Zodiac sign of Leo

After June’s feel-good, even hedonistic mood, many of us will begin July on a high – a feeling that will be mirrored in the sky with a series of spectacular aspects involving Venus and Jupiter, Uranus and Mercury, topped off with a Blue Moon – two full moons in one month! However things are not likely to be all plain sailing this July – Venus goes retrograde on the 25th, prompting creative and romantic reassessments – and Uranus & Pluto get all heavy with the personal planets. A hangover from the recent Uranus-Pluto squares we’ve been subjected to, this more dramatic and difficult thread will remain with us on and off throughout the month, challenging us all to restructure what is no longer working on a personal level and find ways to express ourselves more truthfully and authentically. Read on to find out more…

Lunar Phases

FULL MOON IN CAPRICORN – 16 July 2015

Mid-July, we are scheduled to experience a Full Moon in Capricorn, highlighting the need to let go of, streamline or consolidate family schedules, personal plans or domestic arrangements so that everything flows better and more efficiently.

Themes around personal aspirations, career advancement and social status are likely to come to the fore now, or reach a natural peak or conclusion, which could result in a promotion or recognition of some kind. This particular Full Moon occurs at 23 degrees Capricorn. The Sabian symbol for this degree is A SOLDIER RECEIVING TWO AWARDS FOR BRAVERY IN COMBAT, which Lynda Hill interprets as being synonymous with:

Desperate striving for recognition. Rewards for involvement in tough situations. Medals and trophies. Tributes, acknowledgments and benefits given or showered. Award ceremonies. Posthumous awards. Giving thanks. Compensation. Insurance and legal claims. Recompense for taking action.

However, it is worth remembering that the Moon is traditionally detrimented in Capricorn, so it’s possible that emotional hardship, internal struggles or personal sacrifice for the sake of career or work could crop up now. At the time of this full moon, the Sun will be travelling close to Mars in Cancer, while the Moon will be in close proximity to Pluto in Capricorn – quite a powerful mix! Although neither the Sun nor Mars will reach exact opposition with Pluto until the 6th and 13th respectively, there is still likely to be enough energy tied up in the configuration of this Full Moon to produce a powerful desire for inner transformation, healing and the reconciliation of opposites.

Given the signs of both luminaries, I would surmise that such urges will most likely be expressed in relation to home, family and domestic affairs, although it could encompass personal habits and life structures too. Essentially, this event is likely to alert you to the fact that your priorities are shifting, and that it may be time for this to be expressed in the external world, beginning with your immediate environment.

NEW MOON IN CANCER– 16 July 2015

Mid July, a New Moon in Cancer begins a fresh emotional phase in domestic and family affairs. Taking place at 02h24 BST, this is the ideal time to buy a new home, move house or start a new household regime, project or activity. Food may also play a key role in whatever new plans you hatch over the next month.

The Sabian symbol for 10 degrees Cancer is A LARGE DIAMOND IN THE FIRST STAGES OF THE CUTTING PROCESS, which Lynda Hill interprets as symbolising a time of:

Coming to terms with inner worth. Emerging perfection. Beauty that is still a bit “rough around the edges”. Naivety. Beauty that is within, even if it has flaws. Potential. Chopping and grinding away to get to the essential. Being almost, but not completely, perfect. Reserving judgment. Self-development courses. Knowing where to start or finish. Craftsmanship. Finding the best in everything.

 The Sun and Moon will conjunct the Arabic parts of love and daughters, which does suggest a familial theme centring on young female relatives. Perhaps your offspring are in the first bloom of adolescence or about to undergo a major rite of passage, such as marriage, childbirth or their first boyfriend? Does your little girl want a new, grown-up hairstyle, tattoo or the right to wear make-up? All these types of issues could crop up now, if the Sabian oracle is any indication.

Orbiting near to the luminaries will be a Mercury-Mars conjunction, adding an element of briskness, brusqueness, even aggravation into the mix. The latter is a distinct possibility as both planets will be in opposition to Pluto in Capricorn. This aspect does seem to hint at forthright discussions, arguments or growing pains of some kind. Boundaries and rules are likely to be the main subject of any heated verbal exchanges, so get ready to have to renegotiate curfew times, budgets for new dresses or even …*gulp*… birth control between now and mid-August… Parents, you have been warned!

