Sun Conjunct Retrograde Mercury, and Solar Leo

Dear Friend and Reader:

This morning (Sunday), retrograde Mercury and the Sun aligned in a conjunction, marking the midpoint of Mercury retrograde. That retrograde ends on July 31, with Mercury in a square to Eris (and conjunct the recent eclipse degree). This suggests that we’re heading toward some unexpected development that has the power to shake things up, though in subtle ways.

Seed head of a Tragopogon or Goat’s Beard; photo by Amanda Painter.

You will definitely want to keep your sense of humor through this phase, and treat lightly any gaffes, mishaps or lapses of reason that infiltrate your reality.

Mercury is considered the trickster, though in truth, Eris is the very master of the game, and the two will be provoking one another.

Eris, particularly in Aries, would appear to signify a more aggressive form of game playing; Mercury’s tricks in myth generally were of a lighter tone, though anything in Cancer can veer into hypersensitivity. This could be especially true if you’ve been re-living or trying to disengage from old scripts or triggers from the past. What tricks can you employ to avoid getting re-snared — in other words, what have you learned in recent weeks?

More immediately, Venus is opposite Pluto, which is one of those aspects that seems to drive deep and dark unconscious motives. Be skeptical of your own sense of desperation, whether emotional, financial or sexual. Desperation can be a powerful motivator, but it is generally a self-sabotaging one.

Another approach to Venus-Pluto is to notice whether you feel like you’re in (or chasing after) emotional intensity in a relationship. If so, are you able to see where the boundaries are between the intimacy you seek and the personal space that allows the situation to stay balanced and life-affirming?

In other words, watch for signals of co-dependency, especially if you have an urge to ‘help’ the other person in some way, or if money is a strong, enabling factor. If you realize things have gotten blurry in that area, it’s up to you to take initiative in redirecting your powerful feelings toward creative change in your life. This is best done directly; manipulative tactics such as guilt will serve nobody involved.

Munjoy Hill community garden, 2013; photo by Amanda Painter.

Finally, note that the Sun enters Leo on Monday at 10:50 pm EDT (2:50:14 UTC Tuesday, July 23). This brings us to the heart of the current season, and the sign that rules the heart. Couldn’t we all use an infusion of heart-based courage to face all that’s going wrong in the world today?

That said, as the Sun makes its way through the final degree of Cancer today, you may notice a little edginess or an urge to move on with the show.

The Moon entering Aries describes a less conscious impulsive energy layered into the mix. Whether that manifests in taking an unexpected step toward something you dearly want, or saying something you dearly wish you hadn’t, is a matter of circumstances, perspective and timing. Knowing both scenarios are possible may help in judging where you’re at and what is best.

As the Sun enters Leo, it forms an intriguing grand fire trine with Chiron in Aries and Ceres in Sagittarius. You might notice who your male and female teachers and mentors are, and what you can still learn from your inner child. What would it feel like to have all three of those wisdom channels feeding each other in balanced harmony?

This might just be a week to find out, even despite the potential static of retrograde Mercury. When in doubt, take a moment to review and then reassess your current position. And if you have a question, ask.

Yours & truly,

Daily Birthday Readings from Planet Waves

Sunday, July 21, 2019 (The Day of Tragicomic Controversy)

It would seem you’re becoming better aligned with yourself, perhaps more closely than ever before. Your mind is opening to wider dimensions, which previously would have been beyond the confines of your knowledge. You are discovering exciting new concepts and ways of being. Keep track of your progress, and record everything, including dreams if you remember them. So long as you’re willing to dare, you can make this year an inspiring and profound adventure.

Monday, July 22, 2019 (The Day of Occupational Fluctuation)

You may be developing a new perspective on your career trajectory, and what your vocation means to you. Perhaps your work is evolving along lines you did not anticipate, but by which you are nonetheless intrigued. It’s also possible you’re more inclined to take a daring path, which might involve some risks but would certainly afford you more room to be yourself. Only you can determine your best options, though remember that your potential for growth never ends.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019 (The Day of Uncertainty Resolvers)

Keep your mind turned toward the wide and open horizon of your ideal visions. Some may find this freedom of thought disconcerting, and try to confine you within convenient boundaries. Yet your power lies in this capacity you possess for bold exploration, and the ability to see what’s real, without the filters of social or authoritarian pressure. Don’t let anyone, especially you, box you in. You’re beginning to understand just how far your mind can fly.

Wednesday, July 24, 2019 (The Day of Exciting Instability)

Now is the moment to begin turning your ideas into concrete results. You have a solid grasp of your thought processes and your aims, and enough passion to help you get past any challenging scenarios. Along the way, keep honing the skills you possess as a singer exercises their voice. You never know when any item in your toolkit might prove useful. With any long-term plan surprises have a way of occurring, and they often have the function of showing how much you’ve learned.

Thursday, July 25, 2019 (The Day of Quixotic Exploits)

Recent or current changes on the work front are opening up brand new possibilities for you, in areas you might previously have dismissed or not even considered. Careful appraisal could be useful in figuring out which option you wish to pursue, though be bold, even audacious. This is your chance to break through any walls with which you’ve hemmed yourself in before. You are capable of far more than you realize, and now is your chance to demonstrate that capacity.

