July MMXX | A.W. Clovenhopf

Even with five planets moving retrograde, July of 2020 manages to turn up the heat. Mars was last in Aries in January of 2019, so it’s been a while since our cosmic warrior has been ruling his own roost. A planetary return is like being out on a fun but exhausting tour, having no money, subsisting on the kindness of strangers, and then, finally, you’re back in your hometown. We open the month to find Mars waking up in his own bed, empty gas tank, full heart, eating what’s left of his peanut butter and jelly sandwich supply for breakfast, and nursing his under-watered ficus back to life.

Mars transits need a win. If we don’t find an appropriate outlet for this energy, we see every argument as a fight to the death. Desperate for a challenge, we choose the wrong battles. We hurt others and through damaging our relationships often damage ourselves in the process. Without discipline, Martial virtues melt into impudence and bullying. This transit bodes well for any heavy, or difficult to write album in production – the patience and ability to rework things is brought by the retrograde planets, while Mars has the ambition to keep creating and keep improving. Balance a need for achievement and excellence with respect for others.

When we think of a planet that represents love in a horoscope, we usually default to Venus. Venus provides an affable personality, charm, and comely looks. However, a commitment forged in Martial loyalty, filled with honor, adventure and hot blooded passion is a necessary component of any love that is to prove lasting. Following Mars’ movements through Aries we have an opportunity to get in touch with this side of ourselves. Last month’s Venus retrograde may have left your relationships feeling comfortable, or stable, but dull. Mars brings back the fire. This is a great time for trying something new with your partner – either a new type of travel, such as a bike camping adventure, or something closer to home like testing out some new recipes.

We have Mars in Aries until the end of 2020 with a potent retrograde in the mix. My best advice for this time is to use the energy that comes from this transit righteously. You may exhibit or encounter the tendency to associate correct social behavior, things subject to the norms of a certain age or world view, with wisdom embodied - the timeless understanding of the complexity of the human experience. Differentiating between these principles and knowing when to back down will be large themes through the end of the year. Martial energy loves defending the marginalized, forgotten, and vulnerable. However, there is stubbornness to this energy that may contribute to call-out culture focused on the wrong issues, or defensive reactions over self-examination. New reserves of strength beg an appropriate outlet. Another word of caution: under these skies, if you’re cruising for a bruising you will certainly have no trouble finding yourself in all kinds of hot water. Tempers flare and situations escalate quickly with Mars in Aries.

Eclipses tend to have a personal effect if they resonate with a planet located at an activated point in your chart, but they were understood in ancient times to predict the rise and fall of the kingdom. The eclipse on June 21st moved across the United States’ Venus and Jupiter. This timing coincided with Donald Trump’s campaign stop in Tulsa, OK. After this event, it appears public support (Venus) for the presidency is on the wane. Additionally, his tired campaign rhetoric (Jupiter) seems to have less cultural sway, with more people digesting the consequences of action and inaction at a federal level.

Eclipses are often gateways that start a domino effect. Understanding what has come before gives us clues to what we can expect to develop in the following eclipse, occurring July 5th. With Mercury, our messenger, pushing the US Saturn for answers on the June 21st eclipse, we see a follow up response on July 5th when Saturn in the US chart corners the eclipse axis. The venerable position of Saturn in Libra in the United States nation chart shows the forgotten importance of fairness to this country. During the week of the prior eclipse, the federal courts refused to cancel DACA, and upheld the Civil Rights Act to protect gay and trans workers’ rights, staking claims for justice.

On July 5, we have a lunar eclipse in Capricorn. The moon is uncomfortable here – Capricorn is not a nurturing environment for the intuitive, sensitive moon. Mars moves towards asteroid Chiron, and with renewed strength pokes the hornet’s nest. The angry insects emerging have to do with family legacies. Perhaps there is a psychological inheritance based on emotional unresponsiveness that needs to be outgrown. Juno raises her eyebrows at this eclipse and asks us if we’ve been perpetuating our family patterns in our partnerships, to the detriment of loving connection. There’s a “get on with it” sort of feeling to this time. This isn’t a moment for passivity; recognize and release what’s been holding you back.

The lunar eclipse on July 5th sees a glowering glance from Saturn to the Sun, suggesting leadership has transgressed its boundaries and needs to be checked. The state’s chart featuring Uranus and Mars together in Gemini shows that it’s the people’s voice that is making waves, and further pushes the active, engaged model of participatory citizenship. Venus also conjoins the US Uranus during this lunation showing our populations reductively headstrong idea of freedom.

