An Israeli postage stamp from 1961 depicts Cancer, the sign of the Hebrew month of Tammuz. The Hebrew text reads "Mazal Sartan — the sign of Cancer" and "Chodesh Tammuz — the month of Tammuz." (Photo/Flickr-karen horton CC BY-NC 2.0)
An Israeli postage stamp from 1961 depicts Cancer, the sign of the Hebrew month of Tammuz. The Hebrew text reads "Mazal Sartan — the sign of Cancer" and "Chodesh Tammuz — the month of Tammuz." (Photo/Flickr-karen horton CC BY-NC 2.0)

Month of Tammuz: The last stand of Saturn, ruling planet of the Jewish people

Tammuz 5780

June 22-July 21, 2020

The month of Tammuz is the month of Cancer (Sartan), but it’s also the beginning of the last stand of Saturn (Shabbtai), the ruling planet of the Jewish people. It backs up into the final degrees of Capricorn (Gidi) and stays there until December, reviewing all the maturity, wisdom, patience, responsibility and self-discipline Saturn has attempted to instill in us these last two years. Saturn’s gift of self-individuation is earned by doing the work. Doing the work means understanding the work is never done. This is the beginning of wisdom.

The Sun (Shemesh) in Cancer plays counterpoint against not only Saturn, but Jupiter (Tzedek) and Pluto in Capricorn this month. The dynamic tension between Cancer with tribal ruler Reuven and Capricorn with tribal ruler Dan along the north-south zodiacal axis of the Jewish year is all about security: emotional, familial, financial and societal. Cancer and Reuven protect the home, heart and family; Capricorn and Dan guard the borders as well as the status and reputation of the clan.

The lunar eclipse and full moon in Capricorn July 4 is squared by Mars (Ma’adim) in Aries (Taleh), the third consecutive full moon/Mars square this year. This is a chazakah, a trifecta of conflict whose root is the dehumanizing violence we do to one another as a society. Chiron the wounded healer retrograde in Aries July 11 forces us to confront our personal responsibility for collective sins.

We are undergoing a profound societal shift. Transformation happens when the pain of staying the same finally outweighs the fear of change. May the birth pains of this emerging epoch tip the scales of justice and may we be empowered to do the work of profound structural societal change — together.

Aries / Taleh

Mars (Ma’adim) in Aries energizes you to charge forward, but the Sun (Shemesh) in cautious Cancer (Sartan) square both Mars and your natal Sun asks you to consider safety, security and the interests of family before acting impulsively. Like tribal rules Yehudah acknowledging his own staff and signet at the trial of Tamar, lunar eclipse and full moon in conservative Capricorn (Gidi) July 4 empowers you to take public responsibility for your choices. Last quarter moon in Aries July 12 invites bold visioning of the road ahead. The patience you’re cultivating now by learning to play the long game will pay off later this year.

Taurus / Shor

Like tribal ruler Issachar you normally have the instinctual gift of good timing, but lately your inner clock has felt off. The path of ruling planet Venus (Noga) revisits conditions you experienced mid-May. It may even be a kind of Pesach Shlishi for you at the lunar eclipse and full moon in Capricorn (Gidi) July 4, a second second chance to repair the foundations of your faith which have been sorely tested over this difficult period. Repay karmic debts July 9-10 and finish what you left undone in May. Re-sync yourself to the rhythms of time and fulfill your longing for tranquility July 13-15.

Gemini / T’omim

Mercury (Kochav) stations direct July 12 at the last quarter moon in Aries (Taleh) and the Sun’s (Shemesh) trine to Neptune (Rahav). Overcoming ambiguity about your goals and owning your own desire is the key to taking bold, decisive action now. Decide if you’re playing nice or playing to win. You may do both by taking a page from the playbook of tribal leader Zevulon, who maintained cordial ties with his neighbors for the sake of harmonious prosperity and unimpeded trade. Venus (Noga) and the north lunar node (called T’li, the Dragon’s Head, in the Jewish mystical text Sefer Yetzirah) in Gemini inspire, empower and energize personal creativity. Show off your dazzling, multifaceted talents July 16-17.

Cancer  / Sartan

With two new moons in Cancer this year — June 20 and July 20 — you’ve got double opportunities to reset long-term intentions and recalibrate goals. The lunar eclipse and full moon in Capricorn (Gidi) July 4 squares Mars (Ma’adim) in Aries (Taleh), putting you on full alert for encroaching invasions of destabilizing chaos, especially regarding family matters. Last quarter moon in Aries July 12 with Chiron retrograde and the moon conjunct Mars may bring a therapeutic purging of toxic emotions and opportunity to heal long-term ancestral pain. Transcend transitory personal hurts with the knowledge you’re eternally connected to the incorruptible root of your own soul.

