15 Jul Look on My Works! ~ July 16th-22nd, 2018
I met a traveller from an antique land,
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. . . . Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed;
And on the pedestal, these words appear:
“My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings;
Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!”
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.
-Percy Shelley (1817)
This is the last week of Cancer season. In the Northern Hemisphere, the Sun’s light is noticeably beginning to descend, every evening deepening further into amber.
After the powerful Solar Eclipse last week, the remainder of this season will continue to linger upon wistful remembrances and deep emotional connections to the past. A keen sense of loyalty and devotion to your loved ones and ancestors is more easily aroused now.
Cancer is the sign in the zodiac associated with family relationships, memory-keeping, and protection of the lineage. It is during Cancer season that you are called to revitalize your connection to a personal and collective history. This is necessary to illuminate your life with meaning and purpose. What story are you an integral part of?
On Sunday, the Sun will leave the warm waters of Cancer and enter into the golden palace of Leo, its sign of rulership. It is in Leo where the story of Cancer bursts into flames, glowing with pride, courage, and artistic flair.
Cancer is ruled by the internal and reflective Moon. But in the sign of Leo, the Sun’s light turns all of the Moon’s internal drama into a public spectacle.
Next week’s lunar eclipse will be along the axis of Leo/Aquarius, so it is important to become highly self-aware about what growth and insight is needed regarding these signs of the zodiac.
Ideally, the influence of Leo summons a renewed sense of self-confidence and pride. The familiar story born from deep feeling and beloved memories during Cancer season is sculpted into great art. The story glows from within the eyes as a great point of pride and a fully embodied identity.
Leo is a lovable sign, for what on earth doesn’t worship the Sun? As the center of the solar system, the Sun symbolically represents the center of our being, the light of consciousness that guides us on our path. The archetypal qualities associated with the Sun include: vitality, creativity, courage, and selfhood.
Many of these positive qualities will radiate more through you under the influence of Leo. Feeling the glow of pride for your work, children, or art is a natural and healthy part of being human.
But the weakness of Leo is its fixed quality, its tendency to become stuck upon itself. Believing your own hype is the danger of Leo. And because this is an eclipse season, where light is obscured, it is especially important to acknowledge the shadow side of the Sun’s qualities, which include: egotism, arrogance, and vanity.
In the world of selfies and social media, there has never been more opportunity for people to exalt themselves to the point of foolishness. Nor has there ever been so much potential to become trapped in a solipsistic feedback loop, where your own tastes and opinions are just echoed back to you ad infinitum.
This week is a quiet space to rest in between the wilder energies of the eclipses, so take a long pause for reflection now.
How fixed has your ego identity become? Do you still fall for the flattery you receive? Is your pride alienating to others?
These are the questions that you will be grappling with during the upcoming four weeks.
A perfect poem to consider for a deeper immersion into the themes of this week is the sonnet Ozymandias by the great Romantic writer, Percy Shelley. (born under the Sun sign of Leo)
As if written from the mythic and historical realm of Cancer, Ozymandias begins its journey with an image of an antique land, where stand the remains of an ancient Egyptian statue representing the Pharaoh Ramses II.
The Pharaoh’s statue serves as a timeless lesson for the reader, revealing the ephemeral nature of all things in the material world. The statue is in ruins, revealing how even an epicenter of great earthly power and pride, such as Ozymandias’ reign, is still subject to decay.
Ozymandias’ monument still speaks, carved with the threatening inscription that reads:
“Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!”
How the mighty have fallen. This threat from centuries long since forgotten is nothing but a pale ghost. Crumbling into the sand, this once devastating symbol of power teaches a much more universal truth than any empire ever could.
Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.
All things fade away. All form returns to the formless. Even our beloved Sun will eventually burn out one day. And no civilization or ideology is special enough to remain in power forever.
Use this last week of Cancer season to remember history clearly so that you can keep a sense of humor about yourself. Keep in mind that during the upcoming eclipses, your vanity and your pride will be tested.
If the natural light of self-confidence has been hardened into vanity, then you will find yourself satirized or mocked by cruelly observant eyes. And if you have suffered from inverted pride, refusing to share your light for fear of rejection, then you will be pushed beyond your limits.
In any act of creation, try to appreciate the image of sandcastles. Build, sculpt and shape your life however you would like. Take pride in all the beauty that you create, the complexity that you express. Finally, remain joyful as the world you’ve created is washed away by the hissing waves.
July 20th- Mars conjunct South Node in Aquarius
On Friday, July 20th, due to his retrograde motion, Mars will make a second conjunction with the Aquarius South Node.
Mars Retrograde in Aquarius summons your most independent and rebellious drives to come to the surface. And the south node is a point that symbolizes the dead weight of the past.
Thus, the whole week may be qualified by an increasing sense of restriction that climaxes on Friday. In whatever way you are bound and obligated to the past, you will feel those chains tightening. Whether or not you arrive at the solution to this unwanted condition now is unimportant. You are experiencing a potent opportunity to make a clean break from some extremely unwanted conditions. You may be moved to act now, but that action may very well be premature.
Mars will not be direct again until August 28th, so this process of liberation still has many weeks to play itself out. Mars Retrogrades are famous for bubbling over with frustration, anger and resentment. Remember that the level of bitter emotion you are experiencing now is relative to how much pent up aggression you’ve been hiding from. Relax into this process and let yourself release these toxic emotions.
On Sunday July 22nd, Venus in Virgo will sextile Jupiter in Scorpio.
To Venus, beauty is truth. And while Venus is in Virgo, beauty and truth are sought in meticulous detail. Since the Sun is also moving into Leo on this day, it is safe to assume that this aspect between Venus and Jupiter will be focused upon a deep level of self-inquiry.
Jupiter’s influence will magnify and expand Venus’ desire for beauty. The spirit of this time is generous and celebratory. In Virgo, Venus becomes very self-critical, but this does not have to result in self-negation. You may feel vulnerable and insecure on this day, but Venus is always nude and never naked. Thus, let her teach you how to be vulnerable whilst keeping your self-esteem intact.
July 22nd – Sun into Leo
Hours after Venus sextile Jupiter perfects, the Sun will ingress into Leo. When the great Sun returns to his place of rulership, there is a great celebration like the return of a beloved King. The zodiac itself tells the story of the Sun’s annual journey.
Thus, there is a heroic feeling to Leo season that you can connect to at many levels of awareness. In whatever way you please, dedicate this season to the devotional practice of Sun worship. See the Sun as the heart of the universe and feel how your heart warms in response.
Let yourself bask in the light of life. Emanate its radiance. And thank the Sun for its infinite blessings.