Venus Retrograde highlights the second half of July. My deep dive interpretation includes the most important aspects Venus makes on her retrograde journey. This will let you gain the greatest possible benefit from this fruitful time of reflection.
And that’s just the star of this packed half month! We also have a “Gods of Change” Cancer New Moon, the Lunar Nodes entering Aries and Libra, and Chiron turning retrograde. And then there’s a Mars-Saturn opposition, a potent and long-lasting Jupiter-Neptune semi-square, and much more!
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As of July 16 …
The Moon is waning (there was a Capricorn Full Moon on 6/18).
Pluto is retrograde thru 10/10.
Saturn is retrograde thru 11/4.
Neptune is retrograde thru 12/6.
A Venus-Neptune-Pluto-South Node Double Yod Key peaks on 7/20 and ends on 8/7.
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“Gods of Change” Cancer New Moon
A New Moon — massively empowered by all three “gods of change” and the Lunar Nodes — lines up at 2:32 pm EDT.
Let’s start with the basics. Any Cancer New Moon is great for new beginnings or revitalized focus in the areas of home, family, emotions, security, and shadow work. That’s a lot to choose from, so pick the themes that need the most attention or offer the greatest opportunity!
This New Moon is part of two aspect patterns: A Grand Cross and a Cradle. Let’s start with the …
The Sun and Moon oppose Pluto and square the Lunar Nodes. This can give you opportunities for wealth and power (Pluto) that align with your life purpose (the Lunar Nodes).
Wealth isn’t limited to money. It can be anything you value, tangible or intangible. As you set your New Moon goals, clarify what types of wealth are most important to you now.
It’s also a good idea to clarify the type of power you want to hold. “Power over” dominates and controls. It uses others as pawns to get what you want, and is unconcerned with any harm that might come to them in the process.
But “shared power” is the rising tide that lifts all boats, doing its best to meet everyone’s needs. It wants everyone to come out shining!
I’m a big fan of “shared power.” How about you?
This Grand Cross can also bring up unresolved trauma to be healed. Cancer is the most emotional sign in the zodiac. This can include painful psychological wounds that have been forgotten or repressed into Pluto’s underworld domain.
Your wealth and power will be limited until you heal these old emotional wounds. My free Healing Invocation has helped thousands heal trauma with surprising ease and speed. This is because it delegates your healing to your higher self, which does it much better than your ego ever could.
Finally, the Sun, Moon and Pluto light up the Lunar Nodes. This gives you abundant energy to act in alignment with your life purpose!
One of my favorite astrology books on the outer planets is The Gods of Change by Howard Sasportas. This is his term for the three outer planets: Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto. This potent trio joins the luminaries to form this New Moon aspect pattern.
A Cradle mostly contains harmonious aspects (five soft and one hard). So it tends to bring out its planets’ higher potentials.
We’ve already covered the wealth and power opportunities of Pluto.
Neptune can support your spiritual awakening, and offers inspired creativity in all areas of life. Neptune can also help you function in flow state and help you with conscious dreaming and dream interpretation.
Uranus can help you embrace what’s unique and special about you, and share those gifts with the world as appropriate. Uranus can also pop down helpful intuitive hits from your higher self, and help you manifest its highest expression: serving others with your special gifts and talents you most love to use!
Merging Both Aspect Patterns
This Grand Cross and Cradle also support each other. Neptune and Uranus can give you intuitive insights on how to best use your wealth and power. And the Lunar Nodes can help you use the positive expressions of Neptune and Uranus in alignment with your life purpose!
The only New Moon aspect that’s not in an aspect pattern is a Vesta semi-square. However, Vesta begins a Thor’s Hammer aspect pattern with Pluto and the South Node today. See that interpretation, coming up next, to learn the best use of Vesta’s “selfless service” energy.
This New Moon’s Sabian Symbol is, “A leader of men wrapped in an invisible cloak of power.” (The Sabian Symbols were channeled almost 100 years ago in 1925, so we can safely update this to “A leader of people….”)
