We have a tricky month ahead thanks to Venus slowing down to go retrograde and the Moon’s Nodes switching signs this month. Venus goes retrograde about every eighteen months or so and during her reversal, we get a chance to review past relationships, financial matters, and anything to do with our values and beliefs. Venus will also be in a tight Square (challenging) to unpredictable Uranus as we start off the month of July. It’s as if Venus wants us to pay extra attention to our interactions with everyone including ourselves.
The Moon’s Nodes point in a new direction about every eighteen and a half months. They point us in the direction we need to focus our attention while looking at the past for guidance and what we need to move on from. The Full Moon at the beginning of the month also has us rethinking our purpose and our need for more security in these uncertain times. Fortunately, this month’s lunation will be in Capricorn, a sign that overcomes obstacles with a need to achieve.
The month kicks off with Venus in Leo squaring Uranus in Taurus on July 2nd. This disruptive transit can stimulate us to break the rules with regard to love, romance, partnerships, finances, and values. Venus in Leo requires lots of attention while Uranus in Taurus wants to be left alone to overthink. During this transit, there can be confusion with partners with a feeling of on-again off-again energy when it comes to matters of the heart. This energy can also alienate partners by adopting an “I don’t care what you do” stance when we feel threatened.
This alignment can bring in surprises with regard to financial matters as well. Anything from unexpected expenses to winning money from a lottery. If you’ve been following my monthly YouTube videos (New Moon Outlook) where I have delved deeper into the political realm, I have talked about the Federal Reserve wanting to implement a digital currency and do away with physical paper money, this is a perfect example of Venus (money) squaring Uranus (innovation). They want to implement this scheme in July. We shall see how it unfolds.
The Full Moon in Capricorn on July 3rd will highlight our sense of responsibility and apprehension over our goals. To understand this Full Moon, we need to recognize that the Cancer-Capricorn polarity concerns the balance between the private life, domesticity, the need for a home base, and nurturance (represented by Cancer) versus the public life, career, reputation, and accountability (represented by Capricorn). Attachments and love are ruled by Cancer, while achievements and rewards/punishments are ruled by Capricorn.
In some ways, this polarity deals with the balance between unconditional love and conditional love. Cancer encourages us to value our home base and our roots, while Capricorn persuades us to consider our sense of duty and responsibility along public or professional lines. While Cancer Sun may be content to be dependent, Capricorn Moon urges us to be grown-up and responsible.
This Full Moon is about balancing our commitment to our careers and families. Something has been building inside of us, and now is the time when the energy of the cosmos fairly demands that we let it out. Over the next two weeks, we will discover what this means for us. For now, we can’t sit on our feelings. We need to express them. This lunation connects with Mercury and Saturn, suggesting solid, practical ideas associated with the realizations and epiphanies occurring now.
Our drive becomes more neurotic on July 10th when Mars enters meticulous Virgo. Mars and Virgo seem very different on the surface. Mars is direct, impulsive, and impatient, while Virgo is careful, practical, and detail-oriented. However, these two share a certain sharpness that can be combined to enhance productivity. So, when Mars enters Virgo, it marks the beginning of a great time for getting things done — it’s a unique combination of fire and foresight.
Both Mars and Virgo hate to waste time, even if it’s for different reasons. Mars is always in a hurry and Virgo is a stickler for efficiency. When these two combine their powers, fast and focused achievement is the name of the game. This makes Mars in Virgo a great time to plow through those daunting tasks we’ve been putting off! Mars is the planet of “do” and Virgo is the sign of “do it efficiently.” While Mars moves through Virgo, we’re able to figure out where to cut the fat in our work habits so that we can get things done as quickly as possible. Tasks will be handled more swiftly, giving us the time to develop or hone a skill.
The downside to this transit is we can become more critical (Virgo) as we go on the offensive to achieve more perfection. It becomes easier for us to nitpick and express ourselves aggressively because our bars are set so high. Tensions could boil over when we become frustrated by inefficiency or a lack of control. We may also find that we turn this need for perfection inward, becoming overly self-critical. By practicing patience and cutting others — and ourselves — some slack, we can avoid conflict during this period.
Fortunately, late in the day on July 10th Mercury enters self-expressive Leo. As Mercury transits the fire sign of Leo, we all begin to want applause for our dramatic, big-picture concepts. Mercury in Leo brings a tremendous surge of activity like the wind whipping up a firestorm. This is what you could call an extremely symbiotic relationship. Mercury, the instigator, stirs Leo’s already strong and active passions into a frenzy of doing things. Then, as Leo’s heat intensifies, Mercury’s winged feet have to move even faster to stay one step ahead of the next flying cinder. By the end of Mercury’s stay in Leo, don’t be surprised to find yourself exhausted.
On July 17th the New Moon in Cancer will feature lots of sensitivity and nostalgia. A New Moon in Cancer is a good time to commit to personal goals that express the positive energies of the Crab. These include honoring our deepest, most irrational, and intimate, feelings; recognizing the sense of security and safety we derive from whatever it is we call home; allowing ourselves to accept support and offer support to others; and starting a project aimed at improving our domestic lives or a major long-term venture.
As with all New moons, it’s time to make some plans and set the stage for reaping the rewards from our new beginnings, as little or big as they may be, in approximately two weeks’ time after the Full Moon occurs. Concentrate on new ways to enhance family life and domestic affairs, and to build up your feelings of security and safety. Because this New Moon is opposite Pluto, we should watch for overdoing and paranoid or fear-driven actions. We might face outside resistance or obstacles that propel our need to start fresh. This lunation harmonizes with Neptune, and our inspiration supports our efforts to begin anew.
