There's an emotionally damp start to July, as Mars enters Leo on Jul 1, while the Moon transits Scorpio. There's a lot of volatility during the first week, as a result.
Mars faces off with a retrograde Saturn in Aquarius, exact by Jul 21. This is where we may feel challenged to slow down after an initial flurry of activity. The Mars-Saturn opposition suggests we may struggle to be patient, especially as Rahu and Uranus in Aries look to Mars in Leo, promoting erratic and revolutionary impulses.
Venus follows Mars into Leo by Jul 6 but doesn't move into an exact opposition to Saturn due to it stationing retrograde by Jul 23. With Venus in the same sign as Mars, in opposition to Saturn and a trine to both Jupiter and Rahu, there's a lot to consider, and reconsider, with Venus-related things.
With all the 'big players' involved in what Venus is re-doing, there is no avoiding some major economic and diplomatic issues, as well as the adjustments we must make in our personal relationships, to people and things.
Mars in Leo Jun 30 - Aug 18
The heat - and pressure - is on, as Mars moves into Leo and an opposition to a retrograde Saturn. Thankfully, Mars moves out of its sign of debilitation. Yet this can create volatility, as the energy returns in spurts. The meandering nature of Cancer gives way to a more determined stance in Leo.
Mars' initial transit into Leo is more volatile and will likely set some things off that have been brewing of late. Any unrestrained release of energy is likely to be more destructive, with Saturn's influence bringing long-term implications.
While Mars much prefers Leo to Cancer any day of the week, its opposition to Saturn in Aquarius highlights a juxtapose position, between seemingly disparate parts. Previously, Mars had a strong aspect to Saturn but it didn't go the other way so much. Now, Saturn pushes back. We're likely to feel this through some sense of restriction. This is not a bad thing for Mars, as the more focus and restraint we have, the more we can acheive.
Saturn, on the other hand, does not benefit from Mars' pushiness. Structures that are already under review may feel our wrath when they don't change quickly enough.
Leo represents the self and self-aggrandizement; Aquarius reflects the needs of everyone. The Mars-Saturn opposition pits two things against each other: self-promotion vs doing what's best for everyone.
This is likely to play out in more dramatic ways around the world, and in power struggles within our relationships. Mars in Leo is determined to push forward, while Saturn in Aquarius is even more determined (retrograde) to push back.
If we can focus all our energy on specific tasks at a time, without scattering our attention, this can be more productive. If, however, we feel a surge of energy and forge ahead without due consideration, we'll probably feel something or someone asking us to pay more attention and slow down.
But there's a catch. Rahu and Jupiter are also strongly influencing Mars from its sign Aries, a trinal aspect, which spurs us on to act impulsively. Thankfully, Jupiter is getting clear about what we're doing and why, despite Rahu casting a shadow of doubt over proceedings of late. Rahu can at least bring innovations and exciting changes to what we're doing but it may make us feel less sure of ourselves when we're on the 'cutting edge'. Yet without new perspectives, we would never gain access to the new insights and ways of doing things.
The Mars-Saturn opposition may be full of tension, but how we each frame it in our minds will determine how we make use of it. One person may just feel tense and back down, while another may feel spurred on to do the necessary.
Whatever you do, make sure you are deliberate and focused. Try to let go of immediate outcomes in favour of the bigger picture, focusing as much on why you are doing what you are doing as getting it done.
Full Moon in Sagittarius (Pūrvāṣāḍha) Jul 3
This Full Moon in Sagittarius is called Guru Purnima, a time to pay homage to our teachers (gurus) on the Full Moon day (Purnima). I think it will be a pivotal time, in a pivotal month in 2023.
With Jupiter now moving away from Rahu, we're in a much better position to get clear about what is true, and how our beliefs shape our experience. A certain amount of questioning long-held beliefs is healthy. It gives us different perspectives. Yet too much questioning is likely to lead us astray.
Sagittarius is a fiery sign, one of the dharmic signs, representing our purpose and path in life. Though we all have specific paths to follow in a practical sense, spiritually it's simply about being present, which is the most practical thing we can do for ourselves. Because, well, that's all there is!
