This month’s conjunction of the Sun and the Moon occurs in the watery, intuitive, and emotional sign of Cancer on July 17 at 11:31 a.m. US/Pacific, symbolizing the unification of our unconscious lunar interior with our conscious solar ego.
Many of us experience the New Moon as a time of ebbing energies that help to draw our attention inward. We might fruitfully use introspection to examine how we care for or neglect our own bodily needs, or explore our relationship to caregiving. The dark Moon in her home sign of Cancer emphasizes our emotional reactivity and may help draw secrets out from our own hearts, disclosing deeper longings and strivings, or prodding us to notice any trapped emotions that have been quietly eating away at us.
The Cancer New Moon’s dynamic opposition to the fiery crucible of Pluto suggests that we get real about our emotional needs, and about how much of a hold our past has on us.
The Sun will later make an exact opposition to power player Pluto on July 21, and dredge up questions about who is writing the script of our lives, and whether that script can evolve and change with the natural flow of time. Cancer is a very sentimental sign with a tendency to hold on to experiences, relationships and objects far past their expiration date. Emotional baggage could be carefully unpacked and examined, and we could choose to lighten our load by metabolizing and releasing old stories, trapped memories or feelings, or regrets about the past.
This New Moon is cueing us up for the goddess of love, Venus, to make her retrograde station in Leo on July 22, which will urge us to consider how our intimate relations reflect our sense of self, supporting us to write some new storylines around self-worth and self-esteem.
The New Moon in Cancer makes a hot opposition to the transformative fires of Pluto on July 17, drawing to the surface any secrets we may be keeping from ourselves, or revealing hidden emotional tangles. It is a fruitful time to look closely at how we care for or neglect our bodies, our homes and our innermost spheres, and to unpack any emotional baggage that is ready to be metabolized and released.
Venus will station retrograde on July 22 and will saunter backwards through the expressive sign of Leo through early October, dominating this season’s sky story by churning up desires, attachments, and needs around giving and receiving love.
Many of us will become more conscious of the different personae we wear on the world stage as we seek to be heard, seen, and loved. Experimentation with outward appearances—fashion and style, hair and adornment—may go hand in hand with deeper currents of transition in our identity in relationship to others. Old friends may return to our lives to remind us of who we used to be—and still are—while ex-lovers may also make an appearance.
This Venus retrograde may task us with distinguishing between distracting melodrama and the true drama of a life lived on purpose, beckoning us to do the work to connect with what truly makes us come alive.
But any kind of effort we undertake the rest of this month will be colored by the enthusiasm of Mars tangling with the slowness of Saturn (exact July 20), asking us to work bit by bit by bit to achieve our goals. Rushing ahead is just not in the cards, but Mars’s harmonious trine to Jupiter’s blessings (exact August 1) does suggest our dedication to detail and keeping our eyes on the end goal will be rewarded.
Messenger Mercury’s movements through July are likely to broadcast the arrival of Jupiter conjunct Uranus, a combination which will grace our skies for the next year, bringing unexpected blessings, rapid change, and a thirst for revolution, along with technological leaps and bounds, plus lots of juice for all who strive to bring forth a more beautiful dream of the Earth.
A big part of this season’s sky story revolves around Venus’s retrograde through the expressive sign of Leo, which is in play through early October. Once the Sun enters his home sign of Leo (July 22 - August 23), we may especially resonate with the observation of the great playwright William Shakespeare: “All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players. They have their exits and their entrances; And one man in his time plays many parts.”
Ex-lovers and old friends long lost often return to the scene under Venus retrogrades, whether through our reminisces or by making actual contact. Should we actually reunite with former intimate partners, by the time Venus returns to direct motion on September 3, we may be poignantly reminded of exactly why that relationship didn’t work out before. We may also feel ourselves drawn to review all the parts we have played in others’ lives, as well as all the different masks we wear to project personae onto the world stage of our own lives.
Venus speaks to what we find attractive, and particularly under the influence of outwardly expressive Leo, we may find ourselves reorienting our self-expression, experimenting with our appearance and style of dress.
We may be particularly drawn to notice how we are received by others on the basis of our appearance, which in turn affects how we project our image out in the world to declare, “This is who I am.” Venus’s square to evolutionary Uranus (exact August 9 and September 29) urges us to create an updated style more authentic to who and where we are now. New trends in hair (reflecting Leo’s luxurious lion’s mane) and fashion may emerge at this time, and experimentation may be invigorating. While Venus is retrograde, however, it is better to experiment, trying out new tastes and examining our self-presentation from different angles. But it may be wise to wait until Venus is direct before actually committing to or implementing our ideas. Our more normal sense of attraction, taste, and style will be more available come early September, and we’ll have a better sense of what changes will truly fit us then.
