July starts with a stunning nighttime visual as Venus joins Jupiter at 21° Leo. This pretty conjunction can be seen shortly after sunset, and will be best viewed in the first half of July. Look west and enjoy the celestial show.
As Venus appears to hang in the sky, slowing down for her upcoming retrograde, energy builds. Desires, dreams, and needs around relationships may deepen or intensify. Great insights can emerge, especially if you’re comfortable stepping back and turning your attention inward. The Moon joins Venus and Jupiter in Leo on July 18 – 20, adding extra emphasis to the “think big” themes of Venus and Jupiter.
A Venus – Jupiter aspect can arouse a sense of hope and optimism for the future. All things may seem possible, or a welcome and overdue connection may be made. Even though the conjunction peaks at the start of the month, the Moon’s influence may bring a little more of this celestial sweetness to the surface when she joins Venus and Jupiter from July 18 – 20. This infuses the first part of July with a sense of potential. Things that come to mind are the making of a generous gesture and the giving or receiving of heartfelt support. You may be inspired to go beyond familiar limits with loved ones.
This conjunction with Jupiter is one of two important but contrasting aspects Venus will make in the lead-up to starting her retrograde on July 24. After the July 1 conjunction with Jupiter, Venus in Leo will square Saturn at the tail end of Scorpio.
Venus to Saturn: A Relationship Reality Check
From July 12 – 16, Venus will square Saturn in Scorpio, from 28° Leo to 28° Scorpio. This brings the more intimate and profound themes of the Saturn-in-Scorpio cycle to the surface, and may remind you that there is still one layer of Saturn-in-Scorpio themes to excavate. Saturn is in Scorpio until September 18, and will sit at 28° Scorpio for all of July and August.
Venus square Saturn may invite you to put any new awareness you’ve developed since Saturn entered Scorpio in October 2012 into practice. This may involve honouring profound or stark truths, especially in the realm of relationships. Any Venus-Saturn angle highlights responsibilities to others, and can help you question the balance between care for self and care for those around you.
A hard aspect between Venus and Saturn, square or opposition, can bring a relationship reality check, where the truth about what really works — or doesn’t — in some of your most important partnerships may become crystal clear. This clarity highlights what really needs attention and can also help you understand what is irrelevant. Only core issues need raise their hands!
Under Saturn you may need to deepen your commitment, or be honest about where your commitment is waning. One client likened her Saturn to Venus transit to being in “dating or relationship school,” indicating an opportunity to learn, be honest, and make practical or realistic choices. This is not the stuff of romantic fairy tales, but rather the love of real life. It’s the love of balancing budgets and bills, trying to accommodate the needs of different careers, and working around parenting styles that may highlight values that clash. Events in mid-July can help trigger new understanding about commitment, boundaries, time, and promises, particularly in the context of relationships. Negotiations or adjustments may be required.
In terms of aspects, Venus shifts from the generous, upbeat, and optimistic influences of Jupiter, where anything — especially pertaining to dreams, love, and happiness — seems possible, to the serious, grounded, and practical influence of Saturn. You too may swing between hope and reality throughout the month.
Going Further with Venus: Retrograde + the Pentagram
There is a deeper level of meaning to be gained regarding Venus in July due to her retrograde phase, which begins on July 24, at 0° Virgo. Venus retrogrades in a predictable pattern, and her retrograde station degrees trace out a five-pointed star — a pentagram or pentacle — in the zodiac over a longer eight-year cycle.
In fact, through the course of our lifetime, Venus will only retrograde in the same five areas of the Zodiac: Leo/early Virgo, Aries/late Pisces, Scorpio/late Libra, Gemini and Capricorn.
The 2015 Venus retrograde occurs from 0° Virgo to 14° Leo, and runs from July 24 – September 5. Venus retrogrades in almost the same part of the Zodiac every eight years. In 2007, Venus was retrograde between 2° Virgo and 16° Leo, a difference of just two degrees from her retrograde this year. That last Venus in Leo/Virgo retrograde ran from July 26 – September 8, 2007. It’s not as simple as saying the same things that happened then will happen again, but you may notice themes arising in life and love during July and August that are similar to those you explored back then.
Venus starting her retrograde means that she will also be changing her phases in relation to the Sun. Venus phases are a bit technical to get into in this short overview, but if you’re curious, do read this post by Adam Gainsburg.
Jupiter Breaks New Ground
Jupiter moves into new territory in Leo this July, going beyond the limits of his retrograde in December 2014. At that time, Jupiter stationed retrograde at 22° Leo on December 7th.
This month Jupiter reconnects with the later part of Leo and pushes into new zodiacal territory. This can bring fresh possibilities, or may inspire you to stretch into a new opportunity. Jupiter in Leo can bring confidence and the desire to shed more of your bright, authentic light into this world. It’s an exuberant combination that encourages expression and celebration.
