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AstroUpdate – July 2010

By Stella Woods, 01-07-2010

Hi and welcome to the Stella Starwoman July AstroUpdate!

Hope you’re surviving these post-solstice cold, rainy days. Have you noticed how everyone’s gone into hibernation? The streets of St Kilda are deserted and I watch people wrapped up in great coats and scarves, hurrying home with heads bowed as it gets dark. Many people have told me they feel depressed or are suffering from colds and flu. If we followed the seasonal astrological calendar, we’d all be on holiday, drinking mulled wine, dressed in thermals, feasting with friends and enjoying a midwinter festival! So enough of the nine-to-five corporate world, mining taxes and the new financial year – this issue of AstroUpdate celebrates the feminine!

Celebrating the Feminine

This month the Sun is in Cancer, sign of the Great Mother. The Stella Starwoman office has been brightened up this year by the arrival of a jolly little Sagittarian. Baby Bodhi (son of Antonella my wonderful PA and techhead Steve who’s now in charge of my website) often comes for a feed at lunchtime and as you can see, very little ‘work’ gets done when he’s around. Who cares? I certainly don’t! This child has a Taurus Moon so he likes to eat….

Key Astrological Events – July

Welcome to the middle of winter when the masculine solar energy is at its weakest and the darker lunar feminine forces are on the rise. July is the perfect time to stay indoors in front of the fire with a glass of wine feasting on nourishing and warming stews, pies and roasts. Embrace the cooler weather and long dark evenings and snuggle up in bed with a good book and a mug of hot chocolate. Take the opportunity to slow down, rest and meditate and refuse to be rushed or pressured. Light candles and burn incense. Visit the sauna or spa, take a bracing walk on the beach or enjoy the mountain air at the ski slopes. Those who honour the energy of the season of death and decay will easily ward off illness, exhaustion and the winter blues. Think of winter as a time to release unwanted energy and possessions. Clean out your closets, garage and shed in preparation for the freshness of spring, only weeks away. You could also follow the example of our Northern Hemisphere cousins who celebrate Hallowe’en, Thanksgiving, Bonfire Night, Hanukkah, Christmas, New Year, Twelfth Night and Valentine’s Day during their coldest time of year (November-February). All these festivals are based around bright lights, cheerful decorations, exchanging cards and gifts, warm fires, feasting and drinking, staying indoors, general celebration including shopping and lots of time off work to party with friends and family. No wonder we Australians feel depressed in winter! All we have to look forward to is the football and the new financial year! If I were Julia Gillard I’d be pushing for a Midwinter Festival and give everyone a fortnight off. I’d decorate the streets with bright lights, have a choir or busker on every corner, set up ice rinks in the city centre, and give away free hot chocolate and hot dogs!

With four of the slower moving planets, Jupiter, Saturn, Chiron and Uranus all changing zodiac sign over this midwinter period, the shift in the collective energy is palpable. Some will welcome the change as a breath of fresh air, whilst others may find themselves grieving the relationships, activities, jobs and friendships that must be left behind to make way for this new surge of energy. If you find yourself feeling bereft or confused, take time to ground yourself through meditation and journal writing.

A Moon-Jupiter-Uranus conjunction in fiery warrior sign Aries on the 4 th sets the scene for the month ahead and with the planetary line-up occurring between a lunar and solar eclipse, we can confidently expect the unexpected! Will that Icelandic volcano erupt again or will the eruption take place on a more personal level as it has for Kevin Rudd? You can be sure that any surprising, exciting or disruptive events are ultimately designed to shake you out of your rut. This combination of planetary energies can bring the most unexpected lucky break or stroke of good fortune. For some this will come from a simple shift in mindset while others will receive that long-awaited phone call, career break or ‘eureka’ moment.

Venus joins Mars and Saturn in practical Virgo on the 10 th making July an excellent time to get real about intimate relationships. Now is the time to make that marriage proposal or sit down and talk about commitment, buying a property or starting a family. On the other hand, any flaws in your relationship will appear larger than life, so aim for realistic and healing solutions, rather than being defensive or critical. Mars will be in Virgo until the 30 th July helping us clean up the garden, tackle unpleasant chores and put the needs of others first.

