On June 21, 2005 at 2:46 AM EDT, the Sun enters the astrological sign of Cancer and in the Northern Hemisphere the summer season officially begins.

The sign of Cancer represents motherhood, family, the human state of being wounded, and our deep need for security and shelter. The sign is known for its heightened emotional and psychic sensitivity. Watery, reflective, and self protective by nature (think of the crab's shell), Cancer is one of the four Cardinal signs, and Cardinal signs (Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn) are the motivating forces of the zodiac as they initiate each season.

What will the next three months be like? According to the chart cast for the exact moment of the Solstice in Washington D.C. (representing the USA), the forecast is "Hot, Hot, Hot."

Heat Wave

The planetary pictures present at the Cancerian Ingress (the precise moment the Sun goes into Cancer) point to a summer that is filled with extremes. According to weather astrologer Carolyn Egan, "The chart indicates a scenario that is hot, wet, and miserable. Americans (particularly in the Northeast and Midwest) need to be careful and on notice about `poisonous water' stemming from stagnant water that sits in the heat and attracts all kinds of critters, red tide, and a volatility that may manifest as a natural disaster or two."

What's more, the Moon (representing the public) is merged with Pluto (representing power, the depths and intensity) both in Sagittarius, the sign ruling politics, philosophy, foreign affairs, and religion in the 8th house of shared wealth, death and rebirth. This suggests that the current climate of polarization will "heat up" another notch or two. That, mixed with mounting financial woes, could easily prompt the populace to be, shall we say, less "tolerant" than they'd be in cooler months. Acting out is a strong possibility: In plain English, let's hope that there's no rioting.

But the news is not all bad, not by a long shot, as a matter of fact it's rather good, particularly if you like your summer with some challenge to it and a little drama on the side.

The Changing of the Guard

Celestially speaking, July is a very busy month. Saturn, the planet of karma and hard work, will change signs going from Cancer to Leo. Saturn has a cycle of 29½ years, and when in any one of the 12 signs, the focus is on learning the lessons of that sign. Saturn will enter Leo on July 16th and transit Leo for just over 25 months.

Leo is the sign of the hero. It rules fatherhood, royalty, authority, the patriarchy, the stage, entertainment, recreation, play, children, and childhood. Leos are usually thrilling people to know and to watch. Their lives are filled with dramatic intensity, father problems, authority issues, but laced with plenty of fun and elegant parties. Leo is the king of the zodiac in the same way the lion is the king of the forest.

We can always spot people with the Sun in Leo when they walk into a room: Jackie Onassis, Bill Clinton, Madonna, Andy Warhol, Patrick Swayze, Whitney Houston, and Robert Redford are all Leos. They radiate glamour and warmth. But Saturn entering Leo is very different from the Sun in Leo: it brings a demand for responsibility and accountability into a sign that likes to play. It's heavy and somewhat uncomfortable: Can you imagine a five year old wearing a business suit in a sandbox? So for the next two years, expect a fair amount of seriousness and sobriety to pervade the realms of entertainment, patriarchal systems, the plight of children, and in the royal families and monarchies of the world.

But this sobriety could pay off very nicely. The needs of children in general will be taken more seriously, and advocacy for the world's children will make great strides.

The last time Saturn was in Leo (late 1975-mid 1978) the economy was weak but the world of entertainment was on a roll. Saturday Night Live premiered, "The Fonz" and Charlie's Angels ruled television, and in the movies the "Hero's Journey", later popularized on PBS by Joseph Campbell, and the related theme of overcoming the limitations of the father or of the establishment with courage and nobility flourished onscreen in epics such as "Star Wars," "Rocky," and "Saturday Night Fever".

Saturn in Leo can be (for better or worse) a very formidable placement, one that give natives the oomph to stand up to their fears and create BIG: Steven Spielberg, Bill and Hillary Clinton, Laura Bush, Lena Horne, O.J. Simpson, and Seinfeld creator Larry David all have Saturn in Leo. The challenge is to overcome insecurity and the mistaken notion that on a creative level, you're just not good enough.

The next planet making headlines this summer is Mars, planet of war, self-assertion, and aggression.

Mars moves through all 12 signs in about two years. But for six to seven months out of those 24, he travels forward, backward (retrograde), and forward again in only ONE sign, as if to provide that sign with an opportunity to bone up on its `anger management' skills. This time, from July 28, 2005 through February 17, 2006, Mars does its slow burn tango through the earthy, sensual sign of Taurus.

Mars in Taurus is a fascinating and powerful placement: It was there when both the radio and the telephone were invented, the Internet was launched, the first cables laid across the Atlantic, and when many advancements in publishing, media, civil rights, and in the world of labor were achieved. Mars in Taurus is an ace at bridging one place to another.
Mars went retrograde in Taurus in Sept 1973, but retrograded back into Aries in late October through December of that year. The Nixon administration unraveled and the now famous `Saturday Night Massacre' occurred bringing the Watergate scandal into full throttle. That year's oil crisis made for the longest lines at the gas pumps most living Americans can remember. However, Mars hasn't spent the full seven months in Taurus since late July 1926-February 1927. During that transit, talking pictures and television made their debuts and singers Tony Bennett, Leontyne Price, and Joan Sutherland were born (Mars in Taurus is `the active throat', and Mars in Taurus people tend to hang in there for generations).

To get a feel for the ferocious staying power and generational impact that Mars in Taurus combined with Saturn in Leo has, think of Hitler, Charles Chaplin, and JFK - all born with this wallup-packing combination.

Many born during this summer of '05- through February `06 will impact the world greatly in years to come. For those of us alive and dealing with the here and now, there is frustration to be expected, but it's the kind of frustration that can lead to many positive and profound life-changing moves (When the going gets tough....)

Also, from July 22 to August 15, our friend Mercury (planet of communication and travel) goes retrograde. Mercury retrograde is always a good time to back up files, take extra care with transportation, and to go back to waylaid projects and old contacts and regroup.

Most of all, the Summer of 2005 will be unforgettable.

And as you embark on the next trimester of your "Hero's Journey" just one more thought: Dream Big.

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