Retrograde planets – meaning planets that move backwards in the sky – baffled the ancients, who operated on the belief that the Sun revolved around the Earth, as it indeed appears to do. Realising the opposite was true suddenly made sense of planets sliding backwards – they don’t of course, this being an illusion generated by the relative speed of their orbits.
Modern astrology isn’t altogether wedded to the view from planet earth – heliocentric astrology (the view from the Sun) is one trick in the modern armoury, but essentially it adopts an earth-centred approach. This is, after all, where humanity lives. Appearances count!
This month sees the retrograde cycle of Mercury, the communications planet, signalling a tricky three weeks (15 July-8 August) when luggage goes astray, parking spaces disappear and phones give up the ghost. Astrologers don’t much care for Mercury retrograde- certainly not as a time for start-ups – but some point out that if Mercury never paused, life would be insufferably fast. In other words, go with the slow flow.
As one planet goes backwards – Uranus/Prometheus also turns backwards on 13 July – others move forwards, as Saturn and Venus have just done. It all makes for a complicated cosmic timetable, but one thing astrology is for is to decipher time. All notions of time, after all, derive from planetary cycles, principally that of Sun and Moon, the two celestial bodies that never go retrograde. In July we have a full Moon on July 3rd, a new Moon on the 19th, while the Sun moves into the skies of Leo, its own sign, on the 22nd – if you know any Leos, look out!
What many astrologers believe is the defining planetary signature of this year (and 2013 nd 2014) – the clash between Pluto (power) and Uranus (liberation) – delivered an appropriate news story in the last week of June – that the major banks had been operating illegally. If you wanted to explain the ‘meaning’ of Pluto in Capricorn, an Observer commentator had some apposite words: “In corrupt systems, decent people have two options: conform or be crushed.”
At least the story came into the open after years of being buried. Given the ongoing clashes of these two fiercesome planets (next square-off September 19), we can expect plenty more of the same.
As Luna rules the sign of the Crab, new Moons and full Moons are reckoned particularly important in your schedules. The new Moon of July 19 looks straightforward enough, highly auspicious if that’s your birthday and a good time for all Cancerians to focus on the following month or three. However, with Mercury being backward looking until August 8, you may like to postpone opening your new shop or making any big-ticket purchases. Retrograde Mercury in your ‘scope’s money zone is better for a review of your finances than signing up to new schemes or splashing cash.
That three months rather than one is the operative time frame is thanks to Saturn, which is now in its final transit of your ‘scope’s home zone prior to its change of sign in early October. With Mars also arriving at the root of your horoscope at the beginning of July, any issues involving your home turf are up for resolution and/or escalation. If you want to change your flatmate or even (erk) your home, this is a good phase to do so, but try to avoid getting into a battle royal with members of your household or family – the period around the 16th is especially touchy.
Mid-month is an on-your-guard moment in other respects. Career issues, prone to something of a see-saw effect this year, may take an unexpected turn – an odd offer, or someone on high having a change of heart, with birthdays around June 30 in the front line here. These are, however, still early days in the reconstruction of your professional life – be prepared to experiment.
Matters that you would rather be kept secret – clandestine liaisons most likely – are also prone to tumble into the open around now. The pressure on a particular partnership (not necessarily romantic) looks intense from the very start of the month, when you are operating under the full Moon of July 3, and with Pluto involved in your one-on-one relationships (especially, again, for late June birthdays) there seems to a power imbalance to be solved.
Until the Sun’s change of sign on the 22nd, it’s the Crab’s season of empowerment nonetheless. Bang your drum loudly. Happy birthday.
You start July on an odd note. With Mercury in your skies you are something of a communications hub or social secretary, and likely up for a spot of self-promotion. Yet with the quicksilver messenger planet about to retreat, you can’t rely on too much of what is said or promised turning out the way you hoped. You have, in short, to have something a laissez-faire attitude and a plan ‘B’ up your sleeve.
Mercury’s retreat from July 15 to August 8 is far from grim news. Any activity with a ‘re’ prefix – repairing, restructuring, redrafting – is hugely favoured, meaning catching up with old work is better than trying to force new projects into being. Yet until August 8 you live in a world of if, but and maybe.
