The Full Moon in Capricorn is exact at 9:53pm PST on Wednesday June 27th. Capricorn is the sign of the patriarch, the energy within all of us--regardless of gender--of discipline, focus, protection, structure, infrastructure, organization, governance, ambition, guidance. When distorted, and unintegrated with its polarity, Cancer, the energy hardens into convention, conservatism, strictness, coldness, the abuse of power, and can lead to structural violence and oppression.
The Sun is in Cancer, sign of the matriarch--the energy within all of us--of caring, nurturing, sensitivity, vulnerability, emotional intelligence, the relationship of child to mother/caregiver. Distorted, Cancer can become possessive, controlling, submissive, overly emotional. Opposite signs in the zodiac go hand in hand: Cancer and Capricorn are effective when integrated with each other. And the Full Moon always highlights a polarity offering an opportunity for integration.
The ruler of the Full Moon is Saturn, the planet that signifies structure, restraint, discipline, consequences, hard work. Saturn is constructive when respected and applied within; it helps us to focus, develop self-discipline, work toward our goals, create supportive structures, define healthy boundaries. But when the energy of Saturn is projected onto other people, self-discipline becomes disciplinary action; structure becomes stricture; consequence become punishment, self-control becomes state control.
In addition to all this, Mars stations retrograde the day before the Full Moon, meaning it is virtually at a stand still, emphasizing its significations: energy, will, drive, initiative, physicality, sexuality, passion, confrontation, anger, which, when misused can become aggression, violence, war, rape, egoism, inflammation, hot-headedness, and rage. Mars will be retrograde until August 27th, offering us this time to contemplate the significations of Mars in our lives. During retrogrades, unaligned uses of the planet’s significations will be brought to the fore, made more obvious.
Astrology always relates to the societal as well as the personal level. Often the societal manifestations are much more extreme and can serve as a reflection of more subtle dynamics in operation within. This symbolism suggests abuses of power within family and state structures being brought to the forefront. It suggests a potential for oppressive actions of the state, exerting power and control onto those with less power, including children (Cancer), in accordance with the longstanding history of the abuse of patriarchal power (Capricorn).
This symbolism is so obviously resonant with the disgusting abuses of power exerted by the US state in separating immigrant children from their families. It’s significant that on the very day that Mars stationed retrograde, and the day before the Full Moon, a federal judge issued an injunction against this policy, suggesting some integration between Capricorn and Cancer. On the same day, the supreme court upheld Trump’s racist travel ban, which is also resonant with the limits drawn by an unintegrated Saturn and Capricorn in the name of protecting the state/family (Cancer). As these court rulings happened on the day of Mars’ station, we can expect both stories to continue to play out over the summer and into the fall (as Mars covers the same degrees of the zodiac for a third time).
Do these dynamics reflect perhaps less extreme circumstances in your own life? Family dynamics in which there is controlling behaviour or a lack of emotional sensitivity (which may play out within the family, or within the individual mind as internalized representations of our parents)? Questions or issues around limits, boundaries, and rules; the relation between nurturance and discipline; the relation between the state/organization/family and the individual within it; the use and misuse of energy; violence, aggression, abuse?
We are all connected. While of course it’s important to take action in the world, it’s equally important to work within to resolve the subtle dynamics that develop in relation to the external world and in turn play out in the external world. I truly believe that activism, charity, good works, altruism, etc. are only effective when paired with internal work. Nothing will change in the world if we don’t also make changes within.
We are all connected. That means that the horrors we observe outside of us are reflected within all of us to a greater or lesser degree; in living in this world, we inherit psychological patterns that are far from healthy, as children that don’t always receive the love or nurturance we need we grow into parents who may mean well but just don’t always know how to offer the kind of sensitivity that children need, or indeed don’t know how to offer sensitivity and care to ourselves. Compassion requires that we recognize the lack of care that just about everyone in the world has received and that the worst offenders often are the most traumatized and cut off from their Selves and inner resources.
Capricorn asks of us that we take responsibility, that we each become the patriarchs of our own lives, that we define the structures and limits that work for us, that we hold ourselves accountable for our own actions, that we own our own inner authority. When we take back our power in this way, it becomes more difficult for others to apply that power onto us. Cancer asks that we become the matriarchs of our own lives, that we offer ourselves sensitivity and nurturance and care in order that we may then offer it to others.
With Mars retrograde, we are asked to contemplate our use of energy, and will, how we respond to situations, and how we manage anger. So it will be important over the summer to consider our actions, for instance, how we act in response to abuses of state power. What actions are effective and in alignment with our values? How do we use our collective power to fight for the people (Mars in Aquarius)?
Not only is Mars retrograde, but its retrograde is conjunct South Node, suggesting that release is key: the South Node relates to the past, to habitual, unconscious, and unevolved uses of the energy under question. So in this case, we are asked to contemplate our collective historical misuses of violence, war, and oppression, which includes an overemphasis on the state (Aquarius) at the expense of the individual (North Node in Leo). Societally, there is an opportunity to release such archaic expressions of Mars that include war and torture and structural violence and to transmute the energy of Mars into protecting those who are weaker, standing up for our beliefs and values, and fighting for justice.
On a personal level, there is an opportunity to consider ways in which we may waste our energy or misuse it, and to consider our relation to aggression and anger. The South Node aids us in releasing habits that waste our energy. Attune yourself to subtle forms of aggression, microaggressions, and the subtle ways you treat yourself and others. Notice how you respond to anger. Anger is necessary! The notion that anger itself is “bad” is so harmful; that’s why so many of us repress our anger and don’t know how to express it wisely. Repressed anger builds and will turn within to harm the self or will explode one day in a seemingly inexplicable outburst. We need to learn to honour our anger and find ways to express it truthfully and respectfully. Anger is an important indicator that there is something to attend to--often it indicates our boundaries have been transgressed.
Release the behaviours that keep you from using your energy in an efficient and loving way. Selfish isolation or checking out, being too much in the head, deferring to thought and dogma rather than reality, prioritizing the group to the expense of the individual, groupthink, conformity or rebelliousness. This is an opportunity to consider our use of Mars energy and release our actions, behaviours, and addictions that distort the energy of Aquarius and prevent the integration of Aquarius and Leo so that we may transmute the Aquarius--Leo axis into a higher form: uniting the mind and the heart, integrating objectivity with subjectivity, honouring the individual as well as the group, acknowledging the free will of each unique soul as well as the impact of context, culture, society.
This portends a potentially difficult summer, but keep in mind that this is an opportunity to heal our use of Mars energy. Sometimes trouble needs to be brought to our attention so that we can address it. When this mechanism operates on the world scale, it can be deeply disturbing: there is much unconsciousness, pain, abuse, and misuse of power in our world, and it’s currently being flushed out in massive and disturbing ways. But this process always has a healing potential if we can resist resting in blame and outrage, and do the more difficult work of looking within and then from that place of inner integrity, take action in the world.
For a more personal take on the implications of this astrology, check back soon for July horoscopes.