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Weekly Astrology Forecast for July 16-22, 2023*  – Venus Retrograde!

Hey star-gazers! Sometimes I’m gob-smacked by the terrestrial reflection of celestial symbolism and I really ought to stop remarking on it. I’m an astro-convert, ergo I shouldn’t be surprised when I see the archetypal storyline of the stars mirror events in my life. But I’m also a child of perpetual wonder, so when the heavens speak, I listen, even if they’re only communicating through the static and slightly impersonal medium of astrological software.

Before the pandemic, I wanted to be a writer. How cliché is that for someone with a third-house stellium and their ascendant ruler and natal Moon in Gemini? However, after submitting more than a couple of short stories and even a novel to competitions and publishing houses without so much as receipt of a personalized rejection letter, I was more than a little deflated. When the pandemic hit, I, like so many others, felt my inner world shift almost as markedly as my outer one. New passions, hobbies and pathways towards creative expression took hold as a different life course needed to be charted.

This past week, as Venus continued to slow her pace in the sky and Mars was poised to leave the energy of fixed fire behind, something made me dig deep into the bowels of my hard drive. I unearthed one of many unfinished novels and decided to read it. I hadn’t read anything I’d written in a previous incarnation in many years, but it got me thinking about the slightly underrepresented side of Venus, Venus retrograde and Mars.

The Alchemical Goddess is known first and foremost for her love machine qualities. Maybe that’s a tired trope, but the art of seduction, the beautifying, alluring, and flirtatious side of how we woo and win are more typically ascribed to Venus’s domain than Mars’s. However, we often underestimate the extent to which both Mars and Venus share similar aims. Both planets represent aspects of desire and creation. Mars is action-oriented, catalytic and motivated by the externality of the goal post; Venus is generative, coalescing and percolating yearning from within.

With both planets in Leo, we likely spent the last several weeks attempting to express our desires through outward action, but motivated by an inner push. Our successes may have been middling at best as Mars and Venus danced within orb of a conjunction, but never synced up in exactitude. We may also have experienced a pull towards greater pleasure, outlets for creative expression and, above all, a desire to be seen. That’s Leo’s bag, after all: the golden feline needs its stroking, even if the events of these last few weeks may have left us feeling unsatisfied.

The flirtatious sky dance of Mars and Venus reminded me of what I once desired creatively, was actively working towards, and how I wanted to be “seen” in the world. Venus in her circumspect evening star incarnation gearing up to turn retrograde was paying an early visit. That tantalizing tale of missed opportunities will come into its fullness this week. Mars, firmly in Virgo, continues its forward locomotion, while Venus, increasingly slowing its current path to shift direction, could have us revisiting what might have gone off course.

This planetary pair isn’t scheduled for a rendezvous until February 22, 2024, when the cosmic love-match will take place in Aquarius — a few weeks and a few degrees shy of where the two planets met back in a conjunction in early March 2022. Electricity, chemistry, and — let’s face it — biology are all up for grabs at this fated union. This will be a potent time, charged with phenomenal new beginnings and earth-shifting creative potential. For now, however, certain things we might have initiated while the two wandering stars journeyed through Leo may have come to naught: projects might have failed to launch, friendships might have stalled, and romances might have fizzled out or failed to come to fruition altogether.

From fixed fire to fixed air, February 2024 will be an exciting time for the celestial collision of the two creative entities — a meeting of the minds in a zany and rule-bending sign. In the interim, however, and over the next forty-two days, we’ll be in retrospective mode, taking stock of love, desire, beauty, harmony, balance and money, as well as the topical areas that Venus rules for us natally. These areas could see us bring a critical eye to our lives, questioning what we value, but also what we desire. Heading into the autumn, brace yourself for shifts that will be both subtle and substantial. Venus will return to direct motion on September 3, but don’t forget about her union with Mars in February. That may be the time when what we yearn for gets a much-needed push from the planet that makes things happen.

With that lengthy homily out of the way, let’s dive into the energies of the week!

We slide into Sunday with the Moon basking in its Cancerian domicile, inviting us to commence our own homeward journey in a way that prioritizes getting back to basics in relationships with family and loved ones. With Luna’s application to Juno in the sign of the crab, expect the way we partner up and nest to take a more conventional turn. A gentle sextile to Jupiter in Taurus could bring a touch of optimism in money matters, while the Sun, still within orb of a sextile to Uranus in Taurus, could offer flashes of brilliance and luminous insights into how we might manifest what we want over the long-term.

