Rule number one for the week: Don’t be basic! On Wednesday, July 22 the Sun bursts into passionate, theatrical Leo—bringing out the show ponies in us all. One day later, messenger Mercury joins the Leo party until August 7, amplifying the volume even higher. Unfiltered self-expression is the name of the game until August 23. But wait…there’s more. Supersizer Jupiter is also in Leo through August 11, rounding out a 13-month journey. Pump up the volume on those bold moves—and make sure to cast a wide net since Jupiter is the zodiac’s jetsetter. While the locals might not appreciate our antics, an overseas audience may clamor for encores. Romantic heat will not be in short order between now and August 23, and the creative juices will flow like sweet, frozen margaritas. Add some edge to your style (turquoise tips or rainbow-hued unicorn hair, anyone?). But if you’re going to make a massive and daring change to your look, book the salon or inking appointment BEFORE Venus turns retrograde on Saturday! (More on that below.) Forget about waiting to be discovered. Wage a PR campaign to promote your latest creations and keep ‘em captivated with your charisma! This “check me out!” energy is sanctioned by the stars, whether we are shamelessly self-promoting or launching well-timed humble brags. The downside of this fiery phase? We can overestimate our abilities and get caught up in ego trips. Oops. Keep a proverbial lion’s paw planted on Planet Earth to avoid losing touch with reality. (Ground Control to Major Tom, indeed!)
On Saturday, love planet Venus turns retrograde for six weeks—in Virgo until July 31, then retreating through Leo until September 6. This biennial backspin can jam up Cupid’s signals. Big time: While Venus is in Virgo, beware of being critical and nitpicky; once it transits into Leo, dial down the drama and keep the diva antics to a minimum. (You get the point.) And, for the entire six weeks of the retrograde, be careful not to conflate minor molehills into ice-capped mountains…or fiery volcanoes! Making permanent and binding decisions about love (and style!) can be less than auspicious while Venus is in reverse. We know, we know: How very inconsiderate of Venus to do this 180 right during peak wedding season! Brides and grooms: No need to cancel your painstakingly planned nuptials if you plan to walk down the aisle during this cycle. Just seal the deal with the insurance policy of a vow renewal on your first anniversary, as Venus won’t be retrograde in 2016. The summer’s fire warnings could include heated reunions with old flames. Exes could come creeping out of the underbrush. This might be good news for those hoping for a sequel with “the one that got away.” But we’ll have to wait until after September 6 to see which situations are REALLY meant to stick. Couples may struggle to align their individual quests with the needs of the relationship. Some tough compromises will be in store. Keep the couple’s therapist’s number in your favorites list!
Keeping cool won’t be easy this weekend. Not at all. Firebrand Mars in Cancer will clash with combustible Uranus in Aries bringing out an aggressive energy in us all. Mars in Cancer makes everyone super sensitive while Uranus in Aries turns the emotional cauldron into a boiling pot. Feelings aren’t facts—but they sure will feel like it. Keeping calm and carrying on may not be a marching order most of us can follow; however, we’d be wise to let off steam with a neutral third party instead of clashing in the heat of the moment. Bridges can be burned under this astrological configuration, especially with family, neighbors and close friends—Cancer’s domain.
One day later, changemaker Uranus backflips through Aries until December 25, pressing pause on a few of our revolutionary plans. Although we may be eager for change, sudden moves are not advised. Space-age Uranus is the planet of technology and innovation. We’ll need to go back to the drawing board and fine tune our future-forward ideas. If we’ve thrown the baby (read: traditional wisdom and proven techniques) out with the bathwater, now is the time to integrate the tried and true once again. Incorporating savvier software solutions, apps and digital systems can make everything run more smoothly and efficiently. Of course, this retrograde could also bring a welcome relief from device dependency. Leave the cellphones in bags and skip the Skype sessions in favor of more IRL face time. Analog hangouts are so refreshing! Uranus is the community planet, so many of us will question where exactly we belong. Since retrogrades rule the past, we could reconnect to groups and humanitarian missions (also Uranus’ wheelhouse) that fulfilled us once before. But don’t go sacrificing individuality for “group think.” The herd mentality could lead us astray now and it’s important to maintain our critical thinking skills in the face of peer pressure.