Astrological update for the week of July 17-24, 2023

Cancer New Moon. I wrote about this in last week’s forecast so that we could be ready for the New Moon on Monday the 17th, but you may want to catch up here if you missed it. The lunar energies peak in the early afternoon EDT and will fade over the next few days. This a time to reassess the threads of our connections to others and the strength of those connections.

Cancer represents the family of origin but it’s more than that – it’s the tribe in which we find ourselves, the communities that we build for ourselves, and the families which we create. Ruled by the Moon, Cancer teaches that communities and interpersonal bonds nourish the heart and give us a safe space from which we can emerge as truer versions of ourselves.

New Moons are always times of new beginnings, and under this New Moon we can create new connections to better serve our ever-evolving selves. It’s a time to nurture and be nurtured, but more importantly to delve into the depth of our feelings and emotions and recognize the truths that lie within. In this chart there is a boost from both Neptune, symbolizing inspired creativity, and Uranus, representing liberation and emancipation. These forces will assist us in severing any ties that are hindering our progress towards forming new connections which enhance our lives.

The nodal grand cross. The lunar nodes are the points where the orbital path of the Sun crosses the path of the Moon, and represent the evolutionary journey of the soul. The North Node symbolizes matters that are being developed or learned and is associated with growth, expansion, and evolution towards the future. The South Node represents our comfort zone of skills we already possess, and areas of stagnation or which hold us back. The nodes represent the path from past to future, and the path of destiny.

Last week a challenging square from Pluto, planet of deep transformation, to the lunar nodes of fate, began to have an impact. Perhaps this brought about a change in your situation. Perhaps it took the form of a deep realization or internal struggle. In any event, this week that cycle continues and is further amplified by the Sun. There is a sense of foreboding, but also anticipation. Something could be broken in order to create something new.

Venus retrograde. Venus turns retrograde every 18 months, creating a rose-like image which is one of the most beautiful and elegant patterns in nature. Venus itself symbolizes beauty and elegance so this is not surprising! During its retrograde phase Venus compels us to pay close attention to our connections with others, and our approach to relationships. When Venus is retrograde it prompts us to revisit the past and retrace previous steps so thoughts of past loves or reconnections with old friends may arise. This may bring the peace and comfort that love and connection bring, or we may realize that our relationship patterns are no longer serving us and feel compelled to make changes. We may also reassess investment strategies or change our appearance.

We will probably not notice any big changes on the day Venus turns retrograde, but we can prepare for this 40 day period by re-evaluating our positions in our relationships, our financial situations, and how we feel about ourselves. If we dislike something about ourselves we are less likely to feel loved by others. Venus is in Leo after all, and Leo is all about self-love and that sense of pride that we feel when we know we are our best selves.

Chiron retrograde.  Chiron turning retrograde this month means that Chiron will be virtually stationary in the sky throughout July. Chiron’s influence tends to trigger undigested psycho-emotional wounds so that they will be released, and if Chiron is affecting a sensitive point in your chart don’t be surprised if you feel more emotional than usual. Chiron will remain stationary  throughout July and August, offering plenty of time for those old wounds to emerge and be set free.

Here’s what else you need to know this week (Dates and times are for the Eastern time zone, here is a time zone converter to adjust for your locality.)

Monday, July 17.  Cancer New Moon! All of the details are above. This is a day to dive into our feelings and see where they take us. All desires and dreams begin with a feeling, and the kernel of the future lies in today’s emotions. There may be a tendency towards thinking a little TOO big, so maybe it’s best today to focus on feelings and save the dreams for a less expansive time. (Mercury square Jupiter 8:48 am, Moon sextile Uranus 9:21 am, New Moon 2:31 pm, Moon trine Neptune 7:52 pm, opposite Pluto 11:05 pm.)

Tuesday, July 18. The Moon leaves Cancer for exuberant Leo just after midnight Tuesday, washing away any remnants from the emotional Cancer New Moon. Over the next couple of days we will want to focus on ways in which we can be our best selves. (Moon enters Leo 12:39 am, sextile Ceres 4:35 pm.)

Wednesday, July 19. On Wednesday we may feel frustrated by any limitations or restrictions and this could cause some difficulties for a day or so. The Sun is approaching its stressful aspect to Pluto and mild discomforts may feel like much bigger issues. Feelings of dissatisfaction offer clues to changes that are needed. Under the Leo Moon our need to find nuggets of joy is of primary importance.

Fortunately, a harmonious solar aspect to Neptune is building to peak on Thursday, enhancing feelings of well-being and amplifies creativity to help us break out of any self-imposed prisons. (Moon square Jupiter 1:02 am, conjunct Mercury 7:22 am, trine Chiron 4:51 pm, square Uranus 9:51 pm.)

Thursday, July 20. This is a good day to focus on the things which must be done. The creative inspiration of Neptune peaks in the morning, and relationships and interpersonal interactions are favored but Mars challenges Saturn and that sometimes puts a kibosh on our actions and desires. Once the Moon enters Virgo in the early afternoon EDT it will become easier to put our fancies away for a few days and use our planning skills to create our ideal days. (Sun trine Neptune 9:06 am, Moon conjunct Venus 10:08 am, Moon enters Virgo 1:12 pm, Mars opposite Saturn 4:39 pm.)

Friday, July 21. This is the peak of the Plutonic energies, with potential for challenges. We may feel that we are being confronted from all sides, and yet the goal is clear. If we keep our eye on that goal, and let any rough waters subside, we will soon get to the other side. (Moon opposite Saturn 2:02 am, conjunct Mars 2:36 am, trine Jupiter 2:30 pm, Sun opposite Pluto 11:52 pm.)

Saturday, July 22. Venus turns retrograde today! We will probably not notice any big changes on the day, but the planetary energies are generally harmonious on Saturday. The Sun leaves Cancer for Leo Saturday evening, clearing out the mists of emotion and firing up the engines for a few weeks of awakening. (Mercury trine Chiron 2:57 am, Moon trine Uranus 10:48 am, opposite Neptune 8:59 pm, Venus turns retrograde 9:32 pm, Sun enters Leo 9:50 pm.)

Sunday, July 23. The Moon enters Venus-ruled Libra just after midnight, and with Venus having just turned retrograde and virtually standing still in the sky this is a very Venutian day! We may struggle a bit to find that balance and equanimity for which Libra longs, since a difficult Mercury aspect may keep our minds very busy and perhaps a bit erratic. In addition, Chiron turns retrograde on Sunday and demands our attention by stripping off any veneer over old wounds which are primed for release. Though this release of old wounded energies can be temporarily challenging, the end result is liberating and something to look forward to. (Moon trine Pluto 12:06 am, Moon enters Libra 1:54 am, Moon sextile Sun 2:15 am, Chiron turns retrograde 8:41 am, Mercury square Uranus 5:39 pm, Moon conjunct Ceres 9:12 pm.)

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