On Monday, July 17, a square between Mercury in Leo and Jupiter in Taurus could have us changing our perspective. While Mercury can sometimes struggle to see the forest for the trees, in fiery, fixed Leo, this tendency could be funneled through the lens of the emphatic and dramatic. Thankfully, expansive Jupiter in cooler, earthy Taurus (and answering to a more circumspect Venus) could have us thinking twice about what we say and how it’s received. Jupiter could encourage Mercury to pause and consider the bigger picture.

This stabilizing counterweight could be a helpful basis for the Cancer New Moon taking place the same day. This lunation could have us deep in our feelings, reliving past nostalgias and settling into the comforts that make us feel at home. While this soli-lunar configuration squares the Goddess of Discord, Eris, in the sign of the ram, our conflicting desire for freedom and independence could be mellowed by a trine to retrograde Neptune in Pisces, bringing its redemptive blessings for greater compassion.

In the wee hours of July 18, Luna slides into Leo, joining Mercury and Venus in a co-presence that’s focused on what we feel, think and desire. Absent partile aspects, much of this could be pure cogitation, especially as we get a reprieve on the transit front until July 20, when the Sun in Cancer perfects to an exact trine to retrograde Neptune in Pisces.

The Sun-Neptune trine, especially with Neptune retrograde, may help you see your dreams in perspective. When the planet of gauzy dissolution shifts direction, we sometimes wake up to the reality of our situation and become a little more pragmatic. The subtle realization that pie-in-the-sky aspirations alone won’t make necessary changes manifest ultimately helps Sol advance its agenda in a more realistic way.

Mars in Virgo opposing Saturn in Pisces may, however, have other plans, testing both our patience and resolve. Any Mars-Saturn opposition bound to amplify frustrations, irritations and simmering anger that can percolate just below the surface.

Personally, I see this as a growth transit — one that asks us how far we’ve come in shifting our instinctual reactions. Mars in Virgo has the potential for practicality and methodical consideration before taking action. This may be the time to rationally analyze all the information we’ve gathered about how to deal with obstacles in our path — everything from a shift in perspective, to seeking out more creative solutions. Just be aware that Saturn in Pisces could feel like the goal post is moving. In the fishy sign of slippery boundaries, we may struggle to get a hold on longer-term visions, but that shouldn’t be a barrier to taking some form of measured, constructive action in the direction of our dreams.

On July 21, the Sun in Cancer opposes Pluto in Capricorn, which extends some of the crunchiness of the Mars-Saturn opposition into the close of the week. This transit could manifest especially acutely on the work front, where our relationships — including the ones that we considered foundational to our success — undergo a dramatic shift. On the flip side, this transit holds tremendous psychological potential. Pluto can challenge us to go deep into the detritus of our past to leave behind old baggage that no longer serves us. Either way, I don’t think these will be the most light-hearted few days, though they might be revelatory in waking us up to how we operate and the way we’ve been conditioned.

Finally, we end the week on July 22 with a huge Sun story, portending to massive shifts in our solar direction. First, the Sun in Cancer squares the Node of Fate in Aries, presenting another fork in the road. Here we’ll likely have a chance at expressing our highest purpose — new beginnings will call, but the catch we all need to confront is what path to take. Does comfort prevail or the seemingly scary road less travelled?

The Sun enters Leo later that evening, ushering in a positive, empowered, and courageous few weeks that should have us craving ways of expressing ourselves and our desires boldly. As the Alchemical Goddess turns our energies inward, however, expect some slightly more muted impulses on the relationship and creative front. Tensions could arise between our purposeful push and a tentative caution note from a Venus that has us questioning our path and taking stock in order to take charge later when clarity on several fronts prevails.


*DISCLAIMER: All astrological forecasts are for ENTERTAINMENT PURPOSES ONLY. Any decisions that you might make as a result of reading this or any other astrological blog entry are YOURS ALONE and the creator of this blog will not be held responsible! For any legal issues, see a lawyer; for medical ones, consult a physician. None of the information in this blog constitutes actionable advice from a licensed professional. Once again, this forecast is for ENTERTAINMENT PURPOSES ONLY!

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