Friday, July 26, 2019 (The Day of the Symbolic Herald)

You can accomplish big strides toward a particular goal this year if you connect with your passion and use it as fuel. As a fixed-sign native, you know how to keep the hearth burning for a long time. Working actively with your imagination and thinking laterally will very likely help you focus your attention where it’s needed. As you make progress, you may well find also that some deep emotional healing is taking place. Be sure to give this quest a priority space in your schedule.

Saturday, July 27, 2019 (The Day of the Decision Makers)

Venus entering your sign on your birthday is likely to invest you with unusual charm. You could well have opportunities to enter into unfamiliar circles and meet different people. This has the potential to enliven and broaden your mind significantly, as well as introducing you to some new experiences, which is often a boon in itself, especially if it involves offline interactions. There are irreplaceable advantages in getting to know people as people, without the binary code filter.

Sunday, July 28, 2019 (The Day of the Winner)

If certain friendships or associations are giving you pause, one method of obtaining clarity is to consider the net effect on you as a person. This doesn’t simply mean whether or not you’re happier — though that is an important factor. It’s also: are the people in question helping or hindering your progress toward self-actualization? Do you bring out the best in one another? Do you challenge one another, or stay firmly in your comfort zone? Considering these points will probably offer useful clues.

— By Amy Elliott

Monday Morning Horoscope #186 for July 22, 2019 | By Eric Francis Coppolino

Aries (March 20-April 19) — Notice whenever you hesitate. By that I mean pausing before you want to do something, the reluctance to try something, concern about someone you’ve met, or not wanting to respond to a question. There are several different reasons you might do so, though you might not distinguish them. Each has its own message, and you need to know what it is. Typically in the course of human events, people either allow their hesitation to stop them, or power through it and do what they want to do anyway. I am suggesting you explore the wide middle ground, which involves tuning into your feelings and getting beneath them enough to have a sense what is going on for you. You want this information, though it may be subtle, and responding will compel you to ask yourself how you really feel, what you really want, and whether you actually trust yourself, or someone else. And there will be rewards for doing so.

Taurus (April 19-May 20) — Changing one’s mind is an art form. The term, in English, means something akin to “deciding something different,” “changing one’s opinion,” or “accepting an idea previously rejected.” I think it goes deeper than that: when one changes one’s mind, there is a change to the mind itself, not just related to the topic. It’s about reconsidering one’s thinking process. Most people are quick to take a statement and agree or disagree. It is rare that someone pauses and assesses what a statement might mean, or imply, and what the permutations are, and whether for example the opposite might be true. It’s rare that one actually traces the path one took to arrive at a conclusion. I suggest you practice doing this. Size up your own viewpoint or opinion on any issue you seem to care about, and ask yourself how, exactly, you got there. Then, question each step along the way.

Gemini (May 20-June 21) — Be careful not to make your financial decisions on emotional grounds. You might think you’re making perfectly rational decisions, though they may not seem that way in a week or two. Good ideas are not enough; the thing you will benefit from is analysis that is based primarily on columns of numbers. By that I mean the actual financial facts, in which so few people take an interest. Yet what you’re experiencing at the moment is just a sub-sample of a much larger scenario where a lot is at stake. Apart from any facts or outcomes specific to the short term, or to your more deeply entrenched scenarios involving partnerships and shared investments or resources, there is the matter of how you are able to handle yourself, regarding both cash flow and more complex elements of finance. There are the numbers in the spreadsheet, and there is the human factor.

Cancer (June 21-July 22) — Sunday, the Sun aligned with Mercury in your birth sign, which was also the indication of Mercury retrograde being halfway over (the midpoint was exact July 21 at 8:33:55 am EDT). Plenty else is happening on the Cancer-Capricorn axis, which has been a primary focus of astrology going back to May. It has been intense and dramatic, and you’ve probably had enough of all of that. However, with Venus in your sign now opposing Pluto, you’re likely to be more sensitive than you want. This may also translate to being driven by some passion or deep need, though be aware of how you can get yourself out of sorts under these conditions. Mercury retrograde is cautioning you to keep your mind on the present, rather than obsessing over the past, or planning for the future. Do your best to stay loose, limber and focused on what is a priority now — and set yourself up for the next few moves. Make sure you have food in the fridge, gas in the car and your batteries charged, so you can go about your business smoothly when the time comes.

