Your Stars July 2023

The love goddess Xochiquetzal

Venus is one of the brightest and most visible heavenly bodies, which helps explain why its retrograde phase – an apparent backslide through the sky for 40 days when it disappeared and reappeared – inspired the Mayan civilisation to mythologise its cycle from evening to morning star. When Venus retreated, went the tale, the normally female deity takes the form of a man, descends to earth and is seduced by the love goddess, Xochiquetzal. He is then sacrificed, to be reborn as the morning star, back in female guise.

Western astrology has no comparable myth, but Venus’s regular retrograde, every 18 months, is often characterised as troubling, a period when relationships are under scrutiny and apt to go wrong…or to revive! On July 23 Venus turns retrograde in Leo, turning forwards on September 4, some implications of which are considered in this month’s forecasts.

July is otherwise a quietish month astrologically – well as quiet as a heavily Leonine month is ever going to be, this being prime weather for Tiggers – though Prometheus (Uranus to some) is powerful in Taurus as it moves towards its own retrograde late in August. Expect the unexpected.

Cosmic Events

  •  July 3 – Full Moon in Capricorn at 11.38 GMT
  • July 17/18 – New Moon in Cancer at 18.31 GMT
  • July 23 – Sun moves into Leo
  • Mercury is in Cancer until the 11th, then Leo until the 28th, moving into Virgo on the 28th, where it will spend nine weeks, three of them retrograde
  • Venus remains in Leo and turns retrograde between July 23 and September 4.
  • Mars is in Cancer until July 10, then in Virgo until August 27
  • Jupiter continues its year long sojourn in Taurus
  • Saturn remains in Pisces. It went retrograde in The Fishes on June 18
  • Prometheus spends the month moving forwards in Taurus
  • Neptune spends the month retrograde in Pisces
  • Pluto is retrograde in Capricorn all month

Cancer and Cancer rising

cancerRaise a cheer for little old you, why not? It’s your month in the Sun and you should be brimming with self-confidence. Time to shed the shell and put away the claws and be a more vulnerable but more fearless Crab. Mercury is on hand until the 11th if you wish to make a speech or two and the full Moon of July 3 and 4 is likely to drag you into the limelight willy-nilly.  Further down the line comes the new Moon of the 17th – the month’s top birthday! – to begin a new cycle, especially in creative and business matters, where you can hatch a plan for the next nine months.

In the short term your impersonal social circle – not best chums but folks who you know and (usually) enjoy – offers a mix of surprise and opportunity, especially if you can get out the house and mingle.

If you need something to fret about, there is always money – you are hardly alone – where Venus in your cash zone offers good fortune this month, though its six week retrograde cycle suggests you have a long and searching rethink about resources and where you acquire more. Up close and personal stuff? The Sun’s opposition to spooky Pluto on the 22nd/23rd could drag some of you back into disputes you thought were behind you. Shell back on, then. Happy Birthday.

Leo and Leo rising

Last month your astrologer suggested you build in some down-time if you are not to risk burn-out. How is that going? July looks potentially as frantic as June, with key planets in action. Firstly there is Venus in your skies – super for the show-offs among you, and also for tender-hearted lovers. The latter might tread with care nonetheless. Though attractions and upsets look urgent and/or unforeseen – veritably discombobulating! – Venus goes retrograde from the 23rd, meaning you will be brought back to events and people over the following six weeks for re-examination or catch-up.

Mars keeps the energy levels high for the first ten days, after which the red planet suggests you embrace a less favoured issue for many Leos – money.  From the 11th to the 28th you also have Mercury in your skies; good for calculations, cerebral matters and communications. You still need that down time, however, at least until your mighty Sun ruler arrives on the 23rd to energise you – with Venus in attendance this year, may all birthday parties be bright, loud and loving.

 Virgo and Virgo rising

Even righteous Virgoans run out of patience sometimes. The trick this summer is to know when to wait quietly and when to stamp your foot and start complaining. With the Cancerian Sun in obliging aspect to your own, much of July should feel less pressured than June – instead of being in combat with pushy types at work you can retreat into the comfort zone of workmates and supportive friends. What’s more, Mars – impatience itself – moves into your skies for six weeks from July 10 to grant you a touch of va-va voom. So far so good.  However, your ruling planet is behind the scenes between the 11th and the 28th, suggesting you won’t get things all your own way. Further complications arise later in July – with the Sun in Leo, retreat is a necessary part of the mix.

