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‘A Hamadryad’ (1895) John William Waterhouse {{PD}}

Choices Without Rewards seem to be all that’s offered on the 30th; but is that really so? No matter what we do, clearly it won’t serve our desires or help fulfill ambitions, and relationships, values, and financial needs all seem to create conflict with our desired life direction. Are things truly that bleak? No no, and no. Here’s the thing: we’re thinking in unhealthy ways, processing events and alternatives in their most confining and least appealing forms; we’re telling ourselves there are ‘issues’ or impasses, rather than acknowledging that we just don’t want to, prefer not to, or that we are pretending circumstances are other than they are. The way around is right there, but you have to get real and be willing not only to accept the responsibility for making change but for its potential consequences, as well. If not, sit back and let the day go by–no harm, no foul.

Today’s word image is a driver who believes others always follow the rules of the road. I once had someone assure me in head-on traffic: “See that double yellow line there? Nothing can cross over that.” Yes, it was mansplaining, but beyond that, it was daft; paint provides literally no barrier at all–and as long as we don’t meet someone on the road with a death wish, we’ll likely all do our best to travel without incident–but that doesn’t mean we pretend there’s some magic at work, protecting us or our vehicle from mayhem or accident. Accepting that things won’t always go as we expect is required for successful navigation; is there some capacity in which you are exercising a kind of magical thinking, refusing to acknowledge that you must be more consciously vigilant, or cautious than you wish to be, after all?

The 1st arrives and we’re, well, out-of-sorts. Buried Instincts and things we know-but-don’t-know push up into relationship and financial matters and cause all kinds of bruising. Nagging too is the sense that we’re not executing our goals perfectly (let’s be real, who does?), and we’re haunted by a ghost or two from the past who insist on rattling their chains. How to handle it all? Strength at this time is found in mental toughness, in a clear and confident assessment of our own personal autonomy and ability. Owning one’s sense of authority within our ‘territory’ is a must. Those who bring forward a sense of their own Self-worth in answer to issues do best; those who pretend they lack agency place themselves at the mercy of those who would commandeer their power and use it as their own.

‘Cloud Shadows’ (1889) Winslow Homer {{PD}}

Today’s word image is an enormous shadow that passes over, with nothing above to cast it. Mysterious, right? Even a little unsettling. The issue isn’t that the shadow exists–we see it–but that we may spend an inordinate amount of time trying to locate the source. Think symbolically: trying to pinpoint what is forming the shadow may in the end help us eliminate it, but what we really need to do in the moment is accept that this shape of darkness just is–and then make choices that will provide some light, or take us out from under its breadth and scope.

On the 2nd our highest priorities and values literally and figuratively make up our reality; we see the results of our choices, our actions, and our investments–and we may feel a sense of power as we survey our achievements and their effects, or we may fight the impulse to burn it all to the ground–it all depends on how flexible we are in thinking about those concrete results. If we don’t mind admitting that we could improve our efforts, that maybe what we think we value is not what we actually value as revealed by our surroundings and outcomes, and if we Forgive Ourselves for not being all-powerful or all-knowing, then we are likely to gain a deep understanding of our inner workings and intentions that will probably make us a lot less concerned with worldly power, and a lot more proud of who we are.

Aspect to watch out for: Mars opposed Pluto across Cancer-Capricorn=could turn into a contest between the angrily passive-aggressive and the hateful won’t budge–or maybe the offended side that’s hosting a pity-party and the stern denier/ crusher of dreams. In any case, a situation where tempers and an insistent Willfulness may be disguised as sadness, vulnerability, ‘the rules’, the voice of authority, ‘it’s for your own good’, ‘do it for Mom’, or the warning to restrict yourself or risk ‘death’ of one kind or another. There’s a lot of rage covered over with what appears to be pretty innocuous stuff. No, there’s nothing dramatic about that at all.

If you want to harness the energy, be willing to choose or act based on what you care about, based on taking an empathetic view of the world, and by asking what nurtures the world, what harms it. Avoiding destructive impulses, especially when these are sanctioned by authorities, is half the battle; acting in positive and supportive forms is the other.