The Sun, your ruling ‘planet’ (only the best for Leo!) arrives in your skies on the 22nd, until when it’s passing through the most secretive sector of your ‘scope, and the one where the mind-body-spirit nexus is what you should be trying to plug into. Downtime and retreat are therefore in order, although planets elsewhere have very different ideas. Whether or not the recent flurry of activity in the zone involving social networks, colleagues and friendships has shaken up your social matrix, there is more to come in terms of meeting new groups and finding new alliances. That Venus is involved suggests some of these friendships have the potential to turn into something more intimate.
Between looking after yourself and exploring the various offers of summer fun, actual work may be hard to fit in, something your horoscope seems relatively unconcerned about…for now. You would seem able to coast through the rest of summer on goodwill and the graft that you have already expended. If you have your eyes on a distant shore, whether for vacation or business purposes, mid-month seems set to bring your ambitions within reach.
Something of an intense mood prevails as you plunge into July – at least, that’s the prognosis from the full Moon in your fellow earth sign of Capricorn over July3-4, which ramps up the emotional stakes in romances and perhaps, with children. It’s not a coercive time, but the mood music is strident, or at least loud!
Fortunately, Mars simultaneously leaves your sign after seven long months when, even if the red planet has helped you get things done (your favourite occupation), a degree of emotional turmoil has likely been involved along the way, not to mention the odd private war.
By comparison you are promised a more serene outlook in coming months, once the aforementioned full Moon is out the way. The professional outlook remains busy but rosy. Jupiter and Venus, the two ‘benefics’, sit atop your ‘scope and are keen to raise your profile, introduce you to folks who can pull strings in your favour and individuals at whom you can bat eyelashes across the boardroom able or reception hall. Career wise there is everything to play for right through your birthday season and beyond. A helpful link between Jupiter and Prometheus makes the period between the 21-23rd especially lively. Jupiter being the planet of far shores, international contacts play favourably.
The main spanner in the works is that Virgo’s ruling planet, Mercury, is making one of its thrice yearly backward turns between 15 July and 8 August, a fine excuse to abandon work and head for the beach, though your astrologer senses that fresh (or re-made) work offers won’t let you off the hook quite so easily.
Another cause for mild concern is money (when isn’t it?). Saturn in your assets zone for the last couple of years is unlikely to have swollen your coffers by more than a few hard-earned pennies. The arrival of Mars in this same zone should help you to generate more dosh, or at least to unblock the sluggish cash flow currents you have endured. Give money matters time, and pay attention to whatever goes down around the 15-16th, when tough guys Mars and Saturn are both in the thick of the action. Don’t, for example, be bulied by a bank.
For romantics among you, mid-month is also a time when you get a heads-up about any volatile, uncertain relationships. If you are casting about for the right partner, you might want to look for a well-dressed professional in your work path – at least, given the tech spec – the ruler of your solar seventh house active in your tenth – that’s the story this month.
In a tumble? It’s hard to see the start of July as much else, such is the inexorable and somewhat contradictory set-up of your ‘scope. The headline news is that Mars moves into your skies on July 3 for a six week stay. The warrior planet is about energy with a touch of belligerence, which given your weighed-down shoulders after two years of Saturn’s pressure may be no bad thing. Mars can be a bit of a high-risk, high-burn affair, nonetheless, so while your Libran instincts are for accommodation and peace among sentient beings – at least in theory – take care not to get snappy. Dates marked in red for danger are the 19th-25th, when Mars and Prometheus face off, and you might likewise square up against a transgressor/partner/innocent bystander.
At least Mars promises to stir up the ‘stuck’ energy that accompanies a sluggish Saturn. The ringed planet is a wearisome taskmaster at best, but now that it is moving forwards once more, the end of its seemingly interminable transit of your skies is in sight (at your birthday), and Mars quickens the pace of events this month, even though Mercury’s retrograde will be in operation to slow things down on a minor, practical scale.
You can glean some idea of what lies in the immediate future from June’s events, especially any developments on the romantic or travel fronts. As your planet, Venus, is now retracing its steps over recent weeks, clarity over other people’s intentions is accordingly promised.
Just how ruthless partners can be may well have been shown to you by events this year, as the uncompromising planet of Uranus/Prometheus has traversed the zone of your ‘scope concerned with significant others. In mid-July the planet is mightily involved in your one-one-one affairs – whether this means departures or arrivals, no-one seems much given to compromise, least of all yourself. Events at this time may not bring peace, but they do promise liberation. Be bold.
Do you have a yen to run right away from the 9-to-5 routines and the same-old same-old and flop on a beach somewhere with a nice novel? You could do a lot worse in July. Not that the month is full of nasties, but your horoscope looks very given to down time, secretive time, and intense pleasure time.
