By Sarah Varcas
The energy of the coming month is hard to pin down. Just when we feel we’ve ‘got’ what’s needed and know how to proceed it will slip through our fingers and we’ll be left wondering what just happened. Certainty is in short supply. If we want a clear cut, straightforward path ahead with big shiny signposts pointing ‘THIS WAY’ we’ll most likely be disappointed. If, however, we are content to ride the ups and downs of emotion and enthusiasm, not seeking to plan ahead but instead trusting the ever changing flow to take us where necessary, July could deliver some interesting surprises. By its end we may well have come by the desired clarity, just not via the anticipated route!
Since the Sun left Taurus on 21st May there’s been a dearth of available earth energy, leaving many people ungrounded. Emotions have been high and, despite moments of inspiration and excitement about present possibilities and future potential, getting plans into gear and taking action has been tough going for many. As a result we could begin July with a sense of dissatisfaction. Somehow we’re just not as effective as we feel we should be. Focusing is tough and our minds and hearts too changeable to pin down. If that’s you, don’t worry! Whilst the coming month brings some more of the same, we are now approaching the end of this somewhat nebulous phase in favour of a shift into action and manifestation beginning in August.
2nd July sees a Full Moon in Capricorn at 2:21 am GMT. Together with Venus’s brief two weeks in the first degree of Virgo later this month, this is a dose of earthiness we can all use, so be sure to soak it up! That said, there exists an air of ambivalence about this Moon. We want to get on with things and make our mark but are acutely aware it’s still not quite time to do so. In which case the energy of this Moon is best put to use grounding our hopes and aspirations, stating them clearly to ourselves and tentatively testing them against what is still a very changeable reality. It comes to something when even a Capricorn Moon isn’t committed to action, but there you have it! Such is the nature of the current energy. We are still being shaped and moulded, like it or not, and we’re not yet who we need to be to embark on the next phase. It’s important to remember at this point that however we feel right now, we won’t be feeling the same way in a couple of days, let alone a couple of weeks! So waste no time or energy identifying with the emotion of the moment. Simply allow life to do what it must, ourselves to feel as we do and take one minute at a time.
The day after the Full Moon, Pluto begins a succession of oppositions to first the Sun (3rd – 9th), then Mars (11th – 19th) then Mercury (14th – 17th), signalling the first of several stages which will shift us into fresh and focused activity come August. During this fortnight we can begin sorting the wheat from the chaff, even as the wheat seems to change shape from day to day and what looked like chaff yesterday may look decidedly appealing tomorrow. The truth now, is that anything could be the key to progress, absolutely anything! The most inconsequential event, the seemingly insignificant person on the periphery of our life, that train we caught because our usual one was cancelled; any apparently mundane moment may contain a profoundly fertile seed of the future. Pluto is poised to reveal some of the more significant tools, allies and possibilities at our disposal. So pay attention and remember: nothing comes into being fully formed, but instead requires nurturing attention to fulfil its potential. Pluto invites us to engage with the aspects of our present which hold future promise, but to do so with an open mind willing to be led for a while, rather than grabbing them with both hands, claiming them as our own and using them to batter down the door between us and our dreams. The latter approach will not work no matter how confident or courageous we feel. This is not a time for stubborn insistence but for willing pliability, allowing ourselves to be guided, shaped, led blindfolded by life one step after another, content with not really knowing where we’re headed but confident we’ll get there eventually.
From 11th to the end of the month there will be repeated opportunities to deal with those everyday niggles and challenges which use up time and energy we’d rather invest elsewhere. These are not huge life-changing struggles we’re talking about (if you want some of those you’ll have to wait!) but instead the low-key irritations of life that so often get in the way of contentment and effective action. Addressing them now is all part of the preparatory process, providing an opportunity to reclaim some of our time and attention from issues that occupy much more of them than necessary.
The fact is, oftentimes we have to toughen up if we want to progress the things that matter. It’s no good waiting until conditions are just right and everything’s in place for our blossoming. Sometimes we simply have to do what we can do when we can do it. We need to remember this in August when action is needed and plans can be made, so now’s a good time to scrutinize the conditions we place on the pursuit of our hopes and dreams. Fantasising about how we will live them in the future somewhere at some mystical time when everything magically falls into place is not an act of creation but of avoidance! The universe is not obliged to deliver to us the perfect life on a plate. Instead it invites us into the dance of creation which requires our commitment, effort and focused intention potentised by the vital life force which courses through our veins and all around us. Whilst July is not the best time to forge plans in stone and act upon them, it’s a great time for exploring as honestly as we can how we limit our options by demanding that circumstances be ‘exactly so’ before we commit.