The people’s exhaustion with a broken system begs a response. Messenger Mercury moves towards the Sun. The Sun is holding court with asteroid Vesta, the keeper of the flame. It may be a quiet, personal style of kindling, but the torch remains lit. A quiet nod from Uranus to the moon reminds us liberty is not something that can just be swept under the rug. Ceres, the goddess of the harvest, sits immovable and stationary while making supportive aspect to both luminaries. This suggests any new changes must first include recognition of the demands of the earth. I would advise patience at this time, eclipses tend to open up new routes of energy that are potent and feel uncontrollable. The future is unfolding, but it may not look exactly how you were expecting. The presence of four female asteroids (Pallas, Juno, Ceres and Vesta) all in connection to this eclipse suggests the importance of feminine voices and female initiative. I fear it could also suggest further attempts to chip away at women’s rights.

Martial energy is divisive. This energy can be really useful for helping to cut through the mental clutter and misinformation brought about by Mercury in retrograde motion. Clarity may hit us like a ton of bricks around July 25th when Mars and Mercury go toe-to-toe in what could be a painful argument or an attempt to break free of a difficult situation. With both planets in cardinal signs, what’s important is initiation and new beginnings. It may have been easy to slip back into old habits at the beginning of the month, but this transit reminds us the work is far from over.

Our two spiritual leaders, Jupiter and Neptune, have a supportive interaction on the 27th. It might not be your most productive day of the month, but keep a pen and paper handy for visits from your muse. Creative fodder for the future may come through passing conversations and dream imagery. This transit can suggest that unpaid labor results in karmic rewards, and generosity of spirit will not go unrecognized. A sense of optimism may prevail, or what may look like a complete undoing reveals to be part of the process of rebuilding. We are tasked with keeping the faith despite constant adversity.

Horoscopic Perspective July 1-15

ARIES: Gosh the last few months have been wistful, imaginative, and bloody boring! The first half of the month could see you focused on your public image as you work to reintroduce yourself to the world. Watch out for haughty feelings of might makes right, particularly related to your home life and family of origin.

TAURUS: Early July finds you experimenting with new ways of speaking out about your spiritual or psychological discoveries. A close knit group with similar interests or neighborhood association serves as an appropriate audience. With your ruler Venus making eyes at Mars, there may be benefits to these contacts aside from a confidence boost.

GEMINI: July’s eclipse is happening along your 2nd and 8th house axis. In ancient Greece, these houses were considered entrances and exits from the underworld, epicataphora and anaphora. Mercury, your ruler, is particularly adept at navigating such treacherous terrain, but it doesn’t look like he’s ready to return to the surface quite yet. You may be doing well materially, but fulfillment needs spiritual inputs as well.

CANCER: Your career is back in action, so make sure that folks at home understand your focus. You have been such a supportive, encouraging presence over the past month that people may be starting to take it for granted. Clarifying the situation will help quell any misunderstandings. Your love may be boundless, but the time you give to others doesn’t have to be.

LEO: Work, health, and daily practices you began last month are starting to make an impact in your psychological makeup. Does this negate or render complete some long term goals? Increased feelings of commitment and spiritual strength will be needed for your upcoming birthday cycle. Now is the time to get clear about your goals for the year ahead.

VIRGO: Friends, fun, time in the sun, this eclipse cycle should make it clear to you that it doesn’t all have to be about work. It has been critically important for you to relax, and it is my sincere hope that your social network has been supportive of your efforts to chill. If it’s your own instinct holding you back from taking a break, I’d like to remind you it’s way more difficult to recover from burnout than to just take a timely breather.

LIBRA: Falling in love is an everyday affair for some Libras, sometimes even multiple times a day. However, it looks like you may have stubbed your toe into something more serious this time. Before the depth scares you away, remember there’s no reason to rush. With your ruler still moving through Gemini, there is plenty more to learn about your new beau, or relearn about your creative instincts. Enjoy the crash course and don’t worry about making it perfect - you’ll be revisiting these themes again around birthday time.

SCORPIO: Routines that fell out of favor during the last few weeks get a new lease on life. It’s time to put yourself first, even if your schedule is at the mercy of someone else. Making time for fitness and healthy eating are annoying at first, but will make a huge difference through the end of the year. The eclipse cycle running across your travel houses suggests getting out and getting moving can help with any mental stress.

