Astrology Column

Belinda Dunn is a professional astrologer, trained at The Temple of Kriya Yoga in Chicago, and has more than 35 years experience. See her bio and contact info at the end of this column.

What's UP! June 2016 by Belinda Dunn

Gemini New Moon
June 4 @ 10:59 pm
Gemini/Sagittarius Full Moon
June 20 @ 7:02 am
Summer Solstice
June 20 @ 6:34 pm

June is a busy month with many competing factors. Between completion of the academic year, travel plans and all the possibilities of outdoor recreation, choices ask for conscious engagement.

Mercury has completed its full retrograde phase of recent months, and there is new terrain ahead to explore. Our Sun is in Gemini skies, instilling a sense of alert curiosity, and the enthusiasm needed for expanding horizons.

Foundations of Thought Tested
The month begins with a New Moon in Gemini. This is a very unusual, powerful and auspicious lunation cycle that triggers a series of intense planetary alignments taking place over the course of 2016. Known as a mutable grand cross, astrologers see this alignment as testing the foundations of thought and belief in our personal and collective lives.

Webster's dictionary defines mutable as, “prone to change, inconstant, capable of mutation.” Considering current events and the rapid exchange of information made possible by technology, the mutable grand cross presents an enormous influx of information that can turn the tide of popularity in political contests as well as collective consciousness.

The vast sea of human thought is confused, lost, searching for truth. As people’s lies, distortions, prejudice and hidden agendas become increasingly obvious, many minds/hearts are ripe and ready for revelation, ready for change.

Let's examine this mutable grand cross from the vantage point of a mountaintop.

Overcoming great obstacles, and having climbed to the highest elevation, the view is panoramic. Seeing in all directions we are able to turn around, and breathe in the sacredness of east, south, west, north. Everything below looks tiny, toy like, and perhaps even inconsequential. The sky above is expansive yet seems close enough to touch as one's spirit soars in freedom.

Gemini Aims for Wisdom
Higher yet, the stellar sky is illuminated with the full circle of zodiac teachers. In each of the four directions, one of the mutable zodiac signs holds domain. Beginning with Gemini, we see the Sun, Moon and Venus joining together for the New Moon on June 4. Gemini aims for wisdom in this world of form.

Through many experiences, and genuine inquiry, Gemini thrives on stimulation, variety and diversity. The mind's innate capacity for intelligence can get sidetracked in a multitude of ways. The zodiac teacher of Gemini teaches the importance of paying attention, not getting lost in trivia, half-truths or gossip.

Gemini is up close and personal. What tends to be in the forefront of your mind? In other words, what is in front of your face? This New Moon amplifies the thought processes. One's on-going mental state translates into daily interactions and attitude.

In the human body, Gemini is associated with the neck, shoulders, arms and hands. Keeping in mind that the exchange of ideas goes deeper than just vocalization, it may be helpful to ask yourself, “What motions and actions do my hands want to express?”

Choosing the High Road
In the next of four directions, we turn to see enormous Jupiter transiting in Virgo skies (August 2015 – September 2016). Virgo is the zodiac teacher of right use of mental energy. Used wisely, the mind is a constructive and creative tool. Often, however, the power of thought is used in demeaning, denigrating, critical and negative ways.

Virgo teaches the importance of keeping one's perspective pure, untainted by criticism, in stewardship to the whole.

Saturn orbits in the third of these four directions. Transiting in Sagittarius, Saturn challenges us to take the high road even when it may not be the popular thing to do. Many times, it is “the road less traveled” that will take us to the destination.

Saturn is in Sagittarius for a few years (2015-2017). Trends during this time require determination, discipline and perseverance in the face of disillusionment. The atmosphere is heavy, serious, even depressing, but the Sagittarius archer aims above the crowd, open to receiving guidance from higher ground.

We encounter Neptune in the fourth and final direction of this meta-view of a mutable grand cross. This elusive and mystical planet takes us far out, beyond the rings of Saturn to see the big picture. Neptune is a generational planet, currently transiting through the zodiac sign of Pisces (2011 – 2025).

Like a hall of mirrors, Neptune dissolves earthy illusions to reveal transcendent, eternal consciousness. While a key component of a massive global spiritual renaissance, this is no easy task. You may have heard the phrase, “Addiction is the disease of denial.”

Through a variety of wake up calls, the zodiac teacher of Neptune breaks down resistance and denial. It is only through humility and vulnerability, tenderness and compassion, that the true gifts of Neptune can be appreciated.

Conflict Forces Clarification
Symbolically, the cross configuration is a potent mystical reminder of conflict. In terms of astrological aspects, the cross is made up of two oppositions and four squares, potentially the most confrontational, polarizing, and out of balance energy.

The cross asks for nothing less than surrender, a deep letting go of what is, to actually see a larger truth, beyond the paradoxical state of the mind's conundrum.

