Astrology is far less about zodiac signs than about planetary cycles, the most obvious being the year that it takes planet Earth to orbit the Sun; hence birthdays, Sun signs and columns like this one!
The cycle now gripping western astrologers is that of Saturn-Pluto; the two planets meet only every 30-odd years (it varies) and their encounters, as last month’s forecast explained, have an unhappy history. Under this conjunction, might is right and damn the consequences. Although the two planets’ next meeting is in January 202), this summer feels like a dress rehearsal – war with Iran might come in handy during the US’s election year – since Capricorn (where Saturn and Pluto reside) and Cancer (opposite) are in the midst of an eclipse cycle that finishes in twelve months’ time.
You will have to be somewhere near South America to witness the total solar eclipse of July 2, but the partially eclipsed full Moon on July 16 will be visible in European latitudes.
Another planetary cycle, one familiar in the mainstream these days, is Mercury Retrograde, which arrives thrice, sometimes four times a year, for three weeks each time, As the media understand, its meaning is essentially SNAFU; what can go wrong will go wrong. It’s an annoyance rather than a hefty deal, but worthy of attention. Mercury turns retro on July 8 and forwards on August 1.
Happy holidays – if you can grab ‘em – to all my readers.
You need to have all your senses, including intuition, working at full pitch this month. The good news is that with Venus in your skies between the 4th and 27th, extravagant birthday parties, delicious sweetmeats, a fresh frock or three, perhaps even some billing and cooing over the garden gate – all such Venusian delights are on offer.
You might as well slow down and smell the flowers since with Mercury retrograde until early in August, your patience is there to be tested. Pay attention to details, fix busted apparatus.
The bigger picture looms big. You likely have no option but to think long term, whether that’s occasioned by job, money, housing, parents, or by a more personal desire to bust loose and start anew. You face a series of heavy transits just now – Saturn and Pluto in opposition, a pair of eclipses to go with them this month, and more eclipses on the way over new year. You don’t have to quake at the thought of a shake-up, but don’t let difficult circumstances turn it into a shake-down. Gather your resources.
The total eclipse of the Sun on July 2 is certainly a game changer if that’s your birthday. The full Moon opposite you on July 16 calls, as ever, for a touch of calmness amid the mayhem, and with a partial eclipse of Luna thrown in, your personal life may resemble an airport transit lounge, full of arrivals and departures.
Mercury creeping back into your skies from July 19 may also herald re-arrivals, whether of a person or an offer/deal, from late June. Be alert. Happy Birthday.
A pool of Crabs: Tom Hanks, Meryl Streep, Princes Diana, Prince William, Tom Cruise, Debbie Harry, Frida Kahlo, Lionel Messi, Julian Assange, Angela Merkel, Sandra Oh, Benedict Cumberpatch.
Tigger Time arrives early this year, thanks to warrior Mars’ moving into the Lion’s skies on July 2 (until August 20). Mars represents high energy but something of a rush of blood to the head, so while you are out there asserting your cause (as you must), beware of using too much force. Tiggers should be smiling, not snarling. Fortunately, Mars makes some highly agreeable aspects along the way – notably with Jupiter on July 26, a moment for a killer performance from you.
By then, of course, your birthday season has arrived ((from the 23rd), and with your Sun ruler in your skies, you have every right to expect the world to fall at your feet – you are a monarch after all. The arrival of Venus on July 28 should feed the adulation, boost the birthday parties, and help the singletons among you to charm the lucky lover of your choice.
Happily, the month’s most challenging aspects – those eclipses for a start – fall obliquely in your ‘scope. Rest as well as play. The full Moon of the 16th is opposite you over the next couple of days, when Tiggerishness may not get an enthusiastic response from significant others. A retrograde Mercury looks more problematical – the messenger planet rewinds from the Lion’s skies into those of Cancer at mid-month and won’t be back until mid-August, so some decisions (and other’s promises) may need to be put on hold. Otherwise, enjoy.
