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 July 2017

Capricorn Full Moon
July 9 @ 12:07 am (Eastern time zone)

Leo New Moon
July 23 @ 5:46 am (Eastern)

July begins with Sun, Mercury and Mars transiting through the zodiac sign of Cancer. Symbolized by the industrious, alert, defensive and protective crab, this zodiac sign is the epitome of instinct, the inherent drive for survival in every life form. The crab abides by water's edge, scrambling to make ends meet, driven by the incessant demands of weather and wind, cradled within the loving rhythm of ocean tides.

Emotional, Reclusive and Protective
In astrology, those born under this zodiac sign tend to be labeled emotional, moody, reclusive and sentimental. But this is a simplistic understanding for a very complex and psychologically deep zodiac energy.

Cancer represents the repository of cellular memory from conception on, with deep roots in this material existence. For each of us is born of a womb, each of us are conditioned by those early forces of genetic inheritance, parents and surrounding environment.

Beyond the conditioned reflection, in adult terms, this zodiac sign is very practical and driven to provide security for those around them. Within a family, business, or group, Cancers are the ones that readily identify the strengths and weaknesses of a given system, and go about fortifying foundations.

Those whose Sun is in Cancer will work tirelessly to provide this security. Whether it is investing in real estate, remodeling a home, parenting, preparing a nutritious meal, advising co-workers, organizing the neighborhood yard sale, lending a sympathetic ear to those in need; this zodiac sign is well aware of the importance of nurturing and supporting those around them.

OK, it is clear how this zodiac sign tends to function on an individual level, but what about a country? Yes, entire nations have astrological charts.

The US Chart is in Cancer
Born on July 4, 1776, the United States is celebrating 241 years of history. Not only have I been fascinated in observing the planetary influences for the country, but been consoled by the big picture that astrology offers. As you can imagine, the destiny of a nation is complex and compelling, emerging over time, mutating, evolving and transforming in the greater cosmic existence.

So what can we learn about ourselves as a collective species under the umbrella of national identity as portrayed by the astrology chart of the United States? Can this understanding prepare us for the years ahead? Is it possible to carve out one's identity without giving into the collective psychic soup of toxic turmoil?

These are big questions, and in a small way, I will share my take on current events in this month's forecast as the astrological “state of the union.”

In the USA chart, the zodiac sign of Cancer leaps to life becoming even more prominent and magnified. At the signing of the Declaration of Independence, four major astrological factors were in the sign of the crab; Sun, Mercury, Venus and Jupiter.

Taken to an extreme - a protective stance becomes the largest national defense system in the world. Sentimental love for one's own becomes patriotism to the point of insular closed mindedness. Practicality becomes an almost insatiable drive for material security. Industriousness becomes a workaholic culture. Taking care of others becomes policing the world.

Adding to this picture, the astrology chart of the nation's leader takes on special significance. For better or worse, the leader's destiny becomes part of this umbrella of influences. The current president has three planets in the zodiac sign of Cancer (Mercury, Saturn, Venus). While his destiny is clearly linked to the country, his Saturn acts as a constrictive, karmic and reckoning force. He thinks he knows what is best for the country, but he is a living example of American privilege and entitlement taken to an extreme.

Full Moon Illumination
July begins with a rude awakening as Mars opposes Pluto on the 2nd, providing the atmosphere for all these themes, and more, to surface. This planetary combination can be likened to a surgeon's knife, cutting deep to expose underlying disease. Issues of security will resonate across the spectrum, all the way from personal to national concerns.

On the heels of this combustive alignment, comes the Full Moon on July 9. In this case, the Moon exactly joins Pluto and opposes Mars, further amplifying and intensifying what has been uncovered in recent weeks.

At its best, this Full Moon enhances a realistic, bottom line, back to basics pause. As much as one could feel rushed and pressured to move forward, there is a need to stop, establish priorities, take a full inventory, and gather the insight to actually implement improvements with effective objectives.

The third phase of any lunar cycle is the last Quarter Moon. On July 16, the Moon in Aries joins Uranus. Tension that has accumulated over previous weeks breaks. Energizing and activating Mars, in square to Uranus, adds a combustive and unpredictable quality to this final phase of the lunar cycle.

There is an air of freedom, a pivot toward the future. Here again, we see the themes of push comes to shove, the necessity to release the past in order to enact substantial change in the present.

New Moon, New Focused Action
On July 20, Mars completes its transit through sensing and introspective Cancerian waters, and enters hot, intense and dramatic Leo. There will be a distinct shift in energy over the next three days as Sun enters Leo on the 22nd, and Moon enters Leo on the 23. Alongside Mars, this New Moon will catapult us out of the doldrums, and ignite the fires of purposeful action.