Great leaders know how to stir their followers’ emotions. These can be potently amplified by the Cancer Sun and Moon. And if you’re creating an invisible cloak of power, the transpersonal potency of the “gods of change” are the ideal astrological energies to supercharge it!
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Selfless service to a higher cause is the focus of an aspect pattern that starts today (7/17), peaks on 7/27, and ends on 8/7. This Thor’s Hammer contains Vesta, Pluto, and the South Node.
Do you selflessly support a cause aligned with your life purpose? Then this aspect pattern can empower you to call on your natural gifts and talents to serve this cause more powerfully. If one of your causes isn’t so aligned, you may be called to release it or transform how you interact with it.
The Lunar Nodes enter Aries and Libra
The Lunar Nodes are astrological oddities. They’re virtual points in space rather than physical planets, and they always move backwards! But they represent life purpose, so they occupy a special place in astrological interpretation.
Today the Lunar Nodes retrograde into Aries (North Node) and Libra (South Node) at 4 pm EDT, where they’ll stay for about 18 months.
This is a good time to look at how well you’re balancing self (Aries) versus others (Libra). Are you being too self-centered and not paying enough attention to the needs of others? Or are you such a people pleaser that you neglect your own needs and desires? With the North Node in Aries, can you adopt an “enlightened selfishness” that lets you care for others while also meeting your needs?
Aries can also give you drive and enthusiasm to fuel your Libran creativity!
Venus Holds the Key
An aspect pattern with a personal planet like Venus wouldn’t usually last so long. This one has so much staying power because Venus turns retrograde on 7/22.
You can focus the power of this aspect pattern on any of Venus’ core meanings: relationship, creativity, or money. With Venus in Leo, stepping into the spotlight as an entertainer gets special support.
Pluto can help you develop wealth and power. Neptune can give you divine inspiration and help you operate “in the zone.” Finally, the South Node can help you take your inherent talents and abilities to the next level!
Mars Opposes Saturn
A Mars-Saturn opposition (6°20′ Virgo-Pisces) can behave very differently, depending on your circumstances.
If you haven’t chosen the optimal course of action, “stern taskmaster” Saturn will keep hitting the brakes. There can be delays, detours, or roadblocks.
If this is happening, reconsider your current strategy. Is it time to try something different? Or are you being tested to see if you’re worthy of the goal you’re striving for? (With Saturn in Pisces, your intuition might give you better insight about this than your intellect.)
But if you get a thumbs up from Saturn, it will feel more like barreling down the highway at top speed. Saturn will act like the wind in your sails, and will team up with Mars to give you steady vitality and lasting endurance!
Venus Retrograde Deep Dive
Venus turns retrograde at 9:33 pm EDT (28°36′ Leo). She’ll turn direct again in about six weeks, on 9/3 at 9:20 pm EDT (12°12′ Leo).
We’ll examine this Venus retrograde in depth, scrutinizing the most important aspects she makes during her retrograde. These include nearly all the slower planets. Adding these extra themes, along with their exact timing, will let you gain maximum benefit from this Venus retrograde!
The retrogrades of personal planets like Venus have the most personal impact. While Venus is backpedaling, it’s a great time to contemplate her main themes: relationships, creativity, and money. How’s your life going in these areas?
In a perfect world, you’d wait to take action on your realizations until Venus is direct. But do what you must before then if immediate action would be best.
Venus rules all important relationships. This includes romantic partners, lovers, family members, friends, business associates, and open enemies. If your life would be noticeably different without someone, it’s a Venus relationship.
Are your interactions with a specific person mostly negative, with little chance of significant benefit? Then consider whether you should completely stop interacting with this person, or at least minimize contact. Conversely, if a relationship is positive and beneficial, would it be wise to spend more time with them?
Then there are borderline relationships. These have significant potential as well as significant challenges. Based on the stories I’ve heard during 10,000+ AstroShaman client sessions, it can be hard to move these into the “great relationships” category.
The bright exceptions are when both people are highly motivated to heal the relationship, are willing and able to do their own shadow work, and are working with a proven, well-structured relationship healing process.
