July begins with Mercury, our personal traffic director, going retrograde on the 4th and then direct on August 8. This retrograde will initially impact the fixed signs of Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, and Aquarius. Later in the cycle, after July 19, the cardinal signs (Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn) are more activated. Mercury retrograde is a good time to take care of what’s on your plate before you add more to it. It’s best to wait until after August 8 to start something new. We also have a solar eclipse on July 2 and a lunar eclipse on the 16th. Solar and lunar eclipses are cycles of new beginnings that repeat approximately every 18 years. This eclipse cycle is especially strong since it combines with Mercury retrograde, bringing past events and decisions into a time of review. We are also under the effects of a Saturn/Pluto alignment that began last September and continues through April 2020. This Saturn/Pluto alignment creates changes in governments, a shift in world power, and exposes the dirt behind the scenes. The solar and lunar eclipses intensify this ongoing energy and have the strongest impact on the cardinal signs.
ARIES (Mar. 21–Apr. 19)
Career, family, and home are at the top of the menu for you this month. This is a big time of review about possible decisions and new career directions. This can even be a time when you are considering starting your own business. You older Rams and Ewes may be considering retirement, or cutting back on your schedule and obligations. This can also be a time when you are considering relocating or remodeling. Old family issues can resurface as well, especially issues with aging and family finances. This is a good month to consider your options, but permanent decisions are best made after August 8.
TAURUS (Apr. 20–May 20)
Communications are in the spotlight this month as you review interactions you’ve had over the last three months. You may have to make your views clearer to the people in your immediate environment. This can be a time when you need more respect or validation. You will want people to take your boundaries seriously, and you will react strongly to those who don’t. This is especially strong on July 7, 8, and the 11th. In the latter part of the month, your focus shifts to your home and family. This could be a great month for a family reunion, making your personal nest a more comfortable place, or looking for a new place to live. With Mercury retrograde in your area that rules legal documents, do not sign any papers before August 8 unless you have to!
GEMINI (May 21–June 21)
With your ruling planet retrograde for most of the month, this is your time to reexamine your past choices, get your files cleaned out and organized, and take some time for personal reflection. As the month begins, you are focused on your finances, personal resources, and skills. You are looking at ways to cut some costs and increase your salary or fees. Relationships are still in a positive mode for you, despite your need for more personal time and less interaction. You are just trying to find some balance between your need for rest and the obligations you have to respond to. Driving may seem more difficult than usual this month, so give yourself extra time to get where you’re going!
CANCER (June 22–July 22)
With the eclipses in your sign during July, this is going to be a busy month. You are more volatile and likely to express your feelings, rather than keeping all of those emotions locked up! The eclipses are strongly impacting your relationships. For some, this is a time to renew those bonds, while for others, it’s time to consider upgrading your current commitments. If you are having problems with partners, those problems are going to come to the surface so you can talk (or maybe yell) about them. You must find some resolution, or some relationships will be coming to an end. With the eclipses so strong, you are doing some personal review and will find it easier to speak your truth. Toward the end of the month, you shift your attention to your finances and resources. This is a great month to take care of those lingering financial problems.
LEO (July 23–Aug. 22)
You are in a period of rest and retreat this month. Your psychic receptivity is very strong, especially with the eclipses adding to that power. You may need a respite from the physical demands you have been placing on yourself over the last couple of months. With Mars (planet of survival) in your sign for the next 47 days, you will be putting yourself first in all situations. Your anger and impatience with others is very likely to show, despite your intentions to control it. This can be a great time to get away to the beach or the lake. Work can generate more stress than usual this month. Avoid the drama queens in your office who need too much attention—unless that is you! You are looking at new career directions that feed your passion and make some money. With Mars so active, you may not be sleeping as well as usual. By the end of the month, you are ready to act on what you have been planning.
VIRGO (Aug. 23–Sept. 22)
Even with Mercury (your ruling planet) retrograde, this is a good time for you to get out and reconnect with old friends and business associates. Your energy level last month was very inconsistent, and made it difficult to complete tasks and meet with people (even those you liked) because of the strong psychic influences. That won’t be as much of a problem this month, so you can follow up on what you had originally planned. Toward the end of the month, you are ready to take a less-busy path. The end of the month is great for taking a short vacation, visiting a spa or metaphysical retreat, and doing some journaling. The eclipses are activating your creative juices. You are looking for new goals and directions in your career and in your avocations, and you are keeping all options open. Permanent decisions should be avoided until August.
