by Eric Francis
Leo (July 22-Aug. 23)
The lunar eclipse marking the beginning of your birthday month is pretty exceptional astrology, potentially rivaling last year’s momentous eclipse at the very end of your sign. The current event is encouraging you to shine like the star at the heart of our solar system, which rules your sign, and is symbolic of the gift you have of leadership and of example. Naturally, standing in your power will not please everyone. Envy of others’ success and the temptation to bring down those who become too strong are both rife in our culture. Forget these things; you have no time to waste on the pettiness of others. Focus on yourself, and on embodying the person you always knew you could be.
Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22)
During the course of the next few weeks, you could find yourself questioning many of the beliefs you held about who you are; possibly some new knowledge will find its way to you, giving you fresh insights. It would seem you have untapped reserves of power that you can suddenly see more clearly, and you’re learning what you’re truly capable of. The sensations may be a little discomfiting at first, but sit with these feelings for a while and curb any tendency you have to judge yourself for any reason. Refrain also from the temptation to bury the emotional content of your discoveries in routines or habits. You need to face the unmasked, unfettered glory of your potential, without fear.
Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23)
Your understanding of where you are, in terms of your personal growth or in the outer world, can be enhanced in the next few weeks by paying attention to your spiritual calling, imagination and ideals. You’re gaining in self-knowledge, which is an essential part of exploring the world around you. In fact, your focus for a while may need to be on recognizing where your inner realm and the divine intersect with the environment you can see. Or, to borrow from Shakespeare, to discover “tongues in trees, books in the running brooks, / Sermons in stones, and good in everything.” There are many places and forms that can evoke this sort of love, helping to strengthen and activate the values you hold most deeply.
Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22)
You have the innate skills you need to further your career goals. What might not be completely abundant right now is specific information. Therefore, for the next few weeks, make a point of listening and take time to do some quiet research. Be sure to focus on verifiable and applicable facts, rather than hearsay or speculation, especially where office politics might be involved. Use what you learn to help you consider your overall direction, and note who is likely to support you in your aims. One last: be clear with yourself about seeking what is truly fulfilling for you; don’t be tempted to reach for lower-hanging fruit than your abilities merit, and above all make sure it passes muster ethically.
Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22)
The next month or so will likely afford you an opportunity to get in contact with your inner compass with unusual clarity and concreteness. Much communication in this realm tends to be rather nebulous or difficult to parse. The trick will be to let the message develop in its own time. With Mars retrograde and Mercury about to be, the information may well appear in parts, or drip through gradually. At the end of August both planets will be direct, the present eclipse season will be over, and you should have a much more decisive picture. In the meantime, keep your eyes open for clues and concentrate on making the most of each day, not forgetting to make room for fun and relaxation.
Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20)
Retrograde phases are usually a time of turning within, retracing steps and reviewing past progress. By all means consider how far you’ve come in the past few months — there have certainly been some changes in your understanding, to say the least. The thing to avoid is getting back into former habits, or stuck in a groove. Now that you seem to be more keenly aware of the effects of particular early life experiences, you can resolve to spend all the rest of your days unhindered by them. Treat any occasional stumbling as a teaching moment. Keeping an eye on your progress, such as through journaling, could be a helpful way to ensure you haven’t wandered into a puddle of molasses, or to extricate yourself if you do.
Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19)
You’ve known some challenging moments in recent times, to say the least; but the lunar eclipse in your sign this week is bringing some much-needed sunlight into your life. It won’t work if your blinds are shut tight, however, so roll them up and let the warmth flood in. Better still, venture outside and spend time in places and in company that helps you fall in love with the world again. Your sign is thought of by some as detached; but you understand that in reality your heart holds room for more than most. You know how to love unconditionally and generously in a way that perhaps no-one else really does. That means you have an example to offer to the rest of us. Be unabashed about it.
Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)
There is a very specific kind of healing that comes with true, devoted service; a benediction that unblocks the barriers we erect between our human and divine selves. We are all, to a certain extent, creatures of habit; and when our carefully built lives are shaken up, it can feel like being adrift. The act of service is like an anchor; the purpose inherent within it is like the North Star and the constellations pointing the way. Hold on to what you know to be true. Hold on to the true North within your mind, that which guides you impeccably when every external measure seems to change or fail. You know yourself best of all, and you know the worth and the beauty of your mission on this planet. What else truly matters?
Aries (March 20-April 19)
A particular theme exemplified by the astrological houses deals with the story of how and where we merge our identity with other people and with groups, and where we emerge into our separate selves. One way of accomplishing the latter is to work on something creative, or a project that’s uniquely yours and expresses a part of you. Should you feel unsure of where society ends and you begin, experimenting with artistic ideas is a way to help you establish that line. Don’t worry if you’ve not explored this previously, or are concerned about making mistakes. Give yourself the room, and the time, you need to play around trying different techniques. Show the world who you really are, and do so proudly.
Taurus (April 19-May 20)
Though your sign has a well-known reputation for being wary of change, Uranus in your sign may be firing your imagination to the extent that you seemingly can’t get enough movement. Enjoy learning to surf the waves. Remember, though, that the celestial innovator is visiting you for seven years; so you don’t need to undergo a complete transformation all at once. Note also that in order to make successful progress you need to know in which direction you want to shift, and set goals. With two inner planets retrograde together as of July 26, it’s a good moment to check in with those details and firm them up a little — and to ensure you’re getting to relax and kick back now and then. Everyone needs at least some downtime.
Gemini (May 20-June 21)
Mercury’s retrograde phase in your house of communication (beginning this Thursday) might feel as if you’re unusually tongue-tied. Yet something deeper is going on. Part of this may manifest in giving voice to feelings or desires you might long have held back, buried in the depths of your mind. You could also find yourself speaking some profound truths. Don’t be alarmed if the words take time to come: let them flow as they will. It’s the quality of the message that counts, and the present eclipse season suggests that you have something to say that could resonate through the cosmos. Don’t be afraid to try to express any thoughts that arise. They will have come to you because you have the power to articulate them, however long that takes.
Cancer (June 21-July 22)
The coming month’s astrology for your sign touches on the theme of resources, and of resourcefulness. Increasing one’s wealth may be a means of likewise increasing one’s security; however, it’s also helpful to make the most of what’s there now. It would seem you have more at hand than you realize: not simply of financial means, necessarily, but of energy, friendships and occupations as well. Try to find ways in which you can draw on what is already available, as opposed to seeking out new objects. Read the books currently on your shelf. Spend time with people you know love you. You might also try making your money go further, though not to the point of stinginess; rather as a way to help you enjoy your present possessions more thoroughly.
monthly horoscopes graciously contributed by:
beautifully illustrated by Deirdre Tanton