Leo (July 22-Aug. 23) — Mars in your sign is urging you to push ahead, though other factors may have you feeling like you’re caught in a slog. In times like this, the thing to do is be happy with even modest increments of progress. I call it moving the ball forward, just a little every day. The correct mental posture is gentle persistence rather than storming the mountain. Mars may be giving you little bursts of that kind of conquering ambition, but the practical realities are likely to run contrary, until you gradually work them out. Two other factors are present: one is your sense of being overburdened by a responsibility you may need to let go of. Another is missing information about a critical matter. Whatever clue you received Sunday, you will learn a lot more on or around the 31st when Mercury stations direct. Keep your ears on, and your mind open.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22) — You will know something intuitively, no matter what someone tries to convince you of, and no matter what you want to be true. If you’re not in a position to defer to your inner voice, then place a delay on the situation and give yourself a day, or two, or three, to think about it. You will know something is amiss when someone says something that seems untrue, and someone else swears to it. This could easily leave you doubting yourself, which is why you need time to sort out the situation. Meanwhile, where public perceptions and opinions are concerned (by which I mean anything from gossip to Facebook to the way a particular news item is tending), you must be skeptical, and take a policy of waiting for additional facts to come in. That requires two things: one is patience, and the other is being willing to stand in the face of the unknown, at least for a while.

Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23) — Use care when handling professional matters this week. You are likely to be driven by deep emotional forces that don’t comport well with relating to higher-ups or managing people and projects. Mercury retrograde has also entered your 10th house of work-related subject matter — particularly the most important stuff. Though it may sound like dime-store astrology, when an email goes missing or when someone doesn’t respond to you in due time, be polite about it — particularly if that person is your boss or in any position of authority. Be the smart person who picks up the phone, asks how they’re doing, and then wonders out loud if your email (or whatever) arrived. The approach is the friendly, gentle inquiry, making no assumptions. Then work to solve the problem. Other people around you might not be so magnanimous, so you may need to contain fires, control the damage and clear all vital information before it goes further.

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22) — Professional jealousy is a serious issue. It holds back progress, wastes energy and destroys careers. So too does unmitigated ambition, or taking too much pride in one’s work. As Mars moves through your 10th house of profession and reputation, tread lightly, and do your best to collaborate rather than compete. In fact if I had to sum this all up in one sentence, that would be the one. Mars is in a long conjunction to Juno, who in some of her manifestations is the every essence of one-upmanship and scorekeeping. Be gentle, and generous in your interpretations of events. Put up with a little bullshit. Not a lot, just a little, and gently remind people that they need to stay within certain boundaries, though without seeming too bossy about it. Mars in Leo in this position is not given to self-effacing modesty, so you will need to work for that. It’s the kind of astrology that makes you seem big and bad even when you’re cleaning furries out of the break room fridge.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22) — Are we all sitting around waiting for Jupiter in your sign to go direct? That happens on Aug. 11, with Jupiter in a conjunction to this crazy thing called the Great Attractor. Actually, this conjunction is alive and kicking right now, and it’s offering some caution that your words, deeds and thoughts have impact far greater than you may imagine. The way the Great Attractor works, this reaches into the realm of what you cannot perceive, usually because it’s too many degrees of separation from you. Or the results of what you do land in some (seemingly) entirely removed quarter of existence — a little like the Coke bottle tossed from the helicopter window landing amidst the island natives in The Gods Must be Crazy. Still, aim your thoughts and actions carefully. Refine your message to the degree where you’re more likely to be understood, and survive a few rewrites.

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20) — Take the next couple of weeks and carefully re-evaluate your goals. Bring them up to date with who you are now, and what you want to be doing in the reasonably immediate future (say, two to five years). It looks as if you’re clinging to some old goals that you need to consider carefully, and may need to shed. The thing is, these are deeply intertwined with your identity. Letting go of an outmoded goal may feel like giving up part of yourself. I propose that’s the very thing that will help you. This enmeshing of the obsolete goal with an element of your psyche is the essence of your situation. Address the goal and you will get to address something within you that’s getting in your way. Making matters more complex, it may not even be your personal desire that’s lingering around: someone else may have set that agenda for you. So in truth what you may be doing is claiming back an aspect of yourself, which really means yourself, rather than giving something up.

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) — What exactly is motivating someone’s desire for you? You’re not going to find out overnight, though if there is any hint of hostility in a new relationship, you had best let it go. Getting along with people is a mutually supported endeavor. Take note if you find yourself not getting along with someone. Track the transactions and notice where things may be going off-kilter. Pay special attention to your own actions and motives. If you don’t like someone, then avoid them rather than provoke them. If you like someone, engage them rather than tease around the edges. It’s vital that you listen to what people say to you, particularly the first thing they say, if you want an idea where they are coming from. Listen to their actual words, and their inflection — though the words, in this case, are what really count for the most. That’s how you will know where you stand. And of course, if there is some conflict between words and actions, take note.

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) — Take your time when it comes to reaching for your most cherished goals. Prepare the ground. Make contact with people you want to work with. Keep your desk in order. Return phone calls and maintain all routine business. You must also continue to be cautious with money as you get accustomed to the entirely new financial territory you’re in, largely described by Chiron in Aries, your 2nd house. The scale and shape of the re-evaluation you’re going through cannot be understated. It will reach into the core of your being, and the sooner you let yourself go there, the better. Ultimately the question relates to the value that you put upon yourself, from which stems the value that you place on everyone and everything else. This is a process that must originate entirely with and within you. Certain obstacles you face may assist you in going in that direction. So take those cues and prompts and let them guide you. Be patient with the process, and quietly claim your victories and your breakthroughs.

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