Today’s word image is a speeding red fire engine. Sometimes they’re fluorescent green, but the goal is the same: to be not just heard but seen and so avoided by bystanders, allowing the crew to get where they need to be as quickly as possible. Are you the fire engine, needing others to see, hear, and get out of your way? If so, ask yourself if your goal is that much more urgent or important than anyone else’s–and if your answer is yes, then I wish you good luck in separating those conjoined twins or negotiating world peace–but if not then you may want to consider how your rush or blaring siren or push forward may be creating a less-than-positive reaction in others. Or are you a bystander, in danger of being flattened if you don’t get out of the way of a Self-important someone in a hurry? And if you do see others speeding by you, does that suggest you aren’t motivated enough to make a difference yourself? Or do you lack a sense of urgency that may be needed if you’re to have a significant impact (‘put out the fire’ or ‘save lives’ in some form)? Finding a balance between pushing forward on our personal agenda and having respect and regard for others may be the theme today.

On the 3rd we’re just Too Open To Hurt from the social arena or from society’s attitudes or policies; it springs from our own imperfect processing of and understanding of the past and how it influenced our thinking. Trust instincts and skills, and be willing to look at how many assumptions, rather than facts, may lie beneath our beliefs. Seeing the gap between what really is and what we think is, should prompt us to drop some of our less successful filters. Too, we may see deja vu-like echoes of May 21st, when the Sun and Mercury met in Superior Conjunction, and so deal with things we thought were already concluded (this last reflecting Sun parallel Mercury).

‘Alice in Wonderland’, John Tenniel, Illustrator 1865 {{PD}}

Today’s word image is a skull and crossbones–pirates or poison? If it’s pirates, you may need to be on the lookout for someone attempting to ‘raid’ your assets, while if it’s poison, this may be a warning you’re taking in something highly detrimental to your system.

The 4th we may become aware of the ways some of our values are based not on ideals, but on anger, injustices suffered, or our own insistence on ignoring certain realities–and that makes those Not True Values But Reactions. What we hold dear should be an expression of our ‘Best Self’, not created in a knee-jerk response to something we don’t find admirable; this sullies the ideal with negatives that almost guarantee our experiences of it will be full of conflict or disillusion. It’s time to be honest about those instances where our beliefs have been driven by fantasy or what’s unreal or out-of-touch; look for the thought sparked by choice, the ‘happy accident’, or the sudden realization fueled by the unexpected, to deliver insight and answers, right on time.

Venus enters Gemini=don’t live in your head or rationalize when it comes to relationships or finances, and look to the House matters where Venus now transits in the personal chart to see where you can gain through communicating, sharing info, or coming clean.

Today’s word image: a spaceship lands on an unexplored planet. What truly alien thing have you been brave enough to venture into, lately? Give yourself credit, just for the doing.

For the 5th, only Shakespeare will do (from Romeo and Juliet): “Why then, O brawling love! O loving hate! O any thing, of nothing first create! O Heavy Lightness, serious vanity, Misshapen chaos of well-seeming forms, Feather of lead, bright smoke, cold fire, sick health, Still-waking sleep, that is not what it is! This love feel I, that feel no love in this.”

Oh, and also the Sun squares Jupiter and trines Neptune, making for intense creativity, as long as we don’t get pulled into a social brawl, waylaid by the facts, or find ourselves contradicting our own beliefs (see the quote above for the contradictory possibilities).

Today’s word image is a suggestion: a sunrise meditation.

Today, the 6th, is all chillingly-cool shadows on the hottest summer days (or sterile-bright glaring sun on snow, depending on your hemisphere), affronts and outrages that are both unjust and illogical, and exhibitions of strength that result in unhealthy developments. What do we have going for us? Somehow we are still pinging our Radar On The Future, and by keeping to our highest values and commitments, we create uniquely intelligent ways to proceed.

Giles Corey of the Salem Farms” (1868), John Whetton Ehninger {{PD}}

Today’s word image is a dip back into the past, where history gets re-written: a 17th century witch trial, where reason suddenly prevails and everyone goes home. It’s not always easy to admit that your cow just wandered away, rather than being transported to the next town by Goody Lowell, and it’s an inability to say, ‘Yeah, maybe that was my fault because I didn’t shut the pen’ that sends us looking to blame others who’ve irritated us in some way. Consider the modern equivalent, and vow that you will not allow small irks to escalate into life-changing accusations. The keyword here is, ‘Rational’.

Have a wonderful week!