LIBRA (Sept. 23–Oct. 23)
The eclipse cycle is impacting your career, your home, and your choices about long-term security. Of course, this has an impact on your relationships. You may feel that you are pulled in too many directions at once, and not really appreciated for all you do! Boundaries continue to be a major theme, especially with work as you attempt to make your work schedule more time-efficient. For those of you who are older, this can be a time to consider retiring or revamping your career. For others, this can be a time to contemplate doing something on your own. In the latter part of the month, friends and business associates will be supportive of any new endeavors. After August 8, Mercury will be direct and you will be ready to make some decisions. You are more socially active toward the end of the month!
SCORPIO (Oct. 24–Nov. 21)
This is a busy time for you, even with
the Mercury retrograde. This is an especially good month for writing projects, teaching or attending classes, and connecting with folks from other cultures who have a different point of view. This is a very inventive time for you, and new ideas will be coming fast and furious—especially during the eclipses. You will be expressing your feelings and emotions more easily. The career or personal-obligations area of your chart will be very, very active this month, with lots of new ideas and directions opening up to you. It will be important to wait until August 8 before you put your fence posts in cement. Your patience will be short with those who repeat the same problems. This will be especially true for your coworkers. Life takes on a very personal meaning for you through mid-August. Relationships need some invigoration, and it will be easier to talk with your partner about improving all aspects of your relationship—even the scary parts! Take some time to get away and renew those bonds.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22–Dec. 21)
You have been in a sluggish period over the last month, but you’ll have more energy and drive through July. You are having to make sure that the work decisions you make create happiness and fulfillment, and don’t just pay the bills. You have been looking to live a life that has deeper and more spiritual meaning for you. With the eclipse cycle in the areas of money, finances, and personal resources, you are exploring many ways to improve on what you have gained. With Mercury retrograde in July, you should be reconnecting with business associates, friends, and organizations that you have had ongoing relationships with. This can be a great time to find new customers and bolster your connection with people you’ve already had contact with. In the latter part of the month, you will need a break from all of the pushing you have been doing. This can be a great time for a vacation, or even a staycation!
CAPRICORN (Dec. 22–Jan. 19)
This is an especially busy month for you as the eclipse cycle exerts a direct influence on your relationships. As career and long-term security are always the main items on your menu, personal self-expression and relationships take more of the spotlight this month. If there are problems in your relationships, Mercury retrograde will expose them so you can do something about them. You will need a solution, or your relationship may not survive. For those relationships that are doing fine, this is a good time to check in and refine those connections. This can be a very good time to consider going into business with a partner. Final decisions on any of your ideas should wait until after August 8 when Mercury is direct. Toward the end of the month, your interest turns to finances and improving your investments. This is a great month for taking care of those old nagging problems that you have been putting off. Family demands are making you check your boundaries. Sacrifice can lead to resentment if you don’t operate from your heart. Draw the line so you know where to stop!
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20–Feb. 18)
You are focused on getting organized, cleaning up old problems at home and with coworkers, and taking better overall care of your health. You are reexamining your agreements about domestic responsibilities as you seek to lighten your load in this area. At work, you are looking for something that is more intellectually attractive—something that actually makes you want to come to work! Routines and old expectations are falling short, and this is your motivation to look for something different. You are also looking for more freedom from expectations in your partnerships. Relationships with long-term problems will have to find some resolution in July, or they may not last through the fall. In the latter part of the month, relationships demand more attention. This may be a real test of the durability of your partnerships and some close friendships. You are not as patient as usual, so remember that long-term decisions need to be made after August 8, even if you know what you are going to do!
PISCES (Feb. 19–Mar. 20)
You have been in a time of personal reflection, especially during this past month. Decisions may have been more difficult, and you may have avoided too much social interaction. You haven’t had any extra energy or time to spend on people or causes that you are personally drawn to. Through most of July, you are in a creative time of looking to find some fun and joy in your activities. This can be a great time to reconnect with old friends or exes from your past. Career options are still good, but with Mercury retrograde it’s better to make those choices after August 8. This is a very picky time for you, and you won’t make decisions just to satisfy others or to keep the peace. Make sure you are happy first!
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This article appears in the July 2019 edition of OutSmart magazine.