This is peace itself. It’s a wonderful interlude between two intense womyn’s events. I’m at the Hotel Bougainvillea in San José, Costa Rica. My wife was coming here on business, and so I tagged along, and now her work is done, and she’s joining me for a weekend of pleasure and leisure.
Aside from going out and getting drunk on coffee blends, I haven’t done much. I’ve walked along flower-lined paths, lounged by the pool, and watched the afternoon rain from the balcony of our room. Now my body is deliciously relaxed and my mind empty. Occasionally, a thought will emerge and I’ll watch it slide across my consciousness, searching for a foothold. But all my mental filing cabinets are gone, replaced by birdsong and warm breezes.
It wasn’t like this last week. I was at Womonwrites, a lesbian writer’s conference held just south of Atlanta. It was a place of verbal abundance, between the readings from talented writers, the workshops full of furious writing, and the impromptu conversations between the lake and the dining hall. I did my astrological thing, turning the archetypal language of astrology into words relevant to women’s lives. As always, the feedback was complex and exciting.
Next week, I’ll be at Where Womyn Gather, a womyn’s spirituality festival near Carbondale, Pennsylvania, and it will be just as intense. All sorts of women, transplanted from their ordinary lives, will look for experiences that take them to a higher plane – through drumming, meditation, ritual, and yes, through the charged symbol system of astrology.
I love those womyn’s spaces. But I also belong here, in this place of perfect peace. Even though I’m in a hotel room, it feels just like home to me.
And that figures, because Jupiter’s still in the sign Cancer, spreading those comfortable, warm vibes, and Mercury just entered this sign as well. As I write, the moon is here too. And Cancer is the sign of home. It’s the sign of belonging, and it heightens both the sense that you don’t fit, and the sense that you do, depending on your circumstances.
This is a time when your surroundings affect you more, so that you truly inhabit the space you’re in, and sometimes it feels like it’s inhabiting you. Jupiter in Cancer brings you inside, into interiors that hold you, and towards people with whom you share intimate moments.
Cancer is aligned to women’s energy, since it’s connected to the nurturing we all receive from the first woman in our lives. Cancer is also a sign of memory, and so, during much of this interlude in Costa Rica, my spouse and I tell each stories of things that happened during the week we were apart. We both spent time with women, with old friends, with people with whom we have a long shared past. These stories lead to older stories, and we learn from them as we retell them.
I’m experiencing time more slowly these days, and I know this has something to do with being on vacation in a tropical paradise. But it’s also because Mercury is slowing down, preparatory to going retrograde on June 7. Mercury retrograde is all about living in the past, recapturing the experiences you’ve forgotten, tying up the loose strings you’ve left lying about. It will spend all the rest of June retrograde, so everyone will have time to tidy up the past, to make amends, to reminisce, and to heal.
Besides the emotional largess of these Cancer influences, there’s also the Gemini influence in June, and this is more distracting and faster-moving, with a focus on mental activity and communication. The sun is in Gemini now, so there is an undercurrent of chatter. And mid-month, Mercury retrogrades back into Gemini. Things become more scattered, especially during the following three days (June 17 to 20). After this, the sun enters gentle Cancer, and the focus returns to feelings.
This would be a mostly mellow month, if it weren’t for Mars. Mars is very purposeful these days, having just emerged from three months retrograde, recharged and ready for action. It’s in Libra, the sign of ethics, equality, justice and judgment, so there’s an emphasis on accountability, and it’s making hard aspects to the planets of change, Uranus and Pluto.
This echoes the cardinal cross of April, but in a milder way. There’s time between these aspects; not everything happens at once.
However, it is best to be cautious around these times. The Mars/Pluto square, exact June 14, can indicate dangerous situations, especially when you’re trying to do the right thing. For example, you could go out in the road to move a turtle, and get hit by a Mack truck. Your intentions are good, but the danger lies in pitting yourself against forces that are much greater than you are. So unless you just want to go down in history - sooner rather than later - it’s wise to check things twice.
The Mars/Uranus opposition, exact June 25, is even more prone to accidents and technical problems. Uranus’ energy is swift-moving, electric, and quick to overturn existing structures. This is not the time to stand under trees during lightning storms, especially if you have any planets near 16 degrees of cardinal signs. I’ve got the moon at 16 Cancer, and I’m not going to cross a street without looking both ways, and probably up as well. Who knows what could fall out of the sky?
These two aspects come along like a clean-up crew, startling the retrograde Mercury out of its reminiscences, reminding everybody that some structures still need to topple. They’re very creative and exciting, and so doors can suddenly swing open this month. Don’t take that for granted, though, as doors can also slam shut with equal abruptness. It’s about rearranging things, and with Mars in Libra, the idea is to do this according to higher principles. Since everybody has a different idea of what those principles are, this can mean conflict.
Luckily, the retrograde Mercury keeps reminding us of our past mistakes. And Jupiter in Cancer brings it down to what feels right. If it doesn’t feel right, if it makes your skin crawl, it’s not a good thing. We all want peace, kindness, and a sense of belonging. We all want to feel at home in this moment, on this planet. This is the ideal, and we keep returning to it, over and over.