Happy July, beautiful readers, and happy belated Pride, too. It's a heavy one for sure, and the onslaught of rainbow flags and rainbow corporate storefronts does very little to alleviate the weight. If anything, it exacerbates it. How to reconcile the joy of walking free in the street screaming into the sky the name of the person you love, the person the world told you that you couldn't love, with the grief of losing more and more trans sisters to police violence? The unspeakable pain of feeling powerless against these detention centers where, yes, children suffer, but adults suffer, too. And, our queer siblings are there too—dying. And knowing that many of these institutions are funded by the same corporations wrapped in rainbow in our parades and our parties? It's a reminder that, in some ways, every Pride is a ritual and a mass funeral.
July arrives like an open shell on the foam of the sea. It has promise and it is an old story. What we do to each other now, we have done for centuries. Whatever we can do for each other now, it is our duty to do it. Resistance, it is everywhere, although they don't want us to see the power we have… to feel it.
In the sky, the moon offers us two eclipses. Mercury takes on retrograde motion and joins several other planets in retrograde. Whatever action comes, it comes slowly and it comes on strong. Hopefully, what we live through this time is something we won't have to live through again. Until then, we're in this together, and that is both our problem and our solution.
Sweet spring baby, your cardinal, active, energy in summer has more impact than you imagine. This month, post solstice, the initiative and excitement you bring—the heat that breaks seeds open—will rub up against the emotional instincts of Cancer, the season, the moon, Sun, Venus and Mercury, too. What you push will push you back, what you choose to work out will work you over. Truth be told, you love the creative sustainability of Cancer, the curiosity and reinvention. It inspires you and motivates you.
It's not impossible to learn how to feel the sacred in each living thing as if it came from you. Some part of you must crave to know what Cancer knows about shrugging off an old shell, risking life and death to begin again. That is, rather than running from life to life in the hopes that movement equals growth, Cancers spend a lot of time alone. They write it down. They feel it out.
I know hearing it one more time might not make much of a difference, Aries, but, think it through. Take a page from Cancer's book and just... think it through. Think it through for a week at least, hold out for more information, and resist reacting. Reaction is a place where you lose your purpose—which is authentic action. I know you are a creature of impulse and I know, too, that your impulses have an intuitive magic in them. When I encourage you to reflect rather than act, I'm not saying your actions aren't valuable. In fact, quite the opposite. Your fast fire is the breath of life—it activates new worlds, so respect it.
Is it hard for you to remember, dear one, that yours is the sign ruled by Venus—goddess of love, sex, beauty, and sex work, too. You share this ruler with Libra, whose general grace makes Venus easy to discern. But, Venus is just as much yours and the grace you inherit from her is the erotic grace of animals. It is both sensual and muscular, it pounds the earth with pleasure. When I say that Taurus is material, I mean that Taurus feels the sacred vibration of objects and knows the power of a carefully chosen offering. Taurus is intentional, methodical, and devotional.
I say all this to you now because, this month, you will be called in to your heart's center. You will have to make tough decisions about your emotional and inter-personal limits. This will involve personal interrogation and probably a lot of journaling. What's important to remember is that despite your pattern of over-extension toward those you love, you are very much aware of your limits. You grow bitter when you give more than you can. You sink into the earth rather than splendor in it.
Mars squares Uranus mid-month and cracks a door wide open for sudden change, or the threat of it. You know and I know that although you can handle anything, change would be a lot easier if it was something you chose rather than something that chose you. Try, then, sweet bull, to make the change first. Just as the mountains speak to you, the animals, and the beautiful things you own, let your environment speak to you. Whatever and whoever surrounds you that makes you feel less than sacred will not do sacred work for you, and will not offer you the love you need.
You're not known for being proud, though you can be. And, it's not that pride isn't an emotion accessible to you, it's just that you're ultimately interested in the bigger picture. Like, if you're proud about an accomplishment, then you're proud about what you bring to the people that sit at your table, you're proud about what you can share with others. It feels good, doesn't it, to be a conduit for breakthroughs and inventions? To be grateful to your loved ones and pull the world into the light of that gratitude. And, if your pride is bruised, isn't it true that you aim to think your way out of it? To focus as hard as you can on the relational work and clear communication that needs to be achieved so that you can feel equanimity?
