What do you do when you can’t get what you want? Are you accustomed to disappointment — do you keep your head down and sigh, telling yourself nothing good ever happens to you anyway? Or does failure make you try harder, hoping if you solve the problem or rise to the challenge you’ll still win the prize? What do you do with the frustration of thwarted desire? Do you take it out on the people around you? Do you take it out on yourself? Do you pretend you never wanted it anyway?
These tough questions are coming up for us as Mars moves retrograde this summer — if you’re feeling frustrated right now, you’re not alone. The planet of desire, action, self-assertion, anger, and forward momentum is moving backward till August 27th. When planets move retrograde, it’s the astrological equivalent of losing your keys — they make you slow down, check your surroundings, review the recent past, and retrace your steps. What does this mean for our tender queer hearts this month? It’s time to take stock of how we’ve been handling our strongest feelings. Those of you with tempers will be learning how to cool off before saying hurtful things; those of you who never stand up for yourselves will be learning to set boundaries and hold them like you mean it. Though you may feel impatient, this is an important opportunity that only comes every few years. What do you need to learn about your desires and how you pursue them? How do you keep your heart open through disappointments and setbacks? How can moving more slowly help you learn what you really need?
Meanwhile, this month also kicks off eclipse season. A solar eclipse in Cancer on the 12th opens our hearts to what needs healing right now — and gives us a taste of the eclipse themes we’ll be working with next year. And a lunar eclipse in Aquarius on the 27th invites us to release what’s been holding us back from a clearer perspective on our place in the world.
I’m available for readings to help you sort through what’s coming up 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. Good luck out there! You’ve got this!
You’re good at running on fumes when you have to, but this month invites you to slow down and feed yourself well. What deeply nourishes you when you feel exhausted, apathetic, self-critical? Who holds warmth and kindness for you? Can you begin to forgive yourself for what you’ve messed up — and what would it mean to let go of old grudges? Your past is coming up in a big way right now, and you may be tempted to go right back into old fights and grievances, but you have a chance to see things from a different light. Can you hold boundaries that mean you can feel compassion for those who wronged you without letting them hurt you again? What would that look like for you? This is especially activated on the 12th as the Cancer eclipse focuses your attention on your home and family. Use the energy of the Aquarius eclipse on the 27th to release built-up stress about the world in general and what part you’re playing in it — also a good time to rededicate yourself to what nourishes you on a social and political level!
Nurture: Your bones and blood. Your roots. What connects you to your history. How stepping into empathy doesn’t mean bad boundaries, but opens up more room for you in the world.
Release: Stress about how much you are (or aren’t) doing for the greater good. The weight of humanity’s needs on your shoulders. Stress about how far we all are from where we’d like to be. Whatever is blocking you from doing what you can, where you are, with the people you respect.
There’s so much on your mind right now that you might have a hard time adding any more into the mix. This is a heady month for you — a bit of whirlwind of energy, perhaps a little too whirly for your preference — but it’s not all bad! There’s a lot of pleasure and excitement stirred into the chaotic tempo. Your best bet for keeping yourself centered and happy? Share what you’re thinking. Talk out the things that you’ve been afraid to mention. Ask questions you may be surprised to know the answers to. Name what you haven’t yet named. Meanwhile, it may be tempting to obsess a little too much about your appearance this month — especially if you’re feeling uncertain about where you stand with someone you care about — but that’s the last thing you need to worry about. Whatever you look like, your beauty is in the way you inhabit yourself. Focus instead on how to share what’s beautiful about your mind — your thoughts, your humor, your genuine interest in what they think and feel. Use the Cancer eclipse on the 12th to notice what words want to come through right now; let the Aquarius eclipse on the 27th to let go of fears about everything you’re not.
Nurture: Your voice, your perspective. The words you choose to understand what’s happening. Your erotic communication. Your desire to talk it all out.
Release: Getting caught up in how you look, how impressive you are, and what you have to show for yourself that would impress strangers. All the stress about still being in process.
Last month helped you start something new: this is your time to feed and nurture this new growth. Be slow. Be thoughtful. Calm down the incessant conversations in your head, sparking you off in so many directions that you forget how to be in your body, in this moment. Above all, watch out for the games you play to help you figure out what games everyone else is playing. When you try to be so many steps ahead, you may end up in a really different story than the one you could have written in collaboration, in good faith. Things may be much more straightforward than they seem. What pleasures get to be simple right now? Let the Cancer eclipse on the 12th teach you how to ground into your body, and work with the Aquarius eclipse on the 27th to come back to your own personal truths.
Nurture: Your sense of stability and self-worth. Your need for pleasure and abundance. Choosing sensuality over more intense forms of sexuality — think licking ice cream off your lover’s chest.
