Tomorrow—Friday, June 21—the Sun moves into the sign of Cancer, marking the summer solstice in the northern hemisphere, the longest day of the year. As we move into these summer months, we celebrate the life-sustaining light of the Sun, the verdant growth of our green kin all around us, and all that nourishes the lives that we are making together. Cancer is a cardinal water sign, a sign of beginnings, the waters of the womb, sensitivity, nurturing, and the protective instincts. It is a time to reflect on what it is that we need to feel safe, secure, protected, and cared for, as well as how we might offer care, protection, security, and safety to others.
This summer we will move through two eclipses—a solar eclipse in Cancer on July 2 and a partial lunar eclipse in Capricorn on July 16. But these eclipses are activating challenging astrology that has been building for some time, aspects that the Sun will be illuminating throughout this season as it moves through Cancer.
On July 9, the Sun will oppose Saturn in Capricorn and the South Node. Saturn conjunct the South Node requires us to dismantle long-lasting structures that are no longer supporting us. We are in a period of abandoning systems that suffocate us, abolishing institutions that have been built on oppression and exploitation, and demolishing rigid patterns that only ever direct us back again toward our own domination.
This is work we’ve been doing since November 2018 as Saturn approached the South Node, and now the life-giving light of the Sun is shining a spotlight on these deeply dismantling processes. In this configuration, Neptune in Pisces will be trine the Sun and sextile Saturn and the South Node. Neptune is the planet is dissolution, the waters of collectivity, the waves of dreams, inspiration, and imagination. Neptune’s support asks us to allow the waters of our own imagination to flow freely, to invite our dreams of another world to erode the foundations of the world that is coming to an end.
But none of this happens without struggle or confronting the powers that be.
On July 14, the Sun will oppose Pluto, the planet associated with power, the underworld, and the dark processes of disintegration and transformation. The wisdom of the Earth teaches us that death is part of life, that things must die in order for life to continue to flourish and evolve in all its intrinsic exuberance. This opposition will challenge us to see and know and name that which must come to an end and be transformed in order for our personal and collective lives to endure. The existing structures that are collapsing will not do so without a fight. The rattling breaths of empire, white supremacy, capitalism, and patriarchy will try to drag us down into the underworld—but perhaps that is a descent to which we are called. Perhaps it is in the dark and hidden places beneath our surfaces that we can examine the root structures of these systems, dig them up and cut them out. As the Sun shines brightly in all its summer brilliance, it also turns back toward darkness, toward longer nights and shorter days. It is in the darkness—within our own selves and within the worlds we are breaking and making—that we must confront the deep structures of our oppression.
These are oppositions between our very lives—the Sun—the structures that support or oppress us—Saturn—and the powers to unearth and transform—Pluto.
Audre Lorde wrote that “the master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house.” When she wrote this, she was specifically addressing a gathering of academic feminists who were failing to recognize that the term “women” could not depend upon any assumption that all women are the same but rather must deal explicitly and persistently with the reality of difference in the lives of women. She wrote: “Advocating the mere tolerance of difference between women is the grossest reformism. It is a total denial of the creative function of difference in our lives. Difference must be not merely tolerated, but seen as a fund of necessary polarities between which our creativity can be sparked … I urge each one of us here to reach down into that deep place of knowledge inside herself and touch that terror and loathing of any difference that lives there. See whose face it wears. Then the personal as the political can begin to illuminate all our choices.” As we move into the astrology of this summer, may we all reach down deep into ourselves, descending into the underworld, and transforming any part of ourselves that holds terror and loathing of difference, and like the light of the Sun passing through these oppositions to Saturn and Pluto, may this process of transformation illuminate all our choices as we move between the world as it has been and all the worlds that are yet to come.
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Michael J. Morris is a witch, an astrologer, a tarot reader, an artist, a writer, and a teacher.