Leo / Aryeh

Tribal leader Shimon’s rage against Shechem and protective stance towards his sister Dinah is not unlike your own belief that the best defense is a good offense. You’re able to mount that good offense beginning July 1 at the Sun’s (Shemesh) sextile to Uranus (Oron), and enlarge it July 14-20 when the Sun opposes Jupiter (Tzedek), Pluto, and Saturn (Shabbtai). Protecting the pride is the lion’s job; you do so with a clear, calm, uncluttered conscience. No need to apologize for doing what comes naturally, but look closer to determine if microaggressions deserve the same radical response as full scale warfare July 21.

Virgo / Betulah

Mercury’s (Kochav’s) retrograde ends July 12 and not a moment too soon. Communication challenges with friends and the overlapping communities you are part of have been prickly and delicate during this time. Those who can’t handle truth-seeking because it disturbs their biased worldview may blame you for holding up a mirror to the collective shortcomings of society. Though tribal ruler Gad is always ready to assemble a troop of truth-telling soldiers to fight the good fight, you may wish to avoid being a target of other people’s projections by refocusing  your analytical superpowers to interpret the language of your own heart.

Libra / Moznayim

First quarter noon in Libra June 28 begins a new cycle of heart-cleansing and putting right what has gone awry with others. Examine relationships for stability by the sobering light of the Capricorn (Gidi) full moon and lunar eclipse July 4. Venus (Noga) in Gemini (T’omim) makes a sextile to asteroid Chiron the Wounded Healer in Aries (Taleh) on July 10, setting the stage for a unique opportunity to make a tikkun (effect a repair) on unresolved emotional pain. Words of forgiveness transcend even the chasm between worlds; though it may be impossible to communicate directly, soul-rectifications may be accomplished by bold spiritual initiative on your behalf.

Scorpio / Akrav

Mars (Ma’adim) in bold, assertive Aries (Taleh) and powerful Pluto in practical Capricorn (Gidi) support deliberate, focused and sustained effort as you attempt to relaunch this phase of your life. Like tribal ruler Menashe, your determination and commitment to developing your own potential compels you to strive for mastery. Retrograde Mercury’s (Kochav’s) square to Mars July 8 repeats with Mercury direct July 27. These transits bookend seemingly interminable delays to your plans, but with persistence you’ll push through to your goal over time. Last quarter moon in Aries July 20 kicks your natural charisma quotient into overdrive — thankfully you’ve mastered self-control.

Sagittarius / Keshet

You’re more restless than usual July 2-3, and the lunar eclipse and full moon July 4 sheds light on how you communicate your personal values. You’re engaged in a confrontation between your sense of personal sovereignty and perceived expectations of responsibilities. Sun (Shemeh) opposite Jupiter (Tzedek) July 14 illuminates the enlarged dynamic tension between what’s yours alone and what you share with others. You’re not famous for being materially possessive, but when principle is at stake as well as your own status in the family hierarchy, sticky points of pride can cause friction July 21-22, especially around allocation of common resources.

Capricorn / Gidi

On July 1, ruling planet Saturn (Shabbtai) makes his last retrograde back into Capricorn, where he will linger until mid-December. This is Saturn’s last stand, your final opportunity until 2047 to integrate the gifts of maturity, wisdom, patience, capability, steadiness, responsibility and self-control. Between the lunar eclipse and full moon in Capricorn July 4 and the Sun (Shemesh)-Saturn opposition July 20 at the new moon in Cancer (Sartan), you realize the next six months of your life is actually a postgraduate internship at Tikkun Olam University, where you’re writing your Ph.D in Cause and Effect. Choose your courses and instructors thoughtfully.

Aquarius / D’li

The Sun’s (Shemesh’s) sextile to Uranus (Oron) July 1 brings bright ideas to the forefront. The full moon and lunar eclipse July 4 is good for uncovering hidden family secrets, healing ancestral trauma and releasing unconscious projections of guilt for what does not belong to you. This is a unique opportunity to really let go of inappropriate emotional burdens and a misplaced sense of responsibility for conditions which are not your fault. You’ve inherited tribal ruler Asher’s generous nature and expanded definitions of family to include an ever-widening circle of friends, who really show up for you especially around July 6-7.

Pisces / Dagim

The Sun’s (Shemesh’s) trine to Neptune (Rahav) at the last quarter moon in Aries (Taleh)  July 12 with Mercury’s (Kochav’s) direct station is like a lightbulb going off over your head. Your always fertile imagination is in overdrive this month, you’re having million-dollar ideas with enviable frequency. July 13-17 is a great time to polish and hone those ideas and test them for viability. By the new moon in Cancer (Sartan) July 20 your mentor candidates appear. You’ll gain important support from those more mature and experienced in your field who see a bit of themselves in you and want to help you succeed.

Lorelai Kude
Lorelai Kude

Lorelai Kude began her career as a professional astrologer in the 1980s. She holds a BA in Journalism from San Francisco State University and a MA in Jewish Studies from Berkeley’s Graduate Theological Union, where her thesis topic was astrology in Jewish cultural history. Find more of her work at