Seven years ago, when faced with a major remodel of my family home, I began searching for the right contractor. The first candidate showed up fifteen minutes late without bothering to call. Then, over the course of the interview, he admitted that his contractor’s license had expired. Just as I was starting to really wonder about this guy, we heard a loud commotion from the kitchen. I raced in to find myself face to face with a skunk! He’d blundered his way in through the cat door – the first time I’d seen a skunk in the daytime. I let out a loud yell – and he beat a hasty retreat without doing any damage. My animal ally was delivering a message confirming what I already suspected: My would-be contractor was a stinker.
Sometimes an annoying message from nature can end up being an unexpected blessing. In 1940, Walter and Gracie Lantz were spending their honeymoon in a remote, woodsy cottage. But instead of enjoying a peaceful idyll, they were tormented night and day by a woodpecker tap-tap-tapping on the roof. Once rain started pouring through the holes the determined bird had made, the couple gave up and drove home. But Walter, a cartoonist, couldn’t stop thinking about the rascal who’d ruined his honeymoon. So he made a sketch and gave him a name – and Woody Woodpecker was born! Rather than writing off the trip as a total disappointment, or seeing it as a harbinger of doom, Lantz used his keen imagination to turn things around – and his clever creation made him a wealthy man.
Now you may have an opportunity to do something similar. Wednesday’s Gemini New Moon (June 13, 12:43 p.m. PDT) heightens intelligence and reflexes – useful in overcoming potential obstacles. Gemini, an active air sign that rules communication, kicked into overdrive on June 5 when the Sun joined Mercury in that sign, and both of them squared imaginative (or delusional) Neptune. We’ve since been hearing about racist Tweets and despicable treatment of migrant children– but also inspiring examples of real-life heroism (a Malian “Spiderman” nimbly scaling four stories in 30 seconds to rescue a French child! Actor Benedict Cumberbatch using his well-honed superpowers to foil an attack on a hapless delivery boy!)
Mercury will move into emotionally intelligent Cancer on Tuesday, where it makes a beautiful mutual reception with the Moon in Gemini at the New Moon – continuing the theme of nimbleness of mind and dexterity. But Mercury also opposes stern Saturn and squares touchy Chiron, warning us to use caution with hare-brained schemes or challenging interactions through June 15. People will be more reactive than usual under this tense T-square. Also, by month’s end we’ll have five planets in retrograde, triggering an intense review of the past (and a tendency to fall back into it). This “retrograde storm” has only happened twice in the last 100 years – just as World War II erupted, and when the Berlin Wall fell. Thru 2023 there will be several of these retrograde storms, charging the atmosphere with radical change.
Mars (action, aggression) is in its shadow phase at the New Moon, as it prepares to turn backward on June 26 (thru August). Using martial energy wisely will be a top priority throughout the summer. Begin by examining what frustrates you most, and how you might approach it differently. You may not be facing a maniacal woodpecker or someone in distress demanding your derring-do, but there’s still bound to be a message trying to get through. Maybe it’s a leaky faucet warning you to tighten up your spending, or an agonizing social issue that’s calling forth your true talents. Perhaps it’s time to take a self-defense class, or get back to working out so you feel stronger. Put on your Gemini thinking cap, and see what comes through!