Gurus bring us to this awareness, one way or another. There may be many routes, but the destination is the same. And because the destination is the same for every single person, there is a comfort we experience when we are in the presence of a guru.
Travel, another signification of Sagittarius, is another way we can be more present. When we travel and see different cultures and countries, we no longer operate on autopilot like we do when in familiar surroundings and routines.
Whether you express Sagittarius through travel or learning, or both, this Full Moon is a time to give thanks to whatever and whoever has brought you to this present moment.
The Full Moon occurs in Pūrvāṣaḍha, meaning the 'former victorious'. It's a sharp lunar mansion, and often interpreted to mean 'declarations of war'. This is where Venus retrograde at the beginning of 2022 fueled the war in Ukraine. With this Full Moon, we may see a culmination. But we may also see a turning point, with Venus' next retrograde changing the direction the war takes.
Pūrvāṣaḍha is ruled by the goddess of the waters, which reflects a need for purification. Just as water reinvigorates, so too does this lunar mansion. It's probably the lunar mansion that epitomizes the sign Sagittarius more than any other, bringing a sense of optimism, exuberance, and joy. One of its symbols is the elephant's tusk, representing the ability to plough ahead and get through something, while another is a fan which is used to keep its passions cool.
Let us hope cool heads win out when it comes to this potential overheating Full Moon.
Venus in Leo Jul 6 - Aug 7 + Oct 1 - Nov 2
Venus moves over the gandanta juncture between Cancer and Leo by Jul 6. This is likely to create a wobble in the economy and/or a wobble in diplomatic relations.
You may find you have your own personal wobbles, in your personal values and relationships. You may question what or who is important to you. You may have good reason to.
This will especially be the case once Venus slows and stations retrograde by Jul 23 (more on this below). The beginning of July brings the first of three major wobbles as Venus backs up into Cancer again by Aug 7, before stationing direct and moving back over into Leo once last time by Oct 1.
Personally, we must be mindful of the potential of feeling unappreciated and taking it out on others, who may not be feeling our appreciation. It works both ways, of course.
Venus in Leo is not only looking for love, it wants to be adored by everyone. You may find yourself saying and doing things that express this need. You may see others doing so and react to them promoting themselves.
Recognize that we all seek love in different ways. If you have Venus in Leo from birth, you may prefer grand displays of love and affection, such as the gifts and romantic breaks, etc. You may wish to see it in a more obvious way, not just feel loved and cared for like in Cancer. Leo is more expressive and creative; more romantic, in a movie-type way.
Think about how you express love and ask yourself what is love. There is the love we think of when we say "I love you." But there is the Love that is our natural state of Being, which can be cloaked in all kinds of other feelings and labels. Hatred is Love in another form, for example. Anger is Love.
We all want love, but this is just a need to experience our true nature, which is LOVE!
Whatever way you express it, Venus in Leo is a time to be more expressive; at least until it stations retrograde. Then it's a time to recapture whatever you feel you may have lost.
Mercury in Cancer Jul 8 - 24
Mercury zips through yet another sign in July, moving through three different signs for the second month. It begins the month in its own sign, Gemini, before moving into Cancer, a more emotive and instinctual place, by Jul 8, finishing the month in Leo, where it will stay for much longer due to its upcoming retrograde in August (more on this next month).
With Mercury following Venus into a tailspin in Leo, we're likely to see a lot of backtracking in this are of our life. Whatever we have put in place at this point needs to be reassessed. We're likely to be at least a little hesitant in this areas we may otherwise proudly boast about.
Generally, we are likely to see leaders and governments review policies, including diplomatic and monetary ones. There is already an EU draft for a Euro digital currency that will be put into law in the coming weeks and months.
Before any of that, Mercury is in Cancer, asking us to look at how we feel. Mercury in Cancer gets us to think about what makes us feel happy and safe. It's about "rooting the mind in the heartfield", as Kishori says. The mind disconnected form the heart quickly runs out of ideas. When we're connected to the heart, our minds are illumined.
Yet Mercury in Cancer is not as effective in communicating. The heart wants what it wants, which may seem irrational at times. But you cannot argue with how you're feeling. It would probably serve you better to tune into how you feel, and speak about that as clearly as you can, accepting that words don't do it justice.