A retrograde of Mercury irks some signs more than others; yours for example, the messenger planet being your ruler. Best plan for an interruption to your orderly plans from August 8 and prepare to slow down a little. Developments for many Virgos this month promise to be out of the ordinary and deserve careful consideration.
August birthdays, for example, are still handling planet Prometheus, now well established in fellow earth sign Taurus in the zone of far shores and earnest enquiry/learning. This is a planet that turns situations on their head, not least where work is concerned, meaning a change of job (chosen or imposed), the sudden urgency of a new project, or even a relocation. Fortunately, Virgos do not fear change. You are nothing if not pragmatic.
The eclipses rocking your friendship/romantic axis have more general application. A solar eclipse in your fifth solar house and a lunar eclipse in your eleventh both suggest a change of affection, even a departure from your world. Affairs of the heart look under choppy weather, though with Venus nicely in the mix from August 4, your network of chums and fellow travellers is supportive. ‘Peace and love’ is the badge to wear. You can get waspish and critical next month, when Mars shows up in your skies.
As ever, the season of Leo (from August 22) signals an energy drop, a month to prepare for your own season in the Sun when you will be juggling with all nine balls. Recharge.
Spectacular though it is, a solar eclipse at the peak of your ‘scope, the place where you forge your destiny, is unlikely to signal an overnight chance in your career circumstances. Taken in tandem with eclipses six months ago and six months ahead, it does look as if you are recasting your fortune (or having it recast for you). Doubtless you have been working on it.
While July is not without its challenges, the presence of your ruler, Venus, in the Cancer-Capricorn face-off allows you to apply Libran charm to career situations, along with some image-tweaking. See and be seen, dress up for the office – especially over the 8th and 9th and expect certain individuals in your work nexus to change decisions under the Mercury retrograde in operation after the 8th.
Not everyone is going to turn flaky. Mars coursing through Leo all month is fire for your air, decent company for a sign that appreciates it. Who rather than what you know gets more important as July progresses. Sun, Venus and Mars in Leo by the last week of the month all favour collective action, with you, perhaps, at the helm of a committee or two. The same trio set you up for an uproarious August.
Romance is not absent from these stars but Saturn continues to put long-term partnerships under duress, and July’s eclipses are part of the process. Those of you in indecision may find fate given you a shove.
To repeat a line from last month, with planets occupying the zodiac’s other two water signs, you should be able to conjure up a special summer. The eclipses that are so affecting other signs of the zodiac present less of a challenge than an opportunity to overhaul your communications systems, everything from pushbike to smartphone. Mercury is retrograde from the 8th and will nudging any gremlins in the machinery.
That said, alignments of Sun, Venus and Neptune – precise on the 11th and 18th – are about charming encounters, whether in the local coffee shop or a beach in Bali. If you are a creative type, inspiration should be on tap.
A fiercer current in July’s starscape comes from your Mars ruler, which spends all month in your career and destiny zone, to be joined by the Sun after the 23rd and Venus from the 28th. Tussles with some hothead at work re one possible manifestation (and it’s invariably a mistake to tangle with a Scorpio), though a simpler outcome is some jolly hard work to maintain your place on the corporation totem pole. Here, August allows resolution to any problems; meantime you may be fire-fighting, as the phrase goes.
More drastic may be events for October birthdays; as your astrologer has repeatedly pointed out, planet Prometheus in opposition is no respecter of the status quo, be it professional or ultra-personal. If you are making the decisions (rather than having them made for you), be bold.
Adventure calls – if you can afford it. A pair of eclipses across your financial axis doesn’t necessarily mean your accounts are about to get emptied by unscrupulous types, but a review of how you pay for what (and who shares the expenses) is likely in order – after all Mercury the organiser is retrograde in this area from mid-month.