Ruler Mercury arrives on the 28th for a protracted stay (hurrah) but with three weeks of retrograde in late August (rats!) meaning you should motor hard at administration in the meantime.

Planets elsewhere offer a mixed picture, Jupiter in fellow earth sign Taurus is may prove a boon both in June and ongoing through to next summer, especially for intrepid travellers and spiritual questers. Mars in opposition, briefly, around June 20-21  is a potential flashpoint, requiring you to see someone else’s point of view. A weekend for patience. 

Libra and Libra rising

Being ruled by Venus, the planet of relating, Librans are customarily people persons, folks who like to have other folks around, even if it is to have an argument (a friendly one of course). With Venus stuck in the sign of Leo, and the house of fellow travellers, you should be all set for a summer of hanging out with kindred spirits, among whom there is hopefully a romantic interest. The retrograde of your ruler over summer may inspire second thoughts about a romance, the appearance (wanted or otherwise) of an old flame, or a deep dive into your past to straighten out what past relationships meant/amounted to. Given that fiery Leo is is a sweet for for airy Libra, none of this looks confrontational.

June brings challenges elsewhere. With the Sun, a full Moon and a new Moon all at the peak of your solar ‘scope, professional issues loom – nothing capable Librans can’t handle but you may have to make clear where your ambitions lie, not least to yourself.  For some of you, notably those born at the end of your sign,  a tricky weekend looms on the 22nd when the Sun clashes with Pluto. Don’t give in to blackmail.

Scorpio and Scorpio rising

In a potentially sticky month, you have to decide whether to stick or twist – to stay with the hand you hold or to move on, or to allow someone else to do so. Close relationships are in the spotlight, thanks to Prometheus and Jupiter, both of which can signal sudden arrivals and/or unexpected departures. The first come with excitement attached, the latter with a tinge of remorse…but keep in mind that Scorpios always regenerate.

There’s also no shortage of challenge at the peak of your ‘scope, where Venus is ensconced for the summer, a position that allows you to shine and charm your professional circle – and your public, should you have one – and be pushy in the nicest possible way. You ruling planet, Mars, is also here until the 10th, after which the red planet brings easy relations with fellow professionals, and the chance of a romantic interlude. Also in the mix this month is your fellow water sign of Cancer, where a full Moon and a new Moon highlight travel, international connections and academic interests.

Sagittarius and Sagittarius rising

SagittariusWithout implying that July is a big, climactic month, it does contain a series of potential tipping points. For example, Mars peaks your ‘scope on the 10th for the first time in two years and asks for more professional commitment for the next six weeks – it may involve fire-fighting, to use a popular metaphor, or plain old in-fighting with a colleague.

Then there’s money and finance, where the full Moon on the 3rd shines a possibly unwelcome light, with a further uncomfortable moment around the 22nd. It’s not necessarily disastrous, but new information is not to be shrugged off. The new Moon of the 3rd suggests you make a fresh resolution about income, especially the shared variety.

The star turn in your ‘scope continues to be Leo, where Venus holds sway until October, along with Mercury this month and the Sun from the 23rd. What better time to pursue your heart’s desire, your creative longing or any other pursuit that grants you inner satisfaction and a bit of public glory. The worst thing that can happen is you fail, or if you don’t try.

Capricorn and Capricorn rising

You have barely time to catch your breath before the annual full Moon in your sign on July 3, which apart from the usual touch of lunar fever may bring clarity to relationship issues, not least to birthdays circa January 1. Significant others are the dominant theme of the month and, indeed beyond. The Sun in opposition from Cancer is not a transit to recharge your batteries, or to grant you full agency, but following someone else’s lead may prove a pleasant change. The new Moon of the 17th allows you to restart or recharge a partnership. For those of you born late in your sign, around January 17-19, it may prove a pivotal moment, what with Pluto reasserting itself and picking up a powerful opposition from the Sun on July 22.

Venus in Leo – and your eight house – is about locating intensity in your one-on-ones, and, perhaps, generating money together. It may be hard to decipher lovers and partners, however – Jupiter in Taurus is  a signal for infatuation, la dolce vita in general and creative pursuits, while Prometheus in the same sign adds an element of surprise and drama.

Aquarius and Aquarius rising

One reason you recently endured two years of Saturn on your case is so that when challenging months like July arrive, you are equipped to deal with them. So with your shrewd, no-nonsense attitude in place, embrace the challenges from your opposite and complementary sign Leo. Mostly this concerns the challenges of partnership. Mars remains in opposition until the 10th – probably obliging you to keep your head below the parapet – but Venus in opposition is a different matter – Romance! Togetherness! – and if you can pull that off then this going to be a beautiful summer. There may be a cooling off phase during Venus retrograde – from the 23rd – as you reassess which relationships count most, including relationships past, while for those in the dating game, this can be a period of experimentation.