Also on the 10 th , communication planet Mercury moves into fire sign Leo bringing creative inspiration to artists, writers and performers. Feelings that have been bottled up could explode without warning under this dramatic energy, so choose your battles wisely. The Sun follows Mercury into Leo on the 23 rd and then Mercury moves into home sign Virgo on the 28 th to round up the month.

Cancer New Moon & Solar Eclipse

The Sabian Symbol for this month’s Cancer new moon on the 12 th shows gondoliers in Venice serenading a beautiful woman on a balcony overlooking the canal. The image represents the sense of fulfilment, joy and happiness we gain through following old fashioned customs and traditions. Cancer is the most traditional of all zodiac signs. The solar eclipse at this new moon will intensify situations and brings hidden energies to the surface and is partner to the powerful lunar eclipse of the 26 th June. It is wise to avoid making major decisions or starting new projects around this time, as new information often comes to light forcing us to revise our plans. The eclipse energy clouds things over, forcing us to reflect on the past and deal with unfinished business before moving forward again.

Aquarius Full Moon

The July full moon falls on the 26 th July in Aquarius with the Sabian Symbol telling of ‘a deserter from the navy’ representing the individual growth and development that occurs when we reject the rules and bondage of society’s institutions. The primordial ocean represents the sea of the collective unconsciousness. By leaving the ‘navy’, our deserter chooses the path of individuation. So this month’s moon cycle speaks of firstly embracing traditions in order to feel joy and cohesion and then ultimately rejecting them in order to pursue the often lonely, but more fulfilling path of personal growth aka ‘the road less travelled’.

Featured Sign-Cancer

From the 21st June to the 23rd July the Sun travels through cardinal water sign Cancer. Cancer is the fourth sign of the zodiac with keywords “I feel” and “I fluctuate”. Cancer’s symbol is the crab, an instinctive creature dwelling in the watery depths in the safety of its shell. Cancers are extremely sensitive. They love to mother and nurture others and have a strong attachment to home, family and community. At best Cancers are in touch with their feelings and display kindness, love and compassion. They are highly emotional, usually love food and have a reputation for taking care of friends, family and workmates. Negatively, the Cancer individual can be moody, dependent, illogical, manipulative and insecure. Cancer rules the stomach, breasts and solar plexus. When Cancers are out of balance they suffer from mood swings, digestive upsets, water retention and breast problems. The Cancer colours are silver and pastel shades and women born under this sign often love antique jewellery and lingerie. Cancer is ruled by the Moon, so those with a prominent Moon in their chart often display Cancer qualities. Cancer’s greatest lesson is to live in the present and to deal with mood swings and feelings of fear and insecurity.

Return of the Light Ritual

What you will need

•  Bowl of water •  Salt •  Blue or White Candle •  Bundle of Herbs •  Essential Oils

Last month’s winter solstice ritual proved to be so popular, I’ve decided to feature another ritual this month. The final day of July marks the eve of Imbolc – the Pagan Festival of Lights known to Christians as Candlemas. The older Pagan names were Imbolc and Oimelc, 'Imbolc' meaning 'in the belly' (of the Mother). In the womb of Mother Earth, hidden from our sight but sensed by intuitive vision, there are stirrings. The seed that was planted at the winter solstice in June is quickening and spring is just around the corner. 'Oimelc' means 'milk of ewes', for it is also lambing season.

To celebrate the gradual return of the light, light a blue or white candle and place it in the main room of your house. Blue represents peace, wisdom, communication, truth, patience, health and calm. White represents purity, clarity, understanding, honesty and protection. Fill a small bowl with water and add a pinch of salt for protection and purification. Follow this with a few drops of your favourite essential oil – something calming like lavender is a good choice. Tie together small bundles of herbs and starting at the front door of your home, dip the bundle of herbs in the water and gently wipe them over the door frame. Continue to do this to all doorways and windows in the house visualising the protection and peace spreading from the front door to the rest of your home. When you have finished, leave the bowl of water out overnight to anchor the protection and let the bundle of herbs dry before burning it with your candle.