You know how to fix a problem, Gemini, especially a problem that strikes close to home and to your heart. This month, when difficult moments leave you feeling down about yourself or unsure about the amount of strength you have, remind yourself that your power is in relation. You, who are the keeper of infinite fateful equations, you know how to hold something painful and make of that pain a remedy.
A remedy against feeling unknown when the universe clamors to know you. A remedy against believing that we can fathom the course of our lives before we live them. A remedy against scarcity thinking that veils ordinary beauty from us. You can perceive beauty in moments of incredible grief and confusion. Reach for that beauty whenever you can, cup your beautiful hands around it like one would a rose, acknowledging the thorns. Gemini, know that it is always there, whenever you reach, it will fill your hands.
Happy birthday, sweet one! Has it been a happy birthday? Have you granted yourself the time and space to feel happiness? And, what is it anyway? That long word whose first syllable breaks open the air only to punctuate it with a high sound and slide out softly as if it never came? Happiness like a new moon, a slice of light in darkness and it's many new possibilities or, happiness like a full moon, rounded out with time and space and memories.
One can, given the right amount of presence and observation, recognize that the pleasure and peace a moon offers us while it waxes and wanes are just as valuable and life-giving as the more extreme states we find at the beginning and end of each cycle. Could it be the same with happiness? Could you, dear Cancer, witness the amount of light you have at any given point and recognize that light as the energy that sustains you rather than something you are collecting or something you are losing?
This month will open and close with extreme moons, not only new and full, but eclipses. The new moon will be in your sign, close to home, and you might find that this eclipse has assignments for you. There is an ancient knowing coming back to you, a song only your heart knows how to sing and when. If you listen, it will overcome you with yearning. Reconciliation comes and transformation is the key. It's already happening, Cancer, so tune in. Whatever doesn't feel right for you at this moment just isn't it. Take it off and go get what's yours.
It's no use beating yourself up for not trusting your instincts once upon a time. After all, you can't change the past no matter how annoyed it makes you. Better, then, to spend some time interrogating what it is about your own instincts you don't trust and what, if anything you can do to develop a deeper connection between your intuition and your actions. This kind of interrogation might require a great deal of humbleness, a big dash of admitting how often you've been wrong—how often you called something your intuition when it was self-delusion or just plain fantasy. It might require admitting that for a long time you've been telling yourself what you want instead of asking.
If this work sounds embarrassing and depressing as fuck, I'm here to remind you that no one else needs to know you're doing it. Your eye witness is the only witness that counts here. If you're teaching yourself to trust yourself again, holding your own self accountable for personal work is a great first step. Trust yourself to check the box next to "five pages of writing into this heavy weight I feel on my chest, no edits, no holding back" and you'll find it becomes easier to check the box next to "I expressed and maintained a boundary because I know what my emotional boundaries are."
To top it off, just like you are no longer the person you were ten, five, or even one year ago, you are also changing on a spiritual level. Your inner voice at twenty, would have shouted back irreverently at your inner voice at 40 but your inner voice at 40 is comfortable letting you shout while sitting in the seat of all it knows. What I'm saying is, to hear your inner voice, you've got to learn what it sounds like now. Parse it from the voices you've collected over the years, of ex-lovers who told you who you were, of classmates who differed from you in race or class and never let you forget it. Parse intuition from rash impulse, too, while you're at it. To hear your own heart is to hear the deep ringing of a bell. To act rashly in the name of your guts is to fail to be present long enough to hear that bell begin to chime.
I know you know work is not all, Virgo, and I bet that if we were sitting across from each other deep in conversation, you would push back against the notion that work is all you do. Didn't you run this errand for a friend the other day? And, didn't you walk through the park collecting small rocks only a couple hours ago? The truth is, it is common to hear talk of the many ways that work is of great concern to you. People love to think of you as service-oriented alone. It can be hard to remember, in those instances, that work is the place where people refine their capacities and their ultimate purpose.