Changing a life entails risk and uncertainty. We may have to live on the edge, perhaps for a long time. Money could be tight, our future uncertain. We may have to face all manner of trials and tests and stand firm against detractors and nay sayers. Few who have made big changes have avoided such challenges, for they are part of the process, not a sign that something’s gone wrong. In the fire of transformation all manner of things are burnt off us. We can never fully know what the process will require until we’re in it. But we can, in preparation, seek out those places where our demands for ease and instant satisfaction limit opportunity, recognising that change is often uncomfortable and the most uncomfortable is often the most creative and liberating in the long run. Attention focused, this month, on our self-imposed limits – the outer reaches of our comfort zone we hesitate to explore – will enable far more effective action in due course. Best we don’t waste this opportunity by waiting for everything else to fall into place before we, ourselves, begin to play our part!
The New Moon in Cancer at 1:25 am GMT on 16th July emphasises the power of choice and the stultifying effect of avoiding it. We are encouraged to accept our personal sovereignty and not assume something else is in charge of our lives. Yes, all manner of forces and influences impact us every day, but to sacrifice our will to them rather than harnessing them to further our own progress is choosing to be a victim rather than a player. Living a vibrant life is a paradoxical experience of being both master of our own destiny and subject to an infinite universe in which that destiny is interwoven with that of all beings. We cannot act in isolation but instead must forge a path which honours our own needs alongside those of others and Mother Earth herself. How we go about doing this is a personal matter, but at the time of this New Moon we are invited to contemplate the power of making a conscious and determined choice, for in doing so the very heavens shift and move with us, offering guidance, feedback and insight in response, all of which will come in very handy next month.
On 18th July, Venus enters the first degree of Virgo for a brief visit until 31st, during which time she turns retrograde on 25th. Her presence in Virgo encourages a closer scrutiny of plans and ideas that are beginning to take more substantial form out of the past few changeable weeks. Whilst it is still not the best time for all out action, she encourages us to clear the decks of distractions to prepare for August. On 23rd July, Mercury and the Sun shift from the watery realm of Cancer into the fires of Leo, assisting with the drawing up of firmer plans if needed. If the fluctuations of motivation and emotion have been getting you down of late, you’ll welcome this shift into something a bit more steady and uplifting. As the Sun moves through its own sign, we’ll begin to sense where we’re heading by virtue of a steadier outlook and more enduring inspiration that doesn’t change its focus every five minutes!
On 25th, Venus begins a retrograde passage which lasts until 6th September. Primarily through Leo, this period signifies a process of inner formation which will enable us to better satisfy our own needs in the final quarter of the year. Venus retrograde in Leo is self-sustaining and confident of her worth without a need for external affirmation. This is a useful strength for the coming months when we will be forging ahead with changes and plans that may, at times, meet with resistance from those around us. As Venus stations retrograde she emphasises the value of self-acceptance alongside the need for objective self-evaluation to identify where and how we can better fulfil our calling and potential.
On 26th July Uranus, bringer of sudden twists of what we call fate (but which is in fact our own nature reflected back to us), turns retrograde for five months. During this time it will rearrange our inner world: the belief structures, thoughts and feelings, behaviour patterns and perspectives that keep us trapped. Uranus reveals where we are limited by a particular self-image when there is so much more to be expressed. We can embrace its power to release some of our most cherished perspectives in favour of greater freedom to become what and who we truly are. Uranus, the ‘Great Awakener’, reminds us that the most profound awakening rouses us from the comfortable slumbers of believing we know who we are and what we need. Seeing through the limitations placed upon us by the outside world is one thing. Breaking open those we unwittingly place upon ourselves is quite another, for once inner bonds are broken we are truly free.
Which brings us to the final day of July 31st and its Full Moon in Aquarius. With Uranus turning retrograde, this Moon is of particular importance for those seeking to truly know themselves. It speaks of the responsibility that comes with freedom and the need for spiritual maturity alongside a willingness to challenge inner and outer restrictions. This Moon confronts us with the consequences of our beliefs about awakening and their impact upon our lives. If we have cocooned ourselves in a spiritual bubble or focused too intensely on the problems ‘out there’ at the expense of inner enquiry, this Moon bids us shift our attention. Spirituality is neither a means of escape nor a pedestal from which to judge others, but instead an aspect of the human experience available to each and every one of us. It requires deep commitment, searing honesty and a willingness to face the most challenging aspects of ourselves, other people and life itself in order to know the very nature of existence from the inside, with visceral immediacy, not as a comforting platitude or a mystical equation. We awaken to everything, not just the bits we choose, and this Full Moon illuminates the indiscriminate nature of the process which insists that we look the whole of life in the eye and know it as ourselves. The almost brutal honesty of this Moon may take some by surprise but an alliance between Uranus and Chiron assures us surprise is good! Sometimes being awoken abruptly is what we need to know what we must know. As July comes to an end we are preparing to take action and enter another cycle of manifestation. This Moon provides the long-awaited signpost for the path ahead.