Sun Sky by samarttiw; freedigitalphotos.netHey, it’s Summer!   For those of us in the northern hemisphere, at least.  Those of you in the southern half of the world mark the beginning of Winter, but you’ll excuse me if I focus on what’s outside my front door right now, won’t you?  So yeah!  It’s Summer!  Time to swim the river, bury my feet in the sand and watch the Sun dance through the sky till 9 or 10 at night.  I feel like Snoopy, spinning in dizzying circles around my dog house.  Don’t bother me with details; it’s SUMMER!

Isn’t it funny how the Summer Solstice tends to have such an uplifting effect on people?  And if you ask me, the whole planet could do with an extra dose of uplifting about now.  This year has been I-N-T-E-N-S-E so far.  This intensity is due largely to the unusual fact that since March at least part if not the whole month we’ve felt the energy of four planets in retrograde at the same time.  Yowza!  This phenomenon rains on us through July, by the way, so don’t put your umbrellas away just yet.

While the Solstice marks a time of new beginnings, retrogrades usher in periods of review and redo.  June continued to see Saturn and Pluto in retrograde, joined by Neptune and Mercury (and Chiron, by the way).

Let’s start with good ol’ Mercury.  We can count on Mercury to retrograde about 3 times a year. Yet this one has been one of the strongest I’ve felt.  Agreed?  That may be thanks in part to three X-Class solar flares firing off in rapid succession from the Sun that first week.

Mercury really doesn’t need help to scramble communications and fracture our techno-inundated world.  But these flares definitely gave it a boost, in my view.  Plus, Mercury retrograded in the sign of Cancer (though now in it’s home sign of Gemini again), so strong emotions tended to be intensified along with it.

Has it been more difficult to communicate clearly lately?  Are people not hearing what you say or completely misunderstanding you?  Is your tongue tangling when you speak or thoughts jumbling in your brain?  Mercury stimulates mental energy.  During this retrograde, it’s wise to reconsider before speaking.  Writing may prove the best avenue for expression.  It bypasses the pitfalls of uninhibited speech that in this energetic setting can lead to misunderstandings and intense emotions.  And know that this, too, shall pass or at least start to lighten up July 1.

Let’s face it, when your mind throws you out of balance, it’s tempting to over-indulge in some outward behavior to mask our fears and/or feelings of inadequacy.  You buy ice cream by the gallon, join in all-night parties, or watch movies for 10 hours a day.  Or perhaps the opposite is true.  You sensor everything you consider doing for fear of getting out of control.  All the while, that old feeling that you’re never good enough lurks in the background.

If any of this sounds true, you are experiencing aspect of the Saturn retrograde now in effect.  Saturn is still in Scorpio, so secrets of all kinds come into play.  Taboos may show up in extreme forms, and puzzling or revealing issues around a death or other people’s money can arise.  It can feel like the world is conspiring against you and your desires, that everything you win requires struggle.

Yet the underlying message of Saturn is to take responsibility, stay organized, include some structure, and follow through to reach the next step in any project or maturity level. Pluto’s retrograde in Capricorn underscores this.  This is the planet of upheaval, reversals, transformation, and beginnings.  Capricorn governs the House of Work/Career.  Never is the public face versus private face more evident than in a Pluto retrograde.

For example, you may feel revered in one moment and reviled the next.  You keep your chin up when the world’s watching to mask your inner turmoil.  You want to keep your inner upheavals private so make light of things when in public.  This can shut other people down, adding to your tendency at this time to withdraw and shield your own inner world from view.  In truth, you are being called to learn and implement forgiveness on deep, deep levels; to get honest with yourself and others; to learn once and for all that you, not anyone else, are in control of how you choose to act and respond to life. So guard against being two-faced in any form.

Neptune retrograde in its home sign of Pisces emphasizes this even more as barriers between “me” and “we” feel virtually nonexistent.  Pisces is a very sensitive sign, so sensitivity in all areas becomes heightened.  This can lead to the tendency to take the blame for everything.  If you catch yourself apologizing to everybody for everything from the price of coffee to the current weather conditions, trust me, you’re experiencing Neptune retro energy.

The key here is not to get a thicker skin or a heavier mask, but to realize that the state of the world is not your fault.  You may feel like crying at every sad news report, but know that it’s likely your hyper-sensitivity at the moment that intensifies your reaction.  Everything feels tragic and monumental.  Recognize that this is an illusion.  Allow yourself to gain clarity in not only your own illusions but those of others.  Let this energy assist you in identifying how your own intuition can strengthen you own course, while guarding against chasing unrealistic fantasies.  (Unless your next project happens to be creating a stellar sci-fi movie, that is.)

The universal start time of 11:51 AM for the June 21 Solstice echoes the 13/4 numeric vibration of this Universal Month.   This number encourages transformation through challenge and creativity.  And the number 21 offers freedom through truth.

Remember that the Solstice itself marks a midway point, a time of integration.  It’s a time to review your choices and decisions so far this year, assessing and integrating the past six months.  It’s a time to balance your inner feelings with your outer actions as you set a course for the next six months.  It’s a season to process and digest life, allowing it to feed and strengthen you for what lies ahead.   It’s a time for honoring the natural cycles of all things, and the part you play in that.  Allow yourself to become consistently more responsible where it counts and free in ways that feed your spirit and creativity.  And in so doing, herald the light within and without.


Rayora Hartman


(Photo credit: “Sun Sky” by samarttiw;