SAGITTARIUS: You’ve gotten pretty stealthy at managing your resource base. It can be really tempting to try out something risky right now with Mars moving through your house of gambling, children, and pleasure. It’s okay to let yourself have a little fun, but the eclipse axis shows that future focused strategies need to be on your radar right now.

CAPRICORN: Home and family matters need your attention. Address problems frankly and honestly. If folks know where you stand, how they choose to respond is up to them. Focus on clarity right now and you’ll see progress related to a drawn out drama.

AQUARIUS: With such a strong mental focus, it can be difficult to remember if you verbalized or clarified your thoughts with your people. If you have changes you’d like to make, talking about them with associates can keep you on track. With Mars moving through your outspoken third house, the upcoming cycle is focused on what you say, how you say it, and how folks are hearing it.

PISCES: Current events have brought some aspects of your personality to light that maybe even you were unaware of, sweet fishy. Your abilities to organize and lead aren’t going anywhere, even though the planets are moving forward. What you’ve uncovered is yours to enjoy, whether that’s as a private confidence boost or publicly motivated.

Horoscopic Perspective July 16-31

ARIES: Time to get moving on those home projects. Structures that have evolved as defense mechanisms can manifest in your mind as well as your immediate environment. Clearing out excess baggage in your home can help you gain some emotional clarity. Weeds both psychic and material need your attention this week.

TAURUS: It could turn out that what you saw as a lack of support or interest from others was more of a need to be by yourself for a little while. Finding your voice and feeling confident in what you need to say can help you start fresh with some stressful contacts, but this won’t happen if you don’t give the process its appropriate time and space free from distraction. Too much time alone can give you a strange sense of perfectionism, though. Your words don’t need to be perfect to warrant speaking up.

GEMINI: Your friendships and social networks continue to mobilize your resource base. This week you start to see your work paying off – Saturn opposite the new moon suggests a slow but steady build. With this planet in the house of taxes and debts make sure you’re dotting those I’s and crossing those T’s to avoid any misunderstandings later on.

CANCER: It can be difficult to separate feelings of safety from feelings of control. In a world where the only constant is change, transitional times mean finding a sanctuary within. This is a skill in which you’re particularly adept, but make sure you don’t disappear beneath those waves too far – this lunation wants you to find the balance between themes of self-preservation and devotion to others.

LEO: The last few years have seen you struggling to keep your cool in some pretty stressful work situations. Your natural appreciation for drama may be lost on your associates, so there may be a situation this week where it’s best to just flee the scene rather than make a stink.

VIRGO: Plans for the future are beginning to take form. You tend to be satisfied with what has proven pragmatic in the past, and prepared to put in the work to make something out of your ideas. Get some perspective from close friends and partners – it’s not that you’re wrong, but you could benefit from some fresh ideas and creativity.

LIBRA: Fresh career responsibilities seem to be constricting your home life. This is an exciting new cycle for you, but does a partner or close friend feel left behind? You may have less time to give, but that’s no reason to not make it impactful. Be thoughtful about the time you’re spending with others, the rewards will come back tenfold this month.

SCORPIO: A new paradigm encountered recently may prove to be a lasting contribution to your own philosophical perspective. Sometimes there can also be comfort found in places and ideas that we thought we had outgrown. There may be a situation akin to visiting your childhood home only to realize you didn’t fully appreciate some aspect of the experience.

SAGITTARIUS: It may be time to implement a budget, Archer. Your resources can take you farther if you have a better idea of what you’re working with. I know, what a boring horoscope, but it looks like your focus on the material needs a new tack. There are tons of free financial counseling services that could help you get on track with your goals.

CAPRICORN: With Saturn back in your sign you may be feeling as if you’re getting a new look at an old devil. Be careful that you don’t project your exhaustion with your circumstances into your relationships with other people. If you feel differently, chances are they do as well. Taking the initiative may be easier this time around, particularly if you enlist the help of close friends.

AQUARIUS: It can be difficult to feel like a fresh start will clear the slate after years of struggling with a tired work situation. A door may be closing, but loose ends abound. Deal with what you can, and carve out time for those treasured hobbies. Making time for creative pursuits can actually help channel some of your current frustration and allow you to focus on work issues as they arise.

PISCES: New friends have so much to offer, but the bond between folks who have known each other for years is the bedrock for social interaction. Being all charged up by your new associations has breathed fresh life into old relationships and vice versa. You’ll be keeping this momentum going through the end of the month.