(6.24.02) FOR MONTHS, I dreamt about the horoscopes I would write, once I got my astrology website underway. I fantasized about perfectly insightful witticisms rolling off my computer keyboard, drenched in a light pop-culture influenced tone, sprinkled with the barest of cheesy new-agey influences (i.e., a few references to "karma" and "energy"). I wanted my astrological writing to be entertaining and easily penetrable, not only helping to explain current planetary trends, but actually fun to read.

Alas, I began to start writing for at a somewhat serious time, cosmically speaking. So here I was, apprehensive that my light-hearted & fun-loving character would be lost because the astro-news I felt compelled to deliver wasn't a big barrel of laughs. Dark shadows, crumbling structures, transformational pain, blah blah. Where's the punchline there?

Luckily, finally some of that "not-necessarily-enjoyable-to-write-about" seriousness is starting to calm down and level off. Don't get me wrong. We don't get to, all of a sudden, drop some curtain on our cosmic drama, exhale, and starting dancing a carefree polka in the aisles. The world's political situation, for instance, still sucks. But with Saturn and Pluto finally separating from their opposition, the perpetual forced invasion into our deepest psychological nooks will start to subside. Gradually we can begin letting ourselves feel better, lighten up, and have some healthy fun.

The city's streets grow quiet on the hottest weekend afternoons, their frequent rushing residents away in rental cars or cabins in the mountains, smelling trees and swatting bugs, noticing the air-conditioned buzz only through its absence. Rocking in chairs on our porches, heat and humidity breathing down our necks, we hear only two sounds—creaking wood below our resting butts and thirst-quenching slurps from our lemonades (or, if we're lucky, strong mint juleps). Our children, their minds toiling hard the last nine months, come home, watch cartoons, run around the lawn, shrieking laughter as sprinklers spew forth water on them. And at the bigger water, silent loners sit on the beach, seeking spirit or solace, staring, synchronizing their rhythms with the ocean. Summer.

The season begins with Summer Solstice, the moment when the Sun moves from Gemini into Cancer. Cancer is the first water sign of the zodiacal year, the emotion-laden culmination of the first three months' efforts. Cancers are sensitive individuals with moods that ebb and flow like ocean waves, which makes sense since the sign is ruled by the Moon. Like the summer images I conjured above, the Cancerian feeling can be a warm wordless joy, comforting and intuitive like a mother's touch to an anxious child (and relief to those who tire easily of Gemini's endless chatter). Other times, Cancers seem chilly and withdrawn, hiding in their shells like the crab, too overcome with feeling to cope.

In either case, the Cancer vibe is somewhat difficult to describe in words because it is decidedly non-verbal. Often, when I'm connecting with a Cancer, our communication occurs with intense eye contact, little speaking, and a quiet energetic rumble in my stomach that lets me know we've reached each other, almost a faint hum. (I know it sounds weird, but I said it was hard to describe.) Those who've experienced it know what I mean. Those who haven't probably aren't paying attention (or else have no water in their charts). Personally I see a link between this unspoken emotional contact and the season of summer, a time during which people (hopefully) go out and live their lives, share experiences, commune with nature, fall in love, relax without words. Something about the weather and the vibe favors "feeling" over "analyzing".

This transition into summer is intensified by the lunar eclipse full moon of Monday, June 24. As I mentioned last week, eclipses come in sets of two or more, solar and lunar together. A solar eclipse is essentially a powerful new moon, the darkest moment in the lunar cycle from which all new energy and light for the next month emerge. A starting point. Thus, solar eclipses are dramatic beginnings that imprint the development of actions and ideas over the following few months. Lunar eclipses coincide with full moons, peaks of light during which normally unilluminated (subtle, deep, dark, unconscious, emotional, etc.) parts of human behavior rise to visibility. A lunar eclipse, then, marks a climax in the unresolved emotional intensity that has built up over recent weeks or months.

This week's eclipse certainly grants us all some of the Cancerian emotional nurturance I described, with Mars and Jupiter joining the Sun in that sign. The opportunity to release some built-up tension with some soft sensual touching, a passionate look, or even a warm handshake is ripe this week and increases into next. Beware of your critical side, directed both at yourself and at others, that can be triggered by the Capricorn moon. Don't let it keep you from being open to interactions with strange new others. With Venus in loving Leo opposed to Neptune, romance could be in the air for people who are ready to drop their boundaries. Of course, Venus-Neptune contact can also create wishful thinking, rose-colored glasses, and unhealthy desires to subsume your self into someone else. Aw, shucks, nevermind. I said I was tired of offering cautious warnings and measured optimism. Maybe a little haphazard summer fling is just what the doctor ordered—as long as you call a spade a spade…

Finally, fun for everyone! Those eagerly anticipated Sun-sign horoscopes, for you astrology-crazy kids who want special little messages just for you (and the other 1/12 of the population born in your sign): click here to read more.