June 2021 Update: The Roller Coaster

Crunch-crunch, bump-bump, rattle-rattle, snap-snap. This month the Saturn-Uranus square (2020–2023) ratchets up to make its second exact hit (June 14). This alignment can feel like a slow, bumpy ride to the top of an old wooden roller coaster, only to have the whole structure give way upon reaching the top. With this pair the principle of stability, constriction, responsibility, and conservatism (Saturn) clashes and combines with that of change, liberation, liberalism, and radicalism (Uranus). How beautiful to be free (Uranus) once more, after a year of lockdowns and fear (Saturn). But please remember to do so responsibly (Saturn), as this aspect will bring instant consequences for those who are trigger-happy with their newfound freedom. Witness the recent horrors in India, where the arrogant and irresponsible Modi government opened up a mostly unvaccinated and medically-ill-equipped country much too soon.

Tense clashes between resistance and establishment forces, like those in Columbia, Israel, or the U.S. are par for the course. Keep an eye on how these archetypes blend oxymoronically, for instance as radical (Uranus) conservatism (Saturn), or reactionary (Saturn) liberalism (Uranus). The extremes are only getting more extreme, and as they do so they begin to resemble each other. We can see sudden breaks (Uranus) in rigid structures (Saturn), whether it be the resentful, ruminating mind of a mass shooter, or a Metro overpass in Mexico City. Keep your ears alert for tense cables sighing and singing before they snap.

Although connected to others through zoom, social media, and the news, I recently realized that one of the blessings of this pandemic has been time off from other people’s energy fields and their opinions, agendas, and beliefs. As we step out into the world once more and begin interacting face-to-face, let us try to hold on to our quiet and stable center, because strong, strong winds are blowing. This is another example of Saturn and Uranus in combination: intensely rigid opinions and armored self-righteousness. The Saturn impulse tells us we know what reality actually is. We are certain of the perceived facts– quit being ridiculous! Saturn can also bring a punitive, judgmental edge. Uranus, as the revolutionary impulse, fills us with a different kind of certainty: the establishment is the problem and has got to go! Uranus makes us scoff at the ridiculousness of whatever we think we have seen through: I refuse to be anybody’s chump! Together, these two archetypes can reinforce to create rock-hard positions and bludgeoning agendas.

Saturn and Uranus represent one of several astrological polarities– perhaps the most potent one. One side of a polarity always brings about its opposite. The more we chase after one, the more we unconsciously invite the other. When two polarized planets align, we are made to face this fact directly. When confronted with opposites, people by default will tend to identify with one side and then flip-flop between the two in myriad unconscious ways. The higher response to the opposites, which most of us have to learn the hard way, is to hold the tension. We must learn to walk the tightrope, which will involve a lot of broken limbs and concussions– but it is the only good solution.

With Saturn-Uranus, we need to boost our tolerance of cognitive dissonance. For me, this could mean seeing somebody’s humanity even if they hold what I perceive to be destructive and ignorant political views. It could mean accepting scientific truth even with my awareness of science’s inability to address larger truths. It could mean recognizing that I can do more good working within a flawed system than I can shaking my fist at it. With Saturn and Uranus, let us consider what it means to be both free and responsible; or how, like an artist staring at a blank page, certain limitations can liberate us; or what price we are willing to pay for freedom; or how we can balance our duty to ourselves with our duty to others. Paradoxes abound, as do opportunities to swallow our pride.

Further complicating matters, we have some hard aspects from Mars, the principle of aggression, action, passion, and conflict this month. At the beginning of the month Mars opposes Pluto (exact on June 5), while it opposes Saturn and squares Uranus in early July. Mars-Pluto can fill us with a superhuman drive to get things done, but it can easily lead us to overdo it. Mars represents the pointy end of our stick, while Pluto represents a deep, instinctual, elemental, and often unconscious thrust. The urge to drive an agenda and to mow down the opposition can run high. The graceful and convivial Venus-Jupiter trine (exact June 4) can mitigate this. If you feel the pressure rising, realize that for the first week of this month, you can easily hit the release valve with some humor, beauty, lighthearted socializing. Enjoy the outdoors, because it is a great time to both be physically active (Mars-Pluto) and to enjoy beautiful panoramas (Venus-Jupiter).

June 10 brings a solar eclipse. And who knows what that will bring? Eclipses can cast a sudden shadow of irrationality, as the emotional Moon gobbles up the light of the Sun. But they are oh so mysterious, sometimes not affecting us too much, other times turning everything on its head. Eclipses can act like little portals for energies to stream in from other dimensions and shake up the story.

From the middle of June to the end, Venus opposes Pluto while trining Neptune. Intense interpersonal drama may arise through the opposition to Pluto, but the trine to Neptune can facilitate healing, inspiring experiences through beauty and love. In relationships these transits can foster a deeper connection. We may also be particularly drawn to the arts as vehicles of catharsis and transcendence, whether as artists or audience members.

The flashing red light at the end of this month is Mars’ crunchy T-square to Saturn and Uranus, which goes exact in the first week of July. Mars heats up and activates any planets it contacts, and with the Saturn-Uranus square sitting centerstage at this time, this means action. Last time Mars made a hard aspect to Saturn-Uranus, the capitol insurrection occurred. Mars-Uranus can blow the lid off of things, giving rise to angry eruptions, reckless behavior, and rash decisions. Think Yosemite Sam, or Tom Cruise jumping up on Oprah’s couch– both of them have natal Mars-Uranus alignments (yes, cartoon characters can have birth charts). With Mars-Saturn, force meets resistance. It can provide great stamina and endurance, but can also bring frustration, cruelty, or cause us to lash out. And when we consider the Saturn-Uranus square as a high-tension wire, about to snap, and when we consider Mars’ tendency to activate things… you get the picture.

We are riding a rickety archetypal roller coaster in these times. The best we can do is notice our fear without giving into it, and refuse to join in the melee. If we can hold the tension of these powerful energies within ourselves, without leaking our energy in the collective insanity we will reach new heights of understanding, and a new capacity to simply be. Wishing you all love, peace, and a thrilling roller coaster ride.

Alex Stein is an archetypal astrologer. https://www.alexsteinastrology.com/

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