How so? The Sun’s passage through your fellow water sign of Cancer is broadly helpful, but as Cancer represents international interests for you, far shores may be calling. Mercury traversing the roof of your ‘scope, to be followed by the Sun after July 22, would normally be a signal that you have to show up and salute the company flag regardless that it’s holiday season, yet with Mercury in awkward mode from mid-month through to August 8, you are likely to find work akin to herding cats – a hopeless enterprise unless you accept somewhat limited horizons (tip: old work is as good a new).
That Scorpio’s personal planet, Mars, arrives in the most contemplative (indeed secretive) zone of your ‘scope on June 3 for a six week stay further suggests that you have to retreat from the madding crowd before your triumphant re-emergence later in August (and, indeed, beyond, whe you look like a powerhouse). If work is just too relentless to leave, then developments in mid-month, when Mars opposes Prometheus, may reward your dutiful approach.
For other reasons, mid-July looks an almost karmic patch, when past efforts (perhaps from as recent as early 2011) come back to reward/bite you.
Personal passions and relationships remain at an intense albeit positive. pitch Venus, your partnership planet, now moves forward, bringing clarity to recent tangled affairs, while Jupiter, now in residence for a happy 12 months in this same zone (see last month’s forecast for details), enriches relationships that have survived the questions thrown at them during the difficult passage of late 2011 and early 2012.
You have survived the eclipse season of May and June, so the first challenge is to take stock of recent events, especially those involving significant others, whether it;’s your favourite bridge partner, your demon ex or your lovin’ spouse.
As Venus and Jupiter both remain in the zone of one-on-one relationships, events look far from done and dusted – more likely is that you are only just now coming to terms with your own feelings and working out the intentions of others. July doesn’t offer much by way of respite from such issues, but at least you have a chance of working out issues and, if you are single (or near enough), the coming month and beyond promises to brings some seriously intriguing people your way.
As Jupiter – the Centaur’s ruler – is much mixed up with the far-off ‘outer’ planets of Neptune, Prometheus and Pluto in July, your comfort zone doesn’t look much of an option. Challenge, whether from exotic personalities, damn awkward types, tycoons or people who set your heart racing for more attractive reasons. Mid month is perhaps the trickiest patch.
Once the Sun arrives in your fellow fire sign of Leo, you’re into calmer climes. The retrograde of Mercury in Leo’s skies may not boost your chances of a hassle free hire car on holiday but late July gives you thinking time and catch-up time.
If you listen carefully you may hear the celestial chimes reminding you that it’s six months since (and before) your birthday. The Sun in opposition is rarely the easiest month of any sign’s year – energy levels tend to droop – and this year you have other planets on your case to ramp up the pressure a mite more. Ouch!
Steady as she goes – Capricorn’s favoured approach – is certainly the best policy for July. The most immediate job is to negotiate the full Moon in your skies – exact at 6.51 on July 3rd but in practice extending across the 3rd and 4th. Signifying a completed cycle, full Moons tend to bring issues to a head, though their touch of lunacy doesn’t make for a measured response, so grant yourself some thinking time until later in the week.
Both the onward march of your personal planet, Saturn and the arrival of Mars at the pinnacle of your ‘scope spell professional hassles, weighty business deals, waspish bosses and impatient officials. Nothing that a tough Goat like yourself can’t handle, but you likely can’t prevaricate for long – with this pair in operation over the summer, push quickly turns to shove. The wretched retrograde of Mercury (see summary at the top of the forecasts) means that deals and problems that you can’t postpone need their details double-checked. The period of the 15th and 16th looks especially spiky (tech spec: Sun square Saturn, Mars square Pluto).
The new Moon of the 19th is in your partnership sign of Cancer; a good time, therefore, to rekindle existing partnerships or ring the changes with them (birthdays of January 16th take especial note). One-on-one relationships of all stripes are not the simplest aspect of your world at present, and with uncertainty or even revolution reigning in the domestic and family sphere, patience is again called for. August looks more straightforward for ironing out the rough spots at home and with you-know-who.
It’s sometimes rumoured that Aquarians don’t really ‘do’ emotion, that the tides of passion that animate other members of the zodiac pass you by. This summer’s stars will likely have put that idea to the test. The celestial action across the axis of your ‘scope concerning matters of the heart – crushes, romances, kids – has been relentless and remains so during the coming month and, indeed beyond.