In the short term, with the Sun and a lunation in Cancer, duty calls – get the chores done, your promises kept – while Jupiter and Prometheus promise both delight and change at home and in your professional world. It adds up to quite an agenda, but being recently toughened by Saturn, nothing you cannot handle.

Pisces and Pisces rising

No matter what the actual weather, July’s astrology comes with plenty of blue skies, thanks to the Sun in fellow water sign Cancer, home (for you) to romance and bright ideas. The full Moon of July 3 kicks things off in fine style, while the following weekend of the 7th and 8th finds the Moon in the Fishes’ skies, when you can conjure a scenario that is either dreamy or funky or both – it’s your shout. The Cancer new moon of the 17th is a moment of renewal, even if only of your intentions, which may be quickly tested when the Sun opposes Pluto on the 20th.

There is another reason to be wary of the 20th.  Saturn in your skies is in retreat, but with Mars opposing you from the 10th, the red planet’s clash with Saturn on the 20th may prove a reminder that along with June’s swell times there remains a need for a realistic hard-nosed strategy involving work, money and property. It’s a complex picture, however, not defined solely by Saturn. Your ruling planet, benign Jupiter (accept no other), is now settled in Taurus, attracting friends and siblings to your cause and providing protection against Saturn’s harsher inclinations. The imminent retrograde of Venus has a simple message; overhaul routines.

Aries and Aries rising

The month of Cancer, representing family concerns, rolls around every year, and this time promises to come and go without any great domestic drama, though the clash between the Sun and Pluto on the 22nd could signal a showdown, especially for birthdays circa April 17-19.

The real action remains with your fellow fire sign, Leo, where ruler Mars is still blazing on your behalf until the 10th, favouring an up-and-at-’em approach to…well, most thing, especially your personal life. With Mars gone, you still have Venus here (and after the 23rd the mighty Sun) favouring all creative enterprises. The 40 day retrograde of Venus is handy for revision of your priceless manuscript, painting over your priceless canvas, pursuing old flames and/or being pursued by them. Frankly, it looks like you can get pretty much what you want this summer, though you will have to put in a shift, as footballers say (i.e. work hard), while aspects from Prometheus may bring entirely unforeseen twists to the plot.

Taurus and Taurus rising

Business as usual or something else entirely? Two planets of change are now active in the Bull’s skies. The first, Prometheus, may leave you with little option but to embrace an entirely different lifestyle, to dump your allegedly truly beloved, take off on a global trek, switch careers –  the kind of daring options that birthdays May 11-14 might consider.

The second planet, Jupiter, is of a more gradual and and negotiable character. The solar system’s giant is only just getting started with you, but fresh horizons, big-hearted mentors and random windfalls may already be appearing. One message from Jupiter is not to take good fortune for granted.

For those of you who pine for nothing more than a quiet life and for the garden to bloom- as it should- July looks obliging, with the Cancerian Sun highlighting chums, while your ruling planet, Venus, settles at the root of your ‘scope to refresh your domestic bliss. Mars moves to a fellow earth sign, Virgo, from the 10th; a six week phase when you can advance your goals, light up parties and enjoy a hotter phase in your love life. Enjoy.

Gemini and Gemini rising

It’s a rich person’s world, as Abba almost sang, and for the opening ten days of July you may wish to prove the point by acquiring more of the folding stuff (or its digital equivalent), with help from your ruling planet. Mercury. The new Moon of the 17th also deserves a new financial initiative, however modest.

Thereafter, Mercury joins Venus in Leo in the zone of your ‘scope concerned with communications (your own and other people’s) and the neighbourhood, signalling a high tempo few weeks when your inquisitiveness is to the fore (lucky neighbours!) and research, education and the pursuit of knowledge are favoured. Slightly perversely, it may not be so easy to get next to lovers during the period of Venus in retrograde – from the 23rd – when a little space may prove no bad thing. Old associations may come calling.

Mercury reaches the root of your ‘scope – home, family –  on the 29th, and an extended nine week sojourn -including three weeks of Mercury retrograde – ensues. With Mars also transiting this sector from  July 10, building security and giving Gemini Towers a spruce-up looks like a must-do summer project.