The featured alignment for the last several months, the Saturn-Neptune opposition is undeniably on the wane. By the end of July, the alignment will be nearly five degrees from exact. Although given a ten degree orb of influence the opposition will still be active through June of 2008, the potency of the influence is in its final phase. This new stage represents a valuable opportunity to reappraise personal and collective dreams, ideals, and aspirations. With Saturn opposing Neptune for the last few years, the planet of the imagination and fantasy, it is likely that on some level our inner wishes and longings have been exposed as chimeras and delusions. Entering into the Saturn-Neptune matrix, one can often find that following one's deeper imaginations and hopes is akin to chasing rainbows. Like an unpleasant hangover, the Saturn-Neptune effect sobers, tempers, and dries out illusions so that one may sharpen one's perceptions of reality. Given these lessons of tough love, one can rebuild personal and collective myths, dreams, and visions on a stronger foundation. Disenchantment has its purposes.
Although the Saturn-Neptune alignment is attenuating, Mars forms a
t-square (or triangular pattern) with these two planets late in July,
briefly activating and fortifying the alignment before it dissipates
completely. The last Mars t-square with Saturn and Neptune, occurring in
November 2006, witnessed the death of Alexander Litvinenko, the Russian
spy who was gruesomely poisoned by polonium radiation. The case exposes
the more troubling possibilities of Mars in hard alignment to Saturn
and Neptune: toxins, subertufuge, insidious weakening from unseen
forces. However, just as the Mars t-square to Saturn and Neptune can
bring about the darker consequences from unseen forces, it can also
reflect noble and life-affirming possibilities that go unnoticed: The
hospice worker who gives solace to those dying; the everyday acts of
charity that slowly create positive change in the world; and the humble
service of those who act on behalf of spiritual ideals.
Throughout July, Saturn and Venus form a conjunction, and rather than be
a fleeting meeting of these two planets, this aspect is prolonged due
to Venus' retrogradation. As Neptune is the planet of idealized,
otherworldly beauty, Venus is this planet's more prosaic counterpart,
symbolizing the more earthly side of allure and pleasure. Thus, while
Saturn in aspect to Neptune would likely challenge our relation to
higher, if not spiritual, ideals, Saturn in aspect to Venus will likely
indicate blocks, tensions, and resitance to our corporeal delights.
Saturn and Venus in aspect can have a "flattening" effect on
entertainment, relationship, and art. Like a soda that has lost its
carbonation, the zing from life's pleasures can become noticeably bland
when Saturn makes an affiliation with Venus.
To compound Saturn's deflating effect, Venus goes retrograde at the end
of the month. Although Mercury's clockwork backward motion is well-known
for its undesirable influence on communications and planning, Venus in
retograde may have similar attributes relative to its domain of beauty,
art, and relationship.
Finally, Saturn creates a trine aspect to Pluto, an aspect that is exact
in early August. The trine aspect, or 120 degree angular relationship,
brings about the most positive qualities of these planets in
combination: endurance, tenacity, depth, integrity, and solidity. The
flow and ease of the trine aspect relative to the qualities of Saturn
and Pluto make this time a particularly significant one for any project
or ambition that demands a peculiar amount of penetration, staying
power, and resolve. As the pleasure principle may be slightly diminished
with the Saturn conjunction to Venus, the trine from Saturn to Pluto
may suggest a period in which concentration, patience, and deeply
focused work come to the forefront.