With eclipse season over, and Venus, the relating planet, resuming forward motion, the more disruptive elements of the emotional scenario look over, with, perhaps, a new pattern (or lover) in place. With Venus in helpful play for you for another month or so, you can fine-tune your emotional life, or simply embrace a life of summer fun, showing off, Pym’s on the lawn, gate crashing a party or three, flaunting and flirting. It would be pretty poor form to stay home.
The longer-term outlook for your heart zone needs time to become clear. The end of the summer looks a good target date, when the lunar nodes – the shadow planets of Rahu and Ketu to Indian astrology – finally clear your fifth house after two unsettling years. Jupiter in this same sector of your ‘scope for another year promises a rare buoyancy to your personal and creative life. Again, an element of pushing your luck and risk-taking is favoured, whether with potential partners or with more professional ambitions. A new business venture in September or after fits the picture nicely.
All one-on-one relationships, romantic or otherwise, face a tricky few weeks meanwhile. Mercury is doing one of its thrice yearly backward turns in your opposite sign of Leo from the 15th, promising some tiresome questions with a business partner, an ex or a less than forthright lover. Once the Sun arrives in Leo on the 22nd, all such exchanges (inquisitions?) intensify. Until August 8, however, you’re in a world of disinformation – with whatever is said in the last few days of July particularly untrustworthy.
Despite Mercury’s awkward turn, practical matters – the kind where emotions aren’t so appropriate – remain set in your favour (tech spec: Mars and Saturn in your solar ninth house), though the more hard-nosed you can be about money the better (Neptune is rogue in your cash zone). The full Moon of the 3rd may leak a secret (yours, most likely) and as a still potent Luna traverses your skies on the 5th and 6th, be prepared to be put on the spot. Have your favourite karaoke routine prepared.
The sound you might just catch on the breeze is of various rusty gates being pushed open for your liberation. The Sun in the fellow water sign of Cancer is a short-term pick-me-up, and as Venus follows suit in August, your chances of being out the house and in fine company this summer look pretty good. The full Moon of the 3rd/4th is handy for encounters with people in a position to offer you help and even money, while the new moon of the 19th marks a perfect time to relaunch any charm offensive or stumble across a new lover (especially but not exclusively if your birthday is March 16).
More significant over the long term is the arrival of Pisces’ ruling planet, Jupiter, at the root of your ‘scope, a happy omen whether your aim is to make your mark professionally or to transform your domestic situation. Over the next four months you get a helpful nudge in the right direction, however uncomfortable it seems at the time. Particular emphasis remains on home and family, and any resolve on your part to transform your situation meets with a positive response from Jupiter, the ‘Lord of Possibility’ in classical thinking (not just today’s giant gas ball, then). Jupiter’s stay in this sector of your ‘scope is twelve month’s duration, but the next few months remain particularly promising for those of you who want to change an unsatisfactory scenario.
The lightening of your load comes from other areas too. Breathe a sigh of relief that Mars is finally out of opposition – a testing time for relationships this last seven months- while Saturn’s turn to direct motion helps the haul out of any financial muddles. Here, consistent effort works more wonders in the next few months than you might imagine.
Muddle is the enemy of many Pisceans, for whom a cheerful fog is preferable to chilly focus. Neptune, the planet of mists, is in its early days in your skies, so significant mainly for birthdays February 19-24. See the last two month’s forecasts for speculations about this. Suffice to say that you can project your vision (and reputation) under this omen – something one suspects all Pisceans be doing a great deal more of later this summer and autumn.
Cool and calm? Try to hang onto that feeling. Your personal planet, Mars (hot and fiery, like you), moves into opposition on July 3 for a six week stay, testing the limits of the Ram’s patience, something that is, let’s be frank, not saintly at the best of times.
Mars in opposition is not that unusual– the red planet rolls round every two years – but it can signal an irksome spell of small frustrations and ratty tempers. Showdowns with your partner are one possible scenario, especially as the ongoing opposition of Saturn has tested steady relationships to the point of disintegration over the last couple of years. An acceleration to the ‘exit’ door is on the cards for partnerships that remain in stress, or those that exist in a ghastly limbo of the ‘can’t live ‘em/can’t leave’em’ variety. The clash on July 19 between Mars and a planet in your own sign, Uranus/Prometheus, should act as a heads-up, prior to the equally fiercesome meeting of Mars and Saturn in August. Under these stars, even relationships stuck deep in the emotional mire start to shift for better or worse.
