology. The feeling of your data being vulnerable, your privacy not existing and the odd feeling of having no rights — that is all about being colonized. This is what it feels like.
In the three months since Pluto first arrived in Aquarius, the marketing push for artificial intelligence has taken over. Here is a sampling of recent headlines:
Synthetic human embryos created in groundbreaking advance; Detecting AI may be impossible, a big problem for teachers; AI Bots Are Coming to Finance; 'World's most advanced' robot asked about AI taking over gives eerie answer; Halting generative AI advancements may slow down progress in climate research; ChatGPT maker OpenAI calls for AI regulation, warning of ‘existential risk’; ChatGPT: US lawyer admits using AI for case research; AI leaders warn the technology poses 'risk of extinction' like pandemics and nuclear war; Top AI researchers and CEOs warn against ‘risk of extinction’ in 22-word statement; Older adults view AI as more human-like than younger adults; Opinion: We’ve reached a turning point with AI, expert says; How the World Must Respond to the AI Revolution; AI 'godfather' Yoshua Bengio feels 'lost' over life's work; Who is watching you? AI can stalk unsuspecting victims with 'ease and precision’.
It’s difficult to tell whether this is designed as subtle terrorism. Is there some kind of setup in play? Is something “about to happen” that will be blamed on AI?
And, what? “AI Bots are Coming to Finance?” This is news? What few seem to be saying is that we have lived with the mounting effects of artificial intelligence for nearly 40 years. The stock market crash of November 1987 was the product of programs designed to sell more as the price of stocks went down.
That resulted in a chain reaction as the programs dumped more stock the more they lowered the price by selling stock, all without human intervention (to the tune of about $5 trillion in losses, in 2023 dollars). Nobody can be serious about imposing regulations today on AI. That would have been more appropriate for, say, January 1988.
Pluto is currently changing signs between Capricorn and Aquarius. At the moment, it is “anaretic,” which means occupying the last degree of a sign. The transition is a long and slow process that extends another 16 months or so; then Pluto will be in Aquarius until first reaching Pisces in 2043.
Overall, this is about the transition between a primary human orientation in the physical world and the digital one. I believe the tipping point took place in 2020.
All of this is about our experience of self, not about gadgets or computer programs taking over. It’s also about our experience of authority. About 20 years ago, a rarely-used point called Kronos entered Cancer (it takes more than 540 years to go around the whole zodiac).
Kronos: A Study in Inner and Outer Authority
I’ve been watching Kronos creep along, wondering what it means nearly every time I write. Kronos is about authority. The past couple of weeks, I put together what I’ve been looking at. We are experiencing authority infiltrating the entire realm of Cancer — all of our previously private spaces, feelings and thoughts.
This includes email programs censoring private, personal messages as “spam” or “porno” when it’s just one person writing to one other person. We have become accustomed to there being no time when we are not under the gaze of the omniscient eye (for anyone who whines about the “male gaze,” this is what you’re really worried about).
To me one of the low points of the past few years were discussions of whether it was “legal” to gather with friends and family at holidays in private dwellings. We have forgotten this horrendous drama, largely from 2020 and 2021.
If you think the sheriff, the health commissioner, or the king of the world have any authority over whether you have dinner with, you’ve been conquered. So how do you feel about that? Is there anyone you cast off that you want to invite back into your life?
Kronos is about to make a conjunction to the ascendant of the Thema Mundi. Its influence is spreading and deepening, not receding. There is just one solution — connecting with one’s inner authority. The Saturn principle holds more so for Kronos: take over as the coordinator of your own life, or someone will take over for you.
The Venus-Jupiter Pattern
One of the defining patterns of late 2023 is Venus in Leo making a long aspect to Jupiter in Taurus. Venus usually moves through a sign in a few weeks, but it’s spending four months in Leo, during which time it will be square Jupiter.
The long duration of Venus in Leo is about Venus retrograde, which occurs between July 22 and Sept. 3.
Anything square Jupiter represents an exaggeration. With Venus, Leo and Taurus involved, we are looking right at the hubris of materialism. It’s never been cooler to put on a show of one’s alleged wealth. Spiritual wealth, which might be represented by Jupiter in Taurus, is undervalued and cannot be displayed conspicuously and still maintain its value.
This is happening in parallel with the struggle of many people to survive or get fair pay for their work, by which I mean pay they can live on. Meanwhile, experiments in “universal basic income” or welfare for all, are now underway. This designed to de-motivate people from aspiring to something better.