For doing individual shadow work, my free Healing Invocation has helped thousands heal their traumas quickly and easily. For resolving issues with your partner, Marshall Rosenberg’s Nonviolent Communication system has decades of success helping millions around the world.
Venus rules artistry and creativity. While she’s retrograde, reflect on the role this plays in your life.
If you’re not expressing your creativity, would it be good to start a new project? Should you re-engage with some artistic activity you’ve previously enjoyed?
If you’re actively creative now, are you happy with your current direction? Or is it time to shake things up?
Relationships and creativity relate to Venus’ rulership of Libra. But Venus also rules Taurus, the sign associated with money.
If you don’t have detailed knowledge of your income and expenditures, Venus retrograde is a great time to get up to speed. Are there expenses that need pruning? Wise investments you should make? New income opportunities that would justify their time and energy, and would serve your highest good?
Venus is in Leo during her entire retrograde. This is great for reflecting on your roles as a leader or entertainer. Also contemplate the time you spend with children and your inner child, and how you engage with fun, rest, and relaxation.
Venus makes lots of powerful aspects while she’s retrograde. If you consciously incorporate these archetypal energies, you can gain a host of additional insights and benefits during this Venus retrograde!
All my Venus retrograde aspect timings are based on Venus being within three degrees of an exact aspect. The aspects’ effects are strongest in this “hot zone.”
Two Neptune Aspects
Venus starts and ends her retrograde with different aspects to Neptune. Neptune is the only planet she aspects twice. Venus starts her retrograde with a tight 150° quincunx, then ends it with a tight 135° sesquare.
This adds our first new theme to this Venus retrograde: spiritual awakening.
Neptune dissolves boundaries on all levels. In the physical world, strong Neptune aspects make a person empathically sensitive to the emotions of other people and the energies in their environment.
Neptune also works transpersonally. He dissolves the boundaries between physical awareness restricted to the five senses and the euphoric realities of the higher dimensions.
This spiritual awakening theme is reinforced by the Sabian Symbols that start and end this Venus retrograde. The symbol for the degree where Venus turns retrograde (29° Leo) is:
“A mermaid has climbed to the rocky shore of a bleak coast, she awaits the prince who will bring her immortality.”
Here’s an interpretation of this symbol most relevant for this context. Like Venus, the mermaid is feminine, and therefore receptive to divine grace. “The rocky shore of a bleak coast” metaphorically describes a challenging life situation. “The prince” is her higher self, and “immortality” represents spiritual awakening.
Venus turns direct again at 13° Leo. (Sabian Symbols are determined by rounding up to the nearest whole degree.) This symbol is,
“An old sea captain rocking on the porch of his cottage.”
Now the person in the Sabian Symbol is masculine, the energy traditionally associated with action and accomplishment. There’s a sense of contentment. I imagine that this captain – someone who sets their own course – has met his goals. He’s enjoying a well-deserved rest.
I can easily imagine this as a metaphor for having attained a significant degree of enlightenment. Neptune’s presence is even subtly implied, since he’s the lord of the sea.
All this provides plenty of clues that you can productively contemplate your degree of spiritual awakening during this Venus retrograde. This will be easiest while Venus is quincunx Neptune (7/22 through 8/3) and sesquare Neptune (8/23 through 9/14). (This sesquare lasts eleven more days after Venus turns direct on 9/3.)
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Neptune can also increase your divine inspiration, help you operate in flow state, and help you work more skillfully with your dreams.
Neptune isn’t the only quincunx Venus makes as she turns retrograde. She’s also quincunx Pluto 7/22 through 8/3.
This is a good time to contemplate how you want to increase your wealth and power. Pluto also rules shadow work. So contemplate how willing you are to heal your trauma, and how effective your current techniques are.
Venus’ quincunxes to Neptune and Pluto form a Yod aspect pattern, also known as a “Finger of God.” And that isn’t all: this Yod joins with another Yod to form a Double Yod Key through 8/7. Click here to learn more about that.
The Lunar Nodes’ Soft Aspects
Venus makes two more connections as she begins her retrograde: soft aspects to the Lunar Nodes.