Better still, Mercury in Cancer asks you to 'listen to your heart', instead of trying to articulate every whim and fancy.
Mercury quickly moves on into Leo, either way.
Sun in Cancer Jul 16 - Aug 15
The Sun's entry into Cancer moves into an opposition to Pluto in Capricorn as it did last year. This year, Saturn is not directly involved by opposition. This may mean more freedom to enjoy some time off, at home or on holiday, without the restrictions of recent years.
Yet the Pluto opposition may be a vague threat that hangs in the air, hidden in the sub terrains of the mind. A vague sense of unease may fill the air, and the heart, even though there may be no evidence for why one feels that way.
The Sun moves into a square to the lunar nodes as it opposes Pluto, with the upcoming New Moon in Cancer further triggered them in all kinds of interesting and unnerving ways.
There may be obvious things happening in the world in terms of the ongoing war, for example. But even if there seems to be no obvious expression, Pluto and the lunar nodes represent something hidden in the psyche. Their square (see below) offers up insights from the depths of our subconscious, reflecting deeper changes within.
We have been sensing this build up for some time, and now with the Sun in Cancer, we feel it, too.
New Moon in Cancer (Punarvasu) Jul 17
The New Moon and lunar month begins in Punarvasu lunar mansion. Punarvasu means 'light again', representing a return to clarity as the Moon meets the Sun upon entering Sidereal Cancer.
Themes of repeating something is connected to this lunar mansion. We may experience this by seeing a repeating pattern in our lives, or by wishing something into begin that we wished for before.
This New Moon is ruled by Aditi, the goddess of infinity. When we can step out of our space-time reality, we can simply be; we can experience our wish instantaneously, without the time lag. Beyond space-time, our wishes and their manifestation are one and the same.
Punarvasu's symbol is a bow and arrows, reflecting our need to be precise in our thoughts, to direct them clearly to our target, while seeing them return in manifestations, seeing the repeating patterns that form our life experience.
A New Moon in Punarvasu is certainly a time to experience stillness of being, in whatever form we acheive it. Whether we consciously wish for anything or not, we are always sending out arrows of desire through our lived experience. This is reflected in the Moon, which shows our likes and dislikes. If something is not to your liking, the mere observation of it is enough to send another arrow of desire.
The Pluto opposition is the hidden part we may prefer remained hidden, on our trip down memory lane with this Full Moon. But it we acknowledge what lies beneath, including our fears of not having - or having - what we want, we can get clear and focused. Fear is at least a good focusing mechanism!
As always, the New Moon day is not the most auspicious to actually begin something new, although it is a time to intend it, to send out a clear message to the universe.
Combined with Mars' opposition to Saturn at this time, we can focus all our energy and attention on what we wish to start again.
Venus Retrograde Jul 23 - Sep 4
The last time Venus was retrograde in this section of the zodiac was in 2015, when Greece's economy went into a nosedive. We're likely to see some economic issues again this year. But there were a lot of other things that happened in 2015 that may be more positive in our current context, including changes in diplomatic approaches to the current wars.
The last Venus retrograde in 2021/2022 saw the beginning of the current war in Ukraine, so perhaps another retrograde may bring people back to some sort of talks? I'm not sure if that's wishful thinking on my part, but we do have Jupiter's aspect on Venus. We also have Rahu's, of course, so I don't want to raise false hopes.
Venus retrogrades are complicated at the best of times. For many, these are not the best of times. Yet this could be a 'double negative' for those who are already struggling. When something is not working out as preferred, a Venus retrograde can alter things and make them better.
This is something to think about in your own life, in your finances, and your relationships. Venus retrograde is a time to reassess what and who is important to you, to think more about these things, although it's not necessarily the best time to act on impulses that feel more urgent than they may appear.
It's kind of like the sticker on the sideview mirrors of cars: "objects in mirror are closer than they appear." Perhaps Venus retrograde should come with its own sticker: people are closer than they appear!
Whatever negotiations you go through in the coming weeks and months, make sure to be patient with yourself and others, as we all have to work out what's important to us, what will make us happy; what will make us feel cared for, loved, and appreciated.