The grand news is that warrior Mars moves into Leo – fiery, like The Centaur – from August 2, a six week stay during which the red planet is joined by the Sun from the 22nd. Identify a couple of quests – anything from recovering the holy grail to taking a trip out of town (or, better still, out the country) – and pursue it with the vigour for which you sign is celebrated. If the quest is internalised – a reckoning with self – that also works. Either way, you look on a learning curve
The accommodating planets in Leo catch up with Jupiter in your own skies late in July and in mid-August. Jupiter, your governor, is currently retrograde but still forceful in your affairs, and its re-awakening to forward motion lies but a few weeks down the highway, a better time, given Mercury’s retrograde and July’s eclipses, for big decisions. Not least among those is where and how you live; with Neptune at the root of your ‘scope that may be an ongoing mystery.
Caution and security are givens for Capricorns, a sine qua non which puts other considerations in the shade. After all, when the more wayward members of the zodiac come a cropper, it’s a Goat they turn to for funds and shelter.
With ruler Saturn in your skies for the next 18 months (although you get a spring break) that goes double – which does not mean being business as usual. Au contraire, Saturn often demands wholesale change, and with eclipses rocking the Cancer-Capricorn axis this month and again over new year, a fresh outlook is in order. Be prepared for a shift in circumstance. Birthdays especially affected by the solar eclipse of July 2 are circa January 1st, while those precisely touched by the eclipsed full Moon of July 16 are January 14 birthdays, though all of you can expect the usual full Moon madness to rage.
With the Sun in opposition until the 22nd, you are somewhat on the back foot in any case, with energy levels needing to be nursed. A retrograde Mercury in opposition is a recipe for other people changing their mind, though it also allows missed opportunities to come back into consideration.
Since July’s eclipses are across your partnership axis, a long-term relationship may appear under threat, or you may realise that it is no longer fit for purpose. Yet romance remains under odd stars. Venus in opposition from July 3 allows you to bury the hatchet (not just with your main squeeze) and promises attractive candidates for those in the dating game.
Oddest of all is planet Prometheus in your fifth house of romance and recreation; currently strong for birthdays December 21-28. Dynamic people and bolt-from-the blue ideas arrive under this transit; stay tuned.
Where one-on-one relationships are concerned – and we are talking every shade from friend to lover to ex to sworn enemy, anyone who for better or worse feels inescapable – your horoscope is playing bad cop/good cop with you. For starters there is six weeks of Mars in opposition (from August 2). The warrior planet is always adversarial even if it is not representing an enemy; cue tetchy friends and partners in fiery mood, or, perhaps, support from brothers and sisters in arms. Or even if you know any actual Leos, cut them some slack. The days around the 7th look particularly ripe for a spat.
The arrival of Venus in opposition on July 28 is a good cop, eager for you make peace and setting romantic prospects right in front of you. The Sun’s arrival ton July 22 represents a strict cop, not hostile but putting you on the back foot, not least where your energy levels are concerned.
The eclipses that are animating other signs feature less prominently in the Urn Bearer’s ‘scope, though a new chapter in your health regime may arrive. The full Moon of the 16th (partially eclipsed) moves onto your skies from late on the 17th for two and a half days when you get the rub of the green. Find the limelight.
Finally one returns to planet Prometheus, now lodged in Taurus for the first time in 84 years. Taurus is a ‘Fixed’ sign – like Leo, Scorpio and Aquarius – ie steadfast, stubborn and all points between. Prometheus is the opposite, all up for the shock of the new. Challenging people and challenging ideas are currently in the air, some of them even with job offers in their hands; if you can ally new tech with your humanitarian side (the Urn Bearer pours for all), you’re in business.
Work and play apparently. Indeed, the border between the two looks thin during July. The criss-cross of currents between Saturn in workaday Capricorn and the Sun and Venus in harmonious (for you) Cancer means you will be sucking both ends of the lollipop.
Though little is simple this month – which we’ll come to – the Sun and Venus in your fifth solar house is a classic recipe for summertime jollies, with the 11th and 18th highlighted as the pair engage in a mighty Mwaa with Neptune in your own skies. If you’re in the dating game, you look in luck. The solar eclipse on the 2nd signals a fresh start in affairs of the heart – a friend or lover may do a vanishing act, or you may discover one relationship is a burn-out.