A North Node trine can make it easier for you to contemplate how well you’re on track with your life purpose. A South Node sextile can help you understand how to activate latent talents and abilities and do shadow work more easily. These Lunar Node aspects last through 8/5.
Venus squares Uranus 8/3 through 8/14. During these twelve days, reflect on how fully you embrace your uniqueness and share it with the world. Uranus’ intuitive hits are a human’s most reliable guidance. Do you trust and act on yours? Finally, are you serving others using your special gifts and talents you most love to use?
Venus conjoins the Sun 8/11 through 8/15. This lights up Venus with extra energy, juicing up whatever you’re doing to benefit from her retrograde.
Venus trines Chiron 8/9 through 8/19. This soft aspect can make it easier to give or receive wisdom and healing, or gain new insights in these areas.
Venus squares Jupiter 8/17 through 8/30. At the most basic level, Jupiter expands and energizes whatever it connects with. So this square will give a power boost to whatever you’re doing with Venus.
You can also choose to work with any of Jupiter’s numerous themes. I describe these in my interpretation of the Jupiter Neptune semi-square, which comes right after this Venus Retrograde interpretation
I’ve already talked about Venus’ semi-square with Neptune (8/23 through 9/14). So let’s interpret Venus Retrograde’s final aspect: a Juno conjunction. It begins on 9/3, the same day Venus turns direct, and perseveres through 10/7 as Venus slowly regains forward momentum.
Juno represents committed partnership. This is a deeper level of Venus’ relationship theme. It would be fruitful to do the same relationship evaluation process described early in this Venus Retrograde interpretation.
I told you we’d be examining this Venus Retrograde in depth!
For most people, doing everything I’ve suggested here would be overkill. I suggest you cherry pick the ideas that are most helpful for you. Happy Venus Retrograde!
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When can a minor hard aspect have a major upside? When it connects Jupiter and Neptune!
Today’s Jupiter-Neptune semi-square (12°33′ Taurus-27°33′ Pisces) has been in orb (close enough to be felt) since 6/27. And its wonderful opportunities will remain available for nearly five months: all the way through 12/16!
Jupiter Boosting Neptune
Jupiter amplifies whatever it touches. So you can use it to boost Neptune’s life-affirming qualities. These include deeper spiritual awakening, receiving more inspired creativity, operating in flow state more consistently, and enjoying more vivid and meaningful dreams.
Take care that Jupiter doesn’t amplify Neptune’s lower expressions. These include substance abuse, addiction, excessive escapism, aimless drifting, and “playing the victim.”
Neptune Influencing Jupiter
What if we think of Neptune influencing Jupiter? Neptune can add divine inspiration and flow state experiences in these areas:
- Higher education.
- Acting as a professor, philosopher, guru, or other wisdom-giver.
- Foreign travel or exposure to foreign influences.
- Religion, philosophy, and the meaning of life.
- Quests and adventures
- Celebration, euphoria and enthusiasm!
Be careful not to put too many irons in the fire, or succumb to “street corner preacher syndrome.”
Let’s Add the Signs
You can benefit from even more life-affirming opportunities, thanks to these planets’ sign placements. Jupiter is in Taurus and Neptune is in Pisces. This auspicious mix of signs and planets can empower Law of Attraction manifestation. (Neptune and Pisces excel at visualizing, while Jupiter expands Taurus’ power to ground ideas into physical reality.)
These planets and signs also support embodied awakening. Neptune and Pisces support spiritual awakening, while Jupiter and Taurus want to amplify this euphoric consciousness and make it consistent in your everyday life. (My free Embodied Awakening Invocation has helped thousands do this with surprising ease and speed.)
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The Sun Enters Leo
Also on 7/22, the Sun enters Leo at 9:50 pm EDT. For the next month, you get extra support for your activities as a leader or entertainer. Leo also supports spending time with children, or connecting with your inner child. And be sure to enjoy some rest, relaxation, and fun!
Grand Cross Peaks
A Grand Cross that started on 7/13 peaks today (7/22) and ends on 7/31. It includes the Sun, Pluto, and the Lunar Nodes.
This Grand Cross was part of my 7/17 forecast for the Cancer New Moon. To read what I said about this Grand Cross, click here.