FULL MOON IN AQUARIUS – 31 Jul 2015

As if the Capricorn Full Moon wasn’t enough, towards the end of July we can look forward to a second Full Moon in quirky, independent Aquarius on the 31st. Otherwise known as a Blue Moon, this soli-lunar event will help us to resync the calendar with our biorhythms – after all, we have all come to expect that Full Moons take place at the END of the month – not smack, bang in the middle of it!

Taking place at 11h45 BST, this particular peak in the annual lunar cycle urges us to celebrate what makes us special or sets us apart from the crowd. Every one of us harbours a sort of inner sanctum – a part of ourselves that remains separate, inviolate and possibly even a secret from others – except perhaps for a select few. It’s often this that makes us both vulnerable and lovable at the same time.

With the Sabian symbol for the 8th degree of Aquarius centred around appearances and the issue of superficiality – the image for this degree is of BEAUTIFULLY GOWNED WAX FIGURES ON DISPLAY – it seems important at this time to remember that beauty is more than just skin deep. Often, the qualities that make a person really appealing or attractive are their individual quirks – those features, mannerisms or aspects of their personality that elevate them above the tyranny of conformity — of being a slave to fashion or just ‘one of the gang’ – and single them out as someone worth knowing, admiring  – emulating even.

So, as we get to the end of July, you may wish to consider the advice given by Lynda Hill about how to make the most of this particular lunation:

There’s often the choice of hiding one’s internal feelings in a display of elegance, beauty or fashion, however, being stiff, uncaring and robotic can lead to people being alienated or disillusioned. External appearances need the heart’s warmth to give life; is warmth missing in this situation?…. It is not enough to just look and play a part; we must know and live that part as well. Although there may be the desire to present one’s self in a beautiful and manicured way, it is also necessary to know how to “walk your talk”.

Solar Phases

SUN INTO LEO – 23 July 2015

In the northern hemisphere, the Sun will reach its hottest phase as it ingresses into flamboyant and dramatic Leo just after 04h45 BST on the 23rd. The Sun radiates charisma, warmth, personal flair and authority from this sign – qualities associated with success and popularity, making the next four weeks an ideal time to work on building up your self-confidence, improving your leadership skills or giving yourself an outlet for creative self-expression.

With Venus due to spend an extended amount of time in Leo due to a retrograde spell, the next month is also a great time to consider how you can combine beauty and heart; creativity and passion heart; charm and sincerity, in order to extend your sphere of personal influence, enjoy more satisfying intimate relationships and lead a more fulfilling life.

Planetary Events & Energy Shifts throughout the month

Retrogrades & Stations

Uranus retrograde: 26 Jul – 26 Dec 2015

This month, the last of the outer planes, Uranus will retrograde, thus beginning a second retrograde spell in the sign of Aries. This six month period provides you with the perfect opportunity to assess whether or not you feel you are leading your most authentic life; if you really belong to a particular group, party or culture; or, indeed, whether there is more you can do to help save the planet/make more friends/contribute more to society. Another way to engage with this energy is to use this period to optimise/update/tweak your online presence so that you are utilising websites and social media profiles more effectively to exhibit your unique talents, skills or abilities. Are you an aspiring photographer or filmmaker, for example? Could you be using YouTube or Flickr to attract interest from potential investors, distributors or clients in your movie or images? This is also the perfect time to find constructive ways to influence society, perhaps through platforms such as social media, online petitions and organised political action, rather than use violence, unrest and chaos to promote your ideals.

Venus retrograde: 25 Jul – 9 Oct 2015

Venus goes retrograde on the 25th, prompting creative and romantic reassessments. Since her ingress into Virgo on the 18th, it’s possible that you’ve probably begun to notice a number of glaring errors or areas for improvement glaring back at you from the pages, prototype or screen of your latest project. My advice: use the five days or so between the 25th and 31st to make some tweaks and whip things into shape before Venus re-enters Leo, and your publicity campaign gets started.

The good news is that the retrograde spell will see Venus extend her stay in Leo – in fact, she’ll spend the period between 31 July and 9 October keeping everyone in an innovative, upbeat and pleasant mood. Venus is detrimented in Virgo (all that criticism and perfectionist tendencies can really kill off one’s creative buzz and send new lovers running for the hills), so see the upside of this move. Take advantage of the next few months to reconsider how you feel about present relationships, assess whether your values have changed and find ways to improve your finances.

