Sunday, 19 June 2011

Solstice Forecast

What will the next three months bring? Change or business as usual? Summer of discontent or calm before the storm?


The Sun’s yearly ingress into Cancer marks the June Solstice (summer in the northern hemisphere, winter in the south). 


Solstice charts, along with Equinox charts, are considered to reflect the energies of the upcoming three months.


The Solstice chart below is set for London, for the moment the Sun moves into Cancer on June 21. However, the planetary aspects, degrees and sign placements will not change if you relocate the chart, (only the angles and house positions change), so they are relevant anywhere. So this review of the Solstice looks at the general aspects and planet positions, as they would apply anywhere in the world and also looks at a few things as they relate specifically to the UK.


In the Solstice chart, the Sun forms a cardinal grand cross, involving Mercury, Saturn, Uranus and Pluto. (I am allowing orbs of up to ten degrees here, which is the standard in mundane (world) astrology – for natal transits the orbs would be no more than 2-3 degrees).


Click to enlarge
You’ve probably spotted that the Sun is picking up on the Saturn-Uranus-Pluto cardinal t-square that had us all in a lather last year. But don’t forget that every Solstice or Equinox chart since late 2009 has had the Sun in aspect to that t-square, because by their very nature, these charts feature the Sun at 0 degrees of one of the cardinal signs. So, business as usual? Well yes in a way, the next few months will see the nerve-racking ping-pong game of crisis-action-reaction running on and on, through the economic, political and ecological crises currently being playing out throughout the world.


What is interesting is that this is the last Solstice or Equinox chart where the Sun hooks into a conjunction, square or opposition with Saturn. In mundane astrology, Saturn rules the housing marking, industry in general and how the laws of the land are enforced and administered, so we can expect any of these issues to be aired quite extensively by our leaders in the upcoming three months.


By the time of the Libra Equinox ingress in September, Saturn will have moved out of orb, so the Sun will be in a t-square with just Uranus and Pluto, the two planets edging ever closer to their first exact square since the 1930’s. Uranus is about social rebellion and revolution, freedom, progress, technological advances and Pluto is about power struggles, control, resources, anything in society that is hidden, taboo or buried and along with Neptune, it rules oil. Already we can see Uranus-Pluto themes playing out throughout the North Africa and the Middle East. It will be interesting to see how things develop on that front once cautious, restricting, relationship-oriented Saturn in Libra moves out of the t-square.


But we shouldn’t get ahead of ourselves.


This Solstice chart sees two slower moving planets in new signs since the Aries Equinox in April - Jupiter in Taurus and Neptune in Pisces conjunct Chiron in Pisces.


Jupiter’s overriding principle is expansion and growth, so in Taurus, we will see issues of bodily growth (the obesity issue) and a spotlight on our society’s values and attitudes towards security. Are we consuming too much (physically and economically)? Does this really make us feel secure as a society? Do we really need all those luxuries to have a safe and comfortable life? Have we been squandering our natural resources? Already, our intensive farming methods are coming into question yet again, over the e-coli crisis which has been spreading across Europe through an as yet unidentified food source. It also asks us to rethink the way food is transported.  Perhaps Jupiter in Taurus will see further growth in the burgeoning industry for locally grown seasonal produce?


Jupiter is also about higher education and with it falling in money and values oriented Taurus, we will be forced to question the value we put on higher education, as the row over massive hikes in university fees in the UK rumbles on. Should we let go of the ideal of higher education for all and let university degrees fall back into the exclusive domain of the wealthy and the privileged? A trine from Pluto in Capricorn in the 2nd house, underscores the intensity of this issue, highlighting the need for a new perspective on the whole issue. Expect this to become a tense party political issue as this summer rolls on and the new academic year edges closer.


Another topic that could come up again in the UK now that Jupiter is in Taurus is the controversial issue of airport expansion. Many plans for new runways and new airports across the UK were dropped because of the recession, but perhaps some of the plans will be picked up on again during the next year. Expect huge and popular protests from environmental groups if they do.