It will also remove many of the entry-level jobs that give people the opportunity to build their skills. It’s already difficult for many small, ground-level businesses to find basic staff. Others have figured out that the population is so de-skilled and dumbed down from automation that they may as well do the job themselves.
At its best, the Venus-Jupiter pattern is about the search for value. It’s easy to forget that all material wealth comes from the Earth, and all spiritual wealth comes from heart-centered awareness.
Eris and Chiron in Aries
Aries is about the initiation of events or of awareness. Much of our self-concept is held in our ideas about this sign, including humans convincing themselves that their job is to conquer the world around them. But most of what happens in Aries is that people get conquered by their surroundings.
At the moment, two slow-moving factors are at work. One is Eris, which has been in Aries for the past century (the first Aries ingress was in 1922, and Eris first reaches Taurus in 2044, right at the end of Pluto in Aquarius). Eris spends more time in Aries than in any other sign — about 122 years).
My read is that Eris in Aries is about the impact on humans by their technology environment, which accelerated wildly starting in the 1920s. By impact, I mean the tendency for people to allow technology to define who they are without quite realizing it.
This has had a scattering, weakening, dismantling effect on individuals, while pumping up the influence of fake tribes.
Chiron in Aries is about reconnecting with our true sense of being, which (in Chiron style) is often about admitting and tending to injuries. We are dealing with an existential wound imposed by the technology environment. The solution will not be technical, but human, though that word and concept have lost their meaning beyond the ability of many people to remember.
The Jupiter-Saturn Yod — and Makemake/Logos
Jupiter is in Taurus and Saturn is in Pisces. They are now in a rare 60-degree angle called a sextile. This is an aspect of “perfect balance,” notably between the two largest planets. Jupiter has the property of expansion and Saturn has the property of containment and structuring.
This is available to everyone, and it will be helpful to tune in. For the moment, it’s providing an image of things holding together. That will shift into the sensation of a “last chance” of some kind.
The implication here is that one must set aside the usual games and get about the business at hand. As aspects come, this is as good as they get. However, with any 60-degree angle, my mind goes to what is at the focal point — “the point of the yod.” Where is the finger of God pointing?
It’s pointing to a conjunction in early Libra that few astrologers are aware of, and that is the meeting of Logos and Makemake. This deserves a whole article or podcast, so I need to summarize. Both are planets in the Kuiper belt, a bit beyond Pluto, with long orbits (of about 300 years). Both are named for gods of fertility or creation.
And the conjunction is now emphasized by enough mass coming from Jupiter and Saturn to swallow every other planet.
Logos is a needlessly complicated idea (which was ruined by the Catholics, who tried to steal it from the Greeks and pack a thousand books around a simple notion). Ultimately Logos is about what can be expressed rationally in words and ideas. It’s about the state of sanity in any environment or situation.
We find the word root of “logos” in the word “astroLOGy,” which is about a coherent presentation of ideas (it doesn’t always work out that way, but we try). This is opposed to “astroNOMy,” which is about the naming of things. (Astronomers who are opposed to astrology are really opposed to any attempt to read messages in the planets, arguing that it cannot be done.)
Makemake: The Hunger Game
Right next to what “makes sense” is something that’s difficult to understand. Makemake is associated with a new religion that emerged on Easter Island in the 19th century — not the one associated with the Moai (the ancient ancestors shown above).
I’ve been tracking Makemake since soon after it was discovered in 2005. I’ve always found it challenging to suss out, though I recently did another round of work. It’s named for a previously minor creator god who was granted a form of supremacy during the colonial period in the 1800s. So it must be taken in that light.
Second, it transforms the ritual process to a kind of game, that is so dangerous, the participants may be killed — as in eaten by sharks — and other willing parties step right in, willing to risk getting eaten. The person who “wins the game” gets to spend a year doing nothing, and is venerated as a kind of god.
So let’s sum up — Makemake is not about the original religion, but the one that popped up while the island was being terrorized by Europeans. Abandoning the ancestors. Replacing them with a game where people risk their lives; and the reward for winning is getting to sod-off. You know, universal basic income.
Logos knows this makes no sense. At all. Unless it serves an unspoken purpose. So who exactly would want vast segments of the population paid to do nothing?
This is one one version of the essential crisis of our time: that which makes perfect sense mingled with that which makes no sense. The truth is among us. Reality is apparent. But it’s not easy to see if you’re looking at something else, or looking for something else.