Venus’s retrograde through Leo also challenges us to distinguish between melodramatic indulgence of our egos, and courageously embracing the actual drama of a soul-infused life lived on purpose.
While some Venus retrogrades are more potent for some individuals than others—and we can look back to 2015, 2007, 1999, 1991, and every eight years prior to see if this particular one is especially influential—they do tend to churn up our desires, attachments, and needs around giving and receiving love. We all want to be heard, seen, and loved. Leo’s prismatic lens on this retrograde will refract our identity or sense of selfhood in the sphere of love, so that we might encounter who we truly are. If we’re living out someone else’s script or image, thinking that is what will make us heard, seen and loved, our lives may spin into melodramatic futility, as old hurts and wounds are acted out. But if we take up Leo’s aspiration to genuine selfhood, the retrograde’s refractory process can give us the courage to root into our Soul’s storyline so that we can hear, see, and love the beauty of the truth of who we are, to in turn faithfully share that truth with others.
Applying ourselves to this task or to any other will demand patience for most of July, as the energetic “Go!” of Mars opposes the emphatic “No!” of Saturn (exact July 20). It may feel as if we are working hard to barely move ahead, though at least the energy of Mars in the meticulous sign of Virgo (July 10 - August 27) will help us attend to the details that Saturn seems to especially magnify when he opposes Mars. Moving step by step by step is far more likely to yield good results than trying to charge ahead and push past limits or obstacles, though it is so easy to get frustrated under these skies. Once again, we have to look out for wasting energy in a melodramatic ego-based fight, where a simple sigh-and-try-again will do us a lot more good. Mars’s incoming harmonious trine with the blessings of Jupiter (exact August 1) highlights the victories that can come through just quietly persevering as we work towards our goals.
More than Mars opposite Saturn may be making us feel a little itchy to get moving and impatient with delays, as Mercury is moving at its fastest, zipping through the sign of Leo from July 10 to July 28. This means that Mercury will form an agitating square aspect to expansive Jupiter (exact July 17) and erratic Uranus (exact July 23), who are themselves coming into a conjunction, which will last for about a year. Mercury will be announcing the arrival of Jupiter-Uranus’s qualities on the world stage, such as rapid expansion, quickened innovation and quantum leaps in technology, lucky breaks, changing beliefs, and an insistence on freedom. All around the world, we can expect revolutions of many kinds, as big, radical ideas gather attention and power, and unorthodox belief systems gain greater exposure and consideration. This influence bodes well for all who pour their hearts into creating a more beautiful world, striving to bring forth positive (Jupiter) change (Uranus). Finding the exit and the entrance to this particular stage of life may require some self-examination, as the true drama of a life lived on purpose calls out for us to find out what makes us come alive, rather than just playing any old part.
Herbs of the Moon affect the gut, the pineal gland, the emotional body, our intuition and our mood. The Moon rules Cancer, and is exalted in the sign of Taurus. The plants associated with the Moon act principally on all the major fluids of the body (water and blood), the stomach, and the gut. The primary action of fluids within the body is to regulate, nourish, and eliminate waste. Much of our digestive activity and “gut feelings” greatly influence our mood and our emotional bodies.
Blue Lotus ~ A powerful flower known for its deeply calming, euphoric and restorative properties. It contains quite a wide healing spectrum, from mild antidepressant-like qualities to nervous system restoration, and is even a natural aphrodisiac!
Coconut ~ Regarded as a miracle food for millenia by many indigenous cultures worldwide. Coconut water (and coconut meat) is a healing nectar ruled by the Moon, as it is a highly nutritive and soothing digestive tonic/food. In combination, these two plants combine for a luscious lunar latte… let’s make it!
⚈ 1 heaping tsp Blue Lotus petals
⚈ 2 Tbsp Coconut Cream Powder
⚈ 12 oz hot water (~170F)
⚈ 2 tsp plant-based milk of choice
⚈ 1-2 tsp maple syrup or honey (optional; to sweeten as desired)
Pour the hot water over the Blue Lotus petals. Be sure to use almost boiling water (about 170F) when infusing gentle flower teas like Blue Lotus. This avoids astringency and loss of medicinal qualities. Steep the tea for 3-5 minutes. Strain the tea, and then add plant-based milk and Coconut Cream Powder. Whisk vigorously, or use a handheld blender to froth the cream and the milk. Add your sweetener of choice (optional). Sprinkle dried flower petals (like heart-nourishing rose) on top for added beauty. Enjoy!
Keep reading here to tap into your subconscious mind with dream journaling and Blue Lotus, under the July New Moon in Cancer, a fertile time for tapping into your watery, intuitive essence!