Neptune in Pisces has already seen some manifestations. A recent report by the Global Commission on Drug Policy said that despite the trillions spent by governments around the world on the “war on drugs”, drug usage has not fallen and drug related crime has skyrocketed. The report calls for governments to consider legalising some drugs, and the de-criminalisation of drug users.


The debate this has opened up will no doubt run and run. Already, in the UK, the charity Release (which campaigns for changes in the drugs laws in the UK) has written to the Prime Minister “calling for a review of the current drug policies, with a view to decriminalisation of possession for all drugs. This letter has been signed by leading QC's, three former Chief Constables, academics, politicians and high profile celebrities.


Neptune in Pisces falls in the 12th House of the Solstice chart for the UK, so we can expect the debate here to centre around the burden that illegal drug use places on our prison and healthcare systems. With the Moon (the mood of the population) widely conjunct Neptune, this issue is bound to pull at the nation’s sympathies. It is interesting to note that Neptune makes an easy trine aspect to the Sun (Prime Minister/Government), so it will be fascinating to see what they does with this issue. Will the government easily win the public around and get its way on this issue? Or will the public feel deceived (Moon-Neptune, Pisces, 12th house)?


Also in the UK, National Health Service reforms are being planned by the government. Already, the reform plans have been changed following criticism. Again, this issues falls under Neptune conjunct Moon in Pisces trine Sun. Will the government eventually get its way? Perhaps we shouldn’t discount a tight square from Mars in Gemini in the third house. Both sides of debate will compete to get their voices heard on this issue, with the danger of an aggressive propaganda campaign on both sides.


Finally, as the Uranus-Pluto square rumbles ever closer to its first exact square in 2012, more strike action, protest and rebellion is on the way,union leaders are threatening the biggest wave of strikes since 1926, after the government unveiled proposals for public sector employees to work longer and pay more for less generous entitlements in retirement.I think it’s fascinating that Saturn in Libra and Pluto in Capricorn, both speak about concerns about ageing and retirement. Already, the government opposition party (symbolised by Mars in Gemini here) are warning the unions that they will play into the hands of the government  if they strike, suggesting that the government will use the strikes as propaganda (Neptune in Pisces) to convince the public (the Moon) that the strikers and unions are to blame for the slow economic recovery. Expect this confused argument to heat up over the summer.  (news source: BBC).


I do hope you enjoy this season, whatever it brings. Take a step back now and again and view things from the wider perspective....cherish the gift of insight that astrology brings.


With love,
Mandihttp://www.mandilockley.com/


Solstice/Equinox 101: There are two Solstices and the two Equinoxes each year. These important power points occur as the Sun enters one of the cardinal signs of the zodiac - Aries, Cancer, Libra or Capricorn and astrologers use the charts for these events to make predictions for the following three months ahead.
The first Equinox of the year occurs when the Sun moves into Aries, the first sign of the zodiac, around March 21, marking the beginning of spring in the Northern Hemisphere and the beginning of autumn in the Southern Hemisphere. At an Equinox, day and night are of equal length.
The first Solstice occurs when the Sun moves into Cancer around June 21. In the Northern Hemisphere the Solstice marks midsummer, the longest day of the year and in the Southern Hemisphere it marks midwinter, the shortest day of the year.
The second Equinox, around September 21, when the Sun moves into Libra, marks the start of autumn in the N. Hemisphere and the start of spring in the S. Hemisphere.
Finally, the second Solstice of the year occurs around December 21 when the Sun moves into Capricorn, marking the shortest day (midwinter) in the N. Hemisphere and longest day (midsummer) in the S. Hemisphere. The further away from the Equator you are located the more pronounced the Equinoxes will be. For example, very Northern locations will experience twenty-four hour darkness at the winter Solstice and twenty-four hour sunlight at the summer Solstice. If you are located very near to the Equator, day and night are more or less of equal length all year round.
The Solstices and Equinoxes have been important and much celebrated festival days for many thousands of years and are today still celebrated by modern Wiccans, Pagans and Druids.
 Stonehenge image from: 
http://www.stonehengetours.com/html/summer-solstice-tour.htm





The ancient stone circle of Stonehenge near Salisbury, England is a major focal point for celebrating the summer Solstice, with thousands gathering each year to watch the Solstice sunrise align with the stones.

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