Release: Your tendency to decenter yourself in your own life — to look at what everyone else is up to and use that information to doubt or dismantle what you’ve been doing.
With this month’s solar eclipse in your sign (the first eclipse in Cancer since 2011!), expect some sudden changes. Your world may shift dramatically. At the very least, pay attention to new insights that arise right now — something in your sense of self is definitely shifting. Things you may have taken for granted or overlooked for the last few years are now presenting themselves as problems to solve or opportunities to seize. Especially if you have planets close to 20 degrees of Cancer, this is a month that ushers in a six-month period of growth and rediscovery. Don’t expect to have it all figured out right now! For most of July, you’re just gathering data. Hold off on any major decisions (if you can) until August or beyond. This is especially true about your relationships — you may have an epiphany about something you need to change with someone right now, but you may not see the full picture just yet! Prioritize what helps you feel aligned with your best self, your wisest self, and your true sense of purpose. Trust that the changes you need to happen will do so in the right ways, at the right times. Take some extra time for yourself on the week of the 12th to process whatever is coming up, and allow yourself to release some old insecurities and fears on the 27th.
Nurture: Your truest, boldest self. How it feels to live with purpose and joy. Taking yourself and your desires seriously. Appreciating your power and your insights.
Release: The need to go deep into trauma and crisis patterns. Tearing yourself down to your foundations in order to build yourself back up again. Getting stuck in grief or other intense feelings.
This month is all about getting unstuck. Have you been lost in fantasies lately? Have you been caught up looking for validation from people who 1) don’t really matter to you, 2) can’t ever give you what you need? This last part is crucial: What you need matters. Who you get it from matters. Don’t settle for “This is probably the most I can ask from the world.” Definitely don’t settle for “Everyone else wants this so I should, too.” Risk having less right now instead of settling for anything that’s wasting your time. Especially on the 12th, let the Cancer eclipse help you reconnect with what you consider awe-inspiring, sacred, and amazing. Meanwhile, the Aquarius eclipse on the 27th is a beautiful time to drop your mask and get more clear on what you’re ready to show up for.
Nurture: Your connection to what you consider most special, shiny, and inspiring. Who you get to be when no one’s looking.
Release: Looking for others to validate what you know is true for yourself. Needing permission to love what you love. Trying to impress the wrong people.
What you deserve, dear Virgo, is a July positively overflowing with activity — gay roadtrips, volleyball, swimming, badminton, parades, orgies (if that’s your kind of thing), live music, hopscotch, protests and occupations (if that’s your kind of thing), first dates, anniversaries, birthdays, second and third dates, stargazing, kayaking, overthrowing patriarchy (isn’t that everyone’s thing?), and a few picnics and late-night screenings of Dirty Dancing. You need your people, and your place, and your reasons why you’re here with all of us right now, in this really beautiful and deeply challenging time. Remember that connection is what will help you thrive right now. Remember you’re not alone. Call in your larger community on the Cancer eclipse of the 12th, and use the Aquarius eclipse on the 27th to release some responsibilities.
Nurture: Whatever helps you feel connected to a larger whole — call it community, collectives, families, kindred spirits, political movements, or intergenerational queer troublemakers.
Release: Anxieties in all forms, but especially anxieties about your health and about your obligations to others. In fact, to the extent that you can take some responsibilities off your plate right now, you’ll be creating room for a better balance of the things that nourish you to fill your life.
I’m not going to tell you to stop doubting yourself, because one of your strengths is your capacity to see a variety of perspectives. You know better than to turn off all the intelligence that helps you understand how other people see the world. Just remember that you still get to be the center of your own universe and the hero of your own story. There’s a difference between seeing a bigger picture and believing that necessarily makes you less significant. This month offers you an antidote to constantly comparing yourself (to others, to your past self, to an idealized future self), a way of coming back to what motivates you. Your assignment, dear Libra, is take yourself and your relationships seriously. That means acknowledging all the things that make you an incredible partner — and it also means taking some time to focus on what you love most, as though it’s the most important thing in the world.
Nurture: Your longterm visions. How you hold integrity. What it means to take responsibility. What you’ve learned by heart—where you’re slaying it.
Release: Self-consciousness. Being distracted by flash without substance. Trivializing what makes your heart sing.
One of your superpowers is the ability to see endings — you can sense how and when things might fall apart long before others do. How helpful is this on a daily basis, though? You’re great in a crisis, but your daily life shouldn’t be a constantly unfolding crisis. Things end all the time; it gets to be ordinary. Days end, dates end, meals end, dreams end, and something else begins. Night time, time for reflection and conversation, time to digest, time to wake up to a new day. This month begins a new day for you, a time to clean the slate and believe that anything can happen. A lot has ended for you recently; don’t be afraid to begin something new. Side with life, and growth, and faith in the future. Use the Cancer eclipse on the 12th to initiate a new beginning for your adventurous heart, and let the Aquarius eclipse on the 27th help you release a whole closet full of family baggage you don’t need weighing you down anymore.