Chiron turns retrograde at 8:42 am EDT (19°57′ Aries). The wounded healer will station direct again in five months, on 12/26 (15°27′ Aries).
This is a great time to reflect on any healing support you need, be it physical, emotional, mental, or spiritual. (My free Healing Invocation can make healing fast and easy.) Chiron retrograde is a wonderful time to do personal healing work!
Chiron is also a mentoring archetype. In what areas of your life could you benefit from the wisdom of others?
These days, there’s a greater need for healers and wisdom-givers than ever. Are you one of these? As Chiron turns retrograde, is it time to step up your game to serve more in these areas?
Pluto Square the Lunar Nodes
It’s been a slow build — nearly six months – but Pluto finally makes an exact T-Square with the Lunar Nodes today. This relentlessly intense aspect pattern came into orb (close enough to be felt) on 1/31/23. Now that it has finally peaked, its power will slowly wane for about six more months, through 1/13/24.
Why is this T-Square so relentlessly intense? Because Pluto stirs up anything that isn’t aligned with your life purpose. (Life purpose is a key meaning of the Lunar Nodes.)
One of Pluto’s jobs in this T-Square is to alert you to life purpose misalignments. He often does this by creating disruptions. He’s hoping that the emotional challenges you feel when these happen will motivate you to realign with your life purpose. If you resist these changes, Pluto can turn up the heat and become even more disruptive!
Think back on the last six months. Has there been an area of significant disharmony in your life? If so, can you identify a life purpose misalignment?
If you answered yes, what steps have you taken to realign with your life purpose? Are there additional steps you should take now?
Fortunately, Pluto will only cause a ruckus to the degree that you’re misaligned. If you’re on track with your “true north,” Pluto will be delighted to bless you with wealth and power. (Wealth can be anything you value, tangible or intangible. And the most evolved use of power is for the highest good of all.)
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Action Benefiting Others Energized by Double Thor’s Hammer
A rare Double Thor’s Hammer starts today, peaks on 8/1, and ends on 8/8. It includes Mars, Vesta, Pluto, and the North Node. Its major theme is support for taking action that benefits others – as long as doing so aligns with your soul purpose.
Mars, the planet of action, is in Virgo, the sign of service to others. Vesta represents selfless service to a higher cause.
The North Node wants you to act in alignment with your soul purpose. (It just moved into Aries, which shares Mars’ “action” theme.) Finally, Pluto adds massive power to all this, and opens the door to an abundant outcome!
There’s also room for appropriate self-interest.
What if we narrow our focus to the standalone Thor’s Hammer with Mars, Pluto, and the North Node? We still have tremendously empowered action that fits in with your life purpose. But we could reinterpret Virgo as refinement and fine-tuning, or as improvement to your personal health. Is there any reason you couldn’t find time to meet your personal needs while also serving a higher cause?
Triple Thor’s Hammer!
As if a Double Thor’s Hammer wasn’t rare enough, we also have a Triple Thor’s Hammer in the mix! This is created as the Vesta-Pluto-South Node Thor’s Hammer that started on 7/17 merges with this Double Thor’s Hammer.
The Triple Thor’s Hammer, with Mars, Vesta, Pluto, and the Lunar Nodes, starts on 7/26, peaks on 7/31, and ends on 8/4. Its interpretation is the same as the Double Thor’s Hammer, and it doesn’t last as long, so I’m noting it here instead of giving it a standalone interpretation.
But it sure does look cool!
Thor’s Hammer Peaks
The Vesta-Pluto-South Node Thor’s Hammer that started on 7/17 peaks today (7/27) and ends on 8/7.
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Whatever your Sun Sign, my forecasts can help you make the best use of the current astrological energies.
All dates and times are in the U.S. eastern time zone. Events are most powerful on the dates listed, but their influence will be active for at least a week before and after.
Everyone is affected by these global transits. However, you’ll be most powerfully impacted when moving planets activate sensitive points in your natal chart. Discover how these transits will personally affect you by booking a session with me.
Check back around the 1st and 16th for updated forecasts.