On a more upbeat note, Mars’ arrival can signal the advent of a intriguing newcomer – a dashing cavalier, a flashy redhead –or the hotting up of a sexual liaison. What it is unlikely to portend is a business-as-usual few weeks. You have sparks flying elsewhere in your ‘scope in any case; Venus and Jupiter in Gemini continue to favour social experimentation, new scenes to investigate, and, perhaps, fresh intellectual pursuits. Certainly with Jupiter in the zone of your ‘scope concerned with cognition and communication, you have a year of creative thinking ahead- very handy if you are in the media or education.
The retrograde of Mercury for once works in your favour, ensuring that missed numbers and contacts boomerang back in your path. The arrival of the mighty Sun in its own sign of Leo on the 22nd is always a welcome moment for the Ram – you have an affinity with this fellow fire sign – and should bring a more measured feeling of high summer pleasure in the final week of the month.
Early in July comes the full Moon, on the 3rd/4th, to illuminate your career path, while the Moon in your own skies between noon on the 9th and midnight on the 11th, is a time for you to parade. For those of you looking to change your home or relocate, the new Moon of the 19th is a seed moment.
Looking for downtime? Or for a life of industry? In July you have both options. It’s a calmer picture than the one you have been enjoying (surely) in May and June, though promisingly productive. The month of Cancer, until July 22, is a co-operative affair for the most part, when travel finds favour (short hops are fine) and company comes easily. The full Moon of the 3rd accentuates any contacts you have in far-flung places and the help they can bring – this is a long-term pattern, with you perhaps pitching up at their place later in the year.
There may be good money in international contacts. Cash and possessions remain in an odd state of flux – Venus, your fairy godmother, has thankfully returned to normal service and together with Jupiter in the same part of your scope concerned with immediate assets promises to bring in what you owe (chase!) and to bring forth new funds in the coming four months. Jupiter also asks you to be clear about your value system, and be prepared to draw the line about what you will do for money. Taurus is the sign of economics and banks, for whom this question is particularly apposite.
The presence of two stern planets, Mars and Saturn, in your work zone promises that industry will bring its own rewards. What this planetary pair currently promise is not so much glory and fame but the opportunity for honest labour and the satisfaction it brings. – you collect later. The past decade, when Neptune was traversing your career zone, has likely shown you some extremes of the fame cycle – feted one year, cast aside the next – but with said planet now moved on, you are able to build in a more measured, indeed Taurean style.
The season of Leo, from the 22nd, brings a more anchored feeling to your world, not least to your home, house, flat and family.
Exhale. You have negotiated your birthday (don’t worry, Twins stay forever young) and its accompanying eclipses. Now, with Venus back on course in your skies, plus Jupiter’s arrival, you’re set up for a sweet July. Try to savour rather than rush at events – your personal planet, Mercury, is in slow-mo phase until 8 August, which at best helps you operate at a less frantic pace, and at worst finds you snarling as your phone or computer misbehaves and the promised cheque in the post refuses to arrive.
Your horoscope insists you rise way above such trifles. Venus, which has already spent an abnormal three months in your skies, now makes its final five week transit through your sign, promising that romances that have been on-off get to straighten out. Venus likes display, and welcomes opportunities to exert influence through charm and elegance – you simply have to follow suit. If there are no social gatherings to attend, supply your own.
As outlined in last month’s forecast, the arrival of Jupiter in Gemini’s stretch of the cosmos is to be welcomed. This is by tradition the ‘lucky’ planet, though sometimes Jupiter works its good fortune by unhitching you from unsatisfactory people and situations. Birthdays between May 20-27 may like to ponder that idea in light of recent events, especially since Jupiter has been linked to a couple of uncompromising planets of Neptune and Uranus/Prometheus – meaning perhaps, the arrival of uncompromising (even if helpful) people.
Balanced against the fresh phase introduced by Jupiter (think back a dozen years the last time the giant planet was in Gemini, for clues,) is the final phase of Saturn n your fellow air sign of Libra. / With the ringed planet moving forwards to its change of sign in October, you are polishing off a two year phase that has tested the quality of your affections and romantic commitments.
The arrival of Mars in this same sector your ‘scope just accelerates the process of divesting yourself or people, possessions, attitudes and habits that no longer support you or further your cause. The past has, perhaps, been uncomfortably present in 2012, but the end of summer, the future will be your preoccupation.