July brings us two dominant stories. The first is that any of us can feel anxious about our relationships at times. The second is that the best way to resolve this anxiety isn’t what you think. This month brings us two eclipses in the Cancer-Capricorn axis. Eclipses are like super-charged new moons and full moons, meaning they help us see beginnings and endings of cycles. The signs they happen in change every year or so, and this year we’re dealing with themes of security and vulnerability as we take a deep dive into Cancer and Capricorn energy. Cancer is the queer who believes strongly in creating chosen family, falls in love deeply, and is ready to U-Haul after the first date. Capricorn is the power femme who knows how to strategize and prioritize, will give you devastating but totally accurate advice, and will joke about feelings because she doesn’t always have time to feel them (or, more honestly, is often scared to share them). Cancer and Capricorn have more in common than it seems — they’re both strongly concerned with safety, and they both love their friends and partners with deep devotion.
One thing that’s true about all eclipses is that they help us see what’s been there all along, but hiding below our awareness. As the eclipses on the 2nd and 16th rattle open some of the locked doors and secret hiding places of these signs, what’s coming up for all of us is the question: Am I really safe in this relationship? And, if you’re the type to dig a little deeper: Do I get to bring my full self to this relationship — old and young, confident and vulnerable, sloppy and competent? And what do I need to change, if this relationship doesn’t yet feel safe enough to do that?
There is this beautiful paradox about safety: you have to take some risks to achieve it. Cancer energy tends to vacillate between radical openness and then deep retreat mode. Capricorn finds it harder to take emotional risks. Both signs help us understand the balance between risk — usually a kind of stepping forward to say yes or no (telling someone you love them, or you’d like to be touched a certain way, or you don’t want to have sex with them anymore, or you want to be poly, etc…) and safety — usually interpreted as “I only share myself with people I know I can trust and have great big boundaries up against everyone else.” With this understanding of safety, though, how do you ever develop trust with someone new? And how do you recover if someone you trust hurts you? Leaning into the eclipses this month helps us find those hidden paths toward safe-enough risks that we may not have seen before.
Relationships change all the time, but eclipses are usually when we start to see those changes clearly. To work with this energy, start noticing when you’re acting from a place of fear. Maybe your shadow side looks like dwelling deep in your emotions, demanding care, needing the other person to make it right for you. Or maybe your shadow side is to pull back and not show your feelings, to be self-sufficient to the point that you lose touch with what you need or how to ask for it. Can you examine these patterns without shame? With so much love for how these patterns have protected you? With so much anger at the patriarchy and other social forces that make it difficult to love our full selves?
Vibrant Cancer energy helps us feel what is real and love from the deepest part of our being. Vibrant Capricorn energy helps us understand what matters most to us and to act with integrity and responsibility toward each other. Hold these models in your heart as you navigate all the very real and shifting messinesses of intimacy this month.
As always, for these horoscopes read your Venus and Moon signs first, followed by your Sun and rising. Use these for what they can give you, and discard anything you don’t need. You can holler at me for eclipse support and more at flaxandgold.com/readings!
When you love someone, you bring not only your ardent passion and capacity to maintain enthusiasm and keep things fun, you also bring all the wounds of your past and a default assumption that you have to defend yourself because no one else is going to look out for your interests. Getting good at self-advocacy is part of what you’re here to learn in intimacy, but that also means learning to let go of a knee-jerk defensiveness that prevents you from really listening to your partner or reading the current situation accurately. Now is a time when you get to change these patterns. The eclipses bring you new information about what you’ve been holding onto from the past, and how you project a dazzling version of yourself. On the 2nd, really let go of what you’ve been carrying from your family. You don’t need it anymore. On the 16th, release any fears or expectations about how impressive you need to be. Can you love yourself without needing to prove yourself?
This year is a bit of a wild ride for you — you may find yourself on a brand new trajectory, or contemplating one, and what this means for your closest relationships is still unclear. You may feel pressured to ask for or offer guarantees, but you don’t actually get to know what will happen next. On the 2nd, don’t stress too much about miscommunications — or communicating at all, really. You can be silent, you can do interpretative dance, the message will get through eventually. On the 16th, let go of anxiety about where you’re headed next. There will be time enough for events to unfold. Practice savoring this moment to its fullest.
One of your favorite techniques when things get too heavy is to retreat into humor or looking at the situation from a remove. While you’re just as capable of deep, committed love as any other sign, you’re most comfortable when your relationships are fun, inspiring, and full of shared wonder. This month, while not a time of major crisis, will bring a little stressful energy, as it’s urging you to go a little deeper into parts of yourself that you don’t always like to encounter. Be a pearl diver—hold your breath and swim deep, then come back up for air. There will be treasures down there, if you take the risk of getting real and staying with the discomfort. On the 2nd, swim through your insecurities to find what is deeply lovable about you. On the 16th, let your lovers or trusted confidantes help you release something you’ve been carrying for way too long.
Okay, it’s time to practice all the skills you’ve learned about how to set boundaries, how to have and release a feeling, and how to create environments for rest and recovery. The eclipse in your sign on the 2nd will show you what you still need to learn about caring for yourself well — and how to extend that care to others. Depending on what you’ve learned so far, this may be a bumpy time or merely a tender one. Be prepared — give yourself plenty of time to feel what comes up and have some trusted friends on hand to hold you. You are getting stronger as you face the things you couldn’t face before. Keep breathing, keep trusting that you’re stepping into deeper strength, and know when it’s time to quit processing and watch some gay rom com. On the 2nd, release your need to be perfect, or perfectly safe. On the 16th, let your lovers and best friends know it’s okay for them to be messy sometimes, too. What you’re learning together right now will profoundly help your strongest relationships as they grow and evolve. You’ve got this.
