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There is something fairly extraordinary happening this month and that is the sheer number of planets either starting the month in retrograde motion or ending the month in retrograde motion or in most cases, doing both.

The Sun can never turn retrograde and is always direct, so he is naturally counted out. However, of the planets that are impacting us this month and I talk about in the Monthly Horoscope Reports, the major are being impacted by a retrograde phase, if not directly then indirectly.

The main planets impacting things this month, apart from the Sun are – Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Pluto, Neptune, Uranus, Ceres, Juno, Eris and Chiron.

The month starts with Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Pluto and Neptune in retrograde motion and will end with Mercury, Chiron and Eris also in retrograde motion. While the last three start the month in direct motion and end the month in retrograde motion, Jupiter will start the month in retrograde motion but will end the month in direct motion. Mars only turned retrograde on the 27th June and as any planet has to slow down to a standstill in order to turn retrograde or direct he, Jupiter, Chiron and Eris are barely moving. While Jupiter will turn direct on the 11th July, he will spend the whole month at 13 degrees. 

With Uranus also slowing down ahead of his retrograde turn next month, this is creating a slow pace across the solar system. While Venus, who is in Leo until the 10th July before returning to Virgo won’t turn retrograde this month, Mercury will turn retrograde here on the 26th July, while she is slowing down ahead of her own retrograde turn, later in the year. When planets slow down they are able to take their time, going more deeply rather than rushing through.

That is especially so for Mercury, who normally spends 14 to 15 days in Leo and therefore should be gone by mid month. Instead, he isn’t here until early September. At the same time Mars, who after six weeks in Aquarius should have left late last month, is instead here all month, until retrograding back out next month, only to return in September. With a solar eclipse in Leo next month and a total lunar eclipse in Aquarius on the 28th July, that extra time will prove priceless. 

There is another anomaly this month and that is not just an extra eclipse, but where it is falling. We often hear that eclipses are rare, when in reality they’re not. We have a pair of eclipses (a solar and a lunar eclipse) every six months. An eclipse is formed when a New or Full Moon falls near the lunar nodes, those points in the heavens where the Earth’s orbit around the Sun is intersected by the Moon’s orbit around the Earth. As the lunar nodes are in opposition, we have a pair of eclipses when the Sun is near the South Node and six months later, when the Sun is near the North Node.

We had a solar eclipse in Leo and a lunar eclipse in Aquarius last August, when the Sun was moving through Leo. Then, at the start of the year, we had a solar eclipse in Aquarius and lunar eclipse in Leo, this time while the Sun was moving through Aquarius. A New Moon (solar eclipse) will always fall where the Sun is and a lunar eclipse will always fall on the other side of the sky. So as the Sun returns to Leo on the 23rd August, this is why we have a total lunar eclipse in Aquarius on the 28th July and we will have a solar eclipse in Leo on the 11th August.

This is part of a pattern that began when the North Node returned to Leo and the South Node to Aquarius in May 2017. This makes these eclipses part of an ongoing pattern and not just predictable, but inevitable. What is neither, is the third eclipse we will have – a solar eclipse in Cancer on the 13th July. Not only is it fairly rare to have a third eclipse at that six month junction, as neither of the lunar nodes are in Cancer, this is a real surprise. This also makes the dynamics of this solar eclipse very different from the solar eclipse in Leo next month.

With both the total lunar eclipse in Aquarius on the 28th July and the solar eclipse in Leo on the 11th August, the lunar nodes have been here since May 2017 and they will act as a catalyst for everything that has been building behind the scenes since then. Eclipses often take us by surprise, but if we’ve been paying attention we should have a good idea of what they will be triggering. But the lunar nodes aren’t in Cancer, so this really will take us by surprise. In this case, this is a hand reaching out from the future, to bring a bit of the future forward and also set in motion something you’ll benefit from later.

I’ll explain it this way. Imagine if something important happens and you had a time machine and could go back to five months before, knowing or sensing what would happen and then have time to prepare for it. This is what happens with this solar eclipse, for while the North Node won’t return to Cancer until November, this eclipse is reaching out from the future, to nudge things in the right direction, plant seeds or do whatever the gods need to do, in order to prepare for what lies ahead. This also puts the pressure between the Sun in Cancer and Saturn in Capricorn last month into perspective, for while the North Node will return to Cancer on the 7th November, the South Node will move into Capricorn on the same day, where they will stay until May 2020.

The reason why this New Moon on the 13th July is a solar eclipse and the Full Moon in Capricorn on the 28th June wasn’t, is simply the distance between the Sun and Moon and the lunar nodes. The New Moon on the 13th July is close enough to create a solar eclipse, albeit a solar eclipse. However, based on the fact that this is the gods reaching out a hand from the future, a particular eclipse is still an eclipse and is still an important event.

What is auspicious about the timing is that the solar eclipse falls just two days after Jupiter’s direct turn in fellow Water sign Scorpio. This will see the tide turn on the Scorpio front, just as there is the potential for fateful new beginnings on the Cancer front. Your Monthly Horoscopes and the Monthly Horoscope Reports provide more details, but as an example, for Aquarius this will see Jupiter turn the tide on the career front, just two days before a solar eclipse brings the potential for unexpected new beginnings on the job front. For Libra Jupiter is in your income sector and the Sun your career sector. For Taurus, the solar eclipse is in your communication sector, while Jupiter is in your relationship sector.

The Sun will leave Cancer on the 23rd July, 10 days after the solar eclipse and there will be no more planetary activity here until Mars returns next year, but whatever has been triggered will be set in motion, there for the North Node to pick up on and run with, when it returns on the 7th November. The North Node is connected to the future, while the South Node is connected to the past, so the eclipse this month is a hand reaching out from the future, in more ways than one.

Another important feature this month, over and above the ongoing planetary activity of recent months and what you would expect at this time of year, is what is happening with the Earth Signs – that of Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn. With Uranus now in the early months of an eight year visit to Taurus, Saturn in Capricorn until 2020 and Pluto until 2024, these were already strong areas of your chart. With the Sun not returning to Virgo until later next month, the third side of the triangle wasn’t due to be closed until then. However, that changed when Ceres returned to Virgo on the 28th June, with Venus returning on the 11th July to back her up. With Juno returning to Taurus on the 1st July, this puts these smaller planets in the early degrees of Taurus and Virgo and with Saturn retrograding back to 02 degrees Capricorn, this puts a lot of activity in these early degrees.

A triple alignment will be exact on the 10th/11th July, but forces across Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn will be working as a team all month, something that rarely happens at this time of year. Again, your Monthly Horoscopes and Monthly Horoscope Reports will have more details, for the Water Signs (Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces) – this plays out in the interpersonal areas of your chart, on the communication, relationship and friendship fronts. For the Fire Signs (Aries, Leo and Sagittarius) – this plays out in the success triad, on the income, work and career fronts. For the Air signs (Gemini, Libra and Aquarius) this plays out in the more introspective areas of your chart, on the intuitive, home and financial fronts.

When you add to this the fact that so many planets are slowing down and are taking their time, the depth that things are going is fairly deep, with time to let things play out. Even in the areas of your chart where there are no planets in retrograde motion, they are interacting with planets in other areas that are. I am looking forward to July, especially after June became a bit challenging at times.

Your Monthly Horoscopes and Monthly Horoscope Reports will give you all the information on what areas of your chart are being impacted, where, how and when and your Monthly Reports will get right down into the details.

All the very best for the coming month.
Anne Macnaughtan

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