Since Saturn comes mixed with these delightful transits, so is work. Here it is not so much what you know as who you know. The partially eclipsed full Moon you can witness on the 16th is next to Saturn in your ‘scope’s zone of networking and fellow travellers, a cue to hang out at the water cooler and catch up on gossip and leads. Mercury spends the month (from the 8th) in retrograde, hence a project from last month may come creeping back into consideration.
With Saturn retrograding over the summer, it’s hard to force issues, but persistence is required so you can enter autumn poised for the new term, so to speak.
Talking of what you know, the maverick planet Prometheus is in the mix and eager to embrace fresh skill sets – ecotech fits the bill. Think back 14 years to when said planet was busy teaching you new tricks.
There is what you must do and what you can do. The ‘must do’ imperatives are represented by July’s two eclipses, a solar eclipse at the root of your ‘scope and a lunar eclipse at its peak. The pair are mixed up with Saturn, the taskmaster planet, which was at its most forceful around your birthday, and if you didn’t make a breakthrough in your career or domestic arrangements (including partnerships) back then, you get another shot at the big time this autumn.
The eclipses are a reminder of your mission rather than immediate call to action – Saturn likes long term steady effort. Make sure you are on track for an exceptionally demanding (if rewarding) autumn and winter. It’s hard to nail down too many arrangements in any case, Mercury entering one of its uncooperative retrogrades for three weeks come the 8th.
The Ram’s ruler Mars in fiery Leo is very much a ‘can do’ signal, however. In short, this is about showing off, be it reminding people of your sporting prowess, creative genius, your spontaneity and relish for life. If you like to play Mr/Ms Lover then July and August are your moment, the charming, playful mood/ unbearably arrogant phase (delete as appropriate) doubling up once the Sun arrive in the Lion in the last week of the month.
Consider the changes you promised you’d make in your new year’s resolution, and/or at your birthday…how are they progressing? Prometheus, planet of change (revolution even) and liberation has put the bite on many Taureans this year, certainly April birthdays, signalling that the same-old same old just won’t cut it …unless its personally fulfilling.
Said planet is strong in the astrological mix in July and August, favouring unexpected encounters with fascinating newcomers, a shake-up in your well-groomed image, or a new interest or job. Relax your iron grip on reality and take a few risks.
Planets in earth and water signs also work on your behalf; the Sun and ruler Venus in Cancer, Saturn in Capricorn, even mysterioso Neptune in Pisces. All concern your network of simpatico individuals and chums, and the trade-offs they offer. A pair of eclipses ask for some circumspection when shaking on a deal, and any glitches in your communications infrastructure (ie phones and tech) are likely to be found out during a tricky retrograde of Mercury (July-8 August 1). If you have international involvements, these come to prominence at the eclipsed full Moon on July 16.
The only jarring note comes from Mars – the warrior planet is squaring your Sun until mid-August, signalling a noisy time in Taurus Towers, hopefully meaning a builder-led upgrade of your delightful home rather than a ding-dong or three with a hot-headed flat mate or spouse. Don’t get drawn in – you have more pressing matters on your agenda.
The first three days of July see Venus complete its all too brief transit of your skies; snatch a little more enchantment while it’s there, especially if your birthday is June 17-20.
Thereafter the green planet joins the Sun in the cash zone of your ‘scope, and since this is being rocked by a pair of eclipses this month (new Moon July 2, full Moon July 16), a refocus on your financial situation is in order, not just to check your account hasn’t been ransacked (an eclipse is often a vanishing act) , but to institute a new regime in fiscal affairs.
Saturn is next to that full Moon, so a sustainable plan is what you after (say for 18 months), with special consideration of who pays for what in the equation between you and your spouse, partner or ex. You may have to scrap for a just settlement (oh, the alimony). Retrograde Mercury in this same zone implies no quick fix but lots of negotiation.
Your social life isn’t about to disappear. Mars in Leo all month, joined by the Sun and Venus on July 22, revs up the interaction with folks in the ‘hood, proud siblings and general show-offs. This is fire for your air. Actual Leos aren’t everyone’s draught of tonic but for you, this summer, give any you encounter lots of goodwill. And flattery of course.