Planetary Ingresses

Venus into Virgo: 18 – 31 Jul 2015

Mid-month, the planet of romance and abundance will ingress into Virgo, where it will stay until July the 31st before retrograding back into Leo. Venus is detrimented here, no doubt because it has become a sign associated with chastity and purity – a bit of an awkward fit for a brazen hussy like Venus! As a result, people tend to become a bit prissy when it comes to sex and hygiene, are neurotic about their health and what they eat, and can turn super critical of loved ones and fussy about how they are treated. Basically, a bit of a nightmare! As a result, you’ll probably be relieved when she switches direction on the 25th and heads back into Leo, sign of the high flyer and party-animal. Still, there’s nothing wrong with having high standards and good attention to detail – use these qualities to practise some discernment in love and money matters and improve creative projects in need of a little fine-tuning.

Mercury into Cancer: 08 – 23 Jul 2015

For most of July, you may find yourself becoming a little shy, private or reticent about airing your views or sharing your thoughts and ideas with anyone beyond your immediate circle. This is probably because Mercury is due to enter the sensitive sign of Cancer during July’s first week, giving people thinner skin than usual. As a result, don’t be shocked if you suddenly feel the urge to retire to your study/the garden/bedroom to read in solitude, spend time contemplating life while walking by the ocean, or feel driven to leaf through old photo albums or the archive at work. Libraries and cookery books or TV shows could also develop a certain appeal during this period. If you’re creative, then dig into your store of childhood memories, family recipes and anecdotes told by your mother or grandmother – all of these are likely to offer you fertile ground for artistic inspiration, as will anything to do with the seaside. This is also a great period in which to research your family history or hire a genealogist.

Key Aspects

Minor Grand Trine in Air & Fire Signs – 1 – 6 July

July opens with a bang, thanks to a minor grand trine involving the benefics, Uranus and Mercury – all in air and fire signs. Things kick off with a conjunction between the two benefic planets, Venus and Jupiter, who smooch in flirtatious Leo on the 1st.   A Sun-Neptune trine in water signs that evening adds another layer of magic, helping you to align inner and outer worlds, sparking off creative ideas and enhancing your intuitive abilities.

Both benefic planets will still be in close proximity to Uranus, making pleasant surprises and unexpected developments possible, especially if you are prepared to use your initiative, or take the lead in making things happen.

Mercury in Gemini joins the party on the 2nd, adding swiftness, fluidity, intelligence and sociability to the mix. If you are working on a prototype or something technical, then collaborate with others – you may find that exchanging knowledge could lead to an unexpectedly genius solution to what may have become a niggly problem. Persuading others to get on board with a new start-up should be much easier than usual, while writing, marketing and teaching projects benefit from a slightly unorthodox twist or novel approach. The key is to be open-minded, curious and willing to share your ideas and plans.

Mercury trine Neptune – 13 July

Following on the heels of the Sun (1st) and Mars (8th), Mercury is due to trine Neptune, planet of imagination and spiritual insights midmonth. Consider this a play of three acts – the first being about inspiration and intention; the second, about right action; and the third, about insights, knowledge and realisations – learning lessons from your experiences. Your intuition will be strong now, so listen to prompts from your conscience/higher mind when making decisions and you won’t go far wrong. Creatively, you are likely to find yourself on a roll. This is because you have the ability to connect to a powerful source of inspiration, so let your mind be receptive to the ideas and images that want to be born.

Sun trine Saturn – 21 July

With all this air and fire energy around, it is easy to become ungrounded and scatter your energies. Fortunately, Saturn will be on hand today to steady the ship, keep you focused and on track to reach important goals via a trine to the Sun. Taking place in the late degrees of water signs Cancer and Scorpio, this aspect is great for calming the emotions and re-establishing a sense of calm and order, especially to family and domestic affairs. It is also great for creating a good balance between self-care/nurturing and the desire to exerting your will on the external world. If you’ve been working too hard, overdoing it, or been ill recently, then this transit will help you to regain your strength and the ability to look after yourself a bit better. Taking a common sense, practical approach now will help you make light work of obligations and slice though what may have previously seemed like insurmountable limitations, problems or obstacles.

For more details of what to expect day by day during July 2015, be sure to check out my daily astro-insights on Facebook.

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