You can care for yourself, of course, and appreciate the simple things in life. You don't have to wait for someone else to give you permission, as everyone works through their own issues. As Leo Sun and Moon, Madonna said in Justify my Love, "Poor is the man who's pleasures depend on the permission of another."
Read an article I wrote about this particular Venus retrograde, including for each sign, here: https://www.timelineastrology.com/venus-retrograde-914767.html
Mercury in Leo Jul 24 - Oct 1
Mercury stays longer in Leo because of its retrograde from Aug 23 to Sep 15, not leaving the sign until the beginning of October. With Venus stationing retrograde in the same sign, just as Mercury moves in, we are going to focus a lot of this area for the coming weeks.
Generally, Leo represents leaders, as well as our own ability to lead and inspire; to express ourselves and our unique talents. We all have this need. Even the most introverted individual has Leo and the Sun somewhere in their chart, highlighting a need to shine their light in the world. Sometimes, we hide behind others who seem to shine brighter, and, sometimes, we hide behind what we have to offer.
Whatever it is we do that lights us up, it's time to pay close attention to what you think (Mercury) and how you feel (Venus) about it. Mercury's slow down and retrograde in Leo suggests this could do with at least a little tweaking. We can learn to express ourselves better, more clearly, once we are clear about what we stand for.
Whatever plans you have already set in place in this area of your life, keep them as loose as possible initially. Mercury beings to slow down by August, and Venus has already begun to slow down from the beginning of July, stationing retrograde as Mercury enters the sign. We're all about to take a deep breath in and review something important.
The world is likely to experience this as major reviews in governments, including diplomatic and monetary policies that must be altered to meet the new terrain. We may see a lot of bluster and bravado coming from those who are more visible.
Venus in Leo may be a bit boastful, but try too hard for admiration and you don't get it. Heck, we're unlikely to feel like we're getting it with Venus retrograde, anyway. Add Mercury into the mix and we might have plenty to say about it!
Remember, you are but a spark of the One. But your spark is no more or less important than anyone else's.
Pluto square Rahu & Ketu
This square is one of the slow burners (pun intended) in the summer of 2023. It's a very hidden dynamic and may not show up in your life experience in any obvious way.
Pluto and the lunar nodes are not visible to the naked eye. Their square in the movable signs, Aries, Libra, and Capricorn, brings a sense of things moving in a direction we may not consciously choose. Yet we must acknowledge our choice on some level if we are to rest easy with this one.
Knowing where the movable signs are placed in your birth chart, especially from your ascendant and Moon sign, you can get more of a handle on it. If not, you may not be on board with the changes that are happening, or the vague sense that something inevitable is occuring, while not knowing exactly how it's going to pan out.
By the time the Sun moves into Cancer, and an exact opposition to Pluto and square to the nodes by Jul 21, just as Mars and Saturn come into their exact opposition, you may have more of a sense of what's up, or what's coming up, from the depths of your subconscious.
Generally, the Pluto-Nodes square may seem fated in terms of worldly and personal affairs; in the ongoing war (Aries), in the economy (Libra), and in structures that keep us safe (Capricorn). With the Sun in Cancer, safety is most definently on the agenda, possibly because of things happening that are not.
Pluto changes things. In Capricorn, it is slowly changing the structures and systems we rely on. Yet Pluto is an often unnerving sense that all is not right and must change, even though we may not know how to change it. Add the nodes into the mix and you have even more uncertainty - and more change.
The ongoing wars, and general sense of angst, continues to trigger our fears of the worst. We can keep this in perspective, of course. Perhaps changing our perspectives is all that needs to change.
Pluto and the nodes remain in a tight square all summer due to Pluto's retrograde alongside the nodes, which retrograde all the time. By the time Mars makes it to meet with Ketu in Libra in October, the changes are likely to be more obvious, pushed out into our conscious awareness, whether we like it or not.
Best to get on board now, so we can adjust as needs be when the time comes.
Wishing you the best of what the month has to offer!
Om Tat Sat
All calculations are based on the sidereal zodiac and UTC.