a grounded approach to the heavenly ecosystem

Some recent discussions and charts have inspired me to look at the Summer Solstice chart for western USA. As the explosive triple conjunction of Mars, Uranus, and the North Node looms large just a month away (exact on August 1st, but look for it all through the end of July and beginning of August), I was curious to see what planets or other celestial beings are making an impact in this seasonal chart, keeping a close eye on the angles of the chart.

As you can see, the solstice takes place at 2:14 AM Pacific time, with the Sun crossing into Cancer. If we look at this chart with the idea that the themes within it will play a prominent role in the next three months-until Equinox-while also considering regional weather patterns in recent years, we find a few causes for alarm.

An Aries Stellium for your Solstice, Dearies

Most basically, we see that the sign of Aries is full to the brim, with Moon and Jupiter in conjunction, as well as longer-term residents Chiron and Eris accompanied by Mars, each separated by 4 degrees in a very tight midpoint arrangement, with Mars as the focal (middle) planet. In this arrangement, Eris is nuzzled tightly with the Aries ascending point, just nine zodiacal minutes away in San Francisco. Needless to say, that is a lot of fire, folks.

With Moon and Jupiter conjoined in Aries, the baseline theme is big feelings. But when we recall that the Moon is in deep relationship with Earth and life on Earth to the point that she is our greatest tool for growing food, we can assume that Earth will have some big feelings this season. And in Aries, those feelings are hot.

Speaking of heat, how about the red planet, Mars? When Mars is conjunct Chiron, themes of persistence and perseverance are strong, especially within a narrative of conflict. (If you have Mars and Chiron interacting with each other in your natal chart, know that any study within the martial arts is extremely remedial for that energy.) It seems these conflicts can go on and on, with no resolution at all. Mars and Chiron here are part of a very tight midpoint pattern with dwarf planet Eris. Additionally, Eris is rising over the West Coast just as solstice takes hold. Check it out on an astromap:

The furthest-right white line, the Eris Rising line connects San Francisco, California, with Coos Bay, Oregon, and is otherwise at sea.

A line as powerful as a rising line has a very large orb of influence. Imagine a ray extending two hundred miles in either direction from this line. Now, what sort of energy is Eris carrying, you might ask?

How Eris Operates in Astrology

If you are clinging to the comfort of a “normal” or status-quo life that is structurally unsound, Eris can bring significant disruption. Any fears that you harbor, Eris reflects and energizes, and you are forced through circumstances to deal with them. In the case that you’ve somehow managed to remain oblivious to what you ought to be wary of, the disruption of your life could be cataclysmic, whether via external sources or unconscious self-sabotage. And once Eris is done with you… well, you won’t be oblivious anymore. Eris does not operate within the subtle realms, except to transform the subtle into the blatant. In short: Eris is an often uncomfortable reality check.

The Chiron-Mars-Eris Midpoint Pattern

In a standard, three-planet midpoint structure, no planet-even the middle planet-rules the story. All three planets work through each other to inform a pattern. Here, we could call it something like persistent, deeply wounding or wound-informed reality checks; revelations of generational trauma-based behaviors that cannot be unseen; or inescapable discomfort on a traumatic scale, forcing us to take action that requires great perseverance to succeed. All of this, let’s not forget, in Aries.

If the thought hasn’t crossed your mind yet, let me make it Eris-blatant for you: WILDFIRES.

Now, I recognize that wildfires are common in the summers out west. But this season looks particularly potent, like it could really catalyze another wave of climate refugees eastward. Be on the lookout especially when Mars conjoins with Uranus and the North Node as July turns to August. Uranus on the North Node in Taurus is already an earthquake waiting to happen, so a trigger from Mars certainly won’t make the situation any less volatile. As I’ve said before, this is a great time for independent, unrestricted action. But for folks who don’t live in free-feeling life structures, this could be very challenging-a time of great urgency and immediacy, when you really don’t know what to expect or how to plan, but you must do something. And you must do it now.

My prayers are out for the peoples and beings of the west: bipeds, quadrupeds, octopeds, many-peds, and the plant and fungal realms who will shepherd the bioregion into new eco epochs. Perhaps I’ll have to write more at another time about some of the other notable characteristics of this chart-like Chiron’s square with Ceres and a super-tight isotrap of Mars, Saturn, Uranus, and Pluto (whoa!)-but in truth they support a very similar narrative to what I’ve presented here. So act wisely this season, especially those readers out west.

In deep honor, from a little perch in an Appalachia,