Things are heating up for you this month. As Mars moves through your sign, expect not only sparks but possibly wildfires. Have fun, but be careful. Your passions are running high and you may be a little less patient than usual. You’re going to want to act and act now. There’s nothing wrong with this, as long as you understand what you really want. That may be a little fuzzy right now, though! You may land a date with the queer heartthrob of your dreams only to feel nothing when you kiss them. You may find yourself fantasizing about the kind of love you’ve never yet experienced. If you’re looking for something you’ve never had before, now is the time to start looking in places you’ve never looked before. On the 2nd, release any need to know what the plan is. On the 16th, welcome an opportunity to show someone how devoted you are to them.
This is a really beautiful time to slow down. That doesn’t mean doing ten things at once but doing them all a little more slowly, it means really settling your mind and body. The eclipses highlight aspects of your relationships that will help you see yourself more clearly, but if you’re not paying attention you might miss the message. It’s so easy to doubt yourself; this month, you’re being asked to trust yourself. Trust in your beauty and your intelligence. Trust that you’re doing enough. Trust that you can do less and you’ll be fine — better, even. Take a chance in saying no to a few requests, and remember that your worth doesn’t depend on solving problems. On the 2nd, let your wider circle of friends and colleagues solve their own problems. Their stress is not your stress, little squirrel. On the 16th, let yourself shine a little brighter. Release any doubt that you look fabulous, your thoughts are worth sharing, and your laugh is delightful.
Oh, sweetie. You’re doing great right now despite what the world is throwing at you. The past has had a strong hold on you this year, and this month brings up old memories, old lovers, and old wounds. Don’t worry, though — this time you get to fully resolve whatever you haven’t been able to yet. Grief or joy, boredom or delight — each of these has information for you right now. Be a scientist of your own experience, and you can discover the larger patterns that have led you to where you are. Seeing these patterns, trust that you won’t need to repeat them in the same ways. On the 2nd, give yourself permission to be as strong as you are. Don’t pretend to need anyone just because you’d enjoy the company — choose company because you want it, not because you can’t do things alone. On the 16th, take some time to handle your past. Grieve what you need to, let go of what you need to, so that what you’re taking forward belongs to the future.
I invite you to think of where you were in January — who you were dating or not dating, what friends you saw most of, how you felt about yourself — and then look at where you are now. What’s changed in that time? What have you learned from those changes? Your world is shifting a lot this year, and this is especially true in your relationships. Groups you belonged to for years may lose their appeal for you, while new ones beckon. Someone who broke your heart so badly you never thought you’d stop hurting may be the last person on your mind now. You of all the signs know how to dig deep and understand how things transform, but this month what you’re learning is all about coming back to joy and connection. If your friendships and romances are more nourishing now than they were at the start of the year, you’re on the right trajectory. If not, you’re in especial need of this month’s wisdom. On the 2nd, let yourself remember how good it feels to be part of a larger world. On the 16th, release your anxieties about needing to say the right thing at the right time. You can keep quiet for awhile, but remember what you’re learning!
Change is in the air for you right now, and what’s shifting isn’t always visible. Your relationships have been changing already, but now you’re getting a chance to see what they’re becoming. It may be useful to check in with the people you love most about what’s working well between the two of you, and how you’d like to keep your intimacy strong. What isn’t working well will probably become apparent, but now isn’t the best time to process or problem-solve deeper issues. Do make some space for recognizing them, though. You so often expect the best of people that it can surprise you to come up against people’s petty cruelties or deceits. Seeing things clearly, though, can help you understand how to protect yourself — and that it’s usually not about you, you may just be caught in the crossfire. On the 2nd, let yourself in on a secret that you might not want to share with anyone else. On the 16th, embrace changes that will help you find a new stability.
This is an important time for you. Can you already feel it? Something big is shifting this month. If you’re feeling alarmed or confused about the future, it might help to treat the present moment as one chapter in a much longer story — a story about how you created deeply nourishing, consistent relationships in your life. With this as your end goal, how can this month help you along the way? On the 2nd, take some time to be grateful for whatever you’re learning in your relationships right now, even if the learning experiences are stressful. On the 16th, consider the ways you’ve changed since January. What do you need know that you couldn’t vocalize then? What are you going to do about it?
This is a month of minor adjustments for you — whatever small things you’ve been ignoring for the last few months are now politely clearing their throats and asking to be considered. Maybe this is a disagreement you and your boo haven’t yet resolved. Maybe it’s closure on a past relationship. Maybe it’s just setting aside time to reconnect with your lover during your busy lives. Part of the energy of this time for you is in noticing what causes you anxiety, and learning how to get things done without getting caught worrying. On the 2nd, release any anxiety you have about needing to be healthier than you are — emotionally, physically, or relationally. Ironically, that means releasing anxiety about having anxiety. You’re not going to get it totally right all the time, and that’s okay. On the 16th, let yourself be surprised by what’s calling to you when you let your mind wander. You don’t have to know your destination yet, and you don’t have to be perfect to get there.
Dearest little fish, sometimes you lose yourself in the people you love, and sometimes this doesn’t even feel like a bad thing. Your capacity to feel with others is part of your incredible talent for loving people. Over and over, though, you need to learn how to come back to yourself. If you’re the kind who does this best alone, take a risk this month. See if you can be with someone you love, but be totally present with yourself as well — not by turning inward, but by expressing something you have trouble sharing. Especially on the 2nd, remove some of the veils, shields, or other obstacles you’ve piled up to keep people from seeing you. Risk sharing more of your beautiful strangeness. On the 16th, trust that you’re part of something larger, without needing to lose any of your uniqueness.