To help us with direction and inspiration, the Moon’s Nodes will switch signs into Aries and Libra on July 18th. From July 18, 2023, through January 11, 2025, the lunar nodes cross the Aries-Libra axis, with the north node in Aries and the south node in Libra. Nodes aren’t objects in space, but figurative nexus points, like directions on the cosmic compass, indicating where we’ve come from and where we’re headed. Nodes also act as the hosts of ongoing eclipses, making Aries and Libra the primary players over the next eighteen months.
The nodes move retrograde, or backward, through the signs, completing a revolution over about 18.5 years. They spend about a year and a half in directly opposing signs. The north and south nodes — known often as the head and tail of the dragon, respectively — act as karmic gates. The north node directs us forward, towards the challenges, intersections, or doors which further our evolution. The south node, meanwhile, is the crossing that got us here, either from previous incarnations or old modes of being.
Let’s meet the adversaries. Aries is the first sign of the zodiac, the singular provocateur who breaks the static upends the cycle, and launches something new. Aries may act as a heroic liberator or a ruthless individualist. Like it or not, the ram has been cast as one of the stars of the decade, with Saturn and Neptune entering the warlord’s tent in 2025. Since Aries loves to battle this could likely spell out martial conflict on the global stage. During this transit, we may find ourselves more self-indulgent, defensiveness; and, at times more optimistic as many will feel the need to awaken their creativity, become more heroic, and visionary, or fight for the great future to come.
Libra, Aries’ opposite, is ostensibly concerned with peace, love, and social dynamics. The drive towards affirmation for all makes Libra a natural advocate of justice and fair play. And yet, in any comedy of manners, our romantic heroine is thwarted by crippling restrictions of social custom — dogma that binds and excommunicates rather than allowing for change. Libra loves a beautiful system, and would often reward complacency to avoid anarchism.
With the North Node in Aries, we can expect:
Pursuing new beginnings and asserting ourselves.
Developing courage and resilience.
Taking charge of our lives and making decisions independently.
A surge in individualism.
Extreme egotistical behavior.
Rejection of traditional norms.
Emphasis on personal expression.
Embracing leadership roles.
An urge to compete with others.
With the South Node in Libra, we can expect:
Reevaluating relationships and partnerships.
Recognizing the need to create balance and harmony.
Learning to compromise and cooperate.
Imbalance in our personal life.
Fear of confrontation.
Polarization and divisiveness.
As you can see, we’ll need to find some serious balance in our lives during this period. To further challenge our relationships and beliefs, on July 22nd Venus goes retrograde in Leo.
As the planet of peace, partnerships, love, and values, goes retrograde we find ourselves reassessing what—and who—we value. It is a period that many astrologers consider untimely for getting married or starting a new relationship. Major financial undertakings are not advised during this reversal period either. Venus retrograde cycles are good times for creating budgets and financial plans, and for rethinking our personal relationships. Taking final action in the areas of finance and love, however, is not advised until Venus turns direct again on September 3rd.
Because Venus rules beauty and aesthetics, Venus Retrograde is a less-than-ideal time for beautification processes (new hairdos, enhancements, purchasing a new wardrobe, cosmetic surgery, and so forth), renovations, redecorating, and the like. Because Venus is associated with social events, parties may not go as planned.
On the subject of love, past lovers may reappear and some relationships may end. With Venus retrograde in Leo, our need for attention may be especially strong. We may question the romance factor in our current relationships. Old friends and lovers may reappear, perhaps complicating current relationships. We may be called upon to deal with relationship issues from the past. Events occur that seem fated or predestined. It can be a real challenge getting close to a lover during this time as well.
Affection is difficult to express in a natural or spontaneous manner. We might find others are lacking in sincerity or genuineness in their expressions of social niceties. We may be inclined to do the same. Some of the more negative associations of Venus in Leo may be particularly prominent and/or hard to take, and these include such things as egoism, buying affection, or arrogance. Those who have Leo strong in their charts can be more introspective, distant, or hard to reach during this cycle.
Relationships that have been especially challenging may come to an end during this cycle. However, strong relationships will survive it, even if there are a few bumps and bruises along the way. This can be a good time for “eyes wide open” or experimental dating, although opinions and assessments may change at a later date. It is not a time when people recognize the need for another person to “complete” them. Some people may be questioning whether they are with partners who actually fulfill them.
Luckily, our playful and creative side comes out on July 22nd when the Sun enters Leo. When the Sun visits Leo, the Sun is proud, outgoing, and spirited. The Leo Sun is intensely individual—not content with simply being one of the team. It’s time to shine, add a touch of color and drama to our lives, and perform. Like the flowers and fruit of the season–blossoming and ripened–this is a time when we want to enjoy ourselves through self-expression. We are more generous and grander in our gestures and attitudes. On the shadow side, we can also be self-centered and vain.
Our critical thinking goes up on July 28th when Mercury enters analytical Virgo. This will be an unusually long transit of Mercury in Virgo (July 28-October 4, 2023) due to its upcoming retrograde period beginning in August. During this extended cycle, we’ll be focusing on every little aspect of our lives and trying to perfect everything. This is a time when we analyze and decide what is useful and what we deem to be impractical.
Mercury feels right at home in Virgo, one of the signs that it rules (Mercury rules both Gemini and Virgo). Dealing with details is natural and easy now. We need to be careful that we don’t lose perspective if we find ourselves lost in details. However. while Mercury is in Virgo, we should also be aware of the possibility of expressing ourselves in a too-factual manner, so much so that we come across as dry, critical, or unimaginative.
On the positive side, we gravitate to useful information, and we can enjoy helping others with our knowledge. It’s a time for analyzing and dissecting, but we need other influences to put the pieces together or to see the bigger picture as our confidence in so doing is not strong at this time. It’s a time of conservative thinking and a strong tendency to want facts and certainties.
Do the best you can this month!
Joseph p. Anthony