Keeping this mutable grand cross in mind, I invite you to check current events. Over several decades the media has evolved to a 24/7 stream of opinion. Opinion is opinion, and everyone has plenty to say according to their conditioned view. Loudly and dramatically, numerous voices shout over each other to impress their point of view.

To a large extent, the current media is based on conflict rather than clarity. Sadly, this is what buys airtime, and sells to the general public. The voices will continue to clamor for attention, escalating to a high pitch throughout the summer months, but especially in June.

The Full Moon astrology chart for June 20, show both Sun and Moon in the final degrees of Gemini and Sagittarius. Full Moons are generally times of increased activity. Not only is there a tendency for restlessness, but misguided thoughts, words and actions can intensify the disruption and commotion in the social sphere as well as in our personal lives.

Last November Saturn entered a very tight and stressful alignment with Neptune. Together these planets continue to cast shadows of glamour and illusion over real life situations. Exact once again on June 17, these planets continue to be in stressful alignment until their third and final square on September 10. The human tendency to deny, ignore and scoot things under the rug can be dangerous and destructive.

Full Moon Intensifies
June is a major turning point as Neptune is stationary and retrograde mid-month, contributing to the lack of discernment and confusion. On the Full Moon of June 20, Mercury activates this planetary combination.

As the planet of communication, Mercury can cut through the chaos with acute awareness, expressing the virtue of frank, candid honesty. It's like the little child exclaiming, “Look everyone, the emperor wears no clothes!”

As their planetary influence subsides, conditions that appeared foggy, surreal and distorted can once again objectify, stabilize and clarify. Thus, from late last year through to the autumn of 2016 there is a ten-month phase designed for the optimal purpose of questioning perceived reality.

Over time, the fog clears, reality dawns, and it is possible to move from delusion to “beyond a shadow of a doubt.” Obviously, these are not ideal conditions in which to conduct a presidential campaign. Let's hope the country doesn't wake up with a hangover on November 10.

If you find yourself experiencing confusion, discouragement and self-doubt, for whatever reason, do not despair. Both planets present their own unique and real perspective. On this dimension, form appears real and tangible.

Saturn emphasizes the lessons of time, and the never-ending flow of temporary circumstances in earth school reality. Neptune opens the consciousness to eternal life, above and beyond this dimension. Both have their own complimentary truth, but human nature tends to make one more important than the other.

Closely following the Full Moon, is the auspicious and celebrated Summer Solstice on June 20. The longest day of the year is combined with the Moon's complete illumination. This promises to be a glorious evening to celebrate life, light and nature. Essential to health and wellbeing, time in nature soothes body, mind and soul. Summer is officially underway!

Closure, Direction and Confidence Arise
To finish out the month, Mars adds to an impulse of onward and upward as it returns to a direct phase on June 29. This shift brings movement to stalled projects, and decisions of recent months. Consider the areas of your life that have required a backtracking, perhaps areas where you have been feeling stuck, experiencing a lack of direction and momentum.

Instilling courage, vitality and passion, Mars is the planet that gets us up in the morning. As June concludes, most of us will experience a renewed sense of confidence, connection and direction.

Like so many fields of scientific exploration, the power of technology is making it possible to expand horizons out of our solar system into the far reaches of outer space. Beyond the trans-personal planets of Uranus and Neptune, is the Kuiper Belt.

The Kuiper Belt includes Pluto, Sedna, Quaoar, Orcus, Haumea, Eris, and others waiting to be discovered. Astronomers are closely monitoring these orbits, and on the brink of discovering a planet that may be ten times the Earth's mass.

Astrologers approach these matters with a mystical and mythical perspective. Each time a new celestial body is discovered, consciousness expands.

Newly discovered in 2003, Eris has a 560-year orbit around the Sun, and due to its long elliptical path, it remains in the same area of the sky for generations. However, beginning in June, Uranus joins Eris at 23 degrees of Aries. This will give astrologers a chance to monitor affects, and come to a greater understanding of the mythical message of Eris.

Breakthroughs in Perception
Uranus and Eris will remain in close connection for the next year. Some of the themes identified so far are quite telling of the current times we live in. Eris is known for disrupting the status quo, and stimulating a rapid departure from what no longer works. Together, Uranus and Eris are catalyzing rapid, radical and unprecedented breakthroughs on every level of our collective experience.

All the trans-Neptunian planets are opening perception to see beyond the boundaries of perceived knowledge. So often these days, I hear people comment, “I know nothing.“ It is not always easy to come to this crossroads of realization.

The human mind is extremely limited in its scope, strongly conditioned through biology and circumstance. But, it is exactly this profound and humble letting go that provides the opening for a mutable grand cross in Gemini to release its magic. When we get out of the little mind, a whole new world of ecstatic possibility opens. These are exciting times to be alive!

Belinda C. Dunn is a professional astrologer with over 35 years experience. She is available for your personal consultation. Email: Phone: 828-215-2101. Visit her website for archives of past articles