How Julia Eclipsed Kevin

In last month’s AstroUpdate I warned you to watch out for the powerful lunar eclipse at the Capricorn full moon on the 26 th June and quoted Eric Francis of Planet Waves saying: “It’s as though a month of experience is packed into two hours of real time. In computer terms it’s a full reboot of the system.”

Well little did I know that Mr Rudd (the solar masculine) was going to be eclipsed by his deputy Julia Gillard (the lunar feminine) in the extraordinary series of events leading up to that eclipse. The full moon fell in Kevin Rudd’s 12 th house (underworld and secret enemies) conjunct Pluto (ruler of the underworld) and he was brought to his knees by former supporters, his loyal deputy and pressure from the mining industry over the proposed mining super tax. Capricorn is the natural ruler of mines and minerals. Capricorn also rules banking, finance and business. Australian superannuation funds are heavily invested in mining shares such as BHP and Rio Tinto and many felt the mining tax would affect their own financial future in a negative way. We could say that Kevin Rudd was completely ‘under- mined’.

What is even more interesting is that the eclipse fell close to the Sun in Australia’s Federation Chart (1 st January 1901) signaling changes to the very fabric of our country and the way we are viewed internationally. As Julia won the leadership ballot, Venus (the feminine) was rising in Leo (sign of power and leadership). I believe this lunar eclipse heralds a new dawn not only for Julia, but for all Australian women.

Magical Mythical Tarot Tour 2010

If you love tarot, don’t miss Juliet Sharman- Burke’s visit to Australia in late August hosted by the Tarot Guild of Australia. Juliet is the creative force behind the Mythic Tarot deck which has sold over 1.25 million copies worldwide. She’s holding two lots of weekend workshops in Melbourne (21 st and 22 nd August) and Sydney (27 th and 28 th August) covering Major Arcana, Court Cards and Minor Arcana. Here’s a taste of what you can expect. The Magical Mythical Major Arcana Workshop will concentrate on peeling back the layers of symbolism of the Major Arcana. Juliet will use examples and illustrations from a number of different decks, including The Mythic Tarot, to look at the connections that can be made with mythology, alchemy, astrology and each of the twenty-two trumps. She will also explore the art of memory. Tarot is often associated with memory systems as its archetypal imagery evokes hidden knowledge and stimulates intuition. Working with mythic imagery encourages such insights, so the better we know the myths the more seamless our interpretations of the cards can be.

For further information and bookings click here MYTHICAL TAROT WORKSHOPS or contact Tarot Guild of Australia on 0403 302 007 or

Places are limited and the workshops are filling up fast!

July Moon Calendar Launch projects at the New Moon, bring them to completion in the period from just before the Full Moon to the Third Quarter phase and wind them down and reflect on developments in the week before the next New Moon. The period between the New Moon and the Full Moon is the waxing moon (moon getting bigger and fuller). The period between the Full Moon and the New Moon is the waning moon (moon getting smaller and slimmer).

Many of you have written asking for info on the best time to cut your hair or wax/shave your legs. You can use this moon table to select the most favourable days to slow or increase hair regrowth. Full instructions can be found in my Lunar Hair Care guidelines at but to get you started I’ve marked the best dates for waxing/shaving to slow regrowth in yellow and the best dates to cut hair for thicker, lusher growth in green. If you’re serious about Lunar Hair Care - order your own Moon Calendar then you’ll know exactly what time the moon changes from one zodiac sign to the next.

Thanks for being part of AstroUpdate. If there’s something you’d like to see featured, or have something you think would interest others, please contact me at

PS – Don’t forget to check out your July Monthly Stars at to see what’s coming up for you this month.

Happy Stargazing

Stella Woods (and Antonella and Steve and Bodhi…)