Summer Gets a Boost With These Magical Transits
Astrological magic had its heyday in the medieval period, when kings and queens ruled the lands. Magic can be seen as metaphorical attempts to gain the favor of the sovereign, and many of the stipulations around when to practice magic are based around the idea of finding the ruler in a good mood, willing and able to help. Planets traversing one of their favorite places, known as dignities, symbolize just such rulers—those who are content in their special place and willing to marshal resources to the aid of those they favor.
Transit of Venus Revisited
Summer begins with Venus in mid-Gemini, close to the place where she made the fabled “transit of Venus” alignments with the sun in 2004 and 2012. These rare events happen in pairs and more than a century apart and so we are still feeling the reverberating effects of this relatively recent pair. The astronomical reason these alignments happen in Gemini is that this is the place where Venus’ orbit intersects with the Earth’s orbit—a.k.a. the ecliptic plane. As Venus crosses these degrees she is very closely aligned with the ecliptic, and her energy is more directly interacting with the Earth plane. Venus will be very close to the ecliptic (within half a degree) from June 23 till July 17, with the exact crossing occurring on July 5. This proximity of Venus to the ecliptic is book-ended by Venus making two oppositions, the first with Jupiter on June 23 and the second with Saturn on July 17. Jupiter tends to expand things, and so the summer may begin with early fireworks as larger-than-life love affairs seem to be exploding everywhere. These may feel amazing at first but ultimately be tested by distance or differences in philosophy, religion, and education. After Venus makes the opposition with Saturn in July, you should know if things have a chance of standing the test of time. Saturn may introduce further delays or obstacles, but could also reward those who have already invested in relationships with patience, planning, and commitment.
Full Moon in Aquarius, August 15
The second full moon of summer occurs at 22° 24’ of Aquarius—and this is very close to the magical star Deneb Algedi. In the Middle Ages, this star was considered one of 15 stars with special magical powers known as behenian stars. Deneb Algedi was said to grant wealth, protection, and favor in lawsuits by authors like Ficino and Agrippa, who also said the stone chalcedony and the herb marjoram would help draw the star’s power into material form, along with its sigil.
This star is associated with wisdom, law and order, and the power to establish businesses, social institutions, and civilization. In the early morning of August 15, before sunrise, look to the west-southwest and find the moon setting. Just above the moon, you will see Deneb Algedi. (You may even see a Perseid meteor or two, since the peak of the shower is only a few nights before. Be sure to make a wish if you do!) Don’t forget to ask the moon to send some of Deneb Algedi’s magic into your life—or perhaps the life of someone you love.
New Moon in Virgo, August 30
This year’s new moon in Virgo features a powerful alignment of five planets: Going outward from Earth, we have the moon, the sun, Mercury, Venus, and Mars, all in a relatively straight line. This extraordinary line-up of our closest five neighbors occurs in the sign of service and working toward the perfection of our craft. Because Mercury, Venus, and Mars are all on the far side of the sun from Earth, we are being called to seek out and find new unfamiliar parts of ourselves or re-discover something that was lost or hidden. This may involve travel and learning –especially regarding lost, hidden, or secret knowledge. If we’re already in touch with some newly discovered or re-discovered part of ourselves regarding work, service, and self-improvement, then we may need to protect and shepherd this vulnerable new shoot of growth until it reaches a safe place where it can stand on its own two feet. Much of the experiences and identity shifts we undergo in the fall have their seed moment in this final new moon of the summer season.
Beginning around the autumn equinox, Mercury and Venus emerge from under the sun’s beams to shine together in the western evening sky. These two will remain visible and relatively close to each other in the evening sky for several weeks, sojourning through the signs of Libra and Scorpio until Mercury’s station at the end of October. This long-term transit has implications for our feminine and social identities. And in mid-October, Mars rises to become morning star, beginning a new exploration of our individual and masculine identities. Both of these divergent processes have their beginnings in the same moment, which makes the new moon of August 30 crucial for consciously defining our intentions, goals, and desires.
Gary P. Caton is a transdisciplinary astrologer who maintains an active sacred relationship with the living Sky as his temple. Initiated an astrologer by a magnificent dream in 1993, Gary is the author of Hermetica Triptycha: The Mercury Elemental Year, and host of the popular Hermetic Astrology Podcast. Find Gary online at DreamAstrologer.com
Art by Daniel Pashman