Swallow the Sun

Astrology Beyond-the-Horoscope Forecast for July 2020

Donna Woodwell
6 min readJun 23, 2020


Humanity is going into labor; what you’re witnessing are the first waves of contractions.

As anyone who’s been through natural childbirth knows, birth is not the simple affair you see on television show. It’s not just a little yelling from an immaculate hospital bed, makeup and hair tidy, and over with before the next commercial break.

There’s blood, and shit, and other bodily fluids. There are moments of pain so intense you want to die. And it can last for hours and hours.

But even with all that, at the end, there’s a miracle: a new life.

It’s an especially fitting metaphor for this Cancer season. Governed by the Moon, Cancer is sign of mothers, birth, and the nurturing waters of life.

But the changeable Moon isn’t all sweetness and light. She’s perfectly comfortable with her dark side, even if we aren’t.

But it’s her dark side we must confront this month.

Not long after the Sun slid into Cancer on June 20 — the summer solstice in the northern hemisphere — the solar disk was consumed by the Moon.

This “Ring of Fire” solar eclipse is especially significant, given its appearance on what astrologers call the “world axis.” Eclipses on solstices and equinoxes are rare, occurring only a few times a century.

They’re also harbingers of major shifts occurring on a global scale.

See, planets in astrology symbols different things in different contexts.

Yes, the Moon may be moms and motherhood. But, when paired with the kingly Sun, it can also mean the public and its mood.

So for the next few months, the public may be in the mood to swallow the Sun.

To the Barricades

Cancer season begins with an eclipse. Then the real work begins.

The following week, Mars returns to his home sign Aries. Typically Mars spends two months in a sign, and then moves to the next. But, thanks to the upcoming Mars retrograde, Mars will be in Aries for nearly seven months.

Mars is astrology’s action hero. It’s willing to fight for its beliefs, no matter the cost.

When Mars is in Aries, there’s no looking back either. It’s impatient and unwilling to compromise. It wants what it wants, and wants it now. Damn the consequences.

Just a few days later, a retrograde Saturn returns to Capricorn for one last hurrah, before returning to Aquarius in mid-December. (Coincidently, just a few weeks before Mars leaves Aries; the cycles of these two planets are in sync right now.)

On the constructive side, Saturn in Capricorn encourages all to dig deep and get to the root causes of things. It’s patient, and proud of things that stand the test of time.

On not-so-constructive side, its fear and over-caution can lead to clinging on to outmoded behaviors and ideas long past their expiration date.

You can see the collision of energies. For the next six months, there’s a polarizing pull between regressive conservatism (retrograde Saturn in Capricorn), and an upwelling need to act. And act now.

Oh, did I forget to mention that, like Cancer, the signs Aries and Capricorn are also on the world axis?

As they say, buckle your safety belts, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.

Finding Light in Shadows

Astrological transits, however, aren’t destiny. Even if conditions are ripe, fires don’t burn without fuel. There must be something to consume.

But Mars and Saturn’s movements aren’t occurring in a vacuum. They’re happening in the midst of a longer-term dialog about truth, shame and power going on between two other planets..

For its part, Jupiter sails through the world, humming: “Always look on the bright side of life.” It seeks truth, and a deeper union beyond boundaries.

But that sometimes means it fails to see that its own truth, is not the same as the Truth. That’s especially true when Jupiter manifests through a weakened sense of self, which it’s more likely to succumb to as it is moving through the sign of its fall, Capricorn.

This matters, because all year Jupiter’s been dancing with Pluto, lord of the underworld. They meet for the second time on June 30.

Though Pluto may have a heart of gold, to discover it, you’ve got to dig through all the shame, pain and guilt we don’t want to look at. In other words, all the stuff that’s been shoved into shadows.

Working with your shadow is tough enough when you’re an individual. It takes time, patience, and radical self honesty to allow the cast of bits of Self to come back to the light of consciousness. As anyone who’s journaled, or worked with dreams, or gone to therapy knows, there’s not way out but through. Healing takes time.

We’re in a moment when long-standing _collective_ shame and trauma are crying out to be seen and purged.

What tools are there for healing a collective shadow? We need places where diverse people can come together and share their stories. We need them in our schools, our churches, our media, and our civic spaces. We need Truth and Reconciliation Commissions formed in war-torn countries to find healing and a way forward.

This is a moment in history like few others. Together, Jupiter and Pluto signify the deep wellspring fueling Saturn’s fears and Mars rage. This is not a trendy idea, which will pass when some new shiny object appears.

Something new is about to be born.

Happy Birthday, America

And, yes, there’s still more…

On the Fourth of July, “America’s Birthday,” there’s another eclipse. The third of the eclipse season.

When an eclipse happens on a nation’s birthday, it makes the r/evolutionary urge much more likely to be manifested in affairs of the nation.

During the eclipse, the Moon’s also out-of-bounds, and therefore unwilling to be fettered by conventional rules of engagement. And so neither is the American “public.”

And, the eclipse occurs conjunct a retrograde Mercury. Retrogrades bring up stories of the past; this one teams up with the lunar eclipse to remind us of the dark, bloody history our nation.

Again, this happens in the midsts of longer cycles of time — astrology is all about cycles within cycles.

The U.S. is experiencing its first “Pluto return.” That’s when Pluto has returned to the same place in the sky which it occupied the moment the nation was born. We’re already a simmering cauldron of questions about power, who wields it, and at whose expense.

Every summer for the next few years, the Sun in Cancer shines extra light on Pluto, casting a spotlight on our wounds and shadowed past. On July 14–15, Jupiter’s also in the mix this year, truth and illusion must bear the harsh light of day, no matter how squeamish we may be.

A few days later, as if to add an exclamation point, a second New Moon in Cancer falls opposite the trio — Jupiter, Saturn retrograde, and Pluto. These themes just don’t go away — they are repeated again and again.

That’s astrology speak for “high probability we’ll see it manifest in concrete ways in our three-dimensional world.”

What’s next?

If ever there was a recipe for a mass uprising against injustice, it’s symbolized in this month’s cosmic weather.

Though these are global trends, the consequences are especially palpable in the U.S., since they involve the U.S. own “birth” chart, so to speak.

Birth is messy, and takes time. Birthing new ideas is no different. The current round of birth pangs is likely to intensify through the next six months, and not come to full fruition until 2024/2025. It’s difficult to say what this means in specifics, because individual choices and actions can always sway the specific forms of manifestation.

The stage is set. The outline is written. Our shadowy bits are coming to light, one way or another.

But you still get to choose which part you will play.

This is the transcript for Episode 006 of my Magic & Mastery podcast. You can links and timestamps via my podcast’s show notes page.

Cosmic weather forecasts like this are just a first step. “Divination” if any kind isn’t most effective until you make it your own.

If you want to learn how, I’m the headmistress for a Magic school that teaches seers, priestesses, alchemists and mages. Check out our Coven.



Donna Woodwell

Magician, Astrologer, Shaman: Writer. Headmistress at the School of Magic & Mastery.