Nurture: Your sense of optimism. Your belief in a better world that you get to be a part of. Your adventurous nature. How you’re already part of something larger than you realize.
Release: Family drama, whether it’s worth your birth family or your oldest friends. Getting trapped in an older version of yourself. Feeling like you don’t have the skills you need to move forward with something big.
Watch out, because July is going to be HOT. Or at least, you’re gonna be hella hot this July. However your erotic desires look like right now, this is a time to focus your powers and make something incredible happen. I’m not just talking about sweet and fleeting physical sensations, I’m talking sexual experiences that can help you heal. Think of your erotic nature as a fire that can begin to melt icy shards that have lodged in your heart over time — that may have even formed an ice fortress, shutting out new pleasures and connections. And just like fire, sex can also be a dangerous force — you’re going to want to review some safety precautions if you’ve been known to burn your fingers (or other people’s houses down). Consent, transparency, curiosity, and communication are all your friends. Have fun, and go melt some hearts! (P.S. to all my asexual readers — you can connect with your fiery energy this month in all sorts of other ways: music, dance, wrestling, running, hot yoga, performance, the list goes on and on! And for everyone: sexual fantasies and falling in love with yourself are also powerful ways to use this transit!)
Nurture: Your erotic nature — specifically, all that molten power at your core that you can direct toward healing, transformation, and revitalization. How you are a conduit for the past to release and become the future. Sex as alchemy.
Release: Second-guessing yourself, or talking yourself out of what you know. Looking to other people to tell you what’s true. Thinking too hard in order to avoid feeling.
With the pressure you put on yourself to be the best at whatever you do, you can bring some intense frustrations to your relationships that you may never even voice — until they come out all at once, surprising the person who thought you were doing fine. This is especially true when you try to show up as a good partner for the people you love. Too often, you might be shouldering more responsibility than you really need to, and not showing as much vulnerability as they would like to feel close to you. Now is a beautiful time to level those imbalances. This month the Cancer eclipse on the 12th highlights what you need to do to meet your partners (romantic and otherwise) as peers, communicating openly about what you each need and feel. Meanwhile, let the Aquarius eclipse on the 27th help you shed old insecurities about what you deserve and what you get to hold.
Nurture: The part of you that knows how to cooperate, which sometimes means compromise. Paying attention to what lovers and friends and partners need from you; seriously assessing what you can and can’t offer. Understanding commitment as an ongoing choice.
Release: Doubts about your importance. Fear of loss. A tendency to hold on too tightly to what you don’t really need. Trust that you’ll find what you need.
Repeat after me, dearest Aquarian visionary: “I am human, I get to be human, I get to be with other humans.” A tendency to operate as an outsider looking in, or as a curious anthropologist from another culture, can leave you a little disconnected from the heart of intimacy. If you’re feeling lonely or left out right now, remember that you don’t need to present as perfect — the most competent, the smartest, the coolest, the least needy — in order to connect. In fact, the less you focus on hiding or fixing your so-called shortcomings and the more you focus on being in the rough-and-tumble, messy midst of it all, the easier it will be to love and feel loved. Especially on the 12th, use the Cancer eclipse to offer your skills and your patience to a person or group or community you love. Meanwhile, the Aquarius eclipse on the 27th marks the last in your sign for some time, and helps you release all the introspective anxieties this eclipse cycle has emphasized for you since last August. Celebrate who you’ve become this year!
Nurture: Your desire to be of service. Your awareness of power imbalances and how to restore the balance. Your teaching skills. Your capacity to learn. Your devotion to growing. Your humility.
Release: Survival fears. Doing things alone when you could ask for help. Focusing on how to “fix” what’s “wrong” with you when you could be bonding with others about your shared experiences. Your past self, and insecurities that no longer serve you.
It makes perfect sense that you need to retreat sometimes — no matter how tough you may act or how butch you may present, part of you is a delicate flower that will only bloom under the right conditions. There’s nothing wrong with periodically pulling back from social engagement and holing up alone from time to time, but this month you’re in danger of overdoing it. Pay attention to where you may already be indulging too heavily in substances or habits that help you escape reality — there’s something you’ll want to be fully present for this month! The Cancer eclipse on the 12th is a beautiful time to nurture new romances and fall back in love with yourself, while the Aquarius eclipse on the 27th asks you to release old patterns of hiding and escapism.
Nurture: Your playful and romantic nature. Flirtation as an art form. Sharing yourself with a new person or in a new way. Your need for attention and courtship.
Release: Isolation. Hiding. The safety of fantasy worlds. Escapism.