If you know your chart, and feel as though you’ve been expanding and exploring the topics associated with the house Jupiter in Leo is triggering for you, you may connect with one final opportunity or invitation around these topics or areas of life this month.
Mars in Cancer: Juggling
Another feature of July’s forecast is Mars’ entry into the sign Cancer, which will energise this sometimes sensitive, and always conservative, sign from June 24 – August 8.
Mars can find it somewhat uncomfortable in Cancer. While in the sign of the Moon, this fiery, independent planet is asked to turn his attention and efforts toward family and the protection of loved ones. As Mars switches focus from his typically singular mindset and begins to prioritise the needs and care of others, assertiveness on behalf of personal needs and wants may wane.
Herein lies the Mars-in-Cancer conundrum: How do I get what I need while still providing for those I love? It’s this conflict between planet and sign that contributes to Cancer being considered the “fall” placement of Mars.
As a hot and dry planet, Mars is great at creating separation, or cutting ties, especially with people or obligations that may hold back or limit progress. Some of the frustration felt with Mars in Cancer can be the clash between the moist nature of watery Cancer, which wants to keep people and situations together, and the dry, separating quality of Mars, which prefers not to be held, or held back.
Mars in Motion: Aspects to Pluto and Uranus
While in Cancer, Mars will oppose Pluto in Capricorn and square Uranus in Aries. As Pluto and Uranus are moving out of their square aspect, this creates two separate and distinct aspect patterns. Between July 15 and 17, Mars will oppose Pluto (14° Cancer to 14° Capricorn), creating an intense energetic seesaw-like effect. Themes of power and control may be highlighted, especially in relationships.
An opposition pits two planetary forces against each other. Sometimes this plays out in real life as two people or two opposing groups get locked into battle. If a compromise can be reached, or you can channel this angle of pure force toward a worthy goal or project, you may be able to move mountains and smash through obstacles that stand in your way. The challenge will be to rise above a disagreement, or find a functional compromise that allows progress to continue.
The week of Monday, July 6th, when the Sun in Cancer opposes Pluto, may bring a preview of this feisty, frustrated, or focussed energy, preparing the groundwork for Mars to meet Pluto mid-month.
Mars then goes on to create a potentially combustible square with Uranus in Aries, just as Uranus stations retrograde, from July 24 – 27, between 20° Cancer and 20° Aries. This could be a fiery, explosive combination, but may more likely bring simmering emotions to the surface, given that Mars is in Cancer.
While events may reach a boiling point then, this exciting dynamic can also help spark new ideas or provide the courage and daring needed to make a wild decision. Choices and experiences may be surprising, unexpected, or dramatic, but they are sure to add excitement and keep you on your toes. Uranus’ buzz words of freedom, flexibility, and spontaneity may help you work with the changes this alignment is sure to trigger.
Mercury (finally) on the Move
Mercury leaves Gemini on July 8, after more than two months. Mercury will then fly through Cancer, from July 8 – 23, and add intensity to communication matters when he opposes Pluto in Capricorn around July 14 (note that Mars opposes Pluto at the same time). This configuration is also touched by the Moon, who will be in her balsamic phase in Cancer. Intensely deep and profound conversations may arise, as you experience emotions you may feel compelled to act on or express. One of the challenges of Mars in Cancer can be a passive-aggressive style of expression, so if you notice you’re churning inside about something but not expressing it, try to put words to your feelings, even if you only do so on the page.
Then, around July 19th, Mercury sparks off Uranus in Aries (20° Cancer to 20° Aries), perhaps giving a voice to the wild ideas or dreams of freedom in your heart. A spontaneous declaration may occur, and even if it’s premature, it may be helpful to lay things on the line. A course correction, unexpected adjustment, or last-minute invitation may add spice to life then.
July looks dramatic and offers great potential for change and progress. If you have personal planets or chart points at any of the degrees highlighted, this may be an especially profound or intense month for you. However these planetary symbols manifest in your life, may you find a personally meaningful way to take heartfelt action and seize the day!
Kelly is a consulting astrologer, teacher, writer, and editor who works with clients and students around the world. With more than 12 years in private practice, Kelly is experienced, warm, and insightful. She loves exploring astrology’s history as well as escaping into the ocean. Kelly’s passion for astrology is infectious, and her specialty areas include Moon Phases, timing techniques like progressions, and incorporating traditional concepts. She can be found lecturing at conferences throughout the U.S., Canada, and Australia. Kelly holds the Australian FAA Practitioner’s Diploma and is an expat Aussie who lives in Canada most of the year. Website: Kelly’s Astrology