Work, for a Virgo, can be a transcendent experience that moves toward the self rather than at a cost of one's own self. It can, at its best, become a place where one truly learns what they can and can't offer their community. But, at its worst, your work can become the cage you build around yourself to keep people out all the while convincing yourself that, when the job is done, the cage will naturally open. Except, the job is never done.
Virgo, you have so much to offer your community, flipping from one world (and its modes) to another like too many tabs open on the computer screen. One tab wherein you are always thinking about what your role is in the world of contracts and currency, and one that is sticking a fine thread from one corner of your social world to another until a web is visible and you can gingerly dance over it in a fit of dinner parties and day-long excursions. Perhaps there are more tabs, unnamable, and projects never started that haunt you. No matter. This month, keep a close eye on how often you turn away from your home life toward your public/work life or vice versa, trying and failing to convince yourself that one could ever sustain you without the other.
With your ruling planet in Cancer this month, it's a good time to focus on relationships. Your relationship to the people in your life, your lovers and your friends, but also your relationship to places and environment. A great time to think about the company you value. Venus, while being the goddess of love, is also understood as what we value, how we express admiration and how we desire to be admired. Cancer, on the other hand is the sign of home-base, security, and nurturance. It is also associated with the Moon, intuitive knowing, cyclic patterns, and the subconscious.
While the past few months have given you an abundance of new projects and busy work, this month, you might feel called, if not pushed, to attend to your partnerships. What does it mean to attend? To be present for, to put energy into, to behold and witness. All those things, of course. But, also, in this case, to examine, to know differently, to see in the new light that shines down and accept what you see.
When it comes to lovers, this might mean recognizing the role someone plays in your life. Is this person your accomplice on the journey or are they the anchor you ignore while struggling to sail out? Because we reside in a living world, a sentient world, and you are a sentimental creature, extending this practice of seeing and acceptance toward places is equally valid. What landscape, what city, what destination have you marked as the place you need to be? Is this yearning an intuitive seeking for life-source and power, like a diving rod looking for water, or is an attachment built out of escapism, out of fear of being present exactly where you are? What value, what you love, what you describe as your life is what becomes your life. What have you chosen, Libra, and what have you refused to choose?
It might have worked for a while, registering a pain within yourself and calmly saying back, it hurts but it doesn't matter. It might have made you feel like you had yourself in your hands, like pulling the reins of your psyche in and directing the horses of your spirit elsewhere. Who doesn't want control over their heart? Who doesn't crave to be the one to tell the story before the story is told by a force outside the frame? Have you noticed, Scorpio, that telling stories about your heart to yourself doesn't bring you any closer to knowing what's going on? It appears that there is more than one truth in this universe. There's what you feel and know and then there's the larger story outside the frame which is part of the great mystery.
When the Sun in Cancer positions itself opposite Pluto mid-month, you might find the tension between what you feel is a fact and what the universe has planned for you is heightened. Whatever you have been trying to prove to yourself, whatever box you've been stuffing yourself into with sheer will, Pluto has other plans.
Pluto means to your power. If there's a box, Pluto breaks the latch. Remember, a world invested in profit and subjugation is invested in making people feel smaller than they are—powerless before money, powerless before the gods of progress—and you, dear Scorpio, have a big job to do. This big job is not despite your grief, not in resistance to trauma, but through it. Are you unsure? You want some god to come down, touch your forehead, and tell you what to do? Ok, here it is, when sadness sparks in you, look for the collective pattern. Honor what you feel as an echo of a larger song. The kind one mountain top sings to another through landslides and desecration. All mountains know each other, all mountains hold each other beneath the sea.
I know you've heard the phrase "the only way out is through" before because there are few self-help books you haven't at least skimmed. What if, for you, the only way out is through your body? Hear me out. In a world where most people are encouraged/ raised/ praised into being one thing or another, you are both. You are the only sign in the zodiac that is half human half animal (no matter how times designers depict Pisces as a mermaid, Pisces is two fish. But, if Pisces were to be a mermaid, it would be notable that the two of you traditionally share Jupiter as a ruler) and your desires are not different. Your human mind craves stimulation, philosophical expansion, and your equine build craves the rush and pleasure of movement.