With the major eclipses of August around the corner, and a Mercury retrograde phase beginning on August 12, you may find situations that arise in late July are the kick off for a very dynamic Leo season. Life situations may challenge you to take charge, find your freedom, and connect with your inner strength rather than give your power away to outer authority. More on this topic next month.

Over the past election year, I felt compelled to consider the USA astrology chart from the standpoint of collective destiny. Here we are, a year later (how time flies), and July 4 is the 241st birthday of the nation. As I mentioned, the chart of a country is very complex, and cannot be reduced to simplicity. However, in calculating the Solar Return birthday chart for the USA, a number of significant factors rise to the surface that may be helpful to understand at this juncture.

Back to the US Chart
First of all, the country is in the precarious interim between past and future. Of course, this is the case for the entire world. No one country can take credit for knowing exactly where this is going. It is the rare individual that has the wisdom and perspective to tap into the true direction for planet Earth, and actually embody this on a daily basis. We are a work in progress, so to speak.

The Solar Return chart sets the pace for the coming year. In the Solar Return chart for the USA, the planet Neptune is exactly on the ascendant, the power point of the eastern horizon. Adding to this theme, for the first time in the history of the country rare alignment, Neptune has been activating the progressed Sun of the USA since May 2016. The forth and final activation occurs on September 3.

What in the world is going on??? We are left with more questions than answers . . .which is exactly the point when Neptune is involved. Neptune tends to cast a mesmerizing, confusing and disorienting light on earthy matters. Neptune's influence is optimal for receiving divine guidance, inspiration and direction. But, to what degree is the collective consciousness open to receive this invitation?

Meanwhile, strong Neptune influences can provide a jolt of awakening, albeit a rude awakening. It is not always comfortable to come out of a dreamlike, idealistic reverie, forced to face, and come to terms with reality. Frankly, many people, groups and countries find it advantageous to dwell in the shadow of Neptune, consciously or unconsciously, using deception for their own purposes.

Real News, Fake News
One of the most obvious signs of the Neptune influence is the insidious and blurry boundaries around what constitutes real news and fake news. Propaganda has always been used by renegades and institutions to sway public opinion, but current technology brings this type of manipulation to a whole new level. The dictionary defines propaganda as, “the spreading of ideas, information, or rumor for the purpose of helping or injuring an institution, a cause or one's cause, or to damage an opposing cause.”

As much as the current political environment is conflicting and confusing, there is the potential for waking up from the trance, and actually getting to the bottom of trends that have been going on for decades. By the way, the newly released documentary, “The Brainwashing of My Dad,” comes highly recommended.

Meanwhile, down to earth Saturn is calling forth the truth, and bearing down on the USA identity. I see this as a reckoning that cannot be escaped, but actually provides the realism needed for the country to find its lost identity. Current events are testing the strength of the union to the very core. In an individual's chart, these planetary trends could signify the rock bottom of substance abuse, the point of no return, whereby there is no escape except to realistically face the necessary and arduous climb out of the sinkhole of self sabotage.

Time For More Loving Decisiveness
Everything points to the approaching decade as a decisive turning point for the nation. At the signing of the Declaration of Independence, the planet Pluto aligned in the area of finance, money, worth and value. Pluto has a 246 year orbit, and the country is just five years away from a Pluto return. Meanwhile, Pluto in Capricorn (2008 - 2023) is exposing the corrosive power of glamorous and seductive self-interest.

Meanwhile, the urgency to address corruption is front and center, stimulating a potential reset of the core values that underlie commerce, currency and financial institutions.

Clearly, much is at stake, and it's time for the country to face its mottled and complicated heritage, exemplifying many of the current challenges. The early patriots didn't think it was fair to pay taxes to the king of England, and so they revolted. The early patriots couldn't even consider what constitutes, “equality and justice for all,” as they lived in an era of white man dominance.

In those early years of our American Revolution, the founders called forth the guiding light of transcendent values, the high ideals of democracy, but manifesting these ideals depends on the commitment of each generation.

In this nebulous, in between place of Neptune's dissolving and disorienting influence, this is not a time to linger in the past, and blindly adhere to traditions that no longer apply. Altering the landscape of public discourse, the tide of public opinion is turning, gathering momentum as a tidal wave of gigantic proportions. The coming decade will provide the tough, but ideal environment to upgrade these core values, thereby coming to terms with present challenges.

Belinda C. Dunn is a professional astrologer with 40+ years experience. She is available for your personal consultation. EMAIL: PHONE: 828-215-2101