July is the last month of Jupiter moving retrograde and offers you plenty of time to reconnect with your physical self. Health is subjective and very very personal but, like a wild horse knows when she can go the distance and when she needs to rest, you know what your body can do.
Not out of self-punishment or out of shame, but in celebration of muscular magic, of your lungs that open and close fearlessly, working with an against polluted air.You are allowed to start slow. To trot out joyfully along the worn paths and toward the beach shore. Take in the scents of the paths you walk, the summer blooms and gentle wind. Be a pony about it, feel out the rhythms surrounding your body and harmonize. This is about physical expansion, about reaching your limbs out into the open air that wraps around each of us. About submerging into a body of water that had touched so many shores and so many living things. This is about being one of them.
The first year that I had a garden, the workings of the earth were mysterious to me. I didn't know what it might take to enrich the soil, what plants wanted to grow together and why, no matter how hard I hoped, my radishes never grew larger or harder than cherries. I reaped the benefits of the work that had been done before my arrival, the organized garden patches rimmed in stone and a small raised bed where I planted herbs and two kinds of tomatoes. Weeding was everything they said it would be and there were days when, no matter how much protection I wore, my hands burned from the deepest roots gave when I dug deep to extract them.
Everything alive has attachments. The weeds have their roots that grow deeper and wider into the dirt and you have yours too. The process by which we choose which new growths we allow and which we extract is not always simple. Sometimes, yes, it is a matter of invasive species. A matter of recognizing that certain vines will inhibit the growth of what is precious to you and, sometimes, a matter of understanding that certain new plants have arrived to offer you medicine—even the ubiquitous dandelion arrives ready to heal your liver!
I share this with you because on this eclipse season, in this month of heavy emotions and resurfacing habits, it can be hard to know when it's time to work your way down all the way to the root and extract. Ask yourself what you need and then look what's around you. Is it medicine or is it a threat to what you hope to cultivate?
This eclipse season features a Uranus Mars square that is sure to bring something a little extra to your wild moons and frustrating retrogrades. Uranus, your ruling planet is doing its work in Taurus and Mars moving from Cancer to Leo is an emotional exercise in pride and pleasure. The sky conspires to bring you toward a stronger sense of what you need to feel good. Good in your contracts with others whether be sexual or creative. Good about your commitment to yourself and your vision of the future you want.
At some level—whether you were aware of it or not—you were not happy with that specific situation. Cryptic, I know, but I have a sense that you know exactly what I mean. Something had to happen, something had to give. And, when I say you weren't happy—I don't mean it was untenable. I mean it was without joy. You, my big star, were born to collect joy in your body and pour it over this dry earth. So come collect it. Come down and don't apologize even once for what you have to leave behind or who.
You have a vital job to do on this Earth and the more you doubt the space you're meant to take and what you need spiritually/emotionally to take that space up well, the more aimless you will feel. And farther from your big purpose.
How does a fish handle a month full of eclipses? Do the currents go crazy? Does the water ripple with the secrets that these moons reveal? And, do you swim with it as if this is how it's always been, this beautiful chaos of reconciliations and reckonings, this wave after wave of ardor? Or does it pull you out into rivers you would never swim through (instead of the rivers and lakes that you're used to, lol). Pisces, do you feel like you have a choice how you fare or is the only choice surrender and through that surrender, a kind of freedom?
Here's the thing. You're harder than most people know. You've witnessed more pain than most people can understand because you're perceptive and the gift of sight can be a kind of curse. What you've witnessed has sometimes allowed you to look at people with distance. If humanity doesn't bow to the laws of universal care and love, then what do we owe each other? But, you're also softer than you let yourself believe. Being hard hurts you, being distant pains you, avoidance is something you do very well, but it does your heart no favors.
This month, while the people in your life might spend time puzzling over why you're treating them one way and then another way, give yourself a chance to sit with both of these instincts in you: What inspires you to be soft, and what makes you want to swim fast and far away? The more you understand your own reasoning, the easier it'll be to help other people understand it.
And, isn't that what you want? To be understood, however briefly? To be heard?